Hollywood says only white people can save us


It seems one of the most powerful notions in Hollywood is that black people can’t do anything for themselves. I’m sorry; I just have trouble understanding why nearly every movie about African Americans portrays us as having a weakness only white people can help us overcome. It’s starting to be a bit annoying, not to mention redundant. I’m sure we have all seen the preview that sounds something like this:

Kai Beasley

Announcer: “In a world where people of color from the inner city act like blatant stereotypes, one woman understood how to touch them better than they understood how to touch themselves. When no one else cared, there was one white woman who was willing to give them a chance. Michelle Pfeiffer in . . . “Dangerous Minds.”

Two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank is starring in a similar film. Maybe you’ve seen the preview. It sounds something like this:

Announcer: “From the producers of all those other movies where white people are the only people who can save poor ethnic kids comes the same freakin’ story that you’ve seen over and over. When a bunch of unruly ethnic kids don’t want to listen to anyone, a random white woman is able to reach them. This time, it’s for real. This time, it’s for the future. This time . . . It’s not Michelle Pfeiffer. Hillary Swank in . . . “Freedom Writers .”

I mean, COME ON! African Americans don’t need white actors to help them do stuff. So what if Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise helped me write this article; that’s the exception, not the rule. So what if John Travolta helps me dress myself every morning, it can just as easily be Samuel L. Jackson. The fact that I can’t eat breakfast in the morning without being spoon-fed by Bruce Willis means nothing; Jamie Foxx can spoon-feed me anytime.

But seriously, are we as helpless and naive as our characterizations in film portray us? No! Do white people really care about our problems as much as they do in films? No! That’s the reason things are they way they are. If people cared as much as they do in the movies, there wouldn’t be any more movies like that, because society would have changed. But what really grinds my gears is that few movies give black people credit for the things we do for ourselves. In fact, the only thing they do give us credit for being good at is drug dealin’, rappin’ or pimpin’. Now I don’t know about you all, but I stopped pimpin’ a long time ago, and I would like to think that I have moved on to better things.



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January 27, 2007

Calling it “one of the most difficult decisions that I’ve had to make in politics,” Rep. Bobby Rush said Friday he is backing Barack Obama for president — despite Rush’s long friendship with rival White House hopeful Hillary Clinton and her husband.

“Barack is a favorite son, and I’m going to be with Barack,” Rush said of his fellow South Side Democrat. “I intend to work very hard with him and for him. And this challenge is going to be enormous, but I’m going to be with him. … We come from the same neighborhood and represent the same constituency, and I’m going to be with my constituency and Sen. Obama.”

In 1991, Rush was the first elected official in Illinois to back Bill Clinton’s first presidential run. He went on to serve as national director of voter registration for the Clinton-Gore ticket in 1992.

Rush said it was Clinton who called him on the night of the Illinois primary that year with the news that Rush had won the Democratic nomination for the South Side’s 1st Congressional District.

“I was trying to … get the results and everything, and he called me and congratulated me and informed me that I had won,” Rush said. “It’s one of the most difficult decisions that I’ve had to make in politics. Bill Clinton and the Clinton family are very close.”

‘We buried the hatchet’

Rush’s relationship with Obama has been more rocky. It soured when Obama waged a failed bid to oust Rush from his congressional seat in 2000. Clinton helped Rush in that race, giving a rare primary endorsement and cutting 30-second radio spots singing Rush’s praises.

The incumbent congressman won with 61 percent to Obama’s 30 percent in a four-candidate field — an outcome a chastened Obama later laughingly called “a big spanking.”

California Highway Patrol wants to charge Brandy with Manslaughter


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By JEREMIAH MARQUEZ, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES – The California Highway Patrol recommended Monday that actress-singer Brandy be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in a freeway crash that killed a woman motorist last month, a city attorney’s spokesman told The Associated Press.

The CHP referred the matter to the city attorney’s office for review, said spokesman Nick Velasquez.

“The office is currently reviewing the case and determining whether the evidence warrants the filing of a misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter,” Velasquez said.

A message seeking comment from Brandy’s publicist, Courtney Barnes, was not immediately returned.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in county jail and a $1,000 fine, Velasquez said.

Prosecutors couldn’t say when they would make a decision about whether to bring a case. If charged, Brandy wouldn’t necessarily have to appear in court and could have her lawyer enter a plea, Velasquez said.

Brandy, whose real name is Brandy Norwood, has publicly expressed condolences to the victim’s family, Barnes said last week. Barnes also has said Brandy wasn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.

Brandy, 27, was driving a Land Rover on Interstate 405 on Dec. 30 when traffic slowed and her vehicle struck the back of Honda driven by Awatef Aboudihaj, 38, according to a CHP report.

Aboudihaj’s car hit another vehicle, slid sideways into the center divider and was then hit by another car, the report said. Aboudihaj, a Los Angeles waitress, died at a hospital from blunt-force injuries, according to the coroner’s office.