Love & Hip Hop Atlanta Reunion Recap, Part 2: “Joseline All On They Mouth Like Likka”

I don’t excuse Joseline Hernandez and Stevie J going on the attack at the end of part one of the Love & Hip Hop Atlanta reunion. You know, violence is never the answer, blah, blah, hug don’t thug, etc. However, their cast mates have their damn nerves trying to give teases of Iyanla Vanzant as if we haven’t been presented with their fuck shit for 15-plus episodes (in addition to their antics in previous seasons.)

Hearing Momma Dee—an ex-pimp who was ready to have a mama vs. mama battle last season—try to condemn violent acts is awfully hysterical. Your reputation precedes you, Momma Dee, and as much as I like you and wish you well on dreams of booking club venues to cover Anita Baker tracks, you’re acting pretty high and mighty considering you’re the proud owner of a domestic violence dabbling son.

Likewise, Joseline’s ex-manager turned Mimi Faust freeloader Dawn has some gall bad mouthing Joseline when she’s not around. Oh, you’re worried about Joseline being a drug addict, Dawn? You’re concerned about her insecurity to boot? That’s interesting considering your biggest grip with Joseline all season long is that she stopped paying you commission—leading you to go freeload off of Mimi Faust. You’re the same person who actively tried to convince Mimi that becoming a porn star and getting blog hits canceled out whatever other consequences would come from selling ass on camera. Dawn, the next time you attempt to cry on camera, don’t forget the tears. Crying without tears is like only putting the tip in: People feel you, but not really.

As for Mimi, at this point we should all agree that this woman is in an abusive relationship with the truth. I howled when mere seconds after telling host Sommore that she said nothing about Joseline backstage, we were greeted with footage of Mimi in fact trashing Joseline—resulting in Joseline going upside her head, too. I’m so sick of this shower rod-riding porn star acting above it all. This is the same woman who has repeatedly jumped into someone’s face in an act of provocation. Don’t believe me. Just ask K. Michelle. Hell, isn’t that why you got smacked with flowers this time last year, home girl?

But hey, let Mimi tell it, Joseline is the coward.

Meanwhile, Rasheeda must’ve loved Joseline and Stevie being escorted out of the building because there was no other way she’d be given this much more airtime. Rasheeda, you’re nice and all, but I’d rather not hear lessons on what makes a “secure woman” from Mrs. Kirk Frost. God bless, though.

And Erica, do not behave like a YouTube prophet. Joseline’s attire was not an indicator that she was ready to fight. She didn’t want to dress in formal wear like the rest of y’all because she’s a former stripper who currently body builds. Much of her life has been spent being rewarded for nakedness. Of course her ass doesn’t like wearing a lot of clothes.

Thankfully, Karlie Redd highlighted that Benzino is just as “territorial” as Joseline is described as being. While the cast is piling on Joseline (never mind that Stevie and Benzino really jumped off this entire brawl), they all neglected to note that during the brouhaha, Benzino is shouting at Joseline, “I bust you in your mouth. Yeah, bitch. I did that. I did that. I did that.”

Why are you so proud of swinging on a woman, Benzino?

And Ariane, I love you, but Joseline’s greeting for you is magic: “What’s up, fake ass ho?”

Same goes for her telling Ariane, “Give me my nigga hand back.”

Since when we’re talking Ariane, she told Nikko—who was MIA when Mimi and Joseline got into it—“I just feel like he could’ve fought to get to her.”

This is from the woman who was on the scene at the time and didn’t lift a finger to assist Mimi. Again, still love you, Ariane, but c’mon nah.

Read the rest at Complex.

Obama, God, Foley and Ferguson

Politicians often employ the name of God to convey a sense of morality. It’s usually an ironic exercise for them though, given God is seemingly pure and just as opposed to politicians—who often prove to be calculated, hard to trust and, in select cases, audaciously hypocritical. President Obama recently invoked the name of God in the wake of a horrific, unjust killing of an American citizen at the hands of a terrorist organization. That citizen was journalist James Foley, who was executed by the terrorist group ISIL.

In his remarks about Foley’s execution, Obama spoke with great fervor, professing, “James was taken from us in an act of violence that shocks the conscience of the entire world.” Indeed, it was, and I salute Obama for quickly addressing his execution, which was released to the Internet by ISIL because all too often do Americans turn a blind eye to the horrors of war.

Yet when Obama talks of “an act of violence that shocks the conscience of the entire world,” one can’t help but think about that other act of violence involving Michael Brown, the antics of area law enforcement after that, and the shock it has spurred across the globe—along with the tepidness of Obama’s remarks about what’s going on in Ferguson issued the day beforehand.

So my frustrations only magnified as Obama continued: “Jim Foley’s life stands in stark contrast to his killers. Let’s be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages killing unarmed citizens in cowardly acts of violence… No faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day.”

Like other jihadists groups, ISIL is as close to godlike in its actions as consuming chicken bones off hot cement is to fine dining. The same can be said of America though. Perhaps it’s been a long time since President Obama reflected on a Rev. Wright sermon, particularly the now infamous one that perfectly encapsulated America’s frenemy relationship with Judeo-Christian values. But one doesn’t even have to go back that far to see how peculiar Obama’s criticism sounds given what’s currently going on stateside.

Just as no just God would stand for what ISIL did to James Foley, no just God would look at the death of Michael Brown and the treatment of peaceful protesters simply looking for answers. This would include Ferguson police officers threatening to kill people on the scene, plus shooting them with rubber bullets or tear gas. Even Don Lemon, who often sounds like a cheerleader for whiteness, revealed that one of his producers had a run-in with a member of the National Guard who categorized protesters as “ni**ers.”

As for the remark that “Jim Foley’s life stands in stark contrast to his killers,” the same can be said of all of the unarmed Black men who have been shot in cold blood by monsters hiding behind a badge. Interestingly enough, minutes after Obama slammed ISIL for bastardizing the word of God, protestors took to Twitter to reveal that Ferguson police officers were raiding Greater St. Mark’s church and taking their supplies. What just God would stand for this?

What presumably God-fearing leader would stand for any of it?

Numerous Obama apologists have cited Ezra Klein’s essay “Why Obama won’t give the Ferguson speech his supporters want.” In it, Klein explains that the White House point of view on Obama offering speeches on politically charged topics is that they are “as likely to make things worse as to make things better.” Moreover, that Obama is “a divisive figure who needs to govern the whole country.”

The majority of us are well aware of the fact Obama is “the president of the United States, not Black America” and that he is a divisive figure who is often damned if he do, damned if he don’t. We’re also just as aware that no matter how passive Obama is on politically charged issues—primarily associated with race—he will be no less divisive a figure.

So, at what point does President Obama realize that not only is his passivity on addressing racism and police brutality unhelpful, it’s hurtful?

Read more at EBONY.

Hey Black Folks! We Didn’t Teach White People How to Hate Us

Why are Black people expected to play the role of both patient and doctor when dealing with the disease of racism?

No matter the players or the circumstances, if a story rooted in racism and injustice reaches the national level, you can count on someone to say the following: “What about Black-on-Black crime?” It’s as disingenuous a retort as it is clueless and often comes from someone who clings to conservative ideology, particularly the notion of “personal responsibility.” Yet, it’s also a line of thinking found in many Black folks who have political ideologies, but nonetheless share this idea that the Black community needs to look within itself for answers whenever one of our own falls victim to systematic racism.

Sure, self-reflection is important, but it should never supersede a complete assessment of a particular grievance. To survey a multifaceted problem with a linear line of thinking is senseless as it is pointless. Like buying a case of Icy Hot to cure a migraine. To truly fix something, or at least, make it more manageable, it requires you look at everything. It also requires a certain of level focus. Say, on the person who shot someone in cold blood and left him in the street for several hours in his own blood as opposed to members of the community rightfully salty over it.

As much as I respect Al Sharpton as an orator, community organizer, and political activist, I was troubled to see him turn Michael Brown’s funeral into a rally for his viewpoints about Black youth. The MSNBC host said during his remarks, “Now you wanna be a nigga and call your woman a ho, you lost where you come from. We’ve got to clean up our community so we can clean up the United States of America!”

On a Ferguson-themed episode of Iyanla, Fix My Life, Iyanla Vanzant echoed this sentiment on camera with the claim, “But if we’re not respecting ourselves, we’re teaching them how to treat us.”

Oh, beloveds, you spew crocks that will never earn credence no matter the level of repetition.

This country made our mess, so why are we the only ones expected to be on clean-up duty? Why is that burden placed on us? Sharpton is free to dislike the use of “nigga,” but as far as the end of that somehow preventing a police officer more qualified to be a Grand Wizard from killing some unarmed Black man, woman, or child: Negro, please.

Last time I checked, President Obama is always in suits and belted mom and dad jeans yet he still gets routinely disrespected. As do you Rev. Sharpton. You have been vilified in a tracksuit on the same scale you have been in a suit. Ditto for Don Lemon, who found himself manhandled by a Ferguson police officer on camera, despite wearing his paints to his waist.

No matter what Black people call themselves, a racist gon’ be a racist.

Then there is the self-loathing line of commentary from the likes of people like rapper Nelly, who was recently quoting saying: “Every other race I know play chess. Black people play checkers.” Turn off his mic. In fact, throw his mic in the trashcan and then set that trashcan on fire.

Others include James Clark, the head of Better Family Lives, who claimed in an interview: “No one treats African-Americans worse than we treat each other. We were outraged when George Zimmerman killed a black boy, but Zimmerman was taught by watching black people kill Black people. He learned it from us. We planted the seed.”

In real life, White people kill other white people at virtually the same rate as Black people murder other Black people. After all, three quarters of White people don’t have non-White friends. By the way, George Zimmerman’s kin don’t speak too kindly of our kind, Mr. Clarke. Don’t put Zimmerman’s issues on our backs. He’s done enough to Black people as is.

Read more at EBONY.

Love & Hip Hop Atlanta Reunion Recap, Part I: “Scrappy’s Women, Karlie’s Feet”

Considering word immediately leaked that a brawl broke out during the taping of the Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta reunion, everything else feels secondary. It’s akin to this year’s VMAs: The brawl is Beyoncé and everyone else involved with the program is the de facto opening act. Even so, there were highlights during the pre-Beyoncé portion of the show—say, Nicki Minaj finally learning how to properly bounce that new piece of equipment – and the same goes for this show.

Most of them dealt with Lil’ Scrappy and his long running penchant of treating his relationships like a game of duck, duck, goose. At one point during the reunion, Scrappy reveals that he sometimes wonders whether or not he should be alone because he doesn’t feel like a good person. I don’t know Scrappy to know whether or not he’s a good person, though he does remind me of the trap equivalent of that homegirl you know who can’t ever go a day without having a man. That’s why he always looks to keep his options open. Hello, Erica P., The Bambi, and oh, you, too, Erica Dixon.

The Bambi and Erica P. continued the petty back and forth, but in all honesty, both can fall through a trap door. Erica P. is right to feel led on by Scrappy, but who does she think she’s fooling when she says she turned Scrappy down and he’s #madaboutit? Young Lady, your entire story arc with Scrappy can be summed up with the lyrics of Ginuwine’s “Pony.” Cut it out.

As for The Bambi, she described Erica P. as “an aspiring side chick,” only to be hit with the following reminder from Erica Dixon: “Why you so brass when you was quick to fuck him when we was engaged? You know what it’s like to be in her position.”

Oops, upside ya head. Said oops upside ya head.

To be fair to The Bambi, if there’s anyone who knows what it is with Momma Dee’s heir (to the kingdom in her mind), it’s her. I suspect much of that has to do with the fact that being with Scrappy secures her airtime on VH1. After all,Basketball Wives LA producers didn’t want her back and mama can’t keep a steady club booking rate without a hit TV show to her Google search. And since her relationship with Benzino didn’t work, she gon’ get that work off Scrappy. Whatever works, Bam.

That said, I did see her face crack a lil’ bit after Erica Dixon noted that very recently, she and the father of her baby girl linked. Or as she put it, “Whose coochie was you eating?” Goodness, I love you, Erica Dixon.

Scrappy was asked to take a lie detector test, which he initially refused to participate in before ultimately giving in. The results were: He was lying. He ate Erica out. Erica had way too many details about it: She was outside playing Uno, drinking, and then the two went back inside to watch movies on her couch. Then he woke her up, pulled those panties down and made it rain, trick. What was Scrappy’s response? “I don’t recall that.”

He didn’t recall the hotel hookup a week before the reunion taping either. He either has amnesia or needs to hit up an AA meeting. Or you know, just stop lying.

Following Scrappy’s romantic melodrama, we looked back on Kirk and Rasheeda’s less awful season. In sum, they’re okay. I like Rasheeda, but not enough to care for their marital problems anymore. Shout out to the Georgia Peach and her hair stylist, though, for their lovely tribute to “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka.

Read the rest at Complex.

Kill A Black Teen And Make Six Figures Soon After

When you shoot and kill an unarmed Black teenager, you can expect the racists of America to crack their piggy banks open and reward you a six-figure sum.

Over the weekend, Darren Wilson’s supporters gathered for a rally, and sadly, they had much to celebrate now that it’s being reported that they’ve managed to best supporters of Michael Brown’sfamily in online fundraising. Indeed, the page in support of Wilson raised $235,010 from 5,902 people before organizers stopped accepting donations on Friday. They surpassed their goal of $100,000 in just four days. They have since opened another fundraising page, which has already amassed more than $100,000.

Meanwhile, a fundraising page in support of the Michael Brown Memorial Fund raised $214,000. According to Brown family laywer Benjamin Crump, “the funds will assist his family with costs that they will acquire as they seek justice on Michael’s behalf.”

What exactly does Darren Wilson need money for? He’s on paid leave, and wherever he is, I presume it’s on the state’s dime. After all, Darren Wilson was concealed long enough to get out of town before the national media arrived.

Making it even worse is the page is being bombarded with explicit racism throughout the comments section. GoFundMe has since removed the content — though only after widespread protest. They refused to take the page itself down, but did step in to delete racist commentary that violate their terms of service.

And yet, you would think it was Wilson who was the persecuted as opposed to what he actually is: the persecutor. Even his cheerleaders fancy themselves as victims, too. As one supporter explained to USA Today, “Many of us have received death threats toward ourselves and our families. We will not hide. We will no longer live in fear … If you support Darren Wilson, make your voices heard.”

Have you seen any Darren Wilson supporters being shot with rubber bullets, tear gas, or sprayed with mace? Yeah, me neither. But hey, whine on. When prompted for her name, the Wilson supporter quipped, “You want my name? I am Darren Wilson. We are Darren Wilson.”

Wave your white sheet if you feel her, fam.

It’s remarkable how some White people manage to always position themselves as victims. I could stand to gussy up that sentence, make it sound more politically correct or what have you. But what’s the point? When it comes to those rallying behind Michael Brown’s killer, Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, they are not mincing words. Why should I?

Read the rest at NewsOne.

I Was The Other Man

I met him in a drag bar in the West Village on one of the first warm days of the year. While I certainly get the appeal of drag queens, it’s not really one of my favorite forms of entertainment. But I didn’t want to be a spoiler so I watched some really large Italian man in makeup quote Trina’s rap lyrics in exchange for laughter and a few dollar bills. Right around the time I thought to leave, he walked in. And we immediately locked eyes. We gazed at each other for an hour until I noticed something: He was with someone else.

How long was the other dude there? The hell if I know, and to this day, I still don’t particularly care. I do remember mouthing off, “Is that your boyfriend?” To which he nodded yes and I said, “I’m sorry.” He told me it was okay and we continued to study one another from a distance. Since I’m never approached, I’m used to going to men first if interested. So when his boyfriend went to the restroom, I went for it.

But as I made my way to his table his boyfriend came back, and I swiftly turned my trifling ass around. To the amusement of my company, I was greeted by them with the following: “WIG!” “Kim Zolciak!” and “Close your legs to married men!”

I’m not usually this guy. In fact, I hate people like this. But I wanted to find out more. I followed him to the restroom line to talk, hoping he would find my Southern speech, now coated in alcohol, charming enough to give me his number. He did.

After we exchanged information, we looked into each other’s eyes for a few minutes. Ho shit or not, it was sweet. I could have tried to do more—kiss him, feel him up, et. al—but since New York City bathrooms are full of bed bugs with gonorrhea, I decided to cut it short.

The next day, we set a date. I’m not much of a dater. In fact, even at the age of 30, I’ve never had a real boyfriend. This tends to frighten some people—even other gays—given it suggests that something is “wrong” with me. I shared this with him during our first date. And, really, I didn’t anticipate much to come from us meeting each other one on one. If anything, I pegged him to be some guy who was having relationship problems and wanted to “see what was out there” before he got scared and rushed back to his man.

I have been in love before, but my 20s were spent either ducking intimacy or pursing it in unattainable men. Men that were in denial about their sexuality, their feelings for me, or a gumbo consisting of the two that would’ve alerted a saner person to run away. Coupled with my childhood experience—a cocktail of depression, violence, and watching two people clearly not meant for each other suffer from their failure to stop being codependent—I am admittedly fucked up.

But he enjoyed every bit of it.

He knew what it was like to grow up in a violent home. Despite being younger than me, he had more experience with boyfriends, but still seemed to struggle with letting people in. Yet he was letting me in very quickly and I was happy to return the favor. Then the strangest thing happened on our first date: he grabbed my hand at the dinner table and held it the entire time. I’d never been open with affection like that before. I recently opened up about my fear of sex in response to very early exposure to AIDS, but I’m not a virgin by any stretch of the imagination, and the sad reality is, I’m probably far more comfortable with you holding my dick than I am with you holding my hand in public.

Days later we had another date that started at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Once again, he made me hold his hand. Then we kissed in public. We eventually left for the second part of the date at my apartment, where he cooked for me. We had dinner and dessert ready, but ended up naked not watching Boomerang, our bodies spread across my bed. In the time we spent together—more dinners, meeting up to walk around the city and enjoy each other’s company, and coming to spend my birthday with me before I left to go get drunk and dance to Beyoncé with my close friends —we were constantly all over each other. But it wasn’t just sexual—and that ultimately became the problem.

When I realized I was starting to fall in love with this person, I tried to exercise as much self-awareness about the situation as possible before losing control. I looked myself in the mirror and quoted Monica’s “Sideline Ho,” the best song from the painfully underrated album The Makings Of Me: “Ho. Ho. Sideline ho. You’s a ho. You’s a ho. Sideline ho.” I also sang a little bit of MoKenStef’s “He’s Mine” while cruising through both his and his boyfriend’s Facebook pages. I began to make peace with my reality.

Read the rest at Gawker.

“Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” Recap: “Scumbalaya”

It took 17 episodes, but Mimi Faust has finally realized what many of us quickly picked up on in the previous season: Nikko is an opportunist. Hold your applause, people. Yes, Mimi completed the marathon, but by the time she crossed the finish line, everyone else was icing their knees and sipping a smoothie as they hopped in their cars to drive home.

Since we’re on things that have been chopped, Mimi confronted Nikko in the studio ‘cause you know, back in the day he had a record deal and these 15 minutes of fame he’s got are prime iTunes single-selling time. However, from the lil’ snippet of lip syncing to heavily autotuned vocals we were treated to, Nikko sounds like his vocal chords were in an abusive relationship with a samurai sword. Needless to say, I won’t be copping his latest single, “Shower Rod.”

While talking, Mimi went from 0 to 100 real quick (oh Lord), yelling at Nikko and invading every decimeter of his personal space. We’ve seen this show before, Mimi, and per your usual timing comes across as too little, too late. As much as one understands how Mimi came to be the pariah magnet that she is, when will she break the pattern—starting with securing the services of a psychologist? Eh, not the season finale. Hashtag sadness.

At the very end of the episode, Mimi turned to Stevie J for support. Stevie J offers about as much support as an old bra with a missing cup and strap, but if you want to get back on that bus, Mimi, good luck and God bless. Hell, may Beyoncé and Janet Jackson bless you, too. You’re going to need all the help you can get.

Case in point, Stevie J saying: “I know I’ve made Mimi cry over and over again, but to know that someone else made her cry? Drives me crazy.”

Negro, gon’ somewhere.

I sure hope Joseline, who is practically Mimi Jr. minus the ESL classes, eventually has her exhale (shoop, shoop) moment long before she hits her 40s. She had her own dealings with Stevie J last night following Benzino telling Stevie J that Joseline allegedly had been sleeping with her driver.

Before we get to that, riddle me this: Throughout this entire season we have seen Joseline drive herself to and from every damn location. So, where did this driver come from? Is it the same place Nikko’s roommate came from? I mean, if he’s been married for several years, why did he have a roommate? Am I ruining the moment by asking these questions?

Unsolved mysteries aside, Joseline was ready for Stevie J to confront her about the rumors after Karlie Redd shot her a text, filling her in. I like Karlie Redd for being admittedly nosy as hell. Also, I take back what I said in a previous recap. Karlie isn’t the Pearl from 227 of LHHATL, “grandpapa” Benzino is.

Thing is, though, Stevie didn’t want to talk to Joseline about the rumors about her; he wanted to own up to sleeping with Althea. The accusations about her vaginal activity only came up during their argument. An argument that led to Joseline letting the tears flow as she complained about her “husband” taking her computer and Chanel purses whenever he’s upset with her. See, that’s the problem with calling your bae “daddy” all the time.

To Joseline’s credit, when Stevie once again tried to say that he gave her the life, “You ain’t give me shit. I gave it to myself because I worked.” I want her to believe this all the time. The sooner she does, the faster she’ll realize she doesn’t need to date a Geppetto. I want to start a Kickstarter to get her a self-worth transplant. Y’all down to contribute?

Read the rest at Complex.

It’s Time For President Obama To Talk Racism

Whenever a story centered on race, or better yet, racism reaches the national media, those looking for President Barack Obama to address the situation are met with a singular question: “What do you expect Obama to do?” It is a question that is as ardent as it is asinine and is an inquiry prefaced on the notion that the most-powerful man in the world is impotent when it comes to instances of hatred and horror taking place on the very land that is the source of his power. It’s as if those posing this question don’t know much about precedence let alone the executive orders and tone-setting speeches associated with it.

After watching a paramilitary police force tear gas peaceful protesters, threaten journalists with mace on-air, and even attempt to block the camera broadcasting these gross violations of civil liberties, the question, “What do you expect Obama to do?” ought to yield very easy answers: to lead, to set the tone, to help restore order, to be a statesman, to be the President he was elected twice to be.

Last Thursday, President Obama exercised his trademark “measured tone” while addressing the clashes between protestors and police, after the shooting death of Michael Brown at the hands of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Not surprisingly, Obama wagged his finger at all parties involved. President Obama said, “There is never an excuse for violence against police, or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting, nor is there an excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protestors.”

No, there’s no excuse for vandalism and looting, though once again, the anger is palpable and understandable. Even so, the problem with Obama’s remarks is that he’s giving an even-handed shaming on a matter where the imbalance should be obvious: As much as this country currently loves to pretend that corporations and the businesses they profit from are our equals, damaged property is in no way on equal footing with the loss of human life. A broken window or stolen packs of silky Brazilian weave is not on par with an officer shooting a teenage boy in cold blood and leaving him to lie in his own blood for several hours.

As the newly released preliminary private autopsy confirms, Michael Brown was shot at least six times — including twice in the head. We have to wait for more intel, but as of now, it looks as if Michael Brown was shot execution-style. But no matter how he was killed, his death remains the grievance. Moreover, it is Darren Wilson’s character that should be currently under a microscope, not Michael Brown’s.

After all, this is the monster who shot and killed Brown and could not even be burdened with the task of calling for an ambulance. Meanwhile, an officer who shot a dog in Illinois was quickly fired. One can only imagine the kind of swift justice Michael Brown’s parents would have received if they had raised their child to bark on command.

This is why I was frustrated when I heard Obama say last week, “Now’s the time for healing, now’s the time for peace and calm on the streets of Ferguson.”

And on Monday, Obama reiterated much of these same remarks, only with even less emotion coupled with a plug for his My Brother’s Keeper initiative. These remarks are just as useless on Monday as they were last Thursday.

They are passive words and I’m sick of hearing racism discussed in weaker tones. I admire and respect President Obama, but if he can go to a Morehouse College commencement andlecture graduates about the importance of education, he can speak to a nation about the evils of racism — directly in Ferguson. Obama has no issue being stern when it comes to addressing Blacks about our faults, but holds “beer summits” with racist cops.

Black people are suffering.

Our disproportional economic struggles have still yet to be properly addressed, but at the very least, can we finally see our very lives acknowledged in a meaningful way? My Brother’s Keeper is a good initiative, but your brother cannot keep you safe from the increasing terror of a militarized police force that unjustly targets Black men and women.

One of Obama’s most-infamous quotes is, “I’m not the president of Black America. I’m the president of the United States of America.”

Indeed, but at one point does President Obama recognize that Black people are a part of America too, and that our concerns are as worthy as everyone else’s?

Read the rest at NewsOne.

Black People Have A Right To Be Raging Mad

Whatever perverse view the Ferguson police officer had of Michael Brown — and all Black men like him — before taking his life and leaving him to lay in his blood for hours afterward, his mother has made sure to counter such characterizations. Lesley McSpadden described her now-fallen son as a boy with the sort of disposition that made him more like “a big teddy bear” as opposed to someone who deserved to be slaughtered like a dog in the street. McSpadden went on to explain, “He was a good boy. He deserved none of this. We need justice for our son.”

No stranger to this kind of disregard toward Black people’s humanity, attorney Benjamin Crump, who has since been retained by Brown’s parents, made his thoughts clear at a recent press conference. “I don’t want to sugarcoat it, their baby was executed in broad daylight,” Crump noted. “We want to know and see exactly what happened because this family rejects what the police authorities said at their press conference.”

As does Michael Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson, who along with other eyewitnesses, disputed Brown’s killer’s claims that he shoved the officer and tried to wrestle the officer’s gun from him.

Any Black man living in this country and who values his life knows better than to tempt fate that way.

The truth may be less imaginative but no less chilling: Even when we don’t fight back, our presence is still intimidating to the point where select members of law enforcement feel no choice but to shoot us dead.

Such a revelation brings justified anger, and while Brown’s parents have encouraged protesters to remain peaceful, their rage is understandable.

Protesters arrived with signs and peaceful discourse and were greeted with dogs, rubber bullets, and tear gas.

And as New York Times correspondent Julie Bosman reported via Twitter, these rubber bullets were even shot in the direction of journalists and photographers. Meanwhile, area police officers describe the scene as a “war zone” and even when protesters sought an exit, the police reportedly blocked them from locating one. There’s since been word of one police officer referring to protesters as “fucking animals” during coverage on CNN.

Yet, some wonder why some of the protesters supposedly sang, “F*ck the police.”

And while I don’t necessarily excuse the acts of looters and those described as “rioters,” I do have empathy. This is why I take issue with Jonathan Capeheart’s “A Shameful Way To Protest the Michael Brown Shooting,” where he writes, “This is not how you make authorities understand your anger and concern. This is not how you get others to join your cause.”

You mean the authorities who shot a Black child in cold blood, left him in the street for hours as some sort of “example” to other people in his area, and greet peaceful protest with nothing but contempt and the intent to further antagonize? The same authorities who employ individuals who refer to the rightfully angry public as “f*cking animals.” The authorities who enter their neighborhood and limit their access?

I am not in the business of policing people’s emotions particularly with respect to dire situations such as these. Anger has its consequences, including irrational behavior. It doesn’t make it right, but learn to have compassion for people in a situation you have yet to experience. There’s a time for discussions on personal responsibility and there’s a time to look at tragedy and respect the rightful rage it creates.

Many people are angry and they are running on empty.

Read the rest at NewsOne.

“Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” Recap: Mimi and Stevie J Admit the Obvious

Mimi is the slowest bus in the HOV lane. I know, I know. She’s still reeling from the loss of her father, so I could stand to be a bit more sensitive. I’d rather not, and in my defense, Mimi been on that bullshit, which is why I say Mimi Faust is that friend you debate giving your new cell phone number to. She’s the kind of person who when met with a love tap by reality, would rather file a battery report versus just accepting the gift of truth. It takes a very special kind of friend to put up with that kind of persona. That said, I hereby declare her friend Ariane the Patron Saint of Putting Up With Worrisome People—and I have never been happier to be a big ass heathen.

This week’s episode kicked off with Mimi confronting Nikko about reports that he is married. Nikko nonchalantly acknowledged that he is indeed married and had no intention of ever disclosing that tidbit of information to his girlfriend. When prompted more about why he didn’t feel the need to do so, all he said was, “The question was never asked until now”—totally missing the point that one shouldn’t have to ask their boyfriend if they have a wife somewhere. Keeping up with the theme of feigned aloofness, all Nikko could say to Mimi about her anger is “I don’t get it.”

Of all the times Mimi has huffed and puffed and cussed someone smooth out, she opted out of doing so during this conversation. Way to not seize the moment, Mimi.

Knowing that people were going to find out about Nikko the same way she did, Mimi sat Ariane and Erica down to explain the situation while ultimately revealing the truth about that porno she shot with someone’s husband. Y’all, even after explaining that Nikko is a lying ass liar, she still sat there in front of her friends denying the possibility that Nikko leaked the tape himself. But after being called out on the production value of her porn, Mimi noted, “The initial tape was homemade.”<

Let Mimi tell it, the production company told them that they didn’t provide enough footage for a full release, so they went and shot some more. Honestly, this is about as big a reveal as Mimi saying she was born with a vagina. However, I am glad she did finally acknowledge that she is a porn actress because based on the preview of the tape, it looked like they fucked in an Extended Stay America room out in Marietta, Georgia, with catering service provided by Gladys Knight’s Chicken in Waffles in the next room.

When asked why she didn’t divulge the whole part of reshooting the sex scenes, Mimi said she didn’t feel the need to. Surprise, surprise: She only wants to tell the truth after feeling burned by her Forever 21 version of Stevie J. Either way, it explains her attraction to both men. She has a love-hate relationship with the truth, too. The scene ended in anger—Mimi’s—after she got super defensive over accusations that Nikko and his wife may be tag teaming that ass for a come up.

Later, Mimi would calm herself down to meet with Nikko’s old roommate. Yes, that same roommate K. Michelle claimed was actually Nikko’s homie, lover, friend. I don’t know how true that is, but I will say watching the scene of the two had me humming, “Woman to woman, have you ever been in love?” In any event, it only lent more credence to the “Nikko is using you, girl” theme by revealing that Nikko had long admitted to wanting to get Mimi on tape.

I bet Mimi still keeps Nikko around, though. Ariane, God bless you.

In related you ain’t shit news, Stevie J took a break from sociopathy to tell Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta superfan Snoop Dogg that he smashed Althea in Benzino’s house.

Read the rest at Complex.