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Kevin Hart, Beyoncé and other Celebrities lead charge for Hurricane Harvey flood relief in Texas

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Hurricane Harvey pounded southeastern Texas over the weekend prompting some celebrities to step up to support Houston by pledging donations while rallying for relief efforts via their own charities.

Comedian Kevin Hart set the wheels into motion—leading the charge on Sunday night by donating $25,000. To ensure that more relief refunds would flow into helping flood victims in Houston, Hart challenged his celebrity friends to donate to the American Red Cross amid catastrophic flooding in the Lone Star State.

“I think we’ve participated in a lot of challenges on the Internet, some meaningful, some meaningless, but we’ve all done them. I’ve been a person that’s partaken in several of them,” Hart said in an Instagram video.

“At this point, this is a serious matter,” he added. “I think the people are in bad shape and they need help. I’m going to lead the charge and step up in this way.”

In his challenge to bring more attention to the plight of those affected by the wrath of Hurricane Harvey, Hart called on his “Jumanji” co-star Dwayne Johnson, comedians Jerry Seinfield, Chris Rock, Steve Harvey, and Dave Chappelle.

He also rallied for relief efforts by calling on Beyoncé Jay-Z, and Justin Timberlake to make donations and tag someone else to do the same.

Beyoncé, known for her philanthropy and charity work was already a step ahead of the pack in helping her hometown. A Houston native Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland had already taken to social media with posts about their hometown on Instagram, sending thoughts and prayers to the state that launched their careers.

Beyoncé gave a statement to the Houston Chronicle, saying she would be working with her charity BeyGOOD to figure out how to distribute money and support:

“My heart goes out to my hometown, Houston, and I remain in constant prayer for those affected and for the rescuers who have been so brave and determined to do so much to help,” she said. “I am working closely with my team at BeyGOOD as well as my pastor (Rudy Rasmus at St. John’s in downtown Houston) to implement a plan to help as many as we can.”

Chris Young. “The Man I Want to Be” singer posted a heartfelt YouTube video about his Texas home being destroyed. Showing concern for his family, friends and others affected by the remnants of Hurricane Harvey, Young donated $100,000 to relief efforts to a GoFundMe  campaign to benefit the American Red Cross.

Kim Kardashian West posted a message on Twitter informing her following and the publc that she along with her mother and sisters would be donating to the Salvation Army and the Red Cross

Houston Texas  Star J. J. Watt launched an online relief fund for Hurricane Harvey victims on Sunday with an initial goal of raising $200,000. Incredibly, the fund has raised more than $4 million and is still growing.  Taking to Twitter he spoke about the massive damage from the Harvey and rebuilding the communities.

Nicki Minaj and DJ Khaled each responded with their own $25,000 pledges, as did T.I., though he encouraged followers to donate somewhere besides the Red Cross.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, and Houston rapper Bun B called the ravages of Hurricane Harvey “worse than everyone thought” while expressing his views on ways people could help.

Speaking with Mass Appeal about the storm’s devastation, Bun B was quick to point out that money isn’t exactly what the city needs at the moment. After being asked about Kevin Hart’s money-raising efforts, Bun explained that he’s feeling urgency for those still trapped in the city:

“I’m not saying that we don’t need money. It’s going to take a lot of money to rebuild the city of Houston. I’m putting together things right now to organize ways to raise money on a massive scale, not on a smaller scale, on as large a scale as we can possibly do. And money is going to be needed, but I’m saying right now, people stuck in an attic, they don’t need money right now. They need someone with a boat to come save their lives. I’m talking right now, real time, what people need.”

Harvey, one of the worst natural disasters in the state’s history, made landfall on Friday as a Category 4 hurricane, later weakening as a tropical storm on Saturday, dropping up to 24 inches of rain on Houston in 24 hours.‌

Toronto native Drake, a resident of Houston for the last eight years, said that he and DJ Future the Prince are currently working with local relief groups “to aid and assist the people of Texas in any way we can and in the most immediate way possible.”

“I also want to thank all the men and women of service and volunteers for their courageous efforts to help people in need,” Drake said on Instagram. “I encourage everyone to do what they can to assist the people of Texas knowing whatever effort you can make to help will go a long way.”

Katy Perry spoke about the catastrophic event in Houston, during her stint as host of the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday. At the time, Perry urged viewers to donate to the Red Cross.

“All of us here at the VMAs are sending love to the people of southeastern Texas and everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey right now,” Perry said onstage. “We’re praying for your safety in the days to come and we stand with you as you rebuild because we’re all in this together.”

Much of Houston is reportedly under water from the impact of Hurricane Harvey, leaving thousands in need of shelter and supplies or trapped in their homes. At least 15 deaths have been reported and will more than likely increase as waters recede.

The storm’s size is massive and unprecedented. The National Weather Service reports that Harvey continues to bring catastrophic flooding to southeast Texas, torrential rains spreading into southwest Louisiana. Harvey has brought over 25 inches of rain to portions of southeast Texas since Thursday night.

Another 10 to 20 inches is expected over parts of the upper Texas coast into southwestern Louisiana. Storm totals in some locations may approach 50 inches. This is producing devastating flooding. Numerous Flash Flood Warnings are in effect.

By LeNora Millen  08-29-17

 

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Roy Moore: America Was ‘Great’ During ‘Slavery’

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Roy Moore, the embattled Alabama Senate candidate under fire for alleged sexual misconduct with teenage girls when he was in his 30s, believes America was a better place at a time when slavery was still legal.

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore speaks during a campaign event in Fairhope, Alabama, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachma

At a campaign event earlier this year, an audience member asked Moore for his opinion on when the last time America was “great.”

Moore responded: “I think it was great at the time when families were united—even though we had slavery—they cared for one another…Our families were strong; our country had a direction.”

The audience member asking the question was among the few African-Americans in attendance at the rally, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

Though many will draw their own conclusions about Moore’s statement, the implication could be construed by some people that perhaps Moore is willing to overlook the enslavement of people as long as families are “united.”

From a historical context, most who frown upon the “enslavement” of people could easily point to the hypocrisy of Moore using “slavery” as a premise for uniting families.

Family separation through sale was a constant threat.  Enslaved people lived with the perpetual possibility of separation through the sale of one or more family members.  Slaveowners’ wealth was largely in the people they owned, therefore, they frequently “sold or purchased” people as finances warranted.

Moore’s remarks featured in an article from the Times in September, resurfaced Thursday in a viral tweet from Eric Columbus, a former Obama administration official.

“Can’t make this up—Roy Moore said in September that the last time America was great was when we had slavery,” Columbus tweeted…

Moore’s comments at the rally aligns with President Donald Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again,” a rallying cry to incite his base.

Despite widespread condemnation amid the damning allegations the Senate candidate faces—Trump has endorsed Moore via Twitter refusing to acknowledge the Mounting allegations of Moore.  Trump also reportedly said “Go get ‘em, Roy!” during a recent phone call with the candidate.

The president’s refusal to call out Moore for the allegations point to the sexual harassment allegations lodged against then-candidate Trump by at least 16 women who accused Trump of sexually harassing them during his campaign.  Adding more fuel to the allegations, the “Access Hollywood” tape hanging over Trump’s head like a dark cloud still haunts President Trump who has since refuted tape as a conspiracy theory.

Trump’s denial of his role in the tape, prompted the former “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush to call him out.  “He said it. Grab ’em by the p___y. Of course, he said it. And we laughed along, without a single doubt that this was hypothetical hot air from America’s highest-rated bloviator,” Bush wrote in his New York Times op-ed.

A recent Big League-Gravis poll gave Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones (who isn’t accused of sexually assaulting teenage girls), a slight edge over the Republican. The poll of 1,276 likely voters showed Jones leading Moore 48 percent to 44 percent. The election is on December 12.

On December 4, Trump tweeted, “Putting Pelosi/Schumer Liberal Puppet Jones into office in Alabama would hurt our great Republican Agenda of low on taxes, tough on crime, strong on military and borders…& so much more. Look at your 401-k’s since Election. Highest Stock Market EVER! Jobs are roaring back!” Indeed, Trump apparently believes a man who was reportedly banned from an Alabama mall for harassing teenage girls would be “tough on crime” and is urging voters to support him.

Beyond his views on slavery and allegations of sexual misconduct, Moore also has referred to Native Americans as “reds and yellows,” has questioned former President Barack Obama’s place of birth (following Trump’s example) and once suggested Muslims should not be allowed to serve in Congress. In spite of all this, Moore still seems to have at shot of becoming a United States senator.

Moore’s comments are not only insensitive, they also speak to how detached he seemingly is from the ravages of slavery, America’s original sin.

Moore has shown time and time again, in his remarks insensitivity to certain groups.  He’s referred t to Native Americans and Asian Americans as “reds and yellows.”   The controversial candidate compared the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage to the decision that effectively denied black people citizenship.  Moore has also questioned whether former President Barack Obama was born in the US. And he previously argued that Muslims should not be allowed to serve in Congress.

 

LeNora Millen        12-08-17

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Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Fired by Morgan Stanley for Alleged Misconduct

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Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired by the financial services firm Morgan Stanley following allegations of misconduct, NBC confirmed on Thursday.

Morgan Stanley declined to say specifically what prompted the firing. The allegations were presented after a woman who was not employed at the firm accused Mr. Ford of acting inappropriately in a professional setting.

Mr. Ford’s termination reported by HuffPost as an exclusive has been challenged by the former Congressman as “false claims.”

Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired from his position as a managing director at the financial services firm Morgan Stanley for what the company described as behavior “inconsistent with our values.”CreditMike Groll/Associated Press

In a statement provided by his lawyer, Mr. Ford denied the sexual harassment allegations, stating in a tweet on Thursday that he will be bringing legal action against the reporter, for making false claims against him, as well as Morgan Stanley for wrongful termination.

“This simply did not happen,” Mr. Ford wrote. “I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.” He added that socializing with members of the press was part of his job, and said that “false claims like this undermine the real silence breakers.”

Mr. Ford served five terms in Congress as a Democrat representing a Tennessee district after first being elected in 1996—serving as Congressman from 1997 to 207.

He joined Morgan Stanley as a managing director and senior client-relationship manager in 2011 as a vice chairman and senior policy adviser at Bank of America.

 

Amid the heightened scrutiny of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior toppling key figures in the entertainment and political arena, Mr. Ford is the latest high profiled man to lose his job in recent days for similar allegations.

Time magazine on Wednesday named the “Silence Breakers” its Person of the Year. They shared personal stories about harassment and assault and sparked the #MeToo movement.

According to Time, the #MeToo became a hashtag, a movement, a reckoning. But it began, as great social change nearly always does, with individual acts of courage.

In a tweet acknowledging his thoughts on the “Silence Breaker” quite pointed in his statement, Mr. Ford said the following in regards to news of his firing on Thursday, “This simply did not happen.  I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.”

In another tweet, Mr. Ford spoke about his professional demeanor and his tremendous respect for the brave women speaking out “in this important national dialogue.”  Mr. Ford was pointed in stating that false claims alleged against him “undermine the real “Silence Breakers.”

Mr. Ford appeaed as a frequent guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” MSNBC – which is owned by NBC 4 New York’s parent company.

“We are looking into the report about Harold Ford Jr.,” a spokeswoman for MSNBC said. “During that time he won’t be a guest on MSNBC.”

LeNora Millen            12-7-17

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TV One Cancels Roland Martin’s Morning Show ‘News One Now’

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TV One is canceling Roland Martin’s morning show “News One Now,” Roland made the announcement in a tweet Wednesday.

“Fam, the sad news is true. The staff of @tvonetv #NewsnewOneNow was informed this afternoon that after four years of doing groundbreaking and award-winning work, the show will cease production at the end of the year,” Martin tweeted.

Martin, who thanked audiences for their support, said the last episode will air on Dec. 21.

Roland Martin’s morning show “NewsOne Now” was cancelled due to budget cuts according to various reports from reliable sources.

“They called a meeting on Wednesday and told the staff they were canceling the show. They’re having significant financial problems and they have to scale back,” a source said. “After four years of award-winning programming and distinguished service to our viewers as the only black daily newscast on television, the network has made the difficult decision to suspend the production of NewsOne Now as a daily morning news show. The last live show is scheduled [Dec. 21],” TV One’s interim GM, Michelle Rice wrote in a memo.

Host of “News One Now” Roland Martin speaks on stage during ColorofChange.org 10 Year Anniversary Gala. (Rob Kim/Getty Images for ColorOfChange)

The news of “NewsOne Now” cancellation shocked Martin and staffers according to sources. The network had recently expanded the morning show to two hours in September.

The memo added: “While we will continue our long-standing partnership with Roland Martin to ensure his important voice can be heard across all Urban One platforms examining issues of importance to the black community, we regret this decision adversely affects several of our valued colleagues whose positions will be eliminated with the suspension of the show.”

The network issued a statement on Twitter that read, “We are committed to providing quality news to our viewers and to our long-standing relationship with @rolandsmartin #NewsOneNow who will continue to have a voice on #TVOne.”

LeNora Millen         12-07-17

 

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