“I am Darren Wilson” Bands

Photo credit instagram

Photo credit instagram

Just in case anyone wondered why people in Ferguson are so angry… uhhhh this might have something to do with it. If you don’t get it (ahem) let me explain…

“I am” has always been a phrase of unity and understanding from “I am Somebody” to more recently “I am Trayvon Martin”

I am Darren Wilson in the eyes of the Ferguson says I am a killer cop. So of course those who wore those are now teasing and angry fire. What happens when you put your hand in a fire? You get burned.

The image shows on-duty Ferguson law enforcers wearing the band in support of their colleague. It was posted on Instagram and has been shared numerous times over the week. Thanks to the sharing, the band is now banned.

Federal officials stepped in and saw the light. Thank goodness. But only while in uniform and on duty…

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson agreed to bar his officers from wearing the bracelets while in uniform and on duty, and to ensure that other local police agencies did too, according to a letter released Friday by Christy Lopez, deputy chief of the special litigation section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Jackson did so after officials in the U.S. Department of Justice brought the issue to his attention, alerted by residents during community meetings earlier last week who complained they had seen officers wearing the bracelets on patrol during protests Tuesday, according to the letter.

Residents made a good point that the bracelets continue the Us vs Them mentality. After a weekend of more unrest and violence that isn’t something that needs to happen. Even if cops wear this off duty, it is still horribly offensive.

 


 

Switching gears,  the violence escalated this weekend as Saturday an officer was shot. Luckily the shooting wasn’t life threatening. At least the officers have the body cameras now to help figure out what happened right?

When asked to provide the body camera video from the shooting, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said the officer had a camera, but it was not turned on.

But of course. So what is going to happen now that the camera was not turned on? Is that an excuse? The next time a civilian is shot will the camera be on?

What’s Buzzin’ – Redskin Name Change

The latest on the Washington Redskin name contraversy: Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) announced on Tuesday that she plans to introduce legislation that would revoke the NFL’s tax-exempt status unless the league’s owners put pressure on the Washington football team to change the team’s name.

According to The Washington Post, Cantwell was joined by Native American chiefs for the announcement, part of a larger campaign to get the Washington football team to change its name, which many consider offensive.

It’s important that people understand the origin of the name Redskins. As our country was being expanded westward and land forcefully taken, stolen, from Native Americans – and they resisted – bounty hunters were paid to bring in dead Indians. They brought the bodies in wagons. Soon this became so cumbersome that the bounty hunters were told to just bring in the Indian’s head. They brought in so many heads that this too became burdensome. So they were finally instructed to just scalp the Indians and bring in the “Redskins” and they would be paid their bounty.

Zara pulls “Sheriff T-shirt” reminiscent of Holocaust

Spanish fashion retailer Zara has apologized for selling its children’s stripped “Sheriff” shirt. The shirt has been criticized for its resemblance to Jewish concentration camp unfirms worn by inmates.

Zara said the garment was inspired by “the sheriff’s stars from the Classic Western films.” The word “Sheriff” is on the star, in transparent letters.

“We honestly apologize,” Zara said on Twitter in response to numerous outraged tweets. The shirt was removed from the website and is being pulled from stores; the company says remaining items will be destroyed. According to a press release from Zara’s parent company, Inditex. It was on sale for just a few hours before the company pulled it “due to the potential similarity with the Star of David,” the company said.

This is not the first time Zara has been accused for selling something that was anti-Semitic; back in 2007 they were forced to remove a handbag with swastikas on it. The bag had been produced in Asia, however, where the symbol also carries ancient cultural significance.

Iggy’s got one more problem…

Iggy Azalea Using the Nword on Facebook

Check out Iggy's Nword Caption

Check out Iggy’s Nword Caption

Is this okay? No not at all…. Female rapper or not using the Nword is no bueno… The picture was posted June 28 and although there are many comments (some vulgar some simply saying hey thats not okay), the caption has not been changed no “oops” apology has been said… Why it may seem petty to get upset about, its the little things that matter also. So Iggy take that down or change that caption, say sorry and thats simple. The N-word is not for you.

“Santa is White and Jesus was too”

Okay so I’m calling for Megyn Kelly’s job after this!

Watch the Video of Megyn Kelly’s panel discussing the Article by Aisha Harris…

“The anchor, who had an all-white lineup on her news analysis show, cleared up any misgivings that culture blogger Aisha Harris may have created with an article in Slate that explained the duality she faced seeing a white Santa as a child and a black Santa in her home.” – The Root

“Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change. You know, I mean, Jesus was a white man, too. But you know it’s like we have—he was a historical figure, I mean that’s a verifiable fact. As is Santa. I just want the kids watching to know that.” – Megyn Kelly

Two little problems…
One: Santa is FAKE ,so his race  and face can be changed altered to include all children. Why not make him an animal or blue from being cold in the north pole so long????

Two: Jesus was NOT white and that can be historically proven (Kelly says it can be historically proven that he was white, well FOX News needs to give her some extra time off so she can spend it in a history class)

See this article in The Atlantic “Insisting Jesus Was White Is Bad History and Bad Theology”

Problem 2.5: If things to not change because they make us uncomfortable then why do we change? The British made us uncomfortable so we changed, Jim Crow made us uncomfortable so it changed, lack of gay rights made us uncomfortable so it changed… Something being uncomfortable is a sign that it is not right and in fact needs to change. Being exclusionary is uncomfortable which is why we need to change.

The producer needs a stern talking to that let this story air and Fox News needs to get rid of Kelly. It is also important to note that this is not a bash Megyn Kelly moment because I’m sure many agree with her (ever flawed) logic. It is a moment to show the state of this “post-racial” country.

If you feel that way, fine but don’t go on national tv and voice your ignorance.

#FoxFireMegynKelly

Aldermen Accepting pay raises while economy struggling?

 

Throughout Chicago’s financial decline, city officials have layered on more and more debt with no more solid plan for repayment than a vague hope that a resurgent economy will keep City Hall out of bankruptcy. http://www.redeyechicago.com/news/local/redeye-chicago-alderman-salaries-city-budget-20131119,0,4492048.story#ixzz2mNgtjMjB

Throughout Chicago’s financial decline, city officials have layered on more and more debt with no more solid plan for repayment than a vague hope that a resurgent economy will keep City Hall out of bankruptcy.
http://www.redeyechicago.com/news/local/redeye-chicago-alderman-salaries-city-budget-20131119,0,4492048.story#ixzz2mNgtjMjB

Slight pay raise for aldermen in the recently passed budget… only ten say no to the pay raise… The aldermen who waived the slight pay bump for 2014 are Will Burns (4th), Marty Quinn (13th), Toni Foulkes (15th), Matthew O’Shea (19th), Deborah Mell (33rd), Nicholas Sposato (36th), Timothy Cullerton (38th), Mary O’Connor (41st), Michele Smith (43rd), and Ameya Pawar (47th).

According to the Red Eye: Since 2011, Burns, Quinn, O’Shea, Sposato, Cullerton, O’Connor, Smith and Pawar have stayed at the same salary of $108,086, which was the incoming salary for aldermen elected that year.

If your alderman is not on the list question their true values to the city… This is NOT the first time aldermen have gotten raises and n our struggling economy shouldn’t the money be left to the city for things like education??? I’m ashamed to say my alderman is not on the list.. This will affect what happens in the polls…. Of course this is not the only way my vote could be affected but this is the second time it has happened…

Hood Rich or just Poor Taste?

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 2.42.29 PMSo it’s the name of a shoe… That makes it okay right? Well Jeffrey Campbell says yea its okay… Today Jeffrey Campbell posted a picture on their Instagram of a model wearing their “Hood Rich” Shoe. While it is the name of the shoe Instagram users are offended.

The picture and the name together… Is that just too much to say “Oh, it’s just the name of a shoe.”?

Earlier H&M had a similar issue with their “Ghetto Fabulous” line which they cancelled due to the level of backlash received… So Is this okay?

Step Up Athlete Man

So today I’m thinking football…

Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Indian Nation speaks in favor of changing the name of Washington Redskins. Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty

Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Indian Nation speaks in favor of changing the name of Washington Redskins. Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty

Number 1: If some of the Washington Redskins players aren’t ok with the name why don’t they take a stand, ducktape the logo off ya helmet or something right? Read about the Name Controversy Here

An anonymous Grambling State player supplied this photo to ESPN of what appears to be mold or mildew on equipment.

An anonymous Grambling State player supplied this photo to ESPN of what appears to be mold or mildew on equipment.

Number 2: There have been 107 NFL players from Grambling State University including 4 Hall Of Famers soooooo why haven’t any of them given back to the school for the football team’s poor conditions? Read ESPN’s story on Grambling’s poor conditions for the football team.

OLYMPICS BLACK POWER SALUTEThese two statements spark the question of WHY don’t football players and other athletes give back or even take a stand? For example the 1968 Summer Olympics. In the 1968 Olympics athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos each raised their black-gloved fist and kept them raised until the American National anthem had finished. This “Black Power” salute was an act of protest by the athletes during their medal ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Mexico City.

Why doesn’t this happen more? What do you think?

Bye Bye food desert: Whole Food In Englewood Chicago 2016

After hearing about Whole Food opening in the Englewood neighborhood in Chicago, I began hearing people not thrilled about the idea… If you haven’t heard:

chi-whole-foods-englewood-chicago-20130904-001

Whole Foods Market has agreed to open an 18,000-square-foot store in the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side in 2016, according to a release from the city.

The company is expected to detail plans for new store, which could bring 100 jobs to the economically struggling neighborhood, at an event Wednesday morning. Englewood has been called a “food desert” because of its lack of grocery stores and limited access to fresh foods.

Chicago Tribune

I understand both sides of the story… well mostly. I’ve heard the topic of gentrification brought up. The idea that a Walmart should be brought in this area because the “type” of inhabitants is simply insane. Does Englewood not deserve the best of the best? And I’m sure many residents travel the distance to existing Whole Foods already! Why not expose those most in need of healthy food to hte best of the best? Let us not forget Walmart’s employees have no choice but to shop back at Walmart basically because they cannot afford much more… But Whole Food is a socially conscience store that does give back to the community.

Now it is important to remember Englewood is a food desert… Meaning: “an area, typically a populous urban environment, in the industrialized world where healthy, affordable food is difficult to obtain” Key word…. Healthy & Affordable. Many disagree that Whole Food is not affordable… As a shopper, I ask is it really THAT much more expensive? I think not. Here is another article from a blog that compares a few of Whole Food’s Prices with Safeway. Survey says it is only slightly more expensive with greater selection and better quality.

The only problem I would have that this move be a sign that gentrification is coming. The problem I have with this would be by 2016 the city could change the neighborhood and in a sense “kick out” the current residents to bring in what is called the “target audience” for whole food. This is a problem because what could benefit the residents in turn, displaces them only to put them in another food desert to consume high fructose corn syrup and red dye #40 in everything all over again. This also causes a sense of anger. Displacement makes people feel less than worthy, less than human and in turn creates other issues like violence (see my article on a provisional existence)…

One important thing is who will the contractors be working on the store? WIll it be local contractors from the community or  outsiders coming in? According to Whole Food on Twitter:

“The retail portion of the 13acre site will be developed by DL3 and will definitely be working with locals.”

I’d question the motives behind this opening, if it is truly to benefit the current residents then.. *applause*

I asked FB what they thought also and in the first hour this was the conversation:

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 10.48.30 AMScreen Shot 2013-09-04 at 10.48.37 AM

What say you?

ALEC in Chicago

1146828_10151771393794111_1379911083_oThis past Week, ALEC was in Chicago… Rainbow PUSH and the PUSH Leadership League joined with other labor, economic, environmental and various other groups including the Chicago’s Teacher Union to protest their being here… Although I may think that the horribleness of ALEC is common knowledge, many do not know who it is or why they should be mad. Were never fear knowledge is here!
ALEC or the American Legislative Exchange Council is a “501 American organization composed of legislators, businesses and foundations which produces model policies for state legislatures and promotes free markets”. It is a group that brings together corporations and legislators to draft model legislation,.. Doesn’t sound too bad right?
Well in recent years, ALEC has come under fire for its role in several infamous pieces of legislation, including Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, and Arizona’s punitive SB1070 immigration bill.

Check out the fact sheet for ALEC:

ALEC  FACT SHEET AND AGENDA FOR THE CHICAGO ANNUAL MEETING AUGUST 7th-9th, 2013

ALEC’s Truth in Sentencing Act was signed into law in twenty-five states. (Then State Rep. Scott Walker was an ALEC member when he sponsored Wisconsin’s truth-in-sentencing laws and, according to PR Watch, used its statistics to make the case for the law.) More recently, ALEC has proposed innovative “solutions” to the overcrowding it helped create, such as privatizing the parole process through “the prove n success of the private bail bond industry

Fracking, Virtual Schools, and Privatization

·         New ways to thwart local democratic control by prohibiting city or county governments from regulating genetically modified plant seeds. Members of the Agriculture Subcommittee — which is chaired by Jeff Case of Crop Life America Presentations on how fracking America can lead to increased profits through exporting America’s natural gas. American Petroleum Institute representatives Jon Shore and Rebecca Heimlich will give a presentation on “Local Bans on Hydraulic Fracturing: Coming Soon to Your District.” Jason French of energy company Cheniere Energy will present to the Energy Subcommittee about “LNG [Liquid Natural Gas] exports: A Story of American Innovation and Economic Opportunity.”

·         Discussions of the wonders of nuclear energy and offshore drilling. Other energy-related agenda items include a presentation on “Nuclear Energy’s Continuing Role in Providing Baseload Electricity,” and another on “Developing America’s Offshore Energy Potential: Good Sense and Good Cents.” ALEC will also consider a “Resolution in Opposition to a Carbon Tax.”

·         More climate change denial? Members of the Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force will be part of a breakfast plenary session called “A Thoughtful Approach to Climate Science.” The title is less inflammatory than some of its past panels — at the 2011 ALEC meeting, legislators attended a workshop titled “Warming Up to Climate Change: The Many Benefits of Increased Atmospheric CO2” — but given ALEC funders like the Koch brothers and members like the Heartland Institute, it seems unlikely that the organization has woken up to the dangers of climate change.

·         Discussions about blocking GMO labeling laws and ordinances that would allow consumers to know if they are buying genetically engineered food, one of the goals of agribusiness and chemical firms that bankroll ALEC.

·         Redoubled efforts to undermine renewable energy initiatives and maintain reliance on coal and other fossil fuels. One workshop, which cost $40,000 to sponsor, is titled “The Economic Benefits and Political Challenges to Coal Exports.” Also on the docket is another bill to repeal renewable energy standards, the “Market Power Renewable Act,” after the failure of the ALEC “Electricity Freedom Act” in 2013. As explained by the Checks and Balances Project:

“‘The Market-Power Renewable Act’ will likely serve as the model for another round of attacks on state Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) in 2014 following ALEC’s failure to weaken or eliminate clean energy policies this year. The new bill would significantly weaken state clean energy laws by broadening the eligible electricity sources to include existing, large hydroelectric power plants, biomass, biogas and other sources of electricity.”

·         Updates to some of ALEC’s long-standing anti-union policies. The “Employee Secret Ballot Protection Act” will be amended “to call for [union certification by] a majority of members in the bargaining unit, rather than a majority of those voting.” This was the same certification policy pushed by Scott Walker in Wisconsin, and creates an almost insurmountable burden: few governors or presidents would ever win election if they had to win a majority of all eligible voters, rather than just a majority of those who vote.

·         Renewing objections to linking the minimum wage to the consumer price index. ALEC plans to brush-off and renew its “Resolution Opposing Increases in Minimum Wage Linked to CPI.” In an apparent recognition that their justifications for opposing minimum wage increases are disintegrating, they will eliminate this line: “In reality, of the approximately 2.7% of U.S. workers that earn the minimum wage, two-thirds (2/3) will earn an increased wage in a year.”

·         Privatization and outsourcing of toll roads. Members of the Transportation Subcommittee will discuss “ALEC Principles on Toll Roads,” which backs privatization of toll rolls, and is particularly relevant to ALEC members Cintra, Macquerie, and Tran urban (all foreign firms). Cintra and Macquarie have teamed up to cut multi-billion dollar contract deals to take control of highways in places like Indiana, basically granting companies a monopoly to help state government raise quick revenue in the short term, but in the long-term saddling consumers with higher fees and the state with lost revenue.

·         New efforts to eliminate occupational licensing for any profession, which help ensure that people who want to call themselves doctors, long-haul truckers, accountants, or barbers meet basic standards of training and expertise to guarantee that consumers are safe and get what they pay for.

·         Expanding virtual “schools,” which enriches ALEC’s online school corporate funders, such as K12 Inc. The Illinois Policy Institute — the State Policy Network affiliate in the state — will present on “digital education.” IPI employees had pushed a Virtual Charter School plan in Illinois, apparently in collaboration with ALEC member K12 Inc., the nation’s largest provider of online charter schools (which hasbecome notorious for poor educational outcomes and high profit margins). Additionally, at least two “workshops” — which carry a $40,000 price tag — will deal with online education: “Modeling State Funding Formulas, K-12 Online Course Providers” and “Statewide Full-Time Virtual Schools: The Case for Parent Choice vs. Local Control.”

·         More flawed testing for colleges. ALEC has long promoted increased reliance on high-stakes testing for elementary and high school students, which many educators say has altered the classroom dynamic and interfered with teaching. A bill to be considered at the Chicago meeting will impose that same costly testing regime to the college level with “The Collegiate Learning Assessment Bill.”

In the past year, at least 49 global corporations have dropped their ALEC membership, apparently recognizing that they don’t want their brands publicly associated with an organization that pushes anti-union legislation and discriminatory voting laws.

But one of the most surprising hangers-on has been State Farm, an insurance company that has crafted an image as a “good neighbor.” But some might say it does not seem very neighborly to bankroll an organization that has promoted “Stand Your Ground” laws that make it easier for self-appointed neighborhood watch vigilantes to get away with murder.

State Farm has not only stuck with ALEC, but it has retained a leadership role in the organization, with a State Farm representative acting as the co-chair for ALEC’s Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development Task Force — the source of ALEC’s anti-labor bills and other controversial legislation.

Joining State Farm on that task force is the bail bond industry. Last year, ALEC made a big PR announcement that it was disbanding the controversial Public Safety and Elections Task Force that had been responsible for bills like Stand Your Ground, Voter ID, and prison privatization, but the for-profit bail industry didn’t jump ship. The American Bail Coalition President and CEO Bill Carmichael remains on the ALEC corporate board (now called the “Private Enterprise Advisory Council”), and the Surety Insurance Subcommittee — chaired by the American Bail Coalition’s Dennis Bartlett — is now part of the State Farm-chaired Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development Task Force.

ABC, the for-profit bail bond industry’s national organization and lobbying wing, has long been involved with ALEC, calling it the industry’s “life preserver.”