Angelica

Angelica

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On Sunday morning, I, like you, woke up to news of yet another mass shooting.  A crazed gunman killed dozens of people during worship service at a Texas church.  It was just a month ago that Stephen Paddock literally sprayed hundreds of concert goers in Las Vegas with a stockpile of automatic firearms, killing over 50 and injuring close to 500.

 

A little over a week ago, 8 people died and nearly a dozen were injured when a man plowed into them with a rented truck along a bicycle path in New York.  The driver was shot in the stomach and has survived.

 

The 9/11 attacks were a huge wake up call, and for many the first time the term “radical Islamic terrorists” registered in the minds of most Americans.  Since then, we’ve lived under a constant threat of terrorism.  It has changed how we travel, and created a culture of fear and bias against Muslims.  

This is unfortunate for those Muslims who just want to live peacefully and raise their families in the U.S. Each report of violent attacks by Muslims only makes race relations between Muslims and other groups much more difficult.

Until the Las Vegas mass shooting, the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history occurred in June 2016 when an ISIS-inspired man opened fire in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and wounding 53. 

 

We’ve seen numerous attacks in Europe involving suicide bombers aboard trains and car-ramming in crowded areas.  These senseless acts of violence would make you believe that terrorism is only tied to ISIS.  But the truth is more terrorist acts in the U.S. have been committed by White American males.

 

Vox reports, “Between 2001 and 2015, more Americans were killed by homegrown right-wing extremists than by Islamist terrorists, according to a study by New America, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, DC.”  A June 2017 study by Reveal and the Center for Investigative Reporting concurred the findings.

 

Since Trump took office, more Americans have been killed in attacks by white American men with no connection to religion or Islam. The rise is due, in part, by the other terrorist groups Trump refuses to call out:  White Supremacists and Nazi groups in the U.S.

 

Blaming a particular group may seem irrelevant if you or a loved one becomes a victim of terrorism.  You just want justice—regardless of who the perpetrator is.  However, until America comes clean about violence in this country, and who is really causing most of it, there can be no real solutions.  

 

After the Paddock incident, authorities kept making the point that he did not fit the profile of a mass killer.  They kept looking for links to radical Islam.   They wanted to pin the blame on a convenient target, rather than call it domestic terrorism.  

 

If we are to ever succeed in lowering the number of deaths due to gun violence, we must get real.  First, stop trying to pin all terrorist attacks on ISIS or al-Qeda; second, stop acting surprised when a white man is responsible (It’s how they took over this country in the first place); and third, keep pushing lawmakers until we get some common sense gun control legislation passed.  How many have to die needlessly?  It’s ridiculous!

 

Americans can be terrorists too.  It’s not rocket science.

 

But here at home, the bigger threat has come from a very different kind of attacker, one with no ties to religion generally or Islamist extremism specifically.

Here are just a few of the attacks that have occurred in 2017:

 

•Sunday night, a 64-year-old white man from Nevada opened fire on a crowd of more than 22,000 people at a country music festival in Las Vegas, killing more than 50 and wounding more than 200. 

 

•In August, a 20-year-old white Nazi sympathizer from Ohio sped his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing a woman and injuring at least 19 others.

 

•In June, a 66-year-old white man from Illinois shot at Republican Congress members during an early morning baseball practice, severely wounding several people including Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the House of Representatives Majority Whip. 

 

•In March 2017, a 28-year-old white man from Baltimore traveled to New York City with the explicit aim of killing black men. He stabbed 66-year-old Timothy Caughman to death and was charged with terrorism by New York state authorities.

 

•In May, a 35-year-old white man from Oregon named Jeremy Joseph Christian began harassing Muslim teenagers on a train in Portland, telling them “We need Americans here!” Two men interceded; Christian then stabbed and killed them both.

 

When President Donald Trump signed his since-revised executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, he claimed it was to protect Americans from “radical Islamic terrorists.” 

 

“We don’t want ‘em here,” Trump told reporters at the Pentagon, where he signed the order in January. 

 

 

The threat of terrorism by ISIS and al-Qaeda leaders prompted Trump to call for travel ban against 7 Muslim countries.

Yet, 

 

White American men are a bigger domestic terrorist threat than Muslim foreigners

Since Trump took office, more Americans have been killed by white American men with no connection to Islam than by Muslim terrorists or foreigners

 

The Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers made “touchdowns” on Tuesday by giving back to L.A. area communities.

 

On Tuesday, in partnership with the American Red Cross, Los Angeles Rams players, cheerleaders, and staff members visited three elementary schools to help students personalize Rams-branded holiday thank-you cards for veterans and military members. Oak Street Elementary School, 633 S. Oak Street, in Inglewood was one of the schools visited by Wide Receiver Josh Reynolds, Tight End Gerald Everett, and Linebackers Samson Ebukam, Ejuan Price and Garrett Sickels.

 

Rams Defensive Tackle Michael Brockers will be featured on the holiday card that reads: “Our defense defends our goal line. Our military defends our country. Thank you for your service.” 

 

The Holidays for Heroes card signing event is part of the Rams’ monthly Day of Service initiative. Each month, the Rams front office staff takes time out to volunteer with local non-profits. During the team’s first year home in Los Angeles, Rams employees provided more than 2,000 hours of community service and impacted 10 local non-profits and 19 schools. Since January of 2017, the team has provided 1,515 hours of community service and volunteered with eight local non-profits and 25 schools through its Staff Day of Service program. 

 

The Los Angeles Chargers partnered up with TeamSmile at the StubHub Center on Tuesday to offer dental services to more than 300 underserved children.  This is the fourth year in a row that the program has been available.

 

William Celestine, Director Wellness Programs, Los Angeles Unified School District, said, “Many of our families are from low income areas so to be able to get this type of dental service at no cost, it’s amazing.  I think it’s a testament to the partnership that the LAUSD has established with the Chargers and TeamSmile.”

 

“Since the Chargers are in a new community, we’re trying to build this community where the Chargers can be a part of this and we can be a part of the Chargers’ community,” added Derrick Whitmore, Regional Manager of Colgate.  “(We want to) make sure the kids come out and get the care that they need.”

 

Kids received free check ups and teeth cleaning and learned about dental hygiene.  But they didn’t spend all their time in the dentist chair.  Outside, at the end of the chairs and X-ray stations, was a dance area with a DJ for the kids. Chris McCain said he helped one of them calm down and have fun.  Sean McGrath commented on the importance of brushing twice a day.

 

 

Nationwide — The NBA pre-season has already started, and the league office has issued a memo to all 30 teams about the country’s national anthem. The memo included the restatement of an existing rule requiring all personnel (including players) to stand for the national anthem.

 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver comments, “We have a rule that requires our players to stand for the anthem. It’s been a rule as long as I’ve been involved with the league, and my expectation is that our players will continue to stand for the anthem.”

 

Here are some quotes from the memo he released:

 

* “The NBA has a rule that players, coaches and trainers stand respectfully for the anthem. The league office will determine how to deal with any possible instance in which a player, coach or trainer does not stand for the anthem. (Teams do not have the discretion to waive this rule).”

 

* “Our teams’ focus remains on unity and collective action that leads to meaningful change in society. The players have embraced their roles in those efforts and we are proud of the work they do in our communities.”

 

* “We believe sports are a unifier and this is an opportunity for the NBA to once again lead by its core values of equality, inclusion and unity and to bridge divides and bring people together.”

 

The memo also offered alternatives for players to express their political and social views.

 

So, the question remains: Will Black NBA players follow in suit with this requirement or will they #TakeaKneel?

 

President Trump’s recent remarks on Twitter prompted widespread protests when he uninvited champion player Stephen Curry to the White House, and referred to Black athletes who don’t stand for the anthem as “sons of b****es”.

 

Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant spoke out about the derogatory comments, and LeBron James called the president a “bum” and even suggested people who voted for him were “uneducated.”

 

The California Chapter of the NAACP has launched a campaign to remove “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem.

 

Citing a seldom-sung third verse, the organization says lyrics are racist.  The third verse includes the passage:

 

Their blood has wash'd out their foul footstep's pollution.

 

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

 

From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave

 

Last week, the NAACP began circulating among legislative offices two resolutions that passed at its state conference in October.  One urges Congress to rescind “one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon” as the national anthem, and another in support of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.  The athlete launched a national protest against police brutality by kneeling instead of standing while the “The Star-Spangled Banner” was played before games.

 

“We owe a lot of it to Kaepernick,” California NAACP President Alice Huffman said. “I think all this controversy about the knee will go away once the song is removed.”

 

Huffman drafted the NAACP’s resolutions this fall after President Donald Trump suggested NFL owners should fire any “son of a b**ch” who doesn’t stand for the anthem. The second resolution calls on Congress to censure Trump for his remarks, and asks NFL teams to find a spot for Kaepernick, who has not played football this season. Some believe he was blacklisted over the protests.

 

California lawmakers return to the Capitol in January.

 

The City of Inglewood took another step forward toward making it more affordable to live at Tuesday’s council meeting.  

 

Michael Wegmann, Principal and Founder of Wegmann Properties, LLC, has been quietly buying and renovating properties in Inglewood for residential use.  He is currently working on a project on Prairie Avenue, which he calls “Home on the Prairie.”  A designer, branding expert and real estate developer, Wegmann presented an impressive rendering of the project.

 

As he concluded, Mayor James Butts said.  “Tell us about the money!”

 

Wegmann then announced his company would be donating 4 percent of the profit made on each project to the City.  He started off with a $5,000 check.

 

The mayor said the City will use the money to help subsidize affordable housing in Inglewood.  “I was talking to a realtor in Westchester.  He said Inglewood is depressing home prices.  People would rather live here.  We want to continue to have an affordable component in the city, so there will still be a place for people to stay here,” Butts said.

 

Inglewood councilmembers voted to purchase LED lighting fixtures and award two contracts for residential sound insulation.  The contracts will go to the lowest responsible bidder for RSI Project XV, Groups 3 and 4.

 

Treasurer Wanda Brown announced that she almost has 50 interns in her financial literacy group.  Students will learn how to budget and build credit, and get an education on how City Hall is run during the 4-week program.

 

The mayor commended Brown on organizing the workshop to help young people in Inglewood.  “She doesn’t have to do this.  She gives it as a community resource,” he said.  “When I talked to the kids, they were ‘dialed in.’  You could see they were taking it seriously.  This is the best thing you can do for our children.  No applause, no accolades.  You do it because it’s right.”

 

Councilman George Dotson reminded everyone of the District 1 Christmas Toy Drive on Thursday, Dec. 7 at St. Mary’s Academy, 701 Grace Avenue.  Warren Lane and Kelso Elementary schools will be represented.

 

Councilman Alex Padilla encouraged everyone to honor veterans on Saturday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day.  “Everyday is Veterans Day to me,” Padilla said, “because I pray for the veterans and their families everyday.”

 

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