Socialized into a deeply internalized sense of superiority and entitlement that we are either not consciously aware of or can never admit to ourselves, white people become highly fragile in conversations about race."Getting it" when it comes to race and racism challenges our very identities as good white people.
Pew Research is just discovering something: Black people are not all the same. This is a truth that the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) has been living for the nearly decade of its existence. And it is a truth that Black people have known for generations.
On the one hand, we lift up and celebrate the non-violent legacy of Dr. King. On the other, we want to know why aren't there more mothers, like the one in the video, willing to beat their children into submission. Forgive me cable pundits, if I am not able to hear you talking out of both sides of your neck.
So what is the purpose of mainstream media if they are not going to fulfill their mission of informing the public? If you want to get real information about what's going on with people outside of the champagne and limousine loop in America, bloggers and citizen journalists are where you have to go.
Let us hope that the majority of the country will listen, and that racism and poverty begin to be alleviated by government created jobs, real school reform, and social services for the people like those in Baltimore.
The night I was ready to riot was in the spring of 1979 in Chicago. Chicago's "finest" had been on the move for weeks, having fun attacking the gay community. Gay clubs were harassed regularly, almost one a week.
There's the strong suspicion that Gray's death was caused by his physical manhandling by police during the arrest. And while there was no apparent racial motive in their confronting and arresting Gray, that is not a hard and fast requirement for a Civil Right prosecution.
Look, if you can follow a complicated episode of Game of Thrones, then you can follow this narrative playing out in Baltimore. What makes it worse is that we've seen it all before.
It seems that almost daily, the headline "Unarmed Black Man Killed By Police" has pulled back the veil on what many white Americans, liberal and conservative alike, have been blinded to by privilege: racism is real in American society.
Were you shocked at the disruption in Baltimore? What is more shocking is daily life in Baltimore, a city of 622,000 people, 63 percent of whom are African-American. Here are 10 numbers that tell some of the story.
As residents of Maryland and the nation brace for what could potentially be another night of civil unrest in Baltimore, it is important to pause and reflect on what has brought us to the current moment.
This is that time in America where once again, we wish to be both tremendously ignorant while also "sincere" in our concern for Baltimore, foregoing the fuss and inconvenience of addressing the root issues.
Rioting is irrational. But so is our continuing claim to democracy, due process, and justice. We have no credibility with these kids.
Blood on the trees and blood at the root. Over 75 years after Billie Holiday first performed the song, the question of whether #blacklivesmatter is still up for debate.
Assuming that most can agree that one should not become belligerent toward police officers when asked to walk on the sidewalk, run from police officers while detained, or sell illegal cigarettes, can we not also agree that such infractions do not warrant a death sentence? Is that not absurdity?
We can be critical of the despair that destroys, but that will not create the change we need. We will need to stand up and fight for just, fair, safe communities that speak hope and possibility for all of us, not just some of us. We will need to find a way to hold our heads high even when our young people disappoint us.
Despite living in an era when Loretta Lynch can be nominated as the nation's chief law enforcement officer, the experiences of black women in the U.S. Senate illuminate how the institution continues to be a space built around white male privilege.
In the face of the systematic racism of America's policing and prison system as well as crippling poverty that disproportionally affects the black community, how does non-violence work to actually solve the root of the problem? Or does it work at all?
Can state officials or the media really be surprised that promises of an internal investigation don't appease? The true state of emergency now, like back in 1968, isn't rage or even rock throwing. It is the racial profiling and racial brutality of the police. America's real state of emergency remains that black lives still don't matter enough.
"As women we always think, 'I want this. I want that.' I don't have a checklist. You all know me. You all know my personality. I'm like, 'Come on, Trump. Come on TV One. Find me somebody,' " she laughed.
Taping will start later this month, with the show set to premiere this fall, but, don't expect the show to be too similar to last season's competition.
"I think it's just different personalities, period," the Dayton, Ohio native said. "She's Omarosa and Toccara is Toccara. I think Omarosa's season was absolutely amazing, and that's one of the reasons why I signed up for this. I think I'm fun, outgoing, loud and spontaneous," she said. "I think these guys are going to court me and love me, and I just can't wait. That's my fantasy."
Toccara's last boyfriend was Atlantic Records President of Black Music Michael Kyser, who as of late has been rumored to be dating gossip blogger Necole Bitchie.
"Is he with Necole Bitchie?" Toccara mused. "I don't think he's with her, but he just told me that on the blogs they said that he bought Necole Bitchie some breasts. Does she have fake breasts? I don't even know. These people be making up these rumors."
Regardless of his relationship status, the buxom beauty still has a great deal of love and respect for Kyser.
"I think Kyser is absolutely amazing. Our relationship is and was absolutely amazing. He supports me in everything I do. Even with me doing this show now, he's very supportive to me as a friend, and I really value his advice," she revealed.
"He's my best friend. We talk about things. Even things that we don't want to talk about. We just have a really good relationship, and I think that's why I don't have any securities or anything. There's no need to. I'm single. He's single. He can date whoever he wants to date. I can date whoever I want to date."
When probed about whether she'd consider getting back with him if she doesn't find Mr. Right on television, she added, "I haven't ruled it out."
In her personal life, Toccara still manages to keep up with Banks "as much as I can" and a few of her 'Top Model' pals.
"Tyra is so much about her business and is so focused on her brand and everything, but she gives me great advice and is a great mentor. She never leaves me hanging. I love Tyra," she shared.
But she had no clue Tyra was currently enrolled at Harvard Business School.
"She's going to Harvard right now? She's smart, duh? She knows what she's doing," she joked.
"I think that 'America's Next Top Model' was such an amazing platform and opportunity for all the girls. I think we've all turned five minutes into an hour full of fame and have been very successful. Yaya [DaCosta] is doing her thing. She was just at my birthday in New York City and Eva [Marcille] is in L.A. and me and her still stay in touch, and she's wonderful," she said.
"But I think coming from where we're from, and of all the girls who have participated in 'America's Next Top Model,' and for you to be able to say YaYa, Eva and Toccara to stand apart from the pack is just absolutely amazing."