Showing posts with label Racism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Racism. Show all posts

December 03, 2015

The Wiz Live! or Racists Ruin Everything

In case you don’t know, NBC’s The Wiz Live! makes its nationally televised debut tonight at 8:00 pm, much to my (and loads of other people’s) delight. If you’re a fan of the 1978 film version directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Lena Horne, Nipsey Russell, Mabel King and a host of other Black entertainment notables, then this a big deal. Furthermore, if you’re a fan Stephanie Mills’s soul-stirring version of Home from the 1975 Broadway version of The Wiz, and saw the clip of her rehearsing with newcomer Shanice Williams (the new Dorothy), then you’re really stoked for tonight, no doubt.

This is all cause for an exciting night at home, snacks and wine on deck, right? Right? Well, not according to Whiteness… which works to piss on the proverbial parade of any person, place, or thing that poses a threat to its power and/or privilege; and anti-Black sentiment extends to the world of entertainment and theater—whether racists are having a collective hissy-fit over actress Amandla Stenberg being cast as Rue in the first installment of The Hunger Games, lobbing ugly racial hate at singer FKA Twigs for being engaged to Twilight actor Robert Pattinson, or threatening to boycott the new Star Wars movie for its inclusion of a Black Storm Trooper—anti-Blackness isn’t exclusively perpetrated by old-timers from the American South, the GOP, and Donald Trump supporters; liberals, millennials, and Gen Xers alike are just as hateful… despite some of these same offenders liberally vulturizing Black culture and vernacular, but I digress.

A Twitter-search of ‘The Wiz Live’ will expose a host of clueless white folks who’ve never even
heard of the 1975 Broadway production of The Wiz or watched the 1978 film adaptation, but who felt equipped enough to complain about what they perceive to be ‘reverse-racism’ because, Yemaya forbid, if everything isn’t centered on Whiteness. Notwithstanding the fact that the 1939 musical-film fantasy The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland as Dorothy, was an all-white affair.

November 03, 2013

Whitewashed: White Americans Reflect on White Privilege


"...To be white in this culture means to deny the reality of racism; it means to deny the privilege that we have as whites. Most people, who are Whites, don't want to accept that they are privileged, because they are." 
"People don't want to talk about being White because they know that at a deep level, even though some of them may not have talked about it with anybody or every expressed it, they do know that they get a benefit from being White." 
"... To me, it's about privilege. A lot of people get to walk around thinking that we live in a meritocracy, and thinking that their own hard work is the only thing that's responsible for their achievements. I think that it shapes everything." 
"I was taught that you respected Black folk, but not really as human beings, but more like cats, and dogs, and cows; you wouldn't mistreat a cat or a dog in my family, and you wouldn't mistreat a black person. I don't have any trouble admitting that I'm a racist; I think it's absurd to try to fight with that. I grew up in this society I was conditioned by, I think internally in my psyche I have grounded and rooted those attitudes and I see it in me all the time... I mean, I'm always dealing with it. I don't think that make me a bad person ... I just think it means I've been well indoctrinated." 
"... Like Malcolm X said: 'Racism is like a Cadillac; there's a new model every year'. Racism is a dynamic social construction, so it's always changing and it's always mutating. So people that say, 'well there's no racism anymore', they're referring to racism as it existed in 1950 or 1920 or 1910."  
Above is a collection of quotes from Whitewashed: Unmasking the World of Whites, a 2013 documentary by Mark Patrick George. Clocking in at just under 35 minutes this interesting featurette examines white privilege and racism via footage—(collected over the course of several years)—of several white Americans offering insight on what whiteness means to them and the situations that have prompted them to realize how institutional racism works to marginalize others, and work in their favor. 

July 14, 2013

Justice or Just us? - On Reactions to the George Zimmerman Verdict

[Also read: I Know Trayvon Martin]


Six jurors in Florida have spoken and 17-year-old Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, walks free of any accountability for the part he played in Trayvon’s death. It’s hurtful. It’s a sharp pang that has become all too familiar for Black folk looking to the criminal justice system to work in our favor in some capacity, because far too often, the narrative seems to remain the same-- (and spare me any O.J. Simpson derails)

Despite the hope many of [us] cling to when imploring … demanding… the recognition of our humanity, there’s always this feeling of foreboding about the outcome of that expectation will be. Now that Trayvon has been added to long list of Black people-- many young -- who seem to be nothing more than disposable casualties in the grand scheme of the world at large, I’ll expend some of my righteous indignation towards the gas-lighting and condescension I've seen on my social media timelines, from folks on their proverbial high-horse who fail to grasp the overall implication of the Zimmerman verdict. People who, in the midst of their patronizing reminders about how the legal system works, how none of us were there—(at the scene of the crime the night of February 26th 2012, 
or on the jury sifting through the evidence), and who don’t understand that Zimmerman’s acquittal symbolizes the idea that Black women, men, and youth are subject to being considered inherently dangerous, and subject to racial profiling and vigilantism: even by a neighborhood watch volunteer, an (allegedly) drunk off-duty police officer, or an overzealous gun owner, all with delusions of grandeur about the privilege and power they wield. 

May 02, 2013

'Black Twitter' Takes on #BlackPrivilege

Written for and orig. published on Intersection of Madness and Reality


When racism rears its ugly head on social media, leave it to ‘Black Twitter’ to clap-back and upend rhetoric meant to denigrate black folks, and turn it into a clever and teachable moment steeped in the type of sardonic satire meant to make perpetrators of said racial insensitivity, feel stupid for having ever tried.

Last week, the #BlackPrivilege hash-tag gained momentum on Twitter, reportedly created as a response to the discovery of a (neglected?) tumblr blog and, perhaps, just being plain tired of having to ward off cries of "reverse-racism" whenever black people speak out loud about the lived experiences and daily microaggressions many of us have to navigate . “This Is Black Privilege” ... an anonymous tumblr blog comprised of a jumble of murky, awkwardly written non-facts that seem as if they were culled from the library stacks of Ignoramus University.

October 17, 2012

Waverly High School: Why White Students Parodying Domestic Violence in Blackface is Problematic



With the encouragement of faculty and the Waverly community, three students at the predominantly White Waverly High School in upstate New York, decided it’d be a great idea to don Blackface and parody Chris Brown’s infamous 2009 assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna as a homecoming pep rally skit. The re-enactment was apparently one of a series of pop-culture parodies performed at the high school as part of their annual “Mr. Waverly” competition, where male students jockey to get the loudest cheers from their peers. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the mere idea of mocking domestic violence while wearing Blackface is unfathomable on many levels and so should have signaled red flags for pep rally coordinators and faculty advisors.

The school’s misstep, understandably, incited folks to chorus when a picture of the skit, which was originally posted as an unfiltered iReport on CNN’s website by Waverly High alumnus Matthew Dishler on Monday, went viral across various social media and blogging platforms and catapulted the school into the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons.


Etsy Profits from Golliwogs and Other Racist Nostalgia


Looking for your very own handmade Grandpa Golliwog doorstop? Or perhaps you’ve been looking for a “cute” handmade Mammy doll or Baby Girl Golly? Well according to an online petition that’s being circulated by a woman named Raquel Mack, virtual artisan marketplace, Etsy provides a whole slew of racist nostalgia for purchase on its website despite recent revisions to their policies, which were implemented in January 2011, prohibiting the sale of items that promote and glorify hate and that demeans people based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, disability, and/or sexual orientation.  
“In May of 2012 the San Francisco chapter of the NAACP attempted to reach out to Etsy only to receive this response”'[…] our members come from all walks of life, and may hold differing opinions of the legitimate collectability of certain types of historical items.’ Read the petition’s statement. 
“Perhaps one of the most disturbing aspects of this issue is that that one would be hard pressed to find racist items of any other demographic on Etsy, which begs the question, Why is it okay to sell items that dehumanize and denigrate those that fall into the category of ‘black people’; and would there be the same lack of response were these items offensive toward the LGBTQ community, or Asian community, or any demography that is “more likely” to be shopping or selling on Etsy? Etsy receives $0.20 for every item listed on their site by merchants and they collect a 3.5% fee on the sale of every item, racist or not. Since Etsy has failed to address this issue it may be safe to assume that they have no scruples about profiting from the very items they prohibit.” The petition continues. 

September 27, 2012

The Racial Stir Behind Dolce and Gabbana's 'Blackamoor' Earrings



The fashion industry is the harbinger of cutting-edge, influential, and distinctive trends. The people at the helm of the industry are notoriously fastidious and unabashedly contemptuous of anything or anybody that doesn’t fit within the guidelines of their realm, and a lot of times their world has excluded the use of Black models, unless they happen to be ‘in-season’,  already established, or serve as human background props in offensive photo spreads. And while Black models aren’t always en-vogue in the fashion industry, the utilization of tropes and exploitative images often depicted by their White counter-parts that most Black women are often belittled for, always seem to be the look de rigueur on runways.  

September 25, 2012

Black Hurricane Isaac Worker Spit on and Assaulted by Racist



2010 and 2011 were years that saw Black women being put under intense scrutiny. Studies and shoddily collected data that seemed based on biases and tropes about Black female pathology, outlined why a high percentage of us are single, why we’re scientifically uglier than non-Black women,  how disgusting or unappealing our bodies and attitudes supposedly are compared to our White counterparts, how horrible it is to be a Black unwed mother, and how we’re somehow the key to ending military suicides.  And while 2012 didn’t really take the magnifying glass off Black women, it definitely seemed to mark a growing level of [oft-times inadequately reported] violence and infractions against us.

August 06, 2012

Bill Campbell's "Koontown Killing Kaper"

“Like rats to cheese, folks in Koontown are drawn to yellow police tape. It’s utterly irresistible. ESPN, BET, not even sex can break the hold that thin, plastic strip has on them.  And they come. I don’t understand it. I grew up in the suburbs. But I’d seen it all throughout my police career, and tonight is no different.”  So narrates the embattled heroine Genevieve “Jon Vee” Noir in “Chaptah Tu” of Bill Campbell’s satirical novel, Koontown Killing Kaper.
Not since Mat Johnson’s “Hunting In Harlem” has a book from this genre grabbed me from the very beginning and carried me stto the very end at such a rapid pace.

Rappers, purveyors of urban literature, and TV producers are being found murdered in gruesome fashion. Word on the streets of the besieged city of Koontown is that vampire crack babies are the perpetrators.  Former international supermodel-turned cop-turned private detective, Genevieve “Jon Vee” Noir is hired by rap impresario Hustle Beamon, to find out who’s killing off his business partners and top selling rap artists.  Together with her former Koontown Police Department partner Detective Willie O. O’Ree, Jon Vee navigates the dark, dank underbelly of Koontown; coming up against pimps, dubious record executives, secret sororities, disreputable politicians, and government conspiracies to get to the bottom of the savage murders plaguing the city, lest the crimes threaten the already fragile d├ętente between Koontown residents and the nearby gentrified neighborhood of Toomer Way.

March 25, 2012

Toni Morrison Talks Race

May, 1993 interview featuring Charlie Rose interviewing literary giant, Toni Morrison. In this short clip, Charlie Rose asks Morrison about her experiences encountering racism. Toni rejects responsibility of having to shoulder the burden of explaining racism and how it functions, by redirecting the question back to Charlie Rose and white people to explain.

March 23, 2012

I Know Trayvon Martin


I know Trayvon Martin…

I came-of-age watching him sit on the stoop of some tenement; baggy jeans, clean sneakers and hooded sweatshirt, shooting the shit with his friends and arguing over NBA front-runners and the best teams. When I attended Weaver High School, I watched him sit in the back of the class, swathed in the same urban uniform, tapping beats on a desk… aloof and disinterested. Sometimes, the teacher would say something that piqued his interest and he’d interject before going back to nodding his head to whatever freestyle beat he was composing on his desk.
During algebra class he’d shuffle up to the front of the room, calmly push the hood of his sweatshirt back, pick up a piece of chalk, and effortlessly solve a complex math equation, much to the teacher’s delight and mild surprise. 

I’d see him congregated in the cafeteria with a group of his friends pointing and laughing raucously as they played the dozens, roasting one another amid an eager group of like-minded spectators.  
I got to know him a bit beyond his casual, be-hooded demeanor while bouncing yearbook, prom, and fundraising ideas off each another during weekly Class of 1996 meetings. He made an exception the night of prom and opted for a black tuxedo instead… leaving his hooded sweatshirt at home for the evening. 

As an adult I listened to a hooded young teenager just like Trayvon, exchanging loud and crude stories about high school dating prospects with his friends as they sat in the back of an empty-- (save me and them) complimentary downtown shuttle bus. I sat towards the front, rolled my eyes with a smirk and shook my head as he boastfully showed off to his friends. “Be careful” the driver… a White male… warned me, as he side-eyed and nodded in the direction of the young boys. “Oh, they’re fine. They’re just being silly.” I said, annoyed by his warning. Trayvon’s hooded contemporary took a break from fronting for his friends, shuffled to the front and sheepishly asked me, “Miss, um, you wouldn’t happen to have 75 cents uhh… would you? I’m short for the bus ride home.” I shook my head, recalling how only minutes prior he’d been putting on a show for his buddies, and handed him 3 quarters… which I happened to have in my pants pocket from an earlier transaction. “Thanks Miss! I appreciate it.” He said. 

While walking to Carlos Supermarket in the Asylum Hill-Farmington Avenue section of Hartford, I watched a young, Black teenager in a hooded sweatshirt size up an older woman struggling to pull her shopping buggy along the sidewalk. He removed his earphones long enough to ask her if she needed help before realizing that he knew her as an acquaintance of his mother’s. She seemed pleased as one of those “your mother should be proud” smiles passed across her face.
See, I know Trayvon. While he isn’t a choir boy or above reproach, I grew up with the likes of him and know he is more than a “suspicious looking” perpetrator in a hooded sweatshirt who "always gets away",  skulking down a dark, rainy street. I know that sometimes he’s walking with a purpose and that purpose isn’t always to cause harm or to rob someone. 

My nephews are Trayvon Martin. They love candy and juice boxes, and will be teenagers in about 10 and 13 years respectively. According to the social construct of White supremacy and privilege, whose opinions about young Black and Latino boys (and young girls) are predicated on gross racial stereotypes and according to Geraldo Rivera, my nephews should be subject to scrutiny and possibly marked for death by trigger-happy vigilante bigots like George Zimmerman, because they have the nerve to expect their humanity to be taken into account, if they dare walk down the street while Black and dressed in a hooded sweatshirt. They deserve to be racially profiled, even amidst all the Post-Racial America propaganda... and somehow being Black is the scarlet letter they'll have to suffer for. 

March 07, 2012

Blogging Elsewhere: Rihanna: From Ultimate “Niggabitch” to Ultimate Ignoramus...

It was only a few months ago when a Dutch Magazine crowned Rihanna as the Ultimate Nigga Bitch… The backlash over the editorial gaffe– (and poor judgment in journalism) was palpable, as people across the Blogosphere and social networking forums were outraged by the offense, and rightfully so.
Rihanna took the embattled former editor of Jackie Magazine to task with a series of tweets, demanding that she acknowledge the racially insensitive nature of the article: “… your magazine is a misrepresentation of the evolution of human rights!” read a portion of one tweet, “That’s your contribution to this world! To encourage segregation, to mislead the future leaders to act in the past!” read another.

Around the same time she was taking the editor of Jackie to task, Rihanna also went on an expletive laden Twitter-rant about a racist hotel guest she encountered while in Portugal;  So it was with great disappointment that one of Rihanna’s more recent tweets seemed to find her regressing in similar fashion.
The pop star — who has been making waves across celebrity news outlets as of late for collaborating with her troubled former boyfriend, Chris Brown and for mocking a displeased fan’s appearance – tweeted a  picture of a bag of rice cakes, decorated with a pair of shades, large hoop earrings and captioned “Ima make u my bitch”… more than likely, a catty and bigoted subliminal dig at Brown’s current love interest Karreuche Tran, who is part Vietnamese and often photographed wearing large shades and hoop earrings.  It’s also important to note that “rice cake” is one of many racial epithets hurled at East Asians and is reportedly used to directly insult Vietnamese people.  On the “Cake” remix, which features Chris Brown, Rihanna also purrs:
“Remember how you did it? Remember how you fit it? If you still wanna kiss it, come and get it. Sweeter than a rice cake, cake worth sipping. Kill it, tip it…”
While the sociological answer to the question of whether or not Blacks can be racist, is usually applied when these issues arise; what Black and minority folks who engage in hateful rhetoric against other marginalized groups need to realize is, anytime they make crass, racially insensitive quips about other ethnic groups, they’re culpable in the perpetuation of White supremacy regardless of whether or not they have the power to oppress an entire group of people… I liken it to a drug dealer or gang leader, Kanye-shrugging away any responsibility for contributing to the destruction of his neighborhood and its people... READ THE REST AT INTERSECTION OF MADNESS & REALITY


Also read: 
When Hipster Racism Fails: Rihanna Labeled the "Ultimate Niggabitch" by Dutch Magazine
Chris Brown, Rihanna, & the 'Cake' Remix: Yes, Shut up, & Let Them Eat Cake!
Karrueche Tran Fires Back At Rihanna After Racist Tweet




February 23, 2012

Post-Racial America: The Mis-Education of Mainstream Youth...

The featured video is what happens when parents (and so-called responsible adults) fail to educate their children properly and mainstream media perpetuate tired racial tropes and stereotypes...
This is yet another inarticulate and very public rant courtesy of the sad and misinformed; this time in the form of two young high school aged women from Gainsville, Florida; who-- coincidentally enough-- opine that Black people "can't fucking talk right", yet can't discern between the words "intelligible" and "eligible".
Needless to say, these two unintelligible young women aren't eligible representatives of what evolved young minds are supposed to be. And while one of these quacking ducks has enthusiastically pointed out what a very "nice white neighborhood" she lives in, her rant is one of the reasons why platforms like the Un-fair Campaign have cropped up and are needed.

Racism, hate-speech, and class-discrimination -- (some of which comes from Conservative Republican pundits and political hopefuls) -- seem to be at an all time high (especially in the wake of the current political debates). This is why I refuse to subscribe to the post-racial, color-blind propaganda people like to trot out, whenever the issues of race and xenophobia come up.

White privilege and supremacy is still very much alive and kicking. The idea that there's a post-racial society is a farce concocted and heavily pushed by its proponents, because they want to be able to spread hate freely, marginalize people of color and falsely appropriate marginalization as an issue that solely affects them, and teach their ignorance to young people, without having to be held accountable for their actions. I'm curious to know what type of conversations these girls have with their respective families at home and how their parents will set about dealing with their daughters' racist YouTube rant and the subsequent fall-out. On a completely unrelated note, I hate World Star Hip Hop and everything that site represents... That's all.

**Additional Reading