July 20, 2016
Four violent July days have pushed the country deeper into a state of what the French sociologist Émile Durkheim called anomie - turmoil born of a breakdown of societal standards. On July 5, Baton Rouge, La., police fatally shot Alton Sterling after tackling him in a convenience store parking lot where he was selling CDs. On July 6, a St. Anthony, Minn., police officer stopped Philando Castile for a busted taillight and ended up killing him in front of his girlfriend and her daughter.
July 19, 2016
CLEVELAND - I was standing in the shade of the gazebo where Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy with an Airsoft gun, was gunned down by a Cleveland police officer on a cold November day in 2014, when another journalist walked over and muttered the news that three lawmen had just been gunned down in Baton Rouge. The nation's downward spiral of violence and rage had just taken another shocking spin, as the nation's social and TV networks began to crackle with fresh anxiety. And yet here at Cudell Rec Center playground on Cleveland's west side - a landmark in the twisting road from Ferguson to Dallas and Baton Rouge - there was an almost surreal calm.
July 15, 2016 |
TYHIR BARNES died on Monday. He was 15. Cause of death: a bullet to his face, police say, after some coward pumped bullets into a crowd after a neighborhood basketball game in Southwest Philly. Why shoot into a crowd? Maybe it was retaliation over trash talk after a basketball win, or something equally trivial. But let's call the cause of death what it is. A disease. Tyhir Barnes, a kid with promise, a kid who gave his family hope, died of our national disease, gun violence.
July 14, 2016
ISSUE | SHOOTINGS It is who we are - like it or not I disagree with President Obama's statement, and Sunday's headline, "Not who we are. " It's exactly who we are. We live in a country that is becoming more racially divided, where black men are killed at a Minnesota traffic stop for a broken taillight or selling CDs in front of a Louisiana convenience store. That is who we are because it is happening. It is who we are when the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is a misogynous, narcissistic bully who draws big crowds.
July 11, 2016
The metamorphosis of the peaceful civil rights movement led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. into the fiery "black power" revolution promoted by Stokely Carmichael and Huey P. Newton didn't just happen. Violence grew out of frustration with this nation's inadequate attention to intolerable conditions that continued to plague African American communities. Given Thursday night's damnable assassination of five Dallas police officers in apparent retaliation for the fatal shootings of two black men by police in Baton Rouge., La., and St. Paul, Minn., one must hope this nation won't repeat history.
July 11, 2016 |
ECHOING SIMILAR Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Atlanta, Washington, and New York, activists in Philadelphia marched Friday night to protest police violence despite Thursday night's deadly sniper attack at a similar protest in Dallas. The first of several demonstrations in the Philadelphia area started small, with a couple dozen people heading south on Broad Street from Erie Avenue toward Center City. They expressed outrage over the deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La., and Philando Castile near St. Paul., Minn.
July 10, 2016 |
About 50 people standing on Camden's Farnham Park green Friday afternoon shouted, "Change" and "Enough is enough," while some prayed. Cars passed and honked, and some pedestrians joined the crowd. Representing about a dozen community advocacy groups and organizations in Camden, the 50 gathered to show solidarity with the city and country in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. "Camden does not agree with what's going on in the nation, but we do agree on keeping love, peace, and respect present," said Arnold Steward, 59, of Operation Camden for Christ.
July 6, 2016
DEAR ABBY: I recently had my lover of 11 years arrested for domestic violence. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. He had me isolated and cut off from the world, and without family around, I felt extremely lonely and fragile. Looking back, I see how wanting to be loved and not alone caused me to let so many intolerable things happen. No one should ever have to be bruised and battered physically, psychologically, and verbally by anyone. I pray others read this and will do the right thing - which is to press charges if necessary, and find the strength to leave, as painful as it may be. - Starting Counseling Soon in L.A. DEAR STARTING: I'm glad you found the strength to do that.
June 24, 2016 |
THEY CAME alone to the Art Museum steps on Thursday, with the grief they wear like a second skin. They came with others who know their pain, a growing fellowship of grieving friends and relatives left behind after gun violence took a loved one. Some carried huge photos of young men, frozen in time. Mark Jones held a small photo that he still keeps in his wallet - of his 23-year-old son John Robert Jones, a SEPTA worker killed in 2005. And as often as they could, they said their names.