THE STATE OF ILLINOIS LEGALIZES RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA USE AND SEEKS TO EXPUNGE MANY PAST CONVICTIONS
By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare
The state of Illinois just legalized the recreational use of marijuana in the state. Politicians claim that the law will also expunge the records of those convicted of marijuana use in the past.
The Atlanta Black Star reported:
“Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday signed into law the legal use of cannabis for recreational purposes by adults. That makes Illinois the 11th one in the country to approve smoking or consuming weed for fun in a history-making feat.”
Under the new law residents will be allowed to possess 30 grams of flower cannabis, while non-residents will be able to legally possess 15 grams.
A 2013 report from the American Civil Liberties Union discovered
That eventhough Black people only represented about 15% of the population they were about 58%
USA Today reports that the up to 34.74 percent taxes imposed on cannabis products would finance the expungement of about 770,000 low-level marijuana convictions.
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BY: LEON KWASI KUNTUO-ASARE
Olu Stevens a Louisville, Kentucky Judge could be removed from all criminal cases for calling out racial bias in the jury selection process.
The top prosecutor in Louisville, the Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine asked Kentucky Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. this week to recuse the judge from all criminal cases, because of the judge’s comments on Facebook criticizing the racially bias practices of the prosecutor’s office.
On friday about a hundred came out to give their support to the Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Olu Stevens, this past friday evening.
His supporters included 35 businesses, civil rights groups and neighborhood organizations. They held signs saying:
“Stop Jim Crow practices in jury selections ” and ” Don’t remove judge Olu.”
Judge Olu Stevens is only one of a meager amount of African-American Judges in Jefferson County.
(Raymonda Stevens pictured with her husband )
The wife of Judge Olu , Raymonda Stevens stated:
“It is about justice, it is about equality, it is about inclusion!”
A spokesman in Wine’s office refused to comment on the situation.
Wine’s office said they expect to receive Chief Justice Minton’s decision on the future of judge Olu Stevens in the coming week.
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THE UNITED NATIONS CALLS THE UNITED STATES OUT ON ITS RACIST PRACTICES AND POLICE BRUTALITY ! ( ARTICLE )
BY: LEON KWASI KUNTUO-ASARE
The United Nations’ Human rights council , recently called the United States of America, out on racial profiling, use of the death penalty and police brutality, during a peer review of 117 United Nations member states.
According to a report by Al Jezeera America, 343 recommendations were given by the United Nations Human rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, of which the U.S accepted 44 of the recommendations for eliminating racial discrimination and addressing excessive use of force by police.
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BY: LEON KWASI KUNTUO-ASARE
Kalief Browder, who was a young New York man of only 22, killed himself on Saturday.
The young man suffered mentally for years after spending three in Rikers prison without charge, since he was 16, even though there was no proof he committed the crime he was accused of (stealing a backpack) and the person who accused him of the crime, repeatedly changed his story. At Rikers he became traumatized after he was not only beaten by prison gangs and prison guards, but he also suffered two years of solitary confinement, which often times makes inmates go insane, if in there for an extended amount of time.
He attempted to get mental health treatment several times while in prison, but was always denied.
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SHOULD “WE THE PEOPLE” OF THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY DEVELOP A MILITIA TO DEFEND OURSELVES AGAINST INSTITUTIONALIZED WHITE SUPREMACY? (BLACK REPORT ESSAY #3)
BY:LEON KWASI KUNTUO-ASARE
Should the African-American community consider developing a militia to fight against systematic white supremacy? The question may seem kind of extreme, when you first hear it but not when you study the crimes against humanity inflicted on the African-American community throughout history, from the creation of this nation to now.
The black populace like the white populace obviously have the rights granted to them by the 2nd amendment of the United-States constitution, which states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” . With that being said, What state or group of people need more security than the African-American people, with the exception of maybe the Palestinian population in Gaza, who are currently suffering in an apartheid state by the Israeli government, several times worst than the South African apartheid of decades ago.
History not only tells an intelligent person what has happened, but how to prepare for what could possibly happen in future and for the African-American people that would mean if we want a black renaissance or a new black wallstreet, we must be ready to defend our rights and freedoms.
In the past whenever there has been a successful black community, it was more often than not destroyed by its white supremacist neighbors, which was the result of not possessing a well-regulated militia to defend their communities. Like the Atlanta race riot of 1906, Greenwood, Tulsa, Oklahoma” Black Wallstreet” (May 31-June 1, 1921, Chicago race riots of 1919, Rosewood massacre of 1923, Washington, D.C race riots of 1919, Knoxville, Tennessee race riots of 1919, New York city draft riot of 1863, and the east St. Louis massacre of 1917. And that is only if you count the African-American community being savagely attacked by their white civilian counterparts and not by government officials and law enforcement officers, who were paid by them with their tax dollars and sworn to protect them, but did the opposite to black people, like the African-Americans, that were led by Martin Luther King Jr. , who got brutality attacked by state and local police, while attempting to register blacks to vote in the freedom March of 1965, in Alabama, or the FBI’S COINTELPRO (COUNTER INTELLIGENCE PROGRAM) the precursor of today’s NSA spying program, which was exposed by NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden. The cointelpro’ s main objective under the supervision of FBI kingpin and racist J. Edgar Hoover was to eliminate the black power movement of the 1960’s, the same way they got rid of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A) of the 1920’s. They even went as far as to commit illegal acts such as wiretapping MARTIN Luther King, and placed informents in the Nation Of Islam to attempt to find “dirt” on Malcolm X, they even assisted the Chicago PD with the Assassination of Fred Hampton, the deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the black panther party.
Of course a lot of things have changed from 1964 to 2014, we have a half-black president, several black billionaires and thousands of black millionaires, but as a collective we are just as poor and vulnerable as we were in the 1960’s. The United States has the largest prison population of any industrialized nation, according to a Washington post article posted on August, 13, 2013, by Elra Klein and Evan Soltas: ” the U.S. prison population is more than 2.4 million. That means more than one out of every 100 American adults is behind bars”. That should not be a surprise to anyone, since the industrialized prison complex is the designated tool to keep the African-American population in check, because race riots are considered too uncivilized and old fashion for today’s white supremacists. The new white supremacist strategy to subdue the African-American community is to use racially bias drug laws like the crack vs. Powder cocaine laws, that have disproportionately harmed the black community more than the white community, by giving low-income blacks harsher sentences than their white counterparts. Another racist discriminating tactic being used against African-Americans and also Hispanics on the east coast, in states like New York have” stop and frisk” laws that violate the United States constitution rights of mostly African-American and Hispanics. In the Washington post article titled “Florida town cracks down on sagging pants problem” by Sarah Ferris, she writes: ” Ocala, a town in central Florida, approved an ordinance this week that tightens the belt for anyone on city-owned property such as sidewalks, parks and pools. Violators could be forced to pay $500 or face jailtime of six months”, and other “cities across the country- including New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, Miami and Jacksonville, Fla-have taken steps to crackdown on the baggy pants problem. ” Yet no government officials are passing laws to stop middle and upper-class white women from wearing skirts so short you can see their butt cheeks or women that wear Capri workout tights, that are so tight you can see every curve on their body. Even today people like author and activist Holly Kearl, are trying to get “street harassment laws”, which pretty much make it illegal to go up to a woman and call her beautiful, and in some of the propaganda videos and photos, they seem to be profiling once again African-American men, and are using this “street harassment” just as another tool to feed the prison industrial complex.
Well, at least the African-American community, being American citizens have the “freedom to assembly” giving to them by the first amendment, which states: ” congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. ” But unlike the well armed militias that occupied the Bundy ranch to support white supremacist Cliven Bundy , who even pointed guns at federal government law enforcement , for a man who refused to pay his taxes to the federal government and allowed his cattle to graze on land he did not own, or the right-wing very conservative and many may consider racist teaparty protesters , who were also well-armed and therefore left alone by law enforcement officials and allowed to protest. African-Americans on the other hand when we only try to exercise our first amendment right, we are often met with fierce aggression, like the occupy Oakland protesters, in an article posted on the Guardian.com on July 3, 2013, Eoin Reynolds writes: “Occupy Oakland protesters awarded $1m over police violence during arrests”. What is currently going on in Ferguson, Missouri is several times more severe than the occupy movement, when it comes to police brutality on protesters. In fact the protest of the unlawful killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, who had just enrolled in college, who was gunned down like a rabid dog in the streets, by a suspected white supremacist cop , officer Darren Wilson, did not even get violent until police, with military equipment given to them by the United States government, disrupted mostly peaceful protesters with tear gas and non-lethal weapons and decided to occupy Ferguson, Missouri like the Israeli’s occupy Gaza.
So I will leave with this parting question, should blacks consider creating a militia to combat systematic white supremacy? Once again it may seem a little extreme until you realize there are over a thousand white supremacist militia groups in the United States, in an article published on march 5, 2013 titled” anti-government militias in USA”, by Donna Leinwand Lever of USA TODAY, she writes: ” a report Tuesday by the southern poverty law center finds, the center tracked 1,360 radical militias and anti-government groups in 2012. An eightfold increase over 2008, when they recorded 149 such groups. The explosive growth began four years ago, sparked by the election of President Obama.”
So it would seem if the African-American community wants to thrive and not just be food to be fed to the industrialized prison complex, or be victims to the over 1,000 white supremacist militia groups, THE African-American community is going to have to develop three things, #1 a code of conduct on how to workout issues and do business with each other. #2 goes back to number one as far a business is concerned, but group economics, which will allow us to build wealth, infrastructure and rebuild the horrendous school system, so that we can educate the youth about their history and teach them math,science and new technology, so that they will know they can compete with anyone around the world and will have self-confidence and a knowledge of self and not am inferiority complex. #3 last but not least a militia will not only allow the African-American people to protect ourselves against a system of injustice coming from outside of our community, but will also allow for security within our community , so that we will not have to worry about cops trying to oppress us instead of protect us.
Additional content source:
Moore, A. 8 successful and aspiring black communities destroyed by white neighbors. Atlanta Blackstar, December 4, 2013