In Honduras, ‘Berta did not die, she multiplied’

first_imgMarch 24 — It has been three weeks since the assassination of beloved Indigenous leader and environmentalist activist Berta Cáceres of Honduras.Berta was killed by unknown assailants on March 3, after many death threats for her tireless work in defense of the Lenca nation as well as for the organization she co-founded, COPINH (Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras), which defended the Lenca people’s treasured ancestral land and rivers.Berta CáceresThe Honduran and U.S. governments’ response is not to seek her murderers, but to harass, arrest and threaten COPINH instead.  Immediately after her death, the Honduran state detained her comrades in COPINH and confiscated their cell phones and other belongings. The Honduran government, a U.S. puppet, even made the absurd accusation that it was, in fact, COPINH members who had killed Berta.According to Beverly Bell, in the March 22 Foreign Policy In Focus, “Prominent COPINH organizer Aureliano Molina was imprisoned for two days on suspicion of ‘a crime of passion,’ though he was two hours away. … Two other COPINH leaders were interrogated for days … The government denied their request for accompaniment by their lawyers.”A fellow comrade of Berta’s from Mexico who was wounded when Cáceres was killed, Gustavo Castro, also an environmental activist, witnessed her murder. Castro is currently being detained in Honduras and is prohibited from leaving the country until further notice.  The movement believes that the Honduran government may attempt to frame Gustavo Castro for Cáceres’ murder.The deaths and repression continue. On March 19, another COPINH member, Nelson García, was viciously shot in the face and killed as he helped defend a community from military occupation.Resistance growsDespite the repression, the movement throughout the country and indeed the world has responded: “Berta did not die, she multiplied.”In the capital, Tegucigalpa, youths spray graffiti with that slogan across the city in an act of defiance to the occupying, U.S.-supported, death-squad government. Demonstrations and vigils are held regularly.  On International Women’s Day, March 8, marches with women carrying Berta’s picture flooded the streets. Reports that organizations of young people are working to take back their land are steady.The Honduras Solidarity Network issued this alert: “To the national and international community … through this we make the public aware that … youth from Guadalupe Carney, Trujillo Colón, Honduras, members of the Peasant Movement of Aguán … came to reclaim land belonging to the campesino community.”Olivia Zúñiga Cáceres, Berta’s oldest daughter, said on Democracy Now on March 18: “Today, we are here to demand justice and an explanation for the crime of the death of my mother, Berta Cáceres. We’ve launched … a battle at the international level, to exert pressure in order to demand that the … multinational corporations that come to plunder, to exterminate our people … spill our blood in our territories … that they stop being financed and leave our country.”Another daughter, Laura, traveled to Washington to meet with legislators about the assassination. There she told of Cáceres’ efforts to stop the Agua Zarca Dam construction along the Gualcarque River. This river is vital to the livelihood of the Indigenous Lenca people. More than 100 environmental defenders have been killed in Honduras in the last decade according to the Global Witness nongovernmental organization.Laura told Washington that Cáceres had received over 30 death threats.After Cáceres’ death, at least 60 congressional representatives sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry requesting an independent, international investigation into her murder.The letter criticized ongoing U.S. support for Honduran security forces. Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced it would provide up to $750 million to support security and economic development programs across Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.However, it is, in fact, the U.S. government that is ultimately responsible for the death of Berta and the thousands of other human rights activists, political organizers, women, journalists, LGBTQ activists and others who have been terrorized for their resistance to an illegal, repressive, fraudulent government.Berta Cáceres was not just an environmentalist.  Her words demonstrate that she was anti-imperialist. In a Guardian newspaper interview in 2015, she declared:“The political, economic and social situation in Honduras is getting worse, and there is an imposition of a project of domination, of violent oppression, of militarization, of violation of human rights, of transnationalization, of the turning over of the riches and sovereignty of the land to corporate capital, for it to privatize energy, the rivers, the land; for mining exploitation; for the creation of development zones.”The turnover of wealth is all for U.S. imperialism.To find out what you can do for the people of Honduras and get justice for Berta Cáceres, demand freedom for Gustavo Castro and support the struggle in Honduras, visit and otherworldsarepossible.orgFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Delhi HC Asks Centre To Submit Its Policy On Social Media Ban In Army [Read Order]

first_imgNews UpdatesDelhi HC Asks Centre To Submit Its Policy On Social Media Ban In Army [Read Order] Karan Tripathi14 July 2020 10:08 PMShare This – xThe Delhi High Court has directed the Central Government to submit in a sealed cover its policy regarding the use of social media by members of armed forces. The order has come in a plea moved by Lieutenant Colonel PK Choudhary challenging an order of the Director General of Military Intelligence, requiring all personnel in the Indian Army to delete Facebook, Instagram and 87…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Delhi High Court has directed the Central Government to submit in a sealed cover its policy regarding the use of social media by members of armed forces. The order has come in a plea moved by Lieutenant Colonel PK Choudhary challenging an order of the Director General of Military Intelligence, requiring all personnel in the Indian Army to delete Facebook, Instagram and 87 other social media applications.The Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Asha Menon noted that they will only go into the merits of the petition after carefully perusing the impugned policy. The court said: ‘We are of the view that the counsels be heard after we have had an occasion to peruse the policy and if the document prescribing the policy does not record the reasons therefor, the document containing the reasons for the policy.’The bench passed the order after noting that the petition has been filed on the basis of newspaper reports regarding the social media ban in Army, without producing the actual order. The court, however, refused to grant interim relief to the Petitioner who had asked for permission to deactivation of his Facebook account instead of deleting it as the deletion of the account will result in permanent destruction of valuable data.”…the question of granting any such interim relief does not arise especially when the matter has the potential of concerning the safety and security of the country”, the bench observed. The petition has been filed by a serving lieutenant colonel, who is finding it difficult to connect with his family which resides outside India, in the absence of access to social media. He has submitted that he uses his Facebook account responsibly in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Indian Army from time to time, and he has never shared any classified or sensitive information pertaining to his role and duties as an Indian Army officer over Facebook or any other social networking platform. “Soldiers rely on social networking platforms like Facebook to address various issues arising in their families while posted in remote locations and often use the virtual connect to compensate for the physical distance existing between themselves and their families,” the plea states. It is contended that the ban violates various fundamental rights of the Petitioner under the Constitution, including the right to freedom of speech and expression and right to privacy, whereas the power to modify fundamental rights of members of armed forces rests with the Parliament alone. “Article 33 permits the Parliament, by law, to modify fundamental rights by members of armed forces i.e, Soldiers. The Respondent No.1 is not the Parliament. Ban on use of social networking platforms and order to delete accounts vide the Policy is an attempt by the Respondent No.1 to usurp and assume powers which are vested exclusively with the Parliament in terms of Article 33,” the Petitioner argues. Reliance is placed on Union of India v. G.S. Bajwa, (2003) 9 SCC 630. It is also submitted that the restrictions contained in the Policy, particularly relating to ban on use of social networking platforms and deletion of accounts therein are not contemplated under Section 21 (Power to modify certain fundamental rights in their application to persons subject to this Act) of the Army Act, 1950 and or the Rules framed by the Central Government in terms of the said provision. The Petitioner has pointed out that while on one hand Soldiers are ordered to stop using all major social media platforms and to delete their user profiles, on the other hand the Respondents are formulating plans to sensitise soldiers and train them in proper and safe conduct over social networking platforms. “Such contradictions in the Policy are a testament to the non application of mind while formulating the same,” the Petitioner remarks. Further, it is contended that the policy is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution inasmuch as there are several members of the civil administration and political class who possess information of a much higher level of sensitivity than a regular soldier. However, no restrictions on use of social media apply to the said persons. The Petitioner has therefore prayed the High Court to direct the Respondent to withdraw its “draconian” Policy dated June 6, 2020, to the extent it precludes the army personnel from using social media or requires them to delete their accounts. He has also sought a declaration that Director General of Military Intelligence is not empowered under the constitution or under any other law to modify, amend or abrogate the fundamental rights of the members of the armed forces. The plea has been filed through Advocates Shivank Pratap Singh and Sanandika Pratap SinghClick Here To Download Order[Read Order] Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

‘Our community is feeling the pain’: Birmingham turns to prayer 10 days into search for abducted 3-year-old

first_imgiStock(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) — Ten days into the search for an abducted 3-year-old girl, the Birmingham community is turning to prayer.Over 100 people came together Saturday for a prayer service at Saint James AME Church — just steps away from where 3-year-old Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney disappeared, said pastor Alvelyn Sanders Swafford.“Our community is feeling the pain,” she told ABC News.Sanders Swafford said she was surprised to see Kamille’s mother at the service and said the look on her face is one she won’t forget — “pain and agony.”Kamille was playing with other children at an outdoor birthday party on Oct. 12 when she vanished. An Amber Alert was issued but police still haven’t found her.The goal of Saturday’s service was “to remain hopeful, to remain faithful, to remain encouraged,” said Sanders Swafford. “Everyone’s praying at home at their respective churches, synagogues, mosques, but [this let us] come together as one human family to pray for a 3-year-old child who is missing.”Among those at the service were Montgomery, Alabama, residents who drove 100 miles to lend their support.“That confirmed to me that this story has reached beyond the Birmingham metro area,” Sanders Swafford said. “And it inspired my soul to know that people outside of our community care.”The service ended by gathering around Kamille’s mother and praying with her, said Sanders Swafford. The pastor said the church wants to be a resource for Kamille’s family and urges them to reach out for “anything they may need.”Another Birmingham congregation, from the More Than Conquerors Faith Church, jumped in to help this weekend, too, spending Sunday afternoon selling cupcakes for “Cupcake.”Between donations and the treats — sold at $3 each in honor of the 3-year-old — the church raised $3,000, senior Pastor Steve Green told ABC News. The money will be donated to a Crime Stoppers reward, he said.Kamille’s disappearance “really just touched the community in a serious way. Everybody wants to do what they can,” Green said. “I just think the whole community right now is just saddened by it, but at the same time becoming proactive. What can we do? Getting involved and praying, asking the Lord to let her be found and let her be found safely.”Police on Friday released surveillance video from the night Kamille was abducted in hopes that the public can identify a man who might help with the case.The grainy footage shows two small children, including one believed to be Kamille, playing near a Birmingham housing area.“There are two males that appear in the video where the two children are playing,” Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said Friday. “The first male will walk completely by. He looks at them. And it’s the second male that comes up and engages the children.”That second man is a suspect, said Smith, adding that investigators believe they know who that man is. Police are looking to identify and speak with the first male in the video.“The first man who walked by in the video, he may have pertinent information that will help us,” Smith said. “If he saw something that night that may be critical to the investigation.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Two hairstylists with COVID-19 may have exposed 140 people at salon

first_imgEstradaanton/iStockBy MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News(SPRINGFIELD, Mo.) — Two hairstylists potentially exposed 140 customers to COVID-19 at a Great Clips in Missouri, according to alerts from a local health department.The Springfield-Greene County Health Department announced on Friday that a hairstylist who tested positive for COVID-19 had potentially exposed 84 clients at a Great Clips in Springfield. The case is believed to have been contracted through travel to a “high-intensity” area in Missouri, director of Health Clay Goddard said Friday. Then on Saturday, the health department announced a second hairstylist who tested positive for the virus had potentially exposed 56 clients at the same salon, located in a strip mall. Both employees were symptomatic and were wearing face coverings while working, health officials said.The potential exposure from both cases took place over the course of nine days, between May 12 and May 20.All 140 clients will be notified and offered testing, along with seven co-workers, health officials said. The clients were also wearing face coverings, which should help limit transmission, Goddard said.The Great Clips location is temporarily closed. A voice recording advises callers to visit two other nearby locations of the franchise.The co-owners of that Great Clips franchise, Brittany Hager and Jennifer Small, released a statement to KY3 after the first employee possibly exposed numerous clients.“As Great Clips franchisees and co-owners of CM Clips, LLC, we recently learned that an employee in one of our salons in Springfield, Missouri has tested positive for COVID-19 and is following medical advice and taking appropriate actions. The well-being of Great Clips customers and stylists in the salon is our top priority and proper sanitization has always been an important cosmetology industry practice for Great Clips salons,” Hager and Small said in the statement. “We’ve closed the salon where the employee works and it’s currently undergoing additional sanitizing and deep cleaning consistent with guidance from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and the CDC. We will reopen the salon based on guidance from the health department.”Hair salons were able to reopen in Missouri on May 4, when the state lifted many of its restrictions as part of its first phase of reopening.On Saturday, Springfield entered phase two of its reopening plan, allowing bars, gyms and public pools to reopen, as well as gatherings of up to 50 people, following social distancing requirements.Missouri has 11,988 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with cases up 6.2% over the last seven days, according to the state health department. There have been 681 deaths. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

It’s official – house hunters returning to the market and sales agreed increasing

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » It’s official – house hunters returning to the market and sales agreed increasing previous nextAgencies & PeopleIt’s official – house hunters returning to the market and sales agreed increasingLatest figures from NAEA Propertymark suggest a busy few months for agents during the run up to the Spring market.Nigel Lewis27th February 20200796 Views Activity picked up significantly within the property market during January, pointing to a likely busy few months during the run up to the Spring market for estate agents, it has been revealed.The number of house hunters registered per agent jumped by 22% last month to 382, the highest figures recorded for six months, NAEA Propertymark says.This is also more than just the usual seasonal January pick-up. At 382 per branch, the number of house hunters in the property market is nearly 30% higher than last year.Sales agreed also increased during January by a third, estate agents told the NAEA, compared to the month before, rising from six to eight sales agreed.First time buyer remained solid, remaining at 29% of all sales or 3% than a year ago.“It’s positive to see the New Year has brought some much-needed confidence to the market, with a significant increase in demand from house hunters following the General Election result,” says Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark.But the clinking of glasses may be short lived unless more vendors can be persuaded to put their homes on the market.The average number of homes for sale registered with each branch fell from 41 in December to 38 in January, the lowest figure for nine months.“As the Spring Budget fast approaches, we hope to see housing as a priority for the new Chancellor,” says Hayward.“A clear strategy is needed to tackle key issues such as stamp duty costs, which needs to be addressed in its entirety to encourage more frequent moves, improve affordability and relax punitive financial tax on home movers.”Were industry predictions of a post-election bounce correct?Today is the annual NAEA Propertymark conference in London.     sales agreed housing market NAEA Propertymark Mark Hayward February 27, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

Democrats Say Now, Republicans Say No On Teacher Pay Hikes

first_imgBut Republicans who hold supermajorities in the legislature, as well as the governor’s office, urged patience.Rep. Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, encouraged fellow representives to vote no to education amendments. Photo by Lacey Watt, have insisted they don’t want to reopen the two-year budget passed in 2019 and don’t want to commit the state this year to a long-term funding liability. And Gov. Eric Holcomb and legislative leaders have also counseled waiting until the governor’s “Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission” issues its report this spring.Thursday, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said Holcomb plans to address teacher pay in his State of the State address on Tuesday, but will offer a solution for a future year.“The governor’s proposal is going to be outside this budget year,” Bosma said. “So, he’s going to propose a future resolution which I think is a very wise one.”Indiana has lagged the nation in pay increases for teachers, contributing to falling numbers of people holding or applying for teaching positions in this state. Concerns about that, as well as ongoing frustrations with standardized testing and the use of it to evaluate teachers, brought thousands of teachers to the Statehouse in November.Republicans have responded by pushing bills to not grade schools for now on the poor results from the new ILEARN test and to decouple teacher pay from the results of those tests. But they have balked at giving teachers a raise this year.During the House session Thursday, Democrats took aim at House Bill 1007, which takes about $290 million of the state’s surplus to pay cash rather than borrow money for university capital projects. They tried and failed nine times with amendments to instead devote funds to school corporations, health programs, shifting the cost of school counselors to the Department of Education and to establish paid family leave for Indiana workers.The amendments included spending $50 million for pre-kindergarten programs; $5 million for making schools safer, $50 million for a prescription drug program for seniors and $186 million for a one-time bonus for public school teachers.Rep. Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, said there is already a budget set in place for the current fiscal year, and the amendments are simply trying to open up the budget when it isn’t needed.But Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis, said once the budget is adopted, passing bills regarding expenditures shouldn’t stop.And he expressed outrage that the state has a surplus of $2.27 billion while needs go unfunded.He noted that when he first was elected to the Indiana House in 2008, the state was cash strapped.“The only problem I had then was we were broke. And the only question was who was going to get squeezed and it turned out to be the schools. Now, the problem is nobody can be helped.”“What is this session about?” DeLaney said. “This is really very disappointing if we don’t want to address a single new topic or make an adjustment.”Senate Democrats made their case for acting now in a news conference Thursday morning.Sen. Eddie Melton, D-Gary, urged passage of a bill he’s authored, Senate Bill 413, to increase the teacher appreciation grants the state provides by 333%. This will be achieved by appropriating $100 million each year for the current fiscal year and the following one.“Currently, IPS (Indianapolis Public Schools) eligible teachers will receive, as the budget is right now, on average $350 per teacher. Under this bill they will receive over $1,100,” Melton said.Teachers statewide who are already eligible for the grant would receive the raise immediately upon SB 413 passing.Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, said a bill she authored, SB 306, would free up $100 million per year to increase teacher salaries statewide by lowering payments to the Teacher Retirement Fund.“I would never do anything that would jeopardize your pensions and I assure every teacher in the state that this will not harm” the retirement fund, Tallian said.When asked whether enough Republicans would go along to help pass the measures, the Democrats were hopeful, recalling positive comments from some GOP lawmakers in the past on these issues.“This should be a bipartisan effort,” said Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson.Melton also called attention to the teachers’ November protest.“They can’t forget what happened on Nov.19th … when over 15,000 teachers were here,” Melton said, adding: “I’m sure they have been contacted by teachers around their districts.”Jesse Crebbe, Madeline Alexander and Andrea Rahman contributed to this story. FOOTNOTE: Victoria Ratliff, LaMonte Richardson, Jesse Crabbe, Madeline Alexander, and Andrea Rahman are reporters with, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare By Victoria Ratliff and LaMonte RichardsonINDIANAPOLIS– From a Senate news conference demanding action to a flurry of House amendments to force votes, Democratic lawmakers pushed Thursday for ways to boost funding for teachers, health care and other priorities.last_img read more

Gifts For Good Business launched!

first_imgAs she was making jewelry for her friends and loved ones for Christmas, she decided she was having too much fun making the gifts and thought it would be great to continue to make jewelry and help Youth Resources at the same time. For more information, please call Burnworth at 812-430-8497 or email her at [email protected] LinkEmailShare Burnworth says she is already registered for trade shows and she and her husband, Kent, will be happy to meet with interested buyers. Where Can You Buy Inexpensive Gifts That Help You And A local Youth-Serving, Not-For-Profit?This month, Ann Burnworth launched a small business in hopes of helping Youth Resources of Southwestern Indiana and the youth the agency serves. She was trying to think of a way to help Youth Resources, outside of her family’s monthly budgeted gifts to the agency. Burnworth launched Burnie’s Gifts for Goods, where she makes hand made jewelry out of healing chakra crystal, stones, and other glass jewelry. A portion of all proceeds are given monthly to Youth Resources. Youth Resources has already earned their first installment; although Burnworth didn’t officially open her business until now.  Her pricing list and items may be viewed at read more

Pantheon Catering Equipment

first_imgPantheon Catering Equipment (part of Monarch Catering Equipment and Crompton Direct, Bolton, Lancashire) has added contact grills to its range of equipment. With a heated surface both above and below, cooking times for a wide range of food can be halved compared to open grilling, according to the company.The grilling plates are heavy-duty and come with an easily removable fat drip tray to help with cleaning. The heating elements have been designed with energy efficiency in mind, says the firm.last_img read more

Peach Fest Reveals Phase Two Of 2017 Lineup

first_imgReturning to Montage Mountain in Scranton, PA from August 10th through the 13th, the annual Peach Music Festival has just revealed their complete 2017 lineup. The already stellar lineup of Widespread Panic, My Morning Jacket, Umphrey’s McGee, and more will now be joined by Gov’t Mule & Friends featuring John Scofield, Greensky Bluegrass, Galactic, Keller Williams’ Kwahtro, Cabinet (2 sets), Hayley Jane & The Primates, Pink Talking Fish Eats a Peach (A full performance of Eat A Peach intertwined with Pink Floyd, The Talking Heads & Phish songs) plus artists at large: Turkuaz Horns and Primate Fiasco.Festival-goers will also be treated to an All-Star Tribute to Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks, founding members of the Allman Brothers Band who passed away earlier this year. The Peach began six years ago as the first-ever Allman Brothers Band-inspired festival in the Northeast Pennsylvania region, and will continue to grow in their honor. Full lineup for the all-star tribute will be released in the coming weeks, but fans can expect classic Allman Brothers Band jams by former band members, friends, and longtime fans of the band. With Warren Haynes, Oteil Burbridge, Jaimoe, Marc Quiñones, and the rest of Les Brers on site, we can expect magnificent results from this “all-star” tribute.The complete lineup includes Joe Russo’s Almost Dead (2 sets), Lettuce ft. Chaka Khan, Mike Gordon, Les Brers, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, Dark Star Orchestra, The Magpie Salute, God Street Wine, Rusted Root, Papadosio, Dopapod Orchestra, Steve Kimock & Friends, The Record Company, The Marcus King Band, The Soul Rebels, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, The New Mastersounds, and Fruition.The lineup features even more great artists, like The Werks ft. The Shady Horns, Eric Krasno Band, Whiskey Myers, Pink Talking Fish, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Aqueous (2 sets), The Hip Abduction, Moonalice, Butcher Brown, Spafford, Tom Hamilton’s American Babies, Holly Bowling, The Jauntee, Mungion, lespecial, Ghost of Paul Revere, Scott Sharrard & The Brickard Band, Gabriel Kelley, Caverns, The Steppin Stones, Elise Testone, and Bobby Lee Rodgers.See below for the complete 2017 lineup:Check out the Peach Fest’s lineup announcement video below, featuring JRAD’s Tom Hamilton:Sounds like a fun weekend to us! Check out the full announcement below, and head to the Peach Fest website for details.last_img read more

What’s past is prologue

first_img <a href=”″ rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> Ongoing racial discrimination and institutional failures to dampen such abuses are roiling many college campuses, amid the larger national conversation spurred by the Black Lives Matter movement. In the swirl, few writers have so artfully articulated their era as the influential, best-selling author Ta-Nehisi Coates.The national correspondent for The Atlantic and a 2015 MacArthur Foundation fellowship recipient, Coates’ article “The Case for Reparations” and his new book, “Between the World and Me,” are deeply powerful exhortations on the present-day manifestations of the nation’s fraught racial history.Appearing before an electrified crowd at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Wednesday evening for a discussion about race and criminality, Coates was joined by moderator Bruce Western, director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at HKS; sociologist William Julius Wilson, the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard; and Kathryn Edin, a former professor at HKS and now Distinguished Bloomberg Professor of Sociology and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Coates argued that America’s practice of disproportionately criminalizing and incarcerating African-American men is a direct extension of our history of using the criminal justice system to address social problems, and of whites sometimes labeling black people as criminals in order to justify limiting their rights and “plundering” their labor.“I believe that as much as George Washington matters, as much as the American Revolution matters, the heritage of telling ourselves certain things about black people also matters,” said Coates.The country has a long history of defining black people, especially those who sought freedom, as criminals. For a century after Emancipation, white Americans mounted a “terrorist campaign” against blacks through lynching and other violence that was somehow justified by this “notion of criminality,” he said.“It was common when African-Americans made demands for political rights to point to criminality as a response,” he said, noting that in their day, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and even Martin Luther King Jr. often were seen not as heroes, but as troublemakers. King “was treated by the highest powers in this country like a criminal, and I think that heritage has some sort of effect” on why the rate of incarceration of black men is so high today, Coates said.It’s not enough simply to free large numbers of non-violent prisoners in order to roll back the nation’s incarceration rate to the levels of the 1970s, as the Obama administration announced earlier this year it intends to do, said Coates. There needs to be a coherent plan to assist with their transition.“So reparations, to me, is to push the idea that it’s not enough to just stop wounding someone; you actually have to heal someone. You actually have to do something about the harm that you produced. It’s not enough to simply say, ‘I’ve stopped harming,’” he said.Changing the dynamics between blacks and whites will demand that people revise their self-definition. “I think it requires a critical mass of people in this country to give up a real interest” in their identity and standing in relation to one another, said Coates.Coates said he’s been “shocked” at the reception to his book, which has been critically acclaimed and named a National Book Award finalist. The book recalls his upbringing in West Baltimore, where violence or the threat of violence was a constant fact of life, and appearing tough or “hard” was a logical response.“One of the arguments I made in ‘Between the World and Me’ is that much of what people look at in black America and construe as anger is, in fact, deep, deep fear,” he said.As a writer, Coates said he feels he has an obligation not to argue for what could realistically happen in the near future, but for what needs to happen over the long term, and hope that it moves the needle more substantively.Asked to weigh in on the Yale University protest over racial discrimination and free speech, Coates said he didn’t feel sufficiently informed to render an opinion. But he characterized a debate there over offensive Halloween costumes and emails as undoubtedly a symptom of far deeper issues.“I think, in these cases, we’re like five questions too late,” he said. “By the time that has become important, something else has really, really gone wrong.”last_img read more