In an emotionally charged talk, MacArthur-winning activist Majora Carter details her fight for environmental justice in the South Bronx — and shows how minority neighborhoods suffer most from flawed urban policy.
"Environmental justice, for those of you who may not be familiar with the term goes something like this: No community should be saddled with more environmental burdens and less environmental benefits than any other. Unfortunately, race and class are extremely reliable indicators as to where one might find the good stuff, like parks and trees, and where one might find bad stuff, like power plants and waste facilities. As a Black person in America, I am twice as likely as a white person to live in an area where air pollution poses the greatest risk to my health. I am five times more likely to live within walking distance of a power plant or a chemical facility, which I do. These land use decisions created the hostile conditions that lead to problems like obesity, diabetes and asthma. Why would someone leave their home to go for a brisk walk in a toxic neighborhood?”
you can now purchase a destroy capitalism banksy print from walmart
Photographs, Ryan McGinley
- Coco & India (Cascade), 2008
- Jack (Blue Mass), 2009
- Jack (Hanging Rock), 2009
- River (Clouds), 2009
- Alex (Levitating), 2009
- Jonas (Ritual), 2009
- Jonas & Marcel (Blue Altar), 2009
- Tracy (Cherry Drizzle), 2009
- Tracy (Dripping), 2009
- Grace (Deep Red Triangle), 2009
Mark Ciavarella Jr, a 61-year old former judge in Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison for literally selling young juveniles for cash. He was convicted of accepting money in exchange for incarcerating thousands of adults and children into a prison facility owned by a developer who was paying him under the table. The kickbacks amounted to more than $1 million.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned some 4,000 convictions issued by him between 2003 and 2008, claiming he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles – including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea. Some of the juveniles he sentenced were as young as 10-years old.
Ciavarella was convicted of 12 counts, including racketeering, money laundering, mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also ordered to repay $1.2 million in restitution.
His “kids for cash” program has revealed that corruption is indeed within the prison system, mostly driven by the growth in private prisons seeking profits by any means necessary.
"It’s just business" more like institutional racism.
TW: State Sanctioned Terrorism
They bombed us [on May 13, 1985] because of our unrelenting fight for our family members, known as the MOVE 9, who have been in prison unjustly going on thirty-two years now, as a result of the August 8th, 1978 police attack on MOVE. I just wanted to make that clear.
In terms of the bombing, after being attacked the way we were, first with four deluge hoses by the fire department and then tons of tear gas, and then being shot at—the police admit to shooting over 10,000 rounds of bullets at us in the first ninety minutes—there was a lull. You know, it was quiet for a little bit. And then, without any warning at all, two members of the Philadelphia Police Department’s bomb squad got in a Pennsylvania state police helicopter and flew over our home and dropped a satchel containing C4, a powerful military explosive that no municipal police department has. They had to get it from the federal government, from the FBI. And without any announcement or warning or anything, they dropped that bomb on the roof of our home.
Now, at that point, we didn’t know exactly what they had done. We heard the loud explosion. The house kind of shook. But it never entered my mind that they dropped a bomb on us. But the bomb did in fact ignite a fire. And not long after that, it got very, very hot in the house, and the smoke was getting thicker. At first we thought it was tear gas. But as it got thicker, it became clear that this wasn’t tear gas, that this was something else. And then we could hear the trees outside of our house crackling and realized that our home was on fire. And we immediately tried to get our children, our animals, our dogs and cats, and ourselves out of that blazing inferno.
The adults were hollering out that we’re coming out, we’re bringing the children out. The children were hollering that they were coming out, that we were bringing them out. And we know that the police heard us. But the instant, the very instant, that we were visible to them, you know, trying to come out, they immediately opened fire. We were met with a barrage of police gunfire. And you could see it hitting all around us, all around the house. And it forced us back in to that blazing inferno, several times. And finally, you know, you’re in a position where either you choke to death and burn alive or you possibly are shot to death.
So we continued to try to get out of that house. And I got out. I got Birdie out. You could hear the shots hitting all around us. A cop grabbed Birdie, took him into custody, grabbed me, they threw me down on the ground and handcuffed, you know, me behind me, in the back of me. And I just knew that everybody else had gotten out. They were right behind me. And I didn’t find out until police took me to the homicide unit of the police administration building that there were no other survivors.
Every time I come across this it makes me emotional. More people should know about this and be outraged. I don’t care how long ago it was. They dropped a bomb on these people! Fuck anybody who doesn’t feel enraged about that.
I want everyone to remember that: they opened fire on people trying to flee a burning building
they threw people back into the fire to cover up their crimes
no one ever faced justice for this
TW: domestic violence, abuse
Here’s an excerpt from an open letter from Melissa Harris Perry to Florida State Attorney Angela Corey who has said she plans to re-prosecute Marissa Alexander:Angela, there are few times in life that we get second chances to right our wrongs. Well Angela, this is yours.You have been called a fierce victim’s advocate, so it is way past time that you start acting like it.Because a woman who was hospitalized in 2009 after being shoved into a bathtub and hitting her head – she is a victim.A woman whose estranged husband has admitted to abusing all five mothers of his kids – she is his victim.And when that woman, that victim, who has just recently given birth, fires a warning shot near the man that has cornered her in her home – she is a victim who feels she has no other recourse.But that is part of the problem, Angela. You never saw Marissa as a victim. You saw Marissa as the aggressor and even justified why the infamous “Stand Your Ground” law was not applied in Marissa’s case.
Bruce Davidson - East 100th Street
"For two years in the 1960s, Bruce Davidson photographed one block in East Harlem. He went back day after day, standing on sidewalks, knocking on doors, asking permission to photograph a face, a child, a room, a family. Through his skill, his extraordinary vision, and his deep respect for his subjects, Davidson’s portrait of the people of East 100th Street is a powerful statement of the dignity and humanity that is in all people."