Monthly Archives: July 2013

Trayvon Martin is guilty… …of being a young, Black male in the wrong place at the wrong time

 

 

The headline in this column is not a mistake. Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was guilty of being Black. All of us know of jokes about being arrested for driving while being Black. It was no joke for 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, killed for walking in the rain while Black, wearing a hoodie, looking “suspicious,” and walking close to the townhouses to protect himself against the elements in a neighborhood that feared young Black men due to recent burglaries by Black youth. Two men: both young, both male, both wanting respect, but only one with a gun. Continue Reading →

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Trayvon Martin tragedy’s lesson: ‘Everything has changed, yet nothing has changed’

 

 

Someone once said, to describe the state of race relations near the end of the 20th century, “Everything has changed, yet nothing has changed.” That may be the best way to sum up the Trayvon Martin tragedy. At bottom, as in the case of Dred Scott over 150 years ago, it’s apparent that Black folks “have no rights that Whites [particularly the system] are bound to respect.”

The Trayvon Martin verdict at bottom is disturbing, beyond the fact that Zimmerman got away with what may have been murder. As it turns out, this whole thing was about the prejudice and bias of the system. The trial exposed a prejudicial judicial system whose prejudice is to prefer White over Black, rich over poor, and native citizen over immigrant. In the case of the trial of George Zimmerman, that same system was now being asked to defend the type of person that it constantly slam-dunks. Continue Reading →

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Respect the tresses

How many times have you combed your hair or watched someone comb their hair so hard the head shakes like one of those bobble-head dolls? That, my friends, can produce major stress to the scalp and hair, creating hair damage. As Diana Ross & the Supremes would say, “Stop! in the name of love,” followed up by Aretha Franklin…RESPECT. Yes, respect the curls. Continue Reading →

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Investigate the racial context behind Martin’s death

 

By Jesse Jackson

Guest Commentator

 

If Trayvon Martin were not a young Black male, he would be alive today. Despite the verdict, it’s clear that George Zimmerman would never have confronted a young White man wearing a hoodie. He would, at the very least, have listened to the cops and stayed back. Trayvon Martin is dead because Zimmerman believed that “these guys always get away” and chose not to wait for the police. Trayvon Martin’s death shatters the convenient myths that blind us to reality. Continue Reading →

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Matthew Shepard and Trayvon Martin: bigotry knows no boundaries

 

 

The nation is once again divided along the fault line of race. In a perceived 2013 post-racial society, William Faulkner’s prophetic quote of the last century — ”The past is never dead. It’s not even past” — has come back to haunt us in this century. Faulkner’s quote haunts us because of the recent verdict of the George Zimmerman trial. The story, as you well know by now, of how George Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watchman of a Florida community, was acquitted of all charges — murder and manslaughter — related to Trayvon Martin. Continue Reading →

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Get mental illness out of the shadows

President Obama hosted a summit June 3 in which he called for mental illness to come out of the shadows. With the increased concerns about the role of mental illness in the perpetrators of mass violence, questions are being raised about the adequacy and availability of mental health resources. Over 54 million Americans experience symptoms of a mental health disorder in any given year, but current estimates are that only about 60 percent of those receive needed services. A variety of factors contribute to the low utilization of mental health services, including stigma, being uninsured or underinsured, and lack of awareness. President Obama has called for education and training about mental health. Continue Reading →

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Restoring the ‘Beloved Community’

How the enslaved African was stripped of his humanity
 

I want to take a moment to remember with our readers how and when the African was forcefully brought to the Americas; it happened during the 1400s. This time in our existence on earth is only a placeholder for some of the worst experiences African people have had with physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and structural violence. It is the direct result of the Africans’ forced shipment to the Americas to provide free labor and creative, innovative ideas and skills for building the United pStates of America as a “world power.”

Having gone through a most excruciatingly brutal and painful catharsis of suffering during the approximately 22 generations’ experience of “chattel slavery” leaves us without a land base, with scars, open wounds and a deep resounding FEAR. We are NOT!!! —I repeat; we are NOT!!! Continue Reading →

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Trayvon Martin: this generations’ Emmett Till? — Zimmerman verdict confirms broken judicial system for many Blacks

 

 

 

News Analysis

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

Organizers of Monday’s downtown rally in front of the Hennepin County Government Center estimated the peaceful crowd of all ages and ethnicities at between 3,500 and 4,000 people. “I’m supposed to be here with my people, elbow to elbow and cheek to cheek, side by side,” proclaimed local poet Tish Jones, who was among a host of speakers addressing the crowd before marching down South Sixth Street to Hennepin Avenue and returning to the Center. Another protest is scheduled for Saturday as part of a national day of protest over the Zimmerman verdict. (For more information about Monday’s demonstration, go to the MSR website at www.spokesman-recorder.com.)

Similar marches are being held all across the country. And despite last weekend’s jury verdict, the national NAACP has requested that the U.S. Justice Department resume its investigation in the Trayvon Martin murder case. Continue Reading →

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Agency specializes in models of color — Good looks help, but ‘real people’ are also in demand

 

 

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

A tried and true quip goes, “The three most important things in retail are location, location and location.” That said, there’s something else that has to run a close second in any business operation: research, research and research. Know what you’re doing. Know your market. Have a solid product and a strong understanding of how to put that product on the market. Accordingly, you have to like founder-director Shatona Kilgore-Groves’ prospects with Webb Models & Talent Agency (www.wmtagency.com), especially if experience counts for anything — which, of course, it certainly does. Continue Reading →

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Spoken Hero: Etta Christon — Lifting struggling souls with a sandwich and self-respect

 

 

People in our community and their giving spirit to others often go unnoticed as “Unspoken Heroes. Our Spoken Heroes gives the community the opportunity to recognize these everyday heroes and their accomplishments. Without looking for something in return, these heroes are often only rewarded by knowing that others benefit from their efforts. 

 

 

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Evangelist Etta Christon devoutly believes in the Genesis 4:9 premise that indeed she is her brother’s keeper — and her sister’s as well. Through the Victory Disciples Ministry in Minneapolis, where she is a pastor, Christon does community outreach administering spiritually to the unfortunate as well as putting food in their stomachs. She finds herself helping folk from all walks of life. Continue Reading →

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