Tag Archives: community

Parkland Students Are Not Happy About Their Clear Backpacks

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are not impressed by their school’s new safety measure. Six weeks after a gunman killed 17 people at the Parkland, Florida, school, students were given clear backpacks they are required to wear in order to prevent anyone from bringing weapons onto campus.

Robert Runcie, the superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, announced the new policy last month, after the shooter’s brother was caught trespassing on campus, and two students were charged with carrying knives onto school grounds. Runcie also said students would be issued ID badges they must wear at all time while at school, and that the district is considering installing metal detectors.

Students were immediately critical of the decision, with one senior, Kyra Parrow, tweeting, “s/o to America for making my school seem like jail now because legislators don’t have common sense gun reform on their agendas.” Reactions weren’t any warmer when the backpacks were handed out on Monday after students returned from spring break.

Some students used the clear plastic backpacks to broadcast their opinions on the new requirement.

Since the shooting, Stoneman Douglas students have been at the forefront of a renewed push for stricter gun-control legislation. The new bags were issued just over a week after millions of people around the world joined Parkland students for the March for Our Lives protest for gun control.

“We’re going to make sure the best people get in our elections to run not as politicians, but as Americans. Because this,” Parkland survivor David Hogg said at the march in Washington D.C., pointing at the U.S. Capitol, “This is not cutting it.”

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Snapchat Stock Drops after Offensive Rihanna Ad

Here’s a revolutionary idea: Don’t mess with Rihanna, ever.

After Snapchat posted a tone-deaf ad referencing Chris Brown’s conviction for assaulting Rihanna, the singer and beauty queen slammed the app.

As a result of its egregious blunder, Snap’s market value has dropped a tad bit — by $800 million, to be exact. While Snapchat said the ad was never meant to be published, many users saw it before it was taken down last Monday. Meant to advertise a game called, “Would You Rather?”, the ad asked users, “Would you rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown?”

After the ad was pulled from the platform on Monday, Snapchat apologized in a statement that read, “The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines.” But that wasn’t enough.

The same morning, Rihanna took to Instagram to vent her disgust. “Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there! But I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess!” she wrote. “I’d love to call it ignorance but I know you ain’t that dumb. You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it.”

And according to CNN Tech, just a day after Rih called out the ad, Snapchat stocks dropped 4 percent, costing the app those hundreds of millions of dollars. Will Snapchat be able to weather losing the support of Kylie Jenner and Rih? Only time will tell.

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Disney Donates $1M for STEM Center in Oakland in Honor of ‘Black Panther’ Film

With the success of Black Panther, Disney, the parent company of Marvel Studios, is set to donate $1 million to expand the Boys & Girls Club STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs in Oakland, CA. As the film began to garner more and more attention, the prospects of a box office hit were imminent. Many questioned whether or not some of the money the film was projected to make would go toward the Black community and it seems that Disney is attempting to do just that.

Bob Iger, chairman, and CEO of The Walt Disney Company stated:

“Marvel Studios’ Black Panther is a masterpiece of movie making and has become an instant cultural phenomenon, sparking discussion, inspiring people young and old, and breaking down age-old industry myths. […] It is thrilling to see how inspired young audiences were by the spectacular technology in the film, so it’s fitting that we show our appreciation by helping advance STEM programs for youth, especially in underserved areas of the country, to give them the knowledge and tools to build the future they want.”

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Jury Grants Family of Police Shooting Victim Korryn Gaines $37M

After three weeks of testimony and a few hours of subsequent deliberation, an all-female jury overseeing the wrongful death civil trial of slain police shooting victim Korryn Gaines – ruled in favor of awarding her family $37 million, on Friday, February 16.

Gains was gunned down when after a six-hour standoff, officers locked out of her Randallstown apartment with an arrest warrant finally busted in to find her armed with a shotgun. The 2016 incident drew a passionate response from the public over several unsettling tactics used by Baltimore County police. For one, authorities had Gains’ wi-fi cut off as she was live streaming the confrontation, and secondly, many took exception to the force used in disregard of the fact that her five-year-old son Kodi was present to witness the situation unravel.

Kodi will now receive $32 million of the total, as it was determined that County Cpl. Royce Ruby’s use of force, when he fired off the first shot, was not objectively reasonable. The ruling contradicts the findings of a county prosecution that previously established that the shooting was legally justified. In addition to the lions share of the settlement that Kodi will inherit, Gains’ daughter will get $4.5 million, and her father, mother, and general estate will get $300K respectively.

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Parade Goers Outraged After Given Blackface Figurines at Mardi Gras

Mard Gras parade-goers in New Orleans were shocked when someone handed them a package containing blackface figurines.

Gregory Hawkins recounted the moment he was given the package, saying, “As soon as he opened it, everybody just kind of got quiet.” He added, “I was searching my mind for like, an explanation,” said Gregory Hawkins, who also got the package, reports WWL-TV. “I thought maybe they were salt shakers or something like that. Or that this was some sort of historic thing for the Endymion crew specifically. But the more I thought about it, the more upset I became about it.”

Other people posted images of the same figurines they received at the parade, which quickly spread online.

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Dodge Ram Under Fire for Using MLK Speech to Promote Cars in Commercial

Dodge came under fire on Super Bowl Sunday for their use of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1968 sermon “The Drum Major Instinct” as a background for their “Built To Serve” ad. The ad features football players, rescue workers, and Marines to support their message.

A description in the video reads, “In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ram truck owners also believe in a life of serving others. They serve because they’re driven by a higher calling. They serve because they feel a shared responsibility and commitment to their family and community. They serve because they’re men and women of their word. They serve because they know the world could use a little more kindness.”

A tweet from The King Center’s official Twitter page revealed that neither they or King’s daughter Bernice permitted the use of the audio for the commercial. The tweet read, “Neither @TheKingCenter nor @BerniceKing is the entity that approves the use of #MLK’s words or imagery for use in merchandise, entertainment (movies, music, artwork, etc) or advertisement, including tonight’s @Dodge #SuperBowl commercial.”

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NASA Faces Backlash After Removing First Black ISS Member

NASA has been faced increasing backlash over its decision last week to replace a woman slated to be the first Black crew member on the International Space Station. Since it was announced on Thursday, January 18, that astronaut Jeanette Epps would not be taking to space on the upcoming June expedition, many in public have been calling the decision racist.

Epps – who joined NASA and completed her training in the agency after serving in the CIA for seven years – was suddenly taken off of the mission and replaced by a peer in her class by the name of Serena Auñón-Chancellor. While Auñón-Chancellor will be making history in her own right, as the first person of Hispanic descent to assume a spot in the ISS, Epps apparently isn’t completely clear on why she was demoted in her classmate’s favor.

Epps has been with NASA since 2009, and before working in intelligence, the Syracuse native completed her education as a 2000 graduate of the University of Maryland’s aerospace engineering doctorate program. According to reports, Epps has no history of health issues, and thus there is no indication that the decision was one influenced by a medical doctor.

“My sister Dr. Jeanette Epps has been fighting against oppressive racism and misogynist in NASA and now they are holding her back and allowing a Caucasian Astronaut to take her place,” Epps’ brother, Henry, would go on Facebook and write upon hearing the news. In addition, Henry shared a MoveOn.org petition to help garner support in protest of NASA.

Although 14 African-American astronauts have been in space throughout recorded history, none ever lived in the International Space Station, as Epps would be prepared to for a time.

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