R.I.P. Erin Moran

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From CNN:

Popular actress Erin Moran, a mainstay on TV from the late ’60s to the mid-’80s and best known for her kid-sister role in the sitcom “Happy Days,” has died. She was 56.

Authorities in Indiana found her body Saturday afternoon after getting a 911 call at 4:07 p.m. for “an unresponsive female,” the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department said.

“Upon the arrival, it was determined that the female was Erin Marie Moran-Fleischmann. First responders determined that she was deceased and an autopsy is pending,” the department said.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

R.I.P. Barkley L. Hendricks

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From Black Matters US:

Barkley L. Hendricks, a painter who celebrated Black pride in each of his works, died on Tuesday in New London, Conn. He was 72.

Travelling around Europe as a student in the mid-60s, Barkley L. Hendricks was forever charmed by the portraits by van Dyck and Velázquez. Later during the rise of the Black Power movement, he started creating life-size portraits of friends, relatives and strangers encountered on the street that communicated a new assertiveness and Black pride.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

O’Reilly Is Out! However…

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It’s official.

Bill O’Reilly, one of Fox News’ most notable and profitable conservative commentator and all-around sexist, homophobic, close-minded white supremacist bigot has been ousted by the network. The New Work Times reports:

Mr. O’Reilly and his employers came under intense pressure after an article by The New York Times on April 1 revealed how Fox News and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, had repeatedly stood by him even as he and the company reached settlements with five women who had complained about sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior by him. The agreements totaled about $13 million.

Since then, more than 50 advertisers had abandoned his show, and women’s rights groups had called for him to be fired. Inside the company, women expressed outrage and questioned whether top executives were serious about maintaining a culture based on “trust and respect,” as they had promised last summer when another sexual harassment scandal led to the ouster of Roger E. Ailes as chairman of Fox News.

That left Mr. O’Reilly’s fate in the hands of the Murdoch family, which controls 21st Century Fox. In the end, according to two people familiar with the decision, Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, made their call after reviewing the results of an internal investigation that found that multiple women had reported inappropriate behavior by Mr. O’Reilly.

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Now, this may seem like Fox News developed a sliver of a conscience and did something morally right by kicking O”Reilly to the curb. But the thing is the network knew about the plague of sexual harassment and did their best to keep it under wraps. They were more concerned with the millions in revenue of advertiser money pouring in. The O’Reilly Factor was their main money making machine. And now that it’s kaput, what will they do now?

Keep in mind that O’Reilly’s sexual harassment claims and payouts came mere months after Fox News’ former CEO Roger Ailes was accused of sexual harassment himself by over two dozen women and stepped down afterwards. Both men received huge payouts in the tens of millions of dollars after their departure.

But one thing kept nagging at the thought center of my brain. Is this a snowball effect? Will there be more Fox News employees exposed as sexual deviants? Who else couldn’t control their urges enough in a workplace environment? And will this spell the end of the conservative juggernaut for fake news?

I doubt that Fox News will crumble under the weight of its own controversy, at least not without a backup plan by Rupert Murdoch. If it does, it will be a huge blow to right winger thinkers everywhere. They will see it as an attack against their freedom of speech (and white men), strengthen their toxicity against feminism and will somehow blame it on Barack Obama.

Hell, they may be blaming him already.

10 Examples of the Problem Known as ‘Toxic Masculinity’ That Already Happened

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What is toxic masculinity?

Pretty much, it’s a social machination that promotes and encourages men to be dominant, sexually aggressive and emotionless. In other words, it’s where males cannot be allowed to be fully human. They are taught to be a finite organism enclosed in a tight space of expectations from their environment.

But of course this has devastating consequences. Toxic masculinity is like the fuel within a nuclear reactor with a fragile ego casing. Any error or flaw inflicted on it will cause a meltdown harming and murdering other people including himself.

Toxic masculinity has a few names. Some refer it as patriarchy, hegemonic masculinity and hypermasculinity. In black and brown neighborhoods, we call it bitch-assness. In other areas, it’s called men’s activism, the manosphere or the alt-right movement. It links gun and weapon culture and women blaming in its matrix. And it rejects anyone outside of the tiny zone of manliness.

We’ve seen it done many times with terrible results. Here are ten real life examples:

Toxic masculinity is when you decide to shoot an innocent senior citizen, because you want to look for someone to murder out of anger over problems with your girlfriend. Instead of taking responsibility, you blame her while escaping into another location. And when police close in on you, you take yourself out instead of getting punished.

Toxic masculinity is when you come to a party open to the public with a strong chance of starting some shit. It’s a time for celebration and a breather from work and stress. Yet, you come armed. It’s when you and another dude fight for reasons likely rooted in disrespect that breeches your ego. Sooner or later, you start shooting your gun, harming and killing party goers in the process. And then, you run away into the night.

Toxic masculinity is when you abuse your wife and get upset at seeing men kissing men. So, you go to a popular gay club and shoot as many people as you can before you, yourself, are killed leaving behind a moment in history as the worst mass shooting to date.

Toxic masculinity is when you’re a sexually frustrated virgin and blame women for not giving themselves to you while rejecting your advances. You see yourself as the superior alpha male who deserves all the sex in the world. And so, as an act of vengeance, you take your gun, of course, and plot to take out as many people, women in particular, as you can, because since they didn’t want you, they just don’t deserve to live.

Toxic masculinity is when your religious and political beliefs are apparently so strong that you believe bizarre accusations. So, you make sure they pay dearly. In one such case, the issue is abortion and you’re heavily and violently against it. So, you arm yourself, locate a place and start firing, killing three people and are proud of the mass murder you performed.

Toxic masculinity is when you’re suffering from mental illnesses, but society doesn’t seem to take you seriously enough. You can’t take stress. But you chose not to seek help. And the end result is one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history that took place on a college campus ten years ago.

Toxic masculinity is when you open fire in a movie theater shooting as many people as possible, because apparently, you like to blow stuff up and kill people and might just be insane.

Toxic masculinity is when you shoot and kill your own mother before committing a mass shooting at an elementary school killing 20 children  and six staff members for reasons unknown.

Toxic masculinity is when you murder your wife while taking the life of an innocent child before turning the gun on yourself. Apparently, your problems with women were enough to commit such an atrocious act and kill yourself afterwards.

Toxic masculinity is what helped get the annoying orange in office and led to the formation of the white men’s cabinet.

Yes, there are other examples, and this problem will continue with more lives senselessly lost. Until we men get our shit together, have an open and honest look at this issue which is killing us and everyone around us and do something about it like control ourselves, especially around firearms and explosives, and embrace our full humanity, we will continue to shed more blood and tears in the name of the broken and destructive culture we’ve shaped around manhood.

The Facebook Murder, The People Involved and the Black Shaming By the Right (UPDATE)

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It is sorrowful day for many in the Cleveland, Ohio area and perhaps for everyone around the world.

A video surfaced on Easter Sunday of a shooting of an elderly black man (Robert Godwin, Sr.) by a younger black man (Steve W. Stephens) who went missing afterwards and could be anywhere in America at this time armed and dangerous.

The Washington Post writes:

Authorities said Monday that the suspect, identified by police as 37-year-old Steve W. Stephens, is still at large amid a manhunt that began in Ohio and spread to five states before expanding into a national search. By afternoon, authorities were offering up to $50,000 for information leading to his arrest.

“Steve if you’re out there listening, call someone — whether it’s a friend or family member or pastor — give them a call; they’re waiting for you to call them,” Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams pleaded with Stephens at an afternoon news conference.

So what exactly happened and why? The article continues:

Authorities said Stephens pulled up in his Ford Fusion on a road in east Cleveland about 2 p.m. Sunday and then said in the video: “I found somebody I’m about to kill.”

“I’m about to kill this guy right here. He’s an old dude,” Stephens said as he approached Robert Godwin Sr., who was reportedly out looking for aluminum cans to collect.

“Can you do me a favor?” Stephens said to Godwin before asking him to say the name Joy Lane.

“Joy Lane?” Godwin responded.

“Yeah,” Stephens replied. “She’s the reason why this is about to happen to you.”

The video showed him ask Godwin how old he was, raise a gun and pull the trigger. The camera spun around; when the picture came into focus, Godwin was on the ground.

It all lasted less than a minute, and authorities said the two men did not know each other.

So what happened next?

In the video, Stephens claimed to have killed more than a dozen people, police said, although they have not confirmed any other victims. Authorities have issued a warrant on a charge of aggravated murder for Stephens.

In a second video, Stephens is seen on his cellphone, telling someone to go online to watch the footage.

“I can’t talk to you right now. I f—– up, man,” he said.

“I shamed myself,” he added in a video posted by Cleveland.com. “I snapped. Dog, I just snapped, dog. I just snapped. I just killed 13 motherf——, man. That’s what I did — I killed 13 people. And I’m about to keep killing until they catch me, f— it. … I’m working on 14 as we speak.”

Why though? According to Stephens, it was due to a woman named Joy Lane. Plus, he mentioned on his now-deleted Facebook page that he lost everything while gambling and court records show that he faced other financial problems. While he said that he killed over a dozen people, police say that it has not been confirmed. Stephens did demand, however, to speak to two women, including his mother or he might kill again.

On that note, I want to ask that you do not post the video of the murder in the comments. I also don’t want anyone to blame Joy Lane for the actions of this killer. 

People everywhere, on social media especially, expressed their condolences to the family and friends of Robert Godwin, Sr. while simultaneously inquiring about the whereabouts of his killer Steve Stephens while condemning his actions. It should go without saying that some of them concerned are black people. But when news broke out about the shooting, conservatives and all-around assholes took no time in questioning and mocking Black Lives Matter.

I guess it’s too much to ask for time to mourn and heal without getting black shamed.

The movement, and to a certain extent the black community, is expected to condemn this and other crime by black people as if black people haven’t done so already. We’re also expected to do something about our criminal problem, also as if we haven’t done anything or haven’t done enough. Lastly, we’re assumed that we don’t care enough about such tragedies, like we get up and celebrate when we’ve harmed or murdered another human being.

To those willing to rub salt into the wound, let me say that black people who are aware of this and other crimes are saddened. We mourn for the friends and families of victims of senseless violence. We have been working hard to deter crime in our neighborhoods while at the same time have been fighting systematic violence against us. We’re not ignorant. We don’t have one-track minds. We’re not morally deprived as to sit back and do nothing. And we have nothing to prove to lowlifes taking more time condemning a movement than expressing their sympathies.

Also, black people killing other black people is no excuse for other people to kill us.

Bottom line. We want this killer found. And we want him to pay as we would anyone else. Whether they’re wearing plain clothes or carrying a badge, we want the violence to end. Period.

UPDATE: The man known as the ‘Facebook Killer’ committed suicide in Erie, Pennsylvania. AP reports:

The man who randomly gunned down a Cleveland retiree and posted video of the crime on Facebook killed himself Tuesday during a police chase in Pennsylvania that began when a McDonald’s drive-thru attendant recognized him.

It marked a violent end to the nearly 48-hour multistate manhunt for Steve Stephens, whose case brought another round of criticism down on Facebook over how responsibly it polices objectionable material posted by users.

Click here to read the rest of this article for more details.

R.I.P. Charlie Murphy

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From the New York Daily News:

Charlie Murphy, the beloved comedian, writer and older brother of Eddie Murphy, has died after a battle with leukemia.

He was 57.

The funnyman passed away Wednesday morning at a New York City hospital, TMZ reported, citing his manager. He had been undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

His family was reportedly stunned by his untimely death and had believed Murphy was recovering. Murphy had even teased his family that they called him too often during his fight with the disease.

Our hearts are heavy with the loss today of our son, brother, father, uncle and friend Charlie,” his family said in a statement. “Charlie filed our family with love and laughter and there won’t be a day that goes by that his presence will not be missed.”

Click here to read the rest of this article.

God, why did he have to be black?

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Welp, in backtracking to the post about the horrendous nightclub shooting in Ohio a couple of weeks ago, it seems that the fears of a lot of black folks in the area who weren’t there and across the nation who got wind of the tragic incident were solid. Most likely, the shooting that injured over a dozen and killed at least one was done by black males, armed, angry and at the throat of other blacks males. It’s the same ole’ bullshit we’re used to hearing in the community. Some pissed off brotha with a gun started shooting at a place built for drinking and enjoyment.

Fast-forward to this week. There was a shooting in an elementary school in San Bernardino, California. It turned out to be a murder-suicide with one child dead from gunfire.

Usually, when it comes to school shootings in this country, one normally would assume that it was committed by a white dude since they are the demographic responsible for most of them. Let’s not get it twisted. A shooting anywhere is a tragedy. But in this nation, race matters. A white dude who went trigger happy is usually seen as mentally disturbed. A black guy, brown guy, Middle Easterner or Muslim? Not so much.

Prior to that, the mainstream news media reported on another murder-suicide at a gym in Miami, Florida. To make a long story short, a fitness trainer was fired, and he came back guns blazing. He killed two managers and himself.

In all three highly publicized shootings, all of the suspects and shooters were black males. You can only imagine the gleefulness of racists around the nation as they saw their pictures and the amount of embarrassment felt by many black folks across the nation.

Black crime statistics have always been the go-to argument for people whenever a topic of race is in progress as if we’re mindlessly unaware of the problem ourselves. In almost any given forum, a troll or two will remind people how excessively violent black people are compared to white people. ‘Black-on-black crime’ is always used to insensitively tell black people where their priorities for activism should be as opposed to any form of racial justice. And the gospel of white genocide rears its head to preach about the black scourge.

In many black homes where news is observed, whenever a terrible crime happens, especially if the victim is white, we say a little prayer request to God pleading that whoever’s responsible is not black. (It’s due to years of vigilantism and retribution at the hands of white folks.) If the suspect’s white or nonblack, we breathe a sigh of relief. If the suspect’s black, we become angry, humiliated and depressed.

No matter who the victim was, we mourn for them. Yet, we feel shame and guilt after learning that the criminal is black even though only that one individual is guilty.

Some black people produce collective pride and shame based on one or a group’s actions. When we hear of one of us accepted into an ivy league college, made CEO of some company, made strides in community service or even risked his or her life to save a puppy, we feel good. It tells us that we’re making progress and helps put cracks in negative racist stereotypes, or so we hope.

But the opposite is true as well. If there’s a viral video of black folks doing something stupid like fight each other over meaningless bullshit while being egged on by other ig’nit black folks, some of us feel ashamed. If one of us shoots someone, anyone, we feel ashamed. If we even do something minor like say something considered ignorant or non PC, we still feel ashamed. We always consider it as a push-back to our advancement, strengthens negative stereotypes, a need to do better and a fear of a backlash that will add more surveillance and less freedoms.

The irony is that we want to be seen as individuals, but we have collective emotions.  We think this way, because we are never seen as individuals. If we’re programmed to be seen and treated as a collective, then it should come to no surprise that some of us feel collectively.

Black bodies are feared. We’re seen as dangerous, superhuman, primal and deadly, but never human worthy of respect, dignity or the right to exist whether we’re wearing a hoodie or a suit. Short and skinny, tall and brawny, we scare people by just being, and it has serious consequences.

All we can do is try to avoid processing collective emotions and see ourselves as individual people who succeed and make mistakes, neither of which define us. If white people are individualized, why can’t we? Why must one or a few fools define a population of over 40 million in this nation alone? Why must we always measure our road to the humanity only afforded to whites by what one of us says or does? And who are “they” to put us down on how screwed up we are when most of them likely have skeletons in their closet?

Yes, we have our share of screw-ups. We’ve never denied it in our history. But we’re not a race of screw-ups.

Remember Bill O’Reilly’s Pepsi commercial controversy that would prove his hypocrisy?

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After news of Bill O’Reilly’s sexual harassment claims became public, advertisers started running. Close to 20 sponsors dropped The O’Reilly Factor after the New York Times exposed O’Reilly and 21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company, paid $13 million dollars to five women who said he harassed or abused them.

But here’s the thing though. Remember in 2002, Bill O’Reilly called for a boycott on Pepsi for having rapper and actor Ludacris feature on their commercials because “He degrades women?”

Okay. Granted. Luda’s videos and songs aren’t exactly for the feminist at heart. But as I recall, O’Reilly didn’t mutter a word when Pepsi chose former rock star and lead member of rock group Black Sabbath Ozzy Osbourne as their spokesperson. Yeah, Ozzy Osbourne, the self-proclaimed “Prince of Darkness” known for biting the heads off bats and doves, drug and alcohol abuse and sex addiction. And yet, O’Reilly has been known to defend accused sex offenders while tearing down the women who call them out.

Yeah, I think it’s time for Bill have a few dozen seats.