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News Flash

Al Sharpton meets with Barneys CEO, talks racial profiling


Civil Rights leader and activist Al Sharpton met with Barneys New York CEO on Tuesday to discuss the recent racial profiling allegations filed against the high-end retailer.

Two black customers accused Barney’s of discrimination two weeks ago after being detained by police in two separate incidents. Two more black customers came forward claiming racial profiling at Macy’s soon after.

From Associated Press:

“We had a very candid and open meeting today to begin a dialogue,” Sharpton said after the private meeting with Barneys CEO Mark Lee at Sharpton’s National Action Network office in Harlem. Lee said Barneys’ own initial investigation showed no employees were at fault in the two incidents, but he said the retailer does not tolerate discrimination and wants “to be part of the solution” to racial profiling.

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News Flash

White activist defends “#BlackGirlsRock in response to #WhiteGirlsRock hastag


On Sunday, BET aired the 8th annual “Black Girls Rock” awards show.  Millions of viewers tuned in to watch several African American women be celebrated for their overall achievements in entertainment, activism and media.

While the #blackgirlsrock hashtag was ablaze on Twitter, a very unsurprising backlash about the event was also in the midst.

But one white activist is defending Black Girls Rock, and points out some very good examples of why it’s necessary. Here’s an excerpt from Olivia Cole’s article, “Why I’m Not Here for #WhiteGirlsRock.”

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News Flash

School to Prison Pipeline: what one Florida school district is doing about it


The nation’s 7th largest school district has reached an agreement with law enforcement agencies and the NAACP to lower the number of students being charged with crimes.

Broward County Public Schools in Florida, has implemented an agreement as an alternative to the zero-tolerance policies that exist in many schools.

From Associate Press:

It charges principals rather than school resource officers with being the primary decision makers in responding to student misbehavior. The move is designed to cut down on what has become known as the “school-to-prison pipeline,” where students accused of offenses like disrupting class or loitering are suspended, arrested and charged with crimes.

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News Flash

Chilli launches petition against cyber-bullying amid charges on her son’s sexuality


TLC member Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas has launched a petition against and other reporting entities to leave children of celebrities alone. The petition comes on the heels of an article written about the star’s son.

The article referenced Chilli’s son Tron, questioning the child’s sexuality. Thomas took the to create the petition.

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News Flash

Florida extends saggy pants ban to women


For six years, men in Florida have been banned from sagging their pants. Many hail the legislation, saying that it solves a prevalent issue of young men exposing their underwear. Others feel that it unfairly profiles young men of color.

Until recently, men were the only ones affected by the rule, but now Opa-locka commissioners have decided to extend the rule to women.

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News Flash

College student rescued after being trapped in between buildings for 36 hours


19-year-old Asher Vongtau is free after spending 36 hours trapped in a narrow space between a parking garage and a college dorm building.

The NYU sophomore was reported missing over the weekend. He was pulled to safety from the space just after 7 p.m. on Sunday.

From DNAInfo:

It took firefighters close to two hours to break through a wall to free Vongtau from the narrow space, after getting a call that he was trapped there just after 5 p.m. Sunday, according to the FDNY. Vongtau was taken to Bellevue Medical Center, fire officials said. ”Spoke to Asher, he’s in good spirits. his mother and I are grateful to God for this gift! Thnx for ur prayers!” the boy’s father, Lulufa Vongtau, wrote on Twitter at 11:35 a.m. Monday.

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News Flash

Mother calls 7-year-old’s klansman costume a family tradition


Halloween has come and gone, but racism last forever. The mother of a 7-year-old boy is defending her son’s choice to dress as a klansman for Halloween.

Jessica Black of Virginia says the attire is a family tradition.

From WHSV:

“My brother has when he was in Kindergarten and when he was 13,” she says. When Black’s 7-year-old son asked her if he could also dress as a member of the white supremacist group, she made him the costume.

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News Flash

UPDATE: Incognito allegedly sent texts with racial slurs to Martin


Earlier today, we posted about the bullying issues surrounding the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.  Now, news outlets are reporting that Richie Incognito, the alleged ring leader, used racial epithets while bullying Jonathan Martin.

Albert Breer of NFL Media reported that Martin shared texts and voicemails with his parents Saturday before turning them over to the Dolphins and the league.

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News Flash

Harvard hip-hop fellowship named after Nas, rapper gives benediction

Nas made his first appearance at Harvard University on Thursday and the rapper wasn’t performing. He was on campus to give his blessing to a new fellowship named in his honor.

The Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellowship will be awarded to two scholars or artists annually. Recipients will be chosen by a Harvard faculty committee.

From New York Times:

 It is primarily a research fellowship, although Marcyliena Morgan, a professor of African and African American Studies and the founder and director of the Hip-Hop Archive and Research Institute, which will administer the fellowship, said on Friday that fellows could teach courses as well. The application process, she said, has just started.

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Fall Back: Let Me Explain

In case you missed it, last week I did a great job of offending people by not writing a Halloween post about the history of blackface and why it hurts my feelings. Instead, I attempted to compose a more honest set of press releases for any white person of note who gets cited for the offense. I did this for a few reasons. On some level I figured, hell, every major website will have some black person write about why blackface angers and offends some black people, thereby perhaps inspiring some white person lost on the internet to (sadly) mark that off the list of ways for them to have fun. And you know what? It happened. My Twitter and Facebook feeds were full of posts articulating why it’s important to take the spook out of spooky. I just didn’t want to contribute to the subgenre.

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