Politini Recap: Week of July 7th

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As we eagerly await the verdict in the Zimmerman trial, which is based in assumptions about skin color and perceived violence, we delved into the issue of colorism on Politini this week with teacher and scholar Dr. Yaba Blay.  The very idea that as black and brown skinned people we are supposed to exhibit “self-love” when all around us swirl images of whiteness being synonymous with greatness and blackness being synonymous with dangerous—is as Dr. Blay stated in our ‘New Normal’ segment “a revolutionary act”.

Tune into our latest episode Color Wars: Dark Skinned vs. Light Skinned and hear more of this fantastic conversation.

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I don’t know about you but I needed a cocktail this week—enjoy this fab recipe by Joylicious as you sit back and kick it with your favorite Polinistas:

Blackberry and Sage Spritzer

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(makes 2 cocktails)

  • 3 oz. good quality gin
  • handful of blackberries, washed
  • 1 bottle soda water
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 3 oz sage simple syrup (recipe below)
  • fresh sage and blackberries for garnish

In a shaker, muddle the blackberries and add the simple syrup. Add gin and ice and shake well. Strain into two highball glasses and top off with the soda water. Garnish with fresh sage and blackberries and serve immediately.

To make the sage simple syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped

Combine sugar and water in a small pot and heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer and add sage leaves, stir until leaves are submerged. Cook for 2-3 minutes and turn off heat. Allow leaves to steep for 15-20 minutes and strain into a container and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Now, without further ado here’s your Poliwood Round-Up:

FIVE Rap is a Marathon Not a Sprint: In a fantastic review of Jay-Z’s 13th studio album Magna Carta Holy Grail, Grantland.com compared HOVA to the Rolling Stones and says he IS the blueprint of what’s to come. “Consider that MCHG was made by a 43-year-old rapper who is 17 years deep into a highly celebrated discography, and that it will surely go on to become his 13th no. 1 album. Or that it arrives as Jay-Z prepares to launch what will likely rank among the year’s most successful tours with one of the world’s top pop stars, Justin Timberlake. In the history of hip-hop, where nearly every career arc sinks toward irrelevance after about a decade or so (if you’re lucky), Magna Carta … Holy Grail finds Jay-Z still on top of the rap game as he approaches the start of his third decade. MCHG is not The Blueprint, but it is a blueprint for long-term survival in a notoriously fickle genre that Jay-Z is creating as he goes along.”

FOUR Willow Brouhaha: Tween sensation Willow Smith raised eyebrows and this time it’s not for her wardrobe but instead for her latest video entitled “Summer Fling”. The video finds Willow wrapped in a summer romance that she knows will only last a few months but she decides to “do it anyway”.  Many critics have said that the song, and subsequent video are too mature for a twelve year old. I beg to differ.  She is running around with her friends, holding hands with a boy and kissing under a tree.  Maybe these folks are too far removed from their tweens but that is what we call harmless fun.  She is not atop a boy grinding or swinging from a stripper pole ala Miley Cyrus so personally I fail to see the faux outrage.  Keep doing your thing Willow!

THREE ENDA Makes History: This week the Senate Help, Education, Labor and Pensions committee passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act or ENDA, a bill that would protect workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation and identity. The Democrats, who all supported the bill were joined by three Republicans, Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and look hell didn’t freeze over yet! We’ll see how far this bi-partisan behavior goes once they head to a full vote and punt it over the Umpah Loompah in the House.

TWO The War on Women Continues: A speech by Sarah Slamen, a 28-year-old Texas woman, was cut short on Monday while protestors rallied against the Texas anti-abortion bill that might shut down most abortion clinics and prevent abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. During a hearing in the state Senate, the woman was interrupted by senators and removed from the room by state troopers. In her speech, she noted, “Thank you for every hateful statement degrading women and girls to sex objects and blood mares and bald eagles, and leather wallets, like your eloquent pro-life supporters have done today.” As she was taken away, Slamen called the legislature a “farce” and a “bunch of liars.” Pro-choice activists are attempting to overthrow the bill in its second session, after a filibuster by Polinista Wendy Davis helped in the first. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill in the next 48 hours.

ONE Law and Disorder: As the Zimmerman trial draws to a close my blood pressure continues to rise.  This entire trial has been one bad nightmare.  From the defense’s opening with a knock-knock joke to the prosecution doing nothing to defend Rachel Jeantel or Trayvon’s character all I can do is shake my head and pray. Now Zimmerman a man who murdered a young boy in cold blood because quote those “assholes always get away” sits and awaits his fate from a jury of 5 white women and a maybe while the rest of us are left to wonder “when is it ok for a black man to defend himself”.  Whatever the outcome this case is far from over–because it seems that black people constantly needing to be on the defense is the new normal.

Tune into Politini EVERY Thursday from 8-9pm for the hot topic trending from Hollywood to Poliwood!