Monday Open Thread | Music That Makes You Think Week

Music entertains..

Sometimes, it makes you think.

“Strange Fruit” is a song performed most famously by Billie Holiday, who first sang and recorded it in 1939. Written by teacher Abel Meeropol as a poem and published in 1937, it protested American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans. Such lynchings had reached a peak in the South at the turn of the century, but continued there and in other regions of the United States.[2][3] Meeropol set it to music and, with his wife and the singer Laura Duncan, performed it as a protest song in New York venues in the late 1930s, including Madison Square Garden.

The song continues to be covered by numerous artists, as well as inspiring novels, other poems and other creative works. In 1978, Holiday’s version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[4] It was also included in the list of Songs of the Century, by the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Poem and song[edit]

“Strange Fruit” originated as a poem written by American writer, teacher and songwriter Abel Meeropol under his pseudonym Lewis Allan, as a protest against lynchings.[6][7] In the poem, Meeropol expressed his horror at lynchings, inspired by Lawrence Beitler’s photograph of the 1930 lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana.[7] He published the poem under the title “Bitter Fruit” in 1937 in The New York Teacher, a union magazine.[8] Though Meeropol had asked others (notably Earl Robinson) to set his poems to music, he set “Strange Fruit” to music himself. His protest song gained a certain success in and around New York. Meeropol, his wife, and black vocalist Laura Duncan performed it at Madison Square Garden.[9]

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69 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Music That Makes You Think Week

  1. Which one of you will check her ass, Rikyrah Ametia? Will y’all put up a thread on this?

    Hillary to #BlackLivesMatter: If that is your position, I’ll talk only to white ppl abt how we’re going to deal with the very real problems.

    • Liza says:

      Whoa. Check out Hillary’s body language in this video. It looked like she was going to poke that guy in the chest. And, yeah, let’s have a quick three minute meeting on this subject which happens to be a national crisis. Notice how the BLM folks are barely allowed to speak while she immediately takes over and tells them what SHE thinks, which is obviously all that matters to her.

      I’ve NEVER liked Hillary, not for a nanosecond, but I didn’t know I could actually dislike her more than I already do. I will NEVER vote for her.

  2. rikyrah says:

    glad you’re enjoying it, POTUS

  3. Must be the DA or Sheriff trolling Twitter to see what folks are saying. They should be arresting Brian Encinia!

  4. rikyrah says:



    Could black people in the U.S. qualify as refugees?

    By Raha Jorjani August 14Raha Jorjani is an immigration defense lawyer with the Office of the Alameda County Public Defender. She has also served as a professor at UC Davis Law.

    Suppose a client walked into my office and told me that police officers in his country had choked a man to death over a petty crime. Suppose he said police fatally shot another man in the back as he ran away. That they arrested a woman during a traffic stop and placed her in jail, where she died three days later. That a 12-year-old boy in his country was shot and killed by the police as he played in the park.

    Suppose he told me that all of those victims were from the same ethnic community — a community whose members fear being harmed, tortured or killed by police or prison guards. And that this is true in cities and towns across his nation. At that point, as an immigration lawyer, I’d tell him he had a strong claim for asylum protection under U.S. law.

    What if, next, he told me he was from America? Black people in the United States face such racial violence that they could qualify as refugees if they lived in this country.

    Over the past decade, I’ve represented and advised hundreds of noncitizens facing deportation. Many feared persecution in their home countries and sought protection in the United States. To win them asylum status and the right to stay, I showed that my clients had a well-founded fear of future persecution by the government or by groups that the government was unable or unwilling to control. In one case, I successfully argued that if my client returned to his home country, he could be unjustly imprisoned and physically harmed on the basis of his religious beliefs. Black Americans know the risk of unjust imprisonment and physical harm all too well.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Cole is right about this.


    You Break It, You Buy It

    Posted by John Cole at 5:36 pm

    Aug 17, 2015


    Here’s the question that every wavering Democrat and every Republican: “If you choose to reject the deal and go against the rest of the world, how much will you raise taxes and how many kids from your district are you willing to sacrifice to go to war with Iran at the behest of AIPAC, the Likud party, Netanyahu?”

    One estimate (on the low side, IMHO) suggests 15,000 American deaths and 90,000 seriously injured. So what’s that, 35 dead per district? How many trillions will the VA need to service all these seriously wounded. That’s a pretty big bill in both blood and gold. So how ’bout it, Senator Schumer? How much are you willing to raise taxes to pay for this? What High School senior class of kids are you willing to look in the eye and say “Sorry, but three dozen of you need to die.”

  6. Ametia says:

    Check out this comment from the video

    Moe Edwards 4 hours ago
    Trump 2016!!! He will save this county from doom. He next victim after Marco Rubio, a corporate shill who should not even be in this country, will be Ted Cruz, a guy who was NOT BORN IN THE USA!! I’ll never vote for someone born in another country with the last name Cruz!! and Dr. Carson, don’t get me started. I pray Donald will send him away to where he belongs. Make america great again and get rid of all the immigrants.

    Make America a WHITES ONLY COUNTRY!

    • rikyrah says:

      uh huh

      uh huh

      • Ametia says:

        Do these fuckers, including Trump realize who BUILT AMERICA & helped make it GREAT? SLAVES & IMMIGRANTS.

        They have been skating by on whiteness and superiority, when in reality, they have been getting away with mediocrity, instead of meritocracy,

  7. Ametia says:

    SG2, check email please. Thanks!

    • Ametia says:

      LOL This is BULLSHIT.

      Some ‘whites’ don’t want most of the jobs that immigrants, especially south-of-the-border immigrants do. GTFOH

  8. You’d think the GOP would have learned from the 08 debacle w/ Palin but no, they’ve doubled down. No more dog whistles, it’s in your face racism!

  9. See how they are, folks? They will try to erase your work and take the credit while you’re watching.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Investigations turn up no Planned Parenthood wrongdoing
    08/17/15 11:20 AM
    By Steve Benen

    In light of the recent controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood, quite a few states launched their own investigations into whether the health care organization is honoring relevant laws. The Huffington Post reported Friday that the group passed its tests with flying colors: every state that investigated “found area Planned Parenthood affiliates to be in full compliance with state laws and regulations.”
    The Planned Parenthood Federation of America stressed Friday that multiple investigations into its state affiliates have fallen flat, as the reproductive health organization battles allegations that it has illegally profited from fetal tissue donations for research. […]

    “In every state where these investigations have concluded, officials have cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement Friday. “We’ve said all along that Planned Parenthood follows all laws and has very high medical standards, and that’s what every one of these investigations has found. This campaign by anti-abortion extremists is nothing less than a fraud, intended to deceive the public with patently false claims in order to pursue an extreme political agenda.”
    The list of states includes Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, and South Dakota, with each investigation turning up bupkis. Additional probes are reportedly underway in Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas, though if recent history is any guide, the organization will likely fare well in these states, too.

    All of this should matter, of course, especially with Republican presidential candidates accusing Planned Parenthood of unspecified crimes. But will it make a practical difference?

  11. rikyrah says:

    Kasich would reject 10-to-1 budget deal
    08/17/15 10:01 AM—UPDATED 08/17/15 10:27 AM
    By Steve Benen
    It was four years ago last week when the eight Republican presidential candidates participated in a debate and were asked an important question: Fox’s Bret Baier asked the Republican field whether the candidates would accept a debt-reduction deal in which they received $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases.

    Not one of the candidates raised their hand – a reaction that drew raucous applause from the GOP audience in attendance. It was a striking display, highlighting Republican hostility to compromise, even when a proposed deal is stacked ridiculously in their favor.

    The whole incident, lasting only about 26 seconds, quickly became emblematic of GOP radicalism and inflexibility. Anyone who’s the least bit curious about why constructive, bipartisan policymaking is impossible need only watch the clip.

    Four years later, Jeb Bush, who used to support a 10-to-1 deal in Republicans’ favor, has since changed his mind and would reject such an offer. On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” host John Dickerson asked Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) yesterday whether he’d take the same deal.
    DICKERSON: So, you balanced the budget the last time it was balanced in Washington. You say you want to bring folks together. In the last campaign, all the Republican candidates were asked a question. And they were asked, would you accept $1 in tax increases for $10 in spending reductions? And not a single Republican said they would take that deal. Democrats say they want some kind of tax increases. Would you take that deal?

    KASICH: John, I wouldn’t at this point, because when we were in our fighting with the Clinton administration and actually went through a government shutdown, we cut taxes, which allowed economy to grow…. What we learn is that, no, no, if the government takes more, they will spend it.
    It’s almost amusing how wrong this is.

    First, Dickerson’s question itself was arguably a little too generous. Kasich, of course, didn’t balance the budget. In 1993, then-President Clinton signed his economic package into law, and a young Ohio congressman named John Kasich proclaimed, “This plan will not work. If it was to work, then I’d have to become a Democrat.”

  12. So Trump is going to deport American citizens & the media says ‘OK, Oh Trump has rolled out his immigration plan’. What in the living fuck?

    • rikyrah says:

      what’s the difference between Trump and the rest of the field. The question I want asked of the rest of the Clown Car – where do you agree and disagree with Trump?

  13. rikyrah says:

    The Cast Of ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Explain That Really Racist Casting Call

    We caught up with the cast of Straight Outta Compton during their NYC promo tour and picked their brains about the racist casting call that left Black women offended.

    Posted 3 days ago.

    When the casting call for female leads in the highly anticipated Straight Outta Compton film hit the Internet, it reiterated Hollywood’s “type.”

    The posting, broken down into categories: A Girls, B Girls, C Girls and D Girls, described “A Girls” as: “Models. MUST have real hair – no extensions, very classy looking, great bodies. You can be black, white, asian, hispanic, mid eastern, or mixed race too.”

    And “D Girls,” the apparent lowest of the low, as: “These are African American girls. Poor, not in good shape. Medium to dark skin tone.”

    The posting generated controversy around the film and offensive Hollywood standards. With the film, in theaters today, the the cast — O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell — broke down where the casting agency went wrong.

    Watch their explanation, above.

  14. Ametia says:

    I’m not trying to hear how “Straight Outta Compton’s a thug movie, when that American Sniper got hyped for WHAT now?! GTFOH

  15. Ametia says:
  16. rikyrah says:

    Jeb Bush on foreign policy: his brother’s keeper
    08/17/15 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen
    When Jeb Bush’s national campaign was in its earliest stages, the former governor and his team were well aware of the challenges associated with running as the brother of a failed, recent president. The task at hand was simple: come up with a way to carry the burden effectively.

    Earlier this year, the preferred solution was a clumsy form of denial. Asked in February about some of former President George W. Bush’s catastrophic decisions, Jeb Bush declared, “I won’t talk about the past.” Two months later, the Florida Republican was asked whether his brother made any mistakes at all in the area of foreign policy. “I’m not going to get into that,” he replied.

    It seemed like an unsustainable posture, and it was. Team Jeb needed a less-evasive, more-substantive strategy, which apparently meant throwing the “I am my own man” mantra out the window.

    Last week, for example, the former governor tried – and failed – to blame the Iraq disaster on the Obama administration, as if his brother wasn’t responsible for one of the most costly foreign-policy calamities in American history. Since then, as MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin helped document, Jeb’s only made matters worse.
    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said that his brother’s successful overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein “turned out to be a pretty good deal” on Thursday while speaking at the APPS National Security Forum in Davenport, Iowa.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Trump eyes mass deportations for millions
    08/17/15 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen
    It was just a couple of weeks ago when Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump first raised the prospect of mass deportations for millions of immigrants already in the United States. The GOP candidate quickly joined what the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent calls the “Cattle Car Caucus.”

    At the time, Trump made no effort to explain how, exactly, he intends to identify, detain, and deport roughly 11 million people, or how he intends to pay for such a massive undertaking. “Politicians aren’t going to find them because they have no clue,” Trump said. “We will find them, we will get them out.”

    As MSNBC’s Anna Brand noted, Trump is now going into a little more detail on the issue that’s helped propel him to the front of the Republican pack.
    Donald Trump on Sunday released his detailed immigration reform plan, encompassing the sentiment he expressed in an interview on “Meet the Press” that aired just an hour earlier: Undocumented immigrants “have to go.”
    Watching the interview yesterday, the exchange pointed to an apparent contradiction. “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked the GOP candidate, “You’re going to split up families. You’re going to deport children?”

    “No, no,” Trump responded. “We’re going to keep the families together. We have to keep the families together.”

    Todd followed up, “But you’re going to kick them out?” To which Trump replied, simply, “They have to go.”

    If this seems like a policy mess, there’s a good reason for that. There are many undocumented immigrants, for example, whose children are American citizens, born in the United States. Deporting every immigrant who entered the country illegally, in practical terms, would mean separating parents from their own children.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Blacks own just 10 U.S. television stations. Here’s why.

    Consolidation and historic discrimination are pushing minority owners out.

    This month, a federal district court judge in California threw out media entrepreneur Byron Allen’s $20 billion lawsuit against Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The suit accused the cable giants of discriminating against black-owned media companies by creating and reserving just “a few spaces” for their channels at “the back of the bus.” A judge disagreed, dismissing the 71-page lawsuit in a snappy three-page decision.

    But just because this particular case fell flat doesn’t mean minority exclusion from broadcast and cable ownership isn’t a problem. It is – a big one.

    Minority owners are burdened by the legacy of racism. When the U.S. government first started giving away our airwaves in the 1930s, they were distributed exclusively to white, male owners. It mostly stayed this way until the 1970s, when the FCC tried to remedy the problem by implementing a “Minority Ownership Policy.” The measure offered tax incentives to people seeking to sell stations to minority owners.

    The policy worked. Within two years of its passage, the country went from one black-owned television station to 10. Over its total 17 year existence, minority ownership increased five-fold. But it was struck down by the newly-elected Republican Congress in 1995 and since then, its success has been mostly undone. In 2013, minorities owned just 6 percent of commercial television stations in the country, 6 percent of FM stations and 11 percent of AM stations.

    With a few notable exceptions (the cable network Black Entertainment Television launched in 1980 and TV One followed in 1995), African American ownership remains particularly low, hovering at less than one percent of all television properties, and less than 2 percent of radio. Last year in fact, just two television stations were owned by black owners. (That number is up to about 10 today).

    Media consolidation is at the heart of the problem. Clear Channel, for example, famously wiped out small and minority radio station owners with its buying spree, which allowed the company to snatch up as many as seven stations in a single market. According to Lauren M. Wilson, policy counsel at Free Press, a media watchdog organization, minority ownership decreases as markets become more concentrated. The proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner cable earlier this year was struck down by the FCC for just that reason.

  19. Good morning ladies. I always though Billi Holiday wrote Strange Fruit. thanks for that clarification.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Weekend B.O. Aug 14-16 (‘Straight Outta Compton’ Is One for the History Books)

    Shadow and Act

    What did I tell you? But did anyone believe me? Maybe one or two did, but some of you thought I had lost my cotton-picking mind.

    I’m referring to my prediction two weeks ago when I said that F. Gary Gray’s “the-making-of-NWA” movie “Straight Outta Compton” would gross $40 million in its opening weekend.

    Judging from the comments I got, there were those who thought that amount was highly doubtful, and that the film would gross half that much, if it all. You just didn’t see what interest there would be for the film. Well, I saw it, and it was HUGE. People were even texting and posting pictures on their Facebook pages of the tickets for the movie that they bought in advance. How often does that happen for any film?

    Well, it seems that I underestimated what the film would do,as it turns out that “Compton” grossed an astounding $56 million this weekend. Furthermore, not only will it go past the $100 million domestic gross I predicted, but with that huge opening, even bigger than “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation,” that means “Compton” has achieved something that has never been done before.

    That $56 million makes it the biggest opening ever for any film with a black cast and a black director, and it’s set to become the biggest grossing black cast/black director film as well. It’s the perfect triangulation of the right film at the right time for the right audience.

  21. rikyrah says:

    seems as if they brought down the house.


    ‘Empire’ Stars Jussie Smollett, Yazz the Greatest Bring The House Down at Teen Choice Awards

    Jussie Smollett and Bryshere “Yazz the Greatest” Gray, two of the breakout stars of the hit Fox show “Empire,” took the stage by storm at Sunday’s Teen Choice Awards.

    The pair performed “You’re So Beautiful,” a song from the show that holds special significance for Smollett’s character, Jamal Lyon. It is the song he performs when he announces to the world that he is gay in the episode “The Lyon’s Roar.”

    Smollett led things off, performing the original lyrics to the song made famous on the show. He then called Yazz to the stage, who dropped a fresh lyric, much to the delight of the crowd.

    Smollett and Yazz were originally only backed up by a troupe of dancers clad in white, but were joined onstage about midway through the performance by their co-star Gabourey Sidibe. Sidibe did not sing, but joined in on the dance routine. She plays Lucious Lyon’s assistant Becky on the show. She was also nominated for an Academy Award in 2010 for her performance in “Precious.”

  22. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  23. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone. :-)

    Music is poetry in motion for SOUL.

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