Stone Mountain Teacher Carolyn Jones, Student Charged with Disorderly Conduct for Fighting

I guess the school year went out with a bang at a Stone Mountain, Georgia Stephenson High School. Police reports said that a substitute teacher, Carolyn Jones, and a student at the school have been charged with disorderly conduct after a fight during class that was captured on video.

A DeKalb County school police report about the fight May 23 says that Jones, told officers she had been having problems with the student. She told police the student had threatened to pull off her wig.

Police said that the 52-year-old Jones kicked the student, which prompted the fight. The student was not identified. Jones and the student are shown in the above video slapping, grabbing and punching each other for at least a minute before a staff member breaks up the fight.

Okay, the teacher lost total control and let the student get under her skin. She kicked the student? How ladylike. I know that there are some kids that have no manners and engage in rude behavior, but why didn’t she go to the administrators of the school for assistance? I guess this about removes any chance of her being a substitute teacher again in the Atlanta school system. Self defense is one thing, but to actually engage in fighting a student over your wig being snatched is ridiculous. Girlfriend said touch my wig and we will go to blows. Too funny. Just my thoughts, you be the judge……

50 Cent Dix Hills, Long Island Mansion, Burns to the Ground, Arson Suspected

The New York Post is reporting that a multimillion-dollar home located in Dix Hills, Long Island and owned by rapper 50 Cent has burned to the ground in what is being described as suspicious. The interesting point is that the mansion is at the center of a dispute between 50 Cent and his former girlfriend, Shaniqua Tompkins, who lived in the home with her two children.

Interestingly, the blaze occurred just days after a heated confrontation inside the woman’s attorney’s office over the home. 50 Cent does not live in the home and apparently wasn’t there at the time. Six people inside the Dix Hills home were taken to a hospital suffering smoke inhalation. This could be serious. Investigators from the Suffolk County arson squad were called to the scene after Dix Hills Fire Chief Larry Feld deemed the blaze suspicious. The fire was reported at 4:59 a.m. and was extinguished about 45 minutes later, Feld said. He referred the case to the arson squad “because of the intensity of the fire, and also being that who belongs to the house.”

Earlier this year, Tompkins filed suit against 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, claiming he had promised her the $2.4 million house more than a decade ago, but that since their breakup he now wants to evict her and their 10-year-old son from the home. According to the NY Post, Tompkins’ lawyer, Paul Catsandonis, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the dispute over the house had become “extremely, extremely contentious” in recent days. Although he declined to be specific, he said there was an “extremely dangerous incident” on Monday in his Manhattan office while taking a deposition for the lawsuit.The dispute was involving the parties in question, he said.

Catsandonis said the 32-year-old rapper paid about $2.4 million for the house, one of the largest in the Long Island neighborhood of Dix Hills. He said 50 Cent, who was shot outside his grandmother’s Queens home in 2000, had told Tompkins, 32, he wanted her and their son to live in a safe and secure place. He also contended that the rapper signed an agreement that would give Tompkins half of all the rappers’ earnings as a hip-hop superstar. “Everything that’s his is hers, everything that’s hers is his. He memorialized in an email that he intended to give her the house.”

This is all very ugly and I am no fan of 50 Cent, but it is always a shame to hear that someone’s house has burned to the ground. I hope, if this is indeed arson, the perpetrators are caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent. I don’t follow 50 Cent nor do I care about the squabble with this woman, the fact still remains that his house was burned to the ground.

Fort Lauderdale Appoints Frank Adderley, an African American Its New Police Chief

The city of Fort Lauderdale has just appointed its first black police chief, Frank Adderley, a 28-year veteran of the department. His appointment comes as the agency struggles with low morale, distrust of city management and historically poor relations with the minority community. He was appointed chief after Bruce Roberts abruptly stepped down. Adderley is a highly commended officer who has been a pioneer at the department, having been its first black captain, major and assistant chief.

“I am honored and very excited for the opportunity to lead the dedicated men and women of this department, and to serve the people of this community,” Adderley, 46, said in a statement released by the city.

Roberts decided to leave Wednesday in part due to brutal union contract negotiations and what he called “micromanaging” by the city manager’s office. Roberts had initially planned to stay for 90 days, but voluntarily resigned Thursday.

According to the Sun Sentinel, union contract negotiations have soured relations between rank-and-file members and city management in recent months. Roberts cited those negotiations in his letter of resignation and accused Gretsas of trying to punish union leadership and delaying the purchase of safety equipment. Gretsas responded that Roberts was too close to the union.

The Sun Sentinel said that Adderley is a native of Fort Lauderdale who grew up in the neighborhoods where the department has struggled to establish good relations. He graduated from Stranahan High School in 1980 and joined the police department that year. Since then, he’s held nearly every position at the department as he worked his way up the chain of command.

Adderley lives in Plantation. City officials said he doesn’t need to move into the city because he was promoted from within the agency. In 2006, after a spate of fatal police shootings in the city’s northwest section, Adderley helped to sooth relations with the historically poor, black neighborhoods. His promotion Thursday brought measured applause from black residents and leaders, I am sure in part due to a mistrust of the police department.

So, here’s a brother doing the right thing and I would like to salute him on his promotion and wish him all the best! Many feel that he will bring a fresh start to policing despite tensions between the black community and the police department. On a serious note, there seems to be a culture in the police departments across the United States that it is okay to shoot first and worry later. As Markel Hutchins, who is running for the 2nd Congressional seat against civil rights stalwart John Lewis has said, there needs to be a massive effort on the federal level to change the the way the police departments operate in this country. All too often we hear of police brutality and the ensuing cover-up, as evidenced from Sean Bell, the three men in Philadelphia, Kathryn Johnston of Atlanta who was fatally shot by police in a botched raid, as countless others. The task before Adderley is a daunting one, but to echo Markel Hutchins, in a recent interview I did with him (which I will put on the blog shortly), all change has to come from the federal and state levels. I echo his sentiments that the police department has to see that it needs to work with the community, not in an adversarial manner, to get things done. Many blacks are naturally distrustful of the police because of prior experience. Just my thoughts, you be the judge…..

Sean Levert, Son of O’Jays Lead Singer Eddie Levert, Died of Natural Causes

A coroner has ruled that Sean Levert died of natural causes. The article released by Associated Press in below in its entirety.

A coroner ruled Thursday that R&B singer Sean Levert died of natural causes after falling ill in jail, and his family reacted by saying his death possibly could have been prevented.

Levert suffered from various ailments, the Cuyahoga County coroner’s ruling said. Attorneys for Levert’s widow say sheriff’s department records they reviewed show he wasn’t given his anti-anxiety medication while in jail or seen by a doctor, which might have prevented his death.

Levert, a member of the 1980s R&B trio LeVert and son of lead O’Jays singer Eddie Levert, died at age 39 at 11:57 p.m. March 30 at a hospital, about an hour after he was taken from the Cuyahoga County jail. He was serving a 22-month sentence for failure to pay child support.

Levert’s family had questioned officials’ account that Levert had been acting strangely and was restrained before he fell ill. In his ruling, county Coroner Frank Miller ruled out foul play or trauma.

Miller said Levert died from complications of sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that produces tiny lumps of cells in the body’s organs. The coroner said Levert also suffered from other conditions, including heart disease, high blood sugar and withdrawal from alprazolam, a drug used to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks that is better known under the trade name Xanax.

After Levert died, jail warden Kevin McDonough said he had been sick and guards were watching him because he had been acting strangely. When he started pounding on his cell door, guards strapped him in a restraint chair, McDonough said. Levert’s breathing became shallow and he was taken to the hospital.

“He was exhibiting classic signs of Xanax withdrawal,” attorney Daryl Dennie said. “A doctor would have been able to recognize these problems. Had he been able to see one in that week’s time things could have been different.”

Dennie and lawyer David Malik, who represent Levert’s widow, Angela Lowe, said they reviewed documents in the coroner’s office showing that Levert brought a bottle of Xanax with him to the jail.

“They inventoried it and they never gave it to him,” Malik said. “He requested it during the time he was in jail.”

The coroner’s office would not release the documents publicly on Thursday.

The office of county Prosecutor Bill Mason declined to comment. A message seeking comment from Chief Deputy Douglas Burkhart at the sheriff’s department was not immediately returned.

Malik and Dennie would not comment on possible legal action until they complete their investigation. Malik said the family may ask the FBI to investigate.

FBI spokesman Scott Wilson said in April that agents were willing to meet with Levert’s family. Wilson said Thursday that the FBI was never contacted by the family.

Levert and his brother Gerald formed LeVert in the 1980s with childhood friend Marc Gordon. Their hits included “Baby I’m Ready,” “(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind” and “Casanova.”

His brother died in 2006 at age 40 of an accidental mix of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Sean Levert, who was trying to start the group LeVert again, had pleaded guilty in March to six counts of failure to pay child support. He was accused of failure to pay $89,025 to children ages 11, 15 and 17.

He had pleaded guilty in 1995 to drug abuse and was placed on probation and required to get treatment.

Levert’s widow released a written statement Thursday saying: “Sean was loved by many and both his family and fans are saddened beyond comprehension. Sean Levert did not die as a result of illegal drug usage.”

Final thoughts….

It is a real shame that this young brother was taken away from our midst but the reality of why he was imprisoned should be a lesson to men in general. I do not know why he was not paying his child support, but that was the reason he was imprisoned. He pleaded guilty to the charges and would have spent some time behind bars. I pray that his family will find solace as his death came on the heels of his brother’s passing. It is clear this young man had some problems from the fact that he was taking antidepressants.

Catholic Pastor Michael Pfleger with Ties to Barack Obama Fans the Flames of Controversy

Here we go again. Another pastor headache for Barack Obama. This is music to Sean Hannity’s ears. While I really don’t find his comments as offensive in some regards as Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s, this is not an issue the Obama campaign wants to revisit. Catholic pastor Michael Pfleger, who is white, mocked Hillary Clinton for getting choked up on camera before the New Hampshire primary in January.

“When Hillary was crying … I really don’t believe it was put on. I really believe that she just always thought ‘This is mine. I’m Bill’s wife. I’m white. And this is mine’,” he said, shouting at times. “Then out of nowhere came, ‘Hey I’m Barack Obama’. And she said, ‘Oh damn! Where did you come from? I’m white! I’m entitled! There’s a black man stealing my show’!”

After that, he simulated Clinton crying and then said: “She wasn’t the only one crying. There was a whole lot of white people crying … I’m sorry. I don’t wanna get you in any more trouble. The live streaming just went out again.” He also said at one point, “America has been raping people of color and America has to pay the price for the rape. “

Pfleger has issued a formal apology for his sermon Thursday after Obama issued a statement. Pfleger said that he was “deeply disappointed” by Pfleger’s remarks at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. “I regret the words I chose on Sunday. These words are inconsistent with Senator Obama’s life and message, and I am deeply sorry if they offended Senator Clinton or anyone else who saw them,” Pfleger said.

Why say things that you will have to apologize for later? That makes no sense. This election has brought out the worst in so many people that being politically correct is vogue. Fox News has played this over and over. They will no doubt try to make a mountain out of a mole hill by connecting Pfleger with Rev. Wright and Louis Farrakhan. They will once again call Barack Obama’s character and judgment into question. The guy just can’t catch a break.

Pfleger’s support of Obama is well known in Chicago, and according to media reports, an Obama aide confirmed Pfleger contributed to Obama’s state Senate campaign during his years in the Illinois legislature. Pfleger was also once a member of the Catholics for Obama Committee, which is a voluntary advisory committee to the Obama campaign, the aide said. But the aide said Pfleger decided to step down a few weeks ago from this committee, though the campaign did not request the resignation.

So, I don’t see this guy’s comments hurting Barack Obama, but in this volatile political climate, who knows what the right-wing media will do.To his credit, Obama refuted the statements swiftly, so we’ll see if this has legs or it will fizzle away. The pastor was wrong for making those statements fully aware of the fact that they would come back to haunt him. I was also a little bothered by the reaction of some people in the church. Some where literally egging this man on. If this isn’t a hint and a half for Obama to leave this church, then I don’t know what else will. Clearly they are acting very self-rightous and just plain wrong. Isn’t there supposed to be a separation of church and state? So, if the church is becoming more political and taking such a stand, then they should all lose their exempt tax status under the Internal Revenue Service. This holds true for all churches that engage in such behavior.

The bigger issue to me is the fact that John McCain seems to have painted Barack Obama into a corner on visiting Iraq. Now Obama said that he will visit the country at some point. This is a little troubling to me because it shows that Obama was forced, in essence, to admit he probably should have gone back to Iraq to see what’s going on for himself. Barack Obama needs to focus on how he will get the white female vote, whose support seems to have declined significantly in recent months. So, Pastor Pfleger’s actions certainly will not help Obama, but just serve as a reminder of connections to Rev. Jeremiah Wright and as Sean Hannity likes to interject, Louis Farrakhan. Just my thoughts, you be the judge…..

Ku Klux Klan Burns Cross on Lawn of Jamaican Residing in Medford, Oregon

I felt really compelled to inform my readers about this latest case of the Ku Klux Klan rearing its ugly head, in part, because a fellow Jamaican was on the receiving end.According to the Daily Voice, Jonathan and Sol Whyte, who reside in Medford, Oregon, were shocked to find a flaming cross and the letters KKK burned into their yard on Monday. According to KDRV-TV, police said the suspects also left an explosive device at the home of the victims.

The Whytes and their two daughters, aged two and four, have lived in the neighborhood for several years, but they told reporters that they have never experienced racism like this. The incident took place just before midnight when Sol Whyte heard the sound of fire outside. Witnesses said there were three people on the scene and a neighbor tried to follow the suspects but they got away. The FBI is assisting local police with the investigation.

This is a real shame. As I have said before, these racists are cowards. My position is that if they believe in the “cause” they champion, why hide? Show yourself and let the chips fall where they may. They didn’t bother to think that the explosive device could have harmed the young children of this man. Racism has always been a problem in America, but this presidential election has brought the worst out in many people. Actually, it has shown us their true colors. But, a few words of caution, blacks will not be deterred or scared of these cowards, so bring it on! To my Jamaican brother, hold tight man and nuff respects!

GOP Latest Campaign Strategy of Highlighting So-Called Endorsements from U.S. Enemies for Barack Obama May Backfire

The latest tactic by the Republican Party is to tell Americans that Barack Obama has received some endorsements from questionable characters worldwide. This is an eerie reminder of the Osama Bin Laden video that miraculously appeared towards the end of John Kerry’s presidential campaign. It really ruined his chances to win the presidency because it was a stark reminder of what happened on September 11, 2001. So, now we have a situation in which the GOP will continue to remind the public of the endorsements Obama has received from people who are enemies of the United States. I think that is really unfair, but I guess that’s the way the game is played.

Endorsements from our “enemies:”

Fidel Castro, a life-long enemy of the United States wrote in a column for Cuba’s Granma newspaper Monday that Obama is “the most progressive candidate to the U.S. presidency.” The column was also used to criticize Obama for wanting to uphold the U.S. trade embargo. The Florida GOP seized on it, posting an article about it on their Web site and blasting out an e-mail titled, “Fidel Castro Endorses Obama.”

In mid-April, Hamas adviser Ahmed Yousef told WorldNetDaily that “We like Mr. Obama, and we hope that he will win the elections. “I hope Mr. Obama and the Democrats will change the political discourse,” he said. “I do believe [Obama] is like John Kennedy, a great man with a great principle.” The GOP ran with this even though the Obama campaign responded that it already had rejected Hamas’ legitimacy. Obama has said he would not negotiate with Hamas unless the group renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist and holds to other agreements.

On March 25, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told foreign correspondents that relations with Washington, D.C, would worsen if McCain were elected. “Sometimes one says, ‘worse than Bush is impossible,’ but we don’t know,” Chavez said.“McCain also seems to be a man of war.”

Also in March, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Spain’s El Pais newspaper he didn’t believe Obama would be elected, but that he wouldn’t have a problem meeting with him if he were. “For us, there is no difference in who wins,” Ahmadinejad told the newspaper. Tehran-based PressTV reported that Ahmadinejad afterward insisted he “never voiced support for Barack Obama.”

Obama also has struggled to shake off positive words from the New Black Panther Party and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and has come under fire for attending the Million Man March, which by the way, black men from all walks of life and professions attended.

Final thoughts

Personally, I think the damage from these people backing Obama is negligble. I seriously doubt many people will be swayed by whether someone in Cuba said something nice about him,” he said, adding that those voters probably wouldn’t vote for Obama anyway. I would caution that the Obama campaign must push back against such attempts to exploit these so-called endorsements. Barack Obama suffered to some degree from the fallout with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and they simply cannot sit back hoping these associations will fade into the sunset. On the contrary, they speak to his broader judgment and I would hate to see this being the “Swift Boat” of his presidential aspirations. Though many have said that foreign factors can sway domestic elections, I don’t see these creating an insurmountable problem for Obama as long as he fights back to dispel any doubts in the minds of the voters.

The GOP will use any tactics at its disposal to create doubt and I guess that’s part of the game, but President Bush has already created so much doubt and ill-feelings in the minds of the American people that I don’t think having these leaders back Obama in some way would create any problems for him. It is a known fact that you must talk to your enemies. I guess if President Bush had done just that, maybe we would not be in this mess today. Secondly, the economy is in such a horrible shape right now, people want to know how they are going to pay their bills, purchase gas and put food on their tables. Not that Fidel Castro said something good about Barack Obama. Just my thoughts, you be the judge….

Rachael Ray’s Scarf Reminds Conservative Critics of Terrorism, Dunkin Donuts Caves, Pull Ad

So, I guess right-wing bloggers and media do have some power after all. It is amazing that people like conservative commentator Michelle Malkin and others were able to get Dunkin Donuts to pull an ad featuring Rachael Ray, yet we cannot make any headway getting people like Liz Trotta, Ann Coulter, Dick Morris and Pat Buchanan fired from the shows they appear on because of the incendiary comments they make.

Dunkin’ Donuts has canceled an online advertisement featuring celebrity chef Rachael Ray after complaints that a scarf she wore in the ad offers symbolic support for terrorism. Dunkin’ Donuts said Wednesday it pulled the ad over the weekend because of what it calls a “misperception” about the scarf that detracted from its original intent to promote its iced coffee. Critics complained that the scarf appeared to be traditional garb worn by Arab men. The ad’s critics say such scarves have come to symbolize Muslim extremism and terrorism.

Okay, so we can go after Dunkin Donuts with so much resolve, but we can’t go after people who make racist comments on television. This leads me to another point, there is definitely a double standard or just blatant hypocrisy in the media when a scarf that symbolizes terrorism in the minds of a few people can create such uproar, but comments about Barack Obama’s assassination fall on deaf ears with many. What message are we sending to people in America and dare I say the world? I didn’t think that all people who wore those scarves were terrorists or sympathizers of Osama Bin Laden. So, what’s next? Traditional African dress, for example, as we have seen when Barack Obama visited Kenya? Or maybe having dreadlocks, could some how become a real problem. Of course, I am being sarcastic. Just my thoughts, you be the judge……

New E-Mail Evidence Surfaces in Secret Service Discrimination Lawsuit

Reginald Moore, who is suing the Secret Service for racial discrimination has sent offensive e-mails of his own, according to new evidence filed in court. So I guess the powers that be will now play tit-for-tat. The court documents include e-mails sent by Moore, who is black, containing a joke about a black woman hitting her daughter and a picture of a wedding reception at a White Castle hamburger restaurant.

A group of black employees have said that the agency has passed over black agents for promotion. They say white colleagues and supervisors regularly use a racial epithet to refer to criminal suspects and black leaders of other countries. The lawsuit claims the Secret Service has always had a discriminatory culture — a claim the agency has consistently denied. To add insult to injury, last month an employee found a noose in one of the Secret Service’s training centers. A worker who tied the noose out of canine training rope has since been placed on administrative leave, according to the agency.

According to the Associated Press, as part of the discrimination lawsuit, the Secret Service was ordered to turn over evidence. The agency paid an outside auditor more than $2 million to search 20 million e-mails and other electronic documents dating back 16 years. Among the 10 e-mails submitted to the court earlier this month in a separate filing were jokes circulated within the agency that referred to: the way a “20-year-old 5th grader” in Harlem spoke; assassination of the Rev. Jesse Jackson; and the work ethic of a black golf caddy. One of the e-mails was sent by a deputy assistant director, who has since been suspended.

This is too good–AP said that in addition, one of the supervisors who sent an e-mail was on Sen. Barack Obama’s security detail for the past year. The supervisor is no longer on the security detail and has been promoted to a position at the agency’s Washington headquarters.

In 2007, 80 percent of the people who worked at the Secret Service were white, and 10 percent were black, according to data obtained by The Associated Press. The remaining 10 percent were of other races. In the agency’s senior leadership, whites made up about 75 percent and blacks 13 percent. Blacks make up about 12 percent of the United States’ population. So, I wonder how the other 10 percent fare in terms of discrimination?

This is very embarrassing considering the fact that the Secret Service protects our presidents, heads of state, elected officials and so on. This was disclosed at the worst possible time, especially in the wake of the security breaches of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain’s passport files. Talk about national security? Hah.

British Baptist Delegation Apologizes for Slavery in Jamaica, What Now?

It seems as though apologizing for slavery is vogue now. To me, what good will it do? The perpetrators have already gone on to their “heaven.” The latest group of people to suddenly get a conscience is a delegation of British Baptists to Jamaica who apologized for Britain’s role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, saying it repented for the scourge that claimed millions of lives and shaped the Caribbean’s history. “We have heard the pain of our hurting brothers and sisters and we have heard God speaking to us.” “We repent of the hurt we have caused,” Jonathan Edwards, general secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.

The Baptist group passed a resolution atoning for Britain’s trans-Atlantic slave trade in November 2007. The British Baptists arrived in Jamaica last week, first apologizing to islanders for the slave trade Sunday at a church in St. James parish.The Rev. Karl Johnson, general secretary of the Jamaica Baptist Union and leader of the Jamaica Council of Churches, said the public penitence was welcome. “This is by no means the journey’s end, but the apology is certainly a giant step,” said Johnson, adding the Caribbean island of 2.8 million people is home to some 120,000 Baptists.

In March 2007, then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed his deep sorrow on the 200th anniversary of the law that ended the slave trade, but did not make a direct apology.Enacted on March 25, 1807, Britain’s Slave Trade Act prohibited British ships from transporting slaves, although Britain did not abolish slavery in its overseas territories until 1833. Slaves in Jamaica and across the Caribbean were forced to work on plantations, harvesting sugar, tobacco and spices. Let me add that the slaves in Jamaica staged several successful uprising that heralded the abolition of slavery on the island.

So, here’s the bigger issue to me. What does apologizing for slavery do for the Jamaican people? Will the British government aid the country in cracking down on the high crime rate that is racking the island? Or will they assist somehow in reducing the high unemployment rate? Or, better yet, what will they do to help boost the infrastructure on the island so that it can attract more foreign investment instead of having to change its laws and literally sell its soul to attract such investors? What will the British government do to help with the educational facilities on the island, especially those that are in a state of disrepair? Did these Baptists propose anything other than empty rhetoric about the scourge of slavery? I guess sugar is no longer King, so the British government has no use for the island that it once fought valiantly for.

For what it is worth, yes, slavery was indeed a scourge that robbed us of our dignity, broke up families and yanked our fore parents out of their homeland and carried them to a strange place. Yes, we continued to be abused for many years, even today, but an apology simply means nothing to me. It cannot erase what happened to us and it cannot help us move forward. Just my thoughts, you be the judge…..