Does Shows Like Empire, Scandal, and Power Improve African-Americans or Keep Stereotypes Alive!


Terrence Howard (center) stars in Empire with (from left): Jussie Smollett, Serayah McNeill, Taraji P. Henson, Bryshere Gray, Grace Gealey, Trai Byers and Kaitlin Doubleda
Terrence Howard (center) stars in Empire with (from left): Jussie Smollett, Serayah McNeill, Taraji P. Henson, Bryshere Gray, Grace Gealey, Trai Byers and Kaitlin Doubleda

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!

Another Shooting! We Need Gun Control Laws Changed ASAP!


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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 who will receive a free copy of my Book!


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.

Best regards,

Ebony

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/153169-stand-for-something-or-stand-for-nothing-the-story-of-how-a-mother-and

Racism & Discrimination isn’t just happening in the United States!


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Today I came across an article posted by a friend on my Facebook page about four women that were discriminated against at a night club called DSTRKT in London. The club is known for its celebrities like Jay-Z, Drake, and Rihanna.  The four women Zalika Miller, Lin Mei, Symeon Brown, and Tasha Campbell arrived at the club on Saturday, September 26, 2015 after they were invited by a promoter named Daniel. Lin Mei told reporters she and her friends initially weren’t allowed in because the venue was at capacity. However, she noticed the club was still allowing White women entry. After Lin Mei spoke to Daniel, he informed them that Ugo Allessio (the club manager) wanted to see the women first. Faced with this upsetting info, Lin Mei went to speak with Ugo Allessio to see why the group was being turned away. According to Lin Mei, Ugo Allessio said she could come in because she is biracial, but her friends could not.

Keep in mind the club manager is Black! He was only letting biracial women in who weren’t dark skin or overweight by the club standards. He also recommended the ladies to visit a club called Case de Paris which would let them in right away.  This isn’t the first incident that the club has discriminated against Black people. This is 2015 and I don’t understand how this club could get away with these tactics! I am sorry but everyone around the world should be writing to venues that practice this type of discrimination! This is the only way to shine light on these situations. The celebrities that visit this club should also speak up because if it wasn’t for their Black fans some of them would not be successful today. However, I am aware that a lot of these celebrities request certain women in the club which is just foul!

The four ladies planned for a protest today against the club which I hope was successful. I am sorry but this club and any other venue should be closed down for this type of behavior! I am sure a few folks that do get into this club are aware of the discrimination but just turn the other cheek because they were approved admittance which is wrong! Don’t sell yourself short for admittance into a club especially if they have an issue with people of your race! Remember, this could be your mother, aunt, sister, and any relative and friend that gets denied. I hope that people stand up against this and any other venue that practices this type of discrimination. Discrimination is getting out of control these days and it will take everyone to speak against it if we want a real change in this world! I will be sending emails and writing letters to the club owner and any other venue that feels discrimination is the right way to go in 2015! I will also speak up against any celebrity that still wants to support this type of venue. I am passionate about this type of discrimination because my mother and I fought against racism and discrimination over 10 years ago with one of the richest men in the world…former NBA Clippers owner Donald Sterling and it was hard but we needed to do that to make things better for people of color!

I don’t support Dr. Ben Carson but I won’t pick on his wife…that is just wrong!


Dr. Ben Carson and Candy Carson at the Family Foundation Fund's A Nashville Evening at Lipscomb University with Joe Hutts and Mary Carmen Englert. (Facebook)

I have been reading a few articles and Facebook comments on Dr. Ben Carson and his wife. I find it really disturbing that people would make unnecessary comments against Dr. Ben Carson’s wife for no reason! She isn’t running for Presidnet…her husband is! She is an accomplished woman and should be respected no matter how you feel about him. As an African-American woman, I find it disheartening that Mrs. Carson would be the subject of jokes! Let’s see she is the wife of a successful top neurosurgeon, married for 40 years, have three sons that are all educated, a triple major student at Yale University, holds an MBA, head of the Carson Scholars Fund program which awards 2nd-11th graders scholarships, and is a concert violinist…sounds pretty accomplished to me!

I can care less what she wears because her resume is pretty impressive. Dr. Ben Carson did not marry a dummy or someone with no class. He married an accomplished woman in her own right who should be respected. I don’t support Dr. Ben Carson and his candidacy for president but I won’t be a part of the “let’s bash Dr. Carson wife movement” ! Why do we find the need to bash wives of African-American leaders or candidates? I have seen this done heavily to President Obama’s wife and now to Republican candidate Dr. Ben Carson wife. Yet, I could name a few wives that should be included in the bashing movement…Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, and the list goes on! Let’s show some respect and give these men kudos for marrying successful and talented women! Concentrate on the candidates versus their wives!

Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis is now a Republican… Is this important?


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Yesterday Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis announced that she is switching political teams. She was a long supporter of the Democrat party but switched due to the Republican party showing major support for her decision to not issue wedding licenses to gay and lesbian couples due to her religion. Why is this news worthy? I can see why it’s important to some folks because there are a lot of people who are in similar situations like Kim Davis when it comes to their religion and beliefs. This may be a small portion of the Democrat supporters but at the look of things within this election…each party needs everyone votes! This presidential election looks a lot different from the last two presidential elections we have seen.

On Monday, lawyers for two gay couples and two straight couples questioned the validity of the new marriage licenses and asked a federal judge to order Kim Davis office to reissue them. If she refuses, the lawyers asked the judge to put the office in receivership and have someone else do it. Kim Davis is prepared to return to jail over her beliefs, according to an interview that aired Tuesday morning on “Good Morning America” — the first she’s given since her refusal to issue licenses gained national attention.

On Monday, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union wrote that the validity of the altered licenses is “questionable at best,” and the new licenses bring “humiliation and stigma” to the gay couples who receive them. They asked Judge Bunning to order Davis’ office to reissue the licenses. If Davis interferes, the lawyers say Bunning should place her office in a receivership for the purposes of issuing marriage licenses. The marriage licenses received by Rowan County couples will effectively feature a stamp that shows it was approved by the Federal Court versus County Clerk which will make couples feel like second class citizens.

I believe the government should listen to both sides and come up with a solution on this situation. Kim Davis is the County Clerk and by law she must give marriage licenses to everyone unless she agrees to step down from her role. The federal government could also keep Kim Davis in her role and appoint someone else to give the marriage licenses. There are certain duties that people of the Jewish or Muslim faith can’t do and companies make alternative solutions for these faiths. I think the government can do the same for Kim Davis. I believe in equal opportunity and equal rights but I also believe in equality of religion and practicing your faith without getting attacked. Guess what! Not everyone is going to agree in gay marriage and that is their right! Not everyone is going to believe in interracial marriage, believe in the same beliefs that you do, and it’s okay!

This country has long supported the Christian faith and won’t even let a non-Christian President run the country yet we are being a hypocrite when someone stands up for their faith. Believe it or not, there are bibles that state gay marriage is a sin depending on what bible you are following so let’s stop calling Kim Davis names and try to understand her choice! However, the government passed the gay marriage law and so the government must come up with a solution to make sure Kentucky follows the law which means that Kim Davis may have to step down! I know this is hard for a family that has long been a Democrat party supporter and plus Kim Davis mother was Kentucky County Clerk for 37 years. There are thousands of Kim Davis supporters that will make the switch to Republican but I totally understand that sometimes you have to go where you are supported. I understand her decision which doesn’t mean I support her decision because the Republican party isn’t supporting her out the goodness of their hearts, this is more for political reasons and they are just using her for their platform.

Please go out and support my book!


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I released my first book “Stand For Something or Stand For Nothing” on July 27th, 2015 on Amazon. This book is written from the heart and openly discusses the stand that my mother and I took against former NBA Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his racist tactics against us. This is a true story that happen between 2002-2005. My mother passed away before the case ended and I carried the torch on her behalf. We succeeded and stood up for justice and equality! Please support this book and buy it on Amazon Kindle. The book is listed #36 in Amazon Top 100 Best Sellers in the Civil Rights & Liberties category & #92 in Top 100 Best Sellers in the Rich & Famous category. Below is a link of my press conference with famous Attorney Gloria Allred requesting the NBA to remove Donald Sterling as the owner of the Clippers on May 14, 2014.

Thank you for your support!

Link to buy the book: http://www.amazon.com/Stand-Something-Nothing-Daughter-Richest/dp/B013UMYZWI/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1443128354&sr=8-1&keywords=ebony+jones

My press conference with Gloria Allred: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZbEVNQh5tQ

USC, it’s time to address the racial hate on your campus!


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A hate crime happen on the campus of highly regarded USC in Los Angeles, CA. The incident involves a White fraternity member cursed out the USC Student President with a racial slur and threw a drink at her. Rini Sampath decided to speak out about her experience that happen last weekend. Her hopes is to get the University and Community talking about racism on campus that exists. This is one of many incidents that happen all the time at USC. USC is a top University with many rich White students that attend. The funny thing is that USC is in between Downtown Los Angeles and South Central Los Angeles. However, it’s very secured and protected within its own mini community.

Students Lola Fajinmi and Precious Nwaoha were both A students in high school. But once they got to USC, the African-American women were repeatedly asked if they were athletes and told they probably got in because of affirmative action.“It’s something that happens so often you kind of just tune it out,” Fajinmi said of racial bias, as she paused between classes on campus Wednesday. “I think it’s a huge deal and would like the administration to do something about it. This is a hard topic, but we need to start talking about it.” “This story is really not about me,” Sampath, a 21-year-old senior of Indian descent, said in an interview Wednesday. “It’s about what the greater community goes through on a daily basis. I hope this creates a national conversation about race relations on campus, because these kinds of things don’t just happen at USC.”

It’s sad that it took this incident to address the racial issues on USC campus. I hope that the administration takes this incident serious and also address the other incidents that have been reported over the years. USC diversity numbers are pretty decent with 33% White, 12% Latino, 18% Asian, 5% Black, and 23% International, 9% Other. You would think with these numbers that USC would not experience many hate crimes but obviously this isn’t true. Maybe the University along with other Universities need to make a required diversity course for all students during their first or second year. We all need to understand diversity and always be sensitive to all races, cultures, and sexual orientation especially on University campuses where students are already stressed out everyday and trying to figure out their life!

Rini Sampath said the weekend incident brought back “a flood of memories” of racism in her life. The daughter of immigrants who was raised in India, Singapore, Arizona and the Bay Area before moving to Irvine, Sampath said white girls would tell her she could not play with them because of her skin color. When she ran for USC student body president this year, she said, racist messages were posted on social media: “A vote for Rini is a vote for Al-Qaeda.” She said she hoped the incident would embolden students to speak out against racism and galvanize action from administrators to improve the campus climate. Some ideas, she said, include a staff member dedicated to diversity issues, more funding for ethnic student organizations and diversity training. She and other campus leaders plan to hold a forum on cultural diversity next week to give students a chance to share their ideas and experiences. “My intention of making this public plea is so we can move forward, come up with solutions and come together as a community,” she said.

This is unacceptable in 2015! The University and students must take a stand against this behavior. Students are supposed to learn to work with each other and grow together. We will never be able to move forward in this country if we keep allowing discrimination to happen. I hope that Rini Sampath partners with all the victims of discrimination on campus and hold townhall meetings within the University to discuss discrimination and to educate everyone on diversity. Diversity is a good thing but we must learn to appreciate it in this country. Everyone wants the so-called “American Dream” and there is no one race or culture that is better!

The American Dream is truly becoming a Dream!


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I was just reading an article on Yahoo about rental costs going up in the United States. The number of United States households spend at least half their income on rent—the “severely cost-burdened,” could increase 25 percent to 14.8 million over the next decade.  According to data,  households shouldn’t spend more than 30 percent of income on housing, yet majority are spending half of their income on rent to live in decent neighborhoods, live in areas that have decent public schools, and closer to their jobs if possible.

If rents continue to rise faster than salaries, the number of households spending more than half their income on rent will rise, too. Salaries only grew 0.2 percent in the second quarter of this year, the slowest pace since 1982. Incomes are not increasing at a high rate yet rental prices are exceeding at a fast pace. Now you have rental managers asking for incomes that are 2-3 times higher than the requested rent every month. The requirements to rent an apartment or home is getting out of hand due to the public demand. A lot of rental managers are requiring someone who wants to rent an $1800.00 a month apartment you need to show an income of $64,800 a year plus have decent credit. The average American makes $35,000 a year which means they will have limited choices.

The government needs to step in and help Americans by building more affordable housing for the lower-class and middle-class families. We also need more rent control laws in America to control the insane rent increases that happen every year. The poorest Americans are more likely to spend at least half of their income on rent, according to a May report from the Furman Center that focused on renters in major cities. In New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, among other cities, more than one-third of middle-income renters were severely rent-burdened. This is insane! Why do people have to be punished for wanting a decent place to live for themselves and their families.

I am a renter in Los Angeles and the American dream of owning a home is dying fast for myself and my husband. The cost of our apartment is a damn shame and luckily there are two of us contributing to maintain our expensive apartment that has no bells or whistles; just a safe zip code! I would love to hear what the presidential candidates would do about creating affordable housing and rent control. The government really need to look at revising the IRS and changing the tax rates so that more families could keep their paycheck to help pay for rent and achieve the American dream of owning a home. If this situation isn’t addressed soon, we will see more homeless families, a huge increase in family members living together longer, less kids going to college due to families can’t save to help achieve that dream, and more Americans moving out of the country due to not being able to afford to live in America anymore.

America is supposed to be one of the best countries to live in but that isn’t the case anymore when half of your paycheck is going to rent and taxes. Why work? Work to get robbed of your money that you work hard for everyday. I think we as Americans need to stand up and demand our government to treat us better and allow us to live a decent quality of life. We tell our children to attend college why? Why attend college just to be in debt, can’t afford the American dream, and be damn near homeless! We need to take a stand and demand improvements!