Jan 152017
 
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday

Photo property of Biography.com

We celebrate Martin Luther King’s Day every year. This year – just days before the Inauguration Ceremony during which a President Elect who expressed his disregard for civil and human rights will be sworn into the office – it seems more significant than ever.

We all know who Martin Luther King Jr. was and what he stood for. We all know that while he fought to advance civil rights using wisdom and civil disobedience, the government attempted to stop him using force. Governments change. The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is here to stay and for us to learn from.

I Have A Dream Speech

This year, Martin Luther King’s Day is honored throughout Los Angeles not only with celebrations such as the 32nd Annual Kingdom Day Parade, but with numerous peaceful political protests that – like the ones MLK organized! – support civil and human rights. Similar protests are taking place throughout the country. There is a movement Online too, this is just one example. The protests may not be celebrations, but they sure are tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr life’s philosophy.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said:

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

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If you are looking to attend an actual Martin Luther King’s Day celebration (he would have turned 88 today!) LAist has an impressive list.

In the words of the President Elect:

  • John Lewis, the civil rights leader (one of the original Freedom Riders!) and U.S. Congressman often referred to as the “Conscience of Congress” and the “Living Link to MLK legacy” is “All talk and no action.”
  • Meryl Streep, the greatest actress of our times, is “overrated”
  • Of course, these are only his latest targets. We still remember that neither Senator John McCain nor the American Muslim soldier who gave his life for our Country is enough of a hero for the President Elect.

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

The reign of the President Elect is about to begin. He will have every opportunity to prove us wrong, to become a great President and to Make America Great Again. We’ll be there to record and – in cases of positive changes – applaud.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Jan 102017
 

Impact Of Meryl Streep’s Appeal

As we just reported in our 2017 Golden Globes’ memorable moments, Meryl Streep took a stance in defense of freedom of the press during her Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award’s acceptance speech.

As it turns out her appeal had immediate impact. She called on the foreign press and American public to support the Committee to Protect Journalists. In a surprising twist, the 36-year-old organization that doesn’t receive many donations, experienced a sudden avalanche of them. (More than $60,000 flowed in on the morning after Streep’s speech according to the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Advocacy Director, Courtney Radsch.)

The sudden surge in donations confirms that many people are concerned about the freedom of the press and safety of journalists once the President Elect takes office. Their donations validated Streep who expressed a concern that is obviously shared by many.

In response to Streep’s impassioned speech, the President Elect tweeted:

“Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never “mocked” a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him “groveling” when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad. Just more very dishonest media!”

The tweet was as demeaning to Meryl Streep as the mockery of disabled New York Times reporter Serge F. Kovaleski was to the reporter. What happened to RESPECTFULLY disagreeing?….

The public responded to Streep by extending its support for freedom of the press. Notable celebrities (such as Viola Davis, Mia Farrow, Dan Rather and Maria Shriver) took the side of the actress. Our opinion of Meryl Streep, the greatest actress of our times, didn’t change.
“Officially” however: American media is dishonest. American artists are dishonest. (The donors to the Committee to Protect Journalists are likely dishonest, too.) Appointing a son-in-law (Jared Kushner) as a Senior Presidential Adviser is beyond reproach.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Nov 102016
 

Anti-Trump Protests Across The Country

From the East to the West Coast Americans took to the streets to protest the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election. Hashtags #NotMyPresident and #HeIsNotMyPresident took over Twitter.

Anti-Trump rallies were held in most States including California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia, Oregon and in front of the White House. There were prayers as well as fear, anger, disappointment and outrage across the Land.

In cities with Trump buildings the protesters made a point of gathering in front of them. In other places, people gathered in front of local landmarks. In many areas, streets, highways and freeways were blocked by protesters. Students at colleges and universities nationwide were exercising their right to protest.

At one point, in Los Angeles there were so many protests taking place simultaneously, the LAPD didn’t have enough manpower to control them. Hundreds of people brought 101 freeway (between Downtown L.A. and Hollywood) to a halt last night. According to latest reports 28 people were arrested in anti-Trump rallies in Greater Los Angeles.

There were Trump piñatas, masks and puppets as well as burnings of the American flag. The prospect of #CalExit (cessation of California from the Federal government) was raised.

L.A. Mayor, Eric Garcetti said in a statement:

“One of our greatest privileges as Americans is the right to free expression. Last night, thousands of Angelenos came together publicly to make their feelings known.

I understand that the results of Tuesday’s election are painful for many of us, and this kind of engagement can be a meaningful part of the healing we need after such a long and divisive campaign. But walking and throwing objects onto freeways is dangerous for pedestrians and drivers — and it puts a heavy burden on people just trying make it home to their families or get to work safely.

I am proud that the demonstrations in Los Angeles have been mostly lawful and peaceful, and that our officers are working with demonstrators to keep people out of harm’s way. Protests can, should, and must proceed in that spirit — and I urge everyone to look out for their fellow Angelenos and put safety first.”

Several days after the Election and the first meeting between the First Family and the family of the President Elect the nation remains bitterly divided.

UPDATE: Anti-Trump protests continue in many States, including California. A large protest is scheduled for Saturday 11/12/16 in MacArthur Park in Los Angeles. (10,000 people are expected.)

There is nothing wrong with protesting. However the time for self-expression was the election. Continued protests, some involving vandalism of property (ours, not the President Elect’s!) and violence against police officers (our city’s, not Federal government’s!) are not only futile but senseless. No protest can change the outcome of Presidential Election.
Social activism, civic initiatives – both of which are peaceful – might moderate the impact of some federal policies on Los Angeles and California.

The time for expressing our preferences has ended once the polls closed. Now it’s time to get ready for a new era with President Trump at the steering wheel. We and the President Elect will have to make some compromises. It’s time to look for the positive and focus on values we can agree on. It’s time to move on.

 

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Nov 092016
 
President Trump

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The presidential race was fierce; the presidential debates outright vicious. In the end, it all came down to the popular – and electoral – vote. The people have spoken. In a very tight race, Donald Trump nearly won the popular vote and decisively won the electoral vote. Donald Trump, New York real estate mogul and Apprentice star, conquered the hearts of Americans and will become the 45th President of the United States.

In the first speech after the election, the President Elect was gracious and reconciliatory. Whether you voted for Donald Trump or not, his passion and patriotism are obvious. But if he truly wants to bring a nearly evenly divided Nation together (Hillary Clinton has won the popular vote be a narrow margin), he’ll need also the ability to compromise and listen. Winning is one thing. Succeeding in the Highest Office in the Land – with the support of the Nation! – is another.

During the race, presidential candidate Donald Trump promised that he’ll make many of our our collective dreams come true. Let’s hope that President Trump will keep his word and “make America great, again”. Our differences aside, that’s what we all need. God Bless America!

 

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