10 Dec
Posted by Obiora Nnamdi Anekwe

The guilty conscious of the United States is the Native American. For so long, Native Americans have been invisible in our country. We now live in a country where the original land was stolen from its indigenous people. Native people have since been allowed to live as a nation within a nation. But today, one tribe, the Standing Rock Sioux, is being threatened by big oil and banking executives who want to run a new oil pipeline, known as the Dakota Access Pipeline, near their reservation and under the Missouri River in North Dakota. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe opposes construction of the oil pipeline because its path is close to the source of their drinking water, which is pure and contains no fluoride, a chemical substance that some environmentalists believe is harmful to people’s health. Stretching from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota to Illinois, the $3.8 billion pipeline is almost complete, except for an area under the Missouri River called Lake Oahe. Native Americans near the lake contend that any spill from the pipeline will potentially poison water supplies. In addition, they argue that the pipeline runs through the sacred ancestral land and burial grounds of their people. And this is why the Standing rock Sioux Tribe and other Americans are protesting at the Oceti Sakowin camp to stop the complete construction of the pipeline.

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05 Dec
Posted by Obiora Nnamdi Anekwe

What do Sandra Bland, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner, Korryn Gaines, and Freddie Gray all have in common? They were all black people who were unjustly killed because of police brutality. But another connection that these individuals have is that they all had some form of disability which played a significant role in how and why they were viciously killed by police.

Living with a disability is not a state of existence that can easily be recognized by the naked eye, no matter how well-trained a police officer may be. It requires more than police instincts to determine whether a citizen is purposefully disobeying an officer’s instructions. Rather, fair,  justice-based intent must be considered in how any citizen is treated. As stated by the Harriet Tubman Collective (2016), people with disabilities make up the largest known minority group in the United States, comprising around twenty percent of the total population. And yet, these Americans are mostly invisible and unrecognizable figures who are seldom advocated for in a society consumed with nonsensical and inconsequential meanings.

In order to end police brutality against black Americans, there also has to be an acknowledgement that those with disabilities are victimized by police every day. Although it is a fact that many black Americans who have disabilities have been unfairly victimized and killed by police, very few are aware that black disabled/deaf persons represent 60 to 80 percent of those murdered by police (Harriet Tubman Collective, 2016). Unfortunately, it is also a glaring fact that when these incidents occur, the victim’s disability is rarely discussed as a possible cause for misjudgment by police officers who perpetuate the crime of killing innocent victims.

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26 Nov
Posted by Obiora Nnamdi Anekwe

Education and health care are two services that are necessary for survival to most Americans. It would simply be nearly impossible to live in this modern society without basic health care and a grounded education. But unfortunately, African Americans have experienced discriminatory practices in both public education and public health care practices that have led to an element of disenfranchisement that has nearly crippled black Americans in a society historically rooted in limiting equality and justice-to all its citizens.

We can simply look to history as our guide. Separate and unequal facilities for black students in segregated public schools were not providing adequate educational resources. In the case of public health care access, many black male farmers in and around the Tuskegee, Alabama community were not given the proper public health care educational and material resources in order to combat the wide spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis. Rather, black male victims of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study were essentially tricked and misinformed to believe that they did not have syphilis, but bad blood, which could be treated through placebo drugs that did not treat syphilis. Doctors’ nontreatment of these men served the purpose of measuring, as an experiment, the affects and natural course of nontreatment for black men who had syphilis.

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