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Byron Allen is a TV personality and entertainment executive turned concerned citizen, and he wants you to know that he is not happy with the way Obama's presidency has affected the well-being of the black community. In a street interview with TMZ, Allen lashed out at President Obama, saying that he hasn't done enough to give black people in America a leg up. Via the Hollywood Reporter [emphasis mine]:
"Black people have fallen further behind under President Obama," said Allen, who also criticized Obama for having referred to the looters and arsonists in last month's Baltimore riots as "thugs." "President Obama is, at this point, a white president in blackface," Allen said. "Black America would have done much better with a white president."

I hate the N-word. Everyone should hate the N-word. (We can have the "hip-hop" culture debate some other time.) It represents an ugly underbelly of a culture that should be ready to give up on words like the N-word; yet somehow, it keeps popping up in the lexicon---and the "social justice warriors" (#SJW on Twitter, for those of you playing at home) aren't making it any better. Late last month the internet went into full meltdown mode after the Rev. Jamal Bryant addressed the riots in Baltimore by claiming that "thug" is the 21st Century's N-word. Some pundits and activists (including CNN's Don Lemon) cried foul---and renewed their objections in the wake of the biker gang shootout in Waco, TX---but it takes more than a few pundits to make a dent once the SJW set has had their way with an issue. Conservtive pundit Steven Crowder took to the streets recently to figure out just how far Team SJW had gotten with regards to convincing the general public that the T-word is the new N-word. Watch:

Rep. Vanessa Summers understood the cries of an 18-month-old as racism. According to the Washington Times:
Democratic Rep. Vanessa Summers made the comment during a debate on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the House, referencing Republican Rep. Jud McMillin’s child. “I told Jud McMillin I love his son, but he’s scare of me because of my color,” Ms. Summers said to Mr. McMmillin, who is white, during last week’s debate, the Indy Star reported March 24. Ms. Summers later defended her comment, recalling the meeting with Mr. McMillin’s son earlier in the session. “He looked at me like I was a monster and turned around and cried,” Ms. Summer said, the newspaper reported. “And I told him you need to introduce your child to some people that are dark-skinned so he will not be scared.” Mr. McMillin said Ms. Summers‘ comment was “unfortunate.”
Take a look:

If there were an award for ill-conceived marketing campaigns, 'Race Together' would earn the gold. Starbucks' latest social justice endeavor that encouraged baristas to engage customers in conversations about race came to a resounding halt Sunday. One week after its launch, the corporate coffee behemoth decided to cancel the first phase of 'Race Together' after receiving tremendous negative backlash. Amazingly, consumers don't enjoy being told they're racist while ordering a cup of coffee. Who knew? According to the Associated Press, 'Race Together' is not ending, it's merely moving into the next marketing phase.
The campaign has been criticized as opportunistic and inappropriate, coming in the wake of racially charged events such as national protests over police killings of black males. Others questioned whether Starbucks workers could spark productive conversations about race while serving drinks. The phase-out is not a reaction to that pushback, Olson said. "Nothing is changing. It's all part of the cadence of the timeline we originally planned." He echoed the company memo, saying of the Race Together initiative, "We're leaning into it hard."
Riiiiiight. While customers won't be badgered by baristas, Starbucks plans to move forward with ads in USA TODAY, in-store placards, and also plans to open more stores in minority communities, reports the AP. Doubling down on a universally despised marketing campaign? Ok, then.

Remember Austin's "White People Only" sticker controversy? Last week, shop owners came in to find that their businesses had been branded with stickers bearing the Austin city seal and proclaiming that the premises were “exclusively for white people.” When the racially-charged stickers started popping up unsolicited on businesses all over the east side of town, police and city officials were hard-pressed to figure out which make and model of social justice warrior was responsible. Until now, at least. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. Austin lawyer and self-proclaimed "DWI badass" Adam Reposa has claimed responsibility for the stickers. He says he was trying to "raise awareness" about the issue of gentrification in Austin's traditionally minority-dominated communities. KXAN has the story:
“They’re getting pushed out, and pretty quick. This area of town is turning into white’s only,” Reposa said in the clip. “Not by law like it used to be, and everyone’s going to jump on, ‘that’s racist!’ ‘that’s racist!’ Man, this town, the way **** works is racist! And I knew I could just bait all of y’all into being as stupid as you are.” Reposa went on to blast people for not getting the message.

Yesterday, Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin took to the floor of the senate and accused the Republican caucus of institutional racism over the postponement of a vote confirming Loretta Lynch as the next attorney general. John McCain was not having it. Today, Senator McCain used his time on the floor to slice into Durbin---and to remind everyone that Democrats have a history of blocking Republican nominees (even the non-white ones!) Watch:

Officials in Austin, Texas are running defense over several acts of vandalism against businesses in the "gentrified" areas of the growing city. Yesterday morning, shop owners came in to find that their businesses had been branded with stickers bearing the Austin city seal proclaiming that the premises were "exclusively for white people." From the Austin Chronicle:
Among the businesses tagged with the stamps – presumably some kind of ironic protest against gentrification – were the Rare Trends clothing store, El Chilito Tacos y Café, Windmill Bicycles, and Sugar Mama's Bakeshop. In addition to the declaration, "exclusively for WHITE PEOPLE," the signs supposedly limit "a maximum of 5 colored customers" and allow only "colored BOH [back of house] staff accepted." Caroline Gray, Director of Sales and Marketing for Rare Trends, said she hadn't seen the sticker when she came in this morning, and was only made aware of it when the phone began ringing with complaints. A post had gone viral on Facebook, and at least some people believed the sticker literally, and that it had been posted by the business itself. "When we found out," Gray said, "we took it down and are keeping it for the police. We understand they are investigating, but we have no idea who did it."
The community was shocked. Business owners were mortified. Nobody really seemed to know who had put the stickers up; not one to miss out on an opportunity, however, local Democrat and state representative Dawnna Dukes immediately took to Facebook to condemn...the shop owners?

This might be the most deliciously awkward thing I've ever witnessed on cable news. Although Lawrence O'Donnell pretending to be a Boston southie and challenging Tag Romney to a fight is still at the top of that list. Yesterday, MSNBC's Chris Hayes discussed Starbucks' disastrous social justice campaign -- 'Race Together.' Meant to encourage baristas to engage customers in conversations about race, 'Race Together' received an overwhelming amount of criticism from both the left and right. Hayes brought guests Nancy Giles of CBS Sunday Morning, and culture commentator and DJ, Jay Smooth to share their thoughts on Starbucks' latest social endeavor. Smooth is the founder of the longest running hip-hop radio show in New York City. "I agree, the intentions seem noble and I want to keep an open mind," said Smooth talking about 'Race Together', "but I think there's this strange fixation on "conversation" when it comes to race that you don't see with other issues that we want to take seriously. I think it's telling that when Howard Schultz wanted to help veterans, he didn't just tell people to have conversations about how much they like veterans, he committed to a plan of action to help veterans... He talked about being inspired by what happened in Ferguson and other places, but if you look at the DOJ report on Ferguson, it does not describe issues that can be addressed by increasing the number of chats in coffee shops. We're talking about institutional, systemic issues." Conversation ensued, then Hayes played a previously recorded clip of Smooth discussing the best way to discuss race. After watching the clip, Nancy Giles turns to Smooth, begins gyrating her shoulders and says, "I can't help but tease Jay about the kinda like, brotha way he was trying to talk, like "hey" with the rap music in the background and like, down with people."

The Oscar nominations have been revealed, and everyone is talking about this year's nods, snubs, and most importantly---the racial and gender makeup of the Academy and its nominees. Of course. Here we go again. We're barely over this weekend's total freakout over the various combinations of skin color and genitalia that won top rights at the Golden Globes; you'd think we'd be given at least a week to recuperate. But no: That's right, ladies and gentlemen. The internet spent an entire day lobbing hate at a group of talented entertainers whose only crime is the relative paleness of their skin:

I remember when Halle Berry won her Best Actress Oscar back in 2002 for Monster's Ball; it was such a huge deal--she beat Judi Dench! It was the same year Denzel Washington won for Training Day, and everyone agreed that entertainment awards would never be the same because an actor and actress of color had both taken home a prestigious award. Apparently, Halle and Denzel didn't set a standard that year---they set a quota. From last night's Golden Globe awards: Is anyone else already exhausted? Twitter was:

Teachers in the San Francisco United School District are concerned about race. In an area where schools are almost 90% non-white, you'd expect that an emphasis on cultural diversity would happen by default, and that teachers wouldn't need the help of an institutionalized curriculum to get the job done. But in the wake of the Ferguson protests and rise of the "Black Lives Matter" movement, five teachers from the San Francisco area have teamed up to provide other educators with a guide to teaching about the Michael Brown shooting, the Ferguson protests, and race-based social justice movements. From the San Francisco Examiner:
Chalida Anusasananan, a teacher librarian at Everett Middle School who helped launch the resource guide, said both incidents and the subsequent protests have hit home with many public-school students in San Francisco, where nearly 90 percent are nonwhite. "We wanted to make sure that teachers had a means to teach what students were talking about with their families, or seeing on the news, or feeling every day," Anusasananan said. The resources, posted to the SFUSD's LibGuide page, includes the grand jury documents, poetry, videos and graphics, readings, and lesson plans and activities for elementary, middle and high school students. "What has to happen first and foremost is to create a safe space in the classroom for young people to talk about these things," said Karen Zapata, a humanities teacher at June Jordan High School and a co-founder of the grass-roots organization Teachers 4 Social Justice. "What's happened affects young people on an emotional level."
I took a look at the online curriculum provided by the five teachers, and it's pretty much what you'd expect to see. I took some screenshots: Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 1.08.01 PM

When he's not fighting with the teleprompter or holding rallies that summon Black Jesus, Al Sharpton stays pretty busy. But how does he make the big bucks? Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein of the New York Post have the skinny:
Want to influence a casino bid? Polish your corporate image? Not be labeled a racist? Then you need to pay Al Sharpton. For more than a decade, corporations have shelled out thousands of dollars in donations and consulting fees to Sharpton’s National Action Network. What they get in return is the reverend’s supposed sway in the black community or, more often, his silence.
Even corporate behemoths like Sony Pictures aren't immune to the Sharpton shakedown:
Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal met with the activist preacher after leaked e-mails showed her making racially charged comments about President Obama. Pascal was under siege after a suspected North Korean cyber attack pressured the studio to cancel its release of “The Interview,” which depicts the assassination of dictator Kim Jong-un. Pascal and her team were said to be “shaking in their boots” and “afraid of the Rev,” The Post reported. No payments to NAN have been announced, but Sharpton and Pascal agreed to form a “working group” to focus on racial bias in Hollywood. Sharpton notably did not publicly assert his support for Pascal after the meeting — what observers say seems like a typical Sharpton “shakedown” in the making. Pay him in cash or power, critics say, and you buy his support or silence. “Al Sharpton has enriched himself and NAN for years by threatening companies with bad publicity if they didn’t come to terms with him. Put simply, Sharpton specializes in shakedowns,” said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal & Policy Center, a Virginia-based watchdog group that has produced a book on Sharpton. And Sharpton, who now boasts a close relationship with Obama and Mayor de Blasio, is in a stronger negotiating position than ever. “Once Sharpton’s on board, he plays the race card all the way through,” said a source who has worked with the Harlem preacher. “He just keeps asking for more and more money.”
Sony is not the only corporation that landed in Sharpton's crosshairs. According to the NY Post, AEG, Plainfield Asset Management, Macy’s, Pfizer, General Motors, American Honda, and Chrysler have all "donated" to Sharpton's organization.

First, they came for the team's trademark protection, and everyone spoke up because we are a nation who loves football. Then, they came for the media's right to say the team name on-air, and we all spoke up because we are, again, a nation who loves football---and hates it when politics interferes with our enjoyment of it. Yesterday the Federal Communications Commission rejected a petition challenging the legality of using the Washington Redskins team name name in on-air broadcasts. From the National Journal:
The author of the petition, George Washington law professor John Banzhaf III, argued that the "derogatory racial and ethnic slur" is deeply offensive to American Indians. The word amounts to obscenity and profanity, which the FCC bans from the airwaves, Banzhaf said. ... Banzhaf's petition had asked the commission to reject the license renewal of WWXX-FM, a radio station owned by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder that had repeatedly said the team's name on the air. Instead, the FCC renewed the license, saying it found "no serious violations." But in an interview, Banzhaf said he expected the defeat and that it's really just "round one" of the fight. He is asking the FCC to reverse past decisions, so he didn't expect the Media Bureau to side with him, the law professor said. He plans to appeal the decision to the full commission and, if necessary, to the federal courts.
I'm sure he will appeal, and I'm nearly equally sure his arguments against use of the "Redskins" name will continue to fall apart. The FCC's ruling is comprehensive, thorough, and based in both FCC and Supreme Court case history.

Yeah, they went there. "The killings of Michael Brown and Treyvon Martin clearly shows that we don't live in a post-racial society as many expected when you were elected," Ramos says. Obama chuckled, "Well, I didn't expect that. You probably didn't either." "But many people expected you to do more on race relations, dealing with white privilege. Do you get angry with this? Is it your responsibility?" Then President Obama claimed Americans experience more equality now than before he took office, and also that Eric Holder was awesome. When Ramos pressed on saying, "but there's not really been a lot of improvement," Obama retorted, "The folks who say there's not a lot of improvement, I don't think were living in the 50's and remembering what it was like to be black or Hispanic and interacting with the police then." Take a look:

Fact Check:

Flashback to November 2, 2008. The Washington Post had this to say:

A federal judge has ruled that the owners of the Washington Redskins should be allowed to pursue legal action against a group of Native Americans who are attempting to block the team's trademark protection. Back in August, the Redskins sued to reverse a previous ruling siding with the activists who seek to destroy the team's allegedly racist brand, and today, U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee denied the activists' request to dismiss the suit. The Washington Post has the background on the case:
The five Native Americans — Blackhorse, Phillip Glover, Marcus Briggs-Cloud, Jillian Pappan and Courtney Tsotigh, members of American Indian tribes in Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, Nebraska, and Florida — are the second group to mount a challenge to the team’s trademark protection. The first group was led by Suzan Shown Harjo, who filed a petition in 1992. The patent office ruled in the group’s favor, but the Redskins appealed in federal court and won on a technicality: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that Harjo and the other plaintiffs had waited too long after turning 18 to complain about the Redskins name. But the court did not rule on whether the team name was disparaging. In the new case, Blackhorse and the other defendants filed their petition in 2006 when they were in their late teens and early 20s, ages considered early enough to file their grievances. They argue that federal trademark law bars the patent office from registering trademarks that “may disparage” groups or individuals. The law enables people to petition the office if they’ve been injured by a trademark and feel it was unlawfully awarded.
This is an old battle, but given the level of racial tension in America right now, it's more relevant than ever. Back in June, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the Redskins trademark registration, citing concerns that the branding was disparaging toward Native Americans. (Federal trademark law prohibits registration of trademarks that “may disparage” or bring individuals or groups "into contempt or disrepute.”) In the board's decision, it said that although many Native Americans do not find the trademark to be disparaging, it based its decision on whether or not there was evidence "that a substantial composite of the Native American population found the term ‘Redskins’ to be disparaging when the respective registrations [were] issued.” said This may be the worst race-baiting campaign ad since Willie Horton. Greg Sargent at WaPo announced Willie Horton is back!. The freaking out was over an NRCC-sponsored ad linking Rep. Lee Terry's (R-Neb.) Democratic opponent to convicted murderer Nikko Jenkins, who also happens to be African American. The ad attacks state Sen. Brad Ashford over his support for the state's "good time" laws, and blames those laws for Jenkins' early release. It doesn't mention Jenkins' race. Here's the ad: Here's the original Willie Horton Ad: