*Donna Summer reportedly felt that her inhalation of toxic air after the Sept. 11th attacks gave her the lung cancer that eventually led to her death, TMZ is reporting.
The website cites sources close to the singer who says the disco queen was living at an apartment near Ground Zero when the buildings fell.
According to TMZ, Summer became almost paranoid about breathing the air, which was heavy with a rancid odor. And in the months and years following 9/11, her feelings intensified.
The website says another source claims she would constantly spray some sort of disinfectant in the air due to her concerns. Also, Deney Terrio, the host of “Dance Fever,” tells TMZ that when he was around the singer post 9/11, she would hang silk sheets in her dressing room to prevent dust from coming in.
TMZ quotes another source who claims Summer, who was a born again Christian, “believed 9/11 was an attack on Christianity and in some metaphysical way Christians like her were targets. She somehow felt that her illness was a byproduct of the attack.”
“And, we’re told, after Donna was diagnosed with lung cancer, several people told her that cigarette smoke may have been the culprit — she was a smoker, and she also frequented clubs where people smoked. But Donna simply didn’t buy it,” TMZ reports.
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to the media after visiting a firehouse on May 1, 2012 in New York City.
*Just several hours after Mitt Romney accused President Obama of politicizing the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death, the GOP presidential candidate was at a New York City event with former mayor Rudy Guiliani — marking the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death.
And he was heckled to boot.
Romney was campaigning with Giuliani at the firehouse where the city set up its first response center in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. It was an event intended to burgeon Romney’s foreign policy credentials while pushing back at Obama and his campaign, which suggested Romney wouldn’t have given the order to a team of Navy Seals to enter Pakistan to take out bin Laden.
But Romney’s remarks on the street outside the firehouse were overshadowed by a female heckler, who repeatedly screamed, “Mitt Romney is a racist!” as the presumptive Republican candidate gave brief remarks and took questions. While never explicitly acknowledged by Romney, the protester was clearly audible on television broadcasts of the event, and the former governor spoke for just around five minutes before hurrying into a nearby SUV.
Media reports said the heckler was associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement. [Scroll down to watch.]
The governor left so quickly that Giuliani stuck around to field more questions — prompting Romney to dart back and thank him for his support.
“I didn’t realize you were still here,” Romney said with a laugh, shaking the hand of his former rival.
The scene encapsulated many of the difficulties Romney has faced in recent days as the president has worked to play up the achievement of finding and killing the terrorist leader. Again Tuesday afternoon, Romney said that the president deserved credit for authorizing the raid.
“This of course is on the anniversary of the day when Osama bin Laden finally was taken out and we respect and admire the many people who were a part of that,” Romney said.
But Romney reiterated his earlier argument that suggesting he would not have done the same was “an inappropriate use of the very important event that brought America together.” Giuliani echoed that sentiment in his comments after Romney left the station.
“I wish he wouldn’t use it as a source of negative campaigning,” Giuliani says. “I think that’s a big mistake. And I think he’s mischaracterizing what Mitt Romney said.”
The Obama campaign has pointed out that in 2007, Romney said “it’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”
Romney was asked about the Obama campaign’s charges during the question and answer period, but partially sidestepped, focusing instead on his previous critique of Obama openly acknowledging that he would travel into Pakistan, if necessary, to capture Bin Laden.
Romney said that, like then-Sen. Joe Biden during the 2008, he objected to Obama openly declaring he would cross the border into Pakistan.
“It was naïve of the president to announce he would go into Pakistan,” Romney said. Romney went on to say “many people” at that time shared that view and that while “we reserve the right to go where we feel is appropriate” to capture terrorist leaders, he didn’t believe it was well-advised to advertise that fact.
*On September 11, 2001 our country came together in shock, anger, sadness and dismay around a cowardly act of terrorism against the United States of America where 2,977 men, women and children lost their lives. Republicans and Democrats, gay and straight people, majority and minority people, teenagers and adults, Catholics and Baptists, janitors and CEOs, and almost everyone else on opposing sides or standing in judgment of one another were together on one accord.
Ten years later, we’re back in position. The tabloids are posting the worst. Social media sites are full of negative messages about other people. Judgment is being passed around like the church plate. Whispers in the halls of workplaces are filled with gossip. The haves continue to find ways to distinguish themselves from the have nots. And politics are back to business in the usual cutthroat fashion.
I will never forget the tragedy of September 11th. Outside of another tragedy, what could we use to remind ourselves of the common human cause? Do we have to have more lives lost, more terrorists attacks, more acts of God to notice that we’re all in this together? We can coexist, authentically, together. My way is different, not better or worse. Your values are yours, not mine. Own your truth, respect other’s and let’s do what is best for the human cause.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we were evolved enough, as a people, to give love to, encourage, and accept people before tragedy strikes?
This week’s post is dedicated to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, including my colleagues from my work at The TJX Companies, Christine Barbuto, Neilie Heffernan Casey, Tara Kathleen Creamer, Linda George, Lisa Fenn Gordenstein, Robin Kaplan, and Susan Mackay. It is also dedicated to the brave and courageous firefighters, police officers, medical workers and civilians to took action without thinking to save the lives of those that could be. My prayers continue to go out to their families and close friends who continue to miss their presence with us on earth.
Let’s not let our egos and insecurities let us lose sight of the human cause.
Live. Love. Laugh. And. . .serve.
Monica Cost is communications strategist, brand manager and respected corporate and motivational speaker. She is the President and Founder of Evidently Assured, a communications and brand management firm. Email her at: LiveYourTruth@MonicaCost.com. Follow her via Twitter: @monicacost and Facebook.com/monicahairstoncost.
*Timing couldn’t have been better for a new film premiering this month set against the politically-charged backdrop of the Sept. 11th attacks, and what it means to be Muslim in 21st century America.
Evan Ross, Danny Glover and Nia Long star in “MOOZ-lum,” which is scheduled to debut Sept. 17 in New York as part of the Urbanworld Film Festival.
Nia Long in the film "MOOZ-lum"
Written and directed by Qasim Basir and filmed via a multi-faith, diverse production team, “MOOZ-lum” is billed as one of the first American features depicting the life of a young Muslim-American.
Ross stars as Tariq, a young African-American Muslim entering college who just wants to “fit in.” Overcoming deep personal traumas in his search for identity, he struggles to reconcile a difficult personal, religious history with his new changed reality.
Long plays Tariq’s mother and Roger Guenveur Smith stars as his father.
Roger Guenveur Smith in "MOOZ-lum"
Basir has written the story as much from his own passion and experience as he has from observing the world around him.
“The recent incidences of violence and hatred in response to the building of a Muslim cultural center near Ground Zero have put us significant steps backwards,” says Basir. “My hope is that ‘MOOZ-lum’ will allow for the world to witness the diversity amongst Muslims, our faith and the connectedness to a common humanity, and in turn lead to further understanding and tolerance.”
Summer Bishil also stars in “MOOZ-lum,” which is currently seeking distribution.
Watch the trailer and a behind-the-scenes video below.
*Despite Obama’s attendance in church and his repeated public statements about his Christian faith, the number of Americans who believe he is actually Muslim is on the rise.
A new Pew Research Center poll has found that 20 percent of Americans mistakenly believe that President Barack Obama practices Islam, reports the Washington Post.
Meanwhile, the number of Americans who correctly identify Obama as a Christian has fallen by nearly half from a year ago, to 34 percent.
The Post said the poll found one third of conservative Republicans believe Obama is a Muslim, nearly double the figure who said so last year. The number of independent voters with the same mistaken belief has also risen, by eight points, to 18 percent, the Post said.
The poll was taken before Obama waded into this current heated national debate over plans for a mosque and interfaith centers just blocks from the New York site of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Obama said Friday that US principles protecting freedom of religion should apply equally to all faiths, and that Muslims should be able to worship freely in the United States. But a day later he added that his comments were not intended to pass judgment on the wisdom of building a mosque near Ground Zero.
Of those who said they believe Obama is Muslim, 60 percent said they had learned about his religion from the media. But White House officials told the Post that mistaken impressions about Obama’s faith were the result of “misinformation campaigns” being waged by his opponents.
“While the president has been diligent and personally committed to his own Christian faith, there’s certainly folks who are intent on spreading falsehoods about the president and his values and beliefs,” faith adviser Joshua DuBois said.