Black NY jogger called racial slur, hit with glass bottle in viral video

Tiffany Johnson

Authorities say that 37-year-old Tiffany Johnson was jogging in Queens when a white woman approached her and threw a glass bottle at her while calling her the n-word. 

“She was so loud and aggressive,” Johnson told ABC7. “She did call me the n-word, and I mean I’m not an n-word, none of us are, but the reality is that this woman felt that she needed me to be that, and I would just say that she needs to look into herself as to why.” 

Tiffany JohnsonKerry Burke

The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force has launched an investigation after a white woman threw a bottle and yelled a racial slur at a Black woman jogging in a Queens neighborhood. Tiffany Johnson came forward about the attack after she realized an onlooker had filmed the incident. The frightening footage has since gone viral on social media.

“She was so loud and aggressive,” Johnson recalled during an interview with ABC 7. “She did call me the n-word, and I mean I’m not an n-word — none of us are — but the reality is that this woman felt that she needed me to be that and I would just say that she needs to look into herself as to why.”

Thankfully, Johnson wasn't injured in the attack. She said the woman continued following and yelling at her even after the video ends.

She followed me up the block,” the 37-year-old said. “[She] was screaming, ‘Get out of here, go back to Africa, n-word.’”

Johnson hasn’t been back to the area since and reported the incident after she realized there was video evidence. NYPD officials tweeted about the ongoing investigation and asked for witnesses to come forward to identify the suspect — described as a white woman with blonde hair — who is wanted for assault.

Johnson has received an outpouring of support from the community since the attack, especially from the group Black Girls Run.

“We’re really resilient as women,” Johnson told New York Daily News. “We’re soulful. As women of color, we’re deep thinkers. We stick together as women of color. We know that these people exist. We rise above them. We don’t let them drag us down. We just keep moving forward, as I did in that video.”

Johnson was unaware that a passerby was recording the confrontation that happened around noon on Monday, Aug. 17. The video later went viral. She didn’t report the incident until a friend saw the video on social media.

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is currently investigating it; NYPD officials released a tweet asking for tips to identify the assailant, who is now wanted for assault. 

In the video, the assailant is seen drinking from the bottle before hurling it at Johnson as she jogged past. The bottle breaks against her back; when Johnson turns around, confused, the attacker shrieks, “Get out! Get the f— out!”

The victim said the assault continued even after cameras stopped rolling.

“She followed me up the block,” Johnson said, “was screaming ‘get out of here, go back to Africa… n-word.” 

When she asks what the woman’s problem is, her attacker snarls back: “Why aren’t you in Africa, m—-f—- n—-r!”

Johnson told the New York Daily News that while she jogs daily, she varies her route, and she had never seen the woman before. She said that she wanted to get away from the situation as soon as possible: “My safety was my first concern.” 

“We’re really resilient as women,” Johnson said, “We’re soulful. As women of color, we’re deep thinkers. We stick together as women of color. We know that these people exist. We rise above them. We don’t let them drag us down. We just keep moving forward, as I did in that video.”

Johnson said she has received an outpouring of support from many groups, including Black Girls Run. 

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Fed-Up Ex-RNC Chair Absolutely Loses It Over Trump’s ‘I’m With Stupid’ Backers

Michael Steele

“We have to literally beg people to wear a mask to save their own dumb ass from getting sick,” Michael Steele said.

Michael Steele, former chair of the Republican National Committee, reached new levels of exasperation after President Donald Trump’s wild news conference on Wednesday. 

Trump claimed he’d done a “great job” with the coronavirus pandemic despite the U.S. having the world’s highest death toll and one of the highest per-capita death rates of the industrialized nations. 

But Steele said on MSNBC that Trump’s supporters just don’t care. 

“I’ve talked to enough of them over the last few days. I’m exhausted, I’m exasperated. You know, at this point, it’s like, save who you can save because there’s only so much you can do. There’s only so much you can say. The fact that we have to literally beg people to wear a mask to save their own dumb ass from getting sick, I’m sorry. To me, it is beyond the imagination.”  

Steele also complained about Trump contradicting his own CDC director, Dr. Robert Redfield, who earlier in the day said a possible coronavirus vaccine would not be available to the general public until the second or third quarter of next year, and urged Americans to wear a mask to stop the spread of the infection.

“The CDC director is telling us the truth and Donald Trump is literally lying to us,” Steele said. “And yet, 40 percent of the country looks at it and goes: ‘Yeah, I’m with stupid.’”

Steele said the nation is facing a stark choice in the coming election. 

“I don’t know what more you can take before you say you’ve had enough,” he said. “Because, my heavens, this is too much for a country to go through.”

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Report: Death penalty cases show history of racial disparity

true

Black people have been overrepresented on death rows across the United States and killers of Black people are less likely to face the death penalty than people who kill white people, a new report found.

The report from the Death Penalty Information Center is a history lesson in how lynchings and executions have been used in America and how discrimination bleeds into the entire criminal justice system. It traces a line from lynchings of old — killings outside the law — where Black people were killed in an effort to assert social control during slavery and Jim Crow, and how that eventually translated into state-ordered executions.

It comes as the U.S. grapples with criminal justice and police reform following George Floyd's death and the deaths of other Black people at the hands of police and in the wake of mass protest. Across the country, 30 states have the death penalty but executions occur mostly in Southern states.

And the federal government this year began carrying out executions again after a 17-year hiatus despite waning public support for the death penalty. The center, a think tank that studies both state and federal capital cases, wrote that capital punishment must be included in the discussion of the past.

“I think what the data tells us and what history tells us is that they’re all part of the same phenomenon. The death penalty in inextricably linked to our history of slavery, of lynching, and Jim Crow segregation and we wanted to put what is happening today in its appropriate context,” said Robert Dunham, the head of the center.

The report found that throughout the modern era, people of color have been overrepresented on death row — in 2019, 52% of the death row inmates were Black, but that number has dropped to 42% this year, when approximately 60% of the population is white. But it also showed that the killers of white people were more likely than the killers of Black people to face the death penalty, and cases with white victims were more likely to be investigated.

Since the death penalty resumed in 1977, 295 Black defendants were executed for killing a white victim, but only 21 white defendants were executed for the killing of a Black victim even though Black people are disproportionately the victims of crime.

“If you’re thinking about Black victims of crime, they are more likely to be the victims of homicide, but we've created this system where Black victims of crime are less likely to get the services they need, the clearance rate for those crimes is much lower,” said Ngozi Ndulue, author of the study. “Instead what we have is what is seen as the 'worst of the worst’ being executed, and that means in many cases the person killed was white."

The report also details several case studies in which race may be playing a role today, including a man named Pervis Payne, accused of the 1987 stabbing deaths of Charisse Christopher and her 2-year-old daughter, Lacie Jo. Payne told police he was at Christopher’s apartment building in Millington, Tennessee, to meet his girlfriend when he saw a man in bloody clothes run past him. Payne, who is African American, has said he found and tried to help the victims, who were white, but panicked when he saw a white policeman and ran away.

Payne is sentenced to die Dec. 3, but he has asked a judge to order DNA testing. At the time of his trial, DNA testing of evidence was unavailable, and no testing has ever been done in his case. A request for DNA testing, in 2006, was refused based on a Tennessee Supreme Court ruling that has since been overturned.

His recent petition said police focused almost exclusively on him as a suspect, although nothing in his history suggested he would commit such a crime. He was a minister’s son who never caused problems either as a child or a teenager.

But prosecutors alleged Payne was high on cocaine and looking for sex when he killed Christopher and her daughter in a “drug-induced frenzy.” The town of Millington is in Shelby County, which has the most death sentences and lynchings of any county in the state.

The report also takes aim at the federal government's scheduling of executions. The first set were all white men, a move critics argue was a political calculation to avoid uproar. The federal death penalty suffers the same racial bias, according to the report. Of the 57 people on federal death row, 34 are people of color, including 26 Black men, some convicted by all-white juries, the report found.

Christopher Vialva, the first Black inmate on federal death row set to die this year, is scheduled to be executed next week.

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If You Think Calling Us ‘Angry Black Women’ Is An Insult, You’d Better Think Again

“People may call Kamala Harris or Michelle Obama ‘angry’ as if they have no right to be dissatisfied, but we must ask ourselves: Are we satisfied? Are we satisfied with Trump’s administration?”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) laughs during the presidential candidate forum at the annual convention of the National Associa
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) laughs during the presidential candidate forum at the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Detroit, Michigan, on July 24, 2019.

In the days since Sen. Kamala Harris was tapped to become Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, some not-so-typical political jabs have cannonballed their way into the media. While it’s normal for vice presidential candidates to be grilled and criticized, especially in the period directly after they’re thrust into the spotlight, Harris, a former presidential candidate herself, has already seen most of her dirty laundry aired out to dry. But now, her opponents on the right have turned to classic misogynoir — a term that refers to “the anti-Black racist misogyny that Black women experience” — to rebuke her.

Most notably, there were President Donald Trump’s initial remarks about Harris: “She left [the presidential race] angry. She left mad. There was nobody more insulting to Biden than she was.” While it’s a known fact that Harris was a staunch critic of Biden’s previous politics, the “angry Black woman” trope was clear throughout Trump’s attacks.

Though many politicians are often characterized as being “tough” or even “harsh” toward an opponent or topic, Harris was specifically pegged as “angry” in regards to the same behavior, something that women of color and Black women in particular are forced to combat daily.

Then, some media outlets started using misogynoir in a different way. In Australia, for example, a political ad in The Australian used misogynoir by portraying an aging Biden offering to hand the nation over “to this little brown girl.” And in the United States, a sports reporter was fired for sharing a meme that referred to Harris as a “hoe.”

In an age when the concept of intersectionality is placing social issues in a newer, “woke” context, misogynoir artfully summarizes the ways in which Black women are attacked on the basis of both gender and race. While the term is often used in discussions within the Black community, it also applies to mainstream situations like the ones mentioned above.

By discounting our passions and creating a negative connotation around the subject of anger, Black women are pushed into a proverbial corner of silence and discouraged from expressing an ‘aggressive’ emotion.

One of the many damaging effects of misogynoiristic profiles, such as the “angry Black woman,” is that they both demonize and invalidate righteous anger. By discounting our passions and creating a negative connotation around the subject of anger, Black women are pushed into a proverbial corner of silence and discouraged from expressing an “aggressive” emotion.

This stereotype has empowered white supremacy and misogyny to harness the anger of racial and ethnic minorities, and the result is the general belief that 1) their anger is unwarranted, and 2) their anger is unproductive at best and destructive at worst.

The truth is that anger is completely constructive and has long been the catalyst for reformation in modern society.

The soul of virtually every modern American protest was rooted in a form of anger, including the Boston Tea Party, the American Revolution, the women’s suffrage movement, the Vietnam War protests, ACT UP and Black Lives Matter, just to name a few.

When I wrote about being an angry Black woman myself just a few months ago, it was important to not only reclaim the phrase but also illuminate just how crucial anger can be to improve our society.

Anger gives birth to petitions, protests, demonstrations and other direct actions and social movements. It powers grassroots organizations and can inspire people to use and lift up their voices.

Demonizing anger is a barrier to progress. Anger, after all, is a strong feeling of displeasure. To disrupt oppressive or inefficient systems, you must first be able to identify the problem and your dissatisfaction with it. And, my goodness, there certainly are a great deal of things to be displeased about, aren’t there?

The list goes on and on.

The incredible thing about anger is that it can be channeled into creating change and doing good. My anger led me to activism, as it has for so many other Black women, including Black Lives Matter founders Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza, and fellow activists Tarana Burke, Raquel Willis and Johnetta Elzie.

Anger is why I petitioned my state leadership in 2016 after they passed a bill seeking to conceal police body cameras. Anger is why millions of people around the world took to the streets during a pandemic to protest police brutality. Anger is why more than 130 Black women are congressional candidates for major parties this year.

As the election looms, I’ve thought a lot about voter suppression. I read Stacey Abrams’ book on suffrage, ”Our Time Is Now,” and was inspired by the way she took her anger following Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial election catastrophe and turned it into Fair Fight, the nonprofit that promotes fair elections, voter participation and voter education in the United States.

I know that our American freedoms come with the responsibility for us to be watchdogs of those in power ― and that anything falling short of our American ideals should indeed make us angry.

I’ve been volunteering for North Carolina’s voter protection hotline and have heard about the personal obstacles that make voting difficult for many people — rural residents who can’t print their ballot requests because they don’t have internet access, essential workers who don’t trust mail-in voting but don’t get time off to wait in line to vote, a single dad who doesn’t have anyone over the age of 18 in his household to act as a witness for an absentee ballot and doesn’t know anyone who will meet with him due to COVID-19 concerns. None of these things should be an issue in the United States, and yet they are.

When dissatisfaction over injustice ― aka anger ― grows inside me, I know it’s a sign that I need to do more. I know it’s the same sign that guided women before me, such as Angela Davis and Fannie Lou Hamer, to make their voices heard so our nation could become better. I know anger is what made Michelle Obama’s fiery speech on Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention so powerful and so widely praised. I know that our American freedoms come with the responsibility for us to be watchdogs of those in power ― and that anything falling short of our American ideals should indeed make us angry. 

If we lack anger in the face of corruption, we flirt with ― or fall head first into ― a state of apathy, which is a direct threat to our future. People may call Kamala Harris or Michelle Obama “angry” as if they have no right to be dissatisfied, but we must ask ourselves: Are we satisfied? Are we satisfied with Donald Trump’s administration? Are we satisfied with our sheriffs and judges, our cabinet members and the Supreme Court, our foreign relations and infrastructure? Are we satisfied with representatives calling their female colleagues derogatory names? Are we satisfied with Jared Kushner’s promise that the economy would be “rocking” by July? Are we satisfied with Trump pardoning Susan B. Anthony (God rest her soul) while our nation’s children walk into coronavirus hotbeds at school? Or are you, no matter what race or gender, like so many of us, angry?

While you’re considering where you stand, know this: you may call me, a proud Black woman, “angry” any day of the week. Not matter how it is intended ― no matter how hurt or harmed anyone, from our president to a stranger on the street, may intend for me to be, it is not a slur to me. It is not something to be ashamed of or to work on getting over or giving up. Acknowledging and embracing my anger means that I am engaged, I care and I’m committed to doing something productive with this powerful emotion. Shoutout to all the angry Black women who are living, loving and still persisting despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges that stand in our way.

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Eva Longoria Has News For Democratic Convention Critics Who Called Her Out Of Touch

Eva Longoria hosts the the virtual Democratic National Convention on August 17, 2020. (via Reuters TV)

My parents “didn’t give me a million dollars to start a business,” the actor said after the Democrats were assailed for having a celebrity host at the DNC.

Given her decades-long history of political activism, philanthropy and advocacy, Eva Longoria seemed well-positioned to host the Democratic National Convention last month. That didn’t stop some critics from using her celebrity to cast her as out of touch.

The actor’s thoughts on that are simple: They’re wrong.

“I showed up there not as a celebrity but as an American,” she told HuffPost in a phone conversation Tuesday. ”I went to college on student loans, I had credit card debt, I worked at Wendy’s flipping burgers just to pay for college. I’ve been through it. And I worked hard. And I think I definitely understand the struggle for the American dream.”

As Longoria was hosting the first night of the August convention, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) trended on Twitter. He faced a torrent of fact-checks for implying that as a celebrity, Longoria was not attuned to the challenges and obstacles faced by everyday Americans as he sought to mock the event. (In addition to referencing Longoria’s lengthy résumé, several people pointed out that the leader of Rubio’s party is a former reality TV star.) 

While best known for her role on “Desperate Housewives,” Longoria has long been a vocal advocate for issues faced by disadvantaged communities. She’s fought for decades for Latinx and immigrant communities and for farmworkers, women and voting rights. She was national co-chair of Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.

And, as she noted Tuesday in a Donald Trump reference, she did it all without a million-dollar loan from her parents.

“My parents didn’t give me anything. They didn’t give me a million dollars to start a business. I moved to Hollywood with $22 in my bank account and no car, no job. So I figured it out,” she said. “And I think that’s a lot of peoples’ stories.”

Just this year, Longoria has worked on a number of projects to support communities in need, including providing aid to farmworkers affected by the pandemic.

Longoria has partnered with Tillamook and American Farmland Trust to provide financial relief to struggling farmers through the All for Farmers campaign. 

“For Americans, agriculture’s still the backbone of our country. The pandemic has deemed farmers and farmworkers essential,” Longoria told HuffPost while promoting the initiative. “They’ve always been essential to our food supply.” 

But that’s not all the star activist wants her fans supporting this year. 

“Right now is the moment to say yes,” she said. Whether it’s telling people where to vote, helping them understand how to use mail-in ballots or posting a video on social media, “everything matters,” she said.

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