Colorlines

NOW IN RACIAL JUSTICE

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.’”

Fla. Rep. Frederica Wilson Calls for Justice on House Floor for Trayvon Martin [Video]

Fla. Rep. Frederica Wilson Calls for Justice on House Floor for Trayvon Martin [Video]

On Tuesday, Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives about Trayvon Martin’s death.

“Trayvon Martin was shot to death by a renegade-wannabe-policeman-neighborhood watchman,” Wilson said on the House Floor. “Trayvon was just trying to live and reach 18,” she went on to say.

100 Civil Rights Groups Call on Feds to Investigate NYPD for Spying on Muslims

100 Civil Rights Groups Call on Feds to Investigate NYPD for Spying on Muslims

Over 100 civil rights, faith, community, and advocacy groups signed a letter sent on Monday urging the Department of Justice to commence a prompt investigation into the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim Americans in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the groups summarize some of the gravest reports by the Associated Press of the racial profiling and surveillance of approximately 350 mosques, schools, businesses, and individuals throughout the Northeast between 2005 and 2008, despite no evidence of criminal activity. The reports include the NYPD’s use of anti-Muslim propaganda in cadet training and of informants and undercover agents in colleges to collect files containing Muslim American students’ personal information.

Black Superintendent of Most Diverse School District in Nation Doesn’t Like Blacks, Workers Say

Nine employees of the Tukwila School District near Seattle, Washington, have filed complaints of racial discrimination against the districts black superintendent, Ethelda Burke. The nine black employees that range from teachers, bus drivers and athletic directors say Burke referred to them as slaves and had racially loaded nicknames for them like “J-Dark.”

Their attorney filed the complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to MSNBC. The attorney has also called on the school board to immediately suspend Burke.

Obama Responds to Deaf Student in Sign Language

Obama Responds to Deaf Student in Sign Language

Stephon, a 26-year-old Prince George’s Community College student signed to President Obama “I am proud of you.” The president, “almost involuntary, instinctively, immediately” signed back with a thank you, reports Distriction.com.

Calif. State Schools Slash Spring Admission in Big Hit to Students of Color

Calif. State Schools Slash Spring Admission in Big Hit to Students of Color

California State University (CSU) officials announced Monday they will temporarily close admissions, as a result of budget cuts, and will require most of the 23 CSU campuses to freeze enrollment for the next spring semester of 2013. The majority of students locked out of enrolling in the Spring are mainly transfers from community colleges who are overwhelmingly students of color, according to CSU records.

NASCAR is Looking for an Ad Agency to Tell Latinos They’re Bienvenidos at Daytona

NASCAR is Looking for an Ad Agency to Tell Latinos They're Bienvenidos at Daytona

NASCAR is looking for an ad agency to develop a strategy for them to increase their Latino fan base. The family owned group that governs multiple auto racing sports events is likely looking to bite in the wallets of the fastest growing demographic in the nation.

Eminem Video Mash Up Asks: Will The Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up?

Two Women Turn ‘N*ggas in Paris’ Into ‘B*tches in Bookshops’

Two Women Turn 'N*ggas in Paris' Into 'B*tches in Bookshops'

This ‘Watch the Throne’ parody video will make a book nerds head spin. The brilliants ladies behind this video are La Shea Delaney and Annabelle Quezada.

A snippet of the lyrics:

Read so hard librarians tryin’ ta FINE me­, They can’t identify me, Checked in with a pseudonym, so I guess you can say I’m Mark Twaining. Read so hard, I’m not lazy. Go on Goodreads, so much rated. Fountainhead, on my just read, gave it four stars, and then changed it. Read so hard, I’m literary. Goosebumps series, TOO SCARY!

Visit Annabelle Quezada’s blog for complete lyrics.

TAGS: Videos

Trayvon Martin’s Girlfriend Talks About Final Call, Justice Dept Steps In

Trayvon Martin's Girlfriend Talks About Final Call, Justice Dept Steps In

On Monday morning ABC News published an interview with a 16-year old girl who is believed to have been on the phone with Trayvon Martin moments before neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot him dead.

“He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man,” Martin’s friend said told ABC News, in an interview with lawyers asking the questions because the girl is underage. “I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run.”

Today’s Love: Students in Florida Rally to Demand Justice for Trayvon Martin

Today's Love: Students in Florida Rally to Demand Justice for Trayvon Martin

Students from across the state of Florida gathered today at the Seminole County Courthouse on Monday to demand justice for Trayvon Martin. The 15-year-old black teenager was followed, confronted and killed three weeks ago by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed Neighborhood Watch captain in Sanford, Florida. Martin’s crime? Apparently, being young, black and wearing a hoodie in a predominately white neighborhood.

To date, Zimmerman has not been charged with a crime.

More than 30 Florida A&M University law students took part in the protest.

Black Militia Plans to Make Citizen’s Arrest of Trayvon Martin’s Shooter

Najee Muhammad, a member of the New Black Liberation Militia, announced Thursday that members of the group plan to make a citizen’s arrest on the neighborhood watch leader who admitted to fatally shooting unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin. The Militia plans to take George Zimmerman in to custody and had him over to federal authorities because “local police haven’t acted,” the Associated Press reports.

The leader of the Atlanta, Georgia group says they’ll travel to Florida this week to attempt a citizen’s arrest on Zimmerman.

According to their website, the New Black Liberation Institute is a multi-faith, spiritual, cultural, scientific, and political instructional institution “under the leadership of Prince Min. Najee Shaka Muhammad The Top Student of Dr.Khallid Abdul Muhammad!”

An attorney for slain 17-year-old’s family said they disagreed with actions such as what the militia proposed.

Trayvon Martin Petition Calls for Federal Help After Fla. State Attorney Decision

Trayvon Martin Petition Calls for Federal Help After Fla. State Attorney Decision

Civil rights group ColorOfChange.org on Monday launched a campaign calling on the US Department of Justice to take over the case of Trayvon Martin, arrest the man who shot him, and launch an independent investigation into the Sanford Police Department’s unwillingness to protect Martin’s civil rights.

“The tragic killing of Trayvon Martin and subsequent mishandling of this case by Sanford police is yet another reminder that to some, simply being Black in America is a crime,” ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson said in a statement.. “While the campaign for justice in this case will not bring back Trayvon, this is an opportunity for people of all races to stand with his family and families across the country who have seen the impact of a justice system that places so little values on the lives and dignity of Black people.”

In an email to members, the organization makes the case that Sanford police botched their questioning of Zimmerman, the self-appointed neighborhood that shot and killed Martin. ColorOfChange members are now signing a petition calling on federal intervention on the grounds that Sanford police refused to take the full statements of witnesses and pressured neighbors to side with the shooter’s claim of self-defense.

According to ColorOfChange, Sanford police have moved Martin’s case over to the State’s Attorneys office who is claiming that there is not enough evidence to support even a manslaughter conviction.

Jeremy Lin Set To Announce First Global Endorsement Deal with Volvo

Jeremy Lin and Volvo are set to make a major announcement on Monday at 5:00pm EST time. Volvo Cars of North America sent out invitations to the press conference announcing “a dynamic marketing partnership with Jeremy Lin, the popular New York Knicks point guard.”

Although Jeremy Lin sports Nike shoes during games and is said to be in the works to create his own show with the athletic wear company, he has yet to announce any major endorsements.

Woman Behind ‘Don’t Re-Nig 2012’ Stickers Insists They’re Not Racist

Woman Behind 'Don't Re-Nig 2012' Stickers Insists They're Not Racist

The online store that originally started selling “Don’t Re-Nig 2012” stickers has been taken down but now a second site is selling the bumper stickers and the owner has no qualms about selling the sticker.

Forbes.com has an exclusive interview with Paula Smith, the Hinesville. Georgia woman behind Stickatude.com. Ms. Smith insists she’s not racist. Her defense? “Obama is not even black. He’s got a mixture of race. It’s his choice of what his nationality is.”

Trayvon Martin Shooter ‘Focused on Young, Black Males’, Says New Report

Trayvon Martin Shooter 'Focused on Young, Black Males', Says New Report

More details are emerging of George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old Miami man who’s making national headlines for killing unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin a month ago and running free. Zimmerman, who admitted to shooting the teen, said he fired in self-defense and has not been arrested in the case.

A look at the local police department’s history includes two other cases in which the Sanford Police Department was accused of giving favorable treatment to relatives of officers involved in violent encounters with blacks.

Happy 100th Birthday to Bayard Rustin, “Resister Extraordinaire”

Happy 100th Birthday to Bayard Rustin,

Tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of the day civil rights organizer Bayard Rustin was born. It’s a milestone in and of itself, but little occasion’s needed to remember the visionary organizer and activist.

Rustin was a master strategist who all but created the model of post-World War II nonviolent social movements in the U.S. He championed nonviolent tactics and introduced the Gandhian protest tactics that would become one of the hallmarks of the Civil Rights Movement. He’s best known for organizing the March on Washington in 1963, after which he was anointed the title of “Socrates” of the Civil Rights Movement.

“Stop Kony” Invisible Children Co-Founder Detained by San Diego Police

Jason Russell, co-founder of Invisible Children, the group that shot to worldwide fame for its #StopKony campaign, has been detained by San Diego police, reports NBC.

From NBC San Diego:

Jason Russell, 33, was allegedly found masturbating in public, vandalizing cars and possibly under the influence of something, according to Lt. Andra Brown. He was detained at the intersection of Ingraham Street and Riviera Road.

Brown said Russell was acting very strange.

Police said they received several calls yesterday at 11:30 a.m. of a man in various stages of undress, running through traffic and screaming. Police described him as “in his underwear.”

From Alabama to Seoul: HB 56 Fight Moves to Hyundai Shareholders Meeting

From Alabama to Seoul: HB 56 Fight Moves to Hyundai Shareholders Meeting

Civil and immigrant rights advocates have made good on their promises to engage big business over Alabama’s HB 56, the nation’s harshest anti-immigrant state law. And they’re following them across the world to do so. A delegation of U.S.-based advocates presented at Hyundai’s annual shareholder meeting in Seoul this week to get the company to speak out about HB 56.

In recent months, a coalition of immigrant rights groups has sent letters to foreign companies with manufacturing sites in Alabama to invite them to pressure lawmakers to repeal HB 56. So far, Hyundai’s made no move either way.

The Korean automaker’s business amounts to two percent of Alabama’s GDP, said Wade Henderson, president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Together with Daimler AG and Honda, the automakers’ investments in Alabama amount to 45,000 jobs and $4.8 billion in wages, Henderson said.

Study: Racial Discrimination Leads to Higher Smoking Rates

Study: Racial Discrimination Leads to Higher Smoking Rates

When people feel like they’re being discriminated against, no matter their race, they’re more likely to turn to smoking. Those are the new findings of researchers who looked at how perceived discrimination affects smoking rates.

“We found that regardless of race or ethnicity, the odds of current smoking were higher among individuals who perceived that they were treated differently because of their race, though racial and ethnic minority groups were more likely to report discrimination,” said Washington University in St. Louis professor James Purnell, a co-author of a new study out in the American Journal of Public Health.

TAGS: smoking
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