Category Archives: Racism

Nashville Judge Orders New Trial After Juror Objects to Jury With ‘No Blacks’

Scene from 1962 film, "To Kill A Mockingbird"
Scene from 1962 film, “To Kill A Mockingbird”

*After an eight hour jury selection process to try a case involving two Black male defendants, a new trial was ordered by Judge Cheryl Blackburn of Davidson County Criminal Court after one of the jurors objected to the selected jury.

It is unclear who the juror was, or what his or her race was.

In an action that has been confirmed by lawyers and others present in the courtroom, the judge delayed the trial thereby bringing attention to a longtime discussion about the lack of diversity in todays jury’s.

Defense lawyers are said to have accused prosecutors of eliminating potential jurors because of their race, and the claim was denied by the state. According to a precedent under the U.S. Supreme Court, lawyers cannot excuse potential jurors only because of their race.

As if…

But I digress.

“We may need to see if we can raise this issue to make sure that you don’t just remove somebody from the jury selection process based on their race, creed or religion,” said Ludye Wallace, president of the Nashville branch of the NAACP, who only learned of the case after he was contacted by The Tennessean. “You can’t do that,” he added. Continue reading

Families of Three Drowned Girls in Stolen Car, Question if Police Tried to Save Them (Watch)

girls drown

*Did those officers laugh? Wait! I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s begin again: The families of three teen African American girls who allegedly stole a car at 4 o’clock in the morning, and then tried to outrun police, before the car plunged into 15-feet of water, causing each of them to drown, is now asking those Pinellas County Florida Sheriff’s deputies: Did you really try to save our girls?

Dominique Battle, 16, Ashaunti Butler, 15, and Laniya Miller, 15 are said to have stolen a gold Honda Accord from a supermarket parking lot on March 30. According to a report by the Tampa Bay Times,

“Though the county sheriff’s rules forbid deputies from chasing stolen vehicles, some officers were trailing the car when the car plunged into a pond off a sharp turn in the road around 4 a.m. the next morning.”

In the video below, which is dense in quality due to the time of day and the location, we can clearly hear the officers, one in particular, describing what he is seeing.

The video begins from the viewpoint of a patrol car following the three girls. At first there are no tail lights from the Honda being driven by one of the girls, but due to the darkness of the hour perhaps, we eventually see the tail lights are on.

However, this action fatally proves too late, as the car plunges into a pond that is said to be 15-feet deep. Continue reading

Tamir Rice: Cleveland Police Union Releases Arrogant Statement After $6M Settlement Announced

Tamir Rice
Tamir Rice

*On Monday, the City of Cleveland announced a $6 million dollar settlement in the police killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was fired on twice by officer Timothy Loehmann, as he played with a toy gun in the park, on November 22, 2014. But it was what followed the announcement that has set social media on fire. In nothing less than a stroke of pure arrogance, Cleveland’s police union issued a statement that appears to blame the victim and his family for his death.

The Rice family had filed a wrongful death lawsuit that alleged the police officers were reckless in their confrontation with the youngster. This allegation was further compounded by surveillance footage showing officer Loehmann firing twice at Tamir only seconds after opening the door of his police cruiser.

The statement by the police union expresses “hopes” that the family will “use some of the money” to educate kids about the dangers of carrying real or fake guns. Continue reading

‘No Jail Time’ for Ex-NYPD Officer Charged in Fatal Shooting

Akai Gurley on right.
Akai Gurley on right.

*“Shooting somebody never entered his mind. I find incarceration to be unnecessary.” These were the words that came from the mouth of Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun, the judge who handed down a sentence of  five years probation and 800 hours of community service to  former NYC rookie cop, Peter Liang, for the fatal shooting of Akai Gurley.

Gurley had been standing on the landing below, when Peter Liang and his partner entered a darkened stairwell at Pink Houses, most likely a “project-type” community in East New York, known for its bad reputation.

The officers are said to have entered the building around 11:15 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2014, and heard a metal door slam; which startled them and caused Liang’s service gun to go off — accidentally and fatally shooting Akai Gurley, who was standing on a landing below.

Brooklyn D.A. Ken Thompson had requested a no jail sentence for the former cop, and apparently got his wish. Continue reading

Badly Bred Students Who Defaced Clemson Banner Won’t Face Charges

clemson historic properties

*How do you charge plain ass bad breeding? I mean, what would the write-up even look like? That’s the question I come up with after hearing about a group of students, no doubt Caucasian, who thought it was funny to deface an African-American banner on the campus of Clemson University by hanging a bunch of rotting bananas on it.

A photo of the banner was tweeted and shared on social media by a number of Clemson students Monday morning.

Today the university said that since it is not considered a crime to hang rotting fruit on a banner, no charges will be filed against the students; who are said to have turned themselves in.

On Tuesday, dozens of students attended a meeting where they discussed their concerns with faculty regarding the incident. 

Clemson University’s police chief told students at the meeting that according to the solicitor’s office, defacing the banner is not a violation of state law and that no crime was committed under state law.  Continue reading

Black Female “Human Computers” Were Crucial to NASA’s Space Exploration Program

blackcomp2

*We ALL know that the public educational system in the United States has been woefully deficient in including the contributions of African Americans. I still remember the moment when I, as a 2nd grader, pieced together than the black American revolutionist Chrispus Attucks fought in the same Revolutionary War that included Paul Revere and the rest of the white folks in powdered wigs and stockings. I like to tell myself that things have changed since then, and they HAVE, but when you stumble across a largely untold, unknown story like this, you have to wonder “how much?”.

A group of black, female college-educated mathematicians and chemists worked for NASA beginning in the 1940s, and helped land John Glenn and his colleagues on the moon.

Yes, they did!

97-year-old retired African American NASA mathematician Katherine G. Johnson was one of them. She was one of dozens of “human computers” who were hired by NASA Langley Memorial Research Laboratory in the 1940s.

R_1980-L-00022 001

They were called “human computers” because before machines were designed, built, and perfected, these pioneering women crunched the numbers necessary to figure out everything from wind tunnel resistance to rocket trajectories to safe reentry angles..

If you’re like me, just reading those terms almost gives you a headache. Continue reading

Cops Tase and Pepper Spray Driver for Playing Music Too Loud (Video)

mishandled

*Damn. I am about as tired of writing about the racist, erratic behavior of these police officers as you probably are about hearing it. But I continue to do so because I don’t want what  is happening to our people out loud to be swept under some proverbial rug; making it easier to be ignored.

Now we have a police duo in Mississippi that has allegedly — I must use that word even though the video will show there is nothing ALLEGED about it — it was done — but they allegedly dragged a Black man from his car, and tasered and pepper-sprayed him for…wait for it…

Playing his music too loud.

I am with you!

WTF?

The brother’s name is Patrick Newbern. And since the NAACP in Mississippi County has insisted on an investigation after looking at video footage of the incident, the cops have articulated charges towards Newbern that read he violated the city noise ordinance, attempted to flee by vehicle, and resisted arrest when police attempted to cite him in a convenience store parking lot.

I am sure that made quite an Easter morning memory for the brother. Continue reading

Racist Shuts His RV Park Down Rather Than Rent to Interracial Couples (Video)

RV park

*I recall when I was growing up, the big word to spell was Mississippi.

Us black kids would line up in class, and that white teacher would be standing there with a ruler in her hand, ready to swat us if we couldn’t spell that word.

M.I.S.S.I.S.S.I.P.P.I. And then we’d have to say it: Mississippi.

I’ve hated that word ever since. And even moreso, the history of racism that stems from the state itself. So it comes as no surprise to me when I hear about the white Mississippian who owns an RV park — and had agreed to rent an RV to a couple for $275 a month after he’d met with the wife alone, then changed his mind when he learned she was married…

…To a Black man.

According to The Clarion-Ledger, Erica Flores Dunahoo thought the rental of an RV from Gene Baker was a done deal. She says when she met with Baker, he even invited her to join his church and sent her away with a hug.

But then she got a phone call the next day, and she was so shocked by the reversal of Baker’s tone, she had to ask “who is this?” Continue reading