by Wanda Sabir
Dispatches from Houston
I spoke to Jonathan Chartian this morning. Released from prison Dec. 14, 2016, he is confined to his home when not at work, his job suspended since Hurricane Harvey. He is really concerned about the excessive show of police and military presence, which is not protecting the rights of citizens, rather complicating an already volatile situation between Black and Brown people and law enforcement.
Between 12 midnight and 5 a.m., everyone who is not traveling to or from work has the potential for arrest. And even those with reason to be traveling are accosted by police who are ticketing residents, like Chartian’s “uncle who was pulled over and asked where he was going.” After a litany of questions, he was ticketed for running a stop sign. A neighbor was also pulled over as he returned from Ft. Worth. Chartian said, “People are losing money. If there is a 12-hour job, the shifts are breaking down early.”
Police have converged on Houston from as far away as California, yet a Black child was kidnapped and raped by white men for five hours this weekend. One wonders who all these armed men and women are supposed to be protecting.
Chartian says that what is not shown on the news are the armed white racists who pose a threat to Black citizens. Elders in the community are trying to keep the Black youth calm, so that a war is prevented, a war Black people will lose given the fact that they are certainly out-gunned.
“The looting is over with,” Chartian says. “Why would anyone break into one of the flooded homes? Trader…
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