It’s Baaaaack! The 60′s Afro

Geez, wearing you hair longer is no longer solely the province of us “old guys” who lived through the period when they were de rigeur from a fashion sense…

Eat your heart out Bieber!

Dante De Blasio Named Sixth Most Influential Teen By TIME

TIME magazine named Dante de Blasio the sixth most influential teen of 2013, crowning him New York City’s “latest fashion icon” due to his “now-iconic” afro.

Dante even beat out Malala Yousafzai, Justin Bieber, and Malia Obama.

Back in August, the 15-year-old son of mayor-elect Bill de Blasio appeared in a now famous campaign ad in which he spoke against stop and frisk and the Bloomberg administration. The ad breathed new life into de Blasio’s campaign, and thrust Dante, and his hairdo, into the national spotlight.

Dante’s afro even garnered the praise and envy of President Obama.

Dante’s sister Chiara, however, did not make TIME’s list despite her own campaign ad for her dad, and her awesome collection of headbands.

The Greatest ‘Fro of all time?

That would have to be Angela Davis…

Shopping While Black…

In New York no less… The kid had a debit card no less, which he had to punch in the correct code to use, and a drivers license  - with his picture on it confirming his identity. Kind of hard to fake that. Worse, any cop could have pulled up an ID picture on his PC/Radio to confirm that the license was valid and had not been tampered with on the spot.

This one was sheer stupidity, racism, and harassment.

 

Black College Student Arrested For Buying A Designer Belt, Barneys & NYPD Slapped With Lawsuit 

Barneys New York and the New York Police Department have been slapped with a lawsuit by Trayon Christian, a college student from Queens, who was arrested at the luxury department store in April.

“His only crime was being a young black man,” Michael Palillo, Christian’s attorney, told The New York Post.

The Post reports that the 19-year-old was at the store buying a $350 Salvatore Ferragamo belt, but following the purchase, he was stopped by undercover officers that were allegedly called on by a Barneys sales clerk who believed the transaction was fraudulent.

The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court, states that the NYC College of Technology freshman was asked by the cops: “how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt?” He was then handcuffed and taken to a local precinct.

Despite showing the officers the receipt for the belt, his ID and the debit card used, “Christian was told that his identification was false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase,” Palillo said.

Christian, who saved up money for the pricey accessory from his part-time job at college, said he returned the belt and never plans to shop at the Madison Avenue store again. His story comes just days after another instance of racial discrimination was reported in Baltimore when a black woman was allegedly fired from Hooters for having blonde highlights.

Barneys has not commented on the matter and Christian’s lawsuit against the store and the NYPD is for unspecified damages.

Head over to The Post to read more.

Racism – Yeah, It Does Impact People’s Lives

Jared Williams was kicked off the Wagner College baseball team just as he was being courted by scouts from the Kansas City Royals, Colorado Rockies and Baltimore Orioles, he said.On the heels of Herman Cain’s Tomming display that racism has ceased to exist in America – here is a very real case of how racism, on the part of a New York Cop who is now in jail, impacted the life of a future star Baseball Player…

Racist NYPD cop ruined my life and ended my major-league dream, Jared Williams says

Jared Williams was a star center fielder for Wagner College with dreams of becoming a major-leaguer when he crossed paths with NYPD cop Michael Daragjati.

Williams’ field of dreams ended on an October night in 2005 when he and two pals were arrested by the officer – falsely, he insists – outside a Staten Island bar.

“I feel he [Daragjati] racially profiled me,” Williams told the Daily News Tuesday.

There was a fight, he said, and “I feel we were the first black people he saw and we got pulled over.”

Williams was kicked off the baseball team just as he was being courted by scouts from the Kansas City RoyalsColorado Rockies and Baltimore Orioles, he said.

The criminal case was tossed out by a judge, and Williams later would receive $12,500 from the city to settle a federal lawsuit.

But his life was changed forever when he was disqualified from the baseball draft for not playing his senior year.

Williams said he was not shocked to hear that Daragjati was arrested this week by the feds for allegedly fabricating criminal charges against a black man last April on Staten Island.

The cop wanted to punish the man for mouthing off about being stopped and frisked, according to court papers.

Daragjati was later caught boasting on the phone that he had “fried another n—-r.”

“I was completely innocent,” Williams said.

“He [Daragjati] said I fit the description of someone involved in an assault.”

Defense lawyer Duane Felton poked holes in the cop’s account of how a witness had fingered Williams as an assailant.

“I believe he [Daragjati] fabricated the identification,” Felton said yesterday.

Williams went on to play for the Florida Redfish in the independent South Coast League, but a major-league career was not to be.

Today, Williams teaches fourth- and fifth-grade special education students in a Washington elementary school.

“I’m a Christian, so I’m forgiving, but I believe he [Daragjati] should be punished for his actions,” he said.

“It breaks my heart that someone who took an oath to protect and serve is doing this.”

Say it ain’t so, Herman – You Uncle Tomming sack of isht.

Employee of the Year… Almost

This incident happened in the NYC McDonalds. Two women came in and placed an order, for which they presented a $50 bill. The cashier had questions about the bill’s authenticity. Instead of just asking for the manager to come over, one of the women attacked the cashier, climbing over the counter. The second woman goes around the counter to attack the cashier. The cashier ran to the back of the store with the women following, at which point he picked up a metal rod, and put both women down…

At this point, the cashier gets my vote for employee of the year. The women should not have physically assaulted him, and were way out of bounds jumping over the counter to go after him when he tried to retreat. The cashier grabbed what looks like a long tire iron to defend himself.  The initial beat down by the cashier was well deserved. Where things – for the cashier – start to go wrong is when the second woman tries to get up. It’s unclear from the video whether she was trying to attack him again or get away. He hits her several times knocking her back to the floor.

With both women down on the floor, the guy doesn’t stop though, despite the effort of a fellow employee to get him to stop beating them – even though they are both down and pose no risk. He also apparently hits one of the woman on the head, a potentially lethal strike – and completely unnecessary.

So yeah – the guy deserves the felony charge the police charged him with. But both of the women also deserve felony assault charges.

Oh well… As James Brown said, “I may not know Karate… But I know K-razor!”… or in this case K-tire iron. Put this one under “American Genocide”…

National Parks Proposed to Honor Harriet Tubman

Children ride their bikes down the drive passing the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn, N.Y., July, 29, 2004. (David Duprey, AP)

Efforts are underway in Congress to recognize Harriet Tubman with the designation of her home in Auburn, New York, and an area on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where she was born a slave, and helped numerous slaves escape bondage on the Underground Railroad.

Don’t think there is much chance of this getting through a Republican majority Congress, not only because of the usual hostility – but because of the extreme focus this term on cost cutting.

Two National Parks Eyed to Honor Legacy of Harriet Tubman

Steal Away

Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave who led others to freedom on the Underground Railroad, could be honored with two national parks promoting her life.

Senators from Maryland and New York introduced legislation on Tuesday — the start of Black History Month — to create parks in both states that would protect sites connected to her life as an abolitionist and later as an advocate for women’s suffrage.

Tubman — known as “the black Moses” for leading hundreds of slaves out of bondage in the South to freedom in the North — lived much of her adult life in Auburn, N.Y. in the state’s Finger Lakes region. If the bill becomes law, her home, the cemetery where she was buried in 1913 and the Home for the Aged, an early nursing home for African-Americans she created, would become part of the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park.

In the Eastern Shore of Maryland where Tubman was born in 1822, the bill would make a sweeping Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Historical Park, covering her presumed birthplace and the site of former plantations where she was enslaved until she ran away in 1849. Tubman returned to the area for 10 years as a famed conductor on the Underground Railroad, and the park would include the location of a former safe house along the route to the North.

“Harriet Tubman [was] a true American patriot for whom liberty and freedom were principles in which she believed and risked her life to achieve,” said U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., in a statement. “Her life was defined by determination, perseverance and hardship as she helped others on the road to freedom. These two parks will make it possible for Marylanders, New Yorkers and all Americans to trace her life’s work and remember her tremendous contribution to our nation’s history.” Continue reading

Glenn Beck Dumped By NYC Radio Station WOR

Perhaps the beginning of the end…

Glenn Beck dropped by New York’s WOR radio station over poor ratings, replaced by Mike Gallagher

Glenn Beck may be one of the hottest talk show hosts in the country, but he apparently left New York‘s WOR cold.

WOR (710 AM), one of the city’s two biggest talk radio stations, said this morning it is dropping Beck’s syndicated show as of Jan. 17 and replacing him with a familiar New York name: Mike Gallagher.

“The reason is ratings,” said WOR program director Scott Lakefield. “Somewhat to our surprise, the show wasn’t getting what we wanted.”

Beck, whose style is sometimes off-center and who hosted a well-publicized national rally in D.C. last year, has been seen as one of the rising conservative radio and TV talk stars.

What was that line from the Frank Sinatra Song?

If you can’t make it there, you can’t make it anywhere?

NY Governor Debate – “The Rent is too Damn High!”

From the NY Governor Debate last night…

“The Rent is Too Damn High Party”

Meter Maid Tickets Dead Man!

Do you think when the guy didn’t jump out of the car to protest the ticket…

That might have been a hint?

Buddy, you been laying there for waaaay to long!

Dead Man in Driver’s Seat Gets Parking Ticket

Nicholas Rappold was parked illegally on a New York street, so a traffic agent issued him a parking ticket. Only one problem: Rappold was dead in his car at the time. The officer apparently couldn’t see Rappold through the “heavily tinted windows,” a police source tells the New York Daily News, but family members are still upset: “It’s really messed up,” says his cousin. “While he was dead in his car, a New York City traffic agent gave him a ticket.”

Rappold had been at a friend’s house and left in the middle of the night. Early Tuesday morning, the traffic agent issued a citation because his Jeep Cherokee was illegally parked during street sweeping. No one realized he was dead for another hour, when his friend saw the vehicle outside and went to see why Rappold hadn’t left yet. No official cause of death is known, but investigators believe Rappold, who did a stint in rehab for pill abuse, overdosed. Not surprisingly, the parking summons was voided.

Rangel Wins in NY

As expected, 20 time Congressman Charlie Rangel won his primary race in New York – virtually assuring him of another term…

And even more importantly to Rangel, providing him with the ability to pay off nearly $2 million in legal bills accumulated in defending himself against ethics charges.

Seems to me, if there was a single brain cell left in the Ethics Committee, they would have let Charlie go quietly into the night, following his promise to retire before this election.

Rangel Wins in NY

Rep. Charles Rangel has fought off five challengers to prevail in his Democratic primary. The victory—likely to assure the 80-year-old of another 2 years in Congress—comes despite multiple ethics charges pending against him, the AP notes. (More Rangel news here.) Democrats, including President Obama, had urged Rangel to consider stepping aside.
“This isn’t a win for Charlie Rangel, this is our community’s win. This is all of you that spoke,’’ the 40-year House veteran told supporters. “My heart is beating so fast because of the terrible accusations and allegations,’’ he said. “It beats fast because of my pride in coming from a community and my friends and voters say hey, we’ll make the decision.’’ Rangel is awaiting trial by fellow lawmakers for 13 alleged violations of House rules.

Newt’s a Bigot

Harold Ford makes an interesting point here…

Faux News and the Tea Bagged right wing in this country are killing American Troops.

They are also killing American business, destroying our ability to go after 1 billion Muslim customers worldwide.

These people are not Patriots – they are anything but…

There is no Ground Zero Mosque…

Olbermann hammers it home!

Sympathy for the Devil, the Victimization of Bigots at the “Ground Zero” Mosque

How do you tell when the right wing is losing an argument…

They get page time for a really vicious screed in the Wall Street Journal declaring their victim status.

The short version of this is that an Moslem group wishes to build a Mosque on property they own near the site of the WTC. There are a couple of reasons they want to do that -

  1. There was a Mosque there already – prior to 911. Indeed, the reason they own the land in the first place is that there was a Mosque already there – which had to be demolished because the roof was caved in by part of one of the airplanes which hit the towers.
  2. Second, the new building isn’t actually only a Mosque. It’s an Interfaith Center where all are welcome, and Movie Theater which will participate in the Tribeca Film Festival.
  3. By most lists, at least 60 innocent Muslims were killed in the 911 attacks. Muslims, just like Jews and Christians, have a piece of this tragedy as well.

This one really doesn’t add up to more than your typical right wing “ism”. Hatred of everyone, and everything which isn’t white, male, and preferably Protestant quasi-Christian. “Quasi-christian”? Yeah – as much hate as has been directed at black folks, Jewish Folks, and now Hispanic and Muslim folks, sanctified in the very same churches…

It’s got nothing to do with anything in the Bible… Or Torah for that matter.

On with the “Victimization of Bigots!”

Liberal Piety and the Memory of 9/11

Americans may have lacked for much in the course of their history, but never instruction in social values. The question today is whether Americans of any era have ever confronted the bombardment of hectoring and sermonizing now directed at those whose views are deemed insufficiently enlightened—an offense regularly followed by accusations that the offenders have violated the most sacred principles of our democracy.

It doesn’t take a lot to become the target of such a charge. There is no mistaking the beliefs on display in these accusations, most recently in regard to the mosque about to be erected 600 feet from Ground Zero. Which is that without the civilizing dictates of their superiors in government, ordinary Americans are lost to reason and decency. They are the kind of people who—as a recent presidential candidate put it—cling to their guns and their religion.

There is no better exemplar of that faith than New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, though in this he is hardly alone. Compared with the Obama White House, Mr. Bloomberg is a piker in the preachments and zealotry department. Still, no voice brings home more unforgettably the attitudes that speak for today’s enlightened and progressive class.

Immediately after the suspect in the attempted car bombing near Times Square was revealed to be Faisal Shahzad, of Pakistani origin, Mayor Bloomberg addressed the public. In admonishing tones—a Bloomberg trademark invariably suggestive of a school principal who knows exactly what to expect of the incorrigibles it is his unhappy fate to oversee—the mayor delivered a warning. There would be no toleration of “any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers.”

That there has been a conspicuous lack of any such behavior on the part of New Yorkers or Americans elsewhere from the 9/11 attacks to the present seems not to have impressed Mr. Bloomberg. Nor has it caused any moderation in the unvarying note of indignation the mayor brings to these warnings. It’s reasonable to raise a proper caution. It’s quite something else to do it as though addressing a suspect rabble.

It’s hard to know the sort of rabble the mayor had in mind when he told a television interviewer, prior to Shahzad’s identification, that it “could be anything,” someone mentally disturbed, or “somebody with a political agenda who doesn’t like the health-care bill.” Nowhere in the range of colorful possibilities the mayor raised was there any mention of the most likely explanation—another terrorist attempt by a soldier of radical Islam, the one that occurred to virtually every American who had heard the reports.

The citizens were, of course, right. Those leaders bent on dissuading them from their grasp of the probable cause of this near disaster were left with their red herrings hanging—but remembered. Mr. Bloomberg’s “someone who doesn’t like the health-care bill” would be inscribed in the golden book of howlers these events have yielded, along with Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano’s brisk assurance there was no evidence this was anything but “a one-off.”

The notion that it is for the greater good that the people be led to suspect virtually any cause but the one they had the most reason to fear reflects a contempt for the citizenry that’s of longstanding, but never so blatant as today. It is in the interest of higher values, Americans understand—higher, that is, than theirs—that they are now expected to accept official efforts to becloud reality.

Such values were the rationale for the official will to ignore the highly suspicious behavior of Maj. Nidal Hasan, who went on to murder 13 Americans at Fort Hood. A silence maintained despite all his commanders and colleagues knew about his raging hostility to the U.S. military and his strident advocacy on behalf of political Islam.

Those who knew—and they were many—chose silence out of fear of seeming insensitive to a Muslim. As one who had said nothing in the interest of this higher good later explained, Maj. Hasan was, after all, one of the few top-ranking Muslim officers the army had.

In the plan for an Islamic center and mosque some 15 stories high to be built near Ground Zero, the full force of politically correct piety is on display along with the usual unyielding assault on all dissenters. The project has aroused intense opposition from New Yorkers and Americans across the country. It has also elicited remarkable streams of oratory from New York’s political leaders, including Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

“What are we all about if not religious freedom?” a fiery Mr. Cuomo asked early in this drama. Mr. Cuomo, running for governor, has since had less to say…

The Kids Got Game! Justus Williams, 12 YO Chess Champion!

Where else but the “Big Apple”?

In New York, Speed Chess is a full contact sport. You get to visit there, take a few minutes and watch in Washington Square Park.  Speed Chess is just a variant of regular Chess, where all moves have to be completed in 5 minutes. These guys are world class, and it is not that unusual for Grand Masters to hone their game there. Bit of advice, don’t plop your money down to play, unless you can afford to lose it – many of those guys are really good.

So Chess in NYC has a lot more cachet, than say in Dallas with the youngsters. Cachet means interest, and interest eventually results in a few kids becoming champions at whatever they get interested in.

Bronx resident, Justus Williams is one of those Champions. Go kid!

justus

Bronx Native, 12 YO Justus Williams, the best in the US in his age group, and ranked #4 worldwide in his age group.

Hat Tip to NewsOne on this one.

Portrait of a Bronx Chess Champion, Age 12

When Bronx student Justus Williams started third grade at P.S. 70, his mother, Latisha, urged him to take on chess. The hobby was “less common” than basketball, she said.

But Justus wasn’t enthusiastic at first. “I thought I was going to be embarrassed,” he said.

As it turned out, mom knew best.

Justus, now 12 and completing sixth grade, is the highest-rated chess player in the U.S. in his age and gender group, and fourth overall in World Chess Federation international rankings for his age group.

Justus Hits the Boards

Justus found out recently that he will travel to Halkidiki, Greece in October to represent the U.S. in the 2010 World Youth Chess Championship. That’s after a summer filled with tournaments such as the Pan American Youth Chess Festival in Brazil and the World Open in Philadelphia.

Justus first played at a Chess-in-the-Schools program in the Bronx’s P.S. 70, when he was in the third grade. His instructor Shaun Smith said Justus had more focus than his peers, and pushed himself to the top of the class—and the country—by fourth grade. “He’s a very mature sixth grader in that he’s stoic and adult-like,” Smith said. “He’s the quietest person. He’s very shy.”

As he started winning, the champ began to see chess as less of a chore. “My mom didn’t have to push me to go to tournaments anymore,” he said. His grades got better, too.

Smith, who coordinates Justus’s tournament play, started bringing him to more prestigious games when he hit fifth grade. He now practices one or two hours a day.

Wife Drops Note to President Obama – Husband Gets Arrested

Bureaucracy is a monster! This poor couple got caught up in complex immigration legal wrangling…

Just for asking for help.

Man arrested after wife writes to Obama asking for help

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Hervé Fonkou Takoulo and Caroline Jamieson Were Married in 2005

Not everyone expects a response when they write a letter to the president of the United States. But Caroline Jamieson got much more than she expected when her husband ended up in jail and afraid he would be deported.

Jamieson, vice president of marketing at a new-media advertising company, wrote President Barack Obama in January because her husband, Hervé Fonkou Takoulo, was facing deportation to his native Cameroon. Takoulo failed in a bid before political asylum almost a decade ago, and a judge issued a deportation order after they were married.

After he and Jamieson married on 2005, Takoulo applied for a green card based on his marriage to a U.S. citizen. But immigration law requires that the deportation order be lifted before the couple can appear before immigration officials to argue their case that the marriage is legitimate and not a ploy to legalize Takoulo’s presence in the United States. Continue reading

Gov David Paterson – And the New York Budget Axe

Most dangerous politician in the world is one with nothing to lose. Faced with a totally currupt and dysfunctional legislature, some rather questionable judges, and a complete refusal by the State’s Labor Unions to negotiate any solution which might ward off disaster…

Governor David Paterson dropped the axe. And it’s just the beginning of what needs to be done to get the state back on it’s financial feet. Since Paterson doesn’t have any expectation of an elected political future – he may be just the guy to clean up the mess in NY.

The Axeman Cometh

Gov. David Paterson orders layoffs of 8,900 New York state employees amid economic downturn

Gov. Paterson ordered 8,900 state jobs slashed Tuesday to help close a budget deficit that has ballooned by another $2.2 billion.While some jobs will be lost through attrition, the bulk will be through layoffs that would begin in July, Paterson budget spokesman Jeffrey Gordon said.

Paterson aides say the cuts – the first large-scale layoffs since Gov. George Pataki laid off 2,500 workers in 1995-96 – would save the state $481 million.

Gordon said the governor was forced to make the move after the state’s major unions refused to agree to concessions – or come up with a savings plan.

“The governor believes this is a truly unfortunate situation,” Gordon said. “It is not where he wanted to end up. He worked very hard to avoid this outcome.”

Gordon said the administration has been talking with the unions about concessions since October.

“We tried numerous times to modify proposals to minimize the potential impact on state employees,” he said. “All offers were rejected.” Continue reading

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