All Articles Tagged "President Obama"
While speaking out against the Obama Administration’s decision to sue the state of Louisiana over their school voucher system, former Single Ladies actress Stacey Dash announced that she’s writing an autobiography titled, Not Black Enough. In another Fox appearance, she also expressed regret over voting for President Obama in the 2008 elections.
On voting for Obama because he was Black:
“I didn’t know anything about [Obama] when I voted for him in 2008. My choice to do so was purely because he was black,” she told host Sean Hannity. “Naively, I thought he would be the right person for the job but unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way. Obama had the opportunity to really unite this country in such a profound way, but instead he has done the opposite. We are so divided right now, everything has become about race, more than I’ve ever known in my lifetime.”
On the Obama Administration’s decision to sue Louisiana over its controversial school voucher system:
“I’m saying deny a child education because of the color of their skin. That’s absurd. You know, the natural evolution of a well-educated populous is integration. And this is not political, it’s not theoretical, it’s not even partisan. It’s personal. You know, I was one of those children. I went to a failing school, and by the grace of God, my mother was able to put me into private school, and had she not, I would probably be in a gang or dead right now, because that was the road I was going down. So what they’re doing is immoral.”
On the Obama Administration:
“This administration is so out of touch with the very people that they say they want to help. It’s a disgrace.”
On her autobiography, Not Black Enough:
“[Kids who don't get an education] are left behind. That’s what I talk about in my book that I’m writing, ‘Not Black Enough,’ because that is a criticism I received my whole life and I don’t know what it means. It’s an autobiography about how my life applies to policies and politics of today. Education is the most important thing for a child.”
President Barack Obama is appointing the woman behind the television series “Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” to the Kennedy Center’s board of trustees.
Shonda Rhimes is a Golden Globe winner and three-time Emmy nominee. Her show “Scandal” stars actress Kerry Washington, a major Obama supporter.
Read more at BlackVoices.com
There have been many times when a biopic was made and you wondered how a particular actor got the lead role. You know, you said something like,”they look nothing alike” or “they can’t even act,” that’s why if we could be in the director’s chair these would be our 15 actor picks for biopics.
Zoe Saldana as Phylicia Rashad
Zoe Saldana sure doesn’t look like Nina Simone, but if a director ever casts for a young Phylicia Rashad—she’s it! No word that there is a biopic on Mrs. Cosby, but it would be great to see. Phylicia Rashad’s poise and elegance can surely be pulled off by Zoe.
You know something is wrong when Samuel “F**king” Jackson says that folks need to spend less time trying to relate to the younger generation when they talk, and more time speaking proper English. In an interview with Playboy of all publications (does he think that nudie mag cares about good grammar?) Jackson said that when high profile individuals like President Obama drop the g on their words or try to speak slang when speaking in public, “code-switching” as some would say, it’s not a good look. You don’t have to relate to the ordinary man says Jackson, you’ve got to lead.
“First of all, we know it ain’t because of his blackness, so I say stop trying to “relate.” Be a leader. Be f**king presidential. Look, I grew up in a society where I could say “It ain’t” or “What it be” to my friends. But when I’m out presenting myself to the world as me, who graduated from college, who had family who cared about me, who has a well-read background, I f**king conjugate.”
The Morehouse College grad went on to say that he’s seen other individuals in powerful positions, like screenwriters and newscasters, trying to relate by using slang and messing up words on purpose. Jackson feels that it encourages a form of mediocrity.
“The other day I’m watching this white guy talking to black people on TV, and all of a sudden he’s saying stuff like “Pump your brakes” and “I got you,” these new politically cool terms that kind of came out of hip-hop and blackness. I’m thinking, We do still speak English, right? Though sometimes I wonder. So yeah, it still happens. But the whole language and culture are different now.
I’ll be reading scripts and the screenwriter mistakes “your” for “you’re.” On Twitter someone will write, ‘Your an idiot,’ and I’ll go, ‘No, you’re an idiot,’ and all my Twitterphiles will go, ‘Hey, Sam Jackson, he’s the grammar police.’ I’ll take that. Somebody needs to be. I mean, we have newscasters who don’t even know how to conjugate verbs… how the f**k did we become a society where mediocrity is acceptable?”
Who knew Samuel Jackson was so concerned about grammar? I haven’t seen that much passion since he told the world that “I have had it with these motherf**king snakes on this motherf**king plane!” Learn something new every day.
But what do you think about his comments?
In an op-ed piece for The Hollywood Reporter, director John Singleton spoke about the problem with black stories in Hollywood being told without the help of black folks behind the scenes, and particularly, black directors being an afterthought. In recent years, white directors have been bringing to life a lot of the big films that have done well at the box office, and while Singleton lauded the movies that got it right (Taylor Hackford directing Ray, Norman Jewison for The Hurricane, and recently, Brian Helgeland’s 42), he shared some inquisitive thoughts about the importance of black folks being the behind the scenes to authentically share the stories of our icons and our people in general. Here are some tidbits from the piece that definitely stood out:
Hollywood’s black film community has always had a one-for-all-and-all-for-one attitude, openly cheering the success of any black-driven movie in the hope its box-office success will translate into more jobs and stories about people of color. But, at the same time, the success of black-themed movies like The Help and this year’s 42 points to a troubling trend: the hiring of white filmmakers to tell black stories with few African-Americans involved in the creative process.
What if the commercial success of “black films” like 42 and The Help, which also had a white director, are now making it harder rather than easier for African-American writers and directors to find work?
That is exactly what people in certain Hollywood circles are debating. When I brought up the issue with a screenwriter friend, he replied, “It’s simple. Hollywood feels like it doesn’t need us anymore to tell African-American stories.” The thinking goes, “We voted for and gave money to Obama, so [we don't need to] hire any black people.”
…I could go on and on about the white directors who got it right and others who missed the mark. But my larger point is that there was a time, albeit very brief, when heroic black figures were the domain of black directors, and when a black director wasn’t hired, the people behind the film at least brought on a black producer for his or her creative input and perspective. Spielberg did that on The Color Purple(Quincy Jones) and Amistad (Debbie Allen). Tarantino had Reggie Hudlin on Django Unchained.
…But now, that’s changing; several black-themed movies are in development with only white filmmakers attached, including a James Brown biopic. That’s right, the story of “Soul Brother No. 1, Mr. Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” is being penned by two Brits for Tate Taylor, director of The Help…it gives one pause that someone is making a movie about the icon who laid down the foundation of funk, hip-hop and black economic self-reliance with no African-American involvement behind the scenes. One of Brown’s most famous lines was, “I don’t want nobody to give me nothing; open up the door and I’ll get it myself.” How is that possible when the gatekeepers of this business keep the doors mostly locked shut in Hollywood?
What Hollywood execs need to realize is that black-themed stories appeal to the mainstream because they are uniquely American. Our story reminds audiences of struggles and triumphs, dreams and aspirations we all share. And it is only by conveying the particulars of African-American life that our narrative become universal. But making black movies without real participation by black filmmakers is tantamount to cooking a pot of gumbo without the “roux.” And if you don’t know offhand what “roux” is, you shouldn’t be making a black film.
Of course, the usual audience for The Hollywood Reporter (predominately white folks) gave Singleton’s piece the thumbs down, but he makes some very honest points that black folks have been talking about for years. I don’t even have to always have a black director behind a major film (because directing is not for everybody), but the concept of doing a black story with no black people involved definitely sounds preposterous. But what do you think?
Check out his full piece over at THR.
Antoinette Tuff the woman who thwarted the Atlanta area school shooting by talking to the gunman received a call from President Obama Thursday while she was in New York on an education-focused bus trip.
During the call the president praised her for the courage it took for her to talk the gunman down during the attack.
We reported on this story earlier this week but now audio from the 9-1-1 call is available and you can listen to it in the video below.
Listening to Tuff’s actual phone call really puts Tuff’s heroism in perspective. I would love to think of myself as a hero but I cannot even imagine having a conversation with an armed gunman. We can’t give Tuff enough credit for her actions.
Stacey Dash has long been vocal with her political opinions. The 46-year-old actress endorsed GOP candidate Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, saying Romney was “the only choice for your future.” In the months since, Dash has continued to sound off on everything from voter ID laws to military presence in Syria.
This week however, Dash commented on an entirely different issue: Oprah and her recent words on Trayvon Martin and Obama.
The actress took to Twitter to post a link to a Fox News Insider article which slammed Oprah for comparing Martin to Emmett Till and for saying that President Obama shouldn’t be “on Fox News every day.”
See Stacey Dash’s tweets regarding Oprah and Obama at BlackVoices.com
We told you last Friday about some statements President Obama made about the changing face of the American Dream. In an interview for Kindle Singles, the POTUS opened up about how much the idea of success has morphed, from being once about basic things like having a good job and a good home, to having a humongous home and some flashy cars because we get a constant peek into the lifestyles of wealthy celebs. He just so happened to mention Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in this analysis:
“The American Dream involved some pretty basic stuff. A good job where you felt some security. A good education… People felt if they worked hard they could get there… I don’t think people went around saying to themselves, ‘I need to have a 10,000-square-foot house’… I think, there has also been a shift in culture. We weren’t exposed to the things we didn’t have in the same way that kids these days are. There was not that window into the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Kids weren’t monitoring every day what Kim Kardashian was wearing, or where Kanye West was going on vacation, and thinking that somehow that was the mark of success.”
Well, a thought stating that the extravagant lifestyles of Kimye have become the new mark of financial success to some young people was taken as a diss by Kim’s mother, Kris Jenner. The mom-a-ger took to her talk show at the end of last week to let it be known that she disagreed thoroughly with his sentiments. She also commented on the fact that the president probably has friends with 10,000 square foot homes that he probably called when he needed help raising campaign money…:
“It’s really great that people aspire to get a great job … but I wasn’t aware that you could only set the bar so high and that we could only dream so big. I was taught: Dream big, work hard and you could have whatever you wanted.
Another thing I thought was, ‘Wow, I bet the President has some friends with 10,000 square foot houses and that you probably wouldn’t mind going over there, Mr. President, when you were asking them to have a party for you when you were campaigning for dollars to run for president.’
I find it so odd that he’s picking on Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Well, Kanye West, first of all, doesn’t go on vacation. Ever. And Kim Kardashian is the hardest-working young lady in the world. She never sleeps, she never stops, she never slows down and works so hard for what she’s got.”
So I started thinking about her 10,000 square foot house, and I thought, ‘Wow, her job affords her to live in a 10,000 square foot house, and if I’m not mistaken, Mr. President’s job affords him to live in a 55,000 square foot house.
With all of that aside, you poke at someone and you criticize someone for living a lifestyle that I’m sure when he was growing up, his dream was one day, I’m going to become president of the United States and have this wonderful and fabulous life. And that was his dream. I just didn’t think we should put a cap on it…I just don’t think it’s such a bad thing to want to be our best and do our best and have nice things.”
Kris went on to say that Keeping Up With The Kardashians actually employs a wealth of people so that they too can live whatever they feel their American Dream is. But it seems that Jenner took the President’s comments a bit too seriously. He didn’t say Kim and Kanye didn’t deserve the wealth they have, he just said that young people need to know they can still be successful without all of that excess. Your American Dream doesn’t need to match another man or woman’s dream. But then again, I’m sure Jenner tried to come for POTUS to get someone to watch her talk show. Try again!
Check out what she had to say in full while hosting with E! News host Terrence Jenkins on the next page.
After a series of protests done across the country since the “Not Guilty” verdict of George Zimmerman, according to Reuters, lawmakers in Florida plan to hold hearings this fall to re-examine the “Stand Your Ground” laws in that state. The “Stand Your Ground” law allows those who fear for their life (whether the threat is truly deadly or not) to use deadly force to defend themselves rather than trying to move away from the situation. It has received major criticism for being unfairly applied and was put front and center during the Zimmerman trial. An announcement was made on Friday by Will Weatherford, the Republican speaker of Florida’s House of Representatives who said that after receiving a barrage of calls, letters, emails and responses from everyday people, as well as celebrities, Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama, he wanted to give people a chance to express their views and see what changes could possibly be made. According to the Huffington Post, Weatherford wrote an op-ed about the law and the public outcry, but it’s not yet clear what exact date the hearings will start and end:
“Across Florida, representatives are receiving calls, letters, visits and emails from constituents with diverse opinions on ‘Stand Your Ground. Passions are high, but every person has the right to express their views on this matter of great importance.
Our evaluation of its (the law’s) effectiveness should be guided by objective information, not by political expediency.
Does the law keep the innocent safer? Is it being applied fairly? Are there ways we can make this law clearer and more understandable?”
While some say violent crime has decreased since “Stand Your Ground” laws were enacted in different states, others say it’s racially biased. According to Reuters, a recent poll found that “a strong majority of white voters and men support the laws, while black voters generally oppose them and women are almost evenly divided.” I agree that a major conversation needs to be had about “Stand Your Ground” laws, especially after the case of Marissa Alexander, who received 20 years just for firing a warning shot at a wall at her abusive husband, and tried to use “Stand Your Ground” only to be rejected. When does it work? And more importantly, who does it work for? Fingers crossed that this will bring some real change.
Growing up in the White House, with a bowling alley, movie theater and a full staff at your beck call and your father being the “leader of the free world,” it’s not hard to lose touch with reality, to become numb to the plight and struggles of others. But President Obama says he and Michelle are always reminding their daughters Sasha and Malia that there is an element of “unreal” to their current lifestyle.
In and interview at an Amazon.com distribution plan in Tennessee, earlier this week, the president explains how he and Michelle keep the girls grounded.
“We are constantly reminding Malia and Sasha of the slightly unreal environment that they’re in, and that that’s not the norm and they shouldn’t expect to be the norm.”
President Obama also said having family members who lead an entirely different life is also helpful.
“One of the advantages we have is that we still have family members who are not only middle class, but we’ve got some family members who are poor. Malia and Sasha have cousins who know what it’s like to struggle and know what it’s like to have to scrape by. They know that those kids are just as worthy as they are, they just haven’t had as much luck.”
The president also spoke about how his own perception of wealth has changed since he was growing up.
“If you look back on your childhood, or if I talk to my friends, all of us have that same impression when we go back home and we realize that the place where we were living was pretty small. These days people would say, ‘How did you live in a place that small?’ Well it didn’t feel that small at the time. It was secure. It was stable.”
He went on to say that this generation, with the constant influx of celebrity news and celebrity lifestyle, kids are aware much earlier that they might not be living as lavishly as the people on TVor in the blogs.
“There was not that window into the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Kids weren’t monitoring every day what Kim Kardashian was wearing or where Kanye West was going on vacation, and thinking that somehow that was the mark of success.”
Instead, the president is teaching his daughters to measure success by things like getting an education, a job, being able to have quality health care, a home and saving for retirement.