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BLKWRAP: Gravy, Gratitude and Goodness

It's Friday so that means it's time for your weekly roundup of pop culture, policy and pop-offs.
Giada de Laurentiis's recipe for no-carve turkey porchetta
Giada de Laurentiis's recipe for no-carve turkey porchetta. Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

As we gather with family to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday the irony is not lost on me that at this very moment we are literally denying refugees a seat at the table.

There is no doubt that hyper consumerism has dominated the holidays for as long I can remember. Now, sadly just as many people use “American security” as a reason to justify racism and xenophobia.

Politicians are contorting America’s core values; which are brandished on the Statue of Liberty. The symbol of freedom gifted to us by France—the very country who weeks ago, faced terror and even still opened their arms even wider to those fleeing violence.

In their time of grieving, France reminds us that courage isn’t just a word it’s an action.

Statue of Liberty in New York City a major tourist landmark
Roberto Machado Noa / LightRocket via Getty Images

Pop Off of the Week

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings vs. Anti-Refugee Politicians: “I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up, but we don’t isolate young white men on this issue,” Rawlings said.

Poliwood Round-Up: Trending Topics in the #BlackTwitterverse This Week

Trend of the Week: #ThanksgivingWithBlackFamilies: I don’t know about you but I need to start the season with a giggle. This hashtag speaks for itself and will have you reaching for the tissues and an inhaler!

THREE: Rocky Revival

Rocky in all it’s iteration ranks high on the American courage meter. This year, fans of the heroic Rocky series; which made Sylvester Stallone a bonafide Hollywood star returns to the silver screen with the reboot, Creed.

Michael B. Jordan, of Fruitvale Station and Fantastic Four stardom reimagines the role of the boxer underdog—trying desperately to become his own man in the shadow of his father, boxing great, Apollo Creed (Rocky IV). Countless reviews have said that this is the film Rocky fans have been waiting for. You be the judge!

TWO: Homegrown Terrorism

What’s going on? That was the song that Marvin Gaye sang and a question too many of us are asking decades later. CBS local in Minneapolis reported, “On Monday, five protesters were wounded in a shooting near the 4th Precinct police station on the north side of Minneapolis. Witnesses said the gunmen were white supremacists targeting those demonstrating in the aftermath of the death of Jamar Clark – who was shot and killed by a local police officer during a struggle”.

This week also found video release showing the killing of a 16-year-old black boy, Laquan McDonald by Chicago police. Everywhere we look resistence to the status quo of criminalization and brutality is being tested—yet protestors both on and offline stay vigilant reminding us that the opposite of peace is NOT violence—its’ resistance.

Image: Protests Erupt In Chicago After Video Of Police Shooting Of Teen Is Released
Demonstrators block traffic on the Michigan Avenue bridge on Nov. 25, 2015 in Chicago. Small and mostly peaceful protests have sprouted up around the city following Tuesday's release of a video showing Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting and killing Laquan McDonald.Scott Olson / Getty Images

ONE: The OG Refugee

Picture it—New Americas 1621—refugees fleeing religious persecution for their puritanical ways land on Plymouth Rock. Instead of being chased away by Native Americans because well, the pilgrims who would bring disease (small pox), violence (trail of tears) and more—the Native Americans opened their borders believing in the good of humanity.

Where would we all be today if they had turned their back and looked the other way? So, why then on the eve of our holiday season does it feel that some Americans are suffering from a case of amnesia? Before you bow your head to cut coupons give thanks this season—think about whom needs your warm embrace the most.