Colorlines

NOW IN RACIAL JUSTICE

Gunmen Ambush and Kill Two Immigrants in Arizona

Two people were killed on Sunday night by “an unknown number of subjects in camouflage clothing armed with rifles” that ambushed a truck carrying undocumented immigrants near the U.S.- Mexico border, according to the Pima County sheriff’s department.

The shootings occurred in Eloy, Arizona in an area northwest of Tucson “that is commonly used for human smuggling,” according to a statement made available to the press by the Pima County Sheriff’s office. Authorities identified one of the victims as Gerardo Perez-Ruiz, 39, of Toluca, Mexico, and the second victim was believed to be from Guatemala.

“We’re looking at the motives and who the suspects could have been,” Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy Dawn Barkman told UPI.com. “We’re not going to speculate on any reasons for this crime at this time.”

PS22 Chorus Documentary Heads to Tribeca Film Festival [Trailer]

PS22 Chorus Documentary Heads to Tribeca Film Festival [Trailer]

The film, “Once in a Lullaby: The PS22 Chorus Story,” follows the choir’s journey from Graniteville, Staten Island all the way to the Oscars. The documentary will give viewers a glimpse into some of the kids’ lives.

The film’s description:

The PS22 chorus from Staten Island became world famous after their YouTube videos went viral. This feel-good documentary follows them to their big performance as the closing act at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony, where creative differences, lost voices, and homesickness threaten their performance. Can these 5th graders entertain the entertainment elite?

The majority of the students at the elementary school are Latino (43%), black (23%) and Asian (12%).

The film premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 29. Visit the film’s Facebook page to find out when it plays near you.

Trayvon’s Mom on Zimmerman Shooting: ‘I Believe it was an Accident’

Trayvon's Mom on Zimmerman Shooting: 'I Believe it was an Accident'

Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, was interviewed on NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday morning—less than a day after the shooter, George Zimmerman, was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of her son.

When the host asked what she would tell Zimmerman if she came face to face with him, Fulton said she thought a person should apologize if they are remorseful.

Then she expressed words that are making headlines this morning.

“I believe it was an accident,” Fulton said. “I believe that it just got out of control, and he couldn’t turn the clock back.”

Lawyer Says Zimmerman Can’t Go To 7-11 Safely. The 7-11 Where Trayvon Bought Skittles? [Video]

Lawyer Says Zimmerman Can't Go To 7-11 Safely. The 7-11 Where Trayvon Bought Skittles? [Video]

George Zimmerman’s new attorney Mark O’Mara just said he can’t imagine what it’s like to hated like his client and not be able to do things like go to 7-11.

I can’t imagine going to 7-11 for Skittles and ending up dead!

“I cannot imagine living in George Zimmerman’s shoes for the past number of weeks only because he’s sort of been the focus of a lot of anger, maybe confusion and hatred,” O’Mara said at the press conference in Florida. “That’s gotta be difficult, I mean it must be frightening to not be able to go to 7-11 or to a store.”

Trayvon was in fact coming back from 7-11 to get Skittles and a Arizona canned Tea when he was shot and killed by Zimmerman. Wonder O’Mara can place himself in Trayvon’s shoes?

O’Mara went on to say Zimmerman will plead not guilty to second-degree murder.

Trayvon’s Mother: ‘I Want to Say Thank You From My Heart to Your Heart’

Trayvon's Mother: 'I Want to Say Thank You From My Heart to Your Heart'

“I want to thank God. We simply wanted an arrests, we wanted nothing more and nothing less, and we got it. And I say Thank You,” Trayvon Martin’s mother Sabrina Fulton said at a press conference hosted by the National Action Network in Washington DC.

“Secondly, I just want to speak from my heart to your heart because a heart has no color—it’s not black, it’s not white, it’s red and I want to say thank you from my heart to you heart,” Fulton went on to say.

Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, said he’s ready for the long journey ahead.

“This is just the beginning we’ve got a long way to go,” Tracy Martin said at the conference. “We will continue to hold hands on this journey—white, black, Hispanic, Latino—we will continue to march until the right thing is done.”

“The Prosecutor and the Governor did not make a decision based on public pressure but I think they decided to review [the case] based on public pressure,” Reverend Al Sharpton said at a conference before introducing Trayvon’s parents. “I will say that I did not trust Governor Scott, I did not trust the appointments, but I want to congratulate him and the prosecutor being what they should be,”

Zimmerman Charged With 2nd-Degree Murder in Trayvon Martin Shooting

Zimmerman Charged With 2nd-Degree Murder in Trayvon Martin Shooting

George Zimmerman, the man who shot Trayvon Martin is being charged with murder in the 2nd Degree, Angela B. Corey, the special prosecutor, said on Wednesday at a press conference held in Jacksonville, Florida. The announcement came more than six weeks after Trayvon and Zimmerman’s fatal encounter.

Corey said Zimmerman turned himself in and is “within the custody of law enforcement officers in the state of Florida.” He is being held without bail.

Second-degree charges in Florida could carry life in prison without parole.

Corey also said “if stand your ground becomes an issue, we will fight it.”

“We have numerous homicides where immediate arrests are not made and so to us it did not seem unusual,” Corey said after a reporter asked why it took 45-days to arrest Zimmerman.

The story has consumed the country and divided many—the Trayvon Martin case was the first in 2012 to surpass election coverage in U.S. media outlets.

Corey is no stranger to controversial cases. The Republican State Prosecutor appointed by Gov. Rick Scott made national headlines last year when she made the decision to charge a 12-year-old who was accused of beating his 2-year-old half-brother to death as an adult instead of letting his case go through juvenile court.

CBS News points out Corey has tried hundreds of murder cases in her career, including many involving Florida’s “kill at will” self-defense law:

Just two months ago, Stone says Corey’s office made the decision not to charge Artur Veshti, who shot and killed Stone’s client, Paulin Gavoci, after deciding Veshti acted in response to reasonable fear for his life.

Earlier this year, Stone says he was defending a woman charged with slashing a man she said attacked her, and Corey proceeded with charges until the judge dismissed the case finding that the woman had acted in self-defense.


Deportation Video Wins White House Contest, But Disappears

myasian-americana-whitehouse.jpgStill from White House video soliciting votes. “My Asian Americana” is highlighted on top left hand corner.”

In November 2011, the White House launched the “What’s Your Story” video challenge, asking the AAPI community to submit videos about the “issues that matter the most” to them. The Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders office received over 200 submissions and narrowed it down to 10 videos the public could vote on. But the video with the most votes (by a landslide) was ignored in the end.

The film that earned the highest numbers of votes, “My Asian Americana,” looks at the intersection between the criminal justice system and immigration. The video features a dozen men and women talking about being deported to a country they don’t know and what they remember and miss from the United States.

The videos submitted “remind us of why we do the work we do here to make sure your voices are heard,” a White House staffer says in a video thanking those who submitted videos. “With your help we’ll invite an exceptional group of finalists hear to the White House to share their stories in person with officials from President Obama’s administration,” says another staffer in the video.

But the filmmakers say the White House “formally refused to invite” them to an April 5th, 2012 event that included the finalists.

Zimmerman to be Charged in Trayvon Martin Shooting, Official Says

Zimmerman to be Charged in Trayvon Martin Shooting, Official Says

Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey plans to announce as early as Wednesday afternoon that she is charging neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, a law enforcement official close to the investigation tells the Washington Post.

It was not immediately clear what charge Zimmerman will face.

The Special prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case sent reporters a news release Tuesday at 8 p.m., saying she would make her announcement in the next 72 hours.

Let’s hope they can find him.

UPDATE: 4/11/12 3:15pm EST: The Miami Herald is reporting that there will only be one criminal charge filed. Via Herald writer Frances Robles:

Zimmerman Losing Weight and ‘Over the Edge,’ Martin Family Afraid He’s a Flight Risk

Zimmerman Losing Weight and 'Over the Edge,' Martin Family Afraid He's a Flight Risk

Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Martin’s family, says his legal team had always warned that George Zimmerman may “become a flight risk,” but that they are specially concerned now that nobody knows where Zimmerman is.

Crump told the AP he was worried that Zimmerman had disappeared. “The family has some serious concerns about the fact that the killer of their son, Trayvon Martin, is unaccounted for,” Crump said. “Nobody knows where he’s at.”

“We hope that [authorities] will take this under consideration that this a flight risk. If they go to press charges, is he really going to face them?” Crump said in a seperate interview with TIME Magazine.

Zimmerman’s former lawyers tell the AP Zimmerman is losing weight and suffering from “high levels of stress:” 

“He is largely alone. You might even say he is emotionally crippled by virtue of the pressure of this case,” said Hal Uhrig, a former lawyer for George Zimmerman. The protests and the profound isolation of going into hiding may have pushed him “a little bit over the edge,” said Uhrig and his colleague, Craig Sonner.

Caine’s Arcade Is the Happiest Place in East L.A. Right Now [Video]

Caine's Arcade Is the Happiest Place in East L.A. Right Now [Video]

9 year-old Caine built an elaborate arcade out of cardboard boxes (located in his dad’s used auto parts store). Unfortunately, Caine had no customers. Then one day, the internet organized a surprise to make his day.

Caine’s Arcade is located at 538 N Mission Rd, in Boyle Heights, CA 90033. He’s there on Saturday’s from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

If you can’t make it, drop by his website and give him a few dollars via PayPal for his college fund.

Boyle Heights is one of the neighborhoods with the highest densities in the county of Los Angeles. Boyle Heights is also overwhelmingly Latino with 94% of residents being Latino—81% of them of Mexican heritage.

In May 2011, Colorlines.com’s education reporter Julianne Hing looked at how East LA kids have some of the toughest times learning in Los Angeles schools.

Watch Senior in Nursing Home React to Listening to Music From His Era

Watch Senior in Nursing Home React to Listening to Music From His Era

“Alive Inside” tells a story of hope and beauty in a place where they are hard to find. Directed by Michael Rossato-Bennett, the film looks at the power music has to “awaken” the minds of seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia living in nursing homes that have been considered closed.

Alzheimer’s disease is more prevalent among African-Americans than among whites — with estimates ranging from 14% to almost 100% higher. (The Alzheimer’s Association notes while the rates vary among studies, three out of four report these higher prevalence rates.)

Experts say the number of African-Americans entering the “age of risk” is also growing rapidly. The number of African-Americans age 65 and over will more than double by 2030, from 2.7 million in 1995 to 6.9 million by 2030, according the The Alzheimer’s Association. [PDF]

“Alive Inside” will premiere on April 18 at the Rubin Museum in New York.

The Music and Memory organization is soliciting donations of used and new iPods to put music in the hands of nursing home patients across the country. They’ll accept old, new, used, and even broken or damaged iPod players that their volunteers may be able to repair Their residents don’t mind a few case scratches or decals. Visit Musicandmemory.org/give-an-ipod.html for more information.


8-Year-Old Filipino Girl Covers Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ [Video]

From Fitri Cerado website:

Foto Contact2Fitri Cerado is an 8- year old girl. When you first meet her, you would think that she is just another and happy kid. She was born in Indonesia on in November, 2003, to Filipino parents. Her mother and father were both working in Indonesia at the time she was born. She currently still lives and goes to school there. At an early age, Fitri showed interest in singing and music. She was only a toddler when she started to listen to Mozart and watch Indian music videos.

TAGS: Adele Videos

Meet Sweet Brown, the New Black Internet Meme That’s Going Viral [Video]

Meet Sweet Brown, the New Black Internet Meme That's Going Viral [Video]

“There is nothing the Internets loves more than making a Black person appearing to be a complete fool,” writes D.L Chandler on HipHopWired.com.

A woman who identified herself as Sweet Brown gave Oklahoma City-based NBC affiliate KFOR-4 an on-air interview shortly after her home caught on fire. And everyone is calling her the new Antoine Dodson. (you remember him? “Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wife”)

“I woke up to get me a cold pop, then I thought somebody was barbecuing, I said, ‘Oh, Lord Jesus, it’s a fire!” a bandana-wearing Sweet Brown exclaims. “Then I ran out, I didn’t grab no shoes or nothing, Jesus! I ran for my life!”

“And then the smoke got me, I got bronchitis! Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Sweet Brown knows people are making fun of her.

“I’ve been shown it, but I don’t like looking at it because I don’t like looking at myself like that because I look like a joke and I was really serious!” she told KFOR on Tuesday.

Pasadena Leaders Say They Have Their Own Trayvon, Rally at City Hall

Pasadena Leaders Say They Have Their Own Trayvon, Rally at City Hall

More than 100 demonstrators rallied in front of the steps of city hall on Tuesday in support of justice for an unarmed teen that was killed by Pasadena Police on March 24th.

Two Pasadena police officer shot and killed 19-year-old Kendrec McDade in an alley when they saw him reach for his waistband. McDade was unarmed, he never had a gun.

McDade’s father Kenneth spoke at the event organized by NAACP leaders and Pasadena clergy members.

“Somebody cut him down for no reason,” Kenneth McDade said. “Somebody’s got to be held accountable. As long as I’ve got life in my body I’m going to find out what happened to my son.”

Community members held signs with images of Trayvon Martin next to images of McDade and point to similarities in both cases—both were unarmed, young black males.

“We have our own Trayvon Martin here,” said Michelle White, Executive Director at Affordable Housing Services and President of the ACLU Chapter in Pasadena. (White did not speak on behalf of the ACLU.)

“Young black males are just an endangered species in the United States and Pasadena is no different in that regard.”

Maricopa County’s Former Top Prosecutor Andrew Thomas Disbarred

Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his onetime deputy, Lisa Aubuchon, will be disbarred effective May 10 by the Arizona ethics panel for failed corruption probes. Thomas worked closely with Sheriff Joe Arpaio who is also under investigation.

A three-member panel found Thomas violated professional rules of conduct for lawyers in bringing unfounded criminal charges against two county officials and a judge in December 2009.

George Zimmerman’s Lawyers Lose Contact, Withdraw From Case

George Zimmerman's Lawyers Lose Contact, Withdraw From Case

Attorneys for George Zimmerman said Tuesday at a news conference they haven’t heard from George Zimmerman since Sunday, the AP is reporting. Attorney Craig Sonner said they have withdrawn as his counsel, saying they have lost contact with him.

They that against their advice, Zimmerman contacted the special prosecutor who will decide if he should face charges.

Activist Challenges Georgia ‘Kill at Will’ Law in Federal Suit

Activist Challenges Georgia 'Kill at Will' Law in Federal Suit

A federal lawsuit was filed Monday asking that Georgia’s “kill at will law” be struck down because it’s vague and could result in a disproportionate number of people of color being shot.

Civil rights activist Rev. Markel Hutchins says he filed the lawsuit in response to the death of Trayvon Martin. “Georgia has a statute comparable to the controversial Florida law at the center of the Trayvon Martin tragedy,” Hutchins wrote on Facebook Tuesday.

“It is not clear what actions would create ‘reasonable belief’ that deadly force is necessary,” said the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. “An individual seeking to stand their ground and assert self-defense has no way of knowing if their ‘reasonable belief’ comports with the standards protected by the law and [they] want to ensure that they do not subject themselves to criminal penalties.”

Rick Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign, Leaves Behind A Bunch of Racist Gaffes

Rick Santorum suspended his White House campaign Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday afternoon. The former Pennsylvania senator made the announcement at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

The former Pennsylvania Senator leaves behind a few (some of them racist?) gems for us to go down memory lane with.

There was that one time when Santorum vowed he wouldn’t give black people “somebody else’s money.”

Baseball’s Ozzie Guillen on Fidel Castro: ‘I Betrayed My Latin Community’

Baseball's Ozzie Guillen on Fidel Castro: 'I Betrayed My Latin Community'

Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended for five games Tuesday because of comments he made about Fidel Castro in a recent Time Magazine interview. Guillen said he “love[s] Fidel Castro…I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that son of a bitch is still there.”

At the news conference in Miami, Guillen said his comments were misinterpreted by the reporter, and he doesn’t love or admire the dictator.

“I feel like I betrayed my Latin community,” Guillen said, according to ESPN’s translation of his comments in Spanish. “I am here to say I am sorry with my heart in my hands and I want to say I’m sorry to all those people who are hurt indirectly or directly.”

“The Marlins acknowledge the seriousness of the comments attributed to Guillen,” read a statement from the team. “The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized, especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship.”

Romney Escapes Green Bay Man’s Questions About Mormonism and Race [Video]

Romney Escapes Green Bay Man's Questions About Mormonism and Race [Video]

The first question for GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney at a town hall meeting in Green Bay, Wisc. on April 2nd came from a man who wanted to quote the Book of Mormon. The man, who’s been identified as a Ron Paul supporter, wanted to know if Romney thought it was a sin for a white man to marry and pro-create with a black woman.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185