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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

WHITE RACIAL APOLOGY #100,816,024 Deadline's Offering For A Headline

 "Pilots 2015:The Year of  Ethnic Castings -
About Time or Too Much of Good Thing?

Cutesy but Serious Format - The Apology was within a sort of living room chat format. I assume Bart & Fleming have these little discussions online much like Siskel and Ebert used to quasi-competitively review movies on television. Two thumbs up!

This would be Mistake Number 1

The Apology is one thing in a list of things to discuss

Here we have Mistake Number 2

The apology consisted of apologizing for specific word  choices and word arrangement and never, Ever, EVER EVAAAAH...what those words meant collectively....ala the Levi Petty Pettit apology (#100,816,019). As long as they cyber-droned on, they only discussed how things sounded
This isn't just mistake number 3, 
this is mistakes numbers 1 through 100,816,021

How is it everybody above the age of 12 understands that beliefs are connected to thoughts are connected to the words that come out of your mouth...unless race is the subject.   When the subject of race enters the picture, white fragility, being what it is, white folk and Bobby Jindal, seem to suffer this pinpoint amnesia and forget there is a link between belief, thought, words, and then sometimes actions. Yes, sometimes you say "math" when you meant to say "bath."   Yes, even I, as a person of color, as an "ethnic" person, understands what a slip of the tongue is.

Too bad this isn't about that

This is about how most of us, above the age 12, understand that putting individual words together give them a meaning that's more than the sum of Whatever. And a lot of the time we MEAN those meanings...regardless of what we want to believe about the purity of our own motivations, conscious or unconscious.

The words that form the question, "Pilots 2015: The Year of Ethnic Castings About Time or Too Much of Good Thing?" have a meaning collectively. And people of color understood that meaning, collectively. And that's why, "HELL NO" was the answer cyber-shouted by Shonda Rhimes and a host of entertainment news reading others.  

We, the "ethnic," were not confused.  

And it's very rare we all get confused, all in the same direction, all at the same time, for the record. I'm not even sure that kind of unified confusion is possible when a thing as complicated as the social construction of race is at the center. 

And the thing that really killed me about the 100,816,024th white racial "apology"was this: 

These two chuckle-heads discussed the true meaning of the headline without even noticing. Before they started riffing on forever about the offensive uses of the word "ethnic"(???) which led to a discussion of the how boring the word "diversity"(???) is, then they actually said aloud the truly offensive meaning of  "Pilots 2015: The Year of Ethnic Castings About Time or Too Much of Good Thing?" without even knowing this belief/thought/idea was offensive and self-serving.


....My co-editor-in-chief Nellie Andreeva’s goal was to convey that there was such an uptick of TV pilot casting of people of color
that it pinched white actors who’ve historically gotten most of the jobs,

Yeah, we know that's what you meant. We KNOOOW

Link: Deadline's Apology Discussion Of Bad Word Choice

Monday, March 30, 2015

On Abolishing Fraternities
(and Sororities?)


"I’ve been getting angry responses to the view I expressed on Larry Wilmore’s “The Nightly Show” that college fraternities should be abolished. I still think I’m right. There are exceptions but for the most part fraternities are elitist, exclusive, and privileged. They have nothing to do with higher education. And they’re periodically mired in scandal involving:
  • hazing (such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison frat’s degrading hazing);
  • racism (the video of Sigma Alpha Epsilon members calling for the lynching of African-Americans);
  • sexual assault (the University of Maryland frat brothers’ pro-rape emails, and allegations of drug dealing and sexual assault in a North Carolina State frat);
  • degradation of women (Penn State fraternity’s secret Facebook page for sharing photos of nude passed out women);
  • destructive drunkenness (University of Michigan frat brothers destroying a ski resort in a drunken rage).

The list goes on, and this is just in the last few months.  Some say “boys will be boys” and if they’re not in a fraternity they’ll do all this somewhere else.


A much-cited 2007 study shows fraternity members are 300% more likely to commit rape than non-affiliated students (this was the third study confirming the same data.)  A Harvard School of Public Health study indicates just living in a sorority house makes a woman three times more likely to be raped.

Some say I’m disregarding freedom of association, and that college students have a right to hang out with whomever they wish. Well, yes, but most fraternities depend on university recognition for direct subsidies such as land or buildings and indirect benefits such as tolerance of underage drinking. Others say fraternities (and sororities) build character and do many charitable things. Yes, but so do many other college activities that don’t have the downsides of fraternities.

The college fraternity culture brings out the worst. Fraternities should be abolished. Now.

What do you think?"

Frats seem to attract those who have high status and wanna-be-s from what I've seen. And it attracts them disproportionally. That's what I've noticed anyway. When you add THAT to the likelihood that superior attitudes travel in clusters within the average human being, then rape from frat boys becomes less than shocking. Why? You have to feel superior to a person BEFORE you rape them - and I think that's true even men are drunk

In vino veritas, baby.

By the same token, Bill Cosby has been on the respectability-politics train for a few decades now. And that has been entirely about "I'm this kind of superior, exceptional black person" and "why are THOSE people over there acting like THAT and bringing us all down?" That's followed by, "It's not racism holding us back so much as THOSE PEOPLE."

You have to feel superior to someone in order to rape them. It's a prerequisite. Drug-em and rape-em is a short hop. And when you think a little about the colorism aspect of Bill Cosby's behavior, the accusations make even more sense.

They ain't ALL lyin.

You have to feel superior to someone in order to rape them. Isn't this what we've seen played out in every prison movie that's ever been put on film? The stronger man rapes the smaller man and PROVES his superiority. The harder the smaller man is crying at the end of it, the better the bigger guy feels.

I think the feelin-themselves high status folk and the wanna-be-s will find someplace else to cluster  and plot to wreak havoc on the rest of us. But that doesn't mean I think we should make it easy for them to unite by actually giving them a place launch from.  But I think I'd start someplace simpler - like yanking their tax exempt status. 

Fraternities and Sororities aren't going anywhere. That's where those who too-big-to-fail banking executives are nurtured and honed. And when they mess up? They get an expensive P R Firm, just like Levi Pettit did, so they can keep on steppin.'

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Levi Pettit, Where DID YOU Learn
THE *S A E* Racist Chant?

That was the one real  question that everybody had after Levi's not-quite-an-apology,

pointless, public relations extravaganza

Levi never answered this question.  When asked he took "the high road," said he only wanted to take responsibility for his own...blah, blah, blah.....yeah, whatever.  He did the Texas Tap Dance.  The only high road Levi was interested in was the one that would take him high and well over the top of the deepest part of the cow patty swamp he found himself in.

SOOO, the answer to the question - 

"The racist chant that a group of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members sang

on a bus this month was brought to the University of Oklahoma four years ago,

after members learned it at an annual national SAE leadership event,

university officials said Friday.

The university found that the chant — which includes racial slurs against

African Americans and a lynching reference — migrated to Oklahoma and had

become “part of the institutionalized culture of the chapter” and its

pledging process. University officials implied that the chant on the bus,

which carried partygoers to SAE Founders Day festivities on March 7, was not

an isolated event and instead was part of the local chapter’s recent  traditions."

READ MORE, SEE VIDEO of University Of Oklahoma President Boren

All This Talk About Race Is Making Me UNCOMFORTABLE

A film by six little kids 
from Ferguson

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Rush To Black Judgment Always Begs The Questions: What Should They Have Known? AND When Did They Actually Know It?

Glenn Ford Lost 30 Years Of His Life

This is what happens when you seek revenge instead of justice. And no matter HOW wounded the family of the victim is, it should be clear they are seeking revenge just as much as justice. That's simply human. But when one of the suspects is black, that revenge, anger, and fear of everyone involved - not JUST the family-  seems to seek dark skin like a heat seeking missile.

This is what happens when white supremacy runs around free, unrecognized for what it is.

"The death sentence had illustrated that our community would brook no tolerance for cold-blooded killers. The Old Testament admonishment, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, was alive and well in Caddo Parish. I even received a congratulatory note from one of the state's witnesses, concluding with the question, "how does it feel to be wearing a black glove?"

Members of the victim's family profusely thanked the prosecutors and investigators for our efforts. They had received some closure, or so everyone thought. However, due to the hard work and dedication of lawyers working with the Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana, along with the efforts of the Caddo Parish district attorney's and sheriff's offices, the truth was uncovered.

Glenn Ford was an innocent man. He was released from the hell hole he had endured for the last three decades."


Common, Pharrell, THE NEW BLACK and IGNORANT Mentality That Undermines The Black Experience

FROM DAILY BEAST - Stereo Williams

Celebrities like Common and Raven-Symone are but ambassadors of the growing New Black culture that Pharrell became the unwitting poster child for in his now-infamous Oprah interview.

“Upward mobility,” sayeth the New Black, “that is the promise of America and because I have achieved—you can, too.”

They conveniently romanticize their climb to wherever they are in their lives and careers, telling themselves that they got there via personal drive and ambition that is unique to them. But structural obstacles kept most of their peers stagnant in socio-economic standing; these stars achieved in spite of racism—not because it doesn’t exist.

 So it is dangerous to put the onus on the oppressed people, as if you believe no one cared to climb the ladder until you came along. Poor public schools and overpriced housing mean that things aren’t really designed for you and your peers to “make it out.”

You can’t be “exceptional” without being an exception....


Friday, March 27, 2015

ART: The New Age of Slavery by Patrick Campbell

The New Age Of Slavery - Patrick Campbell. Coming to a Smithsonian Near You

"Bodies hanging in the red stripes of the American flag and cracked stars. Never has a piece of art gripped me so hard and made me gasp.

It was like someone punched me in the chest and let the air out of me at the same time. The New Age of Slavery is the name of the work that has gone viral on the web this week, after the announcement that Eric Garner’s killer would not be indicted. It was especially shocking because Eric was placed in an illegal chokehold by a cop, and his last words (I can’t breathe) and last moments were on tape.
POWER - Patrick Campbell

Those of us (me included) who have been calling for body cameras to be placed on cops immediately realized that it would solve very little (although it was just one step). In front of everyone was the indisputable fact that Black people are being lynched by the government, but instead of hanging in trees, we’re laying in the streets. And police are receiving the message loud and clear that they can do it without consequence.

So to see the piece of art was like having a bucket of cold water dumped on my head. It laid out the truth in acrylic and watercolor and it was beautiful in its honesty of an ugly reality. It ached and the paint that dripped down the canvas was crying for the lives of Black men, women and children lost. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What was SAID should never have been SAID. The Petty Pettit Apology

This was Levi Pettit's essential message: What was said should never have been said.
Gee I wonder who said what?

Was that supposed to be an apology?

From who? To who?
And ALL WERE TALKING ABOUT HERE are WORDS. It's just WORDS never have been said, ever.
What difference does it make where I learned the chant?

What difference does it make that I repeated the chant?

What difference does it make that I didn't know that the content of that chant should have been disgusting to me by the time I was 7 or 8 years old....if not earlier?
And let's just pretend we DO NOT SEE those _____ standing behind this responsibility ducking little cretin, cosigning this crap. How could any black person over the age of 25, with half an ounce of common sense allow themselves to be used for this kind of optic while he essentially says,
Um....What was said in that chant should never have been said, should never be said by anybody ever. Even if its true? You just aren't allowed to SAY it. I know that now after meeting with these black men. I've never been around so many at once. Aren't I BRAVE? I've learned you DO NOT SAY IT - the n-word. I can't get it unSAID. So I'm gonna SAY that it shouldn't ever be SAID.
And now that I've apologized for the misuse of WORDS, my frat should be allowed to carry on the same traditions they always have....
...except for those WORDS we won't be using anymore. But keep in mind that I never, ever SAID that I learned and practiced that chant there in the frat, practiced it so often I could repeat that chant it drunk.

Honestly? I don't know if I'd know what to do with a genuine, non-PR-firm apology from someone who is 19 or 20 in regards to something he should have understood at 7 or 8, if not sooner. We're not just talking about the n-word. We're talking placement and use too.

Watch this future politician bounce on his toes while he delivers this "apology" on MSNBC. If you were watch the film clip of this crisis-management-apology for the first time with the sound off you'd think he was apologizing for his African American run company's stock price dropping last quarter.

See it for yourself at MSNBC

Kiss Me I'm Black

“But everyone wears ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’ shirts and none of them get suspended!” I was yelling back.

“Don’t wear it again.”

I was livid. The audacity! It was one thing to be miffed about the shirt and complain in the teachers lounge; it was quite another to threaten disciplinary action against me, an honors student, that could inform my ability to get into undergraduate programs or participate in extra curricular activities.

When I told my mother that evening, she was just as pissed. Since my mother had worked in education for 20 years and had friends at the Cincinnati Enquirer, it didn’t take long to get a story together. When the newspaper asked the principal for a comment, he declined. My mother made sure I wore that shirt at least once a week for the rest of the year.

These sorts of micro aggressions — whereby no one’s screaming that they hate black people, but they’re upset that people of color acknowledge their difference in a way that isn’t self-depricating — are incredibly common. You can be proud of being Irish on St. Patrick’s Day — or play at being Irish on St. Patrick’s Day — but in my world, there was no fun celebration of black people....


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How To Love The Lovable Racist For 2 Years

When we walked into the living room, I immediately lost myself in the crowd. Everyone was white and towering over me. Although I had grown up in a predominantly white community, I had never felt more aware of my race than I did at that moment.

I reached over for Matt’s hand, but he gently pushed mine aside and said, “Not here.”

When his grandparents finally arrived, they greeted me with handshakes instead of hugs. Matt generously introduced me to his grandparents and other relatives as his “friend.”

We spoke with a number of people who could not seem to remember my name, even if I had introduced myself a minute before. Conversation was often directed toward Matt instead of me. He didn’t notice and continued. I stood by his side at the party, but I had never felt more distant from him.

Later at the party, Matt talked to his relatives about his negative experiences at college. Matt said that he’d felt marginalized by our school because he was white. He didn’t think minorities should be treated better in college because that wasn’t how the “real world” worked.

I was stunned by his comments. He seemed to have forgotten that I was part of this minority.

I turned to him and spoke out. I tried to explain that moving beyond the status quo was the whole point, that our college wanted to empower marginalized communities by providing students with opportunities that may not otherwise be available.

Matt looked at me with disgust.

He ignored me and continued to defend his point of view. I deferred to his opinion and stopped talking.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

TO BE HOPEFUL - Howard Zinn

“TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”
― Howard Zinn

I highly recommend his bottom-up history book.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Racism As Product Being Marketed Daily

Racism as a business. Racism as a product being marketed and sold successfully...for centuries. All of us are affected by these advertising campaigns. That's a pretty cool concept. And a pretty good way of thinking about your own launching point for activism.

Source: Everyday racism: what should we do? Akala




A few days ago, when I read this for the first time, all I could really think about was how hurt I was as a little girl when things like this were directed at me.

I was trying to imagine how upset I would have been if my friends parents, Laura Watt's parents had been different.  If Laura's parents hadn't been kind, generous white people with one foot inside always inside hippy culture, if they hadn't been as open as they were, I wonder how many different shades of devastated I'd have been if Laura had given me a card like this in 4th or 5th grade....or any grade.

Looking at this story again, I see that a 10 year old white girl drew her friend a pretty card; knows that being a racist ("races") is a bad thing; and hopes her mother will change her father's mind.

Judging by the video, the little white girl's hopes were dashed.

In the video, Harmony's Father said that the birthday party went off without a hitch. And maybe it really did. Everything  probably was okay during the party itself.  But Harmony wasn't okay. I know she wasn't  because I wasn't. My parents always wanted to believe the same thing when I was targeted because of my skin color. And I helped them believe everything was "okay." As young as 7 or 8 years old I knew what I was supposed to say.  I knew how to make my parents less upset on my behalf.

It still amazes me when parents say 'bad thing *x* happened yesterday, but then we did fun thing *y* immediately afterward. So she forgot all about it'  ...especially when bad thing *x* contains a suitcase full of racism that weighs more than the little person expected to carry it.

Still, I'm hoping Harmony genuinely did have the happiest of birthdays this year. Maybe her mind really didn't travel back to the moment she opened this card/folded note--- not during the party anyway. And I hope she won't remember reading the note OR the reaction of her parents when they first read it... not too often, anyway.

I also hope the little white girl was at least somewhat distracted the night of the party. But better she had a night full of tears over being left out than lose the knowledge that her father's actions were indeed racist and hateful --even though she loves him. Ten years old is rather a young age to figure out that you can love a person but despise some of what is inside them.

But she can do it. Others have. Others can. Others will.

More than anything, I hope that neither one of these girls ever completely forgets this incident and that we don't either.

I wonder what kind of artwork was drawn on the cover of the card?