A Trip to Montgomery

Sandy summarizes her trip to the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum and “lynching memorial” and searches for signs of its mission in our state.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts here, and wherever else you like to listen here.

The Battle Against the Byhalia Pipeline

Hale and Cassie are joined by Justin Pearson, one of the co-founders of the grassroots movement Memphis Community Against The Pipeline (MCAP). They dig into the movement’s fight against the Byhalia Connection Pipeline and the ongoing environmental injustices happening right now in Memphis, Tennessee.

Check out Memphis Community Against the Pipeline

Sign the petition to tell city council members to vote to protect Memphis’ drinking water on Tuesday

Volunteer with MCAP

Sunrise Tennessee Interest Form

Find out what Native Land you are living on

Follow Sunrise Tennessee on Twitter and Facebook.

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts and wherever else you like to listen.

 

OPINION: The Death of Anthony Thompson Jr. Was Avoidable

Opinion by Ali Pensky of Knoxville, TN

I am not a detective or a lawyer, but as a human being, I watched the video of seventeen-year-old Anthony Thompson Junior being shot and killed in his high school’s bathroom, and I have questions. As the officers approached Anthony, he begged, “WAIT” six times. By the time he could muster up another “WAIT” the officer had already shot him to the ground, and then, proceeded to handcuff him.  

As I watched the comment section of WBIR’s Facebook Live, many people wrote something like, “What did you expect? He brought a gun to school.” And then I thought of sixteen-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant who was killed by the police, and how people claim the shooting was justified because she had a knife and was in a fight.  

Too many police have proven to America that they will not do anything to deescalate a tough situation besides shooting their guns at children, so why are we still funding them at the rate we do? 

 It seems obvious that more money should be given to social services that will help with issues such as addiction, homelessness, and mental health. It seems obvious that police across the country need sufficient bias training. So why is the idea of defunding the police so threatening to so many white people? It is because this country only actually polices some people, and those who are not controlled, and in fact benefit from the current system of policing, want the system to stay the way it is. I am a white girl from an upper-middle-class neighborhood in Knoxville who went to a private high school. If a kid I knew was accused of hitting his girlfriend, he would probably get his friends’ dad who is a lawyer to make it go away. He would not get shot in the bathroom of his school, like Anthony Thompson junior. That is white privilege. That is why the killing of Anthony Thompson junior is absolutely not justifiable. 

The question of why the DA spent an hour going over tapes of Anthony’s girlfriend accusing him of abuse, is part of a larger issue. While an accusation of domestic abuse is serious, it has nothing to do with Anthony being shot to death by a police officer in his own school’s bathroom. The question of why Anthony was portrayed as a school shooter and portrayed as having shot the officer when both accusations are false is part of a larger issueThe picture that was painted of Anthony before the bodycam footage of the shooting was even released is disturbing and manipulative. It puts systemic racism on display. 

I have no doubt that the officers in that bathroom felt they were in danger, but in what universe does the officer deserve more sympathy than the dead seventeen-year-old? We need to dismantle that universe because it appears to have become our reality.  

I will never fully understand what it means to be a part of the Austin East community. But I stand with them and I believe the death of Anthony Thompson Junior was avoidable. I do not have answers on how to dismantle this broken system or make Knoxville safe for everyone, but if you are privileged enough to do so like myself, donate to the Austin East Foundation, which aims to help AE receive the same educational opportunities as other Knox County students. Purchase something on the AE’s staff wish list on Amazon. Support one of the local restaurants that are donating their proceeds to AE, such as Hard Knox Pizza or Likewise Coffee. Go to a protest led by Constance Every. Take a stance.

These GOP Senators Don’t Seem to Understand the Right to Protest

“Are you worried BLACK PLAYERS won’t come to Tennessee? Why didn’t you go talk to the players about WHY they were kneeling?”

We asked Senators Rusty Crowe & Jon Lundberg about Coach Shay being forced out of ETSU (by boosters & TNGOP) for standing with his players.

 

The Subtle Racism of Media Framing after the Atlanta Anti-Asian Hate Crime

“A lot of The New York Times and Washington Post articles are using language like ‘The authorities are still determining if this was racially motivated.’ To me, that’s just as hurtful” as Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s racist tweets.

Dr. Stephanie Kang of API Middle Tennessee on the subtle racism of how the media has framed the Atlanta hate crime against Asian-Americans.

Full podcast interview with Dr. Stephanie Kang, Joseph Gutierrez, and Kit Canlas of API Middle TN available on Apple Podcasts, and wherever else you like to listen.

Support API Middle Tennessee here

If you identify as API, join their processing space on Monday here.

 

 

Full livestream available here:

The Struggle Against the Nathan Bedford Forrest Bust with Justin Jones

Organizer Justin Jones joins to talk with Representative Johnson about his years-long struggle in leading the charge to remove the bust of former KKK Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest from the State Capitol. Jones puts it best in his reason for focusing so heavily on the bust: if we can’t remove such a blatant symbol of racism from our Capitol, how will we ever be able to find the strength to build a true, multi-racial democracy?

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts, and wherever else you like to listen.

Sen Kelsey Shamed for Voting Against Black History Month Education

YESTERDAY: Senator Brian Kelsey voted against Senator Katrina Robinson’s bill to add more substance & positivity to the black history curriculum in Tennessee schools.

TODAY: We asked him about it — while he was on an elevator full of black women.

 

Elect Black Women

“Good leadership tends to be people who have lived the hurt and the pain of terrible legislation.” Ruby Powell-Dennis of Elect Black Women PAC on #ACaseOfTheMundays talking about why it’s crucial to elect Black women for competent leadership.

Support Elect Black Women PAC

FULL PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts, and wherever else you like to listen.

 

Want Expertise? Come Holler At Us

“When you see us you shouldn’t just think of Black issues. If you want to think about climate issues, economic issues…come holler at us.”

Odessa Kelly, Executive Director of Stand Up Nashville, with Charlane and Tequila on #PorchPolitics talking about the broad expertise of the Black community.

Charlane and Tequila are Co-Founders and Co-Executive Directors of The Equity Alliance.

Porch Politics is recorded LIVE from our porch every other Thursday at 6 pm CT. You can stream it on The Tennessee Holler or wait for it to drop as a podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever else you like to listen.

Rep Sexton’s Racist Tirade

“It goes against OUR people and OUR culture.”

At a budget meeting, Rep. Jerry Sexton rips off the mask/hood and lashes out about having Diversity and Inclusion positions in state government, calling it “propaganda.”