Why the Mothers of the Movement's DNC speech brought us to tears.

Too many mothers have had to bury too many children due to gun violence. These moms are trying to change that.

611.

That's how many people have been killed by police in 2016.

300.

That's the number of homicides that occurred in Chicago by Father's Day 2016.


In America, our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, children, and friends are dying from gun and police violence at a staggering rate.

During the Democratic National Convention, several mothers whose children have been victims of gun violence made it clear that enough is enough.

The Mothers of the Movement are like most moms: hard-working, caring parents who never dreamed they would lose a child. But their stories are also unique and incredibly important.

The Mothers of the Movement are moms who have lost children to police brutality and gun violence. They have come together to unite against gun violence in the U.S.

Tonight, their emotional stories helped illustrate how far we have still to go in this country.

The Mothers of the Movement led their DNC segment with a tear-jerking speech by Geneva Reed-Veal, Sandra Bland's mother.

She talked about how gun violence and the lack of gun control in the U.S. have torn apart her life and the lives of the other mothers in the group.

"This isn’t about being politically correct. This is about saving our children," Sybrina Fulton said to rousing applause.

Who exactly are the Mothers of the Movement?

Meet Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's mom.

Photos by The Young Turks/YouTube (left), Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for Jazz in the Gardens (right).

Trayvon Martin, 17, was a high-schooler walking home with a can of tea and a packet of Skittles when George Zimmerman shot him. Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in 2013. He auctioned the gun used to kill Martin for $250,000.

During the DNC, Fulton explained why she decided to share her story and join the Mothers of the Movement group.

"I am an unwilling participant in this movement," she said. "I would not have signed up for this, nor any other mother that is standing here today. But I am here today for my son, Trayvon Martin, who is in heaven, but also for his brother, Jahvaris Fulton, who is still here on Earth. I did not want this spotlight, but I will do everything I can to focus some of this light on the pain of a path out of the darkness."

Meet Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis.

Photos by The New York Times/YouTube (left), Paras Griffin/Getty Images for 2016 Essence Festival (right).

Jordan Davis, 17, was a teenager sitting in a car with friends when he was shot by Michael Dunn, who was upset that their music was too loud. Dunn was found guilty of first-degree murder and given a life sentence without parole.

During the DNC, McBath said she doesn't want other parents to live in fear of what happened to her son. "I lived in fear that my son would die like this," she said. "I even warned him that because he was a young black man, he would meet people who didn't value him or his life. That is a conversation that no parent should ever have with their child."

Meet Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland.


Photos by CDF/YouTube (left), Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images (right).

Sandra Bland, 28, was an outspoken activist with a degree in agriculture from Prairie View A&M University. Bland was arrested during what should have been a routine traffic stop. Three days later, she was found hanged to death in her cell at the Waller County Jail.

Bland's death was ruled a suicide, but many have noted the brutal arrest preceding Bland's death by state trooper Brian Encinia and the edited dashcam footage that was released. Encinia has been indicted for perjury, and thus dismissed by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

"When a young black life is cut short, it’s not just a loss," Reed-Veal said at the DNC. "It’s a personal loss. It’s a national loss. It’s a loss that diminishes all of us."

Several other Mothers of the Movement did not speak at the DNC, but they stood on stage to support the three who did.

Meet Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontré Hamilton.

Photos by Mashable/YouTube (left), Mark Makela/Getty Images (right).

Dontré Hamilton, 31, was a son and uncle. He was unarmed and had been treated for paranoid schizophrenia. Officer Christopher Manney shot Hamilton multiple times. Manney was never charged and was eventually fired from the Milwaukee Police Department.

Meet Gwen Carr, Eric Garner's mother.

Photos by The Young Turks/YouTube (left), Spencer Platt/Getty Images (right).

Eric, a son and beloved father, was confronted by police for selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island, New York. Several police officers surrounded Garner. Officer Daniel Pantaleo used a banned chokehold to restrain Garner, who yelled "I can't breathe" multiple times in an effort to plea with officers. Unfortunately, it was to no avail, and the chokehold ultimately killed him.

A Richmond County grand jury decided not to indict Pantaleo in 2014.

Meet Lezley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown.

Photos by AMTV/YouTube (left), Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images (right).

Michael Brown, 18, had just graduated and had plans to go to college. Officer Darren Wilson shot the unarmed Brown several times after, witnesses said, Brown held up his hands in submission. The U.S. Department of Justice cleared him of any wrongdoing and cleared him of violating any of Brown's rights.

Meet Cleopatra Pendleton-Cowley, mother of Hadiya Pendleton.


Photos by OutLaw4/YouTube (left) Scott Olson/Getty Images (right).

Hadiya Pendleton, 15, had just performed with her school at events for President Obama's second inauguration when she was caught in the crossfire of a gang-related shooting in Chicago. Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, were arrested on several charges, including attempted murder and first-degree murder. They said the bullets were intended for a rival gang, not Pendleton.

Meet Annette Nance-Holt, mother of Blair Holt.

Photos by Joseph Latimore/YouTube (left), Scott Olson/Getty Images (right).

Blair Holt, 16, was killed trying to protect a friend on a Chicago bus. Four other teens were injured in the gang-related shooting. Holt was an honor student and beloved classmate and son. His killer, Michael Pace, was sentenced to 100 years in prison.

Meet Wanda Johnson, mother of Oscar Grant.

Photos by The Young Turks/YouTube (left), SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images (right).

Oscar Grant, 22, was unarmed when he was shot and killed by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle in Oakland, California. Grant was beloved in his community and was coming home after ringing in the new year with friends when he was killed in 2009. His brutal killing was captured on camera and was portrayed in the award-winning film Fruitvale Station. Mehserle was convicted of second-degree murder but got an early release from prison just a year into his sentence.

These mothers' words were captivating, emotional, and heartbreaking.

They shouldn't have to speak like this, but they did. And they spoke to remind us, through their words, that we have the power to change this. In November, we can use our right to vote to demand action and reject complacency.

"So many of our children are gone, but they are not forgotten," Reed-Veal, Sandra Bland's mother, said. "Sandy cannot speak, but I am here to speak for her. What a blessing to be here tonight so that Sandy can still speak through her mama. And what a blessing for us that we have the opportunity to cast our vote."

"We're going to keep telling our stories, and we're urging you to say their names," said McBath.

By saying their names, we can honor the voices of those who can no longer speak, just like the Mothers of the Movement. But beyond that, we can also help shape a future that no longer requires this discussion.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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