You Don’t Have the Answers, Rand Paul

As a presidential contender, I take Rand Paul about as seriously as I do the idea of Iggy Azalea, professor of African American Studies at Howard University. Fortunately for Rand Paul, one doesn’t have to be especially serious to have a legitimate shot at securing the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 – not that Kentucky junior senator isn’t shooting for such a perception all the same. Still, for all his push to get folks to “Stand With Rand,” the more the man talks, the more he trips all over himself. And when it comes to his way of handling issues that affect minorities, the more he switches positions, the frustrated I become with this narrative about Rand Paul, the new outreach king.

Case in point: Him essentially offbeat moonwalking away from the lunch table after he and immigrant-bashing Rep. Steve King were approached by two beneficiaries of the DREAM program.

While Paul and King dined during a fundraiser for King in Iowa (aka “the Mecca for the aspiring presidential candidate”), Erika Andiola said, “My name is Erika. I’m actually a Dreamer myself.” Paul’s aide Sergio Gor reportedly then nodded his head to Paul and Paul proceeded to shimmy on by Andiola and her friend and fellow dreamer. Paul was visibly chewing and left behind his half-eaten hamburger – suggesting that his exit was an abrupt decision. Now he did bring his to go cup with him. I suppose I would want to sip on something, too, after being put on blast in such fashion.

And yet, Gor got defensive about the idea of Paul ducking anyone, claiming that Paul simply had to go talk to the media. Uh huh. As Joan Walsh points out at Salon, if you’re going to parade yourself as someone that is for immigration reform, you needn’t shy away from relatively harmless debate over a hamburger. Others, like TIME’s Michael Scherer, have argued that it was a smart choice, explaining: “His aide wisely advises him to leave his sandwich behind and clear out of the screen — and it’s a good thing he does. King, whose role in the political debate over immigration is basically the opposite of a firefighter’s role at a fire, does not disappoint.”

Therein lies another problem with Rand Paul: him reaching out to groups in the name of widening the Republican electorate and then aligning himself with people and positions that have alienated them to begin with. You know, like Steve King who claim Latino immigrants have developed “calves the size of cantaloupes” as a consequent of functioning as a drug mule.

A few weeks ago, the New York Times published “Rand Paul Stands Out in Courting Black Voters,” which celebrated Congressman Ron Paul’s son for doing what any politician should do: try to reach as many people as possible. To be fair, Paul does deserve some credit for partnering with Eric Holder to work on an overhaul of the federal drug sentencing policy. The same can be said of partnering with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) to reform criminal background checks and certain aspects of the juvenile justice system.

But two months before that story ran, another one quoted the obviously running for president for Rand Paul criticizing his party’s stance on voter ID laws: “Everybody’s gone completely crazy on this voter ID thing. I think it’s wrong for Republicans to go too crazy on this issue because it’s offending people.”

Not long after came the backpeddle in the form of: “At no point did Senator Paul come out against voter ID laws. In terms of the specifics of voter ID laws, Senator Paul believes it’s up to each state to decide that type of issue.”

So just like he’s willing to talk immigration reform, but likes to dine with unabashed bigots, Rand Paul would seemingly like for Black people to consider voting Republican, and in particular him, but he thinks it’s up to the state to decide whether or not those Blacks can even vote? Got it. Now, how grateful should I be right now for someone like Rand Paul and is methodology on minority outreach?

Read the rest at EBONY.

Why Isn’t Janelle Monáe A Bigger Star?

Given her level of talent, range, and yes, beauty, why isn’t Janelle Monáe a bigger deal by now? Her gifts as a singer, songwriter, dancer and overall performer are certainly worthy of larger notoriety. The fact that she opts not to present herself in a way that is ultra sexualized is the antithesis to the current musical landscape that so many say we need (and rightfully so) – making her by default a much more interesting figure than many of her peers.

Janelle Monáe doesn’t have to be as big a star as Beyoncé, Rihanna or Nicki Minaj, but why has she yet to reach the stature of even more apt peers like Frank Ocean and Miguel?

In a then hotly contested review of The Electric Lady, former New York music critic Jody Rosen offered an explanation as to why Monáe’s press doesn’t match the performance of her music: her image may be a wee bit too conceptual, and her music, too referential. In a rebuttal over at Flavorwire, a seemingly very offended Tom Hawking claimed that Rosen pigeonholed her and proceeded to offer a bunch of other musings performed in the key of Kumbaya. It’s a testament to how defensive some fans get when something “different” is criticized, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

While I’ve been a Janelle Monáe fan since the days of The Audition and Metropolis-Suite I: The Chase, thus far it’s her skill as a performer and eye for visuals that stand out most. That’s not unlike her contemporaries, but the difference is that they have the songs to propel them to stardom.

I enjoy her mesh of influences, but when packaged as near 20-song albums, it comes across as both too much two-fold: derivative and inconsistent. Neither of which match the grandiose concepts they’re packaged with.

I wonder what difference a little more cohesion and simplicity would make.

Read the rest at VIBE.

Pull It Together, Keyshia Cole

Keyshia Cole’s marriage has crumbled, and judging from her Instagram postings—increasingly centered on the codependent themes of “fuck love” and “men ain’t shit”—she doesn’t seem to be at the place Oprah would deem “her best self.” For the fans dismayed by Keyshia’s last few albums—the so-so Woman to Woman and the oh so disappointing Calling All Hearts, respectively—her personal pitfall has inspired hope about her professional future. This is largely fueled by the belief that, like her musical mother Mary J. Blige, her happiness watered down her music.

Yet, very few people sang along with me about slapping a bitch like Rick James, and even I joined the chorus in ignoring other recent Keyshia releases, “Next Time (Wont Give My Heart Away)” and “She,” which is one of those bandwagon bisexual-themed songs that typically wears on the last nerve of anyone sitting alongside the LGBT rainbow.

During a recent interview with The Breakfast Club, Keyshia Cole was asked why some of her new singles weren’t connecting. She said she didn’t know, but I have an idea: They’re not especially great. It has nothing to do with the sentiment in her songs, be it anger or unabashed joy; it’s an issue of how these songs are structured.

The same goes for the post-happy Mary J. Blige albums (2005′s The Breakthroughexcelled) that hardcore fans supported out of loyalty, but tossed aside in their heads in favor of the first three or four albums. Mary has since found her way. The decent Think Like A Man Too soundtrack, the very interesting collaboration with Disclosure, and word of a new project in which she will record a whole album in London consisting of works solely crafted by U.K.-based producers.

Mary is no longer singing from the very bottom of her soul, but her music is not immediately bottom barrel because of it. That suggests focus and effort, which is Keyshia’s new songs thus far have appeared to lack.

Read the rest at VIBE.

Beyoncé and Jay Z’s Response to Rumors: Flawless

The way Beyoncé and Jay Z have managed to straddle the line between not letting the public completely starve from lack of details about their private lives, while keeping us as far away from their bedroom as possible, is impressive. It’s a level of control even the biggest celebrities of the day don’t typically get to exercise anymore.

However, more recently, the media vultures and those that soil so many conversations on Twitter have collectively swarmed around the Carters—pressed to find out if the pretty picture they’ve portrayed all these years is real. And while the rumor mill continues to grind out imaginary Jay and Bey topics to feed itself, the Carters are perfecting their poses and laughing at us all.

Leading the charge is the New York Post’s Page Six column, which swears, on a thousand copies of Dangerously in Love, that the end is nigh for Beyoncé and Jay Z’s marriage. That prediction has since spilled over to daytime on programs like The Wendy Williams Show and other media outlets looking to cash in on the click bait.

Yet as rumors and speculation began to swirl, the Beyoncé information balloon began to contract.

Having learned the lessons from previous unwanted depictions, Beyoncé has learned to control the narrative and react to unwanted attention on her own terms. This was especially evident in Beyoncé’s HBO documentary (not really) Life Is but a Dream, in which she told the story of her life through a glorified Instagram filter.

Or in other words, she and her husband have learned that if you’re going to be trolled, you might as well troll back.

Case in point, Beyoncé quipped in the newly released remix to “Flawless”: “We escalate, up in this bitch like elevators. Of course sometimes s–t go down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator.”

This recalls other reactions to rumors circling all things Beyoncé and Jay Z. For example, whether or not their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, was truly carried by Beyoncé, or if her conception and subsequent delivery mirror the storyline on Halle Berry’s new show, Extant.

Even if we saw video of the birth, I imagine some people would still argue that because those two are so rich, they probably tapped someone from the Avatar production team to put a clip together. Oh, wait, the public has since moved on to Blue Ivy’s hair and whether or not Child Protective Services ought to be called in to bring a comb.

Which led to Jay rhyming, “They even talk about your baby crazy,” on “Picasso Baby.”

Meanwhile, when it came to the rumors about the state of her marriage, Beyoncé didn’t give an interview or pen some blog post; she took to Instagram to upload pictures with captions like, “My favorite hue is Jay Z Blue.” There are clips as recent as this past weekend of them dancing together onstage and gleefully smiling at each other.

Even this didn’t stop the speculative articles from discussing Beyoncé the divorcee. In one story, a crisis coach was quoted: “She is going to be the most powerful woman in the world, hanging out with Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey and Blue Ivy and talking about being a single mom. The goddess suddenly becomes even more relatable to women everywhere.”

To be fair, when you see Beyoncé’s sister re-enacting “Street Fighter” in an elevator with an unwilling participant in Jay Z, there is reason to pause and wonder if there’s a problem in the relationship. Even so, they collectively released a statement back in May that spoke of accountability and reconciliation.

Naturally, this was not enough to appease folks because it didn’t include details about where Solange learned to roundhouse kick, whether or not she made Jay Z bleed, and if so, what might his blood type be?

Read the rest at The Root.

 

“Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” Recap: Momma Dee and Thi Thi Wanna Sing

Thanks to what presumably was an attempt to create a strong lead-in for its newer shows—the awkward Dating Naked and the hilarious Candidly Nicole, respectively—we were treated to a second episode of Love & Hip Hop Atlantalast Thursday. It continued from immediately where we left off on Monday—Karlie Redd discovering that Yung Joc was not out of town on business and was instead with his chauffeur-realtor-semi-annual sidepiece. You know, the one who looks like Nivea in her second trimester. Anyhow, Karlie Redd confronts them and asks Joc a very pertinent question: “How the hell do you go from here to a fat bitch?”

See, Karlie, it’s fine to be upset about being cheated on, but don’t shame the chubby chasers. Some people enjoy love handles and that’s perfectly fine. As the two went back and forth, it was clear Joc was enjoying the confrontation and the screen time way too much. For all the Karlie Redd-bashing he did—calling her a “dumb broad” for still fucking with him after he came home smelling like he hosted someone else’s vagina monologue—she’s the only reason he has a storyline. So, point goes to Karlie Redd, though I have to giveJoc some acknowledgement for the line, “You know you’ve been diagnosed with THOTism.”

Well played, sir.

After that exchange came a serious conversation between Mimi and DebAntney, which kicked off with Deb declaring, “Me and Mimi have some things in common: pain.” Deb says she wants to serve as a mother figure for Mimi. Mimi sure could use one (along with a therapist), especially if you recall what we learned about Mimi’s Scientologist mama in the first season. The story is even worse than we thought as Mimi revealed that she was conceived during her mother’s affair with her biological father, whom she didn’t meet until she was 16. Her mother handed her a piece of paper with his name and that was that. Good grief this is woman damaged.

Speaking of bad things, Mimi did agree to meet with Stevie J only to leave before finishing her drink, ‘cause after he vaguely acknowledged he was wrong for disrespecting her on the day her father died, he proceeded to bash “Freakko.” Of course, everyone on Planet Earth who watches this show agrees that Nikko ain’t it, but I guess when you embarrass the absolute shit out of your baby mama on national television you can’t be all “He can’t lead you and then take you. Make you and then break you. Darlin’, you hold the power.”

Now, on to my favorite portion of the episode: Althea’s musical debut (on the show).

Althea used to be signed to Def Jam and Foxy Brown’s label or something back in the day. Plus she apparently studied ballet, jazz, and tap, which suggests she could’ve been a Mýa if she hadn’t been such a hater bitch. None of that was evident in her performance last night, though. No shade, but when your name is Althea you’ve got to move better than Ashanti.

Perhaps boo-loving with Benzino kept her away from practice, but Thi Thisounded out of breath and in need of a flashlight to find the pitch. As for those dance moves, she was dancing like a stripper on the last half hour of her shift who become even more exhausted upon realizing that she still has to go home and make that double cheeseburger macaroni Hamburger Helper for her kids.

However, everybody can’t be Beyoncé, or even Ciara, so it’s all good, Thi Thi. I have since listened to the studio version of “Ghetto Love” and that shit knocks. It’s a thot bop, but if you’re into Thot ‘N B like me that won’t deter you. Some people will hate, but I’m Team Motherfucking Thi Thi.

Read the rest at Complex.

Were You ‘Acting White?’ Or Just…Corny?

I am not in the business of invalidating anyone’s experiences – particularly if those experiences cause a person a sense of pain. Still, I often worry about those who refuse to let go of certain grievances. I am even more concerned about anyone who can’t grasp that when assessing the collective, his or her anecdotes are the Pam from Total to data’s Beyoncé. So although I can understand how taunts of “acting White” may make select Black folks feel a way, can everyone stop pretending that Negroes hate intelligence to the point that if a Black boy takes AP geography, to many it’s grounds to enter him in the racial draft in exchange for the buff Jonas Brother?

At a recent My Brother’s Keeper town hall, President Obama dug into his bag of lingering adolescent issues to trot out this sad lil’ trope once more. Obama acknowledged that the notion of “acting White” as sometimes “overstated,” but went on to argue “there’s an element of truth to it.” And then he recited lyrics from this sad love song that keeps wrecking my brain like crazy – about Black boys reading too much or dressing a certain way, blah blah.

Both President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama love to discuss this in rooms filled with mostly Black people, only to have others tag themselves in to help spread the lie. Enter Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart, who in his post “Obama goes there on ‘acting White,’” recalls his own experiences and how he, too, felt moved to tell a room full of Black high school graduates to not be afraid of intelligence.  Or as he put it, “I felt a moral obligation to set their minds right on ‘acting White’ or ‘wanna-be White’ before they headed off to college.

But if they’re already heading to college, evidently education doesn’t bother the children that much.

Thankfully, his colleague, Nia-Malika Henderson, noted that the 1986 research paper that popularized the concept of “acting White” has been debunked – again and again and again and again over the course of 20 years. Henderson points to one study in particular that highlights that a “Black student might have Black friends who rib them about taking an AP class, but they also have black friends who encourage it.” That’s what makes Obama and Capehart’s complaints about “acting White” so ironically hilarious: They both argue about knowing where you come from but being a part of the larger culture, but they each seem to miss the idea that making fun of – especially “nerdy” ones – is universal.

So is mocking an individual from one cultural group who is socialized primarily with a different cultural group and takes on many of their mores. Yes, there is more than one way to be Black, but some of the folks complaining conveniently gloss over the reality that some Black kids simply get targeted for not growing up around other Black people. It’s not fair, but it’s not grounds to throw your own under the bus. It’s sort of akin to all of those pieces by Black men who date White women, where the Black men in question skip the part about how their upbringing may have led to a cultural mismatch with many Black women – opting instead to falsely accuse Black women of only wanting “thugs.”

if not all around dense, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to act as if that Black culture doesn’t exist. If you want to get more specific in how we identify it  – i.e. urban Black culture – so be it, but it does exist and I’m not going to deny its existence because some people don’t fit within it – especially not in the name of “fitting into the larger culture.”

The “larger culture” often rejects me for just being Black no matter how well spoken and multi-faceted I prove myself to be so I will gleefully be Blackity-Black-Black with the like-minded folks who share extra shots of melanin.

And since we’re all for anecdotes, I can’t recall ever being teased about being smart. As someone “from the hood” who had a dad that only finished high school and a grandfather who only made it to sixth grade, I was encouraged by them and mostly those around me. Now, people had their cracks – about the way I talked, walked, and anything else that screamed “gay.” Hell, when Ali’s “Boughetto” single came out, people had jokes for days.

Thing is, though, everyone keeps teased about something. Such is life only the amount of internal strife you take in based on the comments of insecure people ought to have an expiration date. Like, by the time you’re president of the United States of America.

Read more at EBONY.

On The Stars and #FreePalestine

As the climate stands now, it would be more beneficial to most celebrities to bare their ass cheeks on Instagram than share any sort of political view on social media.

The latter is a safer bet, given how quickly people are to pounce the second anyone of note steps outside of the bounds of political correctness — with a media cycle all too eager to hop on the issue in the name of clicks and ratings.

Yet, given the widespread coverage of recent events related to the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict, some stars have decided to express themselves anyway — particularly with respect to expressing empathy for those suffering in the Gaza Strip.

Not surprisingly, some have already quickly backed away after tipping their toe outside their comfort zones.

Two weeks ago, Rihanna made headlines after tweeting “#FreePalestine,” but got rid of the tweet less than 10 minutes later. A source close to Rihanna told TMZ, ”She deleted it because it was never meant to be tweeted.

She didn’t even realize it was a tweet until she started hearing from her fans.

More like her publicist shot her a text that read, ‘I know you’ve never listened to me before, but please, pretty please listen to me now and delete that damn tweet, gyal!’

I’m sure NBA star Dwight Howard was sent a similar message that prompted him to delete his “#FreePalestine” tweet, too.

Though the move prompted “Howard the Coward” cries from some people online, it’s easy to understand why both Dwight and Rih-Rih backed away. There is very much a pro-Israeli bias in Western media as recently described by journalist and MSNBC contributor Rula Jebreal.

There have been cracks made at it as of late, but there remains a hypersensitivity to any commentary that doesn’t explicitly condemn one side over the other.

Even Amar’e Stoudamire, who is Jewish and has reportedly funded an Israeli basketball camp, felt compelled to delete an Instagram picture of of Israeli and Palestinian children locking arms with the caption “Pray for Palestine.” 

You literally cannot convey sadness over civilian casualties without being considered some sort of terrorist sympathizer.

We can also look to Selena Gomez, who after posting a picture on Instagram that read “It’s About Humanity. Pray For Gaza,” received this dubious coverage over at TMZ:

Maybe she doesn’t realize Hamas has launched an untold number of missiles in an effort to destroy Israel, or maybe she supports it… we don’t know. Maybe she just wants peace for everyone. We just don’t know.

“We just don’t know.” Really? Like, it’s Selena Gomez. The girl from “Wizards of Waverly Place” and Justin Bieber’s on again, off again bae. They’re acting as if she said “to hell with it all, let’s all get with Sharia law.”

Perhaps TMZ should just go back to its designated lane — digging through Kardashian trash — and forgo dissecting foreign policy.

Case in point, the site went out of its way to point out that One Direction singer Zayn Malik wasraised Muslim after he tweeted “Free Palestine.”

Even more despicable is the site republishing some of the more vile comments sent in response (Malik has also received death threats) and one sad little message about how he purportedly disappointed all of his friends in Israel.

However, when Joan Rivers recorded a pro-Israel diatribe for TMZ, her Jewish faith was left out of the write up and readers were informed “you gotta see it” given it came “from the heart and the gut.”

I sure hope Us Weekly and People never dive into political issues because I would hate to see Beyoncé branded a Stalinist for whatever random stance she takes on a given issue.

You can read the rest at Elite Daily.

“Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” Recap: Stevie J Doesn’t Care If Your Daddy Died

When someone informs you that their parent has fallen gravely ill and subsequently dies, that’s everyone’s cue to momentarily shut the hell up about whatever grievance they have. Mimi’s homegirls got the memo on last week’s edition of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, though Stevie J decided to opt out of exhibiting basic human decency. It’s like you know he got the message because he opted to turn on iMessage’s read receipt, but he decided to get defensive and be inconsiderate all the same.

Following a radio interview in which Mimi apparently took shots at Stevie J for allegedly not paying child support, Stevie J called Mimi to threaten her (and then called her a “ho” before hanging up in her face) and went on to shoot her a text that said “Karma is a bitch” on the day her father died. Some of us can recall the text in question given Mimi uploaded a screenshot of it toInstagram. I’m not sure if Stevie J is upset with Kirk Frost for taking his “Worst Man On Basic Cable Ever” title away from him, but if he’s trying to get that crown back, this is the way to go about it.

After Mimi told her what all went down, Ariane reached out to Stevie J in order to find out “why you acting such an ass, Stevie?” Stevie acknowledges that he shouldn’t have been such an evil asshole towards her, but hates that Mimi acts as if she did the sex tape to support their daughter. While I agree with Stevie that Mimi is trying to come up with excuses on why she made that porn with the Stevie J knockoff, there needed to be a trap door on set for him to fall through the minute he played dumb as to why Mimi has been behaving the way she has. You can’t fuck somebody up in the head and then be like “Why you got a headache, girl?” Ariane may overstepped her boundaries by telling Stevie J that she suspects Mimi did that porn in order to get back at him, but it sounds pretty damn accurate all the same.

They’re equally right about their assessment of Nikko, but Mimi nonetheless feels that when it comes to people who truly hold her down, all she has is her XXX co-star and her daughter. Pray for that misguided woman, America.

Although Stevie J has yet to make amends with Mimi, he’s done a good job of calmingJoseline down after making her feel like the post-arrest Farrah Franklin to Mimi’s Beyoncé. How did “The Good Guy” who is more like a soulful sociopath please his (probably pretend) bride? Setting up a music video shoot for her, naturally.

Here’s my thing about Joseline, the recording artist. I don’t fault the woman for wanting to do music influenced by her Puerto Rican culture, but do they realize that most of us watching them every Monday on VH1 only understand Spanish in the context of “more guac, please?” I mean, yes, expand your market, Puerto Rican Princess, but as far as actually launching your music career goes, you need to be thinking Trina, not trap Gloria Estefan in the interim.

Read the rest at Complex.

Go, Rula Jebreal. Go.

The interesting thing about the notion of “liberal media bias” is that it’s based on the idea that huge media conglomerates would align themselves with liberal principles for the sake of ideology as opposed to a business model. Rupert Murdoch has done a good job of aligning both objectives, but more often than not, for other media companies, cash rules everything around them (C.R.E.A.M. get the money, dollar-dollar bills, y’all). So as much as I enjoy MSNBC, I’m very well aware that the network’s mostly left slant in prime-time and on the early morning weekends is based on creating an outlet to rival FOX News versus standing up for liberalism.

After all, former GOP congressman and political Svengali in his own mind Joe Scarborough sets the tone for MSNBC with “Morning Joe.” And as one MSNBC contributor reminds us, even a “left-wing news network” can have its own biases. While doing a segment on the latest Israeli/Palestinian conflict on “Ronan Farrow Daily,” a defiant Rula Jebreal (pictured) rightly criticized Western-based news stations for their pro-Israeli slant.

While arguing that influence from pro-Israel forces makes the news coverage more favorable to the country and its leader, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and subsequently sways the majority of American viewers to take the side of Israel, Jebreal explained, “Because of AIPAC, and because of the money behind it, and because of Sheldon Adelson, and because of all of us in the media. We are ridiculous. We are disgustingly biased when it comes to this issue.” She went on to add, “Look at how [much] airtime Netanyahu and his folks have on air on a daily basis. Andrea Mitchell and others. I never see one Palestinian being interviewed on these same issues.”

When the show’s host, Ronan Farrow, pushed back and claimed that Palestinian guests have been interviewed, Jebreal noted, “Maybe 30 seconds! And then you have 25 minutes for Bibi Netanyahu, and then half an hour for Naftali Bennett, and many others.”

Since then, Jebreal claims that all of her TV appearances have been canceled.

Abrupt cancellations don’t make Jebreal’s comments any less credible, though. On the Sunday morning shows that air on broadcast television, Netanyahu’s face was splattered all over each one. The same can be said of those who “stand with Israel.”

Even on entertainment websites like TMZ, the biases are quite apparent. When detailing actress and singer Selena Gomez tweeting and then deleting a message asking for prayers for Gaza, the site wrote:

“Maybe she doesn’t realize Hamas has launched an untold number of missiles in an effort to destroy Israel, or maybe she supports it … we don’t know.  Maybe she just wants peace for everyone.  We just don’t know.”

This is supremely biased, wonderfully ignorant, and sadly dangerous. Perhaps Gomez was asking for prayers for the civilians who have suffered thanks to this most-recent military action: Per the United Nations, Palestinian health officials said at least 630 Palestinians had been killed and nearly 4,000 wounded — some 70 percent to 80 percent of them civilians.

But apparently, asking for prayers of the civilians is equivalent to supporting terrorists.

Meanwhile, anyone that offers a counter to this Israel narrative has been relatively silenced — some more harshly than others.

Read the rest at NewsOne.

Kanye West Needs To Realize He Chose This Life And He Should Stop Complaining About It

Before I read any Kanye West cover story, I ask myself, “Do I have a lifejacket for all the confusion and irony that I’m surely about to sink in?”

I always assume the answer to be yes only to realize, ultimately, that I once again boarded the Titanic where my last nerve and better senses both end up being swatted to death by the iceberg that is Kanye’s psychosis.

Maybe I’m a masochist or perhaps I’m just one of those fans who, despite so much evidence to the contrary, want to believe that Kanye may be an imperfect spokesperson on various issues, but still continues to have very enlightening things to say — unlike so many of his contemporaries.

To Kanye’s credit, he did say something awfully sweet and valuable while explaining to GQ the joys of his newfound life as a husband and father.

On how both have transformed him, Kanye explained:

Because I don’t like walking around with people thinking I’m doing uncool shit, because there’s nothing I’m doing that’s uncool. It’s all innovative. You just might not understand it yet. But it’s cool. Family is super cool.

Going home to one girl every night is super cool. Just going home and getting on the floor and playing with your child is super cool. Not wearing a red leather jacket, and just looking like a dad and shit, is like super cool. Having someone that I can call Mom again. That shit is super cool.

The same way I saluted Beyoncé and Jay Z’s “On The Run” tour for making fidelity look so damn cool amidst the lingering cries about how “these hoes ain’t loyal,” I appreciate Kanye for making stable and committed relationships appear to be a necessity as opposed to a nuisance.

It’s too bad Kanye West had to soil the rest of Kanye West’s interview by being Kanye West.

When discussing the burden of celebrity, Kanye made the mistake of comparing treatment of today’s stars to those of Blacks in the 1960s. Yes, in Yeezy’s mind our celebrities are “being treated like Blacks were in the ’60s, having no rights, and the fact that people can slander your name.”

Every bit of self-respecting Black in me wants to holler at him the way he yelled at Sway for not having the answers.

This isn’t the first time he’s used that false equivalence to state his case either. In September, Kanye had this to say about the state of radio in a BBC interview with Zane Lowe, “I was talking to Frank Ocean about this and said, like, my mom got arrested for the sit-ins, and now we’re more like the sit-outs, like sit off of radio, and say, ‘Hey, radio, come to us.’”

I’m assuming the ancestors have ignored my request to haunt Kanye in his dreams for these self-important and audaciously asinine analogies.

Fine, but can someone please tell Kanye West — he who likes to lament about racism — to stop trivializing the experiences of the very people who paved the way for him to foolishly blurt out nonsense for the amusement of mainstream outlets?

Read the rest at Elite Daily.