President Obama’s Brother Endorses Trump for President 

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has reportedly secured the vote of President Barack Obama’s half brother, Malik Obama, Reuters reports.

Malik Obama told Reuters that he supports Trump’s policies, particularly his focus on security, and he also likes the nominee’s straightforwardness.

“He appeals to me, and also I think that he is down to earth and he speaks from the heart, and he is not trying to be politically correct. He’s just straightforward,” Malik Obama said.

“‘Make America great again’ is a great slogan. I would like to meet him,” he said, according to the New York Post.

Malik Obama also called Trump’s controversial stance on Muslims understandable, according to Reuters, saying, “I’m a Muslim, of course, but you can’t have people going around just shooting people and killing people just in the name of Islam.”

Apparently not a fan of his brother’s record in the White House, Malik Obama criticized the president for not doing much for the American people. According to the Post, Malik Obama cited a “deep disappointment” in Obama’s presidency, particularly over the president’s support of same-sex marriage and the killing of former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

“To each his own. I speak my mind, and I’m not going to be put in a box just because my brother is the president of the United States,” Malik Obama told Reuters.

Following Malik Obama’s announcement, Trump himself sent out a tweet about the endorsement.

Malik Obama, who used to live in Maryland, intends to fly to that state from Kenya in order to cast his vote for Trump in November, according to the Post.

Read more at Reuters and the New York Post

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Michael Jordan Speaks Out on Police Brutality, Targeting of Cops

Basketball legend Michael Jordan is speaking out on the shootings of black Americans, as well as the recent attacks on officers, issuing a statement today through The Undefeated in which he declares that he “can no longer stay silent”:

As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.

I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers—who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all—are respected and supported.

Jordan announced that he would be donating $1 million to the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and another $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, with the goal of engaging communities and the officers who serve them in order to build trust and respect.

“We are privileged to live in the world’s greatest country—a country that has provided my family and me the greatest of opportunities,” Jordan continued. “The problems we face didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be solved tomorrow, but if we all work together, we can foster greater understanding, positive change and create a more peaceful world for ourselves, our children, our families and our communities.”

Read more at The Undefeated.

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2nd Victim in Fla. Nightclub Shooting Identified as 14-Year-Old Sean Archilles

The second victim of a shooting outside a Fort Myers, Fla., nightclub has been identified as 14-year-old Sean Archilles, the Fort Myers, Fla., News-Press reports. 

Sean was one of two teens killed in the incident that left dozens injured.

According to the report, Jean Robert Archilles, Sean’s father, heard the news from the boy’s mother, who called him between midnight and 1a.m. Monday to tell him that his son had been rushed to a hospital.

Then, police called him with the terrible news: “Sorry to hear that your son passed away.”

Several teens had flocked to the Club Blu nightclub to attend a “Glow Party and Birthday Bash.” The event didn’t require ID and was meant for kids between the ages of 12 and 17.

“I don’t know like what a 14-year-old can do to someone,” Jean Archilles said, telling the news site that he did not know why the shooting started. “Some of his friends got shot too.”

Royal Palm Exception School, where Sean was a student, released a statement about his death saying:

“The staff and students at Royal Palm School were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Sean Archilles. Sean was the kind of young man who could brighten any room with his outgoing personality and contagious smile. He was a friend to all and will be deeply missed by his Royal Palm family.”

Sean’s father said he loved basketball, something he shared in common with the other person killed in the shooting, 18-year-old Stef’An Strawder. Strawder was a basketball star at Lehigh Senior High School who dreamed of playing Division I college basketball.

Read more at USA Today

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Obama’s Brother Endorses Trump for President 

Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump has reportedly secured the vote of President Barack Obama’s brother, Malik Obama, Reuters reports.

Malik Obama told Reuters that he supports Trump’s policies, particularly his focus on security and he also likes the nominee’s straight-forwardness.

“He appeals to me and also I think that he is down to earth and he speaks from the heart and he is not trying to be politically correct. He’s just straight-forward,” Malik Obama said.

“ ‘Make America Great Again’ is a great slogan. I would like to meet him,” he added, according to the New York Post.

Malik Obama also called Trump’s controversial stance on Muslims understandable, saying “”I’m a Muslim, of course, but you can’t have people going around just shooting people and killing people just in the name of Islam.”

Apparently not a fan of his brother’s record in the White House, Malik Obama criticized the president for not doing much for the American people. According to the Post, Malik Obama cited a “Deep disappointment” in Obama’s presidency, particularly over the president’s support of same-sex marriage and the killing of former Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy.

“To each his own. I speak my mind and I’m not going to be put in a box just because my brother is the President of the United States,” Malik Obama told Reuters.

Following Malik Obama’s announcement, Trump himself sent out a tweet about the endorsement.

Malik Obama intends to fly to Maryland from Kenya in order to cast his vote for Trump in November, according to the Post.

Read more at Reuters and the New York Post

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#FreedomNow: Why We Must Disinvest From the Fraternal Order of Police

In March of 2009, David Rector suffered a series of horrific medical crises. The former NPR producer, with a voice like black velvet caressing your skin, lost the ability to speak—or walk. He was virtually comatose for two weeks. But a friend suggested using Rector’s encyclopedic knowledge and love of comic books—especially D.C. Comic’s Superman and Batman—to bring him back.

“When I put the comic book in front of him, literally his face lit up and he smiled,” remembers his fiancee, Roz Alexander-Kasparik. She put one of David’s beloved Superman comics in front of him and watched him react from the depths of his anoxic ischemic brain injury—a condition caused by lack of oxygen to the brain that wreaks havoc with brain functions.

“It was obvious that he knew what it was—you know how he does that little smirk—one side of his face goes up and the other side goes down. He could hear and smell and had sensory memory,” she said.

Rector, now 66, had moved to San Diego to pursue his dream of working on-air instead of behind the scenes, and had indulged his encyclopedic knowledge of comics, movies and music with a visit to San Diego’s Comic-Con in 2008, the year before he became ill. But the man whose spirit yearned to communicate with the world could now only use his thumb. Rector was given a court-appointed conservator and his fiancee fought a pitched battle to get him out of a series of nursing homes. He stopped responding to therapists. Luckily, Alexander-Kasparik shared office space with comic-industry icon Batton Lash, creator of the long-running comic strip Supernatural Law. He had a suggestion that made Alexander-Kasparik’s head explode.

“Batton said, ‘You really should do a comic book!’ and I said, ‘David’s always wanted to draw,’ and Batton said, ‘Let’s do one; let’s do it,’” Alexander-Kasparik said.

That is how Recall and Given was born. The comic—currently in the process of being turned into a graphic novel—is about their lives and casts Rector in the role of the superheroes he loves. Recall has a superhero memory capacity, and while his body lies in bed, unable to move, his astral spirit roams around, dispensing justice through memories to people whose spirits call for help. If you are evil you get bad memories, and if you are good you get a positive karmic infusion of memories that can change who you are. Given—based on Alexander-Kasparik—is the helper and supporter whose love for him is a given.

Poster for the comic book Recall and Given
Poster for the comic book Recall and GivenJiba Molei Anderson

“Recall is in control of everyone he chooses to work with. He has control over long-term, short-term past and present memory—it’s all karmic. Everything that Recall does is predicated on who that person is deep down in their soul,” Alexander-Kasparik said. “He’s called by the people he needs to help … he gravitates to the people who call. In the preview, he’s going into the VA [hospital] because he has a job there to change the heart of an evil nurse.”

For Alexander-Kasparik and Rector, the creation of this book is kismet.

“David learned to read using comic books at age 3 … [and] comic books are such a part of who David is in life,” Alexander-Kasparik explained, adding that David approves all the story and art choices.

At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Alexander-Kasparik will sit on the annual Black Panel—created by Michael Davis. He’s an African American whose business card carries the logo “MOTU”—master of the universe. In the comic book world, the universe is a fictional place where the stories involving comic book characters happen.

Davis has done everything from being an illustrator for DC’s Piranha Press to co-founding Milestone Media—the largest and most successful black comic publisher in the world—and working with Motown Records and Viacom’s Showtime networks. He was struck by Alexander-Kasparik and Rector’s story.

“When I met them, David’s situation really f–ked with me because two or three women in my life were murdered; I know bad things happen to good people, “ Davis told The Root  in a telephone interview. “Roz’s devotion makes me cry.”

Davis’ panel, which takes place Friday, has included a host of celebrities, ranging from Shaquille O’Neal to Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols and even Ne-Yo, since it began in 1998. It gets an annual 90-minute slot, and Davis said that it began as a bitchfest in which people of color complained that they couldn’t get access to jobs at mainstream comic publishers. Now, he said, it’s something else.

“If you are a creator, it’s easier for an African-American kid to become a football player than it is to get a job in graphic arts or animation,” Davis explained. “I want it to be a place where you can get to the biggest stars in the industry—and ask these people, ‘How do you do it and how can I do it?’”

Davis said that he’s always thinking about inclusivity.

“The Black Panel is about who’s doing what in comics. It’s about African-American influence because African-American influence is youth culture,” Davis said.

He’s planning to help Alexander-Kasparik and Rector, who need a publisher for their Recall and Given story, and he says that one of the reasons he put Alexander-Kasparik on this year’s panel is so that they can make some connections and get moving on the graphic novel.

“I want this book to get out there,” said Davis, laughing, “and I want my part in the movie to be played by Denzel Washington.”

For Alexander-Kasparik, Recall and Given is a way to prove that David Rector is still here—with powers that are in a way similar to those of the movie version of Tony Stark, who created the Iron Man suit to keep him alive because of his flawed heart.

“David is still there; even though he doesn’t speak and can’t move very much, he’s very much still David. … So many people are petrified of it, disability … but it is now our reality,” Alexander-Kasparik said thoughtfully. “On film, Iron Man’s suit became almost inconsequential after Tony had his heart fixed. The same thing is our wish for David. As he recovers, he won’t need a suit. But at the same time, David will always be Recall.”

Check out the illustrations by Michael Davis, done exclusively for The Root!

Click to view slideshow.
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