This past year has seen an enormous amount of attention paid to the toxic divide between police departments and the poor, black communities they serve. One thing we’ve learned is that tribal loyalty often prevents police officers from criticizing each other or their departments publicly—and at least sometimes, they lie when one of their own faces charges of misconduct. That’s why the recent emergence of Michael Wood Jr., a retired Baltimore cop, as a critic of law enforcement culture landed with impact: His voice was the relatively rare one that spoke with the knowledge of an insider but the unforgiving skepticism of an outsider.
In this video, you’ll meet Wood while he drives the streets of the city where he served as a police officer for 11 years, and hear him lay out his conception of what’s going wrong in the world of policing and how it could be made right.
A water billing scandal in one of the country’s poorest cities reveals an overarching truism: Neoliberalism is a conduit for rampant inequality.
The Wire is one of the most brilliant and significant TV shows ever created. In this video I talk about the creators of the show and the techniques used that make is so great.
Trump forgot that his family is a bunch of slumlords. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. MORE TYT: https://tyt.com/trial
Read more here: https://www.newsweek.com/trump-critic… “Critics of President Donald Trump responded to his recent labeling of Elijah Cummings’ congressional district in Maryland as “disgusting” and “rodent infested” with photos of neighborhoods in Republican-controlled districts that also appeared to be rife with homelessness, poverty and waste.
Trump on Saturday railed against Cummings and Baltimore — about half of which falls in the congressman’s district — calling the city “disgusting rat and rodent infested.” Rather than decry or disavow the president’s remarks, Trump’s allies and conservative media outlets like Fox News attempted to bolster his claim by sharing photos and video of destitute and dirty portions of the Maryland metropolis. White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday he’d have been “fired” from running his former South Carolina congressional district if it had as much crime and homelessness.
But Trump critics began pointing out these images were cherry-picked and failed to tell the whole story of Baltimore or the many suburban and rural communities included in Cummings’ district, they also posted pictures of their own of neighborhoods blighted by poverty and crime.
What’s more, these photos were reportedly taken in congressional districts and states controlled by staunch Republican Trump defenders, including Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Rep. Devin Nunes’ district in California’s San Joaquin Valley and Fresno.”
Profile of Muggsy Bogues.
A Baltimore-based community program provides the architecture for kids’ success... I am constantly using this column to argue that social fragmentation and social isolation are the fundamental problems afflicting America today. Organizations like Thread are the best way to address them.Thread has taken 415 academically underperforming students in Baltimore schools and built an extended family around them, with about 1,000 volunteers. Each student is given up to five volunteers, who perform the jobs that a family member would perform... Each volunteer is coached by a more experienced volunteer, called the Head of Family. The Head of Family is coached by a Grandparent, who supports the Head. The Grandparents are coached by Community Managers, who are paid Thread staffers. Circling the whole system are Collaborators, who offer special expertise when called in — legal help, SAT tutoring, mental health counseling, etc... The students are lured with free pizza and asked if they would like to join the program. They are told they will be in it for 10 years, until they are in their 20s. They sign a contract demonstrating commitment, and no one has left early.
For the first few months, the students often reject the relationships. “You expect people not to be there for you,” says Marcus, one of the students. Trust is built by persistence through failure.
“Unconditional love is so rare in life that it is identity-changing when somebody keeps showing up even when you reject them. It is also identity-changing to be the one rejected.”
Thread also has an app called Tapestry. It tracks every time a volunteer has a touchpoint with one of the students — driving to school, sharing a meal. Hemminger calls it the Fitbit of social relationships. Tapestry can track how often a student has touchpoints, who hasn’t had a touchpoint, how many touchpoints lead to what outcomes.
.. Thread cultivates an ethos of utter vulnerability, which starts at the top. Hemminger and her staff are very open when they don’t know what they are doing and need help.
They are very, very open when they are hurting.
.. That vulnerability stretches throughout. Teenagers, who usually have their armor up with strangers, told me all about the stresses in their life, their fears and their mental health challenges.
.. The program rejects any distinction between haves and have-nots. The volunteers are not there to do social change. They are there to be changed. The word “mentor” is banned because everybody is leaning on everybody else.
.. These days, I spend my mornings writing depressing columns about a political culture marred by distrust and my afternoons visiting places like Thread. There is no way to repair national distrust without repairing individual relationships one by one. This is where American renewal begins.
President Trump sees himself as the antithesis of President Obama, and that’s true in ways large and small. Both men, however, share a fondness for the identity politics that continue to poison U.S. race relations.
.. his initial reaction also evinced an Obama-like reluctance to denounce despicable behavior forcefully and in no uncertain terms.
- When five policemen were gunned down in Dallas last year, Mr. Obama said there was no justification for violence against law enforcement—but then he added a comment about racial inequity in the criminal-justice system.
- After violent demonstrators pillaged Baltimore in 2015 following the death of a black man in police custody, Mr. Obama dutifully condemned the rioters—but not without also noting that “we have seen too many instances of what appears to be police officers interacting with individuals, primarily African-American, often poor, in ways that raise troubling questions.”
What we heard from Mr. Trump on Saturday, when he said “many sides” were to blame for what took place in Charlottesville, was more of the same equivocation.
Both presidents were less interested in moral clarity than in placating fringe groups out of political expediency. The difference is that Mr. Obama’s caucus mostly indulged his racial innuendo, while Mr. Trump’s called him on it. That’s why the president reluctantly issued a more forceful second statement on Monday.
.. When Mr. Trump took his time last year disavowing David Duke after the former Klan leader endorsed him for president, Mr. Bannon had yet to join the campaign. Perhaps Mr. Trump’s problem is not his staff.
.. Mr. Obama’s attempts to advance black interests through heightened group identity and us-against-them rhetoric didn’t help. He embraced openly antiwhite groups like Black Lives Matter and racially polarizing figures like Al Sharpton. The subsequent rise of the alt-right may be history repeating itself.
.. Maybe the president is convinced, like many of his liberal opponents, that the alt-right carried him to victory. His behavior so far certainly suggests at much.