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Tupac Amaru Shakur, " I'm Loosing It...We MUST Unite!"
Showing posts with label Black America Web. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Black America Web. Show all posts

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Little Known Black History Fact: George Clinton

The origin of funk music is often credited to Pee Wee Ellis, James Brown, and a host of other musicians who brought the stylistic groove to life in the ‘60s. Today is George Clinton’s birthday, and as one of Funk’s pioneers, he and his band Parliament-Funkadelic helped place the genre on the world stage.

Clinton was born July 22, 1941 in Kannapolis, N.C., and was raised in Plainfield, N.J. It was in New Jersey where Clinton discovered his passion for music and formed a doo-wop vocal band, The Parliaments, in 1955 when he was still a teenager. The band struggled to score a hit, but Clinton made some inroads in Detroit as a music producer and Motown songwriter while continuing to record with his group, which scored its first big hit “Testify” in 1967.

After some issues with his record label, Clinton and the band refused to record new music and instead secretly formed the band Funkadelic with the same members. He eventually retained the rights to both band names and as the mid-70’s rolled around, the groups recorded material separately and together before officially becoming  a collective.

With Clinton as the mastermind, notable members Bootsy Collins, Eddie Hazel, Bernie Worrell, Junie Morrison, Garry Shider, and more flourished in the funk-rock mash-up world they commanded. They also contributed to several splinter groups such as The Brides of Funkenstein, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, and other offshoots.

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Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic saw a renewed interest in their music and signature sound with producer Dr. Dre and other hip-hop acts sampling their old hits and inventing the “G-Funk” style that dominated the ‘90s spawning a host of imitators. That, along with signing to Prince’s Paisley Park Records, made Parliament Funkadelic’s relevant to a new generation of fans. Although Clinton has announced his retirement, Parliament-Funkadelic will continue with his children and grandchildren.

In 1997, Parliament-Funkadelic were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the late Prince doing the honors. In 2019, Clinton and the band were awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy.

George Clinton turns 78 today.

PHOTO: Steve Parke for Paisley Park


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Friday, July 19, 2019

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Six Stars Who Went to HBCUs

Historically black colleges and universities such as Howard University in Washington DC, Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, and Florida A&M University have been producing leaders for generations. From the Ph.D.’s stepping out of Morehouse College to the lawyers pushing through from Southern University in Louisiana, waving the HBCU flag sends a powerful message!

Behind the brilliance are another wave of graduates who have paved their way through the entertainment industry and earned their star…Let’s salute the celebrities who credit HBCU’s for guiding them.

The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals

Source: Frazer Harrison / Getty

Taraji P. Henson, Howard University

Daring. Bold. In your face – now what? We all love a bossy, flashy, unapologetic woman who loves to stir up some drama – at least on television. That energy explains why Cookie from the hit series Empire is iconic. Her untouchable role explains why fans keep tuning into the show. Everything about her character proves that she is a force to be reckoned with. But did you know that this stellar actress is degree’d up? Taraji P. Henson graduated from the prestigious HBCU, Howard University, with a degree in theater. Black girl power at its finest.

K. Michelle's 'More Issues Than Vogue' Listening Event

Source: Shareif Ziyadat / Getty

K. Michelle, Florida A&M University

She may bring the drama on Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta and Love & Hip-Hop: New York, but this beautiful songbird also brings the brains when it comes to the books. Did you know that K. Michelle, who many consider to be overly vocal at times, received a full ride to attend Florida A&M University simply because of her voice? An honors student who majored in Psychology, K. Michelle also had her sights on law school. She turned down the corporate world because of her musical interests. Good move.

Keshia Knight Pulliam

Source: Paras Griffin/Getty Images Entertainment / Getty

Keisha Knight-Pulliam, Spelman College

Little Rudy, professionally recognized as Keisha Knight-Pulliam from the 80’s-90’s hit, The Cosby Show is a proud Spelman College alum. Armed with a degree in Sociology, the stunning actress who has spent most of her life behind the lens is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

ABC Special - Taking The Stage: African American Music And Stories That Changed America

Source: Fred Watkins / Getty

Oprah Winfrey, Tennessee State University

She doesn’t need a long introduction, because she is a mogul, a maven, and everything in between. Oprah Winfrey, who made her mark in the media arena is also a graduate of Tennessee State University. During her tenure, she majored in Communications and went on to host her own TV show, before diving into her OWN network and the magazine publishing space. A real success story, and black billionaire at that – we have to tip our hat when it comes to her monstrous work ethic and hustle.

Celebrities Visit Build - January 17, 2018

Source: Andrew Toth / Getty

Anika Noni Rose, Florida A&M University

Florida A&M University has pushed out some of the brightest alums, such as singer K. Michelle. Another actress who can add graduate to her portfolio is Anika Noni Rose, who starred in Dreamgirls. The theater major, who also starred and won rave reviews for her role as Tiana in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog has also starred as a bad girl in Starz, Power! Talk about switching it up.

44th NAACP Image Awards - Red Carpet

Source: Michael Tran / Getty

Omarosa Manigault, Howard University

She’s tough on politics. She’s tough in business. She’s even tougher on reality TV. Hate or love her, Omarosa Manigault is educated in every sense of the word. The former ‘Apprentice’ star and now author, boasts degrees from two HBCU’s. She holds a Master’s degree in Communications from Howard University and a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. She also holds a license to preach.

 

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33 Employees At Japanese Anime Studio Burned Alive By Arsonist Screaming “You Die!”

JAPAN-FIRE

Source: JIJI PRESS / Getty

This is so sad, and the deadliest fire in two decades for Japan.

According to AP News, a man screaming “You die!” burst into an animation studio in Kyoto, Tokyo, doused it with a flammable liquid and set it on fire Thursday, killing 33 people. The attack has shocked the country and brought an outpouring of grief from anime fans.\

Most of the victims were employees of Kyoto Animation, which does work on movies and TV. The fire sent people scrambling up the stairs toward the roof of the three-story building in a desperate attempt to escape. Unfortunately, they died. Thirty-six people in counting have been injured in the blaze, some critically and thirty-three died on site.

Reportedly, the suspect is described as a 41-year-old man who did not work for the studio. He was injured and taken to a hospital. Police gave no details on the motive, but a witness told Japanese TV that the attacker angrily complained that something of his had been stolen, possibly by the company.

This story is still developing…

 


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Kierra Sheard On How She Prepared To Play Her Mother For ‘The Clark Sisters’ Biopic

Fans can’t wait to see Kierra Sheard play her mother, Karen Clark Sheard in the upcoming biopic of “The Clark Sisters” about the amazingly talented family group’s rise to gospel music stardom.

Although some may think it’s easy because she was raised by her, Kierra still had to transform herself.

In a recent interview, Keirra said she prepared for the role by sleeping with her mother’s music playing in her ears.

Playing the role became an emotional experience as she learned more about her family.

In the course of filming, Kierra found out that her grandmother was in an abusive relationship. She didn’t want to give everything away about the biopic, but fans will truly be shocked by some things.

Kierra also spoke about working with Donald Lawrence, music and so much more.

 

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Now That Race Is In The Race, Does It Hurt Or Help Trump? [VIDEO]

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joe Biden, the early Democratic presidential front-runner, was at a soul food restaurant in Los Angeles on Thursday when he blasted President Donald Trump’s “racist” taunts at a rally the night before.

“This is about dividing the country,” the early Democratic front-runner, who has been criticized for his own handling of race, told reporters. “This is about dividing and raising the issue of racism across the country because that’s his base, that’s what he’s pushing.”

 

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Michael Fisher, an African American pastor from Compton who attended the event, warned Democrats to ignore Trump.

“They should absolutely not respond to ignorance,” Fischer said. “They should stay focused on the issues.”

That tension previews the uncomfortable balancing act Democrats will face in the nearly 16 months before Election Day. Trump’s escalating exploitation of racism puts the rawest divide in American life squarely on the ballot in 2020. Democrats are united in condemning his words and actions, but the question of how to counter them is much more complicated.

The party’s passionate left wing is pressing for an all-in battle, arguing that candidates’ plans to combat racism are just as important as their proposals to provide health insurance to every American. But others question whether race should be the centerpiece of the campaign to replace Trump. Several presidential candidates, meanwhile, reject the debate as a false choice, arguing they can criticize Trump for racist tactics while still advancing proposals on health care, education, the minimum wage and more.

The emotionally charged developments shook both political parties on Thursday, a day after Trump continued his verbal assault against four minority congresswomen, this time at a raucous rally in North Carolina. The president’s supporters chanted “Send her back!” after Trump criticized Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Muslim who fled to the U.S. as a child from violence-wracked Somalia.

While Trump tried to distance himself from the chant on Thursday, it echoed his own comments from earlier in the week when he said the “squad” of four young Democratic congresswoman, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, should “go back” to their “crime-infested places” overseas. They are all American citizens.

After successfully campaigning on health care during last year’s midterm elections, Democrats hoped to adopt a similar “kitchen table” strategy going into 2020 that would focus on issues that appeal to all voters. Yet Trump has forced them into a moment of decision that could send the party in a far less certain direction.

The challenge was clear Thursday when Trump’s remarks consumed the 2020 debate even as Democrats on Capitol Hill voted to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. The vote was the latest move by Democrats to highlight their work on more traditional issues that helped them seize the House majority last fall. Yet it barely made a ripple in the national debate.

“Trump is forcing the hand of Democratic Party leaders thinking they could thread the needle. They can’t. He’s holding Klan rallies,” said Aimee Allison, who leads She the People, an advocacy group focused on women of color. “We have to be strong in the face of that and unafraid.”

Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher said that to pretend racism and division aren’t top-tier concerns for voters is a fallacy.

“This is just as important an issue for Democrats to engage and win on as health care, education and wages,” he said, pointing out that Democrats got 9 million more votes than Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections.

“That wasn’t because voters all of a sudden fell in love with Democrats. That was about the direction of this country and people being uncomfortable and alarmed with what’s happening with the Republican Party under Trump.”

But others question whether to follow Trump into the racial debate at all, concerned about alienating white working-class voters who may have backed Trump in the past and are uncomfortable with allegations of racism or bigotry.

“Calling him racist, which he is, I don’t know if that helps,” said North Carolina-based Democratic strategist Gary Pearce. He called Trump’s message “profoundly disturbing, but I know it works.”

In the battleground state of Wisconsin, Democratic Party Chairman Ben Wikler called on his party to take a cautious approach by explaining that Trump is using racism to distract voters from failing policies.

“Trump’s use of racism as a political weapon is his only strategy to distract the public from the No. 1 issue in 2018, which was health care,” Wikler said. “He can’t claim that he stands for working people in 2020.”

Most of the Democratic Party’s crowded 2020 class weighed in on the Trump-race question — some more aggressively than others.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren left no doubt about her position: “#IStandWithIlhan against attacks from this racist president,” she tweeted.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, the only African-American man running for president, condemned Trump’s attacks on the squad, but also sought to distance himself from Ocasio-Cortez’s description of immigrant detention centers along the southern border as “concentration camps.”

“I would not choose that, because you start to begin to create historical comparisons that I do not think are constructive,” he said. “But (the spirit is) pointing out the outrageous assault on humanity that’s going on within our own borders . It’s an assault on the humanity of all of us.”

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called Trump “un-American.”

“His constant attacks on women of color in Congress just show what a small, weak president he is,” she said in a brief interview, while trying to pivot to the economy.

“You can talk about both,” she said. “Absolutely. You have to. You have to lead on both issues.”

Juan Rodriguez, the campaign manager for Kamala Harris, said the California senator would call out Trump on the campaign trail for “vile and reprehensible” comments at every opportunity but would also talk about her policy solutions.

Harris will “not be distracted by a person, who, the way she’d characterize, is weak and wants to stoke fear,” Rodriguez said.

Republicans, too, are grappling with the racial debate that could have profound long-term consequences on the GOP’s ability to win elections in an increasingly diverse nation.

Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina, who called the chant “offensive,” was among about 10 House GOP leaders who had breakfast Thursday with Vice President Mike Pence in Washington. Walker said he cautioned Pence that attention to the chant could distract voters next year from the economy and other themes Republicans want to emphasize.

Pence concurred and said he would discuss it with Trump, said another participant in the meeting who described the conversation on condition of anonymity.

Publicly, however, the overwhelming majority of Republican elected officials stood behind the president or offered tepid criticism.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested Trump’s critics were going too far by accusing him of racism.

“We ought to tone the rhetoric down across the country using – throwing around words like racism, you know, kind of routinely applying it to almost everything,” he told Fox Business Network.

___

Whack reported from Philadelphia and Peoples reported from New York. Associated Press writers Alan Fram, Zeke Miller and Elana Schor in Washington contributed.


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Mississippi State House Candidate Shot Himself And Wife In Brutal Murder-Suicide

Carl Robinson, 43, was seeking election to the Mississippi House of Representatives. However, shortly after being served divorce papers, he reportedly shot his wife, 34-year-old Latoya Thompson, and then himself.

According to The Daily Journal, on Tuesday, Robinson went Williams Medical Clinic in Potts Camp, Mississippi where Thompson worked as a receptionist. He reportedly shot her with .38-caliber hammerless Smith & Wesson pistol.

Marshall County Sheriff Kenny Dickerson said, “We found the shooter dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. He and his wife were in the process of a divorce. His wife was lying on the floor near his body.”

According to Fox 13, nurse Tammy Wiseman was in the clinic when the shooting occurred and she tried to help Latoya Thompson,  “When we got to her she never did respond to us. We were doing what we could do, CPR, and when the ambulance got here she did leave with rhythm and hope.”

Dr. Kenneth Williams, runs the clinic, explained, “We did try to resuscitate her, and she was gone, but she did get her rhythm back. We got her rhythm back and got her loaded up and taken to the field for the helicopter. While she was over there, her rhythm went out twice and she didn’t make it.”

He added, “I tell people this is the closest thing to Mayberry that I have ever seen. I never expected anything like it, and we have a lot of hurt people. We have lost someone who is part of our family, and we will take it day to day.”

A neighbor of Thompson said, “She was a real nice girl, friendly and would help you do anything.”

Robinson, who was seeking the District 5 seat in the Mississippi House of Representatives, was preparing for the Democratic primary on Aug. 6.

 

 



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Beyonce Drops A Visual Masterpiece For ‘Spirit’

"The Lion King" character poster

Source: Disney / Disney

No one does visuals like Beyonce. Then again, no one is Beyonce. The Lion King star who lends her voice to Nala in Disney’s live-action remake, released the music video for her single Spirit and in case you haven’t guessed it by the headline, it’s a stunning display of African culture. Bey shut down the breath-taking section of Grand Canyon, Havasu Falls, to film Spirit.

Spirit is the lead single off The Lion King: The Gift. “I wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa and not just use some of the sound or my own interpretation of it,” she said in a rare interview with Good Morning America.

Styled by Zerina Akers, Beyonce donned several designers in the color rich optics including a blue fringe jumpsuit by Laurel Dewitt, a yellow look from Nora Kamali, a coral gown by Shahar Avnet, an olive Mark Fast dress, a red Deviant Lavie, custom Tongoro Studio, a beaded number by Alex Navarro Designs x Laurel DeWitt and Maison Alexandrine and Valentino gown straight off the runway. Blue Ivy snatched all our edges in a sheer ruffle lilac Alejandro Collection dress.

Watch Spirit, below:

 



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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens Dead At 99

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Paul Stevens, the bow-tied, independent-thinking, Republican-nominated justice who unexpectedly emerged as the Supreme Court’s leading liberal, died Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after suffering a stroke Monday. He was 99.

During nearly 35 years on the court, Stevens stood for the freedom and dignity of individuals, be they students or immigrants or prisoners. He acted to limit the death penalty, squelch official prayer in schools, establish gay rights, promote racial equality and preserve legal abortion. He protected the rights of crime suspects and illegal immigrants facing deportation.

He influenced fellow justices to give foreign terrorism suspects held for years at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval base the right to plead for their release in U.S. courts.

Stevens served more than twice the average tenure for a justice, and was only the second to mark his 90th birthday on the high court. From his appointment by President Gerald Ford in 1975 through his retirement in June 2010, he shaped decisions that touched countless aspects of American life.

“He brought to our bench an inimitable blend of kindness, humility, wisdom and independence. His unrelenting commitment to justice has left us a better nation,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement.

He remained an active writer and speaker into his late 90s, surprising some when he came out against Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation following Kavanaugh’s angry denial of sexual assault allegations. Stevens wrote an autobiography, “The Making of a Justice: My First 94 Years,” that was released just after his 99th birthday in April 2019.

At first considered a centrist, Stevens came to be seen as a lion of liberalism. But he rejected that characterization.

“I don’t think of myself as a liberal at all,” Stevens told The New York Times in 2007. “I think as part of my general politics, I’m pretty darn conservative.”

The way Stevens saw it, he held to the same ground, but the court had shifted steadily to the right over the decades, creating the illusion that he was moving leftward.

He did change his views on some issues, however. He morphed from a critic of affirmative action to a supporter, and came to believe the death penalty was wrong.

His legal reasoning was often described as unpredictable or idiosyncratic, especially in his early years on the court. He was a prolific writer of separate opinions laying out his own thinking, whether he agreed or disagreed with the majority’s ruling. Yet Stevens didn’t consider his methods novel. He tended toward a case-by-case approach, avoided sweeping judicial philosophies, and stayed mindful of precedent.

The white-haired Stevens, eyes often twinkling behind owlish glasses, was the picture of old-fashioned geniality on the court and off. He took an unusually courteous tone with lawyers arguing their cases, but he was no pushover. After his fellow justices fired off questions, Stevens would politely weigh in. “May I ask a question?” he’d ask gently, then quickly slice to the weakest point of a lawyer’s argument.

Stevens was especially concerned with the plight of ordinary citizens up against the government or other powerful interests — a type of struggle he witnessed as a boy.

When he was 14, his father, owner of a grand but failing Chicago hotel, was wrongly convicted of embezzlement. Ernest Stevens was vindicated on appeal, but decades later his son would say the family’s ordeal taught him that justice can misfire.

More often, however, Stevens credited his sensitivity to abuses of power by police and prosecutors to what he learned while representing criminal defendants in pro bono cases as a young Chicago lawyer.

He voiced only one regret about his Supreme Court career: that he had supported reinstating the death penalty in 1976. More than three decades later, Stevens publicly declared his opposition to capital punishment, saying that years of bad court decisions had overlooked racial bias, favored prosecutors and otherwise undermined his expectation that death sentences could be handed down fairly.

One of his harshest dissents came when the court lifted restrictions on spending by corporations and unions to sway elections. He called the 2010 ruling “a rejection of the common sense of the American people” and a threat to democracy.

As he read parts of that opinion aloud, Stevens’ voice wavered uncharacteristically and he repeatedly stumbled over words. For the 90-year-old who’d worried he wouldn’t know when to bow out, it was a signal. “That was the day I decided to resign,” Stevens said later. He also disclosed in his autobiography that he had suffered a mini-stroke. Justice Elena Kagan took Stevens’ seat on the court.

The retirement of Stevens, known as a defender of strict separation of church and state, notably left the high court without a single Protestant member for the first time.

“I guess I’m the last WASP,” he joked, saying the issue was irrelevant to the justices’ work. Justice Neil Gorsuch, who joined the court in 2017, was raised Catholic, but attends a Protestant church.

A great-grandfather, Stevens eased into an active retirement of writing and speaking, still fit for swimming and tennis in Fort Lauderdale, where he and his second wife, Maryan, kept a home away from Washington.

He is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth and Susan, who were with him when he died. Other survivors include nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Stevens’ first wife, Elizabeth, second wife, Maryan, and two children died before him. Funeral arrangements are pending, the Supreme Court said in a statement announcing his death. But he is expected to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, next to Maryan.

Born in 1920, Stevens was a privileged child of a bygone era: He met Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh at the family hotel and was at the ballpark when Babe Ruth hit his famous “called-shot” home run in the 1932 World Series.

He joined the Navy the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service with a Japanese code-breaking team. The code breakers’ work enabled the U.S. to shoot down a plane carrying the commander of the Japanese Navy, and that targeted wartime killing later contributed to his misgivings about the death penalty.

After World War II, Stevens graduated first in his class at Northwestern University’s law school and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Wiley Rutledge. As a lawyer he became an antitrust expert, experience he brought to Supreme Court rulings such as one ending the NCAA’s control over televised college football games.

President Richard Nixon appointed Stevens, a lifelong Republican, to the federal appeals court in Chicago. Judge Stevens was considered a moderate conservative when Ford — whose nominee would need the approval of a Democratic-controlled Senate — chose him for the Supreme Court.

Stevens won unanimous confirmation after uneventful hearings nothing like today’s partisan shows. Stevens’ liberal bent once on the high court was “different than I envisioned,” Ford acknowledged decades later, but he still supported and praised him as “a very good legal scholar.”

Stevens’ influence reached its height after other liberals retired in the early 1990s, leaving him the senior associate justice and the court’s leader on the left. For a dozen years after, he proved adept at drawing swing votes from Republican appointees Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy, often frustrating conservative Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

Stevens’ clout diminished after Roberts arrived in 2005 and O’Connor was replaced by the more conservative Samuel Alito. But he didn’t lose spirit. Throughout his career, Stevens unleashed some of his most memorable language in defeat.

He wrote a scathing dissent in Bush v. Gore, the 2000 case that ended Florida’s presidential recount and anointed George W. Bush: “Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.”

PHOTO: AP


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Monday, July 15, 2019

Little Known Black History Fact: Rep. Barbara Lee

Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California is one of the best-known members of the U.S. House of Representatives, earning notoriety as the first woman to represent the state’s 9th district. Rep. Lee was born on July 16, 1946 in El Paso, Texas.

Lee moved with her military family to California where she became a cheerleader at San Fernando High School, racially integrating the squad. As a single mother with two sons, while also living on public assistance, Lee attended Mills College in Oakland. During her time there as the school’s Black Student Union president, she invited Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm to speak. Rep. Chisholm’s words inspired Lee to get involved with politics, and she worked on Chisolm’s 1972 presidential campaign.

Before entering the U.S. Congress, Lee worked for late Congressman Ron Dellums, becoming his chief of staff in the ‘70s. She then became a member of the California State Assembly and the State Senate prior to winning the house seat she currently occupies in 1998. Today, Lee presides over the 13th District, which covers Oakland, Berkeley, and much of Northern Alameda County.

In 2001, Lee made headlines as the only member of Congress to oppose the use of military force after the September 11 attacks, which began her reputation as a strong anti-war advocate.

Today, Lee presides over the 13th District, which covers Oakland, Berkeley, and much of Northern Alameda County.

PHOTO: Public Domain


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Ohio Security Guard Pulls Gun On Sheriff’s Deputy In Full Uniform [WATCH]

Annnnd the Barney Fife award goes to … the idiot white security guard in Ohio who was caught on surveillance video pulling a gun on a Black sheriff’s deputy in full uniform because he (deputy) was armed.

Yes, you read that right.  Alan Gaston, a Lucas County Sheriff’s deputy, was on duty when he stopped by an IRS office in Toledo on May 31 to ask about a letter he had received.

As you can see in photos and video in this post, the deputy was dressed in his full sheriff’s office uniform with his badge and gun clearly visible when he entered the office.

Seth Eklund, the security guard, told Lucas he could only enter the office if he put his gun in his car. Gaston’s response was that he couldn’t do that because he was still on duty so he decided to leave the office.

But that wasn’t the right answer as far as the Barney Fife wannabe is concerned. Check out the surveillance video obtained by 13ABC. It clearly shows Gaston walking out of the office before Eklund follows him with his gun pointed at the officer’s back.

With his gun drawn the whole time, the guard followed Gaston to the elevator.

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In any event, Gaston, who works as a defensive tactics instructor, said he thought the best way to defuse the situation was to try and walk away.  Wrong. Not with this nitwit.

“(I was) basically preparing myself to be shot at that moment. Bracing for a shot in my back,” Gaston said.

“There’s really no way to know how you’re going to act when there’s a gun pointed at you and when you think you’re going to lose your life.”

The bottom line is that fortunately, Gaston is still with us, but Eklund is now facing an aggravated menacing charge. Look for him in court this week to have to answer for his stupidity.

Gaston has also filed a lawsuit against Eklund and the security guard for compensation, saying he has suffered emotional and psychological distress from the incident.

The deputy has been on medical leave from the sheriff’s office since the ordeal.

 PHOTO: Getty

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Indiana Police Officer Who Fatally Shot Black Man Resigns

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A white Indiana police officer who fatally shot a black man, sparking protests and roiling the presidential campaign of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, has resigned, the local police union announced Monday.

The Fraternal Order of Police said Sgt. Ryan O’Neill’s resignation from the South Bend Police Department was due to stress and media attention given to last month’s shooting of Eric Logan. The union also pointed to “hateful things said on social media.”

“Sgt. O’Neill did his job and was forced to defend his own life from a convicted felon who was armed with an eight-inch hunting knife,” FOP president Harvey Mills said in a release. “We’re confident that the investigation into the shooting will determine that the action he took was justified based on the law and his training.”

Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski confirmed he received O’Neill’s resignation letter and that his departure was effective immediately.

Authorities have said O’Neill was responding to a report of a person breaking into cars on June 16 and confronted the 54-year-old Logan, and that the officer said he shot Logan after he refused orders to drop a knife.

A judge has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the shooting, which authorities said was not recorded by O’Neill’s body camera. Protesters, in the wake of the shooting, have called for police reforms and questioned South Bend’s body camera and use of force policies.

The shooting prompted Buttigieg, who’s seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, to leave the campaign trail for several days to answer questions about public safety and race.

In a statement Monday, Buttigieg said efforts to strengthen trust between law enforcement and community members continue.

“We will await results of the independent criminal investigation, and apply any lessons learned to our work on the future of the Police Department and the community,” he said in the statement.

Logan’s brother, Tyree Bonds, said the family still will pursue a federal lawsuit that alleges O’Neill used excessive deadly force. The city of South Bend is also named in the lawsuit.


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Photos Of Teen’s Corpse Posted Online By Her Alleged Killer

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A 17-year-old girl with a small social media following in upstate New York was killed by a man she’d met recently on Instagram, who then posted photos of her corpse online, police said Monday.

The gory pictures were redistributed widely, including by online posters who made light of or celebrated the teen’s death.

Others urged people to stop circulating the images, which had appeared in online chat sites including 4chan and Discord.

On Monday, police identified the slain girl as Bianca Devins, of Utica, New York, and said that her alleged assailant, Brandon Clark, was being held on a second-degree murder charge. It was unclear whether Clark, who lived in Bridgewater, New York, had a lawyer who could comment on his behalf.

Discord users who saw the photos Sunday morning alerted police. Officers were trying to find the teen when the 21-year-old Clark called 9-1-1 himself to report what he’d done, Utica’s public safety department said in a statement.

Officers who tracked the call found Clark stabbing himself in the neck, causing injuries that required hospital treatment. Devins’ body was beneath a tarp nearby, police said.

 

Devins and Clark met on Instagram about two months ago, police said.

Initially, they were online acquaintances only, but the “relationship progressed into a personally intimate one,” police said. “They had spent time together, and were acquainted with each other’s families.”

The two attended a concert together Saturday night in New York City, where they got into an argument. They arrived back in Utica early Sunday and went to a spot on a dead-end street, according to the police statement.

There, they argued until Clark used a large knife to kill the teenager, police said. Authorities began receiving calls around 7:20 a.m. Sunday, reporting that a man posted on a social media site that he had killed a person.

After police encountered Clark stabbing himself, he laid down on a green tarp and took selfies lying across the dead teenager before officers took him into custody, police said. The case is being investigated as a murder and attempted suicide, Utica police Lt. Bryan Coromato said.

Devins’ family said in a written statement that the teen was “a talented artist” and “a wonderful young girl, taken from us all too soon.”

“Bianca’s smile brightened our lives,” the family wrote. “She will always be remembered as our Princess.”

The family statement said Devins graduated from high school last month and looked forward to attending a community college in the fall.

Utica police said they are working to address the sharing of the images with various social media platforms.

The Utica City School District issued a statement saying they “share our deepest heartfelt condolences with her family and loved ones.”

___

Ryan Tarinelli is a corps member for Report for America , a nonprofit organization that supports local news coverage in a partnership with The Associated Press for New York. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

PHOTO: Getty


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Lawyer Avenatti Says R. Kelly Paid $2M To Silence Alleged Victim

CHICAGO (AP) — Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti said Monday that R&B singer R. Kelly paid $2 million to keep the alleged victim in a child pornography case off the witness stand during a 2008 trial that ended with his acquittal on all charges.

“R. Kelly bought his acquittal,” Avenatti said at a news conference in which he provided details of what he said has been a years long effort by Kelly to prevent his sexual abuse of several girls from becoming public. He said Kelly paid at least one associate $100,000 to hunt down videos of him having sex with a minor that had gone missing.

Avenatti said he represents three alleged victims, three parents of victims and three associates of Kelly that he called “whistleblowers.”

Avenatti faces his own mounting legal problems. The one-time lawyer for Stormy Daniels — who says President Donald Trump tried to pay her off after she had a sexual encounter with him before he became president — has been charged both in California and New York with stealing money from clients and attempting to extort money from sportswear maker Nike.

Avenatti’s comments come just days after federal prosecutors announced they’d indicted Kelly in New York and Chicago on charges that he and his entourage recruited girls and young women to engage in illegal sexual activity and covered it up by paying and threatening witnesses and victims. The 52-year-old Kelly was arrested and remains in federal custody. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday for a bond hearing, during which prosecutors are expected to argue that he should remain locked up because he is both dangerous and a flight risk. His attorney has denied the allegations.

Much of what Avenatti said Monday had already been outlined in the indictments in more general terms.

Avenatti said two associates of Kelly turned tapes of the singer having sex with minors over to him, and that he turned them over to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office earlier this year. He said Foxx’s office turned those tapes over to federal prosecutors. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago declined comment.

Avenatti’s own legal problems raised questions about whether he is trying to help himself by aiding prosecutors in the Kelly case.

“He has a potential conflict of interest and the issue is not whether or not he gets a better deal (for himself) but whether he could get a better deal,” said David Erickson, a former state appellate judge who teaches at Chicago Kent College of Law. “If I’m the judge I would explain to his clients the ramifications of how he might benefit at their expense and if they say ‘I don’t care,’ then OK. And If I’m the prosecutor I would want to make sure the judge did that because I don’t want the case to come back because he’s got a conflict.”

At the same time, Peter Henning, a former federal prosecutor who teaches law at Wayne State University, said there’s nothing wrong with prosecutors in the Kelly case using whatever information Avenatti can provide them. “As long as you can verify the information provided, as a prosecutor I will take it from whoever it comes from.”

Henning also said people who come forward with information do so for a reason. “It is designed to give them leverage in their case,” he said. “Just coming forward out of the goodness of their heart, that doesn’t happen.”

But Avenatti said there’s no connection between the two cases.

“There is no conflict. This is my job, I’m doing my job,” he said, adding that he has daughters. “Whatever happens to me in connection with my own legal issues, so be it.”


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Pastor Held Armed Robber At Gunpoint Inside Church

Columbus Police Car

Source: Nia Noelle / Nia Noelle

A pastor in Florida is thanking God that a robbery didn’t turn deadly inside his church. According to the NY Post, Pastor Brant Adams of Seminole Heights Baptist Church in Florida held a burglary suspect at gunpoint inside a church until police got there.

Adams said, “I said, ‘Dude, what are you doing? He wasn’t looking for a fight, which I thank the Lord for.”

When Adams demanded the robber to get on the floor and stay away, he listened. Reports state that 49-year-old Miguel Otero-Rivera smashed a window of the church and tried to steal a laptop.

The pastor saw the robber as he walked out the food pantry.

Adams said, “The simple message is: If you need help, ask for it. You don’t need to steal. If he would’ve just come to the back door and knocked … We would’ve given him some food.”

On a Facebook page, some church officials call Adam the “pistol-packing pastor.” Otero-Rivera was jailed and faces several charges.

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Huggy Lowdown “Breaks Down” Over Tom Joyner’s Retirement [WATCH]

Longtime TJMS contributor Huggy Lowdown can’t handle that Tom Joyner is retiring after all of these years.

What’s Huggy going to do now? Who else can he ask, “what’s the deal pickles?” Is there anyone else who can add the perfect inflection, when yelling “Huggy” over the airwaves? Will he ever visit Greece again?

Huggy is going through it! After 10 long years as the resident “Celebrity Snitch” on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, the D.C. native can’t hold back his emotions thinking about the end of the show.

Watch the video above to see Mr. Lowdown barely keep it together 👀.

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

BET Founder Bob Johnson Praises Trump (Again), Says Dems Are ‘Too Left’

"Blackbird" New York Premiere

Source: Ron Adar / Getty

BET Founder Bob Johnson has praised y’all President again, saying his economic policies are “doing great.”

In a recent interview with CNBC, Johnson said, “I give the president a lot of credit for moving the economy in a positive direction that’s benefiting a large amount of Americans.”

“I think the tax cuts clearly helped stimulate the economy. I think business people have more confidence in the way the economy is going.”


The self-identified “long-time centrist and Democrat” also said that he believes his party has shifted too much to the left for his liking.

“The party in my opinion, for me personally, has moved too far to the left,” the once-Hillary Clinton supporter said an interview on the network.

“And for that reason, I don’t have a particular candidate (I’m supporting) in the party at this time. I think at the end of the day, if a Democrat is going to beat Trump, then that person, he or she, will have to move to the center and you can’t wait too long to do that.”

Take a look:


This isn’t the first time that Johnson has had nice things to say about Trump.

As we previously reported, last year, he falsely told CNBC that Trump played a major role in the low Black unemployment rates.

“When you look at African American unemployment, in over 50 years since the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been keeping the numbers, you’ve never had two things: African American unemployment this low and the spread between unemployment among whites and African Americans narrowing,” Johnson said on CNBC’s Squawk Box.

The BET founder, however, failed to note that the Black unemployment rate had declined steadily during President Barack Obama’s presidency. Indeed, economists have credited Obama’s financial recovery initiative from the historic recession for the declining unemployment.

 

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Man Charged In Shooting Of Giants Draft Pick And Teammate

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An 18-year-old Kansas man has been charged in the April attack that wounded New York Giants draft pick Corey Ballentine and killed one of his Washburn University teammates, Dwane Simmons.

Francisco Alejandro Mendez was charged Friday with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and five counts of aggravated battery in the April 28 attack, the Shawnee County district attorney’s office said in a news release.

Mendez is being held on a $1 million bond. His case doesn’t appear yet in online court records, and his attorney, Victoria Chundak-Gallaway, in an unrelated criminal case didn’t immediately reply to a phone message left Saturday at her office.

The two Washburn defensive backs were outside of an off-campus house party hours after the Giants selected Ballentine in the sixth round of the draft when someone opened fire from a vehicle, killing Simmons and wounding Ballentine, who has since recovered.

Washburn football coach Craig Schurig told the Topeka Capital-Journal that he called Ballentine on Friday to inform him that Mendez had been charged.

“You could tell there was a relief in his voice,” Schurig said. “It just helps — it helps to know that the people responsible are starting to get caught. And this is a big step. It was nice to be able to communicate with him some really good news.”

Schurig said he exchanged texts with Dwane Simmons’ father, Navarro Simmons, earlier Friday.

“You can’t imagine what the Simmons family is going through, but today is a very good day,” the coach said.

Ballentine, who was shot in the rear end, missed the Giants’ rookie minicamp in early May while he recovered. He played in 46 games as a cornerback for Washburn, finishing with 186 tackles, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and five interceptions. In his final season, he won the Cliff Harris Award, which goes to the small college defensive player of the year.


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Doctor Told To Cover Up During Flight Isn’t Satisfied With American Airlines’ Apology [VIDEO]

Another day, another example of Black women’s bodies being policed.

Case in point: A Black doctor claims an American Airlines flight attendant told her to cover up on a flight from Jamaica to Houston because her outfit was ‘too revealing.”

After the news of the incident went viral, officials from the airline apologized on Tuesday, telling Dr. Latisha “Tisha” Rowe that were “concerned about [her] comments.”

“We…reached out to her and our team at the Kingston airport to gather more information about what occurred,” American Airlines spokeswoman Shannon Gilson, adding, “We apologize to Dr. Rowe and her son for their experience, and have fully refunded their travel.”

“We are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds and are committed to providing a positive, safe travel experience for everyone who flies with us.”

But Dr. Rowe is not having it, stressing that she was “humiliated” and targeted” on her flight, because of her race and her curvy figure.

“To me, that felt like a slap in the face, because I felt appropriately dressed,” Rowe told CNN.

“But I’m being told indirectly, in front of my son that — you know, it felt like ‘you look like a slut, so let’s fix this.’ ”

That, and other passengers were wearing similar outfits, yet none of them were pulled to the side by staff.

“There were definitely other passengers wearing tropical attire, short-shorts. One was also a mother, traveling with a child and she said, ‘Your shorts are longer than mine and no one said anything to me,” Rowe recalled for Good Morning America.

While American Airlines also promised to refund Rowe for her tickets, she isn’t trying to hear that noise either.

Rowe is clear: She wants an explanation and a dress code policy that is clear and applies to everyone involved.

“I will be empowered to dress the way that I feel comfortable, dress the way I feel appropriate. If you are going to have a dress code, it should be applied equally to every person, to every shape, to every race,” the family physician stressed.

Now this story became public earlier this week when Rowe wrote on social media that while on her way to Jamaica from Florida last month, she was asked to deplane and wear a blanket over her romper.

“Here is what i was wearing when @AmericanAir asked me to deplane for a talk. At which point I was asked to “cover up”. When defending my outfit I was threatened with not getting back on the flight unless I walked down the aisle wrapped in a blanket.

As GMA pointed out, AA’s dress code policy is pretty “vague” stating dress appropriately; bare feet or offensive clothing aren’t allowed.”


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Nas And Kelis Come To Terms In Custody Battle

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