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Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jul 18, 2019 at 22:00. 20 comments

‘This Election Is Too Important’: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Fighting Trump and Endorsing Joe Biden

‘This Election Is Too Important’: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Fighting Trump and Endorsing Joe Biden

The Joe Biden campaign for president has been a spectacle to behold this year. On the one hand, if you wrote out Biden on paper, it would look something like this: seasoned older white man, executive experience, wingman for the first black president. You’d think he’s a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination in 2020. Yet, life—and in some cases, California Sen. Kamala Harris—comes at you...

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Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jul 15, 2019 at 21:10. 17 comments

Life of a Henchman: Sore Winner Brian Kemp Sics Georgia Ethics Commissioner on Stacey Abrams

Life of a Henchman: Sore Winner Brian Kemp Sics Georgia Ethics Commissioner on Stacey Abrams

Do you know what a henchman is? They’re faceless, nameless, losers who do the dirty work for the villain in movies or TV shows. Henchmen are easy to recognize; just look for the endless stream of guys in ridiculous matching outfits getting knocked down, thrown off of bridges, or set on fire in a climactic battle with the hero on a windswept mountain top. In The Avengers they’re the guys in...

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Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jul 15, 2019 at 17:10.

Casting Halle Bailey as Ariel Is Great. The Real Question Is: Who Will Be Her Prince?

Casting Halle Bailey as Ariel Is Great. The Real Question Is: Who Will Be Her Prince?

When news broke last week that Halle Bailey had been cast as Ariel for the new live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, I was thrilled. I’m a big fan of the show Grown-ish and her character Sky Forster has a good mix of comedic and dramatic timing. Bailey can sing, and images of red locks flowing under ocean waves is going to be a whole fashion thing come 2020. Of course, I wasn’t surprised...

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jul 15, 2019 at 15:37.

A Wild Night on MSNBC: Why the Latest Presidential Debate Has Donald Trump Shook—and 4 More Observations

A Wild Night on MSNBC: Why the Latest Presidential Debate Has Donald Trump Shook—and 4 More Observations

Thursday’s debate was Donald Trump’s biggest nightmare: A loud, creative, diverse and television-ready slugfest that lasted for two hours, went off the rails a few times and left the audience wanting more.

While policy matters, Trump knows that his biggest weapon against any Democratic challenger is making enough of a circus that issues, facts, and values don’t matter. The only way to beat...

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jul 15, 2019 at 15:25.

Chance the Rapper, Cops and the Chicago Way: Talking the Windy City Mayoral Race With Amara Enyia

Chance the Rapper, Cops and the Chicago Way: Talking the Windy City Mayoral Race With Amara Enyia

Chicago has had a rough couple of weeks when it comes to the American news cycle. The Night King decided to make the city his vacation spot, Jussie Smollett and the Chicago Police Department have been in a fight to see who sounds the least credible, and R. Kelly’s latest arrest is a reminder of why it’s taken so long for the alleged predator to be brought to justice (again) to begin with....

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jul 14, 2019.

Georgia Is One Vote Away From Stealing Elections for the Next 20 Years

Georgia Is One Vote Away From Stealing Elections for the Next 20 Years

When writer Ian Fleming created super spy James Bond, he knew a good villain was just as important as the hero of the story. Fleming based many of Bond’s villains on actual people, because let’s be honest, regular people do some pretty horrible things. Wholesale evil schemes don’t have to come from the mind of a mustache-swirling, albino cat petting, uniquely scarred megalomaniac from Eastern...

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jul 14, 2019.

Let’s Play Democratic Debate B-I-N-G-O Tonight! (No, We’re Serious)

Let’s Play Democratic Debate B-I-N-G-O Tonight! (No, We’re Serious)

Nobody won Wednesday night’s first 2020 Democratic presidential debate, but a couple of people lost. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) looked confused for half the night and somehow managed to make Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) look like a foreign policy expert. Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA), despite having more executive experience than anybody on the stage (except maybe New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio),...

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jul 14, 2019.

Dark Phoenix Is a Gentrified Neighborhood of Superheroes

<i>Dark Phoenix</i> Is a Gentrified Neighborhood of Superheroes

If you went and saw Dark Phoenix this weekend, or plan to see Dark Phoenix this weekend, I’m going to make a few assumptions about you. First, that you probably have seen some of the previous X-Men films. Why? Because the title Dark Phoenix makes absolutely no sense and tells you nothing about the film unless you’ve been following this series since day one. (Compared to say, Godzilla: King of...

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jul 14, 2019.

Does Kamala Harris Have a Working-Class Black Man Problem? It's Complicated

Does Kamala Harris Have a Working-Class Black Man Problem? It's Complicated

It didn’t seem to be that controversial of a statement given the data. Since the Donald Trump presidency; the Georgia governor’s race; the St. Louis mayoral race and others, a certain number of black men have been sneaking back into the Sunken Place voting booth. Whether it’s partisanship, misogyny, or vague notions of “electability,” research shows (pdf) some black men will find any excuse

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jul 13, 2019.

With Great Power Comes ... Less Responsibility? How New DNC Rules Hurt a New Generation of Black Officials

With Great Power Comes ... Less Responsibility? How New DNC Rules Hurt a New Generation of Black Officials

With competitive candidates all over the country, the 2018 mid-term elections look like they will be a revolutionary moment for African Americans. Even the branding of this hidden black wave of candidates has been spectacular.

Every flyer or story about gubernatorial candidates Andrew Gillum (Fla.), Ben Jealous (Md.) and Stacey Abrams (Ga.) looks like a cross between a campaign poster and a...

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jul 12, 2019.

Who’s on Top? The Root’s 2020 Presidential Black Power Rankings, Week 1

Who’s on Top? The Root’s 2020 Presidential Black Power Rankings, Week 1

Welcome to The Root’s Black Power Rankings, where we assess the eleventy-billion Democrats currently running for the chance to face off against Donald Trump for the presidency. Every single candidate running right now knows they need to win black voters to have a chance at the Democratic nomination. Yet how does a campaign know how they’re faring with African Americans when time after time...

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jul 12, 2019. 14 comments

The Root's 2020 Presidential Black Power Rankings, Week 3: Kamala Harris Throws Black Voters Under the Bus(ing?)

The Root's 2020 Presidential Black Power Rankings, Week 3: Kamala Harris Throws Black Voters Under the Bus(ing?)

This week’s Root 2020 Presidential Black Power Rankings is full of surprises. We have a new No. 1 after several candidates forgot that black people still matter, and a special guest power-ranking judge. This week, me (Dr. Jason Johnson, Politics Editor at The Root) and Marcus Ferrell, former African American Outreach Director for Bernie Sanders 2016, are joined by Miss Alicia Garza!

Garza is...

14 Comments

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jul 11, 2019.

Ashes to Ascots: the Final Days of NewsOne Now With Roland Martin

Ashes to Ascots: the Final Days of <i>NewsOne Now</i> With Roland Martin

The staff wrap party for the last episode of NewsOne Now with Roland Martin was not supposed to feel like it did. I walked into the staff kitchen and saw Martin in all of his fuchsia glory, smiling, ascot crisp, happily chopping it up. “What’s up, baby?” he said, then hit me with a hug like we were at Essence Fest or the Republican convention, not the last day of an award-winning TV show.

It...

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jul 09, 2019.

Attention Black People: It’s Your Fault Should Donald Trump Get Re-Elected in 2020

Attention Black People: It’s Your Fault Should Donald Trump Get Re-Elected in 2020

I have made an amazing discovery over the course of 2019 that has never occurred to me despite voting in elections for years. I am the most powerful person in the American electorate. Me, only me. Or at least I think so. I come to this conclusion after months and months on Twitter and other social media where I am consistently told that I will be responsible for Donald Trump getting...

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jul 04, 2019. 10 comments

Biden Misses the Bus, Booker Starts to Cuss, and Harris Adjusts: The Root’s 2020 Presidential Black Power Rankings, Week 2

Biden Misses the Bus, Booker Starts to Cuss, and Harris Adjusts: The Root’s 2020 Presidential Black Power Rankings, Week 2

Welcome back to The Root’s 2020 Presidential Black Power Rankings, where our select committee of activists, consultants, politicians, and analysts decide where the candidates stand on the issues that matter to black people.

This week’s rankings are curated by Dr. Jason Johnson, Politics Editor of The Root (yours truly) and our returning judge Marcus Ferrell, former Black Outreach Director for...

10 Comments

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jun 30, 2019.

The Root Presents On the Run: 2017 Campaign Edition

<i>The Root </i>Presents On the Run: 2017 Campaign Edition

Tired of punching at the sky, yelling at the television and unfriending folks from high school because of politics? Of course you are! The current administration’s steady commitment to incompetence, corruption and white nationalists has gotten the American people, especially African Americans, riled up in ways not seen since Chaka Khan performed at the Republican National Convention (yes,...

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson Jun 05, 2019. 12 comments

The Democratic Party Does a Lousy Job Protecting Black Women

The Democratic Party Does a Lousy Job Protecting Black Women

“Why are you wearing all black?” I asked my friend, noticing her wearing a long sleeve black shirt, black jeans and black sneakers in the 1,000-degree Arizona heat despite being in an air-conditioned convention hall.

She leaned over to me and said: “I just want to warn you, we’re about to do some real disruptive shit right now!”

Seconds later, she, along with over a dozen other black men and...

12 Comments

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson May 17, 2019. 19 comments

Sooooo Many White Guys

Sooooo Many White Guys

I could be talking about the New England Patriots or the Trump administration or even the Phoebe Robinson Podcast but no, when I’m talking about soooo many white guys, I mean the recent crop of Democrats running for the 2020 nomination.

We started with a black man, three white women, Asians and a Latino man all throwing their hats into the ring. Since then it’s been 11 straight white guys,...

19 Comments

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson May 16, 2019. 2 comments

Court TV Relaunches in the Black Lives Matter Era, With Activist Lawyer Yodit Tewolde at the Helm

Court TV Relaunches in the Black Lives Matter Era, With Activist Lawyer Yodit Tewolde at the Helm

Back in the mid-’90s, when game shows had finally fallen out of favor and the talk show wars had devastated Montel, Maury and Sally Jesse Raphael, leaving Oprah on the Iron Throne, there was one mainstay for your middle-aged aunts, grandmas and housewives to get their daytime TV drama fix: Court TV.

Blowing up with wall-to-wall coverage of the O.J. trial, the Menendez brothers, and way too...

2 Comments

Jason Johnson Jason Johnson May 14, 2019. 7 comments

The 4 Dumbest Questions of the 2020 Campaign Season

The 4 Dumbest Questions of the 2020 Campaign Season

Your teachers all lied to you. There is such a thing as a dumb question. We are literally surrounded by dumb questions every day. By definition, a dumb question is any question where the person being asked the question couldn’t possibly know the answer to what is being asked; and, moreover, any reasonable questioner would know that before even opening his mouth.

For example: Asking the...

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