Over the past 2 weeks, prospective voters have been registering in droves. Whether inspired by celebs they admire or of their own volition, National Voter Registration Day brought in more than 800,000 new applicants. Rallying behind anti-establishment candidates, Democrats are hoping that this is the blue wave they have longed for. As we hope for the dawn of a brighter day, there’s already blood on the horizon — Republicans have been purging voter rolls under a ‘Use it or Lose it’ initiative.
In Georgia alone, 340K voters have been stricken from the records of their polling places in what has become a horrific trend of voter suppression. Facing immediate backlash from the public, lawsuits have been filed. Citing abuse of power, Brian Kemp, secretary of state of Georgia, is being sued for purposefully blocking the registrations of nearly 50K, 80 percent of whom are Black, Latino, or Asian. At the state level, Secretary of State serves as an election officer in addition to their other duties which makes Kemp’s campaign all the more distressing. His lack of integrity and approval of policies that directly target migrant minorities are reminiscent of old republican party ideas that saw the creation of Reagan’s debilitating “Law and Order” policies.
“Their registration is canceled. Not pending, not inactive – canceled. If they show up to vote on 6 November, they will not be allowed to vote.” – Greg Palast, investigative journalist
In Texas, gerrymandering tactics that target minority voters have been in effect since the repeal of a 1965 Voting Rights Act clause that served to protect the freedoms of residents. Enacted to address racial discrimination, the protection act was repealed because Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts did not believe minorities needed their votes protected and stated the act was unconstitutional. Under this lack of supervision, Texas has been legally purging voter rolls since 2013 and the success of Kemp’s assault on voter rights has only emboldened them.
State-to-state, voter suppression can look like:
1. new and strict voter id requirements
2. selective access to early voting
3. moving polling locations to further restrict access
4. deadlines for registration and absentee ballot requests
5. felon disenfranchisement
So how can we combat voter suppression? Learn if your state is among the list that allows you to register up to election day. Vote early, if possible. If transportation is your obstacle, many ride-sharing apps are offering free or discounted rides to polling places. Above all, don’t get discouraged. This is a time where even in the midst of our harsh political climate, many are banding together based on values to support one another.
Check out Vote.org to learn about your state’s voting laws and even register online.
Michelle Williams Quits Broadway Show
It has been a difficult year for Michelle Williams. Having ended her engagement, per doctors’ orders she now has to end her Broadway career.
From a statement provided to People magazine, the Destiny’s Child alum has orders to take it easy.
“Effective immediately, Michelle T. Williams has been advised by doctors to take a leave of absence from performing.”
The 38-year-old singer and mental health advocate had the role of Erzulie, a goddess, in “Once On This Island”. She had only been performing in the role for two weeks.
Sources say her understudy, Cassondra James, will take over until December 26th. From that point, Lea Salonga, the original lead, will resume her role until the finale January 6th.
With no further explanation given regarding why Michelle must take a sabbatical, its tough to say why she needs a break. Her ongoing struggle to conquer depression, the recent stint in a mental health care facility, and toxic relationship may have taken their toll.
Hopefully, Michelle is taking some time to mend herself. This summer she stated, “Take one step at a time! Don’t overwhelm yourself.” We’re all hoping she’s following her own advice.
Kodak Black Walks Out Hot 97 Interview After Ebro Brings Up Sexual Assault Case
During an interview with Hot 97, Ebro asked Kodak questions about his criminal past. Things went smoothly until Ebro mentioned the seriousness of sexual assault allegations.
At the beginning of the segment, Ebro posed an interesting question to Kodak for which he had no answer.
“When you look at all the stuff that you’ve got on your rap sheet, everything that you’ve been charged with, how much do you take accountability for?”
“Everything that you’ve been charged with.” At the time, Kodak may have only been thinking about misdemeanor drug charges. Ebro had specifically mentioned marijuana possession and alluded to “different things” Kodak had been going through.
Kodak was obliged to answer the Hot 97 crew’s questions, but it wasn’t until the focus was shifted to sexual assault that he got uneasy. Ending the interview, in a huff, Kodak said:
“I feel like sometimes when n*ggas like me going through sh*t, like, y’all be entertained by bullsh*t.”
Indicted on sexual misconduct charges, Kodak could face 30 years in prison if convicted. He stands accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in a hotel. Allegedly biting her neck and breast before the assault, prosecutors claim he also pushed her into a wall. With the trial tentatively scheduled for April 2019, Kodak is avoiding any discussion surrounding the case.
Far to go
Following the release of the interview, many of Kodak’s fans took to social media to support the artist. Showing that the hip hop community is not prepared to call out misogyny and abusive behavior, his fanbase began attacking Ebro. Still, many stood in Ebro’s defense. Despite the rise of the #MeToo movement, hip-hop is still ages behind in terms of inclusive progression. Twitter users echoed the same sentiments with statements like these:
I find it so very interesting that people of Blackness will rightfully vilify Nicki Minaj for dating a rapist, yet ignore Kodak Black being one himself. There are terms for this, right?
— Akira Takizawa (@OnionKnight__) December 12, 2018
People being furious at Ebro for telling Kodak Black "We take sexual assault seriously here" is proof there's a lack of guidance out here. People whose job is interviewing musicians are supposed to ask hard questions. But that wasn't a hard question. That was just accountability.
— Craig Bro Dude (@CraigSJ) December 13, 2018
In his defense, Ebro had this to say in regards to the touchy subject:
I was tryna have a balanced convo with Kodak Black & not ignore the serious allegations against him but also not ask specifics to make his situation worse… and he wanna get an attitude with me?? Nah….
— El Viejo Ebro (@oldmanebro) December 12, 2018
Do you think Ebro was out of line? In what ways could Kodak have responded better?
Locked up! Michael Cohen Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison
Trump’s Ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, has been sentenced to three years in prison! After pleading guilty to nine federal charges, the fixer has found himself a one way ticket to Club Fed.
You are going to jail! Periodt!
Michael Cohen stood before Judge William Pauley and tearfully apologized to his family and the people of the United States. Cohen cried:
“Recently, the President tweeted a statement calling me weak and it was correct, but for a much different reason than he was implying. It was because time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.”
While Cohen’s lawyers had argued against a prison sentence on the grounds of his cooperation with Mueller, he will still face 36 months for 8 charges. For the Mueller charge, he faces an additional 2 months as well as a $50,000 fine. As of now, he has to turn himself in March 6th, 2019.
Cohen pleaded guilty just 13 days ago.
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