Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Samuel Alito confirmed as Supreme Court Justice.

He was confirmed with a vote of 58 vs. 38.  It’s time for you liberals to leave the country or bow down to the conservative bumrush.

Posted by SPN on 01/31 at 11:18 AM
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Coretta Scott King dies

Jan. 31, 2006 — Coretta Scott King, widow of slain civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., has died. She was 78.

Scott King was admitted to Atlanta’s Piedmont Hospital on Aug. 16, 2005, suffering from a stroke that left her weakened on her right side, unable to walk, and barely able to speak.

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Coretta Scott was born April 27, 1927, on a farm in Heiberger, Ala. Though the family owned the land, it was often a hardscrabble life. The young Coretta, her sister, Edythe, and brother, Obie, all had to pick cotton during the Depression to help the family make ends meet.

The Scott family was resourceful and blazed trails for blacks in its small corner of the world. Her father, Obediah, was the first black person in the area to own a truck, and he eventually opened a country store. Her mother, Bernice, hired a bus to drive all the black children to and from Lincoln High School  nine miles from Heiberger.

An intelligent and hard-working student, Scott King played trumpet and piano, and graduated from Lincoln High at the top of her class in 1945. She followed her older sister to Antioch College in Ohio, where Edythe had been the first full-time black student to live on campus.

At Antioch, Scott King majored in music and education. When she graduated, she decided she wanted to pursue music instead of teaching. She received a scholarship to study violin and voice at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where she met her future husband, Martin Luther King Jr., who was studying theology at Boston University.

The Kings were married in 1953, and the following year, they moved to Montgomery, Ala., where King began his ministry.

Civil Rights Activists

Scott King spent much of her life devoted to raising their four children — Yolanda Denise, Martin Luther III, Dexter Scott and Bernice Albertine  and to supporting her husband’s work in the civil rights movement.

Scott King was often seen beside her husband during freedom marches, traveling abroad and giving speeches. Though she had essentially retired from her music career, she conceived of and performed in the Freedom Concerts, which combined the poetry, stories and music of the civil rights movement.

Scott King became an activist in her own right, as well, carrying messages of international peace and economic justice to organizations around the world. She was the first woman to deliver the Class Day address at Harvard University and the first woman to preach during a service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

When King was assassinated outside a motel room in Memphis, Tenn., on April 4, 1968, Scott King channeled her grief into action. Days later, she led a march through the streets of Memphis, and later that year took his place as a leader of the Poor People’s March in Washington, D.C.

Scott King continued working for equality, peace and economic justice for the remainder of her life, both in the United States and abroad. Her travels took her to Latin America to speak out against poverty, South Africa to fight apartheid, and back to Washington, D.C., to mark the 20th anniversary of the historic March on Washington with a second massive gathering of human rights groups.

Honoring Martin

Scott King has also devoted much of her time to developing the Atlanta-based Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change as a memorial to her husband’s life and dreams. Scott King served as the center’s leader until 1995, when she turned over the helm to her son Dexter.

She also led the campaign to make King’s birthday, Jan. 15, a national holiday in the United States. By an Act of Congress, the first national observance of the holiday took place in 1986.

Scott King focused much of her energy during the last decade of her life on AIDS awareness and curbing gun violence.

Posted by loni on 01/31 at 07:34 AM
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Monday, January 30, 2006

SOURCE SHEDS LIGHT ON LOU RAWLS FAMILY FEUD: Source says Nina had nothing but hate for step-daughter

Drama, oh the drama.  Not sure if the voicemail is her or not but if it is. Man is she one angry woman.

A witness who attended the January 13 funeral of singer Lou Rawls spoke to EUR exclusively about the drama between Rawls’ widow Nina Inman, 35, and his middle daughter Louanna (from a previous marriage).

As previously reported, tension between the two came to light via a phone message left by Inman, a former flight attendant, on Louanna Rawls’ answering machine that was played in open court last month in their annulment case.  As reported two weeks ago by Fox 411’s Roger Friedman, the phone message contains hate-filled words toward Louanna and numerous threats to destroy her father financially.

(To hear the phone message, click HERE or HERE. Be warned, it contains highly offensive language.)

Inman invited Louanna to the funeral, but a friend of Rawls tells EUR that Nina refused to allow Louanna to see her father at the funeral home. 

“She said if Louanna wanted to go, she could go with the public like everybody else,” said Rawls’ friend of 40 years, who spoke to EUR’s Lee Bailey on condition of anonymity. 

Inman told Fox’s Friedman that she filed a police complaint against Louanna, claiming she took all of her father’s jewelry, including his wedding ring, Grammys and gold and platinum albums. A close friend of Louanna told Fox’s Freidman that Rawls instructed his road manager to remove those items from his Arizona home in a notarized letter.

“Louanna wasn’t trying to get his money,” Rawls’ friend assures us. “She never wanted for anything. She grew up his daughter, she grew up privileged for Christ sake. At this point now, Louanna wants to get [the money] because she doesn’t want Nina to have it. Actually, Louanna told her father, ‘Give it all to UNCF (United Negro College Fund) if you want to, but ‘don’t let her have it, Daddy, because of what she’s done to you.”

The source says Rawls heard the tape of Nina’s phone message to Louanna, “and that’s when he went, ‘Whoa, wait a minute’ and he wanted out and he realized he’d been chumped [by Nina].”

Three days before Rawls died, Nina brought several lawyers to his hospital room “and had him sign papers retracting everything,” the source says, “but he wasn’t in his right mind. He wasn’t competent to do that. He was under duress.”

Nina Inman met Rawls about five years ago when she was a Continental Airlines flight attendant. In 2003, Rawls was arrested and released on a domestic violence charge. The charges were eventually dropped. They married on New Year’s Day in 2004, right after Rawls was diagnosed with cancer. He filed to get the marriage annulled in 2005. 

Asked why Nina seemed to have such a hold on Rawls, our source said: “She was a 33-year-old gal, he was a 68-year-old man with cancer. You just don’t know what emotionally a man at his age, who may have had issues that none of us ever really realized, was looking for. She could’ve had something on him maybe from when the domestic violence thing happened, a threat maybe that if he didn’t marry her that he was gonna wind up in bad shape. She was like an addiction worse than the most awful cocaine habit.”

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Posted by loni on 01/30 at 10:40 AM
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THIEF ROBS BEENIE MAN IN LONDON: But fans of dancehall star beat down suspect and retrieve stolen go

You don’t wanna mess with Beenie Man fans in Brixton, the black section of London where Bobby Brown was famously shown on his reality show being propositioned by one woman and giving money away to another.

Fans of the dancehall star reportedly came to his aid recently after a mugger tried to take off with his $180,000 watch at the grand opening of Dread Musik Store. According to witnesses quoted in the London Evening Standard newspaper, Beenie’s fans ran after the would-be thief and gave the bloke “a bit of a beating” before grabbing the watch and returning it to the Grammy-winner.

“It was a crazy thing to do but Beenie Man didn’t overreact,” said reggae producer Steve Martin, who owns Dread Musik Store. “He was brilliant about it and didn’t let it spoil his day.”

Police said they were called but Beenie Man chose not to report the crime. Meanwhile, the artist is splitting recording time between Jamaica and Miami for his next album “Undisputed,” due July 18th via Virgin. A new Beenie Man single, “Hmm Hmm,” is due to reach U.S. airwaves in late March. 

Producers on the disc so far include Tony Kelly (Sean Paul, Wayne Wonder), his brother, Dave Kelly and Scott Storch. According to Billboard, Beenie has recorded with Akon and Ivy Queen, but it is unknown if those tracks will appear on the finished album.

Posted by loni on 01/30 at 10:35 AM
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NEWTON…THANDIE NEWTON: Actress reportedly cast as new Bond Girl.

*Looks like 007 has a penchant for the sisters.  According to Britain’s The Sun newspaper, Thandie Newton has been cast as the next Bond girl for the upcoming “Casino Royale.”

Newton follows in the footsteps of Halle Berry, who stepped into the iconic role for 2002’s “Die Another Day.” Newton, according to The Sun, will play sexy spy Vesper Lynd in “Casino Royale” opposite Daniel Craig as the franchise’s first blond James Bond. 

Newton, last seen in the critically-acclaimed film “Crash,” gave an impressive audition, according to Craig, after the part was reportedly turned down by such actresses as Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron. 

Rachel Stirling, the daughter of former Bond girl Diana Rigg, was one of the actresses reportedly in contention for the role, as was Australian actress Rose Bryne - who starred opposite Brad Pitt in ‘Troy,’ and Vera Farmiga.

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Posted by loni on 01/30 at 10:35 AM
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IT’S DRE DAY FOR FLOETRY’S AMBROSIUS: Singer signs solo deal with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath.

Well let’s wait to see how long this goes before there’s no more Floetry.

*Singer Marsha Ambrosius says she wasn’t about to pass up the rare opportunity to sign a solo deal with one of hip hop’s most groundbreaking producers when it practically dropped in her lap.

The moment came one night toward the end of last year when the singer/songwriter was performing at the Roxy in Los Angeles with Natalie Stewart, the other half of her acclaimed singing duo, Floetry. In the audience that night was Dr. Dre, the musical mastermind that pioneered hip hop’s G-Funk era of the 90s.

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Ambrosius met up with Dre later that week, and next thing she knew, she was recording the hook for one of his beats. She tells Billboard that 50 Cent walked into the room and was “nodding his head, saying the track is on fire and maybe he’d get on it.”

The experience led Dre to offer Ambrosius a solo deal on his label, Aftermath. 

“I’m still kind of in a daze about it. It’s all very much a dream,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to do a solo album. However, I didn’t expect this to come when it did. But I’m ready for it.”

Meanwhile, Floetry is preparing to shoot a new video for “Lay Down,” the next single from their 2005 album, “Flo’Ology.”

Posted by loni on 01/30 at 10:32 AM
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MESS PILES UP OVER ISIAH THOMAS’ HARASSMENT LAWSUIT: Threats, lonely teardrops and love child repo

Well it seems when it rains for Isiah, it pours.  Here’s the latest entertainment news!

*Anucha Browne Sanders’ lawsuit claiming she was sexually harassed and unfairly fired by New York Knicks president Isiah Thomas was enough to bring tears to the eyes of the former Detroit Pistons bad boy, death threats to the 43-year-old accuser and old reports of a 1985 paternity suit from a woman outside of his marriage.

The New York Post quotes Thomas’ 17-year-old son Joshua Thomas as saying his father sat alone in his private study and cried after his lawsuit became public last Tuesday (Jan. 24.)

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Joshua, a basketball player who is applying to colleges in Washington D.C., said his father was more hurt than angry at Brown Sanders’ accusations that she was fired as the team’s senior VP for marketing and business operations when she turned down his romantic advances. He said his father “felt used, like a pawn.”

Joshua said that his mother, Lynn Thomas, “laughed off” the woman’s accusations and reassured the kids that their father was not the man Browne Sanders made him out to be in her lawsuit. 

“She told us, ‘Your father is a good man. We’ve been married for 20 years, and no one knows him like I do. I know when he’s telling the truth and I know when he’s lying,’” Joshua told the Post.

He said his mother did not want to make any comments yet, “but she told me I could issue a statement on her behalf,” he said. “She wants to be strong for him and for the family,” he said. “She stands by him 100 percent, as do I and my sister (Lauren, 15).”

Joshua says the family has “no ill feelings” toward Browne Sanders, a former college basketball player and mother of three whom the family knew, but had little contact with, he says. 

“(Isiah) never said anything about Anucha,” Joshua said. “Anucha was never a topic of discussion. They did not interact on a daily basis. She was in marketing, and he dealt with basketball.”

Joshua said his family is coping with the controversy and media glare by “going about our business.”

Meanwhile, business as usual has not been so easy for Browne Sanders, according to friends of the former Knicks exec who tell the Post she is “receiving threats” and is “concerned for her children’s safety.”

Fred Thompson, Browne Sanders’ former track coach, said the woman is “going through a bad way big-time” since filing her lawsuit last week. 

“She’s worried. She’s concerned about her kids. She’s a great mom, and she’s worried about their safety,” said Thompson, who coached her when she ran with the Atom Track Club in high school.”

With Isiah’s name in the news as an accused sexual harasser, the Post dug up an old paternity case from a Bloomfield Hills, Mich. woman who claimed her son, now 19, was fathered by the then Detroit Piston.

Jenni Dones claimed in her December 1985 paternity suit that after an “intimate, exclusive, ongoing relationship,” she and Isiah conceived a love child on May 26, 1985. Marc E.T. Dones was born the following February.

Their hookup reportedly took place two months before Isiah’s July 1985 wedding to Kendall, his college sweetheart.

According to a Michigan Court of Appeals document, Dones and Thomas came to a settlement in 1987 in which Thomas agreed to pay about $52,000 and provide $2,764.78 a month until Marc Dones reached 18, when Marc would get a lump-sum payment of $100,000. 

Then, in 1992, Dones filed a lawsuit charging that the settlement inadequately provided for the support and education of Marc. She also wanted Thomas to acknowledge his paternity of the boy. 

A May 22, 1995, decision by the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the settlement, saying state paternity law unconstitutionally bars a parent or child from reopening such deals. In her victory, Dones was able to get an undisclosed amount of additional support for her son.

Posted by loni on 01/30 at 10:27 AM
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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Doctors say cough syrup not worth cash

Well, here is the news that you don’t want to read.  QUIT spending your hard-earned money on cough syrup.  If you are coughing, it is because your body is trying to rid itself of an irritant.  Stop fighting you rbody.  Your body knows best.  If you really FEEL that you MUST treat a cough, use an antihistamine.  ”Recent studies have suggested that cough syrup — usually containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan and the expectorant guaifenesin — works no better than sugar water.

By BOB LAMENDOLA
South Florida Sun-sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. - Over-the-counter cough syrup, a staple of American medicine cabinets, doesn’t work very well and isn’t worth the money when fighting the common cold, a national doctors group says.

In new guidelines for treating coughs, the American College of Chest Physicians advised dropping cough syrup and instead relying on familiar, low-cost antihistamines against coughs caused by simple upper respiratory tract infections.

“Cough syrups may suppress a cough a little bit. But they don’t treat the underlying cause,” said Dr. Michael Alberts, a Tampa pulmonologist who is president of the physician group.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/3602281.html

“They won’t make you better any faster.”

Another option that some doctors recommend: Just tough it out, because colds typically go away on their own.

Americans buy about $2.9 billion worth of over-the-counter cold medicine and another $400 million of prescription cold medication, a university study found in 2003. About $270 million goes for cough syrup, which generally sells for a few dollars a bottle.

Recent studies have suggested that cough syrup — usually containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan and the expectorant guaifenesin — works no better than sugar water.

A small Pennsylvania study of 100 children in 2004 and a British analysis of adult studies in 2002 reached the same conclusion.

In drafting its new guideline, published in the journal Chest, the physicians group looked at the research and concluded cough syrup can give short-term relief for some people — such as helping them fall asleep — but that’s about all, Alberts said.

The group recommends using older-generation antihistamines that may attack the nasal drip and runny nose that cause many coughs. This includes drugs like Dristan and Tylenol Severe Allergy. Newer, expensive antihistamines do not help a cough, the group said. This includes Allegra, Claritin and Zyrtec.

Posted by SPN on 01/29 at 10:46 AM
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Friday, January 27, 2006

Please read Angry Black Bitch Today - Priceless

Some may be offended by the title of her blog but what she said about Condi Rice is priceless.

“A bitch explained that my ass didn’t embrace a person simply because they are black….there’s a little thing called substance that a bitch looks for in all people. And nothing pisses me off more than assumed acceptance based on race.”

From Angry Black Bitch

Posted by Nuttshell on 01/27 at 03:22 PM
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A future Democrat

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Posted by SPN on 01/27 at 10:49 AM
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The Game (The Boondocks)

Looks like something Uncle would say!

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Posted by loni on 01/27 at 09:57 AM
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Convicted Ex-Cop Who Tortured Abner Louima Seeks Early Release

Heck naw!  Don’t release him early let him stay in there and put him in Gen Pop!  After what he and the other officer did, he shouldn’t be released early I don’t care what type of “bargain” they struck.  They both should be put in Gen Pop! See how they like it!

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NEW YORK (AP) - A former police officer serving a five-year sentence in one of the worst brutality cases in city history—the broomstick torture of a Haitian immigrant in a precinct bathroom—wants a judge to release him early.

Lawyers for Charles Schwarz argue in court papers that their client is owed early release under a sentencing deal struck with prosecutors in 2002.

Schwarz has spent more than three years behind bars, and “has done enough time,” his attorney, Ronald Fischetti, said Wednesday.

The 39-year-old former officer was convicted of lying to authorities about the Abner Louima case, but he avoided conviction on charges of violating Louima’s civil rights. Prosecutors say Schwarz held Louima down while another officer sodomized the handcuffed prisoner with a broken broomstick; Schwarz maintains he wasn’t there.

Prosecutors had agreed in 2002 to seek a 13-month reduction in Schwarz’s sentence if he and his attorneys refrained from discussing the case.

In March, prosecutors contacted the Bureau of Prisons and recommended reducing Schwarz’s sentence from 60 months to 47 months, but prison officials refused, saying the law only allowed them to grant early freedom to prisoners who were terminally ill.

Defense attorneys are now asking the judge to honor the arrangement by voiding her original sentence and re-sentencing Schwarz to 47 months. A hearing in the case is set for Monday, though it isn’t clear if the judge intends to rule on the request then.

The case began on Aug. 9, 1997, when police arrested Louima during a brawl outside a Brooklyn nightclub. Officer Justin Volpe mistakenly believed Louima had punched him, and the officer sought revenge inside a stationhouse bathroom, leaving Louima with severe internal injuries. Volpe is now serving a 30-year sentence.

Schwarz was convicted of perjury for testifying that he was not the second officer in the bathroom.

A call to Louima’s attorney was not immediately returned. But the lawyer has said his client has no position on Schwarz’s request. The city and Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association agreed to pay Louima an $8.75 million settlement in a civil suit.

Posted by loni on 01/27 at 09:45 AM
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Segregation Report Sheds Light on Challenges in Diversifying U.S. Schools

Schools in the Northeast and West continue to be more segregated than those in the South, with California and New York maintaining schools that are the most segregated, according to a recent report from the Harvard University Civil Rights Project.

In California, 87 percent of the non-white students attend schools that are majority minority, and in New York, it’s 86 percent.
Further down the list, Mississippi has 77 percent; Georgia has 73 percent, and Alabama has 70 percent of minority students attending majority minority schools.

“What we show here is that if you are in a highly segregated black or Latino school, chances are you are in a low-income neighborhood,” Gary Orfield, co-author of the report, “Racial Transformation and the Changing Nature of Segregation,” told BlackAmericaWeb.com. “There students tend to get less because their communities don’t have as much political power and the more experienced and credentialed teachers tend to leave.

Also, Orfield said, in those schools, there are fewer advanced courses, less academic challenges and lower graduation rates, “and it’s not because they are not sitting next to white kids.”

Orfield said America’s intensely segregated schools are the result of years of Supreme Court inaction regarding race in schools.

“The Supreme Court that used to be pushing us forward is undermining efforts to desegregate,” Orfield said.

“Anyone who thinks that the Supreme Court does not make a difference should look at the quarter century of decline in the segregation of Southern schools though the late l980s, the continual, year-by-year growth in segregation since the Court authorized ending desegregation plans in 1991, as well as the impact of the Court’s 5-4 decision against city-suburban desegregation in 1974,” he said.

The report also showed:

More than three quarters of intensely segregated schools are also high poverty schools.
Despite an increase in diversity, white students remain the most isolated group.
Since the 1990s, the percentage of students of every race in multiracial groups has increased. Segregation is no longer black and white but increasingly multiracial.
States where the largest shares of students attend multi-racial schools include the three largest states—California, Texas, and Florida—and one state in which the Latino population seems to be exploding—Nevada.
While South and Border regions are resegregating, black students in the South and Border states still have among the highest levels of exposure to white students.
Nationally, Asians are more likely than students of other races to attend multiracial schools. Conversely, white students are the least likely to attend these schools.
California, like many other school systems, made attempts to better mix its majority and minority populations, “but it didn’t work,” retired principal Genethia Hayes, who also served four years on board of the Los Angeles United School District, told BlackAmericaWeb.com.

Los Angeles had to cope with a history that had in place as late as 1958, covenants that restricted people of particular races from living in certain areas, said Hayes. “We have to realize that integration is not what white people say that it is—60 percent white kids in a school and mix of other races,” she said.

Of the 800,000 school students in Los Angeles, only 110,000 are black; others are white, Asian and Latino.

“We need to re-invent the schools to serve the population we have. How do we make sure that when we have African-Americans and Latinos in school together, we are providing curriculum that will help them advance—and also culturally relevant experiences—to meet the needs of both populations?”

When races are isolated in separate schools, it affects the ability of students to function in an integrated society as adults, Orfield said.

“There’s one thing you can’t learn in a segregated school as a minority. You can’t learn to operate in an integrated society,” Orfield said. “The same is true for whites who grow up attending all white schools. When they get around people of other races, they are not comfortable, and they are not really effective.”

“People thought that after Dr. King’s (I Have a Dream) speech and some laws were passed, that we had won the battle,” he said. “But this is a battle that has to be won in every generation. There will be some breakthroughs, but there will also be some resistance and pushing back before we move forward.”

Orfield points to public schools in Louisville, Kentucky, and Raleigh, N.C. as examples of how school systems can find creative ways of improving and maintaining diversity. “No place is perfect,” he said, “but these two areas have done a good job.”

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund continues to monitor school desegregation, said Victor Bolden, general counsel. The climate in the courts presents more challenges for addressing the issues, Bolden told BlackAmericaWeb.com.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, a nationally known columnist and author, puts it like this: “The bitter truth is that 50 years after the Brown decision, segregated public schools—while no longer the law of the land—are the fact of the land.”

Hutchinson said that minorities excelled before court-mandated desegregation and can do the same in public schools today.

“Though racial segregation in schools has worsened, many black and Latino students in these schools have shown they can learn, master standard English and math and score high on performance tests if provided adequate resources and support,” Hutchinson told BlackAmericaWeb.com. “Fifty years after Brown, racially separate schools are still a fact of life for many students, but they don’t have to be unequal.”

Posted by loni on 01/27 at 09:42 AM
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Jay-Z Says Cam’ron Is Looking for Attention

Good for Jay Z, don’t pay attention to the drama being spouted off by Cam’ron

Def Jam president Jay-Z has finally responded to the out-of-the-blue attacks thrown his way from rapper Cam’ron, who was signed to his Roc-A-Fella label in 2002. 

“My thing is, it’s such an obvious ploy for attention and to get people to talk about it and for [Cam to] sell albums,” Jay told MTV Tuesday, adding he has never had a beef with Cam that he knew of, but admitted that the two never really bonded when Cam was on Roc-A-Fella.

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As previously reported, Cam disses Jay in his new underground track “You Got It” and was scheduled to hold a press conference Wednesday to discuss the origin of the beef, among other things. In a cover story for the March issue of XXL magazine, Cam says his problems with Hov arose after Jay-Z discovered plans to appoint him as the president of Roc-A-Fella. Cam left the label in 2004 and is currently working on his new album “Killa Season,” due out later this year.

When asked if he would give Cam what he wants – a response on wax – Jigga told MTV: “I’m torn. I feel like I would be stupid to even pay that any attention, because it’s such a ploy. ... N****s is holding press conferences behind [the dis record]. The MC in me is like, ‘That’s too easy [to come back at him.]’ That’s not even a good dis record. That sh** is trash. I’m torn. We’ll see what happens. Maybe on my time we’ll deal with it, but I’m not really pressed. I’m inspired by good artistic sh**. Cam’s sh** is not artistic. There’s nothing good about it. Everything about it is an obvious ploy to get attention. Nobody wants to get used. You’re just using me. Of course he had to go that far.”

Posted by loni on 01/27 at 09:36 AM
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Thursday, January 26, 2006

‘Boondocks’ King Episode Prompts Protest Threats from Rev. Al Sharpton

Al Sharpton has nothing better to do.  I think Aaron McGruder had that one pegged correctly.  Because if Martin Luther King was alive today he would be appalled at some of the things “his” people are doing.  I didn’t view this as defamation at all. There are some ignorant people out there, no matter the race, religion, etc.
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Boondocks” creator Aaron McGruder is in the midst of another controversy, this one over a Martin Luther King Day episode of the animated version of his hit syndicated comic strip in which the celebrated civil rights leader comes back to life and utters the N-word.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, said McGruder and the Cartoon Network, which aired the episode, desecrated King’s name, and threatened to launch a protest at the network’s corporate headquarters unless there is an apology and a promise not to air the show again.

While I can appreciate Mr. McGruder and his achievements, this particular episode is over the line,” Sharpton said in a statement. “If we don’t receive an apology, we will picket the corporate headquarters.”
In the episode, entitled “The Return of the King,” McGruder depicts the civil rights leader emerging from a coma after 32 years to deal with post 9/11 America in which he quickly becomes “a despised terrorist sympathizer.”

A disillusioned King, a voting rights champion, awakens just before Election Day 2000—when George Bush narrowly defeated Al Gore in a controversial election that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court—and is turned away from a polling place because of “voting irregularities.”

In one scene, Dr. King says, “Will you ignorant n***as please shut the hell up?!”

The episode aired on Cartoon Network Sunday, Jan. 15, King’s birthday, a day before the national holiday in his honor.

“This episode in no way was meant to offend or ‘desecrate’ the name of Dr. King,” the network said in a statement. “We think Aaron McGruder came up with a thought-provoking way of not only showing Dr. King’s bravery, but also of reminding us of what he stood and fought for, and why, even today, it is important for all of us to remember that and to continue to take action.”

McGruder could not be reached for comment.

“The Boondocks” is based on McGruder’s successful comic strip about an eccentric suburban grandfather who becomes the legal guardian of his two grandsons and moves them from Chicago’s South Side to live with him.

McGruder’s groundbreaking strip—which is syndicated in more than 250 newspapers—has drawn fire over the years for its edginess.

In 2003, the Washington Post decided against running a strip that suggested Condoleezza Rice’s single status may be contributing to the continuation of the War on Terrorism.

“Maybe if there was a man in the world who Condoleezza truly loved, she wouldn’t be so hell-bent to destroy it,” a character says.

The following year, a bunch of newspapers dropped the strip for a week when McGruder depicted a fictional Apprentice-like “reality” TV show called, “Can a N***a Get a Job?” hosted by rap music mogul Russell Simmons.

The comic strip has also mocked Whitney Houston’s drug problem, Martha Stewart’s criminal charges and BET’s oversaturation of rap videos.

The TV version made its debut in November, and has been widely criticized for its incessant use of the N-word. “The Boondocks” was all set to make a few jokes about Rosa Parks in an episode last year, but cut the references after the civil rights icon died.

But on the subject of King, there was no change of heart, prompting Sharpton to protest that McGruder and the network have gone too far. Sharpton said the Cartoon Network’s statement is not an apology, and is planning on “moving forward.”

“It’s way over the line to do this to Dr. King,” Sharpton said in an interview. “I don’t think they would have let him do that to an icon in another community. Why should we allow people to be so fast and careless with people in our community?”

“They wouldn’t defame Lech Walesa,” Sharpton said of the network. “They wouldn’t defame Golda Meir. They shouldn’t defame Dr. King.”

Posted by loni on 01/26 at 09:46 AM
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