Thursday, July 14, 2016

Devante Hill, Warrants weren't a Problem for Congressman Cohen

Devante Hill, front line in Baltimore, Maryland

The breaking news in Memphis, TN today is Minister, Devante Hill.  Hill, is a young African American activist, being credited with organizing a Memphis protest that shut down the bridge connecting Tennessee to Arkansas, this past Sunday.

He is also currently being detained for an active warrant.

Devante Hill speaking with local news reporter
after dropping off school supplies
A concerned citizen took the liberty of searching Hill's name in a warrant database.  Hill had two active warrants (one of which has been dismissed prior to this story).

Hill went to the courthouse to clear up the matters and is now being detained on one active warrant.

Hill's "criminal activity" has presented itself as a grand opportunity to discredit his involvement in the #blacklivesmatter movement and even has some people calling into question the Interim Police Director and the Mayor of Memphis.

How can someone, with active warrants, help shut down a bridge and then walk arm and arm with the police director and not be detained?

My question is, how can this young educated man, with warrants, who is clearly involved in activism, stand on the front lines and expect not to be detained?

The answer is, clearly, he must not have known.

And do we honestly expect that the Mayor or the Interim Police Director would have asked everyone they encountered Sunday night for their name and then proceed to look them up in the warrant database before engaging with them?

Or how about Tennessee's own Congressman, Steve Cohen?

According to the "Memphis Flyer", when asked how he felt about Sunday's demonstrations, Congressman Cohen stated he was proud of his summer intern, Devante Hill, and his involvement with the peaceful protest.

How could such a criminal get the praises of your elected official, let alone a summer internship with your local government?

If you're going to call into question the Memphis Mayor and/or the Interim Police Director, then also give your Congressman's office a buzz too.

Let's put our critical thinking skills to good use.  Should one man's plight speak for an entire global movement?

According to the Commercial Appeal, Devante Hill, won't let recent threats or the handling of his active warrants deter him from the issues at hand.

What about you?

Do you think Hill should remove himself from the front lines?  Do you think Interim Police Director, Michael Rallings, should have known Hill had warrants?

Does the recent news of Hill's warrants make you feel less supportive about recent protests?

Leave your comments below and share this article on your social media.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Restrictions on Police Body Cam Footage : What it Means to You

The Governor of, North Carolina, recently signed a bill restricting access to Police body cameras and dash cam footage.  North Carolina isn't the only state that has done so.

With this bill in place, Police dashcam and body cam footage is no longer public record.  Which means this type of footage is now CONFIDENTIAL information, therefore the public will not be entitled to view it.  Just like the information you share with your doctor and/or lawyer is secret information between only you and them, the same will be true for police footage.

Under North Carolina's new law, only individuals that can be seen or heard in the police footage, or their representatives, can request to view it.  There is no guarantee that their request will be granted.  Before the request is granted these factors will be taken into consideration:

• If the disclosure would reveal information regarding a person of a "highly sensitive personal nature";
• If the disclosure "may harm the reputation or jeopardize the safety of a person";
• If disclosure would create "a serious threat to the fair, impartial, and orderly administration of justice"; and
• If withholding release is necessary to protect an active or inactive investigation, criminal or internal.

Governor, Pat McCrory, stated, "if you immediately release a video, sometimes it distorts the entire picture, which is extremely unfair to our law enforcement officials.”  He signed the bill stating that it would promote "uniformity, clarity, and transparency".

What this means for you is, if there is an officer involved shooting or incident in North Carolina, or any other state that has enacted such laws, you may not want to hold your breath waiting to see the police footage on social media.

What this means for you is, if you have the unfortunate opportunity to be involved in an officer involved incident, in North Carolina, do not immediately rely on the police footage to be released to you or your representative.  In the event you are denied release of the footage, based on the above considerations, be prepared to go before the Superior Court with your request.

Do you think the above considerations lean in favor of one involved party over the other?  Is favor fair?

Do you think these type of laws promote police transparency, why or why not?

Civilians still have the power to use their personal cell phones for recording purposes.  Do you think regulation of personal cell phone footage will be next?

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Vaginas, the Key to Gun Control!

Both purchasing a gun and getting an abortion are actions that can be taken legally.  But Pro-Life individuals are not afraid to show up and publicly voice their opinions against those who choose to abort.

What if another strong group of the public treated a person who wants to buy a gun like they treat the woman who leaves an abortion clinic?  Strangers would hold up signs bashing the gun purchaser and photos of deceased loved ones who died by the use of a gun, begging them not to buy one.

Bashing someone just for purchasing a gun, without knowing their intentions, sounds extreme when you think about it. 

Some argue that in this day and age where mass shootings are becoming common, and homicide rates don't seem to be declining, that we should be just as extreme when it comes to gun purchasing.

Representative John Lewis' argument this week, during the sit in on the House floor, was that we
Sit in on the floor of the House of Representatives
led by Representative John Lewis
should invoke common sense.  He and the others that joined in the sit in, want Congress to vote on a bill that would deny the purchase of a gun to the same group of individuals that are on the "no fly" list.  He also wants to expand the background checks for those who want to purchase guns.

The sit in ended without a vote on the matter. 

Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, publicly stated that the sit in was just a publicity stunt and that all the Democrats had to do was get 218 signatures on a petition in order to get the vote.

Sounds easy enough.  But, Democrats would need the additional votes of some Republicans in order to reach that number.

Polls show that a majority of the public agree that guns should be banned.

What do you think?

Are you satisfied with the current gun laws?  Do you believe we should at least take another look at the current laws?  Should those on a "no fly list" or FBI watch list be prohibited from purchasing guns?

What about liking abortions to gun purchasing?  Should we publicly shame and bash those seeking to legally purchase a gun just like women who seek to legally get an abortion?

Why or Why not?

And if Congress never votes on gun control, maybe vagina can really be the key to gun control with a good old fashion "sex strike".

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Happy Father's Day, Mom!

Should single mother's be recognized on Father's Day?

Year by year, I've seen this argument grow on social media.  It eventually developed into greeting cards for Mothers on Father's Day and just last year the following commercial:

The commercial was created by, Angel Soft tissue, to honor women who had to be both hard and soft, when it came to raising their children alone.  In the commercial several people speak on their mother, with one mother being a single parent due to the death of a spouse.

As much as the tear filled testimonials may touch some people's heart, some people are also totally against the idea of mentioning a mom in the same sentence as "Father's Day".

Technically a Mother can never be a Father, and most people believe there are just some inherent things that a Father can teach a child, that a Mom can not.

Greeting card for Mom on Father's Day

What do you think?  Is a greeting card for Mothers on Father's day completely inappropriate?  What about the commercial, did it make you cry or make you frown?

Should mother's be satisfied with their day and leave Father's Day alone?  Should public opinion force a child from a single parent home NOT to acknowledge the double role their parent plays in their life?

If you are a Father, are you offended by these celebrations?  Does it take away from Father's recognition?  Or, is it ok to recognize that every family is different?

Moms, how do you feel.  Most single parents say that don't want to be recognized on Father's Day.  What if your child felt the need to celebrate you on this day, how would you feel?

Leave your comments below.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Celibacy: A Thing of the Past?

You may have caught wind of this story when it first made some national headlines.  A young African-American woman presented her father with a certificate of purity.  The certificate signifies confirmation from her OBGYN that she indeed kept her promise to remain a virgin until marriage.  Her husband was also a virgin when they married.  The couple, in their 20s at the time of marriage, dated for three years before tying the knot.

In an interview they spoke about the backlash they received on social media, "People just don't understand, so they question it" .  Some people thought her father required her to present a purity certificate to him.  In actuality, he did not require her to do so.  She was following her sister's example, who was also a virgin when she got married.  The young lady decided to take the pledge at the age of 13.

Her now husband said that she was upfront with the path she had chosen, and they admit they can't count the number of times they were tempted to have sex.  However, it forced them to become more creative in their times together.  They also made sure to surround themselves with people who would not put them in situations where they would constantly be tempted.

They believe anyone at any age, who values themselves can follow the same path.  "Save yourself so you want have to worry about protecting yourself", is what the husband mentioned as a great way to look at the pledge you are making.

What about people who are no longer virgins?  Does that mean they do not value themselves?  Social media is plastered with sex appeal.  Apps like Tinder are making hookups as easy as a swipe of a finger.  Could you reasonable expect your mate to wait?

Ciara and Russell Wilson made it public that they would not be engaging in sex unless they got married.  Now, having been dating for less than a year, the couple is now engaged.

Do you think their decision to remain celibate played a role in their decision to get married?  With the negative backlash, the now married couple received for being virgins, do you think waiting for marriage is a thing of the past?  Is it something you plan to teach your children?

Celibacy, is it too much to ask for?  Or, do you still believe in love and that the right one would honor your request?

Comment below:

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Change Gone Come: Harriet Tubman to Grace $20 Bill

To be announced, Wedensday April 20, 2016, Harriet
Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on $20 Bill (not actual image )

Although, Ms. Harriet Tubman, will not be the first woman to have her image placed on United States currency, she will be the first black woman to be pictured on currency, and the first woman to be pictured on paper currency.

Updates to currency are no longer huge surprises in the U.S., due to increased needs to create additional security measures for paper currency.  However, placing a woman on paper currency, especially a black woman, in my eyes is a huge deal.  Due to security changes that were scheduled to take place on some of the U.S. bills, women activist took the opportunity to press the issue of having a woman appear on U.S. currency.

It was argued that the U.S. currency should be more reflective of its country by placing the image of a woman on its bills.

Who would have guessed that we would be so progressive and place an anti-slavery activist on one of the most commonly used bills?  In a country where women are still fighting to receive pay equal to those of their male peers, I must say that I am impressed.

We won't see these new bills until 2020, which will also be the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage.  It will take even longer for the bills to go into circulation.

***UPDATE**** the annoucement was made today that Harriet Tubman will indeed be on the new $20 bill. However, she will be sharing the bill, with now occupier, President Andrew Jackson.  She will be on front and he will be on the back.

What do you think?  Is change good or should we keep the images they way they are?  Do you think this is a step in the right direction for women's equality?  Do you think the Treasury made the right choice in picking Harriet Tubman?  What woman would you have suggested?

Leave comments below!

Friday, April 15, 2016

U.S. Senate Refusing to go to Work

President Obama as he announces his nomination for
the Supreme Court
The United States Constitution is the "Supreme Law" of the United States of America.  This means that the Constitution sets the rules for each body of law and the groundwork for how laws should be interpreted.  It is the duty of the Supreme Court to determine what our Founding Fathers meant when they drafted the Constitution.

That is why it is such a big deal when cases reach the United States Supreme Court.  In other words, whatever the Supreme Court says, goes.

In the Constitution is where we find the "Appointment Clause".  Article II, Section 2, Clause 2, states , "the Appointments Clause, empowers the President of the United States to appoint certain public officials with the "advice and consent" of the U.S. Senate."

One of those public official appointments is to the Supreme Court.  In order for the now vacant Supreme Court Justice seat to be filled, President Obama, needs the Senate to fulfill its duty of "consent".  He has already fulfilled his duty by nominating Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

However, the Senate has yet to hold a hearing on President Obama's, nomination, yet alone vote on it.  And the kicker is, they pretty much aren't afraid to let it be known that they do not plan on voting on the nomination any time soon.

Senate members that oppose holding a meeting on President Obama's nomination argue that the appointment should be held off until after the next President is elected, in order to give the people a voice in the nomination.  They argue that because whomever is appointed as the next Chief Justice will serve until their death or until they voluntarily retire, the appointment should be made by our next President and not by a President that will be leaving office at the end of the year.

What do you think?  Should the Senate at least hold a meeting on President Obama's nomination?  Should it matter that he is leaving office this year?  Do you think a President, having held office for almost 8 years, would be better equipped to nominate a Justice, as opposed to a new President?  Do you think the new President, having been elected by the people of 2016, will be a better voice for the people in its nomination for the vacant Justice seat?

Leave a comment below!