Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Beating victim sues the 'Jena Six'

JENA, La. — The family of a white student allegedly beaten by six black classmates in rural Louisiana has filed a civil lawsuit against the teens' parents, the adult teens, an additional student and the local school board.

One teen, Mychal Bell, pleaded guilty to battery in juvenile court on Monday in the attack. Five other teens face criminal charges in the case and are awaiting court appearances.

Justin Barker, 18, and his parents, David and Kelli, allege in the suit that seven Jena High School students attacked Justin on Dec. 4, 2006, as he left the school gym.

The suit names the attackers as the "Jena Six" students — Bell, Bryant Purvis, Robert Bailey Jr., Carwin Jones, Theo Shaw and a juvenile — as well as a second juvenile.

Law enforcement officials have not named the second juvenile as one of the attackers.

"Petitioners show that Justin was singled out by Mychal, Bryant, Robert, Carwin, Theodore (and the two juveniles), and that the malicious and willful attack of Justin was of such extreme nature so as to require emergency medical care and treatment for the harm inflicted by the attack, and resulting in extensive and permanently disabling injuries," the lawsuit states.

Barker was hit by Bell, knocked unconscious and then repeatedly kicked and stomped by a group of students, according to testimony and court documents.

The beating was preceded by racial incidents, including three white students hanging nooses from a tree.

The beating was preceded by racial incidents, including three white students hanging nooses from a tree.

The civil suit was filed Thursday. The lawsuit alleges that the LaSalle Parish School Board, through its employees, was not adequately supervising students or maintaining discipline.

Lawyers for the Barkers and the defendants couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Bell, who pleaded guilty in juvenile court to second-degree battery, was sentenced to 18 months in the custody of the Office of Youth Development.

Bell and the other students were initially charged with attempted murder. In May, Bell was convicted as an adult of aggravated assault, but the conviction was overturned. The conviction led to a protest in September by at least 20,000 demonstrators. (Source)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Senate Inquiry Targets Televangelists

Senate Inquiry Targets Televangelists
By ERIC GORSKI – 21 hours ago

The top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee said Tuesday he has launched an investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing involving six well-known televangelists.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa sent letters to six Christian media ministries this week requesting information about their expenses, executive compensation and amenities given to executives.

"I'm following up on complaints from the public and news coverage regarding certain practices at six ministries," Grassley said in a statement. "The allegations involve governing boards that aren't independent and allow generous salaries and housing allowances and amenities such as private jets and Rolls Royces.

"I don't want to conclude that there's a problem, but I have an obligation to donors and the taxpayers to find out more," Grassley said.

The organizations and their leaders are:
_ Randy and Paula White of Without Walls International Church and Paula White Ministries of Tampa, Fla.;

_ Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church Inc. and Benny Hinn Ministries of Grapevine, Texas;

_ David and Joyce Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries of Fenton, Mo.;

_ Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Texas;

_ Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries of Lithonia, Ga.;

_ Creflo and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International and Creflo Dollar Ministries of College Park, Ga. (source)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Open Letter to Juanita Bynum

I received this in an email from one of my friends and I felt the need to share if with you all. So read it and tell me what you think. I personally think the person make some interesting points.

Dear Juanita Bynum:

My theology causes me to align with those on the underside of a society. As Matthew 25 teaches, wherever we can identify the poor, the abused, the marginalized, and those living under the weight of structural and systemic injustice, we can find God working on behalf of the "least of these." This is why my heart goes out to you. Credible reports corroborate your story of being a victim of domestic violence. And, if this is true, you have experienced a heinous act that all too many women are forced to live with and endure on a daily basis.

Having said this, I now must express my concern. I am scared that your actions in recent weeks are rendering you about as credible to the cause of fighting domestic violence as O.J. Simpson. Let's begin with your, er, umm, performance on TBN. While I can appreciate the efficacious dimensions of prayer and praise, there is also a time for well thought action and spiritual sobriety.

For instance, I did not understand your illogical and irresponsible assertions such as "on that ground that night I slipped into my purpose." You were a victim of domestic violence, period! There was nothing atoning or redemptive about what happened to you. And all that rhetorical jargon about not breaking the covenant with your husband and being spiritually submissive only recirculates the very notions of power and abuse that fosters domestic violence in the first place. Rather than doing the "Harlem Shake" to Byron Cage that night, why didn't you use your platform to present the phone numbers to domestic abuse hotlines and women's shelters? Or how about providing resources for women who currently find themselves in violent relationships. Say what you will about Bishop Jakes' response, or lack thereof, to your situation, at least he didn't turn tragedy into a praise-a-thon.

But to be fair, I know you may have gotten caught up in the moment. It was a highly emotional time for you. But this is why you need to be careful. There are real forces that seek to dismiss the issue of domestic violence in the church in general and discredit you in particular. You should know this. So wouldn't you think that making statements such as "Juanita Bynum will be for domestic violence what Martin Luther King, Jr. was to civil rights," just might come across as a little self-serving and solipsistic? Moreover, what is up with not being able to discuss your story during an interview on Tom Joyner last week because you had already sold the exclusive rights to Essence magazine? These sorts of comments and actions only add fuel to the flames of skepticism for those who already believe that you are more of a Profiteer than a Prophetess.

But all is not lost, Sister Bynum. Not yet at least. There is still hope that you won't have to go out like Britney Spears. So allow me to offer a few suggestions that may help you regain both your focus and perspective: First, rethink your desire to be the "new face of domestic violence." You say this with pride as if you are on a season of America's Next Top Model. This is neither a popularity contest nor a time to exploit the situation. Rather, this is a time that you can use your status to introduce America to the almost one million women that are victimized annually who cannot hold a press conference at posh hotels nor recover from their wounds with a deluxe spa package. Lift them up. Tell their story.

You missed what could have been a powerful, informative and educational moment on TBN. What if you had told the story of a 35 year old Haitian immigrant that was beaten, raped and sodomized along with her son in the Dunbar Housing Projects of Miami while neighbors closed their windows to her screams for help? This is the face that America needs to see in order to indict us concerning our culpability and complicit silence. Or try lending your support to the case of Megan Williams in West Virginia that was senselessly raped, tortured and maimed by six white supremacists earlier this month. While we have googled you and Bishop Weeks to keep up with your drama, these are the stories that need to be discussed and written about. So shame on us for being all too consumed with you. And shame on you for not redirecting our attention to the suffering of others.

Second, suspend your mentoring class and go get mentored yourself. If you are sincere about your interest in being a victim's advocate, obtain real anti-violence and awareness training from specialists in the field. Learn the litigation procedures that are already in place and even the appropriate language that should be used. There is no need for you to call your own session of Congress to introduce the Juanita bill, when you can sign your name and support legislation that advocates are already pushing forward. Moreover, to be frank, your hyper-spiritual cliché phrases and homiletic tropes that "move the crowd" on TBN may prove contradictory and quixotic outside of the very insular world of televangelism. I would hate to see you on Oprah trying to jump up and get your whoop on because the "anointing got so' thick up in here." And if you are going to be a credible domestic violence counselor, you can't encourage women by tel! ling th em that you got "beat down to get your breakthrough." If you are going to extend your influence Juanita, you are going to have to do better than falling back to your familiar.

Finally, take a sabbatical from the media. We know that you are a gifted televangelist. And we know that you are trying to make ground on Paula White (trust me, I am cheering for you). But everything in your life does not have to play out in front of a microphone. You have twisted, flipped and spun this event in every way possible. Your credibility and integrity are both on the line, my dear sister. And times like these call for decorum and tact not a whoop and a homily. Be still and know that God is still God. And if you handle yourself accordingly, others will rise up to fight your battles in public. There are too many who find what happened to you horrible and despicable. And, more importantly, there are too many who realized long before your unfortunate occurrence that domestic violence just can't be talked about, it must be fought against.

Be blessed, Juanita.

One Luv,


P.S. Please scrap the book idea!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Kimberley Locke and General Mills Partner Together To Encourage Women of Color to Take More Active Role in Breast Cancer Dialogue

Curb recording artist and second-season “American Idol” finalist, Kimberley Locke has teamed up with General Mills to encourage the Black community to take a more active role in breast cancer prevention. Kimberley, a long-time supporter of breast cancer awareness, has added her personal story to General Mill’s recently launched online community, and also has created a public service announcement (PSA) to encourage African Americans, in particular, to engage in the conversation.

Please listen to Kimberley’s message at and help her encourage others to join this community of hope.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Michelle Obama Speaks Truth As She Addresses the Women of Brookland Women of Victory

Can you say Future First Lady? This is definitely a bad chick and one Savvy Sista. Mr. Obama is very fortunate to have her by his side.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Bishop Weeks Speaks

Now this is very interesting!!! I always say there are two sides to a story, but there is nothing that justifies violence towards women. I am glad he came forward with his side of the story though.