GUEST ROOM | Hollywood, Brutality and Black Lives Matter

This petition seeks to address the exclusion of Black people in key scenes behind the media which reinforces systematic racism among police and the nation as a whole. The United States has had a rash of police killings of Black people. Part of the reason police kill Black people is because they stereotype all Black people as thugs. This is how the media represents us. Not just news media, but within film and television as well.

Hundreds March from Ho Plaza to Ithaca Police Headquarters, Decrying Police Brutality

In front of the Ithaca Police Department, after a peaceful march filled with chants from the heart of Cornell’s campus to the Commons, a light rain began. The crowd of over a thousand knelt on the pavement in front of the police department for eight minutes and 46 seconds — the time it took for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to suffocate George Floyd to death.

GUEST ROOM | The Social Construction of Police Lies

As a recent retiree from college teaching with some time now to devote to social action in my community of Ithaca, I have closely followed the cases of young African American defendants Cadji Ferguson and Rose DeGroat since the disturbing incident on the Commons on April 6. The facts of the case were actually undisputed at Mr. Ferguson’s trial on Aug. 30 when he was acquitted of all charges. At trial, Judge Scott Miller found that Cadji Ferguson’s single punch of a drunk white man, Joseph Ming, was a reasonable response to a private conflict, following Ming’s menacing and increasingly escalating, aggressive behavior towards Cadji and his small group of friends on the Commons that evening. Although the prosecutor worked hard to support the claim backed by the Ithaca Police Department that officer Gregory Herz responded appropriately, with his stated focus on intervening in a dangerous public disturbance, the prosecutor’s case was stymied by the facts.