Commentary

CALL TO ACTION: Florida Senator Frank Artiles Must Resign After His Racist, Sexist Tirade [WARNING: Profane language]

 

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From left, Florida Senators Frank Artiles; Audrey Gibson and Perry Thurston. Artiles dropped the n-bomb and referred to Gibson as a "fucking asshole," "girl" and "bitch."  He also said six Republican niggas were responsible for Joe Negron becoming Senate President and later referred to Negron as a "pussy." To make matters worse,  Artiles  later tried to justify dropping the n-bomb by saying he's from Hialeah. 

 

 

On Monday evening, Florida Senator Frank Artiles, who represents District 40 here in Miami-Dade County, went on a racist, sexist tirade at the exclusive Governors Club in Tallahassee. Artiles verbally attacked fellow Senator Audrey Gibson from Duval County. Also present was Senator Perry Thurston from Broward County and others. Gibson and Thurston are black.

According to reports from the Miami Herald, Artiles dropped the n-bomb and referred to Senator Gibson as a “fucking asshole” a “girl” and a “bitch.” In this day and time, a male elected official, who is also an ethnic minority, that feels comfortable enough to spew such vile words must not be allowed to represent the people of Florida, especially Miami-Dade County. To make matters worse, Artiles also tried to justify dropping the n-bomb by saying he’s from Hialeah. Really? Hialeah? Hmmm….

As expected, there have been weak condemnations of Artiles’s outburst by his fellow Republicans and an expected announcement of an apology from the Senate floor today. An apology is an insufficient resolution to this situation. Artiles must resign. 

The Florida Democratic Party has called for Artiles to resign. The Black Caucus has called an emergency meeting regarding this matter. 

In the meantime, this CALL TO ACTION is requested.

1.  Contact Senator Frank Artiles and ask him to resign. There is no place for his hateful, racist and sexist thinking in American politics. 

Here are ways to contact Senator Artiles:

District Office

13501 SW 128th Street

Unit 115A

Miami, FL 33186

(305) 252-4300

 

Tallahassee Office

308 Senate Office Building

404 South Monroe Street

Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100

(850) 487-5040

 

Email: artiles.frank@flsenate.gov

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Artiles40

Twitter: @Artiles40 (Use hashtag #ArtilesMustResign.)

 

2.  Contact Senator Joe Negron, President of the Florida Senate, and ask him to have Senator Artiles to resign. 

Here are ways to Contact Senator Negron:

District Office 

3500 Southwest Corporate Parkway

Suite 204

Palm City, FL 34990

(772) 219-1665

Toll-Free (888) 759-0791

 

Tallahassee Office

305 Senate Office Building

404 South Monroe Street

Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100

(850) 487-5025

 

Email: negron.joe@flsenate.gov

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joenegronfl/

Twitter: @joenegronfl (Use hashtag #ArtilesMustResign.)

 

3.  Stay tuned as this is an evolving situation. We are expected to react with anger and then go away. Not this time. Thank you for speaking up. Thank you for taking action. 

 

This is a matter of RESPECT. This is a teachable moment. Our children are watching how we handle this situation. #ArtilesMustResign

 

 


Lucy McBath, mother of slain teen Jordan Davis, criticizes House passage of Stand Your Ground Expansion

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Lucy McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, criticizes passage of HB 245 by Florida House of Representatives.
 
HB 245 Would Effectively Require Stand Your Ground Defendants to Be Convicted Twice, Once in Front of a Judge and Again in Front of a Jury
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Lucy McBath, faith and outreach leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown for Gun Safety, whose son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed in a Florida gas station parking lot in a dispute over loud music, today released the following statement denouncing the House passage of HB 245, legislation that would expand Florida’s already lethal Stand Your Ground law. HB 245 would flip the burden of proof in pretrial immunity hearings to prosecutors, effectively requiring Stand Your Ground defendants to be convicted twice, once in front of a judge and once in front of a jury. The bill heads next to Governor Rick Scott’s desk.


STATEMENT FROM LUCY MCBATH, FAITH AND OUTREACH LEADER FOR EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY AND MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:


“...Florida takes one step closer to becoming one of the few states to expand or enact a Stand Your Ground law since the senseless killings of my son, Jordan Davis, and Trayvon Martin. Expanding the already deadly Stand Your Ground law in Florida will lead to even more families having their loved ones killed by gun violence, particularly families of color. Our lawmakers should focus on legislation that helps keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, not on measures that place targets on our children’s backs. We must continue to fight for the safety of our communities and we must hold Governor Rick Scott and other elected officials accountable for their support of legislation that will jeopardize public safety.”
 
 
 
 
Photo:  Moms Demand Action
 
 

NAACP Statement on the Renewed Muslim Ban

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BALTIMORE, MD — The NAACP today released the following statement regarding the most recent Muslim Ban executive order from President Trump.

The new executive order restricting travel from six Muslim-majority countries is just the latest in a series of actions that threaten our nation’s values.  In a few short months, this administration has withdrawn from voting rights cases, reversed course on private prisons, revoked guidance on transgender youth, intensified immigration raids, and announced its intention to limit investigation of abusive and discriminatory law enforcement.  The message is clear: this administration is unwilling to protect and is in some cases actively targeting vulnerable communities.

Even though the new executive order purports to be rooted in national security interests, it cannot mask its true origins. The civil rights community is keenly aware of seemingly neutral laws that mask intentional discrimination. We have seen poll taxes and literacy tests being imposed as supposedly race-neutral voter qualification measures.  We continue to see voter ID laws that act as modern day poll taxes that rob communities of their vote.  Regardless of the smokescreen of security justifications, this executive order is a continuation of the administration’s stated goal: the implementation of a Muslim ban.

Just as we fight against voter suppression and police brutality, the NAACP continues to stand against discrimination based on racial identity, ethnicity, national origin, or religion.  We know that actions that rely on unfounded assumptions about dangerousness will always come at the expense of the most vulnerable populations.  We have seen the results of the divisive rhetoric that form the true rationale for this executive order.  We are witnessing a record number of hate crimes—including the death of an Indian student, Jewish cemeteries being defaced and community centers being threatened, and numerous attacks based on xenophobia and Islamophobia. We know that this hatred is poisonous and antithetical to the ideals that we fight to uphold.

The NAACP is made up of Christians, Muslims, Jews, and more.  Our members are individuals of many religions and some of no religion.  We stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters. We will join in protest of this ban.  We will continue to fight for equal rights for all, for policies based on evidence and not on fear.

 


Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson’s Statement on the 58th Presidential Inauguration

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Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson released the following statement on why she is not attending President-elect Donald J. Trump’s inauguration ceremony: 

Much has been made about Democratic lawmakers sitting out President-elect Donald J. Trump’s inauguration ceremony. I struggled for months to make the choice between the ceremony and a family wedding also scheduled to take place this weekend. I truly felt torn and it was a difficult decision, but I ultimately decided to stay in Miami to attend my god-daughter’s nuptials.

I will, however, witness the historic transfer of power from President Obama to President Trump in my district office with a group of young men who participated in the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project. They feel for obvious reasons an emotional connection to Mr. Obama, but the next few years could profoundly impact their lives and it is important for them to be equally engaged.

Mr. Trump’s inauguration speech will provide an unparalleled opportunity for him to set the tone for his administration and share his vision for how he will be a “president for all Americans.” I am eager to hear what he has to say.

There are some issues on which we will inherently disagree, such as plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But more important, there are issues on which we can find common ground and work together for the good of the American people. 

As a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, I look forward to working with this new administration on initiatives to end the school-to-prison pipeline and implement Title III of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act and Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which provide communities and schools with the resources they need to help students stay invested and engaged in both their educations and their futures.

 


Blogging Black Miami 2016 General Election Recommendations

“Every election is determined by the people who show up.” ― Larry J. Sabato 

Here are our recommendations for the upcoming November 8, 2016 General Election. If you are like many of us, you have had enough of this 2016 election cycle. It is said that politics is a contact sport but this season will be one for the record books.

We are well into the early voting period in Miami-Dade County and tomorrow is the deadline to request a ballot to vote by mail. Please take action and be sure to vote in this election (and every election). It has been reported that the number of Black voters is down. Don't wake up November 9 wallowing in regret. You have heard or read it before, your vote is your voice. Please don't take it lightly.  

BBM 2016 General Election Recommendations

 


Making America Great Again? Miami homeowner refuses to remove racially-offensive Halloween display

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  

lynchings Halloween display
Picture from Three Lakes neighborhood in southwest Miami-Dade County, Florida. Halloween display depicting lynching of two men dressed in urban-themed clothing. Homeowners refuse to remove display.

A Halloween display of a mock hanging of two men in the gated Miami community of Three Lakes has caused quite a bit of controversy. A Trump-Pence campaign yard sign is also near the hanging dark-hued dummies dressed in urban-themed clothing. The yard sign is actually in the adjoining yard of a neighbor and exacerbates an already racially-sensitive situation. Donald Trump has encouraged violence against protestors at his presidential campaign rallies and his campaign is closely associated with white nationalists. Nooses... hangings... lynchings... are symbols of the history of terror that Blacks have been forced to endure. This Halloween display is not a good look for the Trump-Pence campaign and it's definitely not a good look for Miami.

The homeowners refused to remove the display. They also declared the display is not racist it's just Halloween fun. Hmmm... Let me keep this 100 and translate that response for you: Listen Black people and bleeding heart liberals, we don't care about you and your feelings! Yeah...that sums it up. 

Meanwhile, please go to the updated Miami New Times story on this Halloween display and share it far and wide with all of your networks of family, friends and various organizations. Also, get more information via the related links to this post. Since today is Halloween, let's see how soon the homeowners take down the offensive display. 

Is this how we make America great again? I don't think so. Wake up. Stay woke.

 

Va-va sig 75x39

 @vanessawbyers

Halloween decoration in Miami showing mock lynching of two black men
This is the homeowners' response to complaints about their Halloween display of the mock lynching.


  

Related Links:

Miami New Times - Dummies Lynched Next to a Trump Sign for Halloween in Kendall UPDATED

WPLG Channel 10 - Halloween display sparks controversy in southwest Miami-Dade neighborhood (Please note that the Channel 10 report refers to the hanging decoration as "classic.")

The Legacy of Lynchings in Halloween Decorations (Please read this for a historical perspective.)

 

 


Memorial Day: Remembering the first South Florida soldier killed by anti-US insurgents in Iraq - Sgt. Edmond L. "Dakie" Randle

Sgt. Edmond L. Randle
On Jan. 17, 2004, Sgt. Edmond L. Randle, Jr. of Miami Gardens became the first documented South Florida soldier to be killed by anti-US insurgents in Iraq.
Today is Memorial Day. It is the day we honor those that have given their lives in military service to this country. It is not just a day off from work or school or a day to have a barbecue with family and friends; it is a day to celebrate men and women such as Sgt. Edmond L. Randle, Jr., known by family and friends as Dakie.
 
On Jan. 17, 2004, Sgt. Edmond L. Randle, Jr. of Miami Gardens became the first documented South Florida soldier to be killed by anti-US insurgents in Iraq. Randle was one of three soldiers who died that day when their vehicle was struck by a homemade explosive device near Baghdad. I recall sitting through Dakie's funeral at Ebenezer Baptist Church, in Miami, listening to the FAMU Band play and the moving tributes to him by friends and military officials. I'd known Dakie's parents from high school; his dad and I were classmates at Miami Central and later at Florida A&M.
 
Dakie attended American Senior High for part of his high school years but continued the family tradition by graduating from Miami Central Senior High. Like his Dad, Dakie was a standout musician in the Marching Rockets at Miami Central and continued at Florida A&M University where he earned a music scholarship and was a section leader in the famous Marching 100. Because he wanted to be a pharmacist, Dakie gave up his music scholarship and volunteered for the Army which would help fund his educational plans. He was the type of young man not celebrated enough, in life, in this community.
 
The war in Iraq takes on a different meaning when you actually know a soldier that was killed. Like Sgt. Edmond L. “Dakie” Randle, many other lives have been lost and are being lost in service to this country. On Veteran's Day, I honor several men and women I know, living and deceased, who have served and are serving this country. Dakie, however, is the only soldier I know personally that died in military service. I have remembered him each Memorial Day since his death, that is the least I can do.
 
If you have loved ones who died while serving this country, take a moment to thank them, feel free to leave their names in the comments section. For all of our fallen heroes, known and unknown, thank you, you are not forgotten.
 

 

Va-va sig 75x39

 @vanessawbyers

 

#MemorialDay2016 #NeverForget

  


A SALUTE TO THE MUSICAL GENIUS PRINCE: EBONY HONORS THE ICON AND PURPLE PASSION

Prince Rogers Nelson
The EBONY June Black Music Month Commemorative Issue features a 13-Article Spread In The Words Of Veteran Music Journalists and People Who Were Granted An Up Close And Personal Perspective

 

June Highlights: “96 Till Infinity”, how 1996 became the year that birthed musical legends; “How The 90s Changed Everything” salutes the artists who reinvented standards in the music industry; and “Daddy’s Home”, an inspiring profile of Gerald Hamilton’s life fostering over 100 children 

 

CHICAGO  – Known as one of the most prolific, and talented musicians of our generation, we honor Prince Rogers Nelson’s lifetime of music and artistry.  In this special edition, EBONY reflects on Prince’s career, humanity, and all around genius in a 13-article tribute (p. 89).  In the feature, “Prince: The Ebony Experience”, former EBONY editor Lynn Norment writes of the poignant and personal interviews she captured with Prince and his father, musician and composer, John L. Nelson.  In his words to her, Prince states, “I was always different. I continued to evolve.  Thank God.”  

CNN political commentator Van Jones, ESPN Host and Op-Ed writer Bomani Jones, and veteran music journalist and Author Marshall Lewis are among the writers that share their thoughts, experiences, and insight in this rare and informative edition celebrating the life of Prince.

The June issue of EBONY magazine typically celebrates music, dads, and the anticipation of summer.  With the untimely death of Prince, rap legend Phife, and Chicago radio legend Doug Banks, EIC Kierna Mayo boldly confesses that “Sometimes It Snows In April.”  In her Editor’s Letter (p. 12), she writes, “You may want me to have words, but, dearly beloved, I have none.  My peers have spoken for me – and all of us – in this, what you are holding, the Black Music Month Commemorative Issue of EBONY that we cried our way through.”

Sean A. Malcolm’s article “96 Till Infinity” (p. 18) exposes the infamous year when an elite group of Hip Hop and R&B Legends were crowned.  Artists including Tupac, The Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, Maxwell, D’Angelo, and Erykah Badu created quintessential music that defined a generation and influenced a musical landscape.  In addition, Janet Jackson, Lauryn Hill, NWA, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, P. Diddy, and Whitney Houston are featured in the article “How The 90s Changed Everything” (p. 120).  This group of mega artists flipped the recording industry and instituted a new way of how American listened and consumed music and defined pop culture.

Alongside Black Music Month, EBONY celebrates fatherhood.  “Elevate Daddy’s Home” (p. 68) is a strong and bold real life story of father and retired Chicago Detective Gerald Hamilton.  Staff writer, Ian F. Blair, captures Hamilton’s life as a foster father to more than 100 children in the span of 40 years.  Hamilton’s grandmother – to whom he was a caregiver while she battled Parkinson’s disease – inspired him to open his home and care for the many children caught in the foster care system.  He felt that he needed to step up to the plate and aid children in need of a good home.  Hamilton also says, “My mother, who was an administrator for the Detroit Public Schools, once told me that the most important role a Black man can fulfill is that of a father, and to be involved in his children’s lives.  I took that seriously.”

Additionally, the June issue also breaks down “Juneteenth” (p. 87), a celebration marking which marks when the last slaves in the United States were freed; how to cash in on AirBnB (p. 84); and how to balance life when you’re trying to do too much in the article “All Poured Out” by EBONY Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux (p. 26).

 


Miami-Dade School Board District 1 Race: Let's Stay Focused!

FullSizeRender 2Miami-Dade County School Board District 1 candidates - Holloway; Bush and Gallon
 

The Miami-Dade County School Board District 1 Race is shaping up to be one of the hottest races of the 2016 local election cycle. Thus far, the candidates for the District 1 seat are Dr. Wilbert “Tee” Holloway (incumbent); Rev. Dr. James Bush III; and Dr. Steve Gallon III. In addition to Holloway’s current service as the District 1 School Board Member, both he and Bush are former state representatives. Gallon, a first-time candidate for public office, has momentum in his favor as he has a tremendous lead in fundraising and presence on the ground and on social media.

In the spirit of transparency, I have known each of these candidates personally for at least thirty years. I think they are all fine gentlemen, and I respect each of them for their accomplishments and service to this community. I am, however, solidly on Team Gallon because I know his experience and leadership as a school district leader, educator and business person are what our students desperately need, and parents expect today.

Both Holloway and Bush deny any involvement in an anonymous letter sent to the Miami Times recently regarding Gallon and his tenure as superintendent of schools in New Jersey. It appears that attempts to smear Gallon have not changed his campaign strategy nor diminished his support among several local leaders including Dr. Solomon Stinson; Rev. Arthur Jackson; Atty. Larry Handfield and DC Clark.

It is likely that any efforts to keep Gallon out of that seat involve powerful people who are keenly aware of the energy and power shift that a Gallon victory brings to the School Board and in the Black community. That shift could also lead to a change in how District resources are allocated and spent. Stop playing checkers while other folks are playing chess. While many Black folks are easily manipulated by what are essentially emotional, not substantive topics, local political puppet masters continue to quietly build-up other communities while sometimes redirecting funds from the Black community. Pay attention, family. Wake up. Stay woke.

A change in leadership in the District 1 School Board seat has major positive implications. For sure folks in the community must get more involved in their neighborhood schools and state level education matters. We’ll discuss this race and more as we approach the Primary Election on August 30, 2016.

 

Our Time Is Now. Let's Take back our children. Let's take back our schools. Let's take back our communities.

 

See you on the campaign trail, 

 

Va-va sig 75x39

 @vanessawbyers

 

 


Who’s Zooming Who? Part 2 - Tell The Truth and Shame The Devil

Zoom pt2

This is the follow-up post regarding construction of a charter school as part of the rebuilding of Liberty Square Housing Project AKA the Pork ‘n Beans.

 

by William DC Clark

It appears what Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said concerning the District's involvement in the Liberty Square Development was true after all.

By now, those of you who have been following ICARE (Inner City Alumni for Responsible Education) knows that when it comes to our respective schools, we don't take any prisoners. If we thought that anyone, including Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, was trying to destroy the fabric of our beloved institutions, then they would have hell to pay. So when we heard the District was involved in building a Charter School in the middle of the newly developed Liberty Square Apartments, we went ballistic. Not only would a new K-12 Charter School destroy Miami Northwestern and its entire feeder pattern, but the building of that school would also probably be a precursor to the start of gentrification in that area.

As you know, in a recent article written in the Miami Herald, it stated Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez threatened to report Mr. Carvalho to the Ethics Committee for violating the Cone of Silence due to his and the District's relationship with Miami Waymark 2.0. Waymark is one of the developers bidding on the Liberty Square development and was recently eliminated by the Mayor from this process. It made the Superintendent look like a shady character at best and worst, someone who couldn’t be trusted.

However, during a meeting between ICARE and the Superintendent, Mr. Carvalho brought with him some supporting documents (see below) that stated, even though the District does have a relationship with Miami Waymark 2.0, there were no plans in Waymark's submission letter to build a Charter school. Even though the letter said: "a new recreational space and other spaces are designed to serve Miami-Dade Public Schools ...for community programming..." it did not mention the District assisting Waymark in the building of any school.

In the end, it appears as if Mayor Gimenez purposely use that opportunity to throw Superintendent Carvalho under the bus and mislead the citizens of Miami-Dade County at the same time. Whether it was for political or personal reasons, the members of ICARE thinks the play that the Mayor made on Mr. Carvalho was horse shit and that he, instead of Mr. Carvalho, should be the one reported to the Ethics Committee.

As most of you should know by now, our relationship with Mr. Carvalho hasn't always been a healthy one. But at least, he finds the time to meet with us and has devoted a team around the clock to address our concerns. We will continue to stay on his ass until the concerns of our schools are met. The Mayor, however, meets with our community sporadically and have yet to address our concerns despite his Disparity study showing that the County spends less than 2% of their procurement budget with Black businesses. Does he truly care about our community? You do the math.

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