Phife Dawg, a core member of the legendary hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, has passed away today. He was 45 years old. According to reports in Rolling Stone, Phife Dawg had suffered from Type 1 Diabetes for years, and underwent a kidney transplant back in 2008 for the condition. Still, that doesn’t make his loss any less heartbreaking.Phife was a founding member of A Tribe Called Quest with childhood friend Q-Tip, alongside members Jarobi and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. The group started in 1985, but it was their 1991 album, The Low End Theory, that set them apart from their contemporaries. Low End, along with Midnight Marauders in 1993, are ranked among the top albums of all time.The group’s ability to blend socially conscious lyrics with hip hop rhythms and jazz accompaniment set them in a league of their own. ATCQ broke up in 1998, but reunited a handful of times in the years following. RIP Phife Dawg, you will be missed.Update 12:45 PM. 3/23:Phife Dawg’s family has shared the following statement:“We regret to share the news that on Tuesday March 22nd, 2016, Malik has passed away due to complications resulting from diabetes.Malik was our loving husband, father, brother and friend. We love him dearly. How he impacted all our lives will never be forgotten. His love for music and sports was only surpassed by his love of God and family.”Dion Liverpool, his manager adds, “While I mourn the loss of my best friend and brother, I also will celebrate his incredible life and contribution to many people’s ears across the world. Even with all his success, I have never met a person as humble as he. He taught me that maintaining a positive attitude and outlook can conquer anything. Now my brother is resting in greatness. I’m honored to have crossed paths with him. Riddim Kidz 4eva.”The family asks that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.
Cutout Photo: Kenneth C. Zirkel / CC BY-SA 3.0ALBANY — As activists in several U.S. cities pull down and damage memorials to Christopher Columbus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo voiced support for a statue of the explorer in Manhattan.In recent years, critics who point to evidence of Columbus’ brutality toward indigenous peoples have called for New York City to remove his 70-foot-tall statue standing atop a column in Columbus Circle.Some have suggested that New York rename Columbus Day and call it Indigenous People’s Day, arguing that commemorating Columbus glorifies a symbol of genocide and enslavement and glosses over history.Those calls have been renewed in many cities in the wake of nationwide protests against racism following the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Italian American groups, however, have used memorials to Columbus, who was from Genoa, as a way to celebrate their own heritage. The Manhattan statue was put up in 1892 as the Italian American community attempted to overcome prejudice and assimilate into American society.Cuomo, who is Italian American, defended the statue Thursday while saying he understands ongoing dialogue surrounding it.“I understand the feelings about Christopher Columbus and some of his acts, which nobody would support. But the statue has come to represent and signify appreciation for the Italian American contribution to New York,” Cuomo said. “So for that reason I support it.”His remark comes amid a growing push for the nation to reconsider who is honored and reckon with oppression and violence committed by national icons.The colonizer is at times credited with “discovering” the New World though millions lived there, said Onondaga Nation citizen Betty Lyons, who also leads the American Indian Law Alliance. Columbus never landed on what’s now known as the continental United States and faced accusations of tyranny and enslavement toward the native residents of a Caribbean colony he governed for Spain.“Governor Cuomo’s eloquence in response to the anti-racism movement sparked by the murder of George Floyd apparently does not extend to the genocide and enslavement those first transatlantic voyages initiated and which continue to underpin the oppression of indigenous peoples to this day,” Lyons said.In 2017, vandals doused the Columbus statue’s hands in blood-red paint and scrawled the words “hate will not be tolerated.”A 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue led New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to launch a commission that evaluated how to deal with controversial sculptures including the Columbus statue.The commission recommended adding historical markers to give more context.In New York City, Democratic lawmakers have called on the military to rename two streets — General Lee Avenue and Stonewall Jackson Drive — at Fort Hamilton, an Army base in Brooklyn.They wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper that soldiers “deserve to serve on bases that honor their ancestors’ contributions to our nation, not those who fought to hold those same ancestors in bondage.”De Blasio said Thursday: “Nothing should be named after Robert E. Lee at this point in history.” Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),What most people today fail to realize is that Columbus was Genoese not “Italian”. Columbus himself would not self identify as Italian. The Republic of Genoa was established in 1005 and maintained its autonomy until 1797. Italy, as a united entity, did not exist until the mid 19th century. So to say he was Italian is not historically correct. Besides the aforementioned facts he was in the employ of Spanish monarchs when he “discovered” the “new world”. Italian heritage has little to do with a man who brought suffering and genocide to the native peoples of the new world. In my opinion there is no reason to glorify him in any way.
REGISTRATION forms for the country’s Premier Softball Cup competition can be uplifted today at the conclusion of the official launching of the three-day tournament.The launch is scheduled for the Everest Cricket Club ground pavilion from 12:00hrs, and according to the organising committee, captains for each participating local team are asked to be a part of the ceremony.Robert FranceNamed the ‘Prime Minister’s Cup’, the three-day tournament is billed for October 27, 28 and 29.The tournament will be played in two categories: the Masters and All Stars, and entry is open to any number of teams interested to be a part of the tournament.To date, a number local teams have confirmed their participation. To add some international flavour to the event, Toronto Cup Masters Softball cricket tournament 2017 winners SVC Mafia and New York Hustlers, along with New York President’s X1 and Try State Masters, have confirmed their participation as well.Players must be over the age of 45 in order to play in the Masters category, while the All Stars format is open to all ages.Teams registering for the Over-45 category must submit photo identification, preferably valid passports for every member of their 15-man squad.The Over-45 category will make the champions $500 000 richer, while in the All Stars category the winning team will collect $600 000. Entrance is free.A number of top government officials, including Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton, who recently assumed responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport and Director of Sport Christopher Jones among others are expected to grace the occasion.