One reason often given by some in the black community for their rejection of LGBT rights as a legitimate civil rights movement, is that gay rights is a "white" issue that is not relevant to black people. Or, as one smug pastor succintly put it, "Don't compare my skin to your sin."
But Rev. Dennis W. Wiley (pictured above with wife Christine), pastor of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ in Washington D.C., looks to correct such ignorant sentiments with a new project from the liberal think tank The Center For American Progress. In the series, entitled "Gay Are Us," Rev. Wiley lays out the ways the black and LGBT community's struggles link together, invoking civil rights icons such as Martin Luther King and Bayard Rustin, who was openly gay, to make his points.
"In his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Wiley writes, "He responded by first informing his critics that what was happening in Birmingham was directly connected to what was happening in his hometown of Atlanta. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” he wrote. Second, he replied that the word “‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never’” and that “justice too long delayed is justice denied. "
"When Adam Clayton Powell Jr., the powerful, influential, and charismatic black pastor and U.S. congressman from Harlem, New York, threatened that year to circulate a false rumor that Rustin and King had been involved in a homosexual affair, King—much to Rustin’s disappointment—promptly accepted Rustin’s resignation. It was not until 1963, when King again stood solidly behind him, that Rustin was assigned the responsibility to plan, organize, and orchestrate the phenomenally successful March on Washington."
Wiley also wrote that if King were still alive today, he would have also been supportive of women's rights and gay rights, and cites this as the reason "why so many of his former associates who are still alive—including Congressman John Lewis and the NAACP’s own Julian Bond—are unequivocal in their support of gay rights, including marriage equality. The same was true of his late widow, Coretta Scott King. They have understood that LGBT oppression is not some alien or superfluous concern that has little or nothing to do with other justice issues critical to the black community and that, in fact, it is a critical issue of civil rights."
Such views are a refreshing alternative to the homophobic condemnations and hypocritical, deny-til-you-die mentality of other prominent pastors like Eddie Long or Creflo Dollar. Read the rest HERE, and read the second entry, in which Wiley refutes the common arguments used by anti-gay blacks, HERE.
Beyonce and Jay-Z have officially announced that they are expecting their first child. Bey was sporting quite the little baby bump when she walked the red carpet at the VMA's. For the record, I don't know (I'm Beyonce and Jay don't either) if the child is a boy or girl, I just couldn't resist that pun lol. Bey is glowing the Milky Way in the pic. Congrats!
For some reason, I've had this song stuck in my head all day, so I thought I'd be a pal and get it stuck in yours too. Does anyone else think a DJ mashing this up with Teddy Pendergrass's "Close The Door" would be a fiyah old school mix? Marinate on that and enjoy below.
In the midst of all the speculation that Will and Jada's marriage might've come to an end, it occured to me that I've never featured the Fresh Prince on any of my 'Eye Candy' posts. While thoughts of a single Will happening upon me at a restaraunt or club (if for some inexplicable reason he decided to make a pilgrimage to Louisiana), and subsequently engaging in hot, ass-slapping bathroom stall sex bubbled up in my mind when the news first broke, I will say that I'm happy their union remains intact, *flashes fake smile while secretly cursing Jada's existence*. No seriously I am lol. But that doesn't mean a boy can't dream. Get into the pics below.
Ignore Charlize Theron and concentrate on that booty! Not that I have to tell ya'll that!
Today marks 10 years since Aaliyah's sudden death in a plane crash. I've paid tribute to her nearly every year since I've been blogging, so I won't retread memories of where I was and what I was doing. I will simply say this: The world a is less beautiful, vibrant and interesting place without Aaliyah in it, and it's sad that she's not here to show us just how beautiful, vibrant and interesting she could have become as a singer, actress and human being. Fortunately, we will always have her music and indelible image to remember her by.
But enough from me. I'll let baby girl do the talking.
In the column, published Monday, Berg notes that Prine’s directive prevents William Flowers from leaving his children alone with any man not related to them by blood or adoption — including his husband, Jim Evans, whom he married last year in Connecticut.
Prine's order came after Flowers sued for custody of his three children he had with his former wife. The couple divorce in 2004 with both sides agreeing that she should have custody. Flowers changed his mind and went to court, but a jury ruled that his wife should keep custody and he should continue his regular visitation. Afterwards Prine issued the order, which Flowers plans to appeal.
Family law attorneys, who requested anonymity, have called the ruling "patently anti-gay." One Austin attorney, Jennifer Cochran, was willing to go on record and said the judge's decision is "just not reasonable” and “strikes at the very heart of the fact that [Flowers is] gay ... it’s judicial activism, legislating from the bench.”
Perhaps, as Berg speculates, the judge bought into age-old stereotypes and feared the children would be molested or transformed into dragalicious snap queens against their will? Whatever the faulty reasoning may be, the case is still pending and Judge Prine has declined to comment.
The brutal beating of subsequent death of 19-year-old Waterloo, IA resident Marcellus Andrews, who was taunted with anti-gay slurs by his attackers, has Iowa's LGBT group calling it a "wake-up call" for the state. According to The Advocate:
"Marcellus Andrews, 19, was taken off life support Sunday at an Iowa City hospital following severe head injuries sustained in the early Friday morning attack, which was preceded by a verbal altercation between Andrews and unknown assailants who called him “faggot,” according to witnesses.
'The language that was used during this attack is very alarming and very concerning to us,” One Iowa executive director Troy Price told Radio Iowa. “Regardless of how the investigation turns out as to whether this was a hate crime or not, the fact is there was derogatory, hurtful and harmful language. This person was taunted for what appears to be his perceived sexuality.'"
Police have not made any arrests yet and said they are unsure if the assault was a hate crime, but are not ruling out the possibility.
More developments in the vicious murder of James Craig Anderson, the black Mississippi man who was beaten and killed in a hit and run by a white teenager that was allegedly racially motivated. Nineteen-year-old Deryl Dedmon Jr., believed to be the ringleader of the attack, has been charged with capital murder, an upgrade from the original murder charge. Dedmon is currently being held in isolation at Hinds County Detention Center.
Personal details have also been revealed about Anderson. The New York Times states Anderson had a partner and they were raising a daughter together.
"Mr. Anderson was a good country cook, a gifted gardener and always genial, his family said. He liked his job on the assembly line at the Nissan plant north of Jackson, where he had worked for about seven years.
“If you met him, the first thing you were going to see was that grand piano smile,” said his eldest sister, Barbara Anderson Young.
He made a point of taking care of old people and children and was helping his partner of 17 years, James Bradfield, raise the 4-year-old relative for whom Mr. Bradfield has legal guardianship. He sang tenor in the choir at the First Hyde Park Missionary Baptist Church and was so good “he’d have you falling out,” Mr. Bradfield, 44, said.
And if friends or relatives were not dressed well enough for an event, he would tease them into changing into something nicer."
Dedmon also has a history of making racist and homophobic comments. Rev. Brian Richardson of Castlewood Baptish Church says Dedmon "had called his son, Jordan, 18, derogatory words for homosexual and mocked his friendship with black students when they were in high school together. Mr. Richardson said he had raised the issue with school officials, and once had to deal with the police when Mr. Dedmon and some other boys drove to the family home."
Anderson's family, while starting the James Craig Anderson Foundation for Racial Tolerance, has chosen to remain silent. I have to echo Rod 2.0's sentiments about the reason why they may be reluctant to speak out: "If these facts were known, would the horrific murder still have captured the nation's attention?"
I think we all know what facts Rod's is talking about.
New Hampshire Republicans have voted to abolish the state's minimum wage. Republicans overrode Gov. John Lynch's June veto, saying that it is a job killing regulation. Read this crap.
The change takes effect Sunday, but it will have no consequence for employers or employees because New Hampshire's minimum wage was the same as the federal wage, which remains in force.
During the fight over the removing the state law from the books, Republicans insisted the wage law not only makes it harder to create jobs, it kills them.
House Republicans also killed a Democratically sponsored bill that would have raised the wage. Democrats argued the 75 cent proposed hourly increase would put $30 more each week in the pockets of the state's 4,000 lowest-paid workers, money that would be spent boosting the economy.
Adding idiotic insult to injury, Rep. Carol McGuire (the sloth pictured above), says that young workers aren't worth minimum wage. "It's very discriminatory, particularly for young people. They're not worth the minimum," she said. She believes there are young people who would get a job if they could be paid $5 an hour instead of the minimum.
Obviously this fool has never tried to buy food, gas or pay bills on the scraps that constitute minimum wage. Think of all the people you know in their teens/twenties, and try to imagine one that would willingly work a job that paid nearly three dollars less than $7.25 an hour. Don't worry I'll wait. Exactly! No one in their right mind would accept a five dollar an hour gig in lieu of higher pay when expenses are sky high (or even when they're not). I guess in her warped world that five bucks could pay your cell phone, car note, car insurance, groceries, rent and utilities, with enough change leftover to fill up your tank with dollar a gallon gas for that trip to the Big Rock Candy Mountain!
While I'm aware federal law supercedes state law (as stated in the article), whose to say Republicans, the Tea Party in particular, wouldn't want to do the same thing in Congress? After all, they were willing to risk default just so they wouldn't have to raise taxes on those grand "job creators" the rich, even though they're now opposing President Obama's plans to extend payroll tax cuts for Americans. Why not eliminate that pesky government regulation altogether and let every man fight for themselves in a free market? I swear, sometimes it feels like they won't stop until we're all crying out "Please sir! I want some more!"Oliver Twist-style. But then they'll probably just say, "Let them eat cake."
On the tenth anniversary of Aaliyah's passing, BET will air "Aaliyah: One In A Million," a special hour-long tribute with friends, family and fellow artists reflecting on the singer's life and career. The special will air Thursday, August 25 at 8pm Watch a short clip of Missy Eliott and Timbaland talking about recording with Aaliyah below.
This is a wet dream come true. True Blood's Joe Manganiello is in talks to join Steven Soderbergh's film about male strippers, which already stars Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey and Matt Bomer. Throw in Boris Kodjoe, Michael Jai White, The Rock and Rockmond Dunbar and I'd be on my back faster than a prostitute at a prison rodeo!
According to The Randy Report, Manganiello will be playing a character named Big Dick Richie (I swear I'm not making this up!), which already has images of Alcide going full frontal dancing in my head.
The flick will feature Tatum as the title character, a veteran stripper who mentors a younger dancer. McConaughey will portray a former stripper who now owns the club, called Xquisite, where Tatum’s character works.
All I'm sayin' is there better be some hot man-on-man action. The producers KNOW the target audience for this movie, and it's not just middle-aged suburban moms who need something to temporarily distract them from the gaping black hole that Oprah left in their lives. Queens will be watching:).
This witch couldn't conjure up a straight answer to save her life. Maybe she needed the power of three. Anyway watch her unravel during a routine interview with Piers Morgan, during which she balks at his audacity to ask relevant questions about past public statements and sentiments contained in the thing she came to promote--her book.Who knew being a journalist was synonymous with being 'rude?'
The U.S. Justice Department has joined the investigation of the murder of James Craig Anderson, a black man who was killed in a hit and run by a group of white teens who'd allegedly set out to find and attack a black person simply because of their race.
Anderson was in a hotel parking lot on June 26 when he was beaten by a group of teens. After the attack, one of the teens ran over Anderson with a Ford pickup truck. Anderson died of his injuries the next day.
"Federal investigators are in Jackson at the request of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, who says he will be seeking indictments against some or all of the white teens in coming weeks. "This was a racially motivated murder, committed because the victim was black. We want to prosecute and bring justice in this case to the fullest extent of the law," said Smith, explaining that he called Justice
Department officials and asked for more investigators to come to Mississippi to help interview witnesses and pursue leads in the crime.
Under federal law, authorities can pursue further charges and punishment if it is determined that a crime was racially motivated. Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed to CNN that "the department has an ongoing investigation."
Eighteen-year-old Derly Dedmon Jr., the leader of the group that attacked Anderson, has been charge with murder and could face two life sentences. Rice was initially charged with murder but a judge reduced his charges to simple assault because he is not believed to have driven the vehicle that killed Anderson. Neither Dedmon or Rice have pleaded to any charges, and none of the other teens have been charged.
A new campaign has been launched by a Chicago organization to end violence among black LGBT teens. The social marketing campaign "Be Great," was created in response to a series of violent incident involving black LGBT youth in the predominantly white Boystown area.
Frank Walker, founder and executive director of Youth Pride Center, says "Be Great" was created as a response to community outrage over the attacks. "[The community meeting] was getting away from the actual topic, which was: How do you deal with violence?" Walker told Windy City Times. "We believe every person should live in a safe neighborhood. We don't believe that it's racist to say that. ... Nobody wanted to hear what the youth had to say, and there's a big difference between what youth are saying and what adults are saying."
The campaign showscases posters and video made by youth on their Facebook page. All submissions will be judged, and the winning print entry will be placed in the Windy City Times and be distributed among the youth as a palm card. Watch the compilation video below.
Anyone who has given this blog even a cursory glance probably knows I'm a Madonna stan. I love the woman (wow, thought I'd never type that sentence lol), and have already professed how much at great length in my "Grand Diva" post awhile back. So instead of going the gushing fan route, I'd rather pay tribute by posting a few of my favorite Madonna megamixes/remixes. Listen and enjoy below.
If you recall from my 'Required Gay Viewing' post about Paris Is Burning (if you haven't seen it, watch it immediately!), you might remember my remark on how watching the movie brings both joy and a bit of sadness, being that so many of the documentary's subjects have passed on. Fortunately, Freddy Pendavis is still among us (as least as of four years ago), as seen in this 2007 interview. I have to say the gurl has aged astonishingly well. Watch the clip, as well as classic footage of Willi Ninja vogueing for his life on Joan Rivers talk show.
Well at least she didn't push Don Lemon around like Michele Bachmann and the first wife, That Gal Marcus. When asked by the CNN anchor/reporter if who she thought was responsible for the U.S.'s recent credit downgrade by Standard and Poor, Palin said, wait for it....President Obama.Yes Sarah, ignore the fact that your basically blackmailed the White House and Senate by refusing to cooperate on anything that remotely mentioned raising taxes on the wealthy or generating any sort of revenue to counteract all the spending cuts they seem hellbent on making.
Although I will concede that were measures Obama and the Democrats could've taken to both prevent default and keep from bowing to the Republicans threats. But you didn't see him shouting and storming out of debt talks like a diva who just discovered there was no Evian or scented candles in her dressing room (*cough* John Boehner *cough*). Anyway, watch this below.
If you've ever thought that Sesame Street's perennial bachelors Bert and Ernie were more than just roommates, you're not along. Inspired by the recent decision to legalize gay marriage in New York, Illinois resident Lair Scott has started a petition for the two characters to get married.
In the letter Scott states, "In this horrific age of LGBT kids taking their own lives, they need to know that they ARE BEAUTIFUL and their lives are worth living ... We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful. Only that they allow Bert & Ernie to marry or even add a transgender character to the show. It can be done in a tasteful way. Let us teach tolerance of those that are different. Let Sesame Street and PBS Kids be a big part in saving many worthy lives."
Scott has also set up a Facebook page. Time.com, points out that, "Opponents of the petition say that having Bert and Ernie marry all of a sudden could confuse children who may never have even caught on to the rumors. Would children then think that men who live together must be gay? Other critics say the move would be too political for a children's program, because these are in fact Muppets we're talking about — none of which are married or even in romantic relationships. The show is after all supposed to be about ABCs and 123s. But in the past Sesame Street has introduced a Latina Muppet as well as an HIV-positive Muppet, so producers aren't exactly ignoring cultural shifts."
I may have to agree with the first point. After all, not all men who live together are gay, or even if they are both gay or bisexual, are in romantic/sexual relationships. Perhaps the producers could introduce a gay or lesbian couple into the show instead, so kids can be exposed to both images.
What do you think? Should Bert and Ernie jump the broom? While you ponder and discuss, watch the clip that inspired the title of this post below.
Cartoon Network has decided to make a cartoon based on Black Dynamite, the 2009 blaxploitation parody starring Michael Jai White as a Vietnam veteran, former CIA agent and martial artist hell bent on cleaning up the streets and keep the orphange dope free.
In the pilot episode, Black Dynamite (voiced by White *swoons*) takes on a his childhood mentor, That Frog Kurtis, a TV puppet teacher turned supervillain, to foil his plans of pimping the black youth of America through the power of educational television. Black Dynamite was created by some of the same minds behind The Boondocks (excluing Aaron McGruder, but hopefully he'll get involved) so you know it's hilarious. The series will begin running regularly in spring 2012. Watch below.
Post-racial society my ass. In Mississippi, a group of white teens decided it when be fun to drive down to Jackson and assault a black person, or as Deryl Demond Jr., the ringleader of this band of thugs put it, "let's go fuck with some niggers." Unfortunately 49-year-old auto plant worker James Craig Anderson was at the wrong place at the wrong time. According to CNN.com:
On a recent Sunday morning just before dawn, two carloads of white teenagers drove to Jackson, Mississippi, on what the county district attorney says was a mission of hate: to find and hurt a black person.
Deryl Dedmon Jr. (Right), John Aaron Rice (Left)
In a parking lot on the western side of town they found their victim.
James Craig Anderson, a 49-year-old auto plant worker, was standing in a parking lot, near his car. The teens allegedly beat Anderson repeatedly, yelled racial epithets, including "White Power!" according to witnesses.
Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith says a group of the teens then climbed into their large Ford F250 green pickup truck, floored the gas, and drove the truck right over Anderson, killing him instantly.
"This was a crime of hate. Dedmon murdered this man because he was black," said Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith. "The evidence will show that."
Asked if there could be any doubt whether the intent was to actually hurt and kill a black person, Smith responded: "No doubt about it. They were going out to look for a black victim to assault, and in this case, even kill."
This sounds like it could've happened in 1960 instead of 2011. I hope Dedmon and John Aaron Rice, the driver who ran this man down like a piece of roadkill, get the book thrown at them in court. That the other teens who helped in the attack have not been charged is even more outrageous.This man was simply minding his business and these cretins killed him for no reason, other than pure hatred.
In my opinion, we will never be a post-racial society, just like we will never be a post-gay or post-sexist society. Because people will always fear the other, the foreign, the different. And as often happens, this fear turns to hate, which will often manifest through acts of aggression, creating a system of oppression to make oneselfs superior to the other, or making the other the scapegoat to blame for problems and an object of hate to be defecated on. It's a horrible fact of humanity, but it is true. The best we can do is make racism, homophobia, sexism, misogny, misandry (hatred of men--look it up!), xenophobia and other forms of bigotry unnacceptable, and shame, ridcule, criticize and/or punish those who promote said attitudes and committ violent acts because of those beliefs. Another way is to get over our irrational fears and embrace diversity instead of trying to stomp it out.
The prosecution better bring its A-game. Otherwise Mississippi may go up in flames like L.A. in '92. Watch CNN's report, including the surveillance video of the attack, below. Warning: the images are graphic.
In case you've been under a rock for the past few days, you know that today marks Lucille Ball's, a.k.a Lucy's, 100th birthday. While I haven't watched an episode of I Love Lucy in years, I loved it (pun intended) as a kid and, after viewing a few clips on YouTube today, am pleasantly surprised that the show still holds up.
Another pleasant revelation was that Lucy was a supporter of gay rights. When asked about the movement in a 1980 People magazine interview, she said "It's perfectly all right with me. Some of the most gifted people I've ever met or read about are homosexual. How can you knock it?"
How can you indeed. Watch a few of my favorite Lucy scenes below.
On the latest episode of Brotherhood TV, the superb web-based talk show featuring six black and latino gay men from the Boston, the hosts answer questions from different viewers on ex-boyfriends, sex, masculine/fem dynamics, dating, and other relationship issues. Watch below.
One of my fav tracks from Love.Angel.Music.Baby., and one of the only songs from the album my straight friends admitted openly to liking. But I'm sure they hummed a few bars of "What You Waiting For,""Bubble Pop Electric,""Cool" or "Rich Girl" when no one was around. Listen below.
It looks like President Obama isn't the only one who has worry about his approval rating. According to a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling little over half of Americans, 52 percent, approve of God's job performance.
The polling question that prompted this curious response was, "If God exists, do you approve or disapprove of its performance?"
"When asked to evaluate God on some of the issues it is responsible for, voters give God its best rating on creating the universe, 71-5," the polling report said. "They also approve of its handling of the animal kingdom 56-11, and even its handling of natural disasters 50-13."
Dino Grandoni cited the poll in a blog for the Atlantic Wire:
On the bright side for the Almighty's re-election chances, God is still more popular than House Speaker John Boehner and both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, all of whom polled at 33 percent in the same poll.
This highly informative instructional video by Chaos Bakery showing how to make vagina cupcakes (complete with sprinkles!) seems like a skit straight out of Family Guy. But it's the real deal. Honestly, even though they're just cupcakes, I still couldn't put my tongue anywhere near those things, which furthers illuminates just how gay I really am lol. Watch and share with your straight guy friends below!
A new anti-homophobia campaign called "Unconditional Love" has recently launched in Jamaica. Featuring former Miss Jamaica World and Miss Jamaica Universe Christine Straw and her openly gay brother Matthew Straw, the campaign is welcome news from a country that is often in the headlines for anti-gay violence.
"As Jamaicans we have to stop this stupidity of alienating our [people] because of their orientation," says the beauty queen. "They are our brothers and our sisters and we must love them, no matter what ... because they need support and encouragement."
I think I've just gotten a new catchphrase. Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver didn't hold his tongue when talking about the debt ceiling deal between the White House, House Republicans and Senate Democrats.
"This deal is a sugar-coated satan sandwich."
"If you lift the bun, you will not like what you see," the congressman told MSNBC’s Chris Jansing. "What you see is antithetical to everything the great religions of the world teach. Which is take care of the poor, take of the aged."
While I'm not the most politically astute person, I must say that I concur with Rep. Cleaver. I understand that it's necessary to make tough decisions in our current economy, but why all the cuts to programs and not even a hope of tax increases? I mean would raising taxes for the rich (I'm talking about folks who rake in millions and millions of dollars) really be the Armageddon that the Republicans continue to claim it is, even after three decades of trickle down economics? I'm gonna go with no. Watch the MSNBC clip with Cleaver below, and read Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugan's editiorial on the bill HERE.