O. J. Simpson

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Zimmerman trial watch






Below is a series of commentaries written by MSR staff writer Charles Hallman exclusively for the MSR Online regarding the George Zimmerman trial. They are being posted several times per week. Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to challman@spokesman-recorder.com


Zimmerman update #16 (July 23, 2013)

It’s been over a week since the George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict was handed down. Marches, vigils, and other such events have taken place in its aftermath. “There’s going to be a lot of arguments about the legal issues in the case,” admitted President Obama in his unexpected address to the press last week. Continue Reading →

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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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Vikings clinch playoffs, beat Packers 37-34


Yes, the Vikings are relevant again. They clinched the final NFC playoff spot Sunday by beating Green Bay 37-34 before 64,134 fans in one of the most electric, pressure-packed Viking games in franchise history. The great Adrian Peterson’s remarkable, incredible return from knee surgery fueled the Vikings’ return to the playoffs. Peterson came up just nine yards short (at 2,097) of breaking the all-time single-season rushing record of 2,105 set by Eric Dickerson in 1984. If you witnessed this game Sunday, you saw one of the greatest games in NFL history. Continue Reading →

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Adrian Peterson powers Vikings 38-22 over Rams


For the third straight week, tragedy has again gripped our consciousness, this time away from the NFL — the horrific events in Connecticut on Friday. Sunday all across the NFL there were moments of silence and athletes and fans showing heartfelt expressions of sorrow for the senseless murders of the 26 victims.

The Vikings and Rams, before kickoff, gathered at midfield holding hands, with both head coaches and one player wearing the jersey number 26 representing the lives lost at the Sandy Hook school. President Barack Obama, speaking at a memorial service Sunday, said, “These tragedies must end, and to end them, we must change.”

The Vikings kept alive their Wild Card playoff hopes by dominating the St. Louis Rams 36-22. The Vikings improved to 8-6, and with two games left they have positioned themselves as the number-six seed in the rugged NFC. Continue Reading →

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On crime, racism, and distrust of police


“When you shoot somebody, that’s not the only person that you’re killing.”  

— Nona Gaye, Marvin Gaye’s daughter, testifying after his death


I attended a neighborhood meeting on racism. Afterward I mentioned the comments I heard in that meeting regarding law enforcement to one of our law enforcement officials. “It’s hopeless,” he said when I conveyed the negative comments from the seminar, “when that’s how they feel about us.”

So I stepped out from behind his hopelessness and asked to meet with another public relations representative from the local police department to see what could be and/or what is being done about this impasse between the electorate and their peace officers. Broad publicity has been given to the cases of O. J. Simpson, Rodney King, and Henry Louis Gates (and his meeting with President Obama) when each of these celebrities of color had run-ins with the law. Another famed activist, Angela Davis, is a proponent for the rights of inmates and speaks out on prisons as factories that house an inordinate number of young Black men compared to their ratio in the American population. Continue Reading →

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