Civil Rights

How Many Studies Do We Need that Show Racial Bias in Stops By San Diego Police?

January 25, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

As the trial begins for three former Minneapolis Police officers who helped Derek Chauvin restrain George Floyd in May 2020, San Diegans can use the trial as a mirror to hold up and examine our own city’s legacy in police stops of African-Americans. And that legacy ain’t pretty – but we knew that because of all the reports and studies that have been made on racial disparities in San Diego police stops.

There have been many recent studies, and here’s a report on them by local media. A report of the studies, the many studies. The many, many studies.

In fact, how many studies do we need?

Recently, the San Diego Union-Tribune published a report based on a statistical analysis of reported crimes and San Diego Police stops officers made from 2019 through June 2021. It found:

Overall, police conducted more traffic and pedestrian stops per reported crime in areas where non-Whites make up the majority of the population.

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A Letter to Sister Fannie Lou Hamer (My Voting Rights Hero)

January 24, 2022 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Dear Fannie Lou.

You don’t know me.
But I know you.
You’ve been a hero of mine
for a mighty-long time.

I couldn’t help but think of you the other day, after a clown in the Senate tried to make it sound like voting was easy in the USA, that Blacks voted as much as “Americans.”

He laid that nonsense down, knowing full well, being from Kentucky, that voting in America for Black folks and other dark folks has been hell ever since the 15th Amendment gave us the right to vote.

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‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ : The Last Speech of Martin Luther King – The Full Text

January 14, 2022 by Source

(Originally posted here on Jan 15, 2018)

The day before Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, he gave his final speech, known as ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ speech. Here’s the full text.

By The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., MEMPHIS, Tenn./ April 3, 1968

Thank you very kindly, my friends. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy and his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about. It’s always good to have your closest friend and associate to say something good about you. And Ralph Abernathy is the best friend that I have in the world. I’m delighted to see each of you here tonight in spite of a storm warning. You reveal that you are determined to go on anyhow.

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At Least 5 Capitol Insurrectionists Were at Violent Pacific Beach Clash

December 9, 2021 by Source

From the Appeal

Right-wingers and ultranationalists convened in San Diego and Pacific Beach days after the Washington insurrection, but the police crackdown that day fell on counterprotesters.

At least five people involved in the Capitol rally on Jan. 6 attended a violent pro-Trump “Patriot March” in San Diego just three days after the democracy-shaking event. But police declared an unlawful assembly that only applied to anti-fascist counterprotesters.

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Que Vivan Las Mujeres!

December 3, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

As I listened to
my friend and hero,
Berenice Badillo,
talk about her art
in Chicano Park
a few days ago,
her mural,
“No Human Being is Illegal,”
that was born in her soul,
I hadn’t expected to
hear about
the plight of women
in the Chicano movement

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We’ve Got a Long Haul, If We Really Want Liberty and Justice for All

November 30, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

“Liberty and Justice for All.”
That just might be America’s biggest lie
of all.
I mean
a young man,
a White teen,
with a rifle
that looks like
an AR-15,
appears on a scene
where people,
in spite
of some folks
acting crazy and obscene,
were peacefully
chanting and singing,

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Someone San Diegans Should Know: The Ranting White Supremacist of Ocean Beach

November 16, 2021 by Staff

Here is someone San Diegans – and OBceans — should know: the ranting White supremacist of Ocean Beach. Meet Nathaniel Maloney, an OB resident.

Maloney was identified as the white man shouting verbal threats and racial slurs at an African-American woman neighbor, who shot a video of the incident on a street in Ocean Beach. The incident reportedly occurred on Monday, November 15.The vid circulated widely on social media.

The woman was walking to her car in her driveway when Maloney ran up to her, spit on her and then assaulted her by screaming the N-word at her over and over. He even tried to call the cops on her, claiming she had assaulted him.

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A Plaque Isn’t Enough for LGBTQ History in Hillcrest

November 15, 2021 by Source

From SOHO Newsletter – November/December 2021

By Dr. Lillian Faderman, Charles Kaminski and Bruce Coons

LGBTQ+ history, like the history of other underrepresented communities, has been frequently overlooked. That history has not been considered worthy of consideration or important in the development of our nation and our city. This is because historically, “homosexuals” were deemed criminals and deviants to the law, sinners to the church, mentally ill to the medical profession and often rejected by our own families. But in LGBTQ+ spaces we not only found a home and a new family, we also formed a community that made it possible for us to wage our successful fight for the civil rights due to all Americans.

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A Video Regarding the Direction I’d Like to See the World Go

October 25, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

The other day,
in my backyard
on my patio,
I got to read a poem,
and say a few things
on a video,
regarding the direction
I’d like to see the world go.
Young folks,
my favorite folks,
were in the back of my mind
as I spoke,

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City Council to Finally Consider a Hillcrest Historic District

October 25, 2021 by Source

By Mat Wahlstrom

This Wednesday, 10/27, at 2:00 PM, the San Diego City Council Rules Committee will hold its first ever hearing on implementing the Hillcrest historic district. Should it clear this first hurdle, it could go either to the full council for a vote or be on the ballot in the June 7, 2022 election.

The implementation of a historic district for Hillcrest is important for all San Diegans.

Although originally proposed in 1981 and recommended in the 1988 Uptown Plan, a Hillcrest historic district has never been docketed by the council for consideration.

Flash forward to June 2015, and the draft Uptown update of the 1988 Plan clearly defined

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Video: Ernie McCray in His Own Words

October 19, 2021 by Ernie McCray

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Occupy Wall Street Came to San Diego 10 Years Ago – Share Your Memories and Thoughts

October 6, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

It was ten years ago this week that Occupy Wall Street came to San Diego. Many San Diegans – and OBceans – were involved in the movement over the months, and the OB Rag gave extended, in-depth coverage.

So, this is an open thread where you, dear reader, can share any memories and / or thoughts of the Occupy movement.

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Sky Didn’t Fall On U.S. Military After ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ Repealed

September 27, 2021 by Source

By Joseph C. Rocha / Times of San Diego / September 23, 2021

Ten years ago this week, the discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy was repealed, finally lifting the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in our armed forces.

From that morning, I most vividly remember two things. First, all the courageous veterans and servicemembers who had shared their stories. And second, that the sky hadn’t fallen.

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Ageism: The Last Acceptable Bias

September 20, 2021 by Source

By Mat Wahlstrom

The past few years have seen long overdue attention drawn to issues of systemic discrimination. From the #MeToo movement to #BlackLivesMatter to even concern for personal pronouns, we as a society are facing up to the ways in which we fall short of our egalitarian ideals to provide equality of opportunity.

But in what appears to also be a recent development, we’re seeing the exact opposite happening with regard to age. Usually only referenced in connection with employment law, age discrimination as a social phenomenon is being treated as innocuous, with replies of ‘OK, Boomer’ not only allowed to go unchallenged but treated as acceptable.

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1960 Winter Olympics Site Changes Racist, Sexist Name

September 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Once in a while, a news story about a change comes along that resonates, and here is one that does. I personally have been championing this specific change for some 20 years now. And it has finally happened.

The site of the 1960 Winter Olympics near Lake Tahoe is having its name changed. Its owners have decided that the old name that rhythms with “fall” is offensive to Indigenous women. The new name is Palisades Tahoe. Historically, it’s also been called Olympic Valley.

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Fact Check: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Misleading Remarks on the State’s Abortion Law

September 8, 2021 by Source

By Rachel Treisman / NPR / September 8, 2021

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is again under fire for his state’s restrictive new abortion law, after falsely claiming it does not force victims of rape or incest to give birth even though it prohibits abortions at about six weeks — which is before many people even know they’re pregnant.

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Sotomayor’s Defiant Dissent

September 3, 2021 by Source

In her blistering dissent, the Supreme Court justice calls out her conservative colleagues’ breathtaking disregard of precedent and the Constitution.

By Justice Sonia Sotomayor / The Nation / September 3, 2021

The Court’s order is stunning. Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand.

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Family of Fridoon Nehad Settles Unjustified Police Killing Lawsuit With San Diego for $3Million

August 16, 2021 by Source

Editordude: A case that we’ve followed for years of an unjustified fatal shooting by a San Diego police officer has reached some level of resolution. Fridoon Nehad was shot to death near midnight on April 30, 2015 by officer Neal Browder in the Midway. Nehad’s family filed a lawsuit which the city just settled for $3 million. Here is the U-T report.

By Greg Moran / San Diego Union-Tribune / Aug. 13, 2021

A civil rights lawsuit filed by the family of a man who was shot to death by a San Diego police officer in a Midway District alley in 2015 has ended with a multimillion-dollar settlement, marking a conclusion to one of the city’s most controversial police shootings. The family of Fridoon Nehad, who was 42 when he was shot by Officer Neal Browder

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White Supremacists Playing the ‘Race Card’

August 4, 2021 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Occasionally
if I write something
along the lines
of, say, a little Mexican girl
curled up in her fears
of what’s happening
in her world
as she’s housed
in a cage,
or of a Black man
dying from
a racist policeman’s rage,
his knee on the brotha’s neck,
someone says
I’m playing the “race card’
and I agree
since, in America,
race cards
are the only cards in the deck.

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Thoughts Prompted by a Book by a Hollywood Star

July 27, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

I’m thinking about Frank Cruz.

He’s an old junior and senior high classmate of mine who wrote a book, a memoir, Straight Out of Barrio Hollywood, a nice story of his journey from “the other side of town” in Tucson to co-founding Telemundo, a television network that broadcasts nationally and across the sea.

Before he pulled that off, he was a much loved and highly appreciated college professor of Chicano History and a well-known L.A. TV personality. A true transition from Barrio Hollywood, a Tucson ghetto, to “Hollywood” where the stars glow.

I felt so proud to have known him as I read of his accomplishments, the significant news he covered, and the celebrated names he dropped.

I couldn’t help but think of how he and I, in 1951, were part of our hometown’s history, how we ended up at the same school when Tucson desegregated its campuses. Before then Latinos, Mexican Americans, in Frank’s neighborhood were considered White although they were treated otherwise.

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How San Diego Incubates White Extremism with One America News

July 26, 2021 by Source

By Jean Guerrero / Los Angeles Times / July 22, 2021

The pro-Trump cable propaganda network One America News is headquartered in a sandy-colored building in the San Diego sun.

It doesn’t look like the epicenter of a collective delusion in which Trump remains president, the COVID-19 vaccine is deadly and “illegal aliens” are destroying the country.

But OAN, launched in 2013 by Louisiana-born technology magnate Robert Herring, is the latest chapter in San Diego’s history as a hotbed of white paranoid extremism. The network has become Trump’s favorite Big Lie megaphone about the “stolen” presidential election. In March, Pearson Sharp, one of its star correspondents, said in a report, “There’s still serious doubts about who’s actually president.” In another, he suggested COVID-19 vaccines are causing mass deaths..”

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Voters’ Suppression Is Real – Voting Laws Roundup, July 2021

July 22, 2021 by Source

Voting Laws Roundup: July 2021: Eighteen states have already enacted 30 laws this year that will make it harder for Americans to vote.

From Brennan Center for Justice/ July 22, 2021

As many state legislatures conclude their regular sessions, the full impact of efforts to suppress the vote in 2021 is coming into view.

Between January 1 and July 14, 2021, at least 18 states enacted 30 laws that restrict access to the vote. These laws make mail voting and early voting more difficult, impose harsher voter ID requirements, and make faulty voter purges more likely, among other things. More than 400 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 49 states in the 2021 legislative sessions.

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Hey, America, Stop Tampering With Our Right to Vote

July 19, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

America.
I’ve so had it with
your evil ways,
especially the way
you make us Black folks
slave away
to just prevent you
from taking our right to vote away,
over-and-over-again
ad nauseam.

And what pisses
me off the most
about this is

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Legislation Introduced in Senate to Federally Decriminalize Marijuana

July 15, 2021 by Source

By Eugene Scott / San Diego Union-Tribune – Washington Post / July 15, 2021

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., introduced legislation Wednesday to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, vowing to use his clout as majority leader toward reversing policies and laws that he says have caused significant harm to the lives of thousands of Americans. The draft bill, which is co-sponsored by Sens. Cory’ Booker, D-N.J., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., would remove federal penalties associated with cannabis, expunge nonviolent federal cannabis-related criminal records and begin regulating and taxing the drug.

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Democracy’s Refugees: Offer Them Sanctuary

July 13, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

What a time to be alive. Wake up early and pay attention.

Tuesday offers all manner of news about chaos; pandemics, culture feuds, cyber-terrorism, domestic terrorism, racial and sexual cruelties, financial and food insecurities, raging fires, and devastating drought, alongside a couple billionaires blasting into space.

Forget the World Soccer Cup matches that unleashed hideous social network racism against Black players on England’s losing team; or the nail-biting (and history-making) Wimbledon finals or even the coming fan-less Tokyo Olympics.

The most riveting political spectacle (with massive consequences for the future of democracy) is Tuesday’s duel between Texas and Washington, D.C. 67 Democrats in the Texas legislature, flew to D.C. on Monday,

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California’s Inmate Firefighters Still Denied Visitors, Unlike Prisons

July 9, 2021 by Source

by Jill Castellano / inewsource / July 1, 2021

Hundreds of California inmates will charge to the front lines of rapidly spreading wildfires this summer, risking injury and death in exchange for shorter sentences and a few dollars a day.

When the flames recede, they will return to their living quarters at one of 35 low security camps, where picnic tables and barbecues once bustled with families — a perk that higher security prisons don’t allow.

Now, the inmates have the grounds to themselves.

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50 Years Ago, Voting Age Lowered to 18 Due to Youth Protests

July 6, 2021 by Source

From today’s San Diego Union-Tribune

In July 1971, the 26th Amendment to the Constitution became law. The amendment, which had passed through Congress and been ratified by the states, lowered the voting age from 21 to 18.

An estimated 11 million young Americans between 18 and 21 became eligible under the new age limit.

The youth vote had a noticeable effect in San Diego.

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Some Critical Thinking About Race

July 1, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

It never ceases to amaze me how we Americans continue to resist discussing the number one problem in our country ever since it came to be: racism.

That resistance has never been more evident than when San Diego City Schools decided to provide students with ethnic studies and anti-racism education and some parents freaked out and decried having CRT, “critical race theory,” taught to their children.

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Want to Improve Police Stop Disparities? Hold the Chief Responsible for Addressing Them.

June 24, 2021 by Source

By Chris Brewster / Voice of San Diego / June 23, 2021

If the mayor and City Council are serious about police reform, they should make clear that the expectation is that the police chief must meaningfully bring police stops into alignment with the makeup of the population, or spell out clearly why doing so isn’t desirable.

The San Diego Police Department’s leadership has been ineffective over many years at ensuring equity in police stops.

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An Invite to STILL, WE RISE

June 14, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

STILL, WE RISE.
We, being my people,
Black folks.
Folks out here
living lives of
forever trying
to just be Americans,
free,
de-colonialized,
so to speak.
But, hey,
STILL, WE RISE.

And STILL, WE RISE happens to be a show of poetry and jazz that I put together with some friends: actor extraordinaire,

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