News Round-Up: June 10, 2021

Caden Wyatt with his dad, John, and his mom, Janell (image via John Wyatt)

Some news items you might have missed:

Buzzfeed: Just over a year since he first came out, Caden Wyatt, 15, (above) told the most people he ever has that he’s gay — and he did it with his dad by his side. For the first time in their lives, and likely one of the first times in their Oklahoma neighborhood, the Wyatts hung a flag outside their house to ring in Pride Month.

PEOPLE: Queer Eye star Karamo Brown says filming the current season of the “make better” show in Texas was the ‘first time’ he experienced ‘blatant’ hatred.

Instagram: Cheyenne Jackson is thankful he learned how to get ripped AF with his hotel room workouts. He looked pretty fit before, but I’m not complaining…

Buzzfeed II: Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen) explained to Kelly Clarkson why it took him five years to start dating Noah Galvin (The Real O’Neals) and it’s really sweet. “I didn’t see the light for a long time, and then I realized, you know, that he was the guy.”

Instinct Magazine: Caitlyn Jenner compared herself with Donald Trump in an uneasy appearance on The View on Thursday. When pressed by Joy Behar if she was one of those Republicans who believe Trump won the election, she hedged her answer.

“I’m not going to get into that, that election is over with,” but she proceeded to draw a parallel between herself and Trump. “He was a disrupter when he was president. I want to do the same thing.”

Christian Post: Pastor Lewis Clemons of Columbus, Georgia, could have settled a civil case against him for zero dollars if he agreed to acknowledge and record a public apology for allegedly sexually abusing and raping his former congregant, Lequita Jackson. He refused and went to trial. On Wednesday, a jury in the Superior Court of Muscogee County ruled in favor of Jackson and imposed a $500,000 verdict against him.

USA Today: Austin Swink was preparing to go on his first mission trip with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he decided to reveal the news that he was gay to his dad, Vaughn Swink. “I got this feeling that I just needed to get it off my chest before I left, because it was weighing on me for so long, not saying anything,” Swink said. He decided to video record his coming out to his dad, and posted the reaction online.

CBS Sunday Morning Remembers The Tulsa Massacre

Photo of Tulsa's 'Black Wall Street' district

Photo of Tulsa's 'Black Wall Street' district

CBS Sunday Morning remembers the Tulsa Massacre:

One hundred years ago, a White mob in Tulsa, Oklahoma, killed 300 Black people and reduced the thriving Black community of Greenwood — also known as “Black Wall Street” — to ashes.

New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow talks about one of the most notorious massacres in American history and those who witnessed it.

When white people wonder why there is anger in the Black community via the Black Lives Matter movement, perhaps it’s because they never learned important chapters in Black history like the Tulsa Massacre…?

Today, there are Republican lawmakers who oppose the teaching of Black American history calling a focus on slavery and the contributions of Black Americans in history “divisive.”

Meanwhile, I’m reminded of Emmy/Tony winner Billy Porter’s ‘Message to America’ last June calling for change regarding how Black Americans are treated today.

Saturday Showtune: Mandy Patinkin “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught/Children Will Listen”

I was recently reminded of this 1995 recording by Mandy Patinkin of “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” paired with “Children Will Listen” from Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods.

At the time of the album release, some folks decried what they felt were Mandy’s vocal “histrionics” in his take on the Rodgers & Hammerstein song.

But I always liked it; I found his yelling the line, “You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late, before you are six or seven or eight, to hate all the people your relatives HATE!” compelling and evocative.

Pairing the song with a very tender, sensitive rendition of “Children Will Listen” (from the brilliant Into the Woods) brought home the same lesson Hammerstein was going for but in Sondheimian manner.

Careful the things you say, children will listen…
Careful the things you do, children will see – and learn…

Looking at the divisive political landscape today, I think it’s pretty spot on.

Listen below.

Video: White Army Sergeant Assaults Young Black Man For Walking On Public Sidewalk

Deandre being harassed by U.S. Army
Deandre being harassed by Sergeant First Class Jonathan Pentland
Deandre and Sergeant First Class Jonathan Pentland (screen capture)

UPDATE: According to the Command Sergeant Major at Fort Jackson, SFC Jonathan Pentland has been charged by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department just hours after video of his encounter with a young Black man named Deandre went viral on social media.

The sheriff confirmed Jonathan Pentland has been arrested and charged with third-degree assault and battery. That charge carries a maximum penalty of a $500 fine or 30 days in jail.

What in the hell???

The aggressive man in the video below is reportedly Sergeant First Class Jonathan Pentland, who is being investigated over a viral video incident that took place in Columbia, South Carolina.

The 42-year-old Pentland, currently based at Fort Jackson in Columbia, was identified by social media users on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, a day after the video was posted online.

SFC Jonathan Pentland in a photo by the US Army
SFC Jonathan Pentland (image via US Army/

In the video, Pentland can be seen pushing, threatening and yelling at a young Black male, who has been identified as Deandre, in the Columbia neighborhood where Pentland lives. There’s no indication in the video as to what precipitated the altercation.

The incident apparently took place on a public sidewalk in the Lakes at Barony Place development in the Summit neighborhood of Columbia. Pentland continually questions Deandre as to where he lives as he orders the young man over and over to leave the neighborhood, “You’re in the wrong neighborhood, mother-f*cker. Get out!”

The video was posted on Facebook by a Columbia woman, Shirell Johnson, who said she was walking in the neighborhood with a friend on Monday night, April 12, 2021, when they saw the incident unfolding.

Johnson says the video was recorded by a “young lady,” Shadae, and given to her to post online. Johnson said she, Shadae and her friend did not know Deandre before Monday night.

She adds that when the police arrived on the scene Deandre was informed Pentland could only be charged with “malicious injury to property” for slapping Deandre’s phone out of his hand and cracking the screen. But no assault charge even with the video recording.

Facebook post by Shirell Johnson

Twitter got the video to Fort Jackson Commanding General Milford Beagle Jr. who tweeted, “This is by no means condoned by any service member. We will get to the bottom of this ASAP.”

Beagle followed up with a post on Facebook:

Fort Jackson spokesperson L.A. Sully told the Charleston Post and Courier in a statement, “This type of behavior is not consistent with our Army Values and will not be condoned. We have begun our own investigation and are working with the local authorities.”

Brutal Attack Leaves Asian Woman With Fractured Pelvis

Alleged assailant in anti-Asian hate crime

Alleged assailant in anti-Asian hate crime
Alleged assailant in anti-Asian assault in NYC (via Crimestoppers)

An Asian American woman was violently assaulted on the sidewalks of Manhattan on Monday afternoon as nearby witnesses did nothing to intervene.

Surveillance cameras captured the attack on video as a man approached the 65-year-old woman just a few blocks from Times Square as she was making her way to church.

In the clip, the man can be seen kicking her in the stomach knocking her to the ground while shouting anti-Asian slurs. According to police reports, he continued punching and stomping her face while saying “(Expletive) you, you don’t belong here.”

Witnesses say one man did chase the perpetrator down the street, but the assailant reportedly pulled a knife and he got away.

In the foreground of the video clip, two men who appear to be doormen or security guards inside the lobby of a building clearly see the attack as it’s happening. Only one man moved towards the woman, but it was to close the door and remain uninvolved.

Local ABC News affiliate ABC7 reports “the NYPD Asian Hate Crime Task Force said the security guard captured on video closing the door failed to render aid, and the staff in question has been suspended pending further investigation.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also called the security guard’s inaction “absolutely unacceptable.”

“I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you do, you got to help your fellow New Yorker,” de Blasio said.

A spokesman for the security guard’s service union said in a statement the building’s door staff “called for help immediately” and asked the public “to avoid a rush to judgment while the facts are determined.”

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital where she was treated for a fractured pelvis and several head injuries, according to ABC7.

During an interview with NY1, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea called the attack “very disturbing.”

“It’s really disgusting when you see the video,” he continued. “We are calling on all New Yorkers, anyone with information. We put out a pretty good picture of the individual we want to talk to, that was seen walking away. You try to make sense of it, and you can’t. I don’t know who attacks a 65-year-old woman and leaves her on the street like that.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

Screen capture of alleged assailant in anti-Asian hate crime

The Police Commissioner also announced that he is upping the number of uniformed officers in predominately Asian neighborhoods.

“An attack on one group is an attack on all, and that’s the thing we have to keep enforcing here,” added Shea. “Whether it’s anti-Black, anti-Asian, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ, when New Yorkers come together and just say enough is enough, I think we are getting in the right direction.”

This new assault occurs amid an increase in violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including the March 16 shootings at three Atlanta-area spas that killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women.

A recent report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found that in America’s largest 16 cities anti-Asian hate crimes increased 150 percent in 2020.

Sharon Osbourne Claims She Was ‘Set Up’ By CBS Execs

Sharon Osbourne tells ET she believes she was setup in the latest Meghan Markle chat on The Talk
Sharon Osbourne tells ET she believes she was setup in the latest Meghan Markle chat on The Talk
Sharon Osbourne (screen capture)

Sharon Osbourne tells ET she doesn’t know if she’ll be returning to The Talk after the recent dust-up on her gabfest when things got ugly between her and fellow co-host Sheryl Underwood.

The brouhaha erupted out of Osbourne’s defense of her friend Piers Morgan, who had attacked Meghan Markle as a liar after Markle and Prince Harry sat down for an extensive interview with Oprah Winfrey.

From the LA Times:

Last Wednesday, Osbourne said, a producer asked her if she would “clear up the Piers thing again” even if “maybe one of them doesn’t agree with you.” But she didn’t expect [Elaine] Welteroth to bring up antiracism and she didn’t expect Underwood to imply she was giving cover to racism.

“I’ve been set up,” Osbourne told “ET,” describing her thoughts in the moment. “And I went, like, how dare you all do this to me? I’m your sacrificial lamb.”

Osbourne did admit to “having a go” at Underwood, her friend of 11 years, including when she told Underwood “don’t try and cry,” reserving that right for herself.

“I should never have said [anything] about her tears,” she told ET. “I should never have dismissed her feelings on national TV. Ever. But I said it, I have to own it.”

While Osbourne maintains she is not racist in any way, a video clip from 2018 shows a discussion of Meghan Markle’s skin color that doesn’t help Osbourne today.

In the clip, Underwood is speaking about Markle (who is half-Black) saying “…she brought Blackness to the royal family — which is not the first time…”

“She ain’t Black!” Osbourne counters. And when her co-hosts try to correct her, Osbourne declares, “No, I know. But she doesn’t look Black!”

On The Anniversary Of The Shooting Death Of Breonna Taylor

Breonna Taylor
Breonna Taylor
Breonna Taylor

It was exactly one year ago today that an innocent young Black woman lost her life in a late-night police raid gone wrong as police gunfire rained through her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky.

From the New York Times:

For months, her death went largely unrecognized. Once more people took notice, though, the city was shaken to its core. Protests rocked the downtown area during the summer and fall as demonstrators demanded justice through tears and megaphones and erected a memorial in a prominent square. They prayed together and sang together, chanting, “Say her name!”

Breonna Taylor became a rallying cry, and when no officers were charged in connection with her death, which occurred during a botched drug raid, protesters returned to the streets. Activists are optimistic that the first anniversary of her death, on Saturday, will further fuel a promising surge of civic engagement, particularly from Black residents.

“What happened to Breonna Taylor has shaped every aspect of our lives,” said Charles Booker, a former state representative for Louisville. “Her door being kicked in was our door being kicked in. It really has transformed everything.”

For those who aren’t aware, the police got a tip Taylor’s apartment was being used to traffic drugs. They got the address wrong.

According to reports, the police burst through the door in the middle of the night under the use of what’s known as a ‘no-knock warrant’ which means they didn’t announce who they were before entering. Taylor was shot dead in her bed.

Over the course of a year, none of the officers who fired into the apartment that night has been charged for the death of Taylor.
Read the full article.

Buckingham Palace Breaks Silence After Prince Harry & Meghan Interview

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (photo: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions)

After a compelling interview by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry with Oprah Winfrey, Buckingham Palace has finally broken its silence after two days.

From the New York Times:

Buckingham Palace broke nearly 48 hours of silence Tuesday about a bombshell interview with Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, saying “the whole royal family is saddened” and expressing concern about the issue of racism the couple had raised.

Assertions that a member of the royal family had raised concerns about the skin color of the couple’s son, Archie, and that a desperate Meghan had contemplated suicide dominated national discussion in Britain, where the interview with Oprah Winfrey was broadcast Monday evening.

On Tuesday, Piers Morgan, the co-host of “Good Morning Britain” on ITV news, who came under attack for saying he “didn’t believe a word” of the interview, resigned, the network said. Britain’s communications regulator received more than 41,000 complaints about his comment, it said.

Read the full article.

‘Soho Karen’ Gives The Hand To Gayle King During Interview

Miya Ponsetto gives Gayle King 'the hand'
Miya Ponsetto gives Gayle King 'the hand'
Miya Ponsetto gives Gayle King ‘the hand’ (screen captures)

Miya Ponsetto, dubbed ‘Soho Karen’ in the press after accusing a Black teen of stealing her cell phone, was ‘forcibly arrested’ in California Thursday night.

NBC News reports the 22-year-old woman refused to stop her car when the police first contacted her. Upon reaching her home, she resisted arrest and had to be forcibly removed from her car.

During the incident, she tried to slam a car door on one of the officers which earned her an additional charge of resisting arrest.

Miya Ponsetto's mugshot
Miya Ponsetto (mugshot via Ventura County Sheriff’s Office)

You may recall Ponsetto garnering national attention when she accused (and eventually assaulted) the 14-year-old son of jazz musician Keyon Harrold of stealing her cell phone in the lobby of the Arlo Hotel in SoHo in New York City.

On social media, Harrold shared video footage of Ponsetto growing hysterical during the altercation that ended with her tackling the teen as he tried to exit the scene.

p.s. turned out she’d left the phone in an Uber and the driver had already returned the phone to the front desk of the hotel.

Prior to her arrest, Ponsetto recorded an interview with CBS This Morning’s Gayle King that aired on Friday morning.

Sitting next to her attorney and wearing a black ‘Daddy’ hat, Ponsetto did herself no favors by deflecting and/or denying practically any wrongdoing in the December 26 incident.

Speaking with King, Ponsetto admitted she could have “maybe not yelled at him like that and made him feel some sort of inferior way and making him feel as if I was like hurting his feelings.”

But describing herself as “super sweet,” she told King she “never, ever meant for it to hurt him or his father.” 

And yet, she tackled the teen, so, there’s that…

She also seemed confused as to how assaulting a teenage boy could be seen as criminal.

“I don’t feel like this one mistake defines me,” she added.

When King tried to put Ponsetto’s actions into context – that she’d physically attacked a teenaged boy, she responded, “How is one girl accusing a guy about a phone a crime? Where’s the context in that? What is the deeper story here?”

You’l note that the 22-year-old suddenly refers to herself as a “girl” but the 14-year-old she assaulted is “a guy.” Talk about coded language…

King again attempted to help Ponsetto own up to her actions saying, “You’re 22-years-old, you’re old enough to know better.”

“Alright, Gayle, enough,” replied Ponsetto complete with a ‘shut it’ hand motion.

Oh no she didn’t…

Miya Ponsetto gives Gayle King 'the hand'

It was at that point that the attorney finally chimed in whispering, “Ok, ok, stop, stop…”

Just to add perspective, Ponsetto was charged with public intoxication and battery at a Beverly Hills hotel last year in February, and also arrested for driving while intoxicated in Van Nuys, California, on May 28.

Miss Thing can get a bit messy it seems.

Ponsetto’s lawyer, Sharon Ghatan, told NBC News her client “suffers from a lot of anxiety attacks” and has concerns that she may be “emotionally and mentally unwell.”

Gayle King shared at the end of her segment this morning that a second part of the interview will air on Monday.

Twitter was not impressed by Miss Miya:

Self-Described ‘Racist’ Arizona Man Tells Black Man ‘This Is A No N*gg*r Zone’

Self-described racist Paul Ng (screen captures)

TMZ reports that an Arizona man, identified as Paul Ng, told a Black man shooting an episode for his podcast on a public street that he was in a “no n*gg*r zone.”

Andre Abram was recording an episode for his podcast in Old Town Scottsdale, AZ last Friday with his cameraman, who’s also African-American. As they were recording, they noticed Ng scoping them out.

Abram’s camera was rolling when Ng strolled over and asked the two men what they were doing.

Ng explained that “we’ve had problems here,” before going on to admit that he is, in fact, a racist. Abram calmly explained that they were not, in fact, in a “no n*ggr zone,” but Ng continued to ask Abram questions about where he’s from and why he’s there.

Abram didn’t escalate the situation, but eventually police tracked Ng down at his home where he was cited for disorderly conduct.

It turns out Ng was a Realtor with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty – “was” because the real estate office fired Ng upon learning of his abhorrent behavior. The broker there also recommended Ng’s state license be revoked.

And there you have it.