Thomas Oppong

Read when you’ve got time to spare.GettyImages-872539670.jpg

Photo by Guido Mieth / Getty Images.

The time before you go to bed is golden, as it exists every single day, and it’s usually completely yours to schedule. What do you want to do with this time? Read? Spend time with your kids? Work on a hobby you’re passionate about? Take advantage of this time.

That time between clocking out of work and hitting the sheets every night is yours to do whatever you want. Using that time to pursue something meaningful to you will immensely improve not only your total well being, but sense of self worth. But the reality is that, after a long day’s work, you feel exhausted and all you want to do is to take a long break and zone out with the television on.

Netflix may not be a great idea, but documentaries and TED talks can lead to a greater understanding in a multitude of disciplines. It’s all in how you prioritize your life after work.

Starting and consistently doing or creating something will give you a sense of empowerment that can translate in the office as well. Extracurricular outlets don’t just boost your sanity — they feed back into your day job and can actually make you more productive.

But the daily grind can easily overshadow your passion project like writing a book, learning a new language, starting an online business, creating art, learning an instrument, designing, learning to code, collecting and selling vintage objects etc. It’s not enough to show up to work on time, and do a good job. You have to remain relevant and consistently improve to become a better version of yourself.

The biggest problem many people have is finding TIME to actually put ideas to work.

Striking a balance and committing time, attention and energy to that one special project that needs your focus is possible if you really want to pursue a meaningful project.

The trick is to turn that passion project into a habit! What you do every night after work can be life and career changing!

The 60/30 Minutes Rule

For the next 30 days, devote just 60 minutes of your time after work to the best opportunity in your life. Nothing else. Zero distractions. Your single most important task within that time is to make even the smallest progress on your passion project. You don’t have to make significant progress. But it matters that you stay consistent.

Do not compromise family values to get ahead in life though. Create your own balanced, fulfilling life. If 60 minutes is not realistic for you. Dedicate 30 uninterrupted minutes to it for the next 30 days and you will be amazed at the results. You could even consider investing this time in your passion project in the morning before work. Choose what works best for you.

However slow you move or improve, you will be deeply fulfilled in the fact that you are actually pursuing something you care about. Something that means the world to you. Something you have always wanted to do.

YOU Are Your Biggest Investment!

Your development starts with what you know about yourself. Do you know “YOU”? What are you capable of? What are you curious about? What have you always wanted to do in your spare time that could help you pursue the life you want.

At one of his Berkshire Hathaway annual meetings, Warren Buffett said:

“The most important investment you can make is in yourself. Very few people get anything like their potential horsepower translated into the actual horsepower of their output in life. Potential exceeds realization for many people…The best asset is your own self. You can become to an enormous degree the person you want to be.”

If you have a good idea of who you are and what you want to do with your life, you are half way to a successful life. Invest in yourself, it’s the best investment you can ever make. Create a bigger version of yourself. Don’t settle on a self-imposed plateau; always aim a bit higher than before.

It’s not about the kind of skills you acquire because you have to, but because you want to and it feels right. Something you are happy to do without hesitation. Skills that are unique to you. Skills you can only learn by doing. Skills that can only be developed when you find your true self.

When you put yourself on the line or otherwise expose yourself to the possibility of failure. Basically, what I am trying to tell you is that, there is something about you that can be explored and developed to your benefit and the rest of the world.

Invest in yourself!

Start by Reading but Focus on Your Creative Pursuit!

The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

The habit of reading can change your perception, improve your worldview or better still expose creative ideas to you when you least expect it. Whatever you want in life, knowledge is key. Reading can give you a good head start if you want to start slow and figure out your meaningful work.

You will acquire new information every day. And even transfer your knowledge within your company. You could also create new possibilities for your employer based on your daily evening discoveries. Richard Steele once said “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Don’t get caught up in just the habit of reading without pursuing your creative work. You learn best by doing. You don’t want to divert the mind too much from its creative pursuits.

The do something habit is greater than thinking mindset.

Even if you have 30 minutes every night, each week you can easily read a book or better still start learning by creating something!

Spend an Hour a Day to Learn About a Topic

Exercise your creative genius. Anything new to your brain can stimulate it. Different skills, ideas, cultures, and opinions can have a positive effect on your own views about the world.

Acquiring new skills and gaining knowledge on a daily incremental basis is a proven way to take your career to the next level and improve your self-esteem.

When was the last time you questioned the existing convention, conceptualized problems differently, approached problems in new, innovative way. It’s about time you figured out what could be improved, challenged, done different, done with less effort to achieve more. Start questioning everything. Consider everything. Go through every possibility until you know for a fact it can or cannot be done.

Steve Job’s calligraphy course in college helped build the first Mac. In his famous 2005 Commencement speech for Stanford University, Jobs said:

“If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.”

You never know what will be useful ahead of time. Try new skills and they will connect with the rest of your skills in the future. Take online courses that can help you start a passion project. These are a few I have put together about becoming an entrepreneur(they are all free).

Reflect on What You Learn by Blogging

Apart from becoming a better writer, blogging can help you organise your thoughts. Blogging encourages deep thinking. When you begin to share what you know with others, your ability to communicate gets better. Blogging helps your brain to stay active. You will also be able to link ideas and pieces of information better.

Once you commit to the habit of reading about your industry and sharing what you know with your audience, you will begin to comprehend and process information faster.

It’s a slow process, but once you commit to it, you can significantly improve how you process and share knowledge. It’s definitely not easy but it’s worth your precious time.

Make This Your Most Amazing Year Yet!

Don’t invest in a career. Build a life. For centuries we’ve been trained by the system to stop thinking and do as we are told. But dreamers and thinkers are changing the world as we know it. Thinkers and dreamers are the new untouchables. Everything you want is a dream away.

The only thing holding you back from doing something truly amazing, is you. The world is full of amazing people. You are either one of them or aspire to be amazing! The amazing ones are an inspiration to those who aspire to do something amazing.

It’s still okay to dream, wish and hope for an amazing life — not just an okay life, but a ridiculously amazing life. You are where you are today because of the choice you made yesterday. Your choices today will determine whether you will have an amazing or regretful life tomorrow.

Re-Think Your Evening Routine!

If you make creative pursuit part of your weekly schedule, at least Monday through Friday, you’ll begin to see change as long as you keep doing it at the same time each day. Make it a habit to see significant improvement. A routine at night means better time management.

Think of all of the time that was either used productively or possibly wasted after work till the time you go to sleep and ask yourself what could I have done or can I do with all of that time?

There truly are no limits as to what you could have learned or accomplished. It’s what separates the masses from the high achivers in this world!

But Changing Your Habits and Life Can Start TONIGHT!

Sorry Not Sorry

by Love Dr. Rob

He was drenched in tears, snotty nose and all. He just wanted his family back. She didn’t mean anything to him. Ain’t it funny when he got caught he got sorry.

It always amazes me just how sorry a person can be after they get caught. There were no tears, no what about my wife and family, no it’s not worth it before then. Now all of a sudden, after you find out, they realize what they really wanted was you. Yeah alright, miss me with all that. 

Do I think a person can be sincere in their apology? The answer is yes. But for me that apology loses value if I catch you in the act. What happened to you being sorry after you got the number? Or why weren’t you sorry after your first conversation? Where was all the I’m sorry when the person you love was sitting alone waiting on you?

Sorry is supposed to fix it?

The craziest part is that they believe I’m sorry is supposed to fix everything. As if once you hear those two words, all is forgiven and forgotten. Yes there is power in words, but it’s a long way from that light from the movie “Men in Black”.  It’s going to take more than a flash to make all that go away. 

What most people don’t understand is how much hurt is caused in that moment. Trust is gone, respect is lost, and a heart is broken because of their actions. Yet they expect words to fix it. It is going to take a hell of a lot more than that. 

You’re Sorry. You’re sorry? Sorry for what is the question. Sorry you lied? Sorry you robbed them of the love they deserved?  Sorry you did this to your relationship?  Or are you sorry you got caught. At this point the only thing you said half way right is that you’re sorry, and you even said that wrong. What you should have said was you ARE sorry. And if that seems a little harsh, Sorry, but I’m not sorry. 

Does her case prove systemic racism is real?

By Jeff Thomas

Lately phrases like “systemic racism”  and “criminal justice reform” have become common.  People use them frequently on TV, radio, in articles.  They are everywhere.  But what is systemic racism and are there any real examples?  Is criminal justice reform just a catchy phrase? Does the phrase ignite emotion?  Is there a fix?  Do they even need to be fixed?

Many argue that there is no such thing as systemic racism. Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield writes in The Wall Street Journal that the phrase confusedly “describes a society that is so little racist that no one can respectably advocate racism, yet so much racist that every part of it is soaked with racism,” leaving us with “the paradox of a racist society without racists.” 

William Briggs points out with the plethora of diversity offices in most every institution there is evidence for the existence of systemic support for Blacks in America.  Still we constantly hear about the need for criminal justice reform based upon the existence of systemic racism. 

However, undeniable disparities exist in every American sector .  Whether we are talking about income, housing, health, life expectancy, educational outcomes, or incarceration the disparities are stark and enduring.  So, at best, systemic racism is hard to define. Seemingly systemic racism is an idea that many can comprehend but few can define adequately.

How to Explain it

The recent death of Breonna Taylor sheds some light on existence of systemic racism and the need for criminal justice reform.  Based upon the current configuration of the system, the police do get off on a technicality.  And based upon the current criminal justice system, Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron was probably correct in not charging the officers with murder, even though they murdered an innocent woman who was in her bed and posed no threat to them.  Such a system needs immediate reform.

RELATED: 18 Examples of Racism in America’s Criminal Justice System

Baked into our criminal justice system is the war on drugs, no knock warrants, judges who sign them, all too eager and biased police. Look at drugs. Black and white Americans sell and use drugs at similar rates. Yet black Americans are 2.7 times as likely to be arrested for drug-related offenses. Black people get jail time. White people get drug rehab.  This is one of the first racist differences in the system.  In Louisville, White police officers rammed in Breonna Taylor’s door that night because they suspected drugs might be in the apartment.  None were there.

A Family Marches for Justice after a Police Shooting

CONFRONTATIONAL POLICING

Police are often confrontational in Black communities.  In the suburbs, they tend to protect and serve.  No knock warrants are an integral part of confrontational policing. No knock warrant execution almost always involves violence.  Usually served in the early morning hours, police use the element of surprise and often gunfire to overwhelm suspects. No knock warrants are 25 times more likely to be granted in Black neighborhoods.  White neighborhoods rarely see these violent and dangerous no knock warrants.  

This type of police investigation puts both police and presumed innocent homeowners at risk.  Judges who sign these warrants put people’s lives in danger.  Usually no knocks are only an evidence collection procedure. I bet most of the judges who sign these warrants are not Black and do not live in these neighborhoods. The judge who signed the Breonna Taylor warrant was White and all his no knock warrants have been in Black neighborhoods. Judges are biased too!

Police Bias

Police know these are risky events.  They enter with their guns locked and loaded. Officers are mentally and legally prepared. Bullet proof vests and legal precedents protect them. If fired upon they can legally shoot to kill. If threatened they can legally shoot to kill. Unsuspecting homeowners may stand their ground, like Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend did that night. But civilian death is often the result. White officers’ biases against Black people is well documented.  Every day, thousands are protesting in the across America against racist policing.

RELATED: Anything but Justice

Systemic racism is the result of multiple layers of racism or bias combining from previous but related racist or biased systemic events. Criminal justice reform must address all levels.

So even though defining systemic racism is hard, the Breonna Taylor case is the perfect incarnation and proof positive.

How to do it

by Troy Henry

BACKGROUND

Upon arrival in America, Black Americans were enslaved for several hundred years.  And the impact of this systematic and institutional practice still has a multi-generational impact on many Black Americans today.  The enslavement and de-humanization of the Africans brought to America for economic and white lifestyle purposes is truly the original sin of this country.  Our government made numerous promises of reparation (40 acres and a mule). Yet real efforts to compensate African Americans have been paltry to non-existent.  Black communities today continue to reflect inhumane conditions that are the repercussion of approximately 400 years of pain and suffering. 

A nation of people does not just snap out of this type of institutional racism.  It takes time and proactive efforts to truly attempt to right the wrongs of this sin.  Historically, oppressors have compensated their victims.  The people of Germany compensated the Jews for the Holocaust.  America compensated the Japanese people as a result of the WWII internment.  However, the White American community has never fully addressed the most heinous of all punishments inflicted on a people that are largely responsible for building this great country.

Reparations For Slavery

PERSPECTIVES

There has been much written recently about the need for reparations for Black Americans, and most of these articles have been thoughtful and “on point”. I would like for you to reference several outstanding articles that prompted me to write this body of work.  Each has a unique perspective and discussion regarding the need and benefits of reparations.

The link below is a CNBC article profiling the need and growing support for reparations.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/12/slavery-reparations-cost-us-government-10-to-12-trillion.html

The link below provides the perspective of the wealthiest Black American (Robert Smith Jr) regarding reparations.

The link below  gives you the perspective of one of America’s great entrepreneurs (Bob Johnson) regarding reparations.

https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/35888-black-billionaire-johnson-every-black-american-should-get-a-350k-reparations-check#disqus_thread

The article below attempts to establish the value necessary to properly compensate Black Americans reparations.

While each of these articles and many more do an outstanding job of justifying the necessity for Black American reparations, none of them fully address the high-level implementation of such a program.  The remainder of this article will discuss a practical approach to funding the program and the benefits associated with it.

RELATED: WE NEED MORE THAN SYMBOLIC CHANGE

FUNDING SOURCE

Today, the current US stock market including NYSE, NASDAQ and OTC markets have a value of approximately $37 Trillion.  This figure captures the current market value for all publicly traded enterprises.  The Federal Government has approximately $300T in assets under management in the form of property and other assets.  While it is impossible to trace each asset and company to the act of slavery or any derivative activities, many of these enterprises (public and private) were directly or indirectly the beneficiaries of this heinous systemic sin of slavery.

My approach for reparations for each individual Black American, would target any individual with a gross income of $500,000 annual income or less based on your most recent tax return.  Neither I (small business owner), Rob Smith (Vista Equity CEO), LeBron James (NBA great) or many others Black Americans would participate in this program, because they have successfully and permanently overcome the scars of slavery.  Also, individuals who immigrated to the US after 1990 would also be excluded from the program even though their ancestors may have experienced slavery, it was not in the USA and therefore would not qualify.  Based on the above qualifiers approximately 5 million out of the 45 million Black Americans would not qualify.  Based on the numbers above, a reparations payment of $10Trillion would pay to create a one-time payment of $250,000 to every Black American born before 1/1/2021 or whatever date is appropriate.

Reparations Now or No?

Is Money Available?

So how do we generate $10T without crippling the entire US economy?   Answer: Every publicly traded company would pay a 15% one-time tax on the market value of their company.  Since most companies would not have that amount of funds on hand, its payment could be made in the form of additional shares of contributed stock to the fund.  While this would cause an immediate dilution of share value, it does not put any company at a competitive disadvantage since their competitor would be subject to the exact same tax and repercussions.  As a result, over time the market will respond to this tax much like it has done to the Corona Virus.  This would generate approximately $6T for the reparations fund.

The 2nd source of funds would be the federal government.  The Federal government has the ability to issue one-time payment funds like what was done for the Corona Virus.  In addition, the federal government has un-used and under-utilized property that could be contributed to the reparations fund.  While some of this land may be less desirable, it would represent value to the fund and could be monetized if necessary.  This federal contribution would represent an approximately $4T contribution to the fund.

The reparations funds would be managed on the behalf of the Black American recipients by 10 Black-owned securities firms ($1T each), thereby making them significant players in the financial community with the power and ability to train future financial leaders of America.  The financial management firms would commit to a minimum 6% annual rate of return to remain in the program.

PARTICIPATION

Each of the 40 Million Black American qualified recipients would have the option to take the cash as a non-taxable lump sum of money or as a cash dividend (non-taxable) from the fund.  Any recipient of the funds must agree not to receive any other federal government subsidies such as: food stamps, Section 8 housing voucher, etc.  Also, this would assist the federal government in reducing its entitlements budget.  For Black Americans stuck in the entitlement system, these funds represent access to self-sufficiency and self-determination.

The impact on the Black community would be immediate and extremely positive.  Allow me to give you an example of the fund’s effect.

Example 1:

Assumption: family of 4, husband and wife with 2 kids (3 & 5years old)

Recipient qualifies for $250,000 times 4 family members equals $1M

Recipient chooses to leave the funds with the fund manager and receives a 6% annual dividend equal to $60,000.

In addition to their normal income, the family has $60K non-taxable income to pay for a better school, home, or new business

Example 2

Assumption:  Single individual (age 25)

Recipient qualifies for $250,000

Recipient chooses to payoff $50,000 in debt and purchases a home without a mortgage for $200,000.

The recipient can now continue their life debt free.

Use of the proceeds can have a myriad of potential positive and negative examples, One essential element to this program will be that anyone choosing to take their funds out of the program must enroll in a financial management course to aid them in the best course of action for using these funds. Only after a person successfully completes the course will funds be distributed.

BENEFITS of REPARATIONS

There are a significant number of benefits to this reparation program that can transform our country and attempt to make up for the nations original sin.  The US budget would be less burdened with entitlement programs due to the program, thereby allowing the government to increase funding for roads, public education, and other priorities.  America would be a more educated nation since more and better educational opportunities will emerge.  There will be more innovation due to an increase in entrepreneurship because lack of capital cripples many small businesses.  Crime will be reduced since the economic conditions for many of our fellow Black Americans will have improved significantly. 

SUMMARY

Reparations will benefit all of America and truly compensate our most deserving citizens.  Also, reparations will diminish numerous social ills that plague portions of America today.  Most Importantly, reparations will fairly compensate Black Americas while evenly distributing this one-time economic pain.  This reparation program will help balance our nation’s budget.  Reparations will begin to truly level the playing field for all Americans.


A brief word from an exhausted Jordan Rock

You all know what happened. Everything but justice for Breonna.
The police illegally entered her home.
The warrant they had was a copy-and-paste from several others. It was granted without any real proof of wrong-doing from the residence in question.
Their warrant was suspicious. They were heavily armed. The officers had no badges. They knocked the door down with a battering ram. The man inside did what any man would do. He protected his home. He shot at the random thugs that had broken into his apartment. They fired back, so he ran and called 911. His girlfriend was in their bed in the back, scared for her life. And she was right to be so. The police shot her seven times, then left her bleeding there without even having the courtesy to call an ambulance.

In the days that followed, the Kentucky Police Department stalled when evidence rebutted their version of what happened. Their investigators interviewed twelve neighbors. They all said the cops didn’t announce themselves. Only the 13th neighbor, after three interviews, alleged that they did. After this the police instead focused on Breonna’s ex-boyfriend. He is a drug dealer that wasn’t living in the apartment. They tried to link Breonna to drug dealing. Police even tried to get him to frame Breonna herself for a murder he allegedly committed. All an attempt to muddy the waters of this case to try and discredit and defame Breonna Taylor to protect the police who had broken into Breonna’s home and murdered her in her bed.

Protesters in Louisville over Breonna Taylor

EVERYTHING BUT JUSTICE FOR BREONNA PROTESTS ACROSS AMERICA


The nation outside of this horror screamed in the streets over what had happened. Many on the outside could see that this was a senseless murder showing that the police could break into your house at any moment and murder you without any consequences. We said her name, and we will continue to. Breonna Taylor’s family will receive a 12-million-dollar settlement over this injustice. Still, Breonna Taylor’s name has become a rally cry for protesters across the United States and beyond. They used Breonna Taylor’s name in Vanity Fair. Hulu is producing a movie. It seems like everyone knows her and what happened to her.

A Kentucky grand jury has ruled. The decision is upsetting but expected. Brett Hankinson, one of the officers involved in the murder has been charged with wanton endangerment. Some of the ten rounds he fired Taylor’s apartment flew wide of the target in bed and entered into the next door apartment-endangering the lives of its occupants. A black woman was shot seven times in her bed and left to die. But the only charges in the case revolve around the bullets that endangered the white people next door. No charges on the bullets actually fired in Taylor’s residence, or the ones that went into their Black next-door-neighbor’s place. The other officers were not charged. They remain on active duty..


And then Louisville boards up a bunch of windows and doors expecting riots and mayhem, as if the protesters are the monsters in this story.

RELATED: No Justice for Breonna Taylor
Because in America, Black Lives Don’t Matter.


That’s the message, here; the police can and will come after you for no reason. They can beat you, they can incarcerate you, they can murder you while you lay helpless in your bed, and at worst they’ll be slapped with five years in prison because they might have put someone else in danger while ending your life.

I can feel the bags under my eyes growing. There have been 460 murders at the hands of American police this year alone, and that number just keeps growing. According to Professor Philip Stinson with the Criminal Justice Program at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, only a handful of times each year is an officer charged with murder or manslaughter resulting from these shootings. And that’s out of the close to 1,000 police shootings that happen each year.

There is no justification for this. There is no justice for Breonna Taylor, nor for any one of us. It’s not America cares nothing for black people; it’s that America as an institution Hates black people. They will rename streets, they will throw cash at our grieving families, they will put our faces on magazines and on social media.

Meanwhile, the police and feds beat us, taze us, gas us and spray us in the streets for screaming at them to stop killing us.

America will do Anything and Everything before they give us Justice.

BLACK AG EXONERATES WHITE COPS

By C.C. Campbell-Rock

The tip-off was the boarded up buildings, the blockaded streets, and eerie quietness. Similar to the preparations for a hurricane, the city Louisville was ready for the onslaught they knew was coming. They knew that the news wouldn’t be good. But unlike a hurricane, the people were in the streets.

And now the citizens of Louisville are protesting. They are marching against the wanton, reckless killing of Breonna Taylor, an emergency room technician. Seems the city of Louisville knew cops would not be charged with killing her.

Despite 100 days of protests in Kentucky and numerous celebrities and artists calling for Justice For Breonna, including Oprah Winfrey, LeBron James, Kerry Washington, and countless other Americans, no justice is forthcoming.

After six months, a Grand Jury convened by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, handed down an indictment that had nothing to do with Breonna Taylor’s death by cops who used a battering ram to breech her apartment in the wee hours of March 13, and shot her six times. 

Officers Version Disputed

Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, Detective Myles Cosgrove, and now former Detective Brett Hankison, who were part of LMPD’s Interdiction Unit were allegedly executing a no-knock warrant and searching for drugs. They were in plainclothes and without body cams. The officers’  claims that they announced themselves is in dispute. Taylor’s partner, Kenneth Walker and 10 others said cops didn’t announce themselves. One person said they did. Walker is a licensed gun owner and shot at the people who entered the apartment. He believed they were intruders. Appropriately he called 911 to report the intrusion.

In the end, none of the officers were charged with Breonna Taylor’s murder. 

The only one indicted for his actions that night was Hankison, who fired shots into a nearby apartment. Still he was only charged with three counts of wanton endangerment even though he also shot 10 bullets into Taylor’s apartment. One news report says officers shot 32 times.

“Breonna Taylor’s life was full of possibilities but criminally cut short by Louisville police officers. This pattern is FAR too present in the lives of our Black Brothers and Sisters. We need CHANGE and JUSTICE!! #BlackWomenMatter #SayHerName,” tweeted Attorney Ben Crump, who joined the legal team that represented Taylor’s family in a civil lawsuit.

Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, received  $12 million in a settlement. The settlement does include police reform measures. But Kentucky taxpayers will pay this cost.

Kentucky Ag Cameron with local sheriff

Discretion of AG in Question

However, Kentucky Attorney General Cameron actions in Taylor’s case is the sole reason she nor her family will ever receive real justice. Furthermore, his actions are the only reason why the cops who killed her will never face criminal charges.

In announcing the Grand Jury decision, Cameron said the officers were justified in shooting and killing Taylor. “Our investigation showed Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in returning deadly fire. According to Kentucky law, the use of force by Mattingly and Cosgrove was justified to protect themselves. This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges.“

Critics of Cameron’s action have raised several disturbing aspects regarding his use of the Grand Jury process.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham, a civil right activist and former member of President Barack Obama’s 21st Century Policing Task Force commented on the Cameron’s announcement in an interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Rhule.

“Daniel Cameron applies a different standard for police officers. He’s a conservative Republican and in the press conference he was repeating President Trump’s talking points. The hypocrisy is so thick, I can’t even see straight,” Cunningham says. “He continued to talk about these officers being innocent until proven guilty but there was no due process for Breonna Taylor.

Protests Will Continue

“None of this would be happening if the police would stop killing us. Kenneth Walker tired to employ the Castle Doctrine and stand his ground and protect his home. The NRA should be all over this in defense of Kenneth Walker because he and 10 neighbors maintain that the police didn’t announce themselves.”

Ben Crump & Breonna’s Family

“Her family, as I do, thinks this was a sham proceeding. They had a wanton endangerment charge for bullets going into the white people’s apartment but not for the bullets that went into Breonna’s body,” Attorney Ben Crump adds.

Attorney Kenneth Jones Jr. questioned the extent of Cameron’s investigation. “Did he look at the warrant application or seek the circumstances surrounding it? How do you not want to know if the officers should have been there?  The city paid $12 million. You don’t pay if you did nothing wrong. This is absolutely bizarre. After 20 years as a lawyer, I’ve never been so disgusted and confused about this mockery of the law.”

NOLA Attorney’s Express Doubt

Several New Orleans-based veteran civil rights attorneys also shared their perspectives on the Grand Jury decision.

“The Attorney General says Mitch McConnell is a “father figure” to him. That tells you who he is. The Kentucky Attorney General got exactly what he wanted. The modern Grand Jury is a tool providing cover for the District Attorney. The Grand Jury hears only what he chooses to tell them, only his evidence. In the legal profession, it is said that  any competent District Attorney could indict a ‘ham sandwich,’ if he wanted to,” said Civil Rights Attorney Ernest Jones.

Cameron, 34, is a Republican. Donald Trump has calls him a “rising star.”  Cameron delivered a speech at the Republican National Convention. Cameron is being groomed to take his mentor McConnell seat when McConnell retires. McConnell attended Cameron’s August 7, wedding to Makenze Evans, 27, who is white.

Jones’ comments raise several questions: Who was chosen to sit on the Grand Jury? Were there any black jurors. Did Cameron tell them about the cops being in plain clothes and that they didn’t wear body cams? Did he tell the Grand Jury that the majority of witnesses, including Kenneth Walker, didn’t hear any official announcement that they were the police? Was the Grand Jury told if there were any prior investigations of Breonna Taylor and why was she listed as a suspect? And why exactly didn’t the local District Attorney handle the case. Why did Cameron take the case? These questions may never be answered because Grand Jury proceedings are secret.

Taylor’s attorneys are currently seeking transcripts of the Grand Jury hearings.

Prosecutors determine outcomes

“Grand juries do what the prosecutors want them to do.  Grand juries only look at the evidence given to them by the prosecutor.  If the prosecutor wants a grand jury to do something, they will.  If the prosecutor does not want a grand jury to do something, they won’t. 

“The law gives special protections to police.  Police officers are rarely prosecuted because the rules that apply to everyone else do not apply to them.  If anyone other than the police had done that, they would be charged with first degree murder.  Our country has to level the playing field and give the police the same rights and responsibilities as every other citizen,” says Loyola Law Professor Bill Quigley.

“Racism and the criminal legal system go hand in hand.  Does anyone think that if three black police officers killed a white woman in the same circumstances that they would not be charged? “ Quigley asks.

The Grand Jury is a good tool in the hands of someone who is honest and has integrity.  Cameron has none,” says Attorney Ron Wilson. Cameron will fight like hell not to release the Grand Jury transcripts,” he adds.

“There will be no justice for Breonna Taylor,” because of Cameron. “That poor young woman was working two jobs. I’m sure the $12 million dollars is not enough to compensate for a human life. I’m sure Breonna Taylor’s mother would rather have a daughter, instead.”

“We black people have to get rid of Black Republicans like Cameron and Senator Tim Scott. We have to stop voting for a person just because they are black. A black face ain’t enough,” Wilson advises.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miaB3yyFVDg   AG  Cameron’s Grand Jury Announcement

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZRb_ZOS5ds  AG Cameron Speech at RNC

https://youtu.be/I8NmpnHsmQc     Protest March in Louisville

Just Fill Out the Forms, Please

by Kenneth Cooper

#Census2020

Captain’s Log, Stardate 2020: We still don’t know if the president is consulting his witch doctor or not, you know the one who said demons are raping people in their sleep, penetrating their victims naked head (because why would a demon where a condom?), afterwards their leftover semen causing all types of maladies from herpes to hemorrhoids to mere abdominal pain. The president is a strange man, but the president is suppressing the 2020 Census.

Sometimes we just don’t understand the president or what he’s doing. Like one time I saw him eating fried chicken with a knife and fork. I was like, wow is he going to cut through the bone? Maybe that’s something presidents do. Or maybe the chicken was a prop and he had never had it fried in his life. I wonder how he eats turkey necks or ribs.

Strange That President Wants to Suppress Census?

Speaking of props, one time the president had a crowd of people tear gassed so he could walk across the street and take a picture in front of a church with a Bible that wasn’t even his. We know the Bible wasn’t his because when a reporter asked him, “Hey is that Bible yours?” the president said, “It’s a Bible.” A Bible. Interesting phrase. Like I said, the president is a strange man.

President Donald Trump uses odd distractions to suppress the 2020 Census

What we do know, though, is that the president is trying to pull off some type of witch doctorery to suppress the 2020 Census. The Census is what we use to count people. The Census counts how many people are here or there, and who lives where. Some people don’t trust the Census. They think it’s a form of government espionage (an old wives’ tale, or as the president’s witch doctor would say, some demon sh*t).

In real life, the Census is what the federal government uses to determine how much money it gives to the states, how many House seats are appropriated.  States use census data for more shady stuff like which districts are gerrymandered. Presently, the president appears to not be in favor of the Census. He has dispatched a bureau of his minions with not-so-explicit-instructions to make sure some people go uncounted. So the Census takers have been told to cease counting a month prematurely, per the president. Why is the president suppressing the 2020 Census?

Why is President Trump Suppressing the 2020 Census?

The president is a part of what we call a dwindling demographic, also known as a white person. Lately, white people have not been propagating as much as non-white people. I guess privilege only goes so far. Considering this and with money, House seats, and redistricting on the line, it’s in the best interest of the least growing demographic to make sure the more proliferating group is undercounted. Especially since that demographic has tended to be from a different political party.

Side note: Political parties are just gangs without the murders and drugs. Like gangs they have turf to defend (House seats and districts) and a source of money (donations from affiliated folks) they’re depended upon. As their influence goes, so does their turf and money. Side note ended.

Another complication is whether to even count undocumented people. Should states benefit from their presence? Maybe the president will tweet about a 3/5 compromise.

Most importantly,  if you haven’t done so already, fill out your Census and put in the mail. Or if a Census taker comes to your door, don’t run and hide under the bed spread. Open the door and give the person the information they seek. Your congressional representation, streetlights, and sewerage may depend on it.  Remember the President is suppressing the 2020 Census.

Captain’s Log, Stardate later on in 2020: The president has skin so thin that if you pinched him, he’d bleed. He appears to be unnerved by the slightest slight. All day he tweets seeking adoration, and goes into emotional convulsions when he’s denied. Pray for him. His demographic is going through menopause. He’s but a fraction of a whole. Maybe his witch doctor can whip up a potion for him. I hear Hydroxychloroquine is trending. 

A Collection of Political Cartoons by John Slade






































See the video below








































Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

FROM THE ROOT

Illustration for article titled This Is Probably Going to Get Ugly Fast: First Trump-Biden Debate Topics Include Race, Coronavirus and the Supreme Court

There are certain things that we already know are going to be painful to watch. Childbirth is one. Mike Tyson versus Roy Jones is another. And the first debate between a lying white man who can’t watch his mouth and another white man who always wants to fight.

Something tells me this is going to go off the rails, real fast and while the reality TV part of me is screaming “Fight! Fight! Fight!”, the part of me that can’t believe that this is what the country has become is ashamed.

Nevertheless, the first presidential debate between “White supremacy’s pick me” and “You do know I’m friends with Barack Obama?!” is set for September 29 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and will be broken into six 15-minutes segments.

Those segments will focus on topics including: “The coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court and the racial reckoning in the country, the debate commission announced on Tuesday,” CNN reports.

All of these areas should be easy work for Biden, who had nothing to do with fucking up the response to the coronavirus pandemic or fucking up the Supreme Court. Racial reckoning is where Biden is really going to have to lean into his “You know me and Obama share a Netflix account, don’t you?!”

While the topics could presumably change given new developments, assuming that America continues to stay at its current level of fucked up, the other topics include: “The Trump and Biden Records,” “The Economy,” “Race and Violence in our Cities” and “The Integrity of the Election.”

Fox News’ Chris Wallace will moderate the first debate, and I expect the debate to last at least 15 minutes before Biden threatens to punch Trump.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

By The New Orleans Tribune In National News

News One

The Congressional Black Caucus unveiled a new bill earlier this week that its members say will make vast improvements in the lives of Black families, in particular, with significant legislative efforts to bridge the gaps specifically affecting them in the employment and criminal justice arenas.

Divided into two parts, the multi-faceted Jobs and Justice Act of 2020 makes provisions that, if passed, would “increase the upward social mobility of Black families, and help ensure equal protection under the law,” the CBC‘s ambitious new sweeping legislation says. 

The first part of the bill, devoted to jobs, is broken up into five subcategories to address the nation’s most pressing needs on the employment front during a time when there is unprecedented joblessness, especially among Black people. The jobs portion of the bill addresses various aspects of employment such as workforce development, community and economic development, poverty, housing and wealth creation as well as education.

From including incentives to provide more Black girls with opportunities to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields to addressing Black-owned businesses, personal finance and Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the bill’s jobs division casts a wide net and covers the gamut when it comes to all aspects of Black employment.

The second part of the bill is also multi-tiered and concentrates on the ongoing efforts to reform the nation’s criminal justice system, “from improving the way police interact with the communities they serve to expanding access to social services for individuals who have paid their debt to society,” the legislation’s language says in part.

The “justice” division of the bill addresses criminal justice — and includes the CBC’s own Justice in Policing Act of 2020 that ambitiously aims to end police brutality, hold police accountable, improve transparency in policing and create meaningful, structural change when it comes to how law enforcement does their jobs — health equity, the coronavirus pandemic, environmental justice and voting rights.

Referencing how this year marks the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the CBC quoted the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when introducing the landmark legislation: “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”A research report by the ACLU research report, “The Other Epidemic: Fatal Police Shootings in the Time of COVID-19,” examines whether circumstances surrounding the public health crisis — unprecedented societal isolation combined with relaxed police department routine enforcement — has led to a change in the frequency with which the police fatally shoot people in the U.S.