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If you were Nate Parker’s publicist, how drunk would you be right now?

Then again, after reading Parker’s remarks to Variety and Deadline about past accusations of rape, one wonders if he even has one—an effective one anyway. “Seventeen years ago, I experienced a very painful moment in my life,” Parker explained to Variety. “It resulted in it being litigated. I was cleared of it. That’s that. Seventeen years later, I’m a filmmaker. I have a family. I have five beautiful daughters. I have a lovely wife. I get it. The reality is I can’t relive 17 years ago. All I can do is be the best man I can be now.”

Parker essentially repeats his seemingly prepared statements in his separate interview with Deadline. That interview, though, is far more overt in its attempts to assist Parker in squashing controversy before the release of his directorial debut, Birth of a Nation. Its co-authors include rather dubious lines like “Why would an incident that ended in Parker’s acquittal nearly two decades ago be at all relevant in a movie that took place in Antebellum Virginia?”

This is the traditional Hollywood machine at work. For so long, it has been able to masterly diffuse any potential backlash towards creatives whose private acts threaten their professional work and movie studios’ bottomlines. However, it is a new day; one in which social media has amplified the voices of those traditionally drowned out. After both interviews ran, subsequent reports claimed executives of Fox Searchlight, which is distributing Parker’s film, are “scrambling” to deal with the aftermath, reportedly taking “a wait and see approach to a proposed ambitious release plan that had called for extensive outreach to church groups, college campuses and prominent Hollywood figures.”

They can wait and see all they’d like, but the damage is done. Parker may have decided to address an issue he admittedly knew was heading his way, but he did so in cavalier fashion to his own detriment. The same goes for Parker’s former college roommate and co-writer of The Birth of a Nation, Jean Celestin, who told Deadline: “This was something that I experienced as a college student 17 years ago and was fully exonerated of. I have since moved on and been focusing on my family and writing career.”

Both Parker and Celestin are noticeably careful with their phrasing. To be found not guilty and exonerated of charges does not necessarily amount to innocence. Of all those who have already taken to Parker’s defense, I find it equal parts amusing and alarming that Black men have been so quick to suddenly cite the court system. This is the same court system that told us Trayvon Martin’s killer was not guilty; that Tamir Rice’s killer was not deserving of an indictment; that no one should face any consequences for the death of Freddie Gray.

We know the justice system will fail Black and Brown people when they fall victim to agents of the state, or in George Zimmerman’s case, a coward wearing the drag of law enforcement, but the justice systemfails the victims of sexual assault just as routinely.

In the case of the 18-year-old woman who accused Parker and Celestin of raping her in their apartment after a night of drinking, details from the case do suggest she was failed. Parker was ultimately acquitted of the charges in 2001, but much of that had to do with the accuser admitting that the two had consensual sex previously—which says a lot more about a failure to recognize consent is on a case by case basis more than anything. As for Celestin, he was convicted only to have that conviction overturned with no retrial due to the accuser not wanting to testify again. However, she sued the university and was awarded a $17,500 settlement out of court.

For those who mercilessly brush these allegations aside, I invite you to read the testimonies of eyewitnesses during the trial. Then read the transcript of a phone conversation Parker had with the alleged victim. Parker talks about some traumatizing moment of his life, but read the trauma in those documents and who is responsible. Then remember Parker’s alive while his accuser committed suicide in 2012. Her death certificate states that she suffered “major depressive disorder with psychotic features, PTSD due to physical and sexual abuse, polysubstance abuse.”

Her brother told Variety, “If I were to look back at her very short life and point to one moment where I think she changed as a person, it was obviously that point.”

Those asking why Parker’s rape case wasn’t made a bigger issue in the past, know that it’s not a riddle. With wider attention comes more extensive looks into one’s background—especially if you are the centerpiece of a major film release that plans to launch an expansive Oscar campaign in the months ahead. It works the same with presidential candidates.

Yet, some would argue that Parker is the victim, purportedly because“they don’t want the story of Nat Turner to be released.” Who is they? White folks? The same white folks that gave Nate Parker $17.5 million for The Birth of a Nation? The same ones actively protecting their investment by trotting him to the press in the first place? Oh.

If there’s one thing men of every color can agree on, it is often sadly the disregard of women and autonomy over their bodies.

 

Read the rest at Complex.

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Justin Bieber didn’t have to delete his Instagram account the other day, after he asked his fans Sunday night to stop being so mean to Sofia Richie, whom he is reportedly dating. (Beliebers can be quite vicious.)

Because what followed that – ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez decided to treat his mentions like the Shade Room – would not have happened if he followed my simple social media rule: block your exes immediately.

“If you can’t handle the hate then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol – it should be special between you two only. Don’t be mad at your fans. They love you,” Gomez wrote.

An internet tempest ensued, which ended with Bieber deleting his account and, I don’t know, making sea levels rise with the overflow of tears from fans around the world. Then Gomez issued a mea culpa, taking to Snapchat to write, “What I said was selfish and pointless.” Yes, girl. 100 emoji. But you shouldn’t have been able to weigh in at all.

In the dark ages before broadband and social media, once a couple ended a relationship, typically people were done. Sure, every so often there might be a letter mailed, a phone call made, a text message sent or an email drafted, but nothing that contained the possibility of constant interaction. If you date someone and it doesn’t work out but you keep following their social media accounts, you are prone to see mention of them just about daily.

Maybe, if you aren’t ready to cut the digital cord, you can mute them on Twitter and unfollow them on Facebook. But when it comes to Instagram, you are stuck with them. You can scroll by, but as Selena Gomez has shown us, you may fall victim to your ex being messy and live for drama on your timeline.

I’ve done this plenty of times. Sometimes when you’re done dating a person, they want to “stay friends”, and that includes keeping in touch through social media. I used to agree. Now, to quote the late Whitney Houston, and every black woman I’ve met over the age of 45, “Hell to the nah.” As I tend to tell most of the folks I’ve dated in the past: thank you for your services. Fin.

Read the rest at The Guardian.

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In terms of campaign strategy, the formula for Donald J. Trump’s presidential bid has been quite clear: Take the themes of racism and nativism once popularized by George Wallace, add contemporary references and essentially tell the electorate, “This is the remix. The jeeps pump this new remix.”

From talks of a “big, beautiful wall” to separate white people us from the purported “rapists” known as immigrants from Mexico to his recent plans to put forth an ideological test for Muslim immigrants before entering the United States, the Republican nominee’s ethos has long proved to be, more or less, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

Given that this is the party of the “Southern strategy,” it makes sense—no matter how loudly establishment Republicans cry to the contrary. And yet when it comes to categorizing Trump’s supporters, some have continued to be reluctant to declare that they, like Trump, have political interests majorly motivated by bigotry.

The predominant narrative has been that what fuels support among Trump’s claimed core base—white working-class voters—is economic anxiety, not prejudice. There have been other explanations given, too, including this notion that Trump the billionaire is “an image of their aspiration.”

That may be true, to an extent, but select political writers have continued to belabor the point that these voters are “being left behind, by the economy and by the culture.” This line of categorization doesn’t go nearly far enough to calling a thing by its name.

Meanwhile, there have been reports out for months now arguing to the contrary—highlighting that Trump supporters are better off economically compared with most Americans. A more recent and in-depth study has elaborated on that tidbit, piling on that for all of Trump’s chatter about trade and immigration, most of his supporters have not been affected by that, thus making all framing of his voters that evades the role of racism read as disingenuous.

Even a recent tweet by Vox related to the latter study reads, “Trump’s base is not poor whites—it’s way more complicated than that.” Beloveds, is it truly that complicated? Racism is not complicated; calling out racism surely seems to be, though.

In “Dismissing Trump Fans As White Trash Gets Our Class System All Wrong,” writer Nancy Isenberg argues, “Why are Americans so reluctant to talk about the real and enduring character of our class system?”

It’s a valid question, but not in the context of denoting why white Americans of every class support Trump’s candidacy. Some have even penned essays like “Even if You Don’t Like Donald Trump, You Should Understand the Pain of His Poor White Supporters.” Another one like it is titled, “Why ‘White Trash’ Americans Are Flocking to Donald Trump.”

Nuance is typically a necessity, but in this instance, it’s long been proved that poor white voters will vote against their economic interests. Likewise, we have known that suburban white women in the suburbs will do the same where applicable. The same goes for white men of any class.

What do you think unites them? We could try a séance to contact Richard Nixon or Lee Atwater and ask either of them to please advise, but we needn’t go back that far. The Grand Ol’ Party has always hinted at it; Trump just amped the volume and skipped the pretenses.

Just this week, Amy Walter, national editor of the Cook Political Reporter and a frequent political commentator, tweeted this about Trump: “Trump is right that voters want outsider/disruptor but his temperament—not his message—is the problem for them.”

Trump’s message is rooted in xenophobia, racism, sexism and other party favors of white nationalism. How is that not a problem? That said, I also saw someone on MSNBC declare, moments after Trump, speaking before a white audience, told black people they were being duped by Democrats for decades, that we should commend him for reaching out to black audiences.

I seem to have misplaced my gratitude, but I’m sure it’s somewhere lost in the history of Trump’s anti-black business practices and language over decades. Perhaps the punditocracy’s ambivalence with this is unanimously tied to white people’s collective anxiety over the term “racism.” So many act as if it’s the second-worst word behind “n–ger” while notably failing to understand that being called “racist” isn’t the worst thing in the world; being subjected to racism is.

Read the rest at The Root.

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As alluring as the athleticism displayed throughout each and every competition is, one of the more fascinating portions of the Olympic Games for me is watching nations that are not particularly loving to Black people magically muster up an affinity for Black folks on the world stage. Nationalism is the root of this, but it is nonetheless quite the ironic sight to see every four years. Social media, as it does with most things, only makes what’s already present more pronounced.

So, it is not at all surprising to see that while many Americans of every hue champion Olympic competitors like Gabby Douglas, there is a small but very vocal faction of the population actively reminding us that racism is still an American pastime.

After just completing her last routine and final post-competition interview of her career as an Olympian, Douglas was asked about the wave of criticism she received from some in the U.S. Tears began to fall down her face before she explained to ESPN: “I tried to stay off the internet because there’s just so much negativity. Either it was about my hair or my hand not over my heart [on the medal podium] or I look depressed. … It was hurtful. It was hurtful. It was. It’s been kind of a lot to deal with.”

It’s unfortunate that Douglas’ critics have been given this much power. I’ve wondered whether or not people responding to Douglas’ critics were louder than the critics themselves—which only magnified the influence of contemptuous fools. Mariah Carey once offered advice on how to deal with this sort of problem when she sang on “Ain’t gon’ feed ya/I’mma let ya starve” on “Obsessed.”

Then again, Douglas’ Instagram alone was filled with comments like “nigger” and “flying nigger” over the weekend. Perhaps many jumped ahead of the problem because they knew what was on the horizon. At this point, though, whether or not her critics were given too much attention no longer matters. By now, we’ve come to see that Douglas has been indeed hurt by the remarks. Her mother, Natalie Hawkins, has described Douglas as being “heartbroken.”

Read the rest at Complex.

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Long before Jeb! Bush announced what would prove to be a dazzlingly disastrous bid for the presidency, I believed that if we were forced to endure another President Bush in our lifetimes, it would not be him. No, such honors would go to the former Florida governor’s son, George P. Bush, the one whom his paw-paw, former President George H.W. Bush, once affectionately referred to as “one of the little brown ones.”

At age 40, George P. is young enough to survive what will likely be a hard-knock life for the GOP when it comes to national politics in the coming years (unless all the white racists it largely caters to suddenly and collectively go on to glory and/or damnation). After all, this is a political party that sees an increasingly diverse electorate and decided to nominate a loud-mouth demagogue for president.

However, if George P.’s recent comments about said demagogue, Donald Trump, are any indication of not only his political skill but also the strength of his spine, he’s less likely to become commander in chief and more inclined to net a more worthy title: sucker.

According to the Texas Tribune, George P., currently serving in the role of land commissioner in the state, called on Texas Republicans to support their party’s presidential nominee. In video remarks provided by an audience member, George P. is quoted as telling his fellow Texas Republicans, “From Team Bush, it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but you know what? You get back up and you help the man that won, and you make sure that we stop Hillary Clinton.”

True enough, Bush was speaking in his capacity as the Texas GOP’s victory chairman. Nevertheless, if anyone can recall Jeb! Bush’s failed campaign, you instantly remember the repeated attacks he endured at the hands of Trump. Trump repeatedly described Jeb! as “low energy” throughout the primary contest. In addition, he berated Jeb! in myriad ways both on and off the debate stage, describing him as a “lightweight,” a “spoiled child,” “stiff” and, with peak audaciousness and irony, “not a smart man.”

Not only did Trump verbally go upside the head of Jeb! one time after another, but Trump also went after George P.’s uncle, former President George W. Bush, blaming him for the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Granted, Trump lied his smoked-tangerine face off when he claimed that Muslims were cheering the fall of the World Trade Center from New Jersey, but he wasn’t completely off about how W. ignored intelligence that might have prevented those attacks. Still, this is George P.’s uncle.

So, keeping score, Trump has disparaged both his father and uncle, and yet somehow George P. still votes for him because of party allegiance. Mind you, Trump has yet to show any real allegiance to the Republican Party. Then you factor in the other fun tidbit about George P. Bush: His mother is Mexican.

Trump has described Mexicans and other Latino immigrants as “rapists,” “criminals” and “killers.” Trump has also retweeted other like-minded bigots who attacked Jeb!’s wife and his own damn mama. Not once, but twice.

Last fall, Jeb! gave an interview to Telemundo and discussed—in Spanish—some of the taunting his children suffered because of their complexion and accent.

“I remember there was a time when my son went to Ocala to play baseball, a game on a team,” he explained. “And the team was a Miami team; the majority were Hispanics. My son George, he’s dark-skinned. And they spoke horrible things about those from Miami. And naturally I had to explain or describe that people who hate were not the majority, but that we have to forge ahead. Because I was quite upset.”

Now, I find Jeb! to be as likable as a student loan default, with political ideology as helpful as a payday loan, but if there is one thing to appreciate about him, it’s that he refuses to vote for Trump. In fact, he’s noted that his supporters will “feel betrayed” by a President Trump, since it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to deliver on his “big, beautiful wall” paid for by Mexico and on the banning of all Muslims from entering the United States. Jeb! is not the only Bush-family member to fail to endorse Trump; George H.W. and George W. have cha-cha-slided right pass that, too.

Read the rest at The Root.

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Malia Obama has found herself the target of online tabloids for no other reason than behaving like a teenager.

The first instance occurred after video surfaced of the 18-year-old daughter of U.S. President Barack Obama daring to dance while at a concert. Sites like Radar Online published headlines like, “Watch Malia Obama Expose Her Butt & Twerk At Lollapalooza” and “Malia Obama Caught Bumping & Grinding At Lollapalooza In Shocking New Video.” The byline for each read “Radar Staff”—more than likely a cover, since one can only imagine how embarrassed the adult who fixed their fingers to type such a disgusting descriptor for a young girl who only turned 18 one month ago must have felt in that moment.

For the record, that wasn’t twerking and white people really need to stop abusing that term and send it back to its original owners as they have done enough damage. Sadly, though, that same outlet—which shares a parent company with the National Enquirer, which many people will tell you is quite friendly with Donald Trump—is at it again. This time, the headline is “EXPLOSIVE VIDEO: Malia Obama CAUGHT On Camera Smoking ‘Pot.’” The excessive use of caps lock is supposed to denote that this is a serious story.

Alas, THAT IS NOT THE CASE HERE.

It is very likely that we may all see the legalization, or at least widespread decriminalization, of marijuana nationwide within our lifetimes. Still, even if Malia Obama did hit the blunt, her dad smoked weed and he turned out alright. In fact, the last two U.S. presidents have acknowledged using drugs like cocaine before becoming president. Neither became Rick James.

However, unlike any of them, Malia Obama is merely the daughter of a politician. She is not a politician nor is she a person who chose her celebrity. That means she has every right to behave like a normal teenager because she doesn’t owe anything to any of us.

We are not her constituents. She is not selling us a product. She has every right to live her life as she sees fit. We are mere spectators, and in cases like these, people like these tabloid jackasses trying to exploit her life for clicks ought to look the hell away.

Some have called the criticism of Malia Obama evidence of a double standard, citing when George W. Bush’s daughters were simply branded as “party girls” after receiving citations from police in Texas for underage drinking offenses in a popular Tex-Mex restaurant. But it was just as wrong to invade the personal lives of then-first year college students as it is now to antagonize a teen who just graduated high school. It’s less hypocrisy and more of a bad pattern continuing under a different administration.

During a 2014 appearance on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, Jenna Bush Hager was asked by a caller about the criticism Sasha and Malia Obama received for their demeanor at the National Thanksgiving Turkey pardoning that took place the week prior. “I’m fiercely protective of them, obviously,” she told Andy Cohen. “I don’t think that it’s easy. It’s not a job that they wanted.”

Read the rest at Complex.

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Frank Ocean set himself up when he announced an album release date he could not live up to.

It had already been years since Ocean first amassed a fanbase after his career-launching mixtape and Grammy-award winning album. To his credit, he’s one of the few men with music rooted in the rhythm and blues tradition who sings about love tenderly, feelings honestly, and desire earnestly—a stark contrast from his contemporaries who write songs for dance and escape, but don’t necessarily offer much in the way of emotional intelligence. Ocean, by and large, was part of a trinity: him, Miguel, and The Weeknd, who were pushing the genre forward sonically but lyrically helping it return to a time when men had something to say besides, “I secretly wish I were a rapper.” But the other members of said trinity have released new music since their breakout work—Ocean is the only one seemingly dragging his feet with that new-new.

Ocean could have easily been like Sade and effectively release new music whenever he felt compelled to, but he didn’t. Instead, he announced not only a new album, but a release date and some sort of publication to go with it. Revelations such as those only stoke the fire of anticipation. Simply skipping out on those obligations doesn’t make fans any less anxious. If anything, it ups the ante on Ocean to deliver music to satisfy their needs.

Still, when it comes to what artists owe their fans, I don’t think Frank Ocean owes us anything besides his best. But when you maintain dual identities—Black and artist—there are typically additional expectations assigned to you.

Ocean is a Black man, and in the year he’s taken to release his anticipated sophomore effort, Boys Don’t Cry, a lot has happened to America’s socio-political landscape, prompting some to wonder whether or not these issues will be tackled on the album. 

Yet, that question feels more like projection. Has Frank Ocean really given us any reason to believe he would dive deeply into racial unrest and other political issues of the day? Granted, he has written Tumblr posts about Donald Trump and homophobia related to the Orlando shooting at Pulse nightclub, but 1) that’s Tumblr, and 2) there’s no indication that’ll be reflected in his music. That expectation speaks to one that Black artists of every medium face: that we are to engage in the Black body, our Black bodies, as political all the time.

That we, as Black people in a world that so often shows value in Black culture but disdain for actual Black people, must speak on whatever injustice or oppression is happening.

Just this morning, I was tweeted about an article I wrote largely in jest, “Don’t you have something more important to write on?” My writing ranges from the serious to the very-much-less-than in subject matter, but make no mistake: I owe nobody anything but what I give them. The same applies to Frank Ocean and every other Black artist.

Read the rest at Complex.

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Although the nucleus of Love & Hip Hop is supposed to be the dramas involved with the music industry and those who date within in it, each franchise largely shifts its focus toward the latter. Still, in the midst of all the madness that’s happening, there is music made that eventually floats into space. When most acknowledge this, they typically defer to K. Michelle, the only singer who has truly used the platform bestowed upon her to launch a legitimate and successful music career. That’s understandable, though there have been other cast members who have released a pretty good song or two.

As a lover of songs best categorized as “thot bops,” I’ve monetarily supported or at least given a Spotify spin to the following: Atlanta’s Thi Thi and Karlie Redd; New York’s Mariahlynn and Cardi B (the closet one in reaching K. Michelle’s feat); and Hollywood’s Masika. No one, however, has given me greater joy with her musical pursuits than former nurse and pimp-turned-singer and now rapper Momma Dee. The same goes for her music, which is comical to the point of parody but nonetheless enjoyable.

In 2014 Momma Dee released her first single, “I Deserve.” When it comes to Momma Dee’s singing voice, I would describe it as Anita Baker with a severe case of laryngitis and one hell of a head cold. The video for the single managed to amass more than half a million hits—impressive for a woman who will likely never be asked to perform at the Soul Train Awards.

That hasn’t stopped Momma Dee from performing, though. For “I Deserve,” Momma Dee launched a full-scale single-release party that offered audiences a genuine concert. As in, one with a full band and set list that included covers of songs like Frankie Beverly and Maze’s “Before I Let Go” and Anita Baker’s “I Apologize.” It was not horrible. That said, most folks only remember the concert happening because while Momma Dee was performing, her tooth fell out.

That is the gift of Momma Dee: She’s being completely serious about her singing dreams but cannot help making you laugh your ass off at her. Another example of this would be the holiday concert that followed her single-release party. Momma Dee sort of sings like someone who makes noises that sound like singing more than she actually sings. In her defense, if you turn on the radio or your Discover Weekly playlist, you’ll hear the same thing from many contemporary acts.

Whatever one makes of her talent doesn’t negate its entertainment value. For that reason alone, I want this woman to continue trying to make “fetch” happen with her pursuit of music stardom for as long as humanly possible. So much so that I’ve actually purchased her new single, “In That Order.”

Read the rest at The Root.

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Pop quiz (and bonus points if reading those words made you think of Tamia): When is the last time Antonio Sabato Jr. was poppin’?

Most will likely answer the early to mid-1990s, when Sabato gained attention as a Calvin Klein underwear model and appeared in the legendary Janet Jackson video for her single “Love Will Never Do (Without You).” Sabato seized upon that buzz and used it to transition into acting, appearing on daytime soaps like General Hospital along with nighttime melodramas like my beloved Melrose Place (the OG version reigns supreme). After that, things got a lil’ fuzzy for most of us.

However, according to Sabato’s IMDb page, the man has maintained a career. In the last decade, Sabato has turned to the medium that best suits his talents as a pretty man with so-so at best talents as a thespian: reality television. Did I watch VH1’s My Antonio, which apparently was his stab at being Flavor Flav? No, but good for him securing a check in this stagnant economy.

Sadly, Sabato doesn’t see it that way. In a recent interview, the model-actor-Italian Flavor Flav complained that he’s been blacklisted in Hollywood because of his support for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Stop laughing. OK, keep laughing. Who am I to deny anyone the kind of hilarity these sort of delusional statements engender?

Speaking with Variety, Sabato explains: “I’ve had fantastic directors who have said officially to my agents and managers they will never hire me again. They will never even see me for projects. That’s unfair. It’s just like communism.”

That’s actually nothing like communism, but like most Trump supporters, Sabato is in a committed relationship with hyperbole. “The reality is, if you’re associated with the Republican Party, the casting directors and producers already blacklist you based on that,” Sabato later added. “I know people that just showed up, they didn’t speak—and they are not getting work because of it.”

One assumes that Sabato is referring to other acting phenoms like Stacey Dash, who made similar claims a month prior. “My acting opportunities have ceased because of my political beliefs. I’m being persecuted in Hollywood. I’ve been blacklisted,” the actress and Fox News political commentator complained.

Time for another pop quiz: When is the last time Stacey Dash was a big deal beyond her incredibly asinine statements made over at Roger Ailes’ former house of horror?

Dash hasn’t been poppin’ since LisaRaye allegedly tried to pop her in the mouth on the set of Single Ladies. LisaRaye would later acknowledge that she had Dash removed from the show, but it had nothing to do with her being a black Republican. Sure, that is often synonymous with being a damn fool, but in this instance, it was pure coincidence.

I feel sorry for anyone looking for work, but I’m not a fan of lending sympathy to marginally talented people who make a habit of saying absurd, nonsensical and often vile statements, and then act as though that does not come with consequence.

In Sabato’s case, shortly after delivering a speech at this year’s Republican National Convention, he told an interviewer that he “absolutely” believes President Barack Obama is Muslim (not that there is anything wrong with being Muslim).

“I believe that he’s on the other side … the Middle East,” Sabato also told ABC News. “He’s with the bad guys.” As for Dash, well, there’s a very long list of unfortunate political statements.

For all this political chatter about how “liberal” Hollywood is, ask anyone nonwhite, straight and male how progressive that industry truly is. Even if that were the case, again, every choice has a consequence. It’s funny that neither Sabato nor Dash acknowledges that their willingness to say such buffoonish things is what secures them political platforms for which they are largely unequipped to handle—all because they have such a smidgen of fame.

Read the rest at The Root.

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Understandably, it may be difficult for many at this moment in time to feel any empathy toward anyone with the last name Trump. The sole blame for that goes to the most famous one of the bunch, Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, who was sadly bestowed with an irregular version of humanity at birth. A man who recently said that if his own daughter had been a victim of sexual harassment at work, the onus would be on her to find a new company or even a new career.

As vile a human being as Donald Trump is, and as after-school special as this may sound, the reality is: wrong is wrong. To be selective about when to exercise morality trivializes its very purpose. In the case of the New York Post publishing nude photos of Trump’s wife Melania—which were taken more than 20 years ago—it is undoubtedly wrong. The unfortunate cover touting Melania’s nudes is wrong. The article “Melania Trump like you’ve never seen her before” is wrong. The article entitled “Melania Trump’s girl-on-girl photos from racy shoot revealed” is wrong. Even the other feature “Donald Trump is not upset Melania’s nude photos surfaced” is wrong.

They are wrong because they seek to shame Melania. They are wrong because they reduce her to an object. They are wrong because they play off archaic ideas of nudity and sexuality and perpetuate elitist ideas of what kind of woman should be First Lady. They are wrong because they have absolutely nothing to do with a presidential election between candidates Donald J. Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Yet, some have noticeably maintained that they refuse to feel sorry for Melania because of how badly conservatives treated First Lady Michelle Obama. Many of these complaints have essentially danced around the sentiment, “They wouldn’t defend her so I won’t feel bad for her either.”

Well, the they in question is the New York Post, a trashy tabloid that’s right-leaning, routinely racist, consistently sexist, and typically terrible. A tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, the same person who owns FOX News. Perhaps some conservatives are speaking in support of Melania Trump in ways they never did for Michelle Obama, but ultimately, both women have now been ridiculed by conservative media outlets. That is a testament to the reality that no matter one’s ideology, if you are a woman married to a politician, you may find yourself the victim of vile attacks. You would think all Murdoch-owned media outlets might tamper down on its sexist attacks of women in light of the Roger Ailes scandal, but old habits appear to die hard ‘round those parts.

Read the rest at Complex.

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