Nation contributor and Knobler Fellow Mychal Denzel Smith joined Nancy Giles and Karen Finney on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show this weekend to discuss his cover story for The Nation on youth movements fighting for racial justice. Smith invoked the killings of Michael Brown in St. Louis, Oscar Grant in Oakland and Trayvon Martin in Florida to argue that a more connected, national movement is required to seriously combat America’s racist policing attitudes and policies. “You have to upend the entire system of racism and white supremacy that is the defining characteristic of American philosophy and government,” said Smith. He praised groups like the Black Youth Project and the Dream Defenders for getting out in the streets and forcing elected officials to address issues, like privatization of juvenile detention facilities and racial discrepancies in marijuana arrests, that have devastating consequences for youth of color and their communities.
— Hannah K. Gold