Netflix’s ‘Good Times’ is as offensive as the trailer promised it would be

Link

If Seth McFarlane wanted to make a hard-ER version of ‘Family Guy,’ he could’ve just said that.

That would have been more acceptable than the way he and everyone else attached to this disaster of an animated “comedy” series has played in Black people’s faces.

Netflix’s “Good Times” is every bit as offensive as the two-minute trailer promised it would be, and anyone who chastised people for reacting negatively to the trailer on social media was doing that “a hit dog will holler” thing because, baby? This show is awful.

I’m going to be honest and say that I was immediately turned off by the trailer. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to reboot “Good Times,” and I couldn’t understand why a “reboot” would include the stereotypes and caricatures I saw in the trailer.

I was determined to give it a try, however, because I wanted to be fair in my critique.
All 10 episodes of the series were released Friday, and the b.s. starts immediately in the first episode. Reggie (voiced by JB Smoove) is in the shower singing part of the original theme song. He is accompanied by a cockroach that is standing on his window sill as he bathes.

It only gets worse from there.

This fourth generation of the Evans family (Reggie is the grandson of James Evans Sr.) lives in the same apartment, 17C, that the original Evans family lived in, and it seems their circumstances still haven’t changed. They are poor, in the projects and struggling just to make it on a daily basis.

Netflix’s ‘Good Times’ is as offensive as the trailer promised it would be
Continue reading

Dawn Staley is undefeated in more ways than one

Link

Dawn Michelle Staley, first of her name.

Coach of the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team, Staley is a legend in her own right, and her bio on the South Carolina website reflects that.

Prior to her career as a coach, she made a name for herself playing basketball. At 5 feet 6 inches tall, Staley made her mark as a point guard beginning in high school, where she was named the USA Today National High School Player of the Year during her senior year of high school in 1988. She went on to play college basketball at the University of Virginia, where she was named ACC Rookie of the Year in 1989; made three trips to the NCAA Final Four — including the championship game in 1991, and she was named Most Outstanding Player after that game.

She was named National Player of the Year in 1991 and 1992; she was named a Kodak All-American three years straight (1990, 1991, 1992); she was ACC Player of the Year in 1991 and 1992, and she is the only player in ACC history — male or female — to have more than 2,000 points, 700 rebounds, 700 assists and 400 steals. She is also one of only three players at Virginia to have their jerseys retired. 

Dawn is not new to this; she’s true to this. 

Now, she is the first Black coach — male or female — in Division I college basketball history to go undefeated and win three national titles.

Dawn Staley is undefeated in more ways than one
Continue reading

Ben Bolch’s LA Times column on LSU is the latest example of how legacy media perpetuates misogynoir 

Link

In journalism school, we are taught that we need to be objective in our reporting and writing. 

I could go into a long tangent about how objectivity in journalism is a myth created by gatekeepers in legacy media who wanted to control both the stories that were told and how those stories got told.

The whole point of “objectivity” in journalism was to not offend the main readers of news, who were and still are white men. Features sections were later added for white women, but at no point were Black people or our stories were not the consideration in legacy media or the entire objectivity debate. White men and white women have always been the target audience, and it’s still that way now. 

This means that the way stories get told about Black people was historically told through a lens that satisfied the sensibilities of white people. 

New media – or the media spaces that have been created since the advent of the internet — changed all of that. 

With more and more Black publications and outlets entering the arena and telling our stories in a way that honors us and uplifts our stories specifically, legacy media has not had the same level of control over what is considered “objective.” 

In this day and age, who you are as a person is directly reflected in the way you write your stories and the stories you choose to write. 

Opinion writing is not objective; it is, in fact, the exact opposite. It’s subjective AF. 

Opinion writing is a subset of journalism in which journalists, commentators, critics, etc. share their personal thoughts on the topic of their choosing. 

Those topics can be movies, current events, albums, politics, racial justice issues, social justice issues and the list goes on. 

The writing in opinion pieces is a bit looser than the writing you see in reported pieces. Op-eds tend to lean more into the way a writer personally expresses themselves. They may use slang or jargon that may not otherwise appear in regular news pieces, and their personality tends to come out more in the writing because, again, it is an expression of their deep, personal thoughts. 

Taking all of that into consideration, let’s talk about Ben Bolch’s op-ed that was published in the L.A. Times prior to the UCLA-LSU matchup in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.

Ben Bolch’s LA Times column on LSU is the latest example of how legacy media perpetuates misogynoir 

Amanda Seales is not a victim of anything but her own hubris

Link

I am an outspoken, highly opinionated Black woman. My friends will tell you that I am no shrinking violet. I take up space everywhere I go, and I am not afraid to voice my opinion when the need arises. 

Because of this, I’m well aware that I can rub some people the wrong way. I accept that, and I own it fully. It’s par for the course. 

As an outspoken, highly opinionated Black woman with a large platform who regularly publishes content that gets people of all types (white, Black, or otherwise) in their feelings, I know that it is going to come with a certain amount of backlash — either in the form of comments on my social media posts, or nasty emails, or comments left on my personal website. I’ve even had people try to reach out to the publications I write for in an attempt to have me canceled. 

It’s a thing. 

I also know that I haven’t always gotten it right. I have been called out before for having a bad take. When it happened, I took a moment to think about what people were saying to me, thought about what I said, and was able to understand how what I said may have been stated incorrectly or been easy to misinterpret based on the way I worded it. 

I took those opportunities to either clarify what I meant, explain my point further or own my erroneous take.

It’s not that hard. 

Amanda Seales recently went viral on social media after complaining that she was not invited to the NAACP Image Awards. She believes that Black media is not supportive of her.

Amanda Seales and I agree on some things. I’m always here for calling out white supremacy and the systems in this country that have been put in place to keep Black people subjugated and marginalized. I applaud her willingness to tackle these topics and speak out about them loudly and unapologetically.

Sometimes, Amanda Seales gets things wrong, too, and it’s not about her delivery, as she noted in her video; it’s about the problematic things she says. 

 

Amanda Seales is not a victim of anything but her own hubris

Candace Owens is attempting to rebrand herself, and Black people shouldn’t fall for it

Link

I have always viewed Candace Owens as someone who is very dangerous for Black people. Much like Jason Whitlock, she is willingly putting a Black face in front of all the anti-Black rhetoric (some) white people wish they could spew without catching flack for it. 

Candace Owens is anti-Black, and what makes it so egregious is she wasn’t always like this. She, like Whitlock, seemingly realized there was money to be made in being the Black spokesperson for white people’s anti-Blackness, so she jumped on the train and started parroting the white supremacist rhetoric of those signing her checks. 

She gained a lot of popularity behind it. There is nothing (some) white people love more than a Black person they can point to and tell the rest of us, “She agrees with us!”

There was a time when Candace Owens was actually very critical of Republicans, conservatives and especially Donald Trump. Up until 2016, she ran a website called Degree180, which bashed Trump during his 2016 run for president and even had an article questioning and mocking his penis size. 

While she has up until recently been making her living denying the existence of institutionalized, systemic and individual racism in America, Degree180 wrote about these topics quite frequently, calling out people like Ted Cruz for being transphobic. 

The flip-flop for Candace seemed to come along sometime in 2017; she was hired by Turning Point USA in November of that year to be their director of “urban engagement,” which is code for “we need somebody dark to talk to these darkies.”

Candace Owens is attempting to rebrand herself, and Black people shouldn’t fall for it

Let’s talk about the time a white woman remixed Sojourner Truth’s famous speech

Link

But this is a thing that whiteness does, and there are plenty of white people who willingly participate in it. American history as it is taught in American schools is mostly a white “remembrance” of what happened through the lens of whiteness, and the lens of whiteness is never going to allow white people to look like the bad guy even when they are very much the bad guy from the point of view of those who have experienced enslavement, colonialism, colonization, and imperialism at the hands of white people. 

History, they say, is written by the victors. Actually, “they” never said that either, but the way whiteness and the whitewashing of history works, if you tell a lie enough times, it somehow becomes the truth and even turns into a legend about Winston Churchill, crediting him with saying something he never said in the first place. 

And if white people have the audacity to whitewash their own history and credit an entire famous “quote” to someone who never uttered those words, what do you think they will do with the words of Black people who say famous things that go down in history? 

We’ve seen this with Martin Luther King Jr. and his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. As I’ve said in a previous column, white people have taken a powerful 17-minute speech of over 1,600 words — a speech that was speaking directly to them about their actions and policies — and whittled it down to a nine-word dependent clause that they repeatedly take out of context so they can weaponize it against Black people. 

Sometimes, however, white people rewrite things about Black people because they need to create a certain narrative and portray Black people in a certain light in order to make things palatable for white people.  

Let’s talk about the time a white woman remixed Sojourner Truth’s famous speech

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s co-opting of #SayHerName is egregious, but white people do this all the time

Link

They want our rhythm, but not our blues. 

I say that a lot in my writing because a lot of my writing highlights the many ways in which (some) white people trip over themselves to co-opt and flat-out steal ideas, phrases, content, dances, music, and anything else Black people have. It is a founding principle of this country; it began with the enslavement and forced labor/wage theft of Black people in the 1600s. 

These days, it takes on forms both big and “small” (small is doing a lot, from commercial ad campaigns for skincare companies to Keith Olbermann running the phrase “Bye, Felicia” into the ground to the author who gets a huge book contract writing stories about predominantly Black characters using stereotypical Black tropes — and it’s later revealed she’s a white woman (she tried to explain herself, but …). 

Marjorie Taylor Greene showing up to the State of the Union address on Thursday evening wearing full MAGA regalia and a T-shirt with “Say Her Name” emblazoned across the front is the latest example of white people going too far when it comes to stealing things from Black people. 

#SayHerName was coined in 2015 by Kimberlé Crenshaw — co-founder and executive director of the African American Policy Institute. Crenshaw, who is a civil rights activist and law professor, coined the phrase after the “mysterious” death of Sandra Bland — a Black woman motorist who died under suspicious circumstances while in police custody after a questionable traffic stop in Texas. 

Crenshaw told the Associated Press this week that the point behind #SayHerName was to “break the silence around Black women, girls, and femmes whose lives have been taken by police.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene wasn’t wearing her shirt to uplift the name of a Black woman, however. She was wearing it to further politicize the death of nursing student Laken Riley, who was killed in Georgia. The undocumented status of the man accused of killing her has become a hot-button talking point for those on the right who want to criticize President Joe Biden and his border policies. 

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s co-opting of #SayHerName is egregious, but white people do this all the time

The way Clay handled AD on ‘Love Is Blind’ is typical male trash behavior

Link

If you can’t tell by the headline, this column is going to be full of spoilers for the latest season of the Netflix “reality” series “Love Is Blind,” so if you haven’t watched it yet and you plan to, I recommend you do that first before reading any further. 

I put the word reality in quotation marks in the previous sentence because as a person who majored in mass communication and media studies, I am fascinated by the way production teams use creative editing to put together the narrative they want the viewing audience to believe — especially when that narrative greatly differs from what the participants later tell us really happened. 

That said, we finally reached the “altar” episode for season six of “Love Is Blind,” and as you know, only two couples made it. 

We already knew Johnny and Amy were going to make it and say “I do” to each other. Their love story has been syrupy sweet from the very beginning, and despite the looming questions about how they are going to handle birth control or the inevitable “oops” baby if they don’t get some, I’m rooting for them because they were the exact type of refreshing palate cleanser we needed in between the toxicity being displayed in literally every other scene of this show in this particular season. 

I did not have Clay and AD making it to the altar on my bingo card, and I was definitely not rooting for them to make it because, while she seemed very sweet and genuine in her intentions, he has been incredibly shallow and unserious from the very beginning. 

Just to make sure we are all on the same page, the entire premise of “Love Is Blind” and the point of the “experiment,” as they call it, is to prove whether or not two people can get to know each other intimately and fall in love with each other without relying on the “superficial” things like physical appearance.

The way Clay handled AD on ‘Love Is Blind’ is typical male trash behavior

Celena Morrison’s arrest video shows that 33 years after Rodney King, the police are still terrible

Link

On March 3, 1991, the most infamous police brutality video of all time came into existence.

That night, LAPD officers Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno, and Stacey Koon pulled over 25-year-old unarmed Black motorist Rodney King and viciously beat him. The beating was caught on the now historical video captured by concerned citizen George Holliday, who watched the beating from the window of his apartment across the street and began filming. 

The officers punched, kicked and beat King with their batons while using their tasers on him repeatedly. They claimed King was resisting arrest, but from what we can see in the video and from what several eyewitnesses said, he did not resist.

Those officers had no idea they were being recorded, and it shows in the apparent glee and zest they take in beating him in that video. 

It wasn’t the first time police officers had used excessive force against an unarmed Black person; comedy legend Richard Pryor regularly spoke about police brutality against Black people in his bits, and much like the acquittal of the officers accused of beating Rodney King in 1992 led to an uprising in the neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles, the 1965 Watts Rebellion started because of the tense arrest of a Black man accused of drunk driving by a white California Highway Patrol officer. 

The names and the faces change, but the story remains the same. The police are egregiously violent and seem to escalate situations involving Black citizens simply because they can. 

Celena Morrison, the executive director of the Office of LGBT Affairs for the city of Philadelphia, was arrested Saturday morning along with her husband Darius McLean after a heated confrontation with a Pennsylvania State Trooper during a traffic stop along a busy highway in Philadelphia. 

Celena Morrison’s arrest video shows that 33 years after Rodney King, the police are still terrible

The credit score system is a scam, but there are ways to play the game and win

Link

I was on “TheGrio with Marc Lamont Hill” last week, and one of the topics we discussed was a new service called Score, which bills itself as “the dating app for people with good credit.”

In order to join the app, you have to have a credit score of 675 or better, and this is verified with a soft pull on your credit before you are even allowed to join the app. Your score will not be shared with other users, and no one will be able to access your credit information, but the app promises that everyone else you encounter on the app will have a score of 675 or better. 

I had to let out a hearty chuckle at the entire idea behind the app, beginning with the idea that 675 is a “high” credit score. 

While 675 may get you that apartment you are applying for or that credit card you want in the credit game, according to the three major credit reporting bureaus, 675 – while not a bad score – is definitely not the definition of good credit. 

Marc asked me and Feminista Jones if we thought this app was a good idea, and we both thought it was laughably ridiculous. 

Please understand that a good credit score is no more an indication of wealth than a bad credit score is indicative of poverty. There are rich people with bad credit and poor people with good credit. I heard there’s a “rich” person right now who is running for president, and he doesn’t pay his bills either. 

It’s also important to understand that the credit system is arbitrary and almost purposely confusing to the average consumer; most people don’t have a firm understanding of what drives their credit scores and how they can improve them, and this leads to many wasting hundreds or thousands of dollars on “credit repair” companies — which, in my opinion, are also a scam. 

The credit score system is a scam, but there are ways to play the game and win

Charlamagne tha God fat shamed Reesa Teesa, and it’s not OK

Link

“I’mma be honest with you, man,” he said. “I hear a lot of big back behavior. Does she have a big back?”

“She do,” Jess Hilarious replied. “She do give Sheila that was driving up the mountain.” 

“OK. OK. Sheila was beautiful though,” Charlamagne said.

I want to pause here to point out how he was very careful not to diss Jill Scott, who played Sheila in the Tyler Perry franchise “Why Did I Get Married?” even though he’s dissing other women who look like her, and that’s telling.

He went on to say, “In a situation like this, some of you big backs … y’all gotta stop being so thirsty for a man. There’s a man out there for you, OK? This woman believed all of this because she wanted to believe all of this. Big-back belief isn’t like everybody else’s belief. She said it herself, ‘he said everything I wanted to hear.’

“She wanted to believe whatever was coming out of his mouth,” he continued, “because she wanted a man so bad.”

Continuing to make it about her size and not the fact that the man she was involved with was allegedly a liar and scammer, he then asked his co-hosts, “How big is she?”

As Jess begins to try to explain how big she is, Envy interjects that her size doesn’t matter, but Charlamagne insists that it does. 

“It does because this is big back behavior. They be thirsty for men,” he asserts. 

Charlamagne tha God fat shamed Reesa Teesa, and it’s not OK

Beyoncé is making a country album. White people like John Schneider need to get over it.

Link

I was watching “The Greatest Night in Pop” the other night. 

It’s a Netflix documentary about the 1985 recording of “We Are The World” — that song many of us Gen X kids sang at middle and high school graduations in 1986 because the song was everywhere and you couldn’t escape it. 

The story of how that song came together and everything they went through to record it on the same night many of the stars had attended the American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles is very interesting, and I highly recommend you watch the documentary, but I’m bringing it up for a specific reason.

There’s a part in the doc where they are talking about Lionel Richie not only being the host of the American Music Awards that night, but he performed twice and he won six awards as well. The documentary then showed a clip from the actual award show, and in it, Lionel Richie is seen winning the award for “Favorite Black Male.”

I did a double-take and immediately hit rewind on my television because surely I read that wrong. Did that award really say Favorite Black Male?

It did in fact say Favorite Black Male, and that sent me down a rabbit hole to find out why. 

Beyoncé is making a country album. White people like John Schneider need to get over it.

The tragicomedy of the Florida sheriff’s deputy who got into a shootout with an acorn

Link

I don’t trust the police.

I am a Black woman in America who has seen the police do dangerous and corrupt things over the years, and it has left me believing that the threat they pose to the safety of the general public far outweighs the supposed benefits that come with having an active police force. 

I recently heard another story that affirmed this for me. I will preface this by saying that the story I’m going to tell is wild, son, and there are parts of it that are going to make you laugh, but even as you laugh at what could be called the stupidity and illogical fear of a Florida law enforcement officer, please keep in mind that his actions unnecessarily endangered the life of an unarmed Black man and that sobering fact that is the most important detail in this story. 

The tragicomedy of the Florida sheriff’s deputy who got into a shootout with an acorn
Continue reading

If you are an adult, there is no such thing as ‘dressing your age’

Link

“On Wednesdays, we wear pink” is a line from one of my favorite movies of all time, “Mean Girls.” (The original film, not the musical, although they may say the line in the musical as well, I haven’t seen it yet. I’mma fix that real soon, though.)

Because I love “Mean Girls” so much, I buy every graphic T-shirt I can find that has catchphrases from the film. In addition to the aforementioned line, I have ones that say “I’m a mouse. Duh,” “She doesn’t even go here,” and “That’s so fetch!” I have the feeling I’m forgetting some, but you get my point. I have a lot of “Mean Girls” graphic T-shirts. 

My collection of “Mean Girls” shirts is as large as my collection of “Daria” T-shirts. 

Me and graphic T-shirts go together. I’ve lost count of how many I have, but I’d say at least 100. I have so many that it would take me months to wear every single one I have. 

If I don’t have anything else going on, my standard casual outfit is a graphic T-shirt whatever bottoms I put on that day (shorts, jeans, sweats, or leggings — which are in fact pants), and a pair of Chucks. My Chucks collection is large and full of different colors. 

I’m telling you all of this because as a proud member of Generation X when I became an adult and could spend my own money on my own clothes without anyone telling me what I could and could not wear, I decided to wear whatever the heck I wanted, and my clothing choices became an expression of my daily mood.

If you are an adult, there is no such thing as ‘dressing your age’

This might be the worst Black History Month pitch ever

Link

I’m a Black journalist, so of course publicists and PR people approach me all the time to cover anything they think is even tangentially related to Black people or Blackness. 

Let me let y’all in on a little secret: Most times the thing they are pitching is only related to Black people or Blackness by the tiniest of threads or not even at all, but that doesn’t stop them from sending a wall of text email pitching their client or idea to me anyway. 

Such was the case Monday when I opened what was an impersonal email that was obviously mass-sent to a bunch of Black journalists and writers to see if anyone would engage with it. The email I opened was in fact a follow-up email, and I recognized that when I opened it and saw I had missed the first time it was pitched to me a few days ago. 

The subject line of the original email was “Black History Month // More Than 50% of Black Women Report a Lifetime STD, Expert Commentary Available.”

This might be the worst Black History Month pitch ever

One bar in Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Hiss’ sent Nicki Minaj into a 72-hourlong online spiral

Link

Nicki acted like she had all this smoke for Megan, and in the end, it was imaginary smoke. It was steam and not even a big rush of steam like from a caboose or something. It was that little hiss of steam that came out of your iron when you put water in it before adding that crease to your khakis.

This was her beefs with Remy Ma and Lil Kim all over again. She didn’t have a real answer for them either, and it makes me wonder where is the fabled Nicki that everyone says has a wicked pen game?

Where is the Nicki who allegedly wrote the verse on “Monster” that made us all say that was her song and not Kanye’s? “

My latest opinion column for TheGrio discusses Nicki’s less than mid response to Megan Thee Stallion diss track “Hiss.”

One bar in Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Hiss’ sent Nicki Minaj into a 72-hourlong online spiral

Ron DeSantis Was Never Going To Be President Because GOP Voters Want Donald Trump

Link

Ron DeSantis made a key point in his concession speech that we all need to be paying attention to: He was never going to be president because GOP voters want more of Donald Trump.

Make no mistake, the Republican Party would have loved to have put Ron DeSantis forth as its chosen candidate. He checks a lot of Republican boxes, and he is certainly more polished than Donald Trump. He comes with a level of political experience that Donald Trump lacks. He doesn’t come with all the unnecessary baggage that Trump is dragging with him. He’s smarter and he’s savvier than Trump. He’s a Yale graduate with a Harvard law degree. He could have been a contender, and at the beginning of his campaign, many considered him to be the biggest threat to a second Donald Trump presidency.

The problem is, Republican voters want Donald Trump, and the GOP voters – not the GOP itself – are the loudest voices on that front.

While the GOP could be said to consist mainly of rich and powerful white men, the GOP voter base is a mixed bag of rich and powerful white men, racist white people, uneducated white people and indoctrinated white people who believe their demise is nigh unless they ensure white supremacy is allowed to continue to exist unfettered. At the center of the Venn diagram where all of these groups come together is Donald Trump.

Ron DeSantis Was Never Going To Be President Because GOP Voters Want Donald Trump

Hear me out, post-sex goodie bags are a great idea

Link

I am not at all opposed to a gentleman giving out post-sex goodie bags or send-off bags, or whatever you want to call it. Hell, some of y’all need to give out parting gifts to compensate for your lack of adequate performance. If I’m not leaving your house flushed, blushing, blissful and pleased, then, as Denzel said in that interview with Jamie Foxx that one time, I’m leaving here with something. 

Hear me out, post-sex goodie bags are a great idea

A ‘colorblind’ society upholds white supremacy

Link

Hello friends, non-friends and white people who claim they don’t see color. 

I want to give a special shoutout to the “colorblind” white people. Life must be so special for you. How do you even match your clothes on a daily basis? Is your colorblindness related to the racist bone that is not in your body? 

These questions need answers, but since we are already here, let’s talk about this idea that we should be a “colorblind” society in America.

You see, there are some white people who will tell you that bringing up race and color is the real issue. They say it’s divisive and only causes more problems. If only we would stop talking about race and color, all the bad things would go away, they say. 

That is a lie. The truth is that ignoring race and color means ignoring the injustices that go along with race and color in this country. Declaring yourself “colorblind” means you are also blinding yourself to the inequities and injustices suffered by Black people.

A ‘colorblind’ society upholds white supremacy

America continues to gaslight Black people about racism

Link

This past Monday was the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday, and if you ever needed an example of how America continues to gaslight Black people and play in our faces, look no further than the tweet the FBI sent out in “commemoration” of that day. 

“This #MLKDay, the #FBI honors one of the most prominent leaders of the Civil Rights movement and reaffirms its commitment to Dr. King’s legacy of fairness and equal justice for all,” their social media person wrote as a caption to a photo of the MLK monument in Washington, D.C.

A Twitter community note added to the tweet said, “The FBI engaged in the surveillance of King, attempted to discredit him, and used manipulation tactics to influence him to stop organizing. King’s family believe the FBI was responsible for his death.”

America continues to gaslight Black people about racism

Stephen A. Smith voiced what we’ve all thought about Jason Whitlock

Link

Jason Whitlock is a disgusting human being and a disgrace to the Black race.

He adds absolutely nothing to the culture or the community, and every time you see his name in headlines or trending on social media, it’s because he’s yet again done something coonish or buffoonish. 

He is an attention-seeker, a click-baiter and the kind of dude you would love to see get his ass kicked publicly as many times as possible because he deserves it. 

Wednesday night, that ass-kicking showed up in a video rant, and the person kicking his ass was none other than Stephen A. Smith. 

In case you missed it, the ESPN commentator and “First Take” host spent nearly 40 minutes on his YouTube podcast, “The Stephen A. Smith Show,” flame-broiling Whilock — who he referred to as “a fat bastard that has gotten away for far too long talking his bullshit.”

Stephen A. Smith voiced what we’ve all thought about Jason Whitlock

Black women can’t save you, Jonathan Majors

Link

Someone on Jonathan Majors’ team doesn’t like him very much. 

That’s the only explanation I can come up with for why they have repeatedly allowed him to make himself look guilty and look like a fool for the last nine-and-a-half months as he has been arrested, charged, tried and convicted of assaulting his former girlfriend, Grace Jabbari. 

I don’t think we have ever witnessed a “grand opening; grand closing” moment happen as swiftly as it did for Majors when news of his arrest for the incident hit the news in March of last year. He went from being the timeline’s most wanted to the timeline’s most hated so quickly, I’m sure even his head spun. 

Black women can’t save you, Jonathan Majors

Everyone needs to see The Roots live at least once in their life (but probably more)

Link

The Roots are one of hip-hop’s greatest acts, hands down. There are no qualifiers. 

It’s not just the fact Black Thought is one of the greatest MCs of all time. It’s not just the fact they’ve given us an entire catalog of evergreen classics that we can relate to no matter what phase of our lives we are in. 

It’s about the way The Roots are an actual band, and no matter how many times you see them live, you will never get the same show twice. 

I’ve seen them multiple times a year every year since 2002 (save for the quarantine/shutdown years). Their shows are an “in the moment” vibe reminiscent of jam bands like Phish and the Grateful Dead. 

If the culture of Dead and Phish shows translated to hip-hop, people would be recording and swapping Roots shows because each one is that unique. 

Everyone needs to see The Roots live at least once in their life (but probably more)

My 2024 wish list of things white people need to stop doing

Link

I came up with a list, and I’m going to share it here in hopes that the white people to whom these things apply will take notice, take stock, exhibit some personal accountability (as opposed to the endless amounts of hubris, entitlement, and white privilege) and make positive changes that will have a direct and positive impact on the daily lives of Black people in America. 

My 2024 wish list of things white people need to stop doing

For Black People, Reparations Are About More Than Slavery

Link

It is important for any discussion of reparations to include the ongoing and lasting impact of the legacy of slavery, but we cannot allow the conversation to be derailed by those who seek to whittle it down to the simple act of the enslavement of Black people.

Those people are either oblivious, willfully obtuse or flat-out disregarding the lasting impact the enslavement of Black people in America has left behind.

It’s not just about people being treated like chattel. It’s about the ways in which America has continued to do its best to subjugate an entire group of people who played one of the biggest roles in the building of this “great nation.”

For Black People, Reparations Are About More Than Slavery

Women like Cassie don’t come forward sooner because the culture doesn’t allow them to

Link

I want to start this off by providing a content trigger warning: This column discusses sexual violence,  sexual assault, sexual abuse and everything that goes along with those things. If these topics are triggering for you or otherwise make you uncomfortable, I recommend you do not read it.

I was in the middle of writing this piece when news broke of a fourth lawsuit being filed against Sean “Diddy” Combs; this one, which also alleges sexual assault, accuses one of the most powerful men in hip-hop of sex trafficking and gang-raping a 17-year-old girl in 2003. 

Women like Cassie don’t come forward sooner because the culture doesn’t allow them to

André 3000 may not have given us the album we wanted, but he gave us the album we needed

Link

I can personally attest to the focusing powers of listening to music at 432 Hz while writing. 

As a writer, I cannot listen to music with lyrics when I write because my brain will automatically start trying to sing along, and that breaks my concentration entirely.

During the same time I’ve been listening to the album to fall asleep, I’ve been listening to it during the day while I do other things, and let me just say that “New Blue Sun,” a joint of some fire sativa, and coffee got me all the way through cleaning my apartment this weekend without taking any breaks. 

André 3000 may not have given us the album we wanted, but he gave us the album we needed

Cassie’s revelations should be the beginning of the #MeToo moment for hip-hop

Link

Hip-hop is where women are bitches and hoes and only good for sex, but when they talk about sex on their own terms, it’s suddenly a problem because they are controlling their own narratives and not centering men.

Hip-hop is where women can repeatedly accuse Trey Songz of physically assaulting them, drugging them and sexually abusing them, and he continues to get a pass while appearing as a featured artist on hit after hit because that’s how this game works.

The hip-hop game is rigged, and it’s rigged against women, and as a woman who loves hip-hop, I’m tired of dancing around the issue, both literally and figuratively. 

Cassie’s revelations should be the beginning of the #MeToo moment for hip-hop

Let’s talk about some words that trigger white people

Link

Moist. 

“Moist” is a polarizing word out here in these streets. There are so many people I know who hate the word “moist,” and I don’t know why.

Is it because it sounds wet when people say it? Is it the weird combination of letters used to spell it? Why do people hate the word “moist” so much? 

There have been many articles written over the years that have tried to explain why people have such a bad reaction to that word.

My editor, Genetta Adams, is one of those people who doesn’t like the word moist. When I asked her why, she said, “It’s stupid for me not to like it, and I know it’s stupid, but the way you say the word ‘moist’ just sounds nasty.

“Only weird and gross things are described as moist,” she continued. “That’s basically it. It just sounds wrong. It just sounds icky.”

“Cake is the only good thing that is described as moist,” she added. “Otherwise, it just feels like you are describing something dark and dirty.”

Most people recognize that their aversion to the word “moist” is irrational, and their reactions to hearing it usually never extend beyond cringing, shaking their head or asking the person to stop saying it. 

I’m sure they recognize the word is not actively harming them, so they don’t have to treat it like a grenade. 

I wish the same could be said about (some) white people and certain words that seem to trigger (some of) them whenever they hear them or see them in print. 

The words that seem to feel like hot grits on the delicate and fragile skin of (some) white people are “white,” “race,” “racism,” and “racist.”

Let’s talk about some words that trigger white people

Let’s end these toxic conversations on relationships and dating once and for all

Link

I love Cheesecake Factory. 

Call me basic if you want, but let me tell you something: That bistro shrimp pasta goes hard in the paint, you dig? 

I not only love Cheesecake Factory, but I love its bougie sister, Grand Lux Cafe. 

I know their menus are bigger than that annual Sears Catalog at Christmas, but once you figure out what your faves are, you don’t even need the menu anymore unless they add new or seasonal items you might want to sample. 

Brown bread me and bring me a cucumber lemonade with a shot of your best tequila in it, please. And make sure that butter is soft for my bread. 

Let’s end these toxic conversations on relationships and dating once and for all