This past Wednesday Rosa Clemente, a comunity organizer, journalist, hip hop activist, and 2008 Green Party Vice Presidential running mate of Cynthia McKinney. She divided into subjects ranging from her time of being a poor Black Puerto Rican in the South Bronx to moving one of the the richest suburbs in the country. The new environment gave her better opportunities and a chance that none of her family members never got, a college education.
She was able to get a degree in African American Studies at the University of Albany and went on to Cornell University. She used her education to take on journalism and write about the injustices hurting the black and brown communities in the United States. When visiting Puerto Rice, she witnessed the terrible conditions hidden in the country. Dilapidated houses, no electricity, a poor economy, and hurricanes repeatedly touching down and destroying communities. The poor conditions for Clemente was shocking as she didn’t expect a country supposedly part of the United States would be ignored.
Clemente also talked about her time organizing for #BlackLivesMatter protests such as for Michael Brown. She remembered at one point police officers had pointed guns at her and her friends at the rally. That was a point she realized the dangers of protesting in America. Her talk was very informative and inspiring as you could feel the passion in her activism and the good she is trying to instill in our society
In this episode of Adam Ruins Everything, “Suburbs,” with some comedy and candor, he explains state-sanctioned racism in housing and how it impacted school segregation. Adam also invites journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones to further explain housing and school segregation, as well as the ways that similar forms of discrimination and segregation impact black and brown neighborhoods presently. For Hannah-Jones’s article on current school segregation, Choosing a School for My Daughter.
“Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) come north to help Chicago’s civil rights leaders in their nonviolent struggle against segregated housing. Their efforts pit them against Chicago’s powerful mayor, Richard Daley. When a series of marches through all-white neighborhoods draws violence, King and Daley negotiate with mixed results. In Detroit, a police raid in a black neighborhood sparks an urban uprising that lasts five days, leaving 43 people dead. The Kerner Commission finds that America is becoming “two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal.” President Lyndon Johnson, who appointed the commission, ignores the report.”
After our discussion today in class and reading DR. King’s blog post about continued inequality and discrimination in the United States for black people, I was reminded of a story on the news I saw a couple of days ago. Last week two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks just for waiting for a friend. The store manager called the police on the two black men who were waiting to meet a friend saying that they were trespassing. Soon six police officers arrived and arrested the men for “not complying and trespassing.” This was absolutely discrimination, there is no doubt in my mind that if the two men were white that the store manager would have never called the police. This act has led to protests in Philadelphia and a boycott of Starbucks. The CEO of Starbucks now plans to implement training for all employees to try and eliminate discrimination in his stores.