Monday, February 4, 2008
I love being right...
Courtesy of Reuters News Service
By Ellen Wulfhorst
NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (Reuters) - An emotional Hillary Clinton and rival Barack Obama pushed for votes in the U.S. Northeast on Monday, the day before a coast-to-coast Democratic presidential showdown that is neck-and-neck in opinion polls.
On a visit to Yale University in Connecticut, Clinton's eyes glistened during an introduction recalling her law school days there. It was an echo of her emotional display before the New Hampshire primary, credited with helping turn the tide for her eventual victory in the state.
"Well I said I wouldn't tear up," the New York senator said. "Already we're not exactly on the path."
Obama, an Illinois senator, campaigned in New Jersey and Connecticut ahead of "Super Tuesday" voting in 24 states, the biggest single day of voting ever in a U.S. presidential nominating race.
"We cannot wait to bring change to America," Obama said in East Rutherford, New Jersey, where he was joined by Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy, his niece and daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy.
Republican front-runner John McCain, hoping to score a knockout blow over rival Mitt Romney, invaded the former Massachusetts governor's home turf and told supporters in Boston he could win the state.
"I believe we have every good shot at carrying the state of Massachusetts tomorrow," McCain, an Arizona senator, told hundreds of supporters jammed into historic Faneuil Hall.
In New Jersey, he said Romney presided over a "big government, mandated health care plan" in Massachusetts and he promised to compete in the general election for votes in traditional Democratic bastions in the Northeast.
"When I get the nomination I will come back and compete for New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and these states in the Northeast," he said in Hamilton, New Jersey.
Romney swept through Tennessee and Georgia before dashing to California, the biggest prize, where a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll showed him taking a lead over McCain. McCain also hastily scheduled a stop in California on Tuesday.
"If I win California that means you're going to have a conservative in the White House," Romney told reporters after eating breakfast with voters at the Pancake Pantry restaurant in Nashville.
The presidential contenders in both parties are aiming on Tuesday to win a big share of national convention delegates who choose the nominees. More than half of the total Democratic delegates are up for grabs, and about 40 percent of the Republican delegates.
Obama and Clinton have waged a bitter battle for the Democratic nomination in November's presidential election, competing for votes from coast to coast after splitting the first four significant contests.
The physical toll of the campaign showed on Clinton, whose voice was hoarse and faint after days of nonstop activity.
A coughing spell also brought tears to her eyes in New Haven and forced her to pause and sip water at an event where she contrasted her universal health care proposal with Obama's, which she contends could leave up to 15 million uninsured.
"My objective is to get everybody into this system," Clinton said. "I am running for president because I know we can do better than we have."
Polls show tight Democratic races in many of the biggest states, although a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll showed Obama opening a 6-point lead on Clinton in California, which has 441 delegates to the nominating convention -- more than one-fifth of the total needed to win.
Because Democrats distribute delegates in proportion to their vote statewide and in individual congressional districts, candidates can come away with big chunks of delegates even in states they lose.
As a result, neither Obama nor Clinton are likely to deal a knockout blow on Tuesday, prolonging their battle for the nomination to March contests in Texas and Ohio and an April contest in Pennsylvania.
"The likelihood is the nomination will be decided somewhere in those states," Clinton strategist Mark Penn told reporters in a conference call. "This race will continue until someone has the delegates necessary to secure the nomination."
In contrast, many Republican contests are winner-take-all when awarding delegates, meaning a strong day by McCain could give him a commanding lead.
McCain said in Boston he hoped "to do well enough to hopefully draw this process to a close, but if not we'll be prepared to continue to go out and campaign."
Romney has tried to take advantage of conservative qualms about McCain's views on taxes, immigration and campaign finance reform. He said the race would not end after Tuesday.
"Across the country, conservatives have come together and said 'You know what, we don't want Senator McCain. We want a conservative to be in the White House,'" Romney said.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won the first contest in Iowa, also remains in the Republican race, and has siphoned conservative votes from Romney in some contests. He is aiming for a strong showing in the South.
(Additional reporting by Jeff Mason in New Jersey, Claudia Parsons in Tennessee, Steve Holland in Massachusetts; Writing by John Whitesides: Editing by Chris Wilson)
(For more about the U.S. political campaign, visit Reuters "Tales from the Trail: 2008" online at blogs.reuters.com/trail08/)
Florida Evans said it best:
Sunday, February 3, 2008
By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
February 2, 2008
Some of that is his natural personality; some, presumably, part of a calculated (and understandable) attempt to navigate a public life that impossibly asks him to be all things to all people.
Woods glides through the world like one of his shots toward the green; a breathtakingly precise, yet soft-landing approach.
It takes a tough guy to criticize Tiger Woods, to demand more, to square off and to risk the inevitable backlash of challenging such a personality. In the end, you can't really win.
Jim Brown has no such concern, of course, no such fear. His approach to life – particularly in addressing social issues – is like his old football running style. He just squares his shoulders, buries his head and blasts right at you.
That's how Brown, the product of the contentious 1960s, believes it needs to be done; the same way Woods, a far calmer generation later, probably feels his way is best.
Brown recently criticized Woods for being "too politically correct" in not speaking out sooner or with more force when a Golf Channel anchor said opposing players' best bet to stop Woods was to "lynch" him.
"He should have come out right away," Brown told ESPN. "Instead, he waited until it was politically correct (to comment)."
Even then, Woods brushed the entire episode aside.
For Brown, much of the backlash for criticizing Woods was swift and thorough. In some quarters, he was as vilified as the announcer. But as you'd expect, he isn't backing down.
"Someone asked me a question and I gave them an answer," Brown told Yahoo! Sports at a Super Bowl charity golf event this week. "And the answer, I thought, was very thoughtful and very meaningful.
"And if it is understood, a lot of people will go into their history and learn something about who developed this country, who helped develop it, who are the people who made it as great as it is today and at what cost."
Here's the thing with Brown, he asks questions and gives answers that few of us in comfortable positions sometimes want to hear. This includes me.
It's not that you have to agree with him, but simply contemplating his point can take energy, thought and even study in a day and age that prefers instant, simple-minded agreement or dismissal.
But life isn't "Hannity & Colmes."
Brown's point is that in the fade of history the true meaning of lynching had been forgotten.
"Lynching was the weapon of the greatest terrorist group in this country, the Ku Klux Klan," he said. "That was their weapon of choice. So if you don't know that, then you should really become educated because a lot of people have suffered many years because of the sickness of that terrorist organization."
To Brown "evil is evil." To joke about lynching is no different than joking about a hijacked plane on 9-11 orphaning a child, a roadside bomb in Fallujah taking out a Marine's knees, or an explosive-packed car murdering innocent shoppers in some far off land.
It's not just about race, it's about rememberance and perspective. It's a point that, at the very least, makes you stop and think.
Woods has been criticized for not being as socially outspoken as many great athletes of Brown's era. Clearly, Woods has the kind of immense power that was unattainable a generation ago.
His response is that he is socially active through his charities, which is a fair point. And he certainly doesn't have to apologize for not being Jim Brown or thinking like Jim Brown.
Brown has no more the final say on this than anyone else. If Woods thought Kelly Tilghman's two-week suspension was enough and this was, indeed, no big deal, then that's fine.
But Brown certainly can have a say. The worst thing that happened from the lynching fallout was some of the instantaneous, outright dismissal of everything Brown and others articulated.
The powers that be, especially in golf, wanted no part of looking in their sport's historical (or current) mirror. So they rallied with a simple message, "Just move on, it's no big deal, just an innocent mistake."
It would seem that at least some in the golf establishment and some of its lock-step media were as angry with Golf Week at attempting to continue the debate than the magazine's terrible choice of cover art.
But that's always the moneyed-power reaction; kill all discussion, protect the status quo. Woods – knowingly or not, purposefully or not – became their perfect spokesman on the issue.
That's Tiger's right, of course. But doing what Brown demanded – examining the past, educating people to history, challenging Woods' approach and opinion – can never be a bad thing either. Even if it becomes rarer and rarer in a sports world now mostly devoid of socially outspoken stars.
"(Athletes don't speak out today) because the most difficult part of the struggle is over," Brown said. "Now an African-American athlete can enjoy pretty much everything that everyone else can enjoy.
"When you are in an era when you can utilize the fruits of someone else's labor, it takes a thoughtful person to think the battle still goes on, the struggle still goes on and there (are) still barriers that we still have to break down."
At age 71, Brown refuses to stop challenging athletes to think about the world outside of endorsements, parties and public relations. No matter how much it costs him in all of those things.
"That's the life I live," he said. "The life I live is to try to be a part of change. A lot of youngsters, once they become educated they become advocates. They really try to do the right thing."
It's too simplistic to say Brown's approach is always right or always wrong; just as it would be to say about Woods'. Both have their merits.
Here's what is wrong in discussing race in America: taking the easy route and just say be quiet, just say it's over and no one cares anymore, to just say the other side's opinion has no merit or meaning.
The thing is, it takes courage to listen.
Jim Brown, no doubt, has that courage; the courage to fight even against an overwhelmingly popular conventional wisdom articulated by no less than Tiger Woods.
Maybe, in the end, he changed few minds in golf or anywhere else, but America remains a better place because Jim Brown, all these years later, keeps trying to fight these mostly un-winnable fights.
Thanks again Jim.
Friday, February 1, 2008
Boyd goes on, though, to say that such representations — especially those like 24's, beamed weekly into American living rooms — "may have unconsciously made some things in society seem less troubling" than if there'd been no pop-culture pictures of a black president.
I'm betting that a lot of folks will take issue with Dr. Boyd's response. Leaders within the African-American community have been pushing for decades to have more positive representations of Negroes in the media. The result is that we regularly see African-Americans playing the roles of well-to-do professionals who are in positions of power. (For some reason, television casting directors love seeing African-American women in the role of judges -- the Law & Order spin-offs must be the most consistent employer of middle-aged, black female extras in the industry.) The irony is that the majority of the most blatant stereotypical imagery we see in popular culture today is produced by ourselves and for ourselves --> T_ler P_rry.
With Hollywood favorites like Denzel Washington, Bill Cosby and Will Smith, we've been looking pretty damn good on television and film over the last two decades (local news broadcasts not included). Some might say, too good. The problem is that the progress we've made on the cinematic screen does not reflect the progress we've made on the street. Liberals in Hollywood are producing symbols that are not grounded in reality. These symbols may actually be negatively affecting African-American progress.
The power of the media in shaping American perceptions of reality has been a regular theme on this blog. Because we are still a very segregated nation, most white Americans get a lot of their information about black Americans from the television. In places with marginal black populations like New Hampshire, Vermont, Montana, Utah and New Mexico, media images are even less likely to be balanced by real life interactions with African-Americans. If all they're seeing is images of well-off, powerful Negroes, then tales of black poverty and racial discrimination must fall on deaf ears.
I live in a small, New England town where I can count the number of African-Americans on my fingers and toes. All of us are professionals who are associated with the local college. We are surrounded by a lot of deep and profound poverty. It is nearly impossible to talk with Whites who have grown-up in this area about racial inequality and discrimination. From what they can observe, African-Americans have actually moved ahead of Whites. Most of them barely have a high-school education, so you can forget about discussing symbolic imagery and media manipulation with them.
All of the positive images of African-Americans are surely feeding what social theorists would term realistic group conflict. This is especially likely in this time of economic difficulty with the competition for jobs and benefits growing more fierce each day. We should not have been surprised at all that Obama lost in New Hampshire. Bill Clinton wasn't surprised. He knew immediately why Obama lost and sought to nourish the seeds of conflict with his comments on the "race card." The Clinton camp knew that they couldn't win the South Carolina battle, but they are looking long-term at the war. For all of Obama's talk about "hope," he has to also acknowledge (at least among his strategists) that he also inspires a lot of fear.
With all of the black presidents we have seen on screen, only African-Americans are more likely to elect a black president. For them, the symbols represent possibilities that were perhaps unimaginable before: "Maybe we can win? Maybe we can be successful?" For other groups, the media symbols of Negro success are more likely to inspire fear, or apathy at the very least. I would argue that the lack of support for Obama among Latino Democrats is further evidence of this.
Does this mean that we should go back to being portrayed as maids and field hands? Of course, not. We do, however, have to make sure that we are portrayed in a balanced and realistic manner. It doesn't serve any of us to live in a "fantasy land."
Fittingly, 2 songs were running through my head during the debate.
One great parody came to mind as well--just substitute Obama and Hillary as needed:
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Wrestlers, Black Elvis, and our 2008 Presidential Candidates--You Know, Sometimes You Can't Make This Stuff Up
The stars must have really aligned because it seems that professional wrestlers are now giving endorsements to candidates. In this corner, we have Hulk Hogan endorsing Obama (I don't know if this is a gift or a curse):
If we were taking bets here at We Are Respectable Negroes who would you pick to win this battle royal?
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
But, we have to feed our Obama fever first.
1. Obama wins, no he dominates in South Carolina. As I pointed out in an earlier post, Obama did a Lamont Sanford on Hillary. Jesse won South Carolina in '84 and '88 so Obama's victory wasn't a total surprise. However, this victory will be remembered as the moment where Billy Clinton got his ghetto pass revoked. He hated on MLK, he cast the Obama campaign as being a "fairy tale," and accused Obama of playing "the race card" (whatever the hell that is--I think we need to do a whole post on non-sense statements such as this one). Billy Bob, as The New York Times and The Washington Post have suggested, you need to be reigned in lest you do more harm to ol' Hillary's campaign. Apparently, there are still some black folk who think Bill was right for having his wife's back. You know what, and please readers help me out with this one, am I the only person who is starting to suspect that Bill Clinton is maybe, just a little bit, jealous of Hillary? Could his foot in mouth syndrome be rooted in a little resentment for his wife? And now with the Chapaquitic/bootlegger/family dynasty of funky ol' dirty drawers wearing Marilyn Monroe lovers/Kennedy endorsement, Hillary and Bill are going for blood--I suspect Bro'Bama may eventually need to get his razor out for the big payback.
2. My boy Edwards may play the kingmaker. I sincerely hope that Edwards does well enough on Super Tuesday to hold up either Hillary or Obama in order to make sure that his platform is represented. Bob Novak, rumor monger extraordinaire is hinting that an Edwards-Obama deal is in the works where Edwards, in exchange for his support, becomes Attorney General in the Obama administration. Interesting prospect, but I think Bro'Bama may have to groom Edwards a bit for the position:
I can see it now, "My name is Olive Branch, you are all living in a digital simulation. This world you take to be 'real' is only a simulation. My father is not a 'terrorist,' no, he is your liberator, a man sent to wake you from your slumber. Please, come with me and be witness to the desert of the real." Readers, if you would like to join Junior Laden's peace crusade you must stop here and pick up some appropriately styled clothing.
4. I interrupt this news update to bring you a damn, dirty ape news update. It seems that one of these damn apes outperforms us upright walkers on tests of basic memory. If true, this test does give me some solace, because the ape's ability to retain simple information (in all likelihood to the exclusion of more complex data) explains the popularity of minstrel-hop and crap-rappers:
10. Random news happenings. Holy Sand is apparently a drug. Oprah, my least favorite handerkerchief head is being reminded that she is black. Apparently, Oprah's viewers are upset that she has ostensibly "chosen" race over gender in supporting Obama for president. Ha Ha! Sacha Baron Cohen padded his pants for his role in Sweeney Todd. Thank goodness because after seeing Borat and then Sweeney Todd I was beginning to develop an inferiority complex. We have discovered a source of anti-matter (Scotty I need more power!) Astronomers have discovered a new blackhole of unimaginable denseness and mass at the heart of a quasar (doesn't that sound sexy?). Guess what the quasar's name is? OJ287..insert joke here.
11. The near shooting incident between Iranian speed boats and the U.S. Navy in The Straights of Hormuz may have been orchestrated by a prankster with the nom de guerre of "Filipino Monkey" (which takes Crank Yankers to a whole 'nother level doesn't it?). It could still have been a misunderstanding, or maybe a set-up, sort of like The Gulf of Tonkin incident which "provoked" The Vietnam War. In related news, researchers have documented how Bush and Company orchestrated a campaign of truth distortion prior to the 2nd gulf war. FYI, "truth distortion" is Neo-Con speak for lying. Did you know we will be in Iraq until at least 2012? Not a surprise to us respectable negroes and thinking people everywhere, but lest the unwashed masses (and many Republicans) be fooled again, we suggest that all citizens annually watch both The Fog of War and Eisenhower's prescient speech where he warns against the dangers presented by the military-industrial complex.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
2.) 'bü -zhē
5.) ô 'sʊk-ē 'sʊk-ē
I invite everyone to offer their best guesses about how any of these five is spelled…and feel free to offer other relevant words/pronunciations. For your convenience, I’ve included a handy pronunciation key. Cut and paste away!:
\ ă \ as a in pat
\ ā \ as a in ace
\ ä \ as a in father
\ au \ as ou in out
\ b \ as in baby
\ ch \ as ch in chin
\ d \ as d in did
\ ĕ \ as e in bet
\ ē \ as ea in easy
\ f \ as f in fifty
\ g \ as g in go
\ h \ as h in hat
\ ĭ \ as i in hit
\ ī \ as i in ice
\ j \ as j in job
\ k \ as k in kin
\ l \ as l in lily
\ m \ as m in mom
\ n \ as n in own
\ ng \ as ng in sing
\ ō \ as o in no
\ ô \ as aw in law
\ oi \ as oy in boy
\ p \ as p in pop
\ r \ as r in red
\ s \ as s in yes
\ sh \ as sh in shy
\ t \ as t in tie
\ th \ as th in thin
\ th \ as th in the
\ ə\ as u in cut
\ ü \ as oo in loot
\ ʊ \ as oo in foot
\ ûr \ as ur in fur
\ v \ as v in vivid
\ w \ as w in away
\ y \ as y in yet
\ z \ as z in zone
\ zh \ as si in vision
Thursday, January 24, 2008
He must have eaten a Luther:
Maybe that tired, black preacher affected speech lulled brother Clinton to sleep?
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I will not make a habit of writing movie reviews because my girl Zora has staked out this turf and made it clear to me that if I sit on her porch she will shank me (Are you impressed? I picked up some of that prison speak while watching The History Channel). On Monday, in honor of Doctor Martin Luther King Jr., I, like all negroes everywhere, went to the movies (in my case 2), bought my monthly comic books (Walking Dead is returning to form; The Punisher and Barracuda have upped it one more level in their on going "feud"; I just discovered Pax Romana and it looks promising; and The Ultimates is mixed at this point--beautiful art, but too dark, and the characters are sort of blah), and went to Chipotle for a pork carnitas fajita burrito.
On that day, I was blessed to see a great movie, There Will be Blood (TWBB), and a horrible movie, Cloverfield. The former is an undeniable classic. As I told a friend, by comparison, TWBB makes P.T. Anderson's body of earlier work look like a set of movies shot by well-intentioned (but untalented) 5th graders. TWBB is the work of a master, working with a master actor (Danielle Day Lewis), on a set of universal topics (greed, the human heart, faith, nationalism, religious zealotry, family, and human frailty).
By comparison, Cloverfield is the work of an amateur who is grappling with a motif and genre he does not understand. Yes, I took the bait. Yes, I was excited by the viral marketing. I also believed that JJ Abrams had the skill to reimagine the monster movie genre, and perhaps introduce something new to science fiction story-telling. I was wrong, horribly wrong. Cloverfield is the girl in the 5th grade who promises to show you something special if you go behind the bushes with her, but instead you see nothing. By analogy, one thinks Cloverfield is a beautiful woman, but instead your love/lust object is oiling up her inner thighs and playing a man like he is a naive trick. I have long asserted that in order to either innovate upon, or to reimagine a genre, one must have mastery over it. Cloverfield demonstrates that JJ Abrams has neither mastery over, nor any particular insight into, this particular sub-genre of science fiction.
Don't be mistaken, I am not a film snob. I know and love bad movies. In fact, I am a connoisseur of them (They Live, Armageddon, Flash Gordon, etc.) As a point of reference, I was one of those unfortunate souls whom saw Prince's magnum opus, Under the Cherry Moon, in the movie theater--a film so horrible that the audience cheered when Prince, our protagonist, is contemplating suicide because his death would have mercifully ended the film. Under the Cherry Moon is the first film I contemplated walking out of before its conclusion. Prior to watching Cloverfield, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe occupied second place on my list of worst movies of all time:
Postscript: courtesy of the Internet Movie Database here are some answers to the mysteries of Cloverfield--http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1060277/faq#.2.1.34
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
28-year-old actor was nominated for Oscar for ‘Brokeback Mountain’
NEW YORK - A New York Police Department spokesman says the actor Heath Ledger has been found dead at a downtown Manhattan residence.
According to TMZ.com, Ledger, 28, was found dead in his bed in one of his residences in Soho by his housekeeper at 3:35 p.m. ET Tuesday.
The actor has a two-year-old daughter with former fiancee Michelle Williams. Ledger was set to play the Joker in the upcoming Batman film "The Dark Knight." He received an Academy Award nomination for his work in "Brokeback Mountain."
Monday, January 21, 2008
In America’s poorest ghettos, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s portrait is one of the most popular subjects of public art. These images, which I have been documenting since 1977, regularly appear on the walls of the liquor stores, auto-repair shops, fast-food restaurants, mom-and-pop stores and public housing projects of Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York and many other cities across the country. The majority are the work of amateur artists. Though Dr. King is usually front and center, he is often accompanied by other inspirational figures: Nelson Mandela, John Paul II, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa, Pancho Villa. He is often accompanied by his famous phrase, “I have a dream” – a reminder that in many of the communities where these murals exist, the gulf between hope and reality remains far too wide.
-- Camilo José Vergara
To be honest, the game made me feel like this:
In two weeks our victory over the Giants will be more like this:
Friday, January 18, 2008
As I stated in response to Zora, not only was Toni Morrison’s “Bill Clinton is the first black president” comment not racist, it was aggressively anti-racist in that it was meant to underscore the inherent ridiculousness of racial stereotypes. I was extremely disappointed (though not surprised) when pundits and cultural critics in the mainstream media tripped over one another to condemn Morrison’s “racism.” If they’d only read Morrison’s short story “Recitatif,” they’d understand that Morrison would never condone essentialist racial stereotypes. The story follows the lives of two women—one white, one black. From childhood to adulthood, the women harbor racial stereotypes about each other, but Morrison uses ambiguous language and signals, so it is never totally clear which woman is white and which is black. “Recititaf” draws its force from one of the cruel (yet hilarious) jokes of American race relations: due to our historical and cultural proximity, black people and white people have many of the same stereotypes about each other. To be fair, these stereotypes apply to all groups that position themselves opposite another, but as I’m most familiar with black-white relations, that will be my focus.
1.) They stink
…as in, their bodies smell funny. “White people smell like wet dog,” “white people’s hair smells like wet dog,” “white women’s diggum smacks smell like wet dog.” Clearly, wet dog smell figures prominently in black stereotypes about white people’s odor. And any casual perusal of white supremacist literature and music will turn up assertions of black people’s supposed stink. Cooler heads have suggested that argue that genes, diet, cultural preferences for hair and body products can account for different racial odors. I can’t say that I’ve noticed, but then again, I don’t go around sniffing folks.
2.) They are sexual deviants
Many white people believe that black women are promiscuous and have a primal sexual energy (signaled by the hypnotic movement of black women’s hips and asses on the dance floor). Many black people say that white women are nasty and loose. Black men, in particular often brag about the relative ease with which they can bed or turn out white women. White folks (and black folks too) have bought into the idea that black men are sexually potent and promiscuous. Black people often say that white men are into “freaky shit” (s and m, interracial cuckolding, bisexuality). Nowadays, black men are getting some of that with the overblown D.L. panic, but the “freaky” stereotype is still relatively rare for them.
3.) They have terrible taste
…in music/movies/books/clothes/food/comedy/beauty, etc. Black people like Tyler Perry plays and movies, crappy stand up comics, lowbrow rap and derivative R and B, gross, greasy fast food, and tacky, bright colored clothes. White people like “Friends,” crappy stand up comics, unlistenable rock and country music, bland food (or sometimes “exotic” cuisines), and lame clothes. What makes this one an interesting stereotype is that it often goes beyond generalizations about cultural preferences. This stereotype tends to bolster the idea of differing racial aesthetic capacities. The white vs. black “tastes” typically break down along the binaries of affect vs. authenticity, formal training vs. instinct, script vs. improv, craft vs. style…in other words, (white) mind vs. (black) body or (black) soul.
4.) They don’t discipline their kids
Without this stereotype, 95% of black hack comedians wouldn’t have material. According to popular stereotypes spread among black people, white kids can curse, disrespect, and hit their parents, all without being punished. White people, on the other hand, look at unruly, vulgar black kids in public space like malls, schools, public transportation, and think that black kids are generally out of control due to absentee parenting or disrespectful black culture. There’s no shortage of asshole kids who have little respect for others’ property or public space, but racial tunnel vision makes us see only what confirms our prejudices. When someone has destroyed or defaced public property in an interracial neighborhood, many white people just assume that black kids did it; most black people probably think that drunken white fratboys did it.
5.) They are untrustworthy
I’ve come across quite a few old black people who tell me that white people are shady backstabbers, not by nature, but certainly by having been raised in a culture of white supremacy. As for white perceptions of black dishonesty, I will offer my first hand experiences. Occasionally, I’ve had to duck out of sporting events, museum visits, and symphony concerts at the last minute. Rather than waste time trying to sell the tickets outside of the venues, I’ve opted to give them to the first taker. But since I’m black, especially a black man, white people refuse to take the free tickets from me. One might argue that white people aren’t responding to my blackness; they’re responding to my suspicious behavior of giving away free stuff. That’s somewhat understandable, but then why do I never have issues giving them away to the first black person who shows up?
Can you all think of others?
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Old School Player: Come on, calm down..
Young, Dumb, Desperate and in Love: Good pussy costs money!
Old School Player: I didn't promise you anything, it doesn't have to be like this, please calm down..
Young, Dumb, Desperate and in Love: I am gonna tell your wife. I left a good man for you.
Old School Player: (Inaudible)...
Young, Dumb, Desperate and in Love: I am gonna call my friend right now and leave a voice mail. I am gonna tell her that I don't love you anymore. I want everyone to know. Damn, I shouldn't have kept fuckin' with you. I am gonna tell your wife. I left a good man for you.
Old School Player: Baby, calm down...
Young, Dumb, Desperate and in Love: No more kissing, no more fucking. No! I don't want to share you.
Old School Player: Come on baby, please calm down...
Young, Dumb, Desperate and in Love: If you really loved me you wouldn't want to share me either! I hate you!
Old School Player: Come on baby...
Young, Dumb, Desperate and in Love: I hate you!
OSP and YDDL walk out together and presumably fight outside. YDDL comes back in, she sits down, collects herself and talks on the phone. She leaves 5 minutes later. What struck me was that OSP was calm the whole time. It was pretty clear OSP didn't care about losing his young mistress as he was more worried about being embarrassed by YDDL's behavior. It seems this sister, who was much more attractive and younger than our Old School Player, was really invested in old dude.
What do you all think? My smart money is on her returning to OSP and continuing on as the mistress. Plus, and this is up for debate, I believe that the more histrionic and upset a person is, the more invested they are in keeping that relationship alive. My money says they get back together this weekend. Your thoughts?
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
date: Dec 18, 2007 8:03 PM
subject: WGA Residuals
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I now offer the following (and yes, I know our parents thought we were ridiculous at the time):
Add some Breakin:
Flavor with some Krush Groove:
Mix in some Cool as Ice:
And we have this:
As a culture are we this bereft of ideas? And doesn't history indeed come full circle when "whites" through their imitation of "black" popular culture eventually come to own it?
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
However, I do have to admit that while I correctly predicted an Obama defeat, a big part of me, the proud, respectable negro part of me, really wanted to see him win. While political scientists, pundits, and other analysts are conducting a New Hampshire postmortem, we will not know for some time if Obama was defeated because of the "Bradley effect," i.e. white respondents reporting to pollsters that they will vote for the black candidate, when in the privacy of the voting booth these respondents then vote for the white candidate (and in an interesting twist, a white, female candidate). Alternatively, predictions of an Obama victory may have been a function of a sampling error, where as Andrew Kohut in The New York Times points out, the preferences of white respondents in New Hampshire making less than 50k a year were not "captured" by surveys. These voters disproportionately did not vote for Obama, what I affectionately call the PWT effect, and the pundits and analysts were blindsided by the subsequent failure to predict a Hillary victory (click here for a thorough list of possible explanations for Obama's defeat). Ultimately, Obama, his supporters, and the pundits, were caught in a "Damn!" moment by Hillary's victory--whatever the causal variables which may explain it:
First, Obama is in a crusade for hope. While not a problematic theme (who can disagree with "hope"?) it has transformed Obama into a vessel for the dreams and desires of others. This is an important, yet simultaneously almost banal observation that demands reiteration. Obama is a vessel for the hopes and dreams of others, but who are these others? What do they imagine? In their eyes, what is he a vessel for?
Here, Obama's candidacy has been positioned, and has quite skillfully positioned itself, as a force for "racial healing." For the Right, the Left, and for the tragic mulatto crowd, a vote for Obama ushers in a "post-racial future." For the Right, Obama is the embodiment of a "color-blind" America. But, as part of their racial project the mere mention of race, or racial difference, or for that matter racism, is itself "racist." For the "color-blind" Right/neo-liberal Left, to speak truth to power, is itself a racist act. For them (and quite disingenuously in my opinion given Bush 1 and 2, Reagan, et al's assault on black people's sanity), Obama's race is irrelevant. Further, Obama's candidacy hints at a reality where race does not "matter," and to bring forth questions of race as they relate to Obama borders on being impolitic at worse, and impolite, at best.
For the tragic mulatto and self-consciously bi-racial crowd, Obama is a mascot. He signals a future where self-identified bi-racial folk will be accepted in a wonderful, post-racial world where one can be all things to all people, and where the fact of race will have no burdens, no consequences, and no obligations:
For the Left, an Obama candidacy signals the arrival of a type of political humanism where all citizens manage to forget the past (and exercise selective memory regarding the present) and to live in a world which appreciates "difference." But, this is a post-racial future where race, and its inconvenient baggage, neither has purchase nor power. As articulated by Gary Kamiya on Salon.com, if we could all just move forward, if we as a society could find a racial "healer" as opposed to a "divider" (those troublemakers who talk about discrimination, racism, and white supremacy), we as a society could transcend racial difference. More pointedly, the Left in its vision for a post-racial future wants a safe, conciliatory, black leader who privileges the good will which ostensibly underlies the intentions of white liberals.
Again, no plain speakers need apply to the cult of "multiculturalism" and "diversity" because race is an unfortunate "social construction," a social construction which is only skin deep. For the post-racial Left, we are all human, and no troublesome folk (be they black, brown, yellow, red or white) need apply. Collectively, these post-racial knuckleheads (or PRK's as I label them) embrace Obama as a "magical negro." Although their agendas are different, these factions see in Obama their hope for a post-racial future, and he becomes the site for a type of magical, racial catharsis. Ultimately PRK's look to a future in which race is magically transcended. However, I suspect their understanding of the magical negro is closer to this one:
Don't misunderstand my position. I believe that one of the ironies of Obama's candidacy is that these necessary conversations regarding black American's support for his campaign (or lack thereof) highlight our political sophistication. While we are proud of Obama, our cynicism, suspicion, and deep seeded reservations point to a profound understanding of power, race, privilege, and politics. While the Right has long lamented that black support for the Democrats is evidence of a plantation mentality--disregarding the fact that there are many rational, self-interested reasons for our being "behind the mule"--we have been ahead of the curve on many issues (for example, black folk saw through Bush 2 long before white people).
I am proud of both our insight and our caution. For example, as The Washington Post recently highlighted, there are many reasons for black Americans to approach the Obama campaign with caution. Quite logically, many black Americans are concerned about the reasons underlying white support for Obama. What are his allegiances? Who is he beholden to? Why would white voters support a black candidate? How sincere is their interest? In addition, many black Americans, myself included, are deeply concerned about how Obama has positioned himself as a post-racial black man, a new "New Negro" of sorts, who is emphasizing his immigrant roots in a way that distances himself from his domestic, black brethren. Strategically, Obama's appropriation of the Horatio Alger, American-immigrant narrative sends a signal to whites that: "He is sort of like us"; "He and his people came here and made it with nothing..just like our ancestors!"; "Obama isn't angry like those other black folk who always throw slavery up in our faces!" It is Obama's skillful triangulation between whites and "regular" black folk, that give us regular respectable negroes much to think about.
The next few months will be exciting. Brother Obama, do not doubt for a second that we respectable negroes have your back--a fact that will be demonstrated in South Carolina. You will probably benefit from the calls of politicians, black activists, scholars, and public intellectuals to support your campaign. Moreover, how can we not be happy that a member of our proverbial tribe is competitive for the highest position in the land and is representing himself with such confidence, skill, and political deftness? The next few months will also be challenging. "They" will remind you of your blackness. "They" will test you. It may get so bad that you may have to do an Eddie Murphy to conduct some reconnaissance:
"Well, I think it's -- and again, a wonder of America here, a remarkable breakthrough, this year, as the other group said -- 97 percent, in fact, Iowa, rural, white farming state. Barack Hussein Obama, a black man, wins this for the Democrats...I have been watching him. I watched him on Meet the Press. I watched him on your show, watched him on all the CNN shows -- he never brings race into it. He never plays the race card. Talk about the black community -- he has taught the black community you don't have to act like Jesse Jackson; you don't have to act like Al Sharpton. You can talk about the issues. Great dignity. And this is a breakthrough, and good for the people of Iowa."