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THE WAY WE LIVE NOW: Minneapolis Burning As Race Relations Flare / Mind Blowing PhotosVideo

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*Black Lives Matter, they say. His life mattered, they say, until a police officer decided it didn’t. They say.

Minneapolis is the latest U.S. city whose threads are fraying and burning over race relations. Protesters see video footage of George Floyd, accused of forging a check, his neck trapped under police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee, pleading for his life as he labored to breathe. Breathing his last.

Two nights after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the city began to burn. A lone firefighter stared into a sea of blaze on May 27, 2020. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)

Thousands hit the streets—peaceful at first, even polite. A makeshift memorial attracted balloons and roses. The police chief fired four cops and the mayor demanded criminal prosecutions, but justice is a slow drip and Molotov cocktails create loud, roaring fires.

 

“Good cops are dead cops,” one vandal spray-painted not far from where paramedics found Floyd unconscious.

It wasn’t the first time a white cop killed a black suspect, and it won’t be the last.

This is how black Americans caught in the middle live now. Worrying and working to protect their spouses, their children, their neighbors’ children. And furious that they have to.

The name Trayvon Martin launched a protest movement seven years ago, and more names would follow.

Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Cameron Lamb, Terence Crutcher, Laquan McDonald.

Those are just a few whose deaths fit neatly enough into quiet weeks or weekends to become news. There are more.

Arson doesn’t always follow, nor looters urging city-dwellers to “be the virus.” More shootings aren’t guaranteed amid chaos, nor innovative ways of cracking open ATMs to harvest what’s inside.

Two wrongs don’t make a right. But the color of a man’s skin shouldn’t matter either, they say.

About 1 in 1,000 black men and boys in America can expect to be killed by someone wearing a badge, according to Northwestern University research.

White men have it decidedly better. As usual, they say. And not just in Minneapolis.

It’s the same in New York and Cleveland and Charleston and Baltimore and Baton Rouge and Sacramento and Dallas and Kansas City and Tulsa and Chicago and in Ferguson, Missouri.

Our TV sets, mobile phones and car radios tell us, often, that something is wrong. Red-orange flames say some of us are angry beyond words.

Some. But we’re all here. We all hear. And then we don’t again.

Enraged and tired and numb is the way we live now.

A protester outside the 3rd precinct in Minneapolis raised his middle fingers at the police and said “Fuck you” on May 26, 2020 His shirt’s message, “Black Lives Matter,” has become a rallying cry for activists combating police brutality against African Americans. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)
Protesters gathered May 27 in front of Cup Foods in Minneapolis while they listened to speakers talk about the life of George Floyd, who died the day before during his arrest. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)
Protesters marched down Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis on Wednesday to protest Floyd’s killing by a 19-year police veteran who pinned his neck to the pavement with his knee. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)
A protester (left) vandalized a police squad car in Minneapolis on May 26, 2020 as others (at right) yelled for her to stop. Demonstrations turned violent behind the Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)
A protester stands defiantly with her fist in the air as police walk by her on May 26, 2020 in Minneapolis. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)
Police made tear gas canisters rain down on protesters in Minneapolis outside a Target store. The same store was the site of arson and looting 24 hours later. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)
“Be the virus” demands graffiti on an empty storefront window in Minneapolis on May 27, 2020. Protesters have complained about police firing tear gas into riots during a pandemic that also attacks the lungs. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)
An ATM was forced open and destroyed by looters at the US Bank location near Lake Street and Hiawatha in Minneapolis in the early morning hours of May 28, 2020. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)
Near the destroyed ATM, the US Bank sign was spray-painted by a vandal who wrote: “Good cops are dead cops.” (Chris Juhn/Zenger)
Standing and sitting on top of a car, two people share a beer and watch as a 190-unit affordable housing complex under construction burns to the ground after midnight on May 28, 2020. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)

 

Almost completed, the housing complex burned to ash along with a Wendy’s restaurant, while protesters watched. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)



The post THE WAY WE LIVE NOW: Minneapolis burning as race relations flare appeared first on Zenger News.

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Pastor Cal Keeps Love Alive on ‘Married at First Sight’ (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)

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*For 11 seasons, “Married at First Sight” (MAFS) has been the ultimate experiment in matchmaking as couples who have never met – complete strangers – tie the knot.

If you are not familiar with the popular Lifetime series, people looking for love are matched by relationship experts (Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Dr. Viviana Coles, and Pastor Calvin Roberson-known as Pastor Cal) and agree to tie the knot before meeting their mates.

The show follows the couples for a few weeks as they experience their first meeting at their weddings, their honeymoons, meeting each other’s families, and other milestone events all the while being counseled by the experts. At the end of each season, the couples are given the chance to continue in their marriage or get a divorce.

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Pastor Calvin Roberson (Pastor Cal) is one of the experts matching couples on “Married at First Sight.” (Photo: Lifetime)

While some may question the show’s premise, the EUR spoke to Pastor Cal recently and he said the series is genuine.

“My job on the show is to get these couples, put them together, and make sure they stay together,” said Pastor Cal. “My goal is to look at their differences, see where they’re compatible, counsel them and in some cases, threaten them, to make it work. All the experts, our focus, is simply making sure the couples stay together.”

As for a method in which the couples are matched, he added, “There isn’t a solid formula we apply to every couple. It has to be tweaked as we find out people’s peculiarities. It can be nerve-wracking but it’s rewarding in the end.”

Like many MAFS seasons, there are surprising revelations and this one, featuring couples from New Orleans, is no exception.

“Season 11 has brought us so many surprises,” Pastor Cal said. “Even in casting, one of the couples we thought would get along much quicker is one of the ones lagging behind. And one couple we thought would move slower to intimacy are moving ahead. And that’s with Miles and Karen being the slower and Woody and Amani being the faster of the two.”

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Woody and Amani in current season (11) of “Married at First Sight.” (Photo: Lifetime)

He continued, “Also, by my own admission, I fall on the sword on this one, I was not expecting Bennett and Amelia to get along so well. I thought she would be put off more by his lack of profession. It was a big surprise to me.”

The next MAFS season will include Atlanta couples and after that the show heads to Houston, which is casting now. Pastor Cal told the EUR that the show adapts to the couples from each city.

“I believe that every city we film in brings a certain flavor and the participants from that city take on the flavor from that city,” Pastor Cal said. “New Orleans is laid-back, they party, and it’s a very fun city as opposed to a city like D.C. that is very political, buttoned up, and tight. But definitely we found that every city influences the participants. We definitely see different personalities coming out of each city.”

MAFS Houston Flyer

Speaking of Atlanta, Pastor Cal is the lead pastor at Progression church in the peach city. He and his wife Wendy have a marriage coaching organization that offers marriage and relationship conferences, boot camps, and seminars worldwide.

While COVID-19 may have slowed down the in-person events, that has not stopped people from contacting Pastor Cal for love connections, “Because of COVID, we’re online. I get more people through DM’s, email, etc. asking me to match them.”

And how does the church feel about the show?

“My church actually loves it.” Pastor Cal said. “They are so supportive and such an incredible group of people. They tell people about the show. Our church was actually founded on relationships, so it was an easy fit. Our church was founded on positive marriage and positive family.”

Look out for Pastor Cal’s book, “Marriage Ain’t for Punks,” slated to come out next year.

If you are interested in being on “Married at First Sight” and live in Houston, click here to apply.

For more information on MAFS’ current season, click here.

 

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Ross Williams: ‘Made It Out’ Author Recalls Escape from Streets of New Orleans and Corporate America

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*Ross Williams made it out, and then he wrote a book about it.

Growing up in New Orleans’ 7th Ward can be rife with challenges. The horror stories far exceed the successful ones. Ross’s journey is an exception, and an exceptional one.

Surrounded by a solid family with community values, Williams attended Tulane University where he studied sociology. He has gone on to become the author of two best-sellers within an eight-month span.

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“Made It Out” is testimony not only to his journey, but also to the similarities of surviving the streets and corporate America. His follow-up book, “Crabs In A Barrel: War On Racism,” gives a different perspective on the phrase that focuses more on the barrel than on the crab.

Author is just one of Williams’ many hats. He is also CEO of Williams Commerce Writing Services, which aims to empower job seekers, authors and entrepreneurs.

Photo courtesy of Ross Williams

Zenger News invited Williams for a Q&A session to learn more about his break-out book and journey of discovery.

Percy Crawford interviewed Ross Williams for Zenger News.


Percy Crawford interviewed Ross Williams for Zenger News (Photo courtesy of Percy Crawford)

Zenger: How did you break the cycle, so to speak, and make it out of the 7th Ward in New Orleans?

Williams: Really learned as much as possible. So, really learning what cursed prior generations and trying to avoid those same things. A lot of that came from learning from my parents who were born in the 1940s, so a lot of my family members are older. So, I have a lot of old-school values. I had the chance to learn about life before my era… I was able to accumulate all of that and just learn from every lesson or loss that I had in life and just never settled.

Zenger: What was it like growing up there and seeing some of the things you experienced?

Williams: I had a sense of pride about my community. My mother’s side of the family has been part of the St. Bernard, 7th Ward community since it was established back in the 1930s and 40s. A lot of people talk about the downfall of the neighborhood. Of course, I discuss that in my first book, “Made It Out,” some of the things I experienced. But one of the big things my neighborhood helped with was just building a confidence about myself and my abilities. At first it was basketball and then it became a swag with everything I do. I believe that I can be the best at whatever I put my mind to.

Zenger: What made you decide to even write a book?

Williams: Really to help other people to make it out of situations that they encountered. At first when I was writing my book, it was kind of like making it out of the inner city. I felt my lessons were applicable to any environment that you can grow up in. Like I said, learning from mistakes, gravitating towards positive energy, and learning from your losses. I really just wanted to give people the blueprint because halfway through the book it became about making it out of corporate America and becoming an entrepreneur. As of right now, even just picking up from there, I’m trying to show the world that I’ve made it out since then. Since the book, I’m still making it out.

Zenger: You actually make parallels in the book about the similarities of making it out of the street life and making it through corporate America. As crazy as it sounds, there’s not very much separation, is there?

Williams: I think in society with social engineering, a lot of us feel that if we are a different race or different religion, society has taught us that the next person is very different from us. And we can’t see eye-to-eye just because we come from different worlds or experiences. Gangstas and crooked people growing up in inner cities are no different than white collar gangstas. White collar gangstas are actually more cutthroat because at least in the neighborhood you know who to look out for. In corporate America, a lot of people have ulterior motives, but they project friendly energy. It’s not really necessary. It’s not these people need me to get by like in the neighborhood. It’s just out of malice. That’s why I feel like it’s grimier in corporate America because of how it’s presented to you.

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Zenger: It can be difficult to navigate that.

Williams: Right. And something that my neighborhood taught me, once I started communicating with people in higher level CEO positions or people that made in the upper six figures or north of that, just the intellect and growing the confidence once I interacted with these people, it’s like, “Oh, I can sit in these positions too.” A lot of times we are made to look at certain people as if they are superior to us, especially when we’re coming from inner cities. But we have the same abilities as those people. A lot of those people had easier routes to get there. That’s one thing of just gaining confidence along each step of your journey.

Zenger: Did you anticipate becoming a best-selling author and your books having the kind of impact that they have had?

Williams: Humbly speaking, my mom always told me, “Don’t step at all if you are going to half step.” So, I know the tears, the blood and sweat that I put into each project, or even a client’s book. I put that same energy towards everything. I’m very strategic and I move with a sense of urgency. I visualized the successes that I have had in my career so many times over and over, that all of the excitement is poured into the process each day. So, when it happens, I’m kind of militant about it, so I’m really not surprised. I really put my all into each thing and utilize my natural skillset. I haven’t been surprised so far.

(Edited by André Johnson and Judy Isacoff)



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‘A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting’ Star Tamara Smart Stops by / WATCH

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*Halloween looks a little different this year for most. If you’re looking for something to get your kids in the spirit of Halloween, the new Netflix film, “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting is a good start.

The film stars Tamara Smart who plays Kelly Ferguson, a babysitter turned superhero. While she is babysitting the young boy she is watching after, he is abducted by the boogeyman, played by Tom Felton (“Harry Potter”). She (Kelly Ferguson) is approached by a secret society of monster-fighting babysitters that help her on her mission to rescue the young boy.

The film isn’t just about the spooky boogeyman and monsters but the movie also focuses on kids from different backgrounds coming together to help one another. Each member of the babysitters’ secret society has a special skill, skills that they could be made for having, or even bullied by others. We talked with Tamara about all the different elements of the movie.

“I love the fact that when Kelly meets with the babysitters, they all have these different strengths that when you put them together their invincible. I’m hoping that kids will each character to relater to in some way,” says Tamara.

MORE NEWS: Mariah Carey Opens Up About Racism During Childhood and More in New Memoir

Smart also talks about the weakness that her character has and how the film shows her growth, from being bullied to becoming confident in who she is and not being ashamed of the things that make her, her. While watching this movie may confirm most kid’s fears about the boogeyman, but most importantly like Tamara said,  hopefully kids will see themselves in the characters and can help them overcome any doubts or fears they may have about themselves.

Grab the family and some popcorn, don’t forget the flashlight, and tune into Netflix to check out “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting.” It’s streaming now.  

 

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