Reading the headline announcing the death of iconic, trailblazing journalist Gwen Ifill made me nauseous. Although I’ve never met her, I felt as though I’d lost another family member. I loved watching her on television. Whether she was delivering the news, on moderating a debate or commenting as a panelist, Gwen Ifill was the consummate professional. Ifill was the journalist I wish other journalists modeled nowadays. I would be less than honest if I didn’t share that I was proud when I saw her on television. She was a rarity as black and female in nationally televised news dominated by white males. Cool. Calm. Collected. Prepared. Thank you, Gwen Ifill. Job well done.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department finally released video of the CMPD confrontation with Keith Lamont Scott. The gut-wrenching video of a portion of the incident filmed by Scott’s wife, Rakeyia, was released by the family two days ago. Rakeyia Scott warned police her husband had a TBI (traumatic brain injury).
In the police dash cam video, Keith Lamont Scott can be seen exiting his vehicle and walking backwards following police commands. A few seconds later, as Scott is walking backwards, he is shot multiple times. Why? He was not threatening anyone. He was not reaching for anything. Keith Lamont Scott was compliant. That was cold-blooded murder by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.
The officer(s) who fired shots at Scott need to be fired and arrested. Whoever fires them needs to fire the Police Chief Kerr Putney also. There needs to be an investigation of how a weapon Scott was supposed to have, was introduced into this situation. It’s now crystal clear why Chief Putney didn’t want to release that damning video earlier.
May peaceful protests continue in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and grow throughout the United States until the family of Keith Lamont Sott gets justice for his death.
A year ago, today, America mourned the massacre of nine worshippers at the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. Not much has changed regarding gun control laws since the day when Dylan Roof wanted to start a race war by murdering: Cynthia Hurd, 54; Susie Jackson, 87; Ethel Lance, 70; Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49; Hon. Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74; Rev. Sharonda Singleton, 45; and Myra Thompson, 59.
Even after The Honorable Clementa Pinkckney, South Carolina State Senator, was gunned down, Congress still has not passed a law requiring background checks, banning the sale of assault weapons and other common sense measures. Should we be surprised based on their actions or lack thereof after the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011 in which six people were killed?
To this day, congressmen shamelessly offer ridiculous rationale for holding fast to their position regarding gun control. Some even blame President Obama as if they have no role in the legislative process in the United States.
After the most recent massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, again, we mourn the loss of 49 victims of senseless gun violence. More than 50 people were also wounded in that incident.
At what point do we, as Americans, care enough to elect representatives who will put American citizens first? Enough is enough. If we don't care enough after the Massacre at Mother Emanuel or Orlando or San Bernardino or Sandy Hook or Aurora or any weekend in some cities in America, then shame on us.
Miss me with the hashtags, catchy slogans and creative graphics expressing unity, outrage and sympathy to yourself if you are not going to do anything more than lip service or be a keyboard commando.
Sleep in Paradise, Emmanuel Nine, you are not forgotten. Disarm hate.
82 year-old Emma Anderson was dragged from a Metrorail train by a security guard in Miami, FL on February 20, 2013.
I live in Miami, Florida. I love living in Miami most of the time. Today is not one of those times though. After hearing the story of 82 year-old Emma Anderson being dragged off a Metrorail train at the Brickell station some seven miles away from her home on February 20, 2013.
Mrs. Anderson was asked to stop singing by one of the security guards representing 50 State Security, a subcontractor hired by Miami-Dade County. When Mrs. Anderson didn’t stop, the security guard forcibly removed her from the train. In the process, Mrs. Anderson’s hip and shoulder were injured.
Since this is 2013, you know some folks on the train captured the incident on their cell phones. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez quickly apologized for the incident. Hearing about it is bad enough, seeing it and hearing the comments from witnesses makes it all the more disgusting.
Some folks have focused on the religious aspect of this incident because Mrs. Anderson was singing gospel songs. Other folks have tried to make it a racial issue as Mrs. Anderson is black and the guard appears to be white Hispanic.
It’s reasonable to believe that Mrs. Anderson wasn’t asked to stop singing because she chose to sing a religious song. She was asked to stop singing because she was singing too loud and drumming on her thigh. While that is in violation of a noise rule, an elderly woman should not have been treated in such an inhumane manner.
This is the response from Miami-Dade Transit spokesperson Karla Damian:
Miami-Dade Transit has a responsibility to all its passengers to provide a safe and comfortable travel experience. The elderly passenger, Ms. Anderson, who was escorted from a Metrorail train, was initially asked by a security guard to refrain from singing loudly and playing an instrument while on the train.
She refused to comply. County rules associated with transit use prohibit anyone from singing, dancing or playing a musical instrument unless a commercial permit is issued by MDT. Further, Ms. Anderson’s singing was causing a disturbance to other passengers and impeding important train announcements from being heard.
We regret that Ms. Anderson had to eventually be escorted out, but regardless of age, all passengers need to abide by the rules associated with using transit.
Really, Ms. Damian? This is the best response you guys could come up with? Wow. I shudder to think how any prudent individual could describe the guard's actions as "escorting" Mrs. Anderson.
As far as the racial aspect goes, one cannot read the thoughts of the security guard who assaulted Mrs. Anderson but there have been other documented incidents involving 50 State Security. Check out this video on The Huffington Post. Miami photographer and blogger Carlos Miller was physically restrained then handcuffed by 50 State guards at a Metrorail station. He is white.
How long are the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners going to allow this abuse to continue? I live in Miami, Florida. I love living in Miami most of the time. Today is not one of those times though.
Joe Rickey Hundley of Hayden, Idaho is accused of saying "Shut that nigger baby up!" as 19 month-old Jonah Bennett cried aboard a Delta flight to Atlanta. Hundley slapped the boy across the face.
Aerosapce executive Joe Rickey Hundley, 60, was accused of slapping a crying 19 month-old boy and referring to the child as a 'nigger' aboard a Delta flight headed to Atlanta from Minneapolis on February 8, 2013. Hundley admits to requesting the baby be quieted down not slapping the child and using the racial slur. Jessica Bennett, the baby's mother, said he uttered the racial slur twice. The toddler is the adopted child of Bennett and her husband who are both white.
Since the incident, Hundley was suspended and later terminated from his position as president of AGC Aerospace and Defense. The company offered an apology without actually mentioning Hundley's name.
Without rehashing every detail reported regarding the incident, it's important to note that Hundley was described as being intoxicated. Bennett said he "reeked of alcohol" and consumed more on the flight. It was also reported that Hundley complained the child was too big to ride in the mother's lap. Bennett said she stood during the flight. The incident occurred as she took her seat to prepare for the plane's descent.
Hundley was later charged with simple assault on a minor. If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail. Hundley's attorney, Marcia Schein, said her client will plead not guilty. Really? I'm sure you're equally as a curious as I as to why Joe Rickey Hundley wasn't charged with a hate crime in addition to simple assault? I'm not an attorney or law enforcement but surely Joe Rickey should also be charged with child abuse and a litany of other charges that this "alleged" crime warrants.
Here's something else to think on. While mainstream media makes a big deal out of Joe Rickey being fired. Don't get excited. Considering his age, Hundley could have been allowed to retire and been given a nice severance package. As expected, AGC declined to release details of personnel issues.
While the Bennett family has been traumatized by this incident and prayerfully little Jonah will not suffer from this psychologically in the future, surely Joe Rickey Hundley has family and/or friends who are horrified and/or embarrassed by this incident also. It's one thing to be racist towards an adult, but to be racist and verbally and physically assault a 19 month-old child? Come on, Joe Rickey, really?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is under fire big time for saying that Barack Obama could be president because he is light-skinned and doesn't speak with a Negro dialect unless he has to. Those comments were made in either 2006 or 2007; the timeline is in dispute and that's not really important in this situation. What is clear is that Reid unwisely voiced points that were thought by many. Except for that antiquated 'Negro' terminology, Senator Reid made the same assessment a lot of whites probably made and some blacks also; let's not kid ourselves.
To be politically attractive, candidates are advised to look and speak a certain way. Candidate Barack Obama fit that mold and his Ivy League education sealed the deal. Am I a Harry Reid fan? No but I'm not hating on him either. I also don't think his comments were nearly as racially-charged as Trent Lott's 'Dixiecrat' comment, that 'Barack the Magic Negro' song and controversial comments by others.
The GOP is attempting to keep this topic in the media by claiming 'double standard' in the treatment of Republicans who have made racial comments compared to Democrats who do the same. Should Harry Reid resign? No. Is Harry Reid a racist? I don't know. Is he out-of-touch? Absolutely --- as are the folks over at the Census Bureau.
Remarks of President Barack Obama -- As Prepared for Delivery United States Military Academy at West Point December 1, 2009
Good evening. To the United States Corps of Cadets, to the men and women of our armed services, and to my fellow Americans: I want to speak to you tonight about our effort in Afghanistan – the nature of our commitment there, the scope of our interests, and the strategy that my Administration will pursue to bring this war to a successful conclusion. It is an honor for me to do so here – at West Point – where so many men and women have prepared to stand up for our security, and to represent what is finest about our country.
To address these issues, it is important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place. We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women, and children without regard to their faith or race or station. Were it not for the heroic actions of the passengers on board one of those flights, they could have also struck at one of the great symbols of our democracy in Washington, and killed many more.
The truth about Tiger Woods’ early morning automobile crash is still elusive as public curiosity escalates. It seems that Tiger Woods and his team (including his wife) are set on keeping the real story about his accident private. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality when you are a public figure.
Inarguably, the circumstances surrounding this incident are questionable at best. Woods’ rumored infidelity with Rachel Uchitel and the expected confirmation and denial by those involved add fuel to the gossip fire.
Tiger Woods is one of those squeaky-clean celebs that one does not expect to hear anything negative about. He has managed to avoid that spotlight until now. No matter what is known publicly and the speculation by insiders, Woods, and his wife know what happened. Once the incident occurred outside their home and public property damage resulted, that was all she wrote, the media would certainly grab it and yeast it up as if it was a major international incident.
If Woods wanted to do damage control, he should have spoken to the public on Saturday instead of allowing Paris Hilton, TMZ and media outlets to make this situation a major story. Now that Tiger has refused to meet with police a third time, it really doesn’t look good for him in his desire for privacy.
Could Tiger have had an affair? Sure, he’s no different from anyone else. His celebrity status makes him even more desirable and folks don’t care that he’s married with children. If we just think about our lives and people that we know, it’s easy to imagine the challenges Woods and his wife have to endure. I see how women push up on men without Woods' wealth and status; his marriage has to be super strong to last.
Then there is the business aspect to this situation. Tiger has made gazillions from endorsements. In addition to his supernatural golfing talent, there’s his image --- and it’s not of a philanderer. Sponsors will drop him like a hot potato is his image is tainted. Ask Kobe Bryant.
My unsolicited advice to Tiger: come clean and do it now. While you may want to control this situation, you can’t. Talking now is much better than feeding the media frenzy later.
There’s no doubt that the magic of President Bill Clinton is back. It seems that his charisma paid off in the release of jailed American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling. Now, he’s working his magic to help Haiti.
James A. Young was sworn in as Mayor of Philadelphia, Mississippi yesterday. That is a sign of tremendous change for this state, this town, this nation. If you remember the movie "Mississippi Burning," Philadelphia is the backdrop of that movie that focused on the Ku Klux Klan, civil rights battles in the South and the murder of three young men who symbolize the change this nation has overcome.
Forty-five years after the murder of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner gave their lives so that blacks in Mississippi would have the right to vote. When the murders occurred, I was very young but they are part of the reason why I value the right to vote so highly.
I remember the sacrifice endured during the civil rights era. I remember blacks and whites united in the fight for civil rights and the patience my parents and other adults employed to get through those difficult times.
That makes the victory of James A. Young all the sweeter as he was elected in a majority white town. Change has definitely come to America. God Bless Mayor Young and May God Bless the people of Philadelphia, Mississippi. Happy 4th of July!