Mike Huckabee, the former Republican governor and once a presidential hopeful, says that President Barrack Obama and his wife Michelle should not let their daughters listen to hip hop, and in particular Beyoncé. Huckabee said on ABC’s “This Week” that he considers the Obamas “great parents,” but why would they allow their kids to listen to artists such as Beyoncé, whose music he called “mental poison.” Huckabee added that keeping tabs of your kids’ pop culture intake is part of being a responsible parent. “They’re great parents, they’re careful about making sure that their kids get a lot of vegetables and eat right, that’s terrific,” Huckabee said of the Obamas, according to the Huffington Post. “Well, what you put in your brain is also important as well as what you put into your body, and that was my point based on what the president himself said.” Huckabee was referring to a 2012 interview the President did with Glamour magazine, where he indicated that although he and his daughter Malia, now 16, share some music interests, he doesn’t always listen with her. “We actually share tastes in hip-hop and rap music but we don’t listen to it together, because some of the language in there would embarrass me – at least while I’m listening to it with her,” President Obama said in the interview. Huckabee, however, states in his new book, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” that Beyoncé’s husband Jay-Z is a pimp “by exploiting his wife as a sex object.”
Top Democrats in Washington, D.C., including Rep. Adam Schiff of California, are defending an appointment of Congressman Andre Carson (Indiana), a Muslim, to the House Intelligence Committee. Social media went into a frenzy after the announcement, with many claiming the move was dangerous, according to the Associated Press. Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, rejected the idea, reminding doubters that Carson is the only member of Congress that has served with the Department of Homeland Security. Carson was the Fusion Center, which provides intelligence training and sharing across levels of government. In addition, he has served on the House Armed Services Committee. Schiff said the protests were “Un-American,” adding that including Muslim Americans in public policy decisions is “an essential element in preventing the kind of alienation that has made too many young European Muslims vulnerable to extremism.” Rep. Joseph Crowley of New York added, “We will never be able to grow as a society if we allow this kind of hatred and division to go unchecked.”
District of Columbia
“1965: Civil Rights at 50” opened last week at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The exhibit explores the dramatic civil rights events of 1965, including the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., the signing of the Voting Right Act by then President Lyndon B. Johnson and the event called “Bloody Sunday,” when protestors were beaten and trampled as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. Many of the items on exhibit are stunning in their depictions of the Civil Rights Movement, such as the front page of the Dallas Morning News, which depicted John Lewis (a veteran Congressman) being beaten by a state trooper. Another dramatic piece is the cover of Time magazine, which compared the violent images coming out of the Watts’ riots to the battlefields of Vietnam. Wal-Mart and Altria are contributing sponsors of the exhibit. Learn more at www.newseum.org
A South Florida police chief is under fire after allowing his officers to shoot at mug shots of Black teens during target practice. The practice came to light last week when Valerie Deant, a sergeant in the National Guard, went to an annual weapon training drill and noticed the targets that the North Miami Beach police were using. One of the mug shots was that of her brother, as well as several teenagers. “I was like, ‘Why is my brother being used for target practice?’” Her brother was arrested in 2000 in regards to a drag race that ended in the death of two people. Woody Deant, the brother, said he was shocked to see the target of his face, which had bullet holes. “I’m not even living that life according to how they portrayed me,” he told WTVJ- TV (Channel 4). “I’m a father. I’m a husband. I’m a career man. I work nine to five.” North Miami Beach Police Chief J. Scott Dennis claims that his department uses mug shots of Whites and Hispanics as well. Dennis added that he would temporarily halt the use of targets of former people that were arrested by his department. Woody Deant said that he is still concerned. Police officers will “automatically think target, target, target” when they see me.
Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida has been approved by Democrats as ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. She has steadfastly served for more than 20 years, knows the issues and is committed to the work, including her 5th Congressional district (formerly the 3rd), which has a high number of veterans and family members as constituents. She will now have oversight and investigative authority for the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Rep. Brown is the first woman since the ‘60s and the first African American woman in the committee’s history. The appointment of Rep. Corrine Brown shows that the House Democratic leadership is more serious than ever about veterans, as well as seniority, fairness and particularly diversity while reforming, or fixing the V.A. for the 21st century. “I pledge to work in a bi-partisan manner, but will always provide a strong voice and stand up for Democratic core values that protect the most vulnerable,” she commented.
The parents of a high school athlete in Savannah have filed a lawsuit alleging that their son was killed by his classmates. Kendrick Johnson, 17, was found rolled up in a gym mat two years ago. The family also alleges that the nature of Johnson’s death was covered up by school officials and investigators. The lawsuit names 38 defendants, including three of Johnson’s classmates at Lowndes High School, who the lawsuit claims attacked Johnson. The sheriff’s office claims that the teen died as a result of a freak accident and no criminal charges were filed. The federal government is also conducting its own investigation into the teen’s death.
Police in St. Louis County have issued an apology for beating and handcuffing a 22-year-old student who they mistook for a suspect in a car chase last week. The college junior, however, has been left with severe damage to his ear and a totaled car, according to KTVI-TV Fox 2. Joseph Swink reportedly crashed his car as he was trying to get out of the way of a police chase. When his vehicle began smoking, he ran away, so the police went after him, thinking that he was the suspect that they were chasing. Pictures of Swink show his face bruised and bloodied after his encounter with police. St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez blamed the mistaken identity on the situation. “All the sirens and lights were going off. It was very loud and they couldn’t hear anything the citizen was saying.” Within minutes, the police received a radio call indicting that the actual suspect had been captured. Although the police are apologizing, they are also claiming that the mistaken identity had nothing to do with race. Swink told Fox 2, however, that he feels differently, indicating that he feared for his life. “There was nobody black on the scene, just a lot of white cops. I didn’t feel safe around them,” he said. “I think they probably felt they could get away with it because I was and they can do this.” Swink has no criminal record and is studying accounting in school.
East Orange native Antonique Smith has a Grammy nod and hit on her hands with her debut single, “Hold Up! Wait a Minute,” which is as contemporary as it is social. With her debut track, she is boldly making a statement on what is going on in the world today. Her reward? A Grammy nomination alongside industry veterans the likes of Kem, Lalah Hathaway and Marsha Ambrosius in the Traditional R&B Performance category. Urban radio has also picked up the track. In just a couple of weeks, it’s hit the top 30 on Billboard. The New Jersey native says the lyrics of the song are as much about a woman’s confidence as it is about people waking up to the injustices going on around us. Smith is a veteran of Broadway (“Rent”), television and film (she played Faith Evans in the biopic “Notorious”). Using her connections with other entertainment stars – Lance Gross, Larenz Tate and “Vine” star King Bach – and an acumen for business, she put together the video and song using money she raised from Kickstarter. “We raised more than $50,000 in 30 days,” she told Our Weekly. The single will be followed up by an album in the coming months called “Love Is Everything,” with strong messages. “It’s all the good things and experiences of love. The social situation – the Michael Brown and Eric Garner situations – it’s like “Hold Up! Wait A Minute!” These are all things that make us feel powerless. But we have to wait a minute and get together and put our foot down.” She will also be heard on the album “Home,” a project presented by the Hip Hop Caucus to raise awareness about climate change and “expand the climate movement.”
100 Black Men Inc. of New York’s board of directors has announced its honorees for the 35th Annual Benefit Gala, which will be held on Thursday, Feb. 19 at the New York Hilton Hotel. The honorees are:
• Torrence Boone, global head of Google Agency Sales & Services
• Duane C. Farrington, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for State Farm
• Carla A. Harris, vice chairman, wealth management, Morgan Stanley
• Hon. Charles B. Rangel, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives.
Gary Smalls will be recognized as Mentor of the Year. Gala co-chairs are Robert B. Brown, CFO, New York Yankees, and Will Brown Jr., president, Brown Companies and Associates Inc. WBLS-FM radio personality Shaila Scott and Mike Woods, meteorologist on “Good Day New York” on WNYW-TV Fox5, will be the co-emcees of the black-tie fundraiser, which features a cocktail reception dinner, awards program and entertainment.
Meharry Medical College hosted a television taping of “The Bobby Jones Music Matinee” for IMPACT Network at the Cal Turner Family Center for Student Education last Sunday. During the event, Dr. Bobby Jones honored Meharry for its longstanding history of providing health care education, training and patient care to those most in need. Dr. Jones recognized Meharry’s alumni, the Meharry 12 South Community Clinic and the Meharry Medical Group. The event featured music by the Nashville Super Choir and other special guests. Meharry Medical College has a longstanding tradition of serving Nashville’s most vulnerable populations—the poor and underserved. For more than a century, Meharry has trained and produced thousands of the nation’s top primary care physicians, dentists, scientists and public health professionals as the largest private, historically Black academic medical center. Throughout its rich history, Meharry has placed special emphasis on providing educational opportunities for people of color, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and others, regardless of race or ethnicity; delivering high quality health services and conducting research that fosters the elimination of health disparities.
Vice President Joe Biden has announced $25 million in funding for cybersecurity education at HBCUs. Biden, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and White House Science Adviser John Holdren traveled to Norfolk State University last week announce the Department of Energy plan, which will provide the grant over the next five years to support cybersecurity education. The new grant will support the creation of a new cybersecurity consortium consisting of 13 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), two national labs and a K-12 school district. The visit builds on the President Barack Obama’s announcements on cybersecurity earlier in the week, focusing on the critical need to fill the growing demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals in the U.S. job market, while also diversifying the pipeline of talent in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. As evidenced by the hacking of Sony recently and several credit breaches at national retailers, the rapid growth of cybercrime is creating a growing need for cybersecurity professionals across a range of industries, from financial services, health care and retail to the U.S. government itself. By some estimates, the demand for cybersecurity workers is growing 12 times faster than the U.S. job market, and is creating well-paying jobs. To meet this growing need, the Department of Energy is establishing the Cybersecurity Workforce Pipeline Consortium with funding from the Minority Serving Institutions Partnerships Program housed in its National Nuclear Security Administration.