Updated: 3 days 21 hours ago
Tue, 09/02/2014 - 11:23
CeeLo Green decided to make a bad situation worse on Sunday when he took to Twitter to talk about his rape case. The singer pled no contest to supplying a woman with ecstacy; the victim claims that she doesn't remember anything about her date with the singer except going out to dinner and then waking up naked in his bed. His lawyer insisted that the two had consensual sex, and rape charges weren't filed due to lack of evidence.
But on Sunday night, the singer tried and failed to make his case with the public. His tweets:
If someone is passed out they're not even WITH you consciously! so WITH Implies consent".
"When someone brakes on a home there is broken glass where is your plausible proof that anyone was raped."
He later apologized to his followers: "I sincerely apologize for my comments being taken so far out of context ... I'd never condone the harm of any women."
But the damage was done. The singer has since deleted his account.
Tue, 09/02/2014 - 09:24
When Newark public school students return to class this Thursday, some children will be missing their first day. A local parents' group announced last week that some 600 parents have pledged to keep their children out of classes to protest the district's sweeping new reform plan, One Newark. Campaign leaders have described the boycott as move of desperation for a community that has felt steamrolled by the high-powered reform agenda and the state control that has governed their schools for two decades.
One Newark has been billed as a massive overhaul of the struggling school system. Under the plan, which was approved last December, the district will close, phase out or reformulate roughly one-third of its schools. Students will no longer be assigned to their neighborhood schools. Instead, a complex algorithm will match families with schools of their choice across the district.
The plan, which focuses elementary and middle schools,has had a rough rollout over the past couple of weeks. Parents who were invited to register their children for school have waited in line for hours, CBS reported. New Jersey's News 12 found a family with five children who were assigned to five different schools.
"The superintendent announced this plan as an opportunity of choice, but what it's turning out to be is an opportunity of chance," says Sharon Smith, a co-founder of Parents United for Local School Education (PULSE). "At some point parents don't have a chance to get into their schools of choice, or even into a school at all."
The boycott is only the latest battle in a long-running feud that pits teachers' unions and progressive education advocates aga
Tue, 09/02/2014 - 09:24
1994 was a big year for hip-hop. Nas dropped "Illmatic," Biggie released "Ready to Die" and Outkast burst onto the scene with "Southernplayalistic." But, two decades later, how do you judge that year's best albums? Grantland's Shea Serrano put together this handy matrix:
Tue, 09/02/2014 - 09:00
Tue, 09/02/2014 - 08:31
Donation pages raising more than $400,000 for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson were suddenly shut down without explanation this weekend, the LA Times reports. Wilson is the officer who shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown on the afternoon of August 9th. Neither owners of the two fundraising efforts with similar names have explained why both GoFundMe pages appear to have shut down around similar times on Saturday. They had inspired controversy some weeks ago for defending Wilson, drawing racist remarks and lack of accountability. The page "Support Officer Darren Wilson," which has so far raised more than $230,000 is run by an anonymous organizer.
"Support Officer Wilson," run by a St. Louis police charity, Shield of Hope, has so far brought in slightly less than $200,000. One of the organization's three named officers is a Democrat and member of the Missouri House of Representatives Jeffrey Roorda. This January, Roorda sponsored a bill that would keep officers' names secret if involved in a police shooting unless they were criminally charged. The bill "went nowhere," according to the LA Times.
A GoFundMe set up by lawyer Benjamin Crump for Michael Brown's family has so far raised more than $300,000.
Tue, 09/02/2014 - 07:03
Here's what I'm reading up on this morning:
- The U.S. launches a drone-guided airstrike in Somalia targeting al-Shabaab.
- Former House majority leader Eric Cantor takes a job at a Wall Street investment firm.
- Thirty two teens escape a juvenile detention center in Nashville.
- Are you an iOS developer wondering why your app was rejected? Apple lists the reasons for about half the time apps are turned down.
- Michael Sam doesn't even make the Rams's practice squad.
- Testing for an experimental Ebola vaccine starts this week.
Sat, 08/30/2014 - 07:22
Labor Day weekend marks a somber anniversary in the United States. Nine year ago, in 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. The storm itself, as well as the subsequent flooding, claimed nearly 2,000 lives and displaced some one million people.
Hurricane Katrina also illustrated systemic racism in the U.S. and in the New Orleans area specifically--from the collapse of the levees to the belated rescue efforts to police shootings to media coverage. Katrina first made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 3 hurricane on Monday, August 29, 2005. By the time celebrities gathered to raise funds on television for the survivors four days later on September 2, Kanye famously blurted out "George Bush doesn't care about black people" before his feed was cut off.
Here are some of the striking images from a devastating storm, nine years ago:
A man who refused to give his name covers his face as 50-mph winds blow in advance of Hurricane Katrina August 25, 2005 in Deerfield Beach, Florida. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Getty)
Trinidad Ribero stands at the gate of her flooded home after Hurricane Katrina dumped as much as 15 inches of rain as it passed over this community south of Miami August 26, 2005 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Getty)
People wait in line while attempting to rent a car at New Orleans International Airport in preparation for Hurricane Katrina August 27, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty)
Jeff Johnson holds his daughter Kayla, 1, in the nearly deserted French Quarter before the arrival of Hurricane Katrina August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty)
Residents wait in line to enter the Superdome which is being used as an emergency shelter before the arrival of Hurricane Katrina August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty)
Winn Dixie grocery store meat manager Amanda Keierleber stocks the last expected supply of meat before Hurricane Katrina moves through the morning of August 29, 2005 in Meridian, Mississippi. (Photo: Barry Williams/Getty)
A man peers out of a window broken by Hurricane Katrina at the Hyatt Hotel on August 29, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty)
People walk down a flooded street after Hurricane Katrina hit the area August 29, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty)
Mark Benton, of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, helps to rescue three month old Ishmael Sullivan from a school rooftop after he and his mother were trapped with dozens of others in high water after Hurricane Katrina August 30, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Mario Tama)
A McDonalds lies in ruins across from the beach and Highway 90 August 30, 2005 in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Photo: Barry Williams)
Patricia Barela (L) and Jose Samaniewo make a donation for victims of Hurricane Katrina at a daylong disaster relief collection event at Dodger Stadium August 31, 2005 in Los Angeles. (Photo: Ann Johansson/Getty)
Daryl Thompson holds his daughter Dejanae, 3-months, as they wait with other displaced residents on a highway in the hopes of catching a ride out of town after Hurricane Katrina August 31, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty)
In this handout photo provided by the White House, U.S. President George W. Bush looks out over devastation from Hurricane Katrina as he heads back to Washington D.C. August 31, 2005 aboard Air Force One. (Photo: Paul Morse/White House via Getty)
Evacuees from the New Orleans area take shelter in the Reliant Astrodome September 1, 2005 in Houston, Texas. (Photo: Dave Einsel/Getty)
Evacuees from New Orleans who survived Hurricane Katrina arrive on September 2, 2005 at Kelly USA in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty)
Sat, 08/30/2014 - 07:21
For the educators and learners among us: Make time for this meandering introspection from The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates on learning a new culture, navigating its border police and finding out this summer that, "I was more ignorant than I knew." Baltimore born and raised Coates spent the summer learning French at Middlebury College in Vermont. He uses this French immersion to understand and explain how segregation prepared him well to become a writer, less so a high-achiever in the classroom.
There's much to dig in Coates' essay. But I'm drawn to the notion that for members of marginalized communities, acquiring education does not necessarily mean an end to persecution. It has often meant the opposite:
In the early 19th century, the Cherokee Nation was told by the new Americans that if its members adopted their "civilized" ways, they would soon be respected as equals....
The Cherokee Nation...embraced mission schools. Some of them converted to Christianity. Other intermarried. Others still enslaved blacks....Thus the Native Americans of that time showed themselves to be as able to to integrate elements of the West with their own culture as any group of Asian or Jewish American. But the wolf has never much cared whether the sheep were cultured or not.
"The problem, from a white point of view," writes historian Daniel Walker Howe, "was that the success of these efforts to 'civilize the Indians' had not yielded the expected dividend in land sales. On the contrary, the more literate, prosperous, and politically organized the Cherokees made themselves, the more resolved they became to keep what remained of their land and improve it for their own benefit."
Cosmopolitanism, openness to other cultures, openness to education did not make the Cherokee pliant to American power; it gave them tools to resist. Realizing this, the United States dropped the veneer of "culture" and "civilization" and resorted to "Indian Removal," or The Trail of Tears.
Read the whole essay, "Acting French" on The Atlantic.
Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:12
Gun violence cost U.S. tax payers nearly $700 million in 2010, according to a new study from the Urban Institute. Add "societal costs" and the number jumps to an estimated $174 billion. To help put these figures into context, note that the injuries associated with firearm assault, including homicide, aren't evenly distributed across the country. Rather, they concentrate among uninsured black boys and men and in a relatively small number of communities. As an example, in Boston, one study found that more than half of all gun violence clustered around less than 3 percent of streets and intersections. And while firearm injuries typically affect black and Latino men and boys ages 15 to 34, in a study of six states, black females were found to have higher rates of hospitalization than white males in all but one. Such concentrations of violence, particularly among youth of color, study authors say, "should serve as a clear call to action to find new solutions to gun violence."
The six states studied: California, Maryland, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Jersey and North Carolina.
Read the full report here.
Fri, 08/29/2014 - 13:19
Deportation relief for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. may not come before November's midterm election.
President Obama made clear in June that, because Congress hadn't moved forward on legislation, he'd take major action himself on immigration by the end of the summer:
If Congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours. I expect their recommendations before the end of summer and I intend to adopt those recommendations without further delay.
When Obama made his remarks on immigration reform in the Rose Garden in late June, he also provided more resources to secure the border--but many have been waiting patiently for some kind of deal that would allow undocumented immigrants some kind of administrative status change, even temporarily. The president's comments claiming he'd take action on immigration by the end of the summer have also been backed by insiders and senior advisors. Some groups were already preparing undocumented immigrants for what Obama was expected to do in the next couple of weeks.
But now, it seems, he's changed his mind. Obama told reporters on Thursday that his timeline on immigration action may change. According to the New York Times, Obama's calculation has everything to do with key Senate races:
Under pressure from nervous Democratic Senate candidates in tight races, President Obama is rethinking the timing of his pledge to act on his own to reshape the nation's immigration system by summer's end, and could instead delay some or all of his most controversial proposals until after the midterm elections in November, according to people familiar with White House deliberations.
And, according to the Los Angeles Times, immigration enforcement could, in fact, increase before the election:
Under that plan, the president would first announce measures aimed at tightening enforcement of current law, then put off until the end of the year a decision on a more sweeping program that could temporarily shield millions of immigrants from deportation.
Obama's administration has already deported more than two million people--more than have been deported under any other president.
Fri, 08/29/2014 - 13:04
There are things to know about Oakland in the 1990s: the Ebonics debates, the crack-era violence, 2pac's emergence, the Raiders' homecoming. Souls of Mischief, one of the city's stalwart hip-hop groups, made the classic "'93 Till Infinity," a song whose rhythm and cadence perfectly encapsulates the era. Now they're back with a concept album called "There Is Only Now," that looks back at the decade to make sense of the present.
It's the group's fifth studio album and boasts some of the decade's most influential artists, including A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg and 70's legend William Hart of The Delfonics.
Tajai Massey, one of the group's four members, told San Francisco Weekly that the new record is meant to celebrate the city's head-scratching contradictions, which include high crime rates and some of the country's most distinctive multicultural communities. "We're not walking around saying we are from big bad Oakland," he told Gary Moskowitz. "People condemn the violence, they make it too much of a topic, but it's part of living here. It's not a constant daily thing for us in the band, thankfully, but for some people here, it is. And dealing with violence is traumatic."
The record was recorded over the course of three months in Los Angeles with producer Adrian Younge. You can stream it below.
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