It has been 50 years since the devastating assassination of John F. Kennedy so the White House held a ceremony in honor of the legendary President. Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, who both idolized JFK, paid tribute to him by laying a wreath at his grave.
President Obama further honored JFK’s legacy by presenting 16 worthy Americans with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor. Kennedy created this medal, but was unfortunately assassinated two weeks before he was even able to award the first group of recipients.
Notable names that received this honor from Obama included Oprah Winfrey, former President Bill Clinton, and baseball Hall Of Famer Ernie Banks.
“A Father First,” which is a book telling the story of Dwyane Wade was such a big hit that he decided to go before television executives and pitch it as a television show. The show has officially been picked up by Fox as a comedy that will tell the story of an NBA star who gets full custody of his two young sons.
We are still waiting on many more details about the show, but so far “Three The Hard Way” has been announced as the current working title. It hasn’t been confirmed who will play the characters, but Wade stated that his two sons are very anxious to see who will portray them. He also stated that he will be very involved and jokingly added that he is sure that whoever plays his character will be “somebody very handsome.”
Wade also hinted at his actress girlfriend Gabrielle Union being apart of the show stating, “She might have a small role. You never know.”
Big congratulations goes out to Dwade and his accomplishments both on and off the court!
First off kudos to the mogul machine that is Diddy for acquiring his own damn network! The man doesn’t stop .. Diddy says he’s going to bring kids back to television with his new music based network REVOLT
Check your local Time Warner and Comcast listings for Revolt and let us know what you think in the comments section. If you love music, pop-culture and entertainment check it out.
In the new Drake ft. J. Cole song, “Jodeci Freestyle,” Cole offended many people with a line about Autism. The line, “I’m artistic, you n—-s is autistic, retarded” drove the Anti-Bullying Alliance to create a petition demanding an apology which registered over 4,500 signatures.
In a very well written apology, J. Cole states that he doesn’t agree with the recent trend of rappers having to apologize for offensive lyrics, but he did believe that in this particular case an apology was needed:
“Recently there’s been a trend that includes rappers saying something offensive, only to be attacked for it in the media and pressured to apologize. I have to be completely honest and say there’s a part of me that resents that. I view rap similar to how I view comedy. It’s going to ruffle feathers at times. It’s going to go “too far”. I do not believe that an apology is needed every time someone is offended, especially when that apology is really only for the sake of saving an endorsement or cleaning up bad press.
With that said, this is not the case today. This letter is sincere. This apology IS necessary.
In a recent verse on the song “Jodeci Freestyle”, I said something highly offensive to people with Autism. Last week, when I first saw a comment from someone outraged about the lyric, I realized right away that what I said was wrong. I was instantly embarrassed that I would be ignorant enough say something so hurtful. What makes the crime worse is that I should have known better.
To the entire Autism community who expressed outrage, I’m moved and inspired by your passion, and I’m amazed at how strong you are as a unit. I have now read stories online from parents about their struggles and triumphs with raising an Autistic child and I admire how incredibly strong you have to be to do so. It’s touching. It also makes what I said even more embarrassing for me. I feel real shame. You have every right to be angry.
To anyone suffering from Autism, either mildly or severely, I am sorry. I’m bound to make mistakes in my life, but in my heart I just want to spread Love.
I want to educate myself more on Autism, and I’ll gladly own my mistake and serve as an example to today’s generation that there’s nothing cool about mean-spirited comments about someone with Autism. People with this disorder and their loved ones have to go through so much already, the last thing they need is to hear something as ignorant as what I said. I understand.
To the parents who are fighting through the frustrations that must come with raising a child with severe autism, finding strength and patience that they never knew they had; to the college student with Asperger’s Syndrome; to all those overcoming Autism. You deserve medals, not disrespect. I hope you accept my sincere apology. Much Love” -Cole
Following suit, Drake shared responsibility for the offensive lyric since it was on his song. He also issued an apology which praised J. Cole’s response and also stated that the lyric will be removed from the song:
“J.Cole wrote a beautiful and moving apology to individuals and families affected by autism who were understandably hurt by a verse in “Jodeci Freestyle”. I share responsibility and offer my sincerest apologies for the pain this has caused. Individuals with autism have brilliant and creative minds, and their gifts should not be disparaged or discounted. This was a learning lesson for both of us, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to try to right this wrong. J. Cole and I believe that it is the right, responsible, and respectful decision to remove the lyric from the song.”
Television Host, Melissa Harris-Perry shared a very heartfelt letter to Sybrina Fulton (mother of Trayvon Martin) on MSNBC. In this letter, she praises Ms. Fulton for her courage to be a leader in the community while mourning the death of her son. Watch the moving video below.
Kerry Washington continues to do very big things! Big movies, newlywed, and now she is being nominated for an Emmy award for the very first time in her career!
Washington is receiving her first Emmy nomination for her role as Olivia Pope in ABC’s hit show “Scandal.” The third season of this series will take over our televisions this Fall.
Kerry Washington joins Vera Farmiga (Bates Hotel), Robin Wright (House of Cards), Connie Britton (Nashville), Claire Danes (Homeland), Michelle Dockery (Downtown Abbey), and Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) in the lead actress in a drama category.
If you’ve missed Kerry’s brilliant acting as Olivia Pope in “Scandal”, no need to worry! BET recently announced that they will debut the first two seasons of the show with a marathon starting in August. Go Kerry!
Nasir Jones who is widely recognized as one of the greatest rappers ever now has a fellowship named after him at Harvard University.
The W.E.B Du Bois Inistitute at Harvard University and the Hip-Hop Archive announced on Tuesday that a fellowship has been established in the rapper’s honor. This fellowship will provide chosen scholars and artists an opportunity to show how powerful education is.
This Hip-Hop Archive will seek projects from scholars and artists that exemplify their insight, creativity, and intellect. Nas, who has publically acknowledged the many ups and downs in his storied rap career, expressed his gratitude and excitement about this fellowship by stating:
“In my roller-coaster of a life, I’ve endured good and bad for sure, and I’ve truly been blessed to have achieved so much through art in my short life thus far. But I am immensely over-the-top excited about the Nasir Jones hip-hop fellowship at Harvard. From Queens, NY to true cultural academia.
My hopes are that greed for knowledge, art, self-determination and expression go a long way. It is a true honor to have my name attached to so much hard work, alongside great names like Henry Louis Gates Jr. and W.E.B Du Bois and to such a prestigious and historical institution, and all in the name of the music I grew to be a part of.”
More shocking developments have surfaced as Aaron Hernandez sits in prison. It has been revealed that a man whom police were preparing to question in connection with the Hernandez case died in a single-car crash early Sunday morning right outside of Hernandez’s hometown of Bristol, Conn.
Investigators were reportedly interested in talking to Thaddeus Singleton about his relationship with Hernandez before he died in the car accident. Thaddeus was married to Aaron Hernandez’s cousin and police suspected that he knew information about the shooting of Odin Lloyd on June 17th and the double homicide in 2012 that Hernandez is now being linked to.
Unless Hernandez is found not guilt when all is said and done, it looks like he may never be able to marry his fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins. Police sheriff, Thomas Hodgson responded to questions about allowing Hernandez to marry his fiancée while in prison by stating:
“I don’t subscribe to that. I feel that those rights are things that you access on the outside, if you’re a good citizen. We’ll do everything we can to not have that happen.”
Things are definitely not looking to good for the former NFL Tight End.
After his cross examination with Rachel Jeantel who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin just moments before his tragic death, Don West posed for a “celebratory” picture with his daughters eating ice cream. His daughter then posted the picture to her Instagram account with the caption:
Really? While trying to find a way to defend George Zimmerman, West had to also defend the ignorant actions of his daughter. He responded to the highly offensive photo, saying:
“As a parent, we’re not always proud of things our children do, but we love them anyway, and then we move on.”
Zimmerman’s defense team spokesperson Shawn Vincent also defended the post, stating:
“West was doing something he does almost everyday, an old tradition with his daughters. They went out for ice cream. Don had no idea that she’d post it on Instagram… The girls like to make of their dad frequently.”
Well this Instagram photo was not making fun of their dad. It was an obvious poke at Rachel Jeantel whose testimony has stirred up debates about cultural differences and language barriers. The Instagram account has since been deactivated.
This also comes just days after Don West started the murder trial with the infamous “knock-knock joke” that nobody in the courtroom found funny. While West’s offensive actions have nothing to do with what happened between Zimmerman and Martin, it’s definitely not a good look that this man is Zimmerman’s representation.
In less than two weeks, R&B Legend Lauryn Hill will begin a 3-month prison term, but she posted a letter on Tumblr yesterday discussing racism, reverse racism, and how that ties into her negative experiences with the IRS. Read the entire controversial letter below.
“The concept of reverse racism is flawed, if not absolutely ridiculous. Most, if not all of the negative responses from people of color toward white people, are reactions to the hatred, violence, cruelty and brutality that they were shown by white people for centuries. Much of the foundation of the modern world was built on the forced free labor of black peoples. The African Slave Trade, the institution of slavery, colonialism, its derivative systems, and the multiple holocausts throughout history, where whites used race as the defining reason to justify their oppression, conquest, and brutal treatment of non-white peoples, are how race became such a factor to begin with.
The initial claim by the oppressors, followed a moral imperative (so they said) that people outside of Occidental and European birth were in savage and cursed conditions, and that God justified the captivity of these people, and the rape and pillage of their lands.
Ironically, these oppressors would try to discard this same God, who supposedly justified this brutality, in the name of Darwin, whose famous line ‘survival of the fittest’ was used to justify criminal behavior once the Bible could no longer be used as a hiding place for economic domination and evil intention.
Spirituality and morality were replaced by capitalism, and with it a conscious shift of focus toward the exploitation of the vulnerable.
In order to justify reverse racism one would have to first create an even playing field, undo the generations of torture, terror, and brutality, and then judge whether or not a non-white person is in fact a racist. This approach would require people to examine the need/addiction to feel superior to someone else for no justifiable reason, and the myriad policies: Spiritual, political and social, that it bore. True dominion is self evident and not the result of sabotaging another in order to achieve it. That would be an illegitimate as well as a fleeting position. The Universe, will eventually seek to right/balance itself.
Of course there are white people who live transcendent lives, not exploiting ill-gotten privilege or perpetuating the sins of their ancestors who used violence and deceit as a means to gain advantage over others. Humanity in proper order is obligated to acknowledge the Truth, whoever it comes from, be they Black, White or other. Righteous indignation is simply a response to long-standing evil.
Much of the world is still reeling from the abuses of Imperialist selfishness, misunderstanding, ignorance and greed. Black people remain in many ways a shattered community, disenfranchised, forcefully removed from context and still caged in, denied from making truly independent choices and experiencing existential freedom. Their natural homes, just like their natural selves, raped and pillaged of the resources and gifts God has given to them. Interpreted through someone else’s slanted lens and filter, they remain in many ways, misrepresented. Taxation without proper representation, might I remind you, was the very platform of protest that began the Revolutionary War, which gained this country its independence from England. Anger is not only the natural response to the abuse of power, but is also appropriate when there is no real acknowledgment of these abuses, or deep, meaningful and profound change.
If we took all of what we deem horrible regarding the criminal abuses that black people have committed over this country’s history, and add it all up, it still does not compare to the hundreds of years of terrorism, violent domination, theft, rape, abuse, captivity, and beyond that black people have suffered under the ideologies and systems of white supremacy, racism, and slave based paradigms. I say this only to say that abuse unresolved begets or creates abuse. How then does the chief offender become the judge? Might does not necessarily mean right. Right is right. People forcibly reduced to sub-human existences, so that they behave in sub-human ways, helps a system to justify itself or feel less guilty about its blood saturated foundation and gross crimes against humanity. People, like plants, grow where the light is. When you enclose a plant and limit its light source, it will bend itself toward the light, for the light is necessary for its survival. This same thing happens to people locked in communities where little light and little opportunity is allowed them, survival then forces them to twist and/or bend toward the only way of escape.
There is good. And I both acknowledge and encourage the good. Instead of throwing out the Baby with the bath water, we do well to expose the intentionally poisoned water the Baby has been forced to soak in since its origin in these lands. America’s particular brand of hypocrisy is gross (double entendre).
I shuddered during sentencing when I kept hearing the term ‘make the IRS whole’… make the IRS whole, knowing that I got into these very circumstances having to deal with the very energies of inequity and resistance that created and perpetuated these savage inequalities. The entire time, I thought, who has made black people whole?! Who has made recompense for stealing, imposing, lying, murdering, criminalizing the traumatized, taking them against their wills, destroying their homes, dividing their communities, ‘trying’ to steal their destinies, their time, stagnating their development, I could go on and on. Has America, or any of the nations of the world guilty of these atrocities, ever made black people or Africa whole or do they continue to sit on them, control them, manipulate them, cage them, rob them, brutalize them, subject them to rules that don’t apply to all? Use language, veiled coercion, and psychological torment like invisible fences to keep them locked into a pattern of limitation and therefore control by others. You have to remain focused to cease from rage.
The prosecutor, who was a woman, made a statement during sentencing about me not doing any charity work for a number of years during my ‘exile.’ A) Charity work is not a requirement, but something done because someone wants to. I was clearly doing charitable works way before other people were even thinking about it. And B) Even the judge had to comment that she, meaning I, was both having and raising children during this period. As if that was not challenging enough to do. She sounded like the echo of the grotesque slave master, who expected women to give birth while in the field, scoop the Baby up, and then continue to work. Disgusting.
When you are beaten and penalized for being independent, or truly self reliant, then you develop a dysfunctional relationship with self-reliance, and a fear of true independence. When you are beaten or threatened with death for trying to read a book, then you develop a dysfunctional relationship with education. When families are broken up by force and threat of violence, then the family structure becomes dysfunctional. When men who would naturally defend their women and families are threatened with castration and death, then this natural response also becomes dysfunctional. When looking at the oppressor is punishable by violence, then examination of him and his system becomes a difficult and taboo thing to do, despite every bone in your body demanding it. When questioning or opposing oppression is punishable by death, imprisonment, or economic assassination, then opposing systemic wrong in any or all of its meta manifestations is a terrifying concept. Anyone forced to live so incredibly diametrically opposed to that which is natural to themselves, will end up in crisis if they don’t successfully find a way to improve or transcend these circumstances! All of which require healing. It is only by the Grace of God and the resilience of the people that things haven’t been worse.
Much of my music, if not all of it, is about Love, a therapeutic resolve created in response to the lack of messages encouraging people like me toward free moral agency. Helping to ameliorate this condition has never been addressed through the political arena alone. It is a sacrificial work that doesn’t simply happen between the hours of 9 to 5 or Monday through Friday, but when inspiration leads us to avail ourselves for the Truth that needs to be said. Unlike the system too often contrarily demonstrates, we believe that people can be and should be helped, and that trauma should not be criminalized but acknowledged, healed and dealt with. This takes awareness, sensitivity and a level of freedom in my opinion the system lacks. And if we don’t know or understand how to do it, then we humbly refer to a higher authority.
We have no desire to create humanoids, turn people into machines, or dumb them down so that they remain dependent longer than necessary to an antiquated system in denial of its many inadequacies and need to evolve. Instead we seek to educate and shed light on the snares, traps, and enticements that people set up in the name of business that are intended only to catch the sleeping and/or uninformed.
Why would a system, ‘well intentioned’, wait until breakdown or incarceration to consider rehabilitation, after generations of institutionally inflicted trauma and abuse on a people? To me it is obvious that the accumulation of generational trauma and abuse have created the very behaviors the system tries to punish, by providing no sufficient outlets for the victims of institutional terror. Clearly, the institution seeks to hide its own criminal history at the expense and wholeness of the abused, who ‘acting out’ from years of abuse and mistreatment, reflect the very aggression that they were exposed to.”