Colorlines

NOW IN RACIAL JUSTICE

People of Color Go On Tumblr To Tell Their ‘I Could Be Trayvon’ Stories

People of Color Go On Tumblr To Tell Their 'I Could Be Trayvon' Stories

A Tumblr launched Friday is collecting stories from men of color who have been victims of racial profiling. IcouldBeTrayvon.com asks visitors to share stories and pictures about being racially profiled and how that incident made them feel.

“As boys and men of color, we are providing a platform to share with each other, and with the world, our ‘Trayvon Stories’ — the times we were similarly racially profiled by police or vigilantes, and could have ended up dead after doing nothing more than the everyday activity typical of human beings living in a supposedly free society,” said Dom Apollon, who founded the Tumblr. Apollon is Research Director at the Applied Research Center, Colorlines.com’s publisher.

Apollon says he was inspired to create the Tumblr after he saw the “Planned Parenthood Saved Me” Tumblr that collects stories from women who say Planned Parenthood saved their lives.

For more information on how you can submit your “I could be Trayvon” story visit IcouldBeTrayvon.com/submit

Miami Heat Tweets Team Pic of Hoodies To Support Trayvon Martin

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LeBron James tweeted the picture Friday morning.

First Lady Michelle Obama Strikes the Heisman Pose [Photos]

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First Lady Michelle Obama strikes the Heisman pose while greeting Dallas Cowboys football players, from left, Miles Austin, DeMarcus Ware, and Felix Jones at the Kleberg Rylie Recreation Center in Dallas, Texas, Feb. 10, 2012. The players joined Mrs. Obama and chefs from past seasons of “Top Chef” for the “Schools and Chefs Working Together” cooking competition to help promote the “Let’s Move!” initiative. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award is awarded annually to the player deemed the most outstanding player in collegiate football.

The President is also no strangers to the Heisman pose. The picture below dates back to the days before he was President. (And look closely! They are both giving the camera so much face!)


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Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum Comment on Trayvon Martin Case

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum both commented on the Trayvon Martin case Friday, shortly after President Obama weighed in, BuzzFeed is reporting.

In a statement, Romney said: “What happened to Trayvon Martin is a tragedy. There needs to be a thorough investigation that reassures the public that justice is carried out with impartiality and integrity.”

Santorum has slightly tougher words.

“It’s a horrible case, and it’s chilling to hear what happened,” Santorum said. “And of course the fact that law enforcement didn’t immediately go after and prosecute this case is another chilling example of horrible decisions made by people in this process.”

He continued: “I think it’s pretty clear the problems we’re seeing in this case, and hopefully the state Attorney General and local community is reacting and responding, and hopefully this matter will be an example of what law enforcement has to do in a case like this.”

Romney had previously ignored reporters when asked about Martin’s case.

Obama: ‘If I Had A Son He’d Look Like Trayvon’

Obama: 'If I Had A Son He'd Look Like Trayvon'

President Obama said Friday morning the nation needs to do some “soul searching” over the shooting death of unarmed African-American teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida.

“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said at the White House.

“I can only imagine what these parents are going through,” Obama said after announcing his pick of Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim to head the World Bank, adding “When I think about this boy I think about my own kids.”

“My main message is to the parents: If I had a son he’d look like Trayvon. I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves.”

Obama went on to say “soul searching” means “we examine the laws and context for what happened as well as the specifics of the incident.”

Although he didn’t get in to any details, Obama did make a structural connection to the case when he made a reference to the “laws and context.”

Mitt Romney Ignores Reporter’s Question About Trayvon Martin

Mitt Romney Ignores Reporter's Question About Trayvon Martin

[Update: 3/23/2012 12:53pm EST: Shortly after Obama made his comments, GOP primary candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum released their statements on the Trayvon Martin case.]

Sam Youngman, a campaign correspondent for Reuters, says he was ignored when he asked GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney how he would handle Trayvon Martin case.

Youngman took to Twitter this morning with details: > Wording of my question to Romney today: “Would your Justice Department get involved in the Trayvon Martin case?” He did not answer

White Teen Gets Life in Gruesome Mississippi Hate Crime

White Teen Gets Life in Gruesome Mississippi Hate Crime

Deryl Dedmon and two other Rankin County, Miss. young men pleaded guilty Thursday to federal hate crime charges for the hit-and-run death of African-American James C. Anderson. One day after Dedmon was sentenced to two life terms in prison after pleading guilty to murder under a state hate crime law, he, and two other teens were charged and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy and one count of violating the federal hate crime law, according to the Clarion Ledger.

Memphis Grizzlies Stop By St. Jude Children’s Hospital for Tea Time

A few big time basketball players from the Memphis Grizzlies stopped by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis last Thursday for tea time with children who are undergoing treatment for cancer.

stjude-grizzlies-teatime2.jpg (Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies decorates cookies during a visit with children on March 15, 2012 at Memphis Grizzlies House - St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

Cousin of Oscar Grant Shot By Oakland Police Files $10 Million Lawsuit

Tony Ray Jones, a 24-year-old man shot and wounded by Oakland police in February, filed a $10 million federal civil rights suit against the city Wednesday. Jones is the cousin of Oscar Grant, the BART passenger killed by a transit agency police officer in 2009.

According to the complaint, Jones was unarmed when he shot by Oakland Police Officer Cesar Garcia on February 19th, 2012. The complaint points out at the time of the shooting, Garcia was under a criminal investigation for the “unjustified” shooting of two unarmed African-American males in May 2011. Thirty year old, Antoine Jackson and twenty-three year old John Sloan were fatally shot by Garcia and his unit partner after stepped out of their vehicles in Oakland. The suit alleges those scenes are “eerily similar to Mr. Jones’ case.”

Coroner: Whitney Houston Died of Drowning, Heart Disease, and Drug Use

Coroner: Whitney Houston Died of Drowning, Heart Disease, and Drug Use

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office has determined that Whitney Houston’s official cause of death is: “drowning and effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.”

The coroner’s office also said the manner of death was an “accident.”

However, the toxicology report adds that “Cocaine and metabolites were identified and were contributory to the death. Marijuana, Alprazolam (Xanax), Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) were identified but did not contribute to the death.”

Associated Press is also reporting the Coroner’s spokesman Craig Harvey explaining their results indicated “Houston was a chronic cocaine user.”

Dharun Ravi’s Finally Speaks Out, Denies He Caused Suicide

Dharun Ravi's Finally Speaks Out, Denies He Caused Suicide

Former Rutgers student Dharun Ravi, who was convicted last week of a hate crime for spying on his gay roommate’s date, will make his first primetime television interview on Friday night.

“Even though I wasn’t the one who caused him to jump off the bridge, I did do things wrong and I was stupid about a lot of stuff,” Ravi said in an exclusive broadcast interview with “20/20″ co-anchor Chris Cuomo.

“The more and more I found out, it would be kind of obnoxious of me to think that I could have this profound effect on him,” Ravi said.

At another point he added, “After all this time and reading his conversations and how and what he was doing before, I really don’t think he cared at all. I feel like I was an insignificant part to his life. That’s giving me comfort now.”

The full interview airs Friday on ABC’s “20/20″ at 10 p.m. ET.

Ravi is scheduled to be sentenced May 21 and could face five to 10 years in prison. As an Indian citizen who is in the U.S. on a green card, Ravi could also face deportation. For more read Rinku Sen’s “Dharun Ravi, Tyler Clementi and the Hard Work of Truly Stopping Bullies.”

Here’s What ‘Stand Your Ground’ Gun Laws Do, Find Out if Your State Has One

In a look at “Stand Your Ground” laws, ProPublica’s Cora Currier explains that “In 2005, Florida became the first state to explicitly expand a person’s right to use deadly force for self-defense. Deadly force is justified if a person is gravely threatened, in the home, or ‘any other place where he or she has a right to be.’ In Florida, once self-defense is invoked, the burden is on the prosecution to disprove the claim.”

Currier notes, “Most states have long allowed the use of reasonable force, sometimes including deadly force, to protect oneself inside one’s home—the so-called Castle Doctrine. Outside the home, people generally still have a ‘duty to retreat’ from their attacker, if possible, to avoid confrontation. In other words, if you can get away and you shoot anyway, you can be prosecuted. In Florida, there is no duty to retreat. You can ‘stand your ground’ outside your home too.”

Sanford Police Chief Steps Down Amid Outcry for Trayvon Martin

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Miami Herald is reporting Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee has temporarily removed himself from office Thursday, a day after city commissioners gave him a vote of no confidence.

“It is my hope the process would move swiftly and thoroughly through the justice system,” Lee said.

More details to come.


City of West Hollywood Condemns Bravo’s ‘Shahs of Sunset’

City of West Hollywood Condemns Bravo's 'Shahs of Sunset'

The West Hollywood City Council has passed a resolution condemning the new reality television show “The Shahs of Sunset” for perpetuating negative stereotypes about Iranian-Americans, Weho Daily reports. The show, which is produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions, airs on the Bravo Network, a subsidiary of NBC Universal.

“The show depicts negative stereotypes of the Iranian-American community,” said West Hollywood Councilmember John Heilman. “Negative stereotypes disseminated about any group should raise concern as this can lead to discrimination and, in extreme cases, even violence,” continued Councilmember Heilman.

Feelings in the Persian-American community are mixed.

Asians Were Fastest-Growing U.S. Population in Last Decade, Census Finds‎

According to the 2010 Census, the Asian population grew faster than any other race group in the United States between 2000 and 2010. The population that identified as Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more other races, grew by 45.6 percent from 2000 to 2010, while those who identified as Asian alone grew by 43.3 percent. Both populations grew at a faster rate than the total U.S. population, which increased by 9.7 percent from 2000 to 2010.

The biggest Asian ethnic group in the nation is Chinese, at 4 million people. Filipinos log in at second with 3.4 million people, and Asian Indians follow with 3.2 million people.

Trayvon Martin Petition Surpasses 1 Million Signatures, Supporters Also Sending Skittles to Police Chief

Trayvon Martin Petition Surpasses 1 Million Signatures, Supporters Also Sending Skittles to Police Chief

A two-week old Change.org petition started by Trayvon Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, surpassed the one millionth signature mark Thursday morning.

“Please join us in calling on Norman Wolfinger, Florida’s 18th District State’s Attorney, to investigate my son’s murder and prosecute George Zimmerman for the shooting and killing of Trayvon Martin,” the parents wrote on Change.org

Thousands Take Streets in Protest for Trayvon Martin

fulton-trayvon-mother.jpgTracy Martin (L), and Sybrina Fulton, parents of slain teenager Trayvon Martin, address supporters at a Million Hoodies March on March 21, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

“Our son is your son,” Trayvon Martin’s mom Sabrina Fulton told a crowd of several hundred gathered in Manhattan’s Union Square on Wednesday evening.

“Our son was not committing a crime, our son is your son and I want you guys to stand up for justice and stand up for what’s right!”

Fulton started her day out at 5am on NBC’s “Today Show” in New York City telling millions of viewers across the country that the man who shot and killed her son needs to be arrested. Fulton went on to make several media appearances throughout the day including an MSNBC interview where we learned that the strong mother we see on television fighting to get justice for her son is still grieving herself.

“He’s a fun-loving guy. He likes to be with his family and his friends,” Fulton said on MSNBC, unable to use the past tense about her boy.

Women Bombard Anti-Choice Governors with Ladyparts Questions

Women Bombard Anti-Choice Governors with Ladyparts Questions

Few victories for women’s health have ever happened at the state level, but governors have outdone themselves in recent months — making reproductive rights as inaccessible as possible by mandating invasive procedures, usurping the client-doctor relationship, and cutting funds to both health care and free clinics. So, what to do if you’re a woman (or an ally to women) living in a state that doesn’t trust women with their own bodies? Give them the minute-by-minute updates they obviously want, of course!

At Talking Points Memo, Pema Levy rounds up a multi-state unofficial social media campaign, in which women take to their governor’s Facebook walls to ask every single question that comes into their minds about their gynecological health. (If only they had some expertise about their own bodies, but that’s the government’s job!) The results are angry-feminist comedy gold. A few samples, from the Facebook walls of Bob McDonnell, Rick Perry, Sam Brownback, Tom Corbett, and others:


Florida Refuses to Suspend Gun License of Trayvon Martin’s Shooter

Florida Refuses to Suspend Gun License of Trayvon Martin's Shooter

So not only are Florida officials refusing to arrest George Zimmerman, the man who shot Trayvon Martin, now they’re also refusing to suspend his license to carry a concealed handgun in the State of Florida.

The Florida Civil Rights Association organized a press conference Wednesday calling on the state to review Zimmerman’s concealed-weapons permit and decide whether he should be carrying a license during investigations.

Virginia Teacher Who Asked Black Student to Read Poem in ‘Blacker’ Voice Suspended

Fairfax County, Virginia school administrators have placed a school teacher on paid administrative leave after she reportedly asked the only black student in class to read a poem in a “blacker” voice.

“She interrupted me after I finished the first stanza, and told me to read it ‘blacker,’” recounted ninth-grader Jordan Shumate. “She said, ‘Blacker, Jordan. Come on, I thought you were black.’”

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