Clifton Hibbert Jr., Kenneth Patterson Shot in the Head in South Los Angeles

Clifton Hibbert Jr., 22, and his friend Kenneth Patterson, 23, were gunned down in South Los Angeles Friday night after 2 a.m. What makes this hit home for me is that Clifton Hibbert Jr. was a Jamaican immigrant whose parents came here to help better their lives. He did well at Santa Monica High School and won a scholarship to Cal State Northridge. At 22, he was only a few weeks away from graduation. He aspired to become a lawyer.”He was a person with integrity,” said his mother, Donna Brown. “He was compassionate. He loved his family. He was focused on his future,”much like many West Indians who come to America. It is a part of our culture to put a solid education first and foremost. I am saddened by his passing, not just because of his roots, but because decent and promising young brothers were gunned down once again.

A police source said they may have been victims of a robbery-related homicide; an investigation is underway. “Somebody knows what happened out there,” said LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith. “Right now it is a mystery to us.”Hibbert’s father, mother and sister said in interviews that he had never been involved with gangs or gotten into trouble. Much like athlete Jamiel Shaw Jr., who was recently gunned down close to his home. Hibbert worked part-time as a shoe salesman at the Puma Store on the Third Street Promenade, and on weekends he helped with deliveries and accounts at his father’s ice-carving business, said Clifton Hibbert Sr., a chef at the LAX Hilton. Brown, who said she is on disability with breast cancer, said her son had come home from his job on Friday evening, kissed her and said, “I love you; see you later,” before leaving. Hibbert had told his girlfriend, a registered nurse who was working that evening, that he and his friends were going to a party in Northridge, according to his sister, Ayanna Brown.

His sister said one of Hibbert’s friends had bought a new BMW, and the four youths decided to carpool to the party. Brown said her brother had worked with at-risk children during his first years in college. “He was a young, beautiful person who had a vision,” she said. “And he was robbed of his life. My brother gave everyone the benefit of the doubt. We gave him so much love.”According to Melvon George, a friend of the family and a student at Cal State Northridge, Hibbert had been taking a black studies course. “Only two weeks ago, we had a discussion about gangs and how they were destroying the black community,” George said.

It is a shame that these gangs continue to be a scourge in our society and it does not seem as though this activity will abate in the very near future, unless drastic measures are taken. Seems almost hypocritical to me that we can be engaged in the war on terror in Iraq, in which we are spending billions every week, and ignore the war on terror in America that these gangs are inflicting on our communities. It seems to me that more can be done to stem this tide of hatred and gun violence that is plaguing many cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and many others. How many lives will it take for the powers that be to realize that something drastic has to be done and with great expediency. Just my thoughts, you be the judge….

Disabled Men, Woman Beaten By Four Blacks Over Not Paying ‘Fee’ For Being White

This has got to be the most disturbing thing I have heard for a while. Orlando police said that three men and a woman were charged with a hate crime after they beat a 62-year-old woman and her two mentally-challenged companions at a public park after they didn’t pay a “fee” for being white.

Investigators said the victims were walking into a Kaley Park when they were confronted by Christopher Colbert, Erick Golden, Willie Pritts and Antoniette Boone.

Police said the victims were told that since they are white, they had to pay a fee to be in the park. When the three didn’t pay, the men beat them, officers said. The police have said that one of the victims was held up with a knife. The men face several charges in connection with the incident.

These thugs deserve the book thrown at them. It is a real shame that these young men had nothing better to do with their time. They should be seeking ways to make themselves productive members of society instead of just nuisances. Their behavior makes it so bad for decent, law-abiding brothers to be taken seriously and given due respect in society. Come on people, we can do better than this! Then they wonder why this racial stuff keeps happening and affecting innocent and decent people of African descent! It takes a real sick and low person to attack disabled and elderly people. Shame and a low-down dirty shame at that. Just my thoughts, you be the judge…..

Sean Levert, Son of O’Jays Lead Singer Eddie Levert, Found Dead

I had just written about Sean Levert’s incarceration for failing to pay child support for his three c children. News has broken a short time ago saying that he died at a local hospital after not feeling well in his jail cell. He was being held for 22 months for failing to pay over $85,000 in child support for the children.

The cause of Sean Levert’s, 39, death was not immediately known. He was a member of the R&B group LeVert with his late brother Gerald Levert and Marc Gordon. Gerald Levert died Nov. 10, 2006 at the age of 40. Sean Levert had recently completed an album with Gordon, sources said.

This is a real shame and the fact that he did not take care of his children is horrible. If this is not a case of bad luck for Eddie Levert, I don’t know what is. I pray that he will find strength in this time of grief. The bottom line is that if you have kids, do the right thing by them. Play your role as a father. Now his kids have lost him for the rest of their lives. Shame, a real shame.

Two Charged in Shooting Death of Chicago’s Chavez Clarke, Brings Total CPS Deaths to 20 For 2008

Black on black crime is a growing problem across the United States and it seems to be a real problem in many Chicago inner city communities. I was appalled to learn of the fatal shooting of another black male in Chicago, Chavez Clarke, 18, as he left classes at Simeon Career Academy on the South Side of Chicago. Two black male teens, Samuel Hill, 17, and Ronald Little, 19, were both charged with first-degree murder, according to the police department. An autopsy has shown that Clarke died of a gunshot wound to the chest and his death ruled as a homicide. Even before I read the actual news article, I just knew it was black-on-black crime. What are our young black men doing to one another?

I don’t know if this young man was in a gang, but it seems to me that he was doing something progressive–going to school on a Saturday to recoup credits. What is damning is that he was the second student in three weeks killed by gunfire after being dismissed from school. I remember the days when school was a safe haven and a place of learning. Not a place to dodge bullets or be fearful of your welfare. Most often than not, the violence is black-on-black crime. Clarke, who was enrolled at Hyde Park Academy but was taking Saturday classes at Simeon, was with his twin brother when he was shot, authorities said. Police think the shooting could have been motivated by retaliation, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. Neighbors near Clarke’s home described him as a quiet, hardworking teen with a tight circle of friends who steered clear of trouble.

Clarke was one of two CPS students killed this weekend by gunfire. 15-year-old Miguel Pedro was shot to death on the Northwest Side Friday night. They were the 19th and 20th CPS students killed in gun violence this school year, officials said. This is a real shame. We are losing our youths to gun violence and to many increasingly falling into the wrong crowd. I lay the blame for the perpetrators of such crimes and other acts, at the doorstep of parents who have not done right by their kids. You cannot expect the school system and the police department to be babysitters for your kids. People in those neighborhoods have to get up and act. You cannot wait for the police department alone to fix your problems. Start by getting involved in your community and by joining groups and organizations that aim to uplift and eradicate crime from neighborhoods.

It was great to hear that religious leaders and community activists plan a rally downtown Tuesday in the wake of the two shootings. Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic Church on the city’s South Side said supporters had planned to campaign for stricter gun laws after Pedro’s death when news spread about the Simeon Academy shooting. The parish also plans to offer a reward whenever a youth is fatally shot. “We should be outraged that 20 children are dead from guns this school year,” Pfleger said. “That’s a classroom.”My sentiments exactly. It won’t fix the problems immediately, but it is a step in the right direction.

Sheila Jackson-Lee, Hillary Clinton Backer, Booed at Texas Convention

The writing is on the wall for Sheila Jackson-Lee and her unwavering support to Hillary Clinton. She was booed when she took the stage at the Democratic Senate District convention on the campus of Texas Southern University. A majority of the crowd showed its support for Barack Obama by shouting his name and booing the congresswoman, letting her know what they thought of her allegiance to Hillary Clinton. According to media reports, an Obama supporter said “For her to standout against the wishes of her district and be a Clinton supporter, I guess pissed off our delegation.”

I have always liked her, until she decided to go against the popular vote of her constituents and opt to pledge her vote to Hillary Clinton. For years, Sheila Jackson Lee has been a popular politician in the 18th Congressional district; winning re-election overwhelmingly at least five times since 1995.

“It is always tough to go into the face of adversity,” she admitted to the chorus of boos she received Saturday. Yeah, lady, you’d better take this serious because your actions may very well cost you your congressional seat. Sheila Jackson Lee said “What would I be if I went back on my word to an individual that I’ve worked with for more than a decade and sat down talked to me about her vision for America.” So, my question to Sheila Jackson-Lee is what is your responsibility towards your constituents, the people who believed in you to have voted you into office so many times? I think those are the voices you need to heed, not Hillary Clinton’s. The same holds true for Bill Richardson, whose state New Mexico went to Hillary Clinton in the primary; John Kerry and Ted Kennedy, who have pledged their votes to Barack Obama, but Clinton won their state’s primary. This needs to be uniform across the board and criticism needs to be doled out equitably, not just against Sheila Jackson-Lee. Just my thoughts, you be the judge….

Maggie Williams, Clinton Campaign Manager, Sits on Board of Predatory Lender

 

In what can be considered very hypocritical, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Maggie Williams sits on the board of one of the nation’s once-largest and now-bankrupt subprime mortgage lenders, Delta Financial Corporation. She joined the board of Delta in 2000, one month after a federal settlement was reached with the company over discriminatory lending practices. I hope she does not have the gall to say she had no knowledge of this. If she does, then it begs the question, of why is she running a major campaign, since she would have been rather dumb to not have knowledge of Delta Financial’s background. Hillary Clinton cannot be blamed for this, but it does call into question her so-called “experience” on all the issues. Clearly, she either had no clue that Maggie Williams was tied up in this subprime fallout, or she knew, and like the Bosnia trip lie, she may claim that she had no inkling.
What is damning is that as of September 2007, Williams owned 12,500 shares of Delta’s common stock, and by 2007 had earned at least $175,000 for her board obligations, according to company filings available in the Securities & Exchange Commission online database. Clinton’s “tough” stance on the housing crisis almost seems a little hypocritical, with Williams’ association with Delta. “I am reminded every day as I meet with families and listen to their stories that the effective functioning of our financial markets isn’t just about Wall Street. It’s about Main Street,” she said recently.“Many mortgage companies are reluctant to help families restructure their mortgages because they’re afraid of being sued by the investment banks, the private equity firms and others who actually own the mortgage papers,” Clinton said.
In 2006, Delta posted a net income of $28.8 million compared to $18 million a year earlier. It also originated a record $4 billion in loans that year, a five percent increase over 2005. In 2006, it had increased its line of credit by $500 million to a total of $1.75 billion.
Enter Maggie Williams….
She joined Delta’s board less less than a month after one federal official said Delta’s practices were “turning the American dream of homeownership into a nightmare.”At the time, Delta had a five percent foreclosure rate nationwide — double the industry standard — and was in the midst of settling several state and federal lawsuits that alleged predatory and discriminatory lending practices.
I guess she knew something was amiss initially, but either shrugged it off to actions by people with bad credit or she just didn’t give a damn. According to a June 2000 article in Directors and Boards magazine, Williams spent the six months prior to her decision to join the board asking a lot of questions and making a flurry of calls to Hugh Miller, president and CEO of Delta Financial Corp.“There are people who miss payments and have bad credit for all kinds of reasons,” she told the magazine. “It is a very middle-American kind of problem, although I believe it does affect poor people disproportionately.” I am sure that Fox News was only too happy to report this information to the general public.
Of course, her actual role in Delta is now hush-hush. Delta company officials would not elaborate on Williams’ role other than to say that “like other board members, Ms. Williams served in an advisory and oversight role and did not have a role in the day-to-day operations and management of the company.” A 2002 annual report, the only one found with this figure, shows Williams attended at least 70 percent of the company’s board meetings. So, while I don’t think Hillary Clinton can be blamed for this 100 percent, it proves once again that she does not have the best judgment as she claims. How could she not know this woman was on the board of a subprime lender? I hope she will be grilled on this. Just my thoughts, you be the judge…..

Georgia State Rep. Ron Sailor Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering, Takes Out $250K Mortgage on Church

Georgia state representative Ron Sailor, 33, has pleaded guilty to money laundering. To add insult to injury, this man is also a pastor, who took out a $250,000 mortgage against his church. He pleaded guilty to laundering what he believed to be $375,000 in drug money for an under- cover officer posing as a drug dealer. Sailor, a Democrat who represents parts of DeKalb and Rockdale counties, has resigned his position in the legislature. Shortly after his arrest three months ago, Sailor admitted his wrongdoing and began providing information for a public corruption investigation. The real shame is that this man was a trusted elected official, who not only fleeced his constituents, but robbed his church.

The deacons of Greater New Light Missionary Baptist Church were scrambling to piece together what happened and just who was the minister they thought they knew. “It’s amazing to all of us,” said Jimmie Evans, chairman of the board of deacons. “We can’t believe it.” A church trustee began checking records Tuesday after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Sailor had accepted at least $80,000 from a lobbyist in a 2007 land transaction, Evans said. There was more surprises in store for the deacons. The board soon learned Sailor had secretly changed church bylaws to make himself chief executive officer, Evans said. They also found Sailor had borrowed $250,000 using the church’s buildings and 2.5-acre property as collateral. Fulton County tax assessors value the property at 2540 Campbellton Road at $369,200. The security deed recording the debt was filed March 12 in Fulton County Superior Court. Church officials are not sure of the exact date the deal was closed before being recorded. The current status of that debt is unclear. Talk about a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Sailor, who holds a masters in divinity from Howard University, delivered heartfelt sermons and regularly lead Bible studies with church members, had led the church for about a year. It was said that on the Sunday before his guilty plea, preached a sermon titled “Lord, strip it off me,” discussing the recent call-girl scandal that led to the resignation of Eliot Spitzer as New York governor. Yeah, he also had a few things to be stripped off him as well and he did not have the decency to inform his church leaders. He purposefully let them find out after he pleaded guilty, in a deal that culminated months of wrangling with federal prosecutors.
In an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Leland L. Jones Sr., the previous pastor of Greater New Light, said the 200 or so members of the church “are generally hurt. They are stunned and they are angry.” He said Sailor has hurt the reputation of all African-American ministers. He has joined the ranks of those low-life pastors that have robbed their congregations and have lived hypocritical lives, a far cry from what they preach. For example, take Earl Paulk Jr. formerly head bishop of the Cathedral at Chapel Hill in Decatur, Georgia. The sordid and disgusting allegations of adultery and other improprieties that emanated from the pulpit for years, culminated in his arrest for perjury about his many affairs. He was proven to be the father of his brother’s son, after stating on the witness stand that he had only had an affair with Mona Brewer and no-one else. Funny, his sister-in-law fathered his son, who many knew as his nephew.
Am I saying that all our religious leaders are bad? Of course not, but many have selfish agendas that do not put their congregants first, or even second. I am tired of religious leaders using their churches as piggy banks or fodder for their sexcapades. Just my thoughts, you be the judge……

Hillary Clinton Supporters Trying to Railroad House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Here we have a situation in which Hillary Clinton supporters are trying to muzzle the free will of the voters. This latest furor is a deliberate move to influence the vote of the superdelegates and wrestle the nomination for the Democratic presidential candidate away from Barack Obama, who has a clear lead. Hillary Clinton supporters sent a letter to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, asking her to retract statements she made a week ago calling for superdelegates to follow the will of primary and caucus voters. Isn’t that what a democratic way of voting is?

The donors said that the superdelegates “must look to not one criterion but to the full panoply of factors that will help them assess who will be the party’s strongest nominee in the general election.” The letter also noted the donors “have been strong supporters” of the House Democrats’ fundraising arm. So, in other words, they are trying to derail the voice of the popular vote to give Hillary Clinton the nomination. In my opinion, this very act is a travesty and would be disastrous for the Democratic Party. I, for one, will not vote for the Democratic candidate if Hillary Clinton gets the nomination by sinister means. We need to do away with the superdelegates because if they vote according to their views, who has the interest of the popular vote at heart? This infighting in the Democratic Party is only strengthening John McCain’s position. God knows that he has to be one of the worst Republican candidates in recent times, perhaps surpassing the George Bush. The man cannot even give a speech without using a teleprompter, among other things.

Nancy Pelosi is absolutely correct in stating that the superdelegates should vote “based on many considerations, including respecting the decisions of millions of Americans who have voted in primaries and participated in caucuses.” It would harm the Democratic Party greatly if super-delegates are perceived to overturn the will of the voters. This has been her position throughout this primary season, regardless of who was ahead at any particular point in delegates or votes. Of course, Hillary Clinton will play dumb as though she does not know the finer details of the letter. These people are trying to derail the popular vote at all costs. How can people take Hillary Clinton seriously after all these dirty tricks? Team Clinton feels that they have a claim on the presidency and it should be theirs no matter how the people have voted. The voice of the people is insignificant, in their opinion.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Democratic donors who wrote Pelosi have contributed nearly $24 million to Democratic candidates and committees over the last 10 years.Hillary Clinton’s Senate and presidential campaigns and her political action committee received $554,000. By comparison, Barack Obama collected $52,200. Contributions for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which helps Democratic House candidates, equaled $2.9 million.

BET founder Robert Johnson, a Clinton supporter who has contributed $2 million to Democratic candidates over the years, and signed onto the letter, said he will continue to contribute to the party but it’s the superdelegates’ prerogative to choose who they want. Am I surprised by his position? Not at all. It is ironic that his name popped up in this article, especially in light of his actions during Clinton’s campaign stop in South Carolina when he took the low road and mentioned Obama’s past drug use.

Nobody likes a cheat and an unscrupulous person. Hillary Clinton and her team have proven to be just that. They play dirty and they play to win. This time around, the Democratic Party should suffer if Hillary Clinton gets the nomination by less than honorable means. The party should be split right down the middle and voters should leave in droves. I will be one of those people. Just my thoughts, you be the judge…..

Click here to see the donors’ list of contributions

Madeline Neumann, 11, Dies of Treatable Diabetes after Parents Prayed Instead of Getting Medical Assistance

 

I believe that prayer is important, but let’s be realistic, you can’t possibly rely solely on prayer to heal you, contrary to what televangelist Benny Hinn, Rod Parsley and many others would have us believe by their displays of healing during crusades and sermons. It is baffling to me why the parents of Madeline Neumann allowed her to die without seeking medical attention for the 11-year old girl. Her mother said that she did not know her daughter was terminally ill as she prayed for her to get well. The sad fact is that the child died Sunday from a treatable form of diabetes. Her mother, Leilani Neumann said that the family believes in the Bible and the fact that it says healing comes from God, but added that they are not crazy, religious people. Hello somebody. Lady, you sat there and did nothing for your daughter. An aunt member from another state had even called the police to see if they could go to the home to get a hold of the child. So, it was quite obvious that the family knew something was amiss.
The girl’s father, Dale Neumann, who is a former police officer, said he has friends who are doctors. He started CPR “as soon as the breath of life left” his daughter’s body, he said. He decided to do that a wee bit too late. The authorities need to take the other three children away from them. If this had been a black or Hispanic family, believe me, Child Services would be taking the other kids away. Leilani Neumann said “We are remaining strong for our children.” “Only our faith in God is giving us strength at this time.” God didn’t tell you to be so stupid.

Everest Metro Police Chief Dan Vergin has said an autopsy determined Madeline died from diabetic ketoacidosis, an ailment that left her with too little insulin in her body. She had probably been ill for about 30 days, suffering symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, loss of appetite and weakness, he said. But Leilani Neumann said her daughter, a straight A student, was in good health until recently.”We just noticed a tiredness within the past two weeks,” she said. “And then just the day before and that day (she died), it suddenly just went to a more serious situation. We stayed fast in prayer then. We believed that she would recover. We saw signs that to us, it looked like she was recovering.” Lady, the first thing you do as a parent is to take your child to the doctor for a medical opinion.

Leilani Neumann said the family is not worried about a police investigation into her daughter’s death because “our lives are in God’s hands. We know we did not do anything criminal. We know we did the best for our daughter we knew how to do.” God didn’t tell you to do something so stupid and CRIMINAL. Just my thoughts, you be the judge….
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Alabama Teenage Twin Sisters Wielding Broomsticks Attack a Murphy High School Teacher

I remember a time when students respected their teachers, who generally play an integral role in helping to shape our lives. Naturally, I was very disappointed to read in the Press-Register that teenage sisters, Dykesha and Dynesha Harris, 17, were arrested and charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct. The twin sisters wielding broomsticks, a new weapon, attacked a Murphy High School teacher who was trying to break up a fight, Mobile police said. The girls are set for a bond hearing this morning before the same judge who is handling two criminal cases against their brother. Funny, the fruit doesn’t fall too far from the tree. I can well imagine the family life of these girls.

Police officers were called to the Midtown school about 7 a.m. Wednesday. School staff members reported that a disagreement between the twins and the two younger girls erupted into a battle near the art building. The twins armed themselves with broomsticks, according to police, while one of the younger girls brandished a glass perfume bottle and the other used a ceramic piggy bank as a weapon. Tyson said the brooms belonged to the school’s cleaning crew and one of the sticks may have had a scraping tool at the end of it.

Paramedics treated the teacher and three of the girls at the scene for minor injuries, Gallichant said. One girl had a head laceration and the teacher’s elbow was injured, said Marcie McNeal, a school system spokeswoman. Last year, Murphy Principal Doug Estle wanted the Harris twins to transfer to other schools after their brother, Dominick Harris, was accused of videotaping an attack on a 61-year-old English teacher in May. So, this seems to be regular territory for this family of thugs.

According to police, Harris used a cell phone camera to record another student ambushing the teacher outside her classroom and striking her with a powerful punch to her face. City Councilman Fred Richardson helped the twins’ mother get the girls back into Murphy. Richardson also sought unsuccessfully to intervene on behalf of Dominick Harris, who was expelled after the teacher assault. It gets better, Dominick Harris has been accused in another crime since the teacher assault last year. He remained jailed Wednesday on allegations of involvement in a March 11 drive-by shooting on Glenn Avenue.

This incident leads me to wonder what the family structure of these young people is like. It is a very telling sign that if these young people don’t wake up and get their acts together, they will undoubtedly find themselves as regular guests of the correctional facilities in their hometown. This is a shame. To strike a teacher was a definite no-no from my perspective. I know that this is controversial, but when I saw the article, I just knew these were black kids. It is a shame that these troublemakers have managed to live up to the very damning and insulting stereotypes that have dogged us for so many years. Come on Dominick, Dykesha and Dynesha Harris wake up. Don’t throw your lives away. Just my thoughts, you be the judge…..