“The explosion struck a chord with 18-year NASA veteran Homer Hickam, a former lead astronaut training manager for Spacelab, and later for the International Space Station.
In the late 1950s, Hickam had a brush with law enforcement for allegedly starting a forest fire. State police came to his high school and led him and his friends away in handcuffs, but his high school physics professor and school principal came to the rescue, clearing him of wrongdoing.
Back then, schools did not have zero tolerance rules. Kids could make their mistakes without the threat of a criminal record, or serving time in jail.
“I couldn’t let this go without doing something,” Hickam said. “I’m not a lawyer, but I could give her something that would encourage her. I’ve worked closely with the U.S. Space Academy, and so I purchased a scholarship for her.”
Cenk Uygur and journalist Karisa King discuss how the military has historically handled sexual assault cases: by diagnosing the victim with a ‘personality disorder’ and then discharging them from the service.
As one victim said: “I was officially diagnosed with an ‘adjustment disorder’ that meant that I had failed to adjust to rape conditions.”
"Whenever I start feeling too arrogant about myself, I always make a trip to America. The immigration guys kick the star out of stardom. They always ask me how tall I am and I always lie and say 5 feet 10 inches. Next time, I am going to get more adventurous. If they ask me ‘what color are you?’ I am going to say white."
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on being detained at the U.S. Airport—twice. (Once, he was detained while promoting a film called “My Name is Khan” which was ironically about a person with the last name Khan suffering from repeated racial profiling.)
Multiple actors and other prominent individuals in the film industry with the last name “Khan” have been detained when entering the country. Irrfan Khan (The Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire, Spider-man) described the three times he was stopped—while on the way to receive honors for his roles in films such as The Namesake—as “humiliating.” Actor Aamir Khan was stopped and stripped searched in 2002. Director Kabir Khan, was reportedly detained at least three times in 2008 while filming in the United States. The New York Times ended up remarking on The Dangers of Fying While Khan
This much is clear:
- Despite being an incredibly common surname, in the United States, Khan is a racialized last name and those who carry it suffer from additional, insulting, stigma and scrutiny.
- There is no shortage of talented actors of South Asian descent whether from within the United States, from the UK, or Bollywood—and many of them even have the last name of Khan.
- With Star Trek Into Darkness the name “Khan” is once again stigmatized as antagonistic, but the actors named Khan, the Khans of the world, and those who look like Khans once again have no voice about how they are represented in American media.
If you’re an award winning actor named Khan, you will still get stopped and humiliated at the airport. When that rare character in American media finally shows up sharing your name, he will be played by a white British man. That actor will wear your name for one movie and sneer and strut to great critical acclaim. You will wear your racialized name, your skin color, and hope you don’t get detained another time.
According to several reports coming out of Philadelphia, a former “hero cop” who was once rewarded for his bravery in the line of duty with a seat next First Lady Michelle Obama during a presidential speech is being held on $60 million bail (apparently one of the highest in Philadelphia history) for allegedly raping two women at gunpoint, among some other pretty terrible things.
Richard DeCoatsworth, a 27-year-old former police officer who attended President Obama’s first congressional address in 2009, has been charged with more than 32 crimes in three cases, including a domestic violence incident back on May 9 when he allegedly assaulted his live-in girlfriend. The most recent reports of stomach-churning violence from the ex-cop, however, claim that DeCoatsworth forced two women to take drugs and perform sexual acts on him.
NBC10’s account of DeCoatsworth’s misdeeds is fairly brutal, so be prepared:
A source tells NBC10 former officer Richard DeCoatsworth, 27, met one of the women at a bar on North Front Street two weeks ago, then forced her into prostitution at a Days Inn hotel along Roosevelt Boulevard.
Between 2 a.m. Thursday and Friday evening, DeCoatsworth went to the woman’s home along North Howard Street in the Fishtown-Kensington.
Once he arrived, DeCoatsworth forced that woman and a second woman, both in their 20s, to use drugs and perform oral sex on him at gunpoint, according to the source. The alleged victims reported the assault Friday only after DeCoatsworth went home, according to police.
Police raided DeCoatsworth’s house on the 2700 block of Salmon Street in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. He was charged with rape, sexual assault, terroristic threats and related offenses. Police also confiscated drugs and guns from the home, according to a source. No word yet on what kind of drugs were removed from the home.
Bail has been set at $25 million for each of the victims in the rape cases. Another $10 million in bail was added for the May 9 domestic abuse, bringing DeCoatsworth’s grand bail total to a staggering $60 million, reportedly one of the largest in the long, sordid history of Philadelphia crime.
News of DeCoatsworth’s arrest didn’t come as a surprise to at least one of his neighbors, who, on the condition of anonymity, described him to NBC10 as “a thorn in the side of the neighborhood for so long.” Since his 2007 hero-making incident when (as a rookie officer) he chased after a suspect who shot him in the face, DeCoatsworth has had what one might charitably call a history of violence: in April 2009, his gun reportedly “went off” while he was assaulted trying to disperse a crowd, killing the suspect who assaulted him, and in September 2009, after stopping a motorcyclist, DeCoastworth and a fellow officer shot and wounded a second man who jumped on the motorcycle and allegedly drove at them (local witnesses claimed that the two suspects did nothing wrong).
In 2011, Internal Affairs investigated an alleged physical confrontation between DeCoatsworth and another officer. Later that year, DeCoatsworth retired from the police force on disability.
All I really want in life is to be able to do a perfect Snagglepuss impression.
So this is who we are. We listen to Citizen Radio and we bring vegan cupcakes to Jeremy Scahill.
Man I wish I coulda made it to his thing at Powell’s.