Monday, a group of young Black and Latino activists from around the country met with President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Attorney General Eric Holder.
They met, at the president's request, to discuss the need for change:
“The president requested this meeting because this is a movement that cannot be ignored,” said Ashley Yates, a co-founder of the St. Louis-based organization, Millennial Activists United. “We have two sets of laws in America – one for young Black and Brown people, and one for the police. We are sick and tired of our lives not mattering, and our organized movement will not relent until we see justice.”
The young leaders conveyed the experience of a traumatized community in Ferguson, where police have terrorized peaceful protesters with pointed guns, rubber bullets, chemical agents, bean bags and menacing threats. They further discussed the routine harassment and violence that many police departments inflict on countless communities of color across America, and their demands for the federal government to hold police departments that use excessive force accountable.
Most of us around the nation know what the problems are. What we want, what we need, are solutions.
Among other avenues for change, the group’s demands include:
*The federal government using its power to prosecute police officers that kill or abuse people.
*Removing local district attorneys from the job of holding police accountable, and instead having independent prosecutors at the local level charged with prosecuting officers.
*The establishment of community review boards that can make recommendations for police misconduct, instead of allowing police departments to police themselves.
*Defunding local police departments that use excessive force or racially profile.
*Instead of having the Department of Justice (DOJ) wholesale giving more than $250 million to local police departments annually, DOJ should only fund departments that agree to adopt DOJ best practices for training and meaningful community input.
The demilitarization of local police departments.
*Investing in programs that provide alternatives to incarceration, such as community-led restorative justice programs and community groups that educate people about their rights.
The suggested solutions are excellent, right? Who could argue with any of them? Bets are FOX 'News' and 'hate media' will find a way to twist and turn them. This is where Americans need to take a stand along with these activists and demand change. Here are six ways to voice your thoughts to the President/White House.
Write via Regular Mail:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Write via White House Website:
Phone & Fax:
Tweet via Twitter:
Post via Facebook:
No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution… revolution is but thought carried into action. -Emma Goldman