We Are More Than Hashtags: Death of Sterling and Castile 

  Black men are dying. Black men are dying at such an alarming rate it’s downright scary. They were our brothers, uncles, fathers and husbands. Now they are reduced to nothing but a mere hashtag. 

What has our country become when black men can’t even live without being in constant fear of their lives. Wives, mothers and sisters living in fear if they will return home at the end of the day. 

 

 
Simply selling CDs or exercising your right to bare arms is reason enough to kill?!? (Alton Sterling)

I think not! 

No one bats an eye until the murder of police officers are in question. Although the lives of innocent people is a devastation in an of itself. But just like police officers lives matters so does black lives. 

We are not saying other lives don’t matter but we need to get the same amount of sympathy for our slain black men just like those slain officers. 

Something needs to be done. But destroying innocent civilians isn’t the answer. We need love not hate. 

We need to come together and fight injustices. But until the ones with all the power and wealth change the way they think nothing will ever change in this crazy world. 

The girlfriend of Philando Castile live streams her boyfriend’s murder. Please be careful everyone you are worth more.  Don’t become the next hashtag. 

Celebrating an Icon

In a world where the likes of Beyonce, Rihanna, Ciara, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj dominate the music charts for the women in music, there is someone else… Janet Jackson!!! For the last 30 years Janet Damita Jo Jackson has been BLESSING fans all over the world with her musical talent. As she celebrates her 50th birthday, let’s take a walk down memory lane and remember why we love Janet so much! We loved her as Penny from Good Times, Cleo on Fame and Charlene on Different Strokes. Then, Control' happened and it was on like Donkey Kong!!! The 1986 album spawned number one hits like the title track Control, Nasty Boys and one of my favorites, The Pleasure Principal!!! YASSSSS!!! THAT IS MY VIDEO!!!! Janet was unstoppable, proving that she could make her mark on the industry on her own. Fast forward a few years and, arguably one of the best albums ever recorded, Rhythm Nation was born and my life changed forever. The first time Donnie Simpson premiered that video on Video Soul, bbaabbyyy, listen, you already know. There were many a Halloween I was rocking that look okahhh. 7 more albums followed producing hit after hit after hit. Every album was different, Janet’s look changed making her a style goddess. Who didn’t want her scarlet hair in the I Get So Lonely video?! Ummm I TOTALLY did!!!! Watching her perform, she always brings it and shuts it down! Remember the video for IF… yeah you take a moment to think about THAT! In 30 years, Janet has only had about 11 studio albums. 11! And she’s STILL one of the most decorated, highest selling, best female recording artists of all time. Her music is quality and timeless, you don’t have to put out a record every year or even every two years to stay relevant. Just produce great music and it will transcend time, put out crap and you’ll be a flash in the pan who can easily be replaced or duplicated. There is only ONE Janet Jackson! Often imitated NEVER duplicated. As Janet begins her journey into motherhood and celebrates the big 50, we salute Miss Jackson. Thank you for sharing your music, your highs and lows, your tribulations and triumphs. I’m so glad to have witnessed the Janet Era. The incredible, the talented, Miss Jackson if you’re nasty… We love you!!!

Farewell To A Legend 

By: Tiffany Jenkins   
I was 7 years old the first time I saw Prince. It was his video for `Partyman’, the soundtrack to the 80s movie `Batman’. Prince wrote, produced and performed the entire soundtrack to that movie. That’s just a glimpse of the power that Prince Rogers Nelson possessed.
This is a man, who taught himself how to play multiple instruments and how to write and compose the most incredible music.
  
A career spanning more than 40+ years, he definitely earned the title GENIUS. Purple Rain is one of my favorite movies and BEST movie soundtracks EVER!!!
He was an innovator, a visionary, revolutionary and courageous pioneer. He believed in the power of music and he lived his life walking in his purpose, letting his spirituality guide him, sharing his God given gifts to the world.
An actor, a musician, dancer, singer, songwriter, style icon, Grammy & Academy Award winner and electrifying entertainer, there will never be another like him. He was so humble, no ego (the tears are flowing)…To all of the young artists out there, take note.
People don’t talk about Prince because of a crazy private life and dumb stuff that doesn’t matter, people talk about his MUSIC!
Ask yourself, with the type of music you create and out of control antics so display, what will people think of you when you’re gone? Do you live for the art or for Lamborghinis and Louboutins? Do you want the world to mourn your passing like a family member? Do you want the word Genius to be attached to your name? Do you want the next generation to look to you as inspiration? Do you want to be considered a Legend? If you say Yes! to any of these things, you may want to reexamine yourselves.
There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t been said, our prayers go out to his family and his amazing band. In memory of this king, let’s put our lighters up one last time and remember the incomparable, the talented, the elegant, the gifted, the legendary artist always and forever known as… Prince!! 
  

US Using Eye and Facial Scans on Mexican Border

By Christopher Rivera

On December 10th 2015, Customs and Border Protection began using new biometric technology at Otay Mesa pedestrian crossing, in San Diego, for Non-U.S. citizens entering and exiting the U.S. According to cbp.gov the project will be in two phases; the first phase took place on December 10th in which certain Non-U.S. citizens used new kiosks, in the pedestrian lanes, with biometric capture technology to provide a facial photograph and iris images. The second phase will begin in February with “with biographic data provided from everyone departing the United States similar to the information provided when departing by air.” The test will run until June 2016.

The reason for this new approach, in a technology that seems to come straight out a sci-fi movie, is to crack down on immigrants who are in the United States on expired visas. In a study by the Pew Hispanic Center, in 2006, it was estimated that about 40 to 50 percent of people who are in the country illegally are here on expired visas. With the recent approach authorities have no way to identify them because they lack a check out system.

The trial system will last until June, and authorities will see if it will expand to foreigners at all crossings on the 1,954 mile border with Mexico.

Congress has long demanded a biometric system but it poses huge financial and logistical challengers.

One traveler, Rosendo Hernandez of Tijuana, said, “It’s very fast, not inconvenient in the least.”

Joe Misenhelter, assistant director at Otay Mesa, the nation’s fourth-busiest port of entry last year, said “It’s basically to verify that the same person that came to the United States is the same person that’s exiting the United States.”

Although people view this form of technology as a step in the right direction, like Marc Rosenblum, deputy director for U.S. immigration policy at the Migration Policy Institute, who said the effort aims to fix “the biggest deficiency in the whole system.” Others view it with some skepticism, like Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, who said that facial and eye scans may open the doors for countries to do the same to American visitors.

Flint’s Water Crisis: The Outbreak Of Lead Exposure 

  The city of Flint began planning the switch on its water supply from the city of Detroit to the Flint river. This was to provide a temporary fix while the Karegnodi Water Authority’s construction of a pipeline from Lake Huron, which was to eliminate its long time usuage on Detroit city water. 

After the change in the Flint water source, residents of the city discovered that their water not only looked and smelled bad but contained dangerous levels of lead. Reportedly, almost 27,000 residents  while mostly children had high levels of lead in their blood. 

  In November, of 2015, several families filed federal class actions lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in the city of Detroit against Governor Rick Synder as well as several other city and state officials. 

On January 5, 2016, the city declared a state of emergency by the governor then a couple weeks later President Obama also declared the city of Flint to be in a state of emergency. Thus, having the Department of Homeland Security helping and aiding this problem. 

  In January of last year a Flint physician found high levels of lead in the blood of the children of Flint. Meanwhile, the Department of Environment Quality still insisted that the water was safe to drink. 

  A researcher, from Virginia Tech, Marc Edwards, found the Flint water to be “corrosive”. He also stated that he was shocked that authorities that were suppose to protect the citizens consciously covered up the situation. 

“The extent to which they went to cover this up exposes a new level of arrogance and uncaring that I have never encountered.”

The water has now been switched back to the city of Detriot with water pumping from Lake Huron. But it will still cost close to around a billion dollars to fix this troubling situation which could have been avoided if they weren’t trying to save $5 million in the first place. Knowing that they were harming citizens on purpose and tried to hide it in an effort to save money is disgusting and sickening. 

 

A Tarnished Father Figure

bill-cosby-andrea-constand-sex-assault-claims-pp

by Christopher Rivera

Bill Cosby has come a long way from being an international spy on I Spy, peddling pudding pops, being the lovable fictional father, Cliff Huxtable, on the Cosby show, and being voice of reason for black youth, who tells them to pull their pants up. The idea of a lovable father figure that people have grown to admire has come to a screeching halt after a video of comedian Hannibal Buress went viral, while he was doing a standup routine in Philadelphia in 2014. During his set Hannibal Buress repeatedly calls Bill Cosby a rapist:

Thirteen? And it’s even worse because Bill Cosby has the fucking smuggest old black man public persona that I hate. Pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the ’80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom. Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby. So, brings you down a couple notches. I don’t curse on stage. Well, yeah, you’re a rapist, so, I’ll take you sayin’ lots of motherfuckers on Bill Cosby: Himself if you weren’t a rapist. …I want to just at least make it weird for you to watch Cosby Show reruns. …I’ve done this bit on stage, and people don’t believe. People think I’m making it up. …That shit is upsetting. If you didn’t know about it, trust me. You leave here and Google ‘Bill Cosby rape.’ It’s not funny. That shit has more results than Hannibal Buress.

It wasn’t long after Hannibal Buress’ video went viral that  decade old accusations resurfaced. These accusations included women being drugged, sexually assaulted, and raped. The victims often felt that they couldn’t speak out because of fear that no one would believe them.

One of the alleged victims was Linda Traitz who worked at Café Figaro, which was co-owned by Bill Cosby. Linda Traitz was assaulted by Bill Cosby after he offered her a ride home, but instead suggested they go to the beach. It was while they were parked at the beach that he opened up his suitcase and “He offered me pills and said it would help me to relax, and I kept refusing but he kept offering.”

He then lunged at her and began groping her inappropriately. She managed to escape the vehicle and run down the beach, tearing her skirt as she fell in the sand. Cosby was still in pursuit and he offered her a ride back home. Traitz told her co-workers and family of the incident, but she didn’t tell the police. Her brother, Jim Traitz, in an interview with Washington Post spoke about why she didn’t go to the police, he said, “It was a different time. We all also knew this was a really big guy with a big PR operation and lawyers, and that he could crush us — that he would crush us — and her.”

Now more than 40 women have come out and accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. These accusations span from 1965, when Cosby was in I Spy, to the mid 2000s.

Bill Cosby only response to the allegations is when he told Florida Today, “People shouldn’t have to go through that and shouldn’t answer to innuendos.”

In the 2005 deposition Cosby did answer yes to getting Quaaludes, a type of sedative, for the purpose that he was going to use them on young women he wanted to have sex with, as was reported by the Business Insider.

Although, many of the cases fall outside the statutes of limitations, Cosby does face a defamation lawsuit from a group of alleged victims. One defamation lawsuit that is currently active against Cosby is filed by former attorney Tamara Green, Therese Serignese and Linda Traitz.

On December 30, 2015 Bill Cosby was charged with aggravated sexual assault in Pennsylvania for an incident that occurred in 2004.

 

 

Black Judge Gets Called Racial Slur, After Defendant’s Bond Is Denied

On Monday, January , 2016, an African  American Judge, denied a drug offenders bond. The defendant  hurled a racial slur during the court proceedings. Supposedly, defendant , Adam Satterly gave him another 60 days in jail. According to the footage caught inside the court from. The defendant blurts out, “Punk Ass Ni**er,” as he is outside the courtroom.

Judge Olu Stevens states to him, “Oh you just didn’t mean it like that? Well, you don’t speak those words in here. I’m going to hold you in contempt of court and give you 60 days for having used that word. It’s disrespectful and don’t ever do it again.”

This is the first time something like this has happened in Steven’s courtroom. He is now being under review for his comments alleging that big time prosecutor  only wants an “all white jury” for black cases.

Texas Trooper Gets Indictment After Death Of Sandra Bland

sandra bland and texas trooperAccording to reports, Texas Trooper Brian Encinia is being indicted on perjury charges which may actually land him a one-year prison sentence. The grand jury resumed the investigator into the arrest of Bland. She was found in a Waller County jail cell with a plastic bag tied around her neck, just a few days after her arrest.

Officer Encinia was caught on video pulling Sandra Bland roughly out of her car during a traffic stop. Ironically, enough, she was from Illinois and was moving to Texas to start a new job in the summer, when she got arrested.

Tamir, Sandra, Freddie, How Many More Do We Have To Lose?

Black-Men-Killed-By-PoliceYear after year an unforeseen tragedy happens in the black community that results in an uproar. The slain killing of an African American. Within these past couple years we have lost almost a dozen citizens due to police brutality. There are so many murders but yet these officers go without any punishment. It’s almost as if the justice system is sending out a message that it is okay to murder black men and women and get away with it. The killing of the nine individuals at the South Carolina church was hushed under the rug while the murderer can go on with his life as long as he pleads “insanity.” That in of itself is insane. Members of the “Black Lives Matter,” movement being murdered just for protesting their  rights to be seen as an equal human being in the world.

Tamir Rice, a young teen shot dead after seen playing with a toy gun, Sandra Bland murdered for what, we still don’t know. Freddie Gray, shot down just like Mike Brown, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, and countless others. I don’t know what has to happen in this world before racism and violence ends. Gone, are the days when our children could play outside without fear of being killed. Everyday innocent men and women lives are being stolen away from them. Unsolved mysteries the media fails to uncover the truth about. No one will ever know what happen to young teen Kendrick Johnson who’s body was found rolled up in gym mats then later stuffed with newspapers. Somebody knows, no one is seeking to tell the truth.  NO one cares about the black community. It is far time that the black community come together to hold each other accountable. We must do something. We need to support each other. I pray that one day we can live in a world where gun violence and racism isn’t so rampant in our society. Where we don’t judge other cultures based over old stereotypes but we realize we are all one.  That we are all running one race; The Human Race.

Trump Still Leads Polls Dispite Being Controversial

By Chris Rivera

With five Republican debates so far and Trump leading nearly all the polls, Trump remains a controversial candidate. Trump has recently made headlines when he said he is in favor of banning all Muslims from entering the United States. He has also vowed on making a database for all Muslims living in the United States and for surveillance against all mosques.

During the fifth Republican debate, that took place in Las Vegas, Wolf Blitzer, of CNN, asked Trump, “As you mentioned in your opening statement, part of your strategy is to focus in on America’s borders. To keep the country safe, you say you want to temporarily ban non-American Muslims from coming to the United States, ban refugees fleeing ISIS from coming here, deport 11 million people and wall off America’s southern border. Is the best way to make America great again to isolate it from much of the rest of the world?”

Trump replied by saying, “We are not talking about isolation. We’re talking about security. We’re not talking about religion. We’re talking about security. Our country is out of control. People are pouring across the southern border. I will build a wall. It will be a great wall. People will not come in unless they come in legally. Drugs will not pour through that wall. As far as other people, like in the migration, where they’re going, tens of thousands of people having cell phones with ISIS flags on them—I don’t think so, Wolf. They’re not coming to this country. And if I’m president and if Obama has brought some to this country, they are leaving. They’re going. They’re gone.”

 

But fortunately some Republicans see the flaw in Trump’s views. Jeb Bush responded to Trump’s proposal by saying, “Well, first of all, we need to destroy ISIS in the caliphate. That’s—that should be our objective. The refugee issue will be solved if we destroy ISIS there, which means we need to have a no-fly zone, safe zones there for refugees, and to build a military force. We need to embed our forces, our troops, inside the Iraqi military. We need to arm directly the Kurds. And all of that has to be done in concert with the Arab nations. And if we’re going to ban all Muslims, how are we going to get them to be part of a coalition to destroy ISIS? The Kurds are the greatest fighting force and our strongest allies. They’re Muslim. Look, this is not a serious proposal. In fact, it will push the Muslim world, the Arab world, away from us at a time when we need to re-engage with them to be able to create a strategy to destroy ISIS. So, Donald, you know, is great at the one-liners. But he’s a chaos candidate. And he’d be a chaos president. He would not be the commander-in-chief we need to keep our country safe.”

Jeb Bush seems to be correct when he says Trump is a “chaos candidate, but he is a chaos candidate that is leading the polls; his RCP average is at 36.5 percent, for CNN he is at 39 percent, FOX News also has him at 39 percent, and Washington Post and ABC News have him at 38 percent. No one else in his party seems to be able to close the gap.

There are also a lot of people seem to agree with Trump’s views, with many people taking to social media to voice their concerns on Muslims entering the United States. Charlie Marzka, a resident from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, agreed with Trump by saying, “I think that we should definitely disallow any Muslims from coming in. Any of them. The reason is simple: we can’t identify what their attitude is.”

Charlie Marzka is not the only person who feels this way. A CBS News Poll shows 36 percent of Americans said it should ban Muslims from entering. When looking at the party as a whole, 54 percent of Republicans think it’s a good idea to ban Muslims.