• Don’t Fall For the ‘Banana in the Tailpipe’

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    One of the funniest and most memorable scenes in Eddie Murphy’s hit movie “Beverly Hills Cop” was the banana in the tailpipe scene. In fact, it was so popular and has become such a part of pop culture that it’s an expression we use when we think someone is trying to pull something over on us. So, last week when the media was exploiting the heck out of the Paula Deen situation, like most of Black America, I almost fell for it. I almost believed it was one of the most important stories of the week and that it commanded all the attention it was getting. And while she was confessing, apologizing and crying with no tears for saying the N-word, other bananas were dangling real close to the tail pipe.

    The murder investigation of New England Patriot’s star Aaron Hernandez and even the George Zimmerman trial are distracting us from  less sexy stories that will have direct impacts on our lives.

    On Tuesday, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act which protected our right to vote. The landmark Civil Rights law was blatantly necessary back then when we were being attacked by police dogs and sprayed with water hoses for protesting the fact that we were not allowed to vote. Now, 50 years later, Supreme Court Justices ruled 5-4 that the law is no longer necessary. “Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote.

    On Wednesday, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denied benefits to gay couples who are legally married in their states, including Social Security survivor benefits and family leave. The court also allowed gay marriage to resume in California.

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