MonthMarch 2015

White Jesus

On Sunday, I decided to go to church. It had been a while since I attended, I had nothing else to do and I needed a sign from god.

But instead of finding a sign, I found white Jesus plastered on the center monitor at a Black church.

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Now you may be asking yourself, what’s wrong with that? White Jesus has been the standard for centuries. Well, I hate to be that kid in elementary school who ruins the idea of Santa Clause, but SPOILER ALERT: Jesus wasn’t white.

The iconic image of a white Jesus is propaganda created by an oppressor to promote the idea of white superiority. So to have that image in my place of worship, knowing the historical significance behind its purpose, was insulting.

I was also surprised. Surprised that my Black pastor did not realize that by superposing the image of a white Jesus on the center monitor, he was contributing to the propagation of white supremacy. I was sad. Sad that a predominately Black congregation was being force-fed the image of a white man, worshiping him, unknowingly toasting to the erosion of their self-esteem. And I was offended. Offended that more than a century post slavery, the Black community continues to propagate a lie that was intended to keep us in bondage.

And then I remembered. I remembered why (in general) Black churches are unappealing to me. It’s the mentality of its people. Organized religion in the Black community is Uncle Tom’s favorite vehicle for keeping Black people mentally enslaved. Too many Black preachers tell us nothing is in our control and to wait on Jesus. They tell us suffering is good, to embrace it, because the end goal is dying and going to the promise land.

Next week, I think I’ll try going to a white church. At least there, they’ll have enough self-respect to worship a god they made in their image.

#MediaQuickies 8

Geez this week flew by, and so will these three #mediaquickies.


1. George Zimmerman

This guy’s 15 minutes of fame should have ended an hour ago. This week, George Zimmerman accused Barack Obama of fueling racial tensions following the Trayvon Martin shooting, as if the act of a self-proclaimed neighborhood watchman killing an unarmed black teenager wasn’t grounds enough for speculated foul play.

 If you’re interested, here’s a link to the  full interview: bit.ly/1HQlIdM. If not, here’s a quote that pretty much sums up Zimmerman’s BS.

 “I think that throughout the process, the president should have done what he said he was going to do and not interject himself in a local law enforcement matter or a state matter and waited until the facts came out, instead of rushing to judgment, making racially charged comments and pitting American against American.” – George Zimmerman

Some people share Zimmerman’s sentiments, while others expected Obama to comment on the situation simply because he knows, first hand, the plight of being a Black man in America. But, hey, using Obama as a scapegoat for the racial tensions in America is way easier than admitting you benefited from a racially tainted justice system.

2. G.O.M.D.

G.O.M.D.  is my favorite song on J.Cole’s newest album, “Forest Hills Drive.” In this song, J.Cole tells haters to put their differences aside, get off his d*ck, and appreciate the fact that one of us made it, but earlier this week, J.Cole’s music video for G.O.M.D debuted a house nigga (played by J.Cole) leading a slave uprising from within the big house.

After viewing this video, initial confusion prompted me to do some research. Here’s what I found.

“The video is really more of a commentary on the need for unity and togetherness more so than it is a comment on racism, because [the black community] knows—we all know about oppression. We’re all aware of that. What we’re not aware of is the dysfunction within our own community. You know what I mean? The fact that there are levels to us economically and because of the different skin colors within our own race. We’re not aware of that. We’re aware of the other shit.” J.Cole in his interview with Saint Heron

I think black people are aware of the “dysfunction”  in our community, we simply choose not to address it as readily as we do discrimination coming from the outside in. But I’mma have to give it to J.Cole for thinking outside the box on this one. With this music video (coupled with the song) J.Cole successfully connects the dots between our enslaved past and today’s mental chains that continue to enslave some members of the Black community. J.Cole reminds us that history repeats itself and reincarnates. He reminds us that color-ism and class-ism continue to divide the black community just as Willie Lynch had intended.

3. Riri

It’s women’s history month, so its only right that Rihanna gets a shout out from mediawhistle.com. Rhianna is the voice behind DreamWorks’ first black lead of a 3-D animated film, “Home,” which drops in theaters on Friday, March 27.

home

Other firsts from Riri? According to this  MSNBC article,  Rihanna is “the first woman to be featured on the cover of GQ’s “Men of the Year” issue in 2012, the most streamed female artist in the world on Spotify, and potentially the first black woman to be the face of Christian Dior.”

Rhianna’s many firsts are further proof that @BadGirlRiri really is a bad mama jama.

 

#MediaQuickies 7

This week was jammed packed with media moments shedding light on America’s racial intricacies, so let’s take those color blinders off and jump right into this week’s four #MediaQuickies.

*Don’t feel like reading? Listen here:


1. #RaceTogether:

Starbucks had the bright idea to open their coffee shops up to conversations about race; thus taking the idea of corporate social responsibility to the next level. While their intent was good, Twitter erupted in an uproar and Black Twitter responded with  #NewStarbucksDrinks.

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Judging by the onslaught of confused and angry tweets from Starbucks customers, the company had no idea this food for thought initiative would transpire into  shit that would hit the Twitter fan.

Why did this campaign fail so miserably? I’ll let Tai Tran take it from here: 3 Reasons Behind Starbucks Failure.

2. #ToPimpAButterfly

Music can be a powerful tool that soothes the soul during hard times. Take for example J-Cole’s not so savory singing but heartfelt Mike Brown tribute song: bit.ly/1BXVyo6. A tribute song to Deah, Yusor and Razan, the three students murdered in the #ChapelHillShooting, was also the musical offspring of a mourning community: bit.ly/1GAzv7Z. My latest example of powerful music addressing today’s social issues? Kendrick Lamar’s new album, “To Pimp A Butterfly.”

IMG_6177The authenticity that pulsed through Kendrick’s album during my first listen was refreshing. It made me think. It made me feel. It made me smile. It gave me chills. From politics, to depression, to street life, this album took me through the struggles of a young Black man in America and made this text message from a friend resonate even more: FullSizeRender 28

 

3. #JusticeForMartese

IMG_6179Early Wednesday morning, Martese Johnson, a third-year student at UVA, was wrestled to the ground, his head slammed against the pavement, and arrested for what? A fake ID? Public intoxication? For being Black?

Martese’s attorney quickly put out a statement, reassuring the public that Martese wasn’t your average nigger. No, this Black man was getting a college degree.

“As evidenced by both his academic and extracurricular achievements, Martese is a smart young man with a bright future,” his attorney said.

The fact that Martese’s attorney felt the need to defend his client by reaffirming his intelligence and college education makes me feel some type of way and question if the same approach would have been taken if  Martese was white.

Needless to say, I’ll be following this story in the coming weeks to see if #JusticeForMartese becomes more than just a trending hashtag.

4. More racists fraternities

This week, Pi Kappa Phi, an NC State fraternity, left its dirty laundry out to dry on a restaurant table near campus. A restaurant employee found the fraternity’s notebook filled with comments written by the fraternity’s brothers.

Here’s a few excerpts courtesy of this WRAL article: bit.ly/18OslSl

“It will be short and painful, just like when I rape you.”

“If she’s hot enough, she doesn’t need a pulse.”

“That tree is so perfect for lynching.”

“Be kind to the whales because they’ll lead you to the dolphins.”

You’d think these boys would have taken notes on #SAE’s cameo appearance in last week’s news cycle…but that ain’t none of my business though.

kermit

#MediaQuickies 6

Sorry ya’ll, it’s been a minute. I had to catch up with real life, but I’m back, so let’s jump right into this week’s media quickie list!

#SAE: University of Oklahoma

confused_black_girl_vector_by_flyingsandwich-d84igqaWow. It’s amazing what gets picked up on the internet and turned into a national news story. This week, members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) learned this the hard way when the news caught wind of a video showing SAE members chanting racist slurs while on a bus.

 “You can hang ‘em from a tree, but it will never start with me. There will never be a nigger in SAE.” -SAE Members

While Rush Limbaugh blames rap culture for teaching these innocent young men the N-word, I blame their ignorance and lack of respect for culture sensitivity. We could go on and on about who can use the N-word and who can’t, but the real issue here is these young men gleefully sung about lynching black people and proudly chanted about excluding “niggers” from their fraternity.

SPOILER ALERT: Rap music does not exclude people based on their skin color. In fact, rap music has become a global phenomenon bringing diverse groups of people together. I know this to be true because Jay-Z said so in this interview and because of this funny, but very true, vine:

So, Rush Limbaugh, have this seat \__. While seated though, you can applaud these white privileged kids for not going down without a fight. After members were expelled from the University and the fraternity chapter was shut down by the national SAE organization, the fraternity has decided to hire a lawyer. What could this lawyer possibly argue?

Freedom of speech.

But at what point does freedom of speech turn into hate speech? At the end of the day, Title IX and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 federally obligates the University to ensure no student is racially harassed or discriminated against.

Needless to say, I’m interested to see how this story plays out in both the news and courtrooms.

 


#FergusonReport

The Justice Department gave Ferguson its report card. It did not look good. The report’s findings were so bad, in fact, that several Ferguson city officials resigned this week, including Judge Ronald Brockmeyer , City Manager John Shaw and Police Chief Thomas Jackson.

The Justice Department found that “systematic racial bias” practices were used by both police officers and court officials. Now, for those of you not familiar with racial profiling,  this excerpt from an NPR article will explain what it looks like and how it is beneficial to city officials:

“The Justice Department found that Ferguson’s police and court systems functioned as a revenue generator, with nearly a quarter of the city’s $13.3 million budget coming from fines and fees, according to The Associated Press.

The report also found a severe racial bias against the city’s African-American population. From 2012-2014, 93 percent of all arrests made by the police department were of African-Americans, despite the city being about two-thirds black. In the same time frame, 90 percent of all documented use of force instances by the FPD were against African-Americans.”

These statistics are painfully reminiscent of the free black labor that built this country. Flash-forward to the present, and now a racially constructed judicial system targets African-Americans to ensure a steady flow of income.

Discouraged? Don’t be. Keep this food for thought in mind:

“The system was never broken, it was built this way.” – the jaded citizens of America

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