Earlier this year, the Obama administration issued a rule for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to end discrimination against LGBT Americans. Kai Wright, Editorial Director of Colorlines.com, joined the Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC to discuss the Obama administration’s recent updates to non-discrimination policies that now encompass sexual orientation and gender identity.
Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg brought Tupac Shakur on the main stage of the music festival Coachella late Sunday night. Shakur was shot dead in Las Vegas in 1996.
Dre and Snoop Dogg both come out Compton, about 130 miles away from the Coachella Valley. The pair brought a live band with them along with an 3D unexpected hologram of Shakur and a real life Eminem, 50 Cent, Warren G and newcomer Kendrick Lamar.
Earlier reports predicted Snoop Dogg, who headlined Coachella on Sunday, would perform with a hologram of long-time collaborator Nate Dogg, who died last year from a series of strokes.
On Friday evening, Univision News’ new anchor anchor Enrique Acevedo spoke with President Barack Obama about some of the country’s most pressing issues at the moment.
Below is a transcripts on Obama’s comments on immigration reform and the Trayvon Martin case.
Enrique Acevedo: Mr. President, excuse the personal note, but I grew up in a generation that has lived with the unfulfilled promise of immigration reform, and I’m not that young. And do you think if you are reelected you will be the President that gets it done? And can you promise you’ll do it within the first year of your second term?
President Barack Obama: I can promise that I will try to do it in the first year of my second term. I want to try this year. The challenge we’ve got on immigration reform is very simple. I’ve got a majority of Democrats who are prepared to vote for it, and I’ve got no Republicans who are prepared to vote for it. It’s worse than that. We now have a Republican nominee who said that the Arizona laws are a model for the country; that — and these are laws that potentially would allow someone to be stopped and picked up and asked where their citizenship papers are based on an assumption.
The LA Times has an interview with Teyonnah Parris, the actress who plays Don Draper’s new secretary and Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s first black employee on the hit television series “Mad Men.”
It’s a big deal because Mad Men is one of TV’s most popular shows and hasn’t really dealt with race explicitly yet. Parris says there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with the role too.
From the LA Times:
LA Times: A lot of people were concerned that Dawn was simply window dressing, like, ‘look, the token black character that will signal the changing times.’ And we sort of got to know a little bit more about her in last week’s episode, but it was mostly through the eyes of Peggy. What are your thoughts on that?
Parris: Um, I think Peggy is the perfect person for us to learn about Dawn. She’s the woman on the show who is more open-minded, feminist — she doesn’t even know she’s a feminist, but that kind of air about herself. I thought it was pretty cool to see her mind-set and her beliefs and these things that she stands for sort of tested and see how that plays out for Peggy — because, you know, we hear her talk about how her boyfriend is covering the riots in Chicago and all kinds of things. And then we have this heart-to-heart and at the end there’s the purse thing. The subconscious judgments that her character harbors and probably didn’t even realize it.
I realize a lot of responsibility comes with this role. it’s the first time the show has had an African American in the office, but I try not to let it overwhelm me.
A U.S. Embassy spokesman apologized Friday to Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan for being detained for an hour and a half by Homeland Security agents at a New York airport.
Khan landed at the airport in White Plains, New York, on Thursday en route to deliver a lecture at Yale University when he was stopped. Sources told PTI, while everybody else were cleared by the immigration immediately, Khan was stopped for over two hours before being cleared by the immigration officials.
“Khan was very very upset at the episode. Yale University officials had to contact the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Department at Washington, when they come to know about his detention,” sources tell Ibnlive.in.com.
“Whenever I start feeling too arrogant about myself, I always make a trip to America. The immigration guys kick the star out of stardom,” Khan said at the lecture at Yale, which was delayed for several hours. (Video above.)
“They always ask me how tall I am and I always like and get away [with it] and say 5’10”, Khan told the audience at Yale. But he says next time he’s going to be more adventurous when they ask him ‘what color’ he is.
“I’m going to say, white,” Khan said jokingly.
According to the AP, U.S. Embassy spokesman Peter Vrooman apologized “for any inconvenience that Mr. Shah Rukh Khan may have experienced.”
This is the second time Khan has been detained by Homeland Security in the U.S. Khan was stopped for two hours at Newark airport in 2009—the same year he was declared amongst the 500 most influential Muslims worldwide by Georgetown University.
In a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted earlier this week, 91% of black Americans surveyed said that the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin was unjustified. Among whites, that number was 35%; among Latinos, 59%.
“This incident is one of the clearest splits we’ve seen between whites and blacks,” Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson told Reuters.
“African Americans have a significantly different perspective on the whole incident than white Americans or Hispanic Americans,” Jackson said.
The fact that whites and blacks have such starkly differing views on whether Trayvon Martin was unjustly killed is a sad reflection on the state of race relations in this country, says Terry Keleher, Director of the Racial Justice Leadership Action Network at the Applied Research Center, Colorlines.com’ publisher.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker arrived home last night just in time to save his next-door neighbor from her burning home. The mayor was a guest on CBS’ “This Morning” to describe his heroic efforts.
From CBS “This Morning” > Booker said that as he jumped through the kitchen on the second floor, “I actually wasn’t > thinking. When I got there and couldn’t find her in all the smoke, looked behind me and saw the kitchen really erupting with flames all over the ceiling, that’s when I had very clear thoughts that I’m not going to get out of this place alive and got … very religious. >
“It is a very, very scary thing. And I’d like to say that I, at that point I was feeling so courageous, but honestly, it was terrifying, and to look back, you can see nothing but flames. Look in front of you see nothing but blackness.
“Thankfully she started yelling out to me and I was able to find her through all the smoke. At that point I grabbed her.”
He admitted he was “not gentle” with her - “I just sort of threw her over my shoulder and dragged her through the kitchen.”
Booker told the hosts now that he’s been through this experience he’s ill-equipped to do firefighter union negotiations - ‘These guys, give them everything!’”
Ice-T’s “Art of Rap” documentary that premiered at Sundance earlier finally has an official release date. The film is set to hit theaters nationwide on June 15th.
Below is the description of the film from the filmmakers:
SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: THE ART OF RAP is a feature length performance documentary film about the runaway juggernaut that is Rap music. At the wheel of this unstoppable beast is the film’s director and interviewer Ice-T. Ice-T takes us on a deeply personal journey to uncover how this music of the street has grown to dominate the world. Along the way Ice-T meets some of the remarkable superstars of Rap, from Eminem to Dr Dre, to Snoop Dogg and Kanye West. He exposes the roots and history of Rap and then, through meeting most of it’s most famous protagonists studies the living mechanism of the music to reveal The Art Of Rap. This film features unique performances from it’s entire cast and does not use any archive material.
Ice T may not know too many female emcees because by the looks of it there are only a handful of them in the film. Cheryl ‘Salt’ James, MC Lyte and Queen Latifah make appearances but they’re not readily featured in the film’s promo materials—I had to dig through IMDB and reviews to get those three names.
Remember Caine Monroy? Caine is the 9-year-old star of the short film “Caine’s Arcade” that’s been seen more than three-million times in just under two days.
As of the time this story was published, Caine’s internet fame has gotten him $135,913.16 for his college fun.
The website for Caine’s arcade includes a small donation box on bottom right hand corner of the site and apparently people have been donating!
Forbes Magazine just went ahead and beat everyone to the story. They’ve declared Caine “will be a billionaire in 30-years.” Let’s hope that’s true. We need more Latino billionaires under 40.
“He doesn’t really understand how big this is,” Caine’s dad, George Monroy, told ABC News on Thursday. “He sees himself on the screen and he laughs. He doesn’t understand how everyone is just pouring their hearts out to him.”
Former CNN weekend anchor T.J. Holmes will host a late night comedic news show on BET later this year.
A fresh new voice joins the ranks of Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert and Bill Maher. T.J. Holmes gives you a good reason to stay up late with Don’t Sleep. With hilarious “correspondents,” T.J.’s sure to have viewers rolling with laughter over the absurdity of today’s hot-button issues. Speaking through a unique and smart African-American filter, T.J. invites the community to wake up on the issues that affect them, so don’t sleep on the stories that mainstream news outlets won’t cover. The show will also open ears with captivating, unexpected musical performances. Don’t Sleep reports with keen focus to keep Black America engaged and in the know. T.J. takes off his tie and rolls up his sleeves — this is not your mama’s late-night talk show.
New York based sketch comedy troupe Second City bring you the secretly obtained video of Mary J Blige commercials for Burger King.”
George Zimmerman, the Florida man who claimed self-defense in the February shooting death of Trayvon Martin, made his first court appearance Thursday. Zimmerman spoke once during the proceedings, answering “Yes, sir” when Judge Mark E. Herr asked whether Mark O’Mara was his attorney.
At the hearing Judge Herr said “Zimmerman confronted Martin,” an action that’s been widely debated by lawyers on both sides.
Two people were killed on Sunday night by “an unknown number of subjects in camouflage clothing armed with rifles” that ambushed a truck carrying undocumented immigrants near the U.S.- Mexico border, according to the Pima County sheriff’s department.
The shootings occurred in Eloy, Arizona in an area northwest of Tucson “that is commonly used for human smuggling,” according to a statement made available to the press by the Pima County Sheriff’s office. Authorities identified one of the victims as Gerardo Perez-Ruiz, 39, of Toluca, Mexico, and the second victim was believed to be from Guatemala.
“We’re looking at the motives and who the suspects could have been,” Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy Dawn Barkman told UPI.com. “We’re not going to speculate on any reasons for this crime at this time.”
The film, “Once in a Lullaby: The PS22 Chorus Story,” follows the choir’s journey from Graniteville, Staten Island all the way to the Oscars. The documentary will give viewers a glimpse into some of the kids’ lives.
The PS22 chorus from Staten Island became world famous after their YouTube videos went viral. This feel-good documentary follows them to their big performance as the closing act at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony, where creative differences, lost voices, and homesickness threaten their performance. Can these 5th graders entertain the entertainment elite?
The majority of the students at the elementary school are Latino (43%), black (23%) and Asian (12%).
The film premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 29. Visit the film’s Facebook page to find out when it plays near you.
Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, was interviewed on NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday morning—less than a day after the shooter, George Zimmerman, was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of her son.
When the host asked what she would tell Zimmerman if she came face to face with him, Fulton said she thought a person should apologize if they are remorseful.
Then she expressed words that are making headlines this morning.
“I believe it was an accident,” Fulton said. “I believe that it just got out of control, and he couldn’t turn the clock back.”
George Zimmerman’s new attorney Mark O’Mara just said he can’t imagine what it’s like to hated like his client and not be able to do things like go to 7-11.
I can’t imagine going to 7-11 for Skittles and ending up dead!
“I cannot imagine living in George Zimmerman’s shoes for the past number of weeks only because he’s sort of been the focus of a lot of anger, maybe confusion and hatred,” O’Mara said at the press conference in Florida. “That’s gotta be difficult, I mean it must be frightening to not be able to go to 7-11 or to a store.”
Trayvon was in fact coming back from 7-11 to get Skittles and a Arizona canned Tea when he was shot and killed by Zimmerman. Wonder O’Mara can place himself in Trayvon’s shoes?
O’Mara went on to say Zimmerman will plead not guilty to second-degree murder.
“I want to thank God. We simply wanted an arrests, we wanted nothing more and nothing less, and we got it. And I say Thank You,” Trayvon Martin’s mother Sabrina Fulton said at a press conference hosted by the National Action Network in Washington DC.
“Secondly, I just want to speak from my heart to your heart because a heart has no color—it’s not black, it’s not white, it’s red and I want to say thank you from my heart to you heart,” Fulton went on to say.
Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, said he’s ready for the long journey ahead.
“This is just the beginning we’ve got a long way to go,” Tracy Martin said at the conference. “We will continue to hold hands on this journey—white, black, Hispanic, Latino—we will continue to march until the right thing is done.”
“The Prosecutor and the Governor did not make a decision based on public pressure but I think they decided to review [the case] based on public pressure,” Reverend Al Sharpton said at a conference before introducing Trayvon’s parents. “I will say that I did not trust Governor Scott, I did not trust the appointments, but I want to congratulate him and the prosecutor being what they should be,”
George Zimmerman, the man who shot Trayvon Martin is being charged with murder in the 2nd Degree, Angela B. Corey, the special prosecutor, said on Wednesday at a press conference held in Jacksonville, Florida. The announcement came more than six weeks after Trayvon and Zimmerman’s fatal encounter.
Corey said Zimmerman turned himself in and is “within the custody of law enforcement officers in the state of Florida.” He is being held without bail.
Second-degree charges in Florida could carry life in prison without parole.
Corey also said “if stand your ground becomes an issue, we will fight it.”
“We have numerous homicides where immediate arrests are not made and so to us it did not seem unusual,” Corey said after a reporter asked why it took 45-days to arrest Zimmerman.
The story has consumed the country and divided many—the Trayvon Martin case was the first in 2012 to surpass election coverage in U.S. media outlets.
Corey is no stranger to controversial cases. The Republican State Prosecutor appointed by Gov. Rick Scott made national headlines last year when she made the decision to charge a 12-year-old who was accused of beating his 2-year-old half-brother to death as an adult instead of letting his case go through juvenile court.
Just two months ago, Stone says Corey’s office made the decision not to charge Artur Veshti, who shot and killed Stone’s client, Paulin Gavoci, after deciding Veshti acted in response to reasonable fear for his life.
Earlier this year, Stone says he was defending a woman charged with slashing a man she said attacked her, and Corey proceeded with charges until the judge dismissed the case finding that the woman had acted in self-defense.
Still from White House video soliciting votes. “My Asian Americana” is highlighted on top left hand corner.”
In November 2011, the White House launched the “What’s Your Story” video challenge, asking the AAPI community to submit videos about the “issues that matter the most” to them. The Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders office received over 200 submissions and narrowed it down to 10 videos the public could vote on. But the video with the most votes (by a landslide) was ignored in the end.
The film that earned the highest numbers of votes, “My Asian Americana,” looks at the intersection between the criminal justice system and immigration. The video features a dozen men and women talking about being deported to a country they don’t know and what they remember and miss from the United States.
The videos submitted “remind us of why we do the work we do here to make sure your voices are heard,” a White House staffer says in a video thanking those who submitted videos. “With your help we’ll invite an exceptional group of finalists hear to the White House to share their stories in person with officials from President Obama’s administration,” says another staffer in the video.
But the filmmakers say the White House “formally refused to invite” them to an April 5th, 2012 event that included the finalists.