... bail is being posted for Mychal Bell. According to CNN, Rev. Al Sharpton said Bell's bail (say that five times fast) was set at $45,000. If I am not mistaken, in most cases, 10 percent of that amount has to be paid to the bailbondsman and he does the rest.
... Mychal Bell has been moved to a juvenile facility.
Star Jones Reynolds announced on her show today that LaSalle Parrish District Attorney Reed Walters has said that he will not pursue adult charges against Bell. He does however plan to re-file charges in juvenile court. There's been no word on bail as of yet. One of his attorneys, Louis Scott talked to Jones Reynolds today saying that he was going to file a motion for bail in the Parrish Clerk's office today.
As I understand it, Bell has to have a new bail because once he was convicted, the initial $90,000 bail was revoked. Hopefully since his case has been moved to juvenile court, he will get a bail that his family will be able to afford. He has been in jail since the December arrest.
My heart goes out to the families of the six "attackers" and to the victim, but quite frankly, I would love to get to the bottom of it all. The information that has been fed to us all has been that the entire incident began with the hanging of nooses on what was known as the "white" tree on the school's campus.
Until earlier this week, it was believed that the boys had only received a few days suspension after the expulsion was overturned. It was reported earlier this week that the boys who hanged the nooses from the tree spent nearly two school weeks in an alternative school and served a two-week in-school suspension.
According to the widely believed information, this supposedly set off a chain of racially motivated events that resulted in arson, an incident where a shotgun was pulled on several students and at least two fights.
The thing that keeps bugging me is that the reports are now saying the victim in the beating by the Jena 6 was beaten into "bloody unconsciousness," but he was in attendance at a school function that night. What hospital releases a patient who was knocked unconscious as a result of a fight where he was supposedly stomped in the head?
I am having a hard time buying that this kid was beaten this badly. We see the same picture of this kid while he is in the hospital but we don't see any pictures of the black kid who was beaten up by the group of white people.
The bottom line in this entire situation is these kids were overcharged. I am not saying that they didn't deserve to be prosecuted, but it should have been juvenile assault or Louisiana's equivalent.
Another thing that tripped me out was during Walter's press conference, he stated that he couldn't find a law to charge the "noose hangers" with and Jones Reynolds had one and showed video from the CNN i-Report from the Alexandria incident where two white teenagers were arrested for tying two nooses to the back of a pick up truck.
Have I said before that Jones Reynolds is the WOMAN?!
She had the law that is on the books in Louisiana in front of her and had a legal expert on hand to discuss it. I know Walters was not watching the show, but I hope somebody down there TiVos her show and can show it to him.
On her show today, Jones Reynolds admitted that she's been out of practice for a while but she found said law in about three minutes, she said. And I say to you all that if she could find it that quickly, Walters couldn't have been looking for it.
Growing up, I always heard, "if it was snake, it would have bit ya." My response was, "if it was a snake, I wouldn't have been looking for it."
I think that kind of rings true with this case. He probably thought charging those boys would probably have come back to bite him in the polls at re-election time. The funny thing is, not charging them has come back to bite him, on the ass - right now.
After this blows over, I hope the Louisiana Bar Association reviews this and takes necessary action.
*rubbing my chin and chuckling to myself* I guess he and Mike Nifong will have a lot to talk about in a few months.
... to write about the 50th anniversary of the Little Rock Nine's integration at Central High School. I was set to write about how courageous these teens had to be to walk into one of the most dangerous situations of that time. I was going to tell you guys how they went through Hell just for the right to get the same education as their white counterparts and how we owe them so much for blazing the trails so we wouldn't have to. I was so ready to tell you guys how much we should be rejoicing because we have the opportunity to sit in a classroom with our white counterparts and learn without National Guard escorts. Oh I was ready, but then - I watched the news. And ya'll when I watched the news, I saw so many different acts of outright foolishness that I just could not hold my mule! First, I have to let my mule loose on Bill O'Reilly. In case you all haven't heard, the Crown Prince of right-wing media had dinner with Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia's and he of course had to talk about it on his radio show. I have taken the liberty to copy and paste some of the information from the transcript from the segment. "I think black Americans are starting to think more and more for themselves." "And we went to Sylvia’s, a very famous restaurant in Harlem. I had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful." "And I couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia’s restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by blacks, primarily black patronship." "There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, "M-Fer, I want more iced tea." "You know, I mean, everybody was — it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn’t any kind of craziness at all." You can hear part of the conversation at: http://mediamatters.org/items/200709210007?f=h_top Now of course, that was only a portion of the conversation between him and Juan Williams during his radio show. I really want you guys to listen to the excerpt but I also want you guys to really read his words. Now of course he's said that his comments were misunderstood and how Media Matters and CNN were dishonest and all of that. The funny part to me is U.S. media is built on soundbites and he should have known better. No one else on cable news, network news and anywhere else has used more soundbites and taken only part of a comment more than O'Reilly and now he's getting a taste of his own medicine. The conversation began with a discussion on the "sewer" culture of rap music and they used Ludacris, Twista and Snoop Dogg as their whipping boys. He said tonight that he said all of that CNN has lost all "credibility" with him - whatever that means. Regardless of the context his words were taken, he still said it. He knew that his words were going to be chopped up and to be completely honest, I think he counted on it. The bottom line is O'Reilly operates on his shock value and he was starting to fade quietly into right-wing oblivion. I mean - he had to say something. The second thing I have just got to address is Mike Vick's state charges. In case you haven't heard, he's been indicted in Virginia for dogfighting. The official charges are unlawfully torturing and killing dogs and promoting dogfights. Now I'm wondering, can they bring him up on state charges if Virginia is not a state? It's a commonwealth. Either way, I think the man has suffered enough. We get it, you want to throw him under the bus. He did a bad thing, a very, very bad thing, but they were dogs - people. Not people - dogs. Granted they are cute and cuddly and they are so loyal, but we don't put as much stock into people as we put into animals. He's going to pay for his crimes and now I guess adding the "state" charges is going to drive the point on home - "do whatever you want to other people, but you'd better not ever harm a dog!" Give me a break! Another teacher has been arrested for having sex with a teenaged boy. Forty-nine-year-old Karen Robbins was charged with three counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and three counts of committing a lewd act on a child. Maybe I'm missing something but what is it about these teenage boys that is turning these teachers on? Granted, they don't make them like they used to, but there is a down side to all of this, they don't make them like they used to. Some of those teenagers are just crazy, I am wondering what these pedophile teachers are missing that they think they can find in the arms and minds of teenage boys. As far as I can remember teenage boys are annoying and they tend to carry a stench. According to the news story on CNN, the 15-year-old boy alleges that he and this South Carolina school marm had, uh - relations in her car and twice at her home between September and November 2005. The story doesn't say if the boy is 15 now or if he was 15 then, either way, if she had sex with that boy, she is still a pedophile. And last but not least, a dynamic duo of female, sword and dagger yielding ninjas robbed a Pennsylvania gas station of cash, cigarettes and lottery tickets at 3 a.m. And guess what, the women are still at large. The police chief said, "They were all covered in black and carrying swords, so it did appear that they were dressed like ninjas." Then he said, "swords, daggers could be used to seriously harm victims, so this is a very serious crime." *Hehehehehehehehe* Ya think? Ninja please.
... I saw so many folks today, black and white, wearing all black in a silent protest of the unmerited jailing of six Louisiana teens. I too am wearing all black today, but it was not until I checked my e-mail that I started having second thoughts about participating. As a journalist, I am supposed to be neutral about everything, be it politics, the justice system, anything that could be considered news. When I chose this career, it never occurred to me that I would be giving up my constitutional right to have my own opinion. I love my job, but I love being able to speak my mind even more. So, even though I think wearing all black today has presented itself to be a conflict of interest, I am not going to change my clothes or change my opinion about what has been allowed to happen in Jena. I have blogged about it, signed petitions and talk about this issue to anyone who will listen because I believe that this is wrong and the only way it will go away is if WE ALL participate in some kind of protest to announce to the Powers That Be that this is wrong and it needs to be changed.
*Since a lot of our Washington, D.C. politicians tend to favor country music, I hope this guy cuts a CD and a DVD of this performance and sends it to them all!*
I hope you guys who weren't able to make it to Jena wore your black, for those of you who didn't, I hope you called a congressman, the governor or signed a petition. Right now, this is not affected your family or anyone in your neighborhood, but what is to stop it? I'll tell you what, action. Send the message to these folks that we're not going to take it anymore.
Is it just me or is it time for Al and Jesse to retire? Don't get me wrong, I am glad they have joined the cause to free the Jena Six, but they are getting on my LAST nerve. It seems like every time there is some sort of "racial injustice" these two opportunists want to jump on the bandwagon to yell about it. Nothing wrong with that, but what is wrong with being a quite leader who makes his point without being stuck up in front of the news cameras making an ASS of himself? It seems to me that these two lay low until there is a really big issue that will get them national and sometimes international press. These two, from what I've heard and read, are very electrifying and in some cases powerful speakers who flat out, don't get a whole lot done.
Granted they are there to help motivate people to get things done but when are they going to stop the lip service and the empty rhetoric and use their influence to try and get some things changed. In recent history, these two have jumped aboard some of the most talked about issues that involve the mistreatment and degradation of black folks. The two events that come to mind are the Duke Lacrosse case and the Don Imus incident. Both were very hot button issues that needed to be handled but they both jumped the gun way too early. Though a lot of you may not agree with me, they should not have run off to Durham to indirectly force Mike Nifong into withholding evidence that would give those guys a chance to not have their names trampled on. And they should not have called for Imus' head in that whole debacle. They used both of those situations and are using this one for their own personal gain and I can't stand it!!! Sure the names Sharpton and Jackson may call attention to a situation where it is needed, but it calls more attention to those two media whores who wouldn't know civil rights if they punched them in the face. And since when did they organize this march? It is my understanding that the whole protest started because Michael Baisden said on his afternoon radio show that he was going to go down there and listeners started saying that they wanted to go too. I am not even that fond of Baisden's show but I do have to give credit where it is due and he worked this protest out! Kudos, hats off, five on the black hand side and major props to Mr. Baisden. Regardless of what you read or what you see on the news, Baisden was instrumental in getting this thing started and heard on a national scale. Before he started telling this story on his show, it was an underground issue that Louisiana officials were trying to keep under wraps. Thank God that he saw fit to give it some airtime and now these kids and their families have a shot at putting their lives back together and moving on from this. Be sure to wear your black tomorrow.
*shaking my finger at him* You got some 'splaining to do!!!
What exactly is your major malfunction? Do you realize that you did the impossible for a black man? You already got away with murder, did you think that they were going to let you go for armed robbery too?
O.J., O.J., O.J.
All you had to do was lay low. You could have gotten a job flipping burgers at Mickey D's or traveling with the circus or with the CSI people telling how you "would have" killed some of the victims.
All you had to do was STAY out of trouble. That's it. It's not rocket science. It ain't even Algebra. Why don't you do like regular retired people and bug the hell out of your kids? Why not spend the day playing golf and fishing. Dude you live in Florida.
And why were in you Vegas? You ain't got no money! Now I've never been to Vegas but I do know that it costs money to get there and it is kind of expensive to stay in the hotels there and you had to play some slots.
I want to know how you can afford to fly from Florida to Las Vegas, stay in those hotels and play the nickel slots. Nickels you got, but where you get the dollars from playa? Don't you owe the Goldmans and Browns some money?
I get it, you probably think this is like any other bill that you don't pay. Well this is a court settlement man, this will not roll off your credit in seven years. Equifax doesn't have a record of this and it will not affect your FICO score. The difference in all that is, if you mess those up, it's on you, but if you mess up paying those people, it's on me - a tax payer.
If you don't pay those people you got to go to jail. But then again, you probably gonna have to go to jail behind this. Either way, I'm paying for you to eat - and I don't like it.
Why couldn't you just run out of there like Jim Brown was chasing you?
How come you couldn't imagine that hotel room was an airport and that was a Hertz commercial?
... for the six white "people" charged in the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 20-year-old black woman in West Virginia. I saw on CNN yesterday that the FBI opted to forgo federal hate crime charges because the hate crime conviction in West Virginia carry stiffer penalties. The only information I found about hate crime conviction is that the penalty carries up to 10 years in West Virginia. I tried to find out what those penalties were for federal charges but I found nothing online that details what the penalties are if they are convicted. I say "if" because they are still innocent until proven guilty. This is America people. But it is awfully hard to not look at these folks in disgust without saying that they are guilty. Even with that, some information that was made public yesterday could possibly hurt the state's case to prove this was a hate crime. The county prosecutor released information yesterday that stated the victim and Bobby Brewster had "social relationship." In fact, in July, there was a domestic battery and assault incident involving the two. According to the police report, the victim was called a "nigger" and was told this was happening to her because she is black. If this had happened under any other circumstances, this would no doubt be considered a hate crime. Even though I could not find a lot of information on hate crime penalties, I did manage to find a few tidbits on hate crimes in general which is still good information because now we can all identify them when they happen. As defined on the Civil Rights Program page of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Web site, a hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. Hate itself is no crime and as Americans, we are protected by the First Amendment so we can say whatever we want. The problem comes in when racists, sacrilegious bigots commit crimes because of their hatred. Hate crimes are investigated by the FBI and information is then forwarded to the U.S. Attorney's office who determines whether or not to prosecute suspects federally or turn over evidence to the states. Most states have their own hate crime legislation and prosecute and punish accordingly. This is what will likely happen in West Virginia. What I am wondering is if Bobby Brewster's defense attorney will try to have his charges busted back to some sort of domestic dispute since he and the victim have a history. Given the new information, it is quite possible. Another thing I hope the prosecutor and judge take into consideration is the extensive criminal history of the entire group. CNN reported yesterday that there have been 108 criminal charges, many of them violent, filed against the six since 1991. First off, why are these people even allowed to walk around free? Bobby Brewster's mother, Frankie, has the most serious charges of them all with a charge of Murder One. She pleaded it down to manslaughter and only served five years. The victim - her son's 84-year-old grandmother. Secondly, I am not sure if I am all that upset about them opting to not charge them with a hate crime because if they are convicted of all their current charges, maybe they'll get more time. I swear, it seems like as of late, we are going backwards as a country rather than forward. I was under the impression that we were far removed from these kinds of crimes but sadly, I was almost dead wrong. What do you guys think? Will we ever stop hating and hurting each other based on our racial backgrounds?
***I have decided not to identify the victim by name because I think it is wrong to put her out there like that. She and her mother decided to release her name and some media outlets even have pictures of this woman in her hospital bed, I refuse to do it. If you want to see swollen pictures and learn the identity of this woman, click the link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20737211/.
... my grandma used to say be careful what you ask for because you just might get it. Well I asked for some real news didn't I? That's exactly what I got.
I just read the nastiest and most heinous police report I have ever seen. The individuals pictured to the left have been arrested for the nastiest and the most vile hate crime I have ever heard of.
Those six - people - have been arrested for kidnapping, beating and raping a 23-year-old black woman in Big Creek, WV.
The FBI has been called in to investigate this as a hate crime, but after reading the police reports on file, I think it is quite obvious that this is a hate crime.
For those of you all who won't have time to read the police report, the officer was called to one of the suspects homes for a welfare check because he received a tip that a woman was being held at the residence against her will.
The first woman pictured, Frankie Brewster, is the homeowner and was sitting on her porch when the officer approached. She told him that no one was there with her. It was then that the woman limped toward him, bruised and battered, with her arms stretched out and said, "Help me."
According to the police report, on the aforementioned Web site, the woman was stabbed in the leg four times, had two black eyes, was forced to perform oral sex on Brewster and Danny Combs, the young "man" pictured in the upper right, she was raped by Combs and Brewster's son Bobby. If that's not enough, the woman was choked with a cable cord, had her hair pulled, scalded with hot water, cut multiple times on her legs and ankle, stabbed four times in her left leg and forced to drink from the toilet and eat dog and rat feces.
I don't know the woman, her name will not be released because she is a rape victim but my heart goes out to her and her family. I can not imagine what must have been going through her head while all of this was going on. I can't even begin to imagine what's going on in her head now.
I want all of us who do pray to be deep in prayer for her and her family. I'm talking about that deeply bowed, laying prostrate kind of prayer.
I hope she gets all the help available to her and then some. I am not ashamed to say I cried while reading this story. The fact that this was allowed to happen is beyond ridiculous. The thing that scares me is it could have happened anywhere and it is probably happening everywhere. When will we ever get past hating each other for our skin?
The one thing that gives me a glimmer of hope is that something good has to happen for the victim. I have no idea why God allowed this to happen nor do I have any idea what He has in store for her but He has spared her life for a reason and this woman has to be destined for things far greater than herself and her circumstances.
... but I am disgusted. I'm disgusted with what gatekeepers are calling news. I'm disgusted with the MTV Video Music Awards. I'm disgusted with entertainers. I'm just disgusted! I have been trying to stay off my soap box about the Jena 6 but the gatekeepers won't let me! Since my posting about the Louisiana group of teens on trial for some trumped up charges stemming from a high school fight, I have seen two "stories" on television that resemble coverage.
There was a piece done on CNN's "Out in the Open" and Star Jones Reynolds discussed the case on her show last week with one of the students and his lawyer. While this case can certainly use all the coverage it can get it deserves more than a three-minute summation on CNN and more than a five-minute spot on Jones Reynolds' goulash of a show on Court TV.
Meanwhile, national media outlets are a buzz with talk about Britney Spears' suck-tacularperformance at the VMAs and I am still trying to figure out why everybody is so surprised.
We are talking about Britney Spears. Head shaving, rehab dodging, child-endangering Britney Spears who quite frankly CAN NOT sing! She's never been able to sing. Not on this single, the last CD, the one before that one, the one before that or the Mickey Mouse Club.
She's gotten by for so long because she has (bleached) blond hair, big doe eyes and she knows how to play a damsel in distress. And if ever there were a time where that dame was in distress, it is now.
She needs to take a permanent vacation, lay down about 16 bars of her airy vocals, let Pharell and Chad manufacture her a CD, take a couple of "Mommy & Me" classes and take her country behind home somewhere and sit it down! MTV hyped up her opening of the show for weeks saying "You won't know what to expect!" And they were right. I would have expected her to come out, make out with Madonna again, dangle her baby over the side of the stage or even shock me and have a nice singing voice. But I never expected her to come out, look and sound horrible while lip syncing. And when will entertainment reporters ever get tired of reporting on Kanye West's temper tantrums? The Louis Vuitton Don is pissed off again because he got snubbed at the VMAs.
According to the Associated Press, Kanye went off, to say the least, in a hallway full of *dadada* the media. The AP quoted him saying, "That's two years in a row, man ... give a black man a chance."
He was beat out last year at the European VMAs and he straight crashed the stage. Now, maybe it's just me, but if you notice, every time he goes on one of his lil' rampages it's around an album release date.
Now we all know that this damn near 30 year old man is a big baby, but nobody is really saying how smart he is. As of late, record companies haven't been spending a lot of money promoting CDs.
So what's the best way to promote new music? Make sure it's constantly in the media. How does he make sure that it is constantly in the media? He does whatever he needs to do to make an ass of himself so that every time he's mentioned, a reporter will say something about his new CD that's scheduled to drop on Sept. 11.
Don't believe me? Then why is it that 50 Cent only has beef with people when it's time for him to drop a CD? The last time, he was talking trash about my shero Oprah and Kanye. Now that he andKanye are going to drop on the same day, he's beefing with Kanye again!
Look it up! He has to draw attention to himself to sell records. Now for those of you who know me, ya'll know I am not feeling 50 at all. "In the Club" was my joint for about five minutes and that was because of the beat.
I have a hard time liking or respecting anyone's music whose claim to fame is he was shot nine times and he's still living. You know what that tells me?
He either hired someone to shoot and not kill or whoever he had a beef with couldn't see worth a damn! And if the person he had beef with couldn't see who to shoot, then nobody should be hanging out with this dude because they are subject to catch a couple of bullets!
And this dude said that if Kanye outsells him, he will stop rapping. I personally challenge everyone who reads this to buy three or four of Kanye's "Graduation." Even if you throw them away, you can rest assured knowing that you have done your part in ridding the world of a nicely built, lock jawed rapper.
But even with all that, I am saying that I am disgusted and I want some REAL news. Is that too much to ask for?
... but I am going to do my best to tie it all in together.
Jerry Lewis has found himself in an unusual predicament after he used the f- word during his annual Labor Day telethon.
He attempted to make a joke about the camera man saying, "you remember your son ... the illiterate fag."
You'd think that since Lewis is working in the "post-Grey's Anatomy" Hollywood would make some folks think harder before they actually spoke.
Now he's issued a statement saying, "I hold no prejudices in that regard." Well in what regard do you have prejudices? Maybe it's just me but I think Jerry is going a little cuckoo in his old age and next year's telethon should be for washed up, senile entertainers who don't think through their jokes.
And the next time he makes a reference to an illiterate fag, he should be talking about Sen. Larry Craig.
Speaking of that perv, now the word is he may not give up his seat in the Senate. Apparently, he is going to wait until the ethics investigation is over.
Maybe it's just me for the fact that he is being investigated for an ethics violation is enough to leave your job. Hopefully, he was voted into office because his constituents trusted him to be honest and to do what he was supposed to do.
We can't even trust this dude to tell the truth about picking up toilet paper in an airport bathroom, how can you trust him to be the legislator he is supposed to be?
Now I'm not saying he is gay, but nobody gets followed by the same rumor for 25 years. And to add injury to insult, this fool is saying that he pleaded guilty without consulting an attorney. Aren't the majority of his colleagues lawyers?
I say he needs to be thrown out of office because he can't even be honest with himself or his poor wife. If she has any sense, she'll file for divorce. Speaking of divorce, Shaq has filed for divorce from his wife of almost five years, Shaunie.
According to the story in the local paper, Shaq wants to see a "correct accounting of all money, funds, stocks, bonds, and other securities" that she had access to while they were married.
Is it just me or is he accusing his wife and the mother of four of his children of being a gold digger?
I don't know what is going on between the two of them, but for her sake, i hope my girl has kept a record of all the money she's spent, including groceries to feed him and those kids.
It is mighty funny to me that this is coming up right now. A couple of years back, Wendy Williams "outed" Shaq for having a mistress down in Texas that he was keeping up. I have heard anything else about it since, but I don't think it would be totally out of the question.
Either way, I hope she's got all her ducks in a row because since he is the one who filed for divorce, he will be the one who has to pay for it - literally. Imagine how much child support he will have to pay for those children and the amount of alimony that will have to be paid.
In the words of the late, great Gerald Levert, "She's taking everything, she's taking everything ..."