Sun04202014

News

Ole Miss frat chapter closed in wake of Noose incident

olmissfrat 600The parent organization of a University of Mississippi fraternity has closed the campus' chapter, nearly two months after expelling three members charged with hanging a noose around the neck of the statue of the school's first African-American student, the Associated Press reports.

The university announced Thursday that the national office of Sigma Phi Epsilon, based in Richmond, Va., had closed the chapter, the AP says.

The three students, all from Georgia, are accused of looping a noose around the neck of a statue of James Meredith and draping its face with a Confederate flag. In 1962, Meredith's enrollment at the university sparked a vociferous outcry from anti-integration protesters.

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Harlem’s ‘Gang of Four is no more’

GangOf4 600New York City lost one of its most powerful progressive forces Wednesday with the passing of Basil Paterson.

As a member of the influential "Gang of Four," Paterson – along with former Mayor David Dinkins, late civil rights activist Percy Sutton, and Congressman Charles Rangel – helped to develop the economic and political capital of the city's black community.

With Paterson and Sutton both now deceased, many are now looking back on the legacy of the Gang of Four and wondering if there is a void in New York City's black political leadership.

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No doubt about it, Wiley College still grooming winners

AustinDeanAshford 600Invited to watch a friend give a keynote speech at Wiley College in Marshall Texas, I answered, "Yes and when do we leave" before the question was complete.

I hadn't forgotten that the 2007 movie titled "The Great Debaters" – starring Denzel Washington as Professor Melvin Tolson – was based on a debate team at the very same Wiley College. I still remembered the authority with which Denzel played that lead and the force of his teachings as he braced his team for verbal combat.

The perseverance, courage and outright intellect of the young, evolving debaters was worth the price of admission alone. Fast forward and the legacy of those mighty Great Debaters remains. It hangs from walls, is stuffed in guest-speaker bags, written in bricks, flashes on billboards and is conveniently spoken on the answering machines of the college administrators.

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Hank Aaron receives hate mail after defending President Obama

aaron 600Forty years after baseball legend Hank Aaron was hit with a barrage of hate mail for breaking Babe Ruth's home run record, he's reportedly getting nasty letters in the mail again — this time for defending President Barack Obama.

In a recent USA Today interview, the 80-year-old Hall of Famer used some incendiary words to describe the partisan opponents of the president.

"This country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he's treated. We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts," he told the newspaper.

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‘Autism is not a death sentence’

autism 600WASHINGTON – As Camille Proctor watched her one-year-old son, she knew something wasn't right. He played with others and enjoyed affection, but he never spoke. He also walked on his toes. A pediatrician assured Proctor that her son was probably just developmentally delayed.

Proctor's son was 15 months old when she learned that wasn't the case. He was officially diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.

"My son didn't have the telltale signs, but I figured it out without the diagnosis. I had to basically force a diagnosis for my son so he could get the services he needed," Proctor says. "But it was hard because now I had a name for what his problem was, but that wasn't helpful for me going through it every day."

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Are voters really influenced by political signs?

politicalsign 600If you are a living and breathing human being in the U.S.A, then chances are you have noticed the very recent onslaught of political signs that are cropping up in your neighborhoods, near your schools and outside voting precincts, on vacant property and along busy streets and intersections everywhere within your cities. While the presence (or lack of) a single yard sign or cluster of signs within a neighborhood may indicate the level of support for a particular candidate, or how much money the candidate has, it's hard to tell otherwise what those random signs are telling us.

Most signs typically don't tell you anything about the candidate, other than the name of the candidate and the office they are seeking. One wonders if random political signs even have the ability to influence a voter.

This leads us to a recent study we reported on in last month's FYI on the "low information" voter. The "low information" voter has frequently been talked about in the media. They are known as a segment of the voting population that typically has little interest or understanding of political issues and maintains minimal to no exposure to news media that expose the candidates and the issues surrounding them.

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When cops hide behind badge to kill blacks

badgemurder 600WASHINGTON – In 1965, Tuskegee Institute in Alabama was a hotbed for social protest and bred students passionate about equality, justice and civil rights. Seventeen year-old, Ruby Sales, born in Jemison, Ala., was one of those students.

"Once you got the religion of civil rights and you were really in the movement, it was hard to turn around, because there was something about it that wouldn't let you loose," said Sales.

She joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and when youngsters from Lowndes County, Ala., called on the group to help organize demonstration for back payment for sharecroppers and a voting drive, Sales, a sophomore, knew that she had to go.

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Michael Eric Dyson slams Cornel West at NAN Convention

westdyson 600(NEWSONE) – Taking advantage of the friendly crowd at Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network Conference, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson publicly responded to Dr. Cornel West's jabs against him.

Speaking on the state of black intellectualism, Dyson not only accused West of having a huge ego, he also informed his dear brother that he "ain't that important":

Read more from Rolling Out:

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Kansas shooter identified as former KKK leader

valleypark 600A 73-year-old man accused of killing three people outside of Jewish sites near Kansas City is a former Ku Klux Klan leader with a history of anti-Semitism and racism, NBC News reports, citing law enforcement officials.

The man, Frazier Glenn Cross of Aurora, Mo., allegedly shot a 14-year-old Eagle Scout and his grandfather in a parking lot at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City campus in Overland Park, Kan., the news site says. He then proceeded several blocks away to shoot a woman at a retirement community, the report says.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization that tracks hate groups, says Cross is also known as Glenn Miller or Frazier Glenn Miller, and is the former Grand Dragon of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which he founded in the 1980s.

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Bush says education achievement gap is ‘scandalous’

busheducation 600AUSTIN, Texas – Former President George W. Bush said the education achievement gap – up to four years at some grade-levels – is a "nation scandal" that deserves immediate action.

Bush, former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama addressed a three-day summit here last week celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library at the University of Texas.

Speaking at the closing session Thursday, Bush said: "According to the most recent testing, the average reading score for a white student at age 13 is about the same as an African-American at age 17 – that's a four-year, four-grade achievement gap. In an economy where higher skills are ever more necessary, that is scandalous. In a nation dedicated to equal opportunity, that is scandalous. Among the political heirs of King and Johnson and Dirksen and Humphrey, this should be a national scandal, demanding action."

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At Sharpton convention, Obama slams Republicans for restricting voting

NAN 600Just a day after his speech reflecting on the anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – which he credited with paving the way for his historic presidency – President Obama told modern-day civil rights activists that the gains of the last 50 years are at risk of being dismantled by Republican efforts to limit access to the ballot.

"The right to vote is threatened today in a way that it has not been since the Voting Rights Act became law nearly five decades ago," he said in remarks at the annual convention of the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network in New York City.

Obama cited recent restrictive voting legislation requiring additional identification, closing polls on Sunday, and creating hurdles for overseas soldiers and married women who have changed their last names. These Republican-led changes – which, he reminded the audience, have often by inspired by explicitly partisan aims – "harm the entire country," he said.

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Jimmy Carter: ‘Race’ motivates white men to vote Republican

carter 600Former president Jimmy Carter is never shy about speaking his mind on modern politics.

And in a no holds barred interview with Salon, the "Man from Plains" spoke plainly about why a generation of white men have solidly embraced the Republican Party in multiple elections.

"It's race. That's been prevalent in the South.... Ever since Nixon ran — and ever since Johnson didn't campaign in the deep South, the Republicans have solidified their hold there," he said.

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Federal monitors called for as early voting nears

electionmonitor 600Federal election monitors for the May 6th election?

The Rev. Kenneth T. Whalum Jr. is pushing a request to the U.S. Department of Justice and Ninth District Congressman Steve Cohen is using his access to Atty. Gen. Eric Holder to press the case.

Meanwhile, Shelby County Election Commission Chairman Robert Meyers said Wednesday that election monitors would be freely welcomed, if ordered.

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