For three generations, black Americans have learned the same cautionary tale about the police. And many, speaking on the fringes of George Floyd’s memorial ceremonies, say that nothing has changed in the US since the mid-20th century struggle for civil rights.”Some things have changed, but not enough has changed,” Norman Mitchell told AFP during a memorial service for Floyd at his former school, Jack Yates High, in Houston’s predominantly black Third Ward neighborhood.He acknowledged political advances made for the African American community, such as the election of Barack Obama as the first black president in the history of the US, but at the same time recounted the discrimination he and his children continue to face because of the color of their skin. “It took an individual kneeling on someone’s neck for eight minutes, 46 seconds for the world to see the issue that we’ve been fighting for the last 100 years,” said the 55-year-old.”When I was a young man, my father used to tell me to be very careful when I went out because there was a possibility that I could be stopped by the police,” Mitchell added.He said he “had this exact same conversation with” his sons, whose ages range from 17 to 32.Floyd’s agony as a white police officer knelt on his neck in a Minneapolis street hit Mitchell’s youngest son particularly hard. He “did not think it was real until May 25, and he knew the stories we had been sharing for years,” Mitchell said, whose own brother was killed by a Houston police officer in 1991. At 63 years old, Laura Allen was a child when marches and protests against police brutality started in the Texan city’s streets.”I was three or four years old with my family down (in) the streets, and we’re having to march for the same civil rights that we did years ago,” she said.”Not much has changed at all.”The former Yates student — class of 1975 — slammed the inequality and “double standard” of police policies in Houston, where “almost every black male I know have been profiled.” Scared of cops Like many others, Allen has countless stories of arbitrary arrests and intimidation. In 1980, she was detained by park police “for carrying a glass.”This year, she was pulled over during a trip to Alabama with her husband and daughter.”As soon as we crossed the Alabama border, we were instantly stopped. They ask, ‘Is this your car?'” recalled the small, gray-haired woman.Just as her father brought her to protests, so Allen accompanied her daughter, Leah, last week to a massive rally in Houston, where 70,000 people demanded justice for Floyd.At 28, Leah Allen has the same distrust of police officers as her mother, since “you never know what could happen.””I’m very scared of cops,” she said, recounting how police officers have followed her or leered sexually at her.Tragedy can strike at any moment. Syreeta Polley, 38, points to the death in 2016 of black motorist Philando Castile, who was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop near Saint Paul, Minnesota.As with Floyd, his shocking final moments were caught on video.Polley has taught her teenage daughter, Nia Madison, to “respect authority figures” and be “cautious.”The 17-year-old has started driving, and the lesson is clear: “Make sure you’re prepared if you’re being pulled over,” said Polley.”It’s 2020 and it’s a big step back, it pushes us back to the 50s and 60s and the stories my 92-year-old grandmother would tell,” Polley added.Even the Houston police chief, Art Acevedo, admitted that “there is a lot of work to do” to change the police force’s mindset.Houston-based rapper William James Dennis — or “Willie D” — hopes that Floyd’s death will serve as a catalyst.The black community “can use [the death of George Floyd] as a short window of opportunity to move America forward,” the artist and activist told AFP on Tuesday, during Floyd’s funeral. Topics :
… Guyana’s five-member team Olympic dreams in limboTHE Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) has been informed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Americas Boxing Confederation (AMBC) that the Americas Olympic Qualifier for boxing has been cancelled because of fear of spread of the Coronavirus.The Qualifier was scheduled for March 26 to April 4 in Buenos Aries, Argentina. Guyana was scheduled to send a team of five boxers and three coaches to the tournament.It follows a move from the Government of Argentina to restrict international events in the country with immediate effect.The boxing tournament at Tokyo 2020 will be run by an International Olympic Committee (IOC) task force after the International Boxing Association was stripped of involvement for a series of governance issues.The IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) announced the decision yesterday, the latest in a long list of events that have been cancelled because of COVID-19.“The BTF understands and respects the decision taken by the public authorities of Argentina during this difficult time worldwide. We are searching for the appropriate solution for this unexpected situation and will immediately inform the National Olympic Committees, National Federations and other impacted parties as soon as further information is available,” the task force said in a statement.Canada-based Taveena Kum is the lone female on Guyana’s five-member team.Officials now face a headache in creating a fair qualification system for all athletes, with the African event in Dakar already completed and the Asia-Oceania competition finished in Amman yesterday.GBA president Steve Ninvalle called the cancellation a major setback but reasoned that it was done for the safety of all involved.“We have already spent a hefty sum securing tickets and insurance for the boxers and coaches. Those moneys are not refundable. We had also timed preparation of four of the boxers to peak just before the Qualifier. We will now have to await information from the IOC regarding if there would be a rescheduling,” Ninvalle said.“The spread of the Coronavirus is a very serious issue and for that alone we accept without reservation the decision to cancel the tournament,” said the GBA head.With the support of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) and the Government of Guyana, GBA dispatched Keevin Allicock, Desmond Amsterdam, Colin Lewis and Dennis Thomas for a three-month trading stint in Cuba.The stint is scheduled to conclude next week. They would have been joined by Canada-based Taveena Kum at the Qualifiers. The coaches were Terrence Poole MS, Sebert Blake and Cuban Francisco Roldan. Ninvalle said that he has sent off a message informing the boxers and had called president of GOA, K. Juman-Yassin to update him. Efforts to contact Director of Sport Christopher Jones proved futile.Meanwhile, Ninvalle informed that in light of the recent cancellation, GBA is planning an international card for early April, stating that “we have to make sure that at least the four from Cuba remain active. I am in discussion with Trinidad and hopefully by weekend we will have concrete information”.
Rocky Mountain high · Junior outside hitter Niki Withers (3) and senior middle blocker Elise Ruddins have been critical players this season, said head coach Mick Haley ahead of a Wednesday match against ASU.After a successful weekend in the Rocky Mountains against Colorado and Utah, the Trojans face off against ASU Wednesday at the Galen Center in a 7 p.m. match. The No. 22 Women of Troy have regained their winning momentum by beating Colorado and Utah in four and five sets, respectively. The Colorado win was the first conference win of the season, proving that the team’s hard work in practice is beginning to show on the court. Senior libero Taylor Whittingham had a great weekend, earning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.“We’re such a balanced team right now that we’re spreading it out,” head coach Mick Haley said. “I’m sure we’re tough to deal with because you don’t know where to put your pressure on us.”Freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier tallied up 38 kills in both games last weekend, solidifying her dominant role on the team. Junior middle blocker Jordan Dunn, senior middle blocker Elise Ruddins and junior outside hitter Brittany Abercrombie continued to step up as key contributors as the Trojans advance through their season. The reintroduction of Whittingham on the court gave the Trojans a little more experience than they had been working with when she was out. This week, each player will be instrumental in winning against Arizona State on Wednesday and Arizona on Friday.“We always have a battle with those guys. We’ve played a bunch of five-game matches,” Haley said. “We’ve won most of them, but we’ve lost a couple, and they always play us hard.” Arizona State is 7-9 for the season and 0-4 in conference. Key players include senior outside hitter Cassidy Pickrell, who has the most kills on the team, with 16 in their last game against Utah State. Junior middle blocker Oluoma Okaro and senior outside hitter Maya McClendon will also play critical roles when the Sun Devils battle the Women of Troy. Sophomore setter Kylie Pickrell also helps leads the team’s offense. The Sun Devils are known for being very athletic, especially the Pickrell Sisters. Both Cassidy Pickrell and McClendon had double doubles against Utah, despite ASU losing in five sets.“They are as athletic as we are, so I think we’ll see a pretty athletic effort,” Haley said. “Serve and serve receive will be the real key to get control of the game, so we want to focus in that area.”Serve receive is an area that the team has been working to control this whole season, in order to play better defense in general.Arizona is 10-6 this year and 2-2 in conference. In their last game against Oregon, a 3-1 loss, redshirt junior middle blocker McKenzie Jacobson led the team with 16 kills. Senior libero Laura Larson had 23 digs, 10 assists and one ace. “We usually take one game at a time, so we don’t get ahead of ourselves or get confused because sometimes the game plans are different,” Haley said. The team typically focuses solely on the team they have ahead of them, so they will prepare for their matchup against the Wildcats beginning Thursday. This is advantageous for them because they will not be traveling at all this week, and will have ample time to prepare for the two games they have this week.The Women of Troy will face off against Arizona State Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Galen Center. The game will be live on Pac-12 Networks. Friday’s game will be another home affair for the Women of Troy as they host the Arizona Wildcats. The game begins at 7 p.m.