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Talib Kweli Raised Over $100,000 For Ferguson Activists

Mainstream media may not be at the forefront of standing up for the Ferguson community in need, but Talib Kweli is setting out to change that as he allocates funds to help support local protestors.

The Action Support Committee, organized by Kweli, was able to raise over $112,000 through the crowd-funding website Indiegogo. The campaign was launched on Oct. 19 and exceeded its initial goal of $25,000 for activists who have been conducting peaceful protests for over 60 days with heavy resistance by police.

“These are young men and women who have put their lives on hold to stand up for all of our freedoms,” said Kweli in a statement according to The Huffington Post. "The overly militarized police force in Ferguson has attempted to criminalize them by harassing and throwing them in jail for exercising their right to peaceful protest. We hope these funds help to empower.”

SEE ALSO: Interview: Talib Kweli Talks Michael Brown And Police Brutality In The Social Media Age

According to a press release, Kweli began his first phase of grants on Feb. 13. A total of $48,800 was distributed to programs and organizations such as Jail & Bail Fund, Artists as Tutors, Revolutionary Reading Program: Freedom Fighters and tech Impact Initiative.

The remaining funds will be used on the ASC's Revolution School, which will provide training, workshops and technical assistance for local organizers, and grants for programs committed to keeping the recent momentum of social justice organizing. The committee will have an application process available during the next round of grants late Spring 2015. –– Yvette Brown

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Shameik Moore Blasted For Comments On Police Brutality, Rosa Parks

Shameik Moore, whose acting credits include Wu-Tang: An American Saga, Into the Spider-Verse, Dope, and The Get Down, came under fire after ranting about police brutality, racism, and Rosa Parks.

On Thursday (May 28), Moore posted a series of tweets in response to George Floyd, and protests held after his murder. The 25-year-old actor  suggested that racism wasn’t a factor in Floyd’s murder and questioned how Black people can “avoid” being killed by police.

It didn’t take long for Moore to find himself in a tailspin feverishly defending, explaining and clarifying his words. “We have to work on our community before blaming everything on ‘racist’ and police. 1... there is STILL black on black violence that needs to be addressed... and 2.. if we KNOW that the wrong white person could change our whole life with a false accusation..WHY DO WE GIVE THEM THE ENERGY THEY WANT?

“Give them an inch they WILL take a mile..... We literally know this already. At what point do we look at ourselves and make adjustments? Look... all I’m saying is.. in the MOMENT.. when we are experiencing racism.. can We the black community find ways to avoid being killed? Or hunted.”

We have to work on our community before blaming everything on “racist” and police. 1... there is STILL black on black violence that needs to be addressed... and 2.. if we KNOW that the wrong white person could change our whole life with a false accusation ...

— Shameik Moore (@shameikmoore) May 28, 2020

WHY DO WE GIVE THEM THE ENERGY THEY WANT? Give them an inch they WILL take a mile..... We literally know this already. At what point do we look at ourselves and make adjustments?

— Shameik Moore (@shameikmoore) May 28, 2020

Look... all I’m saying is.. in the MOMENT.. when we are experiencing racism.. can We the black community find ways to avoid being killed? Or hunted

— Shameik Moore (@shameikmoore) May 28, 2020

Moore also acknowledged that “no one asked” for his opinion. “But it’s 2020 not 1945... meaning I’m more focused on black FUTURES than black history,” he wrote. “I personally refuse to feel like a victim.. I refuse to have a slave mentality. I don’t not fear for my life because I know how to carry myself in tuff situations.”

No one asked for my opinion but it’s 2020 not 1945... meaning I’m more focused on black FUTURES than black history. I personally refuse to feel like a victim.. I refuse to have a slave mentality. I don’t not fear for my life because I know how to carry myself in tuff situations.

— Shameik Moore (@shameikmoore) May 28, 2020

The tweet storm included a video of a police officer shoving a young black man. “See I have a very strong opinion that the black community hates to hear.. but needs to hear,” Moore captioned the video. “We need to learn how to deal with police... and or racism... because THIS is the part of the scenario we have failed to fix.”

The Atlanta native noted that he’s “pro LIFE” and “obviously black so don’t mis understand what I’m saying. Black lives shouldn’t be taken so heartlessly.”

“I just feel the solution is not to continue to handle the situation the way we’ve been handling it... there are no results... that is LITERALLY the definition of insanity,” he continued. “Look... all I’m saying is.. in the MOMENT.. when we are experiencing racism.. can We the black community find ways to avoid being killed? Or hunted.”

In additional tweets and three video posts, Moore fended off backlash while further explaining his stance, and claiming that he “probably dealt with more police situations than most black people that comment on what’s going on.”

So honestly... everyone tweeting me.. step out of defense mode for a second.. because there is no “losing me” I AM black.. AND iv probably dealt with more police situations than most black people that comment on what’s going on.

— Shameik Moore (@shameikmoore) May 28, 2020

Feeling that his words were taken out of context, Moore decided to go on Instagram Live but it didn't help much. The Live session produced a viral clip of him suggesting that Parks could've ridden in a black-owned taxi instead of taking the bus on that faithful day in 1955.

Shameik Moore talking about Rosa Parks, Black-owned taxi cabs andddd ?¿? pic.twitter.com/5J53vumDxy

— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 28, 2020

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Colin Kaepernick Says “We Have The Right To Fight Back” After George Floyd Murder

Colin Kaepernick spoke out about George Floyd and nationwide protests that are being held in wake of his murder. In a statement posted to his social media accounts on Thursday (May 28), the athlete and activist provided context on the effects of police brutality and encouraged the uprisings to continue.

“When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction. The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance. We have the right to fight back!”

Kap ended the statement with, “Rest in Power George Floyd.”

When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction.

The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance.

We have the right to fight back!

Rest in Power George Floyd

— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) May 28, 2020

Floyd, a 46-year-old Houston native, was killed in Minneapolis on Monday (May 25) after officers from the Minneapolis Police Department attempted to arrest him for allegedly trying to use a fraudulent $20 bill at local grocery store, Cup Foods.

A Cup Foods employee called police on Floyd at the store owner's request. Floyd was seated in his car parked on the street when cops showed up at the location.

Four MPD officers were fired after video of Floyd’s murder went viral. Derek Chauvi is the former MPD cop who jammed his knee into Floyd’s neck, pinning him to the ground. A second officer, Tou Thao, stood by as Floyd pleaded for air and begged not to be killed. The remaining two former MPD officers have been identified as Thomas Lane, and J Alexander Kueng.

Chauvi has had more than a dozen complaints  against him. He also beat and shot a then 21-year-old Black man in the stomach while responding to a domestic violence call in 2008. “If he was reprimanded when he shot me, George Floyd would still be alive,” said Ira Latrell Toles.

A Change.org petition demanding the arrests of the four officer involved has received more than 3 million signatures. Floyd’s family wants the officers arrested and convicted for his murder.

The FBI and Justice Department are investigating the case.

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Jay Z's Team Roc Takes Legal Step To Improve Healthcare For Mississippi Inmates

Jay Z and Team Roc, are backing a new lawsuit on behalf of inmates at Mississippi’s Parchman prison. The suit accuses Centene Corp. of providing substandard healthcare to inmates and downplaying the risk of COVID-19 infection within the prison.

The lawsuit, filed in Delaware Chancery Court on Wednesday (May 27) by Centene shareholder, Laura Wood, seeks “basic answers to basic questions about grave injustices perpetrated behind prison walls.” Wood is asking for a court order to “inspect Centene’s books and records in an effort to investigate potential wrongdoing.” Jay Z and Roc Nation lawyer, Alex Spiro, is listed as legal counsel.

Centene is the the parent company of Centurion, which provides healthcare to prisons around the country. According to the legal documents, Centene has a “long history of failing to provide proper health care to the prison populations.”

The company seemingly disputed claims made in the lawsuit. “Centurion and its board of directors are proud of the company’s history of providing outstanding and innovative health-care solutions to this vulnerable population,” spokesperson Marcela Hawnin a statement. “We look forward to sharing more about our role in the delivery of health-care to these individuals during legal proceedings.”

Centurion has faced misconduct allegations in the past, which are outlined in the lawsuit. In 2016, a woman sued the company for forcing her to “give birth in a non-sterile environment without a qualified OBGYN,” and two Centurion health administrators were removed from their positions for failing to disperse medication to inmates at Tennessee Prison for Women in a “timely manner.” In 2018, a third-party audit found that Centurion “jeopardized patient safety in an effort to increase its earnings.”

Parchman inmates were already subjected to inhumane conditions, including no electricity or running water, rodents, and crumbling infrastructure, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Aside from the operational and janitorial issues, prison overcrowding and lack of proper health care could result in the viral disease wreaking havoc on Parchman's prison population, especially vulnerable inmates who suffer disproportionately from conditions like diabetes, hepatitis, HIV, and asthma.

Forty detainees have died while in custody at Mississippi prisons since late last year. At least one Parchman inmate died from COVID-19. According to the Mississippi Department of Corrections, the inmate battled preexisting health conditions.

 

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