Archive for Melissa Harris Perry

Peace and Justice in Ferguson, Very Elusive, says Rev. Al Sharpton

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Image, Reuters

Image, Reuters

The Reverend Al Sharpton had plenty of things to say about Ferguson, police brutality,  from the NYDailyNews:

One shot, in critical condition as Ferguson, Mo., cops crack down on protesters, arrest seven for breaking curfew

A group of citizens refused to comply with Gov. Jay Nixon's midnight curfew and broke into a restaurant. Police responded by throwing smoke and tear gas to get them to comply. A man was shot and a police car was the target of another shooter as the tensions continued to escalate.

Photo courtesy JamesKeivom, New York Daily

Americans don't enjoy curfews, never have … but when your town looks like a bad day in Baghdad, tempers will flare and burn for some time. From Melissa Harris-Perry:

What is it going to take  to reform the country back to decent common gun sense? I don't see a whole lot of smiling going on after a night of curfews, militarized police/federal investigators and shooting victims - one death.

Back to MHP:

A turn of events was made possible by the decision of the White House and Eric Holder to order a Federal Examination of Michael Brown's corpse.

police brutality in Atlantic City

Brown's family had been asking for a thorough autopsy, looking for justice and truth. And kept calling the West Wing for an assist.

Some more perspective from the Rev. Al:

Sharpton also took the opportunity to rail against Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s “broken windows” approach to policing, which critics say unfairly targets minorities.

“There is a connection” between Brown and Garner, he said. “Both of them were victims of this aggressive policing of alleged low-level crime. There ain't no difference between dealing with looseys and dealing with telling kids to get out of the street.”

police-brutality_o_2244271

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Injustice For All: the Eric Garner Case Illuminated by Melissa Harris-Perry

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out_of_order
The NYPD cop involved in the tragic death of 'loose cigarette seller' Eric Garner, formerly of Staten Island, was the topic of a searingly honest segment on Melissa Harris-Perry's program on MSNBC.

The remarkably wise Michael Eric Dyson was on hand to discuss the particulars of the 'death by cops' situation that took the Big Apple and then the country on a scary closeup shot of how police brutality can run amok. Lethally.

"It stops today," said Mayor De Blasio at a Friday press conference in reference to Garner's loss of life at the hands of his city's police force. Investigation into the injustice is ongoing. Garner's family buried him in Brooklyn this Wednesday.

hellandthehighwater

Michael Denzel Smith was also at the table, and made some fine points about the racist undertones that dominate law enforcement and lend themselves to an uptick in police brutality in this wild decade.

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"If you are giving license to police to essentially harass the public, they are going to choose that are already the most vulnerable … black and brown bodies," stated Smith.

Dyson concurred that there is a presumptive-guilt aspect that makes doing many things 'while black' highly risky - and clearly life-threatening.

policebrutality

 

 

Another media and cultural icon, the Reverend Al Sharpton, summed up the situation with his signature blend of passion and pragmatism, asking officers at the funeral, "When does your morality kick in?"

The answer to that question I'd love to catch.

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Young Master Chef Lost to Guns and Mental Illness, Melissa Harris-Perry Notes

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pliviapope

Master Chef finalist, fan favorite and troubled Chicago student Josh Marks lost his life and dreams to suicide, in the tragic intersection of mental illness and the shockingly normal high availability of guns.

It's probably more difficult to get good weed in Chicago than a firearm, if anything in that cute Ted movie can be believed.

MasterChef Finale Image Courtesy ClickClaque.com

MasterChef Finale Image Courtesy ClickClaque.com

Melissa Harris-Perry did an amazing piece on Josh Marks … the charismatic African American contestant from Chicago that won American hearts with his chaffy chops and fighting spirit. The hubs and I watched, and rooted for him. [We're oddly Gordon Ramsey fans but it Twas before Chef Graham lost like half of himself if you've caught Master Chef.]

The easy access to guns in the street … Chicago has so much gun violence … there are so many gun loopholes that the supply is always there … or they can go over the [state] border."

Tragically, this gun availability here led to suicide. CNN highlights from reporting on Marks (last and successful try) late 2013 suicide.

It is overwhelming to think that with proper, intensive treatment, Joshua may still be with us," his lawyer, Lisa Butler, said Sunday. "He was a jewel with so much talent to offer this world. But, in his state of mind, he turned to the streets for a gun and easily got it."

Marks, 26, died from a gunshot wound to his head. His death has been ruled a suicide, a spokesman for the Cook County, Illinois, medical examiner said Sunday.

The NRA has framed the question as one about 'strangers' said expert Eugene O'Donnell, and he showed why that gun-fondling fantasy is balderdash.

"Do we not care about suicide?," pled Melissa.

Bryan Smith who wrote a great piece on the story for Chicago Magazine, was there to discuss, below, as was 'Law and Order of the Mind' segment expert Eugene O'Donnell joined the discussion following revelations that Marks had both prior attempts at suicide and time at Cook's County Jail - from his nearby troubled term at college. And guns were no problem at all to obtain.

The 'vacuum of fear' theme was spot on, especially when this discussion is framed in politics, social stigma and racism.

Ironically, the writers of Law and Order and House of Cards add more to the human dignity questions at the heart of this conversation than the Know Nothing Do Nothing Congress and gridlocked D.C. with SCROTUS and Open Carry gun nuts running amok.

Maybe 'Scandal' can take a stab in Season 4. No doubt Ms. Shonda Rhimes would give the pitiable Congress a hand in common sense, reality and dignity of purpose. Calling Olivia Pope!

scandal-memes-olivia-pope-6In the meantime we have Melissa Harris-Perry's coverage to the sad story of one more life lost too young to mental illness, and over-availabilty of guns for either homicide or suicide tragedies … and where those volatile and violent issues intersect.

 

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Four Star Female Admiral Michelle Howard: GO Navy!

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Four Star Admiral Michelle Howard. Image, Forbes.

Four Star Admiral Michelle Howard. Image, Forbes.

Admiral Michelle Howard was given the status of First Female Four Star Admiralty member this summer, a national first on two fronts: gender and ethnicity.

Those are some mightily impressive Firsts. The 239-year United States Navy had never before given four stars to a female. She is also the highest-ranking African-American woman in a male-dominated military that did not even allow the promotion of women to general or admiral (of any number of stars) until 1967.

Image, U.N.C. Greensboro Archives

Image, U.N.C. Greensboro Archives

As she told the New York Times, speaking of her early attendance of the newly-Co-Ed Naval Academy,

“There were angry men at Annapolis, but we got through it,” she said. “And there were issues on the first few ships because it was all brand new. Change is hard in society.”

femfist

Melissa Harris-Perry was among the first to congratulate the Admiral, on her weekend MSNBC program recently.

The New York Times ran an evocative piece on Admiral Howard's epic move, excerpted below.

WASHINGTON — Adm. Michelle J. Howard was looking for new insignia for her white Navy dress uniform when she ran into an unusual problem.

“I said, ‘I need to order a four-star women’s shoulder board,’ and there’s this silence,” Admiral Howard recalled. “Then the lady goes, ‘Um, I’m not seeing any in the system.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I thought that might be the case.’

“I didn’t know it was possible to grow up to be anything more than a one-star,” Admiral Howard, 54, said in a recent interview, referring to the rank of rear admiral. She said today’s sailors “have never known a life when there hasn’t been a woman admiral, women three-stars, women in command of ships, women in command of destroyers.”

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