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BLKWRAP: Reality vs. Reality TV

by Danielle Moodie-Mills /
Neal Blair, of Augusta, Ga., wears a hoodie which reads, "Black Lives Matter" as stands on the lawn of the Capitol building during a rally to mark the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, on Capitol Hill, on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, in Washington. Black men from around the nation returned to the capital calling for changes in policing and in black communities.Evan Vucci / AP

At the height of the Baltimore Uprising cable news stations were falling over themselves to cover a CVS building that was set ablaze. The burning CVS was the evidence the media needed to paint those protesting the death of Freddie Gray as “troublemakers” and “thugs”.

 Baltimore Police form a parimeter around a CVS pharmacy that was looted and burned near the corner of Pennsylvania and North avenues during violent protests following the funeral of Freddie Gray April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, who was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Yet, when there are tens of thousands of black people coming together for peace and a sense of solidarity as they did over the weekend marking the 20th anniversary of the “Million Man March”, it barely made the news.

 Participants assemble at the National Mall during a rally to mark the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March in Washington on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. Black men from around the nation returned to the capital calling for changes in policing and in black communities. Evan Vucci / AP

What happens when our news starts to look more like Reality TV and less like reality?

Pop Off of the Week: Banking While Black

Police accosted 18-year old Jason Goolsby, and his two friends on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Monday because a white woman said she “felt uncomfortable” by their presence outside of a bank.

Goolsby told the Washington Post that he and his friends were standing outside a Citibank on Monday when two police cars came racing towards them. The college freshman ran because he was scared and the rest of the incident was caught on camera.

The police would later say that they got a call saying that the kid’s presence made a white woman uncomfortable. So, making someone uncomfortable is enough to warrant being thrown to the ground and handcuffed?

 Jason Goolsby on Oct. 13, 2015 at Howard University. The 18-year-old from Washington was handcuffed by the police on Oct. 12. Sarah L. Voisin / The Washington Post via Getty Images

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

Trend of the Week: #LamarOdom

It has been no secret that former NBA Champion Lamar Odom has been suffering from addiction and depression. This week however his story took a tragic turn. Odom was found at a Nevada brothel unresponsive and unconscious. A 911 call was released on Thursday, which revealed the caller stating that they had seen Odom use cocaine earlier that day.

While Khloe Kardashian and Odom signed divorce papers in July, a judge has not signed the documents—making Khloe his next of kin and medical proxy. She along with other friends has flown to Vegas to be by the athlete’s side. There are reports stating that Odom is currently on life support.

THREE: “Damn Emails”

While there were no insults being hurled there was a lot to see at the first Democratic debate, which boasted 15 million viewers this week.

Senator Bernie Sanders whose become known for his blunt style chimed in when moderator Anderson Cooper asked about former Secretary of State’s email scandal. “Enough with damn emails—no one cares”, he said. His response prompted a laugh from the audience and a handshake from HRC herself.

Aside from Jim Webb complaining about his lack of time and Lincoln Chaffee deflecting a bad vote, it was Hillary who left the debate looking more presidential than ever.

 Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (L) and Hillary Clinton take part in a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five Democratic presidential candidates are participating in the party's first presidential debate. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

TWO: Family Issues

Ebony magazine makes a bold move with their November cover. For the magazine’s family issue(s) they put a shattered picture of the Cosby Show family on the cover with the title Cliff vs. Cosby.

Since Bill Cosby’s sexual assault scandal erupted and the Cosby show was removed from Nick at Nite, many have had to reconcile their perfect image of America’s sitcom family with the awful reality of Bill Cosby’s abuse. Ebony’s latest issue is certain to open some eyes and ruffle some feathers.

 November 2015 cover of Ebony magazine. Ebony

ONE: Debating Black Lives

Viewers saw a different kind of debate this week when Democrats had their turn. During the CNN debate a question was posed to candidates from a Facebook user: “Do Black lives matter or do all lives matter?”

This is the question that has dominated protests and cable news for months now—although it did not make it into the Republican’s two debates. Senator Bernie Sanders unequivocally stated that “Black Lives Matter”. Secretary Clinton didn’t directly respond to the question but opted instead to discuss the criminal justice system and early childhood education.

This was the first but surely won’t be the last time that presidential candidates are asked about their thoughts on America’s racial climate. Next time, the question needs to be more direct—allowing everyone to set the record straight—once and for all.

 Neal Blair, of Augusta, Ga., wears a hoodie which reads, "Black Lives Matter" as stands on the lawn of the Capitol building during a rally to mark the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, on Capitol Hill, on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, in Washington. Black men from around the nation returned to the capital calling for changes in policing and in black communities. Evan Vucci / AP