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These posts comment on current events and news stories.

#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

#MediaQuickies 4

#KickOutTheKKK (1/30)#Kickoutthekkk

Today, UNC students gathered on the lawn of McCorkle Place to challenge the uncontextualized racist constructions on UNC’s campus, specifically Saunders Hall. Saunders Hall is named after William Saunders, a UNC alum and chief organizer of North Carolina’s KKK in the late 1800’s.

I fought back tears as I listened to current students tell stories of how their blackness is psychologically attacked on campus on a daily basis. I felt their sincerity as students demanded the University to cut ties with its racist past and to rename Saunders Hall to Hurston Hall in honor of Zora Neale Hurston, the first black student to study at UNC before integration.

I felt the students’ pain, I felt their frustration, I felt their marginalization, and I recorded it so you could feel it too:

“We’re tired of being statistics stored in the University’s back pocket, ready to pull out whenever they need to prove how ‘diverse’ they are. WE ARE WHOLE PEOPLE.” -Rally Speaker


#SGAAwards (1/25)

This media quickie is a shout out to Viola Davis who won Best Actress at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. It seems as if it has become customary this awards’ season for minorities to not only make a statement by winning awards, but to also call out their industry on its lack of diversity. Here’s what Viola had to say:

“I’d like to thank [names several people including Shonda Rhimes] for thinking a mysterious woman could be a 49-year-old, dark-skinned, African-American woman who looks like me.” -Viola Davis


#MarshawnLynch

marshawn

Marshawn Lynch has been catching hell this week because of his “lack of interview skills”. But maybe journalists just aren’t asking the right questions; Marshawn had plenty to say to Progressive  and Skittles when they interviewed him. Marshawn has also worn Beast Mode gear, his official clothing brand, during interviews (a big NO NO in the league because Beast Mode is not licensed by the NFL), despite the hefty fines associated with this type of defiance.

Does Marshawn’s actions make him an asshole? Naw, I think the real issue here is that Marshawn is offending the WPPs (White People in Power) by not playing by their rules designed to allow THEM to profit off of HIS talent. The real issue here is that, the NFL and media industry are upset because, for so long, they have controlled and profited from black bodies, and now, here is Marshawn saying:

#MediaQuickies 1

Happy New Year media whistle blowers! I thought I’d try something new this year and provide ya’ll with quick comentary each week on the media moments I found most interesting. Enjoy!


#NAACPBombing

bombing

The lack of news coverage of the NAACP bombing ignited a flame on Black Twitter this week that resulted in the birth of a tredning hashtag: #NAACPBombing. While people slowly found out (via social media) about the bomb that exploded in front of the NAACP office outside of Colorado Springs, mainstream media was up in arms about the shooting and hostage situations in Paris. Now people, I understand your frustration, but let me explain something to you from a journalist’s perspective. No one was harmed in the NAACP bombing. The bomb barely did any damage to the building. On the other hand, you had a situation where several white people had been murdered (Europeans to be specific) and many more whose lives were in danger. Of course that’s going to be a bigger news story. Add a few Muslim antagonists to the equation, and you have the formula for a story that warrents 24 hour news coverage.

This media moment left many people questioning who decides which stories receive mainstream media coverage and how much. According to USA Today, #NAACPBombing also reflected the black community’s growing frustration of the “glaring disparity in how news outlets cover violence against blacks.”

#SelmaMovie

selma

I was slightly disappointed #UnpopularOpinion? Granted, the movie did an amazing job at humanzing Dr. King, depicting black suffrage during the Civil Rights movement,  and mediating extreme relevance considering the recent heightened racial tension in this country. However, the storyline was slow, the climax brief, and the ending abrupt. I left the theater wanting to know more…but maybe that was the point?  We all know Dr. King, but what about the men who surrounded him and helped to lead the march from Selma to Montgomery? Men like Andrew Young, Ralph Abernathy and James Bevel? No introductions to these characters were made, leaving ignorant movie goers to assume these men were simply King’s entourage.

On the flip side, I learned a side of Lyndon B. Johnson that no public school history book would ever depict. Although he signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964, ensuring blacks the right to vote was initially low on Johnson’s priority list. His explanation as to why consisted of laying out the difference between a politician and an activist.

“You do your job,” Johnson told King, “and I’ll do mine.”

#EmpireFox

empire

My grownup life is not conducive to keeping up with shows that air after 8 p.m. With that said, I had to watch “Empire” after its original air date; however, I’ll definitely be staying up to watch this show on Wednesdays.

“Empire” is about a black family competing for the top spot in the family’s music business empire. This show made  this week’s quickie because of several reasons, but the main reason being its gay character, Jamal Lyon. I plan to pay close attention to Jamal’s character because the show’s writers have made it a point to shed light on the homophobia that exisit within the black community. I’m curious to see how not only Jamal Lyon’s character develops throughout the series, but also how his relationship with his family and in the music industry plays out.


Those were just three of the major media moments I wanted to share with ya’ll this week. Want to add to the list. Drop a line…or two…in the comment section below!

2014’s Best and Worst Media Moments

As this year comes to an end, I wanted to share with you all my top best and worst media moments for minorities in 2014. A lot has happened this year, so if something didn’t make my list, add to it in the comment section!

Here goes!


The Best

5. Forest Hills Drive

2014ForestHillsDrive

I wasn’t a fan of “Born Sinner,” but since receiving J.Cole’s newest album for Christmas, (S/O to Smitty <3) I’ve fallen in love with his music all over again. What I love most about this album is the very clear message bumping through the speakers: “the grass is not always greener on the other side.” Jermaine encourages us to appreciate what we have. He warns us to filter what’s mediated to us and  to limit our feening for what glitters and gleams on tv and the radio.

On his track “Fire Squad,” J. Cole’s jab at white artists like Elvis, Iggy, Slim, and Macklemore, brings to the forefront the issue of black cultural appropriation. J kindly reminds us that white people are making money off of our sound, our culture, our bodies, so do we really own our own image…hmmm, now that’s deep.

lupita

4. Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita made us all go “awwww” with her very heart-felt acceptance speech at this year’s Oscar Awards. She won Best Supporting Actress for the movie “12 Years a Slave” (the first film from a black director to win the Academy Award for Best Picture). No doubt, the beauty exuded from her award speech and that gorgeous blue dress, lead to Lupita being deemed “Most Beautiful” by People magazine.

3. “The Colbert Report” Coverage of Mike Brown and Eric Garner

Colbert was almost taken out by twitter this year when #CancelColbert started trending, but thank god he wasn’t because “The Colbert Report” writers seem to be the only ones who get it [racsim].  Colbert landed this #3 spot when he slammed conservative news outlets for complaining about people turning the shooting of Michael Brown into a “race issue.”

“You’re tired of hearing about it [race]? Imagine how exhausting it is living it,” Colbert said, ending his segment.

Here’s the clip if you are interested in watching it:

2. Dear White People

Dear White People was my favorite 2014 movie hands down! The fact this movie, that addresses white privilege, systematic racism,  and the black experience on a PWI campus, made it to the big screen, warms my heart.

1. FCC Cracks Down on White-washed TV

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Under the leadership of Congresswoman Maxine Waters and other law makers, the FCC was pressured into increasing media diversity in programming, ownership and executive leadership roles. This resulted in an outpour of fall TV shows debuting minority families. This year we were introduced to the Johnsons from “Blackish,” Cristela y su familia, and “Jane the Virgin,” just to name a few.


The Worst

5. Exodusexodus

This year we were blessed with yet another biblical story on the big screen. This one recounts the life of Egyption Prince Moses and his brother Ramses. This was the perfect opportunity for a nice brown or black actor to make a debut, but instead, the movie casted all white actors to play the main characters. Now why is this a problem? Geography lesson #1: Egypt is in Africa where black and brown people live. But no worries, some blackies appeared as slave extras in a few background scenes.

4. Elevator Videos

If there is one thing we learned this year, it’s that what happens in the elevator does not always stay in the elevator. From Ray Rice knocking out his fiancé, to Solange throwing hands at Jay-Z,  these videos made for a nice discussion about domestic violence and family counseling.

3. Sony…SMDH

interview

North Korea was not happy about Sony’s The Interview,” a movie with a plot based on killing North Korea’s president Kim Jong-un. So how did North Korea retaliate? They hacked into Sony’s executives’ emails and exposed all their dirty laundry. From racially insensitive comments about my President, to slandering several different actors and actresses, let’s just save Sony’s execs may be establishing new email policies for 2015.

2. Angry black People

At least that’s how we were depicted in the media. There were riots and protests in response to the recent police killings of  Mike Brown and Eric Garner. However, these national and local, peaceful protests were strangely under reported when compared to the numerous stories I saw about rioting, looting black people… -____-

1. Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby is on the verge of losing everything he has built his career on…that is,  if he hasn’t already. After a slew of rape allegations from women from his past, Bill has probably had the worst year out of everyone.


bill2Now, if you read my top five best and worst media moments of 2014 and are disappointed because something didn’t make the list, add it in the comments below. I look forward to reading what you all come up with 🙂

Cheers to 2014!

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