All Articles Tagged "politics"
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.
— M3rcury (@Clos3stToTh3Sun) April 20, 2015
In my heart, I know that not all police officers are bad. I have family members who work in law enforcement. But Lord knows, in the news, as of late, the image of police officers is ranging the scale from completely inept to sociopathic.
And last Tuesday, we saw another example of that in the small town of Parma, Missouri.
Tyrus Byrd made history when she was sworn in as the city’s first African American, female mayor after beating incumbent, Randall Ramsey by 38 votes. Ramsey served as Parma’s mayor for 37 years, under two terms.
And while many supported Byrd’s new position, others didn’t take the news so well. The outgoing mayor said that five of the city’s six police officers submitted their resignations the same week, citing “safety concerns.” Parma’s city attorney, clerk and water treatment supervisor also resigned.
Ramsey told the local CBS affiliate that the government employees gave no notice.
Aside from stating that she was unable to find the resignation letters, Parma, who previously worked as the city’s clerk, declined to comment about the massive walkout. Instead, she’s waiting for more information before she speaking publicly about the loss of personnel.
That’s smart on her part but we all know what’s up. #Racism
While some city officials are in their feelings about Byrd’s elections, several residents are not concerned about the safety of the town, even now that a majority of the police officers have stepped down.
One resident told the CBS station, “I think it was pretty dirty the way they all quit without giving her a chance. But I don’t think they hurt the town any by quitting because who needs six police for 740 people?”
(I can’t tell you how long I laughed at this comment this morning.)
But even a few monkeys don’t stop no show. While they’re looking for new officers, a nearby town’s sheriff’s department will help monitor the city.
It’s a shame the actions of others are clouding the very exciting news of Ms. Byrd making history. But with city officials with this type of loyalty to the city, it’s probably best that they step down anyway.
Celebrities can hold considerable weight in the public eye when it comes to certain issues and they can even sway a politician’s view about something. These celebrities made their way to Washington D.C. to lend their powerful voice to a cause or issue they believed in, reminding us all the power is in the hands of the people.
Funnyman Stephen Colbert first got his start in front of a national audience on Comedy Central’s “Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” Playing a caricatured version of a political pundit, Colbert became so popular he landed his own show where he continued poking fun at staunch conservatives by acting like one. In 2010, he brought that satire to the House Judiciary Subcommittee to talk about working in America’s fields. Showing support to migrant workers, Colbert testified while sitting next to the president of the United Farm Workers, he talked about his “vast experience spending one day as a migrant farm worker,” adding that he was happy to use his star power to help the cause.
Stacey Dash just loves talking politics. TMZ recently caught up with the “Clueless” star and she spoke on behalf of Republicans in regard to same-sex marriage. According to Stacey, Republicans are definitely in favor of gay marriage.
“We are for equal marriage,” the 47-year-old actress said. “We’re not against that. We’re not against that at all. We believe everyone should have the same rights.”
Stacey went on to say that she doesn’t get why folks believe that the GOP are against same-sex marriage in the first place.
“That’s just propaganda, that’s not true. That’s just a certain amount of people. You can’t just throw a blanket over everyone because certain people have one opinion.”
Though most naturally roll their eyes when Stacey opens her mouth to discuss politics, we’d have to agree with what she says about making generalizations about everyone in a particular party. However, at the same time, it’s important to note that the official stance of the Republican party on same-sex marriage is that they’re against it. Not to mention that the party’s national platform calls for a ban against it.
As you may recall, last month it was announced that the controversial star would be joining the FOX News team as a regular contributor.
“Stacey is an engaging conversationalist whose distinctive viewpoints amongst her Hollywood peers have spawned national debates,” said Bill Shine, Executive Vice President of Programming, in a statement. – See more at: “We’re pleased to have her join Fox News.”
This should be interesting.
While Shonda Rhimes provides a gripping look into the dark and twisted world of politics with her hit primetime TV show, “Scandal,” and draws us in with her engaging characters and compelling storylines, most Americans can shut off their televisions each Thursday night with the comfort of knowing that the majority of the insanity going on during the show is not happening at the White House. However, as it turns out, Chinese television viewers may have been led to believe that the political thriller is a “true reflection” of what’s happening in our nation’s capital. Thankfully, during a recent trip to the East Asian country, Michelle Obama was able to clear up some of those misconceptions.
The fashion-forward First Lady learned during a chat with Chinese outlet Caixin that Chinese TV viewers are addicted to a “certain American TV series about Washington politics,” and that many of them are “getting their primary impressions of the president and the first lady” from said series. While there are several TV shows out there that focus American politics, naturally, most assumed that “Scandal” was the show the interviewer was referencing. Lady O, however, made it clear that the White House is nothing like what you see on TV.
“I hate to disappoint people, but real life in the White House is nothing like what you see in that television show,” she explained. “In real life, everyone in the White House — my husband and I and every member of our extraordinary staff — is there for one reason: because we love our country and want to serve it.”
“And that’s what we focus on every day: how to give more Americans a chance to fulfill their dreams, to get a good education, get a good job to support their families, and so much more.”
Well put, Lady O. Well put.
Are we just letting all of this go?
Remember When We Were Going to Shut Barneys Down?
An historic event took place and it got buried in the news! Maybe too many folks were worried about the latest RHOA news to notice. In Washington, D.C. at the end of Black History Month (February 25), more than half of the blacks who have ever served in the Senate gathered for a special panel discussion at the Library of Congress to celebrate Black History Month.
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) led the gathering, entitled “Honoring Our Past And Celebrating our Future,” reports The Daily Beast. Five of the seven living black senators attended and spoke of their trailblazing journeys. Scott and Cory Booker (D-NJ) were joined by former senators Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL), Roland Burris (D-IL), and William “Mo” Cowan (D-MA). Former Senator Ed Brooke (D-MA), who is ill, and Barack Obama, who was senator before he was elected president, did not attend.
While these politicians have made history, there is still much more progress to be made. So far only nine blacks have served in the United States Senate.
“In the history of the Republic, we’ve never had this number of African-American Senators in one place—truly an historical event…that is awesome,” said retired Navy Rear Admiral Barry C. Black, the 62nd Chaplin of the Senate (who is also African American), as he opened the session.
The Senators shared how they overcame obstacles. Moseley-Braun, for example, talked about of how gender and racial bias caused so many difficulties she nearly quit the job once due to the stress. “My Senate years were very difficult,” she said. “Why did they want to run me into the ground? Whatever brickbats and reputation damage they did, it was up to me to take it.”
Burris experienced racism and skepticism. “I had many black people tell me I was crazy or divinely misdirected to think they would elect a black state-wide in Illinois,” said Burris, who in 1978 became the first African-American elected to statewide in Illinois after winning as first as comptroller and then as attorney general.
But Cowan told The Daily Beast “that the American experience would not be complete until both Democrats and Republicans elected blacks to the Senate from every region of the country with frequency and regularity.”
Added Scott, who was elected to finish the term of retiring Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) and will have his own election this November, “Our country needs people to represent them based not on what they look like but based on their values and beliefs… I think that in the first 150 years we’ve had four black senators—in the last few decades we’ve had five.”
Building diversity has to happen in the coming elections if the government is truly going to reflect what the nation looks like. Are there any notable politicians in your area? Let everyone know about them in the comments.
‘He Didn’t Unite Us, He Did The Exact Opposite:’ Stacey Dash Says Obama Worsened Race Relations In America
Yes, she’s still talking.
By now we’re all pretty aware that Stacey Dash isn’t crazy about President Obama or the Democratic party. She rarely ever passes up an opportunity to let this be known. During a recent interview with Adam Carolla, Stacey expressed that she believes the nation’s first Black President not only failed to help unite us, but he’s actually contributes to division in this country.
“[In 2008] I voted for Obama and I have to say, I got ‘blacked’ into it. I didn’t know anything about him, but I just knew we needed a Black president. I thought, ‘He has a way to unite us in such a profound dynamic.’ But he didn’t [unite us]. He did the exact opposite,” said the former “Single Ladies” actress.
“There’s been more racial conversation over last five years than we’ve ever had before,” Carolla added Carolla. “If Hillary Clinton gets elected … I suspect there’s gonna be four years of feminist talk. It’ll be found in every story.”
Stacey; however, made it clear that she wants no parts of Hillary getting elected in 2016.
“I don’t want it. I hope not,” said Stacey. “There will be a big excuse on this big huge platform to say, ‘You’re doing this because she’s the President. She’s a woman, you don’t like it.”
Despite being ripped to shreds on social media, Dash says she definitely does not regret voting for and endorsing Mitt Romney during the 2012 elections—adding that it’s racist to vote for someone based on the color of their skin.
“I feel like I did the right thing,” she told Carolla. “It’s not a form of racism, it is racism. Racism is racism is racism. You should be able to make a choice based on the content of someone’s character, not the color of their skin.”
She also seemed to imply that Black people should get over racial inequality because that time has passed.
“It’s not 1965,” said Dash. “We’ve won that battle. We should move on.”
Ohhh, we’ve got a live one here, folks! Leave it to our sister site, Bossip to dig up AlfonZo Rachel (no, the capital “z” is not a typo – that’s how he writes his name) and his thoughts on Oprah Winfrey and her comments about racism.
Before we even get to that, it should be noted that Rachel describes himself as a “conservative” and a “republican” so perhaps many of his comments won’t come as a surprise. Yes, as you can see, he’s African-American.
Rachel posted a new video on the “ZoNation” show with his commentary regarding Oprah’s recent comments saying she believes a lot of the disrespect President Barack Obama receives from Congress occurs because he is African-American. While Winfrey has always been a supporter of President Obama, her very blunt comments about racism in the political world took many by surprise.
AlfonZo Rachel first lashed out by saying that Oprah was whining and asked, “How are a bunch of so called ‘racist’ white people making you rich while making Obama fail at the same time? And with all the white people you have as fans, there ain’t enough left over to make a problem for Obama.”
He continued by saying the race card is the card of the cowardly and by calling others racist, it protects them (the cowards) from admitting their failures. Further, he believes it is very racist to call white people racist and makes non-white people think they’re better than white people.
You’ve got to listen to Alfonzo Rachel’s point of view, including him saying that most of his hate mail comes from liberal Democrats and he “guesses” there are “some racist Republicans” but he’s never met them.
Does he have a point or is he just rambling?
Black people catch a lot of shade from their names. Whether you have a “black name” or a “white name,” these struggles are just part of being black.
When People Think You Have a White Name
In Season 4 of 30 Rock, they came up with a joke about a white man named Wesley Snipes. When Liz Lemon made fun of the Wesley character’s name, he said:
It’s insane that the actor Wesley Snipes has that name! Look. If you saw a picture of him, and a picture of me, and you were asked “Who should be named Wesley Snipes?” You’d pick the stuffy Englishman every time! Every time, Liz!
When we have “black names” white people shade us for being ignorant. When we have “white names” that reflect the country we’ve lived in for several hundred years, we’re trying to be like white people. It’s impossible to win.