Tuesday, December 30

Police: 'Jena Six' teen shoots self, is treated

AP – In this Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007 picture, Mychal Bell, one of the Jena Six, appears at a news conference …

I wonder what happened to this young man between the time of the whole Jena Six event and now; he was involved in one of the most highly publicized cases of the year, and he went from that to a foster home. Where are his parents? Why was he in a foster home, and what happened to him there that would have him out shoplifting? Shooting himself in the chest with a .22 caliber pistol sounds more like a cry for help to me than a serious suicide attempt, since everyone and his momma knows now that the most sure way of shooting yourself is to put the pistol in your mouth, especially with one so small.

MONROE, La. – A teen convicted in the "Jena Six" beating case shot himself in the chest and was taken to the hospital Monday, days after his arrest on a shoplifting charge, police said.

Mychal Bell's wound isn't life threatening, said Monroe Police Sgt. Cassandra Wooten. The 18-year-old used a .22-caliber firearm in the shooting around 7:40 p.m., she said.

Wooten believes Bell was upset over media coverage of the arrest last week.

"I think he was upset over the incident ... and didn't want to be in the news again," she said.

Bell was one of a group of black teenagers who once faced attempted murder charges in the 2006 beating of a white classmate at Jena High School. The charges for all of the defendants were reduced.

The severity of the original charges brought widespread criticism and eventually led to more than 20,000 people converging in September 2007 on the tiny central Louisiana town of Jena for the largest civil rights march in decades.

Bell was in the news again after he was arrested on Dec. 24 and booked on charges of shoplifting, resisting arrest and simple assault, police said.

Police said Bell tried to steal several shirts and a pair of jeans from a department store and fled when a security guard and off-duty police officer tried to detain him. After they found him hiding under a car, Bell "swung his arms wildly" and one of his elbows struck the security guard with a glancing blow, according to a police report. He was freed on $1,300 bond.

Wooten said Bell was taken to a hospital in Monroe, where a nursing supervisor wouldn't release his condition. Wooten didn't have further details on the shooting.

One of Bell's attorneys in the assault case didn't immediately return a call Monday seeking comment on the shoplifting case.

In the Jena case, Bell eventually pleaded guilty to a juvenile charge of second-degree battery.

Bell, the only one of the six who has been tried, has been living in a foster home in Monroe and attending school.

Wednesday, December 17

3-year-old Hitler can't get name on cake

Heath Campbell, left, and his wife Deborah, were told that a store in Greenwich, N.J. would not inscribe their three-year-old son's full name, Adolf Hitler Campbell, center, on a birthday cake.

While I believe that the parents are stupid for the future suffering they are causing for their children, I think the store is totally wrong. If I, as a gay, black, Rastafari, am going to ask for tolerance, what right do I have to be intolerant? By the same token, if we as a society are going to ask for "equal rights" and "equal treatment", who is ShopRite not to give it?

What do you think?

updated 1:16 a.m. ET, Wed., Dec. 17, 2008
EASTON, Pa. - The father of 3-year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell, denied a birthday cake with the child's full name on it by one New Jersey supermarket, is asking for a little tolerance. Heath Campbell and his wife, Deborah, are upset not only with the decision made by the Greenwich ShopRite, but with an outpouring of angry Internet postings in response to a local newspaper article over the weekend on their flare-up over frosting.

"I think people need to take their heads out of the cloud they've been in and start focusing on the future and not on the past," Heath Campbell said Tuesday in an interview conducted in Easton, on the other side of the Delaware River from where the family lives in Hunterdon County, N.J.

"There's a new president and he says it's time for a change; well, then it's time for a change," the 35-year-old continued. "They need to accept a name. A name's a name. The kid isn't going to grow up and do what (Hitler) did."

Deborah Campbell, 25, said she phoned in her order last week to the ShopRite. When she told the bakery department she wanted her son's name spelled out, she was told to talk to a supervisor, who denied the request.

Karen Meleta, a spokeswoman for ShopRite, said the Campbells had similar requests denied at the same store the last two years and said Heath Campbell previously had asked for a swastika to be included in the decoration.

"We reserve the right not to print anything on the cake that we deem to be inappropriate," Meleta said. "We considered this inappropriate."

The Campbells ultimately got their cake decorated at a Wal-Mart in Pennsylvania, Deborah Campbell said. About 12 people attended the birthday party on Sunday, including several children who were of mixed race, according to Heath Campbell.

"If we're so racist, then why would I have them come into my home?" he asked.

The Campbells' other two children also have unusual names: JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell turns 2 in a few months and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell will be 1 in April.

Heath Campbell said he named his son after Adolf Hitler because he liked the name and because "no one else in the world would have that name." He sounded surprised by all the controversy the dispute had generated.

Campbell said his ancestors are German and that he has lived his entire life in Hunterdon County. On Tuesday he wore a pair of black boots he said were worn by a German soldier during World War II.

He said he was raised not to avoid people of other races but not to mix with them socially or romantically. But he said he would try to raise his children differently.

"Say he grows up and hangs out with black people. That's fine, I don't really care," he said. "That's his choice."

Saturday, December 13

Don't want the other partner/parent to see the children? Run to a state with an anti-gay marriage law!

We're going to see more and more of this kind of thing, and it's ridiculous; what happened to thinking of what's best for the children? It's great that Jenkins won the right to see her daughter, but more and more people are going to be doing the same thing, running to states with anti-gay marriage laws, and trying to use the courts to punish their ex-partners. It's sad...

Virginia court lets stand ruling on child-visitation rights for lesbian mom

The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a ruling that Virginia must enforce a Vermont court order awarding child-visitation rights to a lesbian mom.

The decision let stand a victory for Janet Jenkins [pictured], who has been fighting for visitation rights since the dissolution of the civil union she and her partner obtained in Vermont in 2000. Jenkin's partner gave birth to the daughter, Isabella, in 2002, and the child was at the center of a legal battle.

Jenkins married Lisa Miller in a Vermont civil union, and Miller became pregnant with their daughter via IVF. Miller then left Jenkins and fled to Virginia with the baby - refusing to let Jenkins visit their daughter. A Vermont judge dissolved the civil union and granted visitation rights to Jenkins, although she did not adopt Isabella - now 5-years-old.

When the Vermont court ordered visitation for Jenkins, Miller filed a new lawsuit in a Virginia court, using that state's antigay marriage law to have herself declared the child's sole legal parent.

Wednesday, December 3

Day Without A Gay is in one week!

Day Without A Gay seeks to shift our strong feelings about injustice toward service!

Our community contributes $700 billion a year to this economy, yet we are not given equal protections under the law that every citizen deserves. As such, it is time we make a stand. We are calling for a nationwide strike and economic boycott by all members of our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered community AND OUR STRAIGHT ALLIES on December 10th, 2008, International Human Rights Day.

Call in "gay" on December 10th and instead volunteer for your local LGBT and/or human rights organizations.

Read the whole story at Lezgetreal.com