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A blog from Medium about the fight against anti-Black racism.

Black Lives Matter

White supremacists infiltrated law enforcement. Now what?

Former Georgia Deputy Cody Griggers bragged in text messages about abusing his authority. “I’m going to charge them with whatever felonies I can to take away their ability to vote,” he wrote. The idea of an officer joyfully placing false charges on Black people is terrifying. Police officers wield an enormous amount of power over the communities they serve. Griggers’ statement shows how dangerous this position becomes when held by White supremacists.

He bragged about beating a Black man he had in custody. Showing no remorse whatsoever, he said it gave him “sweet stress relief.” At least that’s what he…


Your weekend-ready, “Did you SEE that story?” cheatsheet

This week’s tour of race and racism news takes us from the English countryside to the world of “Quiet Storm” radio. The economic suffering of Black millennials, deadly environmental racism, and racist abuse on a college debate stage are also featured in this week’s roundup of stories you might have missed.

Pride and Prejudice (and Slavery)

A Jane Austen museum in Chawton, England has decided to include information about the Austen family’s ties to the slave trade. Austen’s father was trustee of a sugar plantation in Antigua, and many commonly used products in homes in Austen’s era…


Let’s Unpack This

When cops donate money to anti-Black murderers, the system is clearly broken

The American policing system appears to be at a crossroads. While many still view police officers as heroes who protect and serve the community, a growing contingent of activists and lawmakers are using the recent increased media attention on state-sanctioned violence to try and effect change. Whether one thinks the police should be abolished, reformed, or defunded, there’s likely never been a time in the history of this country where police officers have been under such intense scrutiny by the general public. And with good reason.

It’s not often we see police officials disagreeing publicly regarding the actions of a…


Racial complacency is never a good thing

If there’s going to be any societal shift after the brutal murder of George Floyd and the conviction of Derek Chauvin, it certainly should be that large segments of America will finally acknowledge the seriousness and gravity of racism.

Former President Barack Obama said it best following Floyd’s death:

In some ways, as tragic as these past few weeks have been, as difficult and scary and uncertain as they’ve been, they’ve also been an incredible opportunity for people to be awakened to some of these underlying trends.

The past year’s mass protests were some of the largest in American history…


Convicted ex-cop Derek Chauvin seemed genuinely stunned to learn he actually will be held responsible for the murder of a Black man

For an instant, Black America and Derek Chauvin aligned in a singular emotion: disbelief. It flashed in Chauvin’s eyes just as the weight of decades of unjust acquittals was shifted from our shoulders onto the murderer’s, where it had always belonged. The convicted killer cop couldn’t conceive that a jury would dare hold him accountable.

Neither could many of us. Chauvin will now wait eight weeks for sentencing but relief was much briefer. The verdict hadn’t even been read before a Columbus, Ohio, cop killed Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black girl, in front of her own house. Police said Bryant…


Derek Chauvin was found guilty on three counts and the nation is stunned

Across the nation, people hollered, wept, and honked horns. They stopped what they were doing to observe and to tune in to any television, livestream, or social media around 5 p.m. EST— all to hear the verdict in the case of Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd.

Minneapolis braced for violence, its very leadership used to the legal backlash that happens when police officers hardly ever pay any significant price for the murder of Black and Brown people. Truth be told, nearly every major city braced — fully expecting a not guilty verdict as…


Giving the police the benefit of the doubt undermines the victims

Protesters took to the streets after hearing the news. A Brooklyn Center officer shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Many wondered how this could happen again. Another unarmed Black man lost his life from a police encounter. Wright died a few miles away from Minneapolis, where George Floyd’s death played on repeat. The jury has yet to deliberate Derek Chauvin’s guilt, though that day will soon arrive. The physical and thematic proximity of these cases shocked an already grieving community. Kim Potter, a 26-year-old veteran of the force, and the police chief have since resigned from their positions. But, before…


THIS WEEK IN RACISM

Your weekly dose of racist news to know

This week’s look at the race and racism stories you may have missed offers plenty of examples of how the effects of racism permeate everything from the air we breathe to the roads on which we travel — but there are some glimmers of hope on the horizon. And this week’s bit of good news is proof that the mass movement against police brutality and for Black lives is bearing fruit.

When racism is in the polluted air we breathe: The Environmental Protection Agency’s new chief, Michael Regan, is ordering the department to use the “full array of policy and…


This week in racism

Also, turns out race-based hostility can happen when working remotely

It’s been a hell of a week. We’ll start with a trip to the underworld courtesy of Lil Nas X, learn what space travel has to do with the descendants of enslaved Africans in Brazil, and finish up with the next piece of Black Girl Magic that Marsai Martin is blessing us with. Here are some of the race- and racism-related stories you might have missed in the last week.

Good takes on hellscapes: Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” video continues to leave a trail of controversy in its wake, from the moral panic of Christians…


We thought we could save people’s lives with the manna to be found in books — and they only got better over time

“Libraries were not yet under assault by the internet, and with the growing ease of self-publishing, my public library’s shelves were a banquet of cultures and ideas. I may have…

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