Who is Ismael Ozanne, Wisconsin’s prosecutor in Tony Robinson’s death?

Posted in Articles, Biography, Law, United States on 2015-05-20 21:52Z by Steven

Who is Ismael Ozanne, Wisconsin’s prosecutor in Tony Robinson’s death?

Cable News Network (CNN)
2015-05-12

Michael Martinez, Newsdesk Editor & Writer

(CNN) Ismael Ozanne wiped a handkerchief across his forehead, nervously tapped a stack of papers on the podium and slowly cleared his throat.

It wasn’t the first time he’d made history; that happened in 2010 when he became Wisconsin’s first black district attorney.

Still, the Dane County district attorney seemed acutely aware of his role on the national stage Tuesday as the man who would decide whether an officer should be charged for the March 6 shooting death of an unarmed biracial man, 19-year-old Tony Robinson.

Eventually, Ozanne told reporters that he’d cleared Matt Kenny of the Madison Police Department, declaring that the officer’s gunfire was “a lawful use of deadly police force.”

But before he revealed his long-awaited decision Tuesday, the prosecutor also made it a point to talk about his past…

…Wisconsin’s first black DA

Ozanne became the first African-American district attorney in Wisconsin history in August 2010, when former Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, appointed him as Dane County district attorney.

Ozanne’s appointment filled a vacancy created when the prior DA was elected as a Court of Appeals judge…

…Ozanne’s grandfather, Robert Ozanne, was a high school teacher, a labor organizer, an author and a professor of economics at University of Wisconsin at Madison in the 1950s, according to Ismael Ozanne’s biography.

His parents are also teachers: His father taught at Tuskegee University in Alabama and in Madison public schools, and as of last year, his mother was still in the classroom, teaching reading at a middle school.

Ozanne describes himself as biracial.

“I’m a person of color from a biracial marriage. … I am the son of a black woman who still worries about my safety from the bias and privilege and violence that accompanies it,” he said Tuesday…

Read the entire article here.

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Movie about Va.’s now-defunct ban on interracial marriage to be shot in state

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2015-05-14 19:42Z by Steven

Movie about Va.’s now-defunct ban on interracial marriage to be shot in state

The Washington Post
2014-05-14

Laura Vozzella, Richmond Bureau Reporter

RICHMONDVirginia has landed a movie project about Richard and Mildred Loving, the real-life Virginia couple arrested in 1958 for violating the state’s interracial marriage ban.

The Lovings filed a lawsuit that eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 struck down bans on interracial marriage. The case is often invoked today amid legal challenges to bans on same-sex marriage.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced on Thursday that makers of the movie had chosen to shoot the project in the state. A statement from his office noted that the court case at the center of the story was “a landmark civil rights case in defense of marriage equality that is still relevant today.”

Loving is a significant American story that should be told, and I am happy to announce it will be filmed in Virginia,” said McAuliffe, who supports same-sex marriage. “Attracting these projects to the Commonwealth helps build the new Virginia economy by generating new revenues, creating good-paying jobs for our citizens and continuing to highlight Virginia’s historical significance.”

The film will star Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton, and will be directed by acclaimed film director Jeff Nichols. It was inspired by “The Loving Story,” a documentary produced and directed by Nancy Buirski that aired on HBO, the governor’s office said…

Read the entire article here.

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No Charges for Wisconsin Officer in Killing of Unarmed Black Teenager

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2015-05-13 13:42Z by Steven

No Charges for Wisconsin Officer in Killing of Unarmed Black Teenager

The New York Times
2015-05-12

Richard Pérez-Peña (@perezpena), National Desk

A Madison, Wis., police officer who killed an unarmed black man in March, in one of a spate of similar incidents that have set off protests around the country, will not face criminal charges, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

The shooting of the man, Anthony Robinson Jr., had led to protests in Madison and raised concerns of potential unrest if the officer, Matt Kenny, who is white, was not charged, particularly after rioting in Baltimore recently following the death of an unarmed black man from a severe spinal injury sustained while in police custody.

Walking through the case in detail for a room full of reporters at the Public Safety Building, the Dane County district attorney, Ismael Ozanne, repeatedly stressed that on the day he died, March 6, Mr. Robinson was behaving erratically and violently, assaulting several people — apparently including Officer Kenny. He left the room without taking questions

“My decision will not bring Tony Robinson Jr. back,” he said. “My decision will not end the racial disparities that exist in the justice system, in our justice system. My decision is not based on emotion. Rather, this decision is based on the facts as they have been reported to me.

Although Mr. Ozanne did not mention either man’s race, he discussed his own identity at some length — the biracial son of a black woman from Anniston, Ala., who, he said, worries that his skin color puts him at risk…

Read the entire interview (00:26:30) here.

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New Bill Would Let New Yorkers Identify As Multiracial On Official City Forms

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-05-12 20:44Z by Steven

New Bill Would Let New Yorkers Identify As Multiracial On Official City Forms

The Huffington Post
2015-05-12

Christopher Mathias (@letsgomathias), New York Reporter

New York City has the largest population in the United States of people who identify as multiracial. Even its mayor, Bill de Blasio, and its first lady, Chirlane McCray, have two multiracial children.

And yet, on the various official city documents New Yorkers often have to fill out, there are only five racial categories: “white, not of Hispanic origin”; “black, not of Hispanic origin”; “Hispanic”; “Asian or Pacific Islander”; and “American Indian or Alaskan Native.”

In testimony submitted at a City Council hearing Monday, a New Yorker named Daniel Reckart explained why this can be a problem.

“You see, my mother is half Jamaican and half British-Caucasian,” he said. “My father is half Mexican, half German.”

“My siblings and I — as siblings do — look both alike and, at the same time, a spectrum of our multiple races,” he continued. “Some of us look more Latino and some of us look more white and some look more black. But the fact is that we have all always identified proudly as multiracial, and to ask us to choose just one box is like asking us to choose allegiance with just one of our grandparents.”

Reckart is one of more than 325,000 New Yorkers who identify as multiracial. His testimony Monday was submitted in support of a piece of legislation that would require “city agencies to amend their official forms and databases to accommodate multiracial identification where racial identification is required.”

Those forms include applications for after-school programs, public housing and taxi licenses, as well as discrimination complaint forms and registration with the Department of Small Business Services — not to mention all the paperwork filled out by the 300,000 or so city employees.

The new multiracial designation, say the bill’s supporters, would help the city collect more accurate demographic data. Such information is important for crafting legislation and policy, and for keeping track of how various policies affect people of different races. In some cases, that data can also help determine how much state or federal funding the city will receive.

Council member Margaret Chin, lead sponsor of the bill, told The Huffington Post that it’s “important for government to recognize multicultural heritage.”

“We wanted to allow individuals to celebrate their heritage and be able to identify themselves as they want to,” she said…

Read the entire article here.

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“There is nothing ‘black’ about rioting”: Actor Jesse Williams unloads on Baltimore critics in passionate Twitter essay

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2015-04-30 19:55Z by Steven

“There is nothing ‘black’ about rioting”: Actor Jesse Williams unloads on Baltimore critics in passionate Twitter essay

Salon
2015-04-28

Joanna Rothkopf, Assistant Editor


(Credit: DFree via Shutterstock)

The “Grey’s Anatomy” actor wrote about the prevelance of rioting throughout history

On Monday evening, as Baltimore was rocked by violent and nonviolent protests alike, actor Jesse Williams, known for his role on “Grey’s Anatomy” and for occasionally weighing in on issues of race and police brutality, wrote what amounted to an essay on the history of rioting.

Read the whole thing below:..

Read the entire article here.

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President Obama Condemns Both the Baltimore Riots and the Nation’s ‘Slow-Rolling Crisis’

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-04-29 16:56Z by Steven

President Obama Condemns Both the Baltimore Riots and the Nation’s ‘Slow-Rolling Crisis’

The New York Times
2015-04-28

Julie Hirschfeld Davis, White House Correspondent

Matt Apuzzo

WASHINGTON — President Obama responded with passion and frustration on Tuesday to the violence that has rocked Baltimore and other cities after the deaths of young black men in confrontations with the police, calling for a period of soul-searching about what he said had become a near-weekly cycle of tragedy.

Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, Mr. Obama condemned the chaos unfolding just 40 miles north of the White House and called for “full transparency and accountability” in a Department of Justice investigation into the death of Freddie Gray, the young black man who died of a spinal cord injury suffered while in police custody.

He said that his thoughts were also with the police officers injured in Monday night’s unrest in Baltimore, which he said “underscores that that’s a tough job, and we have to keep that in mind.”…

…He spoke as Loretta E. Lynch, the new attorney general, dispatched two of her top deputies to Baltimore to handle the fallout: Vanita Gupta, her civil rights chief, and Ronald L. Davis, her community-policing director. The unrest there and the epidemic Mr. Obama described of troubled relations between white police officers and black citizens have consumed Ms. Lynch’s first two days on the job and could define her time in office.

They have also raised difficult and familiar questions for Mr. Obama about whether he and his administration are doing enough to confront the problem, questions made all the more poignant because he is the first African-American to occupy the White House…

Read the entire article here.

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Will Police Killings of Blacks be the Defining Crisis of the Obama Presidency?

Posted in Barack Obama, Interviews, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2015-04-28 01:40Z by Steven

Will Police Killings of Blacks be the Defining Crisis of the Obama Presidency?

NewBlackMan (in Exile)
2015-04-24

Mark Anthony Neal, Host and Professor of African & African American Studies
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Duke University University Sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, author of the classic Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America (now in its 4th edition) and Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal discuss #BlackLivesMatters and the Obama Presidency.

Watch the interview (00:06:45) here.

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You’re the Model Minority until You’re Not

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-04-16 15:37Z by Steven

You’re the Model Minority until You’re Not

David Shih
Wednesday, 2015-04-08

David Shih, Associate Professor of English
University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

As a Chinese American, I know that my racial identity occupies a space in the cultural imagination somewhere between white and black. I know that white supremacy often works in my favor to give me privilege and the benefit of the doubt. I know that the world is this way until it isn’t.

Peter Liang, who is also Chinese American, must know this too. On February 10, a grand jury ruled to indict the NYPD officer for killing Akai Gurley, who is black. Liang and his partner were in the stairwell of a public housing complex when Liang discharged his weapon and hit Gurley, who had entered from the floor below. The ruling followed three controversial grand jury decisions not to indict white officers Darren Wilson, Sean Williams, and Daniel Pantaleo for the deaths of Michael Brown, John Crawford, and Eric Garner, respectively. Because of this apparent racial double standard, the Coalition of Asian-Americans for Civil Rights plans to protest Liang’s indictment later this month and has called for national rallies on that day in support of Liang. “Officer Liang is being used as a scapegoat,” says Doug Lee, co-chair of the CAACR. Other Asian American organizations support the indictment, leading to some confusion over what justice looks like in this case. But there should be no confusion: Peter Liang should stand trial. Liang’s supporters are asking for the same standard that exonerated Wilson, Williams, and Pantaleo. It is a racist standard…

Read the entire article here.

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The Trouble With Race

Posted in Africa, Articles, Europe, History, Law, Media Archive, Philosophy, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, South Africa, United States on 2015-04-13 00:38Z by Steven

The Trouble With Race

Foreign Affairs
March/April 2015

Gideon Rose, Editor

Everybody knows that racial tensions have been at the center of American political debate in recent months, but the story of racial and ethnic division is actually a global one, with a long and tortured history. For the lead package in the March/April issue, therefore, we decided to do a deep dive into racial issues in comparative and historical perspective.

Kwame Anthony Appiah kicks it off with a sweeping review of the rise and fall of race as a concept, tracing how late-nineteenth-century scientists and intellectuals built up the idea that races were biologically determined and politically significant, only to have their late-twentieth-century counterparts tear it down. Unfortunately, he concludes, recognizing that racial categories are socially constructed rather than innate doesn’t make racial problems easier to solve.

Fredrick Harris and Robert Lieberman explore the paradox of a United States in which stark racial inequalities persist even as official and individual-level racism have dramatically declined: a country that might be postracist but is hardly postracial. They point to the influence of historical legacies that baked the racism of previous eras into the cake of contemporary institutions and practices, from housing to finance to criminal justice…

Read the entire article here.

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Nevada GOP lawmaker to ‘colored’ colleague: Racism is over because the president is black

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2015-03-19 01:42Z by Steven

Nevada GOP lawmaker to ‘colored’ colleague: Racism is over because the president is black

Raw Story
2015-03-18

David Ferguson

The Nevada state Assemblywoman who believes that cancer is a “fungus” that can be flushed from the body with saline solution has now said that she believes that racism in her state is a thing of the past.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, State Assemblywoman Michelle Fiore (R) said that racism is over, now, so people of color should stop “using the race card” about voter ID laws and other Republican policies that unfairly impact people of color and the poor.

She also congratulated an African-American colleague for being the first “colored” person to graduate from his college.

Fiore is one of the cosponsors of a proposed voter ID law in Nevada which — like all such laws — has been predicted to have an adverse effect on voter turnout by blacks, the elderly and students, all traditionally Democratic voting blocs.

Addressing “peers that are concerned with color,” Fiore went on to congratulate Democratic Assemblyman Harvey J. Munford — an opponent of the voter ID law — for being “the first colored man to graduate from his college.”

“We’re in 2015 and we have a black president, in case anyone didn’t notice,” she added. “So the color and the race issue, I think it’s time that we put that to rest.”…

Read the entire article here.

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