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Regina King makes history At Venice Film Festival

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“Watchmen” star and Oscar-winner Regina King’s feature film directorial debut, “One Night in Miami,” premiered at the Venice Film Festival, making it the first movie directed by an African American woman to be selected in the festival’s history.

 

Regina King has won three Emmys for playing three different characters, and now she’s up for a fourth for the greatest role of her career, Angela Abar, the Tulsa police detective known as Sister Night in HBO’s “Watchmen.” As “Watchmen” scored a leading 26 nominations and King plays the show’s swaggering protagonist, a role that asks her to shuttle between lover, mother, friend and imposing foe, it’s not a stretch to think she’s going to make room on her mantel for another trophy.

Right now, that’s far from her mind. It’s Sunday morning, the coffee’s brewing and Earl, her German shepherd-Akita puppy, is barking, wanting to go outside. King is putting the finishing touches on her feature film directorial debut, “One Night in Miami,” a fly-on-the-wall, fictional depiction of a real event — the night Cassius Clay, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown met in a motel room after Clay (shortly before he took the name Muhammad Ali) beat Sonny Liston for the heavyweight boxing title. The movie will premiere next month at the Venice Film Festival.

“We felt like we had to get this movie done and out there because we’re in a moment where people might be open to what it has to say,” King says. “We’re having deeper conversations about race right now and I’d like to see those conversations move toward actionable things. Maybe this movie might help move the needle in that direction.”

I did not have anyone in mind. And you’re right, I normally do. I think [“Watchmen” creator] Damon [Lindelof] gave me a gift telling me I did not have to read the comic book. That allowed me to tap into all those things I think are just wonderful about being a Black woman. I know I’m going to get a lot of backlash for this, but that term “Black Girl Magic” … it’s not my favorite thing that people use to describe the accomplishments and wonderful things that Black women do. Because it’s not magic. It’s actually work! It’s carrying the load. And that load is heavy.

With Angela, I asked: What is she doing to make sure she’s being loved on? And what is she not doing? She has created this little protective bubble that is always in jeopardy of being burst. A lot of people can relate to that, but it’s specifically the experience of a Black woman.

The history of what Black women have done: birthing children that they never got a chance to mother or could never show in public that they were their mother. Clean the toilets and cook for the people that raped them and took them away from family, but still managing a smile and loving on that child that was a product of rape. That’s not magic. That’s remarkable. But a lot of pain is inherited and carried. Obviously, I’m thinking this through as I’m talking to you, but I guess the blueprint that was the inspiration for Angela was probably every Black woman that ever was. [Laughs] You know what I mean? We go on a journey.

You’ve also told me that you always put a little of yourself into every character, and I was going to ask about that with Angela, but I think you just answered that question!

When I say every Black woman that ever was [laughs], it definitely includes me. But also, more specifically, just being very private is definitely something that’s in Angela that is so me. Sure, I have a circle that I confide in. But I’ve been lucky enough to have been in the business for 30 years and feel like I’m relatable to people, but I haven’t had to give up too much of my personal life. That gives me a sense of security and safety, a place where I can just be that has allowed me to enjoy my journey as an artist and still feel like I can do regular stuff.

Every now and then, I’ll run into somebody who just cannot believe that I’m in Costco. Or can’t believe they see me in the 99 Cents Store. I like to pick out my own s—. I don’t like somebody else to do it for me. I’m a bit of a control enthusiast. If you come back from the 99 Cents Store with medium or hard toothbrushes and not soft, I’m like, “I should have just went myself.” Or I feel like if I’m giving directions sometimes, I’ll get specific — I am that person — and I’m thinking, “I see what your face is doing, so I’ll just do it myself.” [laughs]

I mean, you were born to be a director. But when did it settle in your mind that you could be a director?

It was once “Southlandcame along and [producers] John Wells and Chris Chulack put me in the space of being a collaborator. It took me to have that experience where I wasn’t just an actor for hire to go, “Oh, my God. This is what it’s all about.” From that point on, if I didn’t have good chemistry with the creator, I wouldn’t do it.

And like you say, sometimes you feel like you need permission. It was John Wells, Chris Chulack, Paris Barclay and John Singleton — ironic that it’s all men — who gave me that vote of confidence. It was life-changing. It allowed me to say out loud, “I want to be a director” — and not just to my sister. [laughs]

Photo : LATIMES

Mentioning your sister reminds me that you and she had wanted to make something about the Tulsa race massacre for, what, eight years now? What was it like to open up the “Watchmen” script and there it was in the opening scene?

You know how you can be reading or watching something and your heart starts beating fast? With this, I get to Page 3 and I closed the script really quick. “Is Damon really about to dig into Black Wall Street? Whoa.” I just stood up and looked at the script and then sat down, started reading again and thought, “Oh. Not only is this the entry point, he’s doing it in a way that is going to bring people in who would immediately decide not to watch if they knew it was going to open that way. But because they’re all ready to watch “Watchmen,” they’re like, “What the f— is going on?” and start Googling while that episode is on.

Is that your hope with “One Night in Miami? Because it’s going to be an entry point for some people in learning about these men.

It’s a love letter to the Black man’s experience in America. They’re unique. I mean, they’re deities. But here, they’re just talking about their fears and concerns and being vulnerable and honest. And unfortunately the conversations they’re having in 1964 are the same conversations that men like them, Black men period, are having right now. So it serves as a reminder: We may not have been alive then, but this has been going on since Africans were ripped from their country, ripped from their families and brought here, basically, to build this country.

PHOTO : LATIMES

Malcolm X and Sam Cooke were killed within a year of when the story takes place. Does death — and the fear of violence perpetrated against Black men — hang in the air in the film?

I feel like I don’t want to say. I don’t want to give it away. But you know, we started this movie in January and when the COVID hit us, we felt like, “All right. Maybe we won’t push to try to finish.” Then George Floyd and Breonna [Taylor] happened and just all the other people who have been killed and the calling the cops on Black people, and we decided we had to get this done right now because we’re in a space where white people are saying, “Yeah, I would hear Black people cry out, but I would never hear it.”

What do you think changed?

There was something about that police officer [kneeling on George Floyd] looking into the camera, like, “I don’t give a f—” that struck something in people that aren’t Black, hearts that never were touched before because all the videos that were out before, you never got to see that. Whereas, just being Black in America, we’ve looked that in the eyes at some point in our lives. Some of us, several times in our lives. So we knew that. But people who had never seen that before, who never had a Black friend in their lives who could articulate it in the way you saw it in that man’s eyes, it cracked something open and made them realize, “OK, yes. My circumstances are quite different than yours, and I’m willing to say that out loud now.”
Have all these things changed you in the past several months? I mean, it’s been a bit of a year.

Look, I’ll be honest and take ownership about how I’ve been guilty of not saying something. A couple of times, I’ve had a white friend, a dear friend of mine, say something, and I think, “Ooooh. If you understood the Black experience you wouldn’t say that.” But I just didn’t want to have the conversation.

So what this recent moment did for me — while I’ve been very much aware of the relationship between Black people and police all my life and have shed so many tears in the past five, six years of murders that have been caught on camera — this moment for me was, “No. It’s my responsibility as well to call my friend out on something she’s saying that she doesn’t realize was offensive or naive.”

And a moment did come up, since George Floyd, and it was a very emotional moment for both of us. It got a little heated, but it was a teaching moment for both of us that we will take and spread. I just say that to say we have a lot more to do than just have conversations. They need to be uncomfortable conversations with the people we never would have had conversations with.

Is your son [Ian, 24] still living with you? During all this quarantine, being a parent to an adult child — and I’m speaking from experience — can be challenging in terms of mask-policing and “Who are you seeing and are they wearing a mask?” and all that stuff.

He is, and he’s not really going out — just once after a hike with friends when they were starving. We are at the point now, “Yeah, Mom, about time for me to move out, you know.” I get it. It’s good. But with this whole pandemic, I’m glad he hadn’t moved out before. We have been spending so much time together these past six months, and it’s been a confirmation that I really like the human being my son has become.

Last time we talked, you said you felt lucky to have a grown-up child you actually like to spend time with.

I may have thought that because I wasn’t seeing him all the time! [Laughs] Now, it’s confirmed! I really do! That wasn’t a false idea. He just makes everything better.

Article From :     Los Angeles Times

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Kim Kardashian Is Speaking Out About Husband Kanye West’s Health

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Kim Kardashian is speaking out about husband Kanye West‘s health.

The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star released a statement on social media on Wednesday, July 22, following another series of tweets from the Grammy winner. “As many of you know, Kanye has bi-polar [sic] disorder. Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand,” Kim began. “I’ve never spoken publicly about how this has affected us at home because I am very protective of our children and Kanye’s right to privacy when it comes to his health. But today, I feel like I should comment on it because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health.”

The mom of four continued, “Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behavior know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor. People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try.”

Kim wrote that she “understands” her husband is “subject to criticism because he is a public figure and his actions at times can cause strong opinions and emotions.” However, she noted that, “He is a brilliant but complicated person who on top of the pressures of being an artist and a black man, who experienced the painful loss of his mother, has to deal with the pressure and isolation that is heightened by his bi-polar disorder. Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words some times do not align with his intentions.”

 

The 39-year-old star went on to address Kanye’s talents. “Living with bi-polar disorder does not diminish or invalidate his dreams and his creative ideas, no matter how big or unobtainable they may feel to some,” she said. “That is part of his genius and as we have all witnessed, many of his big dreams have come true.”

She then called for understanding and privacy. “We as a society talk about giving grace to the issue of mental health as a whole, however we should also give it to the individuals who are living with it in times when they need it the most,” Kim concluded her note. “I kindly ask that the media and public give us the compassion and empathy that is needed so that we can get through this. Thank you for those who have expressed concern for Kanye’s well being and for your understanding.”

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Kanye took to social media to post various messages involving his wife and mother-in-law Kris Jenner. In one of his since-deleted tweets, Kanye claimed, “They tried to fly in with 2 doctors to 51/50 me,” referencing the Welfare and Institutions Code when an adult can be placed on an involuntary hold for three days.

Kanye, 43, went on to talk about his relationship with Kim, stating, “I been trying to get divorced since Kim met with Meek at the Warldolf [sic] for ‘prison reform.'” The “Stronger” rapper seemed to be referring to a Nov. 2018 criminal justice summit that was attended by his wife and Meek Mill at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

“Meek is my man and was respectful. That’s my dog,” Kanye went on to write. “Kim was out of line.”

 

Kanye also went on to claim that Kris and Kim “put out a statement without my approval.”

“That’s not what a wife should do,” he tweeted. “White supremacy.”

E! News has reached out to reps for Kanye and Kim, but have not heard back.

While several of Kanye’s tweets have since been deleted, a few posts remain that reference his upcoming album, Donda, and his presidential run. “Says the future president,” his most recent tweet reads.

After Kanye—who is currently at the family’s home in Wyoming—made headlines on Monday for an earlier Twitter spree, a source told E! News that Kim has been privately trying to help her husband but “he won’t listen.”

“She has been trying for weeks and it’s gone nowhere and he has ignored her. It’s very upsetting that he hasn’t taken his mental health seriously,” the insider told E! News. “She has told him he must come back to Los Angeles and get help and he still isn’t listening.”

The source also added, “[Kim’s] worried and concerned. She has always tried to be supportive, but she doesn’t want to listen to the ranting that goes nowhere and hurts so many.”

 

“What I want to say about the bipolar thing is because it has the word ‘bi’ in it, it has the idea of, like, split personality. Well, that works for me because I’m a Gemini, but when you ramp up, it expresses your personality more,” Kanye said in 2019. “You can become almost more adolescent in your expression or border into places. This is my specific experience that I’ve had over the past two years, because I’ve only been diagnosed for two years now.”

 

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5 Makeup Ingredients to Avoid if You Have Dry Skin

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According to dermatologists   you should avoid these ingredients in your makeup if you have dry skin.

Alcohol

This ingredient may appear in your products in a few different forms according to Rhonda Klein, M.D., MPH, FAAD, a dermatologist at Modern Dermatology. “SD Alcohol, Denatured Alcohol, or Isopropyl Alcohol, are all terms to look out for—the commonality in each of them is they’re drying to the skin,” she says. “You’ll often find it on a makeup label that also touts benefits like ‘quick-drying or matte finish,” Klein adds. What’s more, alcohol is a common trigger of eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.” Shari Sperling, M.D.

, a dermatologist at Sperling Dermatology agrees, calling alcohol “drying and irritating.”

Fragrances

While synthetic and natural fragrances are often added to products to make them smell nice, they can be damaging if you have sensitive or dry skin, because your skin considers them an irritant. Sperling, Robinson, and Klein each recommend staying away from products that have added fragrances no matter your skin type. “Fragrances are a common skin irritant and can irritate dry skin and spur breakouts of eczema,” Klein explains.

Parabens

Parabens are mentioned a lot in the “clean” and “natural” beauty conversation, but seldom is the word actually defined for us. So, what are they? Simply put: They’re preservatives and synthetic ingredients added to products that are meant to lengthen their shelf life. Chances are, you come into contact with parabens daily—and according to Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, M.D., the founder of Mudgil Dermatology, they might be irritating to dry skin simply because, “Those with dry skin are more prone to irritation and allergy.” While this doesn’t mean you have to change your swap out your skincare routine for only natural products, a cleaner line-up is worth considering. Plus, some parabens are actually banned in the EU, so, there’s that.

Glycolic Acid

Mudgil also recommends staying away from glycolic acid, which is a chemical exfoliant generally used to reduce and clear blackheads and clogged pores. While it’s important to keep dead skin cells at bay, if you have dry skin, you don’t need glycolic acid in your makeup formulas.

Salicylic Acid

This ingredient is generally found in skincare products marketed to those with oily and acne-prone skin. Both Mudgil and Robinson recommend staying away from salicylic acid in makeup if you have dry skin because it may ultimately lead to even more dryness. “Salicylic acid can be drying and is often used in fighting oily skin conditions like acne,” Robinson explains.

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What are Fulani braids?

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Fulani Braids are essentially braids with beads, but the braid patterns used are inspired by the Fulani people–a primarily Muslim, traditionally pastoral ethnic group in Africa that’s scattered throughout West Africa and parts of East Africa #FulaniBraids #Beads.

It can symbolize origins, social status, wealth, religion, or marital status. In this regard, Fulani women decorate their hair with bead hair accessories and cowrie shells. They are characterized by long hair which is braided into four or five braids and sometimes looped on the sides.

Most originated from Mali, Senegal, Guinea, and Cameroon. Hair plays a major role in the African culture and civilization. It can symbolize origins, social status, wealth, religion, or marital status.

What do braids signify?
Braids have been used to symbolize wealth, marital status, age, and rank. They’re also functional, keeping their wearers cool and unencumbered so they can work without getting hair in their eyes.

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Jada Pinkett Smith Is Bringing Herself To ‘Red Table Talk’ After August Alsina Claims Affair

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Jada Pinkett Smith after denial of alleged August Alsina affair: “There’s some healing that needs to happen…so I’m bringing myself to The Red Table.”

Jada Pinkett Smith says she will be “bringing herself to The Red Table” after R&B singer August Alsina said Will Smith “gave me his blessing” for a relationship with Jada Pinkett Smith. She recently denied August Alsina affair allegations.

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Jennifer Lawrence Joined Twitter To speak Out On The Murder Of Breonna Taylor

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Jennifer Lawrence has joined Twitter under the account

@JLawrence_RepUs  to  speak out on the murder of #BreonnaTaylor. #SayHerName

 

 

 

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Janelle Monae For VARIETY ‘POWER OF WOMEN’.

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Do you consider yourself a political artist?

I don’t! I think people have tried to understand me for a very long time. As a human, as an android, as somebody who has felt othered in this society — I speak up for myself, and for folks that I feel like look like me that may not have the platform. It’s just about sharing the mic.

I want people to look at me as an artist that speaks truth based off my experience, and based off what my core values are. I think having more access to rooms — and having more interviews — has just amplified that message.

I’m sure you think of yourself as both a singer and an actor. But how do you see the relationship between those things complementing each other?

I look at myself as a magician. I try to make magic with whatever I touch. That requires hard work, that requires a certain amount of focus and attention to whatever it is that I’m doing. So if I’m doing a film, I wouldn’t try to write an album at the same time. I need to have the mental headspace to stay fully committed to whatever role I agreed to do.

And I consider myself a storyteller. Music is a lot more personal, because I’m drawing from stories of who I am, and what has happened to me and where I am in the world. With film, you’re doing what you can for that character. But for the most part, you’re bringing to life a story that someone else has written. There’s not as much control. That’s good for me, but also can be nerve-racking — because I don’t get that final cut on a film or TV show. So that means if you guys love “Antebellum,” and love “Homecoming,” just know my hand was in it. But if you don’t love it, it’s not my fault!

Ha, yes!

I have respect for the directors that I’ve worked with. And you just pray and hope that what you saw is able to be edited to something that you love even more.

You do that on the music side when you work with different producers, or you’re collaborating with different artists. I feel like my calling is to do that. Whether it’s in fashion, to tell a story through my armor — there’s a story there. What it means to go into the music industry and make statements with your music and with your image and with your performances. And what it means to step on screen and take a character and make you empathize with the complexity of us as human beings. I look at myself as a polymath, as well — you know, I’m not monolithic.

 

Did you mean to come out as gender non-binary?

When I retweeted I’m nonbinary, it was “I’m not binary day,” and so I did a hashtag to show support to the community. The meme is what resonated with me, from “Steven Universe:” “I’m not a woman, I’m not a man, I’m an experience.” And I said, “F— yes! That’s me.” You know, in the same way when Prince said, “I’m not a woman/ I’m not a man/ I’m something that you’ll never understand” in “I Would Die 4 U” — that resonated with me. I feel my feminine, I feel my masculine, I feel energy that I can’t really explain.

I’m exploring, you know? I’m so open to what the universe is teaching me, and teaching all of us about gender. I definitely don’t live my life in a binary way. I’ve always pushed, as you can see from the way that I dress to the things that I’ve said since the beginning of my career. I have fought against gender norms, and what it means to be a woman and what it means to be a man. I’m a fucking android.

But I will say this: I’m so happy that people are learning more about what it means to be gender non-conforming, and what it means to be non-binary.

I think the last time I looked at your Wikipedia page was before the photoshoot and video interview last month. I looked at it today, and someone has changed all your pronouns to “they.” [Note: Monae’s Wikipedia page now alternates between “they” and “she.”]

Really?

Yes!

That was not me. I think people can call me whatever it is they want to call me. I know who I am. I know my journey. And I don’t have to declare anything.

Tell me about expressing yourself through fashion. Were you always a kid who dressed a certain way, or did that come later?

Once I got to high school, that’s when I started to have my own money, because I started working. I was working at Ponderosa Steakhouse, I was a waitress. I was a maid, I was babysitting, and worked at Foot Locker. I couldn’t afford a lot of stuff, but I think it went from lots of menswear — whatever you would consider sports menswear: the tennis shoes, baggy clothes.

Then I got into vintage shopping. I was very artsy. I was an international thespian, I would compete in monologue competitions. I was also in the acapella choir, was doing talent shows — this is in high school. So I was a busy arts student, expressing myself through art, and I started to really use fashion as a way to express that.

I think my uniform — that’s when that came. As an homage to the working class, and my working class parents. And honestly, I just couldn’t afford to keep up when I started to sing and perform, and I went to a performing arts school in New York, and I went to Atlanta and I was living in a boarding house, I did not have time to find a new costume every single show. So it was like, what is my uniform, what is my outfit going to be? What is something that I always feel comfortable in? It’s been black and white. It’s been the androgynous look that matched my energy.

 

Are you still Atlanta-based?

Half. I’m looking for a place here, but it’s so hard, because I’m looking for something that has a space where I can have a studio and keep my business separate from my living space. So I haven’t really been able to find one within the price range. I’m making plans to be bicoastal. We have a film and TV company, Wondaland Pictures.

Your business is in Atlanta, at least for now?

My music business is in Atlanta, our record label is in Atlanta — but our film company is here in L.A. We have a first-look deal with Universal, with Donna Langley. We’ll have Wondaland also doing the music for a lot of the films, and then we’ll be producing films. So we’re moving in that space now.

Have you directed?

I have pretty much directed along with Chuck Lightning, who was one of my creative directors at Wondaland on this last project. But I do want to do direct — I think that I’m meant to be a director.

I think so, too.

Let me tell you, I watch all my takes when I do film and TV. And I’m really fast. Because I am very objective about my acting. That’s what makes me realize that I think that I’m meant to direct. Because I am, in addition to just acting and staying in the moment, looking at it from a director’s lens.

This is a dumb question. When you were doing “Moonlight,” did you know it was going to be the most beautiful and best movie ever? Is that something that one is aware of at the time?

It resonated with me. That’s how I’ve always worked. If the song doesn’t touch my spirit, I’m not gonna sing it. If the lyrics don’t make me want to dance, I’m not going to record them. So when I read that script, I cried. Instantly. It wasn’t anything but the spirit of that script, and me saying, “This is important. This is important for culture.” This is important for little black boys, girls, non-binary — little humans all around the world to see this film. For us to be represented in this way in the film industry, regardless of how big it gets or how small it remains, I want to be a part of it.

 

Interview By Variety

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NASCAR Legends Supports George Floyd Protests

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HAMPTON, GEORGIA – JUNE 07: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 McDonald’s Chevrolet, wears a “I Can’t Breath – Black Lives Matter” T-shirt under his fire suit in solidarity with protesters around the world taking to the streets after the death of George Floyd on May 25 while in the custody of Minneapolis, Minnesota police, stands during the national anthem prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on June 07, 2020 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

NASCAR drivers have joined the growing list of athletes and sports leagues throwing their support behind the nationwide protests against police brutality.

Bubba Wallace wore a black T-shirt that said “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe” during Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500.
Wallace also tweeted a NASCAR-sponsored video of him and fellow drivers discussing how they will advocate for change to fight racism and inspire change.
“We will listen and learn! #BlackLivesMatters,” Wallace tweeted.

Wallace’s statements and tweets come as protests gather across the US and around the globe to call for police reform, especially when it comes to relations with black and brown communities. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes.
Other NASCAR drivers also spoke up Sunday. The legendary Jeff Gordon made a powerful statement during Sunday’s broadcast saying he and Wallace’s professional and personal journeys are different.
“I’ll never know what it’s like to walk in Bubba’s shoes or the shoes of anyone that’s experienced racism. I do know I can be better; we can do better to create positive change,” Gordon said. “We need to step up now more than we ever have in the past. We are listening. We are learning. We are ready for change.”
Daniel Suárez posted the NASCAR video discussing racism in solidarity with Wallace.
“We stand with you. Not being racist is not enough, we need to be anti-racist and make a REAL change! #blacklivesmatter,” his tweet read.

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Ben and Jerry’s Calls For The End Of ‘ White Supremacy

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Ben and Jerry’s Calls For The End Of ‘ White Supremacy The murder of George Floyd was the result of inhumane police brutality that is perpetuated by a culture of white supremacy.

All of us at Ben & Jerry’s are outraged about the murder of another Black person by Minneapolis police officers last week and the continued violent response by police against protestors. We have to speak out. We have to stand together with the victims of murder, marginalization, and repression because of their skin color, and with those who seek justice through protests across our country. We have to say his name: George Floyd.

George Floyd was a son, a brother, a father, and a friend. The police officer who put his knee on George Floyd’s neck and the police officers who stood by and watched didn’t just murder George Floyd, they stole him. They stole him from his family and his friends, his church and his community, and from his own future.

The murder of George Floyd was the result of inhumane police brutality that is perpetuated by a culture of white supremacy. What happened to George Floyd was not the result of a bad apple; it was the predictable consequence of a racist and prejudiced system and culture that has treated Black bodies as the enemy from the beginning. What happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis is the fruit borne of toxic seeds planted on the shores of our country in Jamestown in 1619, when the first enslaved men and women arrived on this continent. Floyd is the latest in a long list of names that stretches back to that time and that shore. Some of those names we know — Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Emmett Till, Martin Luther King, Jr. — most we don’t.

The officers who murdered George Floyd, who stole him from those who loved him, must be brought to justice. At the same time, we must embark on the more complicated work of delivering justice for all the victims of state sponsored violence and racism.

Four years ago, we publicly stated our support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Today, we want to be even more clear about the urgent need to take concrete steps to dismantle white supremacy in all its forms. To do that, we are calling for four things:

First, we call upon President Trump, elected officials, and political parties to commit our nation to a formal process of healing and reconciliation. Instead of calling for the use of aggressive tactics on protestors, the President must take the first step by disavowing white supremacists and nationalist groups that overtly support him, and by not using his Twitter feed to promote and normalize their ideas and agendas. The world is watching America’s response.

Second, we call upon the Congress to pass H.R. 40, legislation that would create a commission to study the effects of slavery and discrimination from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies. We cannot move forward together as a nation until we begin to grapple with the sins of our past. Slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation were systems of legalized and monetized white supremacy for which generations of Black and Brown people paid an immeasurable price. That cost must be acknowledged and the privilege that accrued to some at the expense of others must be reckoned with and redressed.

Third, we support Floyd’s family’s call to create a national task force that would draft bipartisan legislation aimed at ending racial violence and increasing police accountability. We can’t continue to fund a criminal justice system that perpetuates mass incarceration while at the same time threatens the lives of a whole segment of the population.

And finally, we call on the Department of Justice to reinvigorate its Civil Rights Division as a staunch defender of the rights of Black and Brown people. The DOJ must also reinstate policies rolled back under the Trump Administration, such as consent decrees to curb police abuses.

Unless and until white America is willing to collectively acknowledge its privilege, take responsibility for its past and the impact it has on the present, and commit to creating a future steeped in justice, the list of names that George Floyd has been added to will never end. We have to use this moment to accelerate our nation’s long journey towards justice and a more perfect union.

 

 

 

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The Rock Is Stunned ” Following George Floyd’s Death

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Past few days I’ve been stunned trying make sense of George Floyd’s death. The video. The plea for breath. The callous response. The racism. The killing. This is our ongoing disease. I’ve had cops in my family. Good men. And there’s a cop code, granting you the authority to use force if your life is in danger. But when a man is handcuffed, on the ground, no longer a threat, with your brothers in arms standing around watching and he struggles to say, “please I can’t breathe” when your knee is on his neck.. not his back, but his neck – cutting off his air. Cop code must become moral code. Ethics code. HUMANITY code. Knowing that if you don’t ease up, then that man is going to die. So when you decide to not ease up, your intention is to kill. And that’s what this was. George Floyd, said “officer I can’t breathe” as he struggled for air. He said these words a total of 15 times. Not once. Not twice. 15 times. These officers will be charged, I’m positive of that. Held accountable. But then where’s the greater accountability? The leadership to healing. More importantly, the leadership to EQUALITY. We ultimately win when we can normalize equality. I’m so sorry to the Floyd family. My heart breaks for you. Let the process begin now. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #NormalizeEquality

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