I have no doubt that the standoff in Ferguson -- the demand for change -- goes this deep. I also have no doubt that tear gas won't pacify the protesters and replace their anger with fear of authority. Neither will all the military hardware the Defense Department can supply.
Think you have a pretty good idea of what's going on in Ferguson, Missouri? You may not, even if you've been watching a lot of cable news. Especially if you've been watching a lot of cable news. If the media's job is to give viewers and readers an accurate and full idea of what's really going on, we have to acknowledge that there is a long way to go. Of course, Ferguson is not an isolated case. But it is a chance for those of us in the media to expand our understanding of our role in covering the news. At HuffPost we are certainly covering the violence and the underlying racial tensions, but we are also committed to telling the "untold story" (as our splash put it on Tuesday) -- of compassion, ingenuity, kindness, trust, collaboration and community.
If you also believe that most Black families in the United States have talked about Ferguson, what does it say about the rest of us if we have not?
The politics of respectability in the black community may not only hinder us from acting and engaging in the constructive protest, lobbying and collective action needed to create a more just society, as it has with respect to the Ferguson protests, but it may also prevent us from simply being and living freely.
My preferring not to have intercourse might be less about a distaste for the actual act (or pain, or boredom) than it is about the way in which too many guys approach it, not just as the endgame but as the only way to truly score.
It's time for Missouri's right-wingers to leave the nineteenth century behind. It is time for all Missourians -- indeed, time for all Americans -- to start building a more just and equitable world, one free of institutional racism and yawning racial disparities.
Aggressively punitive and extreme drug policies are steeped in racism. Inherent in the response to drug law enforcement is a biased approach and stark double standards in the perceived threat of drug use by marginalized people.
The nation's focus on the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri confers yet another opportunity for deeper racial understanding, but like other (too many other) teachable moments arising from the tragic loss of young black life, the opportunity is fleeting and frail.
Improving policing in departments with entrenched cultures has proven a challenging endeavor. Departmental culture plays a defining role in how police officers conduct their work, and it flows from the top, or, as they say, rots from the head.
The point is that black American life and white American life stay rigidly separated at absolutely key moments of human communication. Do some people feel they are "better" than some other people? Or maybe it's not that at all. Does it, in fact, cut far deeper?
It's up to elected officials in Ferguson and communities across the country, and to the people who live in them, to address the deep-seated societal problems that fueled the explosion of outrage following the Brown shooting.
Venting is easy and natural in these circumstances; restraint is hard. By rational, reasoned response we can block the next senseless killing and break the age-old pattern that has become ordinary in our country.
Tank Burt is no stranger to the intimacy of the unsaid. As a director she's been honing her craft with shorts like Skateboard, Skateboard, a coming-of-age story told virtually without dialogue, and now she's made her feature debut as an actress.
Long before Brown's parents had to think about burying him, Brown felt the weight of the social death black men experience that readies too many of us for our actual deaths.
We know all too well the proximate causes of the rage in Ferguson but there are other much deeper socio-economic causes as well, namely the way the school systems, the economy, and particularly the labor market are structured so as to exclude cruelly so many from the American Dream.
Even a slacker can be debt-free. Here's how.
I am still trying to deconstruct why the Ferguson community's outpouring of grief, loss and anger was met with such an impersonal, aggressive and unrelenting show of militarized police use of force uncharacteristic of peacetime policing.
A possible interpretation of the theme song and the show being is that you have to be grateful for the good times (the positives) in order to see your way through the remaining challenges.
EMPIRE STATE OF MIND
It's no secret that Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter is at the top of his game. Earlier this week, the 'Forever Young' rapper announced that he'd be launching a line of headphones, a la Lady Gaga, later this year. Now, comes news that Beyonce's hubby is chummy with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The two men, along with developer Bruce Ratner and New Jersey Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov, visited Gracie Mansion on May 19 to discuss their basketball team, which is headed to Jay's hometown of Brooklyn. Prokhorov, the first foreigner to own an NBA team, said he's hiring a new coach and new players in an effort to get the team to the playoffs next season and to win a championship in five years. The Brooklyn arena is going to be called the Barkley Center and is currently under construction and set to open for the 2012 season. [Rap Radar]
The boys of Pretty Ricky are continuously fighting rumors of homosexuality. Group member Spectacular was accused of being gay after he put up a striptease video on YouTube. Now one of the group's quieter members, Slickem, has a picture on the Web of him with another boy's head in his lap (while on a couch with no shirt or clothes on). The photo leaves a lot to the imagination for his fans. Slickem has yet to justify what the pic is all about. [Bossip]
HARD OUT HERE FOR A PIMP
Guess Terrence Howard was tired of his playboy lifestyle. It's hard to keep Hollywood weddings under wraps, but Howard was able to tie the knot in a small ceremony with commercial production worker Michelle Ghent-Howard this past January. Howard, who previously split from his ex-wife, Lori McComma in 2005, is busy promoting his new movie 'Winnie' in which he plays Nelson Mandela, opposite Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson. Howard told CNN's Anderson Cooper during an interview at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday that he was a married man again. "To come here and be with my wife, it's the best feeling in the world," he said while promoting 'Winnie' in Cannes. His wife is of Asian descent and 33 years old. Howard has three children from his previous marriage to McComma. [US Magazine]
NOSE JOB GONE WRONG
'Real Housewives of Atlanta's' NeNe Leakes is rumored to have had a little cosmetic surgery recently. The Bravo reality television star arrived at her co-star Sheree Whitfield's 'Dance With the Stars' event sporting what looks like a new nose. The new nose is much slimmer than her first one, but already the Internet is up in arms that it isn't a good nose job. There's also talk that she's gotten some other work done. Either way, NeNe's new haircut is bangin'. That's something she can still say "BAM" about. [YBF]
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