Showing posts with label Race. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Race. Show all posts

Monday, August 25, 2014

Video: Startling Successor To Ice Bucket Challenge!




Monday, August 18, 2014

Was Michael Brown Doomed From The Start?

A riveting take on the Ferguson imbroglio from our friends at the Save Jersey Blog:

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
Michael Brown
Michael Brown

Mainstream reporting outlets and right-leaning media are engaged in their familiar tug-of-war battle this morning, Save Jerseyans, debating whether there was justification for the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri by police officer Darren Wilson. I waited to weigh in initially because it’s tough to cut through the rhetorical, hyper-emotional clutter in the immediate wake of a charged situation. Some people who are incapable of listening to reason in the first 72 hours might just open their ears, brains, hearts, etc., a week or so later.

Here goes nothing: frankly, while I’m touched by sadness every single time a young life ends needlessly, regardless of causation, the fact remains that the Michael Brown case is extremely rare.

Statistically, in our country of over 316 million, approximately two black citizens are killed by a police officer in the United States. To put this in perspective, roughly the same number of people die of lightening strikes in the U.S. on an annual basis. A few times more individuals died of meningitis in the U.S. last year than black Americans who were felled by cops.

I grieve for Michael Brown and his family regardless of what he did. That doesn’t mean we’re dealing with an epidemic of white police officers gunning down black youths. We’re not. Liberals can’t blame this one on gun control because, as we well know, they dogmatically believe that ONLY the police should have guns. Moving on…

My sensitivity towards the Michael Brown situation isn’t really the issue, nor is Officer Wilson’s for that matter. Detractors in trolls will TRY to make that the issue (turn on a TV for verification) but it’s a red herring.

The inconvenient truth is that Michael Brown, had he never broken the law (as alleged) and encountered Officer Wilson on that fateful evening, was more than likely doomed anyway. It’s sad but no less true for it. And the same liberal politicians rushing to Ferguson right now to march in protests and pose for the cameras never gave a shit about Michael’s future or that of his contemporaries until – statistically speaking – lightening struck and they had an opportunity to whore themselves out on television for personal gain.

The numbers speak for themselves. Between 1976 to 2005, 86% of white victims were killed by white criminals; similarly, 94% of black victims were killed by blacks criminals. One in six black American men were incarcerated at the beginning of the last decade; they accounted for 26% of juvenile rests and 58% of youth incarcerated in state prisons AND 42% of murder victims despite the fact – and this is crucial – black males comprise only about 6% of the total U.S. population.




Aftermath of the 1968 D.C. MLK riots

Thousands of young, black men hailing from economically-depressed areas like Michael Brown’s metropolitan St. Louis home are facing de facto death sentences: actual death, incarceration, or futures without a reasonable chance at achieving the American Dream. They live in fatherless homes, find themselves trapped in public school failure factories (ex. only 54% of Newark, NJ kids even graduate at all, irrespective of whether the degree means anything) located in drug infested neighborhoods AND, if they’re lucky enough to make it through high school with any marketable skills, they’re understandably going to take their families and move far, far away from their old neighborhood in order to give their own kids a better chance.

Here’s a novel freaking idea: how about we discuss that, Reverend Sharpton? MSNBC? Liberal intelligentsia? I know all of this carnage is a big business for these people, but I’m appealing to whatever part of them is still human for the sake of the country.

Race isn’t the problem. Gun aren’t the problem. Don’t blame it on poverty, either. There isn’t a developer or investor in America who turns down an investment opportunity because the targeted area is too poor; Camden, NJ is prime real estate and should be another Hoboken. Why isn’t it? Crime is cultural, not economic, so when shootings, drugs and riots make it impossible for anyone to conduct commerce, then you can be damn sure that poverty will be the end result.

There’s no use beating around the bush: an entire segment of our American family is doomed by bad policies and a dead culture – THAT is the problem. That, and no one is willing to talk about it. Democrats would rather discuss symptoms to win votes. Republicans are terrified to discuss root causes for fear of condemnation. And another 100+ black males, on average, will pay the ultimate price for their exploitation and cowardice, respective, this week.

I don’t know about you, Save Jerseyans, but it makes me feel like rioting. But I won’t. I’m going to continue to channel my anger at the voting booth and right here, in the court of public opinion. It’d be in your best interest to join me before the next Ferguson happens.

Friday, August 15, 2014

New Black Panther Party Takes Over News Briefing



Protesters and members of the New Black Panther Party took over what was supposed to be Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson’s news conference yesterday regarding the ongoing unrest in the St. Louis suburb.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Broadway Show Offers Outreach To Students

Producers of the widely-honored Broadway drama All The Way say that thanks to generous donations from a number of individuals, the show will be offering free and highly subsidized tickets to students from New York City public high schools for selected performances in May and June. The show is working directly with the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the NYCDOE Office of Arts and Special Projects to facilitate the program.

This program is the latest in a series of education outreach initiatives launched by All The Way.

On February 20, 2014, the show hosted (in partnership with The Exchange) America at the Turning Point: Conversations on All The Way, a daylong symposium of panels discussing the artistic development and historical background of the play, which featured contributions from historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, educator and civil rights leader Bob Moses, playwright Robert Schenkkan, and star Bryan Cranston.

On April 30, 2014, the show hosted a group of over eighty NYCDOE public high school class presidents, who enjoyed a talkback with Cranston in which they discussed leadership, presidential power, and the politics of the 1960s.

In addition to these special events, All The Way has focused special attention on providing college and high school teachers in the tri-state area with classroom resources, special student group pricing, and talkbacks with cast members. By the end of the show’s run, over 5,000 students from public and private high schools and colleges will have taken advantage of free, subsidized, or discounted student tickets for All The Way.

“Education outreach is crucial to the future of the theater industry,” said lead producer Jeffrey Richards. “The cast, crew, and producers of All The Way have rallied behind this goal, and it’s been gratifying to see the overwhelmingly positive response from students and teachers alike.”

***

All The Way has been nominated for a 2014 Tony Award, 2014 Drama Desk Award, 2014 Outer Critics Circle Award and a 2014 Drama League Award for Best New Play.  Bryan Cranston also received nominations for a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance.  John McMartin, who plays Senator Richard Russell, received an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play, and director Bill Rauch received a Drama Desk Award nomination and an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination.

All The Way takes audiences behind the doors of the Oval Office and inside the first year of Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency and his fight to pass a landmark civil rights bill.  The production opened on March 6th at the Neil Simon Theatre (250 West 52nd). It was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan and is directed by Bill Rauch, Artistic Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which commissioned the play through its American Revolutions cycle.

It then went on to play a sold-out and critically acclaimed run at the A.R.T. from September 13-October 12, 2013 starring Cranston.  The play was awarded the 2013 inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, established through Columbia University in honor of the late Senator Kennedy, honoring new plays or musicals exploring US history and issues of the day. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, by calling (800) 745-3000, or by visiting the box office of the Neil Simon Theatre.

***

All The Way stars Bryan Cranston, Eric Lenox Abrams, Betsy Aidem, J. Bernard Calloway, Rob Campbell, Brandon J. Dirden, James Eckhouse, Peter Jay Fernandez, Christopher Gurr, William Jackson Harper, Michael McKean, John McMartin, Christopher Liam Moore, Robert Petkoff, Ethan Phillips, Richard Poe, Roslyn Ruff, Susannah Schulman, Bill Timoney and Steve Vinovich.

All The Way is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Louise Gund, Jerry Frankel, Stephanie P. McClelland, Double Gemini Productions, Rebecca Gold, Scott M. Delman, Barbara H. Freitag, Harvey Weinstein, Gene Korf, William Berlind, Caiola Productions, Gutterman Chernoff, Jam Theatricals, Gabrielle Palitz, Cheryl Wiesenfeld and Will Trice.

Set design is by Christopher Acebo, costume design by Deborah M. Dryden, lighting design by Jane Cox, composition and sound design by Paul James Prendergast, projection design by Shawn Sagady, the projection design consultant is Wendall K. Harrington, hair & wig design is by Paul Huntley, and the sound consultant is Peter Fitzgerald. The Dramaturge is Tom Bryant and casting is by Telsey + Company William Cantler, CSA.   

Lawyers To Remember 'Brown,' 60 years Later

The Philadelphia Bar Association and The Barristers' Association of Philadelphia are partnering to host a commemorative event in honor of the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, which declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The “Remembering the Legacy: Brown v. Board of Education – 60 Years Later” event will begin at 4 p.m. at Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church at 419 S. 6th St.

The program will include keynote remarks from Harold Jackson, editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer's editorial page. Additional speakers include 45th Governor of Pennsylvania, Hon. Edward G. Rendell; Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler; Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor William P. Fedullo, Esq.; and The Barristers' Association of Philadelphia President Amber Racine, Esq. Registration for the event has closed.

“Brown v. Board of Education was the most impactful case from the United States Supreme Court during my lifetime,” said Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor William P. Fedullo. “Given the fundamental economic issues that our public education system is facing day-to-day, I don’t believe we are living up to the spirit of the ruling.”

“The Brown v. Board of Education decision was a vital part of the civil rights movement in our country,” said Barristers’ President Amber Racine, Esq. “It is important that we remember the lessons taught by the attorneys and the Court.”

The event will feature the premiere of a commemorative video created especially for this occasion featuring numerous Philadelphia attorneys and judges who will offer personal reflections and discuss the impact the Brown v. Board of Education decision had on their lives and careers. KYW Newsradio’s Cherri Gregg conducted the interviews.

Those featured in the video include: Clarence D. "Clay" Armbrister, president, Girard College; Nolan N. Atkinson, Jr., partner & chief diversity officer, Duane Morris LLP; Albert S. Dandridge III, partner, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP and Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor-Elect; Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor William P. Fedullo; Honorable James T. Giles (ret.), of counsel, Pepper Hamilton LLP; Honorable C. Darnell Jones, district court judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; Honorable Lydia Y. Kirkland (ret.); president, The Judicial Council - Clifford Scott Green Chapter; Charisse R. Lillie, vice president of Community Investment of Comcast Corporation; Honorable Theodore A. McKee, chief judge, Barristers’ President Amber Racine; United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; Bernard W. Smalley, Sr., senior counsel, Tucker Law Group LLC; and Honorable Petrese B. Tucker, chief district court judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania helps address the professional needs and development of Black lawyers in the City of Philadelphia and surrounding areas through programs such as seminars, cultural events, and publications.

The Philadelphia Bar Association, founded in 1802, is the oldest association of lawyers in the United States. The mission of the Association is to serve the profession and the public by promoting justice, professional excellence and respect for the rule of law. In so doing, the Association strives to foster understanding of, involvement in and access to the justice system.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Christie: Dr. King's Faith Rings True Today

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today issued the following statement in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:

“Today, we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for dedicating his life to justice, freedom and equality for all. His leadership through peace and his use of education continue to inspire the world, and serve as the foundation in the ongoing fight against prejudice and discrimination. Even though it’s been half a century since his “I Have A Dream” speech, Dr. King’s belief in equality, freedom and faith still rings true today. I encourage New Jerseyans to observe this day through acts and deeds of service in their communities and to continue to help make Dr. King’s dream a reality for all Americans.”

New Jersey, under Governor Tom Kean, was the first state to establish a Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission in 1983 to ensure Dr. King’s life and work were continually recognized across New Jersey.

Governor Christie also issued a proclamation marking Monday, January 20, 2014 “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day” throughout New Jersey.

Video - Reagan On King: 'We Cannot Walk Alone'




Sunday, January 19, 2014

GOP And Diversity: Better Than You Think

Did you know? 
More potential 2016 presidential candidates by far are in the Republican Party than the Democrat Party. For example: Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley (Indian), Susanna Martinez, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz (Hispanic) and Allen West (African-Ameirican). 
And the history of the GOP speaks for itself: 
  • The first woman ever appointed to the United States Supreme Court was a Republican, appointed by a Republican president. 
  • The first African-American ever elected to the US Senate post-reconstruction was a Republican. The only African-American currently sitting on the US Supreme Court is a Republican. 
  • The first Hispanic American ever to serve in the US Senate was a Republican. The first Woman ever to serve in both Houses of the US Congress was a Republican. 
  • The first US governor of Indian descent is a Republican. The first female US governor of Indian descent is also a Republican.
  • The first woman ever nominated for the presidency by either of the two major political parties was a Republican.
  • Republicans in Congress provided the deciding votes to pass the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act.
  • The first African-American Secretary of State was appointed by a Republican president, as was the first African-American National Security Advisor to the president.
  • President George W. Bush had more African-Americans in top level positions in his administration than President Obama does now.
  • Of the Obama Administration's 20 top earners, only six are women.
So, before you start assuming that the Democrats are head and shoulders above the GOP on diversity, take a look at the facts. Because the facts prove otherwise.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New B'Way Show Offers Student Tkts. 1/20

The producers of All the Way, the new play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle), are pleased to announce that The Neil Simon Theatre Box Office (250 West 52nd Street) will open on Monday, January 20th (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) at 10:00 a.m. and will offer a special advance student price for one day only. Unlike other regular student rush offers, which limit purchases for day-of only, the producers are offering students with a valid ID the chance to purchase tickets at $37 for all performances through April 6, 2014. (1 ticket per valid student ID; rear mezz locations; some blackout dates may apply).

Beginning, January 20th, regular box office hours are Mon-Sat 10-8 and beginning February 10th, Mon-Sat 10AM-8pm and Sunday 12-6.

$35 student tickets are also available for purchase in advance of a performance via tix4students.com. (To register on this site, you must be at least 18 years old and you must be verified as an enrolled student in an accredited USA college or university. Additional fees may apply.)

All the Way began rehearsals on January 14, 2014 and will play for a strictly limited run with previews beginning Monday, February 10, 2014 and an opening night set for Thursday, March 6, 2014. The play is directed by Bill Rauch, Artistic Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, whereAll the Way began its theatrical life.

All the Way stars Bryan Cranston (Lyndon B. Johnson), Eric Lenox Abrams (Bob Moses), Betsy Aidem (Lady Bird Johnson), J. Bernard Calloway (Ralph Abernathy), Rob Campbell (Governor George Wallace), Brandon J. Dirden (Martin Luther King, Jr.), James Eckhouse(Robert McNamara), Peter Jay Fernandez (Roy Wilkins), Christopher Gurr (Senator Strom Thurmond), William Jackson Harper (Stokely Carmichael), Michael McKean (J. Edgar Hoover), John McMartin (Senator Richard Russell), Christopher Liam Moore (Walter Jenkins),Robert Petkoff (Senator Hubert Humphrey), Ethan Phillips (Stanley Levison), Richard Poe (Senator Everett Dirksen), Roslyn Ruff (Coretta Scott King), Susannah Schulman (Lurleen Wallace), Bill Timoney (Senator Karl Mundt) and Steve Vinovich (Rep. Emanuel Celler).

All the Way takes audiences behind the doors of the Oval Office and inside the first year of Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency and his fight to pass a landmark civil rights bill.

In addition to tickets now being available to purchase at the box office, tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000.

All the Way was commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle and premiered at OSF in 2012. It then went on to play a sold-out and critically acclaimed run at the A.R.T. from September 13-October 12, 2013 starringCranston. The play was awarded the 2013 inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, established through Columbia University in honor of the late Senator Kennedy, honoring new plays or musicals exploring US history and issues of the day.

All the Way is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Louise Gund, Jerry Frankel, Stephanie P. McClelland, Double Gemini Productions, Rebecca Gold, Scott M. Delman, Barbara H. Freitag, Harvey Weinstein, Gene Korf, William Berlind, Luigi Caiola, Gutterman Chernoff, Jam Theatricals, Gabrielle Palitz, Cheryl Wiesenfeld and Will Trice.

Set design is by Christopher Acebo, costume design by Deborah M. Dryden, lighting design by Jane Cox, composition and sound design by Paul James Prendergast, video projections by Shawn Sagady, the projection design consultant is Wendall K. Harrington, hair & wig design is by Paul Huntley, and the sound consultant is Peter Fitzgerald. The Dramaturge is Tom Bryant and casting is by Telsey + Company William Cantler, CSA.

www.AllTheWayBroadway.com

Facebook.com/AllTheWayBroadway

Twitter.com/https://twitter.com/AllTheWayBway

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

'All The Way' Cast Continues To Grow

Producers Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Louise Gund are pleased to announce that James Eckhouse, most recently seen in the world premiere of Jane Anderson’s ‘The Escort’ at The Geffen Playhouse and best known for playing Jim Walsh on the original “Beverly Hills 90210”, will play the role of Robert McNamara in the Broadway bound production of ALL THE WAY by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle).

Eckhouse joins previously announced three-time Emmy Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") as Lyndon B. Johnson, Michael McKean as J. Edgar Hoover, Brandon J. Dirden as Martin Luther King, Jr., Rob Campbell as Governor George Wallace, 5-time Tony nominee John McMartin (Into the Woods, High Society, Sweet Charity, Show Boat, Don Juan) as Richard Russell, Roslyn Ruff as Fannie Lou Hamer as Coretta Scott King and Robert Petkoff as Senator Hubert Humphrey. Additional casting will be announced.

Robert McNamara was the longest serving Secretary of Defense from 1961-1968, serving under both Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He played a large role in the Unites States involvement in the Vietnam War.

All the Way will play The Neil Simon Theatre (250 West 52nd Street) for a strictly limited run and begins rehearsals on Tuesday, January 14, 2014, with previews beginning Monday, February 10, 2014 and an opening night set for Thursday, March 6, 2014. The play is directed by Bill Rauch, Artistic Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where All the Way began its theatrical life.

Tickets are currently on sale to the general public through www.Ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster.com at (800) 745-3000.

All the Way, with its cast of twenty actors, takes audiences behind the doors of the Oval Office and inside the first year of Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency and his fight to pass a landmark civil rights bill.

All the Way was commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle and premiered at OSF in 2012. It then went on to play a sold-out and critically acclaimed run at the A.R.T. from September 13-October 12, 2013 starring Cranston. The play was awarded the 2013 inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, established through Columbia University in honor of the late Senator Kennedy, honoring new plays or musicals exploring US history and issues of the day.

All the Way is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Louise Gund, and Stephanie P. McClelland, Double Gemini Productions, Rebecca Gold, Scott M. Delman, Barbara H. Freitag, Harvey Weinstein, Gene Korf, William Berlind, Luigi Caiola, Gutterman Chernoff, Jam Theatricals, Gabrielle Palitz, Cheryl Wiesenfeld and Will Trice.

Set design is by Christopher Acebo, costume design by Deborah M. Dryden, lighting design by Jane Cox, composition and sound design by Paul James Prendergast, video projections by Shawn Sagady and the projection design consultant is Wendall K. Harrington. The Dramaturge is Tom Bryant.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fact: Obama Has Never Lived In A Black Neighborhood

Did you know that Barack Obama has never lived in a black neighborhood?
It's true.
In his recent book on Obama David Maraniss reported that when leftist activist Jerry Kellman interviewed Obama for a community organizing job in Chicago, he pressed Obama on this and asked Obama how he felt about living and working in the black community for the first time in his life. But there would be no first time.
Because as Richard Pollock has reported in the Washington Examiner: "Obama accepted the job but chose not to live among those he would be organizing. Instead, he commuted 90 minutes each way daily from his apartment in Chicago's famous Hyde Park to the Altgeld Gardens housing project where he worked.
"It was an early instance of Obama presenting himself one way while acting in quite a different way."
Click here to read more from The Obama You Don't Know in the Washington Examiner.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What Would King Think Of Blacks' Plight Today?

On this, the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's. "I Have A Dream" speech, Dr. Ben Carson ponders how King might react to the state of blacks today. Excerpt from a column in the
Washington Times:
The epidemic of black-on-black violent crime indicates that there has been a significant deterioration of values in the black community. Not only are the lives of their fellow blacks and others being devalued by street thugs, but the lives of unborn babies are being destroyed in disproportionate numbers in the black community.
There was a time when blacks were justifiably angry that the larger community discounted their value, but now, ironically, many members of the black community themselves place little or no value on these precious lives that are snuffed out without thought. I think King would be waging a crusade against the marginalization of black lives in America.
Another area of great concern would be the fact that 73 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock. When this occurs, in most cases the educational pursuits of the mothers are terminated and the babies are condemned to a life of poverty and deprivation, which makes them more likely to end up in the penal system or the welfare system. This is a burden not only for the black community but for the nation at large.
Although I believe King would be very concerned for all parties in these tragedies, his energies would be primarily channeled into an attempt to give these young women the kind of self-esteem that would preclude their yielding to the charms of individuals who really don’t care about them and are only interested in their selfish pleasures.
Click here for the full column.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

America, As Witnessed By Lee Daniels' The Butler



Lee Daniels'  The Butler (so named as to not be confused with another film titled The Butler produced in 1916 by Warner's) is one of the most talked-about movies of the year.
This big, star-studded film covers more than half a century. Based on a story in the Washington Post, it tells the tale of Cecil Gaines, an African-American butler who served at the White House from the Eisenhower era into the Reagan administration. The butler's actual name was Eugene Allen.
Gaines' story is intertwined with the story of America during this period from the relatively sedate 1950s through the tumultuous 60s and the war-torn 70s and into the boom years of Reagan prosperity. The script by Danny Strong (based on the article by Will Haygood) keeps shifting back and forth between Cecil's inspiring personal story and the story of the civil rights movement in America.
We saw this film in director Daniels' hometown with an enthusiastic audience that included Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter, Daniels himself and stars Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Yaya DaCosta.
If you were born after 1975, much of The Butler may be informative for you -- if not an outright revelation. And, even if you're not particularly interested in the history you can still appreciate the story.
But if you actually lived through the greater part (if not, all) of the civil rights struggle as we have, this tale can be painful for you. Indeed, we found it hard to revisit since we marched alongside protesters of that era and lived bits and pieces of the history.
Parts of The Butler are like ripping a bandage off an open wound. It's searing.
This is a movie with a strong point of view and it's not shy about pushing it.
Still, the story is tempered and deepened by human, three-dimensional performances rendered with humor, pathos and great attention to detail by an extraordinary cast. Daniels' explains that he wanted the tale to include all of the richness of the African-American experience that he remembers growing up as a kid in Philadelphia. He says the personality traits of his own friends and family members are woven into the story's characters.
But then Daniels added that for him "the story of America is the story of the civil rights movement."
Well, the story of America encompasses a bit more than that.
For one, just imagine what Native Americans would think of Daniels' statement. As the late Alistair Cook pointed out in his landmark work, America: "For at least a hundred and fifty centuries before 'Yankee Doodle,' the Indians' way of life was 'the American way of life.'"
But this is Daniel's movie and he's decided that this is American history for him and he wants the story to be told from a decidedly African-American point of view. So, African-American actors play the lead roles and white actors make up the supporting cast. And in this film, that means that all of the presidents from Eisenhower through Reagan are supporting players. We found John Cusack's performance as Nixon (with way too much hair) to be almost laughable whereas Liev Schreiber was fine as LBJ and Alan Rickman was a fairly convincing Reagan.
Forest Whitaker is outstanding as the butler and is likely to gain another Oscar nomination. Ditto Oprah Winfrey who plays the butler's wife. Cuba Gooding, Jr. is another standout. But there are so many fine performances in this film that it's difficult to name them all.
Lee Daniels' The Butler opens tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Video: That O'Reilly Memo Everyone's Talking About



O'REILLY: On Friday, the President delivered surprise remarks to the press about the Trayvon Martin case and race in general. His main point: a plea for understanding.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: There are very few African-American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store, that includes me. I don't want to exaggerate this but those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: And that's true. Many black Americans harbor at least some resentment for past injury. But what President Obama surely knows is that you cannot reach a fair criminal verdict or design effective public policy that solves present problems by dwelling on the sins of the past. "Talking Points" believes the President was correct in addressing the race issue and framing it with the Martin case. He's the leader of America and the country is talking about this.

By the way, when you hear a pundit or politician saying we should have a quote, "conversation" about race, that means you are in for a sea of bloviating which will likely lead nowhere.

The sad truth is that from the President on down, our leadership has no clue, no clue at all about how to solve problems within the black community. And many are frightened to even broach the issue. That's because race hustlers and the grievance industry have intimidated the so- called "conversation," turning any valid criticism of African-American culture into charges of racial bias.

So many in power simply walk away leaving millions of law abiding African-Americans to pretty much fend for themselves in violent neighborhoods. You want racism? That's racism.

Thus, it is time for some straight talk, and I hope the President is listening tonight because we need him to lead on this issue.

Trayvon Martin was killed because circumstances got out of control. He was scrutinized by a neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, because of the way he looked. Not necessarily his skin color, there is no evidence of that but because he was a stranger to Zimmerman and was dressed in clothing sometimes used by street criminals.

It was wrong for Zimmerman to confront Martin based on his appearance. But the culture that we have in this country does lead to criminal profiling because young black American men are so often involved in crime, the statistics overwhelming.

But here is the headline: young black men commit homicides at a rate 10 times greater than whites and Hispanics combined. When presented with damning evidence like that, and like the mini-holocaust in Chicago where hundreds of African-Americans are murdered each year the civil rights industry looks the other way or makes excuses. They blame guns, poor education, lack of jobs, rarely do they define the problem accurately. So here it is. The reason there is so much violence and chaos in the black precincts is the disintegration of the African-American family.

Right now about 73 percent of all black babies are born out of wedlock. That drives poverty. And the lack of involved fathers leads to young boys growing up resentful and unsupervised. When was the last time you saw a public service ad telling young black girls to avoid becoming pregnant? Has President Obama done such an ad? How about Jackson or Sharpton? Has the Congressional Black Caucus demanded an ad like that? How about the PC pundits who work for NBC News?

White people don't force black people to have babies out of wedlock. That's a personal decision; a decision that has devastated millions of children and led to disaster both socially and economically. So raised without much structure, young black men often reject education and gravitate towards the street culture, drugs, hustling, gangs. Nobody forces them to do that; again, it is a personal decision.

But the entertainment industry encourages the irresponsibility by marketing a gangster culture, hip hop, movies, trashy TV shows to impressionable children. In fact, President Obama has welcomed some of the worst offenders in that cesspool to the White House when he should be condemning what these weasels are doing. These so-called entertainers get rich while the kids who emulate their lyrics and attitude destroy themselves.

And then there is the drug situation. Go to Detroit and ask anyone living on the south side of the eight-mile road what destroyed their city? They will tell you narcotics. They know addiction leads to crime and debasement. But what do the race hustlers and limousine liberals yell about? The number of black men in prison for selling drugs. Oh, it's so unfair. It's a nonviolent crime and blacks are targeted. That is one of the biggest lies in the history of this country.

The thugs who sell hard drugs, no matter what color they are, deserve to be put away for long periods of time. They sell poison, they sell a product that enslaves and kills. They are scum.

When was the last time you heard the Congressional Black Caucus say that? How about Jackson and Sharpton? How about President Obama?

The solution to the epidemic of violent crime in poor black neighborhoods is to actively discourage pregnancies out of marriage, to impose strict discipline in the public schools, including mandatory student uniforms, and to create a zero tolerance policy for gun and drug crimes imposing harsh mandatory prison time on the offenders.

And finally, challenging the entertainment industry to stop peddling garbage. Hey listen up you greed heads, if a kid can't speak proper English, uses the "f" word in every sentence, it's disgraceful, it's disrespectful -- it's disrespectful in his or her manner. That child will never, never be able to compete in the marketplace of America... never. And it has nothing to do with slavery. It has everything to do with you Hollywood people and you derelict parents. You're the ones hurting these vulnerable children.

You want a conversation, you got it. You want a better situation for blacks, give them a chance to revive their neighborhoods and culture. Work with the good people to stop the bad people. Pumping money into the chaos does little. You can't legislate good parenting or responsible entertainment. But you can fight against the madness, with discipline, a firm message and little tolerance for excuse-making.

It is now time for the African-American leadership, including President Obama to stop the nonsense. Walk away from the world of victimization and grievance and lead the way out of this mess.

And that's "The Memo."