“A tree is best measured when it is down,” the poet Carl Sandburg once observed, “and so it is with people.” The recent death of Harry Belafonte at the age of 96 has prompted many assessments of what this pioneering singer-actor-activist accomplished in a long and fruitful life.
Belafonte’s career as a ground-breaking entertainer brought him substantial wealth and fame; according to Playbill magazine, “By 1959, he was the highest paid Black entertainer in the industry, appearing in raucously successful engagements in Las Vegas, New York, and Los Angeles.” He scored on Broadway, winning a 1954 Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Musical – John Murray Anderson's Almanac. Belafonte was the first Black person to win the prestigious award. A 1960 television special, “Tonight with Belafonte,” brought him an Emmy for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Musical Program or Series, making him the first Black person to win that award. He found equal success in the recording studio, bringing Calypso music to the masses via such hits as “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” and “Jamaica Farewell.”
Harry Belafonte - Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) (Live)www.youtube.com
Belafonte’s blockbuster stardom is all the more remarkable for happening in a world plagued by virulent systemic racism. Though he never stopped performing, by the early 1960s he’d shifted his energies to the nascent Civil Right movement. He was a friend and adviser to the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. and, as the New York Times stated, Belafonte “put up much of the seed money to help start the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and was one of the principal fund-raisers for that organization and Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that “he helped launch one of Mississippi’s first voter registration drives and provided funding for the Freedom Riders. His activism extended beyond the U.S. as he fought against apartheid alongside Nelson Mandela and Miriam Makeba, campaigned for Mandela’s release from prison, and advocated for famine relief in Africa.” And in 1987, he received an appointment to UNICEF as a goodwill ambassador.
Over a career spanning more than seventy years, Belafonte brought joy to millions of people. He also did something that is, perhaps, even greater: he fostered the hope that a better world for all could be created. And, by his example, demonstrated how we might go about bringing that world into existence.
Sorry Joe, Holding Criminals Accountable Is Exactly What Americans Do
"We are Americans and we do not do that." Uh, yeah Joe, we do.
After making an appearance at Game 5 of the World Series, Donald Trump got an unexpected surprise––he learned that pretty much everybody at the game hated him.
In a karmic callback to the "lock her up!" chants that continue to arise at every Trump rally, in opposition to Hillary Clinton, baseball fans gleefully chanted "lock him up!" as soon as Donald Trump showed up on the jumbotron. (As an aside, Clinton was fully investigated by the State Department for using a private email, and while investigators agreed that her online behavior was not necessarily safe, they found "no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information." Trump's family has done the exact same thing while working in the US government, which seems ridiculously hypocritical, but what else is new?)
Here's Trump being publicly jeered during America's favorite pastime:
Nats fans boo Donald Trump after he’s shown on the big screen and then chant, “Lock him up.” https://t.co/WJvgbyDb4e— Shannon Watts (@Shannon Watts) 1572226674.0
And here's his face after realizing what's happening. Hilarious:
Look how Trump’s face changes when he realizes an entire stadium is booing him https://t.co/E46rzbzmbl— Arlen Parsa (@Arlen Parsa) 1572225748.0
While everyone who isn't an absolute troglodyte is fine with the American people voicing their disdain for an international mobster and 25-times-accused, alleged-but-pretty-much-self-admitted sex offender occupying the highest political office in the country, one bespectacled termite held tight to his pearls.
MSNBC Morning Joe host, Joe Scarborough––a man who has built a career on his inability to distinguish between a fencepost and a chair––had this to say:
"We are Americans and we do not do that. We do not want the world hearing us chant 'Lock him up' to this president… https://t.co/FXWcfviYtk— Morning Joe (@Morning Joe) 1572259148.0
"We are Americans and we do not do that. We do not want the world hearing us chant 'Lock him up' to this president or to any president."
Except, here's the thing, Joe: Yeah. We really do do that.
The rest of the world needs to know that the majority of the American people reject Donald Trump. Currently, 54.6% of Americans disapprove of Donald Trump (40.6% approve and the rest, presumably, are in a collective coma). Over half the country currently supports opening an impeachment inquiry. And, while it's been said ad nauseum, it always bears repeating: Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. In short, Trump might represent America as a landmass, but he does not represent the will of the majority American populace.
In America, we should want criminals to be held accountable regardless of whether or not they are the President. We should want criminals held accountable regardless of whether or not they are Democrats or Republicans, or if we agree with their personal views. In the United States, nobody should be above the law. Especially if they're the President.
So, sorry Joe, but you're very, very wrong. Reach up way into your butt and pry out that fence post before it pierces an organ. The American people are speaking, and it's time to listen. Lock him up.
- 'Un-American': Morning Joe condemns 'lock him up' chants directed ... ›
- Joe Scarborough: Trump didn't sound like a US president during al ... ›
- Joe Scarborough Believes Trump's Tweets About the World Series ... ›
- Joe Scarborough: 'Trump blinks and he keeps blinking' in trade war ... ›
- Scarborough: DC World Series 'Lock Him Up' Chants 'Sickening,' 'It ... ›
- Morning Joe Sickened by Trump Lock HIm Up World Series Chant ›
- They can't DEAL! Joe Scarborough speaks out against 'booing ... ›
- Joe Scarborough on Twitter: "Fenway Sports wins the World Series ... ›
- 'Morning Joe' Condemns 'Un-American' World Series Chants at Trump ›
- Morning Joe Hosts Say 'Lock Him Up' Chants at Trump During World ... ›