After a swelling tide of protests, the president of Yale announced today that the university would change the name of a residential college commemorating John C. Calhoun, the 19th-century white supremacist statesman from South Carolina. The college will be renamed for Grace Murray Hopper, a trailblazing computer scientist and Navy rear admiral who received a master’s degree and a doctorate from Yale.
The decision was a stark reversal of the university’s decision last spring to maintain the name despite broad opposition. Though the president, Peter Salovey, said that he was still “concerned about erasing history,” he said that “these are exceptional circumstances.”
“I made this decision because I think it is the right thing to do on principle,” Mr. Salovey said on a conference call with reporters. “John C. Calhoun’s principles, his legacy as an ardent supporter of slavery as a positive good, are at odds with this university.”
article by Kevin Hardy, Des Moines Register via usatoday.com
The pipeline was set to cross the river a half-mile from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation border. Tribal members have for months protested the project, worried that a pipeline breach could threaten their drinking water supplies.
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works said in a statement Sunday afternoon. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
The news spread quickly across the snow-covered protest camp in North Dakota, home to an expansive array of teepees, motorhomes and tents. Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault II took the microphone at the camp’s central fire after speaking with Army officials.
“I’m telling you, this is true,” he said. “You know how rumors spread.”
Geraldine Agard, a 63-year-old member of the Standing Rock Sioux, gave credit to the prayers of those filling the camp for Sunday’s decision. Earlier in the day, campers joined arms in creating what they said was the world’s largest prayer circle.
“I’m so thrilled I’m here today,” she said. “I’m still in shock.”
UPDATE (11/15/16): West Virginia Mayor Beverly Whaling has resigned. WSAZ News reportedly received confirmation that Whaling has submitted an official resignation letter, following the fallout from her comments on a racially offensive Facebook post, in which Clay County Corporation Director Pamela Ramsey Taylor referred to First Lady Michelle Obama as “an ape in heels.”
Clay County Development Corporation Executive Pamela Ramsey Taylor hurled words of blatant disrespect and disregard for First Lady Michelle Obama in a racist Facebook post, where she referred to FLOTUS as “an ape in heels.”
As if that wasn’t enough, Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling agreed with Taylor’s racially offensive statement, commenting on the original post, “Just made my day, Pam.”
BALTIMORE, MD – NAACP National President and CEO Cornell William Brooks issued the following statement regarding the results of the 2016 presidential election:
“Even as we extend our congratulations to President-Elect Donald J. Trump, the NAACP, as America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, must bluntly note that the 2016 campaign has regularized racism, standardized anti-Semitism, de-exceptionalized xenophobia and mainstreamed misogyny. Voter suppression, as the courts have declared, has too become rampant and routine.
From the day that General George Washington accepted the people’s charge to become their first commander-in-chief, to the day that we elected Barack Obama as our country’s first African-American president, America has come together to ensure a peaceful transition of power. This most recent presidential election must meet this distinctly American standard. President-Elect Trump’s victory speech avoided a divisive tone and thus invoked this standard.
During this critical period of transition, we are now calling upon the next president to speak and act with the moral clarity necessary to silence the dog-whistle racial politics that have characterized recent months and have left many of our fellow citizens snarling at one another in anger and even whimpering in fear. The more than 120 million Americans who cast ballots in this election – as well as the more than 100 million more eligible voters who declined to vote – deserve no less.
The NAACP stands ready to work with a new administration to realize the racial justice concerns that not only compelled millions of people to go to the polls on Election Day but also inspired millions to protest in the streets in the preceding days and months. Depending upon the new administration’s fidelity to America’s ideals of liberty and the NAACP’s agenda for justice, we will either be at its side or in its face. We will not let this election distract or dissuade us; the NAACP will continue to stand strong at the frontlines, advocating for voting rights, criminal justice reform and equality for all.
This election comes as a surprise to many, an affirmation to some and a rejection to others, and yet it is also a defining moment for the NAACP and the nation. Let us come together as a country – come together with the principled and practical unity that the needs of our nation and the need to govern demand.
Our beauty as a country shines brighter than the ugliness of this election. It is up to all of us to reveal the beauty of who we are as a people as we yet see the possibilities of the nation we can become.”
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and its six “Game Changer” issue areas here.
For personal and political reasons, I was really hoping this morning would never come: a morning where I’d see Donald J. Trump elected to lead this nation as its 45th president. It has come, however, and as I posited in my most recent editorial, What I Want to Be Able to Tell My Children About Their Next President, I was at an initial loss for what to say.
But before I said good-bye to my children this morning, I let them know who won the Presidency. My seven year-old daughter Phoebe asked, “So it’s all boys?” I responded, “Yes. That’s how the results came in. But that doesn’t mean we stop fighting for what we believe in and what we think will be helpful for most people. And in four more years, we can go back to our polling place and use our vote to make a change.” My daughter nodded, satisfied. My nine year-old son Xavier took it in, much harder to read, but his silence was more stoic than sad. And then their father took them to school.
Like so many others, I then checked in on social media and witnessed a tide of anger, disbelief, sadness and deeply stirring, galvanized spirit pouring out of family, friends, acquaintances and strangers. Soon after, I turned on the television and watched Hillary Clinton give perhaps the greatest, most moving speechof her life. She was gracious, offering openness and healing while remaining indefatigably determined about her democratic agenda and beliefs:
Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power, and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines other things –- the rule of law, the principle that we’re all equal in rights and dignity, and the freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these things too — and we must defend them.
…Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear: making our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top; protecting our country and protecting our planet; and breaking down all the barriers that hold anyone back from achieving their dreams.
We’ve spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American Dream is big enough for everyone — for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities. Our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek. And I know you will.
And then, for me, came two of her most stirring sentences:
Please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It’s always worth it.
Scripture tells us: “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”
So as of today, I am determined not only to continue to curate and write positive stories about people of color via Good Black News, but also to step it up and be a source for even more. To help provide information, ideas and maybe even forums on ways to be pro-active for justice, fairness and inclusivity on local, state and national levels. It may be loose, unpolished and grass roots-style; it may come in the form of tweets, Facebook live posts, IG snaps and super brief posts here, as our GBN squad is as small and volunteer-based as ever – but we vow to offer what we can, when we can, in whatever way we can.
It is my renewed and expanded mission to keep heart, love, be kind, be outspoken, work with whomever has good intentions, and to use any anger and rage as fuel for positive change. And most of all, to work day-by-day, moment-by-moment, step-by-step to deliver on promises for a better, more decent and humane future for our children, ourselves and our country.
Jaden Smith and Willow Smith are the latest in the long list of celebrities to join the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in North Dakota.
Both were seen in protests last week, with Willow posting about their activism under the hashtag #NODAPL and sharing their protests on Instagram. They are both standing in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Indian tribe in protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.7 billion project which, if finished, plans to start moving 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day through four different states.
The protests stem from the tribe’s desire for the pipeline not to disrupt their reservation.
On Friday night, cheerleaders for the DeSoto and Cedar Hill high schools’ football teams in Texas knelt during the national anthem before the game between their two schools to protest the treatment of people of color in the United States. What’s more, on Tuesday, the DeSoto girls’ volleyball team took a knee during the national anthem at one of their games as well.
Their actions, and the backlash that followed, didn’t go unnoticed, and Albert Woolum, a white Navy veteran, saw not only the protest but the abuse that the girls suffered and knew he had to act. He found out when the next volleyball game would be and made sure he was there, not only to show his support but also to participate in their protest. During the national anthem, he took a knee, and he spent the entire game in a Black Lives Matter t-shirt.
Woolum later explained his decision to support the girls and their protest: “The decision they made to kneel at their last game, they caught a lot of flak for that. I saw that on the news. I looked when their next game was, and I came to support them to let them know somebody in the white community cares.”
Check out one Twitter reaction, below, and more in the original article:
The fact that Chicago’s police superintendent was fired hours before the premiere of Spike Lee’s latest feature, “Chi-Raq,” only reinforced the timeliness of the movie’s message about the senselessness of gun violence and racial discrimination. And instead of an after-party, Lee led many attendees out of Manhattan’s Ziegfeld Theater on a march down Broadway to Times Square.
The movie, the first feature produced by Amazon Studios, is a loose adaptation of the ancient Greek drama “Lysistrata.” In Lee’s telling, a group of determined women in Chicago band together to demand that their husbands and lovers put down their weapons, or lose their intimate privileges.
“It was great in 411 B.C. — it’ll work today,” Lee said of the source material Tuesday night. “This film is about changing lives.”
Chicago is among the big U.S. cities that is suffering through a spike in violence and homicides, particularly among African-Americans. Protests have rocked the city in the past few days following the release of a video showing the police shooting a 17-year-old black teenager some 16 times last year. Lee said he hoped “Chi-Raq” would help inspire others to “work harder to make America safer.”
Kevin Willmott, who co-wrote the script with Lee, said the events of the day made for a “surreal” experience at the premiere. The movie was shot in Chicago last summer over a six-week period, which allowed cast members to see first-hand the issues depicted in the story. Chicago is the “epicenter” of violence at present but these issues are hardly isolated to one city, Willmott said. “It’s an American problem,” he noted. “It’s about guns, it’s about race, it’s about jobs. There’s nothing new about the problem.”
Dwyane Wade created a memorial for Laquan McDonald the one place he knew everyone would look. The Miami Heat player etched the slain Chicago teen’s name into his game day sneakers, along with the hashtags “#Chicago” and “#Justice.”
It was a simple yet powerful way to honor the 17-year-old, who was shot 16 times by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke in October 2014. Van Dyke was charged with first degree murder last week after dash-cam footage revealed the grisly details behind McDonald’s death.
While many have taken to the streets to protest, Wade — a Chicago native — recognized that his feet gain special attention during games and would make a fitting place for a tribute.
Thousands of protesters braved rain and chilly temperatures to flood Chicago’s high-end shopping district Friday to demand justice in the wake of the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
Tuesday, the city released the heartbreaking video of McDonald’s shooting and announced former Chicago PD officer Jason Van Dyke would be charged with first-degree murder. The timing of the announcement angered many who wondered why it took more than a year to charge Van Dyke given video evidence that he shoot the teen 16 times, 14 of which came while McDonald lay on the ground.