Large-scale raids on public housing in New York City have left families and communities of color throughout the city divided, displaced and devastated. Like the myth of the “super predator,” gang membership is used to justify massive state violence against young men of color. Now, families, activists and academics are uniting in order to fight back.
Paula Clarke and her family found themselves crawling half-naked on the floor of her Bronx home at 4:51 am on April 27, 2016, after multiple heavily armed men broke through her front door and demanded that she tell them where her son was.
Helicopters could be heard hovering right about her home. The loud flashbang grenades that initially woke Clarke up even left marks on the back of the house.
“I thought we were at war or something,” she told Truthout. “Just being woken suddenly from your bed to all of this. It was like we were in a war zone.”
As her home was being violently invaded, Clarke, who is visually impaired, tried to figure out who these armed intruders were.
“You could hear them breaking through the front door. And the house was like shaking, literally shaking,” she recounted. “I didn’t even know that we were being attacked by our own government. I thought it was like maybe ISIS. Trust me, my mind was going crazy. I was terrified ’cause all of that [was] going on at the same time.”
Her daughter Brie, a nursing student who was scheduled to take a final exam that morning, was also abruptly awakened by the war zone right outside her room.
“My sister and I were sleeping in the bedroom, and …read more