The North Star has dropped its paywall during this COVID-19 crisis so that pertinent information and analysis is available to everyone during this time. This is only possible because of the generous support of our members. We rely on these funds to pay our staff to continue to provide high-quality content. If you are able to support, we invite you to do so here.
Hey everyone! We have reached the thirtieth edition of the #InTheseTweets. Where has the time gone? The tweets, they grow up so fast. Enough of the sentimentality, let’s jump into this week’s installment!
Another day in America, another incident of a Black man killed by police under questionable circumstances. According to the Associated Press, a Los Angeles man was fatally shot after a scuffle ensued between him and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department over him unlawfully riding his bicycle.
Per the report: “When deputies tried to stop the man, he dropped his bike and ran, with deputies in pursuit, [Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Lt. Brandon] Dean said. Deputies again tried to make contact with the man, and Dean said he punched a deputy in the face. The man then dropped a bundle of clothes he’d been carrying and they spotted a black handgun in the bundle, at which point both deputies opened fire, Dean said.”
Shortly after the shooting, a crowd gathered at the sheriff’s station demanding answers. As of this writing, the details are still relatively unknown. What we do know is that it has been a marathon season of Black Americans being murdered by law enforcement. We also know that the details surrounding these moments of state-sanctioned violence have been rife with skepticism, to say the least.
Stay posted for more information.
There is no need to question Donald Trump’s objectivity when it comes to his defense of white supremacists. He has no objectivity. In 2017, he tried to feign objectivity after the ‘Unite the Right’ rally that killed Heather Heyer and injured several others by applying a “both sides” logic to murder. It was not believable in 2017, it for damn sure is not believable now.
At a recent press conference, when he was asked about Kyle Rittenhouse’s killing of protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, he did what Trump does when pressed about the actions of violent acts of white supremacy: he found a way to excuse it.
Trump claimed Rittenhouse was violently attacked by people like Anthony Huber, who was armed with a skateboard in his efforts to take down Rittenhouse, who was armed with an assault rifle and had already killed one person. Once again, Trump made a false equivalence between the violence of white supremacists and the actions of those who stand in opposition to white supremacy.
Trump is banking on absolute whiteness to be re-elected. He knows that he cannot chastise the actions of even the most fringe versions of the alt-right movement, because their actions and rhetoric are influential to his less violent supporters.
On a fundamental level, he believes in the actions of murderers like Kyle Rittenhouse. It’s very American to him.
I have never had much of an issue with Adele as a musician or a personality. I am not an Adele fan, but I do recognize her talent and understand her appeal. She generally comes off as harmless as one could anticipate a white woman from London to be with regards to American race relations. She even once told Beyonce that the Queen’s music makes her (Adele’s) Black women friends proud to be themselves. Awkward.
Recently Adele caught some backlash for rockin Bantu knots and a Jamaican flag bikini top in an Instagram post. She dedicated the picture to the cancellation of the 2020 Notting Hill Carnival, an annual celebration of Britain’s Afro Caribbean community, due to COVID-19. It is likely assumed she was just paying tribute to the stylings of carnival attendees.
But it is moments like this when I wonder if well-known and (relatively) well-meaning white celebrities ever consult with their teams and ask if they should make these types of moves? There is nothing about this that an experienced image consultant or publicist would not have given pause to.
Maybe Adele knew that checking in about this would have someone discourage her or maybe she figured that nobody would be trippin’ about it because there are bigger concerns right now.
However, “Hello,” Adele. The internet always has time.
And now for a bit of good Black cultural news in the wake of so much grief. The cast of the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” is reuniting for an unscripted reunion special on September 10. HBO Max will be bringing Will, Carlton, Ashley, Hillary, Aunt Viv and Jazz together 30 years after the premiere of the iconic sitcom.
The “Fresh Prince” crew have all gone on to do extraordinary things in and out of the world of Hollywood since the show ended. Will Smith brought the cast together a couple months ago on Zoom to reflect on the great times and cultural impact of the show, and to pay tribute to the late James Avery, who played Uncle Phil.
We can all use a little colorful 90s magic right now and I’m sure this reunion special will not disappoint. There’s still time to practice our ‘Carlton’ dance and set the DVR for some much needed nostalgia.
Here’s to some joyful watching and no one getting sent flying out the house like Jazz.