Where do you stand when it matters most?

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, center right, and Orlando Police Chief John Mina, center left, arrive to a news conference after a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, center right, and Orlando Police Chief John Mina, center left, arrive to a news conference after a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

In an ironic twist, the same night and weekend that the late boxing legend, humanitarian and peace prophet Muhammad Ali was laid to rest following an interfaith ceremony and public displays of adoration, the nation was thrust into mourning due to acts of domestic terrorism.

Former “The Voice” contestant Christina Grimme, 22, was murdered after performing at a concert in Orlando, Florida, on Friday, June 10, by Kevin James Loibl, 27, who traveled from St. Petersburg with two guns. He killed himself after murdering Grimme. According to reports, he did not know Grimme. In the wee hours of Sunday, June 12, Omar Mateen, 29, of  Fort Pierce, a trained security guard, unleashed a fusillade of bullets on revelers at gay club Pulse, also in Orlando, killing 50 and injuring 53.

Grief-stricken shooting victims comfort each other as they try to cope with the trauma they experienced.

Grief-stricken shooting victims comfort each other as they try to cope with the trauma they experienced as a result of the massacre inside Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

As loved one flocked to the streets to learn the fate of the victims, elected officials took to the airwaves to share their views, extend condolences and, in the case of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick of Texas, tweet unsparingly “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. A man reaps what he sows,” in reference to the lifestyle embraced by the victims. Calling the massacre “an act of violence and hate,” President Barack Obama ordered all flags around the nation to be flown at half staff in honor of the victims.

Ali was admired and celebrated in life and in death for taking a principled stand against the Vietnam War. He was unapologetic and willing to accept any consequence associated with his position. Some responded with hate and anger, while African-Americans stood taller, in awe of a man who risked it all at the height of his career and in the prime of his youth.

Omar Mateen, who was born in New York to parents from Afghanistan, killed 53 people enjoying themselves at Pulse, a gay nightclub located in Orlando, Florida, on 6/12, 2016. He was killed by police.

Omar Mateen, who was born in New York to parents from Afghanistan, killed 53 people enjoying themselves at Pulse, a gay nightclub located in Orlando, Florida, on 6/12, 2016. He was killed by police.

Where do you stand when it matters most? Today, that’s an increasingly difficult question to answer. Individuals, whether they are famous athletes, so-called celebrities, professionals or the everyday person, are reluctant to take a stand on principle. As wall to wall coverage of the Pulse massacre continues unabated, Ali’s boldness, sense of integrity and unwavering commitment to his principles stand out more than ever.

Kevin James Loibl gunned down singer Christina Grimme as she signed autographs after performing in Orlando, Florida on June 10, 2016.

Kevin James Loibl gunned down singer Christina Grimme as she signed autographs after performing in Orlando, Florida on June 10, 2016.

Today’s athletes are too politically correct and focused on money to take a stand and mean it; celebrities are more concerned with garnering followers and vacuous publicity rather than influencing others and cementing a legacy; many professionals are too complacent and devoid of passion to shape their brand around principles that define them.

But as details filter out about Mateen’s 911 call to pledge allegiance to ISIS prior to the bloodbath he inflicted at Pulse, and investigations continue into unearthing the motives of both killers, it bears asking: What defines me? What drives my sense of integrity? What are my principles? Where do I stand when it matters most? The answers to those question could shape the future of our society as a whole, while building the character of every individual so that, like Ali, we all aspire to be greater than we ever envisioned.–OnPointPress.net-

Did Sandra Bland commit suicide or was she murdered by Texas police?

Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland, a graduate of Prairie View A& M University, an historically black college, was found dead in her jail cell in Waller County on Monday, July 13. Texas officials said she committed suicide but her friends and family say she would not take her own life because she had a lot to live for and was eager to start a new job at her alma mater.

By Carmen Glover

As questions continue to mount over the true cause of 28-year-old activist Sandra Bland’s death in Waller County, Texas, her family announced on Sunday, July 19 that they have requested an independent autopsy to get answers.

“We want to understand how it is that this all played out and what ultimately ended up being the real cause of her death,” said Cannon Lambert, Sr. the family’s attorney.

A video captured Sandra Bland's altercation with Texas police. In the video, a police officer is seen with his knees on her back.

A video captured Sandra Bland’s altercation with Texas police. In the video, a police officer is seen with his knees on her back.

The family is contesting the assertions by Texas officials who ruled her death ‘self-inflicted asphyxiation,” and insisted that Bland hanged herself with a plastic bag while she was held in jail on Monday, July 13. Texas officials pointed to a Facebook message posted by Bland in March 2015, during which she said:

“I’m going through something many of you might be experiencing, It’s a little bit of depression and PTSD.”

Bland did not state in the message whether or not she had been diagnosed by a licensed mental health official or whether she diagnosed herself.

Sandra Bland after she was arrested for failing to signal for a lane change.

Sandra Bland after she was arrested for failing to signal for a lane change.

As vigils and marches continue to express outrage about her death, one central question remains: Why does a motorist end up dead, in jail, for a routine traffic signal?

According to Texas officials, Bland kicked state trooper, Brian Encinia, 30, after he tried to pull her out of her when she failed to signal for a lane turn, on Friday, July 10. Encinia was put on desk duty on Friday, July 17, after an investigation concluded that he violated Texas Department of Public Safety protocols.

William Mitchell, 5, of Houston, holds a sign at a rally at the Waller County Jail in Hempstead, Texas, on Friday July 17, 2015, to protest the death of Sandra Bland, who was found dead in the jail. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

William Mitchell, 5, of Houston, holds a sign at a rally at the Waller County Jail in Hempstead, Texas, on Friday July 17, 2015, to protest the death of Sandra Bland, who was found dead in the jail. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

A video recording that allegedly captured Bland’s altercation with Encinia, showed the woman on the ground with the officer’s knees in her back as Bland raged at him shouting:

“For a traffic signal you shove me into the ground and everything?”

Bland’s older sister Sharon Cooper, said it’s unlikely that Bland committed suicide as the Texas police said, because she had recently moved back to Texas from her hometown of Chicago, to start a new job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M, an historically black college from which Bland graduated in 2009.

Protests continue as family and community members seek answers about the exact cause of Sandra Bland's death.

Protests continue as family and community members seek answers about the exact cause of Sandra Bland’s death.

“Based on the Sandy I knew, this is unfathomable to me. I heard from her on Saturday and she said her bail was set at $5,000 so we were trying to put that together,” said Cooper, who explained that her sister complained that her hand and shoulder hurt due to what the police did to her. “We’re just trying to understand what happened.”

Meanwhile, Sigma Gamma Rho, Bland’s former sorority, released a statement expressing that they were “deeply saddened by the death of our sorority sister,” and Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said, last week that:

“The death of Sandra Bland will not be swept under the rug. The truth will come out.”

With Bland’s family ordering an independent autopsy, it appears as if they are taking matters into their own hands to ensure that the truth, in fact, comes out.–OnPointPress.net