All Articles Tagged "politics"

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

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.

Officials Immediately Resign After City Elects First Black, Female Mayor

April 20th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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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.

Are Black Women Ready For Hillary Clinton?

April 17th, 2015 - By Rich
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After dancing around the issue for the past year, Hillary Clinton announced she was officially running for president over the weekend. Unlike her Republican counterparts who declared their 2016 plans amid large crowds of fans, Clinton released a video kicking off her campaign.

Clinton’s campaign announcement included a diverse cross section of American families sharing their plans for the future. In one scene, a Black couple excitedly tells the camera they’re welcoming their first child. In another, a gay couple holds hands and explains they’re getting ready to walk down the aisle. The video also shows a young Asian college student looking for a job, a white woman preparing to retire, and a cute little brown boy discussing his role in an upcoming school play. At the end of the clip, Clinton finally appears on screen and tells the camera, “I’m getting ready to do something, too. I’m running for president.”

The clever video signaled a departure from Clinton’s previous bid for the White House. Back in 2008, then-Senator Clinton also kicked off her campaign with a video, but unlike her latest effort, it was all about her. There were no “regular” Americans, no uplifting music, and no shots of cute kids and couples talking about the future. Back then, Clinton was all business, outlining her ideas for the nation and talking up her experience. This time around, Clinton seems to be positioning herself as the candidate who will fight for everyday Americans.

 But are Black women buying it? 

African American women are one of the most reliable and powerful voting blocs in the country. In fact, “In the past two Presidential elections, Black women led all demographic groups in voter turnout,” according to the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. While some have suggested Black women only turned up at the polls in the last two cycles to support President Obama, Virginia’s 2013 gubernatorial race proved them wrong when “Black women once again, exceeded all other groups in turning out on Election Day” and swaying the election.

The power of Black female voters is clear, but it’s not certain whether Clinton will advocate for our issues, or take African American women’s longstanding Democratic Party support for granted.

Unlike her last campaign, Clinton seems to be embracing her position as a woman on the verge of making history. She’s come out in favor of raising the minimum wage, paid family leave, equal pay for equal work, and discussed income inequality. And while Black women will definitely benefit from Clinton’s advocacy around these issues, we also have our own unique challenges—like making sure our children and partners don’t get racially profiled by police, improving the safety of our neighborhoods, and making sure our children have schools that will help them succeed.

For Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States she’ll need to hold the Obama coalition together and inspire Black women to head to the polls. Whether or not Clinton will directly connect with Black female voters remains to be seen, but if she wants to win close races in swing states like Virginia, Florida, and Pennsylvania she’ll need to work to get African American women on her side.

MommyNoire, Will you be supporting Hillary? Why or Why not?

Do We Trust Her?: Hillary Clinton & the Fumble for Presidency

March 11th, 2015 - By Rich
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As we get ready to say goodbye to President Obama, the race for the oval office begins with new candidates. Hillary Clinton is making news for her recent battle over email she deleted that she claims to be personal, not work related. The trouble here is her ability to be transparent about the emails she deleted. With the truth ready to be told by any person with a blog and a camera, transparency is key.  Rather they are work related or not, this brings up the question of rather we can trust her.  Is she going to be a good candidate for presidency? In a recent poll, Clinton beats Governor Scott Walker by nine points as the next possible candidate for election in 2016.

Madison reports:

“Gov. Scott Walker is a predictable first choice for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination among Wisconsin Republicans polled last weekend by Public Policy Polling.

Among all voters, however, he’s nine points behind Hillary Clinton and three points behind both Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren in hypothetical presidential election matchups.

The survey of 1,071 Wisconsin voters conducted last Friday through Sunday showed Clinton beating Walker 52 percent to 43 percent, with 5 percent not sure.

When Clinton is replaced by Biden or Warren, the Democratic candidate gets 48 percent to 45 percent for Walker both times, with 7 percent not sure.”

While some are rooting for Clinton, others think that she is not up to the challenge.  Her ability to step up to the new age in order to run the country is looking bleak. So says, National Journal who states that her “90’s ways of deception” when handling a crisis doesn’t work.

“Staggered by self-inflicted wounds, the former secretary of State faced a choice between the right way and wrong way to manage a public-relations crisis in the post-Internet era, when the 1990s tactics of deflection, deception, and victimization are far less effective. She chose the wrong way.

Rather than be transparent, completely honest, and accountable, Clinton doubled down on the 1990s. She refused to turn over her emails stored on a secret service in violation of federal regulations. She defended contributions to her family’s charity from foreign nations that discriminate against women and support terrorism, a brazen contradiction to her public profile.

“I fully complied with every rule I was governed under,” she said, a legalistic dodge that rivals Al Gore’s lame defense of his fund-raising shenanigans in 1997: “There is no controlling legal authority.”

 

What do you think? Can we trust Clinton or should we be waiting for someone else to take the reins? Which side do you agree with?

 

Black History Maker: What to Know About Loretta Lynch

February 4th, 2015 - By Rich
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Attorney Loretta Lynch has been making headlines over the past few weeks as she stepped into the Attorney General nomination from President Barack Obama. If Lynch becomes Attorney General, which should happen later this week,  she will also be the first African American woman to hold this position.

Lynch has served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York under both President Obama and Bill Clinton. She’s spent the past decades prosecuting federal crimes that range from terrorists to Wall Street. While we’ve seen her across our TV screens we wanted to know more about Lynch and her history-making seat. Asma Hasan, a fellow minority attorney, took time to delve deeper into Lynch’s story and what she stands for.

Hasan reports for Refinery29:

So, who is she?

Lynch is a study in legal career success. The 55-year-old, who was born in North Carolina, went to Harvard and then steadily climbed her way from lowly corporate law firm associate up. By the end of this week, she may arrive at the top, as the nation’s chief attorney. In an eloquent but understated opening statement to the Judiciary Committee (which kicked off a marathon day of hearing testimony), Lynch spoke movingly of her librarian/teacher mother and minister father.

Almost as moving for me, as a fellow female attorney of color, was Lynch’s uncanny ability to dodge, quite graciously, the venomous spitballs lobbed at her by many of the Republican members of the committee, who expressed bitterness towards Obama and current Attorney General Eric Holder.  These interactions showed what Lynch would likely take on as Attorney General, and how she would deal.

She’s Against Legal Marijuana:

Unlike Obama and her predecessor Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch has taken a public stance against the legalization of marijuana. The current administration has been content to look the other way as states start legalizing weed, but Lynch, in a moment of candor, said that she felt increased use of the drug brings increased associated criminal activity to communities.

An impassioned attorney general against marijuana legalization, which Lynch may very well be, could shut down the pot industry in those states where it has been legalized, since federal law (under which pot is banned) preempts state laws. This is unlikely — Lynch herself said she probably wouldn’t start enforcing such laws that her predecessor hadn’t — but having her in office definitely could slow down legalization in new states.

She Agrees With Obama’s Exec Action To Stop Deportation:

In another bit of testimony that has received less airplay, Lynch slipped in that she feltObama’s recent executive action to stop the deportation of millions of illegal immigrants was not amnesty but a “temporary deferral.” Technically, she is correct in that the executive action merely delays deportation of the affected immigrants for three years. The realistic implications, though, are wide — and Lynch did not address them. Anyone with a green card can, after a certain number of years, apply for citizenship or a renewal of status.

She’s Not Afraid To Go After Police:

When Lynch was a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she sent a police officer to prison for 30 years for a violent attack on a Haitian immigrant, Abner Louima. The 1997 case was nationally known and became a symbol of broken relationships between cops and the people they police.

Now, nearly 20 years later, Lynch will take over potential prosecution of recent police brutality incidents, which have shocked the nation into a state of distrust towards law enforcement. In December, Attorney General Holder said the Justice Department will investigate the death of Eric Garner, the New York man killed by a police stranglehold earlier this year, after a grand jury failed to indict the officers involved. Given the timing, actually conducting that investigation will likely fall to Lynch.

Lynch’s style in her hearing shows that she supports the antiseptic beauty of technical interpretations over bold, controversial statements. It is this kind of thinking that, while somewhat boring, may actually result in progress in those areas where Obama and the Justice Department have spectacularly failed: specifically, the closing of the detainee prison in Guantanamo Bay (a commitment made by President Obama in his initial presidential campaign), and the successful prosecution of Chinese and Asian cyber-attacks on American websites, e-mail, and data. It may take a less-vocal — but collegial and by-the-book — thinker to finally move these tasks along.

Whatever Lynch chooses to take on (and as AG, she would have some discretion to choose), she will have to tap all her evident abilities in order to face several hurdles, the primary one being time. Even with an early February confirmation, Lynch will have barely two years on the job. Repairing the relationship between Congress and the Department of Justice, which Lynch would take over from the embattled Holder, will be no easy task. Fortunately, she is already on her way; she’s clearly won over several of the Republican Committee members, explaining that she wants to work with them and hopes to learn from their knowledge. She actually seemed sincere, too.

After seeing Lynch in action during her testimony, it seems clear that, if confirmed, her work will likely merit more than just a footnote in history textbooks. Here’s hoping she won’t simply be the first African-American female AG, but a professional who helped repair a nation that was fractured — both by outsiders and from within.