IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

BLKWRAP: Post-Traumatic Blackness Disorder

It's time for BLKWRAP, your week in politics, pop culture and policy.
sandra bland

We Still Can’t Breathe… Today marks the one year anniversary of Eric Garner’s death at the hands of the Staten Island police. And earlier this week the family of Eric Garner, who was choked to death by police after being accosted for selling loose cigarettes, was awarded $5.9 million for his death.

In response to the ruling a friend of mine asked, “Is that the going price for a black life these days?” My response, is that the price of white absolution?

Everyone can stop “feeling so bad” now that the families’ grief was paid off. There is not enough money in the world that could ease the grief this family will face for the rest of their lives, yet, at least in some small way, just maybe can feel a small ping of justice. I’m not a hundred percent sure how much more the rest of us can take before we all collectively lose our minds.

Eric Garner's stepfather, Benjamin Carr, mother Gwen Carr and his widow Esaw Garner (R) attend an interfaith prayer service at Mount Sinai United Christian Church to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of Eric Garner on July 14, 2015 in New York City. Garner's family has settled for a $5.9 million wrongful death case with the city.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Pop Off of the Week: Amandla Stenberg vs. Kylie Jenner

This week in cultural appropriation, the well-manufactured mini-Kim K, Kylie Jenner, posted a picture of herself in cornrows on Instagram.

She is just the latest in a trail of white women who have co-opted black women’s styles and been praised for “inventing something new” and being “edgy,” while we are lamented for the same thing.

Well, Hunger Games actress and all-around rock star, Amandla Stenberg, who created the viral video Don’t Cash Crop my Cornrows for a class project, is having none of it. In the comment section of Kylie’s post Amandla wrote this:

When u appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards ur wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter

Once again Amandla wins truth slayer of the week!

Amandla Stenberg arrives at the Women in Film 2015 Crystal And Lucy Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)Richard Shotwell / AP

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

Trend of the Week: #WhatHappenedtoSandraBland

Sandra Bland was taking a road trip to her new job at her alma mater in Texas when she was pulled over for a traffic stop. She was thrown in jail for allegedly assaulting an officer during the routine stop, and three days later was found hanging in her jail cell. Authorities are claiming “suicide” and they may be the only ones who believe that. How does a 28-year old black woman on her way to start a new life with a new job get stopped for a traffic violation and end up hanging in her cell? We need answers.


In response to Sandra's mysterious death, a most heartbreaking hashtag has emerged. #IfIDieinPoliceCustody. Yep, let that sink in. Many took to Twitter in solidarity and to literally consider the concept and inform others about action plans for friends and family. According to Vocativ it was shared about 2,000 times by Friday morning.

THREE: Whoopi’s Last Stand

Jon Oliver brilliantly took on Whoopi Goldberg’s contrarian stance on The View that has her defending everyone from Chris Brown to Roman Polankski. The Last Week Tonight host put together a little highlight reel of all her foolishness. Even after Bill Cosby’s deposition was made public and he explains in his own words how he drugged and assaulted women, Whoopi to the shock of many, still said she was on his side. Really??? Once again it took the glaring blaze of the spotlight to make her finally change her mind… or maybe it was Oliver’s video.

TWO: Baby Mama Drama?

Needless to say that after a domestic violence call was made to home of WNBA player Brittney Griner and then-fiancée-now-ex-wife Glory Johnson, many were wondering why the two would go through with a wedding, let alone a pregnancy. Well, now the pair is split with Glory welcoming not only twins but asking for $20K in child support a month in spousal support. While Griner has wanted the marriage annulled based on “fraud,” one thing is for sure—same sex marriage equality brings all the celebration and responsibility of building a family—namely child support. Wonder if jumping the broom looks appealing for the embattled pair now?

FILE - MAY 15, 2015: According to reports, the WNBA has suspended Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson seven games after being arrested for domestic violence on April 22nd. PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 19: Western Conference All-Star Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury walks down court during the WNBA All-Star Game at US Airways Center on July 19, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. The East defeated the West 125-124 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Christian Petersen / Getty Images

ONE: President Obama’s Second Chance:

This week President Obama pardoned 46 inmates charged with non-violent drug offenses. The President said that in many of these cases the punishment didn’t fit the crime. Many have voiced their frustration over his Administration’s stance on mandatory minimums, so this change of pace comes as a welcome surprise.

“These men and women were not violent criminals ... their punishments didn’t fit the crime” the President said in a video posted Monday that showed him signing the commutations. “I believe that America, at its heart, is a nation of second chances, and I believe these folks deserve their second chance.”

President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 13, 2015. President Barack Obama is cutting the prison sentences of 46 convicts as part of a broader effort to make the criminal justice fairer and ease the punishment of those serving more time than their crimes warranted. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)Evan Vucci / AP