HERO: Iraq War veteran killed at Planned Parenthood was trying to save others, his family says

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An Iraq War veteran was killed in Friday’s shootings at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., while trying to save others, family members said.

Ke’Arre Stewart, a 29-year-old who served in the U.S. Army’s Fourth Infantry Division, had stepped outside the clinic to get cellphone service when he was shot, his brother, Leyonte Chandler, told NBC News.

Stewart then ran back inside to try to help others.

“He tried to run back inside the building — well, he did — and tell the other people inside, you know, ‘Take cover, get down.’ People started taking cover, hiding in bathrooms and whatnot,” Chandler said. “I believe that’s his military instinct, you know: Leave no soldier behind, leave no civilian behind, just leave no one behind. I don’t know where he was at, as far as how many more breaths he had, but he knew. And before his time ran out, I guess that was his main priority: to help and save other lives.”

 

“He was just a standup guy; he would take a bullet for you,” Amburh Butler, a lifelong friend, told The Associated Press. “He was the most sincere person I’d ever met.”

Chandler added: “People were terrified, people were crying and scared, seeing other people get shot … I believe my brother put his life on the line to prevent that. That’s definitely heroic.”

Stewart, a father of two young girls, was stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs until 2014, when he was discharged.

Chandler called his brother “a tremendous father, a wonderful father.”

Stewart was one of three people killed after the alleged gunman, 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear, opened fire at the clinic.

Garrett Swasey, a police officer at the University of Colorado’s Colorado Springs campus, was killed while responding to the call to assist with an active shooter at the nearby clinic.

Swasey, a 44-year-old married father of two, was a co-pastor at a local evangelical church and a former competitive figure skater who won a national championship as a junior.

“He was literally like a little brother to me,” figure skater and Olympic medalist Nancy Kerrigan said Sunday. “I saw him every day. We trained together.”

Jennifer Markovsky, a 36-year-old mother of two, was killed while accompanying a friend to the clinic, her father, John Ah-King, told the Denver Post.

“I miss you, my daughter,” he wrote on Facebook. “Life was too short.”

Five other officers and four other civilians were wounded in the attack.

Dear is expected to appear in court Monday.

 

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My big brother, Ke'Arre Stewart who was killed in the #BLACKFRIDAYSHOOTING @ Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs,...

Posted by Leyonte Ripkearrestewart Chandler on Sunday, November 29, 2015

VIDEO: THE INFLUENCE OF AFRICAN DANCING: CLIP FROM THE FILM RIZE

KRUMPING

LAB Pro Lib on Wednesday, February 4, 2015

CLIP FROM THE FILM RIZE

Krumping is a street dance popularized in the United States that is characterized by free, expressive, exaggerated, and highly energetic movement. The African-American youths who started krumping saw the dance as a way for them to escape gang life and “to release anger, aggression and frustration positively, in a non-violent way.”

The root word “Krump” came from the lyrics of a song in the 1990s. It is sometimes spelled K.R.U.M.P., which is a backronym for Kingdom Radically Uplifted Mighty Praise, presenting krumping as a faith-based artform. Krumping was created by two dancers: Ceasare “Tight Eyez” Willis and Jo’Artis “Big Mijo” Ratti in South Central, Los Angeles during the early 2000s. Clowning is the less aggressive predecessor to krumping and was created in 1992 by Thomas “Tommy the Clown” Johnson in Compton, California. In the 1990s, Johnson and his dancers, the Hip Hop Clowns, would paint their faces and perform clowning for children at birthday parties or for the general public at other functions as a form of entertainment. In contrast, krumping focuses on highly energetic battles and dramatic movements[3] which Tommy describes as intense, fast-paced, and sharp. CBS News has compared the intensity within krumping to what rockers experience in a mosh pit. “If movement were words, krumping would be a poetry slam.” Krumping was not directly created by Tommy the Clown; however, krumping did grow out of clowning. Ceasare Willis and Jo’Artis Ratti were both originally clown dancers for Johnson but their dancing was considered too “rugged” and “raw” for clowning so they eventually broke away and developed their own style. This style is now known as krumping. Johnson eventually opened a clown dancing academy and started the Battle Zone competition at the Great Western Forum where krump crews and clown crews could come together and battle each other in front of an audience of their peers.

“Expression is a must in krump because krump is expression. You have to let people feel what you’re doing. You can’t just come and get krump and your krump has no purpose.”

KRUMPINGRobert “Phoolish” Jones;
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David LaChapelle’s documentary Rize explores the clowning and krumping subculture in Los Angeles. He says of the movement: “What Nirvana was to rock-and-roll in the early ’90s is what these kids are to hip-hop. It’s the alternative to the bling-bling, tie-in-with-a-designer corporate hip-hop thing.” LaChapelle was first introduced to krump when he was directing Christina Aguilera’s music video “Dirty”. After deciding to make a documentary about the dance, he started by making a short film titled Krumped. He screened this short at the 2004 Aspen Shortsfest and used the positive reaction from the film to gain more funding for a longer version. In 2005, this longer version was released as Rize and screened at the Sundance Film Festival, the Auckland International Film Festival, and several other film festivals outside the United States.

Aside from Rize, krumping has appeared in several music videos including Madonna’s “Hung Up”, Missy Elliott’s “I’m Really Hot”, The Black Eyed Peas’ “Hey Mama”, and Chemical Brothers “Galvanize”. The dance has also appeared in the movie Bring It On: All or Nothing, the television series Community, and the reality dance competitions So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Best Dance Crew. Russell Ferguson, the winner of the sixth season of So You Think You Can Dance, is a krumper. The original web series The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers also featured krumping in season one during the fifth episode, “The Lettermakers”.

Style
There are four primary moves in krump: jabs, arm swings, chicken breast pops, and stomps.[6] Krumping is rarely choreographed; it is almost entirely freestyle (improvisational) and is danced most frequently in battles or sessions rather than on a stage. Krumping is different stylistically from other hip-hop dance styles such as b-boying and turfing. Krumping is very aggressive and is danced upright to upbeat and fast-paced music, whereas b-boying is more acrobatic and is danced on the floor to break beats. The Oakland dance style turfing is a fusion of popping and miming that incorporates storytelling and illusion. Krumping is less precise than turfing and more freestyle. Thematically, all these dance styles share common ground including their street origins, their freestyle nature, and the use of battling. These commonalities bring them together under the umbrella of hip-hop dance.

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VIDEO: I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White. These Labels were Made Up to Divide us.

Check this video out! Who are you? Are you really Black? Are you really White?

I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White. These Labels were Made Up to Divide us.

Posted by Prince Ea on Monday, November 2, 2015

A SEGRATED AMERICA: Over 30 PHOTOS DEMONSTRATES HOW “COLORED” PEOPLE WERE TREATED

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Let’s take a minute to reflect the America that we, ALL Americans, want to be part of. Do we want an America that’s inclusive or an America that is divided by race, social economics or an America that stands for social justice and equality for all? Do we want an America that lives in a state of fear based on people’s looks, richness of their skin color or diverse languages we speak?  Take a look at the below hurtful photos and ask yourself do you want to live in a country that hurts each other through laws that separate us and our families? Not sure about you but I do not want to repeat history. I want to live in a country that is united and that shows respect for all different type of people–Blacks, Latinos, Asians, women, LGBT, and yes, whites too.

Terrorism came to AmericaKKKa long before 9/11 or ISIS: America’s record of Black lynchings worse than previously thought

terrorism(NNPA) – Almost 4,000 Blacks—about 700 more than previously reported—were lynched in 12 Southern states during the period between Reconstruction and World War II, according to a new report by the Equal Justice Initiative.

“Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror” is the result of five years of research and 160 visits to sites across the South. The report makes the argument that these killings were a form of racial terrorism aimed at subjugating the Black community and maintaining Jim Crow segregation.

“We’re focusing on lynchings of African-Americans because when Whites were lynched it was really more about punishment—it wasn’t sent to terrorize the White community, it was intended to actually make the White community feel safe,” said Bryan Stevenson, director of the Alabama-based nonprofit in an interview with National Public Radio. “The lynching of African-Americans, on the other hand, was really a direct message to the entire African-American community—it was designed to traumatize and terrorize.”

To put in a modern-day context, the number of Blacks who were beaten, burned and ultimately hung while picnicking Whites cheered, is more than twice the number of Americans who died in the terrorist attacks on 9/11, more than twice those who died in the anti-terror campaign in Afghanistan and comparable to the number who died in Iraq.

And these acts of terror against Blacks were often state-sanctioned killings, Mr. Stevenson added.

“In most of the places where these lynchings took place—in fact in all of them—there was a functioning criminal justice system that was deemed too good for African-Americans,” he said. “Often these men were pulled from jails and pulled out of courthouses, where they could be lynched literally on the courthouse lawn.”

The inequalities reinforced by lynching has left its mark on the Black community and on public policy as seen in policies of mass incarceration, racially biased capital punishment, excessive or disproportionate sentencing of racial minorities, and police abuse of people of color, the report concluded.

“We cannot heal the deep wounds inflicted during the era of racial terrorism until we tell the truth about it,” Mr. Stevenson said in a separate statement. “The geographic, political, economic, and social consequences of decades of terror lynchings can still be seen in many communities today and the damage created by lynching needs to be confronted and discussed. Only then can we meaningfully address the contemporary problems that are lynching’s legacy.

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Several Black Lives Matter Protesters Were Just Shot by White Supremacists in Minneapolis

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A peaceful demonstration for Jamar Clark and Black Lives Matter exploded into violence late Monday night in Minneapolis when suspected white supremacists opened fire on the protesters.

5 unarmed protestors shot by white supremacists who were asked to leave & followed out. One block up they shot one in leg & 1 in stomach #4thPrecinctShutDown

Posted by Black Lives Matter Minneapolis on Monday, November 23, 2015

TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN IS BUILT ON RACISM: Supporters hit, kick black protester at Alabama rally

A black protester was hit, kicked and pushed to the ground at a Donald Trump rally in Alabama on Saturday.

In the video, Trump can be heard to say, “Get him the hell out of here!” as the crowd cheers. People then chant, “All lives matter.”

The network described an ugly scene:

At least a half-dozen attendees shoved and tackled the protester, a black man, to the ground as he refused to leave the event. At least one man punched the protester and a woman kicked him while he was on the ground.

All of the attendees who were involved in the physical altercation with the protester were white.

It’s not the first time people at a Trump rally have reacted violently to protesters. In October, supporters at a Florida rally dragged, kicked and pushedan immigrant rights activist who was attending the event.

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My white neighbor thought I was breaking into my own apartment. Nineteen cops showed up.

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The place I call home no longer feels safe.

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On Sept. 6, I locked myself out of my apartment in Santa Monica, Calif. I was in a rush to get to my weekly soccer game, so I decided to go enjoy the game and deal with the lock afterward.

A few hours and a visit from a locksmith later, I was inside my apartment and slipping off my shoes when I heard a man’s voice and what sounded like a small dog whimpering outside, near my front window. I imagined a loiterer and opened the door to move him along. I was surprised to see a large dog halfway up the staircase to my door. I stepped back inside, closed the door and locked it.

I heard barking. I approached my front window and loudly asked what was going on. Peering through my blinds, I saw a gun. A man stood at the bottom of the stairs, pointing it at me. I stepped back and heard: “Come outside with your hands up.” I thought: This man has a gun and will kill me if I don’t come outside. At the same time, I thought: I’ve heard this line from policemen in movies. Although he didn’t identify himself, perhaps he’s an officer.

I left my apartment in my socks, shorts and a light jacket, my hands in the air. “What’s going on?” I asked again. Two police officers had guns trained on me. They shouted: “Who’s in there with you? How many of you are there?”

I said it was only me and, hands still raised, slowly descended the stairs, focused on one officer’s eyes and on his pistol. I had never looked down the barrel of a gun or at the face of a man with a loaded weapon pointed at me. In his eyes, I saw fear and anger. I had no idea what was happening, but I saw how it would end: I would be dead in the stairwell outside my apartment, because something about me — a 5-foot-7, 125-pound black woman — frightened this man with a gun. I sat down, trying to look even less threatening, trying to de-escalate. I again asked what was going on. I confirmed there were no pets or people inside.

I told the officers I didn’t want them in my apartment. I said they had no right to be there. They entered anyway. One pulled me, hands behind my back, out to the street. The neighbors were watching. Only then did I notice the ocean of officers. I counted 16. They still hadn’t told me why they’d come.

Later, I learned that the Santa Monica Police Department had dispatched 19 officers after one of my neighbors reported a burglary at my apartment. It didn’t matter that I told the cops I’d lived there for seven months, told them about the locksmith, offered to show a receipt for his services and my ID. It didn’t matter that I went to Duke, that I have an MBA from Dartmouth, that I’m a vice president of strategy at a multinational corporation. It didn’t matter that I’ve never had so much as a speeding ticket. It didn’t matter that I calmly, continually asked them what was happening. It also didn’t matter that I didn’t match the description of the person they were looking for — my neighbor described me as Hispanic when he called 911. What mattered was that I was a woman of color trying to get into her apartment — in an almost entirely white apartment complex in a mostly white city — and a white man who lived in another building called the cops because he’d never seen me before.

On Sept. 6, 2015, a man called the Santa Monica Police Department to report a burglary in his apartment building. This is an excerpt of that call. (Santa Monica Police Department)

After the officers and dog exited my “cleared” apartment, I was allowed back inside to speak with some of them. They asked me why I hadn’t come outside shouting, “I live here.” I told them it didn’t make sense to walk out of my own apartment proclaiming my residence when I didn’t even know what was going on. I also reminded them that they had guns pointed at me. Shouting at anyone with a gun doesn’t seem like a wise decision.

I had so many questions. Why hadn’t they announced themselves? Why had they pointed guns at me? Why had they refused to answer when I asked repeatedly what was going on? Was it protocol to send more than a dozen cops to a suspected burglary? Why hadn’t anyone asked for my ID or accepted it, especially after I’d offered it? If I hadn’t heard the dog, would I have opened the door to a gun in my face? “Maybe,” they answered.

I demanded all of their names and was given few. Some officers simply ignored me when I asked, boldly turning and walking away. Afterward, I saw them talking to neighbors, but they ignored me when I approached them again. A sergeant assured me that he’d personally provide me with all names and badge numbers.

I introduced myself to the reporting neighbor and asked if he was aware of the gravity of his actions — the ocean of armed officers, my life in danger. He stuttered about never having seen me, before snippily asking if I knew my next-door neighbor. After confirming that I did and questioning him further, he angrily responded, “I’m an attorney, so you can go f— yourself,” and walked away.

I spoke with two of the officers a little while longer, trying to wrap my mind around the magnitude and nature of their response. They wondered: Wouldn’t I want the same response if I’d been the one who called the cops? “Absolutely not,” I told them. I recounted my terror and told them how I imagined it all ending, particularly in light of the recent interactions between police and people of color. One officer admitted that it was complicated but added that people sometimes kill cops for no reason. I was momentarily speechless at this strange justification.

I got no clear answers from the police that night and am still struggling to get them, despite multiple visits, calls and e-mails to the Santa Monica Police Department requesting the names of the officers, their badge numbers, the audio from my neighbor’s call to 911 and the police report. The sergeant didn’t e-mail me the officers’ names as he promised. I was told that the audio of the call requires a subpoena and that the small army of responders, guns drawn, hadn’t merited an official report. I eventually received a list from the SMPD of 17 officers who came to my apartment that night, but the list does not include the names of two officers who handed me their business cards on the scene. I’ve filed an official complaint with internal affairs.

To many, the militarization of the police is primarily abstract or painted as occasional. That thinking allows each high-profile incident of aggressive police interaction with people of color — Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray — to be written off as an outlier.

I’m heartbroken that his careless assessment of me, based on skin color, could endanger my life. I’m heartbroken by the sense of terror I got from people whose job is supposedly to protect me. I’m heartbroken by a system that evades accountability and justifies dangerous behavior. I’m heartbroken that the place I called home no longer feels safe. I’m heartbroken that no matter how many times a story like this is told, it will happen again.

Not long ago, I was walking with a friend to a crowded restaurant when I spotted two cops in line and froze. I tried to figure out how to get around them without having to walk past them. I no longer wanted to eat there, but I didn’t want to ruin my friend’s evening. As we stood in line, 10 or so people back, my eyes stayed on them. I’ve always gone out of my way to avoid generalizations. I imagined that perhaps these two cops were good people, but I couldn’t stop thinking about what the Santa Monica police had done to me. I found a lump in my throat as I tried to separate them from the system that had terrified me. I realized that if I needed help, I didn’t think I could ask them for it.

Editor’s note: The Santa Monica Police Department told The Washington Post that 16 officers were on the scene but later provided a list of 17 names. That list does not match the list of 17 names that was eventually provided to the writer; the total number of names provided by the SMPD is 19. The department also said that it was protocol for this type of call to warrant “a very substantial police response,” and that any failure of officers to provide their names and badge numbers “would be inconsistent with the Department’s protocols and expectations.” There is an open internal affairs inquiry into the writer’s allegations of racially motivated misconduct.

 

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Twitter Engineering Manager Leslie Miley Leaves Company Because Of Diversity Issues

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Twitter Engineering Manager Leslie Miley, the only black engineer in a leadership position at Twitter, just publicly announced that he has left the company. In his post, he says his reasons for leaving have everything to do with the way Twitter is addressing diversity and inclusion.

Though Miley was laid off as part of Twitter’s cuts in October, he says he had already told Twitter that he had planned on leaving at the end of October. He also passed on the severance package so that he could speak openly about his experience at Twitter. So, it seems as if Twitter was hoping to silence Miley by bundling him into the company’s layoffs.

A particular low moment for Miley, he wrote, happened when he asked a question at Twitter’s engineering leadership meeting about what specific steps Twitter engineering was taking to increase diversity. Twitter’s senior VP of Engineering responded, “diversity is important, but we won’t lower the bar.” Miley did not name names in his post. A visit to the leadership page on Twitter’s website will reveal that the company’s SVP of engineering is Alex Roetter.

The tipping point for Miley, who joined Twitter in January 2013, came after meeting with Roetter to discuss Miley’s idea for a job proposal that focused on increasing diversity in engineering at Twitter. They both agreed that it was important to track the ethnicity of potential candidates in order to better understand where candidates were dropping out of the employment pipeline, Miley wrote on Medium.

Where the two disagreed was around how to track the ethnicities of the candidates.

As we continued the discussion, he suggested I create a tool to analyze candidates last names to classify their ethnicity. His rationale was to track candidates thru the pipeline to understand where they were falling out. He made the argument that the last name Nguyen, for example, has an extremely high likelihood of being Vietnamese. As an engineer, I understand this suggestion and why it may seem logical. However, classifying ethnicity’s by name is problematic as evidenced by my name (Leslie Miley) What I also found disconcerting is this otherwise highly sophisticated thinker could posit that an issue this complex could be addressed by name analysis. (For reference, here is a tool that attempts to do that. With Jewish or African/African Americans, this classifier scored 0% on identifying these groups in Twitter engineering). While not intentional, his idea underscored the unconscious tendency to ignore the complex forces of history, colonization, slavery and identity.

After that meeting, Miley started thinking about how, in good conscience, he could continue working at Twitter, where its SVP of engineering “could see himself as a technology visionary and be so unaware of this blind spot in his understanding of diversity.”

Still, Miley wrote that he left Twitter feeling conflicted, as he sees Twitter as a platform for empowering underserved and underrepresented people. He mentioned how he felt pride and a sense of purpose working on a platform that made powerful movements like #BlackLivesMatter possible.

In agreement with Mark S. Luckie, former manager of journalism and news at Twitter, Miley believes that some people see diversity as something that gets in the way, rather than as a benefit to growth.

Twitter’s workforce consists of 1% African-Americans, 3% Hispanics and 13% women, according to its latest diversity report. Miley argues that Twitter’s issues with growth and engagement are related to the company’s issues with diversity.

“For some at Twitter, diversity is an obstruction to avoid,” Miley wrote. “With my departure, Twitter no longer has any managers, directors, or VP’s of color in engineering or product management. From this position, Twitter may find it difficult to make the changes to culture and product.”

Twitter has since “responded,” but failed to address what Miley said about his experience at Twitter and interactions with Roetter.

“We’re committed to making substantive progress in making Twitter more diverse and inclusive,” a Twitter spokesperson said. “This commitment includes the expansion of our inclusion and diversity programs, diversity recruiting, employee development, and resource group-led initiatives. Beyond just disclosing our workforce representation statistics, we have also publicly disclosed our representation goals for women and under-represented minorities for 2016, making us the largest tech company to put hard numbers around its diversity commitment.”

I then specifically asked Twitter about Miley’s interactions with Roetter, to which a spokesperson responded, “We’re not commenting on that.”

Before joining Twitter, Miley spent time at tech giants like Apple, Google and Yahoo. He says he plans to take some time off before diving into his next venture. Head on over to Medium to read more about why Miley left Twitter.

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