For the first time since being sentenced to prison for 60 years, Nickey Van Exel, the son of former Dallas Mavericks forward Nick Van Exel, is talking about the night he shot and killed his best friend.
Van Exel said he was playing with a gun when he accidentally fatally shot his friend Bradley Eyo in 2010. Prosecutors didn’t agree with his account, charged him with murder and he was convicted three years later. In an exclusive sit-down interview with NBC 5’s Pat Doney, Van Exel said the night he killed his friend still haunts him today.
COLUMBIA – The City of Columbia rolled back its bussing services on Nov. 1, hoping to cut down on costs for a Parking and Transit Department which has seen revenues fall and costs rise over the past five years.
However, one growing cost the department cannot avoid is providing healthcare for employees, due to the implementation of more provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Director of Human Resources for the city, Margrace Buckler, said the costliest effects of the last administration’s signature healthcare bill have been the employer mandate, mandatory preventative care, and the extension of dependents to the age of 26.
“The contribution dollars, in order to cover the claims, have gone up pretty significantly,” Buckler said.
The Dallas Stars have officially come out in opposition of the proposed bathroom legislation currently up for debate in the Texas Legislature’s Special Session – joining a long list of companies and government officials to speak out.
Citizens have questioned the validity of governing bodies throughout history. In America, this is especially true. In a large country of immigrants, many question if their government truly represents their people, even if it means undermining the democracy their forefathers built. When examining such a democracy, understanding voter turnout is important in determining who is really determining elections. The United States has consistently had one of the lowest voter turnout rates of not only western civilization, but of all developed nations, since the mid-1960s, so I question if voter suppression adversely aides one party. I hypothesize that if voter turnout increased then the Democratic party would receive a higher share of votes, due to the fact it has been proven Republican voters are more likely to vote despite poor conditions, such as weather (Gomez, Hansford and Krause 2007).
A look at how the world’s most powerful democracy falls short:
According to Abraham Lincoln, The United States of America was the only “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” but people have often questioned how accurately the government represents the people. One major issue with representation in the U.S. government: how can you represent the people, if the people choose not to participate? Citizens often choose not to cast a ballot. In fact, since the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the percentage of the voting-age population to cast ballots in presidential elections has fluctuated between 45 and 65 percent, resulting in six of our past 10 presidents identifying as Republicans. To clarify, Republican presidential candidates have won 8 of the past 13 elections, but it is sometimes said that Democrats would benefit from higher voter turnout. This paper intends to examine if either political party benefits from less participation in democracy, because that would run counter to the intent of the U.S. government – to be representative of the people.
In The Slave Next Door, written by Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter, attention is brought to contemporary forms of slavery. The book gives historical context to the practice of enslavement, before mostly examining how modern day slavery is perpetrated in different corners of the world. It also gives in-depth analysis to several types of modern day bondage. From child trafficked for sex to adults forced to labor under the threat of violence, the book gives insight into many acts that fall under what some consider slavery – depending on one’s interpretation of the label.
The 2015 film Beasts of No Nation, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, is the story of how a child-soldier named Agu, actor Abraham Attah, becomes a part of a rebel, West African militant group led by ‘Commandant’, played by Idris Elba. It showed how a mostly ungoverned, resource-lacking portion of West Africa became home to several violent militant groups. Groups who roam the land in search of resources, regardless of how many innocent women and children they might have to kill on their way to acquiring them. It relays a pretty detail-less story of how an area with limited economic options and even less government control became a neo-slave experience for those least apt to fend for themselves. In short, the lack of a governing body to enforce any type of political economy can lead to contemporary forms of slavery by failing to enforce the labor rights of individuals, which is what happens to Agu and several others in Beasts of No Nation.
African slavery in the New World is one of the most important parts of American history. During the settlement of the North and South American colonies, many factors led to their development into autonomous countries. Specifically, in the British colonies in North America, settlers needed to cultivate the land of the colonies so that they could live and grow new cash crops to send back to England. A major challenge with those initiatives was that the labor was treacherous, due to the new land they colonized and people (American Indians) they encountered. The easiest economic option when faced with a capital and labor shortage is to add unskilled and low-wage laborers to the workforce. That labor shortage was filled in the form of enslaved Africans, which led to the systemic and violent – a fact not to be understated, because it was brutally inhumane – racism that is associated with slavery, not the other way around. Dire economic conditions drove the colonies towards slavery and were the reasons behind its exponential growth in the early 1700s.
Incidentally, this summer, I took on the task of writing up a brief history lesson everyday. Another great opportunity, thanks to my internship at NBCDFW, as a part of the Emma Bowen Foundation. While it’s a simple reading-and-reporting piece, it’s a great place to start exploring. It has energized me many-a-times to expand on my brief research and learn much more about the related people and topics that have shaped this nation and our world. Maybe you can find something of interest. And remember, history is day by day.