Category#MediaQuickies

These blog posts provide comentary each week on the media moments I found most interesting.

#MediaQuickies 10

Again, my apologies for the late #mediaquickie post; I’mma do better ya’ll 🙁 Here’s last week’s notable minority media moments:


#BlackGirlsRock

Black-Girls-RockEach year Black Girls Rock (a non-profit organization dedicated to building Black girls’ self-esteem and self worth) recognizes the achievements of Black girls and women around the globe. Last Sunday, the 5th annual Black Girls Rock Awards aired on BET.

This year, I haphazardly stumbled upon the awards show during their presentation of the “Shot Caller Award” given to Ava Duvernay, the director of “Selma.” I was immediately drawn into the awards show, amazed at Duvernay’s accomplishments and intrigued by the challenges she said she faces as a Black woman in her industry. After hearing Duvernay’s story, I was hooked, staying tuned in long enough to hear my First Lady address the audience.

“No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you are beautiful! I am so proud of you. My husband is proud of you. We have so much hope and dreams for you.” –Michelle Obama

In that moment, hearing my First Lady directly address me as a Black woman and reaffirm that I am beautiful, that I am strong, that she shares my struggle, generated a sense of neo-pride in my Blackness.

Dear Apple,

IMG_6628

I’ve been waiting for Apple to create an emoji with an afro puff or a “Black power” fist. Apple has neither of those, but at least now with the iOS 8.3 update I can pick the skin tone of some of my emojicons, which I’ll tally as a win in my book. No longer is whiteness the standard of emoji; it has been replaced by “Simpson yellow,” and a variety of skin tones. Thank you Apple for making your non-white consumers finally feel included.

Sincerely,

A 2015 Black consumer

 

 

Clorox

Everyone was excited for Apple’s lineup of new emojis, even Clorox, although they felt there was one thing missing.

 

IMG_6557This tweet didn’t go over well and Black twitter immediately took offense. What the hell was Clorox trying to say? That the diverse emojis needed to be bleached white? That it wanted a Clorox emoji?

Whatever Clorox was trying to say, it didn’t come out quite the way it had intended and immediately issued this apology, eventually deleting its original tweet.

IMG_6556The tweeter behind this tweet was obviously oblivious to the issue of skin bleaching in colored communities world-wide. But no worries, I’m sure this Twitter fail served as a cultural lesson, revealing the reality of mediating a European standard of beauty for centuries.

 

 

#MediaQuickies 9

I’m a little late with last week’s media quickie post, but I couldn’t let last week’s juicy news cycle pass by unrefereed. So here goes:


1. #HomeIMG_6528

Last weekend, DreamWorks hit the big screen  with a double whammy. We saw their first 3-D animated movie with a black lead character, AND she had natural hair!

Without giving too much of the movie away, the storyline goes as follows: There is an alien invasion, and all the humans are relocated to a specific part of the world. The aliens’ intentions are to civilize the humans, but after one alien befriends the movie’s female heroine, Tip, he realizes it’s not the humans that need civilizing, it’s the aliens. The moral of the story?  Just because someone is different from you doesn’t mean that they need to be fixed; it means there’s something you can learn from them. And if you happen to be a social outcast, that doesn’t mean something is wrong with you; it means you should embrace what makes you different.

This DreamWorks picture couldn’t have come at a better time.  When racial tensions in our society are reaching old heights, DreamWorks gives us “Home,” a movie about two social outcasts from two different races (people and aliens) who join together in an unusual union to save the world. Kudos to DreamWorks for a job well done.the-prince-of-egypt

SN: It’s worth noting that DreamWorks’ first animated movie was “The Prince of Egypt” in 1998. Unlike the white washed cast in “Exodus: God’s and Kings” (released in 2014), DreamWorks chose to give its animated characters some color.

2. #Indiana

indiana copy

Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been in the headlines for the past two weeks and has the LGBTQIA community up in arms. The Act is intended to ensure Americans have the right to exercise their religious freedom, thus allowing millions of “courageous conservatives” to act on their conscience when it comes to deciding whether or not they want their business/organization to serve gays and lesbians. For a clear, cut explanation of the law and the politics behind it, check out this NPR article.

Religion is tricky. Who am I to tell someone what they should believe? If, for instance, a Christian fundamentally believes gay and lesbian couples should not be married, should their food company be forced to cater a gay/lesbian wedding? With that said, at what point would Indianan’s discrimination law override its Religious Freedom Restoration Act?

The more I delve into this law, the more blue and red perspectives become a gray area of politics.

3. #UVA April Fools

satire?Last week, UVA’s student newspaper, Cavalier Daily, thought it could get away with  publishing a pair of stories for April Fools’ Day titled “ABC officers tackle Native American student outside Bodo’s Bagels” and “Zeta Psi hosts ‘Rosa Parks’ party.” The backlash that followed this poor editorial decision lead to the paper issuing this apology the same day and removing the satirical stories from their website.

According to the Cavalier Daily, it was attempting to “provide satirical commentary on important issues.”

confused_black_girl_vector_by_flyingsandwich-d84igqaThis is why diversity is so crucial in the newsroom. I highly doubt there was a colored person represented when the decision was made to print these two stories.

By making fun of Martese Johnson’s misfortune, Cavalier Daily poured salt on an open wound that had not yet scabbed over. If  Cavalier Daily wanted to contribute constructively to the conversation of race, the satirical articles should have been accompanied by a story that provided context behind the satire.

4. #DukeNoosenoose

So while UVA’s student newspaper made fun of Native Americans and racist frat parties, a Duke student was busy hanging a noose from a tree in one of Duke’s plazas.

I’m not sure what is going on these days, but  neo-racists are getting bolder by the minute.

#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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 6.04.01 PM

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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