Hampton University Honors George H.W. Bush With Statue, Sparking Controversy

Hampton University raised a few eyebrows this week when it unveiled a statue honoring late President George H.W. Bush as part of the newest addition to the sprawling Virginia campus.

Students, alumni and faculty joined university President Dr. William R. Harvey for a special ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday to reveal the new Legacy Park, local station WAVY-TV reported. The celebration also marked the historically Black institution’s 126th Founder’s Day.

Hampton University
The George H.W. Bush statue is part of Hampton University’s new “Legacy Park” honoring past presidents, civil rights icons and alums who’ve had an impact on the university. (Image courtesy of Twitter /Devinn Smart)

“It’s always exciting to unveil a new campus project,” Harvey told Sunday’s attendees.

The park, nestled between Hampton’s historic Memorial Church and Ogden Hall, features sculptured benches and statues honoring the likes of U.S. presidents, civil rights icons and HU alumni thought to have made a lasting impact on the university over the past 150 years. The notable figures include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass and Mary Williams, the first Black female NASA engineer.

Former Presidents Bush and Barack Obama are also featured. The statues, 29 in all, were created by renowned sculptor Jon Hair.

“The area that we are getting to unveil now, Legacy Park, is one that will further contribute to the beauty of this outstanding campus,” Harvey added. “Legacy Park was established by the Hampton University Board of Trustees … and we just wanted to memorialize a few of the people that have had a major impact on this great institution.”

Of Bush, the university wrote that former president “demonstrated a long-standing support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities over his career,” and highlighted the fact that he founded a United Negro College Fund chapter during his time at Yale University.

While that’s all well and good, critics weren’t quick to forget Bush’s complicated legacy on issues regarding race and racism. Backlash over the statue was swift.

“Hol up, hol up, HOLD UP, You mean to tell me Hampton University has a bronze statue of George Bush on campus?!?!? Wtf been going on since I left??,” one Hampton alum opined on Twitter.

“Interesting. I am not aware of G. Bush supporting my alma mater in the past and now to see they gave him a statue is quite interesting indeed …” wrote another.

One alum wondered, “who funded this?”

“N—s said [Dr.] Harvey put a statue of George Bush on Hampton University campus. They must was taking p—y together back in the day or sum,” someone else joked.

The 41st U.S. president died in late November at the age of 94

Although the former POTUS did lend his support to Black causes, there was also a time when he partook in what experts call “dog whistle” politics in an effort to appeal to his largely white base.

“Intellectually and emotionally, he was somebody who was civil rights-minded,” Rice University historian Douglas Brinkley told PBS News Hour in December. “Bush wanted to see himself as being a man devoid of racism. But the reality is that Bush often had to do dog whistles and appeal to less enlightened Americans on race.”

A report by The Intercept also noted that Bush helped escalate the war on drugs by calling for “more prisons, more jails, more courts, more prosecutors” and exaggerated the spread of the crack epidemic by arranging to essentially entrap a young Black man into selling a bag of crack cocaine at a park near the White House. He pushed for $1.5 billion increase in spending on the drug war, which experts said did nothing to curb drug abuse and only resulted in the mass incarceration of thousands of Black and Brown Americans.

Then there was the Willie Horton ad put out by a right-wing political action committee with ties to Bush campaign. The ad, which aired during Bush’s 1988 presidential bid, was used to stoke racial fears and stereotypes regarding criminal justice. Horton, a Black man, was serving life sentence in Massachusetts when he raped a white woman while he was out on a furlough program supported by Bush’s Democratic opponent, Gov. Michael Dukakis.

Bush swiftly dismissed the allegations of racism and went on to win the presidency.

“It was out of character for him,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson told PBS, saying Bush later regretted using the Willie Horton strategy. “He did it in the heat of battle.”

Source: Black info

Tiny Harris Helps Daughter Zonnique Pullins Shut Down Pregnancy Rumors

Singer Tiny Harris from the R&B group Xscape seemingly came to her eldest daughter’s defense to shut down those speculating the 20-year-old is pregnant.

Rumors have been flying that Harris’ daughter Zonnique Pullins could be pregnant by her new boyfriend, rapper Bandhunta Izzy. Fans claimed the “Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta” star has been purposely hiding her belly in social media photos to cover up her “baby bump.”

Well it seems the 22-year-old and Harris have both had enough of fans’ pregnancy speculation and decided to put the rumors to rest.

Tiny Harris
photo courtesy@zonniquejailee

Pullins took to Instagram on Wednesday, Jan. 30, and uploaded a photo of herself casually adorned in a hoodie and sweatpants. In the photo, her knee is propped up and slightly obscuring her torso. She wrote in her caption, “My shorty a goodie 🦋.”

However, a fan in the comments demanded Pullins to “show” her stomach in order to proved to them that she wasn’t pregnant.

The 20-year-old singer shot back at the fan, ” Ya’ll do know it’s winter time right? I’m not hiding anything from ya’ll get over it.”

Tiny Harris
photo credit@hotteainc

Harris channeled her inner “mama bear” and added to Pullins’ comment, “Right 😠.”

Fans also chimed in to defend Pullins.

“Ya’ll sound like creeps asking to see her stomach,” one person wrote. “Even if she was pregnant it wouldn’t be our business so chill 😩.”

Another added, “Really wish ya’ll would stop tryna force a baby on my bestie 😠 have ya own kids.”

Around February 2018, Pullins pulled a prank on fans by telling them to stop focusing on Kylie Jenner’s then-pregnancy with baby Stormi and said she had child-bearing news of her own.

Tiny Harris

“While Y’all been waiting to hear from Kylie, ya missed my whole pregnancy,” she wrote in an Instagram post.

A few weeks later, the former “OMG Girlz” alum addressed her baby announcement on “The Real” by saying that she’d just adopted a puppy.

“I had a child his name is whisky, he’s a puppy. …. He is a Pomeranian; he is so cute.” She continued by jokingly stating, “Being a mom, my life has changed. It is time-consuming, I feel so bad about leaving him alone. So I am looking for godparents to babysit him.”

Source: Black info

Sean Combs Posts Message of Black Financial Empowerment, Meek Mill Says ‘Self-Hate’ Is the Obstacle

Even though Sean “Diddy” Combs has been dealing with losing the mother of his children Kim Porter since November, and he split from his longtime love Cassie just one month previously, he still finds time to give advice on various topics.

On Tuesday, Jan. 29, Diddy posted a message about increased Black ownership and said it’s painfully ironic that Black folks create so many trends in fashion, music and other areas but still remain consumers of those creations and not owners.

He relayed a similar message on social media in November 2018, and previously in April of that same year.

In his recent post, the 49-year-old also said it’s going to take a collective effort for a huge increase in Black ownership to take place, and he’s willing to be on the front lines.

“I’m gonna give it my all to do what has to be done to make a difference and that definitively starts with economic inclusion,” Diddy explained. “It starts with the money. We control what’s hot out here. We are fashion, we are music, we are sports, we are lifestyle, we are the story. We the sh–.”

“But we don’t own enough sh–,” he continued. “It’s going take supporting each other in any way possible. It ain’t even this hard. We the originals, baby. We had all this thing built, figured out but somewhere we got lost.”

Diddy’s call for more Black ownership comes at a time when other prominent hip-hop figures have relayed the same message, a contrast to yesteryear when a lot of the same rappers seemingly focused on individual gain.

But besides Puff, time and age have caused people like Jay-Z to call for more ownership  as well, as he did on his 2017 album “4:44.” And in December 2018 Meek Mill told rappers to be more financially responsible, which Nipsey re-posted.

Meek also responded to Diddy’s recent message and added another idea to it.

“Let’s start a club immediately,” he wrote. “You in or you out? @diddy it’s no structure too many emotions driven by the #selfhate mentality. Let’s start nowwww.”

Between Diddy’s original post and Meek’s re-post, the Bad Boy boss’ message of increased Black ownership has been viewed over a 150 million times in less than a day.

Source: Black info

S.C. Grandmother Nearly Loses Home After Police Threaten to Seize It Because Of Criminal Behavior In the Area

An elderly South Carolina woman said she nearly lost it all when the local sheriff’s office tried seizing her home under civil forfeiture, claiming she wasn’t doing enough to keep criminals out of her front yard.

Resident Rozina Javis, who’s in her 80s, has lived in the same Columbia, S.C., home since 1964, The Greenville News reported. That same home has sheltered generations of relatives, a history made apparent by the dozens of family photos gracing her living room wall.

Rozina Javis
Rozina Javis’ home was faced with the threat of seizure by county authorities because of criminal activity in her front yard. (Photo by The Greenville News)

Years prior, her modest brick abode came under the threat of seizure. David Wilson, the then-Richland County Sheriff’s Department chief deputy, penned a letter to the local grandmother in March 2014, alerting her to “excessive criminal activity” at her address.

The laundry list of offenses, which occurred over an eight-year span in the area near Javis’ home, included narcotics violations, nine assault charges and even a murder back in 2010, according to the newspaper.

“Any further incidents involving illegal drugs/weapons at this property location will result in the immediate seizure of this property under state and federal forfeiture laws,” Wilson wrote. “No further notice will be given.”

Davis nearly became one of thousands in South Carolina who have had their property seized under the state’s civil forfeiture practices, which have disproportionately impacted the state’s Black residents, an ongoing investigation by The Greenville News TAKEN project revealed.

Civil forfeiture is widespread across the United States, with reforms coming slowly in places like Philadelphia, where the city finally agreed to curb the practice last year after seizing approximately 1,200 homes, 3,500 cars and $50 million in cash between 2002 and 2014 alone.

The South Carolina newspaper’s report found that 7 out of 10 people in the state who have seen their property seized are African-American, and 65 percent of all money seized by the police is from African-American males. What’s worse, the state’s Black residents are nearly three times more likely to have their money and property seized than white residents.

The investigation is part of a series examining civil asset forfeitures across South Carolina and how they’ve been used to target and police Black residents. Journalists working on the project estimate that the state’s law enforcement agencies have seized over $17 million in just the last three years.

“This is all I’ve got,” Javis told the newspaper of her home.

The elderly woman called the sheriff’s department and told Wilson she was aware of the criminal activity. Police documents showed that some of Javis’ young relatives would sell crack cocaine out of her front yard.

She told authorities she’d be able to stop the illicit activity during the daytime, however, it would pick back up after she went to bed at 9 p.m., as people would hang around near her home, or on the sidewalks nearby, the deputy police chief’s report explained.

Javis said she had no choice but to hire a lawyer after the sheriff’s department came after her home anyway.

“Your home, that’s the thing that you have, you have (sanctuary) there,” said Javis’ lawyer, Byron Gipson, who accused authorities of using “bullying tactics” against his client. He argued there are a variety of ways to address crime without going after someone’s home.

“That’s the bully approach,” Gipson added. “You can harass or threaten — why don’t you go fix the real problem? You know where this stuff is going on. You try to fix the problem. What the hell is she supposed to do? Is she supposed to put on a cape and go outside and become the caped crusader out here?”

Prosecutors never took Javis to court over the matter, and the case was dropped in 2016, the Greenville News reported.

The grandmother was able to keep her home but ended up filing for bankruptcy. The fight to keep her home simply cost too much, she said.

Source: Black info

Kandi Burruss Hits Back at ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ Contestant Ricky Williams After He Dismisses Her Frustration: ‘It’s a Game!’

When Kandi Burruss is pushed to the point of tears, you know she’s had it.

That’s what happened following the outcome of Wednesday’s episode of “Celebrity Big Brother.” During the Jan. 30 airing, the contestants had to race through a haunted house, and whoever made it in the quickest amount of time became Head of Household and could put two others up for elimination.

Comedian Tom Green managed to escape in just over three minutes making him the HOH. He chose to put Burruss and actor Joey Lawrence on the block. Meanwhile, the contestants had also been awaiting the results of who gets the Power of the Publicist. That opportunity, which was voted by viewers, gives one contestant the chance to be protected at one of the next two elimination or veto ceremonies.

It turns out that power went to Tamar Braxton. But Green, who has an alliance with Olympic hurdler and bobsledder Lolo Jones, ex-NFL star Ricky Williams, and former O.J. Simpson houseguest Kato Kaelin, was unaware of that. As he asked around to figure out who has the PoP, he reached Burruss, who became so irritated by his questioning that she began to cry.

“Even if I did have the power, I would’ve never used it against you,” “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” star tells Green as she wipes away her tears. “And this is the part that’s frustrating to me … ‘Cause at the end of the day, you put me on the block, and you don’t know what the ‘power’ is. And clearly, I have not won any vetoes. I have not won any HOHs. So, to put me on the block is basically to say, ‘Oh, I’m just throwing you on the block to sacrifice you just in case.’”

An annoyed Williams steps in to tell Burruss, who is now on the block for a second time, that she ought to just chalk it up to simply playing a game.

“This is a game. And part of the game is putting people on the block, and them getting evicted, so why are you guys acting all b—h-made? It’s part of the f—ing game?” Williams says.

“Learn from people that have gone before us. You didn’t see Ryan [Lochte] [getting upset],” Williams continues of the now-eliminated Olympic swimmer. “He just took it with a smile and said ‘OK’ and walked out. You gotta learn to win gracefully and lose gracefully. It’s a game, it’s a game, it’s a game … And part of the game is every single one of us except for one is going to walk out of that door.”

“If they keep coming to me about the ‘power,’ I’m still gonna say what I feel about it!” an irritated Burruss responds.

After the former football player said his piece he left the room. But Burruss wasn’t moved.

“At the end of the day, I was sitting here, chillin’. You guys come in here talking about the ‘power’ again. So I can say how I feel. I don’t give a damn what he talkin’ about,” she tells Green and Kaelin.

Once Burruss was left alone, she didn’t have much time to decompress before Williams re-entered to drive home his point.

“You’re not even out of it,” he says of the star’s place in the competition. “You still have ample opportunity. You still have ample opportunity. You have friends that’ll let you off.”

Still, Burruss, who by her own admission is an “emotional person,” said she’s simply “frustrated” and maintained she has the right to feel the way she feels.

Fans were largely on Burruss’ side.

“LEAVE KANDI ALONE and worry about how you’re giving people motivation to vote YOU off.”

“Yeaaaah Ricky can take is sorry self home now, I’m over him and his unkept beard.”

“Can’t wait until they back door him. Then he’ll eat those words. #shutupRicky #cbbus2.”

Source: Black info

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