7 Signs A Marriage Won't Last, According To Sex Therapists

Sex isn’t everything in a marriage, but for most people, a healthy, regular sex life matters quite a bit. 

Sex therapists can vouch for that. Below, they share seven issues that can ruin a relationship if left unaddressed.

1. The couple no longer has sex.

Surprisingly, you can be in a sexless marriage and still have sex. Therapists define a sexless relationship as one in which the couple are physically intimate less than 10 times a year

In most sexless marriages, the absence of any physical connection divides couples, said Sari Cooper, certified sex therapist and host of the web show Sex Esteem

“Partners end up alienating each other on a very deep, very primal and sometimes emotional level,” she told The Huffington Post. “Very frequently the couple not only avoids sex, but the discussion of the problem itself. That only leads to a further sense of isolation and loneliness for the partners.” 

When couples in sexless marriages come to Cooper’s office, she helps them broach the discussion without placing the blame on one person in particular. 

“The sexually frustrated partner needs to ‘break the ice’ and let their S.O. know how much they miss them,” she said. “That’s a much better approach than arguing or blaming the other.” 

2. One partner doesn’t feel sexually desired. 

Feeling wanted and desired is a huge turn-on, especially for women. As sex researcher Marta Meana once put it in an interview with the New York Times, for women, “being desired is the orgasm.” When a partner fails to reassure a woman of her desirability, their sex life naturally takes a hit, said Laura Watson, a sex therapist and the co-host of the sex advice podcast Foreplay.

“Resolving the issue is all about exploring expectations. You have to consider how intimate couple time can lead to better and more sex,” she said. “It also doesn’t hurt to make sure your partner is getting good sex with plenty of orgasms so she’ll want to do it.”

3. There’s a breakdown in intimacy after an affair.

Broken trust after an affair can be a hard thing to mend and your sex life will take even longer to restore, Cooper said. 

“It takes a lot of effort and work by the unfaithful partner to re-establish trust. Meanwhile, the betrayed partner needs to better understand what led to the affair,” she said. “Often, the couple needs to create a new sexual contract of sorts, that addresses the needs that were not being met or hidden. 

If the unfaithful partner continues to have contact with the other man or woman in secret, it may be impossible to repair the emotional and erotic bond, Cooper said. 

4. There’s no physical attraction.

In long-term couples, waning sexual attraction can do a number on the relationship, said Moushumi Ghose, a sex therapist and author of Classic Sex Positions Reinvented. 

“Sometimes, it’s a matter of one spouse letting themselves go,” she said. “Obviously, life happens and the daily stressors of work, marriage, and having a family can take its toll, but people who are no longer physically attracted to their partner sometimes take it as a sign that their partner has given up on themselves and their relationship.” 

5. Physical barriers to sex become a scapegoat.

There are plenty of physical and health-related reasons couples stop having sex, from premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction, to pain during intercourse for women. 

These problems should be addressed with a doctor, but there’s usually some emotional work that needs to be done by the couple as well, said Celeste Hirschman, a sex therapist and the co-author of Making Love Real: The Intelligent Couple’s Guide to Lasting Intimacy and Passion.

“When these functional problems end up being blamed for all the sexual problems ― and sometimes, problems in the relationship in general ― it blocks the couples ability to discuss their sexual and emotional needs,” she said. “Couples need to see beyond the dysfunction and look at the dynamic that’s been created around it, like fear of being undesirable or blaming the other person for everything.” 

6. Sexual interests and fetishes are laughed off. 

We all want different things: When your partner opens up about how they want rough sex or to role play, the worse thing you can do is disregard it or laugh it off, said Ava Cadell, a sex therapist and author of NeuroLoveology: The Power to Mindful Love & Sex. 

“I tell my clients that everything is negotiable, even in the bedroom,” she said. “If one partner enjoys BDSM and the other is not that into it but wants something else, I recommend they each share three romantic fantasies and make one a reality for the other.” 

From there, continue to share your sexual fantasies and boundaries without any fear of judgement or rejection, Cadell said. 

7. There’s a desire discrepancy. 

Many couples suffer from a “desire discrepancy,” a situation where one partner wants sex more than the other. This poses a big problem for most couples because the lower-desire spouse holds all the control of the couple’s sex life, whether they realize it or not. Eventually, the higher-desire spouse grows resentful, said Megan Fleming, a psychologist and sex therapist in New York City.

“Sex mismatches are at risk for affairs and divorce if not addressed, since the more sexual partner often can’t imagine living the rest of their lives this way,” she told HuffPost. “After all, they committed to a marriage, not a life of abstinence.”

Don’t wait until your partner is at their wits’ end before addressing the issue. 

“The good news is that reasons for low desire are complex but treatable,” Fleming said.

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Source: HuffPost Black Voices

Team Trump Is On A Bizarre Mission To Convince You They Value Women

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Over the last 48 hours, members of the Trump administration have embarked on a stunningly tone-deaf campaign.

After a presidential campaign rife with blatant misogyny, President Donald Trump spent his first months in office contemplating anti-woman policies surrounded by groups of white men. Now, Team Trump would like the public to believe that women’s empowerment is an administration-wide priority.

Before you crawl into a corner to laugh and/or weep, let’s review the events of the last two days:

On Tuesday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Ivanka Trump held an event at the National Air and Space Museum, extolling the women of NASA featured in “Hidden Figures,” as well as the Trump administration’s apparent commitment to NASA and STEM education writ large. Meanwhile, the budget that President Trump has proposed would completely eliminate the NASA Office of Education ― which funds programs to get kids from marginalized communities involved in STEM.

On Wednesday morning, First Lady Melania Trump gave remarks at the State Department honoring the 12 women who received the 2017 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Awards. “As leaders, we must continue to work towards gender empowerment and respect for people from all backgrounds and ethnicities,” she said, adding: “Wherever women are diminished, the entire world is diminished with them.”

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On Wednesday afternoon, Press Secretary Sean Spicer echoed the First Lady’s remarks, and then took her sentiments quite a few steps further.

“The president made women’s empowerment a priority throughout the campaign,” he said earnestly, theoretically hoping his audience wouldn’t remember this president called his female opponent a “nasty woman” during one debate and alluded to how big his dick was during another.

A few hours later, President Trump joined a White House Women’s Empowerment Panel to deliver a speech filled with platitudes about women entrepreneurs, working mothers, affordable child care and Susan B. Anthony. “Only by enlisting the full potential of women in our society will we be truly able to ― you have not heard this expression before ― make America great again,” he said. 

And yet President Trump has done nothing to support women (other than his daughter) who want to see their full potential enlisted. 

Apparently, members of Team Trump believe that if they say that they care about women’s empowerment enough times, that makes it so. That’s not actually how reality works. 

Before becoming president, reality star Donald Trump was caught on tape bragging about grabbing women by the pussy without their consent. He said that Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever.” He spoke to reporters about both of his daughters’ bodies. He made demeaning comments about the looks of famous women. He held rallies where his supporters cheered and chanted “lock her up!” He suggested that sexual assault was a natural outcome of allowing women to serve next to men in the military. He faced more than a dozen public accusations of sexual assault. (He is currently trying to use his position as POTUS to get out of a defamation suit filed by one of his accusers.)

This is not a man who was ever going to be a credible spokesperson for women’s issues. 

Since entering office, the Trump administration has done little to indicate that the needs of women are a priority. The president reinstated and expanded the global gag rule, which prevents NGOs from receiving U.S. aid if they provide abortion counseling or referrals ― in a room full of white men. The (now defunct) GOP health care bill included a provision to defund Planned Parenthood, and would have eliminated maternity care from many insurance plans. The administration sent two women who have spent their professional lives opposing LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights to represent the United States at the UN’s annual summit on women. Experts say that Trump’s proposed budget would be devastating to poor victims of domestic violence. And the “affordable child care” he says he wants to fight for has not made its way into any meaningful legislation. 

Donald Trump became president by tapping into men’s fears that equality for women would mean less power for them. He’s spent his time in office proving to those men they have nothing to worry about. When he chants “Make America Great Again” to a room full of women, the irony is completely lost on him that the “again” he’s referring to means a returning to a time in which women had fewer opportunities, rights and seats at the proverbial table.

Nice-sounding words about women are just nice-sounding words. When you’re (a known misogynist) leading a nation, actions speak a whole lot louder, and no faux feminist speech tour is going to change that.

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Source: HuffPost Black Voices

8 Ladies, Inspired By Maxine Waters, Share What Makes Them Strong Black Women

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Ca.) exuded the ultimate class, grace and strength on Tuesday.

The congresswoman responded to Bill O’Reilly’s racist and sexist insult about her hair with words that deserve to be a daily affirmation.

“I am a strong black woman, and I cannot be intimidated. I cannot be undermined,” Waters said on MSNBC.

Waters paraphrased her powerful words in a tweet using the hashtag #BlackWomenAtWork, amplified by activist Brittany Packnett in response to the disrespect the representative and White House correspondent April D. Ryan endured on Tuesday.

HuffPost Black Voices was so inspired by Waters’ response that we decided to highlight even more women. Using the hashtag #StrongBlackWoman, we asked our Twitter followers to tell us what makes them a boss. 

Check out some of their tweets below: 

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Source: HuffPost Black Voices

DEA Takes Billions In Cash From People Not Charged With A Crime, Can't Say How It's Helping

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WASHINGTON ― Over the past decade, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has permanently seized $3.2 billion in cash from individuals who were never charged with a crime, according to a Justice Department inspector general report released Wednesday.

Authorities confiscated this money using a controversial process known as civil asset forfeiture, which allows police to take property ― including vehicles, jewelry, houses and, most commonly, cash ― based solely on the suspicion it’s tied to crime.

Law enforcement officials say civil forfeiture is a crime-fighting tool that allows them to target the financial proceeds of illegal activity, even when they don’t have direct evidence of wrongdoing.

But due to lax reporting standards around civil forfeiture, the extent of those benefits is unclear, the report found. It also raised concern about the DEA’s reliance on interdiction operations along highways and at transportation hubs, as well as the agency’s inconsistent policies and training procedures.

Since 2007, the DEA has taken in $4.15 billion in cash forfeitures. Of that, $3.2 billion ― or 81 percent ― involved cases in which no criminal charges were filed. These sorts of seizures, usually made without a court-issued warrant and without the presence of narcotics, carry the highest risk of violating civil liberties, according to the report. With no independent judicial oversight and weak protections for property owners, opponents argue that members of law enforcement routinely abuse civil forfeiture.

The report sought to probe these issues by taking a closer look at how the DEA takes people’s cash. But the authors encountered a roadblock.

The DEA doesn’t “use aggregate data to evaluate fully and oversee their seizure operations, or to determine whether seizures benefit criminal investigations or the extent to which they may pose potential risks to civil liberties,” the report found.

Investigators instead chose to focus on a sample of 100 DEA cash seizures made without a warrant or the presence of drugs. Of these seizures, 85 were part of interdiction activity at transportation facilities or along highways. The smallest seizure involved $3,000 confiscated at an airport.

Only six of these 85 cases were prompted by pre-existing intelligence about a specific drug crime, and most were associated with cold consent encounters, which involve officers approaching people they suspect of involvement in drug trafficking and asking their permission to conduct a search. The inspector general’s office has criticized this practice as being prone to racial profiling.

In over half of the 100 cases examined, there was no discernible evidence the seizures advanced law enforcement efforts, the report found. In only 44 cases could the DEA say conclusively that the seizures had “advanced or been related to ongoing investigations, resulted in the initiation of new investigations, led to arrests, or led to prosecutions.” 

Investigators were also concerned about the lack of uniform training for both federal agents and members of state or local task forces working in cooperation with federal authorities to make seizures.

“While the factual situations vary from case to case, such differences in treatment demonstrate how seizure decisions can appear arbitrary, which in turn can fuel public perception that law enforcement is not using this powerful authority legitimately,” the report read. 

These kind of findings undercut the claim that civil forfeiture is vital as a crime-fighting tool.
Darpana Sheth, senior attorney with the Institute for Justice

Civil asset forfeiture has come under bipartisan criticism in recent years, and support for reform is growing at both the state and federal levels. Critics say the practice infringes on people’s due process and property rights by forcing them to engage in costly legal battles to prove their innocence and recover their assets.

Opponents of civil forfeiture also claim it encourages law enforcement to haphazardly seize property rather than focus on public safety. The inspector general’s report shows some evidence of the DEA pursuing civil forfeiture over-aggressively. Although property owners only challenged 20 percent of seizures over the past decade, nearly 40 percent of the contested cases resulted in a full or partial return of assets.

“These kind of findings undercut the claim that civil forfeiture is vital as a crime-fighting tool,” said Darpana Sheth, senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm that believes all forfeiture should be tied to a criminal conviction. “The report reaffirms what IJ has been saying all along, about how forfeiture laws create this perverse financial incentive to seize and forfeit property.”

Congress has considered legislation to reform civil forfeiture in recent years, and the latest report appeared to add some urgency to that effort. 

“Today’s report by the Inspector General makes it clear that asset forfeiture is in desperate need of reform,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “While asset forfeiture is a useful law enforcement tool to fight crime, the current lack of oversight and training poses dangers to Americans’ civil liberties.”

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But the acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, put into place under President Donald Trump, was critical of the report and described asset forfeiture as a “vitally important law enforcement tool” that had helped “fight the current heroin and opioid epidemic that is raging in the United States.”

A 10-page response to the report from acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco said the Justice Department had “significant concerns” about the final report. Relying upon a review of the 100 DEA cash seizures had led to “inaccurate or misleading” conclusions, Blanco wrote. 

Blanco said the Justice Department was taking another look at a 2015 order from former Attorney General Eric Holder which affected some of the department’s asset forfeiture work by limiting the types of civil forfeiture cases state and local law enforcement could pursue through the federal process.

“The Department is conducting a review of the Attorney General’s 2015 Order to determine all potential negative effects on law enforcement ― federal, state and local,” Blanco wrote. “One key underpinning of that review is that the Department continues to rely on critical cooperation with its state and local law enforcement partners. It is imperative that these partnerships remain strong.”

Both Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions seem receptive to the idea of allowing law enforcement to use civil forfeiture more aggressively after police officials complained that their operations had been scaled back in recent years.

But the inspector general’s office said Blanco’s response indicated he didn’t fully appreciate the civil liberties issues at stake. 

“While we have long recognized that a well-run asset forfeiture program can be an important law enforcement tool, we believe that the Criminal Division’s comments on our report indicate that it has missed a key point: regardless of the importance of the tool, it must be used appropriately, with effective oversight, and in a way that does not place undue risks on civil liberties,” the office responded in a statement.

“We further believe that the Department has an increased responsibility to protect civil liberties when its investigative components use a tool that permits seizure and forfeiture of property without judicial involvement or apparent connection to investigative activity, and then uses the proceeds of that property as a funding mechanism for law enforcement operations,” the statement continued.

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Source: HuffPost Black Voices

A New PrEP Campaign Wants You To 'F**k Without Fear'

A provocative new campaign from the Los Angeles LGBT Center hopes to raise awareness about and access to prescriptions for HIV-prevention drug PrEP for those most at-risk of contracting the disease.

F**k Without Fear” intentionally uses “raw, authentic language” in order to capture the attention of the most vulnerable populations when it comes to HIV contraction: young gay/bisexual men of color and transgender women.

“We want to start a dialogue that increases awareness, shatters stigmas and most importantly encourages individuals to adopt the highly effective HIV prevention method, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP),” the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Chief Medical Officer Robert Bolan, M.D., told The Huffington Post. “It’s also designed to break through the clutter of messages to clear up common misconceptions about PrEP, particularly regarding its cost, effectiveness and safety.”

In conjunction with the campaign, the Los Angeles LGBT Center rented a giant billboard with its message in the heart of West Hollywood.

For those who are unfamiliar with the drug, PrEP is short for Pre-exposure prophylaxis and is a pill taken once a day to reduce the risk of contracting HIV from sex by more than 90%.

“If the current rates of infection don’t change, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 2 gay/bisexual black men and 1 in 4 gay/bisexual Latino men will be infected with HIV in their lifetimes,” Bolan continued. “We refuse to accept that eventuality, which is why we developed our campaign specifically for that demographic. We tested our campaign messaging in focus groups, and the feedback confirmed that we were on the right track—particularly when people told us they’d wear our campaign message on t-shirts. Fortunately, it is working. Since the campaign launch, we’ve roughly doubled the number of people we’re helping to get on PrEP each week, and most of them are our target demographic.”

Head here to learn more about the “F**k Without Fear” campaign.

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Source: HuffPost Black Voices

Here’s Exactly What It’ll Cost To Teach You About Diversity, Aaron Sorkin

Dear Aaron Sorkin,

During a Writers Guild festival last weekend, you were seemingly flabbergasted to learn about the diversity issues that plague Hollywood, asking, “Are you saying that women and minorities have a more difficult time getting their stuff read than white men and you’re also saying that [white men] get to make mediocre movies and can continue on?” Nailed it.

Now, a lot of people are still just trying to wrap their heads around how a man of your stature and accomplishment ― who has been in the film business for 29 years ― could not see that there was a huge lack of diversity in the industry. But you seemed genuinely concerned, which I appreciate, and open to learning more.

I would like to help you learn. For the low price of exactly $52,539.38.

You’re probably wondering how I derived at this number. Well, Mr. Sorkin, in between the time you were helming “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” and “The Social Network,” I was in college studying radio, television and film. I was doing theatre, improv, stand-up and sketch. I was writing and filming my own web series and shorts, working at the on-campus radio station, being a part of the Black Student Union, the marching band, and working three jobs ― ultimately accruing the aforementioned $52,539.38 in student loan debt, which I think is an apt amount of money to explain racial and gender inequalities in cinema to a man with an estimated $80 million net worth.

I would start your education by examining your own work. Like how in your hit television show “The West Wing,” one out of the 12 lead actors was a person of color, and two out of the 32 credited writers were women of color. Or like how on “Sports Night,” one of 13 lead actors was a person of color, and zero people of color were employed on the 15-person writing staff. Or even how on “Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip,” two out of 12 lead actors and one out of 16 writers were people of color.

In the combined 17 minutes of trailer time for your films “Steve Jobs,” “Moneyball,” “The Social Network,” “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “The American President,” “Malice,” and “A Few Good Men” people of color appear in a total of just 30 seconds of screentime, usually in the capacity of one of these three functions:

  • Opening a door
  • Standing by a door
  • Looking at Jonah Hill

You probably didn’t notice the imbalance, since you grew up in Scarsdale, a town made up of an 85 percent white and 1 percent Black population. Maybe that’s why you’ve assumed that the White House staff, sports newsrooms and sketch comedy television programs only have one Black dude working there ― but then again, you spent your more formative post-college years in New York City during the 80s.

In addition to pointing out that your personal catalog’s incredible lack of diversity, I think we can also safely open the door to these issues as a whole in Hollywood.  

But again, that’s just how I’d start… if you paid me that $52,539.38.

I’d go on to explain how the massive wage gap issues in Hollywood can be a huge deterrent for people of color and women looking to make a break in the business. For example, women in Hollywood typically make 30 cents to every dollar that their male counterparts do. Need an illustration? Academy Award winner Natalie Portman most likely made three times less than Ashton Kutcher for “No Strings Attached.”

It’s even harder for people of color, and especially women of color. The dude who plays “Sheldon” on “Big Bang Theory” makes $1 million per episode. To compare, Oscar winner Viola Davis reportedly makes $250,000 per episode for “How To Get Away With Murder. Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard make $175,000 for Empire, one of the highest-rated TV dramas in years. And Tracee Ellis Ross? She’s paid $80,000, which is $20,000 less than her male co-star on “Black-ish.”

Mr. Sorkin, have you seen how incredible Tracee Ellis Ross is on “Black-ish?” There is utterly no reason she should only be paid just $27,460.62 more than what you’ll be paying me for explaining the racial discrepancies in Hollywood!

Finally, Mr. Sorkin, I’d like to point out how you asked, “If you are a woman or a person of color, you have to hit it out of the park in order to get another chance?” Yeah, pretty much! As the old adage of being Black goes, we have to work twice as hard to get half of what they got. This applies in the entertainment industry, working in an office or the presidency. We’ve sat through white people’s reboots, remakes, sequels and prequels. How many times do we have to watch Tom Cruise as “The Last Samurai” or Matt Damon on “The Great Wall” to get to refreshing storytelling like “Moonlight?” Is Hollywood’s obsession with whitewashing or white mediocrity our fault for “not hitting it out of the park,” or is it just an industry standard set years ago by bronzing up Elizabeth Taylor and saying she’s Egyptian?

Maybe it’s even the fact that, about once a year, a movie comes out that’s like, “Hey, Black people! Remember the worst years for you guys in American history? Well, here’s three hours of ‘Slavery: The movie! Starring Handsome White Guy as the Good One! Lady with her Hair Aflutter as The Abolitionist! And Slave Joe played by Adam Sandler, of course!’” When it’s not that, we’re typically relegated to tokenism or embarrassingly stereotypical characters. I personally have auditioned for some form of a thug or drug addict at least 50 times. I once auditioned for a cyber-tech thug, so I was like, at least it’s something a little different.

When we create opportunities ourselves. it’s constantly met with resistance ― like how the trailer for Netflix’s “Dear White People” was flooded with dislikes and negative comments because of its simple request: don’t wear blackface.

Mr. Sorkin, I would love to go into great detail about how you and rest of Hollywood can effectively begin to allow voices of color and women to get into writers’ rooms, production offices and on the screen. But I can only do that after a payment is made to NELNET and Kentucky Higher Education Student Loans split into $39,196.44 and $13,351.10, respectively.

I hope that we can come to terms on this written proposal of mine, because like you said, “If you write it, they will come.” I certainly hope you do invest in this knowledge, Mr. Sorkin, and if not, then maybe you can’t handle the truth.


Martin Morrow

P.S. Pay me!

Martin Morrow (@martinMmorrow) is an ensemble member in The Second City’s 105th Mainstage revue The Winner…Of Our Discontent. This post originally appeared at secondcity.com

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Source: HuffPost Black Voices

Can We Please Stop Giving Rachel Dolezal A Platform?

It has been nearly two years since Rachel Dolezal was outed by her parents for being a white woman who claimed to be black. Unfortunately, she is still a national news sensation.

On Tuesday, nearly half a million people tuned in to a Facebook Live video hosted by The New York Times that featured Dolezal (and only Dolezal), who shamelessly plugged her new autobiography, In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World. Thousands more also likely tuned in to her appearance on the “Today” show that same morning to watch Dolezal recount her unusual life experiences, much of which we’ve all heard before.

People should have found a more productive way to spend their time because, frankly, Dolezal doesn’t deserve it. Dolezal is a master manipulator and people, time and again, have consumed her bizarre story as if it is one that carries enough magnitude or depth to explore race in America in an authentic and accurate way. It doesn’t.

This public infatuation with Dolezal is just a dark, twisted cycle fed by media consumers who drive interest and content creators who provide coverage ― but it is all crafted in a way that benefits Dolezal most. With the release and promotion of her new book, Dolezal is still able to profit from selling her story of being a white woman privileged enough to claim and convince members of the public that she is black, taking up space otherwise occupied by people who don’t have the luxury of crafting their own racial identity. 

I was among the many journalists who covered Dolezal’s alarming story when she was first exposed in June 2015. However, later in that same week, Dylann Roof murdered nine black people in Charleston, South Carolina, in a racially motivated act of terrorism. In the immediate aftermath of that tragedy, I wrote a piece in which I made a personal vow never to report on Dolezal again because I had firmly concluded that dissecting her story was meaningless when compared to the trauma and terror actual black people face every day:

In the last few days, I have seen former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal’s white face, terribly tanned and masked as “black,” plastered across TV screens, her name dominating my Twitter timeline and her life dissected through discussions I’ve both overheard and participated in. I no longer care to see, hear or say her name.

I have remained committed to that promise, until today. In the last 48 hours, Dolezal’s face has painfully popped up on social media feeds and widely respected national news platforms, each time with a new weave, the same spray tan and mention of her new autobiography leading headlines. This is deeply upsetting because it immediately triggers disappointment in how easily society can succumb to sensationalized stories like Dolezal’s self-calculated spectacle. It does not, and likely will never, serve as a useful catalyst for understanding this country’s racial dilemmas.

We could instead turn our attention to the hate crimes being carried out across the country and the tragic killing of Timothy Caughman, a black man, by a white terrorist. We could focus on the horrendous death of Darren Rainey, who was burned “like a boiled lobster” in a Florida jail. We can help find black and Latinx girls who have gone missing in Washington, D.C. ― the case has alarmed the city’s black residents, but seemingly not nearly as many whites. We could dedicate our energy to defending prominent black women like Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Ca.) and journalist April Ryan from shameful attacks made against them by white male public figures. We could explore the experiences black women face in the workplace, dig deeper into the ongoing police brutality against black boys and girls, amplify the experiences of black Muslims living in fear and/or discover stories that prioritize mental health care in black America.

These stories deserve as much, if not more, attention than Dolezal, and this is precisely where my personal journalistic priorities lay.

While Dolezal didn’t expect to have her story revealed to the world, she did have control of deciding whether to share the truth herself sooner. She chose against it, ultimately finding comfort in masking her identity for decades and pushed to the verge of misery when it was all uncovered. She has since been fired from her position as the president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, been removed from her job as a professor of African studies, and legally changed her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo (which means “gift from the gods”). And, yes, she still identifies as black. But the struggles Dolezal currently faces is a situation for which she can only blame herself ― and one that may not have escalated as quickly had she been honest from the beginning.

Dolezal has every right to tell her story, write a book and talk about her life experiences, but it does not mean the media or its consumers should amplify her voice or promote her mission to spout what most of us already know, and what many of us no longer care to read or watch. Almost immediately after Dolezal appeared on the NYT on Tuesday, #ActualBlackWomen began trending on Twitter as a way to deliberately overshadow her 30-minute feature by highlighting the books real black women have written.

We’ve probably all been guilty of sharing Dolezal’s story, or at least parts of it, at some point ― but we must recognize that it is distracting, counterproductive and unnecessary. Let’s return our focus to more pressing matters affecting marginalized, overlooked and misrepresented communities of color.

Surely, the stories of these black people deserve your attention, too.

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Source: HuffPost Black Voices

Gay Porn Star Is Donating $250 From Every Scene To Gay-Straight Alliances

A gay adult film star is setting an important example of how to be an ally by donating $250 he earns from every sce he shoots to the Gay-Straight Alliance network.

Markie Moore of Next Door Studios made the announcement Saturday morning at The Phoenix Forum, a trade show for adult online entertainment, in Tempe, Arizona. The adult entertainer, who originally hails from Colorado and previously announced his retirement, told the audience that not only had he decided not to retire, but he wanted to donate a portion of his salary from that point forward for queer youth.

“I’ve always felt a calling within myself to help people ― especially those who can’t necessarily help themselves,” Moore told the crowd. “And over the years it’s only gotten stronger, this feeling. And I thought that I had to subtract myself from the adult industry to make this happen. So I took some time to reflect and I realized that this is the very industry that changed my life for the better. Being more confident, comfortable with who I am, comfortable with my sexuality. So I’ve decided not to retire and from this point forward I will be donating $250 from every scene to the GSA network ― the Gay-Straight Alliance network.”

Moore then went on to say that he thinks what LGBTQ people need now more than ever is love and support.

“[The GSA is] a charity that organizes clubs within middles schools and high schools for LGBTQ youth, giving them a safe place to learn, a comfortable place to socialize and avoid that hate ― and just to grow,” he continued. “I believe we just need to love each other. Just be kind.”

Gay-Straight Alliances are important resources for LGBTQ youth in schools, providing support and safe spaces in what may otherwise be hostile environments.

We’d love to see more powerful statements of support for LGBTQ youth like this in the future.

You learn more about Markie Moore below (while the video is PG-13, you may not want to watch it at work in other potentially sensitive environments).

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Source: HuffPost Black Voices

New Netflix Film Shows A 'Real Representation' Of America's Housing Projects

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In his film, “Imperial Dreams,” director Malik Vitthal attempted to accurately show America’s housing projects. 

Starring John Boyega, Rotimi, Glenn Plummer, and Keke Palmer, the Netflix original film chronicles a reformed gang member’s journey to care for his son and pursue his dreams of becoming a writer after serving a prison sentence. Upon his return to his old neighborhood of South Central, Los Angeles, the young father’s hopes are threatened by the neighborhood’s history of crime and poverty. 

Filmed in Watts’ Imperial Courts Housing Projects, Vitthal says he wanted the film to serve as an authentic depiction of life in America’s projects.

“We just wanted to give people a slice of life of what it would be like to live in the projects for a few days,” the director explained in an exclusive Netflix clip provided to HuffPost. “To kind of go through those same struggles and obstacles of not having as much access. We just wanted to touch people with an experience. That was our main goal.”

Despite receiving community support from local residents, Vitthal added that filming in the housing complex was nearly derailed by Los Angeles’ housing authority.  

“There was a certain point where the housing authority wanted to take the location away from us and they wanted us to shoot somewhere else because they felt like we put the housing community in a bad light,” he said. “All the people in the community kind of stepped up on our behalf and petitioned to get the project’s location back for us so that we could shoot there.”

For local residents of Imperial Courts, it was important to highlight their community accurately. 

“They were more saying, ‘look this story needs to be told,’” Vitthal said. “They wanted a real representation of their lives on the screens. So it was definitely a community project in that way.”

“Imperial Dreams” is now available on Netflix. Check out more of Malik Vitthal’s exclusive interview in the clip above.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Source: HuffPost Black Voices

Two Black Women Just Sued Fox News For Racial Discrimination

On Tuesday, Fox News was hit with a racial discrimination lawsuit from two black female employees who are accusing a white executive of racial harassment and the network of ignoring their complaints. 

Tichaona Brown, a payroll manager, and Tabrese Wright, a payroll coordinator, claim they faced “top-down racial harassment” from comptroller Judith Slater that led to a workplace environment of “severe and pervasive discrimination and harassment,” the New York Times reports. 

The lawsuit, filed against Slater, Fox News and 21st Century Fox in State Supreme Court Tuesday night in the Bronx, lists multiple instances of alleged racism. Slater is accused of “suggesting black men were ‘women beaters’ and that black people wanted to physically harm white people,” claiming black employees mispronounced certain words, mocking the Black Lives Matter movement, making comments about Wright’s hair and credit score, asking Wright if her three children were “fathered by the same man” and calling their majority-black department “urban” or “Southern.” 

Slater, who worked at Fox News for 19 years, was fired on Feb. 28. The Wrap was the first to report the firing last week, which occurred following an internal investigation into allegations Slater engaged in a pattern of racist behavior. 

“We take any complaint of this nature very seriously and took the appropriate action in investigating and firing Ms. Slater within two weeks of this being brought to our attention. There is no place for abhorrent behavior like this at Fox News,” a spokesperson told The Wrap at the time. 

While the lawsuit states Brown was fired, a spokesperson told The Huffington Post that Brown is still employed by Fox News. Wright was moved to another sector of finance/accounting. 

“We take complaints of this nature very seriously and took prompt and effective remedial action before Ms. Brown and Ms. Wright sued in court and even before Ms. Wright complained through her lawyer,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement to The Huffington Post. “There is no place for inappropriate verbal remarks like this at Fox News. We are disappointed that this needless litigation has been filed.” 

News of the lawsuit comes after Fox’s Bill O’Reilly mocked Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Ca.) for her hair during a segment on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday. Black women took to Twitter to call out O’Reilly and share their own stories of mistreatment in the workplace with the hashtag #BlackWomenAtWork. O’Reilly later apologized

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Source: HuffPost Black Voices