Our criminal courts are inherently racist

Our legal system has a serious problem with racism, and I say that as an attorney and a Black man. As discussed below, this is not just some idea of mine; the history, statistics, and peer-reviewed studies make this conclusion sadly inescapable. Starting with my own personal experiences as an attorney who handles criminal defense work in Illinois and Iowa, I see a difference in how my Black or Brown clients are treated by the court system, compared to how … Continued

Concrete steps to fix the problem of police brutality in America

The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Botham Jean, Elijah McClain, and so many others at the hands of the police have sparked a civil rights movement in the US and around the world. In particular, watching a police officer crush the life out of George Floyd was just too much for the consciences of many decent people. Hearing George Floyd call out for his mother as his life was being extinguished was something that touched the hearts of … Continued

When Protesting, the Perfect is the Enemy of the Good

A gentleman who opposes police brutality and racism publicly stated that he would not attend a protest against police brutality and racism because that protest didn’t also address the problems of inner-city violence and the related social woes. I respectfully disagree and am sharing my response to him here:

The problem with “All Lives Matter”

The “All Lives Matter” response to “Black Lives Matter” is a disingenuous attempt to downplay the fact that the lives of black (and brown) people are undervalued and often ended by the police in the United States. The point of “Black Lives Matter” is not to say that *only* black lives matter, or that black lives matter more, but rather to bring attention to the fact that many police officers and other people routinely act as though the lives of … Continued

White Supremacists falsely Accuse Black Lives Matters protesters of violence

People who are opposed to civil rights progress have a long history of trying to smear civil rights groups and their organizers. That was true for Dr. Martin Luther King and it remains true today with Black Lives Matter. The following examples illustrate that point, and show how BLM is being falsely blamed. So, when you see a news article or facebook post blaming protesters for violence or property damage, please be skeptical and realize there is a very good … Continued

For the people who are tired of protests and activism surrounding police brutality and racism

I am entirely unconcerned about people who are inconvenienced by seeing a protest, or seeing activism on Facebook. If you think that seeing a protest or having Black Lives Matters show up in your facebook newsfeed is tiring, let me assure you that actually experiencing racism and abuse from the police is a lot more upsetting and exhausting. If you want to see Black Lives Matters protests go away, then take action to solve the problem that causes the protests. … Continued

All opinions are not of equal value

In recent weeks I’ve seen a significant uptick in debates where people seem to take the view that their uninformed opinion on racism, civil rights, and police brutality are of equal weight to an informed opinion. That just isn’t the case. This is a somewhat long post, but I’ll try to be as brief as I can without skipping anything important. A couple of years ago I hurt my shoulder in a martial arts accident. I could tell something was … Continued

Confederate statues and “destroying history”

Confederate statues are not “history” but rather efforts to give a giant middle finger to civil rights progress. The article below makes that point clear, explaining the timing, location, and motivations of the people who put up those statues. In a nutshell, those statues were put up by white supremacists in response to civil rights progress that they didn’t like. Beyond that, the confederates are losers who took up arms against their country, and slaughtered good American soldiers to try … Continued

Systematic racism is real

Although the existence and effects of systematic racism are well studied, there are still some people who try to deny its existence.  The following links should help clear up any confusion. Definition of Systemic Racism in Sociology: https://www.thoughtco.com/systemic-racism-3026565 Finally, an explanation of systemic racism that won’t put you to sleep: https://www.vox.com/2015/4/23/8482799/systemic-racism-explained-examples Fourteen examples of systemic racism in the US criminal justice system: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2010/07/26/fourteen-examples-systemic-racism-us-criminal-justice-system A DEA agent speaks out about how he was directed to enforce drug laws in poor minority … Continued

A Public Service Announcement

PSA: Just because you can dig up a Youtube video of a black guy saying racism doesn’t exist, or a Jewish person who says Hitler was right, or a woman who opposes the ability of other women to vote, it is not evidence that any of those things are true. But, it may be compelling evidence that you are a bigot who is grasping at straws to justify your bigotry. To be sure that doesn’t apply to everyone sharing videos/posts … Continued

Trump, Race, and Police Brutality

I’ve spent a fair amount of time debating President Trump and his actions as to race and police brutality.   I’ve put together this page to have my links and information I would provide in those debates conveniently available.   Trump undid Department of Justice reforms that were putting a stop to police brutality and holding the police accountable: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/05/trumps-george-floyd-obama-protest-police-violence-kneeling.html Trump pardoned former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, preventing Arpaio from facing the criminal consequences of his repeated violations of civil rights: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/a-flagrant-assault-on-latino-civil-rights/538119/ … Continued

To my friends and “family” who turn a blind eye to racism and police violence

There is something that I don’t understand, and which I’m hoping someone can help me understand. I know people (on facebook and in real life) who don’t seem to care about the police violence that has led to civil unrest. I have people that I call friends and even family who have not said a single word when it comes to the ongoing, well documented, and pervasive problem of police brutality. Even more confusing to me are the ones who … Continued