Rice murder ‘objectively reasonable’


In November 2014, Tamir Rice, who was at a local park playing with a BB gun, was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer after the officers assumed his toy gun was threatening. On Thursday afternoon, his murder was deemed “objectively reasonable” according to the third report from a Cuyahoga County prosecutor.

Newsweek, CNN, and other major news media outlets have since reported this issue.

What baffles me is that whenever someone is murdered by a civilian, that civilian is often found guilty after trial. However, when an innocent, young, black boy is murdered by government workers, society questions whether the boy’s actions warranted his murder and often times, the police officer(s) aren’t reprimanded for their behaviors.

How many Tamir Rices must die before we step in an admit that there is a problem with our justice system? How many incarcerated men need to protest before we actually do something about it?

The news media’s portrayal of black men in America doesn’t make this task any easier. The media is the reason why we assume the black man is the aggressor in any criminal case. Refer to the portrayal of recent high school graduate Mike Brown for instance, or the images of Trayvon Martin as a thug when he was murdered.

The media must stop painting negative images of black men and maybe, just maybe, we can begin to assess the real problem, the cold blooded murders of innocent people.

‘Offend America Again’ Trump on SNL


NBC is currently under fire for being the hosting network for “Saturday Night Live,” which has recently agreed to allow Donald Trump to be its most recent special guest.

Protesters argue that it is the values of Donald Trump that make his appearance on a comedy show “not funny” and “blatantly disrespectful”. American Actor, John Leguizamo has gone as far as boycotting the show and says that if Trump Hosts then “I won’t watch SNL anymore”.

“I’m all for freedom of speech, don’t get me wrong. I believe in freedom of speech,” Leguizamo said in a Yahoo News interview. “This is different … If he had said those things about any other ethnic group, he would not be on that SNL.”

Leguizamo continued, “I mean for him to go around saying that Mexican people are coming across the border are murders and rapists and all the horrible things he said is so dangerous,” Leguizamo said in the interview. “People have been hurt because of his words, because he incited. And he said, ‘well, my followers are very passionate,’ which is also his lack of sympathy and empathy is ridiculous.”

Media outlets such as ABC, Entertainment Weekly, Business Insider, and CNN Money have since reported the incident by remaining neutral. The issue remains though, if we keep using Donald Trump for comedic entertainment, can we trust him as a politician?

Raven-Symone: The saga continues


To follow up my earlier blog regarding the coverage of of Raven-Symone and the series of unfortunate events that came with it.

Raven Symone has struck a chord with us all — again, but this time it’s not without serious consequences. After her statement on the young girl in South Carolina that got brutally assaulted by a police offer, which blamed the young girl for being “on her phone” during class, there has been a petition to remove Raven Symone from “The View.”

The Washington Times, Huffington Post, NBC, as well as many other news outlets, have since reported on the petition, on Change.org that addresses the petition to Barbara Walters, that says:

“Raven Symone has been spouting her ignorant and self hating spiel on the view for long enough, from stating that she wouldn’t hire somebody for having a ghetto name, to openly complaining about reverse racism, the final straw was her comment about the recent viral video of the school police officer assaulting the student, where Raven Symone said “get off your phone in school then.” African Americans and black people around the diaspora need a voice representative of their views and not a voice representative of what white people want us to say. We need strong black role models in prominent positions on television an Raven Symone cannot provide that. That is why I ask that we petition to remove her from The View.”

The news media coverage has played a major role in the success of this petition, which currently has 106,185 out of the 150,000 signature goal. The coverage of issues, such as these, and the persistent conversations on social media outlets can finally put an end to the disaster that is Raven-Symone.

First gay rugby team turns 20


There has always been the idea of hyper masculinity in contact sports, such as football and rugby. The first rugby team originated from England in the first half of the 19th century and was composed of all men and now, the first gay rugby team celebrates its 20th year as an organization and discusses the homophobia they’ve experienced.

CNN reports that the fear of contracting AIDS in the 1990s was a limitation on the all-gay team playing non-gay teams, since AIDS was often associated with death.

According to CNN, Mark Bithell, the capital of the rugby team, says that the fear of contracting AIDS and homophobia limited who they played with.

“A lot of teams just didn’t want to play us,” he recalls. “And you can never be sure why they declined.

“But I certainly experienced it as a player in particular when there was a blood injury. They would react in a completely hysterical way and start screaming ‘Blood! Blood!’ and screaming at the referee to get us off the pitch because they were afraid.”

But now, with a more informed society, we praise teams such as this one, who are brave and proud enough to organize as a team, regardless of their individual sexual orientation.

Raven-Symoné and “black names”


Last week, Raven-Symoné, co-host of “The View,” jumped into a conversation, which was based on a new study at UCLA about racial bias toward “black names.” Raven-Symoné said that she discriminates against people with “ghetto names” and won’t hire anymore with a name like “Watermelondrea” and news outlets immediately caught fire.

After seeing various news articles, some being CNN and the New York Daily News, I’m content with the amount of coverage and the lack of defending Raven-Symoné’s wrong behavior.

Raven-Symoné is an American, although she disregards her African ancestry, she identifies with a unit of people who are composed of various beautiful ethnicities. The thing that is so horrible about Raven-Symoné’s comments stems from a mindset that we, as a society, need to work towards opening.

By bringing attention to how wrong Raven’s actions were we can use this and learn from it.

Though, perhaps it would’ve been more beneficial for media outlets to take a stand against her behaviors, although that would make a “fair and balanced” news source bias.

Shootings: More coverage needed


We hear about a shooting on a college campus every few years. The reality of this act is that no matter where we are, we can be affected by the selfish decisions of someone else.

But what would help us find solutions to college shootings? The same news media coverage we get when a shooting happens.

When we brainstorm on a large scale, good things can happen. The coverage of these tragedies shouldn’t be in vein, we have the necessary tools to come up with solutions that will limit the amount of college shootings that happen around the United States.

At this point, it is far from an isolated incident. Statistics show that one-in-four campus police officers aren’t prepared to handle an active shooter on campus, which is a horrible. We need more coverage of solutions and so that we can stop talking about who got killed at what university and start discussing what we can do to prevent these occurrences.

If we considered the effects that this can do to bring a positive change, we as university students, can deter and reduce college shootings.

Coverage of Pope’s visit is excessive


Pope Francis is officially on U.S soil for the first time and he is getting news media coverage from all major news outlets.

From CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX news, Pope Francis is being covered by all angles. But why? Is it a moment in history? Or is it to appeal to the Catholic news audience?

CNN initially covered Pope Francis’ landing at Joint Base Andrews just outside Washington, D.C. It covered about three hours of the landing and official welcome from the president.

TIME reported the Pope’s following weekend schedule …

Friday, Sept. 25

8:30 a.m.: Pope Francis will address the United Nations General Assembly, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary. The Pope is also expected to attend bilateral meetings with the U.N. Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly.
11:30 a.m.: His Holiness will pray, meet with families and deliver an address at a multi-religious service at the Sept. 11 memorial and museum at the site of the World Trade Center.
4 p.m.: Before taking his motorcade through Central Park, the Pope will visit a third grade class at Our Lady Queen of Angels school, a 120-year-old institution in East Harlem.
5 p.m.: Motorcade through West Central Park between 72nd and 60th Streets. A ticket and valid ID is required to enter.
6 p.m.: Mass at Madison Square Garden.

Saturday, Sept. 26

8:40 a.m.: Pope departs New York for final leg of the trip. He’ll arrive in Philadelphia at 9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.: Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, the mother church of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
4:45 p.m.: The Pope is expected to talk immigration and religious during an address at Independence Mall
7:30 p.m.: Visit and prayer vigil at the World Meeting of the Families on Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Sunday, Sept. 27

9:15 a.m.: Pope will meet with Bishops at St. Martin’s Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
11 a.m.: Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, the city’s largest jail.
4 p.m.: Mass at World Meeting of the Families.
7 p.m.: Meeting with World Meeting organizers, benefactors and volunteers.
8 p.m.: Official departure.

But what do we care? It’s imperative as news and information consumers that we understand the value of credible journalism. What can we really take away from a major news outlet that isn’t informed on crucial details?

Consider the ideas and motives of these news outlets, so that we’re not just consuming misinformation, but information that’s credible and worthy of consumption.

Facebook features keep us connected


Facebook, one of the leading social media outlets in the world, is consistently growing and expanding.

Just recently, Facebook has updated its “trending” feature. This feature can be found on the right-hand column of the home page and gives the most trending topics that aren’t only popular within the Facebook world, but across the globe.

This feature keeps the discussions on Facebook relevant, and timely. While other social media sites like Twitter, also utilize the “trending” feature, Facebook eliminates the limitations by connecting us to constantly changing information around the world.

Live updates have always been one of Facebook’s strongest features, but as Facebook continues to expand that feature, it may be the reason behind Facebook’s constant success.

To date, Facebook currently has 1.49 billion monthly users. Also, according to Facebook 2015 reports, Facebook has 968 million active daily users. Of course, websites such as Twitter and Instagram are increasingly becoming more popular for teenagers and adults in their early 20s however, Facebook continues to dominate the social media world. There are numerous factors responsible for Facebook’s success. Features that currently keep its audience engaged and connected may be the secret to that success.

Freddie Gray: The $6.4 million question


The family of Freddie Gray, 24, a man who died of severe injuries in the back of a police van during transport in Baltimore, has been awarded $6.4 million in a wrongful death settlement.

That’s $6.4 million, just so Gray’s family and the city of Baltimore can just put the matter behind them, said the lawyer of Freddie Gray.

What isn’t being answered is what happened in the back of that police van. How is it possible for a handcuffed man, who sustained severe injuries after being arrested, to die of a traumatic head and back injury?

The city of Baltimore police department has a strict protocol to follow in regards to detainees. In fact, the police protocol specifically outlines safety restraints in transport vans, one of those being that the “detainee is secured with a seatbelt or restraining device.”

Unfortunately, questions like these regarding Freddie Gray will never have answers.

Currently, six of the officers that contributed to the death of Freddie Gray must stay in the city of Baltimore, after the defense failed to prove that the six arresting officers wouldn’t receive a fair trial.

As the mystery of Freddie Gray grows, it is imperative for the trial to determine whether or not the six arresting officers are guilty of murdering Freedie Gray, and if, in fact, the officers did kill Freddie Gray, the questions that should be answered are “how,” and “why.”