Uprising’s guest expert Courtney Morris, assistant professor of African American and Women’s Studies at Penn State University, analyzes today’s news headlines:
President Obama addressed the unrest in Baltimore, Maryland yesterday during a press conference where he said there was “no excuse for violence,” using the loaded terms, “criminals and thugs.” But he wasn’t describing the Baltimore police and the death of Freddie Gray – he was referring to those protesters who destroyed property and injured officers. He did speak forcefully to police, saying they have to do some “soul searching.” This morning, in an interview with the Steve Harvey Morning Show, Obama reiterated his positions and then went on to add, “My heart goes out to the police officers who were injured in the past few days…They showed extraordinary restraint … It shows how tough a job like policing can be.” Meanwhile, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is giving a major speech at Columbia University this morning on mass incarceration and police targeting of Black communities. Click HERE for a People.com, HERE for an LA Times, and HERE for a Huffington Post article on this story.
Meanwhile, the streets of Baltimore, Maryland, are quiet this morning, after a curfew ended at 5 am. Last night, when the curfew began at 10 pm, hundreds of residents defied it, protesting and engaging in civil disobedience. Many Baltimore residents volunteered yesterday to clean up their city after violent clashes between police and protesters left broken glass and other debris on the streets. And, solidarity protests took place in Ferguson, Missouri, where the Black Lives Matter movement first gained steam last year in the wake of Mike Brown’s death. There were shots fired and two people injured but it is not clear if that was linked to protests. There are solidarity protests happening in many cities around the country. Click HERE for a miamiherald.com and HERE for a NY Times article on this story.
And in international news, the Nigerian government has triumphantly announced that it has rescued nearly 300 young girls and women from the Boko Haram militant group. But, the girls who were abducted from the village of Chibok last summer, prompting an international campaign, #BringBackOurGirls, were not apparently among those just rescued. The news comes a day after a horrific report emerged of the discovery of hundreds of dead bodies including those of women and children, in the northeastern town of Damasak, apparent victims of Boko Haram. President Elect Muhammadu Buhari has denounced Boko Haram as a “fraud,” and “terrorists.” He takes power next month and has vowed to toughen the government’s position against the extremists. Click HERE for a Huffington Post article on this story.