Jul 30, 2014

ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith will be warming the bench this week.

The sports network suspended Smith for one week on Tuesday for televised remarks he made last week seeming to suggest that victims of domestic abuse sometimes shared responsibility for physical assault.

“Stephen A. Smith will not appear on First Take or ESPN Radio for the next week,” ESPN said in a brief statement. “He will return to ESPN next Wednesday.”

Smith has apologized several times for comments he made Friday on the sports debate show First Take, where Smith and fellow ESPN personality Skip Bayless discussed the two-game suspension the NFL levied on Ravens running back Ray Rice. Surveillance cameras from an Atlantic City casino showed Rice dragging his unconscious bride-to-be, Janay Palmer, out of an elevator, days before their marriage.

“Let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions,” Smith said. “If we come after somebody has put their hands on you, it doesn’t negate the fact that they already put their hands on you. So let’s try to make sure that we can do our part in making sure that that doesn’t happen.”

In a long and sometimes confusing soliloquy, Smith went on to concede that Rice “probably deserves more than a two-game suspension.” Then Smith said “we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation.”

Smith tried to quell the outrage in a series of posts on Twitter, then in a longer statement, and finally in an on-air apology broadcast on Monday morning. After ESPN’s decision, Smith (@stephenasmith) tweeted out: My apology on @ESPN_FirstTake Monday morning speaks for itself. I accept ESPN’s Decision. See you all next Wednesday. God Bless!

Smith had made similar comments in 2012, when NFL receiver Chad Johnson was charged with domestic battery following a dispute with his then-wife, Evelyn Lozada. In response to that news, Smith suggested Lozada was exaggerating the incident and that “her actions have been completely glossed over.”

“I am sick and tired of men constantly being vilified and accused of things and we stop there,” Smith said. “I’m saying, ‘Can we go a step further?’ Since we want to dig all deeper into Chad Johnson, can we dig in deep to her?’ ”








Stephen A. responded on Twitter to his suspension

Jul 28, 2014


By: Mychal Denzel Smith

I’m wondering—what can’t be blamed on absent black fathers?

Put aside for a moment that the myth of the absent black father has been debunked time and again. We won’t discuss how black fathers have comparable—and in some cases higher—levels of involvement with their children as do white and Latino fathers. The statistic that 72 percent of black children grow up without fathers, which gets thrown around a lot in these conversations, is about out-of-wedlock births; that doesn’t necessarily mean those children are being raised without a father. But I don’t want to talk about the facts right now. I just want to know if there’s a single problem in black communities that can not be blamed on missing fathers.

Bergin believes “no one in the news media has the courage” to talk about this issue. Except that the missing black father has been a point of discourse in our media, popular culture, and academia for at least the past thirty years. Every time it is injected into a conversation about the ills of black America, the speaker positions themselves as some sort of brave truth-teller unearthing never-before-heard wisdom. But it’s one of the more common and insulting tropes we have in the canon of black pathology.

One thing is true here—I’ve never heard anti-police mentality be blamed on black fatherlessness. Bergin may be a pioneer there. He’s also clueless if he believes that if suddenly every black child were to have a father present in their home at all times, anti-police mentalities among black people would subside. It’s silly to think a population that has experienced disproportionate harassment and violence at the hands of police would pass down the lesson of trusting authority to their children.

But this is the disconnect. Bergin, and others who think like him, don’t see the harassment of young black men by police as a result of racism. They take the view that there are certain criminal behaviors prevalent among black men to which police are responding. If only they would clean up their acts, police would have no reason to bother them.

The people who support this view rarely take it to its logical conclusion. If you honestly believe that the reason police target young black men is because young black men are more prone to criminal behavior, you have to offer a reason for why that is. And if it isn’t racism, if the centuries of public policy that has created neighborhoods defined by their lack of resources isn’t the culprit, then there must be something biologically “wrong” with black men. They have to be genetically predisposed to violent/criminal behavior and creating culture which supports that. Or else, what other explanation is there?

Oh, yes. Missing black fathers. Those magical black fathers whose return to the home has the ability to cure poverty, violence, drug abuse and anti-police mentalities. A grand patriarch to save us all. It doesn’t matter that our romanticization of marriage and the two-parent (cisgender man and cisgender woman only, of course) home can be dangerous, as evidenced by this New York Times op-ed on domestic violence. It matters even less that the reason raising children in two-parent homes is more advantageous is because our public policies favor marriage and offer little support for single-parent or other “non-traditional” family structures. And the fact that these black men so many people want to step up and be fathers face discrimination everywhere from the job market to the legal system isn’t even up for discussion. No, it doesn’t matter. Just get young black men some fathers and everything will be fixed.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY.

 

Check out the panel on the "Melissa Harris-Perry Show" discussing the myth of the 'Magical Black Father'

Jul 18, 2014



There's a popular saying that goes, "If you're white, you're alright.  If you're brown, stick around.  But if you're Black get back."

This saying perfectly sums up the premise of colorism.

Colorism is a disease that has run rampant throughout our community every since we were first introduced to the concept of colonialism and white supremacy.  It is a disease that has taught us to hate ourselves and anything that is a reminder of our roots to the Motherland.

Colorism not only has a firm root in our community, but it is prevalent throughout all entertainment.  Just incase you need a reminder of its impact all you have to do is read the casting call list for female extras in the N.W.A. biopic, Straight Outta Compton.

Here is how the casting list read:

SAG OR NON UNION CASTING NOTICE FOR FEMALES-ALL ETHNICITIES- from the late 80′s. Shoots on “Straight Outta Compton”. Shoot date TBD. We are pulling photos for the director of featured extras. VERY IMPORTANT – You MUST live in the Los Angeles area (Orange County is fine too) to work on this show. DO NOT SUBMIT if you live out of the area. Nobody is going to be flying into LA to do extra work on this show – and don’t tell me you are willing to fly in.

SAG OR NON UNION FEMALES – PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR SPECIFIC BREAKDOWN. DO NOT EMAIL IN FOR MORE THAN ONE CATEGORY:

A GIRLS: These are the hottest of the hottest. Models. MUST have real hair – no extensions, very classy looking, great bodies. You can be black, white, asian, hispanic, mid eastern, or mixed race too. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: A GIRLS

B GIRLS: These are fine girls, long natural hair, really nice bodies. Small waists, nice hips. You should be light-skinned. Beyonce is a prototype here. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: B GIRLS

C GIRLS: These are African American girls, medium to light skinned with a weave. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: C GIRLS

D GIRLS: These are African American girls. Poor, not in good shape. Medium to dark skin tone. Character types. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: D GIRLS


 To say that this casting call list is shocking to me would be a lie.  You can look at any random music video and get an idea of what separates a 'B' girl from a 'D'.  I'm just surprised we are still putting up with this B.S. 

What I really want to know is who came up with the criteria for the women?  Now that is the million dollar question?   

Jul 15, 2014




July 14 (Reuters) - Track and field star Alice Coachman, who in 1948 became the first black woman to win a gold medal in the Olympic games, died in Georgia on Monday at the age of 90.

Coachman, who won her gold medal in the high jump at the 1948 summer Olympics in London, died at a hospital near her home in Albany, Georgia, said AC Meadows, owner of the Meadows Funeral Home.

"Alice literally set the bar with her accomplishments at the 1948 Games, but Olympic champion is only part the incredible legacy she leaves behind," United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said in a written statement.

Alice Coachman Davis has inspired generations of athletes to be their best and she will be missed," Blackmun said.

Meadows did not know the cause of death for Coachman but the local Albany Herald newspaper reported that she had suffered a stroke three months earlier.

The paper reported that Coachman, who graduated from Albany State College following her Olympic victory, won 10 consecutive U.S. titles in the high jump and has been inducted into nine halls of fame.

"Although she will sorely be missed, her achievements outside the fields of competition are on par with the great accomplishments within the athletics lines," the university's athletic director, Richard Williams, told the Herald.

"We will continue to honor her legacy within the athletic department at Albany State University," Williams said.
(AJC) -- The Ku Klux Klan has been leaving recruiting flyers on cars in Candler Park and Cabbagetown as part of a national drive to add to its membership rolls.

The grand wizard, Robert Jones, confirmed for Channel 2 Action News that the flyers were a product of the KKK.

“This is our national flyer drive,” Jones told Channel 2. “God is the author of segregation. He is the one who drew the color line.”

The KKK wrote in the flyer: “Save the land. Join the Klan.” and “We are a law-abiding Christian organization.”

The flyer also advertises a Klan-sponsored neighborhood watch.

Cabbagetown resident Catlin Shay-Winkler ripped up the flyer as soon as she spotted it on the car windshield.

“They didn’t intimidate us whatsoever,” Shay-Winkler told Channel 2.



In an effort to put an end to rape and sexual assault for good, EBONY.com launched the series, “Ending Rape 4Ever.”

Lori S. Robinson, author of I Will Survive: The African-American Guide to Healing from Sexual Assault is the special guest editor for the series. Robinson is a journalist and her work has been published in the Detroit Free Press, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and several national magazines.

Having survived being the victim of rape herself, Robinson states, “As special guest editor of the ‘Ending Rape 4Ever’ series on EBONY.com, I’m again honored to have the opportunity to raise awareness and to promote the elimination of rape from our community—forever.” She continued to say, “I am committed to breaking the silence. One out of every six women in this country has experienced a rape or attempted rape. Rape is personal to a lot of us.”

In the first installment of the series, Robinson shares excerpts from her book, which sheds a public light on the pain and trauma rape can cause to an individual.

To read more, please visit EBONY.com. Readers can join in on the conversation, by tweeting their thoughts and testimonies to @ebonymag with the hashtag #EndingRape4Ever. Questions and suggestions are encouraged as well by simply emailing EndingRape4ever@ebony.com. New content will be published every Monday.

This is a very personal series to me.  Although I've never been raped (I did have two close encounters), one of my best friends was raped during our senior year at FAMU.  That year changed my life immensely.

Click here to read the first installment.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this series.


I need to know if anyone is watching the show POWER on Starz.  I've watched a few episodes and God knows I've tried to like this show, but I'm just not feeling it.  Don't get me wrong, I love watching Omari Hardwick naked just like the next woman, but that hasn't proven enough for me.  I don't even mind the extramarital affair Omari's character is having with his high school sweetheart.  The tired storyline of a drug dealer trying to go legit doesn't seem to bother me as much either.  The thing that seems to bother me the most is Naturi Naughton's character, Tasha.

I just can't with Tasha.  For me, Tasha has no redeeming qualities.  There is nothing about this character that makes you want to root for her.  You can completely understand why her husband would cheat on her because honestly outside of her being a "ride or die" chick you can't even understand why he married her.  Instead of coming across as the wife, she comes across as the side piece or shall I say THOT.

As a comparison you can look at how Shonda Rhimes writes Mellie on Scandal.  Mellie is a damaged and flawed individual, but yet you still find yourself rooting for her happiness even while you are hoping for Olivia and Fitz to be together.  Mellie is her own person, who loves her husband in her own way, but would be damned if she stepped outside her role as the wife.  Olivia is the side piece and Mellie will never let her forget that.  In the hierarchy of complicated relationships, the wife is always supposed to rank higher than the side piece.  A character like Mellie gets that while it seems Tasha would be more comfortable being the side piece than the wife.  Mellie has dignity; whereas, I feel Tasha has none. 

Maybe I'm over analyzing the show (after all I still have it on my DVR), I just wish they would do something with the Tasha character.  Naturi Naughton is a wonderfully talented actress and I think she deserves better than this one dimensional character she's been given.

Are you watching the show?  If so, please tell me what you think?  


Via Sports Illustrated:

Pam Oliver is no longer Fox's top NFL sideline reporter. And after this coming football season, she will no longer be a sideline reporter at all.

Oliver confirmed the news to Sports Illustrated on Sunday night that she will move to the network’s No. 2 team for her 20th NFL broadcasting season. Erin Andrews has been elevated to the No. 1 sideline spot, joining the team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Oliver’s last season working as a reporter on the NFL will be spent with the No. 2 Fox team of Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch.

After a painful couple of months, Oliver said the disappointment of that news has subsided and that she has accepted her new professional reality. But it was a shock last April when Fox Sports executives traveled to Atlanta, where she is based, to tell her in person that she would no longer hold the job that has been her professional life for two decades. Oliver says that while she respected Fox Sports president Eric Shanks and executive vice president of production John Entz delivering the news in person, she was stunned when they initially informed her that not only was she being removed from Fox’s No. 1 NFL team, but also that she was being taken off the NFL sidelines completely in 2014.

“To go from the lead crew to no crew was a little shocking,” Oliver said. “I said I wanted to do a 20th year [on the sidelines]. I expressed to them that I was not done and had something to offer. Again, I think it was predetermined coming in. Not at that meeting, but two years ago it was determined that no matter what I did or did not do, a change would be made for this year.”

After meeting with her bosses, Oliver spoke with her agent, Rick Ramage. They held meetings with other outlets –- for both sports and news roles –- before she ultimately worked things out with Fox. Shanks and Entz eventually agreed to give Oliver one final year on the NFL sidelines.

Removing the well-regarded and well-connected Oliver from the No. 1 team, not to mention initially wanting her out of sideline reporting altogether, seems counter to what a sports network should want in an NFL reporter. Why the decision to make the switch? SI.com contacted Shanks on Sunday night in Minneapolis, where he was preparing for Fox’s coverage of the MLB All-Star game on Tuesday at Target Field.

“I think in the last five years we have made a lot of changes with the NFL crews,” Shanks said. “We have made changes to keep our coverage across the board fresh, including the addition of Burkhardt and Lynch -– which has been one of the more exciting pairings we have put together. This is kind of the next move in that evolution.”

A veteran NFL reporter -– who has worked in television and asked for anonymity -– offered another reason. “She’s not blonde, nor is she in the demographic,” said the reporter. “I’m not na├»ve and I understand it’s a business, but I think that Fox did not treat her as befits a woman who has been the female face of their sports operation for the past 19 years.”

To be clear: Fox Sports executives insist they traveled to Atlanta not to jettison Oliver but to switch her role within Fox Sports. When Shanks and Entz flew to Atlanta to see Oliver, the three discussed Oliver's future at Fox over a meal at a restaurant. They insist they wanted her to stay with the company heading forward.

“That was a private conversation and where it ended up we think was a great place that it ended up,” Shanks said. “We sat with Pam and talked through what we needed each other to do to maximize the impact Pam could have. Where it ended up is more important than where it started.”

“The emphasis at the meeting was always placed on how they saw what was next for me versus what I saw would be next for me,” Oliver said. “I felt I was not done. I still felt I had more to offer with sideline reporting. I think that took them by surprise a little bit. So we focused on what the next step was and that’s how we ended up where we now. And I am excited about that.”

Oliver signed a new multi-year contract for Fox Sports last week and will be doing long-form pieces, specials, major interviews and some producing as well. She will continue her work on Showtime’s 60 Minutes Sports.

“Clearly it’s an expanded role that meets the needs of all the big events that Fox and Fox Sports 1 covers as well as the NFL on Fox,” Shanks said. “I can’t think of a more respected person in the entire industry than Pam Oliver, and when you find out that Pam is going to be doing the interview, I don’t think you would say that anyone else would do the interview better. Her being a part of the Fox family now and in the future is really important to us. The move is hugely positive to where Fox Sports is going and building its journalistic chops and credibility 365 days and not just 17 days a year.”

(One might argue that if Fox Sports brass is so high on Oliver’s journalistic and reporting chops, why would it remove her from an interviewing role on its most important NFL games?)

CLICK HERE TO READ REST OF THE STORY

I must say I'm feeling some type of way about this story.  I've been a big fan of Pam Oliver's for a very long time and to see her pushed out the way for Erin Andrews is not going over well with me.  I know I shouldn't expect much from the people at FOX, but damn this is really disrespectful.  They can say they're elevating her to a more senior position, but it looks like she's being push aside for the cute, blonde head white girl in my opinion.  I'm not knocking Andrews, but damn someone needs to get me her resume' and explain to me why she is more qualified for this position than Oliver.  I understand things change, but damn they could have handled this a little more respectful.  Something like this would have never happened to Pat Summerall (yeah I went back with that one), John Madden, or Al Michaels.  For the most part, the men get to leave on their own accord.  Not so much for the women.  And can someone please name another black female NFL sideline reporter.  I'm drawing a blank right now.

Jul 14, 2014




Rachel Jeantel blames herself for letting George Zimmerman walk free and says she wishes she had acted differently on the witness stand.  She said the jury didn't take her serious as a witness based on the way she acted on the stand.

Since the Zimmerman trial, Jeantel has turned her life around, undergoing intensive tutoring and has graduated from high school (which was a promise she made to Trayvon).


Jul 11, 2014


LeBron James is returning to ... Cleveland.

In a dramatic move announced Friday via an interview with Sports Illustrated, the Cleveland Cavaliers won the sweepstakes for the biggest free agent on the market and best player in the world. A member of James' team confirmed the decision to USA TODAY Sports.

What once seemed inconceivable is now a reality. LeBron James is a Cavalier again.

Let that sink in.

LeBron James is a Cavalier again.

"When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission," James told SI. "I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn't had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what's most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio."

The Akron-born James is returning to Cleveland four years after leaving the team in soul-crushing fashion for the Miami Heat, which prompted Cavaliers fans and owner Dan Gilbert to turn viciously on the NBA superstar.

It's an astonishing completion to the circle and a homecoming for the ages: The hometown hero turned reviled villain is again the celebrated hometown hero.

The magnetic pull of returning to Cleveland, where James spent the first seven years of his NBA career, and trying to bring the city its first major championship since 1964 was too strong to resist.

"To make the move I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough," James told SI. "The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned — seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, 'OK, I don't want to deal with these people ever again.' But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I've met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We've talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I've made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?"

The 29-year-old went to Miami, won two titles and repaired his reputation. He joined friends and fellow All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in forming a historic trio, but the Big 3 lasted only four years. He is a four-time MVP, two-time Finals MVP and Hall of Fame-bound superstar.

Goodbye Miami, it was great while it lasted. Hello Cleveland, where there is unfinished business.

James' agent, Rich Paul, talked with the Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, and James and Paul met Wednesday with Heat President Pat Riley in Las Vegas.

It came down to Miami and Cleveland, and home won. His decision now opens the free agent flood gates. Expect teams to start making rapid-fire deals and players to find teams quickly after days of waiting.

His decision also leaves the Heat in a quandary. Bosh could leave for the Houston Rockets, and although it's not exactly starting over, the Heat must remake the roster. Heat fans will be disappointed but likely won't react with the same anger as Cavs fans did when he left Cleveland four years ago.

James deserves praise for deciding to go back. When he left, Cleveland fans burned his jersey and Gilbert wrote a bitter open letter that attacked James' character. When James returned to Cleveland for the first time as a member of the Heat, the hatred for James pulsated.

Four years later, he put all that aside to do what he believed was the right. He joins a young Cavaliers team, featuring All-Star Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA draft and four others selected among the top four picks from the past four drafts: swingman Andrew Wiggins (No. 1 in 2014), forward Anthony Bennett (No. 1 in 2013), guard Dion Waiters (No. 4 in 2012) and forward Tristan Thompson (No. 4 in 2011).

It's obvious James sees more long-term potential with the Cavaliers than with the Heat. Miami wasn't athletic or talented enough to beat the San Antonio Spurs, and Miami's recent free-agent deals with forwards Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger weren't enough to convince James for another stint in Miami.

On Wednesday, the Cavaliers made trades with the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets and created enough cap space to give James a max salary contract, which he sought.

With the Eastern Conference the weaker of the two conferences, James' addition makes the Cavs a contender to win the East. It might not make them favorites to win the title, but with time and development, the Cavs have all the ingredients to compete for a championship soon.

Credit also goes to James' agent for facilitating this reunion. Paul also represents Thompson. Even though the James-Cavs breakup was ugly, Paul remained tight with Cavs executives, including Gilbert and general manager David Griffin. He kept the door open, just in case.

James used the door.

LeBron James is a Cavalier again.

Jul 9, 2014



NEW ORLEANS —Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin, the businessman-turned-politician who became the worldwide face of the city after Hurricane Katrina, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday.

Nagin, 58, was ordered to report to federal prison Sept. 8. Nagin, also ordered to pay restitution of $82,000, was found guilty Feb. 12 of fraud, bribery and related charges involving crimes that took place before and after Katrina devastated the city in August 2005.

Nagin, based on sentencing guidelines, had faced a possible sentence of 12 to 30 years.

A jury convicted Nagin of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes -- money, free vacation trips and truckloads of free granite for his family business -- from businessmen who wanted work from the city or Nagin's support for various hurricane recovery projects.

Prosecutors asked the court to send Nagin to prison for a long time. They argued that he was found guilty of 20 of 21 counts in the indictment, and that he participated in and orchestrated a years-long conspiracy to enrich himself and his family.

The government also argued that Nagin spent years covering up his crimes and that his testimony during the two-week trial showed an "astounding unwillingness to accept any responsibility for his actions."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Coman compared Nagin's crimes with those of other public officials who drew stiff sentences, including former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (28 years), former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (14 years) and former Birmingham, Alabama, Mayor Larry Langford (15 years).

"Nagin's widespread and corrosive breach of the public trust - lasting through much of his tenure in office - equals even the worst of these state and local corruption cases," Coman wrote.

Nagin's defense attorney Robert Jenkins petitioned the court for a lighter sentence. He argued that his client is a first time offender with no criminal record.

Jenkins also argued that the allegations and evidence presented during the trial are a complete aberration to his otherwise outstanding life as a businessman, family member and citizen.

"Mr. Nagin has been a devoted father, husband, and supportive child to his parents, and greatly cares for the well being of his family, and is their caretaker," Jenkins wrote.

According to Jenkins, a 20-year sentence would amount to a "virtual life sentence."

Jenkins noted that former governor Edwin Edwards received a 10-year sentence in a public corruption scheme that netted up to $5 million dollars in ill gotten gain.

The court previously calculated Nagin's take at more than $500,000.

Nagin received several letters of support, including from members of his family. His wife Seletha asked for Nagin to remain out of jail until allegations of prosecutorial misconduct can be fully investigated.

"I am asking that you delay these sentencing proceedings until we are allowed to see all the reports that have thus far only been summarized but clearly show a pattern of prosecutorial misconduct," Seletha Nagin wrote.

The letter by Nagin's wife also details the family's financial ruin and personal anguish.

"We are mentally and financially drained," she wrote in her four-page letter dated July 1. "We have exhausted our savings, borrowed from family, gone on public assistance (for the first time ever) and even had to file bankruptcy to avoid being homeless. We have even sold much of our furniture and all of our jewelry with the exception of our wedding rings."

Jun 30, 2014



(The Daily Caller) -- A black man in New Jersey has filed a lawsuit against his former employer, Benjamin Moore Paints, which he says named one of its paint colors after him and then fired him when he complained.

Clinton Tucker, who managed online sales for Benjamin Moore, which is owned by the conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, said that he was bothered by the names of several of the company’s paint colors, “Clinton Brown,” “Tucker Chocolate,” and “Confederate Red.”

“Being a black man named Clinton Tucker, the plaintiff found this to be extremely racially offensive,” reads the complaint, filed in Essex County Court.

Tucker claims that the company’s executive management were aware of his displeasure with the color names, but failed to take his complaints seriously and then terminated — allegedly unlawfully — him in March 2014.

Tucker worked on a project to create a new line of paint colors. One of the shades was given the name “Tucker Chocolate.”

The company already had a color named “Clinton Brown.” A co-worker pointed out the names of the two paint colors, which together contained Tucker’s first and last name, and thought it was funny, according to the lawsuit.

“Tucker found it to be repulsive,” the complaint reads.

“Coupled with ‘Tucker Chocolate,’ it was racially offensive and demeaning to Clinton Tucker.”

Tucker claims that in a meeting in which employees were asked about their favorite Benjamin Moore colors, he turned to a supervisor and said “well you know my least favorite colors.”

A colleague then spoke up, saying “if you think that is bad, what about Confederate Red?”

“Confederate Red” is another Benjamin Moore paint whose name seemingly references the southern side of the U.S. Civil War.

“Despite Mr. Tucker’s repeated complaints and protestations to [Benjamin Moore] management about these appallingly racial color names, no action was ever taken,” Tucker’s suit reads, pointing out that the company still sells the paint colors at its stores and online.

Tucker made other allegations, including that the company has a “toxic” work environment that is hostile to minorities.

Tucker, who identifies himself in the suit as homosexual, claims that since he started at the company in 2011, “it was clear…that he was not part of the traditional culture of the company.”

Approximately 10 of Benjamin Moore’s New Jersey headquarters’ employees were black and only one was homosexual, the suit claims.

The 34 year-old Tucker, who had nine years of work experience in online retail marketing, also says that the company denied him promotions and opportunities for growth while promoting whites.

His boss ignored an email Tucker sent requesting to be able to take off work to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the suit claims.

“This request was ignored and [the director of digital marketing], just mockingly smirked at the plaintiff on Martin Luther King holiday.”

Following that incident, Tucker alleges that he was demoted and given fewer responsibilities while white co-workers were given promotions.

Tucker claims that he was unlawfully terminated in March 2014.

His suit accuses Benjamin Moore of discrimination, a hostile work environment, and retaliation and seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

The Daily Caller contacted Tucker’s attorney, Charles Schalk to clarify the accusations.

“Yes, the allegation is the colors were named after my client,” Schalk told TheDC.

On its website, Benjamin Moore describes “Tucker Chocolate” as “capturing the 1798 color requested by St. George Tucker for his home facing Courthouse Green, this deep brown is classic and understated.”



TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- An Arizona State University professor is facing an aggravated assault charge for allegedly kicking a school police officer who was trying to arrest her.

ASU police say Ersula Ore was walking in the middle of a Tempe street near campus on May 20.

Court records show Ore refused to provide her driver's license to a university police officer and was warned she would be taken into custody if she didn't comply.

Police say Ore allegedly kicked the officer in the shin after she was finally handcuffed and an ASU police vehicle was damaged during the scuffle.

They say Ore was booked into jail on suspicion of aggravated assault and several misdemeanors.

Ore is an English professor at ASU. It was unclear Thursday if she has lawyer yet for her case.

(UPDATE: VIA The Huffington Post.) The school said in a statement, "ASU authorities have reviewed the circumstances surrounding the arrest and have found no evidence of inappropriate actions by the ASUPD officers involved. Should such evidence be discovered, an additional, thorough inquiry will be conducted and appropriate actions taken."

The Arizona Ethnic Studies Network believes this incident may be connected to racial profiling, and is criticizing ASU for not undertaking a full investigation of the incident with Ore, who is black.

"In a state and metropolitan region in which racial profiling has been proven to be widespread, the ASU administration's lack of concern for the well-being of an ASU community member of color is unacceptable," the Arizona Ethnic Studies Network said in a statement.

Ore did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post.

A petition on MoveOn.org with more than 2,800 signatures is calling on campus police to drop the charges and issue an apology.

UPDATE, 9:49 p.m.: Although the university says there is no evidence of inappropriate actions by the ASUPD officers involved, it plans to review the incident further, according to a statement ASU provided to The Huffington Post:
The ASU Police Department is enlisting an outside law-enforcement agency to conduct an independent review on whether excessive force was used and if there was any racial motivation by the officers involved.

In addition, although no university police protocols were violated, university police are conducting a review of whether the officer involved could have avoided the confrontation that ensued.

According to the police report, ASU Police initially spoke to Assistant Professor Ore because officers patrolling the area nearly hit her with their police vehicle as they turned the vehicle onto College Avenue to investigate a disabled vehicle. Officer Stewart Ferrin had no intention of citing or arresting Ore, but for her safety told her to walk on the sidewalk. When Ore refused to comply and refused to provide identification after she was asked for it multiple times, she was subsequently arrested.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office has independently reviewed all available evidence, including the police report, witness statements, and audio and video recordings of the incident, and decided to press criminal charges of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, refusing to provide identification when requested to do so by an officer, and obstructing a highway or public thoroughfare. The charge of assaulting an officer is based on the fact that Dr. Ore kicked the officer as she shown on the video and as she admitted in her recorded statements to the police.







Here's the raw video footage:



New Orleans, La(AP) -- Police continued searching Monday for two men who exchanged gunfire on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, leaving nine people shot in the crossfire, including two who were in critical condition.

Images captured from a surveillance camera above a bar showed people running down the street in the chaos of the shooting at 2:45 a.m. Sunday.

Police placed several views for the shootout online asking for the public's help in identifying the two shooters.

New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas said six victims were hospitalized in stable condition. The other victim's condition was not available. Some of them were tourists. Their names were not immediately released.

Serpas said at a news conference in the French Quarter that the victims were shot "by two cowardly young men trying to hurt each other."

"What happened was two young men got angry at each other and shot at each other," he said.

Bourbon Street is a nightly swirl of bright neon and tourists, usually with beverages in hand. A blend of jazz joints, strip clubs, bars and restaurants, Bourbon Street has everything from four-star dining to sex shows.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu pledged a swift response from law enforcement.

"Our No. 1 priority is to keep New Orleans safe," Landrieu said in a statement. "These kinds of incidents will not go unanswered ... I am confident that between video evidence and eyewitness accounts, we will bring the perpetrators to justice."

Police have not determined whether the shootings might be gang-related, Serpas said. He called on residents, businesses and witnesses who may have video footage, including any from surveillance cameras, to contact police.

It was the third major shooting on Bourbon Street in the last three years.

On the Saturday before Mardi Gras, four people were treated at a hospital after a shooting. During Halloween in 2011, one person was killed and seven others were injured after gunmen opened fire on each other.


Idris Elba stars alongside Taraji P. Henson in the Sam Miller-directed “No Good Deed,” for which the trailer was released Thursday. Henson plays a former district attorney whose home and children are threatened when Elba’s character talks his way into her house under the guise of having a broken-down car.

Elba also exec produced the Screen Gems thriller with Rob Hardy. Aimee Lagos wrote the screenplay. Will Packer produced “No Good Dead,” which was originally set to release earlier, but was pushed back to avoid conflict with another Packer title, “Ride Along.”

Elba’s profile has continued to rise in Hollywood, especially since starring in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” He was featured in “Thor: The Dark World” and will voice Shere Khan in Disney’s “The Jungle Book” reboot.

“No Good Deed” is set to bow Sept. 12.









It was 2007 and Alicia Keys was singing “Diary” at the Hollywood Bowl when inspiration struck writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball) for her new movie Beyond the Lights, the tale of a perfectly packaged pop star, played by Belle‘s Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who’s been groomed for stardom from a young age by her overbearing, opportunistic mother (Minnie Driver).

The movie spent years in development while Prince-Bythewood, who helmed 2008′s Secret Life of Bees, argued with Sony Pictures over her lead actress. “The studios wanted a big star, and I wanted the right person for the role,” says Prince-Bythewood, who hired her own casting agent to find Mbatha-Raw. “There is an innate vulnerability in Gugu. And you can sense her star power. That’s what we needed to believe–that she could be Rihanna or Beyonce.”

Once Sony put the project into turnaround, Prince-Bythewood produced her own eight-minute presentation of Mbatha-Raw as her lead and found her financiers in BET and Relativity Media.

“It was so nice to sit in a room and not hear that the lead is a black woman and she’s not going to sell,” she adds. “Rather they said, ‘We think she’s a star, who do you want for your male lead?’”

Prince-Bythewood chose Nate Parker (Non-Stop, Red Tails) for that role, and the cast and crew convened in Los Angeles and London last September to shoot.

For Mbatha-Raw, currently earning raves in the period piece Belle, it was a chance to explore the darker side of a glamorous industry. “When you are groomed into these shiny music-industry acts from a young age, there are a lot of identity issues,” she says. “It’s about the psychological expectations of fame.”

Beyond the Lights will debut on Nov. 14.