Fierce

All About Michelle Obama’s ‘Vote’ Necklace And Where To Get It

There’s no denying that Michelle Obama wowed viewers when she appeared at the Democratic National Convention earlier this week. The former First Lady delivered a pointed and compelling speech about the future of our country and the importance of voting and did so while donning perhaps one of the chicest outfits of the decade paired with hoop earrings and a sweet necklace that spelled out the word “VOTE.”

While there’s a lot to take away from Obama’s message, particularly because our lives literally depend on it, fans haven’t been able to keep their eyes off of Obama’s “vote” necklace.

Obama’s necklace was designed by Chari Cuthbert for her line BYCHARI as part of her boutique jewelry line which is based in Los Angeles.

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You all know me by now. You know that I tell you exactly what I’m feeling, and that I’m no fan of politics. But you also know how much I love this country and how much I care about all our children. And right now, I’m deeply troubled by what our kids are witnessing—a nation that’s underperforming not just on matters of policy, but on matters of character. In our hearts, we know that so much of what’s happening is just not right. It’s not who we want to be. And if we want any chance to end the chaos, the division, and the nastiness; if we want to keep alive the possibility of progress on the issues we hold dear, we’ve got to elect @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris like our lives depend on it. Joe Biden is a profoundly decent man, guided by his faith. He knows what it takes to rescue an economy, beat back a pandemic, and lead a country. Kamala Harris is a dedicated public servant who has committed her life to fighting for those who can use a hand up. Together, they will listen. They will tell the truth and trust science. And they will make smart plans and manage a good team. Because Joe Biden has served this nation without ever losing sight of who he is, but even more than that, he’s never lost sight of who we are—all of us. And he will channel that same grit and compassion to pick us up, help us heal, and guide us forward. To everyone who has given so much this summer to awaken our consciences and shout out for justice—I could not be more proud of you. Keep it up. Because progress isn’t an either/or proposition. If we want to move forward, we’ve got to march. We’ve got to kneel. We’ve got to protest. And we’ve got to vote—and make sure everyone we know does, too. So vote early, in-person if you can. Request your mail-in ballots right now—tonight—and send them back immediately, and follow up to make sure they were received. And when Election Day comes, get prepared to wait in line overnight if you have to. Because if we want to be able to look our children in the eye after this election, if we want to realize the progress that we seek, we’ve got to do everything we can to elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States.

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The Black designer has produced and designed custom pieces since 2012 and sold her designs via her website, word of mouth, social media, and a few influencers. According to Cuthbert, her business was already doing well pretty recently but sales for her designs skyrocketed this week thanks to a visual endorsement from Obama at the Democratic Convention. Cuthbert told CNN that 12 hours after Obama’s address on Monday night, almost 2,000 orders for her VOTE necklace came rolling in.

The necklace sells for $295.

“I was at my office, and I just sat there as my phone was going crazy, and I started to cry,” Cuthbert told CNN.

Obama’s stylist has said that the vote necklace inspired the writer’s entire look for the evening.

Meredith Koop who has worked as a stylist for Obama for the last decade told CNN, “I built all of the outfit options I offered to Obama around the necklace. When I commissioned it, I knew it had to be the centerpiece When the speech started, you had to squint a little to read it. I love that. It pulled the viewer in.”

The VOTE necklace was crafted for Obama earlier this summer in July when Koop messaged Cuthbert on Instagram. The designer and stylist had never met or worked with Koop but found herself impressed by Cuthbert’s designs on social platforms like Instagram. Of course, this isn’t the first time Cuthbert has created the VOTE necklace. In 2016, she made a small supply of the necklaces for herself and friends. In 2018 she promoted the necklaces once again to raise awareness about the primaries.

“I try to keep politics and business separate,” Cuthbert told CNN, “But in these times, with what’s happening in the world, I felt like I needed to use my platform. So when Meredith reached out we knew how important it was to do this, and do it now.”

Cuthbert is a Black business owner who has been waiting for a break for her small business for some time.

Like millions of small business owners and entrepreneurs, she’s worked hard to pursue her dreams.

“I reached out to friends in the jewelry industry last night and this morning and have just said, ‘Um, I’m going to need some help,’ in the best possible sense,” Cuthbert explains. “This is it. This is the dream come true.”

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Donald Trump Refused To Condemn His White Supremacists Pals And In fact, Told Them To ‘Stand By’

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Donald Trump Refused To Condemn His White Supremacists Pals And In fact, Told Them To ‘Stand By’

Spencer Platt / Getty

Last night’s first presidential debate of the 2020 election gave us about as much optimism and assurance of safety as his past four years in office. Particularly because when it came to the moments when our current president was given a chance by moderator Chris Wallace to condemn white supremacists and “militia” groups while also demanding that they stand down as opposed to inciting violence, he refused.

Even if you’ve yet to watch Tuesday night’s debates, you’ve undoubtedly heard that throughout the night Donald Trump acted like a child who had never once been taught by a teacher to wait his turn to speak. Or, to simply answer a question. Shockingly, Trump stuck to this approach in one of the most critical aspects of the debates that could have gained him followers or at least assuaged Americans and their fears about his leadership and morality.

When it came to the moment when he was asked to condemn white nationalists and militia groups Trump pussyfooted around then gave a pretty damning response.

During last night’s debate when asked to denounce those groups, Trump gave non-committal answers.

When asked by debate moderator Chris Wallace asked if he was willing and ready to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and tell them to stand down during the current and ongoing demonstrations taking place across the country, Trump told one group to “stand back and stand by.”

What’s more, he asserted that violence at the protests was not being instigated by conservatives.

“Sure,” Trump responded. “I’m willing to [tell them to stand down] but I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right wing. I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”

“Say it. Do it. Say it,” Biden urged Trump in response to his non commital answers.

“Who would you like me to condemn?” Trump shot back, turning his attention to Wallace. “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what. Somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”

The Proud Boys are a far-right men-only organization that has been spotted at multiple 2020 Trump campaign rallies wearing black and yellow polo shirt uniforms.

The group promotes and often engages in political violence.

This is why Trump’s non-committal responses like “Sure” to requests from Wallace and Biden to condemn these groups are worrisome. Even more so why, when pressed by Wallace and Biden who pointed out repeatedly that “sure” is not the same as actually doing so was so troubling as well. Moreover, it’s important to note that Trump’s response to “I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right-wing” is another “all lives matter” kind of way to denouncing white supremacist groups.

Of course this is not the first time the president has defended the actions of white supremacists.

In August, Trump refused to condemn the actions of his supporters in Portland, Oregon, and Wisconsin who used pepper spray to attack demonstrators. In the past, Trump has also defended Kyle Rittenhouse, a shooter who attempted homicide in Kenosha, Wisconsin at a BLM protest, saying that he had been “very violently attacked.”

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Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

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Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

BILL PUGLIANO / GETTY

After four long years, we finally know why Trump didn’t want to release his tax returns: abominably, he thought his terrible haircuts and adult age children were worthy of write-offs. Oh yeah… and the year he was elected he only paid $750.00.

Long before his 2016 presidential election bid, Trump dodged calls to reveal his tax returns. At the time of his bid, however, he refused to take part in a 40-year tradition carried out by presidential nominees to release tax returns to the public. During his initial run, Trump falsely claimed that he was unable to release his returns publicly while they were under audit, and throughout his presidency, he has avoided sharing them despite grand jury subpoenas. Fortunately, thanks to a piece published by The New York Times, they’re finally getting a chance to see the light of day.

On Sunday, The New York Times published the first of several reports examining Trump’s tax information.

In 2016, Trump became the first president since 1976 to not release his tax records. The decision promptly roused dismay and questions about whether the records carried “undisclosed conflicts of interest that may impair his ability to make impartial policy decisions.”

According to NYT’s latest exposé, Trump (a man who has long boasted about his wealth and has also claimed a net worth of billions of which he has also declared to be self-acquired) paid a mere total of $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

While the Times report did not cover 2018 and 2019 tax filings, the newspaper looked into 18 years of Trump’s tax returns. They also looked into his business dealings as far back as 2000 and found that in 10 of those years, the president of the United States failed to pay any income taxes “largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”

The Times also revealed that Trump “racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes” despite millions in income and property. In a statement for the piece, Alan Garten an attorney for the Trump Organization claimed to the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts, appear to be inaccurate.” NoteL the Times underlined that Garten appeared to be “conflating income taxes with other federal taxes.”

According to the article, beginning in 2010, Trump had been given a $72.9 million tax refund from the IRS.

The Times article explains in detail how Trump has managed to handle his business and categorize his wealth. The paper found that most often, Trump claimed his expenses as deductions from his tax bill chalking them up to business expenses. These include nearly $70,000 in hairstyling costs for his time on NBC’s “The Apprentice” over $300,000 for landscaping of the Mar-a-Lago Club and $95,000 written off for hair and makeup done for his daughter Ivanka. That’s right, the president wrote off his own adult children.

Addressing the report, the Times noted that they would not include the actual tax documents in its coverage to avoid outing its sources.

“We are publishing this report because we believe citizens should understand as much as possible about their leaders and representatives — their priorities, their experiences and also their finances,” Times editor Dean Baquet wrote in an editor’s note. “Every president since the mid-1970s has made his tax information public. The tradition ensures that an official with the power to shake markets and change policy does not seek to benefit financially from his actions.”

In response to the reports, Trump called the story “fake news” during a White House press conference on Sunday.

Speaking about the piece, Trump bemoaned that the IRS “does not treat me well.” “It’s totally fake news. Made-up, fake,” he continued. “We went through the same stories, people you could’ve asked me the same questions four years ago. I had to litigate this and talk about it. Totally fake news… Actually, I paid tax, and you’ll see that as soon as my tax returns — it’s under audit,” Trump went onto explain. “They’ve been under audit for a long time. The IRS does not treat me well. … They don’t treat me well; they treat me very badly. You have people in the IRS, they treat me very, very badly…But they’re under audit. And when they’re not, I would be proud to show you, but that’s just fake news.”

It’s important to note that even an audit could not prevent Trump from releasing his tax records to the public.

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