Steve King and the Dehumanization of Others
Yesterday Congressman Steve King told constituents that the U.S. should only choose the best immigrants to accept into the nation the way one chooses “the pick of the litter”.
Steve King and the Dehumanization of Others
Yesterday Congressman Steve King told constituents that the U.S. should only choose the best immigrants to accept into the nation the way one chooses “the pick of the litter”.
We had a great show tonight on the topic of college and its value. We also had some thought-provoking input from our audience. If you missed it, you can listen to it by clicking the play button below. If you listened live, you can listen to “The AfterShow”, which featured TheKingsLaw, ChadStanton, and yours truly towards the end. Thank you for your continued support, and be sure to hang with the Threaders next Monday at 10pm Central.
“Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasn’t one more thing you could’ve done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that gentlemen – you’re perfect!”
Today is obviously not Thursday. However, it is Friday and I’ve got fifteen fancies for the thREADERS. Let’s move…
Perhaps the biggest news of the week is President Obama’s announcement of his support for same-sex marriage (1). In the, what, 36 hours since the interview, I have seen so many vituperative remarks on Facebook and Twitter. People have just been spewing all sorts of ignorance, and it really is sad. On top of all of that, many of these people call themselves Christians. Now, I pride myself in not getting too political with my weekly columns. I’m not here to tell people how they should feel or hurl my beliefs and opinions on them. I value people’s opinions; I merely express mine here. With that said, it saddens me that this topic seems to bring the worst out of some people. Whether you agree with gay marriage or disagree with gay marriage, to me, the underlying issue is human rights. I have come a long way as far as my feelings toward this issue because of my desire to be open-minded and progressive. It’s not my place to stand in the way of people who want to be happy and have the rights afforded to their heterosexual counterparts. You can quote Bible verses and tell me what “thus said the Lord” all day, but I also believe in tolerance, acceptance, and love. Like I have said several times here in the past, we need to do a better job of taking care of each other. We’ll talk about this more Monday night on our radio show.
It’s graduation (2) season. Around this time every year, I am reminded of this because of the flurry of graduations I find myself attending. Along with the congratulations and well-wishes, the rude reminder of the economic state (3) taps me on the shoulder. Every April/May/June, a new article or study comes out with depressing news for recent graduates. This year is no different. One in two college grads can’t find work. Ugh…when will my generation catch a break? Maybe we won’t. Perhaps, college is no longer the guaranteed answer. The education system churns out more graduates than the economic system can keep up with. The Thread has decided to team up with PootKat Radio to investigate this issue with a special radio show (4) Tuesday night. Is college still worth it?
Last week, I talked about the Brooklyn Nets’ new logo and what I thought of it. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one. Phil Mushnick of the New York Post (5) wrote an editorial that suggested that the Nets be renamed the ”New York N—–s (6).” What’s worse is that this man has been defending his racist remarks. He has said,
“I’m never comfortable using that word [ni----r]. That’s the way I was raised. Shame on my parents,” a sarcastic Mushnick writes. “The ONE time I spelled it out – for accuracy – I was widely condemned as a racist. So either way, I’m a bigot. I know what’s in my heart and my head, the way I was raised, and the way I raised my kids. But you’ve painted me a racist. Good work, James. And good work, if you can get it.”
“Such obvious, wishful and ignorant mischaracterizations of what I write are common. I don’t call black men the N-word; I don’t regard young women as bitches and whores; I don’t glorify the use of assault weapons and drugs. Jay-Z, on the other hand…..Is he the only NBA owner allowed to call black men N—–s?”
This guy still has a job. Mushnick is stirring up a hornet’s nest, and I would advise him to stop. His logic is extremely flawed and has no place in any publication. To suggest something so absurd, demeaning, and disrespectful is disconcerting. To base such a reasoning on Jay-Z (7) is asinine. I’ve had countless discussions, read several books, and attended several forums concerning the N-word. However you feel about the word and its use, the fact is that it’s not going anywhere. The problem with Mushnick is that he assumes that Jay-Z is the figurehead of the black mass public. If he has a problem with Jay-Z lyrics, I think he should take that up with Jay-Z. He should not implant such a ridiculous notion like calling a basketball team a derogatory name.
In other news, the “geek chic” (8) has been displayed in full force these past few months. I found this article describing many NBA players’ adoption of the new style of looking professional, looking “dorktastic”, and challenging stereotypes. Players like Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James are now rocking glasses as accessories, skinny ties, vests, and shirt buttoned all the way up. I must say that it is a welcome site. I’ve even bought into the style. I honestly hope that stereotypes concerning black athletes are being rewritten.
Speaking of the NBA, these injuries (9) are beginning to pile up. We’ve seen several star players go down at an alarming rate this season/post-season. David Stern (10) contended that the number of injuries is no different this season than any other a few weeks ago, but he seems to be backing away from those sentiments now. I think we’re seeing the ramifications of a shortened season over a shortened amount of time with no training camp. I’m interested to see where things go from here and what kind of changes we see made.
In more disturbing NBA news, Chris “Birdman” Andersen (11) is under investigation by an internet child pornography unit. I realize that Anderson has had his issues with drugs and whatnot, but this is a completely different animal. I’ve watched enough To Catch a Predator episodes to know that this is serious if they’re searching his home and removing computer hardware. I don’t want to speculate too much, but this situation sounds disgustingly bad.
Justin Bieber (12) is a part of Floyd Mayweather’s “Money Team.” Can we talk about this? I used to hate on Bieber all the time for being another singer for the teeniebops, but this young man is doing things. He’s part of Mayweather’s entourage, carrying his belts, and looking faded in the process. Then, I stumbled upon his new “Boyfriend” video. I talked about this song on Twitter a few weeks ago, and it is dope. Seriously, Justin Timberlake needs to return to music because Bieber is taking his
Chris Brown (13) and Rihanna (14) are at it again. I know, I know. I’m sick of them, too. Brown released a song that uses Kanye’s “Theraflu” beat, and he references his “old b—-.” Rihanna took exception to this and unfollowed him on Twitter. He returned the favor. Anyway, here’s the song if you care to listen.
Finally, I’d like to acknowledge and thank all of the mothers out there. This is your weekend, and I wish all of you a very happy Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
Here are my favorite “Mom” songs:
“What we do, how well we do it… does it even matter?”
From the very moment I heard that question presented to Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character in the Red Tails movie preview released so many months ago, it resonated with me. Clearly, perseverance through struggle and critical perception and assessment of that “perseverance” are nothing new for African-Americans. To echo the sentiment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the concept of “second-class citizenship,” of being good but not quite good enough in America, isn’t new for Blacks, either. African-Americans continue to work hard and apply themselves to being the best they possibly can be in spite of the circumstances.
But that “good but not quite good enough” specter is ever looming over Black Americans in the form of “privilege” – the concept that minimizes and plays upon the downplay of one group to more highly elevate another. It is this idea of privilege that serves as the immediate counterargument to the “post-racial America” that many people legitimately – if a little foolishly – believe was instituted once Barack Hussein Obama was elected president back in November 2008. Most recently, we find privilege emerging in the field of academia.
It was only by way of a chance “retweet” on twitter, that I stumbled onto Tressie McMillan Cottom’s guest article for racialicious, “The Inferiority of Blackness as a Subject.” In 1,420 words, McMillan Cottom calls out esteemed academic journal The Chronicle for Higher Education and, more specifically, a blog entry from Naomi Schaefer-Riley in The Chronicle entitled “The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations.” In much the same way that Schaefer-Riley’s blog critiqued and dismissed the dissertations she saw cited by Black doctoral studies, so does McMillan Cottom respectfully respond to and dismiss Schaefer Riley’s assertions, primarily because Schaefer-Riley critiques the dissertations based upon their titles and not the subject matter that makes up each dissertation. As McMillan Cottom so eloquently states, these Black doctoral students are “deliberately assaulted… for not being invisible.”
It’s intriguing that Naomi Schaefer Riley would contribute the newest chapter to the argument surrounding Black studies and its “place” in the academic arena, in the process driving the point home as to what REALLY lies at the center of this argument – privilege. Tressie McMillan Cottom touches upon this when she writes that Schaefer Riley is all but condescending to “three young scholars who have the audacity to treat the black subject as a human subject worthy of interrogation.” As a lowly undergraduate student myself, perhaps I am unqualified to speak upon this matter. But I do have many friends, colleagues, and associates who are Black students in doctoral programs, many of whom have embarked upon dissertations that touch upon or directly engage issues that affect African-Americans. And I am certain they, too, would treat Schaefer Riley’s criticism as, to put it plainly, “hating.”
I’m not talking about “hate” as in rooted in racism; but rather, “hate” as a completely subjective assessment of something with no sound basis other than dismissing something just to say it’s worthy of dismissal. McMillan Cottom sees this, as well, effectively highlighting that Schaefer Riley “does not even afford [the three doctoral students] the respect of critiquing their actual scholarship. That is beneath her. She attacks the very veracity of their right to choose what scholarship they will do.”
But let’s delve a little deeper here. Why DOESN’T Schaefer Riley “critique their actual scholarship?” The answer is simple – because Naomi Schaefer Riley doesn’t believe Black studies is scholarship worthy of critique. It would be easy to play “what if” and to imagine if the tone and approach of Schaefer Riley’s blog might be different had these three Black students been putting forth dissertations for their, say, Executive Doctorates in Higher Education. It is easy to assume that, perhaps then, Schaefer Riley would have given these students a fair assessment of their work and, additionally, an appropriate acknowledgment of their progress and pioneering achievement thus far (which was what the original article that stemmed this debate, was about in the first place).
Rather than wonder about what could have been, it is important to remain focused on and challenge the actual facts. The actual facts are that doctoral programs are not easy to get into, and by far, all but a challenge to remain and excel in; that, since doctoral programs operate by a process of acceptance to a prestigious program and adoption of a rigorous academic commitment and platform, that one must be amongst the best or working towards becoming the best to be a doctoral student; and that, while in the process of being a doctoral student, one can expect to be critiqued and vetted, it is not an unfair expectation to assume that you are still worthy of respect and dignity as a student throughout the entire process.
Apparently, none of these facts apply when it comes to the field of Black studies. It may be true that doctoral students in Black studies will still have the same “Ph.D.” initials listed after their name upon graduation. And it is likely true that students in doctoral programs for Black studies devote just as much time, blood, sweat, and tears as their peers in other areas of the academic arena, to assembling adequate research worthy of a dissertation that can be effectively defended. But privilege demands that Black studies be regarded at a lower level than all other academic fields, simply because issues that affect African-Americans can’t possibly affect people from other backgrounds, nor can non-Blacks possibly relate to those same issues. Privilege demands that those in positions of power can tell students in Black studies that their work is “left-wing victimization claptrap” and that “This may matter to you, but it doesn’t matter to me, therefore it doesn’t matter at all.”
It is easy to diminish the hard work, the scholastic potential, and the diligence that Black graduate students must adopt to succeed in academia on some scholarly journal’s webpage. But I wonder if Naomi Schaefer Riley would be as quick to tell Black doctoral students in person, what she really meant: that being a Black Ph. D student is good, but not good enough.
Somewhere in California, Dr. Nathan Hare, the founder of Black studies, is no doubt sitting in his rocking chair thinking, “I wish a nigga would.”
Salon has an excellent interview with American law scholar Kenneth Mack on the way race and the law intersect and define each other. Here’s a quote on civil rights lawyers and their personal experience in the black community at the time.
“What did you learn about the relationship between race and the law by writing it?
By looking at the civil rights struggle through the lives of black civil rights lawyers we learn about the contested nature of racial identity, even in an era where segregation was supposed to make race into something fixed, not fluid.”
I think this speaks to how we think of race as an unchanging dynamic today even though it’s been in fluctuation since the concept was created. Also it works to disabuse people of the notion that there was an overwhelming consensus in the Civil Rights Era as it’s been properly defined when our heroes of yesteryear had many of the intra-community pressures and differences that people still hold today. The interview is great and I’d recommend folks to go read the whole thing.
x-posted @ theybc
Another round of scatter-shooting, shall we?
I suppose I’ll start off with a topic I didn’t give enough insight to last week, and that is this Trayvon Martin (1) situation. Through traditional and social media, more and more information has been shed on this tragedy, and it has honestly taken a lot out of me. As a male, it hits me hard because Trayvon could’ve been my brother, cousin, or nephew. As a black male, Trayvon represents the fact that we haven’t made as much progress as we’d like to think we have. As an American, Trayvon represents something our country is so afraid to confront when it comes to race. I’ve taken part in the #MillionHoodies movement (2) on Facebook and Twitter by posting a picture of myself in a black hoodie holding Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea. It was a bit of a social experiment in and of itself because my black friends and followers retweeted my picture, commented on, and liked it. Meanwhile, none of my white friends did. This is not merely a racial issue. It is an American issue, and while I’m happy that I’ve seen so many non-black people speak up and speak out against George Zimmerman and the Sanford Police Department’s total botchery of the investigation, it saddens me that by and large black people are the one’s taking up this issue. This is merely an observation. Maybe it’s just my friends, who don’t want to get caught up in it. Maybe they’re afraid that they’ll get chastised for asking questions. Maybe there is a disconnect. Maybe they’re ignorant to the many forces in play. I honestly don’t know. Maybe I’m just tired of bearing the burden of educating and bringing awareness to people who don’t look like me.
March Madness (3) has lived up to its billing. On Saturday, I watched my brackets go to ruins. Missouri and Duke both let me down. There were upsets galore, and once Missouri lost, I didn’t have much need to sit around and watch the rest of these teams beat my dead horse. We’ll see if I even watch as much action this weekend as I did last weekend. With March in mind, I’m already sick of Tim Tebow (4). As if he didn’t get enough coverage this past season, I have to hear about this guy more in the off-season? Now he gets traded to The Big Apple? *sigh* We’ve seen what Linsanity did to that city; I’m scared of Tebowmania. On the other hand, Peyton Manning (5) made an interesting decision to pick Denver over some other possible suitors. I’m in no position to make his decisions for him, but I would’ve picked San Francisco. There is more talent there, a better climate, and a better chance to get to a Super Bowl. Once again, that’s just my opinion. I wish him the best of luck, though. I don’t think anyone could write a better book on how to stay relevant in the off-season than what the NFL is currently doing. The Super Bowl was almost 2 months ago, and the NFL has managed to stay in the news. Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow, the Combine, Pro Days, Draft prognosticating, and Bountygate. I get that most of those are a staple of most off-seasons, but this year just seems different. At least it’s not another labor standoff like last year. Roger Goodell (6) dropped the hammer down on the Saints…hard. Like I said a few weeks ago, the bounty system that Gregg Williams instituted with his defense didn’t really bother me since that culture is instilled in players at a young age. I definitely wasn’t expecting Goodell to suspend Sean Payton, fine the team a half million dollars, strip theme of draft picks, and suspend Williams indefinitely, though. It seems harsh, but I don’t think there will ever be another bounty program. Lesson learned.
Yahoo! released a list of the 10 Richest Colleges in America (7), and it sparked a few interesting debates. I took issue with the fact that Texas is the richest public school, and third richest overall behind Harvard and Yale, respectively. The numbers seem a bit misleading since the numbers used are The University of Texas System’s number and not UT as an individual institution. It still bothers me that tuition has reached record highs, and yet some schools are rich. I realize this is a complicated issue that isn’t black and white, but it doesn’t sit well with me. It’s definitely not something to brag about.
The LA Coroner released Whitney Houston’s (8) cause of death. Her death was an accident, but several drugs were found in her system. Marijuana, Xanax, cocaine, and Benadryl were all named in her toxicology report. *sigh* I figured her death was drug related, but it hurts to read it officially.
I wrote about Snooki from Jersey Shore a few weeks ago, but now her fellow cast member, The Situation (9), is in the news. Allegedly, he has been getting treatment for a problem he has with prescription drugs…or alcohol. Who knows? Color me shocked. As much debauchery as we’ve seen from the cast, I’m surprised there aren’t more of them with some kind of issue. I’m throwing no shade and no judgment their way, but nothing that I hear about that cast will surprise me. VH1 has another provocative show in the chamber. They’ve graduated from the NBA and are now entering Hollywood. I’ve expressed my sentiments concerning all these damn wife shows, but the train seems to be picking up steam. Hollywood Exes (10) is the next stop. This show will feature the ex-wives of Eddie Murphy, Jose Canseco, Will Smith, Prince, and R. Kelly. I have to admit, they found some heavy hitters. This will get messy.
I’ve never been an ardent viewer of The Voice (11) or Dancing with the Stars (12), but I found myself watching both of them on Monday. I’m a huge Cee-Lo fan, but his pick of Erin over The Shields Brothers really threw me off. Ugh. In my humble opinion, Erin completely butchered Tina Turner’s classic. I thought she sounded awful. The Shields Brothers added a nice twist to it, though. Was I listening to something different? We’ll see if I keep watching if I have to listen to Ms. Martin again. Meanwhile, Gladys Knight and
Urkel Jaleel White blew me away with their dancing skills. I shouldn’t have been surprised, though. The Empress of Soul looked amazing by the way. Y’all want to come with me on a trip down Memory Lane, compliments of Family Matters and A Different World? Of course you do.
Finally, the ThreadBlog Radio Show (13) is premiering this Monday at 11pm EST/10pm Central. The King’s Law, utpipeline, and myself will be revisiting a popular and controversial blog post from a while back. “Is There a Difference Between Making Love and Having Sex?” Tune into http://www.blogtalkradio.com/threadradio Monday night and join us. If you can’t tune in, we’ll post the episode here on the ThreadBlog.
Let’s go get ‘em…
The value of American men is declining (1) according to this article I ran across the other day.
“According to Department of Education data, in 1975, men earned about 60 percent of all college degrees. By 1985, there was equal distribution by gender. But by 2009, the pendulum had swung in women’s favor. Of the more than 3 million college degrees for the Class of 2009, women earned close to 60 percent of those degrees (1,849,200), or almost 149 degrees for every 100 degrees earned by men. By 2017, Department of Education forecasts suggest that women will earn more than 160 degrees for every 100 earned by men.
The future isn’t rosy in the employment arena either. As recently as 2008, around 3 million more men than women had jobs, but that difference was closer to 1.5 million by the end of 2011 (having flirted with parity at the trough of the recession in 2009, at which time 82 percent of all job losses were male), according to Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics stats.”
Well, isn’t that just peachy? You can look at this one of two ways. On one hand, women are making significant progress in society. On the other hand, men ought to get used to the taste of dust women are kicking up if these figures and forecasts hold true. Speaking of worthless men,
Rush Limbaugh (2) opened his mouth again, and [REDACTED]. In other men news, have you heard about this mess brewing in California with the 41-year-old teacher (3) leaving his family and shacking up with his 18-year-old former student?? It’s really not the age difference that bothers me. It’s not even the student-teacher thing. This isn’t the first time nor will it be the last time that has happened. What bothers me is the fact that this man left his wife and kids to live with an 18-year-old. Furthermore, his oldest daughter is 17. #awkward These two can call this love and say they’re following their hearts all they want, but if I let my 18-year-old heart make these kinds of decisions, I’d hope someone would knock me upside my 18-year-old head. I want an update on this story in 6 months. I don’t see it lasting much longer than that.
It’s been a tough year for Peyton Manning (4) fans, hasn’t it? He misses the entire season, has 4 neck operations, the Colts enter the doldrums of the NFL, and have now decided to proceed without him. If I’ve learned nothing else about professional sports leagues and franchises, I have learned that business is business. Owners and GM’s are in the business of winning games and championships. It’s as simple as that. Players that spend their entire careers with one team are a rare breed and an endangered species. I applaud Peyton Manning and Jim Irsay for the class they displayed during the press conference. Class is a word I can’t use to describe this Bountygate (5) situation, though. It just won’t go away, and it annoys me more every day. Forgive me for not being surprised or outraged by the fact that someone was paying defensive players to deliver big hits and injure players. Don’t high school and college kids get helmet stickers for this kind of thing? Don’t we love watching brave receivers go up the middle only to get leveled by big, bad safeties? Don’t we get a kick out of watching videos like this? No? Okay, maybe that’s just me then. I’m not condoning this practice, but I’m not at all surprised by it. I remember when I was in the eighth grade and laid out a kid, and got accolades for it. Practice! He was a teammate. I think I just knocked the wind out of him, but people were lauding my efforts while he was still rolling around on the ground. This culture has been built over the years. I figured it was just a matter of time before someone put some money on it. I don’t like it; it’s cheap (figuratively speaking), but it makes sense. We get excited and replay a violent collision on our DVRs when we see a big hit followed by a guy who doesn’t get up. Now people act like this bounty thing is reprehensible? I won’t lie, once I found out the amount guys would get for a hit/injury (except for the bounty for Brett Favre), my initial thought was, “That’s it?” We’re talking millionaires here. My opinion.
I don’t pretend to be the biggest NASCAR fan, but Danica Patrick (6) tends to intrigue me from time to time. It’s nice to look at her. However, she doesn’t take too kindly to being called “sexy” anymore. Oh. Well, excuse us, Mrs. Patrick. Your driving prowess and record of winning races don’t seem to be making news. Maybe because…YOU HAVEN’T WON ANYTHING! Yet you stay relevant. I keep seeing you scantily clad in GoDaddy.com commercials and swimsuit issues. I googled Mrs. Patrick, and this is what came up. “Pretty” isn’t the word I would use to describe the vast majority of those pictures. So, she doesn’t want to be called sexy? Then chill with the sexy pictures!
Ladies, I need your help. I have been a victim! I have had to replace more Jordan shorts (7) than I care to remember. The only reason I am bringing this up is because there have been a few conversations on my Twitter timeline about women’s need to take their man’s Jordan shorts and not give them back. I’ve also talked to quite a few women who proudly brag about their collection of Jordan shorts. I’ve even heard them called “trophies.” Why??? Those are not cheap! I mean, it’s cute and everything, but what is the fascination here? Is it merely comfort or is it more of a psychological thing? Please advise.
Big K.R.I.T. (8) dropped his third mixtape, “4eva N A Day”, on Monday. I’ve been a fan since the first time I listened to “K.R.I.T. Wuz Here”. I loved “Return of 4eva”. This effort, however, left some things to be desired. He stays true to his smooth, Southern sound, but there just weren’t many standout tracks to me outside of “Red Eye.” It’s a solid listen, but I wasn’t hitting repeat as many times as I did on his previous two mixtapes. Like MichaelYoungHistory pointed out, the album is supposed to drop in June, so these probably aren’t the best songs we’ll hear from K.R.I.T. I hope he’s right.
As the regular thREADERS know, I am a proud Longhorn (and Knight). Needless to say, Sallie Mae (9) and I are in a toxic, tumultuous, long-term relationship. I found this video that provides a comical and realistic view into such a relationship. Yeah, that about sums it up. More light was shed on the affirmative action/holistic review/race in admissions issue at Texas (10) that I wrote about a few weeks ago. Here’s an interesting article that provides an inside look into what’s going on in Austin. It also sparked some interesting debate and discussion.
Texas. Dallas, Texas. My hometown got another show. Not Dallas, not SWAT, not First 48, not Top Chef: Texas, not Storage Wars: Texas. This one appears to be on some Stepford Wives-type ish. “Good Christian
Bitches Belles – GCB (11). WTF? I refuse to watch this show, but based on what I’ve read, it reminds me of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills/Orange County. FOH! How many damn “wives” shows do we need? OMG. Desperate Housewives wasn’t enough? Basketball Wives isn’t enough? Mob Wives? SMH. I’m hoping the ratings force ABC to divorce such poppycock. LOL.
On a more solemn note, #Kony2012 (12) entered my life on Monday through social media, and I must say that I’m very moved, saddened, and frustrated. For those curious or unaware, here is a link that details Jason Russell, Invisible Children, Joseph Kony, the sex slave trade, and the documentary itself. Here is the documentary, Kony 2012.
Finally, over on the Thread, we’ve been discussing a weekly radio show (13) for our friends, thREADERS, Twitter followers (@TheThreadBlog), etc. There are about 20 of us, and we’ve had a 5 year running conversation (hence the name, The Thread). Why not further open the doors to you? The idea spawned from a few friends of ours who have started their own radio show. We’re just looking for a different and interactive way to reach the hundreds of people who have supported us here. We’re not abandoning the ThreadBlog; we’re just trying to experiment with another avenue. Let us know your thoughts.
And we’re off…
Am I the only one still replaying Whitney’s Funeral (1) in my head? I honestly can’t think of a time when I have been so moved by a service in which I wasn’t actually in attendance. Cissy Houston really did take the world to church on Saturday…for 3 and a half hours. I’ve heard quite a few comparisons to MJ’s “funeral”, but that wasn’t the same. That was more of a concert whereas this was a homegoing service. I’m not the biggest Tyler Perry fan by any means, but his remarks certainly set the scene. I was also deeply moved by what Kevin Costner said. He gave us a glimpse of Whitney no one else could. Finally, when the paulbearers literally carried Whitney out on their shoulders to “I Will Always Love You”, I had to turn the TV off. My prayers are still with the family, but I was so impressed by and thankful for such a wonderful service.
Is anyone else sick of Linsanity (2)? I’m over the Tebow comparisons; I’m tired of the racial under/overtones in play here; and I’ve had enough of the endless coverage. I appreciate the underdog story, and I’m happy for Lin’s success, but when is enough enough? That leads me to NBA All-Star Weekend (3). I used to live in Orlando, so part of me hates missing all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the event, but the other part of me is glad I’m not there. I’m still debating whether or not I’m going to watch the game. This NBA season has failed to impress me. I’ve been to a few games this season, and I honestly feel like the level of play is sloppy and sub-par. I realize the lockout has a lot to do with this, but something is missing. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is exactly. The NBA has some of the better all-star festivities, but I’m not excited like I usually am. Jemele Hill made some great points about the Slam Dunk Contest and its irrelevance as well. I’m in concurrence.
As usual, I was on Twitter the other night, and suddenly, my timeline was littered with Rihanna & Chris Brown (4) putrescence. The two have conspired to appear on each other’s singles (“Cake (Remix)” and “Turn the Music Up (Remix)“. This madness ensued on RiRi’s birthday, no less. *sigh* We talked about these two ad nauseum over on the Thread, and the feeling of disappointment was overwhelming. Here’s a young lady who was the posterwoman for domestic violence and resilience. She was a role model for women everywhere who have been through domestic violence and did not tolerate it. Now everything is cool? I’m all for forgiveness, but something just isn’t right about this situation. In other news, Elizabeth Smart (5) tied the knot last weekend in a secret wedding. I’m really happy for her and glad she was able to put something so horrid behind her. Best wishes to her and her husband.
On Tuesday, I heard some startling and depressing news involving the make up of America’s teachers. Black males make up less than 2% of all American teachers (6). I knew it was a problem, but I didn’t know it was so dire. When I think about it, I didn’t have a black male leading a class of mine until I was a sophomore in college. Hopefully, more black males (myself included) eventually step up and become teachers of our youth. Lord knows they (we) are needed. With college now on my mind, I can’t help but be upset and disappointed by what happened at TCU (7) last week. I was really happy for and excited about the direction of their athletic program as well as the school itself. I realize that the drug bust went beyond just the football team, but a school’s football team is essentially that institution’s front porch. TCU is a scapegoat in all this, though. That drug bust could have happened anywhere. If you think your school doesn’t have some kind of drug problem, I question if you really went there. My hope is that TCU is able to rebound from this.
My beloved alma mater, The University of Texas (8), is back in the news. Stop me when you’ve heard any of this before. The Supreme Court has decided to hear a case with The University of Texas involved. Do I need to stop? It involves affirmative action with regards to admissions. Now? Okay, I will. I’m sick of this already because we’ve heard it before with the Hopwood decision. I’ll say that the state of Texas has a serious problem. Its flagship school continues to have admissions issues. Quite honestly, I don’t know how the state goes about fixing it. Is there a racial problem? I’d say so. Texas’ goal is for UT to mirror the state’s demographics racially. It’s failing to do so. Blacks make up 11.8% of the state’s population, but only 5.6% of the incoming class. Latinos make up 37.6% of the state’s population, but only 23.1% of this class. Meanwhile, Asians only account for 3.8% of the population, but make up 20% of the 2011 freshman class. I honestly don’t know what lawmakers and the administration should do. Personally, I think part of the problem is the fact that the state doesn’t have enough flagship schools to serve such a huge population. Things will certainly get interesting. Stay tuned.
I see that racism has reared its ugly head in Gainesville, Florida after some young ladies went on a 14-minute tirade on YouTube (9) oozing with bigotry. If you can sit through the idiocy, click here and scroll to the bottom. I’m disgusted and don’t have anything else to say about such balderdash. As much as I hate that video, it’s free. That’s something I can’t say about what comes out of Hollywood (10). Aside from Red Tails, I have refused to go to the movies. Movie ticket prices are at an all-time high, and I’d rather chill at home and make it a
Blockbuster Red Box night with my 42-inch LED, blu-ray, and surround sound. There just isn’t enough reason or payoff for me to spend $25 on a date to see a movie. The last few times I’ve gone to the movies, I may or may not have movie hopped. Don’t tell anyone I told you that.
Who’s watching the Oscars (11) this weekend? Anyone? I genuinely have no desire to see it, and after the Grammys (12), I won’t be sitting through another awards show any time soon. Nicki Minaj and her antics were enough to…REDACTED. I’m hoping that Leonardo DiCaprio walks away with something this weekend, though. J. Edgar (a possible casualty of said hypothetical movie hopping…catch me if you can) wasn’t the best movie he’s been in, but he did a great acting job like he usually does.
Finally, in honor of Black History Month (13), I’d like to acknowledge and pay homage to W.E.B. Du Bois. On this day in 1868, the eventual co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was born. He was also the first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard and published The Souls of Black Folk. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and do so.