What Had Happened Was Trending stories on the intersections of race, sports & culture

Daily Dose: 2/9/17

Stevie Wonder might not be blind?

4:04 PMI watched that show So Cosmo on E! last night and I can’t get enough. It occurred to me that I would watch pretty much any reality show about a media operation. There should be a whole network of only those shows.

What do you do when your own people don’t like you? You lie and act like they do. That’s what President Donald Trump is dealing with right now in his administration, on several different levels. No. 1, the amount of leaks from the White House is astounding. Secondly, the very guy Trump nominated for the Supreme Court called the president’s comments about the job of the judiciary branch “disheartening.” Of course, the president claims all that’s not true. Every day, quite literally, seems to be a mess in the news cycle for this lot.

A while back, I heard a theory. It came from my colleague Bomani Jones. The theory went as follows: Stevie Wonder isn’t blind. On the surface, it sounds completely outrageous, if not borderline offensive. But, it is not without merit. He has done quite a few things to lead us astray. I was in the same restaurant as him once. I swear to God he looked me in the face and we weren’t even talking. Now, the man himself is fueling the fire to the rumors that he can actually see. For the record, I think Stevie can see. I guess we’ll find out soon.

I spend a lot of time on Instagram. For whatever reason, the visual stylings of that app really appeal to me and, generally, if your Insta game is poppin’, I respect your social media imprint a lot. And for some people, it’s a full-time job. For the #linkinbio crowd, you can legit make serious dollars from the pictures of your life that you take. I can’t even imagine how hard that is to maintain as a lifestyle. But one guy decided to take it up, even if for just a week. Here’s how it went.

Mike Tirico is one of my favorite sportscasters. In my lifetime, he became the proverbial safety blanket of guys doing play-by-play when a game was on. If Tirico was there, the game wasn’t necessarily the hugest deal, but you knew it was going to be a fun one. Now that he’s moved on to NBC from ESPN, there were questions about what he would do, beyond football. Now, the network has announced that he’ll be taking over Olympics duties for Bob Costas. This is excellent news.

Free Food

Coffee Break: We all know that Barack Obama loves to play basketball. It was effectively one of the most fundamental parts of his time in office, if we’re being honest. But he wasn’t always necessarily the best player. But if you put him in a video game and let him loose, what could he do? Oh, it’s lit on NBA 2K17.

Snack Time: Netflix is finally making a television show out of the movie Dear White People and folks are certainly uptight about it. Here’s the trailer.

Dessert: This story is sad, but it is redeeming.

Daily Dose: 2/8/17

Baylor gets docked pay from the Big 12

12:45 PMDanielle Cadet joined us on the podcast Tuesday. We talked about the upcoming Grammy Awards, teams visiting the White House and Justin Tinsley’s birthday goings-on. It was a fun one. Listen in here.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a strong woman. So, when she took to the Senate floor Tuesday night to point out just why she thought fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions wasn’t fit to be attorney general, people got upset. By people, I mean Sessions’ friends, like Sen. Mitch McConnell. Warren was quoting the late Ted Kennedy and Coretta Scott King in her remarks, but McConnell found them to be out of line, so he cut her off. He then said something that will be seen on protest signs and tombstones for the rest of time, which he wasn’t trying to do.

When Donald Trump leaves office, the books will be best sellers. And he’ll probably try to take credit for creating such a masterful story for everyone else to profit on, while he paints himself the misunderstood clown. It would be a far cry from the emperor-with-no-clothes act that he’s on now, because the transparency is becoming awkward. He’s lashing out at retailers for dropping his daughter’s jewelry line. His wife is suing for her ability to make money from being first lady. He’s lying directly to police officers. And complaining about hand towels. Sad.

You know what a butcher is? Someone who cuts meat. A person who knows the literal ins and outs of an animal and uses said expertise to break down meat and sell it to the public. It’s a magnificent profession, one that in a certain day and age had a fair amount of prestige to it. You don’t just walk onto a farm and start hacking up cows and pigs and thinking you’re going to make a buck. Now, in a Whole Foods in Manhattan, New York, they have something called a produce butcher. A PRODUCE BUTCHER.

The Big 12 is coming for Baylor’s pockets. The school that’s been in the news for allowing sexual improprieties in its athletic department is now going to have its pay docked from the conference as a result. Look, the way Baylor handled said allegations is a disaster. Covering up sexual assaults and the like is truly awful. Good for the conference for finally standing up to the school. The conference will withhold 25 percent of the school’s future revenue if satisfied that proper changes have been made. It also sets an interesting precedent for what these conferences will be willing to do to their member schools.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Comedian George Lopez popped off crazy at a black woman in the crowd where he was performing Tuesday night, and the video went viral. Say what you want about what comedians should be allowed to do, this rant felt personal and very hateful. You can watch it for yourself.

Snack Time: I don’t keep up with hip-hop beefs anymore because I just don’t have that kind of time, but apparently the one between Jim Jones and Jay Z is over, since the former just signed to the latter’s label.

Dessert: It me, science. This gecko is my spirit animal.

Daily Dose: 2/7/16

Democrats look to take Betsy DeVos to school

12:00 PMI saw I Am Not Your Negro, but I must say that I thought it works better as a film in a college class with a whole lot of required reading assigned. Anyway, here’s my review.

Today’s the big day for Betsy DeVos. The rich woman who is looking to become the secretary of education has her confirmation vote Tuesday and people are NOT happy about it. If you don’t recall her hearing, it was a complete mess where she made it clear that she didn’t understand the difference between proficiency and growth when it comes to judging the student process. She also pointed out that she has exactly zero experience with student loans from either work, self or family experience. The Democrats were up all night protesting her confirmation.

When a person of color gets into a standoff with police, what usually happens? This might sound like a trick question because if you’ve had your eyes open you know that the answer almost always involves gunshots, which most often means someone is going to die. We need not be armed for that to happen. White people go so far as to point guns at police officers and live to tell about it. Check out the latest example of such from Prairie View, Texas, where someone had the presence of mind not to shoot at this white guy, but use a dog to get him instead.

As much as we need Barack Obama right now, I respect his right to holiday. This man restored respect to the nation for eight years of his life, all while raising a family, and he not only did it without flinching, many people thought he did a good job. Now, with President Donald Trump trying to undo everything he did from not just a policy, but also a diplomacy standpoint, we keep wondering: Where are you, Barack? Your man is cold chilling, kitesurfing in these exotic waters with Richard Branson. Good for him.

Monday night’s Cleveland Cavaliers-Washington Wizards game was incredible. A high-scoring affair that went to overtime and had actual basketball ramifications in Washington, D.C. But the best part, from a national perspective, came afterward. LeBron James is taking swings at people left and right these days and that includes journalists of all types. When responding to a question about a rumor of Kevin Love being traded, he said it was a trash story and the writer was trash, too. That Charles Barkley situation was just the beginning, apparently. I love this.

Free Food

Coffee Break: You know from my podcast antics that the Star Wars world is one I care about a lot. So, now that the series is part of the Disney family, it’s expanding the exhibits world by a lot at the various theme parks across the company. I need to have some children so I have a reason to go to these.

Snack Time: Sometimes, things get tight in the money department and you want to eat relatively healthy, but it’s hard. All the cheap stuff is bad for you. Here’s a recipe called Sad Boy Pasta that does the trick for both.

Dessert: I really, really like this new James Fauntleroy EP. You might, too.

Music

Jessie Reyez is back with another heart-wrencher

The Toronto songstress’ latest video ramps up the honesty

2:29 PMLast summer, when Jessie Reyez’s “Figures” dropped, the video was a punishingly brutal look at what those solitary feelings of pain are like when you can’t understand why a relationship fell apart. The direct address and simple background look were as piercing a presentation as possible for such a tough topic. It’s no surprise her Twitter bio reads: “I like to sing about s— I don’t like to talk about.”

Now, her latest video, “Shutter Island,” takes that a step further. Sort of like that phase after a breakup where you’re not screaming your internal thoughts at your ex, or the only friends who will listen, but basically having a conversation with yourself about why you don’t feel bad about putting up with their crap anymore. My straitjacket’s custom-made, though / I’m crazy just like Galileo ... I’m tired of begging you to love me, she sings. We can all relate to that.

The beauty of the “Shutter Island” video comes in its timing and symbolism. Drawing on a setup somewhere between a magic show and a horror movie, director Peter Huang keeps it simple enough without clouding the message. A relationship can feel like being locked up. It can also feel like drowning. Or sometimes both.

The story of Reyez’s journey from depressed high schooler to where she is now is the stuff legends are made of. She’s popped up on various collabos here and there, and with the unmistakable sound of her voice, whatever complete project she drops is going to be a banger, no doubt.

Daily Dose: 2/6/17

Can urban farming save Detroit?

12:00 PMWe were all back for The Morning Roast this week, even though both Domonique and Mina were in Houston together. It made for a rather interesting dynamic, aka it made me laugh quite a bit. Give it a listen here.

It feels like every week someone’s got a new plan to save Detroit. The once-bustling Michigan city that’s home to the automotive industry has gone through several phases of attempted reboots since its decline. Over the years, I’ve wondered what it would be like to buy a house there and just give it a shot. Now, a different type of demographic is developing: the urban farmer. Check out this story about how “unsettlers” are rearranging the social order in otherwise overlooked parts of the city.

President Donald Trump’s travel ban is putting him at odds with many. Over the weekend, multiple corporations teamed up to fight the executive order that limits the ability of people from seven majority-Muslim nations to travel to the United States. Tech companies in particular say that such restrictions are hampering their ability to attract top talent and are looking to fight about it in court. And we’re not just talking about your app creator. We’re talking Google, Uber and Apple. This battle isn’t going away.

The Super Bowl commercials didn’t feel as impactful this year. Because these things come out earlier and earlier each year, the surprise factor is lesser and thus reduces the effect. But the Budweiser commercial that started a boycott aired, as did that Mr. Clean commercial, which was hilarious, if not a tad bit disturbing if you weren’t ready for him to show up to your house and steal your girl. There were some good ones, however. And anytime Justin Timberlake makes an appearance, you’ll probably laugh. Here’s a recap of the best.

Now that he’s no longer got that pesky Super Bowl to handle, Kyle Shanahan’s getting a new job. The wonder kid of one-time NFL coach Mike Shanahan who worked his way up to offensive coordinator of the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons is splitting for San Francisco. Some might say that his exit is now a little contentious, since the team’s epic collapse Sunday night against the New England Patriots. Of course, it was reported before the playoffs that he had interest in the job. Now, he basically has to take it.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Full disclosure — I love the Pitch Perfect series. Although I saw the first one a couple of years after it came out, I saw the sequel on opening night in the theater, and I completely loved it. Now, they’re going for three and they’ve added John Lithgow to the mix, which is definitely a good thing. Can’t wait for this flick.

Snack Time: If you missed the final of the African Cup of Nations, you missed a heck of a match between Egypt and Cameroon. The Indomitable Lions rallied to beat the Pharoahs with a goal for the ages. Worthy champs.

Dessert: Run The Jewels on Tiny Desk is something definitely worth your time.