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What it’s like to drive the 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon anywhere but off-road – New York Daily News

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Monday, July 10, 2017, 10:22 AM

Running boards (n.): a footboard extending along the side of a vehicle for use as a step when entering or exiting the vehicle.

When used in a sentence: Where are the damn running boards on this thing?

Alternatively: You have to get a running start just to board this truck.

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Believe it or not, running boards arent even an option on the 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon, and when your heavy-duty pickup boasts 14.3 inches of ground clearance and an additional foot or more just to reach the floor of the interior unless youve got the legs of a basketball player or runway model, youre going to want to have running boards.

But why dont you want running boards on a serious off-road truck? Because theyd inevitably get damaged or ripped off completely by a rock, obviously.

If youre wondering why I decided to begin a review with a definition and discussion of the merits (and demerits) of running boards, consider this: when you spend a week and almost 1,000 miles in a pickup truck for Americas birthday bash, you and your passengers start to get real tired of having to vault into the vehicle youre driving.

Passengers will complain (or at least mention it every time), and youll make a fool of yourself trying to slide into or out of the massive truck that somebody in the spot next to you parked too close to while you were in the store.

But you know what? Screw it. Who cares?

Im glad I had to exert effort every time I entered or exited the Power Wagon, because it speaks to just how hardcore this truck treats everyday life.

Now, before we get into the nitty gritty, I must make a disclaimer: I did not, in fact, get the chance to drive the Power Wagon off road.

Before you cry blasphemy! and call the state of New York to formally request revoking my drivers license, I have a very good excuse for why this is the case: horny birds.

Thats right, its Piping Plover mating season on the shores of Cape Cod, just about the only place near me on the holiday weekend that was offering short term over-sand vehicle passes. As it turns out, these little birdies are a protected species nesting on National Park Service land, so they had every right to shut down basically the whole beach to vehicles on the busiest weekend of the year just so the Plovers could get their groove on.

But the funny thing about off-roading is that you usually have to drive on actual roads to get to the good rocks, mud, and sand, and I did plenty of that in the Power Wagon, so lets instead focus on what its like to live with a truck this hardcore (especially in the overcrowded Northeast) rather than how good we already know it is at climbing boulders.

For those of you who arent familiar with it, the Power Wagon is Rams most extreme off-road offering straight out of the box. Where the Ford F-150 Raptor excels at dune-bashing and high-speed desert driving, the Power Wagon blows it away in rock climbing ability and go-anywhere readiness.

The name Power Wagon (power it has, wagon it is not) dates back to just after World War II, when Dodge turned its half-ton military truck technology into the original Power Wagon, a four-wheel-drive, half-ton pickup truck that was the first iteration of the format so many Americans drive around in today.

But while that truck set a benchmark, this truck says, screw this bench! and throws it through a window.

Need proof? Lets look at the raw facts.

Over fourteen inches of ground clearance. Approach, departure, and break-over angles of 34, 23.5 and 25.5 degrees, respectively. Thirty inches of water fording ability. A 12,000 pound winch with 90 feet of cable built into the front bumper. A mighty 6.4-liter Hemi V8 pushing out 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque, and a towing capacity of over 10,000 pounds. Lockable front and rear axles with disconnecting sway bars for maximum wheel articulation.

If you cant clear an obstacle with all of these tools at your disposal, brother, you werent meant to clear it in the first place.

Oh, and did I mention it looks badass? Because the 8-lug wheels, black Power Wagon vertical badging on the bed and hood, imposing new grille from the Rebel, and the worlds largest automaker badge on the tailgate really give this truck some serious presence. So much presence, in fact, that youll be genuinely surprised when a driver thats impeding your progress doesnt move out of the way.

Despite its standard hardware and tough guy looks, though, the Ram 2500 Power Wagon is still a truck above all, and that means its got to do the everyday tasks its buyer will inevitably ask of it with ease. Thankfully, the Power Wagon delivers on these fronts as well.

The 64 box easily handled an inflatable dinghy and a holiday weekends worth of firewood, and I was even able to fit the entire 6-person Daily News Autos team (including myself) into the cabin for a lunch excursion. The front seat has a foldable center console that becomes a sixth chair with a lap belt, but theres hardly any space to put your feet because multiple cupholders, cubbies, and the 2-speed 4X4 transfer case shifter lie right beneath.

Plus, its got leather seats, automatic climate control with heated and ventilated front seats, USB ports, a 115-volt outlet up front, more cupholders than you could ever hope to use, an 8-inch UConnect touchscreen with navigation and 3G Wi-Fi available, and a full-color driver information display with access to pretty much everything you would want to know about how your truck is operating.

Trailer brake controls are integrated into the console and the 6-speed automatic transmission has selectable gears with a small button on the column shifter.

Long story short, its still a pickup, and performs daily tasks admirably like youd expect, but there are a few caveats you should consider if you intend to pick one up.

For one, the ride is rougher than usual and road noise is immense from the standard Goodyear Wrangler 31-inch tires. Also, its got the aerodynamics of an apartment building, and I averaged less than 14 mpg over the course of the week despite spending an inordinate amount of time on the highway. Despite cheap gas, filling up the 30-plus-gallon tank becomes an expensive affair very quickly depending on where you live. One of Rams famous Cummins diesel engines would help quell some of this, but the weight and length of one of these thrifty six cylinder engines would keep Rams engineers from having enough space to incorporate the winch and keep weight down to a somewhat respectable level.

Oh, and good luck piloting it through New York City. It took every ounce of skill and patience I had to keep from hitting anything and everything around me.

If you buy trucks like people buy meat, though, then the Power Wagon is a half-off sale on Filet Mignon. This 7,000-plus-pound truck, with more off-road capability than you could ever hope to reach the limits of, rings in at $51,695 before destination charge or options, putting it just below the Raptors $52,250 base price for the SuperCrew cab.

With a slew of options like the $4,995 Leather and Luxury group that adds pretty much all of the comfort and convenience features you could want including the upgraded UConnect touchscreen, an Alpine 9-speaker stereo system, and parking assist technologies, and the handy $1,295 RamBox storage lockers on the side of the bed, the total cost for my Power Wagon tester came in at $62,610. Thats a serious chunk of change for a pickup, but a straight-up bargain for one of the most off-road capable vehicles on the planet.

Still, unless you have the opportunity to go rock climbing or mudding on a regular basis or really care about appearances, it may be in your best interest to consider a garden variety Ram 2500 for your daily needs.

But be warned, youre going to want the Power Wagon anyways. I know I do.

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Newark riots recall an era echoed by Black Lives Matter – The Philadelphia Tribune

NEWARK, N.J. The rumor spread quickly: A man had been beaten to death by police. For Blacks frustrated by high unemployment, inadequate schools, substandard housing yet another abuse by police was too much to bear, and they erupted.

There were no shouts that Black lives mattered. This was Newark in 1967, long before deaths at the hands of police in cities like Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, gave birth to another movement in another era.

For four days in July, Newark was the epicenter of Black rage. The rioting left 26 dead, more than 700 injured and nearly 1,500 arrested, mostly Black. In addition to the $10 million in property damage, the riots left economic and emotional scars on Brick City that, in many ways, have not yet healed.

Newark was a deadly entry in the long list of major urban areas that exploded over a five-year period, among them Watts in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and New Yorks Harlem. Days after Newark burned, Detroit followed. The disorders exposed for the first time to much of white America racial and economic disparities that went far beyond the familiar scenes of segregation in the South.

A riot is at the bottom of the language of the unheard, the Rev. Martin Luther King wrote in his last book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? in 1967. The amazing thing about the ghetto is that so few Negroes have rioted.

The rioters spoke loudly, but were they heard? The echoes of 1967 in todays America would suggest they were not, and the lessons not learned linger for a new generation where racial tensions, indifference and inaction persist.

People were thinking about who they were, and thinking that they deserved more as American citizens, said Komozi Woodard, who grew up in Newark and was 18 years old at the time of the riots. It went from a situation that was unbearable, to the community feeling it was unacceptable.

As a 12-year-old Black boy, Woodard was beaten by a street gang in his neighborhood. His mother called the police for help, and when they arrived, the officers beat her son, too.

It was 1961, and Woodard had learned his first lesson about the relationship between police and his community.

I believed in the system, and the system came out and beat me up, said Woodard, now 68 and a history professor at Sarah Lawrence College. It was an everyday occurrence for police to just beat people up. There was no place you could go.

By 1967, as whites fled for the suburbs and were replaced with a wave of Black and brown residents, Newark was New Jerseys largest city and the countrys first majority-Black city aside from Washington. Many Blacks were part of the Great Migration to escape the de jure Jim Crow of the Deep South, only to find de facto segregation in the North.

Most of Newarks power structure remained white. Only 11 percent of its police force was Black; citizen complaints about treatment by police routinely went unanswered and the few Black officers on the force had little opportunity for advancement or leadership.

By July 12, Newarks Black residents had had enough.

John W. Smith, a Black man, was driving his cab when he was pulled over by two white Newark police officers. Smith and the officers version of events diverged there were no body cameras then to record the exchange but Smith was badly beaten during his arrest.

Smith was taken to a police precinct directly across from Hayes Homes. Residents who saw him dragged inside assumed hed been killed by the officers, and word spread quickly through the crowded housing project.

Though Smith was treated at a hospital and later released, a riot broke out that night, followed by looting. The unrest continued for three more nights. State police and National Guard troops were called in to quell the uprising.

Fred Means, a teacher and activist with the Congress of Racial Equality in Newark at the time, recalled seeing police join in the looting along with some residents.

That really symbolized the whole tenor and system of corruption that was going on, said Means, now 84 and living in Monroe, New Jersey. It was like a war scene. There was that fear, there was that possibility, that the police would shoot you and nothing would happen much the same as what happens today.

Many of the scenes that unfolded in Newark have resembled the conflict of the last few years: Residents clashing with police wearing riot gear and driving armored vehicles down city streets, mass arrests, and government officials calling for curfews in an attempt to restore order and frustrated citizens burning neighborhood storefronts.

Junius Williams was a law student at Yale University fighting gentrification in Newark when the riots broke out. He was driving back from a Black power conference in Philadelphia when news of the riots came across his car radio.

This was the rebellion that people had predicted because it had been happening all over the country, and Newark was no different, said Williams, 73, now a professor at Rutgers University in Newark. There was no representation in government and people were taking advantage of Black folks and it was only so much people were going to take. It was on.

As he was driving friends home on the second night of the riots, Williams faced down a police officer wielding a shotgun during a traffic stop. He was spared, he says, when a sergeant defused the situation by searching Williams car for guns. He found only law books.

The 1967 riots prompted President Lyndon Johnson to launch an inquiry into the cause of the racial disorders. Among the findings of the Kerner Commission were that the country is moving toward two societies, one Black, one white separate and unequal. The report identified police practices as among the primary factors that led to the unrest in Black communities.

The abrasive relationship between the police and the minority communities has been a major and explosive source of grievance, tension and disorder, the report read. The blame must be shared by the total society.

The commission recommendations to improve police-community relations included a review of police operations to eliminate abrasive practices, more police protection to inner-city residents, more hiring and promotion of Black officers and a means for residents to file complaints against the police.

Nationally, there are now greater systems of accountability for police officers, who are the best trained generation of law enforcement officers in the countrys history, said Phillip Atiba Goff, co-founder of the Center for Policing Equity. Still, a lack of national metrics to track police behavior shows an uneven progress.

What it says is that we have not taken seriously the problem of race in America on a number of fronts, including policing, Goff said. As a result, were doomed to repeat the history from which we have not learned.

The conclusions reached in the 2015 Justice Department report on Ferguson sounded similar to the Kerner Commissions findings.

In 1970, Newark became the first Northeastern city to elect a Black mayor. Its police force became more diverse, and more officers lived in the city they were charged with serving. Today, 38 percent of the police department is Black and 40 percent is white. The citys overall population is much the same as in 1967: 52 percent Black and 26 percent white.

In the immediate aftermath of the riots, more affordable housing was built and the city was forced to provide better health care in a deal to build a new medical center.

We could not have done that without that invisible brother with the brick standing with us in the negotiating room, said Williams. The power structure was afraid. They thought it was going to happen again.

In other ways, progress has been slow to arrive.

In the wake of the riots, economic development was largely limited to the citys downtown, where whites worked. The poverty level for Black residents is 33 percent, and Newark residents hold only 18 percent of all jobs in the city.

In 2016, the police department was put under federal consent decree after a Justice Department investigation found officers were making unlawful stops and arrests, using excessive force and retaliating against residents. Fifty years after Newark, similar recommendations are still being made as part of the federal consent decrees reached between cities and local police departments including Ferguson, Chicago, Cleveland and New Orleans found to have discriminatory practices against minority residents. (AP)

We are a long way from 1967, but we are even further away from where we need to be to prevent 1967 from happening again, said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, whose father, poet and activist Amiri Baraka, was badly beaten during the riots. There were a myriad of things that were suggested, and frankly they were ignored. People need to feel like the government and the police are there to protect them and not to prey on them. (AP)

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Newark riots recall an era echoed by Black Lives Matter – The Philadelphia Tribune

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Confederate Flag haircut at black barber shop stirs up controversy – WBTV

(CBS News) –

(KWTV) – A local barbershop is stirring up controversy after a black man agreed to cut a Confederate flag design in a white man’s hair over the weekend.

Many people still see the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism and hate, but the barbers at the Fade N Up shop on N May Avenue say they saw it as an opportunity to educate and get paid.

As customers lined up to represent the 4th of July stars and stripes on their head, one man was more interested in wearing the stars and bars.

“He called on the phone knowing that it was a diverse shop, but mostly black barbers here, “says Demontre Heard. “So I felt like he really didnt have a problem with coming here, even though he seemed kind of scared when he first came in.”

The customer, who remains unidentified, asked for a design inspired by his favorite rapper, Yelawolf. The logo for the Alabama artist’s record label, Slumerica, is a flag of stars and lightning bolts.

It was just going to be too much, so he asked if I could do the Confederate flag in his head, and in the back of my head,” Heard said. “Im like, ‘what kind of stuff are you on?'”

Heard put his own feelings aside, however, and got to work. Fade N Up owner Corey “Scissorhands” Sutter says it is one of the more interesting requests he has heard in his shop, despite employing barbers of all ethnicities.

“Ive actually done Black Power in they head and all this type of stuff,” Sutter said. “Its been some gang members that wanted their sets in they head, but I never thought that would happen.”

Sutter decided to take photos of the haircut to Facebook, pointing to his industrys role in history.

“The barber shop is the last place where you can come and talk about religion, politics, sports, girls, guys and all that type of stuff, and keep it in a fun, good manner,” says Sutter.

Some commenters expressed anger, while others, including customers at the shop, supported the business decision. Heard says the bottom line is that the man paid and left his chair a happy customer.

“You have the right to your opinion,” says Heard. “But at the end of the day, your opinion doesnt pay my bills, and I have kids to take care of.”

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This Year’s Afro-Latino Fest Will Highlight Black Spirituality as … – Remezcla (blog)

Black resistance in Latin America and the Caribbean has been historically tied to spiritual practices. The preservation of Afro-diasporic traditions like santera, vodou, and candombl is already an act of defiance against the legacy of slavery, prohibition, and brutal oppression. Theres power in these practices, and a panel at this years Afro-Latino Festival in New York seeks to make a precise connection between spirituality, resistance, and #BlackLivesMatter.

We had organized two talks and co-edited a collection of essays that dealt with issues of transnationalism, conceptualizations of blackness, and cross-cultural solidarity, with regard to contemporary black social movements in both the U.S. and in Latin America, says co-curator Larnies Bowen, an NYU Latin American and Caribbean Studies MA candidate. Yet we realized that we had not yet seriously engaged spirituality in any form in relation to these issues.

The panel, titled #BlackLivesMatter in Latin America, Part 3: Diaspora, Spirituality & Resistance, is part of an ongoing #BlackLivesMatter series co-curated by Duke University Ph.D. student Ayanna Legros, which included several other panels, as well as an essay applying a transnational approach to the movement advocating for black lives.

Afro-Latino Fest 2016. Courtesy of Afro-Latino Festival

The organizers believe it is crucial to underscore the centrality of religion in the social and political struggles of afrodescendientes, as there is a longstanding commitment to spirituality in the communitys resistance efforts. Take the Haitian Revolution, which started with a vodou ceremony at Bois Caman. Or Brazils largest slave rebellion, the Mal revolt in Bahia, which began during Ramadan. Other examples include the Nat Turner Rebellion, the role of the Black church during the civil rights era, and African Americans and Puerto Ricans embrace of Islam during the Black Power movement.

As a student of the African diaspora, you learn about all of these major acts of black resistance that were inspired by or led by leaders of various spiritual traditions and/or religions. These are only a few examples, Bowen added.

Today, in the face of erasure, many communities have turned to ancestral Afro-diasporic spiritual practices, like the Afro-Mexican womens dance group Obatal, who use dance as a medium reconnect with their roots.

Now more than ever, I believe many of us are feeling a sense of urgency to co-create more spaces where we can access our ancestral medicines, preventative care strategies taught to us by our grandmothers and to reclaim practices that support our physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being and agency, says Beatrice Anderson, an artist, healer, If practitioner and one of the invited panelists. Our ancestors spiritual technology made it possible to withstand the most traitorous and violent times.

Afro-Latino Fest 2016. Courtesy of Afro-Latino Festival

Recently, music and TV have become powerful vehicles for making the transnational and individual healing power of Afro-diasporic beliefs visible, particularly for black women. Thanks to the Oshn imagery in Beyoncs massively popularLemonade, and artists like French-Cuban duo Ibeyi, Daym Arocena, NY-based Oshn, and the Puerto Rican group F, African-derived spirituality is enjoying plenty of visibility in pop culture. The challenge is translating individual empowerment into a collective effort.

With this moment of heightened black activism, from Black Lives Matter to Buenaventura, were seeing greater visibility of African-derived spiritual traditions here in the U.S., like the prevalence of Orisha imagery in Lemonade, online conversations around bruja feminism and its hashtags, and Princess Nokias song Brujas, says Bowen. As she notes, this past month, Colombians in the regions of Buenaventura and Choc went on strike to battle the economic injustices they have faced in predominantly black areas of the country. While these strikes have an obvious connection to the struggles of black diasporic people living in the United States, much of these and other movements for black justice in Latin America arent explored up north, despite the ostensible rise in conversations on Afro-Latino representation.

The issues [in Latin America] involve police and state-sanctioned violence in many cases complete abandonment of whole regions where black folk live, says Amilcar Priestley, one of the main organizers of Afro-Latino Festival. In many communities, issues of violent displacement due to narcotrafficking, civil war, mining, hydroelectric projects or tourism/hotel development abound. Prison conditions, lack of jobs, daily racial profiling, being able to wear natural hair or braids as a professional or someone who is employedSound familiar?

Featured panelist Beatrice Anderson shared how African-derived spirituality is tied to healing work, and given President Donald Trumps push to gut the Affordable Care Act, she says it is crucial we act now, given the effect it will have on women, girls, and trans folks. Systemically and historically, white supremacy and oppression have had very specific and long-term effects on the mental, emotional, and physical state of black, indigenous, and people of color, she concludes.

Afro-Latino Fests symposium will also include conversations touching on activism, environmental rights, culture, and, in line with this years theme A Tribute to Women of the Diaspora womens issues.

Afro-Latino Festivals AfroLatinTalks symposium will take place at Harlems Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, July 7. Visit the Afro-Latino Festival website for more information.

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This Year’s Afro-Latino Fest Will Highlight Black Spirituality as … – Remezcla (blog)

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Liberating Theology From Its Ivory Tower – Sojourners

In my young career as a black minister and aspiring theologian, I have struggled with one question: Is contemporary theology only for the intellectual one-percenters?

Much of the theology studied and produced today is inaccessible, not only to collective members of the church, but to less-educated unchurched people. Can I hand a copy of James Cones Black Theology and Black Power to a homeless black man marginalized by an oppressive society on the street and expect him to comprehend Cones vigorous academic writing? Can I invite a high school dropout to a lecture by the incomparable Dr. Willie James Jennings and expect them to participate in a vigorous discussion afterward?

The answer to both questions, sadly, is no.

The reality is, much of theology is trapped within an archaic, elitist structure. Most written work is imprisoned within the confines of proper academic writing, which holds scholarly work to a lofty standard for it to be deemed as worthy of reaching the masses. But who are the masses? Who is this scholarship intended to reach? Littered with intellectual jargon, potentially life-giving theological reflection is reduced to being impactful only to those who can comprehend and internalize its true meaning. The reality is, many people within the United States and beyond are not familiar or comfortable with the rigidity of the academic writing style. What of that high-school dropout who missed out on their SAT vocabulary coursework? Or what of the naturalized American citizen whose grasp of the English language is still in its infancy?

So how can people who do not reside within academia gain access to the treasure trove of knowledge that is Christian theology?

Capitulating to oppressive standards of academic excellence does more harm than good. Even those who have infiltrated the academy in hopes to transform it can find themselves burdened under the weight of conforming to the standard. And our collective allegiance to a system that has marginalized most of its participants at one time or another makes us complicit.

For the brilliant theologians who teach and research at seminaries or divinity schools, part of their work is training the next generation of future pastors for church leadership. Catholic and many Protestant church leaders have received a thorough theological education (though not all). They possess master’s and doctoral degrees that solidify their ability to grasp the tenets of theology. But for those theologians interested in changing the world for the better, they must offer work that is easily understood by the masses, especially the marginalized population they are seeking to assist.

For this reason, according to John Koessler, chair of Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute, many pastors are moving away from theological content, instead focusing mainly on practical application. All-inclusive theology would be able to have a direct impact on all people, not only those with the intellectual precision to mentally joust with complicated texts. I dream that the young gang leader on the South Side of Chicago can pick up a transformative piece by one of our great scholars and be transformed with the same conviction as the lecture audience. Or that the residents of Flint, Mich., crippled by environmental injustice can understand and execute the suggestions of a top environmental theologian. I dream that those suffering under the burden of nihilism can find hope in some of the brilliant words of a caring scholar without giving up simply because they dont have a thesaurus next to them to help with the big words.

The pivotal discussions on race, gender equality, environmental justice, and ethics occurring within theological spaces are conversations that all should have the ability to partake. If those within the academy allow some of their work to resist the oppressive parameters of academic writing, people can be more educated than previously believed.

Imagine that kind of impact.

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Liberating Theology From Its Ivory Tower – Sojourners

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False Black Power? – FrontPage Magazine


FrontPage Magazine
False Black Power?
FrontPage Magazine
Barack Obama's ascension to the White House was the culmination of the black struggle to attain the pinnacle of political power. But decades of that obsessive focus on black political advancement has not yielded the results that civil rights leaders

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False Black Power? – FrontPage Magazine

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‘Machine’ Maro Itoje can match All Black power – Irish Examiner

For years the All Blacks have reigned supreme thanks to their never say die mental strength and the supreme stamina to back it past the 80th minute. Yet the man who keeps the Lions in the peak of physical fitness believes the tourists can match those attributes as their series goes down to the wire at Eden Park on Saturday.

The Lions head of strength and conditioning Paul Stridgeon is confident Warren Gatlands players can time their run to the final game of an extremely long campaign to perfection with a bench every bit as strong as New Zealand can regularly deploy and which is usually enough to overpower national Test sides.

While blending players from four nations at short notice and asking them to compete with the fluency of a side that has trained and played together for many years has its pitfalls in terms of fluency and gameplan, from a physical performance point of view the combined strength of the Lions gives Stridgeon an embarrassment of riches, not least the chance to work with a forward whose athleticism marks him out as a machine.

Second row Maro Itoje has been hailed from all quarters as a player with the brightest of futures, let alone the impact he could have on this Saturdays third and final Test in Auckland. Supporters in Wellington during the Lions second Test victory gave the 22-year-old Saracens and England stars name the White Stripes Seven Nation Army treatment, coaches are marvelling at his potential and team-mates praise his effectiveness around the park.

As for Stridgeon, the Englishman said of Itoje yesterday: Hes a machine for us, hes been brilliant. Works hard, big, physical, very diligent, put a lot of extra work in there.

We felt he could have played another 10 to 15 minutes. Hes a very powerful, explosive natural athlete. here are clearly areas of his game for Itoje to improve, not least his tendency to concede penalties. Not that supporters will care but some of Itojes media interactions on this tour have been on the snippy side but for those who work alongside him, the Londoner has everything it takes to be a success on the field.

His biggest quality is humility and how humble he is and how he is continually striving to get better, scrum coach Graham Rowntree. He was calling the lineout (in the second Test).

He is still a young man. The deciding Test and he is in there calling the lineout on top of everything else he is doing in the game. You cant deny his game impact, his physicality. I thought he brought all that (in Wellington). I like his composure. And he is continually striving to get better, asking everyone, How can I get better? He will go a long way. Hooker Jamie George, like his Saracens and England pack-mate a Lions Test debutant on this New Zealand tour gave Itoje a high grade when asked to award a mark out of 10 for his impact as a starter at Westpac Stadium last Saturday.

Nine or 10, George said. He was exceptional. He took himself to a place Ive never seen before. Right on the edge. He is always very physical.

The way he ran the lineout it was the toughest conditions Ive ever thrown into, in terms of the wind and the rain it was very difficult and we lost a couple early. But he showed real maturity and led that pack around. It was brilliant to witness and be a part of. For those wondering if Itoje and the Lions have enough left in the tank to go toe to toe one last time with an All Blacks side just hitting its stride at the start of their season, Stridgeon is no doubt the players in his charge are capable of matching their foes in Auckland this weekend and will be all the better for stepping off the treadmill over the last two days with some downtime away from it all in the ski and adventure resort of Queenstown.

Because they play tough Test matches all the time youre going to get better at decision-making at the end of games, playing under fatigue, getting back into games, and also when they play other countries, because of their strength in depth, when they unload their bench on 50 or 60 minutes their bench is generally stronger than another team.

I think thats where we can possibly match them because well have a strong bench as well and that with this team and group of players I would say we can match them over that last 20.

We know that theyve been on this season 11 months, some of the players. So we always had this week planned. We think we can negate the effects of all the travel and the intensity of the games and the hard season theyve had back home by having this week (in Queenstown Sunday to Wednesday) as weve had it.

Weve planned it this way all along and weve no concerns individually.

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The Black Power Politics of Malcolm X – Patheos (blog)

Throughout his life, Malcolm Xs political and theological views constantly evolved. However, several core elements never changed. One was his recognition of white supremacy as a global political system that had to be vehemently opposed. Malcolm explained, The economy, the politics, the civil life of America is controlled by the white man. Political scientist Charles Millsadvances this analysis; the United States is often falsely conceived of as a raceless liberal democracy instead of what it actually is: a white supremacist state.

Malcolm X, in his autobiography,explains that this political arrangement had Blackpeople confined to ghettos, living for mere survival, and unable to aspire to higher ambitions in life. Within these ghettos, Blacks were subjected to unbearable living conditions. He lamented that many of his childhood friends had the potential to be great mathematicians or scientists but were instead victims of the white mans world because they were born Black.

Malcolm X recognized how whites dominated People of Color politically, socially, economically, militarily and judicially. Consequently, there was no American dream, only an American nightmare. A nightmare that resulted in Black people trapped in a never-ending sequence of poverty, inferior education and living conditions, leading to an early death or prison.

The Power of Islamic Theology in Americas Ghettos: Resisting White Supremacy

Malcolm X characterized Black people as politically dead footballs thrown in a game played between conservatives and liberals. White liberals mastered the science of being an ally; i.e., posing as the friend of Black people and promising token gestures to win their allegiance whereas White conservatives were overt in their disdain of Black people.

In the tradition of Black liberation theology, Malcolm X interpreted scripture and utilizedthe eschatological elements of theology, those dealing with divine judgment, to combat white supremacy. Malcolm X taught that,It is only a matter of time before White America too will be utterly destroyed by her own sins, and all traces of her former glory will be removed from this planet forever. In fact, his emphasis on piety among Black people was profoundly political: by ceasing immoral activities such asdrug usagethat were introduced during slavery and systematically inculcated by white slave masters, Blacks would come closer to God, and God would aid Black people in their struggle against white supremacy.

For Malcolm X, the struggle for Black liberation depended on God and not on white liberal do-gooders. Specifically, he believed that Islam would enable Black people who had been robbed of a knowledge of self to avoid the destructive lifestyles that white supremacy normalized in Black communities to keep Blacks in the prison or early death cycle, drug usage, fornication, adultery, profanity usage, drunkenness, stealing, cheating, and gambling.

Islams ability to raise Blacks from the mud to avoid the prison or death trap of an anti-Black society was disdained by the white dominant class. In his speech,Gods Judgment of White America, Malcolm X noted:

Why is the American white man so set against the twenty-two million Negroes learning about the religion of Islam? Islam is the religion that elevates the morals of the people who want to do right.

Malcolm X recognized that anti-Islamic sentiments were a manifestation of white supremacy. Even when he parted ways from the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X maintained an Islamic commitment to empowering the Black community. He established the Muslim Mosque Incorporated, which was dedicated to promoting Islam as the cure to social problems in the Black community.

Malcolm X: The Negro Preacher to the Negro Imam

Malcolm X developed a very sophisticated critique ofThe Negro Preacher who worked to pacify Black people against the struggle to end white supremacy. Such a preacher treated the Bible as a dead letter scripture which occurs when the rich stories and prophecies found within holy books are treated only as history and the power oftheology is not being actualized upon to initiate a contemporary critique of anti-Blackness. In protest to dead letter scripture, Malcolm X criticized how Christian pastors would teach about Pharaoh in Egypt, but would not teach about modern-day Pharaohs and what civilization represented modern-day Egypt. The Negro Preachers, aligned with liberal democratic institutions, would never be sufficient to solve the race problem. According to Malcolm, since these Negro Preachers were educated in seminary schools operated by white slave masters or his descendants, they could only teach a doctrine of white supremacy. In contemporary times, Malcolm Xs analysis of the Negro preacher can be applied to the Negro Imam.

Unlike Malcolm X, the Negro Imam is silent on white supremacy as a global political system. Instead of being in urban centers answering theological questions of Black folks, the Negro Imam works in Muslim communities where he is subjected to continued racism. The Negro Imam soon understands that no matter how much Quran, Hadith, Sirah or Fiqh he knows, Muslim immigrants will still see him as a nigg. Nonetheless, the Negro Imam is content with merely working within Muslim immigrant-built institutions instead of actively working to create independent Black Muslim institutions for Black power politics.

If the Negro Imam does in fact work in a masjid in the Black community, the masjid mainly consists of only prayer rug activity with minimal commitment to uplifting the Black community. In fact, the Quranic Studies program of the Negro Imams masjid merely seeks to examine the roots of various Arabic words yet has no Quranic based agenda being actively developed and carried out to transform the Black community in the image of the Quran.

The Negro Imam is proud of his Islamic education that is a product of either Muslim immigrant-built seminary schools or overseas Islamic institutions. He can wax poetically about Al Ghazalis cosmological argument, Ibn Tammiyas argument against the Greek logicians, and other complex aspects of theology. But he fails to take the classical scholarship of Islam and make it relevant to the Black struggle today. He also fails to produce Islamic content for oppressed Black communitieswhich is the unfinished theological project of Malcolm X. Instead, the Negro Imam gives dead sermons that are irrelevant to the struggle of Black people.

The Negro Imam is not in the hood promoting the Sunnah and Islamic doctrines as thecure to social ills in the Black community in the tradition of Malcolm. In fact, the apathy of the Negro Imam to evoke theology that counters anti-Blackness and establish Black Muslim institutions that empower marginalized Black communities in America is the reason Islam is no longer at the center of the Black struggle in America as it once was during the days of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X.

In a discussion withImam Amin Nathari, he told me, the Negro Imam is, a mindset even more so than it is any one individual. But of course there are some who embody this mindset and display these traits more than others!

Black Muslims for Black Power Politics!

Today,what the media considers to be the mainstream Muslim community in America is primarily South Asian- and Arab-controlled Muslim institutions. These organizations, who set the narrative for whatis portrayedas Islam in America, often align themselves with liberal Democrats in contradiction to the Black power politics of Malcolm X and continuously marginalize strong Black Muslim voices.

These institutions oppose Islamophobia by focusing on how patriotic American Muslims are when Malcolm X in his famous Bullet or the Ballot speech stated, No, Im not an American. Im one of the 22 million Black people who are the victims of Americanism. Theseinstitutions oppose the travel ban by reverting to the narrative that Muslim Immigrants deserve the American dream;an American dream that was sustained by Black suffering.They see no contradiction between honoring Muhammad Ali and Muslim Americans who fought in imperial wars and subsequently became co-opted by the Democratic Party.

These Immigrant Muslim organizations have public relation efforts largely designed to assuage white American fears about Islam. The Negro Imam affiliated with suchorganization will spend an entire career being a good moderate Muslim acquiescing to the white supremacist notion of collective guilt after the latest incident puts Muslims in a bad spotlight. This comes at the expense of having ministries actively addressing the spiritual needs of black folks in neighborhoods hardest hit by white supremacy and who throughinternal colonialismhave been ostracized from mainstream America. The strict separation of religion from the lived material realities of Black people is the trick of secularism. Both the Negro imam and Muslim immigrant institutions ultimately get subsumed by a theology that presents no credible threat to white supremacy.

As Black Muslims turn to Malcolm X for theological and political insights, not just as a social prop, they will seek to establish actual Black Muslim institutions firmly dedicated to ending global white supremacy. Black Muslims will look to the spiritual wisdom of our ancestors Uthman Dan Fodio, Nana Asmau, Askia Muhammad and others to organize for Black power to actually dictate what the narrative for Islam in America means: freedom, justice and equality for the Black man and woman. To do this, Black Muslims should use the legacy of Malcolm X to engage the world.

(Editorial Note:This article was originally posted on Sapelo Square)

Read more from the original source:

The Black Power Politics of Malcolm X – Patheos (blog)

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Oklahoma barbershop cuts Confederate flag in man’s hair – Fox News

A predominantly black barbershop in Oklahoma City fulfilled a customers request by cutting the Confederate flag in a white mans hair — sparking a heated debate on social media.

Demontre Heard, a barber at the Fade N Up shop, said at first he was confused by the request from the customer, who wishes to remain anonymous, KWTV reported.

He called on the phone knowing that it was a diverse shop, but mostly black barbers here, Heard told the news station. So I felt like he really didnt have a problem with coming here even though he seemed kind of scared when he first came in.

OKLAHOMA ARMY VETERAN LEAVES $2.25 MILLION ESTATE TO HABITAT FOR HUMANITY, 24 HOMES TO BE BUILT

The flag has come under increased scrutiny after the June 2015 massacre at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. The gunman, Dylann Roof, killed nine parishioners. After Roof was arrested, a website that was registered under his name showed him posing with the flag.

The customer explained that he wanted the flags design as a way to pay homage to Yelawolf, his favorite rapper. The logo for the artists record label, Slumerica, is a row of stars with four lightning bolts at the corners, but the customer explained to Heard that the Confederate Flag would be a fine substitute to the logos more elaborate design.

A man asked a barbershop in Oklahoma City, Okla. this weekend to cut a Confederate flag in his hair. (Reuters)

It was just going to be too much, so he asked if I could do the Confederate flag in his head, and in the back of my head Im like, what kind of stuff are you on?

Corey Scissorhands Sutter, the owner of the barbershop, said the cut was one of the most unusual requests the shop has received. Other customers have asked for Black Power, according to Sutter.

OKLAHOMA 18-YEAR-OLD ARRESTED, ACCUSED OF PROSTITUTING TWO JUVENILES

After the cut, he decided to take a picture of the hairdo and post it on his Facebook page. The hairstyle went viral and many social media users either condemned or supported the decision.

The thing that’s really bothering me is, no matter how it may look to someone and them getting upset about it, this is what we do for a living, Sutter told KFOR. We provide a service for this person, and that’s what we’re supposed to do. Yeah, we could have denied it. Yes, we could have acted a fool and talked bad to him, tried to fight him or anything like that. But, he came in, he came in respectful. He wanted it.

Heard said at the end of the day, the customer paid and was pleased with his haircut. You have the right to your opinion, Heard said. At the end of the day your opinion doesnt pay my bills, and I have kids to take care of.

Link:

Oklahoma barbershop cuts Confederate flag in man’s hair – Fox News

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What it’s like to drive the 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon anywhere but off-road – New York Daily News

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, July 10, 2017, 10:22 AM Running boards (n.): a footboard extending along the side of a vehicle for use as a step when entering or exiting the vehicle. When used in a sentence: Where are the damn running boards on this thing? Alternatively: You have to get a running start just to board this truck. FOLLOW DAILY NEWS AUTOS ON FACEBOOK. ‘LIKE’ US HERE. Believe it or not, running boards arent even an option on the 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon, and when your heavy-duty pickup boasts 14.3 inches of ground clearance and an additional foot or more just to reach the floor of the interior unless youve got the legs of a basketball player or runway model, youre going to want to have running boards. But why dont you want running boards on a serious off-road truck? Because theyd inevitably get damaged or ripped off completely by a rock, obviously. If youre wondering why I decided to begin a review with a definition and discussion of the merits (and demerits) of running boards, consider this: when you spend a week and almost 1,000 miles in a pickup truck for Americas birthday bash, you and your passengers start to get real tired of having to vault into the vehicle youre driving. Passengers will complain (or at least mention it every time), and youll make a fool of yourself trying to slide into or out of the massive truck that somebody in the spot next to you parked too close to while you were in the store. But you know what? Screw it. Who cares? Im glad I had to exert effort every time I entered or exited the Power Wagon, because it speaks to just how hardcore this truck treats everyday life. Now, before we get into the nitty gritty, I must make a disclaimer: I did not, in fact, get the chance to drive the Power Wagon off road. Before you cry blasphemy! and call the state of New York to formally request revoking my drivers license, I have a very good excuse for why this is the case: horny birds. Thats right, its Piping Plover mating season on the shores of Cape Cod, just about the only place near me on the holiday weekend that was offering short term over-sand vehicle passes. As it turns out, these little birdies are a protected species nesting on National Park Service land, so they had every right to shut down basically the whole beach to vehicles on the busiest weekend of the year just so the Plovers could get their groove on. But the funny thing about off-roading is that you usually have to drive on actual roads to get to the good rocks, mud, and sand, and I did plenty of that in the Power Wagon, so lets instead focus on what its like to live with a truck this hardcore (especially in the overcrowded Northeast) rather than how good we already know it is at climbing boulders. For those of you who arent familiar with it, the Power Wagon is Rams most extreme off-road offering straight out of the box. Where the Ford F-150 Raptor excels at dune-bashing and high-speed desert driving, the Power Wagon blows it away in rock climbing ability and go-anywhere readiness. The name Power Wagon (power it has, wagon it is not) dates back to just after World War II, when Dodge turned its half-ton military truck technology into the original Power Wagon, a four-wheel-drive, half-ton pickup truck that was the first iteration of the format so many Americans drive around in today. But while that truck set a benchmark, this truck says, screw this bench! and throws it through a window. Need proof? Lets look at the raw facts. Over fourteen inches of ground clearance. Approach, departure, and break-over angles of 34, 23.5 and 25.5 degrees, respectively. Thirty inches of water fording ability. A 12,000 pound winch with 90 feet of cable built into the front bumper. A mighty 6.4-liter Hemi V8 pushing out 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque, and a towing capacity of over 10,000 pounds. Lockable front and rear axles with disconnecting sway bars for maximum wheel articulation. If you cant clear an obstacle with all of these tools at your disposal, brother, you werent meant to clear it in the first place. Oh, and did I mention it looks badass? Because the 8-lug wheels, black Power Wagon vertical badging on the bed and hood, imposing new grille from the Rebel, and the worlds largest automaker badge on the tailgate really give this truck some serious presence. So much presence, in fact, that youll be genuinely surprised when a driver thats impeding your progress doesnt move out of the way. Despite its standard hardware and tough guy looks, though, the Ram 2500 Power Wagon is still a truck above all, and that means its got to do the everyday tasks its buyer will inevitably ask of it with ease. Thankfully, the Power Wagon delivers on these fronts as well. The 64 box easily handled an inflatable dinghy and a holiday weekends worth of firewood, and I was even able to fit the entire 6-person Daily News Autos team (including myself) into the cabin for a lunch excursion. The front seat has a foldable center console that becomes a sixth chair with a lap belt, but theres hardly any space to put your feet because multiple cupholders, cubbies, and the 2-speed 4X4 transfer case shifter lie right beneath. Plus, its got leather seats, automatic climate control with heated and ventilated front seats, USB ports, a 115-volt outlet up front, more cupholders than you could ever hope to use, an 8-inch UConnect touchscreen with navigation and 3G Wi-Fi available, and a full-color driver information display with access to pretty much everything you would want to know about how your truck is operating. Trailer brake controls are integrated into the console and the 6-speed automatic transmission has selectable gears with a small button on the column shifter. Long story short, its still a pickup, and performs daily tasks admirably like youd expect, but there are a few caveats you should consider if you intend to pick one up. For one, the ride is rougher than usual and road noise is immense from the standard Goodyear Wrangler 31-inch tires. Also, its got the aerodynamics of an apartment building, and I averaged less than 14 mpg over the course of the week despite spending an inordinate amount of time on the highway. Despite cheap gas, filling up the 30-plus-gallon tank becomes an expensive affair very quickly depending on where you live. One of Rams famous Cummins diesel engines would help quell some of this, but the weight and length of one of these thrifty six cylinder engines would keep Rams engineers from having enough space to incorporate the winch and keep weight down to a somewhat respectable level. Oh, and good luck piloting it through New York City. It took every ounce of skill and patience I had to keep from hitting anything and everything around me. If you buy trucks like people buy meat, though, then the Power Wagon is a half-off sale on Filet Mignon. This 7,000-plus-pound truck, with more off-road capability than you could ever hope to reach the limits of, rings in at $51,695 before destination charge or options, putting it just below the Raptors $52,250 base price for the SuperCrew cab. With a slew of options like the $4,995 Leather and Luxury group that adds pretty much all of the comfort and convenience features you could want including the upgraded UConnect touchscreen, an Alpine 9-speaker stereo system, and parking assist technologies, and the handy $1,295 RamBox storage lockers on the side of the bed, the total cost for my Power Wagon tester came in at $62,610. Thats a serious chunk of change for a pickup, but a straight-up bargain for one of the most off-road capable vehicles on the planet. Still, unless you have the opportunity to go rock climbing or mudding on a regular basis or really care about appearances, it may be in your best interest to consider a garden variety Ram 2500 for your daily needs. But be warned, youre going to want the Power Wagon anyways. I know I do. 11 photos view gallery Did you find this article helpful? If so, please share it using the “Join the Conversation” buttons below, and thank you for visiting Daily News Autos.

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Newark riots recall an era echoed by Black Lives Matter – The Philadelphia Tribune

NEWARK, N.J. The rumor spread quickly: A man had been beaten to death by police. For Blacks frustrated by high unemployment, inadequate schools, substandard housing yet another abuse by police was too much to bear, and they erupted. There were no shouts that Black lives mattered. This was Newark in 1967, long before deaths at the hands of police in cities like Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, gave birth to another movement in another era. For four days in July, Newark was the epicenter of Black rage. The rioting left 26 dead, more than 700 injured and nearly 1,500 arrested, mostly Black. In addition to the $10 million in property damage, the riots left economic and emotional scars on Brick City that, in many ways, have not yet healed. Newark was a deadly entry in the long list of major urban areas that exploded over a five-year period, among them Watts in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and New Yorks Harlem. Days after Newark burned, Detroit followed. The disorders exposed for the first time to much of white America racial and economic disparities that went far beyond the familiar scenes of segregation in the South. A riot is at the bottom of the language of the unheard, the Rev. Martin Luther King wrote in his last book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? in 1967. The amazing thing about the ghetto is that so few Negroes have rioted. The rioters spoke loudly, but were they heard? The echoes of 1967 in todays America would suggest they were not, and the lessons not learned linger for a new generation where racial tensions, indifference and inaction persist. People were thinking about who they were, and thinking that they deserved more as American citizens, said Komozi Woodard, who grew up in Newark and was 18 years old at the time of the riots. It went from a situation that was unbearable, to the community feeling it was unacceptable. As a 12-year-old Black boy, Woodard was beaten by a street gang in his neighborhood. His mother called the police for help, and when they arrived, the officers beat her son, too. It was 1961, and Woodard had learned his first lesson about the relationship between police and his community. I believed in the system, and the system came out and beat me up, said Woodard, now 68 and a history professor at Sarah Lawrence College. It was an everyday occurrence for police to just beat people up. There was no place you could go. By 1967, as whites fled for the suburbs and were replaced with a wave of Black and brown residents, Newark was New Jerseys largest city and the countrys first majority-Black city aside from Washington. Many Blacks were part of the Great Migration to escape the de jure Jim Crow of the Deep South, only to find de facto segregation in the North. Most of Newarks power structure remained white. Only 11 percent of its police force was Black; citizen complaints about treatment by police routinely went unanswered and the few Black officers on the force had little opportunity for advancement or leadership. By July 12, Newarks Black residents had had enough. John W. Smith, a Black man, was driving his cab when he was pulled over by two white Newark police officers. Smith and the officers version of events diverged there were no body cameras then to record the exchange but Smith was badly beaten during his arrest. Smith was taken to a police precinct directly across from Hayes Homes. Residents who saw him dragged inside assumed hed been killed by the officers, and word spread quickly through the crowded housing project. Though Smith was treated at a hospital and later released, a riot broke out that night, followed by looting. The unrest continued for three more nights. State police and National Guard troops were called in to quell the uprising. Fred Means, a teacher and activist with the Congress of Racial Equality in Newark at the time, recalled seeing police join in the looting along with some residents. That really symbolized the whole tenor and system of corruption that was going on, said Means, now 84 and living in Monroe, New Jersey. It was like a war scene. There was that fear, there was that possibility, that the police would shoot you and nothing would happen much the same as what happens today. Many of the scenes that unfolded in Newark have resembled the conflict of the last few years: Residents clashing with police wearing riot gear and driving armored vehicles down city streets, mass arrests, and government officials calling for curfews in an attempt to restore order and frustrated citizens burning neighborhood storefronts. Junius Williams was a law student at Yale University fighting gentrification in Newark when the riots broke out. He was driving back from a Black power conference in Philadelphia when news of the riots came across his car radio. This was the rebellion that people had predicted because it had been happening all over the country, and Newark was no different, said Williams, 73, now a professor at Rutgers University in Newark. There was no representation in government and people were taking advantage of Black folks and it was only so much people were going to take. It was on. As he was driving friends home on the second night of the riots, Williams faced down a police officer wielding a shotgun during a traffic stop. He was spared, he says, when a sergeant defused the situation by searching Williams car for guns. He found only law books. The 1967 riots prompted President Lyndon Johnson to launch an inquiry into the cause of the racial disorders. Among the findings of the Kerner Commission were that the country is moving toward two societies, one Black, one white separate and unequal. The report identified police practices as among the primary factors that led to the unrest in Black communities. The abrasive relationship between the police and the minority communities has been a major and explosive source of grievance, tension and disorder, the report read. The blame must be shared by the total society. The commission recommendations to improve police-community relations included a review of police operations to eliminate abrasive practices, more police protection to inner-city residents, more hiring and promotion of Black officers and a means for residents to file complaints against the police. Nationally, there are now greater systems of accountability for police officers, who are the best trained generation of law enforcement officers in the countrys history, said Phillip Atiba Goff, co-founder of the Center for Policing Equity. Still, a lack of national metrics to track police behavior shows an uneven progress. What it says is that we have not taken seriously the problem of race in America on a number of fronts, including policing, Goff said. As a result, were doomed to repeat the history from which we have not learned. The conclusions reached in the 2015 Justice Department report on Ferguson sounded similar to the Kerner Commissions findings. In 1970, Newark became the first Northeastern city to elect a Black mayor. Its police force became more diverse, and more officers lived in the city they were charged with serving. Today, 38 percent of the police department is Black and 40 percent is white. The citys overall population is much the same as in 1967: 52 percent Black and 26 percent white. In the immediate aftermath of the riots, more affordable housing was built and the city was forced to provide better health care in a deal to build a new medical center. We could not have done that without that invisible brother with the brick standing with us in the negotiating room, said Williams. The power structure was afraid. They thought it was going to happen again. In other ways, progress has been slow to arrive. In the wake of the riots, economic development was largely limited to the citys downtown, where whites worked. The poverty level for Black residents is 33 percent, and Newark residents hold only 18 percent of all jobs in the city. In 2016, the police department was put under federal consent decree after a Justice Department investigation found officers were making unlawful stops and arrests, using excessive force and retaliating against residents. Fifty years after Newark, similar recommendations are still being made as part of the federal consent decrees reached between cities and local police departments including Ferguson, Chicago, Cleveland and New Orleans found to have discriminatory practices against minority residents. (AP) We are a long way from 1967, but we are even further away from where we need to be to prevent 1967 from happening again, said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, whose father, poet and activist Amiri Baraka, was badly beaten during the riots. There were a myriad of things that were suggested, and frankly they were ignored. People need to feel like the government and the police are there to protect them and not to prey on them. (AP)

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Confederate Flag haircut at black barber shop stirs up controversy – WBTV

(CBS News) – (KWTV) – A local barbershop is stirring up controversy after a black man agreed to cut a Confederate flag design in a white man’s hair over the weekend. Many people still see the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism and hate, but the barbers at the Fade N Up shop on N May Avenue say they saw it as an opportunity to educate and get paid. As customers lined up to represent the 4th of July stars and stripes on their head, one man was more interested in wearing the stars and bars. “He called on the phone knowing that it was a diverse shop, but mostly black barbers here, “says Demontre Heard. “So I felt like he really didnt have a problem with coming here, even though he seemed kind of scared when he first came in.” The customer, who remains unidentified, asked for a design inspired by his favorite rapper, Yelawolf. The logo for the Alabama artist’s record label, Slumerica, is a flag of stars and lightning bolts. It was just going to be too much, so he asked if I could do the Confederate flag in his head, and in the back of my head,” Heard said. “Im like, ‘what kind of stuff are you on?'” Heard put his own feelings aside, however, and got to work. Fade N Up owner Corey “Scissorhands” Sutter says it is one of the more interesting requests he has heard in his shop, despite employing barbers of all ethnicities. “Ive actually done Black Power in they head and all this type of stuff,” Sutter said. “Its been some gang members that wanted their sets in they head, but I never thought that would happen.” Sutter decided to take photos of the haircut to Facebook, pointing to his industrys role in history. “The barber shop is the last place where you can come and talk about religion, politics, sports, girls, guys and all that type of stuff, and keep it in a fun, good manner,” says Sutter. Some commenters expressed anger, while others, including customers at the shop, supported the business decision. Heard says the bottom line is that the man paid and left his chair a happy customer. “You have the right to your opinion,” says Heard. “But at the end of the day, your opinion doesnt pay my bills, and I have kids to take care of.”

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This Year’s Afro-Latino Fest Will Highlight Black Spirituality as … – Remezcla (blog)

Black resistance in Latin America and the Caribbean has been historically tied to spiritual practices. The preservation of Afro-diasporic traditions like santera, vodou, and candombl is already an act of defiance against the legacy of slavery, prohibition, and brutal oppression. Theres power in these practices, and a panel at this years Afro-Latino Festival in New York seeks to make a precise connection between spirituality, resistance, and #BlackLivesMatter. We had organized two talks and co-edited a collection of essays that dealt with issues of transnationalism, conceptualizations of blackness, and cross-cultural solidarity, with regard to contemporary black social movements in both the U.S. and in Latin America, says co-curator Larnies Bowen, an NYU Latin American and Caribbean Studies MA candidate. Yet we realized that we had not yet seriously engaged spirituality in any form in relation to these issues. The panel, titled #BlackLivesMatter in Latin America, Part 3: Diaspora, Spirituality & Resistance, is part of an ongoing #BlackLivesMatter series co-curated by Duke University Ph.D. student Ayanna Legros, which included several other panels, as well as an essay applying a transnational approach to the movement advocating for black lives. Afro-Latino Fest 2016. Courtesy of Afro-Latino Festival The organizers believe it is crucial to underscore the centrality of religion in the social and political struggles of afrodescendientes, as there is a longstanding commitment to spirituality in the communitys resistance efforts. Take the Haitian Revolution, which started with a vodou ceremony at Bois Caman. Or Brazils largest slave rebellion, the Mal revolt in Bahia, which began during Ramadan. Other examples include the Nat Turner Rebellion, the role of the Black church during the civil rights era, and African Americans and Puerto Ricans embrace of Islam during the Black Power movement. As a student of the African diaspora, you learn about all of these major acts of black resistance that were inspired by or led by leaders of various spiritual traditions and/or religions. These are only a few examples, Bowen added. Today, in the face of erasure, many communities have turned to ancestral Afro-diasporic spiritual practices, like the Afro-Mexican womens dance group Obatal, who use dance as a medium reconnect with their roots. Now more than ever, I believe many of us are feeling a sense of urgency to co-create more spaces where we can access our ancestral medicines, preventative care strategies taught to us by our grandmothers and to reclaim practices that support our physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being and agency, says Beatrice Anderson, an artist, healer, If practitioner and one of the invited panelists. Our ancestors spiritual technology made it possible to withstand the most traitorous and violent times. Afro-Latino Fest 2016. Courtesy of Afro-Latino Festival Recently, music and TV have become powerful vehicles for making the transnational and individual healing power of Afro-diasporic beliefs visible, particularly for black women. Thanks to the Oshn imagery in Beyoncs massively popularLemonade, and artists like French-Cuban duo Ibeyi, Daym Arocena, NY-based Oshn, and the Puerto Rican group F, African-derived spirituality is enjoying plenty of visibility in pop culture. The challenge is translating individual empowerment into a collective effort. With this moment of heightened black activism, from Black Lives Matter to Buenaventura, were seeing greater visibility of African-derived spiritual traditions here in the U.S., like the prevalence of Orisha imagery in Lemonade, online conversations around bruja feminism and its hashtags, and Princess Nokias song Brujas, says Bowen. As she notes, this past month, Colombians in the regions of Buenaventura and Choc went on strike to battle the economic injustices they have faced in predominantly black areas of the country. While these strikes have an obvious connection to the struggles of black diasporic people living in the United States, much of these and other movements for black justice in Latin America arent explored up north, despite the ostensible rise in conversations on Afro-Latino representation. The issues [in Latin America] involve police and state-sanctioned violence in many cases complete abandonment of whole regions where black folk live, says Amilcar Priestley, one of the main organizers of Afro-Latino Festival. In many communities, issues of violent displacement due to narcotrafficking, civil war, mining, hydroelectric projects or tourism/hotel development abound. Prison conditions, lack of jobs, daily racial profiling, being able to wear natural hair or braids as a professional or someone who is employedSound familiar? Featured panelist Beatrice Anderson shared how African-derived spirituality is tied to healing work, and given President Donald Trumps push to gut the Affordable Care Act, she says it is crucial we act now, given the effect it will have on women, girls, and trans folks. Systemically and historically, white supremacy and oppression have had very specific and long-term effects on the mental, emotional, and physical state of black, indigenous, and people of color, she concludes. Afro-Latino Fests symposium will also include conversations touching on activism, environmental rights, culture, and, in line with this years theme A Tribute to Women of the Diaspora womens issues. Afro-Latino Festivals AfroLatinTalks symposium will take place at Harlems Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, July 7. Visit the Afro-Latino Festival website for more information. .

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Liberating Theology From Its Ivory Tower – Sojourners

In my young career as a black minister and aspiring theologian, I have struggled with one question: Is contemporary theology only for the intellectual one-percenters? Much of the theology studied and produced today is inaccessible, not only to collective members of the church, but to less-educated unchurched people. Can I hand a copy of James Cones Black Theology and Black Power to a homeless black man marginalized by an oppressive society on the street and expect him to comprehend Cones vigorous academic writing? Can I invite a high school dropout to a lecture by the incomparable Dr. Willie James Jennings and expect them to participate in a vigorous discussion afterward? The answer to both questions, sadly, is no. The reality is, much of theology is trapped within an archaic, elitist structure. Most written work is imprisoned within the confines of proper academic writing, which holds scholarly work to a lofty standard for it to be deemed as worthy of reaching the masses. But who are the masses? Who is this scholarship intended to reach? Littered with intellectual jargon, potentially life-giving theological reflection is reduced to being impactful only to those who can comprehend and internalize its true meaning. The reality is, many people within the United States and beyond are not familiar or comfortable with the rigidity of the academic writing style. What of that high-school dropout who missed out on their SAT vocabulary coursework? Or what of the naturalized American citizen whose grasp of the English language is still in its infancy? So how can people who do not reside within academia gain access to the treasure trove of knowledge that is Christian theology? Capitulating to oppressive standards of academic excellence does more harm than good. Even those who have infiltrated the academy in hopes to transform it can find themselves burdened under the weight of conforming to the standard. And our collective allegiance to a system that has marginalized most of its participants at one time or another makes us complicit. For the brilliant theologians who teach and research at seminaries or divinity schools, part of their work is training the next generation of future pastors for church leadership. Catholic and many Protestant church leaders have received a thorough theological education (though not all). They possess master’s and doctoral degrees that solidify their ability to grasp the tenets of theology. But for those theologians interested in changing the world for the better, they must offer work that is easily understood by the masses, especially the marginalized population they are seeking to assist. For this reason, according to John Koessler, chair of Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute, many pastors are moving away from theological content, instead focusing mainly on practical application. All-inclusive theology would be able to have a direct impact on all people, not only those with the intellectual precision to mentally joust with complicated texts. I dream that the young gang leader on the South Side of Chicago can pick up a transformative piece by one of our great scholars and be transformed with the same conviction as the lecture audience. Or that the residents of Flint, Mich., crippled by environmental injustice can understand and execute the suggestions of a top environmental theologian. I dream that those suffering under the burden of nihilism can find hope in some of the brilliant words of a caring scholar without giving up simply because they dont have a thesaurus next to them to help with the big words. The pivotal discussions on race, gender equality, environmental justice, and ethics occurring within theological spaces are conversations that all should have the ability to partake. If those within the academy allow some of their work to resist the oppressive parameters of academic writing, people can be more educated than previously believed. Imagine that kind of impact.

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False Black Power? – FrontPage Magazine

FrontPage Magazine False Black Power ? FrontPage Magazine Barack Obama's ascension to the White House was the culmination of the black struggle to attain the pinnacle of political power . But decades of that obsessive focus on black political advancement has not yielded the results that civil rights leaders …

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‘Machine’ Maro Itoje can match All Black power – Irish Examiner

For years the All Blacks have reigned supreme thanks to their never say die mental strength and the supreme stamina to back it past the 80th minute. Yet the man who keeps the Lions in the peak of physical fitness believes the tourists can match those attributes as their series goes down to the wire at Eden Park on Saturday. The Lions head of strength and conditioning Paul Stridgeon is confident Warren Gatlands players can time their run to the final game of an extremely long campaign to perfection with a bench every bit as strong as New Zealand can regularly deploy and which is usually enough to overpower national Test sides. While blending players from four nations at short notice and asking them to compete with the fluency of a side that has trained and played together for many years has its pitfalls in terms of fluency and gameplan, from a physical performance point of view the combined strength of the Lions gives Stridgeon an embarrassment of riches, not least the chance to work with a forward whose athleticism marks him out as a machine. Second row Maro Itoje has been hailed from all quarters as a player with the brightest of futures, let alone the impact he could have on this Saturdays third and final Test in Auckland. Supporters in Wellington during the Lions second Test victory gave the 22-year-old Saracens and England stars name the White Stripes Seven Nation Army treatment, coaches are marvelling at his potential and team-mates praise his effectiveness around the park. As for Stridgeon, the Englishman said of Itoje yesterday: Hes a machine for us, hes been brilliant. Works hard, big, physical, very diligent, put a lot of extra work in there. We felt he could have played another 10 to 15 minutes. Hes a very powerful, explosive natural athlete. here are clearly areas of his game for Itoje to improve, not least his tendency to concede penalties. Not that supporters will care but some of Itojes media interactions on this tour have been on the snippy side but for those who work alongside him, the Londoner has everything it takes to be a success on the field. His biggest quality is humility and how humble he is and how he is continually striving to get better, scrum coach Graham Rowntree. He was calling the lineout (in the second Test). He is still a young man. The deciding Test and he is in there calling the lineout on top of everything else he is doing in the game. You cant deny his game impact, his physicality. I thought he brought all that (in Wellington). I like his composure. And he is continually striving to get better, asking everyone, How can I get better? He will go a long way. Hooker Jamie George, like his Saracens and England pack-mate a Lions Test debutant on this New Zealand tour gave Itoje a high grade when asked to award a mark out of 10 for his impact as a starter at Westpac Stadium last Saturday. Nine or 10, George said. He was exceptional. He took himself to a place Ive never seen before. Right on the edge. He is always very physical. The way he ran the lineout it was the toughest conditions Ive ever thrown into, in terms of the wind and the rain it was very difficult and we lost a couple early. But he showed real maturity and led that pack around. It was brilliant to witness and be a part of. For those wondering if Itoje and the Lions have enough left in the tank to go toe to toe one last time with an All Blacks side just hitting its stride at the start of their season, Stridgeon is no doubt the players in his charge are capable of matching their foes in Auckland this weekend and will be all the better for stepping off the treadmill over the last two days with some downtime away from it all in the ski and adventure resort of Queenstown. Because they play tough Test matches all the time youre going to get better at decision-making at the end of games, playing under fatigue, getting back into games, and also when they play other countries, because of their strength in depth, when they unload their bench on 50 or 60 minutes their bench is generally stronger than another team. I think thats where we can possibly match them because well have a strong bench as well and that with this team and group of players I would say we can match them over that last 20. We know that theyve been on this season 11 months, some of the players. So we always had this week planned. We think we can negate the effects of all the travel and the intensity of the games and the hard season theyve had back home by having this week (in Queenstown Sunday to Wednesday) as weve had it. Weve planned it this way all along and weve no concerns individually. Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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The Black Power Politics of Malcolm X – Patheos (blog)

Throughout his life, Malcolm Xs political and theological views constantly evolved. However, several core elements never changed. One was his recognition of white supremacy as a global political system that had to be vehemently opposed. Malcolm explained, The economy, the politics, the civil life of America is controlled by the white man. Political scientist Charles Millsadvances this analysis; the United States is often falsely conceived of as a raceless liberal democracy instead of what it actually is: a white supremacist state. Malcolm X, in his autobiography,explains that this political arrangement had Blackpeople confined to ghettos, living for mere survival, and unable to aspire to higher ambitions in life. Within these ghettos, Blacks were subjected to unbearable living conditions. He lamented that many of his childhood friends had the potential to be great mathematicians or scientists but were instead victims of the white mans world because they were born Black. Malcolm X recognized how whites dominated People of Color politically, socially, economically, militarily and judicially. Consequently, there was no American dream, only an American nightmare. A nightmare that resulted in Black people trapped in a never-ending sequence of poverty, inferior education and living conditions, leading to an early death or prison. The Power of Islamic Theology in Americas Ghettos: Resisting White Supremacy Malcolm X characterized Black people as politically dead footballs thrown in a game played between conservatives and liberals. White liberals mastered the science of being an ally; i.e., posing as the friend of Black people and promising token gestures to win their allegiance whereas White conservatives were overt in their disdain of Black people. In the tradition of Black liberation theology, Malcolm X interpreted scripture and utilizedthe eschatological elements of theology, those dealing with divine judgment, to combat white supremacy. Malcolm X taught that,It is only a matter of time before White America too will be utterly destroyed by her own sins, and all traces of her former glory will be removed from this planet forever. In fact, his emphasis on piety among Black people was profoundly political: by ceasing immoral activities such asdrug usagethat were introduced during slavery and systematically inculcated by white slave masters, Blacks would come closer to God, and God would aid Black people in their struggle against white supremacy. For Malcolm X, the struggle for Black liberation depended on God and not on white liberal do-gooders. Specifically, he believed that Islam would enable Black people who had been robbed of a knowledge of self to avoid the destructive lifestyles that white supremacy normalized in Black communities to keep Blacks in the prison or early death cycle, drug usage, fornication, adultery, profanity usage, drunkenness, stealing, cheating, and gambling. Islams ability to raise Blacks from the mud to avoid the prison or death trap of an anti-Black society was disdained by the white dominant class. In his speech,Gods Judgment of White America, Malcolm X noted: Why is the American white man so set against the twenty-two million Negroes learning about the religion of Islam? Islam is the religion that elevates the morals of the people who want to do right. Malcolm X recognized that anti-Islamic sentiments were a manifestation of white supremacy. Even when he parted ways from the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X maintained an Islamic commitment to empowering the Black community. He established the Muslim Mosque Incorporated, which was dedicated to promoting Islam as the cure to social problems in the Black community. Malcolm X: The Negro Preacher to the Negro Imam Malcolm X developed a very sophisticated critique ofThe Negro Preacher who worked to pacify Black people against the struggle to end white supremacy. Such a preacher treated the Bible as a dead letter scripture which occurs when the rich stories and prophecies found within holy books are treated only as history and the power oftheology is not being actualized upon to initiate a contemporary critique of anti-Blackness. In protest to dead letter scripture, Malcolm X criticized how Christian pastors would teach about Pharaoh in Egypt, but would not teach about modern-day Pharaohs and what civilization represented modern-day Egypt. The Negro Preachers, aligned with liberal democratic institutions, would never be sufficient to solve the race problem. According to Malcolm, since these Negro Preachers were educated in seminary schools operated by white slave masters or his descendants, they could only teach a doctrine of white supremacy. In contemporary times, Malcolm Xs analysis of the Negro preacher can be applied to the Negro Imam. Unlike Malcolm X, the Negro Imam is silent on white supremacy as a global political system. Instead of being in urban centers answering theological questions of Black folks, the Negro Imam works in Muslim communities where he is subjected to continued racism. The Negro Imam soon understands that no matter how much Quran, Hadith, Sirah or Fiqh he knows, Muslim immigrants will still see him as a nigg. Nonetheless, the Negro Imam is content with merely working within Muslim immigrant-built institutions instead of actively working to create independent Black Muslim institutions for Black power politics. If the Negro Imam does in fact work in a masjid in the Black community, the masjid mainly consists of only prayer rug activity with minimal commitment to uplifting the Black community. In fact, the Quranic Studies program of the Negro Imams masjid merely seeks to examine the roots of various Arabic words yet has no Quranic based agenda being actively developed and carried out to transform the Black community in the image of the Quran. The Negro Imam is proud of his Islamic education that is a product of either Muslim immigrant-built seminary schools or overseas Islamic institutions. He can wax poetically about Al Ghazalis cosmological argument, Ibn Tammiyas argument against the Greek logicians, and other complex aspects of theology. But he fails to take the classical scholarship of Islam and make it relevant to the Black struggle today. He also fails to produce Islamic content for oppressed Black communitieswhich is the unfinished theological project of Malcolm X. Instead, the Negro Imam gives dead sermons that are irrelevant to the struggle of Black people. The Negro Imam is not in the hood promoting the Sunnah and Islamic doctrines as thecure to social ills in the Black community in the tradition of Malcolm. In fact, the apathy of the Negro Imam to evoke theology that counters anti-Blackness and establish Black Muslim institutions that empower marginalized Black communities in America is the reason Islam is no longer at the center of the Black struggle in America as it once was during the days of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X. In a discussion withImam Amin Nathari, he told me, the Negro Imam is, a mindset even more so than it is any one individual. But of course there are some who embody this mindset and display these traits more than others! Black Muslims for Black Power Politics! Today,what the media considers to be the mainstream Muslim community in America is primarily South Asian- and Arab-controlled Muslim institutions. These organizations, who set the narrative for whatis portrayedas Islam in America, often align themselves with liberal Democrats in contradiction to the Black power politics of Malcolm X and continuously marginalize strong Black Muslim voices. These institutions oppose Islamophobia by focusing on how patriotic American Muslims are when Malcolm X in his famous Bullet or the Ballot speech stated, No, Im not an American. Im one of the 22 million Black people who are the victims of Americanism. Theseinstitutions oppose the travel ban by reverting to the narrative that Muslim Immigrants deserve the American dream;an American dream that was sustained by Black suffering.They see no contradiction between honoring Muhammad Ali and Muslim Americans who fought in imperial wars and subsequently became co-opted by the Democratic Party. These Immigrant Muslim organizations have public relation efforts largely designed to assuage white American fears about Islam. The Negro Imam affiliated with suchorganization will spend an entire career being a good moderate Muslim acquiescing to the white supremacist notion of collective guilt after the latest incident puts Muslims in a bad spotlight. This comes at the expense of having ministries actively addressing the spiritual needs of black folks in neighborhoods hardest hit by white supremacy and who throughinternal colonialismhave been ostracized from mainstream America. The strict separation of religion from the lived material realities of Black people is the trick of secularism. Both the Negro imam and Muslim immigrant institutions ultimately get subsumed by a theology that presents no credible threat to white supremacy. As Black Muslims turn to Malcolm X for theological and political insights, not just as a social prop, they will seek to establish actual Black Muslim institutions firmly dedicated to ending global white supremacy. Black Muslims will look to the spiritual wisdom of our ancestors Uthman Dan Fodio, Nana Asmau, Askia Muhammad and others to organize for Black power to actually dictate what the narrative for Islam in America means: freedom, justice and equality for the Black man and woman. To do this, Black Muslims should use the legacy of Malcolm X to engage the world. (Editorial Note:This article was originally posted on Sapelo Square)

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Oklahoma barbershop cuts Confederate flag in man’s hair – Fox News

A predominantly black barbershop in Oklahoma City fulfilled a customers request by cutting the Confederate flag in a white mans hair — sparking a heated debate on social media. Demontre Heard, a barber at the Fade N Up shop, said at first he was confused by the request from the customer, who wishes to remain anonymous, KWTV reported. He called on the phone knowing that it was a diverse shop, but mostly black barbers here, Heard told the news station. So I felt like he really didnt have a problem with coming here even though he seemed kind of scared when he first came in. OKLAHOMA ARMY VETERAN LEAVES $2.25 MILLION ESTATE TO HABITAT FOR HUMANITY, 24 HOMES TO BE BUILT The flag has come under increased scrutiny after the June 2015 massacre at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. The gunman, Dylann Roof, killed nine parishioners. After Roof was arrested, a website that was registered under his name showed him posing with the flag. The customer explained that he wanted the flags design as a way to pay homage to Yelawolf, his favorite rapper. The logo for the artists record label, Slumerica, is a row of stars with four lightning bolts at the corners, but the customer explained to Heard that the Confederate Flag would be a fine substitute to the logos more elaborate design. A man asked a barbershop in Oklahoma City, Okla. this weekend to cut a Confederate flag in his hair. (Reuters) It was just going to be too much, so he asked if I could do the Confederate flag in his head, and in the back of my head Im like, what kind of stuff are you on? Corey Scissorhands Sutter, the owner of the barbershop, said the cut was one of the most unusual requests the shop has received. Other customers have asked for Black Power, according to Sutter. OKLAHOMA 18-YEAR-OLD ARRESTED, ACCUSED OF PROSTITUTING TWO JUVENILES After the cut, he decided to take a picture of the hairdo and post it on his Facebook page. The hairstyle went viral and many social media users either condemned or supported the decision. The thing that’s really bothering me is, no matter how it may look to someone and them getting upset about it, this is what we do for a living, Sutter told KFOR. We provide a service for this person, and that’s what we’re supposed to do. Yeah, we could have denied it. Yes, we could have acted a fool and talked bad to him, tried to fight him or anything like that. But, he came in, he came in respectful. He wanted it. Heard said at the end of the day, the customer paid and was pleased with his haircut. You have the right to your opinion, Heard said. At the end of the day your opinion doesnt pay my bills, and I have kids to take care of.

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