I have been looking for words to sum up this week’s political posturing and all I can come up with is… ‘a damn mess’.
Do you remember when First Lady Michelle Obama said that she was “proud of her country for the first time”, on the 2008 campaign trail? Well, if that was one of her proudest moments this week’s action by more than 20 Republican governors was my darkest.
Never in my lifetime did I think I would see politicians create solidarity around hatred in such a public way and with such unabashed support. From Donald Trump’s call to shutdown Mosques to the creation of a “religion test” at our borders—I ran fresh out of “I can’ts”. I shook my head so much I thought I was going to give myself a concussion. A religion test in America—did I fall asleep and wake up in 1939?
From Kenya to Beirut to Paris and everywhere in between, the world is in a sad state of affairs. Not only are so-called Islamist terrorist trying to strike fear into the hearts of millions but we also have conservative politicians who are feeding right into their hate-filled hands.
What we all need to remember is that, “darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that”. These words, spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. decades ago still ring true today. There is nothing that feeds hatred more than fear.
As global citizens we need to push past the desire to resort to our worst selves and look towards the light—that is where liberty for all lies.
Pop Off of the Week: President Barack Obama vs. The Haters.
We’ve had suspicions for quite some time that President Obama was finished playing nice with his vehement opposition on the conservative right. He tried beer summits, dinner parties and other niceties and now as he is closing in on his final year he is officially DONE.
At the G20 conference the president was peppered with questions about America’s response to ISIS and his critics—and the president responded in the best way possible.
And because sometimes the Internet can be the BEST place in the universe, check out the remix!
Poliwood Round-Up: Trending Topics in the #BlackTwitterverse This Week
Trend of the Week: #TayeDiggs
The Broadway star found himself trending this week and it wasn’t for his stellar Hedwig performance. In an interview promoting his latest children’s book: Mixed Me about his son Walker, Diggs had this to say: “I don’t want my son to be in a situation where he calls himself black and everyone thinks he has a black mom and a black dad, and then they see a white mother, they wonder, ‘Oh, what’s going on?’”
What’s going on? Well, let’s let the tweets speak for themselves.
THREE: The Politics of HIV/AIDS
Notorious Hollywood “bad boy” Charlie Sheen made an announcement on the Today Show this week—he shared that he was HIV positive.
Sheen has been a steadfast fixture on the Hollywood scene for decades. Is there anyone that can forget his #winning 2011 public breakdown? While many have hailed the star a “hero” for being open about his status others have instead questioned his motivation for going public now after years of keeping his health private.
It was alleged that the National Enquirer was going public with a story about Sheen and how he used hush money to keep women quiet who found out after sexual relations that they were positive. Whether it was a PR stunt or way to stay out of jail I for one think it’s time for Sheen to live a more private and thoughtful life outside of the spotlight.
TWO: Terrorism and Black Lives
After the heinous attacks in Paris it seemed the Earth stood still with everyone showing an outpouring of love for the city of lights. While the solidarity is breathtaking once can’t help but wonder how far our global compassion goes?
Just this week Nigeria faced another wave of terrorism, leaving at least 49 people dead and many more injured, yet there was little more than a peep from cable news or social media. In the same week that Paris was attacked so was the city of Beirut yet Facebook offer users the option to use the French flag as a filter for solidarity. Lastly, Islamist extremists took more than 130 hostages in the Radisson Blu in Mali.
Why don’t black and brown lives garner the same attention as Europeans or white Americans? We all mourn in our own way—I just wish it wasn’t so selective.
ONE: Religion Tests
We’ve seen a lot of foolishness as it pertains to the Republican presidential candidates. We’ve seen name-calling, yelling, sweating and outright disrespect for the American people and the democratic process.
Yet, I never expected to hear that Republicans running for president would stoop so low as to propose that Syrian refugees and have to take a “religion test” so that we only accepted Christians. I’m not sure when America became a Theocracy but we banned religion tests around the same time we banned literacy tests at the polls and hung signs in shop windows that read: Jews Need Not Apply.
I’m not sure which country these Republican men are running to lead—but this vitriol may fly with their “base” but it’s not going to be the same nationwide. Our Statue of Liberty says a lot of things but religion test isn’t one of them.