All Articles Tagged "arizona"

Arizona In Danger Of Having No African-American State Lawmakers In 2015

January 29th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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via @LandrumTaylor

via @LandrumTaylor

This seems hard to believe in 2014, but Arizona is in danger of having not even one African-American state lawmaker. This would be the first time this has happened in 60 years. About 4.5 percent of the state’s total population of 6.6 million is African American, according to Census Bureau data.

Right now, the  state has just one African-American representative in its legislature, who will leave in 2o15. Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor’s exit could make Arizona one of the few states without a leading black lawmaker.

Sen. Taylor (D-Phoenix) has served 15 years in Arizona’s legislature and last week she took her seat for her last term. She has been in the Senate for seven years after serving eight years in the House of Representatives.

“With Sen. Taylor’s departure, which comes due to term limits, there is a chance that Arizona could join a handful of other states with no current black lawmakers including Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont and Utah,” reports TheGrio

And Taylor is concerned about the possible lack of representation. “This is something that is more than unnerving,” Sen. Taylor told The Grio. “I think in our state of Arizona, and of course across the nation, it’s crucial to have diversity and representation in the state.”

For the last six decades, there has been at least one member of the state’s electoral body who is African American. In 1950 Arizona elected its first black members to the House, Hazyel Burton Daniels and Carl Sims Sr.

“Without having an African-American in the legislature, the issues of African-Americans will go by the wayside,” said Sen. Taylor. Among the concerns for blacks in the state are education, challenging Medicaid distribution and unhealthy environmental spaces.

On the city level, there is black representation, including council members Corey Woods and Coral Evans.

Still, for the first time in more than 40 years, there is also not one African American on the Phoenix City Council, reports

“The goal would be to have a state legislature that would be reflective of the diversity and that’s one we hope we can address,” Frank Camacho, the communications director at the Arizona Democratic Party, told theGrio.

You may recall, Arizona was a holdout on the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday and more recently, students at Arizona State University were criticized for throwing a racist MLK party — an incident Sen. Taylor called “disturbing, disheartening and saddening.”

Sen. Taylor hopes to help get potential candidates in place before her departure. “I don’t see why it’s impossible to be able to gain multiple seats,” she said. “What I do see is working with alliances and making people understand to the importance of diversity, it’s extremely critical.”

The Congressional Black Caucus is also concerned about the lack of diversity , but on the judicial level. The group sent a letter to the Obama administration, pressing the President to nominate more judicial nominees to the bench in Alabama. The CBC was already disturbed by the single nomination of a black judge in Georgia. There were six total nominations. In Alabama, they’re asking that “qualified” African American nominees be named ” until the court’s racial composition reasonably reflects the state’s black population.” Forty-one members of the CBC signed on to the letter, which was obtained by The Daily Beast. That concern extends across the country.

Man Fractures Girlfriend’s Eye Socket And Nose Because She Was Too Sick To Have Sex

September 17th, 2013 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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You would think that when you tell your man you’re not feeling good and not in the mood for sex, he would be understanding and allow you to rest and gain your strength. But for one Arizona woman, her request to sit one sexual escapade out because of illness was met with a fist to the face by her boyfriend. The violent encounter left her with a messed up eye and nose, and having to make a mad dash out of her home to get help.

According to the New York Daily News, a man from Mesa, Arizona has been arrested for allegedly beating up his girlfriend of three months because she told him she was too sick to have sex. Jose Perez, 33, reportedly beat the woman early on Sunday morning after he arrived intoxicated to the home they were staying at. According to the girlfriend, Perez hit her after she declined and then threatened her if she called authorities. So she laid down with him and pretended to go to sleep, only to run out of the house to a neighbor’s residence while Perez was asleep to call the police.

Once authorities arrived on the scene, the victim was transported to the hospital while Perez was arrested. Perez denied abusing her, but couldn’t provide an explanation for her injuries, even though he admits that they were the only two adults in the house at the time. The girlfriend was left with fractures to the eye socket and nose.

A Bitter Battle: NBA Star Steve Nash And Ex-wife Fighting Over Child Support (And It Is Ugly)!

April 27th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Well, since it looks like the Los Angeles Lakers season will soon be over (don’t come for me Lakers fans, you have to accept it), Steve Nash can now focus on a bigger fight.

A year and a half ago, Nash announced that he and his wife Alejandra would be divorcing.  In the months since, the breakup has been fairly ugly with allegations of infidelity being thrown from both sides as well as rumors that Nash didn’t want to pay child support for their three children. They’ve been locked in a child support battle for months!  Well, an Arizona judge ruled that Nash didn’t have to pay the support because his lawyers were able to prove that his ex has become a millionaire in her own right because of him and still pulls in $30,000 a month.

Further, Nash apparently pays for 90 percent of his children’s medical, schooling and extracurricular activities as well as 82 percent of the nanny’s salary.  Alejandra contends, however, that none of that should matter because he still makes a million more dollars than she does every month.

For his part, Nash says that he believes if he’s made to pay child support, Alejandra will use the money to continue funding her own lifestyle as well as spoiling the kids with lavish and unnecessary gifts.

Isn’t this ugly? Oh and did I forget to mention that Nash is trying to bar Alejandra from moving to Los Angeles so the kids can be closer to their dad because California courts are known for harsh child support rulings and he’d likely be made to pay if they move there.

Sadly, his oldest children, a set of twin girls, are eight and likely old enough to realize that their parents really aren’t getting along at all.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the fighting will die down since they’re still in court.

Based on the information, who do you think is wrong, Steve or Alejandra?

Romney Supporter Problems: Woman Runs Down Husband Because He Didn’t Vote In Election

November 13th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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White people are full on bugging out about Barack Obama’s re-election — as if he hasn’t been President for the last four years or something. Just last week we told you about the Virginia man who murdered his wife and kids and then killed himself because he was paranoid about what four more years under Obama’s reign would do to him and his family. Now in Arizona a woman tried to pull a similar move with her husband after she found out he didn’t exercise his right to vote.

As the NY Daily News tells it, Holly Solomon, 28, tried to run down her 36-year-old husband Daniel after she found out he didn’t place a ballot on Election Day last Tuesday. For some reason she single-handedly blamed him for Obama’s re-election and thought the way to rectify his decision was to run him over with her car.

Phoenix News Times has the full details:

In an e-mail to media, Gilbert police Sergeant Jesse Sanger says the argument [between the couple] started in a parking lot Saturday morning over Daniel Solomon’s lack of voter participation.

“According to Daniel, Holly believed her family was going to face hardship as a result of President Obama’s re-election,” Sanger says.

Witnesses told police that there was a lot of yelling before Holly Solomon hopped in her Jeep, and started chasing her husband around the parking lot.

Her husband tried to use a light pole to shield himself, and Solomon drove around the light pole several times as she continued to yell at him.

Eventually, her husband made a run for it, but Solomon hit him, pinning him under the car and on a curb, according to police.

Daniel Solomon’s currently in critical condition at a hospital.

Holly Solomon was booked into jail on charges of domestic violence and aggravated assault, and there are no indications she was impaired by alcohol or drugs at the time, according to Sanger.

Poor Daniel, not only is his wife crazy, she’s stupid. Romney won all of Arizona’s 11 electoral votes, so it didn’t matter whether her husband voted or not. It was those other six swing states Obama bagged that she needed to worry about.  SMH.

Extra Suspect: Katherine Jackson Missing/Resting In Arizona?

July 23rd, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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There was a lot of odd news reported over the weekend, but this had to be one of the most suspicious stories on the Internet given the Jackson family’s fighting over Michael’s estate and even Paris’ upcoming movie roles.

Late Saturday night, Katherine Jackson’s nephew Trent reported her missing to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office saying none of her grandchildren had been able to get in touch with her for over a week. Fourteen-year-old Paris, Michael’s daughter, made the news even more public when she tweeted on Sunday morning:

“yes, my grandmother is missing. i haven’t spoken with her in a week i want her home now.”

The public’s gears started grinding immediately thinking one of Katherine’s sons might have potentially done something to her since it’s been reported that Michael left all of his money to his mother, as well as placed his children in her care. But then Jermaine sent out his own Twitter message about his mother, insisting that she wasn’t missing, but resting in Arizona. He wrote:

Let me put to bed today’s nonsense: as I made clear some days ago, Mother is safe and well in Arizona with her daughter and our sister, Rebbie, resting up on doctor’s advice, so it is beyond me how she can be reported “missing”

This incredulous claim was made for reasons best known to the adult/s who filed it but it seems no accident that it comes after we, the sons and daughters, put in place care-taking for our own mother, taking her to Arizona in line with doctor’s advice following a check-up.

Furthermore, it dismays me that such an alarmist “missing person” report has caused unnecessary anxiety among Michael’s children who will understandably react to what they misunderstand, hear or are told.

No-one is being “blocked” from speaking with Mother. She is merely an 82-year-old woman following doctor’s orders to rest-up and de-stress, away from  phones and computers. Everyone has been well aware of this within the family,  but I would like to reiterate my reassurance to the outside world that Mother is  fine. In the meantime, thank you for all your thoughts and concerns.

Before Jermaine’s assurance that his mother was safe and her whereabouts known, lawyer Sandra L. Ribera of the Ribera law firm that filed the missing report, insisted they had good reason to be concerned.

“The kids were trying to get a hold of their grandmother and they haven’t been able to reach her for almost a week,” Ribera told Reuters in an email. “They are told she’s unavailable. I’m concerned that she’s not safe.”

After Jermaine’s statement came out, she commented further:

“Concerned family members, particularly Michael’s children, have since made ongoing pleas to those believed to have knowledge of (Katherine’s) location for information regarding her whereabouts. The only reports provided have been both conflicting and confusing – especially those pertaining to the status of Katherine Jackson’s health.”

Adding more confusion, or perhaps support, to Jermaine’s statement was this tweet from Paris, backtracking on her initial missing claim:

“I am going to clarify right now that what has been said about my grandmother is a rumor and nothing has happened, she is completely fine.”

According to Reuters, Paris also apologized to her uncles online, but all tweets have since been deleted. I don’t think anyone will be sure of Katherine’s state until she makes an appearance or statement herself. TMZ claims LA law enforcement officials informed them they spoke with Katherine and she is alright; therefore, they are now turning their attention on her nephew Trent to see why he had the report filed in the first place. Something still seems off though. What do you think?

Brande Victorian is the news and operations editor for Follow her on twitter @Be_Vic.

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Here We Go With the BS: Arizona Lawmaker Wants a Holiday for White Folks

February 7th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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Arizona is such a special state. On Monday, Rep. Richard Miranda spoke on the House floor and proposed an idea for a Latino American day in the state.  After much debate, fellow representative Cecil Ash stepped up to the mic to let Miranda know he agreed with his idea—but when the tables are turned, he wants to make sure white folks get their own holiday too.

“I’m supportive of this proposition. I just want them to assure me that when we do become in the minority you’ll have a day for us,” he said.

After receiving responses that varied from “crazy idea” to “we need something for whites,” Rep. Ash claimed he was just trying to lighten the mood—although he wasn’t joking about the suggestion.

“Yes, I think it was appropriate. It was appropriate for the mood that was in the House and I think that if and when the Caucasian population becomes a minority, they may want to celebrate the accomplishments and the contributions of the Caucasian population the same way,” he said, adding that the accomplishments of great people should be celebrated no matter their ethnic background.

Every so often these idiots come along with this suggestion and luckily it never goes further than the group of fools who bring it up. It would be silly to think that when white people become the technical minority in 2042  they still won’t have the top spot in society, but you can’t deny that thinking white people better live it up until then is a nice thought.

Rep. Ash just needs to let it go, white accomplishments are shoved down are throats every day in history books and on the news. Like they always say when this discussion comes up: Every day is a holiday for white people.

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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President Obama Can Handle it, But I Can’t

January 26th, 2012 - By Veronica Wells
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In the past three, going on four years, you may have noticed something. President Obama can handle it. By it I mean everything his job as President of the United States entails and all the extra, unwarranted, latently or blatantly racist foolishness that goes with it.

Initially, I too became incensed when the President was openly disrespected. Listening to Rep. Joe Wilson call him a liar in the middle of his healthcare speech, watching as “birthers” and Donald Trump demanded that he produce his birth certificate after he was well into his first term, and seeing a protester interrupt his commencement speech at Notre Dame was enough to make my blood pressure rise. Not only would this have been disrespectful for any layperson to experience, but this inexcusable behavior was being directed at the President of the United States. A president the American people elected.

I couldn’t find solace in the situation until I read an article about the president and his mother in the New York Times. It was a very detailed piece, but the part that stuck out to me was this:

“After lunch, the group took a walk, with Barry running ahead. A flock of Indonesian children began lobbing rocks in his direction. They ducked behind a wall and shouted racial epithets. He seemed unfazed, dancing around as though playing dodge ball “with unseen players,” Bryant said. Ann [his mother] did not react. Assuming she must not have understood the words, Bryant offered to intervene. “No, he’s O.K.,” Ann said. “He’s used to it.”

Reading that paragraph was my “aha moment.” After that article, I came to understand, with calming clarity, that President Obama was meant for this. Not only was he meant for it, he is capable of handling the pressures, the criticisms, the racism and the outright disrespect that comes with it.

But notice I said he can handle it; I, on the other hand, cannot.

Even though I continuously refer to that paragraph to keep myself from popping a blood vessel, incidences like yesterday’s exchange on an Arizona tarmac send me spiraling down that dark hole.

I woke up this morning to news that yet another form of disrespect had been hurled at the president, this time from Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

The president and Brewer already have a rocky relationship because of a book she wrote. In it she says that the president lectured her when she met with him to discuss the Arizona immigration law in 2010.

Yet, Brewer asked to meet with him again and a white house official said: “He’d be glad to meet with her again, but did note that after their last meeting, a cordial discussion in the Oval Office, the governor inaccurately described the meeting in her book.”

As far as we know there is no record of their conversation on the tarmac yesterday, but Brewer and reports mention that her book might have been the point of contention.

Fine, whatever. What gets me about the whole thing is what Brewer said to reporters:

“I felt a little bit threatened, if you will, in the attitude that he had, because I was there to welcome him.”

Republicans Want to Protect Black Women From Abortions

December 7th, 2011 - By Veronica Wells
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Remember that controversial billboard that ran earlier this year, the one paid for by a Texas-based pro-life organization? It read: “The Most Dangerous Place for an African American is the Womb.” Some, including the mother of the child featured on the billboard, agreed that the message was delivered in bad taste; however, the New York City Health Department found that of all the abortions given in NYC in 2009, between 40 and 50 percent were given to African American women.

What started out as a “New York” issue eventually became a national cause for conservative activists. Now, the Republicans are jumping on this “anti black abortion” band wagon.

According to an opinion piece at the Washington Post, Arizona Rep., Trent Franks, a Republican, believes that the issue of black abortion is “the civil rights struggle that will define our generation.” So, he composed a bill, Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011, that would address this issue.

Among other things the bill proposes that persons or organizations that perform a race or gender-selection abortion can lose government funding or can be prosecuted by the woman herself or her family members and the government can legally prevent this person or organization from performing further abortions.

Hmmm, on the surface this bill sounds admirable. No woman should be coerced into having an abortion based on the race or sex of her unborn child. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the Republican party, who places such strong emphasis on personal responsibility, has another motive behind this bill.

While the number of black abortions is far too high at 40-50 percent, I would argue that many of these abortions have little to do with the race of the fetus and more to do with the mother’s choice not to give birth to her child. I wholeheartedly believe that our high abortion rates has more to do with lack of education, pressure, real or imagined, to have unprotected sex and a lack of resources. This bill seems more like a ploy to remove government funding from Planned Parenthood than it is concern for African American children. I can’t say I blindly support Planned Parenthood, considering their suspect conversations and prevalence in urban neighborhoods but I also don’t believe that they’re completely to blame for our high abortion rates.

Either way this is an all around bad situation.

When you get a chance, read the bill and let us know what you think. Do conservative groups and Republicans really care about black abortion or are they playing the race card to prosecute organizations like Planned Parenthood?

Mother of Jhessye Shockley Arrested on Child Abuse Charges

November 23rd, 2011 - By Brande Victorian
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Police now believe that missing 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley is dead, given details that have surfaced about abuse at the hands of her mother who also coached Jhessye’s siblings to lie about the last time they saw her.

According to the Associated Press, Jerice Hunter, 38, was arrested on a felony count of child abuse Monday—more than five weeks after she reported her daughter Jhessye missing. Although police didn’t say what specific new information they received that led to Hunter’s arrest, a probable cause statement concerning an interview with Hunter’s 13-year-old daughter, said the teenager recently began to talk to her foster mother about Jhessye, saying that “she was told by her mother, Jerice, to lie to police about Jhessye being missing.”

When police interviewed Jhessye’s sister, she said that she had not actually seen Jhessye the day she disappeared, contrary to her previous story. The document also states that the teen said several weeks ago Hunter became angry when she returned home to find Jhessye wearing a long T-shirt while watching TV with a neighbor boy, telling the girl she was a “ho” before taking her into a bedroom.

The teen said she could hear her sister screaming and crying in the room and that Hunter kept Jhessye in a bedroom closet and deprived her of food and water, and that she had seen the girl with black eyes and bruises and cuts to her face and body.

“(She) reported that Jhessye’s hair had been pulled out and described Jhessye as not looking alive and that she looked like a zombie,” the document said. “(She) said that the closet where Jhessye had been looked like a grave and smelled like dead people.”

The teen also said a few days before Jhessye disappeared her mother spent the entire day cleaning the apartment and cleaning her shoes from the closet with soap and bleach. Police said they found a receipt that showed Hunter bought food and a bottle of bleach two days before she reported her daughter missing.

At a news conference Monday, Glendale Police Sgt. Brent Coombs said authorities do not expect to find Jhessye alive, and that Hunter is the investigation’s “Number one focus.”

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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Cheerleaders in Arizona Catch Heat for Breast Cancer Shirt

October 17th, 2011 - By madamenoire
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During a month where tongue-in-cheek shirts about boobs are often welcomed to encourage more knowledge and testing for breast cancer, a group of cheerleaders at Gilbert High School in Arizona aren’t feeling the love. Their breast cancer awareness shirt was banned by their school officials for what was deemed an “objectionable slogan.” The tops say, “Feel for lumps, save your bumps.” The girls had hoped to wear the shirts during a fundraiser, but they were threatened with the quickness by the school.According to their principal, Dr. J Charles Santa Cruz, they’re all for breast cancer awareness, but he isn’t feeling the squads methods (which is comprised of 56 young women).

“In no way is the school administration against Breast Cancer Awareness Month or initiatives students might take in support of it,” Santa Cruz told the Arizona Republic. “We just want to make sure we’re in the bounds of appropriate boundaries of a school setting.”

However, the young women still don’t understand why they’re being asked not to wear the shirts, especially when they’re just spreading a message no different than what they feel doctors would say and what other products’ slogans say. And since we’re on the topic, CBS reported that a lot of women are sick of all-pink-everything mentality that has come over people during this month. A survivor and volunteer spoke out about it to CBS: “The pink drives me nuts,” said Cynthia Ryan, an 18-year breast cancer survivor who volunteers to help other women with the disease, CBS News reported. “It’s the cheeriness I can’t stand.”

Hmmm…I thought it was a good thing, but I guess a lot of women don’t like the commercial aspect, and that the month is becoming more about selling things rather than really helping with prevention. So what do you think? Was the shirt these young women wanted to wear out of order? And are you personally all pinked out? Let us know!