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Editor’s Letter: Young People Protest Change across the Globe

Atlanta protests held Monday, August 18 in front of the CNN Center

Atlanta protests held Monday, August 18 in front of the CNN Center

By Naomi K. Bonman

L.A. Protest Photo Credit:  Joe Satran (The Huffington Post)

L.A. Protest Photo Credit: Joe Satran (The Huffington Post)

Throughout the previous years we have heard about history repeating itself, and 50 years later after the Civil Rights Movement to this present day, we see are seeing what we dreaded would happen. History has been repeating itself for the past few years now, but on Saturday, August 10, after 18-year-old Michael Brown was gunned down in Ferguson, MO, outside of St. Louis, the issue of police brutality among African-Americans have sparked up the Nation causing multiple protests across the Country among both the young, seasoned and celebrity crowd.

In the immediate days after Brown was murdered the world seen yet another brutal shooting by the Los Angeles Police Department on Sunday, August 11, when 25-year-old Ezell Ford was shot and skilled by two officers while walking down the street near his home. According to the Huffington Post, by 2:30 p.m. several protesters had gathered in front of the LAPD headquarters. Protesters varied in age, race, ethnicity and creed. Some even came as far as San Bernardino, such as Sandra Nunez, who was there with her young daughter.

“I not only fear gang members killing my son, I fear the police killing my son. I feel helpless because I don’t know who will protect him from them”, she stated.

Another local L.A. resident, David Bryant, who is a former member of the Nation of Islam, stated that he has been arrested while protesting in exactly the same place in 1992, after the trial for officers who has beaten Rodney King.

“That was over 20 years ago, and here we go again. It’s déjà vu, but what else can you except when you have prostitutes and cowards as politicians”, he said.

Let us rewind back to July 17 in New York, before Brown was killed. Eric Garner, 43, who was an asthmatic father of six, was confronted by NYPD officers for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes. When he resisted being cuffed, an officer appeared to put him in a chokehold, a tactic banned by the department since 1993.Garner was unable to breathe and unfortunately succumbed. The

Actress, singer, and business owner Tiffany Evans, joined protests for change in Atlanta

Actress, singer, and business owner Tiffany Evans, joined protests for change in Atlanta

city medical examiner later ruled Garner’s death a homicide, stating that neck compression from the chokehold killed him; however, officers involved in the arrest may not face charges if the homicide is found to be justifiable. Staten Island district attorney Daniel Donovan is investing the case.

Then on August 5 in Beavercreek, Ohio, two police officers responded to a 911 call about a man waving a gun at customers inside a Walmart store. According to the Beavercreek police department, John Crawford, 22, disregarded officers’ orders to disarm before being fatally shot in the chest. It later was reported that Crawford’s gun was a .177 calibre BB rifle that he had picked up from the store shelf.

On August 12, Dante Parker. 36, of Victorville, California who was a pressman at the Daily Press was tased by police after a Victorville resident told police a robbery suspect had fled on a bicycle. The police detained Parker, who by the way had no criminal background (other than a DUI), after a scuffle ensued which led to him being tased. He later died at a local hospital. The police assumed he was the suspect because he was found on a bicycle.

Who knows how long these protests will go on before justice is served and change is done. In the midst of these occurrences I read a statement from a young lady on Facebook, I do not remember her name, but she stated that “People react certain ways to prior fears”. She used an analogy of her being beat by a blue belt and as she gets older she still fears that blue belt every time she sees it because she

Atlanta protest. August 18, 2014

Atlanta protest. August 18, 2014

connects it to that incident of when she was beaten by it. So, the same goes for the police. Some may have a fear that could have been passed by to them by their ancestors, so instead of talking things out to come to a solution they automatically assume and react. Other law enforcement who do not have this fear, could just be a “dirty cop” instilled with evil and hate.

Hopefully at the end when all is said and done, we not only get the change that we need, but that Blacks start coming together as a people, as a force, because that is the only way we will get the deserved change that Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm XRosa Parks, and a countless number of others fought for 50 years ago. Right now they would all be turning in their graves to see how we have separated as a people and how our race has fallen. We don’t support each other in our business efforts as we should, we do not own hardly any big corporations, and the list goes on.

While you are out there protesting, keep in mind that as African-Americans/Blacks we need to continue to come together in unity. I would love to see a multitude of Black owned businesses emerging within the next years to come, and I would like to see us keep those businesses in our communities and for them not to be sold off to “white companies and investors”.

The Black community has the highest buying power, so if we take that power and put it back into our own communities, just imagine how much we would thrive as a community and what the future would like for our youth that will soon be taking over. Let’s be an example and stand up for what’s ours. Let’s take back our communities in a positive way.

I would love to hear your feedback, please tweet me at @NaomiKBonman on Twitter, or email me atnaomibonman@gmail.com.

“Boo Hoo… Poor You!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

For some time now, the Holy Spirit has been saying to me, “No more pity parties!”  We are not victims.  It’s time out for feeling sorry for ourselves. Is God saying this because He has lost His compassion?  No.  God is saying “no more pity parties” because He has already released us from every trap.  We are agonizing over matters that God has already resolved. Stop It!

In 1 Corinthians 10:13, God made an important promise.  He told us that we could never be backed into a corner.  In every temptation and challenge, He has already given us a way out.  That means that whatever we are facing right now, we have a righteous way out.  We are not waiting for a way out – we have the way out.   Why should we ever feel depressed or overwhelmed when God has already given us the way out? Choose Gratitude. It’s so much more empowering than feeling sorry for yourself. Chew on that one for a while!

Our problem is that we think that the world revolves around us. Well, I got some news for you. The world does not revolve around you. You are not the center of the world; you are a part of it. There are people out there who think the world revolves around them; that everything somehow ends up being about them.  They drive us nuts. Yet there are times we drive ourselves nut thinking the same thing, even if with less vanity.  We take things too personally; we don’t think about the other person, just our own part in whatever the situation, thinking it’s either all our fault, or that it has something to do with us, even when we end up finding it has nothing to do with us. Let’s call a spade a spade…. Selfishness…..that’s what having a pity party is all about…. and if you didn’t know, let me just tell you that  “Selfishness,” is the enemy of God. The enemy of God’s sovereignty and His mercy.

Listen, Jesus serves as an example of someone who if anyone could have warranted having a pity party for himself. He faced what no one will ever have to face. What no one else could bare to face….

and yet Christ went to the cross not deserving it, but taking the weight of our sin upon Himself as He was about to die an agonizing death upon the cross for which He did not deserve, but He took our place of guilt in order to remove our sins. He did not sing a song of pity words of”.. Troubles…I’ve got more than anyone.” He did not whine or complain or pout about the cross. He did not ask for…… or throw his own pity party!

The conclusion of the matter and our response is clear: We need to recognize we all are capable of self pity. We need to let adversity lead us to God and not lead us to whining, complaining , quitting or having pity parties. If you sense that you are slipping into self pity… take rest in knowing that God will lift you up if the weight of pity begins to bring you down., but  only if you  let Him. Stop wasting your time complaining. Stop throwing your pity party.  Just praise the Lord.

May the God of truth enable us to carefully and rightly dissect His precious Word, allowing God’s Word to say what it says, remembering that God says what He means and means what He says.  May we be those who tremble at His Word (Isaiah 66:1-2).  

IRS Repeats Warning about Phone Scams

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration continue to hear from taxpayers who have received unsolicited calls from individuals demanding payment while fraudulently claiming to be from the IRS.

Based on the 90,000 complaints that TIGTA has received through its telephone hotline, to date, TIGTA has identified approximately 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 million from these scams.

“There are clear warning signs about these scams, which continue at high levels throughout the nation,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail. A big red flag for these scams are angry, threatening calls from people who say they are from the IRS and urging immediate payment. This is not how we operate. People should hang up immediately and contact TIGTA or the IRS.”

Additionally, it is important for taxpayers to know that the IRS:

  • Never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.
  • Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations
  • Never requests immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies.

Potential phone scam victims may be told that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS or they are entitled to big refunds. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy.

Other characteristics of these scams include:

  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
  • Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to TIGTA at 1.800.366.4484.
  • If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.

Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to phishing@irs.gov.

For more information or to report a scam, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.

More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.

You can reblog the IRS tax scam alert via Tumblr.