I typically don't write about professional athletes doing stupid things because I have absolutely no interest and it serves no purpose. But Riley Cooper's actions from last month can be very instructive and deserves my attention.
Riley Cooper is about to begin his fourth season as a wide receiver with Philadelphia Eagles of the N.F.L. The 25-year-old was born in Oklahoma City and raised in Clearwater, Fla. He played football for the University of Florida. By all accounts, he is a very good receiver and has been a model teammate during his years in the league.
Last month, he attended a Kenny Chesney concert in Philadelphia. He was denied backstage access before the concert and became visibly angry based on the video that has gone viral. In the video, Riley can be seen and heard telling security (who cannot be seen in the video and is said to be black), "I will jump that fence and fight every nigger here, bro."
In "Data Book 2013: The State of Children in Memphis & Shelby County," The Urban Child Institute explores social and economic conditions affecting optimal brain development for babies ages zero to three, and subsequently outlines critical areas that need improvement.
Research findings show that the environment and community in which a child is born and raised contributes greatly to her future well being, while the health and well-being of its children determines a community's future.
Now in its eighth year of publication, the "Data Book" includes improved community health statistics for Memphis and Shelby County that offer cause for pause and abbreviated celebration.
I've long believed a succinct modern definition of marriage can be found in America's Declaration of Independence: as "the pursuit of Happiness."
In that sense, then, it's no coincidence that the phrase comes at the end of the document's famous assertion: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." – connecting a time-honored human rite to the conventionally-accepted human right of freedom.
Nowhere, in the American context, has that link between the rite and the right been more apparent than in society's stance toward marriage between blacks and whites. And no more so than today, when intermarriage between Americans of different racial and ethnic backgrounds is more common than ever; and same-sex marriage has made historic breakthroughs in acceptance; and the nation's first black president is the child of an interracial marriage.
Iyanla Vanzant is making yet another splash with a video that has gone viral due to her special brand of wisdom. Calling black women "out of order," the self-help guru spoke to web site Madame Noire on her concerns with the mental and emotional wounds black women accept from others – and mutually inflict.
Fresh off discussing her OWN special "Daddyless Daughters" on the Melissa Harris-Perry show, in which she examines the psychological issues of women growing up without fathers, Vanzant made these statements to specifically address the persistent difficulties of African-American women.
According to the Southern rapper T.I. (pictured), if he was Trayvon Martin’s father, George Zimmerman wouldn’t have made it to trial.
Seaking to radio station Power 98, T.I. was upset over George Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict, “Man, it was some bulls**t.
Apparently, former sports journalist and current TV pundit Stephen A. Smith saw all the fun Don Lemon was having blaming black people for white people's behavior and wanted a piece, too.
Thursday morning on ESPN's Sports Center, Smith commented on the recent Riley Cooper controversy, essentially blaming black people for Cooper's hurling of the n-word.
"What level of responsibility do we harbor considering the fact that it's something we use ad nauseam in the presence of people outside of our community?" he asked. "At the end of the day ... we have to ... ask ourselves do we play a role in the ease that it comes out of other people's mouths."
Don Lemon, one of CNN's highest-profile black anchors, triggered a recent firestorm of anger and recrimination when he suggested that African Americans should alter their personal behavior if they want to achieve racial equality. Lemon's efforts at tough love admonished young black men for wearing baggy pants, castigated hip-hop for romanticizing prison culture, implored young people to study and, in a rhetorical flourish that some found especially painful, blamed unwed mothers for having too many babies.
Lemon's comments openly echo the vitriolic, race-baiting rant by Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly, whose solution to racial inequality in America is for black people to stop blaming whites for racism and magically lift themselves up by their bootstraps. Both Lemon and O'Reilly's words evoke comedian Bill Cosby's infamous "Pound Cake" speech at the NAACP in 2004. In that speech Cosby, a longtime civil rights supporter, redefined black poverty as a byproduct of individual behavior rather than institutions that have long marginalized and oppressed African Americans. While it's easy to dismiss O'Reilly as a spokesman for the right wing, the words of Cosby and now Lemon are harder for many to ignore.