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When I typically think of black Republicans, I put them in a basket of deplorables alongside Beyoncé haters (Beytheists), people who prefer KFC over Popeyes (tasteless) and people who walk too damn slow on highly trafficked streets (move!). Like, how do you trust anyone black who puts his or her trust in George H.W. Bush or George W. Bush? I have more faith in strangers at an Atlanta bar with my credit card.

However, after the leaking of Colin Powell’s emails, I am making room in the icebox where my heart s’posed to be for this conservative of color. I’ll never forget the role he played in the Iraq War, but after reading his thoughts about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, I’ll at least invite him to a fish fry. I won’t eat his potato salad, though.

For one, Powell’s blunt emails speak to the larger idea of how we black folks keep up appearances in corporate or, in this case, government settings, when, in reality, we can’t stand most of the fools around us. I now have the image of Powell going to the State Department and White House, giving his colleagues a smidgen of a smile and gracious nod, only to go back to his office and fire off emails with the subject, “This idiotic piece of s–t.” Or: “I hate her. I hate him. I hate all of them. UGH.”

Powell is absolutely correct about the hubris of Clinton and about Trump being an “international pariah” and “national disgrace.” I concur about Dick Cheney typically coming across as a “scary idiot,” and the Republican Party being a “reality show.” I’m also curious to know whether he and Condoleezza Rice ever wanted to jump Donald Rumsfeld.

Still, what’s really changed my mind about Powell is that I never knew how much I needed a shady, mean old Jamaican man in my life until now. Actually, shady old people in general. I lost my grandparents years ago, and while our love was deep and pure and other old Mariah Carey lyrics, what I loved most about them was that they used to say whatever the hell was on their minds—especially my grandmother. About any issue. About all people.

My mom is starting to enter this no-f–ks-given stage of life, but she’s Catholic, so she tends to feign guilt about whatever flies out of her mouth. I need someone older and, thus, more likely to just call someone out, take a sip of water or Paul Masson peach brandy, and call the next person out. I now believe that Colin Powell is that person, and I need someone to forward him this essay so that he can become my play paw-paw and email buddy.

You just know that Powell has far more to say about this election. I need to know what Powell makes of the following: Kellyanne Conway, who lies as well as Beyoncé does everything; Reince Priebus, the Jackie Christie of political operatives; Donald Trump, any day of the week, based on whatever inane and/or insane comment he’s made; and Hillary Clinton, in general.

Moreover, who are these alleged women Bill Clinton is smashing? Is he using vegan condoms? And for some reason, I bet Powell watches Power. Does he hate Angela and Tariq, too?

Read the rest at The Root.

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Last Friday, Donald Trump used his side gig—Republican nominee for president—to go back to what he’s actually qualified for—real estate—and hawk his new hotel. A few Medal of Honor recipients allowed themselves to be extras in his two-for-one informational, and one of them used the opportunity to address Hillary Clinton’s critique about a certain faction of Trump supporters. “Deplorables are also deployables,” the Vietnam veteran quipped. He did so with the widest smile on his face—just to let you know that he was pleased with himself.

Ever since Clinton uttered the phrase “basket of deplorables,” Trump’s most ardent supporters have tried to offer addenda to the claim: That they are “hardworking Americans.” They have families. And in this case, they have served their country. Fair enough. But you can be all those things and still be racist or, at the very least, be willing to support someone who is—which ultimately proves that when you get down to it, you’re not that committed to a belief in equality for all.

It is to be expected of them, but there’s also a noticeable contingent of others who have tried to take greater issue with charges of racism than with racism itself.

This would include Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), who said of Clinton’s comment in a radio interview Thursday: “I think it was a wrong thing to say. I think that it ignores the very true concerns that we have about needing change in this country. I think that it was ill-advised.”

Also included would be Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who instead of joining Clinton in a shared contempt of bigotry tried to argue a double standard. Meanwhile, she two-stepped right past criticism of the fact that her running mate referred to President Barack Obama as an “Uncle Tom.”

And, of course, there were white people in media, who felt compelled to explain racism, as if they actually have to face it.

At Vox, Dara Lind wrote: “There’s a satisfying moral clarity in being able to out-and-out call people deplorable for their racist views, but there simply isn’t a bright line between ‘racist’ and ‘not racist.’ There are quiet biases, and degrees of awareness, that even people who don’t support Donald Trump—even ‘hard-working Americans’—need to be aware of. And there is more to racism than what lies within people’s hearts.”

At New York magazine, Jesse Singal argued: “But there’s a difference between people’s subjective experiences and the terms we set for the big, ongoing national conversation about racism and for social justice. Within that conversation, viewing people who hold racist views as irredeemable, and describing their beliefs in terms of moral taint, just isn’t the best way forward.”

Funny enough, when citing his relatives who may hold racist views, Singal quickly blocked anyone—specifically those of darker hues—who challenged him on this notion. Yes, this is exactly how racial harmony is achieved. In any event, Business Insider’s Josh Barro echoed similar sentiments, tweeting, “I think if we’re going to (reasonably) define racism quite broadly, then we have to think of it as a bad personal trait, not a horrible one. If most people are racist, and most people are not horrible, then many racists are not horrible.”

It’s easy for those who never have to be subjected to any variation of racism to make these arguments. None of them knows what it’s like to be stopped by a police officer and fear for your life. They haven’t the slightest clue about what it’s like to experience discrimination in terms of employment, banking and housing.

They’ll never have to contend with certain realities like the role that race plays in how black schoolchildren are disciplined. Just last week I had to hear about how my 8-year-old niece had been treated over a racist letter that she did not even write. As early as kindergarten, she asked her mother, “Why the kids with yellow hair are treated better than the ones with black hair?”

And yet, those of us who have to deal with racism are supposed to see the humanity of those who view us as less than. But the fact that racism is common doesn’t make it any less horrific and detrimental. Having racist relatives and friends doesn’t make their bigotry any less ugly. Racism doesn’t have to be a white hood. It has levels. It always has.

Read the rest at The Root.

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In Soul Food, Big Mama had to come to the realization that all those Sunday dinners had led her to develop what many of us refer to as “the sugar,” and ultimately she had to submit to doctor’s orders to have her leg amputated. In Old Yeller, Travis realizes that after his beloved pet contracts rabies, he has to shoot his dog. In other words, choices have consequences, and life happens and you must react accordingly.

To that end, when it comes to the issue of Donald Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson and her numerous gaffes in recent months, one wonders: “How in the hell does she continue to have that job?”

Now, Pierson has always had a contentious relationship with the truth, long treated history like a frenemy and has shown herself repeatedly to be enamored with sounding as if she’s one side short of a proper fish dinner. Pierson, much like her boss, GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, is consistent in her inconsistency. She will forgo ideology when it suits her professional interest and, as a former ardent supporter of Ted Cruz, shift allegiances when opportunity knocks.

“When Donald says, ‘I think you’re great, I really want you to work for me,’ I don’t think any sane person would say no to that,” Pierson explained to Politico last November.

If only she had phoned a friend.

Even if I think Pierson has no idea what she’s talking about most of the time and holds viewpoints sour enough to cause stomach cramping, I do salute someone who was born to a teen mom, lived on welfare and ended up having her own child at a young age, yet still has managed to rise to the level that she has. Nonetheless, Pierson probably needs to be taken off television and sent to a public library. Preferably the sooner, the better.

Recently Pierson claimed that President Barack Obama started the war in Afghanistan—a fascinating claim given that at the time, Obama was just a state senator in Illinois. When responding to the death of Capt. Humayun Khan, which occurred in 2004 in Iraq, Pierson said, “It was under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that changed the rules of engagement that probably cost his life.” When alerted to reality, Pierson then claimed that “tens of thousands of soldiers” had been lost and “1 million” soldiers were wounded. No.

Oh, and one can’t ignore that she also plays the role of doctor sometimes, diagnosing Hillary Clinton with dysphasia, a rare disorder related to brain disease. This is all during the month of August. Never mind Pierson’s past instances of foolishness. Like, say, questioning Marco Rubio’s citizenship earlier this year. Or late last year, when she asked, “What is the point in having a good nuclear triad if you are afraid to use it?”

Then there is her Twitter history, an orgy of vapidity and intolerance.

I’m not sure what Pierson’s goals are beyond this campaign. Will she run for office again? Does she want a radio talk show? Is she hoping for a cable news contract? Might she want to angle for future spokesperson jobs for politicians in the future?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, she ought to consider resigning and taking up the hobby of being informed while speaking.

And if you are the Trump campaign, why would you continue having this painfully unqualified person unnecessarily create additional problems for Donald Trump? When it comes to sabotaging the Trump campaign with utter stupidity, that’s Donald Trump’s job. Everyone else’s job is to play the role of cleanup crew.

Trump surrogate Steve Cortes is particularly good at it. As is Trump’s new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, who is exceptional at making her walking-Klan-rally of a candidate sound more like a business-casual white nationalist. Unfortunately, Pierson has yet to reach that level of sociopathy.

Read the rest at The Root.

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Last week Donald J. Trump, the present reigning champ of white male mediocrity, continued to benefit from the media’s bigotry of low expectations. Trump was largely celebrated for expressing “regret” over some of the offensive statements he’s made since the start of his presidential campaign. Of course, noting regret is not the same as an actual apology—a point only magnified by Trump’s unwillingness to be specific as to which comments he regrets uttering, opting instead to tout himself as a truth teller in defiance of political correctness.

Beyond that Canal Street version of actual remorse, what also stuck out about the Trump presser was his direct appeal to black voters. “If African Americans give Donald Trump a chance by giving me their vote, the result for them will be amazing,” the Republican presidential nominee claimed in a scripted speech Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. After reciting a few statistics without proper context to illustrate how Democrats have failed black people in America, Trump went on to ask, “What do you have to lose by trying something new?”

Considering Trump’s varied history of racism aimed squarely at “the blacks,” such a question was more or less the political equivalent of asking folks, if they boiled a package of chicken wings three weeks past the marked expiration date, what’s the worst that could happen? Even so, the pageantry did remind me of the GOP’s recent call to Trump to reach out to black voters.

In fact, the Republican National Committee has hired three new Negroes to aid in such efforts. One of them, Ashley Bell, told NBCBLK: “My job is to make sure those coalition directors have a focus on engaging the black community and that our candidates have the right message to deliver to the black community.”

What can Bell and Co. tell black people about a candidate who is more or less David Duke if he grew up wealthy and went into real estate? What can Bell and Co. tell their fellow Republicans? Mind you, Republicans not only created the conditions through which Trump managed to seize power but have also further enabled him by promising to support the nominee no matter how bigoted he relentlessly shows himself to be. I don’t want to see black folks lose jobs, so I’m here to help—even if it comes across as Satan’s work.

The team doesn’t want my advice, but I’m going to give it to them anyway.

Show up at an RNC meeting, turn on your computers and immediately go to LinkedIn.

And update your résumé. Why? The GOP claims to care about black voters but then refuses to do little things like reinstate the Voting Rights Act and proceeds to nominate someone like Donald J. Trump for president. The very same day Trump made an appeal to black voters in front of yet another predominantly white crowd, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama—someone Trump considered for his running mate—did a radio interview and claimed that Trump’s 1989 campaign to bring back the death penalty in New York for the Central Park Five proves that Trump is serious about “law and order.”

“Trump has always been this way,” Sessions said to WAPI radio in Alabama. “People say he wasn’t a conservative, but he bought an ad 20 years ago in the New York Times calling for the death penalty. How many people in New York, that liberal bastion, were willing to do something like that?”

Problem here is that all five men convicted—four of them black and one Latino—were ultimately exonerated. Sessions proved something, all right: that Trump is loud, wrong and racist. Meanwhile, the RNC blacks should probably have their boss, Chairman Reince Preibus, send Sessions an email with the subject, “Why you bringing up old s–t?” I’d tell them to do it, but Sessions seems like the type to segregate his inbox.

Sign up for an Apple Music trial.

Might as well join us in watching Frank Ocean build a staircase with music in the background. How come? Did you not read suggestion No. 1? Black people ain’t about to pay y’all any mind this election.

Get a damn good story ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

Do not deprive your black relatives of the sordid details about working with the RNC to get black folks to vote for Trump and other Republicans in 2016. Take all the notes. Don’t skimp on details. It might earn you a spot on the adult table, since I assume that most older black folks will likely not want to sit with a Republican on a holiday.

Read the rest at The Root

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest at The Root.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest at The Root.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest at The Root.

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest at Complex.

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For much of the campaign and leading up to the Democratic National Convention, last night’s historic moment was often categorized almost like an afterthought, which has a lot to do with Hillary Clinton’s nomination appearing inevitable. Bernie Sanders ran a surprisingly strong insurgent campaign, but it became clear several months ago that he would be unable to defeat Clinton the way Barack Obama did eight years ago.

Even if it seemed unsurprising, history did happen last night, and we were immediately reminded why it took so long for the moment to manifest. Clinton is not touted for her oratory skills nor is she much of a campaigner. Hillary herself has attested to this, noting earlier in the year, “I am not a natural politician, in case you haven’t noticed, like my husband or President Obama.” No, but very little of that has to do with her smile volume and the sound of her voice, which was depicted in sexist terms such as “shrill,” “screaming,” and “sharp.”

I’m not entirely sure what an “average scream” means and I doubt Trump could explain it his damn self. What I can imagine, though, is that it is no surprise to many women that Hillary Clinton has spent decades of her life working, planning, compromising, and sacrificing to win this nomination only to end up facing off with a stupid, unqualified man for the job.

It is a testament to the unfair role gender continues to play in our society.

Nonetheless, it is a struggle among many my age and color to be excited about a Hillary Clinton presidency. That lack of enthusiasm is in many ways justified. There have already been countless articles written about the Clintons and the damage they’ve done to the Black community. Others have argued that the Hillary Clinton of 2016 will be better than the Bill Clinton of the ’90s, though those have routinely gotten nothing more than a “K” in response.

If you listened to Hillary’s speech last night, one cannot deny that she is far more progressive in tone than she’s ever been. Well, on domestic policy anyway. She continues to frighten me with her hawkish outlook on global politics, but with respect to domestic policy, there is a noticeable change in tone and language—and we owe Bernie Sanders and his movement for that.

Should Hillary win, I am hopeful but still unsure that she will make good on those promises. Whatever the case, I am not voting for the village idiot for president. Trump is a shining example of just how far one can go with no other virtues than being white, male, straight, and rich. Virtues he would use to become president and likely turn America into one big ass flea market largely patronized by Russians.

Read the rest at Complex.

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I’m not in the habit of complimenting Sarah Silverman, a person whose regret about wearing blackface for a skit once is largely rooted in the notion that it was “taken out of context” years later on Twitter. Even so, I found myself grateful to her on the first night of the Democratic National Convention for saying what needed to be said. First, Silverman, one of the first celebrities to support Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid, expressed why she supported the Sanders campaign and why she will now be voting for Hillary Clinton in November. The comedian and actress was greeted with some cheers, though none loud enough to drown out the ferocious boos.

Minutes later, joined by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), Silverman was again met with boos while speaking only to say with visible annoyance, “To the Bernie or Bust crowd, you’re being ridiculous.”

Finally, someone said it. Much like Sen. Claire McCaskill expressed on Tuesday’s edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, I did not anticipate Sanders’ biggest fans to walk into the convention with smiles on their faces as they toasted Hillary Clinton officially becoming the Democratic Party’s nominee for president. However, there should have been some nominal level of civility in certain moments.

Before Silverman made that statement, Sanders supporters booed every single person who dared to speak Clinton’s name. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) was booed and heckled as he spoke about his dead father and Black Lives Matter. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), the newly named convention chairwoman in light of the DNC email scandal, was also met with a wall of boos.

“May I just make a point,” Fudge said. “There are many of you that do not know me in this room, but let me say to you, I intend to be fair. I want to hear the varying opinions here. I am going to be respectful of you and I want you to be respectful of me.”

She was not given that respect, nor were most of the speakers before and in some cases after Silverman. Not even prayer could be spared from booing once “Hillary Clinton” was spoken. I mean this from the very bottom of my heathen heart: you are a pathetic, despicable, waste of humanity if you cannot be bothered to silence your anger during a prayer.

While it doesn’t apply to all of Bernie’s supporters at the convention, certainly enough of them behaved like spoiled, entitled, naive lil’ brats. Making matters worse was that many of them interviewed on networks like MSNBC could not even explain their vitriol. Some mentioned TPP—a trade deal that critics claim would lead to more American jobs going abroad—even though Clinton no longer supports it and it was only kept in the Democratic platform at the behest of our current Democratic president. Who knew TPP was the deal breaker for so many Sanders supporters?

Meanwhile, Sanders managed to push for what has been rightly called the most progressive Democratic platform. Then there was mindless chatter from some supporters about how technically, Hillary Clinton is only the presumptive nominee. As if God—whom they essentially booed—was about to step down in Philadelphia and personally hand Sanders the nomination.

Silverman, to her credit, managed to be an adult in a room full of adult-aged people who may have gotten one too many participation awards, thus having some false sense of entitlement as to what happens to a losing campaign . She, as Sanders tried to remind his supporters earlier that day (which was met with his own round of boos), understands, “This is the real world that we live in.”

This is in stark contrast to two other celebrity Sanders supporters in Rosario Dawson and Susan Sarandon.

Read the rest at Complex.

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