The sister of Sandra Bland, a black woman whose death in a Texas jail cell sparked national protests, says that a recently released video that Bland took is further proof that black men, women, and children are seen as threats by police.
“My sister died because a police officer saw her as a threatening black woman rather than human,” Sharon Cooper wrote in an op-ed published in USA Today earlier this week.
Bland, a 28-year-old woman who had recently moved to Texas from Illinois, was stopped for a traffic violation by then-Texas state trooper Brian Encinia on July 10, 2015. She was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and assaulting an officer. Encinia claimed Bland kicked him, but the alleged act against him was not captured on dashcam video released shortly after Bland’s death.
Three days after her arrest, Bland was found dead in a Waller County jail cell. Authorities ruled that she died by suicide, but the circumstances around her death were viewed with suspicion. The incident also happened around the same time that the Black Lives Matter movement was gaining steam in the US, and led to nationwide protests.
Then, on May 6 of this year, a local Texas news outlet reported on the existence of a previously unreleased cell phone video that Bland had recorded of her traffic stop. The video showed the officer yelling at Bland and threatening to “light [Bland] up” with a Taser.
Cooper says that in the four years since her sister’s death, her family’s fight for justice has shown her how the justice system fails black families seeking convictions in the wake of police misconduct.
“Despite America’s efforts to align itself with the notion that we are living in a post-racial society, viral videos of black women, men and children dying at the hands of police confirm that the scales of justice are imbalanced,” she writes.
Bland’s sister says ideals of freedom and justice “come at a sacrificial cost to black Americans”
While Bland’s death raised suspicion and concerns of foul play, the guards at the jail were not charged. Encinia, the state trooper, was charged with perjury and accused of lying about fearing for his safety when he pulled Bland from her car.
Bland’s family says the recently released video further shows Bland was not a threat to Encinia as she sat in her car recording the police interaction. And that has frustrated Cooper, who says that this video should have been available to her family as they pursued the case against Encinia.
Cooper recalls the difficulties her family faced as they continued to press for Encinia to be convicted of the charges. Initially, she says, she believed the justice system would support her family, but she found the opposite was true as her sister’s case moved forward and the family tried to figure out what had happened to their loved one.
“Glitchy dashcam footage, the dissemination of Sandra’s autopsy report to the public (including pictures of her lifeless body) and the intentional assassination of her character by referring to her as ‘not a model person’ left me questioning whether justice would prevail as I had believed,” she writes.
The charges against Encinia were later dropped in 2017 after he agreed to never work in law enforcement again. In 2016, the family settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $1.9 million in 2016.
But with new video of Bland’s encounter now public, Cooper says that her sister’s death is closely tied to deeper issues affecting black Americans, who continue to find themselves harmed by the very police departments tasked with protecting and serving the public. She writes:
The foundational promises of justice and freedom come at a sacrificial cost to black Americans as we demand to be seen and heard regardless of our gender, age, educational attainment and socioeconomic status. When we’re thrust into unsolicited encounters with law enforcement, it leaves us bruised, humiliated and with a loss of dignity not otherwise experienced by a majority of Americans who benefit from the liberties promised by “our” America.
“What I’ve learned from this ordeal is that those five words ‘liberty and justice for all’ aren’t as linear of a concept as I naively believed,” she adds.
Cooper notes that there have been some reforms in the wake of her sister’s death, pointing to the passage of the Sandra Bland Act, which includes new guidance for officers on how to conduct traffic stops. And she adds that while the officer wasn’t convicted, Bland’s family will continue to push forward.
“What happened in court isn’t the sole measure of justice,” Cooper says. “My sister was unafraid. Her strength gives us the power to continue to fight for her and say her name.”
How Self-Hatred Can Insensibly Poison Our Lives
American woman Shelli Wilder Netko wrote a post about what worries all the women in the world — self-hatred, inevitable aging, and the race against time that will definitely be lost. But instead of worrying about these things, we should just focus on loving the people around us. Her post was so moving that we feel for her from the bottom of our hearts.
Here at Bright Side, this post has moved us a step closer to the most sincere love for ourselves. We hope it will do the same for you.
I have never really liked my hands. I have short, calloused fingers, wide palms, and messed up nail beds from a nail-biting stint when I was in grade school. Add to it the effect of knuckle-popping, which I became obsessed with after I saw the cool kid on the block do it in second grade. But nonetheless, I’ve always referred to my hands as looking like “dog paws,” versus the long, graceful hands that my sister has and that I’ve always wanted. I’ve always thought I was in the wrong line when God sprinkled “beautiful hand fairy dust” on the babies.
To add to my hand shame, since my 20s I’ve had the biggest, juiciest veins in my hands and forearms that have always been a phlebotomist’s dream come true, causing my hands to look a bit masculine and old if you ask me. When my kids were young they liked to sit by me during church and “play” with my veins to make the time pass more quickly. They would sometimes ask why my hands were “like that.” The standard mom answer applied here, “They just are, Hun.” But I always liked it — having one of them holding and touching my hands, no matter where or when or why.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve done my part to win the anti-aging race with my body and face. Eating healthy, exercising, and spending far too much money taking care of my skin. And yet, when I look down at my keyboard countless times a day, I still see these hands that look much older than my heart feels, and appear as if they could use a nice rest.
When the photographer stopped me to pose for this photo at my wedding in March to capture my sash and ring on the lace pattern of my dress, I automatically blurted out, “Can you edit the picture? I don’t like my hands.” Everyone has something they don’t fully embrace about themselves, don’t they?
But when the wedding photos came back I saw my hands in a whole new light. This picture is so beautiful, it captures everything. I saw the hands that had baked about 200 Birthday cakes, a truckload of cookies, changed thousands of diapers, wiped away a million crocodile tears, and clapped till they were raw cheering my kids on through every sport.
I saw this picture and I saw a gift. These hands may not be the smoothest, most graceful, longest, most feminine hands, but they are perfectly suited for the work that was laid out for me. These hands have been blessed with holding my newborn babies and grandbabies and holding the father of my children as he took his last breath.
I will find a beautiful frame for this picture to remind myself constantly of the love and purpose and duty I have in this life, and to remind myself that I have my mother’s hands — her gift to me.
What do you think of this story? Is there something about your appearance that you don’t like? Tell us in the comment section below.
A Daughter Wanted to Brag About Her Gorgeous Mom on Twitter and Accidentally Started a Beauty Contest
We’re totally used to social media sites that turn out to be an unpredictable phenomenon today and any post has the potential to go viral. This is what happened to a girl whose screen name is Your boyfriend’s best friend who posted a photo of her 43-year-old mom on Twitter and accidentally started a beauty contest. And even though it was just moms who took part in this sudden marathon, it was a dad who won!
Bright Side couldn’t stand aside and has decided to show you some women who know about the secret of eternal youth. And the winner, of course.
In just one day, a daughter made her mom popular: her post got 23,000 likes and caused a lot of hype in the comments. Twitter users were really interested in her beauty secrets, because this 43-year-old woman looks really magnificent. So some people asked for her cosmetologist’s contact details and others tried to find out the woman’s phone number, promoting themselves as potential suitors.
Some people also wanted to show off their beautiful moms, so they started posting their photos in the comments. As a result, the post turned into a real beauty contest.
The more women who have managed to stop time there were, the more they were suspected in using magic.
Some users even doubted that they were relatives with their moms at all. Let’s agree: when a mother looks better than her daughter, the suspicions about whether they have common genes or not are pretty relevant.
Undoubtedly, all these women are extremely popular with men, even the younger ones.
It’s hard to believe that these hot beauties have 3, 4, or even 5 kids.
The finalists were women who were older than 60. When you look at them, you realize that age is just a number.
But the winner was a dad. Apparently, a user who calls themselves Taste Booster wanted to dilute this beauty flow with a touch of masculinity. All in all, the photo of a man lying down among all the fish he caught, a cat, and a dog hit the jackpot: the picture got 1,700 likes and became more successful than any of the other photos in the comments. The only exception was the photo of the person who started this beauty contest.
Undoubtedly, all the moms who participated in this viral post deserve admiration, but the picture “Dad and some bream” is an amazing sensation. Which one do you like the most?
Costs of raising pets and changing pet market consumer trends
반려동물 1마리 키우는데 드는 비용과 소비 트렌드 변화
In the past couple of decades, it’s become far more common in Korea to own a pet.
Owning a pet, of course, usually costs some money.
In this report, our Hong Yoo looks at how much that might be and how the petcare market is changing.
More than 10 million people living in South Korea have a pet.
That’s one pet for every four households.
According to a pet report by KB Financial Group, raising a dog costs an average of 85 U.S. dollars a month and raising a cat requires an average of 64 dollars a month.
Most of that money goes on food and treats.
The rest of the money is used for medical care and grooming.
But people are happy to treat their pets because these days pet owners think of their pets as a member of their family.
In Korea, these people are called “PetFam”.
The pet food market alone has seen an average of 19 percent annual growth on the back of this trend.
And because people think of their pets as part of their family, they want to take their pets along with them on trips.
So tour companies have started creating “pet tours”.
“Because there are people who want this kind of tour, we saw the potential of such a product in the market and so we came up with our Jeju pet tour. Pets can accompany their family all the time during the tour to Jeju Island including at the restaurant, tour spots, and the hotel because this tour is pet-centered.”
There are even home spa products for pets such as skin moisturizers, scaling products and grooming mists labeled as premium products because they are organic, eco-friendly, and pet-friendly. They can cost up to 40 dollars.
“Before, people used to think about pets as a living thing that you can buy just like a toy. But because people think of their pets as a part of the family, the pet market has become similar to the baby market. So now, owners are turning to premium products for their pets.”
And there are also luxury pet shops which sell premium products that can cost up to a thousand dollars.
That is the cost of a pet bed made out of oak in the style of the bed of King Louis the 16th.
And at this luxury department store, the most popular dog food costs more than 50 dollars for just 1-and-a-half kilograms.
These changing consumer trends in the pet market show how owners are willing to spend a lot on the best quality products for their pets now that they are seen as part of the family.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.
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