Shut Out, Shut In

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  • I am not happy right about now. Two recent things in the news have been bothering me.
         
    One involves presidential debates and African-Americans being shut out; the other involves law enforcement and a particular African-American woman named Lauryn Hill being shut in.
         
    First, there’s the controversy surrounding the upcoming presidential debates and the fact that no journalists of color were selected by the Commission of Presidential Debates.
         
    Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for two obvious points: 1) the President happens to be black and, 2) there is a sista named Gwen Ifill who is one of the best in the business who has won high praise for her moderation of not one, but two vice presidential debates within the past decade.
         
    Ifill was not happy with the decision either and she has every right to be upset given her experience, and the fact that Jim Lehrer was chosen in spite of the fact that he’d previously said he didn’t want to do it.
         
    But you know what else? It’s just as sad that a beautiful and talented lady named Lauryn Hill is about to get shut in prison for up to three years.
         
    Last week, many of us saw the mug shot of a stoic Hill who is facing prison time for three counts of misdemeanor failure to pay taxes.
         
    Now, when it comes to tax evasion and celebrities, some have complained of selective enforcement in cases where they feel the government is trying to make an example of certain folks.
         
    And I’m not saying I know this to be the case with Lauryn Hill, but compared to numerous other celebrity tax evasion cases that didn’t involve jail, Hill’s debt is relatively small and given she pleaded guilty to not paying federal taxes on $1.5 million over a three year period.
         
    Still, Hill should have paid and, according to her lawyer, will pay. But I just don’t believe that sending a mother of six children to jail is an appropriate remedy for her crime, which is actually a misdemeanor.

    So I’m really hoping they’ll just make her pay and keep her free.
         
    It’s kind of ironic when you think about it. All of these years, we’ve been hoping that the talented, beautiful and soulful songstress who captured our ears, hearts and minds long ago would come back to us.
         
    Now we’re just praying she doesn’t get sent away.
         
    Let’s hear from you. Text us at 64-64-64 and let us know if you feel Lauryn should go to prison or not for her actions.
         
    I’ll leave you with this from Lauryn Hill who reminds us all that hard times won’t last for long.
         
    Everything is everything
    What is meant to be, will be
    After winter, must come spring
    Change, it comes eventually
         
    Until next time, this is Stephanie in love and hope.
     

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