Tag Archives: Black Lives Matter

BREAKING: BLMSKC Calls on OIG To Investigate SPD Over Questions of Possible Unlawful Behavior, Coordination with OPA and Mayor’s Office

by Carolyn Bick

Black Lives Matter Seattle – King County (BLMSKC) has submitted a formal request to Seattle’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) to “immediately, transparently, and aggressively” investigate the Seattle Police Department (SPD) over questions that the department “at worst” possibly engaged in “unlawful practices” and “at best” failed “to uphold governing officer conduct policies” over the past three months. The letter links the questions it raises to concerns regarding possible alleged coordination with the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) and the Mayor’s Office.

Continue reading BREAKING: BLMSKC Calls on OIG To Investigate SPD Over Questions of Possible Unlawful Behavior, Coordination with OPA and Mayor’s Office

Seedcast: There Is No Indigenous Sovereignty Without Black Liberation

 by Chad Charlie

Indigenous peoples and communities have long used stories to understand the world and our place in it. Seedcast is a story-centered podcast by Nia Tero and a special monthly column produced in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald about nurturing and rooting stories of the Indigenous experience.

Since the 1940s, Native people have been protesting professional and non-professional sports teams with racist names and mascots. From the Cleveland Indians to the Washington NFL team, Native-appropriated mascots have been portrayed as some sort of “honor” to the Native community. However, naming a team after a racial slur or allowing opposing fans to chant “Kill the Indians” and “Scalp em bro” is not honorable to me or my ancestors.

Continue reading Seedcast: There Is No Indigenous Sovereignty Without Black Liberation

BLMSKC Files For Seattle Ethics and Elections Investigation Into Seattle City Council

by Carolyn Bick

Black Lives Matter Seattle – King County (BLMSKC) has filed for a Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC) investigation into the Seattle City Council (SCC), according to a press release and letters received by the Emerald.

In a letter released on the morning of Sept. 14, BLMSKC called on the SEEC to “immediately, transparently, and aggressively investigate” the SCC for 12 different counts of what the press release containing the letter calls “potential incidents” involving both the entire SCC or specifically named members. The letter specifically states that it “makes no accusations” but that the issues outlined within the letter “are gravely concerning to Black Lives Matter Seattle King County.”

Continue reading BLMSKC Files For Seattle Ethics and Elections Investigation Into Seattle City Council

OPINION: SPOG Head and the SPD are Waging an Old Propaganda War Against Protestors and the Left to Thwart Accountability

by Alycia Ramirez

Since the death of George Floyd under the knee of a police officer, there have been continuous protests resulting in the nation finally realizing the racial inequities baked into our justice system — especially in law enforcement. Even here in our own Emerald City, white Seattleites are now beginning to see what Black and Brown communities have been pointing out for decades: police brutalize people of color with impunity, and often without consequence, and we throw hundreds of millions of dollars at “arresting away” crime instead of investing those funds back into communities.

Continue reading OPINION: SPOG Head and the SPD are Waging an Old Propaganda War Against Protestors and the Left to Thwart Accountability

OPINION: Black Lives Matter More Than White Feelings

by Jasmine M. Pulido

Catering to whiteness has been a survival mechanism that’s difficult to put down.

It was why I hesitated in anxiety before I sent that email to the white woman coach who was using my stories as a Person of Color to profit, thereby showcasing herself as the white ally doing good. I told her she no longer had permission to use my testimonial and to stop using POC stories like mine for her white benefit. I feared what she might think of me or how she might respond, the way I always did when I considered confronting whiteness. 

Continue reading OPINION: Black Lives Matter More Than White Feelings

OPINION: The Era of “Shut up and Dribble” is Officially Over

by M. Anthony Davis

If you would have told me in March that the NBA season would be cancelled due to COVID, I might have believed you. That would seem plausible. But to lose the season to racism? I can’t say I saw this coming. 

Four years ago, in a preseason game versus the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was photographed sitting on the sidelines during the national anthem. He had opted not to stand for the anthem prior to this particular event, but that fact had gone mostly unnoticed. After the image went viral, it ultimately led to him famously kneeling during the anthem, an act that eventually got him blackballed from the NFL. Now, in the midst of a global pandemic that we thought had the potential to end the season for health reasons, NBA players have decided to boycott playoff games as an act of protest against police brutality — and they made their stand on the anniversary of Kaepernick’s first recorded protest. 

The NBA Bubble was designed to protect players from the deadly virus and allow some semblance of the 2019–20 season to play out despite the pandemic, after the season was halted completely on March 11 amid the outbreak. The bubble literally separated players from the outside world. Yet, even with “Black Lives Matter” written on the courts, social justice phrases displayed on the backs of jerseys, and all the kneeling and gesturing before games — the bubble proved to be unable to protect players from the harsh realities of the outside world. Unarmed Black people are still being killed by police. 

On August 23, Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old father of six, was shot seven times in the back by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake was shot from behind while attempting to enter his vehicle, where three of his six children sat and watched. The shooting of Blake led to protests in Kenosha, in which two more people were shot by a self-deputized white teenager, Kyle Rittenhouse, who was part of a militia claiming to protect the city from protesters. Videos circulating social media show Rittenhouse talking to police, who gave him bottled water and thanked him for his assistance. In the wake of these shootings, and with lack of action by local authorities, the players decided they had seen enough. In a statement released by the Milwaukee Bucks, players said, “… Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.”

Before the NBA entered the bubble on July 30, a few outspoken players objected to the idea of returning to play. The emerging leader of those voices was Kyrie Irving, who had been panned by the media previously for, among other things, claiming that the earth is flat. While Irving may not have been the best messenger, his concerns regarding resuming the NBA season were clear. He claimed that playing NBA games would take attention away from protests around the country demanding justice after the viral 8-minute video of George Floyd being murdered by a nonchalant officer kneeling on his neck. Many pundits criticized Irving, claiming that the idea that people would be forced to choose between watching basketball games and protesting police brutality was ridiculous. A few members of the media went so far as to say that the idea that basketball could distract from protests was an insult to the intelligence of Black people. Because, of course, claims that the NBA fan base, which is assumed to be primarily Black, would be unable to multitask, was a direct indictment of us as Black people. I think the point those arguments failed to realize was that the players, who also have families and friends affected by these events, have platforms and connections big enough to enact change. By continuing to play basketball, these players are allowing the continuation of the status quo. Looking back, it seems that Irving wasn’t so wrong after all. 

I don’t agree with Irving’s assumption that we as fans couldn’t watch basketball and participate in protests. I would argue that basketball is not important enough to make me oblivious to the injustice around me. I also live in Seattle — the former home of CHOP — where protests are still happening every day. I do agree with Irving’s idea that the players have an ability to enact change. I believe the players are actually more powerful now. 

Returning to play the bubble games allowed both dedicated and casual NBA fans to return to a false sense of normalcy. By playing those bubble games and deciding to boycott now, during the playoffs, the players are making a much bigger statement and delivering a much more substantial financial blow to the institution than they would have done if they’d never played in the bubble at all. This moment will live in history forever. The players have the unique opportunity to leverage the remainder of the season to get wealthy owners to lean on their political connections to achieve some form of tangible justice for Jacob Blake.

When the Milwaukee Bucks players decided not to leave their locker room before game five of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, ESPN’s Adrien Wojnarowski reported that the Bucks players were on a conference call with Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that Bucks players asked Kaul and Barnes about tangible things they could do in the short and long term. As it turns out, boycotting the game was step one. It immediately garnered national attention and was followed by announcements that all three scheduled NBA games would be cancelled and later that three WNBA games and three MLB games (including the Seattle Mariners, whose players voted unanimously to not play) were also cancelled. 

The era of “shut up and dribble” is officially over. It has always been evident that players had sway with the general public. But it is the wealthy, elite class of white owners who have actual political power — and it will take a combination of both to create the change we desperately need. The Bucks players reaching out to politicians from the locker room is the ultimate symbol of hope. They are taking steps toward bridging the gap between statements and gestures and crossing into the realm of tangible systemic change. This change must be made with policy and law. If this change costs us the rest of the NBA season, it will be well worth it. 

M. Anthony Davis (Mike Davis) is a local journalist covering arts, culture, and sports.

Featured Image is attributed to Craig Hatfield under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Photo Essay: Seattle’s Movement for Black Lives

by Tiametta Zoe (words and photos)

I won’t say too much about this photo essay because the photos speak for themselves. I will say that it came from the lens and eyes of a Black woman.

I have always dealt with debilitatingly low self-esteem and a deteriorating self-concept. This has often left me vulnerable to abuse, manipulation, and near-death experiences. Understanding the concept of my beauty and my essence has always been a struggle for me, mainly due to the way society has viewed and treated Black people in general and the traumatic history both my people and I have inherited. This is all being brought to the surface now like never before. I consider myself to be in recovery — learning the concepts of truth, self-love, assertiveness, courage, intuition, and progress. Continue reading Photo Essay: Seattle’s Movement for Black Lives

The Sleep-Walking White Ally

by Jasmine M. Pulido

I filled out a survey asking me if I’ve experienced racism firsthand.

I almost laughed. I replied into the text box, “Where do I even start?” 

I wanted to reply with the shorthand, “TMTM” (“Too Many to Mention”) like you would in high school, but with an entirely different connotation. Instead, I started to list them as succinctly as possible to get a real handle of what this looked like on paper. This was only for experiences at my daughters’ predominantly white school as a parent of color. There are more outside of it (#ManyMore #TooManyToMention).

The survey brought it all up again. 

Continue reading The Sleep-Walking White Ally

“I Was Just Laying on the Ground Screaming”: Protestors Recount Alleged Abuse While In Custody

by Carolyn Bick

Face-down in the gravel, hands cuffed behind her back, Ash could hear herself screaming. She had just been arrested by a group of Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers, who had come speeding across the grass towards a group of protestors at Cal Anderson Park during a Black Lives Matter protest on July 25.

Continue reading “I Was Just Laying on the Ground Screaming”: Protestors Recount Alleged Abuse While In Custody

Dictator and Apprentice: Duterte and Trump

by Cindy Domingo 

Amid the current worldwide pandemic, two presidents — over 8,000 miles apart — seem to have been trained from the same leadership course. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Union address delivered on July 27 was filled with rants against his critics and personal grudges against the media. There was no roadmap laid out to lead the country out of the health, political, and economic crisis facing the Filipino people. Issues of unemployment, poverty, and illness went unmentioned while Duterte focused on his drug war and the death penalty. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, this is a painful reminder of President Donald Trump and his lack of leadership in our nation’s time of crisis. 

Both Trump and Duterte initially refused to acknowledge the seriousness of COVID-19, allowing the virus to spread unfettered and leaving governors, mayors, and other local officials to handle the pandemic without the appropriate funding or a unified national strategy. Finally, when the international and domestic pressure became too much to bear and the COVID-19 deaths and illnesses continued to mount, both presidents were forced to act. 

Continue reading Dictator and Apprentice: Duterte and Trump