Archive for June, 2012

June 29, 2012

What does the Supreme Court’s health-care ruling mean for me?

Click here to see what this rulings means for you

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June 26, 2012

Two Laws Every Black Man Should Know

I’ve been meaning to write about this article for so long. With African-American males being arrested at a disproportionate rate and black females having the fastest growing incarceration rate, I figured it was time to impart some much-needed knowledge into the community. However, it wasn’t until my colleague posted an intriguing post about the importance of knowing your Fourth Amendment right that I decided to pursue this PSA completely.

Through my career experiences within the criminal justice system, I’ve seen too many brothas taken advantage of simply because they did not know their rights. Most people think they understand their protection from searches and seizures because they watched a few Law & Order episodes and listened to verse 2 of Jay-Z’s “99 Problems.” But after reading this law article breaking down the nuances of the song, I see that Jay-Z has a good grasp on the idea but misconstrued a few concepts.

To be honest with you, it is rarely in your favor to speak to the police. Every individual is entitled to “plead the fifth.” The Fifth Amendment gives you the right to shut up. If exercised in the right way you can protect yourself from a lot of trouble. Telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth will have you on First 48 snitchin’ on everybody and trust me it has its consequences. However, if you lie you can be charged with perjury (just ask Lil’ Kim).

In order to successfully manuever the country with the most incarcerated citizens, you may want to know your Fourth and your Fifth. Trust me you are going to need it!

June 20, 2012

Joe Walsh, GOP Congressman, Introduces New Federal Voter ID Bill

 

Tea Party-backed Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) on Tuesday unveiled a new push to enact a national voter ID law ahead of the 2012 elections.

His proposed Federal Elections Integrity Act would require voters to present a government-issued photo ID in order to vote in federal elections.

“Current federal law requires those voting in federal elections to be American citizens,” Walsh said in a press release. “This long overdue bill simply enforces that requirement and will be a huge step towards combating voter fraud in this country.”

Walsh said voter fraud was a “real issue” in the country, using an oft-repeated Republican refrain about the supposed prevalence of the problem.

“We have seen plenty of examples of people lying about who they are, and convicted felons, dead people, and illegal immigrants voting. This bill is just common sense,” he added. “The American people understand that it makes no sense that a photo ID is required to get a library card or board an airplane, but not required to do something as sacred as voting.”

While Republican-led hysteria about alleged efforts to sway elections through illegal voting efforts has remained at the forefront of political debate — fueled by misleading documentaries and controversial voter purge efforts in Florida — voting rights activists maintain that the trepidation is unfounded.

According to a 2007 report by the Brennan Center for Justice, many of the examples Republicans have sought to highlight in their advocating for voter ID laws are often over-hyped and easily sensationalized, while actual instances are “more rare than death by lightning.”

Opponents of voter ID laws have meanwhile argued that potentially disenfranchising minorities and the elderly in order to rectify a voter fraud problem that recorded statistics suggest is virtually non-existant is unjust.

For more on how proponents of efforts to combat alleged voter fraud explain their view, check out the Daily Show’s recent segment on the Florida voter purge here.

June 12, 2012

When the Church Fails Its Women: 7 Truths We Need to Tell About Creflo Dollar, Black Daughters and Violence

Yesterday, for the first time in my life, I walked out of church in the middle of service. I grew up in church; my stepfather of 15 years is a pastor; as recently as 2009, I led a ministry team  at one of Atlanta’s Baptist megachurches. Thus, my choice to get up and walk out while the pastor was speaking defied every notion of decorum I have ever been taught.

But when he stood to express his unequivocal support for Atlanta megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar who was arrested late last week for committing simple battery and cruelty to a child on his fifteen year old daughter, I had to go. 

I have struggled in recent years to reconcile my long-standing faith, to my relatively more recent feminist commitments. And it is precisely because of the Black Church’s continued willingness to advocate problematic, violent, hierarchical stances against women and gay people that I continue to struggle.

Read More Here…