BlackBox Radio

July 11, 2006

BlackBox Radio for July 11, 2006

Filed under: Weekly Show — blackboxradio @ 7:19 pm

On this week’s show: the story of Oscar Ramos, a local undocumented worker who is scheduled to be deported to Honduras despite serious medical problems resulting from an on-the-job injury (Megan Williamson producer), plus local, national, and international headlines (find them after the ‘more’ link).

Listen to the show: lower quality | high quality

Local Headlines:
Royal Oak Police Officer Alleges Gender Discrimination
Michigan Supreme Court Overturns Rape Victim’s Right to Damages
Housing for Homeless Youth Vetoed by Neighbors’ Concerns About Property Values
Michigan Family Emigrates to Mexico After Husband/Father is Deported
National and International Headlines:
Duke RaPe Victim Refuses to be Bought Off
World Urban Forum Focuses on Women, Developing Nations
Palestinian Death Toll High After Weeks of Israeli Military Violence

Local Headlines

Between The Lines reports that Karyn Risch, a Royal Oak police officer, is suing the department for discrimination. She claims that she has been passed over for promotions because she is a woman and a lesbian, despite having seniority and higher test scores than the male candidates who received the promotions.

Although she says she is sure that her sexual orientation is a factor in her lack of advancement at work, Risch’s lawsuit does not mention sexual orientation. This is because it is legal in the state of Michigan to discriminate in hiring and promotions on the basis of sexual orientation, but it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender.

There are currently no women in upper management of Royal Oak’s police force. City attorney David Gilllam has stated that Royal Oak has no policy on the promotion of women.


A local rape survivor, whose $1.25 million jury verdict against Hurley Medical Center was recently overturned, has just lost her appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court.

The Flint Township woman was sexually assaulted by a nurse’s aide while hospitalized at Hurley Medical Center for psychological problems in 1998. Five years later, a jury found that the medical center was partially responsible, and awarded the survivor $1.25 million in damages.

But the recent 5-2 decision by the Michigan Supreme Court revoked the woman’s right to damages when it ruled that the hospital couldn’t be held liable for the actions of an employee who was acting outside the scope of his employment.

Attorneys for the woman unsuccessfully argued that the Supreme Court has previously adopted an exception to this rule in cases where an employee was aided by his employment status.

The Flint Journal printed the survivor’s statement that read, “I am very upset with the Supreme Court. I think it’s horrible that I go into a place of treatment and I’m not protected, and that they are not responsible at all.”

Lorenzo Powell, the hospital employee who was accused of another sexual assault during his time at Hurley Medical Center, pleaded no contest to a felonious assault charge and was sentenced to a year in jail and ordered to pay the victims’ counseling costs.


The Grand Rapids Press reports that development of two projects meant to house homeless youth have been shut down by a committee of residents who claim that the housing would hurt the character of the neighborhood and affect property values.

Barnabas Ministries and Jordan River, two Zeeland Michigan organizations, have met opposition from residents since May, when they announced their plans to open residential programs for homeless teens who have just graduated from substance abuse programs.

After residents complained that such programs would tarnish the neighborhood, a committee to revise local zoning ordinances was formed, and zoning laws were changed to prohibit the homeless youth programs from being housed in the area.

A public hearing on the committee’s zoning revisions is slated for Aug. 3.


The Flint Journal reports that an Almont, Michigan, family is getting ready to emigrate to Reynosa, Mexico to be with the husband and father who was recently deported after spending months in jail.

Carlos De La Torres, an undocumented resident, had originally agreed to a voluntary deportation to Mexico in order to start proceedings to gain legal US citizenship. But while waiting for a deportation plan to be developed, Carlos panicked and fled when an Almont police officer tried to stop him last December. He was charged with ‘fleeing and eluding,’ which is a felony, and was held in jail for several months while the U.S. and Mexican governments finalized his deportation plan.

He was not released from jail until last week, at which time he was deported to Mexico.

Now his wife is trying to sell their house so that she and their two young children, all U.S. citizens, can move to Mexico and reunite with Carlos after many months apart. His wife, Sandra De La Torres, was quoted in the Flint journal as saying, “He told me he will be waiting for me 100 feet on the other side of the border.”


National and International Headlines:

The Wilmington Journal reported last week that the alleged rape victim in the Duke University lacrosse rape case was offered $2 million to drop the charges, but turned down the money.

Jakki, the cousin of the alleged victim, said that alumni of Duke University offered the $2 million dollars to the Black woman who alleges that she was beaten, sodomized and called racial slurs by three White men on the Duke lacrosse team. These three men are each charged with first-degree rape, first-degree sexual assault and first-degree kidnapping.

The Wilmington Journal also reports that sources have confirmed that early in the case, Black community leaders were also allegedly approached and offered sums of money for themselves, North Carolina Central University and the alleged victim, if they could influence her to retract her allegations. The same sources said that that those leaders flatly refused the offer.

The alleged victim, a college student and single mother of two who has been portrayed as untrustworthy in mainstream media because she was working as an exotic dancer during the time of the assault, has even rejected financial offers of assistance from caring supporters. Her cousin stated that this is because she doesn’t want even the slightest appearance that she is pressing her rape claims to profit in any way.


From June 19th to 23rd, an estimated 10,000 people from 100 countries met in Vancouver, Canada for the World Urban Forum.

The five-day conference, now in its third year, focused on issues surrounding rapid urbanization and decent housing, as the urban population of developing countries is set to double the next three decades.

The needs of women were also focused on heavily during the forum. A spokeswoman for the NGO Power Camp National stated that the effect of rapid urbanization is often felt most by women and children, and “women need to be represented as crucial stakeholders in urban sustainability.” Experts also note that as women join the migration from rural to urban areas, they often become increasingly vulnerable to economic and sexual exploitation.

HIV/AIDS, children’s nutrition, schooling, environmental pollution, health care, and housing were some of the issues addressed in relation to urban development.

Sisa Njikelana, a South African member of parliament, concluded that “the kind of healthy urban life we are talking about is one that is human-friendly. One in which money is not placed above our humanity.”


Violence may have peaked in Gaza after many Palestinian deaths, as the Israeli army begins to pull back from its reoccupation of the Gaza Strip, in retaliation for the capture of an Israeli army officer by Palestinian militants. The death toll was high for Palestinians, although no Israeli injuries were reported. Electronic Intifada reports that on July 8, the Israeli army killed a Palestinian woman and two of her children, and injured another five members of the same family, when a plane dropped a bomb close to their house located to the east of the Sheja’iya area of Gaza City.

The death toll for Palestinians killed by the Israeli military since June 25 is at least fifty-two. In addition, more than a hundred and forty have been injured, many of them seriously.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights issued a statement condemning the killing of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli military, the endangering of Palestinian civilian lives, and the destruction of civilian property through disproportionate use of lethal force.



1 Comment »

  1. Good to know

    Comment by — February 8, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

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