Virginia Governor George Allen’s decision to proclaim April a month to salute the Confederacy’s four-year struggle for independence has angered Black leaders into demanding his resignation. A group of civil rights leaders went to the state Capitol on Thursday and attacked the wording in Allen’s proclamation, which called for respecting “the honorable sacrifices of Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens to the cause of liberty.” “Liberty for whom?” said Salim Khalfani, activities director for the Virginia chapter of the NAACP. He said, “These people fought against the Union and the United States of America, and they lost.” He added, “They’re losers.”
The FBI has launched its own investigation into the death of an African American woman who was shot in the back of the neck by police officers who fired 22 bullets at the car she was riding in, this in North Carolina. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police claim they fired in self-defense after the car refused to stop at a license checkpoint on Wednesday. But African American leaders are suspicious of the shooting, the second unarmed Black person in six months to be killed by white officers in the city.
From Los Angeles, the government has granted temporary legal residency to two members of a group targeted for deportation a decade ago for alleged ties to terrorists. Aiad Khaled Barakat and Naim Nadim Sharif were informed recently by the Immigration and Naturalization Service that their applications have been approved. They’re part of the group known as the L.A. 8 — seven Palestinians and a Kenyan, the wife of one of them whom the government has been trying to deport since 1987.
ABC TV station in Birmingham, Alabama, won’t run the “coming out of the closet” episode of “Ellen” later this month. “We do not think it’s appropriate for family viewing,” said Jerry Heilman, president and general manager of WBMA. ABC hasn’t heard whether any of its 222 other affiliates have rejected the show, this according to an ABC spokesperson. The network won’t know about most of them until a few days before it airs. During the hour-long episode April 30, Ellen DeGeneres’s character, Ellen Morgan, reveals she’s a lesbian. Ellen will thus become the first primetime TV show with a gay leading character.
Rebels pressing hard to end Mobutu Sese Seko’s 32-year dictatorship have warned foreigners to leave the capital. And U.S. troops across the border in Congo are ready should evacuations be needed. The rebels have given Mobutu until Sunday to leave office and have threatened to bring their fight to the capital Kinshasa if he doesn’t. They already control more than a third of the country, mostly in the east, and have encountered little resistance in their quest to topple the president.