Sat04192014

News

Outgunned: No more body bags

NAACPNo181176747.jpg.CROP.rtstory-large 600Oct. 24, 2013: A 33-year-old man is shot in the back of the head while playing basketball in Gresham, Ore.

Oct. 27, 2013: A 17-year-old boy and 39-year old man are shot and killed in gang-related violence in Chicago.

Nov. 5, 2013: Two men are shot to death in Baltimore. A witness told reporters there was nothing he could do: "They'd both been shot in the head. Those were kill shots."

Day after day, the killings keep coming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seven people are shot in America every hour, and 30 people are killed by gunfire each day. In poor communities of color, gun violence has become an epidemic: young black men between the ages of 15 and 19 are nearly five times more likely to die from gunfire than their white peers.

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Where was God in the Philippines?

wheresgod 600The disasters are always different and often devastating. But the questions they raise are hauntingly familiar.

In the days since Super Typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippines on Thursday, survivors are frantically searching for lost family members and international aid groups are springing into action.

Officials say the death toll may rise to 10,000 in the heavily Catholic country.

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Florida School Board Votes to Begin Removal of KKK Leader's Name From High School

 

Nathan B_Forrest_High_SchoolOn Friday evening, Jacksonville's Duval County School Board unanimously voted to start the process of changing Nathan Bedford

...

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Thanks for your service, vets! Now try finding a job

VetS 600Suddenly, Patrick Caruso's days as a Marine were done.

Like many young men and women who've served their country, Caruso's first weeks back in the civilian world felt "kind of like a shell shock."

The familiar structure of military life was gone, and it was time to adapt to a very different mission: finding a job.

Caruso, now 29, recalled what it felt like when his Marine Corps enlistment ran out in 2007: "I remember having this feeling of, 'I have no idea what I need to do next.'"

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New book claims Obama disses Congressional black leaders

11doubledown 600Thanks to the book "Game Change," which captured the behind-the-scenes drama of the 2008 presidential campaign, authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann are now as feared among those keeping political secrets as Karinne "Superhead" Steffans is feared among the rappers and athletes worried about being name-checked in her next tell-all.

The most recent revelation to leak from their latest book, "Double Down," is a good reminder of why Halperin and Heilemann cause such nervousness among the political elite. According to the Daily Beast's overview, the book claims President Obama and his advisors were irritated by what his aides dubbed the "professional left" and "professional blacks." Not black professionals, but those who professionally highlight or exploit racial politics.

The book goes on to say that the president considers New York Rep. Charles Rangel "a hack" and that the Rev. Jesse Jackson essentially had been banned from the White House. The Washington Times also reported that according to the book, Rep. John Lewis and Jim Clyburn were the only two members of the CBC whom President Obama respects, writing, "Apart from Georgia congressman John Lewis and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, Obama had nearly as much contempt for the CBC as he did for the Tea Party Caucus."

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Sarah Palin: Federal debt like slavery

Palin 600Sarah Palin continues to link the Obama administration to slavery, comparing the administration to slave masters. During a conservative fundraiser in Iowa, the former governor of Alaska told some 750 attendees that the federal debt will keep the younger generation shackled because of the country's spending, the Des Moines Register reports.

Palin told the crowd to beware of "free stuff" because nothing is free, and that "When that note comes due – and this isn't racist, but it's going to be like slavery when that note is due. We are going to be beholden to a foreign master. Because there is no plan coming out of Washington, D.C., to stop the incurrence of debt."

This isn't the first times that the former Republican vice-presidential nominee alluded to slavery when speaking about the presidency.

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Shutting down the school-to-prison pipeline

prisonpipeline 600Who could forget the alarming image of St. Petersburg, Fla., police officers clasping handcuffs around the wrists of Ja'eisha Scott, a 5-year-old African-American girl, as they placed her under arrest for throwing a tantrum at school?

A video camera captured the incident on March 14, 2005, which took place at Fairmount Park Elementary School during a teacher's self-improvement exercise, CBS News reports. Before police were called, the child could be seen ripping papers from a bulletin board, climbing on a table and hitting an assistant principal.

"Then it shows the child appearing to calm down before three officers approach," CBS reports, "pin her arms behind her back and put on handcuffs as she screamed, 'No!' "

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‘Man up’ – the fear that keeps men from acting human

LZ granderson 600You know those electronic collars that zap dogs that stray outside their electronic fences?

That seems to be the purpose of everyone's favorite and seemingly innocuous phrase, "man up."

Just mumbling those two words in a typical guy's direction delivers a psychological shock that discourages him from venturing outside the restrictions of our traditional view of what it means to be a man.

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Subtle racism damages health

7subtleracismJazelle 600WASHINGTON – "My office says my name, Rachel, on the door. I am the only one who sits in it. People constantly walk in, see me, and say, 'Oh, I'm sorry...I'm looking for Rachel.' I'm half black."

"Upon hearing that I had secured an internship for the summer, my roommate said 'I would have on[e] too if I was a minority. I have everything but that minority 'it' factor.'"

"'Sometimes I forget that you're black.' Pissed off, how dare she! I love how she has no idea what the hell she said by that. I[t] just – it kills me. This kills me. These little jabs at my blackness"

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Missing Mississippi family found dead

Missing 600GALLMAN, Miss. – Heartbroken and baffled.

That's how friends and relatives of a Mississippi family described themselves the day authorities said they'd found the bodies of Atira Hill, Laterry Smith and Jaidon Hill, 7.

The mother, stepfather and boy vanished last week.

"We went to bed last night still praying they would be brought home safely, but unfortunately, that did not happen," said Vinson Jenkins, Hill's cousin. "To my knowledge, we don't know why anybody would want to do any harm to them."

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Sharpton’s celebrity is key to his cause

Sharpton 600Al Sharpton's recent decision to move to Chicago to highlight the city's violence-plagued communities demonstrates both the creativity and limits of contemporary black leadership.

The Rev. Sharpton's personal trajectory, marked by high-profile political setbacks and victories that have culminated in his improbable rise to national civil rights leadership, offers a unique vantage point to assess the troubled state of African-American leadership in the age of Obama.

The young Sharpton made his bones in New York City as the most vocal supporter during the Tawana Brawley case, in which a teenage black girl claimed to have been raped by six white men, allegations that were later proved to be unfounded. Nevertheless, Sharpton tapped into a deep well of political outrage among blacks in New York, which was plagued by police brutality, high unemployment and deteriorating neighborhoods. The Rev. Sharpton, in his capacity as a militant activist, became a part of the city's landscape in the 1980s and 1990s and helped lead bruising street demonstrations, the energy of which recalled that of the heyday of the civil rights and Black Power eras.

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How a black first lady will change NYC

NYCmayorwife 600Last night Bill de Blasio became the Mayor-elect of New York City. But even more exciting for some of us New Yorkers, Chirlane McCray became the First Lady-elect.

When history looks back at what led to de Blasio's landslide some will credit the missteps of his primary opponents, particularly sexting prone Anthony Weiner, and Bloomberg clone Christine Quinn, but much of the credit will ultimately go to his family. There was the groundbreaking ad starring de Blasio's teenage son Dante, and Dante's Afro, which became so famous Jon Stewart dedicated an homage to it on "The Daily Show."

While some say behind every great man is a great woman, in de Blasio's case beside him has long been a great woman. De Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, who is African American, is a well-respected writer and political operative in her own right. A Wellesley graduate, she met de Blasio while both were working in City Hall during the Dinkins administration. Many are already speculating on how de Blasio's administration will transform New York, but a more interesting question may be how his wife will transform New York.

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Tens of billions of planets out there are like Earth, study finds

planetearth 600Ever have one of those days where you just wanna be alone, maybe have the planet to yourself?

Well, based on sheer numbers, there may be a planet just for you.

Astronomers at the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Hawaii, using data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, estimate there are tens of billions of Earth-size, possibly habitable planets in our Milky Way galaxy.

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