Friday, July 24, 2009

Cops Hate Journalists Too

One night back in 2000 I was driving home from my job at NBC17 in Raleigh, N.C. It was around 11:45am. As I was driving down Glenwood Avenue, I noticed some police activity. Of course, the journalist in me had to know what was going on. It may have been "breaking news" and certainly I wanted to be the first to report it.

As I drove up on the scene, I saw a police officer directing and re-routing traffic. I pulled over to him and asked what was going on. He told me to keep going and that it was none of my concern. I then identified myself as a journalist with NBC17----at which time he told me he didn't care who I was and I had better move along "right now!" He then put his hand on his weapon. I told him I was going to report him. He replied, "Just get the hell on!" I then drove up to the next officer and asked (very nicely) if he could give me the officer's name. Since they weren't near each other, he had no idea of what had just transpired. He was very polite and gave me the officer's name. I might also add this particular officer was black. The other officer was white.

True to my word, I contacted the Raleigh Police Internal Affairs Unit on Monday and reported the incident. I explained I was on my way home and thought I had come up on some breaking news. Certainly the officer could've handled the situation differently and there was absolutely no need for him to go for his gun. I was just an innocent, non-threatening black female journalist in a car trying to get home.

A police investigator came to my job and took a statement. They probably did it to verify that I was who I said I was and they certainly didn't want to give the impression that they were going to dismiss my complaint.

A few months later, I received a letter in the mail indicating the officer had been reprimanded for his behavior.

I wonder now if I had been a white woman would the officer have been as rude as he was. But I choose to believe the cops don't like journalists either and on that particular dark night the word "journalist" was written all over my black face.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Relying on the Kindness of Others - MORE Magazine

Relying on the Kindness of Others - MORE Magazine

Shared via AddThis

What Happened to the Content of His Character?

In his famous "I Have a Dream" Speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said we should be judged by the "content of our character" and not "by the color of our skin."

It's sad to think that in 2009 the patrons of the All-White Huntington Valley Swim Club don't appreciate that message.

I'm sure you've heard the story by now: two weeks ago outside Philadelphia, more than 60 children from a summer camp tried to go swimming at a club that their camp had a contract to use. They paid $1900 for the privilege, but apparently the people at the club didn't know that the group of kids was predominantly Black.

When the campers entered the pool, white parents allegedly took their kids out of the water, and the swimming club's staff asked the campers to leave. The next day, the club told the summer camp that their membership would be canceled and that their payment would be refunded.

The President of the Valley Swim Club, John G. Duesler, now says he and his family are receiving hate email and phone calls to his home. After the incident he commented that the reason the black campers were tossed was that they would “change the complexion of the club” and they couldn’t come back.

But the most telling comment Duesler made was that “this is a terrible misrepresentation of everything I stand for”. You know why he said that? Because he was one of President Barack Obama's staunchest supporters during the presidential campaign. He rallied the suburbanites to jump on the Obama bandwagon and that they did.

So how does Duesler go from supporting a black man to lead an entire nation to blocking access to little black children who just wanted to cool off and have a day of fun?

What is the true content of his character?

If you click on the title of this post, you can find Duesler's Twitter page.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Banks Have Gone Totally Mad Since Bailout

If you've followed the banking mess and their call for a financial handout---I mean bailout---you know that some of these fat cats made out like bandits. Take Citigroup, for example, which reportedly received at least $45 billion in bailout funds. Bank of America, which ranks #1 on my Customer Hall of Shame List, also got $45 billion.

But I guess that just wasn't enough because now it appears some of these same banks are dipping into our personal accounts to take even more money---although they say they'll give it back in a little while.

Today I went to the gas station and saw this interesting note on the pump:


"When using a debit card, please be aware that your financial institution may place a hold on your account that may exceed the amount of your purchase. Shell is not responsible for placing and removing debt holds. Please contact your financial institution if you would like more information."


Yes, it appears these banks keep giving us all the business.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

North Carolina Ranks Among the States with the Fattest Baby Boomers

During my adult life, I have lived in Ohio, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, West Virigina (which I rarely admit) and now, in North Carolina. Based on this study of obesity and baby boomers, I should be heading back to New England. Here are the states listed in order of where the fattest baby boomers live. Where does your state rank? (To read the entire report, click on the title for this blog post).

1. Mississippi
2. Alabama
3. West Virginia
4. Tennessee
5. South Carolina
6. Oklahoma
7. Kentucky
8. Louisiana
9. Michigan
10. (tie) Arkansas and Ohio
12. North Carolina
13. Missouri
14. (tie) Georgia and Texas
16. Indiana
17. Delaware
18. (tie) Alaska and Kansas
20. (tie) Nebraska and South Dakota
22. (tie) Iowa and North Dakota and Pennsylvania
25. (tie) Maryland and Wisconsin
27. Illinois
28. (tie) Oregon and Virginia and Washington
31. Minnesota
32. Nevada
33. (tie) Arizona and Idaho 3
35. Maine
36. New Mexico
37. New York
38. Wyoming
39. (tie) Florida and New Hampshire
41. California (23.6%)
42. New Jersey
43. Montana
44. Utah
45. District of Columbia
46. Vermont
47. Hawaii
48. Rhode Island
49. Connecticut
50. Massachusetts
51. Colorado