Hey all, Mona here…I have missed you all dearly, my Sky Dancing newsjunkies! Had some life-things keeping me out of the regular loop. Funerals and graduations…endings and new beginnings. That kind of thing. And, lots and lots of soul-searching. But, I guess you could say I’m “back” now. For better or worse I’m going to just dive right in and get my feet wet in the blogging pond…I’ll be using the frontpage this morning to spotlight a topic I wish was getting more attention from the national media. Not to worry, though–JJ will have your Wednesday news round-up fix later in the day! So be sure to check back in for that.
So, how many of you have been following the Marco McMillian story? I know Bostonboomer had mentioned it before back when McMillian was discovered dead in February. Well, the family is now demanding answers. Via the NYT:
Mother’s Letter to Sheriff
Frustrated by the pace of the investigation into the death, Marco McMillian’s mother, Patricia Unger, wrote to investigators regarding unanswered questions in her son’s case.
Click over to see the PDF for yourself. Key excerpt:
It has been over two months since my son, Marco Watson McMillian, was found murdered on February 26, 2013. Within this time frame, my husband and I have only received two visits/correspondences from you. The visit took place on February 26, 2013. During this visit, you informed us that Marco’s SUV had been involved in an accident and that someone else was driving the SUV. You also stated that Marco was not in the vehicle and that you were trying to locate him. The second visit took place on February 27, 2013, during this visit you informed us that his body had been found.
Last month, my husband, Amos Unger, contacted you via phone inquiring about the investigation. You informed him that the investigation was still ongoing and that you could not release any information about the investigation because you were trying to conduct it in a professional manner. You stated that you did not want any leaks to take place due to the family making statements to the press/media. However, I do not feel like the investigation has been done with professionalism. Listed below are unanswered questions/reasons why I feel like this investigation has not been conducted in an ethical manner:
Patricia Unger goes on to list some pretty appalling ethical and professional breaches, such as:
- The only identification of the body sought by the police from the family was through a cell phone picture.
- The family has yet to be introduced to any actual FBI agents investigating the case.
The final point of concern she raises, in her own words:
It has been reported in the press/’ media that you have a suspect in custody, Lawrence Reed. It has also been reported that family members and/or friends have stated that Mr. Reed informed them that he killed Marco in a “gay rape panic”. in this case, suspect and motive have been determined, so why is there still an ongoing investigation? Have other facts/factors been discovered that warrant further investigation? Also, it has been reported that Mr. Reed confessed to killing Marco by strangling him with his wallet chain. in that case, strangulation was the cause of death, so why is it taking so long for me to receive the death certificate? 1 know that this is a matter for the State Medical Examiner, but i would like to know if another cause of death has been or is being taken into consideration.
Pardon my Fraaaaanch, but what the fraggle rock kind of investigation is this? If Patricia Unger’s charges are true , the investigation into her son’s murder makes Mark Fuhrman’s antics in the OJ case look like a paragon of ethics. (Ok, so I’m hyperbolizing, but you get the point.)
The family held a press conference last Thursday. The family’s lawyer, Attorney Daryl Parks, is from the firm that represented Trayvon Martin’s family.
The virtual silence in the national mediaseems deafening to me. Other than local news coverage, the link above from LGBTQNation website (of the standard press release type reporting from the AP), and the NYT link above to the actual letter by McMillian’s mother, I have seen scarce coverage of this story. I don’t have any cable or digital converter, thus I don’t have a constant 24/7 IV-drip of cable news…so maybe I’ve missed whatever blip about the family’s questions and press conference may have been buried on the network formerly known as CNN’s Headline News. Anecdotally, I asked my daily newspaper reading/cable newsjunkie mother if she had heard anything about it, and shockingly…though unsurprisingly…my bringing it up was the first she had heard of it.
I’ve had to go on McMillian’s FB pages (both as mayoral candidate and himself personally) looking for answers. As a case in point, I found the NYT link to his mother’s letter through his personal page.
Marco’s future in politics was bright. To the right you can see him with President Obama and Representative John Lewis, as well as with President Bill Clinton. That he was the first “viable” openly gay black candidate for political office in Mississippi is both incidental and monumental at the same time.
It makes me worry–however fear-driven that may be–for this guy I posted about ever so briefly on my baby blog, LetThemListen, last month:
Alright, well I’ve said my piece. I’d love to hear your thoughts or anything else on your mind/reading list this morning. Take care and remember to stay tuned for JJ’s Wednesday Roundup later today.
It saddens me that the world doesn’t stop when an iconic advocate for the hungry, the poor, the least of these dies. Not the way it stops for a celebrity. There’s no wall-to-wall media coverage of the international/intergalactic outpouring for days on end. Just some obligatory press. So I had to put this post up even though I’m in the middle of a migraine and studying for the last of my midterms…I’m going to let President and Secretary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders do most of the talking. Oh, And Senator McGovern himself (see pic to the right).
Emphasis below in bold is mine. The statements belong to Sanders and the Clintons, respectively.
via Bernie Sanders’ senate website, Statement on the Passing of George McGovern:
October 21, 2012
BURLINGTON, Vt., Oct. 21 - U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today issued the following statement on the death of former Sen. George McGovern:
“George McGovern was a champion for progressive values in America. As a bomber pilot in WW II, he saw the horrors of war and became a strong advocate for world peace. As a U.S. senator, he grasped the tragedy of world hunger and fought to develop nutrition and agricultural programs to prevent starvation. At home, he advocated health care for all, defended working families and the poor and was in the vanguard of the movement for civil rights for women and minorities.
“He will be remembered as a man of conviction and clarity and character.”
Via Greta Van Susteren, Statement by President and Secretary Clinton on the Passing of George McGovern:
We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend George McGovern. The world has lost a tireless advocate for human rights and dignity.
We first met George while campaigning for him in 1972. Our friendship endured for 40 years. As a war hero, distinguished professor, Congressman, Senator and Ambassador, George always worked to advance the common good and help others realize their potential. Of all his passions, he was most committed to feeding the hungry, at home and around the world. The programs he created helped feed millions of people, including food stamps in the 1960s and the international school feeding program in the 90’s, both of which he co-sponsored with Senator Bob Dole.
In 2000, Bill had the honor of awarding him the Medal of Freedom. From his earliest days in Mitchell to his final days in Sioux Falls, he never stopped standing up and speaking out for the causes he believed in. We must continue to draw inspiration from his example and build the world he fought for. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
Everybody at Skydancing knows, I’m more drawn to our foremothers than our forefathers… but McGovern was one of the good ones.
I am reminded of this quote I saw recently from MLK (see pic to the right):
McGovern, like MLK, was one of our modern political forefathers who learned to walk the Earth as a brother amongst sisters and brothers.
RIP, George McGovern.
This is what I am talking about; this is the kind of political advocacy I’m compelled by and drawn toward this (and hopefully every coming) election season:
Social Security Sen. Bernie Sanders “will once again be leading the fight to protect Social Security from Obama, Democrats and Republicans, all of whom have bought into austerity. It begins now, not after President Obama is likely reelected,” Taylor Marsh wrote at The Moderate Voice. Sanders “will be leading the fight against cutting the program’s cost-of-living increases,” she added. LINK
Holding the president of the United States–whoever he may be come next January– and his incoming Congress accountable. Holding their feet to the fire. Thank you Senator Sanders, for fighting the good fight!
Morning, news junkies… it’s been awhile, so welcome back to Caturday!
Please Note: *PAD=Political Affective Disorder.
So, I’d like to start by getting some election season political ranting out of the way as a housekeeping matter. I hope y’all don’t hate me after this, but here goes:
- Can we just take it as a given that Republican pols are generally very skeery people with skeery politics and lying faces (Exhibits A-Z: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan)? Obviously. Especially to a more liberal (and correctly so, in my liberal opinion) crowd such as Sky Dancing. But, I am kind of tired of this being used as a reason itself to vote for Oprecious, as if he is not guilty of being kinda “skeery moderate Repub” himself on more than a few issues, frankly. Just me personally, ok? I understand this is a stinky lesser of evils game and everybody just tries to make the best decision they can where their voting and advocacy is concerned in an election year. So I’m not judging or pointing any fingers here, but I am asking if maybe we could try to elevate the conversation that is going on *elsewhere* in the blogosphere and offline. I think there are plenty valid reasons to vote *for* Obama (as opposed to *only* against Rom/Ry)–I’m voting FOR O too (and against R/R for that matter), albeit, begrudgingly, and I’ll be glad to devoting a post or three to making that case in the days ahead. But, I’m not going to chalk it up to Dems being saviors, while the GOP is satanic. I mean, they are kinda satanic but, it’s not a compelling argument (to little ol’ me anyway)! Because while upwards of 99% of Republican pols scare the bejeebers out of me, upwards of 90% of pols that claim to be Democrats scare me as well. They’re almost all owned by the Oligarchy/Wall Street/War Party. Even Bill and Hillary, much as I love ‘em, are working within that system, not outside of it. To improve the system, of course, but nonetheless they are part of it.
- I think it is really remarkable that the first time I’ve ever heard so-called Mr. Economy Romney say anything remotely (note: I am not saying fully, just remotely…) intelligible on the economy was yesterday when he pointed out that the job numbers don’t include people who have stopped looking for work. Well, gee, golly, were you just born yesterday, Mr. Romney? Of course, Mittens only said this because all his usual trickle down lies wouldn’t have served his case and telling the semi-truth (see The Note’s Zunaira Zaki and her Fact-Checking Mitt Romney Job Claims) here was actually beneficial to him. And, worse it was compounded by his general inability to make sense on the economy and his wingnut surrogates and their bizarro world conspiracies. The truth is, both the ostensible “left” and “right” made me tune out yesterday with their reaction to the unemployment stats. Neither side cares about unemployed people, period. It’s all tribal and it’s all my guy rulez, your guy droolz.
- It reminds me of Hillary saying, “And, some people think elections are a game, they think it’s like who’s up or who’s down…it’s about our country, it’s about our kids futures…and it’s really about all of us together.”
- Here’s your Lazy Persons, Sununu: Almost 2,400 Millionaires Pocketed Unemployment Benefits (h/t Delphyne)
Alrighty, now that I’ve gotten those doozies out of the way. Are you still with me? I hope so… ’cause I’ve got a few links and discussion for you that I hope bring some relief for you during this political season of suck.
First up… Paticheri: Ethno,Graphic.Food. Go read it. It’s AWESOME. I’ve linked you to the post I’m currently savoring (“A Taste of Salt: Marakkanam, Bar Nuts, and Roasted Tomatoes”) and that I left comments on. It is an incredible trip that will take you around the world on a grain of NaCl!
This next one is a gem of a youtube that I am very very narcissistically proud of myself for digging up this week (go me and my googling abilities!)…
“This Little Light of Mine” was my absolute favorite song in choir as a kid (back when I used to sing…shhhhh!
I love this song even more as an adult and being able to appreciate all the history of human resilience behind it. And, of course it’s a youtube of the wonderful Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Lizz Wright, and Toshi Reagon singing from Harlem… what is not to love?
Another DIVINE youtube (which I snagged from the delectable Owl Report on facebook last week) of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, France 1960. BEHOLD the wonder:
A couple more links…
Happy News about an Unhappy (Degaying…) Practice…via Joyce Arnold’s Queer Talk over at Taylor Marsh’s: New California Law Bans ‘Conversion’ Therapy. Please check it out! Hopefully this is the start of a trend, and eventually kids will be talking about these conversion ‘therapies’ in school the way they now talk about Jim Crow.
I’d like to end with a really wonderful blog by my friend, Marie–a young woman who is so gorgeously candid in her recovery! This is a personal request to check it out and help spread the word to any young (or really, any-aged!) people you know suffering from eating disorders and/or addiction.
Alright, the comments are yours to soapbox all over, Sky Dancers. Make it worth it — and, have a lovely autumn weekend!