A white Cobb County police lieutenant has been moved to administrative duty for telling a white woman during a traffic stop, “Remember, we only shoot black people.”
The Cobb branch of the NAACP said Thursday the officer’s statements, captured on police video footage, were disturbing, but the branch president said she wanted to know more about the incident.
Channel 2 Action News reported that its request for body camera footage of the traffic stop prompted an internal investigation of Lt. Greg Abbott, who has been on the Cobb force for 28 years.
The footage shows the officer speaking through the car window to a female passenger in a vehicle who had been stopped for suspected DUI.
The woman tells Abbott that she is afraid to reach for her cellphone because “I’ve just seen way too many videos of cops ... ”
At that point, Abbott cuts her off.
“But you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people,” the police veteran of nearly three decades can be heard saying. “Yeah. We only kill black people, right? All the videos you’ve seen, have you seen the black people get killed?”
The footage is from July 2016, before Mike Register took over as chief of Cobb police.
He said that Abbott will remain on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation, for which he didn’t give a timeline.
On Thursday, attorney Suri Chadha Jimenez, who represented the driver in the DUI case that resulted from the traffic stop, offered clarification of the incident.
Chadha Jimenez said the woman was not the driver of the car but a passenger. He represented the male driver of the car, not the woman, but said he was familiar with the facts of the case.
The driver was arrested for DUI and placed in the officer’s squad car. The woman was waiting for someone to pick her up from the scene. While she waited, the exchange with the officer occurred.
“She does have a legitimate concern,” Chadha Jimenez said. “I think it was an honestly felt response but the officer’s response mocked her, which wasn’t professional. What bothers me is that he didn’t take her concern seriously.”
The woman was arrested on charges related to the traffic stop, Chadha Jimenez said. Both her case and the driver’s DUI case were resolved months ago, the attorney said. He would not say if the driver and the woman are related.
Neither his client nor the woman wants the media attention that has come with the revelations, Chadha Jimenez said.
“She’s not trying to get paid,” he said. “She wants it to go away.”
Also on Thursday, the president of the Cobb branch of the NAACP said she was reserving judgment on the matter until the officer’s case has been thoroughly investigated.
“We know police officers get up every day and protect and serve, but this was so cavalier,” said Deane Bonner, the branch president. “(The) young lady . . . never mentioned ‘black.’ So, for him to take it to that level, it’s just very sad.”
She continued, “I want to be fair to him and we believe in due process, but as the leader of an organization that deals with people who go through this every day, this strikes a real chord with us,” Bonner said. “Why bring up ‘black’ and not just say ‘people?’ ‘We don’t shoot people.’
Bonner also said the organization wanted to know what the officer’s professional record has been and whether he has had any other complaints brought against him.
A statement Wednesday from the department said Chief Register found out about the recording Friday.
“No matter what context it was said, it shouldn’t have been said,” Register told Channel 2.
This was also before a study by the International Association of Chiefs of Police ordered the department to address public perceptions of racism and discriminatory policing.
Chadha Jimenez, the attorney, said he thinks the officer was being sarcastic after the woman “gave him some lip.”
“It makes you cringe when you hear it. It’s unacceptable,” Jimenez said.
Lance LoRusso, Abbott’s attorney, gave the station this statement:
“Lt. Greg Abbott is a highly respected 28-year veteran of the Cobb County Police Department. He is cooperating with the department's internal investigation and will continue to do so. His comments must be observed in their totality to understand their context. He was attempting to de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger. In context, his comments were clearly aimed at attempting to gain compliance by using the passenger’s own statements and reasoning to avoid making an arrest.”
In the police statement, Cobb County Commission Chairman Mike Boyce is quoted as saying: “I have seen the video and obviously have great concerns. I find the comments on the video repugnant and offensive beyond measure.”
This comes a day after the department released information about an officer-involved shooting that injured a 16-year-old’s upper thigh. The shooting was deemed justifiable by a grand jury.
“We are going to keep going forward to make sure we, as a police department, service the community in a most professional way. All segments of the community,” Register said. -ajc
A statue of Martin Luther King Jr. will be placed on the same property in Atlanta where two statues of Confederate officials stand, according to NPR.
The new statue of the civil rights leader was unveiled on the 53rd anniversary of his famous “I have a dream” speech.
In the state capitol, it will stand on the opposite of a statue of John Brown Gordon, who was a Confederate general and reportedly a leader of the Klu Klux Klan, NPR reported. It will also be near a statue of former Sen. Richard Russell, who was a strong opponent of civil rights legislation.
“The King statue will inspire and give hope to generations to come,” Georgia state Rep. Calvin Smyre (D), who is also a member of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, told the radio network.
“The day the statue memorializing [King] is unveiled will be a great day in the history of our state and nation,” Smyre said.
Although the decision to add the statue was made “well before” deadly violence at the white supremacist rally earlier this month in Charlottesville, Va. according to NPR, the unveiling comes after heightened scrutiny of Confederate statues nationwide.
“I think that this will be a symbol that the state of Georgia is in the business of erecting monuments to deserving individuals rather than focusing its attention on taking down monuments of the past,” Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) told NPR. -blackamericaweb
The devastation from Hurricane Harvey continues to be felt throughout Texas, as heavy rains and catastrophic flooding are expecting to continue for days.
Although the extent of the damage and death toll is not yet clear, the National Weather Service is already calling the storm “unprecedented.” Major highways are submerged in floodwaters, emergency services have received thousands of calls and authorities are urging residents to stay in place.
Recovering from the disaster could take years, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There are an untold number of homes and people affected, and the additional flooding and rainfall is set to make the situation even worse.
As emergency services, charities and aid groups gear up to address the massive need from Harvey, here are some ways that you can help.
1. Donate Or Volunteer
A plethora of organizations are appealing for donations to help them as they send volunteers and supplies to the hardest-hit areas.
These include the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, Save The Children, the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and Heart to Heart International.
Food banks throughout Texas are also accepting donations for people affected by the storm. You can donate money to Feeding Texas, a network of the state’s food banks, here. Additionally, the Elgin Courier has compiled a list of food bank locations throughout the region that may need donations of food or supplies.
The local Texas Diaper Bank is putting together disaster relief kits for families with young children. You can donate here.
There is also the Coalition For The Homeless, which helps coordinate shelters and outreach for the city’s vulnerable homeless population.
Portlight is a local organization that offers relief to the disabled and older adults.
The Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce is raising funds to assist in recovery efforts in those two communities, which were especially hard hit when the hurricane first made landfall. You can donate here.
Crowdfunding site GlobalGiving has launched a hurricane relief fund aimed at gathering funds for local nonprofits in the storm-stricken region.
Animal shelters and rescue groups are taking in numerous pets displaced by the storm ― ones that got lost in the chaos, were left behind, or simply need temporary housing while their owners stay in evacuation shelters. Those groups include the SPCA of Texas, Austin Pets Alive!, Dallas Animal Services and the San Antonio Humane Society.
A number of online fundraising sites have also been set up through GoFundMe, with donations benefiting everything from hurricane and disaster relief groups to animals and families in need. The full list of fundraisers can be viewed on GoFundMe’s Hurricane Harvey Relief page.
A number of corporations have launched fundraising drives to aid relief efforts. United Airlines has set up a Crowdrise page where people can donate to a variety of organizations, including the American Red Cross and Operation USA. Apple is allowing customers to donate to the Red Cross via iTunes, and Starbucks patrons can donate to the organization at any U.S. store.
United Way of Houston also has a relief fund. Donors can select an affected county to aid or choose to send their donation to wherever it will do the most good.
Convoy of Hope, a nonprofit that delivers supplies and dispatches volunteers to communities hit by disasters, is collecting donations to help people impacted by Harvey.
2. Donate Blood
Blood centers expect a supply shortage because of the closure of some blood banks along the Texas coast and the likely demand stemming from injuries sustained in the storm. Centers have put out calls for extra donors to help deal with the aftermath.
You can find donation centers or blood drives for the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center here, or for Texas organization Carter BloodCare here.
And even if you’re not in Texas, you can search online for blood drives local to you or book an appointment via the Red Cross website.
3. Provide Accommodation For Evacuees
Airbnb has launched a portal so that the people who have been displaced by the hurricane can find a place to stay. It’s also waiving fees for people affected by the disaster. More details are available on the Airbnb website here. -huffpost
August 28 holds special significance in black history for several reasons.
The importance of this day is highlighted in a short video produced by award-winning director Ava DuVernay, who was commissioned by the museum to create an exclusive orientation film. DuVernay, who studied African American history at UCLA and is a self-described “history buff”, spoke with CBS News’ Gayle King prior to the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. last year to explain some of the historic black moments that took place on August 28 across the years and why she decided to make these events the focus of her film.
“On August 28, a lot of really, truly amazing things happened in African-American history,” DuVernay told King. “They all fell on this date in different years.”
The 22-minute film, which is titled “August 28th,” debuted at the museum on Saturday and chronicles some of the key events that happened on that date. Here’s a quick recap, as explained by DuVernay in the video above:
August 28, 1833: Slavery was abolished in the United Kingdom, which had a “trickle down effect and led to American abolition of slavery,” DuVernay said.
August 28, 1955: 14-year-old Emmett Till was brutally murdered by three white men, which, DuVernay said, became a “flashpoint in the civil rights movement.”
August 28, 1963: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech in Washington, D.C.
August 28, 2005: Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana. The storm, which devastated New Orleans, inordinately impacted many of the city’s black residents.
August 28, 2008: Then-Senator Barack Obama accepted the democratic nomination for president, becoming the first black man to ever win the nomination and bid for presidency.
But, it doesn’t stop there. DuVernay, who said she always tracks the date each year because “there’s always something interesting” that takes place, noted that August 2014 was the month when protests in Ferguson first picked up. The city immediately became a focal point of racial tension in America. DuVernay also mentioned that it was around August 28th of this year when San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick delivered his first official remarks on why he decided to protest the national anthem.
The short film features a bevy of talented black stars including David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o, Don Cheadle, Angela Bassett, Michael Ealy, and others, who came together to help recreate history.
“I chose to focus on a date that has fascinated me for years,” DuVernay told Deadline earlier this month. “In my eyes, ‘August 28’ tells so much about black history through the lens of one date. The Smithsonian gave us an opportunity to tell this story and I’m honored to be part of NMAAHC’s inaugural installations.” -huffpost
A few hours ago, a coalition which started in Charlottesville announced “The March to Confront White Supremacy,” a ten-day march which starts on Monday, August 28th in Charlottesville, VA, passes by Confederate sites along the route, and culminates in an occupation in Washington, DC on Wednesday, September 6th. The march is broken up into an average of roughly 12 miles per day, but participants may choose however many days they wish. This sounds like the potential beginnings of another Occupy Movement, as the DC occupation will continue for an indeterminate amount of time:
Starting on September 6th, we’re taking over Washington DC. We will hold our ground and launch wave after wave of nonviolent civil disobedience demanding Trump be removed from office and that an agenda be advanced that heals the wounds of white supremacy. This will be a sustained civil disobedience campaign, so bring what you need to stay.
A spokesperson for the coalition tells Jezebel that the march began with students and churches in Charlottesville and quickly picked up coordinating groups including the Women’s March, Working Families, the Action Group Network, United We Dream, Color of Change, and others.
While Nelini Stamp of the Working Families Party, an endorsing organization, declined to comment on an occupation-type event, she did say that this will likely have a “very different look and feel” than the Occupy Movement did.
“One of our organizing principals is having the most impacted communities front and center, and in this case those are communities most impacted by white supremacy,” which means, for example, people of color and the Jewish community. “Especially since we have a lot of a clergy, the spirituality of different faiths will hold a different center, I think,” she added.
Here’s the timeline, from the site:
Monday, August 28th – Charlottesville to Commonwealth, 3.5 mi.
Tuesday, August 29th – Commonwealth to Ruckersville, 13.2 mi.
Wednesday, August 30th – Ruckersville to Madison, 12.0 mi.
Thursday, August 31st – Madison to Culpeper, 17.6 mi.
Friday, September 1st – Culpeper to Remington, 11.6 mi.
Saturday, September 2nd – Remington to Calverton, 11.0 mi.
Sunday, September 3rd – Calverton to Manassas, 14.6 mi.
Monday, September 4th – Manassas to Fairfax, 13.7 mi.
Tuesday, September 5th – Fairfax to Falls Church, 8.2 mi.
Wednesday, September 6th – Falls Church to D.C., 8.0 mi.
Logistics have been planned. According to the site, food, water, and snacks will be provided, as well as housing, mainly by churches along the route, which is plotted out here. They also promise to move your luggage. Bring comfy shoes. -theslot
Herman Cain is lending his support to HUD Secretary Ben Carson in a letter titled “House Negroes stand up!”
Days after his letter stating that Confederate statues shouldn’t be taken down, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate posted the message on his website Wednesday in response to a Michigan Chronicle story that referred to Carson as a “house Negro” for defending the president’s comments on the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Cain said since the historically black newspaper called Carson a “house Negro,” he must be one as well because of his accomplishments. “Because that’s one of the names you get called by other black people when you are a success at something, and you do not buy into ‘black group think,’ or act and say what they want you to say,” he wrote.
Cain said that he’s responding to the story because the former neurosurgeon, who called poverty a “state of mind” and referred to slaves as immigrants, is “too nice” to do so himself.
“Being called a ‘house Negro’ is just one of the insulting names I have been called as an ABC (American Black Conservative), simply because I do not subscribe to the black liberal backward-looking narrative of black identity politics,” he continued.
He attributed this to his “multiple successful careers” and thanked Carson for his “sacrifice.”
“If being called a ‘house Negro’ is what some of us must endure for succeeding in this nation and thinking for ourselves, then let all of the ‘house Negroes’ stand up and be counted,” he wrote. “Wow! There are too many to count, but there’s Dr. Ben Carson standing tall among millions, and doing something great again.”
Cain, like Carson, ran an unsuccessful Republican presidential campaign. During his 2012 bid, Cain faced a series of sexual assault, harassment and adultery allegations, which he denied. In December 2011, he suspended his campaign. -huffpost
If you’re in Chicago hoping to catch a few football games this season, then don’t expect these two bars to entertain you.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, The Velvet Lounge and Bureau Bar will not be playing any NFL games this season in support of Colin Kaepernick.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, both bars posted the same picture on their pages with the same caption saying they, “WILL BE SUPPORTING COLIN KAEPERNICK’S CAUSE AND WILL NOT BE SHOWING ANY NFL GAMES UNTIL SOMETHING CHANGES. WE LOOK FORWARD TO SERVING YOU.”
This is a huge show of support, especially for bars during the NFL season. Way to go Chicago! We see you! -blackamericaweb
As soon as Theo Wilson started making YouTube videos about culture and race, trolls using racial slurs started flocking to his page.
After engaging in endless sparring matches in the comments section, Wilson began to notice something curious: His trolls seemed to speak a language unto themselves, one replete with the same twisted facts and false history. It was as if they had all passed through some “dimensional doorway,” arriving from an alternative universe where history, politics and commonly accepted facts had been turned inside out.
There was the idea that slavery was a form of charity that benefited enslaved Africans; that freed blacks owned more slaves than whites before the Civil War; that people of color make up the majority of those receiving aid from America's safety-net programs; and that investor and philanthropist George Soros is funding protest movements like Black Lives Matter.
Curious about where his trolls were getting their revisionist history lessons, Wilson, 36, — an award-winning poet and actor from Denver — decided to go undercover in their world. In 2015, he started by creating a ghost profile named “Lucious25,” a digital white supremacist who appeared to be an indigenous member of the alt-right's online echo chamber, he said.
His avatar was John Carter, the Confederate hero of Edgar Rice Burroughs's science fiction series about death-defying adventures on Mars.
Within a few weeks Wilson's alternate identity was questioning President Barack Obama's birthplace, railing against Black Lives Matter and bemoaning people he called “race-baiters,” such as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. After several months, he was a disaffected fixture on alt-right websites that draw white supremacists — such as Info Wars and American Renaissance — and in the comments section of racist YouTube videos.
“To be honest, it was kind of exhilarating,” Wilson told an audience during a recent TEDx talk about his experience. “I would literally spend days clicking through my new racist profile, goofing off at work in Aryan land.”
During his eight months as a racist troll, Wilson never revealed his true identity. When it was all over, Wilson said, he came to appreciate the way in which the far-right media bubble disables its participants — offering an endless stream of scapegoats for their problems but no credible solutions.
We spoke with the poet about his experience, whether white supremacists are redeemable and why he believes liberals should listen to the far-right. The interview has been edited for length.
How did it feel to assume the identity of a person who — if real — would presumably hate you and everything you represent?
It was painful at first. I'm still me. This isn't like the blind Dave Chapelle KKK character who didn't know he was black. To get beneath the pain, I had to begin to dissociate from myself as a black person. The pin pricks didn't go away, but it began to feel like a character study. I've acted before, and the muscle I developed learning theater allowed me to do this. Acting teaches you that you can't just act, you have to be, so I would sort of tell myself I was Daniel Day Lewis or Denzel Washington becoming a role.
As you became more familiar with the alt-right online, what shocked you most about their views?
That there are still people who think black people are not fully human and that we are lagging in terms of evolution. The comments I'd read about our facial features being monkey-like and dark skin being proof of primitiveness were shocking. The fact is that there are people who believe that the difference between us is the difference between two species, not a race. I was raised with so many examples of black excellence and nothing about inferiority.
Meanwhile, the folks on these forums are still discussing phrenology. Who uses phrenology anymore? We mapped the human genome!
After spending time in the white supremacist universe, do you consider all of them “bad people”?
It's wise to avoid absolutes. “Bad” generally means “irredeemable” and “disposable.” Therefore, if I thought everyone in the alt-right were any of these, the experiment would be useless.
You mention that in their forums they're also seeking “answers” to questions. What are they trying to resolve?
In today's America, they're struggling to understand why they'll have less opportunity than their father's generation. They also want answers to basic questions about race in America, such as: What's the point of multiculturalism? Why can only black people say the “N” word? How is racism not over when LeBron James and Oprah have huge bank accounts? How is affirmative action anything other than reverse racism? Why shouldn't I be proud to be white if someone else is proud to be black?
You mention that they also have some “fair points.” What are they?
I think it’s a fair point that leftists are widely tolerant of all kinds of people, but are often quite hateful to those who honestly hold conservative values. There are people who actually believe in God with all their heart. There are people who cannot cognitively resolve a guy kissing a guy. It doesn’t mean they’re seconds away from a hate crime. There is a legitimate human need to want to hold on to tradition in any culture.
Were you struck by the reality that infiltrating this world would've been nearly impossible for you at almost any other time in American history? You would've been putting your life at risk.
This experiment was completely a product of the digital age. Even when the reverse was done in the book “Black Like Me,” there's always that chance you could be discovered, but here that's extremely unlikely unless someone is a hacker. The Internet is sort of what a car is to road rage. The glass and steel create this bubble of perceived safety, which amplifies people's rage, but keeps them from having to deal with the consequences of that rage. There is an honesty that is exposed in the process.
You talk about “breaking out of the digital divide.” Technology offers us the chance to connect with new people and ideas, but you don't believe it's a reliable tool for combating racism. Why is that?
James Baldwin accurately diagnosed the white culture’s need for shadow projection onto black bodies as being the roots of racism. A smartphone and an iPad won't address this need. All they do is reinforce our wants and desires, so if these desires are immature, we never grow. Racism is a comfy cage, and technology hasn't provided the key for getting out. We need to have courageous, face-to-face conversations with difficult people outside of the security of our laptops.
You talk about racists with something approaching compassion. Does that suggest you're hopeful about our chances of defeating racism?
Just because this experience made me more compassionate doesn't mean I'm more hopeful. My compassion comes from knowing these people are still so vulnerable to social programming.
But the social forces that make racism commonplace aren't necessarily going away. Look at what happened in Charlottesville, for example. How did a brand-new generation of white guys get that hateful? They never joined their dad in a lynch mob. They never smelled the burning flesh of a Negro in a town square or lived in Jim Crow America. And yet, they still adopted those hateful attitudes. That doesn't make me hopeful at all. -washingtonpost
In the night of 22 to 23 August 1791, men and women, torn from Africa and sold into slavery, revolted against the slave system to obtain freedom and independence for Haiti, gained in 1804. The uprising was a turning point in human history, greatly impacting the establishment of universal human rights, for which we are all indebted.
The courage of these men and women has created obligations for us. UNESCO is marking International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition to pay tribute to all those who fought for freedom, and, in their name, to continue teaching about their story and the values therein. The success of this rebellion, led by the slaves themselves, is a deep source of inspiration today for the fight against all forms of servitude, racism, prejudice, racial discrimination and social injustice that are a legacy of slavery.
The history of the slave trade and slavery created a storm of rage, cruelty and bitterness that has not yet abated. It is also a story of courage, freedom and pride in newfound freedom. All of humanity is part of this story, in its transgressions and good deeds. It would be a mistake and a crime to cover it up and forget. Through its project The Slave Route, UNESCO intends to find in this collective memory the strength to build a better world and to show the historical and moral connections that unite different peoples.
In this same frame of mind, the United Nations proclaimed the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024). UNESCO is contributing to it through its educational, cultural and scientific programmes so as to promote the contribution of people of African descent to building modern societies and ensuring dignity and equality for all human beings, without distinction. -unesco
Colin Kaepernick still is without an NFL team, but that hasn't discouraged players for following his controversial lead and opting not to stand during the national anthem.
Twelve members of the Cleveland Browns took a knee Monday night and shared a moment of prayer before their home preseason game against the New York Giants. Other teammates huddled around the group in support.
It was the largest group of NFL players not to stand during the national anthem since Kaepernick started his protest a year ago, saying he didn't want to "show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color." Kaepernick is biracial.
"There's a lot of social and racial injustices going on in the world right now," said Browns safety Jabrill Peppers, one of the players who knelt. "We were just praying for everyone. Everyone thinks that when you reach a certain level, a certain status in life, certain things you're unaffected by, but that's not the truth. We're all human at the end of the day, and we just have to come together at times like these. It was just us being together, a bunch of teammates praying for the world."
'Time for me to join my brothers'
The players who knelt were running backs Duke Johnson Jr. and Terrence Magee, safeties Peppers and Calvin Pryor, cornerback Jamar Taylor, tight end Seth DeValve, wide receivers Kenny Britt and Ricardo Louis, linebackers Christian Kirksey and Jamie Collins, and running backs Isaiah Crowell and Brandon Wilds. Crowell and Wilds were not in uniform.
Standing nearby in solidarity were punter Britton Colquitt, cornerback Jason McCourty, quarterback DeShone Kizer, defensive tackle Trevon Coley and offensive tackle Shon Coleman.
"Obviously, this is a sensitive subject in our country right now," Kizer said. "Quite frankly -- it is kind of sad on my part -- I don't really know the different teams and what they are doing, but I did see an opportunity with my guys to support them on an awesome venture out there when they decided that they are going to pray in a time where this country is kind of all over the place in a sense of human rights and the racial movements. I decided it was a time for me to join my brothers who decide to take a knee and support them while they were praying."
Kirksey, who led the prayer group, said the group felt like Monday night was the right time to do it. The game was broadcast on national television.
"With everything you do, you have to have respect," Kirksey said. "We did it in a way that resembled prayer. We were just praying over the country and praying over things going on. We did it as respectfully as possible, and we respect everything that happened with things in the military. We respect all of that. We just felt it was the right time for us to do this and say a prayer for this country."
First white NFL player to kneel
DeValve is believed to be the first white NFL player to kneel during the anthem. After the game, DeValve, whose wife is African-American, said he didn't realize he was the first white player to do so.
"I, myself, will be raising children who don't look like me," DeValve said. "I want to do my part, as well, to do everything I can to raise them in a better environment (than) we have right now. I wanted to take that opportunity with my teammates to pray for our country and also to draw attention to the fact that we have work to do. That's why I did what I did."
Last year, Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers, became a lightning rod when he refused to stand during the national anthem.
The quarterback's decision to sit -- then, later, to kneel -- drew fierce criticism but sparked a national movement. Other athletes, from elementary schools to professional leagues, followed his lead.
Kaepernick, a free agent, remains unsigned. -CNN
On Monday morning, Katrina Pierson got on Fox & Friends to defend Confederate monuments and memorials as a “good” part of American history.
The comments came after another guest, Wendy Osefo, spoke out against monuments that glorify the Confederacy, saying, “This is a symbol of hatred and division. And while it is a piece of American history, it’s not necessarily the good part of American history. It’s actually nefarious. So it doesn’t deserve a place on state grounds. It deserves a place in museums. And that’s where they need to be.”
But then Pierson argued, “It absolutely deserves a place, because bad history is still good history for this country.”
“Slavery is good history?” Osefo replied.
“Considering where we are today… absolutely,” Pierson responded, later adding, “Think about this for a second. Where would we be today if not for that Civil War?”
“Where would we be without slavery?” a disbelieving Osefo asked. “Are you serious? Do you hear what you’re saying?”
“How would our children even know how special and how wonderful this country is that we can even be having this discussion today?” Pierson insisted.
Osefo, dumbfounded, asked, “How special slavery is? You know how many people died?” -thegrio
Comedian and writer Dick Gregory, who became a leading activist during the civil rights movement, died in Washington, D.C., on Saturday evening, his son Christian Gregory announced. The elder Gregory was 84 years old.
The comedian-turned-activist was hospitalized several times after falling ill earlier this month. He was taken to the hospital again on Thursday in “a serious but stable medical condition,” Gregory’s son said on social media, adding that his father’s old age made “a simple cold or a simple infection ... catastrophic.”
Gregory’s satirical take on racial tensions and black identity was groundbreaking as he rose to fame in comedy clubs during the 1960s. In the spotlight as one of the first black comedians to appeal to a white audience, Gregory devoted himself to civil rights. He marched for black voting rights, demonstrated with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and, after 1963, he gave up doing comedy full-time for activism.
Though Gregory briefly attended Southern Illinois University on an athletic scholarship, he never received a degree. Instead, he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1953, where got his start as a comedic performer.
Gregory would perform comedy routines during military shows and go on to win several Army talent shows. He continued to pursue comedy in Chicago after ending his military service, working by day at the post office and by night as a stand-up comedian for mostly black audiences at small nightclubs.
In 1960, Hugh Hefner invited Gregory to perform for a white audience at his Playboy Lounge in Chicago. Gregory’s performance that night earned him a six-week gig at the club, which was reviewed by national media, including Time magazine, and solidified his career as one of the most popular comedians of the time.
As if numerous speeches at civil rights rallies, fundraiser performances and marches across the country weren’t enough, Gregory entered politics, running for the mayor of Chicago in 1966 and the president of the United States in 1968. Both campaigns, which had close ties to the Black Power movement, failed, but it brought more attention to the comedian’s activism.
Later in his career, Gregory became a vegetarian and shifted his work to focus on health care and fitness, embarking on several fasts to bring attention to world hunger, the drug abuse epidemic and issues involving Native Americans.
Cornell William Brooks, former president of the NAACP, described Gregory as “a civil rights icon, comedic genius and provocateur [who] challenged not only what we thought was funny but how we thought.”
Gregory’s son thanked his father’s fans for the outpouring of love and support, but asked for privacy as the family grieves.
“A life well-lived but heavily sacrificed, has definitively taken its toll,” Christian Gregory wrote after his father was hospitalized Thursday.
“Laughter is truly good medicine,” he added. “I’ve watched my father for a lifetime heal the world.” -huffpost
Basketball superstar Charles Barkley called pushing for the removal of Confederate statues "wasted energy."
"I'm not going to waste my time screaming at a neo-Nazi who's gonna hate me no matter what," the NBA Hall of Famer told WRBC-TV in Birmingham, Alabama.
“I’m 54 years old,” Barkley said. “I’ve never thought about those statues a day in my life. I think if you ask most black people, to be honest, they ain’t thought a day in their life about those stupid statues.”
Barkley has not minced words when pointing out what he sees as his black community's problems, such as last year when he spoke about violence against cops.
“The cops have made some mistakes. Black people have made some mistakes,” Barkley said. “That don’t give us the right to riot and shoot cops. We need the cops, especially in the black community. We as black people, we’ve got to do better.”The sports legend said the black community must worry about education, economic opportunity, and "stop killing each other."
“You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna keep doing great things,” Barkley concluded. “I’m gonna keep trying to make a difference — No. 1, in the black community, ’cause I’m black — but I’m also gonna try to do good things in the world.” -foxnews
An Afro-Latina journalist conducting an interview with a member of the Ku Klux Klan has said he threatened her so violently that she was concerned for her safety.
Ilia Calderón, a Univision journalist with both African and Colombian heritage, agreed to visit KKK leader Chris Barker on his wooded North Carolina property. She watched Mr Barker lead a KKK meeting - in which participants dressed up in hooded robes and danced around with torches - and then sat down for an interview.
Almost immediately, Mr Barker asked her why she didn't "go back" to her country of origin. (Ms Calderón is an immigrant.)
"We have nothing here in America; ya'll keep flooding it," he said. "But like God says - like Yahweh himself says - we will chase you out of here."
Later, Mr Barker stopped to correct himself, telling Ms Calderón: "No, we're going to burn you out."
When the journalist asked him how he planned to "burn out" 11 million immigrants, he responded: "We killed 6 million Jews the last time. Eleven million is nothing."
Mr Barker is the grand wizard of the Loyal White Knights faction of the KKK, which participated in the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend.
One person at the rally died, and dozens were injured, when a man allegedly mowed down a group of counter-protesters with his car. The Loyal White Knights proceeded to praise the driver for "running over nine communist anti-fascists".
"When a couple of them die, it doesn't bother us," Mr Barker told WBTV. "They're always attacking and messing with our rallies."
In his interview with Ms Calderón, Mr Barker referred to her as a "n-----" and a "mongrel". He also claimed that his organisation was a Christian group, not a hate group, and that he did not consider himself a racist.
Ms Calderón said she had not expected the level of vitriol she encountered.
"My team told me that I would be insulted, and I knew, but I never imagined the level," she told Univision. "...At that time I was really felt very afraid for my safety and the safety of my team."
The interview was conducted in July, before the Charlottesville rally and before President Donald Trump attributed the casualties to "hatred and violence on both sides". But in an interview with Radio Blu, Ms Calderón said Mr Trump helped inspire the interview.
"As part of the editorial meetings we were discussing the incidents of hate that had been presented, and how, from 2016 to here, these people and these groups feel entitled to raise its highest voice - perhaps backed by a President who speaks very weakly about it," she said. -BusinessInsider
White Nationalists Who Marched in Charlottesville Are Being Identified; And Are Getting Fired From Their Jobs
Thanks to NY Daily News writer Shaun King, a very popular Twitter account called @YesYoureRacist, and other hard-working Twitter users, many of the white nationalists who recently participated in the violent racial riot in Charlottesville, Virginia are being identified. Even more, some of them are being fired by their employers.
Names of the ones that were caught committing violent assaults include Cole White, Pete Tefft, Daniel Borden, Michael Ramos, and Peter Cvetanovic – all of whom were identified by these social media activists. Since Charlottesville police have made very few arrests, what they are doing has proven to be very helpful.
How they are being identified
Basically, photos taken by the media of these Neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members, and members of other White supremacist hate groups are being shown online with a message asking others to identify the men pictured. A person that recognizes one of them can then post their name and also a link to any of their personal social media accounts.
Are they really losing their jobs?
So far, at least one of the identified white nationalists, Cole White, has lost his job. The Los Angeles Times reports that after his photo went viral and he was identified as one of the attackers, his employer in Berkeley, California, a hot dog eatery, denounced his participation in the rally and asked him to resign.
Another person identified as Daniel Borden, did not lose his job, but was disowned by his relatives.
Another one, Peter Cvetanovic (pictured above), has not lost his job or family, but has been greatly humiliated. He is reportedly a student at the University of Nevada in Reno, and recently appeared on a local TV station admitting that it’s him in the picture, but insisting that he’s not a racist.
He told Channel 2 News, “I did not expect the photo to be shared as much as it was. I understand the photo has a very negative connotation. But I hope that the people sharing the photo are willing to listen that I’m not the angry racist they see in that photo.” -blacknews
All four of Baltimore’s Confederate statues were removed overnight, just days after a white nationalist rally erupted into chaos and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Baltimore City Council voted unanimously Monday night to immediately take down the monuments after more than a year of indecision.
City crews began the removal process at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and finished around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to The Baltimore Sun. Hours earlier, President Donald Trump had defended the white nationalist demonstrators who gathered in Virginia this weekend, ostensibly to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said the city moved “as quickly as we could” to get rid of the monuments.
“It’s done,” Pugh told the Sun. “They needed to come down. My concern is for the safety and security of our people.”
More than 1,000 people marched in Baltimore’s streets Sunday to demand that the city tear down its Confederate statues in the wake of Saturday’s deadly clashes in Charlottesville.
Days later, police officers kept watch as city workers dismantled the monuments. Applause and cheers can be heard in a video showing a crane loading a statue honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee onto a flatbed truck.
“The police are being cheerful and encouraging people to take photos and selfies,” Baynard Woods, the editor at large of The Baltimore City Paper, told The New York Times as he documented the statues’ removal.
All that remains in place of the four statues ― the Robert E. Lee & “Stonewall” Jackson Monument, the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument, the Confederate Women’s Monument and the Roger B. Taney Monument ― are concrete bases.
A statue of a pregnant black woman carrying a child on her back and raising her fist in the air now stands at the base of the former Lee & Jackson Monument. Activists placed the figure there during protests on Sunday.
It’s unclear where the monuments will be placed permanently. Pugh has suggested they could end up in a Confederate cemetery, reported CBS affiliate WJZ-13.
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) praised the city for taking down the monuments.
Several cities are now reportedly considering removing their own Confederate monuments following Saturday’s deadly clashes in Charlottesville, including Memphis, Tennessee; Lexington, Kentucky; Jacksonville, Florida; and Washington, D.C.
The Hollywood Forever Cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in Los Angeles, announced Tuesday that it plans to remove a monument honoring Confederate veterans. -huffpost
In honor of iconic political supershero Maxine Waters’ 79th birthday, we compiled the greatest (and funniest) moments during her polarizing rise as the most important figure in the fight against the Cheeto-in-Chief and his too-idiotic-to-be real policies currently destroying America.
Peep all the best (and funniest) Auntie Maxine tweets, memes and birthday wishes on the flip.
Marshawn Lynch appeared to stage a silent protest in his return to the NFL, as the Oakland Raidersrunning back remained seated during the national anthem prior to the team's 20-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Photos show Lynch, who suited up but did not play, sitting on a cooler while holding a banana during the anthem.
Lynch has talked to the media once -- and that was during the offseason program -- since he came out of retirement and was acquired in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks in the spring.
Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he spoke with Lynch after the game and was not aware that he planned to sit.
"[Lynch] said, 'This is something I've done for 11 years. It's not a form of anything other than me being myself,'" Del Rio said. "I said, 'So you understand how I feel. I very strongly believe in standing for the national anthem, but I'm going to respect you as a man. You do your thing, and we'll do ours.' So that's a non-issue for me."
Photos circulated on social media Sunday showing Lynch standing for the anthem during his Seahawks days, including for Super Bowl XLIX.
Raiders quarterback E.J. Manuel said the team supports Lynch, adding the decision was "more of a personal thing" for him.
Lynch was not in the NFL during Colin Kaepernick's kneeling protest against racism and police brutality last season but has previously expressed his opinion on Kaepernick's actions, commending the quarterback for addressing the problem.
Kaepernick remains an unsigned free agent. -espn
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. ― Thousands of white supremacists and armed militia groups faced off with counter-protesters during a violent and chaotic rally that raged for hours in this Virginia city on Saturday, resulting in the death of at least three people.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who declared a state of emergency Saturday afternoon, condemned the violence during a press conference that evening, sending a message to the white supremacists.
"Our message is plain and simple: go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth,” he said. “Shame on you.”
“Please go home and never come back. Take your hatred, and take your bigotry,” McAuliffe added.
Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas said 35 people were treated for injuries by city personnel on Saturday, with injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening. Three people died Saturday, including a 32-year-old woman who was hit by a car that plowed into a group of counter-demonstrators and two others who perished in a helicopter crash near the protests.
“You came here today to hurt people and you did hurt people,” McAuliffe said.
Groups in Charlottesville beat each other with flagpoles and bats, threw punches, chanted slogans and used chemical sprays on each other at a downtown park. Some reporters covering the event were doused in raw sewage.
“There was a cloud,” said a witness, who asked not to be named. “Things were flying. Most people managed to get out of the way.”
The “Unite The Right” rally was promoted by white nationalist Richard Spencer and drew several different groups, including activists from the so-called “alt-right,” Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and other white supremacists, some of whom dressed in militia uniforms and were openly carrying long guns. Counter-demonstrators and anti-fascist groups also attended.
After demonstrations got heated Friday night, tensions were running high even before the rally officially began at noon, with members of the “alt-right” chanting the Nazi phrase “blood and soil!” and “white lives matter!” as they marched toward Emancipation Park. With Confederate flags and Nazi memorabilia on full display, they also chanted “Fuck you faggots!”
“This is the biggest racist rally in recent memory,” a 23-year-old anti-fascist from Michigan, who wouldn’t give his name, told HuffPost. “And we are all out here opposing these motherfuckers and trying to get a temperature check where the right is ― where the far right is at ― and how they’re organizing, and where we can apply radical strategies to defeat fascism.” -huffpost
No, this is not about Cersei Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen. It’s about Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson. You’ve probably heard of the hit podcast 2 Dope Queens, where the two comedians rehash their lives, current events and pop culture.
HBO announced Thursday that the duo has partnered with the network for four hourlong specials.
“2 Dope Queens and HBO going half on a TV baby? A dream come true! The work wife and I are beyond thrilled that the formula we’ve perfected over the past four seasons of doing the podcast (Ignorance x Cocoa Butter + Comedic Honesty) is being brought to this network,” said Robinson.
Robinson is a television writer and stand-up comedian. She is also the author of the New York Times best-selling book You Can’t Touch My Hair (and Other Things I Still Have to Explain).
Williams stars in the acclaimed Netflix movie The Incredible Jesse James. She also served as a correspondent on The Daily Show 2012-2016 before she left after signing her own development deal with Viacom.
Williams said: “We are so stoked to be partnering with HBO for these specials. Excited to add a couple more Khaleesis to the network!”
Well, now I guess you can’t cancel your HBO subscription after the Game of Thrones finale. -theroot
A gun case was recently dismissed in Washington, D.C. when an arresting officer was alleged to have designed a racist T-shirt. Law4BlackLives, a group of legal professionals who work with the Black Lives Matter movement, says the shirt has racist symbols. The shirt was designed for and worn by members of the 7th Police District “Powershift”unit that covers Southeast D.C., reports.
The shirt features an image of the Grim Reaper brandishing a rifle and the MPD badge under the heading “POWERSHIFT.” The Celtic cross, a symbol used by White supremacist groups including the Ku Klux Klan, is embedded in the “o” of “powershift.” Under the Grim Reaper, in smaller script, is the sentence, “Let me see that waistband jo.” The DC flag is in the background.
Law4BlackLives says that “jo” is short for “jump out,” a term that describes how police officers jump out of their vehicles to chase targeted Black men in the neighborhoods they patrol, often performing weapons checks without provocation. Others believe that “jo” is a mockery of slang overheard in Southeast D.C. Police officials have denounced the shirts as “disturbing” and the officer who is alleged to have designed it has been assigned to desk duty.
Prosecutors tried to delay the trial pending an ongoing investigation into the shirts but the judge decided that such a delay would be unfair to the defendant, who had been jailed while awaiting trial. Prosecutors may refile the case later. This is the first dismissal related to the “Powershift” unit, and defense attorneys say that more cases could be affected by the fallout from the racist shirts. -newsone
J. cole always speaks his mind when it comes to issues he cares about. The Carolina rapper didn’t hold back when he made a stop in Baltimore for his 4 Your Eyez Only Tour.
In the midst of his set, Cole took the time to talk about the city as well as the Baltimore Ravens — the football team that failed to sign activist and athlete Colin Kaepernick.
Cole pushed the idea that the city could use someone with money and power who could help represent the people. “Baltimore, the sh*t that’s happening here, don’t you think that somebody should risk their whole livelihood and their whole life to talk about this sh*t?” Cole asked. “Even if it cost them their money, their job, their life? Don’t that sound like Colin Kaepernick? Don’t that sound like what he doing? And he trying to come to Baltimore, the city that seems to need that sh*t, for real.” When Cole asked the Baltimore crowd if they support Kaepernick, many folks showed love.
Backlash toward the NFL has been steadily growing with many believing Kaepernick is being blackballed because of his social justice politics. A boycott the league movement is gaining steam in many circles. Will Baltimore fans take part? -newsone
The latest music video for a track from the “4:44” album features only about a minute of rapping from Jay-Z. But the video serves as a sort of meta-commentary on black representation in media and artistic ownership.
Released Friday on Tidal (and everywhere next week), the video for “Moonlight” features some of the fastest-rising stars in comedy reenacting, line for line, scenes from a quintessential “Friends” episode.
Directed by “Master of None” co-creator Alan Yang, the video even features a remake of the opening to the NBC sitcom — but using the song “Friends” by Whodini.
Comedian Jerrod Carmichael (“The Carmichael Show”) plays Ross. Issa Rae of HBO’s “Insecure” plays Rachel. Lil Rel Howery (“Get Out”) plays Joey. Lakeith Stanfield (“Atlanta”) plays Chandler. Tessa Thompson (“Creed”) plays Monica. Tiffany Haddish (“Girls Trip”) plays Phoebe.
The actors are wearing almost exactly the same clothing as the characters in the 1996 “Friends” episode. The set looks the same. The shots are the same. When the cast takes a break, Carmichael chats with comedian Hannibal Buress offstage, who tells him what they’re shooting is “garbage and “it’s just episodes of ‘Seinfeld’ but with black people.”
“It’s ‘Friends,'” Carmichael interjects, but Buress cuts him off: “Who asked for that?”
“When they asked me to do it, I was like, all right, this is something subversive, something that would turn the culture on its head,” Carmichael says.
“Well, you did a good job of subverting good comedy,” Buress says. “You gonna do black ‘Full House’ next? ‘Family Ties?’ Why stop there? ‘Home Improvement?’”
When Carmichael asks Buress what he’s up to these days, Buress says he just booked a part in “Pirates of the Caribbean Cruise Line” to play “a parrot with a bad attitude but he has a heart of gold. It’s terrible, but it’s way better than this s‑‑‑.”
Aside from Carmichael being the one to have this exchange — his critically acclaimed real-life show was canceled by NBC this year, with executives saying that “it was hard to find a stable audience” — the choice to remake “Friends” with an all-black cast is particularly poignant.
Many viewed the popular NBC comedy as essentially a white version of Fox’s “Living Single,” which premiered a year before “Friends” and is about six friends in New York City — who happened to be black.
“We knew we had already been doing that,” Queen Latifah, star of the sitcom, said earlier this year. “It was one of those things where there was a guy called Warren Littlefield, who used to run NBC, and they asked him, ‘When all the new shows came out, if there was any show you could have, which one would it be?’ And he said ‘Living Single.’ And then he created ‘Friends.’ But ‘Friends’ was so good it wasn’t like we hated on it or anything.”
“Friends,” which debuted in 1994, became a cultural phenomenon and earned the network and its stars incredible amounts of money. At the time, the creator and stars of “Living Single” said their sitcom wasn’t getting the same promotional push that “Friends” was receiving. “You can’t deny the basic similarities between the two shows. And ‘Living Single’ was on the air first,” creator and executive producer Yvette Lee Bowser told the Los Angeles Times in 1996.
The L.A. Times story continued:
“It’s disappointing that we have never gotten that kind of push that ‘Friends’ has had,” said Bowser, one of the television industry’s few black female producers. “I have issues with the studio and the network over the promotion of this show.”Bowser and her four actresses said they are not putting down “Friends” and that they find it to be a quality show. “When I watch it, I laugh,” Coles said. “It’s very well done.” They simply believe that if “Living Single” were given a similar sort of push, it would be doing better in the ratings.The stars of “Living Single” told the newspaper that they had found ways to laugh about being in the shadow, but Freeman joked, “the minute they start referring to us as ‘Black Friends,’ that’s when I’ll go off. It’s better to call them the ‘White Living Single.’”
In the Jay-Z music video, the cast returns to the set and continues acting out scenes from “Friends,” but Carmichael is clearly shaken. The camera shows him out of the moment as Howery, Stanfield, Thompson and Haddish recite their lines. But when Rae reenters the scene, she has a serious, knowing look on her face and signals to Carmichael to be quiet. She leads him off the set, and, finally, we hear Jay-Z rapping: “We stuck in La La Land/Even when we win, we gon’ lose.”
That line, and the song’s title, is an allusion to the unprecedented Oscars flub, in which “La La Land” was mistakenly named the winner of best picture earlier this year rather than the actual winner, “Moonlight.” The mix-up, some argued, distracted from what should have been the “Moonlight” cast and crew’s moment.
The song then jumps from the intro chorus to the last verse, with Jay-Z rapping, “Y’all n‑‑‑‑‑s still signin’ deals? Still? After all they done stole, for real? After what they done to our Lauryn Hill?” — referencing the singer’s legal battles.
Carmichael walks off the set and sits on a park bench, reminiscent of a scene in “La La Land,” and stares up at the full moon. The song fades and the audio of that Oscars flub plays: Warren Beatty says, “And the Academy Award for best pictures goes to,” then Faye Dunaway proclaims, “La La Land!” The audience applauds. -washingtonpost
If I shall die before they wake, I pray the Lord my shades are safe.