Cops Beat Black Man With Handcuffs Like ‘Brass Knuckles’ and Pulled Down His Pants

SCREENSHOT OF BODY CAMERA FOOTAGE SHOWING FORMER HOUSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICER LUCAS VIEIRA CHASING AND APPREHENDING AUNDRE HOWARD. (VIDEO COURTESY OF KALLINEN LAW) 

One officer has been fired and is facing 99 years in prison.

When Aundre Howard, a Black man, fled from Houston police during a traffic stop in 2019, one of the officers was caught on body camera footage telling his partner to “shoot his ass” as they pursued. When that officer finally caught up to Howard, he used a pair of handcuffs wrapped around his left hand like a pair of brass knuckles to repeatedly punch the fleeing man in the back of the head.

Now, the former police officer is facing prison time.

Lucas Vieira, 31, a four-year-veteran with the Houston Police Department, was indicted by a Harris County District Court grand jury on July 9. Two days later, the Houston Police Department announced that it had fired Vieira months ago, in April. If convicted, he faces up to 99 years in prison as well as a $10,000 fine.

The indictment also comes just over three months after Howard, 34, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing Vieira of unjustly striking him and of violating his right to unjust search and due process.

“Mr. Howard suffered great pain, contusions, humiliation, anxiety, fear, loss of sleep, headaches, and other mental anguish as a result of the defendant’s actions,” according to the lawsuit, which was provided to VICE News by Howard’s attorney, Randall Kallinen. 

“My client is very pleased that the officer was indicted because it validates what he’s been concerned about for a while,” Kallinen told VICE News. “He does feel better that when officers injure people like himself, they do have to face justice just like anybody else would.”

The encounter with police occurred July 7, 2019, when Vieira initiated a stop on Howard’s vehicle for a traffic violation. According to Vieira’s attorney James Siscoe, police noticed marijuana on Howard’s center console when they first approached the car during the traffic stop, prompting a search. Police placed Howard in handcuffs, but they found nothing. As Officer Serrano began to put on rubber gloves for a cavity search, Howard began to run from police toward a nearby freeway, according to the lawsuit.

As he pursued, Vieira screamed out “just fucking shoot his ass, shoot his ass,” and belts out gun shots noises, according to police body camera footage.

The chase only lasted one city block before Vieria caught up with Howard, who’d pooped his pants he was so afraid, according to the lawsuit. The officer then allegedly used his handcuffs as “brass knuckles” and bashed Howard in the back of the head at least three times. Howard, who says he fled in fear of his life, can be heard telling officers “alright, you got it!” as Vieira throws the punches, according to body camera footage. 

Siscoe says his client only hit Howard in the shoulder and that only one of the hits managed to strike the man in the head. He also says that Serrano found 18 grams of cocaine immediately next to where officers caught up with Howard.

When Howard was brought back to the vehicle, the officers on the scene—Vieira’s partner Thomas Serrano and officer Nadeem Aslam, who are also named in the lawsuit— pulled down his pants, exposing his buttocks and genitalia to passersby and made fun of him as he lay there covered in feces.

The lawsuit also alleges that the officers pushed his arms over his head from behind as a pain technique as he lay there handcuffed and defenseless.

“Despite knowing about Vieira’s and other HPD officer’s policy violations, no officer reported any other officer nor was an [Internal Affairs Division] complaint filed by any officer,” the lawsuit alleges.

Howard was initially charged with felony evading arrest and possession of cocaine, but those charges were dropped, according to Houston Public Media.

Vieira’s attorney, James Siscoe, says that his client was unjustly indicted. Not only was he not allowed to present evidence to the grand jury, Vieira’s superiors reviewed the available bodycam footage at the time and concluded that his actions were justified.

“By taking immediate and decisive action in response to Howard’s reckless and dangerous actions, Lucas and his partner probably saved both Howard’s life and possibly that of other motorists on the freeway,” Siscoe said.

Howard’s lawsuit also lists Sgt. Earl Attebury, who arrived after Howard was back in police custody and didn’t reprimand Vieira after he allegedly admitted to using force, as well as former chief of police Art Acevedo, and the city of Houston. 

Howard is seeking damages for the pain, suffering and mental anguish he experienced as a result of this encounter, according to the lawsuit. He also says that the defendants are liable for punitive damages as well as his attorney fees relating to the case.

Viral images show people of color as anti-Asian perpetrators. Don’t believe your lying eyes, It’s really White people attacking Asians!

A new analysis reveals misconceptions about perpetrators, victims, and the general environment around anti-Asian hate incidents. These can have “long-term consequences for racial solidarity,” researcher Janelle Wong said.

Activists participate in a vigil in response to the Atlanta spa shootings March 17, 2021 in the Chinatown area of Washington, DC.Alex Wong / Getty Images

June 15, 2021, 2:47 PM EDTBy Kimmy Yam

While news reports and social media have perpetuated the idea that anti-Asian violence is committed mostly by people of color, a new analysis shows the majority of attackers are white.

Janelle Wong, a professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, released analysis last week that drew on previously published studies on anti-Asian bias. She found official crime statistics and other studies revealed more than three-quarters of offenders of anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents, from both before and during the pandemic, have been white, contrary to many of the images circulating online.

Wong told NBC Asian America that such dangerous misconceptions about who perpetrates anti-Asian hate incidents can have “long-term consequences for racial solidarity.”

“The way that the media is covering and the way that people are understanding anti-Asian hate at this moment, in some ways, draws attention to these long-standing anti-Asian biases in U.S. society,” Wong said. “But the racist kind of tropes that come along with it — especially that it’s predominantly Black people attacking Asian Americans who are elderly — there’s not really an empirical basis in that.”

Wong examined nine sources and four types of data about anti-Asian hate incidents, including from the reporting forum Stop AAPI Hate, Pew Research, as well as official law enforcement statistics, the majority of them spanning the year and a half when the #StopAAPIHate hashtag was trending. She found major contradictions in the prevailing narrative around perpetrators, victims, and the general environment of racism toward Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. She said such misleading conclusions could be attributed to the lack of context around images, the failure to amplify all aspects of the data or misinterpretations of the research.

A misread of a frequently cited study from this year, published in the American Journal of Criminal Justice, likely contributed to the spread of erroneous narratives, Wong said. The study, which examined hate crime data from 1992 to 2014, found that compared to anti-Black and anti-Latino hate crimes, a higher proportion of perpetrators of anti-Asian hate crimes were people of color. Still, 75 percent of perpetrators were white.

Other studies confirm the findings, Wong wrote. She pointed to separate research from the University of Michigan Virulent Hate Project, which examined media reports about anti-Asian incidents last year and found that upward of 75 percentof news stories identified perpetrators as male and white in instances of physical or verbal assault and harassment when the race of the perpetrator was confirmed. Wong said the numbers could even be an underestimate.

“This is really how crime is framed in the United States — it’s framed as the source is Black,” Wong said.

Karthick Ramakrishnan, founder of AAPI Data, a data and civic engagement nonprofit group, for which Wong also works, said that the public’s perception of perpetrators and victims is largely formed by the images that have been widely circulated — but that they aren’t representative of most anti-Asian bias incidents. For example, the videos that have gone viral are more likely to be from low-income, urban areas where there is more surveillance, he said.

“You have security camera videos that are more available and prevalent in certain types of urban settings. And so that’s what’s available to people in terms of sharing,” Ramakrishnan said. “The videos are more viral than if it’s something that doesn’t have any imagery or video connected to it, like something that’s happening in the suburbs, for example.”

When they are circulated, they play on a loop with no audio. Even though the videos alone don’t provide much detail about what’s happening, they dominate our perceptions, Ramakrishnan said.

“There’s just something so powerful about these visual images so that no matter what the social science might say, people believe their eyes and especially the images that get played on repeat now,” he said.

Ramakrishnan said anti-Blackness among Asian Americans and the diaspora could also affect how such images are disseminated. Often, videos that confirm prejudices are shared not only on U.S. social networks but also on international messaging apps.

“These kinds of images and narratives of racial tension — Black violence on Asian people — are getting shared in Asia, as well. There is a transnational component to it,” he said. “Whatever aspect of anti-Black racism or racial prejudice that some Asian Americans might have will also matter, in terms of what ends up being more prominent, because these go to social networks, especially through social networks apps, as well.”

Wong said many erroneous assumptions persist about the identities of victims and the types of hate incidents they have confronted. She said there’s a widely held belief that such incidents are generally violent, when studies show that most of the racism Asian Americans have faced because of the pandemic is verbal harassment or shunning. Wong said that although older Asian women are typically thought of as the victims of such crimes, research shows that about 7 percent of reported incidents have involved anyone over 60.

Wong said that while any hate crime or incident is unacceptable, the astronomical increases often reported in headlines don’t capture the full picture of anti-Asian hate. The baseline for anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents has been relatively low, meaning a small growth in the total number of hate incidents can lead to large percentage increases. For example, data indicate that the largest increase occurred in New York City, which jumped from three to 28 anti-Asian hate crimes from 2019 to 2020, about an 833 percent surge. Meanwhile, Sacramento, California, increased from one to eight anti-Asian crimes from 2019 to 2020 — a small jump in raw numbers that equates to an increase of 700 percent.

“Even in jurisdictions reporting the most dramatic year-over-year increases in hate crimes, like New York City, the rate was lower than the proportion of Asian Americans in the population,” Wong said.

Asian Americans aren’t the only racial group that has met challenges during the pandemic. Wong said official law enforcement statistics show that in the 26 largest jurisdictions, which include areas like New York City, anti-Asian hate crimes accounted for 6.3 percent of all reported hate crimes.

Black Americans have long faced higher rates of hate crimes. Even though official 2019 law enforcement data show a drop in anti-Black hate crime reports, Black people were still, by far, the most targeted racial group, Wong said. That year, 58 percent of reported hate crimes were motivated by anti-Black bias, while a far smaller proportion, 4 percent, were motivated by anti-Asian bias. About 14 percent were motivated by anti-Latino bias.

Last year, when Asian Americans dealt with coronavirus-specific stereotypes, 27 percent of Asian Americans reported having ever experienced hate crimes or incidents, while 34 percent of Black Americans did, according to an AAPI Data survey.

“People overestimate the degree to which they, individually, are likely to be the victim of the crime. And so what we’re seeing right now, because there’s so much media coverage — even though we see that Asian Americans account for, no matter how you cut it, a minority of the hate crimes in any place — they feel like they’re the most likely to be attacked,” she said.

That isn’t to say that increases haven’t occurred or that verbal harassment and such incidents aren’t of concern, Wong said. There has been a marked increase in discrimination toward Asian Americans that deserves attention. But selectively amplifying aspects of the issue or omitting context can further perpetuate dangerous stereotypes and break opportunities for solidarity among marginalized groups, she said. Ramakrishnan said that when people reach for policy solutions based on insufficient information, they may not solve the issue.

Ramakrishnan called on the media and other institutions not only to add more context to information, but also to draw responsible conclusions from the data. He also emphasized that while the media are hyperfocused on anti-Asian crimes, Asian American and Pacific Islanders deal with a vast range of issues, including language barriers and immigration struggles, which aren’t captured in coverage of pandemic racism.

“Nuance is difficult to get people to rally around and pay attention to. Sensationalism is what gets attention. But hopefully, it’s the nuance that keeps them there so they want to go deeper in their understanding,” Ramakrishnan said. “I’m hopeful that what got a lot of people to care and pay attention were these hate incidents and horrific crimes but hoping that what keeps people interested is understanding the larger set of issues that affect these American Pacific Islanders.”

WE MUST NEVER FORGET!

REPOST:
“Soooo you mean to tell me that someone down your ancestry line survived being chained to other human bodies for several months in the bottom of a disease-infested ship during the Middle Passage, lost their language, customs and traditions, picked up the English language as best they could while working free of charge from sunup to sundown as they watched babies sold from out of their arms and women raped by ruthless slave owners.

Took names with no last names, no birth certificates, no heritage of any kind, braved the Underground Railroad, survived the Civil War to enter into sharecropping… Learned to read and write out of sheer will and determination, faced the burning crosses of the KKK, everted their eyes at the black bodies swinging from ropes hung on trees… Fought in World Wars as soldiers to return to America as boys, marched in Birmingham, hosed in Selma, jailed in Wilmington, assassinated in Memphis, segregated in the South, ghettoed in the North, ignored in history books, stereotyped in Hollywood… and in spite of it all someone in your family line endured every era to make sure you would get here and you receive one rejection, face one obstacle, lose one friend, get overlooked, and you want to quit? How dare you entertain the very thought of quitting. People, you will never know survived from generation to generation so you could succeed. Don’t you dare let them down!

Give this to your young people who don’t know their history and want to get weak!

It is NOT in our DNA to quit!”

‘My baby told me he was tired’: First-grader who shot himself may have been bullied to death, parents say

Seven-year-old Jeffery Taylor told his parents that kids at school called him the n-word, ‘blacky’ and ugly.

SAN ANTONIO — Jermaine and LaKeisha Chaney, who have seven children, are still mourning the loss of their youngest son, Jeffery Taylor.

“It’s been a struggle. I put on this beautiful face, but inside I hurt because I miss my baby,” LaKeisha said.

Taylor loved God, church music, boxing, hats, costumes and pranks. The 7-year-old was known for being the first one up or getting up in the middle of the night for snacks, only to be found sleeping on the couch in the morning.

“He wasn’t a bad child,” Jermaine said.

Now, their home on Channel View in southeast San Antonio seems silent without his presence. For the grieving couple, the noise of their anguish bangs loud as a drum.

“A lot of people don’t know his story,” LaKeisha said.

The hurting mother said that on Dec. 20, 2019, her son got off the bus with his head hanging down.

“Why are you so sad? This is the last day of school?” she said. “Shouldn’t you be happy?  (It’s) Christmas break?”

According to his mother, he said, “I should, but I’m not happy. I want to get away from that school. They don’t listen to me. They don’t like me.”

She said Taylor alleged students from various grades called him the “N-word,” “Blacky,” “snaggletooth” and ugly. According to the Chaneys, the students went as far as destroying her son’s shoes and a pair of boots.

“It just seems like he just was being targeted and picked on,” Jermaine said. “He was just that one person that stood out.”

At a parent/teacher conference, his mother said her son’s desk sat segregated from the rest of the class. They said he was the only Black student.  The teacher reportedly said Taylor might have been having issues with other students.

“No matter what I said to him that Friday, the day before,” LaKeshia said, “it wasn’t enough because he was already broken.”

The Chaneys said they kissed their sleeping children goodnight after returning from an outing on Dec. 20. The following day, the mother said, she thought it odd Taylor was not up. She asked a sibling to check on him.

Everyone around her was crying. 

“When I went to that room, all I could do is just scream,” Jermaine said. “I just ran back out screaming at my wife. She couldn’t hear me.”

Her daughter pulled the earbuds playing gospel music from her mother’s ear. LaKeisha said her daughter said her brother felt hard.

“I went straight to the room. I saw my baby laying there, like he normally is,” she said. “But when I looked to the left, I saw my gun. And I saw dry blood on my baby’s face.”

His mother said she screamed and screamed more. She said she grabbed her son.

“And I just started holding Jeffery in my arms. My baby was hard as a rock. Just hard as a rock,” she said. “I put him back…and all I could do was run.”

San Antonio Police officials responded to the home for a shooting in progress call. The 7-year-old boy died at home. 

Investigators called the shooting an accident, but they didn’t say if they looked for signs of suicide.

“How could this happen?” Jermaine said. 

The couple, who said they train to handle guns, thought their kids were unaware of firearms in the home. Taylor, according to his parents, did not even have play guns.

LaKeisha said her son found the gun in a Bible case under her bed. The couple accepts the responsibility for the first-grader finding the weapon. But the reason he retrieved it, in their mind, may tilt beyond accidental.

“I’m not sure what to think because my baby told me he was tired,” LaKeisha said. “With that different voice.”

His parents believe the incidents at school may be to blame.

Taylor attended Salado Elementary School in the East Central Independent School District. The system released the following statement about the allegations and Taylor’s death:

East Central ISD profoundly mourns the loss of Jeffery Taylor. He was a bright and well-liked student and we still, to this day, are in shock and disbelief over this tragedy. Our tight-knit community is filled with love, sorrow, and remembrance for Jeffery and his family. We continue to express our deepest condolences to his family, and our community is united in our compassion for healing and strength.

“We are saddened to hear about the allegations as any form of bullying, harassment, or violence is taken seriously and follows required state law, board policy, and District procedures. The District completed a thorough investigation with many teachers, staff, and classmates to determine if any bullying occurred. The investigation did not produce information to corroborate the allegations. The findings of the investigation were in a letter sent to the family on January 8, 2020.

“We investigated the allegations further at three levels: Salado Elementary, student services, and the superintendent. All investigations did not support the allegations.

“Approximately a little over a month before the incident occurred in 2019, Jeffery’s teacher had a regularly scheduled parent conference with the mother. Bullying was never mentioned in the parent conference. No reports or complaints were ever filed or brought to the attention of Jeffery’s teacher, school, or District office.

“East Central ISD provides ongoing training to its staff regarding bullying prevention and identification. Jeffery’s teacher had completed this training prior to the incident. 

“After Jeffery’s passing, East Central ISD offered counseling and bereavement services to the Taylor family multiple times. The District also provided extensive support to friends and classmates of Jeffery.

“East Central ISD stands proudly united in our commitment to inclusion and diversity. Our schools participate in lessons regarding bullying prevention every October and offer many events for the students and community regarding inclusion. Our East Central Police Department has an active presence daily on campuses and promotes “see something, say something” as part of Operation Safe Schools. Our equity committee and task force continue to be proactive in assessing that our system protocols and procedures continue to be equitable and inclusive. 

“East Central ISD again expresses its deepest condolences and continues to be a source of support and healing.”

In three audio recordings obtained by KENS 5, ESCISD Superintendent Roland Toscano met with LaKeisha, a minister’s alliance supporting Taylor and his grandmother.

Toscano said his investigation revealed Taylor had no academic issues. The elementary school student, described as a leader, had no problem calling out students who did not align with school rules. That, Toscano said, may have caused some contention.

Toscano talked about the challenges of getting solid accounts from students for such a serious investigation on the recordings.

But Taylor’s defenders said he never got a chance to list his alleged offenders due to his death.

The school leader said if a person feels bullied, that perception remains valid to the victim.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a hotline for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else. To speak with a certified listener, call 1-800-273-8255.

Virginia Commonwealth U. Student Body President: ‘I Hate White People So Much Its Not Even Funny’

The student body president of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) was discovered posting extreme, racist, and violent rhetoric on social media, which included advocating for the targeted killings of law enforcement. In one post to social media, the “transgender & non-binary” leader of VCU’s student government wrote: “i hate white people so much its not even funny.”

“Ur reminder to advocate for the [killing] of [kops],” tweeted VCU student body president Taylor Marie Maloney in March, from the now-suspended Twitter account, @okrasocialist, according to a report by Post Millennial.

In another tweet, the student body president celebrated the killing of a Capitol Police officer.

“love this we need more of this,” Maloney wrote in response to a tweet from the Associated Press, which read, “A Capitol Police officer was killed after a car rammed into law enforcement at security barricade. A second officer was injured, police say.”

On the day of the Derek Chauvin verdict, Maloney took to Twitter to proclaim that she hoped “that man” would be acquitted, so that rioters can “burn this bitch to the ground.”

“i hope that man walks so we can burn this bitch to the ground,” the student body president tweeted.

A few days later, Maloney tweeted, “riot riot riot,” and “loot loot loot.”

“i hate white people so much its not even funny,” Maloney added in a follow-up tweet.

Maloney has also taken to social media to defend the two teenagers who were charged in the fatal carjacking of Uber Eats driver Mohammad Anwar last month, tweeting, in part, “im sorry but a world where 13/15 year olds feel like they have to carjack is fucked up enough.”

The student body president also recently called for the burning of city buses in Richmond, Virginia, tweeting, “when richmond gonna fry up another grtc bus? when are we gonna see some action again? i thought yall was anarchists.”

Last summer, Maloney was arrested for trespassing in Monroe Park in Richmond, Virginia, while protesting, according to a reportby the Commonwealth Times. At the time of her arrest, Maloney was president-elect of VCU’s student government association.

Earlier this month, Maloney was championed by the ACLU of Virginia for being “the first openly transgender & non-binary person to do so at a major public institution,” and for allegedly “making a huge impact on their campus while also being an advocate in their community.”

A university spokesperson told Breitbart News that the school is “aware of the comments made on social media. Calls for violence and hateful language do not reflect the position or values of VCU.”

“The Student Government Association is a student-run organization. Neither the organization nor any of its members or officers speaks or acts on behalf of VCU,” the spokesperson added. “The university does not comment on whether disciplinary action has been taken against a student.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebookand Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler @alana, and on Instagram.

Officer arrested, will face second-degree manslaughter charge in killing of Daunte Wright

Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly A. Potter was arrested late Wednesday morning at the offices of the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the agency said in a statement.

Potter, who resigned from the police department on Tuesday, was booked into Hennepin County jail shortly after noon on a charge of probable cause second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death on Sunday of Daunte Wright, jail records show. The Washington County Attorney’s office was expected to file charges later in the day.

Potter is being represented by attorney Earl Gray, who was not immediately available for comment.

Attorney Ben Crump, who said he has been retained by Wright’s family, issued a statement Wednesday with co-counsel Jeff Storms and Antonio Romanucci in response to the charges.

“While we appreciate that the district attorney is pursuing justice for Daunte, no conviction can give the Wright family their loved one back,” the statement said. “This was no accident. This was an intentional, deliberate, and unlawful use of force,” the statement read. “Driving while Black continues to result in a death sentence. A 26-year veteran of the force knows the difference between a Taser and a firearm.”

A second-degree manslaughter charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison or a $20,000 fine or both.

Minneapolis defense attorney Barry Edwards said statutory maximum sentences don’t mean much, as judges instead follow guidelines from the state Sentencing Guidelines Commission. In the case of someone with no prior felonies facing a second-degree manslaughter conviction, the presumptive and more likely sentence would be four years, he said. And even then, a judge may consider probation instead of prison.

“If it were my client, I would argue for probation … and expect a good chance of winning,” Edwards said.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman referred the case to Washington County Attorney Pete Orput under a practice adopted last year among metro area county attorney’s offices for deadly police shootings. It calls for the county attorney in the jurisdiction where the shooting took place to refer the case to one of the other counties, or the state Attorney General’s Office, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The BCA investigated the shooting.

Potter, 48, joined the Brooklyn Center police force in 1995 at age 22. She was placed on standard administrative leave following the shooting.

Potter was training in a new officer on Sunday at about 2 p.m. when she and two officers stopped a car near N. 63rd and Orchard avenues in Brooklyn Center. Former Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon, who also resigned Tuesday, told media that officers stopped Wright’s car because it had an expired tag, and when they checked his name found he had a warrant.

Hennepin County District Court records show a warrant was issued April 2 for Wright after he failed to make his first court appearance on a case filed in March of carrying a pistol without a permit, a gross misdemeanor, and fleeing police, a misdemeanor.

In bodycam footage released by the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Wright is seen getting out of his car during the stop and standing near the open driver’s door as one of the officers pulls out handcuffs. A few moments later, Wright starts to struggle with the officers and gets back into his car. Potter shouts “Taser!” three times before firing a single bullet, then says “Holy shit. I just shot him.”

With Wright in the driver’s seat, the car pulls away. The car crashed a short distance away when it hit another vehicle. Wright died at the scene. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said Wright died of a gunshot wound to the chest and labeled his death a homicide.

Potter’s arrest marks at least the third time that a U.S. law enforcement officer faced or faces criminal charges for killing someone in what they claim or what appears to be a mix-up between a gun and a Taser.

A 73-year-old volunteer reserve deputy in Oklahoma was charged with second-degree manslaughter in the 2015 death of Eric Harris. Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer Johannes Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a jury trial and sentenced to two years in prison for the 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant III. A third such deadly mix-up that resulted in the 2002 death of Everardo Torres did not lead to criminal charges against the officer.

Law enforcement on Tuesday erected concrete barricades and tall metal fencing around the perimeter of Potter’s multilevel home in Champlin. Two police cars guarded the driveway behind fortified fences marked with signs reading “Caution: Lasers in Use.” Her street was lined with paper “No Parking” signs and blocked to nonresidential traffic. Motorists entering the area were greeted by a buzzing cellphone alert from local police to “expect protest activity in your neighborhood over the next few days.”

At the home of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin last spring, protesters defaced his property in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, scrawling “Murderer” in red paint on the driveway.

Nail Salon Brawls & Boycotts: Unpacking The Black-Asian Conflict In America

As early as I can remember, my dad, an immigrant from Taiwan, would nonchalantly use the term 黑鬼 (hēi guǐ), Mandarin for “black ghost” and essentially the Chinese equivalent of the n-word, to refer to Black people.

From a young age, I understood that the racial discrimination perpetuated against Black people in this country was mirrored in the sentiments of members of my community — a community that also faces intolerance in this country.

There have been ways in which this racial divide has been represented by the victimization of Asians, from coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots to reports of targeted attacks against Asians by Black people. It could be argued that the violence is mutual, but in reality, the Asian community and Asian-owned businesses have much responsibility to bear when it comes to anti-Black violence.

PHOTO: DOUGLAS BURROWS/LIAISON. A beauty supply store set on fire during the Los Angeles Riots.

On Friday, August 3, a dispute over an eyebrow wax became physical at New Red Apple Nails on Nostrand Avenue in East Flatbush, NY. According to a report in the New York Post, customer Christina Thomas was at the nail salon with her sister and grandmother when she received an unsatisfactory eyebrow waxing and refused to pay for the service.

The staff ended up getting violent with the three Black women, with employees hitting them with broomsticks, dustpans, and their hands. A Facebook video of the brawl went viral, which led to protesters trying to shut the down the salon, as well as other Asian-owned nail salons. It also led to a movement amongst Black women to patronize Black-owned businesses.

The New York Healthy Nail Salon Coalition was quick to condemn the violence of New Red Apple Nails’ employees, stating that “at no point, is any level of violence needed or justified,” while Asian American community organizations banded together to call out our complicity to Black oppression. “White supremacy is upheld when Asian American workers who are sometimes exploited with long days and low pay may unjustly take their frustration out with Black customers,” the statement read.

PHOTO: GARY LEONARD/CORBIS/GETTY IMAGES. A row of destroyed businesses after the Los Angeles Riots.

This incident does not stand alone. In fact, there is a long history of Black-Asian conflict in America, and tensions were especially high in the early 1990s in New York and Los Angeles. In 1990, the Flatbush boycott, also known as the Family Red Apple boycott, broke out following the assault of a Haitian woman by employees of the Korean-owned grocery in Brooklyn’s predominately-Black Flatbush neighborhood.

Black protestors called for the boycott of all Korean-owned stores. In 1991, convenience store owner Soon Ja Du shot and killed 15-year-old Latasha Harlins after she wrongly accused Harlins of trying to shoplift a bottle of orange juice from her South Los Angeles store; a security camera video showed the girl had money in her hand to pay for it. Du didn’t serve any jail time.

Harlins’ death is cited as a catalyst to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, in which Korean-owned stores were targeted, looted, and destroyed. Fast-forward to March last year, when Black community members in Charlotte, NC protested Missha Beauty store after owner Sung Ho Lim was filmed choking a Black female customer he suspected of stealing. These infamous incidents have become emblematic of Black-Korean conflict, which has been widely documented and researched.

“Although ‘Black-Korean conflict’ may have largely disappeared from front page headline news, the reality of racially-distinct immigrant small business entrepreneurs operating in poor, underserved minority neighborhoods persists as a formula for potential conflict,” wrote author Miliann Kang in The Managed Hand: Race, Gender, and the Body in Beauty Service Work. “The potential for misunderstandings and dissatisfaction remains high in service exchanges involving emotional and embodied dimensions across various social divisions.”

Each publicized incident called into question the anti-Black biases of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans. But the boycotts that followed were often xenophobia-tinged retaliations, depicting a sort of tit-for-tat cycle between communities. In the protests following the August 3 incident at New Red Apple Nails, “Where’s ICE?” was heard among the chants outside of a second salon blocks away, Beautiful Red Apple Nails, according to New York Post. An employee at Beautiful Red Apple Nails told the New York Times that the two similarly-named businesses are not owned by the same people.

In 1990, the Haitian woman involved in the scuffle that began the Flatbush boycott allegedly told the cashier, “Yon Chinese, Korean motherfucker. Go back to your country,” according to a report from The New Republic. During the ensuing protests, a Black teen bashed the skull of a Vietnamese resident with a hammer, as his accomplices yelled “Koreans go home.”

These sentiments mirror the xenophobic rhetoric often experienced by non-white immigrants, and call to mind, for Asian Americans, the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin, a Chinese man who was murdered by two white men who mistook him for Japanese. People of color often adopt the same an anti-immigrant mentality and buy into the fear of Yellow Peril created by white supremacy and nationalism — systems that make everybody complicit to them, including the oppressed.

Sociologist Tamara K. Nopper argued against depicting these Black-Asian conflicts as “mutual misunderstanding” in a 2015 article. “The use of ‘mutual’ misunderstanding suggests shared status or power, with each group contributing to each other’s vulnerability and suffering,” Nopper wrote. “The employment of the mutual misunderstanding framework suggests Asian store owners desire identification with and from Black customers across class and race lines. Yet many studies of Asian immigrant storeowners show they hold racist views of Black people and associate them with negative qualities purportedly absent among Asians.”

Asian Americans must admit and rectify the ways we uphold white supremacy, namely our anti-Blackness. Much like the U.S., Asian countries suffer from colorism and caste systems within their own societies. “Anti-Blackness is foundational to the creation of America,” said Diane Wong, an assistant professor and faculty fellow at NYU Gallatin, whose research has focused on the gentrification of Chinatowns and Afro-Asian solidarities. “It’s no secret then that anti-Blackness is reflected in Asian immigrant families, businesses, institutions and interpersonal relationships on a frequent basis.”

As a society, we have “progressed” from lynchings to viral videos of violence against Black people, from police killings and brutality to baseless accusations of criminality. In retail spaces, Black people continue to experience racism and antagonization. When Asians internalize and perpetuate anti-Black racism and violence, we are reifying our complicity and driving a deeper wedge between the minority groups.

It’s important to note that two groups are not equally positioned in larger structures of power, especially when one racial group is profiting off the other, which is oftentimes the case in these violent clashes between Black people and Asians.

“Race is certainly a factor, but it is not the only factor,” Kang, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, said in an interview. Kang’s research has focused on Asian-owned nail salons and their racially diverse customers. “Many nail salon workers are under pressure to work quickly and keep costs down, which does not create the best environment for building customer relations.

The potential for tensions is heightened by the intimacy of the service, which involves direct physical contact, and the fact that many of the workers and owners are immigrants who do not speak the language or understand the culture of their customers.” In these scenarios, the tension is stoked by economic stress: the salon workers who often work for low wages under poor conditions, and the mostly working class clientele who cannot afford to waste money on subpar service.

Kang stressed the importance of putting these largely publicized conflicts in context. “I have observed hundreds of interactions in salons in this neighborhood that were very cordial and where workers and customers were very respectful and appreciative of each other,” she said.

Our perspectives are largely shaped by the way Black-Asian conflict is covered in media. “There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to reporting on salient issues that affect both Black and Asian communities,” Wong said. However, when videos of Asian business owners and workers inflicting violence on Black customers go viral, when Asian American activists protest in support for Peter Liang, an NYPD officer who shot an unarmed Black man in a stairwell, the message received by the public is that Asians do not care about Black lives.

These acts of violence are only a microcosm of the conflict between the minority groups, moments when the tension bubbles up to the surface and pops. There have been many ways statistics about Asian American achievement and the “model minority” myth have been used as a wedge between Asians and other minority groups, most notably through Ed Blum’s anti-affirmative action lawsuit against Harvard.

Many Asian Americans have thrown their support behind ending affirmative action and in support of standardized testing in school admission, placing their own concerns ahead of the communities marginalized by these systems, namely Black, Brown, and indigenous peoples.

As a kid, I used to cringe when my dad, a self-proclaimed Democrat, would use slurs to refer to Black people, sometimes rolling my eyes and shouting “Daddy!” at him. Now, I realize that I must do more than just cringe. It is my generation’s job to undo the legacy of anti-Black racism within our communities and to resist complicity with white supremacy — and it starts with talking about it.

Young Black football player from Texas forced to quit after white teammates bullied him to drink their urine!

A young Texas middle school football player was forced to quit his football team after his teammates hazed him and made him drink urine.

I feel horrible for young SeMarion Humphrey. If you have not heard the story yet a young black middle school student is making the news today because a group of his teammates invited him over to a sleepover to haze him.

A GoFundMe was created for SeMarion about the incident. Here is what the story reads.

SeMarion endured horrific bullying from football teammates at a Plano middle school. Plano ISD did nothing to curttail the bullying. It became so bad that SeMarion had bo choice but to eventually quit the team. A couple of weeks ago Semarion was ecstatic when a former teammate invited him to a sleepover.

But little did he know what had been planned for him. While at the sleepover several white students shot SeMarion with BB guns. When he was asleep they beat and slapped him, all while calling him racial slurs.

And worse yet, they forced SeMarion to drink their urine.

SeMarion has been subjected to the unthinkable. He is in need of therapy and is planning to change to a private school.

The GoFundMe has already raised 24,000 dollars.

http://www.ProtectionKnives.com

Green Bay Police: Antifa Member with Flamethrower Cried in Fetal Position When Caught

A suspected member of Antifa — who was allegedly armed with a flamethrower — cried in the fetal position before his arrest during a Saturday evening protest in Green Bay, Wisconsin, according to law enforcement.

WBAY Reports

Matthew Banta, 23, is charged with obstructing an officer and two counts of felony bail jumping.
The criminal complaint says Banta “is known to be a violent Antifa member who incites violence in otherwise relatively peaceful protests.” Police say he’s known as “Commander Red.”
[…]
A responding officer says he saw four individuals walking towards a protest with baseball bats. One man was wearing a metal helmet with goggles and military-style gear with multiple pouches, and was carrying an Antifa flag. When the officer pulled his squad car in front of the group, they ran away. The officer caught Banta, who was carrying the flag, and says Banta “dropped into the fetal position and began crying.”

“It’s worrisome when people associated with Antifa come here to Green Bay from out of town for the purpose of protesting here or for the purposes of committing violent acts,” said Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith.

“An unlawful assembly is three or more people who gather in such a manner where property damage, or personal injury is likely to occur,” Smith added. “We determined this was happening on Washington Street. What was happening was a large group of people had blocked traffic on the street had engaged in throwing a bottle at somebody, were pulling up manhole covers off the street and were blocking traffic.”

Police said 15 protesters were arrested after the demonstration was declared unlawful.

In early August, Banta was charged with biting, kicking, and pointing firearm at a police officer at a protest in Waupaca.

Kente Cloth Worn By Democrats Was ‘Historically Worn’ By African Empire Involved In Slave Trade, Fact Checker Says

A top mainstream fact-checker wrote on Tuesday that the Kente cloths that Democrats wore earlier this month after the death of George Floyd were “historically worn” by an “empire involved in [the] West African slave trade.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, and other top Democrats wore the cloth to an event on June 8 in response to Floyd’s death, which was widely criticized online.

I had to say something about the American politicians shameless and ignorantly using the Kente fabric as a prop in their virtue signaling.

*I’m usually more mild mannered than this so please forgive me, I’m upset.

USA Today fact-checked the following statement from a Facebook user:

Yesterday the Democrats wore kente scarfs and knelt down for their photo op. So check this out, Kente cloth was worn by the Ashanti. It’s made of silk so the affluent wore it. The Ashanti were also known as slave owners and traders. Huh? … This makes me wonder why they chose to wear this particular tribe’s garb.

It’s important to note that the cloth has historical significance that extends beyond the slave trade and has “become a symbol of pride for African Americans over the last 50 years.”

USA Today rated the claim “true,” saying that the “kente cloth was historically worn by the Asante people of Ghana, who were involved in the West African slave trade.”

USA Today’s research found:

Kente cloth comes from the Asante, or Ashanti, peoples of Ghana and Ewe peoples of Ghana and Togo.

A popular legend claims creators of kente cloth presented the cloth to Asantehene Osei Tutu, the Asante kingdom’s first leader. Tutu named the cloth “kente,” meaning basket, and adopted the fabric as a royal cloth for special occasions.

Tutu, who lived from 1660 to 1712 or 1717, unified several small Asante kingdoms to create the Asante empire. He is credited with expanding the Asante throughout most of Ghana and introducing his subjects to the gold and slave trades along the West African coast.

The Asante supplied British and Dutch traders with slaves in exchange for firearms, which they used to expand their empire. Slaves were often acquired as tributes from smaller states or captured during war. Some slaves were brought across the Atlantic whiles others stayed in Africa to work in gold fields.

According to the BBC, by the end of the 18th century the region exported an estimated 6,000-7,000 slaves per year.

After Democrats wore the cloth, The Daily Wire highlighted how various reports noted that the cloth typically signified patriotism or was worn to celebrate special celebrations.

Pro-life advocate Obianuju Ekeocha, who lives in Africa, released a video on Twitter condemning the Democrats for “ignorantly using the Kente fabric as a prop in their virtue signaling.”

“I was just looking online today like most of you and what did I see? A bunch of Democrat politicians kneeling down, of which I have nothing to say about that because I am not an American, however, they were all having around their necks this colorful fabric which I’m sure they put around their necks as some kind of mark or show of unity or solidarity with black people,” Ekeocha said. “So, in other words, they put in for the Kente material or this colorful fabric they had around their necks as some kind of placating sign or symbol to show that they are not racist and they are together with black people.”

“Excuse me, dear Democrats, in your tokenism, you didn’t wait to find out that this thing that you’re hanging around your neck is not just some African uniform, it’s actually the Kente material,” Ekeocha continued. “The Kente belongs to the Ghanaian people, mainly the Ashanti Tribe. Excuse me, Democrats. Don’t treat Africans like we’re children. These fabrics and these colorful things that we have within our culture and tradition, they all mean something to us. I know you look at us and you say, ‘oh Africans are so cute in all your colorful dresses.’”

“Well, some of those dresses and patterns and colors and fabrics actually do mean something to us,” Ekeocha added. “Some of them belong to ancient tribes and mean something to them. So why are you using it your own show of non-racism or your own show of virtue? Why are you using the Kente material to signal your virtue? Stop it. We are not children. Africans are not children. And leave our tradition and our culture to us and if you don’t know much about it, ask somebody. I’m sure there would have been something else you could have done to show your solidarity with black people instead of taking the Kente material and making a little show of it.”

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