Donald Trump’s budget proposal hits HBCUs hard
United Negro College Fund says promises would be ‘unfulfilled’
1:30 PMWhen Donald Trump released his budget proposal Thursday, it sent chills down the spines of people working in all sorts of different industries. Science, art, food, you name it. But there’s another field that would be adversely affected by the plan: historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). In short, Trump pulled a full-blown okey doke on all those college presidents who decided to show up to his office for a photo-op.
Even at the time, Morehouse College’s president knew what was up and said as much, publicly. Now, it’s clear that was all just for show and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is not happy about it.
“Last month, while meeting with presidents of the nation’s HBCUs, President Trump pledged to do more for HBCUs than any other president has done before. However, this budget is not reflective of that sentiment,” said UNCF president and CEO Michael L. Lomax in a statement. “Without strong federal investments, President Trump’s commitment to HBCUs and the rebuilding of African-American communities will be promises unfulfilled. While the budget blueprint provides only an outline of the administration’s budget priorities, we are deeply concerned about the proposals highlighted for the U.S. Department of Education, which include flat (or potentially reduced) funding for the essential Title III historically black colleges and universities program and deep cuts to federal student aid programs.”
The blueprint plans to cut nearly $4 billion in Pell Grant funding, which 70 percent of students at HBCUs rely on to study at the university level. More simply, without Pell Grants, black kids aren’t going to college. Why the leaders of America’s historically black institutions ever thought this president would actually help that cause? Who knows.
Daily Dose: 3/16/17
Could Congress benefit from a Rooney Rule?
1:44 PMIt’s another radio days, kiddos. Today, the gang from The Morning Roast will be filling in for Bomani Jones from 4-7 p.m. EST. So, if you want to hear us pontificate about the NCAA tournament and other stuff, you should tune in!
Yeah, this travel ban isn’t going to happen. Why, because President Donald Trump’s people couldn’t stop going on television and talking about how effective their little executive order was going to be. Turns out, a lot of people watch the news, so all these remarks don’t just fly off into the wind. When it comes to court cases like this, trust that everyone is paying attention. Now, the day before the second ban was supposed to take effect, a court in Hawaii has struck it down. Trump has no idea what checks and balances are, so now he’s implying that the courts are overreaching.
We all know the Rooney Rule. It’s the mandate in place in the NFL that requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching positions, for the purpose of breaking the cycle of coaching in-breeding that pervades so many franchises. There’s been a fair amount of controversy as to whether this is necessary, but it has been at least marginally effective. Is it possible that such a movement could help in other places too, like, say Congress? It’s an interesting idea.
Speaking of hyperracist stuff, how about Hollywood, yeah? We all know that when it comes to actors of certain racial descent, the battle to not be stereotyped is extremely difficult. If you’re a person of Middle Eastern or South Asian heritage, many screenwriters don’t look at you as nothing more than just a funny voice. Sidebar: There’s a new season of Master of None on the way, which is awesome. That said, actor Kal Penn decided he was going to go back through some old scripts, just to see exactly how ridiculous this gambit is.
Brackets, brackets, step right up, and get yer brackets! I have to admit something: Before noon today, I hadn’t looked at a single one. A couple of years back, I took a pledge to stop filling them out and to just enjoy the basketball. So, this season, I took it a step further. I have no idea who’s in what region or anything at all. Let’s see if I can still enjoy this basketball tournament. Northwestern fans whose team has finally made it in to the big dance will be unbearable, but here’s who most people have their money on, in Vegas.
Coffee Break: Feminism, when it comes to black women, isn’t exactly equitable. That also goes for things that strike us as more immediately dangerous, such as sexual assault. There’s a new study out that says white women feel less compelled to help rape victims if they think they’re black.
Snack Time: I try to avoid putting randomly stupid videos here, but the homey Macka B is just too strong. He raps about health food. I’m not even kidding. This banger will have you dancing at the juice bar. And I hate cucumbers.
Dessert: If you don’t know who Lee “Scratch” Perry is, do yourself a favor and check out this primer to his work.
‘Belle and Boujee’ is right on time
Nerdist parodies Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ using the Migos hit
Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast hits theaters Friday. It stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as Beast. Bad and Boujee topped the charts for the first time in 2017. This video from Nerdist, produced by Jason Nguyen and starring Natasha Ward as Belle, was released Tuesday. Need we say more?
It’s only a matter of time before this song makes it into an actual school play production.
Daily Dose: 3/15/17
Snoop Dogg is taking figurative shots at the president
3:00 PMWe taped another All Day Podcast this week, and this time we discussed the new video surfaced from Michael Brown’s final days alive in Ferguson, Missouri, and, of course, the life and legacy that is LaVar Ball and his family.
Snoop Dogg has upset the establishment. The longtime rapper, now entertainment icon, took part in a video in which the major premise involves a character, a clown, whose name is Donald Clump. There’s a scene in which Snoop uses a toy gun to shoot the clown and a flag comes out that says, “BANG.” Meanwhile, the president got wind of this and let the Twitter chopper fly, because that’s what he does. Also, his boy Sen. Marco Rubio decided to get involved, see, because he likes hip-hop and is thus the GOP’s rap culture critic in chief.
Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league is picking up steam. Not only has he gotten a bunch of old-school NBA players to sign on, but now, he’s picked up another legend to coach: Dr. J. In all honestly, nobody is going to be tuning in for the actual basketball. The key will be using this as a vehicle for other entertainment acts, which will allow the demographic that listens to say, Backspin on SiriusXM, to spend their dollars. It’s a huge market. It’ll need to be more than the hoops since, you know, injury and fatigue will obviously be a factor.
Pi Day is awfully nerdy, but it’s fun. March 14, as identified as 3/14, is also obviously the numerical doppleganger to π, the mathematical constant. Some people take this little day more seriously than others. The pizza company &pizza decided to make a huge deal of this and set up a pop-up chapel, and folks actually showed up to get married in a fast-casual restaurant. But the Colorado Rockies took things a step further and we’re totally here for it. Check out how they decided to line up for the national anthem on Tuesday.
If you aren’t watching the World Baseball Classic, I feel sorry for you. The tournament has been tremendous so far, and Tuesday night’s tilt between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, well, you missed that incredible play above and you haven’t seen some side nations do pretty well. But when it comes to development in the baseball world, not everything is equal. For example, for Dominicans of Haitian descent, landing that scout’s eye is a much more difficult proposition.
Coffee Break: As a kid, Gang Starr was one of my favorite groups. The group’s album, Daily Operation, is still a desert island choice for me. For people who don’t know, Primo is from Texas and Guru was from Boston. If you didn’t know that, this minidocumentary about them will certainly be something you enjoy.
Snack Time: Action Bronson might be enough to get me on Snapchat. The rapper-turned-television host has a new show out — a matchmaking one — being designed exclusively for the app. Sounds like fun.
Dessert: Just put #LilUziVertChallenge into your Twitter search and thank me later, fam.
All Day Podcast: 3/15/17
New video in the Michael Brown case, and famous black sports parents
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Justin Tinsley was out this week cheating on us with another podcast (just kidding, we love you, Amin) so Martenzie Johnson filled in. A couple of us went to the movies over the weekend and there was more than the usual talk about grocery stores because a snowstorm was preparing to hit the Washington, D.C., area.
Other than that, we talked about the new video that’s surfaced from a movie called Stranger Fruit that premiered at the SXSW Festival last week. It features never-released footage of Michael Brown’s visit to a Ferguson, Missouri, convenience store, the same one that he was accused of stealing from before he was shot dead in the street by police officer Darren Wilson.
Lastly, there’s the story of the basketball world, the Ball family. The question is, does dad LaVar Ball rank on the level with black sports parent legends Earl Woods and Richard Williams? Right now, Ball might seem nuts for constantly talking up his sons and making all sorts of wild claims about his abilities, but let’s not forget that people felt the same way about the previous two dads, as well.
LaVar Ball says he could have beaten Michael Jordan back in the day
And he wants a $1 billion endorsement contract for his sons
Don’t ever accuse LaVar Ball of not aiming high. The father of UCLA’s Lonzo Ball has made his presence felt in recent weeks, and this time he’s set an asking price for his sons’ sneaker deal: $1 billion. Somehow, this is the least outlandish thing he’s said all year.
There was the initial declaration that his son, Lonzo, only had plans to play one year before going pro, an awfully bold comment for a sport where fate and futures can turn on a dime. Then, he claimed that Lonzo was better than Stephen Curry. He famously declared that Lonzo would only be playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Following that, he got into a public spat with Charles Barkley, a feud that felt like two uncles arguing at the cookout. Most recently, he claimed that he himself was a better basketball player than Michael Jordan back in his day, which is laughable.
The apparel contract stuff is real business, though. For his three sons: Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo, he’s asking for the 10-figure number from one of the big companies and says that if they don’t get it, they’ll start their own. Some have speculated that his loud antics could potentially hurt his sons’ future college or pro careers. LaVar himself says he’s not doing anything more than protecting his kids from exploitation. His approach brings to mind two other patron saints of black sports parenting, Earl Woods and Richard Williams.
Woods was known for his driving style on Tiger, who eventually grew up to revolutionize the golf world. Williams was even more maligned, as he was coaching and raising not one, but two girls in Venus and Serena, who’d eventually become the two most popular tennis players on earth by a wide margin. In short, the methods to their madness were effective.
But the Balls are in a different situation. For one, they’re playing basketball, a sport that’s already undergone its cultural boom for the most part. We’re not talking about primarily country-club sports that for various socioeconomic and cultural reasons had not accepted brown faces for the most part. It’s basketball. At this point, Lonzo is just another kid who might go No. 1 overall in the NBA draft, while LaMelo, the youngest is not bolstering his reputation by scoring 92 points in high school game under questionable circumstances. Of course, there’s also LiAngelo, the forgotten Ball.
But if his three sons turn out to be something like Tiger Woods, Venus and Serena Williams and, say, LeBron James combined, then that $1 billion number isn’t that outlandish. People are already saying that Lonzo is the second coming of Magic Johnson, which on its own, if true, makes his starting point in negotiations understandable. Ultimately, that’s the issue — there’s no way to know if that’ll be the case.
Don’t expect LaVar to back down. You might poke fun at the way he operates, including down to the way he named his kids, but he’s just continuing a family tradition. His own brothers are named LaFrance, LaValle, LaRenzo and LaShon. He won’t be backing down just because a couple of people think he’s too loud. At 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds, I’m not sure a lot people are going to be able to make him do so, either.
Daily Dose: 3/14/17
Larry Sanders is ready to play ball again
2:15 PMA good part of the nation is covered in snow, so here’s to hoping that everyone out there is safe and has enough food to last a couple of days should that become an issue in coming days. Snow days are fun, but can be very annoying.
Rep. Steve King is riding for all the wrong things. After saying that he didn’t want to rebuild this country with “someone else’s babies,” he’s doubled down. No. 1, he made it clear that he meant exactly what he said, in all of its white supremacist glory and, secondly, he’s added to that by pointing out that he doesn’t think this will ever be a so-called minority-majority nation, because blacks and Latinos will be too busy fighting with each other for that to happen. That’s about as reckless a statement as we get from a congressman.
If we’re ever going to get to Mars, there’s one thing we have to think about: procreation. Because if we’re going to be inhabiting the red planet, as it seems so many people are looking to do, it’s not going to be enough to just keep shipping people out there to keep the place populated. Someone’s going to have to start having babies, born as Martians. Which means that the business of sex in space is a serious one. And the science behind how that would work for humans is actually fascinating.
Last week, it was the 20th anniversary of Biggie’s death. We’ll always love Big Poppa, of course, but one of the women who held him down during his time was of course his wife, Faith Evans. It’s sad because unfortunately her music career has always been sort of overshadowed by the fact that she is B.I.G.’s widow, but Evans has bangers, y’all. If anyone can give you a reasonably level-headed breakdown of what exactly was going on in those hectic years of regional battles in rap, she can. She sat down with Desus & Mero to talk about the old days.
A couple of years back, Larry Sanders walked away from the NBA. At the time, he’d violated the league’s drug policy a few times and ostensibly left basketball due to mental health issues. It was a tough story because many couldn’t understand why he’d leave so much money on the table in the prime of his career. But, in the time since, he’s emerged as an artist of multiple disciplines. Now, he’s coming back. The center has signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who need help after Andrew Bogut’s season-ending injury. It’s a heck of a gamble, to say the least.
Coffee Break: There was a time when The Big Bang Theory was a major part of my life. I loved that show. I grew away from it and since then it’s become one of the most popular shows in America. Now, CBS is launching a prequel series for Sheldon’s character, which is all wrong. That needs to be set aside for Raj. Come on, y’all.
Snack Time: Toads get a bad rap. Somewhere along the line they were associated with ugliness, which doesn’t help their cause. But, for the most part, they’re pretty chill. Check out this story of a guy who makes hats for one. Love it.
Dessert: Behold, the best GIF from the White House Press Room of all time.
Locker Room Lawyer, Episode 14: Andre Iguodala and the N-word
The 2015 NBA champion recently delivered some racially charged postgame remarks
5:50 PMIn this week’s edition of Locker Room Lawyer, Clinton Yates and Domonique Foxworth take the case of Golden State Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala to The Undefeated courtroom.
During a postgame interview after the Warriors’ 103-102 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 10, Iguodala delivered the following racially charged remarks.
“We gotta score more than the other team. Yep, they want dumb n—-s, so I’m going to give y’all a dumb n—-s.”
“Nope, no clue. I do what master say,” Iguodala said after he was asked whether he knew he and three of his All-Star teammates would be sitting the next night.
Iguodala’s comments might have been a poor choice, but neither Steve Kerr nor our Locker Room Lawyer Domonique has a problem with what he said. Clinton doesn’t either, so there isn’t much of a debate. But we discuss the matter anyway. After the taping of this episode, the NBA penalized Iguodala for his words:
Check out the video, and if you have any professional athlete in mind (past or present) who needs the Locker Room Lawyer’s representation, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with episode ideas. Also, check out our weekly All Day Podcast, as well as Domonique and Clinton every Sunday on The Morning Roast.
Video calls Michael Brown ‘robbery’ in Ferguson into question
Not that he deserved to die over the matter, anyway
What if I told you that the entire of the case against Ferguson, Missouri’s Mike Brown was built on a lie? Some of you would say that such a thing was obvious. Others would say that you needed proof. Probably even more of you would say that regardless of whether he committed a petty crime, he certainly didn’t deserve to be shot dead in the street by a police officer.
Now, we know what happened the day before Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson killed Brown. To review, in case you forgot about the shooting that sparked the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the entire situation started like this. Wilson was responding to a robbery call when he approached Brown. That exchange clearly ended with Brown dead and bleeding in the street, with Wilson stating that he feared for his life and thus had to kill him.
But as for the case, there’s new evidence from a movie by filmmaker Jason Pollock called Stranger Fruit, which shows the initial purpose of stopping Brown at all might be in question, thus leading to a couple different problems. No. 1: Why did the police call this a strong-arm robbery to begin with? And, secondly, how is it possible this video is just now coming to light?
This New York Times story explains the blow by blow, but the gist of it is that Brown returned the next day to pick up something that was his based on an arrangement made earlier. He didn’t just walk in cold off the street and decide to start arguing and pushing people to steal cigars. One can see how omitting that large part of the story would be critical in smearing someone’s name, which is exactly the tactic that leads grand juries to not charge officers in fatal shootings. The law enforcement official gets the benefit of the doubt, while the victim who can no longer speak for himself is painted as “no angel.”
Mind you, this is all predicated on the notion that even if he had done all this, would it have been reasonable to gun him down in the street? It was not. After the nation protested and people started whipping out cellphones everywhere in order to protect themselves, we see it happen with enough regularity to give major pause. Not that black folks haven’t been telling people this for years — but whatever.
Whether he robbed a store or not, Brown’s life was stolen from him. The fact that he didn’t rob it and everyone at an official level knew it and did their best to suppress it is only more heartbreaking in the context of the value of black life.
Daily Dose: 3/13/17
Michelle Obama gives a little help to Yara Shahidi
12:30 PMThe Morning Roast produced a fantastic photograph this week, which features me, Domonique and Mina riding on a motorcycle with a sidecar. You’ve got to listen to the episode to get it, but it’s actually pretty funny, stand-alone.
I wouldn’t be able to tell you who wrote my college recommendations if I tried. What I do recall, however, was that being one of the most stressful and shameful experiences of my life. Nothing says, “I’ve wasted my whole high school career” like not knowing where to begin on that front, but luckily it worked out, I guess. But for black-ish actor Yara Shahidi, she drew upon a rather awesome resource in her quest for higher education: Michelle Obama. I mean, I can’t imagine that anyone will say no, at that point.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is living in a different time. For whatever reason, he decided to show solidarity with a Dutch politician who is looking to “de-Islamize” the Netherlands should he be elected to the country’s top post. By doing so, he drew on some hyperracist philosophies, saying “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” If you’re wondering, yes, that’s a mindset rooted in white nationalism with a little sprinkling of supremacy on top. Even other Republicans are saying he’s way out of pocket.
Here’s the thing about President Donald Trump’s “America First” outlook: It’s not effective. Hypernationalist economic policies never really have worked, because, think about it, isolation is just a dumb way to try to make money. Guess what! I can do everything myself! Oh, yeah, well you can also sell those things to yourself because no one wants to deal with that. Certain industries, aka most, can’t survive without global participation. Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party ruined Germany’s fashion industry and some are worried that Trump’s America might do the same here.
NASCAR is full of thugs. That’s what people would say if most of the drivers weren’t white guys, but alas, they’re just hard-nosed men who love to grind, right. In all seriousness, these pit row fights have become what feels like a regular part of the racing these days. This time it involved Joey Logano and Kyle Busch. At this point, they might as well make it an official part of the race. Just set two guys up in an ad-hoc boxing ring right there on the infield, and let willing participants duke it out.
Coffee Break: In 2017, music radio program directors aren’t the ones moving the needle when it comes to picking the music that tops the charts. That tastemaker job now has been taken over by those that curate playlists for streaming music services. Check out this profile of Spotify’s Tuma Basa.
Snack Time: I don’t like to make fun of guys and their weight problems after they leave whatever league they play in, but this tweet about Antoine Walker is funny.
Dessert: Here’s a story about the life of a Jesuit-owned slave from Maryland in the early 1800s. For perspective.