Black Lives — Not Just Black Votes — Matter

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Does it make sense for Hillary and Bernie to court the black vote? Absolutely. I am not troubled by their clamor to win our support. What is truly disheartening is that our support does not ensure racial progress. No one candidate should be held responsible for fixing America’s race problem. But what black voters want is a candidate who is brave enough to say that America has a serious race problem.

While both candidates have put some effort in to this message, for both candidates it was only after they faced protest by Black Lives Matter activists. It was only when the media asked them directly if Black Lives Matter that they answered in the affirmative. 

Kendrick Lamar Releases Surprise New Album

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Photo via Christian Bertrand / Shutterstock.com

Fresh off winning five Grammy awards for his album To Pimp a Butterfly, rapper Kendrick Lamar released eight new tracks on March 4 under the project name untitled unmastered.

These new tracks continue Kendrick's tradition of talking faith and politics, including his relationship with God. For example, a lyric from untitled 05 reads: "Why you want to see a good man with a broken heart?/Once upon a time I used to go to church and talk to God/Now I'm thinking to myself hollow tips is all I got."

Cleveland Wants Tamir Rice's Family to Pay for His Ambulance Ride After He Was Shot by Police

On Nov. 22, 2014, a Cleveland police officer shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice when he was playing with a toy gun in a public park. Over a year later, this past December, a grand jury declined to indict the two officers involved in the shooting.

Now, the city of Cleveland is charging his family for death-related medical expenses.

Videos Released of Police Shooting of Cedrick Chatman

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In an abrupt change, the city of Chicago has made public video footage that documents the shooting death of Cedrick Chatman at the hands of Chicago police. The 17-year-old Chatman was shot and killed while running away from police. The officers claim he turned around and pointed a black object at them, an object which turned out to be a black iPhone box.

InterVarsity’s Unabashed Support for #BlackLivesMatter May Be Its Boldest Move Yet

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Skinner told the students at Urbana ’70 that during segregation, “the evangelical, Bible-believing, fundamental, orthodox, conservative church in this country was strangely silent.” The churches, Skinner said, supported the status quo on slavery, segregation and civil rights. During the 1950s and 1960s, evangelicals, even when they opposed segregation, stayed clear of joining the civil rights movement. This week’s support for #BlackLivesMatter is different because InterVarsity is embracing a social and political movement that is active. And it is one that is controversial both nationally and within evangelicalism.

InterVarsity Backs #BlackLivesMatter at Urbana

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InterVarsity, the evangelical campus ministry, stands in full support of #BlackLivesMatter, issuing a call this week for the nearly 16,000 attendees at Urbana to support the movement, reports Religion News Service. Urbana is a yearly conference put on by the biblical and social justice-minded InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. At the main evening session on Dec. 28, featured speaker Michelle Higgins — director of a faith advocacy group and active member of #BlackLivesMatter in St. Louis, Mo. — challenged students to listen to the movement and to have conversations about racism, even if such conversations cause discomfort. 

Judge Declares Mistrial in Case Over Freddie Gray's Death

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Jurors began deliberations on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday afternoon, the panel informed the judge it was deadlocked, and Williams ordered them to continue deliberating.

The panel, made up of seven women and five men, resumed deliberations Wednesday morning.

In Porter's trial, the prosecution brought medical experts, policing experts and other witnesses to show that Porter was criminally negligent when he failed to secure Gray in a seat belt in the van or call for a medic when Gray requested one.

The defense brought similar experts, as well as other Baltimore police officers, to show that Porter acted as a "reasonable officer" in his interactions with Gray and that Gray's injury was the result of an accident that Porter could not have prevented.