Quotable Quote of the Month

What does it take for Republicans to take off the flag pin and say, 'I am just too embarrassed to be on this team'?".- Bill Maher

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Holidays From Diversity Ink!

Before 2010 turns into 2011, I wanted to say Happy Holidays to everyone from the gang at Diversity Ink. In keeping with the time of year and one of the topics addressed at Diversity Ink, below is a holiday commercial by Lexus that features an interracial couple.  The commercial caught my eye because it's another example of the advertising world starting to reflect the fact that interracial relationships in the U.S. are on the rise.  The fact that some racist pigs on the Internet find this commercial sickening is an added bonus.

Have yourselves a safe and joyous holiday season!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Conservatives Post the Funniest Things!

 For the most part, the posts at Diversity Ink are of a serious nature. However, I like to lighten things up here whenever possible. As you may know, I read political blogs (regardless of whether or not I agree with the blogger's point of view). One of my favorites is Teresamerica. Although I disagree with pretty much everything Teresa writes, she does provide me with a healthy amount of unintentional humor. While checking out Teresa's blog early Saturday morning, I came across her latest post in which she provides "proof" that violence, rage and racism exists on The Left by posting clips from the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" (which took place on 10/30/10). The photo above is a screenshot of Teresa's post.  Please note the title. Was that a Freudian slip?!  Just to be clear, I have seen no evidence of rage and violence at Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor Rally".  As for ignorance, religious bigotry and solid proof that we live in the Misinformation Age, that's another story:


I was considering notifying Teresa of her minor (but funny) error. However, I think I'll wait to see how long it takes Teresa or any of her loyal readers to catch this slip. Tick tock... tick tock...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

G.O.P. Is the New Black?

In late October, the Houston-based group Raging Elephants put up the billboard above in Houston, TX and Dayton, OH.  Raging Elephants is the same organization behind the grossly misleading (if not flat out dishonest) "MLK Was A Republican" billboards put up in summer 2009 and earlier this year.

The first clip below is from a discussion between community activist Quanell X and Republican Judge Michael Fields that took place on a late October newscast of a Fox affiliate out of Houston. You can read the accompanying story by clicking here.

Meanwhile, in parts of Houston with a mostly Black population, fliers were recently handed out to voters claiming that voting a straight Democratic ticket is actually a vote for the Republicans. The flier states that the group responsible for the flier is the Black Democratic Trust of Texas.  However, it appears that no such group even exists! The following clip is from a news story on the Fake flier controversy by ABC's Houston affiliate.

If the GOP is serious about reaching out to the black community, I'm all for it.  However, it's going to take more than superficial billboards.  I often hear conservatives/Republicans say that the GOP is a big tent open to everyone. Sure it is.  From what I've seen, recent history indicates the GOP intends to use one of those tent poles to stab blacks, Latinos, the GLBT community, etc. in the back.  Or are they aiming lower?  Ouch!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NPR Terminates Popular News Analyst After Remarks about Muslims

Well it seems that someone has fallen victim in the aftermath of the comments made by Bill O'Reilly on The View last week. O'Reilly gathered with invited political analysts to discuss his appearance on The View. Juan Williams, a popular news analyst, with an extensive background in civil rights reporting, made an unfavorable statement about Muslims. Williams stated, "I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the Civil Rights movement in this country," Williams said. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous." Read the article here.

I would like to pose these questions: Should Mr. Williams have been terminated for his statement? Is he just voicing the sentiments felt by most Americans?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg Walk Off The Set Of The View

Last week Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar got into a very heated exchange with Bill O'Reilly on The View over the building of a Mosque in New York City, near ground zero. O'Reilly stated that polls taken revealed that 70% percent of Americans do not want the Mosque built and he further stated that "Muslims killed us on 911". Is Bill O'Reilly an extremist racist? Should the two women have walked off until he apologized? Does comments such as the ones made by O'Reilly help to create a climate of hate, anomosity, and hostility toward an entire culture?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Guest Post At Helloooo...... Mr. President, are you listening??

Sue (the author of the progressive blog "Helloooo...... Mr. President, are you listening??") asked me if I'd be interested in writing a guest post for her. After reading a post written by a conservative blogger about the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other minority-focused institutions, Sue asked if I wanted to write a rebuttal.  You can click here to read my guest post.   I hope you are able to join in on the discussion.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Al D'Amato Goes Postal!

This is one reason I love live TV!  Last week during a segment on the Fox Business Channel, GOP strategist Jack Burkman needlessly brought race into a discussion about the viability of the USPS in today's world.  Although liberal attorney Tamara Holder called Burkman out for his comments, the best part was when former Republican Senator of New York Al D'Amato let Burkman know how he felt about his remarks.  It's great to see a Republican on one of the Fox channels call out one of their own for this type of nonsense.  I wonder if D'Amato has made his last appearance on any of the Fox-affiliated channels.  Well if that's the case, if you're gonna go out, go out in style!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A GOP Group Gives Us Their Version of the "Southern Experience"

South Carolina Sen. Glenn McConnell (center) flanked by two members of the Gullah-Geechee cultural group

In early September, The National Federation of Republican Women held its annual fall Board of Directors meeting in Charleston, SC.  One of the sponsored events connected with the meeting was a themed one dubbed "The Southern Experience".   This involved people dressing in attire from the Civil War era such as military uniforms and slavery garb.

Why would anyone think this was a good idea? Even if this were 1970, I'd ask the same question. It's incidents like this which is why I think many in the GOP are clueless when it comes to race matters in this country. Oh and just to be clear, the blacks who dressed up as slaves for this event aren't off the hook either!

Below is the segment in which WCBD-TV Channel 2 in Charleston covers the incident:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Valerie Brown of Josie & the Pussycats Makes Saturday Morning Cartoon History

On September 12, 1970, Josie & the Pussycats made its transition from comic book to CBS Saturday morning cartoon.  One of the characters making the transition (Valerie) is significant because she became the first female African-American cast member on a regular Saturday-morning cartoon.  The first African-American Saturday morning cartoon character overall was Pete Jones, who appeared on  The Hardy Boys (which debuted on September 6, 1969).

Valerie almost didn't make her historic appearance on Josie & the Pussycats.  In preparation for the cartoon, Hanna-Barbera Productions decided to assemble a real-life Josie & the Pussycats group, who would provide the singing voices of the girls in the cartoons and also record an album (other actresses provided the speaking voices for the characters on the series). The company who would be in charge of the recordings (La La Productions)  held a talent search to find three females who would match Josie & the Pussycats in the comic book in both looks and singing ability.  The trio chosen to be "Josie & the Pussycats" were: Cathy Douglas (Josie), Patrice Holloway (Valerie) and Cherie Moor (Melody).  Side note: after Josie & the Pussycats disbanded, Moor got married, took her husband's surname and gained fame as Cheryl Ladd.

When one member of La La Productions (Danny Janssen) presented the newly formed trio to William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, he learned that they wanted to recast Patrice Holloway because they had decided to portray Josie & the Pussycats as all-white (even though Valerie was an African-American in the comic book).  Janssen refused to recast Holloway and threatened to walk away from the project.  After a nearly month-long stalemate between Janssen and Hanna-Barbera, Hanna-Barbera conceded and allowed Janssen to keep Holloway, and changed Valerie back to being African-American.  Ironically, Holloway became the most prominent voice of the trio.  In addition to singing lead on many of the tracks on their self-titled album, Holloway also provided lead vocals to the cartoon's iconic theme song.

Although it often gets overlooked, I think it's important to recognize the significance of the appearance of Valerie on the cartoon version of Josie & the Pussycats.  Her inclusion on the series opened the doors to black female cartoon characters on TV and helped lead to others such as Dee Dee (Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels), Susie Carmichael (Rugrats and All Grown Up), and Vixen (Justice League Unlimited).  

Below is the first single (Every Beat of My Heart) from the only album Patrice Holloway, Cherie Moor, and Cathy Douglas recorded as Josie & the Pussycats. Although the player below doesn't contain any performance footage, there are stills from the cartoon series and of Holloway, Moor, and Douglas recording in the studio.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Left Media Talks To Attendees At Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" Rally

Although I first saw this video in late August, I think it's still worth posting.  At Glenn Beck's recent "Restoring Honor" rally, the group New Left Media (which consists of college students Chase Whiteside, Erick Stoll and a camera) interviewed and filmed some of the folks in attendance.  Just as they've done in the past at such events as a Sarah Palin book signing and Tea Party rallies, New Left Media exposes the ignorance and mindlessness by some of the people on the right.  As you'll see, the interviewer (Chase Whiteside) doesn't have to work hard to bring out the ignorance and mindlessness of these people.  This video is loaded with priceless nuggets.  Some of the highlights or (depending on your outlook) lowlights include:

  • A man asserts that Al Sharpton is the leader of The Black Panthers (at the 2:48 mark of the clip)
  • People say they had never heard Glenn Beck's infamous comments in which he called President Obama a racist (3:23)
  • A woman (with no evidence to back it up) accuses President Obama of pitting blacks and whites against each other (4:20)
  • Plenty of anti-Muslim sentiment (7:00)

Credit goes to Chase because he somehow manages to keep a straight face throughout all the madness. While watching Hardball with Chris Matthews last night, I was pleasantly surprised to see a piece of this clip. It aired during the segment about the organization (TeaPartyTracker.org) that monitors racism and other forms of extremism within the Tea Party movement. The video put together by New Left Media is on the TeaPartyTracker.org site.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Guest Post by Sue: Insensitivity or Bigotry...

In late August, I contacted Sue (whose blog is titled Helloooo...... Mr. President, are you listening??) and asked if she was interested in writing a guest post. She offered up the following about the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" controversy:

"Lose your ego, find your compassion."

If Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has a mantra it is this: "Islamic extremism for the majority of Muslims is an oxymoron; It is a fundamental contradiction in terms."

71% of New Yorkers oppose the building of a mosque in lower Manhattan.. Are they being reasonable or reactionary? Is this about first amendment rights or insensitivity towards 9/11 victims families? It's not the only mosque in Manhattan, so why all the fighting? Not because it's being built on hallowed ground because it is not. It's on a sight 2 blocks from hallowed ground. Peace loving Muslims did not fly planes into the twin towers on 9/11, Islamic extremists did. So I'm baffled by that argument.

So then, who is Imam Rauf?

Fearmongering conservative politicians have called him a radical Muslim, a militant Islamist, and unbelievably "the enemy". His project in lower Manhattan has been framed as a conduit for Hamas to funnel money to domestic terrorist operations.

For those who actually know or have worked with the imam, the descriptions are frighteningly unhinged from reality. The Feisal Abdul Rauf they know spent the past decade fighting against the very same cultural divisiveness and religious-based paranoia that currently surrounds him.

"Imam Feisal has participated at the Aspen Institute in Muslim-Christian-Jewish working groups looking at ways to promote greater religious tolerance," says Walter Isaacson, head of The Aspen Institute. "He has consistently denounced radical Islam and terrorism and promoted a moderate and tolerant Islam. Some of this work was done under the auspices of his own group, the Cordoba Initiative... This is why I find it a shame that his good work is being undermined by this inflamed dispute. He is the type of leader we should be celebrating in America - not undermining."

Just days after the 9/11 attacks, Bush had much to say about the need for religious tolerance even after Islamic extremists carried out the worst foreign attack in history on U.S. soil.

"The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam," Bush said at the Islamic Center of Washington in a speech that set the tenor for when he later sent U.S. troops to fight on Muslim soil in Afghanistan and later Iraq. "That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war."

He went on to say millions of American Muslims "need to be treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect."

Passionate conservatism is dying in our country. The conservatives care only about regaining power in November. I don't believe for one minute this mosque debate will rage on after the elections, but the lasting effects are sure to harm our nation at home and around the globe.  What this hateful rhetoric means to the terrorists is we are not tolerant of Islam and of our Muslim citizens. We are a country of bigots and if we keep this up we are allowing the terrorists to win. Muslim Americans are enduring hate and bigotry all over this country, more now than ever with the election of Barack Obama.

Things have surely changed in America. What happened to our "melting pot" country? We are bigots, we are hateful towards our Muslim brothers and sisters. I am embarrassed and ashamed of my country today....

Monday, August 30, 2010

Joe Madison Vs. Glenn Beck

On Friday, Glenn Beck (aka "The Silver Gopher") was a guest on the program of XM Radio talk show host  Joe Madison  (aka "The Black Eagle").  During the segment, the two went toe-to-toe on such topics as the civil rights movement, social justice, and Beck's outrageous 2009 comments in which he called President Obama a racist.

Through his appearances on MSNBC, Joe Madison has quickly become one of my favorite pundits.   He's a strong progressive who doesn't let any BS slide.  This is why I'd love to see him as a guest on Glenn Beck's programs and Fox "News" in general because Joe would have plenty of chances to shut the BS down! 

Below is the clip of Glenn Beck's segment on The Madison Show:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy 49th Birthday To President Barack Obama

Happy 49th birthday to our 44th President of the United States. Your 48th year was a rough one to say the least.  However, you kept your head up and forged ahead.  Here's to hoping the next year is a productive one for you and as drama free as possible.

Since this is just a simple birthday post, those who like to sharpen their daggers at the mere mention of the name President Barack Obama can keep pushing and save their digs for another post.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Guest Post by Joanna: Controversy Erupts In North Carolina Over School Busing

Police arrest protesters at a school board meeting on 7/20/10 in Raleigh, NC

Earlier this week, I contacted Joanna (whose blog is titled My Name Is JuJuBe) and asked if she was interested in writing a guest post about the controversy brewing down in Wade County (located in North Carolina) over school busing. She offered up the following:

In 1954, Brown vs. the Board of Education ruled that schools segregated by race were inherently unequal, and therefore not permitted under the US Constitution. Yet in 2010, we have an educational system in this country where more Black and Hispanic students attend segregated schools then did forty years ago. Two out of five African American and Hispanic students today attend intensely segregated schools. Not only are schools segregated by race, there is also extreme segregation based on socioeconomic levels. And schools located in low income areas are often staffed poorly, funded inadequately, and negatively impacted by high rates of drop outs and violence.

In 1999 the Wake County Board of Education (NC) implemented a busing program designed to combat socioeconomic segregation in schools.  The socioeconomic based busing program was designed to promote diversity and equality within the school district, and has been seen as a model program for school desegregation. But, the Wake County BOE now wants to end the program and move towards a community based school model. Since residential patterns are largely determined by race and socioeconomic status, a move away from busing could potentially result in Black and Hispanic children being sent to schools that are racially and economically segregated.

Since the federal courts stopped their oversight of a busing program in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district in 1999 (which had been a model school district in terms of racial and socioeconomic integration) due to the fact that the goal of integration had been supposedly been achieved, the district reverted to previous levels of segregation and inequality, and the Black and Hispanic communities in Wake County fear that their children will be attending “separate and unequal” schools if the district decides to stop IT’S busing program.

Reverend William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP has this to say:

"It's time that the Wake County school board officials wake up and realize how a model for resegregation will damage not only our state, but the basic principles of our nation, It's time to say no to resegregation and say yes to diversity and school excellence." "Neighborhood-schools [policy] not only separates bodies, it separates the budget, the buildings, the teachers -- basically, all the building blocks of education. What you end up with is a district that's high in poverty, high in turnover, and high in underachievement."

It is unfortunate that in 2010, a Black or Hispanic student cannot obtain equal educational opportunities UNLESS they are sent to a school with white students. In a perfect world, residential segregation would not exist. Children would be able to attend ANY school and receive a first class education. But the truth is, even in 2010 schools with a majority-minority student body are NOT funded, staffed and administered properly. Until the inequality in schools have been addressed, Black and Hispanic children, especially those who are classified as “low income” cannot receive an adequate education UNLESS measures are taken to counter the effects of racial and economic segregation in residential patterns.

Recommended read:

The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America by Jonathan Kozol

Below is the Reverend Barber's 7/21/10 appearance on The Ed Show with Ed Schultz:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shirley Sherrod: The Real Story and Its Aftermath

As you probably know by now, Andrew Breitbart posted a video on his website BigGovernment.com on 7/19/10 "exposing" the racism tolerated by the NAACP. In a speech she gave at an NAACP dinner on March 27, 2010, it appeared that Shirley Sherrod (the then-USDA director of Rural Development in Georgia) was admitting to once taking the race of a white farmer (Roger Spooner) into consideration when ultimately deciding how to respond to his request for assistance. The fallout was quick for Ms. Sherrod after the truncated video made the rounds. Not only did the NAACP come down hard on Ms. Sherrod, but she was pressured to resign from her USDA position. I hope the bus tire tracks on Ms. Sherrod's backside aren't permanent.

To many familiar with the sleazy tactics of Breitbart (the infamous ACORN nonsense), it came as no surprise that the video he originally posted on his site didn't tell the whole story.

The video suggested that Sherrod was retelling an incident that took place while she worked for the USDA

FALSE: The incident Sherrod was recounting took place in 1986, when she worked for an advocacy firm in GA.

The video made it look as if Sherrod didn't help Mr. Spooner

FALSE: Not only did Sherrod help the Spooners save their farm, she became friends with the couple.

What’s actually a story of racial healing was distorted into something ugly by Breitbart. Because of his beef with the NAACP over their legitimate claims of elements of racism within the tea party movement, Breitbart deceptively tried to show that it’s the NAACP whose racist. Unfortunately, his tactics did damage to an innocent bystander in the process.

If you're interested in watching the full video, please visit the following link:


On Wednesday, Tom Vilsack (the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture) held a press conference in which he manned up and took the blame for asking Ms. Sherrod to resign so quickly. Vilsack said he also apologized to Ms. Sherrod and offered her a new position in the department. Also, the NAACP has apologized to Ms. Sherrod for their initial reaction (see below).

In light of the Breitbart “exposé” falling down like a house of cards, the reactions have been fascinating. There's been a mix of back pedaling, blaming, and B.S. throughout the blogosphere, The White House and the MSM (which does include Fox "News"). To their credit, some conservative bloggers posted retractions in which they apologized for rushing to judgment. Predictably, these posts also included jabs directed at three of their favorite targets: The Obama administration, The NAACP, and the non-Fox "News" portion of the MSM. Of course, no matter what these three entities did, the right would have found a reason to bitch about it. In a shameful sidebar, Breitbart made the rounds of various media outlets in which he told his side of the story. Amazingly, he even had the nerve to suggest that the Spooners were "plants" who fabricated a story in an effort to save Ms. Sherrod. Note to Breitbart: when you're in a hole, stop digging!

The left has also had their say too by blaming the aforementioned entities as well as Fox "News". Note to the Obama administration: don’t jump every time the likes of Andrew Breitbart and Fox "News" say “boo!” All it does is give them the power to be more reckless and irresponsible than in the past. Having said that, I do understand President Obama's predicament. As the first black President of the United States, he is held to a different standard than his predecessors when it comes to matters involving race. Although diplomacy is one of Obama's best assets, I wish he would sometimes go into MISTER Tibbs mode and figuratively slap down the right-wing noise machine when they get out of order.

The Shirley Sherrod story shows once again that we still have a lot of distance to cover when it comes to race relations in America. I also hope that it has made crystal clear to everyone that Andrew Breitbart and his ilk won't let a little thing like integrity get in the way when it comes to taking down those who have the guts to stand up to them. When Breitbart and his enablers claim to have any evidence exposing wrongdoing/corruption by their opposition, remember the words of Chuck D. and company: “Don’t believe the hype!”

NAACP Statement

To show your support of Shirley Sherrod, please visit Color of Change and join them in calling on the White House to reinstate Shirley Sherrod and to stop caving in to right-wing smears.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Guest Post By Sandy: Fox News Uses Black Fringe Groups To Portray Blacks As Angry, Dangerous, Scary

One of my favorite blogs is Best Seat In the House. The blogger (Sandy Gholston) is one of the best when it comes to covering politics, race, the media, sports, etc. As of late, Sandy has been in a posting frenzy and I've been thoroughly enjoying it! He gave me the green light to use the post below. If you haven't already, I encourage you to visit Best Seat In the House. Even if you don't agree with Sandy, I think you'll find that he's fair and open to opposing viewpoints.

The following,
Fox News Uses Black Fringe Groups To Portray Blacks As Angry, Dangerous, Scary, was posted by Sandy on his blog on July 14, 2010:

Fox News has a history of portraying black people as angry, dangerous, hostile and racist in many of its broadcasts (news and commentary alike).

The most recent example of this has been this massively over-hyped and B.S. story about the New Black Panther Party and alleged voter intimidation. Fox News has been pushing this story hard to its largely white and conservative audience to push an image of scary black people threatening white people and being allowed to do so by a black president (Barack Obama) and a black attorney general (Eric Holder) in spite of the fact this happened during the George W. Bush Administration. Fox News also has a dubious history of using black people to attack black people. We have witnessed that over and over again with the likes of the pathetic Jesse Lee Peterson, Sean Hannity's boy (that's right, I said it that way).

Republicans have a history of this and used the tactic of the scary black man in the famous Willie Horton ad from the late 1980s used by George H.W. Bush against Michael Dukakis.

From Wikipedia:
Republicans picked up the Horton issue after Dukakis clinched the nomination. In June 1988, Republican candidate George H.W. Bush seized on the Horton case, bringing it up repeatedly in campaign speeches.[6] Bush's campaign manager, Lee Atwater, predicted that "by the time this election is over, Willie Horton will be a household name."[6][7] Media consultant Roger Ailes remarked "the only question is whether we depict Willie Horton with a knife in his hand or without it."[8]
It's an effort by the far right to show scary black hoods coming to get you and Democrats will not protect you, but Republicans will take care of these dangerous black thugs.

Fox News frequently has used fringe black groups to attack black people. One of its favorite examples of this is the use of the New Black Panther Party and, most frequently, Malik Zulu Shabazz.

Media Matters for America has showcased the effort by Fox News to use fringe black groups to negatively showcase black people (rarely do they do it with, say a Ku Klux Klansman, and think of how they bend over backward to defend racist tea party morons).
For weeks, Fox News has been hyping J. Christian Adam's discredited allegations that the Department of Justice has "a hostility in the voting section and in the civil rights division to bringing cases on behalf of white victims for the benefit of national racial minorities." Predictably, right-wing media quickly used the phony controversy to race-bait, attempting to connect the Obama administration to the New Black Panther Party -- a designated hate group. Fox News' Glenn Beck, for example, said on his radio show that the New Black Panther Party represented "the kinds of people that our president aligns himself with," and Fox News' David Asman accused Obama of "defending racists" by "letting the Black Panthers off." More recently, Megyn Kelly, the biggest Adams cheerleader of them all, devoted airtime interviewing New Black Panther President Malik Shabazz. This episode follows a pattern of Fox highlighting this radical fringe group over the years.
Research posted by Media Matters shows more than 50 instances of Fox News hosting someone from the New Black Panther Party:




Hannity & Colmes

Quanell X


Hannity & Colmes

Quanell X


The Edge with Paula Zahn

Quanell X


Hannity & Colmes

Quanell X


Hannity & Colmes

Quanell X


Hannity & Colmes

Malik Shabazz


Hannity & Colmes

Quanell X


Hannity & Colmes

Malik Shabazz


The O'Reilly Factor

Malik Shabazz


Hannity & Colmes

Malik Shabazz


The O'Reilly Factor

Malik Shabazz


Fox News Edge

Malik Shabazz


Hannity & Colmes

Malik Shabazz


Hannity & Colmes

Quanell X


Hannity & Colmes

Quanell X


Fox Wire

Malik Shabazz


Hannity & Colmes

Quanell X


Hannity & Colmes

Quanell X


Hannity & Colmes

Quanell X


The O'Reilly Factor

Malik Shabazz


Hannity & Colmes

Quanell X


Hannity & Colmes

Malik Shabazz


Big Story Weekend Edition

Malik Shabazz


Hannity & Colmes

Malik Shabazz


Hannity & Colmes

Malik Shabazz


The O'Reilly Factor

Quanell X


Hannity & Colmes

Quanell X


Hannity & Colmes

Hashim Nzinga


Hannity & Colmes

Quanell X


Hannity & Colmes

Malik Shabazz


The O'Reilly Factor

Malik Shabazz


Hannity & Colmes

Hashim Nzinga


Hannity & Colmes

Quanell X


Hannity & Colmes

Malik Shabazz


The O'Reilly Factor

Malik Shabazz


Hannity & Colmes

Hashim Nzinga


Hannity & Colmes

Hashim Nzinga


On the Record with Greta Van Susteren

Malik Shabazz


Hannity & Colmes

Hashim Nzinga


Hannity & Colmes

Hashim Nzinga


Hannity & Colmes

Malik Shabazz


Hannity & Colmes

Malik Shabazz


Hannity & Colmes

Hashim Nzinga


The O'Reilly Factor

Malik Shabazz


Hannity & Colmes

Malik Shabazz


Hannity & Colmes

Hashim Nzinga


Hannity & Colmes

Hashim Nzinga


Hannity & Colmes

Malik Shabazz


Hannity & Colmes

Quanell X


Hannity & Colmes

Quanell X


Hannity & Colmes

Malik Shabazz

Again, this is no accident with Fox and its mostly white and conservative audience. This is a calculated effort to fear monger and make white people afraid of black people.

Media Matters for America:


Monday, July 12, 2010

Uncle LeBron's Cabin As Told By Jesse Jackson

As most of you know, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wrote a scathing open letter (which I've linked to below) lambasting superstar LeBron James for deciding to play for the Miami Heat next season. On July 12, the Rev. Jesse Jackson criticized Gilbert for his comments. In addition to calling Gilbert's remarks "mean, arrogant, and presumptuous", Jackson also said the following:

"He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers," the reverend said in a release from his Chicago-based civil rights group, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. "His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship -- between business partners -- and LeBron honored his contract."

Jackson also called Gilbert's comments an attack on all NBA players and said the owner should face a "challenge" from the league and the players' association.

When I first heard Jesse's comments, I was like, "what the hell is he talking about?!" The "slave owner/runaway slave" analogy is not only an insult to those who suffered and died as a result of slavery, but it unnecessarily injected race into the discussion. As I've said on this blog and in everyday conversations, an issue involving people of different races does not make the issue racial.

Ask yourselves these questions:

1. Do you think Dan Gilbert would have made the same comments if LeBron James was white?

2. Do you believe Jesse Jackson would have used the "slave master/runaway slave" analogy if Dan Gilbert were black or if LeBron James was white?

My answers to those questions are yes and no, respectively.

Regardless of one's feelings about Jesse Jackson, I think it's hard to deny that he has done some positive things when it comes to race and politics. However, his comments on the LeBron/Dan Gilbert situation seem like a pathetic bid to stay relevant in a constantly evolving racial/social/political climate. He's definitely got people talking about him again. The question is, at what cost?

Dan Gilbert's open letter:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Guest Post by Joanna: A Girl Like Me (Video)

Last week, I discovered the blog My Name Is JuJuBe. I contacted the blogger (Joanna) and asked if she'd be interested in writing a guest post for Diversity Ink. She is in the process of working on ideas for an original post for DI. In the meantime, she gave me the OK to use any of her previously written blog posts.

The following,
A Girl Like Me (Video), was posted by Joanna on her blog on June 18, 2010:

This is a video that was made in 2007 by a teenage girl named Kiri Davis. It discusses the standards of beauty than young Black women feel like they need to conform to in order to "fit in." It angers me to see that these young women are made to feel less attractive because of the color of their skin, or the texture of their hair. It shows the power of the white supremacist system upon the way Black children view themselves

Black children are constantly bombarded by images of Black people as being somehow inferior, of being less. They are told consciously AND subliminally that looking more white makes a person more beautiful physically, mentally and emotionally. This is such a disturbing message for children to receive. Every child deserves to feel beautiful. Every child needs to hear positive reinforcement, to be told that they are smart, and that they are good people. And, unfortunately, the message being given to Black children is the exact opposite.

Is it fair to a Black child that nearly all of the people they see on television are white? That the images they see of Black people in the media are overwhelmingly negative? Absolutely not!

I remember a few years back, I worked at the Pomonok neighborhood center in the after school program. Nearly all of the children who attended the program were Black children. Yet the books they were given to read featured overwhelmingly white characters, and the dolls they were given to play with with were usually blond haired and blue eyed.

(White) people seem to think that this does not have an effect on children, that is doesn't matter WHAT race a doll or a character in a book has. Yet, when new toys and books for the children were brought in featuring darker skin tones, the kids were overjoyed. They LOVED having characters to relate to who looked like them. They enjoyed playing with dolls that shared their skin tones. For the first time, the little girls and boys were engrossed in books about characters that they could relate to. They no longer looked at reading and learning as a chore. They looked forward to reading about historical Black figures. They enjoyed stories about Black children, and absorbed the messages the books were relating more readily. They began to express more pride in themselves.

It sickens me to think about the overwhelmingly negative messages we are transmitting to young children about Blackness as it relates to beauty, intelligence and morality. I believe that we have a responsibility as a society to promote positive images of Black people, not only to Black children, but to all children. Children learn VERY early on about racism and the society hierarchy that skin color places individuals on. We need to counter that programming. We need to show children that beauty comes in all shades, that morality is universal, and that intelligence has nothing to do with skin color.

A while back, a friend and I had a discussion about children's television programming. We thought it would be a great idea to start a network for children of color, a network that would show Black children in a positive light. He has a 3 year old Black daughter, and he wants her to grow up feeling beautiful and special. He does not want her to get the idea that she is somehow less because she is Black. He believes that children's programming that shows more Black children would really enhance the learning experience of Black children. We considered actually attempting to do something related to this idea, but we had no idea how to go about it. But, it is would definitely be a step in the right direction towards erasing the programming children receive early on regarding race.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Michael Jackson: An Icon of Diversity

Note: To commemorate the 1 year anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson (who passed away on June 25, 2009), I am re-posting the following. This was originally posted on July 3, 2009

Although I wrote about Michael Jackson over at my pop culture blog on the day he died (which you can read by clicking here), I had been meaning to put together a separate post about MJ for Diversity Ink. For various reasons, I was unable to get one up until now.

The day after Michael's death, I was preparing for my radio show that night which was a tribute to him. As I was getting ready to head to the radio station, I was pondering Michael's place among the greats of popular music. To me, Michael is in that exclusive club of ultra-megastars (along with Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and The Beatles). The criteria I used for inclusion is: name recognition on a global level, influence on performing styles and fashion/pop culture (not only on other artists, but the general public), the power to create fan hysteria, and the ability to maintain all of these factors over a long period of time. There are others who come close to this status, but they aren't quite there in my opinion. As a sidebar, I think that Prince could have achieved ultra-megastar status if he wanted it; Madonna would probably sell her soul for entry into that club.

Even within the ultra-megastar club, Michael Jackson rises above the others in one regard: the ability to obliterate racial lines in a way that was unprecedented and has never been duplicated. Just to be clear, I am not saying that the appeal of Sinatra, Elvis, and The Beatles was strictly a "white thing" because I enjoy all of them as I am sure others do too who aren't white. Still, Michael Jackson's crossover appeal puts him in a class by himself.

There have been countless black artists who've had racially diverse fan bases (for example, James Brown, Aretha, and artists on the Motown roster). Having said that, the era's social climate dictated that there were certain boundaries that weren't to be crossed. If Suzie from the suburbs let it be known that she was madly in love with "The Godfather of Soul" after seeing his dazzling performance in Ski Party, I doubt that it would have went over well with her parents. Even though by the 1980s, race relations had improved to a point where it was possible for Michael Jackson to have the type of crossover appeal he had, there were likely non-black parents who weren't thrilled that their kids' bedroom walls were covered with images of "The Gloved One". Still, it was something about Michael Jackson that made it OK for people of all races to scream in delight at the very sight of him. Consider this... if New Edition had the massive crossover appeal of Michael Jackson, do you think Maurice Starr would have found it necessary to create New Kids On the Block?

Over the past week while pondering Michael Jackson's diverse appeal, I thought to myself, "How did he do it?" Although I don't think there's a right or wrong answer, I have a couple of theories. I feel that the grooming Michael received during his years at Motown helped lay the groundwork for his later solo success. I think he also appealed to the kid in us with his Peter Pan persona and ability to do things on stage that appeared magical. Whatever the reasons for Michael Jackson's global appeal, we will never see an artist achieve that level of fame again.

Below is one of my favorite Michael Jackson performances and one that really illustrates the title of this post. It's from one of two 30th anniversary concerts that Michael did at Madison Square Garden in 2001. These are the last shows he ever did.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Glenn Beck Plays the Race Card... From the Bottom of the Deck

Just when I thought Glenn Beck couldn't get any lower, he manages to reach a whole new depth. On both his radio and TV programs on June 14, Beck aired an edited audio clip of President Obama in order to paint Obama as being racist against white executives.

In the clip below, Cenk Uygur (host of The Young Turks) breaks it down:

If you don't believe the remaining part of the quote read by Cenk was real, below is a link to the 1995 interview Obama did with Bill Thompson (host of the online series Eye On Books). The clip is almost 13 minutes so if you only want to hear the portion where Obama talks about responsibility on the part of blacks and whites, go to the 12:24 mark.

1995 interview

I've heard some conservatives accuse liberals of divisiveness and race baiting, yet these same conservatives are reluctant to call out anyone they feel is on their side such as Beck. If you believe Beck is on your side, stop snoring and start paying attention because he's playing you. His brazenness in airing the cropped clip shows that he feels his core audience is either too dumb to do any research or that they simply don't care. Although I think President Obama was wrong not to talk to BP CEO Tony Hayward sooner than he did, Beck's injection of race into this matter is a reach to say the least.

For all of you in the anti-Obama camp, put down your Haterade for just a moment and look at this objectively. Can you honestly say that Glenn Beck was playing it straight by saying President Obama didn't want to talk to Hayward because he's white? If so, I'd love to hear your argument(s). If you think Beck is the greatest thing since Sen. Joe McCarthy, but feel he's wrong in this case, there's no shame in saying so.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Who Has the Upper Hand When Selling Items Online?

In May 2010, the Economics Department at Stanford University published an interesting study. Titled, The Visible Hand: Race and Online Market Outcomes, the study examines the role race plays in the decision making of online consumers.

For those who believe racism is a thing of the past, if Stanford's study doesn't change your mind I don't know what will. Without question, we have come a long way in combating racism. However, the battle isn't even close to being over.

Personally, I have had success selling items online. Then again, I don't post photos of my hand holding the item... just the item itself. It now makes me wonder if my first name has ever prevented someone from buying something from me online. To those saying, "what?!", I'll let you in on something. There are some who believe that "Malcolm" is a black person's name. An ex-girlfriend (who incidentally is white) once told me that one of her brothers figured I was black based on my first name. My guess is he figured that because arguably the most famous Malcolm (X) is black, so was I. To quote Mr. Cross, "I know it's crazy, but it's true." Apparently, her brother wasn't familiar with Forbes, McDowell, McLaren, Atterbury, or Muggeridge.

Below is a clip of The Young Turks in which they break down the study conducted by Stanford. Towards the end of the clip, co-host Ana Kasparian brings up a separate study done in Italy which shows the correlation between empathy and race.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

TCM Remembers Lena Horne

As a tribute to the legendary Lena Horne (who passed away on May 14th at the age of 92), Turner Classic Movies will be airing a 3 film salute starting at 8 pm EST on Friday, May 21st.

Making her film debut in the 1938 musical The Duke Is Tops, Lena became the first black performer to sign a long-term contract with a major Hollywood studio when she joined MGM in the early 1940s. For the most part, Lena's film appearances during the 30s and 40s were in "specialty" roles in which she'd perform a song that wasn't essential to the film's plot. This allowed her appearances to be easily edited out when the movies aired in Southern states. This tactic is deftly illustrated during the outstanding 1998 documentary Melvin Van Peebles' Classified X, which explores the portrayal of blacks in American films throughout the 20th century. The two exceptions during this period where Lena had substantial film roles were Cabin In the Sky and Stormy Weather (which ironically was produced by one of MGM's rivals, 20th Century Fox).

Although Hollywood rarely made proper use of Lena Horne's talents, she was a trailblazer in the truest sense. Every black actress from Dorothy Dandridge to Gabourey Sidibe owes Ms. Horne a debt of gratitude.

Below is the lineup of Lena Horne films that TCM will air on Friday, May 21st:

8:00 PM ET The Duke is Tops

9:30 PM ET Cabin in the Sky

11:15 PM ET Panama Hattie

You can read TCM's article on the career of Lena Horne by visiting the following link:

TCM Remembers Lena Horne

Shortly after Lena's death, I was contacted by someone at Newsy.com who wanted to know if I'd be interested in sharing the following short video with my readers. The video is a tribute to Lena's career that showcases the media response to her death and her comments on racial identity. If you have problems watching the embedded video, please click here.

Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by Newsy.com

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Teachable Moments To Remember In Ann Arbor and Arizona

Due to a variety of factors, a couple of recent stories have been simmering on my proverbial back burner. Since they happened close together and are related to education, I decided to kill two misguided actions with one stone and combine them into one post.

Ann Arbor School Sponsors A Black Students Only Field Trip

Align Left

Earlier this month in Ann Arbor, MI, Dicken Elementary School Principal
Michael Madison became the center of controversy when he arranged a field trip for black students only in which they got to hear Alec Gallimore (a black rocket scientist) speak at the University of Michigan. Understandably, the parents of students who were excluded were upset. In an effort to address their concerns, Madison sent a letter home to parents which said:

“In hindsight, this field trip could have been approached and arranged in a better way,” Madison wrote. “But as I reflect upon the look of excitement, enthusiasm and energy that I saw in these children’s eyes as they stood in the presence of a renowned African American rocket scientist in a very successful position, it gave the kids an opportunity to see this type of achievement is possible for even them.

“It was not a wasted venture for I know one day they might want to aspire to be the first astronaut or scientist standing on the Planet Mars.

“I also think it’s important that you know that I have talked to the children who did not go on the field trip, and I think they have a better understanding of the purpose of the AA Lunch Bunch now, as I hope you do. I’m sorry if any kids were upset by the field trip or my discussion afterwards with them, and I have let them know that.

“The intent of our field trip was not to segregate or exclude students as has been reported, but rather to address the societal issues, roadblocks and challenges that our African American children will face as they pursue a successful academic education here in our community.”

As unfortunate as incidents such as the one involving Dicken Elementary School are, their aftermath tends to reveal how messed up some people are in their thinking. Although there were some calm and rational comments on the various forums I visited throughout the Internet that covered this story, many of the posters chose to wear their ignorance like a badge of honor. Here are three of my "favorites":

I believe it is time for an NAAWP!!!! I would love to hear from anyone that might know how and where to start this organization. Can you imagine what an outcry it would have been had it been ONLY WHITE kids!!!!!!! Oh my gosh...I am soooooooooooo sick of hearing how the blacks are discriminated against. THAT IS JUST A LIE!!!!! It is time for white people to make a stand so our grandchildren do not have to put up with this bull!!!!

Everyone knows that this racist principal is the product of affirmative action --- benefits derived from racial preferences. I'm sure that's how he got into college, and equally sure that's how he got his job. No honest person can imagine this idiot is where he is today by merit. He's just passing on the belief that blacks get special treatment to his little kids. God save the poor kids in Michigan public schools who are defenseless against this unionized educational corruption.

This just reinforces why liberals should never be allowed to have close contact with children. Not in our schools, not writing books, not in day care, not as scout leaders. If we are going to take our country back, it has to start with the kids, at every level. Don't let an Obama supporter mow your grass, don't let them collect your garbage, pull them out of their class at school. Don't let them coach your baseball team, and if a liberal applies where you work, make sure they don't get the job. It's war, and they are the enemy.

What are you gonna do with people like that? I will hand it to the last two commenters though. Although they are woefully ignorant, they counterbalance that with traces of keen observation. How else could they know that Principal Madison is not only a liberal, but a product of Affirmative Action? That's awesome!

I think Principal Madison had good intentions. Results from the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) released this school year found that 97 percent of white fifth-grade students at Dicken who took the test were "proficient" or above in all categories, while the figure was 78 percent for African-American students. However, he missed a golden opportunity by allowing only black students to benefit from Alec Gallimore's story.

Let me also add that this story is being incorrectly painted solely as a "racism against whites" issue. As of September 2009, 53.8 percent of Dicken's 379 students were white, 18.5 percent black, 8.7 percent Asian, 5.8 percent Hispanic and 2.1 percent Middle Eastern. The remaining 11 percent were listed as "multiethnic" or "other" on the district's website.

Arizona bill banning ethnic studies signed into law

Now we get to Arizona, which has been on a roll as of late. On May 11th, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill banning ethnic studies in public schools. The law, which takes effect Dec. 31, bans classes that are designed for a particular ethnic group, promote overthrow of the U.S. government, foster resentment toward a particular race or class, or "advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals."

The bill leaves it up to the state Board of Education or superintendent to decide whether a school violates the law. A school that does not comply could lose 10 percent of its state aid each month, and school districts can appeal the finding.

If there are ethnic studies teachers in AZ with questionable methods, they should be handled on an individual basis. Howver, banning ethnic studies in public schools entirely is not the way to go. When I was in high school, I took a class called Minorities in the U.S. I saw it as an opportunity to learn about things that weren't being taught in my other classes. The fact that my Minorities in the U.S. teacher was fine as hell was just an added bonus! One thing I remember is that there was one white student in the class. He may have been the only non-black student in the class for that matter. His name was Scott and if the term "nice guy" was in the dictionary, you'd probably see a picture of him next to the definition. There were never any incidents where Scott was the target of resentment by me or the other students in the class. He was there to learn just like we were and that was the bottom line. I have no doubt that there are "Scotts" today who would welcome the chance to take ethnic studies classes.

Below is a clip from CNN in which Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne and author/radio host Michael Eric Dyson debate the issue.

Although different on the surface, both the Dicken Elementary School incident and the new AZ law banning ethnic studies are very similar. The former deprived and the latter will deprive students from learning about others who don't share their background. Should the situation arise again, I hope that Principal Michael Madison will give students regardless of their race a chance to learn from someone like Alec Gallimore. Hopefully, the powers that be in AZ will realize that all students can gain something from taking an ethnic studies class.