Civil Rights

We Have to Put and End to ‘Here We Go Again’ (In Memory of Tyre)

February 6, 2023 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

All that physical torture
that Tyre Nichols went through,
to me,
was way too much
déjà vu,
in the form of
“Here we go again,”
created by roguish so-called “peace officers”
committing sins against Black humanity,
stomping and punching
and tazing and spraying
and kicking
and then watching their victim
as he lay dying,
justifying
their brutality
shucking and jiving
and lying
about Tyre having done some reckless driving
as though driving aggressively
is a capital crime
that requires
no adjudication
or a trial by jury,

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It’s a Joy Seeing My Hometown Tucson’s Appreciation of its Diversity

February 2, 2023 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Oh, I’m practically overflowing
with joy
having my name
living on in perpetuity
as a
University of Arizona
Basketball Ring of Honor honoree,
mostly for the reason that it highlights
just how far Tucson, my hometown,
has come
since my growing up days,
as I was the second Black basketball player
to perform at the U of A
and now there are

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Keepers of Martin Luther King’s Spirit of Love

January 20, 2023 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Two people kept Martin Luther King’s
spirit of love
breathing
for me
on MLK Day,
Steve Phillips,”
writer and founder of Democracy in Color,
and Grammy Award winning jazz trumpeter
and film score composer,
Terence Blanchard.

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San Diego Housing Commission Loses Suit Over Ignoring City’s History of Segregation

January 19, 2023 by Source

By Dorian Hargrove / CBS8 / January 16, 2023

Beginning in 2023, thousands of low-income families in San Diego can move into what were traditionally unaffordable neighborhoods after the San Diego Housing Commission raised the value of Section 8 housing vouchers throughout the city.

The change takes effect after a protracted legal battle brought by the San Diego NAACP and the San Diego Tenant Union, which accused housing commission leadership of making San Diego neighborhoods more racially segregated and preventing lower-income households from using their housing vouchers in higher-income neighborhoods.

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Martin Luther King, Jr’s Connections to San Diego Citizen Journalism

January 16, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

In U2’s Pride (In the Name of Love) Bono sings:

Early morning, April four
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

These lines are about the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4th, 1968 – 50 years ago. King was in Memphis where he had gone to provide support and encouragement to 1300 African-American sanitation workers who had walked off their jobs in that city.

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What a Difference a Year Makes –  Mt. Hope Gets the Cannabis Outlet They Want

January 3, 2023 by Source

By Terrie Best / Exclusive to OB Rag / Jan. 3, 2023

When the city of San Diego first began permitting cannabis consumer outlets under the conditional use permit process or CUP, a lot of the conversation began at the community level within the Community Planning Groups. There are roughly 42 CPGs recognized by the city and very few ever embraced cannabis outlets.

Until recently only one, the Barrio Logan group, which voted to recommend approval for Harbor Collective, had acted favorably. Conversely, the San Ysidro group was so mad they coordinated an effort to bring kids in matching t-shirts to an appeal against a cannabis outlet in their region. That appeal was lost and Pacific Southwest patient, now Urbn Leaf, opened.

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New Laws in California Beginning January 1, 2023: Abortion Rights, Minimum Wage, CARE Courts, Parking Cut Near Transit …

December 29, 2022 by Source

Here are new laws that will take effect in California on January 1, 2023.

Abortion (AB-2223) —  It protects a woman or pregnant person who chooses to end a pregnancy from prosecution, even if the abortion is self-induced or happens outside the medical system. It also abolishes the requirement that coroners investigate stillbirths and protects someone who helps a pregnant person end their pregnancy voluntarily from criminal or civil liability.

Minimum wage (SB-3) — The statewide California minimum wage will rise to $15.50 per hour for all employer sizes.

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Biden Signed Historic Same-Sex Marriage Protections Into Law

December 24, 2022 by Source

Before we end the Year of 2022, we must emphatically note that President Joe Biden signed the historic Respect for Marriage Act into law on December 13, — a little more than 10 years after he first announced his support for marriage equality as former President Barack Obama’s vice president in 2012,

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Evangelical Lobbying Threatens Supreme Court’s Independence

December 1, 2022 by Source

“Operation Higher Court” sent lobbyists to wine and dine Alito, Thomas and Scalia, while pushing right-wing positions.

By Marjorie Cohn / Truthout / November 29, 2022

Recent exposés have uncovered an emerging pattern of improper lobbying of right-wing Supreme Court justices by wealthy evangelicals.

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Chula Vista’s Discovery Park to Be Renamed Kumeyaay Park

November 22, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Three weeks ago, the Chula Vista City Council did something very cool and very historic. On November 2, they unanimously approved the renaming of Discovery Park in the Rancho del Rey Community to Kumeyaay Park of Chula Vista. They said the designation recognizes the Kumeyaay people, who are native to the region with 13 reservations.

A Christopher Columbus statue stood in the park for 30 years but was removed and placed in storage two years ago after repeatedly being targeted by somebody who obviously wasn’t down with the forefather of the genocide of America’s indigenous peoples being displayed in the park.

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New Book: 50 Year Anniversary of ‘Race Riot’ Aboard Aircraft Carrier Kitty Hawk — Only Black Sailors Punished

November 21, 2022 by Source

New book by Navy lawyer who defended accused Black sailors documents one-sided investigation, dubious testimony and other injustices in case that rocked the military

By John Wilkens / San Diego Union-Tribune / Nov. 20, 2022 (Only for subscribers)

For 50 years, Marv Truhe kept the boxes. He moved from San Diego to South Dakota, from South Dakota to Colorado, and a lot of belongings came and went. Not those boxes. There were five of them, cardboard Bankers Boxes filled with official investigations, witness interviews, medical reports, trial transcripts and other documents from an incident that rocked the U.S. Navy in October 1972: a Black vs. White race riot aboard the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk.

“I knew some day I wanted to tell the full story,” Truhe said.

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Local San Diego Black Panthers Celebrate 55 Years – Fri. & Sat., Oct. 21-22

October 21, 2022 by Source

A Two-Day Celebration of the 55th Anniversary of the Original Black Panther Party in San Diego for Community Empowerment –

You’re invited to a celebration of the accomplishments of the original San Diego Black Panther Party for Community Empowerment, their connections with community partners, historic successes as an organization, with special thanks to those who have supported the organization along the way.

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What Black Joy Means to Me

October 17, 2022 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Black Lives Matter
recently asked
what Black joy means to me.
Well, Black joy just happens to be
in my DNA.
Passed along
through the ages
from Africa
as a way for us
in the diaspora,
to survive in a world
that would just as soon
do without us,

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Imperial Beach Copwatch – Something Different

October 7, 2022 by Source

By Terrie Best

Marcus Boyd started Imperial Beach Copwatch with the intention of watching cops do their jobs. The purpose was to minimize aggressive behavior and thereby keep Imperial Beach’s streets safer. Since then he’s uploaded multiple videos, garnered media attention and is finalizing a tracking app for cop watchers everywhere.

He has also gathered support from the IB city council and city manager and is in a position to change the way IB polices their citizens.

Boyd has been a longtime IB resident and business owner. For decades he has immersed himself in local politics, volunteered at his child’s school, served on task forces and ran ballot measures. All to improve his community.

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Kumeyaay Tribal Members: Tipis at Lake Cuyamaca Campground Are Cultural Appropriation and Need to Be Removed

September 22, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Members of local Kumeyaay tribes are understandably upset that the operators of the Lake Cuyamaca Recreation and Park District have recently added tipis as rental options in their campground.

The tipis are replicas of the traditional dwellings of Indigenous Plains communities and not of local native peoples, the Kumeyaay.

Emily Burgueno, a member of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the tipis are out of place, that using them as rentals is cultural appropriation of Native American heritage, and they needed to be removed.

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San Diego Apologizes for Japanese-American Internment During WWII as ‘Racist’ But Offers No Reparations

September 21, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

On Tuesday, September 20, the City of San Diego formally rescinded a 1942 resolution the city council had passed 80 years ago in support of the incarceration of Japanese Americans in prison camps during World War II.

City councilmembers made the rescission and called the camps and the council’s 1942 resolution supporting them racist, unjust and a form of hate.

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Remembering Martin and the FBI

August 25, 2022 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

A traitor
whines, and spins lies
about his “problems” with the FBI,
claiming they’re harassing him
when he had stolen from the government
boxes upon boxes of
classified information,
secrets about nuclear bombs, and shit,
serious gossip
about other governments,
and I just want to slap this fool
upside the head,
with all that complaining about harassment
when his real problem
should be arrestment,

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Keeping on Pushing in Memory of the Freedom Riders

August 23, 2022 by Ernie McCray

(Opening Poem for the “Buses Are Coming” Exhibit)

by Ernie McCray

Back in 1961
the buses the Freedom Riders road
began to roll,
questioning America’s soul,
bringing to light the Southern United States’ role
in keeping Black folks
and White folks
segregated in bus terminals,
complete with “Whites Only”
cafeterias and restroom facilities,

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San Diego’s Surveillance Technology Now Under City Council Oversight

August 5, 2022 by Source

The San Diego City Council on Tuesday, August 2, gave final approval in an unanimous vote to a new privacy and technology ordinance that will place the City’s surveillance technology under the Council’s oversight.

The passage of the “Transparent and Responsible Use of Surveillance Technology” ordinance was the result of a long three year effort by more than 30 community organizations that make up a coalition called TRUST SD (Transparent and Responsible Use of Surveillance Technology San Diego). Work on an ordinance began after residents learned in 2019 that the city had installed a network of about 3,000 cameras on streetlights

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All Men Are ‘Real’

August 4, 2022 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

“Gay Black men
are not ‘real’ men”
I heard a brother say
and all I know about him
is he’s ensnared in naivete
because some of the “realist” people I know
happened to be gay,
as there’s nothing
more “real”
than Langston Hughes’ poetry
in opposition
to the injustice and oppression
of Africans trapped in America,

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New Settlement Will Protect People from San Diego Police’s Unreasonable, Prolonged Cell Phone Seizures

July 13, 2022 by Source

Today, Wednesday, July 13, the local ACLU announced a settlement with the City of San Diego in a federal lawsuit that challenged the San Diego Police Department’s cell phone seizure practices, and their prolonged seizure of the cell phone of a client of one of the law firms involved.

The federal lawsuit was filed after San Diego police officers seized Christina Griffin-Jones’ cell phone when she was arrested during an anti-police violence demonstration on Sept. 23, 2020. Although she was released the following day, SDPD refused to return her phone for months.

Griffin-Jones was participating in the demonstration inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement calling attention to police officers’ use of deadly force against Black people across the nation,

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‘A Dark Day for Our Nation’: Right-Wing Supreme Court Ends Constitutional Right to Abortion

June 24, 2022 by Source

“With this decision, the Supreme Court’s extreme right-wing supermajority has struck a tremendous blow to our fundamental freedoms.”

The right-wing majority of the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade on Friday, ending the constitutional right to abortion and imperiling access to reproductive healthcare nationwide.

“A right-wing Supreme Court has stripped women and people seeking abortions of their long-held rights to control their bodies.” The 6-3 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was issued along ideological lines, with all three liberal justices in opposition.

“With sorrow—for this court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent,” wrote Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer in their dissent.

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LGBTQ+ Pride and YIMBY Prejudice

June 23, 2022 by Source

By Mat Wahlstrom

June is Pride Month, commemorating the Stonewall riots in June 1969, when lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other sexual and gender nonconforming (LGBTQ+) persons fought back against police violence and state oppression.

Considered the formal beginning of the ‘gay rights’ movement, Pride is first and foremost about visibility — which is why the main event of every Pride celebration is a parade.

But since everything gets co-opted under capitalism, June is also the month when corporations post rainbow versions of their logos, in the hopes that this gesture will get them noticed, and hopefully translate into more sales or favorable brand awareness.

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No More Homophobia: What a World That Would Be                   

June 22, 2022 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

As an educator,
I can’t imagine
a more hateful idea
than banning the use of the word gay
in schools,
as there can be no better world
if children don’t have a basic understanding
of the world they’re presently in,
what it’s like
and how it became what it is.

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Jan. 6 Panel to Focus on Trump, Insurrectionists During Live Prime-Time Hearings Beginning Thursday, June 9

June 9, 2022 by Source

A Public Service Announcement

With never-seen video, new audio and a mass of evidence, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol will attempt to show the “harrowing story” of the deadly violence that erupted that day and also a chilling backstory as the defeated president, Donald Trump, tried to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory.

Thursday’s prime-time hearing will open with eyewitness testimony from the first police officer pummeled in the mob riot and from a documentary filmmaker tracking the extremist Proud Boys, who prepared to fight for Trump immediately after the election and led the storming of the Capitol.

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June 2022 Events From the Ocean Beach Green Center

June 6, 2022 by Source

All events are online and free unless stated otherwise.

Every Saturday 10:30 am. Climate Mobilization Coalition Zoom Meeting June 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th.
June: Join Solidarity Farm SD at their free Summer Farmer Training
June 8th Wednesday 9 am – 12 pm Connecting Housing and Energy: I
June 8th Wednesday 12 pm – 2 pm Stop Sempra from Fracking Our Future and Polluting Our Communities!

June 8th Wednesday 6 pm – 7 pm Expanding EV Infrastructure

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How We Treat Different Refugees Exposes Our Racist Tendencies

March 23, 2022 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

I see
two
displaced groups of refugees
seeking asylum in
the Land of the Free.

One group hails from Ukraine.
The other from Haiti.
The Ukrainians are
running frantically
from the ravages of war,
bombings and such,
into our country’s open arms,

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San Diego Must Halt its Land-Use Policies Restricting Cannabis Retail in ‘Minority’ Communities

March 23, 2022 by Source

By Terrie Best, San Diego Chapter Americans for Safe Access

In this era of social justice most non-profits who advocate for marginalized people began to look for the most vulnerable within the marginalized people they serve.

Illness societies would find their most in need are likely BIPOC and those living in poverty. All nonprofits should try to reach those people within who are less able to gather resources as successfully as others due to barriers of race, language or economics.

Over a decade ago, when the medical cannabis patient advocacy group I volunteer for, San Diego Americans for Safe Access, was pleading for access to medical cannabis and San Diego City and County were struggling to regulate medical cannabis retail outlets, SDASA should have looked at BIPOC and marginalized neighborhoods with much more care.

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Dorothy Smith – a Woman Who Epitomized the Rising of a People

February 23, 2022 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Dorothy Smith,
a friend
and hero of mine
passed away the other day,
leaving me wishing,
in my sadness,
that she could have seen
“Still, We Rise,”
a poetry and jazz show
featuring Yolanda Franklin
a brilliant local thespian,
and I
reading our poems
and those of
Amanda Gorman
who mesmerized a nation

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White People Have Noting to Fear About Critical Race Theory

February 22, 2022 by Source

By Joni Halpern

Today there is a raging controversy, especially on the part of White Americans, about “critical race theory.” There seems to be a belief commonly held among White Americans that critical race theory is being taught in K-12 schools, or that teachers who might have learned about it in the course of their academic education are going to use it to make White children feel guilty about their race and culture.

People who believe this do not know what critical race theory is. They are wrapped in rage without understanding the theory. In the process, they are making school boards and teachers afraid to engage in any legitimate teaching about the racial history of this country. The unfortunate truth is, most people who oppose critical race theory don’t even know what it is or how it came about.

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