Sep 21 2015

Newsflash: Greeks Reelect Tspiras, Ben Carson Faces Backlash, Viola Davis Invokes Harriet Tubman

Uprising’s guest expert Chenjerai Kumanyika, Assistant Professor of Communications Studies at Clemson University, analyzes to day’s news headlines:

Greek elections resulted in a second win for Syriza Party leader Alexis Tspiras on Sunday. The embattled Prime Minister had faced growing uncertainty over his mandate after a stunning victory on an anti-austerity platform earlier this year and then a capitulation to creditors. The snap elections yesterday were a major risk, and pollsters had been unable to predict a clear victory. But Mr. Tspiras’ party emerged with a plurality of votes. Still, only 56% of Greek voters turned out to cast ballots – much lower than in the two elections earlier this year. In his victory speech, Tspiras said, “The mandate that the Greek people gave us is crystal clear: to get rid of the wickedness and the regime of corruption and intertwined interests that have ruled the country for years.” Syriza will likely form a coalition with the same party it had before – a right-wing populist party called Independent Greeks. Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

Here in the United States, Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson is facing a major backlash over islamophobic comments he made to the press. In conversation with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Carson, who is African American, said, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.” To that, Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress, who is also African American, responded by issuing a statement saying, “The freedom of religion is a founding principle of our nation. …For Ben Carson, Donald Trump, or any other Republican politician to suggest that someone of any faith is unfit for office is out of touch with who we are as a people…[E]very American should be disturbed that these national figures are engaging in and tolerating blatant acts of religious bigotry.” Even fellow Republicans Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and John Kasich denounced Carson’s statement. So far, Carson is standing by them. Click here for a Washington Post article about the story.

Actor Viola Davis made movie history last night when she became the first black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Davis plays the implacable criminal defense attorney and law professor Analyst Keating in the Shonda Rhimes series How to Get Away With Murder. In her acceptance speech, Davis said, “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” She also quoted civil rights icon Harriet Tubman, “In my mind, I see a line. And over that line I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line. But I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line.” She immediately came under fire for speaking out by white actress Nancy Lee Grahn from General Hospital who tweeted, “Emmys not venue 4 racial opportunity. ALL women belittled.” Grahn later apologized adding, “I never mean to diminish her accomplishment. I wish I could get her roles.” Click here for a Yahoo.com article, and here for a US Magazine article about the story.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Newsflash: Greeks Reelect Tspiras, Ben Carson Faces Backlash, Viola Davis Invokes Harriet Tubman”

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