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Thursday, October 27, 2016



On October 26, 2016, the League of Women Voters in collaboration with the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Coffee Party, and the "Race and Reconciliation" program of the Department of Social Work at the University of West Florida hosted its sixth program on the School-to-Prison Pipeline.  The focus of the sixth program was the novel idea that prison is No Place For A Child.

The No Place For A Child coalition consists of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, the Anti-Defamation League, Escambia Youth Justice Coalition, the Public Interest Law section of the Florida Bar, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the National Council of Jewish Women, The Children's Campaign, the Project on Accountable Justice, the James Madison Institute, the Campaign for Youth Justice, Florida's Children First, R Street, the Florida Juvenile Justice Association, the Florida Council of Churches, the Florida PTA, the Jacksonville Juvenile Justice Coalition, and Families of Youth Incarcerated.

The program started with an excellent 30+ minute documentary on the deliberate resegregation of St. Petersburg's Pinellas County School District schools.  As a result of the school board's decision to end integration through busing and not transferring dollars with the students to now predominantly Black schools, the school district created a school district bifurcated by race and class.  Essentially, Black children in the school district lost a decade's worth of schooling due to hiring uncertified teachers, providing inadequate resources, and amping up arrests of Black children for non-violent offenses.  Eventually, organized parents were able to breakthrough the complete indifference of the school board to the effects of its earlier decision.

The documentary was part 3 of a 5-part series put together by executive producers Norman Lear, Shonda Rhimes, and Common (Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr.).  The five-part series is shown on the Epix cable channel.  The following link is for the trailer on Pinellas County School District.  The excellent Democracy Now! website has a 19-minute interview with the creators and clips from various episodes.

Previous CJ's Street Report blog reports have covered the five School-to-Prison Pipeline events.  The blog for January 29, 2016, summarized the previous three events.  The December 4, 2015, blog covered the Paper Tigers movie.  The April 22, 2016, blog covered the response to the series by the Escambia County School District.  You can find the previous blog articles here:  02 SEPT 2015   27 OCT 2015   04 DEC 2015   29 JAN 2016   22 APR 2016.


Ms. Kelley RICHARDS, Public Defender for First Judicial Circuit, has 32 years of experience in criminal defense.  Licensed to practice in Texas and Florida, Richards earned her JD from South Texas College of Law.

Mr. Scott MCCOY, Senior Policy Counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Florida.  McCoy works out of the Tallahassee office.  McCoy specializes in criminal justice reform, juvenile justice reform, children's rights, and LGBT rights.  McCoy earned his JD from the Cardozo Law School and has an MA in International Affairs from George Washington University.

Ms. Deborah BRODSKY is the founding director of the Project on Accountable Justice (PAJ) at Florida State University.  The PAJ is a collaboration of FSU, Baylor University, St. Petersburg College, and Tallahassee Community College.  The PAJ was launched in October 2012 and is dedicated to producing scholarly research to advance public safety.  Previously, Brodsky worked 13 years at Florida Tax Watch, a fiscally conservative think tank; was the chief of staff and director of both the Center for Smart Justice and the Center for Educational Performance and Accountability.  Brodsky worked for the Florida legislature between 1991 and 1998.

Dr. Amir WHITAKER holds five academic degrees, including a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California and JD from the University of Miami.  Despite being a product of the juvenile justice system, he has held teaching certifications in Florida, California, and New Jersey.  He recently published his autobiography, The KnuckleHead's Guide to Escaping the Trap.  His autobiography provides a first-hand account of the devastating effects of mass incarceration and the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

Reverend Jeremy GRAHAM is from New Orleans and was raised in a very religious two-parent home.  Graham's dad was the pastor of a small Pentescostal Church.  Expelled from both high school and alternative school at age 16, Graham turned to selling drugs.  He eventually turned his life around with the help of Pastor Lionel Traylor.  In 2010, he graduated from Hinds Community College and now heads a team of life insurance agents in southern Mississippi.

Mr. Jamir PATTERSON is a product of the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems.


An "Issue Commentary" from the Tallahassee-based, free-market advocacy group, The James Madison Insitutute, noted that "Florida prosecutors have virtually unfettered discretion to decide which children to try as adults."  While Florida law authorizes a judicial hearing, prosecutors get around that obstacle by "direct filing" complaints.  In fact, "more than 98 percent of children tried as adults are 'direct filed'" which means there is "no hearing, due process, oversight or input from a judge."  In 2013-2014, Florida transferred more than 1,300 children to adult court, making Florida "the highest number of adult transfers" in the country.  In the last five years, Florida has transferred more than 10,000 children to adult courts.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has an ongoing investigation of the Escambia County School District, provided updated statistics on juvenile arrests which are integral to the School-to-Prison Pipeline.  Superintendent Malcolm THOMAS has refused to meet with the SPLC to discuss the SPLC's findings and recommendations.

The SPLC reported that while Florida leads the nation in student arrests, Escambia County arrests more students for disorderly conduct than 20 combined counties in the Panhandle (see slide below).  The SPLC reported that "Escambia's school arrest rate is more than twice the Florida state average."  And, three ECSD schools--Warrington Middle School, Pine Forest High School, and Escambia High School--are among the top 25 schools for arrests of juveniles.

Warrington Middle School is Number 6 in the state.  Shockingly, the SPLC found that despite "having fewer than 700 students, Warrington Middle arrested the same number of students for disorderly conduct as Miami-Dade County Public Schools, a district with 350,000+ students.  A student at Warrington Middle is over 500 times as likely to be arrested for disorderly conduct as a student in Miami."

Pine Forest High School is Number 15 in Florida.  During the 2014-2015 school year, Pine Forest "arrested more students...than the entire Santa Rosa County School District.  Pine Forest High has 1,706 students while Santa Rosa has 26,738.  100% of disorderly conduct arrests at Pine Forest High were of black students who only comprise 34% of the school."

Escambia High School is Number 25.  During the 2014-2015 school year, Escambia High "arrested more students...than the entire Okaloosa County School District.  Escambia High has 1,749 students compared to Okaloosa's 30,000+ students."  Black students, around 46% of the student body, accounted for 10 of 11 disorderly conduct charges.

Camelot Academy also showed up on the SPLC's radar.  The SPLC reported that Camelot's arrest rate is "20 times higher than the state average."  The SPLC's research found that "Less than 7 students are arrested per 1,000 throughout Florida.  At Camelot, 140 students are arrested per 1,000.  Disorderly conduct is the most common arrest." 

Camelot Academy, according to CJ's Street Report research, is owned by a Wall Street private equity firm, the Riverside Company.  Previously, it had been owned by the Charterhouse Group, another private equity firm.  According to the contract signed between the Escambia County School District and Camelot Schools of Florida (previously with "of Pennsylvania"), the school district pays Camelot Schools $1,847,330 per year, or, $9,236.65 per student.  Bear in mind, the Escambia County School District, according to a Pensacola News Journal article, spends only $7,178 per student.  The difference between what the school district spends per student ($7,178) and what it pays Camelot Schools per student ($9,236) is $2,158 per student.  The school district pays the $1.847 million per year, no matter how students are sent to Camelot.  But, Camelot can take up to 240 students per year.  This represents a potential profit to Camelot Schools of $517,920 per year, on top of its $167,939 "management fee."  And, because Camelot Schools is owned by a private equity fund, how much it actually spends per student per year is a corporate secret.  But, you could basically bet your mortgage that Camelot Academy's spending per student is below $7,178 per student, probably substantially below.


Dr. Paula MONTGOMERY, League of Women Voters

Mr. Ray HUDKINS, founder of Coffee Party, Pensacola reads Mayor Ashton's Proclamation

Ms. Keyontay HUMPHRIES, ACLU, introduction to Divided America documentary

Ms. HUMPHRIES, no middle school in District 3 in future

Ms. Lisa NELLESSEN-LARA, executive editor, Pensacola News Journal introduces panel participants

Ms. Kelley RICHARDS, Public Defender

Ms. Deborah BRODSKY, Project on Accountable Justice, FSU

Reverend Jeremy GRAHAM

Mr. Scott MCCOY, SPLC, Tallahassee office

Dr. Amir WHITAKER, SPLC, civil rights attorney


Part 1, Questions and Answers

Part 2, Questions and Answers


Saturday, October 22, 2016



The first steps in solving a problem are to recognize that you have a problem and to correctly understand what that problem is.  America has a race problem.  More specifically, white Americans have a race problem.  More specifically, white Americans need to understand that America's race problem begins in the seventeenth century and includes two manifestations of white supremacy: the extermination of Indians* or Native Americans and the enslavement and merciless economic exploitation of Africans.  White supremacy, combined with Christian nationalism, is the operating software system of America.  America's political and economic history cannot be understood without understanding how white supremacy has operated from the seventeenth century to today.

* Note in the 2016 book All the Real Indians Died Off, an examination of 20 myths about Native Americans, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker, noted in their introduction (page xi) that "most Native people today do not object to the word [Indian].  Thus we use the terms 'Indian,' 'Indigenous,' 'Native American,' and 'Native' interchangeably..."

As Dunbar-Ortiz noted in the introduction to her An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (page 2), "The history of the United States is a history of settler colonialism--the founding of a state based on the ideology of white supremacy, the widespread practice of African slavery, and a policy of genocide and land theft."

White supremacy has been accompanied by scholarship designed and intended to induce amnesia among white people, as well as among Black folks.  Black folks, to the degree they are immune to this historical amnesia, is due to a familial oral history and/or a race-conscious education.

But, for white Americans, American history is not necessarily a familial oral history passed from generation to generation to generation, unless the family is rooted in the Confederate states.  For most white Americans, history is what you learn in elementary and middle school, high school, or university.  And, even within my lifetime the scholarship on race has changed significantly through the groundswell pressure of the Black Liberation Movement begun after the Civil War.

Edward E. Baptist in his 2014 book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, noted (page xvii) that "historians of Woodrow Wilson's generation imprinted the stamp of academic research on the idea that slavery was separate from the great economic and social transformations of the Western world during the nineteenth century....But to an openly racist historical profession...the white South's desire to whitewash slavery in the past, and maintain segregation now and forever, served the purpose of validating control over supposedly premodern, semi-savage black people."

But Baptist's research demonstrated conclusively (page xxi-xxii) that the "returns from cotton monopoly powered the modernization of the rest of the American economy....In fact, slavery's expansion shaped every crucial aspect of the economy and politics of the new nation....The idea that the commodification and suffering and forced labor of African Americans is what made the United States powerful and rich is not an idea that people necessarily are happy to hear."

Baptist noted (page xxiii), "Enslaved African Americans built the modern United States, and indeed the entire modern world, in ways both obvious and hidden."

In fact, using Baptist and others it is possible to argue, "No Slavery, No Capitalism."  And all economic developments in the United States by Capital have been to drive down and as much possible eliminate both the cost of Labor and the existence of Organized Labor.  In other words, while Capital exalts Technology, it abhors Labor and seeks to replicate as close as possible its starting economic condition--enslaved, free labor maximized for profit.  We see and know part of that system as The New Jim Crow.  We also know this political-economic system by its modern name, neo-liberalism (here, here, here and here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).

In the introduction to W.E.B. Du Bois's seminal and groundbreaking 1935 book, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880, David Levering Lewis noted that Black Reconstruction "was ignored by the American Historical Review and widely disparaged by mainstream historians during the Cold War" (page xi).  Lewis noted (page vii-viii) that "white historians and political scientists documented, denounced, and derided African-American ignorance, venality, and exploitation under Reconstruction....and congealed racist interpretations of Reconstruction in the popular mind as solidly as had D.W. Griffith's film, Birth of a Nation..."

Historian Eric Foner in his 1988 book, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, noted (pages xvii-xviii) that the "scholarly study of Reconstruction began early in this century with the work of William Dunning, John W. Burgess, and their students.  The interpretation elaborated by the Dunning School....[was that] Reconstruction was the darkest page in the saga of American history.  The fundamental underpinning of this interpretation was the conviction....[that] childlike blacks, these scholars insisted, were unprepared for freedom and incapable of properly exercising the political rights Northerners had thrust upon them."

Foner also noted (page xix) that the Dunning school had a "remarkable longevity and powerful hold on the popular imagination."  Foner observed that though the Dunning school had been subjected to critical scholarship for decades, "It required...a profound change in the nation's politics and racial attitudes to deal the final blow to the Dunning School."

However, a mere eight years (1996) after Foner's book, the evidence of a white nationalist backlash against historical revisionism and the Black Liberation Movement was of such sufficient force that political writer Michael LInd argued in his book, Up From Conservatism, that conservatism as an ideology was dying, if not dead, and being replaced by a much uglier, cruder, more regressive coalition of right-wingers.

According to Michael Lind (pages 7-8), "The only movement on the right in the United States today that has any significant political influence is the far right....[T]he contemporary American far right has both public, political wings (the Christian Coalition, the National Rifle Association, Project Rescue) and its covert, paramilitary, terrorist factions....[T]he fact remains that a common worldview animates both the followers of Pat Robertson and Pat Buchanan and the far-right extremists who bomb abortion clinics, murder federal marshals and county sheriffs, and blow up buildings and trains."

And, twenty years (2008) after Foner's book, the editors of Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction, Euan Hague, Heidi Beirich, and Edward H. Sebesta, observed (page 2) that in 1995 the League of the South had issued a "New Dixie Manifesto" asserting that white Americans were under assault by "elites in Washington, Wall Street, Hollywood, and the Ivy League" and doomed to "'cultural genocide.'"  They suggested (page 10) that it was the neo-Confederate movement's ideology with "racist, patriarchical, heterosexist, classist, and religious undertones--that form the basis of a conservative ideology that centers upon social inequality and the maintenance of a hierarchical society."  In a concluding chapter, Hague and Sebesta argued (page 310) that the neo-Confederate movement was "underpinned by ideas of irreconcilable racial and ethnic differences, white dominance, patriarchy, social Darwinism, and so-called orthodox Christianity."

And, now we have Donald J. Trump as the standard bearer of the Republican Party, largely driven to his party's nomination by voters seething with racial resentment, perceiving white identity under threat, opposing political correctness, holding anti-immigrant views, and hostility to Muslims, supported by the Christian Right, the Tea Party movement, the Patriot militia, the racist and anti-Semitic alt-right, and the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis, with a more amorphously racist "All Lives Matter" ideology mixed with "White Lives Matter" and "Blue Lives Matter."  What has far less explanatory power regarding the rise of Trump are economic anxiety or economic marginalization, but white nationalism.

According to the UK-based The Guardian newspaper, in 2015 the police in America killed 1,146 people, which worked out on a per million basis of 7.66 Black, 5.49 Native American, 3.45 Hispanic/Latino, 2.93 white, and 1.34 Asian/Pacific Islander.  As of October 22, 2016, The Guardian had counted 865 Americans killed by the police, of which on a per million basis was 5.49 Native American, 5.16 Black, 2.4 Hispanic/Latino, 2.13 white, and 0.78 Asian/Pacific Islander.

The above is just a sliver of the historical and contemporary context behind the Race and Reconciliation's October 20, 2016, presentation on understanding the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Race and Reconciliation presentation on "Cooling the Fire" was hosted by Dr. Julie Patton from the University of West Florida's Department of Social Work.  It was moderated by Reverend Dr. Julie Kain of Pensacola's Unitarian Universalist Church.  Key presenters were Teniade Broughton of Black Pensacola and the John Sunday Society, Keyontay Humphries of From Pensacola With Love (the local version of Black Lives Matter), and Haley Morrisette, also of From Pensacola With Love.  The main objectives were to dispel accusations that Black Lives Matter is anti-religious, anti-male, anti-white, anti-police, and a terrorist organization by putting Black Lives Matter into historical and cultural contexts.

Due to copyright issues, Teniade Broughton's taped presentation cannot be shown.  However, some of the highlights of her informative talk included the following points:  Pensacola was/is a mixture of cultures--Spanish, English, French, Native American, and African.  The English culture followed the "one-drop rule" to determine who was and was not Black, while the Spanish had a five-tier caste system.  Whatever the real accomplishments of Black people during Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras, they would be put down with reference to their slave demeanor.  Central to Jim Crow was to divide racial groups by dividing public spaces.  In the early 1900s, the attempt to segregate Pensacola's street cars was defeated by a 707-day boycott (the longest in civil rights history) and a successful legal challenge decided by the Florida Supreme Court--fifty years before the Montgomery Boycott.  The Pensacola boycott was made possible by the independent wealth, income, businesses, real estate, and jobs inside the Black community.  In fact, the Black community in Pensacola during Jim Crow owned more property, proportionately, than in any other city of similar size.  Responses to racial terrorism ranged from boycotts, to leaving for northern cities like Chicago, and having the Florida government fund one's education outside of Florida.

UPDATE:  The video has been edited to address copyright issues.  The three videos are posted below.

Photos from the Race and Reconciliation Meeting

Below are videos of the Race and Reconciliation meeting as it happened.

Dr. Julie PATTON

Ms. Teniade BROUGHTON, Black Pensacola, Part 1

Ms. Teniade BROUGHTON, Part 2

Ms. Teniade BROUGHTON, Part 3

Teniade BROUGHTON and Cheryle ALLEN Q&A.  Ms. ALLEN was a member of Pensacola's NAACP's Youth Council who conducted sit-ins between 1960 and 1962 at the segregated Woolworth's lunch counters.

Rev Dr Julie KAIN introduction to Keyontay HUMPRHIES

Keyontay HUMPHRIES on history of Black Liberation before Black Lives Matter

Keyontay HUMPHRIES Part 2

Rev Dr Julie KAIN, UUC on white allyship

Haley Morrisette on keepin' it real

Part 1, Questions and Answers

Part 2, Q & A

Part 3, Q & A

Part 4, Q & A

Part 5, Q & A

Part 6, Q & A

Part 7, Q & A

Part 8, Q & A

Part 9, Q & A

Part 10, Q & A

Haley MORRISETTE and Dr Julie PATTON closing remarks


Thursday, October 20, 2016


On October 13, 2016, Ms. Ann Walker, president of the Wedgewood Rolling Hills Homeowners Association hosted a community meeting on the proposed Eager Beaver Recycling Facility.  Featured speakers included Mr. Howard Jacques, president of the facility who lives in Gulf Breeze; Ms. Jennifer Gay Valimont, president of the Woodlawn Heights Homeowners Association which has long standing disputes with Eager Beaver; Dr. Gloria Horning, head of Justice Escambia, and one of the area's major environmentalists; and, District 3 County Commissioner Lumon May.  This blog post provides the videos of the community meeting.

There are a couple of issues to note from the videotapes.

On tape #00122 at 13:50 to 14:10, Mr. Jacques seemingly admits to an uncited code violation.  Apparently, his company in Gulf Breeze was turning vegetation into wood chips for six months before he stopped to apply for a variance.  That is how it sounds.  Perhaps the county commission would like to clarify this point.

On tape #00123 at 00:20 Mr. Jacques states that part of his business plan is to sell wood chips to the massive International Paper mill in Cantonment.  While he did not specify how much wood chips he planned to sell to International Paper, it suggests that his operation at Rolling Hills on Pine Forest Road may be busier in terms of the number of trucks going in and out of the facility.  In any event, that is a matter for future consideration.

On tape #00126 at 04:00 to 04:44, Ms. Valimont stated that Mr. Jacques's previous company, Eager Beaver Expert Tree Service doing business in Jacksonville in 2008 had been cited for serious environmental code violations.  On tape #00128 at 00:35 to 01:20, Mr. Jacques explained that in 2006 he turned the company over to his wife during divorce proceedings and in 2008 he did not control the company.  A check of Florida business records shows that while Mr. Jacques was the "Managing Member" of the company in 2006 and 2007, on April 16, 2008, he was replaced as the "Managing Member" by Diane N. Jacques.  Thus, whatever violations the company incurred in 2008 were not the responsibility of Mr. Jacques.

Below are the videotapes of the community meeting without further comment.

Ms. Ann WALKER, WRH Homeowners Association

Mr. Horace JONES, EC Director of Developmental Services

Mr. Howard JACQUES, Eager Beaver Recycling Facility

Mr. Howard JACQUES, Presentation Part 2

Mr. Howard JACQUES, Presentation Part 3

Ms. Gay VALIMONT, Woodlawn Heights HOA

Commissioner Lumon MAY and Dr. Gloria HORNING

Part 1 Questions and Answers

Part 2 Questions and Answers

Ms. Khalifah MUHAMMAD