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Tag: Black Lives Matter

Any Journalist Can Become A Media Troll, Even ‘Neutral’ Journalists

Posted in Creative Commons, and Journalism

The First Amendment doesn’t grant you the right to film people’s faces or put protesters at risk without facing social consequences.

Recently, I’ve watched protesters turn increasingly hostile against some media, especially livestreamers. Even though I’m a journalist, I find myself agreeing with protesters that streamers can put them at risk.

Any journalist, even well meaning ones, can become a media troll if they endanger movements. And right now, as we face off with ascendant fascism, the potential risks to activists are very high.

Reminder: It’s Against The Law To Fire Austin’s Police Chief

Posted in Austin, Creative Commons, and Journalism

Did you know it’s literally against the law to fire Austin’s chief of police?

I found myself tweeting this fact over and over again, each time some new fresh horror surfaced from Austin’s police force. So I thought I should write something too.

It would be an extraordinary fact at any time, but it seems worth repeating at this moment when so many people are demanding accountability from our nation’s police. One of the key forms of accountability under capitalism, firing a bad worker, is actually off limits.

Why Hemp Supporters Must Support Black Lives Matter, Too

Posted in Journalism, and Ministry of Hemp

Over at Ministry of Hemp, I wrote about our feelings about the current Black Lives Matter uprising and how it ties to the hemp and cannabis industries:

In this time of extraordinary global protest, hemp advocates and the hemp industry must live up to our ideals by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and working towards real change.

Going even further, our involvement can’t stop with just the protests. In order to build an ethical and sustainable industry, we need to be active participants in undoing the damage that the War on Drugs caused. We need to lobby to defund police forces which grew out of control during this “war.”

Starbucks Racism & The Media: There’s Nothing New Except The Attention

Posted in Creative Commons, and Journalism

As a journalist, I want to talk to other white people about recent coverage of “Starbucks Racism” incidents.

People of all races are horrified by the reports filling the news of black people targeted by whites for everyday activities. I’m calling it “Starbucks Racism” in this post not because I particularly hate Starbucks. It’s simply that the incident in which police arrested two black men waiting for a third friend at a Philadelphia Starbucks is now infamous. This story ushered in renewed interest in the media in this kind of “casual” but extremely dangerous racism.

There’s a reaction to these Starbucks Racism stories I’ve mostly noticed among white people. It reflects both a misunderstanding of systemic racism and a misunderstanding of how the media works. I’ll paraphrase something I saw on a friend’s wall: “What’s wrong with people? I’m so disgusted at how people act recently.”

Police Killings Down In 2016, But Activists Fear Trump Could Reverse The Trend

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Available data suggests that fewer people have died from police violence in 2016 than in 2015, but some police reform activists are concerned that this trend won’t survive the administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

At least 1,000 people have been killed by police in 2016, though the lack of available federal data makes it all but impossible to determine a precise count.

Police departments report information on violent encounters with officers to the federal government on a purely voluntary basis. The FBI has announced plans to reform the system next year to add more stringent reporting requirements.

“We are responding to a real human outcry,” Stephen L. Morris, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, said.

‘Which Side Are You On?’ Rapper B. Dolan On Corporate Power & Making Racists Afraid Again

Posted in Austin, Journalism, and SXSW

B. Dolan was my favorite discovery of SXSW, an unabashedly political rapper from Rhode Island, and also an anti-corporate activist with Knowmore.org. I caught him during the same show where I saw Wheelchair Sports Camp and I knew we’d have to talk more.

It took until early last month before we finally connected with an interview, and then another month (thanks to the distracting spectacle of the election) before I finally put his words up on my site.

Thanks, B. Dolan, for taking the time to talk, and for your patience in seeing this published!

Kit O’Connell, Approximately 8,000 Words: Talk to me about what it’s like to play a huge commercial event like SXSW, especially the impact it can have good and bad on a community or your career. We had anti-gentrification protests at the event this year, in fact — is this something you take into consideration, as a politically aware musician?