Although 2011 has already started, I still wanted to take a moment and recognize or call out the people and organizations who I think deserve either bouquets or tomatoes tossed at them for their words and actions in 2010 regarding race issues.
Diversity Ink's Heroes of 2010: The Young Turks
Led by host Cenk Uygur (above center), The Young Turks have set the bar high when it comes to tackling race-related stories. In their pointed and humorous commentary, they don't hold their tongues nor do they pull any punches. Along with calling out the usual suspects (you know who they are ), TYT has also shined an unflattering light on lesser known people/institutions such as Sen. Jake Knott (who used the term "raghead" in reference to President Obama and then gubernatorial candidate for S.C. Nikki Haley) and the Walthall County School District (which was guilty of segregating students). Because accusations of racism aren't always cut and dry, TYT will sometimes question whether or not an incident is an example of racism or not. I also love the fact that the show has on guests that don't share their beliefs (for example, the controversial and far right Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson).
Honorable mentions for Heroes of 2010:
- MSNBC (with a special nod to Rachel Maddow for her segments on the Southern strategy)
- Shirley Sherrod
- Turner Classic Movies
- Joe Madison
- The Phoenix Suns
Diversity Ink's Villain of 2010: Fox News Channel
The Fox News Channel (aka the video equivalent of the "Southern strategy") knows that fanning the flames of race plays right into the hands of their followers who hang on their every word. Their overhyping of the New Black Panther Party case and the hit job they did on Shirley Sherrod are just two examples of how Fox does its part in widening the racial divide. The efforts of Fox didn't go unnoticed in 2010. Along with people like Howard Dean, the hosts of The Young Turks, and Shepherd Smith (one of the few hosts on Fox with any integrity), a program on one of its sister channels also got into the act of calling out Fox News for its underhanded tactics.
- Rush Limbaugh
- Rep. Steve King
- Jesse Lee Peterson
- Sharron Angle
- Gov. Jan Brewer
- Conservatives/Republicans who will bend over backwards to defend one of their own no matter how heinous the offense, but will pounce on a liberals/Democrats for the slightest misstep
Who are your heroes and villains when it comes to race matters for 2010?