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Virginia Ends Reciprocal Handgun Permits

In a move that has already toasted the Republicans and associated gun crazies, the AG of Virginia has ended agreements with states who allow people with mental disorders, convicted felons, are fugitives of state or federal justice, and/or convicted stalkers to conceal carry guns.

Good Move!

Virginia revokes handgun permit agreement with 25 states

Concealed handgun permits held by residents of 25 states will no longer be valid in Virginia, the state’s attorney general said Tuesday, drawing swift criticism from GOP lawmakers.

Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, said the state will revoke its reciprocity agreement with the states because their concealed weapon laws don’t meet Virginia’s standards. Those states hand out permits to people who are barred under the Virginia law, like fugitives, convicted stalkers and drug dealers, which undermines the state’s law and puts residents at risk, he said.

“Evenly, consistently and fairly enforcing Virginia’s concealed handgun permit law, as we are now doing, means that it will be more difficult for potentially dangerous individuals to conceal their handguns here in Virginia and that will make Virginians safer, especially Virginian law enforcement,” Herring said.

The move means that Virginians will no longer be able to use their concealed handgun permits in six states that require a mutual reciprocity agreement: Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wyoming.

John Whitbeck, chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, said Herring’s announcement was further proof that Democrats have “declared war on the Second Amendment.”

The top Republican in the GOP-controlled House of Delegates said that Herring is “damaging the integrity of the office he holds.”

“Despite promising to take politics out of the attorney general’s office, Mark Herring consistently seeks to interpret and apply the law of the Commonwealth through the lens of his own personal, political opinions,” House Speaker William Howell said.

Lars Dalseide, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association, said concealed handgun reciprocity agreements between states have ended before, but his organization is unaware of another state ever implementing a change of this magnitude.

 

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2015 in Domestic terrorism

 

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More of that Persecution and Ignorance By christians in Virginia

This is the Statement of Faith in Islam in Arabic, called the Shahada, and is the first of the “Five Pillars” of the Islamic Faith –

It says –

“There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” In the Middle East you will find this statement at the entry to every Mosque, as well as displayed in the homes and businesses of the faithful.

It also is quite possibly the most recognized piece of Calligraphy in the world, even among those not of the Islamic faith.

So what happens when American christian bigots confront the world’s most known calligraphy? You betcha. For a religion supposedly founded on the blood of martyrs who were fed to the Lions and tortured but stood firm in their faith…These modern “christians” sure have some weak faith. So weak in fact, it is no faith at all.

“You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid…. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer…. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you, or shoot at you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand.

Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Virginia Schools Close After Uproar Over Arabic Calligraphy Lesson

“It is outrageous to believe she is trying to convert anyone to Islam.”

A Virginia school district closed all of its schools and offices after an outcry over a high school geography lesson that included an example of Arabic religious calligraphy.

The lesson, which was part of a world geography class at Riverheads High School, asked the students to copy the Arabic letters that translate to: “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

The school said the lesson wasn’t to promote Islam but to study “the artistic complexity of the calligraphy,” superintendent Eric Bond said in a news release cited by the News Leader newspaper.

In addition, the Virginia Department of Education confirmed to the Daily Progress that the lesson met state geography standards, which require learning the language and religion of each region under study.

But some parents were outraged.

“I will not have my children sit under a woman who indoctrinates them with the Islam religion when I am a Christian, and I’m going to stand behind Christ,” Kimberly Herndon, an Augusta County parent, told CBS 6.

Herndon also organized a community meeting at a local church.

On Facebook, Herndon said the geography teacher, Cheryl LaPorte, should lose her job.

“She should be FIRED for that,” Herndon wrote. “She should be fired because she had them write an abomination to their faith and causes a little girl to cry herself to sleep because she was worried she had denounced her God.”

Some students said the lesson made them uncomfortable.

A lot of people got really upset and I refused to do the paper,” Laurel Truxell, a ninth grader, told NBC 29. “I just felt uncomfortable learning about it in a world geography class, you shouldn’t teach religion in school unless you’re in a religious class.”

A Facebook page set up to protest the school was quickly overwhelmed by posts in support of the teacher. It was eventually taken offline, according to the News Leader.

“I love this school, and Mrs. LaPorte is a wonderful teacher,” the paper quoted Kari Watson as saying. “It is outrageous to believe she is trying to convert anyone to Islam. Please, choose your media outlets wisely and be aware of what you’re spreading.”

“The thing is, she wasn’t forcing Islam on anyone,” Anna Arneson, a sophomore who took LaPorte’s class last year, told the Daily Progress. “As a Christian, I didn’t find it oppressing at all.”

Arneson said the class taught her to understand people of different cultures and faiths.

“I feel that’s a part of growing up is learning acceptance,” she said.

“I was hoping that we’ve come further along in our community to be more open-minded,” Riverheads alumni Grace Zimmerman told ABC station WHSV.

Despite support from students, the district has been receiving numerous complaint calls and emails, many of which were sent from people outside of the area.

The Augusta County Public Schools said the sheriff’s department recommended the closure of schools due to “concerns regarding the tone and content” of the communications, according to a statement from the school board posted online by NBC 29.

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2015 in Domestic terrorism

 

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New Documentary on Rosenwald Schools

The history of black education in America is difficult to separate from the legacy of the Rosenwald Schools. Julius Rosenwald, who rose to be President of Sears and Roebucks, charity built nearly 5,000 schools in the segregated South for black children. Black parents paid a “double tax” to get the schools built and operated in the 14 states of the South, as on top of their normal state and local taxes, they had to raise and donate about 14% of the cost of the school – which I will detail in the second article below.

Julius Rosenwald, center, started the Rosenwald Fund to help build schools in the segregated South. “Rosenwald” is a new documentary by filmmaker Aviva Kempner.

Rosenwald’s generosity captured in new film

In age that exalts politicians and entertainers who can’t stop telling us how wonderful they are, it is refreshing to honor a man who accomplished a lot without wanting his name on all of it.

Julius Rosenwald, who never finished high school but rose to become president and co-owner of Sears, Roebuck and Co., didn’t want his name on the store that he led to worldwide success.

Rosenwald, who died in 1932, didn’t want his name on Chicago’s magnificent Museum of Science and Industry, although he funded and promoted it so much that many Chicagoans called it “the Rosenwald museum” anyway.

He didn’t want his name on his other edifices, including more than 5,000 schools that he helped fund for black schoolchildren across the segregated South.

Yet, alumni of those schools still call them “the Rosenwald schools.” I know. Some of those alumni are in my family.

I discovered that tidbit of family information in the way journalists often stumble across information about themselves while pursuing stories about somebody else.

I was being interviewed by Washington, D.C., filmmaker Aviva Kempner for her new documentary, “Rosenwald,” when she asked if any of my southern relatives, most of them in Alabama, attended Rosenwald schools. I didn’t know, I said, but it was possible. I have a lot of cousins.

I later asked my cousin Willie Howard, a whiz in the telecommunications industries, and he broke out in a big grin. “We all did,” he said.

Alumni more famous than my cousins include poet-author Maya Angelou, director George C. Wolfe, U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia and Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, all of whom are interviewed in the film.

Indeed, Kempner’s “Rosenwald,” now in select theaters, may well leave you convinced that former United States poet laureate Rita Dove, another Rosenwald school alum, was right when she called the Rosenwald Fund “the single most important funding agency for African-American culture in the 20th century.”

Besides underwriting the mostly rural grade schools, the Rosenwald Fund awarded fellowships to such rising stars as classical vocalist Marian Anderson, poet Langston Hughes, painter Jacob Lawrence, photographer Gordon Parks and writers James Baldwin, Arna Bontemps, Zora Neale Hurston and Ralph Ellison.

The most intriguing question, among the many that the film explores, is why Rosenwald, whose father immigrated from Germany in 1851 with $20 in his pocket, was so modest yet so generous.

As the late civil rights leader Julian Bond, whose father and uncle were Rosenwald fellows, puts it in the film, “He did not have to care about black people, but he did.”

The answer, Rosenwald’s biographers say, can be found in his faithfulness to the Jewish ideals of “tzedakah” (charity) and “tikkun olam” (repairing the world).

According to Stephanie Deutsch, author of the 2011 book “You Need a Schoolhouse: Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South,” Rosenwald said in one of his speeches that “We like to look down on the Russians because of the way they treat the Jews, and yet we turn around, and the way we treat our African-Americans is not much better.”

Rosenwald was also influenced by Booker T. Washington, conservative founder of the Tuskegee Institute, who suggested the funding of schools as the best investment for the future of black America.…More…

 

Rosenwald Schools

By: Dr. Alyce Miller, associate professor of history at John Tyler Community College and Dr. Brian J. Daugherity, assistant professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University

The Rosenwald school building program, in many ways the brainchild of Virginia-born and Hampton-educated Booker T. Washington, occurred during the period of segregation and Jim Crow across the American South. Segregated school systems were supposed to be, according to the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), “separate and equal,” but in reality educational systems for African Americans in Virginia and the South were anything but. This made the funds provided by educational grant programs such as the Rosenwald Fund so significant.

Rosenwald schools were public schools that were built using matching grant funds. The Rosenwald Fund required matching funds from any combination of public and private sources. According to Julius Rosenwald Fund records (JRF), the JRF helped construct 367 schools, three teacher’s homes, and eleven school (industrial) shops in Virginia. Of the total cost of Rosenwald-associated buildings, grounds, and equipment in Virginia from 1917 through 1932, African Americans contributed 22%, white contributions totaled 1%, the Rosenwald Fund contributed 15%, and state and local government contributions equaled 62%. In the fifteen states in the South where the school building program operated, African Americans collectively contributed 17% of the funds, the Rosenwald Fund contributed 15% of the funds, private white contributions totaled 4% of the funds, and public funds made up the remaining 64% of the funds. Without the organization of local African American communities willing to pay what historian James D. Anderson referred to as the “double tax,” these schools would not have been built.

In late Fall 2015, VCU Special Collections will launch an online exhibit, Black Education in Goochland County: From Rosenwald Schools through Brown v. Board of Education, comprised of research and oral history interviews related to African American educational activism in Virginia and, specifically, Goochland County. The interviews and research were conducted by Dr. Alyce Miller, Dr. Brian Daugherity, and Cris Silvent, associate professor of art at John Tyler Community College.

The local activism surrounding Rosenwald schools continues today in movements throughout the Commonwealth to preserve the histories, and structures, of these schools. John Tyler Community College (and the Virginia Community College system) has been working on an initiative to increase student engagement and success using student and faculty involvement in Rosenwald school activities. The excitement and commitment surrounding this activism provides us with an opportunity to engage the younger generation in this history and in education in general. We have also partnered with Preservation Virginia (among others) to create a larger network of Rosenwald school information across the Commonwealth.

In today’s featured image, you can see the number of Rosenwald schools built in counties throughout Virginia. You can find more information on the number of schools built in each county in Virginia (and throughout the South) by accessing the Rosenwald Schools Database at Fisk University. This is available online here. Schools were not often named after Julius Rosenwald, at his own request.

This short documentary (not the one Paige discusses above) is about the restoration of the Russell School in North Carolina

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2015 in Black History

 

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Policeman Indicted in KIlling of Portsmouth, Virginia Teen

The reason the racist right is in a near frenzy to attack BlackLivesMatter …

Is quite simply that the BLM Movement has gained traction.  We have seen more indictments of Police for egregious and illegal behavior this year, than I dare say in the last 20 years.

Which is pissing the racist right off. Now, more than ever they need folks who will deny what is going on….And it is a sellers market for any low moral Negro who is willing to buckdance.

Virginia Cop Indicted In Murder Of Unarmed Black Teen

WIlliam Chapman II

Portsmouth, Virginia, officer Stephen Rankin was indicted on a first-degree murder charge Thursday after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old earlier this year.

A grand jury decided to charge Rankin, who shot and killed William Chapman II outside a Walmart on April 22, according to The Virginian-Pilot. Autopsy reports obtained by the paper show that Chapman was shot in the face and chest, and that his body was carted off to the city medical examiner’s office with his hands cuffed behind his back.

“After a methodical deliberation of a thorough investigation by the Virginia state police, the state’s attorney determined that William Chapman was murdered by a police officer,” Chapman family attorney Jon Michael Babineau told The Guardian. “Today, the citizens of Portsmouth agreed.”

The Guardian reports on the incident:

The pair had engaged in a physical struggle after Rankin tried to arrest the 18-year-old on suspicion of shoplifting, according to police.

Witnesses said Chapman broke free and then stepped back towards the officer aggressively before being shot twice. The 18-year-old was the second unarmed man shot dead by Rankin in Portsmouth. An autopsy indicated Chapman was not shot at close range.

The shooting was investigated by the Virginia State Police, which passed its investigation to Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales earlier this month. She said last week that she’d seek an indictment in Chapman’s death.

Rankin’s lawyer said the cop’s actions were justified.

“He gives Mr. Chapman commands, and it’s at that point Mr. Chapman charges at him and the officer had to respond,” Nicole Belote told WTKR.

Officer Rankin

Rankin was in the media spotlight in 2011 when he shot and killed another unarmed man, Kirill Denyakin, though he was cleared of all wrongdoing. Denyakin’s lawyer told 13 News Now that he was “unsurprised” the latest incident occurred and “thought he would do this again.”

The vast majority of Police Officers never discharge their weapon in the line of duty. Hard to believe one officer could be involved into situations of confronting unarmed suspects and need to fire his weapon…

Which gets into why the First Degree Murder Charge.

Officer Rankin’s previous unarmed victim Kirill Denyakin, whom he shot 11 times…

 

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter, Domestic terrorism

 

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So Much for the conservative “George Zimmerman isn’t a racist” meme

Hmmmm…didn’t take long for the bigot crew to latch on to the shooter’s race in the Virginia TV shooting yesterday….And even spuriously try and tie President Obama to the shooter…

George Zimmerman: Virginia “hate crime” shootings committed by “pansy” and condoned by “ignorant baboon” Barack Obama

George Zimmerman, the killer of Trayvon Martin who was last seen hawking paintings of the Confederate battle flag that praised the Second Amendment, took to Twitter in the wake of yesterday’s shootings of Alison Parker and Adam Ward to condemn the “Black [piece of shit]” who murdered them and the “Ignorant Baboon” in the White House who mentioned gun control in his comments about their murders.

Presumably because he knows a thing or two about killing people in cold blood, Zimmerman expounded at Twitter-length on the murders of Parker and Ward, writing first that:

Pansy Fester lee Flanagan, too much of a daisy to deal w/racism. Murders 2 whites. Hate crime, 100%. Racist Obama says nothing condeming.

“Pansy” is, of course, a reference to the fact that the shooter, Vester Flanagan II, was a homosexual, which is relevant here because Zimmerman inexplicably chose to make it so. Flanagan’s motivations, at least as they were communicated in his 23-page-long manifesto, were based on a combination of a personal grudge against Ward and his feelings about the massacre in Charleston, South Carolina earlier this year. But Zimmerman felt it necessary to denigrate his sexuality anyway, as well as complain about what to him was the lack of timely manner in which President Barack Obama addressed the murders:

White woman & man get murdered by a Black P.O.S. 8 hours later B. Hussein Obama the divider still says NOTHING.

Putting aside the fact that Zimmerman’s complained, at length, that Obama jumped to conclusions about him and spoke too soon about his killing of Martin, it’s worth noting that Obama did, in fact, address Parker and Ward’s murder yesterday, sayingthat it “breaks [his] heart every time [he] read[s] or hear[s] about these kinds of incidents,” and that “the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism.”

“the # of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism,” – Ignorant Baboon

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Still Not Right in Danville – Lowes and the black delivery driver

If you read my post several days ago about the confederate flag coming down in Danville, Va – then you are familiar with some of the history.

Seems there are still a few die-hard bigots left. This one should have been a no-brainer for the managers at Lowes. Which is why same managers are now unemployed.

Lowe’s Delivery Man Called Back When Customer Asks For White Worker

A black Lowe’s delivery man says his employer instructed him not to make a delivery because a customer asked that the person who came to her door be white. The company said it took quick action to remedy the situation and to apologize to the driver, Marcus Bradley.

Bradley was on his way to make a delivery on July 27 when his manager at a Lowe’s store in Danville, Virginia, gave him a call, reported local ABC affiliate WSET.

“I got a phone call … telling me to bring the delivery back, saying that I couldn’t do the delivery,” Bradley told WSET.  “I asked him why I couldn’t do it and he said because you’re black and they don’t want you at the house.”

Lowe’s spokeswoman Chris Ahearn told The Huffington Post that the company took action within a couple days of finding out what had happened.

“The leaders at the store level who made the decision to hold the driver back, they are no longer with the company,” she said. “We have no tolerance for discrimination of any kind.”

Terry Johnson, Lowe’s senior vice president of store operations, visited the store and personally apologized to the company’s drivers, Ahearn said.

“We feel we acted quickly and properly,” she added.

Ahearn declined to provide any information about the customer who made the request.

However, in an interview with WSET, the unidentified customer refused to apologize.

“I got a right to have whatever I want and that’s it,” the woman said. “I don’t feel bad about nothing.”

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Another Day…Another confederate Flag Down

The most violent part of the Civil Rights battle to desegregate was in Danville, Virginia.The violence, and threats against Civil RIghts demonstrators were as severe as any in the deep South.

Danville was the last Capital of the soon to be defeated confederacy. Some things die hard.

 

After 20 Years, Confederate Flag In ‘The Last Capitol Of The Confederacy’ Comes Down

The small town of Danville, Virginia has been locked in a contentious debate for several years over whether or not to remove a Confederate flag that flies in front of a city-owned historical museum. But late last Thursday night, the town’s city council officially voted to take down the rebel emblem, ending a 20-year stretch of waving the national flag of the Confederacy on public grounds.

According to GoDanRiver.com, the Danville city council voted 7-2 last week to remove the Third National flag of the Confederacy from the lawn of the Sutherlin Mansion, a historic building which houses a museum paid for with public funds. The flag was erected in 1995 on the house’s lawn to commemorate its historical significance — namely, that it hosted the last official meeting of the Confederate presidential cabinet, making it the “Last Capitol of the Confederacy.”

The council meeting — one of several that addressed the issue over the years — was packed with supporters and opponents of the flag. Representatives from both camps waved American and Confederate flags and offered rival speeches to officials, but the council ultimately voted for its removal and dispatched a police offer to take it down.

“The Confederate flag must come down. We must stand on the words, ‘We believe that all men are created equal,’” Rev. William Avon Keen, president of the Virginia Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said in an address to the council.

The town’s controversy over the Confederate flag has raged for decades, but not necessarily because of local support to keep it flying. Rather, city council officials have long been frustrated by an odd legal conundrum: Local Confederate heritage groups argue that the flagpole constitutes a memorial to veterans, which would make it protected by an obscure section of Virginia law. Thus, when officials voted last November over whether to remove the ensign, the city council argued that “under Virginia law it does not have the legal authority to remove the Confederate flag.”

But that all changed last week, when Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring sent a letter to the city council directly addressing the issue. In an official opinion, Herring argued that Danville officials could remove the flagpole because it only recognizes the “historical significance” of the museum building, and thus doesn’t constitute a memorial to veterans.

“It is my view that [state law protecting memorials] applies to monuments commemorating certain wars and veterans of those wars, but not to monuments commemorating buildings,” Herring’sstatement read

here were some who were upset about the decision, however. As crowds gathered near the museum to watch the flag come down at around 9:00pm, several of the banner’s supporters shouted in anger as police removed it with the help of a crane. Meanwhile, the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has vowed to sue the city, arguing that the Attorney General’s opinion is only an opinion — not law. Local heritage groups also responded to the vote by putting up a large Confederate battle flags in various sections of the city over the weekend — but this time on private property.

Yet local news stations noted that some of the representatives who spoke in favor of the flag at the city council meeting were not from Danville, but from just over the state line in North Carolina. That area known to house a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan that staged a rally at the South Carolina State House last month in support of the Confederate flag.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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