Civil Rights Icon John Lewis to Have Navy Ship Named in His Honor

john lewis (at mic)

Congressman John Lewis

*(Via Latin Post) – The U.S. Navy announced Wednesday that it will name a ship after Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia to honor his legacy as a civil rights hero and tireless fighter for freedom in America.

Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus said in a press release that naming a United States Navy replenishment oiler after Lewis “is a fitting tribute to a man who has, from his youth, been at the forefront of progressive social and human rights movements in the U.S., directly shaping both the past and future of our nation,” according to NBC News.

The vessel, on which construction will begin in 2018, will be “the first ship of the next generation of fleet replenishment oilers,” he said. Oilers are ships responsible for providing fuel replenishment along with fleet cargo and store to ships at sea.

“As the first of its class, the future USNS John Lewis will play a vital role in the mission of our Navy and Marine Corps while also forging a new path in fleet replenishment,” Mabus said.

In an interview with NBCBLK, Lewis said he cried when first learned that a ship would be named after him. He added that Mabus paid a visit to his office a few months ago to tell him about the idea in person.

“He said, ‘I have been so moved and inspired by your work and others during the civil rights movement. My idea is to name a ship in your honor,'” Lewis said.

Read the FULL story at Latin Post.

Civil Rights Probe Opened by FBI into Shooting of Unarmed Man by Chicago Police Officers

cop with gun drawn

*(Via Raw Story) – The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the 2013 shooting death by Chicago police of a man whose family says was unarmed when two officers opened fire on him in his car, officials said on Saturday.

Interim Chicago Police Superintendent John Escalante, who was appointed last month, said in a statement he had placed the two officers on administrative duties after recently learning of the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe.

The revelation of the FBI probe follows large street demonstrations in Chicago over police use of force, and an announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice last month that it was investigating practices at the city’s Police Department.

The family of Esau Castellanos in a wrongful death lawsuit filed last year in federal court disputed the accounts of two Chicago police officers, Shawn Lawryn and Juan Martinez, who shot the man.

The officers said they fired at him, striking him three times, after he opened fire on them, even though investigators found no gun in his car, the lawsuit stated.

Castellanos, a father of three from Mexico, delivered pizzas for a living, according to the Chicago Tribune.

He was shot to death after he crashed his car while driving under the influence of alcohol with the two officers on his tail, according to the newspaper, which first reported on the FBI investigation.

The FULL report is waiting for you at Raw Story.

Martin Luther King Legacy Week Events (in LA) Start Jan. 12

martin luther king jr

*Los Angeles, CA  – On King Holiday, Monday, January 18, 2016, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California (SCLC-SC) will hold their annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Awards & Benefit Gala in the Grand Ballroom at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles.

“This year’s King Legacy Awards recipients reflect excellence in promoting equality and justice in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Honorary Chairperson Matthew M. Johnson, Esq., President of the LA Police Commission and Managing Partner, Ziffren Brittenham LLP, “I’m excited to be a part of such a prestigious event that supports the mission of continuing to uphold and expand Dr. King’s dream.”

Hosted by actor William Allen Young of CBS drama, “Code Black,” the theme of the evening is ‘Bending the Arc & Breaking Barriers.’

“We are attempting to involve more programs and people from a cross section of the community, because that is how Dr, King lived” said Pastor William D. Smart Jr., President/CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California.  “As we rebuild the movement it takes all of us participating and working together.”

The 2016 SCLC-SC King Legacy Awards honorees are: Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences; DeVon Franklin, best-selling author and President/CEO of Sony Studios-based Franklin Entertainment; Ken Maxey,Comcast Director of External Affairs, California Region; and Charisse Bremond Weaver, President/CEO of the Brotherhood Crusade.

Get the rest of this article at EURweb.com.

 

Martin Luther King Assassination Film ‘Memphis’ Back on Track

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*Suddenly, 44 years after his assassination, there’s a lot of interest in Martin Luther King Jr. by filmmakers.

At one point last year “Memphis” was one of 5 MLK productions in the pipeline … all at varying stages of development.

The bottom line is that only ONE of the five projects has the backing of the King estate. That would be the undertaking from the Oprah Winfrey/HBO/Steven Spielberg/DreamWorks coalition

Hold on. Not so fast. Now it appears that “Memphis” is back on track after being in limbo for the past year or so, according to Shadow and Act.

Last we wrote about the Paul Greengrass-directed MLK assassination pic, “Memphis,” which was once a sure-thing, the studio backing it, Universal Pictures, had backed out of financing and distributing the film.

Why? Word on the street was that there was pressure from the MLK estate (and Andrew Young’s objections) to call off the project, because they were unhappy with the script.

The film, which was supposed to focus on the events leading up to King’s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee, while he was trying to organize the city’s sanitation workers in spring of 1968; but it would have also highlighted his infidelity, which there was strong opposition to. It will also focus on the manhunt for James Earl Ray.

Tonight, Deadline is reporting that the project looks to be alive again, with French distribution company Wild Bunch getting behind the project, and super producer Scott Rudin producing, after almost a year in hiatus, and it just might be up next for Greengrass.

Meanwhile, entertainment industry blog Deadline also says that they’ve read the script, and called “Oscar caliber stuff.”

Read/learn more at Shadow and Act.

Balcony of Memphis Hotel/Museum where King was Slain to Open to Visitors

1968 iconic photo of Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy at the Loraine Hotel just before Dr. King was killed.

1968 iconic photo of Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy at the Loraine Hotel just before Dr. King was killed.

*Changes are being made to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn.

Soon,  visitors will be able to get a closer look at the place where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in the spring of 1968.

The museum, which was the Loraine Hotel, opened to the public in 1991, is renovating and will soon be allowing access to the balcony where King was shot, according to the Associated Press.

Until recently, museum visitors could see the balcony — the museum is built around the two-story motel — but they couldn’t walk on it. When the new exhibit opens, visitors will be able to step onto the balcony, and there will also be a lift for disabled guests.

King stayed at the Lorraine Motel on several occasions. During his last visit there, he was in Memphis to support sanitation workers who were on strike.

An exhibit displaying where King’s assassin, James Earl Ray, shot at the civil rights leader will be open during the renovation, which is now open as well. The balcony exhibit is planned to open on Nov. 19.

Pundit Boyce Watkins Sees Cornel West as MLJ Jr. and Barack Obama as JKF

dr-boyce-watkins

*In a recent article, Dr. Boyce Watkins posited that he sees history replaying itself. He sees Barack Obama as John F. Kennedy and Dr. Cornel West  (pictured) as Martin Luther King Jr.

RELATED: Smiley and West Turn Up Heat on Obama & Black Progressives on Poverty (Watch)

In other words, and this is deep, Cornel West is Martin Luther King, the preacher/scholar who is determined to die telling the truth, no matter what the consequence may be.

“It’s important to remember, he writes, “that it was possible to love both Kennedy and King,even as Dr. King refused to work for even the most benevolent politicians (as Rev. Al Sharpton has done with the Obama Administration). In the same vein, it is possible to love both Cornel West and Barack Obama, and I find myself in that category.”

Cornel West is, in my opinion, the most dangerous black man in America, and that’s why most self-serving, manipulative politicians hate him. There is nothing the establishment fears more than a highly-intelligent,conscientious, powerful, courageous and determined black man. Among all of the public figures I’ve had the chance to interact with, Cornel West has been the most impressive and the most persuasive: Even those who disagree with him respect him in the end, and his agenda is not tainted by a quest for money, fame or power. In my assessment, Dr. West is simply “burdened” with the intense desire to honor a higher power by relentlessly advocating for those who are less-fortunate, which can be a crime in a capitalist society.

 

In a recent interview,Tavis Smiley asked if President Obama is ever going to say the words “prison industrial complex” in public. Perhaps there are those who don’t care or think that these problems belong to other people. But I’ve seen families up close who’ve been devastated by this issue, and this is simply a fight I cannot ignore. Other matters, such as black unemployment,urban violence and unequal educational systems are not problems that we created ourselves, and similar to white Americans, we too have the right to demand that our tax dollars be used to help resolve these issues. Anyone who attacks a black person for speaking up for black people might need to check his psyche.

 

In the same interview as Smiley, Dr. West goes directly at those who should be his allies, Al Sharpton, Michael Eric Dyson, and Melissa Harris-Perry, using the term “up for sale” to describe their behavior over the last two years. I consider all of these people to be friends, but the lines in the sand have been drawn by dollar bills being supplied by MSNBC like machine guns being sold to African rebels so they can kill and contain their own people. There are ways that an outside power can use its ability to reward and punish to create factions where none previously existed, making it easier to take resources from the people without compensating them. In Africa, the resource being taken might be oil, and in black America, the resource is votes. Divided black leadership and the containment/control of Al Sharpton have made black people easier to conquer for the Democratic Party.

Read/learn more at Black Blue Dog.

Martin The Prophet?

Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.was more than just a civil rights and spiritual leader. He was in my opinion a modern day prophet. Check out the article below and let me know if you agree.

Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.was more than just
a civil rights and spiritual leader. He was
in my opinion a modern day prophet. Check out
the article below and let me know if you agree.

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” –Martin Luther King

Those were the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., in his famous April 4, 1967, Riverside Church speech, 43 years ago this Easter Sunday. The speech was titled “Beyond Viet Nam: A Time to Break Silence.” It was delivered exactly one year to the day of his1968 assassination in Memphis.

The people who heard that speech recognized it as one of the most powerful speeches ever given articulating the immorality of the Viet Nam War. Some also saw that King was signing his own death warrant by exposing so forcefully the war crimes that were being committed daily in what the courageous Jesuit prophet Daniel Berrigan, who personally witnessed what was going on in the killing fields of Viet Nam, described as “an overwhelming atrocity.”

King and Berrigan were speaking out from their deeply felt sense of moral outrage and anguish over the horrible suffering of the millions of innocent, unarmed Vietnamese civilians. They both knew that women and children were the main victims of modern warfare, especially wars that utilized so indiscriminately the massive arsenal of highly lethal weapons, including one of the US Air Force’s favorites, napalm, which burned the flesh off of whatever part of the body that the flaming, jellied gasoline splashed on. Berrigan often used the phrase “The Land of the Burning Children” when he wrote and spoke about what he had seen in Viet Nam.

Both of these courageous prophets knew about the atrocities that American soldiers and Marines were ordered to commit in the name of “anti-communism.” And King saw the connections between the killing of dispensable “gooks” and “slants” on the battlefields of Southeast Asia and the oppression, impoverishment, imprisoning and lynching of “dispensable blacks” in America. Racism was alive and well in the US military and it didn’t differentiate between foreign or domestic targets.

King was being faithful to the nonviolent teachings of Jesus of Nazareth by speaking out against injustice wherever he saw it. He knew that the willingness to use the violence of racism or the violence of orchestrated poverty or the violence of militarism had the same sources: fear of “the other” and the perceived need to defend, by the use of violence if necessary, one’s own wealth and privilege, no matter how unjustly they were acquired.

King knew that the opposition to his civil rights movement – and now his outspoken anti-Viet Nam War stance – was formidable: from indifferent or frightened bystanders everywhere (whose silence gave consent to the violence) to privileged white Christian churches in the south who wanted the movement to “go slow” to cruel racists, including the Ku Klux Klan and White Citizens Councils in the south to J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI in the north. Those groups were dangerous enough, but by speaking out he was opposing entrenched systems of racism, economic oppression and militarism, each of which had the power to unleash lethal violence against any and all perceived enemies, especially those of the powerless underclass.

Tremendous fortunes are made in every war, and the Viet Nam War was no exception. Weapons manufacturers thrived, becoming more deeply entrenched as each batch of industry lobbyists and their media propaganda became more and more successful. Hundreds of billions of dollars yearly, all tax-and-spend or tax-and-borrow expenditures, were spent for weapons research and development.

Large numbers of workers were hired to work in hundreds of huge weapons factories in every legislative district in the nation, and the economy boomed — but it boomed on tax money that then couldn’t be spent for other projects. And so the war-making and the wars were popular with the investor class, the power elite, the Pentagon, the CIA, most politicians, the defense industries and, of course, the people who needed the jobs.

March 21st A Day Of History

March 21st is a day of historical significance. The many events that took place were that of civil rights issues both here and abroad. Feel  free to comment after reading the article below.

March 21st is a day of historical significance.
The many events that took place were that of
civil rights issues both here and abroad. Feel
free to comment after reading the article below.

On March 21, 1960, about 70 people were killed in Sharpeville, South Africa, when police fired on black protesters; the shooting drew international condemnation. (On this date in 1985, police in Langa, South Africa, opened fire on blacks marching to mark the 25th anniversary of Sharpeville; the reported death toll varies between 29 and 43.)

In 1685, composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany.

In 1804, the French civil code, or the “Code Napoleon” as it was later called, was adopted.

In 1806, Mexican statesman Benito Juarez was born in Oaxaca.

In 1907, US Marines arrived in Honduras to protect American lives and interests in the wake of political violence.

In 1940, a new government was formed in France by Paul Reynaud, who became prime minister, succeeding Edouard Daladier.

In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan began a four-day conference in Bermuda.

In 1963, the Alcatraz federal prison island in San Francisco Bay was emptied of its last inmates at the order of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.

In 1965, more than 3,000 civil rights demonstrators led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. began their march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

In 1972, the Supreme Court, in Dunn v. Blumstein, ruled that states may not require at least a year’s residency for voting eligibility.

 

Pot War

A pot war of sorts has started in the city  of Los Angeles. The city is trying to limit the number of medical marijuana dispensaries because the city says there are too many of them. However the coalition of collectives fighting the city says let competitiveness weed out the numbers. So should the city limit the number of  outlets selling pot or should it let the businesses weed out it's own numbers?

A pot war of sorts has started in the city
of Los Angeles. The city is trying to limit
the number of medical marijuana dispensaries
because the city says there are too many of them.
However the coalition of collectives fighting
the city says let competitiveness weed out the
numbers. So should the city limit the number of
outlets selling pot or should it let the businesses
weed out it’s own numbers?

Seeking to overturn the city’s medical marijuana ordinance even before it takes effect, a loose-knit coalition of Los Angeles collectives is quietly gathering signatures to force a referendum on the law.

The scrappy, largely volunteer effort faces a Monday deadline to turn in 27,425 valid signatures.

“We’re getting down to the wire here,” said Dan Halbert, who runs Rainforest Collective in Mar Vista and has coordinated the campaign. “It’s going to be close.”

Halbert’s dispensary on Venice Boulevard, which opened last year, is one of hundreds that would have to close under the ordinance. That law, which will probably not be in effect until May, caps the number at 70. But it also makes an exception to allow about 128 dispensaries that registered in 2007, when the City Council adopted a moratorium, to stay open.

“They are just kind of arbitrarily drawing a line in the sand,” said Halbert, who argues that the competitive business environment would eventually reduce the number on its own, leaving only the best-run collectives.

To City Council members, Halbert is just one of hundreds of opportunists out to make a quick buck. His store was among those targeted last summer by a chagrined council after neighborhood activists repeatedly complained that marijuana outlets were rapidly opening across the city despite the moratorium.

An entrepreneur who owned an adventure travel business in Phoenix, Halbert moved to Los Angeles to open his dispensary after three trips to investigate the city’s vibrant weed industry. He said he never would have started the business if the city had been enforcing its ban. Now he has become a political activist trying to save his livelihood and torpedo an ordinance that the City Council has labored over for almost two years.

“Once you get $100,000 charged on credit cards, you really don’t have any choice,” he said. “You have a choice of bankruptcy or trying every legal avenue that you have to get your rights.”

The last time a referendum qualified for the ballot, the City Council backed down on the targeted ordinance.

Remember Willie Davis

Baseball great Willie Davis has died of what appears to be of natural causes. We would love to hear from you baseball fans about this former great Dodger.

Baseball great Willie Davis has died of
what appears to be of natural causes.
We would love to hear from you baseball
fans about this former great Dodger.

Former Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Willie Davis was found dead Tuesday morning in his Burbank home, police said. He was 69.

Authorities said that a neighbor who usually brought breakfast to the former baseball star’s Victory Boulevard home found Davis’ body.

The case is being handled by the Los Angeles County coroner, but authorities said there was nothing to indicate foul play and that it appears that Davis died of natural causes.

Davis, an All-City athlete in several sports at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights in the late 1950s, became one of the Dodgers’ early stars after the team moved to Los Angeles from Brooklyn in 1958. Known for his offense, Davis played center field for the Dodgers for 13 seasons starting in 1961. He hit in a team record 31 consecutive games in 1969 and batted .305 or above three years straight in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

But he also committed a World Series-record three errors in one inning against the Baltimore Orioles in 1966.