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Pres. Obama and Trump let their guards down at White House

buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...


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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Indifference Is No Longer An Option: An analysis of Elie Wiesel's denouncing of indifference to quell human suffering

buzzz worthy. . .

Elie Wiesel September 30, 1923 - July 2, 2016. 

Rhetorical Analysis by Aria Austin

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and  Aushwitz survivor Elie Wiesel died on July 2, 2016.  He leaves behind a philosophy of understanding and compassion that is shrouded in sensitivity to the human condition based off his Holocaust experience.  Here a writer analyzes "The Perils Of Indifference" a speech that brought Wiesel international recognition.  The questions about morality he ponders are as relevant today as when he first asked them and especially timely in light of social and political upheaval ranging from racially inspired police killings in America to terrorist attacks in Nice, France and the government of Turkey declaring martial law.  Tragedies are widespread, crying for people to be the change that will make the difference in combatting evil.

"Indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor — never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten. . . indifference is not only a sin. It is a punishment." Elie Wiesel
Read more ...

Friday, July 15, 2016

First Black NBA player, Earl Lloyd dies

buzzz worthy. . .

Earl Lloyd, who broke U.S. professional basketball's color barrier when he became the first African-American to play in the National Basketball Association, died February 26, 2016 at age 86. The cause of his death was not disclosed.

Lloyd, an Alexandria, Virginia native who lived in Crossville, Tennessee, made sports history when he entered a game for the now-defunct Washington Capitols on October 31, 1950 at the age of 21.

The game failed to make any headlines because pro basketball was a young sport in 1950, overshadowed by baseball, golf and college football.

But Lloyd opened the door for thousands of black players to come, including some of the biggest names to ever play any professional sport.

The 1.98 meters tall Lloyd, who was just short of 2 meters tall (about 6 1/2 feet), was drafted into the Army after just seven games with the Capitols. He later played for pro teams in Detroit and Syracuse, New York, and was head coach of the Detroit Pistons from 1971 to 1972.

Lloyd was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.
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PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE ATTACK IN NICE, FRANCE


As a mark of respect for the victims of the attack
perpetrated on July 14, 2016, in Nice, France, by the authority
vested in me as President of the United States by the
Constitution and the laws of the United States of America,
I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown
at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings
and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on
all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of
Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories
and possessions until sunset, July 19, 2016. I also direct that
the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of
time at all United States embassies, legations, consular
offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military
facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
fifteenth day of July, in the year of our Lord
two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the
United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.
BARACK OBAMA
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Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. Remarks Honoring the Life of Mr. Alton Sterling

buzzz worthy. . .




July 15, 2016

“Healing the Breach”


Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.
(Psalm 60:2 KJV)

I want to begin by thanking the family of Alton Sterling for inviting me today. His aunt, Sandra Sterling, his siblings, and his 5 children:
Cameron, 15
Na’Queincy, 10
Alton, Jr., 5
Josiah, 2
and Journee, 2

There were three sites of crucifixion, last week, where pain abounded but hope must abound even more.
Baton Rouge, Minneapolis, and Dallas are etched deep into our consciousness.
After painful crucifixions we must now live in the resurrection with new hope and possibilities.
But as painful as the crucifixions were the resurrection must be transformative.
The best can be ahead of us. This is a transformative moment.

We must choose reconciliation over retaliation and revenge. The spirit of resurrection belongs to all of us. We must live in that spirit.  Let’s heal the breach our families have been torn.  Our body politics have been frayed and breached.  Just as perfect love casts out fear, perfect fear brings in hate.  Hate leads to violence.  We must heal that breach.  Remove the stitches.  Remove the germs.  And while we all want healing. We must get the glass out the wound.  We cannot merely have conversations about the wounds.  We must invest in the emergency room to heal the brokenness and to even the life options of all of God’s children.


It will cost to heal the wounds, but we cannot coexist with gangrene in the wound with a scab over it.
Bodies are crippled and hearts are broken. Jesus said I have come to heal the broken hearted.
Those who follow him should choose love to cast out fear and not succumb to fear and hate over love.
Our strongest weapon is not guns and violence, but it is the rightness of our cause. Unearned suffering is redemptive.

There is power in innocent blood. If the killing of Alton Sterling had been in a shootout or a drug bust or robbery, we would not be here.

We must not cede the moral high ground for violence.
We must heal the breach.

Dr. King’s mission statement for SCLC was “Redeem the Soul of America.” Somewhere in this thing, suffering breed character, character breeds faith, and faith will prevail.

We want more states to meet mental health challenges. We need more mental health centers.
Easy access to weapons for which there is no defense.

Open carry weapons is too dangerous and must be rejected.

We must choose bridges over walls. Walls divide. When there are walls, behind the wall there is ignorance, fear, hatred and violence.

We need bridges of openness and hope. Behind the walls some live in shadows, some live in sunshine. Let’s share God’s sunshine.

Alton lived in the shadows. He was a suspect. Today he is a hero. We often love martyrs more that marchers.
Just as often we love soldiers who go to war than we love veterans who come home injured, physically and emotionally.

Behind the walls are adults who need jobs and job training.

Students who need affordable education and scholarships.

Behind the walls are public housing closed private housing foreclosed.

Behind the walls life options crippled by poverty a weapon of mass destruction
As we get more and more, fewer and fewer, making them richer. Jesus said character is measured not by what we consumed but by what we share.


By how we treat the poor, hungry, ill clothed, ill housed and the imprisoned is the measure of our character.
When the President spoke in Dallas, he attempted to lift us from racial battleground to moral higher ground.
We must pursue the high standard he set. What affects one of us directly, affects the rest of us indirectly.
If your neighbor's house is on fire for all the wrong reasons, seek no comfort in your righteousness, the wind is blowing, none of us are safe.

None of us are secure until all of us are. In the dark we all look amazingly similar.

We don’t merely need conversation. We need correction and justice and shared development.
Whether Mel Blount, Sidney Williams from Southern going to the pros or Willie Davis and Doug Williams going from Grambling to the pros. How did they make it? They made it because...

As long as the playing field is even; 50 by 100. And the rules are public and the goals are clear and the referees are fair and if close there is a review and the score is transparent. We can make it and be on the starting team together.

Those standards must apply to every facet of the university. Faculty and staff. Jobs and contracts. And set the standards for the unity beyond the playing field.

We were built on a moral fault of race and gender supremacy. Unless the Lord builds as house we labor in vain.
On this awkward moral fault, we have survived apart now we must do a more different thing: learn to live together.

Racism and arrogance of power is foreign to God’s purpose. The question was asked, “Who is my neighbor?”
Jesus answered in a parable. A man walking down the street was robbed and beaten nearly to death; innocent no fault of his own. This is just the beginning of the parable.

The question is how do you respond to the beaten man? How do you respond to Alton Sterling?
The beaten man is not the hero. He was the victim. A man of his own religious order crossed over on the other side of the street. A man of his own ethnic kin come by and crossed over on the other side.

A man from a different country, a different culture, and a different religion come by.

A man who worshipped God differently helped him up. Jesus asks who is your neighbor.

It was a Samaritan who cared and took the risk beyond color, cultured, creed, and danger. We, too, must care.
Because racism has skewed our vision of media, our perception of politics and culture.

Our vision has been distorted and skewed by race. For example, blacks kill white jail time and crack down time.
For example, whites kill whites…rebellion time.

Blacks kill blacks or whites kill whites… shrug shoulders time. We must take issues of killing to ethical level, not just the ethnic level. No one has the right to kill anyone. Today, the nation’s soul is at risk.
If ISIS kills us or Al-Qaeda we say it is a matter of national security. If we kill each other we say it’s at risk.

About 34,000 Americans die a year from gun shots to themselves or each other. We must go another way.
We can’t give up on God.  We must extinguish the idea that killing is a solution.
We must extinguish the idea that killing is the solution to unresolved conflict.
The young man who did the dastardly act in Dallas did not come out of the spirit of the Black Lives Matter Movement.  He came out of military. He served two tours of duty in Afghanistan.
His ambitions were to be a soldier.  He volunteered, trained, used military tactics, and learned how to make bombs.

Apparently in post traumatic syndrome explosion he couldn’t identify himself or his neighbor.
We don’t like what we see, but the man you see in the camera is the man in the mirror and it is us.
The blood flowing in our streets is so devastating it makes strong men and women weep. It mobilizes a nation.
Three acts of violence did what 10,000 sermons in church could not do: make us look at the mirror en mass and we don’t like what we see.

On our strongest moment we ask God for forgiveness with a contrite heart and we seek redemption.
On our weakest moment, which we think is the strongest, we ask for weapons, more powerful, more clips.
In that scenario we are trapped in fear without love. Police, are afraid. Adults and children are afraid.
Our politics must not be driven by fear, hatred and retaliation.

Instead, they must be driven by love and hope. Love is the strongest weapon; try it.  God speaks to us today from the grave. That’s just like God.  I asked Rosa Parks one day, “Why didn’t you go to the back of the bus? You knew you could have been arrested, beaten and hurt.”

She said, “That was December 1st. Emmett Till was killed on August 28. I thought about Emmett Till and couldn’t go back.”

Dr. King emerged out of that struggle. God was speaking from the grave. Medgar Evers was killed in June 1963. His blood fueled the 1963 march and set the moral tone.
Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis. The blood on that balcony lifted the downtrodden to the White House 40 years later.

Alton Sterling proves the power of innocence and the weakness and limits of violence.  Sterling, Castile and the Dallas police spoke from the grave in such tones that the President, Congress and the whole world had to stop and reassess.  We unleashed a power over ourselves. That shield, gun and badge cannot stop how you heal the breach and remove the glass.

Too many guns- beat swords into plow shares.
Too much fear- perfect love casts out fear.
Too much hate love is more powerful.


Too much arrogance such precedes that fall of a nation.  So, dear God, today with contrite hearts we say thank you for Alton Sterling.  And using your miraculous power to show us the way, your formula, well chronicled, is the key to the kingdom.  If my people who are called by my name will humble, themselves and pray.
Seek my face and turn from their wicked ways.  Then, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land.

Read more ...

Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. Remarks Honoring the Life of Mr. Alton Sterling

buzzz worthy. . .




July 15, 2016

“Healing the Breach”


Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.
(Psalm 60:2 KJV)

I want to begin by thanking the family of Alton Sterling for inviting me today. His aunt, Sandra Sterling, his siblings, and his 5 children:
Cameron, 15
Na’Queincy, 10
Alton, Jr., 5
Josiah, 2
and Journee, 2

There were three sites of crucifixion, last week, where pain abounded but hope must abound even more.
Baton Rouge, Minneapolis, and Dallas are etched deep into our consciousness.
After painful crucifixions we must now live in the resurrection with new hope and possibilities.
But as painful as the crucifixions were the resurrection must be transformative.
The best can be ahead of us. This is a transformative moment.

We must choose reconciliation over retaliation and revenge. The spirit of resurrection belongs to all of us. We must live in that spirit.  Let’s heal the breach our families have been torn.  Our body politics have been frayed and breached.  Just as perfect love casts out fear, perfect fear brings in hate.  Hate leads to violence.  We must heal that breach.  Remove the stitches.  Remove the germs.  And while we all want healing. We must get the glass out the wound.  We cannot merely have conversations about the wounds.  We must invest in the emergency room to heal the brokenness and to even the life options of all of God’s children.


It will cost to heal the wounds, but we cannot coexist with gangrene in the wound with a scab over it.
Bodies are crippled and hearts are broken. Jesus said I have come to heal the broken hearted.
Those who follow him should choose love to cast out fear and not succumb to fear and hate over love.
Our strongest weapon is not guns and violence, but it is the rightness of our cause. Unearned suffering is redemptive.
There is power in innocent blood. If the killing of Alton Sterling had been in a shootout or a drug bust or robbery, we would not be here.
We must not cede the moral high ground for violence.
We must heal the breach.
Dr. King’s mission statement for SCLC was “Redeem the Soul of America.” Somewhere in this thing, suffering breed character, character breeds faith, and faith will prevail.
We want more states to meet mental health challenges. We need more mental health centers.
Easy access to weapons for which there is no defense.
Open carry weapons is too dangerous and must be rejected.
We must choose bridges over walls. Walls divide. When there are walls, behind the wall there is ignorance, fear, hatred and violence.
We need bridges of openness and hope. Behind the walls some live in shadows, some live in sunshine. Let’s share God’s sunshine.
Alton lived in the shadows. He was a suspect. Today he is a hero. We often love martyrs more that marchers.
Just as often we love soldiers who go to war than we love veterans who come home injured, physically and emotionally.

Behind the walls are adults who need jobs and job training.
Students who need affordable education and scholarships.
Behind the walls are public housing closed private housing foreclosed.
Behind the walls life options crippled by poverty a weapon of mass destruction
As we get more and more, fewer and fewer, making them richer. Jesus said character is measured not by what we consumed but by what we share.
By how we treat the poor, hungry, ill clothed, ill housed and the imprisoned is the measure of our character.
When the President spoke in Dallas, he attempted to lift us from racial battleground to moral higher ground.
We must pursue the high standard he set. What affects one of us directly, affects the rest of us indirectly.
If your neighbor's house is on fire for all the wrong reasons, seek no comfort in your righteousness, the wind is blowing, none of us are safe.
None of us are secure until all of us are. In the dark we all look amazingly similar.
We don’t merely need conversation. We need correction and justice and shared development.
Whether Mel Blount, Sidney Williams from Southern going to the pros or Willie Davis and Doug Williams going from Grambling to the pros. How did they make it? They made it because...
As long as the playing field is even; 50 by 100. And the rules are public and the goals are clear and the referees are fair and if close there is a review and the score is transparent. We can make it and be on the starting team together.
Those standards must apply to every facet of the university. Faculty and staff. Jobs and contracts. And set the standards for the unity beyond the playing field.
We were built on a moral fault of race and gender supremacy. Unless the Lord builds as house we labor in vain.
On this awkward moral fault, we have survived apart now we must do a more different thing: learn to live together.

Racism and arrogance of power is foreign to God’s purpose. The question was asked, “Who is my neighbor?”
Jesus answered in a parable. A man walking down the street was robbed and beaten nearly to death; innocent no fault of his own. This is just the beginning of the parable.
The question is how do you respond to the beaten man? How do you respond to Alton Sterling?
The beaten man is not the hero. He was the victim. A man of his own religious order crossed over on the other side of the street. A man of his own ethnic kin come by and crossed over on the other side.
A man from a different country, a different culture, and a different religion come by.
A man who worshipped God differently helped him up. Jesus asks who is your neighbor.
It was a Samaritan who cared and took the risk beyond color, cultured, creed, and danger. We, too, must care.
Because racism has skewed our vision of media, our perception of politics and culture.
Our vision has been distorted and skewed by race. For example, blacks kill white jail time and crack down time.
For example, whites kill whites…rebellion time.

Blacks kill blacks or whites kill whites… shrug shoulders time.
We must take issues of killing to ethical level, not just the ethnic level.
No one has the right to kill anyone. Today, the nation’s soul is at risk.
If ISIS kills us or Al-Qaeda we say it is a matter of national security.
If we kill each other we say it’s at risk.

About 34,000 Americans die a year from gun shots to themselves or each other. We must go another way.
We can’t give up on God.  We must extinguish the idea that killing is a solution.
We must extinguish the idea that killing is the solution to unresolved conflict.
The young man who did the dastardly act in Dallas did not come out of the spirit of the Black Lives Matter Movement.  He came out of military. He served two tours of duty in Afghanistan.
His ambitions were to be a soldier.  He volunteered, trained, used military tactics, and learned how to make bombs.

Apparently in post traumatic syndrome explosion he couldn’t identify himself or his neighbor.
We don’t like what we see, but the man you see in the camera is the man in the mirror and it is us.
The blood flowing in our streets is so devastating it makes strong men and women weep. It mobilizes a nation.
Three acts of violence did what 10,000 sermons in church could not do: make us look at the mirror en mass and we don’t like what we see.

On our strongest moment we ask God for forgiveness with a contrite heart and we seek redemption.
On our weakest moment, which we think is the strongest, we ask for weapons, more powerful, more clips.
In that scenario we are trapped in fear without love. Police, are afraid. Adults and children are afraid.
Our politics must not be driven by fear, hatred and retaliation.
Instead, they must be driven by love and hope. Love is the strongest weapon; try it.
God speaks to us today from the grave. That’s just like God.
I asked Rosa Parks one day, “Why didn’t you go to the back of the bus? You knew you could have been arrested, beaten and hurt.”

She said, “That was December 1st. Emmett Till was killed on August 28. I thought about Emmett Till and couldn’t go back.”

Dr. King emerged out of that struggle. God was speaking from the grave.
Medgar Evers was killed in June 1963. His blood fueled the 1963 march and set the moral tone.
Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis. The blood on that balcony lifted the downtrodden to the White House 40 years later.

Alton Sterling proves the power of innocence and the weakness and limits of violence.
Sterling, Castile and the Dallas police spoke from the grave in such tones that the President, Congress and the whole world had to stop and reassess.
We unleashed a power over ourselves. That shield, gun and badge cannot stop how you heal the breach and remove the glass.

Too many guns- beat swords into plow shares.
Too much fear- perfect love casts out fear.
Too much hate love is more powerful.

Too much arrogance such precedes that fall of a nation.
So, dear God, today with contrite hearts we say thank you for Alton Sterling.
And using your miraculous power to show us the way, your formula, well chronicled, is the key to the kingdom.
If my people who are called by my name will humble, themselves and pray.
Seek my face and turn from their wicked ways.
Then, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land.

Read more ...

IT'S OFFICIAL: Trump picks Indiana governor Mike Pence as running mate

buzzz worthy. . .#pence #trumprunningmate #MikePence


By Mona Austin

Lay the rumors to rest: Donald Trump confirmed in a tweet that he has selected Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a social conservative as his running mate. The news coming in the form of a tweet and against the backdrop of international unrest was anti-climactic, lacking the usual ceremonial formality that comes along with such news. 

The veep pick replied via a tweet saying he is "honored to join" the presumptive GOP candidate in making America great again.

Just days ahead of the RNC Convention in Cleveland, Trump initially postponed the announcement of his VP pick due to the #NiceAttack, which he also stated in a tweeted. However, the selection was apparently leaked before Trump's confirmation. The Indiana Star newspaper and MSNBC News both reported Pence would join Trump on the ticket to the White House. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich was also a finalist for the job, but pundits say his positions did not offer enough contrast to Trump's. Trump said last week that Gingrich would have a role in the government if he is elected.  

Pence, an Evangelical Christian, represents the void traditional Conservatives were missing in the candidate selection pool. Described as a lifelong Hoosier, Pence is a controversial figure in his own right. He stands for the religious liberties and family values that have not been a prevalent part of the political narrative this election cycle. The former congressman, who unlike Gingrich is unknown nationally, came under fire for signing the Religious Restoration Act that said businesses had a right to refuse customers based on their sexual orientation, but later pivoted from that position. Pence and Trump do have pointed policy differences, such as on immigration. For example, he does not agree with building a wall along the Mexico border or banning Muslims from the U.S.  

In an interview on Thursday evening Trump said he had not made a "final, final decision." Today's announcement may have been accelerated to give Pence a chance to inform his constituents of his intent to run for governor. Pence only had until noon today to submit his name on the Indiana ballot Trump said a news conference will be held tomorrow at 11 A.M.
Read more ...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Obama Calls Family of Men Killed by Police

buzzz worthy. . .

File photo.


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - President Barack Obama has made phone calls to the family members of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two black men killed in separate police shootings last week that sparked protests around the country.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says Obama offered condolences during the calls, which he made aboard Air Force One as he flew to Dallas on Tuesday to participate in a memorial for five police officers killed during a protest Thursday.

Castile's mother, Valerie Castile, says she was ecstatic to get the president's call. Her son was killed during a traffic stop in Minnesota. A day earlier, Sterling was killed by police in Louisiana.

Valerie Castile's brother, Tracy Castile, says his sister was invited to the memorial for the slain officers but chose to stay in Minnesota to focus on her son.
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Philando Castille funeral service held

buzzz worthy. . .

A four year old girl  and her mother who witnessed the horrific death of Philando Castille said their final goodbyes at is funeral service today. As the pall bearers hoisted the white casket in the air with one hand, their remaining fists were raised in solidarity.  The raised fist since the 1960s has been a symbol for needed justice, a form of peaceful protest.  At the funeral of a man killed by police, it was a visual African Americans declaring #blacklivesmatter don't want to get used to. Castille was shot during a traffic stop as he reached for his wallet, spurring national protest.  Held at the St. Paul Cathedral, nearly 3000 paid their respect as Castille's body was taken away like a king in a horse drawn carriage.
Read more ...

Statement by the President on the truck attack in Nice, France

A bus drove into a crowd at a Bastille Day celebration in Nice France today, leaving 80 dead, 18 injured.   The incident is being treated as a terrorist act.  President Obama condemned the tragedy i the following statement:


"On behalf of the American people, I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those killed, and we wish a full recovery for the many wounded.  I have directed my team to be in touch with French officials, and we have offered any assistance that they may need to investigate this attack and bring those responsible to justice. We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack.

On this Bastille Day, we are reminded of the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world, and we know that the character of the French Republic will endure long after this devastating and tragic loss of life."

Read more ...