By Contributor David Harland
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is actively implementing a policy of racial profiling by interpreting a person’s hands being in the air as probable cause for drug searches.
In a traffic stop on January 5, 2018, Rev. Dr. Eric Gill was told to exit his vehicle. When he did, he put his hands in the air as a caution. Immediately, the officer yelled “now, why do you have your hands up, that means you have drugs! Do I need to search the car!?”
Captain Paul Timmons was quoted in defense of this OHP policy, saying “it kind of raises a red flag to law enforcement officers, people get out and instantly throw their hands up.”
But Rev. Dr. Gill didn’t have drugs in his car. Instead, his wife and eleven-month-old child waited and watched as he stepped out of the vehicle.
By Managing Editor Timantha Norman
Tulsa, Okla. — During my especially tumultuous second year of teaching for the city’s largest public school district, a student was placed in my class mid-year with little to no background information given from the counselor or administration on the student. I only heard a few vague insinuations about her and things that were “different” about her. When she arrived into my class, she informed me that she went by a different name than what was listed as her birth name, which happened to be a stereotypically male first name. With this revelation and other aspects of her physical appearance, it became evident that she was transgender. This student also happened to be African-American. I had had a transgender student in one of my classes — before, a white transgender male. However, the difference in how these two students were treated by the school’s staff and administration was palpable.
In light of President Trump’s recent—and disgusting—comments about immigrants from Africa, Haiti and any other countries he considers to be “shitholes”, I have been reflecting on so many wonderful people from the very places that he chose to insult. People who are more optimistic, grateful, hardworking, and kind than pretty much anybody I’ve ever met, let alone the current leader of the free world. One young Rhode Island man in particular stands out in my mind. He is a double refugee who arrived to Providence, Rhode Island only a few short years ago after a life of strife and struggle that most of us, including the President, can’t even fathom. He is someone whose story I have shared with my own three sons because of how remarkable he is in both spirit and strength. Despite his own enormous challenges, he is driven by a desire to give back to those in need.
By Erika Sanzi Note: This piece first ran as the weekly ‘Coffee Break’ interview at Education Post. “It was either move the company or start a school.” —Paul Campbell Paul Campbell grew […]
“The Dream Meet is our way of celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Watching young athletes from all backgrounds pursue their dreams together is witnessing Dr. King’s vision for children become a reality. It is an inspiring weekend.” – Jennifer Patterson, Aim High Academy Founding Executive Director
Oklahoma City – Today Oklahoma State Conference National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) calls for a meeting with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Commissioner concerning the treatment of Dr. Reverend Eric Gill, Youth Minister at Metropolitan Baptist Church, and former Basketball Coach at Heritage Hall School. Dr. Gill is approximately 5’6”, 170lbs and physically not seen as an immediate threat to anyone.
When did putting your hands up – a universal sign of surrender – become a message of “having drugs?” This is a prime example of Betty Shelby’s irrational behavior when she killed Terence Crutcher. According to the Tulsa Police officers, they stated that he looked like a “Big Black BAD DUDE.” With his hands in the air, according to Betty Shelby, Mr. Crutcher was reaching for a gun, and no one thought to question whether his hands being next to the car window was simply a reflection. “It is evident why so many law enforcement officers are acquitted when encountering African-Americans who they say are a big bad black dude no matter their height or weight.” Said Anthony R. Douglas, President Oklahoma State NAACP.
By Nehemiah D. Frank In 2017, the Tulsa City Council passed a 180-day, temporary prohibition on the construction of small-box, discount stores in North Tulsa. The short-term ban provides the city’s legal […]
Tulsa, Okla. — In the birthplace of local activism and mass movements in Tulsa, Our Revolution’s local chapter held its first body-meeting at the Rudisill Regional Library.
Unlike smaller organizations throughout the city, Our Revolution Tulsa is a subset of the national party, which was started by US Sen. Bernie Sanders. The social-democratic, political-action organization’s goals are to revitalize American democracy, empower progressive leaders, and elevate political consciousness to the everyday man and woman in this country.
My youngest daughter has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and a speech delay. She requires a significant amount of support in order to be successful in the traditional class with her non-disabled peers. And my local public school is providing my daughter with an amazing implementation of her rather complex Individual Education Plan (IEP).
Citizens are crying out for better policing practices across the city. On Thursday, December 28, 2017, the Terence Crutcher Foundation hosted a community town hall meeting at the 36th Street North Event Center. The evening was filled with speakers advocating for change in policies and police-officer relations with north Tulsa residents. Dr. Tiffany Crutcher was poised, eloquent, and calm whenever she spoke at the town hall. She recounted how she and her family have been treated since her brother, Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by Betty Shelby, and the subsequent trial, and she spoke of community relations with TPD and the goals of the Terence Crutcher Foundation. At the end of the town hall meeting, the audience viewed a video from the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) addressing statements that District One’s city councilor, Vanessa Hall-Harper made against TPD and Betty Shelby. Hall-Harper claimed that the FOP participates in a culture of corruption, and she refused to back down whenever she was questioned about her comments. The FOP member in the video stated that he did not understand why Mrs. Hall-Harper holds those beliefs, and that is one of the biggest problems dividing the police and the FOP from the community.
When attending an Omaley B. concert, one finds their-self traveling nearly a century backward to an age of absolute resilience, self-determination, Black unity, and brilliance.
Once Omaley takes them their,
Sounds of rhythm and blues permeate the air as his once-in-a-century, unique voice kindles their hearts and ears with the nostalgic phantasms of a formidable and awe-inspiring past-legacy. A real history lesson on the greatness and excellence of Black Wall Street is rendered.
The white-supremacy institutions of Tulsa, Oklahoma are well-oiled machines, working against the progress of District One its Councilwoman, Vanessa Hall-Harper.
What the Tulsa World Editorial Writers fail to understand is that the councilwoman’s constituents asked the councilor to push for the moratorium with the aim being an end to the proliferation of discount-dollar stores in north Tulsa.
It is important to remember the majority of the city’s African-American community and their allies considers the moratorium a victory.
225 days have passed since former Tulsa Police Officer (TPD) Betty Shelby got away with murder. And today marks 387 days since G.T. Bynum assumed the role as Mayor of Tulsa.
At the 2017 Zarrow Mental Health Symposium, Mayor G.T. Bynum told attendees that most of the 77 recommendations form the Tulsa Commission on Community Policing he created would be implemented by year’s end.
Unfortunately, time is running out on the community policing dashboard. Purportedly, only 51-percent of the 77 recommendations for community policing is implemented, and 49-percent is ambiguously in the works of being implemented.
“I had often observed, that when her mother washed her face it looked very rosy; but when she washed mine it did not look so; I therefore tried oftentimes myself if I could not by washing make my face of the same color as my little play-mate(Mary), but it was all in vain; and I now began to be mortified at the difference in our complexions. (Equiano, 1794, p.64)”
People, who are usually white, often tell me that I am too obsessed with race. In fact, I have even been criticized and compared to a race fanatic. Notwithstanding those allegations, I will always believe that systemic racism is a facet for today’s illiteracy curse plaguing the multitude of Black children some one-hundred-fifty years after the Emancipation Proclamation — the epoch, in American history, that lead to the appearance of Black liberation. However, I, now, reckon the more significant problem stems from an aristocratic class of Americans, one-percenters — mostly white — who do not care about people of color nor poor White people. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us —Black, Brown, and White — to participate in that extension of democracy granted to the masses by the few decent, human beings among the upper classes.