BOSTON, MA – A group of millionaires who live in gated communities are demanding that the Massachusetts governor “beef up” a police reform bill that will likely leave minority communities in more dangerous circumstances.
17 Boston Celtics players have banded together to criticize Massachusetts Governor. Charlie Baker for the changes he wants to the state’s proposed police reform bill.
The players, including Kemba Walker, Tristan Thompson, and Jayson Tatum, signed their names to an op-ed published by the Boston Globe excoriating the governor for his proposed changes to the bill, especially his opposition to banning the use of facial recognition technology.
this is baller. the entire Boston @celtics team has penned an op-ed calling on the MA legislature and @CharlieBakerMA to pass a strong police reform bill that bans #facialrecognition surveillance. https://t.co/BcDnc0xafH h/t @onekade and @ACLU_Mass
— Evan Greer (@evan_greer) December 16, 2020
The editorial states, in part:
“Despite our positions and profiles as professional athletes, we are not immune to racial profiling and discriminatory policing. Police violence and racism are unfortunately all too familiar for many players of color.
“Governor Baker, regulating facial recognition technology is a racial justice issue.
“Baker’s rejection of this section of the police reform bill is deeply troubling because this technology supercharges racial profiling by police and has resulted in the wrongful arrests of innocent people.”
The op-ed claims that the ban on facial recognition technology must remain in the bill because it is fraught with racial bias. Continuing:
“This bias against Black people and other people of color is baked into the criminal legal system, and it’s perpetuated at every level, including the tools that police departments use.
“That’s why we were disappointed to see that Governor Charlie Baker, in his amendments to the police reform legislation, removed the bill’s proposed regulations of government use of facial recognition technology.
“Baker’s rejection is deeply troubling because this technology supercharges racial profiling by police and has resulted in the wrongful arrests of innocent people.”
“Studies confirm that face recognition surveillance technology is flawed and biased, with significantly higher error rates when used against people of color and women. This has real consequences. One false match can lead to an interrogation, arrest, and — especially for black men — even a deadly police encounter.
“We can’t allow biased technology to supercharge racist policing in the Commonwealth. The Legislature should return these important regulations to the governor and he should sign the bill.”
For his part, Governor Baker has said he won’t sign the bill as presented to him by the legislature, and he wants the scanning technology to stay in the bill, saying that banning the tech “ignores the important role it can play in solving crime.”
Baker also opposes the plans to have civilian groups interfere in police training:
“I do not accept the premise that civilians know best how to train police.”
Governor Baker added:
“There’s a lot in here that I’m concerned about, OK? But I want to sign a bill.
“We desperately need an accountability system in Massachusetts. Too many times, especially in communities of color, people are treated badly by law enforcement and there is simply, too often, little or no consequences for any of the people who are involved.”
In conclusion of the Celtics-supported op-ed, the editorial stated:
“Along with the issues of racial bias in facial recognition software, the Celtics also cited the lack of transparency with the policing tool, noting that facial surveillance is used in secret, without any oversight.
“Even defense attorneys don’t always find out when it’s been used to identify their clients. That’s because police departments aren’t always required to disclose their use of the technology to criminal defendants.”
Members of the Celtics have utilized their platform to raise social and racial issues in the past. Jaylen Brown has spoken with reporters about the third verse in the Star-Spangled Banner that mentions slavery and how systemic racism is deeply rooted in the United States, and joined a protest in Atlanta in May after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
During those protests, Boston’s Marcus Smart expressed himself to NBC Sports’ A. Sherrod Blakely:
“We wanted to come out here and let our voice be heard because we stand for the truth, and we stand for justice. And we won’t stop until we get justice. That’s really what this is about.”
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Ben & Jerry’s make Colin Kaepernick themed flavor, donates proceeds to group that slams police
December 15, 2020
WATERBURY VILLAGE, VT- Ice cream purveyors Ben & Jerry’s have introduced a new flavor of “frozen dessert” to their offerings, with this latest confection resulting from a partnership with Colin Kaepernick.
I’ve teamed up with @BenAndJerrys to serve up joy on the journey to justice!
Today, we're excited to introduce Change the Whirled, a new non-dairy flavor that hits shelves in early-2021!
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) December 10, 2020
The new flavor, dubbed as “Colin Kaepernick’s Change the Whirled”, also has a bit of a social justice angle to those who opt to purchase the non-dairy dessert, according to Ben & Jerry’s:
“Colin Kaepernick is serving up sweet justice with the non-dairiest compilation of cookies & caramel. This flavor honors Colin’s activism in pursuit of racial justice & his portion of the proceeds from Change the Whirled go to Know Your Rights Camp. Learn more at Know Your Rights Camp.”
Frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t call the flavor “Take a Kneeapolitan.”
There’s hardly a person in the U.S. that doesn’t know who Kaepernick is. His sort of activism-themed antics have invariably created a split on the overall perception of him.
Chocolate, surrounded by vanilla, with a showy center, topped with nike shaped sprinkles. Flavor tastes like bitter disappointment with a hint of overinflated ego.
— Dr. of BS, PRESIDENT-ELECT Jillian (@jillianUSA2020) December 13, 2020
But what exactly is the “Know Your Rights Camp” that Kaepernick has so graciously decided to have his cut of the profits diverted to when someone opts to purchase this frozen dessert?
In a nutshell, it’s a group that just so happens to have Kaepernick front and center, hosting sort of motivational talks and presentations in the vein of Tony Robbins with a heavy focus on identity-politics.
The group’s own mission statement doesn’t even hide the fact that it’s an effort solely focused on targeting the black community:
“Our mission is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.”
Now, on the surface level, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to target and provide a perceived beneficial service to a specific community.
And when one simply looks at the mission statement of the organization, there’s hardly anything controversial looking.
Now this group has been holding these sort of motivational/educational talks for a few years now. So when taking a look back at one of their promo videos from 2017, we’re able to get a better understanding of what topics are covered during these “boot camps” for young kids.
Some of the topics covered during these events are some great ones for children of all walks of life to learn, such as:
- Resources for attaining higher education
- An understanding of one’s legal rights
- Promoting healthy eating habits
- Financial literacy
But then, there’s also this one other bit that Kaepernick says is part of these “boot camps”, and that is “the history of policing.”
And from what can be gathered when reviewing the sort of speakers that attend these events, it looks like there’s no actual police officers or law enforcement professionals actually participating.
Which then might make one ponder what this “history of policing” that is taught during these events sounds like.
While minutely speculative, a Kaepernick-led endeavor to detail the “history of policing” to young kids is probably not an effort conveying police officers in a positive light.
Kaepernick has a years’ long history of alleging that there’s rampant violence, racism and unjust police-involved shootings that target the black community.
Here’s a look at a timeline of Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality, and what has happened since. https://t.co/NL0FYDdgSq
— Seattle Times Sports (@SeaTimesSports) June 2, 2020
Not to mention, Kaepernick also started a “legal defense fund” for any rioters that wound up getting arrested during the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis.
Furthermore, when commenting on the death of Floyd, Kaepernick said that people have a “right to fight back”. And we all know who the perceived enemy was during said riots – it was of course, the police as a whole.
So, when someone so decides to purchase this “frozen dessert” when going through the ice cream aisle of their preferred grocer, they’ll effectively be funding young children to be taught that police officers are racist murderers.
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