Category Archives: Civil Rights

Pay attention to what the media isn’t covering: the “Day of Resistance” marches

All outside information, including images of the demonstration, were complied from Al-Jazeera America and can be found by clicking this link.

On Saturday, December 13, 2014 thousands marched on Washington, DC, and hundreds of thousands around the country marched in their cities against the ongoing injustices plaguing the American justice system and the mainstream uncovering and epidemic of police brutality, mostly against minorities, namely African Americans.  The marches, termed a “Day of Resistance,” occurred throughout the country in virtually every major metropolitan area: Los Angeles to Baltimore to New York to San Francisco, where it was said thousands of protesters came out.

The marches in D.C., featured speakers such as Rev. Al Sharpton; Esaw Garner, the widow of Eric Garner; Lesley McSpadden, the mother of the late Michael Brown; and Sybrina Fulton, the mother of the late Trayvon Martin.

“Don’t just come to the rally and go home. The numbers look nice. You guys look good out there, but it cannot stop here. This has to be the start,” Fulton said.

Chants echoed throughout the streets on downtown D.C., consisted of, “hands up, don’t shoot;” “no justice, no peace;” and “can’t stop, won’t stop until killer cops are in cell blocks.”

Lesley McSpadden, the mother of the late Michael Brown, spoke with a thankful tone.

“What a sea of people,” she said. “If they don’t see this and make a change, then I don’t know what we got to do. Thank you for having my back,” McSpadden, said.

Apparently, though, the major news corporations did not see it.

They did not see this.

Or this, apparently.

Despite the fact that Capitol Hill is in the background of the first image, and it would have been impossible for the major news corporations to have not actually seen it, many of them did not cover the protests, or did not have sustained coverage.

Around 1 a.m. on December 14, Al-Jazeera America was the only major news organizations I pooled to have the “Day of Resistance” marches as their top story.

Edit: @lilyconwell85 on Twitter also pointed out that “Another Western Dawn News” also reported on the demonstrations.

al jazeera

And, it was not like it was a busy news night.  The only other semi-newsworthy story was that Congress was attempting to avert a government shutdown, but what else is new?  Which is more newsworthy based on the context of America in 2014?  Which will affect more people?

NBC, CBS, and MSNBC (all screenshots of their websites below) did cover the story but let other stories overtake the stories of the marches by midnight on December 14 moving into 1:30 a.m. and onward.

nbc news



However, CNN and Fox News had no evidence of a story on the demonstrations on their homepage a little after midnight on December 14, less than six hours after most marches on the East Coast had disbanded.



Slightly switching directions, Google News charts popular news items based on the number of “hits” or “views” a specific webpage gets.  You can search a keyword, and in return, the webpages that includes that keyword will come up, with the websites with the most hits at the top.

Look closely at the websites that came up when I typed in “Day of Resistance,” which was the official name of the demonstrations on December 13, 2014.

The webpages for ABC, CBS, NBC, and MSNBC are nowhere in sight, despite the fact that they reported on the events.  The webpages that had the most hits under the keyword “Day of Resistance” were mostly from smaller, local news station’s websites reporting on the events (see image below).

day of resistance

Why is that?  Because all those major news corporations were not calling the marches the “Day of Resistance” marches.  They were calling them “protests,” reducing the movement to the same word the media used to describe the anger-filled events that occurred in Ferguson only a week or two earlier.  These events were far, far from it.  Absolutely zero protesters out of thousands were violent in these demonstrations.  If they had been, major news organizations would have reported on that.

Below are the webpages with the most hits that came up when I typed in the keyword “protests” into Google News.

And, presto!  There are all the major news corporations who had reported on the events, including many major newspapers, as well.

protests instead of day of resistance

Every single one of those news organizations did not give the marchers the respect of referring to their event under the name that they called it – the “Day of Resistance” marches.  In a journalism profession that supposedly prides itself on the truth, these major news corporations missed out on the “WHAT” or the 5 “W” questions (who, what, when, where, why) when gathering the basics for any newsworthy event.  That is Journalism 101.

So, although it may seem that the media did the marchers justice by reporting on their events, the only major news corporation that did that was Al-Jazeera America, and even they are not really mainstream with the American public.

The other news organizations reported on the marches, but it was sloppy reporting at best.  Not the type of reporting any of the victims deserved, not the type of reporting any of their families deserved, not the type of reporting any of the marchers deserved, and not the type of reporting that any American citizen deserves either.  These organizations reported on the events as “protests,” not as a “peaceful demonstration,” or as the “‘Day of Resistance’ marches.”

The American public must demand better, must at least demand that news organizations get as close to the truth as possible, operate under journalistic integrity.  There is no such integrity here.


The Injustice that is the Mainstream Media

(Image courtesy of the Associated Press)

It has been a week since a Grand Jury decided not to press charges against the killer of Michael Brown, Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson.  There have been protests in every corner of the United States, most peaceful, a few not.  But regardless, the national media corporations seem to group all protests together and only cover them in only one way and from only one perspective.  The perspective of the authorities, and the perspective that the protests are destabilizing society.

Below are a few headlines from various mainstream national news websites that spell out this theory, with links to the recent articles from over the weekend:

“Police angry at ‘hands up’ gesture by the St. Louis Rams players” (CNN)

“Police Officers Association ‘Profoundly Disappointed’ by St. Louis Rams Players’ Display” (ABC News)

“St. Louis Rams, Police Disagree Over ‘Apology’ for Players’ Ferguson Gesture” (ABC News)

For those that may have been unaware of the articles above, five St. Louis Rams players exited the tunnel with their hands up last Sunday, November 30’s game, in protest of the whole situation in Ferguson.  The St. Louis county police chief said that the Rams issued an apology, but the Rams contend it was more a statement.  This is the statement that Kevin Demoff, Rams’ executive vice president and chief operations officer said: he “regretted any offense their officers may have taken [by the Rams’ players gesture.”

He continued, “We do believe it is possible to both support our players’ First Amendment rights and support the efforts of local law enforcement as our community begins to heal.”


But of course, the country police chief got his chance to fire back,  and in an open letter to his staff, articulated that he believed that the Rams’ statement was an apology.

In case you are wondering, we now live in an America where you have to apologize for using your First Amendment rights, but not apologize for shooting an unarmed person.

Furthermore, if you are wondering what the perspective of peaceful protesters are, you’ll be lucky to find it anywhere in the media.  The media, as I said earlier are just not covering it, as they had more important interviews to cover, like that of the murderer, Darren Wilson.  Even more so, the perspective of white police officers is being covered, and all other police perspectives are being all but discredited.

Below is a screenshot of an article from ABC News, citing that the St. Louis Police Officers Association, a primarily white group, is disappointed with the St. Louis Rams’ protest.

first example

Note that the ONLY perspective covered in that article is that of the St. Louis Police Officer Association.

Now let’s look at what happens when a police organization that is not a white-majority organization speaks out on their view of the St. Louis Rams’ gesture, in this article:

(Click to enlarge image)

example 2

In the subtext of the headline, it says, “Other police groups blasted the move,” as if the “Ethical Society of Police” which represents African-American police officers in St. Louis is not credible enough or knowledgeable enough to have an opinion on the Rams’ gesture.  It is also worthy to note that the New York Daily Post was the most mainstream source to cover this article, while ABC News, CNN, and most other mainstream agencies covered the prior article.

Even more, the Daily Post article referred to the “Ethical Society of Police” not by their name, “The Ethical Society of Police,” but as “black cops” and used the word “blasted” when the organization simply issues a statement, much like the St. Louis County police organization did.

Regardless of which police group you would want to side with, even with all that thrown aside, the fact that cops who are black in St. Louis feel the need to organize to advocate their rights as police officers says that there is something very wrong going on in the St. Louis police force, very wrong going on it St. Louis, and very wrong going on in America.

Because the fact of the matter is, if the Ferguson police had had a good relationship with the city of Ferguson, a relationship where views and issues could be discussed and a relationship where the police are there to “protect and serve,” then this situation might not have ever happened.  If the police force of Ferguson reflected the demographics of Ferguson, then this situation might not have ever happened.  However, because of these two reasons above, something tells me this situation was a long time coming, and the same goes for the dozens of cities across the United States with similar injustices perpetrated by the police forces.

The mainstream media can be used as a tool to force social and political change.  It was not until the “Birmingham Campaign,” organized by the SCLC in the Civil Rights movement, that the nation as a whole, not just blacks but whites as well, began to see the injustices facing blacks around the country, specifically in Birmingham, Alabama.  In this case, the media showed the horrifying images that were the authorities shooting water at protesters and using police dogs to assault protesters.  The general public was alerted of the injustices through the media’s coverage of the malicious acts of the police in Birmingham, and this became one of the most momentous events that sparked a nationwide outrage at the way segregation was and enlightened white people on its veracity.

But, in this case, the media has changed since that time.  The national media is not a driving force for social change, giving the protesters the same amount of airtime or a balanced forum to calmly explain why they are protesting.  For that would challenge the authorities and challenge the elite of society.  Rather, the media seems to be acting as a mouthpiece of the authorities, to spread whatever message that the police or the elite please.

The problems we can take away from Ferguson are numerous and extremely pressing.  Scores of unarmed blacks are being gunned down by the police, by a police force that often does not represent the community demographically.  Our justice system is allowed to be manipulated by one federal prosecutor.  Our juries do not contain unbiased individuals, or as close to unbiased as there is, and do not represent the communities in which the crimes occurred.  These are some of the most pressing issues we, as America, face, along with countless others across various facets of society.

But, I can say now, these problems will not be fixed if the national media remains in its current state.  And these are issues that could be fixed, for we have faced much more grave problems in the past.  These issues can be fixed because regular American citizens, of all races and ethnicities are on the ground in the hundreds of thousands across every city in America, peaceable assembling for what they know to be just.

But these problems do not stand a chance of being fixed until the media stops being a mouthpiece of the authorities, and starts the unbiased news source of current events that it is supposed to be, that it supposedly prides itself on being.  Much like it was up to everyday citizens to protest the police of Ferguson for their unjust treatment of blacks in Ferguson, it is up to everyday citizens to protest the media’s lack of regard for us, for almost all of America.

The media may favor certain racial groups over others, it may favor West European values over others, but in the end, the media favors the police and authorities over any racial and ethnic group in this country.  And it’s the citizens of America that must force the change.

Greek-Americans and Feminists Have One More Thing In Common: A Repulsion of Douchey Frat Guys

image credit (link)

“Greek life.”  “Going Greek.”  “The Greek community.”  “We Greeks.”

There are roughly three million Americans (link) who are ethnically Greek in the United States.  Names such as Olympia Snowe, the senator who promoted togetherness and a united Congress while trailblazing for women’s rights in a predominantly male arena in Congress.  Or, perhaps, Tina Fey, the “jane”-of-all-trades comedian who has starred on Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, and won a dozen Emmy’s in the process – not to mention a few Screen Actor’s Guild and Golden Globe Awards.  Did I mention she’s written an autobiography, too?  You should check it out.  That’s not to mention the hundreds of thousands of Greeks who made an honest living opening up restaurants or small businesses.

Maybe you want to go back a few thousand years: “we Greeks” also have Alexander the Great, Hippocrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and the list goes on and on… and on (link).

Something tells me that’s not what people mean when they say that.

I think that, above, ^^ is what they mean.

And, it would actually be alright (not really though, as I’ll explain at the end), except that some of the people who participate in Greek-letter organizations are doing antics like this (link).  #WhyWeNeedFrat is a response to the #WhyWeNeedFeminism (link) that has been trending on Twitter and the like, in a.  And, it wouldn’t be malicious per se, just frat boys being their douchey-selves, except they are posting pictures like this:

(from Mashable)

Yes, that is an actual post on totalfratmove’s (link) Instagram page.  In the half-day that has elapsed since it was posted, it has garnered 11,000 likes.  If that does not perpetuate the age-old stereotypes of fraternities, that I am not really sure what will for you.

Leave it to the people in this video and its supporters to to take away from #WhyWeNeedFeminism, a hashtag developed to spread awareness about the plight that plagues not only our society, but those around the world. Now, cue link to insightful article – from a unique perspective – to feminism in regards to the rest of the world (it’s definitely worth a look-see).

But, perhaps Sarah Cornett, a guest columnist for USA Today (link) summed up many people’s reactions best in her article:

“However, one of the strongest groups to vocalize its disappointment were other members involved in Greek life.
Greeks across the nation tweeted messages such as: ‘#WhyWeNeedFrat isn’t funny. It’s disappointing, discouraging and simple-minded. It’s also nothing I believe in as a fraternity man,’ and ‘#WhyWeNeedFrat is the reason that people hate Greek life. It’s not satire, it’s damaging and makes it hard to defend our chapters. Grow up.'”

There are many Greek letter organization chapters across America that are doing good for the colleges and communities in which they are a part of.  People such as the ones on the “totalfratmove” Instagram page are most likely a minority, just an incredibly noisy, obnoxious, disrespectful one that happened to steal the spotlight in our sensational media for a day, maybe two.  But they will not be remembered in a month’s time.

To those supporting #WhyWeNeedFeminism and actively fighting for women’s rights, you are what is right in this world.  To those in Greek letter organizations that better themselves and their communities, you are also what is right in this world.  These two aforementioned groups will undoubtedly have a positive and more far-reaching impact than these spoiled, self-absorbed, attention-whoring frat boys.

To the feminists and exceptional fraternity and sorority members that have been mocked and misrepresented, respectively: stay strong.  These frat boys will have their fun in college, and you can laugh at them one day when you’re their manager.

This all seems to be, ladies and gentleman, a perfect example of…



*    *    *


However, there’s one matter that must be visited…

Why is it called “Greek life” and why do people in Greek-letter organizations refer to themselves as members of the “Greek community”…


Look for the article soon for all the answers (that I have yet to find*).

“Cuz there Greek letter organizashuns” will not suffice in this case.

The Criminal Injustice System: Part 1

 Posted on August 15, 2014. (Don’t mind July 19 date).

It was a typical July day in Asheville, North Carolina, USA.  Tourists were milling around downtown, taking up all the sacred parking spaces on the street. A mountain band was playing, complete with banjo, spoon, and washboard.  Kids splashed around in the “Splasheville” fountains in front of the salmon-colored marble, domed city hall.  And the cherry on top?  A bank robbery at an Asheville Savings Bank.  But it’s not what you think!  According to the sheriff’s department, this was not our “typical person committing this sort of crime?”

Phew.  We’re safe.  Continue business as usual.


Wait just a darn second.

WHAT did the sheriff’s department say?

Yes, you heard me paraphrase correctly.  In response to a robbery at local bank Fairview, North Carolina (just outside of Asheville, NC), the police made a statement saying that the suspect was not a typical suspect committing such a crime.  The exact quote?

“So we’re looking for someone who may not be a typical person committing such a crime,” said Jeff Eaton of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department.

My official screenshot of the article containing the quote can be found HERE (link), and the original article on WLOS (Asheville, North Carolina ABC News affiliate, can be found HERE (link) for your reading displeasure.

What image pops into your mind when you hear this quote?  Better yet, what was the image in the minds of the PR staff of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s department?  Well, I suppose the security footage from the bank might enlighten those of us who have been left bewildered by the statement in question.

The suspect turned out to be a twenty-two year old Caucasian woman seen in the image above.  Not only were the police shocked that someone fitting this demographic could commit such a crime, but her neighbor in the apartment where she lived was, as well, per the article linked earlier (relink).  What does this say about our society?  When we only see certain demographics portrayed as “criminals” in our media, we are led to believe that only those races or genders commit crime.  In this sad case, neighbors of the suspect and even the police force seemed to be surprised, despite the fact that she held up a bank an stole $9,000, while the entire robbery was caught on camera.  The police, neighbors, and most likely many other citizens were baffled, despite there being evidence, that someone who looked as she did could commit such a crime.

If only the police or any citizen who was “surprised” had done their research instead of profiling (in this instance, to the suspect’s benefit) based on appearance, they might have realized that the suspect wasn’t so angelic or innocent after all, despite the police and media providing that portrayal.  In reality, the suspect had a criminal history (link).  Just two months earlier, she was arrested on drug trafficking charges – multiple counts, in fact – of opiates, ecstasy, and marijuana.  Judging by that criminal history, there might, at the very least, be a reason to not be so surprised and bamboozled when she appeared on the radar again.  However, throw into the mix that she had been charged with a DWI (relink again) that was still pending against her at the time of the robbery, and it is downright ridiculous that the authorities, and even close friends, acted so shocked that such a person could commit such a crime as robbery.

This is a time in the United States where one person from one race and gender can be shot dead (link) while complying with officers during an arrest on side of the country, while on the other side of the country, someone of a different race and gender with a criminal history is treated like an innocent child.  When you can open the newspaper or turn on the local TV news and see someone who is “dark skinned,” “male,” or both being portrayed as the “criminals,” what you give is what you get.  If the media and police forces preach these completely false ideas that only certain people are capable of committing crime, while others are angels, how can they expect people to not riot in the streets or protest when someone gets profiled, yet still complies with the police, only to be killed by those who are sworn to protect and serve the public, like we, as a nation, have witnessed in the past week in Ferguson, Missouri (link); Los Angeles (relink); and anywhere else where the stories have gone untold.

Put the stories of unarmed citizens being killed by police beside this one that I highlighted from North Carolina and ask yourself, “why are the innocent people dead and the guilty person alive,” all because of some pigmentation and perhaps a difference in gender?  It’s a topsy-turvy world we live in these days.  The media will only tell us the parts of the stories that they can profit from, and some police forces seem to only protect those who look like themselves.  They are not the ones who are going to fix the backwards situation we have been affronted with – that task is left to us.  We’re failing thus far: this is the wake up call.

* In memory of Michael Brown, Ezell Ford, and those who have been victims of police brutality *


Image creds:

The Heritage Foundation Time Machine

Image credit:

The Heritage Foundation has recently made some bold statements on the topic of Feminism and women in the workplace.  Now, wait, I know what you’re thinking.  Republicans have finally come around and embraced Feminism in its most complete and modern form.  Finally!  It only took three generations or so.

Well, I suppose conservatives have changed their views, but it seems this is just a case of de-evolution.  The Heritage Foundation has recently  found (link)  conservative women to put down the cause of Feminists everywhere, get married, and continue archaic gender roles: during Women’s History month, too.  Just take writer Mona Charen who said that “It doesn’t interest me whether a person who happens to share my chromosomes sits in the Oval Office. It doesn’t interest me how many women members of the Senate there are,” as well as the statement that she doesn’t partake or celebrate Women’s History month.

The Heritage Foundation bashing continued when Karin Agness, founder of the Network on Enlightened Women disputed Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg’s popular “lean in” mantra (link) which comes from her TED talk (link), which delves into why there are so few women leaders in business and provides strategies and solutions for the future, while pushing for women to be as aggressive, if not more, than their male counterparts.  Agness argued that, “Rather than try to ban words like ‘bossy,'” which Sandberg proposed in her TED talk,  “let’s try to promote real leadership skills, like developing a thick skin.”  Thick skin?  Seems more like a ‘lean back’ attitude to me.

But, if in the microscopic chance that you like what you hear from Karin Agness has to say about women simply “growing a think skin” whenever they are put down for sticking up for themselves and acting in their best interest in a business world dominated by men, then you’ll love her hot-of-the-press novel, “Why Victims of Bullying Should ‘Grow a Pair'”.  Look for it on the New York Times bestseller list.  Of course, I’m talking about the “Books That Would Be Popular If It Was 1914” list.  If you want to read something that’s likely to be on the actual  Twenty-fourteen New York Times bestseller list, then I recommend “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will Lead” (link)by Sheryl Sandberg.  Winner of the Barnes and Noble’s ‘Best Books of 2013’ award, Lean In goes more in depth to the topics covered in Sandberg’s TED talk.  Best Book of 2013?  Karin Agness, where you at?