UPDATED: 4:44 PM EST
What You Need To Know About This Story:
-Former Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin was arrested Friday after he allegedly posted a threatening message on Instagram that caused a Los Angeles High School to close.
-Martin allegedly posted this message to his Instagram story:
Former Dolphins OL Jonathan Martin with some seriously disturbing stuff on his IG story… pic.twitter.com/NaJ8a0BXze
— Nick Brown (@NickyBeaster) February 23, 2018
-The message references Harvard Westlake High School and shows a shotgun with multiple rounds of ammunition lying on a surface. It reads, “When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge.”
-The message also tags current NFL players Mike Pouncey and Richie Incognito.
–Incognito and Pouncey allegedly bullied Martin while they were all members of the Miami Dolphins. That incident became national news and resulted in an NFL investigation after Martin went public with the allegations.
-Martin said in a message announcing his retirement from football in 2015 that he once attempted suicide during his NFL playing career.
– Harvard Westlake High School closed Friday as a precaution. LAPD said that the closure was because of actions by a “former student of the preparatory school [who] apparently used Instagram to say he wanted to seek revenge for alleged bullying he underwent when he attended one of the school.”
-In a statement obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Harvard Westlake said: “The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is always our primary concern. So, out of an abundance of caution, we made the decision to close school today,” the email read. “The school’s private security team is working with the Los Angeles Police Department, which is present on both campuses. With these precautions in place, we believe there is no imminent threat to our campuses or our school community.”
–Pouncy is still on the Miami Dolphins while Incognito plays for the Buffalo Bills.
This a developing story which we will update on a continuous basis.
This story is from The Miami Monster, a new brand focused on telling the true stories of what life is like for a young person living in South Florida. Be sure to also follow our founder Joel Franco on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest breaking news in the area. You can send news tips to [email protected]
What Do You Think?
You Might also like
Miami Vignette: The Coconut Capitalist
Miami Vignettes are very short stories about interesting aspects of life in South Florida that RISE NEWS finds in the community while reporting on other things. Sometimes little stories can have a big impact. Share yours with us: [email protected] Also be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you never miss our most important Miami stories.
COCONUT CAPITALISM – Isidro Carrazana is an 80 year old man who works 7 days a week cutting down coconuts from people’s properties with a 30 foot pole around the Miami area.
For the record, yes he does ask for permission first from the homeowner.
He is from Cuba and moved to South Florida 27 years ago.
He lives near North Shore Hospital and sells his coconuts to various vendors around town.
He told us that he makes $50 to $75 a day.
The work certainly hasn’t made him rich, but it has allowed him to pursue the American dream.
——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——
The TV Weatherman Who Is Trying To Save Miami From Drowning
RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital TV news network. Sign up for our awesome email newsletter to make sure you never miss a story!
Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it to [email protected]Post Views: 1,259
What Do You Think?
Mr. President, My Mother Is Not A “Welfare Queen”
Over the course of American history, politicians have adopted a clever, yet nefarious way of using racial stereotypes as a tool for political gain.
From the War on Drugs that frames black men as “criminals” to the emergence of the so called “welfare queen,” history has shown us that framing particularly disadvantaged groups as “dangerous” or “unworthy” enables politicians to gain political support from the public, particularly white middle and low-class Americans.
If I had to sum up, in two words, the United States’ racial marginalization of the poor and financially dependent, “welfare queen” is as good and as bad as it gets.
The myth of the welfare queen is still a prominent weapon used today in U.S politics that tends to go unnoticed.
The U.S political system has maintained these false ideas about marginalized people in our society by reducing them to a second class citizen status and enacting discriminatory policies that perpetuate durable systems of injustice within our democracy.
The legacy of legal discrimination persists in our society today as low-income mother’s struggle to gain and maintain financial benefits from the government.
The burden of the welfare queen has become one of the most cutting stereotypes that plagues families across the United States.
It hurts because it has worked in changing policy.
The birth of this political myth emerged after the criminalization of Linda Taylor, an African American woman, who quickly became the embodiment of a pernicious stereotype after being sentenced to prison for welfare fraud in 1977.
Ronald Reagan gave a speech in his unsuccessful 1976 campaign for president that managed to frame poor African American and Latina mothers as “users of the system” without any concrete evidence other than the act of a single woman.
“She used 80 names, 30 addresses, 15 telephone numbers to collect food stamps, Social Security, veterans’ benefits for four nonexistent deceased veteran husbands, as well as welfare. Her tax-free cash income alone has been running $150,000 a year.”
One woman who cheated the system evidently became the face of all welfare recipients, despite the fact that white families, typically, have been more likely to be on welfare.
Although it is not entirely clear all of which she fraudulated, Reagan’s intent became less about exposing the ways in which “liberal policies” had fractured the economy and more about turning the white American majority against minorities as a tool for political gain.
Reagan’s attack on welfare suggested that programs such as these, paid by tax dollars, only aided irresponsible black people.
Using the story of Linda Taylor, Reagan labeled millions of America’s poorest people as “deceitful” and funneled the belief that welfare fraud was a nationwide epidemic that needed to be terminated.
This image of widespread and unbridled welfare fraud allowed Reagan to convince voters to support his cuts to public assistance spending.
This was not the first instance that an American politician used self serving tactics to turn the public against the poor and displaced.
Much like the coined term “American Negro” the welfare queen became a convenient target for hate by simply framing Linda Taylor as the stereotypical lazy, black con artist.
Despite the fact that Reagan gave Taylor the most critical identity, the welfare queen stemmed from a longer and much deeper racialized history of prejudice and animosity toward families receiving welfare benefits in the United States.
This inequitable idea of the “deserving poor” and “undeserving poor” became a political weapon that Reagan introduced into U.S politics that his forerunners would all sustain.
Today, over 20 years after the implementation of Bill Clinton era welfare reform, the unwarranted stigma against poor women of color remains.
This telling of the “welfare queen” as users of the system continues to influence public policy by distinguishing between those who are “deserving” of support and those who are not.
President Donald Trump’s administrative budget cuts are now putting Americans on edge, especially those who rely heavily on public assistance programs.
Trump’s budget will potentially force millions of poor people off of food stamps and benefit programs such as Medicaid.
A recent article from Time Magazine states:
Cuts include a whopping $193 billion from food stamps over the coming decade — a cut of more than 25 per cent — implemented by cutting back eligibility and imposing additional work requirements, according to talking points circulated by the White House. The program presently serves about 42 million people.
Among these 42 million people, is my own mother, a 59 year old, single Latina mother suffering from chronic kidney disease, who directly relies on welfare benefits.
Being raised by a single mother on public assistance has allotted me with a perspective that a majority of politicians and policy makers could never understand.
It is clear that public policy continues to reflect the interests of the elite rather than the needs of the poor.
Such conditions only further the economic and racial divide in the U.S and perpetuates existing stereotypes about families and women receiving government assistance.
Although my mother has been on welfare my whole life, she is not your stereotypical “welfare queen.”
She is not Linda Taylor nor is she a “user of the system.”
My mother is a woman who managed to raise six children on her own with the little help she did receive from programs like Food Stamps, Medicaid, and Social Security.
Yet, our story will remain under the scrutiny of those who may have never had to step foot in a welfare office.
Ending the myth of the welfare queen within public policy means acknowledging how we manifest these stereotypes in our everyday lives.
It means recognizing that one person’s mistake cannot suddenly be the burden of others that look like them.
For far too long, our society has reduced people of color to a second class citizen status, resulting in the unremitting struggle to overcome the burden of such baseless conclusions.
We must overcome this myth by restructuring and developing policy around families as they are—not who society deems them to be.
Rather than stigmatizing recipients of public assistance programs, the government must strengthen the ways in which these programs respond to critical social and economic needs.
Even more so, we must acknowledge how failure to reconcile the racial discrimination of our nation’s past infringes our ability to ensure that all Americans have the dignity they deserve in the present.
We can fight against this stigma by advocating for the full participation of all Americans our society and the economy.
Instead of dwelling on individual failures or mistakes, we should be asking ourselves how we got here and how we can move towards a more equitable society.
RISE NEWS is a news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Watch More: 96 Year Old WWII Veteran Still Works At His North Miami Beach Barbershop
Cover photo credit: U.S. ArmyPost Views: 1,141
What Do You Think?
North Carolina Is On The Road To TheocracyBy Staff Report
By Ziyi Mai
Since the embarrassing “bathroom bill”(House Bill 2), the state of North Carolina once again has received national attention as the dominating Republicans in the General Assembly called a special legislative session in December introducing bills that could significantly strip executive power from the incoming Democratic governor.
According to The New York Times, Republicans that dominate both chambers of the legislature hastily convened a special session passing bills that require State Senate confirmation of cabinet appointments; sharply cut the number of employees who report to the governor from 1,500 to 300; and shifting the appointing power of the Board of Elections from the governor to the legislature, aiming to keep Republicans in power even if they have lost the gubernatorial race.
Politics in North Carolina has degenerated into a trend of purer partisan battle than serving the public as the end goal.
As Karen L. Cox pointed out in a New York Times op-ed, politics in the state wasn’t always a fierce partisan war.
It used to have civility in both side of the ales and the two parties cooperated toward the same goal for the good of the public.
The Old North State has been dubbed as the leading progressive force in the south, which is a blessing given the racial history in the south.
Slow but steady pace of progressive policies have been interrupted since 2010, when Republicans took control of the legislature, and two years later, the governorship.
It is not uncommon in a state that power shifts between parties from time to time.
But the performance of the NC Republicans from the past several years has clearly shown that they tried to move away from a secular government and establish rules of ideology and even religion.
The cumulative effect of all these changes is that our state is moving to a direction of theocracy.
The ideals of Republicans, to a large extent, are more driven by briefs rather than empirics that reflect the reality of the conflicts and problems in a society.
There’s no doubt that some of the ideals are beneficial to the society, such pro-business economic policy and limited the size of government.
Yet these policies are inevitably distorted when it comes to implementation. In social issues, the NC Republicans propose bills that are grounded on Christian beliefs in the name of protecting North Carolinians from liberal influence.
This is the reason that the NCGA has consistently passed eerie laws on which Americans out of the state might not get a clue.
Contrary to what liberals despise, many Christian principles are essentially good moral standards for a civil society, and the foundation of liberty to some extent.
Yet, these principles only work conditioned on individual believers. Christians usually wholeheartedly follow those principles without mandates.
However, any religious principles, no matter how good they are, would become tyrannical once a government implements them and require all citizens to follow.
From this standpoint, it is not difficult to understand why Republicans have a prolong resistance to issues such as gay marriage, abortion and gender equality.
The Republican government in North Carolina has already spent tremendous money and time in defending its effort changing the geopolitical environment and the state’s institutions.
In November, 2016, a three-judge panel of the District Court of North Carolina ruled that the Republican-drawn legislative map were unconstitutional, citing that it is racial gerrymanders that purposefully separated African-American and Hispanic voters into a few districts.
This is one of many examples that the state has been facing legal challenges from civil group and federal government as a result of its peculiar legislature serving not the public interest but the party’s.
The latest move of stripping the incoming governor’s power is the continuation of this direction, that NC Republicans are desperate to exert its religious influence on all North Carolinians.
Conservatives always scoff at liberals so called “overreaction” on such matters.
David French of National Review wrote “… bipartisan election boards and senate approval for gubernatorial appointments are hardly the stuff of which tyrannies are built. ”
It is true that these measures aren’t.
But the due process of making these changes should be questioned.
According to the state Constitution and the general principle of check and balances, the executive and legislature are both branches of state government in which their weight of power should be equal and separate.
Any rearrangement of power between branches is a matter of constitutionality and should proceed with the change of the state constitution.
If the legislation has become all-powerful to strip rights from the executive and the judiciary as lawmakers wish, a state would become a collective tyranny. And this is exactly the situation that the founding fathers want to avoid.
Putting bigotry pieces of legislation such as HB2 should be worrisome, but what is even more troubling is the damage that NC Republicans have done to our state’s democratic institutions that ensure stability and serve the public’s interest regardless of rule from either party.
Unfortunately, the deterioration of these institutions seems unstoppable as the NC Republicans continue to undermine all branches of the state government and the Board of Elections.
Ziyi Mai is a Teaching Assistant at North Carolina State University and a Young Leader columnist.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Gerry Dincher/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 846
What Do You Think?