Oprah may not be front and center for Obama’s reelection campaign, but according to Bloomberg, she’s working hard behind the scenes to help Obama raise money for his campaign: PresidentÂ Barack Obama, turning full attention to his re-election campaign, aimed to raise more than $5 million today with fundraisers in his adopted hometown ofÂ ChicagoÂ and then Atlanta, […]
I wait for an era when young Black men will no longer have to live in fear. Decades after the abolishment of slavery, we were haunted by the reality of being hunted down, beaten and lynched by both everyday citizens and law enforcement. Young boys like Emmett Till were openly and viciously murdered because of the sentiments of bigoted individuals who believed they had the right to carry out their own brand of injustice. Today, Black (and Latino) youth are routinely targeted, profiled and ‘mistakenly’ shot by those sworn to serve and protect us (i.e. Sean Bell). And now, in what can only be described as the most blatant form of vigilante murder, a 17-year-old named Trayvon Martin loses his life at the hands of self-proclaimed ‘crime stopper.’ But the only crime here is that this killer has ended poor Trayvon’s life under the guise of his own preconceptions and has not been charged, nor arrested. We will head to Florida to ensure that all that changes immediately. On Thursday, March 22 at 7 p.m., National Action Network (NAN) and I will convene an urgent rally at the First Shiloh Baptist Church in Sanford, FL. to demand justice for Trayvon Martin. We will be joined by community leaders and concerned citizens from all ethnicities, backgrounds and walks of life that cannot even begin to comprehend this nightmarish situation. A young teenager walking home, armed only with candy and a drink, should never lose his/her life because someone in a gated community feels ‘threatened.’ George Zimmerman, the accused adult shooter, is roaming the earth freely while Trayvon’s mother, father and family members must bury their precious child. It is an atrocious miscarriage of justice, and we demand that authorities in Florida arrest Zimmerman immediately and charge him for the crime of murder. Anyone with sound reasoning cannot disagree. In 2005, the state of Florida enacted one of the toughest ‘stand your ground’ self-defense laws which allowed civilians to use deadly force against ‘intruders’ or anyone they believed was a ‘threat’ to their life. Supported — and in many ways lobbied — by the National Rifle Association, these laws don’t require a person to retreat from the situation, thereby allowing them to even pursue someone who ‘threatens’ them. The legislation not only protects individuals from prosecution, but goes so far as barring them from civil suits in many cases as well. As the model for dozens of other states that now carry similar laws, the Florida self-defense rule creates an environment where anyone at any moment can claim they were fearful of someone as a justification for cold-blooded murder. And that’s exactly what we see here in the tragic case of Trayvon Martin. In the recently released 911 tapes of that fateful day, Zimmerman was clearly told to stand down by authorities, but he didn’t comply. Many eyewitnesses said they heard screams of help, but no one came to Trayvon’s assistance in time to save his life. Zimmerman claimed he had spotted a ‘suspicious’ individual, and as several news outlets have reported, he pursued Trayvon, not the other way around. In a society that still views young men of color as threatening, dangerous and suspicious without cause, these self-defense laws in Florida and elsewhere give free rein for anyone to openly kill those that they may not like or those that make them feel uncomfortable because of their own inherent prejudices. And the race/ethnicity of Zimmerman or any citizen in this type of scenario doesn’t matter, because at the end of the day, it is the race of the victim — Trayvon — that does matter. It is his race and his demographic that is consistently depicted as the threat, and negatively portrayed in popular culture. A few years ago, a man in Oklahoma City shot and killed a 16-year-old who allegedly tried to rob the drugstore where he worked. This pharmacist attempted to plea self-defense, but because he shot the teenager in the head, chased someone else out and returned to shoot the kid five more times as he lay on the floor, he was sentenced to first-degree murder. Young Trayvon’s only crime was buying a pack of skittles and walking through the wrong neighborhood. He had his entire life ahead of him and we demand justice without delay. Zimmerman must be held accountable. Join us in Sanford on Thursday as we call for a repeal to Florida’s outrageous self-defense laws. It’s about Trayvon’s life, not supposed self-defense. I’m still waiting for the day that young Black men (and women) can walk freely in any neighborhood without fearing for their lives.
Trayvon Martin: Killed for walking while black
Police arrested George Clooney, his dad, Nick, and other protesters outside the Embassy of Sudan in Washington this morning. Cute mug shot alert!But seriously: Martin Luther King III, NAACP President Ben Jealous and Congressman Jim Moran were among those protesting with Clooney, according to WUSA TV. The protesters are demanding immediate action to stop Sudans […]
Even though national foreclosure rates have dipped slightly, 21 states have seen an increase in foreclosure rates.Â According to a Reality Trac report, markets on the East Coast and Midwest were hardest hit by foreclosure increases. â€œFebruaryâ€™s numbers point to a gradually rising foreclosure tide as some of the barriers that have been holding back […]
by Yvette Carnell Pastor and former Bush aid Joe Watkins discussed a controversial, and recently torn down, billboard which depicted a black man in shackles and read, “Slaves, Obey Your Masters.” Watkins called the billboard â€œhurtfulâ€ and â€œmean-spiritedâ€ for depicting the image of a shackled slave beside the quote from Colossians 3:22. I, however, suspect […]
by Yvette Carnell Something I’ve never quite understood is how the same people who say we should support Obama at all costs because he’s black, are quick to turn right around and bash Tyler Perry, as if he’s not. These high brow Negroes are quick to poo-poo Perry’s films because they’re too *common*, then, almost […]
Someone forwarded me an image of a bumper sticker that jolted my brain more than a pound of coffee with extra sugar and a spoonful of Crystal Meth.Â The bumper sticker said, â€œDonâ€™t Re-Nig in 2012,â€ making reference to President Barack Obama and the 2012 presidential campaign. Just kidding on the Meth joke, Iâ€™ve never […]
March is synonymous with Womenâ€™s History Month.Â Itâ€™s something weâ€™re all very aware of and something which we openly recognize and celebrate.Â But during a month in which the extraordinary accomplishments of females should be honored, weâ€™re finding a virtual war on women instead.Â From a Governor proposing required â€œvaginal examsâ€ to restraints on access to birth control and Rush Limbaughâ€™s vile comments , attacks on women and our liberties have reached disturbing new levels. SEE ALSO: Study: Black Women Are Doing Just Fine Contrary To Popular Belief And itâ€™s not just conservatives either.Â Just last month, rapper Too Short delivered a recorded video message to young middle school boys on â€˜how to turn girls out .â€™Â Itâ€™s a sad state of affairs, and as the Mothers, sisters, and wives who make up the majority of our population, weâ€™re just not going to tolerate it anymore. Growing up, I was surrounded by strong women who taught me the value of getting an education, having a voice, and establishing myself in the world.Â Most of us learned great lessons of how remarkable females pushed the envelope to secure equal access in society on so many levels.Â But when I studied the womenâ€™s movement, I would have never guessed that weâ€™d be here today, at a point where all of these gains would be under attack.Â Didnâ€™t we squash many of these issues 50+ years ago?Â Am I dreaming, or is this not 2012? Rush Limbaughâ€™s syndicator has suspended all national advertising on his show for two weeks, which is good â€” but we want more.Â Too Short has apologized for making a video urging young boys to â€˜turn outâ€™ young girls â€” but we want more.Â When men degrade, insult, or attack women, they do a disservice to everyone.Â You canâ€™t just say whatever you want and think a quick apology (whether sincere or not) is enough.Â Whoâ€™s responsible for fixing the environment of disrespect and hatred when men humiliate women?Â And who will bring us back to sanity when politicians use contraception and other wedge issues to get elected? We just passed the middle mark for the month, and so far, itâ€™s been a disappointing one to say the least.Â Instead of focusing on the amazing contributions of women, weâ€™ve spent the last several weeks covering fools who continually put us down. Â Itâ€™s not OK to require â€œvaginal probes,â€ itâ€™s not OK to call us â€œslutsâ€ and itâ€™s not OK to teach young men how to disrespect us.Â Everyone â€“ not just women â€“ should be outraged by this war on women.Â Rush Limbaugh is now learning that the nation is not on his side.Â Let that be a lesson to anyone trying to attack women; you will find yourself isolated. Itâ€™s Womenâ€™s History Month, and itâ€™s time we really recognize it.
On Tuesday, MSNBC weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry, who was sitting in for Al Sharpton on his radio show, revealed that she attended Rev. Wright’s post 9/11 sermon and thought he was right. â€œI was in Trinity United Church of Christ on the Sunday after September 11th,â€ said Harris-Perry. â€œI was at the time living in […]