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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

No Country Here for Young Black Men to Fight for: 13th Amendment

 The Last Soldier to Die in Iraq  Army Specialist David Hickman

No Country Here for Young Black Men to Fight for:

Conversely, African-Americans are notably over-represented in the military as a whole. They make up 19.1 percent of the active-duty force, and a staggering 24 percent of the Army, as opposed to just 12.1 percent of the population.  their deaths of this global war make up 12.4 percent.

Overall, unlike blacks, Hispanics are significantly under-represented in the ranks of the military's living and -- to a lesser degree -- of its war dead. Hispanics make up 12.5 percent of the U.S. population but just 9 percent of the active-duty military (9.9 percent of the Army). They account for 11.1 percent of those killed worldwide. Hispanics' socioeconomic disadvantages help keep them out of uniform and out of danger: They are much more likely than other racial groups in the U.S. to drop out of high school and hence lack the diploma required to enlist.

 DEATHS:  How does all this compare with Vietnam? For blacks, the percentages are virtually identical: 12.4 percent of the dead in the war since 9/11 are listed as African-American, whereas 12.5 percent of the dead in Vietnam were then listed as "Negro."

Black citizens were outraged at the idea of fighting bigotry abroad while it was tolerated at home

Eric Bates was caught twice in the late 1990s driving with a suspended license, and then again in 2006. That third time, under then-Virginia law, Bates was considered a habitual offender and was prosecuted as a felon.
He served 14 months in prison and was released in 2008. He returned home hoping to put his legal issues behind him and move on with his life.
But like many of the nearly 1 million people who are released from correctional facilities each year, Bates said he has had difficulty finding steady work and making ends meet. His rather pedestrian criminal record has also come with one other lingering consequence: Bates has found himself among the approximately 5.8 million whose voting rights have been taken away because of a felony conviction.
"I owned up to my crime. I served my time and I just want my rights back," Bates, 53, an unemployed electrical engineer, told The Huffington Post. "I want to participate. But it's just as well as if I murdered somebody. It's a life sentence."

Black citizens were outraged at the idea of fighting bigotry abroad while it was tolerated at home

Martin Luther King Jr.
Author's Notes --Shirley Ann Willaims

Who stands in defense of the Palestinian people, and their right to return to their homeland. As billions of U.S. tax dollars continue to flow to Israel, it is critical that people of conscience continue to speak the truth about the U.S. support for Israel’s colonial project.

The Brennan Center for Justice calls it “the first rollback in voting rights since the Jim Crow era.” The charge: that new state voter ID requirements, voter list purges, voter registration restrictions and other laws and rules are taking the right to vote away from citizens completely entitled to it. These restrictive measures are conceived in the name of fighting voter fraud, which has been shown to be so rare and statistically insignificant that some states pushing for these laws have given up trying to prove it. The net effect — whether by intention or not — is voter suppression, particularly in the case of minorities, the elderly, the young and the poor.

No Country Here for Young Black Men to Fight for:

The Red Ball Express was organized in August 1944 to move supplies 24 hours a day to the front. Three out of four drivers were African American.In less than three months, the Red Ball Express rolled through 40,000 tires while delivering 412,000 tons of ammunition, food and fuel.

The all-African-American 332nd Fighter Group, known as the Tuskegee 

Airmen, never lost an escorted bomber to enemy fighters. They would be 

requested by numerous bomber crews.

13th Amendment States to all that Slavery, as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, 

It is true that American life is hostile to black menone need only look at incarceration rates, school disciplinary statistics, or the criminal justice system, with the War on Drugs, to note that life for black boys in America is turbulent.

Those of us who parent, love, or teach young black men attempt to inoculate them early and often. We give them unwritten rules about who to approach on a street corner and what to do if they’re ever stopped by the police. We prepare them, not solely for adult life, but for that moment when society no longer sees them as innocent children but as potential aggressors.
The image that society paints of black men, of us, has long been exploitative. Either we are the entertainers—the ballers, the rappers—or we are the thugs locked behind bars in huge numbers for crimes that whites commit too, but for which they will never see the inside of a prison cell.  We are either celebrated for others’ viewing pleasure, but for which they will never see the inside of a prison cell.  We are either celebrated for others’ viewing pleasure, or denigrated as examples of immorality. Jenee Henry and Joshua Elligan
January 7, 2013

African Americans have fought and died in every major war the U.S. had been involved. For instance: 

1770-1783 At least 5,000 African Americans, free and unfree, served in the Continental Army and Navy of the American Revolution, the largest numbers coming from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 

1812-1814 Several thousand African Americans helped to defend Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New Orleans in the U.S. British War of 1812-14. 

1812-1814 At least 1,000 African Americans, mostly seamen in the U.S. Navy in the Gulf of Mexico, participated in the Mexican War. 

1851-1865 The services of some 186,000 African American soldiers, spread among some120 regiments, and some 29,000 Black seamen contributed significantly to the Union victory. 

1870-1890 Until the 1890s, the soldiers, being some 2,500 African Americans, served. In the West in the 8th and 9th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry.

1898-1890 In the Spanish American War, three all Black units- the 8th Illinois, the 9th U.S. Volunteers and the 23rd Kansas, along with 2,000 Black seamen - represented Black participation. 

1914-1918 In World War I, 367,000 African Americans entered military service, the 369th, 370th, 371st Infantry regiments being the most famous for valor. 

1941-1945 In World War II, 700,000 African Americans were in the U.S. Army, 165,000 were in the Navy, and 497,000 served overseas. 

1964-1974 In Vietnam, African Americans numbered 16,500 in the Army, 3,500 in the Marines, 908 in the Air Force, and 500 in the Navy. (Dr. Russell Adams at http://www.huarchivesnet.howard.edu/adams1.htm

Although being denied equal rights and treatment in the very nation they fought for and their brethren died. 

Today while African American continue to deal with the effects of slavery and segregation and discrimination and police brutality and poverty and drug and gang wars one can only hope that a small piece of the billions of dollars that will be spent for war could go to fight these ills.

Congressional leaders repeatedly expressed all-out support for the Israeli onslaught, while pointedly ignoring  the Palestinian casualties. Over the course of a week of bombardment, at least 160 Palestinians were killed, more than 1,000 wounded and much of Gaza’s infrastructure was destroyed by a coordinated air, sea and land-based assault.  

We have a huge body of case law that prevents the State from infringing on your right to be free from 
unreasonable searches and seizures and ensures the police must follow all the applicable rules when searching your car or person, and all of it is thrown right out the window when you tell the police it is okay to go ahead and look through your car, house, pockets, or body.
Say NO

It really is that easy. Just like you should say “no” to drugs, you should also say “no” to searches. If you are carrying something you don’t want the police to find, do not let them search for it. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects personal privacy, and every citizen’s right to be free from unreasonable government intrusion into their persons, homes, businesses, and property  — whether through police stops of citizens on the street, arrests, or searches of homes and businesses. Lawmakers and the courts have put in place legal safeguards to ensure that law enforcement officers interfere with individuals’ Fourth Amendment rights only under limited circumstances, and through specific methods. 

What Does the Fourth Amendment Protect?
In the criminal law realm, Fourth Amendment “search and seizure” protections extend to:
A law enforcement officer’s physical apprehension or “seizure” of a person, by way of a stop or arrest; 
Police searches of places and items in which an individual has a legitimate expectation of privacy — his  or her person, clothing, purse, luggage, vehicle, house, apartment, hotel room, and place of business, to name a few examples.
The Fourth Amendment provides safeguards to individuals during searches and detentions, and prevents unlawfully seized items from being used as evidence in criminal cases. The degree of protection available in a particular case depends on the nature of the detention or arrest, the characteristics of the place searched, and the circumstances under which the search takes place.

When Does the Fourth Amendment Apply?
The legal standards derived from the Fourth Amendment provide constitutional protection to individuals in the following situations, among others:
An individual is stopped for police questioning while walking down the street.
An individual is pulled over for a minor traffic infraction, and the police officer searches the vehicle’s trunk.
An individual is arrested.
Police officers enter an individual’s house to place him or her under arrest.
Police officers enter an individual’s apartment to search for evidence of crime.
Police officers enter a corporation’s place of business to search for evidence of crime.
Police officers confiscate an individual’s vehicle or personal property and place it under police control.
Potential scenarios implicating the Fourth Amendment, and law enforcement’s legal obligation to protect 
Fourth Amendment rights in those scenarios, are too numerous to cover here. However, in most instances a police officer may not search or seize an individual or his or her property unless the officer has:
A valid search warrant;

 A valid arrest warrant; or

 A belief rising to the level of “probable cause” that an individual has committed a crime.

What if My Fourth Amendment Rights Are Violated?

When law enforcement officers violate an individual’s constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment, and a search or seizure is deemed unlawful, any evidence derived from that search or seizure will almost certainly be kept out of any criminal case against the person whose rights were violated. 
For example:
An arrest is found to violate the Fourth Amendment because it was not supported by probable cause or a valid warrant. Any evidence obtained through that unlawful arrest, such as a confession, will be kept out of the case.
A police search of a home is conducted in violation of the homeowner’s Fourth Amendment rights, because no search warrant was issued and no special circumstances justified the search. Any evidence obtained as a result of that search cannot be used against the homeowner in a criminal case.

Search Warrant Requirements

Tips for avoiding all types of searches:

 Keep your appearance neat and clean. Look like a criminal, get treated like one. There is a reason why middle-aged women driving minivans rarely get pulled over.

Keep your car clean. When I say clean I mean get your car detailed at least a couple of times a 
year. People who leave the inside of their car messy often forget about things they have tossed on the floor or cannot see items other people have left behind.

Keep your car in good working order. Don’t give the police a reason to stop you. Make sure your car is registered, inspected, and that all the lights work. A busted taillight can cost you thousands and a trip to jail.

Put questionable items in the trunk of your car. There is no excuse to leave illegal items in the 
passenger compartment of your car. Better yet, don’t put anything illegal in your car.

Don’t attract unwanted attention. If your stereo has to be that loud for you to hear it, get your 
hearing checked. All you are doing is inviting the police to pull you over and give you a hard time.

Don’t carry drugs on your person. This is common sense regarding illegal drugs, but prescription 
drugs carried outside the containers they are dispensed in can get you arrested as well.
Don’t carry cigarette packages or hide your drugs inside them. This is the first place police look for dope.
Don’t leave smoking paraphernalia where police can see it. Nobody believes you use that bong or water pipe to smoke tobacco! If an officer sees something like that it will only confirm that he or she really needs to find some legal way to search you, your car, or your home.

Be careful what a police officer can see when standing at your front door. A police officer 
standing at your front door can look inside when you open it. What the police see from your front door 
is considered in “plain view” and thus not an actual search. Once the police have lawfully seen 
something illegal in your home they can then seize it and get a warrant to look for more.

 If you can see out, the police can see in. Looking through a window does not constitute a search 
in most instances. No one should be able to look into your home and watch  what you are doing 
without you knowing about it. Put up window shears or install windows with either faceted glass or 
glass that distorts the viewable image.

The most important thing to remember when asked for consent to search is to say “NO”.

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