When I first moved to NYC in 1990, I was trying to hail a taxi on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. There was a Black man already standing there a hundred feet in front. As a taxi approached, it flew right by him in order to pick me up. I opened the door to the cab and asked driver, “Hey – why didn’t you pick up that Black guy!”
“Just get in the car,” he yelled at me. I held the door open and shouted out to the man who was there ahead of me, “This cab is yours! I’ll hold the door!” He ran up the street toward me. The taxi driver, furious, hit the gas – with the door still open! In that moment I was reminded that racism is everywhere, even in one of the most liberal cities in the country.
A few years later, in 1993, NBC gave me my own prime time show, “TV Nation”. I knew the first thing I wanted to film for my very first episode. I asked beloved Emmy-nominated actor Yaphet Kotto, if he would re-enact with me that first NYC experience of mine — but instead I replaced me with an actual convicted white felon and paroled murderer, Louis Bruno, to see who the cabs would pick up first.
Featuring TV Nation correspondent Rusty Cundieff plus a special guest appearance by RUN DMC.
Yaphet Kotto passed away today. Thank you my brother for being with me on that very first night. Rest In Peace.
What we need is real security – my statement on today’s announcement 👇
Real security will be provided by working co-operatively internationally to tackle the major challenges of our time – from climate catastrophe to global poverty, to the international refugee crisis to health pandemics.
In contrast to this, today’s defence and security review shows Boris Johnson’s Tories are intent on an increasingly militaristic and belligerent agenda.
Lifting the cap on the number of Trident nuclear warheads the UK can stockpile by more than 40% to 260 is totally wrong. It is in conflict with our legal obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and is at odds with the new UN Treaty to ban all nuclear weapons globally. It also runs counter to the example set by President Biden of renewing a nuclear weapons reduction treaty with Russia.
At a time when our public services are at breaking point due to a decade of austerity, the decision to spend billions more on nuclear weapons we should never use shows the Tories have the wrong priorities.
Sabre rattling, initiating a new nuclear arms race and increasing tension with Russia and China provides no way forward for humanity and will make the world more, not less, dangerous. We need to be working together internationally to solve problems not creating new ones.
The Tories have not learnt the lessons of how ill-prepared we were to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic; they should be prioritising the health service and regenerating our economy rather than ploughing vast amounts of resources into nuclear weapons and hikes in military spending.
Real security is not provided by increasing our nuclear arsenal and taking an increasingly bellicose stance in the international arena.
Nor is it provided by continuing arms exports that fuel wars and conflicts, not least the UK’s continuing sales of arms to Saudi Arabia that are used in the war on Yemen.
It is time for a change of priorities – to push for peace and to put our planet, health, lives and livelihoods first.
We’ve already connected over 2 billion people to authoritative Covid-19 information. Now that many countries are moving towards vaccinations for all adults, we’re working on tools to make it easier for everyone to get vaccinated as well.
First, we’re launching a tool that shows you when and where you can get vaccinated, and gives you a link to make an appointment. This will be in the Covid Information Center, which we’ll show people right in their News Feed. We’ve already seen people use Facebook to find vaccination appointments, so this should enable millions more people to do the same.
Second, we’re bringing the Covid Information Center to Instagram, and we’ll show it to people prominently there too.
Third, we’re working with health authorities and governments to expand their WhatsApp chatbots to help people register for vaccines. More than 3 billion messages related to Covid have already been sent by governments, nonprofits and international organizations to citizens through official WhatsApp chatbots, so this update will help with the vaccination effort as well.
The data shows the vaccines are safe and they work. They’re our best hope for getting past this virus and getting back to normal life. I’m looking forward to getting mine, and I hope you are too.