Daily Dose: 8/22/17
BuzzFeed publishes more on R. Kelly
12:58 PMAnother day, another R. Kelly story. Longtime journalist and Kelly chronicler Jim DeRogatis, after last month’s bombshell story for BuzzFeed, is back with more explosive reporting on the Grammy Award-winning singer and his sexual exploits with underage girls. In a story published late Monday night, once again on BuzzFeed, DeRogatis spoke with a woman who claims she started a sexual relationship with Kelly when she was 16 and said she suffered mental and physical abuse from him for nearly two years. Despite all that has been reported about the singer since the early 2000s, the most disturbing accusation to date may be that Kelly met the woman, Chicago native Jerhonda Pace, at the Cook County Circuit Court while the former was on trial in 2008 for making child pornography. Pace was 15 at the time.
The first white NFL player took a knee during the playing of the national anthem. After public displays of support — but no outright protests — by white players Chris Long, Justin Britt and Derek Carr, Cleveland Browns tight end Seth DeValve joined 11 of his teammates in taking a “knee in prayer” before Monday’s game against the New York Giants. With that gesture, DeValve became the first white player to join a movement begun last season by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (who retweeted a message of support for the Browns players). There are two interesting wrinkles here, as well. First, Browns coach Hue Jackson said just last week that he hoped his players wouldn’t protest the anthem; also, DeValve is married to an African-American woman, one prominently displayed on his personal social media accounts. He added that he wanted to take part in the kneeling because “I myself will be raising children that don’t look like me.”
America is beefing up its war in Afghanistan. President Donald Trump, in a prime-time address to the nation Monday, said the U.S. military will deploy more troops to that country, extending the 16-year-old conflict in the region, the longest in U.S. history. This is a stark departure from Trump’s previous views on Afghanistan, which included questioning when the U.S. would “stop wasting money on rebuilding Afghanistan” in 2011 as well as multiple pleas between 2012-14 to get out of the conflict altogether. During the Republican primaries two years ago, he flip-flopped on whether the invasion was a “terrible mistake” or not. To be fair, Trump acknowledged his past conflicting statements, but he also refused to announce a number of troops to be deployed and found a way to blame former President Barack Obama, despite offering a strategy similar to his predecessor’s.
Houston Rockets guard James Harden will donate $100,000 to Texas Southern University. The NBA MVP runner-up will designate the funds for students at the historically black university who are in financial need. TSU president Dr. Austin Lane told Fox 26 Houston that the funds will serve students “from what I consider to be one of the lowest socioeconomic backgrounds in the city, if not the state or the country.” Harden follows in the footsteps of Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, who donated $1 million each to Alabama A&M University and Clark Atlanta University, both HBCUs, last November.
Things that make you think …
- Speaking of Trump, the commander in chief once implied that Kaepernick should leave the country instead of protesting the national anthem and took credit for the quarterback not having a job. After Monday’s Afghanistan announcement, what’s more harmful to the troops: not standing for (an arguably racist) song or sending more soldiers into a conflict that has already claimed more than 2,200 lives?
- At least 25 Confederate monuments across the country have been removed since Heather Heyer was killed 10 days ago during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Like the aftermath of the murders of nine parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina, two years ago, it took the death of a U.S. citizen for state and local governments to finally remove relics of the Confederacy.
Daily Dose: 8/18/17
Tina Fey wants to let us all eat cake
Tekken 7 is so terrible for my marriage. Just beat husband 21 straight games in a row. pic.twitter.com/0dcRAkvxBe
— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) August 18, 2017
Another one bites the dust. Steve Bannon, the man whom many people consider to be at the root of President Donald Trump’s plans for global destruction and domination, is out at the White House, which is not exactly stunning, but most certainly significant. Let’s not forget that he’s one of the founding members of Breitbart, which as far as the right wing is concerned, is a major media outlet. There are rumors that he’ll return to the company, which means he’ll have the platform to basically smear his former boss. Once again, what a mess.
Tina Fey means well. She also happened to go to the University of Virginia, so the situation that unfolded in Charlottesville last weekend is close to her, clearly. But when she went on Saturday Night Live‘s Weekend Update: Summer Edition for a bit about how to cope with the news of the week, her message came from a place of extreme privilege and tone deafness. Most of us cannot legitimately even think about ignoring neo-Nazis and eating sheetcake. This is a truly serious situation. Her message was not exactly well-received. Here’s a thread.
Now that we’re tearing down Confederate statues left and right, we’ve got some plans to make. What are we going to do with all of them? And should we be putting other things in their place? If you listened to Angela Rye last night on Desus & Mero, quoting a friend from NPR, we should put them all in a museum that speaks to their specific crimes and horrific acts so people can learn in real time how awful they were. There’s also a grass-roots movement to design new monuments, and some of them are incredible.
ARTISTS: Help us design monuments to black liberation in America. REPLY with an image/sketch of your idea. Will work to fund best proposals. pic.twitter.com/AwLu79YWnR
— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) August 18, 2017
Kevin Durant on Twitter is the best. He was off for a while, but now that’s he’s got his ring and his Finals MVP trophy, my man is outchea breaking people off in a way that you have to love. He’s already spoken his mind regarding whether or not he wants to go to the White House as a team with his NBA champion Golden State Warriors, and he is in full clapback mode at this point. He took a shot at ESPN for that fantasy football auction bit, and now he’s turned his lens to a former ESPN employee. Slim ain’t playing.
Coffee Break: If you’re of mixed race, specifically white and black, I could see how the situation in America right now could be more trying than ever. But those mixes come from somewhere. This story about how Trump ruined one son’s relationship with his white mother is truly fascinating.
Snack Time: Speaking of the president, The New Yorker has a new issue coming out soon, and the cover image is a definite doozy. Wow.
Dessert: Allure magazine is officially invited to the cookout.
— Jasmine (@JasmineLWatkins) August 18, 2017
Daily Dose: 8/17/17
Terror attack hits Barcelona
3:18 PMThe week is rolling along on The Dan Le Batard Show. On Thursday we had the homey Domonique Foxworth, as well as DeMario Jackson, whom you may know from his time on The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise. Here it is.
At UVA we reclaimed the space the Nazis tried to take pic.twitter.com/T52tyqqA7O
— Emily G, Cville. (@EmilyGorcenski) August 17, 2017
Tearing down monuments is not an easy task, both physically and symbolically. Folks don’t seem to understand that erecting statues to white supremacy is damaging on multiple levels, so when you go to remove something they’ve looked at for so long, it’s jarring. And in the case of Takiyah Fatima Thompson, who was charged with injury of a statue among other things, people were not happy. Now, three more people have been charged in the case. And in an incredible show of support, hundreds of residents showed up to turn themselves in for the same crime.
While the U.S. is still reeling from its own terrorist attack, across the globe, apparently there are copycat artists. In Barcelona, someone slammed a car into people in a busy tourist area on Thursday. At least 13 people are dead, in a scene that is remarkably similar to the scenario in which a woman was killed in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. It’s a very trying time in a lot of places, but this feels really bad considering it just happened stateside too.
Apparently, there’s a solar eclipse coming up soon. I know this because people keep trying to sell me random sunglasses so that I can look at it, without blinding myself, or something like that? If I’m being honest, I don’t really see what the big deal is. I guess it’s the first time in a century that the whole country will be able to see this, so we’ll all be standing on the street staring in the sky when our enemies come attack us. In all seriousness, though, don’t get got by someone hawking phony shades.
When it comes to protest, the aggrieved aren’t the only ones who can help. Often it’s those who in fact look like the offenders, but don’t side with them in principle, who can do the most. Why? Because people trust those like themselves most. So when it comes to taking a stand at NFL games, if a white player decides to do something on the field, it will resonate differently than it does coming from others. Michael Bennett thinks that’s how real change will come along. Then again, 49ers GM John Lynch says that protests are divisive. Sigh.
Coffee Break: You know who Martin Shkreli is. Pharma Bro, who somehow found himself getting involved in random hip-hop situations, basically because he could afford it — that guy? Well, he’s being charged with securities fraud. And the transcript of his jury selection is completely incredible. Shouts to the Wu.
Snack Time: It’s amazing how racism in tech industries can affect things. When it comes to programming common machines, if you don’t account for black folks, things like this happen.
Dessert: Easily the best first pitch of all time. Indisputable fact.
The nutshot makes this unanimous first ballot HOF pitch pic.twitter.com/VE30vNXLZB
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) August 16, 2017
Daily Dose: 8/16/17
Another day, another statue downed
3:37 PMOn The Dan Le Batard Show on Wednesday, we tried to have some fun after a very sobering day in America. Pablo Torre joined the show, and we talked about fried chicken, MLS and Filipino baseball players. Take a listen.
So do people want to remove all monuments of every white man that was a racist in our country because there won't be any monuments
— Aaron Lamar (@everydayaaron) August 15, 2017
The United States is different today. There’s no way to describe the hardened disappointment that nearly everyone in the country feels after President Donald Trump took to a podium to defend neo-Nazis and white supremacists after a speech that was supposed to be about infrastructure. You don’t need to take a political side to be appalled by that. As a result, people all over the place are bailing out of various links to the administration. There are not two sides, unless you’re legitimately going to call yourself a Nazi sympathizer.
Speaking of presidents, Barack Obama remains as popular as ever. While all this other nonsense and violence overtakes parts of our nation, 44 tweeted a picture of him talking to babies in a window. For one, the photograph is adorable on every level. Secondly, the caption is even better. It’s currently got more than 1 million retweets and 3.5 million likes. You gotta know that this drives Trump crazy, even though he should probably be concerned with more important things. Behold the most famous tweet ever.
"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…" pic.twitter.com/InZ58zkoAm
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 13, 2017
Baltimore is about that action. Instead of waiting for a situation like the one in Durham, North Carolina, in which protesters toppled a Confederate monument on their own, Baltimore handled it discreetly. Under the cloak of night, the city removed four more. Of course, people started in with jokes about how the situation mirrored that of the Baltimore Colts, famous for leaving town overnight in 1984. Those jokes aren’t funny. Statues that salute white supremacy and football teams ain’t even close to the same thing.
I don’t normally turn to the NFL for progressive thinking. But the way the league has handled the Ezekiel Elliott situation has been rather forward-thinking, if only because of the fact that the basic concept of believing women when it comes to accusations against athletes is not something we normally see. And now that the National Football League Players Association is appealing the Dallas Cowboys running back’s suspension, the league has responded rather forcefully, issuing a statement pointing out that victim-blaming and shaming is not the move, at all. Good for them. Here’s the rebuttal.
Coffee Break: Kicks magazine is doing the Lord’s work. The publication about sneakers recently put out an edition featuring the Top 20 basketball shoes of all time, and I have no idea how they managed to whittle this thing down. But they’ve also got 20 different covers, which is tremendous.
Snack Time: You know what happens when you antagonize people at a rally inspired by hate groups? Well, people don’t like you, because that’s not OK. And that antagonism can come back to haunt you, big time.
Dessert: This is guaranteed to make your day.
"Bad N Boujee" over Earth, Wind & Fire "September" is the Greatest thing i've heard ever!
Have a great day y'all! pic.twitter.com/SucBiR44UW
— Disco Ric (@RicWilson) August 15, 2017