Saturday, September 29, 2007

Compiler - Wired Blogs

Compiler - Wired Blogs: "Early this week we told you about a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) flaw in GMail that would allow attackers to create a filter in your account — possibly forwarding copies of your mail to themselves. This morning I received an e-mail from a spokesperson at Google who said that the GMail team rolled out a patch last night which fixes the problem. “Google takes the security of our users’ information very seriously,” the e-mail says, “We worked quickly to address the recently reported vulnerability, and we rolled out a fix. We have not received any reports of this vulnerability being exploited.”"

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sad News: Nailah Franklin's body has been found

May the prayers be with Miss Franklin's family.

O’Reilly Shocked to Find Restaurants Owned and Frequented by Black People Are Actually Restaurants

O’Reilly Shocked to Find Restaurants Owned and Frequented by Black People Are Actually Restaurants: "It’s always fascinating to hear racist white people try to “compliment” minorities. On the September 19, 2007 edition of Bill O’Reilly’s radio show, BOR recounted a dinner he had with Al Sharpton at Sylvia’s, a famous restaurant in Harlem: I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship [sic]. -snip- There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.' -snip- You know, I mean, everybody was — it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn't any kind of craziness at all. BOR also expressed amazement at the absence of both spear chucking and 360-degree basketball dunking."

Video: Bill O'Reilly Discovers Black Culture

Video: Bill O'Reilly Discovers Black Culture: "How old is Bill O'Reilly again? If he is older than 10 years old, he must have interacted with blaks in his neighborhood, at his workplace or any where. So, what i don't understand is that he CANNOT get over the fact that blacks are able of civility and going and eating in normal restaurants and talking normally. This is the most racists remark that i have heard and i am 55 years old. This is worst than the N-words. 'The blacks were dressed...' says O'Reilly...why are you saying that? Are they usually to go around naked?"

Monday, September 24, 2007

Missing Women Alert: Atoi Watson

May she be found safe and sound.

Little Rock: 50 Years Later

Central High Marks 50 Years of Desegregation
by Juan Williams

Morning Edition, September 24, 2007 · Fifty years ago President Dwight D. Eisenhower addressed the nation from his desk in the Oval Office. A mob — backed by the Arkansas National Guard — had blocked nine black students from entering an all-white high school in Little Rock. President Eisenhower decided that he had to act.
"The responsibility is inescapable. In accordance with that responsibility, I have today issued an executive order directing the use of troops under federal authority to aid in the execution of federal law at Little Rock, Arkansas," he said.
And so, some 1,000 troops from the 101st Airborne Division deployed to Little Rock. President Eisenhower said they would escort the teenagers to school.
Segregation Showdown at Little Rock
Little Rock Remembers Troops' Arrival
by Alex Chadwick

Francis Miller

Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus displays the front page of the Manchester, N.H. Union Leader to illustrate what "northern papers" are saying about President Eisenhower's use of federal troops to enforce integration in Little Rock. He charged the president with using unprecedented "police state methods." Bettmann/Corbis

Fifty years ago this month, Little Rock began to desegregate its public schools. Nine black students were assigned to attend the city's Central High. But when the school opened right after Labor Day, white segregationists gathered in a mob. Gov. Orval Faubus defied a federal judge and called in the National Guard to keep the black students out.
The mob won that first day; the mob and the governor, who sensed their power and passion.
The NAACP kept the nine students home for three weeks out of fear for their safety.
A court ordered Faubus to withdraw the Guard, and he did. The Little Rock Nine returned to school on Sept. 23. Outside the building, local police tried to control at least a thousand angry segregationists. When they threatened to storm the school, the police got the children out a back door.

The mob beat several black journalists, one a World War II combat veteran. The pictures were broadcast on television.
'Occupied Territory'
That night, the president of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower, took control.
"An extreme situation has been created in Little Rock," he said. "This challenge must be met, and with such measures as will preserve to the people as a whole their lawfully protected rights."

He ordered units from the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock. They were there by dawn on Sept. 24, 1957. The next day, soldiers escorted the nine students through the front door and into their classrooms.

There was no real trouble on that day. But more was coming.

"My fellow citizens, we are now an occupied territory," responded Gov. Orval Faubus, appealing to generations-old fears.

"In the name of God, whom we all revere," Faubus continued, "in the name of liberty we hold so dear, in the name of decency, which we all cherish, what is happening in America?"

"It's a very strong strain in southern thought to be independent, and to act independently and not to be forced, especially not by the Yankee enforcer," says Betsy Jacoway, an independent scholar and author of a recent book about the crisis, Turn Away Thy Son.

Jacoway was a child in Little Rock then, not yet in high school. Her uncle was the school superintendent, who had a "go-very-slow" integration plan. President Eisenhower's decision to send troops actually worked for Gov. Faubus, she says. It pushed the issue beyond race, and actually revived painful old memories. Many whites were reminded of the years after the Civil War.

"We hadn't had troops in the streets here since 1865," Jacoway says, "and that was so horrifying to us that we thought 'Well, Faubus is the only leader we have right now, so maybe we should follow him.'"

So why did Faubus prevent the black students from attending Central High? The governor died more than a dozen years ago, but to the end, he denied charges of political opportunism. He had ordered the National Guard around Central High for one reason, he said: to keep the peace.

"I do not mean and had no intention of challenging the federal union," Faubus said later. "But the maintenance of the peace and order of a community is paramount to other considerations. And I found it necessary in order to preserve the peace and order in the community, and to protect the lives, even of the negro students and the negro people, to take the actions which I did."

Race and Sexuality

"Faubus wanted to be governor for life, bless his heart," said Jim Johnson. Johnson ran for governor as an ardent segregationist in 1956 — and lost to the far more moderate Faubus. But, he said, Gov. Faubus soon began to see civil rights stirring an ever angrier white reaction — and a kind of opportunity. In an interview, Johnson said the mob at the school was there after the governor called and asked him to make trouble.

"It was an orchestrated show," he said. Faubus "got the word out to all of us to get our friends to come out. If the people were assembled, he didn't have any doubt that he could get a 'rah rah' going. That would appear to be a mob, to the point that it could cause damage."

In the turmoil that followed, Faubus would lead white resistance to integration — in Arkansas and the South. It made him governor three more times. And he rewarded his main segregationist ally, Jim Johnson, by helping him to a seat on the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Now retired from the court, Justice Johnson has changed his views very little, if at all, in 50 years. For "integration", he still prefers the term "forced race mixing." It conjures up undertones.

"That is emotional, when you're talking about the forced race mixing," Johnson said. "The emotion of, as a friend of mine used to say, 'the integration of the bedroom,' gets the attention of people quicker than if you're talking about the A-B-C's being taught in school."

And that finally explains so much of what happened, according to historian Betsy Jacoway. Whites feared exactly that desegregation would lead to race mixing, she said. "And it's so fascinating, because when I talk to Southerners about this, they say, 'duh!'"

Basically, Betsy Jacoway said, it's about sex:

"When I talk to anybody else about this, they say, 'You've got to be kidding. Really, is that what this is about?' she said. "But yes. Southern concerns and … I think, largely American concerns, about integration stemmed from sexual fears, fears of black male aggressiveness and potency."

The Crisis Continues

With the Army's help, the nine black students did start classes that fall. For awhile, things seemed to settle down a little, and the story fell off newspaper front pages across the country. But in Little Rock, anger and fear lingered, and so did the crisis — personally and painfully for those who were there.
"You're being hit and kicked, so our legs were always bruised," remembered Minnijean Brown Trickey, one of the nine black students.

"Stepping on heels is particularly horrible," she continued, "because it's something that only you know is happening. Spit I didn't like at all. It makes me nauseous thinking about it."
The crisis continued to grow. Gov. Faubus wasn't done with history and he knew it. A few years later, he was asked, "What if you had just stood aside and let those kids into the school?"

"Well, I might have survived to the end of my term," the governor answered, "but that would have been the last you would have heard of me."

Related NPR Stories
Sep. 24, 2007Central High Marks 50 Years of Desegregation
Sep. 21, 2007Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine
Sep. 19, 2007Fifty Years Later, 'Little Rock Nine' Stories Resonate
Sep. 5, 2007School Desegregation: At What Price?
Sep. 4, 2007One of the 'Little Rock Nine' Looks Back
Aug. 31, 2007Recalling Little Rock's Segregation Battle
Aug. 31, 2007The Legacy of the Little Rock Nine
Feb. 24, 2007Federal Oversight of Little Rock Schools Ends

Updates on the WV Torture Victim

I'm not suprised at all by media and society's smearing of the Black victim of the WV hate crime. Those people need to show a little more compassion instead of judging her like she deserved it. May God watch over her and her family and to receive the justice she so deserved.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

West Virginia torture and rape victim arrested for writing bad checks at Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture

West Virginia torture and rape victim arrested for writing bad checks at Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture: "The victim in an alleged weeklong torture in Logan County was arraigned in Kanawha County Magistrate Court on multiple counts of writing bad checks. Megan Williams is charged with offenses in Summers, Raleigh and Greenbrier counties. There are 11 misdemeanor counts of writing worthless checks, one misdemeanor count of obtaining under false pretenses and one felony count of failure to appear in circuit court in Summers County, according to documents provided by Kanawha County Magistrate Ward Harshbarger. …Megan Williams is charged with obtaining under false pretenses and writing a worthless check in Raleigh County, according to the Raleigh County warrant. The false check charge is for a $32.21 check to Dominos Pizza. The false pretenses charge is for $96.40 to the Kiddie Junction Consignment Shop in Beaver. In Greenbrier County, Williams is wanted for eight worthless checks, according to the warrant for her arrest filed in Greenbrier County. One of the checks was for $173.79 to BSR Auto Supply."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Democracy Now! | Harlem Residents Head to Jena Louisiana for Rally to Free the Jena Six

Democracy Now! | Harlem Residents Head to Jena Louisiana for Rally to Free the Jena Six: "Activists from across the country are heading to Jena, Louisiana for a major demonstration on Thursday to protest the treatment of six African American high school students who were jailed and faced attempted murder charges for taking part in a fight after nooses were hung from a tree in the schoolyard. Last night we interviewed activists in Harlem as they boarded buses bound for Jena. [includes rush transcript] Last week, ten months after the initial charges, a state court in Louisiana overturned District Attorney Reed Walters's first conviction in the Jena Six case. An all-white jury had convicted seventeen-year-old Mychal Bell but the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that he should not have been tried as an adult. Walters says he plans to appeal Bell’s overturned conviction and also pursue the other five prosecutions. But that's only making people across the country even more determined to fight for justice for the Jena Six. Tomorrow Jena's population of 3,000 could swell to several times its size. Thousands of people are expected to pour into town in solidarity with the six teenagers."

YouTube - Jena 6 update

YouTube - Jena 6 update: "A movement is growing in support of the Jena Six -- the black Louisana high school students charged with attempted murder for a school fight in which a white student was beaten up. The fight broke out after white students hung three nooses from a tree where the black students had sat. School board officials cut down the tree last week. Hundreds of people from all over the country gathered Tuesday for a march through Jena's streets. Independent reporter Jordan Flaherty reports." | News | Jena getting ready for massive crowd expected at march — Baton Rouge, LA | News | Jena getting ready for massive crowd expected at march — Baton Rouge, LA: "NEW ORLEANS — With tens of thousands of protesters expected to march through a tiny central Louisiana town Thursday in defense of six black teenagers, Jena police and residents were busy Tuesday making plans. Estimates range as high as 60,000 marchers for the two-mile trek, which originally was to protest the conviction of Mychal Bell on second-degree battery charges. Bell could have been sent to prison for 15 years on that charge, but the state 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal said Bell, who was 16 at the time of the alleged December 2006 beating of a Jena High school mate, should not have been tried as an adult. Bell is one of six black Jena High students charged in an attack on Justin Barker, who is white. Bell and four others were originally charged as adults with attempted second-degree murder. The charges were widely criticized as overly harsh. A sixth person was charged in the alleged assault as a juvenile. The group has become known as the “Jena 6.” Schools in Jena will close Thursday and many businesses in the town of 2,900 also say they will shut down, concerned about whether the march will remain peaceful."

Congo-Kinshasa: Fighting Exposes Children to Forced Recruitment, Exploitation - UN (Page 1 of 1) Congo-Kinshasa: Fighting Exposes Children to Forced Recruitment, Exploitation - UN (Page 1 of 1): "The situation of children in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has gone from bad to worse, with 60,000 people newly driven from their homes by fighting in North Kivu province, exposing youngsters to the dangers of forced recruitment and sexual exploitation, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). 'Separation of children from the parents always puts children at risk,' UNICEF's Chief of Field Operations for the DRC Julien Harneis said. 'Then you've got the creation of spontaneous camps, which leads to measles, cholera and the recruitment of children into armed groups.' The challenges posed by forced child recruitment are vast, UNICEF said. 'Children are taken by militias against their will and used as porters and fighters or, in the case of girls, for sexual exploitation. There is also great risk, of course, of injury and death from violence and battle,' it added."

Tanzania: Health Authorities Issue Ebola Alert (Page 1 of 1) Tanzania: Health Authorities Issue Ebola Alert (Page 1 of 1): "Tanzanian health authorities have cautioned people living in regions neighbouring the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following the outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever in the central African country. Western Tanzanian regions bordering DRC include Mbeya, Rukwa, Kigoma and Kagera. 'All regional medical officers have been instructed to keep on alert because people from eastern parts of DRC enter into Tanzania through the four regions,' Wilson Mukama, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, said in a statement."

Rap artists arrested for video that threatens police |

Rap artists arrested for video that threatens police | "SAVANNAH, Mo. — Two men were arrested and face a series of felony charges over a homemade rap video that threatened to kill police officers, harm a judge and rape a female police officer. Police said the profanity-laced video was initially posted on YouTube, but has since been pulled from the Internet site. The two men, Kenneth Darrell Black Jr., 20, and Benjamin D. Stevens, 20, face felony charges of making a terroristic threat, conspiring to commit second-degree assault with a gun against law enforcement officers, conspiracy to commit rape and tampering with a judicial officer. It was not immediately clear Wednesday morning if they had lawyers. According to a probable-cause statement, the men outlined plans in the video to kill Savannah Police Chief David Vincent, Andrew County Sheriff Gary Howard and several police officers and deputies. In all, at least 22 law enforcement officers were threatened in the video, according to documents."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Raw Story | Isiah Thomas: Only black men allowed to call women the 'b word'

The Raw Story | Isiah Thomas: Only black men allowed to call women the 'b word': "A bizarre deposition given by the coach of The New York Knicks in a sexual harassment suit has attracted much attention in the media. During the testimony, former Detroit Pistons legend Isiah Thomas suggested that when a black man refers to a woman as a 'bitch' it's less offensive than when a white man does the same. 'White men better not call a black woman 'bitch' around Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, but if black men do it - well, that's fair game,' Kati Cornell writes in Tuesday's New York Post."

Musharraf agrees to relinquish military role - Times Online

Musharraf agrees to relinquish military role - Times Online: "President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan announced today that he would step down as army chief by November 15, ending eight years of military rule in the face of escalating political opposition. General Musharraf, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999, is planning to be re-elected as president in an election due by October 15 before calling parliamentary elections due by mid-January."

Panama's Manuel Noriega | French leave |

Panama's Manuel Noriega | French leave | "THE deposing of Manuel Noriega by American forces nearly two decades ago was an affair to remember. Paratroopers seized Panama's airfields. Mr Noriega holed up in the Vatican embassy. He eventually surrendered on January 3rd 1990. The invasion had been triggered by his indictment for drug trafficking, for which he was duly convicted by American courts."

Simpson Friend: It Seemed Like a Setup |

Simpson Friend: It Seemed Like a Setup | "LOS ANGELES — If the Goldman family has its way, it may soon own the sports memorabilia O.J. Simpson is accused of committing armed robbery to recover for himself. One man charged along with the former football star said Tuesday that the Las Vegas hotel room dispute seemed like a setup. Walter Alexander, 46, said Simpson may have been tricked because the memorabilia dealer who tipped him off also recorded everything on tape."

Monday, September 17, 2007

OJ Simpson arrested for armed robbery in hotel | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

OJ Simpson arrested for armed robbery in hotel | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited: "OJ Simpson faces a lengthy prison term if he is convicted after his arrest yesterday for allegedly being involved in an armed robbery to retrieve what he claims were his personal belongings from a sports memorabilia seller. The former American football star and actor, who was controversially acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife and her friend in 1994, faces two charges of robbery with the use of a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary with a deadly weapon, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and coercion. If he is found guilty, each charge of robbery with a deadly weapon carries a jail sentence of between three and 35 years."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

O.J. Simpson arrested in Vegas robbery - Yahoo! News

O.J. Simpson arrested in Vegas robbery - Yahoo! News: "LAS VEGAS - O.J. Simpson was arrested Sunday and faces multiple felony charges in an alleged armed robbery of collectors involving the former football great's sports memorabilia, authorities said."

Friday, September 14, 2007 Congo-Kinshasa: Ebola Outbreak "Contained" - Kabila (Page 1 of 1) Congo-Kinshasa: Ebola Outbreak "Contained" - Kabila (Page 1 of 1): "Measures have been taken to prevent the spread of Ebola following the deaths of at least 160 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo's southern province of Kasai Occidental during the past two months, President Joseph Kabila said. 'The village of Kampungu [the worst affected] has been quarantined to prevent population movement towards Kananga,' Kabila told reporters on 13 September. Kananga is the main town in the province."

O.J. Simpson a suspect in casino hotel theft - Los Angeles Times

Police questioned O. J. Simpson about a break-in at the property Thursday night. Simpson was released and is believed to be in Las Vegas, police spokesman Jose Montoya said.
O.J. Simpson a suspect in casino hotel theft - Los Angeles Times: "O.J. Simpson is a suspect in a theft of sports memorabilia from a hotel room at the Palace Station Casino, police in Las Vegas said today. 'The investigation is ongoing, and O.J. Simpson is alleged to be the suspect,' Las Vegas Police Sgt. John Loretto said by telephone. The former football star was questioned and released, Loretto said. He was not arrested. The memorabilia were in a hotel room in the casino Thursday night, police spokesman Jose Montoya said. Loretto would not describe the memorabilia, including what sport was involved."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

RIGHTS: African Maids Face Abuse in Lebanon

RIGHTS: African Maids Face Abuse in Lebanon: "BEIRUT, Sep 13 (IPS) - Driven by poverty and conflict in their home countries, women from Africa travel to Lebanon only to find themselves hungry, abused, raped and subjected to conditions akin to slavery. Amira is 25 years old. She comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo. 'One time, Madame found dust on the furniture. She told me that the house was dirty like my skin.' For four years Amira has been confined to the apartment of her employers -- only leaving to take out the trash. She came to Lebanon as a domestic worker on a six-year contract due to ongoing conflict in her country. Awakened daily at 5.30 am, she is subjected to 18 hours of back-breaking labour without time off. 'Even the dogs are allowed to go out, but we're stuck,' she says from across the balcony. 'We're like slaves here.'"

Throwing the Book at O.J. Simpson -

Throwing the Book at O.J. Simpson - PHOENIX -- Fred Goldman is 66 years old now. He lives in the Arizona desert a good five miles of barbed wire and cactus from the nearest sunblasted shopping center. His son, Ron, is buried back in California, but do not think that this geographical distance means that he has put his son's slaying behind him.

Goldman has never let the most notorious murder case in modern American history, the O.J. Simpson trial, move "more than a centimeter from the surface of the brain," and today he launches a bizarre offensive against Simpson, the man whom a civil court -- and many Americans -- consider to be someone who got away with murder.

"To let it go would be tantamount to saying, 'It doesn't matter anymore,' " Goldman says of his continued pursuit of O.J. Simpson.

"I made a promise to Ron," Goldman says in a long, late-afternoon interview in his modest home, "that I would pursue this bastard. That we would never let this go."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Improvisations: Arab Woman Progressive Voice: Ambassador of the Poor

Improvisations: Arab Woman Progressive Voice: Ambassador of the Poor: "The Egyptian poet Ahmad Fou'ad Negm (Nejem/Nejm) has been named, along with Nelson Mandela, international ambassador of the poor. He will advocate on behave of poor Arabs in the international arena. Nagm is a leftist poet who writes in the Egyptian dialect. Many of his poems were sung in the 1960s and 1970s by his long-time friend Sheikh Imam (they had a falling out at some point). He writes about the poor, corrupt leaders and regimes, fat cats, neo-colonialism, and revolution."

A Vicious Hate Crime In WV

I got the story through Ann via Rachel's Tavern regarding the racist hate crime in WV:

Also, What About Our Daughters is covering this horrific and near-fatal hate crime:

More news on this horrific crime:




May God watch us all. These are perilous times for Black women in America today. When will it ever end? Probably never as long as people in general believe the hateful lies on Black women generated for centuries by the powers that be. I hope she gets justice and not have white supremacist media, so-called Black media, and the general society attack her the way they attacked Crystal Gail Mangum and the victims of Dunbar Village in Florida. My prayers go out to her and her family.

Latoyia Figueroa's Father Is Starting His Support Group

This is similiar to the organization started by Shawna Hawk's mother Dee Sumpter when her daughter was murdered in February 1993. I hope his group be successful in bringing to the public's attention concerning murders of young people in the Philadelphia metro area as well as the nation.

Who'll mourn La'Toyia? Her father has a dream
By Annette John-Hall,Inquirer Columnist

Melvin Figueroa hopes to start a foundation to help find missing people like his murdered daughter, whose picture he holds. Melvin Figueroa suffered a stroke a couple of months ago. He was diagnosed with diabetes. He's now on a half-dozen medications.
Stress will do that to you.

Figueroa is only 47. But he sounds old and tired, like a man who's survived unspeakable tragedy.

Like so many other parents during a blood-drenched summer in the city, Figueroa endured the worst - in his case, the disappearance and murder of his daughter, La'Toyia.

So forgive him if he hasn't been glued to the TV lately. The nonstop coverage of Jessie Davis - the nine-months-pregnant Ohio mother who went missing before authorities charged her cop boyfriend with her murder - reminds him too much of the ordeal he went through trying to find La'Toyia.

Not that he could ever forget.

Next month, it will be two years since 24-year-old La'Toyia disappeared and was found murdered, her body left in a vacant lot with the trash, her 5-month-old fetus dead inside her.

Her boyfriend, Stephen Poaches, was charged with her murder and eventually sentenced to life in prison. Life - at least he has his.

There are many similarities between Davis' and La'Toyia's cases.

Both were young and pregnant. Both went missing. Both were found murdered, the leading cause of death among pregnant women in the United States. Both met their fates at the hands of men they thought loved them. And both left behind children, for La'Toyia, a daughter, now 9.

The value of life
But there's one big difference: Davis was pretty and white; La'Toyia, pretty and Latina.
Which meant that Davis' story and all of its titillating elements - an interracial coupling, love triangles, bad-cop drama - warranted the CNN crawl, 24/7, interview after interview, and the usual pundit parade.

La'Toyia? It was almost two weeks until the local papers even picked up her story. Only a few months before, the national media fixated on the sentencing of Scott Peterson, whose murder of his pretty pregnant wife, Laci, was played out over and over for three years.

It was only after a local blogger contacted CNN about La'Toyia's case - and the inequity of her coverage - that her story got heavily publicized, which finally brought out search parties and pressured authorities to prioritize her case.

For a minute, the stations took a break from blanket coverage of Natalee Hollaway, the missing teen in Aruba. Suddenly, La'Toyia was not just a missing pregnant woman but the face of the forgotten minority.

'I have to humble myself'
Figueroa is painfully aware of the racial inequities and class distinctions that dictate which stories the media decide to cover. Paris Hilton, anyone?

Seems the media declare that bad things are not supposed to happen to white women. With poor women of color, they're expected.

"As a father, I felt some kind of way about [Laci Peterson] being white and my daughter being Hispanic," Figueroa says. "Now there's a book and a movie going to be made about [Peterson] and nothing about my daughter . . .

"I get angry about it but I have to humble myself."

Because the truth is, Figueroa doesn't wish what happened to La'Toyia on any family, no matter what color. The loss of a child feels the same to every parent.

"If I had money in my pocket, I would go out to Ohio and support [Jessie Davis'] family. It's a blessing that they had people to help them search for her, because I had to go out there by myself every day to search for my daughter [until her disappearance was publicized]."

In all of these cases, the obvious question looms: What in the name of an unborn child would possess a man to kill the mother of his baby?

Figueroa thinks he knows. "Sometimes men don't want to raise their children but they don't want no other man to raise them, either," he explains. "That's the motive for all this."

So murder makes their lives easier?

"If you don't want to be a father, it don't cost nothing to be a deadbeat dad," Figueroa continues. "If you're not happy with a young lady, that don't give you the right to take her life and the life of a child."

As unbearably heartbreaking as La'Toyia's death was, Figueroa came out of it a changed man. He's more spirit-filled, more committed to helping folks who have lost loved ones to violence as he has.

And there are plenty of them. Here, in a city with a murder rate that just hit 200, Figueroa's work never ends. Despite his weariness, he organizes candlelight vigils, visits families, even pays his respects at visitations and funerals.

His dream is to open the La'Toyia Figueroa Foundation, which would assist relatives in finding missing loved ones.

In the meantime, he knows the perfect person to play La'Toyia in a film: newly crowned American Idol Jordin Sparks.

"She has her eyes, her smile," Figueroa says. "I hope God will open the door and let that movie be made."

Because there's more to La'Toyia's life than we will ever know.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

reappropriate » Blog Archive » Hate Crime at the University of Maryland?

reappropriate » Blog Archive » Hate Crime at the University of Maryland?: "Earlier this week, reports surfaced of a possible hate crime on the University of Maryland campus. A noose was reported hanging outside of one of the dorms, possibly intended to target — and terrorize — African American students living within."

Jefferson claims racial motive in bribery case - Politics -

Jefferson claims racial motive in bribery case - Politics - "WASHINGTON - Rep. William Jefferson accused the Justice Department of bringing corruption charges against him in Virginia to reduce the chance of drawing black jurors. Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat who has been charged in an international bribery case, made the argument Friday in federal court documents seeking to move the case to Washington. 'The court has an obligation to ensure that the forum selection in this case was not tainted by racially discriminatory motive,' Jefferson's attorney, Robert P. Trout wrote."

Very Touching Video of Latoyia Figueroa

To all of my cyberfriends and concerned citizens,

Here's a very touching tribute to Latoyia at YouTube:

Watch it, then weep!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Brawl Over Islam on Facebook - New York Times

Brawl Over Islam on Facebook - New York Times: "The social networking site Facebook from afar can look a lot like college, with cliques and the familiar range of personalities. In another imitation of college life, the Facebook campus is wrestling with the contentious issue of speech codes. The latest concern centers on a group with a crude title denouncing Islam that had more than 750 members at last count. While the group takes pains to say it has nothing against Muslims, who “can be and usually are peaceful and respectful,” it asserts at the start: “The Quran contains many lies and threats. Islam is false, no god exists, and someone should say that loud and clear.” In the month or so since the group was created, the reaction has been building across Facebook. As of the weekend, more than 58,000 Facebook members had joined a group that said that unless the anti-Islam group was removed, “we r quitting Facebook.” Facebook declined to comment on Friday on the subject of hate speech or on what steps had been taken."

Friday, September 07, 2007

Jena Six in national spotlight « Vox ex Machina

Jena Six in national spotlight « Vox ex Machina: "Over the past couple of days, a few important things have happened re: the Jena Six. Most importantly, due to pressure, Judge J.P. Mauffray Jr. threw out Mychal Bell’s conspiracy conviction, leaving him with only an aggravated second-degree battery conviction, which carries up to 15 years. Not great, but much better than the 100 years he originally faced with the conspiracy and attempted murder charges, and even the 22 he faced before the conspiracy conviction was dropped."

David Horowitz, Racist

YouTube - David Horowitz, Racist: "FOX News bigotry: It's not just for Sean Hannity any more."

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Transracial Adoptees, Permanent Homes, Forever Families, and Their Home They Are Forced to Leave « The Blog and the Bullet

Transracial Adoptees, Permanent Homes, Forever Families, and Their Home They Are Forced to Leave « The Blog and the Bullet: "Sume blogs about the intracacies of what is really home and family while being a transracial adoptee: In the case of domestic adoption, can more be done to keep families in tact? What roles do racism and class play in creating and perpetuating environments that feed children into system? Have we as a society become too reliant upon adoption as a solution because of lack of a better one? And let us not forget that adoption is an industry regardless of it’s mutually beneficial appearance. As an industry, adoption has created as many or more problems as it has presumably solved. On one hand, it gives children to parents who want them, but on another, it feeds and sustains a voracious baby market. As potential adoptive parents seek cheaper, quicker ways to acquire children those only too willing to provide that without much thought to ethics will appear. Adoption as an industry will do what’s necessary to stay alive."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Evangelist plans to be anti-violence advocate |

Evangelist plans to be anti-violence advocate | "The tough-talking pastor, who has survived a divorce, a nervous breakdown and life on welfare, broke her silence two weeks after her second husband, Bishop Thomas W. Weeks III, allegedly beat, stomped and choked her in a hotel parking lot. Bynum appeared Tuesday night as a special guest on TBN's 'Praise The Lord' program, a Christian talk show featuring ministers, gospel artists and other newsmakers. On the show, Bynum said she had no bitterness toward her husband. She would not say anything negative about Weeks. 'Nobody could give me enough money,' she said. 'As long as he's my husband I won't break that covenant.' Also on the show, she said the church would help people by preaching more about personal experiences such as her own. While interviews other guests, an emotional Bynum said, 'I came here tonight to declare that I can bear it, I can bear it, I can bear it.'"

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Fatima : I Do Not Support the Troops

Fatima A few weeks ago I watched Oprah stage her input into the plight of the American soldier in Iraq and Afghansitan. She assembled the families of returning troops in her studio without them knowing that the actual soldiers were there too. Classic set-up emotionalism so typical of Oprah, and American television in general.

Somewhere in between watching emotional scenes of reunions, children hanging onto fathers and mothers who have been away, and loving embraces between loved ones, I felt a certain resentment.

My resentment was first directed at Oprah. I thought "damn why is she making a nationalistic statement about troops and their families?"

Well I knew the answer almost immediately. It sells. And Oprah is a salesperson first. She is playing to the glossed-over majority mindset in America that mostly excuses the troops from their vicious role. The "I Support our Troops" and their families so bring them home from that war 'over there' mentality is profitable in these terms.

The troops in this sense are not held responsible for their actions. They are rather seen as victims of what is now an unpopular war. If there is brutality to be recognized, well then the excuse is that they are merely carrying out orders.

It is here that my greater sense of resentment was directed. I could barely watch the service men and women embrace their families without thinking about the mass terror and murders their voluntary service has enabled.

Brown, Black, and white troops. Poor and patriotic. I needed to be careful about throwing all these into one bucket of resentment. But I found myself not caring anyway. Who speaks for the suffering of Iraqi's and Afghans? The senseless murder of innocents. The rape and prostitution forced on a people in the name of democracy.

Well not Oprah, of course. Not one word was spoken, not one tear was shed, for the millions who cannot reunite with their families or loved ones on Oprah's stage.


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