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Friday, 18th October 2019
Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System

Cyntoia Brown-Long is a guest on The Breakfast Club dissecting pieces of her life she bravely shared in her new book, 'Free Cyntoia'.

The former prisoner takes us through her darkest moments in life from serving time convicted to murder to her brightest by finding refuge through faith, persistence and love.

Friday, 18th October 2019
Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t know his civil rights history.
by Sherrilynn Ifill

In a speech Thursday at Georgetown University, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg invoked Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr., Black Lives Matter and the struggles of the civil rights movement to defend his company’s policy exempting politicians from the platform’s policies against false speech and misinformation.

This is a profound misreading of the civil rights movement in America.

And a dangerous misunderstanding of the political and digital landscape we now inhabit.

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s indictment of Russian operatives last year confirmed other official reports that Facebook had been a particularly useful tool in a misinformation campaign that targeted African Americans more than any other voters.

In recent months, civil rights groups such as mine worked to convince Facebook that the problem extended beyond foreign interference to the use of Facebook by domestic political forces engaged in their own dangerous campaigns of racial division and voter suppression.

We argued that Facebook failed to understand how its platform has been manipulated and weaponized in ways that endanger racial and ethnic groups.

We also challenged — including in court — practices by the tech giant that permitted the explicit use of racism by ad purchasers — and demanded that the firm undertake a civil rights audit.

Although Facebook has undertaken commendable measures to address the ways that foreign and fake accounts engage in election interference, the company has refused to fully recognize the threat of voter suppression and intimidation here at home, especially from users that the company refers to as “authentic voices” — politicians and candidates for public office.

Facebook insists it does not allow voter suppression on its platform.

But that statement is more aspiration than fact.

After nearly two years of conversations between the company and our groups, I am convinced that Facebook simply is ill-equipped to define what constitutes voter suppression — especially at the local level.

To help Facebook understand, we have provided the company with multiple examples of voter suppression practices we have seen at the local level that would survive their policies.

Here’s an example.

Imagine a candidate is running for sheriff in a border-state county.

On the Sunday night before Election Day, the candidate posts the following on Facebook:

“If you’re an illegal, you will not vote in our election Tuesday. Only citizens, legally registered to vote in our county are able to vote. We’ll have an armed citizen patrol watch on duty. Our citizens patrol will out in force outside the polls, exercising our Second Amendment rights and protecting the integrity of our elections. If you’re illegal, you and anyone who tries to help you is going to jail.”

If this were a flier posted in a Latino community, we would recognize it as an attempt at voter suppression.

But posted on Facebook by a candidate, such a post would be part of the “newsworthy” content that Zuckerberg believes will spark debate.

In his speech, Zuckerberg invoked King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail as an example of the tension that comes with free expression — a tension Zuckerberg encouraged us to embrace.

What Zuckerberg failed to note is that King was the subject of violent assaults (and finally assassination) that were the result of the same kind of hate-fueled disinformation campaigns that infect the Internet and are now aimed at a different generation of civil rights leaders.

At the height of the Cold War, segregationists and racists — often led by politicians — falsely and repeatedly claimed that King was a communist.

Many of those who harassed King and civil rights protesters believed themselves to be patriots acting in defense of America, precisely because of the concerted disinformation campaigns advanced by elected officials, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and others.

As a result, a climate of violence and danger followed civil rights activists and King every day.

The civil rights movement was not fought to vindicate free speech rights under the First Amendment.

It was a fight to fulfill the promise of full citizenship and human dignity guaranteed to black people by the 14th Amendment.

To use the struggle of those extraordinary heroes as a rationale for protecting Facebook users who seek to incite the same kind of division and violence those heroes faced turns that history on its head.

Facebook must do more than stand in the reflected glory of those who sacrificed much to create our modern democracy.

It must stand in the harsh light of truth and confront the enormous responsibility of stewarding a platform that influences hundreds of millions of people and the potential uses of that platform that threaten our democracy.

Sherrilyn Ifill is the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

« on: Today at 06:51:26 am »
Friday, 18th October 2019
White man accused of killing woman, recording it on SD card charged in 2nd Alaska murder
by Phil Hesel

A man accused of killing a woman and recording it on an SD card later found in the street has been indicted in the murder of a second Alaskan woman, authorities announced Thursday.

Brian Smith, 48, was indicted by a grand jury Thursday in the murder of Veronica Abouchuk, whose remains were found in April outside Anchorage, the Alaska Law Department said.

Abouchuk, 52, had been reported missing in February, who had had last been seen her in July 2018, police said.

When Smith was interviewed after his arrest earlier this month in the September killing of 30-year-old Kathleen Henry, he “admitted to shooting another female victim between 2017 and 2018" and provided the location of her body, officials said.

Smith pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in Henry's death.

"We hope that these charges help bring some closure to folks for their missing loved ones,” Deputy District Attorney Brittany Dunlop told reporters at a news conference Thursday.

The law department said that Alaska State Troopers, who discovered the remains, found a skull with a gunshot wound from the area that Smith had identified.

The medical examiner’s office identified the remains on Oct. 11 as those of Abouchuk, Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll said.

Both victims were Alaska native women, Dunlop said.

Henry's body was found near the Seward Highway on Oct. 2.

Smith, who is from South Africa, was arrested in the Henry's death after a person found an SD card in Anchorage's Fairview neighborhood on Sept. 30 that contained videos that appeared to show the murder of a woman, police said.

That memory card led police to arrest Smith as he arrived at Ted Stevens International Airport on Oct. 8, in part because police recognized his accent from a separate investigation, officials have said.

The SD card was titled "homicide at the midtown Marriott," according to charging documents reported by NBC affiliate KTUU of Anchorage.

The killing is believed to have occurred at the Marriot hotel on Sept. 4, the law department has said.

Video on the card showed a woman being strangled and a man telling her to die, the Associated Press has reported.

Doll said that police are continuing to investigate the case.

"We will look at every single aspect of the case and if necessary follow it wherever we need to,” he said Thursday.

Smith had been indicted on charges that include murder, sexual assault and tampering with evidence in the death of Henry, and a specification of torture was made that could lead to a mandatory minimum sentence of 99 years if he is convicted, Dunlop said.

A grand jury added charges of murder and tampering with evidence in the killing of Abouchuk, and the state also filed a charge of misconduct involving a corpse, she said.

Smith is expected to be arraigned on the charges stemming from Abouchuk's killing on Monday.

Would You Like To Know More?

Alright!  :)

Go Luda!  8)

Whenever anyone achieves 'Artist-In-Residence' status, you have arrived.

You will never, ever be homeless.   Ever. 

The only other person I know of is music composer John Williams who has a 'Artist-In-Residence' status somewhere in the United Kingdom.

Books / Re: The 1619 Project
« on: Today at 06:29:09 am »
The 1619 Project

Led by black activists and a Republican Party pushed left by the blatant recalcitrance of white Southerners, the years directly after slavery saw the greatest expansion of human and civil rights this nation would ever see.

In 1865, Congress passed the 13th Amendment, making the United States one of the last nations in the Americas to outlaw slavery.

The following year, black Americans, exerting their new political power, pushed white legislators to pass the Civil Rights Act, the nation’s first such law and one of the most expansive pieces of civil rights legislation Congress has ever passed.

It codified black American citizenship for the first time, prohibited housing discrimination and gave all Americans the right to buy and inherit property, make and enforce contracts and seek redress from courts.

In 1868, Congress ratified the 14th Amendment, ensuring citizenship to any person born in the United States.

Today, thanks to this amendment, every child born here to a European, Asian, African, Latin American or Middle Eastern immigrant gains automatic citizenship.

The 14th Amendment also, for the first time, constitutionally guaranteed equal protection under the law.

Ever since, nearly all other marginalized groups have used the 14th Amendment in their fights for equality (including the recent successful arguments before the Supreme Court on behalf of samesex marriage).

Finally, in 1870, Congress passed the 15th Amendment, guaranteeing the most critical aspect of democracy and citizenship — the right to vote — to all men regardless of ‘‘race, color, or previous condition of servitude.’’

For this fleeting moment known as Reconstruction, the majority in Congress seemed to embrace the idea that out of the ashes of the Civil War, we could create the multiracial democracy that black Americans envisioned even if our founding fathers did not.

But it would not last.


January 18, 1951 - October 17, 2019


Representative Pressley pays her respect to Representative Elijah Cummings.

« on: Yesterday at 01:16:42 pm »
Thursday, 17th October 2019
‘I want to be a serial killer’
by David Borof

A 35-year-old man known as "Woo Woo" who is accused of three brutal murders in two states says he likes "killing people" and claims there are more victims.

Stanley Mossburg was captured early Tuesday in Florida after authorities say he killed a man and a woman in Winter Haven and one person in Greeneville, Tenn.

“This guy needs the death penalty if there’s ever been a person who needs the death penalty,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told reporters.

Investigators say Mossburg killed two people in a Polk County home and held a third person captive.

A surviving victim told authorities that Mossburg claimed to have killed eight people and that his goal was to reach 11 murders, according to Sheriff Judd.

He is also accused of killing a man in a laundromat in Tennessee earlier this month.

“I want to be a serial killer. I like killing people,” Mossburg told a captive, the sheriff said.

Judd cautioned that “there’s a lot we don’t know at this point.”

“We have not found two through six nor do we know if they exist at all,” Judd told reporters, referring to possible victims.

Mossburg told his captive on Monday that he would return to “deal with the bodies,” then fled in the female victim’s car.

He warned the captive not to call the cops or he would kill him.

The man would later call 911 from a neighbor’s home.

“Woo Woo,” as he is also apparently known, would return to the scene, and the stolen vehicle was spotted by alert deputies.

Mossburg would surrender early Tuesday, but not before forcing a standoff and firing shots at SWAT team members.

The suspect used a knife to kill his victims, according to the sheriff.

“This is a spree killer,” Judd told reporters Tuesday.

“This is a man that says he enjoys killing. When you kill people with a knife, it’s up close, it’s personal, its based in anger, revenge, evil. He didn’t shoot them from a distance. He was in stabbing and cutting, and all of the victims that we are aware of had multiple, multiple cut wounds as a result of this evil person.”

The Florida charges against Mossburg include two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.

Would You Like To Know More?


Representative Elijah Cummings was the definition of America.

In honor of his decades of service to our country, nationwide city flags are flying at half-staff today.



Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.


Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.


Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.


Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.


Hearing on Voting Rights and Election Administration

The House Administration Subcommittee on Elections held a hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in the United States.

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