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This interview is part of the “Tomorrow Lives Here” Conversation Series presented by Miami Business School.
–Artist Xavier Cortada is known in Miami for helping introduce the public to complex issues and ideas through beautiful pieces of art.
–A graduate of Miami Business School, Cortada has done some wild things in his life including planting a green flag at the North Pole in order to “reclaim it for nature and launch an eco-art reforestation effort”.
–He is also trying to get more public awareness around the issue of climate change in South Florida, among other issues.
–Cortada recently donated four pieces of public art to Miami Business School and spoke to Dean John Quelch about the significance of that work, his view of how art has made Miami an international city and how it may save the city in the future.
And Watch This Too:
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins On How Growing Up In Miami Prepared Him For Success
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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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Daniel Holtzclaw Targeted Black Women Because He Thought No One Would Believe Them
Ex-police officer Daniel Holtzclaw sobbed while a judge read him the guilty verdict handed down by a Oklahoma City jury on 18 of the 36 charges for assaulting at least 13 black women.
He was found guilty Thursday of six counts of sexual battery, three counts of lewd exhibition, four counts of forcible oral sodomy, four counts of rape in the first degree, and one count of rape in the second degree. He will be sentenced next month.
The verdict came after four days of deliberation by an all white jury. Their task was not only to decide on a verdict, but in case of a guilty verdict, they were also to recommend a sentence. They’ve recommended 263 years.
Some survivors and their attorneys held an emotional press conference today in response to the verdict.
One of the survivors, Jannie Lygons said she was pulled over for no reason, and Holtzclaw forced her to give him oral sex.
“I was violated in June by a police officer,” Lygons said. “He did things to me I didn’t think a police officer would do.” She said she thought he was going to kill her.
Sade Hill, another survivor added her voice, “I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I was in survivor mode, so I had to do what he was making me do.”
It’s evident that Holtzclaw used his status as a police officer to coerce and intimidate his victims.
He targeted women he didn’t think the system would believe or protect. By focusing on poor black women with criminal records who didn’t trust the police, Holtzclaw avoided getting caught.
Black women carry the added fear of sexual violence from law enforcement. This is something that is seldom included in police misconduct narratives.
“Not only is this individual stopping women who fit a profile of members of our society who are confronted rightly or wrongly by police officers all the time,” said the Oklahoma County prosecutor, Gayland Gieger. “He identifies a vulnerable society that without exception except one have an attitude for ‘What good is it gonna do? He’s a police officer. Who’s going to believe me?’”
Watch: Daniel Holtzclaw verdict reading
The make up of the jury was criticized by the Oklahoma City National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) during the trial. African Americans make up 16 percent of Oklahoma County’s population, but were no black people among the eight men and four women on the jury.
There is an undeniable element of race in the crimes themselves. The fear of being targeted by police is legitimate and prevalent in the black community. However discussions of police brutality are often based on abuse likely to happen to both sexes. Black women carry the added fear of sexual violence from law enforcement. This is something that is seldom included in police misconduct narratives.
Moreover, while there is certainly the reality of offending officers often not facing justice, research shows that sexual assault convictions are rare. In the cases of white men against black women, convictions are essentially non-existent.
The Black Lives Matter movement focuses on police misconduct. They’ve managed to bring race and police brutality to the national stage. But there is an aspect missing to that conversation.
Rape culture is a theory that is still often scoffed at, but it is a valid one.
Discussion on certain environments that may normalize or facilitate rape is needed, especially within the Black Lives Matter movement and conversations on police violence.
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Your Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free And Taste American BureaucracyBy John Massey
This piece is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Rise News.
It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with post 9/11 American politics that curmudgeons in positions of power, including the governor of my home state of Alabama, would not miss the opportunity to bolster their popularity with a display of security theater at the expense of people in need.
It is not any less shameful, but not surprising. The most recent instance is the insistence of several governors and presidential candidates that accepting asylum seekers is a threat to the citizenry of the United States, in response to the most recent tragedy in the city of Paris. This would be a more understandable position if the attackers were from Syria, but this is not the case.
As of right now, Ahmad al-Mohammed is the only attacker who is suspected of being from Syria, thanks to the convenient discovery of his falsified passport, but French authorities are still unable to confirm the details regarding this man’s identity, according to the BBC. The other attackers, and the mastermind of the attacks, were all French and Belgian citizens.
“In order to disrupt the archaic narrative of our ISIS and al-Qaeda foes, and save a fraction of the 11 million lives made hellish by the sadistic al-Assad regime, the United States should jump at the opportunity to subject 10,000 people to our robust and slow bureaucracy.”
So let’s assume for a minute that Ahmad al-Mohammed was a Syrian terrorist who got into Europe by exploiting the overwhelmed asylum processing system, which is entirely possible, but not confirmed. Why utilize the asylum seeking process when it is much easier to radicalize disenfranchised people in the target country, as we see with most attackers in this instance, or simply utilize a temporary visa, as was the case with the 9/11 hijackers?
Refugees in the United States, after being referred to the United States by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) , asylum seekers are vetted with a Resettlement Support Center. After having biographic information taken, further screening can be done at the discretion of both the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) then conduct a one on one interview with applicants. After approval from USCIS applicants are screened for infectious disease and often matched with a resettlement agency to assist in the process of integrating. Overall this process on average takes between 18-24 months.
Bearing in mind the complexity, risk, and time associated with the asylum seeking process, it seems likely that the response we see in the West was the intention of ISIS. It feeds into the narrative of a “clash of civilizations” and disenfranchises desperate people who have been: gassed, bombed, drafted, beaten, and generally abused.
Some have suggested that refugees be accepted on the basis of their religious opinions, which seems to get closer to the real issue of a fear of Islam or people of color in general. However, this fear seems unfounded due to the lack of acts of terror committed by the over 120,000 refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan, as of 2013.
In order to disrupt the archaic narrative of our ISIS and al-Qaeda foes, and save a fraction of the 11 million lives made hellish by the sadistic al-Assad regime, the United States should jump at the opportunity to subject 10,000 people to our robust and slow bureaucracy.
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BEN Times: Carson Campaign Collapses All Around HimBy Kyle Jones
Some twenty of Ben Carson’s top aides resigned last Thursday, throwing Carson’s campaign into turmoil with less than a month before the Iowa Caucuses.
According to CNN, Carson’s campaign manager Berry Bennet, deputy campaign manager Lisa Coen, and communications director Doug Watts all resigned following speculation of a staff shake-up.
The Carson campaign has been dogged for months by internal conflict and rumors of personnel change. According to Reuters, Bennet said his resignation was due to differences with another top adviser to Carson, Armstrong Williams.
Bennet blamed Williams for an interview given by Carson to the Washington Post in which Carson spoke openly about the problems in his own campaign, as well as a number of articles detailing Carson’s weakness on foreign policy.
“It’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen a candidate do,” Bennett said.
Williams has blamed Bennett as well as former communications director Doug Watts for not adequately preparing Carson for public appearances, and said that they chose to leave Carson’s campaign over being fired. Carson and Williams have both stated their belief that a change in campaign staff will reinvigorate the neurosurgeon’s campaign.
According to Politico, Robert Dees, a Carson foreign policy advisor and retired Army general, will now chair the campaign, filling another leadership role that’s been vacant for months. It is still unclear who will fill the newly vacated positions, but it is widely speculated that veteran campaign strategist Ed Brookover may fill the position of campaign manager.
Carson was in stiff competition with businessman Donald Trump for the position of GOP front runner in mid-October. Carson has since fallen to a distant fourth place behind Trump, Texas senator Ted Cruz, and Florida senator Marco Rubio in most national polls over concerns surrounding his lack of experience in foreign policy.
Williams stated his belief that Dees’ foreign policy and national security experience will be a vital asset to the Carson campaign and that his leadership will help to reinvigorate it.
If Dees does take over as chairman of Carson’s campaign, the decision may come with some degree of controversy.
In the former army general’s 2014 book, “Resilient Nations”, Dees argued that the greatest threat to the United States isn’t an external threat but rather the loss of the nation’s “spiritual infrastructure.”
In 2014 Dees also stated in an interview, “trying to appease the Muslim religion by saying that they are a peace-loving religion is problematic,” and that, “they need to demonstrate how their religion does not lead people to a final end state of violence and oppression.”
Despite sliding poll numbers and internal conflict, Carson’s campaign on Wednesday announced that it had raised an impressive $23 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. With the Iowa Caucuses only a month away, time alone will tell whether this staff-shake up will be a fresh start for the Carson campaign or the beginning of its end.
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