Arcadia University to Host “Letters to Trayvon” Event

A flyer for "Letters to Trayvon" at Arcadia University.

A flyer for “Letters to Trayvon” at Arcadia University.

Trayvon Martin is dead, but Arcadia University will not see him forgotten.

The university on the outskirts of Philadelphia will take the last weekend of February — the third anniversary of Martin’s death — to celebrate his life with a social media campaign, art exhibit, and a sit-down interview with Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father.

“This is going to be an evening of healing and celebration,” said Dr. Doreen Loury, an Arcadia faculty member helping coordinate the event.
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Poll: N.J. Voters Don’t Think Chris Christie Would Be a Very Good President

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Chris Christie is having a hard time hanging onto the support of his home state as he considers a run for the presidency.

“Nearly three in five registered voters in New Jersey do not think their governor, Republican Chris Christie, would make a good U.S. president, according to a poll released on Thursday,” Reuters reports. “Overall, 57 percent of the registered voters polled said they did not think Christie, who prides himself on his blunt, sometimes combative, speaking style, would make a good president. That included nearly a third of registered Republicans, 78 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independents.”
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If Martin Luther King Jr. Were Alive Today, Would He Be a Conservative?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reacts in St. Augustine, Fla., after learning that the Senate passed the Civil Rights Bill, June 19, 1964.  (AP Photo)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reacts in St. Augustine, Fla., after learning that the Senate passed the Civil Rights Bill, June 19, 1964. (AP Photo)

Here are a few names Martin Luther King Jr. would probably be called if he were still alive and active in politics today.

Race hustler. Socialist. Peacenik. Commie. Blame-America-firster.

Today is the day that we celebrate Dr. King and his dream. He’s been dead long enough, and the cause he fought for now mainstream enough, that the day is celebrated on a bipartisan basis — so much so that Republicans have even, in recent years, tried to claim that King would be one of them.

Doubtful.

More likely is this: If Martin Luther King Jr. were alive, Republicans would sneer at him in the same fashion they do every other African-American leader who isn’t, well, a Republican — which is to say almost all of them.

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In Policing Debate, Ferguson Is a Bad Example

National Guard stand in front of the Ferguson Police Department Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Missouri's governor ordered hundreds more state militia into Ferguson on Tuesday, after a night of protests and rioting over a grand jury's decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a case that has inflamed racial tensions in the U.S.

National Guard stand in front of the Ferguson Police Department Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Missouri’s governor ordered hundreds more state militia into Ferguson on Tuesday, after a night of protests and rioting over a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a case that has inflamed racial tensions in the U.S.

I like Mike Missanelli. I could listen to him talk sports and pop culture for hours on end, and have. Mike is the afternoon host on 97.5 The Fanatic radio station and a fellow contributor to PhillyMag.com. But he is wrong in continuing to use the police shooting in Ferguson as an example of a pervasive racial bias in police departments across America.

Missanelli made his case on this site last week when he chastised sports commentator and Hall of Fame basketball player Charles Barkley because he “didn’t express outrage at the non-indictment of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the confrontational shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.” And because Barkley said “the grand jury was righteous in its weighing of the evidence, and defended police officers as deterrents to even worse things that can happen in the ’hood.”

All of that is true and based in fact. Barkley is right.

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Don Lemon Is America’s First Reality News Star

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It is far too early to tell whether CNN’s Don Lemon is embattled or just growing his brand. He is becoming a household name for all the wrong reasons — but he’s becoming a household name all the same. When CNN does its talent research, Lemon’s name recognition will creep up on the network’s stars like Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer, even though Lemon’s fame is fueled by his becoming an Internet joke.

The latest Lemon embarrassments are photographs, which have gone viral, of Lemon flashing gang signs and grabbing his crotch at a party. This comes after CNN’s bizarre gas mask reporting from Ferguson, when Lemon trapped smoke inside his own gas mask and couldn’t breathe. And while buildings were on fire and stores were being looted, Lemon complained about the smell of marijuana in the air. That follows Lemon’s even more bizarre interview with one of Bill Cosby’s alleged rape victims. Lemon essentially asked the woman why she didn’t defend herself with her teeth.

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What Is Your Excuse for the Cop Who Killed Eric Garner?

Protestors at the City Hall tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday evening. Photo | Bryan Buttler

Protestors at the City Hall tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday evening. Photo | Bryan Buttler

“Negroes — Sweet and docile,
Meek, humble, and kind:
Beware the day — They change their mind.”
—Langston Hughes

Black people are angry. I don’t mean this as a euphemism. I mean this to say that the people you see protesting on the streets are pissed off and fed up. I mean this to say that I know quite a few black folks that cried at work yesterday. That may include allied folks of other communities, because it’s not just black people you see out there with signs. There is a storm brewing.

When I first started to write this piece, I was going to explain why the protests have continued long after the decision to not indict Darren Wilson. I was going to explain that it’s not just about Mike Brown or Trayvon Martin or Jordan Davis or Renisha McBride or Sean Bell or Amadou Diallo or Tamir Rice (I could go on, really). I was going to use phrases I’d lifted from signs about how the system needs to be indicted. I was going to lay out a rational argument.

And then I got a phone call.

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Don’t See Race in Ferguson? Then You’re Part of America’s Race Problem.

Officer Darren Wilson (left, courtesy of St. Louis County prosecutor's officer); Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown's mother (right, AP | St.. Louis Post-Dispatch, Robert Cohen)

Officer Darren Wilson (left, courtesy of St. Louis County prosecutor’s officer); Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown’s mother (right, AP | St.. Louis Post-Dispatch, Robert Cohen)

Like many, I’ve struggled to find a way to come to terms with the grand jury’s decision to not indict Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown. The known facts of the case paint a wildly inconsistent picture. Despite indignant claims to the contrary on both sides, none of us know what truly happened that August day in Ferguson, Missouri. Due to the grand jury’s decision for the case not to go to trial, we probably never will.

When an acquaintance indicated to me a desire to have an open, sincere discussion about the situation in Ferguson and its aftermath, I welcomed the opportunity for dialogue and reflection. I made the deliberate decision to speak honestly and emotionally in an attempt to break through the barriers so many of us have built — barriers that help us shield ourselves from alternate viewpoints about the case and its implications.

I shared my pain at the thought of having to one day sit my beautiful baby boy down to explain to him that he won’t be allowed to make the same mistakes his white friends will — because of the color of his skin. In tears, I spoke about the fact that some people already hate my son, despite his incredible, loving spirit, simply because he is biracial. My baring of painful, personal emotions exposed in the wake of the grand jury’s decision was met with this response: “I don’t see race in this case.”

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This Thanksgiving, Ferguson Makes Football Seem Small

National Guard stand in front of the Ferguson Police Department Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Missouri's governor ordered hundreds more state militia into Ferguson on Tuesday, after a night of protests and rioting over a grand jury's decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a case that has inflamed racial tensions in the U.S.

National Guard stand in front of the Ferguson Police Department Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Missouri’s governor ordered hundreds more state militia into Ferguson on Tuesday, after a night of protests and rioting over a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a case that has inflamed racial tensions in the U.S.

On Monday night, three days before a colossal NFL game between the Eagles and Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, a major news story began playing out making the game seem pretty small.

The situation in Ferguson involves all of us. We can’t hide from it and it can’t be swept behind a wall of conversation about a football game.

What I do on 97.5 FM The Fanatic is sports talk, but it’s really life talk — conversation among people of different races, creed and colors. And when an issue like this explodes in front of us, it is our duty to talk on it. Conversation fosters understanding; it’s the only thing that can foster understanding because it’s the only way we can hear and attempt to understand another’s viewpoint. So to the people who tweet me with nonsense like “I thought this was a sports station; let’s talk sports,” I have the following message: Open your mind, grow and progress, if just for the sake of your children and future generations who should live in a society that’s not always at odds.

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