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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Aiyana Jones, detroit police and the first 48 hours

Aiyana Jones (Family Photo)

I've been wondering for some time, who is protecting  the lives of little black children who's rights are violated by police and state/county social service agencies? Take for instance the death of 7-year-old Aiyana Jones, who was shot and killed during a police raid at their Detroit home. From all indications it appears that police operation were flawed and heavily influenced by camera crews who were filming the raid for A&E's crime show "The First 48," according to a published report.

Aiyana was fatally shot early Sunday morning during a raid targeting a homicide suspect, when police say an officer's gun discharged and struck the sleeping girl in the neck.

Detroit police spokesman John Roach confirmed that the raid and attempted arrest of a homicide suspect at the two-unit house was being videotaped for an episode of the reality crime-show "The First 48." Roach said investigators are going through the footage to determine what happened, reports The Detroit News.

As William Norman Grigg at the blog LewRockwell.com points out:
"Troops from the Detroit Police Department's Special Reaction Team ("troops" is a more appropriate description than "officers") seeking a murder suspect executed a no-knock warrant on the home where Aiyana was sleeping on the couch.

Despite warnings from neighbors that there were children present in the home – a fact attested by the toys scattered in the front yard – the SRT paramilitaries chose a Fallujah-style "dynamic entry," hurling a flash-bang grenade through a closed window and storming through the front door with guns drawn."  Read More HERE

The Assistant Chief of the Detroit Police Ralph Godbee would not comment on newspaper reports that neighbors told police there were children in the house and showed them toys in the front yard before they threw a flash grenade through the window of the house.

Apparently, the 34-year-old murder suspect the Detroit police were searching for shares the home with Charles Jones, Aiyana's father. However, according to Oak Park attorney Karri Mitchell,"There was nothing but innocent people in the home where they put this flash grenade."

Even though a no-knock search warrant allowed police to search both apartments, Mitchell told The Detroit News the police "were excited; they were on TV...They didn't have to throw a grenade through the front window when they knew there were children in there."  More HERE

In the age of Barack Obama, Black Mega Churches, National NAACP's, Urban Leagues, Congressional Black Caucuses, and black Attorney Generals, and black elected officials, who's watching to protect the rights of Aiyana Jones and other children like her?

OK, some want to cast the blame for Aiyana Jones’, the 7-year-old Black girl who was killed by the police in Detroit, death (Black Voices) on the house she was living in and her environment for her killing. Read More HERE

Yet, when so many black children are in harms ways, what organizations, or groups should stand in the gap? 

With all the money that the NAACP and other "Civil Rights" groups get from corporations in America, one would hope that they would work in 2010 to protect black children caught in the cross-fire and less on image award shows.

Who is protecting black children from the media and reality TV shows such as the first 48 hours. You're thoughts?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Commemorate 45 Years of the VRA by Voting in November


Guest blogger, Terri A. Sewell
Democratic Nominee
Alabama’s 7th Congressional District

Dear Readers:  

Today marks the 45th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.  The VRA and the expansion of voting rights to millions of African Americans was the culmination of years of struggle and determination by countless civil rights workers.  But the passage of the VRA can be most directly tied back to the events of Bloody Sunday – March 7, 1965 – in my hometown of Selma, Alabama.  

On that day, 600 marchers were met with shocking violence as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.  Two days later, Dr. King led marchers from my home church, Historic Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, to Montgomery.  Along the way, the marchers rested at my ancestor's homestead in Lowndes County. 

The brutality of the Alabama police and the bravery of the marchers in Selma helped arouse the conscience of our nation. 

Today, 45 years later, the only real barrier remaining to voter participation is our own apathy.   As we enter the 2010 midterm elections, the political pundits tell us that there is an “enthusiasm gap.”  Too many Democrats and too many of the first-time voters who went to the polls in 2008 are not planning to vote in November 2010.  And too many of these voters are African American.  We cannot let up on the progress we have made. 
On July 13th, I was proud to be chosen by the voters of the 7th Congressional District of Alabama to be the Democratic nominee.  This majority-black district, which includes Birmingham and my hometown of Selma, is not only my home district but the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement.   

Seated in the audience at my home church, Brown Chapel, I was inspired by then-Senator Barack Obama’s 2007 speech commemorating Bloody Sunday.  He spoke of the “Moses Generation” of the Civil Rights Movement and of the responsibility of our generation – the “Joshua Generation” – to carry the torch forward. It was on that  day that I knew I had to answer the call to public service.   

The President made history in November 2008 and has been fighting to bring change to our nation.  Now, we are set to make history in Alabama.  If elected, I will be the first woman elected in her own right to Congress from Alabama and the first African American woman to serve our state in Congress.   

I grew up in Selma in the years immediately after Bloody Sunday.  I watched the changes that occurred in our community, including my mother’s election as the first African American woman on the Selma City Council.  Change did not come easy in Selma, and the change our President promised for our country will not come easily either. 

I am ready to join the President in Washington to fight for that change.  We need to create jobs for the American people, turn our economy around on Main Street, improve public education and continue the fight for health care reform. 

Change will never come if we lose our Democratic majorities in the U.S. House and Senate this November.  We can make a difference by voting this November – by exercising that right that so many sacrificed to obtain for all Americans, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or gender.   

Terri A. Sewell
Democratic Nominee
Alabama’s 7th Congressional District


Wyclef Jean for President of Haiti

 Wyclef Jean Tickets Tickets

An Open Letter

Dear Reader, 

My four-year-old daughter, Angelina, and my wife, Claudinette, are the angels of my life -- and I know this year has been especially trying for them, as my efforts for Haiti have taken so much more of my time since January, when the devastating earthquake nearly destroyed my home country. In fact, my concern for my family was my primary thought as I was being urged by others to seek the presidency of Haiti. 

But then I came to realize that I have to make this decision for them, and especially for my daughter, as much as for myself and my country. At age four, my daughter has already seen so much suffering in Haiti, but we've done our best to have her also witness the beauty of the country and the beautiful spirits of its people. I have always believed in the need to parent her by example, to show her that her dad is a man of action and a man of his word. I've told her throughout her life that Haiti's future lies in our hands -- including hers, as one of the young people of the country -- and I want to show her by example what I'm willing to do to make Haiti a better place. I believe that to move Haiti forward, it's going to be necessary to embrace the energy of its people, to unite around a common goal of moving ahead together. Taking all of these factors into consideration over the last few weeks, I have decided to run for president of Haiti.

I'm happy to have my family as my biggest supporters. They've been right there with me, helping with the programs of my NGO, Yele Haiti, over the years. Angelina and Claudinette and I were all in Haiti a few weeks before the earthquake, in fact. We went to Cite Soleil, one of the country's most dangerous neighborhoods, to give toys and backpacks to the kids. The hotel where we had stayed was destroyed by the earthquake, crumbled to the ground. We escaped death by only a few weeks -- my daughter, wife and I would have been under the rubble.

Once, I told Angelina she was going to perform with me on Nickelodeon, and she asked me if she was going to get paid. I asked her, "What are you gonna do with the money?" When she said she needed it to send to the kids of Haiti, I cried tears of joy! And when some people attacked my involvement with YĆ©le Haiti and tears rolled down my cheeks on Oprah, she said, "Daddy, you are too tough to cry. I've never seen you cry." I said to her, "I'm not crying for myself; I'm crying for the people of Haiti."

Some negative stories continue to be written about me. People might question my motives. Because our daughter is so young, we have shielded her from the negative stories, but when she is a little older, we will talk about those (and there might be many more to come in the next few months -- or years, even, depending on how things go in my campaign to make a brighter future for Angelina and the rest of the youth of Haiti).
I've tried to do the right thing in every part of my life, but especially when it comes to family and to Haiti. Sometimes I've been successful; other times not so much. But for years, I have been trying to help Haiti grow and prosper, and now I think I have the biggest chance I will ever have to make a difference there. I feel my calling is to serve our country in whatever way the people will have me.

I trust that Angelina understands why I feel a responsibility to my countrymen who suffer so much, because I know that my daughter's heart is as beautiful as she is. I hold Haiti and its growth and development dear to my heart; I have pledged to work for my beloved country just as I have pledged to be the best father I can be to my daughter.

My daughter and my wife, my mother, my brothers and sisters, my cousins and the rest of our family are always first in my heart. But Haiti and its people are a very close second. I hope and pray that my baby girl will understand that, and I think she will -- I can tell in her eyes and with the questions she asks that she already understands that to live for yourself is to live selfishly, but to live for others is the best sacrifice that we can make as human beings.

As the Creole saying goes, "L'union fait la force" -- "there is strength in unity." That is something I live by; I get strength from my family, and from all my supporters in Haiti.

Wyclef Jean

Serial killer in black neighborhoods of Flint Michigan

Color aroused hatred in America out of control. NAACP quiet as usual. 


This composite sketch provided by the Michigan State Police on Friday Aug. 6, 2010 shows a suspect in a string of murders in the Flint area. Investigators say a knife-wielding serial killer has been attacking men on Flint-area streets since May, killing five people and wounding eight others in a vicious spate of violence that may be motivated by racial hatred. (AP Photo/Michigan State Police)
This composite sketch provided by the Michigan State Police on Friday Aug. 6, 2010 shows a suspect in a string of murders in the Flint area. Investigators say a knife-wielding serial killer has been attacking men on Flint-area streets since May, killing five people and wounding eight others in a vicious spate of violence that may be motivated by racial hatred. (AP Photo/Michigan State Police) (AP)

Although many media outlets are unwilling to state it, Mich. police search for suspected white serial killer of blacksRead More HERE

According to the Huffington Post and UPI Investigators say a knife-wielding serial killer has been attacking men on Flint-area streets since May, killing five people and wounding eight in a vicious spate of violence that may be motivated by racial hatred.

Survivors have described their assailant as a muscular, young white man, and all but one of the 13 victims was black, Flint Police Lt. T.P. Johnson told The Associated Press Friday. Flint is a predominantly black city, and investigators are unsure if the suspect was targeting blacks or whether the victims were chosen at random.

The victims were all outside alone at night. Survivors have said the attacker approached them under the pretense of needing directions or help with a broken down vehicle.
"He then pulls a knife and attacks them without saying anything more," Johnson said.
"A knife is a very personal weapon. To stab somebody repeatedly, there has to be some rage going on," he said.

Detectives have been investigating the attacks since they started, but a pattern only became apparent on Tuesday, a day after 49-year-old Arnold Minor was found slain along a Flint street, Johnson said. That led to the announcement that a serial killer might be on the prowl in the working class city ravaged by economic turmoil, budget problems and police layoffs.


Black Pregnant Women, "Tasered While Black"

H/T to Villager of at Electronic Village for following the horror of the tasering of a Pregnant black Woman by the California Highway Patrol.

Did a California Highway Patrol officer violate the department's own policy on Taser use?

Tanisha Black was seven months pregnant. I don't imagine that she ever thought that she would feel 50,000 volts of electricity being shot through her body. Tanisha learned a lesson that was already taught to Valreca Redden.

Tanisha Black of Union City and her 3-year old son were pulled over by a CHP officer. [SOURCE]

"He says I am pulling you over because you were on your cell phone," Black recalled
.But that wasn't all. Unbeknownst to her she said her driver's license had been suspended because she missed a court appearance on traffic tickets. And so, Black said the officer told her, "I am going to tow the vehicle because your license is suspended as well and I need your keys." More HERE

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

NAACP Under Fire! August 2010

NAACP President  Benjamin Jealous

Black bloggers, black political analyst and writers continue to question the handling of Shirley Sherrod and the Tea Party by Benjamin Jealous.

AAPP:  "Ben Jealous has another year on his three-year contract, candidly, it would be in the best interest of the NAACP that he be fired. But then again, his contract should not be renewed. I can't believe that Hilary Shelton the director of the NAACP's Washington bureau and senior vice president for advocacy and policy is still defending Ben Jealous on the handling of this issue. Both Ben Jealous and Hilary Shelton should  stop making excuses." 

Get this, Hilary Shelton told The Root that technology was the real culprit in the Sherrod mishap, not communications or leadership.  Whatever, Hilary Shelton, Whatever. 

I agree with George Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, who wrote in a column for Black Voice News that Jealous essentially served as a "drum major'' in the attacks against Sherrod before doing enough research. Here is what George Curry had to say:

"The NAACP was duped by Fox News and the Tea Party?'' Curry wrote. "That's a sad commentary on the NAACP and the state of black leadership. How could the nation's oldest civil rights organization allow itself to be 'snookered' by its avowed enemies? And if the president of the NAACP is that gullible, what else [has] he been snookered on?''

AAPP: "No wonder Ben Jealous is refusing to talk with black bloggers and blogtalkradio host about his inability to move the NAACP forward. Even black members of the Tea Party wonder why Ben Jealous didn't talk with them first.

I also asked Ben Jealous to come on my highly regarded and popular blocktalkradio program; African American Political Slugfest, to answer some tough questions. Ben Jealous, of course, did not show up.

He and Hilary Shelton the director of the NAACP's Washington bureau and senior vice president for advocacy and policy, would rather kiss the ring of right wing bloggers and Fox, then say they were snookered."

Columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson is right when he wrote the NAACP Still Hasn´t Atoned for Sherrod Blunder:

"Why was the NAACP snookered? And even after it realized it was conned, has it done enough to atone for its colossal blunder? The answers to both questions aren´t pretty. The group clearly had the tea party on its mind when it made the quick call on Sherrod. It did not want to be yelled at by tea party activists and the rightwing smear machine as hypocrites, for double dealing the race card, and for being soft on alleged black racism.

The NAACP´s knee jerk overreaction and appeasement had everything to do with timing, as it turned out bad timing. It came on the heels of the blowback that the NAACP got for its convention resolution a week earlier blasting racist elements in the tea party. Breitbart made no bones about why he trotted out the lying tape when he did. He said that he wanted to hit back at the NAACP. The NAACP could have easily ignored it, or taken a few moments to check it out, and found it to be the fraud that the world now knows it be. It didn´t and for that it took the deserved heat."

Read more HERE

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Illegal immigration issue and AG Ken Cuccinelli

The Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is a real piece of work. He and his right wing friends always want to talk about some darkside of immigration rather than helping to shape a rational conversation on immigration.

Get this, the AG has jumped into the whole illegal immigration issue by issuing a legal opinion on the issue. Cuccinelli said Virginia law enforcement officers are authorized to ask about the immigration status of any one in the state who is stopped for another reason – provided it does not significantly add to the overall time of the stop.

Yes, the opinion is not quite the same as the Arizona law which is stalled in Federal courts. It does not require officers to check on immigration status, only authorizes officers to be able to ask the questions. 

The Washington Post reports Cuccinelli issued the opinion in response to a request from a Virginia state delegate. This appears to be a set up up on the part of Cuccinelli. He probably had one of his right wing  Virginia state delegates request the opinion. According to the Washington Post, Cuccinelli said:
"We issued an opinion at the request of one of our legislators, addressing the ability of law enforcement officials in Virginia to make arrests for violations of federal immigration law," Cuccinelli said in an interview with Fox News. "And the distinction we drew was they clearly have arrest authority when there's a criminal violation of the federal immigration laws, but that it is not clear that they have arrest authority when there's a mere civil violation of the federal immigration laws."

Now we learn conservatives would like to repeal the 14th Amendment.  Are the bigots coming out of the woodwork or what?

Well, tonight I plan to talk with one of the most straight shooting black Bloggers in the afrospear. RiPPa from the blog, Intersection Between Maddness and Reality, rippdemup.com, will join me tonight on BlogTalkRadio to talk about the whole immigration issue, and this attempt by conservatives to repeal the 14th Amendment and bring back slavery

Tonight we will talk about how illegal immigration is or can affect you personally. Here are just some of the so-called negative side affects of illegal immigration that we will debunk and/or talk about tonight:
  • easy conduit for terrorists entering the USA
  • massive escalation in crime
  • increases multiculturalism/segregation/divisiveness instead of the American melting pot
  • increases desire for Aztlan (reclaiming SW states for Mexico)
  • increasing number of traffic accidents
  • main contributor to surging US population
  • dramatic impact on society and infrastructure, including education
  • destruction of fragile ecosystems in American SW
  • main cause of emergency rooms and hospitals closing as well as service cut backs
  • introduction of third world diseases
  • increased welfare costs
  • massive costs to society – over and above contributions
Are these real issues? Or fake scare tactics of the conservative right?

Join us tonight as we have a rational conversation on immigration on my BlogTalkRadio Program, Political Slugfest show, at 10:00 PM, EST, "If you can handle the truth."

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African American Pundit encourages you to contact your elected officials/representatives and share your thoughts on current events and government policy. All politics is local!

Below you'll find links to e-mail and postal addresses, and phone numbers for key elected officials.

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