Progress on Stop and Frisk

May 22, 2012

Progress on Stop and Frisk

Last week, New York Police Commissioner made an important step towards reducing the number of illegal street stops in New York City. The misuse of stop and frisk by the NYPD represents one of the more significant civil rights issues for the city, state, and nation.

The NYPD is on pace to shatter last year’s record of 686,000 stops, with stops in the first quarter of 2012 up 11% over the same period last year.

Consider this: there are about 512,000 minutes in a year. Last year there were 686,000 stops. That means there was one stop on NYC’s streets every 45 seconds.

Now consider this: a stop should only be made if a police officer suspects that the individual is engaging in criminal activity. That means that once every 45 seconds a New York City resident is basically accused of committing a crime.

However, nine out of ten people that are stopped are found to be innocent—they are not charged with a crime or issued a ticket. Last year, there were 605,000 of these “innocent” stops; again occurring at a rate of more than once a minute.

The frequency of stops and the high rate of “innocent” stops indicate that the standard for reasonable suspicion is not being met. This represents a violation of these individuals’ civil rights.

Stop and frisk is an important police tool, but clearly the way the tactic is currently used needs reform. While crime does continue to decline in New York City, there is no evidence that utilizing stop and frisk at such a scale—and violating individuals’ civil rights in the process—has contributed in any significant way to these declining crime rates.

Police Commissioner Kelly’s statement on stop and frisk is an important first step, but more must be done to continue to pressure the administration to reform this practice.

Two weeks ago, DMI co-hosted a panel discussion on stop and frisk at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice with DMI board member Martin Luther King III. Later that day King came together with advocates and elected officials to hold a press conference pleading for the initiation of more dialogue on this issue. Follow this link to see video of MLK III speaking on the issue.

Help DMI continue to fight to build pressure to reform this practice and to protect and preserve our civil rights.


Ralph Lemon in conversation with Tim Griffin and last chance for spring exhibitions!


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The Studio Museum in Harlem Events
Thursday, May 24 through Sunday, May 27

We are thrilled to announce a few of our exciting upcoming events this week including The Artist’s Voice featuring Ralph Lemon in conversation with Tim Griffin and our Target Free Sunday programming highlighting our exhibitions.

Also, Sunday, May 27 will be your last chance to view our spring exhibitions! Don’t miss it!

Be sure to check out our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Artist’s Voice: Ralph Lemon in conversation with
Tim Griffin | 7:00 PM
Adult Programs

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Ralph Lemon, Untitled, 2010. Courtesy the artist.

The Artist’s Voice: Ralph Lemon in Conversation with Tim Griffin is organized on the occasion of Lemon’s exhibition at the Studio Museum, 1856 Cessna Road. The program will feature a performance of “Sunshine Room,” the first section of his last stage work, How Can You Stay In The House All Day And Not Go Anywhere?, and culminate in a conversation between Lemon and Griffin, Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Kitchen.

This program is free with museum admission. RSVPs are required. RSVP at Seating is limited. Studio Museum members receive priority seating, subject to availability.

The Artist’s Voice is made possible, in part, by MetLife Foundation and an endowment established by the Ron Carter Family in memory of Studio Museum in Harlem Trustee, Janet Carter.

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The Studio Museum in Harlem is a Blue Star Museum!

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The Studio Museum in Harlem is proud to participate in the launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,500 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2012. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. Click here to view full press release.

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Bullseye.jpegTarget Free Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gallery Tour: Shift: Projects | Perspectives | Directions | 1:00 PM
Kids & Family Programs

Jennie C. Jones, Song Containers, 2011. Courtesy the artist

Enjoy an interactive and informative tour of Shift: Projects | Perspectives | Directions led by a knowledgeable Museum educator. Shift includes focused presentations of work by Nayland Blake, Jennie C. Jones, Lorraine O’Grady, John Outterbridge and Jacolby Satterwhite, as well as a new iteration of The Bearden Project and Highlights from the Permanent Collection. The tour will have something for everyone: adults, families and kids of all ages are welcome! Click here to RSVP.

Hands On: Art & Movement | 2:00 PM
Kids & Family Programs

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[R-L]: Jennie C. Jones, Shhh #6, 2010; Shhh #7, 2011; Shhh #8, 2011. Courtesy the artist.

Take a look at artist Jenny C. Jones’ artwork currently on view in Shift: Projects/ Perspectives/Directions. Join us for a hands-on workshop where we will examine movement through the use of music and line. Click here to RSVP.

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Spring Shows Close May 27, 2012!

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Nina Chanel Abney, First & Last, 2012. Courtesy the artist

There’s still time to check out our Spring exhibition projects, featuring Shift: Projects | Perspectives | Directions, Ralph Lemon: 1856 Cessna Road and Harlem Postcards, closing May 27, 2012. Shift: Projects | Perspectives | Directions includes seven discrete installations of new and historical work, ranging from iconic mid-century work by Romare Bearden and Norman Lewis to brand new work created to celebrate the centennial of Bearden’s birth. Ralph Lemon: 1856 Cessna Road documents an artistic collaboration between movement artist Ralph Lemon and Walter Carter, the oldest man in Little Yazoo, Mississippi, while the latest installment of Harlem Postcards offers new perspectives on the iconic neighborhood. These exhibitions will be on view through May 27, 2012, along with the continuing exhibitions Kira Lynn Harris: The Block | Bellona and Who, What, Wear: Selections from the Permanent Collection. Click here to learn more.

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Join the conversation!

Become a Studio Museum member, support us by making a donation online, chat with us on Twitter, “Like” us on Facebook, and admire us on Tumblr!

Memorial Day


Memorial Day (U.S.)May 28
Since World War I, poppies have been a symbol of remembrance on Memorial Day, honoring those who died in service to their countries. Red poppies are also a symbol of consolation. See more flower meanings.

The idea started in 1918 when American Moina Michael read the poem In Flanders Fields, written by Canadian John McCrae in 1915 during World War I. She began wearing and selling poppies to support veterans. Today, donations to veterans groups are often marked with a token paper red poppy.

Traditional observances at Memorial Day have diminished over the years. This day is for honoring those who have fallen in service (not all who have died). In honor, we raise the flag. See proper flag etiquette. We also decorate graves.

Read more about Memorial Day history and customs.




* New York Citys Taxi and Limousine Commission will formally consider a proposal from the yellow cab industry that would raise taxi fares by as much as 20 percent, a significant increase to a pricing structure that has been unchanged since 2006, the New York Times says:

* A Bronx Supreme Court Justice told officials from Soundview Healthcare Network that rather than suing the state for withholding $312,000 in Medicare funds, the dying charity should sue ex-State Sen. Pedro Espada to recoup the $500,000 hes been convicted of stealing, the Post reports:

* Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made a bill to crack down on cyber-bullying among his top remaining legislative priorities for the year, and has been in talks with lawmakers in a bid to reach an agreement on it before the Legislatures session ends in June, the Daily News writes:

* Albany County District Attorney David Soares’ girlfriend, whose job as a secretary in his office has sparked controversy and promised to become a thorny campaign issue, has been transferred out of the district attorney’s office, the Times Union reports:

* MTA officials revealed that a plan to bring the Long Island Rail Road into Grand Central is now nearly $1 billion dollars over budget, after years of engineering and construction problems, the Post says:

* The Department of Financial Services is investigating whether two insurance companies that write policies for financially troubled homeowners paid kickbacks to banks disguised as commissions, the Times reports:

* Nik Wallenda, who will soon attempt to walk across the Niagara Falls on a two-inch wire, is being forced to wear a tether for his own safety by ABC, which is broadcasting a three-hour special on the walk:


African-American – News

African-American – News May 22, 2012

Red Tails
Red Tails (EDGE)
“Red Tails” dramatizes the historic breakthroughs made by the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II.
RG Steel Eyeing Asset Sales (Baltimore News)
A spokeswoman for RG Steel says the company is considering selling steel mills in three states, including the Sparrows Point plant outside Baltimore.

Michael Steele: Planned Parenthood used abortions to ‘limit’ the black population (The Raw Story)
Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is accusing Planned Parenthood of providing abortions as part of a plot to “eliminate and limit” the African-American population.

NAACP chief: Marriage equality is a civil right (WINK-TV Fort Myers)
NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said Monday he hopes the group’s resolution supporting same-sex marriage will encourage blacks to support marriage equality as a civil right if the question is put to voters on the ballot in Maryland or other states.

NAACP’s Beth Glenn Talks African American Youth and Education (Loop21)
In advance of the NAACP’s 8th Annual Leadership 500 Summit , which will hitA Destin, Florida, May 24 through 27, we sat down with the new guard of the 103-year-old civil rights organization to discuss the biggest issues impacting African Americans today and what we can do about them.

The NAACP’s Evolution On Same-Sex Marriage (Mother Jones)
The national board of the NAACP, America’s oldest civil rights organization, officially endorsed same-sex marriage rights Saturday after a vote in which only two members dissented.

Butler: Aspire To Reflect Positive Images Of African-American Community
Butler: Aspire To Reflect Positive Images Of African-American Community (Multichannel News)
Ervin “Magic” Johnson’s new cable network Aspire will offer African-American-themed programming that emphasizes faith, family and community, according to new Aspire general manager Paul Butler.
Boy Wants Apology For King Costume Dispute (TheDenverChannel)
An 8-year-old boy who was kicked out of class for wearing a costume of Dr. Martin Luther King is asking for an apology from school officials.

A nation grows more diverse as many of its schools grow less (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
I have written a lot about the resurgence of segregated schools in the South, not by court order, but by housing choices.


Gangsta Rap and the US Prison Boom

From The Ramparts

Junious Ricardo Stanton

Gangsta Rap and the US Prison Boom

Everyone bought into it, consumers included. Violence and drug use became a central theme in most rap music. I spoke to a few of my peers in the industry to get their opinions on the new trend but was told repeatedly that it was all about supply and demand. Sadly many of them even expressed that the music reinforced their prejudice of minorities. The Rap Music Conspiracy

I was scanning a Website I frequent that posts news articles and commentary about social economic and political issues and I came across an article entitled The Rap Music Conspiracy. I read it and the comments posted in response to it. You can go Online to and read the article for yourself. It’s not that deep nor does it tell us much we didn’t already know if we are politically and culturally astute. What shocked me was not the tie in between Gangsta Rap and the prison incarceration boom but the fact the writer who appeared to be of European ethnic extraction who said he was in the music industry for a while was surprised by it.

It’s no secret the music industry has ulterior motives other than selling units and making money. Music is vitally important to a people. It serves as a reinforcement tool, meaning the sounds and lyrics repeated over and over again send vibrations and messages that influence the hearing, the central nervous system and even the subconscious of the listener which in turn impacts and influences him or her in specific ways. In this culture we are not taught the value of music nor its role in every day life. This is because the ruling elites don’t want us to know how they use music to manipulate and control us on a minute by minute basis. This manipulation and control impacts every aspect of the culture from the religious services to advertising and entertainment. The musical cords, the values, ideas, words and mental images the songs engender shape the listeners’ world view, self image, psychological and emotional state and orientation. Institutions large and small pay psychologists billions of dollars annually to tell them how to use music, images and words to impact our psyches so we believe their lies, buy their products and we remain in bondage to their vile and degenerate system.

One company Archetype Discoveries Worldwide boasts on its Website exactly how they do what they do. Archetype Discoveries Worldwide is a discovery and an education process. The Archetype Team and Archetype Manager become experts on the Archetype. They will gain in-depth knowledge of the Logic of Emotions that have been discovered. Archetype Discoveries Worldwide is committed to your satisfaction. We remain available as long as you need us to implement the Archetype Action Plan. Once we have, together, discovered an Archetype, it is YOURS. Archetype Discoveries Worldwide will not duplicate your discovery in the same culture, and will always give you priority to explore it in another culture. In contrast to traditional marketing research firms, Archetype Discoveries Worldwide does not rely on what people say. Instead these studies use a unique blend of biology, cultural anthropology, psychology, and learning theories to discover the hidden cultural forces that pre-organize the way people behave toward a product, service or concept. Unlike opinions that can change in a minute, cultural Archetypes are deeply imprinted in people’s minds and strongly rooted in cultural codes. The imprints form a permanent platform for marketing, new product design, innovation and improvement of products or processes, and more effective communication strategies. Their banner motto is The Reptilian Always Wins

The underlining is mine. I wanted to emphasize what they are saying in their own words. They are telling us their targets are archetypes. The New Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary of the English Language defines the word archetype as: a model or first form, the original pattern after which a thing is made or to which it corresponds. African people are the archetypes for humanity and the goal of Archetype Discoveries Worldwide is to study us so their clients, companies like AT&T, Discover Card, IBM and other Fortune 500 corporations can gain access into our biology, our psyches and cultural dynamics to use this data to manipulate and control us.

Our late great warrior/writer Del Jones warned us about the negative use of mass media, culture and advanced technology by our enemies in his series of books entitled Culture Bandits. Music is so critically important to us, that they (Europeans) have always sought to control it ever since they first came into contact with us. They understand that it floats through the whole of our culture and binds each component together in a unit of purpose… We must realize the importance of our musical culture and seize it to liberate or it will be used to further subjugate our dreams, drown our reality or destroy our children’s tomorrows. Beware and be aware of the deadly Culture Bandits. Culture Bandits Vol 1 Hikeka Press page 24.

It was always important for the European invader/colonizer/oppressors to control our creativity, our culture and especially our music because they realized music was an integral part of African culture. Music was the glue that held our communities together because it was a vital aspect of daily life. Once they controlled the music they moved to totally control our minds with Europeanized images, concepts and ideas so we could not create/distribute music that forged a resistance culture to united us against them. This is why they took away the drums of the captured prisoners of war they turned into slaves.

Europeans learned a vital lesson from their defeat by the Maroons, Quilombos and Haitians who fiercely and uncompromisingly retained their African cultural roots using them as tools of resistance, cohesion and liberation against European domination. So when Europeans invaded a region they sent in the religious missionaries as shock troops to get indigenous people to despise their own culture, values and way of life. They used religion and Western cultural imperialism to soften the masses so they could turn them into black and brown Europeans. The used social scientists they called anthropologists to study indigenous people so they could discern how to effectively undermine their culture and justify colonialism.

Unlike the various other disciplines implicated in the production of knowledge about the subject other, anthropology was, as Kathleen Gough pointed out in the 1960s, very largely born of the colonial relationship in continental Europe, as well as in the UK. Almost as soon as it was established, its practitioners came under attack both for their complicity in a colonial order which was already in decline, and for producing studies of non-European societies which concealed, or at least understated, the dramatic impact of colonialism on the lives of ordinary people. From a review by Dr. Justin Willis of the book Ordering Africa: Anthropology, European Imperialism and the Politics of Knowledge Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2006, ISBN: 9780719062391

In the modern era when Euro-American elites saw a resurgence of artistic freedom, self-consciousness, pride and liberation they moved swiftly to co-opt it or destroy it outright using economic means as well as the violence of the state (COINTELPRO). They did that in the 1960 and 70’s as their response to the cultural dynamism of the Black Arts and Black Power movements. In recent years, the ruling elites moved to substitute conscious Rap and Spoken Word artists with apolitical socially decadent Africanized rhythms, beats and lyrics or a deliberate and vicious counterinsurgency in the form of Gansta Rap.

Internationally the Europeans and their native puppets imported commercial clap trap and Gangsta Rap to suppress and replace conscious political artists like Bob Marley and Fela Anikulapo Kuti who infused innovative liberation music into their indigenous culture.

But I digress, the article at is well worth reading because it helps connect the dots between the degenerate music being promoted today and the booming prison industry. It is one explanation among many as to why and how the US morphed into the world’s largest incarceration nation. Social policy and legislation are the other reasons. Keep in mind the information presented in this article is nothing new but it was from the perspective and experience of someone inside the music industry. What would go further to explain the rapid spread of Gangsta Rap would be if a radio exec came forth and revealed how corporate owned radio station programming was deliberately changed to squash conscious artists and substitute them with hard core glorification of misogyny, violence, fratricide and decadence, how that genre was put it into heavy rotation with whole stations dedicated to programming that particular format.

At the same time we must also realize the values inherent in Gangsta Rap are merely a reflection of the dominant Euro-American values of: greed, unbridled ego, blood lust, violence, exploitation and dog eat dog patriarchy; only in black face. This plan was designed to drive us mad and spiritually destroy generations of black youth around the world to facilitate a moral implosion so we could not adequately resist global white supremacy.

The Gangsta Rap – prison pipeline scenario is one of the reasons our community is so dysfunctional, why the prisons are bursting at the seams with more being built every year. This is why valiant souls who stand up to the filth and point out the moral rot are viciously attacked, mocked and derided by the corporate media or discredited because their views are sometimes embraced by the white nationalist/religious right. We must realize we are in a psychological and spiritual war against a truly psychopathic enemy. The sooner we wake up to this reality, coalesce and fight back by embracing African values the better off we will be.