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NewPeople is the social justice newspaper of Pittsburgh and Tri-State area. It fills the voids left by the mainstream media reflecting the reality of progressive, alternative politics locally, nationally and globally. It focuses on topics of the neglected, omitted, and censored.

As a publication of the Thomas Merton Center, NewPeople reports on the issues of war, poverty, racism and oppression, and raises the moral questions involved in the non-violent struggle to bring about a more equitable world.

White Supremacy Illustrated: Terence Crutcher, Tyre King, Keith Lamont Scott, and Vindication for Colin Kaepernick

Earlier this week, in response to death threats aimed at him for kneeling during the national anthem, Colin Kaepernick said that killing him would only be another example of why his protest is necessary.

“If something like that were to happen, you’ve proved my point. It’ll be loud and clear why it happened,” he said.

But Kaepernick needs no other example for validation and vindication than for people to look at the recent police killings of black men this past week.

Continue reading

Pulse Shooting Survivor Returns Home $600,000 Dollars in Medical Debt

by Tallon Kennedy

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Photo from Melendez’s GoFundMe page.

Pulse shooting survivor, Leonel Melendez, has returned home and is starting rehab. According to NowThis, Melendez was shot in the head, leg, and foot, and lost consciousness, and was in a coma for about a month. He required multiple surgeries to survive, and is now facing an estimated $600,000 dollars in medical bills.

Melendez’s medical bills are a shocking reality of a country without universal healthcare, and a reminder of the systematic oppressions constructed by class, race, and sexuality. Right now, America is a country where a Latino gay man, who was a victim of one of the deadliest mass shootings in history, a shooting that was specifically targeted to rid the world of gay Latino men, is billed with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses just to continue living on this planet. Continue reading

Growing Concern About the Link Between Fracking and Earthquakes

 By Winnefred Ann Frolik

On Saturday, September 3 I received a text from my aunt in Nebraska mentioning that she’d felt an earthquake that morning which shook the bed, an experience she described and I quote as “very weird.” This particular earthquake had originated in Oklahoma but its effects were felt in Nebraska, Illinois, and even Texas. It was originally categorized as a 5.6 magnitude earthquake by the US Geological Society but has since been upgraded to a 5.8 making it the strongest earthquake on record in the state.

In all likelihood the earthquake in question was triggered by fracking. Oceans of ink have been spilled over the years as to how C02 emissions are heating up the planet but another way our quenchless thirst for oil is upsetting the natural world is by fracking. Fracking (short for hydraulic fracking) is where high pressure water is pumped into ground to fracture the bedrock and release oil reserves otherwise too small to be worth tapping. Fracking has certainly helped the US produce oil at a record rate, (and probably contributed to the fall in gas prices) but it’s done so at a high cost. Continue reading

How Brock Turner’s Pathetic Jail Time is Yet Another Victory for the Straight White Male, and a Devastating Loss for Justice

By Tallon Kennedy
September 12, 2016

screen-shot-2016-06-08-at-9-50-55-pmBrock Turner, rapist convicted of penetrating a drunk unconscious woman was released from jail this Friday after serving only three months of his pathetic six month jail sentence handed to him by Judge Aaron Persky.

Turner’s original six-month sentence was infuriating enough, as Persky’s lenient ruling was made on the account that he believed that jail would have a “severe impact” on Turner, and that he thought that Turner would “not be a danger to others.”

Now being released after serving half of the time on account of “good behavior,” the case has become a shining example of how white, straight, and male privileges operate within the legal system. But it’s a tired example— we’ve seen over and over again white males get off easy in the justice system while people of other races are dealt harsher penalties. Continue reading

Retraction

The NewPeople Newspaper published false information regarding Bob Barker, host of Price is Right, in an article titled “The Price Was Right,” which appeared in the September issue of the NewPeople.  Bob Barker, the TV host, does not own a company providing furniture to prisons that profits off of prison labor. Barker has no ties to Bangladesh, and he does not have a nonprofit with the focus of ending recidivism. He does have a non profit for animal health. We pointed at the wrong Bob Barker and the NewPeople apologizes for the misinformation, and for any damage this may have caused to Bob Barker’s image.

America: Stealing Land from the Native People since 1776

By Tallon Kennedy
September 7, 2016

980xIn History classes we learn at a young age about the white man’s genocide of the Native Americans centuries ago. We act as if these acts were ancient history that we are removed from. We act as though the travesties of “westward expansion” were something in the distant past that we should learn from, but move on from. In modern times, Native American culture has been silenced and made invisible so that white people can remain absolved of the guilt of their ancestors, and continue to live in their suburbia on top of native lands.

But these are not remnants of the past, they are realities of today. The oil pipeline that is attempting to be built on a Native American reservation today is just another vicious act of racism and erasure of the Native people. The fact that attack dogs have been released on protestors without any sort of law enforcement interference is just another example of how white people in America consistently are absolved of their violent acts. However, if the Native American protestors were to commit an act of violence, the SWAT team and a militarized police force would undoubtedly be called in.

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The University of Pittsburgh Health Benefits to Cover Transgender Medical Care for Faculty in a Push to be More Gender-Inclusive

September 2, 2016

By Tallon Kennedy

tumblr_ocmg4cgare1ttbzsmo2_540It’s a long time coming for the University of Pittsburgh. On August 25th the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Pitt will now be covering transgender-related medical services for its faculty including “behavioral health support” and “medications such as hormones and surgery.” Continue reading