Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

15 Reasons To Be Down With HRC

July 26, 2016

There will never be a flawless politician. Politicians gonna politic, pander and polarize. It’s what they do. I’m not here to tell you how to vote, so save that for another comment thread. Disclosure: I am a Democrat, but I have supported independent candidates before. I even voted for Sanders in the NY primary. I understand the sting of having your candidate lose. But I also understand what’s at stake as we stare directly at the *very* real prospect of a Trump presidency.

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So I am laying out my 15 point case for the Democratic nominee. Yes. Benghazi. I know. All the Clinton policies that were enacted while she was FLOTUS, that she couldn’t vote on–but watched happen at close range. I know. The emails. Careless and horribly managed. I know that too. The Iraq War vote. I knowwww. But remember: 9/11 happened in *her* state, and Bush-Cheney snow-jobbed damn near errybody in its aftermath. People with sense acknowledge this now. And she paid for it dearly when she lost the nomination to then Sen. Obama in 2008. Not excusing any of it. Just letting you know I know before all the “but, what about this-” “and what about that?” starts.

I posted this on journalist Bene’ Viera’s Facebook page when she called for comments on who her friends are voting for and why. It inspired me to make it a blog post, so I can stop repeating myself, and so those who find it useful can share it.

Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) is

1. Smarter

2. Better educated than her opponent

3. Highly and uniquely experienced as a former Secy. of State, US Senator, and FLOTUS

4. Endorsed by President Obama (and Bernie Sanders)

5. Hailed by GOP leaders with sense–meaning non partisan goals have a shot at not being obstructed

6. She is pro reproductive choice/rights

7. Values inclusion

8. No KKK surrogates (Google Trump’s)

9. Values DIPLOMACY (Trump cannot even spell the word, much less enact it)

10. Has the respect of world leaders

11. The independent candidates in this cycle have NO shot at being nominated or winning against Trump (I’ve voted independent before, so no, it’s not about that)

12. She will likely nominate an even handed SCOTUS replacement for Scalia’s seat

13. She understands the power of the non-white electorate, and engages with them. Trump does neither.

14. Her cabinet will most likely be the most gender balanced one in US History

15. She understands how government works, from the lessons learned on Obamacare and NAFTA–and can use this learning in the role of POTUS.

And as far as bullying goes with respect to voting from your friends and family, it’s nothing compared to the sustained, unrelenting institutional bullying of a womanizing, unscrupulous neo-fascist running the free world as he bleeds the economy and adds back the trillion Obama erased with interest…to line his own pockets.

The Combover is the closest thing to Sarah Palin we’ve seen since…Sarah Palin. And even *she* was a governor. Meanwhile, Trump hasn’t so much as held a City Council seat. But his peen, and the perception of him having money (because we are still waiting to see his tax returns) are the reasons he hasn’t been laughed off the dais. Let that marinate.

Thembisa S. Mshaka is an International Relations major turned entertainment industry veteran. An award-winning creative writer/producer and festival selected filmmaker, she is the author on the definitive business title for and about women in entertainment, Put Your Dreams First, Handle Your [entertainment] Business.

QUEENS UP, HOES DOWN

June 15, 2009

michelleobamavogueMichelle Obama’s presence is a welcome, seismic shift from the stereotypical image of women of color as accessories to their own exploitation in media. In her non-celebrity post as the Most Influential Woman of the Free World, Mrs. Obama is covered by media daily around the globe, giving her the power to unravel the thread of negative perception about Black women in a way that even the mighty Oprah could not.  Dealing a major blow to the video ho, Mrs. Obama is the only First Lady to make Maxim’s 100 Hottest Women In The World, holding her own at #93 with starlets and models.

This awesome power now has a name: The Michelle Effect.

As far as I’m concerned it’s about time the hoochie fell out of fashion. She’s been pop culture’s go-to stereotype for long enough. BET Uncut was cancelled. The Girls Next Door had their final season. The window of fame for Tiffany Pollard of I Love New York appears to be coming to a close and the KING is dead. KING magazine, that is. He lost his crown this March.

Somewhere along the way the hoochie became a crutch, a distraction to draw attention away from subpar talent. The hoochie used to ensure a quick buck no matter what was being sold. The same could be said about all the music clogging the airwaves loaded with digital trickery. Autotune, like the video hoe, is overexposed. Jay-Z heralds the death of Autotune. Me? I’m trumpeting the Death of Video Hoes.the-vixen-manual

Even video vixen-turned author Karrine Steffans has turned over a new leaf. She now rejects Superhead, her former nickname. Steffans is living proof that skin can only get you so far before your brain has to kick in. Now, she’s turning her past into The Vixen Manual, a tutorial for women seeking to keep their men from…you guessed it—hoochies. Another nail driven into the video ho’s coffin.

But where’s the line between loving your skin and showing too much?

At one end of the spectrum you have Michelle Obama, who is scrutinized for exposing her arms. On the on the other (dare I say deep) end of the skin showing spectrum, we’ve got leaked photos of pop princesses Cassie and Rihanna showing it all. The jury is still out on whether these Internet leaks were publicity stunts or real violations of their privacy.

What we do know is all their “business” is out in the street now. Once simply sexy and provocative, both are now also viewed as indecent. As the ripple effect of their overexposure continues, so does the debate.

Will Cassie and Rihanna’s endorsements suffer?

Have they fallen from grace?

Were they really just hoochies with microphones to begin with?

In this new era of the user-generated sexting, are leaked nude photos the marketing strategy du jour for female celebrities? Media plays along by running these leaks as top stories, reinforcing that nudity gets girls attention.

Go nude. Create Buzz. Repeat.chrisette-michele-epipany-billboard-no-1-debut

But where’s the payoff? Both Cassie and Rhianna lost points with music buyers. According to Billboard, in the subsequent weeks after the leaks, single sales were flat for Cassie and down for Rihanna.

In another match-up, Ciara posed nude (on purpose) on the October 2008 cover of VIBE only to find her third album, Fantasy Ride debut at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Coming in at the top spot was Epiphany, the sophomore set from the fully clothed, full-figured and lesser-known Chrisette Michele.

Keep clothes on. Go #1. Repeat.

Even Drake, the hot rapper of the moment and former star of hit teen drama Degrassi muses, “sweat pants hair tied chillin’ with no makeup on. That’s when you’re the prettiest, I hope that you don’t take it wrong”. No offense taken.

The Michelle Effect is transforming the image of womanhood in America.

Queens up, hoes down.

By Thembisa S. Mshaka, Author of Put Your Dreams First: Handle Your [entertainment] Business

Thank You, Front Page Radio!

January 16, 2009

Just got off the phone with Dominique DiPrima, Luis, and the conscious people of Los Angeles (indeed the world with www.kjlhradio.com).

We had a powerful discussion about the Oscar Grant III case. I appreciate being able to come on and speak the truth about the mobilization that has taken root in Oakland and spread across the country. Special shout to Davey D of KPFA and Dereca Blackmon of CAPE (Coalition Against Police Execution).

I highlighted the need for national police reform at the federal level, effective community engagement, and the abysmal leadership failure in Oakland surrounding this case. We also noted that individuals are taking freedom of expression to a new level by documenting misconduct on their phones and mini-cams. Devices made for our entertainment have become powerful tools in the pursuit of justice; for accuracy in reporting.

Because of the forethought to shoot footage, and the courageous work of everyday people, Oscar Grant’s murder is a global story. I doubt that his killer, ex-BART officer Mehserle, would have been charged with murder without it.

Here’s to a post-racial police system worthy of a post-racial America at the dawn of the Age of Obama.

log onto the station’s site to hear the interview. and to hit me up on Facebook, just search Thembisa Mshaka at http://www.facebook.com.

Note: for those of you who were interested in my book, it’s called Put Your Dreams First: Handle Your [entertainment] Business–and is available at a 40% savings for pre-order now in advance of its April 23 release: 

www.amazon.com/Put-Your-Dreams-First-entertainment/dp/0446409464

President-Elect Obama and The NeXt Factor

November 5, 2008

 

by Thembisa S. Mshaka

 

Congratulations to our new First Family, the Obamas, and to all of America. YES WE DID!!!

Talk about hope?!

 

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America was not ready to elect John McCain, a member of the Savings and Loan scandal’s Keating Five, a volatile 72 year-old cancer survivor, whose campaign staff was riddled with the lobbyists who represent the interests of and took money from some of the very organizations seeking or receiving historic government bailouts using our tax dollars; who voted against health care for children and with Dubya over 90% of the time; and has repeatedly, proudly stated that he will ask America’s young people to fight more wars (“Bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb-Iran”) all because the opponent has an African name and the skin tone to match. Hope has been restored. As McCain intoned in his concession speech, “the people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly.” That’s the sound of land sliding.


Along with Dr. King’s dream, hope was fulfilled last night—hope that the illogic of racism would not send America totally over the cliff into Third World status after an eight-year Dukes Of Hazard-on-steriods joyride driven by Bush-Cheney was restored.

 

The 24-hour news cycle beat the superficial to death with its coverage; among other inane newsbytes: Palin’s eyewear maker got flooded with orders after the RNC. Meanwhile, when Alaska held its biggest rally of any kind in history, because it was a Women Against Palin rally, it gets ZERO mainstream coverage. Obama got his share of slanted coverage too; remember the much publicized ‘love affair’ The Media had with him after he spoke so courageously on race and denounced his former pastor? While it is my opinion that he received far fewer passes than McCain, who finagled much mileage with his tattered POW card. The media’s Obama-rama was real, if for no other reason because it was absolutely astounding that he had actually beaten Hillary Clinton in a brutal primary and won the respect of the world while Black.

 

But the news said that in battleground states, the candidates are in a dead heat. The polls said that for worse or worst, Palin gave a lukewarm GOP a B-12 shot in the arm, especially among ‘Wal-Mart moms’, a very real demographic during the summer of $5.00/gallon gas and a time of behind-the-counter pharmacists acting as over-the-counter doctors, in lieu of comprehensive health care. The Clintons, still smarting from Hillary’s primary loss, were slow to come around and ride for the team by stumping for Obama. We get it, Billary. And yes, times were better with Bill in office. But this? Y’all never saw it coming. That white-knuckle, buzzer-beating superdelegate beatdown hurt. Hurt bad.

 

But another 4 years of the GOP in the Oval office would have hurt a LOT more, and the Clintons knew this. So after licking their wounds, they started making the rounds and making their loyalty known.

 

Still and all, there were so many darts aimed at busting the nation’s bubble of hope. I donated repeatedly and wrote post cards to suburban Pennsylvania women. I heard our next preisdent’s nomination acceptance speech in person at Invesco Field.

 

Can you feel it now?

Can you feel it now?

 

 

And I almost drank the Kool-Aid of doubt. Admittedly, with full knowledge of the Change We Need, I found myself faltering, thinking negative thoughts, and entertaining the hype about him being too Black for Middle America to vote for, even though Barack is white too. They love Slash and Lenny Kravitz. They’ve already made the leap of embracing a Black man who broke barriers. I know, they didn’t run for President—but you feel me.

 

As President-elect, it’s time for Barack to flip the ‘divide and conquer’ script like he has flipped all the other scripts written by the Old Boys’ Network designed to not only exclude him, but work against him. Joe Biden is a big gun, and he will complement Barack in ways that Sarah Palin had neither had the intention nor ability to do for Senator McCain.

 

Barack Obama has come this far because he had every intention of going all the way. And his campaign leveraged all the poise, grace, grit and grasp of the issues to catapult the momentum he has created across the finish line to the 2009 Inaguration. And there’s more…

 

In addition to that  email list of three million strong, Barack has another secret weapon that The Media isn’t talking about. It’s not their fault; they only talk about what they can see on paper or on tape. Until this election, this Secret Weapon was off the grid, and unable to be counted. We’ll be hearing all about them in the days to come. This weapon is so powerful, so strong in number we won’t even begin to know how deep they roll until Barack takes offcie. They are what I call The NeXt Factor.

 

In 1993, I coined the phrase Generation NeXt, complete with the capital X. It appeared as the cover headline for a Gavin special issue of the same name that I edited about rap music.

 

My calling card, 1993-98

My calling card, 1993-98

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catchy as hell, the phrase was snapped up by Rap Pages, then Rolling Stone. Then the moniker for a new generation went pop-literally. Pepsi got wind of it and the Spice Girls sang a song about it for their commercial. I was flattered; I couldn’t trademark it anyway because I coined it for the magazine, then a Miller Freeman company.

 

Well, guess what? Generation NeXt is now old enough—and bold enough–to vote. Barack won their votes by 32% vs. the 9% that voted for Bush. They love hip-hop. They hate racism. Need a visual?

 

Gen NeXt Emeritus

Gen NeXt Emeritus

 

Okay. They are Rihanna and Eminem, Shia LeBoeuf and Nick Cannon, John Legend and Scarlett Johanson. They come in every imaginable multi-racial and multicultural swatch of our nation’s patchwork quilt. And they have no problem with accomplished Black men. In fact, they grew up on ‘em: Tupac to Biggie, Jay-Z to John Singleton, Shaquille O’Neal to Jesse Jackson Jr., Everybody Hates Chris to Chapelle’s Show, FUBU to Sean John. Big or tall, be their skin light or dark, thugged out or clean-cut, brothers don’t faze Generation NeXt. On the contrary, they look to brothers for leadership, for examples of greatness against the odds, for swagger to emulate. Obama for America found them online and on the ground, offered them an official DNC CD with donations of $30, and registered over a million of them for that 6 million-plus popular vote victory.

 

Generation NeXt is still pissed that Al Gore lost when the numbers showed that he was elected in 2000, even though most of them were not 18 yet. The GOP election-stealing jig is up. The NeXt factor is real. The Civil Rights generation has been vindicated. And the bigoted racist sector of America’s electorate is officially outnumbered.

 

Bridging History w/Chuck

Bridging History w/Chuck

To the tune of 349-163.

 

This is what community organizing looks like. This is how things can turn when you register, verify, and handle your [policial] business.

 

In addition to being the inventor of the phrase ‘Generation NeXt’, Thembisa S. Mshaka is the author of Put Your Dreams First: Handle Your [entertainment] Business, out April 2009 (Grand Central Publishing).