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Tag Archives: Black people

Vote Suppression in America


Viviette Applewhite and Voter ID

Here is why I have little patience for conspiracy theories without the weight of some proof behind them. People are working everyday to institute policies and ideas that disproportionately harm our community without any secrecy whatsoever. The efforts to discourage people who are likely to vote Democratic in elections from being able to vote at all. None of this is secret. They claim to be trying to protect against voter fraud but this doesn’t pass the laugh test among anyone with political savvy who is speaking earnestly. There has been a national push to restrict voting with voter id laws that count hunting licenses as valid but student id’s as invalid in addition to aggressively pushing college students off the rolls, taking away the right to vote from convicts, telling people they could be arrested if they show up from the polls, telling people the wrong date for elections, etc. none of these things are in any way secret. They’ve been bold in their actions to the point that awards have been given to people who can keep the most voters away from the booth. This has all been reported, editorialized, and absorbed by the public with no shock or outrage whatsoever. This sad fact speaks to the cynicism that has gripped the body politic that none of this was given a cursory attempt to be shielded from view. So no I don’t buy into conspiracies because today bold efforts to stop people from exercising their right to vote is taken nakedly without shame and no push back. While we’re out charging towards windmills our feet are being cut from us by an adversary who is too happy to shout while they do it.

cross-posted @ theybc

 

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Joe Walsh, Barack Obama, and Affirmative Action

Joe Walsh, Barack Obama, and Affirmative Action

Here is the argument against “affirmative action” in perfect form. Opponents of affirmative action argue that the accomplishments of African Americans are questioned if there is the possibility of affirmative action is present. Even in cases that see institutions simply acknowledge race as a factor among many, without quotas or a point system, people cry foul as if they just can’t trust a black achievement unless they’re double-sure that no one ever looked upon them more favorably. Here we see this dynamic even when an African-American succeeds on a national platform where the application process is determined by the votes of millions of Americans. Even in this most transparent of hiring processes the achievement is tainted merely by the presence of melanin in the skin of the victor. In Rep. Walsh’s mind the possibility that President Obama earned his title in the same manner that 43 presidents before him did is untrue. President Obama got a “leg up” from the American electorate as a whole because he was a black person. What would a black person have to do in Rep. Joe Walsh‘s world in order to be “legitimate” success? If Barack Obama winning a national election where he was scrutinized by the media and voters and won the approval of (much) more than half isn’t an earned success then what possibly could be?

x-posted @ theybc

 

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Study: All-White Jury Pools More Likely To Convict Black Defendants

Study: All-White Jury Pools More Likely To Convict Black Defendants

Duke University released a study on Tuesday that showed that juries are significantly more likely to convict a black man if they are all-white. While this news doesn’t constitute as shocking the good news is that the presence of one black person mitigates the affect in a significant fashion as well. The news comes as no surprise historically or psychologically we line in a nation that trusts law enforcement and the criminal justice system without question. Many people seem to believe that if someone is arrested then they are probably guilty. People feel as if innocent people just aren’t harassed or falsely accused by the law. Combine this with a group of people all judging someone that they feel is “other” than them and the high rate of convictions seems to be an obvious consequence. The presence of one black juror mitigating the effects is encouraging but when you have prosecutors who push for all white jury pools then the hope from this news is muted.

cross-posted @ theybc

 

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“What Do We Do In the Mean Time?” asked Mary J. Blige to the WB Frog

So I cheated. I’ve already posted this to my other blog http://www.theblackhollywoodreporter.wordpress.com (check it out), but I thought I should just share the love!

I come to you today realizing there is a paradigm in Black Hollywood, and I don’t know how I feel about it. This realization comes after the backlash of Mary J. Blige’s Burger King Commercial.

Click Here to Watch the Video

Many believe it was coonish for Blige to sing the song about chicken, burgers, and even ranch dressing, but as I sit on the other side of the industry, my gut just wouldn’t let me get as mad as I probably would have a few years ago. My mind didn’t directly move to disgust and dissecting the “issue”, but it DID make me wonder about the meeting Blige had with her team. I could picture her agent presenting the opportunity her. It was probably like, “Burger King wants you to do a song.” If I came to you and plainly said, “Burger King wants you to do a song,” would you honestly shut it down? Would chicken and ranch dressing be the first thing to pop into your mind? Maybe not, so let’s just say that you agreed. Once you read the lyrics, even if a red flag was raised, what would the conversation be like with your manager about the backlash of your career?  Before you answer, let me tell you that commercials make people a lot of money for a little time. While movie shoots would probably last 100 days, a commercial lasts 3. While making an album may last months or even years, you would probably spend a day in the studio to record the song. And the residuals for a national commercial bring in some nice bread… very nice. So think about the complexity of her decision especially when the digital boom has cut musical artists’ income.

But trust, Blige is not alone in the struggle. Think about Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. With the scarcity of parts, should [black] actors turn down roles? Did people stop working for BP waiting on them to clean up the spill? Did the LAPD officers quit the force after those police officers were acquitted for beating Rodney King? So as we wait for more quality television shows and movies, what do black artist do in the mean time while whites offer a narrow scope of characters and blacks don’t take the time to educate themselves in order to create quality work? Artists still need income, and inactivity is the best way to be forgotten. How does Black Hollywood deal with this paradigm?

Honestly, the resolution of this paradigm doesn’t bother me as much as the realization that we are dealing with the same predicament Robert Townsend dealt with in Hollywood Shuffle. It’s been at least 30 years, and we really haven’t progressed. I’ve racked my brain trying to find solutions to this problem. Each solution seems to cancel each other out, and in the time of quick, fast, and in a hurry products (reality tv), it’s so hard to find someone willing to take their time and make something of quality. To be transparent, The Game and Let’s Stay Together are a chore to watch, and I won’t even get on Love That Girl. No one supports Treme resulting next season being their last season, and after Red Tails, it seems we cannot rely on someone else to tell our story. We are slowly getting mainstream roles, but “they” protest. For example, the backlash of Idris Elba in the movie Thor: http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2011/05/02/thor-star-idris-elba-on-fan-racism-and-ghost-rider-sequel-but-not-prometheus/ , or recently the African Americans casted in Hunger Gameshttp://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/hunger-games-fans-have-racist-debate-over-stars-playing-rue-thresh-2012263 ? So in this slow transformation, what do we do… because BILLS are do!

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2012 in Money, Movies, Music, Television

 

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Reflections of a once discouraged Black Man that can’t get into “certain” clubs

 

 You likely know exactly what I’m about to say. And likely, exactly what I’m about to call out. To most of you reading,  this subject isn’t a surprise. It’s not even news anymore. It’s a story that happens…and continues to happen on a regular basis. For those unaware of such activities, let me sum it up for you: 

Black people have a hard time getting into “certain clubs”.

 

Wow.....wow....

And we’re not the only culture, but I can only speak from my perspective and experiences. I’ve even recently heard of cases of folks getting in trouble who stood up for their peers (in this case, teammate) who were discriminated against. If this hasn’t happened to you yet as a black male, you either don’t go out, you’re always over-dressed when you do go out, or you simply just stay ‘in your comfort zone’.

Going to college in Austin, TX, I learned these lessons at an early age. Ya see, back in 2004 when I was a freshmen, brothas were still in the blazers, long button-ups, jeans, and Air Forces.

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Boehner’s Sister Souljah Moment

"Republican Leadership"In 1992 Sister Souljah was quoted in the Washington Post as saying “If Black people kill Black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?” after the L.A. Riots. Bill Clinton condemned her remarks and this interaction where a politician takes on stalwarts of his or her base became known as a Sister Souljah moment.

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Posted by on April 14, 2011 in Government, Philosophy

 

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Illuminati Me

A young man is born of poor circumstances, albeit in a privileged nation. He does well in school but decides that instead of applying himself in the classroom his time is better spent participating in illicit activities. While beginning a criminal lifestyle at a young age he matures enough to realize that the illegal lifestyle isn’t the one for him and he begins to nurture what is seemingly his most marketable skill for a man in his position. He works hard but is denied entry into his chosen field by the established powers thus without options for an institutional approval he starts his own. Through hard work and business savvy over  several years he finds himself not only thriving in his chosen profession but is an institution within the field himself.

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