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Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Was Member of College Fraternity Under Fire For Racism

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Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) was a member of a college fraternity that was known for pro-Confederate displays and run-ins with black students.

Reeves, who is running for governor this fall, was in Kappa Alpha Order at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. A 1993 yearbook lists him as a freshman that year, and he was featured as a Kappa Alpha member starting in the 1994 yearbook. The fraternity, which is still active at Millsaps, looks to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee as its spiritual leader.

On Oct. 8, 1994, members of Kappa Alpha and another fraternity “donned Afro wigs and tied large Confederate flags around their necks,” according to an article in The Clarion-Ledger at the time. Some of them were also reportedly in blackface. The fraternity brothers “got into a shouting match” over the incident with some black students. The state fraternity leader defended the chapter, saying it was “getting a bad rap” and blamed a few rogue individuals.

Members of the Black Students Association asked for the fraternity to be suspended

One of the students leveling the charges against Kappa Alpha was Kiese Laymon, the opinions editor of the student paper. Even before the incident, in August, Laymon wrote a piece about Kappa Alpha’s reputation, lumping the fraternity in with the KKK and neo-Nazis in their love of the Confederate flag. 

“At Millsaps, I know we’ve overcome racism,” Laymon wrote sarcastically in a column, “and if the word ‘n****r’ is ever muttered, it could only be echoed from the walls of the Kappa Alpha house.” 

In response, a month later, the paper published an anonymous letter from a Kappa Alpha member who acknowledged Laymon was right about the attitudes of his fraternity ― but said that, privately, not all of them were racist and sexist and did want things to change. 

In 1995, the Kappa Alpha yearbook page showed a group of students standing with a Confederate flag in military attire. It’s not clear if Reeves is in the photo, although he was also pictured as a member of the fraternity that year. 

The images were first uncovered and published by the Democratic super PAC American Bridge on its website, the American Ledger

In the 1993 yearbook, before Reeves pledged, the fraternity’s page showed students in a form of blackface, mocking Pacific Islanders ― with darkened faces, wearing grass skirts and leis ― and wearing Confederate flag paint. 

In the 1993 Millsaps yearbook, there was a photo on the Kappa Alpha page featuring two students in blackface. 

College yearbooks are coming back to haunt politicians.

Three of Virginia’s top state officials are currently embroiled in scandals about their use or acceptance of blackface. It started with the governor’s yearbook page, featuring a photo of two men, one in blackface and one in a KKK outfit. (Democrat Ralph Northam insists he isn’t one of the men pictured.) Since then, the Democratic attorney general has admitted to once wearing blackface at a college party, and the GOP leader of the state Senate edited a college yearbook containing racist pictures and slurs.

Even if they’re not pictured in blackface, they seemed to gladly accept a privileged white culture that found entertainment in the racist pastime.

In 2013, Reeves spoke at an event for Sons of Confederate Veterans, a neo-Confederate organization that claims the Civil War was not about slavery. From his Facebook page:

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) spoke at a Sons of Confederate Veterans event in 2013.

Reeves’ office did not return requests for comment about whether the lieutenant governor ever appeared in blackface or Confederate attire, and to give his thoughts on his fraternity’s behavior. 

The Mississippi gubernatorial primary is on Aug. 6. 

SOURCE: Huffington Post

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Former Potential Suspects In Alleged Jussie Smollett Attack Claim Attack Was Faked

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UPDATE: Smolletts’ attorneys released a statement countering the claims of the two brothers.

“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.

“One of these purported suspects was Jussie’s personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video. It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie’s complicity.

“Jussie and his attorneys anticipate being further updated by the Chicago Police Department on the status of the investigation and will continue to cooperate. At the present time, Jussie and his attorneys have no inclination to respond to “unnamed” sources inside of the investigation, but will continue discussions through official channels.”

Chicago (CBS) — Two brothers who were questioned and released by Chicago police investigating the Jussie Smollett attack did play a role in the crime.

Sources say at least one of the brothers bought the rope used in the incident at Smollett’s request. The sources also say the “Empire” actor paid for the rope, which was purchased at the Crafty Beaver Hardware Store the weekend of Jan. 25.

The brothers were paid $3,500 before leaving for Nigeria and were promised an additional $500 upon their return.

They left for Nigeria later in the day on Jan. 29 after the attack.

The sources say plain red hats worn by the brothers were bought at an Uptown beauty supply store and that the attack was supposed to happen before Jan. 29.

Smollett claims two men attacked him in Streeterville early Jan. 29 as he was heading to his apartment. He said they yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, poured a chemical on him and put a rope around his neck.

The brothers are now cooperating with police.

Since being released Friday night, the brothers have been staying in an undisclosed location.

Chicago police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said:

“We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation. We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview.”

Developing story, more to come…

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Colin Kaepernick Reaches Settlement With NFL Over Kneeling Protest Fallout

  • Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid settle collusion grievance with NFL
  • Parties have resolved grievances subject to confidentiality pact

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Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Colin Kaepernick reaches settlement with NFL over kneeling protest fallout” was written by Bryan Armen Graham, for theguardian.com on Friday 15th February 2019 19.32 UTC

The NFL and attorneys for Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid jointly announced on Friday afternoon they have settled a complaint of collusion by the players, who claimed the league’s owners blackballed them because they had protested by kneeling during the pre-game playing of the national anthem.

“For the past several months, counsel for Mr Kaepernick and Mr Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL,” the statement read. “As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.”

An arbitrator had been expected to rule over the next few weeks on Kaepernick’s grievance against the league, which he filed in 2017 under the collective bargaining agreement. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback alleged the owners conspired to keep him off the field because of his protests to draw attention to racial inequality and social injustice issues.

The filing said the NFL and its owners “have colluded to deprive Mr Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr Kaepernick’s leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice and his bringing awareness to peculiar institutions still undermining racial equality in the United States”.

The NFLPA released a statement on Friday in support of Kaepernick and Reid, acknowledging they did not know the terms of the agreement as the players employed outside counsel.

“We continuously supported Colin and Eric from the start of their protests, participated with their lawyers throughout their legal proceedings and were prepared to participate in the upcoming trial in pursuit of both truth and justice for what we believe the NFL and its clubs did to them,” the statement said. “We are glad that Eric has earned a job and a new contract, and we continue to hope that Colin gets his opportunity as well.”

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Returns To The High Court After Bout With Cancer

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WASHINGTON, Feb 15 (Reuters) – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is back at the court after missing oral arguments in January as she recovered from lung cancer surgery at home, a court official said on Friday.

Ginsburg, who will turn 86 in March, had been working from home and participating and voting in cases since her December surgery by reading argument transcripts and case briefs. She attended the justices’ closed-door conference to discuss cases on Friday.

While Ginsburg was expected to attend the next session of oral arguments beginning on Feb. 19, court officials could not confirm she would be on the bench next week.

Last month, the court announced that Ginsburg’s recovery was on track and that there was “no evidence” of remaining disease.

Ginsburg, who joined the court in 1993, underwent a surgical procedure called a pulmonary lobectomy on Dec. 21 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York to remove two cancerous nodules in her left lung. She was released from the hospital on Dec. 25.

Ginsburg missed oral arguments in January for the first time in her lengthy career on the court, fueling speculation about her ability to continue in the job. (Reporting by Andrew Chung; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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