Colin Powell: Trayvon Martin Verdict Was ‘Questionable’

Yesterday on Face the Nation, Colin Powell shared his thoughts on the George Zimmerman trial, calling its controversial verdict “questionable.”

And while the trail has galvanized and inspired many, Powell worries that the hype will die down and we’ll be back to business as usual.

From New York Daily News:

“I think that it will be seen as a questionable judgment on the part of the judicial system down there (in Florida), but I don’t know if it will have staying power,” Powell said of the case that gripped the U.S. and fueled questions about race in the country. “These cases come along, and they blaze across the midnight sky and then after a period of time, they’re forgotten.

Hundreds Rally in Philly School District HQs for More Funding

Hundreds of students, teachers, and parents have gathered at the Philadelphia School District headquarters, demanding more funding for jobs and programs.

Many schools will open this year without counselors, administrative staff, nurses, or librarians.

The city has allocated just $50 million to open schools, but important positions and programs will be empty.

GOP Lawmaker Links Poverty w/ Too Much Fried Chicken and BBQ

Colorado state senator Vicki Marble shocked those in attendance at a meeting of the legislature’s Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force when she suggested that people of color are poor in part because they eat too much fried chicken and BBQ.

No, really.

From FOX31 Denver:

“When you look at life expectancy, there are problems in the black race,” Marble said during a meeting of the legislature’s Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force. “Sickle-cell anemia is something that comes up. Diabetes is something that’s prevalent in the genetic makeup, and you just can’t help it. Although I’ve got to say, I’ve never had better barbecue and better chicken and ate better in my life than when you go down South and you, I mean, I love it. Everybody loves it.”

Justice Department Files Lawsuit to Block Texas Voter ID Law

The Justice Department has announced its intent to sue the state of Texas over its voter ID law.

The law was passed after the recent Supreme Court decision that threw out a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, and requires that voters present government-issued photo identification. Student IDs are not permissible.

The lawsuit will contend that the new law is an attempt to deny or restrict the right to vote to minorities, students, and the elderly.

From the Grio:

“This represents the department’s latest action to protect voting rights, but it will not be our last,” said the attorney general.

On June 25, the Supreme Court threw out the most powerful part of the Voting Rights Act, whose enactment in 1965 marked a major turning point in black Americans’ struggle for equal rights and political power. The Justice Department’s legal action in Texas is based on another provision in the law. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has called the Obama administration’s actions an “end-run around the Supreme Court.”

Intervening in the redistricting case would enable the federal government to seek a declaration that Texas’s 2011 redistricting plans for the U.S. Congress and the Texas State House of Representatives were adopted in order to deny or restrict the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group.

Read more at the Grio

Thoughts on Texas’ voter ID law, and the continued attacks on our right to vote?

Sound off below!

Michael Bloomberg Says He Might Feel Differently About Stop and Frisk If He Had a Son

In a recent interview, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg admitted that he might feel differently about the NYPD’s controversial Stop and Frisk policy if he had a son.

“If I had a son who was stopped, I might feel differently about it, but nevertheless,” Bloomberg said. “Maybe I was inelegant, but I don’t think anybody thinks I am anything but—I hope not, anyway—supportive of trying to help all people. With my own money as well as time, thank you very much. I’ve spent yearss of my life doing this.”

New Ad Reenacts Trayvon Martin Shooting; Calls for End to Stand Your Ground Laws

The Coalition to End Gun Violence has released an ad that reenacts the Trayvon Martin shooting.

The ad calls for an end to Stand Your Ground laws, and features the actual 911 recordings from that tragic night.

The group has also launched a petition asking that people demand that their state lawmakers oppose”Stand Your Ground” legislation.

Dance Group Stages Flashmob to Protest ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws

A dance group called Dance for Action staged a flashmob outside of Chuck Schumer’s New York office in protest of “Stand Your Ground” laws.

Inspired by the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.

From NewsOne:

“We were really upset at the outcome and so were a lot of our friends,” said Sheila Anozier (pictured below left), a professional dancer who co-organized the flashmob — a group of people who assemble and perform for a short time and then immediately disperse — with friend Marie Philippeaux. (pictured below). “We wanted to do something in action towards the solution of getting rid of the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law.