Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dec. 4 is Blogging Against "Taser" Electrocution Day

On December 4, 2009, hundreds of bloggers from the USA, Brazil and Europe will be blogging simultaneously about the increase in electrocution deaths at the hands of US police departments armed with "Taser" brand name massive shock devices.

The Electronic Village blog has composed and posted a list of the names, ages and skin color/national origins of 45 electrocution victims from across the United States, and these names are being republished at blogs from across America, like the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC graphically recalls the cost of the war in human lives.

AfroSpear and afrosphere participants are also circulating an online petition calling for Congressional hearings into the increasing number of "Taser" electrocution deaths, and into video evidence that "Tasers" are being used as torture devices and devices of summary extra-judicial executions.

What has not been clarified is whether the blogging community will call upon its readers to engage in additional action whose purpose is to end "Taser torture". For example, the favorable outcome in the Jena Six case came not merely from blogging and reading about the Jena Six, but also from a march that mobilized as many as 30,000 people and captured media attention worldwide, focused on an inexplicably anachronistic "white tree" and nooses at a public Louisiana high school.

The Bloggers Against "Taser" Electrocution action effectively poses the question, "What will be the functional equivalent of the Jena Six march in protest of the 45 electrocution deaths in the United States since the beginning of the year?" Bloggers know as a matter of historical fact that they were effective in the Jena Six action, in conjunction with Color of Change and the Chicago Tribune, by informing the public and calling the public to action, while the action of a much broader outraged and disgusted public, including Black students from universities throughout America, really brought justice for the Jena Six, in conjunction with Color of Change's very effective legal resources fundraising.

So the December 4 Bloggers Against Taser Electrocution action of writing and informing about Taser torture is not and end in itself, but a catalyst for the type of national mobilization needed to exercise political pressure.

Below are the names of those electrocuted (killed by electric force) by police this year without the benefit of trial or judicial process:

Electronic Village
"has documented 45 taser-related deaths in the United States since the beginning of the year:
  1. Jan 9, 2009: Derrick Jones, 17, Black, Martinsville, Virginia

  2. Jan 11, 2009: Rodolfo Lepe, 31, Hispanic, Bakersfield, California

  3. Jan 22, 2009: Roger Redden, 52, Caucasian, Soddy Daisy, Tennessee

  4. Feb 2, 2009: Garrett Jones, 45, Caucasian, Stockton, California

  5. Feb 11, 2009: Richard Lua, 28, Hispanic, San Jose, California

  6. Feb 13, 2009: Rudolph Byrd, 37, Black, Thomasville, Georgia

  7. Feb 13, 2009: Michael Jones, 43, Black, Iberia, Louisiana

  8. Feb 14, 2009: Chenard Kierre Winfield, 32, Black, Los Angeles, California

  9. Feb 28, 2009: Robert Lee Welch, 40, Caucasian, Conroe, Texas

  10. Mar 22, 2009: Brett Elder, 15, Caucasian, Bay City, Michigan

  11. Mar 26, 2009: Marcus D. Moore, 40, Black, Freeport, Illinois

  12. Apr 1, 2009: John J. Meier Jr., 48, Caucasian, Tamarac, Florida

  13. Apr 6, 2009: Ricardo Varela, 41, Hispanic, Fresno, California

  14. Apr 10, 2009: Robert Mitchell, 16, Black, Detroit, Michigan

  15. Apr 13, 2009: Craig Prescott, 38, Black, Modesto, California

  16. Apr 16, 2009: Gary A. Decker, 50, Black, Tuscon, Arizona

  17. Apr 18, 2009: Michael Jacobs Jr., 24, Black, Fort Worth, Texas

  18. Apr 30, 2009: Kevin LaDay, 35, Black, Lumberton, Texas

  19. May 4, 2009: Gilbert Tafoya, 53, Caucasian, Holbrook, Arizona

  20. May 17, 2009: Jamaal Valentine, 27, Black, La Marque, Texas

  21. May 23, 2009: Gregory Rold, 37, Black, Salem, Oregon

  22. Jun 9, 2009: Brian Cardall, 32, Caucasian, Hurricane, Utah

  23. Jun 13, 2009: Dwight Madison, 48, Black, Bel Air, Maryland

  24. Jun 20, 2009 Derrek Kairney, 36, [skin color, natl. origin]: Unknown, South Windsor, Connecticut

  25. Jun 30, 2009, Shawn Iinuma, 37, [skin color, natl. origin]: Unknown, Fontana, California

  26. Jul 2, 2009, Rory McKenzie, 25, Black, Bakersfield, California

  27. Jul 20, 2009, Charles Anthony Torrence, 35, Caucasion, Simi Valley, California

  28. Jul 30, 2009, Johnathan Michael Nelson, 27, Caucasion, Riverside County, California

  29. Aug 9, 2009, Terrace Clifton Smith, 52, Race: Unknown, Moreno Valley, California

  30. Aug 12, 2009, Ernest Ridlehuber, 53, [skin color, natl. origin]: Unknown, Greenville, South Carolina

  31. Aug 14, 2009, Hakim Jackson, 31, Black, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  32. Aug 18, 2009, Ronald Eugene Cobbs, 38, Black, Greensboro, North Carolina

  33. Aug 20, 2009, Francisco Sesate, 36, Hispanic, Mesa, Arizona

  34. Aug 22, 2009, T.J. Nance, 37, Race: Unknown, Arizona City, Arizona

  35. Aug 26, 2009, Miguel Molina, 27, Hispanic, Los Angeles, California

  36. Aug 27, 2009, Manuel Dante Dent, 27, Hispanic, Modesto, California

  37. Sep 3, 2009, Shane Ledbetter, 38, Caucasian, Aurora, Colorado

  38. Sep 16, 2009, Alton Warren Ham, 45, Caucasian, Modesto, California

  39. Sep 19, 2009, Yuceff W. Young II, 21, Black, Brooklyn, Ohio

  40. Sep 21, 2009, Richard Battistata, 44, Hispanic, Laredo, Texas

  41. Sep 28, 2009, Derrick Humbert, 38, Black, Bradenton, Florida

  42. Oct 2, 2009, Rickey Massey, 38, Black, Panama City, Florida

  43. Oct 12, 2009, Christopher John Belknap, 36, Race: Unknown, Ukiah, California

  44. Oct 16, 2009, Frank Cleo Sutphin, 19, [skin color, natl. origin]: Unknown, San Bernadino, California

  45. Oct 27, 2009, Jeffrey Woodward, 33, [skin color, natl. origin]: Unknown, Gallatin, Tennessee

I think it is worth noting that 42% of these taser-torture killings occurred against African American men. We make up about 6% of the total population, yet 42% of the taser-related deaths in America this year are Black men.

However, nothing seems to be able to stop the continued taser-related killings. I remain convinced that the 'Use of Force Continuum' needs to show tasers as 'near-lethal' ... definitely an error to claim that they are 'non-lethal'.

Something is wrong. Join us in asking for congressional hearings on taser torture."
I personally do not understand why Electronic Village prepares a list of 45 electrocution deaths and then says that "Tasers" should be classified as "near lethal". The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines lethal as "capable of producing death." If Tasers were not "capable of producing death", they would not have produced the 45 deaths documented by Electronic Village. I also question whether attacking the semantics of police guidelines that police obviously are not following anyway will be a successful strategy for attacking pre-trial, extra-judicial electrocutions and executions.

Torture devices do not need to be reclassified; they need to be banned and eradicated.

Since tasers have produced the death of 45 people in ten months, the devices are not merely "near-lethal", which would mean "almost" capable of producing death. They are in fact, and without meaningful dispute, "capable of producing death," and therefore they are "lethal" by definition, and not merely "near lethal".

Electrocution Deaths Increasing as "Taser" Use Becomes Widespread

I have copied the article below virtually verbatim from Pandagon, except I oppose the use of the term "race" unknown and have replaced it with "[skin color, natl. origin]" It has been proved as a matter of scientific fact that "race" does not exist, and so I'm not going to perpetuate the use of this divisive and confusing concept when other clearer and scientifically valid concepts are available, such as "skin color" "skin color group" and "national origin."

CrimePersonal Security

I point you over to Electronic Village, where Villager is keeping track of some sobering stats—the number of deaths due to the misuse or abuse of the Taser. We're up to 36 deaths this year, with 39% of the pre-trial, extra-judicial electrocutions and executions were perpetrated against black men, who represent only 6% of the population in the U.S.

  1. Jan 9, 2009: Derrick Jones, 17, Black, Martinsville, Virginia
  2. Jan 11, 2009: Rodolfo Lepe, 31, Hispanic, Bakersfield, California
  3. Jan 22, 2009: Roger Redden, 52, Caucasian, Soddy Daisy, Tennessee
  4. Feb 2, 2009: Garrett Jones, 45, Caucasian, Stockton, California
  5. Feb 11, 2009: Richard Lua, 28, Hispanic, San Jose, California
  6. Feb 13, 2009: Rudolph Byrd, Age ?, [skin color, natl. origin] Unknown, Quincy, Florida
  7. Feb 13, 2009: Michael Jones, 43, Black, Iberia, Louisiana
  8. Feb 14, 2009: Chenard Kierre Winfield, 32, Black, Los Angeles, California
  9. Feb 28, 2009: Robert Lee Welch, 40, Caucasian, Conroe, Texas
  10. Mar 22, 2009: Brett Elder, 15, Caucasian, Bay City, Michigan
  11. Mar 26, 2009: Marcus D. Moore, 40, Black, Freeport, Illinois
  12. Apr 1, 2009: John J. Meier Jr., 48, Caucasian, Tamarac, Florida
  13. Apr 6, 2009: Ricardo Varela, 41, Hispanic, Fresno, California
  14. Apr 10, 2009: Robert Mitchell, 16, Black, Detroit, Michigan
  15. Apr 16, 2009: Gary A. Decker, 50, Black, Tuscon, Arizona
  16. Apr 18, 2009: Michael Jacobs Jr., 24, Black, Fort Worth, Texas
  17. Apr 30, 2009: Kevin LaDay, 35, Black, Lumberton, Texas
  18. May 4, 2009: Gilbert Tafoya, 53, Caucasian, Holbrook, Arizona
  19. May 17, 2009: Jamaal Valentine, 27, Black, La Marque, Texas
  20. May 23, 2009: Gregory Rold, 37, Black, Salem, Oregon
  21. Jun 9, 2009: Brian Cardall, 32, Caucasian, Hurricane, Utah
  22. Jun 13, 2009: Dwight Madison, 48, Black, Bel Air, Maryland
  23. Jun 20, 2009 Derrek Kairney, 36, Race: Unknown, South Windsor, Connecticut
  24. Jun 30, 2009, Shawn Iinuma, 37, Race: Unknown, Fontana, California
  25. Jul 2, 2009, Rory McKenzie, 25, Black, Bakersfield, California
  26. Jul 20, 2009, Charles Anthony Torrence, 35, Caucasian, Simi Valley, California
  27. Jul 30, 2009, Johnathan Michael Nelson, 27, Caucasian, Riverside County, California
  28. Aug 9, 2009, Terrace Clifton Smith, 52, [skin color, natl. origin] Unknown, Moreno Valley, California
  29. Aug 12, 2009, Ernest Ridlehuber, 53, Race: Unknown, Greenville, South Carolina
  30. Aug 14, 2009, Hakim Jackson, 31, Black, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  31. Aug 18, 2009, Ronald Eugene Cobbs, 38, Black, Greensboro, North Carolina
  32. Aug 20, 2009, Francisco Sesate, 36, Hispanic, Mesa, Arizona
  33. Aug 22, 2009, T.J. Nance, 37, Race: [skin color, natl. origin], Arizona City, Arizona
  34. Aug 26, 2009, Unidentified Man, Age: TBD, Race: [skin color, natl. origin], Los Angeles, California
  35. Sep 3, 2009, Shane Ledbetter, Age: 38, Caucasian, Aurora, Colorado
  36. Sep 21, 2009, Richard Battistata, Age: 44, Race: [skin color, natl. origin], Laredo, Texas


In the above video, Stanley Harlen was pulled over for allegedly speeding; he stopped in front of his house. As his mother came out in her robe, she watched as officers wrestled with him. One officer fired the Taser three times for 31 seconds. For 14 minutes he received no medical attention; when paramedics arrived it was too late. He was dead. The Moberly city manager’s response is hardly reassuring. Andy Morris: Harlen’s death is ”unanticipated and unintentional. Police officers must often make split-second decisions in tense, rapidly-evolving situations.”

Ken Burton, the Police Chief of nearby Columbia, MO’s PD also has officers who use Tasers but he strictly limits their use—no fleeing subjects are allowed to be tased, and when deployed, only for 5 seconds at at time.

This CBS report showed a graph of statistics, compiled by Taser International itself, and the growth in the use of these “non-lethal” devices has skyrocketed from 500 law enforcement agencies in 2000 to 14,201 in 2009. And there are no mandatory standards or training for Taser usage. Taser International has actually put out a disingenuous statement that defies reality, considering the rising body count.

The electrical output of a taser device is incapable of causing death.

Sure, the voltage alone in one blast itself may not kill, but what about the medical condition of the tasing victim? What about shocking someone for 31 seconds? What about repeated blasts to an elderly or disabled individual? This is a situation out of control.

Monday, November 2, 2009

CoC Says Call US Senators, Demand Public Option

Dear friends:

In the states of the US South, like Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, the Black infant mortality rate is over seventeen percent, while the national infant mortality rate is around 6.7%. In fact, with Cuba's infant mortality at 6%, a Black child in Cuba has a three-times better chance of living until his first birthday than does a Black child in parts of the US South.

States with large Black populations must not be permitted to "opt out" of national health care just so they can punish Black people, as they opted out of Obama's stimulus package. That's why I'm forwarding this letter to you from Color of Change, asking you to share the letter below with others and to contact your US Senators (especially from Southern states with large Black populations), e.g. Landrieu in Louisiana.

It's time for fundamental change. Please read CoC's letter:

Color of Change Mass Circulation Letter:

Dear friends,

The Senate is closing in on a health care bill with a public health
insurance option, a key ingredient of meaningful health care reform.

But conservatives and insurance companies are fighting hard against
the public option, so Senate leadership has compromised by including
an "opt-out" clause, which would allow individual states to choose not
to participate in the program.[1]

There's a real danger here. In the stimulus fight, we saw Republican
governors and legislators refuse federal dollars for political gain.
The same thing could happen with health care reform, with everday people
in states like Lousiana, Alabama, and South Carolina -- states with
large Black, poor, and working-class populations -- left out.[2]

That's why I've joined ColorOfChange.org's campaign calling on
Congress and the White House to make the public option available
everywhere. Please join me:


I understand the need for compromise and negotiation, but I also want
to make sure that no community gets negotiated away in the process.

Including "opt-out" may be the best way to get a bill through the
Senate with a public option--but that won't be the end of the process,
and it doesn't mean "opt-out" will be in the final bill. The House
still needs to decide exactly what will be in its health care bill.
And once both the House and the Senate have passed legislation,
they'll have to negotiate with each other, and the White House, to
reconcile the differences between the two bills.

That's why we need to make it clear that we're watching and that we
will demand a public option that's available in every state. Please
join me in sending this message to Congress and the White House, and
ask your friends and family to do the same:


Thank you.


1. "So what is the 'opt-out' compromise?" Talking Points Memo,

2. "Public option opt out denies help to those who need it most," Fire
Dog Lake, 10-8-2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Daughter of Black City Councilman Tased In Back - While on Her Knees

Copied verbatim from Tasered While Black.

Another American Post-Racial Moment

This one out of Cincinnati.

Cincinnati police say the preliminary investigations says Officer Anthony Plummer's actions were not in compliance with Cincinnati Police Departments policies and procedures. Also, the tasing investigation has been recommended to be conducted by the internal investigation section.

Cincinnati police arrested and used a Taser on Celeste Thomas, the daughter of Cincinnati city councilman Cecil Thomas, early Sunday morning.

Her arrest report indicates that Thomas had marks on her upper back from the Taser's barbs.

"It is my understanding that she was on her knees when she was Tased in the back," said Cecil Thomas.

See news video and additional information at Tasered While Black.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Color of Change Wages Campaign Against Glenn Beck's Anti-Obama Color Arousal

President Obama has "hatred for white people"?

Glenn Beck -- race-baiting and peddling fear

Glenn Beck is using his platform to stoke race-based hate and fear.

Help us fight back, by hitting Beck where it hurts, NOW:

Click here

Contact the shows sponsors here.

Color of change says:

More and more, right-wing talk show hosts are bringing race-based fear mongering into the mainstream, but FOX's Glenn Beck just took it to another level. On Tuesday, Beck said:

This president has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again who has a deep-seated hatred for white people... this guy is, I believe, a racist.1

It's part of a larger argument Beck has been making:2 that President Obama is using the White House to serve the needs of Black communities at White people's expense. This kind of talk stirs up fear, hate, and it can lead to violence.3,4

Together we can stop Glenn Beck.5 Starting today we're calling Beck's advertisers, asking them if they want to be associated with this kind of racist hate and fear-mongering. When they see tens of thousands of people signing on behind that question, we believe they'll move their advertising dollars elsewhere, damaging the viability of his show and possibly putting him out of business.

All it requires is you, standing up and being counted. Please take a moment to join the effort, and invite your friends and family to do the same:


Glenn Beck is appealing to the worst in America. Of course, some people refuse to accept the fact that our president is Black or the idea that he could truly serve all Americans. We know that. The only way these views will fade away is if they're not reinforced by mainstream society. Instead, folks like Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs,6 and Rush Limbaugh7 are exploiting racism and race-based fear to bump their ratings, stirring up racial discord in the process.

The dangers of these tactics are real. We saw the same dynamic during the presidential race: by the end, the McCain/Palin campaign was unable to control the violent energy whipped up by their race-baiting. The result was an unprecedented number of threats on Obama's life, a rise in the number of hate groups, and an increase in the number of threats and crimes against immigrants and Black people.8,9,10

FOX has had a long history of race-baiting and racism on its shows, and we've run campaigns calling them out.11,12 But Glenn Beck appears to be taking the network to an even lower standard. He's trying to divide and distract America when we should be coming together and talking about issues that really matter--like health care and the economy.

The good news is that we have the power to stop this. All major media is funded by advertising. And advertisers, more than anything, care what consumers think. If we want to change what's happening and put an end to folks like Glenn Beck having a platform, we can do it.

It's up to us, and it can start now. Please join us:


Thanks and Peace,

-- James, Gabriel, William, Dani and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
July 30th, 2009

Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU -- your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don't share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way. You can contribute here:



1. "Beck: Obama has 'exposed himself as a guy' with 'a deep seated hatred for white people'" Media Matters, 7-28-09

2. "Glenn Beck: Obama agenda driven by 'reparations' and desire to 'settle old racial scores'," Media Matters, 7-23-09

3. "Palin linked to death threats against Obama," Economic Times, 11-9-2008

4. "Obama win prompts wave of hate crimes," Times Online, 11-17-2008

5. "MSNBC's Deutsch encourages viewers to demand advertisers on Beck's show spend money elsewhere," Media Matters, 7-29-09

6. "On Television and Radio, Talk of Obama's Citizenship," The New York Times, 7-24-09

7. "Rush and reparations," The Nation, 5-12-2009

8. See reference 2.

9. See reference 3.

10. "Homeland Security report warns of rising right-wing extremism, Huffington Post, 4-14-2009

11. ColorOfChange.org email on Fox's attacks on the Obamas

12. "An overview: Fox News and its problem with African-Americans," ColorOfChange.org

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Francis L. Holland Circulates Online Petition Supporting Confirmation of Judge Sotomayor


Afrosphere blogger Atty. Francis L. Holland has prepared and is circulating an online petition supporting President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be a justice of the US Supreme Court. Atty. Holland has prepared a widget that blogs can adopt to show solidarity with the President and his US Supreme Court pick. Holland has started a group called "Americans for a Pluralistic US Supreme Court" to circulate the petition and build support for Judge Sotomayor's nomination.

Holland says,

It's obvious what the Republicans are doing. They want to repeat Judge Sotomayor's "wise Latina woman" quote over and over again, in the hopes of convincing the public that owning one's own ethnic heritage is the equivalent of "racism". Therefore the only people who should be on the Court are those who purportedly "are not part of any ethnic or gender group": white men!

This petition "owns" and exults in the fact that Sotomayor is a "wise Latina woman" and explains that historically only white men were allowed on the Court -- a white male quota system -- which is precisely why the US Senate must confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor, in addition to Sotomayor's obviously excellent credentials.
The online petition says:

View Current Signatures - Sign the Petition

To: Members of the US Senate

I strongly support and urge immediate Senate confirmation of President Barack Obama’s nominee for the US Supreme Court: “wise Latina woman”, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who now sits on U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

At present, the US Supreme Court has nine members, of whom seven are white men. This is unfair and unbalanced. According to the US Census, the nation is less than 33% white male, while it is approximately 51% female, 15% Latino and 13% Black. Although white males are the minority of America, they remain the vast majority of the US Supreme Court, just as was the case before women and minorities gained the right to vote.

It is impossible in a pluralistic society for a Court comprised of 78% white men to make wise, reasoned and sound decisions affecting the lives of a nation which is less than 33% white male. A wise and just Supreme Court requires a diversity of experiences, with the participation of representatives of the majority of Americans.

For far too long, there has been a quota system at the United States Supreme Court. The de facto quota system required that all or the vast majority of the nine members of the Court be white males. In the history of the nation, there have never been more than three members of the court who were not white males at any one time. The anachronistic white male quota system is no longer tenable as the nation strives to treat all Americans equally and to have a government all of whose branches have the consent and participation of the nation’s diverse populace.

The US Supreme Court cannot function wisely, justly, and fairly without the full participation of wise women and wise members of the nation’s minority groups, including the nation’s largest minority – Latinos. Therefore, we urge our elected representatives in the US Senate to immediately confirm the “wise Latina woman” who has earned our respect and support: soon-to-be US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.



The Undersigned

View Current Signatures
This petition is not formally or informally a project of the Afrosphere Action Coalition per se, but it's worth announcing it to the afrosphere so that participants can support it or not, as they wish.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Day of Blogging for Justice: Standing Up Against the Police Pre-Trial Electrocution - April 24, 2009

By African American Political Pundit:

Hat Tip and Shout Out to the Villager at the blog Electronic Village for his recent blog post. Check out how the afrospear is blogging about the issue of the tasing, beating and electrocution of Black folks in America. He writes about A Day of Blogging for Justice: Standing Up Against the Police Pre-Trial Electrocution

The AfroSpear is calling on all bloggers to join us in a Day of Blogging for Justice: Standing Up Against the Police Pre-Trial Electrocution on Friday, April 24, 2009.

The rules are simple:

  1. Share a post on your blog focused on your concerns about the tasering of Blacks folks.
  2. Send an email to AfricanAmericanPoliticalPundit@gmail.com so that we may document everyone's participation.

He gives examples of what bloggers have been reporting on the police pre-trial electrocution:

I like the villager, and so many other bloggers hope that you will participate. Please read villager's complete post on A Day of Blogging for Justice: Standing Up Against the Police Pre-Trial Electrocution

Related Blog Posts

From Francis L. Holland posting at Electrocuted While Black.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New Facebook Group Urges Blacks To Scrupulously Observe Traffic Laws in Houston TX, Even if it Leads to Increased Traffic Conjestion.

There is a new Black-led Facebook group, called "Slow Down Police Color Aroused Traffic Stops and Brutality," Seventy-two FaceBook members Have joined the group in its first twenty-hour Tewhe group encourages drivers in Houston, TX, particularly, and elsewhere, to scrupulously follow all traffic laws intended for public safety, even if doing so to the satisfaction of color-aroused police causes traffic to slow to a standstill in Houston, TX and elsewhere.

Phil Pierre-Paul, a young Black college student and writer for New Jersey Institute of Tecnhology Stute College Newspaper, who started the group to follow this movement, says,
Black people are tired of constantly beingegarded as [traffic] law violators . . . In response, some have started a campaign to protest police color aroused traffic stops and brutality.

The campaign is intended to raise awareness of driving carefully and to show participants determination to be law-abiding citizens. [even if the effect of such scrupulous obedience to each and every traffic law is that streets and highways slow to a crawl, or become entirely impassible.

. . . As a young black blogger, I have created this group to follow this new initiative of driving carefully.Facebook Group

This new Facebook blogs is repleat with Texas laws citations and advocacy links that suggest
strategies for driving slowly while following the applicable Houston Texas traffic laws, to avoid being stopped by police and also to demonstrate the enormous commercial, tourist, and shopping dislocations that will result from Black drivers exhibiting the level of Hoston ,TX police and elsewhere.

I certainly hope these efforts are succesful, since the only proven way to make whites concerned about Black civil rights issues is to demonstrate how they effect whites as well. The scrupulous driving that will be required t stop traffic stops of Blacks will inevitably slow down Houston, TX highways and elsewhere, making Blacks and white drivers allles in this effort to reduce unwarranted police stops and free the highways for dricing once again.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Draft Petition Against Police Color Aroused Traffic Stop Brutality

To the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice:

We respectfully request that the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice investigate the statistically high rates of police stop and search incidents involving Black drivers and passengers, to identify and prosecute cases in which the civil rights of these drivers and passengers are being violated.

Law-abiding Black professionals, including retired police officers and nationally recognized sports figures caring for family members in times of emergency, have been taunted, harassed and humiliated. Pregnant Black women who were rushing to the hospital have been stopped and denied medical care, leading to miscarriage, with the offending police officers asking, "How is that my problem?"

Each of these cases is but one example of the menace that Black motorists and passengers face throughout the United States, simply for "Driving While Black" (DWB).

According to a 2007 US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics press release:
  • The most common reason for police contact in 2002 and 2005 was a traffic stop, accounting for about 40 percent of all contacts.
  • Blacks were almost three times as likely as whites to report that excessive force was used against them in contacts with law enforcement, while Latinos reported excessive force twice as often as whites.
  • Police searched three times as many Blacks and Hispanic drivers as white drivers.
We urge the Justice Department to adopt a policy of vigorously investigating complaints of traffic stop police brutality in every state where it occurs.

We urge that the Justice Department condition financial support for state and local police activities upon findings that such police organizations vigorously screen, discipline and terminate police officials whose color-aroused and abusive behaviors, and tolerance of such behaviors, make all police activity seem suspect in minority communities.

We further urge that police in every American jurisdiction make a sincere and sustained effort to distinguish between law abiding Americans and others, rather than treating all Black Americans as if we were guilty and inherently insusceptible of being proved innocent.

To underscore our determination that law-abiding Black drivers and passengers be perceived and treated as such, we hereby announce our intention to scrupulously observe each and every traffic law intended for the protection of the public, in every case. We are determined to willingly accept as a group -- with patience, prayer and diligent meditation -- any traffic delays that may result from our determination to be perceived and treated as models of perfect traffic-law obedience.

To prove our commitment to traffic safety as well as equal justice under the laws, we will drive at the lowest permissible speeds on the streets and highways where we live, taking each and every precaution that the police demand of us, even if it causes traffic jams as far as the eye can see, and continuing without relent until our nation realizes that it is better to end color-aroused police traffic stop persecution right now, rather than to live with perpetual color-aroused traffic jams forever and ever more.

We urge all Americans to be patient with us as we demonstrate, through rigorously and meticulously responsible driving behavior, that our greatest priority when driving, in addition to traffic safety, is that we be treated with the respect and consideration that all human beings deserve, regardless of how long it takes us to get there.




Friday, March 6, 2009

Color of Change Petition: States Must Distribute Unemployment Benefits Authorized by Obama

Dear Readers:

Please sign the Color of Change Petition demanding that Republican governors accept the increased unemployment benefits that President Obama is offering.

Color of Change says:

The country is in real trouble right now, with unemployment spiraling out of control. President Obama's stimulus plan provides money to expand unemployment assistance. But a group of Republican governors, led by Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, is trying to score political points by blocking that assistance from reaching the people who need it. It's cynical and disgusting.

These governors are playing with people's lives. They're trying to further their political ambitions while showing they could care less about the fate of everyday folks--even in their own state.

Please join me in calling them out and forcing the media spotlight on them. I just signed ColorOfChange.org's open letter demanding they do the right thing. Together, we can help make sure that in times of hardship folks get the assistance they need. It only takes a moment:


It's incredible. President Obama's stimulus package provides money for states to extend unemployment benefits for people in dire need of help, but a handful of Republican governors--Bob Riley of Alabama, Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Rick Perry of Texas, Sarah Palin of Alaska, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana--are putting politics over people.

All six governors have threatened to turn down these funds. Four are 2012 presidential contenders, and they all have a vested interest in seeing Obama fail. They're attacking the President's policies to increase their own profile and cozy up to the most die-hard conservatives. They also claim that taking the stimulus money would leave their states in debt when it runs out in three years. But that argument rings hollow--state legislatures could reduce benefits to pre-stimulus levels at that point.

While these governors posture, Black folks suffer the most. In all of these states, Black unemployment is at least twice that of Whites--and in Louisiana and Mississippi, the two Blackest states in the Union, the unemployment rate among Black people approaches three times that of their White neighbors.

Please join me in telling these Republican governors to stop putting their personal and political interests above the good of all their states' citizens. Demand that they accept all of the stimulus money designated for unemployment benefits. And please ask your friends and family to do the same by passing this message on.



Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sign Color of Change Petition, Help Provoke Federal Investigation of NY Post under 18 USC Title 18, Secs. 1751 and 373.

Color of Change urges supporters to sign a petition against a "racist" image published by the New York Post in which a monkey is killed, explicitly so that he cannot "write the next stimulus bill."

Many parties have urged that the New York Post issue an apology for a publication obviously aimed at President Barack Obama, but the the Francis L. Holland Blog goes further, urging that a federal investigation be conducted to determine whether persons at the New York Post have violated 18 USC Title 18, Sec. 1751, 18 USC Title 18, Section 373 and/or other federal statutes whose penalties include potential life imprisonment or the death penalty.

The Francis L. Holland Blog urges Blacks, all Obama supporters, and everyone who oppose the assassination of American presidents, to perceive the New York Post "cartoon" for what it is: an internationally publicized call for the assassination of the President of the United States, wherein the international publication of this particular cartoon should be investigated as a possible "act to effectuate the object of the conspiracy," (18 USC Title 18, Sec. 1751) which "solicits, commands, induces, or otherwise endeavors to persuade such other person to engage in such conduct" 18 USC Title 18, Section 373.

Sign the Color of Change petition now, to provoke an federal investigation into the acts and intent of the persons at the New York Post who are responsible for the publication of this piece of graphic "persuasion".

Under "18 USC Title 18, Sec. 1751. Presidential and Presidential staff assassination, kidnapping, and assault; penalties," "any act" in furtherance of a conspiracy to assassinate a person who is president of the United States is a crime punishable by up to life imprisonment or the death penalty.

If two or more persons conspire to kill or kidnap any individual designated in subsection (a) of this section and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be punished (1) by imprisonment for any term of years or for life, or (2) by death or imprisonment for any term of years or for life, if death results to such individual. 18 USC Title 18, Sec. 1751.

Black political figures have been assassinated in American history, and most every Black person has been called a monkey at some time. However, President Barack Obama, by virtue of his office, is specifically protected under federal statutes against acts, incitements and conspiracies aginst his life, with convicted violators potentially suffering penalties up to and including life imprisonment or the death penalty. The above statute means, at the very least, that even possible conspiracies against the life of the president should be investigated.

The New York Post's own ostensible "apology" acknowledges that the "cartoon" "has been taken as something else - as a depiction of President Obama" assassinated on the street, with two bullets in his chest. If, as most people believe, the "cartoon" depicts both the assassination of a president and the expression and publication of a desire to see that assassination carried out, and perhaps an endeavor to create the atmosphere in which such a heinous crime is possible, then this is also cause for a federal investigation under 18 USC Title 18, Section 373: "Solicitation to commit a crime of violence."

(a) Whoever, with intent that another person engage in conduct constituting a felony that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against property or against the person of another in violation of the laws of the United States, and under circumstances strongly corroborative of that intent, solicits, commands, induces, or otherwise endeavors to persuade such other person to engage in such conduct, shall be imprisoned not more than one-half the maximum term of imprisonment or (notwithstanding section 3571) fined not more than one-half of the maximum fine prescribed for the punishment of the crime solicited, or both; or if the crime solicited is punishable by life imprisonment or death, shall be imprisoned for not more than twenty years. 18 USC Title 18, Section 373: "Solicitation to commit a crime of violence."

With its publication of this graphic, there exists the possibility that the New York Post "solicits, commands, induces, or otherwise endeavors to persuade" members of the public to "engage in conduct constituting a felony that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against property or against the person of another in violation of the laws of the United States". The above statute surely requires that apparent "endeavors to persuade" the commitment of felonious acts of violence must be investigated.

Certainly any act that might be in furtherance such a conspiracy should be investigated by the Secret Service, the Attorney General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation before the object of the potential conspiracy can be effectuated rather than after the fact.

The Francis L. Holland Blog therefore urges readers to sign the Color of Change petition as part of an effort to support an investigation of the New York Post's cartoonist, editorial staff, owner and other participants for possible violations of 18 USC Title 18, Sec. 1751, 18 USC Title 18, Section 373.


Friday, February 20, 2009

More than 75,000 emails sent through ColorOfChange.org demand real apology, firing of editor who OK'd cartoon

ColorOfChange.org rejected the New York Post's statement surrounding the uproar over its 'chimp' cartoon, calling it a "non-apology," because it did not acknowledge a mistake. The group demanded a real apology, as well as the firing of the editor who approved the cartoon. More than 50,000 members of ColorOfChange.org sent emails to New York Post Publisher Paul Carlucci on Thursday with that message. By Friday morning, that number had reached 75,000.

James Rucker, the online civil rights group's executive director, said, "The Post's recent statement about the uproar it has caused with this cartoon insults our intelligence. It acknowledges no mistake while continuing to attack those who are raising serious, legitimate concerns. If The Post thinks they can close the book on this without taking any responsibility, they're wrong."

Momentum around the petition continued to build as the civil rights organization launched online ads and began outreach on social networking sites. The group expected tens of thousands more emails would be sent through its website by the weekend.

The cartoon depicts the recent stimulus bill's "author" as a dead monkey, covered in blood after being shot by police. ColorOfChange.org is circulating an online petition that takes The Post to task for its apparent ignorance of a history of racist symbolism that depicts Black people as apes or monkeys. The organization argues that the image is particularly dangerous at a time when hate crimes are on the rise and threats against President Barack Obama abound.

"The paper's leaders need to be held accountable, and so far we've seen no sign that The Post cares about the thousands of people across the country who are rightly outraged by this cartoon," said James Rucker, the organization's executive director. "The next question we have to ask is whether advertisers feel comfortable being associated with a publication that responds so callously to readers' concerns."

An excerpt of the petition, addressed to Carlucci, reads as follows:

I am writing to ask that you publish an apology. I also ask that whichever editor approved Delonas' cartoon for publication be fired, whether it was Editorial Page Editor Bob McManus, Editor Col Allan, or another senior manager in the newsroom. I ask that you determine who was responsible and hold that person accountable.

I was particularly concerned by the Post's sole response to readers who found the image to have racist undertones. The callous statement Col Allan issued Wednesday denies a historical reality, and for him to claim ignorance of this history raises questions about his ability to effectively lead a daily newspaper geared toward a mainstream and multiracial audience.

Please publish an apology that acknowledges that it was a mistake for the Post to publish this cartoon and fire the person responsible.

With more than a half million members, ColorOfChange.org is the largest African-American online political organization in the country.