Breaking Brown

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03/09/14 Black Crime & Incarceration , Black News , featured , ybw #

How Could a Man as Tall as Darren Wilson Have Feared Michael Brown’s Height?

How Could a Man as Tall as Darren Wilson Have Feared Michael Brown’s Height?

Discredited “financial analyst” Ben Stein said on NewsmaxTV that Michael Brown was armed with his “ incredibly strong, scary self,”  when he was gunned down by Officer Darren Wilson, but judging from recent photos, Wilson was armed with his big scary self as well. A lot has been made of Michael Brown being 6’4, but recent pictures of Wilson indicate that he is also a tall man:

Darren Wilson2

Photo Credit: Colorlines

Unless everyone in this photo is abnormally short, Wilson is tall, so Brown’s height shouldn’t have entered into the discussion.

From Gawker:

After his death, Michael Brown—who, according to a police report, stood 6-foot-4 and weighed nearly 300 pounds—was often described in the press as “gentle giant.” The issue of Brown’s size has been the subtext of the pro-Wilson faction’s claim that Wilson was “scared for his life” when he fired six shots into Brown, but in the photo below—one of the first in which we’ve seen Wilson to scale with other human beings—the officer towers over his guests, clearly not a small man.

Stein, whose inflammatory comments went viral, was considered a financial analyst before his assumptions about the 2008 recession were dis-proven by Peter Schiff.

The idea of calling this poor man ‘unarmed’ when he was six-foot-four, 300 pounds, full of muscles, apparently — from what I read in the New York Times — on marijuana, to call him unarmed is like calling Sonny Liston unarmed or Cassius Clay unarmed,” Stein said of Brown.

As the Schiff incident proves, this isn’t the first time Stein has made a fool of himself:

 

 

 

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02/09/14 Black Culture , Black News , ybw #

Barber Shops Being Used to Diagnose Hypertension in African-American Men

Barber Shops Being Used to Diagnose Hypertension in African-American Men

barbershop

African-Americans have a higher rate of hypertension than other demographics, so some researchers are coming up with new and interesting ways to diagnose the disease. African-American men not only suffer a higher rate of hypertension but also a low rate of preventative care.

Since the barber sharp is a social hub for African-American men, Dr. Ronald Victor with the Cedars-Sinai Center for Hypertension in Los Angeles is using his $8 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health to determine if early intervention at barbershops can reduce the death rate from hypertension, which is double that of whites.

From The Atlantic:

The program will train barbers in traditionally African American communities to take their customers’ blood pressure and refer customers with elevated readings to doctors. “We have to leave the hallowed halls of medicine,” Victor explains. “Barbershops are the hub of a community.”

This is not the first study on the impact of barber shop intervention on hypertension:

Victor is partnering with Dr. Anthony Reid, a cardiologist based in Inglewood, California, on the project. The study builds on an earlier one conducted in Dallas between 2006 and 2008 and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2011.

The research looked at the effects of blood-pressure checks and health education promoted by barbers for 10 months in 17 barbershops on about 1,300 male patrons. In nine of the shops, barbers continually took blood-pressure checks of their patrons and referred them to physicians. In the other eight shops, patrons were given just the heart-health information, a standard pamphlet on blood pressure, without the barber-administered blood-pressure checks. The study found that while blood-pressure levels fell in both groups, the barber-assisted group showed greater improvement.

As the article notes, barbershops have cultural significance in the black community.

Hypertension increases the likelihood of related health problems such as stroke and heart attack.

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02/09/14 Black News , Black Politics , featured , ybw #

Black Activist Arrested for Putting Voting Rights Information on Cars

Black Activist Arrested for Putting Voting Rights Information on Cars
Photo Credit: Think Progress

Photo Credit: Think Progress

Ty Turner, a North Carolina activist and former State Senate candidate, was arrested on Monday for placing voter rights information on parked cars.

“They said they would charge me for distributing literature,” Turner told ThinkProgress after his release. “I asked [the policeman] for the ordinance number [being violated], because they can’t put handcuffs on you if they cannot tell you why they’re detaining you. I said, ‘Show me where it’s illegal to do this.’ But he would not do it. The officer got mad and grabbed me. Then he told me that I was resisting arrest!”

As an early August article from MSNBC notes, voter suppression is an ongoing issue in North Carolina:

The ACLU and other civil rights groups are challenging North Carolina’s sweeping voting law, specifically taking aim at sections that eliminate a week of early voting and end same-day registration, claiming those provisions violate the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by placing an undue burden on the right to vote and discriminating against African-American voters.

During the 2012 election, “2.5 million ballots were cast during the early voting period, and more than 70% of African-American voters utilized early voting during the 2008 and 2012 general elections.”

The irony here is that Turner was arrested just feet away from a Moral Monday Labor Day event where people were being educated on voting rights and encouraged to get out and vote in the upcoming elections.

 

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02/09/14 Black News , Race & Racism , ybw #

UPS Workers Protest Company That Turns Black Men Into Shooting Range Targets

UPS Workers Protest Company That Turns Black Men Into Shooting Range Targets

shooting target

Part time UPS workers in Minneapolis recently protested the shipping of shooting targets which depicted African-American men. The targets were bound for Missouri, making the shipments even more offensive, say workers.

According to Labor Notes, on August 22nd, some of the UPS workers removed the packages from loading trucks in an effort to restrict distribution.

The workers say the targets are produced by a company in Minnesota that holds a number of contracts with law enforcement. This isn’t the first time the company has gotten into hot water over its targets:

After public controversy last year, Law Enforcement Targets withdrew a line of targets called “No More Hesitation,” which featured young children and pregnant women with guns.

 

It still offers an “Urban Street Violence” line that’s predictably messed-up, and a “Missouri” line designed with the Kansas City police. (See photos.) These targets are designed to train cops to shoot first and ask questions later, to view everyone as a threat.

“If you’ve got the cash, UPS will ship it,” said one worker, “even if it’s part of this f***ed-up system that winds up with a kid getting executed by cops and then this military invasion of the town where it happened.”

Even though the packages were eventually shipped, the workers, who also photographed themselves holding up #HandsUpDontShoot signs, say this was a first step.

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01/09/14 Black Crime & Incarceration , Black News , ybw #

Elderly Couple Says Police Trashed Their Home While Serving a Warrant

Elderly Couple Says Police Trashed Their Home While Serving a Warrant

elderly couple LAPD

An elderly Los Angeles couple in their 80’s say police trashed their home while serving a warrant. Responding to the allegations, the LAPD says their officers did what they had to do.

The police were in search of the couple’s grandson, DeShawn Johnson, 18, when they served a warrant at the home. Warren Johnson, 81, told CBS Los Angeles that police used a battering ram to knock all the doors off their hinges while searching for the teen, who is suspected of burglary.

The couple says doors are hanging off hinges, forcing the couple to padlock doors when they leave.

“They decided that they would tear everything up because they couldn’t get what they wanted,” Johnson said.

The elderly couple believes cops should pay for trashing their home.

“We know that this is the type of behavior that is typical of what happens in black and brown communities in Los Angeles,” the Johnsons’ attorney, Nana Gyamfi, said.

A spokesperson for police, Captain Evangeline Nathan, said the officers did what was necessary to serve the warrant.

“I admit, we damaged some doors,” Nathan said. “We did not trash his residence. We did not break windows.”

The Johnsons had their home outfitted with security video which shows officers pushing the security cameras away so that their actions couldn’t be recorded. Nathan said that was done because police didn’t know where the video was being fed. She also said none of this would have happened if the couple’s grandson wasn’t a criminal.

“This had nothing to do with where you live, it had absolutely nothing to do with race, it had to do with DeShawn committing crimes,” Nathan said.

 

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