Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Charleston Massacre, the Legacy of the Confederacy, and the Ongoing Hegemony of Modern White Supremacy in the United States--FURTHER UPDATES AND ANALYSIS

by LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka

The imperfection of the world
is a burden, if you know it, think
about it, at all. Look up in the sky
wishing you were free, placed so terribly
in time, mind out among new stars, working
propositions, and not this planet where you
can’t go anywhere without an awareness of the hurt
the white man has put on the people. Any people. You
can't escape, there's no where to go. They have made
this star unsafe, and this age, primitive, though yr mind is somewhere else, your ass aint.

(Published in Negro Digest, April 1966)

"...And it still is News..." as the late/always Great LadyDay aka Billie Holiday once put it...

Meanwhile check...this...out...Long Live Black Folks Everywhere!...Yes!


Pair released on bond after removing Confederate flag at S.C. Capitol
by Tony Santaella, WLTX, and Doug Stanglin
June 27, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A black female activist in a helmet and climbing gear scaled a flagpole in front of the South Carolina State Capitol Saturday morning and briefly removed a controversial Confederate battle flag.

The woman, who law enforcement identified as 30-year-old Bree Ann Byuarium Newsome, and a male companion were arrested and released later in the day after posting bond.

In a video of the incident, security officers can be heard yelling, "Ma'am come down off the pole."

Newsome can be heard saying, "You come against me in the name of hatred, repression, and violence. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today."

After scaling the 30-foot pole and retrieving the flag, she and her companion were arrested by State Capitol police who waited for her at the bottom inside a small, wrought-iron fence.

As she was being led off in handcuffs, Newsome could be heard reciting the 23rd Psalm from the Bible.

The flag, which is protected by state law, was hoisted again about 45 minutes later. A pro-flag rally was previously planned at the site Saturday morning.

"We removed the flag today because we can't wait any longer. We can't continue like this another day," Newsome said in a statement issued around the time of her arrest. "It's time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality."

Sherri Iacobelli, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety, said that Newsome, and a companion, James Ian Tyson, 30, both from Charlotte, were charged with defacing monuments on state Capitol grounds. The misdemeanor charge carries a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison term of up to three years or both.

A judge gave them each a $3,000 bond and told them they were allowed to leave the state if they wished. Democratic state Rep. Todd Rutherford of Columbia, who also is attorney, will represent Newsome. Rutherford is minority leader of the state House of Representatives.

The activist group known as Ferguson Action released video of the incident on Twitter .

Activist Bree Newsome told police she was "prepared to be arrested" as she removed the Confederate flag flying in front of the South Carolina State House. Newsome scaled the 30-foot pole, retrieved the flag, and was promptly arrested. VPC

"The flag is gone," Ferguson Action said on Twitter, congratulating "local organizers" for the operation. It also tweeted a photo of the woman being taken away by police.

The flag has been at the center of a heated debate following the killing of nine black parishioners at a historic black church in Charleston on June 17.

Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican, has called for the removal of the flag, and the state General Assembly has agreed to debate the issue next month.

Lonnie Randolph Jr., president of the South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, said the two activists were apparently "well-intentioned," but he counseled that "(i)mpatience must always be tempered by purpose and prudence."

"This is not yet the time for civil disobedience, but a time for grieving over the tragedy in Charleston and a reflection on symbols and the hatred they fuel," he said in a statement. He also urged that opponents of the flag give the General Assembly the opportunity to address this issue in July "to at last remove this hurtful symbol from the people's State House."

Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old South Carolinian who has been charged with nine counts of murder in the attack on the Emanuel AME Church, was depicted online expressing white supremacist views and posing with the Confederate flag.

"It's time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality."
--Bree Newsome

“You come against me with hatred and oppression and bias,” she cried after she reached the top and unhooked the flag. “I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today.”
—Bree Newsome

"Supporters started an Indiegogo page dedicated to raising money to pay Newsome’s bail and hire a defense lawyer. Within nine hours, it had raised nearly $80,000."

'Bree' Newsome's arrest for removing South Carolina's Confederate flag ignites both sides
by Jenny Jarvie and Katie Shepherd
June 27, 2015
Los Angeles Times

Brittany "Bree" Newsome of Charlotte, N.C., is taken into custody after she removed the Confederate battle flag from a monument in front of the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia. (Bruce Smith / Associated Press)

A young black woman scaled a flagpole in front of the South Carolina Statehouse just after dawn Saturday and took down the Confederate battle flag that has become the focus of controversy since a gunman killed nine African Americans inside a historic Charleston church.

The woman, whom authorities identified as Brittany Ann Newsome, refused to descend until she had unhooked the flag.

“Ma'am, come down off the pole,” a police officer called when Newsome, who was wearing a helmet and climbing gear, was midway up the 30-foot flagpole.

“You come against me with hatred and oppression and bias,” she cried after she reached the top and unhooked the flag. “I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today.”

“I'm prepared to be arrested,” she told police as she neared the ground. A group of observers cheered.

She was handcuffed along with James Ian Tyson, 30, who allegedly accompanied her inside a prohibited area.

Newsome and Tyson were charged with defacing a monument, a misdemeanor, according to a statement from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. They were taken to the Alvin S. Green Detention Center. If convicted, they could face fines of up to $5,000 and up to three years in prison.

Both were freed a few hours later after posting $300 bond.

The flag’s position is protected under state law, which legislators have agreed to revisit this summer. Officials put the flag back on the pole soon after Newsome brought it down.

Newsome, who goes by the nickname “Bree” and is from North Carolina, is identified on her Facebook page as a western organizer with Ignite NC, a nonprofit group challenging voting laws that it contends suppress voting and are discriminatory.

In a statement to the TV and radio news program “Democracy Now,” Newsome said she had decided with a group of “concerned citizens” to “do what the S.C. Legislature has thus far neglected to do.”

The social media response to Newsome’s arrest was swift and forceful.

Filmmaker Michael Moore offered to come to her aid. “I will pay her bail money or any legal fees she has. Please let her know this,” he said on Twitter, which lighted up with calls for police to release Newsome under the hashtag #FreeBree.

  "Let us not forget that it was the Confederacy that TORE DOWN OUR AMERICAN FLAG and ripped our country apart. Before it was over, more than 600,000 Americans were dead. That anyone still defends this flag of TREASON is shocking." Posted at 7:44 PM June 27, 2015"

Supporters started an Indiegogo page dedicated to raising money to pay Newsome’s bail and hire a defense lawyer. Within nine hours, it had raised nearly $80,000.

The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP lauded Newsome’s protest as “an act of prayerful nonviolent civil disobedience.”

In a statement, Dr. William J. Barber II, the North Carolina NAACP president, likened her to Rosa Parks and urged that the Confederate flag be removed from state property.

The flag’s presence on the grounds of the Statehouse has been a subject of impassioned debate since the shooting attack at Emanuel AME Church on June 17, allegedly at the hands of a white gunman who posed for photos with the Confederate flag and wanted to ignite a race war.

Supporters defend the flag as a symbol of Southern history and culture. Critics decry it as a representation of racism and a reminder of slavery.

“The group took down the symbol of white supremacy that inspired the massacre, continued to fly at full mast in defiance of South Carolina’s grief, and flew in defiance of everyone working to actualize a more equitable Carolinian future,” Newsome said in her statement.

Later Saturday, arguments and scuffles broke out as scores of protesters descended on the Statehouse to applaud and protest Newsome’s feat.

“I’m standing for Bree,” said Bonita Jones, 28, a black activist from Columbia, as she stood below the flag at the base of the Confederate monument. “I’m standing for all the people who died in Charleston. I’m standing for all the people who can’t look after themselves.”

Frank Looper, 50, a white truck driver from Pickens County, drove 2 1/2 hours to the Statehouse to defend the flag after watching the news on CNN. He said he wanted to protect the legacy of his great-great-grandfather, who fought in the 3rd South Carolina Infantry Regiment, and another ancestor who rode in battle with Gen. Wade Hampton in the 2nd Regiment.

“We use the flag to honor our ancestors who died,” he said. “The way it was removed upset me. I don’t hate blacks. I’m not racist. Those poor people who died in Charleston, that’s terrible. … But then politics tried to make out that the flag pulled the trigger. It was a sick individual.”

Although the mood was tense, some demonstrators engaged opponents in friendly discussion on the symbolism of the flag, jobs and inequality.

“I'm just worried that the flag goes to the dust and is forgotten,” said James Green III, 65, a retired computer servicer who brought a large rebel flag to the Statehouse.

“Why not fight for it to be in a museum then?” asked Kimberly Conyers, 25, an insurance representative from Columbia.

Passing cars honked as protesters waved signs saying, “Take it down,” “I can’t believe” and “Evil prevails when good people do nothing!”

A row of pickup trucks and SUVs circled the block, flying Confederate flags on their trailer hitches.

“It's embarrassing to me as a Southerner,” said Tom Clements, 64, director of the environmental group Savannah River Site Watch. His great-great-grandfather fought in the Civil War, he says.

“It's part of my heritage, but I think [the flag] should come down,” he said. “It was all about slavery, and it's a symbol of divisiveness and white supremacy.”

Special correspondent Jarvie reported from Columbia and Times staff writer Shepherd from Los Angeles.
Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times


7:03 p.m.: This report has been revised throughout for additional details and for clarity.

4:09 p.m.: Updated the money raised on line for Newsome.

2:58 p.m.: Updated with the release of Newsome and Tyson.

2:18 p.m.: Updated with more interviews from protesters at the Statehouse grounds.

1:45 p.m.: Updated with NAACP statement.

1:00 p.m.: This post has been updated with protests at the Statehouse.

11:23 a.m.: This post has been updated with staff reporting.

This post was originally published at 4:44 a.m.

'We Can't Wait Any Longer': Activist Removes Confederate Flag from SC Statehouse

Saturday, June 27, 2015
by Nadia Prupis
Common Dreams

Activist Bree Newsome climbed the flagpole in front of the South Carolina capitol on Saturday to remove the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds. (Photo: bbond/Twitter)

An activist and youth organizer named Bree Newsome climbed the flagpole in front of the South Carolina capitol in Columbia early Saturday morning and pulled down the Confederate flag still flying on Statehouse grounds, telling media, "we can't wait any longer."

Newsome, 30, of Charlotte, was about halfway up the 30-foot flagpole when police demanded she climb back down, but she kept going until she was able to remove the flag from its perch. Upon returning to the ground, Newsome was arrested along with another activist, James Ian Dyson, and taken to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on misdemeanor charges of defacing a monument on state capitol grounds. News of their action spread quickly under the hashtag #FreeBree, sparking a petition to remove the flag and drop the charges against Newsome.

"We removed the flag today because we can't wait any longer," Newsome said in a written statement on Saturday. "We can't continue like this another day. It's time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality."

After Newsome's arrest, officials ordered the banner to be raised again around 8:30am—just in time for a pro-flag rally.

The action came just hours before funeral services continued for the third day for the victims of an attack on Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in which a gunman shot dead nine black men and women. Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist, has been charged in the murders. The attack is being investigated as a hate crime and has sparked a renewed demand by activists to take down the Confederate flags flying on capitol grounds in numerous states.

Watch video of the action below:

"We could not sit by and watch the victims of the Charleston Massacre be laid to rest while the inspiration for their deaths continue to fly above their caskets," the group which organized the action said in a statement.

"The flag represents white supremacy," another activist, 25-year-old Tamika Lewis, told the Guardian on Saturday.  "The image alone is used to ignite fear and intimidation, especially among people of color and minorities. This was a long time coming."

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley this week called on the state legislature to vote in favor of removing the flag. But, as Lewis told the Guardian, "This was a Confederate symbol that ignited an individual to kill and murder innocent black people in a church, and it was still erected. The legislature was just taking too long to act morally and justly. They’re dragging their feet." 


Sign the Petition

Early Saturday morning, a multiracial group of Carolinians led by teachers and activists took down the Confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol grounds — within an hour the state had raised the hateful banner once again in time for an 11 A.M. white supremacist rally.

Bree Newsome, the Black woman who climbed the pole and cut down the flag, was arrested and taken into custody by Capitol Police. She should be promptly released from jail, any charges should be dropped, and the legislature should immediately vote to permanently remove the flag.

According to a statement from the activists they took down the flag because:

"We could not sit by and watch the victims of the Charleston Massacre be laid to rest while the inspiration for their deaths continue to fly above their caskets."

The confederate flag was born out of a government defending the enslavement of Black people and resurrected as an emblem for whites violently opposing racial integration. Any government that recognizes the flag is declaring that it cherishes a history of racial terror.

Taking down the flag is just one step but a symbolically meaningful one. Make no mistake about it, however, racism isn't just a flag or words it's baked into our economy and inequities in our democracy and criminal justice system.

In Bree's own words:

"It's time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality."

South Carolina officials have sided with white supremacists in choosing to restore the flag before a planned rally. The legislature must immediately vote to permanently remove the Confederate flag from the capitol and all state buildings.

ColorOfChange stands with Bree and the courageous activists who took down South Carolina's confederate flag. You can add a comment using the box provided.

UPDATE 10:01 AM: Bree Newsome was arrested along with a white ally, Jimmy Tyson. We will update this page with more information as it becomes available.

UPDATE 3:47 PM: Bail has been posted and Bree Newsome is scheduled to be released in the next few hours.

I demand that Bree Newsome is immediately released and any charges against her are dropped.


RE: the Charleston Massacre and the vicious criminal hegemony and domination of White Supremacy in the United Hates

Forget about all the endless BS empty platitudes, misguided religious rhetoric, presidential celebrity grandstanding, absurd and ultimately self negating appeals to (of all of all things) "forgiveness", the torrential downpour of white media LIES, DISTORTIONS, AND DENIALS, the massive national indifference to and dismissal of black suffering by a substantial majority of American citizens, and the pervasive and utterly contemptible insincerity, dishonesty, and opportunism of politicians in general in the unrelenting mass murder of innocent black people across the country in the 21st century.

Just put all that aside for the moment and consider the following heinous data:

--According to the FBI's most recent statistics, blacks in 2013 were targeted in hate crimes more than all other races COMBINED.

Meanwhile consider the absolutely delusional responses to the calculated racist murder of nine people among a very large number of Americans generally, who out of hatred, indifference, fear, ignorance, and cynicism continue to pretend that these incidents are far from isolated or aberrant events and that much worse is definitely going to continue to happen VERY SOON…Stay tuned…And pass the word...