Orlando Massacre Victims at 49, not 50

I’m still seeing postings from social media users who are saying that fifty (50) men and women were killed in last Sunday’s massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Perhaps it’s insignificant but I think details and facts – no matter how minute, are important in situations like this.

Unless any one of the other 53+ people who were wounded or injured in that incident happen to die from their wounds – and I certainly hope each of them survive and has a healthy recovery – although reports say there are a few in that number who remain on the hospital critical condition watch list, the official death count of human victims in that massacre is still at forty-nine (49), not 50!
Orlando massacre victims (49) (14JUN 2016)
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies do not consider the perpetrator or antagonist killed in any crime a victim in their death count. This is why they [the FBI] do not – and neither should we – consider Orlando assassin and domestic terrorist Omar Mateen, a victim in that incident. I say this so that in our social media postings and social discussions we can correctly state the true number of people killed in that massacre.

Now, click here  or click the photo above to link to an interactive website slide of the still photo from the New York Daily News. The slide shows the name, photo and profile of each of the persons who were murdered Sunday June 12, 2016. Lest there being any misunderstanding, the photo and slide show photos of people; human beings of flesh and blood who, regardless of their sexual orientation, had been living members of our society. They were people who had simply been having a good time; enjoying the American freedom of having a good time with friends, acquaintances and strangers… until their lives were suddenly snatch away needlessly and tragically by… a bullet.

– RobFather X

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© RobFather X! Productions

The “Power” and “Empire” TV Series: Excellent Writing, feat. Serious, Realistic Drama!

Power (Starz series), Empire (Fox series) (re)In the summer of 2014 I watched, was impressed and very pleased with the Starz network TV series Power, which is executive produced by rapper and actor Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. The series follows character James St. Patrick, nicknamed “Ghost”, owner of a popular New York City nightclub. St. Patrick/Ghost is also a major player in one of the city’s biggest illegal drug networks. Last season unveiled his struggle to balance his two lives – perhaps three lives, since he is married but has a mistress. The balance begins to collapse when St. Patrick/Ghost realizes he wants to leave the drug ring in order to support his legitimate business and commit to his mistress, an Assistant District Attorney. Each episode of the new Power series was simply awesome. I wait anxiously for Season 2 to premiere this summer!
Here’s an intro-episode clip of Power:

Last Wednesday evening (January 7, 2015) the Fox TV network premiered the new series Empire, created, written and produced by actor/film director/producer, Lee Daniels and actor/screenwriter, Danny Strong. The show centers around a hip hop music and entertainment company called Empire Enterprises, and the drama between the members of the founder’s family as they fight for control of the company. Expect to hear some damn good music on Empire which can be downloaded on iTunes.
Here’s an intro-trailer clip of Empire:

Having watched the first episode of this show I must admit to being impressed and pleased with that show, too. Both Power and Empire feature Black actors in lead and major roles. Each series has a different plot and obviously different characters. I have yet to see more episodes of Empire to ascertain whether I will fully like the show. Considering that I’ve seen the collaborative work of Daniels and Strong before, it’s a safe bet that I’ll be giving high praises to this new series too!

Speaking of giving, I give extra points to Empire for immediately featuring in its first episode, one major character as a masculine Black gay man who is in an interracial homosexual relationship with another masculine man. Sweet! I make special mention of that point because on basic (not cable) television it is rare to see masculine Black gay male character roles, let alone on a show series where a male, same-gender-loving character of color is in an interracial relationship.

In both Power and Empire, I’m pleased to finally see realistic drama television programs featuring a predominately Black cast – with each role specifically written for and fitting the actor or actress portraying their assigned character of the story. It’s especially refreshing to see a cast of Black men and women featured in good quality and serious drama roles instead of always in a terribly written situation comedy or in one of those shitty “reality TV” series shows (click here to see a list of them) that I’ve always loathed. I think those particular television shows are ethnically embarrassing to me as a Black man and wish that every last one of them were yanked off television.

Simply put, I think Power and Empire are (so far) examples of exceptional television writing; something which – as far as television shows featuring people of color are concerned, has long been missing from television. As long as the writers and producers continue the excellent writing of these two television series and keep them realistically entertaining, I’ll keep watching. For another review on Empire, I invite you to click here to read my friend Kris Avalon’s excellent blog article!

Check local television and cable listings or the embedded links in this article to learn more about Power and Empire.

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Same-Sex Marriage: The Keystone State Becomes No. 19!

HRC poster - PA same-sex banYES! YES! YES!
My home state – The Commonwealth of PENNSYLVANIA, aka the keystone state, has today – Tuesday, May 20, 2014, become the 19th state in the Union to allow same-sex marriage!! I was covered in goose bumps and tears came to my eyes upon hearing and confirming this fantastic news…especially because it happened in my home state! YES! YES! YES! Click here and here to links to the news stories! 

Congratulations to all same-sex partner/couples living in Pennsylvania who now can get married and live their lives openly as a legally married couple if they so choose!

A most special and hearty congratulations to my friends W. Ted Weeks and his fiancé Zachary Webster who live in my hometown Philadelphia! Ted and Zak met this month thirteen years ago so this news is a very special one for them as they celebrate their anniversary! What a gift!Zachary Webster & W_Ted Weeks-3b

I don’t need to speak further on this history-making event in Pennsylvania because I’ve often stated my feelings in support for same-sex marriage in various articles on this blog. In spite of that, let’s not forget that as of today, there remain 31 more states in America that have yet to make it legal – or completely legal for same-sex couples to marry and/or for those same states to recognize (and respect!) the marriages of married same-sex couples from other states in this great country.

I simply want to share with readers my excitement and joy as a former Pennsylvanian for this great and wonderful news. Once again, congratulations to all same-sex couples in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as to those living in the great state of Mr & Mr Pillows casesOregon, which yesterday (19 May) became the 18th state to allow same-sex marriagethus joining other states and the District of Columbia in this great nation which have already fully legalized same-sex marriage. Click here for a good informative website called ProCon.org to help keep track.

A special THANK YOU to those civil groups, individuals and attorneys who may not necessarily be gay themselves but who are simply LGBT-friendly or allies.Gay Marriage-advocates-Pennsylvania Their efforts should not be overlooked. They have been ever supportive and/or hard at work in the fight to ensure the right of LGBT people or same-sex partners to marry and live as a married unit – complete with the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as any heterosexual married couple in America.

The fight for social equality in America – and the respect and recognition of that equality, continues!

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