General / all

Breaking News Stories

by share

Woman Found Dead in Police Custody

By Jenell Jenkins, Jada Jackson and Miyai Carter

A developing story about a 28-year-old women in Houston, Texas by the name of Sandra Bland wad found dead in her cell of Walter County Jail. Bland was on her way to her new job, when she was pulled over for a traffic violation. Police say she did not use turn signals while switching lanes. Officers involved in the incident say that Bland did not comply with their directions, which required use of excessive force. Video reports show Ms Bland on the ground, saying that she could not hear from being slammed on the ground by officers.

“The police should not use excessive force, even though they do. African-American people should also comply with police, knowing that the target is out on them. I can’t give an opinion not knowing the full story. However, I do not think that young lady committed suicide. There has to be more to this story,” local Atlanta resident C. Fegan told VOX.

Family and friends believe that Bland was a very happy woman. They don’t think she would commit suicide due to her recent accomplishments with her new job. “I don’t think police should use excessive force towards people. I myself have experienced police excessive force,” an Atlanta bystander Antonio Horn explained. When asked how he’d feel if it were his daughter or wife involved in such situation, he said he’d be outraged and fighting for Justice.

Coincidentally, several incidents have occurred in Texas dealing with police brutality.  Police have used excessive force towards women, young girls, etc.  In the month of June, a Texas pool party in McKinney occurred, where officers used force towards teenagers.

As the FBI joins the case, Bland’s family and friends will continue to fight for the true story of what happened to their loved one. As the case develops, more information will be coming soon.

Atlanta’s Response to Cultural Appropriation

By Sydney Jennings and Lizzie Likness

Recently, there has been much discussion over the practice of cultural appropriation, in which members of a culture use images or styles from another culture, typically minority groups. In a recent incident, celebrity Kylie Jenner posted a picture of herself with cornrows on Instagram with the caption “white girls do it better” (Jenner has since changed the caption). This post prompted African-American actress Amandla Stenberg to point out that while Jenner is eager to borrow from African-American culture, she has yet to use her power to address or make a stand against recent racism toward the African-American community. The public’s responses toward Jenner’s picture has been mostly divided, as seen directly in comments made on her Instagram post: while one girl defended Jenner, saying, “It’s JUST a hairstyle” (@_foreign.hailey_), another stated, “Actions are required to show that cultural appreciation is the true intent. Otherwise, it’s simply appropriation.” (@zestyafrikan).

This incident, along with several others that have sparked a nationwide discussion on the issue of cultural appropriation, prompted further research into how Atlanta residents, would respond to this topic. When asked her opinions on performers such as Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and the Kardashians, who use culturally-influenced styles in seemingly insensitive ways (such as personal image or style), one interviewee, Natalie said celebrities should “take cues from the general audience” on what is appropriate.  Natalie also expressed her desire for “an American culture rather than … specifically white culture and … black culture.” Claudette, another interviewee, expressed a similar opinion, stating celebrities likely use cultural appropriation “to get attention.” Natalie and Claudette also agreed that if a person understands the culture and history behind the styles they are emulating, “It tends to be more okay” (Natalie) because “they understand the meaning behind it,” according to Claudette.

Ultimately, this subject has illuminated the reality that there is a thin line between cultural appropriations and appreciation. The general public seems to agree that borrowing from another culture for style and personal gain is appropriation while understanding and paying tribute to the culture and its history can be considered appreciation. Although it’s clear that many have strong and differing opinions on this topic, these opinions seem to vary depending on situation, persons involved, and their motivations and intentions in using these styles. Minority groups in particular have vocalized strong oppositions towards the appropriation of their (and other minorities’) cultures. In summation it seems that a lack of understanding towards the roots of these acts and styles in historical context to their respective cultures leads to appropriation whereas appreciation comes from paying homage to the origin of these styles and educating oneself and furthering awareness to the diverse cultures they come from.

Young Thug Arrested in Atlanta

By Jada Howard and Malaika Newsome

Young Thug, an Atlanta rapper, was arrested on July 15, eight days after threatening to shoot a Perimeter Mall security guard. Officials charged him with terrorist threats. 11Alive reports: “The rapper threatened to shoot the victim in the face, according to a warrant filed in DeKalb County.”

We went around Atlanta asking residents their opinions on this arrest.

One young man said, “I feel like any threat if you don’t do an action you shouldn’t get arrested for.” Although another young woman had a different opinion: “As long as they’re threatening cops, they’re pretty much asking to be in jail, because it’s a crime.”

On Thursday, Sandy Springs Police shared it had obtained a search warrant for the house where the 23-year-old rapper, whose real name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, was arrested. Multiple felony arrest warrants, including drug and weapons charges, were also issued for the rapper after police searched his home.

As you can see there are many different opinions to this matter. Although there isn’t much information on his arrest but he was taken to the DeKalb County jail for his initial appearance and bond hearing.

The 20 Year Bill

By Cheyenne Flowers, Miranda Mullins and Eliza Schuh

While nationwide marriage equality provides a huge step forward for the LGBT community, the United States is still far from accepting every man as created equal regardless of sexual orientation. Almost everyone has heard of the glass ceiling, the gender-based wage gap. Women typically receive about 77 cents for each man’s dollar earned. However, much lesser known is the almost identical statistic that gay men receive up to 32 percent less than their straight counterparts, according to 2012 data from The Williams Institute.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act has been proposed every year since 1994, excluding only one, but it has never been passed. In the aftermath of the recent gay marriage ruling, this bill has once again been proposed on the floor of Congress.

The general consensus among the people we interviewed in Atlanta was that members of the LGBT community should not have to face discrimination in the workforce. Many compared this issue to workplace discrimination against African American citizens, a personal struggle for much of our sample. One young man believed that all discrimination was equal and there should be similar measures taken to overcome all types of oppression.

Our study also brought to light Americans’ almost unanimous opinion that the government should not intervene with private businesses’ hiring decisions. ENDA-induced legal grey area was a common concern amongst citizens, who overwhelmingly believed that merit should be the most important factor in hiring, rather than personal matters.

However, when asked to propose a solution to LGBT workplace discrimination without a large amount of government involvement, most people were dumbfounded and could not produce an answer for this paradox. As exemplified by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, history proves that although some Americans do not agree with the government interfering with the decisions of private businesses and citizens, government intervention is necessary for real change in a timely manner. On the other hand, the Civil Rights Act also proves that a law put in place is not capable of changing human nature and opinions.

The Devastating Effect of the Tennessee Shooter

By Marilyn Attles and Alexa Levy

After 17 years of living peacefully in the affluent suburb of Hixson Tennessee, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez took the lives of four U.S. Marines in a Chattanooga-based Navy facility on Thursday, July 16.

He began his shooting spree at a marine recruiting facility just a few miles away. Abdulazeez then sped the seven miles to the U.S. Navy facility where he used an AK-47 to take the lives of the four men, including Skip Wells, a Georgia native. As Wells’ friends and family mourn their loss, Atlanta citizens’ fears are compounded by this shooting.

Atlanta Native Maris Mendoza sits on a bench in Centennial Park and fans herself while shaking her head and saying, “Oh yes, [this shooting] make me feel very unsafe.”

Even young Angelica Hernandez is aware of the Abduleazeez attack as she hops in and out of the Centennial Park fountains, exclaiming, “It’s scary!”

Dee Blake shakes her head and says, “These shootings have become so commonplace nowadays.”

Abdulazeez was born in Kuwait but spent his youth growing up as a Muslim in the hills of Tennessee. CNN reported that Abdulazeez was an extremely popular teenager. He participated in wrestling matches and could almost always be seen surrounded by a group of friends. He grew up in a strict Islamic household, worshipped regularly and seemed happy and complacent throughout adolescence.  However, his senior yearbook quote states, “My name causes national security alerts. What does yours do?”

According to Attorney Bill Killian on CNN, authorities have begun to label the shooting as “an act of domestic terrorism.” However, many Atlanta citizens disagree with this declaration. Citizen Dee Blake says, “They’re calling it [an act of domestic terrorism] because of his Islamic descent. It’s really unfair. Just because someone is of Islamic descent doesn’t mean it’s an act of terrorism.” As more details are released, authorities work to uncover motives and properly label this violent crime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *