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By now, you would think brands would know not to tackle issues that they don’t fully understand or want to tangle with—particularly when they involve race and politics. And that, if they did delve into the political realm, they would do so with the knowledge and the involvement of an inclusive staff who could provide diversity of thought. Yet, this week, two major, well-known companies created their own PR nightmares, failing to realize that white isn’t always right—much less the lone standard for all.

This week, we questioned just who believed that a resistance-themed ad in which Kendall Jenner hands a cop a Pepsi to the joy of cheering protesters was a good idea. Whoever those poor, unfortunate souls are, they’re probably now licking their wounds in response to the rightful condemnation over a commercial that never should have been made, let alone released.

In a statement, Pepsi said the intent of the ad was to “project a global message of unity, peace and understanding.” Noting that the company “clearly…missed the mark” and had no intention to “make light of any serious issue,” representatives did apologize. But only one person got a more personalized mea culpa. “We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position,” the statement concluded.

Therein lies the problem: Even in the ad’s aftermath, so much attention is being placed on the thin, famous, rich white woman rather than the Black women behind some of the very movements Pepsi’s ad trivialized—and whose lives are affected by the serious problems that a Pepsi commercial probably won’t actually fix. The only Black woman prominently featured in the ad, which has now been taken down, is the one Jenner hands her blond wig to. But it’s these women, not Kendall Jenner, who deserve an apology from the brand.

“In defense” explanations are trickling through: Jenner is “devastated” over the responses to the ad; she had no creative involvement in the ad; the ad itself was not a reimagining of the now famous image of Ieshia Evans, a Black woman protesting police brutality in Baton Rouge, but of the ’60s “flower power” movement.

The narratives of Jenner’s victimization further contribute to the underlying problems behind the commercial. She is not necessarily a villain for not understanding the message she helped to convey in what for her was essentially a gig, albeit likely an extremely well-paid one. Still, anyone involved with this ad must deal with the consequences of their actions and truly grasp why people were so bothered by what they had seen. She’s received an apology; now she owes one, too.

Pepsi made the classic mistake of trying to be apolitical in a commercial that invoked the politically charged climate. By now, brands should know that’s close to unachievable. Without the required nuance, Pepsi instead centered whiteness in an ad that co-opted the efforts of movements trying to fight and dismantle white supremacy.

If I had to guess, I’d say it’s unlikely any racial minorities—more specifically, Black folks—were involved in the conception of this ad. What’s most clear is that while Pepsi had no problem co-opting political struggle, they had no concern about those actually struggling until social media provided the focus group they should have hired in the first go-round.

Read the rest at ELLE.

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For some time now, Van Jones has offered a bevy of political musings that might prompt more sensible, less forgiving souls to barf in a bag or bang their head against a wall, but it seems only now that are some catching on.

Recently, the CNN political commentator managed to piss off quite a few people by arguing that when he addressed the widow of a slain Navy SEAL during a speech made to a joint session of Congress, Parmesan Putin “became president of the United States in that moment, period.” Jones, who takes a can’t-stop, won’t-stop approach to hyperbole, followed with yet another declaration: “That was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics.”

Jones was not alone in paying a man who likes to talk but doesn’t often have much to say in terms of coherency, insight or complete sentences far too great a compliment for reading from a teleprompter and being seemingly decent, but that gross display of overzealous punditry earned him the headlines he so clearly sought. Meanwhile, others noted how “crassly manipulative” the purported tribute truly was or, at the very least, knew that for whatever goodwill 45 earned that night, he would quickly overshadow it as par for the course in his relatively young political career.

That’s what made this other little nugget from Jones all the more laughable: “If he finds a way to do that over and over again, he’s going to be there for eight years.”

Fact is, 45 did not win the presidency because he honored widows; he won because he played to the pervasiveness of racism, sexism and xenophobia that continues to plague this country. Jones has likely skirted by criticism for so long thanks to how he infamously described the 2016 presidential election results as a “white-lash.” Even so, for all that favorable coverage and adulation Jones’ election night commentary earned him, he has spent much of the time coddling the people responsible for said “white-lash.”

Not long after making those statements on CNN, Jones appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, and when pressed about the percentage of outright white supremacist supporters of 45, Jones asked for clarification. “Like, outright ‘We hate black people?’” Jones asked. When told yes, he answered, “Probably less than 1 percent.”

Jones can reach for the stars in describing 45 reading from a teleprompter without drooling or going off into a tangent, but suddenly he wants to be shy about describing racism within the Grand Old Party? This is the person worth championing? This is what we should believe about America under a president who surrounds himself with racists and openly praises Andrew Jackson, one of the most racist presidents—if not the most racist—in American history?

In any event, to qualify racism solely by its most extreme forms is a disingenuous and utterly useless exercise. The party of the Southern strategy would not exploit the prejudices of the electorate if it were not found to be widespread and, by extension, of good use. There is data to confirm how in tune Republican voters are with their biases, though there is no greater sign of this than a man with no political experience managing to become president of the United States while hollering about Mexicans being rapists, Muslims being terrorists and blacks living in hell as he surrounds himself with executives of white-supremacist-centered news outlets.

Still, Jones has purposely downplayed the role racism plays for dubious reasons that largely seem careerist in nature. That’s frustrating in and of itself, but what makes it all the more appalling is that Jones actively uses his platform to absolve white people of guilt over being active participants in bigotry or, at the very least, complicit in it. Not to be outdone, he also laments those who will suffer most from their choices.

Last December, Van Jones made the following argument to Rolling Stone:

I think sometimes progressives think that that all 60 million people who voted for [Trump] have signed on to an Alt-Right, white nationalist agenda. They think that we now live in a country with 60 million neo-Nazis. That’s just not true! Yes, the white nationalists were a noxious part of his coalition, and the fact that they weren’t thrown out is disturbing. But a lot of people held their nose and voted for Donald Trump—despite his bigotry, not because of it. And that should be reason for some more confidence than people have been showing recently.

Why should anyone be confident about the fact that people were willing to vote for a demagogue no matter how great the stench of his bigotry? It is not at all difficult to make the case that support of 45 meant you are either an active participant in racism or complicit, which in and of itself is a racist act. Well, it’s not difficult if you genuinely care about the problem at hand.

As for the lovey-dovey nonsense:

We have got to bet on the good in people, including people who voted for Trump, and build up a big Love Army.

How do you do that? We’re going to do national teach-ins starting very soon—once a week, every week, standing up for the most vulnerable people: Muslims, the DREAMers, Jewish people, women, trans people, black protestors. And once a week, give the whole country a chance to show a whole lotta love—both to demonstrate and deepen a solidarity with those groups, all under one hashtag. #LoveArmy is an opportunity to reassert at a values level.

While it is rational to argue that you can’t completely ignore every single one of 45’s supporters, it is a fool’s errand to try to beat hatred with love.

But this is exactly what Van Jones continues to tell people. While speaking at the Women’s March in January, Jones said, “We love conservatives enough to tell them they have to be better conservatives than this.” And this: “Get off Tinder and get off Grindr and get some real love.”

I don’t love people who don’t love me. Nor do I love folks who support bigotry. I certainly do not love those who dehumanize me and anyone else considered an outlier of their lily-white lives.

As for getting off Tinder and Grindr, fuck off and quit fucking conflating people’s right to have sex however they see fit with your little after-school-special line of thinking that’s ultimately nothing more than a shtick to keep you on the air.

If we are truly to move forward as a nation, people have to own the consequences of their choices. Moreover, you can’t love away oppression. Being kind to someone who sees you as less than goes only so far as a political strategy. Jones scores lovely promo for his CNN show with the regurgitation of these talking points, but it comes at the expense of the marginalized, who deserve more than someone shouting that we ought to foolishly love those who show no regard for our well-being.

Read the rest at The Root.

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Whenever Andrew Caldwell speaks, I’m left with the feeling that the inside of his head is full of the lyrics from Janet Jackson’s “Miss You Much” coupled with the images of various, floating penises. I know, I know: When someone tells you who they are, believe them. However, as the colored court jester of gay conversation therapy, I am confident when I say that motherfucker is lying.

For one, suppression in this instance is nothing more than voluntary choice not to act on natural urges. To not act on said urges does not mean you are cured of them. No-no-no-no-no; it just means that one believes closed mouths will be fed at heaven’s buffet if they decide not to engage in what they have been conned into believing are unnatural sexual eruptions. Cute for you, but that ain’t a cure.

Two, for someone who is so “delivert” from his sinful ways, Caldwell sure has a lot to say about another man’s alleged sexuality. Back in October 2015, Caldwell appeared on radio and claimed to have had sex with Kordell Stewart while he was still married to The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Porsha Williams (then Porsha Stewart). Caldwell has never walked back those allegations, so now Stewart is suing him for $4.5 million.

Stewart has been subjected to gay rumors from varying sources over time, and his ex-wife hasn’t exactly helped quell speculation. I don’t know if Kordell Stewart is gay, but I do recall him being a creepy, controlling asshole on RHOA. Regardless of what he is or isn’t, considering Caldwell’s habit of lying like hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if the only contact he has ever had with Stewart was during a RHOA marathon in which he masturbated and assumed that they’s married now.

In fact, he literally said as much when he apologized to Stewart for lying in 2015. He also claimed to have had a girlfriend, bless his heart. What blind woman in desperate need of avoiding immigration would marry that man?

Still, Stewart is suing him, and based on Caldwell’s rep, he, like y’all’s dumb-ass president with his wiretapping accusation, is stubbornly sticking his feet into the foolishness. Yes, I wonder why he has a rep, too. Like, what does he do that requires a rep?

Read the rest at The Root.

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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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Tomi Lahren, the so-called “queen of the alt-right,” has the intellectual curiosity of a dead gnat.

Regardless of what her Facebook follower count suggests, she is not at all remarkable. It has never been that difficult to sell racism to the masses––especially when it is presented in a package of thin, blonde, and White. Lahren didn’t need the help of Black men to assist her in her goal of elevating an ugly platform and poisonous rhetoric, but some needlessly lent their services anyway.

Lahren’s appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah was not the “evisceration” that many argued it to be. What people watched was Noah present reason to someone who in turn opted to stand steadfastly in her stupidity. Like the parrot she is, Lahren did nothing but evade questions and regurgitate prepared statements when challenged, all before a national television audience. Some people wanted to think she was made to look dumb because it served some cathartic need. Unfortunately, when someone is willfully obtuse, looking dumb comes with the territory, rendering whatever momentary sense of satisfaction moot.

Defending his choice to interview Lahren, Noah told CBC’s The National, “It seems fruitless to some, but … the other alternative is to stay in those bubbles that you talk about, so why not have a conversation?” During an appearance on Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, he likened the interview to Collision Course, a joint album from Jay Z and Linkin Park, noting, “It doesn’t mean you have to agree, but at least you’re in the world where you are hearing the opposing view.”

What kind of Black man asks victims of racism to afford a racist the nuance she does not deserve?

Can someone tell Trevor Noah how to get off of Sesame Street? We literally have an unabashed bigot heading to the White House. Do we really need to be hearing from someone with such a facile understanding of racism in America at a pivotal moment like this?

There is nothing wrong with speaking to someone with opposing views, but to speak to someone who has made it grossly apparent of how they feel is an exercise in futility. Lahren has compared Black Lives Matter to the Ku Klux Klan, America’s oldest terrorist organization. Lahren does not simply have different views; she denies Black people their humanity and actively mocks our pain and misfortune for profit. She is a racist and a simpleton who ought to be relegated to the dumbest blocks of Facebook from whence she came. Noah appeared to have done this interview for the sake of drawing much-needed attention to the show. So be it, but don’t describe an act of desperation as one of nobility.

Still pretending life is an after school special though, Noah went on to say that “racism does not stand up well to contact,” proclaiming, “When people are in contact with someone of another race… you find that racism doesn’t hold up.”

Plantation owners seemed to do just fine with proximity and so have the countless other number of racists in present day. To wit, Noah argues, “In America, where do they hate Muslim people the most? The places where there are none.” Noah lives in New York City, where bigots are actively attacking Muslim women.

As for Charlamagne, he, too, went with that ‘let’s talk to folks of opposing views’ stance in the case of Lahren. And though he tried to clarify his comments on Twitter in which he asked why some “woke” Black or Latina woman doesn’t duplicate Lahren’s success on his radio show, he still fails to truly grapple with the privilege to which his prejudice-harboring friend enjoys.

There are plenty of educated, progressive Black women contributing to the culture by way of their prose, podcasts, and videos. Maybe Charlamagne will highlight more of them on his radio show. Those women would certainly provide more useful dialogue than the sexist, homophobic, conspiracy-theory yielding trope that is Umar Johnson. However, that doesn’t change how much easier it is for women who look like Tomi Lahren and Black men willing to attach themselves to her.

Read the rest at ESSENCE.

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Lee Daniels often espouses racial views typically heard only from characters in a Magical Negro movie. It’s one of those characteristics about the celebrated director that you like to forget in order to enjoy his art. Unfortunately, Daniels won’t cooperate with some of us in such an endeavor because he refuses to stop assuaging white fragility as if he’s literally “the Help.”

Case in point, his recent appearance on The Real, in which he had this to say about the role that racism has played in his career: “I wouldn’t be where I was if I embraced racism. If I embraced it, then it became real. And if it became real, I would be an angry black man.”

As if that weren’t a silly-enough statement, Daniels continued to confound select viewers by explaining his casting choices for his new show, Star.

The series follows a contemporary girl group in Atlanta on their rise to stardom, although the narrative is notably guided by its white protagonist. Why? Well, “because I thought that instinctively, the country needed to heal,” Daniels explained. “And I think that this white girl is so fabulous that black people will embrace her, and white people will embrace her.”

So in the era of President-elect Tangerine Mussolini, Lee Daniels believes that presenting nouveau Teena Marie on a new soap opera will end the divide in America?

Indeed, as Daniels went on to add: “I thought that it was important to address race relations in America. We are, truly, I believe, in a civil war. And I think that when we understand that we’re all one that [we will] then understand America. And America is still to be understood by us.”

What embarrassingly flawed logic. Racial harmony will not be achieved from centering the story of a girl group in a hugely populated black city on a white girl. If centering whiteness while allowing racial minorities to be in its vicinity were the key to healing the world and making it a better place for you and for me and for the entire human race, it would have happened long ago. After all, when don’t white people center themselves in stories—even when those stories have absolutely nothing to do with them? When don’t black people like Daniels go above and beyond to include white people in their stories, even when those gestures are rarely, if ever, reciprocated?

For the record, Daniels has definitely “embraced racism” when the mood suited him. Daniels is the same person who once complained about the role that racism played in his effort to find funding for The Butler. The same person who, earlier this year, took to Instagram to lament about racism in Hollywood, writing, “I hate white people writing for black people; it’s so offensive. So we go out and look specifically for African-American voices. Yes, it’s all about reverse racism!”

That’s not how racism works, although Daniels has employed the phrase “reverse racism” previously—notably when he claimed that Mo’Nique perpetuated “reverse racism,” comments that ultimately boiled down more to his belief that the Oscar-winning actress was not adept at playing the Hollywood game. Then again, Daniels has no problem throwing black women and black people collectively under the bus. He did so in a now notorious interview with Larry King in which he stereotyped black women and perpetuated myths about the “down low” and HIV/AIDS rates in our community. Daniels has repeatedly fed into the falsehood about rampant and uniquely severe homophobia purportedly relegated to the black community.

Daniels has also long talked about how racism and homophobia don’t exist in his children’s minds because they have a white dad and a black dad. Daniels criticized Mo’Nique for not playing the game, but the thing is, some of us aren’t into the kind of games Daniels plays.

Read the The Root.

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There are many reasons for anyone of conscience not to serve in the administration of our hate-mongering, habanero-hue-having president-elect.

He is a racist. He is a sexist. He is a xenophobe.

Likewise, there are plenty of reasons for a black man in particular not to want to serve in the administration of such a character.

His comments about the Central Park Five then and now; his history with housing discriminationhis very long history of making racist comments, particularly those that are anti-black; his efforts to publicly undermine the nation’s first black president by questioning his citizenship; his describing black neighborhoods and black life in America in the spirit of Mister telling Celie that she was po’, black and ugly.

Yet, for all the ample amount of evidence readily available, Robert Johnson cited a reason rooted not in principle but in loss of power.

Speaking with CNBC this week, the BET founder revealed that he had met with President-elect Donald Trump earlier this month and was offered a Cabinet position. “It was an easy discussion because I wasn’t coming there on a job interview,” Johnson explained. “He hinted at something I could be interested in, and I quickly shut that down. It was a Cabinet position.”

What prompted such a quick dip? According to Johnson, he can’t work for the government “because to me, as an entrepreneur, trying to work in a government structure where you got to go through 15 different layers of decision-making to get what you want done doesn’t fit my mold.”

So this Negro’s only real gripe with serving in the Trump administration is that he wouldn’t be able to have as much say as he’s accustomed to. Not to mention, he wouldn’t be able to make the kind of money he’s used to earning.

This line of thinking is more verbal manure than most decent people can take—except, Johnson decided to take things one step further by arguing that Minute Maid Mao was not racist.

“To me, I never thought Donald Trump, and I still don’t believe it today, was a racist. I don’t believe that he’s anti-African American,” Johnson argued. “For too long, the African-American community has been ignored by the Republicans because they thought we were always locked with the Democrats.”

To Johnson, one plus one equals a 12-pack of Sunkist, each one topped with a weird-looking wig. There’s willful ignorance and then there’s Bob Johnson on national television to claim that a man proven guilty of housing discrimination and with a lengthy track record of saying incredibly racist things for decades is not racist. The man can trot out that cliché about the Grand Old Party needing to engage more with “the blacks,” as his tangerine demagogue of a work buddy likes to call us, but the reality remains that Republicans consistently engage with us: It’s called voter suppression.

Johnson went on with his brown bag full of lies, saying that Trump is neither Democrat nor Republican. “Certainly not an establishment Republican [and] he’s not a Democrat; he was open,” Johnson said. “And he’s a business guy. And business guys tend to look at where’s the opportunity for a benefit.”

Minute Maid Mao may lack political ideology, but there is a constant that has lingered throughout his personal life, his business practices and his political ascension: bigotry.

What a pathetic sight to see: a black man saying the sole reason he won’t serve under an administration swimming in white supremacy with a minority friend here and there serving as water boy is that he doesn’t want to deal with a high chain of command. Not only that, but to go out of his way to lie about exactly what kind of man our president-elect is.

If there’s one thing to remind ourselves in the coming months and years ahead, it is that black people must know who is for us and who is not. Being black alone does not mean you are for us. Johnson is proof of that.

Read the rest at The Root.

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When Michelle Obama said, “When they go low, we go high,” she offered a succinct and strong defense of dignity. The idea is that simply because someone else—in this case, Donald Trump—resorts to a certain level of campaigning that many find debasing doesn’t mean everyone else should join him in the mud pool. It’s a moral lesson easy to decipher, but like any exemplum offered, there are levels to the s–t.

Not to mention, there is a difference between flying above another’s lows and overextending one’s self, e.g., willing to lend charity or forgiveness to those who mean you harm. Recently, there have been two separate instances of the latter. Sure, each is an example of good intent, but that doesn’t blind some of us from the reality that their willingness to go above and beyond is directly tied to the fact that they haven’t been attacked as much as others have been.

 In the essay “I’m a Democrat. Here’s Why I Helped Raise Money for North Carolina Republicans,” David Weinberger details why he decided to donate to the North Carolina GOP after one of its offices was firebombed by unknown arsonists. Weinberger did not launch the GoFundMe account created for it, but he did stress, “This crowdfunding effort was an opportunity for many of us to state in public, with some of our hard-earned money, that democracy trumps threats, intimidation and violence.”

Weinberger went on to add, “The North Carolina GOP’s need was a chance to remember the norms democracy needs to survive: decency, respect, empathy and a sense of commonality.”

Hillary Clinton caught a lot of flak for referring to Republicans as her “enemies” in a Democratic presidential primary debate, but she had every right to use that descriptor. Republicans have been horrible to her for decades, and there are already signs they plan to continue that upon her being elected president. If they’ve been that brutal to a white, wealthy woman of power, imagine how they’ve treated the rest of us.

Weinberger is distraught about the violent act committed against the Republican headquarters in Orange County, N.C., though he and others gloss over the reality that for many North Carolinians, Republicans have long committed heinous acts against them. This would include North Carolina Republicans attacking the voter rights of black people, helping to assist in the resegregation of schools, and infringing upon the rights of trans men and women in the state.

It’s not the lighting of a literal blaze, but if you are nonwhite and LGBTQ, it is fire and brimstone upon you all the same. And considering that this is the party working to elect Donald J. Trump—a racist, sexist, xenophobic vile waste of humanity, as president—they are not at all concerned about embodying the tenets of decency, respect, empathy and a sense of commonality. A donation won’t change that. Besides, they’ve already got insurance.

Their donations are about nothing more than giving the immoral money that they do not deserve. Maybe these donors felt good about themselves, but they were not doing anything but feeding their own flawed ideas of morality. If they really cared about goodwill, we would have heard from them sooner about the evils of that party in that state long ago.

Some people simply don’t deserve acts of kindness. The same goes for forgiveness. On Twitter, I stumbled across a ridiculous meme depicting the rainbow flag, a symbol for the LGBTQ community, hugging a figure with Confederacy imagery. The meme was apparently inspired by a bumper sticker of a Confederate flag kicking the ass of the big gay flag.

Read the rest at The Root.

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When will everyone learn that when you go against Beyoncé’s wishes, only failure and fury will follow? There are rumors floating that Lifetime is considering making a film based on the life of the finest Creole to twerk the earth. A source tells the Daily Star, “Beyoncé is arguably the world’s biggest star and has a story Lifetime thinks is too compelling to ignore.”

Oh, please reconsider.

Of course, British tabloids are notorious for lying like hell, but when you factor in the reality that the network is making a film about Britney Spears, there is legitimate reason to fear. And boo. And hiss. In that order. Word to Momma Dee.

To give them a lil’ teaspoon of credit, Lifetime has come a long way with its original movies, notably the ones with Negroes in them.

With This Ring and A Day Late and a Dollar Short, respectively, were well-made and enjoyable. Each of those were based on novels, however, which meant they had rich material to work with and, more or less, authors who wouldn’t let the network take their works and ruin them. When it comes to Lifetime biopics, that’s where the compliments about Lifetime original movies go to die a slow, excruciating death.

The Aaliyah biopic was equal parts absurd and abysmal, and the one made about Whitney Houston released a year later was not absolutely horrible, but pretty damn bad all the same. Now, Toni Braxton’s biopic, Unbreak My Heart, was a fast ride in terms of storytelling, but nonetheless enjoyable. The key difference between the Braxton biopic and the other two, however, was Braxton’s involvement. Once again, if someone who is the root of the source material is involved, a Lifetime movie will be OK or surprisingly good.

To that end, we can all easily infer that Blue Ivy’s mama wants no parts of this project.

The film is said to be using J. Randy Taraborrelli’s book Becoming Beyoncé: The Untold Story for “inspiration.” In other words, the plan is to use a book Beyoncé didn’t want out for source material—only annoying her even more. As an original member of the Beyhive, I’m now worried about whether my even mentioning that book is a sin.

Forgive me, Beyoncé. I only wrote it to shade it. Amen. Uh oh, uh oh, oh no no.

This source explained: “They know they may receive some pushback for digging into some of her darker moments, but believe her story must be told.” And: “It could ruffle a few feathers, but finally people might get a sense of the real Beyoncé.”

Here’s what’s going to happen: Beyoncé will likely have this project shut down and cleanse the universe of this ugliness. If that miraculously doesn’t happen, this movie will be raggedy as hell. Again, Lifetime has its cute original-movie moments, but this is Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter. Lifetime can’t handle that splendor.

Beyoncé is Houston, Texas. Lifetime is Tyler, Texas. Beyoncé is a luxurious weave plucked directly from a Malaysian handpicked by God, not a weave bun from the gas station that you can clip in. Beyoncé is worthy of a cinematic masterpiece if and when she decides to have a movie based on her life made, not what Lifetime would offer, which is more or less the moviemaking equivalent of cold General Tso’s chicken ordered four days ago.

Read the rest at The Root.

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trump-kfcDonald Trump is fat. If Dennis the Menace grew up to be a racist, real estate tycoon with a bad tan and a huge stomach, he would look exactly like Donald Trump. Trump hasn’t been anywhere close to thin since Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears ended in 1991. Yet, one of Trump’s favorite hobbies is mocking the weight of other people.

During Monday’s Real Housewives-reunion-themed presidential debate, Hillary Clinton called out Trump for his bad habit of belittling women like former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. Trump should have let that story die Monday, but as we’ve learned over time, Trump just can’t help himself—especially when it comes to anyone he finds fat.

To wit, the next morning, Trump called into Fox & Friends to dig himself into a deeper hole by claiming that Machado “gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem.” Some, like Newt Gingrich, have come to Trump’s defense. “You’re not supposed to gain 60 pounds during the year that you’re Miss Universe,” Gingrich explained at an event staged by the Log Cabin Republicans, a group for LGBTQ conservatives.

Please note that Gingrich, like Trump, is fat. Meanwhile, on Wednesday night, Trump continued to advocate for himself in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. According to Trump, when it comes to Machado, he “saved her job because they wanted to fire her for putting on so much weight.”

So in 1996, when Trump referred to Machado as “an eating machine,” he was helping her. Well, that didn’t seem to do much for her. Since Monday, another former Miss Universe contestant, Jodie Seal, who was Miss Australia in the 1996 event, has shared similar accounts of Trump’s weight-centered line of antagonism. Seal told Inside Edition, “He said to me, ‘Suck your stomach in, or suck your gut in.’” Seal added that Trump “put a lot of the girls down.”

But if he was helping them, what about all the other times he’s insulted people over their weight? Trump complained to Howard Stern in a 2003 interview that he thought Jennifer Lopez’s butt was too big. A decade later, Trump told Stern that Kim Kardashian has “a fat ass.”

Then there is Barbara Res, an executive who supervised the construction of his headquarters, recalling Trump telling her, “You like your candy.” Res also noted that Trump only referred to a city official as “the fat [f–k].”

But, yo, Trump is fat his damn self. How has he managed to get away with this for so long? Trump’s obsession with fast food is notorious. Trump loves KFC, which further explains his poor showing with black voters besides the whole unabashed racism thing. Trump loves a Filet-O-Fish moment from McDonald’s. Actually, Trump just loves the menu.

During a CNN town hall held in February, Trump declared: “The Big Macs are great. The Quarter Pounder. It’s great stuff.” In a New York Times profile of Trump, fast food junkie, Kellyanne Conway, now his campaign manager but then senior adviser, quipped, “I don’t think Hillary Clinton would be eating Popeyes biscuits and fried chicken.”

That’s because Trump’s fat ass would be calling HRC fat if she snuggled up with the Tuesday two-piece special the way he’s prone to. Trump gets away with many things, including his shady business dealings, racist statements, xenophobic statements, and so on. By “get away,” I mean not being denounced as the bigot that he is (we collectively instead argue about the term racist and how it hurts people’s feelings or whatever).

He should not get away with this, though. Now is the time to call out Trump on his hypocrisy. It’s also the time to call Trump “fat boy” for the rest of the campaign.

Is it nice to call people fat? As a former heavyweight lover myself, no. However, special times and hypocritical hefty jackasses call for special measures. When you’re fat like Donald Trump, you shouldn’t be going around talking about other people’s weight.

Read the rest at The Root.

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