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Serving Life By Default

U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder said, “The history of felony disenfranchisement dates to a time when these policies were employed not to improve public safety, but purely as punitive measures intended to stigmatize, shame and shut out a person who had been found guilty of a crime.”

United States Attorney General Eric Holder

What a poignant statement for the United States Attorney General to make.  The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights was held at the Law Center of Georgetown University this year.  U. S. Attorney General Holder used it as a stage to enlighten the participants of a mere fragment of the obstacles faced by the formerly incarcerated individuals in the United States of America.  His comments reverberated across the nation as a result of it.

An estimated 5.8 million Americans are disenfranchised because of restrictive laws directed at individuals AFTER they have paid their debt to society (Refer to Debt paid to society….Or is it? A previous blog on this site).  Of the aforementioned number of disenfranchised individuals 2.2 million of them are African Americans.  Holder said, “Although well over a century has passed since post-reconstruction states used these measures to strip African Americans of their most fundamental rights, the impact of felony disenfranchisement on modern communities of color remains both disproportionate and unacceptable.”

Let’s delve a little deeper if you will.  The State of Florida is home to 1.54 million of disenfranchised individuals.  Yes, one state is home to a quarter of the nations disenfranchised individuals.  What’s worse is they are basically barred for LIFE pending clemency from the sitting Governor.  The majority of the other states (excluding Iowa and Kentucky) have variations of the law that grants Civil Rights Restoration after certain portions of their sentence is completed e.g. probation, parole and restitution.  Yet, in Florida which has a major role in most Presidential elections 10% of the voting population is ineligible to vote regardless of what they have done since release to rehabilitate themselves and contribute to society.

This issue isn’t a black or white issue nor is it a political party affiliation issue.  Several Democratic and Republican leaders have weighed in on this issue proving that including but not limited to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

“These restrictions are not only unnecessary and unjust, they are also counterproductive.  By perpetuating the stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals, the laws increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes,” Holder said.


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I swear the disparaging things I see when it comes to race hurt my heart.  We’ve come so far, but we’re… still …nowhere in so many, cases…

Now, the IRONY of this article was that I originally saw this story on GMA/ABC news… but when I went online to find it…I couldn’t…huh…

Alfred Wright, a 28-year-old physical therapist, was on his way to see a patient when his pickup truck broke down in Sabine County, Tex. His wife Lauren alerted his parents who went to help him. When Lauren called him back, all she heard was heavy breathing. She grew frantic and knew he was in distress. She sent texts pleading with him to call her. When his parents arrived on the scene, there was no sign of Alfred. His pickup truck was still parked at the package store, but Alfred was long gone. The store clerk said she saw Alfred, who was dressed in scrubs, but claims after he talked on his cell phone, he stuffed his cell phone in his socks and took off running, of “his own free will.”

Alfred knew help was on this way, so it’s questionable that he’d run off into the woods in a town where racial tension is highly prevalent.

Alfred grew up in Jasper along with his four siblings. His father is a pastor and middle school gym teacher. “Alfred was a man of great faith,” his wife tells CNN. A football player while in college, she goes on to say “he loved his family, was very ambitious and hard working … fun loving and brilliant.”

His family questions the sheriff’s office commitment to finding Alfred when they abruptly halted the search after only four days, saying they’ve exhausted their resources, Alfred would be listed as a missing person and there was no indication of foul play. They even said this case was likely drug related and Alfred ripped off his clothes after having hallucinations.

Alfred’s watch, clothing and his identification were found in the area near where deputies claimed to have searched.

His lifeless body was found 18 days after he went missing in November 2013, the week of Thanksgiving, near Hemphill in Sabine County, Tex. which is 45 minutes away from where “in the pre-dawn hours of June 7, 1998, James Byrd Jr. was walking home in Jasper, when he was stopped by three white men who offered him a ride home. Byrd got in the bed of their pick-up truck, but the men did not take him home. Instead, they drove him to a desolate, wooded road east of town, beat him severely, chained him to the back of the truck by his ankles and dragged him for more than three miles. The murderers drove on for another mile before dumping his torso in front of an African American cemetery in Jasper,” according to the police report.

Tragically, Alfred was found by volunteers and his father. He was stripped to his boxer shorts, wearing only a single sock with his cell phone tucked inside, and both his sneakers. He was missing an ear, two front teeth and his throat was slit. There was not a lot of decomposition in comparison to most bodies found in the elements after 18 days. On November 26, 2013, forensic pathologist John W. Ralston MD, ruled his death “accidental” due to “combined drug intoxication,” in other words, a drug overdose – cocaine, methamphetamine and amphetamines.

The family isn’t buying it because Alfred never used drugs. His family had their own autopsy and the pathologist concluded that he died of severe trauma to the neck and head and a gash across his throat.

The county’s autopsy report didn’t address the cut on his neck or throat area and also went on to report that any damage caused to the body was caused by animal activity, offering no explanation why the cut across his neck was a straight line and why the animals didn’t chew him to the bone after being out in the woods for over 18 days.

Every single day that passes, evidence is lost or destroyed. Please help this family find answers. Alfred took care of his wife and three sons financially and the family is seeking donations, any help is appreciated. Click here to help: Alfred Wright Foundation at GoFundMe.

Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, senior member of the House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees, recently announced “the Department of Justice will investigate and take appropriate action and will conduct a thorough and independent investigation into all the circumstances surrounding this tragedy and to take appropriate action necessary to vindicate the federal interest, protect the civil rights of all Americans, ensure that all persons receive equal justice under law.

“We are all better off when the facts are discovered, the truth is discerned and the family and the community are at peace.”


Don’t smell right to me… WHAT DO YOU THINK???

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Sixteen teenagers ranging in age from 13 to 17 were recovered by law enforcement in a crackdown on child trafficking surrounding the Super Bowl last weekend. The FBI said the teens included high school students and young people reported missing by their families.

“It is the most significant operation we’ve had around a big event,” Michael Osborne of the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Unit told ABC News. “This is the most recoveries we’ve had at one time.”

Officials said the vast majority of the rescued teens were girls.

Osborne said he calls taking the young people off the street “recoveries,” because the children are not charged. In child exploitation cases like this, law enforcement officials said operations are designed to remove the young victims from a life of exploitation and abuse.

“These recoveries are victim-focused,” Osborne said. “Many times these young people are kept in this life by pimps using sexual, physical and emotional abuse.”

The law enforcement effort to help the young victims goes well beyond providing overnight food, clothing and shelter, Osborne said. Over the course of the operation, the FBI’s victim specialists’ provided 70 women and children referrals to health care facilities, shelters, and other programs. Osborne said the FBI works with social service specialists to provide for the long-term needs of the victims as well.

“We provide everything we can to try to pull them out of their situation, like education information and family counseling,” Osborne said. The family counseling, he explained, is needed because many of the young girls who end up being exploited are runaways. “We know there is a very close correlation between runaway girls and prostitution.”

What is striking in many cases, he said, is that the young victims themselves don’t think they deserve the help. “They don’t think they are worth saving,” Osborne said. “Sometimes we are the only people in their lives who haven’t given up on them.”

The crackdown also identified and arrested 45 pimps and their associates. The arrests came in New York, New Jersey and in Connecticut in the days leading up to the Super Bowl.

Osborne said the FBI teamed with state and local law enforcement to develop intelligence about the movement of pimps and prostitutes into the vicinity of the Super Bowl, as they do with any big event, like a big game or convention. That’s because pimps and “facilitators” move girls around from state to state to find a large gathering of potential customers.

“High-profile special events, which draw large crowds, have become lucrative opportunities for child prostitution criminal enterprises,” said Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “The FBI and our partners remain committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and putting those who try to profit from this type of criminal activity behind bars.”

Osborne said many times, prostitutes are not walking the streets anymore, but rather their services are offered on internet sites by their pimps.

“No doubt about it, we had a lot of internet activity in the past week,” Osborne said

The FBI’s Super Bowl operation efforts were part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative that was established in 2003 by the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, in partnership with the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to address the growing problem of child prostitution.

To date, the FBI and its task force partners have recovered more than 3,100 children. The investigations and subsequent 1,400 convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences, including 11 life terms and the seizure of more than $3.1 million in assets.

“Through partnerships, enhanced as a result of this operation, we hope to build a lasting framework that helps the community address this problem,” said Michael Harpster, chief of the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Section. “It’s easy to focus on this issue in light of a high-profile event, but the sad reality is, this is a problem we see every day in communities across the country.

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Laugh Worthy News! 1/30/14

In watching the Early Morning Show this morning I was alarmed to find out that FINE lil Mr. Justin Bieber has gotten himself into a boatload of trouble. Poor baby now all those people that was riding on his every note want to put him out of the country. That’s right they have an online petition goin to revoke this boys green card. Now what the hell! That boy ain’t did nothing more than any other of these messed up post teen child stars have done. They idolize these people as if they were gods and then turn their backs when the get into any kind of negative news worthy situation, which shows that yep they were man all the time. But it’ not like us as a society to be hypocritical or anything now is it?

Just like I said when everyone was in an uproar about Miley twerkin on the MTV awards; if we as parents would act like parents and stop letting our kids get all sprung out on all these people then it wouldn’t be so bad when they express who they really are or maybe just grow the hell up. I mean most of these kids were babies when they came out into the spot light. They can’t grow up and do them. You know how you were when you we 18-24 (which by the way is scientifically the age of true maturity)? Hell as soon as I flew the coop I did whatever I thought I was big and bad enough to do. Ain’t nobody talked about taking Lindsay Lohans crazy ass’s citizenship and she ain’t making no kind contribution to to society in years, hell she can’t even help herself, LOL.

At least the boy can sing his lil ass off and he’s a nice lil piece of vanilla eye candy. So to all those who are trippin on Mr. Bieber I say to you LEAVE THAT BOY ALONE!

Ok next news worthy topic. I can’t even type for laughing at this dumb broad. Ok let me pick myself up off the floor. Alright composure… So there was this chick that was working at a McDonalds.

I don’t know in what city or state but anyway. She was a Mc Donald’s employee that work drive thru who was busted for sell heroine in happy meals. So she created a code the person would come through the drive through window and ask to buy the toy then they’d pull up and pay $82- $80 for the dope and $2 for the meal and they’d get their lil happy meal box with their score in it. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW! Well somehow she got busted. They found with the dope and all. Poor girl.  Got locked up and lost her job too. I bet she didn’t see that one coming. I wonder how long she got away with it?  As I reflect on that she actually wasn’t that dumb. That was a very creative idea. Bet she didn’t see that comin.

She was servin some REAL Happy Meals! LMFAO! Bahd Dah Daht Dath Daaah, I’m Lovin It!

I’m telling you this has already been a morning full of laughter for me and its only 6:00AM where I’m from. Well finally. There was a report of a New York Rep. Michael Grimm caught on tape threatening a news reporter for asking a question about his campaign finances being fishy. This dumb as dude threatened to though the reporter over the freakin balcony. SaY wHaT? Yes over the balcony and it was on tape. He said some other choice words as he threatened him as well. I knew New York was a tough place but damn when their public officials are clown like that what can you expect the citizens to act like. I’m just sayin. Welp there go his chances for reelection or so you would thing. I bet he gets voted back in strictly because he showed that he’s bout it!

Well that’s your laugh worthy news for the day. Have a fantastic day and a safe beautiful weekend. Stay warm and don’t be tryna slip and slide everywhere this weekend. If you not from a place that enables you to know how to drive on the snow sit yo but down some where cause guaranteed you gonna run across ten more idiots out the just like you who don’t know what in the world they doin and boom there goes somebodies car crashed. Oh last tid bit: 4X4 is great for helping you get unstuck but does nothing for the slick stuff just FYI.

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No Nonsense Telling It Like It Is- President Obama’s State of the Union Address- Did It Make A Difference?

The President touched on many subjects last night during his speech. Topics ranged from jobs, climate, immigration, unemployment insurance, education and diplomacy.  He said this can be a break through year.  The opportunity is here!  Congress needs to give hardworking Americans a chance!  Workers deserve a raise and women deserve pay for equal work!

As much as I admire the President and respect his efforts in trying to change the country and bring about positive change,  same words, same speech I have heard before!  Same personal stories about someone losing their job, needing health care, talking about teachers, etc. Perhaps the best line of the night was the President saying “when women succeed, America succeeds.”  Ain’t that the truth!

Through all the niceties, I have to be honest, I was not moved until he told the story about a young Army Ranger, First Class Sergeant Cory Remsburg.  Cory almost died from a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.  He was in a coma for months, couldn’t move and could barely speak.  He had to learn to walk and talk again and is blind in one eye!  Cory stood up in the audience and that is when the speech became real to me!

The President’s same speech about the American dream and perseverance came full circle for me at that moment!  His last statement transformed my mindset as he said “men and women like Cory remind us that America has never come easy. Our freedom, our democracy, has never been easy. Sometimes we stumble; we make mistakes; we get frustrated or discouraged. But for more than two hundred years, we have put those things aside and placed our collective shoulder to the wheel of progress – to create and build and expand the possibilities of individual achievement; to free other nations from tyranny and fear; to promote justice, and fairness, and equality under the law, so that the words set to paper by our founders are made real for every citizen. The America we want for our kids – a rising America where honest work is plentiful and communities are strong; where prosperity is widely shared and opportunity for all lets us go as far as our dreams and toil will take us – none of it is easy. But if we work together; if we summon what is best in us, with our feet planted firmly in today but our eyes cast towards tomorrow – I know it’s within our reach. Believe it.”

The President has not been perfect.  He has made mistakes but he did not create the state of chaos this country has been in for the last decade.  I truly believe he cares about making America better!  Some Republicans and racists and even some Democrats do not want this country to move forward and succeed! They have their own political agendas.  But we cannot give up.  If the President and an Army Ranger won’t give up, why should we?

Written By

Cynthia Rogers





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