STAND FOR SOMETHING
OR STAND FOR NOTHING
Written by EBONY M. JONES-KUYE
With an onslaught of media coverage shining
light on the injustice our community faces, this
book delivers an inspiring story where justice
is served. NBA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling,
was not ready for the courageous and relentless
stand Ebony and her mother took against him
despite the odds. Join us in celebrating the release of Ebony
Jones-Kuye’s first book as she shares a personal
account of struggle and triumph in her fight for
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Thursday, October 29th, 2015 @ 7:30 PM PDT
It appears that we have Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson battling for front-runner of the Republican party by any means necessary! Donald Trump who is the Republican front-runner has repeatedly attacked Dr. Ben Carson since polls have shown that Dr. Carson is ahead in Iowa. In a CNN interview, Donald Trump said Dr. Ben Carson is “very, very weak on immigration and foreign affairs” and he feels very strong in both areas.
On Friday, Donald Trump took a jab at Dr. Carson’s faith while discussing the Iowa polls. Dr. Carson attends a Seventh-day Adventist church, which Donald Trump suggested was less mainstream than his own Presbyterian church. Dr. Carson has been in hot water for his comments in invoking Nazism on such issues as health care coverage, Dr. Carson claims that he has received positive feedback from some Jews for the comparisons, which others have called inflammatory.
Donald Trump is too extreme to me with his viewpoints in regards to immigration, foreign affairs, and on environment. Donald Trump believes that illegal immigrants are “destroying the fabric of the country” while the middle class is getting “decimated.” He opposes efforts to grant legal status to undocumented immigrants, calling that a “suicide mission” for Republicans because “every one of those 11 million people will be voting Democratic.” Donald Trump proposes instead to fortify the nation’s borders by building “a real wall” to keep immigrants out. Mr. Trump claimed last month that he had devised a “foolproof way” to defeat the Islamic State “very quickly.” But he refused to divulge it, saying he did not “want the enemy to know what I’m doing.” He calls President Obama “one of the worst things that’s ever happened to Israel,” and blames him for deteriorating U.S.-Israeli relations. He thinks global warming is a hoax and that the Democrats are just trying to raise taxes.
Dr. Ben Carson doesn’t believe that there are race issues and feel that the media is just trying to divide the races, he believes that homosexuality is a choice…”prison turns men gay!”, he is okay with spying on government workers to make them work harder, he believes that law-abiding citizens should carry guns without registration, he believes ObamaCare is the worst program since slavery, he believes in the guest worker program similar to the Canadian program, and he believes that President Obama should send troops to fight the Islamic states and should not fear prosecution for its actions…”By any means necessary” attitude to win.
To me, these two men have no experience to be President of the United States! They haven’t held any government positions in their career which is scary to me! They are just saying things everyday that are sometimes ridiculous and crazy! We can’t vote for people who are making things up as they go and apologizing for certain statements when they are busted. This country is already in trouble! Immigration, taxes, and foreign affairs are huge topics for me and I want to see a candidate that is willing to challenge these topics with real solutions that are doable within the first four years of their term. I am for free healthcare for all Americans and I agree that ObamaCare needs revisions in a Big way, Immigration is a mess and needs to be corrected really fast in this country! We are a country of immigrants but we have laws and rules about being here…you have to earn the right and I do agree that all employers should require “English Only” in the workplace and to truly understand English when trying to obtain a driver license and employment. I am tired of seeing Americans getting passed over for not being bilingual for a job in America! I do believe the tax system needs to be revised and more money needs to be in the American pockets versus 25%-30% of their paycheck in the government bank. Our current tax system is hurting American families because the cost of living is increasing daily while their paychecks stay the same which makes no sense!
I am a conservative Democrat and make no apologies for my viewpoints in this country. However, I do think we have huge issues with racial profiling, job discrimination, cost of education is too high and needs to be lower or free for college students, women and men are still treated differently in the workplace, and our country have gotten to relaxed on many issues that have caused our country to look weak in a lot of areas. In my party we have Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders running and I am a little disappointed that we don’t have more strong Democrat candidates besides these two. To me, Hilary is the old guard and Bernie is the better candidate who needs more endorsements and support from mainstream Democrat leaders. I hope Democrats and Independents come out in strives to vote because we don’t need a Trump or Carson in the white house! I have to say that America gives people an opportunity to do whatever they want, where else can you find two men who just woke up one day with no government experience and run for President of the United States and be taken seriously!
I am so tired of Ms. Raven-Symone now! She is showing so much self-hate for herself and her race…yes, she is Black whether she believes it or not! She has made so many disgusting comments on “The View” and it’s getting really ignorant! She got my attention when she told Oprah Winfrey in October 2014 that she isn’t African-American or Black…she is Human! She claims that she doesn’t believe in labels. But she claims that she is a Lesbian which is a label! To hear Raven dismiss her Blackness during a time when Black people are getting killed for the color of their skin, police brutality is high against people of color, and high employment rates are high within the African-American community is painful to see and hear especially as an African-American woman. Raven made her money playing Black characters on TV…The Cosby show, Cheetah Girls, and “That’s So Raven.” I was thinking that if you aren’t Black, please give back all the movie studios their money for playing Black face!
Months passed, here she go again in March 2015…Raven agreed with Univision host Rodner Figueroa who said First Lady Michelle Obama looks like an “Ape” from the movie “Planet of the Apes” which is the most hateful comment to say about our First Lady! Raven said that she didn’t find the comment offensive because there are a lot of people who look like animals and she agreed that Mrs. Obama look a lot like an Ape. I couldn’t believe she said that BS on TV in front of millions of people about our First Lady who happens to be African-American. African-Americans have been called Apes for many years by non-Black people. How dare Raven put down our First Lady to get brownie points on TV! I was hoping that ABC would remove her butt off the show due to her comments about Mrs. Obama but I wasn’t surprised when they didn’t take her off the air! I have a feeling that if the First Lady would have been White that Raven would have been forced to write an apology letter and read it on TV the following day to keep her day job! A lot of people demanded that ABC remove Raven after making those remarks but nothing happen as usual!
Now Raven has finally done it with me and I needed to address her mess on my blog because I am ashamed of her and what young African-American girls see and hear in regards to her self-hating comments! Last week on “The View” Whoopi Goldberg discussed some research that was conducted on African-Americans and their low chances of getting a job with so-called ghetto names. Whoopi thinks the data is ‘racist’ and Raven jumps in and says “Can we take back ‘racist’ and say ‘discriminatory,’ because I think that’s a better word,” she said while laughing. “And I’m very discriminatory against the words like the ones they were saying in those names. I’m not going to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea. That’s just not going to happen. I’m not going to hire you.”
Raven actually thought her remarks were funny and valid. First of all, I have never met anyone name “Watermelondrea!” I agree there are some unique and different names within the African-American community but that is what makes us beautiful and some of these so-called ghetto names really do have beautiful meanings! Hell, it’s not just African-Americans with unique names, I have met a lot of White and Latino people with some very interesting names! Hearing a Black woman say that she won’t hire someone because of their name is just nasty and disturbing to me! African-Americans already get picked on for their culture, hair, and even names but to hear a Black woman on daytime TV agree with a ‘system’ that is racist is just showing your self-hate towards your race! First of all, let’s look at Raven…she spells her name incorrectly by so-called White American standards, she has a red color Mohawk hairstyle that is feathered…looks like a Rooster, she wears hair weaves in various colors, she is loud and annoying, she is Lesbian, and she is over weight by White American standards…all of this would be viewed as so-called stereotypes. She built a career on being Black but how easily she forgets! Her character “Galleria” in the “Cheetah Girls” series had a so-called ghetto name that made her a lot of money! I am tired of Raven and her hateful comments towards people of color! We don’t need anymore “Uncle Toms” on TV in 2015! We need TV figures who will speak up and defend their race, culture, and stand up against racist comments. I would like to see someone who would not be afraid to lose their job over standing up for what’s right! “Sambo” and the minstrel show performances that Raven and so many other African-American public figures need to stop!
This is 2015 and I will not accept or support any African-American who feel the need to be “Sambo” to keep their job. We as African-Americans have to start demanding to be treated with high respect and dignity, period! We are not second class citizens and I won’t ever have anyone treat me that way because I have too much pride to ever be treated inferior! Raven needs to really do some soul-searching on her roots and herself! Due to her Blackness, she can’t get many movie or TV parts which she admitted a few years back but I guess she forgot those moments when she got on “The View!” Her name on any resume looks like a real stereotype so she needs to sit down and just stop talking! I have to say I clapped when Ann Coulter put Raven in her place on Friday, October 16, 2015. I am adding the link to the Raven and Ann conversation which was priceless! I am not a supporter of Ann Coulter by any means but yesterday I was a fan for five minutes! It’s funny that Raven would go head-to-head with Whoopi Goldberg all day but it took a non-Black woman to put Raven in her place which says a lot! I hope ABC removes Raven from the show because she brings nothing positive to the show at ALL!
The Million Man March 2015 was held yesterday, October 10th, 2015. I really enjoyed seeing thousands of African-Americans gather together along with Native Americans and Latinos in Washington, DC at the Capitol. It was the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March which was called “Justice Or Else!” rally convened by the Nation of Islam’s leader, Louis Farrakhan.
The March was different from 1995. The 1995 March was more about Black men needing to take responsibility and accountability in their home. This year’s March was about a few things that are happening in the Black community; police brutality, calling for unity and institutional reform on social justice issues, Black on Black crime, homosexuality, and Black women should love themselves and always carry themselves with dignity and respect especially the young women. The March was beautiful to see on TV, people were waving flags, hugging each other, singing, and just happy to be at a peaceful gathering that felt like a family reunion.
Minister Farrakhan, 82, spoke to the crowd on the National Mall in Washington and reflected on the importance of passing the torch to the next generation. “We who are getting older… what good are we if we don’t prepare young people to carry that torch of liberation to the next step? What good are we if we think we can last forever and not prepare others to walk in our footsteps?” he said. Minister Farrakhan was also addressing men to respect and love the Black woman. He also addressed the social injustices that Latino and Native Americans are experiencing.
Minister Farrakhan discussed passing of the torch and gave thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement, the group that demanded justice for police involved deaths. He regarded the group as “future leadership.” Minister Farrakhan said that Ferguson ignited it all, “So to all the brothers and sisters from Ferguson who laid in the streets, all the brothers and sisters from Ferguson who challenged the tanks, we are honored that you have come to represent our struggle and our demands.” There were several celebrities that attended the March such as; P. Diddy, Russell Simmons, rapper J. Cole, Snoop Dog who was dressed up in a suit with a bow tie, comedian Dave Chappelle, and “Empire” star Bryshere Y. Gray. Also in attendance was the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.
This was a wonderful event that was only covered by C-SPAN news. I was very disappointed in the limited coverage that this positive gathering received. I wasn’t surprised that CNN and Fox news did not cover this event. I was surprised and very disappointed in the Black media like BET, TVOne, and even OWN for not covering such an important event. I saw Roland Martin apologize for not covering the event due to other priorities. Other priorities? Really Roland! The Black media is really looking like a true follower of mainstream media these days! I thought I could trust that the Black media outlets would cover this historical event but nothing happen! I think a lot African-Americans were surprised by no coverage from the Black outlets.
I am learning that we can’t depend on Black media anymore and they are mainly being controlled by the mainstream media. I think a lot of folks depended a lot on social media feeds and pictures from people who attended the event to get updates and information. Thank goodness for C-SPAN in covering the event or we all would have been lost in the dark about this event. Majority of people heard about the event through word of mouth versus media outlets. However, I am sure this event would have covered by all networks if there were protests in the streets, burning communities, or police brutality. I am noticing whenever African-Americans get together in a positive manner it’s not news worthy because it shows unity that mainstream media don’t want the world to see. The mainstream media only want to perceive the African-American community as people who can’t get anything together.
Well, we may not received the mainstream coverage but the world got a chance to see the event courtesy of the social media outlets and the many people who tweeted their pictures and videos. Thank you Minister Farrakhan for creating this event in a time racial injustice is happening around the world! I hope all the people who attended the event go back to their communities and volunteer, mentor the kids in their communities, create non-profit organizations, and just educate the community on loving themselves. This event showed me that the Black community wants change, new leadership, and direction in their communities. The Black media is a huge disappointment but it prove to me that they are no better than the mainstream media when covering stories in the Black community!
I have been reading media and magazine articles on the stereotypes that are evident in three hot African-American shows…Empire, Scandal, and Power. I was excited like everyone else when Fox channel 11 announced they were hiring Lee Daniels to create an African-American series which included Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard. The show was described as this African-American family who would fight to keep their record company alive, relevant, and to groom their children to run the company. The show description sound exciting and very interesting; nothing like this has been done before on TV. Sure we had the Cosby show, Different World, and a few other comedy shows but they were not drama or romance. Yet it wasn’t what I expected at all! An African-American family that back stabs each other every chance they get, using sex to get what they want, African-American community painted as homophobic, light-skin women as the beauties and dark skin women as loud, and killing love ones to keep quiet!
I was happy to see ABC channel 7 come out with Scandal starring Kerry Washington. The show creator Shonda Rhimes who is an African-American woman and is a well-known writer and creator of Grey’s Anatomy. I just knew that this show would catch my attention especially after hearing about the plot which is based on Kerry Washington character “Olivia Pope” who owns a crisis management firm that cleans up the messes of the elite. The twist is that she is having an affair with the President of the United States. I was disappointed in seeing Kerry play a side piece and not having a man of her own!
Power which is Starz’s breakout show created by rapper 50 Cent which stars Omari Hardwick and Naturi Naughton from the girl group 3LW. Omari’s character “Ghost” plays a bigtime drug dealer that wants to go straight and focus on his club plus be with his first love who happens to be a district attorney. I forgot to mention that Ghost is married with three kids and cheating on his wife. Sure the character is a drug dealer but he is one of the top dogs and he is trying to get out of the hustling business and go legit. My problem with this show is that “Ghost” who is African-American and is married to an African-American woman but can’t stay committed to her because he wants his non-Black first love. Again, another stereotype that an African-American man looks at African-American women as second best and is willing to ruin his family to be with his non-Black woman.
The African-American characters in Scandal and Power are smart, sexy, attractive, well dressed, and well spoken. However, the African-Americans in Empire are loud, rude, offensive at times, and more aligned with stereotypes that I am annoyed with on a daily basis. Scandal shows a strong educated African-American woman who calls the shots and the elite come to her for help which has never been shown on TV! However, I just hate seeing the stereotype of an African-American woman having to be the side piece and not having her own partner. This is a typical stereotype in the African-American community that doesn’t need to be glorified anymore!
Yes, there are shows with non-Black characters that cheat on each other, lie, and kill each other. However, the non-Black shows tend to offer great friends, great family, positive viewpoints, and the men and women characters doing whatever it takes to hold the family together. Plus, non-Black shows have been around forever! I am tired of the first African-American dramas being about deceit, crime, killing, cheating, backstabbing each other, and talking like a sailor to win over non-Black audiences and Emmy’s! We deserve to see us as dedicated family men and women, successful business owners without backstabbing our family, and not being the educated side piece. I think this is why shows like the Cosby show, A Different World, Good Times, Jefferson’s, Sanford & Son, and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air were successful because they should us family, love, business owners, professionals, husbands dedicated to their families, and the importance of education. We need to stop taking half-ass hand-outs from mainstream networks. We need to invest in African-American channels that are willing to tell our stories in a respectful manner.
I am tired of seeing rap, fur coats, obnoxious attitudes, disrespectful language, using sex as a toy, no real partner, the African-American characters (male or female) not desiring each other, not respecting the family, rude to each other, no class, characters in jail, and competing with each other. I think we need better writers and characters. Morris Chestnut new show “Rosewood” has potential but its like Fox channel 11 doesn’t want to invest in a positive character. Morris Chestnut plays a high-level pathologist who solves murder cases in Miami, Florida and is single without kids. The story series is weak due to no talented writing for the show. Why create a show and not fully invest in it? This is just another way of saying we tried to do positive shows but stereotypes works better!
I will give an honorable mention to Viola Davis who stars in Shonda Rhimes series called “How to get away with murder” which she plays a law professor along with her five students get caught up in a murder plot which is about her students killing her cheating husband and her trying to help them hide the murder…again, another broken marriage when it comes to African-American shows. I love Viola Davis and felt she deserve to win so many other nominations including her recent Emmy win especially since it was between Taraji P. Henson character “Cookie” and Viola Davis character “Annalise”. If I had to pick between the two, my vote went to Viola. Cookie is a character that is a stereotype and I am tired of seeing that specific character on TV!
I do feel that these shows keep the stereotype alive! The public would be so upset if we kept portraying gay men as wimps, dressing in outrageous outfits, flirting with every man they see, sleeping around, love make-up, and always a hairdresser on a show! This rule applies to African-Americans too! Stop portraying us in half-ass roles and give us something different! Please give Morris Chestnut show a real chance with decent writers. Shonda Rhimes is probably the best writer out there with Scandal and How to get away with murder! Lee Daniels in my book is marketing off the so-called Black stereotypes which is worse when it’s your people making money by building wealth on stereotypes that hurt and offend the community. I don’t think Dr. Martin L. King or Malcolm X was hoping that we pride ourselves as stereotypes on TV!
We can’t ask for respect if we keep supporting shows that portray us in a negative light! I am one of those people who want to see our talented actors get on shows that will last a long time. I love seeing more people of color on TV but I just hate seeing the same thing all the time! I have tried to support these shows because I was hoping that someone would see that “Black Star Power” is real and can succeed across mainstream! I was hoping that maybe someone will see us as blockbuster talent and put us in romances, positive drama series, and family drama series. By the way…there are many African-Americans that embrace their gay and lesbian family members and there are many white conservatives that hate the homosexual lifestyle so let’s stop painting only the African-American community as homophobic people in shows like Empire!
In the end I am realizing that you are damned if you don’t support these shows and damned if you support them because you are contributing to the so-called stereotypes! However, one thing that I am learning is to speak up and email the channels that refuse to show positive characters! I will try to keep supporting these actors because they need to work and hopefully these actors will speak up and demand better characters and story lines in the near future!
Today another tragedy happen at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. It took ten minutes to kill nine people and wound seven other people! Just like that we have lost nine innocent people for no reason. What will it take for the government to change gun control laws in this country? This is the 45th mass shooting on a school campus and 294th shooting in the United for 2015! This is incredible that these type of shootings are becoming normal news reporting these days. The gunman who is dead now is being reported as 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer who entered an Introduction to Expository Writing class around 10:30 a.m. this morning and asked people who were Christian to stand up and he started shooting them in the head and if they didn’t answer then he would shot them in the leg. What’s interesting is that he listed himself on his social pages as spiritual. This killing has nothing to do with his race which is biracial so I don’t want to hear this mess discussed by the media because I am already starting to see posts that he is mixed race and a black lives matter protester which doesn’t matter! This is about a man with mental issues that was allowed to get a gun and killed innocent people because of their religious choices. I respect all religions so let’s not start blaming non-Christians for this shooting. We don’t know what caused him to go kill Innocent people, we don’t know his background yet, and we don’t know if he had mental issues.
The victims deserve to be honored and celebrated! We need to learn more about the victims and celebrate their lives. The victims were people who were attending college to better themselves along with one professor who was trying to help people. I am glad that the President decided to pay respect to the victims and their families and to address gun control again today! We should hold our government officials accountable and demand changes or we will always see these mass killings across the nation. Roseburg, a town of 22,000 three hours south of Portland, has suffered tragedy before. In 2006, Roseburg High freshman Vincent Leodoro shot fellow student Joseph Monti four times in the back while both were in the school courtyard. Monti survived, and many Roseburg-area institutions, including Umpqua Community College, responded to the attack with new plans for how to handle and prevent active shooter scenarios.
I know the police don’t want to discuss the shooter but the people and world should know about him and any warning signs that we all can identify to prevent any more killings. We need to take the rest of the week and honor the victims that were killed, learn why the killer wanted to kill people, and find out if he had mental issues and how he obtained a gun. My heart goes out to the victims families as they mourn the loss of their loved ones and my heart goes out to the killer’s family because they have to deal with the blame, media, investigation, and finger-pointing and judgement! Vigils are happening all over Roseburg and other cities which is needed now. My prayers and condolences go out to these victims and their families. There will also need to be free counseling on the college campus for students and the victims that survived to try to deal with the aftermath.
Congratulations to the 8 selected Booklikes winners for winning a free copy of my paperback book of Stand For Something or Stand For Nothing! I have one more book giveaway on Goodreads that will end on October 5th, 2015. Please click on the link below and enter a chance to win. I would greatly appreciate a book review on Amazon or Goodreads after you finish the book.