- Created on 05 August 2013
Celebrities & The ‘N-Word’: Tim Allen Justifies Its Use & Oprah Says Stop Saying It If You Want To Be Her Friend [OPINION]
Sometimes, as a writer, I get a little sick of having to report the repeated and desensitized usage of racism that plagues our society. I’ve been feeling like our world is regressing when it comes to the color lines that seem to get bolder. A young Black man gets shot and killed by a White and Hispanic neighborhood watch captain and the tragedy ignites a racial conversation that’s never quite found a resolve. Another conversation that’s followed the Trayvon Martin tragedy’s lead is the use of the word, “n*gger.”
Here’s my take on it. Yes, as Black people, we sometimes use the word as a term of endearment, punctuation and even a term of hate, but it’s ours. It belongs to us. No, White people, you cannot say it–at least not around us. Use it all you want around your White friends, but don’t let the poison-soaked words escape your lips when someone in the room has more melanin than you. It’s ONE word that we simple request you just not say around us. Is it really that difficult to comply to this simple request? Is the word so damn tasty that you need to feel it in your mouth?
Truer words never spoken. When Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver, Riley Cooper threatened people at a Kenny Chesny show, saying that he would “fight every n*gger here.” The comment cost him his job, his pride and his respect in the sports community. I want to know–was it worth it? This question isn’t just for Cooper. It’s for all of the White folks out here who feel this term is so important that they need to have on-going conversations about how they can’t use it, even though we do. Is it?
- Created on 03 August 2013
Folding to revolutionary pressure, Florida lawmakers announced Friday that they will hold hearings this fall on the state’s controversial and racially biased “Stand Your Ground” laws, reports Raw Story
Will Weatherford, the speaker of Florida’s House of Representatives, made the announcement, which marks the largest victory to date for the bold and courageous ‘Dream Defenders.’
“Across Florida, representatives are receiving calls, letters, visits and emails from constituents with diverse opinions on ‘Stand Your Ground,’” Weatherford said. “Passions are high, but every person has the right to express their views on this matter of great importance."
“Our evaluation of its (the law’s) effectiveness should be guided by objective information, not by political expediency,” Weatherford wrote in an op-ed for the Tampa Tribune.
“Does the law keep the innocent safer? Is it being applied fairly? Are there ways we can make this law clearer and more understandable?”
Phillip Agnew, executive director of the Dream Defenders, acknowledged the milestone:
“It’s a critical first step.”
In addition to the Dream Defenders, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, Rev. Jesse Jackson, MSNBC’s PoliticsNation host Rev. Al Sharpton, Harry Belafonte and a host of other celebrities and public figures have called for a review of the laws.
A group of student revolutionaries known as the Dream Defenders has occupied Florida’s Capitol building for the sixteenth day, refusing to leave until Gov. Rick Scott reevaluates the state’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws, reports USA Today.
Forming immediately after George Zimmerman was found ‘not guilty’ of murdering Trayvon Martin on July 13, 2013, the group’s numbers have ebbed and flowed, but their presence has remained constant.
And they are not leaving.
Read more from USA Today:
On July 18, the Dream Defenders met with [Gov. Scott] and demanded that he convene a special committee to re-evaluate the “stand your ground” law.
He told them “no.”
The Dream Defenders have since drawn national attention to their cause and plan to camp out inside the Capitol until their demands are met.
“It is our attempt to try and receive justice from our justice system,” says Lashanett Lorraine, a Dream Defender from Florida A&M University.
Even though the number of protesters ebbs and flows — from 30 to 70 people — they maintain a constant presence.
“There’s new people showing up every day … folks coming in from all over the state,” says Dream Defender Michael Sampson, a student at Florida State University. “And we still have a steady flow of rock-hard, solid people who are not going to stop.”
“Last Friday, we had a rally with around 400 people, and Harry Belafonte came to speak,” he says.
Tuesday, they gained the support of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who showed up to a mock session of the Florida Legislature hosted by the Dream Defenders.
Dubbed the “People’s Session,” they discussed the idea of “Trayvon’s Law,” a proposal to address three key issues and their goals for ending the occupation: ethics training to reduce racial profiling by law enforcement, repealing the “stand your ground” law and repealing zero-tolerance in schools — which they claim fuels a “school to prison” pipeline by expelling students for minor infractions.
- Created on 02 August 2013
Not long after Chicago author and motivational speaker Jahmal Cole began volunteering at the Cook County Jail and talking with inmates there, he began to notice a pattern that bothered him.
Before long, Cole, a resident of the city's Chatham neighborhood, found that when he mentioned a Chicago landmark like the Willis (Sears) Tower or the downtown area more generally, most of the inmates he was speaking with had never been to that part of the city aside from seeing the skyline off in the distance, as though it belonged to a different city that had nothing to do with them.
"Their entire world view is being shaped by blocks
- Created on 01 August 2013
Weatherford, who ended up performing the Wilson’s ceremony at another nearby church, adds, “I didn’t want to have a controversy within the church, and I didn’t want a controversy to affect the wedding of Charles and Te’Andrea. I wanted to make sure their wedding day was a special day,” he said.