Free Play Project

Questions Answered

Water Gun Song

Act Free

Nothing Rhymes with Juneteenth

  • “Were there any police brutality cases in LatinX/Black communities? Were those cases here in California?”
    • Unfortunately, detailed documented cases of police brutality go back to the1910’s with a very notable instance occurring in January of 1918 when a group of Texas Rangers and U.S. Army stormed into Porvenir, Texas, shooting and killing 15 Latinx Men and Boys. However, I will skip ahead to the 1990’s. In 1991, four LAPD officers beat African-American Rodney King with billy clubs. After review of the video, officials reported Rodney was hit anywhere between 53 and 56 times by the officers. After an unsatisfactory verdict ending with the officers being “disciplined”, the historical 1992 LA riots began. These riots lasted for 6 days and ended with 63 civilians dead and over 2,000 injured. The riots only ended when the California National Guard and the U.S. Army interfered. There are countless more instances of police brutality to pick from. Though African-Americans only make up for 13% of the U.S. population, African-Americans also count for 24% of death by police shooting. In fact, according to pnas.org, Black men are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police over their life span than white men.
  • “What type of gangs groups were in the 90s?”
    • Types of gangs that existed in the 90’s consisted of national/local street gangs and organized crime gangs including groups with a presence in California such as:
      • Bloods – national street gang (15,000 – 20,000 members)
      • Crips – national street gang (30,000 – 35,000 members)
      • Yakuza – organized crime gang (25,900 members)
      • Sons of Samoa – local street gang (200 members)

#Matter

Black Flag

  • “Are there any cases in which Confederate Flags have been lawfully removed from public or private spaces?”
    • Yes! However, before I present some examples of occurrences, you will need the context of the inciting incident that caused the ripple effect of confederate flag removal. On June 17th of 2015, 21 year-old Dylann Roof entered the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church with a handgun and fired shots killing nine African Americans and injuring three. The Church is one of the oldest Black Churches in America and also operates as a center of organization for events regarding civil rights. Dylann had chosen the Church due to its historical importance to the African American community. Later, during the manhunt for Dylann, a website created by Dylann was found which consisted of his manifesto (Please read with caution! Since the incident, his site has been taken down, however, this is the most trustworthy source I could find as it is not anywhere else on the internet. It is extremely triggering.) as well as images of him alongside confederate flags. Though the flag was never officially adopted by the confederacy, “The appropriation of the Confederate flag by white supremacist organizations, such as the Ku Klux Klan, makes the debate over it particularly emotional”, says author Sara L. Zeigler on mtsu.edu (where more history on the confederate flag can be read). The images of this white supremacist mass murderer next to the flag essentially sealed its fate. After Dylann was caught and sentenced to death on nine counts of 1st degree murder, states and businesses nationwide began to renegotiate their relationship with the symbol. Here are a few examples of what happened next:
      • Quoted from NBCNews.com, on July 9th of 2015, “South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Thursday signed into law a measure to remove the contentious Confederate battle flag from the state Capitol, the culmination of a years-long movement that was reignited by the murders of nine members of a historically black church in Charleston”.
      • Quoted from CBSNews.com, on June 29th of 2020, “The Mississippi state legislature voted on Sunday to replace its state flag, the last in the nation to display the Confederate battle emblem”.
      • Quoted from BBC.com, on July 17th of 2020, “The Confederate flag can no longer be flown on US military properties after the Pentagon issued a new policy to reject displays of ‘divisive symbols’”.
  • “Are there any specific cases in which Confederate flags have been banned, and or permitted, on school campuses?”
    • No publicly specific cases. However, Howard County School District in Howard County, Maryland banned “confederate flags, swastikas, and other hate symbols” from appearing on campuses, aligning the new policy with their pre-existing bullying policy. Other than that, I mostly found that schools, although pushback may be received, reserve the right to ban confederate flags from their campuses as the history behind them causes them to be intimidating to students and distracts them from their learning environment. 
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