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STOP IT! Dylann Roof Ain’t Crazy! HE’S A MONSTER!

By now I’m sure all of you have heard about the massacre of the 9 black church goers at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, by the hands of #DylannRoof. I don’t know how you felt when you heard about this tragedy, but when I heard about it I screamed and dropped to my knees in total pain and disbelief!! My body failed to produce energy!! It felt like my heart stopped pumping! My eyes became cloudy with blinding tears! My brain had a hard time unscrambling the meaning of this message of pure hate!! I could not write one single word!! Just the thought of turning on my laptop and banging my fingers across the keys, to rehash what had happened on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, was making my #BrainBleed!! Until now!!

Dylann Roof shot and killed #SharondaColemanSingleton,#SusieJackson #ReverendClementaPinckney, #CynthiaHurd, #TywanzaSanders, #MyraThompson, #EthelLeeLance, #ReverendDanielLSimmons and #ReverendDepayneMiddletonDoctor at #EmanuelAMEChurch, as he screamed, “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” It’s obvious that this 21 year old “THUG,” came from a #SkinHead household!! Hatred this deep doesn’t only come from outside forces; you’re indoctrinated in it!! First of all, Dylann has been misinformed!! He has clearly been reading from the #KluKluxKlan book of American History because he got his facts very twisted!! Dylan, your forefathers, who were racist white slave masters, RAPED OUR WOMEN!! Dylan, your racist white forefathers came to America and stole this country from the Native Americans!! This is their country!! NOT YOURS!! Your ancestors were immigrants!!

Unfortunately this is not the first time that black churches have been targeted in this country but I hope it’s the last!! “Any death of this sort is a tragedy; any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy,” President Obama said at the White House. “There is something particularly heartbreaking about a death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace, in a place of worship.” I couldn’t agree more!! And anybody who feels that #PresidentObama spoke on this massacre for political reasons IS A RACIST!! He is at the end of his term and has absolutely nothing to prove politically, so to accuse him of doing that, is disrespectful and along the same lines of racist criticism that he’s had to face during his presidency. Racist white people, try to twist this if you’d like, but it’s not gonna work!! Anybody with any ounce of compassion would feel empathy for the families of the slain victims and #PresidentBarakObama is no different!! Oh, by the way, please let’s not forget, HE IS A BLACK MAN!! BOOM!!

This tragedy struck close to home because I knew Reverend Clementa Pinckney personally. She’s from my hometown of Newark, New Jersey and we both attended Vailsburg High School. When I saw her picture I was in disbelief. I had vivid nightmares about it. The shock is still very real and very raw. I do hope her family is ok as I wish for all of the victim’s families.


Once Roof got arrested, I could breath a little easier. However, I found it very interesting that this #beast got arrested without incident, but cops make it their business to gun down unarmed black men in the streets, like #WalterLScott, for doing absolutely nothing and choke black men like #EricGardner to death, for standing on a corner. Yeah, this is sending a clear message to the black community, that only white lives matter; not black lives. Let me make it real clear before some racist white people get pissed!! NO, I don’t want to see anybody killed for any reason!! Especially by the police, unless it’s absolutely necessary!! So arresting Dylan Roof was exactly what the police should have done. They were doing their job!! And that’s the same treatment we want when these robo cops are policing our communities!!


Everybody knows, when the racist white media is covering black crime, they call us “monsters!” They say we are “wilding!” They call us, “thugs,” which is particularly disturbing and disrespectful to my community; but not surprising. However, when they cover crimes committed by whites, like the Dylann Roof massacre, it makes me sick to my stomach that many racist white media outlets are reporting the story with built in excuses like, “He grew up in a fractured home,” for why he walked in a church and blew away 9 innocent black people from ages 26 to 87, during his act of terrorism. Hell, millions of us grow up in fractured homes and we don’t go around murdering people. I’ve heard, “It was an attack on Christianity;” REALLY?? Well #ThePope is a Christian and Dylann didn’t plan for 6 months to make a trek to the #Vatican, to murder him and his parishioners. They even had the nerve to refer to him as a “child,” “kid,” “innocent confused loner,” “gentleman,” “young man,” and the most famous label, “mentally ill.” THESE LABELS ARE LAUGHABLE!! STOP IT Racist White Media!! Just STOP IT!! Stop the games!! Stop trying to use soft verbiage to describe this murderer Dylann Roof, in order to lesson the blow of his act of terrorism!! NO!! He Ain’t Crazy! HE’S A MONSTER!! Just so that y’all know, in my not so distant past, I was a sales rep. for Phizer Pharmaceuticals and I sold a drug for mental illness called #Zoloft, so I’m very well versed on the topic of mental illness and the fact of the matter is, MOST PEOPLE WHO ARE MENTALLY ILL, DON’T GO AROUND SHOOTING UP AND MURDERING PEOPLE!! Now that the myth has been dispelled, let’s call it what it is, AN ACT OF PURE EVIL AND HATRED TOWARD BLACKS!! Dylann committed a hate crime!! #ThatsItAndThatsAll!!

Dylann’s friend #JoeyMeek even said he told him on many occasions that he hated black people and wanted to provoke a race war. This monster is filled with pure hatred and evil because he was taught to be that way from birth!! Listen, I have and have had, relationships with a lot of white people both young and old and of the few who don’t like blacks, they don’t go around killing us. You can dislike someone and stay in your lane!! But when you cross the line into pure hate, it’s a #DISASTER!! And it didn’t help for him to grow up in a place where the Confederate Flag flies high and proud from the grounds of the state’s capital and where the streets are named after Confederate Generals. This kind of ignorance permeates through the culture in South Carolina, while hiding in plain sight!! All of that, coupled with the fact that this “thug” is a criminal and a junkie, made him ripe for his rein of terror!!


I was pleased to see that on June 19, 2015, Dylann’s bond hearing was held quickly and not delayed. This monster was charged with 9 counts of murder and 1 count of possession of a weapon. The judge was only able to set his bond for the weapons charge and he set it at one million dollars. PRICELESS!! I know the judge was trying to be understanding but I’m sorry, I didn’t want to hear him say, in the same breath, that there are victims on both sides. I get it, but somehow, I’m feeling it’s too soon to take the focus off of the 9 victims. That’s that “share share that’s fair” “ish” I don’t like. We haven’t even heard from Dylan’s family yet. Where are they?? Since I feel that they are partly responsible for their sons thinking and subsequent actions, I’ll reserve including them in the victims category until they come forward.

I gotta tellya, it’s nice that the families of the victims are forgiving but I’m sorry, I’M NOT!! I don’t just give away my forgiveness all nilly willy like government cheese!! PEOPLE MUST EARN MY FORGIVENESS!! And this beast hasn’t earned anything yet but a jail cell with a needle in his arm!! The good news is, his first appearance court date will be October 23, 2015 and his second appearance court date is February 15, 2016. They better move very swiftly for Dylann to be convicted and sentenced to death!! I’m looking forward to this beast being on death row!!


That’s the million dollar question, with a million possible answers. I’ll probably be dead long before it gets better, but I do believe ending racism is possible. So I will start by saying, if all people, including whites, don’t understand and AGREE, that #BlackLivesMatter, then the road to ending racism will be an uphill battle. If the government doesn’t step in and legislate police brutality in the black community, then they’re just talking the talk!! Not walking the walk!! If black people don’t stop killing each other, then white folks will continue to point the finger of blame at us for the violence in our communities, as a diversion from placing blame where it belongs, on #RACISM!!

Of course thankfully, all whites aren’t racists!! Many many many many white people have been, and continue to be on the front lines, fighting against racism and racial inequality. I felt the need to say that on the record, in the event some idiot tries to take what I’m saying out of context!! However, if you are mad that I used the phrase “racist whites” in this post, you just told on yourself!! As the saying goes, “if the shoe fits, wear it! If it don’t apply let it fly!!”

Welp, “You have entered MY WORLD!! Where I tell it MY WAY!!”

Image/s via Rawstory.com/Nydailynews.com


They're Gonna Revoke My Black Card For This One

I became aware of this video because it was posted on #MediaTakeOut.coms #Facebook page and it created a huge firestorm!! A lot of black people were severely angered by the child's behavior. And RIGHTFULLY SO!! Yes, I know that the little white boy called the black man a "nigger." YES, it’s absolutely WRONG that the little white boy called the black man a "nigger." However, NO, the little white boy IS NOT a RACIST!!  People should be ashamed of themselves for calling that child a racist!! Have we all lost our minds?? We are at a place in our society where we are now calling children racists?? He was RUDE YES!! But no, I don't agree that he is a #racist!!  He is a child!! Children don’t have power, so they can’t be racists!! However, what DISTURBS ME MORE about this video is that this strange, creepy man, is in the park, video taping this child whom he doesn’t know, saying the word "nigger," then putting it up on the #internet; all without his parents permission?? REALLY??

Ok, can we #blacks PLEASE NOT get emotional here about the child using the word "nigger;" JUST for a moment and get right down to the real issue?? This man should be arrested for child endangerment!! He provoked this boy to call him a "nigger" over and over and over again, video taped him doing it and posted it on the internet?? This man’s behavior borders on #harassment and #bullying!! Think about it!!?? Is what he did right?? Is that even legal?? The video went viral!! Now this child could be getting death threats!! He could be getting exposed to sexual predators!! His image saying the word "nigger" at the tender age of whatever, will live online forever and could potentially prevent him from getting jobs when he becomes an adult!! This black man had no business doing this PERIOD!!

In a #Facebook battle, the question was raised, where is the boy’s parents?? Good question!! But I’m not trying to answer that here or now. The bottom line is, this man is a miscreant!! This man is a psychopath!! This man is very very very disturbed!! Because if he weren’t, he would have tried to find the child’s parents!! Or instead of video taping the innocent child calling him a "nigger," his time would have been best spent maybe shooting the little boy identifying himself and who his parents are and posting that video online, as a way to help his parents locate him!! Another way to go was for him not to give a #cluck what some little strange kid in the park says and focus on playing with his two daughters; who he’s CLEARLY ignoring, while he’s busy video taping this child calling him a "nigger."

Yes, the word "nigger" is inflammatory!! I really do get that!! TRUST ME!! I have been called a "nigger" by whites more than I want to admit!! And HELL NO, I didn’t like it!!  But really??  What grown person gets caught up in what kids say?? NARCISSISTS!! Children are taught bad behavior by observing adults!! Any reasonable adult knows that!! And those who don’t, need a #couch!! Does this race debate have us so #clucked up that we’ve lost our perspective on accountability and responsibility?? This man, DRAGGING an innocent child into his grown folk mess, as a pawn in his sick game, just to validate his point, is a natural #DISASTER!! Black people, you might as well revoke my black card today because I'm sorry, I can't ride with y’all on this one!! I DONT CARE WHAT THE BOY SAID!! Parent’s, all parent’s, regardless of #race, tell me, would you be ok with a stranger videotaping your child and putting their image on the internet unbeknownst to you??


Moor To The Story

Everybody who knows me knows I love plays!! Musicals, not so much. Just straight plays. So whenever I get invited to review a play I’m in heaven; especially if it turns out to be good. Well, I went to see The American Moor, written and performed by Keith Hamilton Cobb and it was GREAT!! For starters, I was already a fan of Keith’s. Y’all remember him, he’s widely recognized for his roles as ‘Noah Keefer’ on ABC's All My Children, ‘Tyr Anasazi’ on Gene Rodenberry's Andromeda, and ‘Quincy Abrams’ for the series, Noah's Arc on the Logo Network. The man is just absolutely gorgeous and very well preserved!! However, looks ain’t everything! To keep me engaged, I need to be entertained!! Surprisingly, this play did just that!


The American Moor is the exploration of the American Black Male through the metaphor of Shakespeare’s Othello.  The play is about this American man who is recognized for his blackness before anything else. Shocking!! That’s my sarcasm of course. LOL. As a black person, I am soooo aware of the fact that people see our color before they see us. And I don’t mean our black skin because all African American’s don’t have black skin. I mean, who ‘THEY’ think we are. In #TheAmerican Moor, that issue was tackled in such a fresh and unique way. In 78 minutes, the playtakes us on a journey from the hilarious to the heinous, revealing the literally fleeting moments that a large, black stage actor experiences during an audition before a younger white director for the lead role in William Shakespeare’s, #Othello. It’s an excellent exploration of white culture dictating rules of conduct to a non-white, from an often inadvertent place of privilege. Hmmm, White Privilege?? That’s a new notion!! Again, my sarcasm. LOL.

Anywhoo, Keith Hamilton Cobb killed it!! I mean, he took the audience through a roller coaster of emotions as he was making the effort, during the audition, to knock down the walls of stereotypes that the director had no clue was a part of him. Well, at least not at the start. To see this larger than life black man stand on that stage and cry, and shout, and curse, and talk, and plead, was painful, yet inspiring!! When I looked around the room, many of the black men were crying and clapping and cheering, in their own, subtle, but obvious ways. You saw in their faces, in their bodies, in their stillness, that they connected with the man in the audition. But what was more interested was how the white people began to open up to his pain and struggle as well; which is universal.

Although I had seen the roll of Othello played by actors #LawrenceFishburn, #MekhiPhifer and #EamonnWalker, not until this play did I understand Shakespear’s portrayal of the Moor as misogynistic, narcissistic and abusive. In #TheAmericanMoor, the character was fighting with the director in his audition, to be able to see Othello in the way he sees him and not how he wanted him to be seen. POWERFUL!! This play begs the question, do Black Lives Matter??


The talkback after was equally as riveting!! It took the discussion about race to a whole ‘nother’ level!! Keith Hamilton Cobb, the director Paul Kwame Johnson, the co-star Josh Tyson who played the director Michal Aaron Miller and also joined by Dr. Akil Khalfani, Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Essex County Community College in Newark, NJ, opened up a wonderful dialogue that was welcoming and eye opening!! “The play pushes the idea about accountability and compassion. How we think about the corporate world and this play,” explains Khalfani. “If we can see the African American as not seen, the question becomes how do you become seen?? Can the actor and Othello avoid the stigma of being blackened?? Avoid being invisible??” Those questions really got the audience’s attention and passionate participation; of all races!!

“Brabanziois a metaphor for how black men walk through the world. The only way to over come that is talk. Which is at the crux of the play,” addresses Hamilton. I'm not making a case here for black people being the only people who aren’t seen. I want everybody to connect and feel what they feel. The struggle that the actor is having is not showing the anger and aggression so that you can be heard. Represent something that isn't the stigma. However there are aspects of blackness that I feel pride-full about and I want people to see.”

“The play was beautifully written. It was Shakespearean,” said Johnson. “My job was to help Keith to go from reality so that the arguments could be clear.”  Which is precisely what happened!! It was amazing to observe a white woman from the audience share that she learned how too people get over their fear of the big black man to begin to have the discussion. That's Keith's hope for The American Moor.

Welp, “You have entered MY WORLD!! Where I tell it MY WAY!!” So for #MoorToThisStory, go to see The American Moor, showing until this Sunday, May 10, 2015, At: The Wild Project 195 East 3rd Street New York, NY 10009 Tickets – 212.352.3101 Questions – 212.465.3446 or log onto phoneixtheatreensemble.org/American-Moor. Also check out www.KeithHamiltonCobb.com for more information.



Drum Roll Please…..I’m Going To Tokyoooo!!

Drum roll please!! I’M GOING TO TOKYOOOOOOO!! In my Oprah voice, I’m going to Tokyo, I’m going to Tokyo, I’m going to Tokyo, I’m going to Tokyo!! #LMFBAO!! Yaaaassssss, Lisa Durden is going to Tokyo y’all!! I’m excited to announce that I am one of only four independent producers, selected from around the nation, to receive the Corporation For Public Broadcasting’s highly competitive fellowship grant, to attend this years International Public Television Screening Conference (Input) in Tokyo, Japan, as a non-presenting US delegate from May 11th – May 15th 2015. WOW!! I know right??

What is that ask?? #CPB, the biggest funder of public broadcasting that promotes the growth and development of public media in communities throughout America, launched an extensive submissions process where I was selected as one of four innovators in the field of television production from around the nation, to receive a fellowship, to convene at the #Input conference in Tokyo, Japan; an annual week long television showcase where the rules of broadcasting are challenged and redefined by the delegates. This event is the only international conference that focuses specifically on the innovative programs produced by public as opposed to commercial broadcasters. This is an AMAZING OPPORTUNITY

The International Public Television Screening Conference (Input), was created to promote the exchange of television programs, ideas, and production techniques among broadcasters around the world. As a delegate, the goal is for us to challenge and motivate producers to improve the quality of public service broadcasting worldwide. We will participate in discussion sessions with the presenting filmmakers, to debate production approaches and subject matter in relation to public television's mission. I’m honored to have been selected as one of the four CPB INPUT Fellows for 2015, to participate in this elite “Think Tank,” to engage in the intense scrutiny of craft and dialogue among concerned television professionals on an international level. As a content creator, I’m looking forward to the exchange of program ideas and technologies, which will be invaluable tools to use, as I develop programming and produce stories about my community, for public television on a local and national level.

Now, here’s a little backstory. Advancing my career as a content creator is my ongoing mission!! 2014 was a particularly tough year for me because I was at a crossroads professionally. For some strange reason, I slipped into a lull where I was looking for validation from others for the great work that I’ve done as a producer. THAT WAS A BIG MISTAKE!! Yes, recognition is nice!! BUT IT’S NOT NECESSARY!! As #Oprah says, “what I know for sure” is, DON’T GET ANGRY BECAUSE PEOPLE DON’T SEE YOUR VALUE!! DON’T WASTE TIME WITH THOSE WHO DON’T SEE YOUR VALUE!! They don’t have to see your value!! It’s not their job to see your value!! YOU NEED TO KNOW YOUR OWN VALUE!! That’s it and that’s all!! Once you are secure in that notion, YOU WILL ORGANICALLY ATTRACT THOSE WHO SEE IT TOO!! BOOM!!

Growing up poor!! Sometimes cold!! Sometimes hungry!! Created a deep, crippling, fear of poverty!! Which has been my Achilles Heel when faced with making hard career decisions that challenge my financial stability. In Steve Harvey’s book, Act Like A Success Think Like A Success, he said, “jump off the cliff because the parachute will open!!” Well, I did!! And it did!! Leading me to one of the best career changing decisions I've made in 2014; accepting the contract as Broadcast Manager for The National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC). When I received an email from the Executive Director, Leslie Fields-Cruz, inviting me to apply for the position, I was secretly thinking, “is she nuts!!” LOL. Yes, I had the qualifications, but I never saw myself on the broadcast side of television. After talking to my biggest confidant and supporter, my sister, Daphne Turner, she encouraged me to go for it!! I was one of several potential candidates that Leslie vetted for the position and after interviews with her and other key individuals at #NBPC, I was selected to fill the position in December 2014. YAAAAY ME!! I gotta tellya, in a short five month, my career trajectory as a producer is advancing in ways that I could not have imagined!! If I had not overcome my fear of failure and remained stagnant, I WOULD NOT be on my way to Tokyo!! That I know for sure!!

Being selected as a CPB INPUT Fellow for Tokyo 2015, is not just important to my professional development as a content creator, this opportunity serves as a reminder that, ‘YOU MUST CLOSE SOME DOORS!! IF YOU WANT OTHER DOORS TO OPEN!!’ I only wish my mother Margaret Durden was living to see it. This would have made her soooo happy!!

For more information about Input log onto their website at www.input-tv.org

Welp, “You have entered MY WORLD!! Where I tell it MY WAY!!”

 Image/s via input-tv.org

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