African Americans

Raven-Symone Has Lost Her Damn Mind

THE VIEW - Guests include Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson; Misty Copeland airing today, Monday, October 12, 2015 on ABC's "The View." "The View" airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Lou Rocco) RAVEN-SYMONE´

Lou Rocco/ABC

Okay, that’s one way of putting it…ks


The co-host of ‘The View’ qualified the actions of the cop who body-slammed a girl at Spring Valley High. It’s the latest in a long line of crazy comments from the ex ‘Cosby’ star.

The co-host of ‘The View’ qualified the actions of the cop who body-slammed a girl at Spring Valley High. It’s the latest in a long line of crazy comments from the ex ‘Cosby’ star.

The entire country has been up in arms over the video that went viral this week showing hulking Deputy Ben Fields hurl a 16-year-old black girl from her desk at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina. While discussing the topic on The View, always-controversial co-host Raven-Symone raised the ire of social media after she chastised the student for allegedly being on her phone when the teacher asked her to put it away.Raven-Symone believed that there were “two wrongs” revealed in the video, explaining her position thusly: “The girl was told multiple times to get off the phone. There’s no right or reason for him to be doing this type of harm, that’s ridiculous. But at the same time, you gotta follow the rules in school. First of all, why are there cell phones in school? This shouldn’t even be a problem to begin with, and he shouldn’t have been acting like that on top of it.”After it was pointed out that not only was the force unwarranted, but Shields has a history of brutish behavior on the job, Raven reiterated that the girl should not have been on the phone.

“He was actually sued for false arrest, excessive force and battery in 2007 after a couple accused him of manhandling them. He has a record and he’s still hired—but at the same time, get off yo’ phone. You’re in school. Get off yo’ phone! What are you doing on Instagram?”

The co-hosts then tossed around a few words about young people and their lack of respect for authority—because there was never a bratty kid before the iPhone, apparently.

But her reaction to the incident—which she repeated twice and got applause from the audience—reveals that Raven-Symone doesn’t grasp that a non-cooperative teenager doesn’t warrant brute force. There was no physical altercation happeninguntil Deputy Ben Fields initiated one. I kept hearing her statement and wondering how little empathy one must have for a teenage girl to think she would deserve being physically assaulted for not putting her phone away.

But Raven-Symone has consistently revealed how little empathy she has for black people

This latest controversy comes just weeks after Raven-Symone declared that she wouldn’t hire someone if they had a “ghetto” name. While distinguishing between what she considered “discriminatory” but not “racist,” she admitted that “I’m not going to hire you if your name is ‘Watermelondrea.’ It’s just not going to happen. I’m not going to hire you.”

After Univision host Rodner Figueroa made a racist joke about Michelle Obama joining the cast of Planet of the Apes, Raven-Symone pondered aloud whether the comment was “racist-like.” “Was he saying it racist-like? Because he said that he voted for her later, and I don’t think he was saying it racist,” Raven said. “Michelle, don’t fire me from this right now, but some people look like animals. I look like a bird. So can I be mad if somebody calls me Toucan Sam?”

Earlier this year, Raven-Symone made it clear that she was uncomfortable with the idea of Harriet Tubman being considered for the $20 bill. “No offense to everyone who’s going to be mad at me for saying this: I don’t like that idea. I don’t like it… I think we need to move a little bit forward. Let me just preface [by saying], I understand the history. I get it, trust me. I was taught, I’m in that culture. But there’s also Wilma Mankiller, there’s also Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Harriet Tubman… Me personally, I would’ve chosen Rosa Parks. I would have chosen someone that is closer to the progression that we’re doing now.”

So again—Raven-Symone’s behavior begs the question: Who does Raven-Symone think she is?

That’s not an indignant, rhetorical question—like, “How dare she?” That’s a sincere, concerned question regarding how the former child star turned Disney maven turned View co-host sees herself. Who does she think Raven-Symone is?

Does she not think Raven-Symone is a black woman? Does she not see herself as an entertainer who has been and would be routinely marginalized because she doesn’t fit into preset white, straight standards so prevalent in both Hollywood and society? She’s been working in Hollywood since she was 3 years old, so Raven-Symone has to know the sting of industry racism on some level or another. How can 17-year-old Amandla Stenberg have a better grasp of what it means to be a young black girl in a world that doesn’t value young black girls? Maybe Raven-Symone, convinced of her own exceptionalism, has been lulled into thinking that becoming a superstar to young people all over the world happened because racism isn’t that big a deal anymore. Maybe she doesn’t really recognize that there wasn’t a flood of “next Ravens” being churned out by networks because Hollywood would always rather sell white faces.

In the early 2000s, an era of teen idols in the vein of Hillary Duff and the Olsen Twins, Raven-Symone was a barrier breaker as That’s So Raven became Disney’s longest-running original series at the time. She became one of the most bankable stars in the Disney stratosphere as an African American, thicker-than-your-average teenage star. With her hit show, her albums and the Cheetah Girls brand, Raven-Symone provided a template for Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers to follow—which Cyrus parlayed into success with Hannah Montana before breaking out to become a major pop star.

Were those opportunities ever there for Raven-Symone? Does she ever wonder how her career would’ve evolved if she’d been a waifish white girl that had Disney’s most popular show, Eddie Murphy movies on her resume, and a career that stretched all the way back to 1989? Maybe she thinks it’s virtuous to not dwell on what might have been. But her views on race suggest she’s in total denial; beyond her own career, Raven-Symone doesn’t seem to understand how it affects American society and culture. She operates like a person convinced that not seeing racism is all that it takes for black achievement. She doesn’t get it and she doesn’t empathize. And in that, she distances herself from blackness.

Raven famously told Oprah in 2014 that she resists labels. At the time, she had announced that she was in a relationship with a woman—former America’s Next Top Model contestant AzMarie Livingston—but she didn’t want to be labeled “gay” or even “African American.”

“I’m tired of being labeled,” Raven said at the time. “I’m an American. I’m not an African-American—I’m American.”

“I will say this. I don’t know where my roots go to. I don’t know how far back they go,” she added. “I don’t know what country in Africa I’m from, but I do know that my roots are in Louisiana. I’m American. And that’s a colorless person. I don’t label myself. I have darker skin. I have a nice, interesting grade of hair. I connect with Caucasian. I connect with Asian. I connect with black. I connect with Indian. I connect with each culture.”

She later “defended” her remarks. “I never said I wasn’t black. I said I wasn’t African American. To me, that’s a difference. Thank you to, actually, for sending me my DNA test. I am from every continent in Africa, except for one. And I am from every continent in Europe, except for one. And for the last 400 years, my family has been living in Virginia. How long do you have to be in one country before you’re that?”

Raven-Symone loves her Americanness. America made her wealthy and famous. But America also marginalizes her. If she wasn’t a famous television star, she’d have been the girl scrutinized for her “unusual” hair and “non-traditional” name. She’d be stared at for walking down the street holding her girlfriend’s hand. She’d be an other. It’s so sad that she seems to be so intent on distancing herself from the people who relate to her the most. She should see herself in them.

Stereo Williams

Donald Trump: Blacks ‘Worse Than Just About Ever’ Because Of Obama (VIDEO)

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)


Donald Trump is always opening his mouth and saying awful things, and his Sunday interview on ABC with Jonathan Karl was no different. This time, instead of being racist toward Mexican immigrants, Trump turned his attention to black Americans and what President Obama “hasn’t” done for us. He started off:

“He has set a very low bar and I think it’s a shame for the African-American people. And by the way, he has done nothing for African-Americans. You look at what’s going on, at their income levels, you look at what’s gone on with their youth.

I thought that he would be a great cheerleader for this country, I thought he would do a fabulous job for the African-American citizens of this country.”

Trump paused, then ranted on:

“He has done nothing. They are worse than just about ever, they have problems now in terms of unemployment numbers… Here you have a black president who has done very poorly for the African-Americans in this country.”

Excuse me, Mr. Trump? Just becoming president as a black man did a tremendous amount for Black America. After all, while sure, there’s no more segregation and there are plenty of black singers, actors and athletes, the political arena is still a definite uphill battle for people of color, and certainly nobody ever thought there would be a black president. We didn’t dare dream of seeing someone who looks like us occupying that particular position. So, the fact that Barack Obama achieved that at all is definitely doing something for Black America.

That isn’t all, either. President Obama has addressed the problem of police brutality against people of color, as well as the problem of the system of mass incarceration — though I highly doubt you even believe that those are actual problems in the first place. Anyway, I digress. On to the end of the interview, in which Trump expresses the delusion that he will somehow get votes from black people:

“I think I will win the black vote, I think I will win the Hispanic vote.”

Well, I’ve got news for you, Donald Trump. Being an open racist isn’t the way to get votes from minority populations. You’re delusional if you think Hispanic people will vote for you after you call all Mexican immigrants rapists, and after you’ve talked down to black people like you do in this interview, as if we’re charity cases for you to save with your billions.

Keep driving that clown car, Mr. Trump. Drive it right off a political cliff with your bigotry. You’ll ensure a victory for Democrats in 2016, and all you have to do is keep talking.

Watch video of the interview below:

10 things you need to know today: March 7, 2015

The Week

1.Sen. Robert Menendez will reportedly face criminal corruption charges
The Justice Department is reportedly preparing to bring criminal corruption charges against Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), sources said on Friday. Menendez is accused of doing political favors for a Florida doctor, Salomon Melgen, a close friend and benefactor. CNN, which first broke the news, said the official announcement from prosecutors may come within weeks. Menendez’s office called the allegations a “smear campaign,” and denied any wrongdoing by the senator.Source: CNN, The New York Times
2.Russian officials arrest two men in connection with Boris Nemtsov murder
Russian authorities announced on Saturday that they had arrested two men in connection with the murder of political opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. Alexander Bortnikov, head of Russia’s federal security service, named the pair as Anzor Gubashev and Zaur Dadayev, both from the southern region of Caucasus. It was unclear whether authorities believe either detained man is suspected of actually killing Nemtsov, or just of being involved in the murder. Nemtsov, 55, was shot four times in the back while walking near the Kremlin on Feb. 27. Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the murder of his longtime opponent as a “provocation” and a “vile and cynical murder.”Source: The Guardian
3.Obama criticizes Ferguson for ‘systematic’ racial bias
President Barack Obama on Friday addressed the U.S. Justice Department’s report that cited “oppressive and abusive” actions against African Americans in Ferguson, Missouri. “What we saw was the the Ferguson Police Department, in conjunction with the municipality…systematically was biased against African Americans in that city who were stopped, harassed, mistreated, abused, called names, fined,” Obama said at a town hall-style meeting in South Carolina. The city of Ferguson is making efforts to reform its practices in order to reach a settlement with the Justice Department; Mayor James Knowles said on Fridaythat three municipal employees who had demonstrated “egregious racial bias” were no longer working for the city.Source: Reuters
4.Germany approves legal quotas for women to sit on company boards
Starting in 2016, German companies that include employee representation on supervisory boards will be required to allot 30 percent of their seats to women. The vote by Germany’s lower house of parliament on Friday was an “historic step” for equal rights, Family Affairs Minister Manuela Schwesig said. While Angela Merkel has led Germany since 2005, there is not one female chief executive among Germany’s 30 largest firms, and a recent survey found that 59 percent of mid-sized German companies do not include even one woman in a position of leadership.Source: Reuters
5.U.S. economy added 295,000 jobs in February
The latest report from the Bureau of Labor statistics found the U.S. economy generated 295,000 new jobs in February, while the unemployment rate decreased from 5.7 percent in January to 5.5 percent. Average hourly earnings for all workers also rose to $24.78, up from $24.75 in January. The February numbers beat out the expectations of Wall Street economists, who were anticipating 235,000 new jobs. This remains the longest stretch of sustained growth above 200,000 jobs per month since the early 1990s.Source: Fortune
6.NCAA suspends Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim for 9 games, pulls 12 basketball scholarships
The NCAA released its findings on Friday from an investigation into Syracuse University’s athletic programs, and it cited multiple infractions dating back to 2001, primarily by the men’s basketball program but also by the football program, including “academic misconduct, extra benefits, failure to follow its drug testing policy and impermissible booster activity.” The NCAA sanctioned Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim with a nine-ACC-game suspension, and the Orange will lose 12 scholarships over the next four years. Syracuse announced earlier this year that the basketball team would forego participation in the ACC and NCAA tournaments as a self-imposed punishment; the NCAA declared that sufficient and announced it will not impose more postseason bans, although both the basketball and football teams will be on probation for the next five years.Source: Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post
7.Apple replaces AT&T on the Down Jones industrial average
S&P Dow Jones Indices has added Apple Inc. to its Dow Jones industrial average, replacing AT&T. “It would be difficult to pick any 30 companies that would cover the entire economy, especially compared with the S&P 500, but it does give the Dow more credibility,” Richard Sichel, a chief investment officer at Philadelphia Trust Co., said. AT&T had been part of the Dow for nearly a century, but investors have said that Apple now better reflects the role of communications and technology within the economy.Source: Reuters
8.Russian President Putin takes 10 percent salary cut
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Friday that he is taking a 10 percent salary cut, effective March 1 through December 31, 2015. Putin’s signed decree also cuts the salaries of several other top government officials, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Prosecutor General Yury Chaika, and Alexander Bastrykin, president of Russia’s Investigative Committee. Moscow continues to deny any support of pro-Russia militants in neighboring Ukraine, but skeptical Western leaders have imposed sanctions on Russia in response, which have crippled the country’s economy in recent months.Source: Agence France Presse
9. NASA probe reaches orbit of dwarf planet Ceres
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft successfully entered orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres on Friday, eight years after scientists first launched the probe on its $473 million mission. Ceres lies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter; Dawn will spend 16 months exploring the dwarf planet, which scientists discovered more than 200 years ago. NASA hopes the new mission will reveal more about the previous Dawn images of Ceres, which show mysterious spots on its surface, that could be signs of ice or liquid water.Source: NBC News
10.Albert Maysles, Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelterdocumentarian, dies at 88
Legendary documentarian Albert Maysles died on Friday at 88 years old. Maysles’ 60-year career as a documentarian began with the short Psychiatry in Russia, in 1955. In the decades that followed — and often in collaboration with his brother David — he helmed acclaimed documentaries such as Salesman,Gimme Shelter, and Grey Gardens. Maysles’ final film, In Transit, debuts at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Noam Chomsky: Reagan was an ‘extreme racist’ who re-enslaved African-Americans

Noam Chomsky on Tea Party

Professor and Historian Noam Chomsky | No attribution

Noam Chomsky is one of my favorite political truth-tellers…

The Raw Story

In an interview with GRITtv’s Laura Flanders, linguist and political analyst Noam Chomsky discussed how the events in Ferguson, Missouri and the protests that followed demonstrate just how little race relations in the United States have advanced since the end of the Civil War.

“This is a very racist society,” Chomsky said, “it’s pretty shocking. What’s happened to African-Americans in the last 30 years is similar to what [Douglas Blackmon in Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II] describes happening in the late 19th Century.”

Blackmon’s book describes what he calls the “Age of Neoslavery,” in which newly freed slaves found themselves entangled in a legal system built upon involuntary servitude — which included the selling of black men convicted of crimes like vagrancy and changing employers without receiving permission.

“The constitutional amendments that were supposed to free African-American slaves did something for about 10 years, then there was a North-South compact that granted the former the slave-owning states the right to do whatever they wanted,” he explained. “And what they did was criminalize black life, and that created a kind of slave force. It threw mostly black males into jail, where they became a perfect labor force, much better than slaves.”

“If you’re a slave owner, you have to pay for — you have to keep your ‘capital’ alive. But if the state does it for you, that’s terrific. No strikes, no disobedience, the perfect labor force. A lot of the American Industrial Revolution in the late 19th, early 20th Century was based on that. It pretty must lasted until World War II.”

“After that,” Chomsky said, “African-Americans had about two decades in which they had a shot of entering [American] society. A black worker could get a job in an auto plant, as the unions were still functioning, and he could buy a small house and send his kid to college. But by the 1970s and 1980s it’s going back to the criminalization of black life.”

“It’s called the drug war, and it’s a racist war. Ronald Reagan was an extreme racist — though he denied it — but the whole drug war is designed, from policing to eventual release from prison, to make it impossible for black men and, increasingly, women to be part of [American] society.”

“In fact,” he continued, “if you look at American history, the first slaves came over in 1619, and that’s half a millennium. There have only been three or four decades in which African-Americans have had a limited degree of freedom — not entirely, but at least some.”

“They have been re-criminalized and turned into a slave labor force — that’s prison labor,” Chomsky concluded. “This is American history. To break out of that is no small trick.”

Watch the entire interview via GRITtv on YouTube below.

The part pertaining to the subject of this post starts at 16:44.

I would recommend viewing the entire video because it gives us an insight on what makes Chomsky one of the great historians of our time…

Joe Walsh: Democrats Want Hispanics, African Americans ‘Dependent On Government’

Joe Walsh

This guy and Alan West are the biggest buffoons in the GOP…

The Huffington Post

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) made another controversial remark last week, telling constituents that Democrats want Hispanics to be dependent on government — and claiming that African Americans already are.

“The Democratic Party promises groups of people everything,” Walsh, a conservative freshman from suburban Chicago, said during a Schaumburg, Ill., speech caught on video provided by CREDO SuperPAC, an anti-tea party group. “They want the Hispanic vote, they want Hispanics to be dependent on government, just like they got African Americans dependent on government. That’s their game.”

Walsh goes on to say that civil rights activist Jesse Jackson “would be out of work if [African Americans] weren’t dependent on government.”

Walsh was elected in 2010, part of a wave of tea party-backed candidates elected to the House of Representatives that year. His district in the northern Chicago suburbs is a key target for Democrats this year. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is putting its weight behind his opponent, Tammy Duckworth, as part of a “Red to Blue” effort to take back the House, the DCCC chairman, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said in March.

Walsh has a flair for the dramatic in his speeches, and last week’s was no different. He began to speak loudly, telling his constituents he gets “wound up” for them. “I am scared. I really am scared, Patrick, that we’re past the point — we have so many people now dependent on government, so many people want handouts,” he said.

Walsh also has a history of controversial remarks about race — and plenty of other issues. He said in April that Obama was elected because he’s black, telling constituents at another town hall that electing the first African American president “made us feel good about [our]self.”

He came under fire for comments to Politico in March about Duckworth, a veteran who lost both of her legs and part of an arm while serving in Iraq:

“I have so much respect for what she did in the fact that she sacrificed her body for this country,” said Walsh, simultaneously lowering his voice as he leaned forward before pausing for dramatic effect. “Ehhh. Now let’s move on.”

Watch Walsh’s remarks on Hispanics and African Americans below, or view a longer video of the town hall meeting here.

Santorum tells Iowans: ‘I don’t want to make black people’s lives better’ | The Raw Story

One might ask: “WTF”?  However, if you stop to think that Iowa is 91% white and that Santorum is targeting the Evangelicals and anyone else he can get to vote for him, his statement is not that shocking inside Iowa.

Santorum is obviously guilty of taking a page from Newt Gingrich’s talking points.

The Raw Story

Speaking to Republicans in Iowa on Monday, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) said his administration would reform welfare to the point that it would offer no welfare at all.

After suggesting that an expansion of Medicare is really just a plot to make voters more “dependent” on Washington, Santorum added: ”I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money.”

“I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn their money and provide for themselves and their families,” he added. “The best way to do that is to get the manufacturing sector of the economy rolling.”

One thing he likely overlooked: white Americans account for the largest percentage of welfare payments each month, mostly because they make up the largest sector of the population.

Welfare is defined by the government as benefits funded by tax dollars, meaning that programs like Social Security, food stamps, veterans benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment and corporate bailouts all fall under that term.

What Santorum seemed to focus on, as many conservatives do, is that black people are disproportionately represented in welfare statistics, along with Latinos, as both populations have much higher rates of poverty than whites.

According to the University of Michigan’s National Poverty Center, 27.4 percent of blacks and 26.6 percent of Hispanics were living in poverty in 2010, compared to 9.9 percent of whites. Unemployment statistics between the racial demographics are similarly skewed.

Despite the factually flawed nature of Santorum’s pitch on Monday, the underlying logic of his pitch is abundantly clear: census data shows that over 91 percent of Iowans are white, a community Santorum must desperately appeal to if he wants a win in Tuesday’s caucuses.

This video is from  CBS News, broadcast Monday, January 2, 2012.