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Opinion

Yes, we camp, and if you don’t, here’s what you’re missing

Yes, we camp, and if you don’t, here’s what you’re missing
When I was growing up in New Jersey, my siblings and I typically spent our summers crammed in the back of my grandmother’s station wagon, heading to the Jersey Shore. With blankets and coolers in tow, we would start our days at sunrise and end them at sunset.
 
But one summer, when I was 11 years old, my grandmother wanted to do something different. I’m not sure why she singled me out, but to this day I’m glad she did.

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Charity begins at home

Charity begins at home
Americans have lost their minds. Forgive me for not expending any of my emotional energy or shedding any tears for those illegals coming into America. No, I can’t get all wrapped up in the plight of all the illegal children whose derelict parents are sending them thousands of miles on a dangerous journey alone.
 
I can’t help but to invest my emotion into citizens who have lost family members because someone in the country illegally was involved in a drunken driving incident; or whose daughter was raped by an illegal; or whose home was broken into by an illegal. I can’t feel sorry for kids in Central America or worry about their plight when you have American kids who are homeless and no one seems to care about them.

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‘Straight Outta Compton’ casting call is a straight up mess

‘Straight Outta Compton’ casting call is a straight up mess
Production has begun on Straight Outta Compton, the biopic about N.W.A. and Universal Studios is looking to cast more people for it.
 
They’re apparently working with Sande Allesi Casting, and the agency posted a call for the film that placed women in the categories A-B-C-D (it was on the agency’s Facebook page but was deleted. Gawker has the text).
 
The casting call created a pyramid of girls needed and ranked it in a way that is so offensive that I almost want to laugh at its wrongness and boldness. Did Donald Sterling write this? I read it and asked Jesus to take the wheel, hold my mule and be a fence.

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Cyber child abuse

Cyber child abuse
I was strolling down a very busy Broadway in New York City a couple of weeks ago.  It was a very nice Saturday and it seemed like everyone was out walking and shopping.  In front of me was a woman and her very young child (maybe 3 or 4 years old). The woman was completely entranced by her cell phone.  She was texting away.  Her daughter was walking a few steps behind her and was meandering around.  My wife and I found this very unsettling.  So, too, did two young men who were approaching us.  They looked at each other and got ready to say something to the young mother.  

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Nothing essential about Essence

Nothing essential about Essence
I wrote a column three years ago titled, “Black Women No Longer Have Their Essence.” My point was that Essence, the pre-eminent magazine for black women, had become irrelevant and an embarrassment to the black community.
 
Unfortunately, Essence has continued its decent into irrelevancy.

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The birth – and ultimate death of – Congressman Cohen’s ‘Miss Pearl’

The birth – and ultimate death of – Congressman Cohen’s ‘Miss Pearl’
It was Monday morning, July 7th, and I was up early to start the workweek. I’d spent Independence Day and Essence Festival weekend in New Orleans and in nearby Houma, La., where I visited family and friends. Heading into the office while listening to Clear Channel Radio station KJMS V101, my ears were disturbed by a political ad that harkened back to a day when freedom did not ring nearly loud enough for African Americans.  
 
A character by the name of Miss Pearl, obviously the brainchild of Congressman Steve Cohen’s campaign, spoke in a tone and manner reminiscent of the Aunt-Jemima stereotype about President Obama’s support of Cohen’s reelection campaign. 

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  • Written by Bernal E Smith II

What if we looked past the election?

What if we looked past the election?
We are now at the beginning of early voting. By Tuesday, polls will be open all over Shelby County, and until August 2 you will have an opportunity to exercise your franchise through early voting. This is a privilege that many of us take for granted, which is unavailable in many parts of the country. Yet, if recent trends hold true, approximately four to nine percent of registered voters will visit the polls during this voting cycle.
 
Looking at this reality, we must add the toxic cynicism that now is a part of the community’s disillusion with the political process. Many see no reason to vote or hope. With this in mind, I offer this thought:
 
Look past the election.

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