Will Republican Senator Marco Rubio’s Real Agenda Please Stand Up?

By: Micaela Shambee– Editor, The Drive

Senator Marko Rubio CNN Town Hall
Photo Credit: CNN.com

If you watched the Town Hall meeting with students that survived the Florida School mass shooting last week, you were probably left wondering (like me): why do Americans still care more about their guns then their own children?

Last week I explored this dilemma in “America Does Not Care About its Kids,” but the answer to this question took to the stage after NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, gave her scripted answers about the banning of AR-15’s: Republican Senator Marko Rubio.  In response to a question posed by a survivor to Senator Rubio about rejecting NRA funding, the Senator answered, not by saying yes, but by attempting to place blame on the constituents that support gun laws and the rights to conceal.

“They fear alienating their primary voters and the National Rifle Association.”

Watch below:

If you look at the statistics, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is a top donor for the Senator Rubio’s Campaign. In 2017 Senator Rubio received over 3 million in funding from the NRA alone.

Marco Rubio NRA Contributions
Contributions from the NRA to Senator Marco Rubio in 2017. Source: New York Times Article, “Thoughts Prayers and NRA Funding”

What is most alarming about the Senator’s response, is that it appears that money is the root cause for ignoring our need for stricter gun laws in America.  According to New York Times Article, “Thoughts Prayers and NRA Funding” :

“Most Americans support stronger gun laws — laws that would reduce deaths. But Republicans in Congress stand in the way. They fear alienating their primary voters and the National Rifle Association.”

This leads one to ask: Will Marco Rubio’s Real Agenda Please Stand Up?

Did you watch the Town Hall Meeting? What did you think of Senator Rubio’s response? Sound off in the comments below!

–And remember,

Stay informed, open-minded, and driven.

 

 

Advertisements

Meet the Beautiful Women of Wakanda in Essence Magazine

By: Micaela Shambee– Editor, The Drive

_March 2018 Women 2-Watermarked (1).jpg
Essence Magazine March 2018 Photo Credit: Essence.com

Hopefully by now, you have either seen Black Panther, or are planning to go see it because the movie is ranked as the Best Movie of All Time by movie critiquing site Rotten Tomatoes (with a 97% average to boot), and has grossed over 200 million dollars at the box office.

With the overwhelming success of the movie, one should know that it has an all star cast, both male and female.

However, specifically, the female cast is impeccable.

219646971_5729920716001_5727548154001-vs.jpg
Photo Credit: Entertainment Weekly

“Playing a queen was just unattainable, unavailable. Even in a fictitious world, a Black woman cannot be queen.’

 

Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira (of Walking Dead fame) as Okoye, and scene stealing Letitia Wright as Shuri, all bring a healthy dose of strong Black Woman to the film, along with their incredible acting chops. In Essence Magazine, they recall how it feels to play their respective characters. Sydney Scott writes, 

“Explaining the importance of such strong Black women in the film, Boseman said, ‘We can have really strong Black women who don’t have to be damsels in distress, who are independent and powerful, who can also fall in love at the same time.’

Bassett, who has an envious career and numerous awards under her belt including a Golden Globe, says that despite the roles she’s had the opportunity to play, royalty is rare. 

‘Just to have the opportunity to portray that, image—me, a little Black girl from the Florida projects,” she told ESSENCE. “Playing a queen was just unattainable, unavailable. Even in a fictitious world, a Black woman cannot be queen.’

She scoffs, “Why can’t I be?”

blackpantherwomen-600x338
Photo Credit: The Glow Up

This isn’t our first time seeing these incredible women light up the big and small screens with their talents.

Don’t pretend you did not see What’s Love Got to Do With It or How Stella Got her Groove Back. Angela Bassett has a long string of big and small screen features and a Golden Globe to back it up. Lupita Nyong’o won an Academy award for Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave, Danai Gurira is known for her outstanding portrayal of  Michonne on The Walking Dead and Letitia Wright can be seen in Black Mirror episode “Black Museum.” (If you have not seen Black Mirror, check it out on Netflix, you will not be dissappointed).

se8yfe8h8hnhzoxck6r2
Photo Credit: The Glow Up

If you didn’t know, now you know.

Did you see Black Panther?  What did you think? Does the movie match its ratings? Also check out the March issue of Essence Magazine to learn more about the beautiful women of Wakanda and the amazing actresses behind them!

–And remember,

Stay informed, open-minded, and driven.

 

America Does Not Care About Its Kids

By: Micaela Shambee– Editor, The Drive

bd171005Del-701x526
Illustration by Bill Day for Politicususa

In the wake of the recent mass shooting in Florida, where 17 people (14 students) were killed by 19 year old Nicolaz Cruz, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, one would think that America would be considering stricter gun laws. However, the Trump Administration appears to be soft-peddling the issue, toying with the idea that background checks should be revised.

“Americans are not concerned with the well being of its children.”

According to USA Today News, “Sanders confirmed that Trump spoke on Friday with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tex., about a background check bill he has has introduced with Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.

Murphy said Trump’s apparent support ‘is another sign the politics of gun violence are shifting rapidly.’ In a tweet, the Connecticut senator said that ‘no one should pretend this bill alone is an adequate response to this epidemic.’

Yet is unclear how far Trump is willing to go on gun control – or if he’ll take any action at all.”

EaganT20150625_low
Photo credit: DemocraticUnderground.com

What is most difficult about this administration’s response, is that it doesn’t include an actionable plan for children’s safety.  Focusing on background checks simply glosses over the main issues with gun control, and shows that Americans are not concerned with the well being of its children.

According to Susan Perry of MinnPost,

Each year, nearly 1,300 children aged 0 to 17 in the United States — more than three a day — die from gunshot wounds. Another 5,790 are treated each year for gunshot-related injuries, wounds that leave many of the children disabled for life.

And those numbers are probably underestimates.

The situation is so grim that firearm-related deaths — homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings — are now the third-leading cause of death overall among American children. More children in the United States die from gunshot wounds than from birth defects, heart disease, influenza and/or pneumonia, chronic lower respiratory diseases (including asthma) and stroke.

Firearm-related deaths are also now the second-leading cause of injury-related deaths among children. Only motor vehicles claim more of these lives.

Indeed, 10 percent of all deaths among children aged 0 to 17 are the result of gun injuries.

She goes on to state that, “The American Medical Association has called gun violence ‘a public health crisis,’ one that’s ‘unrivaled in any other country.’ And the American Academy of Pediatrics believesthe “the most effective way to reduce firearm-related injuries and death is to keep guns out of homes and communities.”

According to non-profit organization Everytown for Gun Safety, a total of 18 shootings have occurred on school campuses across the United States as of February 20.

Still, we do nothing.

bd140828fb-701x526
Illustration by Bill Day for Politicususa

 

What do you think about the trump administration’s response to the recent mass school shooting?

Sound off in the comments below and sign up for The Drive newsletter to get updates and more news.

–And remember,

Stay informed, open-minded, and driven.

What’s Really Wrong with Amy Sherald’s Portrait of Michelle Obama?

By: Micaela Shambee– Editor, The Drive

StFelix-Amy-Sherald-Portrait-Michelle-Obama
@AmySherald’s Portrait of former first lady, Michelle Obama.

–It’s been several days since the unveiling of former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s portraits for the Smithsonian, and the reactions to the striking paintings could not be more brutal.

Especially, the reactions to Michelle Obama’s portrait.

Across all social media platforms, opinions of the portrait range from frustrations with Sherald’s use of gray-scale for the skin tone, to the questioning of Sherald’s ability to accurately portray the former first lady, prompting the question:

What is really wrong with the Portrait of Michelle Obama?

 

After the unveiling of the portrait, Michelle Obama’s reaction to her own immortalized image ironically gives insight to the inherent problems with the portrait.  She states, “I’m also thinking about all the young people, particularly girls and girls of color, who in years ahead will come to this place and they will look up, and they will see an image of someone who looks like them hanging on the wall.”

The irony of this statement is that when black girls look up to the portrait, they will not see an image of themselves, with various shades of brown–but gray–a haunting reminder of the socio-political issues surrounding skin tone in and outside the black community.

“When given the opportunity to render our own image, whether conscious or unconscious, are we choosing to enhance or erase ourselves?”

 

Critics feel that the grayscale adds insult to injury because the portrait also does not have the former first lady’s striking Black features: her full, high check bones, prominent nose and striking eyes. This leads one to question: when given the opportunity to render our own image, whether conscious or unconscious, are we choosing to enhance or erase ourselves?

michelle-obama-portrait-art-streiber-variety
Photo Credit: theobamadiary

Former President, Barack Obama said, “Amy, I want to thank you for so spectacularly capturing the grace and beauty and intelligence and charm and hotness of the woman I love,” further prompting critiques of the painting.

Twitter users wrote:

“Michelle Obama said in a speech that she is proud that young girls of color will look at this portrait and say “that could be me”…which is true because it looks nothing like Michelle Obama.” Stevie G.B. (@Steviegeebee). February 13, 2018 (Excerpt from Twitter)

Love the photo, but the portrait of Michelle Obama lacks heart and soul and doesn’t even look like her. Such a shame. jcfred (@jcfclark1). February 14, 2018

“What do you think of Michelle Obama’s official portrait? Please vote and retweet.

06% It looks just like her
16% It sort of looks like her
78% It doesn’t look like her

With more than 70% of voters in the individual tweet above stating that the portrait doesn’t look like the first lady, it’s easy to say that Amy Sherald’s take on the first lady has been discomforting for the general public.

However, maybe, that was the artist’s intention.

merlin_133724774_67bc7aaf-2c87-491c-a010-202d6524faf7-master768
Photo Credit: The New York Times

What do you think of the Obama portraits?

Sound off in the comments below and sign up for The Drive newsletter to get updates and more news.

–And remember,

Stay informed, open-minded, and driven.

 

 

The State of Trump Affairs

 

by: Keisha Thompson

On Friday, President Trump said, “NFL owners who see players disrespecting the flag should say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired.” When will someone tell that “son of a bitch Trump” to get out of the White House, he’s fired? There is not enough time or space on this paper to list the countless disrespectful things Trump has said and done since announcing his intent to seek the presidency. At the onset of his presidential campaign, Trump attacked Mexicans and Muslims by calling them rapists and murderers and he even mocked a disabled reporter. How much more damage will Trump be allowed to commit before he’s removed from office?  Trump has no clue what it takes to be President of the United States.

There are so many things wrong with the statement he made on Friday. Trump has forgotten the foundation on which America was built: on the backs of immigrants with sweat and calluses.  Many have fought and died for African Americans to have the same rights as whites. Whatever laws are used to protect and defend whites should also protect and defend blacks.  However, Trump believes that certain laws are only for certain people. Trump believes he is above the law and that he is untouchable and can do whatever he wants with this country and that belief will be the death of his Presidency.

Trump should also take the time to understand the laws of the government he governs. It’s clear that Trump has no idea what the American Constitution stands for. The Constitution of America ensures that all Americans have the same rights. It did not specify that those rights are only for certain people, but rather for all Americans. It is actually illegal to fire someone for expressing their constitutional rights. Yet, Trump boasts proudly and loudly for the NFL owners to violate the players Constitutional rights by firing them.

A President is someone who should protect and unite citizens. Instead, Trump uses divisive rhetoric to exclude certain people. Trump’s moral compass has been stained by his white privilege. Trump is upset that the NFL players are not standing during the National Anthem (which is their Constitutional right), while being supportive of the rights of white supremacist groups. The idea that a President supports the beliefs of any white supremacy group is despicable.

The main intent of white supremacy groups in America is to exterminate all non-white residents.  How can anyone support the idea that whites are superior to all other races?  That idea is what has this great country in its present state. There are loads of proof of the destruction of America due to the idea that whites are superior. It’s 2017 and America is still trying to find room for all of the immigrants who built this great country – America.

The answer to the question, “Who will tell that son-of-a-bitch Trump he’s fired?” is very simple. It will be Robert Mueller. As the investigation into how big of a part Russia played in the U. S. 2016 Presidential Election continues, Trump is beginning to feel the noose around his neck tighten. In response to this, Trump attacks everyone involved with the investigation, attracting more unwanted attention. The more Trump speaks and questions the process of the investigation, the more he reveals that he in fact knew of Russia’s intent and of the method in which they would interfere with America’s democratic process. The American people should be outraged that a presidential candidate would collude with anyone trying to topple this world revered American institution. Yet Trump participated and won the 2016 Presidential Election.

When will America invoke their Constitutional right and impeach Trump? Trump has proven time and time again that he is a habitual liar and that he is a racist. Trump is attempting to “make America great again” by eradicating all immigrants, people of color, and everyone who supports people of color from America. This is a shame particularly because Trump’s parents were also immigrants.

Each former President of America has attempted to unify the majority of the American people, but Trump has only managed to unify the racists of America and today they make no attempt to hide their faces any more. A decade ago the Ku Klux Klan would have at least covered their faces when committing heinous crimes, but because of Trump’s rhetoric, the members no longer feel the need to cover their faces when committing these crimes.  Everything all of the former Presidents worked for is on the verge of disappearing. All of the rights of the American people are on the verge of vanishing right before their eyes if Trump is not impeached.

When I’m Gone

By Brandi Shell

Will you love me when I’m old?

When my eyelids sink behind my skull

When my conversation turns dull

When my blood runs cold

Will you love me when I’m old?

When my gums send a trembling voice

And my hands shake from lack of choice

When I’m as barren as the desert

And my breast sag like old laundry bags

Will you love me when I’m old?

When my flesh goes back to mother earth

Any my naked bones are disarrayed

When my soul calmly floats beside the bay

And is forgotten by the unforgettable beings of yesterday

Will you love me when I’m gone?

Love Song

By Brandi Shell

If I should sing

All of my songs for you

And you would not listen to them

If I should build

All of my dream houses for you

And you would never live in them

If I should give

All of my hopes to you

And you would laugh and say:

“I do not care”

Still I would give you my love

Which is more than my songs

More than any houses of dreams

Or dreams of any houses

I would still give you my love

Though you never cared for me

Today

By Brandi Shell

I died today

And you didn’t care

You didn’t cry

It was like I didn’t even die

God kept begging me

To come home

Where I was meant to be

But I couldn’t leave

Until I knew how you felt

About Me

I tried to get your attention

I screamed

I yelled

I even tried to touch you

But my hand went right through you

I followed you around

Even watched you sleep

But you seem not to even think about me

I watched you grow up

I watched you live your life

You never had a real girlfriend

Never told anyone you loved them

Never let anyone get to close

Not many people tried

Until the day you died

You called a young nurse by my name

Told her you were sorry for playing games

Said If you couldn’t love me

You would never love again

Told her that you have been waiting

 On this day for a very long time

Today you died

And I cried

Today you died

And I cried

Today you were finally mine.

This Poem is About You Not Me

By Brandi Shell

Stop!!!

Look in the mirror

Look at me

What do you see?

Is there some of you in me?

Or is there some of me in you?

Are your eyes the same color as mine?

What about your hair, skin, and mind?

Are we the same?

Go!!!!!!

Who are you?

Do you know?

Well I do,

I’m a dark caramel queen

That loves to dream

I dream about everything

From life to death

But mostly I dream about self

You know the simple things

Goals that I have set

But not yet reached

Things in this world

That I just won’t eat

What book I’m going to read next?

How my next poem will start

Do I really want to go to the park?

STOP!!!

You let me get side tracked

I told you this poem was about you not me

Now let’s see

Go back to the beginning

Look in the mirror

Now look at me

What do you see?

Well let me tell you what I see

I see me

WOW!!! I did it again

Got side tracked

Well just face it

This poem was always about me

The DACA Program

170213-milwaukee-protest-immigration-ok-1629_5619dc2b4f55c921746c3ba87f26f47f.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000[1]
Image from:  AMP∙ NBC News

By: Keisha Thompson – September 8th, 2017

President Trump is adamant about terminating the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced that Congress has six months to find a permanent solution or the President will put an end to the program. The DACA program ensures that young children brought to America illegally by their parents are given permission to work, study and to obtain a driver license. Along with other benefits, the 800,000 DACA recipients have an opportunity to change their status from illegal alien to permanent resident. The individuals in the 800,000 are from predominantly poor countries and they live all across America.

Illegal immigration is a controversial topic for people who are for and against illegal immigration. Any reasonable person can admit that no one wants individuals living in their country who are intent on destroying or interrupting their way of life as in the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. However,  ending the DACA program does nothing to ensure that terrorists will not attempt to attack Americans. The 800,000 individuals in the DACA program are in America due to no choice of their own. They are in America because their parent or parents made the decision for them to be here and for most of them, America is the only home they have ever known.

This decision is not about what is best for America, but rather another attempt from President Trump to erase everything Former President Obama accomplished. Trump boasts of his ability to make money and that he will grow the U.S. economy and yet he makes a decision that will cost America more than $400 billion according to CNBC.com. This does not include the actual cost of deporting 800,000 individuals to their port of origin. To President Trump’s bottom line of growing the U.S. economy, this is a serious loss.

Of all of the United States Presidents, Trump especially should understand better than any of the others what exactly is at stake in the battle of immigration. Trump is a product of immigrant parents. If his parents did not make the journey to America, he himself would not have had the opportunity to become a successful businessman and the chance of becoming President. It is a safe assumption that his parents wanted an opportunity to have a chance at a better life not only for themselves, but also for their children; and he, (of all their children) is benefitting the most from their struggles.

This decision can also be considered as another step for Trump to make America great again. However, what this decision also does is gives another glimpse into who exactly Trump is. Trump has no room for the people of color and the poor. In his vision, America has no room for any of the individuals who are struggling in other parts of World. Trump has forgotten that this Great America was founded by people who were running from religious persecution in England and various hardships in other countries. If not for immigration where would America be today? – Still inhabited exclusively by Native Americans?

 

Informed, Open-minded, Driven

%d bloggers like this: