The perpetrator(s) placed the battle flags right below a “Black Lives Matter, Hands Up” poster at Ebenezer Baptist Church—the historically black church in Atlanta, Georgia, where Martin Luther King Jr. once preached. In a statement, Raphael Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer, said the flags represent “a terrorist act meant to intimidate.” He equated the littering to placing Swastikas around a Jewish synagogue. “Let the message go out that we will not be shaken by this,” said Warnock, who has been outspoken about recent race-based acts of violence like police shootings and the Charleston shooting. “We will not be intimidated.” Federal and local authorities are hopeful that the church’s surveillance cameras will help identify suspects. Discuss
Police are looking into cross-burnings at an African-American and Hispanic church in in El Paso, Texas. First, someone lit a two-foot tall cross in front of Smyrna Seventh Day Adventist Church in east El Paso on Saturday night. Then Monday night, someone did it again. “I know of no reason why anyone would do this. We're trying to stay positive," said the church’s pastor, Allen Brewer. “I understand there's a lot going on in the country these days," he said, referencing last month’s church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina. "I don't know why anyone would do this." Discuss
Something historic but still largely unnoticed has happened in the last few decades. Nonviolent action to overthrow dictators and promote peace and justice has again and again proved stunningly successful.
Earlier this year, Selma reminded us of the way Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent civil rights movement changed American history. In 1986, the nonviolent People Power movement in the Philippines overthrew the decades-long dictator, Ferdinand Marcos. In 2003, the women of Liberia led a daring nonviolent campaign that overthrew a vicious dictator and led to democracy. Read More
The Dress exhausted its five minutes of viral fame this week, but it's already become a national talking point, the source of Buzzfeed's most-trafficked post of all time and a terrible tattoo. Now it's become something with a little more gravity: the subject of an ad about domestic violence. Salvation Army whipped the ad together awfully quick, making this a nice case of using something trivial to raise awareness about something important. Click here to see the full ad. Discuss
In 1997, Kelly Gissendaner killed her husband and was sentenced to death row. In the ensuing years, she has evidently experienced a radical life transformation, becoming a Christian and a pastor, and encouraging many women behind bars. Yet, despite testimonies from numerous character witnesses and pleas from her two children, Gissendaner's death sentence remains unchanged. She has been scheduled for execution on Monday night at 7 p.m. EST. The movement to stop her execution and commute her sentence to life in prison has garnered many prominent voices, and an online petition that has 65,000 signatures as of this writing ... Discuss
Reports are coming in saying ISIS took a small western Iraqi town called al-Baghdadi and burned 45 people alive. The victims' identities remain unknown, but local police told the BBC that some of them might be part of a resistance movement that had been battling ISIS for control of the city. The rest of the security personnel and their families are housed in a compound that is now reported to be under ISIS siege.
Al-Baghdadi is only a few miles from Ain al-Asad air base, where 400 U.S. military personnel are training Iraqi fighters. Discuss