September 1, 2014

Taser Lawsuit: Gregory Towns (East Point, GA)

Gregory Towns
It is nice to see that the family of Gregory Towns is suing the police department and its officers who killed him on April 11, 2014 when they fired at him 13 times with their taser guns while he was in handcuff.

The wrongful death lawsuit seeks damages from the East Point police department and two former police officers - Marcus Eberhart and Howard Weems.

Perhaps the best way to change the hearts and minds of the police who seem to use their taser guns at the slightest whim is to win some more of these lawsuits.

Introduce Yourself

Hotep! My vision for the Electronic Village is simple. I want you to feel that you have entered a warm and welcoming enclave where you can rest for a moment under our baobob tree and share libations with fellow villagers.

Just relax for a moment in your hectic surfing through cyberspace ... relax and enjoy the vibe of our Electronic Village.

We hope that our voice is a worthy one in the blogosphere. The Electronic Village strives to share information that uplifts people of African descent throughout the diaspora. There are a number of ways that you can hear our drumbeat in a timely manner. However, we realize that it is your drumbeat that makes us better. Please comment freely on any post that you read here in the Electronic Village.

If you have any questions, or want to promote your blog then you can do this here! Just leave a 'comment' to this post.

OURstory: George Poage, First Black Olympic Medal Winner

On this date in 1904, George Poage became the first Black Olympic medal winner. Poage won a bronze medal in the third Olympic games in St. Louis, Missouri.

George Poage grew up in La Crosse, Wisconsin. In high school, he ran in track meets, winning in various competitions. After graduating in 1899, he began attending the University of Wisconsin. This is photo of the 1903 University of Wisconsin track team. Poage is on the bottom row to the left.

In 1904, Poage competed in the Olympic games. Four hundred ninety-six athletes from eleven countries competed. Poage won two bronze medals, one for the 200-meter hurdle and the other for the 400-meter hurdle.

We need to tell OURstory more often. We won't hear about people like George Poage if we simply listen to his-story.

August 31, 2014

Sunday Inspiration: Thank You Lord

Dear GOD:

I want to thank YOU for what YOU have already done.

I am not going to wait until I see results or receive rewards; I am thanking YOU right now. I am not going to wait until I feel better or things look better; I am thanking YOU right now.  I am not going to wait until people say they are sorry or until they stop talking about me; I am thanking YOU right now. 

I am not going to wait until the pain in my body disappears; I am thanking YOU right now.  I am not going to wait until my financial situation improves; I am going to thank YOU right now. I am not going to wait until the children are asleep and the house is quiet; I am going to thank YOU right now.

I am not going to wait until I get promoted at work or until I get the job; I am going to thank YOU right now.  I am not going to wait until I understand every experience in my life that has caused me pain or grief; I am thanking YOU right now.  I am not going to wait until the journey gets easier or the challenges are removed.  I am thanking YOU right now.

I am thanking YOU because I am alive. I am thanking YOU because I made it through the day's difficulties. I am thanking YOU because I have walked around the obstacles.  I am thanking YOU because I have the ability and the opportunity to do more and do better.

I'm thanking you because GOD, YOU haven't given up on me.

This blog will continue to seek out Sunday Inspirations, a meme inspired by Sojourner's Place. Sunday Inspirations is just one way to help get us through the week ahead, the trials we may face, and yes, to say 'Thank You Jesus' and testify! I invite you to participate in this weekly meme as your contribution might serve as an inspiration to someone in need.

August 30, 2014

Spoken Word: 'Miss America 2014' by Ramya Ramana

Nina Davuluri
Nina Davuluri won the 2014 Miss America contest. She is the first American of Indian descent to win that prestigious award. Not everyone in America was happy with her victory. There were some who chose to 'hate' on Ms. Davuluri rather than glory in the diversity that is America.

Ramya Ramana, 2014 Youth Poet Laureate, recently won a full scholarship to St. John's University as a result of her creative talents. Ms. Ramana was proud that Nina Davuluri had a similar heritage as herself. As such, she was deeply offended when she read from anonymous 'haters' on the Internet who spat out vile against Ms. Davuluri.

Ms. Ramana responded with her own lyrical spit.

"...say back, 'NO'. Your great-grandfathers raped, killed and oppressed every race in the world ... YOU are the biggest terrorist I know."

Powerful words...

August 29, 2014

Taser-Happy Cop Found Guilty of Excessive Force in the Electrocution of La'Reko Williams

Perhaps if taser-happy police officers have to pay for their impatience and arrogance when they electrocute people to death with their taser guns ... we will have less taser-related deaths! I'm fairly certain that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) officer Michael Forbes will think twice before he uses his taser with such wanton disregard as a result of a federal jury ruling this week!

A federal jury ruled that CMPD Officer Forbes used excessive force when he fired a taser on 21-year old La'Reko Williams a second time, causing his death in 2011.   The jury also awarded the victim's family $500,000, but no award for punitive damages.  [SOURCE]

La'Reko Williams
On July 20, 2011, CMPD officer Michael Forbes was responding to a domestic violence call. When he arrived, 21-year-old La-Reko Williams was walking away from a fight with his girlfriend.   Officer Forbes ordered Williams to stop, but he didn't obey.  So Officer Forbes ended up firing 50,000 volts of electricity with his taser into the chest of Mr. Williams.   Williams fell to the ground, but Forbes then tased him a second time because he didn't listen when he asked him to roll over on his stomach. Williams then died from a heart attack.

The big question in this case was whether the second time Officer Forbes used his taser on Williams was excessive force.

David Ventura, one of the lawyers representing the family, says the jury's decision sends a strong message.
"Tasers have to be used reasonably like any other use of force," Ventura says. "Reasonably meaning based on the circumstances of what is happening at the time, whether it's a taser or any other type of weapon that they have available to them."
In a statement, city attorney Bob Hagemann says the city believes Officer Forbes acted reasonably in a very difficult situation, but respects the jury's decision.   Someone needs to remind Hagemann that the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem.   The jury didn't think Forbes "acted reasonably".  Otherwise they wouldn't have ruled against him!

August 28, 2014

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten
by Robert Fulghum

Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sand pile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life -
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.

August 27, 2014

Am I Not Human? Don't Discriminate

On the 27th of each month we plan to blog about human rights.  Every person is entitled to certain fundamental rights, simply by the fact of being human. These are called “human rights” rather than a privilege (which can be taken away at someone’s whim).

They are “rights” because they are things you are allowed to be, to do or to have. These rights are there for your protection against people who might want to harm or hurt you. They are also there to help us get along with each other and live in peace.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt Reviews UDHR
Born out of the atrocities and enormous loss of life during World War II, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948 to provide a common understanding of what everyone’s rights are. It forms the basis for a world built on freedom, justice and peace.  This declaration provided a list of 30 specific human rights

Human right #2 is something we need to remind ourselves about more often ...

Don't Discriminate!

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Just because the nations of the world signed a declaration that defined and respected 'human rights' doesn't mean that abuses don't occur.  Human rights abuses are taking place in America and in most other nations of the world.  On the 27th of each month we are going to shine our blogging spotlight on human rights abuse ... and our hope is that other bloggers will do so as well.

Roots of Humanity feels that each of us can fight against human rights abuses in the world. We simply need to do something. Protest. Meditate. Pray. In the case of bloggers ... we want you to blog on the 27th of each month. Just share information on behalf of our human siblings in all suffering areas who are either barred from communication by their governments, or lacking in technology to ask: Am I Not Human?

Wordless Wednesday: Equal Justice?

August 26, 2014

Powerful Eulogy by Al Sharpton at Funeral of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri

I've always had mixed feelings about Rev. Al Sharpton. However, I have to admit that his commitment to the empowerment of the Black community is evident from his long years and persistence. He has a daily radio show, a daily television show, runs the National Action Network and such.

The family of Michael Brown asked him to give a 'national eulogy' as part of the young man's funeral in Ferguson, MO on August 25, 2014.

Did you see it?

What are your thoughts about the clarion call for change made by Al Sharpton at the funeral of slain teenager, Michael Brown?