First lady Michelle Obama wants to make sure girls around the world have the opportunity to go to school throughout their adolescence and “become who and what they are meant to be.” With these goals in mind, she and President Barack Obama put their efforts behind the Let Girls Learn initiative last March. A year later,… Read more
African american news from all over
A Cleveland man pulled a .380 pistol out of his backpack during an argument with fellow poll workers at the Louisa May Alcott School and the 45-year-old was subsequently arrested. Police have charged Alan Bethea with aggravated menacing, carrying a concealed weapon, having weapons under disability and gun confiscation, according to WKYC. Bethea was also in… Read more
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy calls out MI Republicans for causing Flint water crisis. “You can’t shortchange basic services to our people,” President Barack Obama declared when asked about the Flint water crisis. Yet that appears to be exactly what the state of Michigan’s GOP-run government did to the children of Flint. In her letter to the… Read more
Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has attacked ‘our great African American President’ over the violence in Baltimore.
The American city exploded into violence following the death of a black man in custody, with rioters setting fires and clashing with police overnight.
Trump responded with a series of tweets criticising the situation, but was criticised after his comments about Barack Obama.
Our great African American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 28, 2015
He wrote that the President ‘hadn’t exactly had a positive effect’ on the thugs who were destroying Baltimore.
In previous tweets he slammed the police response for not being tough enough.
His comments, sent out to his 2.87m followers, were not well received. A number of people on social media accused him of racism and race-baiting by highlighting the fact Obama is black.
Blatant and rampant property destruction in Baltimore as the police stand by and watch. Should be a lesson on how NOT to handle riots. SAD!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 28, 2015
Wow, 15 policemen hurt in Baltimore, some badly! Where is the National Guard. Police must get tough, and fast! Thugs must be stopped.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 28, 2015
One tweeter, with the username Vietnameseicecream, described Trump as a ‘race-baiting old white man’, while Zachary Webb said he was an ‘idiot’ and that race ‘had nothing to do with it’.
Others have pointed out that the comments betray the 68-year-old Trump’s so-far unrealised presidential ambitions.
He expressed an interest in running in 2012 but in the end he didn’t run, though he has since spent money looking at a potential 2016 candidacy.
— Shamz Le Roc (@ShamzLeRoc) April 28, 2015
Donald Trump is trying to focus this on Obama???????
Obama is two things Donald Trump will never be
1. A decent person
2. A president
— Magdalena (@magiiiiie) April 28, 2015
@realDonaldTrump race baiting at its finest
— Fo (@AlldayFoday) April 28, 2015
The riots broke out just a few blocks from the funeral of Freddie Gray, the man who died in custody, and then spread through much of West Baltimore in the most violent US demonstrations since looting in Ferguson, Missouri, last year.
Gray’s death on April 19 reignited a public outcry over police treatment of African Americans that flared last year after the killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, New York City and elsewhere.
Violent Streets: A Baltimore Metropolitan Police transport vehicle burns during clashes in Baltimore, Maryland
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard as firefighters battled blazes set by looters.
Rioters with baseball bats smashed windows of cars outside major hotels in Baltimore, perhaps best known in the UK as the setting for gritty TV drama The Wire.
City Protest: Demonstrators climb on a destroyed Baltimore Police car in the street
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called the rioters “thugs” and imposed a citywide curfew for adults beginning Tuesday night, with exceptions for work and medical emergencies.
There is already a curfew for children and officials have requested up to 5,000 additional law enforcement officers.
(Photo : Mark Wilson Getty Images News) January 28, 2015
Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch Testifies At Senate…
Getty Images News
Despite bipartisan bickering on the Senate floor, Loretta Lynch was confirmed as the 83rd attorney general by the US Senate.
The moment will be etched in history as a the first time an African American woman will hold the position. Loretta Lynch, US Attorney General was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on Monday.
Like Us on Facebook
After Loretta Lynch’s swearing ceremony, VP Biden, who is a potential Democratic candidate for the 2016 presidency vote, said that it’s about time that Lynch became attorney general.
The newly appointed Attorney General is also the second woman and the 83rd appointment to the post.
The objections from the Republicans were from Lynch’s support of an immigration issue favored by President Barack Obama -“support of the president’s use of executive action on immigration policies.”
The move backed by the President would allow undocumented immigrants to undergo deferred deportation. But the President exchanged harsh comments with the Republicans until the consent finally came.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) was one of those who voted to confirm Loretta Lynch in a tight 56-43 votes vote that just edged a landmark nomination by President Obama to go through in the Senate.
In a press release Senator Johnson explained why he voted for Loretta Lynch:
“Ms. Lynch has extensive experience both as a private practitioner and as a U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. According to all reports and evidence, she has performed her duties in those positions capably and in a professional manner.”
“Although I share the concerns many of my colleagues have expressed over portions of her testimony during confirmation hearings, elections matter and the president has the right to select members of his cabinet. As a result, I voted to confirm Ms. Lynch as attorney general.”
Lynch was quoted in a Time.com report as saying, “It would be an understatement to say my heart is full, but it is.”
“If a little girl from North Carolina who used to tell her grandfather in the fields to lift her up on the back of his mule … ‘way up high, granddaddy,’ can grow up to become the Attorney General of the United States of America,” she said, “We can do anything,” Lynch said in her speech.
Sometimes it’s hard to know which events today might have historical relevance tomorrow. It’s easier in some cases than in others. Loretta Lynch’s appointment as the first black woman to serve as attorney general? That’s something worth noting. An essay written by one seemingly scorned African-American intellectual about the alleged hypocrisy of another seemingly scorned African-American intellectual? Maybe not.
Luckily for most, deciding which current events are significant enough to record for posterity’s sake isn’t a concern. That responsibility falls to historians like Lonnie Bunch, director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., which is scheduled to open in 2016.
Bunch and his team of curators and scholars don’t just collect artifacts from yesteryear—the NMAAHC team has to continually consider the future and what people 50 years from now will want to know about today’s black culture.
“Our job is both to look back and to look ahead. I meet with curators and say, ‘What’s important over the last year that we should be collecting?’ We begin to collect things on Ferguson[, Mo.,] and things on #BlackLifeMatters that will be important for curators down the road. We will have collected that material. Part of our job is to anticipate,” he told The Root.
The museum isn’t just quietly observing and taking notes. On Saturday the NMAAHC hosted a daylong symposium about policing in black communities. Hundreds of people attended to hear film director Ava DuVernay; journalists Jeff Johnson, Juan Williams and Mychal Denzel Smith; and activist Opal Tometi of Black Lives Matter and others discuss ways to improve the relationship between law-enforcement officers and African-American citizens.
“It’s our job to give people voice that have been voiceless and make visible those that have been invisible,” said Bunch, addressing why the NMAAHC decided to host a symposium on such a controversial topic. “This must be a museum that helps America remember its past to better understand its present,” he said.
While considering which current events might be relevant decades from now, Bunch is also busy locating objects that chronicle the past, including the experience of Africans before slavery.
“The museum begins in Africa. It helps us understand a life before enslavement. One of the most important things we want to do is to help people rethink slavery,” said Bunch, who acknowledged that some blacks would rather forget that painful past and look to the future. He noted, however, that there are lessons to be learned from those who endured and survived.
“I wish we were today as strong as our enslaved ancestors. I wish we knew how to keep family and soul together at an unbelievably horrific time, as our ancestors did,” he said. “I am not trying to celebrate slavery, but I want people to understand that one should not be embarrassed by the fact that some of our ancestors spent time in a horrible institution, but they refused to let the institution crush them.”
Although the history of Africans in America dates back centuries, Bunch said that he’s had success tracking down artifacts that adequately tell the African-American story. The museum’s curators have sought out relics, and many treasured remnants have been offered to the institution, such as Nat Turner’s Bible, which was donated by a descendant of people attacked during that historic slave revolt.
As for those items offered to the museum, Bunch explained that curators look for specific artifacts that tell significant stories. In other words, they’re not accepting just any old thing. “You don’t just pick objects willy-nilly,” he explained. “You look at scholarship to say, ‘What are important stories, like slave insurrections?’ So you want to find Nat Turner, or ‘What do you want to find that tells you about the military experience?’
“Once you have an idea of what you look for, then there are certain ways to do this,” he continued. “Our assumption has been that all of the 20th century and most of the 19th century is still in the basement trunks and attics of people. Part of our goal was to let people know, ‘Open your trunks for us. Let us look at what you have … ’ That’s how we found a lot of things.” Bunch also said that he had contacted collectors of black memorabilia.
Although Bunch acknowledged that he doesn’t necessarily have every historical item he’d like, he assured future visitors to the museum that there will be enough artifacts to tell every story that’s significant to the black experience. “There’s nothing I can think of that we don’t have. There’s nothing we don’t have that won’t allow us to tell a rich, nuanced and amazing story,” he said.
With more than 30 years as a historian and curator, there’s likely little that surprises Bunch about the African-American journey; however, he did say that he’s come across objects that caused an emotional reaction.
“There have been artifacts that … have moved us in profound ways. We were given a freedom paper by a man … who was enslaved in Virginia and got his freedom … in the 1860s,” Bunch said. “He had a piece of paper that documented his freedom. He knew how important that piece of paper was to his freedom and the freedom of his family. He created a ‘tin wallet’ by hand. He hammered out this tin container. He would put his freedom paper back in that tin container to make sure it wouldn’t be lost or damaged.
“That spoke volumes about the power of freedom and also how tenuous freedom was,” Bunch added. “If he lost that paper, he could be resold into bondage. Those kind of things I didn’t know we’d find have shocked me, have moved me, have made us cry,” he said.
Tracy L. Scott is a Washington, D.C.-based writer and editor who has contributed to the Washington Post, Essence, Think Positive magazine and Uptown magazine, where she writes on a variety of topics from arts and culture to current events. Follow her on Twitter.
Megyn Kelly trotted out racist Mark Fuhrman and pretended he was just a regular retired detective commenting on the riots in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. And surprise! The two of them used the segment to smear African Americans in general.
Kelly frequently turns to Fuhrman in racially sensitive matters. She hosted him to discuss the Trayvon Martin case and repeatedly turned to him for Ferguson commentary. Not once did Kelly reveal Fuhrman’s animosity toward African Americans that came to light during the O.J. Simpson trial. Nor did she in this segment.
Yet Kelly listened unquestioningly as Fuhrman suggested there is something intrinsically wrong with African Americans. Fuhrman sounded more like a psychologist than a police commenter as he “analyzed” Baltimore’s black rioters.
FURHMAN: There’s something here that’s deeper. 99% of these people don’t know Freddie Gray and they couldn’t pick him out of a crowd of three people. They don’t know who he is. This is an opportunity to act out the disappointment of their own life, the disappointment of their lack of whatever they want, which seems to be going into a liquor store and getting alcohol, getting a new TV, getting a microwave, taking a check cashing facility where they cash their check and destroying that. Destroying a store or pharmacy. It goes on and on. There’s absolutely no reason for it.
If you’re going to use “oppression” as a word, you have to ask yourself… are we this upset about gang members and gangs on every corner and drug dealers? It doesn’t appear that the community is that upset about that.
Kelly helped amplify the point by suggesting that African American complaints are just an excuse to behave more badly than usual.
KELLY: In Ferguson, Missouri, we were told that at the heart of that problem which, obviously, Officer Wilson was exonerated in that case, but the police department was condemned widely after that DOJ report. And what we were told was that that police force was not reflective of the community and that that was a main thing that needed to be done – there were too many whites on the police force given the racial makeup of the city of Ferguson. …Well, look at the situation here. I mean, it doesn’t seem any better.
In reality, the Department of Justice report cited increased diversity as the 11th out of 13 recommendations to improve Ferguson police practices. And Kelly’s misleading summary conveniently left out the shocking racial abuses that were uncovered by the DOJ and which led to those recommendations.
The other guest, liberal African American Richard Fowler, argued pretty fiercely. At one point, he declared to Kelly and Furhman, “I really think you live in an alternate universe.”
But Fowler never called out the blatant race baiting going on right under his nose.
Watch it below, from the April 27 The Kelly File.
The murder of Walter Scott which most of you have viewed via video taken by one incredibly brave individual speaks to so many things but strikes at the heart of a long held societal belief that has framed not only the way that people view each other but also has shaped the American justice system.
It is a long held belief that a person who is defined as good is one who has a “good” job, has a family (is married), goes to church regularly, and gives back to his community via actual work or donations to charity.
To dial down deeper, a person who is a “professional” ie a lawyer, doctor, CEO, or anything on that level is considered by society at large and more relevant our justice system to be above reproach. This plays out in our courts every day. A person accused of a crime who falls into one of those categories is not treated the same way as a person who is unemployed, on public assistance, or even works at what society deems a menial job. Bail may be denied, probation may be withheld simply because an individual is not deemed a “productive member of society” via a construct that on its face does not take into consideration whether it is a viable definition for everyone to ascribe to or be measured by. In worse case scenarios, entire municipalities may feel justified in generating revenue by aggressively targeting their own residents by targeting them by law enforcement with punitive and discriminatory application of existing laws that result in fines that can never be fully paid off and or jail time that in and of itself impairs the ability of the individual to ascend into that “productive member of society” status.
The belief that somehow a person who has not followed a certain approved “path” in their life makes them somehow worth less than others who have managed to travel a different path for whatever reason is stock in trade and allows for the branding of an underclass of people much to the detriment of society as a whole. Introducing racism into this construct exacerbates the situation and brings us to the murder of Walter Scott and others like him. The stop and frisk, and racial profiling that is endemic in many municipalities in this country speak to the worst case scenario where an entire RACE of people are viewed as “less than” because of a long held social construct that by its very nature is not applicable across the board and does not allow for equal application of the law.
The belief that a person who has made mistakes or bad choices in their lives at some point in time – allows for them to be treated as anything other than a human being is what drives the actions of people like Michael Slager. Feeling justified in actions that result all too often with the death of an individual because they were “no good” to begin with. This drives the need to dredge up the background of a victim to somehow “justify” actions that would never even be condoned in any other situation. There is a long held belief and perception that good people don’t make mistakes that their lives are a reflection of that. The things that they are able to acquire, a home, new car, material things somehow make them BETTER, whereas those who have not been able to obtain outward signs of achievement, who have not risen to the level of a professional, who may be unemployed, or even who may have at one time in their lives been in carcerated, are automatically less than human, less deserving of compassion or understanding. In the case of Walter Scott and too many to name lately, were not deserving of living another day. These beliefs and the individuals that are allowed to act on them with impunity and the support of society at large will, if left unchecked be the undoing of this country and its so-called freedoms;
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator, certain unalienable rights, That among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness –
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the GOVERNED, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends,
It is the right of the People to Alter or Abolish it and to institute New Government.”