Prisoners throughout the Tennessee prison system have been caught posting photos of themselves engaged in very disturbing activities on their personal Facebook pages, WSMV-TV 4 reports.
So far the Tennessee Department of Corrections has disciplined 70 inmates at 14 prisons around the state. Channel 4 reports that its investigation uncovered more than 100 cases of inmates operating their own personal Facebook pages from behind bars. Those pages include “photos and videos of convicted criminals claiming to be using drugs, flashing large amounts of cash, partying, hoarding snacks and, in one case, setting a shirt on fire inside a prison cell.”
Many of the men enjoying Facebook access are convicted rapists and murderers.
Convicted murderer Brandon White, who killed Ryan Wright, posted pictures of his phone and himself holding $200 cash.
“That’s not punishment. That’s not any kind of punishment. It’s just like being out on the outside. It’s still freedom for them,” said Ryan’s mother, Linda Wright. “We can never communicate again. And he (Brandon White) has access to be able to communicate with the outside world.”
Ivan Moreno, who was convicted of killing an elderly woman, was found on Facebook showing pictures of himself playing a guitar inside a cell. “My eyes started watering. I started shaking. I couldn’t believe I could see him again,” said Sadler’s granddaughter, Michelle Elliot.
Here is more from WSMV-TV 4:
(Channel 4) showed all the pictures and videos to TDOC Assistant Commissioner Tony Parker, who is in charge of security in state prisons.
“Is this too extravagant for a guy to have who is behind bars?” a reporter asked.
“Obviously, this inmate is trying to be flagrant and show off all this property. Obviously, it’s an issue,” Parker said.
The reporter asked how all this can be happening while correctional officers are watching.
“It’s not an issue of not enough correctional officers. It’s an issue of a nationwide problem with cell phones and the struggle to stay on top of it,” Parker said.
The Channel 4 I-Team found that in some cases, even the families and friends of the inmates were surprised to see the freedom the convicted criminals had through Facebook.
In one posting, someone wrote, “How are you locked up and on Facebook?”
“Every correctional facility struggles with contraband. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s the reality,” Parker said.
“I think my first question would be, how is this happening?” Linda Wright asked.
It’s obvious that someone is bringing the phones into the prisons, but the state’s own records show that in a year’s time, only one person – Jeanette Elliott – has been convicted of bringing a cell phone into a Tennessee prison.
As soon as the Channel 4 I-Team brought our findings to the state, they immediately launched investigations in 14 prisons across the state, finding 53 cell phones as well as drugs and a deadly weapon.
WSMV-TV 4 reports that while the 70 inmates have been disciplined, their pages have not been taken down.
Philadelphia is hosting this year’s Masturbate-A-Thon. The event began Wednesday and is slated to run through May 27. The sex-positive event marks the celebration of National Masturbation Month, which takes place every May, reports the Huffington Post.
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Masturbate-A-Thon is a yearly event that began back in 1995, where participants raise money for charity and increase public awareness to get rid of the stigma of shame attached to this form of self-love and to encourage self-pleasure as a safer and healthier form of sexual expression. Over the last few years, Masturbate-A-Thon has raised thousands of dollars for countless organizations that have benefited causes such as HIV/AIDS awareness and women’s health initiatives.
The event’s organizers claim that masturbation is something of a cure-all! Masturbation, organizers claim, relieves stress, increases stamina, helps to secrete endorphins (feelings of well-being) in the body, improves cardiovascular health, cures insomnia and menstrual cramps, decreases bouts of prostatitis in men, helps combat depression and anxiety, decreases candidiasis in women (yeast infections), improves pelvic muscle strength in women and overall sexual relations.
The monies given by sponsors of the event is based on duration–basically, the length of time for which a participant masturbates
The Masturbate-A-Thon is monitored by officials who verify that all of the methods used are within the event’s guidelines and ensure that there is no cheating involved.
Thus far, the world record holder of the “Longest Time Spent Masturbating” is Todd Campbell of South Wales, U.K., whose 2009 record of masturbating for 9 hours and 58 minutes has yet to be beaten.
The man who flamboyantly warned folks in a 2010 news interview to “hide your kids, hide your wife” now says that he is a heterosexual and wants a wife and children. But he added that he is still attracted to men, reports TMZ.
SEE ALSO: T.J. Holmes: I’m A Free Agent
Antoine Dodson now declares homosexuality as “foolishness” and took to his Facebook page to state the following:
“I have to renounce myself, I’m no longer into homosexuality I want a wife and family, I want to multiply and raise and love my family that I create. I could care less about the fame and fortune, I’ve giving all that up to know the true history of the bible. For I am the True Chosen Hebrew Israelite descendant of Judah. And as True Israel I know that there are certain things we just can’t do. And I… totally understand that now. I don’t need a Mercedes-Benz, I don’t need a big house in Beverly Hills all I need is the Most High and my family (Israel). I have been awaken by the great and so should you. Let’s be delivered from the wickedness of the world and live the way we should. The Most High bless all and have a beautiful evening. Israel wake up and take full power of who you are. I’m ready are you?”
SEE ALSO: How To Weaken A President
Dodson, reportedly stopped a would-be rapist who tried to attack his younger teen sister sleeping in a nearby room at their home in 2010. The Huntsville, Ala., native was asleep in another room, when he heard the muffled sounds of his sister being attacked. Dodson jumped to his sister’s aid and fought off the intruder. When news got out of Dodson’s heroic efforts, he was interviewed by a local news station and the video news segment became an internet sensation.
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The interview resulted in an auto-tuned song by the Gregory Brothers. It even appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 list and sold thousands on iTunes.
At the time of the hoopla, the former hair stylist never hid the fact that he was an openly gay man. In a Q&A format on his website, Dodson clearly stated that he was not bisexual and was a gay man. Now, the 27-year-old, who says he has been delivered from homosexuality by becoming a devout Hebrew Israelite, passionately argues that in no way is he wanting to expand his “15 minutes of fame.”
But on the flip side…
Although Dodson says he has dated women before and thought “it was fun,” he also admitted on TMZ Live that there is still an ever-present lingering attraction to men.
“To be truthful, I’m not going to lie to you. I still like –. When I see a presentable male walk past, I be like, ‘Oh, my God!’ But then I think like, ‘Come on, getting it together. Let’s get it together, you can move away from that.’ It’s not going to happen in one day…it’s a process.”
Well, time will tell if Antoine’s bible study can indeed “cure his homosexuality.”
How could it have been avoided?
That is the question that lingers nearly five months after NFL player Jovan Belcher (pictured left) shot and killed Kassandra Perkins (pictured right), his longtime girlfriend and Mother of his infant daughter (pictured).
The Kansas City Chiefs linebacker then left the home the couple shared and drove to Arrowhead Stadium, where he killed himself in front of coaches and the team’s general manager.
On its face, the horrific case of domestic violence appears to be a crime of passion, but beneath it runs an undercurrent of unchecked mental health issues for Belcher, who had been drinking heavily before the murder-suicide.
Watch Belcher’s sad case here:
Truth is, no one can really say just how the tragedy unfolded and exactly how it could have been avoided. We do know that there had been signs of trouble and that the team provided the couple with counseling. Belcher’s mother, Cheryl Shepherd, had been living with them for about two weeks. Word was, Perkins was preparing to take their 3-month-old daughter, Zoey, and leave.
We also know that Belcher was suffering from depression, according to interviews with friends, teammates, and NFL officials. Early treatment for any number of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder, can help improve the quality of life for those who are suffering.
And since May is Mental Health Month, experts are using the moment to shine the spotlight on the burgeoning health issue. Black mental health experts urge African Americans to pay attention because the community has long been known to turn a blind eye to the illness.
“African-Americans are more at risk for diminished mental health more so than Whites because of challenges, such as poverty, which is a hardship that can cause depression and anxiety,” Dr. Jeff Gardere, a mental health expert and Wellness Director at Philip Stein, told NewsOne.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 10 adults report that they suffer from some form of depression, and Blacks, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic people of other races are most likely to report experiencing some form of the illness.
Depression can be costly and debilitating, the report shows. It can also adversely affect the course and outcome of common chronic conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity, the CDC says. Depression also can result in increased work absenteeism, short-term disability, and decreased productivity.
The CDC says a person may be diagnosed with major depression if, for “more than half the days,” they reported meeting at least five of the eight criteria, including at least one of the following: 1) “little interest or pleasure in doing things”; 2) “feeling down, depressed, or hopeless”; 3) “trouble falling asleep or staying asleep or sleeping too much”; 4) “feeling tired or having little energy”; 5) “poor appetite or overeating”; 6) feeling bad about yourself or that you were a failure or let yourself or your family down”; 7) “trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television”; and 8) “moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed…or the opposite: being so fidgety or restless that you were moving around a lot more than usual.”
Tackling mental health issues early on can be vital, according to advocates like Terrie Williams, a clinical social worker, anti-violence expert, founder of her own public relations firm, and author of “Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting.”
After the Belcher incident, Williams told NewsOne:
“All emotional problems stem from childhood. Let me be clear, unless one gets help, these problems can be passed on to adulthood. But without treating the parties involved, I can’t say exactly what went on with them, but it’s all about mental health, proper treatment, and breaking the cycle of violence. I’ve heard and read the reports about a possible concussion, which would exacerbate any emotional problems that he may have had, but at this point, we have to wait for all of the information to come out. It’s all very disconcerting and sad. I feel for both of their families and their child.”
Dr. Jeff Gardere says there are many strategies and techniques people can use to help them manage stress before it manages them:
- Acknowledge the negative role stress plays in your life. By identifying your stressors and even resultant health related symptoms, you no longer have to be a victim to “unseen” forces and can instead be empowered to actively address that stress and work towards mental wellness.
- Learn better time management and organizational skills. You will soon find a better balance in all aspects of your life as well as being less rushed, overwhelmed, and then of course less stressed emotionally.
- Maintain a strong network of supportive family and friends. Relationships, social interaction, and support are the emotional vitamins for a strong mind.
- Maintain a lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, spirituality through prayer, mediation or yoga, and of course, a good nights sleep. Don’t forget that exercise releases endorphins, which makes you feel good.
- Do things or expose yourself to situations that make you laugh. Laughter provides emotional healing and also releases endorphins that make you feel good.
“Maintaining and checking your mental health is vital,” Dr. Gardere said. “It’s like going to see your dentist. If you don’t have any real dental issues, you should still go in and get your teeth checked. We say the same thing about mental health. Some people may not know they are experiencing a problem and this month is important because it raises awareness about the importance of mental health treatment.”
NBA Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant (pictured) is reportedly battling his mother, Pamela, in a court of law to prevent her from auctioning off cherished basketball keepsakes from his high school playing days and early NBA career, reports TMZ.
A New Jersey-based auction house, Goldin Auctions, is suing the 34-year-old “Black Mamba” for the right to sell the memorabilia, after the player’s legal team contacted the firm to inform them that they could not do so.
It is being alleged that Pamela made a deal with Goldin Auctions to sell off many of Kobe’s basketball momentos, such as his 2000 All-Star game signed ball, high school varsity letters, and game and practice jerseys.
TMZ states that according to the filed lawsuit, Goldin Auctions allegedly forked over an advance of $450,000 to Pamela, which she plans on using to purchase a home. The lawsuit also states that Bryant willingly handed over the mementos to his mother about five years ago.
Bryant argues that the keepsakes are his possessions and no one has the right to auction them off, so that is why he trying to block the process.
Meanwhile, the case is still awaiting a judge’s decision.
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On Saturday, April 27th, I attended the funeral of 17-year-old Alphonza Bryant III who was gunned down on April 22nd in a case of mistaken identity, according to reports. Alphonza’s promising young life was viciously taken just a few blocks from his home. Hundreds of kids, probably 500 or so, came to his funeral that day; they cried, laughed, joked around, and then I watched them dust off and walk away, back to their normal lives. I watched in amazement as these young people appeared to be so desensitized to the shootings and killings.
How can we let something like death, the end of life, become so regular and so normal to these kids? What are we doing?
But what about our youth and our communities?
During a speech at NYPD headquarters this week, New York city Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “A Bronx resident named Alphonza Bryant (pictured) was shot and killed while standing with friends near his home. He was 17. Like most murder victims in our city, he was a minority. As I said earlier, about 90 percent of all murder victims in our city are Black and Latino. Do you think that if a White, 17-year-old prep student from Manhattan had been murdered, the Times (NY Times) would have ignored it?”
What Mayor Bloomberg stated is what we at National Action Network and others have been saying for years.
Do we really think that if kids in Beverly Hills, the nice suburbs of Chicago or the Upper East Side were shot and killed on a daily basis like those in Brooklyn, the South Side of Chicago, or Compton, there wouldn’t be more outrage? Do we really think the mainstream media would be so silent in covering this epidemic? Do we really think so many of our politicians would ignore their deaths as if their lives don’t matter?
I don’t think so, and I’m sure you don’t either.
Kevin Krigger (pictured) is all set to ride horse Goldencents in Kentucky Derby 139 on May 4th, and if he wins, he’ll be the first African-American jockey to do so since 1902, reports the New York Times.
The 29-year-old is ready to make history in a derby that Blacks once dominated, with Blacks winning 15 out of the first 28 runs from 1875 to 1902.
Even though Black jockeys were leaders in the races, the grandstands at Louisville, Ky.’s famed Churchill Downs, where the derby is being held, was off-limits to Blacks during the 1880s.
The White genteel class refused to share the bleachers alongside Black spectators.
Increasing segregation resulted in Black jockeys being barred from riding a Derby winning horse after 1902.
Jimmy “Wink” Winkfield (pictured below), victorious in 1901 and 1902, would be the last African-American to win the world-famous race.
Even in Northern cities, White jockeys and officials ran Black riders off the track, whitewashing the derby legacy. Churchill Downs was completely segregated throughout the 1950s, although Blacks were allowed to work as trainers and groomers.
Krigger is looking to leave a historical footprint at Churchill Downs and the U.S. Virgin Islands native will become the second Black jockey to compete in the derby since 1921 and the first to represent his birthplace.
Watch Krigger being interviewed after a win here:
The young rider’s passion for horses developed at an early age. Krigger was about 5 years old when he snuck out of his home, jumped on a neighbor’s horse, and took off at full speed — it was his first riding experience. Krigger told the New York Times, “In the Virgin Islands, horses are pets, like dogs or cats in the U.S.,” Krigger says. “Our neighbors didn’t know I’d be taking theirs for a ride. My great-grandfather saw me fly past him and couldn’t believe it.”
Five years after his first riding experience, Krigger’s parents gave him a mare. He would challenge playmates to compete in horse racing with him by putting his saddle on his parent’s living room couch and pretending he was riding. Watching the Kentucky Derby on television was a yearly event, Krigger admits, he would never miss.
As a teen, Krigger would walk two hours to the island’s only racetrack, where his fever for the sport only intensified. While at the track, he became friends with jockey Julio Felix, and not long after, Krigger won his first race at age 17. He soon followed Felix to the United States, the land of Derby dreams.
When Krigger arrived in the United States, he traveled to tracks nationwide in order to find an agent or trainer who would invest in his talent and battled to keep his weight down to a slim 110 pounds. In 2001, he landed at Thistledown Racecourse near Cleveland and won 50 races. Krigger moved from one track to another leaving a trail of wins everywhere he landed. Krigger soon got together with a Southern California agent, Tom Knust, who took his career to a more prominent level.
In order to prepare for Sunday’s race, Krigger arrives at a barn each morning around 6:00 a.m. to exercise horses then trains on a mechanical horse called an “Equicizer.” According to Goldencent owner Dave Kenney, “This young man works his butt off.”
Krigger is confident he will win this year’s derby and will be cheered on by his fiancée, children, parents, and especially, Winkfield’s daughter, who will be watching from Cincinnati.
“Someone was going to be the latest African-American going for that honor, and I’m proud to be that person,” Krigger said. “But my Derby dream is not, I’m going to be the first African-American to win the Derby since 1902. My Derby dream is, I’m going to win the Kentucky Derby.”
A group of San Diego high school students from Scripps Ranch High School have been suspended and banned from graduation and prom for participating in a twerking video. The dance involves the popping of the hips in a sexually suggestive fashion.
SEE ALSO: White Middle-Aged Suicide Rises Sharply
The video features 32 female Scripps students twerking while doing handstands to a song by YG, a 23-year-old California rapper. A student videotaped the dance outside their media class with a school camera.
The student then edited the video with music and placed it on YouTube. After going online, Scripps officials suspended the students Tuesday through the end of the week, including the poster. While the school has yet to comment on the situation, students involved have reportedly vented their frustrations.
Suspended, banned from prom, and prevented from walking at graduation all because of an awesome twerk video. I don’t understand, one student said via Twitter.
Watch the Scripps High student twerking video here:
According to another student, however, the girls may be able to get their prom and graduation back.
“The seniors involved are on senior review and have to ask for their prom and graduation back in front of a panel,” the teenager informed NBC 7.
Scripps’ student handbook has a detailed policy against sexual harassment, banning any “verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature made by someone from or in the educational setting.”All incoming students are mandated to sign a page in the book stating:
At Scripps Ranch High school there is zero tolerance for students who cause major disruptions at school or school activities. Any student who causes a major disruption will receive a five (5) day suspension, a possible new school placement and may be arrested.More importantly, seniors can be barred from prom and graduation if they commit a “zero tolerance infraction,” the book states. A student who didn’t appear in the video has voiced support for her suspended peers, “I don’t think they should have gotten suspended. I think the filmers should have been suspended, but not the girls involved,” said senior Brooke Carlucci. “I just think it’s not that big of a deal. It was just expression, maybe overly expressive I guess,” parent Mark Silverman said. Sound off! Take Our Poll SEE ALSO: Kiera Wilmot’s School Expulsion Is Racist
The Labor Department released its April jobs report Friday morning (May 3), highlighting a slight drop in the overall unemployment rate. With the rate dropping to 7.5 percent from 7.6 percent in March, jobless numbers for the African-American community remain at a sobering 13.2 percent.
In April, 165,000 jobs were added to the economy, a small improvement over the 138,000 jobs added a month prior. While this figure shattered economic predictions, hiring only seems to be happening for just one segment of the overall population: Women workers, with their unemployment rate at 6.7 percent, were the largest number of job seekers to become employed in April.
Yet, Black job seekers aren’t the only group to feel the unemployment crunch.
Adult men (7.1 percent), teenagers (24.1 percent), Whites (6.7 percent), Hispanics (9.0 percent), and Asians (5.1 percent) all saw little change in their numbers when compared with the Labor Department’s past statistics. The largest boon to the workforce happened in restaurants and bars, which added 38,000 jobs and retailers, which had the next highest number of hires with 29,000.
Sequestration also played a factor in this most-recent jobs report, with 11,000 federal, state, and local government workers losing their jobs due to budget constraints and other factors.
In all, 11.7 million people are out of work, a staggering rate when compared to the unemployment rate sitting at 4.5 percent before the recession shattered the economy.
Out of necessity, part-time work is the only part of the workforce showing the strongest improvement, with many workers forced to take piecemeal jobs to make ends meet.
The report reveals that Blacks and Hispanics are hardest hit by joblessness, signaling a fact well-known in those communities that jobs for those groups are harder to come by.
Although this disparity has been documented in detail over the years, little has been done to address the wide gap between Whites and people of color in today’s job market.
Read the details of the Labor Department’s jobs report here.
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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A high-school teacher from Alabama is accused of kidnapping a 6-year-old girl from school in Mississippi, sending a frightening text message to the child’s mother and paying to keep her overnight in a hotel.
U.S. Attorney Gregory Davis says a federal magistrate in Jackson denied bond Thursday to 54-year-old Jesse Mae Pollard, of Northport, Ala.
The Clarion-Ledger (http://on.thec-l.com/153Tbm7) says Pollard teaches at a school near the elementary school where a woman asked for the child by name and left with her on Tuesday.
Davis’ news release says that about four hours later, the girl’s mother got a text message saying not to call police or “u wont see her again.” She was released Wednesday.
An FBI agent’s affidavit does not give a motive, but says Pollard had a dispute with the child’s mother.
A 5-year-old Burkesville, Kentucky boy accidentally killed his 2-year-old sister on Tuesday when he shot her to death with a .22-caliber rifle given to him as a birthday present, reports The LA Times.
Caroline Starks was playing with her brother in their home, when allegedly their mother stepped outside “for a moment” and left her children with a loaded rifle.
The toddler’s autopsy showed that she was died from a single gunshot.
“Most everybody in town is pretty devastated by this,” Cumberland County Coroner Gary L. White said. “Nobody wants to take anyone’s guns away, but you’ve got to keep them out of harm’s way for the kids. It’s a safety issue.”
Watch WGN news report below:
Caroline’s death was ruled accidental and no charges will be filed against her 5-year-old brother.
According to the Times, the .22 is a Crickett rifle marketed to children ages “4- to 10-years-old” as “My First Rifle” and comes in a rainbow of colors from pink to swirly patterns. Though the website is currently unavailable — not surprising, considering that they sell murder machines to children not old enough to do algebra — ThinkProgress.com grabbed an image before they went into hiding.
According to White, gifting children with rifles is not uncommon and is considered a safe practice:
“The little Crickett rifle is a single-shot rifle and it has a child safety,” White said. “This was just a tragic accident.
“In my fifteen years as coroner, this is the first such case,” he said. “It is very, very rare.”
When children die in the streets of Chicago from illegal guns, it’s called bad parenting. But when 2-year-olds die in their own home with legal weapons given to kindergarteners as gifts, it’s a “tragic accident?” Such is the hypocrisy of society.
Unfortunately, this kind of avoidable accident is not unheard of in this gun-friendly society.
As previously reported by NewsOne, six-year-old Brandon Holt has died from injuries sustained when his 4-year-old neighbor shot him in the head with a 22-caliber rifle Monday evening as they played between their New Jersey homes.
The two boys were playing outside in Holt’s side yard when the 4-year-old, who has not been named, left to retrieve the 22-caliber rifle from inside of his home. He fired one shot into Holt’s head while he sat in a golf cart right beside his garage.
NEW YORK — The suicide rate among middle-aged Americans climbed a startling 28 percent in a decade, a period that included the recession and the mortgage crisis, the government reported Thursday.
The trend was most pronounced among White men and women in that age group. Their suicide rate jumped 40 percent between 1999 and 2010.
But the rates in younger and older people held steady. And there was little change among middle-aged Blacks, Hispanics, and most other racial and ethnic groups.
Why did so many middle-aged whites — that is, those who are 35 to 64 years old — take their own lives?
One theory suggests the recession caused more emotional trauma in Whites who tend not to have the same kind of church support and extended families that Blacks and Hispanics do.
The economy was in recession from the end of 2007 until mid-2009. Even well afterward, polls showed most Americans remained worried about weak hiring, a depressed housing market, and other problems.
Pat Smith, violence-prevention program coordinator for the Michigan Department of Community Health, said the recession — which hit manufacturing-heavy states particularly hard — may have pushed already troubled people over the brink. Being unable to find a job or settling for one with lower pay or prestige could add “that final weight to a whole chain of events,” she said.
Another theory notes that White baby boomers have always had higher rates of depression and suicide, and that has held true as they’ve hit middle age. During the 1999-2010 period, suicide went from the eighth-leading cause of death among middle-aged Americans to the fourth, behind cancer, heart disease, and accidents.
“Some of us think we’re facing an upsurge as this generation moves in to later life,” said Dr. Eric Caine, a suicide researcher at the University of Rochester.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report, which was based on death certificates. People ages 35 to 64 account for about 57 percent of suicides.
The report contained surprising information about how middle-aged people kill themselves: During the period studied, hangings overtook drug overdoses in that age group, becoming the No. 2 manner of suicide. But guns remained far in the lead and were the instrument of death in nearly half of all suicides among the middle-aged in 2010.
The CDC does not collect gun ownership statistics and did not attempt to correlate suicide rates with gun ownership.
For the entire U.S. population, there were 38,350 suicides in 2010, making it the nation’s 10th leading cause of death, the CDC said. The overall national suicide rate climbed from 12 suicides per 100,000 people in 1999 to 14 per 100,000 in 2010. That was a 15 percent increase.
For the middle-aged, the rate jumped from about 14 per 100,000 to nearly 18 — a 28 percent increase. Among Whites in that age group, it spiked from about 16 to 22.
Suicide prevention efforts have tended to concentrate on teenagers and the elderly, but research over the past several years has begun to focus on the middle-aged. The new CDC report is being called the first to show how the trend is playing out nationally and to look in depth at the racial and geographic breakdown.
The suicide rate registered a statistically significant increase in 39 out of 50 states. The West and the South had the highest suicide rates. It’s not clear why, but one factor may be cultural differences in willingness to seek help during tough times, said Thomas Simon, one of the authors of the CDC report.
Also, it may be more difficult to find counseling and mental health services in certain places, he added.
Black Conspiracy Theories 101: Did Serena Say ‘A White Man Is The Only Real Choice For A Successful Black Female?’
On December 6, 2004, an alleged interview appeared involving tennis mega-superstar Serena Williams (pictured) that mysteriously flooded e-mail inboxes everywhere. The question and answer printed dialogue depicted Williams as a self-hating individual who put Black men down by making explosive statements about them such as, “They [Black men] will be obsolete in 10 years…once artificial insemination has become as common and accessible as the flu shot.” But the comment that picked up the most steam was her allegedly saying, “A White man is the only choice for a successful Black female.” Almost immediately, the e-mail became viral, but did the interview actually take place or was it the stuff of urban legends?
The mysterious Williams’ interview prompted radio call-ins, debates, e-mails, letters, and news reports, with people being up-in-arms as to why Williams would make such inflammatory statements about men of her own race.
But there was more.
The following statement was attached to the tennis dynamo as well:
I dated Black men. I loved many of them but they were not suitable for marriage. Many of them were raised by women with warped mentalities. So I had to date outside my race.
The secret organization of women is waiting for the day when men are 100 percent dis-empowered.
I hope Oprah makes the choice to marry a non-black man soon so she can have a child of her own.
To those who believed that Williams was a Black male-basher, they were dead WRONG. The interview was a fake and the comments that were purported to belong to Williams were conjured up. As to who created the fake interview or why, it still remains a mystery to this very day.
Williams’ publicist at the time, Raymone K. Bane, adeptly hopped on the defamatory and slanderous story and spun Williams out of a situation that could have maligned her permanently. Bane issued a press release pronto about the hoax that stated:
Serena Williams has not conducted and would not, under any circumstance, conduct such an interview. We are making every attempt to find the source of the hoax.
Incensed about the hoax, Williams then provided her own statement:
Words cannot express how upset I am to find out that someone has deliberately attempted to ruin my reputation and image, says Ms. Williams. I would never, ever, under any circumstance, be so disrespectful. Whoever decided to write this garbage does not know Serena Williams. It is not my thinking nor my being. I want to find out who is behind this, and have them prosecuted within the fullest extend of the law. I am hoping that there will be more policing over the Internet, in order to find out immediately the origin of this kind of treachery. No one deserves to be humiliated and defamed this way.
Serena, the haters could never make you fall from grace, keep doing what you do!
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Just three days after he was given the boot by the New York Giants, linebacker Michael Boley (pictured) allegedly turned himself over to Alabama police Feb. 8 and was charged with child abuse, according to TMZ.
He was released later that day. The entire incident involved no fanfare.
Boley, who was a starting linebacker in Super Bowl XLVI, had remained under the radar of Alabama authorities as a result of an incident involving his then 5-year-old son nearly two years ago. The details of Boley’s case with regards to his son are sketchy.
Reportedly, there were no allegations of sexual abuse, although physical abuse claims might have been at the center of the investigation.
The 30-year-old free agent reportedly struck a plea deal with authorities in Etowah County, Ala., that would allow him to plead guilty, enter a pretrial diversion program and then have the charges dropped upon completion, states TMZ.
Boley’s latest legal woes are reminiscent of a previous accusation back in 2011 of child abuse that was alleged by the mother of his son. It was alleged that Boley was guilty of ”the repeated willful abuse of a child under 18 from May 30 to June 5″ of that year. The case was investigated by police in Gadsden, Ala., who afterwards turned the case over to the district attorney.
It is not clear whether Boley’s current charges are related to the 2011 allegations.
After the 2011 allegations came to light, another of Boley’s baby mamas revealed in Georgia court documents that she wanted her then 2-year-old son to be supervised during visits with his dad.
Signed to a $25 million contract back in 2009 with the Giants, the team reportedly knew of Boley’s skirmishes with the law. Just one year before he signed with the team, Boley was arrested in Gwinett County, Ga., for allegedly beating up his wife, Chantelle. While the case was not pursued by the prosecutor, the Giants suspended him for the first game of 2009 for breaking the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.
There were rumblings that the Giants might resign Boley, but that ship has probably sailed now.
Video of a 19-year-old woman who is reportedly pregnant and fighting two other women on a public bus in Houston is making its way around the web.
The video shows 19-year-old Teannia Miller fighting with 42-year-old Regina Banks and her 15-year-old daughter on a Metro bus at about 3 p.m. on Thursday, KHOU-TV Channel 11 reports. The fight starts at the back and carries over to the middle of the bus and on to the street. A man actually appears in the video trying to break up the fight and calm the situation. But, minutes later, the women resume fighting.
But this time, Miller is the aggressor.
The bus driver eventually pulls over and is seen on the phone calling the cops. When the cops arrived on the scene, they asked if anyone captured the fight on cellphone camera. No one spoke up. But the video found its way on YouTube days later.
“I asked if anyone called 911?” said Tom Lambert, interim president of Metro. He said no one had made any calls, but he has a message for the public. “If you see something, say something.”
The EMS was not called and none of the women wanted to press assault charges. They were all given citations for fighting.
The popular phrase “the real McCoy” has been tied to Canadian-American inventor and engineer Elijah McCoy and one of his many innovative inventions in the steam engine industry. While the expression has been debated endlessly by scholars, what remains is McCoy’s amazing path to prominence — all sparked by a risky sacrifice made by his parents during slavery times. NewsOne celebrates the life of Elijah McCoy, who was born on this day in 1844.
McCoy was born free in Ontario, Canada, to parents George and Mildred, slaves who escaped Kentucky and fled to the Far North by way of the Underground Railroad. One of 12 children, McCoy’s family settled back in the States in 1847 in Michigan. As a teenager, McCoy was trained in Scotland as an apprentice engineer but was unable to land coveted jobs due to racism. Out of necessity, McCoy worked for the Michigan Central Railroad as an oiler and fireman.
McCoy’s time on the railroad gave him the inspiration for his earlier inventions.
After observing how train axles were oiled, he invented a lubricating cup that distributed oil more efficiently and allowed trains to run longer without manual assistance. Gaining the first of his 57 patents for the cup, McCoy tweaked and worked on lubricating systems almost exclusively. He also branched out with designs for ironing boards, lawn sprinklers, and other machines.
Without the financial backing to produce his inventions, McCoy sold or assigned his patent rights to others. Lubricators bearing McCoy’s name would appear until 1920, toward the end of his fantastic career.
McCoy would create the Elijah McCoy Manufacturing Company to produce his lubricating machines and operated the company until his passing.
Historians often ignore McCoy’s significant contributions, saying that self-lubricating machines such as his inventions were already in place. While that fact has been proven accurate, there is no discounting the fact McCoy’s cup was an improvement upon the older designs.
And based on his high number of patents — 50 focused on lubrication — he was one of the most-prolific Black inventors of the early 20th Century.
Booker T. Washington recognized McCoy’s achievements in the book “Story Of The Negro” in 1909.
The phrase “the Real McCoy” is largely credited to the inventor, based on railroad workers wanting to use an authentic McCoy oil-cup distributor and asking for it by name.
It’s been said that the origin of the phrase is found in a Canadian novel titled “The Rise And Fall Of The Union” club, which printed in 1881. To this day, this has been accepted as the first occurrence of the expression and is used mostly as an idiom these days.
McCoy married twice, surviving both his wives. His second wife, Mary, died in 1922 after a car accident, where McCoy was severely injured. He would pass away in 1929 in the Eloise Infirmary in Detroit, Mich., on October 10th.
McCoy’s desire to use his training in an industry that saw him as a non-factor and his determination despite the barriers he’s faced is truly inspirational. McCoy earned the respect of his peers and he willed himself into a success story in a time when African Americans were still reeling from the insidious stranglehold of slavery.
McCoy’s legacy lives on in Detroit, with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office naming their first satellite location after the inventor in one of the country’s classiest moves last summer.
Happy Birthday and Rest In Powerful Peace, Elijah McCoy!
Should a science project gone awry lead to a teenage girl getting arrested, subjected to a mug shot, and expelled from school? According to reports, for 16-year-old Kiera Wilmot, ”It all started with a water bottle and a teenager’s curiosity.” And unfortunately, after Kiera mixed the contents of that small water bottle with some household chemicals, the ”top flew off the bottle and a cloud of smoke erupted.”
It honestly sounds like a scene from of one of those child-centered sitcoms on Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel. So why is Kiera being treated like a criminal from “The First 48″?
Keira’s friends maintain that her experiment was simply ”a science project gone bad” and “that she never meant to hurt anyone.” Even Kiera’s principal acknowledges that “she made a bad choice. Honestly, I don’t think she meant to ever hurt anyone. She wanted to see what would happen [when the chemicals mixed] and was shocked by what it did. Her mother is shocked too.”
Not only that, but Kiera didn’t duck responsibility for her actions. ”She told us everything and was very honest. She didn’t run or try to hide the truth. We had a long conversation with her,” Principal Ron Pritchard explained to Tampa Bay’s 10 News.
And yet, despite these acknowledgments plus a clean school record, Kiera has been expelled, faces adult felony charges, and will have to obtain her diploma via an expulsion program. Such is the reality of school districts and their zero-tolerance policies. The same can be said of our collective ever-increasing paranoia about terrorism.
Sadly, it’s not lost on me and others are outraged that these zero-tolerance policies tend to hurt Black students more than others. Last year, new data from the Department of Education confirmed the disparities.
The New York Times reports:
Although Black students made up only 18 percent of those enrolled in the schools sampled, they accounted for 35 percent of those suspended once, 46 percent of those suspended more than once, and 39 percent of all expulsions, according to the Civil Rights Data Collection’s 2009-10 statistics from 72,000 schools in 7,000 districts, serving about 85 percent of the nation’s students. The data covered students from kindergarten age through high school.
Now Kiera faces the prospects of being another statistic in ongoing inherent bias.
This could’ve been a teachable moment, though. Not for Kiera, but for the useless school board members who create these asinine policies but don’t bother to foster the kind of learning environments that would do more to derail disciplinary problems.
As biologist D.N. Lee writes for Scientific American:
I can’t name a single scientist or engineer, who hadn’t blown up, ripped apart, disassembled something at home or otherwise cause a big ruckus at school all in the name of curiosity, myself included. Science is not clean. It is very messy and it is riddled with mistakes and mishaps.
Kiera’s expulsion all but discourages curiosity and learning overall.
Why not mentor Kiera instead of perpetuating more needless fear mongering? No, Kiera shouldn’t have done this on school grounds, but why hit her with adult felony charges when she’s never had any disciplinary problems prior to this accident? Why treat her the way you would some sort of terrorist with malicious intent?
How a*s backwards can the school board and law enforcement be in this matter?
A curious Black girl should not be condemned for the rest of her life. Period. So if you’d like to vent your frustrations directly, you can contact Bartow High School here, the school distract here, and the Bartow police department here.
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With all the talk about obesity and chronic disease in the African-American community, the surgeon general is out to educate Moms about an early preventive measure: breastfeeding.
“By raising awareness, the success rate among Mothers who want to breastfeed can be greatly improved through active support from their families, their friends, and the community,” Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, M.D said in a news release that announces the launch of “It’s Only Natural,” a public education campaign designed to raise awareness among African-American women about the importance and benefits associated with breastfeeding. It also provides helpful tips.
The campaign is a good thing, Steven Pratt, M.D., told NewsOne. The author of the soon-to-be-released “SuperfoodsRx Plan for Pregnancy: The Right Choice for a Healthy, Smart, Super Baby” and the New York Times bestseller “SuperfoodsRx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life” says breastfeeding helps fight obesity and chronic disease.
“In my new book, I stress breastfeeding even if you have to use a breast pump,” Pratt told NewsOne. “By six to 12 months after birth, a Mother sets the course for chronic disease prevention by providing important nutritional benefits, such as antibodies and reduced risk for developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and many cancers for Mother and child.”
There are disturbing rates of obesity among children and women in the African-American community. Both groups have the highest rates of being overweight or obese compared to other groups in the United States.
About four out of five African-American women are overweight or obese, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Childhood obesity rates in America have tripled over the past three decades, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. The statistics are even higher in Black and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40 percent of the children are overweight or obese.
And the leading cause of death among African Americans, according to the CDC, are chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes, which could be treated if caught early.
Breastfeeding is one way to help steel Mother and child against some of those diseases, Pratt says.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 80 percent of all U.S. women — regardless of status, race, or income — start out breastfeeding, the rate among African-American women was almost 55 percent. That is a major increase from 35 percent in the 1970s, but it is still well below that of other ethnicities in the United States, particularly among those living in the South.
The gap may indicate that African-American mothers face barriers to meeting breastfeeding goals and need additional support to start, which sparked the campaign that is designed to provide materials that reflect the experience of African-American Moms.
“Breastfeeding not only ensures that children will have a healthy life, it is also the easiest way for women to lose weight after a pregnancy,” Pratt said. “I urge pregnant women to eat smart and remind them that they are not eating for two; they are eating for one adult and a seven pounder. Besides providing important nutrients for their child, breastfeeding cuts the risk of postpartum obesity and cuts the risk of breast cancer.”
Pratt also explained that it cuts breast cancer risk because women who are breastfeeding are not producing as much estrogen, which fuels 80 percent of breast cancers.
Breastfeeding also helps women avoid the metabolic syndrome, or excess body fat around the waist, because the woman’s body is working to provide important nutrients to the child and burning calories.
Pratt says if Mothers have to use a breast pump, they should use the milk within the hour because the hormones and nutrients change. The closer a Mother feeds the baby to the time the milk was pumped, the better it will be because the nutrients and hormones are preprogrammed to have maximum impact on the child and the milk profile changes with each hour.
Pratt said he applauds the surgeon general’s efforts because “breastfeeding Mothers are programming their children for a lifetime. It helps Mothers so they can be healthy later in life.”
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NEWARK, N.J. — A militant convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper 40 years ago is now the first woman on the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorists.
The FBI and state of New Jersey also announced Thursday a doubling of the reward, to $2 million, for the capture of Joanne Chesimard.
The state is adding its own $1 million on top of the million dollars already offered by the FBI for her capture and return.
Chesimard was a member of the Black Liberation Army. She’s been on the run since 1979 when she escaped from prison, where she was serving a life term in the death of Trooper Werner Foerster.
She fled to Cuba, where she has lived under the name Assata Shakur.
Foerster was killed on May 2, 1973, during a traffic stop.
A “crackerjack team” of journalists at an NBC affiliate wrongly identified Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly as they reported his passing, according to UPROXX, but this latest faux pas is just one of many when it comes to the media properly identifying Blacks.
On Wednesday night, An NBC affiliate broadcast the news that Kelly was found unresponsive at his Atlanta home and later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
When it was time to run the image of Kelly, they instead ran a photo of record producer and rapper Jermaine Dupri (pictured above). Even more ridiculous was their sourcing of “Google.com” for the image, suggesting that they could have easily googled Kelly to see what he actually looked like.
Dupri discovered Kelly and Chris Smith at an Atlanta mall in the early nineties. Soon after, Dupri produced the duo’s first album and introduced the then-tweens to the music world in 1992. The album’s first single, “Jump,” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks, with Kelly and Smith even making a fashion splash by wearing their clothing backward.
Kelly and Smith eventually went their separate ways after their third album in 1996 but reunited this year for the So So Def’s 20th anniversary concert.
Unfortunately, “news organizations” often “mix up” the identities of African Americans.
Only last year, Buffalo NBC affiliate WGRZ Channel 2 apologized for using a picture of the singer Seal (pictured above) to announce the death of actor Michael Clarke Duncan who passed away last September. The station posted their “sorry” on Facebook:
Yep; our bad; we own it. A careless editing error at the end of the Michael Clarke Duncan story in our 11pm news. Two entertainment stories accidentally merged into one video clip. Sincere apologies.
Then in January, fashion bible Elle Magazine mistook reality star, Nene Leakes (pictured left) of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” fame for actress Danai Gurira (pictured), who co-stars on the zombie show “Walking Dead.”
Obviously, the women look nothing alike!
And at President Barack Obama’s inauguration, NBA icon Bill Russell (pictured left) was mistaken for actor Morgan Freeman (pictured right) by ABC news journalist George Stephanopoulos, who clearly should have known better!