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Black Cornell Student Beaten in Racially Charged Attack

The university has seen several racially charged incidents over the past few weeks.

CREATIVE COMMONS | FLICKR

A Black Cornell University junior claims he was beaten by a group of white students in what appears to be yet another racially charged incident at the school.


The student, speaking to The Cornell Daily Sun under the condition of anonymity, said he was walking back to his residence on Sept. 15 when he saw several strangers pushing his friends. He yelled at the group to leave and they allegedly began yelling racial slurs at him.

"They said 'F*ck you, n*gger,' over and over, as they were leaving," the junior said. He approached them, at which time "four or five of the guys came up and started punching me in the face repeatedly," he said.

The attack left him "pretty bloodied up," he told The Sun.

Another unidentified student reported to The Sun that later the same night one of the students involved in the first incident called him a racial slur as well.

Video of the incident is dark but racial slurs can be heard. The video was obtained by The Sun and reportedly reviewed by Ithaca Police. The student is not visible in the video.

One of the students who attacked the junior has been identified as John Greenwood, a member of Psi Upsilon fraternity. According to The Sun, Greenwood was charged with one count of third-degree assault and one count of aggravated harassment in the second degree.

"We are actively investigating all aspects of this complaint including any racially biased motivation," Ithaca police reported to BuzzFeed News.

The New York Times identified the victim as a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity.

"Every time I watch TV and I hear a story like this, I know it could easily be me because I look the same as those people. I expected it to happen at some point," he told the Times.

Greenwood said in a statement through his attorney, Raymond Schather, to BuzzFeed that "he accepts full responsibility" for his words and expressed apologies "to my fellow students, the entire Cornell community and my family and friends."

However, BuzzFeed noted, "Greenwood did not reference a physical altercation."

The Cornell chapter of Psi Upsilon was suspended last year after its former president, Wolfgang Ballinger, allegedly locked a woman in his bedroom and forced her to have oral sex with him.

Following the most recent alleged attack, the Psi Upsilon alumni Board of Governors informed Cornell they planned to shut down the university's chapter. In a statement Ryan Lombardi, vice president of campus and student life, and Fred Van Sickle, vice president for alumni affairs and development, said the former fraternity house would be renovated "for the use of student organizations at Cornell that are dedicated to promoting a diverse and inclusive student community."

On Thursday the Cornell Student Assembly passed Resolution 8, which condemns hate crimes and speech. It specifically acknowledges the two incidents that occurred on Sept. 15 and a separate incident about a week earlier when at least one member of a different fraternity, Zeta Psi, shouted "build a wall around the LLC" outside of the school's Latino Living Center.

In its resolution the SA said it "unequivocally condemns all forms of the kyriarchy which these racist actions are a manifestation of" and further "calls on all members of the Cornell community to join" the condemnation.

On Wednesday a group of students — primarily students of color — participated in a demonstration led by Black Students United. Over 300 students marched in Willard Straight Hall and pled for more diversity at the school as well as the creation of an anti-racism institute.

The march echoed that of the 1969 Willard Straight Hall Takeover, at which time Black students marched on the same building and demanded equal treatment for Blacks on campus.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

Michelle Obama Talks 2020 Presidential Election

"I think, at this point, everybody's qualified and everyone should run," Obama said, in jest. "I might even tap Sasha!"

We've never had a POTUS and FLOTUS like the Obama's before, and we've never had a Trump before. Two very different presidencies, one wrought with bigotry, racism and rampant white supremacy, and scandal, the other full of hope, unity and service. Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama says we need to pay attention to who is qualified in the next presidential election.

"I implored people to focus and think about what it takes to be commander-in-chief," Obama told Robin Roberts in a "20/20" interview, in reference to women electing a misogynist in 2016 instead of a qualified female candidate.

She expressed the importance of voting, but went beyond that to describe the kind of person qualified to run this country.

"The commander in chief needs to have discipline, and read, and be knowledgeable. You need to know history, you need to be careful with your words," she said.

"I'm going to be looking to see who handles themselves and each other with dignity and respect so that by the time people get to the general (election), people aren't beat up and battered," the former first lady, who said she will not run for president, stressed.

"I think this (Democratic nomination) is open to any and everybody who has the courage to step up and serve."

She even joked that at this point, anyone is qualified to run for president —even her daughter.

"I think, at this point, everybody's qualified and everyone should run," she said on Good Morning America "I might even tap (her younger daughter) Sasha!"

Obama and her husband were about service before, during and after the presidency.

Candidates like Trump, drunk with power, have a past, present, and future that mirror that intoxication.

Coming off midterms there are questions about what to do next — investigations of Trump, what lessons did we learn articles, predictions of the 2020 election, but getting back to what a leader, a public servant of this country is supposed to do — lead by serving its people — is a message that voters can review candidate criteria with.

"It's amazing to me that we still have to tell people about the importance of voting," she said. "People have to be educated, they have to be focused on the issues and they have to go to the polls if they want their politics to reflect their values."

Obama explained, "Where I'm at right now is that we should see anybody who feels the passion to get in this race, we need them in there. Let's see who wants to roll up their sleeves and get in the race. That's what the primary process is for."

In looking at Trump's record, most of his decisions have been made to serve himself. His record of cheating employees out of money, not paying taxes, discriminating against Blacks in terms of who could claim residency in his buildings, misogynistic comments, scandals around payoffs for affairs — none of it shows signs of service.

Obama writes in her new memoir "Becoming" how Trump's division and bigoted messaging tactics to garner a movement to propel his campaign impacted her own family's safety:

"The whole [birther] thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed. But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks."

In current times, his decisions in the White House usually involve a lot of divisive words to spark attention from white supremacists, "look what I did" moments on twitter for validation, and little about what the country needs, but instead what the country should be afraid of.

And that is not why you get the job in the first place.

Price Match Patty: White Woman Tells Latinx Women They're on Welfare

The Children's Place may not be so welcoming if you're Black or Brown.

FACEBOOK

Miriam and Carlita Alejandro, Latinx sisters, shopping at The Children's Place in Camp Hill, Pa., got harassed by a nosey store clerk when they ask to price match clothes. A sales associate said the women were angry because they're on welfare.

Miriam said she was there to help a family who had lost everything in a fire by purchasing clothes for a child. Ms. Rhonda, the store clerk who was helping the ladies, said they may have to wait for the price check because the store was busy.

Miriam wrote on her Facebook page that she responded to Ms. Rhonda: "'Lancaster never gives us any issues or said such a thing, but okay.' Then Price Match Patty aka Genie who was never in our conversation started getting smart saying that we (my sister & I) 'were mad because we were on welfare.'"

Ms. Rhonda didn't know what to do when the Alejandro sisters reported what the nosey store employee said, but she attempted to chastise her. Miriam started recording to document the experience they had.




Price Match Patty has been fired, according to a company statement provided on Monday. Carlita Alejandro posted on Facebook that the company called and offered gift cards and reward points to continue spending her money at the retailer.

Because that's the way to handle your company's screw up-- buy off the people your employees have offended?

Alejandro wrote, "I will NEVER feel safe nor welcomed shopping their stores again!!"

The Children's Place has a history of discrimination. In 2000, they lost a lawsuit concerning profiling customers and had to provide anti-discrimination training in all stores in Massachusetts and hire a consultant to look at their policies.

Unrelated to the incident, two executives left the company this week (Pamela Wallack and Anurup Pruthi), "to pursue other opportunities" — the only minority and the only female in the C-Suite (other than the female CEO). The Children's Place Inc. has never participated in DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity competition.

CEO and president Jane Elfers said, "As we approach the last phase of our major systems implementations, the opportunity exists for significant efficiencies across the organization, and today we are announcing a more streamlined senior leadership structure."

Price Match Patty has not been fully identified yet, but some commenters on social media say she's married to a Black man, like Key Fob Kelly in St. Louis. That wouldn't excuse her behavior anyway.

Others say they have been profiled at that same store by Price Match Patty and others before:

Update: South Park Susan, Who Harassed Black Neighbors, Turns Herself In

Her racist comments cost Susan Westwood her job, her apartment, and gave her a criminal record.

Susan Westwood's racist rant landed her simple assault and criminal threats charges and a warrant after leaving the scene where she harassed the Garris sisters outside their Charlotte, N.C., apartment complex, threatening them with concealed weapons.

The fake 911 call she made saying that the sisters were trying to break in also earned her a misdemeanor warrant for misuse of the 911 system, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

Westwood was booked by Sunset Beach Police on Saturday and transferred to the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department. She was later released.

The Garris sisters' attorney, Michael Phillips, brought up the safety issue in terms of concealed weapons and threats to residents to the Camden Fairview Apartments attorneys, and they agreed to evict Westwood.

"When I spoke with them and their legal counsel they agreed that that behavior was not going to be tolerated at their apartment complex," Phillips said.

Westwood had threatened to take out her concealed weapons after telling the sisters that she was white and hot, and that they didn't belong there.

The 911 call Westwood made was released by police:

"There are folks that are trying to break in. They're trying to get in the apartments. They are actually people that I've never seen here before ― but they are African American."

When the dispatcher said that police were already responding to a broken down car in that area, Westwood replied: "If you want to know my personal opinion, there's no car broken down. There's somebody trying to cause problems. Nobody breaks their car down in the best part of society."

"They just don't belong here. … Get them out of here," Westwood demanded. "I'll tell you what, I'll pay $2,500 to get them out of here."

In a recording of a call made by Garris, she told another dispatcher that she was still waiting for police while Westwood was harassing her.

Westwood was heard screaming, "You're not going to sell drugs here."

Garris had to call 911 twice to get a response about Westwood, and when they showed up Westwood had already gone. She was MIA for four days, before turning herself in.

"We are so distraught and still very upset about what has taken place only because of the color of our skin. It was so upsetting to know that today we still have this overt racism that's going on in 2018," said one of the sisters.

Related Story: I'm White and I Might Bring Out My Guns: Racist Threatens Black Women in Video

South Park Susan Full Story

Pittsburgh Told Trump Not to Visit, He Went Anyway

Thousands protested for the 11 lives lost, the two victims in Louisville, and the many more stifled by President Trump's racism and bigotry.

TWITTER

Trump visited the synagogue on Tuesday and left.

On Wednesday he tweeted, "The Office of the President was shown great respect on a very sad & solemn day. Small protest was not seen by us, staged far away. The Fake News stories were just the opposite-Disgraceful!"

Nearly 70,000 people as of Tuesday signed the petition from the Pittsburgh affiliate of Bend the Arc to demand Trump stay away from Pittsburgh.

Mayor Bill Peduto, a Democrat, had asked Trump to reschedule his visit to respect the grieving families and funerals.

Steven Halle, a nephew of one of the victims, Daniel Stein, rejected a meeting with Trump because of his comments blaming the synagogue for not having an armed guard to stop the gunman "immediately."

"Everybody feels that they were inappropriate," Halle said of Trump's comments. "A church, a synagogue, should not be a fortress. It should be an open, welcoming place to feel safe," he continued.

But Trump didn't care and came for his photo ops, and to promote Republican candidate Keith Rothfus via Twitter:

Trump told Fox News on Monday night:

"I'm also going to the hospital to see the officers and some of the people that were so badly hurt," Trump said. "I really look forward to going. I would have done it even sooner, but I didn't want to disrupt any more than they already had disruption."

But his visit was drowned out by thousands who took to the streets of the city to protest, marching toward the synagogue, singing songs, and holding signs that said, ""Refugees Are Not Invaders," "Pittsburgh Builds Bridges Not Walls" and "Pittsburgh Welcomes All Who Don't Hate."

Tuesday evening, Tracy Baton, director of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Women's March on Washington, stood on the steps of the Sixth Presbyterian Church and spoke to thousands:

Those who "would insert themselves on a national stage, into a city in mourning, before the dead are buried, is unacceptable," she said. "Those that would limit our neighbors' vote, that would foment hate against the Jewish community, Muslim community, people of color, LGBTQ people, as well as wage a war on women's bodies, are not welcome here!"

Jewish group IfNotNow organized a protest and sat shiva. Organizer and Pittsburgh resident Diana Clarke told the crowd, "We are here to mourn the 11 Jewish people who were killed on Saturday. We are here to mourn the two black people who were shot by a white nationalist in Louisville, Kentucky, last week."

"I think that Donald Trump represents white nationalism and white supremacy, and that has no place in the mourning lives lost to exactly those systems that his administration upholds," Clarke told HuffPost.

"We have people who can't sit shiva because you're blocking our streets!" the Rev. Susan Rothenberg, a Presbyterian minister screamed at Trump when he arrived. "These people can't grieve! You're causing them pain!"

She continued, "You only care about you! You are not welcome on my street! These are my neighbors that were killed! You are not welcome in Squirrel Hill! Do you understand that?"

Purina Ends Donations to Rep. Steve King Over Recent Comments

Major corporations are pulling support over King's divisive rhetoric about race, ethnicity and immigrants.

REUTERS

Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa's campaign is losing support from companies. In the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, consumers and employees are pushing back against companies donating to King as they are fed up with his years of racist comments and association with white nationalists, even retweeting a Nazi sympathizer.

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ACLU Slams Trump for Plans to End Birthright Citizenship

Trump continues to pander to his base before midterm elections.

REUTERS

President Trump said that he plans to sign an executive order to end birthright citizenship to children born in the United States to non-citizens and undocumented immigrants. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it's an attempt to "fan the flames of anti-immigrant hatred" before next week's midterm elections.

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FBI Arrests Nazi Gang Leader Who Fled the Country

Robert Paul Rundo leads the "overtly racist, violent right-wing fight club" based in California.

Robert Paul Rundo assaults counter-protester at rally / YOUTUBE

Robert Paul Rundo, the 28-year-old leader of the violent Rise Above Movement (RAM), who fled the U.S. earlier this month for Mexico and then Central America, is now in federal custody. Rundo and his group beat counter-protesters to a pulp at a "Make America Great Again" rally.

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'The Racists Believe He's a Racist,' Says Andrew Gillum of Ron DeSantis

A video clip Gillum posted on Twitter of Wednesday's debate has gone viral.

A video clip that Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum posted on Twitter has gone viral with more than 3 million views. In just 40 seconds of Wednesday night's debate, Gillum, who is the mayor of Tallahassee, explains why racists believe Republican former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis is a racist.

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