The Obamas Reveal Personal Struggles With Racism In America

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama opened up recently in an interview with People magazine about their personal experiences with racism in America.

In the interview, replete with anecdotes of their challenges, the first couple said their journey from Chicago's South Side to the White House has not inoculated them against racial bias and prejudice.

“I think people forget that we've lived in the White House for six years,” Michelle Obama said, laughing at the assumption that the first family has been largely insulated from coming face-to-face with racism, the magazine writes. “Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs.”

Michelle Obama also described a trip to Target as the first lady, when a fellow shopper asked her to grab something from a shelf. Before that, other shoppers had largely ignored her.

“Even as the First Lady—during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf,” People writes. “These incidents in the Black community, this is the regular more

Chicago Mayor Unveils ‘Road Map’ To Combat Violence

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Chicago leaders this week unveiled a “road map” to combat violence.

The report and recommendations, released Tuesday by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Commission for a Safer Chicago, are aimed at tackling youth violence in the city. It came just days after the city was rankled by last weekend's death of college prep student Demario Bailey, who was shot defending his twin brother, Demacio, from robbers.

“This weekend, all of us were reminded of the urgency of this work,” Emanuel said, according to the Sun-Times. He added that Demario's death highlights “the importance of not letting the new report ‘gather dust.'”

The Sun-Times reports:

The Report, entitled “Mayor's Commission for a Safer Chicago,” was a collaborative effort involving city staff, religious leaders, parents and youth — among others. more

Feds Sue N.Y.C. Over Rikers Island Jail Violence

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors sued New York City on Thursday to speed the pace of reforms to address what a U.S. Department of Justice investigation found was a “deep-seated culture of violence” against young inmates at the Rikers Island jail complex.

The move comes just a day after Mayor Bill de Blasio (pictured center) visited the 10-jail lockup to announce the end of solitary confinement for 16- and 17-year-old inmates, a policy change initiated after the 2 1/2-year federal probe released in August.

But the end of solitary was just one of 73 recommendations made by federal prosecutors to curb the violence, improve investigations, strengthen accountability and reduce the use of solitary confinement for inmates who break jailhouse rules.

In court papers, Attorney General Eric Holder and Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara wrote that despite four months of negotiations with the city, federal prosecutors “have been unable to reach agreement as to lasting, verifiable, and enforceable reforms.”

The lawsuit seeks an court-enforceable consent decree is issued by a judge to ensure the reforms take place, and notes that the city has now agreed to such intervention.

Emails seeking comment from the mayor's office and city lawyers weren't immediately returned.

De Blasio and his reform-minded more

Man Fakes Heart Attack At Local Walmart While Friend Leaves With Cartload Of Toys

A bumbling pair of alleged robbers tried to get away with Yuletide shenanigans at their local Walmart in Lake Wales, Florida. Suspect Genard Dupree, 27, faked a heart attack, so that his accomplice Tarus Scott, 30, could exit the store with a shopping cart full of toys valued at $369. The entire comedy of errors was caught on a store surveillance camera reports WSB-TV.

According to a Polk County Sheriff's report, the duo went into a Walmart store and made a beeline for the toy department. Dupree and Scott loaded their cart with costly toys such as a motorized power wheel Barbie car, a Leap Frog tablet and Barbie Glam vacation house.

Suddenly near the exit of the store, the video depicts Dupree getting down on the floor, clutching his chest, while Scott moseys on out of the store with the stolen goods. After just a few minutes, Dupree, who was tended to by only a couple of bystanders, gets up and walks out of the store. more

Second Graders Protest For Ferguson During Recess & Parents Are Outraged

Second graders from Alma Del mar Charter School in Bedford, Massachusetts took to the streets and rallied against police for the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri at the hands of officer Darren Wilson. It was 11:30 in the morning, typically the time these kiddos have recess, but this class of 20-plus students decided to use their time off for protesting. The 7 and 8-year-olds stood by the side of the road with signs reading, “Please don't shoot me, Ferguson” and they chanted, “Honk if you want justice!”

These students were more than happy to be a part of this cause, but many parents complained. It's being reported that George Borden, the father of one participant and a policeman in New Bedford, told WHDH that discovering his 7-year-old had participated in the protest and finding a flyer in her backpack urging people to join a weekend protest “against the unjust systems that allow police officers to kill Black men and boys with impunity,” was “horrific to me.” He says he only learned about the protest after a friend saw it and called him. Borden told WHDH his daughter asked him, “Daddy, do you shoot more

4 Boston Women Report Assault & Rape From Ride-Share Services Within 2 Hours Of One Another

Four women in Boston have reported inappropriate behavior and touching while riding in gypsy taxis (acting as identifiable services like Uber) and one of the women has accused an actual Uber driver of rape. Three of those incidents occurred this past Sunday, and the Uber episode was on December 6. Boston police are said to be on the search for the cars and drivers involved, yet based on the evidence provided, three of the cases may have all been connected, considering the women contacted the police within a two-hour span of each other.

According to local news, the first incident took place around 1 a.m. on Sunday morning. A woman was picked up at Dorchester Avenue and Columbia Road, by what she thought was a legit ride-sharing service. Her filed report states that immediately upon seating in the passenger's seat, the driver offered her money and touched her inappropriately. She later received a text from the real car company and was able to safely escape the fake one.

The second fake ride-share picked up a passenger from Commonwealth Avenue. Again, the driver touched this woman in an aggressive manner and thankfully, she was able to get out after she more

College Student Lands In Jail For Not Having State Driver’s License

Ariel Delegol is a junior at Clark Atlanta College who has never seen the inside of a jail—until recently. The young lady was stopped for speeding and instead of being given a ticket, the officer cuffed her and hauled her off to a county jail for having a Michigan driver's license.

Come again? Apparently, the state of Michigan is one of six states that does not participate in the Non-Resident Violator Compact, according to WSB-TV.

The Non-Resident Violator Compact is an agreement used by states to process traffic citations across their borders. With the agreement, motorists cited for violations out-of-state have them enforced in their home state. Yet there are six states that do not take part in the NRVC—Michigan, California, Oregon, Wyoming, Montana and Alaska.

Delegol unfortunately learned the hard way that her home state of Michigan is not an NRVC participant. “He (the officer) said that me having a Michigan license is the equivalent of me not having a driver's license at all,” Delegol said. “So, he said I'm basically driving without a license right now in the state of Georgia.” more

Can We Not Have Another Clinton vs. Bush Election?

Bush and Clinton Families

Former US president George Bush (2nd-L), his wife Barbara Bush (L), their son Jeb Bush (C), First Lady Hillary Clinton (2nd-R), and US President Bill Clinton (R) look up to see the US Army Golden Knights parachute team 06 November at the conclusion of the dedication ceremony of the George Bush Library in College Station, TX in 1997. ( JOYCE NALTCHAYAN/AFP/Getty Images)

This week, former Florida governor Jeb Bush took to his Facebook page to announce that he has “decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States.” In other words, Bush would like everyone — but most especially Rand Paul, Chris Christie (and Mitt Romney hiding in a dark corner) — to know that the champ is here. This confirms that as far as 2016 goes, Jeb is in, and now we are met with an even greater chance of our next presidential election looking like a rerun from 1992.

Some people are actually excited about this.

Mark McKinnon, who served as a top adviser to John McCain's 2008 presidential run, wrote in his column for The Daily Beast, “They're both qualified, respectful of each other (shocker!), and represent the vast majority of middle more

Was North Carolina Teen Lynched Over Interracial Relationship?

Was 17-year-old Lennox Lacy lynched? That's what his family and his older girlfriend, who is white, believe. The Bladenboro, North Carolina teenager was found hanging from a swing set in a trailer park. The town is 80% white, 20% black and Lacy's girlfriend 32-year-old Michelle Brimhall says she believes Lacy was targeted and killed because of their relationship.

‘I believe Lennon was murdered,” Brimhall told The Daily Mail (U.K.) “The police ruled his death as suicide but Lennon would never harm himself. He's got too much love for life.'

Lacy was found dead in August. After a police investigation, the coroner ruled it a suicide. However, a few facts stand out – one that Lacy was found wearing sneakers that were a size and half too small and that the sneakers he wore that day weren't found with him. He was also hung with two belts that weren't his, says his family.

The local NAACP chapter found enough about the death suspicious to bring in an independent forensic pathologist. Christena Roberts' report, released in November, found suicide to be “unlikely.” more

How Will Normalized Relations With Cuba Impact Liberation Heroine Assata Shakur?

While echoes of the Black liberation movements of the 60's and 70's are being played out daily, the U.S. has moved to normalized diplomatic relations with Cuba. But many are wondering how that will impact one of Black liberation's most enduring heroines – Assata Shakur.

Shakur, born Joanne Chesimard, escaped from a New Jersey jail after a conviction in the N.J. Turnpike murder of State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973. A member of the Black Liberation Army, Shakur was accused and acquitted of various charges in the 70's.

Her autobiography Assata is a classic of the era. Shakur, now 67, has lived in exile in Cuba since 1975, protected by the Castro family. But in 2013, she surfaced at the top of the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist List with a $2 million dollar reward leading to her capture.

N.J. com reports:

After hiding out for years, Chesimard resurfaced in Cuba in the mid-1980s and was granted asylum by the nation's former leader, Fidel Castro. Since then, she has been living under the protection of the Castro family and going by the name Assata Shakur. more