Meghan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life – and leads by example – with empathy and compassion. She teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble. Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she’s experienced.
I know first hand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of color to minimize us, to break us down and demonize us. We must recognize our obligation to decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism. The mental health consequences and systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal.
I want Meghan’s daughter, my daughter and your daughter to live in a society that is driven by respect.
Keep in your memory the fruitage of the spirt is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Context: Serena Williams took to Twitter to show support for Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, who, along with her husband Prince Harry, participated in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. The revealing interview unveiled deep turmoil in the royal family. The interview, dubbed "Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special," aired on Sunday, March 7th, 2021.
It is clear that representing this character in a culturally accurate way holds significance for people, and that to neglect this responsibility would continue a worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voices in the Arts. I feel it is important to honour and respect that.
Context: Skrein responded to backlash against his casting in the Hellboy franchise reboot by relinquishing the role he had been cast in. The 34-year-old British actor has earlier tweeted that he would be playing Major Ben Daimio, a character that was Asian American in Mike Mignola’s “Hellboy” comics. The news was met with complaints that Hollywood was once again “whitewashing” an Asian character.
Yesterday, a Minnesota woman named Diamond Reynolds went live on Facebook immediately after her fiancé, Philando Castile, had been shot by police in his car. Philando later died from his wounds. In the video, Diamond's 4-year-old daughter is watching from the back seat.
My heart goes out to the Castile family and all the other families who have experienced this kind of tragedy. My thoughts are also with all members of the Facebook community who are deeply troubled by these events.
The images we've seen this week are graphic and heartbreaking, and they shine a light on the fear that millions of members of our community live with every day. While I hope we never have to see another video like Diamond's, it reminds us why coming together to build a more open and connected world is so important -- and how far we still have to go.
Context: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg comments on a Facebook Live Stream of the aftermath of a police-involved shooting in Minnesota. The shooting took the life of Philando Castile, who was shot in front of his fiancé, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter.
Context: Statement made during a speech by the mother of Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old African-American woman who died in a Texas jail cell last summer. The suspicious death as later ruled a suicide by investigators. Reed-Veal was speaking at the Library of Congress, part of the first symposium of the newly formed Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls.
Context: Actor Orlando Jones reacting on Twitter to Joseph Fiennes being cast as Michael Jackson for a U.K. made-for-TV drama to appear on the British channel Sky Arts. The TV movie centers around a fabled road trip where Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando attempted to get home to Los Angeles from New York City after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
I applaud their attempts to do something about it, which is great. But again, this is dealing with the symptom and not starting at the root cause - how we even get to results like this - which has to do with inclusion and access, including the ability for people of color, women, minorities having opportunities to get entry level positions where you can become someone who can green light a movie.
Context: Don Cheadle commenting on the 2016 Academy Awards diversity controversy where every major acting award nomination went to caucasians, excluding people of color as well as all other minorities. In the video, Danny DeVito also comments on the issue, saying "We're a bunch of racists."
Hollywood should lead the way in healing. . . Hollywood should not be afraid of the subject matter Norman Lear dealt with 35 years ago.
Context: Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons - speaking at the 2015 NATPE Conference - had harsh words about the lack of diversity he has encountered in Hollywood, since turning his focus to producing movies, TV shows and digital content. The event comes during a difficult time for race relations, after a series of police-involved shootings of black men.
All I can say is that all of the emotions you are feeling need to be channeled into political power. Let that burning feeling in your gut be the fuel to power a movement. Otherwise when the smoke clears all we will have left are tears and ashes.
Context: Cooper wrote this on his Facebook page in response to anger about Officer Darren Wilson‘s non-indictment in the shooting death of Michael Brown. The former host of BET‘s Teen Summit and burgeoning politician passed away weeks later from a sudden illness.
When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it's all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they're not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before…
So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he's the first black person that is qualified to be president. That's not black progress. That's white progress. There's been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years. If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship's improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, "Oh, he stopped punching her in the face." It's not up to her. Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner. Nothing. It just doesn't. The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let's hope America keeps producing nicer white people.
Context: Rock gives his impressions of race relations in America during an interview with New York Magazine's Frank Rich. The interview came at the time of protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after Michael Brown was shot and killed by a local police officer.
Context: Malcolm X was talking about the Civil Rights Movement.
This whole thing of this 'war on drugs' and the mass incarcerations that have happened pretty much for the last 40 years has just decimated the black male population. It’s slavery. It's just slavery through and through, and it's just the same fear of the black male that existed back in the 1800s.