The Navy has discharged Jessica Sims (pictured above), a sailor for 12 years after she refused to cut her natural hair style. The decision comes after months of discussion about protocol related to black women's hair in the armed forces.
Sims, "who wears her hair in tightly twisted locks pulled back in a bun," says her record is unblemished and she received no complaints about her hair until she taught at a Navy boot camp in Illinois. Once there, she was ordered to cut her hair or wear a wig; she refused, and was written up for "serious misconduct."
"For the past couple weeks, not knowing what the Navy was going to do, if they were going to move forward with the discharge or keep me in, had me in a little limbo," Sims said in a phone interview Wednesday with USA Today. "In the back of my head, I knew that they weren't going to change, so it was more of just waiting for the date."
Lt. Cmdr. Chris Servello, spokesman for the chief of naval personnel, told USA Today that Sims was discharged for "disobeying a lawful order," claiming her bun was too bulky to fit under a gas mask. Sims however, says her hairstyle didn't violate regulations and didn't believe she should have to "be told that I have to straighten my hair in order to be within what they think the regulations are, and I don't think I should have to cover it up with a wig."
Sims says she had no regrets about her decision. "I still stand by it," she told Think Progress. "I would do it again if I had to."
A Louisiana man who state police say shot and killed himself in March while in police custody, died of a gunshot wound to the chest, not to the back, as police had initially reported, according to an autopsy report.
The Root reports that "The shooting occurred in the backseat of a patrol car after Victor White III was arrested for drug possession, KLFY notes. White’s hands were apparently cuffed behind his back as he was transported to jail. Once there, the 22-year-old reportedly did not want to get out of the patrol car. At some point, a gun that he was allegedly hiding in his pants appeared and he shot himself in the back, according to police reports. However, according to KATC, the first page of the autopsy report, released by the Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office, details how White was shot in the chest, completely contradicting earlier police reports made after the fateful night in early March. The bullet entered the young man’s chest and pierced his left lung and his heart before exiting around his armpit, according to the autopsy, which also called White’s death a “suicide.”'
State Police Master Trooper Brooks David states the investigation into White's death is still open, according to KATC.
Lest you've been living under a rock (or don't HBO or checked out on any fang-related pop culture), you probably know that True Blood, HBO's gory-raunchy-weird-maddening-violent-hilarious-campy-WTF-soap ends tonight after seven seasons. If you ain't up on recent happenings in Bon Temps, check out my recaps over at Butlerway.com to get up to speed.
Griner, who plays for Phoenix Mercury, posted an Instagram photo of her proposal to Johnson, writing “"Last Night was a Night to Remember I became the happiest person on this earth! (almost pass out but when that one word came out I came back to life) Me and my baby @missvol25 are in it for Life!"
Friday morning Johnson posted her own Instagram pic of a sleeping Griner, placing her engagement ring on her new fiance's shoulder blade. To accompany the picture, she wrote " "What I get to wake up to @brittneygriner #LoveMakesYouDoTheCraziestThings."
The mother and husband of a Tampa, Florida man say a church canceled his funeral service was he gay.
The Advocate reports that Julie Atwood "received a phone call from Pastor T.W. Jenkins of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, in which he said having her son Julion Evans's service there would be blasphemous because Evans was gay. Members of the church had seen that Evans's husband, Kendall Capers, was listed as his surviving spouse in his obituary. Capers and Evans, who wed in Maryland last year, were together for 17 years before Evans died of a rare illness called amyloidosis, which destroys bodily organs."
Atwood told Tampa TV station WFLA the church's decision--which came after members complained about having Evan's funeral there, giving the family 24 hours to move the funeral and causing some mourners to miss the service--was "devastating."
"I did feel like he was being denied the dignity of death," she said.
Jenkins said his church would have been "in error to allow the service in our church," adding, "I'm not trying to condemn anyone's lifestyle, but at the same time, I am a man of God, and I have to stand up for my principles."
Fact is, the church has the right to hold or not whatever funeral they choose. But it doesn't change the fact it was a horrible, shitty thing to do.
Caper has announced plans to start a foundation to research amyloidosis.
Theodore Wafer, the Detroit-area man who shot and killed unarmed 19-year-old Renisha McBride, has been found guilty of second degree murder, manslaughter and felony firearm in a fatal shooting.
The jury, which consisted of seven men and five women, took less than two days to reach a verdict after nine days of testimony.
McBride came to Wafer's house after crashing her vehicle into a parked car. According to witnesses, McBride was disoriented and was likely seeking help, and was intoxicated at the time of the incident.
The Associated Press reports that Wafer testified "that he was awakened after hearing an "unbelievable" pounding at both the front and side doors of his home. He investigated the noise, which included grabbing his 12-gauge shotgun and opening his door. He claims that McBride rushed him from the side of the porch and that he fired through the screen door, shooting her in the face and killing her. "She was a young girl looking for help," prosecutor Patrick Muscat told jurors, AP reports. "What he did had to be immediately necessary and it wasn't. It was reckless. It was negligent. I don't know how to describe it. It was horrific. "How about shutting the door? ... How about calling 911?" Muscat said. "No, what he does is he engages. He creates the confrontation."
Wafer is scheduled to be sentenced August 21, and faces up to life in prison.
Interesting. Target has signed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief supporting marriage equality in two cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The cases, Baskin v. Bogan in Indiana and Wolf v. Walker in Wisconsin, are both being appealed after federal courts struck down marriage bans in both states.
"As our leadership team discussed signing on, we took time to consider the bigger questions at hand,"Jodee Kozlak, Target's executive vice president and chief human resources officer, explained today. "This brief is important, as the issues it addresses have significant impact on businesses. But it is more than that, and we agreed that now is the right time to more directly share our views on this issue."
Target has been criticized in the past for donating to anti-gay candidates and political groups. However, the company has contributed money to pro-LGBT organizations in recent years, and has featured same-sex couples in advertisement. Target also scored 100 percent on HRC's 2013 Corporate Equality Index, which rates businesses on LGBT equality in the workplace.
Okay, so posting has been a wee light this week--partly because of freelance work (check out my recaps of Orange Is The New Black and True Blood over at Butlerway.com)--but mainly due to toiling over "Beat The Breaker," another track from Bougie Beats, my still-in-the-works EP.
While "Une Peu Maison," "Euphoria" and "Nightlife" are in the house/techno vein, "Beat The Breaker" as the title implies, is a breakbeat track, with snatches of trap and Southern rap(which, if we're being real, is 90 percent of what trap basically is--Southern rap filtered through electronic production) blended in.
"Beat The Breaker" went through a few stages; first it had an ambient, watery kind of sound. Oceanic synth pop if you will--hmmm I may to revisit that at some point--before morphing into a minimalist, bass-heavy house track. Neither version was coming together, but just as I would about to bang my head against my keyboard and rend my garments, I found a pair of synths and a breakbeat loop and all was right with the world.
With "Beat The Breaker" in the can, I have just one more track in mind and the EP will be complete. I also have ideas for a logo, album cover, a photoshoot and remixes that should be coming down the pike in the coming months.