New in HuffPo: What’s Fair is Fair

New in HuffPo: What’s Fair is Fair

Hey RLD Family, and Happy New Year!

My newest post in the Huffington Post tackles the recent attack on a disabled man in Chicago. Before you flip out — read the article until the end.

What’s Fair is Fair: Give the Chicago 4 Probation

It has recently come to light that four young people in Chicago brutally assaulted a disabled young man. They filmed the entire incident on Facebook Live, and broadcast it for all to see. He was kidnapped, forced to drink toilet water, and was beaten repeatedly. Brittany Covington, Tesfaye Cooper, Jordan Hill, are 18. The last offender was Covington’s 24-year-old sister, Tanishia Covington. This crime was particularly heinous because of the fact that the victim was attacked not only for his disability, but for his race, as well purportedly supporting a different political viewpoint to the offenders.

This crime is horrible and must be punished.

In October 2015, three young men in Idaho assaulted a disabled young man. John R.K. Howard, 18, and Tanner Ward, 17, were charged as adults with felony counts of forcible penetration by use of a foreign object. A third teen was charged as a juvenile. The history of their interactions with the victim included racial slurs, taunting him because of his race and disability. The victim and the offenders were on the same high school football team. The young men forced the victim to sing racist songs, and beat him on prior occasions. The prior harassment ended in these young men holding the victim down and inserting a metal hanger in the disabled victim’s rectum; they then kicked it repeatedly. The victim has now been institutionalized; it is not a stretch to conclude that it is partially because of this despicable crime.

The prosecutor in this case argued that this was not a sex crime, and that the racial component was not as bad as it seemed. The defense attorney and the prosecutor reached an agreement that would include probation as a punishment with no prison time; there is also the opportunity for the charges to be reduced to a misdemeanor at a later time.

Read the rest here.

Diversity Discussions…

Diversity Discussions…

I share this post from my friends at News One — diversity should not be feared, it must be embraced! When we have close to 75% of Fortune 500 CEO’s who are white men, in 2015 — there’s a problem. Sam’s Club CEO Roslind Brewer pointed out that she continually walks the walk; she mentors, and she challenged other companies to be diverse. Somehow, there’s a section of society that thought she was racist to do so. Sam’s Club stands behind her, and we should all accept her challenge. 

Dear White People: What’s Your Beef With Corporate Diversity?

[ione_embed src=http://player.theplatform.com/p/BCY3OC/Ha5BggifMuHL/select/media/LhZZk90eSiDD?form=html service=tvone.com width=612 height=467] When Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer discussed corporate diversity during an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow, social media blew up with criticism from White people who believed the Black executive was pushing a racist agenda. We know, however, that a much-needed diversity talk in corporate America will do more good than harm. […]

http://newsone.com/3298062/dear-white-people-whats-your-beef-with-corporate-diversity/

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Sherman’s March to the Superbowl…

Richard Sherman.

I bet you had no clue who he was before last Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.  I certainly didn’t. I think he would rather be remembered for this….

sherman

than the rant he gave after the game to Erin Andrews of Fox and with reporters in post game interviews.

sherman and erin

In the now infamous rant heard round the world, he insulted receiver Michael Crabtree from the 49ers.

So why is this such a big deal?

Well, as a result of his comments, he received a ton of backlash, some of it racist in content.  The nicest of the tweets and posts  called him a thug, and went downhill from there to include racial slurs. Some even called for him to be shot in the head, calling him a disrespectful (n word).

What???

Here is a reminder that clearly America is not past race.  The bottom line is this.  Did he act inappropriately? This was not a rant at an art gallery opening, or at Wimbledon.  This was football. Plain and simple.  The sport where aggression is rewarded, and the hardest hits put points on the scoreboard.  Why is he expected to act like he is in Sunday service? Other players have said inappropriate things in the moment of victory, why is this somehow an indictment of all people of color?

Newsflash: Richard Sherman graduated from Stanford at the top of his class.  He is highly educated.  He was not raised in the hood. He volunteers his time with needy children.

Take a look at the interview Sherman gave to CNN’s Unguarded. Is this the portrait of a thug? Richard Sherman on CNN

And what about free speech? I thought getting shot for having a different opinion was a premise for repressed countries. Apparently some Americans have the same thought patterns as a dictator. This also brings to mind the Duck Dynasty saga. He said nasty things about gays (that we’re not direct quotes from the Bible FYI), and African Americans (no, we were not happier getting lynched during Jim Crow), and no one tweeted that he should be shot in the head. On the contrary, many people backed his free speech rights. So why is Sherman any different? He didn’t insult Crabtree’s mother. He didn’t burn the flag. The backlash is WAY out of proportion to what he said…and the racist comments are just vile.

Was I thrilled about what he said? No.  But I also was mad that the 49ers lost. If I was a Seahawks fan, I probably would have felt differently about his statements.

Should he have conducted himself better? Of course, there is always room for improvement.  He could have been more gracious in victory. But we can’t expect players to beat each other up on the field, and seconds later, act like they are in a Grey Poupon  commercial.

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“Excuse me sir, do you have any Grey Poupon?”

Regardless, I am still #OmahaOmaha Broncos Nation for Superbowl Sunday. Richard Sherman will be fine, he may even get a bunch of endorsements out of this whole experience.

But it is still disturbing to realize that in 2014, race is very much a factor, and can erupt at any time.

M.

 

Turning the Page to 2014….

Turning the Page to 2014….

Happy-New-Year-2014-goofy

 

A new day is dawning.

2013 has been one heck of a ride.

In the year of Suit & Tie and Blurred Lines, twerking & selfies, major issues took center stage. To name a few:

  •  The Zimmerman trial and the continuing debate regarding Stand Your Ground laws;
  • Gun ownership  and the safety of our children due to highly publicized school shootings (resulting in some new legislation);
  • Stop & frisk in NY;
  • Facebook bullying and liability for the consequences;
  • Hacking vs. whistleblowing, with Snowden dealing a severe blow to President Obama’s administration and the way the NSA does business.

Looking at the cultural aspects of things, the death of Nelson Mandela ended an era, and created a vacuum in some ways.  Who will unite us in the same way? His funeral had a cross section of political and religious beliefs, all united in their grief of the loss of such a great man, an icon.

The untimely death of Paul Walker of Fast and Furious fame reminded us how short life is.  He was going to take time off after Fast & Furious 7 to spend time with his daughter.  This is a reminder…tomorrow is not promised, live TODAY.

For me professionally, it was a great year. Highlights from this year included my legal commentary regarding jury selection on the Rick Party afternoon drive show of Hot 105.1 during the George Zimmerman trial, the publication of my articles by a variety of online news outlets, including Essence.com, along with a great discussion on NPR about racial profiling while shopping.

On a personal level,  I lost 20lbs on Weight Watchers and enjoyed my second year of marriage to my soulmate.

But, most importantly, I started this blog.

I feel blessed and excited for what the new year will bring. Thank you to all who have supported, encouraged, proofread, and shared.

Next year?

I don’t do resolutions…they always seem to get broken.  I set INTENTIONS.

I intend to learn tennis, and to serve a wider community by providing quality opinions through writing and other media.

Wishing you and yours all the best for the New Year!

New-year-2014-card-quote

 

 

 

Mean Girls UPDATE

Mean Girls UPDATE

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In an update from an earlier post regarding the death of Rebecca Ann Sedwick as a result of bullying….the girls accused of driving the young girl to suicide no longer face criminal charges.  The girls don’t seem to remotely remorseful either. Weigh in on your thoughts!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/21/rebecca-sedwick-charges_n_4315761.html

See my original article here on my blog or via this link:

http://news.thelaw.tv/2013/10/18/mean-girls-or-killers-the-growing-problem-of-cyber-stalking/