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–Priest Douggie Smith and his team at the First Rastafari Church and Cultural Center of Florida are doing something unique.
–They are trying to get local Rastafari out of the shadows and into the center of the larger community.
-Priest Douggie: “We didn’t create a space for Rastafari alone we created a space for the community so Rastafari and the community can interact together and build our community in a positive way.”
-Priest Douggie’s message and style has attracted some interesting non Rastafari people to his new center for cultural events.
–According to Priest Douggie, there is a large Rastafari community in South Florida, but they are scattered around the region.
–From 1993 to 2007, there was a Rastafari church in Miami but it was forced to close during the recession.
-From that time to the opening of the new center, local Rastafari had to meet at homes and in parks to worship with each other.
——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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I’ve been pulled over before in North Miami with my autistic brother in the car.
My family grew up in North Miami.
I now live only about five minutes from North Miami.
But North Miami is not the place I thought it was.
North Miami is a dangerous place for black people and a dangerous place for people with disabilities.
Some will say that the shooting of Charles Kinsey was an isolated incident.
I think it is all we need to know.
The story, which is now an international news item goes like this.
Police are called by someone claiming that a man is carrying a gun, threatening to kill himself. The man is walking in the middle of a street in North Miami. The man is autistic and it is clear to see on the videotape.
A man named Charles Kinsey comes over to help the autistic man. Kinsey quickly realizes that the autistic man is just holding a toy truck- not a gun.
He is no threat to anybody and just needs to get back to his group home from which he has escaped from.
The rest of the details are still a bit fuzzy.
Police show up, pull out high-powered rifles and order the two men to lie down.
Kinsey complies, lies on his back and puts his hands high up in the sky.
The autistic man sits down next to Kinsey.
The rest of the story is well-known by now.
“All he has is a toy truck, a toy truck,” Kinsey is heard yelling at police in cellphone video. “I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”
The police then proceed to shoot Kinsey three times in the leg as he is lying down mere feet from the autistic man.
I became enraged when I first heard the news of the incident last night.
Then I became scared.
This could happen to my brother.
While I’ve always supported the Black Lives Matters movement, today is the first day that I really understand the totality of its importance.
Our police are the only people in the world that have the power to kill an American citizen if force is justified. They have the legal writ to use violence. And we need them to have that right. But it also means that we need to hold them to an incredibly high standard.
We have to pay them better, we have to recruit better people into the force and we have to train the great people already in the force on how to identity people with developmental disabilities.
It is never ok to shoot an unarmed man who poises no direct threat to an officer, himself or another person.
And it is never ok to shoot an unarmed man who is mere feet away from a person with autism.
North Miami is not the place I thought it was and I’m scared to death for my brother, for my family, for potential aides that my brother may have and for myself.
This makes it plain as day that some officers in the North Miami Police Department do not have the training or the empathy needed to do their jobs.
But North Miami is also not unique.
Ethan Saylor was a 26-year-old man from Maryland. He also had down syndrome. And he was white.
Ethan was choked to death by off duty police officers after he refused to leave a movie theatre. He wasn’t violent. Have you ever met someone with down syndrome? He wasn’t a threat.
Saylor was described by people who knew him as a sweet, loving man with an innocent spirit.
He also loved the police more than just about anything.
He was so fascinated by cop shows and the idea of helping people that he once called 911 innocently just to ask them about their work.
Ethan Saylor believed that police officers were good people who had devoted his life to protect people like him.
And they killed him on the ground in a dirty movie theatre like an animal.
He cried out for his mother as his life was ripped from him.
“Ouch Mom, that hurts, don’t touch me, get off!” he said.
Then he died of asphyxiation. The cartilage in his throat was fractured, and he had bruises and abrasions all over his face and body. The cause of death was homicide.
I’ve always said I supported Black Lives Matter because of my “empathy.”
But fuck empathy.
This is about survival.
If we can’t protect black lives, then we sure as hell won’t be able to protect autistic ones.
America has a problem folks. And its worse than we thought.
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By Staff Report
The Late Show got a little more pointed than some CBS executives probably wanted last night with Aziz Ansari as a guest on Stephen Colbert’s program.
Just after introducing Ansari, Colbert mentioned how both men were originally from South Carolina. But that is where the similarities end.
Ansari took no time to turn to cutting humor while referencing how Colbert is “the bagillith white guy” hosting a late night talk show.
WATCH: Exchange between Ansari and Colbert
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H/T: VulturePost Views: 822
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By Staff Report
Rise News will be covering results as they come in across Canada throughout the night.
The nation is deciding on 338 ridings (districts) and a party needs 170 elected members in order to win an outright majority.
Polls on the Western side of the nation are still open until 10 PM EST.
9:45 EST: The CBC is projecting that the Liberal Party will ride to power and that Justin Trudeau will be the next prime minister. 234 ridings are still outstanding.
9:00 EST: Early results show that the Liberal Party is outperforming expectations and is making tremendous gains on in the Atlantic Canada region.
There is speculation that a Liberal wave may be developing and that voters have come together to ensure that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party are kept out of office after ten years of holding power.
Want to join the conversation? Tweet at us your thoughts about the election by using the hashtag #RiseCanada2015
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