Subscribe

Revelations: I Shot a Man in Reno…

January 25, 2015 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Arts and Culture, Civil Rights, Criminal Injustice Series, Intersectionality, Prison Industrial Complex

Legal Debate on Using Boastful Rap Lyrics as a Smoking Gun

 Meet Tiny Doo, the rapper facing life in prison for making an album

As rappers go, Brandon Duncan’s approach is not unusual: his lyrics reflect the violent reality of the streets. But in the pantheon of rappers who have had run-ins with the courts, Tiny Doo looms large. Despite his lack of a criminal record, Duncan stands accused of nine counts of participating in a “criminal street gang conspiracy”, charges that could land him in prison for life.

But Duncan is not charged with participating in any of the crimes underlying the conspiracy, or even agreeing to them. Rather, he’s effectively on trial for making a rap album…

Putting a musician on trial for his lyrics is antithetical to Americans’ free speech rights, and quite possibly unconstitutional. What’s more, the “criminal street gang conspiracy” law that Duncan is charged with violating – part of an anti-gang initiative package passed by California voters in 2000 – stands in marked contrast to conspiracy as California has traditionally defined it.

Ordinarily, to be guilty of conspiracy in California an individual must agree with another person to commit a crime, then at least one of them must take action to further that conspiracy. The charge Duncan faces requires no such agreement: so long as prosecutors can show that Duncan is an active member of the gang and knows about its general criminal activity, past or present, he can be convicted for benefiting from its acts…

black line Capture

Revelations: Writing on the Wall

January 18, 2015 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Intersectionality, What People are Doing to Change the World

A Pile of Crowns, for Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1988

A Pile of Crowns, for Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1988

Keith Haring: The Political Line | de Young

Revelations: Lucky

January 12, 2015 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Eco-Justice, Intersectionality, Spirituality

Lucky I me and Muir Woods 1/11/2015

Lucky I
me and Muir Woods 1/11/2015

(more…)

Revelations: Rise Like Lions…

January 04, 2015 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Eco-Justice, Intersectionality

2014 Wildlife photographer of the Year overall and black and white category winner: The last great picture by Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols (USA) showing five female lions at rest with their cubs in Tanzania’s Serengeti national park. Photograph: Michael Nichols/2014 WPY

2014 Wildlife photographer of the Year overall and black and white category winner: The last great picture by Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols (USA) showing five female lions at rest with their cubs in Tanzania’s Serengeti national park.
Photograph: Michael Nichols/2014 WPY

2014 Wildlife Photography Awards Round-up – in pictures

Animal Photographs of the Year 2014

“Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number-
Ye are many-they are few.”

― Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Masque of Anarchy: Written on Occasion of the Massacre at Manchester

His Eye Is On The Sparrow…

December 14, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Arts and Culture, Civil Rights, Police Brutality, Police State

CI: Beyond Words

December 10, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Arts and Culture, Criminal Injustice Series, Intersectionality, Police Brutality, Police State, Prison Industrial Complex

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.

 

Beyond Words
by nancy a heitzeg

How many words have been written of Mike Brown? of Ferguson? How many more will come — Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Darrien Hunt, Vonderitt Myers, Kajieme Powell, Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, one every 28 hours?

We’ve written many ourselves — some here, here, here, here, and here – but now, what new words are there?  Suspended for the moment – like an ant in ancient amber- I can only return again to the first words on Ferguson, written before we even knew Darren Wilson’s name… Back to the beginning, to August 13, to Jelani Cobb in The Anger in Ferguson:

“The hazard of engaging with the history of race in the United States is the difficulty of distinguishing the past from the news of the day….The truth is that you’ve read this… so often that the race-tinged death story has become a genre itself, the details plugged into a grim template of social conflict.”

In this spectacle and script, all that has changed are the names. What it is left to say?

So no words now. The bodies in the street, the die-ins on the freeways, the symbolic protests will carry us through. And the artists will give us strength to fight another day.

 

The New Age of Slavery by Patrick Campbell

The New Age of Slavery by Patrick Campbell

h/t @Luvvie, Luvvie’s Lane

John Lennon (10/9/40 – 12/8/80) ☮ ☮ ☮

December 08, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Civil Rights, Intersectionality, Military Industrial Complex, What People are Doing to Change the World

“He Was a Holy Fool” ~ UK Guardian

 

The Death and Life of John Lennon, by Pete Hamill

New York Magazine, December 20, 1980

“The news arrived like fragment of some forgotten ritual. First a flash on television, interrupting the tail end of a football game. Then the telephones ringing, back and forth across the city, and then another bulletin, with more details, and then more phone calls from around the country, from friends, from kids with stunned voices, and then the dials being flipped from channel to channel while WINS played on the radio. And yes: It was true. Yes: Somebody had murdered John Lennon.

And because it was John Lennon, and because it was a man with a gun, we fell back into the ritual. If you were there for the sixties, the ritual was part of your life. You went through it for John F. Kennedy and for Martin Luther King, for Malcolm X and for Robert Kennedy. The earth shook, and then grief was slowly handled by plunging into newspapers and television shows. We knew there would be days of cliché-ridden expressions of shock from the politicians; tearful shots of mourning crowds; obscene invasions of the privacy of The Widow; calls for gun control; apocalyptic declarations about the sickness of America; and then, finally, the orgy over, everybody would go on with their lives.

Except . . . this time there was a difference. Somebody murdered John Lennon. Not a politician. Not a man whose abstract ideas could send people to wars, or bring them home; not someone who could marshal millions of human beings in the name of justice; not some actor on the stage of history. This time, someone had crawled out of a dark place, lifted a gun, and killed an artist. This was something new. The ritual was the same, the liturgy as stale as ever, but the object of attack was a man who had made art. This time the ruined body belonged to someone who had made us laugh, who had taught young people how to feel, who had helped change and shape an entire generation, from inside out. This time someone had murdered a song. “

black line Capture

Revelations: “Today’s art has been cancelled due to police activity”

November 30, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Arts and Culture, Civil Rights, Intersectionality, What People are Doing to Change the World

banksybanksy1