Daily Dose: 4/11/17
The passenger and United Airlines are still getting dragged
12:45 PMI’m going to my first Major League Baseball game of the season Tuesday night. Needless to say, I’m extremely excited.
Pulitzer Day is a special one in the journalism world. It’s a day when, if you’ve done this job for any amount of time, you take a second to recognize your peers who’ve put in the work to change the world with that aspirational spirit that drives most reporters. If you’ve got a Pulitzer, people take you seriously for the rest of your life. That said, this year the winners list featured quite a few black writers, which is not usual. As a black journalist, yes, this makes me very happy.
The school shooting in San Bernardino, California, was a domestic incident. A man who was upset about his relationship with his estranged wife decided to walk into a school, her workplace, and shoot to kill her in front of children. There are multiple things worth noting here, besides the awful nature of the murder. The victim, Karen Smith, decided to leave Cedric Anderson. He then killed her. He had a history of abuse, so when you find yourself saying, “Why not just walk away?” when it comes to becoming a victim in that situation, now you know. Typically, it’s less safe.
If you get dragged off a plane by airport authorities, prepare to get your reputation dragged too. That’s exactly what’s happening to David Dao, the man you saw on TV and the internet getting pulled by his arms off a United Airlines flight Monday. As it turns out, his past in Kentucky as a doctor involves quite a few controversial incidents, including multiple felony charges for fraudulently giving out drugs. This is what we call the “no angel” defense that we’ve seen so many times before. Of course, none of this matters at all, really, because beating people up on planes isn’t cool, ever.
There’s no love lost between old ACC foes. Last week, the University of Maryland president floated a rather drastic idea when publicly discussing what should happen to the University of North Carolina regarding its academic fraud scandal. This situation is particularly awkward because it mainly involved letting kids take fake classes in African and Afro-American studies, which just does not look good at all. Wallace Loh thinks UNC deserves the death penalty. Wow.
Coffee Break: If you tell me that you were attacked by a runaway deer, the likelihood that I believe you is low. I mean, who on earth is just walking down the street when Bambi is rolling through? Well, it happened to this guy, and now there’s video to prove it.
Snack Time: Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing but bad news around these parts. Between all the outrage and injustice, here’s a story about strangers coming together to help someone find his dad’s lost friend. Cue the tears.
Dessert: If you’re in a bad mood and need cheering up, this song should help you out.
Daily Dose: 4/7/17
2:30 PMClinton Yates is not here today. He’s currently at the Coca-Cola headquarters, pitching executives on a new ad campaign starring Iggy Azalea.
The Trump administration launched a cruise missile strike against the Syrian government Thursday night. According to ABC News, “59 tomahawk missiles were launched from destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross in the Mediterranean Sea over a half-hour span beginning at 7:36 p.m. ET.” The U.S. military forewarned its Russian counterparts in the area that the airstrike was coming, and reportedly no Syrians were killed. National security adviser H.R. McMaster said the attack would not “stop [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad’s ability to carry out future attacks,” according to CNN, so not much can be made of what happened last night.
LaVar Ball is talking … again. The noted loudmouth has been saying insane things for months now, but now he just said something plain stupid. Ball told the Southern California News Group that UCLA, his son Lonzo’s former team, was eliminated from the NCAA tournament last month because “you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow.” Aside from that not being true, UCLA lost in part because Lonzo Ball scored just 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting in the team’s Sweet 16 loss to Kentucky, while Wildcats guard De’Aaron Fox dropped 39 points in his face. And for nonblack people, this doesn’t make LaVar Ball racist, so leave those think pieces in your Drafts folder.
There’s a new All Eyez on Me trailer. The Tupac Shakur biopic looks amazing. From the cast — The Wire‘s Jamie Hector, The Walking Dead‘s Danai Gurira and Notorious‘ Jamal Woolard, reprising his role as Notorious B.I.G. — to the music to the drama, this movie appears to have it all. Lead actor Demetrius Shipp Jr., who plays the late rapper, makes you think you’re watching a documentary (or a Coachella hologram) rather than a feature film because of his striking resemblance to the titular character. And it appears we’re getting a 360-degree view of Shakur, from his upbringing in New York alongside his Black Panther mother and stepfather to his “California Love” lifestyle as a rap superstar all the way to his premature death at the age of 25. There’s even time to fit in former girlfriend Jada Pinkett Smith. The movie opens on June 17.
1. An Arizona elementary school was out here stamping kids’ arms for not having enough lunch money.
2. Aaron Rodgers and Olivia Munn are officially calling it quits.
3. Kendrick Lamar was reportedly supposed to drop an album last night. He did not.
Daily Dose: 4/6/17
French Montana puts himself in a bad spot
2:20 PMY’all know that I’m a Georgetown Hoyas fan. Some of you know that the team is a disaster right now. Well, they hired Patrick Ewing as coach. I talked about it on Outside the Lines Wednesday with Bob Ley. Had to bring out the camo.
OK, Montana. For those of you who don’t know, French is a Moroccan guy who moved to New York City as a preteen and grew up in the Bronx. He made it rich making movies about extremely ‘hood stuff and then moved into rap, where he became more of a star than anyone expected. He parlayed that into dating a Kardashian, which is always a solid career move. French’s blackness is one of those things wrapped up in the concept of “born in Africa” and “he can use the N-word” politics. Then he went and called a black woman’s hair nappy. Bad move. Now, he’s sorry.
Let’s be real. We’ve all had our cards declined at some point. Whether it was when you were by yourself trying to eke out those last couple of dollars for some food at the grocery store, or you went out of town and forgot to inform the bank and they hit you with a “this is for your protection” notification. Life is life, and if you’re reading this, you’re likely not made out of money. If you are, btw, holla at your boy. That aside, what you should not do when the cashier gives you that look is flip out. This guy did, and he’s still on the run.
Angela Rye is a national treasure. She’s a lawyer and a political commentator, so when it comes to wrecking people’s shop on-air, believe she knows what she’s doing. So when some guy named Joe Walsh tried to step in her zone the other day on CNN, she informed him in no uncertain terms that his bigotry was not going to be tolerated in a civilized discussion. Alas, he couldn’t handle that information and started yelling random racist comments, which she summarily dismissed. Rye talked to Desus & Mero about the situation.
Is LeBron James as good as Michael Jordan? If I never hear that question again in my life, I’ll die a happy person. But because this is what we do, every time anyone who even knows MJ has a microphone in his face, he feels the need to chime in on this nondiscussion. The latest person on this list is Dennis Rodman, who for whatever reason seems to believe that because James sits a game or two here and there, he’s not as tough as Jordan. LET’S JUST IGNORE THE FACT THAT JORDAN DIDN’T PLAY TWO ENTIRE SEASONS. Thanks, Rodman.
Coffee Break: If you want to know how important voting is to people trying to remain in power, all you have to do is look at how hard people fight to prevent other people from doing it. In Georgia, one woman is about to go to jail simply for helping another person who didn’t know how to use the voting machine. Trust me, this isn’t only about that.
Snack Time: Local broadcasters hold special places in people’s hearts. One such person for me is Phil Chenier of the Washington Wizards, who is being unceremoniously dumped this offseason. Paint your boy seriously incensed.
Dessert: Eric Thames is my third favorite player in the bigs this year. He’s off to a start.
FBI facetiously honors MLK assassination anniversary
But we all can see right through that attempt to reshape history
Today, on the anniversary of his assassination, the FBI honors the life, work, & commitment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to justice. pic.twitter.com/WZInYKQx2g
— FBI (@FBI) April 4, 2017
Excuse me, what?
On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 39 years old. But just because he’s been gone longer than he was alive doesn’t mean that anyone’s forgotten just how harmful a role the FBI played in his life. And not in a positive way. So to see them casually tweeting about his legacy stings because it’s an agency looking to whitewash its past.
A refresher: J. Edgar Hoover himself launched a personal crusade against King, using his position as head of the bureau to follow and harass the civil rights leader and and create a narrative around his life that would make King want to end his cause. There are no small number of people who believe that the FBI effectively harassed King to death. Even for students and the most basic of amateur historians from Twitter to television, this is a known fact.
This was no small campaign. They tried every single thing they could. Sordid details from his personal life were made public in such a way as to discredit his overall operation. Theories about his links to communism were floated. Every official channel at the highest level of the FBI was used against the man at the forefront of the movement trying to make a ripple in society for the better.
You don’t publicly celebrate the anniversary of the death of a man whom your very agency tried to get to commit suicide and for which a civil lawsuit deemed you might actually be responsible. It ain’t all good. Also worth noting: This isn’t the first time they’ve pulled this nonsense. It happened earlier this year on his birthday, a national holiday.
— FBI (@FBI) January 16, 2017
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These tactics make what the New York Police Department was doing to #BlackLivesMatter activists in terms of infiltration look small-time in comparison. But in an era in which the White House is trying to find a way to get everyday visitors to the U.S. to turn over their personal information, something the president won’t do himself, it’s a clear indicator of the historical precedent in the intelligence community and how vicious it can be.
The FBI tried to ruin King’s life. They were watching when he was killed. After he delivered one of the most important speeches in the history of this nation, in an internal memo they labeled him as the “most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country.” Yet, people want to direct others toward him when it comes to lecturing black folks on how to properly act when protesting.
His legacy will be a long one. The memory of those who tried to end it will be longer.
Pepsi severely misses mark with new ad
Kendall Jenner stars in one of the least woke commercials of all time
1:44 PMIeshia Evans certainly didn’t stand for this. On Tuesday afternoon, Pepsi released a new ad starring Kendall Jenner that features her as a model-turned-activist who wins over the heart of a riot officer simply by giving him a can of soda. The think pieces have all been written, and the problem is obvious: Co-opting an actual movement that kills actual black people with a ham-handed attempt to sell soda is insulting.
There’s also the larger issue of, how on earth did this see the light of day? But we all know that the world of advertising isn’t exactly chock-full of black folks making decisions when it comes to imagery. Just look at some of these headlines.
“What the Hell Is This New Pepsi Ad” (Eater)
“Kendall Jenner discovers the true joy of Pepsi comes from ripping off protest movements” (Fusion)
“This Pepsi Spot Is A Frontrunner For Most Tone-Deaf Ad Of 2017” (Digg)
Of course, there are a lot of serious matters to be discussed on this. First off, why are there free sodas at a protest? Secondly, what are they protesting? Third, why is Kendall throwing wigs at black women? And, most importantly, why are people playing cellos?
For now, we’ll stick with the funniest tweets.
"Now just wait one second officers.
I have a Pepsi." pic.twitter.com/NW0sddKOOI
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 5, 2017
— Morgan Jerkins (@MorganJerkins) April 4, 2017
When the cops come and you only got Coca-Cola in the fridge pic.twitter.com/GWWO67bkMm
— Ira Madison III (@ira) April 4, 2017
You should have seen the rejected Pepsi commercial. pic.twitter.com/1NR23KCuwk
— Wallace Wylie (@WallaceWylie) April 4, 2017
What you in for?
"Ran out of Pepsi" pic.twitter.com/wMRGcvdYKT
— Zoe 🇭🇹🇭🇹🇭🇹🇭🇹🇭🇹🇭🇹🇭🇹🇭🇹🇭🇹🇭🇹🇭🇹 (@YourFavoriteZoe) April 5, 2017
Me: I'll have a coke please
Waiter: Would Pepsi be okay?
— MelaninMonroe (@TheLanaKay) April 5, 2017
Do better, Pepsi. Oh, and shout-out to Alfonso Ribeiro.
Im sorry but this is the BEST PEPSI COMMERCIAL of all time🙌🏻😏 pic.twitter.com/eZ2mVFfkBa
— ❥ (@adilahlovatic) April 5, 2017
Daily Dose: 4/5/17
Bill O’Reilly is feeling the heat
1:07 PMIf you haven’t been listening to the Bronzeville podcast, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s the brainchild of Laurence Fishburne and Larenz Tate, about the numbers game in 1940s Chicago. Check it out, it’s really good.
Bill O’Reilly’s past is catching up with him. The Fox News talk show host has been a known hothead for years, and now his history with women is finally starting to affect his pockets. You might recall the original video of him freaking out on his crew when he was host of Inside Edition. “We’ll do it live!” became a national catchphrase. So since The New York Times exposed the fact that the network has paid a hefty sum to settle those incidents, companies have pulled ads from his show. It’s up to 22. Also, don’t come for Don Lemon again, Bill.
It’s college acceptance letter season for upstart high schoolers looking to make it. This week has given us two examples of exactly how different the world is when it comes to the different experiences of students in this country. One girl in Chicago was accepted by all eight Ivy League schools, which is a tremendous accomplishment. She hasn’t picked yet. Another kid wrote #BlackLivesMatter 100 times as his essay to get into Stanford and it worked. To be clear, that would never fly with an actual black child.
You have to have goals. Whether it is to finish that master’s degree, clean the gutters or get your taxes done on time, setting them is important. As important to said goals is finding the motivation to get them done. For some, it’s money. For others, it’s the ability to be around family. Whatever it may be, sometimes there are feats that remind you that no matter who you are or how, you can do something. Jamarion Styles draining 3-pointers with no arms is one. This badger burying a cow is another. My goodness.
The NBA’s unwritten rules are getting out of hand. The other night, the Washington Wizards decided they wanted to get huffy about the fact that JaVale McGee threw up a 3 at the end of a 20-point blowout. Sure, it was pointless, but so what? You got crushed. Then, in his triumphant return to Indiana on Tuesday night, Lance Stephenson stirred up some foolishness against the Toronto Raptors. This time, though, it nearly started an actual brawl. I can’t wait until someone gets hurt trying to defend his so-called honor.
Coffee Break: If you use Bandcamp and/or SoundCloud, you know they are very different. One is way more ratchet than the other for reasons that are hard to really understand. But this meme with artists comparing the two is completely hilarious.
Snack Time: Surely you’ve seen the Pepsi ad with Kendall Jenner that everyone’s talking about. But here’s another one that’s pretty darn racist as well, without the two minutes of video required to waste your time.
Dessert: If you’re looking for Latinx podcasts to dive into, here’s a great list.