Black college student stabbed to death in what investigators think may be a possible hate crime

Richard Collins III was 23 and seemed like he had everything to live for. He was due to graduate from Bowie State University in Maryland on Tuesday with a degree in business, and had just been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He was visiting friends at the University of Maryland this weekend when his life was tragically cut short by what the police and FBI are investigating as a possible hate crime. 

Collins was waiting with two other students for an Uber ride outside the Montgomery Hall dormitory on Regents Drive near U.S. 1 at about 3 a.m. Saturday when he was attacked.

The stabbing was captured by a surveillance camera, police said. They called it unprovoked.

Witnesses said the suspect was intoxicated and incoherent at the time of the attack, police said. Police have said the victim and suspect did not know each

Continue reading “Black college student stabbed to death in what investigators think may be a possible hate crime”

Fleeing from swastikas in Germany, they found refuge at HBCUs in the Jim Crow south

With the news that the orange ignoramus in the White House recently questioned the constitutionality of federal funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and after Bethune-Cookman University students stood and turned their backs on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ speech at their graduation, it seems a fitting time to talk about the history of whites and black colleges.

It’s always a little surprising when white friends and acquaintances know so little about HBCUs. Though only a minority of black Americans who go to college attend HBCU these days, most of us who are black have relatives or family friends who do and did. We are as familiar with Howard as we are with Harvard. The list of famed HBCU alums is a long and illustrious one that includes Langston Hughes, Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Alice Walker, Spike Lee, and Oprah Winfrey. But few of us are aware of white graduates—like former Sen. 

Continue reading “Fleeing from swastikas in Germany, they found refuge at HBCUs in the Jim Crow south”

Ben Carson stands idly by while Trump budget proposes cuts to housing impacting poor people and vets

No one with a lick of good sense thought that putting Ben Carson in charge of the Department of Housing and Urban Development was a good idea. Aside from having absolutely no government experience, a history of saying some very questionable things that make you wonder about his education and overall comprehension skills and the fact that he seems perpetually unrested and can’t keep his eyes open, his only qualification seemed to be that at one point in time he had actually lived in public housing. We knew he was wildly unqualified for the job (as are all of Trump’s appointees) and weren’t hopeful but weren’t fully sure what HUD might look like under his direction. Now we are finally getting a glimpse and it isn’t pretty. The administration is looking to cut affordable housing and community development programs in cuts totaling $6 billion for fiscal year 2018. 

The biggest cut would

Continue reading “Ben Carson stands idly by while Trump budget proposes cuts to housing impacting poor people and vets”

The white supremacy behind the Louisiana House vote to keep confederate monuments intact

At one point, it seemed hard to imagine white supremacists sinking any lower to protect their confederate monuments. After all, even though they’d lost and several monuments had already come down, they’d waged a campaign and intimidated a number of contractors, public workers and politicians with death, car bombs and harassment in New Orleans. And lawmakers in Alabama passed a bill to ensure that it was next to impossible to make any changes to confederate monuments in the state. Then, over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Klan 2.0 gathered with torches shouting “You will not replace us” in an effort to halt the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee from one of the city’s parks. So it seemed like, at this point, they had really done all they could do to make sure they had fought the good fight to keep these monuments in tact.

But, alas, we can never really underestimate white supremacy

Continue reading “The white supremacy behind the Louisiana House vote to keep confederate monuments intact”

Progress on reducing drug sentencing was close until Jeff Sessions got in the way

Jeff Sessions is what happens to the Department of Justice when we put someone in charge who doesn’t belong there and doesn’t actually care about justice. Though he’s only been in office for a relatively short time, we are about to see him undo the Obama-era progress on criminal justice reform and go back to waging a war on drugs which will only result in a whole bunch more black and brown bodies in prison. Of course, this (systemically using the law to disenfranchise minorities) is exactly what he intended to do with the DOJ all along. So it was never a question of “if” he was going to do these things so much as “when.” 

Though Republicans love and buy into the racist dog whistles of “law and order,” in Washington, as it turns out, Democrats and Republicans alike were actually moving toward agreement on reducing drug sentences and mandatory minimums—that is until dear old Jeff came along. 

Continue reading “Progress on reducing drug sentencing was close until Jeff Sessions got in the way”

Richard Spencer leads white nationalist protest against Confederate monument removal in Virginia

White nationalists are not allowing their Confederate heroes to be removed from public view without a fight. Since last year, they’ve been battling the dismantling of Confederate monuments in New Orleans and have terrorized the politicians, contractors, and public workers involved with death threats, car bombs, harassment, and intimidation.

Last month in Alabama, lawmakers took a page right from “Segregation Now, Segregation Forever” Gov. George Wallace’s playbook when they recently passed a bill forbidding any changes to Confederate monuments in order to “maintain the history” of the state. And on Saturday, their latest desperate and very real attempt to maintain the purity of the white race saw them brandishing torches, chanting Nazi slogans, and protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee statues at two parks in Charlottesville, Virginia. The crowd, reminiscent of a KKK rally minus the hoods, was led by none other than alt-right poster boy Richard Spencer

Dozens of protesters led by white nationalist Richard

Continue reading “Richard Spencer leads white nationalist protest against Confederate monument removal in Virginia”

Huge win: Supreme Court won’t revive North Carolina GOP’s discriminatory voter suppression law

On Monday, the Supreme Court delivered a monumental voting rights victory when it declined to hear an appeal from Republican North Carolina legislators seeking to reinstate one of the broadest restrictive voting laws since Jim Crow after an appeals court struck it down in 2016. Passed almost immediately after the Supreme Court gutted a key part of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, this voter suppression law was so flagrantly and intentionally discriminatory that the Fourth Circuit Appeals Court said it targeted black voters “with almost surgical precision” in its decision invalidating the provisions, and Monday’s Supreme Court decision means that ruling stands.

Republicans had literally ordered data on which voting methods black voters used more than white voters, then eliminated those very methods. Some of the many changes included a harsh voter ID law that precluded types of ID that black voters were more likely to possess, cuts to early voting

Continue reading “Huge win: Supreme Court won’t revive North Carolina GOP’s discriminatory voter suppression law”