“Can’t Breathe” In Boston!!!! 2014 marked the year wherein the assassination of Afrikan/Black men by police became a major topic of public conversation all across the country. It was ignited by the murder of eighteen year old Michael Brown by a white killer cop named Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. Shortly thereafter you had the killing of Eric Garner in New York, who in his last gasp for life, cried out “I can’t breathe,” which has become the rallying cry at protests against police killing of Afrikan/Black men. Unfortunately it appears that this murderous practice has become epidemic in nature. Now lets be clear that the killing of Afrikan/Black men is not a new phenomenon as the original police organized in this country were called “slave catchers” during slavery. The primary mission of these groups were to do just what their name implied and that was to hunt and capture runaway slaves. The then named “slave catchers” evolved into what is now known as the present day police force. The major problem is that history has shown that the police “serve and protect” white people, while in most instances they “observe and oppress” Afrikan/Black people. Lets be clear that Boston is not innocent in that regard as several Afrikan/Black men have been victims of “police use of deadly force” in this city through the years. A classic example would be one Mark McMullen who was chased out of Roxbury by a Boston cop who was joined by State and Rockland... Continue reading →
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Better messaging, not changes in policy, is the key to winning elections again, House Democrats said Thursday as they huddled in Philadelphia to talk strategy. And the message, they said, must focus relentlessly on middle class paychecks.
Despite big setbacks in the midterm elections, Democratic lawmakers say they're sticking to their top priorities: a higher minimum wage, tax hikes on the rich, advancing the president's health care law and other measures largely associated with President Barack Obama.
This time, they're counting on Obama's rising popularity — and fading headlines on Ebola and terrorist beheadings — to help persuade voters they'd be better off with a Congress run by Democrats and not the Republicans who now control both chambers.
In a Thursday evening speech, the president vowed to pitch in. “I'm not giving up the last two years, standing on the sideline,” Obama told the House Democrats, who gave him a standing ovation. “There is no economic measure by which we are not better off” than when he took office, he said, and Democrats must tell that story.
Americans generally agree with Democrats on big issues, Rep. Adam Schiff of California said in an interview, “but we need to do a better job on our overarching vision.” He was among the House Democrats assembled for Obama's pep talk and private sessions on how to sharpen the party's message.
Their newly appointed chief of messaging, Rep. Steve Israel of New York, said House Democrats are “absolutely unified on three essential messages going forward. And it's middle class, middle class and middle class.”
Israel acknowledged that Democrats talked a lot about the middle class in last fall's elections. But world calamities distracted voters, he said, and Democrats failed to show that their economic policies would directly benefit working class families.
Riffing on a campaign line of President ...read more
DENVER (AP) — A Denver police officer involved in the deadly shooting of a 17-year-old girl may have been injured trying to get out of the way of a stolen car the teenager was driving, the police chief said Thursday.
The possibility raised during a preliminary investigation of the shooting clouded Chief Robert White's initial statement that two of his officers opened fire after one was struck by the car.
The shooting occurred early Monday after the officers found Jessica Hernandez and four other teenagers inside the car in an alley. White said the officers told the teens several times to get out of the vehicle.
He wouldn't comment further on Thursday about the sequence of events or what prompted the officers to fire, stressing that the investigation is in its early stages.
A passenger in the car, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of safety concerns, has disputed the official account, saying officers came up on the car from behind and fired four times into the driver's side window.
The passenger also said the officers did not yell any commands before they fired, and that the car struck the officer after Hernandez was shot and lost control of the vehicle.
Department policy encourages officers to move out of the way of a moving car rather than use their firearm. But it also allows them to shoot if they have no other reasonable way to prevent death or serious injury.
White said he cannot judge whether Officers Daniel Greene and Gabriel Jordan acted appropriately until criminal and internal investigations are completed. Jordan suffered a fractured leg during the incident....read more
I do not envy Michelle Obama's (pictured) position. No matter how innocuous her actions are — say, simply tackling childhood obesity with exercise and carrots — they are overly politicized. So many exploit her for their agendas even when she does not. The First Lady's choice to forgo wearing a headscarf during an impromptu visit to Saudi Arabia following the death of King Abdullah is the latest example of such antics.
RELATED: First Lady Manages Strict Shariah Law In Saudi Arabia
Initially, there were reports that Obama's face was blurred out by the government-controlled Saudi TV stations in response to her refusal to wear a headscarf or veil to the kingdom. Sure, there was a tweet criticizing Obama's “immodesty” that was retweeted some 2,500 times, but Saudi Arabia has more than 5 million Twitter users. It's a paltry sum that was exploited for dubious reasons.
And yes, Obama wore a headscarf in Indonesia in 2010, though she was visiting a mosque at the time. The bottom line is, as a foreign-born woman in Saudi Arabia, Michelle Obama is not bound to Saudi Arabia's oppressive laws that treat native women like children.
In the past, though, former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel all opted out of dressing the way Saudi women are forced to. The same goes for our previous First Lady, Laura Bush.
However, while some feigned faux outrage over Michelle Obama's headscarf-less ensemble in the kingdom, others have tried to make it a political statement that likely only exists within the realms of their imaginations.
Enter Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), a rabble rouser and media whore of the highest order, who took to Twitter to declare:
“Kudos to @FLOTUS for standing up for women & refusing to wear Sharia-mandated head-scarf in ...read more
Over the course of the last seven years, African American wealth has been decimated as a result of the foreclosure crisis in the United States. According to statistics, nearly 53% of Black wealth was wiped out as a result.
Washington Post', national economics correspondent Michael Fletcher highlighted the impact of the housing crisis on Prince George's County in Maryland. This municipality is considered to be one of the most affluent Black counties in America and has not escaped the erosion of wealth as a result of the nation's economic downturn.
Fletcher writes in his Washington Post column:
African Americans for decades flocked to Prince George's County to be part of a phenomenon that has been rare in American history: a community that grew more upscale as it became more black.
The county became a national symbol of the American Dream with a black twist. Families moved into expansive new homes, with rolling lawns, nearby golf courses and, most of all, neighbors who looked like them. In the early 2000s, home prices soared — some well beyond $1 million — allowing many African Americans to build the kind of wealth their elders could only imagine.
But today, the nation's highest-income majority-black county stands out for a different reason: Its residents have lost far more wealth than families in neighboring, majority-white suburbs. And while every one of these surrounding counties is enjoying a strong rebound in housing prices and their economies, Prince George's is lagging far behind, and local economists say a full recovery appears unlikely anytime soon.
Roland Martin and “NewsOne Now” looked at the foreclosure crisis latest victim, Price George's Country and how vital home ownership is to African Americans building as well as sustaining wealth....read more
The state of Georgia executed a 54-year-old mentally disabled man Tuesday for killing a fellow inmate after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review his case, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Warren Lee Hill received a lethal injection of pentobarbital shortly after 7 p.m. local time at the Georgia Diagnostic Prison in Jackson, the news outlet writes. He was pronounced dead at 7:55 p.m., his attorney confirmed for the Times.
Hill, who reportedly had an IQ of 70, did not make a final statement.
Just 30 minutes before Hill's execution, the Supreme Court denied a review of his case, the news site notes. The court rejected Hill's appeal for a stay of execution in a 7-2 vote, with Justices Stephen M. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor dissenting, the report says.
Hill's attorneys have long argued that Hills case underscored the “barbaric” nature of the criminal justice system, the Times writes:
“Today, the court has unconscionably allowed a grotesque miscarriage of justice to occur in Georgia,” his attorney, Brian S. Kammer, said in a statement after a stay was denied. “Tonight Georgia will unconstitutionally execute Mr. Hill, a man with the emotional and cognitive ability of a young boy. This execution is an abomination.”
It was Hill's fourth scheduled execution date, the report says:
His lethal injection has been postponed three times in as many years, each time within hours of execution – a process that his attorney described as “psychological torture.”...read more
Study Reveals 100% Of Women Of Color Scientists Experience Gender & Culture Bias More Than Their White Co-Workers
The University of California's Hastings College of the Law recently conducted a study of 557 women across all races on whether or not they've experienced gender bias. 93 percent of White women said they had, while 100 percent of the women of color that volunteered that they absolutely did. The study was based on female scientists working in the field of STEM research.
In the second stage of the research project titled “Double Jeopardy?,” 60 non-White (Black, Asian, Latina and one Native American) women also participated in more in-depth conversations with Professor Joan C. Williams. As an expert on gender studies for 25 years, Williams felt compelled to learn more about the prejudice these women have combated for simply being female, of color, and as scientists. As she told Mashable.com,“If you ask people about gender in our society…what you get is information about white women.” She was also seeking to confront sexism in the science workplace.
A lot of the information Williams has disclosed is bleak. But it's important that we're all fully aware of the unfair circumstances these women have gone through. In the report, it was included that in some past situations, former female scientists endured so much emotionally, they had either quit their jobs or demanded to be relocated. Below is a list, courtesy of Mashable, of what Williams discovered during her 1-on-1's:
- Black and Latina women said they were regularly mistaken for janitors.
- Asian-American women felt more pressure to act traditionally feminine.
- Black women controlled emotion to avoid an “angry black female” stereotype.
- Latina women reported being labeled as “crazy” when they expressed emotion.
- Asian-American women faced more push back from peers if they acted assertively.
We've seen or heard of these stereotypes and pressures before, but it was still a bit disheartening to read. These are the truths from real ...read more
Well-known N.Y.C. activist Edward “Noche” Diaz (pictured left of center) of the Revolutionary Communist Party made his latest court appearance Thursday morning, answering charges stemming from arrests last August and November.
SEE ALSO: Kendrick Johnson's Parents Won't Serve Jail Time
Officers first arrested Diaz during a mass Times Square demonstration August 14th against the Michael Brown shooting. He received six misdemeanor charges, including riot, obstructing government administration, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and harassment.
A November 25th arrest for participation in protests against Darren Wilson's non-indictment in the case brought five additional charges, including another disorderly conduct charge, unlawful assembly, and inciting to riot.
Prosecutors cut Diaz a break Thursday, dismissing his inciting to riot, resisting arrest, unlawful assembly, and the disorderly conduct charges from November; however, they added two additional charges to that case: obstructing governmental administration and a new disorderly conduct charge.
Diaz and supporters held a brief press conference outside the courthouse after the hearing, where he discussed his case in detail. He also revealed that prosecutors offered him a plea deal.
“Before they said that they were gonna drop all these charges, they offered time served if I pled to all the charges,” he revealed.
After a short pause, he reassured supporters, “I didn't do it.”
“That means that you're a convicted protestor,” added Debra Sweet (pictured third from far right, in background), from The World Can't Wait, a group dedicated to mobilizing mass resistance against the U.S. Government.
“This is why I think it's important to find and unite with all these other people who have been arrested and make a political defense of these very highly political charges.”
A hearing for a motion to dismiss the new November charges was set for March 19th. There will also be a hearing for the August charges that day.
SEE ALSO: New York Times Columnist Enraged After ...read more
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sixteen million children were on food stamps as of last year, the highest number since the nation's economy tumbled in 2008.
Numbers released by the Census Bureau Wednesday as part of its annual look at children and families show that one in five children were on food stamp assistance in 2014. The survey was taken last spring.
The number of people receiving food stamps — now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — spiked through the recession and has stayed at a higher level since. In the 2007 Census survey, 9 million children received SNAP assistance.
Participation and spending appear to be going down, though. The Congressional Budget Office said this week that the government spent $76 billion on SNAP last year, down 8 percent from the year before. That was the first time spending went down since the beginning of the recession.
Around 46.5 million people received food stamps last year, according to the Agriculture Department, which oversees the aid, up from around 26 million in 2007. Participation is expected to decrease over the next 10 years, though higher food costs could keep spending up....read more
In 2010, 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones was killed in her home in a botched police raid. Despite her death, the police officer who fired the fatal shot will never do time. After two mistrials, Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy announced that the city will not re-try former Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley.
Reports The Huffington Post:
“Today we personally informed the family of Aiyana Stanley–Jones that we have made a decision that we would not be going to trial for a third time in the Joseph Weekley case,” Worthy said, calling Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway decision to dismiss the manslaughter charge “unfortunate.”
Shortly after midnight on May 16, 2010, members of the Detroit Police Department's Special Response Team initiated a raid on the Stanley-Jones home in search of a murder suspect. Weekley was first through the door and allegedly had difficulty seeing when another officer threw a a flash-bang grenade. Weekley fired his gun, killing Aiyana, who had been asleep on the couch with her grandmother.
Weekley maintained that he only shot because the grandmother, Mertilla Jones, struck his gun. She denied touching his weapon, and at trial the prosecution questioned why Weekley had his finger on the trigger....read more
Cop Gets Reprieve From Firing After Throwing Black Professor To Ground, Says He’s Been A “Minority” [VIDEO]
An Arizona State University Police Officer has been granted a reprieve from being fired for throwing an African American professor to the ground after stopping her for walking in the street.
The video of the incident, which occurred last May, is to many further proof of a disturbing “trend” of law enforcement using excessive (and sometimes deadly) force against non-white people – both men and women.
Officer Stewart Ferrin, the 25-year-old campus cop at the center of the incident, was initially cleared by ASU, but was subsequently placed on paid leave in July when a video of the confrontation between him and ASU English professor Dr. Ersula Ore, 33, began circulating on social media. Last month, Ferrin received a letter from his department saying that his last date of work was to be on January 21.
However, Ferrin was granted a reprieve from his termination, according to his lawyer, Mel McDonald, and his fate now rests with the university's new chief of police, Michael Thompson. Thompson became chief in July, after Police Chief John Pickens resigned in the wake of the scandal.
McDonald said that as of Jan. 21, he was unable to say how long Ferrin's leave would be extended. “It's pending administrative decision, but no decision's been made yet,” said the former Arizona U.S. Attorney, as reported by the Phoenix New Times.
Predictably, Ferrin has been making the media rounds in the last few weeks, attending pro-police rallies and pleading his case. In telling his side of the story, Ferrin remains adamant that race had nothing to do with the stop or arrest.
Dashboard-camera video shows Ferrin repeatedly telling Professor Ore to put her hands behind her back, after she was stopped for walking in the street. When she refused, Ferrin told Ore he will “slam” her ...read more