[photo: image of a young, black man smiling at the camera.]
To help bring awareness to racial profiling, unlawful arrest, covering up the wrong doings of police officers and violation of civil rights.
We do not know everything about what occurred when Officer Kelly Stewart approached Carlos Riley Jr. on December 18, 2012. Our understanding will undoubtedly increase as Carlos’ lawyers investigate these incidents and obtain additional information from the police and prosecuting attorneys. But what we know so far has persuaded us that the following is true:
1. On December 18, at about 10 a.m., Carlos had just dropped his girlfriend off at work and had stopped to talk with an acquaintance. Without any lawful reason for doing so, Officer Stewart, who was driving an unmarked police vehicle and wearing civilian clothes, pulled up behind Carlos.
2. Carlos did not know that the person who came up behind him was a police officer and drove away, as he was legally entitled to do. Officer Stewart, without legal justification, chased Carlos and turned on the lights on his vehicle.
3. When Carlos saw the lights, he immediately stopped. Officer Stewart came up to the side of Carlos’ car and wrongly accused him of smoking marijuana… Carlos denied smoking or having marijuana in the car.
4. Office Stewart then jumped into the car and began to choke and punch Carlos. Carlos could not breathe and struggled to free himself. Officer Stewart then threatened to kill him and began to draw his gun. Office Stewart shot himself in the leg.
5. Carlos feared that the next shot would be for him and was afraid that he would be killed. He grabbed the gun and pulled it away from the officer. He then helped the officer out of the car and fled to protect himself because he thought he would be shot and killed when other officers arrived at the scene.
6. Within a few hours Carlos voluntarily turned himself in to the Durham Police Department. He is now facing state and federal charges.
7. This situation developed because of the actions of Officer Stewart and the policies and practices of the Durham Police Department. Officer Stewart should never have stopped or chased Carlos, should not have jumped into his car, should not have punched or choked Carlos, and should not have drawn his gun. The Police Department is responsible because it does not properly train or supervise its officers and does not discipline officers who violate peoples’ rights.. Instead, like many police departments across the country it engages in racial profiling and allows its officers to abuse people, particularly young African American men.
thinking a lot about critical kindness, meaning having kindness as a value and tool of liberation. this comes after having a really hurtful interaction with someone who told me that they were choosing to not look at problematic behavior because they are “kind” implying that i was not at the moment. this goes along the lines of what i have shared a lot about in the past but i want to write a longer piece about it. soon…
i have shared some about my struggles with housing in seattle in the past month or so. thank you all who have kept up and sent nice messages as it has become stressful. today i signed the lease to my new place. i will be living in a really sweet house and will be sharing my very new and sweet room with Loan, my sweet boo. i am really really excited and feel so ready for this part of my life. for those who know me you might be surprised because i have been adamant about not living with people i date and the ease of this relationship really surprised me. it is really easy being with Loan and i look forward to our growth and all the good things that will come from seeing them more and more. i love him.
although i’ve grown up with a father that i met when i was about seven, his unavailability left me missing him. i related and befriended many people in my life who did not have fathers or had very strained and distant fathers. apart from his emotional coldness, my father is an NRA member, a republican and he grew up defending the reasons why injustices happened to our family. you can understand why i’d keep my distance. it hasn’t been until recently that i’ve started to mend this connection because he’s wounded and survives in the safety that comes with tokenization, supporting white supremacy and he is a carrier of history.
honoring my dad has been a process. i inherited his stubbornness, lack of tact and strong will. when we are both angry we are explosive together. throughout the years we replaced hugs with silence, “i love yous” with “hey.” our relationship became an open wound that hurt more to be reminded of than it was to ignore it. it wasn’t until I got sober in 2008 that i realized that one of the reasons i drank was because i was ignoring unresolved feelings and relationships in my life, including my relationship with my father. i will have five years sober in july of this year and it has taken the entirety of this time to get to a place where saying “i love you” to my father.
my father under his hateful armor, under his cold superiority is a vulnerable fragile man. just now i called him to ask wish him a happy fathers day and he said “you didn’t have to” in a voice he uses to cover up his sadness and loneliness. my father is changing too, his age and i believe that the very real mortality is softening him. he has my entire life responded to his hard life by being hard to love. the truth is that what i have now may be all that i will ever have my father, but in the “i love you” is an honoring his migration to the united states, his homelessness, his jumping trains to make it to the next city for work, his calloused hands that remind me daily of the injustices he faces under capitalism and his wounded masculinity that never taught him how to demonstrate love.
fabian romero- indigenous immigrant queer boi writer
For most of America, Psy is a funny name, a funny face, and a funny personality. He doesn’t sing in English and most people just don’t get it leaving most of them to not take him seriously. It’s easy to strip the significance behind “Gangnam Style” down if you don’t know what it means and solely find entertainment in the Asian guy shaking his hips. But what most people don’t realize is that Psy doesn’t take himself seriously. He’s a satirist and political dissident. “Gangnam Style” was a commentary, not just a fun pop tune with a silly dance.
Gangnam is Seoul’s wealthiest and flashiest neighborhood. For South Koreans, Gangnam represents the ideal life of excess and consumerism. Psy’s character in the video is a wannabe Gangnamite. He dreams he’s living the flashy, excessive lifestyle while he’s really just like everyone else, swimming in a public pool and riding the subway. But never in the video does it seem that Psy’s character is unhappy. He’s content to play in a children’s playground and meet the girl of his dreams in the subway. “Gangnam Style” is much more that we have made it, but that’s not surprising considering Psy’s background and how little we know about it.
In America, it seems like “Gangnam Style” was Psy’s big break when in fact the song had been released on his sixth studio album and his music career hadn’t been about making flashy and catchy songs. He believes music is the key to overcoming the intolerance embedded in his country’s political systems. Throughout his career, his songs have been banned for inappropriate content and have been surrounded by controversy, not to mention the fact that he fought his mandatory military draft.
Psy is a voice for his people. He’s fighting the oppression and intolerance he sees in his culture through his music. And by ignoring his worth and his value, we’re reducing the culture of South Korea into a short man with funny pants doing a ridiculous dance.
T H A N K S
am outside Loan’s terminal right now, they will be arriving in 15 minutes. awwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i have the biggest smile right nowwwwwwww
currently witnessing how power and privilege play out in interactions at the airport. also how tired parents treat their tired and hungry kids. the airport is so interesting and full of stories.
i might get off tumblr this summer and have a website up. just asked a friend to help me with this endeavor.
after working in two radical organizations, started by white people that struggled to be inclusive to marginalized peoples, my people, i have realized some things.
- if an organization is started without a commitment to inclusion, later on that work will fall on marginalized peoples backs
- an organization that doesn’t start diverse will not grow to be diverse without a fight that could end the organization
marginalized peoples shouldn’t be an afterthought. so when i see these calls for support for collectives that are white with one person of color at times and there is no mention of racism or systems of oppression that exclude the most vulnerable i become disappointed and choose to wait; because organizations started out by marginalized people aren’t supported enough. i know that organizations started with white people are more likely to get funding and don’t need my help.