Tag Archives: police

Musicians Call on Biden Administration to Form Racial Inequality Commission in Powerful Video

By | January 20, 2021

Ahead of the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, celebrities called on the Biden-Harris administration to address racial inequalities and police brutality during their first 100 days in office. On Monday, the Black Music Action Coalition and #breathewithme Revolution joined forces to bring attention to the unjust ways Black and brown people have died at the hands of police, and urge the incoming administration to confront the history of racism in the US and propose ways to move forward.

Led by Alicia Keys, the powerful video shared by NowThis features artists Keke Palmer, T.I., Khalid, and more, listing the wrongful ways Black people have been killed in America and paying tribute to the lives lost. From sleeping in bed, like Breonna Taylor, to walking down the street, like Elijah McClain, the stars underlined how the lives lost to police officers had disproportionately affected Black and brown people.

To put an end to these racist attacks, the video pushed Biden and Harris to form a Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Commission, which was first introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee in the wake of George Floyd’s killing and the global protests that followed in June. The special commission would focus on confronting the legacy of slavery in the country to inform and create policies that address racial injustices in the future. Watch the poignant video in full above and join the call to form the commission at #breathewithme Revolution’s website.

If Celebrities Can Call Today’s Insurrection at the Capitol What It Is, You Can Too

By | January 8, 2021

Image Source: Getty / Samuel Corum

As clips and photos of thousands of Trump supporters storming the US Capitol in a violent insurrection circulated online Wednesday afternoon, news outlets, political leaders, and Twitter users alike initially described the mob simply as “supporters” engaging in “protests.” But what took place at the nation’s Capitol was no protest. We must call this attack on American democracy what it is – racism, white nationalism, and white privilege on full display – and some celebrities and public figures have mustered the courage to do so.

“White Americans are never afraid of the cops, even when they’re committing insurrection.”

Simply referring to those who mobbed the Capitol as “protesters” fails to recognize the racism and white privilege in action. As political commentator Joy Reid said on MSNBC Wednesday, “White Americans are never afraid of the cops, even when they’re committing insurrection, even when they’re engaged in attempting to occupy our Capitol to steal the votes of people who look like me.” She continued, “Because in their minds, they own this country. They own that Capitol. They own the cops.” Even when participating in acts of domestic terrorism, which is defined by the FBI as “violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences,” it is the epitome of white privilege to be able to shamelessly smile for selfies and interact with the police.

Celebrities have also joined in on the conversation, demanding that both those in power and the public in general call out these perpetrators for the dangerous acts they’ve committed. They are not protesters; they are domestic terrorists who deliberately attempted an insurrection and should be treated as such. “We need to make sure that just because these individuals are majority white, that we’re not reframing this in something different,” Karamo Brown said in one impassioned video. Roxane Gay, Cardi B, Lili Reinhart, and more also criticized both law enforcement and the public’s response to the glaring racism of the situation and have called for others in positions of power to do the same. If celebrities can do it, surely others can too. See what more stars had to say about the Capitol attack ahead.

“We’ve Endured So Much”: Michelle Obama Reflects on Black Lives Matter in 2020

By | December 23, 2020

In 2020, an estimated 15 million to 26 million people participated in nationwide demonstrations ignited by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, marking the largest movement in US history. On Dec. 22, former First Lady Michelle Obama took to Instagram to reflect on the lasting impact of the Black Lives Matter movement and the importance of embracing generosity, kindness, and humanity at both the individual and societal levels.

“For me, the holidays have always been a chance to slow down and reflect,” the former first lady wrote. “We’ve endured so much this past year, from the devastation of the pandemic to the ups and downs of a hard-won election. But what has perhaps stayed with me most is the passionate message of justice and empathy that has defined the Black Lives Matter protests around the world.”

“I hope more people can find it in their hearts to meet these cries for decency not with mistrust, but with love and a willingness to listen.”

Narrowing in on individual instances of empathy, Michelle shared a video of Patrick Hutchinson, a protester in the UK who displayed unwavering humanity when he carried a stranger to safety during a Black Lives Matter protest back in June, despite the possibility that the man was a counter protester. “I want to highlight this story because it’s hard to see so many people distort the unity and righteousness of these protests,” Michelle wrote. “They’ve been sowing seeds of division, misrepresenting those crying out for justice as troublemakers or criminals. The truth is the millions around the world who showed up with their homemade signs were marching with the same kind of compassion that Mr. Hutchinson shows here.”

Related: Joe Biden Addressed the Need for Police Reform During His Town Hall – Here’s Where He and Harris Stand on Defunding the Police

It’s this kind of empathy and compassion that the former first lady hopes will fuel future protests and demonstrations. “I hope more people can find it in their hearts to meet these cries for decency not with mistrust, but with love and a willingness to listen,” she wrote. “Because as the COVID-19 crisis has made clear, our fates are inextricably bound. If the least of us struggles, we all in some way feel that pain. And, unless we keep speaking out and marching for equality, none of us will ever truly be free.”

Looking ahead to the new year, Michelle implored that we all take what we’ve learned about humanity and kindness in 2020 and apply those learnings as we move forward in the ongoing fight for social and racial justice. “I pray that in 2021, more of us will reach out to understand the experiences of those who don’t look, or vote, or think like we do,” she wrote. “I pray that we learn to pause when we’re tempted to react in anger or suspicion. And I pray that we choose generosity and kindness over our worst impulses. That isn’t always easy. But it’s a place to start.”

The Special Thing About Virgin River Isn’t the Romance – It’s the Strength of the Women

By | December 11, 2020

Netflix’s small-town drama Virgin River has developed a devoted fanbase since its premiere in 2019, and when the second season premiered this in November, it became one of the most watched shows on Netflix. There is a lot to love about the show, from its picturesque setting to the white-hot chemistry between Mel Monroe and Jack Sheridan. The most integral part of the series, however, isn’t the romance; it’s the strength of the female characters who lead the town, challenge sexism, and flip the script on what to means to be nurturers.

It’s empowering to watch a show where women not only value themselves but are protective of one another (even as they’re competing against each other). Hope, Connie, Lily, and Muriel are part of an older generation of residents, while Mel and Paige adopt Virgin River as their home. They come from different generations but are alike in their compassion and leadership.

As soon as Mel arrives in town, she fights for her place as nurse practitioner at the only clinic in town when Doctor Mullins treats her like his assistant; she doesn’t hesitate to call him out when he’s being sexist and remind him how good she is at her job. Mel walks through life with a steel backbone and keeps her cards close to her chest, but she’s there when the town needs her. When Jack’s spiraling, she talks him off a ledge. She also bolsters Lily’s confidence when she’s worried about raising a baby on her own. And when Jack’s shot at the end of season two, Mel’s the one who comes to his rescue. She may have sought the town as her refuge, but it eventually becomes her home.

Much like Mel, Paige too escapes to the town with her son Christopher, though it’s because she’s hiding from her abusive husband. She reinvents her identity and autonomy as a business owner, and while we don’t see much of Paige in season two, the constant presence of her bakery truck feels like a metaphor for her importance to the town.

The fact that Connie keeps it running in her absence is proof of that. Despite being the town’s self-righteous gossip, Connie keeps Paige’s secret safe and is willing to lie to the police for her. “No child should have to grow up without a mother. And I’m damned if I’m gonna let that happen to Christopher,” Connie says to another character.

This take-charge attitude runs in her circle of friends: When Connie has a hard time with her niece, Hope says, “You don’t argue with children, pets, or husbands. You tell them what to do.” It’s likely why she ran and won the town’s mayorship unopposed, and how she dictates her romantic relationship with Doc.

These women are nurturers, but they defy the outdated definition by also using those skills to wield power responsibly. They are leaders, entrepreneurs, and friends. In the end, this might be why viewers are so taken with the series. We came for the romance, but we stayed for the uplifting friendships and powerful female figures.

Like Clockwork, Billie Eilish Does the Same Interview For the Fourth Year in a Row

By | November 30, 2020

In 2017, Billie Eilish began the tradition of doing an annual time capsule video with Vanity Fair, and now she’s back with her fourth one. In the video, which dropped on Nov. 30, the 28-year-old singer answers the same questions from the previous interviews, only this time she’s reflecting on how the pandemic has allowed her to become more politically engaged and informed and what she’s most looking forward to in the future.

“I have learned so much more about the way people are living that I wasn’t aware of before,” Billie said. “The climate crisis and social injustice and all the bad things made me think differently. I will never stop fighting for all the Black and brown people who have lost their lives to police brutality.”

The Grammy winner also looked back at her career achievements, which include becoming the second person in history to sweep the major categories at the Grammys. “Getting bigger and bigger makes me more comfortable about not having to prove myself,” she explained. “People look up to you, so that you will tell them what you, yourself, would actually tell them.” See what else Billie had to say in the video above.