Monthly Archives: May 2017

Trump administration’s new drug policy is War on Drugs 2.0

Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum to all U.S. federal prosecutors to stop seeking leniency for low-level, nonviolent drug offenders and start seeking the toughest penalties possible.

That’s right: the war on drugs is back, except this time not only will black people be targeted in increased numbers, so will poor white people – unfortunately, the same who voted for now-president Donald Trump. True enough, this new memorandum is reflective of what happened to the black community – from President Nixon’s “war on drugs” in the 1970s to the draconian Rockefeller laws – when mass criminalization was at its highest.

We should make no mistake that the purpose of Sessions’ push for non-leniency is to drive the number of black and brown people entering prisons and jails and is also an attempt to undo any progressive drug policy implemented by former Attorney General Eric Holder – and by extension, under the Obama administration.

Read the full article on The Grio.

The 2017 Miss USA Is a Proud, Black HBCU Graduate, and She’s Also Problematic as Hell

For the second consecutive year, Miss District of Columbia, a black woman and HBCU graduate, has been crowned Miss USA. Outgoing 2016 Miss USA Deshauna Barber crowned her fellow Washington, D.C., resident, Kára McCullough, 25, Sunday night in Las Vegas.

McCullough is a chemist working for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Two black women were named Miss USA, back to back, in front of a white audience. I am not the biggest fan of pageants—or any related beauty competitions—but even for me, this made me smile.

For the past few years, the nation’s capital has watched as it has slowly changed from chocolate city to vanilla latte city, so it was good to see the District maintain some semblance of melanin on a national stage. But the more McCullough talked, the more I realized that her comments epitomized the adage, “All skinfolk ain’t kinfolk.” While recognizing this, I was still happy to see a black woman—an HBCU graduate, no less—be crowned by her successor, another HBCU graduate. These are not mutually exclusive.

Read the full article on The Root.

Some LGBTQ Activists Are Upset That Miley Cyrus Will Headline DC’s Pride Festival

Not everyone in the LGBTQ community is thrilled that Miley Cyrus will headline DC’s Pride festival concert in June. Cyrus’s quotes about hip-hop in a recent Billboard magazine interview have refreshed long-simmering criticisms of the singer, and two activist groups contacted by Washingtonian had harsh words about the booking.

In the Billboard interview, Cyrus discussed her musical evolution away from hip-hop and toward country sounds, saying she liked Kendrick Lamar‘s song “Humble”: “I love that because it’s not ‘Come sit on my dick, suck on my cock,’” she told John Norris. “I can’t listen to that anymore. That’s what pushed me out of the hip-hop scene a little. It was too much ‘Lamborghini, got my Rolex, got a girl on my cock’ — I am so not that.”

Read the full article in the Washingtonian.

Dear Miley Cyrus: Hip-Hop Culture Never Needed You and It Won’t Miss You

We often see celebrities evolve before our very eyes, for better or for worse, especially if we have been exposed to them since childhood. Beyoncé, for example, went from creating mainstream pop music to making music more reflective of black women’s lived experiences in her critically acclaimed Lemonade. Then there are celebrities like Miley Cyrus. These…

‘Stealthing’ Is Just Rape by a Different Name

Lately I have been seeing “stealthing” on my social media timelines. Intrigued, and likely against my better judgment, I searched for clearer meaning. In short, stealthing is when a man intentionally removes or damages his condom without his partner’s knowledge and/or consent. While stealthing may not be a new phenomenon, we should make no mistake about what to call it: sexual assault.

There is unspeakable vulnerability in sex and bodily pleasure, particularly deciding when and if to engage in condomless sex. Allowing oneself to be penetrated, granting another human being intimate access to one’s body, leaves a person vulnerable. This is true no matter how many times it has been performed. Although, in previous articles, I’ve focused on sexual intercourse without condoms, there has always been one critical theme: consent. That’s because the decision to have sex—and, more importantly, how we choose to have sex—should never rest within just one person.

Read the full article on The Root.

No teen, no matter academic status, deserves to die

On Saturday night, Balch Springs, Texas, police officer Roy Oliver opened fire into a car full of teenagers who were attempting to leave a party. As a result, he fatally shot and killed 15-year-old and high school freshman, Jordan Edwards.

The Dallas News reports that Officer Oliver has since been terminated, but we know that won’t necessarily solve the quick and negligent actions of law enforcement in taking the life of yet another black child. By all accounts, Edwards was attempting to leave the party and get home safely, and yet he never made it there. What’s worse, what has happened since his untimely death: the validation of Edwards’ life only because of his academic excellence.

Read the full article on The Grio.