Devaluation of black lives infects America to its core

It wasn’t really a surprise. Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray laid out a careful case for why his office, following an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation, decided not to charge Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Brentley Vinson in the shooting death of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, who is African-American. Murray said he found no legal wrongdoing. Scott had a gun, Murray said the evidence showed that Scott didn’t drop it when officers shouted at him to do just that, and Vinson said he felt he had no choice, that he and his “buddies” were threatened.

In appreciation: Gwen Ifill, 1955-2016

The right question — thoughtful, relevant, bold — can catch even the most prepared politician off guard.

It seems a generation ago, but it was just 12 years. Barack Obama was an Illinois senator who had given a memorable speech at the summer’s Democratic National Convention. John Kerry was running against the incumbent President George W. Bush. On Oct. 5 2004, at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University, Republican Vice President Dick Cheney and his Democratic challenger John Edwards were in a debate, and moderator Gwen Ifill asked just such an incandescent question.

Jason Collins tells students to continue to push on social and LGBT issues

Jason Collins, the former NBA player who made history in 2013 as “the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport,” as he said in a Sports Illustrated cover story, has continued to speak out. “I try to have as many conversations as I can with people to change our society and have a positive impact on someone’s life,” he said.

At Johnson C. Smith University, a historically black university in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday, Collins’ main message to students was clear: “I remember listening to stories from my grandmother who grew up in the segregated South; she grew up in upstate Louisiana. Her telling me how hard it was for her to first vote … hearing those stories and the sacrifices of the people who have come before me, this is important because the people in power fought so hard for us not to have it, whether you’re a woman or a minority, they didn’t want us to have this. So that tells you right there how important it is to vote.”

The NBA moves forward as North Carolina drifts back

Not even its storied basketball history and inevitable disappointment for legend and Charlotte Hornets chairman Michael Jordan could stand in the way of North Carolina’s rightward drift. The NBA has moved the 2017 NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte, making it hardly the first but simply the latest and surely the highest-profile casualty of House Bill 2, the so-called “bathroom bill,” which regulates the restrooms transgender folks use – and so much more.