Connect with us

Commentary

Protests Planned at Screening of Michael Jackson Documentary

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “…in the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, America’s embrace of “I believe the victims” has intensified. However, Michael Jackson’s family and ultra-loyal fan base, are having none of it.”

Published

on

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Kelly’s accusers are having their say and so are those who accused Bill Cosby.

And, in the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, America’s embrace of “I believe the victims” has intensified. However, Michael Jackson’s family and ultra-loyal fan base, are having none of it.

TMZ reports that police are gearing up for a mob of angry protestors who plan to let their feelings be known during a new blistering documentary about the late King of Pop that’s set to premiere Friday, Jan. 25th at the Sundance Film Festival.

Police are also gearing up for possible confrontations.

Law enforcement sources said the Park City Police Department is aware of an anti-documentary protest being organized on social media, so cops are going to beef up their presence both inside and outside the premiere with uniformed and undercover officers.

The website reported that law enforcement is most concerned about disruptions taking place during the Q&A portion of the screening of “Leaving Neverland,” a six-hour film that features two men who say they were sexually assaulted by Jackson when they were children.

The Q&A portion is when protesters may cause the biggest disturbances, TMZ reported.

The controversial documentary explores the alleged sexual abuse by Jackson, who died in 2009 at the age of 50.

Famous choreographer to the stars Wade Robson and another man, James Safechuck, are reportedly featured in the documentary and both tell stories of lurid behavior by Jackson.

Robson claims that when he was as young as 7, Jackson sexually assaulted him and the attacks continued for several years. Safechuck, who traveled with Jackson when Safechuck was a young boy, said the singer repeatedly molested him.

Jackson was found not guilty of 13 counts involving the molestation of a 13-year-old cancer patient in 2005 and has always maintained his innocence despite acknowledging paying tens of millions of dollars in civil settlements to the family of at least three boys who claimed the singer molested them.

Jackson’s family has slammed the documentary and his fans have bombarded Twitter and other social media pages with protests.

One of Jackson’s nephews even tweeted that he could consider crowd funding to finance a counter-documentary.

Jackson’s estate executors have blasted the documentary, Robson and Safechuck, calling them “liars.” They point out that both gave sworn testimony when Jackson was alive that the King of Pop never touched them.

The estate’s executors, John Branca and John McClain have also lashed out at HBO for planning to show the documentary in the spring. They claim Jackson’s 1992 concert that aired exclusive on HBO, made the network millions and “this is how they show their gratitude.”

HBO officials said they still plan to air the documentary.

Baton Rouge rap star Lil’ Boosie recently gave his thoughts on the Jackson documentary.

The “Ghetto Stories” rapper took to Instagram for the “Surviving R. Kelly” controversy, in which Lifetime’s tell-all documentary on the life, times and sexually deviant crimes of the Chicago crooner were thrusted to the forefront of pop culture at the top of 2019.

Now that a new Sundance film is in the works to spotlight Jackson’s alleged abuse against children, Boosie said believe the victims. “Let’s see what the world has to say this time,” Boosie said.

Continue Reading
4 Comments

4 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activism

16th Annual MLK Day of Service on the Richmond Greenway

The 16th annual MLK Day of Service in Richmond honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  was held Jan. 16 with a day of service to the community and activities for families on the Richmond Greenway.

Published

on

“…Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The 16th annual MLK Day of Service in Richmond honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  was held Jan. 16 with a day of service to the community and activities for families on the Richmond Greenway.

The event was hosted by Urban Tilth and the City of Richmond. Event partners were Groundwork Richmond, Rich City Rides, Moving Forward, Hope Worldwide, The Watershed Project, Contra Costa Resource Conservation District, Building Blocks for Kids, City of Richmond, Cal Cameron Institute, Friends of the Richmond Greenway; and Pogo Park.

The celebration made possible with the support of the Hellman Family Foundation, City of Richmond, and hundreds of individual donors.

The day’s schedule included volunteer projects along the Richmond Greenway and a Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial and community celebration at Unity Park.

Among the community service projects were opportunities to take part in projects to transform and beautify the Richmond Greenway Trail, like tending to the Greenway Gardens, trash pickup, and planting native plant and trees.

Continue Reading

Activism

Tony Thurmond Starts Second Term as State Addresses Educational Inequity

“We’re offering scholarships for anyone who wants to become a teacher. $20,000,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) Tony Thurmond told California Black Media. “I sponsored a bill, HB 520, that was focused on how we get more male educators of color. And that bill turned into funding in the state budget. That now means our residency programs can be used to help have male educators of color as part of the beneficiaries of that program.”

Published

on

State Supt. of Public Instruction speaks with a student after his swearing in on Jan. 7. Photo by Max Elramsisy, California Black Media.
State Supt. of Public Instruction speaks with a student after his swearing in on Jan. 7. Photo by Max Elramsisy, California Black Media.

By Max Elramsisy | California Black Media

State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) Tony Thurmond took the oath of office to begin his second term on Jan. 7 at a ceremony conducted at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Los Angeles.

Thurmond oversees the education of 6 million PreK-12 students in over 1,000 public school districts across California.

Although SPI is a non-partisan office, Thurmond drew support from many of the state’s top Democrats in his bid for re-election, including from Gov. Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and several members of the California Legislative Black Caucus. He was also endorsed by unions across the state, including the California Federation of Teachers and California Teachers Association.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona performed the ceremonial swearing in of Thurmond, who then reflected on his path to the office. The son of a Panamanian immigrant mother and Vietnam veteran father who did not return to his family after the war, Thurmond and his brother were raised by their cousin and relied on public assistance programs and public schools to make it out of poverty.

“I am standing on the shoulders of those relatives who struggle and sacrifice so that we could have a better life,” Thurmond said after he was sworn in. “It was the sacrifices of teachers and classified staff and childcare workers and school administrators who make it possible for me to stand here today as your public servant fighting for 6 million students in the great state of California.”

Thurmond’s first term coincided with one of the most tumultuous periods in California’s history — a time, he says, that brought with it many unforeseen challenges.

“We all watched it together. The lives lost and impacted and disrupted by the pandemic,” Thurmond said before naming other cultural, social and political developments the country endured as the COVID-19 crisis intensified.

“The killing of George Floyd, fighting hate against the Asian American Pacific Islander community, racism targeted directly to African American families, anti-Semitism, the mistreatment of Latino families, immigrant families, we have seen so much hate all in such a short period of time that we would move into a pandemic and find out that, in a state with all the wealth that we have in California, that a million students could be without a computer,” Thurmond added. “That is the most important thing that they needed to be connected to in those early days through remote learning.”

Thurmond says his administration stepped up to address challenges presented by the pandemic.

“We know that the impact this has had clearly affected student proficiency levels where they are now compared to where they were a few years before the pandemic and of course, a deep, deep impact on the mental health of our students and our families,” he said.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in depression and anxiety and hospitalizations for children and it has been difficult for them,” Thurmond continued. “But our children are more than the sum of their circumstances. They’ve demonstrated their resiliency, and they’re on the path to recovery, and we’re going to help them with that because we just secured enough money to recruit 10,000 counselors for our schools in the state of California.”

The addition of counselors is good news for teachers across the state seeking resources to help their students recover and develop in areas outside of academics where school also plays a crucial role for many students.

“I was very excited when Superintendent Thurman said that there would be 10,000 counselors coming to the school sites because we need that,” said Bridgette Donald-Blue, an elementary school math teacher and California Teacher of the Year award recipient. “The emotional health of our students, that is important, that is very important.”

The SPI does not have any legislative role. But Thurmond, who served in the California State Assembly for two terms, sponsored or endorsed several legislative initiatives that may have a profound effect on the future of education in California and the role that schools play to meet the social and emotional needs of students to provide a positive learning environment.

Thurmond says, beginning in the 2022–23 school year, the California Universal School Meal Program will help all students to reach their full academic potential by providing a nutritiously adequate breakfast and lunch at no charge for all children each school day regardless of individual eligibility.

Thurmond also has initiatives to combat inequities in the school system including universal preschool for 4-year-olds regardless of background, race, zip code, immigration status, or income level. He also launched the Black Student Achievement Taskforce to help quantify the impacts systemic and institutional racism have had on Black students in California.

Thurmond points out that he sponsored legislation to increase funding to the lowest-performing students, ban suspension and expulsions in preschools, and secured $90 million for suspensions and chronic absenteeism programming.

“I know the impacts of what happens when our students don’t learn to read by third grade. Sadly, they end up dropping out in many cases and in the criminal justice system, and we’re going to change the narrative and flip the script. We’re going to educate, not incarcerate our kids.” Thurmond repeated a pledge for today’s kindergarteners to be able to “read by third grade.”

Recently, some education advocates pointed out that there has been a reported wave of retirements and disincentives that have led to an unprecedented teacher shortage across the nation.

In response, Thurmond says he is creating new incentives to draw qualified people into the school system to help students, especially those who are of color.

“We’re offering scholarships for anyone who wants to become a teacher. $20,000,” Thurmond told California Black Media. “I sponsored a bill, HB 520, that was focused on how we get more male educators of color. And that bill turned into funding in the state budget. That now means our residency programs can be used to help have male educators of color as part of the beneficiaries of that program.”

Continue Reading

Activism

COMMENTARY: One Nation, Indivisible

Like many whose Southern roots run deep, I often turn to the past for answers. What I discovered in questioning our current differences revived my faith that the United States always will overcome our troubles and emerge even stronger on the other side.

Published

on

Ben Jealous is incoming executive director of the Sierra Club, America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization; former national president of the NAACP; and professor of practice at the University of Pennsylvania.

By Ben Jealous

It strikes me that the days we’re living through represent a metaphor for our national dilemma. Jan. 6 and the weight of history that date carries are in the rearview mirror, at least on the calendar. Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream still is on the horizon.

America’s existential challenge is to put the former behind us permanently so we can finally achieve the latter and be what we pledge allegiance to — one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. After the attack on the Capitol, I sat down to figure out how we might finally do that, and my answers have filled a book.

As my mother’s family has for four centuries, I live south of the Mason-Dixon Line close to the Chesapeake Bay, which was a literal superhighway for slavery. Casual conversations about the likelihood of another Civil War are frequent at my favorite waterside bar. Combine that with the political fault lines running through many families and friendships (including my own) and we feel more divided than indivisible. It’s clear why so many fear for our republic’s survival.

I have always been an optimist about America. Even for me, witnessing a failed coup shook my usually hopeful outlook.

Like many whose Southern roots run deep, I often turn to the past for answers. What I discovered in questioning our current differences revived my faith that the United States always will overcome our troubles and emerge even stronger on the other side.

In the 1880s, formerly enslaved men and former Confederate soldiers in Virginia — home to the Confederacy’s capital — banded together to fight for the future of their children. They built a political party called the Readjusters. Their demand was simple: readjust the terms of Civil War debt so that we can maintain free public schools for all.

Not only did they win that victory, they also won control of the state’s government and achieved several more: they abolished the poll tax, they abolished the public whipping post, they created the first public Black college in the South, and they expanded Virginia Tech to make it the working person’s rival to the University of Virginia.

The Readjusters’ short-lived multiracial populist movement eventually was attacked violently by white supremacists and defeated politically by wealthy special interests spreading vile disinformation; their party is all but erased from history books.

Still, they defined the future of Virginia and our nation by planting early seeds for FDR’s New Deal coalition and by creating a bold legacy in public education that endures to this day. Moreover, their example reminds us that the spirit that moved Dr. King to dream hopefully about Black and white children has always run deep in our nation, and always will. When we lose faith in our neighbors, that hope reminds us that the path to a stronger nation is to remember we still have more in common than we don’t, and to act on the beliefs we share.

If men who had been enslaved could find common cause with men who fought to keep them enslaved to build a better future for all their children, we should never lose faith that we can unite for the sake of ours.

Ben Jealous is incoming executive director of the Sierra Club, America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization; former national president of the NAACP; and professor of practice at the University of Pennsylvania. His new book “Never Forget Our People Were Always Free” was just published.

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

Trending