*I’m going to have to use a famous John McEnroe (tennis player) quote and say, “You cannot be serious!”
On Wednesday, June 10, 24-year-old Robert Fuller, a black man, was found with a rope around his neck, hanging from a tree in Poncitlan Square in Palmdale, California and the police are saying it was a suicide and may have been due to the Coronavirus lockdown. There was a meeting held at Palmdale City Council on Friday, June 12.
Following is an excerpt from CNN: When a spokesperson for the sheriff’s department announced the preliminary findings of Fuller’s death during the news conference, outraged crowds demanded an investigation.
“We’re working hard to try to figure out exactly what happened,” Palmdale Mayor Steven D. Hofbauer shouted as he tried to calm people down. Attendees asked for camera footage of the incident, but a city official said there’s none.
Throughout the news conference, officials repeatedly called it an ongoing investigation, saying a full autopsy is underway. After the press conference, the city issued a statement saying it understands the community’s call for a full investigation into the death.
“We will fully cooperate with the Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles County’s Coroner’s Offices, and any and all investigative agencies looking into the matter,” Hofbauer said. “We are awaiting all available details surrounding this tragedy. In addition, we are working with local community leaders to increase the dialogue on how we can best work together and build a safer and more inclusive community,” he added.
A full autopsy is expected to be conducted in the immediate future, the Sheriff’s Department said.
On May 31, in Victorville, California, 38-year-old Malcolm Harsch was found hanging from a tree near a homeless encampment with a USB cord around his neck and today (Saturday) the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said there was no indication of foul play. According to his family, Mr. Harsch had not been depressed.
Following is an excerpt from USA Today:
“He didn’t seem to be depressed to anyone who truly knew him,” the family said.
“Everyone who knew our brother was shocked to hear that he allegedly hung himself and don’t believe it to be true as well as the people who were there when his body was discovered.
“The explanation of suicide does not seem plausible,” the family added. More than 1,500 people have signed an online petition requesting the sheriff’s department and cities of Victorville and San Bernardino to conduct an investigation into his death. “There are many ways to die but considering the current racial tension, a Black man hanging himself from a tree definitely doesn’t sit well with us right now,” the family said. “We want justice, not comfortable excuses.”
So that’s what we (Blacks) are doing now, in the midst of racial tension and unrest? We’re hanging ourselves? I agree with Malcolm Harsch’s family; seeing and hearing all that has been going on lately, it’s not sitting well with me either and I think it’s no wonder the community in Palmdale is outraged, marched from the park where Fuller’s body was found to the Sheriff’s station and want an investigation, as does Malcolm Harsch’s family in Victorville.
We’ll have to see how these two situations unfold.
Marilyn Smith is a Los Angeles based writer/reviewer. Contact her via [email protected].
Lakers Re-sign LeBron James and Anthony Davis / VIDEO
*Los Angeles Lakers fans are too thrilled these days because the chances of winning another championship in 2021 just got better. If you haven’t heard, the team announced on Thursday that they have officially re-signed both LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
First up was James’ deal. He inked a two-year, $85 million contract through the 2022-23 season on Wednesday. The extension will take him into his age 39/40 season, but because he’s LeBron James his age doesn’t matter. He’s still performing at an extremely high level.
“LeBron James is a transcendent basketball player and human being,” said vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka in a press release. “LeBron put his trust in the Lakers in 2018, and now this contract extension paves the way for LeBron to further solidify his legacy as an all-time Lakers great. We could not be more honored by this commitment.”
Now, let’s talk about AD, Anthony Davis. He was a free agent this off-season, but he signed his new deal with the Lakers only hours after James on Thursday morning, opting for a five-year contract worth up to $190 million. Many thought the 27-year-old would sign for two years with a player option for the third season, as that would have given him the most flexibility possible and allowed him to re-enter the market for his next deal having just met the criteria (10 years of service) to earn up to 35 per cent of the cap, reports Sportsnet.
“In the Orlando bubble, Anthony Davis proved he is one of the game’s most complete and dominant two-way players,” Pelinka said of the big man. “Now, Lakers fans get to watch AD continue to grow and lead our franchise for years to come. This is truly a blessed moment for Lakers Nation.”
With these deals done, it appears that both players expect to play a good deal (or most) of their respective careers with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Already Tiny Group of 4 Black Fortune 500 CEOs Loses A Member
*When 2020 began, there were four African American Fortune 500 CEOs. When the year ends, there will be three.
Jide Zeitlin stepped down as Chairman and CEO of Tapestry, the fashion holding company that owns Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman. When Zeitlin stepped down this past summer, he cited “personal reasons.” He was appointed CEO of Tapestry in September of 2019. He was a previous member of Tapestry’s board of directors since 2006, serving as chairman of the board since 2014.
After Zeitlin left his top-level executive position, only three other Black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are left. They are Kenneth Frazier of Merck & Co, a pharmaceutical company; Marvin Ellison of Lowe’s, one of the nation’s leading hardware chains; and Roger Ferguson, Jr. of TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America), a major company that helps participants invest in equities to diversify retirement funds.
Frazier was appointed to Merck & Co. in 2011, but has been with the company since 1992, holding several executive positions. Ellison of Lowe’s was appointed CEO in 2018.
According to “Business Insider,” Ellison began his career as a part-time security guard at Target in Memphis, making $4.35 an hour. For the next 15 years, he rose through the ranks before being hired at Home Depot in 2002, where he later became executive vice president of U.S. stores. Before becoming CEO of Lowe’s in 2018, he was CEO of JC Penney.
Ferguson of TIAA has been CEO of the giant company since 2008. Prior to his current position, he was head of financial services for Swiss Re, vice-chair of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System, and associate and partner at the elite law firm of McKinsey and Company.
A decade ago there were seven Black Fortune 500 CEOs. According to “Business Insider,” there have only been two Black women to hold a CEO position at a Fortune 500 company: Ursula Burns, Xerox (2009 – 2016) and Mary Winston, Bed Bath & Beyond (Interim CEO, May – November 2019).
According to Fortune Media IP Limited, there have only been 18 Black CEOs to head Fortune 500 companies since 1999, where the highwater mark of six African Americans held the position in 2012.
Lynn Whitfield’s Sewing Lessons Have Paid Off – Check Out Her First Creation [Pics/Video]
*”Greenleaf” actress Lynn Whitfield took to Instagram to show off her newfound sewing skills and her first design. In the video, she says she feels like a kid in a candy store with all the possibilities.
Here’s how she captioned the video:
“I made this skirt In this time of staying in, I’ve been feeling a passion to make things as I see them… as I imagine them… as I design them to be. Maybe in some intimate way, I can shape what my world would look like, feel like, even in the simple exercise of making a holiday skirt.
“In part it’s nostalgic… The women in my family were always preparing for some event, big or small, and they loved it… Mardi Gras, Easter, Christmas… It didn’t need to be expensive but it always had to be beautiful. The women in my family love a good skirt!
“Making my holiday skirt… this felt like something new for me to explore… a hands-on expression of myself through fashion. It was grounding to imagine and design something as I saw it. And I love it… #xoLynnWhitfield”
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