WATCH STUDNNING DANCE AND MUSIC PERFORAMNCE DURING ‘LATE SHOW’: Yo-Yo Ma & Misty Copeland

Misty Danielle Copeland (born September 10, 1982) is an American ballet dancer for American Ballet Theatre (ABT), one of the three leading classical ballet companies in the United States. Stylistically, she is considered a classical ballet dancer. In April 2015, she was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time. On June 30, 2015, Copeland became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in ABT’s 75-year history.

Copeland is considered a prodigy who rose to stardom despite not starting ballet until the age of 13. By age 15, her mother and ballet teachers, who were serving as her custodial guardians, fought a custody battle over her. Meanwhile, Copeland, who was already an award-winning dancer, was fielding professional offers. The 1998 legal issues involved filings for emancipation by Copeland and restraining orders by her mother. Both sides dropped legal proceedings, and Copeland moved home to begin studying under a new teacher who was a former ABT member.

In 1997, Copeland won the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Award as the best dancer in Southern California. After two summer workshops with the ABT, she became a member of the Studio Company in 2000, a member of the corps de ballet in 2001, and a soloist in 2007. As a soloist from autumn 2007 to summer 2015, she was described as having matured into a more contemporary and sophisticated dancer.

In addition to her dance career, Copeland has become a public persona as a public speaker, celebrity spokesperson, stage performer and television personality. She has performed on Broadway in On the Town, toured as a featured dancer for Prince and had roles on reality televisionshows A Day in the Life and So You Think You Can Dance. She has written two autobiographical books, one of which was optioned into a feature-length film, and narrated a documentary about her struggles, A Ballerina’s Tale.

Copeland was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised in the San Pedro community of Los Angeles, California. She is of African AmericanGerman American and Italian Americandescent. She is the youngest of Sylvia DelaCerna’s four children from her second marriage. Copeland’s siblings from that marriage are Erica Stephanie Copeland, Douglas Copeland Jr., and Christopher Ryan Copeland. She also has two younger half-siblings, Lindsey Monique Brown (a former track star at Chico State University) and Cameron Koa DelaCerna, one each from her mother’s third and fourth marriages. Copeland did not see her father, Doug Copeland, between the ages of two and twenty-two. DelaCerna, a former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader, had studied dance. She is a trained Medical Assistant, but worked mostly in sales. DelaCerna is biracial (Italian and African-American) and adopted by African-American parents.

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American Ballet Theatre

Copeland was described by many early public accounts as the first African American woman promoted to soloist for ABT. However, Anne Benna Sims and Nora Kimball, who were with the ABT in the early and mid-1980s respectively,  preceded her. Male soloist Keith Lee also preceded her. As of 2008, Copeland has been the only African-American woman in the dance company for her entire American Ballet Theatre career, nor is there a male African-American since the departure of Danny Tidwell in 2005. In an international ballet community with a lack of diversity, she is a rare African-American ballerina, and although she has been shielded from several issues, she endures the difficulties of cultural isolation as the second African-American ABT soloist ballet dancer. Since she is often credited as the first African-American ABT soloist ballet dancer in the press, some describe her as the Jackie Robinson of classical ballet. Copeland also feels that since the female dancer is the focus of the ballet, her role as a trail-blazing performer and role model has extra significance. She is included in the 2004 picture book by former ABT dancer Rosalie O’Connor that is entitled Getting Closer: A Dancer’s Perspective. Copeland’s performances with American Ballet Theatre are sponsored by Susan Fales-Hill.


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Early ABT career

Copeland auditioned for several dance programs in 1999, and each made her an offer to enroll in its summer program. She performed with the ABT as part of its 1999 and 2000 Summer Intensive programs. During the summer of 1999, the topic of whether Copeland would stay if invited came up, and she responded affirmatively, although her mother insisted finishing high school was important. During that summer, she was told that she would likely be invited to stay after she graduated in 2000 and by the end of the summer she was asked to skip her senior year and join the studio company. Copeland returned to California for her senior year, even though the ABT arranged to pay for her performances, housing accommodations and academic arrangements. She studied at the Summer Intensive Program on full scholarship for both summers and was declared ABT’s National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000. In the 2000 Summer Intensive Program, she danced the role of Kitri in Don Quixote. Of the 150 dancers in the 2000 Summer Intensive Program, she was one of six selected to join the junior dance troupe.

She joined the ABT Studio Company in September 2000, and became a member of its Corps de ballet in 2001. She spent most of her first year sidelined due to a lumbar stress fracture. As part of the Studio Company, which is the ABT’s second company, she performed a duet in Tchaikovsky‘s Sleeping Beauty. During her second year in the corps, she endured medically induced physical maturation, professional pressure to conform to conventional ballet aesthetics and a resulting binge eating disorder. During her years in the corps, she felt the burden of her ethnicity in many ways and contemplated a variety of career choices. On August 20, 2004, while on break from ABT, she met her biological father for the first time.

Early career reviews mentioned Copeland as more radiant than higher ranking dancers. She was named to the 2003 class of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch”. As a corps dancer she had the opportunity to dance alongside her longtime idol Paloma Herrera. Starting in 2003, she began to be favorably reviewed for her roles as a member of the corps in La Bayadère and William Forsythe‘s workwithinwork. Recognition continued in 2004 for roles in ballets such as Raymonda and workwithinwork, and the 2004 season is regarded as her breakthrough season. In 2005, her most notable performance was in George Balanchine‘s Tarantella. In 2006, she was commended for her role in Cinderella, and she was acknowledged for her meticulous classical performance style in Giselle. That year, she also returned to Southern California to perform at Orange County Performing Arts Center. Copeland’s “old-style” performance continued to earn her praise until her promotion to soloist in 2007.

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Soloist

Copeland was appointed soloist in August 2007; it was announced the previous month. Standing at 5 feet 2 inches (1.57 m), she was one of the youngest ABT dancers promoted to soloists, and she was a standout among her peers. In the early fall 2007 New York City Center season, in which avant-garde ballets works were performed, she presented a Balanchine Ballo Della Regina role. Her solo in this work was highly regarded although, as one of Balanchine’s later works, Ballo Della Regina is not regarded as one of his best productions. Her performances of Twyla Tharp works in the same City Center season were recognized, and she was described as more sophisticated and contemporary as a soloist than she had been as a corps dancer. As a corps member she had been recognized for prior performances of Tharp’s work. Her summer 2008 Metropolitan Opera House season performances in Don Quixote and Sleeping Beauty were well received.

In 2008, Copeland won the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts, which funds study with master teachers and trainers outside of the American Ballet Theatre. The two-year fellowships are in recognition of “young artists of extraordinary talent with the goal of providing them with additional resources in order to fully realise their potential”. During the 2008–09 season, she received publicity for roles in Twyla Tharp‘s Baker’s Dozen and Paul Taylor‘s Company B.

During the 2009 summer, her Annenberg Fellowship resulted in training for her performance in Balanchine’s Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux adaptation of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s Swan LakePas de Deux“. That fall, she performed in the ABT’s first trip to Beijing November 12 –15. The six-performance engagement was the first by an American ballet company at the new National Center for the Performing Arts.

In October 2010, she performed at the Guggenheim Museum to David Lang‘s music. In February 2011, in honor of Black History Month, Copeland was selected by Essence as one of its 37 Boundary-breaking black women in entertainment. That same month, she toured with Company B, which performed at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. Her Summer 2011 ABT performances were part of a new Alexei Ratmansky ballet as well as a reprisal of Giselle pas de deux. In the Ratmansky piece, Copeland earned praise for her May and June Metropolitan Opera House performances: “Misty Copeland was a luminous, teasingly sensual milkmaid. I’ll never look at her the same way again,” She performed Ratmansky to a Metropolitan Opera audience that included Black Swan star Natalie Portman. She reprised the role in July at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles with a performance described as “sly”. As a flower girl, she was described as glittering in Don Quixote. In August, she performed at the Vail International Dance Festival in the Gerald Ford Amphitheater in Vail, Colorado.

While aspiring to be a principal dancer, Copeland had numerous goals as a dancer, in terms of leading roles. She aspires to perform lead roles in Giselle, Nikiya and Gamzatti in La BayadèreJuliet in Romeo and Juliet as well as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. On April 5, 2012, Copeland was recognized by The Council of Urban Professionals as the Council’s Breakthrough Leadership Award winner at its 5th Anniversary Leadership Gala.

Late in 2012, Copeland began achieving solo roles in full-length ballets rather than works that were mostly relatively modern pieces. Copeland starred in The Firebird, with choreography by Alexei Ratmansky at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. It premiered on March 29, 2012. The performance was hailed by the Los Angeles Times Laura Bleiberg as one of the year’s best dance performances. The Firebird was again performed at the Metropolitan Opera House in June 2012. Copeland and fellow ABT soloist Isabella Boylston as well as ABT guest artist and Bolshoi Ballet principal dancer Natalia Osipova shared the role as the leads in three casts that would perform. It was Copeland’s first casting as a lead. Backstage described it as her “most prestigious part” to date. Her cast performed on the second night. Within one week of her first and only performance in the role at the Metropolitan Opera, Copeland withdrew from the entire ABT season at the Met due to six stress fractures in her tibia. She was sidelined for seven months after her October 10 surgery.

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In May 2014, Copeland performed the lead role of Swanilda in Coppélia at the Metropolitan Opera House.[109][110] In addition, she performed the roles of a Shade and the Lead D’Jampe in La Bayadère alongside Herman Cornejo and Alina Cojucaru. Later in the year, Copeland performed the Odette/Odile double role in Swan Lake on September 3 when the company toured in Brisbane, Australia. She would later perform Odette/Odile in New York City as well as her first Romeo and Juliet. She later described her Swan Lake soloist performance as her defining role. Her ascension to more prominent roles occurred as three ABT principal dancers (Paloma HerreraJulie Kent and Xiomara Reyes) entered their final seasons before retirement.

On November 12, 2014, The Washington Ballet announced that Copeland would make her American debut in Swan Lake with Brooklyn Mack as her love interest, Prince Siegfried, on April 9, 2015 at the Eisenhower Theater in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The performance was announced as The Washington Ballet’s first presentation of Swan Lake in its 70-year history. Copeland was a Dance Magazine Awards 2014 honoree. She was selected for the 2015 Time 100. As a result, Copeland appeared on the cover of Time, making her the first dancer to appear on the cover since Bill T. Jones made the cover in 1994. She was part of a five-cover installation that also included Kanye WestBradley CooperRuth Bader Ginsburg and Jorge Ramos.

Principal dancer

On June 30, 2015, Copeland became the first African-American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in ABT’s 75-year history. Although her achievement was groundbreaking, Arthur Mitchell is credited as the first dancer to break the color barrier as a principal dancer in 1962 and Desmond Richardson did so for ABT in 1997.

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VIDEO: Emmys 2015: Viola Davis Speaks the Truth

To underline her history-making Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series victory, How to Get Away With Murder’s Viola Davis had a tear-inducing speech at the ready. After opening with a Harriet Tubman quote, the veteran character actress went on to point out the continued scarcity of roles for minority actresses in Hollywood, saying:

“You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”

Hopefully her words — along with wins by Uzo Aduba and Regina King — will help change that. 

‘In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me, over that line. But I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line.’

That was Harriet Tubman in the 1800s. And let me tell you something: The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.

You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. So here’s to all the writers, the awesome people that are Ben Sherwood, Paul Lee, Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes, people who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black.

And to the Taraji P. Hensons, the Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharies, the Meagan Goods, to Gabrielle Union: Thank you for taking us over that line. Thank you to the Television Academy. Thank you.

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VIDEO: 1960s WHITE AMERICANS: “NEGROES SHOULD BE SHOT”

The above video, approximately filmed during the 1960s/1970s, captures the racist mentality of whites towards ‘Negroes’ in America. Do you see the difference between today’s Republican party, Trump and his supporters, and the bigots interviewed in this video? No. American’s mentality towards people of color has not changed. It seems that this type of bigotry has been passed down from generation to generation, creating a division in America between some whites and people of color. The same words used to describe Blacks then are now being used to describe Latinos by Republicans. Have things changed much for people of color? racial1

 

Exposing Housing Discrimination

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, in partnership with the Urban Institute, has released its 2012 Housing Discrimination Study: Housing Discrimination Against Racial and Ethnic Minorities. The study’s findings confirm a hard truth: that America’s long journey to end housing discrimination remains unfinished. Real estate agents and rental housing providers recommend and show fewer available homes and apartments to minority than equally qualified whites.
Although the most blatant forms of housing discrimination have declined since the first national paired-testing study in 1977, the forms that persist raise the costs of housing search for minorities and restrict their housing options. Looking forward, national fair housing policies must continue to adapt to address the patterns of discrimination and disparity that persist today.

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Exclusion of Blacks From Juries Raises Renewed Scrutiny

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Exclusion of Blacks From Juries Raises Renewed Scrutiny
SHREVEPORT, La. — Here are some reasons prosecutors have offered for excluding blacks from juries: They were young or old, single or divorced, religious or not, failed to make eye contact, lived in a poor part of town, had served in the military, had a hyphenated last name, displayed bad posture, were sullen, disrespectful or talkative, had long hair, wore a beard.
The prosecutors had all used peremptory challenges, which generally allow lawyers to dismiss potential jurors without offering an explanation. But the Supreme Court makes an exception: If lawyers are accused of racial discrimination in picking jurors, they must offer a neutral justification.
“Stupid reasons are O.K.,” said Shari S. Diamond, an expert on juries at Northwestern University School of Law. Ones offered in bad faith are not.
Carl Staples was rejected as a prospective juror in a 2009 death penalty case in Caddo Parish. Credit Brandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times
In Louisiana’s Caddo Parish, where Shreveport is the parish seat, a study to be released Monday has found that prosecutors used peremptory challenges three times as often to strike black potential jurors as others during the last decade.
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Carl Staples was rejected as a prospective juror in a 2009 death penalty case in Caddo Parish. Credit Brandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times
That is consistent with patterns researchers found earlier in Alabama, Louisiana and North Carolina, where prosecutors struck black jurors at double or triple the rates of others.
In Georgia, prosecutors excluded every black prospective juror in a death penalty case against a black defendant, which the Supreme Court has agreed to review this fall.
“If you repeatedly see all-white juries convict African-Americans, what does that do to public confidence in the criminal justice system?” asked Elisabeth A. Semel, the director of the death penalty clinic at the law school at the University of California, Berkeley.
As police shootings of unarmed black men across the country have spurred distrust of law enforcement by many African-Americans, the new findings on jury selection bring fresh attention to a question that has long haunted the American justice system: Are criminal juries warped by racism and bias?
Some legal experts said they hoped the Supreme Court would use the Georgia case to tighten the standards for peremptory challenges, which have existed for centuries and were, until a 1986 decision, Batson v. Kentucky, considered completely discretionary. (Judges can also dismiss potential jurors for cause, but that requires a determination that they are unfit to serve.)
But many prosecutors and defense lawyers said peremptory strikes allow them to use instinct and strategy to shape unbiased and receptive juries. “I’m looking for people who will be open, at least, to my arguments,” said Joshua Marquis, the district attorney in Astoria, Ore.
Jeff Adachi, San Francisco’s elected public defender, said peremptory challenges promote fairness.
“You’re going to remove people who are biased against your client,” he said, “and the district attorney is going to remove jurors who are biased against police officers or the government.”
Reprieve Australia, a group that opposes the death penalty and conducted the Caddo Parish study, said the likelihood of an acquittal rose with the number of blacks on the jury.
No defendants were acquitted when two or fewer of the dozen jurors were black. When there were at least three black jurors, the acquittal rate was 12 percent. With five or more, the rate rose to 19 percent. Defendants in all three groups were overwhelmingly black.
Excluding black jurors at a disproportionate rate does more than hurt defendants’ prospects and undermine public confidence, said Ursula Noye, a researcher who compiled the data for the report.
“Next to voting,” she said, “participating in a jury is perhaps the most important civil right.”
‘It Dashes Your Hopes’
Prospective jurors arriving at the courthouse here walk past a towering monument to the Confederacy, featuring grim likenesses of four Confederate generals.
Carl Staples, a 63-year-old African-American, recalled how the monument made him feel when he reported for jury duty.
“It dashes your hopes,” he said, taking a break at the gospel radio station where he works as an announcer. “It has its roots in the ideology of white supremacy.” He said much the same thing during jury selection in a 2009 death penalty case, and that played a part in his dismissal for cause.
Caddo Parish is 48 percent black, and 83 percent of the defendants in the new study were black. But the typical 12-member criminal jury had fewer than four blacks on it, the report said.
Much of the gap had nothing to do with peremptory strikes. Of the 8,318 potential jurors in the study, which reviewed 332 trials from 2003 to 2012, only 35 percent were black.
Professor Diamond suggested reasons for this. Blacks may be less likely to be on jury lists that are drawn from voter registration records, less likely to appear when called, more likely to qualify for hardship exemptions and more likely to be disqualified for felony convictions.
Still, prosecutors here used peremptory strikes against 46 percent of the black potential jurors who remained, and against 15 percent of others. In 93 percent of trials, prosecutors struck a higher percentage of blacks than of others.
Dale Cox, the parish’s acting district attorney, said jury selection was more art than science and could not be quantified. “Statistics can be misleading,” he said. “There could be any number of variables that would explain those strikes that have nothing whatsoever to do with race.”
Dale Cox, the parish’s acting district attorney, denied any improper conduct in jury selection practices. Credit Brandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times
The study’s findings, though, were in keeping with data from around the country.
In a five-year period ending in 2010, according to a lawsuit, prosecutors in Houston and Henry Counties in Alabama used peremptory strikes to remove 82 percent of eligible black potential jurors from trials in which the death penalty was imposed.
There can be good reasons for that, said Kent S. Scheidegger, a lawyer with the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, which generally supports prosecutors.
“Opposition to the death penalty is much more common among black people, polls regularly show,” he said. Striking jurors for hesitation about capital punishment is legitimate, he continued, adding that it is largely balanced ”by defense lawyers doing exactly the same thing the other way.”
In 2012, a state trial judge in North Carolina found that prosecutors in his state had created a “cheat sheet” of race-neutral reasons to offer when challenged. Among the choices were “air of defiance,” “arms folded” and monosyllabic responses.
The judge, Gregory A. Weeks of Cumberland County Superior Court in Fayetteville, endorsed a study by law professors at Michigan State University examining the trials of the state’s death row inmates in 2010. It found that prosecutors had struck 53 percent of black potential jurors and 26 percent of others.
“The probability of this disparity occurring in a race-neutral jury selection process is less than one in 10 trillion,” Judge Weeks wrote.
In Caddo Parish, the new study said, Mr. Cox struck black jurors at 2.7 times the rate of others over the course of 22 trials. (Mr. Cox recently expressed unusual enthusiasm for the death penalty.)
He denied any improper conduct, and noted that he had never had a conviction questioned by a court or reversed because of his jury selection practices.
He added that it was not always clear whether black jurors helped or hurt the prosecution.
“The defendant on trial may be African-American and the victim is African-American,” he said. “That is a scenario that is 90 percent of our cases here in Shreveport. So you can see right away I want African-Americans on the jury, by and large, because they are the voice of the victim.”
Of the 12 prosecutors who handled at least 20 trials, 10 were white. The highest dismissal rate was held by Brian H. Barber, a white former prosecutor who struck five times as many blacks as others. Now a judge, he did not respond to requests for comment.
Circling the Word ‘Black’
When the Supreme Court hears the death-penalty case from Georgia, Foster v. Chatman, No. 14-8349, it could reshape the ways juries are selected.
The case arose from the 1987 trial of Timothy T. Foster, an African-American facing the death penalty for killing a white woman, Queen Madge White. Prosecutors worked hard to exclude blacks from the jury.
In notes that did not surface until decades later, they marked the names of black prospective jurors with a B. They highlighted those names in green. They circled the word “black” where potential jurors had noted their race on questionnaires.
They ranked the black prospective jurors in case “it comes down to having to pick one of the black jurors,” as the prosecution’s investigator put it in a draft affidavit at the time.
There was no need for that, though. Prosecutors struck all four black potential jurors.
When challenged, Stephen Lanier, the lead prosecutor, offered lots of reasons for the strikes. All the prospects were said to be some combination of confused, incoherent, hostile, disrespectful and nervous. Three did not make enough eye contact. A 34-year-old black woman was too close in age to the defendant, who was 19. (The prosecution did not challenge eight prospective white jurors age 35 or under.)
“All I have to do is have a race-neutral reason,” Mr. Lanier said, “and all of these reasons that I have given the court are racially neutral.” The judge rejected the defense’s objection.
After Mr. Foster was convicted, Mr. Lanier urged the all-white jury to impose a death sentence to “deter other people out there in the projects.” The jury did so.
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David McClatchey, a public defender, at the Caddo Parish Courthouse. Credit Brandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times
Mr. Foster, who has spent decades on death row, is seeking a new trial.
Troubling evidence of bias led the Supreme Court to adopt the race restriction in jury selection nearly three decades ago.
In a concurrence in the Batson decision, Justice Thurgood Marshall said it was a necessary step to combat “common and flagrant” race discrimination, citing statistics from Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina and Texas. But he called for “banning peremptories entirely.”
More recently, Justice Stephen G. Breyer has expressed concerns about peremptory challenges, writing in a 2005 concurrence that they seemed “increasingly anomalous in our judicial system.”
He noted that England had eliminated peremptory challenges but “continues to administer fair trials based largely on random jury selection.”
But other lawyers and scholars have argued for more limited changes to the system.
Some say allowing fewer peremptory challenges — three, say, instead of the 12 each side gets in Louisiana — could combat the worst abuses.
Abbe Smith, a law professor at Georgetown, would go further.
“Simply put,” she wrote last year in The Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, “prosecutors have abused the privilege of exercising peremptory challenges and should lose it.”
Selection in Action
Shreveport, in the northwest corner of Louisiana, was once a booming oil town. Its downtown is now dotted with empty storefronts, and among the few bright spots in its struggling economy are casinos and the occasional film or television production lured by tax breaks.
The courthouse is a grand affair, though, with marble walls and bronze fixtures. But the courtroom in which Frederick Dudley’s jury was selected this month was charmless and modern, with a low ceiling and fluorescent lights.
Race may have played a role in the proceedings, but not always in predictable ways. Mr. Dudley, a 26-year-old black man with dreadlocks, had rejected his court-appointed lawyer’s advice to plead guilty to armed robbery in exchange for a 10-year sentence. He asked Judge Katherine Dorroh, who is white, for a new lawyer. She told Mr. Dudley that he was free to hire a lawyer but that otherwise he was stuck with David McClatchey, a white public defender.
The lawyers questioned prospective jurors in groups of 14. “I happen to represent a young man who is African-American,” Mr. McClatchey said. “If you were in deliberations and someone said something prejudiced, would you speak up?” Thirteen people, both black and white, said they would. “No,” said a white woman. “Their opinion is theirs.” Neither side challenged her, and she was seated.
The prosecutor, Treneisha Hill, who is black, asked many more questions. “Tell me one thing about you that would make you a good juror for this case and one thing that wouldn’t,” she said. The jurors responded to the second part of her query with common themes.
They were worried about crime. They did not want to miss work. A white woman said she might not be able to be fair because her husband had recently been robbed at gunpoint. “He was an African-American man,” the juror said, glancing at Mr. Dudley. “I look at him and think, ‘Were you the one who held a gun to my husband’s head?’”
Mr. McClatchey used a peremptory strike to dismiss her. “It’s like cutting the mold off the cheese,” he later explained.
In the end, he used nine peremptory challenges, three of them to strike blacks. The prosecutors used four, only one to strike a black potential juror, a young man with dreadlocks, much like the defendant’s.
That did not surprise J. Antonio Florence, a defense lawyer here not involved in the case. “Young black men,” he said, “have absolutely no chance of getting on a jury.”
The final panel — 12 plus an alternate — included six black members, all women. Mr. McClatchey said those demographics could work against him, as the black jurors might identify with the prosecutor rather than with his client. “They’ve gotten smart,” he said of recent hiring practices by the district attorney’s office.
But the jury never sat. Mr. Dudley pleaded guilty the next day and was sentenced to 12 years in prison the next week. Mr. McClatchey said his client’s decision to plead was wise, as “he was obviously guilty.”
“Because of the nature of the case,” he added, “the jury selection was very basic.”

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RAISED FIST: SYMBOLS HAVE MEANING

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The raised fist logo may represent unity or solidarity, generally with oppressed peoples. The black fist, also known as the Black Power fist is a logo generally associated with black nationalism and sometimes socialism. Its most widely-known usage is by the Black Panther Party in the 1960s. A black fist logo was also adopted by the northern soul music subculture. The white fist, also known as the Aryan fist or the White Power fist is a logo generally associated with white nationalism.
A white fist holding a red rose is used by the Socialist International and some socialist or social democratic parties. Loyalists in Northern Ireland occasionally use a clenched fist on murals depicting the Red Hand of Ulster. However, this is considered rare; the red hand is usually depicted with a flat palm.

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Did slaves build the White House?

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Construction on the President’s House began in 1792 in Washington, D.C., a new capital situated in sparsely settled region far from a major population center. The decision to place the capital on land ceded by two slave states-Virginia and Maryland-ultimately influenced the acquisition of laborers to construct its public buildings. The D.C. commissioners, charged by Congress with building the new city under the direction of the president, initially planned to import workers from Europe to meet their labor needs. However, response to recruitment was dismal and soon they turned to African Americans – enslaved and free – to provide the bulk of labor that built the White House, the United States Capitol, and other early government buildings.
Stonemason Collen Williamson trained enslaved people on the spot at the government’s quarry at Aquia, Virginia. Enslaved people quarried and cut the rough james-hoban-04-b1stone that was later dressed and laid by Scottish masons to erect the walls of the President’s House. The slaves joined a work force that included local white laborers and artisans from Maryland and Virginia, as well as immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, and other European nations.
A slave coffle passing the Capitol grounds, 1815, published in A Popular History of the United States, 1876.
The payroll shows that the government did not own slaves, but that it did hire them from their masters. Slave carpenters Ben, Daniel, and Peter were noted as owned by James Hoban.
National Archives and Records Administration

WHITE PRIVILEGE

11903981_765966720179378_308712966277848201_nWhen black folks have several children, the’re called irresponsible. When white people do it is is called “19 kids and counting”. When Muslims are accosted for having the ABILITY to have more than one wife, they are called misogynistic. When white people do it, it’s called “Sister wives”. When various cultures of brown folks around the world have arranged marriages, they are shamed for it. When white people do it, it’s called “married at first sight”. 

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#blacklivesmatter

LIAR: Jeb Bush Completely Lied About Meeting With #BlackLivesMatter Activists

11828670_765221606920556_7695824811790577031_nLIAR: Jeb Bush Completely Lied About Meeting With #BlackLivesMatter Activists (lied about his brother winning the Florida’s Presidential Election and now this.)
After former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush patently ignored a question about how he personally related to the issue of racism in this country during a question and answer session for a Las Vegas campaign event, activists disrupted his event, chanting “Black lives matter”.
Perhaps in an effort to explain the way Bush just walked away from the young woman asking the question — blatantly ignoring her — the campaign put out a narrative that the Republican presidential candidate had met “face-to-face” with Black Lives Matter activists prior to the event. This narrative was published in many news stories about the event.
From NBC:
Bush met privately with members of the Black Lives Matter movement prior to the scheduled town hall, according to his campaign, although they would not confirm if the activists who interrupted Bush were the same activists he had met with.
It turns out this hail Mary narrative is not accurate. There was a meeting, but no Black Lives Matter activists were present.
Dana Liebelson at Huffington Post busted the Bush campaign on Friday, writing, “There was a meeting, but no activists from the Black Lives Matter movement participated. Instead, Bush met with a local elected official, a GOP lobbyist and a staffer from an anti-poverty organization.”
In this meeting that did not include any face-to-face with any faction of Black Lives Matter (there are several factions of BLM, as with any movement), the Voting Rights Act and the shooting of a black man got a “lot of non-response”:
The Bush campaign did not comment on whether it stood by its statement that the candidate met with Black Lives Matter advocates. The campaign said that advocates were invited, and couldn’t speak to why people might not want to attend.
The private meeting was about fifteen minutes long, according to those who attended. Goynes-Brown told HuffPost that the meeting did not focus on the Black Lives Matter movement, although attendees did discuss criminal justice issues. Goynes-Brown said she strongly supports the movement, but would not call herself an activist.
Hooks said his organization brought up the Voting Rights Act and a black man, allegedly armed, who was shot in Ferguson recently. “There was as lot of non-response,” Hooks said.
Well, okay, if they were invited but did not attend, why did the campaign claim that Bush had met with BLM activists?
The real issue here is that politicians need to be willing to listen to the actual people they want to represent. Former Governor Bush shouldn’t have just ignored the question about how he related to the problems generated by systemic racism. It was a good question after his vague non-response to the first question, “We have serious problems and these problems have gotten worse in the last few years. Communities, people no longer trust the basic institutions in our society that they need to trust to create, to make things work.”
After that desperate dodge into nothing, Bush pivoted to education. “Education” as a pivot is Republican for pretending to care about everyone. Education will fix everything! Just look at No Child Left Behind.
Bush is hardly the only politician who doesn’t get it. But he missed a real opportunity here to actually listen to people, even if he doesn’t “agree” with them that there is a major problem with systemic racial injustice (this is a fact, hard to disagree with, many people just want to ignore it so they will fob it off as “disagreement”).
Bush made it even worse by misrepresenting the facts. Jeb Bush did not meet with Black Lives Matter activists prior to his Las Vegas campaign event.
Bush can’t answer their questions and he hasn’t come up with a practical and real policy idea to address the problem. Republicans have not shown any willingness to discuss real problems like this for over a decade.
Republicans would rather focus on stories of their own persecution, claiming that their religious freedom is being stolen due to other people getting to choose their beliefs or investigate Planned Parenthood for things that were never even suggested in the “evidence” they’ve put forth. They want to wave some flags, play Clint Eastwood and start another war, not discuss tough domestic problems.
Problems like jobs that don’t pay well, insurmountable income inequality, an inability to retire, lack of equal pay, damaging family leave policies, crippling college debt, disparity of resources between the haves and the have-nots, the murder of three women a day by their partner, racial bias so extreme it’s causing police officers to kill unarmed black men and physically attack a young black girl — these problems are not on the Republican docket.
Don’t ask and they won’t have to tell people that they met with you when they did not.

SOURCE