THE MUSIC BOX HOUR
While certain Americans whine about gun control, the way in which guns affect the lives of their countrymen is rarely discussed. A new study shows the life expectancy of Americans are decreasing due to guns, and Black Americans are most affected.
The academic study shows “guns caused the life expectancy of Black Americans to drop by more than four years from 2000 to 2016, twice as much as the decline in life expectancy of white Americans during the same period.” The study used data gathered by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.
The study stated, “The overall life expectancy loss is twice as high among Blacks compared with whites and is driven by substantially higher homicide rates among Blacks up to age 20. This divergent race-specific life expectancy loss by age is in line with current evidence that suggests vast race differences in the years of life lost due to firearms before age 65 years.”
It continued, “Our finding that the life expectancy loss related to suicides among whites does not offset the loss among Blacks is indicative of persisting disparities in homicide among younger age groups.”
The authors of the study also added that “in the absence of comprehensive firearm legislation, targeted prevention programs and policies are needed to mitigate the racial firearm injury gaps in the USA.”
Clearly, lack of proper firearm legislation is not only an issue when it comes to mass shooting, but an issue for Black neighborhoods, which the NRA couldn’t give a damn about.
This is America.
The voter suppression outcries heard during Stacey Abram’s historic run to become the nation’s first Black woman governor all but disappeared in Georgia’s runoff election—now that Brian Kemp is no longer in charge of the state’s voting process.
Last month, Georgia Secretary of State Kemp oversaw his own race for governor, which was close but ended in defeat for Abrams. There was damning evidence that pointed to Kemp using a variety of voter suppression tactics to target Black voters.
Kemp resigned under pressure on Nov. 8–after he had declared victory over Abrams.
Georgia elected Republican state Rep. Brad Raffensperger as its new secretary of state in Tuesday’s runoff contest against Democrat John Barrow, a former congressman. The Trump-backed candidate won 52 percent to 48 percent.
“There was a significant drop in enthusiasm after the general election. That was true on both sides, but it was greater for Democrats,” state Rep. Scott Holcomb told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted December 5, 2018
For many generations, the blackface assistant of Santa Claus—known as Black Pete—has been a beloved central figure at Christmastime for the Dutch. But a growing number of people in the Netherlands are now turning against that tradition.
“I think we have reached the tipping point,” Bert Theunissen, a professor of history at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, told the Christian Science Monitor.
The Dutch have long viewed the nation as a bastion of liberalism and welcoming of diversity. However, the rise of right-wing extremists in response to immigration has forced many of them to re-evaluate the national character. That has no doubt caused many to rethink their cavalier attitude about Black Pete and realize that the character represents slavery and oppression of Black people.
According to the Dutch tradition, Black Pete—not Santa—is the one who actually crawls down chimneys to deliver gifts to children. Pete’s blackness comes from all the soot in those chimneys. However, instead of smearing their faces and clothes with soot, Black Pete performers typically wear full blackface, Afro wigs and often large red lips.
Much of the growing opposition in the Netherlands to Pete comes from Black people who are organizing protests and igniting debate. They are forcing the Dutch to remember that their nation colonized people of color for more than three centuries and to acknowledge that the colonizer mentality persists.
Last night, gun threats shut down a screening of the docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.” Many fingers, including the Lifetime cable network, are pointing to R. Kelly as being behind the threat. Now, Kelly’s ex-wife is speaking out.
Drea Kelly, Kelly’s ex-wife, told Rolling Stone, “The first thing that came to my mind — and I can’t speak for anyone else — was that [R. Kelly] had this shut down. I believe it was somebody connected to him. This was an outside inside-job to me; someone on the outside does not want what’s going on on the inside to be completed. Whoever it came from, they know that this is not a good thing because there’s power in numbers.”
She continued, “At the end of the day, though, it makes me smile because that lets me know we’re on the right track. We’re causing people to listen. We’re getting people’s attention and we’re getting attention from the one who thought that he was invincible and untouchable. And that also applies to the people that work for him and the people that are around him.”
Tarana Burke, the woman who gave birth to the “#MeToo” movement, was at the screening and tweeted after the event was shut down.
Posted December 5, 2018
Today George H.W. Bush‘s service was held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Over 3,000 political leaders and family members gathered to say goodbye to the man who was president from 1989 to 1993. At the service, his son, George W. Bush said, “He showed me what it means to be a president who serves with integrity, leads with courage and acts in love with his heart for the citizens of our country.”
For the first time since the inauguration, all of the five living Presidents convened: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
However, even through the sadness, there were uncomfortable moments when the hateful Trumps stepped in –particularly bad considering he has attacked the Bush family years and is still obsessed with Obama and Hillary Clinton. Social media ate it up.
Erron Martez Dequan Brown, 20, is the suspected shooter at the Galleria mall in Hoover, Alabama. However, his attorney, Charles Salvagio, is insisting that his client is not guilty and is now demanding Hoover police release body camera footage and surveillance video.
In a press conference, Salvagio said, “We believe that when the video is show — not necessarily the body cam — the video from the mall, we believe that it will show very clearly that Erron Brown was not the instigator of this, very clearly.” He also denied that the shooting was not about a pair of shoes, despite rumors. Salvagio claimed “these people knew each other. This could happen anywhere. Somebody wanted it to happen at the Galleria.” AL.com also reports he said, “He is not guilty. Period.”
See a brief clip from the press conference below:
Erron Martez Dequan Brown has been charged with attempted murder. He is being held on a $125,000 bond and his preliminary hearing will be January 17.
The Nov. 22 shooting left an 18-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl injured. Reportedly, Emantic “EJ” Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. was killed while he was trying to stop the shooter Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama. The cop shot EJ in the face and is reportedly on administrative leave. The officer has remained unidentified. EJ was only 21 years old.
Most agree that teacher diversity is desirable. Numerous studies have shown that Black teachers are effective at teaching African-American students.
But teachers of color represent just 18 percent of the workforce—about 7 percent of them are African-American. That’s a problem because this lack of teacher diversity exists at a time when minorities represent a majority of students in the nation’s public education system. A large part of the problem is retaining teachers of color.
NewsOne spoke with The Education Trust, a nonprofit education research and advocacy group, about its new study, released on Nov. 3.
Titled Through Our Eyes: Perspectives and Reflections From Black Teachers, the study gives voice to African-American educators on the front-lines about the challenges that contribute to the retention crisis.
Ashley Griffin, the lead researcher who co-authored the study with Hilary Tackie, said the research team sat down with a representative group of 150 Black teachers from seven states. Those teachers were selected based on data from the 2012 Schools and Staffing Survey, compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics.
Griffin, who serves as the director of K-12 research at Education Trust, said many studies have quantified the retention problem and examined the impact of teachers of color in classrooms. This study, however, gives voice to Black teachers, and contributes qualitative findings.
“We’ve read many clips about the low number of African-American teachers and low recruitment figure,” she told NewsOne. “But no one is really talking about retention. So we set out to listen to African-American teachers, and have conversations about what’s happening across the nation.”
The research found amazing similarities and continuity. It paints a picture that explains why the teachers entered the profession, the value they bring to schools, and the obstacles they face.
Many of the teachers said they felt “called” to teaching. They came to the profession with high expectations of their Black students and a desire to enable them to succeed. This calling, Griffin explained, often stemmed from a role model—a teacher or a relative.
One participant, an elementary school teacher from Oakland, said she wanted to impact her Black students in the same way that her fifth-grade teacher influenced her.
She said, “I make sure I get to know each and every one of my kids, and let them know that they can do it.”
The teachers said they feel a special connection with their Black students. “We bring familiarity to our students,” one participant said. “You know, they do like to look up and say, ‘Oh, OK, there is my auntie,’ or ‘There is my grandma,’ or ‘There is my cousin.’”
This connection, stemming mainly from common experiences, enables the teachers to empathize with the challenges their Black students encounter away from school.
However, there are negative consequences for this affinity with the students. These consequences diminish their chances of getting promoted and recognized for their skills.
School administrators often assign African-American educators to teach only Black students. As a result, White colleagues tend to view them as disciplinarians, but not skilled educators.
Many of the teachers said they spend nearly all their time playing the role of enforcer instead of developing their teaching skills and doing lesson planning.
Stereotyped as less educated, the Black teachers said they seldom get the opportunity to teach high-performing students and advanced courses, which would give them recognition as subject matter experts.
A focus group participant described getting pigeonholed as a disciplinarian of Black students this way:
“‘You do it so well, let’s just keep you here.’ If I’m doing the ABCs every day, I never really get to do anything of a higher caliber. I think a lot of times, as African-American teachers, we get stuck in a certain group, because you do it well.”
Griffin said the Black teachers told her team that they have unique stressors. Much of it stems from a sense of obligation to underserved Black students, which goes beyond academics.
They often find themselves “acting as a parent, a hairdresser, a chauffeur, an advocate, a counselor, or a cheerleader,” the study said. Serving the whole student often means spending their own money to ensure the students have basic necessities.
The takeaway from what the teachers said is that “recruiting Black teachers is not enough,” said Griffin. School district leaders and principals must “recognize and be mindful of the racial climate and how it affects teachers of color.”
Griffin said the next step is for school districts and their African-American teachers to have “a delicate conversation” about those issues and explore what support systems are needed to keep them in the profession.
On Friday, Roland Martin, Host and Managing Editor of NewsOne Now,decided to weigh in on the CMA bowing down to the pressure of racists.
Martin began his fiery rebuke of the Country Music Association, detailing how the organization used Beyoncé to drive ratings on the same night of the seventh game of the World Series, but when White racist country music fans reacted to the performance, CMA cowered and did not respond.
Martin said, “What you should’ve done … is say how proud you were of Beyoncé and call out those bigots who were trashing her and her performance.”
The opinionated NewsOne Now host continued, “This is where the Country Music Association needs to man and woman up and hold those folks to task.”
Martin went on to challenge CMA for their inconspicuous move to remove all mention of Beyoncé from their social media platforms to “stand up to racism, [and] stand up to bigotry” by posting the video clip of the performance and then expose the racists who espouse hate in response to it.
“What the CMA cannot do is be silent in the face of racism,” said Martin. Adding, “You owe America, you owe [it to] your fans to check those who chose to criticize Beyoncé.”
Martin concluded, “Stop being scared, stop being weak, stop being impotent, put it back on your Facebook page, put it on your Instagram page, put it on your Twitter page, because America needs to see the bigots out there and expose them for who they really are. So stop being weak.”
A St. Louis mother is demanding answers after a photo surfaced that shows a white police officer posing with her dead son.
According to FOX 59 News, in August, Kim Staton’s son, 28-year-old Omar Rahman, was found dead from an accidental drug overdose. Staton says she hasn’t heard much from the authorities about her son’s death and was devestated when KMOV News released a leaked photo showing a North County Cooperative officer at the scene wearing gloves, holding onto her dead son’s arm giving a thumbs up.
Staton stresses that there is no reasonable explanation as to why any officer would do something like that outside of being cruel and unprofessional.
“[When] they come to a call, they’re supposed to be there to help and protect, not doing what he was doing with thumbs up and a smirk on his face,” she exclaimed.
Staton’s attorney, Antonio Romanucci, echoes her sentiments.
“It’s hideous. The implications of this photograph are just astronomical,” said Romanucci. “I have seen thousands and thousands of forensic photographs, I have never seen a staged photograph of an officer next to a deceased body.”
Romanucci is urging that there to be a complete investigation that is done by an agency other than the Co-op.
“Who was there that allowed this to go on? Was there any sergeant involved? Those are the questions that need to be asked and that’s what needs to be found here,” Romanucci said.
Meanwhile, the police told Stanton that they lost all of the pictures from that night since their police camera has gone missing.
Even worse: North County Co-op Chief Tim Swope refused to speak with the KMOV News reporter who was sent the picture, telling her off-camera that he doesn’t even want to see the pic, FOX 59 noted. But he claims they are conducted an internal investigation on the incident.
Former St. Louis Chief Dan Isom told KMOV News that he is baffled as to why Swope won’t even look at the picture.
“See it, talk to the officer, get all the information relative to why they were there,” Isom said.
In the end, Stanton just wants to know what happened the night her son died.
“That’s what I am looking for, I’m looking for some answers,” she said.
Yes, we would also like to know what is so humorous about the sight of a dead Black man.
Despite surviving tremendous ordeals to be accepted as a member of a fraternity while he was at Penn State-Altoona University, 18-year-old Marquise Braham could not watch others go through the same so took his own life, according to a lawsuit.
Braham’s family claim that the teen was forced to “consume gross amounts of alcohol” and mouthwash, swallow live fish and gut and skin animals after he had killed them, all to become a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. They are suing the university and the suspended fraternity alleging that he jumped to his death off a New York hotel roof because of hazing, The Daily Mail reports.
The suit alleges that Braham was made to fight fellow pledges as part of the hazing activities and was burned with candle wax and deprived of sleep for 89 hours. He also had a gun held to his head by members of the fraternity during the hazing which continued for months, shortly before he died in March 2014, the lawsuit claims.
“Marquise is a good kid, was a good kid,” his father, Richard Braham told WNBC.
“I’m just trying to find out what happened to him. He pledged a frat, which isn’t against the law,” Braham’s father continued. “But somehow he ended up dead from it. How did that happen? That’s what I want to know,” he added.
Despite the fraternity’s national organization in Indianapolis claiming they hadn’t seen the results of law enforcement investigation, the chapter was suspended for six years following Braham’s death, according to Penn State officials. They are also barred from using university facilities or participating in campus events.
If the activities in the lawsuit are proven true, the members of the local fraternity “are in direct violation of the fraternity’s standards and expectations as well as its express anti-hazing policies,” said the Indianapolis organization. It added that it would continue to cooperate fully with all authorities associated with the investigation to bring out the truth of the matter.
The suit claims that although Braham went through all of the hazing rituals and was accepted as a member of the fraternity, he later text a friend that some of the activities he had to be present for during the hazing of the next class of pledges were “hard to watch.”
“But to do it to other children as part of leadership as an 18-year-old, he couldn’t do it,” Richard Braham told WNBC. “It was contrary to his entire existence. He couldn’t do it. I don’t think he knew a way out but to jump off that roof,” the distraught father added.
Braham killed himself the day before he was to return to the fraternity after struggling to cope with what he would have to witness and participate with in the hazing of others, the lawsuit claims. It also claims that the physical, psychological and academic suffering he was going through at the time was known by staff members at the university, but they did nothing about it.
“In my family’s opinion, both Penn State and Phi Sigma Kappa severely damaged our son, both physically and mentally, with hazing activities and even worse, sought to allegedly cover it up by destroying evidence,” Richard Braham said in a statement.
When Taijuan Littleton, a driver for Rent-A-Center, was making a scheduled delivery to an apartment in Buffalo, New York on Friday morning, he thought something was amiss when a little boy answered the call he made ahead of the delivery.
When the father of three got to the apartment, he realized that something more tragic was wrong within the household where he was making the delivery. What he eventually discovered was that 4-year-old Bryan Keith Allen Jr., had been living alone at home with his mother for two days after she had died, according to the Buffalo News.
When Littleton arrived at the apartment on the 1300 block of East Delavan Avenue, he knocked on Allen’s door, but Shaleena Hamilton, a longtime customer of his, did not come to answer, said Homicide Detective Sgt. Jim Dunham.
Adding that he could hear a little boy’s voice talking to his mother, asking her to wake up, Dunham said of Littleton. “He asked the boy to open the door, but he didn’t.”
“I realized right there it was not good,” said Littleton, adding that he decided to look through the window and saw the mother lying on the floor at the foot of the stairs. After calling 911, he again asked the boy to open the door and this time he did.
When Littleton realized Hamilton was dead, he took Bryan out to his truck to comfort and warm him until police arrived.
“I wrapped him up in a cover and took him outside to my van because it was very cold that day, just to get him out of the house,” Littleton said.
Police said that Hamilton had suffered a blood clot near her heart and died when she fell down the stairs breaking her neck, reported Syracuse.com.
“He thought she was sleeping,” said Nichols about Bryan. “He had been living off of milk and maple syrup,” he added.
When the Buffalo Police learned of Bryan’s tragic story, they contacted Lt. Steven Nichols, who is involved in a program that gives away bikes to children in the community, the outlet reports. As the story spread, other members of the community began dropping off gifts for Bryan with Police Department employees throughout the city.
By the end of the day, Bryan had a absolute mountain of gifts waiting for him at Buffalo Police Headquarters and he was given a shiny red bicycle on Monday from the program Nichols is involved with.
“Hopefully, it will make his Christmas a little bit better,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said while presenting the gifts to some of Bryan’s family members on Monday.
During her funeral over the weekend, Bryan kept talking about how his “mommy was sleeping,” but he appeared to be doing a little better on Monday, according to some of his relatives.
“He’s going to love this,” Thomas Porter, Bryan’s maternal grandfather told the Buffalo News about all the presents lined up for the child. “He’s not going to know what to open up first.”
One of Bryan’s uncles, a stepson of his maternal grandfather may come back to the Buffalo area to become a caregiver for the boy, said Porter.
In the meantime, a GoFundMe Page has been set up for Bryan, which has garnered over $230 of a goal of $500 by 8 people in 3 days.
“Any decent human being would have done the same, said Littleton, explaining what he did in a casual manner. “I don’t think I did anything special,” he added, but others think differently.
“The boy could have been there for countless more days, if not for the action of this individual,” Dunham said.
Police officials said if people are interested in donating to Bryan’s family, send to:
Buffalo Police Headquarters, 74 Franklin St., Buffalo NY
Ehsan Abdulaziz called the alleged rape an accident.
Amillionaire property developer was cleared of criminal charges after he claimed he “accidentally” raped a teenage girl when he “fell” on top of her.
According to USA Today, Ehsan Abdulaziz, 46, was accused of raping an 18-year-old girl who slept over at his London flat after a night out drinking with her 24-year-old friend. Abdulaziz had sex with the older woman before his incident with the teenager.
The teen claimed Abdulaziz forced himself on her, but the British millionaire painted a different story. He claimed he went to see if the girl needed anything and she pulled him on top of her, causing him to fall. He said his penis was outside of his underwear because of his sexual relations with the teen’s friend.
The girl told police she was then unable to wake up her friend, so she called two other friends to pick her up. At the time of the August incident, Abdulaziz allegedly said, “She’ll have to prove it.” She was also scared to call the police immediately after because she didn’t want to “aggravate the situation.”
Abdulaziz’s semen was found inside the young woman, but he said his semen was on his hands from having sex with the 24-year-old. Judge Martin Griffiths reportedly allowed Abdulaziz to give evidence in private.
The women met Abdulaziz at Cirque le Soir nightclub, a popular club in London’s West End.
The jury acquitted him after 30 minutes of deliberation.