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In January 2017 Lonzo Ball was positioned well within the NBA lottery on multiple Draft-centered websites. DraftExpress.com had Ball going fourth overall, and the website had Ball ranked fourth among its top 100 Draft-eligible prospects. NBADraft.net had Ball as its first overall pick, and Aran Smith ranked Ball fourth on his list of the top 100 Draft-eligible prospects. Chad Ford of ESPN.com ranks Ball second on his list of the top 100 Draft-eligible prospects.

All of these website also had UCLA, Lonzo Ball’s team making the Final Four. The top 12 NBA prospects moved up the draft board, except for markelle fultz, due to their NCAA performance. Dennis Smith moved down the draft board, but he tore his ACL in August 2016.
Lonzo Ball had a weak NCAA performance scoring 10 points, being outplayed in every way by Kentunky’s De’Arron Fox, 39 points, but Lonzo still moved up the draft board. Lonzo was going to be drafted and he is a big time talent. Some people were concerned about his awkward shot and his horrible 65 free throw shooting percentage but on top of those concerns came the horrible NCAA tournament, yet he still moved up the draft board.
Why?
In The Gym Range had Lonzo Ball going 5th overall just before the March NCAA tournament and strangely enough that is when Lonzo’s father, the outspoken Lavar Ball began making regular appearances on well-known sports talk shows like ESPN’s First Take and Fox’s Undisputed.

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In March 2017, LaVar Ball remarked that Lonzo was a better player than current NBA MVP Stephen Curry. By mid-March he was asserting that Lonzo was better than Jason Kidd,  LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. The memes and videos of Lavar’s appearances spiraled out of control. By the start of the NCAA tournament some draft boards had Lonzo as the #1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Meanwhile Lavar said that his son Lonzo was going to be a Los Angeles Laker, the Lakers had the #2 pick.
UCLA fell to Kentucky in the 2017 NCAA Division I Tournament, Lonzo Ball had two uninspiring performances in each game. Before the tournament T.J. Leaf UCLA’s Power Forward was projected in the top 10 of the NBA draft. After UCLA’s tournament performance some sites dropped Leaf to the 28th pick.
LaVar Ball said, “Realistically you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow.” After this causal sport fans began to question Lavar’s parenting skill and techniques. However, Lavar Ball was ratings gold and and must-see tv for morning sports shows. See the sports gods know that Lavar as two more very good basketball playing sons coming through pipeline. They were using him for ratings, but he was going to be around for awhile.

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LaVar was ready to handle any backlash thrown his way. Lavar knew that this promotion was tied to college basketball, so Lavar expanded his on-air boasting to include himself. “Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one. He’s too light in the ass.” This boast prompted Charles Barkley to challenged LaVar to play one-on-one. With each appearance LaVar’s statements grew bolder, he said that he believed his three sons would be worth $1 billion for a shoe deal.
LaVar compared Lonzo to Magic Johnson and said his boy would bring showtime back to LA. There were circulating rumors that the L.A. Lakers wanted Lonzo and that Lonzo was a game changer. Most shows, articles and social medianites mused that Lavar had put too much pressure on his son and hurt his sons draft stock. In the tournament Lonzo Ball was outplayed in both of his match ups with top five picks at his position. Naturally, you would assume that draft boards would charted Lonzo (who was 5th) as losing ground to other top guards.

Lavar Savage
The big picture was that the NBA, the fans and the media want a light-skin toned ball player to promote. Lavar Ball was smart enough to realize that he was now part of the machine and his next moves proves it. In April, Lavar shifted from basketball and said that his family’s Big Baller Brand apparel company, would compete with Nike. The following week, Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas declined to sign an endorsement deal with Lonzo, according to LaVar.

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On May 4, 2017, Big Baller Brand announced its first signature shoes, the ZO2, with a retail price of $495 to be shipped on November 24. Shaquille O’Neal criticized Ball for overpricing the shoes. Dick Vitale took aim at the price by citing Lonzo’s performance against Kentucky at the NCAA Tournament. Social Media and sports talks shows were highly critical. Ball answered critics by posting on Twitter, “If you can’t afford the ZO2’S, you’re NOT a BIG BALLER!”
By now surely people had forgotten any remnants of NCAA tournament and Lonzo’s poor performances, but how could the man with the megaphone be sure…A week later he tweeted, “LaVar Ball: Lonzo Ball ‘Only Working Out’ For Lakers; Predicts Playoff Drought Ends With Son In L.A.”

Lakers

Lakers Ball

And on draft night the Los Angeles Lakers selected Lonzo Ball with the 2nd overall pick, and the fans rejoiced saying Lonzo Ball is the perfect fit. If Lonzo had fallen like he normally would have the Lakers could have traded down, gained additional picks and still drafted Ball. Lavar’s hype and the NBA’s need to have a lighter-skin tone person to train camera’s on prevented the Lakers from making additional moves.
After the playoff it was clear that the Celtics didn’t need a point guard and the other top point guards had outperformed Lonzo.

Lavar Is Trying To Get Off The Plantation

The Celtics traded the #1 pick. Magic Johnson said “Lonzo is the new face of the Lakers.” and then he signed him to a 4 year $33 million dollar contact. If Ball had fallen to #10 and the Lakers could have traded down, Lonzo’s contract would have been 4 year $14 million dollars…So Thank Dad.

Forbes NBA Salary List

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All of LaVar Ball statements and boasting elevated his son’s draft stock, an basically doubled his contract. The boasting also increased the spotlight on Lonzo Ball, increased the expectations and of course it has brought out the racist. I am sure that was a calculation by Lavar, get the psychos to hate him and not his son. Almost every negative commentary on LaVar Ball is about his parenting skills, his mouth almost of the comments are sprinkled with overtly or coded racist language.

The elder Ball has become one of the most visible figures in basketball due to his tireless promotion of his talented brood and his seemingly magnetic attraction to any microphone or camera pointed his way. The audacious absurdity of Lavar’s decades-long plan to get all three of his three boys to the NBA is exceeded only by the increasingly bold, eye-roll-inducing boasts that made him a one-man 24-hour news cycle.
Lavar raises the bar and his sons keep sailing over it, checking boxes, and stuffing their resumes with head-scratching feats, like LiAngelo 72 points and LaMelo 92 point games. Yes, all three brothers played on the Chino Hills high school national championship team, systematically destroying every scoring records they could find.

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LaVar toned it down during the NBA Finals, he even wore suits to his on-air segments while promoting his son’s $1,000 shoe (which are signed and come in a lighted case). He also claimed that he can’t play Jordan or Barkley one-on-one anymore due to he fact that he’s is ‘retired and now a CEO.’

People don’t even like Lavar due to his constant bombastic nature, but watch them start defending him due to this article. They will support Lavar and Lonzo because believing that the NBA wants to promote lighter skin tone Black players is too hard to fathom. Although, fans do seem to accept that to sports shows must have two or three black athletes/ex-coachs/ex-presidents and one white person as the slave-mast, err moderator and that somehow little blonde hair, blue-eyed white women keep getting sports show gigs and side-line reporter jobs. not to mention how if you look really carefully that white sportscasters have their chair elevated, making the black ex-player commentator seem shorter…in hierarchy.

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Fans doesn’t want to believe that they just witnessed the NBA and sports media orchestrate colorism. We want to believe that these players marketability have nothing to do with it skin tone. To accept this we would have to also accept that we, the fan, the poster, the commentator, are apart of elevating lighter skin tone Blacks over darker ones, even if we didn’t notice.

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Instead of the NBA being concerned with the imbalance in conferences they are worried about racial politics. Here are some headlines from this years articles: “LeBron versus #TeamLightBright.”, “The Golden Skinned Warriors.” “the Splash Brothers look like they maybe have a splash of coffee in their cream.”, “Too Pretty to Play”
Sports Racial Politics

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“When i first met Curry, I thought he was white,” Kevin Durant said. He was the only one who said it out loud.
“I’ve never seen anything like that light-skinned dude,” Allen Iverson said.
“Steph is light-skinned, so they want to make him out to be soft.”- Draymond Green, Steph Curry’s teammate
“The Light-Skin Movement is very strong, “It’s Light Time,” Austin Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers

NBA players, including LeBron James have taken note of this ‘light privilege’ and have questioned the sports media and the NBA’s quick promotion of Stephen Curry, all the way down to his little daughter Riley. Klay Thompson can play and Curry had a great year, but soon LeBron James was taking a backseat to Curry.
Exploiting people’s internal biases is a marketing mainstay, before Curry it was the Los Angeles Clipper’s Blake Griffin, who because of his skin tone had a ‘broad cultural appeal’, he was advertiser’s golden boy.
Griffin NBA’s Golden Boy

After Stephen Curry won the NBA’s 2016 MVP Award Lebron James said “If you do it by a year-to-year basis, I think sometimes the word ‘valuable’ or best player of the year, you can have different results.” Curry ignored LeBron’s chaffing and most people chalked it up to jealousy, but LeBron, like Kanye at the MTV Awards, saw what was happening and wasn’t going to let it go down without saying something.
LeBron Doesn’t Like Steph…

Over the last three seasons the Golden State Warrior have won more games than any other team. The Golden State Warriors are fronted by Curry and Thompson, dubbed the Splash Brothers and both are light skin toned men who can shoot. They have won two out of the last three NBA titles, but in the off-season everyone talks about the Lakers, but now the Lakers has its own light-skin tone to promote.

Shot mechanics…suspect, ball handling…suspect, passing…pretty good but don’t worry because of course Lonzo Ball will have a little help to make sure he does well. NBA Summer League games are packed and Facebook is producing a Ball Family reality show, maybe this Ball hype and the NBA seems to be more alive than ever, so maybe hype is all the fans really want or need. Los Angeles is a major market, this historic team returning to greatest will be a big benefit to the NBA, fans and the Los Angeles Lakers will lead a lot of story lines, and don’t forget that Lavar Ball will be along for the ride.

 

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There are no accidents

The NBA likes to populate the good white players to play in Indiana, Utah and Boston. Right now the NBA is planning to separate Klay Thompson to another team, so this promotion will spread, rumors are already circulating.

In Georgia, a 3,000 lb Chevy Impala slipped off a jack and onto a young man. Without any assistance, his mother, Angela Cavallo, picked up the car and held it for five minutes until neighbors could pull her son to safety.

 As the helicopter came in for a soft landing, it suddenly careened out of control and slammed to the ground, this was all caught on film. One of the pilots was trapped under the helicopter in the shallow water. Warren “Tiny” Everal ran over and lifted the helicopter off the pilot. The chopper was a Hughes 500D, which weighs 1550 lb when empty, the pilot recovered.

The 4,000 lb BMW slipped off the jack and landed on the mechanics chest, crushing him. With no time to waste the mechanic’s 22-year-old daughter lifted the car and moved it off her father, the performed CPR to keep him breathing.

Science says that under acute stress, the body’s sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for sustained, vigorous action. The adrenal gland dumps cortisol and adrenaline into the blood stream. Blood pressure surges and the heart races, delivering oxygen and energy to the muscles. It’s the biological equivalent of opening the throttle of an engine.

Does this science explanation explain how someone who isn’t Captain America can lift a helicopter? Does science explain how these people had the strength to lift a car off of someone? Maybe science has the answer, maybe just maybe there is another one… THEM.

On a sunny day I stepped out into a meadow. I watched the flowers slowly move in the breeze. I breathed in the fresh air and looked around. I took a few steps; on my third step is when I spotted a grizzly bear with her cubs on the trail at the upper end of the meadow. Maybe if I quietly turn around and left maybe they wouldn’t see me, but the grizzly saw me right away, and they all ran up the trail.

But then for some reason she stopped, turned, and charged straight for me. I screamed so she would know I was human, hoping she’d turn back.  My noises only seem to quicken her pace towards me; at 25 feet I doused her with bear spray. Her momentum caused a cut out of her galloping body in the orange mist. She jumped at me and I dove face-first into the dirt and wrapped my arms around the back of my neck for protection.

She was on top of me, biting my arms, shoulders, and backpack. Her teeth went through my forearm, right into the bone “and I heard a crunch.” The force of each bite was like a sledgehammer with teeth. Over and over she bit me. I lay there playing dead for what felt like hours but was merely minutes, she suddenly disappeared.

I picked myself up, stunned that I was able to walk. I started back down the trail toward my truck, three miles below. About five or ten minutes down the trail, I heard a growl and turned. It was the grizzly, bearing down on me at 30 feet.  A ten inch paw knocked me quickly to the ground.

Again I protected the back of my neck with my arms and kept tight against the ground to protect my face and eyes. She slammed down on top of me and bit my shoulder and arm. My hand instantly went numb, and the wrist and fingers were limp and unusable. The sudden pain made me flinch and gasp for breath.

My gasping sounds triggered a frenzy of bites to my shoulder and upper back. I knew I couldn’t move or make a sound again, so stayed motionless through the pain. Another couple bites to my head caused a gash to open above my ear….I didn’t move. Blood gushed over my face and into my eyes… I didn’t move. She would eventually hit an artery in my neck, and I’d bleed out.

Suddenly the bites stopped; only the sound of her heavy breathing and sniffing remained. I could feel her hot breath on the back of my neck and her three inch claws digging into my lower back below my backpack, where she stood. I could smell the pungent odor she emitted. For 30 seconds, she stood there crushing me, smashing my chest into the ground and my forehead in the dirt. And then nothing.

I tried to look out but my eyes were full of blood. I wiped the blood from one eye and looked around. No bear. I stood up and moved quickly down the trail again. Forty-five minutes later, I got into my truck and drove 17 miles to the hospital.

Most of the punctures and tears were on my arms and shoulder. It took doctors eight hours to stitch me back together. The next day, I woke up with dark bruising in the shape of claws across my lower back where the bear had stood on me, but I was alive. A six-inch gash along the side of my head will forever be a reminder of this bear attack but I thanked God for getting me through this.

What made the bear attack? He survived the first attack; he survived the second attack and was thankful he survived. Was playing dead that effective?  Was the way he guarded his head and neck, enough to prevent dead from the 450 lb grizzly, perhaps it was…THEM.

 

Late on a dark New Orleans, a jogging Peter Gold saw a hoodie wearing man dragging a woman down the street. Gold intervened as the man tried to get the woman into a SUV near the intersection of Magazine and St. Mary streets.  The man let go of the woman, held his gun to Gold, looked him in the face and said ‘I’m going to kill you‘, then he shot Gold point blank in the stomach.

 

Gold lay on the sidewalk and pleaded for his life. The hoodied man put the gun to Gold’s head, pulled back the slide on the black semi-automatic gun and pulled the trigger. “I saw the man squeezing the trigger repeatedly. He said the gun was jamming.” Gold recalled. When the gun didn’t fire the man took the woman’s purse and drove away.

Gold recovered from his injuries in what everyone has called an “incredible miracle.” Gold graduated from Tulane medical school and continues with a residency in orthopedic surgery at a hospital in New York City.  “I’m just very lucky and fortunate to be able to come out of that alive,” Gold said. “I think about that day every single day of my life.”

Every single day Gold thinks about how he almost died, “I wonder what happened in somebody’s life that they were able to create such violence with such ease without even thinking about it.” Gold has a started a nonprofit foundation called MyStrongCity to provide education, mentoring and to raise money for community-based organizations that empower undeserved youth.

The gunman, who was captured later, attacked three other people immediately after leaving Gold.

Gold says that he was “lucky”, but could the gun jamming be attributed to something other than luck? Would he have started this foundation that has helped thousands of people, if this horrible incident had not occurred? Could this happening be something other than fortune smiling on him?

Could this have been  THEM?

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Network television is changing. They are reshuffling the deck to appeal to larger audiences. They are getting rid of liberals, but they are really getting rid President Barack Obama’s musings and anyone who can’t appeal to the dominant political mass.

People will be moved whether it is Melissa Harris Perry, Al Sharpton, Toure, Joy Reid, Ronan Farrow, Alex Wagner, Jose Diaz-Balart or anyone else. That is just business, but why didn’t these brown faces see the writing on the wall?

 

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Melissa Harris Perry walks off her show after pre-exemptions

 

Why…because these brown face head shots were pretending that influx of brown faces on big screens, small screens and network news wasn’t due to Barack Obama’s presence. As his term winds down these people should have been reflective of the process that gave rise to many of the brown faces we seen daily. Reflective that Barack Obama’s travails allowed these brown faces to provide better for their families, to change zip codes to create viable platforms.

Even though some of those brown faces took their benefactor to task for two terms and eight long years, thanks is still due. They have yet to thank him for the paychecks, the raises, the platforms or the notoriety. Without Obama these brown faces would have kept the marginal outlets they had before his candidacy.

 

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Race and Identity Polices personified

I get it; you earned this position on merit…right. Unfortunately, America seldom works like that—hardly ever. Many of these brown faces did great jobs with their shows and platforms, but no great job a brown face does would be as great as someone with a white one.

                                          Dear: Melissa Harris Perry,

                                          This is not about you. This is about President Barack Obama.

I know Melissa Harris Perry and her audience, didn’t like the repeated back and forth cuts between her segments and election coverage. A lot of people are ‘stanning’ for Melissa, Nerdland, and for a show that featured race and identity politics and Melissa never did get that Beyonce interview. Ultimately, Melissa’s insistence on discussing of Beyone’s video “formation” instead of the political race may have been the last MSNBC straw.

 

 

The cycle is changing and Melissa Harris Perry has an audience, a following and agendas behind her…she’ll be fine.

 

 

MG Hardie

Midnight: Rise of the Black Vampires

Are you a Vampire fan, a Fantasy enthusiast? Yet you paused when you looked at the new novel Midnight: Rise of the Black Vampires?

While you were reading this novel on the train did you feel as if people were staring at you?

Did you ask yourself…WTF, why black vampires?

Leading up to the release of Midnight: Rise of the Black Vampires, I received emails saying…Why did you have to make the vampires Black… Followed by my standard reply of “Did you send Stephanie Meyer, Ann Rice or any other fantasy authors ask similar questioning email?”

With black people being gunned down by the police, shot down in the street for no reason and being marginalized as second class citizens what harm could a white book with a black power fist in the middle of it cause you on your way to work.

You have movements where the people of color protest at a predetermined time, in an approved park but many don’t want the daily questions that come with being a person of color in America. People of color don’t want to wear blackness on their sleeve, they don’t want the eyes on them, and they don’t want the questions…

“Who taught you to hate the race that you belong to so much so that you don’t want to be around each other? No… Before you come asking Mr. Muhammad does he teach hate, you should ask yourself who taught you to hate being what God made you.”—Malcolm X

That is called hiding in plain sight. It is not pride; it is the psychological effect of centuries of white supremacy. White Supremacy is not limited to individual thought and behavioral patterns, it is something ingrained in the collective psyche of a group.

“… to be white is to be human and all others are subhuman, savages, beasts of burden to be worked, raped, beaten and robbed – they deserve what they get and little else can be expected of them anyway.”- Bell Hooks

When you look at most urban novels, you see almost naked women and men, guns, drugs, expensive cars and titles like ‘Hood Hoe 17’ and ‘Twerk Momma 7’. If you read those novels on the train there will be no eyes on you, there will be no questions to answer because those images are what American white supremacy has been selling and that is what many have been buying for years.

To this end Midnight: Rise of the Black Vampires was conceived to place characters that are unapologetic, revolutionary and Blacks front and center. This novel may be about vampires but the world is reflected in-between its lines.

Midnight: Rise of the Black Vampires is about a lot more than being a vampire. Shake the bonds of white supremacy by using your detector whenever possible.

ISBN: 978-0-9968296-0-1 (Color Edition)

ISBN: 978-0-9968296-2-5 (Standard Edition)

ISBN: 978-0-9968296-1-8 (eBook)

For decades Oprah Winfrey has done many things to help people whether that help came from the Oprah show’s subject matter, giving her audience members cars or opening up a school. It can even be said her 2007 endorsement of Barack Obama is what put him over the top in his bid to become president of the United States of America. First let me be clear, I know that because of the amount of hair on my face that there is zero chance that I will be on Oprah’s show. That being the case, I have no problem with Oprah at all. Oprah Winfrey is an amazing woman who has overcome unbelievable odds to become one of the most powerful and influential people in the world.

The Oprah show is largely positive, but at times it is a show of sexual anxiety, victim hood, exploitation, and dark vision of sexual relationships. Strong positive Black Men are almost non-existent on Oprah’s show. On Friday, Oprah has a live show of weekly recaps and talks about current events in a round table type of atmosphere. On Friday Jul 9, 2010 a riot broke out in Oakland California, over the police shooting of unarmed Oscar Grant, a black man, that same day Oprah was on her show eerily saying “Huuugh Jaaackmannn… I love his butt.”

What is the Message?

On Friday, March 6 of 2009 Oprah had an intervention show for Rihanna, where she famously said “If a man hits you once, he will hit you again“, in a reference to the recent altercation between singers Rihanna and Chris Brown. Many of the singers acquaintances and friends spoke out on the issue. However, Oprah, at the time, did not know Rihanna and this show was done more than a month later. Chris Brown said that since he knew Oprah and had done shows for her, that he thought that she would at least lend a helping hand and not parade him through the mud. When Bebe Winans was accused to domestic abuse Oprah didn’t cancel his appearance on her show until public protect demanded it. No one is trying to defending Chris “Fake Tears” Brown, but Oprah’s message wasn’t really directed to Rihanna, was it?

The people she supports usually sit next to her, while the opposite opinion often sit in the front row of the audience waiting to be called upon When Oprah was in Africa she said “I will not rest until every black boy and black girl has a chance to prove their worth.”, then she opened up a school for girls only.

On Friday , July 16 2010 on the Gayle King show, in referring to Mel Gibson’s tapped conversations with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, Oprah stated “Most men in America speak to their women like Mel Gibson.” She can only know this if she has her own Talk Show Patriot Act and she might.

On an episode with Lance Armstrong, Oprah said “I never got married because I just wanted to always be myself.” Every relationship is a risk and marriage is supposed to be an partnership between individuals.

One episode stated that 70% black women are single. Seriously, is this a fact or a feeling?

Another Oprah show said that 1 out of 3 men are cheaters. This may be a correct statement, but Oprah’s shows somehow make it seem that these “Cheaters” are cheating alone, or as if the person they cheat with never knew that they were married. Raise your hand if you really think that the women Tiger Wood’s cheated with didn’t know that he was married. Tiger was dragged through the mud and rightly so, but the “Home Wreckers” are still being celebrated.


Shows like: “Men who have beaten Women”, “7 ways to end violence” and “Red Flags” are only offered to make viewers believe that Men are the beginning and end any violent act. Many claim that her shows are about empowerment, but do shows like “Wish Away Cancer”,  “A Lunchtime Face-Lift”, “Turn Back The Clock”, “Thin Your Thighs”, “Cure Menopause!”, “Erase Wrinkles”, “Banish Obesity”, really empower anything other than ratings?

You are probably saying “He’s hatin’”, or more likely “what’s the big deal. It’s just a talk show.” Oprah is the most powerful woman in media. Her show is seen in countries all over the world. So if she is constantly presenting misinformation, and one-sided opinions of males, black men in particular, then the question has to be asked; is she aiding in the racism and abuse that black men face on a daily basis? It is her show, she doesn’t have to be fair, nor does she have to be balanced, but if this is considered normal then America is not a mentally healthy nation. Men and Women are to be valued. Men are as much a part of the equation as women are. What kind of answer to do you get when you only solve half of an equation?


For decades Americans have accepted marginalization of individuals and groups, and here is where Oprah is no different. Oprah Winfrey as well as others have, perhaps unwittingly, taught the youth of America that in some respects that it is okay to mistreat someone if you can claim victim hood. These types of cycles persist in America because many of the root causes are not exposed and addressed; they are ignored, distorted, or deflected. Perhaps we all should be taking the lyrics of Travis McCoy’s “Billionaire” song to heart. In order for our nation society, in order for nation to grow everyone needs to have value. Now more than ever Americans need equality not superiority and you can put that in your Fat Wagon and pull it.

By the way Oprah telling Barbara Walters that you wished you were white is nothing to be proud about.

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