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VOTE

in the GENERAL

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JU LY 202 0 | vo lU M E 27 | ISSUE 05

Voices of the

Revolution Where Do We Go From Here?

. s t s e t o r P e h t m o fr w The Vie James Scurlock Mural, by artists Hugo Zamorano and JAMES’ BROTHER A.D. Swolley, 24th and Camden Streets, Omaha. Photographer Andre Sessions.


402.496.0220 402.496.0220 402.496.0220 www.huberchevy.com www.huberchevy.com “Your “Your Way! Way!Under Underthe theExpressway!” Expressway!” 11102 West Rd.the • Omaha, NE 68154 “Your Way!Dodge Under Expressway!” 11102 West Dodge Rd. • Omaha, NE 68154 11102 West Dodge Rd. • Omaha, NE 68154

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IN MEMORIAM: James Scurlock

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JOBS: From Moment to Movement Can Omaha Business Deliver?

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COVER: Voices of the Revolution

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publisher/editor........... John Heaston john@thereader.com graphic designers........... Ken Guthrie Sebastian Molina news..........................Robyn Murray copy@thereader.com lead reporter............... Chris Bowling chris@thereader.com associate publisher.... Karlha Velasquez karlha@el-perico.com creative coordinator...... Lynn Sanchez lynn@pioneermedia.me

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

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COVER: Where Do We Go from Here?

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DISH: Cuisine, Culture, and Community: Black Owned-Maha

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cover: On the Protest Lines: A View from Ground Zero

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COVER: A New Social Reform Movement

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HOODOO: Live Music Returns

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FILM: Cine-mea Culpa: How Film Reinforced My White Privilege | Review: Out of Omaha

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CROSSWORDS & COMICS: 2 Puzzles, 3 Comics. Enjoy!

HEARTLAND HEALING: Summer, Save Us!

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healing...............Michael Braunstein info@heartlandhealing.com arts/visual.................... Mike Krainak mixedmedia@thereader.com eat.................................. Sara Locke crumbs@thereader.com film.................................Ryan Syrek cuttingroom@thereader.com hoodoo................. B.J. Huchtemann bjhuchtemann@gmail.com music..................... Houston Wiltsey backbeat@thereader.com over the edge..............Tim McMahan tim.mcmahan@gmail.com theater.................... Beaufield Berry coldcream@thereader.com

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Opening Remarks by Beaufield Berry-Fisher

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rowing up in the ‘90s and early aughts I never thought by the time I had reached my mid-30’s and bore children I would be facing a racial reckoning and have to remind people that Black Lives Matter. That wasn’t on my radar as a trope for the early 21st century, I thought we had all done the work well before my time, my Grandmother fought this fight. My great grandfather fought this fight.

that there are many different versions of the city we call home.

And then Ferguson happened.

The history of this city begins in its marginalized areas. The heart of this city is in the vein of 24th street that runs from north to south, fluent with many experiences, incredible history and teeming with culture not found in the far reaches created by redlines and white flights. When

For me, that was my wake-up call. We all have them. Maybe it was Trayvon or Sandra. I think for many it was George Floyd. And some may never wake up. Something I’ve known about Omaha for a long time now is

Our intrinsic segregation goes well beyond our busing system, it’s in the marrow of who we are as a city. It’s in our media, in our comment sections, in our history and in our politics. We are not all living in the same Omaha, regardless of geography. I would say many don’t know the truth of Omaha the way North and South Omahans do.

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Red Summer was in production, I was awed by how many people hadn’t known of the ghastly lynching that happened right here on their courthouse stairs. Could you tell me who Vivian Strong is? To be Black and from Omaha is not monolithic, despite what the news stories would have you believe. And for me, to be Black and a product of North Omaha is a privilege. And as much as I long to educate, I also long to protect that which I find sacred. I didn’t think that I would be engaging in conversations on Black liberation movements in 2020. I didn’t think I would ever see a man murdered on my cellphone and have to defend his right to breathe to people that share my area code. I didn’t

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think I would watch our systems work together to protect a white supremacist after a murder. But here we are. And removed from a world slowed down by a pandemic I don’t think we would’ve gotten this far. I am extremely proud of the work done on this issue, the people contributing make me feel as though there is more hope than sorrow and that together we can divest from oppressive systems and attitudes that have fueled division between us and somehow meld all of these different Omahas we call home into one for all. Black Lives Matter now and forever. Dedicated to my brother Trey Evans.

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I N

M E M O R I A M

James Scurlock

February 15, 1998 - May 30, 2020

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ames Reginald Dewitt Scurlock, also known to many a friends and acquaintances as JuJu. A man who’s sudden tragedy leading to the loss of his life, “what some would even argue to actually be his murder.” It’s easy to lose sight of

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the question that really matters after all the videos, press conferences, rallies and media commentary. That question being, “Who was, James Scurlock?” A father, a brother and a son. My little brother. An

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outspoken, courageous and profluent young man; a man whose personality was unparalleled, and whose life’s outlook unmatched. Born ninth of twenty-nine biological siblings, his early years were spent with his grandmother and a few siblings living in Denver, CO, until later moving back to his home city of Omaha, NE with his father, stepmother, mother and other siblings. James, among his siblings, was raised in a very self proactive environment, leading to some trouble in

his early teens as a freshman. Once overcoming those obstacle in his life, he strived to be successful and family oriented after graduating high school. James would spend the majority of his time hanging out with his siblings when he wasn’t working, until November 1st 2019, when his daughter and only child was born into the world. From that point forward James’ goal was to ensure that he was the greatest father and a better man to provide for his daughter as


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James Scurlock Mural, by artists Hugo Zamorano and A.D. Swolley, 24th and Camden Streets, Omaha. Photographer Andre Sessions. best as possible. Going as far as setting up a trust and savings account for her, then 6 months old, and collecting information to start college in the fall of 2020. James was a very enthralling, intelligent and productive 22- year-old with loyalty and a heart astonishingly larger than his personality, who’s quick to jump at the call for any help no matter how far out of his way. James would frequently say “I’m putting that good JuJu out in the world.” His love for family, music and art

would inspire him to get tattoos such as his favorite cartoon character, music notes and hearts, and even his parents’ names in Arabic. James enjoyed the small pleasures in life such as traveling and camping, listening to music, hanging out with family and friends and in general just having a good time. His presence could change the tempo of any environment he was in and flood any room with Good Vibes. It was never too hard to tell when James had something on his mind and all you had

to do was ask and he would openly speak to you about anything you’d care to talk about. He was just the type of down to earth person that could make friends with anyone. His benevolent quirky upbeat goofball personality and laid back mannerisms made him in to what seamed like a storybook character who seemed larger than life at times. Though no one is perfect, James always made it a point to strive for excellence in everything he was doing. To say the least,

James truly was a one-of-akind character, with a heart of gold. James brought a unique kind of Love with him that blanketed the hearts of anyone he touched, to simply say that he will be missed and loved deeply is a vast understatement to anyone who personally knew James Reginald “JuJu” Scurlock. I will love you until the end of forever little brother.

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-A.D. Swolley

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SOLUTION RELIABILITY DEVELOPER Responsible for driving reliability, simplicity, & quality of solutions developed at FCSA & enabling high velocity & quality delivery. Collaborates to create quality & reliability strategy for products & ensure implementation within all solutions. Responsible for assessing risk, identifying areas most impacting reliability, & mitigating risk. Ensures strategies provide most efficient use of tests. Uses understanding of service based, multi-tier, object-oriented architectures to extend/adapt designs for changes to business systems. Understands impact of common software security vulnerabilities in relation to solution reliability & incorporates same in quality strategy. Aids in creating quality & reliability guidance across App Dev teams, implements team guidance, & collaborates other SRDs on enterprise reliability initiatives. Performs design, coding, & testing within project team. Recognizes opportunities to evolve development guidance to improve testability, follows existing coding patterns & establishes & extends testing patterns within team project. Introduces to & mentors team on patterns for testability. Leads exploration of new tools & techniques to enhance solution quality & reliability. Evaluates & introduces new reliability technologies. Creates & advocates appropriate testing. Researches & champions best ways to test applications. Leads failed test identification, documentation, & resolution of complex & interdependent applications. Creates & evolves ways for team to understand & make visible overall system health. Leads root cause analysis of defects, working with team to implement mitigation strategies. Collects & analyzes data to identify quality trends & suggest improvement areas. Establishes performance metrics & benchmarks for assigned projects. Minimum Requirements: Bachelor’s degree or equiv in Electrical/Software Engineering, Comp Sci, MIS, or closely relevant field with 5 yrs experience developing web-based software solutions & creating testing strategies targeting all layers of the system architecture, which includes providing quality practices leadership & experience using Microsoft SQL Server or similar as data repository for applications & test data, in the administration of a scheduling platform, creating & maintaining continuous builds, using source control repositories, assessing risk & creating quality & reliability strategies, with any major IDE (e.g. Visual Studio, Eclipse), programming in web technologies & frameworks (e.g. HTML5, Javascript, CSS, Angular) & in contributing to the vision/planning/execution of quality initiatives & in creating visualizations, supporting data, & tests to draw attention to project quality as well as an understanding of key software security vulnerabilities (e.g. SQL Injection, Cross Site Scripting, etc.), Object-oriented design & extending a design in predictable directions, & quality/ reliability engineering strategies & tactics as related to software devel; ability to produce solutions that result in flexible, efficient use of system resources & minimal maint; working knowledge of Visual Studio, JavaScript, JavaScript Frameworks, HTML, & CSS, C#, & .NET & of builds & ability to manipulate build definitions; & proficiency in code debugging & troubleshooting skills. Please send resumes to Caylee Messersmith, Farm Credit Services of America, FLCA, 5015 S. 118th Street, Omaha, NE 68137.

ProKarma, Inc. Software Engineer #255085

ProKarma, Inc. has mult. openings for Software Engineer in Omaha, NE; travel and/or relocation to various unanticipated locations throughout the U.S. is required. Resp. for modifying existing software to correct errors, allow it to adapt to new hardware, or to improve its performance. Design, program, code, and analyze new computer programs and data structures in accordance with specifications and user needs. Req. Bachelor’s in Comp Sci, Engg (any), IT, or rel. tech/analytical field, + five (5) yrs exp in an IT/Comp-related position. To apply, email Resumes via email to postings@prokarma.com with Job Ref# 269321 in subject line.

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From Moment to Movement Can Omaha Business Deliver?

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by Mason Petersen

he Greater Omaha Chamber, with CEOs active in their program Commitment to Opportunity, Diversity and Equity (CODE), recently released a series of statements following the death of George Floyd. The first on June 1 said Floyd’s death represented “long-standing inequities and division that exist both nationally and locally in our society.” The Chamber then went on to provide its vision about the increased importance of economic inclusion and diversity as measures of progress and success for the Omaha community as a whole. As protests and rallies continued across Omaha, on June 11 the Chamber released “We Will”; a promise from over 150 business leaders to stand against racism, as well as promote substantive change through a series of actions. One promise reads “We will educate ourselves and disseminate the history of systemic racism in Omaha and the barriers it continues to present today.” The idea for CODE started in 2015, after a study found that African American young professionals were five to six times less likely to recommend Omaha to their peers. A follow-up, along with a 67-page report, was evaluated by a recommendations committee which found overlying themes around workplace diversity/inclusion and community diversity/inclusion. Bianca Harley, the Director of Community Diversity and Inclusion, was hired and CODE subsequently began with an employer coalition to improve company culture within the Omaha area. Another program, REACH, was founded within the Chamber as a way of providing access for all people the resources they need to be successful. Things begun to catalyze in the wake of current events, including the pandemic which

highlighted disproportionate levels of health care. A scheduled meeting on June 3, which initially had 40-50 RSVPs, skyrocketed to over 150. Engagement has become especially high and now more than ever, young professionals and community leaders are focused on what can be done to change things going forward. Strong barriers of historically systemic racism exist, however, making long-term direct action a difficult endeavor to undertake, according to Harley. “I think what you’re seeing is the result of some holes within our education system,” Harley said, “You’re not made aware through your social studies or history courses of the true gravity of race relations and their implications. You can go your entire career and not touch upon this topic.” Programs like LeadDiversity, which is partnered with the Chamber, are designed to help community/business leaders grasp a newfound understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion. It aims to provide an additional toolkit, widening the scope of what’s happening within the community. “We have a responsibility to educate ourselves,” she stated. Harley firmly believes this year has become a “disruptor” which will spark an advance in inclusion down the line, turning this from a ‘moment’ into a ‘movement.’ The unprecedented level of national unrest, from the pandemic to the death of Floyd, has given an equally unprecedented avenue for tough conversations to be had about race and diversity. “I’ve seen more changes over the past two weeks than I’ve seen in a long time,” Harley said. Later this year, the Greater Omaha Chamber is planning to virtually hold its annual CODE conference Oct. 15-16.


ProKarma, Inc.

VP of Agile Center of Excellence #272583

ProKarma, Inc. Software Engineer #255103

We have mult. openings for VP of Agile Center of

ProKarma, Inc. has mult. openings for

Excellence in Omaha, NE; travel and/or relocation

Software Engineer in Omaha, NE; travel and/

to various unanticipated locations throughout the

or relocation to various unanticipated locations

U.S. is required. Provide senior-level supervision to current agile transformation coaches in current alignment of agile adoption and KPIs; Mentor and coach senior executives in Agile-lean methodologies;

throughout the U.S. is required. Resp. for preparing workflow charts and diagrams to specify in detail operations to be performed by equipment, computer programs, and personnel in system. Ensure overall health of analytics

Execute presentations with key stakeholders. Reqs:

platform to render the needs of the business and

Bachelor’s degree in Comp Sci, Engg (any), or related

SAS products. Req. Master’s in Comp Sci, Engg

technical/analytical field + 5 yrs exp. In IT-Comp.-

(any), IT, or rel. tech/analytical field, + two (2)

related position.

yr exp in an IT/Comp-related position.

To apply, email Resumes via email to postings@prokarma.com with Job Ref#272583 in subject line.

To apply, email Resumes via email to postings@prokarma.com with Job Ref# 255103 in subject line.

ProKarma, Inc. Solutions Architect #272670

ProKarma, Inc. Solution Train Engineer #256675

We have mult. openings for Solutions

ProKarma, Inc. has mult. openings for

Architect in Omaha, NE; travel and/or

Solution Train Engineer in Omaha,

relocation to various unanticipated locations throughout the U.S. is required. Design, program, code, and analyze new computer programs and data structures in accordance with specifications and user needs. Req. a Bachelor’s degree in Comp Sci, Engg (any), or related technical/analytical field, plus five (5) yrs of exp in an IT/Comp-related position. To apply, email Resumes via email to postings@prokarma.com with Job Ref#272670 in subject line.

NE; travel and/or relocation to various unanticipated locations throughout the U.S. is required. Resp. for gathering info to analyze and evaluate apps and systems. Work throughout the System Development Life Cycle for detailed understanding of reqs, data interfaces, processes, and deployment. Req. Bachelor’s in Comp Sci, Engg (any), IT, or rel. tech/analytical field, + five (5) yrs exp in an IT/Comp-related position. To apply, email Resumes via email to postings@prokarma.com with Job Ref# 256675 in subject line.

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ProKarma, Inc.

Software Development Engineer in Test #304903

ProKarma Inc. has mult. openings for Software Development Engineer in Test in Omaha, NE; travel and/or relocation to various unanticipated locations throughout the U.S. is required. Design and develop test automation framework and scripts for agile/scrum projects using selenium webdriver with core Java. Develop customized html reports part of framework and design and developed automation scripts. Reqs: Bachelor’s degree in Comp Sci, Engg (any), or related technical/analytical field + 5 yrs exp. In IT-Comp.-related position. To apply, email Resumes via email to postings@prokarma.com with Job Ref#304903 in subject line.

ProKarma, Inc. Solutions Architect #308188

ProKarma, Inc.

Quality Assurance Test Engineer #272602

We have mult. openings for Quality Assurance Test Engineer in Omaha, NE; travel and/or relocation to various unanticipated locations throughout the U.S. is required. Design and build customized application monitoring frameworks, create dashboards for online or offline monitoring; Create test plans and test cases, design and execute test plans. Req. a Master’s degree in Comp Sci, Engg (any), or related technical/ analytical field; knowledge of Synopsys, ModelSim, Quartus II, ALTERA/XILINX FPGA, and CAD tools. To apply, email Resumes via email to postings@prokarma.com with Job Ref#272602 in subject line.

ProKarma, Inc.

Software Development Engineer in Test #308204

ProKarma Inc. has mult. openings for Solutions

ProKarma Inc. has mult. openings for Software

Architect in Omaha, NE; travel and/or relocation

Development Engineer in Test in Omaha, NE;

to various unanticipated locations throughout the

travel and/or relocation to various unanticipated

U.S. is required. Analyzing and designing code for

locations throughout the U.S. is required.

complex requirements; Developing and defining test

Develop, modify, and evaluate automation

productions environments and ensure that products,

and performance scripts. Program coding and

applications and systems are in compliance. Req:

testing, project management. Perform scrum

Bachelor’s degree in Comp Sci, Engg (any), or related

testing to evaluate user stories to meet functional

technical/analytical field + 5 yrs exp. In IT-Comp.

requirements. Req: Bachelor’s degree in Comp

related position.

Sci, Engg (any), or related technical/analytical field + 5 yrs exp. In IT-Comp. related position.

To apply, email Resumes via email to postings@prokarma.com with Job Ref#308188 in subject line.

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JULY 2020

To apply, email Resumes via email to postings@prokarma.com with Job Ref#308204 in subject line.


Voices of the

“The faces of Omaha leadership are changing. As the fight for equality continues in communities of color, young, Black voices emerge; challenging the status quo with philosophy and progressive thinking. On the frontlines of protests, serving on boards, running for office, these passionate and incredible leaders are lighting the path of liberation and carrying the torch that none of us asked for.”

Revolution

— Beaufield Berry

Without True Revolution, Oppression Just Changes Shape by Katherine MacHolmes

Twenty-twenty has been a hell of a year. Whew, child. Three months in, the upside down took over and we quarantined, murder hornets invaded and well…Trump. We finished Netflix queues, realized that time is a construct, lived on Zoom and got anxious to “return to normal.” And then George Floyd was murdered. Protests erupted across the United States, statues toppled, police brutalized protestors and buildings burned. James Scurlock was murdered by a known white supremacist and his killing was state-sanctioned. As Black Lives Matter signs go up and Confederate flags come down with maddening ease, systemic change seems possible, but my hope is measured. Deep grief accompanies these changes because they are born of the deaths of countless Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and their incalculable loss remains heavy. We owe them, our ancestors, and future generations the struggle of liberation. To newly emboldened revolutionaries and familiar comrades, I offer these notes and collective imagining. White people are waking to their part in dismantling systemic racism. Where privilege previously blocked whiteness from recognizing complicity in systems of oppression and defined the struggle as a BIPOC

issue, we now see the assumption of responsibility emerging. Guilt is a byproduct of this new understanding of whiteness, but guilt can produce revolution. It can be leveraged for restoration and holds the power of change. It is energy to be harnessed for individual and interpersonal change, with enough people practicing in the micro, it becomes macro–the change scales up to reorder and reconstruct institutions, structures, systems and societies. But shame can lead to fear and discomfort which paralyzes and triggers defensiveness. To be uncomfortable when others’ lives are threatened is to rest in privilege. When white people tell me that they are uncomfortable, I am tempted to ask what is discomfort in the face of existential fear that accompanies living while Black in a nation that hates? We must ask our white co-conspirators to divest themselves of leaning into comfort while dismantling internalized privilege granted by the white supremacist, heteronormative, capitalist patriarchy. White folks must divest themselves of the power of privilege. Yet while it exists, it must be strategically leveraged to create opportunities, build spaces and speak truth to power.

Coming to this work requires emotional intelligence. As the internal work happens, and emotions arise, I invite you to resist fear, to risk being wrong more than you will initially be right. To be fallible and vulnerable and to grow your capacity for accountability. This work takes high intentionality, and while it is difficult work, it makes better people of us all.

Katherine MacHolmes, Program Partner for Community Outreach at Inclusive Communities, member of New Leaders Council

Intersectionality, another tool critical to this movement, is a concept posited in 1989 by the incredible Kimberle Crenshaw and coined to explain the unique marginalization of Black women in the white supremacist patriarchy. It is revolutionary. It changes how we must approach co-liberation. There is complexity in all people, we must hold space for all parts of ourselves and each other. Every person is a multi-identitied being with lived experiences that informs how we move through the world and how the world interacts with us.

Past Black liberation movements centered on cis-gender, heterosexual maleness. This does not serve us. The belief that I must surrender all identities except my race, all else being inconvenient to the work

for Black liberation is antiquated and oppressive. No room I walk through allows me to shed queerness, neurodivergence, cis-ness, privilege, marginalization or lived experience. To be told to leave these identities at the door is damaging and dangerous. I cannot and I will not. Holding multiple identities means that we can be at once marginalized and still hold privilege. To wrestle with that intricacy is to need liberation yet be accountable for breaking down the systems responsible for the oppression of others. To deny holding privilege and to focus only on our own oppression is to attempt to reorder systems of oppression to suit us at the expense of others.

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V o i c e s In this new era of activism, leaders with platforms and megaphones can talk of racial justice and still nonetheless uphold other oppressive systems. As co-conspirators, we must cultivate knowledge and critical thinking, while analyzing and questioning motives, messages and action. We cannot abide leadership from those who refuse intersectional revolution. Leadership must work from anti-oppression. It is not enough to be anti-racist; leaders must stand against all forms of oppression even while we focus our energy on dismantling racism. There is no liberation

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without intersectionality. As oppression centers the most privileged, liberation must center the most marginalized. There is a world where Tamir Rice graduated high school this year. Zachary Bear Heels was given the aid he needed and is thriving. Where Rayshard Brooks made it home to his daughter’s eighth birthday party and Breonna Taylor woke up this morning and went to work. Where Dominique Fells, a young trans woman beloved for her smile, realized her full potential. Where the police did not kill Tony McDade.

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Where Jewels Scurlock had a father on Father’s Day instead of a crowdfunded trust fund. A world where Oluwatoyin Salau is still marching, protesting and spreading her young, profound passion for a just world. Where their names were never memorialized in chants because they are living. We live in systems imagined by people who hated and subjugated Blackness. This hatred was baked into our institutions and without true revolution, oppression just changes shape. To understand the world through the lens of imagina-

tion is to return power to us. It emboldens us to radically reimagine the world anew. We can do the heavy work to consider every piece of this work, to choose what to take with us as we move into the future. To imagine innovatively, collectively and humanely. This time in our lives is profound, it is a thread connecting generations and overcoming geography. This work is laborious, yes, and intrinsically hopeful and beautiful, a collective thread of futurism for a world we know can exist with collective imagining and collective struggle.

Self Care is a Revolutionary Act by Danielle Powell Often when I hear the phrase ‘self-care,’ my eyes roll back in my head. I instantly envision Instagram hashtags and thinkpiece headlines that equate to little more than the aesthetics of self-indulgence; fancy baths, yoga with baby animals and an endless stream of consumable products that promise to improve the quality of my life. Here’s the problem. Quality of life is a luxury that many of us were never meant to have. As a Black, queer woman, I see that evidenced at every turn. Black women laughed on a wine train in Napa, only to find out the joke was on them. Ahmaud went for a jog and it became his final walk. Sandra was driving on her way to a new beginning and was pulled over to meet her end. Tamla was at a party with friends only to wind up at a funeral. Breonna Taylor went to sleep in her own home and never woke up again. Laughing. Jogging. Driving.

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Celebrating. Sleeping. Despite these Black individuals’ commitment to self-care, there was no escaping a world that doesn’t care for them. So, it turns out I’m not really annoyed by bubble baths, I’m just overwhelmed by living in a society that wants me to drown in mine. Morbid, right? I thought so too. Self-preservation has always been an afterthought for me. In the words of Audre Lorde, “Life is very short. What we have to do must be done in the now.” Younger versions of me would have taken that quote and run with it (or gotten it tattooed). However, unlike white people quoting Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., I won’t quote Audre out of context to justify my behavior. You see, the same brilliant woman is also quoted saying, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” The first part of this quote is so necessary for those of

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us who have been conditioned by a history, deeply rooted in survival. It is a gentle reminder that helps quiet the voice of guilt that tries to convince us that self-love is selfish. By giving herself permission, she empowers us to do the same. Next, she makes a significant clarification about selfcare; it is essential for the sustainability of our existence. If you’re anything like me, you’re probaDanielle Powell, community bly still learning this organizer, co-founder of Revel lesson the hard way. Just like my momma watered down our juice and my self-care is part of somemilk to make it last, many of thing bigger. We cannot be us consistently do the same truly committed to the resiswith our activism. Problem is, tance of oppression, if we do a diluted version of ourselves is not prioritize ourselves. Since NOT gonna change the world. this country has yet to give us (Also, we deserve full-flavored the grace of rest, taking it by any means necessary is an act dranks!) of revolution. The last phrase is my favor#REPARATIONS ite because it reminds me that


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Police Response & Systems of Oppression by Dominique Morgan Look at how police responded to the community in our loss, our grief, our anger. Our disappointment in a system that we were trained to believe in, that we are now realizing is failing us, has always failed us. That system was never really built for black folx. The police response was framed around wanting things to go back to normal. I don’t think they understood that what we were watching in real time was a mass funeral. From coast to coast in America, people took to the streets and they grieved together. Anyone who’s been to a funeral, anyone who’s been in a space where death is being recognized and where people are engaging in empathy and solidarity knows it’s going to be intense, it’s not going to be pretty. It’s not going to be easy; it’s going to feel uncomfortable and those systems are not used to feeling uncomfortable. They are used to making other people and communities uncomfortable. We were saying the murder of James Scurlock was unacceptable to us. The murder of Breonna Taylor, the murder of George Floyd, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, the murder of

Nina Pop, the murder of Tony McDade, the murder of so many black folx that we have seen in real time taken from us. We were not okay with it anymore and we were eulogizing them in the streets.

Our energy is important. Our communities are important. But none of these things that are so important are based on the systems of oppression that are dictating our lives.

The biggest loss that we experienced in our Omaha was speaking community during these truth to power and the protests was that of James most powerful systems Scurlock. And we had the in our city did not want county tell us that James’ to hear the truth. murder was self defense, I challenge you to therefore it wasn’t a crime. continue to tell your I don’t think that we gave truth. I challenge you to our community the respect and space it needed Dominique Morgan is the National be comfortable getting to process what we were Director at Black & Pink a nonprof- uncomfortable. I chalexperiencing. My fear it whose partial mission is to abolish lenge you to stop judgis that we have had this the criminal punishment system and ing the way that people grieve. I challenge you wound of trauma that is liberate LGBTQ+ people. to engage in empathy going to scab over and and really seek efforts be another circumstance you’re being harmed the more that becomes infected. Another they want to silence you. Sys- that create opportunities for Vivian Strong situation. Another tems of oppression thrive on solidarity. situation where our people are silence. I challenge you to ask yourgoing to have to choose to forselves what type of communiI remember at Tecumseh get just to get by. ty we want to have. We have during the riots there, when When you look at systems we were fighting for food that the power to change what of mass incarceration, you’re wouldn’t make us sick, we were this community feels like, and looking at people who have made to feel like our demands there’s privilege in that. So I challenge you, whatever you lost the right to speak up for weren’t important. can take on—do it. themselves. People whose auWe are important. tonomy is not accessible, who Because the systems won’t are living under a curfew. And Our voices are important. stop. And we can’t either. the louder you are about how Our bodies are important. you’re being treated and how

The Importance of Organizing by JaKeen Fox “We cannot say what new structures will replace the ones we live with yet, because once we have torn shit down, we will inevitably see more and see differently and feel a new sense of wanting and being and becoming.” - The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning &

Black Study, by Fred Moten and Stefano Harney.

organizing is an intentional, strategic response to the Now.

I have found that the importance of organizing can be captured with a few thoughts. The answer to a deep calling. Embracing the promise of collective visioning. Connecting. Connecting to the truth that

The Now that is unbearable, unrelenting, and the epitome of too much. I’m talking about the Now that makes you call in Black to work because if you had to look at another face that reminded you of that police

officer, you might scream. The Now that triggers your PTSD every time a Black body shows up in the news. The more urgent than ever Now that has called you out of sleep into rebellion. Rebellion: an act of violent or open resistance to an estab-

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lished government or ruler. I mean the Trayvon Martin kind of rebellion. The Sandra Bland and Raynard Brooks kind of rebellion. A rebellion that says, I believe, so much, I have the right to live, that I will fight to the death to prove it so. I long for the certainty of rebellion. The certainty organizing brings to collective action by proclaiming that right or wrong, we have decided to act. We have decided to act in the best interest of the Us. The collective Us that is experiencing the urgent Now responding in what is known to any historian as the only appropriate means of securing liberation. Liberation movements of the past have taught Us that rebellion is anything but radical. Rebellion is essential to the creation of thriving societies. Thriving: grow or develop well or vigorously. I assure you that America is unwell. Unwell at its core once you realize that a thing built around disease has no hope of survival. Can you feel it? That’s the importance, the power, of organizing. To peel back the layers of an issue,

JaKeen Fox is a Community organizer, activist and program director. see its depth, then communicate that deep need to the masses. Intentionally tapping into the Spirit. Tapping into that Us-ness, denouncing the intolerable Now, and guiding Us to the clarity of rebellion. Academically, there are many forms of organizing. Having experienced most of those,

I can tell you with certainty that there is only the Tapping in or the tapping out. Tapping in, grasping the ley line that surges through Us as a society. Rarely seen but deeply felt. You are seeing that Tapping in now. You are experiencing the reality of collective imagining and its ability to tilt the scales towards justice. You have been

organized. You have been tapped. You have been called upon to rebel because the Now must be replaced with the New. New: not existing before; discovered recently or now for the first time. Imagery dialectics sacrificial

Dismantle the Political Empire by Morgann Freeman

It would be a gross understatement to say our political system is simply broken. To its core, our political system is morally, fiscally and socially corrupted and diseased. Both political parties in our two-party system have chosen to reinforce colonialist white supremacy at each level of every branch of government. And while there have been some redeeming actions and people on either side, where we are today is due in large part to the power our political system wields over our communities

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and our nations. More often than not, it’s to the detriment of the nation. On Saturday, May 30, 2020, a young Black father was murdered by a known white supremacist. And I believe that the fault of that tragedy lies firmly at the feet of the mayor, the police chief, the city council, the electorate and every single “community leader.” And here’s why. I understand that many people feel that the political system can’t be changed. It can. It has to.

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And most importantly, it will not take generations to achieve it. Throughout American history we’ve seen what happens when communities of people mobilize around collective demands. Right now, our demand is to defund and disband the police as it exists today. That means a lot of things.

to police our neighborhoods and our streets (the mayor’s proposed 2020 budget for OPD is $159.5 million). This leads to massive numbers from marginalized communities being sucked into a penal system that comes with lifelong subjugation and second-class citizenship.

It means removing officers from our schools, which only leads to the over-criminalization of non-white children who could otherwise thrive. It means a fiscal divestment from a police department who gets hundreds of millions of dollars

It means the permanent removal of police officers whose misconduct in any other profession would end their career and possibly lead to jail time. For police, it instead means a temporary leave and a well-funded union demanding


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R e v o l u t i o n thousands of dollars in the cash bail system that disproportionately targets people of color. And the only reason that the protests exploded was because the police escalated them, tear-gassing and shooting peaceful protesters with pepper bullets. Now Omahans who were arrested face costly court battles to defend the exercise of their constitutional rights. It’s a battle many can’t afford, leading to plea deals and the acceptance of an unnecessary criminal conviction. It will continue to affect their ability to work, find livable housing, feed themselves and their families, etc.

Morgann Freeman, Community organizer, advocate and activist their reinstatement. It means an end to a system that targets non-white people for social, political and economic demise because of the power of a badge and the color of your skin. The beauty is these are all things we can demand, today. Divert $100,000 from the OPD budget for a citizen’s review board for all instances of police misconduct since May 29. Hire an independent police auditor who has demonstrated impartiality to assist the review board, and host an open application process. Require at least two representatives from each city council district, and at least one individual per district who is a person from a marginalized group historically impacted by police violence. Divert $10 million from the police budget to a program partnering with the United Way of the Midland’s 211 Resource Hotline, the Women’s Center for Advancement and others who work with impact-

ed individuals to help citizens experiencing a non-violent crisis. Lay off police officers who have had more than 10 complaints of misconduct in a twoyear period. Create a public accountability system for every officer who works in the community who has had a formal complaint filed against them for misconduct, during the entirety of their tenure with the police force. The public has a right to know who we are letting into our cars, our homes, our businesses, our neighborhoods and our communities. If professionals in other fields— where lives and livelihoods may or may not be on the line— are held publicly accountable for their adherence to ethical standards that reflect the gravity of their ability to change a life, then police officers certainly should. Thus far, there is no evidence to support that an officer’s life is in danger when they are held publicly accountable for their actions. And in the rare instances that there

has been an officer who has become a household name— usually involving the murder of an unarmed person of color— they deserve the same level of protection that other citizens get when they are being investigated for murder. City Council—pass an ordinance that makes it illegal for officers fired for misconduct to rejoin any local law enforcement agencies. In any other job, repeated and/or gross misconduct would result in not only the loss of your job, but also the loss of your ability to practice your profession. When someone is given a duty to protect our community and is armed excessively with deadly force, the absolute minimum our publicly funded systems can do is ensure that if they abuse that privilege, they be removed. Drop the charges for everyone arrested since the unrest that began with explosive police violence on May 29. The county is reaping tens of

We need to dismantle our policing system, but that only happens when we topple the whole empire. We have politicians more concerned with elections and party politics than with actually doing their jobs. We have parties more concerned with maintaining power than with serving the people. We have a government that requires subjugation and compliance to rule. And we have a community suffering under the weight of a corrupt system that has its proverbial knee on our necks. When we work together to make these demands, it’s up to these elected officials and government agencies - all funded with our tax dollars—to do their jobs. But the beauty of it is—we don’t have to accept their platitudes. We can, and will, replace them with a new public servants, a new political party, a system overall that does the actual work they are being paid to do. The clock is ticking. Their time is up.

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Neighborhood Response in North Omaha by Precious McKesson We were already bad off with Covid We had people without jobs, who were looking to community resources to help make ends meet and feed themselves. Nonprofits in North Omaha and other philanthropic organizations were coming together and bonding with our allies to get people through this time. And the giving was open and well received. The protests began and things shifted, but we were still taking care of our people. And then the night of May 30 happened. I was at home that Saturday night, tuned into Facebook Live feeds and police scanner activity to keep up with the protests. I noticed that police were funneling people towards downtown and I became nervous. I was scared for North Omaha. You’re starting to see them shift people; by the bank, the courthouse, 10th Street, toward the old Civic Auditorium grounds. At this point I’m showered and dressed with my shoes on. I didn’t think I could stop people but I wanted to be ready to mobilize if necessary. They didn’t come to North Omaha that night. But someone had been shot. The next morning you got his name: James Scurlock. He’s a product of a North Omaha family. He’s one of ours. We know his family. How, as a neighborhood, do you respond? By Monday, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine announced he wouldn’t press charges against James’ killer. And those days in between

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we learned a lot about what kind of person his killer was.

Omaha. We saw what happened on 72nd and Dodge streets when a peaceNot long afful protest deter, I was in a volved into viomeeting with lence because a Mayor Jean Stofew people had thert, Gov. Pete a different agenRicketts and da. We didn’t Chief of Police want to invite Todd Schmathat into our derer which neighborhood. included pasSo we did a walk tors and other up Dodge Street leadership. I which stopped wasn’t sure of every lane of the purpose of traffic. We had the meeting. I the National don’t think they Guard there, were either. It and when you appeared city think of National leaders wanted Guard you think to repair race reof the Watts Rilations but that’s ots, you think not what was of Hurricane Kareally happentrina. You think ing.There were of big events people on Facethat tailspun into book talking riots. But during about going the march, we to North Omacame over that ha and busting hill on Dodge windows, and Precious McKesson, President of North Street and the Omaha Neighbhorhood Alliance people there National Guard were scared, just stood there but North Omathe Scurlock family. So many ha was left wide open to that people reached out asking and cheered us on. And then kind of attack. I thought the what they could do to help, when we got to Memorial Park, meeting was to strategize. We how the neighborhood could they were handing out water. know the community is upset, be there for James’ daughter. That’s what we would have we were already fresh on the Our community always comes hoped for from the police redeath of George Floyd and together to protect and make sponse as well. then Kleine sided with James’ sure we take care of our peoWe saw that there was a killer. So we’re processing po- ple. The thing I love about greater good here in Nebraska lice brutality, we’re processing North Omaha is that we truly and people want us to be safe. racial tensions and now a mur- are a melting pot, whether I acknowledged then that we der by a known and outed rac- people know that or not. North have a long way to go and we ist and I’m scared. Omaha is greater than so many can get there but people have We were also very con- other places in the city because to understand what North cerned about outside agitators we represent so many different Omaha really stands for. They need to take their blinders off coming into North Omaha. We types of people. when it comes to comwanted a sense of normalcy People also ask why we and we wanted to be there for didn’t do the march in North munity outside of their own.

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Where Do We Go From Here? Reflecting on race relations, inequities and what’s next for Omaha by Chris Bowling

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he overgrown weeds wave in the summer breeze as cars pass worn stoops and handrails that lead to nowhere.

they’ve been in the past. But opinions on how to get there vary.

For some, this moment should Years ago, in be a wake-up call. the empty lots of The systems that patchy grass along govern minority North 24th Street, communities in there would have America are not been homes and only fundamentalbusinesses in the A protester holds up a sign at the 72nd and Dodge streets protest on May 29, ly racist but have predominantly 2020. Photo by Chris Bowling made little progBlack area of Omaress after years “You go to Midtown and it’s and close gaps in inequities for ha. Maybe kids of supposed big wins in civil would be playing in their front like a whole new world,” said Black Omahans across the city, rights. Some say this is the last yards as the June heat finally McKesson, president of the McKesson and others say real chance for systems to change broke into a cool, cloudless day. North Omaha Neighborhood change now feels closer than before oppressed communities Alliance. “Everything is being ever. Precious McKesson has separate and create their own built up around North Omaha, After weeks of protests that structures. walked these blocks since she and North Omaha still looks the started in Minneapolis with was a kid. For her and others “There are no other solusame. That’s the hard part.” the death of George Floyd here, this street is a physical tions that are peaceful outside The North Omaha com- and spread like a shockwave reminder of when protesters of these solutions,” said Leo set fire to those buildings more munity has always thrived de- throughout America, conversaLouis, president of the Malcolm than 50 years ago after a teen- spite these adverse conditions, tions about the country’s racial X Memorial Foundation. “When age girl was shot in the back the vibrancy reflected in the inequities have brought people these solutions don’t work the of the head by Omaha police. strength of its families, its grow- together in a way that has few peace will break.” Now the still-empty lots serve as ing advocacy and too often in precedents. A revitalized North For others, those ideas — dea metaphor for the static nature the success of the native Oma- Omaha, better educational of poverty, lack of investment hans who left to seek opportu- outcomes, good jobs, equita- funding the police, creating inand inability for old wounds to nities elsewhere. While mean- ble health care and affordable dependent systems that would ingful work’s been underway housing all seem within reach, care for people’s health and heal. for decades to bring investment or at least more possible than education — come from a place

Precious McKesson

Chris Rodgers

thomas warren

Terrell McKinney

ben gray

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Teresa Hunter

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C o v e r of emotion, not pragmatism. Change takes hard work, money and working within power structures in order to dismantle them, said Ben Gray, the Omaha City Councilmember representing District 2 in North Omaha. The speed and efficiency by which that takes place is entirely dependent on the engagement of white people who make up most local government positions and represent more than three quarters of Omaha’s population, Gray said. “All of that is emotional talk right now,” Gray said. “The real conversation is going to begin after the emotion dies down and we’re faced with the reality that we have a structural system that is detrimental to everybody in this community and it needs to be fixed.” Still others are caught between the two sides. For them, this is a moment that can’t be another step in a long march toward justice. It should be a leap. Big changes can happen; they might just require trying a different tactic and not letting up on the pressure, said Ja Keen Fox, advocacy chair for the Urban League of Nebraska’s Young Professionals and program officer for the Weitz Family Foundation. “Our opposition is investing every resource — monetary, social, capital, everything they can, time — to make sure we go back to what they were comfortable with,” Fox said. “If we can’t match that, we can’t win.”

No Turning Back After the first weekend of protests in Omaha and the death of 22-year-old James Scurlock, city leaders spoke about having made great strides in community-police relations. They pined for a return to normalcy.

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“I know every citizen in Omaha would like to see us get back to normal,” said Mayor Jean Stothert at a May 31 press conference, but “this is going to take some extraordinary measures.”

S t o r y City Expenses

But citizens at listening sessions and city council meetings, on social media and the front lines of protests said a return to normal was exactly what they didn’t want. At one Omaha City Council meeting, Gray said citizens were right to call for more change, but he asked them to not forget progress the city’s made. By investing in efforts such as the Step-Up Omaha! summer jobs program, the founding of the Omaha Municipal Land Bank and the recent creation of a business improvement district for North 24th Street (as well as projects through Community Development Block Grants, which totaled nearly $3 million in spending during 2018), the numbers have improved in North Omaha. At its State of North Omaha meeting in January, officials with the Empowerment Network showed that rates of unemployment and poverty among African Americans in Omaha had fallen by greater proportions than other demographics since 2006. Meanwhile, high school graduation rates and the percentage of households with bachelor’s degrees increased. These are signs that the current process is working. It’s just that change is measured in increments over decades of time, Gray said. “This is not going to be a sprint,” he said. “It’s going to be a long-term marathon.” But that doesn’t mean advocates should stop pushing new ideas. Gray is currently working to pass a resolution calling on the Nebraska Legislature to put

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repeal of the 2008 constitutional amendment banning affirmative action on the ballot. Gray said creating more diversity in every facet of the city — government, schools, companies, nonprofits — is the best first step to take. But to make sure these institutions are held to strict standards about representation from entry level to the topmost positions, the city needs affirmative action as a tool. Without it there’s very little they can do. “Huge. Huge. Huge,” said Gray. “It’s a huge barrier.” As more ideas surface, Douglas County Commissioner Chris Rodgers said he’s confident these issues will have more sustained attention than ever before. Recently, 150 corporate leaders signed on to an Omaha Chamber of Commerce statement promising to hire more people of color and use

their platforms to push for racial justice. “There’s some people that I know, personally trust, know they’re in the game for the long haul,” said Rodgers. “But for the people that are here now, you need to understand this is bigger than George Floyd.” Neither public official, each of whom is the only person of color on their respective legislative bodies, supports defunding the police — a term that’s gained popularity and means to slowly move funds from police to resources such as social work and health care. Thomas Warren, president and CEO of the Urban League of Nebraska and former chief of the Omaha Police Department, also asked people to not forget the progress made by organizations such as the Urban League.


C o v e r Warren also said credit is due to the Omaha Police Department, which is nationally accredited and has made significant progress in reducing gun violence in the last five years. To defund the police and shake up the systems the Urban League and other organizations have built up could set the community back significantly, he said. But he also understands there are new voices at the table that need to be heard. “We tend to assume that even the voice from the African American and North Omaha community is monolithic,” Warren said. “There are multiple voices, and I think what you’re seeing is a new generation of leaders emerge.” But others say big changes are the best options they have. To do anything else will perpetuate a submissive relationship between oppressed communities and the systems that disservice them, Louis said. “If the system doesn’t get it right,” he said, “then it needs to be dismantled, destroyed or completely ignored.” What that will look like is unpredictable, Fox said. He doesn’t think it’s possible to work with a system that’s fundamentally flawed, but it’s also not possible to work outside of it either. The goal is to continue to add pressure and get concrete changes achieved. It also means “staying in your own lane,” meaning to work together with others, focusing efforts into a greater mosaic of activism rather than trying and failing to accomplish too much individually. That’s what’s taking place at Culxr House in North Omaha, a vintage clothing and vinyl record shop that has become many organizers’ command center.

S t o r y A suspenseful and thrilling whodunit

For Fox, change right now means the resignation of Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine. Since Kleine announced his office would not press charges against Jake Gardner in the death of Scurlock, Fox has organized hundreds of protesters outside Kleine’s home. Every weekday, they gather from 6 to 8 a.m. and again from 4 to 8 p.m. On weekends, they’re there all day. At first, Kleine’s neighbors supported their cause, but lately they’ve started telling the protesters to be quiet and go home. They want to sit on their patios in peace again. “Why don’t we get over it?” Fox said neighbors ask protesters. “‘Why do we have to yell?’ ‘We teach our kids not to yell to solve problems.’ There’s a real disconnect between what people are actually experiencing, which is more than just discomfort. Discrimination, violence, racism. These things are comparable in their minds. It’s scary.” What many people are focused on is getting a larger conversation started around defunding the police. Already, several cities have either pledged to disband their police departments or announced significant cuts in police spending. Omaha has made no such move. But Terrell McKinney, who’s running for the state senate seat in North Omaha’s District 11 and has made frequent appearances at protests, said cutting the Omaha Police Department’s $159 million budget, which vastly exceeds most other departments’ (the city spends about $22 million on parks, $21 million on public works), is a great idea, but he’s skeptical of whether the city would be able to go that far. McKinney also stands in the center of conversations around abolition versus reform of systems. As someone running for

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the state legislature, he recognizes the abilities he could have to advocate for legislation such as bans on chokeholds and making officer discipline records more available. But he also believes this moment needs to mark an acceleration or a change in tactics from the way things have been done. That means being just as open to reforming the systems as dismantling them and starting anew. “Voting can be the change maker, but it also requires electing the right people,” McKinney said. “You can’t just keep electing the status quo because you feel comfortable … You have to elect people who will really push for change.”

Solutions from the Ground Up Walter Brooks has seen America through a variety of lenses. He’s a Black man and a product of the civil rights movement, a Vietnam veteran and soon-to-be author comparing the plight of African Americans to Jewish people during the Holocaust. Until last year, he lived in Omaha where he pro-

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moted diversity as a communications specialist in numerous public and private spaces, including as a former administrative director at the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation. He now lives in North Carolina. Brooks said this is a reckoning moment in American history, but he hopes the frustration and anger around inequity go far beyond the police into education, housing, health care and more. “We don’t get this pissed off about that,” Brooks said. While the national and local conversation has centered around police brutality, there is heightened focus on many of the social ills that have plagued minority communities for too long. Part of that has to do with COVID-19, which has highlighted the fact more people of color are catching and dying of the disease due to reasons such as inadequate access to health care, living in densely populated areas and working in low-wage service jobs without sick pay or the ability to work from home. The disparities also showed in jobless rates, evic-

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tions and the potential for more mental health issues. Teresa Hunter, executive director at Family Housing Advisory Services, said she hopes the current reckoning raises more awareness about housing inequity and the need to invest in education about paths to housing stability, homeownership or economic independence. At her organization, which serves about 9,000 mid- to low-income people per year, they help people work toward addressing their debts, building wealth and eventually improving their living situations. While homeownership has fallen citywide, it’s struck particularly hard in minority communities. She wonders whether the city can make more opportunities available to people by, for example, reinstituting $1 houses — a method of revitalization still practiced in many states in which federally acquired properties are sold to people for a low payment with the assumption the homebuyer will use their own money to fix it. The government could also work to get rid of payday lenders. Those institutions charge

high rates to people who may not have access to traditional banks and end up putting a disproportionate number of people of color and poverty in high debt. “If they’re really wanting to make a difference, there needs to be funds that are made available to help people get out of the situations they’re in financially,” Hunter said. More financial investment also needs to be made in physically building up the community, McKesson said. As it stands, building homes in North Omaha is rarely a profitable venture for individuals. Mike Gawley, with Holy Name Housing Corporation, which builds new homes and rents them to families for low payments said on average their homes in North Omaha are valued at $100,000 less than they paid to build them. Each house is a big investment, both in the lives of the families who live there but also in the grander scheme of improving North Omaha — bringing more people will lead to more resources such as grocery stores and eventually rising


C o v e r property values. But that’s a slow process and one that rarely meets the community’s needs. Gawley said their current list is still filled with names added two years ago.

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Tax Increment Financing By Area of the City

A lot of investment has come into North Omaha in recent years. Seventy Five North has spent millions building mixed-income housing and chic spaces for coffee shops, restaurants and community meeting spaces. But that still pales in comparison to how much is spent in other sections of the city. Between 2000 and 2016, projects in Aksarben and Midtown each outpaced spending in North Omaha by about $20 million in tax increment financing. When private dollars do come to the area, they often generate anxieties about outside influence. The Sherwood Foundation, a main philanthropic arm for Susie Buffett, recently bought up $4 million worth of properties in North Omaha with little indication of its plans, according to the Omaha World Herald. McKesson, who serves on the city’s land bank, said there needs to be a more transparent process for purchases like that. Still, it baffles McKesson that the area can’t get more attention from a city that has one of the highest rates of per-capita billionaires and where the wealthy routinely invest back into the community. In a matter of days, donors pledged $700,000 to open five public pools for a little more than a month, from July 1 to August 9. The hurdles in North Omaha are more dire than getting kids swimming — let’s not forget we are in a pandemic — and it’s hard not to question the priorities. “There’s people in the community who don’t have food,

who don’t have quality housing,” McKesson said. “Why couldn’t we put that money into saying, let’s look at these lots, let’s build some homes. Let’s put this money toward helping people.”

Nationwide, the raw emotion is having a noticeable effect. Marks of racism around the country, from confederate monuments to Aunt Jemima pancakes, are toppling, while leaders across the nation propose police reform bills.

Who Decides When Change Comes?

But as the work looks past policing and toward the issue of poverty, a diversity of opinions has surfaced about what needs to change and how quickly that can be done.

The June heat broke in Omaha right around the time the bulk of protests started to wind down. Suddenly with time to reflect, it became apparent just how much had happened in the past few weeks. A young man died. A city rose up. Hundreds of people were tear gassed and shot with pepper bullets by officers sworn to protect them. A business tied to racist online remarks shut down as protests convened outside of it. Mayor Stothert got a COVID-19 test after a protester spat on her.

There’s also no shortage of positivity about the future. It comes in some officials’ hopes that white Omaha will finally stand behind their minority neighbors to change the city’s structures or other activists’ excitement that communities can break free and harken a new era of self-sustainability. But Gray’s not optimistic. He’s also not pessimistic, though.

He said he thought the world would change in the ‘60s, and it didn’t. As a reporter for KETV, the native Clevelander chronicled the city’s inequities for decades before entering the city council. Time and again, Gray said, the greatest obstacle has been a lack of attention and commitment from the larger community. The difference-maker this time could be how long people keep this issue at the forefront of their mind. If that happens, the gears can start to churn, he said. If it fades, so will the prospects for change. “I’m committed to doing it tomorrow, I’m committed to making a change tomorrow. But it’s not up to me. It’s primarily up to people who don’t look like me. So the question is, ‘What is your commitment?’”

He’s just cautious.

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On the Protest Lines: A look at the protests from the front lines by Mark McGaugh | Photos Andre Sessions

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30th, says he was also gassed by police.

ombs bursting, helicopters hovering and armored trucks roaming the streets. Heavily armed forces pushing through thick, smog-like tear gas while snipers watch from above. The scene may sound like one of grandpa’s old war stories but it’s actually a description of the aftermath of the May 30th Omaha rally commemorating George Floyd, who had been killed by Minneapolis police just five days prior.

“For those of you who don’t know, tear gas burns like hell!” said Gunter. “They tear gassed us yesterday and I caught the backend of it. So I could only imagine what the people on the front caught.” The widespread use of tear gas, rubber bullets and excessive force has led to many calls to defund police departments across the country. Although cities like Minneapolis and Seattle are attempting to answer the calls, President Donald Trump has increasingly taken on an antagonistic stance against the protests, which he considers to be nothing more than riots.

Rally co-organizer and Democratic senatorial candidate Angie Philips completely blames Omaha police for the escalation of violence in what she says was supposed to be a peaceful protest and call to action. “From my view as an experienced organizer the problem was the reaction of the police,” she said. “I blame all of this on the police. If they would have barricaded the roads like they do for sports events, for the women’s marches, for every other thing that I have helped with... and allowed us to do our protest, the vast, vast majority of the people there would have respected our 9 o’clock moment of silence for George Floyd.” Since the death of Floyd, millions have gone to the streets to speak out against the brutality perpetrated on black and brown bodies at the hands of police. Ironically, protesters nationwide are being met with the very brutality that they are protesting as tensions escalate. According to rally participant Peyton Zyla, police grew increasingly aggressive after warning protesters to stay off of

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The self-proclaimed President of “Law and Order” has propagated the brutalization of protesters calling governors who fail to crack down on demonstrations “weak.” He has even gone to Twitter threatening “protestors, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes” who planned on protesting at his campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Peaceful protestors gather at 72nd and Dodge streets on May 29th to protest the death of George Floyd the medians shooting dozens of canisters of tear gas into the crowd. In a Facebook live stream of the aftermath, smoke and helicopters loom and Zyla coughs for air as police covered in riot gear march forward dispersing the crowd. “I want to make that clear, we were gassed and cleared out of the area. It was like a mass

JULY 2020

evacuation of just everybody getting in their cars and leaving,” said Zyla, referring to his Facebook live stream. “The gas residue hung in the air and started coming down to the parking lots. People had to literally run past their cars just to wait till the air cleared.” James Gunter, who attended the Old Market protest on May

Trump’s war-like rhetoric has not only emboldened police forces and national guardsmen, but has also inspired white vigilantes to attack so-called “terrorist” protestors. In Virginia, an admitted Klu Klux Klan leader plowed his truck through a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters. In Omaha, James Scurlock was shot and killed by a white bar owner who has a well-documented history of racist behavior.


C o v e r Philips, who has organized several events including the 2017 Women’s March in Downtown Omaha, also points to race as an issue saying she believes the police responded violently “because we were standing up for black lives and against police brutality.” “I just think that everything could have been prevented, including the tragic death of James,” she said, referring to the death of Scurlock, “If they just would have responded like they do when white people protest.” Racial tensions in Omaha intensified after Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine elected not to charge Scurlock’s killer with any crimes, calling his actions “justifiable.” Many point to Kleine’s decision as yet another example of how the city has failed some of its most marginalized residents. Protester Peyton Zyla believes we need a new system of governance because the people’s countless cries for justice have fallen on deaf ears. “We need complete systematic overhaul,” he said. “We don’t have a district attorney who will bring about the changes that I think we really need. We don’t have a mayor who generally cares. We don’t have a police force that listens to us. Unless we’re out here causing destruction or being a nuisance to them.”

S t o r y In the face of nationwide frustration, racial tension and a general disbelief in the American judicial system, JaKeen Fox, co-organizer of the Scurlock protests outside of Don Kleine’s gated community, says the time for real change is now and radical action is necessary for survival. “There is an awakening that what used to be thought of as radical can only be deemed as necessary right now. And what we used to frame as radical, like, people are starting to understand that this is survival for the most vulnerable people,” he said. “And we’re finally saying no, this has to be enough. I think that has really allowed us to see change in a way that feels new and relevant and fresh and exposes what’s really possible.”

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Although he is hopeful for the future, Fox remains fervently focused on the present challenge of tearing down America’s system of oppression “because what we are tearing down has been built over centuries”. Quoting a collection of essays on political thought titled The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study, Fox says, “‘We cannot say what new structures will replace the ones we live with yet. Once we have torn stuff down we will inevitably see more and see differently and feel a new sense of wanting and being and becoming.”

Building trust in trying times.SM bbb.org/smallbusiness

Omaha protestors face off with police at 75th and Dodge Streets

JULY 2020

25


C o v e r

S t o r y

A New Social Reform

Movement

It’s time to stop, feel, listen and learn by Leo Adam Biga

A

Preston Love Jr.

Ashley Howard

s social reform protests sweep the world in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, America’s at a crossroads. Millennial energy feeds this movement, taking it to the streets, social media and the seats of power, demanding the overhaul of oppressive, white culture systems. This organic coalition to remedy injustice is independent of political party or center of influence. Omaha joined the outrage over the wrongful deaths of Auhmad Abrey, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Local fervor grew after James Scurlock was shot and killed by a downtown bar owner and the county attorney declined to press charges despite damning video evidence and a history of racist behavior by the shooter. The June 12 police killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta added fuel to the fire.

26

Michelle Troxclair

Omaha’s movement mirrors the diverse voices making themselves heard worldwide at marches, vigils, meetings, legislative listening sessions, in posts, op-eds, signs and murals. Calls to defund/dismantle police forces, including Omaha’s, propose shifting monies to social-human services and deploying more public health workers than cops.

Streaming images fast-forwarded the woke agenda. The tipping point came as generations-old patterns of injustice were brought to graphic, public light by video evidence of African Americans being wrongly killed. “People are beginning to see in stark relief what that actually looks like in real time,” University of Iowa historian and Omaha native Ashley Howard says.

JULY 2020

Josh Dotzler

Marcy Yates

Black Votes Matter head Preston Love Jr. equates Floyd’s killing on video with Emmett Till’s disfigured body in a 1955 photo in Jet Magazine – times 10. “Seeing a person literally murdered in broad daylight is a whole other thing,” Abide Omaha director Josh Dotzler says. “When tragedy happens people are (often) quick to get back to life as we know it. I think we’re so much on pause due to the pandemic. We have an opportunity not only to see but to feel the weight of these killings, and to stop, listen and learn.” “People are now seeing that this affects more than just a specific group of people,” says local Black Lives Matter activist Morgann Freeman. “Even people ideologically on the opposite spectrum agree policing has been corrupt...It affects every single one of us. It’s systemic, it’s

Morgann Freeman

institutionalized, it’s taught. I think a critical mass of people (are) now paying attention. They don’t care about preserving the systems because it’s quite clear these systems are so inherently broken they do not deserve to be maintained.” “We not only needed a critical mass of people interested and caring, but we also needed a critical mass of resources to talk about the history and issues,” she says. This could be the “dawn of a revolution,” says Howard. “In such a brief time for the idea of abolition or defunding of police to seem like a tenable, reasonable goal and for people in regular circles to have a new political vocabulary is remarkable,” she says.

Excessive policing is part of a larger problem minorities face.


C o v e r Nationwide, police relations with minority communities are historically strained. No one served time for the 1919 Will Brown lynching in downtown Omaha, despite scores of witnesses and indictments. In 1969 an Omaha police officer shot and killed 14-year-old Vivian Strong. With no action taken against the officer, a riot ensued on North 24th Street. Officer killings of unarmed African Americans and other minorities routinely escape legal consequences here. Pleas for independent oversight are largely ignored or opposed. “We need to think about not just physical violence but structural and institutional violence as ways in which the systems, the structures and the mechanisms are designed to keep some citizens on the margins of society,” Howard says Redlining practices, discriminatory lending and insurance policies and destructive urban renewal projects have effectively suppressed Omaha’s black community for decades. Protests to address embedded wrongs have coalesced before. The De Porres Club staged demonstrations for fair public accommodations and hiring in the late 1940s-early 1950s. The 4CL (Citizens Coordinating Committee for Civil Liberties) tackled housing and education reform in the ‘60s. Following a 1966 riot that exposed police-community tensions and a lack of recreational opportunities and jobs for black youth, programs to address these issues were enacted. Many more programs and dialogues followed over the years.

Traditional organizations advocating change included the Urban League of Nebraska, NAACP, Omaha Star and black churches. The Black Panthers, BLAC and Triple One Neighborhood Association led grassroots efforts. The Empowerment Network emerged as a change broker in 2007.

“Leaderful” defines today’s new collective movement. “There is no gatekeeper and no individual leader anymore. It is a community of leaders,” Freeman says. “The most powerful part of this movement for me is meeting all of these new people getting activated by the work of social justice and change,” she says. “We’re really looking at how we can build a different leadership model on the local level so that communities can advocate for themselves rather than having to go through a spokesperson. We don’t need that old model anymore. It’s obviously not worked well for us in the past.” Lessons from the past can inform this moment. Marcy Yates of Culxr House leans into the strength past activists displayed. The venue is “the hub” for protesters to learn peaceful tactics and to source water and snacks. “I just want to see us to continue to be resilient and not be scared. That’s something we can take from them. They were fearless.” Veteran activist, spoken word artist and Mind & Soul radio host Michelle Troxclair notes “protestors are shifting the narrative,” which she hopes leads to a “shift of (America’s) consciousness.”

S t o r y “I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m so heartened to see things moving faster than I ever thought possible.” This crisis, Dotzler says, has created “an opportunity for leaders from within the community to take a stand and let people know what we believe in.” Malcolm X Memorial Foundation has convened community forums. Abide Omaha hosted a “We Are For North Omaha” rally. UCA printed Black Lives Matter signs. “Anything we can do for our community and for people standing for justice and change we’re going to do it,” Culxr House founder-director Marcey Yates says. New media outlets NOISE, Mind & Soul 101.3 FM and 95.7 FM The Boss, Freeman says, “empower our community to tell our stories the way we want them to be told.” “In crisis leaders emerge and voices get heard in ways maybe they otherwise weren’t,” Dotzler says. “There’s an opportunity for leaders from within the community to take a stand and let people know what we believe in.” With so many voices raised, Howard says, “We can’t lose sight of the objective. After this street phase of the protest and movement ends we need to continue to invest in long-term organizing by building capacity, mobilizing resources and community building.” Follow-through once the protests have ended “is the true test,” she says. People are beginning to look for “wholly new systems to deal

with society’s problems. I think that’s very hopeful.” Howard asserts that in fighting for their rights, “protestors not only give freedom to themselves but to us all.” “Those on the margins create far more change than those in the center. We have to believe in people power. If not, we’ve lost our souls,” she says. Yates sees the new paradigm taking shape. “I’m seeing young people getting up and talking about how they feel, but also about things that can help the economy grow in our community.” “We’re encouraging our young people to get registered to vote and to run for elected office. We’re pushing them into areas where they can grow, get educated and be supported so they can make decisions that lead to changes.”

What’s next? Nearly everyone supports more investment in northeast Omaha. More than a say at the table, black citizens want to own that community’s destiny. Unless the Democrats win the White House and Senate, changes are likely to come at the local and state levels first. In the scheme of things, Dotzler says, “it’s one thing to have policy change, it’s another to change the minds of the masses and get people to start living differently as a result of what we’re learning.” For Troxclair, the mandate for change is clear: “We’ve always been told to wait, the country’s not ready. Well, the country will never be ready unless we make it ready and make it so.”

JULY 2020

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D I S H

Cuisine, Culture & Community Black Owned-Maha has always served delicious dishes that feed the stomach and the soul by Sara Locke

E

ach of these Black-owned establishments has proven themselves in the literal fire of the Omaha culinary scene, but now more than ever deserve their neighbor’s support. This list isn’t exhaustive, because we only had 1200 words, and this alone uses 1202 of them. Posting a black square on social media was cute, and everyone loves solidarity. Now act with your cash, your signatures and your vote.

B’s Bones & Sauce BsBonesandSauce.com

Family owned and locally sourced, B’s Bones is ready to cater your family gathering, work event, or special occasion. Helmed and honed by patriarch Robert Brown, these recipes are universally satisfying – but Brown’s Maple-Bourbon sauce will outkick any Omaha BBQ you’ve ever been invited to.

Best Burger 8319 N 30th St BestBurgerOmaha.com

Located in Florence, the family that owns Best Burger didn’t name it that, their customers did. Using fresh, quality ingredients, respect for their clients, and a little bit of love ensures that each burger is better than the last. Choose from grass-fed Black Angus beef, non-GMO hormone-free turkey, or enjoy a Thai black bean vegan burger. Try the Bold and Blazin for a bite with

More...

heat that doesn’t overpower the flavor, or the intention.

Big Mama’s Kitchen 2112 N 30th Ste #201 www.BigMamasKitchen. com

In March of 2018, Omaha said goodbye to Patricia “Big Mama” Barron. For years, Big Mama served soulful food with a level of kindness and compassion which became a greater part of her legacy than the recipes that earned her numerous shout outs from The Food Network. Patricia’s family knew that Omaha needed Big Mama, and so they took up the reins. Today, the family runs Big Mama’s Kitchen, as well as a scholarship in Patricia’s name, offering an opportunity to attend Metro’s Culinary Arts Program. To contribute to the fund, visit The Donation Page.

Black Bottom Biscotti 4724 N 24th St BlackBottomBiscotti.com

Owner Sophia Jordan knows that if you want something done right, you just may have to do it yourself. With delicious gluten free and vegan offerings, everyone can find a sweet treat to satisfy their cravings.

Boiling Claws fb.com/BoilingClaws (402) 807-0530

While the owner has been working tirelessly to launch a food truck, he also found a way to help out during the Covid crisis. Knowing that many chil-

Emery’s Cafe Huskerland 2118 N 24th st Popcorn

The Cooler’s Sno-Balls

Ste 101 2305 N 90th 2323 N 24th St EmerysCafe.com HuskerLandPop- hecoolersnobcorn.com alls.com

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JULY 2020

dren are facing a summer with limited lunches, Boiled Claws’ owner offered sack lunches to children in need. For questions or catering info, email info@boilingclaws.com and follow along on Facebook for truck launch dates.

Cajun Kitchen 2819 N 30th St OmahaCajunKitchen.com

The Wrenn family behind Cajun Kitchen could have written the book on spicy, saucy cuisine, but they’ve chosen to serve it instead. There isn’t an item on the menu that isn’t a messy delicious masterpiece, but the smothered pork chop is worth ignoring a lot of the crave-able menu for.

Caribbean Delights 2304 N 72nd St caribbeandelighth.com

From savory spiced beef pastries to rich and delicious curries, the hearty Jamaican cuisine served by CD will satisfy the soul. Your tastebuds, on the other hand, will never have enough to calm the craving.

Chaima’s African Cuisine 5060 S 107th St fb.com/ChaimasAfricanCuisine

Home of Authentic African Cuisine, Chaima’s dishes are packed with surprises. From savory to sweet, each dish is as generously spiced as it is portioned. Try: Fufu PB Lamb

Jim’s Rib Haven 3801 Ames Ave fb.com/JimsRibHavenOmaha

Krab Kingz

Crum Cakes Bakery fb.com/CrumCakesBakery

When searching for a cake that is as delicious as it is beautiful, visit Crum Cakes Bakery. From custom celebratory cakes to grab-and-go brownie pans, each dish is thoughtfully prepared and decadently decorated.

Dripped & Draped 6105 Maple DrippedAndDraped.com

Opening a business is a risk and a challenge in any climate, but these entrepreneurs decided that not only did Omaha need a new take on coffee, sweets and style, but that even an international crisis couldn’t slow their growth. Having opened their doors at the peak of pandemic (so far? We hope? We’ll see..?) the team set to work creating a safe environment to serve their specialty teas. Come for the Turmeric Latte, stay for the incredible energy.

Get-N-Go Fish 1706 N 24th st www.GetNGoFish.com

Catfish can be done wrong. It can be done fine. And then there’s Get-N-Go. In spite of the hurry you hear in their name, the time is taken to season each dish to perfection.

Jackson’s Takeout 6209 Ames Ave fb.com/JacksonsTakeout

Mixins Ice

Cream 3157 Farnam KrabKingzOma- 1405 Jackson ha.com fb.com/MixinsIceCream

Smokin Jay’s BBQ 2524 S 13th st Jayssmokinbbq. com


D I S H For dishes that will make you want to linger, grab and go from Jackson’s Takeout. Take your time deciding between the many wing flavors, but don’t skip the app. Cajun shrimp nachos will always be the right answer.

Lalibela 4422 Cass facebook.com/Lalibela

Spicy and rich, meals are served family-style on Injera, a spongy bread used in place of silverware. Lalibela also serves as an African grocer, allowing you to purchase the ingredients to make each dish at home.

Lutfis Fried Fish 2527 N 72nd St www.lutfisne.com

Don’t let the name fool you, as Lutfis offers far more than a standard fish fry. No matter how it’s prepared the fish is light and airy, but you’ll regret not having tried blackened catfish.

New Orleans Sneaux Food Cart fb.com/NewOrleansSneaux/

A Farmer’s Market favorite, this Jazzy Snowmobile does more than put your favorite flavors on ice. While we could all use a cool down right now, Sneaux is my geaux-to in the fall for caramel apple pie sippers and steamy hot chocolates.

Okra African Grill 1303 S 72nd st101 OkraAfricanGrill.com

Even a pandemic couldn’t keep people from welcoming Nina Sodji back to business in Omaha. Having previously served the community via her African Market, Nina finally returned to the scene on March 14th.

Quick Bites Soul Food 105 W Mission Ave www.QuickBitesSoulFoodNe.com

The “quick” only references how long it takes to serve you,

and how soon you’ll want to come back. You’ll find yourself lingering long after, enjoying the sounds and smells of QB.

Sapphire Grill

truck while pushing forward on their second. Follow the team on Facebook for updates!

Time Out Foods 3518 N 30th st www.TimeOutFoods.com

2928 Ames Ave SapphireFlame.com

Creative twists on comfort classics, Sapphire Grill has its menu dialed in. The crab cakes are as airy as the cheesesteak is hearty, and the turtle pie is the perfect ending to any of the offerings.

T. Marie’s 2414 Patrick Ave fb.com/OurTMaries

The fried lobster tail on the menu is the perfect example of T. Marie’s bold take on Homestyle dishes. Don’t leave without sampling the featherbones.

Taste of New Orleans Food Truck fb.com/ATasteOfNewOrleans4u

Time Out Foods closed their doors at the end of 2019 after losing owner Steve Mercer to cancer. People waited in line for hours to welcome the family back, and weren’t disappointed when their patience paid off. Welcome back, Time Out Foods!

Wayne’s New Skoo BBQ 4865 Center fb.com/WaynesNewSkooBBQ

Owner Lawayne Nockai has curated his menu to offer only certified winning recipes, but I only have one thing to say. Hot. Boy. Sandwich.

Owners have been working hard to restore their original

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JULY 2020

29


H O O D O O

Live Music Returns

Blues guitarist Mike Zito might have been the first national blues artist to get back on the road. His “Social Distancing Tour” plugs in at The Zoo Bar, Stocks ‘n’ Bonds and Soaring Wings Winery. photo BY Scott Lukes

How Omaha’s Music Venues are Coping During the Pandemic

Story by B.J. Huchtemann

P

lease be aware that venues may have their own rules for attendees, on top of any CDC guidelines and directed health measures (DHM) in place. Falconwood Park and Hullabaloo Music Group presents drive-in concerts. Bands perform on a full stage with a concert sound system while attendees stay in or near their vehicle. Find the schedule, show times, all rules and details at fb.com/ hullabaloomusic and at falconwoodpark.com. The park is at 905 Allied Rd., south of Bellevue.

Mike Zito’s “Social Distancing Tour” Blues guitarist Mike Zito plays two shows a night at Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Tuesday, July 14, and Wednesday, July 15, at 6 and 8 p.m. Tickets are available directly at The Zoo Bar, 136 N. 14th Street, in Lincoln. Details at zoobar. com and fb.com/zoobarblues.

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The Blues Society of Omaha hosts Zito Thursday, July 16, and also Tuesday, July 21, at Stocks ‘n’ Bonds with two shows, 5:30-7 p.m. and 7:459:15 p.m. Tickets at fb.com/ bluessocietyofomaha, or eventbrite.com.

Soaring Wings Blues Fest Soaring Wings Winery’s 16th Annual Wine, Blues, Beer and Hot Air Balloon Festival is Friday, July 17, and Saturday, July 18. Mike Zito performs Friday, July 17, gates at 6 p.m., music at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 18, gates open at 4 p.m. Performing are Sarah Benck (5:30 p.m.), Nick Schnebelen (7 p.m.) and Indigenous (8:30 p.m.). Tickets at etix. com. The event is presented by Soaring Wings in conjunction with the Blues Society of Omaha. Further details plus all the winery’s events and event schedule can be found at soaringwingswine.com.

JULY 2020

ZooFest Update

Hot Notes

Lincoln’s Zoo Bar’s annual ZooFest anniversary celebration has been postponed. Co-owner Pete Watters is still talking with the city about the possibility of rescheduling the outdoor event for Aug. 21-22, and will post updates at zoobar.com and fb.com/zoobarblues.

The Blues Society of Omaha has resumed its Thursday blues series. See fb.com/bluessocietyofomaha and omahablues.com.

Also watch for announcements on music scheduled indoors for July and August.

Playing With Fire Cancelled Jeff Davis reported that 2020’s Playing With Fire events have been cancelled and rescheduled for 2021. The 2021 free shows will be Friday and Saturday, July 16 and 17, and Friday and Saturday, Aug. 13 and 14. The concerts will be held outside at 10th and Capitol in downtown Omaha. See playingwithfireomaha.net.

In the Market for Blues will announce updates on the annual festival scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 1, at fb.com/inthemarketforblues and omahablues.com/in-themarket-for-blues, according to event spokesperson Chris Shouse. Lash LaRue and the Toy Drive for Pine Ridge will have in-person and livestreamed musical fundraisers July 18 and 19 for the Toy Drive’s propane fund. A Mercurys reunion is planned. Watch fb.com/toydriveforpineridge for event details. The B. Bar has also resumed some live music. Look for the July schedule at fb.com/theb.baromaha. Check thereader.com for expanded Hoodoo content.


F I L M

Cine-mea Culpa How Film Reinforced My White Privilege

I

by Ryan Syrek

promoted racism. I know we all do, but I did it, like, professionally. Recently. Ibram X. Kendi argues that confession can be an antiracist act, and that dude is way, way smarter than I am. So I confess: I stood in front of a room full of mostly white people, as an authority figure—well, as a film critic, if that counts—and celebrated Pulp Fiction. You remember that movie, right? That’s the one where the writer and director, Quentin Tarantino, shows up in a small role just to say the N-word a bunch. You know, for laughs! What kind of abject privileged insanity led us white male film critics—who comprise virtually all of the film critics—to think we could give ole QT a pass on doing that again and again and again? It is palpably insane that I did that, knowing the entire time it was wrong. The idea “good art” can be forgiven for such bullshit is a fallacy that only seems to apply to white artists. This is just one of I don’t even know how many awful, explicitly racist fuck ups I have made in my nearly 20 years reviewing films. I promise you, right now, someone reading this is rolling their eyes at me and my “performative wokeness.” I definitely can’t verify whether I’m properly following Kendi’s antiracist guidance now, I can only tell you that those eye rollers can get properly bent. Here’s why.

Film Is a Gateway Drug Education isn’t something that only happens in underfunded, overcrowded public schools. Cultural education is as much a crucial component of our collective identity as any crusty, musty textbook. They still use textbooks, right? We don’t digitally download info straight into brains in schools yet? As a kid, my first defining exposure to police officers was pretty much pop culture propaganda. Black parents often have to counsel their children about interactions with the cops. My dad showed me Die Hard on Fox, since the swears were cut out. Because that is the problem with the police: Swears! As a kid, every hero in movies looked like me. My biggest dilemma was whether I pretended to be Han Solo or Luke Skywalker that day. That cinematic reinforcement of white privilege was shockingly subtle compared to other examples. Gone With the Wind remains the highest grossing film (adjusted for inflation) of all time. Birth of a Nation still gets credit for “pioneering” certain aspects of cinema. Goddamn Green Book won Best Picture like a year ago. Tarantino fans still go cross-eyed and rabid, grabbing social media pitchforks when I accurately state the fact that he explicitly engages in racism.

This isn’t to say I think movies are the problem with race in America. Other than Crash. They are, however, a largely ignored contributor that often casually reinforce racist ideology and typically get let off the hook for it.

I Think I’m Going to Do My Job Now If you want to know if you should watch a movie or not, Netflix has an algorithm that knows you better than you admit. There is a 95% chance you’ll like that new reality show about butts or whatever, even if you deny it. A critic’s job isn’t to tell you what to watch. It’s our job to tell you how to watch and what to watch for. It’s our job to do the work of critically engaging with art. I have patted myself on the back for far too long, smugly confident in my non-racist style of criticism. Only, I was racist. Oh, and as Kendi points out, non-racism isn’t even a real, actual goal. You have to be anti-racist. I am not positioned to tell anyone how to be an anti-racist movie critic. I literally just finished reading How to Be an Anti-Racist like a few hours ago. I can only tell you how I am planning to start. First, nobody gets a pass anymore. I don’t care if they do make an awesome modern samurai movie where Uma Thurman fights Lucy Liu and… Goddammit, that one’s racist too, isn’t it? For real, we have to normalize pointing out racist behaviors and things that empower and reinforce white privilege. It is not outside the scope of a critic’s job, it is the job. We are supposed to be the tip of the spear that pops the “shut your brain off” bubble when it comes to approaching movies. I’m ready to do that. Second, I have to read more diverse critics and elevate their voices. I am going to do my best to include links on the site to other such reviewers at the end of my pieces, which is something I should have been doing for ages. These pieces are supposed to be conversations, but I’ve been monologuing to the air like a supervillain. Third, I need to make sure I am ingesting cinema from a wide range of creators. Too often, I only review the “biggest film of the week” because it is what “most people” want to hear about. All of that is privileged nonsense. That just means I typically follow what studios run by white folks put out because that’s what other white folks want to hear about. It is on me to seek diversity in the cinematic content I consume. That’s a start, and only a start. We are at one of those moments where we can admit our role in the way things are or keep doing the same bullshit because it has always served us to do so. I’m sorry for all that I’ve done wrong before. Here’s to the next 20 years of my reviews being something I can be more unreservedly proud of writing.

Zip Coda

Out of Omaha Shows Life in the Crosshairs

D

by Ryan Syrek

irector Clay Tweel’s Out of Omaha is inspired, insightful filmmaking that patiently provides a platform for those denied everything, including a soapbox. The fierce urgency of the first half hour lays bare the truth of Omaha’s long negligence towards its black community before giving way to a quiet, mournful descent into lives like promising, beautiful blossoms frozen on a vine. Until now—when anger and anguish have erupted into much-needed protests and demonstrations—we have lived in a place content to swagger and boast like a city but cower into folksy township when it comes to actually confronting racism and segregation. With the help of Wayne Brown, the Vice President of Programs for the Urban League of Nebraska, and some historical footage, the film doesn’t take long to establish that there are “two Omahas.” Tweel focuses on the one that doesn’t get put on the front of travel brochures. Primarily following Darcell Trotter and his twin brother, Darrell, over the course of eight years, Out of Omaha is the very best kind of documentary: the kind that knows when to get out of its own way. Tweel lets the Trotters speak truth about their existence, from basic frustrations about money to how being on the wrong couch one night can ruin your entire life. Each time Darcell swims from the murky depths of his neglected environment towards the light shimmering above, you pray he will break the water, surface, and gulp long, deep breaths of freedom. The reality is closer to drowning on dry land. The brothers navigate guns, gangs, and a judicial system that varies from actively monstrous to callously indifferent. Their interactions with authorities may not end in the kind of explicit, literal tragedy that has captured recent headlines, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. Lots of people are hurting, specifically those who live within the invisible chalk lines drawn around the northern part of this city. The Trotters’ experiences are at once singular and communal, specific and symbolic. Out of Omaha doesn’t put a bow on things, mince words, or offer concrete solutions. It just dares everyone to look where most choose not to peek. Out of Omaha is not just for Nebraskans. Just about every city has its North Omaha, that part of town mentally cordoned off by a ruling white upper class who decide which kids are worth saving. Maybe the best part of the film is that we see how fragile and almost silly some of the legitimately well-intended solutions that are offered can be. How can you go to class if you’re unfairly arrested, regardless of whether your tuition is paid? Tweel chooses to spend the vast majority of the film letting his subjects speak about personal issues, which is commendable. However, his opening and closing is enough to make one long for him to provide a full exploration of the origins and pernicious effects of continued systemic racism in Omaha. Out of Omaha is one of the best films I’ve seen in the last few years, full stop. It is also one of the more important local films I’ve ever had the opportunity to review. Hulu and Amazon Prime recently added this to their lineups, so there are really no excuses for not watching. No matter where you live, this one will hit home, now more than ever.

Grade = A JULY 2020

31


c r o s s w o r d

Answer in next next month’s issue or online at TheReader.com

High Times by A.V. Club

Across 1. “The Phantom Menace” planet 6. Anti-DUI group created by fifteen students and their hockey coach 10. Fortnite novice, casually 14. Ophelia has a famous mad one in “Hamlet” 15. Butter substitute in vintage recipes 16. Shawkat who played Maeby on “Arrested Development” 17. Second cup of coffee, at some diners 19. Secluded valley 20. Weasel 21. Coworker of Blitzen 23. Type 24. Pre-wedding service, for short 26. Products consumed in an extremely dumb viral challenge 28. “Good Trouble” or “Frasier” 31. Scapegoat 32. Gadot who organized a widely mocked video of celebrities singing “Imagine” 33. Knotted up 35. “I’m so sick of running as fast as I can, wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a ___” (Swift lyric) 36. Clare Crawley will be the lead on its next season (whenever that happens)

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42. Bitter beer, often 43. Google’s home security brand 44. Trilby, e.g. 45. Wakandan princess played by Letitia Wright in “Black Panther” 48. “Too true ...” 50. Frito or Bugle 54. Cuban capital 55. Stick up 56. Skywalker’s mentor 58. Sex shop purchase 61. Dutch cheese shaped into a boule

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63. Make trouble ... or what you’ll do in this puzzle’s circled squares 65. It totally blows 66. Meh 67. Head, as it were 68. Visually perceives 69. Mamas who say “maa maa” 70. Teatro ColÛn production

DOWN 1. [don’t open while on the clock, pls]

2. ___ yoga (workout with a pose called hangle dangle) 3. Fratty track tradition 4. Like some bands that can’t get any smaller 5. Anthem contraction 6. Technically it’s NOT a couch (TIL) 7. Selection of stars 8. India’s second-largest city 9. Handed (out) 10. Ask a zillion times 11. “Mr. Robot” hacker Alderson 12. Brandishes

13. Artist whose “Girl With Balloon” shredded itself immediately after being sold at auction 18. Structure 22. Verbal sparring 25. None whatsoever 27. Part of a window a puppy might run into, when it’s clean (ouch!) 28. Pepper’s rank: Abbr. 29. “Malarkey!” 30. Yiddish word of disgust 34. Fox hole

35. Slamming spot, at a ska-punk show 37. Place for a roll in the hay? 38. Luau band? 39. Joe Exotic, John Finlay, and Travis Maldonado, relationship-wise 40. Swift, to her Swifties 41. “___?” (text sent while waiting for someone) 45. Puts in a really terrible spot 46. Comfy sweatshirt that might feature a university name 47. Cosmopolitan 49. Catching some winks 51. “Steppenwolf” author Hermann 52. Close behind 53. Coolness of a sort 57. Bernie ___ 59. Crude one 60. Continuously active Italian volcano 62. Some frontline health workers 64. Health insurance letters

AnsweR to last month’s “FOUND IN TRANSLATION”


C R O S S W O R D

Scrabble

Answer in next next month’s issue or online at TheReader.com

by S.E. Wilkinson

Across

30. Lures for bargain hunters

1. “One-man army” of the silver screen

31. Stopped oneself

6. Sci-fi author’s creation

32. Showbiz honors

11. Winter follower: Abbr.

37. Acronym for an outdoor fantasy game

36. Flash drive port

14. “Over the Rainbow” composer Harold

39. Chicken ____ 40. Help with the dishes

15. Sleep clinic subject 16. Suffix with fail

43. Rhea of “Cheers”

17. Create a seven-letter word in Scrabble with the rack DSERIST

46. Co. with a bouquet in its logo

19. Spot on a domino 20. Lunchbox staples, initially

48. Game that uses Nintendo’s Balance Board

21. “Just as I thought!”

49. “Ozark” actor Morales

22. Oscar-nominated frontwoman of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

52. Be

47. It began in 1908 with 34 agts.

53. “Fiddler on the Roof” buttinsky

24. Pre-1991 atlas initials 25. London ____ 27. Meth lab raiders 28. Create a seven-letter word in Scrabble with the rack IERGBSD 30. Prosecutor’s burden 33. Squid’s ink holder 34. 4G ____ 35. Like sleep, ideally 38. OutKast and Mobb Deep 41. “Portlandia” airer 42. Drain

54. Artist Degas 44. Former Israeli minister Moshe 45. Create a seven-letter word in Scrabble with the rack EEWRBYR 50. Google ____ 51. Spectrum producer 52. Threading target 55. Kind of block 57. ____ Fáil (Irish coronation stone) 58. Struck (out) 59. Number one game?

60. Create a seven-letter word in Scrabble with the rack IGNTTFI

DOWN

9. Potato ____ soup

1. Skate park features

10. Aquafina rival

2. Kaffiyeh wearers

63. Danson with the stars?

3. Time’s 1963 Man of the Year, informally

11. What never lets go?

64. Religion developed in 19th-century Iran 65. “____ mañana!” 66. 1960s campus org. 67. “____ want to talk about it” 68. Change

12. Where Einstein taught

4. Honey bunch?

13. Take back

5. Carry-____ (some luggage)

18. Famous Amos

6. “Marilyn Diptych” artist

25. Muscular

7. 21st-century health menace 8. Boxing seg.

23. “Righteous!”

56. Springsteen’s “Thunder ____” 58. List-ending abbr. 61. Letter after pi 62. “____ Carter V” (Lil Wayne album of 2018) AnsweR to last month’s “CURVES”

26. Letter-shaped beam 28. Droid 29. Color TV pioneer

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33


C O M I C S Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau

which deaths matter? by Jen Sorensen

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JULY 2020

TED RALL


H E A R T L A N D

H E A L I N G

Summer Help is Here by Michael Braunstein

W

hat’s the matter, Bunky? Are you “up to here” with masks and social distancing? Is the ongoing world war between anarchy and civilization getting you down? Is the constant political banter boring you to death? And have you grown fatigued by the constant lies and deception of clickbait media? (Present sourcing excepted, of course!)

Well, it’s time to lift your spirits and cash the first half of 2020 as just a bad, bounced check! Summer is here. Nature beckons and EGBOK, “everything’s going to be OK.” Let’s look at some reasons why Nature is going to save your soul this summer and steps you can take to avoid conflict with her. Sun and Vitamin D. Nature’s design is wondrous. Just when we need it most, the sun and human biology step right in to provide one of nature’s strongest medicines, Vitamin D. With increased sun exposure in the summer, melanocytes in the basal epidermal layer of the body produce bountiful amounts of Vitamin D. Now you may think Vitamin D is in food sources like dairy products. Well, yes and no. Milk doesn’t contain Vitamin D unless it is artificially added. And Vitamin D supplements, while helpful, are not as good as the real thing.

Vitamin D is known to relieve depression, significantly combat cancers, boost the immune system and of course, help build strong body parts, especially bone. It’s linked to lowering blood pressure, promoting insulin regulation, improved digestion and mental clarity. As far as life support is concerned, Vitamin D is a superhero and it is free and plentiful. All you have to do is get out in the sun. Negative ions. Boy, was the “negative ion generator” a thing in the 1970s! You couldn’t go anywhere in Hollywood without finding one in homes, studios, restaurants, theaters. What the trendies were trying to replicate was the generation of negative ions that are naturally created in certain outdoor settings. Negative ions have long been associated with uplifting spirits and overall contentment and are the result of certain natural processes including the agitation of water molecules. Ever notice how hardly anyone is in a bad mood at the beach? Right! And I visited Niagara Falls one time and no one was grumpy there! The same thing happens in verdant forestland. Those towering, leafy trees also generate tons of negative ions. Happy dirt. We’ve touched before on the uplifting benefits of playing in the dirt. You know — gardening, pulling weeds, basic yard work — and we told you one of the reasons why. Mycobacterium vaccae is everywhere you want to be when you play in healthy soil. Contact with this beneficial

bacteria improves mood, possibly by stimulating the release of serotonin and other hormones that elevate mood and alleviate depression. Just in case. Summer also presents challenges that can try men’s souls. Insects are rampant. Soaring temps can dehydrate rapidly. Close encounters with allergenic plant life can trigger epidermal eruptions. Safer, natural methods of addressing these challenges are available if one but looks.

in windowsill planters if you happen to be an apartment dweller. Basil, rosemary, mint, lavender, lemongrass — all will help deter the dickens out of those biting fliers and crawlers.

Insects and biters. Repel and quell are things you can do. Keeping the bugs off is step one. Plenty of toxic chemicals are around at the store but you can do better. First, wear clothing that gives some protection. White or light colors help you identify ticks and insect “cling ons.” And keeping your home area devoid of breeding grounds for mosquitoes cannot be emphasized enough. A teaspoon of water is incubating territory for millions of skeeters.

Don’t dry out. For starters, nothing hydrates better than water. But if you want to embellish your bottle, then try it the old-fashioned way. Switchel is a word you probably don’t know. A drink called variously switchel, Haymaker’s Punch or ginger water dates as far back as the 1600s in the Western Hemisphere and similar drinks go back even further. Starting with water, you add some vinegar, spice it with ginger and sweeten with honey, maple syrup or molasses. Some historians note that lemon was a favorite additive, also. In the heat of harvesting hay, switchel was a popular drink for farmers in the 1930s. It hydrated and nourished them. The components contain natural elements that are similar to the good things in sport drinks.

Citronella: Everyone has heard of citronella candles. They work. And they won’t ravage your DNA. They keep bugs at bay.

So, while you are recovering from the panic of the pandemic, recognize that summer holds some relief from the crazies. Embrace it.

Lavender oil: As with all essential oils, dilute properly if applying to skin! Absorbent swatches of cloth with full strength though, can be placed around your area. Replace and replenish when no longer effective. Dilute proportions can keep buggers off exposed skin. Herbs: You can plant some of these around the yard — or

Be well. Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others: for a weekly dose of Heartland Healing, visit HeartlandHealing.com.

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O V E R

T H E

E D G E

Black Lives Matter. So Does Voting. Will the protests lay the groundwork for November’s election? by Tim McMahan June 22, 2020 —

P

lanning for this issue of The Reader started with the protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd at the beginning of June. The issue’s topic: Inequity, though that seemed too narrow. Why not broaden it to the real issue — social justice, or the state of race relations in the City of Omaha and the country? Now here we are during the first full week of July, and it feels like most everything has been said about the problems of social justice, race and inequity by every person with a relevant viewpoint — certainly by those with a more relevant point of view than from my white, privileged ass. If you’re white, well-employed and living in the suburbs, the best thing you can do as the world shakes around you is shut the f—- up and listen. Though it’s also the right time (if you believe it) to say black lives matter, you support the protesters, you recognize you’ve had a lot of breaks in life because of your skin color, and you’ll do whatever you can to help make things right.

partments began to catch traction. But the concept left a lot of people scratching their heads. For example, it left me wondering as I lie wide awake in bed next to a shivering dog frightened by the boom-boomboom of illegal fireworks who I would call to report such problems if there was no police department (A mundane problem, I know, especially when people are dying…).

I’ve known a lot of cops over the years, and they’ve all been good people. I’ve taken part in three “ride-alongs” where I sat in the back of a squad car during night shifts — one in Omaha, one in Council Bluffs, one in Kansas City. Afterward I walked away thinking a cop’s job can be as tedious and boring as it can be dangerous and thankless. I asked all the officers if they thought there was racism in their departments. All said there was (off the record, of course). They also said there was systemic racism in their communities, and that every police department reflects its community. The problem isn’t cops, the problem is racism and everything that goes with it — I toyed with the idea of in- the inequity, the lack of social terviewing a black cop for this justice, the lack of opportunity, column because up until the all of it. second week of June I hadn’t I don’t believe the talking heard anyone in any media heads who say systemic racism ask a black cop what she or he can be wiped out with educathought about what was going tion, with knowledge, by peoon. Since then, dozens of black ple simply “listening.” I wish it cops have been interviewed were that easy. I fear that the and have pointed out problems openly racist people I’ve enof racism in America. countered will never change. As June rolled along, the The best we can do is to conidea of defunding police de-

36

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tain them, and that’s pretty tough in a free society. It’s a pessimist’s viewpoint. Just like my view that all the protesting here and throughout the country over the first two weeks of June won’t amount to anything unless all those young folks who were out there getting tear gassed turn up at the polls in November. But all the evidence from past elections indicates that simply won’t happen. The 18-to-29 age group has come in dead last in voter turnout for every presidential election since the ‘80s according to data from the United States Election Project. In fact, in 2016 only about 40% of that youth category voted in the presidential election vs. nearly 70% of those age 45-to-59, and more than 70% of those over age 60. And now we’re all living with the results.

dia has turned its attention to other things — to Trump’s rally in Tulsa, to John Bolton’s tellall money-grab of a book, and yes, back to COVID-19. Just today the United States celebrated the fact that it accounts for 20% of new coronavirus cases globally, according to The New York Times. Alongside that story was a spiffy chart that showed COVID cases once again on the upswing. While everyone is wondering what will happen during the second wave, it’s painfully obvious we are nowhere near the end of the first wave. The good news: It might take another year and a vaccine before we stop wearing masks in public, but the conventional wisdom is we’ll get through it, just like we got through polio, small pox, ebola and all the rest. I don’t know if the same can be said about racism. The best we can hope for is that this angry generation that spent the first half of June marching in the streets with tears in their eyes and boots on their backs does better than the ones that came before them, and that the remnants of racism die off, just like any other disease.

But even if all those young people we saw in our streets voted, would it make a difference in our local election? Remember who we didn’t see standing with fists in the air at 72nd and Dodge or marching in the Old Market: Old white people — thousands of them — most of whom watched the protests from the comfort of their easy chairs. You better believe they’ll be at the polls Over The Edge is a monthly come November. As I write this in late June, the protests already are fading into the background, just as COVID-19 took a back seat to the protests at the beginning of the month. The national me-

column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim M c M a h an focused on culture, society, music, the media and the arts. Email Tim at tim.mcmahan@gmail. com.


KIMARA SNIPER: “El sur de Omaha ha demostrado el verdadero poder de un vecindario unido” POR KARLHA VEL ASQUEZ RIVAS *Esta es una traducción de la entrevista realizada a Snipe

K

imara Snipe es afroestadounidense y ha alcanzado a lo largo de su vida una posición respetable en su comunidad. Es Gerente en Comunicaciones y Especialista Juvenil, en Nebraska Civic Engagement Table y es parte de la Junta de Educación de las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha (OPS), representando al subdistrito 8 en Nebraska. Cargo asumido en 2018 y termina en 2022. Además, es especialista en las bibliotecas públicas de Omaha. No tiene miedo a decir que fue adoptada ni mucho menos a expresar sus opiniones con respeto y educación, banderas que ha mantenido en alto a lo largo de su vida al servicio de las comunidades marginadas en la ciudad. Ha vivido toda su vida en el sur de Omaha. Ella es reconocida por el trabajo enfocado en la pobreza y reducir la brecha entre la policía y la comunidad. Además, es parte de la Junta de las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha. Su especialidad con los jóvenes la llevó a crear el programa Teen Talk About, que se enfoca en alfabetizar a jóvenes de entre 1218 años en situación de riesgo. Actualmente se desempeña como presidente de la Alianza Vecinal de South Omaha (SONA) y apuesta por la mejora los vecindarios a través de la comunicación, la colaboración, el empoderamiento y la promoción de percepciones positivas. El Perico llegó a ella vía Zoom. En una entrevista nos cuenta sobre su opinión con respecto a las protestas en contra del racismo en varias ciudades del país, incluyendo

JULY 2020

Omaha, y lo que ella considera cuáles serían las cosas que se pueden mejorar para tener una comunidad más unida.

¿Cómo te identificas a ti misma?

Afro Estadounidense. Parte de la comunidad y de este vecindario y estoy aquí para ellos.

¿Cuál es tu opinión sobre las reacciones de la comunidad sobre la muerte de George Floyd? ¿Piensas que hacen más daño que bien?

Creo que es un factor positivo y tenemos que continuar sensibilizando sobre las preocupaciones de la comunidad y esa conciencia de que las conversaciones deben continuar después de las protestas. Estuve impresionada sobre muchos jóvenes que estaban en las marchas a las que asistí. Omaha tiene buenas personas, y son el reflejo de sus familias, escuelas e iglesias. Y es trabajo de los líderes elegidos por el pueblo prestar atención a eso.

¿Cómo ha sido haber crecido en el sur de Omaha y cómo moldeó tu punto de vista sobre la raza?

El sur de Omaha ha impactado de forma abrumadora mi punto de vista en muchos temas, sobre todo el asunto económico, el poder de la educación, y la necesidad que tenemos que crecer juntos como comunidad. El

sur de Omaha ha demostrado el verdadero poder de un vecindario unido y el esfuerzo de los vecinos trabajando juntos para ser mejores.

¿Cuál ha sido el problema principal que se ve en Omaha?

Pienso que la disparidad es un gran problema. Omaha es una comunidad magnífica. Hay personas que viven en la pobreza y hay todavía inequidades raciales. Las personas sin un carro que dependen del transporte y tienen problema de acceso. Yo misma lucho con eso. Los estudiantes sin acceso a internet, batallando con los desafíos de la educación. Tenemos que mostrar estas cosas y todo el mundo debe ser parte de esto y buscar una solución. Incluyendo negocios, trabajadores, educadores, la comunidad de fé y los servidores públicos electos.

En tu opinión ¿piensas que segregación racial en Omaha?

Tenemos décadas de Redlining (la línea roja es la negación sistemática de varios servicios por parte de las agencias del gobierno federal, los gobiernos locales y el sector privado, ya sea directamente o mediante el aumento selectivo de precios) en agentes inmobiliarios. En algunas zonas, donde hay personas blancas se favorece más y tratan de mantener la gente de color en el norte y el sur de Omaha. Esas prácticas generan segregación

en el asunto de conseguir viviendas ahora. Cuando las personas piensan en Omaha, la ven como el norte donde están negros y el sur los latinos. Eso crea más segregación, así que se ignoran a otro grupo de la ciudad. Ahora se ve que están creciendo más el número de latinos en Omaha. Hay muchos más afroestadounidenses que viven en el sur de Omaha. y algunos de esos grupos se mueven al Oeste de la ciudad. Tenemos que buscar una forma más inclusiva para poner a la ciudad más unida, porque no son índices de similitud y es extremadamente alto y hay una razón por ello y son las políticas que existían antes de que yo existiera.

¿Qué crees que está afectando el sistema educativo en algunos lugares ahora?

El gran reto ahora es cómo reabrir de forma segura las escuelas durante la pandemia. Y para ser clara siempre estamos trabajando en un ambiente seguro. Todos los estudiantes son valiosos, tienen las oportunidades de crecer y tener habilidades, y los conocimientos necesarios para tener una vida productiva.

¿Crees que los niños reciben una buena educación en las escuelas públicas?

He tenido la oportunidad de estar en las escuelas privadas pero la mayoría del tiempo continuada en la página 2 y

ARTICULO DESTACADO // FEATURE ARTICLE

1


y continuada de la página 1

estoy en las escuelas públicas por un tiempo, pero he asistido a la escuela Saint Bernadette (privada). Pero pienso que los estudiantes pueden tener una educación excelentes en las escuelas públicas, siempre que estemos haciendo nuestro trabajo para enfrentar y abordar esa disparidad en todos los aspectos. La diferencia entre las escuelas privadas y públicas son los recursos. Las escuelas públicas tienen una enorme responsabilidad sin importar el ingreso familiar, problemas físicos o idioma del estudiante. Trabajamos con estudiantes con problemas de conducta. Las escuelas públicas reflejan más a la sociedad. Puede ser una experiencia enriquecedora para preparar a cada estudiante para la vida después del bachillerato.

En cuanto a los recursos para las escuelas ¿crees que es equitativa?

Es una lucha constante. Tenemos que estar conscientes de las necesidades de cada escuela y cómo son esas necesidades. El gran contexto es saber qué hace OPS incluso en otros distritos, porque no solo es en Distrito Público de Omaha. Me he encontrado con otros miembros de escuelas distritales y dicen lo mismo. Recientemente tuvimos 54.000 Ipads con hotspot integrado. Eso es necesario. El lugar donde vivo es un área de pobreza concentrada por lo racial o lo étnico, que sufre de una terrible cobertura de internet. Y es por eso que hay interrupciones constantes cuando nos entrevistamos.

¿Piensas que las protestas se deben a un problema racial o socioeconómico?

Ambos. Si tratas a una persona despiadadamente, deja una desventaja injusta y tenemos que hacer lo que

2

podamos para asegurarnos de que esta desventaja no se extienda al sistema penal. Hemos visto a Nestride Yumga, una mujer africana nacionalizada estadounidense enfrentándose a los manifestantes en Washington D.C. por no protestar por los asesinatos que ocurren entre personas negras ¿te parece que estaba en lo correcto?} No, porque se pierde el sentido de la protesta. No hay razón para pasar por alto la actividad criminal. No apruebo la actividad criminal. Pero estas protestas van dirigidas a abordar las acciones criminales tomadas por algunas personas que han jurado protegernos. Podremos abordar mejor el crimen cuando dentro de la comunidad se restablezca la fé en nuestras instituciones y la gente coopere con las fuerzas del orden para identificar esa actividad criminal.

¿Cómo te sientes acerca de la Policía en Omaha?

No puedo hablar por toda la comunidad pero, supongo que diría que, en general, encontré muchos policías que desean tener buenas relaciones con la comunidad y hacen cambios constructivos. Cree un programas en la Biblioteca que donde invito cada semana al Capitán Mark Matuza y nosotros tenemos una buena relación y es una hermosa ocasión. Quiero ayudar a esos líderes del orden a lograrlo. Pero también hay una frustración, muy válida, cuando vemos que un estrangulamiento (como el caso de Floyd) aún se está usando como mecanismo entre los oficiales. Nuestro departamento (de Policía) es mejor que eso. Por otro lado tenemos que presionar para mejorar las políticas, transparencia y los contratos de unión con la comunidad.

Está el tema de quitarle los fondos a la policía en todo el país. ¿Crees que eso hará a la comunidad más segura?

Antes de llegar a ese punto debemos hacernos preguntas

ARTICULO DESTACADO // FEATURE ARTICLE

y darnos respuestas. La primera pregunta es cómo se puede definir “quitarle los fondos” y la otra es como definir las políticas comunitarias. ïenso que a lo que se refieren es a la reasignación de dólares dentro de un presupuesto del gobierno de la ciudad a todas partes para así reducir la delincuencia y hacer una ciudad para un mejor vivir y eso incluye al Departamento del Policía.

Nuestro trabajo es abocarnos como líderes en nuestras comunidades, hacer lo mejor que se pueda para mejorar las condiciones de vida. Mantener a muchos conectados lo mejor posible, especialmente durante la pandemia.

podríamos tener.

Eso puede hacerse a través de un programa de sobre educación, economía y trabajo.

Según las estadísticas de la población en Omaha, 70% es Pero, también podría blanca, 11% negra o significar a una evaluación afroestadounidense de cada dólar que se invierte y 12% hispana o en el departamento. ¿Hay latinoamericana. El algún lugar en todo ese gasto en el que se podrían asignar Welfare muestra que dólares en mejorar las políticas de los beneficiados comunitaria? Quiero decir, en Omaha 31% ¿Podemos sacar a los oficiales de sus vehículos para que corresponde a la interactúen positivamente con comunidad negra. los residentes? creo que esa ¿Cómo se puede reducir sería una conversación que esa dependencia?

¿Cuál es la necesidad principal en tu vecindario sobre la educación, vivienda y seguridad?

Tenemos una falta de comida fresca en el sur de Omaha. Vecindarios completos sin accesos a los supermercados, verduras frescas y otros alimentos saludables. Esto por lo general pasa donde no hay un acceso de transporte confiable. Un joven enfrenta mayores desafíos para ser un buen estudiante, tienen hambre, hay indigencia o se vive con miedo de las actividades de pandillas. Con esto quiero decir, que vivo en un vecindario donde no se ve igualdad de prioridades.

¿Desde SONA cuáles son los principales objetivos para enlazar a las comunidades?

Bueno, ahora las personas están muy ocupada, muchos tienen dos trabajos y otros trabajando desde casa. En otros vecindarios hay jubilados, algunos otros con presupuestos limitados.

Omaha es conocida por una gran ética de trabajo, pero las personas necesitan ser entrenadas para las economías emergentes actuales. Si no tenemos una infraestructura de transporte adecuada para mover a los trabajadores desde el centro de la ciudad a los campos de maíz del condado de Sarpy, por ejemplo, no se puede avanzar. Tenemos que asegurarnos de que las nuevas fábricas y centros de datos de proveedores de empleos se ubiquen más cerca de una fuerza laboral lista.

Finalmente, ¿cuál es el siguiente paso para mejorar a la comunidad?

Pienso que es el liderazgo, es tiempo de impulsar a los líderes a retarlos a trabajar para hacer de nuestro lugar una mejor ciudad. Tenemos que tener a alguien que nos una. El liderazgo no es solo un trabajo, es una cosa real. Tenemos personas muy buenas con éticas y tenemos muchas oportunidades y los líderes deben venir con eso.

JULY 2020


KIMARA SNIPE:

“South Omaha has demonstrated the true power of a united neighborhood” BY KARLHA VEL ASQUEZ RIVAS This is a translated version of a Spanish story that ran in El Perico. The conversation originally took place in English and has been edited for length.

K

imara Snipe is a Communications Manager and Youth Specialist at the Nebraska Civic Engagement Table and a library specialist at the Omaha Public Library (OPL) and. She also represents Subdistrict 8 on the Omaha Public Schools board , the term of which runs from 2018 to 2022. She is not afraid to say that she was adopted, much less to express her opinions with respect and education, flags that she has held high throughout her life at the service of the marginalized communities in the city. He has lived his entire life in South Omaha. She is recognized for her work focusing on poverty and creating more opportunities for the police to connect with the community. With the Omaha Public Schools Board, she helped create the Teen Talk About program, which focuses on literacy for at-risk youth ages 12-18. She currently serves as president of the South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance (SONA) and is committed to improving neighborhoods through communication, collaboration, empowerment, and the promotion of positive perceptions. El Perico talked to Snipe via Zoom. In an interview, she tells

us about her opinion regarding the protests against racism in various cities of the country, including Omaha, and what she considers to be the things that can be improved to have a more united community.

What was it like growing up in South Omaha and how did it shape your view of race?

How do you identify yourself?

South Omaha has overwhelmingly impacted my point of view on many issues, most notably the economic issue, the power of education and the need we have to grow together as a community. South Omaha has demonstrated the true power of a united neighborhood and the effort of neighbors working together to be better.

What is your opinion on the community’s reactions to George Floyd’s death? Do you think they do more harm than good?

What has been the main problem you see in Omaha? What has been the main problem you see in Omaha?

African American. Part of the community and this neighborhood and I’m here for them.

I think it is a positive factor and we have to continue to raise awareness of the community’s concerns and that awareness that the talks should continue after the protests. I was impressed by many young people who were at the marches I attended. Omaha has good people, and they are a reflection of their families, schools, and churches. And it is the job of the leaders elected by the people to pay attention to that.

I think disparity is a big problem. Omaha is a great community. There are people living in poverty and there are still racial inequities. People without a car who depend on transportation and have access problems. I struggle with it myself. Students without internet access, struggling with the challenges of education. We have to show these things and everyone must be part of this and look for a solution. Including businesses, workers, educators, the faith community and elected public servants.

In your opinion, do you think racial segregation is present in Omaha?

We have decades of Redlining (the red line is the systematic denial of various services by federal government agencies, local governments and the private sector, either directly or through selective price increases) in real estate agents. In some areas where white people are more favored and try to keep people of color in North and South Omaha. Those practices generate segregation in the matter of obtaining housing now. When people think of Omaha, they see it as the north being black and the south being Latino. That creates more segregation, so another group in the city is ignored. Now it is seen that the number of Latinos in Omaha is growing more. There are many more AfricanAmericans living in South Omaha. and some of those groups move west of the city. We have to find a more inclusive way of bringing the city together, because our similarity index is extremely high and there is a reason for that and it is the policies that existed before I came along. continuada en la página 3 y

TE GUIAREMOS A CASA HIPOTECA fnbo.com/español Los productos y servicios se realizaran en inglés. Visite fnbo.com/español para obtener más información.

JULY 2020

Reyna Gonzalez

rgonzalez@fnni.com 402.602.5903 NMLS#: 623837

Reyna Moreno

rmoreno@fnni.com 402.602.5902 NMLS#: 623838

ARTICULO DESTACADO // FEATURE ARTICLE

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y continuada de la página 3

What do you think is affecting the educational system in some places now?

The big challenge now is how to safely reopen schools during the pandemic. And to be clear we are always working in a safe environment. All students are valuable, have the opportunities to grow and have skills, and the knowledge necessary to have a productive life.

Do you think that children receive a good education in public schools?

I have had the opportunity to be in private schools but most of the time I am in public schools. I have attended Saint Bernadette School (private). But I think that students can have an excellent education in public schools, as long as we are doing our job to address that disparity in every respect. The difference between private and public schools is resources. Public schools have an enormous responsibility regardless of the student’s family income, physical problems or language. We work with students with behavior problems. Public schools reflect society more. It can be an enriching experience to prepare each student for life after high school.

In terms of resources for schools, do you think it is equitable?

It is a constant struggle. We need to always be aware of the needs of each school building and how we’re addressing those needs. And in the larger context we need toinsure challenges faced by OPS and even other urban districts, because it’s not just the OPS system. I meet school board members across the nation who suffer the same thing so we need to make sure all of that is reflected in allocation of state dollars to aid public education.. We

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recently just got 54,000 Ipads with hotspots. That’s necessary. The areaI live is an racially and ethnically concentrated area of poverty, which also suffers from extremely horrible broadband

Do you think the protests are due to a racial or socioeconomic problem?

Both of them. If you treat a person ruthlessly, you leave an unfair disadvantage and we have to do what we can to make sure that this disadvantage does not extend to the penal system.

We have seen Nestride Yumga, a nationalized African American woman confronting protesters in Washington D.C. for not protesting the murders that occur among black people. Do you think she was correct?

No, because the sense of protest is lost. There is no reason to overlook criminal activity. I do not approve of criminal activity. But these protests are aimed at addressing the criminal actions taken by some people who have sworn to protect us. We will be able to better tackle crime when within the community faith is restored in our institutions and people cooperate with law enforcement to identify such criminal activity.

How do you feel about the Police in Omaha?

I can’t speak for the whole community, but I suppose I would say that, overall, I encountered many police officers who want to have good relations with the community and make constructive changes. I created a program in the Library where I invite Captain Mark Matuza every week and we have a good relationship and it is a beautiful occasion. I want to help those law enforcement leaders do it. But there is also

ARTICULO DESTACADO // FEATURE ARTICLE

a very valid frustration when we see that a chokehold (like Floyd’s case) is still being used as a mechanism among officers. Our (police) department is better than that. On the other hand, we have to press to improve policies, transparency and union contracts with the community.

There is the issue of taking funds away from the police across the country. Do you think that will make the community safer?

Before reaching that point we must ask ourselves questions and give ourselves answers. The first question is how you can define “take away the funds” and the other is how to define community policies. I think that what they mean is the reallocation of dollars within a budget of the city government to everywhere to reduce crime and make a city for a better life, and that includes the Police Department. But, it could also mean an assessment of every dollar that is invested in the department. Is there any place in all that spending where dollars could be allocated to improve community policies? I mean, can we get the officers out of their vehicles to positively interact with the residents? I think that would be a conversation that we could have.

What is the primary need in your neighborhood for education, housing, and safety?

We have a lack of fresh food in South Omaha. Full neighborhoods with no access to supermarkets, fresh vegetables, and other healthy foods. This usually happens where there is no reliable transportation access. A young man faces greater challenges to be a good student, hungry, destitute, or fearful of gang activity. By this I mean, I live in a neighborhood where you don’t see equal priorities.

From SONA, what are the main objectives for linking communities?

Well, now people are very busy, many have two jobs and others work from home. In other neighborhoods there are retirees, some others with limited budgets. Our job is to focus as leaders in our communities, to do the best we can to improve living conditions. Keeping many connected to the best of their ability, especially during the pandemic.

According to Omaha population statistics, 70% are white, 11% black or AfricanAmerican, and 12% Hispanic or Latin American. Welfare shows that of the beneficiaries in Omaha, 31% correspond to the black community. How can that dependency be reduced?

This can be done through a program on education, economy and work.

Omaha is known for a great work ethic, but people need to be trained for today’s emerging economies. If we don’t have adequate transportation infrastructure to move workers from the city center to the Sarpy County cornfields, for example, we cannot move forward. We need to make sure that new factories and job provider data centers are located closer to a ready workforce.

Finally, what is the next step to improve the community?

I think it is leadership, it is time to encourage leaders to challenge them to work to make our place a better city. We have to have someone to join us. Leadership is not just a job, it is a real thing. We have very good people with ethics and we have many opportunities and leaders must come with that.

JULY 2020


@ Supermercado Nuestra Familia

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LA CORTE SUPREMA APOYÓ A LOS DREAMERS ¿Cuál será el destino de DACA? POR KARLHA VEL ÁSQUEZ RIVAS

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a fuerte tensión que se mantuvo durante estos últimos años sobre el destino de la Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia (DACA) y que se ha incrementado durante estos tiempos de pandemia del Covid-19, se ha disipado a medias. La Corte Suprema bloqueó el pasado 18 de junio de este año el plan del presidente Donald Trump de erradicar por completo el programa que protege de las posibles deportación a unos 700.000 inmigrantes indocumentados, también conocidos como los soñadores (Dreamers en inglés). En la mañana de ese día ya la noticia corría como pólvora en todos los medios: la Corte Suprema, cuyo presidente es John G. Roberts Jr., había fallado a favor de los Dreamers. El tribunal consideró que la decisión del presidente Trump de eliminar DACA sin son y ton fue arbitraria y no justificada. El voto decisivo en la Corte fue el de Robert Jr: “no estamos decidiendo sobre DACA o sobre su eliminación. Estamos decidiendo sobre si el gobierno compiló la información necesaria para tomar dicha determinación. La agencia migratoria (Departamento de Seguridad Nacional) falló en considerar el impacto que tendría eliminar el programa”, escribió Roberts en el dictamen de la corte de 74 página.

acuerdo con la ley, señala en su reporte The New York Time.

es algo temporal”, publicó The Washington Post.

Por los momentos se podrían discutir nuevas medidas sobre DACA, y al cierre de esta edición se desconoce si se van a aceptar nuevas solicitudes, pero sí se seguirán con las renovaciones siempre y cuando los beneficiados tengan expedientes limpios y cumplan con los demás requisitos establecidos. Por los momentos se podrían discutir nuevas medidas sobre DACA, y al cierre de esta edición se desconoce si se van a aceptar nuevas solicitudes, pero sí se seguirán con las renovaciones siempre y cuando los beneficiados tengan expedientes limpios y cumplan con los demás requisitos establecidos.

Es por ello que, el programa no es un puente ni tiene la opción de dar un estatus legal en el país. En otras palabras, los jóvenes con DACA, cuyo average de edad actual está entre los 26 y 33 años, no tienen derecho a votar, viajar fuera del país, optar por residencia, ni ciudadanía. Solo tienen derecho a tener en sus manos un permiso de trabajo que deben renovar cada dos años.

¿Qué es DACA y cómo procede? El programa DACA, creado bajo la administración de Barack Obama en 2012, permite que los inmigrantes no autorizados que llegaron a EEUU antes de haber cumplido los 16 años puedan permanecer en el país bajo ciertas condiciones, como estudiar en una escuela del país y no tener récords criminales.

El 15 de junio de 2012, Obama anunció desde la Casa Blanca el programa DACA de esta manera: “para estar claros, este no es una El fallo fue 5-4 a favor de amnistía, no es una inmunidad, rechazar la demanda del esto no es un paso para la Gobierno Federal. Sin embargo, ciudadanía, no es una solución esto no quiere decir que la Casa permanente, es solo una medida Blanca lo intente otra vez; ya que provisional temporal, que nos los magistrados no abordaron permite estar enfocados en los méritos del programa o la recursos que nos da un poco decisión de terminarlo, por de alivio que da esperanza a lo que el tema puede estar los talentosos, luchadores y los en el tapete otra vez; la corte jóvenes patriotas (…) esto es solo dictamina si el gobierno lo que debemos hacer porque de Trump había actuado de

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ARTICULO DESTACADO // FEATURE ARTICLE

El costo actual para renovar DACA está fijado en $495. Si no lo puede pagar se pueden solicitar préstamos o  becas como la de United We Dream. Además, el Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de los Estados Unidos (USCIS) permite en casos excepcionales solicitar la exención del pago a las personas que se encuentren en circunstancias especiales como: •Ser Menores de 18 años en foster care, desamparados o sin apoyo familiar y con ingresos inferiores al 150% de la línea de pobreza. •Incapacitados crónicos con ingresos inferiores al 150% de la línea de pobreza •Personas con deudas superiores a $10.000 en el último año por gastos médicos para sí mismas o familiares inmediatos y con ingresos inferiores al 150% de la línea de la pobreza. Además, el Centro Nacional de Inmigración citado en el portal Thoughtco.com , recomienda a los jóvenes de DACA a consultar un abogado migratorio si han tenido una falta importante como un arresto, acusación pendiente, citación judicial, condena o se le ha abierto un proceso de deportación o de expulsión.

Discrepancias y finales inconclusos Si bien es cierto que el programa DACA se mantiene, la querella tuvo su discrepancias dentro de la Corte. Por un lado los cuatro jueces conservadores, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh y Neil Gorsuch, apoyaron la idea de que DACA era ilegal desde el momento de su creación en 2012 bajo la administración de Barack Obama. En tanto el resto, solo se limitó a detener las intenciones de Trump, lo que supone una derrota importante, por ahora, para su administración. La decisión de la Corte causó el descontento del Presidente quien en su Twitter @realDonaldTrump escribió: “Éstas horribles y políticamente cargadas de decisiones que salen de la Corte Suprema son escopetazos en los rostros de aquellos orgullosos de llamarse republicanos y conservadores. Necesitamos más jueces o perderemos la Segunda Enmienda y todo lo demás”.

Opiniones de las autoridades El  subdirector de políticas del UCSIS, Joseph Edlow, emitió un comunicado publicado en la página oficial del organismo, con una contundente punto de vista que textualmente dice: “La opinión de la corte emitida hoy no tiene fundamento legal y simplemente retrasa la capacidad legal del presidente de poner fin al programa de amnistía ilegal de Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia”.

JULY 2020


“DACA fue creado a través de un memorándum del Poder Ejecutivo después de que el presidente Obama dijo repetidamente que era ilegal para él hacerlo unilateralmente y a pesar de que el Congreso rechazó afirmativamente la propuesta en múltiples ocasiones. La constitucionalidad de este programa de amnistía, de hecho creado por la administración de Obama, ha sido ampliamente cuestionado desde su inicio. El hecho es que, bajo DACA, cientos de miles de extranjeros ilegales continúan en nuestro país en violación de las leyes aprobadas por el Congreso y toman los empleos que los estadounidenses necesitan ahora más que nunca. En última instancia, DACA no es una solución a largo plazo para nadie, y si el Congreso quiere proporcionar una solución permanente para estos extranjeros ilegales, debe intervenir para reformar nuestras leyes de inmigración y demostrar que la piedra angular de nuestra democracia es que los presidentes no pueden legislar con un ‘bolígrafo y un teléfono”. Entre tanto el secretario interino del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional, Chad Wolf, dijo: “Los beneficiarios de DACA merecen el fin de su estatus aquí en los Estados Unidos. Desafortunadamente, la decisión de la Corte Suprema de hoy fracasa al no proporcionar esa seguridad. El programa DACA se creó de la nada y se implementó ilegalmente. El pueblo estadounidense merece que las leyes de la Nación se ejecuten fielmente tal como fueron escritas por sus representantes en el Congreso, no en base a las decisiones arbitrarias de una Administración anterior. Esta decisión usurpa la clara autoridad del Poder Ejecutivo para poner fin a los programas ilegales “.

Freno de 700.000 posibles deportaciones Obama, propulsor del amparo temporal, vio con beneplácito la decisión de la Corte y expresó su felicidad por haber protegido de las

JULY 2020

deportaciones a los jóvenes que se han formado en suelo estadounidense. “Estoy feliz por ellos, por sus familias y por todos nosotros. Puede que nos veamos diferentes y que vengamos de distintos lugares, pero lo que nos convierte en estadounidenses son nuestros ideales compartidos y el defender juntos esos ideales”, escribió Obama en su cuenta Twitter @BarackObama. En las redes sociales y los medios mostraron la felicidad de muchos beneficiados con el programa quienes comentaron en televisión que podrán dormir tranquilos y continuar con sus vidas trabajando por el país. Recordemos que según  un informe de 2018 del Instituto de Impuestos y Política Económica, los jóvenes inmigrantes indocumentados que están inscritos en DACA y aquellos que serían elegibles para el programa si todavía aceptaran nuevos solicitantes contribuyen anualmente alrededor de 1.700 millones de dólares en impuestos estatales y locales. Esa cifra incluye los ingresos personales, propiedades y los impuestos de venta e impuestos especiales, dijo el instituto cita CNN en su portal. Además, el Centro para el Progreso Estadounidense había advertido el riesgo que presentarían de ser deportados los más de 28.000 trabajadores de la salud, beneficiarios de DACA, si la corta fallaba a favor de su erradicación. Esto pondrían también poner en crisis el sistema de sanitario durante la pandemia. Por los momentos los miedos sobre las posibles deportaciones parecen calmarse. Ell gobierno federal podría volver a intentar acabar con DACA, y quién sabe si con alguna “alternativa” más detallada y clara para el destino los jóvenes soñadores, que hasta ahora seguirán estando sin un estatus legal, es decir, en el limbo. Sin embargo, esto podría significar un riesgo mayor a la discutida popularidad de Trump, ya que se trata de un año electoral.

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FOTOS COMUNITARIAS

COMMUNITY PHOTOS

ELITE STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY

FABIOLA CARMONA se instala cada fin de semana en la esquina de la 24st y Ost., con fruta, raspados y una gran variedad de antojitos frescos para apoyar con el sustento de su familia.

Denuncia ciudadana: vecinos de la Plaza de la Raza han denunciado el peligro de una toma de luz en el centro de la plaza que usan indiscriminadamente las personas sin hogar y transeúntes, dejándola expuesta y con peligro de un corto circuito que pueda terminar en tragedia. OPPD, OPD y City of Omaha no han tomado cartas en el asunto.

TANIA y JUAN SÁNCHEZ comparten su felicidad por del próximo nacimiento de su segundo hijo, al cual llamaran SANTIAGO TADEO. ¡Felicidades!

OPPD cierra la esquina de la calle 24 con Vinton, para realizar reparaciones que tomarán un par de semanas. Atento con las desviaciones y respete los señalamientos.

La PANADERÍA INTERNACIONAL se suma a la iniciativa del vecindario que pide a sus clientes ingresar con cubrebocas. La medida se mantendrá por tiempo indefinido.

El DEPARTAMENTO DE BOMBEROS, sucursal 5, reabre sus puertas luego de reportar que varios de sus miembros dieron positivo al COVID-19. Ahora se preparan para su próxima mudanza a las nuevas instalaciones.

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FOTOS COMUNITARIAS

JULY 2020


FOTOS COMUNITARIAS

COMMUNITY PHOTOS

ELITE STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY MONSERRAT VENTURA GARCÍA celebra sus quince años con una fiesta familiar sorpresa organizada por su abuela MARIA JULIA ALVARES. Sus padres ERIKA y TONY participaron del inolvidable festejo.

Los hermanos EMILIO y JAVIER ÁVALOS mandan saludos a toda la familia ÁVALOS, muy en especial a todos los originarios de Chavinda Michoacán, México.

La organización BFF Omaha rindió un homenaje a la diversidad decorando ventanas en diversos comercios del distrito comercial de calle Vinton, he instalaron artísticos corazón en aras de promover la igualdad de género.

La cadena de tiendas EL MEXICANO abre en el Sur de Omaha su sucursal número 6. ¡Bienvenidos!

ROSARIO PADILLA es una de las visitantes que compran, pasean y comen en el Sur de Omaha adoptando las medidas necesarias para evitar contagios por COVID-19. Tanto ella como su familia piden a las demás personas hacer lo mismo.

El MUSEO LATINO seguirá temporalmente cerrado para proteger la salud de sus visitantes y personal. A través de sus redes sociales anunciarán su próxima apertura.

La escuela Secundaria Pública del Sur, debido a los cambios exigidos ante la pandemia del COVID-19, realiza su primera Feria Virtual Universitaria para que sus estudiantes tengan recursos para seguir con su carrera hasta el final. ¡Enhorabuena!

JULY 2020

FOTOS COMUNITARIAS

9


THE SUPREME COURT UPHELD THE DREAMERS. What will be DACA’s fate? BY KARLHA VEL ÁSQUEZ RIVAS

T

he strong tension that has been maintained in recent years about the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and which has increased during these times of the Covid-19 pandemic, has half dissipated. The Supreme Court blocked on 18 June this year the plan President Donald Trump to completely eradicate the program that protects from possible deportation to some 700,000 undocumented immigrants, also known as Dreamers. On the morning of that day, the news was already spreading like wildfire in all the media: the Supreme Court, whose president is John G. Roberts Jr., had ruled in favor of the Dreamers. The court found that President Trump’s decision to remove DACA without rhyme and reason was arbitrary and unwarranted.

At the moment, we don’t know if DACA will receive new recipients, but renewals are as long as they have clean records and comply with the other established requirements.

What is DACA and how does it proceed? The DACA program, created under the administration of Barack Obama in 2012, allows unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the United States before reaching the age of 16 to remain in the country under certain conditions, such as studying in a country school and not having criminal records.

The decisive vote in court was Robert Jr’s: “We are not deciding on DACA or its elimination. We are deciding on whether the government compiled the information necessary to make such a determination. The Immigration Agency Department of Homeland Security failed to consider the impact of removing the program, “ Roberts wrote in the 74-page court ruling.

On June 15, 2012, Obama announced the DACA program from the White House in this way: “To be clear, this is not an amnesty, it is not immunity, this is not a step for citizens, it is not a permanent solution , it is only a temporary provisional measure, which allows us to be focused on resources that gives us a little relief that gives hope to the talented, fighters and young patriots (…) this is what we must do because it is something temporary ”, he published The Washington Post.

The ruling was 5-4 in favor of rejecting the demand of the Federal Government. However, this does not mean that the White House will try again; since the magistrates did not address the merits of the program or the decision to end it, so the issue may be on the table again; the court rules only if the government Trump had acted according to the law, states in its report The New York Time.

For this reason, the program is not a bridge, nor does it have the option of giving legal status in the country. In other words, young people with DACA, whose current average age is between 26 and 33 years old, do not have the right to vote, travel outside the country, opt for residence, or citizenship. They only have the right to have a work permit in their hands that they must renew every two years.

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ARTICULO DESTACADO // FEATURE ARTICLE

The current cost to renew DACA is set at $495. If you can’t pay it, you can apply for loans or scholarships like theUnited We Dream. · Although it is true that the DACA program is maintained, the complaint had its discrepancies within the Court. On the one hand, the four conservative judges, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, supported the idea that DACA was illegal from the moment it was created in 2012 under the Barack Obama administration. Meanwhile, the rest, only limited to stop Trump’s intentions, which is a major defeat, for now, for his administration.

Opinions of the authorities UCSIS Deputy Policy Director Joseph Edlow issued a statement posted on the official website agency’s, with a compelling point of view that textually states: “The court’s opinion issued today has no legal basis and simply delays the legal capacity of the President to End Illegal Deferred Action Amnesty Program for Childhood Arrivals. “ “DACA was created through a memorandum from the Executive Branch after President Obama repeatedly said that it was illegal for him to do so unilaterally and despite the fact that Congress affirmatively rejected the proposal on multiple occasions. The constitutionality of this amnesty program, in fact created by the Obama administration, has been widely questioned since its inception. The fact is, under DACA, hundreds of thousands of illegal

aliens remain in our country in violation of laws passed by Congress and taking the jobs Americans need now more than ever. Ultimately, DACA is not a long-term solution for anyone, and if Congress wants to provide a permanent solution for these illegal aliens, it must step in to reform our immigration laws and demonstrate that the cornerstone of our democracy is that presidents cannot legislate with a ‘pen and a phone. “

Stop 700,000 possible deportations Obama, promoter of the temporary protection, welcomed the decision of the Court and expressed his happiness for having protected youth deportations that have been formed on American soil. “I am happy for them, for their families and for all of us. We may look different and come from different places, but what makes us Americans are our shared ideals and defending those ideals together,” Obama wrote in his account. Twitter @ BarackObama. On social networks and the media they showed the happiness of many beneficiaries of the program, who commented on television that they will be able to sleep peacefully and continue with their lives working for the country. Recall that according toa 2018 report from the Institute of Taxes and Economic Policy, young undocumented immigrants who are enrolled in DACA and those who would be eligible for the program if they still accepted new applicants

JULY 2020


contribute about $ 1.7 billion annually in state and local taxes. . That figure includes personal income, property, and sales and excise taxes, the institute quoted CNN on its website.

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In addition,the Center for American Progress had warned that they were at risk of being deported more than 28,000 health workers, beneficiaries of DACA, if the short ruled in favor of eradication. This would also put the healthcare system in crisis during the pandemic. At the moment, fears about possible deportations seem to calm down. The federal government could try again to end DACA, and who knows if with a more detailed and clear “alternative” for destiny, young dreamers, who until now will continue to be without legal status, that is, in limbo. However, this could pose a greater risk to Trump’s disputed popularity, as this is an election year.

1 de junio–31 de julio, 2020 Patrocinado por la Fundación Richard Brooke

Todas las edades pueden leer o escuchar por 10 horas para recibir grandes premios! Visita la página omahalibrary.org para obtener más información.

City of Omaha Request for Proposals

6506 North 51st Plaza, Omaha, Nebraska 68152 The City of Omaha invites proposals for the purchase and development of 6506 North 51st Plaza Omaha Nebraska 68152, previously known as the Wintergreen Site. The City of Omaha intends to dispose of the property in a manner compatible with surrounding land uses, increase connectivity in the neighborhood, and be economically and environmentally sustainable. The appraised value is $165,000. The City does not plan to participate financially in the project. The deadline to submit proposals is on or before 4:30 p.m., August 31, 2020. For more information and/or to receive a proposal bid package call Autumn Evans, Property Acquisitions/ Disposition Planner, Planning Department, at (402) 444-5150 Ext. 2023.

City of Omaha Planning Department Omaha/Douglas Civic Center

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The Reader|El Perico JULY 2020  

The brutality of a police officer in Minneapolis took the life of African-American George Floyd. This unleashed discontent and outrage in al...

The Reader|El Perico JULY 2020  

The brutality of a police officer in Minneapolis took the life of African-American George Floyd. This unleashed discontent and outrage in al...