Will McMillian's blog

HKonJ6

On Saturday, this February the 11th, thousands of people from all walks of life will gather for the sixth time to march through downtown Raleigh and make their voices heard. This movement is called the Historic Thousands on Jones Street, or HKonJ for short, and it celebrates the diversity of the state of North Carolina as well as protests the injustices within her borders. HKonJ has a fourteen point agenda that they believe in, which calls for, among other things, the abolishment of the death penalty, fair and diverse public schools, health care for those who can’t afford it, and protection of the rights of immigrants.

Community Center Under Fire

Abbey Court is probably the poorest community in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. It’s a complex of condominiums rented out for cheap to a large community, mostly consisting of immigrant families. Every school day it’s common to see entire school buses full of kids empty out into the complex so that they can all return to their respective homes.

Why North Carolina Is Violating Federal Law

Our mental health system here in NC is in shambles. In addition to being grossly underfunded, thousands of people with chronic mental illness aren’t getting the treatment they need. Instead they get shuffled into adult care homes which are not regulated as mental health care facilities and are, in fact, even dangerously inadequate for caring for the mentally ill.

NC Senate Stands For Injustice

It looks like the Legislative mini-session just ended.

During the session, the NC House voted for the gas tax cap, but the Senate said “Screw it. We’re worrying about that in May.” So it looks like the NC Senate has packed their bags and gone home after only really passing one important thing: the repeal of the Racial Justice Act, which now sits on Perdue’s desk.

NC Lawmakers Gear Up For Post-Holiday Session

It looks like our State Legislators are back on the job after the holiday. It’s a little unclear what the agenda is, but the consensus seems to be Republican shenanigans. It looks like the Legislature wants to pass through several controversial bills and overrides in this rare mini-session, hoping to catch opponents off guard.

Wake County Jail Officer Gets Off Scott Free

According to the News and Observer, Wake county DA, Colon Willouby, won’t be pressing charges against Officer Michael Hayes, a Wake County jail officer who struck an inmate with his fist and put him in the hospital.

Willoughby says that because the inmate, Joshua Martin Wrenn, attacked Officer Hayes (according to Hayes and “another officer”) that use of hands on force was necessary. He also said that the circumstances for Wrenn’s hospitalization were special because of the pre-existing condition of a brain aneurysm.

Now let’s ignore the fishiness of these facts and the fact that Hayes had more than a few pounds on Wrenn (not to mention a fellow officer who witnessed the event who also could have helped), and focus on some other aspects of the case which are being ignored.

SOPA is Scary

If you haven’t been reading the internet, you might not know that Nov. 16th was American Censorship Day, a movement in protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (or SOPA) which uses the excuse of protecting intellectual property to ban material, and even whole websites, on the internet. A move many call straight censorship.

Both Nancy Pelosi, Democratic House Leader, and Republican Representative Darrell Issa have come out against the act which gives us hope that the act won’t come into fruition. But the bill isn’t dead yet, and this hasn’t been the first attempt at internet censorship in the name of protecting intellectual property.

Racial Justice Act concerns NC DAs

So there’s this law, called the Racial Justice Act, which could be up for repeal pretty soon. The Racial Justice Act has to do with the death penalty and it allows people up for capital punishment to appeal on the grounds of racial bias. Which is a very legit point since there’s been a study which states that a defendant will be 2.6 times more likely to be put to death if the victim in the case is white, and that out of 159 people on death row at the time of the study, 31 had all-white juries and 38 had only one person of color on the jury.

Why is Congress Against Healthier School Lunches?

Jamie Oliver, TV’s the naked chef, famously campaigned for healthier school meals in the UK after discovering the unhealthy nature of the meals and being disgusted by the severe lack of healthy alternatives. He created a successful British TV show which documented his efforts as he took over the cooking for a school in Greenwich. Surprisingly, the campaign was successful and changed the types of food British schools offered.

He later tried to do the same thing in here in America, but received roadblock after roadblock and eventually his TV show, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, was canned.  

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