Genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in Florida and Texas beginning this summer – silver bullet or jumping the gun?


This summer, for the first time, genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the U.S.

On (May 1,) 2020, the company Oxitec received an experimental use permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to release millions of GM mosquitoes (labeled by Oxitec as OX5034) every week over the next two years in Florida and Texas. Females of this mosquito species, Aedes aegypti, transmit dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika viruses. When these lab-bred GM males are released and mate with wild females, their female offspring die. Continual, large-scale releases of these OX5034 GM males should eventually cause the temporary collapse of a wild population.

However, as vector biologists, geneticists, policy experts and bioethicists, we are concerned that current government oversight and scientific evaluation of GM mosquitoes do not ensure their responsible deployment.

Genetic engineering for disease control

Coral reefs that can withstand rising sea temperatures, American chestnut trees that can survive blight and mosquitoes that can’t spread disease are examples of how genetic engineering may transform the natural world.

Genetic engineering offers an unprecedented opportunity for humans to reshape the fundamental structure of the biological world. Yet, as new advances in genetic decoding and gene editing emerge with speed and enthusiasm, the ecological systems they could alter remain enormously complex and understudied.

Recently, no group of organisms has received more attention for genetic modification than mosquitoes – to yield inviable offspring or make them unsuitable for disease transmission. These strategies hold considerable potential benefits for the hundreds of millions of people impacted by mosquito-borne diseases each year.

Although the EPA approved the permit for Oxitec, state approval is still required. A previously planned release in the Florida Keys of an earlier version of Oxitec’s GM mosquito (OX513) was withdrawn in 2018 after a referendum in 2016 indicated significant opposition from local residents. Oxitec has field-trialed their GM mosquitoes in Brazil, the Cayman Islands, Malaysia and Panama.

The public forum on Oxitec’s recent permit application garnered 31,174 comments opposing release and 56 in support. The EPA considered these during their review process.

In 2016, technicians from the Oxitec laboratory located in Campinas, Brazil, released genetically modified mosquitoes Aedes egypti to combat the Zika virus.

Time to reassess risk assessment?

However, it is difficult to assess how EPA regulators weighed and considered public comments and how much of the evidence used in final risk determinations was provided solely by the technology developers.

The closed nature of this risk assessment process is concerning to us.

There is a potential bias and conflict of interest when experimental trials and assessments of ecological risk lack political accountability. and are performed by, or in close collaboration with, the technology developers.

This scenario becomes more troubling with a for- profit technology company when cost- and risk-benefit analyses comparing GM mosquitoes to other approaches aren’t being conducted.

Another concern is that risk assessments tend to focus on only a narrow set of biological parameters – such as the potential for the GM mosquito to transmit disease or the potential of the mosquitoes’ new proteins to trigger an allergic response in people – and neglect other important biological, ethical and social considerations.

To address these shortcomings, the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign convened a “Critical Conversation” on GM mosquitoes. The discussion involved 35 participants from academic, government and nonprofit organizations from around the world with expertise in mosquito biology, community engagement and risk assessment.

A primary takeaway from this conversation was an urgent need to make regulatory procedures more transparent, comprehensive and protected from biases and conflicts of interest. In short, we believe it is time to reassess risk assessment for GM mosquitoes. Here are some of the key elements we recommend.

The mosquito spray OFF! was handed out for free at the Zika Virus Town Hall Meeting at Waverly Condominiums in 2016.

Steps to make risk assessment more open and comprehensive

First, an official, government-funded registry for GM organisms specifically designed to reproduce in the wild and intended for release in the U.S. would make risk assessments more transparent and accountable. Similar to the U.S. database that lists all human clinical trials, this field trial registry would require all technology developers to disclose intentions to release, information on their GM strategy, scale and location of release and intentions for data collection.

This registry could be presented in a way that protects intellectual property rights, just as therapies entering clinical trials are patent-protected in their registry. The GM organism registry would be updated in real time and made fully available to the public.

Second, a broader set of risks needs to be assessed and an evidence base needs to be generated by third-party researchers. Because each GM mosquito is released into a unique environment, risk assessments and experiments prior to and during trial releases should address local effects on the ecosystem and food webs. They should also probe the disease transmission potential of the mosquito’s wild counterparts and ecological competitors, examine evolutionary pressures on disease agents in the mosquito community and track the gene flow between GM and wild mosquitoes.

To identify and assess risks, a commitment of funding is necessary. The U.S. EPA’s recent announcement that it would improve general risk assessment analysis for biotechnology products is a good start. But regulatory and funding support for an external advisory committee to review assessments for GM organisms released in the wild is also needed; diverse expertise and local community representation would secure a more fair and comprehensive assessment.

Furthermore, independent researchers and advisers could help guide what data are collected during trials to reduce uncertainty and inform future large-scale releases and risk assessments.

The objective to reduce or even eliminate mosquito-borne disease is laudable. GM mosquitoes could prove to be an important tool in alleviating global health burdens. However, to ensure their success, we believe that regulatory frameworks for open, comprehensive and participatory decision-making are urgently needed.

Armed Black Militia Challenges White Nationalists at Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park


About 1,000 heavily armed militia, all of whom were Black, marched through Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park on Saturday, challenging white nationalist groups in the area to either come out and fight or join them in demonstrating against the government.

Stone Mountain State Park officials said the Black militia group was peaceful, orderly and escorted by police as they called for the removal of the country’s largest Confederate monument near Atlanta.

Videos posted to social media show the group, the “Not F**king Around Coalition” (NFAC), meeting at the massive nine-story quartz sculpting that depicts former Confederate president Jefferson Davis and Southern generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

NFAC Founder Grand Master Jay told Newsweek via phone Sunday that the militia members at Stone Mountain on Saturday were “100 percent Black” and they are not affiliated with Black Lives Matter. “We are a Black militia. We aren’t protesters, we aren’t demonstrators. We don’t come to sing, we don’t come to chant. That’s not what we do,” he said.

The NFAC head explained why several videos show the militia members alongside demonstrators earlier in the day before heading to Stone Mountain. Grand Master Jay told Newsweek the sister of Rayshard Brooks, who was killed outside an Atlanta Wendy’s by police last month, requested the NFAC militia provide her with a security escort to a downtown rally that began at the site of her brother’s death.

“Our initial goal was to have a formation of our militia in Stone Mountain to send a message that as long as you’re abolishing all these statues across the country, what about this one?” Grand Master Jay said, referencing the massive Confederate carving.

He added that he must commend Stone Mountain police for offering the all-Black militia support as they exercised their constitutional rights on July 4th.

“It was all Black … there were no brown people, no white people… everyone was Black. I am not a protester, I am the commanding general of my militia, we were swearing in new members,” he added, highlighting there was a second militia “show of force” Saturday near Phoenix.

The coalition of Black militia met at the monument, which is historically tied to the birth of the Ku Klux Klan and has more recently been the site of white nationalist rallies Leaders of the militia frequently halted the protest to challenge local white supremacists and far-right Second Amendment advocates to “stop hiding.”

“I don’t see no white militia, the boogie [boogaloo] boys, the three percenters and all the rest of these scared-ass rednecks. We here, where the f**k you at? We’re in your house,” one protester said into a PA system during the Stone Mountain Park march.

John Bankhead, a spokesman for the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, said the protests were orderly and acknowledged the Confederate monument is frequently used as a meeting place for far right-wing militia.

“It’s a public park, a state park. We have these protests on both sides of the issue from time to time. We respect people’s First Amendment right,” Bankhead told WXIA-TV. “We understand the sensitivities of the issue here at the park … so we respect that and allow them to come in as long as it’s peaceful, which it has been.”

Al B Sure! Says His Ex Kim Porter Was Murdered & Drops Diddy’s Name In Bizarre IG Post

Published on: Jul 13, 2020, 6:59 PM


Diddy’s ex-girlfriend Kim Porter passed away. in November 2018. The L.A. County Coroner’s office released the cause of death as lobar pneumonia, an inflammation of an entire lobe of the lungs. But Al B Sure! — Porter’s ex and father of her eldest son Quincy — has his own theory.

According to a recent Instagram post, Al doesn’t think she died of an illness — he thinks it was a homicide. During the video, he was visibly distraught as he cried along to an R&B song.

“The morning of the @soultrainawards @BET pre production @jessecollinsent,” he wrote in the caption. “#AlBeez around the [world] I just found this footage from the morning I learned of @LadyKP’s aka #KimPorters murder and how it ripped the soul from my physical body. I was on my way to film the pre show packages for the #BETAwards with @tishacampbellmartin & @tichinaarnold when I receive a call from PR icon #QueenieDonaldson asking me if I was ok and did I hear the news.

The 52-year-old singer continued, “I had no clue. I do know very clearly that #Kimberly didn’t just check out all of a sudden over neumonía. That’s some bull shit. Really? This is where I get in trouble. We just celebrated our son @Quincy’s new deal and Christmas special with @Netflix, and she was in fantastic health as well laughing seeing me and @Diddy’s mutual exchange at the theater. I’m going to leave it here.”

Al didn’t explain what led him to that conclusion.

Jay Electronica Calls Out Rabbi Abraham Cooper Over Nick Cannon’s Podcast

By: BRANDON CALDWELL & Associated Press

Jay Electronica isn’t one for holding his tongue. The MC has frequently spoken out in defense of the Nation of Islam and The Honorable Louis Farrakhan and following Rabbi Abraham Cooper’s discussion with Nick Cannon on Cannon’s Cannon Class podcast, Jay Elec says Cooper “lied” about “the history of the Caucasian race.”

“Rabbi Abraham Cooper is a COWARD who LIED to our brother Nick Canon (sic) about the history of the caucasian race,” Jay Elec tweeted on Saturday (July 25). “Ask him does he stand behind the VILE TEACHINGS of the Talmud? Don’t be a coward next time Cooper you DEVIL.”

He added in follow-up tweets, “Sit down w The Hon. Louis Farrakhan or The Exec Council of the NOI and defend your claims and prove us wrong. WE are INDEED THE TRUE Children of Israel. And you are an imposter and birthright stealer as described in the scriptures. The ADL, THE WEISENALL CENTER… BRING EM OUT.

We DEFY you to challenge us on these claims publicly. You LYING Anti-Semites.”

Following his firing from Viacom CBS for making True Comments on his Cannon’s Class podcast, Cannon invited Cooper, the associate dean and director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center to have a discussion.

Cooper revealed to Black Enterprise( Boule Owned) that he warned Cannon about apologizing for making comments.

“We forewarned him. I think he understood that whatever he was going to say, that it would go sideways,” he said. “That is the culture that about a million people around the world, most of the younger generations, have embraced.” He added, “the price tag for that is you almost never have time to reflect, to take a deep breath.”

Professor Griff Applauds Nick Cannon & Shames 50 Cent In Hour-Long Response To Anti-Semitic Controversy?


of Public Enemy fame found himself swallowed up in the Nick Cannon Controversy this week after a clip of their Cannon’s Class podcast went viral, leading ViacomCBS to fire the longtime Wild ‘N Out host.

In an Instagram TV post he titled “Nick C, Viacom and the Truth,” the controversial rap figure expounded on the situation for 60 minutes.

After Griff thanked Cannon for providing the platform, he made a public plea for 50 Cent’s phone number and seemed shocked when he learned Cannon took down the original interview from YouTube. But, he went on to praise Cannon for standing up for himself in his official rebuttal to ViacomCBS.

“Very well put, very well written and it shows the human side which is a beautiful thing,” he said. “Now can anyone on the other side be human enough to read that and listen to that, and come and sit down at the table and talk? As long as y’all been calling us n*ggers and all the other things you call us, and for us to tolerate the madness and not go apeshit. You mean to tell me as well written as that was … and the man poured out his heart, letting you know ‘if I erred and I’ll apologize for anything, just show me the error. Show me what I said that was wrong.’ Beautiful, great response Nick and we really appreciate that, and it shows your growth and it shows who you are as a human being.”

Griff then asked ViacomCBS where its “humility” and “compassion” was and continued defending Cannon, asking, “Can someone tell me what was anti-Semitic about this interview?”

Griff, who was fired from Public Enemy in 1989 for making comments, then broached the topic of melanin, something they discussed on the Cannon’s Class podcast and what enraged a whole gaggle of people.

“The people who don’t have [melanin] … are a little less … so they’re acting out of fear, they’re acting out of low self-esteem,” Cannon told Griff. “They’re acting out of a deficiency, so therefore they only way that they can act is evil. They have to rob, steal, rape, kill and fight in order to survive … so then these people that didn’t have what we have — and when I say we, I mean the melaninated people — they had to be savages. They had to be barbaric … so they’re the ones that are actually closer to animals. They are the true savages.”

So, Griff decided to look up the word “melanin” and proceeded to explain, “Melanin — your nerves and brain cannot operate without black melanin. Are you listening White people? This is why Nick mentioned melaninated people and the fact that we have a high concentration of melanin. Few people know that melanin is found in almost every organ of the body and is necessary in order for the brain and nerves to operate, eyes to see and cells to reproduce.

Toward the end of the video, Griff expressed his disappointment in fiddy for clowning Cannon on a public platform like Instagram.

“When I read what 50 Cent said, I wasn’t surprised man, but I was like, ‘Damn bro, that’s another Black man you talking about 50 Cent, can we just like chill?’” he said. “I’m sure you can get ahold of Nick and have a conversation with him, like I did with you today 50 Cent. I didn’t come at you, bro. I said if anybody know 50 Cent, give him my phone number. But c’mon man — don’t do that to Nick where people can read this stuff that you wrote about this brother. Come on, bro.”

Cannon has since apologized  for his perceived rhetoric and has been allowed to keep his job at FOX as the host of The Masked Singer. 

Nick Cannon Axed By ViacomCBS For Comments During Professor Griff Interview

By: KYLE EUSTICE & Associated Press

Nick Cannon has been fired from Viacom CBS after a clip of his Cannon’s Class podcast went viral on. While speaking to Professor Griff of Public Enemy fame in an episode uploaded to YouTube the Power 106 radio personality made some comments perceived to be anti-Semitic?

“It’s never hate speech, you can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people,” Cannon said.  “When we are the same people who they want to be. That’s our birthright. We are the true Hebrews.”

He added, “The people who don’t have [melanin] … are a little less … so they’re acting out of fear, they’re acting out of low self-esteem. They’re acting out of a deficiency, so therefore they only way that they can act is evil. They have to rob, steal, rape, kill and fight in order to survive … so then these people that didn’t have what we have  — and when I say we, I mean the melaninated people — they had to be savages. They had to be barbaric … so they’re the ones that are actually closer to animals. They are the true savages.”

In 1989, Griff faced similar criticism which led to his dismissal from Public Enemy.  But despite his controversial past, Cannon praised Griff and the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and promoted conspiracy theories about the Rothschild banking family and the notion people of African descent are the “true” Jews.

Cannon later addressed the backlash, but didn’t offer an apology.

“Anyone who knows me knows that I have no hate in my heart nor malice intentions,” he tweeted. “I do not condone hate speech nor the spread of hateful rhetoric. We are living in a time when it is more important than ever to promote unity and understanding.

“The Black and Jewish communities have both faced enormous hatred, oppression persecution and prejudice for thousands of years and in many ways have and will continue to work together to overcome these obstacles.”

Cannon continued, “When you look at The Media, and other sectors in our nation’s history, African Americans and The people of the Jewish community have partnered to create some of the best, most revolutionary work we know today. (Cont.).

“I am an advocate for people’s voices to be heard openly, fairly and candidly. In today’s conversation about anti-racism and social justice, I think we all including myself must continue educating one another &embrace uncomfortable conversations it’s the only way we ALL get better.”

In a statement obtained by Variety, ViacomCBS — the company behind Cannon’s popular show Wild ‘N’ Out— was emphatic Cannon’s comments wouldn’t be tolerated — despite his explanation.

“ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism? the statement read. “We have spoken with Nick Cannon about an episode of his podcast ‘Cannon’s Class’ on YouTube, which promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic? conspiracy theories.

“While we support ongoing education and dialogue in the fight against bigotry, we are deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism? and we are terminating our relationship with him. We are committed to doing better in our response to incidents of anti-Semitism? racism, and bigotry. ViacomCBS will have further announcements on our efforts to combat hate of all kinds.”

But Cannon insisted he meant no harm and fully owned the situation.

“Until then, I hold myself accountable for this moment and take full responsibility because My intentions are only to show that as a beautiful human species we have way more commonalities than differences,” he said. “So let’s embrace those as well as each other. We All Family!”

Billionaire Or Not: Bob Johnson Wants His 40 Acres And A Mule

By: KERSHAW ST. JAWNSON & Associated Press

Bob Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, member of Boule, member of The Carlyle Group and the man who created that company from his own hard own blood, sweat, and tears, believes that money should be paid to the descendants of slaves — despite having his own level of economic liberty.

He said on CNBC, Squawk Box, a “wealth transfer is what’s needed,” to heal the country’s racial divide that is at the forefront of the plethora of things that has not made this country great.

“Think about this,” Johnson said, “Since 200-plus-years or so of slavery, labor taken with no compensation, is a wealth transfer. Denial of access to education, which is a primary driver of accumulation of income and wealth, is a wealth transfer.”

Johnson said that the $14 trillion of reparations for the enslavement of Africans in America would help reduce racial inequality.

It was less than 20 years ago when Johnson became the 2nd Black billionaire (Reginald Lewis, was the 1st) in the nation. After selling BET, the network that he founded in 1980, to Viacom he broke a historical glass ceiling.

And despite getting cut by the shards that come from being the first, he still has empowered other people of color and women and now says that reparations are equivalent to an “affirmative action program” that would pay “damages” that are owed to Black Americans. 

He also said he was not trying to see programs, but wants the country to cough up some dough. 

“I’m talking about cash,” he said, “We are a society based on wealth. That’s the foundation of capitalism.”

Johnson, 74, is currently the head of The RLJ Companies which is a holding company with a portfolio that includes hotel real estate investment, private equity, asset management, and car dealerships.

Anarchists, Agents And The Alt-Right: The Co-Opting Of Black Protest By Racism


Insurgents are attempting to piggyback off of Black pain and struggle for their own selfish desire for anarchy, chaos and destruction.

A mysterious man in all black with an umbrella covering his head, a gas mask covering his face and tactical boots casually walks up to a Minneapolis AutoZone and begins to break all the windows in the establishment. People are leisurely walking back and forth when the man in black starts his brazen act of vandalism. One older, thin Black man, donned in a pink shirt holding a pizza box, goes over to him in an apparent attempt to stop the mysterious man from breaking the windows. He fails. The man in the pink shirt, the camera person taping it all and confused others follow the man that has just violently disrupted peaceful protests and jump-started nationwide riots.

More than that, the act has stolen a moment that is in honor of George Floyd, the man who lost his life under the knee of then-officer Derek Chauvin. It was at that moment that the anti-police brutality and anti-racism movement became wrought with anarchists, alt-right extremists and a dark, clandestine otherness that has yet to be revealed. The narrative shifted and the waters effectively muddied.

Exhibit A: Mysterious Man With Umbrella And Gas Mask Breaks Windows In Minneapolis AutoZone

Over the weekend morning, Bill de Blasio, Major of New York City, acknowledged these odd forces in an address to the city and admitted that other leaders have seen it happen in their jurisdictions too.

“It’s so obvious what happened here. Last night I was communicating with mayors all over the country. Everyone was experiencing the same reality. This violent, organized effort – many times from people not from the neighborhoods where it was occurring or not even from the same city. So we’ve got to get to the bottom of this immediately. I’ve asked Deputy Commissioner John Miller to put together the information, obviously understanding security realities.

To put together all the information is been out in the public domain and I start to gather, as quickly as possible, and provide transparently information about the locations from which these “protesters” have come. I’m not saying most are from outside New York City, but some were unquestionably. And the most important part is not the location of their origin but the plan that they put together and try to execute. Deputy Commissioner Miller will be able to show you the kind of weapons people brought, the kind of strategies that were employed, the level of organization. This is not accidental stuff. This is not informal stuff. You’ll see it’s a systematic pattern and I am a progressive and I have spent my life participating in protest. This is not the American progressive protest tradition. This is not the tradition of Dr. King. it’s dangerous. It is counterproductive. It puts the lives particularly of young men of color in danger if it creates deeper tension between police and community. “

The proclamation was bold, but imperfect and incomplete.

Exhibit B: A Pair Of Non-Black Women Spray Painting “BLM” On Stores And Black People Buck Back.

Ashunta Sheriff-Kendricks, a celebrity makeup artist that has worked with Taraji P. Henson and Alicia Keys, experienced this first hand and recounted her outrage as another set of purported anarchists co-opted the protest of police brutality. Her account, however, is different from the one she re-posted on IG and these types of actions have been reported more times than can be included in this report.

“We protested yesterday and a group of #Anarchist were inciting for the protestors to break windows and attack cops. They were yelling at cops and creating hostility,” she stated on Instagram. “If you are not there for the cause of unifying humanity then DO NOT SHOW UP TO OUR PROTEST!!!,” Sheriff-Kendricks said on her public account. “We are all angry and enraged however inciting violence, destruction will never solve anything. We will be blamed for vandalizing, destroying our own communities. Sadly folks to me this to is white privilege. Why? As a white person you are creating a problem that Blacks will be blamed and judged for. It diminished the cause and reason we are protesting if you are destroying property and creating confusion. What don’t you get we are already negatively reported in the media so don’t add fuel to the fire. Be smart people don’t get swept up by anger and rage in these moments these white extreme groups, militia, undercover oops or whomever is acting out.”

There have been numerous theories on who is behind these rogue insurgents and all of them are plausible. However, some seem more mind-blowing than others.

Exhibit B: Bricks In A Random Place Where There’s No Need For Bricks

So many questions and very few answers. In some instances like the bricks by government buildings and the mystery man, some feel unseen forces want to arm angry protesters and nudge them to violence.

Right now, Philadelphia is a complete mess after a weekend of riots, looting and chaos, but it was not Philadelphians causing the worst of the calamity, sources say.

“They have bombs. They bombed a bar near where I live. They bombed cars in North Philly. Bombs,” one resident said under the guise of anonymity. “They (the cops) are shooting at the (purported) White Supremacists. They are not reporting that on the news. They are doing this in Black neighborhoods. There are no stores here or nothing. Just people. The police are blocking gas stations to avoid them from creating a bigger problem.”

The officials from the City of Brotherly Love also did something that they have never done before the last weekend of May 2020. They shut down Interstate 95, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and just about every thoroughfare, all the ramps into the city over the weekend. These closures included the SEPTA transit system that transports people back and forth to the suburbs. SEPTA is still docked at the time of this writing.

And still, that is only a superficial solution at best.

Exhibit C: Vice Reports Three White Male Looters/Vandals Assaulting People

Nothing is what it seems.

Bill de Blasio and other mayors must now contend with dangerous, organized potentially well-funded forces that have reportedly overpowered the police. Again, nothing is what it seems. U.S. President Donald Trump has proclaimed ANTIFA a terror group, but others proclaim them allies. There is video evidence suggesting that ANTIFA or some other entity else pays common angry folks to rebel and riot.

Exhibit D: ANTIFA? Is That You?

Then there are “Boogaloos,” another covert group that seemingly preys on African Americans, trying to entice them into violent confrontations with authority. A story by Vice says they seek “impending civil war or violent confrontation with law enforcement.” Their mantra is in deep conflict as much of the African American protest movement is rooted in non-violence, historically and currently. One African American man in DC repeatedly stopped numerous attempts to start fires from protesters outside of the city. Rapper-turned-activist Tip “T.I.” Harris posted the interaction.

Exhibit D: T.I. Puts Anarchists On Blast

“Along with the video, T.I. stated, ”There are people who’ve been selected by organizations with ulterior motives, planted in crowds of protesters to antagonize violence & chaos. People who aren’t for the struggle, who don’t live in the cities they’re destroying, & who could care less about the plight of OUR PEOPLE…”

Although it is not, it feels like this is the first time in a long time that white people have awakened to the plight of African Americans, others in the African Diaspora and people of color in general. George Floyd did not start the battle with police brutality and won’t likely end it. Even Colin Kaepernick, the blackballed professional football player, seems vindicated by the current events. It’s confounding and confusing.

Nobody quite figured it out. The man at the beginning of this story, the one who kickstarted the violent riots: what was the deal with him? Some determined that he is a police officer Jacob Pederson of the St. Paul Police Department, something the cops deny vehemently. He and the pizza man seemed to have a relationship…or not. There was something weird about the way the man held onto the pizza box and that bright pink shirt. Undercover cops have been known to color code clothing, paraphernalia or use objects to make themselves identifiable to other officers during protests and unrest. We’re supposed to believe them, the very people killing, terrorizing and brutalizing Black bodies?

Now, it seems, Black people have taken their attention from protesting police brutality to protecting police and property from brutality. Again, forcing oppressors to level up on all fronts. It is exhausting. The demand, at the moment, is simple: stop killing people.

The never-ending ask, in America, since we got here from Africa, has been “We want equality.” Racism is the pandemic without a vaccine. Racism is everywhere: The weekend warrior acting out his first rebel rodeo. The anarchist that comes into the city to destroy neighborhoods, only to go back to their safe, suburban haven. The media mischaracterization and assassination of real protestors by blaming them for the violence and damage perpetrated by the agent provocateur, so-called anarchist, and hidden hands, are the perpetrators of real crime. And don’t get me started on government programs like CointelPro.

Black people only want a fair shot at the dream that has been dangled before our eyes for centuries.

The story never ends…the drama never ends…the peace never ends. So I will end this here.

No justice, no peace. 

Masked white man smashing Minneapolis AutoZone windows in viral video raises suspicion

The white man, covered from head to toe, is suspected to be an agent provocateur


Who is the man in the mask? 

Social media is abuzz as people try to identify a white man, dressed in what appears to be tactical gear and a gas mask and carrying an umbrella, seemingly to conceal his identity, breaking windows at a Minneapolis AutoZone. The store was later vandalized and burned, along with a Wendy’s restaurant and an under-construction affordable housing complex. 

The video of the man, who is white, being questioned by protesters who chase him away has been shared thousands of times on social media platforms. At one point, he seems to lunge at the woman who is filming him.

His unusual behavior has prompted people to suggest that he was a police officer or an agent provocateur trying to rile up protests and fuel a riot in the midst of protests for the undue death of a Black man, George Floyd.

Many are contemplating if the man is a St. Paul, Minnesota police officer. The St. Paul Police Department has disputed that idea.

Protesters topple Confederate general statue in Washington DC and set it on fire

By: Associated Press

Demonstrators pull down statue of Albert Pike and set it ablaze on Juneteenth, the day marking the end of slavery in the US

Protesters toppled the only statue of a Confederate general in the nation’s capital and set it on fire on Juneteenth, the day marking the end of slavery in the US, amid continuing anti-racism demonstrations after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Cheering demonstrators jumped up and down as the 11-foot (3.4-meter) statue of Albert Pike – wrapped with chains – wobbled on its high granite pedestal before falling backward, landing in a pile of dust. Protesters then set a bonfire and stood around it in a circle as the statue burned, chanting, “No justice, no peace, no racist police”.

Eyewitness accounts and videos posted on social media indicated police were on the scene but did not intervene. The president, Donald Trump, quickly tweeted about the toppling, calling out DC mayor Muriel Bowser and writing: “The DC police are not doing their job as they watched a statue be ripped down and burn. These people should be immediately arrested. A disgrace to our country.”

Jubilant protesters read out Trump’s tweet over a bullhorn and cheered. After the statue fell, most protesters returned peacefully to Lafayette park near the White House.

The Pike statue has been a source of controversy over the years. The former Confederate general was also a longtime influential leader of the Freemasons, who revere Pike and who paid for the statue. Pike’s body is interred at the DC headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, which also contains a small museum in his honor.

The statue, dedicated in 1901, was located in Judiciary Square about half a mile from the US Capitol. It was built at the request of Masons who successfully lobbied Congress to grant them land for the statue as long as Pike would be depicted in civilian – not military – clothing.

Racial tensions in the country reached boiling point and spilled into the streets after Floyd Killing, Video showed a white police officer pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes as the handcuffed black man said: “I can’t breathe.” The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with murder.

Civil rights activists and some local government officials in DC had campaigned for years to get the statue taken down but needed the federal government’s approval to do so.

“Ever since 1992, members of the DC council have been calling on the federal government to remove the statue of Confederate Albert Pike (a federal memorial on federal land). We unanimously renewed our call to Congress to remove it in 2017,” the DC council tweeted Friday.

A proposed resolution calling for the removal of the statue referred to Pike as a “chief founder of the post-civil war Ku Klux Klan.” The Klan connection is a frequent accusation from Pike’s critics and one which the Masons dispute.