+
More

The NAACP is defending this white judge after his shocking statement about the KKK.

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.

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

Because you're a girl.

This article originally appeared on 04.14.17


I was promoted a few weeks ago, which was great. I got a lot of nice notes from friends, family, customers, partners, and random strangers, which was exciting.

But it wasn't long until a note came in saying, “Everyone knows you got the position because you're a girl." In spite of having a great week at a great company with great people whom I love, that still stung, because it's not the first time I've heard it.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less