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graduation caps during commencement

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Predominately Black College May Close Over Lack Of Funding
Chicago State University (CSU) is in the midst of a dilemma. The school, who’s notable alumni includes Kanye West, may close in March. The democratic legislator and Republican Governor, Bruce Rauner refuse to agree upon a budget which would provide the institution with nearly $40 million of funding. Rauner and his administration blamed the school for it’s current plight because of a mismanagement of funds. CSU’s previous president, Wayne Watson resigned in 2015 after being accused of cronyism. Watson hired many of his colleagues at CSU that worked with him when he was the chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago. His executive staff were given massive salaries which the governor’s office said was the equivalent of “throwing money down the toilet”. If the university closes in March, hundreds of students will miss the opportunity to graduate but they’ll still be saddled with debt and costs associated with the full semester. Students have since began protesting which included walking across Chicago’s Dan Ryan interstate and blocking traffic. {ABC/Huffington Post}

Chicago Police Accused Of Purposely Breaking Dash Cams
Footage from thousands of incidents involving Chicago police officers and civilians is nonexistent because many of these officers have allegedly disabled the video equipment and tampered with the microphones in their patrol cars. The attempted coverup of the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, 16 times in October 2014 has led to an extensive investigation into  police practices in Chicago. Within nearly 2,000 dash cam maintenance logs is a record that former officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot McDonald, had caused “intentional damage” to his dashcam. There was no audio available from Van Dyke’s squad car or from any of the patrol vehicles at the scene. Interim Police Supt. John Escalante has established a new protocol where officers have to check their video equipment to make sure it’s working before every tour of duty — or they will face discipline. Nearly 30 officers have already been reprimanded for failing to comply with the new rules. Within the next year, 1,400 Chicago police officers will be outfitted with body cameras to work in tandem with the dash cams in addition to being trained to use tasers as their first line of defense. {Chicago Sun Times}

Graduate Student Awarded Nearly $1M In Discrimination Suit
Briggitta Hardin was recently awarded $687,000 by an eight-member federal jury who determined the owner of a Washington, DC gastropub was guilty of civil rights violations and racially discriminatory hiring practices. Hardin, a graduate student at Howard University was hired as a bartender at Red Line DC when the bar first opened in December 2011. She was fired within hours of meeting the venue’s owner Mick Dadlani. According to Hardin, he refused to shake her hand or speak to her but he engaged with the other employees. Over the course of a seven-day trial, Judge Reggie B. Walton heard from current and former employees as well as customers who shared their experiences with Dadlani. Supposedly, the owner only wanted “blonde white chicks” on his staff but he hired several black employees at the onset of the lawsuit. Hardin’s suit was apart of a larger Civil Rights violations case that originated from a complaint that Dadlani closed Redline early in May 2011 when several black patrons that wore baggy clothes were deemed “gang affiliated”. The next night the owner reportedly racially profiled customers and only allowed admissions to people that were apart of an “imaginary party guest list” said the witness in their testimony. {The Washington Post}

Georgia Politician Proud Supporter Of The KKK; Wants To Get Rid Of MLK Blvd.
The shootings in Charleston, South Carolina inspired many politicians to re-evaluate the public display of the confederate flag as well as statues and monuments dedicated to the confederacy based on it’s infamous association with slavery. State Rep. Tommy Benton is seeking to pass a bill that will make the birthday’s of confederate leaders a statewide holiday. While Benton asserts that he’s not racist, he has a very skewed view on the impact of the Ku Klux Klan. According to the former history teacher the KKK, “was not so much a racist thing but a vigilante thing to keep law and order, it made a lot of people straighten up,” he said. African American Senator, Vincent Ford of Atlanta initially proposed Senate Bill 294, which would forbid the state from formally recognizing holidays in honor of the Confederacy or its leaders. Benton says that US history is based off confederate leaders, many of whom may were also white supremacists and that “[Shouldn’t] affect their reputation to the extent that everything else good that they did was forgotten.” Benton also wants to pass a bill to have Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in Georgia reverted back to Gordon Road who was a former Georgia governor, state senator and KKK leader. {AJC}

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