Sunday, November 29, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I did a recent CNN appearance along with the actor Hill Harper and Dr. Alvin Poussaint at Harvard University. The series was a one-year anniversary segment featuring political issues within the African American community. for the entire week, the primary focus was on the impact that President Barack Obama has had onAfrican American men. Given that I've been a black man for quite a while now, I found this conversation topic particularly interesting, so getting to speak to Richelle Carey again wasn't the only perk of doing the job that day.
It must be made clear that the president should not be expected to save the entire world in one swoop. His job is difficult, and he can't give everyone what they want all the time. But to the extent that President Obama has been positioned to trump pre-existing black leadership (remember that some say we now live in a post-racial America), one can argue that President Obama's rantings in black churches come with some degree of accountability from the Oval Office. Obama has spoken at NAACP meetings, telling black men to take responsibility for our families (as if none of us do) and to engage in more personal responsibility (as if we don't do that already). Such tough talk should be backed by meaningful policy, since structural incentives play a dominant role in the ultimate choice of the individual. For example, when companies get tax incentives to invest in new projects, they almost always do.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
We knew Aaron had a special way with the ladies, but he's parlayed that talent into another industry. He has tapped into his inner dog and has become a Dog Whisperer.
This side of him is totally foreign to all of his adoring fans who are probably completely confused by his choice of profession. Groups like Guy are a classic and have earned their place in R&B history.
Chris Brown was praised for being on his best behavior since being sentenced to probation in his assault case.
Judge Patricia M. Schnegg acknowledged that Brown has completed more than 100 hours of community labor so far, and seven domestic violence counseling sessions, according to the Associated Press.
"We have a progress report and it's extremely favorable," Judge Schnegg said from the bench. "That's excellent."
Monday, November 23, 2009
Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III
Early on the campaign trail, presidential candidate Barack Obama said, "This country is ready for a transformative politics of the sort that John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt represented." Socially, President Obama is beginning to move in such a positive transformative direction.
After 12 years of languishing in Congress, on Wednesday, October 28, President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard / James Byrd Hate Crimes Bill. By signing this bill, the president expands the federal definition of hate crimes to include those motivated by gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability. It also allows federal authorities to pursue hate-crimes cases when local authorities are either unable or unwilling to do so. This law was named after Matthew Shepard, a gay man murdered in Wyoming in 1998, and James Byrd, the African-American man dragged to his death behind a pickup truck in Texas that same year.
Five Gainesville residents are suing a Florida rapper, his record label and a local club after they were shot during a 2006 concert.
Billy Dee Williams, Michael Lamar Daymon, Edwin Devasco Faircloth, Steve Ruben Jean-Jacques and Dorian Shannel Johnson are suing rapper Plies, whose real name is Algernod Lanier Washington. They are also suing night club 238 West and Washington's record label, Slip-N-Slide Records Inc., for compensatory damages.
Washington is best known for his 2007 single "Shawty" featuring T-Pain.
John Mayer says it's time for the media and public to pipe down on the Kanye West hatred and move on.
The rocker has teamed up on a new track with Taylor Swift, the victim of West's onstage protest at the "MTV Video Music Awards," but he's not about to join those publicly hating the rap star.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Heather Ellis is facing 15-years in prison for allegedly cutting line at a Wal-Mart store in Missouri.
Heather Ellis is in trouble. The 24-year old preacher’s daughter has spent most of her life doing the right things: Going to college, getting ready for medical school and staying out of trouble. What Heather didn’t realize is that even when you do the right things, your margin of error as a person of color in America is virtually non-existent.
When I wrote my book, “What if George Bush were a Black Man?” the key point was that America’s justice system has a difficult time understanding that punishments must match the magnitude of the crime that has allegedly been committed. The actions that a “frat boy” can get away with 20 times during college can send an African American to prison for the next 20-years. America is a country that has, without question, consistently over-charged, over-searched, over-incarcerated and over-sentenced African Americans for the past 400 years of its existence.
Given its ugly past, the criminal justice system has very little credibility, and even police reports are subject to being questioned – especially in a town like Kennett, MO. My father’s a cop, so I know how all this works. Even when black men were lynched 100 years ago, there were always “witnesses” and police reports to say that he was a bad person. Fortunately, lynching does not occur anymore (although a black boy – Walter Currie Jr. – was burned alive by his white classmate in the same area as Heather), but the noose has been replaced with the long prison sentence as the most typical and most devastating form of punishment. As a result, black men and women are filling up America’s penitentiaries at an alarming rate, and it is destroying the core of the black family.Click to read.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Consider it a strange dream, but I had some thoughts about the Jay-Z beef with the rapper Beanie Sigal. No, I'm not here to talk about keeping street cred. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Half of the artists in the hip hop industry are not nearly as hard or as real as they claim to be. They're too smart for that. The guys who are really as hard as most rappers claim to be are either in a jail cell or a casket. That's the truth.
What got my attention was when Charlamagne Tha God was fired from 100.3, "The Beat" in Philadelphia. I've known Charlamagne for years from our work on The Wendy Williams Show, so this made me a little upset. What was even sadder is the allegation that Jay Z may have played a role in getting Charlamagne fired, in large part because Charlamagne conducted an interview with Jay-Z's new rival, Beanie Sigal. This incident represents more than the standard thuggery that some might see on the surface. Instead, it brings forth a plethora of issues that relate to business, entertainment, money and corporate power. Here are some quick thoughts:
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
*NBA superstar LeBron James has taken on the role of mentor to Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, hoping to school him on the ups and downs of being a celebrity athlete.
"(I'm) trying to mentor him and get him through 'life in the spotlight,' which I've been through," the Cleveland Cavaliers player said after a preseason game in Columbus on Wednesday night.