Colorlines

NOW IN RACIAL JUSTICE

Sanford City Manager Asks Justice Department to Investigate Entire Police Department

Since the Trayvon Martin case has made national headlines, a number of Sanford residents have come forward to complain about how police handled their cases. So many that the city manager is asking the Department of Justice to step in.

“I am now in the process of talking with the Department of Justice and instituting a mechanism whereby citizens that have concerns or complaints about the Sanford Police Department can have their concerns heard and investigated by an independent agency,” Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte told WFTV.com

He said that so many people complained at Monday night’s city commission meeting about Sanford officers, the city asked the Department of Justice to step in.

Canned ESPN Writer Calls Jeremy Lin Meeting ‘Incredible’

Canned ESPN Writer Calls Jeremy Lin Meeting 'Incredible'

A member of Jeremy Lin’s family contacted the former ESPN writer who wrote the infamous “Chink in the Armor” headline so the pair could connect.

Newsday.com has more details about the meeting:

Lin met with Anthony Federico, a 28-year-old Connecticut man, during a Knicks off-day. According to Federico, the two discussed their shared Christian faith and Lin’s knee injury. Federico wrote an offensive headline that appeared on ESPN’s mobile site for 35 minutes in the early-morning hours of Feb. 19.

“It went incredible,” Federico said. “I’m just so excited we had a chance to meet. We talked for an hour. I’m just so thankful.”

A Knicks spokesman said on Wednesday that Lin did not wish to publicly discuss the meeting. Calls to Lin’s agent were not returned. Lin, who missed Monday’s game and will not play on Wednesday night because of a sore left knee, was not on the court during Wednesday morning’s shootaround.

Federico apologized after he was fired and called the headline “an honest mistake.” At the time, Lin said he accepted the apology and added, “You have to learn to forgive.”

“We talked more about matters of faith [and] reconciliation. We talked about our shared Christian values and what we’re both trying do with this situation … We didn’t talk about the headline for more than three minutes.”

‘Awkward Black Girl’ Wins Shorty Award for Best Webshow

'Awkward Black Girl' Wins Shorty Award for Best Webshow

The fourth annual Shorty Awards were held Monday night at the Times Center in New York. The event that is often called the Grammys and Oscars of social media honored the web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” in the best #Webshow category.

The show’s first episode which debuted in February 2011 is approaching one million views. Since then the series that centers around a young (awkward) black woman navigating though life, love and work has gone on to develop a cult following with fans who have even supported the show financially through Kickstarter.

“Congratulations to @awkwardblkgrl for winning the #Webshow Shorty Award! #shortyawards,” tweeted @ShortyAwards shortly after announcing the winners at the ceremony.

“Woohoo! @AwkwardBlkGrl won the @ShortyAward for best web show!” tweeted Issa Rae, the show’s creator and star.

But not everyone was celebrating Rae’s win.

Magic Johnson To Become First Black Owner of Major League Baseball Team

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A group of investors led by Magic Johnson won a bidding war Tuesday and becoming the new owners of the Dodgers.

The LA Times has more details:

Johnson, who guided the Lakers to five NBA championships during the “Showtime” era of the 1980s, is a partner in the group along with longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten and movie executive Peter Guber. The controlling owner would be Mark Walter, chief executive officer of Guggenheim Partners, a Chicago-based financial services company.

[…]

The winning group paid $2 billion for the team — a record for a sports franchise — according to an announcement issued jointly with previous owner Frank McCourt.

“I am thrilled to be part of the historic Dodger franchise and intend to build on the fantastic foundation laid by Frank McCourt as we drive the Dodgers back to the front page of the sports section in our wonderful community of Los Angeles,” Johnson said in a statement.

If the deal goes through, Magic Johnson will become the first black MLB owner, according to DrJays.com.

Rep. Bobby Rush Kicked Off of House Floor for Wearing a Hoodie

Rep. Bobby Rush Kicked Off of House Floor for Wearing a Hoodie

This speaks for itself.

The Illinois Democrat sought to make a point Wednesday morning about officialdom and its idea of who is and isn’t legitimate. Mississipi Republican Greg Smith, presiding over the session, made the point for him.

Some Ask if Trayvon’s Shooter Was Protected by Father, a Retired Judge

Some Ask if Trayvon's Shooter Was Protected by Father, a Retired Judge

The lead homicide investigator in the shooting of Trayvon Martin recommended that George Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter the night of the shooting, multiple sources have leaked to ABC News.

But Sanford, Fla., investigator Chris Serino was instructed to not press charges against Zimmerman because the state attorney’s office headed by Norman Wolfinger determined there wasn’t enough evidence to lead to a conviction, ABC News reports.

“The rules of justice in this nation have failed when an innocent teenage boy can be shot to death by a vigilante and no arrest is made for weeks,” NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said in a statement last week.

“But until the perpetrator of this heinous crime is brought to justice, we will not rest.”

Asheville Students Don Hoodies and Hijabs for Trayvon and Shaima

Asheville Students Don Hoodies and Hijabs for Trayvon and Shaima

Members of the Black Student Association (BSA) and the Muslim Student Association (MSA) at the University of North Carolina at Asheville have joined forces to call attention to the murders of Shaima Alawadi and Trayvon Martin in their community.

The groups are asking school mates and community members to attend a rally on Thursday wearing black hoodies and black scarfs.

“This is a rally in solidarity for both Trayvon and Shaima,” Amarra Ghani, president of the MSA says in a YouTube promoting the rally. “Your headgear should not be a threat.”

“This is not a weapon of mass destruction,” Ghani says in the video as she points to the hijab around her head.

College Board: New Photo ID Requirements for SAT Will Not Affect Undocumented Students

Students taking the SAT or ACT will now have to submit photos of themselves when they sign up for the college entrance exams and provide a photo-ID on test dates. The changes will not affect students who may not have access to government-issued IDs, according to The College Board.

The changes announced Tuesday come in the aftermath of a major cheating scandal in Long Island. Effective with the 2012-13 academic year, students registering online will now have to upload a “recognizable photo” of them which will then be printed in a “photo admission ticket” that test takers must present along with a photo-ID on test day.


Trayvon Martin’s Family Files Papers to Trademark ‘I am Trayvon,’ ‘Justice for Trayvon’

Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton filed applications last week with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark two slogans associated with the 17-year-old: “I Am Trayvon,” and “Justice for Trayvon.”

Howard University Men in Hoodies School You on Racial Profiling [Video]

Howard University Men in Hoodies School You on Racial Profiling [Video]

The Howard University men that are part of the Howard Students For Justice group created the video above that asks viewers to check their biases about black men.

“Contrary to what America has led many to believe all young black males are not suspicious, we don’t deserve to be harassed, murdered, prosecuted or denied the protections of the justice system all because America thinks we are suspicious,” say one Howard alumni as images of other black male students scroll through the screen.

For more information visit the Howard University Students for Justice Facebook page.

Anti-Gay Marriage Group Looked to Divide Gays, Latinos and Blacks

Anti-Gay Marriage Group Looked to Divide Gays, Latinos and Blacks

Confidential documents made public on Monday show one of the nation’s leading anti-gay groups planned to defeat campaigns for gay marriage across the country by “fanning the hostility” between black voters and gay voters.

The documents were made public on Monday afternoon by a federal court, as part of an ongoing case challenging the financial activities National Organization for Marriage in Maine, according to the gay rights groups Human Rights campaign, which first published the report.

For the First Time Ever, LAPD Probe Finds Officer Guilty of Racial Profiling

For the First Time Ever, LAPD Probe Finds Officer Guilty of Racial Profiling

A white Los Angeles Police Department officer stopped Latino drivers because of their ethnicity, an internal Los Angeles Police Department investigation has found. The findings mark the first time the department has found that one of its officers engaged in racial or ethnic profiling, the LA Times reported Monday. 


Trayvon Martin’s Dad Thanks LeBron James and Miami Heat for Support

Trayvon Martin's Dad Thanks LeBron James and Miami Heat for Support

In an interview with The Associated Press, Tracy Martin thanked the NBA’s Miami Heat for “taking notice” of his son, Trayvon Martin’s passing.

“I saw a post that D-Wade had saying, ‘I am Trayvon Martin,’ ” Tracy Martin said. “To see all these athletes put Trayvon in the same sentence with them, it feels real good. Trayvon was an excellent athlete and if he could hear them saying his name, he would be so moved by it.”

On Friday, James tweeted a photo of 13 Heat players wearing black hoodies and later than night he wore shoes that read “RIP Trayvon Martin” during a game against the Detroit Pinstons.

“These athletes are saying, ‘It’s not about who I am. It’s about right and wrong,” Tracy Martin said. “It’s like everybody’s taking notice. The Miami Heat came out in their hoodies, and that’s just saying, ‘We are people, we have hearts, we have feelings, we have emotions.’ That’s a warm feeling. The sports world has embraced this big-time.”

FBI Joins Investigation of Iraqi Woman Beaten to Death with Tire Iron in San Diego

FBI Joins Investigation of Iraqi Woman Beaten to Death with Tire Iron in San Diego

El Cajon, CA police have not been able to identify a suspect in the gruesome murder that took the life of Shaima Alawadi, an Iraqi mother of five who was beaten to death in her home last Wednesday. El Cajon, which is a few miles west of San Diego, has one of the nation’s largest Iraqi communities.

Police say Alawadi’s 17-year-old daughter Fatima Al Himidi found her mother unconscious in the family’s home on Wednesday after being beaten with a tire iron. Alawadi died Saturday, a short while after being taken off life support.

Members of New York Legislature Wear Hoodies to Legislative Session [Photos]

New York State Senator Eric Adams and his colleagues honored Trayvon Martin on Monday by wearing hoodies to the March 26, 2012 Senate legislative session in Albany.

The images below were uploaded to Facebook by Senator Eric Adams.

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On Twitter, Hunger Games Fans Demand To Know Why Black Characters Are Black

On Twitter, Hunger Games Fans Demand To Know Why Black Characters Are Black

“The Hunger Games” earned over $155 million in North America over the weekend. The sci-fi film based on the novel written by Suzanne Collins broke several box office records this weekend, including the strongest opening weekend ever for a spring release.

Audiences on opening night praised “Hunger Games.” Filmgoers under the age 25 gave it a glowing A+ and those over 25 an A-, according to CinemaScore, the market research firm that surveys film audiences. Thirty-nine percent of the audience was younger than 18, according to CinemaScore exit polling.

“What separates “The Hunger Games” from the usual apocalyptic-teen-gladiator fare is its smart take on class and inequality, and its honest depiction of race as an integral party of that story,” said Channing Kennedy, Colorlines.com’s Community Manager. “While the movie adaptation isn’t entirely free of ‘racebending,’ it’s definitely worthy of praise.”

However there are people who aren’t happy some of the characters in the film are black—even though their characters in the novel were described as having “dark skin.”

Police: Zimmerman Says Trayvon Martin Knocked Him Down, ‘Slammed His Head Into Sidewalk’

Police: Zimmerman Says Trayvon Martin Knocked Him Down, 'Slammed His Head Into Sidewalk'

The Orlando Sentinel on Monday morning published the most detailed report to date of what authorities say happened one month ago today when George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin.

According to Sanford Police, Zimmerman was on foot looking for Martin when he was approached by Martin. After the pair exchanged words, authorities say Martin threw the first punch, which is what is now protecting Zimmerman from being arrested. 

Trayvon Martin’s Classmates Continue to Demonstrate One Month After His Death [Video]

On Friday students across the Miami school district walked out in support of the Trayvon Martin family’s fight to arrest George Zimmerman. On Monday morning—the one month anniversary of Martin’s death—students at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High dressed in black in a silent protest of the death of their classmate.

“I want justice for Trayvon,” Jeremy Barnes, a 15-year-old freshman at the Northeast Miami-Dade school, told the Miami Herald. He wore a black shirt with a collage of photos of Trayvon, including the photo of the slain teen in a hoodie.

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.

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