Not many people know the modern history in the video above. Head into the weekend with actor Jeremy Renner on “The Daily Show” discussing “Kill the Messenger,”the new film about the CIA’s role in bringing crack-cocaine to urban America. The opening clip about which kids America cares about is particularly prescient given the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations’ War on Drugs policies, in particular harsh sentencing for nonviolent drug offenders, of course.
But this week also saw St. Louis’ third deadly police shooting of a young black man in two months. As Ferguson’s Weekend of Resistance gets underway, a related selection of reads all in the vein of #BlackLivesMatter:
Faith leaders are among those most capable of bridging stark racial divides in St. Louis. Ahead of an interfaith dialogue this Sunday at St. Louis University’s Chaifetz Arena, evangelical Christian and founding editor of Sojourners magazine, Jim Wallis, touched on the most segregated spaces in America in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
…I think white Christians and white churches have to pay attention here. There shouldn’t be some terribly different conversation going on in our white churches and black churches. So, this is a challenge to the white churches to pay attention, to listen to our brothers and sisters, to care as much about our brothers and sisters who are black, as much as we care about our own kids who are white…. [When] we divide along racial lines — that’s a denial of the Gospel.
“[A] path can be traced from slavery to the killing of Michael Brown,” Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts writes in “The Worth of Black Men, From Slavery to Ferguson.”
Just out today, ProPublica’s analysis of 32 years of “[more than 12,000] killings by police shows outsize risk for young black males.” Note: That number is a “minimum count” of police homicides as violence researchers have long complained that the FBI’s database of police shootings “is terribly incomplete.” Read ProPublica to learn how.
And ahead of the midterms (and in the long lead-up to 2016), labor leader Richard Trumka continues to speak up about racial justice. He talked about race and Mike Brown in St. Louis last month and today, in California, he discussed drawing down mass incarceration. On the state ballot this November will be Proposition 47, which reduces harsh penalties for simple drug possession from a felony to a misdemeanor.