Jul 29, 2011

It looks like Momma 'O' has realized that the biggest asset for her struggling network is her. During a personal appearance in front of television critics, she introduce Rosie O'Donnell as well as announced that she will be hosting a new primetime show “Own Your Life: The Oprah Class,” which will feature the TV veteran repackaging old “Oprah Winfrey Show” episodes and re-hosting them for use as a teaching tool.

She said the show will “teach them about their potential, about forgiveness, about raising children, about divorce, about their relationships, and really magnify and deepen the potential of that [Oprah Winfrey Show] library.”

Oprah said “Own Your Life: The Oprah Class” will air at 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and follow “The Rosie Show” at 7 p.m. O’Donnell’s return to television will feature current events, celebrities, hometown heroes, a celebration of the arts, kids and families, and spotlighting up-and-coming talent.

Rosie said she hopes to book Adele and Russell Brand her first show.

Oprah Winfrey's opening remarks at the TCA Summer 2011 press tour in Beverly Hills by CherieNic

Source - Eurweb

Entertainment mogul, Tyler Perry, took to email to share with his fans news about live tapings for his two new plays, Aunt Bam's Place and I Don't Want to Do Wrong.

Read what he wrote below:


Ok, I love when I can tell you something first. I don’t intend to advertise these shows. This is really a private invitation to all the folks that are on my mailing list. You, the real people who stand with me arm and arm…. So, here it is...

At the end of the month, I’m doing two plays for a live DVD taping at the Cobb Energy Center in Atlanta. A lot of you came out last time when I taped A MADEA’S CHRISTMAS for DVD. WE had a blast! One woman came all the way from NYC by Greyhound to see the show. I had to meet her! I offered to fly her back but she said, “No, I don’t like airplanes”. God bless her!

Anyway, I'm taping two live shows during the week of August 29th 2011. One show is called AUNT BAM'S PLACE. Y'all know Cassie Davis from HOUSE OF PAYNE who plays Ella, well her new character is AUNT BAM and she is amazing and hilarious. This show will be on Tuesday, August 30th at 8pm and Wednesday, August 31st at 2pm & 8pm. On Friday, Sept 2nd at 8pm and Saturday, September 3rd at 2pm & 8pm there is another show I'm taping for DVD called I DON'T WANT TO DO WRONG! It is hilarious and stars two of the funniest people I have ever worked with. You gotta see these shows!

Now, the tickets are only $25 PER SHOW, so if you want to come to one, come on! Or if you want to come to both then get two tickets for the DVD tapings. Again, they are only $25 for each show. I promise you won't be disappointed!

REMEMBER $25 is the ticket price. Please don’t pay anything more then the fees associated with ticket sales. So, it would be $25 plus whatever Ticketmaster charges. I say this for a reason; it’s horrible when the bootleggers try to scalp the tickets for a higher price when my intent is to keep the price low. There aren’t a lot of seats, so get your ticket and come join us.


By the way, I’ll be sending an email soon that I hope will lift you up. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, I’ll be talking about how gratitude can change your destiny. It changed mine!

Thank you so much! See you at the COBB ENERGY CENTER IN ATLANTA!

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former President George W. Bush says his apparent lack of reaction to the first news of the September 11 2001 attacks was a conscious decision to project an aura of calm in a crisis.

In a rare interview with the National Geographic Channel, Bush reflects on what was going through his mind at the most dramatic moment of his presidency when he was informed that a second passenger jet had hit New York's World Trade Center.

Bush was visiting a Florida classroom and the incident, which was caught on TV film, and has often been used by critics to ridicule his apparently blank face.

"My first reaction was anger. Who the hell would do that to America? Then I immediately focused on the children, and the contrast between the attack and the innocence of children," Bush says in an excerpt of the interview shown to television writers on Thursday.

Bush said he could see the news media at the back of the classroom getting the news on their own cellphones "and it was like watching a silent movie."

Bush said he quickly realized that a lot of people beyond the classroom would be watching for his reaction.

"So I made the decision not to jump up immediately and leave the classroom. I didn't want to rattle the kids. I wanted to project a sense of calm," he said of his decision to remain seated and silent.

"I had been in enough crises to know that the first thing a leader has to do is to project calm," he added.

The National Geographic Channel will broadcast the hour-long interview on August 28 as part of a week of programs on the cable network called "Remembering 9/11" that mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

The interview was recorded over two days in May, without any questions being submitted in advance, the channel said.

NEW YORK (AP) — Long before Rosa Parks was hailed as the "mother of the civil rights movement," she wrote a detailed and harrowing account of nearly being raped by a white neighbor who employed her as a housekeeper in 1931.

The six-page essay, written in her own hand many years after the incident, is among thousands of her personal items currently residing in the Manhattan warehouse and cramped offices of Guernsey's Auctioneers, which has been selected by a Michigan court to find an institution to buy and preserve the complete archive.

Civil rights historian Danielle McGuire said she had never before heard of the attempted rape of Parks and called the find among Parks' papers astounding.

It helps explain what triggered Parks' lifelong campaign against the ritualistic rape of black women by white men, said McGuire, whose recent book "At the Dark End of the Street" examines how economic intimidation and sexual violence were used to derail the freedom movement and how it went unpunished during the Jim Crow era.

"I thought it was because of the stories that she had heard. But this gives a much more personal context to that," said McGuire, an assistant professor of history at Wayne State University in Detroit. Her book recounts Parks' role in investigating for the NAACP the case of Recy Taylor, a young sharecropper raped by a group of white men in 1944.

Of her own experience, Parks wrote, "He offered me a drink of whiskey, which I promptly and vehemently refused. . He moved nearer to me and put his hand on my waist. I was very frightened by now."

"He liked me. .. he didn't want me to be lonely and would I be sweet to him. He had money to give me for accepting his attentions," she wrote.

"I was ready to die but give my consent never. Never, never."

Most people know the story of Parks, a black, middle-aged seamstress who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Ala., in 1955. Guernsey's President Arlan Ettinger said her personal papers reveal a much more complex individual, one who spent a lifetime fighting for racial equality and against the sexual violence of black women.

Parks is credited with inspiring the civil rights movement with her solitary act of defiance on Dec. 1, 1955, that led to the Supreme Court outlawing segregation on buses. She received the nation's two highest honors in her lifetime, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.

She died in 2005 at age 92, leaving the trove of personal correspondence, papers relating to her work for the Montgomery branch of the NAACP, tributes from presidents and world leaders, school books, family bibles, clothing, furniture and more — about 8,000 items in all.

"It is wonderful and breathtaking," said Ettinger. "It will be up to the institution that ends up with it to make this material known to the world."

Proceeds from the sale will go to resolve a dispute over her estate, divided between her relatives and the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development that she created in 1987.

Guernsey's, known for its sale of iconic and celebrity collections, took an inventory of Parks' homes in Detroit soon after she died and is looking for an institution to buy her archive, which Ettinger described as the most complete he's ever seen.

The only thing missing, he quipped, is the bus itself. The bus is in The Henry Ford, a museum in Dearborn, Mich.

The archive reveals an infinitely complex individual, said Ettinger.

Parks worked on many cases with the NAACP, including the Scottsboro defense of nine black teenage boys accused of rape in Alabama in 1931. She was involved in the black power conventions in the 1970s and the anti-apartheid movement in the 1990s.

Parks wrote on anything she could get her hands on. The backs of church pamphlets and NAACP flyers are filled with her thoughts and observations.

There are detailed notes on how African-American citizens should comport themselves during the bus boycott following her arrest that lasted 382 days and about the organization that led it, the Montgomery Improvement Association, headed by a young pastor named the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Elsewhere, she laments about life under the oppressive Jim Crow laws and asks what is wrong with the world when her jailer refuses her a drink of water.

She also vividly recalls an incident when she was 10 years old involving a white boy who threatened to hit her. Demonstrating some of the determination she exhibited on the bus decades later, Parks writes "I picked up a small piece of brick and drew back to strike him if he should hit me. I was angry. He went his way without further comment."

Parks' memoirs include one with author Jim Haskins and another with one of her attorneys in the early 1990s, but by then said McGuire, "her story was pretty much well-rehearsed, and limited to her time in Montgomery and the bus incident."

"Her story had become mythic and iconic ... I can't imagine what that felt like for her to have a whole history of activism and political work erased and turned almost into a cartoon character," said McGuire.

Guernsey's has talked to about 20 museums, libraries, university and churches about buying the archive over the past three years.

"There hasn't been a group that didn't desperately want it but had to face the reality whether they could afford it," Ettinger said, adding that he was currently in discussions with three separate entities — an institution and two individuals who could buy the archive with the intention of donating it to a museum or other cultural institution.

He declined to give an exact figure but said $8 million to $10 million was in the "ballpark."

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research library of the New York Public Library, was among the interested institutions.

Its new director, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, said the center has very little material on Parks and would love to own some of her papers but because the archive is being sold as a single collection, it took the Schomburg out of the running.

"She is a witness to the beginning and the maturation of the civil rights movement. . She walked as close to Martin Luther King Jr., as you can get at the beginning of the movement," Muhammad said.

McGuire wondered why Parks omitted the attempted rape incident from her memoirs but included the story about the little boy who threatened her.

"It shows some kind of conscious effort in shaping her own legacy but also, I think, speaks to the issue of respectability. She doesn't necessarily feel comfortable telling the world about what happened," she said. "But she's contemplating telling people about it because she's written it down."


Jul 28, 2011

I don't know if this is a case of 'hateration' or rather plain ol' bewilderment, but the appearance of Al Sharpton as an anchor on MSNBC has been really curious to me. There are plenty of seasoned black journalists who deserved that spot over Al, but yet it was he who got the call. I don't knock the man for his 'hustle' (and when I say hustle, that's exactly what I mean), but something in the milk ain't right and obviously the people over at the Daily Beast agree. They did an entire expose as to how Sharpton's endorsement of the controversial NBC/Comcast merger may have led to him becoming the 6PM anchor on MSNBC.

Here is what they wrote:

Sharpton has a long and well-documented history of leveraging his civil-rights profile for his own benefit. Grabbing a prime-time anchor spot in exchange for cheerleading for a controversial merger would be the capper on that career. It’s gone remarkably unnoticed that Sharpton was the first major black leader to endorse the Comcast merger, which met fierce resistance. Michael Copps, a Democrat who’d served on the FCC since 2001, declared, when he ultimately voted against it, that the merger “erodes diversity, localism and competition” and was “a huge boost for media industry (and digital industry) consolidation” as well as “a stake in the heart of independent content production,” charges that were echoed in a New York Times editorial. But Mignon Clyburn, the daughter of South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn and the only minority member on the FCC, threw her decisive support behind the deal, citing a comprehensive diversity memorandum of agreement (MOU) signed by Sharpton as a mechanism that “will serve to keep the new entity honest in promoting diversity.”

Without Clyburn, FCC chair Julius Genachowski, the third Democrat on the commission, seems unlikely to have backed the deal, which he did a week after the MOU was sent to the FCC. The MOU was significant because it countered opposition from Jesse Jackson, a variety of black organizations, and some black House Democrats. The then House Judiciary chair, John Conyers, convened combustible hearings last summer in Chicago and Los Angeles, and California Rep. Maxine Waters declared at one that she wasn’t interested in hearing how much Comcast had given to "the NAACP, Al Sharpton, and the Urban League,” the three entities that eventually signed the MOU. (Just a couple of weeks before the MOU was sent to the FCC, Sharpton aggressively championed James Clyburn in his post-election fight to retain his leadership position in the House, while Comcast contributed $10,500 to Clyburn’s political committees. Mignon Clyburn, who is reported to have met with Sharpton, declined to respond to Beast questions.)

A Comcast spokesperson told The Daily Beast that Comcast has given $140,000 to Sharpton’s National Action Network since 2009—the same year the merger was first proposed. Though MSNBC president Phil Griffin was honored with a top prize at the April 2011 annual conference of NAN—and he, Chris Mathews, and other NBC notables had a table at NAN’s dinner—NBC would not answer questions about how much it's given Sharpton. Comcast also insisted in an email to The Daily Beast that the company “pledged we would not interfere” with NBC news operations, and “we have not and we will not,” a response similar to the only answer we got from NBC. Neither, however, directly answered the question of whether there was any connection between Sharpton’s merger role and his anticipated selection for the show.

Now isn't that interesting. People threw salt and shade at Tavis Smiley for pretty much doing the exact same thing when it came to how he leverage the State of the Black Union for his own personal interests. I wonder how these same people feel about brother Al. Will he receive the same criticisms that Tavis received or is this just something that we've come to expect from brother Sharpton?

(AJC) The Rev. Howard Creecy Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, died early Thursday morning, a spokesman for the SCLC confirmed.

Creecy, pastor of Olivet Church in Fayette County, died of a heart attack at around 12:30 a.m. in Atlanta, Damien Conners of the Atlanta SCLC office told the AJC.

Creecy, 57, was elected SCLC president in January after Bernice King, daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., declined the position. Before that, Creecy had served as the interim president of the civil rights organization founded by Martin King and other civil rights leaders in 1957.

When he took the helm on Jan. 30, Creecy acknowledged that the SCLC had suffered internal divisions in recent years. His mission, he said, was to help define the direction of the group in the 21st century.

For 26 years Creecy was senior pastor at St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta before joining his father at Olivet Church in 2002. He became pastor at Olivet when the elder Creecy died in 2008.

The Rev. Gregory Sutton, pastor of Atlanta’s Jackson Memorial Baptist Church, described himself and Creecy as “best friends” who had known one another since their teenage years.

“We started out in the ministry together,” Sutton said. “I was looking for a young friend, my equal, and we met and we’ve been friends since, and that was back in 1971.”

He said that Creecy had hoped to “put SCLC back on the map. He was trying his best to revitalize and to put it back to where it needed to be.”

The Guy Hanks and Marvin Miller Writing program was established by Drs. Bill and Camille Cosby in 1993, at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. It was named in honor of Camille's father, Guy Alexander Hanks and Bill's producer, Marvin Miller.

The fifteen-week intensive workshop was designed with a two-fold purpose:

- To assist writers in the completion of a film or television script.

- To deepen the participants appreciation for and comprehension of African American history and culture.

Details on the Workshop:

(All participants must reside in the Los Angeles area while attending the workshop.)

This workshop is not suitable for novice writers. We are primarily seeking intermediate and advanced level writers, who have taken formal classes on writing television and or feature scripts.

- Up to fifteen participants will be chosen.

- The program meets two evenings a week starting in February and continuing for fifteen weeks.

- One evening focuses on lectures and discussions about African-American history and culture.

- The second evening is devoted to writing instruction and discussion of works in progress.

- Attendance is mandatory in both sections.

- Specific days and times will be announced after participants have been selected.

- Although a stipend is not available, workshop participation and books will be provided free of charge.

Click here for the application. Application must be postmarked between July 15th to September 15th of the current year.

Jul 27, 2011

ATLANTA, Ga. - The FOX 5 I-Team has uncovered that there was a fifth accuser in the Bishop Eddie Long sexual misconduct case. He never filed a lawsuit and his name was kept a secret, but Centino Kemp's allegations of sexual misconduct against Bishop Long brought him front and center into the recent settlement negotiations.

Senior I-Team reporter Dale Russell has crisscrossed the city of Atlanta searching for the mysterious fifth young man. Centino Kemp, sometimes called Centinio, is young-- barely 22. We're told he met Bishop Long years ago. He has Long's name tattooed on his wrist, and he is currently recording songs written from the perspective of an angry lover.

For nearly two months, Russell searched all over Atlanta for Centino Kemp, and finally caught up with him leaving this small recording studio. He was happy to talk about his music. But he didn't want to talk about anything else.

The well-known sex scandal involving Bishop Eddie Long, began when four young men, all former members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, filed suit accusing the bishop of lavishing money, trips and gifts on the young adult s, while having sexual contact with them.

The case was finally settled in secret back in May. Sources tell us an undisclosed amount of money was paid to the young men. Bishop Long, in court papers, denied the allegations and later issued a statement saying it was time to move forward.

Now, the I-Team has learned that after the initial lawsuits were filed , Centino Kemp came forward with similar allegations of sexual misconduct against Bishop Long. Our sources say he became involved in the settlement talks. He was the mystery man. Though his name was never made public, the I-Team has learned he may have played a significant role in the mediation.

Our source says Kemp has been taking part in countless $100 an hour sessions in Atlanta recording studios for the past two months.

Some are profanity-laced, sexually-charged stories of angry, jilted lovers, like Kemp’s song titled Pornography.

According to various social media posts, Centino Kemp is 22 years old, single, tattooed, and always sporting different looks. He tweets openly of gay rights, and dreams of taking the recording world by storm.

One source says Centino Kemp, who was raised in the Bahamas, met Bishop Eddie Long years ago during a visit to New Birth while he was a teenage student in a Florida college. The relationship meant enough for him to tattoo Eddie Long's name on his wrist, followed by the words, “Never a Mistake, Always a Lesson.”

Sources say Kemp joined in the settlement talks after he heard about the other young men's lawsuits and though he never sued, he became a part of the final settlement.

One lawyer familiar with the case confirmed Kemp was involved and was "different from the other young men," "one piece of the puzzle that never fit," and he made the case "more difficult."

Bishop Eddie Long had no comment about Centino Kemp. And Centino Kemp had nothing to say about the bishop. After walking away from our question, he later sprinted to an awaiting stretch limousine. The secret accuser in the Bishop Long sex scandal, drove off, still a mystery, still dreaming of stardom.

Bishop Eddie Long Had Fifth Accuser in Sexual Misconduct Lawsuit: MyFoxATLANTA.com

ATLANTA, Ga. - Four young men accused Bishop Eddie Long of sexual misconduct in a lawsuit. He settled and said it was time to move on. You thought you knew the whole story, but you didn't. FOX 5 senior I-Team reporter Dale Russell has the untold story on Wednesday's FOX 5 News at 6 & 10.

Watch preview below:

I-Team Preview: Bishop Eddie Long Lawsuit - The Untold Story: MyFoxATLANTA.com

The rumors have been flying rampantly that Oscar winner Mo'Nique's late night show on BET had been canceled. I figured something was going on when it was constantly being interrupted for other shows.

Well, blogger Rodney Ho over at the AJC.com is confirming that the rumors are in fact true. Gossip website Mediatakeout was the first to break the story. Mediatakeout reported that ratings had nothing to do with why the show was being canceled but rather there was a clash of personalities who couldn't put their egos aside and continue to do good work. Although at times I found Mo'Nique's 'baby' annoying, i have to admit I liked the show. Tell me what other show would you see a 'Five Heartbeats' reunion? You damn sho' not going to see it on Letterman or Leno. She would also feature musical acts that you haven't seen in years, but you still sang there songs. That was 'The Mo'Nique Show' and I am definitely sad to see it go.

Lauryn Hill took to her website to write a letter and dispel the rumors that have been surrounding her relationship to one Rohan Marley. Here is what she wrote:

Mr. Marley and I have a long, complex history in which MANY inaccuracies have been reported since the beginning. To speculate without the facts can only cause people to form WRONG conclusions. We both value privacy and for that reason defend and preserve our right to it. Contrary to the numerous reports, Mr. Marley did not abandon me while pregnant with his child. We have long periods of separation over the years but our 5 children together remain a joy to both of us. Thank you for your concern and I appreciate all of the well wishes regarding the birth of my new son.

Until next time,

Ms. Hill

Now I'm even more confused because she said 5 children and not 6. I guess Rohan is not the father of this last child. Oh well, last time I checked it was her business and she's a grown woman. I don't care whose the father or her kids. I just want her to get focus and start creating music again.

Jul 26, 2011

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AR) - A high school southeast of Little Rock would not let a black student be valedictorian though she had the highest grade-point average, and wouldn't let her mom speak to the school board about it until graduation had passed, the graduate claims in Federal Court.

Kymberly Wimberly, 18, got only a single B in her 4 years at McGehee Secondary School, and loaded up on Honors and Advanced Placement classes. She had the highest G.P.A. and says the school's refusal to let her be sole valedictorian was part of a pattern of discrimination against black students.

Wimberly says that despite earning the highest G.P.A. of the Class of 2011, and being informed of it by a school counselor, "school administrators and personnel treated two other white students as heir[s] apparent to the valedictorian and salutatorian spots."

Wimberly's mother is the school's "certified media specialist." She says in the federal discrimination complaint that after her daughter had been told she would be valedictorian, the mother heard "in the copy room that same day, other school personnel expressed concern that Wimberly's status as valedictorian might cause a 'big mess.'"

McGehee Secondary School is predominantly white, and 46 percent African-American, according to the complaint. Bratton says that the day after she heard the "big mess" comment, McGehee Principal Darrell Thompson, a defendant, told her "that he decided to name a white student as co-valedictorian," although the white student had a lower G.P.A.

Bratton says she tried to protest the decision to the school board, but defendant Superintendent Thomas Gathen would not let her speak, because she allegedly had "filled out the wrong form. Instead of 'public comments,' Gather [sic] said Bratton should have asked for 'public participation.'" The superintendent told her she could not appeal his decision until the June 28 school board meeting; graduation was May 13.

(The superintendent's name is spelled Gathen in the heading of the complaint, but is spelled Gather throughout the body of it.)

The last African-American valedictorian in McGehee School District was in 1989. Wimberly says the school discourages black students from taking honors and advanced placement classes, "by telling them, among other things, that the work was too hard."

"Because of defendants' continuous disparate treatment of African-American students, defendants' actions toward the plaintiff can properly be classed as intentional," the complaint states.

"Defendants did not support African-American students, and did not want to see Wimberly, an African-American young mother as valedictorian.

"But for Wimberly's race, defendants would not have selected a student with a lower G.P.A. than Wimberly to also be a valedictorian."

She seeks punitive damages for constitutional violations, and an injunction declaring her sole valedictorian of the school's Class of 2011. She is represented by John Walker of Little Rock.


Read the official court documents by clicking here

Jul 25, 2011

Tonight at 9 p.m. EDT President Obama will address the nation on the stalemate in Washington over avoiding default and the best approach to cutting deficits.

Watch the speech live tonight at WhiteHouse.gov/live and engage with Administration Officials all week.

Starting tomorrow, White House Administration Officials will hold "Office Hours" on our social networks to answer your questions about the President’s speech and the ongoing deficit debate. Brian Deese, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council and Special Assistant to the President, will be answering your questions on Twitter tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Ask your questions with the hashtag #WHChat and stay tuned for opportunities to engage throughout week.
The rapper Da Brat switched it up recently for a Vibe.com photo shoot and let's just say the sista definitely cleans up nicely.  I definitely think this look is more befitting of her than the cornrows, but maybe it's just me.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — In the year since Lorenzen Wright's decomposing body was found in a secluded field in southeast Memphis, his mother has kept pressing authorities to find whoever killed the former NBA player.

Deborah Marion has repeatedly visited and called the Memphis Police Department for answers about her son's shooting death, though authorities have very few.

"We are a long way from solving this crime," Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said last week.

Marion said: "I will never lose hope until I'm dead and buried." But mistakes have hurt the case, which remains unsolved since Wright, 34, was found dead July 28, 2010.

Wright's relatives and friends have complained a missing person's report wasn't taken seriously. It was 10 days before his body was found, complicating the investigation because evidence was left to deteriorate in a swampy field at the height of summer. A 911 call made from Wright's cell phone soon after he was last seen by his family was botched by dispatchers. A small reward of $6,000 — less than the $8,000 offered by a family and animal rights groups for a missing pit bull named Kapone — has yielded just 28 Crime Stoppers tips.

Armstrong acknowledged the reward and the number of tips were low for such a high-profile case.

Marion filed a $2 million lawsuit Wednesday, accusing suburban authorities in Germantown and Collierville of messing up the emergency call and the missing person's report. Officials in both municipalities have declined comment. Marion said the police departments involved did not take enough responsibility.

"It's like they were just passing the ball from court to court," Marion said of the agencies.

The slender, athletic Wright played for the Memphis Grizzlies and four other NBA teams as a forward and center over 13 seasons before retiring in 2009. He also played high school and college ball in Memphis, where he was a fan favorite thanks to his charity work with youth and his father's involvement as a coach in summer leagues.

His death was immediately met with grief and calls for justice. Hundreds went to the crime scene off a back road that he often drove. A memorial service and vigil were held in the FedEx Forum arena, attended by NBA players and politicians.

Since then, public interest has waned.

More than a dozen homicide detectives were once entrenched on the case, Armstrong said at a news conference on the one-year anniversary of Wright's disappearance. Now the case has moved into the hands of a new lead detective who Armstrong hopes can bring "fresh eyes" to the case.

Armstrong, who took over as police chief in April, also said he plans to ask city officials to increase the reward.

Wright, a father of six, was last seen on July 18, 2010, as he left the home of his ex-wife, Sherra Wright. According to an affidavit, Sherra Wright told police she saw him leave her home carrying money and a box of drugs.

Before he left, Sherra Wright said she overheard her ex-husband on the telephone telling someone that he was going to "flip something for $110,000," the document said.

Sherra Wright said Lorenzen Wright left her home in a car with a person she could not identify. The affidavit said Sherra Wright gave the statements to police in the Memphis suburb of Collierville, where she lives, on July 27 — nine days after he left her house for the last time.

In the early morning of July 19, a police dispatcher in the suburb of Germantown received a call from Wright's cell phone. Dispatchers acknowledged they heard noises like gunshots before the call was dropped.

Dispatchers said they didn't alert patrol officers or commanders because they couldn't confirm it came from their jurisdiction. They didn't send a patrol officer or relay the information to Memphis police until days later.

Wright's mother filed a missing person report with Collierville police on July 22. Authorities in Collierville were accused of dragging their feet in the days after the report was filed, and an apparent lack of communication kept authorities from linking the 911 call to the missing person report.

Police found Wright's body July 28. An autopsy report showed bullet fragments were lodged in Wright's skull, chest and right forearm, indicating five shots. Police said they recovered shell casings of different calibers with Wright's body, indicating the possibility of two shooters.

The corpse was badly decomposed, weighing 57 pounds. The 6-foot-11 Wright's playing weight was around 225 pounds.

A housekeeper publicly stated details to Newsweek on Sunday regarding the sexual assault attack by former International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn in a New York City hotel room.

Nafissatou Diallo, a 32-year-old immigrant from Guinea, delineated comprehensive details of the attack that occurred on May 14 in a room at Sofitel Hotel in New York.

Diallo told Newsweek that she accidently walked in on a naked Strauss-Kahn in a hotel room she was about to begin cleaning. After apologizing, Strauss-Kahn said "You don't have to be sorry," before locking the door and forcing himself upon her. He reportedly was acting like "a crazy man" and attempted to make her perform oral sex on him by force during the 15 minute incident in which he repeatedly called her "beautiful." She repeatedly asked him to stop and did not fight back, in fear of losing her job, which she told Newsweek she was very proud to hold.

A "nervous" and "scared" Diallo escaped running from the room and has had to deal with painful allegations, particularly that she lied, ever since.

"Because of him they call me a prostitute," Diallo said. "I want him to go to jail. I want him to know there are some places you cannot use your power, you cannot use your money."

Since the report of the encounter, some of her allegations and accounts of the incident have caused controversy, particularly citing the details of events directly following the case. Diallo reportedly has told a few versions of what she did after the incident and of her whereabouts. Most recently, she told Newsweek that she stood in the hallway spitting before grabbing her cleaning supplies and reentering Strauss-Kahn's room to clean.

Diallo's attorney Kenneth Thompson said she was forced to publicly speak out about the incident with Strauss-Kahn "in order to put a face to the brutal crime." Some say she is telling her tale in order to streamline prosecution by the Manhattan District Attorney, according to the New York Times.

A subsequent interview with ABC's Robin Williams is set to air Monday and Tuesday on the network.

Strauss-Kahn, who was arrested at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York en route to Paris, was charged with sexual abuse and attempted rape. He has pleaded not guilty and since has resigned from IMF. He was held under a $6 million bail and was released from house arrest earlier this month. He is due for an Aug. 1 hearing.


One must ask themeselves why in the year 2011 are black people still wrapped up in the color issue. Now don't get me wrong, I realize that African Americans are not the only ones afflicted with the disease of colorism. Indians, Jamaicans, Brazilians, Dominicans, and the list goes on and on suffer from the same disease. Any group of people who have been touched by some form of European colonialism suffers from the exact same disease. The only question is what or is there a cure?

UPTOWN magazine talked to some prominent African Americans and they gave their thoughts on the entire color issue.

Via Uptown:

Michaela angela Davis:

I’m so far on the light-skinned scale that I don’t actually benefit from the typical light-skinned thing. Growing up, I was so fair. I had blond hair and was often mistaken for albino. I was almost able to be a voyeur. My sister, however, is very Halle Berry. I held a panel once with black women who were really high up (at mainstream institutions) in the fashion industry, and [the two darker-skinned women] scheduled to be there couldn’t make it. My panel was light-skinned by default and the reaction from the crowd was so intense. I chose people based on their credentials. A part of me thought that if all these women had brown skin, no one would have been up in arms asking, “Where are the light-skinned girls?” [Panelist] Tricia Rose is a professor of Africana Studies at Brown—but they saw her as a “light-skinned academic.” Brown-girl under-representation is a real thing, but it doesn’t change the fact that in that moment, Tricia felt reduced.

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill and Michaela angela Davis

Marc Lamont Hill: A hundred years ago, there was almost a one-to-one relationship between people’s color and how much humanity we saw in them. The closer to white, the more love we had for a person. There was a lot of deep self-hate.

Michaela angela Davis: It’s part of the systemic leftovers of slavery and Jim Crow; we’re not supposed to connect. My grandmother was very fair with straight hair and was into the paper bag thing. My mother had to secretly date dark-skinned men. Right when my grandmother was about to die, I learned that she experienced post-traumatic stress from witnessing lynchings. Those in her family who were darker skinned were in fear for their lives at all times. At 18, 19 years old, that deeply affects you. So now, in her mind, lighter means living. When she told me that story, I was finally like, I get it.

Allison Samuels
I remember interviewing Snoop. He really seemed to get it. He has a daughter. My friend who works at a casting agency says now Snoop’s always like, “Make sure you have brown girls.” He didn’t do that 10 years ago, but now his little daughter is dark-skinned. It almost takes this rude awakening. I remember LL Cool J said his niece once told him he must have thought she was ugly. He was like, “What?” Her classmates would call her Crispy because she was dark. She said, “Because you don’t put girls who look like me in your videos.” And he said it just broke his heart; he just felt so bad. And I’m like, But why does it take that though?

Allison Samuels, Michaela angela Davis, Julian Riley, and Bevy Smith

Samuels: When I first met Barack Obama years ago, I liked him, but when I saw his wife, I was like, Okay, see. I get this brother now; he’s a totally different kind of brother. To me, it said I’m not worried about what other people think. I’m going to marry who I want, who I am interested in, who makes me feel good about me—not who someone tells me I should be with. I think that spoke volumes to black women. If she had looked a different way, I’m not sure that he would have found as much support.

Smith: I definitely think that her being brown—there’s no other way of describing her; she’s a brown girl—absolutely added to the sense of pride. But I don’t think that President Obama is so light. To me, he looks like a brown person too.

Davis: He’s light-skinned, but he chose a black-from-a-distance-black equal. We’ve never had this dynamic before. This ain’t the Huxtables. This ain’t fiction. So it invites us to talk about this stuff. We have to have the painful conversations.

Riley: I voted for Obama, and his wife was a large part of the package. Her complexion adds to her being considered a “real sister,” whatever that means. But there are plenty of light-skinned sisters who are real as well. It’s not just complexion that carries that note. Things would have been different had Michelle Obama been a light-skinned woman. We wouldn’t have been surprised, but would we feel this proud?

The Savvy Sista
I have to admit I'm one of those people who was initially fascinated by Barack Obama because of his wife. I remember his rousing speech during the 2004 Democratic National Convention, but it wasn't until his family came up on the stage that I immediately perked up. I wanted to know more about him because of her. She was emblematic of me and a man that could see the beauty of Michelle was one that I wanted to know more about.

There are not a lot of television shows that catch my attention, but I must admit that I am an avid watcher of 'So You Think You Can Dance' and 'Sunday's Best'. Normally, around this this time on 'Sunday's Best' I would already have a favorite and now I finally pinpointed who that person is: 'Mama' Sue Roseberry.

This mother of the church took the youngun's to school during her performance on last night's episiode. She reminds me of a female Rance Allen. Check it out.

Jul 24, 2011

The tributes continue to pour out for fallen singer, Amy Winehouse. Singer Melanie Fiona recently posted a video of herself doing a cover of Winehouse's 'Wake Up Alone'.

Amy Performing 'Wake Up Alone'

Today on Savvy Talk Radio w/ The Savvy Sista at 6 PM EST:

With the death of soul singer Amy Winehouse, the tragic tale of the tortured artist continues to reign supreme in popular music. Artists such as Sam Cooke, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, Curt Cobain, and Michael Jackson sit as the archetypes of the tortured artists.

Join us today on Savvy Talk Radio w/ The Savvy Sista as we discuss whether or not one must be a tortured soul in order to produce good, lasting music. To join the conversation, please call 718-664-6383 at 6 PM EST or join us live in the chat room at www.blogtalkradio.com/thesavvysista.

Jul 23, 2011

From Black Radio Exclusive:

Having celebrated his 65th birthday at a party at Bethany Beach in Delaware at which the O'Jays performed on June 26th, legendary boxing promoter, film and music producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Ronald "Butch" Lewis succumbed to a massive heart attack at 5am on Saturday, July 23rd.

The successful promoter and businessman who helped shape the boxing arena, had thrown his hat into the ring of the music business starting a new joint venture called Voicez Music Group with DefJam/Universal Records in 2008. Most recently he partnered with his longtime friend Bob Johnson in a joint venture between his Butch Lewis Productions (BLP) and Johnson's IMG Worldwide, Inc. (IMG) to develop and operate a talent management company to primarily represent minority entertainers in the areas of endorsements, licensing and programming.

In addition to his boxing promotions, he has been a behind the scenes influence in many minority owned businesses and careers. It was Lewis who threw the welcome back party for the late James Brown upon his release from prison and who was there to help him get back on path. In fact, in 1991 when Lewis added an entertainment arm to his Butch Lewis Productions, he produced the blockbuster Pay-Per-View on Brown called "James Brown: Living in America."

Troubled, Grammy-winning singer Amy Winehouse has been found dead in her North London home, Sky News is reporting. The Daily Mail reports that police have confirmed the passing.

In a statement, the London Metropolitan Police said, "Police were called by London Ambulance Service to an address in Camden Square NW1 shortly before 16.05hrs today, Saturday 23 July, following reports of a woman found deceased. On arrival officers found the body of a 27-year-old female who was pronounced dead at the scene. Enquiries continue into the circumstances of the death. At this early stage it is being treated as unexplained."

A suspected drug overdose took the life of the singer, Nick Buckley of the Sunday Mirror tweeted.

She's battled drug addiction for years, having most recently checked back into rehabilitation in May.

Winehouse entered treatment in late 2007 for drug problems, including admitted heroin use.

Earlier in the day, Gatt tweeted a statement saying that she was withdrawing from all of her upcoming performances, writing, "Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances. Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best and she will be given as long as it takes for this to happen."

Winehouse has had previous near-death experiences, including one her ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, described in detail back in 2009.

"I knelt over her as she kept on fitting. But then suddenly she just passed out and stopped breathing," he told The Sun (via NME). It was the most frightening thing I had ever seen. I felt sure I was watching her die right in front of me. I didn't know what to do or how to save her. I held her to me - and I thought she was dying in my arms. But somehow I managed to open her mouth and breathe air down her throat."In January, 2010, she pled guilty to assaulting a theater stage manager.

In 2008, after some confusion, a spokesperson for Winehouse confirmed that she had "early signs of what could lead to emphysema."

Jul 22, 2011

I recently wrote about the scheduled meeting today between President Barack Obama and the presidents of the NAACP and Urban League.

Marc Morial and Ben Jealous got together with the president in a situation that is eerily similar to the meeting the three had with Rev. Al Sharpton not so long ago. Any meeting which serves to breathe life into the dire unemployment crisis in the Black community is met with open arms.

After the first meeting, I mentioned to Rev. Sharpton that a woman should have been present in these discussions. Sharpton made the accurate point that the late Dorothy Height had been invited, but couldn't make it because of the weather. I'm sure I'm not the only one who noticed that it might be challenging for a 98-year old woman to come out in one of the worst blizzards in Washington D.C. history.

A backup to Dr. Height would have been appropriate, or even having women outnumber men would not be out of the question.

Dr. Julianne Malveaux would have been a perfect choice, since you don't exactly see scores of black women with PhDs in Economics from MIT.  Given that the men had gathered to discuss job creation and economic growth within the Black community, I can only imagine that Dr. Malveaux might have something productive to say.

The fact that Dr. Malveaux, along with every other talented Black woman in America, is consistently left to the side in these important conversations should be disturbing to all of us. As we fight for the civil rights of our community, we might want to take a second to realize that we are not immune from the temptation of oppression. With all due respect to the men who've taken the time to meet with the president, I grow increasingly disturbed that the powerful Black female political voice has been largely kept in the background. Given that Black men are the most marginalized group of people in American society, it is clear that Black women led the way in building the passionate energy that gave our nation its first Black president.

Adding insult to injury, Dr. Height mentioned to President Obama that it is time that a Black woman be allowed to serve on the Supreme Court. Instead, the Obama Administration barely glanced at the thousands of talented Black female attorneys and judges across the country, and chose another Harvard University alum (Elena Kagan) with a horrifically racist hiring record. Kagan was the right political move, but the wrong ethical move, and President Obama surely knows this.

The goal in making these points is not to bash President Obama or the men who conduct meetings with him. It is to make it clear that Black men must take the lead in insisting that women be allowed to advocate for our community as much as our men. I hope and expect that Jealous, Sharpton and Morial are in agreement. I also hope that powerful Black women will speak up on this issue as well.

When fighting for what is rightfully yours, there comes a time when you no longer need to be diplomatic. Let's move Black women away from the back of the political bus.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.


Jul 21, 2011

Can you believe it's been 10 years since the untimely and tragic death of singer Aaliyah Dana Haughton?  Me, neither.  The rising R&B singer/movie star was killed in a plane crash on August 25, 2001 in the Bahamas after her 'Rock the Boat' music video shoot.  See, you have to understand I was and still am an Aaliyah fan.  I still put my 'One in a Million' CD on and just let it ride.  Aaliyah was my girl.  I know I wasn't the only one who had to find a skirt with the splits on both sides like she was wearing in the 'Are You That Somebody' video..LOL!  Chick was the bomb.  So you can imagine my pleasant surprise when I heard BET was doing a tribute to the fallen star.  I realize BET hasn't een on their game lately with the tributes, but I'm still holding out hope for this one.
BET made the announcement via Twitter that they will be paying tribute to the fallen star on the official 10 year anniversay of her death, August 25th.  I will definitely have my DVR set.  Here is what they said:
bet awards 300x141 BET To Honor Aaliyah With Tribute Special
W/ the 10th anniv of Aaliyah's passing approaching. we're airing Romeo Must Die today at 8P/7C.  Stay tuned for a tribute special next month.
Miss you, Baby Girl!

Jul 20, 2011

Rupert Murdoch's thrid wife, Wendi, went all 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' on a would be pie attacker. Wendi, who is 38 years her husband's age, was not going to let anyone bother her husband who was in the middle of testifying before a Parlimentary committee in England about the phone hacking scandal that has dominated the headlines.

I ain't mad at her. You better protect your husband, girl. An 80 year old man can't be expected to protect himself. I bet the next person who think about doing something like that will check to see if his wife is around. Way to protect your money ummm...I mean man.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

NEW YORK (AP) — After 20 years, Boyz II Men haven't reached the end of the road in their music career. In fact, the group is preparing to celebrate their milestone anniversary this fall with a new album, including reworked versions of their classic hits.

"Nothing too extreme or dramatic, but we've added a few things here and there," says Shawn Stockman of their upcoming project.

Boyz II Men brought their Motown-Philly harmonies to the masses when they made their debut with "Cooleyhighharmony" in 1991; propelled by hits like "End of the Road" and "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," the Philadelphia-based group's first album sold more than 9 million copies. Their sophomore CD, "II," sold 12 million copies.

Stockman says the group — which originally included Wanya Morris, Nathan Morris and Michael McCary — had no idea how huge their achievements were.

"We were so busy just working ... we didn't think too much about how it would impact the world, which is probably a good thing, because it kept us sharp and kept us focused, even to this present day," he said. "Looking back, it's a great thing. It's hard to talk about it because it's something that we think it's a great milestone in our careers, but we're still hungry, and we still feel like we have so much more to contribute, musically and otherwise."

The group — which became a trio after McCary left — still records and performs regularly. Their last CD, 2009's "Love," had them performing standard love songs.

They have never replicated the sales, or the radio success, of those first two multimillion-selling albums. Still, Stockman says they haven't stopped being successful.

"It wasn't the kind of thing where we made flop albums, and someone got on drugs, and then all kind of craziness happened. The industry just changed, and tastes changed," he said. "We didn't fall off. ... Time and how things have gone in the industry and in life, it kind of preserved us to be able to have some sort of success."

The trio's upcoming album, "Twenty," will feature new songs and new renditions of some of their best-known work.

"We've always been true to our love songs, and the type of music that we do, we feel this type of music is timeless," he said. "It's our 20th anniversary, so we wanted to not only give our listeners something new, but our new listeners I guess an anthology."

Stockman hopes the group will capture a younger generation, but also a few fans they may have lost along the way.

"We hope that those people that we've touched before, we'll be able to touch again, because they haven't gone anywhere, they've just grown up," he said.

MOUNTAIN CREEK, Ala. (AP) — The last of the more than 60,000 Confederate veterans who came home to Alabama after the Civil War died generations ago, yet residents are still paying a tax that supported the neediest among them.

Despite fire-and-brimstone opposition to taxes among many in a state that still has "Heart of Dixie" on its license plates, officials never stopped collecting a property tax that once funded the Alabama Confederate Soldiers' Home, which closed 72 years ago. The tax now pays for Confederate Memorial Park, which sits on the same 102-acre tract where elderly veterans used to stroll.

The tax once brought in millions for Confederate pensions, but lawmakers sliced up the levy and sent money elsewhere as the men and their wives died. No one has seriously challenged the continued use of the money for a memorial to the "Lost Cause," in part because few realize it exists; one long-serving black legislator who thought the tax had been done away with said he wants to eliminate state funding for the park.

These days, 150 years after the Civil War started, officials say the old tax typically brings in more than $400,000 annually for the park, where Confederate flags flapped on a recent steamy afternoon. That's not much compared to Alabama's total operating budget of $1.8 billion, but it's sufficient to give the park plenty of money to operate and even enough for investments, all at a time when other historic sites are struggling just to keep the grass cut for lack of state funding.

"It's a beautifully maintained park. It's one of the best because of the funding source," said Clara Nobles of the Alabama Historical Commission, which oversees Confederate Memorial Park.

Longtime park director Bill Rambo is more succinct.

"Everyone is jealous of us," he said.

Tax experts say they know of no other state that still collects a tax so directly connected to the Civil War, although some federal excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol first were enacted during the war to help fund the Union.


By Shana Stephenson
Traditionally speaking, sports have been an expression of masculinity and male competition since its inception. Who can run the fastest, jump the highest, hit the hardest, and so on. However, over the past two decades, we’ve seen a ground swell of female athletes break barriers and insert themselves into the conversation. Danica Patrick in auto racing, the Williams sisters in tennis, Annika Sorenstam in golf, countless WNBA athletes, and many more have contributed to this movement. Yet despite these leaps, the growth of women’s sports continues to stall because many of its athletes do not uphold the traditional gender roles that society has defined for women.

Female athletes possessing a physique that is considered to be more masculine, muscular, or athletic than other female celebrities, or watching women exert excessive amounts of energy while engaging in sweat inducing activities has yet to be considered the norm. As such, mainstream media has failed to identify an effective way to portray female athletes short of having them strip down and bare their bodies. This comes as no surprise since men hold positions of power and have a very distinct view on the definition of beauty. Women who are considered tomboys are either forced to embrace their feminine side or are ignored altogether.

A great example of this theory was played out on screen in the film Love & Basketball. In the film, one of the main characters, Monica, was independent, determined in her career as a basketball player, and took more pride in tightening up her defense than perfecting her hair or makeup. And ultimately, Monica’s tomboyish ways, which she embraced, created a wedge between her and her mother. Monica lacked the “prissy” people pleasing, domestic caretaking role that her mother lived by.

Later on in the film, this issue presented itself when women who more closely resembled the type of demeanor that Monica’s mother tried to force upon her, distracted Monica’s basketball playing boyfriend, Q. Furthermore, despite Q’s own parents warning him about falling for women that were only interested in him for his earning potential, Q took the bait and was lured by more feminine and glamorous women.

The juxtaposition of Monica as a self-sufficient athletic tomboy, against that of her mother’s delicate feminine nature, and even that of the “gold diggers” that Q encountered, represents the media’s method of reinforcing gender roles, especially as it relates to sports. And although fictional, this example very closely mirrors the stereotypical roles defined by the women that are featured on the popular reality TV series Basketball Wives against that of WNBA athletes.

The women on Basketball Wives are portrayed as kept women who were more driven to acquire their M.R.S. from an NBA player than building their own successful careers that would allow them to fund the lavish lifestyles they desire. The perception is that they’re afforded luxuries because they benefited from the success that the ex men in their lives attained through hard work, discipline, and talent.

While these women, who live up to society’s standards of beauty are often seen rocking 6 inch stilettos and figure flattering dresses with every hair in place, have received their fair share of backlash for their desire to find a partner able to provide for them; I believe the commentary should shift toward how each woman has made a name for herself based on their exes achievements.

While the series is full of entertainment, it’s empty on scenes that dispel the myth that the women possess their own identities and spend their days engaging in activities other than the traditional female practices of gossiping, lunching, and shopping; ultimately sending the wrong message to young girls that seek inspiration from celebrities.

Meanwhile, for the past 15 years, the NBA’s female counterparts in the WNBA have struggled to attain recognition for the same hard work, discipline, and talent that NBA athletes are constantly lauded.

Mainstream glossies, websites, and non-sports media regularly ignore the example that WNBA athletes set each day as they take pride in their roles as women, mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, girlfriends, friends, professional athletes, and role models.

The WNBA and its players rarely dominate the headlines for their achievements, with one recent exception – Maya Moore.

Last month, the Minnesota Lynx rookie made headlines for receiving a groundbreaking endorsement deal from Jordan Brand, making her the first female basketball player on the iconic brand’s roster. While Moore is certainly deserving of this honor and all of the attention she’s received, it’s impossible to ignore that it took a man, the man, Michael Jordan, to give his stamp of approval. It’s as if it was necessary for MJ to offer Moore, or another WNBA player, an endorsement opportunity to validate the level of talent that exists in the league for others to take note.

When the NBA is marketed to fans, the talent of the athletes and the excitement of the game are promoted, not the sexiness of the players. Conversely, the media has a difficult time selling the women’s game to fans because of the grit and power that is demonstrated by WNBA athletes on the court. Although it’s unknown how Jordan Brand will market Moore, giving Moore a signature shoe is a huge step toward recognizing female athletes for their athletic ability rather than their sex appeal.

WNBA athletes should be celebrated for setting the bar high and blazing their own successful paths. They should also be admired for representing true womanhood and possessing autonomy, fearlessness, pride, and strength. But, unfortunately, the positive traits they exhibit are regularly drowned out by the glamorized lifestyles portrayed by the women on Basketball Wives.

As long as the media continues to spoon-feed stereotypical images of women while ignoring the antithesis of the “norm”, millions of young impressionable girls who struggle with a lack of self-worth will continue to misplace value on what’s important.

At the end of Love & Basketball, Q and Monica were married and had a daughter. Monica also went on to play in the WNBA. Ultimately, Monica’s strength and commitment to her true self persevered above all.

If only life imitated art.

Source - Xhibit P

Shana explains her commentary in the video below:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart asked Tuesday that a federal judge throw out a defamation case that former government employee Shirley Sherrod brought against him.

Sherrod was ousted from her job as a Georgia rural development official last year after Breitbart posted an edited video of her making supposedly making racist remarks. She sued Breitbart, his employee Larry O’Connor and an unnamed defendant for defamation and emotional distress. Sherrod’s lawyers say the unnamed defendant is the person who they believe passed the video on to Breitbart.

The video on Andrew Breitbart’s website turned out to be edited, and when Sherrod’s full speech to an NAACP group earlier that year came to light, it became clear that her remarks about an initial reluctance to help a white farmer were not racist but an attempt at telling a story of racial reconciliation. Once that was obvious, Sherrod received public apologies from the administration – even from President Barack Obama himself – and an offer to come back to the Department of Agriculture, which she declined.

In the first hearing in the case Tuesday, exactly a year to the day Sherrod was ousted, lawyers for Breitbart argued that Sherrod’s case is an attempt to dampen free speech and should be dismissed. They also argued to have it dismissed under a District of Columbia statute that aims to prevent the silencing of critics through lawsuits.

If the case is not dismissed, Breitbart and O’Connor’s lawyers argued to have it moved from the District of Columbia to California, where the two men live. U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon said he would consider all of the requests but did not indicate how he would rule.

Sherrod’s complaint says the incident has affected her sleep and caused her back pain. It contends that she was damaged by having her “integrity, impartiality and motivations questioned, making it difficult (if not impossible) for her to continue her life’s work assisting poor farmers in rural areas” even though she was invited to come back to the Agriculture Department.

Breitbart’s original posting a year ago showed an excerpt of a March 2010 speech to an NAACP group in which Sherrod talked about her reluctance to help a white farmer who came to her more than two decades ago when she worked at a farm aid nonprofit group. The video was posted amid ongoing friction between the NAACP and the tea party movement, each of which were accusing the other of having racist elements among their ranks.

The blogger said at the time that the video showed the NAACP condoning racist comments from a government official.

The full video, however, shows Sherrod explaining to the audience how she eventually became friends with the farmer and helped him save his land from foreclosure. .

Via AOL:

Thanks to a little-known provision in state law, enterprising Texan Kenneth Robinson -- either a hero or a squatter, depending on your point of view -- has taken possession of a foreclosed $300,000 house for a mere $16. That's the amount he forked over to file a claim of "adverse possession" of the property with the Denton County courthouse.

Robinson contends that the abandoned house is his for the taking, since neither the original owner nor the bank is likely to go to the trouble or expense of kicking him out. If he can manage to stay in the property for three years, he says, the law grants him the right to petition the court for title to the house.

Crafty though Robinson may be, not all of his new neighbors are happy to see him in their midst. Watch the video to see how the controversy unfolds.

In the words of Charlie Sheen, "WINNING." Whether you agree or disagree with how the brother got the home, you have to agree this was brilliant. We always complain about the fact that people don't read but obviously this man did read in order for him to know the state law that allowed him to get a $300K home for $16.

Of course his neighbors are upset, but who cares. This is why it pays to be a reader and know stuff for yourself. You too maybe able to get a $300K house for $16...LOL!

Maybe I've become a little desensitized to the overtly racist stuff in today's ad campaigns that I can't see the racism in the new commercial by Summer's Eve for their Hail to the V campaign. I don't discount the fact that the ad maybe a little tasteless and perhaps a little sexist, but I didn't get the racist aspect as much as some of my other blogging counterparts.

Please check out the 55 sec ad and tell me what you think.

Summer’s Eve Hail to the V: Lady Wowza

Jul 19, 2011

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann pointed to one program in particular Monday when talking about wasteful government spending: a multibillion dollar settlement paid to black farmers, who claim the federal government discriminated against them for decades in awarding loans and other aid.

The issue came up after Bachmann and Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa toured flooded areas along the Missouri River. During a news conference, they fielded a question about whether farmers affected by the flooding also should be worried by proposed U.S. Department of Agriculture cuts.

The two responded by criticizing a 1999 settlement in what is known as the Pigford case, after the original plaintiff, North Carolina farmer Timothy Pigford. Late last year, President Barack Obama signed legislation authorizing a new, nearly $1.2 billion settlement for people who were denied payments in the earlier one because they missed deadlines for filing.

King has likened the Pigford settlement to "modern-day reparations" for African-Americans. He said Monday a large percentage of the settlement "was just paid out in fraudulent claims" and criticized the Obama administration's plan to resolve separate lawsuits filed by Hispanic and female farmers.

"That's another at least $1.3 billion," King said "I'd like to apply that money to the people that are under water right now."

Bachmann seconded King's criticism, saying, "When money is diverted to inefficient projects, like the Pigford project, where there seems to be proof-positive of fraud, we can't afford $2 billion in potentially fraudulent claims when that money can be used to benefit the people along the Mississippi River and the Missouri River."

John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association, which represented black farmers in the Pigford settlement, called the criticism unfair.

"Why continue to take from those people who haven't taken part in federal programs equally and give to another group of farmers who have taken part in federal programs?" Boyd asked. "I think taking resources from a group of people who have been historically denied any relief at the Department of Agriculture is a bad idea. For the flood victims that deserve redress ... they should provide those people with relief, too."

Boyd said he and others worked to put anti-fraud provisions in the legislation signed last year. They require each claim of discrimination to be judged individually to determine its merit — a process that Boyd said has not yet even begun.

"We worked with Republicans ... to get those issues addressed," he said. "Even after we got them addressed, Ms. Bachmann and Mr. King have continued to look at black farmers in a very negative way.

"I think it's bad for the American people. I think if Ms. Bachmann wants to be president of the United States, she should treat all people fairly."

Bachmann's criticism wasn't limited to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Minnesota congresswoman also took a swipe at the president, who has not visited areas of Iowa, Nebraska or other states flooded by the river.

"The devastation is beyond what people can imagine," Bachmann said. "Surely this is worthy of a presidential visit to come see this level of devastation in western Iowa."

Heavy rain and a large snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains have poured water into the Missouri, flooding more than 500,000 acres in seven states. The high water is expected to linger through August, putting pressure on levees that protect homes, cities and farms.

"This flood that we have seems to have disappeared from the minds of people from across the country," King said. "If you're not here to see it ... you don't hear very much about it."


Police said a 17-year-old boy killed his parents in their Port St. Lucie home and then hid their bodies in a bedroom while he hosted a house party.

Tyler Hadley has been arrested on two counts of first-degree murder in the death of his parents, Blake and Mary Jo Hadley.

Port St. Lucie police spokesman Tom Nichols said they received an anonymous tip that a teenager who lived at the house on Granduer Avenue had killed his parents and left their bodies inside.

When officers conducted a welfare check at the house early Sunday morning, they found the bodies on the floor inside the locked master bedroom, Nichols said.

Nichols said books, towels and other household items that were piled on top of the bodies was a "deliberate attempt to conceal the bodies inside the room."

Police said the high school dropout sent a Facebook invitation to friends about a party at his house Saturday night. Police said 40 to 60 teens attended the party, which lasted into the early-morning hours Sunday.

Capt. Don Kryak said the party started several hours after the parents had been killed.

Police said a hammer that the teen used to beat his parents to death was found lying between the bodies. Nichols said they believe the mother was killed first, followed by the father.

"It was a merciless killing," Kryak said of the crime scene.

Kryak said the teen initially told officers conducting the welfare check that his parents were out of town.

A motive for the killings wasn't known.