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Rafaela Espinal, a veteran Bronx educator, claims that her job was terminated when she refused to imitate the salute from the 2018 Marvel movie Black Panther during superintendent meetings.

According to the New York Post, then-Bronx superintendent Meisha Ross Porter expected attendees at the meetings for high-level Department of Education bosses to perform the arms-crossed-over-chest gesture of solidarity that was made famous by the comic-book movie.

Espinal, a Dominican-American who identifies as Afro-Latina, claims that when she didn’t mimic the “Wakanda Forever” salute along with her peers, she “was admonished and told that it was inappropriate for her not to participate,” according to a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed Feb. 3 against the city DOE, Chancellor Richard Carranza and some of his top-ranking lieutenants.

In a group photo that Porter shared on Twitter, Espinal, who is wearing a red jacket and is on the far right, performed a half-hearted version of the salute.

Espinal had recently earned a doctorate, yet she was demoted to the position of school investigator, a job that only requires a high school diploma. Desperate to keep her retirement benefits and health insurance, the single mom accepted the job.

Lawyers for Espinal said the long-time educator was repeatedly asked to salute Wakanda, and she felt the symbolic gesture “introduced a racial divide where there should be none.”

The DOE insists the famous cross-arm gesture doesn’t refer to “Black power,” but is instead “a symbol used to represent the Bronx.”

Fellow DOE administrators also allegedly told Espinal she wasn’t “Black enough,” and she should “just learn to be quiet and look pretty,” she claims in the $40 million suit.

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Rapper charged with hunting, killing man on LGBT+ dating app

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An Indianapolis rapper is being charged with first-degree murder in the death of a 39-year-old man he met via a dating app.

Diabolique Paris Johnson, 34, was arrested in the shooting death of Joshua J. Smelser in the victim’s home in Detroit last September.

After shooting Smelser multiple times, witnesses saw Johnson leave the man’s home with his backpack, which contained his wallet, credit cards and cellphone.

Photo may have been deleted

Johnson, a down low aspiring rapper (pictured), is also accused of robbing a 26-year-old man four days earlier at a hotel in Dearborn.

Both victims were Caucasian men who were “hunted” by Johnson on same-sex dating apps, police say.

Johnson was arrested in Indianapolis on December 4 and extradited to Michigan this week, WDIV reported.

He was charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of felony firearm possession.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy joined forces with the Fair Michigan Justice Project, an organization that helps law enforcement investigate crimes against the LGBT+ community.

Posted in Crime

Tags: armed robbery, crime news, gay dating app, gay rapper, gun violence


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Netflix Announces New Feature for iOS Devices Called Fast Laughs

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Netflix has joined Snapchat and Instagram in an attempt to cash in on the TikTok-fueled short-form video craze with Fast Laughs.

Today the company unveiled a new smartphone update that will include a full-screen feed of short clips from the streaming giant’s library. The feed can be accessed via the Fast Laughs tab at the bottom of the navigation menu, which will start playing automatically. Users can then swipe through the clips and add featured episodes, films, or stand-up specials to their watch list or schedule to watch. Clips can also be exchanged through social media and text messages.

Fast Laughs is only available in select territories and is only available on iOS devices for the time being, but the company promises that Android testing will begin soon.

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Square’s CEO Jack Dorsey Buys Majority Stake in Jay-Z Streaming Service Tidal

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Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z have formed a partnership.

Dorsey revealed on Thursday that Square, the mobile payments firm, had purchased a majority stake in Tidal, the music streaming service founded by Jay-Z and other musicians.

Jay-Z will join Square’s board of directors, and Dorsey is the CEO of Square, which will pay $297 million in cash and shares for majority control of Tidal. Square’s head of hardware, Jesse Dorogusker, will take over as interim CEO.

“Why would a music streaming company and a financial services company join forces?!” Dorsey wrote in a tweet announcing the news.

“It comes down to a simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work,” he wrote. “New ideas are found at the intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy.”

In a press release, Square stated that the transaction involved “a significant majority ownership stake.”

Since Bloomberg announced in December that Dorsey and Jay-Z were in negotiations, the agreement has been widely awaited. According to a source familiar with their relationship, the two men have spent a lot of time together in recent months in places like Hawaii and the Hamptons in Long Island.

Square would almost certainly use Tidal to expand its financial services to artists, allowing them to accept direct payments from fans. The contract, according to Jay-Z, would provide artists with “better tools to assist them in their creative journey.”

Tidal gives subscribers early or exclusive access to music and goods. The group purchased it in order to allow musicians more control over the music industry.

Even so, Tidal is a minor player in the music streaming industry, which is dominated by Apple, Amazon, Spotify, and YouTube, and Square expects Tidal to have “no significant effect” on its income this year.

 




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