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:
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.
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.
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.”
The 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:
Early 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.