Jussie Smollett and capitalist victim blaming

first_imgCharges brought against Black gay actor Jussie Smollett by the city of Chicago were dropped on March 26. But since then, not a day has gone by without his name being vilified by people who wish to see him in jail. Smollett is a star of the Fox network hit series, “Empire.”Smollett had reported to police that he had been attacked on Jan. 29 near his apartment building in Chicago by two people who yelled racist and homophobic slurs. Smollett never wavered in asserting the details of the attack. But the Chicago Police Department and the Illinois State Attorney filed felony disorderly conduct charges against him for “filing a false report.” The CPD claimed that Smollett had allegedly staged the attack by hiring two brothers, who were Nigerian, to carry it out. The criminalization of both Smollett and the Osundairo brothers began when information that the CPD was investigating Smollett was “leaked” to the media on Feb. 14. This accusation took no account of the CPD’s long history of convictions that relied heavily on confessions obtained through CPD torture.Corporate stations, nearly silent since the attack, then went into a frenzy repeating allegations made by somewhat famous, online fascist personalities and by the white-supremacist torturers of the CPD. The transparent collaboration of the corporate media and the U.S. “justice” system revealed, once again, how capitalist interests are tied to maintaining and cultivating a system of white-supremacist patriarchy. The charge against Smollett repeats the historical pattern by racists of “whitewashing” their own violence by blaming oppressed people of color. For instance, racists asserted for decades that the multiple Klan bombings of the Black community of Birmingham, Ala., were carried out by Civil Rights activists “for the publicity.” Corporate media hand-in-hand with racist copsLess than two weeks after the attack, the New York Post published an article quoting some of Smollett’s neighbors who expressed doubt about the legitimacy of the attack. One man went so far as to say: “It’s a lie because Chicago is the most liberal city around.” (Feb. 11) To anyone who understands the intense danger of liberalism, his statement is less a defense of Chicago and more an indictment. Even the liberal “comedians” of late night television joined the side of the cops. Trevor Noah’s “Daily Show” tweeted a “comedy” skit: “Coming this fall. The story of a poorly staged hate crime that rocked a nation: Jussie’s Lie.” In the skit, Jaboukie Young-White played the version of Smollet that the CPD and corporate media presented, an actor desperate for attention who stages his own hate crime. Ultimately, Young-White acts the buffoon along with the two men playing the Osundairo brothers. These were assigned a thick “Nigerian” accent — despite the brothers having been born and raised in Chicago. “Late Show” star Stephen Colbert joined in the “comedy” in his opening monologue, eventually saying: “Smollett cast himself as a fake national symbol for our real racial and political divide.” Then Colbert played a video clip of CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson claiming: “This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary.”Despite these attacks against him, all charges against Smollett were dropped on March 26, leaving the city and capitalist media to shore up their racist defenses. The prosecutor who agreed to drop the case has stated publicly that he does not consider Smollett to be innocent.An hour after the city dropped charges, and during a police academy graduation ceremony, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson voiced their disdain for the decision, claiming Smollett damaged the city’s reputation. Emanuel said: “This is without a doubt a whitewash of justice, and sends a clear message that if you’re in a position of influence and power, you’ll get treated one way, [while] other people will be treated another way.” (chicagotribune.com, March 26)The mayor’s analysis of the situation is somewhat correct: If Smollett had been a Black person without the means to hire a lawyer and was instead left to an overworked, hostile, court-appointed defense attorney, he would likely still be in jail. Based on flimsy evidence and the words of the CPD, he would still be facing the danger of the white-supremacist courts of Chicago. For poor and working-class Black and LGBTQ communities of Chicago, the CPD dispenses what they call justice in the form of intimidation, torture and outright murder.CPD’s history of tortureIn a Feb. 21 briefing, Supt. Johnson stated that Smollett “paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago’s reputation in the process.” But the very idea that Smollett or any one person could damage Chicago’s reputation more than what the Chicago Police Department has done is laughable. Few people in Chicago have not heard of the “career” of CPD Cmdr. Jon Burge, who guided his officers in the use of cattle prods, suffocation, Russian pistol roulette and beatings to gain confessions from suspects. The late night “comedians” and the corporate media goons are ignoring the fact that only in late 2016 did the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission act on cases of over 200 reports from victims of the CPD. Only until late July 2016 was the Illinois state Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission allowed to act on cases that didn’t involve Burge

.Possibly most shocking was a lawsuit filed by the Guardian newspaper that revealed an off-the-books, CPD-run torture site in Chicago called Homan Square. Between August 2004 and June 2015 at least 7,000 people, of whom nearly 6,000 were Black, were sent to Homan Square to have confessions beaten out of them. (theguardian.com, Oct. 19, 2015)Despite all this, we’re supposed to trust the word of the CPD in their investigation of a Black man who is openly gay? This same police force spent 13 months spinning a narrative that Laquan McDonald was “crazed” and attacked the cops who shot him. Then the finally released dashcam video proved his back was turned when CPD cops mercilessly gunned him down. We’re supposed to believe the “justice” system that on Jan. 17 acquitted the three CPD officers who attempted to cover up McDonald’s murder? The fact that any media outlet would report claims made by Chicago’s cops without mentioning their vile history is reason enough to find this “free press” guilty of cooperating with the white-supremacist state. Voice of the white-supremacist stateThe campaign against Smollett and all Black and LGBTQ people in the U.S. is not left only to the cops. Our capitalist ruling class has proven that their media outlets serve as the voice of the white-supremacist settler state. These lapdogs eagerly give platforms that cater to the interests of a select few racist billionaires, while actively promoting narratives which further oppression. Blaming individuals from oppressed communities, as well as political movements of oppressed people, for racist violence is nothing more than victim blaming. All liberation movements struggle against bourgeois state repression and big-business media propaganda, the enabling of hate crimes, structural violence from the U.S. police and military, extralegal violence from sanctioned vigilantes and neofascists, the theft of labor power and any other plan capitalists can devise.Whether it is the current U.S. attack on Venezuela, the murder of Black activists or any number of other hate crimes in the U.S., we can be sure that the capitalist media will side with and promote narratives that strengthen capitalist hegemony, patriarchy and white supremacy.Our duty is to resist and to put forward our own powerful narratives of  resistance.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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Update on the latest in sports:

first_imgBeloved Detroit Tigers star Al Kaline dies at 85DETROIT (AP) — Al Kaline, who spent his entire 22-season Hall of Fame career with the Detroit Tigers and was known affectionately as “Mr. Tiger,” has died. He was 85.John Morad, a friend of Kaline’s, confirmed to The Associated Press that he died Monday at his home in Michigan. Morad, who spoke first to the Detroit Free Press, said he’d been in contact with Kaline’s son.Kaline was the youngest player to win the American League batting title in 1955 at age 20 with a .340 batting average. The right fielder was a 15-time All-Star, won 10 Gold Gloves and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1980 in his first year of eligibility.The beloved No. 6 later sat behind a microphone as a Tigers broadcaster from 1976 to 2001 and was also a special assistant to the general manager. NHL PLAYOFF POSSIBILITIESNHL playoff scenarios run the gamut of where, when and howUNDATED (AP) — Neutral site NHL playoff games? Awarding the Stanley Cup in September? Nothing is off the table as the league considers options to complete the season.Play is on hold for now because of the coronavirus pandemic.Players have different opinions on what a playoff format might look like. Ideas range from completing all or part of the regular season to expanding the number of teams competing from 16. — Putting all 30 teams in the Phoenix area and playing in empty ballparks was among the ideas discussed Monday by Major League Baseball and the players’ association. The sides held a telephone call to talk about paths forward for a season delayed by the new coronavirus pandemic, people familiar with the discussion told The Associated Press.— Golf’s oldest championship won’t be played this year for 1st time since 1945.The R&A announced it is canceling the British Open in July because of the spread of COVID-19. It is pushing the British Open back one year and staying at Royal St. George’s. That assures the 150th Open will be at St. Andrews in 2022.— The NFL is delaying the start of its offseason workout program while formulating a plan with the NFL Players Association on how to proceed during the coronavirus pandemic. At least for the time being, NFL coaches won’t be allowed to communicate with players via videoconferencing.— IndyCar has adjusted its schedule again because of the coronavirus pandemic. The doubleheader at Detroit scheduled for the end of May has now been canceled. IndyCar will make up the two dates by hosting doubleheaders at both Iowa Speedway and Laguna Seca in California.— A doctor at French soccer club Reims (ranss) has killed himself after getting infected with the coronavirus. The city’s mayor tells Le Parisien newspaper Bernard Gonzalez “is a collateral victim of COVID-19 because he had tested positive and was in isolation for 14 days. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSNBA bans draft workoutsUNDATED (AP) — The NBA has told teams that they may not conduct or attend any workouts with draft-eligible players during the league’s coronavirus hiatus, a major change from typical procedures. Update on the latest in sports: Bourne had 30 catches for 358 yards and five TD last season for San Francisco.In other NFL moves:—The Jacksonville Jaguars have re-signed defensive tackle Carl Davis. Davis is suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Davis played in three games in 2019 — two for Jacksonville and one for Indianapolis.— The Atlanta Falcons have announced their one-year agreement with running back Todd Gurley. The framework of the $6 million deal was completed on March 20, less than 24 hours after Gurley was released by the Los Angeles Rams.  MLB-AL KALINE NEW YORK (AP) — A pair of former sports marketing executives of 21st Century Fox have been indicted on charges they paid bribes to soccer officials to obtain confidential bidding information during FIFA’s sale of U.S. television rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.Charges were unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn against former 21st Century Fox Inc. executives Hernan Lopez and Carlos Martinez. They are accused of making payments to officials of the CONMEBOL, South American soccer’s governing body.ESPN had U.S. English-language television rights to the World Cup from 1994-2014, but Fox in 2011 gained the rights for 2018 and 2022 tournaments. After the 2022 tournament in Qatar was shifted from summer to late autumn, a time when it is likely to get less attention in the U.S., FIFA awarded Fox rights for 2026 without competitive bidding.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Teams also are being prohibited “from watching, requesting, or sharing any video (live or recorded) of a draft-eligible player or prospective early entry player taking part in a workout” during the league’s shutdown.Teams will be allowed to conduct interviews by phone or video, though they will be capped at a total of four hours with any draft prospect. They can also send questionnaires to players in advance of any interviews.Meanwhile, Commissioner Adam Silver does not expect any decisions to be made until at least May about the possible resumption of the 2019-20 season, saying the coronavirus pandemic simply makes it too difficult to project what will happen next.In other sports outbreaks news:— The NFL draft will be conducted in a virtual format, with team personnel working from their homes. The draft originally was scheduled to be held in Las Vegas, but the NFL canceled all public events last month as a safeguard against the coronavirus. In a memo sent to the 32 teams and obtained by The Associated Press, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell outlined procedures for the April 23-25 draft. The guidelines include no group gatherings. April 7, 2020 The 55-member team is comprised only of players who made an AP All-Pro team, a Pro Bowl or a Pro Football Writers of America all-conference squad from 2010-19. Four of the unanimous players — Brady, Miller, Yanda and Tucker — won Super Bowls during the decade.NFL-49ers-BOURNEReceiver Kendrick Bourne signs tender with 49ersSANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne signed his one-year restricted free agent tender Monday.The 49ers placed a second-round tender worth $3.259 million last month on Bourne. That gave the Niners the right to match any contract offer Bourne received or get a second-round pick in return. COLLEGE BASKETBALLKentucky’s Maxey becomes second Wildcat to enter NBA draftLEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky guard Tyrese Maxey will enter the NBA draft, becoming the second Wildcats starter in as many days to turn pro and forego his remaining collegiate eligibility.Maxey scored 26 points against then-No. 1 Michigan State in his collegiate debut and finished the season tied for second in scoring on the team at 14 points per game. The 6-foot-3 freshman shot nearly 43% with 33 3-pointers and also averaged 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists while starting 28 of 31 games for the Southeastern Conference champions. SEC coaches voted him to the all-freshman team and all-SEC second team.In other college basketball news: Associated Press — Louisville forward Jordan Nwora has announced on social media that he will enter the NBA draft. The 6-foot-7 Nwora was selected to The Associated Press All-America third team as a junior and his decision to turn pro was expected after limited participation in last year’s NBA combine because of a knee injury.— Florida guard Scottie Lewis is returning for his sophomore season. In an announcement on social media, Lewis says “playing in the NBA is still a top priority” but his “heart is in Gainesville.”— Purdue coach Matt Painter says center Matt Haarms intends to play his final college season at another school after entering the transfer portal. The 7-foot-3 Haarms averaged 8.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2 blocks per game last season with the Boilermakers. But Haarms lost his starting job last season after suffering a hip injury in December.FIFA INVESTIGATION-FORMER FOX EXECUTIVES CHARGEDFormer Fox executives charged with bribes in World Cup bid — Chicago’s eight pro teams and mayor Lori Lightfoot are teaming up to encourage residents to stay home to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox as well as the WNBA’s Sky, MLS’ Fire and National Women’s Soccer League’s Red Stars are joining with the mayor in the “We Are Not Playing” campaign.NFL ALL-DECADE TEAM8 unanimous picks for All-Decade Team include Brady, WattUNDATED (AP) — Tom Brady, J.J. Watt and Adrian Peterson are among eight unanimous selections to the 2010s NFL All-Decade Team announced by the NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.Also chosen on every ballot of the 48-member Hall of Fame selection committee are Von Miller, Aaron Donald, Joe Thomas, Marshal Yanda and Justin Tucker. All but tackle Thomas and guard Yanda are active. —The nonprofit group that raises funds for the bulk of the world’s anti-doping research is shifting $120,000 to conduct 15,000 COVID-19 tests. The goal is to help scientists get a better sense of how many people have the new coronavirus but show no symptoms. The Partnership for Clean Competition was founded in 2008 by the NFL, Major League Baseball, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the U.S. Olympic Committee.— Two people familiar with the league’s plans say the NFL is planning a telethon during the draft to aid coronavirus relief efforts. The people tell The Associated Press that the league hopes its massive reach will raise awareness and funds in battling the pandemic. The draft is the NFL’s biggest offseason event. It’s being held from April 23-25. It had been scheduled for Las Vegas but now will be done remotely.— Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal are each pledging $250,000 to help provide meals for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic in Boston and St. Louis. The pledges will benefit Feeding America, the St. Louis Food Bank and Greater Boston Food Bank. Both Tatum and Beal are natives of St. Louis.— The Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers have issued a challenge to area residents to raise $200,000 for the city’s 12 community centers by noon Thursday. If that happens, the two professional teams say they will kick in an extra $420,000.— Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane has launched a fundraising campaign to support local charitable groups addressing critical needs stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Beane is donating $20,000 to the community’s United Way chapter and providing incentives for Bills fans to get involved.last_img read more

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Syracuse football can’t contain Louisville running back Radcliff in loss

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Brandon Radcliff slipped out of the backfield and the Syracuse front immediately knew what was coming. Micah Robinson tried to abandon the pass rush and follow Radcliff, but his wheels spun and he ended up on one knee. Eric Crume made a similar dash for the outside but also stumbled. The secondary followed Louisville quarterback Reggie Bonnafon as he quickly went through his progressions downfield. It all left the Louisville running back alone in the flat, and Bonnafon lofted a screen to Radcliff that he took 29 yards to the Syracuse 22-yard line. Four plays later, a 4-yard touchdown pass bumped the Cardinals’ lead to an even 20 points. “I think their tailback was running extremely hard with something to try and prove against us,” Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer said. Radcliff started the game by returning Cole Murphy’s kickoff 62 yards and finished it with 110 rushing yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns. In the Cardinals’ (5-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) 28-6 win over Orange (2-3, 0-1) in the Carrier Dome on Saturday night, Radcliff was the catalyst of the Louisville offense and the one player that consistently broke SU’s defense down.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I felt like they were going low a lot of those times so I was trying to make a one-cut move on them,” Radcliff said after the game, “trying to break those arm tackles.”Syracuse linebackers coach Clark Lea saw the same thing Radcliff did. Instead of going in and looking to wrap Radcliff up, Lea saw the Orange defenders going in low for what he called “kill shots.” More times than not, it allowed Radcliff to bounce off tackles at the line of scrimmage and pinball to the second level. Louisville gained a total 178 yards on the ground and 174 in the air. “We have to tackle better,” Lea said. “We have to do a better job of eliminating runs at first contact.”Radcliff’s first touchdown came in the first quarter and on the backend of four straight rushes, in which he singlehandedly took Louisville from the SU 22-yard line to the end zone. On his second, Radcliff split Dyshawn Davis and Ritchy Desir at the 10-yard line, and defensive tackle Ryan Sloan tripped over middle linebacker Marqez Hodge while Radcliff crossed the plane. The 14-yard scamper was arguably his most impressive of the night. Louisville turned Bonnafon, a true freshman quarterback, into a game manager and ran the ball 26 more times than it threw it. Radcliff himself ran 23 times — one more than Bonnafon’s 22 total passing attempts. And the Syracuse defense didn’t give Louisville a reason to do much else. “I just felt like he was running the ball really well,” SU cornerback Julian Whigham said. “Their line got a good push, and good job by him.” Comments Published on October 4, 2014 at 11:54 am Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesselast_img read more

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