President Barack Obama Meets With The Congressional Black Caucus
Addressing poverty and reforming the criminal justice system were among the topics that came up at a White House meeting Tuesday between President Obama and members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Rep. Mia Love (R, Utah), the first black female Republican elected to Congress, was among those who attended the meeting.
The discussion lasted 90 minutes, said CBC chairman Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D, N.C.) in a press conference after the meeting, carried by C-Span. Butterfield characterized the discussion as a positive one.
Among the topics that came up in the meeting with President Obama:
Poverty: The caucus asked the president to use executive action in concert with their legislative attempts to target federal funds to nearly 500 U.S. counties with persistent poverty rates (meaning they have a 20% or more poverty rate that has persisted for 30 years or more). “He told us that he fully understands the challenges that we face and he’s willing to work with us and find creative ways to address poverty in these communities. We were very pleased with his response,” reported Butterfield.
Criminal justice reform: “We had a very robust conversation about criminal justice reform — not only about police misconduct and prosecutorial misconduct, but the need to reform the whole criminal justice system and to try to find creative ways of reducing the incarceration rate,” said Butterfield. Emphasizing that “body cameras are not going to get the job done,” he continued that we need “ways of getting better officers on the street…with community policing and sensitivity training.” He said the president “gets it” and pledged that if confirmed as U.S. attorney general, Loretta Lynch will work with the lawmakers toward these goals.
Voting rights: Butterfield mentioned the president’s upcoming visit to Selma, Ala. on March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and also reminded listeners that the Supreme Court weakened its protections in a 2013 decision. He said the gutted law came up in the meeting with President Obama and cited the Voting Rights Act Amendment of 2014 that is co-sponsored by several CBC members. Butterfield called for an “up or down” vote by Congress on the bill.
Jackie Robinson West Stripped Of US Title
UPDATED, 11:15 AM EST, 2-12-15: Supporters of a Chicago Little League team on Thursday charged that the team’s title was revoked as a result of ubiquitous racism, according to CBS News. The allegation came a day after Little League International announced that the Jackie Robinson West All-Stars roster included kids who lived outside the team’s boundaries, the report says:
At an afternoon press conference, the Rev. Jesse Jackson asked, “Is this about boundaries or race?”
“This decision’s untimely and inappropriate at this time,” Jackson told reporters. “It should not take six months after a team has played a championship game to determine eligibility to play the game in the first place.”
The decision came after complaints from teams in Illinois and Nevada over the team’s roster.
The Rev. Michael Pfleger called the complaints from the Illinois team “mean-spirited” and “personal.”
“When you’re going over to voter registration and going to birth certificates and doing all this time of hunting and a witch hunt that’s been going on for the last number of months, I can’t help but wonder the question if the same thing would have been done with another team from another place, another race,” Pfleger said
CHICAGO (AP) — A Little League team that captured the attention of the nation and the hearts of its hometown was stripped of its national title Wednesday after an investigation revealed that team officials had falsified boundaries so they could add ineligible players to the roster.
Sheryl Underwood On ‘Unsung Hollywood,’ Journey To ‘The Talk’
In part two of the chat, Underwood shares her comedic aspirations and details her journey to becoming one of the hosts on “The Talk.”
Underwood told Martin she was unaware that a “job was to be had” when she began talking with the producers of “The Talk.” At the time she was still president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
She said when she received the call to talk with producers she thought it was Steve Harvey, Jamie Foxx, Chris Tucker or Kevin Heart playing on her phone.
After realizing the “alleged job opportunity” was real, Underwood reached out to CBS but still did not think she would be added to the show.
Underwood told Martin, “There was a pain that was in my heart. You know it’s always being a bridesmaid and never a bride. And one day I got on my knees and I asked the Lord as always, I talked to him, I said ‘Lord just tell me what you want me to do even if it means you don’t want me to be in comedy.’”
She continued, “Then the phone rang and it was CBS.”
Underwood, “suited and booted, and looking good,” went on to detail her interview with producers from the show where they told her she was “delightful.” Underwood joked with Martin saying, “When White people say you’re delightful you might have a shot at it.”
After wrapping up her journey to “The Talk,” Underwood said, “Look at what God did for me. He can do it for anybody else if you would just let him.”
She added, “Everything I’ve ever got in life, it wasn’t me. I was just prepared when God said, ‘This is what I want you to do, are you ready.’”
“The Talk” co-host will be featured in TV One’s new series, “Unsung Hollywood.” This all-new series examines the lives and careers of African American stars and entertainment icons. The first season will feature Dick Gregory, Robin Harris, Flip Wilson, Pam Grier and Underwood.
Underwood explained when she got the call about being featured in “Unsung Hollywood” that she wondered if she was worthy of it and felt a little apprehension.“What if I’m not famous enough,” Underwood wondered. “What if I’m not interesting enough?”
We can all agree that Underwood is definitely famous enough and interesting enough to be featured in TV One’s “Unsung Hollywood.” Her career in the entertainment industry has blossomed from stand-up comedy to now being a co-host on American’s number one network and becoming a prominent member of their smash hit “The Talk.”
Watch Martin and Sheryl Underwood discuss her journey to CBS’s “The Talk,” comedian, actor and activist Dick Gregory as well as her upcoming episode of “Unsung Hollywood” in the video clip above.
Underwood’s episode of “Unsung Hollywood” airs on TV One, March 4th, 2015. Be sure to tune in or set your DVRs for his new original series shinning a light on some of our best and brightest.
All that and more in this edition of the NewsOne Now Audio Podcast.