Inspired by Sean “Diddy” Combs’ successful “State Of Emergency: The State of Black America & Coronavirus” town hall, “REVOLT BLACK NEWS” is a platform that is designed to report news from the perspective of Black people for Black people.
Last night’s “REVOLT BLACK NEWS” episode titled “The Last Quarter” held a conversation around the vice presidential debate between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence. Host and executive producer Eboni K. Williams was joined by YelloPain, Isaac Hayes III, Vic Mensa, Candiace Dillard Bassett, and Chasity Melvin.
“We’d be remiss if we didn’t spotlight vice presidential history and how it plays out today,” Williams said in her introduction. “Between former vice president Joe Biden and current VP Mike Pence, there’s a real possibility that once again the VP gets put into the big game. With all those that are vying for championship right now — whether it’s in basketball or vice presidency — we know who’s on the court and right now. It’s the final quarter.”
When Williams asked the panel if Harris was “tough enough” in the debate regarding the COVID-19 topic, Hayes responded, “She was okay. She could’ve done better.” He suggested additional questioning as to whether or not COVID-19 was being handled “well” due to over 30 staff members in the White House, including the president, contracting the disease. Though he wasn’t necessarily her biggest fan in the past, Mensa said Harris was “poignant” and “powerful” during the debate, and he “appreciated her performance.”
On Black representation in the Supreme Court, Hayes noted the importance of Biden electing a Black woman — “The right Black woman,” as Williams noted — into the court. “Representation on that court affects so many things in this country and if we don’t really get out and vote, this is the time to know,” he said. “This controls the right to choose as far as abortion and many other things that hang in the balance with this election.”
Up next, Williams talked “HEADLINES.” Topics included President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, the halt of the second stimulus check release after the 2020 election, the reopening of Oscar Grant’s shooting investigation, and former police officer Derek Chauvin being released on $1 million bail after being charged with murder for the death of George Floyd. “The cycle of police brutality tragically continues,” Williams said.
YelloPain wanted to encourage young voters that their vote matters more than they believe it does. “There’s a big gap in the education system and a lot of millennials and young people don’t know how voting effects our everyday lives,” he said. “You have people who are voting in their favor and not in ours, so who’s gonna vote in our favor if we feel like it [doesn’t] matter? We gotta show up.” Williams agreed that if we don’t vote, “there’s a whole bunch of people in middle America and other places” that will gladly shift the vote, our everyday life and the results of this election for us.
The host switched to discuss the candidates’ positioning on the Breonna Taylor case. Hayes appreciated Harris’ response, but felt as though she could have “stayed on the topic a little longer.” As for Pence, he “coldly and dismissively” addressed the concerns of the police as opposed to a fallen Breonna and her loved ones. “That lets you know how they feel about Black people,” Hayes said. “That really bothered me and I know it’s gonna bother a lot of Black women [and] a lot of people of color.”
She further discussed the reasoning behind Black voters supporting Trump to which Mensa reacted by saying that they’re “brainwashed.” “Ignorance is a choice at this point in time,” he said, though he added that it can be a valuable teaching lesson for the Black community. YelloPain told Williams that he honestly did not believe the debate between Pence and Harris would create a significant difference for some Black voters, “especially for the young people because it’s not simplified enough.” For a closing word, Hayes noted that the America we know today will not be the same America in 20 years.
“For America to live up to its potential and the idea of what America is, we have to chop this power pie up,” he said. “You can’t protest injustice without participating in justice. You have to do your part.”
Bassett joined for this week’s “Black Excellence in Entertainment” segment to discuss John Legend and Usher being tapped for the Jingle Jangle Netflix movie soundtrack and Taraji P. Henson being given the green light for her mental health talk show on Facebook Watch. “I love that Taraji is using her platform in this powerful way,” Williams said about the actress, who is also the founder of a mental health organization named in honor of her father. Bassett chimed in about her own experience discussing mental health on her platform and her mother being a mental health professional. “The fact that we have someone with a platform as huge as Taraji P. Henson using her platform to bring awareness and making the idea of talking to someone and thinking about your mental health as part of who you are, making that okay, is a beautiful thing,” she said.
Other entertainment topics included Travis Scott debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard charts for his “Franchise” collaboration with Young Thug, June Ambrose being named the new creative director at PUMA, and Bassett being accepted to her alma mater Howard University for a graduate program.
“Sports Headlines” co-host Melvin instantly got into an important discussion about everything happening in and around the sports industry. Melvin and Williams discussed NBA finals predictions and LeBron James walking off the court after the third game loss. “I’m okay with it,” Melvin said. “He’s showing his passion for the game, he loves the game and he loves to win.” While this may have caused some controversy from the crowd, Melvin enjoyed seeing a player show his frustrations.
Other topics included a new jersey design form the Atlanta Hawks in honor of the late Martin Luther King, Jr., WNBA team Seattle Storm sweeping the series and dominating over the Las Vegas Aces, Cam Newton testing positive for COVID-19, and the NFL introducing new penalties for COVID-19 safety violations.
“I believe this season has run its course,” Melvin said about the NFL’s decision to continue despite COVID-19 cases and cancellations. “They’ll be able to do what they do and fans will keep watching regardless of how many times they reschedule the game.” Williams agreed that “people will go to stadiums that are allowing the fans in” and there’s no threshold to what fans will not show up.
In a closing word, Williams reminded viewers that some of us can get our early ballots in, while emphasizing the importance of paying close attention to the instructions. “We don’t want to give them any reason to disqualify our ballots,” Williams said. “If all else fails, clear your calendar for Nov. 3. Put your mask on, pack your water bottles, pack your lunch if you need to and go to the polls.”