Rihanna and ASAP Rocky welcome baby boy, Mary J. Blige's most influential TIME honor and much more (clip)
“REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly” aired on Friday (May 27) to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement and accusations that the organization misappropriated funds, why Black men struggle with mental health and how the baby formula shortage is impacting Black mothers.
Neima Abdulahi hosted the episode, titled “Tracing The BLM Dollars, Black ‘Men’tal Health and Black Mothers and The Baby Formula Shortage.” She was joined by Tom Anderson, director of the National Legal & Policy Center, Delano Squires, Fearless with Jason Whitlock contributor, Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Anna Rodney, founder of MOMcares, Dr. Curtis D. Jasper, human behavior & relationship expert, and Quentin Vennie, co-founder of Equity Company. REVOLT Entertainment Correspondent Kennedy Rue McCullough also brought viewers the latest in celebrity news and REVOLT Special Correspondent Rochelle Ritchie examined mental health and stigma regarding Black men seeking help.
Abdulahi opened the episode by discussing controversy surrounding the Black Lives Matter organization. In recent months, BLM has faced scrutiny for purchasing a multimillion-dollar mansion in Los Angeles and allegedly misappropriating millions of dollars received by way of donations.
During an interview with “REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly,” Squires stated that many people who donated to BLM for a good cause were scammed by the organization.
“A lot of people sent their hard-earned money to BLM, thinking they were an organization that was sincere — and clearly, over the last two years, that’s proven not to be the case,” he said.
Anderson told REVOLT, “It looks like everything that Black Lives Matter was supposed to stand for during the years of 2020 and 2021, when these protests were happening, none of the money went to that.”
While speaking with Abdulahi, Garza discussed the transformation of BLM over the years.
“You know, when we started Black Lives Matter global network, there wasn’t funding and actually our initial contributors were people like Prince or The Weekend. Black entertainers and celebrities who also wanted to use their platforms to make sure they were addressing critical issues that were impacting their communities,” she informed. “I think what we saw in 2020 was that there were a lot of resources that were moving around. What I hope for in this moment is that there is continued transparency and accountability around resources and fundraising.”
Abdulahi then asked Anderson to explain the lack of accountability.
“They lack leadership,” he explained. “Anytime you have something like a nonprofit that represents a larger international movement, you don’t ever want to do something that even appears to be improper and so the best way to do that is to create a board that’s independent. That never happened and so what we’re seeing here is basically almost like a trainwreck.”
Garza ended the segment by stating that despite the controversy surrounding BLM, “It is important for us to keep pursuing justice at every stage in every single way possible.”
Next, Abdulahi tackled the baby formula crisis and its impact on Black mothers who choose not to breastfeed.
During the show, Rodney addressed those who downplay the baby formula shortage and suggest mothers should simply breastfeed.
“To that, I would respectfully ask them to shut up. Blaming the Black woman and blaming the Black body for our issues is not something that’s new … a Black woman in a hospital is more likely to get a WIC application or a WIC form than to be able to have access to that lactation consultant. So, we really need to take the blame off the woman and realize what it is. This is another part of institutionalized racism that is rearing its ugly head,” she voiced.
Switching gears, Ritchie discussed the stigma attached to mental health and Black men.
In recent years, celebrities like Joe Budden, Will Smith and JAY-Z have publicly opened up about their mental health issues and traumatic experiences they have had in the past, however, this level of vulnerability is rarely seen within the Black community.
Jasper explained to REVOLT that Black men struggle with seeking therapy.
“The stigma, the fear of the unknown is talking with someone. We call it the ‘White Coat Syndrome.’ We just don’t trust healthcare or any type of authority. Anytime we have to go speak with somebody and they’re taking notes, we already got pushback,” he declared.
Vennie discussed why he believes Black men are struggling with their mental health.
“Seeing all of this violence and brutality, it reignites the triggers that many of us haven’t even started the process of healing from,” he expressed. “Then not having a healthy outlet to really be able to figure out and find, you know, meaning in our lives and in our purpose in being here on this planet, I think it continues to perpetuate this negative idea of what masculinity means, especially to be Black in America.”
Later in the show, McCullough hosted her segment titled “Entertainment Remix,” during which she discussed the latest in celebrity news.
ASAP Rocky and Rihanna officially became parents to a baby boy on May 13, Doja Cat recently announced the cancellation of her summer tour due to a tonsil infection caused by vaping, and Mary J. Blige and Zendaya were among those named TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2022.”
“I will definitely credit ‘Euphoria’ to, I think, my interest not only in directing but also, like, more things behind the camera,” Zendaya told REVOLT.
Watch a quick clip from this week’s episode up top. Plus, be sure to catch the next installment of “REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly” on Friday, June 3, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET on REVOLT’s app.