VICE News is literally going into the hot zone (Monrovia, Liberia) to bring us news on the fight against Ebola at ground zero; right as U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the American military would have boots on the ground shortly
The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa began in Guinea in December 2013. From there, it quickly spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Cases also appeared in Senegal and Nigeria, and there was another outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Today, Liberia is at the center of the epidemic, with more than 3,000 cases of infection. About half of them have been fatal.
As you’ll see in the mini-documentary, the threat is not a ‘threat’… it’s REAL. And for those in the West; we have not been hit hard, but we’ve been hit. Maybe this will wake us up to the reality that problems over there ain’t just “their” problems. Watch, learn… about the outbreak, response & solutions, frustrations and more.
Thank you, VICE News… again… for news coverage and information (not just a quick scare before moving on to the next shiny story).
Okay, so Talib Kweli’s friend Pharrell Williams’ talk with Don Lemon went way better than Kweli’s. Check it. A self-admitted apolitical celeb, the singer/producer weighs in with comments on the situation in Ferguson (Missouri, USA), on Michael Brown’s death and more. Much more; even in this short clip.
This is gonna be the longest hangover in race relations…ever!
– Pharrell Williams
Talib Kweli x Rosa Clemente Talk About The Michael Brown Shooting And More In Ferguson, Missouri (Interview)
Democracy Now is on the job and on the ground at Ferguson, with coverage and perspectives that probably won’t be seen/heard in even left-leaning mainstream media. You’ve probably seen the brief heated encounter between CNN’s Don Lemon and emcee/activist Talib Kweli. Pushed out online (a lot) because of the shock value of the argument. No ground gained, no growth in understanding; and folks didn’t really communicate that even that argument ended respectfully for the most part. However, this in depth talk with Kweli and Rosa Clemente (a longtime activist, journalist, scholar, and former director of the Hip-Hop Caucus) gives us the food for thought we need. Calm, thoughtful, progressive talk about matters of substance. With a keen interest in maintaining focus on the protest movement, Kweli and Clemente joined other grassroots activists in Ferguson just before a massive march planned for Saturday in their hometown of New York City. The NYC march will be on Staten Island, seeking justice for Eric Garner, the brother who was choked to death by police last month.
Listen (and download for FREE) below as Democracy Now! producer Aaron Maté facilitates a chat with Kweli and Clemente at Ferguson’s Greater St. Mark Family Church.
Activism: Killer Mike Speaks On Mike Brown’s Killing, What It Means To All Americans And More (Video)
See? When your music speaks truth, you get called on to speak truth. See how CNN’s Brooke Baldwin even mentioned the “Reagan” video (got that one here)? She knows. Killer Mike should speak on matters like Mike Brown and Ferguson. Father, husband, SON OF A POLICEMAN, concerned member of the human race… Killer Kill From Adamsville has much to say, and man, he said it! The next eleven minutes of your life should be spent watching this video (above) right here, right NOW!
If this police officer is not arrested… rioting… tears… pain… But what really happens… is all of our rights are thrown out the window. I am afraid for all Americans. I’m not just afraid for Black Americans… We as a people have to be more vigilant about policing the people we pay to protect and serve us…
That about it, people. It ain’t just the cops. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? It’s US! WE have to step up! We have to vote in LOCAL officials (sheriffs, councilpersons and alderman, and other officials) and participate in (and/or institute) watch-dogging so cops know that ‘policing’ goes both ways. More than that though, we need to develop solid, respect-driven relationships with police authorities; just as Killer Mike (with his barber shop) has. That does NOT excuse cops abusing their authority, but our steps toward revolution should bear in mind that we seek resolution. And building relationships that deescalate abuse of authority, and build respect and care for the community into the citizen-officer relationship is a necessary part of the resolution.
PART 2: KILLER MIKE ON CNN
Read the rest of this entry »
Cornel West & Michael Eric Dyson Express Opposition To President Obama’s Handling Of The Mike Brown Shooting & Protests in Ferguson, Missouri (Video)
Interesting. Let’s synthesize the views of two known call-it-as-they-see-it Black socio-political commentators: Michael Eric Dyson and Dr. Cornel West. We’ll start with Dr. West’s clip (above) because it seems to have more of a yearning for balance and justice in its honest criticism of The President than fire. To be certain, Dyson makes valid points; but in a way that engenders more of a cannot-believe-he-said-that factor. Even though the continuing tragedy whose latest face is Mike Brown’s definitely calls for words that shock.
In the above clip (Dyson’s is after the jump), Dr. West is talking on BBC. Despite the time delay due to overseas videoconferencing, we quickly get to some really good meat for discussion. In response to a posit from the BBC Newsnight correspondent made of the Black leader West:
I’m not a “Black leader.” I’m a lover of Black people… I tell the truth of suffering of poor people, in general; Black people, in particular. What we need now is quality leadership on every level. We don’t need the same kind of every day folk coming through with the market branding, with the names and photo opportunities. We need local, grassroots leaders who have integrity. And the sad thing is we have such low-quality Black leadership in America; so that you get a certain distance from what is actually happening on the ground… in terms of following through. We need a leadership… that brings us into the great legacies of Martin King and others.
Ooh, ooh… now click over to the posts on Talib Kweli’s and J. Cole’s recent responses on what is needed. An affirmative, love-driven response, that has actually doing something rather provide another occasion for empty rhetoric and photo opps from the same ‘leaders.’ Wow. And it also shows a risk inherent in Black people taking control of the narrative, as Kweli declared was necessary: that we do not all will not agree on approaches. There will likely be a contingent that opposes folks we ‘need to be on our side’ (like President Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder; Black people in high places). There will likely be folks who would prefer Dr. West and Dyson ‘hush now’ and not speak their minds.
What we need is the struggle. W.E.B. DuBois vs. Booker T. Washington…opposing stances vocalized, and Black people move forward. Malcolm X vs. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr...opposing stances vocalized, and Black people move forward. Today, perhaps, we have yet again opportunity for the friction of those sorts to generate that heat energy we need (e.g. so called ‘Obama apologists’ that Dr. West calls out above versus stern steady opposition in the calling out, above and after the jump, by Dr. West and Dyson).
Man. And wait until you see what Dyson says below. Just what was posted earlier. Taking back the narrative, maintaining focus on the core issue – not an assessment of Mike Brown, but of the events leading to and brought up by the tragedy of his being unjustifiably killed. Sure, an assessment of guilt would be called for …in a court of law …if Brown was still alive to stand trial; even posthumously, if anyone (like the police who stand accused of slaying Brown) were ever arrested and indicted.
Get it now? Discuss amongst yourselves. We’ll be here.
He failed to deal with the particular instances not only of Michael Brown — he doesn’t have to deal with Michael Brown. The President said, I don’t want to put my thumb on it too much to weigh the scales of justice. Don’t even talk about Michael Brown. Talk about what led to Michael Brown. Tell us as a nation what happens when festering rage in a community then begins to ignite and then begins to consume not only that community but the people around the nation who are empathetic. So I think The President has a lot more latitude. Does he have opposition? Yes… He’s opposed every step. Don’t use this as an excuse to not speak about race.
Well, we just posted on Busta Rhymes’ leaving Cash Money. Now, there’s another shift in the Hip-Hop cosmos…G.O.O.D. Music bids adieu to Chi-Town’s Common. Similarly, the rap titans (Kanye West and Common) have apparently parted on good terms; no animosity in Common’s commentary about the subject.
…‘Ye is my brother. Point-blank, business-wise, it wasn’t like…‘Ye wasn’t really like ‘Okay, let’s go do this. Let’s go do this album.’ It was like, ‘I’m ’bout to go do this album, ‘Ye. We friends, but if you ain’t really trying to…but if we ain’t gonna create together, it’s all good. We still brothers.’ I think his focus was somewhere else…Marriage, life, good places…I cherish our friendship more than music. I’m grateful for the music we did…
Good scoop by HipHop DX. Check out the RapFix interview clip above. Good seeing brothers wish the best to each other; whether together or on their own. Part of being grown.
Maybe you knew Busta Rhymes was signed to Cash Money Records a few years back. Well, if you didn’t, now you do. In truth, you are not slow any more, because Buss left the label. Now, why do you suppose that news bit wasn’t a hit across the Interwebs? Probably because there was no heat between Busta and Cash Money label head Baby amid the departure. No beef, no animosity. Grown men who are still cordial; friends at some level. Busta, saying enough but not too much, just reveals (above)… that it was time for him to move on. Good clip to watch for insight from a Hip-Hop vet still keeping it moving.
“Ebola is one of those words. You can say it anywhere in the world; and it evokes fear.”
– Dr. Joseph Fair
This is real life; not a Dustin Hoffman movie. West Africa is being plagued by a new outbreak of Ebola—a. Victims bleed to death from the inside out. There is no cure, and the epidemic is spreading fast.
VICE News is on it, to arm us… with information. Being informed and aware are critical at this stage. VICE News went to Liberia, where many feel the outbreak began. Western scientists feel that the preparation and consumption of meat from monkeys, fruit bats, and other forest animals – collectively referred to as bush meat – is behind the disease transmission. If left uncontrolled, Ebola, Ebola—a or a similar disease could kill a third of the world’s population.
‘Change The Mascot Movement’ Scores A Major Win: U.S. Patent Office Cancels Washington’s NFL Team Trademarks (Video)
Aha! So we’re seeing some real movement on the ‘Change The Mascot’ movement since we posted about it here.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled six trademarks belonging to the football team on Wednesday, saying they are offensive to Native Americans…If the decision is upheld, it will be hard for the team to claim ownership of its brand, a crucial step in going after the makers of unlicensed merchandise…The decision came in response to a suit brought by five Native Americans.
It’s been time Washington; and the U.S. Patent Office obviously agrees. Change The Mascot. JayForce suggested ‘Washington Warriors’ as an alternative. See? Still bad ass, yet not offensive.
One has to wonder how far is too far? Some folks are totally against makeup; while some say ‘never leave home without it.’ Cosmetics can be used for slight beauty enhancement or covering blemishes that might otherwise wreck a person’s self esteem and day-to-day function. So, what about lightening of one’s skin? We have lightening patches to even skin tone in the States, but what about the growing trend for our Kenyan sisters to lighten up entirely? If it can be done safely and reliably (note: the above vid more than implies it is unsafe and unreliable), is significant skin lightening okay? Is that right? Is it anyone’s businesses but the buyers and sellers of such products and services?
Watch the news clip above. Let it spark deep thought and conversation.
Lupe Fiasco sat down with Katie Couric to speak on the fallout from his Obama-is-the-worst-terrorist comments, his Chicago upbringing, first linking with Kanye West and Jay Z, and to get Couric’s recorded testimonial to add to his efforts on the Stand Up To Cancer campaign. Her story will be part of Lupe’s forthcoming track “Re-Mission.” Dope interview.
FoxNews reports ‘The Arsenio Hall Show’ has been cancelled after only one season.
DAMMIT! I thought we had at least one more season with Arsenio, right Jay Leno (that’s what you said)?
Sometimes TV gets it wrong…dead wrong. They (CBS is ‘they’ this time) cancelled ‘The Arsenio Hall Show’ already. Fu#kin’ @ssh0les make me so mad! I wanted to take this as a ‘hater rumor’ but the reports are coming in from beyond the blogosphere… and Carmen Breezy announced it on the Beatz & Lyrics show’s Hip-Hop Week In Review. *Sigh* and I found this announcement from the CBS-holes themselves:
“Unfortunately, ‘The Arsenio Hall Show’ will not return for a second season while there are many loyal fans of the show, the series did not grow its audience enough to continue. Arsenio is a tremendous talent and we’d like to thank him for all the hard work and energy he put into the show. We’d also like to thank Tribune and all our station group partners for their support of the show.”
I don’t want you to go Arsenio. But if you gotta go, please do a dope farewell show. I still YouTube your 90’s Hip-Hop megashow every now and then.
— Oscar Jones (@ojones1) June 1, 2014
Please. I’m putting it out there. Throwback video after the jump.
Local news report on the passing of an international treasure. We are deeply saddened by the passing of spiritual sister-mother to many, inspiration to all, Dr. Maya Angelou. Born Marguerite Ann Johnson, the legendary poet, author and social commentator left this earthly realm yesterday morning. She was 86 years old. Her son, Guy Johnson, issued this statement:
“Dr. Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home before 8 a.m., EST. Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love.”
Choked up as we may be over this news, we can say this. Very few in the modern era can say they have spoken to and for ALL of us – the most powerful to the least thought of – lifting up all who heard or read her words; but never putting herself ahead of anyone. Anyone, ANYONE who lives four score and six years about whom that can be said MUST have lived a full life. Cry for a moment, because loss hurts. But please, find joy after the mourning. We were better for knowing Dr. Angelou in some capacity. It seems only right that we honor her by striving to be our best, as she seemed to see and celebrate the best in us.
Rest In Power, Dr. Angelou.
(See photos, remembrances and more after the jump.)