February 28, 2010

Sunday Inspirations: Pray for President Barack Obama

Soulclap to Denise Johnson for reminding us that we should not stop praying for this man. Let's also visualize him congratulating congress for coming together and reforming the health care system in America in a manner that brings honor to everyone. Let's see Republicans and Democrats shaking hands and pledging to work for the people to create a better world. Ahh... Abundance Health and Harmony in all our thoughts about our government. Let the Universe figure out how... our job will be to visualize the end results being one to celebrate.

Villagers, If you have not noticed ... few Presidents have ever worked this hard for our country, having to deal with such hatred and ill-will. Many wonder, does he ever sleep? Only God can sustain such energy, knowledge and person.

Will you please join in this prayer?


We pray for optimum health, mental clarity and political prosperity for President Barack H. Obama. We pray that what he lacks in political 'experience' you make up for with supernatural wisdom and power.

We also pray that when his enemies come upon him they will stumble and fall; and that your love will fill his heart to the end that 'Your will' be done through him.

We pray mightily for his protection. As we plead the Blood of your son, Jesus, over him and his family. We reverently ask you to dispatch legions of angels to protect them from all hurt, harm, danger as he serves as the President of the United States of America .

We thank you and praise you for answering our sincere prayers, in Jesus’ precious name,


February 27, 2010

Obama's Weekly Address: The Olympic Spirit, the Spirit of Bipartisanship, and Health Reform

The President takes a moment to congratulate our Olympic athletes. Discussing the unity and pride Americans feel in cheering them on, the President relates that sentiment to his own desire for bipartisanship in Washington. He praises the recent bipartisan meeting and talks about moving forward on health reform.

What was your taken on the past week's activity in the Olympics, Health Reform or Bipartisanship?

February 26, 2010

Brian Davis and Gary Parker, Taser-Killing East Grand Rapids Cops, Cleared in Murder of Matthew Bolick [Video]

Matthew Bolick was tasered four times by Sgt. Brian Davis and Ofc. Gary Parker. The entire incident is on videotape. Bolick didn't have any drugs in his system. He was simply an angry young man. Now he's dead ... and nobody is being held responsible. The powers-that-be are calling it 'excited-delirium'.

Four times the police shot this young boy up with 50,000 volts of electricity ... he died less than an hour later ... and they don't see the tasers has being part of his murder.

Watch the video and you decide:

What say u?

February 25, 2010

Show It, Prove It, Say It, Do It

Do any Villagers remember Brownstone? I hadn't heard of them for many moons until one of my college DJ colleagues, Mellow V, shared the following a cappella masterpiece, If You Love Me.

I suspect that the lyrics from this song would be good for any brother in America to hear and embody. What say u?

February 23, 2010

Lieberman Gets Nine More Senators to Support 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' Legislation

Nine additional senators joined Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to co-sponsor legislation repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Sherrod Brown (OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Russ Feingold (D-WI), John Kerry (D-MA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Tom Udall (NM).

There are now 23 total co-sponsors to the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2010.

February 22, 2010

41 - Health Care Reform Can't Wait

41 -- that's the number of leading economists -- including three Nobel Prize winners -- who sent a letter to President Obama and Congress urging the swift passage of comprehensive health insurance reform to curb skyrocketing health care costs.

41 -- is also the percentage of adults under the age of 65 who accumulated medical debt, had difficulty paying medical bills, or struggled with both during a recent one-year period.

No ifs, ands or buts about it -- if we do nothing to reform our broken health care system, costs will continue to skyrocket and break the budgets of American families, small businesses and the Federal Government.

If we pass comprehensive health insurance reform, we can reverse this trend and control rising costs. According to some of our nation's leading economists, "the health care reforms passed by the House and Senate -- with recent modifications proposed by President Obama -- include serious measures that will slow the growth of health care spending."

February 21, 2010

8 - Health Care Reform

We are at a point in the healthcare reform debate where a vote needs to be taken by congress. Let's have a vote and live with the results. Here are some reasons that the issue needs to be dealt with now:
8 -- that's the number of people every minute who are denied coverage, charged a higher rate or otherwise discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition.

8 is also the number of lobbyists hired by special interests to influence health reform for every member of Congress in 2009.

The facts speak for themselves -- the status quo isn't working, and special interests are doing everything in their power to maintain that status quo.

Being denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition is something we all know is wrong. And for those 8 people every minute who can't find health coverage or face discrimination because of a pre-existing condition, reform can't wait.
It appears that the White House is putting on a full-court press to get a healthcare bill passed. Where do you stand on this issue?

February 20, 2010

Being a Weasel Doesn't Stop Lieberman From Seeking Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Policy

Am I the only one that thinks Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is the most chameleon-like weasel in public service? I first became aware of the guy in 1980 when he ran as the vice presidential candidate with Al Gore. Lieberman was actively courted by Sen. McCain to be his vice presidential candidate in the 2008 election (before losing the nod to Sarah Palin). Last year Lieberman scuttled the public option and almost took down healthcare reform by his actions and demands.

Today, I see that Lieberman introduced a bill in the Senate that would repeal the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' (DADT) ban on gay men and women serving openly in the military within 13 months of enactment. This blog has been on record in favor of the repeal of DADT policy. However, it rankles me that Lieberman is sticking his nose into the process.
"Today we introduce legislation to stop the prohibition of men and women based on their sexual orientation in the American armed forces," Lieberman said. "[We] offer in its place a policy of equal opportunity to serve and defend our country."
Lieberman introduced the measure along with Sens. Mark Udall (D-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Roland Burris (D-IL), and Carl Levin (D-MI), chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee. Udall wrote that Lieberman's bill would shift the Pentagon DADT policy review from "considering whether to repeal" DADT to instead focusing on an assumed repeal.

It says something that lameduck Roland Burris is part of Lieberman's team on this DADT legislation ... don't you think?

February 19, 2010

Taser Lawsuit: Craig Prescott (Modesto CA)

Money talks. It may take losing some taser lawsuits in order to get the attention of the 'powers-that-be' around the nation. As such, I'm encouraged to learn that the family of former sheriff's deputy Craig Prescott who died in the aftermath of an altercation at the Stanislaus County Jail has taken its first steps toward suing the county. [SOURCE]

The family claims that deputies mistreated him in a drawn-out struggle that preceded his death in April 2009.

The claim alleges violations of civil rights, wrongful death, assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, citing the use of "unreasonable and excessive force against Mr. Prescott including the use of Tasers and clubs."

It alleges jail staff knew of the psychotic episodes that plagued Prescott, 38, and failed to provide him "adequate medical and physical care, thereby proximately causing his death."

This blog continues to follow the story of taser-related killings taking place all across America. Let us know if you have any thoughts on this lawsuit?

February 18, 2010

Over 50% of People Shot by Tasers in Louisville are African American

Louisville began using tasers in 2005. The Louisville Police Department added tasers to their arsenal in response to protests over several controversial police shootings of Black men.

Louisville Police love them some tasers -- they've averaged one Taser incident every two days, and as many as 239 incidents in one year.

Local media analyzed 268 Taser incidents over 18 months in Louisville, and found that while African Americans only make up 18 percent of Louisville Metro's population, three times that number -- 54 percent of the people being shot with Tasers -- were African Americans.

Read the full article here.

The Louisville statistics are in line with the information that we've been tracking on this blog. Police are killing African Americans at a disproportionate rate with taser guns.

What are your thoughts on the taser student conducted in Louisville?

February 17, 2010

Erykah Badu Goes Nude in 'Window Seat' [Video / Lyrics]

I love me some Erykah Badu ... her music and her message is always strong. Her current single, Window Seat, is no different. Frankly, I enjoy the flow from the music even without the video ... however, Sis. Badu decided to go all out with the video.

She filmed the 'Window Seat' video in one take at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Tex., the site where John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Once Badu gets fully nude, a gunshot rings out and her body collapses on to the sidewalk, as blue blood spills out to form the word "groupthink."

Then Badu says in a voiceover, "They play it safe, are quick to assassinate what they do not understand...they are us. This is what we have become. Afraid to respect the individual. A single person within a circumstance can move one to change. To love ourself. To evolve."
Badu challenges all of us to evolve. I hope that you enjoy the music, the lyrics and the video:

so, presently I'm standing
here right now
you're so demanding
tell me what you want from me
concentrating on my music, lover and my babies
makes me wanna ask the lady for a ticket outta town...

so can I get a window seat
don't want nobody next to me
I just want a ticket outta town
a look around
and a safe touch down
can I get a window seat
don't want nobody next to me
I just want a chance to fly
a chance to cry
and a long bye bye..

but I need you to want me
I need you to miss me
I need your attention, yes
I need you next me
I need someone to clap for me
I need your direction
somebody say come back
come back baby come back
I want you to need me
come back come back baby come back
come back come back baby come back
come back come back baby come back

so, in my mind I'm tusslin'
back and forth 'tween here and hustlin'
I don't wanna time travel no mo
I wanna be here
I'm thinking
on this porch I'm rockin'
back and forth light lightning hopkins
if anybody speak to scotty
tell him beam me up..

so can I get a window seat
don't want nobody next to me
I just want a ticket outta town
a look around
and a safe touch down
can I get a window seat
don't want nobody next to me
I just want a chance to fly
a chance to cry
and a long bye bye..

but I need you to miss me
I need somebody come get me
I need your attention
I need your energy
I need someone to clap me
I need your direction

somebody say come back
come back baby come back
come back come back baby come back
come back come back baby come back
come back come back baby come back

but can I get a window seat
don't want nobody next to me
I just want a ticket outta town
a look around
and a safe touch down...

I just wanna chance to fly
a chance to cry
and a long bye bye...

A'ight Villagers ... you've seen the video and read the lyrics. What do you think about Erykah Badu today?

February 16, 2010

Tune In Tuesday: Eric Bibbs

This has been a difficult week for a number of reasons. I heard this song last week. I thought it was perfect for many in my family. I encourage you to listen closely to the lyrics of this Eric Bibbs song ... then Shine On.

I share this song freely with all other villagers who pass this way. Never quit. Shine On!

Good News Tuesday: Dennis Christian and Lyndon Bolden Win IT Merit Award Scholarships

To help more African Americans enter the information technology (IT) workforce, the CompTIA Educational Foundation provided 239 African Americans with free IT training and certification last year, and another 19 received merit award scholarships to help them further their educational goals.

African Americans are finding new tech career success, although they are still somewhat under-represented in the IT workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2008 calculated that approximately 574,000 African Americans worked in IT and related fields. African Americans make up roughly 12.5 percent of the entire U.S. population, compared to only 8.6 percent of the IT workforce.

To help diversify the IT workforce, the Foundation’s Creating Futures program provides training and certification opportunities to U.S. veterans, individuals with disabilities, women, minorities, at-risk youth and dislocated workers. The program works with employers to identify their hiring needs, then tailors its training to help individuals obtain the skills employers require. The Foundation’s IT Merit Awards Scholarships recognize outstanding accomplishments by students and adult learners in both the CompTIA Education to Careers (E2C) and CompTIA Learning Alliance (CLA) programs who have trained for and received CompTIA certification.

Two recent African American merit award winners came from the Barbara Jordan High School (BJHS) in Houston, Texas, a magnet school that makes it possible for students to earn a high school diploma while acquiring career and technical skills in their chosen career. Recognized by receiving the National High Schools that Work Gold award, it was one of only ten recipients to receive the award in 2009.

BJHS Seniors Dennis Christian and Lyndon Bolden passed their CompTIA A+ certification tests last fall and already have been accepted into Texas’ top universities. Dennis will attend Texas A&M University in the fall and plans on majoring in telecommunications. Interested in computers since he was young, he will travel and volunteer with the YMCA this summer before starting college.

Lyndon will attend the University of Texas to major in management information systems. He will move into college in early July with hopes of gaining a student job within the computer maintenance department on campus. Lyndon starting off his high school career focusing on football and athletics, but a knee injury refocused him on an IT career in his junior year.

BJHS combines hands-on study with online curriculum. The school works with HP and the Houston Community College System (HCCS), but needs more local business support.

Kevin McDonald, an instructor in the program, comments, “Our students need to see where the job opportunities are and what those jobs are like, so that the students can see themselves in those roles. We need more local companies to allow field trips to their offices and job shadowing.”

Our industry can only grow stronger with more diversification and more qualified technicians,” said John Venator, president and CEO of the CompTIA Educational Foundation. “IT jobs are available, but we lack enough qualified workers to fill them. With programs like Creating Futures and the IT Merit Awards, we help more individuals launch a career in IT. However we need more companies and training organizations to step up. Dennis and Lyndon exemplify the type of bright students our industry wants. Let’s work together to help even more people join our industry.”

February 13, 2010

New Order National Human Rights Organization Calls for Firing of Taser-Killing Cop Diane Chandler

Villagers will be happy to see that the taser-related killing of 62-year old Linda Hicks has not been entirely swept under the rug. A new civil rights group is calling for the termination the Toledo police officer, Diane Chandler, who fatally shot a mentally ill woman on Dec 14, 2009.

"We're not going to let this case go," Gerald Rose, founder and executive director of the Atlanta-based New Order National Human Rights Organization, said during a news conference yesterday.

Ms. Hicks was reported to be threatening others with scissors at the group home where she lived. After she refused to show her hands to two officers who attempted to subdue her with a Taser, she lunged at one of them with scissors. Officer Diane Chandler, 33, fired four shots, hitting Ms. Hicks in the head, chest, and abdomen.

Officer Chandler voluntarily entered a months-long program that has her shadowing police detectives and is temporarily reassigned from her patrol duties. Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre considers the case closed.

At a news conference yesterday at the home of an aunt of the slain woman, Mr. Rose announced that he will hold a march next month to protest Ms. Hicks' death. He was accompanied by members of the new Toledo chapter of his group.

Gerald Rose stopped short yesterday of alleging that race may have been a factor in Ms. Hicks' death. "We want to get this officer off the street. We want her to be fired," he said. "All police officers are not bad. We need police officers. But the bad ones, we have to get off the street."

I'm not thrilled that this new group is resorting to a protest march in this situation. I would prefer that 21st century problems create 21st century solutions ... and a protest march seems 50 years out of place.

What are your thoughts on the call for the Toledo Police Department to fire Officer Chandler?

February 12, 2010

Black News Junkie

Do you want to raise awareness and drive traffic to bloggers in the afrosphere? If so, you'll be interested to learn that BlackNewsJunkie.com came online 2 years ago.

One of the features of the BlackNewsJunkie.com is to get Black news stories a wider circulation. BlackNewsJunkie.com has been redesigned to provide similar features as Digg, however instead of "digging" a news story; if a user likes a news article, they can give it the proverbial "Black fist" that became iconic during the Black power movement of the 60s.

Imani Mance, owner of BlackNewsJunkie.com notes, "... the Black power fist is universal in the African American community. We thought it was not only appropriate for ranking the top Black news stories of the day, but it also was chosen as our icon because of the historical significance of us launching the site during Black history month."

While African Americans have built a tradition of integration since the 70s of working, playing, shopping and even educating their community with resources provided by mainstream America, they also have a long tradition of creating their own when the mainstream neglects to serve their needs. BlackNewsJunkie.com is an example of this phenomenon of creating something by the people and for the people.

If you are a so called "news junkie" who can’t start your daily Internet browsing activities without getting a dose of the latest news to hit the web, then you can help build something for our people by joining the BlackNewsJunkie.com community today and putting your virtual Black power fist to work.

I encourage all villagers to signup online for Black News Junkie.

February 11, 2010

Cincinnati Business Incubator: Small Business Legacy Comes To An End

The Cincinnati Business Incubator (CBI), which focused on women- and minority-owned businesses, closed its doors Jan. 31. I served as CBI president from 2002-2006 and enjoyed my time working with small business owners and entrepreneurs who had a dream of growing profits and employee local residents.

A decrease in funding from the city of Cincinnati contributed to the demise of the incubator, which had been struggling to maintain profitability during the recession, according to a statement posted on the networking site LinkedIn.

"As a result of the past year's volatile economy, in addition to the timeline to profitability interrupted by the decline in city funding, CBI has attempted to reorganize and modify its business model," read the statement posted by Tracey Hayes, former associate executive director at the CBI.

"Unfortunately, those attempts have not been significant enough to continue incubation services to the small- business community of Greater Cincinnati."

I'm sorry to see this incubator ending over 20 years of service to the small business community of greater Cincinnati. Do any of you have memories of CBI that you care to share?

February 9, 2010

Tune In Tuesday: Billie Holiday and Johnny Cash

In our lives we hunger for those we cannot touch
All the thoughts unuttered & all the feelings unexpressed
Play upon our hearts like the mist upon our breath
But, awoken by grief, our spirits speak

My heart is heavy today. I've experienced a loss that is difficult to deal with in many ways. Johnny Cash put my Hurt to music many years ago:

I encourage all villagers to take a moment today to reach out to someone that you haven't talked to in a long time ... someone that you feel needs to hear from you. Even if that person isn't receptive ... reach out again ... and again. Never stop trying to make a human connection. I've learned that you can regret the things you don't do as much as the things you do.

Rest in peace little sister.

February 8, 2010

Taser Death: Daniel Mingo (Mobile, AL)

Police continue to kill people with taser guns on a weekly basis. Another six people were killed in January 2010. The 65th person involved in taser-related killing since last year is 25-year old Daniel Mingo.

Mingo, died Jan. 28, exactly one week after collapsing, following his arrest by Mobile police. The police say that they pulled him over for a traffic violation. This innocent young man had his life ended by the police during that traffic stop in Mobile, AL.

According to a lawsuit filed against the city of Mobile and the Mobile Police Department, Mingo suffered a broken nose, blunt force trauma to his head and neck and sustained several cardiac arrests.

Unidentified arresting officers called emergency medical personnel to the scene only after Mingo -- as he sat in the back of a patrol car -- began "screaming and growling like a dog" and collapsed.

They were worried about his mental state, the attorney said.

Police beat Mingo during the incident and shocked him with a Taser, the lawsuit claims, and ultimately those injuries caused him to become "brain dead," Mingo family attorney Chase Dearman has said.

Mingo died after being taken off life support.

"Officers observed Mr. Mingo swerving. Actually the vehicle ran off the shoulder of the road. At that point the officer initiated a traffic stop. Once the officer got out of the patrol vehicle he headed toward Mr. Mingo's vehicle and he noticed Mr. Mingo was putting something in his mouth and didn't know what it was," Officer Ronald Wallace said.
Officers said when they asked Mingo to get out of the car, he ran away.

"At that point the officer pursued him and saw Mr. Mingo shedding his clothing and actually saw something fall from Mr. Mingo's pocket of his jacket that he shed off his body. We did recover some ecstasy pills in a bottle," Wallace added.
When he resisted arrest, he was shocked once by an unidentified officer with the Taser, according to police.

The lawsuit claims Mingo was beaten, stripped of his clothing and shocked multiple times, then dragged through gravel and glass.

At the hospital, nurses spent more than two hours removing glass, gravel and other debris from open wounds, according to the lawsuit, and Mingo suffered from severe brain swelling.

The police are working to drag Mingo's memory into the dirt. While Mingo was in a coma the police were busy filing charges against him that included driving under the influence, possession of Ecstasy, failure to obey a police officer, resisting arrest and third-degree trespassing.

According to the lawsuit, Mingo wasn't in possession of illegal drugs, and "had committed no crime other than a possible alleged traffic violation."

People living nearby said the commotion carried over to a home on Carlton Acres West. Police said they found Mingo hiding in a shed.

"I seen him come out and when they came out there was no excessive force being used. It seemed to me like he was going in convulsions, from one side to the other," said a witness who didn't want to be identified. "He was still like really incoherent but he was hard to restrain he was excessively moving around."
Dearman said tests at the hospital immediately after the incident confirmed that Mingo had no drugs or alcohol in his body. The cause of death was respiratory failure, he said.

Mingo had "nonviolent mental disabilities" and police were told about those disabilities by his mother - who called police dispatch - and a person in his car, according to the lawsuit.

The mother of Daniel Mingo said she tried to warn police that her son was afraid of them. One day after 25 year old Daniel Mingo was taken off of life support, Cynthia Mingo talked in the following video about her son and the incident with Mobile Police that is now the subject of a lawsuit against the city and police department.

WKRG.com News

Dearman said he had learning disabilities and suffered from paranoia.

After being stopped, Mingo ran away because he was "fearing for his life," the lawsuit states.

Officers who eventually caught Mingo had "harassed and threatened" him in the past for refusing to become a drug informant, according to the lawsuit.

It appears that the issue of taser torture that this blog documented in 2009 is continuing to plague our nation in 2010. What say u?

February 7, 2010

Obama's Weekly Address: Opening Doors for Small Business

Reiterating once again his commitment to small business as the engine of our economy, the President urges Congress to move forward immediately on steps to help them expand and create jobs. These proposals include using $30 billion in TARP funds to create a new Small Business Lending Fund to provide capital to community banks to increase lending to small businesses, offering a new tax credit for over one million small businesses that hire new workers or raise wages, and providing targeted support for the most innovative small businesses with the potential to export new goods and products.

I own a small business. I'm hopeful that the intitiatives proposed by the president are converted into legislation that will impact on my business opportunities for the future.

What is your take on this week's message from President Obama?

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: February 7, 2010

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a day to focus attention on the staggering toll HIV continues to take on the Black community. It is also a day of hope – a day on which we recognize the progress we continue to make towards ending this epidemic in our communities.

Today, African Americans continue to face the most severe rates of HIV infection in the nation. The latest estimates indicate that while Blacks make up just 12 percent of the U.S. population, they account for nearly half of new HIV infections and almost half of the more than one million Americans estimated to be living with HIV. The harsh reality is that 1 in 16 Black men will be diagnosed with HIV at some point in their lifetime, as will 1 in 30 Black women.

I recently created a groupsite devoted to increasing our HIV/AIDS Awareness. I invite all villagers to subscribe if you have time or inclination.

February 6, 2010

John McCain Flip-Flops on Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy -- He Now Opposes President, Military Leadership and Colin Powell

In the war over "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the battle lines have been drawn: It's Republicans vs. the military. And John McCain vs. John McCain.

Admiral Mike Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates gave game-changing testimony to Congress last week. They both strongly support President Obama's effort to repeal DADT.

That isn't stopping recalcitrant Republicans like John McCain from flip-flopping on the stance he took in 2006 to follow the lead of our nation's top military brass on DADT.

Here's what John McCain said back in October 2006 on MSNBC's "Hardball":

"I listen to people like General Colin Powell, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and literally every military leader that I know... The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, Senator, we ought to change the policy, then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it because those leaders in the military are the ones we give the responsibility to."

Colin Powell -- the man who made DADT possible -- announced his opposition to this discriminatory policy, saying that "attitudes and circumstances have changed."

Again, we see the hypocrisy of John McCain. I remain grateful to the American people for ensuring that McCain/Palin were defeated in the 2008 presidential election. Having those two in the White House would be scary.

February 5, 2010

Old School Friday: Herbie Hancock

Old School Friday is a weekly meme that allows our minds to wander back to music from the last millennium. The theme this week is They Can't Talk, But They Sure Can Sing! To be honest, I don't have a clue what the theme is all about ... I will enjoy seeing how it is interpreted by others. I decided to focus on the 'they can't talk' part of the theme.

One of my favorite instrumental songs was created by Herbie Hancock back in 1984. In fact, he won a Grammy Award for his instrumental, Rockit. I hope you enjoy the flow.

What is your favorite Herbie Hancock joint? Or for that matter, do you have a favorite instrumental from back in the day?

February 4, 2010

Taser Death: Kelly Brinson (Cincinnati, OH)

45-year-old Kelly Brinson died on January 23, three days after going into cardiac arrest at University Hospital. Family members say Brinson had a history of mental problems and went to the hospital for treatment. They thought he would be safe there.

University of Cincinnati police chief Gene Ferrara calls the case unfortunate and tragic.

Brinson was being led to a room on the 8th-floor psychiatric ward for medical evaluation, and officers say he attempted to assault one of his escorts. After being initially subdued, Brinson “became violent” again in the examination room and officers, security and medical staff attempted to restrain him. The melee included five officers from the division and members of hospital staff and security.

During the struggle, officer Mark Zacharias pulled out his stun gun and attempted to shoot Brinson, but ended up having to situate the Taser manually to make contact with Brinson’s body.

Oh, my God, I cannot believe he is not coming back,” said Brenda Brinson, Kelly Brinson’s sister.

Brenda Brinson said she knew her brother needed help just after the new year. Diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic close to three decades ago, his sister said he told her he had been having bad dreams and overall bad feelings since the holidays. He was feeling suicidal.

Derek Brinson said his brother had been talking about the need to get his medications adjusted. Over the years he had mental setbacks and had been arrested on various charges, ranging from assault to disorderly conduct.

Even so, “He was gentle,” Derek Brinson said.

On Jan. 16, Kelly Brinson punched a wall and broke his right hand at his Mount Airy home. His hand and his ring and pinky finger were put into a cast that went up to his elbow.

Two days later, Kelly Brinson went to University Hospital and asked to be admitted to the psychiatric ward, his sister and brother said.

I knew he was safe and I could rest my mind,” Brenda Brinson said.

The following evening, Brinson’s brother was on a ventilator.

Brenda Brinson said she was told emergency workers spent 19 minutes trying to revive her brother after he was stunned and he never regained consciousness.

The Brinsons said their brother was agitated because his cell phone, which also has a radio, had been taken away from him because he had lashed out at a fellow patient.

He just wanted to listen to the radio,” Derek Brinson said.

Both Brinsons said their brother had calmed down but were told he became agitated again before being shocked. They were also told that he was given sedatives before he was shocked.

He said, “I’m done,” just before going into cardiac arrest, Brenda and Derek Brinson said hospital officials told them in a meeting that also involved police last week.

He was dead Wednesday, I just know it,” Derek Brinson said. “They just kept him alive to try and cover this up.”

Officials of the public safety department at the University of Cincinnati (UC) are maintaining that the UC Police division officers followed proper procedure when subduing a University Hospital patient Jan. 20.

Ferrara said the Taser hit Brinson in the upper leg and hip area. The officer tried using the weapon two more times, but Ferrara said a computer printout that tracks the Taser use through a chip suggest the device locked and only shocked Brinson once.

The Brinsons believe their brother also was hit twice with the Taser in the chest, something police officers have been warned to try to avoid doing since Taser International sent out an alert last fall advising police to avoid shocking suspects in the chest.

We have pictures,” Brenda Brinson said.

What matters most to Brenda and Derek Brinson is that hospital staff and police apparently didn’t try other means, such a straightjacket, to control their brother.

That was his safe place,” Brenda Brinson said of the hospital.

Brenda Brinson said her brother has been seeking help at UC and other mental health agencies for 28 years.

He went there for help,” Brenda Brinson said.

February 3, 2010

This Week in Blackness: Black Truths

Elon James White brings it hard in this week's video as he shares some basic Black Truths that all of us should recognize.

It can only be a short jump from these Black Truths to the Rules of Blackness similiar to the rules established by the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition or Special Agent Gibbs' Rules.

What do you think? Are there any 'Rules of Blackness' that you think we should add to the list?

February 2, 2010

NAACP Legislative Report Card

Do you know how your Members of Congress voted in the past year?

The NAACP has just released its Congressional Report Card for the first session of the 111th Congress, which illustrates how your Senators and Representatives voted on key civil rights, economic justice, health care and criminal justice issues - to name just a few.

Click here to see how your representatives voted on crucial civil rights issues and hold them accountable.

According to the latest report card, 59% of Senators and 47% of House Members received an "A" by the NAACP, a significant step up from last year. Some important milestones measured in the report include votes taken on important legislation such as the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

A number of our members of congress have yet to show their commitment to fundamental civil and human rights. In fact, 29% of Senators and 34% of House Members received the failing grade of "F" on the report card.

My representation here in Ohio is mixed. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) is my congressional representative. She received a "F" grade. One of my two senators is George Voinovich (R-OH) also received a failing grade. The only redeeming legislative value in Ohio appears to be Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). He received an 'A' grade with 100% voting record according to the NAACP scale.

How did your congressional delegation do on the NAACP Legislative Report Card for CY-2009?

February 1, 2010

Ann Curry - The Journalist

Ann Curry, who for the past four years has used her position as an influential reporter for NBC to cover the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, is a villager at heart. She has reported on rape and sexual violence against Darfuri women, interviewed survivors and drawn attention to the fact that, despite having borne and seen unbelievable horrors, these women continue to sustain their families and provide leadership in their communities.

Without reporters like Ann Curry we wouldn't hear much from the ground in Sudan. Perhaps equally importantly, though, networks won't spend time, money and resources on issues they think people don't care about. "No news" is not good news for those on the ground. Please contact Dateline NBC at dateline@nbcuni.com and ask the producers to run a special on violence against women in Darfur and to continue to amplify the voices of Sudanese women striving for peace.