I'm outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday. I have been a member of Trinity United Church of Christ since 1992 and have known Jeremiah Wright for almost 22 years. The person I saw yesterday was not the person I met 20 years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but they also give comfort to those that prey on hate and I believe they do not accurately portray the perspective of the black church. They certainly do not accurately portray my values and beliefs. If Reverend Wright thinks that is political posturing on my part, he does not know me very well.
I have already denounced those comments that have come out of these previous sermons. I gave him the benefit of the doubt in my speech in Philadelphia, explaining that he has done enormous good in the church, has built a wonderful conversation. They are a wonderful people and what attracted me has always been the ministries reach beyond church walls. But when he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions, that the U.S. government is involved in AIDS, when he suggests that Louis Farrakhan represents one of the greatest voices of the 21st century, when he equates the United States' wartime effort with terrorism, then there are no excuses. They offend me, they rightfully offend all Americans, and they should be denounced. That is what I am doing very clearly and unequivocally here today. (Source)
NEW YORK (CNN) -- A judge acquitted three New York Police Department detectives of all charges Friday morning in the shooting death of an unarmed man in a 50-bullet barrage, hours before he was to be married.
1 of 3 Detectives Michael Oliver and Gescard Isnora were found not guilty of charges of manslaughter, assault and reckless endangerment in the death of Sean Bell, 23, and the wounding of two of his friends.
Detective Marc Cooper was acquitted of reckless endangerment.
Justice Arthur Cooperman issued his verdict in the bench trial. There was no jury.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Queens courthouse in anticipation of the verdict.
The Rev. Al Sharpton called for calm Wednesday. He was accompanied by Bell's fiancee and other supporters on the steps of City Hall.
Bell, 23, was killed just before dawn on his wedding day, November 25, 2006. He and several friends were winding up an all-night bachelor party at the Kalua Club in Queens, a strip club that was under investigation by a NYPD undercover unit looking into complaints of guns, drugs and prostitution.
Undercover detectives were inside the club, and plain-clothes officers were stationed outside.
Witnesses said that about 4 a.m., closing time, as Bell and his friends left the club, an argument broke out. Believing that one of Bell's friends, Joseph Guzman, was going to get a gun from Bell's car, one of the undercover detectives followed the men and called for backup. (Source)
(CNN) – In Jeremiah Wright's first television interview since clips of his controversial sermons circulated the Internet, Barack Obama's former pastor says his words were unfairly taken out of context for 'devious' reasons.'
In an interview on PBS set to air Friday, Wright expressed frustration with how his sermons had been portrayed by the news media and critics of Obama's White House bid.
“I felt it was unfair,” he told PBS' Bill Moyers according to released excerpts. “I felt it was unjust. I felt it was untrue. I felt that those who were doing that, were doing it for some very devious reasons.”
Some of Wright's past sermons came under fire after a news report turned some of his most contentious comments into a YouTube phenomenon last month. In one, the minister said America had brought the September 11 attacks upon itself. In another, he said Clinton had an advantage over Obama because she is white. He also accused the U.S. government of adopting policies to systematically oppress African-Americans.
Obama immediately rejected the comments, though critics charged the Illinois senator should have denounced the minister long ago. In a widely-praised speech on race relations, Obama said he could no more disown Wright than "I can disown the black community."
Speaking to PBS, Wright did not recant his past sermons. "The persons who have heard the entire sermon understand the communication perfectly," he said.
Wright also called the response to his words "very, very unsettling," and suggested critics were pushing a caricature of him.
"The message that is being communicated by the sound bites is exactly what those pushing those sound bites want to communicate," he said, adding later, “I think they wanted to communicate that I am unpatriotic, that I am un-American, that I am filled with hate speech, that I have a cult at Trinity United Church of Christ — and by the way, guess who goes to his church, hint, hint, hint? That’s what they wanted to communicate.”
Wright also said he has never discussed politics with Obama.
“He goes out as a politician and says what he has to say as a politician. I continue to be a pastor who speaks to the people of God about the things of God.”
Wright's comments come just as the North Carolina Republican Party is set to run a television commercial that points to "controversial figures from Barack Obama's past" and shows clips of the former pastor. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain has called on the state party not to run the ad.
The Republican National Committee and presumptive GOP nominee John McCain have both asked the North Carolina state party not to run the ad. (Source)
Wesley Snipes is prison-bound.
The Blade star, 45, was sentenced Thursday to three years behind bars as his punishment for failing to file his tax returns, U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges announced in an Ocala, Fla., courtroom.
The actor sat stone-faced – and some people in the courtroom gasped – when the sentence was read. "I'm very sorry for my mistakes and errors. I apologize to my family, the court and the community," Snipes said as his wife looked on. "I've asked the court to show me mercy and the opportunity to make things right."
In February, a federal jury convicted Snipes of three counts of failing to file a tax return (from 1999 through 2001). Thursday he received 12 months for each count. Prosecutors say the actor owes a total of $41 million in taxes, of which he paid $5 at the sentencing.
Several famous names sent in letters of support for Snipes, including Denzel Washington, Woody Harrelson and TV judge Joe Brown. Washington called Snipes a "great oak." Harrelson, who starred with Snipes in Wildcats, wrote, "Wes continues to encourage and challenge me to be the best man I can be by being a constant friend." (Source)
This legislation clarifies that employment discrimination law should be interpreted the way courts have traditionally understood it – until the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a more restrictive interpretation in the 2007 Ledbetter V. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. decision. In this case, the Court ruled that plaintiff Lilly Ledbetter was not eligible for compensation despite years of being paid far less than her male peers and even some male subordinates. According the Court, unlawful discrimination had occurred only when her employer first set the discriminatory pay rate, even though Ledbetter had no way of knowing about it until years later. Under this ruling, since Ledbetter’s employer was able to conceal the discrimination for years and she did not find out about the discrimination until it was too late to file a complaint (within 180 days of the first discriminatory paycheck, according to the Court), she had no legal recourse. By reaffirming that a fresh discrimination offense occurs each time an individual is impacted by a discriminatory practice, including each paycheck that includes unfair compensation, this legislation effectively reverses the Supreme Court’s harmful decision and ensures that people subjected to discrimination in the future will continue to have effective recourse to the law. (Source)
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other anti-discrimination laws to clarify at which points in time discriminatory actions qualify as an “unlawful employment practice.” According to the legislation, unlawful conduct occurs when: “(1) a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice is adopted; (2) an individual becomes subject to the decision or practice; or (3) an individual is affected by application of the decision or practice, including each time compensation is paid.” The law further states that individuals may receive back pay as compensation for discrimination that occurred up to two years preceding the filing of a charge.
"I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what's being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems," the expected GOP presidential nominee told reporters. "This is government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system." (Source)
"Several years ago I made an error in judgment by inviting the media into the most intimate area of my life. A month ago I filed for divorce. The dissolution of a marriage is a difficult time in anyone's life that requires privacy with one's thoughts."
The statement concludes as follows: "I have committed myself to handling this situation with dignity and grace and look forward to emerging from this period as a stronger and wiser woman." (Source)
"For the past six months you've turned on your TV in the morning and have seen me wearing a wig," Roberts said, flanked by Diane Sawyer, Sam Champion and Chris Cuomo.
"I never wanted my appearance to distract from my job of bringing you the news of the day," she said.
"But I knew when my chemo treatments ended in January, my hair would slowly start to grow back.
"I've taken my cue from people here and from viewers, especially [cancer] survivors . . . who said, 'When it's time to literally flip your wig, you'll know,' " Roberts said. "I am not my hair," she said, quoting from the song by India.Arie. "I am the soul that lies within and that's it - no more wig. That's it." Roberts will auction her wig to raise money for a charity that helps "those who don't have insurance and can't afford this." (Source)
Finally, I want to say a word about the basic decency I have seen in Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton continues to throw the Rev. Wright up in his face as part of her mission to keep stoking the fears of White America. Every time she does this I shout at the TV, "Say it, Obama! Say that when she and her husband were having marital difficulties regarding Monica Lewinsky, who did she and Bill bring to the White House for 'spiritual counseling?' THE REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT!"
But no, Obama won't throw that at her. It wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be decent. She's been through enough hurt. And so he remains silent and takes the mud she throws in his face.
Well, that sounded good last year, but over the past two months, the actions and words of Hillary Clinton have gone from being merely disappointing to downright disgusting. I guess the debate last week was the final straw. I've watched Senator Clinton and her husband play this game of appealing to the worst side of white people, but last Wednesday, when she hurled the name "Farrakhan" out of nowhere, well that's when the silly season came to an early end for me. She said the "F" word to scare white people, pure and simple. Of course, Obama has no connection to Farrakhan. But, according to Senator Clinton, Obama's pastor does -- AND the "church bulletin" once included a Los Angeles Times op-ed from some guy with Hamas! No, not the church bulletin!
This sleazy attempt to smear Obama was brilliantly explained the following night by Stephen Colbert. He pointed out that if Obama is supported by Ted Kennedy, who is Catholic, and the Catholic Church is led by a Pope who was in the Hitler Youth, that can mean only one thing: OBAMA LOVES HITLER!
There are those who say Obama isn't ready, or he's voted wrong on this or that. But that's looking at the trees and not the forest. What we are witnessing is not just a candidate but a profound, massive public movement for change. My endorsement is more for Obama The Movement than it is for Obama the candidate.
That is not to take anything away from this exceptional man. But what's going on is bigger than him at this point, and that's a good thing for the country. Because, when he wins in November, that Obama Movement is going to have to stay alert and active. Corporate America is not going to give up their hold on our government just because we say so. President Obama is going to need a nation of millions to stand behind him.
Actress Tia Mowry married actor Cory Hardrict on Sunday, her rep David Lust tells PEOPLE exclusively.
The two were married at the Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore Santa Barbara in front of 170 guests. Mowry walked down the aisle to a live performance by R&B singer Kenny Lattimore, who sang "For You."
"You can tell they're really in love," says wedding planner Robyn Goldberg of the newlyweds. "[Hardrict] wanted the wedding to be her dream come true."
Mowry, 29, who starred with twin sister Tamera on the WB series Sister, Sister and is now on the CW comedy The Game, wore a couture wedding gown by Kevan Hall. Tamera, who wore an aubergine gown by Tadashi, served as maid of honor.
The 30-minute outdoor ceremony was followed by a Midsummer Night Dream-style reception in the hotel's ballroom. Florist Jennifer Katz of Fiori Design created tall iron centerpieces covered in moss and decorated with flowers in different shades of pink. The wedding cake was a four-tiered vanilla and red velvet cake by Cake Divas. Guests danced to the tunes of DJ Michael Hayes.
Mowry and Hardrict, 28, were engaged on Christmas Day, 2006. (Source)
In love with the man of her dreams, Summer Jackson’s world is perfect bliss...so she thought. Devastation rocks her very existence when handsome Nick Stiles walks out on her, leaving her to put the shattered pieces of her life back together again.
Months later, out of the blue, Nick reappears and is in for the shock of his life! A love that once was so pure is plagued by heartbreak, deceit and betrayal. Will Summer and Nick find true love again?
Here are women's top 10 reasons for having sex:
1. I was attracted to the person.
2. I wanted to experience the physical pleasure.
3. It feels good.
4. I wanted to show my affection to the person.
5. I wanted to express my love for the person.
6. I was sexually aroused and wanted the release.
7. I was "horny."
8. It's fun.
9. I realized I was in love.
10. I was "in the heat of the moment."
Top 10 Reasons Why Men Have Sex
In the study, men's top 10 reasons for having sex are quite similar to the women's list. Here are men's top 10 reasons for having sex, according to the study:
1. I was attracted to the person.
2. It feels good.
3. I wanted to experience the physical pleasure.
4. It's fun.
5. I wanted to show my affection to the person.
6. I was sexually aroused and wanted the release.
7. I was "horny."
8. I wanted to express my love for the person.
9. I wanted to achieve an orgasm.
10. I wanted to please my partner. (Source)