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Black Elephants (Pg. 2)

On Gay Marriage: “I am where the Black community is,” Scott says, careful to emphasize Black community, which, according to the Associated Press exit polls, voted 7 out of 10 in favor of overturning the decision to allow gay marriage in California. “I believe marriage is between a man and woman.”

Immigration: “The immigration issue is easy,” he says with a shrug. “We want to make sure the local law enforcement is empowered to enforce the laws of the country.”

Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: “We have to continue to pursue the folks we believe caused 9-11 and find Osama Bin Laden,” he says. “You always fight a war on someone else’s soil.”

It’s difficult to find any issues on the Republican platform with which Scott disagrees, or any details he is willing to share about his national positions. “All I know about is what I’ve experienced for 15 years. That’s been state and local politics,” he says. “Outside of the First Congressional District, the national issues don’t plague me.” 

Scott may be cutting a new path to national politics, but he is not alone. He is among a small class of celebrated Republican candidates–Tea Party-approved African-American conservatives who could redefine what it means to be Black and Republican. In 2010, there were about 32 Blacks running for Republican seats in primary contests. While most have fizzled out or have large odds stacked against them, the most prominent–Ryan Frazier of Colorado’s 7th District, Allen West of South Florida’s 22nd District, and Scott–have solid shots of making history in Obama’s “post-racial” America.

“If the outreach is done right, it could be quite influential in the long run,” says Thomas B. Edsall, author of Building Red America: The New Conservative Coalition and the Drive for Permanent Power. “The Black Democratic leadership has been dominated by very orthodox liberal leadership. And there has been no real challenge to this at all.”

Yet, the 2008 election–in which about 95 percent of African-Americans voted for Barack Obama–may have had the unintended consequences that emboldened Blacks on the other side of the political divide. And they just may be the best hope in capturing the elusive Black Republican vote.

Frazier, the 33-year-old candidate from Colorado’s Seventh District, says Obama’s win did not motivate him to run for Congress, but he admits it cleared some racial hurdles for future Black office seekers. “President Obama’s election to office was not only historic, but it sent a clear message through the country that we’ve now reached a time when a minority [candidate] can have broader appeal.”

But is the Republican Party committed to embracing Black candidates and aggressively courting African-American electorate? Or is this just another false start among many that was promised when J.C. Watts became the Black Republican face of the House of Representatives?

“I don’t believe we are in a post-racial society because we have a Black president,” says J.C. Watts. “And I am not willing to say that race is not an issue and that racism is dead no more than I am not prepared to say that the Republican Party has concerned themselves with establishing a deeper relationship with the Black community.”

BEFORE SCOTT RAN for office, he ran the football on a partial scholarship from Presbyterian College. He later transferred to Charleston Southern University in his hometown and graduated with a degree in political science. He was failing four subjects in high school, but managed to turn his life around. “I was fortunate to have a mother who knew how to dispense love at the end of a switch,” is a common refrain on the campaign trail. His father was in the Air Force and split with his mother when he was just 7. He often talks about his mentor, a white conservative who owned a local Chick-fil-A and taught him that he could “think his way out of poverty.” He worked for New York Life after college, and started his own insurance business (now Tim Scott Allstate).

By the time he decided to run for office in 1995, he was a born-again Christian, conservative on cultural issues (anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage) and pro-business on economic issues. Maurice Washington, a Black Republican who served on the City Council from 1991 to 1995, remembers when he had a talk with Scott about joining the GOP. “I told him if you want to do it, run as a Republican,” Washington recalls. “You would get better support and have a better chance as a Republican candidate. His views were already conservative, and he connected well.”

Washington also organized the meeting with the influential Blacks. “I said you’ve been getting a bum rap with the community,” Washington recalls. “We have to get you in front of them to dialogue.”

In the South, political machines are fueled by race-baiting and seemingly awkward alliances that can cut across race lines. As a son of South Carolina, Tim Scott knows this first hand. In 1996, Scott was co-chairman for the campaign of Strom Thurmond, an outspoken segregationist who claimed to have changed his stripes later in life. For his part in securing Thurmond’s win, Scott was criticized by local Blacks.

Scott bristles when asked about his affiliation with Thurmond. “Why did the Association of Black Mayors come out and endorse him?” he says. “And why did he get 30 percent of the Black support in his election before I became his co-chairman,” he continues. “When you are looking at it from a historic standpoint and you have not been around him then one’s opinion of Strom from 1920 is obviously very different than one’s opinion among Blacks in South Carolina in 1996.”

Today, the race issue continues to deter Blacks from joining the GOP, despite African-Americans’ conservative leanings.

“The main reason why Blacks don’t go over to Republican Party en masse is not because of some big policy initiative,” says Dr. Melissa Harris-Lacewell, author of Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought. “It is because of things like Black people being left on roofs to die [during Hurricane Katrina]. And what they perceive as racism.”

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Jemal Countess

'Queen Sono' Will Be The First African Original Series To Stream On Netflix

Netflix caught some flack over the weekend after it was reported the streaming behemoth shelled out a smooth $100 million to keep the 90s sitcom Friends. However, staying committed to original content IOL Entertainment reports Netflix will take on it first African series.

Titled Queen Sono, actress Pearl Thusi (pictured above at the 2019 Global Citizens festival) will star in the dramedy which finds Thusi portraying a spy motivated to help the lives of her South Africans, while dealing with highs and lows of a personal relationship.

Netflix's Vice President of International Originals Kelly Luegenbiehl who's in charge of content in Europe and Africa expressed excitement over Queen Sono.

"We love the team behind the show, [and] we're passionate about coming in and doing something that feels fresh and different. It's really exciting for us," she said. "Their point of view and creating a strong female character was really something that also really drew us to it.

Erik Barmack, also with Netflix, said Queen Sono is just the first of many to depict life in Africa.

"Over time our roots will get deeper in Africa and South Africa, and we're moving pretty quickly to that now, and plan to invest more in local content," he said.

READ MORE: Africa's Rising Youth Population Might Face A Job Crisis

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Kevin Winter

Fans Shut Down Beyonce Cultural Appropriation Allegations

Beyonce is the latest celebrity to be accused of cultural appropriation after she was spotted at an Indian wedding on Sunday (Dec. 9). Despite some assertions, the BeyHive is swooping in to set the record straight about their queen.

According to reports, Beyonce performed at an early wedding celebration in India's western Rajasthan state. She was celebrating the nuptials of Isha Ambani – the 27-year old daughter of Reliance Industries head Mukesh Ambani – and Anand Piramal, the 33-year old son of another Indian billionaire.


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A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Dec 9, 2018 at 11:47am PST

The early festivities, which is custom for Indian marriages, welcomed a handful of celebrity guests including Hillary Clinton, Bollywood stars, businessman, and more.

The controversy surrounding Beyonce sparked after the singer shared an image of herself wearing an extravagant, pink and gold dress with seemingly traditional, Indian accessories, including a headpiece and bracelets. Some critics immediately assumed Bey was culturally appropriating Indian or Hindi culture, but suggested it would go unnoticed due to her social status.

Fans however, shut the allegations down, noting that she was actually paying homage to the culture. They also stated that she was invited to perform at the party by a prominent Indian family and therefore, should be dressed appropriately.

This wouldn't be the first time Beyonce has been accused of cultural appropriation of Indian culture. She was hit with similar allegations following the release of the music video for "Hymn for the Weekend" with Coldplay.

Join the discussion and check out the debate below.


— lah-juh (@fabuLaja) December 10, 2018

why are fake wokes on twitter accusing beyonce for doing cultural appropriation ? IT'S APPRECIATION YOU MFs !! y'all don't know shit about indian culture !! literally sit tf down, even indians aren't mad why are you dumbasses shoving it down our throats as if yall know better

— anupama (@taysmoonchiId) December 9, 2018

Beyonce wearing Indian clothes to an Indian Cultural Event is not cultural appropriation. She was invited by an Indian family and everyone there is wearing Indian clothes. So.

— Ivan (@taexty) December 10, 2018

As someone who is half-Indian and half-Pakistani (aka fully South Asian for those who are not geographically inclined), I do not want to see ANYONE shouting nonsense about Beyoncé and cultural appropriation unless you are South Asian too. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk x

— Shehnaz Khan (@shehnazkhan) December 10, 2018

Ppl commenting on @Beyonce’s IG Indian outfit post, saying it was cultural appropriation, need to have a seat. Embracing another’s culture and shedding positivity on it is not cultural appropriation, it is cultural appreciation. Damn keyboard warriors

— Ramon Salas (@ramonssalas) December 10, 2018

Beyoncé was invited to an indian wedding, to perform there, she's appreciating the culture and the people that invited her There's no cultural appropriation here

— 🅚 (@chainedfenty) December 10, 2018

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Paras Griffin

Tyrese, Usher And Others Reacts To Jacquees' Claim That He's The King Of R&B

Jacquees has made a bold statement that's ruffled a few feathers.

The Cash Money artist took to social media over the weekend to assert that he's the king of R&B, and from what we can gather, the 23 singer wasn't talking about ribs and barbeque. "I just want to let everybody know that I'm the king of R&B right now, for this generation. I understand who done came and who done did that and that, but now it's my turn. Jacquees, the king." he said.

Some of the Internet raised its digital eyebrow at the boast, while others paid it no attention. Tyrese, however, didn't take kindly to the assertation.

"Ima keep it stack with you," the Transformers star posted. "The young kings of this generation that's been running sh*t since day one are Chris Brown and Trey Songz."

The soul singer continued and accused the Decatur, GA native of employing Tekashi 6ix 9ine tactics. "You got this out of the Tekashi 6ix9ine playbook. Stop trolling, my ni**a. Get back in the booth."

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How Sway..? How.??......... The way we ALL reacted.......... Let me put you up on what’s really movin bruh.. This ain’t Hip Hop my nigha.. You can’t come in this game get hot for a year then try an #T69 nighas and throw that there word #KING around..... Imma keep it a stack with you... The young kings of your generation that’s #been runnin shit is 1 @chrisbrownofficial and 2 @treysongz .... BIG facts! FYI the last real R&B album through and through that has the integrity and blueprint of the culture that was made with NO skips was #ThreeKings you got this out of the T69 play book stop trolling my nigha get back in the booth.....

A post shared by TYRESE (@tyrese) on Dec 9, 2018 at 11:25pm PST

Tank, having gotten wind of Jacquees' statements, refuted his "king" claim. "First, R.Kelly is the king of R&B. The accusations don't disqualify what he's accomplished. Second, if you can't go in the studio by yourself and make a hit record, you're not my king. If you can't sing it better live, you're not my king. I appreciate all the talent out there, but we are using the word "king" too loosely."

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Every artist is supposed to believe they can fly but only one man made it happen. @rkelly body of work is still bible. I love ALL of the artist out now and some are having amazing success but to be the King you have to beat the King and his stats still stand. Imagine if “I Believe I Can Fly” had streaming when it dropped..geesh!!! I’ll let you guys focus on kings and queens.. I’ll stay focused on being around for another 20yrs! #Elevation #RnBMoney #TheGeneral

A post shared by Tank (@therealtank) on Dec 9, 2018 at 9:56pm PST

J. Holiday noted that Michael Jackson sold 20 million after the release of Off The Wall, and said R.Kelly owns the second spot. Eric Bellinger, while in the studio with Usher, simply panned his camera phone to Usher, who sat quietly in a corner.

Are Tyrese and Tank overreacting? Or should Jacquees not make such bold assertions? Sound off in the comments below.

READ MORE: Is R&B Under Siege? Tyrese, Sam Smith, And The Genre's Identity Crisis

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