Daily Dose: 9/23/16
Denzel Washington has a new movie out
2:00 PMI’m heading to the White House to cover something this afternoon. I was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and have never set foot on the grounds even once. I am rather nervous, to say the least.
We’re at the point where the president needs to address the nation again. With our first presidential debate in the backdrop coming Monday, the situations in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Charlotte, North Carolina, mean that President Barack Obama needs to speak. This week, he visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opens Saturday. There, he talked to Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts about a wide range of things, including Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s chances at the Oval Office and our country’s legacy of lawful segregation. Check out the interview here.
Speaking of brutality, if you haven’t seen the video of a girl being pepper-sprayed by police, you need to. The situation unfolded in Hagerstown, Maryland, where police decided that a 15-year-old girl who hit a car with her bike needed to be subdued, pepper-sprayed and arrested. I don’t know what’s going on in Hagerstown, but apparently the teens are real menaces, tearing up the town and upsetting apple carts. In all seriousness, this situation is absurd. The girl, who was charged with assault and disorderly conduct, is now speaking out.
My dad sees every single Denzel Washington movie ever made. He goes to the theater, often by himself, buys a ticket and watches the movie. It doesn’t matter how good, bad or ugly it looks, he’s a devoted fan. So, since there’s a new movie out with him in it, you can bet my dad will be in the theater. At this point, Pops talks about nearly everything in a “something a Denzel character once did” context. Anyway, Washington’s range is strong, but specific. FiveThirtyEight’s Walt Hickey analyzes the four types of Denzel movies.
Steve Clevenger is not a fan of Black Lives Matter. Not familiar with that name? Well, he’s a backup catcher for the Seattle Mariners who grew up “in the streets of Baltimore,” as he puts it. He also decided that Thursday night would be a good time to get on Twitter and mock the protestors in Charlotte, who are upset about the death of Keith Lamont Scott. He threw in the old “lock ’em up in a cage” take just for good measure, and now he’s suspended for the rest of the season. Can’t imagine a 30-year-old journeyman like him has much place in the bigs at this point.
Coffee Break: There are some headlines that are just too good to be true. “Jaden Smith Shared the Gospel of Boxed Water on an Eco-Friendly Field Trip. His dad, Will Smith, played chaperone” is definitely one of them. I can’t even imagine what being around that family is like, on so many levels. This little excursion sounds like it was incredible.
Snack Time: Around these parts, we love Nicole Byer. I first became a fan of her work on Girl Code, but now she’s got her own show and is flourishing. Check out this profile of the MTV star.
Dessert: This, friends, is why editorial cartoons exist.
Shawty Lo dies in car accident
Two others were hurt in the vehicle the Atlanta rapper was driving
4:35 PMIf you were anywhere near a dance floor in 2007, you are familiar with Shawty Lo’s Dey Know. Perhaps the best actual club banger of the “snap” era of Atlanta hip-hop, the man behind the song is dead, after a car crash in Fulton County. Née Carlos Walker, he was 40. He has been remembered all day around the hip-hop world by fans and contemporaries.
Details of the incident are rather brutal. According to The Associated Press, the car flipped and hit several trees before Walker was ejected from the vehicle, which then burst into flames. Two other women who were passengers escaped the wreckage. On Tuesday night, he had been posting pictures on social media from the Atlanta gentlemen’s club, Blue Flame.
My brother has passed he is no longer here but his spirit, his kind heart , and his music will live on Long live Shawty Lo King of Bankhead
— SHAWTY LO (@THATSSHAWTYLO) September 21, 2016
Shawty Lo was a premier example of how to make it in a certain era of hip-hop without a ton of hit records. Dey Know was so much of a heat rock that it had a remix that was arguably a better song. It also went certified gold. That beat, produced by Balis Beats, is certainly one of the more memorable of its time.
In 2012, he was supposed to star in a show called All My Babies’ Mamas on the Oxygen network, highlighting his life with his 11 children, and their 10 mothers. At the time, many panned it as stereotypical and offensive. I believe that only one episode aired before the show was canceled, but from what I recall, it was actually far less ridiculous that the premise assumed. I wrote as much at the time. Walker, who happened to live in fellow Atlanta rapper T.I.’s neighborhood, was a good dad.
As an original member of rap group D4L and the founder of D4L Entertainment, Shawty Lo was a major player on the Atlanta scene. And his raspy drawl made his voice instantly recognizable on any track that he likely had all your favorite artists making guest appearances on. When it comes to the narrative of rappers who define the evolution and the importance of what the Atlanta sound is, Shawty Lo sits firmly on that timeline.
Check out XXL‘s list of his 20 greatest songs. R.I.P. Shawty Lo.
Daily Dose: 9/21/16
Don King is back stumping for his old pal Donald Trump
Don King has been a professional buffoon for as long as I’ve been alive. The former boxing promoter who is a proud Republican loves all microphones, which sometimes gets him into trouble. Let’s take today for example, when he decided he’d speak at a Donald Trump function. King being King, he got on stage an promptly dropped an N-bomb, which in some regards is really hilarious and in others is extremely unfortunate. Anyway, he said a lot of other really wild stuff, if you want to hear it. He’s still rocking that jacket, too. ABC News has the details.
Every time another black person gets shot and killed by police, you often hear people countering with “what about Chicago?!” Hundreds of people die there every year as a result of gun violence, so for people trying to bury their heads in the sand about the real problems in other parts of this country, it’s an easy way out of an important discussion. Now, the city that’s known for Michael Jordan’s titles is making moves on the law enforcement front. They’re hiring nearly a thousand more officers. ABC News reports.
There’s a presidential debate next week, and it’s going to be a huge deal. To be honest, I can barely visualize a scenario in which Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are actually the lone two people on a stage, discussing something in a decent manner. I fully believe that these things are all going to go completely sideways and Trump won’t be able to help himself when it comes to lobbing baseless insults. As for who wins and loses these things, so to speak, FiveThirtyEight wonders what that even means.
The beef between Madison Bumgarner and Yasiel Puig is tremendous. MadBum is the kind of crotchety dude who thinks the game needs to be played a certain way and is willing to come to blows over these so-called codes. Puig could not care less about that kind of old-school foolishness and is here for all of the bat flips his heart can supply. They ran across each other in their last series, and now Puig’s got jokes. He sent Madison a T-shirt saying “#DONTLOOKATME,” mimicking what Bumgarner said to him. ESPN’s Doug Padilla reports.
Coffee Break: David Simon, creator of The Wire, decided that he wanted to make fun of Sean Hannity on Twitter. In doing so, he decided he wanted to use the N-word (With an A, as he’ll gladly let you know). He then proceeded to condescendingly explain to everyone why it was OK for him to do so. Here’s exactly the reason that it was not.
Snack Time: I am looking forward to Luke Cage more than I have a TV series in a long time. And according to my homey David, it’s the blackest thing Marvel has ever done. You can count me in on that, fam.
Dessert: If you’re in D.C. and want to see me try to spell words, you’re in luck.
Charlotte erupts after police-related shooting
Protestors take to streets after Keith Lamont Scott was killed
12:00 PMOn the evening news, none of the TV stations in Charlotte, North Carolina, cut into coverage. By the 11 p.m. shows, it was all they reported on. On Tuesday afternoon, Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed by Charlotte police while they were searching for a different person, who was wanted on outstanding warrants. The news spread across Facebook after Scott’s daughter went live to tell the world exactly what she thinks about the law enforcement in her town. Warning: explicit language.
That’s two black men in two days, shot and killed by police officers over matters that were unrelated to them. The first was Terrence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His name had barely become a trending topic as a hashtag before another one was killed. Scott was 43 years old.
By nightfall, crowds had gathered near where the shooting occurred. They took over the roads and took their protest to Interstate 85. The police broke out the tear gas, then the demonstrators shut down the highway. What’s so depressing about all this is that we now have a basic narrative for everything that happens in these situations. Person gets shot. Mass of people show up in anger. Police attempt to disperse legal gathering. A handful of officers are hurt in the exchange. Twitter takes notice. Law enforcement starts in with smear campaign of victim. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Charlotte police chief says officers gave armed man Keith Lamont Scott 'loud, clear, verbal commands' to drop weapon https://t.co/emIIa1RQ2N
— ABC News (@ABC) September 21, 2016
Scott apparently had a gun, which apparently means he’s a threat. It should be noted that North Carolina is an open-carry state. A permit is NOT required to carry a gun openly in the state. Meaning, outside of profiling and assumptions, this person was doing nothing wrong. It was first rumored that Scott was sitting in his car reading a book when the shooting occurred. According to police, getting in and out of his car with a gun in a neighborhood where there *might* be a criminal was a good enough reason to shoot him. It’s unclear if he pointed the gun or not.
To be clear, here’s why that line of reasoning works with a certain element of the public. Let’s just start with the assertion that black people are dangerous. You have to start there, otherwise, nothing makes sense. Then, we move to the concept of a black person carrying a gun. This is where the extrajudicial and judicial meet. Again, it is perfectly legal to carry a gun openly in North Carolina. But, once this black person, with a gun, is not immediately obedient to an officer’s demands, many folks who consider themselves reasonable people think that’s a decent justification for lethal force. Meanwhile, a guy sets off a bomb in the middle of New York City and manages to not get shot to death by the authorities.
The flurry of recent high-profile shooting prompted United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch to address the matter. “These tragic incidents have once again left Americans with feelings of sorrow, anger and uncertainty,” Lynch said at the annual conference for the International Bar Association. “They have once again highlighted — in the most vivid and painful terms — the real divisions that still persist in this nation between law enforcement and communities of color. And in Charlotte, they have once again led to widespread protest. Unfortunately, we saw several instances of violence during the protests, and 12 police officers and a number of demonstrators were injured as a result. Protest is protected by our Constitution and is a vital instrument for raising issues and creating change. But when it turns violent, it undermines the very justice that it seeks to achieve and I urge those demonstrating in Charlotte to remain peaceful in their expressions of protest and concern.”
In her wide-ranging remarks, she added that the Department of Justice is trying to work in everyone’s best interest. “At the Department of Justice, we are working tirelessly to build trust between law enforcement officers and the communities we serve and we will continue to do so. We will continue to forge dialogue between citizens and police officers. We will continue to do everything we can to give the brave men and women who wear the badge the tools and training they need to do their jobs safely, effectively and fairly. And we will continue to protect the rights and liberties of every American – no matter who they are, what they look like, or what uniform they wear,” she said.
— NBCBLK (@NBCBLK) September 21, 2016
keith lamont scott. terence crutcher. black lives matter. black people matter. black. people. matter.
— Siena (@burntsiena) September 21, 2016
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton plays in Charlotte. Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry reps Charlotte. Residents will tell you that Charlotte is vulnerable and not a city particularly ready for this discussion or fight, if it comes to it. The Panthers play the Minnesota Vikings at 1 p.m. in Bank of America Stadium on Sunday. That national anthem ceremony will be a heavily scrutinized one.
All Day Podcast: 9/20/16
Senior writer Mike Wise joins to discuss his story on Joe Paterno’s legacy
5:13 PMWe’ve got a jam-packed podcast this week, highlighted by Undefeated senior writer Mike Wise joining to speak about his courageous column on Penn State football coach Joe Paterno’s legacy, and who should get to decide it — survivors of child sexual abuse, like himself.
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | RSS | Embed
Another topic of conversation this week for the podcast crew — host Clinton Yates, staff writer Justin Tinsley and senior style writer Jill Hudson — is the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opens in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. Last week, Clinton went on the media tour of the museum and wrote about it. It might be the best museum the Smithsonian has to offer.
And lastly, coming off of Sunday’s Emmys, everyone shares their favorite moment from the television awards show: from Donald Trump shade to Julia Louis Dreyfus’ heartfelt speech to Courtney B. Vance’s tribute to President Barack Obama.
Give it a listen, and if you have any feedback or show ideas, feel free to email us at email@example.com.
Daily Dose: 9/20/16
Will black millennials be voting for Hillary Clinton?
You know things are rough when former presidents from your own party aren’t going to vote for you. A new report shows that former President George H.W. Bush has said that he plans to vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, which is hilarious. Meanwhile, Republican nominee Donald Trump’s son is tweeting recklessly about Syria with really bad metaphors about Skittles, of all things. Somehow, this isn’t even close to the worst thing that’s happened to the Trump campaign this week. It was also reported that The Donald is using charity money to pay for his personal business debts. ABC News reports on the 41st president.
Speaking of Hillary, it’s not all rainbows and glitter. She presumably will have a lot of support in the black community, a lot by simple virtue of being a Democrat. A lot more due to the fact that many people just want to see anyone other than another old white guy in the Oval Office. However, it’s not a lock that every black person in America is going to vote for her. I can name at least one who won’t. Anyway, among black millennials, FiveThirtyEight’s Farai Chideya explains why a vote for the left isn’t a lock.
It can be a cold world in these lunch room streets. If you’re a kid, you’ve got bullies, other kids and weird food to deal with. And the latter, if you’re lucky. In some school districts, policies force kids to go hungry if their parents haven’t paid up. It’s a vicious life lesson that’s taught pretty early, apparently: There’s no such thing as a free lunch. However, one Pennsylvania school cafeteria employee has had enough. She walked away from her job over what she calls a lunch shaming policy, which she thought was too much to bear.
We need to have a little chat about Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. This man is doing everything right at the moment and is great to watch. I don’t normally spend much time carving out slots in my schedule to watch college games, but for this man, I will. He DESTROYED Florida State last week and Louisville has Marshall coming up next. It’s Saturday night at 8 p.m. in case you’re wondering. Anyway, he’s absolutely at the top of the Heisman Watch list and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey is a distant second.
Coffee Break: If you haven’t seen Mr. Robot by now, what are you doing? The homey Rami Malek just won an Emmy for his role in the USA Network show. His speech was dope, too. Anyway, that show has a tremendous soundtrack, as well, if you want to know the history behind that.
Snack Time: Corrine Bailey Rae is a national treasure, and it’s been more than five years since her last album came out. But her Tiny Desk Concert is truly glorious. You need to watch that.
Dessert: Progress! Terrible grammar, but one step at a time, now.
Locker Room Lawyer, Episode 8: John Wall
Was the Washington Wizards point guard wrong for wearing a Cowboys jersey to a Redskins game?
1:12 PMIn this week’s edition of Locker Room Lawyer, Clinton Yates and Domonique Foxworth take the case of Washington Wizards point guard John Wall to The Undefeated courtroom.
Last Sunday, Wall attended a matchup between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, wearing a blue throwback Emmitt Smith Cowboys jersey. Yup, that’s right. The point guard of Washington, D.C.’s, NBA team is a fan of the biggest rival of the nation capital’s NFL team.
Many fans immediately deemed Wall to be guilty of treason. But at The Undefeated, everyone has the right to a fair trial, and there’s only one person qualified to defend an athlete’s questionable actions: the Locker Room Lawyer himself, Mr. Domonique Foxworth.
— SB Nation (@SBNation) September 18, 2016
Check out the video, and if you have any professional athlete in mind (past or present) who needs the Locker Room Lawyer’s representation, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with episode ideas. Also, check out our weekly All Day Podcast.
‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ didn’t make a difference for Terence Crutcher
Video footage shows another black life taken by police
12:12 PM“Hands up, don’t shoot!”
Since 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9, 2014, this phrase has become the unofficial slogan for the Black Lives Matter movement and stand against police brutality in America. Whether or not Brown actually mouthed the words “Don’t shoot!” before he was murdered is not really the point here. The point is this phrase represents the harsh reality that, as we’ve seen time and time again, even when an African-American is in compliance with police — even when hands are raised to the sky — a life is still in jeopardy.
Last Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old unarmed black man, had his hands up. A white police officer shot him. Crutcher was killed.
We shout hands up, don't shoot. They say hands up, don't matter. #TerenceCrutcher
— Travon Free (@Travon) September 19, 2016
On Monday, the Tulsa Police Department released video footage of the moments leading up to Crutcher’s death. One video shows footage taken from the dashcam inside one of the police vehicles that responded to reports of an abandoned vehicle blocking a road. The other video shows footage from a surveillance helicopter.
WARNING: These videos contains graphic content and may be upsetting to some viewers.
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Unlike in the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in July, the video captured was not taken by civilian bystanders. In the case of Crutcher’s murder, the videos are official police footage. “Looks like a bad dude, too,” you can hear one helicopter pilot say seconds before seeing Crutcher fall to the ground.
As horrific as it is to see yet another black man gunned down, there is a level of accountability that this police footage sheds light upon. Since the videos were released, the Tulsa Police Department has opened a criminal investigation into the shooting and the U.S. Department of Justice has launched a separate civil rights investigation.
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 20, 2016
Cops in video calling #TerenceCrutcher a "big bad dude" = just more proof that the FEAR of black people informs the level of FORCE by police
— Robin Thede (@robinthede) September 19, 2016
If there wasn't the video I'm sure they would've told us that #TerenceCrutcher lunged at them & that they feared for their lives.
— deray (@deray) September 20, 2016
To those who’ve questioned why San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during The Star-Spangled Banner before football games, here’s your answer. Given the current racial climate of this country, why should Kaepernick stand for the national anthem? Especially after a black man stood in front of police, with his hands up, and his life was still taken.
People don't want to hear the actual reasons Kaepernick sits….but want to hear every reason "why" Terence Crutcher was shot.
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) September 20, 2016
New De La Soul documentary
from ‘Mass Appeal’ chronicles the group’s long journey
When it comes to lessons on how to stay not only relevant, but successful, there’s no better example in hip-hop than De La Soul. When the three kids from Amityville, Long Island, New York, burst on the scene back in the late 1980s, they were a completely different look and sound from what most of the game was doing in that era. Lazily categorized as rap hippies, their career has spanned four decades.
Personally, Buhloone Mindstate is my favorite album of theirs, but Stakes Is High probably ranks as the best. Anyway, their journey has been legendary, and with the help of Mass Appeal they now have a documentary to show for it. The half-hour film has a lot of great moments for older heads who remember how the group’s identities were always being tested. There’s a great appearance from then music A&R Dante Ross and, of course, the group itself, along with Prince Paul, is a big part of the film.
Perhaps the most interesting footage is of both Paul and Maceo making beats. Those clips have the feel of Rhythm Roulette, the feature that the site does featuring random producers plying their trade after a trip to the record store. Anyway, it’s worth noting that when De La Soul tried to crowdfund a record, the group asked for $110,000. Their fans chimed in with more than $600,000.
Indeed, De La Soul is not dead.
What is #TheRealAU
Black students at American University set to protest racist treatment on campus
2:55 PMWhile Howard and Hampton universities were across town battling over who could call themselves “The Real HU” on the gridiron, farther uptown in the leafier climes of Northwest Washington D.C., black students at American University were using the hashtag #TheRealAU to shed light on incidents across campus that they say are racially motivated. One student told The Washington Post that a banana was thrown at her late at night inside a dorm.
The school held a town hall on the matter, but at the same time claimed the scenarios were not racially biased. “Regarding the known facts, on Sept. 8, an incident that was not characterized as bias-related occurred in a residence hall,” a university statement said. It’s not the first time something has happened like this in recent weeks, and the AU Black Student Alliance issued a statement of its own regarding the matter.
Good morning. 💚💛❤️✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/4Ogh6t82DZ
— AmericanU BSA (@AU_BSA) September 16, 2016
It’s also important to understand the climate of American University. Known for turning out many politically minded graduates, many people on campus would consider themselves progressive. But it’s also the kind of place where most of the black people you see there are those working in facilities or food service on campus.
We got folks who will break hell a loose in the name of saving little Ugandan cuties but are ghost re black girls on campus #therealAU
— hot sauce and honey (@fineandfierce) September 19, 2016
#therealAU is a tale of learning to protect yourself not only from blatant racism but from "liberal" friends who still don't get your fight
— hot sauce and honey (@fineandfierce) September 19, 2016
In 2015, Sydney Gore wrote a story titled “What It’s Really Like To Be Black On Campus: As Told By a Black College Grad” for Nylon magazine. In the essay, she describes how in her final year on campus at AU, the moods of racial tension across the country exploded into a barrage of insults on social media in the university environment.
“Instead of being met with support by our peers, we were criticized. Students posted statuses about how our chanting was disrupting them from studying because this happened to occur during finals,” Gore wrote. “The backlash was so bad that it got to a point where people were calling our demonstrations a ‘minstrel show’ on Yik Yak. (I want to point out that my student body constantly rallies in support for anything that has to do with the environment, but as soon as the discussion turns to the human lives that occupy that space, allies are silent and nowhere to be found.)”
There’s a protest scheduled on campus for 4 p.m. on Monday, and we’ll update as needed.
Daily Dose: 9/19/16
Suspect in custody following New York City explosion
2:00 PMMy colleague Mike Wise wrote an incredibly personal column about how his life relates to the situation at Penn State University. We’ll have him on the All Day Podcast to discuss it. Be sure to tune in.
An explosion went off in New York City over the weekend and the effects are still being felt across the region. There was confusion from the beginning. Facebook immediately set up a safe check-in system and politicians were using it for their campaign gain. But, behind all that, the blast that was previously not considered to be affiliated with terrorism maybe sort of is now. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump thinks we should be profiling people, by the way. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was on Good Morning America on Monday, trying to ease peoples’ fears. A suspect has been caught.
Bears are tremendous animals. They’re almost fun to watch. They get a bad rap as overly dangerous because people have these fears about getting mauled or their children being eaten or whatever. Personally, I’ve never had a problem with them. From Berenstain to Yogi to Chicago, bears have always been good to me. Plus, how can you dislike anything you can watch catch their own fish? In certain residential areas, though, bears are a real problem. On this week’s What’s The Point podcast, FiveThirtyEight’s team discusses the secret to tracking bears.
When Washington and Dallas faced off on NFL Sunday, it was a heated battle. Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman faced off against Dallas Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant a couple of times, but ultimately, the Cowboys prevailed, 27-23, after Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins couldn’t hit any receivers open downfield. Anyways, after said loss, the league decided it wanted to drug test Norman. Needless to say, he wasn’t happy. Why is not exactly clear, but he felt that making someone urinate in a cup instantly after a game is insulting. ESPN’s John Keim reports.
Courtney B. Vance is that dude. The longtime actor who portrayed Johnnie Cochran in FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson won the Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a limited series Sunday night, and his speech was tremendous. These things are not always easy to pull off without going fully rogue, but Vance nailed it. Check out that little punch move he pulls on Cuba Gooding Jr. before hitting the stage. He then proceeded to shout out his wife, Angela Bassett, then walked off with a hilarious kicker.
Coffee Break: If you’re not familiar with the concept of “guarantee games,” it’s when big college football programs pay smaller schools to come play them at home. The money is guaranteed for the smaller program and the win is guaranteed for the big school. But, there is a psychological cost, at some point.
Dessert: Danny Brown’s new song is mega fire. Give it a spin.