Wednesday, January 11, 2017

President Obama Gives His Farewell Address to the American People

Peace and blessings, family. I salute President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for a job well done. You will be greatly missed even by your harshest critics.

When the cynics say that you have done nothing for black people, we know better. We know about how you defended affirmative action in Fisher v. University of Texas. We know about how your Administration defended voting rights in Shelby County v. Holder. We know about how your Administration investigated police brutality and racial profiling around the country and reached settlement agreements in places like Ferguson and Baltimore. Although there were several times when you silent on racial matters, we will never forget when you spoke out boldly about the killing of Trayvon Martin. You said, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." We will remember that moment for the rest of our lives. We know about how black unemployment was cut in half under your Administration. We know about your Brother Keeper Program and your White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Much respect. Although you are far from perfect, I salute you, Mr. President.

Federal Jury Sentences Dylann Roof to Death

The New York Times reports that:

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Dylann S. Roof, the unrepentant and inscrutable white supremacist who killed nine African-American churchgoers in a brazen racial rampage almost 19 months ago, an outburst of extremist violence that shocked the nation, was condemned to death by a federal jury on Tuesday.

The jury of nine whites and three blacks, who last month found Mr. Roof guilty of 33 counts for the attack at this city’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, returned their unanimous verdict after about three hours of deliberations in the penalty phase of a heart-rending and often legally confounding trial.

Mr. Roof, who had said in a closing argument hours earlier that he could ask jurors “to give me a life sentence, but I’m not sure what good that would do,” showed no expression as Judge Richard M. Gergel of Federal District Court announced the verdict.

Melvin Graham, whose sister Cynthia Hurd, 54, a librarian, died in the attack, welcomed the decision.

Here are my thoughts about this development.