Rev. Jackson calls high court’s gun ruling “reckless” ‘The Rev. Jesse Jackson, calling the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the District of Columbia’s handgun ban a “reckless interpretation of the Second Amendment,” said this weekend that he will not back down against gun peddlers who set up shop in and around the Black community. “We must fight for the legal restrictions on where these gun shops can be,” Jackson said. “We will fight the easy access to guns and gun flow. We can picket and boycott stores that can endanger us.” He also said that there is nothing in the high court’s decision that compels Chicago to comply and that he would join forces with other ministers, community activists and city leaders to enact laws to keep gun shops away from churches, schools and playgrounds. Michael Pfleger, the Chicago priest who was in the news recently after accusing Sen. Hillary Clinton of believing that she was entitled to be president because she is rich and White, also jumped into the fray over the Supreme Court ruling. “Obviously, the Supreme Court in their ivory tower is really disconnected,” Pfleger said. “They’re so disconnected that they cannot hear the cries of parents who are burying their children.” One of the famed Black WWII pilots dies Lt. Col. Charles “Chuck” Dryden, one of the famed World War II African-American fighter pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen, died last week in Atlanta of natural causes. He was 87 years old. “He was not just a part of American history; he helped to make it,” Nick Snider, founder of the National Museum of Patriotism in Atlanta, told The Associated Press. Dryden was a member of the museum’s board of directors. During his 21 years in the military, Dryden conducted combat missions in Korea, Japan, Germany and U.S. bases, before retiring from the Air Force in 1962. Dryden was one of about 1,000 Negro pilots who trained at the Tuskegee, Ala.-based Army Flying School during the war. On April 1942, he was one of three Black pilots to be commissioned as a second lieutenant, AP reports, and only five Tuskegee pilots had earned their wings ahead of Dryden’s class of three. Dryden told AP that he had reservations about attending a Washington ceremony last year when President Bush and Congress awarded the Tuskegee Airmen the Congressional Gold Medal because it was so long overdue, the wire service reported. Upon reflection he said that the medal helped convince him that America actually appreciates their contributions, according to AP. “It’s really something,” he told AP. Markette Smith Sheppard was crowned Mrs. District of Columbia
Markette Smith-Sheppard, a journalist and child advocate, has been crowned Mrs. District of Columbia – America 2008, a title she promises to use to improve the lives of Black children in the nation’s capital and beyond. “I feel so privileged and humbled to have the opportunity to give back to my community as Mrs. District of Columbia America 2008,” Smith-Sheppard told BET.com Sunday. Smith-Sheppard, a producer for reporter for WTOP Radio in Washington, D.C., and a former writer and producer for BET.com, has been an outspoken supporter and aggressive fundraiser for the construction of play areas for children in “child-rich, playground-poor” communities nationwide. Six years ago, Smith-Sheppard, a graduate from California State University-Dominguez Hills, moved to Washington, D.C., where she earned a master’s degree from American University. Unlike another former Mrs. District of Columbia, Omarosa – of “The Apprentice” fame – Smith-Sheppard said she has no reality-TV aspirations. But she would like to co-host the Today Show some day. Says the beauty queen’s husband, Damon Sheppard, an architect and Howard University graduate: “I am so proud of her. I think she is the perfect person to represent D.C. …, and I’m not just saying that because she’s my wife.” Smith-Sheppard will compete for the national title of Mrs. America in Tucson, Ariz. on Sept. 2.