By Barbara Reynolds
By Barbara Reynolds
Nationwide — On the anniversary of Juneteenth, the National African American Reparations Commission and American Civil Liberties Union will hold a national forum titled “Healing and Reconciliation: H.R. 40 and S. 1083 and the Promise of Reparations for African Americans.” H.R. 40/ S. 1083 would establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery and its legacy and make recommendations for reparations to Congress.
The forum will feature:
• Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
• Jeffery P. Robinson, ACLU Deputy Legal Director
• Dr. Ron Daniels, President, Institute of the Black World 21st Century, Convener, National African American Reparations Commission
• Danny Glover, Actor and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the U.N. Decade for People of African Descent
• Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Political Economist, Author, President Emeritus, Bennett College for Women
• Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission
and various other experts.
These experts will share their experiences working on the issue of reparations, educate and engage Americans on the real issues underlying reparations, and begin to advocate for understanding that the impact of enslaving Blacks for a quarter of a millennium is still felt today in the American Black community.
Detroit, MI — (via lacknews.com) Chris Williams, a Detroit police officer who is Black, says he was manhandled and handcuffed by a young fellow officer who is white, apparently for having too much money in his possession. The police department is currently doing an investigation on the incident that Williams considers a case of racial profiling.
Williams said the incident happened when he was fulfilling yearly requirements for police officers while he was dressed in plain clothes at the Detroit Police Department Training Center. Suddenly, a white officer approached him and questioned him about the money he saw him putting in his pocket while in the bathroom, few minutes before that.
“He was yelling,” Williams told Fox 2 Detroit. “I look back and he’s running, and I’m like we must have forgotten to sign out. I am walking back and he grabbed my wrist, with his hand around me. He yelled, ‘Come on’ and I said what are you doing. I didn’t know what was going on until he put me in cuffs.”
Williams, a 15-year veteran on the force, said he was embarassed and humiliated as it all happened in front of other police at the training center. Williams said, “I was confused. He’s like, ‘You’re not supposed to have this much money on you.’”
Apparently, the $5,000 cash was from his girlfriend, a fellow officer who was also at the training center at that time. She had him hold onto the some of the money that she got after just sold her house and she will use it to pay off household and medical bills. She de-escalated the situation with the white police officer by showing him the bank statement that proved the large bank withdrawal.
However, the damage has already been done. Williams is planning to take legal actions and hired attorney Todd Perkins, who demands the Detroit police to take action.
“This is how he was treated by an individual who has only 20 percent of time on the job this man has,” Perkins said. “He throws him up against the fence, without probably cause, and places him in handcuffs. How dare he. In 2019 that should make you afraid. This is an individual who is policing the streets of a predominately African-American city, he should not be on the streets.”
Meanwhile, Assistant Police Chief James White said in a statement that what the white police officer did is “not unreasonable” and he would reserve his judgement whether or not it involves racial profiling. The incident is now under an internal investigation.
(via Blacknews.com) Chicago, IL — Sircie Varnado, a 46-year old mother of five, was shot and killed by a man who pretended to be a police officer inside of a Walgreen’s store in Chicago after a store manager accused her of stealing. Her family is now demanding justice.
Varnado, who was described as disabled and unemployed, was reportedly on her way to see her boyfriend and was shopping for some things at Walgreens when a store manager confronted her about shoplifting.
Apparently, the store manager called someone for help. According to witnesses, a man then arrived with a gun, claimed to be a police officer, argued with Varnado, assaulted her, and ultimately shot her in the head before running off.
Varnado was rushed to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Her family is demanding answers.
“She didn’t deserve to be executed like that. He could have just held her for the police. He didn’t have to shoot her in her face. She didn’t have no weapon,” April Reed, Varnado’s sister, told CBS Chicago.
“There are many ways he could have apprehended her without shooting her in the face,” Maria Reed, another sister, told ABC 7 Chicago. “He could have Tased her, he could have subdued her, hold her down, even pepper sprayed her, at least she would have been alive.”
Police have identified the man, who has not yet been named, through store cameras and is communicating with him through his lawyers. They clarified that the man was not a police officer but is considered an “unofficial security guard” at the store and has a valid FOID card and concealed carry license.
“”I want to know why didn’t the manager call the police instead of this wannabe security guard,” Reed said.
Meanwhile, a Walgreens spokesperson said in a statement, “We are committed to providing a safe environment for our employees, patients and customers in the communities we serve.”
An investigation is currently ongoing but no arrests have yet been made.
Congresswoman Gwen Moore released the following statement as she introduced bipartisan legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the 6888 (Six Triple Eight) Central Postal Battalion, the only African American Women’s Army Corps Battalion to serve overseas during World War II. The women of the Six Triple Eight served in England and France.
“The Six Triple Eight was a unit of African-American women whose diligent work overseas under trying conditions, including the sting of segregation, helped ensure that millions of morale boosting mail packages and letters got to those on the warfront in Europe during World War II. These women helped clear up massive backlogs in weeks to ensure that soldiers received these critical messages from loved ones back at home. I am proud to introduce thisbipartisan legislation with the support of 39 original cosponsors to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Six Triple Eight.”
Congressional Gold Medals are awarded through enacted legislation to express public gratitude for distinguished contributions and to preserve the remembrance of great events.
“These soldiers proudly served our country when the armed forces was racially segregated and had to navigate the military as a woman and a person of color. Their hard work closed a 2-year backlog of mail in a few months. When Six Triple Eight came home from their service, their contributions were not recognized.”
Of the 855 women from all over the United States who served, they are only a handful of survivors, including one of Congresswoman Moore’s constituents.
“I am proud of these remarkable women, including Milwaukee’s Ms. Anna Mae Wilson Robertson. For too long, the stories and legacy of the Six Triple Eight have been marginalized. Now, I am thrilled to help ensure that every one of these trailblazer receives their long, overdue recognition,” said Rep. Gwen Moore.
Congresswoman Moore will join Ms. Robertson at a screening of a new Documentary on the Six Triple Eight to be shown in Milwaukee on the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Similar legislation (S. 633) has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas.
Cosponsors of this bill are: Reps. Steve Watkins, Tom Cole, Kathy Castor, Jan Schakowsky, Dina Titus, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Elaine Luria, Brian Higgins, Sanford Bishop, Deb Haaland, Eliot L. Engel, Bobby L. Rush, Frederica S Wilson, Barbara Lee, Dwight Evans, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Gregory W. Meeks, Elijah E. Cummings, Marcy Kaptur, Danny K. Davis, Anthony Brown, David Price, Stephen Lynch, Yvette D. Clarke, Stacey E. Plaskett, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jamie Raskin, James P. McGovern, Steve Cohen, TJ Cox, Robin L. Kelly, Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr, Cedric L. Richmond, Bennie Thompson, C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger, Ro Khanna, Susan Wild, Raúl M. Grijalva, Sheila Jackson Lee and Joyce Beatty.
(via BlackNews.com) Fort Lauderdale, FL — Three people have been arrested in Florida for reportedly brutally beating a child with several things such as jump rope, belt, clothes hanger, and even a charging cord because the child did not finish his/her homework.
Rashad Forman, his mother, Turella Forman, and his father, Duane Fletcher, are now facing aggravated child abuse charges in connection to the incident.
According to the affidavit, Rashad Forman started beating the child with a jump rope as punishment because he “thought I did not do my homework,” the child told investigators.
When Turella Forman came home, she beat the child again with a phone cord. The child said he/she was forced to hold two books in each hand and keep the arms straight as he/she was being beaten. A rag was put in his/her mouth “so nobody can hear me,” the child said.
The beatings have caused “an uncountable number of whip and lash marks throughout (the child’s) entire body.” A medical examination found the child doesn’t have any area of clean, unscarred skin on the upper thighs.
Moreover, the affidavit stated that Turella Forman has been allegedly involved in cases of child abuse since 2015 and five other children has been removed from the home. The foster child has also been removed but returned a year later.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office Child Protective Investigative Section was being questioned why Turella Forman was still allowed to foster children despite the previous allegations. But they declined to comment, citing that their cases are confidential.
Meanwhile, two of the suspects were released on bond while an investigation into the case is ongoing.
By Tolson Banner
(via BlackNews.com) Nationwide — Have you ever been caught in the middle of “sumptin” where it seemed as if there was no way out? Like table tennis, you are “pinged and ponged” between two opposing forces: red and blue states. Incessantly, you are slammed into the net because neither side is willing to reconcile the dichotomy of America’s ongoing white tribal war: benign neglect by Democrat liberals and recalcitrance by Republican conservatives. Malcolm X referred to this as the fox or the wolf for black people. This is the nature of reparations where white people are either asking black people to be patient like the Biblical Job or resign ourselves to the waiting room, get in line, take a ticket and listen out for their number (untold millions of Africans who died, as well as, those who were enslaved during the Christian/Atlantic enslavement trade) – which to this day has never been called. No reconciliation; no atonement; and no healing.
This constant request from white people (some blacks as well) to be patient and wait are the critical reasons why Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote the book Why We Can’t Wait. King laid out several reasons to make his case during the tumultuous 60’s. Those same reasons are applicable today for black people: disillusionment with the way justice is served up for black people; lack of confidence in politicians and the government; decolonization of Africa (today neo-colonialism); living out the true meaning of the Emancipation Proclamation; and economic inequality.
Even before the news pundits pontificate and before election gurus peer into their crystal balls, Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders with his echo chamber renowned scholar, Cornel West have already told black people to forget about having reparations as part of Sanders’ platform or the Democratic platform for that matter (although we are beginning to hear a faint chorus in favor of reparations from some Democratic hopefuls). Need I remind my Democratic socialist and Christian revolutionary brothers that anytime is the right time, as Spike Lee reminded us, to “DO THE RIGHT THING!” One would think being a Jew, Sanders would find ‘holocaust kinship’ with the descendants of the greatest holocaust known to humanity. Immersed in the history of black people like probably no other scholar heretofore, how in Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Jehovah, Zoroaster and Muhammad’s name can West ask black people to wait? King gave us reasons during the Civil Rights era. Today, it appears we are haunted by similar reasons:
WHY WE CAN’T WAIT: The pain and suffering experienced by the Jewish people during the holocaust engendered “esprit de corps” with African-Americans from the Atlantic enslavement holocaust. But that is where the similarities end. The Reparations Agreement between Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany was signed on September 10, 1952. In short, Germany was to pay Israel for the costs of “resettling so great a number of uprooted and destitute Jewish refugees after the war and to compensate individual Jews.” Three quarters of a century after the holocaust ended, former U.S. Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat negotiated settlements for victims who were not covered under previous agreements. In contrast, when the Civil War ended in 1865, ideas on how to make the enslaved African-American “whole” were bandied about but never took hold. With the U.S. Presidential election between Hayes and Tilden hanging in the balance, the North conceded to the demands of the South by removing all Federal troops: unleashing another reign of white domestic terror known as Jim Crow. No reconciliation here Bernie… Cornel.
WHY WE CAN’T WAIT: President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act in 1988 to compensate over 100,000 people of Japanese descent who were incarcerated in internment camps during WWII. The federal government legislation extended a formal apology from the U.S. government and paid out $20,000 in compensation to each surviving victim. For black people incarceration and their continued enslavement were surreptitiously upheld by the 13th Amendment which was ratified in 1865. Michele Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow” documents this loophole in the 13th amendment which states: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or anyplace subject to their jurisdiction.” The railroading of black people by this nation’s legal system for crimes they did not commit are well documented. Add “Three Strikes Legislation” – courtesy of the Democratic Party and signed into law by “Slick Willie” aka former President Bill Clinton – and you’ll witness the makings of raw material for the prison/enslavement/industrial complex. No atonement here Bernie… Cornel.
WHY WE CAN’T WAIT: After twelve years of research, Dr. DeGruy developed her theory of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (P.T.S.S.). DeGruy went on to publish her book of the same name which outlines and addresses the residual impacts of generations of slavery. According to DeGruy, P.T.S.S. is a theory which explains the causes of many of the adaptive survival behaviors in African-American communities throughout the United States and the Diaspora.
Some of the results from DeGruy’s findings were: multigenerational trauma together with continued oppression; absence of opportunity to heal or access the benefits available in the society which leads to P.T.S.S. These maladies show up as lack of self-esteem; feelings of hopelessness/depression; and a general self-destructive outlook. Anytime America has experienced major catastrophes, as in school shootings, grief counselors are rushed to the scene to begin the healing process which hopefully would allow people to handle the trauma. For almost five centuries, no grief counselors were dispatched to help African Americans deal with the trauma and horror of their brutal enslavement. No healing here Bernie…Cornel.
To all the other naysayers who reject the idea of “work-done payments” for black people on the basis of not quite understanding how disbursements would be handled, allow me to remind them there are various models and formulas already in existence for computing and calculating reparations. For example, black people could be exempt from paying federal taxes and allowed to attend universities who benefitted from our enslavement tuition free. Georgetown University (GU) recently passed a student referendum to increase the school’s tuition by $27.20 to compensate the descendants of 272 enslaved Africans who were sold to save GU and the Catholic Church. This bears scrutiny – not waiting!
Even former President Barrack Obama maintained black people were too far removed from our enslavement to seek compensation – Bernie echo those sentiments. The recent findings from the Freedmen’s Bureau Project have identified a listing of enslaved Africans and their “property value” thus illuminating a direct line to their descendants. I ask, are we too far removed to see and witness the toils of our labor? No we are not! Most notably, our enslaved labor was used in the construction of the U.S. Capitol and the White House: two shining beacons of light promulgating democracy, while at the same time highlighting the hypocrisy. Above and beyond these examples, our “free” enslaved labor made America the richest nation in the world – but we are too far removed for compensation?
The weight of waiting is a burden black people can no longer endure. David Brooks, a white moderate conservative seems to agree. Brooks writing an op-ed piece for the New York Times titled “The Case For Reparations” opined, “Slavery and the continuing pattern of discrimination aren’t only an attempt to steal labor; they are an attempt to cover over a person’s soul, a whole people’s soul.” Gifted artist, musician and ancestor, Gil-Scott Heron captured this soul wrenching pain and suffering of black people in his song, “Who’ll Pay Reparations On My Soul?” Bernie… Cornel I think this question is for the two of you. Barack feel free to chime in.
Tolson Banner is a writer and columnist. He can be reached via email at [email protected] Vincent Jones also contributed to this article.
Chicago, IL — Darien Harris was 18-years old when he was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 76 years in prison for his alleged involvement in a deadly shooting. Now 26-years old, Harris is seeking to overturn the decision after discovering that the key witness who pointed him to the crime was actually legally blind!
Harris was a senior student in high school when he was convicted of murder, attempted murder, and other charges in connection to the 2011 shooting at a gas station that killed one person and critically injured another one. Cook County Circuit Judge Nicholas Ford ruled the conviction based largely on the testimony of the supposed eye-witness, Dexter Saffold.
According to Saffold’s testimony, he was riding his scooter near the gas station when he heard gunshots. He said he was approximately 18 feet away from the scene when he saw someone firing the shots. He also said the gunman bumped into him while fleeing the scene. Eight days after the incident, Saffold pointed Harris from the lineup and identified him again in court.
However, new evidence — in the form of a 2013 discrimination lawsuit — shows that Saffold suffered from glaucoma, a disease that made him legally blind. He was also found to be receiving disability benefits about 10 years before the shooting, more proving his visual impairment. During the trial, Saffold was asked if his diabetes affected his vision, in which he initially answered yes and then quickly changed his answer.
Harris’ attorney, Jodi Garvey, claimed that Saffold’s testimony should be tossed out due to his inconsistencies. She wrote in a July court filing, “Considering the fact that Mr. Saffold is admittedly legally blind, a matter he denied during his testimony, his identification is worthless.”
Aside from that, Garvey said a surveillance video showed a man on the scooter, presumably Saffold, approaching the gas station after the shooting and after the gunman left which would contradict Saffold’s testimony that he saw the incident and he bumped into the gunman. Garvey said the surveillance video wasn’t presented at the trial.
Another eye-witness, Jodie Toney, who was working at the gas station at that time said that Harris was not the gunman. He said the lead detectives on the case, Isaac Lambert and Devinn Jones, told him beforehand to point to Harris in the lineup but he refused. He did not also spot the actual shooter on the lineup. He wasn’t contacted to testify to the case.
Moreover, Harris’ 41-year-old mother, Nakesha Harris, said his son was at home watching NBA with his father when the shooting occurred. No physical evidence was found linking Harris to the crime.
Meanwhile, Judge Ford, who has over a dozen judicial rulings that have reportedly been overturned, discreetly retired in April. He now works as a U.S. Immigration Court judge in San Francisco, California.
“We have a kid who was barely 18, wrongfully convicted,” Garvey told The Washington Post. “He’s had the ability to graduate high school with his classmates taken away from him. He probably would have graduated from college now.”
According to the State’s Attorney’s Office, Harris’ case is under review. If Saffold’s testimony would ultimately be tossed out, Harris would be resentenced. Harris is also filing an appeal in the Illinois Supreme Court.
“Now that the case is getting recognition, I think that they’re going to have no choice but to do the right thing at this point,” Nakesha Harris said. “A lot of mistakes were made doing this case.”
(via BlackNews.com) When Christian Tinsley learned that her daughter was being bullied and sexually harassed at school, she instinctively wanted to protect her child. However, when she confronted her daughter’s bullies, the school responded by banning her from the school’s property.
In a video reportedly recorded by a student, Tinsley can be seen at a classroom in Niguel Hills Middle School issuing a warning to students she believed had been bullying her daughter. The enraged mother said, “She’s a girl and y’all are boys. If you bully my daughter, if you look at her the wrong way, if you breathe the wrong way, send your moms to me. Sisters, aunts, anybody over 18 — I’ll f**k them all up. You understand me?”
Tinsley said her daughter has been targeted for racist and derogatory harassment and bullying for months. That day had been her final straw after seeing her daughter cry before being dropped off for school and begged to just stay in the car.
“She made a comment to me that if she wasn’t as strong as she was, she would have killed herself,” Tinsley told CBS Los Angeles. “That’s when Mama Bear mode went into effect.”
Prior to that incident, Tinsley has already reported the bullying to the school officials. But after that, the bullying only became worse and her daughter had even been sexually harassed by one of the boy students. The boy has been suspended and the school launched an investigation but the bullying never stopped.
“I think that sometimes when you’ve done everything you can do the way you’re supposed to do it, and it hasn’t been resolved, then sometimes as a parent you have to decide if you’re going to go a step further and deal with any consequences,” Tinsley said.
Immediately after she confronted the bullies, school administrators escorted her out. Days after that, the Capistrano Unified School District has issued a statement banning Tinsley from campus as they investigate her bullying claims.
“Kids are committing suicide every day because they’re getting bullied, I don’t want that for my daughter. So what do I do when my daughter says she’s afraid to go to school?” Tinsley told ABC 7. “They can really affect other people and make this a hostile learning environment. Everyone deserves to be able to come to school every day and feel safe.”
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc. and Dr. Torri J. Evans-Barton, are experts at reuniting children with their fathers.
Nationwide (via Blacknews.com) — Michigan Native, Dr. Torri J. Evans-Barton, Founder & CEO of The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc. (TFGF) has successfully reunited 3,112 fatherless children with their biological fathers. 1 out of 3 African American children grow up in a fatherless household and according to the National Center for Fathering, 72.2% of the U.S. population believes, fatherlessness is the most significant family or social problem facing America.
After reuniting with her biological at 31-years old, Dr. Torri J. found her purpose in working with fatherless individuals to help them heal from their fatherless journey through reunification and if reunification is not possible tools for healing. Over the last six years, her “Father’s Day” segment on The Rickey Smiley Morning Show where she reunites fatherless children and their biological fathers live on the air gives hope to fatherless children and their fathers that one day they will be reunited. Dr. Torri J. is also the proud recipient of The President Obama Lifetime Achievement Award and various other awards solidifying her as a fatherless & reunification expert. She has also been featured in Jet Magazine, on BBC Radio, CBS Radio, and NBC Black.
“Finding my biological father at 31-years old caused me to realize the significance fathers play in the emotional, spiritual, and psychological development of their children. I believe if possible, all human beings should have the same opportunity I was provided. By being reunited with my biological father I was positioned to heal from the trauma fatherlessness introduced,” says Dr. Torri J. TFGF is the first and currently one of the only organizations reuniting fatherless children with their biological fathers. There are many reasons why fathers are absent. Dr. Torri J. believes due to the Mental Health crisis the fatherless pandemic is and the intergenerational trauma it creates now is the time we assist every father who desires to do what it takes to be present in the lives of their children.
Dr. Torri J. Evans-Barton believes in her mission of reunification, reconciliation, and forgiveness so much she is currently on a 19 city tour with 2019 I’ve Got Daddy Issues Tour working with fatherless adults to help them connect the dots to the pain of their fatherless journey, acknowledge the pain, and heal in order to have the lives they have always wanted.
About The Fatherless Generation Foundation
TFGF reunites fatherless children with their biological fathers all while providing the resources and services that strengthen, support and elevate a commitment to fatherhood and family values. TFGF’s Commitment to Fatherhood program is the helm of the organization working with fathers to re-engage and reunite them back into the lives of their children. TFGF also hosts Beyond Fatherless Peer Groups in Boys & Girls Clubs and Community Centers in 98 cities within 33 states across the country. TFGF is headquartered in Atlanta with offices in Washington, DC, Miami, Dallas and St. Louis. For more details, visit http://www.tfgf.org
About Dr. Torri J.
Dr. Torri J. is the passionate CEO of The Fatherless Generation Foundation. She is a Certified Cognitive Behavioral Coach & Practitioner, Fatherless & Reunification Expert, State Certified Family Mediator, and a National Speaker on the positive influence reunification of fatherless children with their biological fathers has on all parties involved and how reunification ignites the healing necessary to reduce the impact negative stigmas associated with growing up fatherless are having on our society. She is also the author of 4 books, Daddy… Where Are You?, Why Should I Reunite with My Absent Father, Momma Can You Hear Me, and a children’s book Tokyo Finds His Daddy.