On this observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, Heit & Cheri focus on both history and current events, asking whether King’s dream has been realized.

Topics discussed include MLK Day, the controversial “Freedom to Twerk” flyer that used a Photoshopped image of MLK, concept of fighting for freedom, high school basketball players suspended for hand signs that the school assumed were gang signs, predominantly white schools using Black players to make winning sports teams, MLK’s Dream and whether we have arrived, update on the Kendrick Johnson case, people not fully understanding what MLK was about, the miniseries “Roots”, update on the Kendrick Johnnson Case, Beyonce supposedly writing an essay on gender equality, the possibility of rapper Bun B running for mayor of Houston, Madonna receiving backlash for saying “dis nigga” in reference to her white son, a video of a young white girl dancing in African style to African music, and more!

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    Freedom To Twerk

  • Discussion about MLK Day. It was first observed on a national level in 1983.
  • Discussion about the controversial “Freedom to Twerk” flyer that used a Photoshopped image of MLK.

    A “Freedom 2 Twerk” party may have been ostensibly planned to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but naturally, it instead seemed to offend most who saw its flyers. Now, it’s been cancelled — and the venue owner is using it as a chance to honor King, for real.

    The party planned for Saturday in Flint, Mich. made headlines with its flyer showing King’s head superimposed on another person wearing a chain to promote the event.

    The event was reportedly to be hosted by Mid-Michigan Teen Parties, a group that hosted a New Year’s party and has since deleted their Facebook page. The venue was the Social Network Banquet and Event Center, which isn’t affiliated with the party promoters.

    King’s likeness and message have been misused to promote parties before, and a graphic designer took heat over his flyer for a Miami strip club in 2012. But this time, it drew the ire of Dr. Bernice King, daughter of the Civil Rights leader. She spoke out this week, telling Atlanta’s local Fox affiliate the imagery for the Michigan party was “appalling.”

    “For me, as his daughter, it’s like, ‘wow,’ I lost a father who sacrificed everything for them to live a much more dignified and respectful life, and for it to come to this makes me sad,” King said.

    According to WJRT-TV in Flint, “appalling” is the exact same word Vic McEwen, Social Network owner, used when he saw the flyers. He promptly voided his contract with the hosts and returned their deposit, which he could do because of a clause saying promotional materials with the venue’s name are subject to his approval.
    Source: Huffington Post

  • Discussion about the concept of fighting for freedom–the right of others to do what THEY want, not what you want them to do.
  • high school suspension

  • Discussion about high school basketball players suspended for hand signs that the school assumed were gang signs.

    A Wisconsin school district said this week that it followed proper procedure when it suspended two African-American basketball players because they had made hand gestures that “looked like” gang signs.

    On Jan. 1, the Sheboygan Falls News ran what they hoped would be a feel-good story about Jordan, Jamal and Juwaun Jackson moving to the district and playing basketball for Sheboygan Falls High School. The paper took several photos for the article, but decided to publish the “goofy” photo of the boys joking around in Falcons’ basketball uniforms.

    But the school suspended two of the brothers after story ran in the sports section of the paper because parents suspected that the boys were making gang-related hand signs in the photo. The school even had the police department investigate.

    “I had no idea,” Jordan Jackson told TMJ News. “They told us it meant blood.”

    “I did it like every other kid does it when they make a 3,” he explained. “When you make a 3, everyone does this sign. You’ve probably seen LeBron James or someone do it. I did the 3 in the picture, and my little brother pointed at the camera.”

    District Superintendent Jean Born insisted to WHBL that the school followed the athletic code.

    And Police Chief Steve Riffel said that he was “able to confirm that the sign was indeed a gang sign,” but he acknowledged that the young men posed no threat to the community.

    In a Facebook post on Thursday, Sheboygan Falls News Editor Jeff Pederson explained that the story had “veered wildly off the intended path.”
    Source: Raw Story

  • Discussion about predominantly white schools using Black players to make winning sports teams, but not giving them full social acceptance.
  • Discussion about MLK’s Dream and whether we have arrived.
  • Discussion about people not fully understanding what MLK was about.
  • Discussion about the miniseries “Roots”.
  • Update on the Kendrick Johnnson Case. It was ruled that the alleged funeral home’s stuffing of his body with newspaper was not illegal.

    A south Georgia funeral home broke no laws when it used newspapers to stuff the body of a Valdosta teenager found dead last year inside a rolled up gym mat at his school, state regulators concluded in a report sent to the teen’s parents.

    The family of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson of Valdosta filed a complaint with the Georgia Board of Funeral Service last year after newspaper was found in the place of his missing organs when the body was exhumed for a second autopsy. Johnson’s parents, who are fighting to have their son’s death declared a homicide after authorities concluded it was a freak accident, said they were outraged and found the funeral home’s use of newspapers to be disrespectful.

    Attorneys for the Johnson family released a letter from the board saying it found Harrington Funeral Home broke no state law. However, the board also noted that using newspaper to fill a body cavity is not considered a “best practice” and that other materials are “more acceptable than newspaper,” The Valdosta Daily Times reported Saturday (http://bit.ly/1f0scc1).

    Roy Copeland, an attorney for Harrington Funeral Home, said its owners were “certainly happy” with regulators’ finding that it did nothing illegal.

    Students at Lowndes High School discovered Johnson’s body Jan. 11, 2013, inside a rolled up gym mat propped against the wall beside the bleachers. A Georgia Bureau of Investigation medical examiner concluded he died from positional asphyxia, meaning his body was stuck upside down and he was unable to breathe. Sheriff’s investigators concluded Johnson got trapped in the mat while reaching for a gym shoe that had fallen inside.

    Johnson’s parents insist someone must have killed him and have pushed to reopen the case. The U.S. attorney for middle Georgia is reviewing the investigation with help from the FBI.

    It’s still unclear what happened to Johnson’s internal organs after the GBI autopsy. The GBI has said it returned the organs to the body before sending it to the funeral home. But the funeral home has said the organs were missing when the body arrived. Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson has said many of Johnson’s organs were deemed too badly decomposed to be preserved and had to be disposed of before the body was embalmed.
    Source: AP

  • Discussion about Beyonce supposedly writing an essay on gender equality. Why are people even looking to her as a thought leader?
  • Discussion about the possibility of rapper Bun B running for mayor of Houston.
  • Discussion about Madonna reeiving backlash for saying “dis nigga” in reference to her white son.

    Madonna apologizes to you if you were offended by her Instagram hashtag that used a form of the “N word.”
    “It was not meant as a racial slur,” the Material Girl said in a statement sent to CNN by her representative Saturday.
    Madonna set off a controversy when she posted a photo of her 13-year-old son Rocco Ritchie boxing.
    Madonna slammed for ‘N-word’ use
    “No one messes with Dirty Soap! Mama said knock you out!” she wrote in the Instagram posting, to which she added the hashtag “#disni–a.”

    A bit later, as the roar of disapproval began surging online, the singer replaced the caption with “Ok let me start this again. #get off of my d–k haters!”
    Her full apology from rep Liz Rosenberg:
    “I am sorry if I offended anyone with my use of the N word on Instagram. It was not meant as a racial slur.. I am not a racist. There’s no way to defend the use of the word. It was all about intention… It was used as a term of endearment toward my son who is white. I appreciate that it’s a provocative word and I apologize if it gave people the wrong impression. Forgive me.”
    Source: CNN

  • Is it okay for Madonna to use “nigga” as a term of endearment toward her son?
  • Discussion about a video of a young white girl dancing in African style to African music.
  • Discussion about the adopting of Black culture.

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