Book: Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin, Written By His Parents Is Now Available for Preorder

rest-in-powerAmazon introduces Rest In Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin:

“Trayvon Martin’s parents take readers beyond the news cycle with an account only they could give: the intimate story of a tragically foreshortened life and the rise of a movement.”

“Martin was walking home with candy and a can of juice in hand and talking on the phone with a friend when a fatal encounter with a gun-wielding neighborhood watchman ended his young life. The watchman was briefly detained by the police and released. Trayvon’s father—a truck driver named Tracy—tried to get answers from the police but was shut down and ignored. Trayvon’s mother, a civil servant for the city of Miami, was paralyzed by the news of her son’s death and lost in mourning, unable to leave her room for days. But in a matter of weeks, their son’s name would be spoken by President Obama, honored by professional athletes, and passionately discussed all over traditional and social media. And at the head of a growing nationwide campaign for justice were Trayvon’s parents, who—driven by their intense love for their lost son—discovered their voices, gathered allies, and launched a movement that would change the country.”

“Five years after his tragic death, Travyon Martin’s name is still evoked every day. He has become a symbol of social justice activism, as has his hauntingly familiar image: the photo of a child still in the process of becoming a young man, wearing a hoodie and gazing silently at the camera. But who was Trayvon Martin, before he became, in death, an icon? And how did one black child’s death on a dark, rainy street in a small Florida town become the match that lit a civil rights crusade? “

Rest in Power, told through the compelling alternating narratives of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, answers, for the first time, those questions from the most intimate of sources. It’s the story of the beautiful and complex child they lost, the cruel unresponsiveness of the police and the hostility of the legal system, and the inspiring journey they took from grief and pain to power, and from tragedy and senselessness to meaning.”

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Hung Jury in Michael Slager’s Trial

walter-scott

Walter Scott. RIP

Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager was charged with murder or voluntary manslaughter in the killing of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man.  Walter Scott was shot in the back 5 times.

Trial began on November 3, 2016, with closing arguments on November 30, 2016.  We followed the trial on this blog with part 1; part 2; and part 3.

A by-stander’s video was released shortly after the deadly encounter that shows Slager unholstered his weapon and fire as Walter ran away.  Slager’s attorney then withdrew his representation and Slager was terminated from his job and charged with murder.

On Friday, the jury told judge Judge Newman that one juror was holding out for a not-guilty verdict.  Subsequently, the jury told Judge Newman that with further instructions on the law, they might be able to come to a unanimous decision.

After sending questions to the court this morning, and receiving answers to those questions, the jury sent a note saying they were deadlocked.

Judge Newman declared a mistrial.

Michael Slager also faces federal charges, including violation of Walter Scott’s civil rights.  That trial is scheduled for next year.

Source: CBS

 

December – This Month In Black American History

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly

Birthdays

December 1, 1942 – Singer Carla Thomas, known as the “Queen of Memphis” for her hit songs in the 1960s.

 

December 2, 1931 – Civil rights attorney Solomon Leay Jr. in Montgomery, Alabama.  Some of the cases he worked on involved school desegregation, the Freedom Riders, and the march from Selma to Montgomery.

 

December 3, 1882 – Folk painter Ellis Ruley in Norwich, Connecticut

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Victory at Standing Rock

Nel's New Day

CANNON BALL, ND - DECEMBER 04:  Fireworks fill the night sky above Oceti Sakowin Camp as activists celebrate after learning an easement had been denied for the Dakota Access Pipeline near the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 4, 2016 outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The US Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it will not grant an easement to the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under a lake on the Sioux Tribes Standing Rock reservation, ending a  months-long standoff.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) CANNON BALL, ND – DECEMBER 04: Fireworks fill the night sky above Oceti Sakowin Camp as activists celebrate after learning an easement had been denied for the Dakota Access Pipeline near the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 4, 2016 outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Protesters across the United States celebrated today after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would “explore alternate routes” for the Dakota Access Pipeline instead of granting an easement the pipeline. Over 2,000 U.S. military veterans had joined the thousands of protesters at the site to protect them from the authorities, and federal officials had given them until tomorrow to leave the site .

Native American tribes began last April to block the part of the current 1,172-mile-long pipeline’s $3.8 billion project designed to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota at the confluence…

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Earth, Wind & Fire – Devotion Live 2015

“Open your heart
Feel a touch of devotion
Maybe this song
Will help uplift your day
Make a better way”

 

 

Keith Lamont Scott killing: No charges against officer, DA says

If carrying a concealed weapon makes one a threat, then America is geared for slaughter on the streets.

MB3-org.com

Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN)The officer who fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott won’t face charges, a prosecutor said Wednesday, closing a two-month investigation into the killing that led to heated protests and divided the city of Charlotte.

Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray said he didn’t reach the decision alone; a total of 15 prosecutors unanimously agreed that Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Brentley Vinson was justified in shooting Scott on September 20 in an apartment complex parking lot.
In his hour-long announcement, Murray refuted a series of “erroneous claims” made shortly after the shooting. He said those narratives fueled widespread misconceptions about what actually happened.
Among them:
— Scott’s relatives said he didn’t have a gun, but “all the credible evidence” led to the conclusion that Scott was armed, Murray said. He said Scott’s DNA was on the grip of a gun found at the scene.
Murray also said at least…

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Michael Slager Testifies In His Defense – Part 3

161129-slager-trial-1143_db93a13264a21b3e431c4e31283b7bf2-nbcnews-ux-600-480Michael Slager took the witness stand at his murder trial today.  Following him were defense witnesses who tried to explain how Slager has selective memory.

Before watching Slager’s testimony, and if you have not yet watched it, here is the video captured by a bystander.  It shows when Slager fired his gun at Walter Scott as Scott was running away.

 

Here is Slager’s testimony, giving his non-video version.

 

 

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Ray Tensing To Be Retried For Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter – CNN.com

Hat Tip to Pat/Ohio

CNN Reports

(Published using Press This)

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Samuel Dubose. Ray Tensing is being retried for murder.

Ray Tensing, a former University of Cincinnati officer who shot and killed a black man during a traffic stop in 2015, will be retried on murder and voluntary manslaughter charges, prosecutors in Ohio announced Tuesday.

A mistrial was declared November 12, after jurors spent more than 25 hours deliberating but could not come to a decision.

Tensing, who is white, shot Sam DuBose in the head in July 2015 after pulling him over for a missing front license plate and asking for his license, an incident that was largely captured on body camera video.”

After careful consideration, I have decided that the Tensing case will be retried,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said in a statement Tuesday.

“This decision was made after review of the trial transcript, discussion with some of the jurors, and consultation with my staff,” Deters said.”I am hopeful that a second jury will be able to reach a decision to bring justice in this case for the victim’s family and our community.” Read the rest of this entry

Music – Bringing People of Different Races Together

muscle-shoalsRich Hall brought black and white together during the height of the Civil Rights movement, and he did it by creating music that we still hear today. He did it in Sheffield, AL, in Muscle Shoals Studio along the Tennessee River.

According to history passed down through the generations, when a Native American named Te-lah-nay was born, her grandmother placed her umbilical cord in the Tennessee River, making the river her sister.  Te-lah-nay was displaced during the Trail of Tears which forced the relocation of Native Americans from the Southeast to Oklahoma following the Indian Removal Act of 1830.   Te-lah-nay spent 5 years walking back to Tennessee River.  There is now a wall in that area, recorded in the Library of Congress to commemorate Te-lah-nay’s walk.   It’s called the Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall.

The Yuchi tribe called the river “nunnuhsaw” which means the singing river.  They believed a woman resided in the waters, guiding them with her melodies.

mezzanine_158-1-480x270Musicians recording in Muscle Shoals have long proclaimed the mystical inspiration from the Tennessee River.  Even if one does not believe in mystical inspiration, one cannot deny the musical impact created along the shores of the Tennessee River.  Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, Percy Sledge, Gregg Allman, Clarence Carter, Etta James, Cher,  Wilson Pickett, and Alabama all recorded in the Muscle Shoals studio, sometimes with nothing more than a verse of song.  When the musicians started to play, the song came together.   Read the rest of this entry

Army Corps of Engineers plans to evict Dakota Access protest camp

When the government is out to accomplish something, there is nothing to stop them. That betrays trust and gives a sense of hopelessness to the people.

The Fifth Column

CREDIT: AP/John L. Mone

THINK PROGRESS

The announcement comes as dozens of protestors were arrested at a Bismarck mall on Black Friday.

The Army Corps of Engineers announced plans on Friday to evict the Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota, saying anti-pipeline protestors have until December 5 to leave. The camp is a key site in the ongoing fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline, a controversial $3.8-billion pipeline project that would run through the only water supply for the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

The pipeline protestors — who call themselves water protectors — face arrest if they don’t vacate the camp in time, Col. John Henderson of the Corps said in a letter delivered to Tribal Chairman Cave Archambault II on Friday. Citing weather and safety concerns, Henderson claimed the decision was “necessary” to shield the public from “the violent confrontation between protestors and law enforcement officials that have occurred in this area.”

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Baton Rouge Settles Case With Black Lives Matter Protesters

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Activist Deray McKesson arrested in Baton Rouge. AP Photo/Max Becherer

In response to the killing of Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016, Black Lives Matter protesters gathered in the streets of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.   Police arrested 92 protesters.  East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said his office would not prosecute the protesters.  However, those arrested incurred bond, administrative fees and court costs in order to be released.  To have those arrests expunged requires more money.

Activist DeRay McKesson was among those arrested.

A federal class-action lawsuit was filed alleging that the militarized police were aggressive in their response to protesters and used “unconstitutional tactics” to infringe upon the protesters’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and assembly.  Fewer than 10 percent of the protesters in the class-action lawsuit were from out of town. Read the rest of this entry

Tradition

There are holidays that people and family do because of tradition.  Two years ago, something began here that I’m making a tradition.

What I have to be thankful for is too much to list.  Even in the darkest cloud, I want to see the silver lining.  For example, I’m not thankful for the results of the presidential election, but I am thankful that we live in a country where we can voice our disagreements.   I’m not thankful for the number of killings where those charged are acquitted because they have discretion to use deadly force, but I am thankful that our judicial system makes a record that carries on through history.

Of other things that I’m thankful for are people I met online that are true friends.  I met Racerrodig in 2012.  Two years ago, he sent me songs that he wrote and I put them to video in time to post for Thanksgiving.  Racer’s videos have now become our Thanksgiving tradition.

Below is the original post from 2014.

Have a safe and pleasant holiday.

 

blue butterflies

Racerrodig is a precious, consistent supporter of Blackbutterfly7. I call him “Racer.” Through the years, he has shared his profound wisdom and great humor with us. Racer has often spoken about playing music, and several months ago he informed us that he started a praise and worship band with his son. They have been invited to perform in other countries.

Racer entrusted me with three of his band’s original songs to see if I could present them in a format so others can listen to them. So, I put them on video. The first video has some glitches, and I ask that you don’t allow that to distract from the beauty and talent of Racer’s song.

It wasn’t feeling like Thanksgiving to me this year. With so much trouble in America, I had gotten down. Racer’s songs picked me up and I hope they do the same for you.  As well, it is such a pleasure to hear his voice. Read the rest of this entry

Wordless Wednesday – Nov 23, 2016

 

 

native-police

Michael Slager On Trial for Killing Walter Scott – Trial Continues Part 2

2015-04-08t23-05-56-033z-1280x720-nbcnews-ux-1080-600The murder trial of ex-cop Michael Slager began on November 3rd, and you can find the videos of the trial at the following link up to Thursday, November 10th.  There was no trial on Veteran’s Day.

Post and Courier reports that the trial has been contentious.  Judge Clifton Newman has cautioned defense attorneys to not testify themselves, but the defense continues using that tactic.

During trial, you hear “SLED” allot.  That is the acronym for South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Here are some highlights of the trial;

  • The bystander who filmed the killing, Feidin Santana, has testified.  He stood strong against the defense trying to get him to agree that there was a “fight,” and Santana continued correcting the defense that he saw no fight.
  • Slager’s former colleagues have testified that he told them that Walter Scott managed to wrestle his taser away from him and pointed it at him, prompting him to fire his service weapon.
  • On Tuesday, Almon Brown, a state crime scene investigator, testified that he was concerned when he examined Scott’s body because what he saw didn’t match what he had been told about how Scott died.
  • Levi Miles, a private investigator for Michael Slager’s former defense lawyer, testified that Slager showed him during a re-enactment that Walter Scott was coming toward the officer before the gunfire. When he compared that with what he saw in a video of the shooting, Miles said, “That part of it seemed to be a lot different.”

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Help Needed For A Special Family

navydadI first became acquainted with NavyDad in 2012.   His twitter handle is (@ILoveMyWife0007)

I became acquainted with his wife in 2013 after I opened an account on Twitter.

They are wonderful people, dedicated to advocating equal justice.  I’ve known them to also help others.  You might have seen his comments on this blog.   They are appreciated supporters.

Through the years, a known cyber-harasser has doxed and mocked them.  The harasser has posted their names, photo, address and telephone number on the internet.

The couple has 5 children, the youngest being 2 years old.  The wife homeschools and NavyDad works full-time.  They have a disabled son.

For months, they have looked for an affordable residence that will accommodate their family, including their disabled son.  They finally found an apartment that will accomplish that, but need financial help to make the move.  They are $3,000 short. and their move-in date is December 1st.  (Writer’s error) It’s a one-time financial need.

They have opened a GoFundMe account which you can access by clicking here.  If you can help by donating, please do.  No donation is too small.

Don Lemon hammers Trump surrogate over fake Ford story: ‘You’re saying the truth doesn’t matter?’

The Fifth Column

Don Lemon Panel (Photo: Screen capture)Don Lemon Panel (Photo: Screen capture)

RAWSTORY

CNN host Don Lemon nailed President-Elect Donald Trump’s surrogate Paris Denard on Thursday night’s show. Trump is drawing criticism after taking credit for Ford Motor Company not moving to Mexico. Denard attempted to explain that the truth doesn’t matter and Lemon wouldn’t let it slide.

Trump tweeted Thursday night, “I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky. I owed it to the great State of Kentucky for their confidence in me!”

Trump made the accusation that Ford was moving a Kentucky plant to Mexico in September’s presidential debate. Ford fact-checked Trump’s statement with a graphic showing that they have more American workers than any other auto company. Ford is also bound by a labor contract with the worker’s union that they cannot move their plant to Mexico. It was never in the cards for Ford to…

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10 things you need to know today: November 18, 2016

The Fifth Column

Kevin Hagen/Getty Images

THE WEEK

1. Trump offers Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions top positions
Donald Trump has reportedly asked retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to be his national security adviser, and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general. Flynn is retired from the U.S. Army and resigned as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 2014, forced out over his leadership style and, he said, his hardline views on Islamist extremism. Sessions, for his part, has long been tough on free trade and immigration, and has historically opposed prison sentencing reform, legalizing marijuana, same-sex marriage, and curbing the war on drugs.

Source: CBS, Bloomberg

2. Trump to discuss possible Cabinet post with Romney
President-elect Donald Trump plans to meet with Mitt Romney to discuss a possible Cabinet post for the former Massachusetts governor. Romney, the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee, criticized Trump harshly during this year’s…

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November – This Month in Black American History

By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly

 

Birthdays

November 1, 1915 – Artist and poet Margaret Taylor-Burroughs

Here she is reading her philosophy:

 

 

November 2, 1859 – Educator James Benson Dudley

Excerpt from NCpedia;

“ James Benson Dudley, educator and college president, was born in Wilmington to John Bishop and Annie Hatch Dudley, slaves of Edward B. Dudley (1789–1855), governor of North Carolina…”

“Dudley edited the ‘Wilmington Chronicle’, a Negro weekly newspaper, and was active in politics, serving as register of deeds for New Hanover County in 1891 and as delegate to the 1896 Republican National Convention in St. Louis. He was secretary of the board of trustees for the Agricultural and Mechanical College at Greensboro from 29 May 1895 to 27 May 1896 before succeeding John O. Crosby as president of that institution on 28 May 1896; he retained the post for twenty-nine years.”

 

November 4, 1942 – Ophthalmologist and inventor Patricia Bath in Harlem, New York

November 9, 1731 – Surveyor Benjamin Banneker in Baltimore County, Maryland

 

November 11, 1914 – Civil rights activist Daisy Bates, who guided the Little Rock Nine students who integrated Little Rock Central High School

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Prejudice, Bigotry and the Safety Pin

safety-pinWhite people wearing a safety pin has become a symbol of being a safe person against racist, sexist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, and other hateful ideologies.  An idea behind the pin is that it’s a public pledge that the wearer will help de-escalate situations where the marginalized are under attack, whether verbally or physically.

Because of its controversy, yesterday I read as much as I could about the symbol of wearing a safety pin.  Christopher Keelty, a White bisexual man, wrote for the Huffington Post that the safety pin is an embarrassment for White people.

The general criticism is that it’s more of a sign of White-guilt.  There are articles which in summary, say how dare White people think that they can say what solidarity with minorities, immigrants and others should be; should look like.

Yes, I read allot yesterday and I also talked with others.  Nothing satisfied me one way or the other.  Then a light-bulb moment happened.

What is it that I believe?  I believe in equality for all.  On that foundation, I asked why Blacks, Muslims, LGBT, immigrants, Brown, Yellow and Red people cannot be safe for others who are subject to cruelty since the election of Donald Trump?  In fact, those who voted for Donald Trump who do not share in the phobias of hate might be safe people. Read the rest of this entry

Open Discussion

Caterpillars, butterflies, moths, a certain roach, and all creatures great and small,

Good morning! 

Respect_butterfly_largeHere’s a heartfelt welcome and thanks to all subscribers and visitors.  Your support and interest is greatly appreciated.  I do try to get around to visiting new subscribers who have blogs as soon as possible, but have fallen behind.  In the last month, we have picked up 50 new subscribers in which the majority are bloggers.  I’ll be around to visit as soon as I can.

I’m not on Twitter much, but when I am I tweet links to other blogs of posts that my Twitter followers might find interesting.   If you have a Twitter account, please consider following me on Twitter @XenaBb7.  I will follow back.

I was humbly blessed by blogger supabutterfly who honored me with a post of accomplishments.  He dug out things I did not know, such as having this blog cited in a footnote in a book published by the University of New Mexico Press.   Here’s a huge thanks to supabutterfly for his encouragement and support. Read the rest of this entry

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