TSD Memphis



Online gangbangin’: Flaunt it, boast about it, busted

onlinegang 600The beat comes in—a rapid high-hat, laced with a dope-smoking, hypnotic keyboard punch—and then the hook, an ode to how Twain Gotti, a 22-year-old rapper from Newport News, Va., will ride out on his enemies.

Gotti proceeds to spit the lyrics that got him arrested for an unsolved murder in 2007:

Listen, walk to your boy and I approached him/12 midnight on his traphouse porch and everybody saw when I motherf--kin' choked him/but nobody saw when I motherfu--kin' smoked him, roped him, sharpened up the shank, then I poked him.



MLK: Militant of the 21st Century

daniels 600Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. hasn't been this alive since 1968.

He's no longer that visually distant, two-dimensional figure, limited to speaking a single sentence taken out of context and shorn of its true meaning. Instead, the honest scholarship and media commentary considering what King faced and what he did have broken through the obscuring fog of conservative, and yes, centrist, propaganda.

In part, that's because, today the confrontation between the forces of progress and the racist reaction to that progress is sharper than any time since the 1960s.



Proposed tobacco settlement excludes African-American media

tobacco 600WASHINGTON – The U.S. Justice Department and the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund have reached an agreement with the four major tobacco companies that requires them to spend more than $30 million advertising with the three major television networks and run full-page ads in 35 white and Hispanic newspapers as well as purchasing space on their respective websites but not make a single purchase from a black print or broadcast media company.

The 24-page proposed consent agreement, reached Friday, will go before U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday, Jan. 15, for final approval.

"We are shocked and deeply disappointed that the Justice Department, the Tobacco-Free Action Fund and the tobacco industry would all agree to sign off an advertising plan that totally disrespects the Black community," said Cloves C. Campbell, chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a federation of nearly 200 Black newspapers.


New ASU president not allowed to have lovers spend the night

asupres 600Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd, the new president of Alabama State University, may not have a problem with her contract, but a clause forbidding her from allowing any lovers to stay at her home has caused an uproar.

Inside Higher Ed reports that the single Boyd's contract included $300,000, a car and the presidential residence — and a no romantic visitors clause, which may be illegal.

Read more from InsideHigherEd.com:


Cash-strapped HBCUs seek a lifeline

hbcus 600When Grambling State University's football team forfeited a game against Jackson State University last year, players thought they were locked in a singular battle with the administration. They presented administrators with a list of things they were fed up with, including a two-and-a-half-hour bus ride to play against their competitors. Further, they complained about dilapidated and moldy athletic facilities and equipment, among other issues.

Turns out their complaints were emblematic of concerns at dozens of the nation's HBCUs, said Johnny C. Taylor, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which provides scholarships for students at the schools. The financial woes come as the federal government and states across the nation have trimmed their HBCU budgets in recent years, he said.

"Grambling is emblematic of a bigger problem," Taylor told The Root. "It's not limited to athletics. Dorms have fallen into serious disrepair. Classrooms are in need of updating, and academic programs have suffered. Some schools have had to reduce faculty and staff. To be blunt, it's the result of years and years of financial neglect. Some of these schools are in need of a major infusion of cash."


Notes on Amiri Baraka

amiri 600More and more I am beginning to feel an unraveling, a lost of connectedness to my literary and histrionic past. The deaths of Tom Dent, Ossie Davis, Ron Milner, Barbara Ann Teer, Judi Ann Mason and now Amiri Baraka have served as a wake-up call that at some point this novel called life will come to an end and for certain this theatrical production by the same name must lower its curtain to kiss the floor for the very last time.

More than anything else, the deaths of these great ones help me to truly understand that just as "Trouble Don't Last Always" neither do artists, although their works may.

Upon learning of Baraka's demise on Thursday (Jan. 9th), I had to pause for a moment and contemplate my next breath...savor it as if I were pouring out libations to a dear friend, elder, and mentor. Although I only met Baraka, the man formerly known as LeRoi Jones, once at an African-American Literary Conference at Ole Miss almost 30 years ago, I felt like he was an older brother, a running buddy.



Christie scandal could cost GOP its great black hope

christie 6002014 is barely a week old, and yet the year has already given us its first political scandal – one that potentially has ramifications for years to come.

A string of emails published Wednesday by the Bergen Country Record suggest that staffers in the office of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie coaxed a Port Authority staffer to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge – crippling traffic and sparking outrage.

The alleged motive was to punish a political foe of Christie, Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, whose residents were those most likely to be affected by the closures. In an emotional news conference on Thursday, Christie announced he had fired longtime aide Bridget Kelly, whose email triggered the chain of events. He also cut ties with his former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, who was forced to forgo his relationship with the Republican Governor's Association, of which Christie is now head.


Swearing toddler in ‘Thug Cycle’ video taken into protective custody

swearingchild 600The Nebraska toddler who was seen in a video swearing at adults egging him on is now in protective custody, CNN reports.

According to Omaha police, while there was nothing illegal going on in the video, the force's Child Victim Unit and the Nebraska Child Protective Services took the toddler in the video, in addition to three other children, into custody on Wednesday due to safety concerns, according to the department's Facebook page.

The investigation started after a union from the area, the Omaha Police Officers Association, posted the video to their site, labeling it the "Thug Cycle." The organization acknowledged in their post that nothing criminal was taking place but still called "flat out immoral and completely unhealthy" for the child involved.


Do employers accommodate religion in the workplace?

workplacereligion 600Consider a typical workplace: meetings, production deadlines, coffee or smoke breaks and casual Fridays all come to mind as part of the routine. But when it comes to prayer breaks, wearing religious garb in the office and other accommodations specific to religion, that's a different story.

A recent national survey released by the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding makes the point. Today, more than one-third of workers report observing or being subjected to religious bias at work. The survey, What American Workers Really Think About Religion: Tanenbaum's 2013 Survey of American Workers and Religion, examines religious bias and discrimination against American workers.

"This survey puts employers on notice," said Tanenbaum CEO Joyce Dubensky. "American workplaces increasingly reflect the makeup of the country; they're more and more diverse. Work is the place where people with extremely different beliefs interact on a regular basis. But where there's more diversity, the survey shows that we can expect to find more conflict."


Why legalized weed is good news for young African-American men

weed 600As the legalization of marijuana promises to join the legalization of gay marriage as part of the unanticipatedly rapid social revolution that will define our times, we will be hearing certain ruminations. And not only from fire-breathing moralists easy to dismiss as "behind the times."

I refer to wiser heads worried that legalization will raise rates of usage and addiction. The New York Times' David Brooks has stated that even though he partook for a spell in his teens, he feels that legalizing marijuana will encourage more young people to smoke pot instead of exploring things more constructive and challenging.

Meanwhile, Ruth Marcus, who also acknowledges having smoked her share of pot in days now associated with "polyester," worries about data showing that the pothead teen often lowers his IQ permanently.


50 years later, it’s time for a new war on poverty

povertyy 600Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson gave one of the most important State of the Union speeches in American history. Championing the cause of racial and economic equality, he promised, "This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America."

A half-century later, it's time for America to declare a new war on poverty.

Like the best presidential addresses, Johnson's "War on Poverty" speech was enormously ambitious. He argued that a nation as rich and powerful as the United States had a political and moral obligation to lift millions out of poverty, help create jobs for inner-city youth, protect the elderly and provide food for the hungry.


White man who slapped black baby sentenced

babyslapper 600The 60-year-old man who pleaded guilty to slapping a crying baby on a plane has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison, two months longer than prosecutors recommended, the Associated Press reports via USA Today.

Joe Rickey Hundley pleaded guilty in October after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors and was sentenced Monday.

Prosecutors say in February, Hundley was seated next to Jessica Bennett, who shared a seat with her son Jonah. As the flight began to descend to the Atlanta airport Jonah began to cry. Hundley then told Bennett to "shut that n--ger baby up," before slapping the 19-month-old boy in the face causing a scratch below the toddler's eye.


Family moves brain-dead teen from hospital

jahimoved 600On an empty street and under the cover of night, an ambulance appeared at a secured gate at Children's Hospital Oakland and then quietly pulled away. Inside on a gurney lay, Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl declared brain dead nearly a month ago.

Her family had been fighting for this day as they clashed with officials at Children's Hospital who believed Jahi's life ended shortly after what was supposed to be a routine tonsillectomy on December 9th. That surgery took a drastic turn last month leaving the teen brain-dead. Therefore, the hospital wanted to remove her from life support.

The family believed that as long as Jahi was breathing that there was still hope.