Protecting and Serving Themselves: The Fraternal Order of Police at 105 Years

By Nick Alexandrov

Prelude

Bobby Rush shouldn’t be here. Chicago Police meant to murder him in December 1969, when 14 of them invaded the West Monroe Street apartment to execute his fellow Black Panthers, killing one with a bullet to the heart and another, the one the FBI informant drugged, with two shots to the head. But Rush was miles away that night.

Now he’s a Congressman. When asked, last month, how police today compare to 1960s forces, his response was firm: they’re “more vicious now.” More menacing, he stressed, because of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).

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Trident Family offers community building, literacy programs

By Kristi Eaton

Dieter Cantu and a group of individuals have come together to create a social enterprise affecting thousands of individuals through a host of programs. A social enterprise is a business that invests its profits back into its mission and the communities it serves.

Called The Trident Family, the social enterprise offers a community garden, literacy program for incarcerated youth and more.

Offering books to youth who are incarcerated is especially poignant to Cantu, who lives in Houston.

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Mascot

By Quraysh Ali Lansana

for zack. for mark.

I.

the red undertones that inform my melanin
were birthed in the black mountain foothills
near the tennessee-mississippi border.

my great grandfather albert found freedom
just before the trail of tears migration
and hooked up with an ornery black
woman in westpoint, muddy waters’ neighbor.

ms. cora mae, never one to hold anything
long but money, sent him to his horse
upon the news—she had things to do—my grandma
would join the family business in a while.

ms. cora mae carried three daughters and two sons
into post-reconstruction mississippi, sown
from different seeds. the women, their doors
always open, were sexy to kill for. the men
loyal enough to do the job—cooking shine and running
game.

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Football as Metaphor and conundrum

By Quraysh Ali Lansana

I am a native of Enid, a place that feels difficult locating on a map. Oklahoma has such a vexing history regarding race, class and the rule of law. Oklahomans also love football almost as much as life itself.

Think about it: even the nickname, Sooner, is a celebration of outlaws who staked their claims under cover of darkness the night before the Land Run officially began. It’s also terrible grammar.

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Protecting Your video Meetings

By Kristi Eaton

During the past few months, a large percentage of U.S. residents have been using Zoom and other virtual platforms to do everything from hold business meetings, happy hours and even graduations from high school and college.

But with the increase in online experiences have come security threats. In Zoom, it’s sometimes called Zoombombing, and it’s when an unauthorized person enters the group meeting and posts racists, misogynistic, anti-Semitic and other harmful and hateful material.

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The Dark History of Tulsa Policing

By Nick Alexandrov

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, on the June 7th edition of CBS News Sunday morning, dismissed the idea that race played a role in Tulsa Police Officer Betty Jo Shelby’s killing of Terence Crutcher. “It is more about the really insidious nature of drug utilization,” he asserted, citing Crutcher’s failure to follow police orders, in his final moments, as a reason he died.

CBS was right to ask about race, whatever Bynum believes. Tulsa cops, like forces nationwide, have a long, ugly record of racist misconduct and violence. That history still echoes, affecting how Tulsans today see local law enforcement.

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State Question 802 On June 30 Ballot

Oklahomans to Vote on Medicaid Expansion

By Shawn Crawford

Update: Please note that as you read, after vetoing his own bill for SoonerCare 2.0, Governor Stitt announced he will not be pursuing expanded Medicaid coverage for Oklahoma. This means State Question 802 is now the only option for Medicaid expansion in the state, rendering portions of this article no longer relevant.

Oklahomans will have the opportunity to vote for State Question 802 on June 30. The question would amend the Oklahoma constitution to allow for an expansion of Medicaid coverage for uninsured Oklahomans below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level. Currently that translates into individuals making less than $17,236 or a family of four making less than $35,535.

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COVID-19 and the US Meat Supply

By Kristi Eaton

Across the United States, meat-processing facilities have been deemed “hot spots” for COVID-19 cases, places where a large percentage or number of employees test positive for the virus.

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OKC Black Eats highlights black-owned restaurants, chefs and culinary professionals

By the end of May, there will be nearly 60 black-owned restaurants in Oklahoma City, rivaling major metropolitan areas like Dallas and St. Louis, according to Apollo Woods, founder of OKC Black Eats.

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Black Wall street Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

By Kristi Eaton

Venita Cooper was getting excited about the upcoming spring months for her store Silhouette Sneakers & Art. Like many small business owners, she said sales were a bit stagnant during the months immediately after the holidays. But springtime – and its beautiful weather – offered optimism for her store in historic Black Wall Street.

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