1. Your T-Shirts Work Better As Toilet Paper: An Indiana-based law enforcement uniform company has designed a shirt that says, “Breathe Easy, Don’t Break The Law.” Given “I Can’t Breathe” shirts have been worn in recognition of the death of Eric Garner, his last words, and the failure to indict his killer, NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, most understandably understood this design to be a form of counter-protest. However, in a Facebook post, South Bend Uniform owner and Mishawaka Police Corporal Jason Barthel argued the opposite, claiming it was about “unity.”
Barthel employed after-school special language in his Facebook post, but the point remains: “Breathe Easy, Don’t Break The Law” further perpetuates the notion that it’s okay to rob Black people of their lives over allegedly committing petty crimes. He can wrap up his sentiments in pretty packaging, but it’s a trash defense of police brutality all the same. If Jason Barthel wants to show real unity, he will either burn every one of the shirts he’s printed for sale or donate the proceeds to Eric Garner’s wife and children. And leave the “I love you/you love me/we’re a happy family” musings to Barney, beloved.
2. No, No, Camille Cosby: In a statement, Camille Cosby compared the allegations of sexual assault leveled against her husband, Bill Cosby, and Rolling Stone’s now compromised reporting on allegations of rape at the University of Virginia to what’s presently taking place with her husband. Well, Bill Cosby settled a class action suit centered on rape allegations in 2006. That doesn’t make him guilty of any crime, though at the very least, makes any allegations of sexual misconduct more deserving of consideration. As do some of his old jokes ala “Spanish Fly” that are now being revisited.
Moreover, Bill Cosby’s ever-expanding number of abusers – including legendary model Beverly Johnson – makes it all the more a relevant story. Bill Cosby has been able to escape public scrutiny over rape allegations for decades – including the previous decade in which he scolded Black youth and made me speeches like the “pound cake” one where he all but excused the sort of slaughtering of Black men at the hands of law enforcement that’s had numerous headlines throughout 2014.
So Camille, if you choose to stand by your man that is well within your right. However, do not position him as a victim. It is not a “media-driven feeding frenzy” as his lawyer suggested. If it were, the “frenzy” would’ve started long before social media. Say, the first few times he was accused of rape.
3. You Wrong, Mr. Papers: I don’t know what caused the father of Lil’ Kim’s baby, Mr. Papers, to be petty and post a picture from Nicki Minaj’s new calendar on his Instagram to spite the mother of his child, but Kim has to conjure up Biggie’s ghost to haunt him. Not that I condone sub-disses on social media, but there has to be levels when dealing with your baby mama. He should’ve been like, “#TBT Chyna Doll is better than Notorious K.I.M.” You know, something not that hostile. But to put up a picture of Nicki Minaj’s likely-cosmetically crafted cakes – which look like a work of art, to be honest – in celebration knowing Kim is walking around here looking like she bought her butt from Discount Tires is just brutal. That said, this is probably what happens when you create a child with an adult who calls himself Mr. Papers. Good luck co-parenting.
4. Shut Up, Bill O’Reilly: In a segment with Martin Luther King III on The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly said, "Don't abandon your children. Don't get pregnant at 14. Don't allow your neighborhoods to deteriorate into free-fire zones. That's what the African American community should have on their T-shirts." He then went on to ask King, “Am I wrong?”
King’s response was, "Well, I think that's a part of it, but that's not the entirety," as he proceeded to argue that Americans need to focus on more than police misconduct. Also this week, O’Reilly argued that Samuel L. Jackson is trying to diminish America in response to Jackson’s challenge to his peers to speak more about racism. Like, the racism that’s made Bill O’Reilly a multi-millionaire.
O’Reilly is not only a buffoon lucky that being loud and wrong is a national pastime, but he’s also a coward. If he were as self-reflective as he thinks Black people need to be, he would wear a t-shirt that reads, “I’m wearing this shirt because my white hood won’t fit in the frame.”
5. Hands Off, Assata Shakur: This means you, New Jersey State Troopers.