‘Shut that N*gger Baby Up!’

‘Shut that N*gger Baby Up!’ Yells Airline Passenger Before Slapping Child

joe rickey hundley & jonah bennett

*No, he didn’t!

Just when we think we’ve heard it all in terms of racists remarks and actions, along comes the story of a white airline passenger who not only told the mother of a crying child to “shut that nigger baby up,” but then proceeded to allegedly slap the 19-month-old baby across the face.

This all happened on February 8 aboard Delta Air Lines Flight 721. As a result – according to a US District Court affidavit – Joe Rickey Hundley, 60, has been charged with simple assault. Hundley, is president of an aircraft parts manufacturer headquartered in Hayden, Idaho, according to The Smoking Gun.

In an interview, Hundley denied striking the toddler or using a racial slur, though he did acknowledge that he “asked the mother to quiet the child.” Hundley, who said he was traveling to Atlanta to visit a hospitalized relative, described himself as “distraught” on the flight, during which he said he consumed a single alcoholic drink.

As detailed by FBI Agent Daron Cheney, Hundley was traveling to Atlanta from Minneapolis in seat 28A on the MD-90 twin-engine jet. He was seated next to Jessica Bennett, who shared seat 28B with her son Jonah.

Bennett, 33, told investigators that the “aircraft was in final descent” to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport when her child “started to cry due to the altitude change.” Bennett added that she “was trying to get [her son] to stop crying, but he continued.”

At this point, Bennett recalled, Hundley used the racial epithet as he told her to shut the child up. He then allegedly “turned around and slapped” the toddler in the face “with an open hand, which caused the juvenile victim to scream even louder.” The slap, Bennett said, “caused a scratch below [the child’s] right eye.”

If any of this is true, Mr. Hundley should be grateful he’s still vertical. He’s very lucky he didn’t strike the child of any number of mothers we know. We’ll just leave at that. But, what would you do?

In the meantime, as we said at the top, this low life was only charged with simple assault, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Atlanta. If convicted of the misdemeanor count, he faces a maximum of one year in prison.

Check out the full report at The Smoking Gun.

Source: http://www.eurweb.com/2013/02/shut-that-nigger-baby-up-says-white-airline-passenger-then-slaps-child/

Christopher Dorner Becomes First Human Target For Drones On US Soil

POLICE plan to use spy drones in the hunt for a Rambo-style ex-soldier and policeman who has murdered three people and vowed to kill again.


They believe burly, heavily-armed Christopher Dorner is holed-up in the wilderness of California’s snow-capped San Bernardino mountains 80 miles east of Los Angeles.

The burnt-out shell of his pick-up truck was discovered in the nearby resort of Big Bear, where residents and tourists have been warned to stay indoors as the search continues.

Yesterday, as a task force of 125 officers, some riding Snowcats in the rugged terrain, continued their search, it was revealed that Dorner has become the first human target for remotely-controlled airborne drones on US soil.

A senior police source said: “The thermal imaging cameras the drones use may be our only hope of finding him. On the ground, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”

Asked directly if drones have already been deployed, Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz, who is jointly leading the task force, said: “We are using all the tools at our disposal.”

The use of drones was later confirmed by Customs and Border Patrol spokesman Ralph DeSio, who revealed agents have been prepared for Dorner to make a dash for the Mexican border since his rampage began.

He said: “This agency has been at the forefront of domestic use of drones by law enforcement. That’s all I can say at the moment.”

Dorner, who was fired from the LAPD in 2008 for lying about a fellow officer he accused of misconduct, has vowed to wreak revenge by “killing officers and their families”.

In a chilling, 6,000 word “manifesto” on his Facebook page he has threatened to “bring warfare” to the LAPD and “utilise every bit of small arms training, demolition, ordinance and survival training I’ve been given.”

Dorner, 33, who rose to the rank of lieutenant in the US Navy and served in Iraq before joining the LAPD, also ominously warned that he has shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles to “knock out” any helicopters used to pursue him.

Last night, Brian Levin, a psychologist and professor of criminal justice at Cal State University, San Bernardino, said: “We’re talking about someone who basically perceives that a tremendous injustice has been done to him that took his life and identity.

“Now he is, quite literally, at war.”

Dorner’s rampage began last Sunday when he shot dead Monica Quan, 27, the daughter of a former LAPD captain, and her fiancé Keith Lawrence as they sat in their car outside their home in Irvine, California.

Three days later, he stole a boat at gunpoint from an 81-year-old man at a yacht club in San Diego, near the Mexican border. He abandoned the boat when he could not get its engine to start.

The thermal imaging cameras the drones use may be our only hope of finding him. On the ground, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.

A senior police source

The following day, last Thursday, he was involved in a shoot-out with police in Cornona, 110 miles north of San Diego. The officers, one of whom was wounded, had been guarding one of his intended online targets.

Later that day, in nearby Riverside, he killed one police officer, whose name has not yet been revealed for security reasons, and wounded a second after opening fire on their car at a set of traffic lights.

As the manhunt for him broadened across numerous police jurisdictions, police mistakenly shot and wounded a mother and daughter delivering newspapers in a pick-up truck similar to Dorner’s.

That incident, in the LA suburb of Torrance, was astonishingly followed two hours later by another in the same area, when police again opened fire on a pick-up. This time, there were no casualties. Hours later, Dorner’s actual pick-up truck was found on a forest road near Big Bear City.

“He had torched it,” a San Bernardino police spokesman said. “We assume it may have broken down before he set fire to it.”

Since then, the huge manhunt for Dorner has focused on an area where hundreds of log cabins, both owned and rented out to tourists, are dotted around the mountainside.

“There is a strong possibility he is using an empty or abandoned one as a bolt-hole,” the police spokesman added last night.

LAPD police chief Charlie Beck, who has pleaded on TV with Dorner to surrender, accepted he might be “difficult to find”, adding: “He knows what he is doing. We trained him and he was also a member of the armed forces. It is extremely worrisome and scary.”

Police have also pleaded with local residents not to try to mount a civilian vigilante force or try to aid in the hunt for the fugitive.

However, one Big Bear resident, Dennis Pollock, said: “I did 12 years in the Marine Corps. Give me a sniper rifle, some gear, and point me in his general direction and get out of my way.”

Another local said: “We know every inch of this terrain and could be a real help to the cops, but all they’ve told us to do is stay at home and lock all our doors.”

Last night, America’s National Weather Centre warned that the hunt for Dorner could be further hampered by an expected snowfall of up to 6ins in the mountains. Wind gusts of up to 50mph are also forecast, creating an extreme wind-chill factor in the already freezing conditions.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said: “To be honest, he could be anywhere right now. Torching his own vehicle could have been a diversion to throw us off track. Anything is possible with this man.”

Source: http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/376732/Man-hunt-for-ex-soldier-who-shot-police-chief-s-daughter-and-killed-policeman

Man Arrested for Throwing Woman onto SEPTA Tracks

PHILADELPHIA – January 17, 2013 (WPVI) — Police have identified the man charged with attacking a woman in a SEPTA subway – throwing her onto the tracks.

The suspect is identified as 36-year-old William Clark, whose last known address is along the 1300 block of Fitzwater Street. Clark is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person, robbery, theft and receiving stolen property.

Clark was arraigned overnight and is currently being held on $2-million bail.

Police say at approximately 3:20 p.m. Tuesday, a 23-year-old woman walked down to the Broad-Ridge Spur Line subway platform at 8th and Race streets, where she observed a man sitting on a bench.

Surveillance cameras were rolling as the woman walked past the man, later identified as Clark, and sat on a set of benches next to him. He then got up and approached the woman, asking if she knew what time the train was coming, and if she had a lighter.

The woman provided Clark with a lighter. He then handed the lighter back to her, and it was when she went to place the lighter in her jacket pocket that Clark lunged at the woman.

He grabbed the victim by the neck and began punching her in the face and head. The suspect then grabbed the woman by both legs, dragged her across the platform and threw her onto the train tracks.

Clark then picked up the cell phone that the victim had dropped in the struggle, and casually walked away.

“Thank God she wasn’t knocked unconscious in that track area,” SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel said.

Nestel says, amazingly, the woman climbed off the tracks and suffered only bumps and bruises to her head and face.

Police tell Action News they quickly distributed the suspect’s surveillance photo to hundreds of local law enforcement officers and increased manpower on the platforms, but did not tell the public about the violent man roaming the streets.

The chief says he made the risky decision to withhold the information because the suspect was wearing a very distinct jacket and he did not want to jeopardize the case.

It took just about 48 hours until police caught the suspect at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the area of 15th Street and JFK Boulevard wearing the same unique jacket.

SEPTA police say it was in the West Plaza Station where officers observed a man who fit the description of the suspect wanted for the assault. They stopped the male, who officers say would only give his name, William Clark, but provided no further information.

Police say the yellow hooded sweatshirt Clark was wearing was covering a multi colored leather jacket with the words ‘TRUMP TAJ MAHAL CASINO RESORTS’ – the same jacket worn by the suspect wanted for the assault.

Clark resisted arrest, but was ultimately taken into custody.

Officers discovered Clark had a white Cricket cell phone in his possession, which was identified as the same phone taken in the assault.

“I really wanted to catch this guy and I truly felt that the best way to do that was to hold onto information about his jacket and put as many officers as I could to catch him and it worked. It worked,” Nestel said.

Police are still looking into the suspect’s motive, but believe this to be mental health related.

(Copyright ©2013 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

On The Low … Oxygen May Cancel Shawty Lo

Sources: Oxygen to Cancel New Show ‘All My Babies’ Mamas,’ Starring Shawty Lo


Under public pressure, Oxygen won’t let the new reality-TV series starring Shawty Lo see the light of day, sources tell Allison Samuels. But why was ‘All My Babies’ Mamas’ ever given life to begin with?


The video was for All My Babies’ Mamas, a new show developed by Oxygen Media featuring rapper Shawty Lo, his 11 kids, and 10 different mothers.

“My blood curdled just thinking about it,’’ Lamb told The Daily Beast.


So did mine. And apparently that was the reaction of the nearly 40,000 people who signed a petition demanding that the show not air. Though the network denies it, Oxygen is expected to announce that All My Babies’ Mamas won’t ever see the light of day, according to my sources—and that’s a good thing. Still, I’m more concerned with how it ever reached this point. How could a network ever assume that a show about an African-American rapper with 11 kids by 10 women would be OK and not immediately deemed racist? How could it not see that it was offending, insulting, and mocking an entire segment of the African-American community? The answer is pretty simple. The network saw it; the network just didn’t care.

The problem, of course, is not only Oxygen. I’ve been a critic of reality TV of all kinds since watching Anna Nicole Smith’s reality show so many years ago and wondering how people could be entertained or amused by a woman whose life was clearly spiraling out of control. In the show we saw Anna Nicole so drugged up she’d slur her words and be barely able to stand up straight for minute at a time. Watching someone else’s world fall apart isn’t my idea of a fun night at home. Smith would die from a drug overdose just three years after the show ended.

My disdain for these shows really grew by leaps and bounds as minorities began to appear more and more in them. In an industry that’s never been overly interested in showcasing people of color or their lives, the notion that now we’d all of sudden become interesting just seemed too good to be true.

It was.

Instead of scripted television shows featuring minorities in well-written, creative, and thought-provoking storylines, Hollywood decided that our stories were best told in the most extreme, dysfunctional, and, often, the most fabricated ways. From Basketball Wives to Bad Girls to the The Real Housewives of Atlanta, people of color—black women in particular—are routinely portrayed as violent, hot-headed loudmouths with absolutely no regard or respect for themselves or anyone else.

Now adding salt to that still very open wound is Shawty Lo and his less-than-desirable situation of fathering 11 children with 10 (mostly black) women. Shawty Lo is not a household name. I can only think of one hit song he ever had in his career, and that was years ago. Yet somehow Oxygen felt that this Atlanta-based rapper and former drug dealer’s story is must-see television. Why? Well, according to an Oxygen statement, All My Babies’ Mamas “is a look at one unique family and their complicated, intertwined life.’’

All I can assume is that the network believed its young female demographic would be amused by the sordid lives of a black man with a criminal past and the many women and children who depend on him.

Really? When did men of any color with multiple children by multiple mothers become unique in our society? Eleven kids is a lot but by no means the record. So what really was behind the idea for this show? It certainly couldn’t have been Shawty Lo’s very limited star power. All I can assume is that the network believed its young female demographic would be amused by the sordid lives of a black man with a criminal past and the many women and children who depend on him.

At first, Oxygen defended the project by offering this: “It was not meant to be a stereotypical representation of everyday life for any one demographic or cross section of society.’’ Unless I’m mistaken, the term “baby mama” is used almost exclusively in reference to black women, so Oxygen needed to do better than that. If the show was about a white man with 11 children and had the same title, we might be able to have a different conversation

Read more at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/14/under-pressure-oxygen-cancels-its-new-show-all-my-babies-mamas-starring-shawnty-lo.html

The Legalization of Marijuana in PA


HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) – Add Pennsylvania to the list of states where residents could be allowed to possess and smoke marijuana legally.

Democrat State Sen. Daylin Leach, who represents Montgomery and Delaware counties, announced plans to introduce legislation that would legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania.

The bill would legalize marijuana for adults over the age of 21, and regulated just like alcohol is. It would still be illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana, behave badly while publicly intoxicated, or sell pot to minors.

According to Leach, “Like alcohol, legalization and regulation will make marijuana safer. People will no longer have to buy it on the streets from criminals who may have laced their product with other dangerous drugs. People buying legally will know exactly what they are getting and be able to rely on the safety of what they are purchasing.”

A press release from Leach’s office says that according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, in 2006, an average year, 24,685 marijuana arrests were made in Pennsylvania at a cost to the taxpayers of $325.36 million. Leach says “each year we not only waste a similar amount, we leave several hundred million dollars on the table in taxes that we do not collect because marijuana is illegal, rather than regulated and taxed.”

Governor Tom Corbett has been opposed to legalizing marijuana, even for medicinal purposes.

Senator Leach says, “This horrific policy must end. People around the nation are realizing that. And it is a moral imperative that Pennsylvania wake up and end prohibition now.”

Source: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/01/10/pa-senator-introduces-bill-to-legalize-marijuana/

Mandela is Well !!

Nelson Mandela Recovered From Lung Infection, Surgery: South Africa


Nelson Mandela Recovered

JOHANNESBURG — South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela has recovered from his recent lung infection and a surgical procedure to remove gallstones, according to an announcement Sunday by President Jacob Zuma.

Doctors say that Mandela, 94, has made “steady progress and that clinically, he continues to improve,” according to a statement issued by Zuma’s office. Mandela was hospitalized for nearly three weeks in December before going home on Dec. 26.

Zuma’s statement said Mandela “continues to receive high care” at his home in the Houghton suburb of Johannesburg and that “his daily routine is being gradually re-established.”

Zuma congratulated Mandela on his recovery and said the anti-apartheid icon has “the love and support of all South Africans.”

Mandela has been reading newspapers, sitting up in bed and receiving visitors, according to reports in the South African media.

The news that Mandela has recovered from the recurring lung infection and the minor surgery will reassure many in South Africa concerned about the aged leader’s health.

Prayer in Schools in Indiana

Schools ‘May Require Recitation Of The Lord’s Prayer’ Under Indiana Bill

By Adam Peck


A state senator in Indiana introduced a bill on Thursday that would give public school districts the authority to mandate daily recitations of the Lord’s Prayer in public classrooms.

The bill, introduced on the first day of the new legislative session by Republican Senator Dennis Krause, outlines Kruse’s reasoning for requiring school prayer:

“In order that each student recognize the importance of spiritual development in establishing character and becoming a good citizen, the governing body of a school corporation or the equivalent authority of a charter school may require the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of each school day. The prayer may be recited by a teacher, a student, or the class of students.”

Kruse’s bill would unquestionably run afoul of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that mandating school prayer is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Even fellow Republicans in the Indiana senate don’t think much of Kruse’s bill, with Republican Senate President Pro Tempore assigning it to a committee often considered a graveyard for legislation according to the Indianapolis Star.

This is not the first time Sen. Dennis Kruse, a Republican who also happens to chair the Senate education committee, has tried to inject Christianity into public schools. Last year, he led a push to introduce creationism into the science curriculum, and when that failed he tried to pass a bill that would have required teachers to provide “some kind of research to support that what they are teaching is true or not true.”

Despite the clear violation of the First Amendment, conservatives have taken a renewed interest in school prayer after the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Several prominent conservatives, including Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich, used the deaths of 27 people — including 20 elementary school students — as an opportunity to blame the lack of religion in schools for gun violence.

( Source: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/01/04/1397651/indiana-lawmaker-wants-to-give-schools-the-power-to-mandate-prayer-in-classrooms/?mobile=nc )

California Lawyer Donates His Home


California lawyer gives up home to homeless family for a year

A California lawyer is giving up his fully-furnished home in Los Angeles for a homeless family to live in for a year, according to the New York Daily News.

Tony Tolbert, 51, says that his act of kindness just feels like the right thing to do.

“You don’t have to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet or Oprah,” Tolbert told CBS News. ”We can do it wherever we are, with whatever we have, and for me, I have a home that I can make available.”

Tolbert will move back in with his mother for the year and continue working. It was in his mother’s house that Tolbert says he learned to be a giving and caring young man.

Growing up Tolbert says that his father always lent the family’s spare bedroom to someone in need.

Tolbert’s dad now suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, but the lessons his dad taught him stuck with Tolbert.

“He is so giving, he’s always been that way,” Tony’s mom, Marie Tolbert, told CBS News.

Tolbert found the family he is giving his house up to in a local shelter. He met Felicia Dukes, who was broke and having a hard time providing for four children. The oldest child wasn’t even allowed to stay at the shelter that was only for children and women.

Dukes couldn’t believe the fate that she had suddenly been afforded when she was initially told.

“They had a young man that wanted to donate their house to you for a year,” she recalled. “And I’m looking at her, like, what? Like — Are you serious?”

Dukes’ family would be able all live together once again and get back on their feet.

“My heart just fills up,” Dukes said. “I’m just really happy.”

Tolbert says ultimately he hopes his story encourages others to give and think about others more than themselves.

“Kindness creates kindness. Generosity creates generosity. Love creates love,” Tolbert said. ”And I think if we can share some of that and have more stories about people doing nice things for other people, and fewer stories about people doing horrible things to other people, that’s a better world.”

Follow Marquise Francis on Twitter @mKfly

Source: http://thegrio.com/2013/01/03/california-lawyer-gives-up-home-to-homeless-family-for-a-year/

Obama Inked His Name to the 2013 NDAA

Obama signs NDAA 2013 without objecting to indefinite detention of Americans

January 4, 2013  by

US President Barack Obama makes a statement about fiscal cliff negotiations from the White House December 31, 2012 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers in Washington continue to work on a last minute compromise to pass legislation to avoid a fiscal cliff of tax hikes and spending cuts in the United State’s federal budget. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI

President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 on Wednesday, giving his stamp of approval to a Pentagon spending bill that will keep Guantanamo Bay open and make indefinite detention for US citizens as likely as ever.

The president inked his name to the 2013 NDAA on Wednesday evening to little fanfare, and accompanied his signature with a statement condemning a fair number of provisions contained in a bill that he nevertheless endorsed.

The NDAA, an otherwise mundane annual bill that lays out the use of funds for the Department of Defense, has come under attack during the Obama administration for the introduction of a provision last year that allows the military to detain United States citizens indefinitely without charge or trial for mere suspicions of ties to terrorism. Under the 2012 NDAA’s Sec. 1021, Pres. Obama agreed to give the military the power to arrest and hold Americans without the writ of habeas corpus, although he promised with that year’s signing statement that his administration would not abuse that privilege.

In response to the controversial indefinite detention provision from last year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) introduced an amendment in December 2012 that would have forbid the government from using military force to indefinitely detain Americans without trial under the 2013 NDAA. Although that provision, dubbed the “Feinstein Amendment,” passed the Senate unanimously, a select panel of lawmakers led by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Michigan) stripped it from the final version of the NDAA two week later before it could clear Congress. In exchange, Congress added a provision, Sec. 1029, that claims to ensure that “any person inside the United States” is allowed their constitutional rights, including habeas corpus, but supporters of the Feinstein Amendment say that the swapped wording does nothing to erase the indefinite detention provision from the previous year.

“Saying that new language somehow ensures the right to habeas corpus – the right to be presented before a judge – is both questionable and not enough. Citizens must not only be formally charged but also receive jury trials and the other protections our Constitution guarantees. Habeas corpus is simply the beginning of due process. It is by no means the whole,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) said after the Feinstein Amendment was removed.

“Our Bill of Rights is not something that can be cherry-picked at legislators’ convenience. When I entered the United States Senate, I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. It is for this reason that I will strongly oppose passage of the McCain conference report that strips the guarantee to a trial by jury,” Sen. Paul added.

Although the Pres. Obama rejected the indefinite detention clause when signing the 2012 NDAA, a statement issued late Wednesday from the White House failed to touch on the military’s detainment abilities. On the other hand, Pres. Obama did voice his opposition to a number of provisions included in the latest bill, particularly ones that will essentially render his promise of closing the Guantanamo Bay military prison impossible.

Despite repeated pleas that Gitmo will be closed on his watch, Pres. Obama failed to do as much during his first term in the White House. Thanks to a provision in the 2013 NDAA, the Pentagon will be unable to use funds to transfer detainees out of that facility and to other sights, ensuring they will remain at the top-secret military prison for the time being.

“Even though I support the vast majority of the provisions contained in this Act, which is comprised of hundreds of sections spanning more than 680 pages of text, I do not agree with them all. Our Constitution does not afford the president the opportunity to approve or reject statutory sections one by one,” Pres. Obama writes.

Congress, claims the president, designed sections of the new defense bill “in order to foreclose my ability to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.”

“I continue to believe that operating the facility weakens our national security by wasting resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and strengthening our enemies,” he says.

Elsewhere, the president claims that certain provisions in the act threaten to interview with his “constitutional duty to supervise the executive branch” of the United States.

Before the 2013 NDAA was finalized, it was reported by the White House that Pres. Obama would veto the legislation over the provisions involving Guantanamo Bay. Similarly, the White House originally said the president would veto the 2012 NDAA over the indefinite detention provisions, although he signed it regardless “with reservations” on December 31 of that year.

Since authorizing the 2012 NDAA, the president has been challenged in federal court by a team of plaintiffs who say that the indefinite detention clause is unconstitutional. US District Judge Katherine Forrest agreed that Sec. 1021 of the 2012 NDAA violated the US Constitution and granted a permanent injunction on the Obama administration from using that provision, but the White House successfully fought to appeal that decision.

Commenting on the latest signing, American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony Romero says, “President Obama has utterly failed the first test of his second term, even before inauguration day.”

“His signature means indefinite detention without charge or trial, as well as the illegal military commissions, will be extended,” adds Romero. “He also has jeopardized his ability to close Guantanamo during his presidency. Scores of men who have already been held for nearly 11 years without being charged with a crime–including more than 80 who have been cleared for transfer–may very well be imprisoned unfairly for yet another year. The president should use whatever discretion he has in the law to order many of the detainees transferred home, and finally step up next year to close Guantanamo and bring a definite end to indefinite detention.”

Source: http://www.theidealistrevolution.com/obama-signs-ndaa-2013-without-objecting-to-indefinite-detention-of-americans/

Young Black Intellectual (18) Scores Perfect on the SAT


Jenice Armstrong: Perfect SAT score for Cameron Clarke, Germantown Academy senior in Philadelphia

Cameron Clarke, 18, a Germantown Academy senior, is one of 360 students nationwide to score a perfect 2400 on the SATs in 2012. (Steven M. Falk/Staff)
Cameron Clarke, 18, a Germantown Academy senior, is one of 360 students nationwide…

WE’VE ALL read depressing newspaper stories about underachieving local high school students. This, I’m happy to say, isn’t that kind of column.

No, I’ve set aside this space to give a well-deserved thumbs-up to Cameron Clarke, a senior at Germantown Academy who scored a perfect 2400 on the SAT.

That’s right. A perfect score.

That hardly ever happens.

Although more than 1.66 million students took the SAT in 2012, only 360 test takers nationwide achieved a spotless 2400, according to SAT officials.

It was Cameron’s second try. The first time, he received a fist-pumping 2190 – better than 98.5 percent of all test-takers. But deep down inside, he knew he could do better.

He was notified of his perfect 2400 last spring, and I didn’t want the calendar year to end without giving this young, unassuming scholar a well-deserved shout-out.

So, excuse me while I get up from my desk and do my cabbage patch dance. After all, we reward outstanding high school athletes with pages of newsprint, giant trophies and all kinds of accolades. Even before they join the pros or enroll in college, male student athletes get treated like heroes. It’s high time that academic superstars, who use their intellects as deftly as their classmates use their bodies, get the star treatment, too.

No shortcuts here

“I put in a lot of work,” 18-year-old Cameron told me when I visited his house in Mount Airy. “I took a prep class with some of my friends, and I did a lot of practice tests from a book.

“But that only prepares you so much,” he explained. “The difference between getting, like, a 2400 and a couple of points lower is just focus.

“You can screw up or mess up on the smallest of things,” he said. “And I just feel like on that particular day, I was focused and I got kind of lucky, I guess, that I didn’t make any mistakes.”

You’ve got that right. Especially since Cameron had at first answered some questions in the wrong spaces. “So, in the last five minutes of the test, I had to go back and erase like 36 bubbles,” he said, still sounding relieved that he caught his error.

Brainiac in training

Cameron has been a student at Germantown Academy since preschool, and his parents had an inkling early on that their son was gifted. On an IQ test at age 4, he scored a 151, which is way, way up there.

His mother, Mary Jones, teaches Spanish at Father Judge High School. His dad, Peter Clarke, owns the Reef Restaurant and Lounge at Third and South streets.

They did everything they could to nurture that gift – even if they do sometimes come down hard on him for staying up into the wee hours night after night studying.

Cameron is musically accomplished, too. A principal cellist for the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, he performed last summer at the prestigious Aspen Music Festival in Colorado.

A four-page resume that he handed me when I met him lists his other interests: He writes for his school paper, participates in a math club, tutors other students, is a senator in his school’s student government and has run cross country. He was a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. His dream school for college would be Princeton.

“He and his friends are very driven, so I think they feed off of one another,” his mom told me. Now, that’s the kind of peer pressure I’m happy to endorse.

Another Cameron fan

Alfonzo Porter is a former high school principal and the author of More Like Barack, Less Like Tupac: Eradicating the Academic Achievement Gap by Countering Three Decades of the Hip Hop Hoax. He was thrilled when I told him about Cameron’s perfect SAT score.

“I have seen far too much talent wasted. Our young genius black children, particularly boys, too often wind up in the cemetery and jail,” Porter later wrote me in an email. “Hearing about perfect SAT scores is unfortunately the exception.”

“My question is, Why are we not making them household names?” Porter continued.

“Surely, if we can follow LeBron James from the age of 13, Michael Vick from the age of 14, etc., we can do the same for these young, inspirational academic superstars.”

Source: http://articles.philly.com/2012-12-18/news/35871335_1_student-government-cross-country-perfect-sat-score/2

On Twitter: @JeniceAmstrong

Blog: philly.com/HeyJen

Email: armstrj@phillynews.com