Chris Rock’s tweet about July 4th stirs controversy

On July 4, the comedian tweeted: “Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks.” Not Chris Rock’s funniest tweet, but he’s got a point. After all, black Americans’ Independence Day came nearly 90 years later.  The celebration of Juneteenth commemorates the belated announcement of freedom given to  some Texas slaves. Anyway, some people are in a tizzy. You can take a poll on what it all means. Responses are all over the map. If Rock’s tweet upsets you, my advice would be to get over it. Read more.  

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George Zimmerman’s bond set at $1 million

After he was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman was freed on $150,000 bond. However, the judge revoked the bond after learning that Zimmerman and his wife lied about how much money they had. (More than $100,000 had been donated to Zimmerman through a website he had set up for his defense fund.) It was also revealed that Zimmerman had a second passport that he did not surrended to the court, as required under the terms of his bond. The judge ordered Zimmerman back to jail. A new bond proceeding was held, with a different result. From Associated Press: A Florida judge ruled Thursday that George Zimmerman can be released from jail a second time on $1 million bond, saying…

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Innocent Atlanta woman spends nearly two months in jail

This story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is brogught to you by the Atlanta Police Deparemtn and the Fulton County Jail. This is how the justice system can play out for you when you’re poor and black. It didn’t matter that none of the facts lined up, or that the victim repeatedly told authorities they had the wrong woman. In fact, it didn’t matter that Teresa Culpepper was cleared of the charges in court–SHE STAYED IN JAIL! When she got out, she found that her belongings had been stolen and her vehicle had been sold for parts to pay the towing company’s charge. And she had to refund  disability payments from the federal government she received while in jail–the rules don’t differentiate between…

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Five stars from Forsyth County for Brambleman

(And while you’re here, check out the giveaway: Buy Brambleman, get the eBook of Chain Gang Elementary for free!) A five-star review for Brambleman from Forsyth County reader Marcy Theobald (originally posted on Goodreads): “I REALLY enjoyed this book.  Very much a page-turner.  I couldn’t wait to read the next chapter, and the next, and the next… Jonathan Grant’s Brambleman is historical fiction, taking place in Forsyth County in my backyard of Cumming, GA.  It was interesting, to say the least, learning about what’s happened here in the county I’ve lived in for almost 15 years.  More accurately, I was appalled to learn that Oprah’s visit here in the late 80’s was the tip of Forsyth’s history-making iceberg.  Lynching was an acceptable…

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ACLU to represent KKK in Georgia “adopt-a-highway” case

Not a shock—the ACLU regularly defends those outside the mainstream on both left and right–but I think the state has legitimate public safety concerns about allowing Ku Klux Klan members to roam the highways, picking up litter.  Once the signs go up proclaiming that the Klan “owns” a stretch of road, there’s no telling what might happen. RoadKKKill would defeat the purpose of the Adopt-a-Highway program. Besides, the Georgia Department of Transportation, in rejecting the Klan’s application to adopt a stretch of highway in Union County, pointed out that that a successful applicant must be a “civic-minded organization in good standing.” The Klan, with its history of prejudice, racial violence, and terrorism, does not meet this standard. It is the Adolf Hitler of civic groups. I stand by…

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What the heck happened in Forsyth County?

This afternoon, I talked to two girls who live in Forsyth County. They have no idea what happened there 100 years ago. Do you? Some history: Forsyth County, famous as the birthplace of Hee-Haw’s Junior Samples, has for most of the past century, existed as an intentionally all-white community bordering the black Mecca of Atlanta since 1912, following one of the 20th century’s most violent racist outrages—including lynching, nightriding, and arson. In 1987, the sleepy community gained notoriety when a small march led by civil rights firebrand Hosea Williams was broken up by rock- and bottle-throwing Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and their sympathizers. Bloody but unbowed, Williams returned the next week with 25,000 followers in one of largest civil rights marches in history. There was…

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