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Hip-hop artist Common is done with politicians who bring up Chicago’s gun violence to score political points.
When moderator Lester Holt asked both candidates how they would improve the nation’s racial divide at Monday’s presidential debate, Trump said his approach would be to reinstate “law and order” and quickly pivoted to the number of shootings in Chicago. He even suggested reinstating “stop and frisk,” a tactic that was ruled unconstitutional in 2013.
Common, who hails from The Windy City, was not impressed.
“Usually the people that it’s being brought up by, whether it’s [Rudy] Giuliani or Donald Trump, I never feel like they’re saying it because they care about the people, that they really care about Chicago,” he told HuffPost’s Jacques Morel during an interview on Thursday.
The Republican presidential nominee has referenced the violence in Chicago on a number of occasions, but Common isn’t convinced that he’s done anything to fix the problem. In fact, Trump stopped by Chicago on Wednesday and avoided the neighborhoods that have been hit hardest by violence.
Common suggested that political figures, like Trump, have used the issue to “justify” and “distract” from other problems like police brutality.
“What are you doing to help that situation?” Common asked. “And if you know that situation exists, have you ever reached out to do something? Are you actively doing something or are you just mentioning it as a ploy just to combat what’s going on and to distract?”
Common added that the posturing is nothing but “political theater.”
“I ain’t falling for it,” he said.
Watch Common’s full interview here.
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Many low-income U.S. teens are resorting to risky and disturbing behaviors like stealing, selling drugs or trading sex — through “transactional” dating with older, wealthier individuals — in order to get food.
An estimated 6.8 million young people between the ages of 10 and 17 don’t have enough to eat.
This is according to a new report released earlier this month by the Urban Institute research group in collaboration with Feeding America, a nonprofit hunger organization.
The report’s findings, which were based on a series of focus groups with teens in 10 communities throughout the country, were “shocking” to its co-author Susan J. Popkin, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. And that’s despite a background that includes 30 years of researching poverty.
“We found the same story of kids being very aware of food insecurity in their community,” Popkin said. “I thought maybe there’d be somewhere we went where the kids would say, ‘No, this doesn’t happen here,’ but that didn’t happen.”
The fact that the report shocked Popkin and has attracted so much media attention since it was released can be attributed to the fact that hunger in teen populations is a problem that is has been largely overlooked when compared to younger children experiencing food insecurity.
Typically, Popkin said, younger children and teens all get lumped together in research settings, which erases the unique challenges facing the older youth population. This includes the fear teens experience of being stigmatized by their peers for needing assistance and the pressure of finding work and supporting their family as part of an “expedited adulthood.”
The older youth are also often stereotyped and “viewed through a negative lens” once they get caught up in the types of risky behaviors identified in the report, Popkin added.
“They’re [viewed as] part of the problem and not the solution if they’re engaging in some of the things the kids talked about — shoplifting, stealing, selling drugs, transactional dating,” she said. “They get treated as status offenders and caught up with the juvenile justice system instead of being treated as kids who are traumatized and need help and support.”
So, how do we fix the problem?
The report outlined a number of proposed solutions, including increasing the amount of food provided by the federal nutrition assistance program, or SNAP, and expanding programs that expand job opportunities for low-income youth.
Progress is already being made toward another solution outlined in the report, which involves teens directly: making food charity programs, like food banks, more teen-friendly.
A pilot program in Portland, Oregon, aimed at addressing food insecurity in the New Columbia neighborhood, a public housing community on the city’s north side that also struggles with access to affordable, fresh healthy food, is having an impact on this front and was featured in the report.
The signature piece of the program, led by a group of teens called the Youth Community Advisory Board and supported by Feeding America, is its monthly Harvest Share, when the Oregon Food Bank drops off free, fresh organic food that the teens distribute to families in need.
The Harvest Share has been a tremendous success, serving more than 100 households each month, according to Assefash Melles, who oversees the program. Last month, she said, the youth provided food for 120 food-insecure households.
The New Columbia program is now entering its second phase, where the teens will train a younger class of volunteers through a 15-week youth empowerment curriculum. This will enable more of the community’s youth to directly participate in the council’s mission to reduce the stigma that often blocks teens and their families from accepting help.
The fact that teens are directly involved in both planning and executing the program is key to its success, Melles said.
“Sometimes, as adults, we don’t go to the kids and ask for solutions. We put programming in place without really asking them,” Melles told The Huffington Post. “You need to do an assessment, understand them and their families and build a trusting relationship. When you build that trust, it’s amazing what comes out. They know what they want to do and they own that.”
Teens themselves are deeply involved with other efforts to address the issue throughout the country.
Another example cited by Popkin is the spread of in-school food pantries that allow students to anonymously grab food they and their family need. In recent years, pantries like these have cropped up in high schools in a number of states including Wisconsin, West Virginia and Tennessee.
Another strategy to address the problem is to integrate food assistance into existing after-school programming that teens already take part in.
At the Loveland Public Library in Colorado, teen services director Amber Holmes leads the youth-focused Teenseen program.
Last year, when Holmes and other staffers noted that teens taking part in their after-school programming and services were arriving “ravenous” with hunger after not eating since lunch. So they began to offer small, shelf-stable snacks.
The snacks were a hit and Holmes said the offering of food contributed to increased participation in the program and resulted in fewer conflicts between groups of teens. But library staff still wanted to do more.
“We found a packaged granola bar or some pretzels weren’t really meeting the nutritional needs for the kids,” Holmes said.
Beginning last month, the library partnered with the Food Bank for Larimer County to become a Feeding America-sponsored Kids Cafe site. This means that, twice a week, the library offers cooked-from-scratch foods that the food bank delivers to the site.
Holmes said she is impressed with the way the teens have taken ownership of the program, taking part in the library’s teen advisory board and even helping to fundraise the money needed for the library to purchase a refrigerator required so that the facility could become a Kids Cafe site.
“There’s this stereotype of teens misbehaving and doing awful things, but the kids I see every day are making the choice to come to the library, that could be out there experimenting with drugs, sex, alcohol and theft,” Holmes said. “They’re choosing to come here, so we need to rise to that and meet their needs.”
For such programs to continue to succeed, they will need ongoing support from policymakers and funders. And those sorts of relationships will require stronger research and data specific to food insecurity among teens.
Little data like this currently exist so the problem remains largely misunderstood, Popkin admitted. That knowledge gap will need to be addressed so that the problem can be effectively dealt with.
“I imagine that when most people think about child hunger, they think we’re talking about little kids and they aren’t thinking about their older brothers and sisters,” Popkin said. “So we need to know more about what’s happening to understand how bad it is.”
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When restaurants and grocery stores end up with scraps and other leftovers that cannot be donated to food banks, what happens to them?
A lot end up in landfills, contributing to the already massive amounts of food waste that emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as it breaks down. But a growing amount is being used to feed farm animals.
As the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy specifies, this strategy is one of the most effective ways to deal with food waste that cannot be used to feed people.
The practice is an age-old one that fell out of fashion in the 1980s due to a number of disease outbreaks that were linked to animal feed.
Today, however, it appears to be having a comeback as interest in food waste reduction efforts is rising dramatically, evidenced by a range of efforts across the food industry.
In general, this is how it works: Leftovers such as kitchen scraps and plate waste are collected, treated and processed into an oat-like consistency, then are fed to livestock such as pigs and cows. Even zoo animals can benefit from this type of feed.
Darden Restaurants is among the companies getting on board.
In 2014, Darden, which owns national chains including Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille, launched an organics recycling pilot program. The company sends scraps and other food waste that cannot go to food banks to be converted into animal feed, and composts other waste through the program.
The nascent program still represents just a small percentage — 0.53 percent, according to a company report — of Darden’s overall recycling efforts and is only taking place in a limited number of locations, the exact number of which a company spokesman declined to disclose.
Some university dining halls, like facilities at Rutgers and University of California at Berkeley, have also instituted similar programs. Rutgers diverts about 4 million pounds of waste from landfills per year this way, saving the university’s dining services division about $100,000 annually in waste-hauling costs.
Grocery stores have also embraced the concept.
Quest Resource Management Group helps grocers and other companies reduce the amount of waste they generate. The largest portion of Quest’s business comes from its work helping grocery stores reduce their food waste, mostly by donating scraps to farms.
According to Hatch, the company helped divert over 600,000 tons of scraps from the waste stream last year, 60 percent of which was used to feed animals, while 35 percent was composted and another 5 percent was converted into a renewable energy source by going through anaerobic digestion.
“Those tons, before we came along, were all going to the landfill,” said Ray Hatch, the company’s CEO. “Everything went in the dumpster.”
The company works with four of the top 10 national food retailers, including Walmart, and three large regional chains, according to Vanessa Lepice, its vice president of marketing and new business development.
All told, they are working with about 6,000 grocery stores throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. They train partnering stores’ employees how to properly separate scraps that can be donated to local farms and processed into animal feed from types of waste that are not safe for the animals to eat, like plastic packaging and raw meat.
It appears to be working. The amount of food waste the company has diverted has grown fivefold since the program was first rolled out in 2010, including about 20 percent each of the past two years, Quest said.
But perhaps it’s not growing fast enough. The practice still hasn’t caught on in a way that would make a more significant dent in the 60 million tons, or $218 billion worth of food, that the U.S. wastes each year.
Zhengxia Dou, a professor of agricultural systems at the University of Pennsylvania, believes she knows why progress is lagging. She, along with several colleagues, explored the topic in a paper published earlier this year in the academic journal Global Food Security.
According to Dou, the strictness of health-related regulations concerning the practice is a big factor. Federal law mandates that scraps must be heated to 100 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes before being fed to pigs, for example. An incompatibility with the precision feeding techniques typically preferred on today’s farms, particularly larger ones, is another.
Technological innovation will be necessary in order to overcome these barriers, Dou said. She hasn’t seen much evidence of that happening quite yet.
“As an academic, I don’t know much how to make it happen, from an idea to a feasible technological solution and to a successful business,” Dou said in an email.
Another likely reason is that the regulations concerning the use of food scraps as animal feed vary widely from state to state.
A new report from Harvard University and University of Arkansas researchers published last month aims to address any confusion about the practice by laying out all of the federal- and state-level rules and suggesting best practices for safe and effective implementation.
“We want to show people that this is what you can do and this is how you do it, to encourage people to start this process again,” said Christina Rice, a clinical fellow at Harvard’s Food and Policy Law Center and one of the report’s authors.
Rice believes that the practice will continue to become more common, and as that happens, she is confident many current obstacles will dissipate.
“This got taken out of the conversation for a while, but it can happen again,” Rice added.
Lepice agreed, pointing out that states like Minnesota and California have instituted tougher commercial recycling regulations, which will encourage firms to get more creative in addressing their waste issues.
They may, she believes, turn to animal feed diversion as a solution. She expects consumer pressure will aid in that progress.
“Consumers are driving this, too. They’re asking what companies are doing with food waste,” Lepice added. “I firmly believe we’re on the right path.”
More than a decade after Kevin Dugar was convicted of firing a gun into a small group of people, killing one man and wounding another, his twin brother has made a shocking courtroom confession.
“I’m here to confess to a crime I committed that he was wrongly accused of,” Karl Smith, who has adopted his mother’s maiden name, testified on the witness stand, according to The Chicago Tribune.
The Illinois court confession comes three years after Smith, who is serving a 99-year prison sentence for a 2008 home invasion robbery, sent a letter to his brother confessing to the crime. Smith, 38, wrote that he was owning up to it because “I have to get it off my chest before it kills me.”
Smith later signed a sworn affidavit detailing his admission.
Testifying before Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan on Thursday, Smith said it was him, and not his brother, who in March 2003 shot into a small group of people, killing 27-year-old Antwan Carter and wounding Ronnie Bolden, then 24.
A month after the shooting, Bolden, who survived being shot twice, picked Dugar out of a photo lineup and identified him as the shooter. Dugar was ultimately convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 54 years in prison.
According to Dugar’s lawyer, Karen Daniel, authorities have no evidence linking her client to the crime. She also claims Smith’s photo was not included in the photo lineup that was shown to Bolden. Smith’s confession, she argued in court, raises enough doubt to grant her client a new trial.
Assistant State’s Attorney Carol Rogala on Thursday questioned Smith’s motive in coming forward, saying he only chose to do so after an appeals court upheld his own conviction.
“He’s got nothing to lose,” Rogala said.
The twins’ mother, Judy Dugar, disagrees with Rogala, saying she is certain that Smith is telling the truth.
“He wouldn’t lie about that,” she told the Tribune. “I hope Kevin will get out. I hope he change his whole life around.”
It’s unclear when Gaughan will decide if Dugar should be given a new trial.
To say he isn’t a fan would be an understatement. Ditka seems absolutely livid.
“I think it’s a problem, anybody who disrespects this country and the flag,” Ditka told a Dallas sports radio station during an interview Friday. “If they don’t like the country, they don’t like our flag ― get the hell out, that’s what I think.”
The 49ers quarterback has refused to stand for the national anthem before NFL games this season, a silent protest that Kaepernick says is about highlighting racial inequity in the U.S. ― a problem that’s “bigger than football.”
But Ditka, who played for Chicago for much of the 1960s ― a fairly turbulent time for the city, which to this day remains highly segregated and is struggling with a rash of gun violence ― doesn’t see what the problem is.
“I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on,” Ditka told the radio hosts. “I see opportunities if people want to look for opportunities. Now, if they don’t want to look for them, then you can find problems with anything.”
“I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick. He probably has no respect for me,” Ditka added. “That’s his choice. My choice is that I like this country. I respect our flag.”
“But this is the land of opportunity, because you can be anything you want to be if you work,” he concluded. “Now if you don’t work, that’s a different problem.”
WASHINGTON ― The national homicide rate rose slightly in 2015, according to FBI crime statistics released Monday. But the report also indicates that overall, 2015 was one of the safest years on record.
The FBI found an increase of 3.1 percent from the 2014 violent crime rate estimate. But that year-over-year increase only tells part of the story. Looking at every year since 1996, the violent crime rate has only been lower in 2013 and 2014.
2015 was safer than any year during the presidencies of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush or Ronald Reagan. Looking back at trends over the past five and 10 years, the total number of violent crimes in 2015 was 0.7 percent below the 2011 level and 16.5 percent below the 2006 level. Nevertheless, in a poll conducted earlier this year by The Huffington Post and YouGov, most Americans incorrectly believed that crime had risen overall in the past 10 years.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has declared himself the “law and order” candidate, is widely expected to seize on the statistical uptick in the homicide numbers ahead of the first presidential debate on Monday night.
Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. of Harvard Law School says it’s important not to “read too much into year-to-year fluctuations” reflected in the FBI crime statistics.
“Two of the cities with homicide increases in 2015 are the District of Columbia and Baltimore,” Sullivan said. “Yet, already in 2016 we are seeing near double-digit decreases in both cities.” He also noted that homicides were more common in heavily segregated and impoverished cities.
John Pfaff, a law professor at Fordham University School of Law, said that even if the jump in the violent crime rate is similar to jumps seen in the 1990s, the actual effect of this one is much smaller.
“Crime was and remains quite low. Even in terms of worst case scenario with FBI numbers, things look similar to what they did four to five years ago,” Pfaff said. “At the time we celebrated those as being great.”
“The report shows that there was an overall increase in violent crime last year, making clear what each of us already knows: that we still have so much work to do,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Monday. “But the report also reminds us of the progress that we are making.”
The report “shows that in many communities, crime has remained stable or even decreased from the historic lows reported in 2014,” she went on. “And it is important to remember that while crime did increase overall last year, 2015 still represented the third-lowest year for violent crime in the past two decades.”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly
political violence and is a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-911_565b1950e4b08e945feb7326"> style="font-weight: 400;">serial liar, href="http://www.huffingtonpost
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repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from
entering the U.S.
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Whether it’s the massive amount of food we waste, the burden large agribusinesses places on our environment or the staggering number of children who go to bed hungry every night, the American food system is obviously quite far from perfect.
The question of how to address the above failures is, of course, a tough one. In fact, it’s a question so tough it’s gone mostly ignored, so far, in the presidential contest.
The answers that some call for involve the implementation of further regulations for farmers, food manufacturers and consumers alike, and advances in these areas are often touted as successes by “good food” activists like Michael Pollan, author of Food Rules and The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
But not all food rules are good food rules, and many regulations concerning the American food supply have actually had a negative impact on food producers, particularly small ones, while incentivizing instead the sort of practices preferred by larger, corporate producers.
Such is the argument laid out by food writer, attorney and professor Baylen J. Linnekin in his new book, Biting the Hands that Feed Us, out this month.
In just one example, Linnekin points out how the cosmetic standards laid out by the EPA and USDA and adhered to by many retailers result in countless pounds of “ugly” but otherwise delicious produce — an estimated half of all the produce grown in the U.S. — going uneaten.
The book makes a strong case that the biggest issues facing our nation’s food supply are ones deserving of bipartisan solutions — and that those solutions might actually entail fewer, better food laws instead of a spate of new ones.
The Huffington Post recently spoke with Linnekin.
What was the inspiration behind your new book? Who did you write it for?
Obviously, I would never have written the book if I didn’t think sustainability in our food system wasn’t an important goal. But I think people look at sustainability as something that must be supported always by stricter and stricter, more and more, greater and greater regulations. I think that would turn off anyone who identifies as a conservative or libertarian and I think that’s too bad. As I point out in the book, this is not the case.
I think I’m appealing to the people on the ideological right to recognize that there are ways to have a sustainable food system that don’t involve the government telling us everything to do. I’m also pointing out the ways that some on the right, like Michele Bachmann, the former representative of Minnesota, are big recipients of farm subsidies and are hypocrites on these issues. And to the people on the left, I’m suggesting that not all regulations are bad. The book is about how some regulations are bad, and if we’re unwilling to repeal the bad regulations that harm the food system you want to exist, I think you need to take a long, hard look in the mirror.
This is, essentially, a conservative case for fixing our food system. Would you agree with that assessment?
I should stress that I identify as a libertarian and not a conservative. There are people that I portray in the book, like Thomas Massie, a more libertarian-minded member of Congress who raises grass-fed beef on his farm in Kentucky, who has co-sponsored legislation with Chellie Pingree, a stalwart liberal member of Congress who is, likewise, an organic farmer who lives on an island off Maine. I think that’s a great example of the actual food movement, the people who really care about the small farmers on the ground and the individuals that want to make their own food choices, rather than the sort of politicized food movement. They recognize that so many regulations value large producers over small ones, wasting food and getting in the way of people growing fruits and vegetables in their own yards.
None of these are political issues that belong to either the Democratic or Republican or Green or Libertarian Party. These are issues everyone can, should and does care about. I’m not trying to discourage people from getting too “political” about their food, but I think that when some of the ideology gets in the way of recognizing that there is room for collaborating with people who you don’t agree with on some issues to create meaningful change, you’ve got blinders on. I hope this book will be a way to look at food regulations and food sustainability in a different way such that people will come to see others, whether they be Republicans or Democrats, as a partner on food issues instead of this sort politicized enemy.
In your book you discuss food waste reduction efforts as a promising example of bipartisanship on this. Could food waste activism provide a model of collaboration going forward?
We certainly need less partisanship on issues like this. Some of the good food rules I cited in the book are ones that have tackled food waste. The Emerson Act was named after a Republican congressman who passed away before that law took effect and was sponsored during the Clinton administration, which was not exactly an era of cooperation, but was very successful in the Republican House, and President Clinton signed it gladly. The PATH Act was sponsored by [Republican] John McCain and several Democrats. Those are both efforts to increase food donations with the ultimate goal of reducing both hunger and food waste.
I think food safety is another area where there’s a divide, particularly on the left, between supporters of local food and supporters of increased food safety. I don’t know exactly how to bridge that schism between people like Pollan who identify as local food supporters and people like Marion Nestle who are more aligned with food safety rather than local food. I think my appeal would be for food safety supporters to rally support for regulations that actually make our food safer.
You do criticize some individuals and programs typically revered by the food movement — not only Pollan, but also the Michelle Obama-backed Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, as two examples. Were you nervous to air these critiques of folks held dear by many who would be considered your book’s target audience?
I wasn’t the least bit nervous. I think that disagreement and debate is healthy. I’m certainly not lashing out at Pollan [for his support for the Food Safety Modernization Act] or calling him names. I think it’s important to add to the discourse and constructively dialogue with one another. With the first lady and the National School Lunch Program, it’s important to point out that the idea that the first lady created food waste in the program is absurd, but it’s worth noting that food waste has increased due to some of the measures in the act.
There is obviously a lot of work to be done to get both these “bad” food laws repealed and “good” ones passed. What do you think all of us can do, as consumers and eaters, to speed up progress?
Some of the things I talked about in the book include the role of consumers in, say, ugly fruits and vegetables. The regulations the USDA and EPA have established make wasting the “ugly” fruits and vegetables often times easier than actually picking them at the farm and trying to sell them. The government’s at fault there, full stop. But it’s also incumbent upon consumers to change their behavior and recognize that.
Now, I’m not a food anarchist and this is not a book about eliminating all rules. This is about eliminating the bad ones, but also changing our own behavior and expectations to also improve the food system and make it more sustainable.
Are you optimistic that we are on a path toward a better food system?
I think I am optimistic. I think there is a growing interest and understanding about food and sustainability, and people increasingly care about this even if it’s not sort of traditionally in their political or ideological wheelhouse. I think that trend will only continue.
If you look back maybe 10 years — even 5 years — food waste, for example, was an issue very few people were talking about and now it’s very much at the forefront of the food system. As I note in the book, if food waste were a country in terms of how much waste it contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, it would be the third largest country in the world, behind the U.S. and China in terms of its GDP. I think that shows the potential impact reducing our food waste from the 40 percent we currently waste to even cutting it in half would have on both the food issue and climate change.
If readers take one thought away from reading your book, what do you hope that will be?
I hope that people who are skeptical of sustainable food because they think it’s a system that requires billions of new regulations will read this book and come to embrace sustainability in food not as something that requires this huge new regulatory structure, but as something that would actually benefit from deregulation in many ways.
And I hope supporters of sustainable food who I think are sometimes guilty of thinking we just need more rules will instead recognize that the people arguing against more regulations aren’t always wrong and that perhaps these two groups can meet somewhere in the middle and hold hands and eat a sustainably raised, grass-fed hamburger.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Joseph Erbentraut covers promising innovations and challenges in the areas of food and water. In addition, Erbentraut explores the evolving ways Americans are identifying and defining themselves. Follow Erbentraut on Twitter at @robojojo. Tips? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For “Married... With Children” star David Faustino, playing wisecracking son Bud Bundy on the provocative series was something of a dream. Though Faustino wasn’t quite as outgoing as his character, he and the other stars often seemed as close as a real family, and, as Faustino tells “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”, it was the camaraderie and talent on set that made “Married... With Children” a work experience they always wanted to continue.
“It was such a well-oiled machine and so easy and so much fun and we got along so well that I don’t think that any one of us were ready for it to end,” Faustino says. “We were like, ‘Let’s just ride this thing until the wheels fall off.’”
However, the network felt differently. After weekly episodes of the popular show had aired for 10 years, ratings reportedly declined and FOX cancelled “Married... With Children” in a manner that Faustino found extremely abrupt.
“It was pretty shocking,” he says. “They made just a real hard, cold business decision, like, while we were shooting the last season. It was like, ‘Oh, no, we’re cutting it. That’s done.’”
As upset about the cancellation as Faustino and the close-knit cast were, he says that there are others who also took the news pretty hard ― and still do, to this day.
“The fans are really the ones that got kind of screwed over,” he says. “They didn’t get any resolution or end or something cool as a last episode. Fans are still pretty ticked about that.”
Catch up with more celebrities on “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”, airing Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET on OWN. You can also watch full episodes on demand via the Watch OWN app.
Another television favorite:
WASHINGTON ― The nation’s top gun rights advocates were notably quiet this week after Donald Trump proposed more aggressive stop-and-frisk policing with a focus on taking away people’s guns.
“If they see a person possibly with a gun or they think may have a gun, they will see the person and they’ll look and they’ll take the gun away,” Trump said Thursday on Fox News, laying out his vision of how the practice works. “They’ll stop, they’ll frisk, and they’ll take the gun away and they won’t have anything to shoot with.”
“I mean, how it’s not being used in Chicago is ― to be honest with you, it’s quite unbelievable, and you know the police, the local police, they know who has a gun who shouldn’t be having the gun. They understand that,” Trump added.
The Republican presidential nominee was following up on comments he’d made the previous day at a Fox News town hall event on “African American concerns,” when he said he “would do stop and frisk” to address violence in black communities. (After Wednesday’s interview, Trump’s campaign suggested he was only calling for more stop-and-frisk policing in Chicago.)
All that sounds like the kind of initiative that should disturb gun rights advocates.
As Leon H. Wolf, a writer for the conservative website RedState.com, put it on Thursday, “Seems like the sort of thing an organization committed to the preservation of the Second Amendment rights of all citizens should be vigilant against and using its considerable political power to oppose, right?”
But spokespersons for the National Rifle Association, (which has endorsed Trump for president), the National Association for Gun Rights and the Second Amendment Foundation did not answer multiple requests for comment in response to Trump’s remarks.
Their silence was not new: Many of the same people arguing for more access to firearms don’t stand by that support when it comes to fellow citizens of color.
The NRA was criticized earlier this year for taking two days to comment on the death of Philando Castile, a black man who was shot multiple times by a police officer during a traffic stop in Minnesota. Castile had just informed the officer that he had a gun in the car and a permit to carry it.
Stop-and-frisk tactics have been broadly condemned for disproportionately targeting minorities while only incrementally reducing crime. Such efforts were even found unconstitutional in New York because they amounted to racial profiling. But a vigorous stop-and-frisk policy was championed by then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has endorsed Trump.
Black gun rights activists were, in fact, more willing to speak out against stop-and-frisk policies on Thursday. Philip Smith, founder of the National African American Gun Association, said he’s always concerned when people talk about taking away firearms.
“Thinking someone has a gun as opposed to them actually doing something with a gun illegally is two different things,” Smith said. As for police stopping and frisking more people, he said, “I think that’s the wrong way to go to have any kind of community building and community relations.”
Smith said he still wasn’t sure whom he’ll support for president. Neither is Maj Toure, who founded the group Black Guns Matter.
“That particular thing that he said about trying to add more stop and frisk: no,” Toure said. “That is directly adverse toward people’s constitutional rights to exist without being harassed.”
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for clarification of his remarks.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly .com/entry/donald-trump-violence_us_56e1f16fe4b0b25c91815913">incites political violence and is a serial liar, .com/entry/9-outrageous-things-donald-trump-has-said-about-latinos_55e483a1e4b0c818f618904b">rampant xenophobe, .com/entry/donald-trump-racist-examples_us_56d47177e4b03260bf777e83">racist, .com/entry/18-real-things-donald-trump-has-said-about-women_us_55d356a8e4b07addcb442023">misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.