Welcome to 2015, “post-racial” America. We have our first African-American president and everything, we must be moving in the right direction, right? Wrong!
Today, the Department of Justice releases its report on Ferguson, finding that
The Ferguson Police Department was routinely violating the constitutional rights of its black residents.
Follow the link above to read the story, along with some truly sickening examples of such in action. Or click here for the full report that was just released.
But the residents of Ferguson, surrounding towns, and similar cities around the country could have told you that this is the reality of life all over the nation.
The admission of such institutionalized racism comes on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.
Thanks to the film Selma, millions of Americans are experiencing the terror/outrage/pain/sadness (and whatever other adjectives you care to include) of what happened on that bridge 50 years ago this Saturday. It’s important to remember, and important to make sure the truth is passed down to future generations.
But we’re supposed to learn from our mistakes. Sadly, we seem to be moving in the wrong direction. For every step we take forward, we seem to take two steps backwards.
Ari Berman has been covering the gutting of the Voting Rights Act since this activist Supreme Court decided to rule against Congress, who renewed it for 25 years just nine years ago. His new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, will be published in early August, on the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
Somehow, I doubt that neither Martin Luther King, Jr. or LBJ envisioned that we’d have to be fighting to not only strengthen the provisions of the VRA – but to preserve its very existence 50 years later.
Ari joined me on the show this morning to talk about Selma, 50 years after the march. It’s a sad story, but one that’s necessary to understand, and he details it for The Nation in “Selma’s Unfinished Revolution.”
While this is happening, there’s a continuing stream of police shootings of unarmed black men around the country. Earlier this week, LAPD officers killed a homeless man with a barrage of bullets, with lots of cellphone video for us all to see.
And here in South Florida, we’re just getting word that a man died while in the custody of Coconut Creek Police after having be subject to tasing. What makes this story even worse is that the Coconut Creek Police Department refuses to release any information relating to the man’s death – not his name, not the date or time of the incident – nothing! They’re claiming the matter is “confidential and exempt” as it’s an ongoing investigation.
But there’s more going on today, just as maddening in other ways.
The Supreme Court actually heard a challenge to the Affordable Care Act that could strip millions of Americans of the government subsidies that help us pay for the exorbitant premiums. The challenge is over four words in the 2000+ page report.
After today’s hearing, Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent offers “A hint of good news for Obamacare, but don’t get your hopes up too much.”
Yesterday, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was trying to inject himself into our politics and encourage Congress to choose war over diplomacy, disgraced former CIA head Gen. David Petraeus quietly accepted a plea deal with the government, getting off virtually scot-free for leaking Top Secret, highly classified information to his mistress.
Meanwhile, the Boston Marathon bombing trial has finally begun, and an Alabama court has again stopped same sex marriages in that state. And we learned that Hillary Clinton used her own private email account instead of a “secure” state.gov account during her four-year tenure as Secretary of State.
What the NY Times article that broke the story didn’t tell you is that the rules requiring all administration officials to use government issued email accounts went into effect after Clinton left her State Department post.
Susie Madrak joined me to talk about that story and some of the other news of the day, of which there is more than enough to go around. As they say, never a dull moment.
I’ll be back tomorrow to take on yet another day, radio or not…