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Tavis Smiley Blasts President Obama for Trayvon Martin Speech

Tavis Smiley has blasted the President over his Trayvon Martin remarks last Friday, criticizing the amount of time it took him to speak out, and questioning his motives.

On Meet the Press yesterday, Smiley doubled down on this sentiments, arguing that the White House is spinning a false narrative around the POTUS’ actions.

From the Grio:

Smiley began by accusing the president of only speaking out on Trayvon Martin because he was “pushed,” saying: “I appreciate and applaud the fact that the president did finally show up. But this town has been spinning a story that’s not altogether true.

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News Flash

Lauryn Hill Pens Letter from Jail

Lauryn Hill has penned a letter to her fans from behind bars.

M.s Hill thanks her supporters, and shares a bit about her experience thus far.

From Lauryn Hill’s Tumblr:

“I have known since very young to look for the purpose and lesson in everything, including the trials.

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Zimmerman Jurors Were Given Hours of Unsupervised Time w/ Family and Friends

According to a report from WFTV in Florida, the jury from the George Zimmerman trial were allowed to spend hours of alone time with friends and family.

This is highly inappropriate, as the verdict could have been influenced by statements or remarks from one of these guests.

From WFTV:

Channel 9′s Kathi Belich confirmed the jurors were left unsupervised with guests at times, which WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said is more than enough time for a member to have said something that could have influenced a juror and possibly impacted the verdict.

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Today in Post-Race History: Bread and Circuses

I try not to say much anymore about the POTUS in this space, but since he stole the spotlight from Bill Cosby by actually speaking about the George Zimmernan verdict, I thought I should make say something very briefly. If you missed it, the POTUS gave a 10-minute or so speech about Trayvon Martin. Working as a kind of translator for white folks, the POTUS got on his Kevin Hart and explained why some black people might be mad about the verdict. I don’t want to get in the business of splitting atoms, but I would like to make a point or two about the POTUS’ remarks and connect them to other news about the Obama administration’s latest appointment.

What is most interesting to me is the way that the POTUS began his explanation:

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Fruitvale Station & Oscar Grant: Why Our Anger Is Necessary

“Anger is a grief of distortions between peers, and its object is change…I cannot hide my anger to spare your guilt, nor hurt feelings, nor answering anger; for to do so insults and trivializes all our efforts. Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one’s own action or lack of action. If it leads to change then it can be useful, since it is then no longer guilt, but the beginning of knowledge. Yet all too often, guilt is just another name for impotence.” Audre Lorde

I watched Fruitvale Station this weekend. A movie, which highlights the events, that led up to the murder of Oscar Grant, by a Bart police officer in Oakland. To put it very simply the movie made me angry. It made me angry to think how we live in a system where black bodies continue to be devalued and dismantled. It made me angry to see a black man handcuffed on the ground shot dead in his own innocent blood. And it made me It made to angry to know that the story of Oscar Grant and the multitude of stories about black and brown people that have been murdered, are often forgotten, ignored, or attributed to their own individual mishaps, as we continue to ignore a larger systemic problem. If you have not seen Fruitvale Station, I encourage you to not only go see it, but also to know that anger partnered action is necessary if we wish to move this society to change.

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Obama Speaks Out on Zimmerman Trial: ‘Trayvon Martin Could Have Been Me’

President Obama spoke to the African American perspective on the George Zimmerman trial at a press conference today.

Obama made a direct connection between himself and Trayvon; asserting that he has been profiled in the past, and that could have met the same fate as Martin.

The POTUS also asserted that the outcome of the Zimmerman trial may have been different if Trayvon was white, and called for a review of “Stand Your Ground” laws.

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Dionne Warwick Joins Boycott of States w/ Stand Your Ground Laws

Earlier this week we reported that Stevie Wonder had decided to boycott Florida and other states that have “Stand Your Ground” laws on the books.

Now, Dionne Warwick has joined Stevie. Warwick’s statement of support reads in part:

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Is President Obama Considering Ray Kelly – Overseer of Stop and Frisk – for Homeland Security Position?

President Obama is reportedly flirting with the idea of naming NYC police commissioner Ray Kelly as head of Homeland Security.

In case you didn’t know, as NYC police commissioner, Kelly presides over the controversial, ineffective, and racist Stop and Frisk policy.

As As New York Times columnist Ta-Nehisi Coates points out, such decision would be a horrible, dangerous idea; and it flies in the faceof President Obama’s previous statements regarding racial profiling.

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News Flash

Detroit is Biggest City in U.S. History to File for Bankruptcy

Detroit, Michigan is officially the biggest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy.

Many fear massive layoffs, higher fees, and the scaling back of a variety of services.

From NewsOne:

Detroit lost a quarter-million residents between 2000 and 2010. A population that in the 1950s reached 1.8 million now struggles to stay above 700,000. Much of the middle-class and scores of businesses also have fled Detroit, taking their tax dollars with them.

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News Flash

Watch the Trailer for Nelson Mandela Biopic “Long Walk to Freedom”

A trailer has been released for the upcoming Nelson Mandela biopic “Long Walk to Freedom,” starring Idris Elba.

From the Huffington Post:

Based on an original screenplay by William Nicholson and directed by Justin Chadwick, “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom” focuses on Mandela’s younger days.

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