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After 22 years of marriage, Gayle McCormick was suddenly no longer caught up in the rapture of love with her husband. McCormick is 73, a retired prison guard, and a self-described “Democrat leaning toward socialist.” In other words, she is Bernie Sanders with a vagina.

So, when the ultra liberal Dorothy Zbornak found out that her husband had taken shelter in the basket of deplorables last November, she told bae:

I gotta go. I gotta leave.
So please don’t make it hard for me.
I’ve gave enough, I’m tired of love,
I gotta let it go

Or whatever the elder statement vanilla latte with almond milk (which is tasty, so no shade) equivalent of this is.

“It totally undid me that he could vote for Trump,” McCormick explained to Reuters. She went on to add that she felt “betrayed” by his support for Sunny D Zedong. I couldn’t imagine laying in bed next to anyone who felt that marginalized people could benefit from a Sunny D Zedong administration because it would “awaken them,” much less the fool who would make a willful choice to play the role of Smithers and unleash the hounds.

Then, McCormick shared a word:

I felt like I had been fooling myself. It opened up areas between us I had not faced before. I realized how far I had gone in my life to accept things I would have never accepted when I was younger.

There are a few white women whose words can send me on an emotional roller coaster: Fiona Apple, whatever the song; half of Mariah Carey, especially when singing about loving someone like a holiday Duncan Hines yellow cake; Kelly Clarkson on like two or three tracks; Bonnie Rait when she is singing “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” I’m adding Gayle McCormick to the list.

Typically, we only think of McCormick when at the grocery store and deciding on seasoning, but this shit, this shit right here, is a guide to life. I’m not sure what the dating scene is like at 73, but if it’s anything like Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, she ought to be fine. If not, there’s always masturbation. Don’t make that face. T-Boz told y’all in 1996 that ain’t nothing wrong with making it feel good.

McCormick understands what support of 45 means. Unlike some people, she did not try to humanize the inhumane act of voting for that wretched, imbecilic man who surrounds himself with the axis of evil: bad suits, KFC and white supremacists. While many have tried to duck the moral quandary being associated with a deplorable presents, it’s becoming increasingly harder to.

Reuters reports:

The rancor has not dissipated as it has in the aftermath of other recent contentious U.S. elections. A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll shows it has worsened, suggesting a widening of the gulf between Republicans and Democrats and a hardening of ideological positions that sociologists and political scientists say increases distrust in government and will make political compromise more difficult.

Sixteen percent said they have stopped talking to a family member or friend because of the election—up marginally from 15 percent. That edged higher, to 22 percent, among those who voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton. Overall, 13 percent of respondents said they had ended a relationship with a family member or close friend over the election, compared to 12 percent in October.

Ended things with people like this fool, as Reuters reports:

“It’s been pretty rough for me,” said Rob Brunello, 25, of Mayfield Heights, Ohio, a truck driver who faced a backlash from friends and family for backing Trump.

He can drive his truck to hell.

Now more than ever people need to draw a line in the sand when it comes to support for a man who is more or less special education Adolf Hitler wrapped in cantaloupe coloring. That said, based on the readership ’round these parts (but hello, new white readers—I see you, and in some cases, block you), only a handful of y’all likely have to face a 45 voter. No worries, I have other tips.

Like, people who follow Dr. Umar Johnson: Block them.

Read the rest at The Root.

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On its surface, when news hit of Beyoncé leading the 2017 Grammy Awards with nine nominations, it read as nothing short of a win for the behemoth pop star. The Houston native has scored nods in the three big categories: Album of the Year, for her sixth studio offering, Lemonade; and Song of the Year and Record of the Year for its lead single, “Formation.”

Beyoncé will compete in other categories, such as Best Rock Performance (“Don’t Hurt Yourself,” with Jack White), Best Pop Solo Performance (“Hold Up”) and Best Rap/Sung Performance (“Freedom,” with Kendrick Lamar). The end result is that Beyoncé has become the first artist ever to earn nominations in such an array of categories in a single year.

On that feat, Neil Portnow, CEO and president of the Recording Academy, told the Associated Press in an interview: “Artists are feeling emboldened and courageous and just wanting to step out of the predictable boundaries of what they have done. Of course, [Beyoncé] is the poster child for that.”

With these new nominations, in addition to already winning 20 Grammy Awards, Beyoncé has become the most nominated woman in Grammy history, with 62 nominations. Yet if we are to believe that Portnow is sincere in his description of Beyoncé, it ought to be made clear that despite her historymaking news, the Grammys have failed to truly honor her artistry beyond very predictable boundaries of R&B and “urban contemporary.” The Negro League subcategories, if you will.

That is not to negate, diminish or even place an asterisk near Beyoncé’s Grammy history. Hell, I’s a Negro and very happy with Negro-centered celebrations. However, it does speak to an overall pattern that this show has long had with honoring black art, especially if it is crafted by a black woman. Of all Beyoncé’s Grammy wins, the only major category she has ever won in is for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” which won Best Song of the Year in 2010.

In 2004, “Crazy in Love” lost Record of the Year to Coldplay’s “Clocks.” In 2014, “Drunk in Love,” a massive hit, was not even nominated in that category, though works from the likes of Meghan Trainor and Taylor Swift were. And of course, this was the same year that Beyoncé’s eponymous fifth album notoriously lost in the Album of the Year category to Beck’s Morning Phase. Headlines pointing to a glaring snub were seen far and wide, but no one was as vocal about it as Kanye West.

Read the rest at The Root.

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When I saw the image of former President Barack Obama in flip-flops, shorts and a backward cap, along with his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, in the shortest of shorts, walking across the beach, I was relieved for them. They served this country well for eight years—even when millions of its citizens blatantly disrespected them for no other reason than that the hue of their skin made them antithetical to the virtues of their America. So much so that Obama’s successor is the most unqualified president in U.S. history; a man who is small by every measure who won, largely, because he sold his supporters the notion that he could restore the nation to the lily-white land of yore.

 So, mere days into 45’s administration, the same mediocrity and monstrosity that followed him in his private life and professional dealings have unsurprisingly followed him into the White House. The man told the electorate exactly who he was, and they chose him anyway. Now that the sky has cracked and pieces have begun to fall, political journalists along with average citizens have been calling on former President Obama to speak up. So he did, 10 days after leaving office—which, in some respect, felt hasty—to disavow the travel ban targeted to immigrants from primarily Muslim nations.

The statement was appreciated, but make no mistake: Obama may speak out when it suits him as promised following the election, but he owes this country nothing. Not while on vacation. Not after eight years of service to a sizably ungrateful nation. Not less than a month after leaving office.

To quote DMX, “What these bitches want from a nigga?” Feel free to pour bleach to remove the stain of misogyny, but after you do, wrap yourself around the sentiment. Squeeze it tight.

Similarly, on the day of the Women’s March on Washington and subsequent days after, quite a few called on former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to also engage and help the resistance. Typically, after an election, the losing presidential candidate goes off and finds some business. While we are undeniably living in unique and increasingly dire circumstances, not only do I question the push for Clinton to more aggressively speak out against the antics of this amateurish administration, but I also worry about its ineffectiveness this early.

If she were to level stronger statements against Tropicana Jong-il, all that would do is invite comment from a man who can’t seem to escape campaign mode for the kind of needless public feuds he’s known for courting. No. 45 would foam at the mouth at the chance to continue assailing her as if he had another chance at losing the popular vote and winning on technicality. So, America may be calling to sing, “Pick up the phone, baby/I know you’re home, baby” to HRC, but I would label that number “Do Not Answer.”

Read the rest at The Root.

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Midway through reading Boluwaji Ogunyemi’s New York Times essay “When ‘Black Like Me’ Means ‘White Like Them,’” I needed to find a napkin. I had to wipe the drool from my mouth after falling asleep from reading yet another essay that centered on the age-old myth that black people are betraying their cultural identities when they dare to care about academic achievement. It’s just another sad love song wrecking my brain like crazy. I’m all torn up because that story needs to be taken out back, shot and buried in the backyard.

There are a lot of people who make the unfortunate mistake of using their anecdotes to assess an entire community, and sadly, Ogunyemi is one of them. You get that sense very early into the piece when he writes, “Being the single black student in a school of 600 had been immaterial to me. I had not developed a sense of black identity because, simply, I did not have to.”

Black-red-and-green flag on the play. The problem here is that Ogunyemi’s parents made the mistake of not informing him that no matter where you go—even in Newfoundland, where he attended school—you are black. It doesn’t make you less than, but it doesn’t mean you are eagerly welcomed into the majority, either. The Canadian government may often like to tout its progressive stances in comparison with, say, the United States, but much has been written about the country’s issues with racism with respect to the racial profiling of blacks and its treatment of indigenous people.

When you are raised to know who you are, you develop a confident sense of racial identity—one that can’t be easily dismantled by the ignorance of others.

Case in point: Ogunyemi recalls a moment when he and his classmates eagerly learned the results of an exam. Ogunyemi, who netted the highest score, recalls: “Most of the others donned looks of approval or surprise, while one, an Indo-Canadian business student, was notably shocked. ‘Are you trying to be white, Bolu?!’ he jeered. The others laughed boisterously at the question.”

This moment should not have been as impactful as it was, but because having a black identity was “immaterial to him,” he’s over being a cliché-cliché-cliché. (If you didn’t hear Beyoncé’s voice now, you, like Ogunyemi, ain’t real.)

 Ogunyemi does then try to lend credence to his sad story by citing John U. Ogbu, a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, who has spent far too much time trying to legitimize the notion that black people don’t value education.

Last month, in “The Myth About Smart Black Kids and ‘Acting White’ That Won’t Die,” Jenée Desmond-Harris at Vox took an extensive look at this fairy tale, highlighting in varied ways how thin the research behind “the acting white” theory was to begin with.

Read the rest at The Root.

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When I first read that Queen Latifah had signed on for a new music-themed show helmed by Lee Daniels, I was intrigued. But shortly before Star was set to debut, I balked at watching it—and the blame for that falls squarely on the creator. You see, while promoting Star, Daniels claimed that he selected a white woman to be the lead singer of the fictitious girl group because in lieu of the recent presidential election, “the country needed to heal.” Daniels also claimed that he doesn’t “embrace racism.” In his mind, I suppose, others that do acknowledge the realities of racism do so out of sheer will.

Even worse was another goal Daniels expressed: “We are in a very dangerous state right now in our country and I wanted white people to feel good about being white because right now, there’s a lot of hatred going on.” A dumb demagogue won the presidency after several displays of racism and xenophobia, and vows to “Make America Great Again,” and yet Lee Daniels, a Black man, thought white people needed a pick-me-up? I just couldn’t support such lunacy.

But, while trying to avoid real life over inauguration weekend, I gave in to my curiosity, despite these misgivings about Daniels and his intentions. It wasn’t so much about giving him a chance as it was being worn out from too many Law & Order: SVU marathons. That, and I assumed I wouldn’t make it past the first few scenes.

When I first read that Queen Latifah had signed on for a new music-themed show helmed by Lee Daniels, I was intrigued. But shortly before Star was set to debut, I balked at watching it—and the blame for that falls squarely on the creator. You see, while promoting Star, Daniels claimed that he selected a white woman to be the lead singer of the fictitious girl group because in lieu of the recent presidential election, “the country needed to heal.” Daniels also claimed that he doesn’t “embrace racism.” In his mind, I suppose, others that do acknowledge the realities of racism do so out of sheer will.

Even worse was another goal Daniels expressed: “We are in a very dangerous state right now in our country and I wanted white people to feel good about being white because right now, there’s a lot of hatred going on.” A dumb demagogue won the presidency after several displays of racism and xenophobia, and vows to “Make America Great Again,” and yet Lee Daniels, a Black man, thought white people needed a pick-me-up? I just couldn’t support such lunacy.

But, while trying to avoid real life over inauguration weekend, I gave in to my curiosity, despite these misgivings about Daniels and his intentions. It wasn’t so much about giving him a chance as it was being worn out from too many Law & Order: SVU marathons. That, and I assumed I wouldn’t make it past the first few scenes.

The show follows Star (Jude Demorest), a young girl raised in the foster care system who decides to take control of her life. She seeks out her sister Simone (Brittany O’Grady), a half-Black girl also in foster care, and Alexandra (Ryan Destiny), who is described as her “Instagram bestie.” I know what you’re thinking: People converse online, meet in real life, and become friends, but—that’s not really a thing.

On this show it is, though. So much so that Alexandra leaves her rich parents—who, we’ll later see, are played by Lenny Kravitz and Naomi Campbell—hops in a stolen car with Star and Simone, and drives down to Atlanta to link with Carlotta (Queen Latifah), who plays the role of surrogate mother (just moments after meeting them). Why? Well, back in the day, Carlotta was in a girl group with Star and Simone’s mama.

Read the rest at ELLE.

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Sean Spicer often looks guilty of something. He looks like the person who went into the work refrigerator, saw the juice with your name on it and drank it anyway—and put it back with not the slightest ounce of shame. Spicer also seems like the driver you end up cursing out on the freeway because he sees you trying to get over to make an exit but speeds up to block you from doing so. For no other reason than he can and he likes to inflict pain on others. The man looks salty as hell at all times.

For those who missed this when he served as Republican National Committee spokesman, they’re learning it now that this curmudgeon, who looks exactly like Howard the Duck if Howard the Duck met a scientist who could turn him into a human being, serves as White House press secretary.

In his debut, Spicer did not take questions. Instead, Spicer berated the press for correctly reporting that the crowds for Minute Maid Mao’s inauguration were pathetic, or “Sad!” as some wannabe dictators would say. Evidently the man was sent out by his new boss to play into his delusions of grandeur and incessant need to be liked. After Spicer finished, he stormed off. Sadly, no reporter shouted, “Sashay, Shantay” as he exited the building—proving once again why more media outlets need to be more inclusive in their hiring.

Then came his “first official briefing” in which he actually took questions. Spicer got a lot of unwarranted praise for doing that, though anyone who watched the lengthy presser saw that he continued to treat members of the press as individuals he can’t wait to catch on the street. Spicer doesn’t deserve a participation award, beloveds.

Spicer is quite the reflection of the man he works for, though. He lies like hell. He’s harsh in his delivery. He speaks with a strong sense of entitlement. He wears suits that are way too big. He’s infuriating to watch. Most of all, Spicer is incredibly embarrassing.

During a press conference Monday, Spicer was addressing Minute Maid Mao’s executive action that restructured the National Security Council. While doing so, Spicer held up a printed tweet. Why? Because Spicer wanted to drill home the point that there had been “misreporting” on this issue.

However, as The Verge’s Lizzie Plaugic noted, “It seems unlikely anyone in the room or watching the live stream would have actually been able to read what was on the sheet of paper, but Spicer apparently felt he needed hard proof of the tweet’s existence.”

Cast members on shows like The Real Housewives of Wherever and Love & Hip Hop: Anywhere don’t even print out tweets at reunion shows. Spicer is out here holding White House press conferences that come across as live re-enactments of posts from the Shade Room. Yet for Spicer it gets much, much worse.

During that same press conference, Spicer was asked about the Muslim ban signed by Minute Maid Mao and its effect on travelers. Like, say, a 5-year-old boy whose mother is Iranian and who was detained after arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport. When asked if the ban should apply to 5-year-old kids, Spicer said yes. With a straight face at that.

Heaven, I need a hug, and God, I need to borrow your trusty lightning bolt.

“That’s why we slow [the process] down a little,” Spicer explained. “To make sure that if they are a 5-year-old, that maybe they’re with their parents and they don’t pose a threat. But to assume that just because of someone’s age or gender or whatever that they don’t pose a threat would be misguided and wrong.”

The child is fucking 5 years old. When the mother was reunited with her son, she sang “Happy Birthday” to him. For you basket of deplorables reading this, she sang the song in English, although the Persian remix would have been perfectly fine, too.
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If I could charter our new President Hog’s-Head-Cheese Hussein a flight anywhere, the destination would be obvious: the Seventh Circle of Hell. If his long list of sins against humanity before he was elected (insert laugh track) president did not confirm what an arrogant, selfish, greedy, cruel waste of the gift of life he is, then certainly, his actions mere days into his presidency have. So if 45 has already proved himself to be an inhumane tyrant in the making, why would anyone waste hundreds of words seeking to convince fans of the hidden virtues of a bigot?

As previously reported, Mean Mary Tina Campbell of Mary Mary wrote an open letter about the new president that advocates him in ways that a man who associates with white supremacists is undeserving of. Generally speaking, open letters are equal parts inane and irritating. However, Campbell did ask for people to “read my letter below with an open mind.”

As a recovering Catholic who was once recruited for the priesthood (coulda been Yung Pope, but sex, no shade), I obliged.

Despite the unfortunate reality that we live in a country which is divided by our differences, misguided by ignorance and fear, obsessed with power, and overcome with greed, I still choose to believe that better days are coming. I believe that, although America and all of its leaders are far from perfect, our spiritual guidance and covering that has been granted from our initial decision to be “One nation under God,” is what has established us as the great nation that we are.

Let me stop you right there, Heil Mary.

It’s fine to believe, despite the inept would-be authoritarian dismantling democracy day by day, that brighter days lie ahead, given that you’ve got God and a cushier tax bracket than most, but what is this nonsense about how “‘One Nation under God’” is “what has established us as the great nation that we are”? Beloved, you are black. This same nation that professed to extol the virtues of God was built on the backs of your enslaved ancestors and has systematically oppressed your kind since its inception. You can luh God like your sister, but no Negroes with the good sense God gave them should pretend that this nation hasn’t long bastardized religion.

I understand that Mr. Donald Trump is our new president, not our God, so as a citizen I choose to have a sensible expectation of him, accompanied by much prayer for him, and a complete dependency on God to work through him, as well as the others that are in office, to secure the welfare of this nation. I choose to opt out of fear of the unknown but rather opt in to hopeful expectation because if God is for us nothing can successfully stand against us.

I mean, if you’re not traveling from select countries on the Muslim ban, I suppose you can walk without fear. You can’t get an amen for this, but at least you are praying for the president. His punk ass needs it.

I believe that understanding and compassion is absolutely necessary for the progress of all people. So, although I don’t always understand or agree with Mr. Donald Trump’s politics, perspective, and approach, I believe that the same God that created all of us has deposited greatness inside of him that goes far beyond what many of us have seen and what many of us could imagine. I believe that God can do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that works in us. I believe that the power that works in us is our ability to love, and unify, and humble ourselves, and forgive, and hope, and pray, and educate ourselves, and apply wisdom and hard work to knowledge. I choose to believe that that same power that comes from Almighty God is at work in Mr. Donald Trump, and it will be used for the greater good of this nation and its people.

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Did Campbell say, “I believe that the same God that created all of us has deposited greatness inside of him that goes far beyond what many of us have seen and what many of us could imagine”? This mediocre white man has built a career off of nepotism, good tax attorneys, bankruptcy laws, not paying people for their services and being a fame whore. He is the irregular sweater of humanity. I rebuke this.

It’s much easier to assume that someone is in power because God “chose” him than to wrestle with the reality that evil exists and there are instances where one must call a thing a thing—and then fight it. Enter the likes of the Rev. William Barber, who consistently fights for the very Christian principles 45 actively works against. Barber has routinely spoken out against the racism of 45 and the party whose racist rhetoric paved the way for him. He has done so with the assistance of religious people of varying faiths.

Read the rest at The Root.

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I knew that I loved LeToya Luckett when I noticed in the thank-you notes for Destiny’s Child’s immaculate sophomore album, The Writing’s on the Wall, that she shouted out Pappadeaux’s crawfish platter.

Of course, there was already an affinity there—she’s from the same hood in Houston I’m from (Hiram Clarke, ho)—but really, that crawfish mention cemented it. As a bit of a Destiny’s Child scholar, I love the tracks “Get on the Bus” and “Say My Name” in particular because you can actually hear Luckett’s voice on each of them. Y’all know that Beyoncé is my lord and gyrator, but there was a lot of “Stop singing my part now, baby!” back in the earliest DC days. You really hear Luckett in the hook of “Say My Name,” but, well, we know how that all ended.

After Luckett and LaTavia Roberson exited the group, they launched the girl group Anjel, which didn’t pan out, either—ultimately leaving Luckett to go solo. Her first album, LeToya, was released in 2006 and led by the single “Torn.” Not only was LeToya one of the stronger releases of that period in R&B, because it is certified platinum, but it also gives Luckett bragging rights for being the only Destiny’s Child member besides Beyoncé to have a certified album.

However, it’s her second album that sticks out to most. Lady Love was an excellent album despite her then-label, Capitol Records. It’s a strong effort not enough people got to discover at the time. While her single “Regret” managed to perform well, it was majorly ignored because of the label’s lack of effort. Unfortunately, as with many of the black artists on Capitol’s roster at the time—Cherish and J. Holiday, among others—Luckett’s debut success was lost because the label basically treated “the blacks” on its roster the same way President Sweet Potato Saddam treats black folks on any given day of the week. At the time, I tried to ask my Creole relatives to put a root on the execs there, but most of them told me to sit the hell down and figure out how to do a roux first.

Those disappointing sales and the dissolution of her deal with the label spawned a very lengthy musical hiatus for Luckett. It’s not as if she hasn’t been working, though. We’ve seen her as an actress on Single Ladies, Rosewood, Ballers and Treme and in films with the likes of Taraji P. Henson and Ashton Kutcher.

I’m all for going in the direction Black Jesus sends your checks, but it’s been way too long since Luckett released a new album. We’ve had little teases here and there, but nothing like a full-fledged effort. Finally, though, Luckett has begun the rollout of a new album.

Using her acting chops, Luckett recently released the video for her new single, “Back 2 Life.” The single will launch her long-awaited third album, Until Then.

Read the rest at The Root.

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Whenever I am asked why I don’t go into the comments sections of any of my published work, my response is immediate and in the form of a question: “Why do you hate me?” I am black, gay, work in media and have private student loans. Have I not suffered enough?

For years now, many of my colleagues have rightly regarded the comments sections of various outlets as cesspools. As someone who writes for black and mainstream sites, let me assure you that when it comes to the comments section, no matter which water fountain you sip from, it’s all spit and old bacon grease.

If you’re not being trolled by someone from Gouda Gaddafi’s basket of deplorables, you’re dealing with someone who believes that Dr. Umar Johnson actually has something valid to say or who thinks you and the source of your erections both need Jesus. In the age of “self-care,” I try to avoid actions that result in voluntary acts of torture.

However, a new report earlier this month claims that readers want more journalists to respond to them in the comments section. In a survey that spans readers from 20 separate U.S.-based news organizations across various mediums (print to broadcast to digital), 81 percent of commenters said that they would like to see reporters clarify factual questions in the comments section. Additionally, an average of 73 percent of respondents said they wanted “experts” on topics to weigh in in the comments section. And about half claim that they wanted journalists to highlight “quality comments.”

As Nieman Lab notes in its story about the survey, which was jointly produced by the Engaging News Project at the University of Texas and the Coral Project, the Washington Post has started launching such endeavors—creating an email newsletter that highlights top reader comments and discussion threads.

I’m not a reporter, but when I was commissioned to write a piece for the Washington Post about Andrew Harrison’s use of “nigga,” I smartly ignored the comments section. Of course, my friends trolled me anyway and sent me sample comments. Most of them were from white people whining about why it’s a double standard that we colored folk dare create a colloquialism with an alternate meaning of a racial slur, but it’s unfair that they can’t partake.

Good luck to those political reporters who have to answer the questions of people in the age of our 45th president, a basket case who challenges facts at every turn to the delight of his equally dumb flock. Some will say that there are indeed comments sections less obnoxious than the average. Like say, Kinja.

Whenever I wrote for Gawker, I was “encouraged” to go into the comments section and respond to readers. It wasn’t completely bad, but when I wrote about Bernie Sanders irritating me as of late, I got bombarded on Twitter, Facebook and email about it. Bless everyone’s heart who felt that strongly about it, but I’m not in the habit of spending significant amounts of time responding to things like white people telling me that I’m privileged as if they’re still not white.

To quote Sheree Whitfield, “Hell to the nah to the nah-nah-nah.”

The only site I can think of that doesn’t have a comments section that makes me want to cry out to Black Jesus to ask why he won’t smite these damn fools is Very Smart Brothas.

Still, I typically read the essay and go back to minding my black-ass business. I just don’t trust most internet commenters. Too many people use anonymity to unleash things they dare not say to someone’s face. Way too many folks are under the unfortunate assumption that writers owe the reader more than what they’ve been contracted to write. Not enough grasp that anything beyond what was written is a bonus.

Read the rest at The Root.

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She can dress this up as an act of nobility all she likes, but it reeks of opportunism.

When Chrisette Michele was asked to perform for the new president, she had a choice: to stand with the marginalized or to align herself with their orange-tinged oppressor. In an interview with The Breakfast Club, she revealed that the question was an easy and immediate yes.

With that, her fate was sealed, though she’s certainly been trying to clarify an unconscionable decision in the wake of the immense backlash she welcomed. First, she released an open letter; the cyan font made it barely readable, but honestly, no matter the font or the color, none of it made much sense. Towards the end, she declared, “I am here, representing you, because this is what matters.”

Michele repeated that sentiment on The Breakfast Club. “I needed them to see us,” Michele argued. “I needed them to see what we have to say, what we look like, how we talk. With the entire campaign experience, I think that many of us were wondering, who is he talking to?”

The President is 70 years old and in his lifetime, he has engaged in housing discrimination against Black people, has called on the death of innocent Black men, has used racially inflammatory language over decades, and through his favorite job, reality TV host, has worked with Black people. The President has always seen Black people just as he has seen Latinos, immigrants, Muslims, and women; the problem is, he sees all of those sections of society as less than. As for who he was talking to, anyone that’s bothered to take a gander at any of his hate rallies during the campaign knew the answer: like-minded racist White people.

Given that line of thinking, the singer’s political naiveté made the interview nothing more than a 40-minute PSA on the virtue of not speaking on things you know nothing about. The fact that she continuously repeats the adage “I’m no political genius” doesn’t make her a sympathetic figure. No, it just painfully and frustratingly illustrates willful ignorance.

Let Michele tell it, it is imperative that we need to communicate. So, “I took a lot of heat, but I wanted to unite America.” The problem with this line of thinking is that it foolishly assumes that closer proximity to prejudice will help lessen it. However, in the first week of the new administration, needless walls will be built; cruel bans against refugees over their religion will be unleashed; the threat of martial law has been hung over major cities; Jim Crow is leering towards a massive return; stupidity is soaring.

In the end, Michele didn’t even get to engage the menace. “My family has disowned me,” she said, “If you decide to Google me, you’ll see that America is writing about me in their newspapers. I’m the Black poster child for discord right now, and he’s not going to shake my hand?’ So no, I didn’t get to meet him.”

And every Negro went “Duh.”

Michele then slipped and confirmed suspicion that this was more about herself than she lets on. When asked why she didn’t attend the Women’s March the next day, Michele answered, “They don’t invite D-list celebrities.” The self-deprecation displayed does not deny the hubris-laden subtext of her response.

Read the rest at Essence.

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