Rapper David Banner Calls for Policy Changes After Trayvon Martin’s Death

Rapper David Banner Calls for Policy Changes After Trayvon Martin's Death just published an interview with hip-hop artist and producer David Banner discussing his frustrations with Trayvon Martin case and the system that’s allowed the man who shot him to still be walking free.

“The fact [is] we have to get some type of legislation now,” Banner says in the video.

“What do we want to see implemented to make sure this doesn’t happen again because y’know American culture, now that we’ve seen this happend it’s going to take something two-times as bad as this to even get peoples attention.”

ICE Arrest 3k Immigrants in 6 Days, Largest Roundup Ever

ICE Arrest 3k Immigrants in 6 Days, Largest Roundup Ever

On Monday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced 3,168 undocumented immigrants were detained over the course of six-days in a national operation the agency dubbed “Cross Check.” According to ICE, the six-day operation was the largest such effort in the agency’s history.

Operation Cross Check involved more than 1,900 ICE officers who worked with federal, state and local law enforcement throughout the U.S. to carry out the arrests in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, three U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

Today’s Love Goes to Myanmar’s Freedom

Myanmar’s government confirmed that dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her allies won a sweeping victory in weekend by-elections. State radio and television reported that Ms. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won 43 of the 45 parliamentary seats.

Speaking to thousands of red-clad supporters outside the headquarters of her opposition party, the National League for Democracy, the Nobel laureate called the election “a triumph of the people” and said: “We hope this will be the beginning of a new era.”


Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at the National League for Democracy (NLD) party headquarters after winning her seat in the parliament and a landslide victory in the parliamentary elections April 2, 2012 in Yangon, Myanmar. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

Kai Wright on MSNBC Discussing Character Assassination of Trayvon [Video]’s editorial director Kai Wright was a guest on MSNBC’s “Up with Chris Hayes” on Sunday to discuss the racial tensions being played out in media coverage of the Trayvon Martin case.

Joining Wright in the discussion was Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., Demos’ Rich Benjamin, and Columbia University’s John McWhorter.

Whitney Houston’s Final Film: ‘Sparkle’ Trailer Released [Video]

The film follows three sisters as they form a succesful singing group and deal with the fallout of fame and drugs.

Trayvon Hashtag Makes Real Life Appearance at Miami Protest… on Man’s Mohawk

Political leaders, sport stars and entertainers were among several thousand people who gathered Sunday at a Miami rally calling for an arrest in the Trayvon Martin case.

Also present was Mohawk Gaz, who spray painted a picture of Trayvon on one side of his mohawk and “#Trayvon” on the other side.



Trayvon’s Parents Accept Geraldo’s Hoodie Apology, Still Must Defend Son

Trayvon's Parents Accept Geraldo's Hoodie Apology, Still Must Defend Son

On Sunday night, Geraldo Rivera personally apologized to Trayvon Martin’s parents for saying that children shouldn’t wear hoodies because “Trayvon’s hoodie killed him as surely as George Zimmerman did.”

“Now, what I was trying to do was caution parents that allowing their kids to wear hoodies or similar clothing in certain circumstances, particularly if they are minority young men, could be dangerous. But I never intended to hurt anyone’s feelings and certainly, Sybrina and Tracy, I never intended to hurt your feelings. I want to personally convey my deepest apologies to both of you. I am sorry if anything I said, Tracy, added to your misery,” Rivera said on his show.

The apology was reminiscent to an apology made last week by Rivera which apologized for causing offense but not for his initial statements.

“I remain absolutely convinced of what I said about asking for trouble,” he wrote in a letter to Politico last week. “There’s trouble enough for minority boys and young men not to provoke mad responses from paranoid jerk offs.”

Martin’s father accepted Rivera’s apology, but not without defending his son.

“Your apology is accepted. Let me just add one thing with the wearing of the hoodie,” he said. “I don’t think America knows that, in fact, at the time of the incident when he initially made the call, it was raining. So Trayvon had every right to have on his hood. He was protecting himself from the rain. So if being a suspicious, walking in the rain with your hoodie on is a crime, then i guess the world is doing something wrong.”

Trayvon Martin’s Mom Gets Close to 70k Twitter Followers in Just 2-Weeks

sybrina-fulton-twitter.pngCall it a sign of the times but Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, has joined Twitter to call attention to her fight to get justice for her son.

Her first tweet was on March 18th and she’s been tweeting steadily since.

First Lady Michelle Obama Best Dressed at Kids Choice Awards

The neon and fluorescent colors came out in full force to Nickelodeon’s 25th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards on Saturday. Perhaps it was the neon orange “red carpet” that invitees had to compete against as they entered the ceremony in Los Angeles but Jada Pinkett Smith wore a hot pink jumpsuit, Ludacris had his neon green shoelaces and a few celebrities like Halle Berry were covered neon green head-to-toe…but only because they were doused in goo. 

But perhaps one of the most talked about guest’s outfit belonged to First Lady Michelle Obama. The First Lady’s metallic ensemble (including skinny metallic jeans) were designed by Wes Gordon, a 25-year-old up-and-comer American designer.

The annual ceremony hosted by Nickelodeon is one of a handful awards ceremonies where young people get to cast votes. This year kids paid tribute to their favorites by casting over 220 million votes March 1-March 31 on, Twitter and Facebook.


On the left is voice actress Alexandria Suarez who is the voice of Backpack on Dora the Explorer, to her right is Fatima Ptacek, the voice of Dora Explorer herself! Regan Mizrahi is the voice of Boots the Monkey.

(L-R) Voice actors Alexandria Suarez, Fatima Ptacek, and Regan Mizrahi arrive at Nickelodeon’s 25th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards held at Galen Center on March 31, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for KCA)


Forensic Experts Say Screams on 911 Call Are Not George Zimmerman’s

Forensic Experts Say Screams on 911 Call Are Not George Zimmerman's

Two of the nations leading forensic voice identification experts say it was not George Zimmerman who was heard crying for help in the 911 call recordings in the moments before Trayvon Martin was killed. Sentiments Trayvon’s mother has expressed since she heard the recordings last month.

“Yes I do. I believe that’s Trayvon Martin. That’s my baby’s voice. Every mother knows their child and that’s his voice,” Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton told Anderson Cooper last week when asked if she believed that was Trayvon yelling for help in the 911 call recordings.

Now two leading experts in the field of forensic voice identification agree with her.

The Orlando Sentinel commissioned Tom Owen, a forensic consultant and chair emeritus for the American Board of Recorded Evidence, to examine the eight different 911 call recordings released by the Sanford Police department last month. His conclusion: It was not George Zimmerman who was screaming for help.

Readers Answer: How Would They Use Their Mega Millions for Good?

Earlier today we asked readers a simple question:

What’s the first thing you would do for social justice if you win tonight’s $640 million Mega Millions jackpot?”

We got almost a hundred responses on Twitter, the Colorlines Facebook page and in the comments section for the story. The comments ranged from donuts, buying Congress members and starting funds to send DREAMers to college.

Below are just two or three dozen of the responses. Take a look, there are some really thoughtful responses and a good list of organizations that folks want to help.

It means the world to us here at Colorlines when you share and provide feedback. So with that, thank you and good luck to all of those waiting for the results tonight. Including me. 

ICE Finally Gives Congress Data on Number of Parents Deported

icedata-report-parents.gifOn Monday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released to Congress data on the number of parents of United States citizen children they’ve deported. The data, which was requested by Congress in 2010, is the same data that and the Applied Research Center obtained in September 2011 under pressure of a Freedom of Information Act request.

In November 2011, Colorlines published a story titled “U.S. Deports 46K Parents With Citizen Kids in Just Six Months” that revealed these numbers for the first time.

“As I wrote then, the federal government deported 46,486 parents of US-citizen children in the 6 month period between January-June 2011,” said Seth Freed Wessler, Colorlines’ investigation reporter who filed the Freedom of Information Act request.

“The figure amounts to more than 22% of all deportations in that same period. The collateral effects of these deportations are mounting, and our investigation found that there are now over 5100 children in foster care whose parents have been detained or deported by federal immigration authorities.”

Wessler also noted the release of this data to Congress comes late.

“In early 2010, Congress requested that ICE begin collecting data on the deportation of parents of U.S.-born children no later than July 1, 2010, and to provide the data at least semi-annually to the Committees and the Office of Immigration Statistics.”

Embedded below is the report ICE delivered to Congress on Monday.

Kai Wright Talks About Trayvon Martin on Latino USA

This week, editorial director Kai Wright wrote about Trayvon Martin and the centuries-old narrative that’s painted young black men as pariahs. He recently appeared on Latino USA to discuss how the same thing is happening to young Latino men, and how those representations are creating a deadly climate. You can listen to the clip here.

Did Rick Santorum Just Almost Call the President the N-Word? [Video]

Did Rick Santorum Just Almost Call the President the N-Word? [Video]

Details are trickling in but at a campaign stop in Janesville, Wisconsin on Tuesday, GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum came pretty close uttering the N-word when describing President Obama.

“We know the candidate Barack Obama, what he was like, the anti-war government* nig- *uh, the uh… America was a source for division around the world.”

What do you think? Are you hearing what I’m hearing?

(via Reddit)

Georgia’s Statewide Undocumented Students College Ban Fails

Georgia's Statewide Undocumented Students College Ban Fails

When the clock struck midnight last night signaling the end of the 2012 legislative session in Georgia, the state passed an important milestone.

“This is the first year in many years where no anti-immigrant measures passed in Georgia,” said Azadeh Shahshahani, director of the Immigrant Rights Project at the ACLU of Georgia.

But it might have been a very different story. Georgia was considering, and had quickly advanced, a bill that would have expanded the state’s ban on undocumented students entering public colleges and universities to the entire state network. It was to be Georgia’s update to its anti-immigrant law HB 87, which is currently being challenged in the courts alongside Arizona’s SB 1070.

Currently, undocumented students are barred from enrolling in the Georgia’s top five most competitive colleges.

SB 458, which also included a provision that would have made foreign passports an unacceptable form of idea, breezed the Senate and easily cleared a House panel, but died at the end of the session last night when it never made it to the House floor.

On Wednesday, Georgia state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, the author of the college ban provision, removed it from SB 458 because it was “stalling the bill,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The provision updating forms of acceptable ID was still in the bill, however. Immigrant rights advocates said these provisions were clearly designed to attack the rights of undocumented immigrants; if passed, it would have blocked undocumented immigrants from accessing basic utilities and even marriage licenses.

“Thankfully, [SB 458] died last night,” Shahshahani said.

Trayvon Shooting Becomes First Story to Surpass Election Coverage in Media

As Brian Stelter wrote in the New York Times, it took nearly a month for the killing of Trayvon Martin to become national news. But according to a new study the Trayvon Martin case has taken over mainstream news, becoming the first story of the year to get more coverage than the race for the president.

1_-_Themes_Lead_1.pngPew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has more details:

As attention to the story surged, the focus within these three parts of our media culture varied greatly, according to a special report by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. On Twitter, the conversation has focused on sympathy for the slain teenager and expressions of outrage at the killing. On blogs, the emphasis has been on the role of race in the highly charged case. In the mainstream media, the Trayvon Martin controversy was heavily a cable news and talk radio story. And there, the primary discussion has focused on two politically oriented issues-gun control laws and the Florida Stand Your Ground statute, which gives citizens the right to use deadly force when they believe they are being threatened.

Moreover, the Martin story has been a much bigger story on MSNBC, whose talk show hosts are liberal, and a much smaller story on Fox, whose prime time lineup leans conservative. The focus of the discussion differs as well. Conservative talkers paid the most attention to questions about who Martin is and to the defense of the man who pulled the trigger, George Zimmerman. Liberal hosts focused primarily on gun control and the Florida law.

If You Win the Mega Millions, What’s the First Thing You’ll Do For Social Justice?

If You Win the Mega Millions, What's the First Thing You'll Do For Social Justice?

A big rush on lottery tickets has pushed the jackpot for tonight’s Mega Millions drawing even higher, to a world-record $640 million.

So let’s say you win the Mega Million jackpot tonight, what’s the first thing you’ll do for social justice? After you donate to yourself, what’s your cause, organization, or person that you’ll support financially so they can continue to do their work for common good?

Tell us why too and we’ll post some of your answers later today. Comment below or tweet us at @Colorlines, or get to us on Facebook.

P.S.: You don’t have to be a lottery winner to make a tax-deductible donation to Do it right now. It’ll be good luck.

Snoop Dogg’s Daughter Brags About Being a Daddy’s Girl in New Song

Snoop Dogg's Daughter Brags About Being a Daddy's Girl in New Song

Cori B. debuts her 3rd Single “Daddy’s Girl” featuring her Dad, Snoop Dogg.

Malia Calls President Obama’s Hairstyling Skills a ‘Disaster’ [Video]

Malia Calls President Obama's Hairstyling Skills a 'Disaster' [Video]

President Obama had dinner with a few of his re-election campaign supporters and shared a pretty amazing story about a 4-year-old Malia Obama.

This is totally a campaign video but stick with it. Comments come at the 4:00 minute mark.

12-Year-Old Tucson Boy Designs World’s Largest Paper Airplane

12-Year-Old Tucson Boy Designs World's Largest Paper Airplane

It was called Arturo’s Desert Eagle. And it flew, at up to 100 miles per hour, for just ten seconds. But it was long enough for the 45-foot long, 800-pound body to qualify as the world’s largest paper airplane. And the design for the airplane? That was inspired by 12-year-old Tucscon student Arturo Valdenegro’s design.

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