Coverage of the Inauguration will likely begin at 9AM ET, with a performance by Public School 22 from Staten Island, NY. The Inaugural invocation, led by Myrlie Evers-Williams, is scheduled to begin at 11:35 a.m.
Update: In light of the president not only being sworn in as the country celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but on Dr. King’s personal copy of the Bible, The Grio will be interviewing visitors to the MLK Memorial throughout the day in the livestream under the cut. Read the Post Open Thread: 2013 Inauguration Of Barack Obama
By Guest Contributors Tanya Golash-Boza and Amalia Pallares; a version of this op-ed was originally published at Counterpunch
One of the supposed lessons of Obama’s electoral victory was that Republicans could no longer afford to advocate an enforcement-only position on immigration reform. So, it says something that the party’s first nod in that direction was extraordinarily weak.
At the tail end of 2012 and of their careers, retiring Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) introduced the ACHIEVE Act, which would provide legal status to a narrow group of undocumented youth. However, this proposal does nothing to appeal to Latin@s because it provides no real path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Whereas the DREAM Act provides undocumented youth with legal permanent residence and then citizenship, the ACHIEVE Act offers a W-1 visa, which leads to a W-2, and then a W-3, with no direct path to citizenship.
I think airport conversations–when you’re waiting for your flight–are the most interesting conversations you can have. The reason why? Who knows? Could it be that the possibility of dying within the next few hours from a drunken pilot using his beer goggles to steer causes people to intimate information they otherwise wouldn’t? Perhaps it’s the realization that you’ll probably never see the person you’re rambling to again so you can burden them with your darkest secrets? Then again, maybe there’s something about flying the friendly skies that makes everybody, y’know, friendlier.
by Guest Contributor Annita Lucchesi, originally published on Tumblr
**Video Slightly NSFW***
Perhaps distracted by the picturesque scenery or the flash and glamor of Carnival, music critics have yet to say anything substantial on Nicki Minaj’s new music video, “Pound the Alarm.” Indeed, the overwhelming response has been to dismiss both the song and video as “virtually indistinguishable” from her previous single, “Starships,” and nearly all reviews have nothing to say other than run-of-the-mill comments on the beauty of the setting and Minaj’s physical attributes (see: MTV, Billboard). Fuse even went so far as to describe Minaj as a “bikini wearer extraordinaire” who “made sure her goods were front and center,” and Perez Hilton’s first comment was to tell Minaj, “pound that alarm with your bombastic bosom!”
While Nicki Minaj is obviously exceptionally beautiful, these reviews are as vapid as they are repetitive. Minaj is routinely overlooked as a ‘conscious artist,’ despite the fact that many of her songs, as well as her carefully curated appearance, are politically charged. The vast majority of the narrative on her fame is centered on her body and relationships with male rappers, as if she isn’t an intelligent artist who is very intentional about her image and her work (much less one who attended performing arts school!). Anyone who has heard her more directly “conscious” tracks like “Autobiography” or her remix of “Sweetest Girl” knows that she can be a passionate performer and talented poet. Despite this, Minaj constantly gets criticized and dismissed as lacking substance, which I believe has more to do with the combined forces of racism and sexism in popular media and consumer consciousness than anything else. No matter how gorgeous you are, it can’t be easy to be a young Black West Indian woman in the US media, much less one who is so confident in her ownership of her body and sexuality as Nicki Minaj.
There is also a not-so-subtle unwillingness on behalf of many of her critics to dialogue with Minaj’s work on her own terms, which the “Pound the Alarm” reviews each fall prey to. Though most of them acknowledge that Minaj was born in Trinidad, the video’s location, none of them attempt to place the video within its context—Trinidadian party culture and national politics.
Two days ago I was walking on my way to work and, as always, I have my coffee on Flinders Lane in central Melbourne. While waiting for my coffee, a well-meaning Australian came up to me and asked me what my ethnicity was. I had no idea who he was nor did I know what he wanted. Who is he, and why is he so enthusiastic to ascertain my identity–where I come from?
Did I find him racist and condescending? Yes.
Was there a power dynamic inherent to this question? Yes, there was.
On this occasion, I pondered the situation silently, which put the questioner in an awkward position. “Here we go again,” I told myself. Do I answer this, or tell him what I think, that he is just another racist trying to judge people by where they come from or what they look like? If I were to question or argue with him, would my actions be interpreted as reverse racism on my part? I chose to simply walk away rather than answer the question. Read the Post The “Where Are You Really From” Power Dynamic