The Anti-Muslim Origins of “The Star-Spangled Banner”

The Anti-Muslim Origins of “The Star-Spangled Banner”:

As several writers have noted – before and after the furor surrounding quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” – the national anthem is racist….

Even less well know, the song originates in slaveowner Francis Scott Key’s “When the Warrior Returns” – which was set to the same tune.

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Photos Surface of Philly Cop with Nazi Tattoo

Photos Surface of Philly Cop with Nazi Tattoo:

There’s a photograph circulating of an on-duty Philly cop with Nazi tattoos, and its causing all kinds of controversy.

The photo was posted to Facebook by Evan Parish Matthews, who claims the officer is named Ian Hans Lichtermann….

Philadelphia police have not confirmed Lichtermann’s identity, but Philly Voice reports that there is an officer by the same name listed in Philadelphia payroll records.

One of Lichtermann’s tattoos pictured, the AR-15 with an American flag and “For God and Country” written above it, is the motto of the American Legion, while another is a little more unsettling – it reads “Fatherland” and has a partieadler, the symbol of the Nazi Party. Fatherland is used to describe Germany during the Third Reich….

Instagram and Flickr allegedly owned by Lichtermann have recently been removed, though many of those photographs are still online, including several of his dogs, Gunny and Rommel (a reference to the WWII German general, perhaps?).

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Why the Universe Needs More Black and Latino Astronomers

Why the Universe Needs More Black and Latino Astronomers:

Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. Pedro Villanueva. Anthony Nuñez.

These four names—all recent black and Latino victims of police violence—stare out at a college classroom full of budding astronomers. Written above them on the chalkboard is the now-familiar rallying call “Black Lives Matter.” It’s a Friday morning in July, and John Johnson, a black astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has written these words as part of the day’s agenda. Later this afternoon, they’ll serve as a launching point for a discussion about these specific killings and the implications of systemic racism.

It’s something you might expect in an African American history class, or maybe a class on social justice. But this is a summer astronomy internship. Most astronomy internships are about parsing through tedious telescope data, battling with an arcane computer language in a basement, or making a poster to present at a conference: skills meant to help you get into grad school. The point of this class, which is made up entirely of African-American and Latino college students, is something very different.

The Banneker Institute is an ambitious new program meant to increase the number of black and Latino astronomers in the field—and to ensure that they are equipped to grapple with the social forces they will face in their careers. Undergraduates from all over the country apply to the Institute, which pays for them to live and work at Harvard for the summer. During the program, they alternate between specific research projects, general analysis techniques, and social justice activism—hence the names on the chalkboard.

Johnson, who studies extrasolar planets and is pioneering new ways to find them, started the program two years ago as a way to open up a historically rarefied, white, male enterprise. In 2013, Johnson left a professorship at Caltech to move to Harvard, citing Caltech’s lackluster commitment to diversity.

His own interest in the topic, he says, came out of the same basic curiosity that drives his research. “I’m really curious about how planets form,” says Johnson, whose research has helped astronomers revise their attitudes about planets around dwarf stars, which are now considered some of the best places to search for life. “The other thing I want to know the answer to is: Where are all the black folks? Because the further I went in my career, the fewer and fewer black people I saw.”

When he looked up the diversity statistics, Johnson became even more convinced: first that a problem existed, and then that something needed to be done about it. Not just for the sake of fairness, but for the advancement of the field.

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Hillary Clinton to Give Alt-Right Recruitment Speech

Hillary Clinton to Give Alt-Right Recruitment Speech:

Hillary Clinton will speak about – as her press office put it – “Donald Trump and his advisors’ embrace of the disturbing ‘alt-right’ political philosophy.” Whether or not that speech helps Clinton’s presidential bid, it will almost certainly help the alt-right.

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11 Incredible Findings from the Report on Baltimore PD

11 Incredible Findings from the Report on Baltimore PD:

The Department of Justice released its report on the Baltimore Police Department on August 10, and the results are stunning, even for people who are used to reading about police misconduct. Individual cases of brutality make the headlines, but the problem with BPD is not a “few bad apples,” who could be fired to fix the department. It’s the system itself, from top to bottom.

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The Justice Department’s Stunning Report on the Baltimore Police Department

The Justice Department’s Stunning Report on the Baltimore Police Department:

It’s a gobsmacking documentation of systemic racism, harassment, brutality, and constitutional violations – not just by individual officers, but as a matter of policy.

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The Right to Resist and the Vindication of Julius Holmes

The Right to Resist and the Vindication of Julius Holmes:

Julius Holmes was in his Macon, Georgia apartment cooking dinner when Officer Rogers arrived to arrest him.

“I’ll be damned if you will,” Holmes hissed, making a furtive move toward a handgun he had placed on a nearby bed.

Miraculously, Holmes wasn’t gunned down by Officer Rogers, who simply shoved him aside and seized the gun.

“I’ve come for you, and I am going to carry you even if it takes the whole police force,” Rogers growled.

“It probably will,” Holmes defiantly replied. “Go ahead and call them. I’ll die before I’ll be arrested.”

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Cops Face Investigation After One Attacks Teacher, Another Explains Why He’s Racist

Cops Face Investigation After One Attacks Teacher, Another Explains Why He’s Racist:

Officials are investigating an Austin police officer’s violent arrest of an African-American elementary school teacher who was twice thrown to the ground during a traffic stop for speeding and comments by a second officer who told her police are sometimes wary of blacks because of their “violent tendencies.”

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What the Data Says About Police and Racial Bias

What the Data Says About Police and Racial Bias:

As the nation reels from a series of high-profile fatal shootings of black men by police officers, many have decried the lack of readily available data on how racial bias factors into American policing. But while it’s true that there is no adequate federal database of fatal police shootings, there exists a wealth of academic research, official and media investigations, and court rulings on the topic of race and law enforcement.

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The USA’s Trifurcated Legal System

The USA’s Trifurcated Legal System:

The FBI’s recommendation against the prosecution of Hillary Clinton for her wanton, illegal mishandling of classified information in her emails puts on display once again the reality of the so-called rule of law in the USA. This reality is, above all, that the system is trifurcated: there is effectively one set of rules for the great mass of white, middle-class citizens; another set for blacks, Mexicans, and poor whites; and, most notably, another set for the powerful and connected members of the ruling elite.

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