breaking news

Before Alyssa Milano, #MeToo began with activist Tarana Burke 10 years ago

Published: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 @ 9:36 AM

Activist Tarana Burke created the Me Too movement over 10 years ago to  amplify the voices of survivors of sexual abuse, assault and exploitation, particularly women of color.
Activist Tarana Burke created the Me Too movement over 10 years ago to amplify the voices of survivors of sexual abuse, assault and exploitation, particularly women of color.(@strangebirdproductions)

In wake of mounting sexual harassment and assault allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein, Alyssa Milano tweeted a call to victims to share their stories. 

“If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet,” the actress wrote in October.

The hashtag spread far and wide, but Milano isn’t the originator of using the phrase to bring attention to these stories. That credit belongs to Tarana Burke, a New York-based sexual assault, abuse and exploitation activist.

>> Read more trending news

“It's not about a viral campaign for me,” Burke told CNN Oct. 17. “It’s about a movement.”

CNN reported that Burke began the movement -- the genesis of which happened in 1996 -- when she was a youth camp director and heard a young girl’s story of abuse.

“For the next several minutes this child ... struggled to tell me about her ‘stepdaddy’ or rather her mother’s boyfriend who was doing all sorts of monstrous things to her developing body…” Burke wrote on the Just Be youth organization website. “I was horrified by her words, the emotions welling inside of me ran the gamut, and I listened until I literally could not take it anymore…which turned out to be less than 5 minutes. Then, right in the middle of her sharing her pain with me, I cut her off and immediately directed her to another female counselor who could ‘help her better...’

“I could not muster the energy to tell her that I understood, that I connected, that I could feel her pain,” she wrote, later adding, “I watched her put her mask back on and go back into the world like she was all alone and I couldn’t even bring myself to whisper…me too.”

Burke told CNN she began the movement to help young women of color who survived sexual exploitation, abuse and assault. 

“It started with young people and I quickly realized adults needed it too,” she said. “When you experience trauma and meet other people that have a similar experience, and you show empathy for each other, it creates a bond.”

#MeToo continues to be tweeted and shared on other social media spaces, including Facebook and Instagram. 

“Somebody asked me, does this (campaign) amplify your work? And it does in a certain way, but also when this hashtag dies down, and people thinking about it, I'll still be doing the work,” Burke told the Los Angeles Times

“I think the viral moment is great but the amplification of that -- I worry about disclosing their status as survivors en masse on social media and not having space to process,” she told CNN. “I worry about survivors coming on to social media and being bombarded with messages of ‘me too.”

What Is "Me Too" On Social Media?

Milano has since tweeted that she was made aware of the origin of the movement. “(T)he origin story is equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring,” she wrote with a link to the Just Be website.

Before then, some were critical, Ebony magazine reported. To a number of women of color on Twitter, Milano’s elevation of #MeToo and the day-long Twitter boycott following Rose McGowan’s temporary account deactivation ignored the fact that black women and other women of color are excluded from conversations. 

“Where was the boycott when actress and comedian Leslie Jones was harassed by trolls to the point of deleting her account for months?” writer Ashley C. Ford wrote in a Refinery29 essay.

“I think that women of color use social media to make our voices heard with or without the amplification of White women,” Burke told Ebony. “I also think that many times when White women want our support, they use an umbrella of ‘women supporting women’ and forget that they didn’t lend the same kind of support.”

“I don’t think it was intentional but somehow sisters still managed to get diminished or erased in these situations,” she added. “A slew of people raised their voices so that that didn’t happen.”

Trending - Most Read Stories

Without a voice, DC reporter Jamie Dupree's work still resonates across the US

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:23 AM

Jamie Dupree. (Photo credit: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jamie Dupree. (Photo credit: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

A familiar Cox Radio voice is determined to be heard again.

>> On Cox DC bureau reporter loses voice in medical mystery

Cox Media Group Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree has spent more than three decades covering Capitol Hill, but nearly two years ago, his method of communication had to change.

>> The radio silence of Jamie Dupree

Doctors say a rare neurological condition is making it difficult for his brain to tell his tongue what to do while speaking. Placing a pen in his mouth helps him speak.

“It’s hard, but I am working to come back hard,” Dupree tells WSB Radio.

>> Read Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider blog here

Doctors say a rare neurological condition is making it difficult for Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree's brain to tell his tongue what to do while speaking. Placing a pen in his mouth helps him speak. (Photo via

He is now hoping a meeting with specialists at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta will help him figure out why he lost his voice. 

And the reporter in him has not quit.

“He still does interviews; he feeds us audio,” WSB Radio News Director Chris Camp says. Dupree also covers Congress via Facebook, Twitter and Cox Media Group websites. 

>> DC reporter Jamie Dupree honored on House floor

“He may not be able to talk, but boy you can hear him awful loud,” Camp adds.

Dupree is thankful to all who have wished him well. While the condition has obviously affected his job, that is not what he says hurts him the most.

“Think about not being able to talk to your kids, or your wife or your father or your friends. While my work is hard and different, life is about a lot more than that.”

>> WATCH: WSB-TVs Berndt Petersen speaks with Jamie about his struggle over the past couple years

Dupree says Emory researchers are trying a new treatment that will slow down the movement of his tongue to make it easier for him to speak. In the meantime, Jamie wants everyone to know his overall health is good.

“Even though he can't speak, Jamie is still the most trusted voice in Washington DC,” WSB Radio’s Bill Caiaccio says of his colleague and friend. “He was already the hardest working reporter in our nation’s capital, and now he works even harder to get the job done.”

WSB Radio anchor Chris Chandler echoes those sentiments, saying, "I've always said Jamie is the most valuable on-air presence on our stations, and he still is.

“There's not a word of news from Washington that he hasn't reported and broken down for us.”

Mark Arum, WSB Radio traffic anchor and talk show host, adds that Dupree is an invaluable resource: “He might have lost his voice, but he still has the drive to get the story and get it right.”

>> Read more trending news 

Sabrina Cupit, who anchors midday for WSB Radio, says Dupree is so much more than his voice: “His knowledge of Washington, his connections, his balanced reporting; they are all still a major part of what we do on air every day here at WSB.

“Personally, I have never met a kinder, more honest or just downright great human being in my life. I am praying for the return of his voice. I do miss hearing it.”

Get Dupree's take on what's happening in Washington delivered to your inbox every weekday by clicking here.

Jamie Dupree is a reporter for the Cox Media Group Washington News Bureau. 

Trending - Most Read Stories

Brawl breaks out at IHOP after manager confronts unruly party

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 11:25 AM

File photo.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Owners of the Midtown IHOP are working to add more security at the restaurant after an early-morning attack.

>> Read more trending news

During the early-morning hours on Friday, March 16, the restaurant's manager, Mohammad Al Hourani, confronted an unruly party of five. 

Tuesday, police arrested Malachi Okelley.

“They started getting louder and louder. The customers inside started getting annoyed,” said Al Hourani.

The manager said Okelley was one of several customers who became loud and aggressive before he asked them to leave.

Shortly after, he found himself in a fight with the five customers, who began throwing objects at him as he fought off others. 

“My face was covered with blood. I couldn’t even open my eyes,” he said. 

Al Hourani is back at work, now with 16 stitches on his face and four staples in the back of his head. 

He said he is planning to have more security inside his restaurant.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Austin bomb victim's father thanks authorities in letter, questions son's death

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 3:02 PM

Austin Package Explosions: Suspect Dead

The father of the first Austin bombing victim, 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House, thanked local and federal law enforcement officers for their handling of the investigation in a letter released Thursday that also questioned the meaning behind the attacks.

>> Read more trending news

“I wish to express my deepest appreciation for the exhaustive efforts and work of the Austin Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agency, and other agencies that participated in this investigation of the series of explosive devices,” Elliot House, Anthony House’s father, wrote in a letter first reported by CBS News.

>> Related: Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House

“Hopefully, the death of the bomb maker suspect ends the ring of fear and terror in the Austin area, although it leaves a few questions, shared with both the family of my son, Anthony House, and 17-year-old Draylen Mason, both being black and the only deaths in the series of bombings,” House continued. “We are plagued with how they were selected and why.”

Austin police have identified the people killed in two separate package explosions as Draylen Mason, left, and Anthony House. Mason died in a bombing Monday morning. House died after an explosion March 2. Photos: Courtesy of Kylie Phillips and Norrell Waynewood.(American-Statesman Staff)

Anthony House was the father of an 8-year-old girl and a Texas State University graduate.

Elliot House said he also appreciated the “personal condolence” from Christopher Combs, the FBI’s special agent in charge of the San Antonio Field Division, and Mayor Steve Adler. House noted that he especially appreciated that Adler “apologized for the initial investigation of the bombing involving my son by APD.”

>> Related: Austin bombings: How to help the victims

Many in the community have criticized the Austin Police Department for its handling and characterization of the first bombing. Several people in an East Austin town hall last week questioned whether Austin police would have more readily sounded the alarm and warned the community about the package bombs sooner had the first bombing killed a white person in a neighborhood west of Interstate 35.

>> Related: 55 hours of terror, and a final blast in Austin serial bombings

Elliot House expressed his grief, saying that the death of his son in the bombing left him childless, as his other son, Corey Alan House, was killed in 1994 at age 17.

“I have no more sons. I continue to mourn my losses,” House wrote in the letter to authorities. “But continue the good work.”


Trending - Most Read Stories

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Woman steals waiter's tip at Memphis restaurant

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 2:39 PM

FILE PHOTO (Craig Toocheck, license:
Craig Toocheck,
FILE PHOTO (Craig Toocheck, license: Toocheck,

A Facebook post is going viral in Memphis, but the people featured in it likely wish it wasn’t.

The post, which has been shared more than 339,000 times, reads as follows:

It features two videos.

In the first video, you see two women getting ready to leave Casa Mexicana on Hacks Cross. One of them places money on the table – a tip for the waiter – and they walk away.

>> Read more trending news 

Once they leave, a woman in the neighboring booth points to the table with the money. She looks over her shoulder and around the restaurant and talks to the man she’s sitting with.

Eventually, she gets up and takes the money off the table. After hurrying back to her booth, the woman stuffs the money in her shirt and the couple continues looking around.

In the second video, the couple looks around a little more and keeps talking before finally leaving the restaurant.

A waiter quickly walks into frame and goes to the table where the money was left. He lifts up the chip basket and a plate, but the money is nowhere to be found. 

Trending - Most Read Stories