Who Polices Who? Everything We Know About The Oath Keepers Patrolling Ferguson

Global Grind

US-POLICE-RACISM-UNREST

As a community grapples with the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown and yet another Black male shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, a heavily armed White militia group arrived on the scene Monday, swiftly drawing criticism from police and protesters alike.

Reuters reports that the group allegedly appeared in bulletproof vests and carrying military-style weapons to “protect a media organization.” Their presence was striking in the predominantly Black neighborhood, which erupted in violence late-Sunday and Monday following peaceful demonstrations one year after Brown, 18, was shot and killed by a Darren Wilson, a White ex-Ferguson police officer.

St. Louis County Police Chief, Jon Belmar, called the presence of the Oath Keepers “both unnecessary and inflammatory,” according to NBC News.

Here are 5 things to know about the group:

1. The group reportedly traveled to Ferguson with Alex Jones‘ Infowars reporter Joe Biggs

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Be color brave, not color blind: Mellody Hobson speaks at TED2014

I just wanted to share this with you all. I love this talk! Beautifully said and right on point. Has anybody had any similar experiences?

TED Blog

In 2006, Harold Ford called his friend Mellody Hobson, to tell her that he was running for US Senate in Tennessee and that he needed some national press. Hobson, an investor, in turn called a friend at a major media organization and organized a lunch. But when Hobson and Ford arrived at the lunch, they were taken to a back room. Then they were asked: “Where are your uniforms?”

Hobson says that she and Ford still laugh about that incident, but also that “deep deep down inside, I wasn’t surprised.” Her mother was ruthlessly realistic, and had prepared her for such things. For example, after a birthday party where she was the only black person, her mother asked, “How did they treat you?”

Why did she ask that? Mellody wondered. Because, as her mother said, “They will not always treat you well.”

“Race in America makes people completely uncomfortable,” says Hobson. “Bringing it…

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I only date BLACK Men

Yeah soo… read this. Funny enough these conversations ARE NOT uncommon. I for one, have heard many like the ones in this article and it makes me SICK! yes, even from some classmates who PRETEND to care about us and our culture. anyways, just read this…

My Black Film Festival Adventures!!

Pose up

‘Cause I’m cool like that.

Being born and raised in Toronto, there’s never been a shortage of things to do in & around town.  With so many events going on in the city, it can be difficult to make up your mind on where to go. I “Just Happened” to stumble upon the 3rd annual Toronto Black Film Festival in February (Better late than never right?). Okay maybe it wasn’t a coincidence, but I was covering the festival on behalf of @thesceneinTO.

Taking place during Black History Month, the Toronto Black Film Festival showcases films from around the world featuring black film makers and/or films with a strong black presence. The festival celebrates Toronto’s multicultural diversity and champions ethnic diversity through its films while creating dialogue about the various socio-economical issues in the many black communities throughout the world. The film festival isn’t just about films though (That’d be kinda boring if you ask me), TBFF featured a series of panel discussions over the 6-day festival which ranged from topics “Inclusivity in screen” which tackled the issue of films creating a more diverse representation of different ethnicities on screen to the “Black Actors in Hollywood: Then and Now” panel discussions which covered…Well you guessed it (Or maybe not), the generational gap between black actors in Hollywood, but more specifically the struggles black actors in Hollywood faced back in the day and continue to face today.

As much as I would have loved to, I couldn’t possibly attend every screening, every panel discussion over the weekend, so why not give you a QUICK round-up of my adventures  during the festival and maybe, JUST MAYBE some pictures I may or may not have taken with any celebrities…Don’t be jealous, ok? Here we go…

opening night!

 OPENING NIGHT SCREENING: MANOS SUCIAS (Dirty Hands) Executive Producer: Spike Lee. Directed By: Josef Kubota Wladyka

CAST: Cristian James Advincula, Jarlin Javier Martinez, Manuel David Riascos, Hadder Blandon
The Isabel Bader Theatre teemed with excitement in anticipation for the Toronto Black Film Festival’s opening night screening of Manos SuciasThe latest offering from Josef Kubota Wladyka and Spike Lee surely did not disappoint. Manos Sucias takes us on a journey into the lives of two young men (Delio & Jacobo) and delves into the underworld of Columbia’s drug trade. Estranged brothers, Delio and Jacobo must navigate their way up the Pacific Coast of Columbia in a beat up rickety small motor boat to deliver millions of dollars-worth of cocaine, while reconnecting and discussing the harsh realities in living in the poverty stricken areas of their respective neighbourhoods in Columbia. The film draws light to the Columbian drug trade and depicts the everyday struggle of the black youth living in poverty.

Actor Bill Cobbs!

Actor Bill Cobbs!

A Tribute to Wilbert “Bill” Cobbs: Lifetime Achievement Award/ Una Vida Premiere

Alright so for those who recognize this actor’s face, you already know who he is, and there’s no need to say anything more. For those who don’t…You should! Seriously, Bill Cobbs has been in just about every movie ever made. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but he has been in over 160 films (Yah you read that number correctly) & television shows, and over this past weekend Cobbs graciously accepted the TBFF’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award for his lengthy contributions to film and television, an award well overdue and well-deserved. With his wit and humor Cobbs thanked his audience for the award and promised to come back after the screening of his new film UNA VIDA for a very brief Q&A.

 

Bill Cobbs ScreenUna Vida: A Fable of Music and the Mind Director: Richie Adams

Cast: Joaquim De Almeida, Bill Cobbs, Ruth Negga, Andre Royo, Sharon Lawrence, and Aunjanue Ellis.

The film chronicles the story of Neuroscientist Dr. Alvaro Cruz (Joaquim De Almeida) who loses his mother to Alzheimers Disease. Cruz meets “Una Vida” (Aunjanue Ellis) and her partner “Stompleg” (Bill Cobbs) a street performing duo in the streets of New Orleans. Cruz discovers something unique about Una Vida and spends his time with her and Stompleg in an effort to help her, but is met with great skepticism by Una Vida’s adopted daughter “Jessica” (Ruth Negga).

Without giving the story away, I’ll describe this film in one word. FANTASTIC. Aunjanue Ellis gives a performance deserving of an Oscar (Seriously).  One could  even go as far to say that this may very well be one of the best movies to come out in 2015. Needless to say Bill Cobbs in this film shows why he has been in the entertainment industry for as long as he has been, and hopefully we will continue to see him in such classic films such as Una Vida.

Black Actors in Hollywood: Then and Now

ROSIE from Global TV. Such a sweet lady. =)

ROSEY from Global TV. Such a sweet lady. =)

Me and Fred "The Hammer" Williamson before his screening of the 70's film "Boss Nigger" This man is the DEFINITION of COOL!

Me and Fred “The Hammer” Williamson before his screening of the 70’s film “Boss Nigger” This man is the DEFINITION of COOL!

I wrapped up my weekend at this year’s festival with this highly anticipated panel discussion. The panel was hosted by Global News’ Rosey Edeh and the participants included Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, Bill Cobbs, and actress Lanette Ware. During the discussion we gained insights on some of the experiences the actors had been through in Hollywood, and how they overcame their obstacles. Fred Williamson spoke at length about becoming your own entity/brand, advice any aspiring actor should really listen to. The discussion lasted for approximately 2 hours and was well worth the wait. In all actually it was pretty Bad @$$.

The Hammer Screen

I’d like to send a special thank you to Fabienne Colas and the organizers of the Toronto Black Film Festival for hosting an AMAZING week of films and festivities, and for showing me love throughout the week. The festival continues to make remarkable strides and showcases quality films by black film makers and cast members.  I cannot wait to see what you have in store for us next year!!

Honourable Mentions: The screening of Fred “The Hammer” Williamson’s 70’s “Blacxploitation” film BOSS NIGGER, and the screening of CRU, a tale of brotherly love. Cool films!!

A not so FRESH experience! #RANTOFTHEDAY

Okay so I need to get something off my chest. A friend and I recently went out for lunch at “Fresh” a Vegan/vegetarian restaurant at Bloor and Spadina (downtown Toronto).  Hanging out with my homie Fay is always an adventure, and this particular day was really no different.  We’d never been to Fresh before so we figured it was time to try something new. The staff seemed friendly and the food wasn’t too bad. I ordered the Vegan BBQ burger and Fay wimped out and ordered the sweet potato fries and some

BBQ Burger! Not too shabby.

BBQ Burger! Not too shabby.

sort of taco.

Fay Inhaling her meal.

Fay Inhaling her meal.

I guess she wasn’t feeling too adventurous, or maybe there wasn’t any “Real food” on the menu to her liking (she’s a strict carnivore). Anyways we ate our meal and joked around with the server, who I might add wasn’t even our actual server, we had some dude called…Mike? Needless to say his service was non-existent. Our bill came and the logical thing to do was not tip the man, I mean why not right? Here’s what bugged me.  As we paid for our meals he said to me ” I noticed you didn’t tip, .it’s generally customary to tip at a restaurant” .  this left me in shock, I wasn’t sure weather to laugh or cuss him out in all honestly. I did find that highly unprofessional, given the fact that the service from him was non-existent. having worked in the restaurant business for many years i do understand the importance of tipping for great service. I also know that giving a tip is a choice that we make as consumers  based on the service provided to us. If you want a good tip, or any tip at all your work should reflect as such, and you as the server should not be demanding a tip. Needless to say I won’t  be going back to that restaurant any time soon.