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Don’t knock V. Stiviano’s gold-digging hustle

sterlingwoman 600Like every other adult with Internet access, I've been following the Donald Sterling saga since TMZ released the hidden recording of his racist rants on Friday night. Over the past many days, it's all anyone seems to talk about. Surely, recently departed "Scandal" co-star Columbus Short is somewhere thanking the gods for taking the attention off him.

I've taken to calling this whole affair As the Plantation Turns (which I can't take credit for). The unique cast of characters – the geriatric billionaire racist sugar daddy, his not-so-estranged wife and the biracial mastermind mistress; the guest appearance by basketball legend, businessman and HIV activist Magic Johnson (who was unfairly dragged into all this mess); and the setting of professional basketball during the high-stakes playoffs are better than anything a novelist could create. This all lends credence to the popular joke that sports are reality TV for men.

At the heart of this drama is V. Stiviano – a mysterious woman who apparently has gone by several different names – whose voice is heard on the TMZ tapes that started this whole debacle. So the story seems to go like this: Sterling's billionaire wife was angry that her husband spent around $2 million on gifts for his lady "friend" of four years, a woman young enough to be his granddaughter. The Los Angeles Times reports that over four years, Sterling bought Stiviano four luxury cars and a $1.8 million duplex home in Stiviano's name and gave her $240,000 in "living expenses."

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Barnes & Noble: Gone by New Year’s?

BandN 600If anyone gives you a Barnes & Noble gift card, be sure to cash it in by the end of the year.

This may be the last year that Barnes & Noble bookstores remain open.

It's bad news for people who love books. It's worse news for the next generation of readers, who may never experience buying a book in a bookstore.

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Do corporate leaders buy or earn diversity awards?

dsterling 600The NBA's decision to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and fine him $2.5 million for his racist comments is big news.

But the story behind the story is that Sterling, who had a long record of discriminatory conduct, donated money to the Los Angeles NAACP and was even honored by the organization with awards on two separate occasions.

In May, the Clippers owner and real estate billionaire was set to receive a lifetime achievement award — his second from the civil rights organization. But then things unraveled right before his eyes.

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GM’s top designer has always been career driven

EdwardWelburn 600AUSTIN, Texas (NNPA) – Though no one knew it at the time, the decision by Edward T. Welburn Jr.'s parents to take him to a local auto show in Philadelphia around the time he was learning his multiplication tables would shape the rest of his life.

"I've been drawing cars since I was 2½," he told a small group of journalists over breakfast here. "At age 8, my parents took me to the Philadelphia Auto Show and I walked in and there was this concept car and I pointed at it and said, 'When I grow up, I want to be a car designer for that company.'"

At 63 years old, Welburn has had plenty of time to grow up. And not only is he the top designer for General Motors, the company that designed the Cadillac Cyclone, the car that he fell in love with at the ripe age of 8, he is the company's vice president for global design, responsible for the entire GM brand.

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‘Snitches Get Riches!’

James Clingman_600The saying that has been inculcated in the minds and lives of Blacks across this nation, "Snitches Get Stitches" came to mind as I watched a YouTube video with Yvette Carnell and Paschal Robert discussing Al Sharpton's role as a New York mob snitch. Ever since the latest, albeit, not really new revelations about Sharpton emerged, I wondered how we would receive it and what, if anything, we would do.

Since Sharpton is a highly visible, iconoclastic, activist and spokesperson for so many black folks, why not use his snitching to our advantage? Murder and violent crime are running rampant in the so-called 'hood; families are being torn apart by gun violence and left to grieve the loss of their loved ones. Our streets run red with the blood of our children as we cower in our homes, witnessing acts of murder but too scared to call Crime Stoppers, anonymously, and identify the perpetrator – and get some cash money to boot.

The gang mantra, "Snitches Get Stitches," works to our degradation and social deterioration. With Sharpton's example, we could change our mantra to "Snitches Get Riches." He has given us the model for doing the right thing when it comes to snitching; and he told on mob bosses, not neighborhood street thugs and small time hustlers. Al played in the big leagues of the snitching game, got rich and has been propelled into the stratosphere of political elitism and media visibility.

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