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Last of 10 Young White People in Racial Assault Sentenced

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In 2011 James Craig Anderson was murdered in a hate crime (Family Photo).

In 2011, James Craig Anderson was attacked and murdered in a hate crime. He was 49. (Family Photo)

Jeff Amy, ASSOCIATED PRESS

 
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The last of 10 young white people who repeatedly assaulted African-Americans in Mississippi’s capital city received the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison Friday, completing a long-running federal prosecution in the case.

The string of assaults ended in the June 2011 death of autoworker James Craig Anderson, who was beaten and run over by a truck in a hotel parking lot.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate sentenced Robert Henry Rice of Brandon to 10 years. Rice had pleaded guilty to one felony hate crime charge in January.

The attack on Anderson was the last of a series of forays that a group of white men and women made into Jackson to assault black people. Hotel surveillance video, obtained by The Associated Press and other media outlets, shows a Ford truck back up and then lunge forward at 5:05 a.m. Anderson’s shirt is illuminated in the headlights before he disappears under the vehicle next to the curb.

Rice participated in at least three earlier attacks but wasn’t present when Anderson died. That meant he could have gotten less than the top sentence of 10 years, because Wingate ruled last week that he had to base Rice’s sentence on aggravated assault charges and not Anderson’s death.

Sentencing guidelines presented Friday called for Rice to receive a sentence of seven to nine years in prison, but Wingate gave Rice the maximum sentence of 10 years, saying more time was needed to adequately account for Rice’s “long history of perpetrating a reign of terror in Jackson against helpless African-Americans.”

Wingate, who was the first African-American federal judge in Mississippi history when appointed, said the defendants had set back progress the state had made on race relations.

“It is so very devastating that we are still in the middle of an atmosphere of hate and violence perpetrated by a group of thugs,” Wingate said.

Six white men and two white women were sentenced earlier, receiving federal prison terms ranging from four years to 50 years. Deryl Dedmon, who was driving the truck that ran over Anderson, also received two life sentences in state prison. He pleaded guilty in a Mississippi court in 2012 to capital murder and hate crime.

Lawyers indicated in court last week that an 11th person, a juvenile, also faces proceedings in the case. A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Gregory Davis said officials aren’t allowed to discuss federal juvenile proceedings.

Besides Anderson’s killing, defendants admitted other racially motivated attacks, including the beating of a black man near a Jackson golf course, the beating of another man who tried to sell the suburbanites drugs, attacks on pedestrians using beer bottles and a slingshot, and an attempt to run down another black man when Rice was driving. Attorneys said in court that authorities never found any of the other victims.

Barbara Anderson Young, the victim’s sister, said family members were “overwhelmed” with emotion at the end of the case.

“If you do the crime, you will do the time,” she said after the hearing. “I hope and I pray that this doesn’t happen to anyone else, but this has really, really put a great blemish on the state of Mississippi.”

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Follow Jeff Amy at: http://twitter.com/jeffamy.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Activism

Oakland Post: Week of July 10 – 16, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of July 10 – 16, 2024

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Opinion: A Strange Tale of Two Political Fights: Sheng Thao and Donald Trump

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao must be wondering how can a convicted felon with 34 guilty verdicts be riding high, while she, an uncharged elected official, fights for her political life? That’s how strange politics is in America today.

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Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao and Presidential Candidate Donald Trump.
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao and Presidential Candidate Donald Trump.

By Emil Guillermo

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao must be wondering how can a convicted felon with 34 guilty verdicts be riding high, while she, an uncharged elected official, fights for her political life?

That’s how strange politics is in America today.

On the national stage, President Joe Biden made an historic ask of Americans this week. It’s summer, and everyone is a “low information” voter now. But for the sake of the country, and the future of democracy, it’s time to pay attention. Get nerdy now.

Biden is essentially tied with Trump, a newly convicted felon, which tells you how cockeyed political values are in America.

Instead of policy, Trump is all bluster talking about a pre-debate drug test because he’s sure Biden is going to be “jacked up” on some kind of performance enhancing drug.

That kind of thing gets attention. Not whether you’re going to things to improve people’s lives.

But rest assured, if Donald Trump is elected for a second time, the blueprint is already out. The Heritage Foundation’s plan calls for a “Department of Life,” and a theocratic-based world view where abortion is illegal, and minorities of all stripes are disempowered.

A vote for Trump represents a radical reformatting of democracy.

POLITICS IN OAKLAND

In the meantime, local Oakland politics is slightly different, but no less confounding.

Sheng Thao, 18 months into her tenure as the first Hmong American to be mayor of a major U.S. city, is recovering from the worst week in her life.

First, a group of Oakland citizens qualified enough signatures to hold a recall election of Thao. Then, on Wednesday, 15 people were shot at an unauthorized Juneteenth celebration in the city’s Lake Merritt area. The topper came Thursday, when the FBI executed a pre-dawn raid of a number of houses including Thao’s, all connected to a case reportedly involving improper campaign donations from Andy Duong, a Vietnamese American businessman whose company, CalWaste, won the contract to run the city’s recycling program. No arrests were made, just boxes and computers hauled from the various homes. Not a good look.

 

THAO: “I AM INNOCENT”

For five days, Thao was silent, but on Monday, she came out firing her best shot.

“I have done nothing wrong,” Thao said at a news conference. “I can tell you with confidence that this investigation is not about me. I have not been charged with a crime and I am confident that I will not be charged because I am innocent.”

Thao said she was seeking answers from the U.S. attorney as to why she wasn’t “offered the opportunity to cooperate voluntarily.”

Good question. Unless they thought she was hiding something.

Thao addressed the shootings last week first with care, then said she won’t be distracted from the real issues of Oakland. Like safety or the selling of the Oakland Coliseum to a Black-owned group.

But she went back to questioning the timing of last week.

“I want to know more about the handful of billionaires from San Francisco and Piedmont who are hell bent on running me out of office,” she said, questioning how the recall announcement and the raid seemed orchestrated with the media “to fan the flames and bend the facts to shape a narrative.”

Trump, the convicted felon, overcomes reality and is propelled by “friends” who see him as a winner. Thao was voted in through RCV, rank-choice-voting. She was the most people’s No. 2, not No. 1.

Maybe that’s why few allies are standing up behind her now. The Oakland NAACP, and even one Asian group is calling for her to resign.

For Thao, this will be the test if her story can overcome it all, again.

About the Author

Emil Guillermo is a journalist and commentator. See him at www.amok.com

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#NNPA BlackPress

Congressional Black Caucus officially endorses Biden

NNPA NEWSWIRE — President Joe Biden has successfully chartered the support of high-ranking Congress members with an endorsement from the Congressional Black Caucus. The group met with the leader virtually on Monday eager to learn more about a campaign comeback plan after turmoil sparked by the June 27 presidential debate.
The post Congressional Black Caucus officially endorses Biden first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Ashleigh Fields

President Joe Biden has successfully chartered the support of high-ranking Congress members with an endorsement from the Congressional Black Caucus. The group met with the leader virtually on Monday eager to learn more about a campaign comeback plan after turmoil sparked by the June 27 presidential debate. Biden pleaded with members reportedly telling them, “’I need you. I want you to be fully engaged.” Later he added, “You’ve had my back and I’ve got yours.”

Biden took questions from the lawmakers who represent 120 million Americans combined reaffirming his zeal for a second term. “I will continue to stand with the president and the people who elected him to be our nominee. “He is the best candidate to be in this race,” Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12) told the NNPA after the call describing his current term as “extraordinary.” The North Carolina representative’s support will be crucial to Biden as he continues to visit the battleground state. Many are looking to see if his performance in Raleigh after the debate and frequent visits to Wilmington will seal the deal for voters who formerly sided with Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

The call with CBC members also served as a chance for the president to firm up his support in states like Nevada where he won by a slight margin in the last cycle. Horsford says his constituents are looking for the nation’s next leader to make decisions that are cost-effective and financially fruitful. “The voters in Nevada care about a thriving and equitable economy, taking on big corporations to lower costs and protecting the hard-bought freedoms, rights, and opportunities we’ve Earned,” Horsford posted on X the day after the meeting. “They’re focused on moving forward and reject the divisive politics of those who would like to take us back.”

The Biden-Harris ticket has boasted about reform that could uplift minority communities including tax credits for first-time home buyers and plans to remove medical debt from credit scores. Both proposals aim to ease the financial burden and stress that often prevents families from climbing the ladder of social/economic mobility. Throughout Vice President Kamala Harris’ economic freedom tour and publicized speeches from Biden the goal has always been to, “build from the middle out and the bottom up.” However, Trump has raked in support from a wide array of people because of his strong stance on immigration policy, promising to facilitate the largest deportation in American history if elected president. He believes illegal immigrants are dominating good-paying American jobs for lower wages driving the economy into distress.

“The fact is that his [Biden’s] big kill on the Black people is the millions of people that he’s allowed to come in through the border. They’re taking Black jobs now,” Trump said during the debate. “They’re taking Black jobs and they’re taking Hispanic jobs.” Despite these claims, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus which boasts 38 members officially endorsed Biden on July 9. Chair Nanette Barragan (D-CA-44) and Deputy Chair Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13) subsequently released a statement to explain their reasoning. “President Biden and his Administration have worked closely with House Democrats to make historic investments to positively impact communities across the country, including Latinos, such as investments to combat climate change, lower healthcare costs, expand access to healthcare for our veterans, and create jobs with the infrastructure bill,” the two shared.

Although Biden has received the affirmation of many over the past few days, Reps. Mark Takano (D-CA-39), Adam Smith (D-WA-9), and Joe Morelle (D-NY-25) have been publicly adamant about Biden dropping out of the race. Others like former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-11) have remained moderate and encouraged others to hold out fate until after Biden’s performance at NATO this week. “I want him to do whatever he decides to do. And that’s the way it is. Whatever he decides we go with,” Pelosi said on Morning Joe. “Let’s just hold off. Whatever you’re thinking, either tell somebody privately, but you don’t have to put that out on the table until we see how we go this week.”

The post Congressional Black Caucus officially endorses Biden first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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