When black girls go missing
in Washington, D.C., too many questions, too few answers
It doesn’t matter why. When more than a dozen black and Latina girls go missing in a short period of time, there is an obvious problem. This is the reality that officials in Washington, D.C., have been dealing with over the past month or so, as coverage has shined light on a problem that’s shocked many people. As of Friday, the city has 22 open missing juvenile cases.
When this number first went viral, there were many questions. How could that be? How is it possible that this was not common knowledge not only locally, but nationally? If these kids were white, would they not be celebrities by now based on public concern for their safety? All valid questions that the Metropolitan Police Department tried to answer by saying that the number of cases had not increased, only their visibility in letting the public know. Gee, thanks.
On Twitter, #bringbackourgirlsdc is trending. Meanwhile, the FBI was spending resources on finding Tom Brady’s stolen New England Patriots Super Bowl LI jersey. But the discussion around this epidemic is one that’s exposed exactly how difficult missing person cases can be when it comes to children.
When you think of missing kids, we have images in our head of stranger danger and creepy guys in vans luring children with candy. Nightmares of someone sneaking into a home at night and snatching a kid out of bed, or what have you. But many cases have nothing to do with that at all. When it comes to human trafficking, many girls are lured with the promise of some life improvement. In other cases, there is physical coercion. Until cases are solved or people are found, there’s no real way to know why someone left their home.
Perhaps as important is the connectivity between the public’s view of what leaving home means and what the reality of the circumstance might be. A kid could be leaving an abusive home situation. Or, their captor could be telling them how to describe why they left on their own free will. Not to mention that when it comes to black girls, they are so often characterized as either “fast” or not acting age appropriate, an effect that only hurts when it comes to public sympathy in these cases.
The entire situation leaves us with a very frustrating circuit of excuses. People blame the media for not reporting the cases. Police say they need help from the public. Meanwhile, the basic pillars of toxic masculinity, misogyny and racism that create these issues go unaddressed.
Her questions here are important. There is better police work to be done. There is certainly better reporting to be done. But the parts within us that allow us to devalue, denigrate and ultimately ignore women of color are as important to address openly. Let’s not forget that this is still America, where abuse of the black body was not only permitted, but celebrated as a way of life for years.
The solution is about more than safety on the streets. The Congressional Black Caucus is now calling on the FBI to “devote the resources necessary to determine whether these developments are an anomaly or whether they are indicative of an underlying trend that must be addressed.” But Relisha Rudd isn’t some singular case.
The underlying trend here is that if you continue to marginalize, mock and mistreat black women as a matter of course in polite society, what happens to them as girls in the criminal world will only continue to get worse.
Daily Dose: 3/23/17
Black people again targeted by a murderous white person
NBA players are getting busier … easier. For people of a certain age, you recall the raunchier days of the NBA. From the coke-filled days of the 1980s, the gambling of the 1990s, and the Hpnotiq-and-Hennessy nights of the 2000s, everyone is aware of at least one embarrassing story involving a professional basketball player. But, today, in the era of #brands, the larger-than-life superstars who populate the NBA are no longer straining their bodies late at night, looking for booze and another word that starts with “b.” ESPN writer Tom Haberstroh breaks down the “Tinderization” of today’s NBA.
President Donald Trump is at it again. It seems like it’s been days (or hours, whichever) since the latest Trump administration scandal, but Thursday brought us the commander in chief, himself, in all his glory. Trump sat down with TIME magazine for a wild, wide-ranging interview where he continued his unsubstantiated claims that Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, that more than 3 million undocumented people voted in the 2016 election, that Muslims celebrated the attacks on 9/11, and that Sen. Ted Cruz’s father was someway connected to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Trump ended the interview by telling the TIME reporter that “I’m president, and you’re not.” Nice.
A white man traveled 200 miles to kill a black man. That’s what New York City police officials are saying happened Wednesday following the stabbing death of 66-year-old Timothy Caughman at the hands of Baltimore resident James Harris Jackson. News reports have identified Jackson as a “well-dressed man” and an Army veteran after he allegedly traveled to New York “specifically intending to target male blacks for assault” because “it’s the media capital of the world.” Over here, we’ll call Jackson the racist terrorist that he is.
Daily Dose: 3/22/17
Wyclef Jean handcuffed, held by LAPD
4:00 PMWe taped another podcast on Tuesday and Danielle Cadet joined us to show off her Northwestern bona fides, since they made the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this year. We also talked Drake and Dave Chappelle. Have a listen, folks.
Wyclef Jean is a black man in America. Sure, he’s rich and famous, but that doesn’t have anything to do with how the police treat him, because, again, this is the nation we live in. There was an armed robbery in Los Angeles and somehow the former Fugees artist got hemmed up by the police, and now he’s quite angry about it. He wants a formal investigation into racial profiling following his personal incident. That seems a bit lofty, but again, this kind of crap being standard operating procedure is a huge problem.
Toilet paper is a valuable commodity. If you’ve ever been camping or to anywhere where it’s not just considered a given that it will be available, you know how serious things can get in order to find it. In China, TP is not just something that people are providing free of charge. With a billion people, that gets costly, so most places in public operate on a bring-your-own basis, which is hardcore. Check out this story about the lengths some places that DO actually provide it go in order to make sure their stuff isn’t stolen.
We’ve discussed President Donald Trump and Russia. There are all sorts of ties, be they legal or not, that make many people uncomfortable. Also, the head of the FBI pointed out this week that they’ve actually been investigating this, officially. Not to get too speculative, if you’re wondering why this matters, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pointed it out last week. If the president or anyone in his camp is legitimately financially beholden to another nation and is willing to use public office in this country to repay that debt, we have a huge problem. FiveThirtyEight chats on it.
Don’t come for me, unless I send for you. That’s the message that LeBron James is sending LaVar Ball’s way. Ball is someone we like, but he likes to drop other people’s names in a way that tends to make folks mad. And by talking about James’ children, he upset the King. So much so that James straight-up said publicly, “Keep my kids’ name out of your mouth. Keep my family out of your mouth.” Why he’s engaging with this dude, I don’t know, but this could get good if it escalates.
Coffee Break: Have you ever been in a new town or area and wondered: Where can I find a pickup game? Luckily, there’s now an app for that. To be honest, considering all the things that we’ve created shortcuts for, I’m stunned that we took this long to get here. Either way, very smart people.
Snack Time: I understand that the NBA lifestyle is difficult in terms of trying to get your party on while being famous. But the Tinderization of the NBA is basically the best thing ever.
Dessert: Skateboarding is awesome. In Nigeria, the culture is particularly dope.
All Day Podcast: 3/21/17
Northwestern’s run comes to an end and Dave Chappelle is back
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The first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is behind us and one of the big stories was, of course, Northwestern University. The Big Ten conference school known more for its academics than its sports programs was in its first big dance and because so many of its alums are media members, the underdog narrative was ever-present. Of course, they won a game, then eventually lost to Gonzaga. That game wasn’t without controversy and Danielle Cadet was proudly repping her alma mater this week on the show.
Also, Drake’s new album More Life dropped over the weekend, sending the brunch crew (aka Aaron Dodson) into a frenzy over their newest playlist. It features quite a few songs that continue to fuse his Toronto West Indian influence into R&B, basically a Moombahton derivative. Once these rooftop parties get activated, you can bet you’re going to hear a ton of the Champagne Papi’s latest.
Lastly, Tuesday morning Netflix released two new Dave Chappelle comedy specials to much fanfare. One was shot in Hollywood, the other was from Austin City Limits. They’re both a little over an hour long and if you haven’t had a chance to see them yet, check out Justin Tinsley’s story about the project that the streaming service paid $60M to the comedian who once walked away from a similar amount from Comedy Central.
Daily Dose: 3/21/17
Donald Trump goes after Colin Kaepernick
10:00 AMWe shot another Locker Room Lawyer on Monday and this one went a little differently. Domonique Foxworth defended the side of an NFL team who might not want to pick up Colin Kaepernick. Check it out here.
Flying from the Middle East to the United States just got a lot more difficult. Homeland Security has instituted a new policy that doesn’t allow you to carry anything larger than a cellphone on a plane coming to the country. These things are worrisome, not because of the obvious hassle it put on customers, but mainly because it raises the level of concern overall in airports globally. Which is fine, but just feels very paranoid. Here are the details, which promise to create a political mess.
Donald Trump’s history with the NFL is interesting. He once tried to be a part of a league that would take over the NFL but it failed miserably. There’s a whole 30 for 30 documentary about it. But on Monday, at a speech in Louisville, Kentucky, the president decided he was going to take a shot at Colin Kaepernick, for whatever reason. He straight-up bragged that because of his Twitter style, the one-time San Francisco 49ers quarterback is still out of a job. I guess this is an important presidential matter. Some of those actually do get handled on Twitter.
We love Keke Palmer. After she broke out in Akeelah and the Bee, her career took off. She dropped an album, as well. She played Chilli in a TLC biopic, and in general, her name began to grow from just former Hollywood child star. Recently, she got involved in a situation with singer Trey Songz in which she accused him of illegally filming her for one of his videos. Now, she’s leaving Los Angeles for Atlanta of all places.
The World Baseball Classic is getting good. If you missed Adam Jones’ catch in the United States’ elimination-round game against the Dominican Republic, you need to see that. Anyway, the U.S. advanced, and Monday night’s tilt between Puerto Rico and the Netherlands was a great game. Puerto Rico won, which is good for everybody. Tonight, the Americans take on Japan. Mind you, this nation has never won this tournament, so it’s a big game. Here’s a preview. Seriously, you should watch this game.
Coffee Break: Every once in a while, a publication takes on something that is so far outside of its purview that it’s embarrassing. Such is the case with this story about some random guy taking pictures of dudes in durags. There are a whole lot of problems here.
Snack Time: Memes are cool until they aren’t cool, and once one gets written up and super explained for posterity, it ain’t cool anymore. It was fun while it lasted, Meryl Streep. Thanks for the callbacks.
Dessert: This is the best tweet I’ve seen all year.
Locker Room Lawyer, Episode 15: Colin Kaepernick’s NFL job search
After a season of social activism, the former 49ers quarterback is looking for a new team
2:52 PMIn this week’s edition of Locker Room Lawyer, Clinton Yates and Domonique Foxworth take the case of
San Francisco 49ers NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to The Undefeated courtroom.
Kaepernick is still not on an NFL roster. Why? Probably not because he can’t play. Last week, a report said that, according to one NFL general manager, teams were staying away from him because they didn’t like his politics and specifically were worried about the president of the United States potentially tweeting about them.
Typically, Domonique defends the players, but in this case, he can understand why a team might think Kaepernick is not necessarily a player worth the headache. Spike Lee wants the New York Jets to pick up the quarterback and finds the whole situation fishy. Might be time for a documentary.
Just Had Brunch With My Brother Colin @Kaepernick7 . How Is It That There Are 32 NFL Teams And Kap Is Still A Free Agent? WTF. Smells MAD Fishy To Me,Stinks To The High Heavens. The New York J-E-T-S Need A Quarterback. Who Is The J-E-T-S Quarterback? Is My Man Joe Willie Namath Coming Back? Crazy Times We Live In. The Question Remains What Owner And GM Is Going To Step Up And Sign Colin So Their Team Has A Better Chance To WIN? What Crime Has Colin Committed? Look At The QB's Of All 32 Teams. This Is Some Straight Up Shenanigans,Subterfuge, Skullduggery And BS. Ya-Dig? Sho-Nuff. By Any Means Necessary. And Dat's Da NoFunLeague Truth,Ruth.
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.
Daily Dose: 3/20/17
Tiger Woods is trying to sell books
2:30 PMThe Morning Roast was all over the place this weekend, in a good way. We talked about everything from braces to DMX. The NCAA basketball tournament brings that out in every one, even if I don’t have a bracket. Tune in here!
The United States’ relationship with Russia is ever-changing. Right now, there’s reasonable cause to believe that foreign actors were involved in not only the most recent U.S. presidential election, but also any number of things, considering that nobody in the Trump administration seems to want to say anything about it at all. But today FBI Director James Comey stood in front of a House Intelligence Committee and said that not only is it impossible for Barack Obama to have wiretapped Donald Trump, but also that, yes, the FBI are investigating Russia. What a mess.
Math is fun. Not in a “omg let me go solve these quadratic equations” kind of way. But in the concept of a language of numbers, math is remarkable. On a basic level, it really is fascinating what humans have created when it comes to counting. But if you think about it, you do have to wonder, why? What actual reason is there for humans to try to add things up in their heads. Well, a guy wrote a book about it and his reasoning for it is fascinating.
I must admit. I’m really excited for the Power Rangers movie. When I was younger, the brand was just a tad too childish for me at that age, so it was never my thing then. But these new commercials for the flick look exciting and rather funny, too. To make things even better, the Yellow Ranger’s character is queer. Why does that matter? Because when it comes to superheroes, we’re so often bombarded with images of ultra cisgendered heterosexuals, so any change from that is welcome. Here are some spoilers on that front.
Tiger Woods will never win another major. I’d take a bet on whether he’ll ever win another tournament, but I don’t need to be that harsh for no reason. Now, he’s got a book out about his historic win at the Masters in 1997, which was basically his coming out party to the world. Of course, his life hasn’t been the most smooth sailing for a couple of years since his wife divorced him, so seeing these pictures of Woods in regular clothes with no real golf setting is a tad odd. He talked with Good Morning America on Monday.
Coffee Break: If you’ve ever wondered why people don’t go to the police when they’re being victimized, this story from the U.K. should explain everything you need to know. A woman calls the police about her ex-boyfriend who has been threatening her. They fine her for wasting their time. He kills her.
Snack Time: Even kids’ robotics competitions aren’t immune to rampant racism. A child’s team won a competition in Indiana, and was promptly greeted with people yelling at them to go back to Mexico.
Dessert: This is just plain funny.