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Ed Gordon On The Bishop Long Scandal, The Problem With Reality TV (Pg.2)

And why did you leave BET in the first place?

This is tour of duty number three for me at BET. The first time I left was right after I did the O.J. Simpson interview and opportunities opened up to me. During that period I had been a BET for quite sometime and so like anyone else you want your career to grow. When I returned, they canceled BET Tonight, so that was not my choice. They wanted to move in a different direction at that time so we severed ties. But whether it was me leaving or them canceling a show there was never any animosity. It's understood it's a business and when they called this time I held no ill will and neither did they so we’re back together again.

 

What’s been the reception from people since your shows have hit the air? 

I’ve been humbled by the greetings I’ve received on the street, thru Facebook  on emails and on the radio— it’s been a real welcome home time for me. And there seems to be a real need for a program that speaks to the issues that we feel are important. We will also try to broaden the scope of the discussions and talk about the relevancy of each issue. So even if [whatever we're discussing] may seem trivial at first, we'll try to pull back the onion to see what bigger implications some of this stuff may have.

 

Earlier you mentioned the Bishop Long scandal and being a journalist I wanted to know what was your take on it?

We talked about it on the Weekly With Ed Gordon show. I think it’s too early to make judgment on Bishop Long. He has suggested that he’s gonna fight this thing and I think by all accounts he should have the ability to do so without passing condemnation. I think there is a bigger issue than Eddie Long. I think it’s understanding the role that mega churches play in our community and the role that ministers play in our community. And we should have better conversations about do we give too much credence to the men and women who hold these positions? None of them are omnipotent, all of them are human with frailties. And I think we oft times forget that and instead have faith in these people blindly. I think the whole question of sexuality and morality particularly in the church is not talked about very much in our community. And we had RevCalvin Butts on the show as a panelist and he said he hoped it [the Bishop Long controversy] would start an open discussion about sexuality in our community. We have a lot of homophobia in our community and a lot of hypocrisy in our community. Some of the biggest gay bashers that we’ve seen are closeted gays themselves. These are issues that we should not be afraid to talk about. And I hope Bishop Long will have the opportunity to be able to right this issue one way or the other, whatever the case may be guilt or innocence. We need to pay attention to what’s going on and give him the opportunity to speak without passing judgment until we know all the facts.

 

And on the pop culture side of things, reality shows are hugely popular right now. Celebrities are doing them and regular people are participating as well. What do you think of them?

I think they are entertaining at times. I don’t watch much of it but I can’t say that I’ve never watched any of them. And sometimes it is a guilty pleasure and fun to watch. And if we buy into the idea that it’s good television, it’s entertainment then it’s okay. Everything in moderation, I think. But like anything else it can be harmful if not taken in the right way.

 

So when is reality TV bad? Which audiences of the genre are you most concerned about?

Sometimes we laugh and joke about the craziness that’s on reality television but there’s a bigger issue of reality television particularly in our community. For people to really believe  that what we’re seeing is the way life would play out without the camera would be foolish. I’m concerned with people who really believe that and try to emulate some of what they see on reality television and assume their real lives should play out the same way. They don’t realize that much of what they see is given to these individuals by the show. They are prompted to act this way. It is not truly unscripted television. Reality TV stars are poked and prodded to do certain things to bring certain drama.

 

You're known for your top notch celebrity interviews. Do you think reality TV has cheapened the idea of fame? There are lots of people who have become famous for just playing exaggerated versions of themselves and don’t seem to have any real talent.

A lot of these people have bought into fame for fame sake— you can see that with any of  these Housewives stars. And now you can now argue that they’re television stars like any other television star—there’s probably some truth to that. But if we buy into the idea that you should have some kind of talent; because they are  not acting in its real sense, they’re not musicians, and they’re not comedians. They’re just being 'themselves.' That's another thing. And I'm not going to pass judgment on who has the right to be a reality star or not. Because there are people out there who like a Paris Hilton or a Kim Kardashian who became famous just because those women had tapes that were released.  We can live in a world where folks become famous just to become famous— that’s fine. As long as we don’t lose sight of the other things in the world.

 

What are some important things that entertainment show like reality TV can cause us to lose focus of?

Like some of the issues that are key to our survival—like voting, whether or not  our children can afford college. And participating in a system that elected a black President but if you now sit on the sidelines and don’t vote again what was the real need to put him in office? I’m all for having fun. Listen, I was two votes away from being class clown in high school, but there’s a time to be serious and there’s a time to understand that they're issues that are more important than what The Situation did on The Jersey Shore. We have to make sure while we’re laughing with reality television the true real world doesn’t slide by us. We don’t want to look up one day and realize we’re in a place that we shouldn’t be as a people.

 

 

 

 

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Killer Mike Gives Emotional Speech Urging Peaceful Protests Amid Unrest In Atlanta

Killer Mike joined T.I., and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in delivering emotional pleas to discourage ATLiens from burning the city as protests broke out on Friday (May 29) in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless victims of police brutality.

“I don’t want to be here,” began Killer Mike. “I’m the son of an Atlanta city police officer, my cousin is a police officer…I got a lot of love and respect for police officers down to the original eight [Black] police officers in Atlanta that, even after becoming police, had to dress in a YMCA because white officers didn’t want to get dressed with ni**ers. And here we are, 80 years later and I watched a white officer assassinate a Black man and I know that tore your heart out. I know it’s crippling and I have nothing positive to say in this moment because I don’t want to be here.”

The Atlanta native went on to share background on his family’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, and other social justice issues. “I’m duty-bound to be here to simply say, 'It is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with the enemy.’”

In what turned out to be another viral moment, Tip called Atlanta “Wakanda” while imploring demonstrators not to destroy the city. “Atlanta has been here for us, this city don’t deserve that. I understand that a lot of others do, but we can’t do this here, this is Wakanda. It’s sacred. It must be protected,” said the 39-year-old rapper.

Mayor Bottoms simply told protestors to simply “go home.”

“Above everything else, I am a mother to four Black children in America, one of whom is 18 years old,” she said. “When I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother would hurt. Yesterday, when I heard there was a rumor about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do: I called my son and I said ‘where are you?’ I said ‘I cannot protect you and Black boys shouldn’t be out today.’ So you’re not going to out-concern me, and out care about where we are in America.

“I wear this each and every day and I pray over my children each and every day. What I see happening on the streets of Atlanta is not Atlanta. This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. This is chaos.”

WATCH: "If you love this city, go home!" https://t.co/c8cPBZLATJ pic.twitter.com/v9IEBVoXpB

— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) May 30, 2020

At the request of Mayor Bottoms, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency in Fulton County, and deployed 500 troops from the state's national guard.

They will deploy immediately to assist @ga_dps, @GaDNRLE, @GA_Corrections & local law enforcement who are working tirelessly to subdue unlawful activity & restore peace. We will continue to make all state resources available to local leaders during this emergency situation. (2/2)

— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) May 30, 2020

See Killer Mike's full statement below as well as photos and video of the protests.

A powerful scene in Atlanta right now, this gives me chills. pic.twitter.com/SK7oOvzs8g

— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) May 29, 2020

More shots from Atlanta tonight pic.twitter.com/TmUmW5nXxZ

— kieron (@kieroncg) May 30, 2020

The chief of police in Atlanta talking and listening to everyone that has something to say#ATLFORUS #AtlantaProtest pic.twitter.com/qirbQRgViU

— Lilly - BLACK LIVES MATTER (@joonhopekook) May 29, 2020

It’s not just Minneapolis, we are now seeing protests in cities across the country over the death of George Floyd. This is in Atlanta as some smash the glass at our downtown CNN headquarters. #GeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/iwJxFaUfxW

— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) May 30, 2020

Police cars getting literally destroyed in Atlanta outside the CNN Center pic.twitter.com/x5zRxZVQpb

— Fernando Alfonso III (@fernalfonso) May 29, 2020

Downtown Atlanta right now.... PEACEFUL PROTEST ! #BlackLivesMatter ! pic.twitter.com/6nejzqccVE

— KP 🦋. (@kailynnlee) May 29, 2020

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Breonna Taylor’s Family Vows To Continue Fight For Justice: “Please Keep Saying Her Name”

Breonna Taylor must not be forgotten. The family of the 26-year-old EMT who was shot and killed by Louisville police officers in March, released a statement encouraging peaceful protests and the continued fight for justice.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear read the statement from Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, on CNN on Friday (May 29).

“Breonna devoted her own life to saving other lives, to helping others, to making people smile, and to bringing people together,” the statement reads. “The last thing she’d want right now is any more violence. Changes are being made, but it’s not enough. We will not stop until there is truth, justice and accountability. Breonna’s legacy will not be forgotten. And it’s because of all of us saying her name and demanding justice. We are saying her name more each day. Thank you.

“Please keep saying her name. Please keep demanding justice and accountability, but let’s do it the right way without hurting each other. We can, and we will make some real change here. Now’s the time. Let’s make it happen.”

Seven people were shot during a protest for Taylor in Louisville on Thursday (May 28). The shooting victims were treated and are in stable condition, according to Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher. Fisher also reposted a video message from Taylor’s family urging peace amid the protests.

A message from Breonna Taylor’s family urging protestors to be peaceful, go home and keep fighting for truth. pic.twitter.com/if5MH5UcCW

— Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) May 29, 2020

On March 13, 2020, Louisville police officers kicked in Taylor’s door without warning and opened fire. Authorities claim that they were executing a “no-knock” search warrant stemming from an alleged drug investigation involving another man who did not live in Taylor’s home, and had already been arrested.

“Police just unloaded 25 to 30 rounds, I mean they’re shooting from the front door, they’re shooting from the window, they’re shooting from the patio,” attorney Benjamin Crump told Essence on Friday. “They’re so reckless, they shoot a bullet into the next door neighbor’s apartment where their five-year-old daughter is asleep in her room. “They didn’t even have to come in her [Taylor's] apartment. They already had the person they were searching for in custody.”

Taylor’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the LMPD accusing the department of excessive force and gross negligence. In wake of Taylor’s murder going public, LMPD has changed its policy and will now require no-knock warrants to have a police chief’s signature. The department also made it mandatory for LMPD officers to wear body cameras.

A 911 call made by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, after the shooting was made public on Thursday. “I don’t know what’s happening somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend,” Walker can be heard saying through tears. Police arrested Walker for shooting at cops whom he assumed were robbers. The charges were later dropped.

Listen to the emotional 911 call below.

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KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images

Fired Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin Arrested For Murder Of George Floyd

Fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested for the murder of George Floyd on Friday (May 29), Hennepin County D.A. Mike Freeman confirmed at a press conference.

“Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder and with manslaughter. He has been charged with third-degree murder,” said Freeman.

“There could be more charges later. The investigation is ongoing. We felt it important to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator,” Freeman said when asked if the three additional fired MPD officers will be charged in Floyd’s murder. The third-degree murder charge suggests that Chauvin had no intent to kill Floyd. If convicted, the charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years.

Chauvin's arrest follows three days of protests in an around Minneapolis. On Thursday (May 28), the MPD’s third precinct went up in flames.

The Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct has been set on fire pic.twitter.com/h85rjffLgc

— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 29, 2020

“We have never charged a case in that time frame. We can only prove a case when we have substantial evidence,” added Freeman who maintained that the timing of the arrest was a result of a final piece of evidence, although he refused to go into detail. “We have now been able to put together the evidence that we needed. Folks, I’m not gonna’ talk specifically about this piece of evidence, or that piece of evidence. You will see.”

Freeman did however state the that evidence collected in the case includes citizen video, officer body cam footage, witness statements, and a “preliminary report” from the medical examiner.

Chauvin was the officer filmed jamming his knee into Floyd’s neck as he gasped for air and pleaded, “Please! Please! I can’t breathe!”

The fatal incident unfolded on Monday (May 25) afternoon. Police were called to Cup Food grocery store after Floyd allegedly tried to use a fraudulent $20 bill. MPD claimed that Floyd resisted arrest but a security camera recording shows him walking calmly in handcuffs while being escorted to a patrol car by an MPD officer.

Video footage release by store owner who stated George did not resist arrest as stated on the police report #GeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatters pic.twitter.com/aqFzkPmnEp

— Que ™ (@RealQDaKidd) May 27, 2020

Additional footage, recorded by a teenage bystander, captured Floyd's last few minutes alive. Floyd, 46, was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Chauvin may have already known Floyd as they both worked security for the Minneapolis club, El Nueva Rodeo.

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