All Articles Tagged "News"

To Go HAM Or Not To Go HAM: What Would You Do If These Headlines Happened To You?

February 4th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
Share to Twitter Email This
Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

These days, it seems like the news is full of headlines worthy of exclamation marks: Cheaters getting caught in the act, restaurants with surprises (rodents, fingers, etc.) in the food, and even teachers behaving badly with students just as bad. But what would you do if these headlines happened to you? Go HAM (hard as a mother…) or keep your cool?

We’ve compiled a few crazy stories of customers getting revenge, cheaters putting their exes in their place and parents standing up for their kids. Do you think they were right to take matters into their own hands or was there another route that would have been better to choose?

When the tables are turned, would you follow in their footsteps? Read on and just be glad that these moments didn’t happen to you. But if you’ve got stories that are just as crazy to tell, feel free to include them in the comment section down below.

Pop Mom: The 13-Year-Old Who Impregnated Mary Kay Letourneau, His 35-Year-Old Teacher. Where Are They Today?

January 4th, 2016 - By Erickka Sy Savane
Share to Twitter Email This
ABC_mary_kay_letourneau_fualaau_vili_fualaau_v2_sk_150408_16x9_992

ABC News

It was a scandal that rocked the nation. A 35-year-old teacher was dating her 13 year-old student. I remember it like it was yesterday though it was nearly 20 years ago. So when I heard that Barbara Walters was doing a follow-up special on TV I had to break out the homemade popcorn with extra cheese. What? To think that they’re still together, and after all these years! It got me wondering if maybe the bulk of us got it wrong and instead of this kid being a victim who lost his childhood to this deranged teacher, it’s actually a love story in disguise…

First of all, I discover some interesting facts that I never really knew, or had forgotten. Like the fact that Mary Kay Letourneau was already married with four kids when she got pregnant by 13-year-old Vili Fualaau. It was then that the scandal broke, her marriage ended, and she was sent to prison for a few months under the condition that she would stop seeing Vili. However, not a month after her release, she was arrested a second time. Mama just couldn’t stay away from the kid. This time, the judge was infuriated and sentenced her to the full seven years that she should have gotten the first time around. But it didn’t end there, she was already pregnant with Vili’s second child, which she gave birth to in prison. By the time she was released in 2004, Vili was over 18-years-old so they were able to resume their relationship and married in 2005. Today, they live in the same Seattle town with their two daughters who are now 16 and 17 years old. Talk about drama!

I’m listening to this re-cap and it’s hard for me not to think, poor kid. He came from a broken home, and here’s this beautiful teacher–he said she looked like a movie star–who is showing him more attention than he’s probably used to. Of course, he fell hard. Next thing you know he’s a father with two kids and she’s in prison. Of course, he waited for her to get out. Where was he going to go as a high school dropout with two kids? Plus, whenever people try to keep two lovers apart they become that much more determined to be together. Forbidden love tastes that much sweeter.

What pissed me off more than Mary Kay’s refusal to avoid this kid’s advances was her refusal to acknowledge that she’d done anything wrong. From lying to her former husband to dating a minor. She even admitted that she never expected jail time. I’m looking at this woman, like, Seriously? Did you think this was a romance novel?! Then I realize that it’s her sense of entitlement that’s freaking me out. Why shouldn’t she be able to have this broken Somoan kid if she wanted? It’s interesting because her story is eerily similar to that of her father who was a Congressman and college professor who had two children with his mistress, who just happened to be a former student? Mary Kay talks about her parent’s break up and ultimate reconciliation as if it’s the greatest love story told to man. So I’m looking at Vili like he never had a chance.

And then Barbara turns her attention to Vili. She wants to know how he’s dealt with dropping out of school, his brushes with the law, alcoholism and depression.

He says for years the situation left him traumatized. “If you’re going to call someone a victim make sure that that victim is getting all the help they want and need. There was no real guidance or help on how to figure this out.”

There was also a feeling of hopelessness around wanting to express himself and be understood, but not being able to do that because of his lack of education. Today, when he starts feeling sad about this part of his life he chooses to focus on the beauty that came from it and where he can take that.

When asked how he’d feel if one of his own daughters wanted to date a teacher he says he wouldn’t encourage it because you don’t know what you want at that age.

I start rethinking this idea of Vili as a victim. Yes, his life hasn’t been easy, but he seems incredibly self-aware and appears to be a solid father and husband. His daughters know how their parents met and appear to be very well adjusted. He’s a DJ and Mary Kay is a legal assistant. They’re still together when half of all marriages end in divorce. They still live in the same Seattle town so nobody ran or is hiding. Is he a victim? He doesn’t see himself that way. Perhaps he never bought into that label or shunned it once he realized that victims really don’t get no help.

He told Barbara he was able to deal with his depression when he decided that his problems weren’t going to go away by sitting around.

It got me thinking, why am I seeing him as a victim? Does it make me feel good to have someone else to pity? Poor Vili, stuck with the woman he fell in love with at 12-years-old. Even he says he feels ‘happy’ and ‘safe.’ Obviously, it’s enough for him so it’s got to be enough for me. Given everything, I’m going to mind my own business and wish him and his family a nice life.

Check out Erickka Sy Savané’s column, Pop Mom, right here on Madamenoire. Before Erickka became a writer/editor, she was a model, actress, and MTV VJ. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Jersey City. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Don Lemon Talks Future Endeavors: “I Will Probably Get Out Of Traditional News”

December 27th, 2015 - By Ashley Monaé
Share to Twitter Email This

CNN anchor Don Lemon, who is known for ruffling quite a few feathers says he wants to transition from the traditional news format to a talk show of his own where he can drop “F” bombs at his liking. Shocking, much?

In a video interview with TVNewser on Saturday (Dec. 26), the TV journalist shared his plans for the future. “I think at some point, I will probably get out of traditional news and become either someone like a Bill Maher, with a show that has a point of view … (though) I don’t necessarily mean liberal. “Like a Jon Stewart or Trevor Noah,” he continued. “But not so focused on the comedic part of it.”

Lemon, who has also held guest posts on the Wendy Williams Show, also shared that he enjoyed and is most inspired by the outspoken panel setup that Chelsea Handler had on her E! show. “Where I could actually drop the F bomb, or where I could actually give my opinion without everyone screaming, ‘you can’t do that as a journalist!'”

As someone that has recently taken an interest in the “Black anchor who seems to piss everyone off more or less,” I actually think that his interest in a more open formatted show is ideal. Lemon is a correspondent that loves to take on controversial topics and voice his outspoken opinion. In this instance, a buttoned-up aesthetic that CNN usually offers, may not be his true beat or audience. Whether you love or hate Lemon, he too deserves to voice his opinion. So, if I happen to see Lemon with his own show soon, kudos!

As always, we’re interested in what you have to say. Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

$9 Million On Her Boyfriend’s Bail? The Worst Things People Used Their Lottery Winnings For

August 11th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
Share to Twitter Email This
lottery winnings

Image Source: Shutterstock

What would you do if you hit it big? Hopefully your “If I won the lotto” list doesn’t include any of the things these people acquired or paid for with their lottery winnings.

Woman Starts Fundraiser To Help 16-Year-Old Charged With Killing Mother’s Abusive Boyfriend

July 28th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This

deanna-watson-800

Earlier this month police responded to a domestic violence call to an apartment in Charlotte, North Carolina. When they got there, they found 36-year-old Omar Dunbar dead.

After an investigation authorities announced that Deanna Denise Watson, a 16 year old girl was being charged with his murder.

Dunbar was Watson’s mother’s boyfriend and according to neighbors and police records, the two didn’t have a good relationship.

According to the Charlotte Observer, Watson and her siblings often clashed with her mother’s boyfriend.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police had responded to three separate domestic violence complaints at Watson’s home in the week prior to his death. Neighbors spoke to the Observer saying that Watson and her siblings often said Dunbar, who had been dating their mother for three years, attempted to punish the children by hitting them or kicking them out of the house.

A family friend, Kamela Friday said that Dunbar and Deanna had the most tumultuous relationship/ She said when he was around, Deanna would often knock on neighbors’ doors asking if she could stay with them since Dunbar had put her out.

The day Dunbar was killed neighbors say they saw police outside of Watson’s home again. Friday said she later learned that they were there because Dunbar had hit one of the younger boys.

Friday, who spoke with Deanna’s siblings later, told the Observer later that night, Watson’s mother went to work at a nearby Target. Once she was gone, the sounds of Dunbar confronting one of her siblings woke Deanna out of her sleep.

“He grabbed (him) by the legs and pulled him out of the bed and pulled him down the stairs,” Friday said. “Deanna was like ‘Leave my brother alone. Leave him alone. Just leave.’ And he spat in her face.”

The two got into a fight of their own after that and during that time Dunbar was stabbed and killed.

Early on Wednesday, two friends called Friday and asked her to go check on Deanna and her siblings. She said once she got in the apartment, “I see blood because he’s dead in the kitchen. It was all over the floor.”

Turns out, Dunbar, in addition to dating Deanna’s mother, was also married.

His wife Ashonda declined to speak in detail to the Observer but she said, “What’s being portrayed is not him. That’s all I’m going to say.”

…I’m sure.

Obviously, none of us were there or know what happened; but from the details from the neighbor and the not one, not two, but three reported domestic violence incidents, in a single week, it would seem that Watson got tired of her mother’s trifling boyfriend abusing she and her siblings and she took action.

Sadly, Dunbar ended up dead as a result.

When Watson appeared before the District Court, she was wearing shackles and a judge set her bail at $1 million.

From the outside looking in, the situation seems like the victim was being punished for protecting herself.

This didn’t sit too well with Joann Thompson.

Though she’d never met Deanna, she, being a former domestic violence survivor, was touched by her story and decided to do something about it.

Thompson told People, “The system failed those kids. I just had to do something to help her. With this paper trail of domestic abuse that’s been going on for years, you want to lock this child up? That’s a little harsh, isn’t it?”

She was particularly infuriated by Watson’s $1 million bond. And in response she set up a Fundly account in Deanna’s name and started researching lawyers on her behalf.

“She’s just a child. This is very traumatizing for her. She doesn’t have an attorney at all, and we don’t want to see her sign something she doesn’t understand. That’s another reason why I want to help her. She doesn’t have a voice. She has to have a voice.”

Thompson is not the only one. Neighbors were passing out fliers, attempting to raise money for her defense.

Now, Deanna is being held in the juvenile section of an adult correctional facility in North Carolina. Thompson hopes she will be released before her 17th birthday next month.

At the time of publication, it seems that Fundly is not loading properly. But if you’re interested in contributing to Deanna, please keep checking back.

 

Payoffs And Pills: The Most Shocking Details From The Leaked Cosby Deposition

July 27th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
Share to Twitter Email This
Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

The shocking details of Bill Cosby’s 10-year-old confessions from a deposition have left a lot of us confused and disturbed. Maybe if supporters had known all this information, they would have abandoned the cause months ago.

Which Side Are You On? Pop Culture Debates No One Can Seem To Agree On

July 22nd, 2015 - By Meg Butler
Share to Twitter Email This
Image Source: Instagram

Image Source: Instagram

Is it okay to look at yourself as just an American, rather than an African American? And are cornrows on White folks always a form of appropriation? Pop culture news has been full of so many debatable topics lately that we had to make a list and ask you to share your thoughts.

#JusticeForSandy: What Happened To Sandra Bland?

July 16th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
Share to Twitter Email This
Sandra Bland

Twitter/YouTube

Her name was Sandra Bland, and the information that has been released surrounding her death has broken my heart, yet again. I wept last night because another Black life has been taken too soon. I wept for Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and countless others, but Sandra Bland’s story has somehow hit even closer to home for me. She was a young Black woman who was an advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement with evidence of her support running up and down her social media pages. Her Facebook profile image was too much for me to handle—a simple phrase: Now Legalize Being Black in America. Then I saw this video, and I wept some more.

 

As usual, I received this news and video from Twitter. Most major media outlets take their sweet time to provide coverage of yet another Black life lost, another hashtag, another notch in the belt of discrimination, intolerance, and hate.

According to the Root, Sandra Bland was a 28-year-old woman who had just driven from Naperville, Ill. to Texas on July 9 to start a new job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M. She was slated to get to work this week, but instead of celebrating this occasion, she’s going to be laid to rest. The details are scant but what we know as of this point is that she was pulled over last Friday for failing to use a signal during a lane change in Waller County, Texas. Soon after, she was arrested and charged with assaulting the arresting officer who claimed that Bland was “combative” during the routine traffic stop. She stayed in jail over the weekend. Fast-forward to Monday morning, the day Bland was going to be released on $5,000 bail. A guard found the young woman dead in her cell, and after conducting an autopsy, the sheriff’s office claimed the cause of death was “self-inflicted asphyxiation.”

Elton Mathis, the Waller County DA, is calling for an investigation and even admits the details surrounding Bland’s death are peculiar:

“I will admit it is strange someone who had everything going for her would have taken her own life. That’s why it’s very important a thorough investigation is done and that we get a good picture of what Ms. Bland was going through the last four or five days of her life.”

To me, this seems like a case of 1+1= Jello. Things are not adding up. A woman gets what has been described by her family and friends as her dream job and travels to Texas to start work. She gets pulled over for a minor infraction, has an altercation with the arresting officer, and then hangs herself in her cell two days later?

There is a video circulating online that allegedly shows Bland’s arrest. The video is caught from a distance but you can hear a woman screaming in the background: “Ya’ll are so full of sh*t! I swear to God ya’ll are so full of sh*t…You just slammed my head into the ground, do you not even care about that? I can’t even hear!”

She thanks the person recording the video as an officer vehemently asks the person to stop doing so. She is then put into the police car, and the video ends.

My first thought: It’s a cover-up. It’s really not that big of a leap given the current racial climate in America. Where is her mugshot? The mugshot is usually made public immediately. It’s been well over five days and not one image of Bland has been processed. The lack of a mugshot adds fuel to the flames of suspicion. Are we not seeing it because the officers did indeed use unnecessary force and Bland’s head was bludgeoned against the ground, leaving marks?

Bland’s family and friends are adamantly stating that the young woman did not share any suicidal thoughts or state that she dealt with such feelings in the past. In fact, they say she made copious plans for the future, was greatly motivated, and was excited to begin her new job as a college outreach officer.

“The Waller County Jail is trying to rule her death a suicide and Sandy would not have taken her own life,” a friend, LaNitra Dean, told ABC 7. “Sandy was strong. Strong mentally and spiritually.”

While it is a fact that suicidal people do not always display the tendencies, it is also a fact that Waller County, Texas, has a long, troubled history of racial turmoil. Back in 2008, the New York Times even wrote a piece on the county’s segregated cemeteries. It’s hard to turn a blind eye to that when a woman of color dies in the custody of law enforcement under suspicious circumstances.

Speculation, anger, hurt, and numbness aside, the truth will come to light about what happened to Sandra Bland. If it is determined that this was indeed a death due to foul play, the all-too-familiar cycle will continue. People will protest. People will demand change. Some people, hiding behind keyboards, will blame Bland for her death. The media will do its absolute best to dig up any dirt to taint the character of the victim. There will be a probe, some magical distraction will attempt to take attention away from the crime. The officers, if found to be involved, will fade into the background with bank accounts full of early pension and funds from a GoFundMe account filled to the brim with hate money. Maybe the victim’s family will receive a settlement that is supposed to make it all better. Once the cycle ends, it will continue again when the next life is taken.

I hope to God that this is not our forever plight.

If it is determined that she hung herself, then it could open up a much-needed conversation about mental health and the stigmas surrounding it. Video cameras are often found in county jail cells, so if she took her own life, there should be footage to prove it.

I am devastated for the Bland family regardless of the outcome. If Bland did take her life or if it was taken in a cover-up of some sort, another mother has to bury her child, and that will never be right. We have lost a promising young Black woman who was hoping for change in our community, and I hope that the Bland family receives all the answers to the questions at hand.

In the meantime, I continue to thank God for cellphone cameras, protestors, social media, and the strength of our tired but forever sturdy community. May we one day receive the justice we need and deserve. May we one day break this cycle.

“Elsa Isn’t Black” 3-Year-Old Racially Abused While Wearing “Frozen” Costume

June 24th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This

It’s no surprise that America doesn’t have a monopoly on racism. People of color, particularly Black people, all throughout the the world, are often on the receiving end of racism and discrimination. And unfortunately, it starts early. Three-year-old Samara Muir, an Aboriginal girl in Melbourne, Australia, learned that the hard way at a recent Disney event.

According to the Daily Mail, little Samara was waiting in line for entry to the event and was dressed as her favorite Disney Princess Queen Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. 

Though Samara and her mother Rachel Muir were standing in line minding their business, another woman, a parent, turned around and said,

“I don’t know why you’re dressed up for because Queen Elsa isn’t black.” 

Rachel asked the woman what she meant by the comment but before the mother could respond, one of her two daughters, obviously reciting what she had been taught, chimed in saying:

“You’re Black and Black is ugly.”

Muir said she was shocked by the comments, particularly since Melbourne is one of the most multicultural places in the world.

“I couldn’t believe it.”

Muir said she decided in that moment to ignore the comments as a means of teaching her daughter to take the high road in those types of situations. She did tell Samara that they would talk about the incident later, when they got home.

And she did.

But that wasn’t the end of the ordeal. The next day, when Samara was set to go to her Aboriginal dance class, she told her mother that she didn’t want to go. When her mother asked why she said, “Because I’m Black.”

Rachel Muir was naturally mortified by the effect the racist comments had on her daughter and she took to Facebook to express her frustrations. It wasn’t long before the post went viral.

And though this story started off as a tragedy, like most Disney Princesses, Samara’s story has a happy ending.

People sent in messages of support for both Samara and Rachel.

Eventually, the people at Disney heard about the story. And the real-life Queen Elsa, the one who lives in Orlando, Florida, sent Samara a video message telling her to always be herself.

Rachel Muir recalled the event for The Age saying, “Her mouth just dropped to the ground,” Ms Muir said. “She kept saying over and over ‘she’s talking to me.’ We were in tears. It was so overwhelming.”

Disney on Ice Dare to Dream also took action. Not only did they invite Samara to attend the show, they would like for her to appear in it.

Nick Cannon and Aboriginal rapper Adam Briggs have voiced their support for Samara, with Briggs featuring her in one of his film clips.

The artist and activist said Samara was a “bright, beautiful little girl who can be any princess she wants to be.”

Boop!

So happy for this little one.

While Samara can be any Disney princess she wants, this also highlights the very real issue of inclusion and representation in media, especially for children. It’s no secret that Disney needs more princesses of color so girls of color around the world can see themselves as heroes and heroines on the big screen. It’s so important.

You can watch Samara’s story in the video below.

This Is Not Really Diddy Assaulting The UCLA Coach, What He Did Was Much Worse

June 23rd, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This

Source: CBS.com

Source: CBS.com

Yesterday, after news broke that Sean “Diddy” Combs had been arrested for putting his hands on the UCLA strength training coach, the image above started to spread around the internet.

But that’s not a photo of the incident.

It’s a picture from a movie Diddy had a role in  “Hawaii Five-0”

And though the picture is a farce, the attack is more serious than we initially reported.

According to several sources, including the Los Angeles Times, Diddy was attending one of Justin Combs’ practices yesterday at the Acosta Athletic Training Complex.

Sources told TMZ that Diddy became upset when he saw the way the coach was yelling at his son. Earlier we reported that Diddy grabbed the coach. But the assault was far more severe.

The mogul went after the coach with a kettlebell, a piece of weightlifting equipment made of cast iron.

Fortunately, for everyone involved the kettlebell didn’t make contact; if it had it would have likely killed the man. All parties walked away from the incident with no injuries.

Diddy was arrested initially on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

Later, on Monday night the charges were updated to include:

 

Whoa.

Diddy was arrested by campus police and then transferred to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Inmate Reception Center, a little after 7:30 p.m. Sheriff’s Department officials told The Times it was set at $50,000 in their system.

According to The Wall Street Journalhe was released on bail late Monday night.

Justin is a red shirt junior defensive back for UCLA’s football team.

At this time, authorities have not released the name of the coach.

Well, that certainly escalated quickly. At first, I was a bit empathetic to Diddy, understanding that some coaches are a bit too aggressive. But the fact that he was at practice seems that he was the one who was infringing on the routine and then took it to another level when he didn’t like what he saw.

There was one person who had some interesting commentary about the situation. See what he had to say in the video below.

What do you make of this story? Are you surprised?