Tag Archives: South Carolina

Mignon Clyburn Resigning from FCC Post

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn

After eight years Mignon Clyburn, the only African-American on the FCC board of commissioners is stepping down. Clyburn, the daughter of James Clyburn, member of the U.S. House of Representatives  for South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District was appointed by President Barack Obama. Recently Clyburn fought valiantly against the repeal of net neutrality put in place during the Obama administration. Current commissioner, Ajit Pai, successfully killed net neutrality by repealing the Open Internet Order that reclassified telecoms as utilities under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

Clyburn briefly served as the FCC’s first female chairperson in 2013 before Obama appointee Tom Wheeler stepped in as chairman. With Wheeler, Clyburn pushed the FCC to pass the strictest net neutrality rules to date.

During her time on the commission Clyburn worked to secure the middle ground of both pro-competition and pro-consumer regulation. She fought for and achieved the unlocking of smartphones, Internet access for low-income and minority communities, and per-minute rate caps on long-distance phone calls for prison inmates. In addition she advocated for diversity in media ownership and emphasized diversity and inclusion in STEM opportunities.  

Before joining the FCC Clyburn spent 11 years as a member of the Public Service Commission (PSC) of South Carolina. Prior to that she was the publisher and general manager of the Coastal Times a family-founded newspaper that focused on issues affecting the African-American community. Clyburn is a graduate of the University of South Carolina.

 

‘The Counted’ Websites Tracks Cop Killings

Walter Scott was killed by South Carolina police

Walter Scott was killed by South Carolina police

Right now in America we are facing a serious problem. Citizens, especially African-Americans, are questioning the use of force by the police. It is no secret that far too many black people are being killed by police without cause. You have seen the results of these killings with rioting happening in big cities and small towns alike. It has to stop.

The most surprising fact you may not know is that there is no accurate count by federal agencies of the number of people killed by the police. To counter this problem TheGuardian.com news site has begun keeping its own count. The Counted is an online database that tracks the number of people killed by police. The website uses social media, local news reports, and public records to track and catalog the men and women killed by police in the U.S. According to the website there have been 479 deaths so far this year. Sadly the Guardian’s estimates are roughly twice those put out by the FBI.

Users of the website can search the site by specific names, race and ethnicity, state, gender, age, and cause of death. Another important feature of the database is that you can also search to see if the person killed was armed or unarmed.  The map feature reveals to the user which cities has the most police killings. Place your cursor over any of the yellow squares and see the name of the person killed in that city. Click on the square and see the details of the death.

Each person reported killed by the police and logged in the database has an information card detailing the circumstances of death and the status of his or her case with links back to the original source. Anyone can notify The Guardian of a killing on file or one not yet reported. Entries can be added, removed and revised as soon as new information becomes available.

The most striking feature of the website is the calendar layout and the images of those killed by the police. Users can see the killings by state and compare that number to the overall population. Click on any of the images to read the details of the death.

Police use of lethal force is a sad and sometimes unavoidable part of the their job. Its not always the cops fault when someone is killed. Please do not forget that. But at the same time we are seeing more and more cops killing people without reason. Case in point, the video tapped shooting of Walter ScottThe black South Carolina man was clearly running away from the police and posed no obvious threat to the cop or the community. We need to find a way to put an end to this and making sure we know who was killed and why is a start.

Now you know.