Connect with us

Commentary

COMMENTARY: #FirstThem Has Many Detractors, but Supporters want to ‘Stay on Code’

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Still, supporters argue that those reporting on #FirstThem need to “stay on code” because they say that many of the organizations behind those movements have racially tailored their agenda, and the mission of #FirstThem is to counter those who focus on race when targeting alleged perpetrators of sexual misconduct.

Published

on

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

The #FirstThem movement has gained a lot of support, particularly among Twitter users who continue to highlight what they see as a wave of corporate-sponsored movements created under the narrative of addressing sexual misconduct, particularly in the entertainment industry.

However, in noting that the #MeToo movement has meet a crackling of backlash, an Oct. 29, 2018, New York Times analysis revealed that since the New Yorker Magazine investigation that outed movie mogul Harvey Weinstein as an alleged predator two years ago, at least 200 prominent men have lost their jobs after public allegations of sexual harassment.

A few, including Weinstein, face criminal charges, while at least 920 accusers have come forward to say that a powerful and/or prominent man subjected them to sexual mistreatment.

Nearly half of the men who have been replaced in their positions were succeed by women, according to the analysis.

Still, supporters argue that those reporting on #FirstThem need to “stay on code” because they say that many of the organizations behind those movements have racially tailored their agenda, and the mission of #FirstThem is to counter those who focus on race when targeting alleged perpetrators of sexual misconduct.

#FirstThem has also received some pushback from Tarana Burke and others that believe that the movement has wrongly targeted some white stars.

“While I agree completely with the premise here, I am compelled to speak out on behalf of someone I know is wrongly named,” Bob Ezrin wrote in an email response to a recent NNPA Newswire story about #FirstThem.

“Alice Cooper has been my friend and creative partner for nearly 50 years and, aside from being a devout Christian and committed monogamist, he’s also the most decent man I know,” Ezrin continued in response to a January 19th Tweet that implied that Cooper, among other rock stars of the same era, was involved in activity with underage girls.

Indeed, Cooper proved to be the only celebrity named by the #FirstThem movement in which NNPA Newswire could find no previous allegations of misconduct.

“The stage persona is just that,” Ezrin said of Cooper. “In all the years we have known each other, I have only ever seen Alice with two women: his wife Sheryl and before that, his girlfriend Cindy Laing. That’s it,” he said.

And, while supporters said it’s wrong to say #FirstThem founder Tariq Nasheed defended R. Kelly and the late Michael Jackson, Nasheed, a media personality who has a large presence on social media, has issued numerous tweets denouncing those who have shone a spotlight on Kelly and Jackson.

In a Jan. 28 tweet, Nasheed wrote:

“Shout out to the Jackson family for their strength. It’s painful to see a Black family having to endure these attacks, by a white supremacist-driven movement to take the focus off white predators. Targeting a deceased Black man with vicious lies is disheartening.”

While Nasheed may not have technically defended Kelly or Jackson, it can be argued that he is certainly guilty of what-aboutism: pointing out the alleged misdeeds of whites instead of also acknowledging those same deeds when they are perpetrated by blacks.

In a Jan. 15 tweet regarding R. Kelly, Nasheed wrote: “The media wants to keep using #RKelly as a smokescreen, but they stay quiet on actors like Don Johnson who was openly dating Melanie Griffith when she was 14 and he was 22.”

Nasheed may have been reacting to an article about Griffith on the site, NinjaJournalist, which stated, “At only 14 years of age, Griffith started seeing actor Don Johnson, who was 22-years-old at the time. Their romance became a heavily criticized one in the media, especially when it was exposed that Don had such a negative influence on the woman he would marry four years after meeting her.”

In another tweet on Jan. 17 about Kelly, Nasheed said the “people keep focusing on R. Kelly and there are literally sexual predators – monsters – out there.”

Mostly, though, Nasheed and those in the #FirstThem movement say they make sure that the hundreds of accused sexual predators from the dominant – or white – society, who work in the entertainment industry, will not be conveniently skipped over in order to target entertainers based on race.

“We will ensure that the focus will be on them first,” the founders wrote on their website.

It is why Nasheed has taken issue with Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, and others.

Following a planned rally by LGBTQ and other organizations to show solidarity with actor and entertainer Jussie Smollett who was viciously attacked late last month, Nasheed wondered in a Jan. 30 tweet:

“Why are all these rallies about violence towards Black LGBT people being held, and no one is talking about the dead gay Black men found in the home of Ed Buck,” after for the second time in two years, Los Angeles detectives in January found a man dead inside Buck’s apartment.

Nasheed has called out Burke and #MeToo, and as recently as Jan. 30, noted that “the #MeToo movement has rolled out a new campaign featuring Terry Crews talking about being sexually assaulted and how Black society is somehow complicit.”

But, Nasheed continued: “#MeToo is silent about the white man who sexually assaulted Terry Crews.”

Nasheed also posted Burke’s response in which she asks: “Why is it my job to go after white men?”

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of BlackPressUSA.com or the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Activism

COMMENTARY: San Jose Congressman Norman Mineta: The Reparations Hero for Asian Americans

Congressman Norman Y. Mineta will forever be known as the man who got justice for the people incarcerated by the Japanese internment during World War II. He got reparations passed in a Republican administration.

Published

on

On Thursday May 29th, 2014 the Federal Triangle Partnership celebrated Asian Pacific Heritage Month with a program that featured the keynote speaker Norman Mineta, former Secretary of both the Department of Transportation and the Commerce Department. Additionally, he was a member of the U.S. Congress for twenty years. photo by James Tourtellotte
On Thursday May 29th, 2014 the Federal Triangle Partnership celebrated Asian Pacific Heritage Month with a program that featured the keynote speaker Norman Mineta, former Secretary of both the Department of Transportation and the Commerce Department. Additionally, he was a member of the U.S. Congress for twenty years. photo by James Tourtellotte

By Emil Guillermo

When the Democratic candidates began the 2020 presidential campaign, there was a buzz about reparations for African Americans.

And then, the buzz died.

I mention that because last week, former San Jose Mayor and 13th District Congressman Norman Y. Mineta passed away at age 90.

Mineta will forever be known as the man who got justice for the people incarcerated by the Japanese internment during World War II.

He got reparations passed in a Republican administration.

Think about that. Reparations, the BIPOC holy grail. After Mineta got it done in 1988 under Reagan, it’s never been replicated.

Looking back, it seems like a magic trick. But it wasn’t. It was just hard work and politicking.

That’s why we all should revere the man who died somewhat appropriately in the first week of May, the month now known as Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Mineta was one of the first Congressional boosters to stretch what was originally a week, and then coined it Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

His passing on May 3, 2022, is an important marker on the significance of diversity and representation at the highest levels of government, politics, and elected office.

Born in San Jose to Japanese immigrants, Mineta lived through every major moment in modern Asian American history.

For the barriers he broke, and the policies he established, he was simply the community’s father figure.

He was Mr. Asian America.

For a short-time, I got to be close to him.

In the 103rd Congress in 1993, I was Mineta’s press secretary and speechwriter.

I had been at NPR where I hosted “All Things Considered.” When I left that position, I thought as a Californian in Washington, I should at least get to know how democracy gets done from the inside. Ideally, I figured you can cross the line into the netherworld of politics once. You can even cross back from whence you came. Once. But Norm was no ordinary politician.

He was the embodiment of Asian America in public life.

He was our hopes and dreams. Our cries and sorrows. From the time he was a Cub Scout incarcerated with other Japanese Americans during World War II to the time he served in government, Norm was there for all of us.

He was our fighter and our redeemer when he co-sponsored the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, that got justice for internees. More than $1.6 billion was paid out to 82,200 Japanese Americans, according to the New York Times.

That was always the difference maker. Norm was in the fight to rectify the historical transgression that gives Asian Americans our moral authority to this day.

There were other Asian American politicians, of course. But few had the career arc of Mineta, who first served locally in 1971 as mayor of San Jose. He was the first Asian American mayor of a major U.S. city.

In 1974, he was first elected to Congress, leaving in 1995, when the divided government began to shape up with an aggressive GOP led by Newt Gingrich.

But Norm re-emerged in government with more Asian American firsts, as Commerce Secretary in the Clinton Cabinet, and then Transportation Secretary under G.W. Bush. Two administrations. Two different parties.

The Norm I knew was the 1993 Norm. The people’s Norm.

The Norm who drove a modest white Dodge Colt because he wanted an American car. I knew the guy who worked all day, then carried a huge bag of homework to read through for the next day. I knew the guy who was in the post-flow triumph of the Civil Liberties Act, always diligent, persistent, and searching for a way to make things better.

That’s what I learned about Norm the most. Remember, this was in the early ’90s. Washington was getting nastier, more divisive, and gridlocked.

But Norm had friends like the late Republican Sen. Alan Simpson. They met as Boy Scouts in Wyoming. One incarcerated at the internment camp, the other free. Later as congressmen, they stood for a kind of bipartisanship that is rare these days.

That was perhaps the most significant political lesson I learned from Mineta. Legislation is one thing, but we’re all still human beings. And the goal is to turn adversaries into friends and to have your friends stay friends. You keep the channels open. You create new alliances, like the ideal public-private partnerships.

The point is, Mineta was always seeking solutions, working together with others to make things better.

He passes as the country is bitterly divided on everything. His life should serve as a playbook on how to keep the fragile nature of our democracy whole.

Remember Norm Mineta. He was the Democrat who got reparations passed in a Republican administration.

Today, that would make him a political Superman.

Emil Guillermo is a journalist and commentator. Listen to his talk show on www.amok.com Twitter@emilamok

Continue Reading

Activism

UC Berkeley Students Protest Supreme Court Abortion Decision

Two pro-choice activists, Danielle Roseman and Alisa Steel currently believe the law will be overturned. However, they said, “our voices are our best asset to combat (this) and we will continue to protest.” Both seniors at University of California, Berkeley, they decided to organize a campus protest on Sproul Plaza, which took place May 3. 

Published

on

By Sarah Clemens

When it comes to reproductive health, the future looks both unprecedented and regressive.

A Supreme Court draft to overturn Roe v. Wade, the controversial ruling that declared the right to abortion, was leaked on May 2, 2022. In the draft, Justice Alito wrote that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.” The very act of leaking a supreme court draft is unprecedented. The last time it occurred was in 1973 with the original Roe v. Wade decision. In a press release the Supreme Court said the leak was authentic, but “it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member.” Final or not, thousands have already begun to protest.

Two pro-choice activists, Danielle Roseman and Alisa Steel currently believe the law will be overturned. However, they said, “our voices are our best asset to combat (this) and we will continue to protest.” Both seniors at University of California, Berkeley, they decided to organize a campus protest on Sproul Plaza, which took place May 3.

The Daily Cal newspaper estimated that “hundreds” attended. After contacting Roseman on social media, they both co-wrote answers to questions posed by this reporter.

“We knew the only way for our voices to be heard was to create a peaceful protest,” Roseman and Steel said. They weren’t alone.

NPR documented protesters across the country with similar stances on the issue from Washington to New York. Some states have existing laws in place that protect abortion rights. Others do not.

The original Roe v. Wade court case happened when a Texas woman by the name Jane Roe alleged that Texas’ abortion laws were unconstitutional. Almost 50 years later, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott supported a law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, with no rape or incest exceptions.

When asked by a reporter, “why force a rape or incest victim to carry a pregnancy to term?” Abbott responded, “It doesn’t require that at all, because, obviously, it provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion.”

Despite overwhelming backlash, abortion becoming illegal appears preordained. Yet, throughout history around the world abortion has never stopped despite its illegality. In the 19th century, a doctor named Ann Lohman was called “the wickedest woman in New York” for her practice of giving women abortions.

When California state Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) made a statement on the new bill, she cited this history. “Unlike women before me, I grew up without having to face the choice of a back-alley abortion…If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the Supreme Court will not prevent abortions, instead they will unleash unsafe and often deadly abortions.”

For many years the battle over abortion has been heavily stigmatized. As a result, there is a strong defeatist attitude among many voicing concerns on social media. Roseman and Steel thought otherwise.

“With our voices, we can mobilize, protest, sign petitions, get the word out, and send a shockwave to the politicians who think they have control over our bodies. So get out and get loud!”

Continue Reading

Activism

COMMENTARY: Pay Attention — Roe v. Wade and the Far Right’s Extreme Plans

For the most part, the judges who are letting states eliminate access to abortion are the same judges letting states limit voters’ access to the ballot box. They’re the same judges who restrict the government’s ability to regulate harmful corporate behavior. Many of them are the same judges who tried to deny millions of Americans access to health care provided by the Affordable Care Act. 

Published

on

Ben Jealous serves as president of People For the American Way and Professor of the Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.

By Ben Jealous

Things are about to get worse for millions of vulnerable people in our country.

It looks like the far right-wing majority on the U.S. Supreme Court is getting ready to reverse Roe v. Wade, the nearly 50-year-old ruling that recognized a pregnant person’s right to have an abortion. Abortion is legal today, but pretty soon that will no longer be the case in most of the country.

A leaked draft of a Supreme Court ruling expected to be released in June indicates that the Court will rule that there is no constitutional protection for abortion. Bans will go into effect in many states immediately, and others will follow soon. That will leave millions of women and LGBTQ people — and their spouses and partners — less free and less in control of their own health, lives, and families.

Like many laws and policy decisions handed down from on high, the harm will fall hardest on those with the fewest resources and political power — people of color and low-income people. It is hard to take.

How did this happen?

In the long term, it happened because opponents on the right to choose spent decades building a movement to make it happen. They invested time and money to elect like-minded politicians. They pushed Republican presidents to fill federal courts with judges who were willing, if not eager, to restrict or ban legal access to abortion. They made it a top priority when deciding whether and how to vote.

In the short term, it happened because Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. To energize the Republican Party’s ideological base, Trump promised them judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade. They took the deal Trump offered. They turned out to vote. And with help from Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, Trump gave them kind of judges they wanted.

And now that they have the power to impose their will, Americans’ freedom will shrink and American families will suffer.

In fact, many are already suffering. Anti-choice activists have harassed and sometimes killed abortion providers. Judges have been letting state legislators pile on more and more restrictions on abortion care. As a result, in some states, the right to abortion care may exist in theory, but in reality, it is virtually nonexistent, because clinics and providers have disappeared.

There are hard times and hard decisions ahead.

There are also lessons to be learned and acted on.

One important lesson is that the Supreme Court has a big impact on our lives, even though most of us don’t think about it in the day to day. We should all pay more attention.

We should pay attention when the far right tells us what they plan to do with their political power. They have been loud and clear about their intent to overturn Roe v. Wade.

But many Americans refused to believe that the threat to Roe v. Wade was real. They just could not imagine a 21st century America in which women and doctors are treated like criminals for seeking or providing abortion care.

We no longer need to imagine that kind of scenario. We’re about to live it.

And that’s why we also have to pay attention to the consequences of our voting behavior.

For the most part, the judges who are letting states eliminate access to abortion are the same judges letting states limit voters’ access to the ballot box. They’re the same judges who restrict the government’s ability to regulate harmful corporate behavior. Many of them are the same judges who tried to deny millions of Americans access to health care provided by the Affordable Care Act.

The Supreme Court justices and other federal judges who are put in place by the president and U.S. Senate have jobs for life. That means we are stuck with Trump’s judges for many years to come. And that means we all need to think long and hard about who we vote for — and about ever passing up the opportunity to vote.

Ben Jealous serves as president of People For the American Way and Professor of the Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. A New York Times best-selling author, his next book “Never Forget Our People Were Always Free” will be published by Harper Collins in December 2022.

Continue Reading

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Oakland Post

* indicates required

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Dr. Noha Aboelata of ROOTS and Dr. Tony Jackson of Pranamind and President of the Bay Area Association of Black Psychologists.
Activism1 month ago

Oakland Frontline Healers Launches Black Mental Health Initiative

#NNPA BlackPress2 months ago

Walkaround 2022 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo AWD Sedan w/Premium Plus Package POV Test Drive

#NNPA BlackPress2 months ago

Asian Automotive Philosophy AutoNetwork Reports Black History Month

#NNPA BlackPress2 months ago

Best Detailed Walkaround 2022 GMC Sierra 2500 4WD Crew Cab AT4 HD | POV Test Drive

#NNPA BlackPress2 months ago

Car Reviews – Live Auto [Car] Talk Show – AutoNetwork Reports 351

#NNPA BlackPress2 months ago

Car Reviews Live Auto Car Talk Show AutoNetwork Reports 351

#NNPA BlackPress2 months ago

Best Detailed Walkaround 2022 Subaru BRZ Limited Sport Coupe | POV Test Drive

#NNPA BlackPress2 months ago

Best Detailed Walkaround 2022 Mazda CX 30 2.5 Turbo AWD | Subcompact SUV

#NNPA BlackPress2 months ago

Best Detailed Walkaround 2022 Toyota Corolla SE | POV Test Drive

#NNPA BlackPress2 months ago

Car Reviews – Live Auto [Car] Talk Show – AutoNetwork Reports 350

#NNPA BlackPress2 months ago

Car Reviews – Live Auto Car Talk Show – AutoNetwork Reports 350

#NNPA BlackPress8 months ago

NNPA – Black Press w/ Hendriks Video Interview

#NNPA BlackPress2 years ago

‘You Know Who to Vote For’ Martin Luther King’s Voting Message 56 Years Ago Today

Entertainment2 years ago

Music Spotlight with LaToya London

#NNPA BlackPress2 years ago

#FIYAH! LIVESTREAM — U.S. Surgeon General: ‘The Debate is Over — We All Should Be Wearing Face Coverings to Prevent Spread of COVID-19’

Trending