The NAACP is defending this white judge after his shocking statement about the KKK.
Judge Wayne Shelton/Tennessee Courts

During a murder trial in Tennessee, Judge Wayne Shelton made a statement to the defendant that has drawn equal parts outrage and praise.

"I grew up in a time where people wore white robes and they shot at black people, and now we see young, black men wearing black hoodies shooting at black men and doing a much more effective job than the klan ever thought about doing," Judge Shelton, who is white, told defendant Vincent Merriweather, who is black.

Merriweather is accused of murdering another black man with gunshot to the head after the two reportedly got into an argument during a basketball game.


After Judge Shelton’s comments were first reported there was an instant backlash on social media, with people accusing him of being racist and insensitive.

However, one person who disagrees is Jimmie Garland, head of the local Clarksville branch of the NAACP.

"My initial reaction was, he was on point," Garland said. "He's telling the young people, 'Stop killing yourself. Stop doing the job that, back in the early 30's and 20's and 10's, they did wearing robes and wearing pointed caps. You don't have to do that.'"

Defenders of Shelton’s comments say he told Merriweather during the trial that “black lives matter” and that he was “tired” of seeing black people killing each other.

Judge Shelton reportedly made similar comments during a case in 2015 when he told a defendant:

“What a horrible tragedy this is,” he said. “Black lives matter… The Klan doesn’t exist anymore. Who doesn’t care about black lives now? I’ll let you answer that. I’m tired of black men killing black men. If I offended anyone … I can’t help it.”

Shelton said he isn’t ethically allowed to comment on his remarks because of judicial guidelines preventing him from making “off the bench” commentary. But a number of local activists weighed in both in favor and against his remarks.

One of the most interesting comments came from local black activist Terry McMoore, who said that while he didn’t support the way Shelton made his remarks, he also claims to know Shelton personally and defended his reputation against accusations of racism:

"I do know that he had no malice intent at all toward black people, and I know his intentions were good and genuine,” McMoore said.

"Again I don't think that Judge Shelton meant any harm in what he said, but next time let's use regular words, regular dialogue and not popular phrases or quotes to say what we really want to say about all crime as a whole," McMoore added in an interview with the Leaf Chronicle.

True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 04.13.18


Teens have a knack for coming up with clever ways to rage against the system.

When I was in high school, the most notorious urban legend whispered about in hallways and at parties went like this: A teacher told his class that they were allowed to put "anything" on a notecard to assist them during a science test. Supposedly, one of his students arrived on test day with a grown adult at his side — a college chemistry major, who proceeded to stand on the notecard and give him answers. The teacher was apparently so impressed by the student's cunning that he gave him a high score, then canceled class for the rest of the week because he was in such a good mood.

Of course, I didn't know anyone who'd ever actually try such a thing. Why ruin a good story with reality — that pulling this kind of trick would probably earn you detention?

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