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The Most Over-The-Top Moments From The 'RHOATL' Season 13 Finale

"She is an animal and she needs to be tamed."

Culture & Entertainment

You can always count on the Real Housewives of Atlanta to give us the drama we've been craving, especially while social-distancing during this pandemic. The season 13 finale (April 18) had no shortage of shenanigans. The episode centered around a holiday party thrown by Cynthia Bailey which she coined Friendsmas but by the end re-coined to Friendsmess. Before the festivities even began, we got a look into the state of Kenya Moore's relationship with Marc Daly during a therapy session and Drew Sidora's current situation with the biological father of her nine-year-old son.

If you didn't get a chance to watch the finale, we've got you covered. Here are the soundbites from the ladies (and their co-stars) that made us laugh, gasp and say, "Oh my gosh!"

When Kenya Used Baby Brooklyn’s Phone to Call Her Estranged Husband Because He Blocked Her 

"Who blocks the mother of their child's phone calls?" Kenya Moore asked her therapist after explaining how her estranged husband Marc Daly had recently spent the night for their two-year-old's birthday party. According to Kenya, Marc expressed during his visit that he wanted to keep their family together and work on things. So when Kenya tried to contact Marc and realized that her number was B-L-O-C-K-E-D, she ran upstairs to fetch her Brooklyn's cell phone. But while Kenya was shocked that she was getting curved by her Brooklyn's daddy, viewers were shocked that the toddler had her very own cell phone.

When Cynthia Announced the White Elephant Budget Was $1,000

"I would like to warmly invite each of you to my home for a small, intimate event—Friendsmas. Bring one Secret Santa and the amount of the gift should not exceed more than $100," was Cynthia's big announcement towards the top of the episode that spiraled into the BIG drama that exploded at the party itself. She then up the ante to get the ladies excited for the festivities by raising the gift budget to a whopping $1,000. If you're anything like us and saving your coins, you might have let out a little bit of a gasp at that budget. The gifts included Tiffany's jewelry, a Gucci bag, the latest iPhone, and a gag gift that came at a cost. More on that later...

When the Llamas That Cynthia Bailey Ordered Showed Up

"At least my llama friends have shown up," Cynthia shouted when actual llamas showed up at her house for Friendsmas. Frustrated many of the ladies were canceling last minute or showing up super late, the hostess with the mostest ordered two llamas accompanied by "elves" to take photos with her castmates and bring some necessary holiday cheer. The moment made us question what we're even doing wearing ugly Christmas sweaters when the RHOATL are celebrating the season with actual llamas?

When LaToya Ali Threw a Wig at Drew Sidora

"You will not put hands on me and throw things at me. She is an animal and she needs to be tamed," Drew yelled across the room after LaToya threw an alleged $1,000 wig at her co-star. We'll back up a second here to explain. While the other ladies used a stack to buy lavish items, Drew's was a gag gift that ultimately ended up with Kenya as the "lucky" owner. Unsurprisingly, Kenya didn't care to take her wig home, giving LaToya the opportunity to hurl the bundles at Drew for once again accusing her of having a relationship with Prophet Anthony Lott. The argument is an old one, but this time it ended in a brawl where producers had to jump in. Afterward, Cynthia kicked everyone out, but like the good host she is, carolers were waiting outside to send them off.

When Kenya and LaToya Fled Friendsmas with Stolen Champagne Bottles

"I'm leaving with the Chanel, the Gucci, and the bottles," were Kenya's last words at Friendsmess. Oh, and just because Kenya didn't take her wig, doesn't mean she left empty-handed. She and LaToya raided the presents stash on their way out and Kenya grabbed half the bottles of champagne in place of her gag gift. It's safe to say Kenya left a winner!

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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