Police, Poop and the Vindication of Shai Werts

Shai werts

On so many levels, this incident seems incredibly unbelievable but let's unpack this. On the night of July 31, 2019, Saluda County, SC police arrested Georgia Southern University (GSU) quarterback, Shai Werts, for speeding and cocaine possession. As Werts's arrest was picked up and publicized by mainstream media, he was suspended from the GSU football team.

Now, the incident should be an open and shut case, but no. Werts did not deny speeding. He did insist that the white substance police saw on the hood of his car, was not cocaine as the police said it was. Werts said it was bird poop. The police said the substance tested twice for cocaine. Werts explained that he tried to clean the poop from his car. For some strange reason, the unidentified police officers saw nothing odd about a significant amount of possible cocaine residue on the hood of a car. Really? The hood of a car. Let that sink in. Who does that?

Initially, Werts did not pull over when police turned on their siren. It's a sad sign of the times. Werts was reluctant to pull over for police in a dark, isolated area. He had the where-with-all to call 911 to alert them to what was happening. Werts asked the dispatcher to notify the cops following him that he was not trying to escape, he would pull over at a lighted area. That was a smart move on his part.

While enduring the humiliation of arrest and suspension from the GSU football team, it was later determined that the substance removed from the hood of Werts's vehicle was, in fact, not cocaine. There was not confirmation that it was bird poop but it was not cocaine. 

The Saluda County Sheriff's Department should be highly embarrassed by this incident. The manufacturer of their drug field test kit should also investigate the false-positive results generated. As ridiculous as this situation appears, it is a blessing that Shai Werts was not injured or killed.

 

 


Not News: Donald Trump is a xenophobic racist

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Miss me with the hype about Donald Trump’s racist Twitter attacks on four outspoken rookie congresswomen who have been given the nickname, “The Squad.” These four duly elected women: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan are Democrats and they are not Caucasian. Surprise? Not.

Trump has been a racist for decades. From his family’s refusal to rent apartments to blacks to black employees being moved from the floor at his casino to the call for death for five wrongfully incarcerated black and Latin teens known as The Central Park Five to his birtherism attacks on President Barack Obama to his remarks about Mexicans upon declaring his candidacy for POTUS. This list goes on and on. It’s shameful and embarrassing for this nation. It’s also NOT NEWS.

Rather than being caught up with this latest distraction, Trump and his minions need to be ignored. Mainstream media needs to report real news and quit with the tabloid journalism. Please and thank you.

 

Avatar: Bitmoji.com 

 


The Democrats are Under the Spotlight in two nights of debates in Miami

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Tonight and tomorrow night, Miami, Florida will become the center of the American political universe. The Democratic Party will host two-nights of debates with 20 of 24 of their declared candidates. The debates will take place at the Adrienne Arsht Center, in what some folks consider downtown Miami but it’s actually a few blocks north of the heart of downtown.

One thing you can be sure of is that traffic within ten blocks of the Arsht Center will likely be a nightmare. The media trucks started lining up a couple of days ago. If you are in the area, pack your patience. Consider public transportation and ride-sharing like Uber and Lyft.

Those who really want to watch the debates rather than socialize will likely pass on the watch parties and plant themselves in front of a television at home or watch on a mobile device in a relatively quiet location. Will the debates be interesting or snoozers? Only time will tell. Former Vice President Joe Biden is touted as the clear front runner of the Democratic presidential contenders so he will likely be the target of the other candidates. How hard they will hit is another question. Biden’s recent comments regarding segregationists caused a bit of verbal skirmish between he and Sen. Cory Booker but that seems to have been squashed. Most of the candidates need a breakout moment in such a crowded field. They need a good showing so they can raise more campaign funds. There’s still a long time until November 2020.

So, the first night might be dominated by top tier candidates Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth “I Have a Plan for That” Warren. The other candidates on the first night are former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

The Thursday night lineup is former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Sen. Kamala Harris and South Bend, Indiana, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, California Rep. Eric Swalwell, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, spiritual guru Marianne Williamson and businessman Andrew Yang.

Tune in to NBC, MSNBC or Telemundo at 9 PM ET, tonight and tomorrow night to watch the debates live.

Note that the panel of moderators is more diverse than usual, but blatantly lacks representation from the Party’s most loyal group of voters — Black females. That’s a problem that I won’t be quiet about. The moderators are Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, Rachel Maddow, Jose Diaz-Balart and Chuck Todd.

If you are a political wonk, I know you will watch both nights. Let me know what you think.

 


It's International Women's Day! Let's Celebrate Women Everywhere!

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Today, March 8, is designated as International Women’s Day. It is a day of global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity around the world.

Let’s celebrate women and girls around the world whether they are taking care of corporations, taking care of families, or taking care of themselves. 

Women make it look easy. Happy International Women’s Day!

 


White male customer assaults Black female McDonald’s employee and is served a McAssWhoopin’ [VIDEO]

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This really happened at a McDonald’s in St. Petersburg, Florida on Monday, 12/31/18. 

The customer who recorded the incident indicated it was over a straw. However, if you watch the video, there is clearly a straw on the customer’s tray as it is knocked over during the skirmish.

Amazingly, the customer assumes the victim role. He demands a refund and that employee be fired. The manager and other employees treat him as if he is the victim. They ignore the fact that the customer initiated the physical contact. He reached over the counter and violently snatched the employee toward him. That was a huge mistake on his part because she unleashed a McAssWhoopin’ on him. Hold the fries. 

The customer then blatantly lies and says he was just asking her a question. Really? Just asking the employee a question entitles you to physically assault her in the process? That would be a NO! The employee handled him and called him a few choice names after they were separated. The manager checked the customer’s receipt rather than call the police. What a way to show support for a female employee who has been assaulted on the job. Allegedly, the customer left the restaurant and returned to fight the manager. 

The customer, Daniel Willis Taylor, has been arrested. He was also charged for kicking another female McDonald's employee in the stomach. He's identified as transient and he couldn't make bail. 

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Daniel willis taylor charge information

Inarguably Taylor is guilty of assault. Prayerfully, the employee has not been fired or punished in any manner. Her manager and fellow employees, especially the males, should be ashamed for not helping her. Anyhoo, this case needs to be monitored. 

This is the location and telephone number of the McDonald’s where this assault occurred. 

4595 34th St S
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
(727) 866-2370

 

 


Jordan Peele's trailer "Us" ruined my Christmas Day

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Instead of writing about Christmas, Jordan Peele has me writing about the creepy trailer for his upcoming film, “Us”. This is his follow-up to his smash hit “Get Out”. If the movie is half as good as the trailer, he has another hit on his hand. The visuals are stunning. The music is haunting.

Us is more of a traditional horror film than Get Out. It's not exactly the type of trailer one would expect to debut on Christmas Day. Thanks, Jordan. I will definitely be sleeping with the lights on for a while and I can never hear the song “I Got 5 On It” without thinking of this horror movie.

Let me start off by saying I am so stoked that Lupita N’yongo (Black Panther, Twelve Years a Slave), Winston Duke (M’Baku from Black Panther) and Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) star in this movie. I love their work. N’yongo and Duke play Adelaide and Gabe Wilson. Young actors Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex and Madison Curry seem to hold their own on screen also.

So, from what I can gather from the 2:29 trailer, the protagonists, the doppelganger family had been incarcerated based on their prison jumpsuit attire. I can imagine it has something to do with the carnage scene on the beach at about 1:51 of the video. For sure most of what Jordan Peele includes in a movie is purposeful. The symbolism of the white rabbits, mask the son Jason wears that makes him look like the namesake character from Friday the 13th, the huge gold scissors, and the little black girl who has a doppelganger but is not included in the family of four in the jail jumpsuits. Oh yeah, what’s up with Lupita’s character telling her son to get in rhythm when she is so off beat herself? I have questions.

“Us” doesn’t open officially until March 15, 2019. Tickets are already on sale online at a few theaters. I plan to be at a theater on its opening weekend and more than likely I will watch more than once.

This movie is not about race but I do want to give a shout out to Jordan Peele for the Howard University sweatshirt Winston Duke’s character wears and for the ethnic hairstyles and dark-skinned Black female characters. It might not seem like a big deal but it is. Representation matters.

 

 


Giving Thanks

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Today is the day family and friends gather for Thanksgiving Dinner. For me, today is not about celebrating the pilgrims and Native Americans breaking bread together, we know what eventually happened to the Native Americans. Today, like everyday, I give thanks for all of God's blessings bestowed upon me. I give thanks for family and friends near and far and on Earth and in Heaven. I give thanks to all of the men, women and children who have sacrificed to make this world a better place. Amen.


Three Years Later. #SayHerName Sandra Bland

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Three years ago today, Sandra Bland died while in police custody in Waller County, Texas. She had been arrested three days earlier for not using her turn signal. Never forget her. Don’t stop fighting for social justice. #SayHerName 

 


Texas woman sentenced to five years in prison for voting while on probation

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Crystal Mason, a 43-year-old, Black mother, was sentenced to five years in prison for illegally voting in the 2016 presidential election. At time time of the election, Mason had served three years in prison for income tax fraud. Her mother insisted she vote. Mason had to complete a provisional ballot since her name was not on the voter roll. Her ballot was not counted after it was discovered she was on probation.

It’s difficult to understand why questions from poll workers at the voting precinct did not lead to advisement to Mason that she is ineligible to vote. Mason said she was never told that voting while on probation is a felony.

Let’s say all that is true. Some might take the position that ignorance of the law is not a viable defense. Sentencing someone to five years in prison is cruel. Ethan Couch, the teen who killed four people while driving under the influence only served two years in jail. Four people dead and he serves two years. In jail. Voting while on probation and Mason receives five years. In prison. Where is the justice?

Both Mason and Couch were tried in the Tarrant County, Texas courts system. Now, Mason says she will never vote again. That is how voter intimidation and voter suppression work.

 

 


To Survive and Thrive, Blacks Need to Live Kwanzaa All-Year-Long

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Today is the first day of the week long celebration of Kwanzaa. It is a Pan-African holiday based on seven principles with seven main symbols that is celebrated for seven days starting December 26. A candle representing each principle is lit daily starting with the black candle in the center which represents umoja [OO-MO-JAH], unity.

Nguzo Saba [IN-GOO-ZO SAH-BAH] - The Seven Principles

Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among African American people as well as Africans throughout the world African community. These values are called the Nguzo Saba which in Swahili means the Seven Principles. Developed in 1966, by Dr. Maulana Karenga, the Nguzo Saba stand at the heart of the origin and meaning of Kwanzaa, for it is these values which are not only the building blocks for community but also serve to reinforce and enhance them.

Umoja [OO-MO-JAH] (Unity) - To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, race.
 
Kujichagulia [KOO-JEE-CHA-GOO-LEE-YAH] (Self-Determination) - To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves instead of being defined, named, created for and spoken for by others.
 
Ujima [OO-JEE-MAH] (Collective Work & Responsibility) - To build and maintain our community together and make our sisters' and brothers' problems our problems and solve them together.
 
Ujamaa [OO-JAH-MAH] (Cooperative Economics) - To build and maintain our own stores and other businesses and to profit from them together.
 
Nia [NEE-YAH] (Purpose) - To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
 
Kuumba [KOO-OOM-BAH] (Creativity) - To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
 
Imani [EE-MAH-NEE] (Faith) - To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

The Seven Symbols of Kwanzaa
 
Kwanzaa has seven basic symbols and two supplemental ones. Each represents values and concepts reflective of African culture and contributive to community building and reinforcement. The basic symbols in Swahili and then in English are:

Mazao [MAH-ZAH-O](The Crops)
These are symbolic of African harvest celebrations and of the rewards of productive and collective labor.

Mkeka [EM-KAY-KAH](The Mat)
This is symbolic of our tradition and history and therefore, the foundation on which we build.

Kinara [KEE-NAH-RAH] (The Candle Holder)
This is symbolic of our roots, our parent people -- continental Africans.

Muhindi [MOO-HEEN-DEE] (The Corn)
This is symbolic of our children and our future which they embody.



Mishumaa Saba [MEE-SHOO-MAH-AH SAH-BAH] (The Seven Candles)
These are symbolic of the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, the matrix and minimum set of values which African people are urged to live by in order to rescue and reconstruct their lives in their own image and according to their own needs.



Kikombe cha Umoja [KEE-KOHM-BAY CHAH OO-MO-JAH] (The Unity Cup)
This is symbolic of the foundational principle and practice of unity which makes all else possible.



Zawadi [ZAH-WAH-DEE] (The Gifts)
These are symbolic of the labor and love of parents and the commitments made and kept by the children. 



The two supplemental symbols are:



Bendera (The Flag)
The colors of the Kwanzaa flag are the colors of the Organization Us, black, red and green; black for the people, red for their struggle, and green for the future and hope that comes from their struggle. It is based on the colors given by the Hon. Marcus Garvey as national colors for African people throughout the world.


Nguzo Saba Poster (Poster of The Seven Principles)

Kwanzaa is not anti-Christmas neither is it the black Christmas or the black Hanukkah. Kwanzaa is a non-religious and non-political holiday. It can be celebrated with family and friends of different religious practices and beliefs. Kwanzaa is celebrated for one week of the year but practiced all year-long.

The current sociological and political atmosphere in the United States makes adopting a Kwanzaa lifestyle a matter of survival for black people. Advocating for black communities, supporting black businesses and supporting black schools is imperative as more and more safety net programs are cut as well as quality public education opportunities.