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Harry Belafonte challenges African-Americans at NAACP awards ceremony: ‘In the gun game, we are the most hunted’



Singer makes impassioned appeal to black Americans, accusing them of failing to speak out over the problem of gun violence

Veteran singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte has weighed in on the debate over gun violence, chastising fellow black Americans for failing to speak out on the issue.

Belafonte, 85, whose singing career helped popularise calypso music, was receiving an NAACP Image Award at a ceremony in Los Angeles on Friday night, and used the opportunity to launch an impassioned appeal.

“In the gun game, we are the most hunted. The river of blood that washes the streets of our nation flows mostly from the bodies of our black children,” Belafonte said. “Where is the raised voice of black America? Why are we mute?”

The singer was being recognised for decades of political activism that have run alongside his entertainment career. Belafonte was a close confidant of Martin Luther King, and has remained a committed voice on issues of poverty and racism ever since King’s death.

Belafonte’s comments come at a time of impassioned argument over gun ownership in the US in the wake of the tragic Newtown school shooting at the end of last year. President Barack Obama has proposed a series of restrictions on gun laws, but faces stiff opposition from the powerful National Rifle Association and its allies in the Republican party and elsewhere.


The remarks also come at the end of a week which saw the killing of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, a black honours student, in Chicago, just days after performing at Obama’s inauguration. Hadiya, a student at the elite Kings College prep school and majorette in the school’s marching band, had performed with her classmates at several inauguration events last week in Washington.

She was shot dead on Tuesday afternoon after school, sheltering from torrential rain sweeping Obama’s hometown in a park in the city’s South Side with a group of friends, police said. She was the 42nd death from gun violence in Chicago this year.

According to the Brady Campaign, which advocates gun control, about 100,000 Americans are wounded or killed by guns each year. One of its studies showed US murder rates are almost seven times higher than rates in 22 other populous high-income countries who have similar rates of lower level crime. The same study showed that America’s firearms homicide rate is almost 20 times higher.

 © Guardian News and Media 2013

[Image credit: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com.]

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Progressive reformer claims victory in fiercely-contested Queens DA race



Progressive reformer Tiffany Cabán has declared victory in her campaign versus Melinda Katz in the Queens District Attorney race.

With 99% of precincts reporting, Cabán held a lead of 1,090 votes, The New York Times reports.

Cabán was backed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Katz was backed by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who chairs the Queens Democratic Party, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)



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2020 Election

New 2020 poll shows Trump trailing all Democrats — some by double-digits



President Donald Trump trails all of his Democratic rivals in hypothetical matchups of the 2020 presidential race, according to the result of a new poll released Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on Salon.

The survey, conducted by Emerson Polling, found that the president lags behind former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., by 10 points nationally — 45 percent to 55 percent. He also trails Sen. Elizabeth Warren by six points — 47 percent to 53 percent —and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg by four points — 48 percent to 52 percent.

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Beto O’Rourke’s ‘war tax’ policy proposal is straight out of ‘Starship Troopers’



Amid an overcrowded Democratic presidential candidate field, it's hard to distinguish yourself from the pack if you don't slot easily into the scale that runs from "pro-corporate centrist" to "left-populist." If you're former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke —  who falls somewhere in the middle, politically, and somewhere towards the top, looks-wise — you pull a militaristic policy proposal out of your hat that recalls some of the most campy pseudo-fascist sci-fi ever written.

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