Governor Baker’s “Dred Scott” Decision Type Statement & the MBTA!

The “Dred Scott Decision” happened during the slavery era of the mid 1850’s. Apparently a slave named Dred Scott fled to what appeared be a “free state” and he settled down into what he felt would be a life of freedom for the remaining years of his life. However, in an ironic turn of fate, the racist supreme court at the time ruled that no Afrikan/Black person was a citizen and therefore must retain the inhumane status of being a slave in bondage and subservient to their white masters. I am sure you are curious as to how the “Dred Scott Decision” related to the present day crisis of the long running Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority AKA MBTA and the above mentioned title of this entry. Well, in my estimation, the racially insensitive type ridicule that Governor elect Charles Baker heaped on MBTA General Manager, Ms. Beverly Scott was not only uncalled for, but insulting in nature. Baker declared that the service breakdown was “unacceptable.” A translation would be that Ms. Scott was not getting the job done to his satisfaction and he would be watching her performance from the ‘big house” on the hill. It was an insulting statement to make and lacked credibility as the recent snow storms we have experienced are of historic proportions. Once again, the Farmers Almanac has proven itself accurate as weekend after weekend we are being hit with storms that are leaving several inches of snow and ice. The streets of Boston are... Continue reading →

Boston Still Has Not Cleared The Olympic Hurdle Called Racism!!

In recent weeks it was announced that the Olympic Selection Committee had voted Boston as the national contender to host the Olympic Games in 2014. Boston will face tough competition as several countries on the international scene are also vying to be the final choice. The folks of “Boston Strong” are excited, but the question still remains as to what would be in it for the Afrikan/Black community in this city that is the “Hub” of racism in this country. The reality is that 2024 is over nine years away in the future, but who can forget the past and present legacy of racism in the City of Boston. Having full knowledge of the pre-busing racism that was and is the fabric of this city and then experiencing the 1970s busing violence itself, it would be hard for me and I am sure many others to get excited about some Olympic Games!! I know there are those who would contend that Boston is now a “different city.” I would beg to differ with that warped opinion. Boston is the same racist city with the only difference being in that it promotes a false positive image of openness and fairness. While this rhetoric is being declared, what is happening in the neighborhoods of the Afrikan/Black community is totally different. In the Afrikan/Black community you have by design, high unemployment, poor schools and a lack of appropriate neighborhood services while we are given constant “lip service!!!” We all know the old adage... Continue reading →

The White House Initiates #LetGirlsLearn To Promote Education For Women Everywhere & We’re Inspired

Let Girls Learn officially launched at a special presentation at The White House on Tuesday. Let Girls Learn is a global effort to promote education for girls and women because an approximate 62 million of us have had our education challenged. President and First Lady Michelle Obama stood with the USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) and the Peace Corps to bridge the gap of giving women back our human rights to read and write.

At the White House, President Obama spoke on the general goals of Let Girls Learn, and introduced Michelle Obama who further expressed its purpose:

“One family, one community, one girl at a time. You've been driven all along by a fundamental belief about how change really happens. A belief that Barack and I share. True change doesn't happen from the top down. It happens from the bottom to. And as I've traveled the world over the past six years, I've seen time and time again how our young people, in particular our girls are so often pushed to the very bottom of their societies. Everywhere I go I met these girls, and they are so fiercely intelligent and hungry to make something of themselves.

These girls are our change-makers. Our future doctors and teachers and entrepreneurs. They are dreamers and visionaries who can change the world as we know it. Just take the example of Malala Yousafzai. All it takes is thirty seconds in the room with this young woman to realize what a blessing she is to our world. And Malala will be the first to tell you that she is not unique and they are millions ...read more

South Carolina State President Thomas Elzey Files Lawsuit Against University

What happens when rumors surface that a historic institute of higher education might be closing amid financial reasons? Cue upset Alumni, disappointed and confused students and a stressed Administration.

Such is the case for South Carolina State University.

In an unlikely move, Dr. Thomas Elzey, the school's President, isn't suing an outside entity he's suing his employer.

HBCU Digest reports:

WIS-TV reports that Elzey is requesting an injunction against his administrative leave status, telling a court that politics and leadership contention will soon lead to his firing. From the report:

In the 16-page complaint, Elzey alleges he has suffered lost wages, severe psychological harm, emotional distress, anxiety, pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, embarrassment, humiliation, and even physical injuries due to the strife between him and the board.

The full complaint, in which Elzey refers to broken communication between himself and Board Chair William Small and incompetence of current board members, casts more controversy on leadership strife at the school. Elzey has been at the center of the school's fight to avoid closure, when state legislators last month cited his inability to present a cost-savings plan as the root for a vote to close the school for two years.

Do you Dr. Elzey is making the right decision?

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(Photo Souce: SCSU.edu)

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Over 100,000 Sign Petition Urging Alabama To Rename Historic Selma Bridge

Days before the nation acknowledges the 50 years that have passed since peaceful civil rights demonstrators were brutality beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, a new petition has circulated to rename the historic bridge in Selma, Alabama.

In an interview with Huff Post Live, Brandi Hatter, outreach coordinator for Students UNITE, spoke about the group's decision to start the petition. The bridge was the scene of “Bloody Sunday” — the day peaceful protesters were attacked with tear gas and weapons by police officers on March 7, 1965 as they tried to protest the death of a young black man named Jimmy Lee Jackson.

It was also the starting point of the Selma to Montgomery marches, where thousands voiced their right to vote.

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Pastor Collapses and Dies In Front Of Congregation While Delivering Eulogy

On her way to a physical therapy appointment, Sheila Edwards changed her mind. Instead, she says she felt compelled to go to the service for Sally Bland, a member of her church who had died.

Her brother, the Rev. Darryl Wayne Edwards of Goliad, Texas' Fannin Street United Methodist Church, was performing the service. Though she felt a little embarrassed arriving at the funeral service late, Sheila followed her instincts. Now she's glad she did.

No one else would've noticed, but as the door creaked when Sheila opened it and tipped inside, her pleasantly surprised brother stopped mid-sentence to tell those in attendance, “That's my sister,” before returning to the eulogy.

Moments later, he was gone.

“He was talking about how you need to be ready for death because you never know the day or hour,” Sheila shared. “And about then, it happened.”

Edwards, 55, was nicknamed “Hacksaw” from his days playing football. He had served as the pastor at Fannin Street United Methodist Church for five years.

Edwards was known for saying, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it,” whenever he entered a room.

Nearly 200 observers had gathered at Fannin Street United Methodist Church at 10 a.m. for Bland's funeral including Edwards' wife of 36 years.

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Howard University To Pay Students Who Graduate On Time

Seniors gearing up for graduation at Howard University can breathe a little easier now; the Mecca is implementing a new practice that will surely lower some of those Sallie Mae student loans.

Starting next year, the university will cover 50 percent of a student's final semester if they graduate early or on time. Now there's some incentive to fast-track your matriculation. Students pay about $11,900 per semester — that leaves students who graduate on time with an extra $6,000 floating around.

And as Derek Kindle, Howard's executive director of student financial services points out, the program actually saves students more money, since they won't be spending dollars on additional semesters.

According to CNN Money, about 46 percent of Howard University students graduate in four years. The national average is 39 percent.

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Ben Carson, Prison Does Not Prove Being Gay Is A Choice

Douglas Graham/Getty

For many Black children born in the 1980s, Ben Carson is a hero. He is, as BuzzFeed's Joel Anderson describes in a well-done profile about the surgeon-turned-GOP-presidential-contender, “an icon of Black triumph.” Carson was never this to me, but his allure amongst the community as a collective is undeniable. That allure, though, has since been tainted by his politics, and to be more specific, his new celebrity — largely owed to exhibiting a caricature-like behavior of Black conservatives.

Carson has compared the country to Nazi Germany over the Affordable Health Care Act, which he has notoriously likened to slavery. Anyone who says this is comically hyperbolic and under no circumstances should be taken seriously. Yet, Carson is among many conservatives mostly because he is a Black face to white, patriarchal views. He is propped up because he says awful things about marginalized groups like Blacks, women, and gays.

This week served as another example of this, as Carson argued that the proof of homosexuality being a choice lies within the prison system. In an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, the subject of marriage equality came up and so did Carson's condemnation of gay people. To Carson, in no way are the struggles of Black people comparable to the struggle of gays.

So it goes:

Chris Cuomo: “You think being gay is a choice?”

Ben Carson: “Absolutely”

Chris Cuomo: “Why do you say that?”

Ben Carson: “Because, a lot of people who go into prison, go into prison straight and when they come out, they're gay, so did something happen while they were in there?”

This is an idiotic way of viewing human sexuality. Men and women in forced situations acting out their sexuality in the limited options afforded to them is not proof of anyone being gay or straight or somewhere ...read more

Ferguson Police: President Obama Won’t Be President For Long Because “What Black Man Holds A Steady Job?”

Just one day after the New York Times reported the Department of Justice was set to fault the Ferguson, Mo. police department for making racially biased traffic stops and arrests, an official report is confirming that officers routinely violated the constitutional rights of the city's black residents.

The Justice Department report accuses the officers of making unjust traffic stops and using excessive force during arrests. The report comes after a months-long investigation sparked by the shooting death of Black teenager Michael Brown Jr. at the hands of Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer.

Shockingly, the report says the discrimination was perpetuated due to the racial stereotypes held by city officials. In one incident, officials distributed racially-tinged jokes on their city email accounts, including a jab at President Barack Obama and a joke suggesting abortion in the black community would reduce crime. According to the Washington Post, one 2008 email stated that the president couldn't hold that office for very long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years?”

The report does not identify who wrote the scathing email or whom the email was sent to.

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New York City Uncle Poses As “John” To Save Niece From Prostitution

The uncle of a 13-year-old Brooklyn girl saved the teenager and her friend from prostitution by posing as a customer after the two were convinced by a stranger to have sex for money, prosecutors say.

The girls, who have not been identified, met 25-year-old suspect Marcus (Melo) Sumpter while returning from a party on Aug. 30, 2014. Prosecutors say the two joined him at his Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment and had sex. The next day, with the help of a woman identified as Jasmine Goldstein, the two convinced the young girls to sell sex for money. Goldstein then reportedly took graphic photos of the teens and attempted to post them to Craigslist.com.

After some time, one of the girl's uncles texted her out of concern and her response was a red flag, according to the NY Daily News.

“Want a date?” the text said. “Yes,” the shrewd relative replied. He came to the apartment, paid and took the girl home, prosecutors said.

The second girl left in the apartment was taken to another residence at the same brownstone, where she was forced to hide in the bathroom. She was eventually rescued by family members in September.

The summer case is coming to light now that Sumpter, along with Joann Bailey, 55, and Jerry Brown, 57 (who controlled the second apartment), were charged.

“These defendants are accused of disgraceful actions involving young girls who should be protected, not exploited,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson. “Luckily, the young girls who were abducted are now safe and their abusers will now face justice.”

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US Clears Officer in Ferguson Case, Criticizes Police Force

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department won't prosecute a former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old, but in a scathing report released Wednesday faulted the city and its law enforcement for racial bias and unconstitutional practices.

Federal officials concluded there was no evidence to disprove former officer Darren Wilson's testimony that he feared for his safety, nor were there reliable witness accounts to establish that Michael Brown had his hands up in surrender when he was shot.

But they also said the shooting occurred in an environment of systemic mistreatment of blacks, where officials trade racist emails and jokes and where minorities are disproportionately stopped and searched, fined for petty offenses and subject to excessive police force.

“Now that our investigation has reached its conclusion, it is time for Ferguson's leaders to take immediate, wholesale and structural corrective action,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement announcing the findings.

The decision in the August 9 shooting had been expected, in part because of the high legal standard needed for a federal civil rights prosecution. Wilson, who has said Brown struck him in the face and reached for his gun during a tussle, also had been cleared by a Missouri grand jury in November and later resigned from the department.

The Brown family lawyer, Benjamin Crump, said the family was surprised but very disappointed, and one of Brown's uncles, Charles Ewing, said he believed Wilson was “getting away with it.”

“I really was hoping they would have come up with better findings because this whole thing just does not add up,” he said. “Everything just doesn't make sense.”

The findings of the investigation into the police department, which began weeks after Brown's killing last August, were released as Holder prepares to leave his job following a six-year tenure that focused ...read more

L.A. Homeless Shooting Victim Was Wanted Man, Says U.S. Marshals

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A homeless ex-convict who was killed by Los Angeles police was wanted for violating probation in a bank robbery case, a U.S. marshal said Tuesday.

The federal warrant was issued Jan. 9 for Charley Saturmin Robinet after he didn't provide monthly reports to a probation officer in November, December and January, Deputy U.S. Marshal Matthew Cordova said.

A law enforcement official identified Robinet, 39, as the man police killed Sunday on Skid Row. The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly and talked to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Robinet was released from prison in May 2014 after being convicted in 2000 of holding up a Wells Fargo branch and pistol-whipping an employee to pay for acting classes.

During the confrontation Sunday, Robinet tried to grab a rookie officer's gun before three officers shot him, authorities said.

Robinet was identified as a French national when he was convicted of three federal charges in the robbery. He served roughly 13 years in prison and then spent six months in a halfway house before being released, said Ed Ross, a spokesman for the Bureau of Prisons.

Axel Cruau, the consul general for France in Los Angeles, said Robinet stole the identity of a French citizen and was living in the United States under an assumed name. Robinet had applied for a French passport in the late 1990s to come to the United States to “pursue a career in acting.”

Robinet was arrested in the bank robbery along with an accomplice and a getaway driver after they tried to rob the bank in Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles west of downtown Los Angeles.

That arrest spurred the consulate to provide Robinet with support, but officials later realized he is not French, Cruau said.

“The real Charley Robinet is in France apparently living a totally normal life and ...read more