(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—Anyone who has followed this column for the last several years knows how passionately I feel about victim’s rights and recovery for those who have suffered sexual violence or assault. When one in five women in America and one in six African-American men or women are reportedly victims of sexual violence in this country, we cannot sit by and let others suffer in silence because of our old-fashioned, puritanical views of sexual propriety. I am in favor of tough sentences for sexual predators and I cheer every time Chris Hanson shocks some pervert sitting in his underwear in a suburban kitchen. Despite all that that, the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that sexual predators can be held indefinitely is something that any American, even an advocate for sexual violence has to stand against.
Daily Archive: May 26, 2010
(NNPA)—I just returned from the seven-day Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage from Miami to St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Coco Cay, Bahamas. This was my first time on the cruise and if you’ve never been on one, picture “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” on steroids. As was the case when I attended the first Essence Music Festival in 2002, I was advised to pace myself. Even though I tried—skipping some events and sleeping late after going to bed some mornings at 4:30 a.m.—I still couldn’t wait to crash once I got back home. Don’t go on the cruise thinking you’re going to rest.
(NNPA)—I couldn’t believe the headlines in a recent issue of the Los Angeles Times which asked whether President Obama had responsibility for the oil spill on the Louisiana-Mississippi coastline. Of course, as president, he has a responsibility to see that it is cleaned up, first by the resources of BP, the company that made the mess, but ultimately by the U.S. government. But at this stage of the crisis, the article felt decidedly like there was some culpability of Obama for not having had his Minerals Management Service regulate oil drilling more vigorously. This doesn’t wash, because it’s like blaming the Obama administration for not being able to see into the future, but it is consistent with the way in which he has been viewed increasingly.
The U.S. Supreme Court, which has in recent years been overwhelming conservative in its decisions, showed signs of humanity when it ruled that juvenile offenders under 17 could no longer be sentenced to life without parole for crimes that didn’t result in a death. Calling such sentences cruel and unusual punishment, and in violation of the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment, the justices ruled 6-3 in favor of putting an end to judicial punishments that give offenders no hope of a life after prison. Even Chief Justice John Roberts, a notorious conservative appointed by President George W. Bush, ruled on the side of what’s fair and decent.
I am really getting fed up with my liberal friends saying that because I am against amnesty for illegals, I am nasty! Unfortunately, our society has devolved into a mindset where if you disagree with someone, you must have bad motives. The pro-amnesty crowd is up in arms over the recently passed Arizona bill that takes a very tough line on illegals. Their contention is that it will lead to racial profiling. I challenge anyone with a brain to actually read the law and come to that conclusion. But, they assert that if a person is “legitimately” stopped by law enforcement and is then found to be illegal, they would not have an issue with the person being brought before an immigration court.
by Jamala Rogers The ghosts of the Exxon Valdez environmental disaster seem to be floating around the Gulf Coast these days. EV is one of the country’s largest oil spills yet most of us have vague memories of the 1989 man-made catastrophe—except the victimized citizens and 1,300 miles of Alaskan coastline. The disaster resulted in 11 million gallons of crude oil seeping into Alaskan waters, killing wildlife and a way of life. The cost of the cleanup was about $2.1 billion while the impact on living things was incalculable.
The World of Dance competition held in Los Angeles recently ignited a firestorm of controversy when video footage of a performance by five 7-year-olds, scantily dressed and bumping and grinding to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” showed up on the Internet. The two-minute performance has been uploaded to thousands of sites, including YouTube, which has seen more than 100,000 views. But while some laud over the “tremendous dance techniques” of the grammar school-aged girls, others have derived sexual excitement and pleasure from it. The parents of the girls have “no comment”.
Hard work and dedication is paying off for an entertainment company called Money Motivated Entertainment, which consists of Robert “Bum” Sledge, Michael Talley and Andre Robinson. On May 30, actress Vivica A. Fox will host an event called the “All White Memorial Day Celebration” held at the Whim in Station Square. VIVICA A. FOX Fox coming to Pittsburgh to host this celebration is not a stretch for the actress. “I make public appearances all the time and I’m heavily involved in the community and the community loves to see some Vivica. It keeps me in touch with my audience and fan base. I do a lot of that mostly on the weekends by promoting my projects and greetings the fans at the same time,” Fox said.
“Pittsburghers can expect to see a show like they have never seen before. There will be a lot of dancing and movement on the stage. Uncle Charlie does it different than the Gap Band,” said singer Charlie Wilson about his recent performance at the Classic Soul Music Festival on May 14. “I came to turn this mother out.” And Uncle Charlie surely delivered a fantastic show. CHARLIE WILSON Wilson effortlessly weaved a show together with his new songs and Gap Band favorites. He came on stage dressed in a black suit with a royal purple shirt and black newsboy cap. He immediately launched into the Gap Band hit, “Party Train,” which brought the audience to its feet.
This week I visited the Benedum Center in Downtown Pittsburgh and The August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Downtown Pittsburgh, The Improv in Homestead, Glenn Campbell’s Celebration Cookout in the Hill District and the Shadow Lounge in East Liberty. My first stop was at the Benedum Center where Groove Productions presented the Classic Soul Music Festival starring Charlie Wilson of the Gap Band, Con Funk Shun, Artistree and comedian Cool-Aide. This event was sold out and everyone was dressed to impress as they enjoyed the soulful sounds of Charlie Wilson. He sang all his old hits and some of the new ones and he shared how God has rescued him and turned his life around. It was a great time for everyone. The Charlie Wilson dancers representin’ at the Benedum Center.