Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Star Jones

There's a battle royal heating up on the View regarding the departure of Star Jones Parker and Barbara Walters. Ms. Walters was just being a hypocrite when she said that Star betrayed her. But in reality, the women in "The View" and the viewing public just cannot abide Star Jones because, for one, she's an outspoken young black woman, two, she lost weight, three, that she has a very loving marriage to Al Parker, prosperous stockbroker in his own right. Some people can't stand other people to be happy. The following article is from the black oriented news website, EURWEB:

WALTERS FEELS ‘BETRAYED’ BY STAR JONES: “View’ creator says co-host’s announced departure Tuesday took her by surprise.

*Talk about being blindsided. Star Jones Reynolds apparently told no one of her decision to announce her departure from “The View” during Tuesday’s live show. Even her boss Barbara Walters was caught off guard.

"I love Star and I was trying to do everything I possibly could — up until this morning when I was betrayed — to protect her," Walters told The Associated Press.

Walters also said she was unaware of Star’s interview in People magazine (on stands Friday), where she said that producers made the decision not to renew her contract for a tenth season. She told the magazine: “I feel like I was fired.”

Star was right. Walters said ABC brass was unhappy with research that showed audiences had soured on the former prosecutor since her mysterious weight loss and 2004 wedding to banker Al Reynolds. She was roundly criticized for a website that promoted companies that donated items for the wedding party's gift bags. According to Walters, ABC execs made the decision last fall to let Reynolds go.

"We tried to talk them out of it," Walters said, "and we tried to give Star time to redeem herself in the eyes of the audience, and the research just kept getting worse."

Star, please keep your cool and don't let the haters get to you.

Rappers' and Oprah

Should Oprah reserve the right to refuse some of the foulest-mouthed, woman-bashing rappers to be on her show? I say yes. She has the right not to invite rappers who made a fortune off of disrespecting black women and women of color in general. Bravo, Oprah!

Rappers Aren't Feeling Oprah's Love

By Yvonne Bynoe, AlterNet. Posted June 21, 2006.

Oprah has refused to bring Ice Cube and Ludacris on her show. But it's not their music she hates -- it's their message of contempt for black women.

Ludacris was the first rapper to complain about Oprah. In the May 2006 issue of GQ, he said that Oprah only grudgingly invited him to her show because of his role in the Oscar-winning film "Crash." Ludacris called Oprah "unfair" and said that she edited his comments and lectured him about his music.

Then 50 Cent -- the infamous crack dealer turned rap artist -- joined the fray, telling the Associated Press that Oprah rarely invites rap artists on her show. Revealing his disdain for what he characterized as Oprah's older, female, and primarily white audience, he said, "[I] couldn't care less about Oprah or her show."

And now Ice Cube, the former frontman for controversial rap group N.W.A, has expressed his displeasure with Oprah. He told FHM magazine that he's been involved with three projects that were pitched to Oprah but has yet to receive an invite. "Maybe Oprah's got a problem with hip hop," Ice Cube said.

But contrary to what Ludacris, 50 Cent and Ice Cube have implied, Oprah has had rap artists on her show, but her tastes lean more toward John Legend and Alicia Keys than to Lil Wayne and Trina. To promote the film "Barbershop," Oprah invited rapper-actress Eve and comedian Cederic the Entertainer. Sean "P-Diddy" Combs was on before he ran the New York City marathon to raise money for local public schools. Incendiary rap artist-producer Kanye West, whose religious anthem "Jesus Walks" stirred up controversy among church folks, has also appeared on her show. Queen Latifah and LL Cool J have sat on Oprah's stage. More importantly, rap artist-producer Missy Elliott and "queen of hip hop" Mary J. Blige were both part of Oprah's Legends Weekend celebrating accomplished black women.

Earlier this month Oprah responded to her critics, explaining to MTV: "I respect other people's rights to do whatever they want to do in music and art. ... I don't want to be marginalized by music or any form of art. ... I feel rap is a form of expression, as is jazz. I'm not opposed to rap. I'm opposed to being marginalized as a woman."

In case Oprah's comments need some decoding, what she's saying is she believes rap artists should be free to record songs that call women "bitches" and "hos," and she should be equally free not to invite them on her show. Oprah does not have a problem with rap music -- she has a problem with rap that degrades women.

There's a particular arrogance that permeates Ludacris, 50 Cent and Ice Cube's statements, as if Oprah owes them a spot on her show. It's Oprah who has issues by refusing to celebrate black men who've made millions by demeaning black women?

If songs such as Ludacris' "Move Bitch" or NWA's "A Bitch Iz A Bitch" are not Oprah's cup of tea, then why should she be obligated to give them a platform? It doesn't seem to occur to these black men (or their supporters) that Oprah has the right not to use her show -- which is seen by 21 million viewers a week in 105 countries -- to promote performers whose work she feels is misogynistic or offensive. Oprah may not be kicking any black feminist credentials, but rather than blindly using her influence to "help the brothers," she is choosing not to support black entertainers whose work denies the humanity of black women.

The main focus of this brouhaha is not hip hop or rap, but the commercially successful subset of these genres that has transformed the public image of black women from flygirls to bitches, tricks, 'hos and chickenheads. This is the same sector of hip hop that has mainstreamed stripper culture, reduced the value of women to their body parts (remember Nelly's music video "Tip Drill?") and mocked the importance of love.

Rap shouldn't be banned or censored, but if living in an open society means that performers are free to express themselves, then that same freedom of expression must be extended to folks who aren't feeling it. Unfortunately, among black Americans there is little substantive debate about how popular culture affects our communities; any criticism of rap music, however slight or legitimate, is routinely dismissed as "hating."

In early 2004, Motivational Education Entertainment (MEE), a Philadelphia communications firm, released a nationwide study of 2,000 "urban" teens. The authors of the study concluded that, overall, the teens in their survey believed "black females are valued by no one."

The vast majority of the teens received their perceptions about life from the rap they regularly consumed. The study states that one of the most relevant changes in the hip hop generation (from their civil rights and black power movement predecessors) is an open disdain for black women. It makes perfect sense, then, that Oprah would not want to even indirectly advance messages that negatively impact young black women.

In his FHM interview, Ice Cube claims he deserves an invite to Oprah's show because of his "rags-to-riches story." Sure, Ice Cube has made millions -- but his success was founded on songs like NWA's "One Less Bitch," and the extremely raunchy "Giving Up the Nappy Dugout" (a solo release).

What Ice Cube fails to understand is that Oprah herself is the prototype for the "rags to riches" stories she highlights on her show; her life has been much more dramatic than those of many rap artists. She grew up dirt-poor in rural Mississippi to unwed parents. At age 9 -- and repeatedly thereafter -- she was sexually abused by a relative. She endured years of bad relationships, drug addictions, weight problems, and a career-changing demotion that moved her from her news anchor seat to co-hosting a morning talk show.

Oprah credits her fortune to education and faith; her shows reflect her strong belief in self-transformation. For over 20 years, Oprah has featured "success" stories on her show. Most of these have been women who became influential through perseverance and creativity, as well as people who have overcome adversity, tragedy or abuse to create richer lives for themselves, their families or communities. For Oprah, success is not predicated on amassing large sums of money; it is based on the contribution a person makes to improving his or her world.

Oprah has her detractors, mainly because she uses her show to promote the subjects she cares about. Implicit in all of the criticism from rap artists is the idea that because Oprah is black, she is expected to push every black entertainer's latest film or album, regardless of her opinion. The underlying sentiment is that if she is unwilling to set aside her values, then she can't be down for black people.

This position assumes that what is good for black entertainers is good for all black folks -- a highly arguable notion. There are many media outlets that expose U.S. rap artists to the global marketplace. But Oprah is virtually alone in her ability, through her selection of guests, to provide the world with a broader view of black Americans and their achievements. For black women, who are so commonly equated with the stereotypes of half-naked, gyrating women found in rap music videos, an opposing portrayal is welcome.

If the brothers feel they need more media visibility, they should use their millions to finance their own talk shows, instead of jocking Oprah Winfrey.

Yvonne Bynoe is the author of two books: "Stand & Deliver: Political Activism, Leadership and Hip Hop Culture" and the "Encyclopedia of Rap and Hip Hop Culture."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rosina Ferrara

To all art lovers and John Singer Sargent fans out there,

I've just published a bio on American artist John Singer Sargent's muse, Rosina Ferrara at:

And, at my official website of Rosina Ferrara at:

Isn't she lovely?

Claydes Smith

Claydes Smith, R.I.P.

Claydes Smith, the bandleader from the popular 70s and 80s music group, Kool and the Gang, died this past week from a prolonged illness. He was 57 years old. He helped put popular dance song, Celebration to the top of both pop and R&B charts back in 1981.

Here's more on Mr. Smith at:

May he rests in peace!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Tributes- Billy Preston R.I.P.

Billy Preston (1947-2006)

The following obituary is from Yahoo!:

PHOENIX - Billy Preston, the exuberant keyboardist who landed dream gigs with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and enjoyed his own hit singles including "Outta Space" and "Nothing From Nothing," died Tuesday at 59.
His longtime manager, Joyce Moore, said a heart infection in November left him in a coma, and he never regained consciousness; he was taken to a Scottsdale hospital Saturday after his condition deteriorated.
Preston had battled chronic kidney failure and received a kidney transplant in 2002. But the kidney failed and he was on dialysis ever since.
Known for his big gap-toothed smile and towering Afro, Preston was a teen prodigy on the piano and organ, and lent his gospel-tinged touch to classics such as the Beatles' "Get Back" and the Stones' "Can't You Hear Me Knocking?"
He broke out as a solo artist in the 1970s, winning a best instrumental Grammy in 1973 for "Outta Space," and scoring other hits with "Will It Go 'Round In Circles," "Nothing From Nothing" and "With You I'm Born Again," a duet with Syreeta Wright that became a favorite at weddings. He also wrote Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful."
Other career highlights included being a musical guest, in 1975, on the debut of "Saturday Night Live"; having a song named after him, by Miles Davis; and appearing last year on "American Idol." Among his film credits: "Blues Brothers 2000" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
His partnership with the Beatles began in early 1969 when friend George Harrison recruited him to play on "Let It Be," a back-to-basics film and record project that nearly broke down because of bickering among band members. Harrison himself quit at one point, walking out on camera after arguing with the Beatles to get along — Harrison likened his effect to a feuding family staying on its best behavior in front of a guest — but contributed a light, bluesy solo to "Get Back," performing the song with the band on its legendary "roof top" concert, the last time the Beatles played live. He was one of many sometimes labeled "The Fifth Beatle," a title he did not discourage.
More of Mr. Preston's death at:
Please also visit the website dedicated to the late, great Billy Preston at:

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

David Yeagley's Reign of Errors

David's Reign of Errors.
As long as bigots such as David Yeagley fill the cyberwaves with half-truths and lies regarding blacks and women, I'll keep saying something about it.
Here are several articles written by him during the past five years that prove my point:
His 2001 article regarding American Indian alliances with African Americans. Instead of solving the problems facing American Indians today, he chose to attack American Indian alliances with Blacks.
Another article deals with White women. That White women have no pride. Yeagley is a misogynist who doesn't trust women period.
The other two articles could just be straight out of D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation. He wrote those articles out of jealousy, hate, and envy. It obvious that Mr. Yeagley hates Blacks, esp. Black women. He thinks that Black men wants a White women, which is totally false, given the fact that over 90% of Black men are married to Black women and that residential and educational segregation is still a fact of life in both the White community and communities of Color.
Liberal critics of Yeagley got it right on the money regarding Mr. Yeagley's racial/sexual insecurites:
On man wrote on Sadly, No!:
"'These racist black people just want a role model victim, with mistreatment wreaked upon the weakest of the weak: the black woman. All she has to do is cry, “rape by white male!” and she rules the world.'- David Yeagley
When I initially read the above statement I was appalled, then I realized that you are guilty of the crime that you are accusing the black community in Durham of committing: race baiting. Not once in your article have you made mention, or attempted to justify your statement by pointing out the actions of “racist black people”. Mr. Yeagley it seems quite base of you to complain about the racism against white students at Duke when your article adds fuel to the flame of racial unrest attached to this situation.
But, exotic dancing—and then to cry “abuse”? This may be pushing victimhood beyond reason.
Regardless of the profession of the young lady involved the evidence leads one to believe that a crime was committed. Society may not view exotic dancing as a job for an upstanding individual, but that gives no person the right to violate another soul in such a manner. If someone were to attack a professional boxer should they not be charged with assault? Neither the “fervor of youthful hormones”, “heat of passion”, or percentage of alcohol in one’ bloodstream should ever be used as an excuse for such actions. For your own personal safety I would request that you not use any of those excuses when attempting to explain the situation to a survivor of a sexual assault.
In closing I realize that your article is more of an opinion piece than actual news reporting, but if you were to approach the situation with a woman’s or an African American’s point of view, you may have a change of heart. In addition Duke University should be applauded for taking a firm stance on discipline with student athletics and sexual assault on campus. Hopefully other Universities and their athletic departments will take not and follow the example.
Me "

More vile views from David includes the notion that White and other Nonblack women are virtuous while Black and "Mulatto" women are not. He has written vile things on his website.
Here's another view from The Liberal Avenger:
David Yeagley digs the hole a little deeper
Not content with embarrassing himself on the Frontpage website, David Yeagley is now lashing out at his critics, including me. You may remember the putrid bile Yeagley puked up a few days ago. Discussing the subject of the Duke rape case in Frontpage, he wrote this:
These racist black people just wanta role model victim, with mistreatment wreaked upon the weakest of the weak: the black woman. All she has to do is cry, “rape by white male!” and she rules the world.
Weak? How about “strong” — as in a strong manipulator?
I criticized Yeagley for that and other offenses, as did several other bloggers:
Sadly, No!
Gray Does Matter and GDM Follow-Up
Stephanie’s Journal
Echidne of the Snakes
Alas, a Blog
That got Yeagley’s attention. He penned a response and submitted it to David Horowitz over at Frontpage. Unfortunately, Horowitz decided that he’d embarrassed himself enough for the time being, and declined to print it.
Before watching the sad spectacle of a hateful man digging an even deeper hole for himself, let’s take a look at Yeagley and the Duke rape case itself.
One thing becomes crystal clear when reading Yeagley’s work: he’s crazy. Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction sent him over the edge:
Jackson and Timberlake should therefore be charge with a mass felony, and immediately convicted, and fined, and sentenced to appropriate jail time. The penalty should be in accordance with the number of people affected. Now, is it only the people in the Houston stadium that saw it, or also all the people of the state of Texas, or all the people in the United States and in the world who saw it on TV? Well, this is clearly beyond calculation.
However, the immeasurableness of the crime should not mean that it is ameliorated by the quantitative inconvenience. The act was committed, children were involved. It is a felony, plain and simple, with millions of witnesses.
I call for a class action suite against Jackson and Timberlake, and swift retribution.
Now, if none of this happens, then we can only expect more and more “indecent exposure” of all kinds. Texas is “alert” to the whole sex industry, and bringing a case against Jackson and Timberlake should not be considered out of line, but first in line. Check out Texas law, then check out the laws of every state which broadcast the Super Bowl. Don’t let them hide behind “entertainment” or “free speech.” The Super Bowl incident is an onslaught of our national security, as vile and threatening as Islamic terrorism.
That’s what Yeagley wrote after having a couple of days to recover. The day after the Yeagley was nearly struck blind by the spectacle of Janet Jackson’s breast, he was a bit less coherent:
Now it isn’t necessary to attribute intense anal-oral fixation to the race of Janet Jackson, nor amoral avarice to the race of the producers. This behavior speaks eloquently for itself. Suffice to note that sex-sellers tend to be syndicate-oriented. They’ve created their own kind of sex slaves.
However, that these vices should become halftime entertainment at the SuperBowl bespeaks the social irresponsibility in the NFL. Of course, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders set a rather explicitely profligate example beginning in 1972. Auxillary pro-football entertainment has gone downhill ever since.
An FCC legal investigation? Is that what makes it right or wrong? The law?
History has shown that sex, out of control, disintegrates a society. Laws are indeed necesssary to protect vice-ridden greed breeders. “Whore mongers” the pimps were called in old English. In a way, the homosexual enterprise itself is another kind of whore mongering. They want anything and everything to be “legal,” and therefore accepted as “right.” I’d call that selling sex, to the government.
A day later Yeagley was a bit more in control, as you can see in this exerpt from “The Dark Teat“:
These certain “black” people apparently want to dominate society through their sexuality, and with the right contacts, like the media, and the law, they may succeed. White society is literally being forced to accept the “black” body as equally sexually desirable. Any natural, psychologically negative associations with darkness, any Freudian sexual aversion, and any sense of uncleanness, must be over come by studied, determined, political effort. America is being told what is sexually attractive. America’s sexual emotions are being dictated, through the media and the legal system, no less.
You get the idea. Yeagley hates women, and he hates African-Americans. And he’s crazy. Yeagley believes that there is a conspiracy afoot to force him to feel attraction for blacks, and for women. And he’s going to resist to his last breath.
Now, let’s look at the Duke rape case. The team called a stripper for one of their keggers. She says she was raped by three team members. An examination showed anal and vaginal wounds consistent with rape, she had strangulation marks on her neck, and her eye was swollen shut. A DNA test was inconclusive, sending the He-man Womanhater’s Club into a tizzy. Apparently, they think the word “inconclusive” means “lying bitch.”
On to Yeagley, still diggin’ that hole. Yeagley also jumps on the word “inconclusive,” and quotes one of the suspects’ lawyers as though the litigator was carrying tablets down from a mountain:
The black female sex provoker who claimed she was raped by Duke University lacrosse team students was apparently mistaken. That’s right. No DNAfrom any lacrosse team member was found on her body, anywhere. That’s the latest news report, released April 10, 2006. “There was no DNA evidence that show’s she was touched by any of these boys,” announced attorney Joe Cheshire, representing the team captain. What a crushing blow to feminists, racists, and other social provocateurs.
Yes, a skeptical statement from a defense attorney is indeed a crushing blow. How can the prosecution ever hope to recover from such a setback? And of course, Yeagley can’t resist labels like “black female sex provoker.” Does he imagine that such rantings bolster his case?
He then goes on to attack me and other bloggers directly:
Yet my article was denounced as vile racism and sexism by numerous blogs. The very thought of anyone not completely supporting the poor black female goaded some bloggers to madness. My position was “deranged lunacy,” (Sadly, No!); “putrid bile” (Appletree); “vomit,” “sewage,” (Grey Does Matter); “racist misogynist conservative,” (Femeniste), etc. There’s more from Stephanie’s Journal (“Haterade from D.Yeagley”), Echineofthesnakes (“a magnificent jumble of patriarchal myths and beliefs,” and Alas (“an incredibly racist, woman-hating, stripper-hating article”), and others.
These same professional accuser types are not so quick to respond to the facts, however. The Durham police lab reports will provoke nary a word from them, except some further accusation of white conspiracy.
I’ll allow the reader to compare my criticism of Yeagley to “The Dark Teat” and decide who’s been driven to madness. As for conspiracy theories, I honestly haven’t seen any accusations of a white conspiracy coming from those who support the victim of the crime. Instead, I’ve seen thoughtful posts like this one from Red State Feminist.
And if Yeagley wants to send me a check for what I’ve written, then I’ll happily confess to being a professional accuser type. Until then, I’m only an amateur.
Of course, Yeagley continues to whine about how unjustly our elite universities treat their white male students:
I decried the fact that Duke University punished the lacrosse team, severely, before any charges had been filed, and before any critical evidence had been proven regarding the behavior of the boys. It was enough for the media that the accusation had been made. The university, terrified of the accusation of racism, suspended the team for the season, and the coach resigned. This I denounced as contrary to all American legal tradition. It looked like vicious racism from the black woman and the media—against whites.
What was the severe punishment meted out by the University? They suspended the team’s season, cheating these fine young men out of the chance to play another half dozen or so games of lacrosse.
And what was their crime? Why, nothing more than underage drinking and hiring a stripper in a university-owned house, not to mention a general unwillingness to cooperate in a police investigation. That’s all.When I was in college, I was commodore of the crew team (that was our pompous designation for the club president). One year, the team was nearly disbanded because of an episode in which members threw oranges at one another. When I was 22, I was nearly kicked off the team for drinking during a bus ride home from a race. Only a contrite apology saved my place on the team.
I can tell you for sure that if we the administration had become aware of an episode like the one at Duke, the team would have been disbanded. Even if there were no allegations of rape, and even if the stripper had been white, such behavior would not have been tolerated at Gonzaga University. So it’s a bit hard for me to feel sorry for the guys who hooted racial slurs, raped a woman, and refused to cooperate with the police.
The main reason I wrote about Yeagley’s original piece at all was to bring attention to the fact that Frontpage magazine is an open sewer of racism, and that David Horowitz’ bleating about “political correctness” on college campuses amounts to little more than an attempt to legitimize bigotry. Horowitz claims that he doesn’t promote racism, sexism, or homophobia, but he’s quite happy to give space to the paranoic rantings of bigots like David Yeagley.
So besides Horowitz, who else thinks that Yeagley’s tripe is worth reading? Let’s take a look at the comments to Yeagley’s latest screed:
Doc as a white woman I am with you on this one. I believe the negro woman is racist. I dont think white men go after negro women as oftern as that individual thinks. White men are more prone to go after asian or chicano women than negro. I have only seen ONE couple where he was white and she was a negro in my lifetime of almost 36 years. Negros LOVE playing the race card unlike our peoples and I am tired of it.
Yes, whites would never think to play the race card, unlike the negro. Who else is reading Yeagley?
Racism is NOT limited to Blacks. In fact, here is a prime example of American Indians playing the game: (link to “Christian” website)
Racism is not limited to blacks. You can say that again.
There are also comments about why there shouldn’t be intermarriage among the races, and other standard bigot talking points. This is the kind of person who thinks that Yeagley’s articles are worth reading. But Horowitz isn’t a bigot, a racist, or a homophobe, right?**********
I should clear up a couple of things that I wrote about in my first critique of Yeagley. He said that the victim in the Duke rape case was not a “person of note,” which seemed like a bizarre factoid to interject. As it turns out, Yeagley had previously written about an allegation of assault leveled by Paula Abdul. Abdul was not sexually assaulted, so the cases are completely dissimilar. Apparently, Yeagley thought his readers would immediately make the connection because Abdul is a black woman.
Also, my photo caption implied that Yeagley is a white man who believes that white men are oppressed in this country. I thought this was true at the time, but in fact Yeagley is a Comanche Indian who thinks that white men are oppressed in this country.
(cross posted at appletree)
You see, Mr. Yeagley has an agenda that is both racist and sexist.

The Foxy Brown Trial

Rapper Foxy Brown trial set for July

NEW YORK - Rapper Foxy Brown, accused of assaulting two nail salon workers in a fight over payment for a manicure, will go on trial in July, a judge said Friday.
Brown, 26, whose real name is Inga Marchand, is charged with misdemeanor assault in the Aug. 29, 2004, incident. Prosecutors allege she kicked one worker and hit the other in the face.
During her last court appearance in December, Brown was to have entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor. But the session was derailed when Judge Melissa Jackson accused the rapper of disrespect and making faces at her.
"I don't like her attitude," Jackson then told Brown's lawyer Joseph Fleming.
A ruckus also developed when Brown was handcuffed during the December session. She shouted at a female court officer that her numerous bracelets were "in the way," and allegedly struck the officer.
Jackson said Brown could either apologize or serve up to 30 days in jail. Brown apologized, but did not enter the plea. Assistant District Attorney Gary Galperin had said the statement was legally and factually flawed, and indicated that Brown had not accepted enough blame for the nail salon fracas.
On Friday, Brown appeared before Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Gerald Harris, without incident. She arrived in court wearing her hair in two long pigtails, brown knee-length pants, stiletto heels and a clinging T-shirt with a tiger image.
Harris set a hearing and trial date for July 17, and extended orders of protection for the nail salon workers.
Let's hope for a fair and speedy trial. I hope Ms. Marchand do what Lil' Kim has done such as writing songs for the up and coming rappers and to record some rap songs before the trial. I juust hope this doesn't interfere with her prodigious talent.


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