humanrightswatch

micdotcom:

Potent minimalist art sends a strong message about police and vigilante brutality in America

Journalist and artist Shirin Barghi has created a gripping, thought-provoking series of graphics that not only examines racial prejudice in today’s America, but also captures the sense of humanity that often gets lost in news coverage. Titled “Last Words,” the graphics illustrate the last recorded words by Brown and other young black people — Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant and others — who have been killed by police in recent years.

Let us not forget their voices

With riots raging in Ferguson, MO following the shooting death by police of an unarmed African-American youth, the nation has turned its eyes toward social injustice and the continuing crisis of race relations. Here are The Onion’s tips for being an unarmed black teen in America:

1. Shy away from dangerous, heavily policed areas.
2. Avoid swaggering or any other confident behavior that suggests you are not completely subjugated.
3. Be sure not to pick up any object that could be perceived by a police officer as a firearm, such as a cell phone, a food item, or nothing.
4. Explain in clear and logical terms that you do not enjoy being shot, and would prefer that it not happen.
5. Don’t let society stereotype you as a petty criminal. Remember that you can be seen as so much more, from an armed robbery suspect, to a rape suspect, to a murder suspect.
6. Try to see it from a police officer’s point of view: You may be unarmed, but you’re also black.
7. Avoid wearing clothing associated with the gang lifestyle, such as shirts and pants.
8. Revel in the fact that by simply existing, you exert a threatening presence over the nation’s police force.
9. Be as polite and straightforward as possible when police officers are kicking the shit out of you.

“Law enforcement, from the FBI to state and local police, are obligated to respect and uphold the human rights of our communities,” Mr Hawkins said in a statement on 14 August.
“The US cannot continue to allow those obligated and duty-bound to protect to become those who their community fears most,” said Amnesty International USA’s executive director, Steven W. Hawkins.”

wordsnquotes
But depression wasn’t the word. This was a plunge encompassing sorrow and revulsion far beyond the personal: a sick, drenching nausea at all humanity and human endeavor from the dawn of time. The writhing loathsomeness of the biological order. Old age, sickness, death. No escape for anyone. Even the beautiful ones were like soft fruit about to spoil. And yet somehow people still kept fucking and breeding and popping out new fodder for the grave, producing more and more new beings to suffer like this was some kind of redemptive, or good, or even somehow morally admirable thing: dragging more innocent creatures into the lose-lose game. Squirming babies and plodding, complacent, hormone-drugged moms. Oh, isn’t he cute? Awww. Kids shouting and skidding in the playground with no idea what future Hells await them: boring jobs and ruinous mortgages and bad marriages and hair loss and hip replacements and lonely cups of coffee in an empty house and a colostomy bag at the hospital. Most people seemed satisfied with the thin decorative glaze and the artful stage lighting that sometimes, made the bedrock atrocity of the human predicament look somewhat more mysterious or less abhorrent. People gambled and golfed and planted gardens and traded stocks and had sex and bought new cars and practiced yoga and worked and prayed and redecorated their homes and got worked up over the news and fussed over their children and gossiped about their neighbors and pored over restaurant reviews and founded charitable organizations and supported political candidates and attended the U.S. Open and dined and travelled and distracted themselves with all kinds of gadgets and devices, flooding themselves incessantly with information and texts and communication and entertainment from every direction to try to make themselves forget it: where we were, what we were. But in a strong light there was no good spin you could put on it. It was rotten from top to bottom.
 Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch (via wordsnquotes)