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#MeToo: Tarana Burke Notes Progress, Wants More for Black Women

"We can't wait for white folks to decide our trauma is worth focusing on," Burke said.

Tarana Burke is reflecting on the movement she created more than 12 years ago, but it's only been one year since its historic rise worldwide. It has led to women speaking out very publicly against assault. And now that it's been endorsed by the upper echelons of white women, we can celebrate its existence.

On Monday, Burke wrote on Twitter that her work supports all sexual assault survivors, but it "has always centered on Black and Brown women and girls. And it always will…"

So when she heard about Lee Daniels making a Me Too comedy, she expressed objections, saying, "We have to get in front of that."

"To put Me Too and comedy in the same sentence is so deeply offensive… that you think in this moment when we're still unpacking the issue that you can write a comedy about it."

Burke doesn't think the media really cares about the stories of Black women and other women of color.

"We can't wait for white folks to decide that our trauma is worth centering on when we know that it's happening," she told the New York Times.

"We know that there are people, whether they're in entertainment or not, who are ravaging our community. We have to be proactive, unfortunately without the benefit of massive exposure. That's our reality, but it always has been."

The majority of Black women in Hollywood have kept their experiences with sexual assault a secret. But there are a few exceptions.

Gabrielle Union has been, according to Burke, the only woman who not only speaks about her story but also advocates. Few others — Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Fantasia Barrino, and Lupita Nyong'o — have talked about it publicly.

"There is knowing that even if you're not trying to bring down a Black man, a large segment of the population will say 'We don't believe her' because of all these things that we normalize," Burke said.

She recalled when a reporter wanted to do a story on R. Kelly and no one would go on record.

"A lot of folks have slid under the radar," she commented.

While she believes the Black community has doubled down on that thinking, she does note progress.

"You could not have had this kind of public discourse with this many people saying that they believe us — we literally have an example in Anita Hill," she told Paper Magazine. "We don't even have to guess what it would've been like or could've been like or what people would've said 20 years ago, we saw it."

In collaboration with the New York Women's Foundation, Burke's Me Too is helping to fund groups serving communities of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ people.

The "Fund for the MeToo Movement and Allies," awarded $840,000 to the DC Rape Crisis center in Washington, the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective in Los Angeles, the Firecracker Foundation in Lansing, Michigan, Black Women's Blueprint and the Violence Intervention Program, both in New York; Equality Labs, a national group; and the Los Angeles-based FreeFrom, which works with survivors of domestic violence.

The partnership's goal is to raise $5 million per year.

"This is about supporting the people who support the people," Burke said.

Reader Question: Why do you think Black women's stories of sexual assault have been largely unheard or drowned out?

Renting While Black: White Woman Blocks Black Man Trying to Get Home

Police said the woman called 911 because she was "uncomfortable." She gets fired from her actual job.

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Hilary Brooke Mueller, a white woman, decided that she was the police, security and a private investigator, on top of being racist.

Mueller blocked D'Arreion Toles of St. Louis, a Black man, from entering his own apartment building, Elder Shirt Lofts, and proceeded to harass him and follow him to his apartment.

She kept asking what unit he lived in and to show his keys. Toles, stayed calm and asked her repeatedly to move and told her she had no right to question him. Surprise, Mueller said she did, because she lived on the third floor.

"You are blocking me into my building. This is my building as well. So, I need you to get out of my way," said Toles.

She said she was "uncomfortable," to which Toles replied that was her issue, not his.

Toles recorded her and the video went viral.

Once inside the building, she continued to ask him questions and followed him into the elevator and to his apartment. Once he pulled out his keys, she changed her tune and tried to introduce herself as his neighbor.

Toles said he wanted nothing to do with her. He later answered his door to police that were called on him!

"I was kind of blown away, shocked and like wow," said Toles. "I am just glad I had my camera out. If I did not have my camera out, I feel it could have gone a totally different way."

The Metropolitan Police Department in St. Louis said it responded to a 911 call that "was made because the caller did not know if the male subject was a tenant."

Mueller's actions not only didn't sit well with her neighbor Toles, but also didn't sit well with her employer, Tribeca Luxury Apartments. She was fired on Sunday.

The company, not affiliated with the Mueller and Toles' residence, said, in a statement, that the interaction was "disturbing."

"The Tribeca-STL family is a minority-owned company that consists of employees and residents from many racial backgrounds," the statement said. "We are proud of this fact, and do not, and never will, stand for racism or racial profiling at our company. After a review of the matter, the employee has been terminated and is no longer with our company."

The local news station tried to interview Mueller and buzzed her unit and also called numbers listed for her, but she never answered.

Toles reflected on the incident. "At the end of the day, why would she call the police on me? I just walked in and went to my house."

"It's pretty sad."

Related Story: Moving While Black: 'They think I'm stealing, I've been hearing this for 40 years,' Says Karle Robinson

Reader Question: Do you think Toles was justified in his responses; should he have expected the police to be called? Should he have called the police?

Chicago Police Board Reinstates Cop Who Killed Dakota Bright

Laquan McDonald was murdered two years after Dakota Bright in Chicago in almost the same way. Only one of them got justice.

Dakota Bright's Mother and SIster

Fresh off the heels of a semi-victory with the Chicago Police Department, Dakota Bright's murderer has his job reinstated as a Chicago police officer.

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One 'Pocahontas' is Real, The Other Isn't

Sen. Elizabeth Warren releases a DNA test as the Republican House Majority Leader's family member is revealed as taking government set-asides fraudulently.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and GOP House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy

In a rebuttal to President Trump's ridiculing of her as "fake Pocahontas," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has released a DNA test that shows "strong evidence" she has Native-American heritage. Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's family benefited from a U.S. program for minorities based on the doubtful claim his brother-in-law is Cherokee.

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UPDATE: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Expecting Their First Child

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, comments on pregnancy.

REUTERS

UPDATE: Oct. 16, 2018 at 7:08 a.m. ET

On Tuesday in Sydney, Australia, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, spoke publicly for the first time about her pregnancy.

Markle spoke to Australian TV personality Eddie Woo, 33, at a reception at the Admiralty House, according to The Daily Mail.

Woo said that his own children who are ages five, seven and 10, require "a lot of energy."

"We're ready! We're excited to join the club," Markle replied.

Meanwhile, Prince Harry said to guests: "Thank you for the incredibly warm welcome and the chance to meet so many Aussies from all walks of life. And we also genuinely couldn't think of a better place to announce the upcoming baby, be it a boy or a girl."

ORIGINAL STORY: Published Oct. 15, 2018

Prince Harry and U.S. actress Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are expecting their first child in the spring of 2019.

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Serena Williams Tells Women to 'Be Seen, Be Heard'

The tennis pro talked to women about empowerment and equality.

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Wearing a T-shirt with the statement "Be Seen, Be Heard," Serena Williams spoke at a conference Friday afternoon in Philadelphia, offering a message consistent with the tennis pro's battles in her professional life.

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Tamir Rice's Killer Withdraws from New Job at Police Department

"Hopefully, he will not be hired as a police officer by any other state," said Rice's mother, Samaria.

Ex-Cleveland police officer, Timothy Loehmann, withdrew his application to become an officer with the Bellaire Police Department.

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Viral Video: 'A Scary Time' Song Mocks Trump

Lynzy Lab's song takes a jab at comments President Trump made during Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process about men not being safe.

Lynzy Lab Stewart has become an overnight sensation after releasing her parody song about the #HimToo movement. Lab's video on YouTube has garnered more than 950,000 views.

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