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Another white professor admits to pretending to be Black

Another white professor admits to pretending to be Black

Another white professor admits to pretending to be Black

After confessions by a college professor as well as an activist of Black Lives Matter activist, one more white person confessed that they have been pretending to be Black. CV Vitolo-Haddad — who uses nonbinary pronouns — stated that they are resigning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Medium, and they confessed about lying about their race.

“I am so deeply sorry for the ways you are hurting right now because of me,” they wrote in an essay titled, “A First Step.” “You have expressed confusion, shock, betrayal, anger, and mistrust. All of those things are a consequence of how I have navigated our relationships and the spaces we share.”

“I have let guesses about my ancestry become answers I wanted but couldn’t prove,” Vitolo-Haddad continued. “I have let people make assumptions when I should have corrected them.”

In another essay, they clarified that they are actually Italian, though they have been pretending to be Black and Cuban.

“It was my choice and error to identify any differently,” they wrote. “… When asked if I identify as Black, my answer should have always been ‘No.’ There were three separate instances I said otherwise.”

“I should have never entered Black organizing spaces,” the essay continued. “They are not my place. Once realizing this, it wasn’t sufficient to just leave; I should have explained that directly to the people who invited me and clarified my identity.”

The reports revealed that a job offer was presented by California State University, Fresno, which has been rescinded later. Later, a statement issued by the University of Wisconsin-Madison confirmed Vitolo-Haddad’s resignation as co-president of the university’s Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA).

“We condemn CV Vitolo-Haddad’s appropriation of Black and Brown identities in no uncertain terms,” the TAA Executive Board and Racial Justice Committee of UW-Madison said in a statement. “They have resigned as co-president, and we have removed their access to our website, social media, and all other internal accounts.”

“We cannot speak for CV, but we as TAA leaders are profoundly sorry for the harm they have caused members of the Madison community by 1) claiming Black and Brown identities, 2) using those identities to silence and alienate activists in organizing spaces, and 3) manipulating and gaslighting Black and Brown community members who tried holding them accountable.”

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Ben Crump reacts to Breonna Taylor’s family receiving $12M settlement

Ben Crump reacts to Breonna Taylor’s family receiving $12M settlement

Ben Crump reacts to Breonna Taylor’s family receiving $12M settlement

On September 15, a $12 million settlement was announced by the city of Louisville, Kentucky, with the family of Breonna Taylor in relation to a wrongful death lawsuit.

This comes many months after Taylor was fatally shot by Louisville police in her own home.

A few hours after the announcement of the settlement Taylor’s family’s attorney Ben Crump spoke about the event.

“Nothing will ever bring back the precious life or fill the bottomless void left by the death of Breonna for her family or her community, which she served as a frontline emergency worker,” Crump said. “But this settlement, with the accompanying police reforms, sends a powerful signal to the community that Breonna’s life and her death will have a long-term impact, hopefully preventing the loss of other Black lives.”

According to Crump, the settlement will cause increased reform within the Louisville Police Department.

“The significance is not just the historic $12 million settlement for the police shooting of Breonna Taylor, but also the comprehensive police reform agreed to by Mayor Greg Fischer and the Louisville Metro City Council,” he said. “In the many cases I have represented involving police brutality — from George Floyd and Jacob Blake to Pamela Turner — I have never seen the level of responsive, comprehensive systemic reform that has occurred here under the leadership of Mayor Fischer in just six months. We credit Mayor Fischer and the city council for their tremendous leadership in bringing progress and reform out of tragedy.”

Crump still wants to make sure that the officers who partook in the fatal shooting of Taylor are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Recently, the case was directed to a grand jury.

“This is an important step toward justice more than six months after Breonna’s death,” he said. “We continue to urge Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to convene a grand jury and charge the involved officers immediately.”

It was on March 13 that three officers donning plainclothes — Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove — entered Taylor’s apartment on the basis of their no-knock warrant. Unfortunately, they got into the wrong home and fired over 20 bullets, killing Taylor. It is reported that Taylor’s’ boyfriend fired one shot. According to a court filing, Taylor’s family stated that the cops did not offer aid to her following the shooting. While Hankinson was fired from the force, none of the three officers was charged in the incident.

While media and celebrities continue to demand justice for Taylor, the officers involved are yet to be charged with a crime.

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Dave East kicked off of Delta flight, rapper claims racism

Dave East kicked off of Delta flight, rapper claims racism

Dave East kicked off of Delta flight, rapper claims racism

Delta Airlines kicked out Dave East off on one of their flights on September 11. In response, he claimed that it was a racist move.

The emcee of the Paranoia: A True Story took to Instagram to post a video of the incident. “RACISM,” he captioned the post. “Fucc Delta! Racist Ain’t Even The Word! This Jamaican Man Defending me and He don’t even know me!!!! He watched the racist harassment!!!! Delta Airlines Y’all Need To Stop Hiring these racist, stupid, ignorant TRUMP supporters that get nervous when they see a PERSON OF COLOR in first class!!! Bitch just ask me what I want to drink and keep it pushing!!!! Shit got me Hot.”

The video was three minutes long and it featured the individual who was alluded to in the caption. The man was speaking to one of the flight attendants. The rapper stated that he was kicked off the flight only because a few people were nervous about seeing a Black man in first class.

While he was leaving the plane, over six police officers could be seen waiting for him.

“Racism is crazy,” he said in the video. “With all this shit going on in the news — Black people getting shot every fucking day — y’all do this on an airplane?”

Then, he also captured the badge numbers and names of the Port Authority officers on camera. Upon reaching the Black officer, he says, “You the brotha. You just doing yo job though.”

Then, East went on to ask the location of the woman who led to his ouster from the flight. He asked, “Y’all gon let her fly? And we gotta get off the plane?” However, the woman did not feature in the video. A man from the team of East approached the man defending East to express his gratitude.

The rapper was supposed to visit Shark Bakery’s Pop Up in Atlanta on Friday night. However, there was no news regarding whether he managed to catch another flight.

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George Floyd’s family to be honored during Minnesota Vikings game

George Floyd’s family to be honored during Minnesota Vikings game

George Floyd’s family to be honored during Minnesota Vikings game

The family of George Floyd- the Black man who was killed by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day- will be honored by the Minnesota Vikings.

A statement was released by the team where in they announced that on their September 13 game against Green Bay Packers, the family of Floyd will be honored at the U.S. Bank Stadium following the performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

They also plan on addressing the issue of racism by employing other measures. The players are all set to don t-shirts with the phrase “Be the Change” on the front, while their backs will demonstrate the names of the 200 Black people who were either killed due to racist attacks or police brutality.

Furthermore, the field’s end zones will demonstrate messages such as “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism.” Players can also don helmet decals with sporting the name of a victim of systemic racism. They can choose to wear it for their opening game or throughout the season.

Several other teams have decided to address police brutality and racism during this NFL season. For instance, the Miami Dolphins announced that they plan to remain in their locker room when the “Star Spangled Banner” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” are played.

The team released a two-minute clip wherein they spoke about their intention.

“This attempt to unify only creates more divide. So we’ll skip this song and dance, and as a team we’ll stay inside,” the Dolphins players said. “We need changed hearts, not just a response to pressure. Enough, no more fluff and empty gestures. We need owners with influence and pockets bigger than ours to call up officials and flex political power.”

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Alicia Keys releases new single “Love Looks Better”

Alicia Keys releases new single “Love Looks Better”

Alicia Keys releases new single “Love Looks Better”

Gammy Award-winning Alicia Keys released her new single titled “Love Looks Better.” It was on September 10 that she performed her new song at the opening of the 2020 NFL season. OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder co-produced the track. The opening of NFL not only premiered the song, but also came with an announcement of its $1 billion commitment towards helping Black communities and entrepreneurs.

The song’s premiere comes prior to the release of her next album titled ALICIA. Although it was supposed to release in early 2020, the pandemic led to its postponement. The release of ALICIA will mark her seventh album. Her last project HERE was released in 2016.

A few tracks from the project have already been released, which includes “Good Job,” “Perfect Way To Die,” “Time Machine,” “Underdog,” and the Miguel-assisted “Show Me Love.” Prior to “Love Looks Better,” the last song that released was “So Done,” which featured pop superstar Khalid, in August.

In June, Alicia Keys engaged in a head-to-head battle with John Legend in a Verzuz battle. Both the stars enthralled the audiences by playing many of their hits live on piano.

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California governor signs bill to help former inmates become firefighters

California governor signs bill to help former inmates become firefighters

California governor signs bill to help former inmates become firefighters

On Friday, the Governor of California Gavin Newsom signed a bill which will enable inmates to work as firefighters upon their release from the prison. He shared the news via Twitter.

“CA’s inmate firefighter program is decades-old and has long needed reform,” Gov. Newsom tweeted. “Inmates who have stood on the frontlines, battling historic fires should not be denied the right to later become a professional firefighter. Today, I signed #AB2147 that will fix that.”

The new law is believed to fasten the process of remove felony records of volunteer firefighters who were previously incarcerated. Former inmates can now easily acquire an emergency medical technician certification, which in the majority states and cities, is the first step that must be undertaken to become a firefighter.

For many years, incarcerated individuals have worked in tandem with firefighters to deal with the wildfires in California. However, although they put their lives at risks for merely $1 every hour, they were still prohibited from pursuing it after their release from the prison.

“I think that after seeing all these young men and women stand side by side with our other fire crews and knowing that they had no hope of entering that profession, I knew that it was wrong and that we needed to do something about it,” Assembly member Eloise Reyes, the author of the bill, said.

“I am definitely pleased that the bill passed and I think that it is a great step in the right direction,” said Brandon Smith, executive director of the Forestry and Fire Recruitment Program. Interestingly, Smith was also an inmate at one point, who also served as a firefighter. The Forestry and Fire Recruitment Program is a non-profit entity, with the primary objective of assisting former inmates with employment upon release.

Reportedly, there are close to 37,000 incarcerated individuals who are partaking in the inmate firefighting program. Among them, 2,600 are eligible to work fire lines.

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Miami Dolphins to stay in locker rooms during the national anthems

Miami Dolphins to stay in locker rooms during the national anthems

Miami Dolphins to stay in locker rooms during the national anthems

During the Star Spangled Banner and Lift Every Voice and Sing, the Miami Dolphins will stay in their locker rooms, they have announced.

A two minute video was released on the NFL opening, where the players spoke about the objective underlying the decision, especially seeking change as opposed to engaging in “empty gestures.”

“This attempt to unify only creates more divide. So we’ll skip this song and dance, and as a team we’ll stay inside,” Dolphins players said. “We need changed hearts, not just a response to pressure. Enough, no more fluff and empty gestures. We need owners with influence and pockets bigger than ours to call up officials and flex political power.”

The NFL had recently announced social justice initiatives, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The Black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” will be played during the opening week of the NFL. However, the players are of the opinion that this is merely fluff.

“We don’t need another publicity parade,” player Bobby McCain said. “If you speak up for change, I’ll shut up and play.”

“So if my dad was a soldier, but the cops killed my brother, do I stand for one anthem and kneel for the other?” Elandon Roberts asked in the video.

The coach and owner of the Dolphins supported the move of the players. “It was directed at everyone [in the NFL]. I think every individual in this country can do a little bit better — players, coaches, owners, media,” said Dolphins owner Brian Flores. “That was the message. To try to misconstrue the message or take it in some different light, that wasn’t what the message was supposed to be.”

The Dolphins plan on donating $100,000 to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Fines and Fees program under their social justice plan. This money will be used to support the citizens returning with past convictions to help pay any outstanding fees and become voters.

Moreover, $2 million will be directed towards providing meals for residents in Miami who are underserved, while at least $1million towards assisting restaurants owned by minorities.

Interestingly, on Thursday, the Houston Texans also decided to stay in their locker rooms as Chloe x Halle and Alicia Keys kicked off the NFL season with the national songs.

The EVP of the Texans, Jack Easterby, stated that the objective of the decision was to ensure that there would be “no misinterpretation of them celebrating one song and throwing shade on the other.”

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Fans boo as Texans and Chiefs Unite in Silence

Fans boo as Texans and Chiefs Unite in Silence

Fans boo as Texans and Chiefs Unite in Silence

The Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs have engaged in an unexpected moment of unity. However, the crowd reacted with boos.

On September 10, both the teams locked their arms together and remained silent for time. However, the crowd hooted and hollered.

However, coaches of both the teams- Andy Reid and Bill O’Brien, claimed that they did not notice any booing. However, netizens expressed their frustration in response to the reactions.

“Yeah, so that booing during the ‘show of unity’ is a real good example of why players feel so strongly about these causes in the first place,” NFL reporter Terez A. Player tweeted.

“I would LOVE to see an interview with someone—ANYONE—in the crowd who just chose to boo a ‘moment of silence and unity,’” ESPN correspondent Sarah Spain penned in a tweet. “Just try not to sound like a complete and utter idiot putting into words why you’re angry about UNITY.”

A third tweet from comedy writer NIck Jack Pappas read, “The Chiefs and Texans lock arms in a moment of unity. The fans react by booing. It wasn’t the National Anthem. It wasn’t even a protest. They booed ‘unity.’ This country is broken.”

Post the game, J.J. Watt, Texans defensive end stated that he believed it was quite unfortunate that a moment of unity was reacted with booing.

“I didn’t fully understand that,” Watt said. “There was no flag involved. There was nothing involved other than two teams coming together to show unity.”

This moment was observed right after the decision of the Texans to remain within the locker rooms for both national anthems.

According to Jack Easterby, EVP of the Texans, his team wanted to ensure there would be “no misinterpretation of them celebrating one song and throwing shade on the other.”

“We are very intentional; we are very specific of what we’re trying to focus on when it comes to social justice — and that’s trying to fight for true justice for Black and brown people being murdered by police and they’re unarmed,” Texans player Michael Thomas added. “And that’s by calling for the Senate to bring the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to the Senate floor for vote.

“And today, going out for either anthem — to us, it would’ve been a distraction,” he continued. “And we just wanted to, again, make a decision as a team, and we decided it would probably be best if we all stayed in. And that’s the decision we made, and we were just going to go out there and play.”

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Canada Prime Minister unveils $221 million program for Black entrepreneurs

Canada Prime Minister unveils $221 million program for Black entrepreneurs

Canada Prime Minister unveils $221 million program for Black entrepreneurs

Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, launched a new national program on Wednesday, wherein private and public funding for Black entrepreneurs and Black-owned businesses will be facilitated. In the press conference, Trudeau stated that the new Black Entrepreneurship Program will help Canada inch one step closer towards mitigating systemic racism in the country.

“The pandemic has shone a light on the inequalities that disproportionately hurt Black Canadians and has underscored the need to restart our economy in a way that allows all Canadians an equal chance to succeed,” Trudeau told reporters. “That is why today – thanks in part to the leadership, advocacy and expertise of Black business owners and Black-led organizations – we are announcing Canada’s first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program.”

“As we move forward, this program will help support Black entrepreneurs and create new opportunities for Black-owned businesses, so they are well-positioned for our economic recovery,” he added.

The official press release stated that the government will invest $93 million in the next four years and will also collaborate with Canadian financial institutions, to ensure that the funding touches $221 million. The plan is to split the funding to help three initiatives: a National Ecosystem Fund, a Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund and a Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub. With these initiatives, funding and capital, financial planning services and sizable business loans can be availed. Moreover, the Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, established by Black business and organization leaders, aims to obtain data to better comprehend the barriers faced by Black entrepreneurs, to better devise the program in the future.

“For too long, Black entrepreneurs and business owners have faced systemic barriers to their success, and the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on them,” Hon. Mary Ng — minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade — added. “With Canada’s first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program, our government is taking real action to support Black entrepreneurs recovering from COVID-19 and empower them to start up, innovate, grow and succeed. We will continue to do whatever it takes to support all small business owners and entrepreneurs across the country.”

Moreover, Canada also plans on enhancing its Anti-Racism Strategy, by devising novel justice reforms and improving the support provided by the local community for Black youth. 

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