It’s amazing how this absurd anti-dark skinned mentality is so prevalent across the globe. Whitening creams are huge in China and India, among both girls and guys. It’s an abhorrent practice from the cosmetic company’s part. They take as much advantage possible of these insecurities created by the media, sometime in the most detestable manner. Look at this ridiculous commercial from South Asia where the girl is self conscious of her tan hand!

There are many resources on the Internet that explain this screwy phenomenon. But I’m not in the mood to preach, solve problems or raise concerns. But perhaps inspire? Actually, I just want an excuse to play this song that actually sounds real good. I heard it play on the radio today when I was running to veggie-friendly Baja Fresh during lunch. It’s India Arie featuring Akon, “I am not my hair.” I know you’ll enjoy it.

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Firstly, nothing is sadder than the fact that there is an abundance of material available for us to even consider such a ridiculous comparison.

It seems that nooses are the new (nazi) swastikas. They are popping up everywhere I turn. Some cowards hang them up anonymously. While others believe it to be a harmless Halloween season decoration. They claim that nooses in these cases do not carries a racist significance and that one is only looking to get offended if they assume so.

Here are some examples before we begin the conversation. First at the Universities:

(N.C. State University) Campus Police responded to a report of a noose being hung last Thursday, after which the news of the incident began to spread around campus and media outlets. (link)

University of Delaware police are investigating a report of a noose spotted on campus, as school officials reaffirm their zero-tolerance policy on hate crimes. (link)

On September 7, a noose was found hanging from a tree outside of the multicultural center at University of Maryland. (link)

Police are trying to find out who hung four nooses in a classroom on the Central Michigan University campus. A student discovered the hangman’s nooses in the Engineering and Technology Building on Monday. (link)

Did anyone catch that? I didn’t even need to allude to the incident at Columbia University. But I digress. Let’s now look at cases involving nooses during Halloween season.

A Gahanna man removed a noose from a display after hearing complaints from those who considered the decorations offensive. (link)

A Stratford family became the focus of attention when their Halloween display, featuring a figure hanging from a noose, offended some people. (link)

A Halloween-happy man discovered this week that decorating his city trash truck with nooses was a bad idea, especially in light of recent events nationwide. (link)

Will you help me figure out what is worse? Because I can’t decide. The fact that the perpetrators at the academic institution are aware of nooses’ history in America as primarily being used to lynch black folks. Or the fact that a certain population of this country is ignorant of this piece of history and unintentionally offend many.

I come to the conclusion that you should face some criminal charges if responsible for either scenario. Intentional or unintentional, ignorance is never an excuse to offend anyone. And neither is knowledge.

On Oct. 8 of last year, four men lured 29-year-old Michael J. Sandy, an interior designer from Williamsburg, N.Y., to meet with them at the parking lot of Plum Beach with the intentions of robbing him. Their strategy was simple: the foursome believed since Sandy was gay, he wouldn’t resist to robbery. Nor would he likely report the crime. On the day of the meeting, things did not go according to plan. Rather, they turned for the worst.

When he arrived he was set upon by the others. Sandy bolted for the nearby Belt Parkway with his attackers in close pursuit.

They caught up with him in one lane of the highway and as Sandy broke free he was struck by a car, sustaining massive head injuries.

The 28 year old died a week later after his family instructed doctors to take him off a life-support machine. (link)

District Attorney Charles Hynes claimed this was a hate crime. He said, “He was murdered because he was gay.”

In a twist, one of the perpetrators, 21-year-old Anthony Fortunato, claimed that he himself was not straight. He said, “I could be homosexual or bisexual. … I was leading two complete double lives.” Fortunato even had three men testify to his newly claimed sexual orientation.

All three said they met Fortunato through internet chat rooms. Two of them said that when Fortunato arrived at their homes he was wearing a bra and women’s panties.

“To my shock he was wearing ladies’ undergarments, he had a bra, if I remember correctly, and a G-string,” one of the men, Henry Rudolph testified.

Fortunato has been convicted of manslaughter in the second degree as a hate crime as well as petty larceny. The three others were similarly convicted.

(Megan) Williams (second from right) was found by police at a home in Logan County in early September. She says she was held against her will, sexually assaulted, stabbed and even threatened with death. All six people charged in connection with the incident are white and face charges of kidnapping and sexual assault. (link)

But the six alleged attackers aren’t being charged for hate crime, despite the pleas of the 400 who marched to Charleston, W.Va. on Saturday. Williams’ lawyer, Brian Williams, said it’d be difficult to prove this to be a hate crime because she had a “social relationship” with one of the attackers before the alleged incident.

 

“Hate crimes are out of control in America,” Malik Shabazz, pictured above, a legal adviser to Williams and her family and a founder of Black Lawyers for Justice, told the group at a rally before the march. “Nooses are being hung and our women are being raped by white mobs. What happened to Megan Williams was a hate crime and we want this prosecuted as a hate crime.” (link)

A hate crime carries an additional sentence of ten years. Although if convicted for kidnapping, the alleged attackers could face a life sentence.

Zayid Muhammad, the national minister of culture for the New Black Panther Party, came to the rally from Newark, N.J.

“As a father of a daughter and a child of African ancestry, the idea that I can sit by idly, (in) the face of one of the most violent and obscene acts committed against a black woman in my life, was too appalling,” Muhammad said. “I had to come.”

A one on one interview with Megan Williams describing the assault in detail is available here.

Well no scientist has just flat out said cigarettes are worse than crack. But they do agree,

tobacco is highly addictive. It is considered mood and behavior altering. Tobacco is believed to have an addictive potential comparable to alcohol, cocaine, and morphine.

Now that certainly should qualify as reason enough to not go near the cause for lung cancer. Or quit, if currently smoking. So who could still be blazing?

Even as antismoking campaigns have sharply reduced tobacco use in society at large, smoking has remained far more common among the poor of all races. (link)

In fact,

Officials (in Baltimore) said they were surprised when a recent study suggested that more than half of poor, black young adults smoke cigarettes — almost always menthol, almost always Newports.

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