All Articles Tagged "politics"

Ohio Attorney Jailed For Wearing Black Lives Matter Pin In Court

July 27th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

An Ohio attorney, Andrea Burton, was sentenced to five days in prison for contempt of court by Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Robert Milich because she didn’t remove her Black Lives Matter pin. Explaining his actions, Milich told WKBN27 that his personal opinions didn’t influence his decision to place Burton in jail at all.

“A judge doesn’t support either side,” he said. “A judge is objective and tries to make sure everyone has an opportunity to have a fair hearing, and it was a situation where it was just in violation of the law,” Milich said. Although this may sound far from objective, according to Jezebel, judges can prohibit any type of political expression in their courtrooms. “The judge has the right in any circumstance that they think that some issue or matter will be disruptive to the court or a distraction to the court, they can ask that individual to remove that object,” legal analyst Matt Mangino told WKBN27.

As for Burton, she was released from jail without having to fully serve her five-day sentence and has yet to comment on her case. Youngstown’s NAACP chapter states that the Black Lives Matter pin is and can be synonymous to a symbol of the American Flag or Star of David. Judge Milich, however, stated otherwise. “There’s a difference between a flag, a pin from your church or the Eagles and having a pin that’s on a political issue.”

What do you think?

Nobody Is “Shaming” You: Has Political Correctness Turned Us Into A Hypersensitive Society?

April 29th, 2016 - By Deja Jones
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Being politically correct was intended to encourage tact and sensitivity to others people’s feelings regarding issues of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, physical abilities, and such. In this day and age, you must be politically correct, but do we as a society take it too far? When did we get so soft? Has political correctness gotten out of hand?

I was having a conversation a few days ago with some friends about how we’ve become so sensitive to many truths. Nowadays, everything is more than likely to be labeled as “shaming” if you’re on the so-called “wrong” side of the fence. We’ve gotten to a place where we’d rather not address elephants in the room for fear of being labeled a shamer or a basher. A place that inhibits any meaningful discussion of diversity issues to keep racial, gender, and other barriers in place. We’ve adopted this mindset where if we hear something that offends us, our first instinct is to gather up a crowd and make a public spectacle of it. We’ve become so over the top that we’re either “too radical” for speaking out on certain issues or censored in fear of being called out for talking about them. There are so many “narratives” that we wish to change in this world, but we can’t change them without fixing the problems, and we can’t identify the problems if we’re too scared to talk about theories, ideas and the reality of what is.

It’s like, let’s not talk to the person who’s overweight about healthy eating and nutrition and exercise, even if it is constructive because we don’t want to make them feel bad, and we don’t want them to feel ashamed of themselves. However, on the flipside, we wish to change the narrative of obesity among several different demographics. Let’s not talk to our sexually indiscriminate friend about the health hazards of their lifestyle because we don’t want them to feel bad and less liberated when it comes to their sexuality. Let’s instead, build anti-shaming platforms around each topic to, in turn, encourage the power of choice to their possibly detrimental lifestyle habits. It’s the society we live in currently where we’d rather protect people’s feeling than create comfortable and safe spaces to have uncomfortable, but necessary conversations. We are becoming a society full of persecutors. If you’re a White person in this day and age, you shouldn’t be making comments about racial or cultural issues according to political correctness because there’s a belief that something is going to be said that has an underlying bias. If you’re an upper or middle-class citizen, you shouldn’t be making comments about the work ethic or condition of those in the lower working class according to political correctness because it’s safe to assume that something will be said that is offensive and elitist. Everyone says we need to start and have tough conversations, but nobody feels comfortable engaging in them because of political correctness.

I think that present issues revolving around race, gender and politics in this country are to blame for a society that walks around on eggshells. We are afraid to address real problems in fear of sparking controversy or getting a negative reception. According to Neil Howe, a writer for Forbes, the current incarnation of the movement, however, is focused inward. Political correctness policies today are supported and reinforced by a victimhood culture that transcends ideology. We miss the cold hard facts because we’re too busy playing the victim and being offended by something that appeared to contain bias.

Political correctness is like that encased fire extinguisher with the sign that says “Break in case of fire.” It’s the wet blanket that puts a damper on the opinions of others if there’s even the slightest bit of racial, gender, or cultural bias present. Why have we become such a touchy society where people aren’t allowed to share opposing beliefs, thoughts and ideas without it sparking a mass protest or social media-wide bashing? The more sensitive we all become, the more difficult it will be to resolve the large issues that are plaguing us. 

Guess Which Party Is More Likely To Lie About Political Views To Their Dates?

March 18th, 2016 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Shutterstock

According to a recent survey by dating site What’s Your Price, members of the Republican party are more likely to lie to their dates about their political views. Shocker, right?

Fifty-sevent percent of Republicans who responded to the survey shared that they would, or already have, lied to a date about their political affiliations. Democrats, however, were more likely to be upfront about their views.

Of course, singles are encouraged to avoid political discussions during the preliminary stages of dating someone—especially during first dates. And considering the conservative stance on certain issues, it’s actually pretty understandable why Republicans might want to avoid those conversations, initially. At the same time, while it’s probably not a good idea to bring these conversations up during a first date, it’s also pretty terrible to lie in the event that they do come up—especially if you’re looking for something long-term.

After college, I called myself dating a longtime friend. Everything was great between us until the elections rolled around and he learned that I voted for Obama, and he voted for Romney. Homeboy was so in his feelings that he literally stopped speaking to me for days after Obama won. Needless to say, that relationship did not make it. Looking back, we both probably could have saved ourselves a headache (or two, or three) had we discussed those issues up front.

How soon do you talk politics with a love interest?

15 Reasons to Thank Obama That You’re A Woman In 2016

March 8th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

Did you know that women make up the majority of voters in any presidential election? Or that more women tend to vote for the Democratic party than any other? So in a way, women can take partial responsibility for bringing President Barack Obama into office. And he has returned the favor by making his time in office one of unprecedented gains for the women that helped him and the First Lady into office. From better health care for women of all ages (and their children) to giving every woman her own month-long holiday, Barack and Michelle Obama have been busy making sure that women are covered.

So this International Women’s Day, we thought we’d take a little time out to appreciate just why it’s great to be a woman in 2016. Read on to find out why a lot of us should be saying “thanks Obama,” and what benefits you could be taking advantage of right now.

Michelle Obama Will Not Run For President

January 14th, 2016 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Michelle Obama

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Apparently, folks have been wondering whether or not First Lady Michelle Obama will be taking a page out of Hillary Clinton’s book by running for president in a few years. Sorry to disappoint, but that’s probably not going to happen. President Obama made this crystal clear while at a town hall in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Thursday.

“No!” the president exclaimed, according to The Hill. “No, no, no.”

“Let me tell you, there are three things that are certain in life: death, taxes and Michelle is not running for president,” he added. “That I can tell you.”

He did, however, promise that Lady O will be a very active former first lady.

“The work she has done around reducing childhood obesity, the work she and Jill Biden have done on military families … I could not be prouder of her, and she is going to be very active as an ex-first lady,” Obama said.

He will be quite busy as well. During the chat, he suggested that he would focus on young people, the promotion of math and science education, helping developing countries, and criminal-justice reform.

“We’re going to have a busy agenda, but we’re not over-thinking that right now,” Obama said. “Because we have a lot to do between now and next year.”

Anyone else sad to see them go?

Hillary: “I Want To Be As Good A President As Beyoncé Is A Performer”

December 18th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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as good a president as Beyoncé is a performer

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Apparently, we’re not the only ones inspired by Beyoncé’s impeccable work ethic. Recently, at a town hall in Iowa, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton told supporters “I want to be as good a president as Beyoncé is a performer.”

According to Time, her statement was in response to an attendee of the event, who asked “If you could choose, would you rather be the president or Beyoncé?”

“I’d rather be president because I can’t sing,” said Clinton. “Nobody would pay to see me sing or dance. Even when I was a way lot younger, that just wasn’t in the cards for me.”

“You see her on TV, it’s impressive; you see her in person, you’re just stunned,” she continued, “Thinking like, how does she do that? Really. I mean, she singing, she’s up, and she’s down. She’s just amazing.”

“I want to be as good a president as Beyoncé is a performer,” she finally concluded.

And from the looks of it, Beyoncé has similar feelings for Hillary. Back in May, the Grammy Award-winning singer was spotted at a campaign event for the former first lady.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

“I Don’t Do No Voting”: Celebrities Who May Not Participate In Next Year’s Election

October 28th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Not everyone is gearing up to cast their ballot in 2016. These celebrities aren’t voting this election, and wait until you hear their reasons why.

Fighting For What’s Right: Celebrities Who Aren’t Afraid To Get Political

August 29th, 2015 - By Iva Anthony
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Some celebrities understand the power they wield, using their celebrity status as a platform to discuss social issues such as racism, police brutality and injustice. These famous people weren’t afraid to talk about political or social issues in public, and we salute them.

"Janelle Monae pf"

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Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae’s appearance on “The Today Show” last week double as a public confessional as she expressed her views on the ongoing issue of police brutality in the country. Monae, who was joined by her artist Jidenna, performed “Hell You Talmbout,” a song that pays homage to several victims of police and racially motivated violence. She concluded the performance with a message about police brutality, but producers of the show weren’t having it and pulled the plug on her performance. Viewers at home watched as the camera panned to one of the show’s anchors in the middle of Monae’s message.

 

 

 

Hush Your Mouth! Should You Talk About Race & Politics At Work?

June 25th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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Shutterstock

The news is filled with hot button racial issues, from police shootings to Rachel Dolezar impersonating a Black woman for years to the horrific and tragic murder of nine people in Charleston’s Mother Emanuel church and the raging debate over the Confederate flag. It’s almost hard not to have a fiery discussion these days, and it will probably get even more divisive as the election heats up.

But should you talk about race and politics in the workplace? “While workplace diversity is an intentional and strategic business focus these days, and varying viewpoints, free speech and personal perspectives are our individual rights and can lead to greater understanding about the beliefs of others, chatting about race and politics at work should ideally be avoided at all costs,” warns Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe, president/CEO of 3E Global Solutions.  “Typically, considering the range of emotional intelligence levels in the office, discussion of these topics too often result in heated arguments, adversely affect others as people’s stereotypical thinking and prejudices surface to the top impacting working relationships as words spoken may be retracted, but rarely are forgotten…Today’s 21st century office has the largest mix of ethnic groups and intergenerational workers in history, and this in itself is creating enough workplace conflict already. So discussing political and racial ideologies too often serves to add more fuel to this already festering fire.”

But what if someone asks your opinion on, say, the Confederate flag. Should you give it? “If someone asks you a question, if someone asks you your stance on the Confederate flag, certainly if you choose to, and you want to honor your truth, share your opinion. But do not feel compelled to, and simply respond ‘I do not talk about race, religion, politics or sex at work.’  Enough said!” Davis-DeFoe tells MadameNoire.

“In the case that someone asks you a direct question, it’s best to just deflect the question. If I were asked what I thought of the Confederate flag, I would simply say, ‘It sure is controversial, there is no question about that’ and then leave it there,” adds Bill Fish, founder and president of ReputationManagement.com, via email.

Obviously, you should always aware of your online image and what you say in social media.

Bianca Payton, an Atlanta-based business analyst, says when faced with this situation she doesn’t hesitate to offer her opinion, but she does take care with how she delivers it.

“Honestly, I am very open, honest, and straightforward, so I won’t shy away from any conversation or dialogue concerning any issue. Race can no longer be a taboo subject,” she tells MadameNoire. “By the same token, there is a spoken and unspoken corporate culture that is implemented in the workplace to prevent people from feeling uncomfortable, out-of-place, etc. I believe if you’re able to have a conversation with someone and it is respectful, them possibly.”

Eula M. Guest, COO of Griot’s Roll Film Production & Services Inc., however feels some issues should always be avoided in the workplace. “You are getting paid to provide a service for your company unless they hire you specifically about those issues I would stay clear of it. You don’t want your personal opinions to be used against you for promotions, bonus, etc.”

According to executive coach Kathi Elster of K Squared Enterprises and co-author of Mean Girls at Work, Working with You Is Killing Me, it does depend on what industry you are in. “It is very tempting to talk about politics in the office, but unless you work in a newsroom or in the industry that might be in the news, politics have no place at work. When at work talk about work. Talking about sensitive subjects that can cause friction and arguments leading to hatred and not being able to work together should be off-limits. Besides, your company is not paying you to give your opinions on topics that are not work related,” she tells us.

But if your boss or co-workers say things that are totally offensive to you, then this might be a time to speak up-to HR.

How you discussed any of these issues at work? How have those discussions gone?

Black Women In Politics Discuss Obstacles They Face, And If They Have Faith In Hillary

May 13th, 2015 - By Cynthia L. Dorsey
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Corbis

Corbis

Washington, D.C. Our nation’s capital. It is the nucleus of American politics. Where presidents reside during their term and where Democrats and Republicans debate (and manipulate) the passing of federal laws in Congress

Washington, D.C. Where “We the people…” is uprooted from the pages of the Constitution, and every day, from Capitol Hill to the White House, politicians and their staffers are working to serve the people of the United States. However, there is one question that is tossed around in the white male-dominated world of politics when politically advantageous. How can the system adequately serve Black and brown people? And, in particular, Black women?

Black women are underrepresented in legislative halls. According to the 30-page report compiled by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University and the Higher Heights Leadership Fund, Black women are 7.4% of the U.S. population and 7.8% of the electorate. However, there are only 14 Black women in Congress (2.6%), two Black women in statewide elected executive office, 241 Black women in state legislatures (3.3%), and 26 Black women mayors in cities with populations over 30,000 (1.9%). Two black women serve as mayors of two of the 100 largest cities in the United States.

Black women are 2.7% of the 74 women in statewide executive offices, and 25% of all eight African-Americans holding statewide elected executive positions. Currently, there are 20 women serving as U.S. Senators of which none are Black women.

Although the number of Black women serving as elected officials is disturbingly low, there are young Black women in politics working to change those numbers and make history.

Lillian*, 33, holds both a Master of Business Administration and a Juris Doctor degree. She is currently serving as legislative counsel for a state-level official.  “My goal is to run for office in my home state,” she says. “I feel it is the best way to touch and make changes that assist those who are underserved. One political platform that I stand by is to always remember who I am truly working for. Some people get lost and forget the actual reason for their job. It’s to make life better for those who are in need.”

Samantha*, 32, holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree and is currently serving as a policy advisor for a federal elected official. Samantha reflects on why she chose to follow a career path in politics.

“As an adult, I realized that every successful person I knew was successful because they made ethically and politically sound decisions.  I wanted to change the world, and I wanted to do something to impact not only my community, but the lives of my unborn children. My job isn’t exactly glamorous, but I see the impact that my actions have on those around me.”

Camilla*, 31, holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree and is currently serving as the manager of communications and external affairs for a nonprofit social service and civil rights organization. Camilla firmly believes that our current political system needs fixing, and she is dedicated to working to help fix the problems. “I stand for a platform that focuses on some aspect of justice system reform to include ending mass incarceration; and also for a platform that focuses on the economy and access to wealth.”

Though these women are extremely qualified for their positions, they did not get to where they are now without opposition. “There have been so many stigmas for being a black woman in politics,” Lillian said. “One is that some perceive you to be less intelligent than your coworkers. We are placed in administrative roles, or roles that have no connection to our actual degree and or desire. I have personally had people attack me in the workplace then cry that I was the ‘angry black woman’ when I didn’t agree with what they may have said or done. I was once also told that I didn’t get a promotion because the elected official I was working for at the time didn’t want a black woman representing him or being the face of his office. I was told I could help by giving my contacts and access to my network, and to my Caucasian male coworker who was not qualified for the position.”

Samantha, too, recalls times she has been discriminated against in the pursuit of her career goals in politics. “The federal government is very much still a ‘good ole boys club,’” she attests.

But in spite of the many obstacles and tests, Black women have proven throughout history to be resilient and steadfast. It is evident that these young Black women are continuing that legacy in the hopes of bringing about real change.

As President Obama’s term prepares to come to an end, the country is heading into another season of heavy campaigning. Hillary Clinton announced her 2016 presidential bid, and her announcement has fueled talk of the history that she could make. If she is successful, she will be the first woman to obtain a major party’s nomination, and, of course, if she wins the election she will be the first woman to become president. This is a major moment for women and feminists alike. But the feminist movement has historically fought for the needs of white women. Will Black women have a place in this historic moment if Clinton takes office? Will our needs be met? Will our voices be heard?

Lillian is in full support of Clinton’s campaign having had the privilege of working for her when she was a United States Senator. She considers Clinton to be one of the best political figures she has worked for in her career. “I think Hillary is going to ensure that women, regardless of color, are able to break through the glass ceiling. She is a symbol of hope for all women.”

Samantha isn’t as convinced. “Folks are going to hate me for this, but you asked. I do not think Hillary Clinton is who the nation needs as a president right now. I admire her as a woman, and I’m quite impressed with her. However, she will not help Blacks as a whole. The affluent Blacks would benefit from her presidency, but lower class Blacks would not. In press interviews, she always uses third world countries or lower class New York citizens as her paradigm for the poor. I do not believe she has any idea how to handle the struggles of poor, rural, mostly Southern Blacks.”

Camilla has suggestions for how Clinton’s campaign can convince Black voters (like Samantha) that she is the right person to hold office. “She will have to open up at some point in her campaign in order to really speak to the majority of voters’ pathos. But for Black women in particular she will have to show overall care and concern for the Black community as a whole. Economic empowerment is a gateway to furthering change in the Black community and the country at large.”

We are living in a time where social unrest is having a domino affect in major cities across the nation. We are in need of political leaders who are selfless and truly have a heart for serving the people. It is inexcusable the lack of Black representation we have in politics, especially the lack of Black women who hold political offices. We must get to the polls and vote so that Black women like Lillian, Samantha, and Camilla, the future of politics and women who are ready to fight against social injustice and fight for our economic equality, can make their voices, and the voices of our community heard. Black women in politics are ready to serve their community, “We the people…” have to do our part and vote to get them in office.