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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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The trailer for it may have been awkward, but once you actually watch Mary J. Blige’s interview with Hillary Clinton on her Apple Music talk show, The 411, in full, you’re likely to find out it’s rather innocuous.

The memes surrounding the image of Blige and Clinton in what looked to be an emotional moment were funny. As were the jokes fired off about Blige presumably bursting into song. However, there was a bit of a visceral reaction to the image of Blige, a black woman, singing in front of Clinton, a white woman, though that actually says more about their own discomfort with certain behavior in front of white people than about Blige herself. Heaven forbid a singer burst into song.

The editing was misleading and, arguably, damaging in the presumption it gave people, but fret not, Negroes and those who fancy themselves allies. Blige is not referring to HRC as “Miss Hillary” during the interview; nor is she telling Clinton, “Pardon the watermelon on my breath.”

What you get between the two is more or less a daytime-talk-show interview on a pay music site. It also plays into the growing trend of outlets having famous people interview other famous people. Sometimes it works; other times, not so much.

Before it begins, it’s clear that Clinton is on friendly terrain. Blige explains before the Democratic presidential nominee arrives, “What inspires me most about Secretary Clinton is that she’s a woman and she’s running for president.”

When Clinton arrives, she compliments Blige about her glasses. Full disclosure: They are fly. Later, Blige compliments Clinton about the ivory suit she wore when she made history by becoming the first woman to accept a major party’s nomination for the presidency. To be fair, Clinton’s suit was white-party excellence.

The questions Blige poses to Clinton are noticeably easy in the beginning. Like, “What do you want people to know about who you really are?” Another: “How has your faith guided you in this process?”

Then come Blige’s inquiries about the role Clinton’s mother played in her life; the relationship she has with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton; and what it’s like being a grandmother.

Now, as for the singing that brought so much attention, context is key. That moment didn’t happen until 18 minutes into the interview, when Blige notes that she’s about to sing a 16-year-old song (“American Skin [41 Shots]”) by Bruce Springsteen. She sings well, despite revealing that she’s worried about how she’ll sound; and then the two have essentially a Hallmark moment. They clutch each other’s hands and Clinton extensively rehashes lines we’ve already heard when she’s been met with similar questions about police brutality.

Blige was not crooning “Pull up your pants and be nice to the po-lice” ideology, which just goes to show what people learn when they wait to see something in full before reacting to it.

We are now at least two decades into the practice of presidential candidates appearing on talk shows to reach out to voters. This encounter was another instance of this, only in digital form. Blige, surprisingly, did note that black people feel that racism gave way to noted obstructionism toward President Barack Obama’s administration, and she asked whether sexism will deal Clinton a similar fate. Did Clinton give MJB the deets on her plans to potentially take executive power to unprecedented levels if need be? No, but what did you expect?

Speaking of expectations, no one should fault Blige for this interview. And as to whether or not Clinton is willing to enter less friendly environments to talk more about policy and how the policies pushed by her husband affected black people, duh. Clinton is not about to go knock on Michelle Alexander’s door and ask for a chat.

Politicians, particularly those, like Clinton, struggling to get key voting blocs to feel enthusiastic about this election, are going to avoid goofing up. Even Obama, in the last stretch of his presidency, ain’t exactly sitting down with anyone to talk about his deplorable record on deportation. That doesn’t mean those questions cannot be posed, though. They just need to be posed by the right people.

Read the rest at The Root.

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In July, Meek Mill appeared to have had some sort of epiphany. Taking to Instagram, the Philadelphia rapper declared, “AFTER DC4 I won’t continue to rap about extreme violence!!!” Around that time, Meek had been posting about Black Lives Matter and, in that same Instagram post, he wrote, “Stop focusing on non important shit and use your platform to bring attention to these foul ways some people believe we should b treated!”

Meek also had this advice for fans: “I seen a few celebs say 1 thing about it…This the most intense it has been in years don’t let up!!!! Pay attention to these people y’all look up to too! And jump on they ass and let them know we ‘see em’ THIS SHIT IS NOT A GAME!”

The declaration came in the midst of many rappers speaking out against state-sanctioned violence and racism. And many faced the same pointed critique: How can they condemn one form of violence, while glorifying violence on record?

T.I. was asked about this recently in an interview with The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah. “I think people need to take into consideration that hip-hop traditionally has always been a reflection of the environment the artist had to endure before he made it to where he was,” T.I. explained. “So if you want to change the content of the music, change the environment of the artist and he won’t have such negative things to say.”

Meek has said similar things: “Don’t question my raps because it’s a life we lived and suffered from, I have a right to express my myself!” That he does. Still, Meek must’ve felt something to give a public pledge.

However, this month, beef with The Game appears to be bringing out the worst in Meek, returning him to old habits. After shots back and forth, the beef has culminated in Meek’s remix of Young M.A’s “Ooouuu.” Hearing the song, one wonders how he can disavow violent language because of its real world implications, while continuing to use violent hate speech?

First, if you’re writing about guns, homicide, and “trigger finger,” you’re not that committed to your own pledge. (And, before you mention it, we’re still in a pre-DC4 era. However, the album is reportedly finished and on its way this month: if Meek had set a date for a serious subject change, that time has come and gone.)

Beyond that, though, this entire song is nearly five minutes of Meek and his cronies calling The Game a faggot. At one point, Meek raps, “Strippers turned rappers look what we come to/You a faggot/My lady’ll never fuck.”

The irony here is that Meek is freestyling over an instrumental from a gay rapper. When I mentioned this on Twitter, straight Black men attempted to explain the nuances of homophobia to me, in “child left behind” fashion. It was akin to white folks trying to break down racism to us presumably confused Negroes.

Let me save everyone from repeating themselves: It’s beef; it’s hip-hop. Blah, blah, blah. There. Settled.

Read the rest at Complex.

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Jimmy Fallon is a silly man. That’s neither a compliment nor an insult; it’s a statement of fact. As a cast member of Saturday Night Live, he was best known for being unable to maintain a straight face during a joke. Fallon is a congenial goofball, which is why he ultimately was the perfect replacement for Jay Leno on The Tonight Show.

To Fallon’s credit, that silliness and amiable disposition has made him uniquely capable of humanizing all of his guests. Some people arguably don’t deserve such treatment, though—folks like Donald Trump, who is a bigot of the highest order, a consistent sexist, and a man who’s willingly tied his brand to the tenets of white nationalism in the same way he slaps his his name to various tall towers across the world.

Fallon has spent the last year or so making fun, and making light, of Trump, but his interview with the Republican candidate on Thursday night—the same night that Trump’s camp had to assure everyone that he isn’t still a proponent of the birther movement—was an all-time low. Already, there are articles pouring out condemning Fallon for being far too jovial with a racist than necessary. Fallon has been dismissed for “pandering” to Trump and not truly weighing the severity of the looming presidential election. As a viewer who loathes Trump and all he embodies, Fallon’s line of questioning is wince-worthy. The late-night host asked Trump hard-hitting questions like:

“Do you still want to do this?”

Of course he does.

“There’s probably kids watching. They do stay up late and watch our show. Why should they grow up and want to be president?”

Why would anyone encourage this foolish man to influence kids?

“Did you always see yourself getting into politics?”

Has Fallon never seen that clip of The Oprah Winfrey Show from 1988 in which Trump is talking about what he’d do as president? He’s been notoriously teasing a run for decades now.

“Do you think your business background helps you with campaigning?”

A shady businessman goes into politics. What could possibly happen?

“Do you pay attention to the polls?”

What planet has Jimmy Fallon been living on?

When Trump tells a story of why he orders fast food—he fears someone at a restaurant who dislikes him will do nasty things to his order—Fallon says, “I never thought about that.” What does Fallon think about? Honestly. Truly.

Read the rest at Complex.

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As alluring as the athleticism displayed throughout each and every competition is, one of the more fascinating portions of the Olympic Games for me is watching nations that are not particularly loving to Black people magically muster up an affinity for Black folks on the world stage. Nationalism is the root of this, but it is nonetheless quite the ironic sight to see every four years. Social media, as it does with most things, only makes what’s already present more pronounced.

So, it is not at all surprising to see that while many Americans of every hue champion Olympic competitors like Gabby Douglas, there is a small but very vocal faction of the population actively reminding us that racism is still an American pastime.

After just completing her last routine and final post-competition interview of her career as an Olympian, Douglas was asked about the wave of criticism she received from some in the U.S. Tears began to fall down her face before she explained to ESPN: “I tried to stay off the internet because there’s just so much negativity. Either it was about my hair or my hand not over my heart [on the medal podium] or I look depressed. … It was hurtful. It was hurtful. It was. It’s been kind of a lot to deal with.”

It’s unfortunate that Douglas’ critics have been given this much power. I’ve wondered whether or not people responding to Douglas’ critics were louder than the critics themselves—which only magnified the influence of contemptuous fools. Mariah Carey once offered advice on how to deal with this sort of problem when she sang on “Ain’t gon’ feed ya/I’mma let ya starve” on “Obsessed.”

Then again, Douglas’ Instagram alone was filled with comments like “nigger” and “flying nigger” over the weekend. Perhaps many jumped ahead of the problem because they knew what was on the horizon. At this point, though, whether or not her critics were given too much attention no longer matters. By now, we’ve come to see that Douglas has been indeed hurt by the remarks. Her mother, Natalie Hawkins, has described Douglas as being “heartbroken.”

Read the rest at Complex.

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