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Linn Washington is a weekly columnist for the Philadelphia Tribune and This Can't Be Happening. Washington writes frequently on inequities in the criminal justice system, ills in society and failings of the news media. He teaches multi-media urban journalism at Temple University.
Philly's Top Cop Flops - Again - Backing Bigotry By Boys In Blue
The Police Commissioner of Philadelphia is facing mounting criticism for his blanket defense of the PPD officers who arrested two black men for simply sitting inside a Starbucks located in a ritzy section of the downtown area. White customers in the coffee shop said the black men did nothing to merit the arrest.
Thursday, November 9, 2017(6 comments)
General Kelly - Historically Ignorant or Hysterically Bigoted?
The only successful insurrection in American history took place on November 10, 1898 in Wilmington, North Carolina when white racists violently overthrew that city's elected government. The Wilmington insurrection is another event exposing the inaccuracy of the 'Heritage Not Hate' claim for sustaining monuments to the Confederacy.
Malodorous Maelstrom Surrounds AG Jeff Sessions
The failure of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reveal his contacts with a key Russian diplomat during or after his Senate confirmation hearing carries the stench of a fart that an orchestrated cover-up cannot dissipate.
Trump Exposes His Ignorance and Intolerance - Again
Miscues on race continue to plague President Donald Trump. Those miscues are either mistakes arising from ignorance or actions reflecting a profound intolerance. The miscues are unacceptable regardless of origin.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Ethically Challenged Philly DA Exits Reelection Race
Combative Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams stunned that city recently with an announcement that he would not seek reelection in the wake of scandals spinning around him for ethics violations and selective prosecution claims.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016(1 comments)
Brexit-Trump Comparisons Miss Key Points
Embedded in the base of both the Brexit and Trump votes are strands of racism that too many analysts of all ideological stripes on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean blithely dismiss.
Thursday, October 27, 2016(2 comments)
Pot Decriminalization Saves Philadelphia Millions
Decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana has saved the City of Philadelphia millions in enforcement costs. Equally important, decriminalization has saved thousands the costs of arrest and a criminal record/
Philadelphia DA Hammered Over Unethical Antics
Hardline Philadelphia DA Seth Williams is being hammered by local news media for his failure to report thousands of dollars in 'gifts' for five years. Critics contend this lapse by Williams is hypocritical.
Thursday, July 28, 2016(6 comments)
Donald, Hillary and Cannabis: Stoned Stupid On Legalization
The American public supports the legalization of marijuana, however, the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates both oppose legalization. Repeated studies over the past decades disprove claims that marijuana is dangerous and document that pot law enforcement is discriminatory along racial lines.
Monday, July 25, 2016(6 comments)
Green Party's Stein Walks With Poor While Democrats Party
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein met with the homeless and others in one of Philadelphia's most impoverished communities on the day before the opening of the Democratic National Convention in the city that tags itself as the Birthplace of American Democracy. Stein and others condemned the obscenity of expending $60-million-plus on DNC functions including lavish parties.
Evil In England: The Rise Of Islamophobia
Islamophobia ranges from disdainful stares and caustic comments to physical assaults. A few assaults have ended in fatalities. And then there are British government policies like 'Prevent' -- the professed counter-terrorism program that seemingly is targeted solely at Muslims. Prevent enlists citizens to report actions and attitudes deemed suspicious.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016(1 comments)
Clintonian Political Calculus And The Culture Of Hooey
Former President Bill Clinton is fudging facts regarding his actions and mainly inactions on the issue of addressing racism in law enforcement during his two terms in the Oval Office. Forgotten facts about Clinton's actions place contemporary claims by him and his presidential candidate wife in an unflattering light.
Friday, February 26, 2016
Hollywood's Big Lie - Past Haunts Present
Top Hollywood producers promised the NAACP 74-years ago that they would improve movie roles for blacks and reduce racist stereotypes in movies. That promise was never kept. The failure to keep the promise pollutes the movie industry today and is an element of the controversy surrounding the 2016 Academy Awards.
Thursday, December 3, 2015(2 comments)
Cover-up of a Police Murder Requires Resignation of Chicago Mayor Emanuel
Evidence surrounding the fatal October 2014 shooting of a black teen by a white policeman in Chicago indicates that authorities in Chicago from police officers to top city officials engaged in a cover-up. That cover-up -- rather bungling or calculated -- demands the resignations of Chicago's mayor and top prosecutor.
Friday, October 16, 2015(1 comments)
Police Brutality Binds Protests In DC And Paris
Abuses by police from false arrests to fatal shootings is an issue of long-standing in both America and France. Those two allied nations that justify their foreign military incursions on the need to enforce the rule of law rarely enforce their own laws against brutal police.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015(2 comments)
Bold Step: Reparations Movements Make International Connections
Activists seeking reparations for ravages of slavery, colonialism and institutional racism gathered in New York City recently to strengthen bonds and coordinate activities. Those activists included ambassadors from Caribbean nations to elderly supporters on canes. Activists know that they are in an 'uphill struggle' yet vow to press forward.
Monday, December 29, 2014(1 comments)
Sea Change In US-Cuba Relations Makes Waves Deep In Desert
The historic change in relations between the U.S. and Cuba created expectations among many in Algeria that the U.S. would adopt a tougher stance on its staunch ally Morocco, pressuring Morocco to comply with United Nations mandates to end its illegal occupation of the 'Last Colony' in Africa - the Western Sahara.
Robert P. McColloch Personifies Misconduct by Prosecutors
St. Louis County top prosecutor Robert P. McColloch has a sordid history of abusing legal protections in his campaigns to convict innocent persons and absolve guilty police officers. McColloch's actions in the clearing of Officer Darren Wilson are all too typical of this prosecutor who bends rules to reach predetermined results arising from flawed, often biased opinions.
Lawless Law Enforcers: America's Terrorists
Abuses by police, that authors persistently dismiss as isolated incidents, have an ugly history in America inclusive of persistent denial by the very authorities charged with correcting lawlessness by law enforcers.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Pa Prosecutors Parry on Prejudice
Two top prosecutors in Pennsylvania are engaged in a war-of-words over allegations that race prejudice tainted a political corruption probe forcing cancellation of that probe. Yet both of these prosecutors have track records of failing to fulfill a fundamental duty of prosecutors: seek justice not just convictions.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014(3 comments)
U.S. Senate Uses Abu-Jamal to 'Tar' Obama Nominee
The U.S. Senate vote to reject President Obama's nominee to head the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department trashed the 'rule of law' and established a dangerous climate for lawyers contemplating handling contentious cases.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013(3 comments)
Obama Failed To Deliver Long-Overdue Apology To Mandela
America played a despicable role in helping white racists perpetuate apartheid rule in South Africa. That assistance included helping apartheid authorities arrest Nelson Mandela in 1962. When President Obama spoke at Mandela's memorial he missed an opportunity to right historic wrongs of America in South Africa.
Does Shaq Support Censorship - He Slam Dunks Film on Famed Inmate
The Newark movie complex co-owned by famed basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal cancelled the screening of a documentary film prompting cries of censorship. This film examines imprisoned author/activist/journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, uniquely focusing on the 'who' of Abu-Jamal unlike the 'whodunit' crime focus of prior films on this contentious case.
Light on the Dark Side of Dorner's Rampage
The murderous rampage by a fired LAPD officer magnifies two persistent problems with news media coverage: mangling context regarding police brutality and missing the role prosecutors play in perpetuating the brutality problem.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Film Provides Rare Glimpse of the Real Mumia Abu-Jamal
The new film "Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal" focuses on the 'Who' of this man at the center of an international movement to secure his release from prison. The focus on the 'Who' not the whodunit aspect of this controversial case is unique.
News Media Blind Again to GOP Racism
Mainstream media coverage of the RNC always includes stories purportedly examining the issue of race prejudice practiced by the Republican Party. But that coverage consistently misses a prime example of RNC prejudice: the exclusion of black-owned businesses.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Kafkaesque Parole Practices Ruin Lives
New Jersey State Parole personnel have place Daryl Brooks in a Kafkaesque predicament - admit guilt for a crime he denies committing or return to prison for that crime that already cost him three years in prison. The parole abuse of Brooks is not an isolated incident.
Pa Judge's Ruling Revives 'Taxation Without Representation'
A Pennsylvania judge upheld that state's controversial Voter ID law setting the stage for an appeal to the PA Supreme Court in this case drawing national attention. Opponents term the new law 'voter suppression' a charge given credence by a top PA Republican legislator who said the law will help Romney win Pennsylvania.
Monday, August 6, 2012
Conservative English Officials Ignore Lessons of 2011 Riots
The August 2011 riots rocked England body and soul. But Britain's conservative leaders have failed to heed lessons from those destructive outbursts. Officials refuse to reverse 'austerity' measures that are producing misery in living standards and crackdown on police abuse which triggered the riots.
Friday, July 27, 2012
Games Played on Poor at London 2012 Olympics
British leaders pledged to help that nation's poor, particularly in London, when winning the award for the London 2012 Olympics. But that disappeared as fast as an Olympic sprinter. The billions spent on Olympic preparations bypassed the poor.
Student Photographer's Arrest: Snapshot of Systemic Abuse
The arrest of a student photographer in Philadelphia for simply photographing police in public again highlights disturbing issues of police abuse and prosecutors condoning that abuse -- also evident in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.
"occupy London" Starts Church Row
Money issues of who-gets-what drives 'Occupy' movement worldwide and in London a unique money issue pits the "Occupy London Stock Exchange" effort against the historic St. Paul's Cathedral.
Obama's Terror War Misses Domestic Targets
An insidious form of domestic terrorism ravishing thousands of governmental employees in America escapes targeting in the vaulted War on Terrorism because its as American as apple pie.
Monday, April 4, 2011(4 comments)
Mass Incarceration Creates Big Mess Across America
Mass incarceration is a slow-death that slaughters inmates, their families and their communities yet this scourge is ignored by President Obama who justifies intervention in Libya on the grounds of stopping slaughter.
Pa's Corbett Expands Conservative War on Middle-class
Pa's first-term Republican Governor recently proposed draconian cuts in education funding from pre-K through college. Corbett's proposals continue the GOP's onslaught against the middle-class evident in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states.
'Alley Cat' Ethics and Other Antics
Ethics reform looks good in news headlines but the true measure is protecting victims from abuse. The track record in Philadelphia of officials abusing the victims of municipal corruption undercuts claims of meaningful ethics reform.