HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ON MONDAY, APRIL 17TH, 2023
Sybil’s Birthday Shoutouts
Happy Birthday to:
Tony Award Winning Actress, L. Scott Caldwell
Actress Kimberly Elise
Actress Lela Rochon
DJ, Rapper, and Producer Afrika Bambaataa, born Lance Taylor
Rapper Redman born, Reginald Noble
Former NBA Head Coach Dwane Casey
We remember: Civil Rights Activist, Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, born in 1912
TOP 5 NEWS STORIES
1. Black Teen Shot in the Head After Ringing the Wrong Doorbell: Family
What You Need to Know:
The family of a 16-year-old Black boy shot twice in the head by a White man last week has labeled the act a hate crime after saying the teenager was just trying to pick up his younger siblings from a friend’s house.
The boy, Ralph Yarl, “mistakenly went to the wrong house” in a Kansas City neighborhood on Thursday, according to a GoFundMe set up by his aunt to handle medical expenses.
Yarl pulled up the driveway and rang the doorbell. “The man in the home opened the door, looked my nephew in the eye, and shot him in the head,” his aunt, Faith Spoonmore, wrote. “My nephew fell to the ground, and the man shot him again.”
Still conscious, Yarl ran for help, but Spoonmore alleged that he “had to run to 3 different homes” before someone came to his aid, and then only after ordering the 16-year-old to lie on the ground with his hands up. He was hospitalized, but “has a long road ahead mentally and emotionally,” the fundraiser page reads.
The alleged gunman, who has not been identified, was taken into custody and brought to a police station to give a statement. Placed on a 24-hour hold, he was released pending further investigation, something the chief of the Kansas City Police Department spent much of a short Sunday press conference justifying.
She explained that detectives were working to compile forensic evidence and take a formal statement from Yarl. It was not clear if he was in a condition to make a statement on Sunday.
“We want the community to know that we are committed to justice in this case and every case and work every day to seek that justice for all victims of all crimes,” Graves said, adding that she personally was “listening” and understood the community’s “concern.”
On Sunday afternoon, hundreds of protesters gathered to demonstrate outside of the alleged gunman’s home on 115th Street—a short drive from 115th Terrace, the friend’s house where Yarl’s brothers had actually been located.
Civil rights attorneys Lee Merritt and Ben Crump said they have offered pro bono services to the family, according to the Kansas City Star. “Ralph is fighting for his life,” Merritt tweeted on Sunday morning. “This man must be arrested. We are on our way.”
On the fundraising page, Spoonmore called her nephew “a fantastic kid” who dreams of attending Texas A&M for chemical engineering.
Last summer, she said, he attended the Missouri Scholars Academy, a program for high-achieving students. Yarl is also a talented bass clarinet player who leads a section of his school’s marching band and plays multiple instruments in the Northland Symphony Youth Orchestra.
She also noted that Yarl was lucky to be alive, explaining, “He is our miracle. We have heard these types of stories many times, and unfortunately, most black boys are not alive to get another chance.”
“This was not an ‘error.’ This is a hate crime,” she posted on Instagram soon after the incident. “You don’t shoot a child in the head because he rang your doorbell.”
2. Bishop William Barber Bringing ‘Moral Mondays’ to Tenn. State LegislatureSource:Getty
What You Need to Know:
At the invitation of the recently-reinstated Tennessee State Representative Justin Jones, Bishop William Barber will lead a march in Nashville to address issues of gun violence and poverty in Tennessee.
Rev. Barber, the co-chair of the Poor Peoples Campaign, began Moral Monday rallies ten years ago in North Carolina in response to the Tea Party, the conservative branch of the Republican Party, and what the opposition called the conservatives efforts to block voting rights and minimum wage increases.
The Tennessee Lookout reported, “The ‘Moral Monday’ rally at the state capitol will be led by Tennessee clergy along with national faith and civil rights leaders including Bishop William Barber, II. A decade ago, Barber helped launch a sustained series of nonviolent civil disobedience actions inside the North Carolina state capitol each Monday to call attention to policies that impacted poor and marginalized groups.
The Moral Monday actions have since spread to other states, attracting hundreds or thousands of people at each event. Plans for Monday’s action in Nashville call for a 2 p.m. teach-in at McKendree United Methodist Church; a 3 p.m. march to the state capitol; and a 4 p.m. rally outside the capitol.
In a recent interview, the reinstated State Representative Justin Jones announced if House Speaker Cameron Sexton refuses to act during the current legislative session to bring about positive, moral change, he promises to bring attention to the constituents of lawmakers he said are not doing the work of and for the poor.
Why You Need to Know:
Essentially what Bishop Barber is saying is that “thoughts and prayers” are not enough. That they “must engage the changemakers to present the real numbers of deaths by guns in order to bring about change. They must point out that the people who encourage gun ownership are the same who refuse to address common sense gun laws along with eliminating poverty.”
Rev. Barber is calling for the permanent partnership of the “Tennessee Three,” Representatives Justin Jones, Gloria Johnson, and Justin Pearson, as an example of “moral fusion,” when Black people and White people come together to form a new political voting bloc and shift the economic architecture of the country.
3. 7 Ways You Could Be Making Your Spring Allergies WorseSource:Getty
What You Need to Know:
The days are warming and the flowers are blooming. You know what that means: It’s time for spring allergies. And it may sound crazy, but you could be inadvertently making things worse! Here are a few little-known things that could be making you extra miserable this spring.
1. Stressing out. Studies show high levels of stress are associated with allergy attacks. So whether you need to meditate, schedule weekly massages, or rebalance your workload, find a way to loosen up.
2. Eating fruit. Spring and juicy fruit seem to go together, but 1 in 3 people with seasonal allergies also have oral allergy syndrome, in which the proteins in some raw fruits and veggies can make your mouth itch and your eyes water. Allergic to grass? You might have issues with peaches, tomatoes, and potatoes. If you’re allergic to alder or birch trees, you could react to apples, cherries, and celery.
3. Showering in the morning. From your hair to your clothes to your shoes, you pick up pollen as you move throughout your day, and wearing your outside clothes in your house just drags it all into your home. Change your clothes and take a shower when you get home to avoid breathing in that pollen while you sleep.
4. Opening the windows. Whether you’re in the car or at home, throwing open the windows invites pollen right into your (itchy) nose. Use the air conditioner whenever possible; recirculate the air in your car and use an allergen filter in your home.
5. Wearing contacts. They aren’t just irritating your eyes—soft contact lenses actually absorb pollen, which means they can trap it right in your eyes. You might want to pull out your frames until the season is over. Can’t part with your contacts? Use daily disposables.
6. Waiting to take your meds. The sooner you start your over-the-counter allergy medication, the more effective it will be. Don’t wait until you’re already miserable to pop your first pill of the season; take one as soon as you see the flowers start to bloom.
7. Having a plant. You probably know it’s counterproductive to buy cut flowers, but studies show about 75 percent of hay fever sufferers are also allergic to some houseplants. It might pay to leave the greenery outside, particularly ficus, ivy, palms, ferns, and orchids.
4. Schizophrenic Man “Eaten Alive” By Bed Bugs in Fulton County (Atlanta) Jail
WRITTEN & CONTRIBUTED BY COY MALONE
What You Need to Know:
Lashawn Thompson, a 35-year-old Black man, was arrested on June 12, 2022, on a misdemeanor charge of simple battery in Atlanta, Georgia. Thompson, who is diagnosed with schizophrenia, was incarcerated at Fulton County Jail and later transferred to the psychiatric wing.
Three months later, Thompson was found dead in his cell on September 13, 2022. The conditions of his death are so deplorable that Thompson’s family is now calling for closure and replacement of the Fulton County Jail and requesting a criminal investigation.
The 35-year-old man was found dead in a dirty jail cell after reportedly being eaten alive by insects and bed bugs. Jail records reveal that detention officers and medical staff at the jail noticed Thompson’s deteriorating health but did nothing to help him, leading to his untimely death. The report also states that when Thompson’s body was found, one of the detention officers refused to administer CPR because, in her words, she “freaked out.”
Thompson’s relatives live out of state and only learned he was incarcerated after jail officials notified them of his death.
Attorney Michael Harper, who represents Thompson’s family, shared photographs of the filthy jail cell the deceased inmate was held in during that period. In the photos, Thompson’s body, parts of his face, and limbs are covered with several bugs and what appear to be lesions from bug bites. Photos of his jail cell show scattered debris, trash, and rust stains on the walls, desk, chair, toilet, and bed frame.
The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office reports stated there were no signs of trauma on Thompson, his cause of death is “undetermined,” and a “severe bed bug infestation” was noted.
The Fulton County Board of Commissioners recently authorized a study to look into the feasibility of building a new jail, which would cost about $2 billion to build.
The Fulton Country Sheriff’s Office has responded by approving $500,000 to address the bug infestation, vermin, and cleaning operations, updating protocols for security. The investigation is examining the medical care provided and ultimately will determine whether any criminal charges are warranted in this case.
WRITTEN AND CONTRIBUTED BY WILLIE MCIVER
What You Need to Know:
SACRIFICE is a part of the Christian faith. From a biblical perspective, sacrifice is when we give a portion of our time, energy, and earthly possessions for God’s work and for His people. Our willingness to sacrifice is an example of our Devotion to God. Back in the day, in the Old Testament, sacrifice came in two forms: unbloody and bloody. Unbloody being things like first fruits and tithes. Bloody being things like the killing of creatures, burning them, and offering them up to God. People offered sacrifices to God as an atonement for their sins.
Once God made the ultimate sacrifice, allowing His son to die and rise again for our sins, the meaning of sacrifice shifts away from atonement for sins to more of being of service to God and others, becoming a LIVING SACRIFICE.
So how do you become a living sacrifice? First, you have to fix your heart. If you don’t have a giving heart, you will not have the will to make sacrifices in your life and since God is a God of FREE WILL, He is not going to force you to make sacrifices. It will be completely left up to you. So fix your heart.
Also, you have to discern the will of God, live a Godly life, and not conform to the ways of the world. You can’t live in both worlds. One negates the other. The choice is up to you. But God can help you with that decision through your prayers to Him. Tell Him you want to be a living sacrifice for Him and you want to change your mindset from what you want to what He wants. Ask Him to show you His will and give you the strength to act upon it.
Now don’t get sacrifice confused with obedience. Those are two totally separate things. Just because you are sacrificing your time, possessions, and energy to do God’s work and help others, does not mean you are being obedient to the commandments and teachings of the bible and encouraging others to do so as well. Sacrifice does not replace obedience. You still have to live a Godly life and follow His word in order for Him to honor your sacrifices.
The last thing I want to say, is that I know you have heard the workout term, “feel the burn?” Well, it applies to sacrifice. If you are sacrificing anything and you don’t feel at least a pinch…you might need to sacrifice a little more. True sacrifice causes a little discomfort on your end. You have heard the saying, “Give until it hurts?” That’s a sacrifice. No pain, no gain…and the gain you will receive will come from God. But don’t let that be the driving force for you to be a living sacrifice. The driving force for being a living sacrifice should be to please God.
With Agape Love, Willie Mae