The Grio

‘Brick Mansions’ star RZA calls Andre Johnson...

‘Brick Mansions’ star RZA calls Andre Johnson castration ‘craziest thing I’ve ever heard’

theGRIO VIDEO - RZA talks about his new film 'Brick Mansions,' and opens up former Wu-Tang Clan affiliated rapper Andre Johnson's castration and suicide attempt...
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver: Paul Ryan doesn’t know...

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver: Paul Ryan doesn’t know anything about ‘inner city’ men

theGRIO REPORT - Member of the Congressional Black Caucus Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) joined MSNBC's News Nation today to discuss House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-WI) controversial comments last month about the culture of the "inner city."
Lupita Nyong’o People magazine cover is further...

Lupita Nyong’o People magazine cover is further confirmation that dark and natural is beautiful

OPINION - My joy over Nyong'o's latest cover has nothing with needing the approval of a mainstream (read: white) magazine to recognize black is obviously beautiful...
NYPD request for photos on Twitter backfires

NYPD request for photos on Twitter backfires

NEW YORK (AP) — The head of the New York Police Department admits he was caught off guard by the harsh response to a harmless attempt at community outreach on Twitter...
Michelle Obama announces one-stop job site for...

Michelle Obama announces one-stop job site for vets

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama has announced a new online effort to link soldiers leaving the military with jobs that match their skill sets...
50 Cent on ‘Yeezus’: ‘It doesn’t feel...

50 Cent on ‘Yeezus’: ‘It doesn’t feel like hip-hop to me’

theGRIO REPORT - 50 Cent and Kanye West have had a friendly hip-hop rivalry for years but his latest remarks may be construed as serious shots fired...

Black Enterprise

Government Fights Over $250,000 Penny They Gave...

Government Fights Over $250,000 Penny They Gave Away

A judge has been asked to decide who is the real owner of the…
Diddy’s Revolt: 3 Lessons On Disruption,...

Diddy’s Revolt: 3 Lessons On Disruption, Reinvention & Millennials Changing the Game

Sean "Diddy" Combs, along with Revolt TV executives and staff, held an upfront event in…
Earth Day 2014: How One Poet Uses Her Art To Save...

Earth Day 2014: How One Poet Uses Her Art To Save a Community

Crystal Good’s lineage in West Virginia is six generations deep
The World’s Smartest Companies List Revealed

The World’s Smartest Companies List Revealed

Google is the world’s third smartest company according to a new list by MIT Technology…
Michigan’s Affirmative Action Ban Upheld by The...

Michigan’s Affirmative Action Ban Upheld by The Supreme Court

Proving, once again, the bi-partisan mindset in government today
Famed Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter Dead at...

Famed Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter Dead at 76

'Eye of the Hurricane: My Path from Darkness to Freedom,' is the title of his…

The Root

Chris Brown’s Bodyguard Denied Immunity; Trial...

Chris Brown’s Bodyguard Denied Immunity; Trial Delayed

Looks as if Chris Brown will have to wait to learn his fate regarding the alleged beating of a Maryland man. His trial, which was set to begin in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, has been put on hold for months and could be delayed as long as a year, the Associated Press reports. 

Elderly Grandmother Tied Up by Police During Raid

Elderly Grandmother Tied Up by Police During Raid

Ruth Hunter was stunned one morning earlier in April when her front door abruptly flew open and she heard shouts of "Police!" WTVR reports.

RHOA Smackdown Should Serve as a Wake-Up Call

RHOA Smackdown Should Serve as a Wake-Up Call

Hand me a late pass. I finally watched a clip of The Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion episode. (Sorry, since starring on reality TV, I stopped watching it.) Yes, the one where cast member Porsha Williams hit her co-star Kenya Moore over the head and dragged her across the floor by her hair like the wife of some cartoon caveman.

Twitter Creates #AshyLarryBoyBands in Response to...

Twitter Creates #AshyLarryBoyBands in Response to Lupita Backlash

Today Lupita Nyong’o was named People magazine’s Most Beautiful Woman of 2014, but of course there are those who had a problem with that.

NYC Mayor Slams Emergency-Response Delay in Fire...

NYC Mayor Slams Emergency-Response Delay in Fire That Killed 2 Children

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio added his voice to other expressions of concern over the slow EMT response in the midst of a fire last weekend that left two 4-year-old siblings dead, the Associated Press reports.

How a Man’s Love for Hunting Led to a Kidney...

How a Man’s Love for Hunting Led to a Kidney Donation

Hunting helped save Gil Alexander's life.

Black Voices (Huffington Post)

Supreme Court Agrees With Michigan Voters:...

Supreme Court Agrees With Michigan Voters: Affirmative Action Must Remain for Whites Only

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold Michigan's voter-approved ban on affirmative action in admissions to the state's public universities reinforces an ugly reality: that most white Americans support affirmative action only when it is for whites and no one else. Nearly every time American rhetoric privileges states' rights, it leaves marginalized groups open to even bolder discrimination than they already encounter. Michigan is simply reminding us that the South has never been the only place where white Americans believe that whites are the only ones who should enjoy equal protection.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's 58-page dissent is a painfully necessary document that asks the nation to live up to its creed, but we desperately need to take this conversation in another direction. Rather than focus on the disadvantages of groups hurt by this decision, Americans must confront the unearned advantage of whiteness that inspired Michigan's Proposal 2 in the first place. In short, Proposal 2 -- and every instance of the sort of rhetoric that aligns with it -- amounts to a declaration that setting a quota for whites of at least 75 percent is the American way.

The nation's most effective, and palatable, affirmation action has always been for whites. In the early days of the republic, how else could land have been distributed to whites and not to Native Americans? The requirement for land was being white; the government set it aside for whites. How else could whites have secured the vast majority of land in the South (where blacks often outnumbered them) after Emancipation? The Homestead Act of 1863 and other government programs ensured that land was set aside for whites. How else did 98 percent of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans granted between 1932 and 1962 go to whites? Numerous historians have shown that the federal government sanctioned discriminatory practices that ensured that access to home ownership was set aside for whites. And those homes not only enabled whites to build wealth; they also provided access to public schools that prepared their children for college. The same principles shaped the years after World War II. Thus, while G.I. Bill benefits yielded college degrees and small businesses for whites, black and brown veterans more often returned home to collect insult and injury.

Today, being white remains the unspoken -- but most important -- qualification in college admissions and hiring. As a result, being mediocre is OK as long as you are white. Ever notice that it is only when someone isn't white that everyone begins working to ensure that standards are not being relaxed "because of race"? Likewise, people only worry that someone is "getting a leg up because of race" when the candidate is not white. In other words, race should be a factor in one's favor only if they are white. This logic is so acceptable that we are not even supposed to notice it; as long as the person is white, everyone pretends that the decision to welcome them was simply about merit and that "race" had nothing to do with it.

In this climate, the notion that affirmative action is "reverse discrimination" if it benefits non-whites is the height of disingenuousness and cowardice. If it is true that black and brown people generally inhabit lower economic and social positions because they are less qualified, then why is it so important to ignore the many ways that government programs set aside resources and opportunities for whites? Americans cannot reasonably declare that marginalized populations are placed at an advantage when we refuse to notice the advantages of dominant groups. How can we know the difference between an unfair benefit and a very belated attempt at equalizing opportunity when we are not honest enough to concede that the rules have always favored particular people? It is long past time to admit that dominant groups do not prevail because their members are so exemplary but because the system is set up to ensure that they win even when they are mediocre.

I have been surrounded by whites my whole life, and that has not translated into being surrounded by excellence. When a candidate is white, they can be considered a "good fit" even when their qualifications are not all that impressive, but a candidate of color has to be exceptional (and put whites at ease) in order to get the same designation. I have also been surrounded by heterosexuals my whole life, and that has not meant being surrounded by excellence. It has not even meant being surrounded by high moral standards and stability. Why are we so committed to ensuring that no one feels convicted to speak these truths? Why are we so comfortable being, in Eric Holder's memorable words, a nation of cowards?

Dominant American discourse expects -- demands -- that no one, especially people of color, notice that being white gives people unearned advantages from which they never stop benefiting. It is time to stop pretending that American inequality corresponds with different groups' qualifications, work ethic, or merit. We should ask ourselves why it is OK to notice the disadvantages that some groups face but offensive to acknowledge the unearned advantages that produce those obstacles.

If you believe in an equal playing field, you must acknowledge the rugged terrain that past and present discrimination for some, coupled with unearned privilege for others, creates. At the very least, those who value equal opportunity cannot let those who don't get away with lies, including lies of omission. Whether it is Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who supported Proposal 2, or a friend or colleague who agrees with him, we should make our fellow Americans own the belief that undergirds their stance: "I should not have to compete with non-whites based on merit. I suspect I will lose if being white isn't the qualification that matters most."
David Alan Grier's 'How To Tell Black People...

David Alan Grier's 'How To Tell Black People Apart' Is Just What The World Needs

David Alan Grier may be responsible for solving Hollywood's most awkward problem -- those moments when black celebrities are confused with other black celebrities. We're sure you remember the Samuel L. Jackson debacle, the Alfre Woodard, Idris Elba disaster, or the Octavia Spencer red carpet mishap.

This infomercial for David Alan Grier’s book “How To Tell Black People Apart” featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live is not only the funniest thing we've seen all day, but it's also just what the world needs. In it, Grier shares the side-splitting acronym you’ll never remember: PATWWFLLM. Which stands for “Pay Attention To What We F**king Look Like Motherf**kers!!!”

The book may not be real, but the problem sure is. Hopefully Grier’s spoof is as educational as it is hilarious.
Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson Files For...

Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson Files For Divorce

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has announced that he and his wife Ashton are divorcing.


Wilson made the announcement in a statement released by the Seahawks on Wednesday. He says decisions like this are not easy and respectfully asks for "prayers and understanding and privacy during this difficult time."


The pair married in January 2012 after he finished his college career at Wisconsin and before he was drafted by the Seahawks. The couple had been visible at Seahawks events for his first two seasons in the league.


Wilson led Seattle to its first Super Bowl title in February, when the Seahawks overwhelmed the Denver Broncos.

Debbie Allen Knows There Won't Be Diversity On TV...

Debbie Allen Knows There Won't Be Diversity On TV Until We Meld Into One Melting Pot Of A Race

Debbie Allen remembers the segregated water fountains of the 1960s. Growing up in Texas, things were so difficult, she and her family crossed the border into Mexico, so they could live without the binds of American racism. Things have come a long way since then, of course, but Allen knows that the tired old question of diversity won't get an answer, until we all become one big old melting pot of a race (read: look exactly like Rashida Jones). Huff Post TV talked to Allen about the way she's seen things change from her role as Lydia Grant on "Fame" in the early 1980s to work with Shonda Rhimes on "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal," and what we can expect in terms of (very literal) post-racialism.

In your time working in television, from "Fame" to "Grey's Anatomy" and now "Scandal," I'm wondering how you've seen things change, specifically for women of color.
Well, that's a very interesting question. I remember as a child watching television and the images of women on television. I remember seeing Leslie Uggams when I was a little bitty girl ... and Diahann Carroll as Julia, but in between them there was very little ... It took time. By the time Diahann Carroll was playing Claudine, Diana Ross was playing "Lady Sings The Blues," you know, these kinds of films were not always in the making when I was a kid. But I think the differences come from a new ownership of the image black women. When I was doing "A Different World," we had black women writing their characters. You know, when Phylicia [Rashad, her sister] was on "The Cosby Show," there were black women writers on the set of that show.

That's very important. Not just seeing women of color on the screen, but having women of color telling their stories.
I think the difference now is that we have powerful women like Shonda Rhimes, pushing that envelope in a way that it didn't quite get pushed before. [For example], the part that Kerry Washington is playing, Olivia Pope, her portrayal as well as her mother, Maya Pope. You know, those two black women, who are so amazingly different and related ... but I think that diversity is an old, old conversation, that unfortunately an old, old conversation.

What do you think it will take for us to stop talking about diversity?
At the end of the day, I think, as time goes on, we will see the melting pot really become a melting pot, where there's a fusion of all of our races and cultures, and there will be very narrow differences that you can make. You know, when you go to Brazil, you see black people with blonde hair and blue eyes. You know, you see white people with dark hair. You see a mixture, and that's kind of where the world is headed right now. You can look at the statistics in America, look at the political landscape in America, look at the forecast, and it will tell you that the balance of ethnicity is changing. It will no longer in another fifty years be a white dominated society. It will be a mixture, because that's where the world is going. Everybody needs to get on that train and stop it already.

So, you think a melting pot race is the only way we'll be able to finish the conversation?
It is what needs to happen. Everybody needs to get on that train and stop it already. It won't last, it won't last much longer. Because, you know what? Love overcomes all of that. When a man loves a woman, whether she's Asian and he's black, or she's Jewish and he's Native American, that's what's going to rule. Love is going to rule and that's something that we can all look forward to.

In the meantime, I know you've dealt with a lot of the current lack of diversity through dance. Tell me about that.
Dance has always been important to me. Even in the middle of doing "Scandal," doing "Grey's Anatomy," I am back at the dance academy every day, every weekend I am there, trying to help uplift and change lives with the art of dance. I know it did it for me as a kid. It helped me survive the racial divide of the '60s and civil rights. Dance was my angel, it was my foundation.

How did you get into dance in the first place?
Oh, I was dancing already when I was three. I remember wanting to play Shirley Temple and be in all of those films when I was little. But then, when I grew up and trained in ballet, they wouldn't accept me, because it was segregated. Everything was segregated. I remember the white only fountains, I remember all of that. So, my mother pack us up and moved to Mexico, and when I was in Mexico with my sister Phylicia, my God, we could go to restaurants, we could go to movies and I could go to dance class. And it was very telling that the world was a very large place and people were very different, even just across a border. Texas [basically] was Mexico! This was, like, amazing, and then we when we can back and things changed, I finally got into the dance school, so dance really helped me get through that whole difficult period.

And, if I'm not mistaken, you met Shonda Rhimes through the dance academy as well? What is it like working with her now?
Shonda Rhimes has become the quintessential genius of drama on network television. It's gonna be interesting to see where she goes ... I actually first met her at my dance studio, and it took a little after that, maybe a year or so later, I got an offer to direct "Grey's Anatomy," and she really liked my work, and the actors really responded well to me ... then she made me an actor on the show [in the role of] Dr. Catherine Avery. Then she called me in to direct "Scandal," and Shonda tries to keep very creative people around her, because she is so creative. She has the right logo. You know her logo is a roller coaster? Shonda is in Shonda-land. Well, honey it's the right one, because when you get on that ride, it goes up, it goes down, it goes around, and you just don't want to get off. That's how it is working with her, on any of her shows she's created.

Debbie Allen is currently working with the T2 Dance Crew, a national education and wellness program, which she launched in partnership with Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The program "aims to help millions of people with Type 2 diabetes tap into the natural joy of dance and add movement to their comprehensive diabetes management approach." You can check out the initiative via the Diabetic Connect website.
All The Things The Row's New $1500 Nylon Bag...

All The Things The Row's New $1500 Nylon Bag Reminds Us Of

Mary-Kate and Ashley's label The Row isn't exactly known for being budget friendly (remember that famous $35,000 backpack?) But now, the fashion moguls have outdone themselves by creating a bag made out of nylon that retails for $1,550. Yes, you read that right. For the price of approximately 150 manicures you can have one of your very own The Row nylon bags. Here it is:

sling bag

But wait, maybe we're being too hard on the bag. After all, nylon is an extremely useful material that has a broad range of uses, for things like:

Tents

tents

Sleeping bags

sleeping bags

Tablecloths from children's birthday parties

birthday party

Blinds

blinds

Track pants

track pants

Umbrellas

umbrellas

Kites

kite

So it's kind of worth the cost, right? Of course, if you can't afford to drop a month's rent on a nylon bag, may we suggest going to your local Whole Foods and picking up a reusable shopping bag, made of the same material, which at just $9, costs 0.58 percent of The Row's version.

baggu
Taraji P. Henson Talks 'From The Rough'

Taraji P. Henson Talks 'From The Rough'

Finally coming out to theaters after being on the shelf for over two years is ‘From The Rough,’ the inspirational true story of Catana Starks starring Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson.

BET

Rangel's Top 15: How the GOP Budget Hurts Blacks

Rangel's Top 15: How the GOP Budget Hurts Blacks



N.Y. lawmaker says GOP budget is recipe for disaster.
Chance the Rapper Cancels More Shows Due to...

Chance the Rapper Cancels More Shows Due to Illness



Chicago MC's sickness caused by tonsillitis and the flu.
Double Take: When Stars Recreate Iconic Beauty...

Double Take: When Stars Recreate Iconic Beauty Looks



They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery.
#MYNYPD Twitter Campaign Quickly Backfires on NYPD

#MYNYPD Twitter Campaign Quickly Backfires on NYPD



"New York's Finest" receives major lesson in social media.
Civil Rights Leaders: Supreme Court Ruling a Step...

Civil Rights Leaders: Supreme Court Ruling a Step Backward



Leaders react to ruling on Michigan affirmative action ban.
Bring That Week Back: Nas Offering Tech...

Bring That Week Back: Nas Offering Tech Scholarship



Plus, boy sings gospel song to kidnapper and is freed.

Black America Web - State of Black America

H. Hartford Brookins Dies

H. Hartford Brookins Dies

Romney Faces Tough Questions from Black Leaders

Romney Faces Tough Questions from Black Leaders

2010 Census Missed More Than 1.5 Million...

2010 Census Missed More Than 1.5 Million Minorities

Toxins Poison Florida Community

Toxins Poison Florida Community

VIDEO: Man Puts Child in Washer Machine,...

VIDEO: Man Puts Child in Washer Machine, Babysitter Watches

UCLA Medical Center Stung by Lawsuit

UCLA Medical Center Stung by Lawsuit