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Kenneth Campbell has been at 3 events

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The Trevor Project326,165Robbie Rogers, professional soccer player for the Los Angeles Galaxy, will be answering YOUR questions LIVE. He'll be joined by members of The Trevor Project's Youth Advisory Council and LZ Granderson, journalist and commentator for ESPN and CNN! Tweet  #TalkToRobbie  to ask Robbie a question.Live Chat with Robbie Rogers2013-07-14 23:00:00199  
Android Authority916,966AAonAir! Better a day late, than never! Join us tonight as we cover the latest news from the Android world. It's Friday night, sit back, grab a beer or some wine and enjoy the show.Android Authority On Air - Episode 57 - Happy Easter!2013-03-30 02:30:0032  
Daria Musk3,674,078*IT'S OUR FIRST HANGOUTIVERSARY* _G+niuses, I'm so thrilled to announce this biG+ concert celebration! Last summer I met you in my first Hangout Concert and you changed my life overnight. Now it's one year later and whether you're in New York City or around the world on Aug 10th, I want to see your faces and sing your praises, like alwayses. ❤ Details below!_ *JOE'S PUB GOES PUBLIC* On August 10th we're going rock out and hangout live from on of New York City's most famous stages - Joe's Pub! It might sound like the name of a little dive bar like the one I was lugging my amps through the rain to play this time last year, but it's actually an incredibly beautiful music spot, widely-known as the best sounding venue in the city. It's a part of The Public Theater (think Shakespeare In The Park). Adele, Bono, Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys, and many more have sung from its stage..._And now we're taking that stage together with a giant on-stage Hangout!_ _It'll be the first live-interactive global show in the venue's storied history. We're crashing the party guys! ;)_ *READY TO CELEBRATE?* Here's details to come be there live in person - _Hugs! Cupcakes! Bubbly Toasts! Balloons!_ and if you can't get to NYC here's the details to join the hangout live and a guest-star on stage. _BE THERE IN PERSON:_ ♬ Get Tickets: www.joespub.com or 212.967.7555 ♬ Address: 425 Lafayette St, NYC ♬ Doors open at 9pm  ♬ Show starts at 10pm ♬ Raise a glass, sing along, rush the stage, celebrate the night away with me and our nyc family _Note: I hope to be joined by some other awesome musicians who you know from Hangouts here! Special guests TBA!_ _HANGOUT FROM AROUND THE WORLD:_ ♬ Comment here to be added to the first-invite circle! (We'll rotate like always) ♬ Find the Hangout on my G+ Page: +Daria Musk and my YouTube page: www.youtube.com/dariamusk ♬ Global Times: http://bit.ly/P0Rwzu *Thank You For The Best Year Of My Life* This relationship is getting serious G+. We've spent every waking minute together for a year. You've changed my life. You've changed my heart. I've written you love songs. You've met my mama. And now it's time to celebrate our first anniversary together. See you there. XO, DariaDaria Musk :::: Hangoutiversary Concert :::: Live In NYC2012-08-10 22:00:00110  

Shared Circles including Kenneth Campbell

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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 86

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2015-01-27 20:49:16 (86 comments, 5 reshares, 51 +1s)Open 

Alabama Republicans are angry following two rulings from federal judges striking down marriage equality bans.  They have threatened to fight the rulings to ban gays from getting married.  In response, an openly LGBT Alabama Legislator has said that she is ready to out her Republican colleagues having extramarital affairs in order to shine light on their hypocrisy. 

Once the court's stay is lifted, Alabama will become the 37th state to legalize marriage equality.  Story here: http://gawker.com/alabama-politician-threatens-to-out-colleagues-who-are-1681947471   #LGBT  

Most reshares: 17

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2015-01-19 21:57:54 (1 comments, 17 reshares, 58 +1s)Open 

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. #MLKDay  

Most plusones: 66

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2014-11-25 03:41:58 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 66 +1s)Open 

It's not about whether or not the shooter is racist. It's about how poor black boys are treated as problems, well before we're treated as people. Black boys in this country cannot afford to play Cops & Robbers if we're always considered the latter. [We] don't have the luxuries of playing war if we're already in one.

Where I'm from, routine traffic stops are more like mine fields. Any wrong move can very well mean your life.

Latest 50 posts

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2015-07-01 00:30:18 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

I love DC

I love DC___

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2015-06-30 04:10:30 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

"You be good to mama, she'll be good to you."

Celebrating the end of Pride in DC

"You be good to mama, she'll be good to you."

Celebrating the end of Pride in DC___

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2015-06-26 22:16:16 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Organizations, religious leaders, and the NYC CODEL and local politicians address New Yorkers, hailing the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of nationwide marriage equality, on Christopher Street, near the site of the historic 1969 Stonewall Riots.

Organizations, religious leaders, and the NYC CODEL and local politicians address New Yorkers, hailing the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of nationwide marriage equality, on Christopher Street, near the site of the historic 1969 Stonewall Riots.___

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2015-06-26 14:18:39 (1 comments, 12 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

#LoveWins  Marriage Equality in the USA.

"The right of same-sex couples to marry that is part of
the liberty promised by the Fourteenth Amendment is
derived, too, from that Amendment’s guarantee of the
equal protection of the laws."

+Human Rights Campaign 

#LoveWins  Marriage Equality in the USA.

"The right of same-sex couples to marry that is part of
the liberty promised by the Fourteenth Amendment is
derived, too, from that Amendment’s guarantee of the
equal protection of the laws."

+Human Rights Campaign ___

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2015-06-26 14:03:56 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 21 +1s)Open 

MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN THE US of A. FINALLY!

MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN THE US of A. FINALLY!___

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2015-06-26 13:45:00 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

TODAY COULD BE THE DAY FOR MARRIAGE 

The Supreme Court is expected to rule TODAY or MONDAY on marriage equality across the United States. A ruling may come in as soon as a few minutes. The time is now. #ProudToLove   #LoveCantWait   #MarriageEquality  +Human Rights Campaign 

TODAY COULD BE THE DAY FOR MARRIAGE 

The Supreme Court is expected to rule TODAY or MONDAY on marriage equality across the United States. A ruling may come in as soon as a few minutes. The time is now. #ProudToLove   #LoveCantWait   #MarriageEquality  +Human Rights Campaign ___

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2015-06-25 15:07:56 (10 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Forward: US Supreme Court Rules (again) Obamacare is CONSTITUTIONAL
Despite Republicans' attempts to strip 6.3 million Americans of healthcare, the High Court saves it.

Congratulations, America! In a surprise majority opinion -- which was written by the Republican Chief Justice appointed by George W. Bush -- the Court writes that "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them."

That's right -- Republicans would have destroyed the healthcare market just to strip 6.3 million Americans of healthcare. According to recent figures, if Republicans removed "Obamacare" the US deficit would be higher than we'd initially thought. The ACA is working. It could use some work, but it's working!

#SCOTUS   #Obamacare   #ACA   #PPACA   #Forward  

Forward: US Supreme Court Rules (again) Obamacare is CONSTITUTIONAL
Despite Republicans' attempts to strip 6.3 million Americans of healthcare, the High Court saves it.

Congratulations, America! In a surprise majority opinion -- which was written by the Republican Chief Justice appointed by George W. Bush -- the Court writes that "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them."

That's right -- Republicans would have destroyed the healthcare market just to strip 6.3 million Americans of healthcare. According to recent figures, if Republicans removed "Obamacare" the US deficit would be higher than we'd initially thought. The ACA is working. It could use some work, but it's working!

#SCOTUS   #Obamacare   #ACA   #PPACA   #Forward  ___

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2015-06-23 18:59:42 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

SCOTUS to rule on marriage this week or Monday!!

I am standing on the right side of history. I stand with +Human Rights Campaign for #MarriageEquality   #LoveCantWait   http://hrc.org/red 

The Supreme Court is expected to rule later this week or Monday on marriage equality in the United States. I'm hopeful that the Court's decision will end #LGBTPrideMonth  on a positive note.

SCOTUS to rule on marriage this week or Monday!!

I am standing on the right side of history. I stand with +Human Rights Campaign for #MarriageEquality   #LoveCantWait   http://hrc.org/red 

The Supreme Court is expected to rule later this week or Monday on marriage equality in the United States. I'm hopeful that the Court's decision will end #LGBTPrideMonth  on a positive note.___

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2015-06-23 18:48:07 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Movie Recommendation: GETT: THE TRIAL OF VIVIANNE AMSALEM

Last weekend I watched 2014 release Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, a film about a middle-aged Israeli woman's five-year journey to receive a divorce from her husband.

The film is enlightening, provocative, comical at times, and overall heartbreaking. I had no idea that it was so difficult for a woman in Israel to divorce her husband -- and she could only divorce him with his full consent. So, she took him to court for more than two years in an attempt to have a panel of rabbinical "judges" force her husband to consent to the divorce - only it did not work. It is almost painful to watch Viviane Amsalem sit in court over two years and address the sexism, emotional abuse, and judgment passed onto her by everyone in her community. The film is more intense and less predictable than I'd imagined, as a... more »

Movie Recommendation: GETT: THE TRIAL OF VIVIANNE AMSALEM

Last weekend I watched 2014 release Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, a film about a middle-aged Israeli woman's five-year journey to receive a divorce from her husband.

The film is enlightening, provocative, comical at times, and overall heartbreaking. I had no idea that it was so difficult for a woman in Israel to divorce her husband -- and she could only divorce him with his full consent. So, she took him to court for more than two years in an attempt to have a panel of rabbinical "judges" force her husband to consent to the divorce - only it did not work. It is almost painful to watch Viviane Amsalem sit in court over two years and address the sexism, emotional abuse, and judgment passed onto her by everyone in her community. The film is more intense and less predictable than I'd imagined, as a result of strong directing and impassioned performances.

#movies   #Gett  ___

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2015-06-18 01:12:15 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

I shot myself because I love you.
If I loved myself
I'd be shooting you. 

I shot myself because I love you.
If I loved myself
I'd be shooting you. ___

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2015-06-06 01:20:36 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Friday night movies at Washington Square. 

Friday night movies at Washington Square. ___

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2015-06-04 21:32:32 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

D'aww Raising Baby Squirrels!

This couple in the Midwest adopted brother and sister baby squirrels after their nest was destroyed where the husband was working. They hand fed, raised, and bathed the two squirrels for nearly 3 months; feeding the babies every 2.5 hours until they were ready to be reintroduced to the outdoors. They documented their adventure with the squirrels in daily vlogs and it's almost too cute to watch sometimes. 
#Animals   #Stewardship  

D'aww Raising Baby Squirrels!

This couple in the Midwest adopted brother and sister baby squirrels after their nest was destroyed where the husband was working. They hand fed, raised, and bathed the two squirrels for nearly 3 months; feeding the babies every 2.5 hours until they were ready to be reintroduced to the outdoors. They documented their adventure with the squirrels in daily vlogs and it's almost too cute to watch sometimes. 
#Animals   #Stewardship  ___

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2015-05-21 04:02:03 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

@ the Circle in the Square Theatre - I saw Fun Home - phenomenal play! 

@ the Circle in the Square Theatre - I saw Fun Home - phenomenal play! ___

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2015-05-19 21:38:23 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Racism from congressional Republicans spilled its way into debate on the House floor this afternoon.

Some folks simply still don't get it. But y'know what protesters around the country (world) say in response: "You may not get it yet. And, sure, you're part of the problem. But, now you'll listen."  #facepalm

Racism from congressional Republicans spilled its way into debate on the House floor this afternoon.

Some folks simply still don't get it. But y'know what protesters around the country (world) say in response: "You may not get it yet. And, sure, you're part of the problem. But, now you'll listen."  #facepalm___

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2015-05-18 20:40:49 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Why This YouTube Star's Coming Out Matters
+JoeyGraceffa comes out, tells fans "Don't Wait"

Following years of speculation and rumors, YouTube celebrity and entrepreneur +Joey Graceffa came out to his fans in an emotional (and well-directed) music video appropriately titled, "Don't Wait."

Joey is a 23-year-old YouTube actor/producer with more than 4 million YouTube subscribers, and an equally strong following on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. His fans have helped him fund and secure web series, book launches, international tours, and secure lucrative brand sponsorships. He posts daily vlogs, which invite his millions of viewers into his lives every day. His viewers have seen him at some of his most depressing moments and at some of his happiest. He's posted vlogs about his experiences following an enlightening visit to see histh... more »

Why This YouTube Star's Coming Out Matters
+JoeyGraceffa comes out, tells fans "Don't Wait"

Following years of speculation and rumors, YouTube celebrity and entrepreneur +Joey Graceffa came out to his fans in an emotional (and well-directed) music video appropriately titled, "Don't Wait."

Joey is a 23-year-old YouTube actor/producer with more than 4 million YouTube subscribers, and an equally strong following on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. His fans have helped him fund and secure web series, book launches, international tours, and secure lucrative brand sponsorships. He posts daily vlogs, which invite his millions of viewers into his lives every day. His viewers have seen him at some of his most depressing moments and at some of his happiest. He's posted vlogs about his experiences following an enlightening visit to see his therapist, or playing with his husky puppy, or navigating life in hustle-and-bustle Los Angeles.

More important, however, is the demographics of Joey's viewers: youth (tweens and teens) seeking escape and distractions from real-life pressure that we all experience when we're 10, 12, 13, and 14 years old. These young people don't mindlessly watch Joey's vlogs everyday after school - they learn from him. They worship the ground he walks on and aspire to be equally, if not more successful than he is. These young people admire Joey's willingness to broadcast his life - often heartbreaking and all too-real - online in video. 

For years, fans have asked Joey to put the rumors to rest. One young fan once wrote to Joey, "I hated you because you're hiding it causing your life and youtube life fake. [sic]" Many viewers simply didn't care. One wrote that the only thing relevant was his happiness. The fact is that Joey's coming out will serve as a beacon of hope to countless young people. Visibility is important. Using one's celebrity status for good is important. Yes, celebrities earn a living by building and leveraging their audience's support -- but when they leverage that support to help a child going through hell know that "it gets better" and that "it's OK", it makes a world of difference. 

Joey Graceffa took a bold move when he came out. He came out when he was ready. That's all anyone could ask for, isn't it?  He'll hopefully now be able to be more authentic and use his celebrity and talent to support his youth LGBTQIA subscribers - all millions+ of them.

Link to "Don't Wait" on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kcwo_mhyqTw
#DontWait   #EmbraceYourTruth   #Youth   #LGBT  ___

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2015-05-14 23:10:04 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

It's finally spring in NYC 

It's finally spring in NYC ___

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2015-04-29 20:14:02 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Listen to #SCOTUS hear oral arguments for #MarriageEquality

LISTEN: Audio from Obergefell v. Hodges #SCOTUS Oral Arugments Available Here http://j.mp/1DHVNCr

#LoveCantWait___Listen to #SCOTUS hear oral arguments for #MarriageEquality

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2015-04-28 15:33:44 (12 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

While I do not agree with the OP here, it's refreshing to see to see someone step up to this with so much appreciation of the issue at-hand and regard for our plight through all of this. I'm sharing some of my thoughts overall to the conversation, in hopes of contributing to productive dialogue. 

My social feeds last night - like others - were non-stop. I'd just left a meeting and when I saw the alert of the Governor's request of additional officers and support from the National Guard I wasn't quite sure what to think. After scrolling through feed and reading a few articles I had to ask myself what one might expect to hear from Dr. King in the midst of all of this; then, on Twitter, a user posted a statement from Dr. King - which, I believe he wrote whilst sat in a cell in Birmingham, of his disappointment of the "white moderate" which may be applied in a more... more »

I noticed a post by a dear friend expressing that they did not care about Nepal, or Bruce Jenner, and that they wanted a fund for the riots in Baltimore, to show them that fund. Being one of the ones who has been sharing links for People Finder from Google, and Restoring Family Links from The International Committee of the Red Cross(it's part of my job), I felt it important to shed some light on how the events differ.

Here is why I care about the massive earthquake in Nepal, the volcano eruption in Chile, and Bruce Jenner, & am merely shaking my head in disbelief and embarrassment at the riots in Baltimore.

Volcano eruption in Chile/Earthquake in Nepal - these two events were not acts of man, they were acts of nature. This means that they could not be prevented or helped, and it was no one's fault. Damage suffered by both events was staggering. Hospitals were overwhelmed, resources were exhausted, the death toll for the earthquake rose to over 4000 and could get to 10,000. I believe it is our job as humans to help each other as much as we possibly can to get through in the face of severe adversity like this. A long time ago, I made service to others the foundation of my career, and for a reason. For this reason, to be exact.

Bruce Jenner - We have reached a turning point in the conversation and push for LGBT rights. IMO, this was something that should have never been an issue in the first place. But because it is, and since transgender people notably are an underserved and underrepresented group, the more attention and exposure to the topic, the better.

Baltimore Riots - even after years upon years in the struggle for race equality, we, as a people, still do not know how to ask for what we want. In the case of Freddie Gray, let's review what we do know:

-Freddie and another man were spotted by cops
-Freddie took off running assuming, and rightfully so, that they were going to arrest him
-Cops pursued him
-Cops, upon finding that he had a switchblade on him, apprehended him
-Freddie lapses into a coma while in police custody as a result of a spinal cord injury
-Received medical treatment, but apparently it wasn't too timely
-Freddie dies in the hospital

Now having reviewed all the information, I would agree that there are a lot of holes in the story, and that more answers are needed, but what of it that gives you cause to then go and destroy an entire neighbourhood over it? Your own neighbourhood, to be exact. Why give our naysayers even more just cause to vilify and oppress us? I for one welcome a good effective riot, like Rosa Parks remaining seated on a bus, and the boycott of all public transportation afterwards. But setting fire to people's businesses & their homes, looting in the streets, injury to 7 police officers, all leading to unsafe conditions for your other fellow humans who have to contend with it, just because of a few holes in the story of a death of a young man, just doesn't cut it. It was an unnecessary riot and I do not support it.

For all those who will come on this post after reading it and say that I am turning my back against my people, come at me bro, and come at me sis. If I was a parent, and I saw my child out there with that nonsense I would do the same as that mother did, because I refuse to stand by and not call people out when they are being foul. Because I do care. And in this case, it was a foul, because "a warrior acts, only a fool reacts."

Photo credit: +International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) ___While I do not agree with the OP here, it's refreshing to see to see someone step up to this with so much appreciation of the issue at-hand and regard for our plight through all of this. I'm sharing some of my thoughts overall to the conversation, in hopes of contributing to productive dialogue. 

My social feeds last night - like others - were non-stop. I'd just left a meeting and when I saw the alert of the Governor's request of additional officers and support from the National Guard I wasn't quite sure what to think. After scrolling through feed and reading a few articles I had to ask myself what one might expect to hear from Dr. King in the midst of all of this; then, on Twitter, a user posted a statement from Dr. King - which, I believe he wrote whilst sat in a cell in Birmingham, of his disappointment of the "white moderate" which may be applied in a more general scope: "I must confess ... I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is ... the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of a tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: 'I agree with you in the goal you seek, but i cannot agree with your methods of direct action'; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a 'more convenient season'."

Then, I logged into Facebook and saw a friend share a graphic depicting an articulated, non-reactionary quote from an individual, supported by many activists and scholars of Black Studies, who writes that she she supports the riots and that, "It is not our duty to convince you that we are worthy of life and protection under the law. That's not our case to make. You are not God. It is instead our duty to hold you accountable to the reality of our power when you have let the fantasy of white supremacy consume you." This was around the time I read a brilliant article from The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates, which I bet many of you've read already, but: for others interested: "When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con. And none of this can mean that rioting or violence is "correct" or "wise," any more than a forest fire can be "correct" or "wise." Wisdom isn't the point tonight. Disrespect is. In this case, disrespect for the hollow law and failed order that so regularly disrespects the community." http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/nonviolence-as-compliance/391640/#disqus_thread

Then, this morning I woke to see that these brilliant social/analytical/justified articles and statements didn't make the news. Instead, what went viral was the photo/video of a Baltimore mother disciplining her son, who was participating in the riots, without regard for what brought us here in the first place. /Sigh.

The events certainly differ - no question about that, in my opinion. I wonder if the post from the OP's dear friend relates to empathy? There was a lovely post from an amazing black queer activist two years ago who wrote after the Boston Bombing about an erosion of empathy she noticed in minority communities: "POC have always been capable of connecting to [your stories]. Because all our lives we are told white people’s stories--through news, television, movies, etc.--our ability to see white people as people has been pretty solid. (This is also probably due to the fact that we have never needed an excuse to kidnap, enslave, or mass murder you, which is always easier to do to a race of people when you can deny their humanity). But even in the face of all the evil that white people have perpetrated against us, most of us, in the face of some individual white person or small group of white people in pain or suffering, have still been able to feel compassion. Sympathy. Empathy. But lately…it’s getting more and more difficult to feel those things"

I do not think that the OP is turning their back on anyone. We've been connected on G+ long enough for me to have read their posts and appreciate where they're coming from. :)

#BlackLivesMatter  

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2015-04-27 23:02:48 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

On the eve of the marriage equality hearings at the Supreme Court, I stand in solidarity in Times Square with my fellow LGBT people and our allies urging the Court to vote in favor of equality.

#MarriageEqualityNow #LoveCantWait

On the eve of the marriage equality hearings at the Supreme Court, I stand in solidarity in Times Square with my fellow LGBT people and our allies urging the Court to vote in favor of equality.

#MarriageEqualityNow #LoveCantWait___

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2015-04-11 02:33:07 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

I'm back, Felicias! 

I'm back, Felicias! ___

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2015-04-09 17:35:19 (23 comments, 1 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

Beautiful, compassionate statement from +The White House that everyone - Democratic or Republican - can and should agree with.
#BornPerfect  

Beautiful, compassionate statement from +The White House that everyone - Democratic or Republican - can and should agree with.
#BornPerfect  ___

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2015-04-03 13:55:00 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Would You Still Love Him If He Is Gay?
Homophobia = Child Abuse 

April is National Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention Month. Parents/guardians are supposed to love their children. But, some 40% (~ 400,000!!!) of homeless teens in the US are LGBT. These youth were abandoned or kicked out of their homes by their families. In NYC, more than 4,000 homeless LGBT teens are left with fewer than 500 available spots in homeless shelters. "Reparative" therapies, verbal insults, etc. are also forms of child abuse and need our attention. Homophobia is a form of abuse. The hate/fear isn't healthy for children -- or their parents.

Turning your back on a child is unacceptable -- and it's a form of child abuse. Try and support the youth in your community. If you witness abuse or can help support local nonprofits that provide resources to these young people, stand up... more »

Would You Still Love Him If He Is Gay?
Homophobia = Child Abuse 

April is National Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention Month. Parents/guardians are supposed to love their children. But, some 40% (~ 400,000!!!) of homeless teens in the US are LGBT. These youth were abandoned or kicked out of their homes by their families. In NYC, more than 4,000 homeless LGBT teens are left with fewer than 500 available spots in homeless shelters. "Reparative" therapies, verbal insults, etc. are also forms of child abuse and need our attention. Homophobia is a form of abuse. The hate/fear isn't healthy for children -- or their parents.

Turning your back on a child is unacceptable -- and it's a form of child abuse. Try and support the youth in your community. If you witness abuse or can help support local nonprofits that provide resources to these young people, stand up and #dosomething .

(Image provided by the Ali Forney Center)
http://www.aliforneycenter.org/get-involved/childabuse/___

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2015-03-21 22:32:27 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Republican Fight Against Abortion Stalls Confirmation of US Attorney General
GOP fight to keep abortion out of human trafficking bill and anger at the president stalls confirmation

Loretta Lynch is a well-respected, hardworking attorney with a reputation of getting stuff done. She would also be the first black female US Attorney General.

Republicans are fighting to keep an abortion bill out of human trafficking legislation - something that has absolutely nothing to do with the Justice Department or Ms. Lynch's would-be-office. But, as usual, Republicans are so obsessed with the anti-abortion lobby that that they will stall the confirmation of an individual to the president's cabinet.

#TheObstructionContinues   #ConfirmLoretta  

Republican Fight Against Abortion Stalls Confirmation of US Attorney General
GOP fight to keep abortion out of human trafficking bill and anger at the president stalls confirmation

Loretta Lynch is a well-respected, hardworking attorney with a reputation of getting stuff done. She would also be the first black female US Attorney General.

Republicans are fighting to keep an abortion bill out of human trafficking legislation - something that has absolutely nothing to do with the Justice Department or Ms. Lynch's would-be-office. But, as usual, Republicans are so obsessed with the anti-abortion lobby that that they will stall the confirmation of an individual to the president's cabinet.

#TheObstructionContinues   #ConfirmLoretta  ___

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2015-03-01 16:54:49 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

The Dress Debacle 

The Dress Debacle ___

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2015-02-19 13:43:30 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

H/t +Bjorn Troch​

And today on the garden cam..... A great tit flypast :D

#GoPro___H/t +Bjorn Troch​

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2015-02-18 13:48:42 (31 comments, 0 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

There's A Killer Among Them:  #WhoKilledLucy
Soap storyline rocks the UK

Hit BBC soap, EastEnders is taking the nation by storm for its 30th anniversary. Through Friday, the soap is airing live action scenes in its episodes until a year-long murder mystery is solved: #WhoKilledLucy .

Lucy Beale was the daughter of the soap's longest running character, Ian Beale, until her body was discovered in the woods last year. The past several months have been dedicated to characters questioning whether they had any role in her murder and trying to piece together the clues to figure out who, exactly, murdered her - if she was even murdered. Was it her father, brother, partner, best friend, cousin? We'll find out tomorrow! #UKTV   #EastEnders  

There's A Killer Among Them:  #WhoKilledLucy
Soap storyline rocks the UK

Hit BBC soap, EastEnders is taking the nation by storm for its 30th anniversary. Through Friday, the soap is airing live action scenes in its episodes until a year-long murder mystery is solved: #WhoKilledLucy .

Lucy Beale was the daughter of the soap's longest running character, Ian Beale, until her body was discovered in the woods last year. The past several months have been dedicated to characters questioning whether they had any role in her murder and trying to piece together the clues to figure out who, exactly, murdered her - if she was even murdered. Was it her father, brother, partner, best friend, cousin? We'll find out tomorrow! #UKTV   #EastEnders  ___

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2015-02-13 17:12:18 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

TV won't look the same in September

It's no secret that in the past 5-10 years, American television has seen a shift in its portrayals of characters and issues unlike ever before.

On-screen families are more diverse in ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, and religion.  Characters are also more prone to be more independent thinkers, capable of experiencing emotions, often different to old-age stereotypes (reinforced by religion, formerly traditional upbringing, etc.). 

But, in the past couple of years since Modern Family launched, there's been a sort of lull on mainstream network-ordered diverse casts. Well, thanks in part to Empire, the series Fox premiered last month, which has seen the best ratings network television has seen in over two decades. Empire's success comes largely from black viewers, who make up 61% of the show's viewers. Networkt... more »

TV won't look the same in September

It's no secret that in the past 5-10 years, American television has seen a shift in its portrayals of characters and issues unlike ever before.

On-screen families are more diverse in ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, and religion.  Characters are also more prone to be more independent thinkers, capable of experiencing emotions, often different to old-age stereotypes (reinforced by religion, formerly traditional upbringing, etc.). 

But, in the past couple of years since Modern Family launched, there's been a sort of lull on mainstream network-ordered diverse casts. Well, thanks in part to Empire, the series Fox premiered last month, which has seen the best ratings network television has seen in over two decades. Empire's success comes largely from black viewers, who make up 61% of the show's viewers. Network television executives are now recognizing the success of black characters ("Scandal's" Shonda Rhimes is also to thank for this recognition).

An increasing number of stars, producers, writers, and directors have been calling for diversity in Hollywood and entertainment altogether. Just recently, the head of the largest professional actors' union expressed the sentiment that he'd find himself - the sole black individual - in an industry meeting. This is troubling - especially following reports from equal rights groups who have lambasted the industry for its still-too-outdated portrayal of diverse Americans - both behind the scenes and on-screens. Network executives, in response, have begun ordering new demos and pilots of series that will feature more diverse casts. So, this August, expect our screens to better reflect the United States - in ethnic make-up, sex, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs. 

h/t +The Hollywood Reporter
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/tv-pilot-seasons-big-get-772331 
Photo: +The Huffington Post The Diversity Gap in Emmy Awards, 2012___

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2015-02-12 01:56:23 (42 comments, 8 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

'House Of Oil' Says Keystone XL = 42,000 jobs? More like 35.0
GOP makes final pass to approve Keystone Pipeline, +The White House expected to veto in coming days

Congressional Republicans this afternoon passed a bill to approve construction of the KeystoneXL pipeline.  Republicans have staunchly defended the pipeline, claiming that its construction will produce valuable jobs for Americans.  What Republicans fail to tell Americans is that: 
(-) Americans won't be guaranteed jobs (an amendment to approve the Pipeline, on conditions that Americans would staff it, failed); 
(-) the jobs produced by the construction of the Pipeline are not longterm (these jobs may last as little as 2-3 months); 
(-) the Pipeline will create only 35 longterm jobs; 
(-) the environmental impact is not known [to anyone] as it is difficult to predict the longterm impactsthat d... more »

'House Of Oil' Says Keystone XL = 42,000 jobs? More like 35.0
GOP makes final pass to approve Keystone Pipeline, +The White House expected to veto in coming days

Congressional Republicans this afternoon passed a bill to approve construction of the KeystoneXL pipeline.  Republicans have staunchly defended the pipeline, claiming that its construction will produce valuable jobs for Americans.  What Republicans fail to tell Americans is that: 
(-) Americans won't be guaranteed jobs (an amendment to approve the Pipeline, on conditions that Americans would staff it, failed); 
(-) the jobs produced by the construction of the Pipeline are not longterm (these jobs may last as little as 2-3 months); 
(-) the Pipeline will create only 35 longterm jobs; 
(-) the environmental impact is not known [to anyone] as it is difficult to predict the longterm impacts that drilling into our land will have in 10, 20 or 50 years.
#KeystoneXL   #Environment   #savetheplanet  ___

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2015-02-11 17:48:57 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Commenting on marriage equality in the UK, Queen Elizabeth II said, "Isn't it wonderful?"
+The British Monarchy 
#LGBT   #MarriageEquality   #FreedomToMarry  

Commenting on marriage equality in the UK, Queen Elizabeth II said, "Isn't it wonderful?"
+The British Monarchy 
#LGBT   #MarriageEquality   #FreedomToMarry  ___

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2015-02-10 21:35:36 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Happy #SafeInternetDay  (with a gift from Google!)!

Complete this worthy online security exercise by February 17, 2015, and you'll earn 2 GB of free Cloud Storage from Google. 
(as explained here: googledrive.blogspot.com/2015/02/safer-internet-day-2015.html)___Happy #SafeInternetDay  (with a gift from Google!)!

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2015-02-08 19:11:27 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

EMPIRE: The Best New Series
Nielsen notes: the only primetime broadcast series to grow in total viewers over each of its first five telecasts in at least 23 years

Fox's new series, which is seen by more than 11 million viewers, has achieved what television to-date has not. While its predecessors have made huge leaps and continue to do so, Empire reflects a new era in television. As +The Guardian writes, "Audaciously honest on black issues, Lee Daniels’s family saga has won a huge audience that television had long ignored – and a big fan in the White House".

The series is not politically correct nor does it apologize for being rough around the edges. For the first time in recent years, network television broadcasts the story of a black family - powerful, gifted, and complicated in their own right. In Empire, "black issues" are treated as"... more »

EMPIRE: The Best New Series
Nielsen notes: the only primetime broadcast series to grow in total viewers over each of its first five telecasts in at least 23 years

Fox's new series, which is seen by more than 11 million viewers, has achieved what television to-date has not. While its predecessors have made huge leaps and continue to do so, Empire reflects a new era in television. As +The Guardian writes, "Audaciously honest on black issues, Lee Daniels’s family saga has won a huge audience that television had long ignored – and a big fan in the White House".

The series is not politically correct nor does it apologize for being rough around the edges. For the first time in recent years, network television broadcasts the story of a black family - powerful, gifted, and complicated in their own right. In Empire, "black issues" are treated as "issues" - not as supporting storylines or as issues independent of the "American experience." That being said, Empire appreciates the very complicated world we live in, and an America still plagued by racial and social injustice.

Taraji P. Henson goes above and beyond in her role as Cookie Lyon, a matriarch recently released from prison, who challenges her ex-husband, the head of a major (presumably one of the largest) record labels in the United States. Her performance is absolutely captivating and brilliant. She throws her heart into this role, and it makes watching her so enjoyable.

This series also brings attention to the paradigm between gay black men and women and the black community (without the overplayed not-so-comedic stereotypes) - a difficult relationship. This storyline in the series is told gracefully and emotionally, capturing the anger, confusion, and pain.

Based off of the ventures of a music empire family, Empire is heavily influenced by Hip Hop (with Pop and R&B) music, so there's musical enjoyment for all. Only five episodes in, Fox has renewed Empire for a second season. With a gifted and respected cast, crew, and writing staff, I'm happy that Empire will be around for a while.

#EmpireonFox   #Empire___

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2015-01-27 20:49:16 (86 comments, 5 reshares, 51 +1s)Open 

Alabama Republicans are angry following two rulings from federal judges striking down marriage equality bans.  They have threatened to fight the rulings to ban gays from getting married.  In response, an openly LGBT Alabama Legislator has said that she is ready to out her Republican colleagues having extramarital affairs in order to shine light on their hypocrisy. 

Once the court's stay is lifted, Alabama will become the 37th state to legalize marriage equality.  Story here: http://gawker.com/alabama-politician-threatens-to-out-colleagues-who-are-1681947471   #LGBT  

Alabama Republicans are angry following two rulings from federal judges striking down marriage equality bans.  They have threatened to fight the rulings to ban gays from getting married.  In response, an openly LGBT Alabama Legislator has said that she is ready to out her Republican colleagues having extramarital affairs in order to shine light on their hypocrisy. 

Once the court's stay is lifted, Alabama will become the 37th state to legalize marriage equality.  Story here: http://gawker.com/alabama-politician-threatens-to-out-colleagues-who-are-1681947471   #LGBT  ___

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2015-01-27 15:25:14 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

All my friends on the East Coast:
DO YOU WANNA BUILD A SNOWMAN?

(fyi: I first heard this song a month ago and have had it on replay ever since...)

All my friends on the East Coast:
DO YOU WANNA BUILD A SNOWMAN?

(fyi: I first heard this song a month ago and have had it on replay ever since...)___

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2015-01-19 21:57:54 (1 comments, 17 reshares, 58 +1s)Open 

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. #MLKDay  

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. #MLKDay  ___

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2015-01-16 16:46:14 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

The Constitutional Crisis That Wasn't
CIA spied on Congress after it alleges Congress hacked it
Panel says it wasn't wrong


There's been a storm brewing between the Capitol and the Central Intelligence Agency.  And, despite a review board having concluded its work, the fight between members of Congress and the CIA continues. 

Here's a quick summary of what happened: The chief overseers of the CIA in the Senate, the Senate Intelligence Committee, discovered internal CIA documents that shine a bad light on the US government's torture policies.  When the CIA learned that the Senate had the information, it began spying on Congress.  The CIA then spied in order to identify who discovered the information and asked that the Intelligence Committee members responsible face criminal trial.  The Senate rebutted and asserted that the documentsit o... more »

The Constitutional Crisis That Wasn't
CIA spied on Congress after it alleges Congress hacked it
Panel says it wasn't wrong


There's been a storm brewing between the Capitol and the Central Intelligence Agency.  And, despite a review board having concluded its work, the fight between members of Congress and the CIA continues. 

Here's a quick summary of what happened: The chief overseers of the CIA in the Senate, the Senate Intelligence Committee, discovered internal CIA documents that shine a bad light on the US government's torture policies.  When the CIA learned that the Senate had the information, it began spying on Congress.  The CIA then spied in order to identify who discovered the information and asked that the Intelligence Committee members responsible face criminal trial.  The Senate rebutted and asserted that the documents it obtained may have come from a whistleblower or elsewhere.  Though, the review board ultimately found that the Senate staffers took the documents from an off-site CIA facility without the CIA's permission - or knowledge.  

Constitutional crisis: The Senate Intelligence Committee is the top overseer of the CIA and the rest of the Intelligence Community.  Its duty is to ensure that the CIA is acting in accordance with the Constitution.  However, when the CIA threatens and begins spying on the very same people entrusted to adhere it to federal law and protect Americans from CIA overreach, constitutional lines are crossed. 

Argument: Sure, one may reasonably assume that the CIA would investigate how/why classified documents were removed from its facilities, but it should have informed the Senate that it was investigating it -- and, at least give it a heads-up, "Oh, hey Senate Intelligence Committee, we're investigating you for counterespionage and treason!"

If one branch of government is unable to complete its obligation to provide oversight to the other, we're at a constitutional crossroads.  While the CIA acts almost autonomously, their actions merit a greater debate about what role congress may have in overseeing the Agency's work.  The review board had that same conclusion.  However, the review board failed to cite the CIA of any wrongdoing and suggested that the Senate was mostly in the wrong.  

Democrats released a review of the US government's torture policies months ago, much to the chagrin of the CIA.  For more than four years, the Democrats have asked the CIA to be more transparent and have often found themselves at odds with CIA chiefs.  Now that Republicans are in control of Congress, it remains to be seen whether they will continue the fight for more open and transparent congressional oversight of the Intelligence Community.  After it was learned that some intelligence agencies were conducting clandestine operations on American soil, Congress has stepped up its oversight -- but, still, that's not much -- at the end of the day, a minute group of representatives are allowed to be briefed by the CIA or review their activities.  

Until then, we're stuck with a congress and a spy agency that simply do not trust one another: a Senate that's concerned it's especially personal since the CIA threatened Senate staffers; and a CIA weary of opening itself to criticism. ___

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2015-01-16 15:39:13 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Must-see performance from the 70s(?): Tina Turner & Cher

Watch for a laugh this lovely TGIF morning :)

Must-see performance from the 70s(?): Tina Turner & Cher

Watch for a laugh this lovely TGIF morning :)___

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2015-01-16 03:57:02 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Love this track.  Sam Smith's Restart 

#NowPlaying  

Love this track.  Sam Smith's Restart 

#NowPlaying  ___

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2015-01-13 13:27:17 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

I hope this bill gains some strong support in both houses.

As a consumer, think it's important that companies inform us when our data may have been compromised. I was on the road a few weeks ago, when I was informed that my bank account may have been compromised - though, I was not told when the potential compromise took place or how. I was simply told that I'd need a new credit card.

It seems foolish that college students pay ridiculous fees for textbooks and other classroom materials (much of which isn't necessary), but students' data is still sold and collected.

Republicans will oppose it. ___I hope this bill gains some strong support in both houses.

As a consumer, think it's important that companies inform us when our data may have been compromised. I was on the road a few weeks ago, when I was informed that my bank account may have been compromised - though, I was not told when the potential compromise took place or how. I was simply told that I'd need a new credit card.

It seems foolish that college students pay ridiculous fees for textbooks and other classroom materials (much of which isn't necessary), but students' data is still sold and collected.

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2015-01-09 00:38:54 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

The New State of the Union
~Obama transforms how +The White House communicates with the American people
~President makes first plea via online video for free college education to 9 million students across the Nation

Traditionally, presidents embargo most of the contents they are will announce in their State of the Union until only hours before they announce them, but President Obama has upgraded the way in which the Oval Office relays information to the America people.

The administration informed the press last week that the president would launch a 3-state tour, communicating to the American people the major concepts of his State of the Union speech before he delivers it to Congress on January 20.

In his first message, via Vine and Facebook, the president declared that his administration would push for free public community college education to students... more »

The New State of the Union
~Obama transforms how +The White House communicates with the American people
~President makes first plea via online video for free college education to 9 million students across the Nation

Traditionally, presidents embargo most of the contents they are will announce in their State of the Union until only hours before they announce them, but President Obama has upgraded the way in which the Oval Office relays information to the America people.

The administration informed the press last week that the president would launch a 3-state tour, communicating to the American people the major concepts of his State of the Union speech before he delivers it to Congress on January 20.

In his first message, via Vine and Facebook, the president declared that his administration would push for free public community college education to students who maintain above C+ averages, attend school at least half-time (roughly 6 credits, which is usually 2 classes), and make steady progress towards their degree.

This proposal could benefit 9 million students and save each nearly $4,000 in tuition. 

As part of the proposal, the federal government would be held responsible for 75% of the cost of the tuition, while states pay the remaining 25%.  The State of Tennessee has recently adopted its own form of free college education to high school graduates. 

Now, the new Republican Majority, who have already begun passing "cost-savings" initiatives, must decide whether they will take up the bill.  It's unknown whether the ranking education committee Republicans will support the initiatives - the chairman of House Education and Workforce Committee proposed in 2013 raising loan borrower rates and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee chairman served as the US Secretary of Education and represents Tennessee, the state which recently adopted a free college education measure. 

#FreeCommunityCollege   #HigherEducation   #College   #SOTU   #StateOftheUnion  ___

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2015-01-07 16:38:17 (6 comments, 4 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

How the NYPD Lost the Support of the Public
Firstly: we admire the police, but arrogance, deceit, and stubbornness at its head has set NYC up for racial and political tension for decades to come

The debate between the NYPD and City Hall, alongside the debate between the NYPD and the black community, remains controversial.  It's painful to watch one of the country's strongest and most innovative police forces (with some of the most compassionate and relatable folks I know) so shaken up and lost, but this conversation we're finally having is important.  

Major Error #1: The NYPD repeatedly ignores and fails to acknowledge the plight of black people, including its own people of color serving on the Force

NYPD's leadership (political and otherwise) have had multiple opportunities to acknowledge the racial tension in the City, but theyc... more »

How the NYPD Lost the Support of the Public
Firstly: we admire the police, but arrogance, deceit, and stubbornness at its head has set NYC up for racial and political tension for decades to come

The debate between the NYPD and City Hall, alongside the debate between the NYPD and the black community, remains controversial.  It's painful to watch one of the country's strongest and most innovative police forces (with some of the most compassionate and relatable folks I know) so shaken up and lost, but this conversation we're finally having is important.  

Major Error #1: The NYPD repeatedly ignores and fails to acknowledge the plight of black people, including its own people of color serving on the Force

NYPD's leadership (political and otherwise) have had multiple opportunities to acknowledge the racial tension in the City, but they continue to sweep it under the rug.  NYPD's leadership has failed to acknowledge statements from black officers claiming that they have faced racial discrimination from their peers (both on and off duty), and have shoved their stories aside.  

The fact that the NYPD faces such strong internal racial discrepancies leaves little confidence in the public.  It's critically imperative that the NYPD's leadership operate in good faith both in public and in the management of its own internal affairs.


Major Error #2: "Anarchy" and Hypocrisy

NYPD's argument: If City Hall doesn't publicly apologize to the NYPD and denounce NYPD naysayers, it will fuel anarchy and leave anarchy in NYC.

The hypocrisy: NYPD and allies publicly denounce the city's top politicians, the people of color, victims of the NYPD, and organizes counter-protests to fuel the political fire in front of the buildings holding its highest ranking protectees.

The NYPD threatens anarchy brought on by protests, but spends thousands of dollars organizing protests, flying banners across the sky.  Why has the NYPD held everyone else to different standards? 


Major Error #3: The NYPD's Stubbornness, We-Can't-Apologize Attitude

According to the NYPD's logic it doesn't/can't owe the public an apology.  And, even if a majority of the Force wanted to publicly apologize or even acknowledge decades of mistrust between NYPD and people of color, recent actions suggest that top political leaders of NYPD would not support it.  

Suffice it to say, the NYPD's recent attitude in recent days, leading to a near "shutdown" of police activity, for which it blames protestors, exudes arrogance strong for even a native New Yorker.  This behavior is insulting and unacceptable to a 170 year old institution.  Not to mention an insult to the lives the NYPD has claimed or harmed in its nearly two-centuries old past.

--------

To suggest that the public isn't grateful for the protection the NYPD has offered the City since 1845 couldn't be further from the truth.  The fact that the City's top elected officials continue to praise these men and women and engage them in good faith is testament to that.  However, the public realizes the responsibility it owes to the 170 year old institution that the institution cannot seem to appreciate itself: racism still walks across the headquarters of the $5 billion NYPD holding its head much too high.  And, it's about time that the public upgrade the 170 year old institution's mindset on race to the 21st Century.  The public owes the NYPD that; and the public owes that to the 30%  minority of New Yorkers that compose New York's 8.5 million people.

No question that the NYPD has set up a standoff.  But before too much irreparable damage has been done, it's time that leadership publicly acknowledge the racial tension it has created at its own hands.  Otherwise, the NYPD will find itself at the head of a never-ending black vs. white battle that the City of New York won't survive without years of further racial tension.

_Photo: +New York Post _

#Ferguson   #NYPD   #RaceRelations   #RacialDivide   #Discrimination  ___

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2015-01-06 20:26:02 (31 comments, 10 reshares, 22 +1s)Open 

What You Need to Know About the New Congress - 114
Jobs, immigration, and taxes set the debate
Will fewer than 78% of Americans still disapprove of the Congress?

The new Congress was sworn in only a couple of hours ago, opening with it a series of firsts for the United States.  Today marks the first time that Republicans have controlled the Senate since 2007, the first black Republican woman to ever serve in Congress, and the first time in a very long time that a Climate Change denier commands the powerful Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  Today also marks a revival of the Tea Party's far right conservatism.

Jobs, jobs, jobs is the message of the new Congress.  The House passed a jobs bill in 2014, but hopes to send to the president a more concise bill in early 2015; however, Democrats and Republicans disagree on the nature of the bill. <... more »

What You Need to Know About the New Congress - 114
Jobs, immigration, and taxes set the debate
Will fewer than 78% of Americans still disapprove of the Congress?

The new Congress was sworn in only a couple of hours ago, opening with it a series of firsts for the United States.  Today marks the first time that Republicans have controlled the Senate since 2007, the first black Republican woman to ever serve in Congress, and the first time in a very long time that a Climate Change denier commands the powerful Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  Today also marks a revival of the Tea Party's far right conservatism.

Jobs, jobs, jobs is the message of the new Congress.  The House passed a jobs bill in 2014, but hopes to send to the president a more concise bill in early 2015; however, Democrats and Republicans disagree on the nature of the bill. 

HERE'S THE DIFFERENCE between the GOP and the Democrats:
Democrats want to reinvest in America's infrastructure, make the tax code more friendly for working class America, and remain staunchly opposed to the Republicans' proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Republicans propose expanding tax cuts, a smaller investment in the country's infrastructure and a transformation of Medicaid/Medicare, in addition to a repeal of the president's Affordable Care Act (albeit Senate Republicans have to-date disfavored many changes to Medicare and Medicaid).

NEXT STEP(s):
The Administration has made it clear that the president will veto the Republicans' proposed Keystone XL pipeline resolution, and Democrats are working to create legislative maneuvers in preparation for a fight.  Firstly, Democrats have been working behind the scenes to ensure that they have enough votes to keep a presidential veto in place, meaning that if/when the president vetoes the Keystone XL Pipeline, Republicans will have to move on.  But just in case, Democrats are to propose amendments to the Republican bill that would require the Pipeline, if created, to keep oil on American soil and create jobs using an American skilled workforce. 

Republicans aren't very interested in American infrastructure jobs here at home.  So, it seems unlikely - for the time being - that Democrats will receive much support from the majority in passing a comprehensive infrastructure bill, despite calls from international economists to do so.  

Republicans are going to hit the ground hard on attacking the president over immigration in the next couple of months.  The new committee leaders on defense and foreign policy will flex their muscles - or try to - in an attempt to agitate the White House and weaken the president's public support.  

MESSAGING:

(Background:) There's a fight brewing in the GOP.  Freshmen Republicans have privately expressed frustration with senior Republican members and with an angsty Tea Party in the wing, the Republicans will be tasked with appeasing their newest and most frustrated members.  House Republicans will also be forced to build support with their counterparts in the Senate, a less rambunctious crowd (excluding Ted Cruz, of course).

What this means: Republicans have to create an illusion of unity.  If they fail to do so, they'll find themselves out of the Capitol before a new president assumes office in 2017.  So, in the meantime, the Republicans will juggle appeasing far-right, Tea Party conservative members, while backpedaling them ever-so-lightly for a few months.  

Democrats have little room for error.  The public remains skeptical over the GOP's budget priorities and vague plans to revive the economy, so the ball's oddly in their court.  Despite that fact, Democrats wield little authority, particularly in the House where the spirit is less collegial than the Senate.  Democrats will be tasked with exposing faults in the Republicans' proposals, communicating with average Americans the need to make the tax code more appealing to the 99%, and securing the support of minorities and immigrants.  The Democrats' job now is to gear-up for the State of the Union and the looming 2016 presidential battle ahead.

Photo: PBS/Newshour
EDIT: Note that graphic depicts incoming members of Congress (those who were newly-elected as of the November 2014 election.) 
#Politics   #114thCongress   #NewCongress  ___

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2014-12-24 02:47:32 (1 comments, 3 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

FDA Continues to Discriminate Against Gay & Bisexual Men
New rules to ban blood for one year from men who have sex with men

After significant public pressure, the FDA announced that it will finally recommend accepting blood donations from men who have sex with men. Previously, the FDA placed a lifetime ban on blood from men who had sex with men. It's hard to believe, though, that in 2015 - with advanced technology - that the FDA would place such a lengthy restriction on blood donation.

+Gizmodo writes: The glaringly problematic issue with this new policy is that men in monogamous relationships with other men still cannot donate blood. ... In the dark early days of the AIDS epidemic, testing for HIV could indeed be tricky. Thus the lifetime blood donation ban for any men who have had sex with other men after 1970 became policy in 1983. Three decades later, however,w... more »

FDA Continues to Discriminate Against Gay & Bisexual Men
New rules to ban blood for one year from men who have sex with men

After significant public pressure, the FDA announced that it will finally recommend accepting blood donations from men who have sex with men. Previously, the FDA placed a lifetime ban on blood from men who had sex with men. It's hard to believe, though, that in 2015 - with advanced technology - that the FDA would place such a lengthy restriction on blood donation.

+Gizmodo writes: The glaringly problematic issue with this new policy is that men in monogamous relationships with other men still cannot donate blood. ... In the dark early days of the AIDS epidemic, testing for HIV could indeed be tricky. Thus the lifetime blood donation ban for any men who have had sex with other men after 1970 became policy in 1983. Three decades later, however, we can now reliably and easily test for the HIV in blood.___

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2014-12-23 23:01:29 (0 comments, 4 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

+Reuters: Off duty, black cops in New York feel threat from fellow police

What’s emerging now is that, within the thin blue line of the NYPD, there is another divide - between black and white officers. [...] The officers said this included being pulled over for no reason, having their heads slammed against their cars, getting guns brandished in their faces, being thrown into prison vans and experiencing stop and frisks while shopping. The majority of the officers said they had been pulled over multiple times while driving. Five had had guns pulled on them.

#BlackLivesMatter   #EricGarner  

+Reuters: Off duty, black cops in New York feel threat from fellow police

What’s emerging now is that, within the thin blue line of the NYPD, there is another divide - between black and white officers. [...] The officers said this included being pulled over for no reason, having their heads slammed against their cars, getting guns brandished in their faces, being thrown into prison vans and experiencing stop and frisks while shopping. The majority of the officers said they had been pulled over multiple times while driving. Five had had guns pulled on them.

#BlackLivesMatter   #EricGarner  ___

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2014-12-23 00:01:10 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Happy (Almost) Christmas from the best town square on the East Coast! 

Happy (Almost) Christmas from the best town square on the East Coast! ___

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2014-12-12 01:30:59 (5 comments, 3 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

FYI: The Federal Government will shutdown in less than 4 hours if members of Congress fail to reach an agreement.

Congress isn't sure it has the votes to pass a short-term budget. 

From +TIME: "In what has become Washington’s worst holiday tradition, Congress flirted with a temporary government shutdown on Thursday night, as President Obama, members of his Cabinet and senior Republican officials scrambled to line up the votes to thread a huge spending bill through the House before midnight."

There's a potential short-term deal in place, that will keep the government funded a short while longer; though, there's uncertainty whether Republicans will have enough votes to pass anything.

FYI: The Federal Government will shutdown in less than 4 hours if members of Congress fail to reach an agreement.

Congress isn't sure it has the votes to pass a short-term budget. 

From +TIME: "In what has become Washington’s worst holiday tradition, Congress flirted with a temporary government shutdown on Thursday night, as President Obama, members of his Cabinet and senior Republican officials scrambled to line up the votes to thread a huge spending bill through the House before midnight."

There's a potential short-term deal in place, that will keep the government funded a short while longer; though, there's uncertainty whether Republicans will have enough votes to pass anything.___

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2014-11-28 23:26:51 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

Today I learned that Australian newsbroadcasters are kray and they have a brilliant sense of humour. 

h/t to +BuzzFeed's Nick Wray: http://www.buzzfeed.com/nicholaswray/broadcast-battleground-oz

Today I learned that Australian newsbroadcasters are kray and they have a brilliant sense of humour. 

h/t to +BuzzFeed's Nick Wray: http://www.buzzfeed.com/nicholaswray/broadcast-battleground-oz___

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2014-11-25 20:59:25 (0 comments, 9 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

The LGBT Community's Problem with Ferguson
A community often regarded as unwelcome to POC, has trouble responding to polarizing civil rights case.

I was shocked last night by the small response to the Ferguson Decision from the LGBT community. I've grown accustomed to some "civil rights" organizations on Facebook posting one-thousand-and-one articles per day on LGBT rights and marriage equality and other political and social issues, but last night they all went silent. Generally reactive leaders and organizations said nothing. The community that so often refers to itself as the “new civil rights movement” had so little to say in response to a major civil rights case.

Regardless anyone’s stance on the Grand Jury’s decision, the ability for so many individuals to ignore the black community’s anguish, pain, and fear highlights the elephant in theroom: it’... more »

The LGBT Community's Problem with Ferguson
A community often regarded as unwelcome to POC, has trouble responding to polarizing civil rights case.

I was shocked last night by the small response to the Ferguson Decision from the LGBT community. I've grown accustomed to some "civil rights" organizations on Facebook posting one-thousand-and-one articles per day on LGBT rights and marriage equality and other political and social issues, but last night they all went silent. Generally reactive leaders and organizations said nothing. The community that so often refers to itself as the “new civil rights movement” had so little to say in response to a major civil rights case.

Regardless anyone’s stance on the Grand Jury’s decision, the ability for so many individuals to ignore the black community’s anguish, pain, and fear highlights the elephant in the room: it’s about so much more than the decision last night; it’s about decades of oppression that are rooted in truth. Period. Full stop. To ignore the very real experiences of people of color is the problem. Even if someone believed that the officer acted in good faith when he murdered Michael Brown, that individual should appreciate the fact that the black community has - and continues to - speak out against phenomenon in the United States: racial profiling, a system that was born to oppress people of color, and a community always labeled “guilty” before facing a trial. Not to mention the fact that racial tension exists between people of color and law enforcement, that stem back to the days before the very same law enforcement was tasked with apprehending, beating, and abusing the lives of the very same people. This is about a community of millions of people, like me, who have experienced racism first-hand and who are fighting for the right to have our story heard; and to have our lives and our experiences counted. 

To call this an “old wound” is ignorant. 

In response to public and media attention, or the lack thereof, to the deaths of POC, author Mia McKenzie wrote last year “Because all our lives we [POC] are told white people’s stories--through news, television, movies, etc.--our ability to see white people as people has been pretty solid. (This is also probably due to the fact that we have never needed an excuse to kidnap, enslave, or mass murder you, which is always easier to do to a race of people when you can deny their humanity). But even in the face of all the evil that white people have perpetrated against us, most of us, in the face of some individual white person or small group of white people in pain or suffering, have still been able to feel compassion. Sympathy. Empathy.”

The Human Rights Campaign (hrc.org), often criticized for its lack of black leaders and the organization’s silence on issues impacting POC, on Thursday night released a statement in support of Michael Brown’s family and called for an end to racial profiling. Despite HRC’s mission statement, which categorizes itself as a civil rights organization, its members last night lambasted the organization, writing strongly worded (and racist) comments, rejecting HRC’s involvement in the Ferguson case. Among those comments: 

” Please cancel any membership in HRC; another example of HRC not paying attention to their mission by trying to be an authority where they do not belong. Justice was served by a fair grand jury. Shame on HRC”

”I express my disappointment in HRC.”

” Headed outside to pull my HR sticker off my car. Who ever wrote this statement is showing bias to the law.” 

” And may HRC stay out of it.”

” You will no longer be receiving money or support from this gay police officer.” 

” I give a lot of money every year and I am an openly gay officer. The facts in this case are clear and easy, Michael Brown … was a criminal, that … was killed when he treated the life and safety of Officer Darren Wilson. I am ashamed after reading this to associate myself with HRC, and I mat pull my financial support of an organization that supports an uneducated opinion and crucifixion of someone innocent, after all if anyone should know what being innocently crucified is about, it is us homos!” [sic]

MTV/Logo's NewNowNext (newnownext.com) on Thursday night shared HRC’s statement and acknowledged the news on Tuesday morning with a more cheery post, captioning: “Because we could all use some good news today.” NewNowNext appears to have moderated some of the comments on its post, but amongst those received include:

” Come on ... these people are looking for justice but can't even behave. They are rioting now... Hurting family business for what? What did those business do. What they should be doing is educating themselves  learn how to change the future to make this a better world for the next generates. But no--they will do what they know---break the law. Continue the cycle.”

”The officer was doing part of his duty. A thief resisting arrest? Showing pure ignorance…”

” I'm ashamed for you posting this. This is not about race. This is about right and wrong. Would this be the same if he was Asian? No!”

Major LGBT outlets went silent: usually hyperactive social media channels ceased posting for the evening. These outlets commonly post political commentary, political cartoons, movie reviews, pop culture commentary, etc.; but last night, many were silent. Too often at rallies and events, I hear fellow LGBT activists refer to the LGBT rights movement as “the new black” or “the new civil rights movement” - but, last night, when the black community was struck, so many went silent; I was truly astonished by the silence exhibited on Facebook and other social media from organizations and leaders whom, again, post one-thousand-and-one articles per day about myriad political and social issues. Maybe they were as heartbroken and grieving as so many others last night. 

Nevertheless, as many major LGBT outlets went silent last night, I was proud to see so many LGBT individuals and allies speak-out. These include statements from Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Mia Farrow, Jesse Williams, Katy Perry, Andy Cohen, Kerry Washington, Uzo Aduba, and others.

That being said, I understand the severity of last night's decision. This is not an issue of ethnicity vs. ethnicity; it's about people seeking compassion and empathy to tell their story. It's about young POC growing up in a society that was designed to oppress them. It's about finally enabling our Nation to have this debate and for us to appreciate the fact that, as the  noted, though progress in the black community has been made, after each advancement there is a major backlash. The President was correct when he announced to the world last night that "communities of color aren't just making these problems up". 

#Ferguson   #BlackLivesMatter   #LGBT  ___

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2014-11-25 03:41:58 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 66 +1s)Open 

Relevant to the Grand Jury's decision tonight. 

It's not about whether or not the shooter is racist. It's about how poor black boys are treated as problems, well before we're treated as people. Black boys in this country cannot afford to play Cops & Robbers if we're always considered the latter. [We] don't have the luxuries of playing war if we're already in one.

Where I'm from, routine traffic stops are more like mine fields. Any wrong move can very well mean your life.___Relevant to the Grand Jury's decision tonight. 

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2014-11-25 03:06:08 (6 comments, 5 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

No words tonight.

As a journalist wrote earlier today, "The Ferguson prosecutor does not sound like someone who just lost a major case, which is technically what he is (or should be)."

#Ferguson   #BlackLivesMatter  

No words tonight.

As a journalist wrote earlier today, "The Ferguson prosecutor does not sound like someone who just lost a major case, which is technically what he is (or should be)."

#Ferguson   #BlackLivesMatter  ___

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