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Rapper Common Includes Sexual Orientation In Oscar Acceptance Speech on the Legacy of Selma: VIDEO


Musician John Legend and rapper Common gave a moving award acceptance speech at the Oscars, with Common saying that the bridge Martin Luther King Jr. crossed on his march from Selma to Montgomery is no longer just a symbol for the Civil Rights Movement, but is now a symbol for any discrimination based on "race, gender, sexual orientation and social status," reports Billboard.

The duo’s song Glory, featured in Selma, won the Oscar for best original song. Common went on to say the symbol of the bridge connects people around the world, from those fighting for freedom of expression in France to those fighting for Democracy in China. Legend also took the opportunity to touch on incarceration rates among black men in his speech.

Said Legend:

"Nina Simone said it's an artist’s duty to reflect the times we're in. Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than there were in slavery in 1850."

Cameras panned to David Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, during Common's acceptance speech with visible tears in his eyes. Fellow co-star and Selma producer Oprah Winfrey, seated next to Oyelowo, was also shown filled with emotion. Watch Common give his touching speech AFTER THE JUMP

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Attorney General Eric Holder 'Shares Concern' About Zimmerman Case, MLK Image Goes Viral: VIDEO


In a speech given today in Washington, D.C. to a gathering of the predominantly African-American sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke out about the George Zimmerman case for the first time since Zimmerman was acquitted on all charges:

“The Deltas are deeply and rightly concerned about this case. The Justice Department shares your concern. I share your concern. And as we first acknowledged last spring we have opened an investigation into this matter. Independent of the legal determination that will be made I believe that this tragedy provides yet another opportunity for our nation to speak honestly about the complicated and emotionally charged issues that this case has raised. We must not, as we have too often in the past, let this opportunity pass.”

The Washington Post reports that Holder will speak about the Zimmerman case in further detail tomorrow when he addresses the NAACP in Florida. 

In his statement, Holder also pledged, "We are determined to meet division and confusion with understanding and compassion — and also with truth."

MLK Over the weekend, an image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a black hoodie, created by concept artist and Disney imagineer Nikkolas Smith back in 2011 in the wake of Trayvon Martin's shooting, went viral after former Obama administration adviser and soon-to-be co-host of CNN's re-vamped political debate show Crossfire, Van Jones, re-introduced the image into circulation on Twitter, asking others to re-tweet and share the image. Rapper Common also shared a version of the image on Facebook and it quickly began to trend on Instagram under the hashtag, "MLK."

As BuzzFeed notes:

"[Smith] titled the image April 4, 1968, the date MLK Jr. was killed, and coincidentally, also Smith’s birthday. One of his captions for the image is 'Suspect or Saint?'

'I write that because you don’t know who these people are,' he says. 'You don’t know if you shot the next Martin Luther King.'"

Watch a short clip of Holder's speech AFTER THE JUMP...

(image: Nikkolas Smith via Facebok)

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Watch: Jon Stewart Trounces Bill O'Reilly in Debate


Jon Stewart last night took up Bill O'Reilly's invitation to debate the invitation of rapper Common to the White House and charged FOX News with being a "selective outrage machine".

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Watch: Jon Stewart Rips FOX News Hypocrisy in Rap Segment Response to Common 'Controversy'


In a reaction to FOX News channel's outrage over the invitation to rapper Common to read poetry at the White House, Jon Stewart takes on the network's hypocrisy in a spoken word segment that manages to rhyme "mistrust" with "Greta Van Sust"!

Watch another genius segment from Stewart, AFTER THE JUMP...

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News: Gin, Uganda, Channing Tatum, Torture, Nevada, Tony Kushner

 roadNew Jersey poll finds 49% of voters support marriage equality, 43% oppose.

 roadTwo upstate New York papers write editorials in support of marriage equality.

Tatum  roadChanning Tatum is a lover not a fighter.

 roadIs this what's meant by getting ginned up?

 roadCondoleezza Rice approved waterboarding and then lied to Senate Armed Services Committee about it: "Last fall, Rice acknowledged to the Senate Armed Services Committee only that she had attended meetings where the CIA interrogation request was discussed and asked for the attorney general to conduct a legal review. She said she did not recall details. Rice omitted her direct role in approving the program in her written statement to the committee."

 roadLindsay Lohan talks to Ellen DeGeneres about Samantha Ronson...and Anne Heche.

 roadCity of Rochester makes offer to residents suing the city over police gay bashing incident: "In an April 7 correspondence, city municipal attorney Matthew Brown noted that 'the city has made an offer to plaintiffs' in the federal civil case. Attorney Christina Agola, who represents the five who sued the city and police officers, also acknowledged Wednesday that 'we are engaged in talks...We haven't reached an ultimate decision,' she said."

 roadBeyoncé lets it rip.

Ugandapaper  roadUganda paper outs homosexuals.

 roadNYT on the Maine marriage hearings: "The future of the bill, which has more than 60 sponsors, is uncertain. Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, had opposed same-sex marriage, but now says he is keeping his options open. The Legislature, where Democrats control both houses, can pass or reject the measure, or send it to the voters for a referendum. If the Legislature passes the bill, citizens can collect enough signatures to place a people’s veto of the legislation on the November ballot."

Lucas  roadMichael Musto's sit-down interview with porn producer Michael Lucas.

 roadLongtime owner of Philadelphia gay bar Uncles, Mort Wernik, dies at 73.

 roadNevada Senate passes domestic partnerships, may face veto from governor: "On a 12-9 vote Tuesday night, the state Senate passed a bill to allow domestic partners, gay and straight, most of the same rights as married couples."

 roadMinneapolis' Guthrie Theatre delays premiere of Tony Kushner play by a week: "The show — 'The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures' — was scheduled to begin previews on May 9 and open on May 15. But the Guthrie says after discussions among Kushner, director Michael Greif and Guthrie director Joe Dowling, it was decided to delay the opening to give the actors more time on stage."

Correction: The press release we linked to earlier in this post that that appeared to be from a national gay organization on torture has been revealed to be a fake.

Common Says He's Over Homophobic Lyrics

Meant to post this earlier in the week. As noted by Contact Music, which never references where they find their quotes, rap star Common has said he's made an effort to rid his music of homophobic lyrics:

Common"The singer admits he didn't realise his words were upsetting fans until he was approached by two devotees after a concert. He says, 'They was like, 'Why you keep disrespecting homosexuality?' I thought about it. I ain't here to judge 'em, so I just decided not to approach it like that.' Common has also censored the word 'n**ger' in his songs after apologising to TV host Oprah Winfrey for using the derogatory term. He adds, 'I took out some words on my (new) album after that, because I wanted to show a step for myself toward improving on certain things.'"


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