All Articles Tagged "Republicans"

Let’s Get Political: A Mom Breaks Down The Presidential Race

February 23rd, 2016 - By Clarissa Joan
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After eight glorious years in The White House, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle, and those golden First Daughters, Malia and Sasha, will be exiting stage left officially in January 2017. (Yes, we’re holding on to the very last moment.)

Who will you be voting for as the next President of the United States of America?

With the options of candidates ranging from previously bankrupt tycoon real estate investors to elderly socialists, alleged feminists, and Jesus’ very own disciples, we thought it would be a nice gesture to offer a synopsis of the important dates in this election, give some parameters around the party differences, and present an overview of the potential president elect’s various platforms.

This is your 2016 Presidential Election Overview, #BlackGirlMagic Style.

We begin with the Presidential Election primaries. As you may or may not know, there are two primary political parties in The United States of America. They offer two very different visions for how we should co-exist as citizens of these United States. In order to present a candidate for the general election this November 8, 2016, they must participate in primary elections to decide who the luck guy or gal will be. For more information on when you can vote on your desired nominee review the 2016 Primary Calendar. This assumes that you are registered to vote. If not, please handle that as well.

Now in order to vote in the primaries, you must be a registered voter of the respective party. Here is an overview of the major two parties:

Democratic: The oldest active political party. It’s roots are dated back to 1828 and the seventh President, Andrew Jackson. The focus of the party is Social liberalism is a political ideology that seeks to find a balance between individual liberty and social justice. One the most famous Democratic Presidents is Franklin D. Roosevelt who helped the country survive the great depression and set the stage for the rise of the middle class.

Republican: Founded by anti-slavery activists in 1854, the party also known as “The Grand Old Party” ushered Abraham Lincoln into The White House in 1861 as it’s first seated president. Republicanism is the political ideology embedded into the founding documents of the United States. It stresses liberty and “unalienable” rights as central values, making people sovereign as a whole, rejects aristocracy and inherited political power, expects citizens to be independent in their performance of civic duties, and vilifies corruption.

By political ideology, are you a Republican or a Democrat? Do you believe in big government that works for the people and is responsible for justice? Or do you believe in individual rights and every man’s ability to care for himself, be of good moral character, and practice self-control without assistance?

Under these two umbrellas of thought, we find ourselves needing to choose the right candidate to represent our best interests. The hot button issues this year cover everything from economic disparity, gun violence, corporate greed, to sustaining progressive health-care, paid-family medical leave, and foreign affairs such as ISIS, ISIL, whomever.

Let’s get into the Democratic frontrunners…

The Democratic race has found itself two top contenders in former President Bill Clinton’s Wife, Hillary Clinton. Yes, she was also a senator of NYC and the Former Secretary of State for the Obama Administration. However, it is important to stress how she became a relevant party to the public in order to be considered for those positions. Although highly educated, it is very unlikely that Mrs. Clinton would have rose to such power and status without her stint as First Lady of these United States. One of the many curiosities about Mrs. Clinton is how she will be the first female president of The Unites States. Will she be a female president or will she be a president who happens to be female? Which of the two matters to you?

Next up, we have U.S. Senator of Vermont Bernie Sander. A senator for the last 10 years, he also served 16 years in the House of Representatives, and was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont, for four terms. Yes, Senator Sanders is OLD. He is wise, but he is old. The high-risk issue here, to keep it real, is will he survive in office? Senator Sanders also spent most of his career as an independent socialist not a Democrat. He now claims to be a Socialist Democrat, which he defines very loosely.

Both Sanders and Clinton, are running in agreement with the same issues. Raise taxes on the rich, stricter gun laws, paid family leave, etc. The major difference is that Clinton is backed by corporate interests, and Sanders believes that this is the major issue with our government system. For more individual information on these two candidates visit their websites. berniesanders.com and hillaryclinton.com

Now, if you actually thought that there would be summary of those radical right wing crazies platform, you lost your #blackgirlmagic. Yes, Lincoln freed the slaves, but since then I don’t recall a Republican candidate who has done something positive for Black and Brown people.

Get informed, make sure you vote, and make sure you vote well. Well, meaning vote for people who care about people you love and have your best interests at heart. In my opinion, if they cannot mention, #blacklivesmatter in their campaigns, if they are boycotting Beyonce, if they have no idea why paid family leave should be federally mandated, and why a new minimum wage is a must, throw them dust.

Happy Voting People!

The views and opinions in this article are not affiliated and/or endorsed by MadameNoire or Moguldom Media. This is one writer’s perspective of the 2016 Presidential Race.

Serious Question: Could Donald Trump Pay You To Vote For Him?

December 11th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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Serious question: how much would it take for you to vote for Donald Trump?

I ask this because yesterday Donald Trump’s camp told Yahoo News that it was certain he could pull 100 percent of the Black vote.

How certain?

Well, as reported by Mediate:

In an interview with Yahoo News, one of Donald Trump‘s top political advisors said that their campaign expects to win “100 percent” of the black vote.

Yahoo’s Hunter Walker spoke with Trump lawyer and advisor Michael Cohen about the campaign’s recent efforts to woo the black vote: “When asked how much of the African-American vote the campaign wants to win, Cohen had a perfectly Trumpian answer: All of it.”

Our goal is 100 percent,” Cohen told Walker. But he then amended that statement to saying that they would be happy with only flipping the 93 percent who typically vote Democrat.”

To put it mildly, that is some extraordinary courage and belief in one self.

I have always felt that Trump was trolling us with this campaign. Like this is all some sort of mass conspiracy to get folks riled up for a political season that most of us have been kind of “meh” about. No offense to Clinton, Sanders and the equally boring Republican slate, but this Trump-mania feels like a badly-scripted reality show perpetuated by the media.

After all, CNN and the likes have to keep those ratings up somehow.

Yet, as he continues to lose supporters and likely connections in both the business and political realm (even Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently came out and denounced Trump for going too far in his pledge to ban all Muslims), it is hard to see what else there is to gain in it for him.

Perhaps Trump really wants to be president. Or perhaps this is an episode of “Scooby Doo” where Fred rips the mask off of White supremacy to reveal that it was Donald Trump all along.

If either is true, I am convinced that he is willing to do and say anything for the nomination. That includes flat-out paying people to vote for him.

And honestly, is it too far-fetched to believe?

Let’s consider the Latina fan who ran on stage to profess her love for Mr. Trump only days after he caught heat for a series of derogatory comments about Latino immigrants. Or let’s consider the 99 Black preachers and Omarosa who have come out in support of a Trump candidacy- this after a Black protestor was attacked at one of his rallies. And let us also consider the sassy Popeye’s Chicken Lady and her equally sassy hype woman the Pine-Sol Lady (also known as Diamond and Silk) who have been become internet sensations for their ahem…lively support of Trump’s bid for the White House.

If those folks ain’t getting paid hard, cold cash then they are getting paid in something else. (Gold? Oil? The safe return of a dear relative who Trump may have tied up in a dank basement somewhere?)

Of course, I have no proof of this. But you have to admit, it is the only thing that makes logical sense.

I mean, what self-respecting person of color would stand by a candidate who wants to ban all Muslims, thinks that Blacks do most of the crime in America and preaches all sorts of jacked up things about women?

Many of us wouldn’t even do this for a good, White friend.

So either folks are getting paid, or they’rre pod people and the Body Snatchers have returned.

And getting something substantial in return (or being a pod person) is the only way I could logically see any Black person – particularly 93 percent of the people – voting for him.

So again, I ask: how much?

How much dough would he have to cough up to make you consider abandoning the Democrats and cast your ballot for Trump?

And before anyone gets all self-righteous talking about, “That’s so cynical. How you can ask such a question?”

Keep in my mind that we have been seeking out a similar beneficial relationship with the Democrats for decades and we have yet to see a full return on many of their promises and pledges to us. And we are not the only special interest group to have done so.

Plus, I’m just being messy…

Ben Carson Is Not the First To “Rap” for Votes…

November 6th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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I would like to say I am shocked by Ben Carson’s political radio ad in which he uses Hip Hop music to court Black voters. However, it is Ben Carson, a man who thinks the pyramids were a big silo for Jesus’ wild oats. Therefore nothing he will ever say and do will ever surprise me.

In fact, the only surprise here is that he didn’t have his wife Candy sing on the hook. That would have been just lovely…

But as some have noted, the ad is pretty ironic and slightly offensive. In particular, Drew Millard, in an article for Vice entitled “Ben Carson’s Rap Radio Ad Is an Embarrassment for Everyone,” wrote:

“It’s a testament to the total cluelessness of the GOP that its politicians have misinterpreted hip-hop’s simultaneous distrust and ironic appropriation of their party as nuggets of support, and somehow decided that they can cultivate that support simply by establishing that they are aware that hip-hop is a thing that people seem to like.”

I agree. But it is not just a Hip-Hop thing.

For instance, Carson’s crazy comrade Herman Cain once used stereotypical language and imagery in a radio ad aimed at getting Black people to vote Republican. More specifically, the 2004 radio ad features the Godfather Pizza founder chastising an unemployed “friend” for cheating on his wife and taking his pregnant “hoes” to get abortions. To which the friend says, “I don’t snuff my own seed.” This pleases Cain who then replies: “well, maybe you do have a reason to vote Republican.”

As clumsy and flat-out distasteful (outside of the obvious anti-abortion ickiness, the attempts at slang alone are enough to make you cringe), the ad is characteristic of how many politicians, of all stripes, use cultural signifiers to specifically appeal to the Black voters. In this instance, Cain was trying to connect his core anti-abortion beliefs to some of the more conservative folks within the African American community.

But in 2010, it was the Democratic National Committee, which used the voices of civil rights leaders of the past in a multi-million dollar advertising campaign directed at Black voters. The series of radio ads, which aired mostly on “urban radio,” shied away from using slang, Hip Hop and other Black culture cues. However “The Struggle” and Martin Luther King Jr.’s name were evoked in order to remind Black people about the sacrifices made to get us the right to vote.

One particular ad featured Civil Rights Leader Rev. Joseph Lowery who offered up his testimony about how he was bitten and beat during the turbulent movement and how those same forces were trying to stop President Obama’s agenda. He concluded his message with, “we owe it to the past. We owe it to the future.”

And in this NPR interview, University of Missouri professor Marvin Overby tells journalist Brian Naylor that generally speaking, politicians like radio because it not only gives them a captive audience (particularly those people stuck in car relying on public radio for their entertainment) but it also gives them a better way to “narrow cast” certain messages without offending the masses. This includes Black voters.

More specifically Overby states:

“They tend to be very program driven, and a lot of that is going to revolve around the music that the station chooses to play, and music tends to track demographics very well. So you don’t have middle-aged white soccer moms listening to the same radio stations as 20-something urban African-Americans.”

The article goes on to cite President Obama’s “We Got Your Back” political ad, which first ran on urban radio stations during his 2012 reelection campaign. In it, President Obama does his talking points over a pseudo-R&B beat while a Take Six-type group harmonizes in the background. The ad concluded with a request that voters go to “GottaVote.org (a now defunct site that redirected voters to President Obama’s main campaign page, which is also defunct)” to learn more about how they can have “the President’s back.”

More recently, Politico reported that last year some Democrats in the South used the shooting deaths of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin in a targeted radio campaign ads as well as mailers and flyers in an effort to connect with and sway Black voters specifically.

So while it is both problematic, and quite funny, that a staunch conservative Republican would appropriate Hip-Hop and other cultural signifiers to appeal to Black voters, he is not alone in this practice.

And if you think that is bad, wait until the campaign season gets into full swing. I guarantee you, they all will be rapping and doing the Nae Nae for us all across our airwaves.

In Spending Bill, Congress Passes Historic Medical Marijuana Protections

December 15th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Congress has passed a historic medical marijuana protections in the $1.1 trillion federal spending bill that was pushed through Congress late last week. The bill contains protections for medical marijuana and industrial hemp operations in states where they are legal.

“If the bill is signed into law, it will bring the federal government one step closer to ending raids on medical marijuana dispensaries, as well as stopping arrests of individuals involved with pot businesses that are complying with state law,” reports The Huffington Post.

“When the House first passed this measure back in May, we made headlines; today we made history,” Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), who introduced the medical marijuana protections amendment with co-sponsor Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.).

“The federal government will finally respect the decisions made by the majority of states that passed medical marijuana laws,” Farr added. “This is great day for common sense because now our federal dollars will be spent more wisely on prosecuting criminals and not sick patients.”

Under the bill, medical marijuana programs in the 23 states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes will be protected. This protection also extends to 11 additional states that have legalized CBD oils.

This could change the war on drugs drastically. According to a 2013 report by advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, the Obama administration has spent nearly $80 million annually cracking down on medical marijuana, which amounts to more than $200,000 per day. This is because despite the legalization of medical marijuana in some states under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I substance with “no currently accepted medical use,” alongside heroin and LSD.

“This isn’t finely written policy yet,” Farr said in June after the amendment first passed in the House, Forbes‘ Jacob Sullum reported. “This is a statement of congressional intent that [the] DEA [should] back off on these issues. We will have to continue to reconcile federal policy with state policy.”

The new spending bill also gives some protections to industrial hemp from DEA intervention. The farm bill, which President Barack Obama signed into law in February, legalized industrial hemp production in states that permit it. In all, 18 states have legalized industrial hemp production, and more than a dozen others have introduced legislation that would permit research into the plant, set up a regulatory framework or legalize growing it.

After the spending bill was passed, Sen. Ted Cruz tried to take a stand against President Obama’s executive action on immigration and ended up opening the door on a number of other things that Democrats want to get done in the days before turning over the majority to Republicans. Current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was able to move forward on 24 nominations, including Vivek Murthy for Surgeon General who is opposed by Republicans because he’s young (39 years old) and made the National Rifle Association angry by saying guns were a public health issue.

For more on the controversial move and the blow back against Sen. Cruz among fellow members of his party, check out Politico here and here. Interesting stuff.

Additional contribution by Tonya Garcia.

Both Political Conservatives & Liberals Oppose The Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision

December 8th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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With #EricGarner and #ICantBreathe still trending and protests taking place five days in a row, the outrage over the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo over the choking death of Eric Garner is not going away anytime soon. And just as important, the anger over this decision is being shared by people on both ends of the political spectrum.

Following the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, there were many on the conservative side who thought there was justification for Darren Wilson’s violent response. In this case, with the chokehold caught on tape, and executed over the minor accusation that Garner was selling loose cigarettes, the uproar is universal.

“From looking at the video, the grand jury’s decision here is totally incomprehensible,” said Charles Krauthammer, a Fox News correspondent.

That video is one of the big reasons that conservatives are angry. Another, they blame the government for having laws that would make the selling of loose cigarettes an offense. Not only did another conservative pundit, Dana Loesch, call it the byproduct of the #NannyStateEnforcement, Sen. Rand Paul, Republican from Kentucky and probable 2016 presidential candidate, says the cigarette tax is the problem. Let’s save the tax talk for another time Sen. Paul. But his opposition is well-placed.

“I think it’s also important to know that some politician put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes. So they’ve driven cigarettes underground so as not to make them so expensive,” he told CNN.

The New York Police Department has launched a pilot body-camera project in three precincts. Fast Company has a summary of how it will work, noting that the files are downloaded at the end of an officer’s shift and are encrypted, meaning no one can view or tamper with the video unless they have permission to do so from the NYPD.

Who Would’ve Thought? Republicans Actually Like Obamacare

July 16th, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Come hell or high water, Republicans wanted to see Obamacare drown. The GOP and other Affordable Care Act detractors have had scathing criticisms for the new health care reform. “It’s the worst thing since slavery,” one said. “It’s a train wreck,” another expressed. But my my, how the tables have turned: Republicans, according to Business Insider, are actually satisfied with Obamacare.

The GOP just might be running out of ammo to knock down Obamacare. What can Republicans say when the Commonwealth Fund Survey reveals that there are 9.5 million fewer uninsured Americans? On top of that, the survey found that a whopping 74 percent of Republicans — yes, Republicans — admitted that they actually liked Obamacare.

In addition, the uninsured rate dropped from 20 percent to 15 percent. And Latinos, who are more likely to not have health insurance out of any racial group, had the biggest gains in medical coverage, 13 percent. Young Americans had the second highest gains with 10 percent.

“This is yet another datapoint showing that the Affordable Care Act is basically doing what it’s supposed to do,” said Kaiser Family Foundation’s Larry Levitt. “That doesn’t mean everyone is benefiting from it or is happy about it. But, it’s on track to working as intended.”

It gets better — there’s been a sudden, mysterious decline in Obamacare’s price tag: “The government is expected to spend about $50 billion less paying for the Medicare program this year than it had expected to just four years ago,” Vox wrote.

Of course, there are some aspects of the Affordable Care Act that need some sprucing up. The insurance coverage gains among African Americans, for example, was disproportionately low at only one percent. Plus, there are still millions without coverage, but MSNBC points to stubborn red states’ refusal to expand Medicaid as the culprit.

At one point, the right stopped at nothing to thwart Obamacare, the so-called “jobs killer.” But of course, the GOP has a new angle for their Obama faultfinding campaign: The President isn’t implementing the Affordable Care Act fast enough. House Republicans intend to sue the POTUS for delaying the employers’ responsibility portion of the law.

“Each provision you delay continues to demonstrate that the entire law is unworkable,” Speaker of the House John Boehner wrote to the President.

Watch it Boehner, 73 percent of those who purchased a plan are satisfied with Obamacare — even three-quarters of your own. Happily insured Americans just might be the right’s worst nightmare.

Stacey Dash Reportedly In Talks To Join Fox News Network As Regular Contributor

May 15th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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It’s been a while since we’ve seen Stacey Dash on a TV screen, but according to new reports, she might be on your TV again very soon. She won’t be playing a fashionista looking for a man like she was on Single Ladies, but rather, she’ll be giving her two cents on politics and the news. No, seriously.

According to the New York Post’s Page Six, Dash is in talks to close on a deal with Fox News that would make her a regular contributor for the conservative news network. This all comes after Dash told the world that she was a Mitt Romney supporter in the 2012 election via Twitter, posing in a swimsuit in front of the American flag. She received a great deal of criticism (admittedly from us too) online and used that to gain sympathy to get on the couches of popular talk shows and to take pictures with Paul Ryan and to pen open letters.

When speaking on the backlash, she said, “Perhaps I publicly endorsed Romney from a slightly naive place, thinking that I could speak my voice without being criticized in such racially charged and hateful tones.”

Since then, Dash hasn’t held back on her political views on Twitter, and has appeared on Fox News more than once. She was trying her hand at creating a satirical comedy called “Stacey Dash is Normal” about her life (and her Republican views), and some episodes can be found via YouTube.

Hey, if you’re going to spout your political views, you might as well get paid for it, right? But since I avoid Fox News like the plague, I can’t say I’ll be tuning in. Congratulations to her nonetheless!

Cliven Bundy Remarks Re-Open Conversation About Republicans & Race

April 25th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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The GOP has been trying mightily (and mostly failing) to broaden its base by appealing to black voters. Then party members rally around someone like Cliven Bundy, who makes downright racist remarks and any baby steps that they may have been made disintegrate faster than you can say “negro.”

As Mo Elleithee, the DNC’s communications director, said about the issue, “If you ever want to be taken seriously for your outreach efforts, you might want to start by not defending racists.” Very good advice. While there are many on the right who have tried to separate themselves from these comments, there are others who still defend Bundy with excuses and “adding context,” going back to the initial issue that the government went too far when it tried to collect on what Bundy owes for use of federal land to graze his cattle. (Note the comments at that link from The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein and New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait on this issue, which are interesting.)

Some experts say that, at the heart of the issue, are “complicated” tensions that some parts of the population are trying to deal with. America is changing. Minorities are growing in population numbers, political power and visibility of every kind. And it’s bringing out this sort of offensive and prejudiced behavior. Writes CNN:

“We are looking at some of the ‘last white men standing,’ ” Mark Anthony Neal, an African-American studies professor at Duke University, said of demographic shifts that show minorities now represent more than half of the nation’s population born in 2010 and 2011, according to the most recent census data.

“His comments represent that, and people rally around him because of this idea that white men are under siege. They are calling out the political establishment to stand by them,” he said.

That article notes that it’s not just about race either. Steps to make same-sex marriage legal in more places have been met with ugliness. And efforts to make things more equal for women, who have made strides in society, the home and the workplace, have been met with sexism.

“The articulation of their views is somewhat fringe, but the underlying attitude is not. They are a minority viewpoint, but they are a large minority,” adds Andra Gillespie, an associate professor of political science at Emory University.

Josh Barro, writing for The New York Times, goes a little further with Bundy’s comments, noting that Bundy also “wondered” where his Mexican and Chinese “brothers” are in this fight against the Bureau of Land Management. “They’re just as American as we are, but they’re not with us. If they’re not with us, they’re going to be against us,” Bundy said.

From Barro’s point of view, “Mr. Bundy is weirdly on to something here. The rush to stand with Mr. Bundy against the Bureau of Land Management is the latest incarnation of conservative antigovernment messaging. And nonwhites are not interested, because at gut-level an aversion to the government is almost exclusively a white phenomenon.” He follows that with stats from the Pew Research Center showing that, in 2011, Asians, African Americans and Hispanics were in favor of a larger government. And that cut across all economic groups, from those with money to those who depend on government programs to make ends meet.

We didn’t need Cliven Bundy to remind us that there are strides we have to make in the area of race relations. And it’s important that we have rational conversations about how to move things in a positive direction. But no matter how you feel about land rights or the government, Bundy’s words were clearly awful. It’s also important that we call out how wrong that language is.

“Marriage Is Something I Want To Do, Eventually” Vanessa Simmons Talks Motherhood, Marriage, And New Webseries

April 21st, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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We watched Vanessa Simmons grow up on her family’s MTV reality show Run’s House and branch out as a business woman along with her sister Angela as they launched their own fashion line. Carefully modeling their father and uncle, Russel Simmons’, models of success, the two became household names with their Pastry sneaker brand.

While pushing forward with her career as a fashion designer, Vanessa is also building her acting resume. Growing up as Hip-Hop royalty prepared Simmons for her new role as Samantha Hoffman, the protagonist of an upcoming webseries, Mixed, who is an uptight, biracial conservative woman who grew up with extremely liberal parents.  Sounds like a recipe for a hot mess right? We thought so too, which is why we reached out to Simmons to see what this new show is all about. We also asked her how new motherhood is treating her and if we’ll be hearing wedding bells anytime soon. Check out the Q&A:

What is Mixed about?

“Mixed is a comedy series based on a conservative girl who grows up in a liberal world. Its main character, Samantha Hoffman (who is played by moi), is a biracial conservative who moves back home after graduating  to live with very liberal parents. They get involved in her life at ever angle — especially her sex life (or lack thereof), and her career. Basically, her parents are like children and she is the parent. Also, the spin on the title takes heed from her being biracial but also focuses on the mixed ideologies and personalities in the show.”

Has the show changed the way you view or debate politics?

“It hasn’t but it has made me look at things with a more well rounded perspective when it comes to my political stance. Mixed makes fun of everyone’s political views, though. Participating in the show allowed the actors and actresses to let go of a topic that is taken so seriously.”

Is it different filming for a webseries as opposed to a television show?

“I think it is the same when you film for both webseries and television shows. The only difference is the episodes are more condense for a webseries because they are seven minutes long.  Our ultimate goal is for the show to become a half-hour series on a network cable channel. While filming the webseries,  I treated it as though I was filming for a television show.  I tried not to over compensate too much but I wanted it to be as relatable as possible.”

Was it a challenge filming while pregnant?

“I found out I was pregnant the night before the first day of production. I thought it was the flu and didn’t know what was up with me. And da di da da, I’m pregnant [laughs]! I had to go through the whole production while I had morning sickness. I would take ginger tea to settle my stomach and wanted special food on the site; it was a challenge but a challenge in a good way, for myself.”

What similarities do you have with your character, Samantha?

“I would say I am similar to Samantha based on the way I grew up and people judging who I am — especially in college. I lived on campus and when I would walk to class people would not approach me but automatically think I had an attitude. When people actually got a chance to meet me, they would tell me “Wow, you are really cool!” I would respond saying, “Thanks for prejudging me! [laughs]”

Would you be Samantha’s friend in real life?

“I think Samantha is cool, I would maybe try to get her to loosen up just a little bit. I feel like she is too much in her head but I had so much fun playing her as a character.”

What is it like being a working mother?

“Being a working mom has inspired me a lot more than before when I was just working because I was just supporting myself. After I gave birth, I felt like I was Super Woman. I said to myself if I could get through pregnancy and labor, I can get through anything. It really boosted my confidence. I want my daughter to ultimately grow up and be proud of her mother. I want my daughter to know: if she puts in the work, has faith, and pursues her dreams, she can make anything happen.”

Why do you take the “less is more” approach towards posting photos of your daughter, Ava Marie, on social media?

“I understand mothers who take photos all the time! When you look at your child, you say to yourself ‘Oh my god, you were in my stomach and you have my eyes!’ For me, I want to take the time to bond with my daughter. So many people were inquiring  (which my family and I were so grateful for their love and support). But I wanted to take time before I put her picture out there. No judgement to mothers who post photos all the time because my phone right now is at the capacity of pictures!”

How is Angela as an aunt?

“She’s been fantastic! Angela spends as much time with her as possible and she always tells Ava,’you’re gonna be a little fashionista! And we are going to go shopping!’So Angela is waiting for the time when she and Ava can have Aunty-Niece outings. All my siblings have been very welcoming to Ava. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Is marriage in the future for you?

“Marriage is something I want to do, eventually. Everything in its due time. I understand people had a lot of things to say about me becoming pregnant before I got married. It was not my plan but it did happen and I don’t regret anything. I want things to take its natural course and happen as it should. You should allow things to evolve, beautifully.”

Check out the first episode of Mixed, below! What do you think?

Can The Inequality Gap Be A Color-Blind Issue? Politicans Act Like It Is

March 20th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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One of the latest political/social issues to grab a lot of attention is the inequality gap. But the discussions often dance around the notion of how race affects the gap. In 1967, in throes of the Civil Rights movement the median household income was 43 percent higher for white, non-Hispanic households than for black households. Things have changed, but for the worse! In 2011, median white household income was 72 percent higher than median black household income, according to a Census report from that year.

The gap is even more glaring when you look at the median household wealth instead of yearly income, reports MSN. The Pew Research Center found that in 1984, the white-to-black wealth ratio was 12-to-1. It narrowed by 1995 when the median white income was 5-to-1 to black income. But incredibly, by 2009 the ratio shot up to a whopping 19-to-1.

Despite this, politicians are avoiding discussing race and the inequality gap. A new 204-page analysis of the federal War on Poverty, led by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), barely mentions racial disparity. And remember Ryan recently said poverty is due in part to the fact that “inner cities” have a culture of “men not working,” a comment he ultimately called “inarticulate.”

While President Obama did note that “the painful legacy of discrimination means that African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans are far more likely to suffer from a lack of opportunity—higher unemployment, higher poverty rates” during a December 2013 address, it was just one line.

So why the deliberate avoidance of race? “I think it doesn’t make for good politics,” Color of Change executive director Rashad Robinson says. “It’s messy and requires us to be deep and think about much bigger and more long-term solutions than Washington’s oftentimes willing to deal with.” But when taking about employment and home ownership it is hard to keep out the issue of race.

A recently study from Brandeis University found that the disparities in homeownership are a major driver of the racial wealth gap especially due to “redlining, discriminatory mortgage-lending practices and lack of access to credit.

And for those black families who finally owned homes, the Great Recession reversed the advancements, many losing their homes in foreclosure.

And when it comes to employment, black unemployment is still twice as high as white unemployment—a ratio that has been solid since the mid-1950s.

“The underlying narrative that many people share is that whatever inequities still exist, they’re due to the misbehavior or dysfunctional behavior of black folks themselves,” said William Darity Jr., the director of Duke University’s Consortium on Social Equity. “So there’s no reason to pay attention to racial disparities because one doesn’t believe they’re still significant, or there’s no need for public policy action by the government because it’s just a question of black folks changing their own behaviors.”

Even Obama often likes to stress personal responsibility when addressing the black community. His new “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative emphasizes it in its effort to help young men of color.

Darity argues that self-perpetuating inequality will only be broken through wealth transfers.

“People’s behaviors are largely shaped by the resources they possess, and if their resources altered, than they might change their behaviors,” he said.