Archives for April 2014

Good news in Sterling, Bundy racial rants? Could be

Believe it or not, something good might arise from the racist swamp of recent news cycles – the crudeness evidenced in Donald Sterling’s taped comments on guilt by black association and Cliven Bundy’s musings on the benefits of enslavement for African Americans.

You could sense some beyond skin-deep soul searching in the remarks of National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday.  The NBA – protecting its brand and trying to lead, not follow, the news – banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Sterling for life, fined him $2.5 million and announced it is urging a forced sale of the team. It’s a disaster all right, shifting attention from exciting post-season action on the court.

“Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principals of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse, multicultural, multiethnic league,” said Silver in a statement that, while admirable, simplifies power relationships among players and coaches, owners and fans that are complicated in an America that still has problems honestly confronting its racial history.

Whenever the weary chide me at a mere mention of the lingering legacy of racism, I tell them the truth: I never think about race unless I’m reminded of it — and I’m reminded of it all the time. No explanation has been needed recently, as Sterling and Bundy have proven my point quite nicely – or not so nicely. Their rants have the country talking about race, and unlike in the cases of young black men deemed suspicious and shot dead, all sides of the discussion seem to be in agreement.

Aftermath of Sterling’s Racial Comments


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Rising Contributor, Mary Curtis, talks to WCCB’s Terrance Bates about the aftermath of Donald Sterling’s racial remarks. Sterling is banned for life from all NBA activities and faces a 2 point 5 million dollar fine.

Honoring beauty of Lupita Nyong’o is fine – but what’s next for her and other ‘dark girls’

It’s fitting that the journey of Lupita Nyong’o has come full circle. In her widely seen and admired speech at the annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon earlier this year, she told her story of feeling “un-beautiful” until images such as model Alek Wek, actress Whoopi Goldberg and icon Oprah Winfrey filled the screen and the scene. Their success helped the lessons of Nyong’o’s mother – who valued her daughter’s inner and outer worth – finally sink in.

With her spot on the cover of People magazine’s “Most Beautiful” issue, little girls who claim the same kind of natural beauty, buoyed up by intelligence and compassion, might take heart. The documentary “Dark Girls” recorded the hurts, insults and very real discrimination they and their grown-up sisters have suffered. Nyong’o told People that when she was growing up she thought beauty meant “light skin and long, flowing, straight hair.” Now, like Goldberg, she has a best-supporting actress Academy Award. The latest magazine cover is icing on the cake.

Breaking Down The GOP Senate Primary Debate

CHARLOTTE, N.C.-   Early voting in the Republican Primary for the Senate seat currently held by Democrat Kay Hagan starts Thursday. WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis joined Rising to break down last night’s first Republican debate.

Michelle Obama goes ‘Nashville’ – no twang needed

Starring Michelle Obama and Kellie Pickler? Casting the first lady in a television cameo with the country music singer may at first sound odd. But since her appearance on ABC’s “Nashville,” is to support military families, it’s all for a good cause. The setting of the episode, scheduled to broadcast May 7, is Fort Campbell, Ky., where, as part of the third anniversary of their Joining Forces initiative, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden were scheduled to speak Wednesday.

There may be upsides for all: more attention to those who serve and to their families and some buzz for a television show that hasn’t exactly been a breakout hit.

The “Nashville” appearance is also a chance for some curious speculation, and not just because the juxtaposition of a first lady with actors and singers on a scripted nighttime soap is hard to picture.

The country’s first African American first lady is going country, a genre not usually seen as particularly integrated among its practitioners and fans. And she’s doing it in a Southern setting that lives and embraces the music – if not the Obama administration. Although politics is part of it, racial rhetoric can be found in some signs – literal and otherwise — of that rejection.

CMPD Body Cameras and the City

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The City of Charlotte approved CMPD’s use of $250K to get body cameras for their service calls. They’ll be used in addition to the tradition “dash cam” in the patrol car. So what does this mean for the people of Charlotte?

The body cameras could be launched as early as this Summer.

WCCB political contributor, Mary C. Curtis is weighing the move and how it’ll play into the privacy versus public record debate.

Olympia Snowe, on compromise, Citizens United and former colleague Kay Hagan

CHARLOTTE – Olympia Snowe made her case for a return to governing from the “sensible center,” and she did it with conviction. But while the audience was both loud and supportive at a women’s summit in Charlotte, no one – and that includes the former Republican U.S. senator from Maine — thought it would be easy.

Snowe was considered moderate in her approach and her politics when she decided not to run for a fourth term in the Senate in 2012. How bad had it gotten? Republicans and Democrats honored her at separate celebrations, a departure from the past. “It’s not even bipartisan today to say goodbye,” she said. Snowe lamented as a “tragedy” elected officials “surrounded by all this history but not inspired by it.”

Kirsten Dunst’s latest role: Unlikely warrior in continuing gender debate

When a rain-soaked Kirsten Dunst kissed an upside-down superhero in 2002’s “Spider-Man,” fans cheered. The response to the actress and cover girl’s comments in the latest Harper’s Bazaar UK has been far more controversial.

On the subject of gender roles, Dunst, who has a new movie coming out and has been, as they say, “spotted” with actor Garrett Hedlund, told the magazine, “I feel like the feminine has been a little undervalued.” She said, “We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking – it’s a valuable thing my mum created. And sometimes, you need your knight in shining armour. I’m sorry. You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That’s why relationships work … ”

To be fair to Dunst, she probably didn’t suspect that an actress’s comments would spark so much contentious debate. But when you go beyond your personal romantic situation to opine on relationships in general, you do invite others to join in. And considering the current political, social and cultural arguments over the choices women make and decisions made for them that affect their lives, the skirmish is not surprising.

Dan Clodfelter Prepares To Be Charlotte’s Next Mayor

CHARLOTTE, N.C.- Charlotte’s new mayor, Dan Clodfelter, takes the oath of office at Noon Wednesday. WCCB’s political contributor Mary C. Curtis joined Rising, to offer perspective about the council’s choice, and how the city moves ahead in the wake of the recent fallout.

Finding Charlotte’s Next Mayor

CHARLOTTE, NC-  Five days from now, we’re expecting to have a new Mayor of Charlotte. That’s mayor number four in the last 12 months. Wednesday, questions about whether more local officials are corrupt, still lingers. WCCB political contributor Mary Curtis adds perspective to the conversation.