Eleanor Bumpurs was one of the first victims of Police Brutality I can remember. My family was living in the Bronx at the time near her housing projects. Her killing was the talk of the neighborhood for years. In 1984, NYPD tried to evict her because she was four months behind on her rent of $98.65, she resisted, and was summarily shot twice with a 12 gauge shotgun.
Ms. Bumpurs was failed by the city in every way imaginable. She was failed by a social services system that could have granted her rental assistance but did not. She was failed by the mental health community which should have treated her mental illness properly but did not. And she was failed by a police force that was well aware of her conditions, knew she was a senior citizen and chose to barge into her apartment with a shotgun and riot shields.
No one was convicted of killing Ms. Bumpurs. A few people lost jobs but by the time Rudolph Giuliani took office as mayor her death was a distant memory.
I’ve been thinking about Ms. Bumpurs a great deal the last few days.
I wonder what her family thinks about the events of the day. I wonder what they would say about the killing of young black men and women like Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride, Ramarley Graham, Sean Bell, Mike Brown, Eric Garner and so many others. I cannot say for sure, but if I had a guess, it would be that not much has changed since the murder of Ms. Bumpurs…not much at all.
RIP Ms. Eleanor Bumpers
Rafah-born author and poet Khaled Juma wrote a heartbreaking tribute to the children of the Gaza Strip amidst the missiles striking his hometown. At least 506 Palestinian children have been killed since Israel commenced its latest invasion of Gaza on July 8, 2014
Photograph #1: A Palestinian boy, who fled with his family from their home during Israeli air strikes, bathes his brother at a United Nations-run school in the Jabalya Refugee Camp in the northern Gaza Strip on July 31, 2014. The school is a designated shelter for Palestinians who were displaced by Israel’s offensive. Photo credit: Mohammed Salem
Photograph #2: A Palestinian girl reacts at the scene of an explosion carried out by the Israeli military that killed at least eight children and wounded 40 more in a public garden in Gaza City on July 28, 2014. Photo credit: Finbarr O’Reilly
Photograph #3: A traumatized Palestinian child is comforted by a man arranging care for him in a hospital in Gaza City following an Israeli air strike on July 9, 2014. Photo credit: Momen Faiz
Photograph #4: A Palestinian child pulls out toys from a box at a local market in Gaza City during a temporary ceasefire on August 6, 2014. Palestinian and Israeli delegations met in Cairo with Hamas demanding an end to the siege on Gaza and Israel demanding a demilitarization of the territory. Photo credit: Lefteris Pitarakis
Photograph #5: A Palestinian boy sleeps at a United Nations-run school in Gaza City on July 14, 2014, after fleeing with his family from their home in Beit Lahya. Photo credit: Mohammed Salem
Photograph #6: Doctors tend to injured children while a young girl sitting on her mother’s lap cries at a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on August 4, 2014. Photo credit: Eyad El Baba
Photograph #7: A Palestinian girl cries while being treated at a hospital in Beit Lahya following after sustaining injuries from an Israeli air strike on a United Nations school in the Jabalya Refugee Camp on July 30, 2014. Photo credit: Khalil Hamra
Photograph #8: Two Palestinians girls celebrate the first day of Eid Al-Fitr on the grounds of a United Nations school in the Jabalya Refugee Camp in the northern Gaza Strip on July 28, 2014. Their families are among the dozens that have fled their homes and sought refuge in the school. Normally, Muslim families in Palestine celebrate Eid Al-Fitr by visiting one another and gifting children with new clothes and shoes. Photo credit: Khalil Hamra
Photograph #9: One-and-a-half year old Razel Netzlream was killed after she was fatally hit by shrapnel from an Israeli air strike on an adjacent home the previous day. Her father carries her body to the funeral in Khan Younis on July 18, 2014. Photo credit: Alessio Romenzi
Photograph #10: A portrait of Shahed Quishta, 8, is fixed to a pillar in her home in Beit Lahya on August 16, 2014, after an Israeli tank fired a shell into the living room. She was killed on July 22, 2014. Photo credit: Khalil Hamra
my mom came by to bring me comfort vegan food
when she called to ask me what i wanted i was taken aback like “wait what?”
cause that almost never happens
so it took me a minute to get over the shock to be like “hey can you get me this?”
and she dropped it off and we had a nice talk
i’m riding the warm and fuzzies right now
Materially, psychologically and culturally, part of the nation’s heritage is Negro American, and whatever it becomes will be shaped in part by the Negro’s presence. Which is fortunate, for today it is the black American who puts pressure upon the nation to live up to its ideals. It is he who gives creative tension to our struggle for justice and for the elimination of those factors, social and psychological, which make for slums and shaky suburban communities. It is he who insists that we purify the American language by demanding that there be a closer correlation between the meaning of words and reality, between ideal and conduct, between our assertions and our actions. Without the black American, something irrepressibly hopeful and creative would go out of the American spirit, and the nation might well succumb to the moral slobbism that has always threatened its existence from within.
Ralph Ellison, What America Would Be Like Without Blacks (1970)
so i just got an email from my peer mentor
the amount of side eye i’m throwing
first off, far as i can recall i never signed up for a peer mentor. so be randomly thrown in the pot kinda bothers me. i mean i’m going off the experience i had at Hampshire where if people wanted peer mentors both sides had to sign up and then they were matched together.
second, i really resent having my non-CTS email shared with this person without my explicit permission. especially since she emailed all her peer mentors in a group email without doing the whole “unlisted participants” thing where people are group emailed but it doesn’t list each person email address
also, i’m kinda mind blown that as an incoming person of color i wasn’t given another person of color to be my mentor.
folks might have to get read cause i hate when my info is given out willy nilly
The virus of white privilege survives by convincing its host organism that it does not exist. That’s because the more clearly we see it the more likely we are to notice that its purported benefits have faded almost to nothing. Whites of the working and middle classes correctly perceive that their economic fortunes have deteriorated over the past half-century, even if the average white household is still 20 times wealthier than the average black household (an especially deleterious consequence of white privilege). An entire right-wing ideological empire remains devoted to convincing white people that benefit-sucking African-Americans and job-stealing Latino immigrants are somehow to blame for their downward trajectory. White privilege is the solvent used, throughout American history, to dissolve multiracial coalitions of working people, and the drug used to brainwash whites into making common cause with the class of CEOs, financiers and landlords. Kicking that drug habit is the only way white America can ever set itself free from the past.
ya know i’ve been watching RHOA from seasons 3 to 6 and i have a really hard time believing that nothing sexual happened between Apollo and Kenya
the way he be eyein her yo, when Phaedra is right there!
its mind blowing
to watch two people feenin for each other on camera one minute
but then denying that anything is there the next minute
if they don’t actually smash in season 7 it’ll probably be because Apollo is in trouble with the law again
PHOTOGRAPH BY RUDDY ROYE
When I was eighteen, I stumbled across Richard Wright’s poem “Between the World and Me.” The poem, a retelling of a lynching, shook me, because while the narrator relays the details in the first person, the actual victim of that brutish ritual is another man, unknown to him and unknown to us. The poem is about the way in which history is an animate force, and how we are witnesses to the past, even to that portion of it that transpired before we were born. He writes,
darkness screamed with thirsty voices; and the witnesses rose and lived:
The dry bones stirred, rattled, lifted, melting themselves
into my bones.
The grey ashes formed flesh firm and black, entering into
Nothing save random fortune separated the fate of the man who died from that of the one telling the story. Errin Whack and Isabel Wilkerson have both written compellingly about the long shadow of lynching. It is, too often, a deliberately forgotten element of the American past—one that is nonetheless felt everywhere in Ferguson, Missouri, where protests followed the shooting of Michael Brown, who was eighteen years old, by a police officer. One can’t make sense of how Brown’s community perceived those events without first understanding the way that neglected history has survived among black people—a traumatic memory handed down, a Jim Crow inheritance.