Light skin vs Dark skin

278448_10151202337875850_464691755_o

By March 12, 2014

ONE DAY while walking with some family members on Philadelphia’s South St., I said, “I love those light skin girls with that long hair. They look beautiful.”

It bounced off my 15-year-old tongue effortlessly, landing in the eardrums of my aunt.

She quickly responded, “Oh you like those light girls. You one of those House Niggas. That’s what your name is. House Nigga.”

My jaw dropped as I tried to win my Black Card back. “I didn’t mean in like that.”

I was young and already walking the streets with a color complex constructing my attraction to girls based on the shade of their skin. My aunt called me “House Nigga” for the next 10 years, constantly helping me relive that moment. I was influenced by the images in my environment, mainly from television screens and magazines.

I thought back to that moment on South Street last week while I was reading the Willie Lynch letter to a group of students in a classroom.  The conversation was intense.

“Have you all seen the stuff on social media where people are posting ‘Team Dark Skin’ and ‘Team Light Skin?’

Nearly all of the students said yes.

“Ok. I got it,” I said. “Y’all know about it. How do y’all feel about it?”

“I don’t like being dark skin,” one of them said. “I know I’m black. I just feel so heavy with blackness. I just don’t like being black. In the summer it’s the worst. I turn into the Grim Reaper.”

His words turned the room into a quiet asylum. There was no refuge from the words he had just shared. After years of teaching I am sad to say his words did not shock me, but the boldness with which he spoke them did. With his face wrinkled in disgust he pointed to his skin, barely wanting to touch his arms while expressing his disdain for his tone. We watched him as his self-esteem was being placed in a coffin of hatred.

Another student said, “I don’t like light skin people because they are stuck up and conceited. They think they better than us. When I was pregnant I said to my stomach don’t let this baby come out light skin. Don’t you know that baby came out light skin? I was mad!! Until the baby got a lil’ chocolate a couple months later.”

The students’ laughter bellowed against the walls. I whispered a muted anger blended with frustration inside.

I then read Lupita Nyong’o’s words: “I tried to negotiate with God. I told him I would stop steeling sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted. I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But, I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because I never woke up lighter.”

The classroom fell silent again like an atomic bomb of reality had just mushroomed, destroying all we knew. We sat staring at one another with a new beginning. All of us. It was an unexpected moment of silence. A moment where I could no longer hear the term, “House Nigga.” Just the wheels of learning turning.

We have to teach these young people how to love, how to dream, how to plan, how to archive before it is all lost. We even have to teach them to love themselves.

The discredited value of blackness is deeply engrained in these young people, and as we strive to hold on to the heritage, culture and self-love we have left, it’s imperative we show our children that the value of their person should not be determined by the shade of their skin. That value comes when you discover you personal power and cherish every breath you have….

Source: http://www.solomonjones.com/light-skin-vs-dark-skin/


corbin thumbnailGreg Corbin is a poet and teacher. He pens the Real Talk feature for Solomonjones.com

 

 

Advertisements

 

George Zimmerman signs autographs at Orlando gun show

ORLANDO, Fla. —George Zimmerman was shaking hands, smiling and signing autographs at a central Florida gun show Saturday

Zimmerman greeted people and autographed photos of him posing with his dog. He appeared at a scaled-down version of the New Orlando Gun Show at the Arms Room store on East Colonial Drive.

The show was originally set to be held at the Majestic on John Young Parkway, but organizers said the venue canceled late Thursday after getting negative feedback about Zimmerman’s planned appearance.

“They told us they canceled for community pressure,” said Mike Piwowarski, a show organizer. “They were getting phone calls and backlash, and didn’t want that kind of person there.”

Piwowarski said he was angry the Majestic canceled the event and he plans to sue for an estimated $300,000 in lost gun sales.

He said he supported Zimmerman during his trial in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and after he was acquitted.

Zimmerman offered to return the favor and support Piwowarski’s gun business, which led to today’s appearance, he said.

Friends for Justice Philly: Fruitvale Station Movie Screening

VIDEO: FRUITVALE STATION SCREENING & PANEL DISCUSSION

On July 22, Friends for Justice Philly, in conjunction with Landmark Theaters, Blues Babe Foundation, and Councilman David Oh’s Black Film Advisory Committee, hosted a special screening of Fruitvale Station followed by a brief, in-theater panel discussion with some of the Delaware Valley’s most prominent and dedicated community activists.

Check out the recap video for our special screening of Fruitvale Station below

Friends for Justice Philly is a group of young activists dedicated toward providing real solutions for many of today’s pressing issues that disproportionately affect the black community. Check out the Friends for Justice Philly website for more information regarding the organizations and young people involved and to keep up with our upcoming events. We believe that it is time to stop talking about the problems and start doing. Collectively we will create, develop and execute programs that will help to educate, inform, and progress our community.

We are currently working on #nextsteps to inform our community of legal rights and legislation that can have an impact on their lives. Stay tuned for the “Know Your Rights Series.

Remember to Like “Friends For Justice Philly” on Facebook.

——————————————————————————————-

Below is unedited and a complete occurrence of events leading up to the killing of Oscar Grant. Rest in Peace Oscar Grant:

 

 

 

 

Unlike the Zimmerman case, this event was captured on multiple camera phones. The footage was released to the media and watched over a million times. The imagery is so captivating that you understand why Ryan chose to put it in the movie. It reminds you of the pure senselessness of this incident and documents another case of police brutality. The officer was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, and did not even serve his full 2 year sentence before being released. This demonstrates along with so many other cases of unarmed teenagers being killed by police, the value society puts on youth black males. Oscar’s life was taken and his mother, sister, girlfriend, and precious daughter are left with only his memory.

C C Stinson

28 Years Ago Today: Philadelphia Police Department Bombs MOVE Headquarters

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s been 28 years to the day since the City of Philadelphia dropped explosives on the MOVE headquarters on Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia that set fire to an entire residential block.

The fire destroyed the homes of neighbors who had grown impatient with the noise and conditions at the “back-to-nature” MOVE house

by:

Linn Washington Jr.

Philadelphia loves to brag about it’s ‘Firsts,’ citing such notable things as the nation’s first capital (1774), America’s first zoo (1874) and the birthplace of the world’s first digital computer ENIAC (1946).

There is one ‘First’ that will never appear in slick tourist handouts from the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau though, and that’s the city’s first air raid on May 13, 1985, when the city deliberately bombed an occupied house containing children, sparking a deadly firestorm.

Philadelphia MOVE Bombing Anniversary

A bomb dropped on an American city by that city’s own police force?

Yes, a bomb made with hi-explosive military C-4 and powerful Tovex dropped by Philadelphia police from a Pennsylvania State Police helicopter onto the roof of 6221 Osage Ave., located in West Philadelphia just blocks from the University of Pennsylvania – considered America’s ‘First’ university.

Police drop satchel of C-4 explosive on the MOVE housePolice drop satchel of C-4 explosive on the MOVE house

That 5:27PM bombing ignited a small fire that grew steadily because of an unconscionable decision by Philadelphia’s then Police Commissioner, Greg Sambor.

The commissioner ordered arriving firefighters not to fight the spreading blaze, telling them to “let the fire burn” because he wanted to use the flames as a “tactical weapon” to drive out persons barricaded inside the bombed house.

Over three hours later, when firefighters finally received permission to attack this blaze with hoses, it had become a raging inferno that gutted 61 homes – including the entire 6200 block of Osage Ave. – leaving 250 homeless and killing 11 people in the original bombed house, five of them children ranging in ages from 7-to-14-years-old.

All of the fatalities – adults and children – were members of MOVE, a radical organization that had waged a series of often violent confrontations with Philadelphia city officials for over a decade.

*****

During the 1970s and early 1980s MOVE was an offensively confrontational group.

The group had fortified 6221 Osage Ave. as part of their strategy to win release of nine imprisoned members they felt authorities had unjustly convicted for a fatal 1978 shootout with police.

The March 1986 report from the MOVE Commission established by Philadelphia’s then mayor to probe the 5/13/85 bombing declared that MOVE had “held Osage Avenue “hostage” for nearly two years [through a] deliberate use of terror…violent acts against their own neighbors.”

Philadelphia_MOVE_Bombing_Anniversary_3

The flash point for that series of confrontations, however, was rampant brutality by Philadelphia police.

In 1973, months after MOVE first surfaced publicly, a federal judge issued a ruling in a class-action lawsuit on brutality, unrelated to MOVE, where he stated that violence by Philadelphia police – from physical assaults to fatal shootings – occurred with such frequency it could not “be dismissed as rare, isolated incidents.”

Typically though, Philadelphia’s body politic dismissed the televised police brutality on May 13th as an isolated incident precipitated by MOVE’s intransigence.

Democracy Now! Interviews Ramona Africa:

Pam Africa, Myself & Ramona Africa:

photo34

ONA MOVE!!!

“Temptation Is a Movie About Punishing Women …”

Tyler Perry Isn’t Just an Artless Hack, He’s a Scary Ideologue

By  Lindy West

There are a lot of things to laugh at in Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Kim Kardashian’s attempts to move and talk at the same time, Vanessa Williams’s fake French accent for no reason (hoh-hoh-hohhh!), the alien dialogue, the blunt-force moralizing, the sheer ineptitude of Perry’s filmmaking. (Worth noting: None of Perry’s actual scripted “jokes” made the list.) But, that said, it is not a funny movie—it’s a frightening one. Temptation is a movie about punishing women. Specifically, Perry is obsessed with punishing women who stray from the good woman/bad woman binary dictated by traditional Christian gender roles. That is the film’s entire purpose. I watched it 24 hours ago and my skin is still crawling. And I’m starting to believe that Tyler Perry isn’t just artless—he’s reprehensible.

Temptation is framed as a story told by a marriage counselor to her client. The client, some white lady, comes in and is like, “I’m thinking about having an affair! YOLO!” And the marriage counselor is like, “Well, let me tell you a little story, lady. About my, um, ‘sister.'” (The first of a million spoilers: IT’S REALLY ABOUT HER. SHE IS HER OWN SISTER.)

The “sister” in question is Judith—a nice, pretty, church-going “good woman” who wears ugly high-collared blouses, cooks dinner for her man every night, and only has married-sex in bed with the lamp off. Judith’s husband, Brice, is a “good man.” He works hard at a pharmacy all day, wears glasses, and is on great terms with Judith’s mother. They are “happy.” Except that they’re totally not (spoiler #2: it’s Judith’s fault).

The first hint of Judith’s discontent comes when she and Brice are heading home from a romantic dinner. A group of ne’er-do-well youths on the street cat-call Judith as they pass. Judith flips the fuck out and has to be physically restrained by Brice, who tells her to calm down, ignore it, let it go. They get in the car and go home. Judith refuses to speak to Brice for the rest of the night, because he didn’t defend his property her honor by fighting the cat-callers to the death. He didn’t do his manful duty. “But honey, they could have had guns!” Brice says. THEN HE APOLOGIZES TO JUDITH FOR NOT FIGHTING THE YOUTHS. I didn’t see the rest of the scene because my eyes fell out and rolled away.

Meanwhile, at the Millionaire Matchmaking agency where she works, Judith meets Harley—the “third largest social media inventor since Zuckerberg!” (so, uh, LinkedIn? Christian Mingle?). Harley immediately fixates on Judith and begins scheming about how to get his penis inside her posthaste. Harley is rich, sexually aggressive (his dialogue highlights the inhuman weirdness with which Perry writes about sex: “Sex should be random, like animals!”), he believes in Judith’s career (Brice, by contrast, told her that she should stay at the matchmaking agency for 15 years before starting her own practice—!?!?), and he goes jogging with no shirt so ladies will look at his muscles. “I bet you only have sex in a bed with the lamp off,” he tells Judith. (Nailed it!!!) In a clunky counterexample to the cat-calling incident, Harley attempts to murder a doofy bicyclist who accidentally bumped Judith’s knee with his bicycle. He is truly the best man ever.

Oh, also Harley is literally the devil. Linemouth.

You can tell he’s literally the devil because he says things like, “Let me play devil’s advocate,” he drives a sinful red sports car, everything in his apartment is constantly on fire, and every time Judith’s churchy mom sees him she starts screaming, “HE’S THE DEVIL. THAT MAN IS LITERALLY THE DEVIL.” He is literally the devil.

And because he’s the devil, he manages to “seduce” Judith, lure her away from her good Christian life with Brice, nose-feed her mountains of cocaine, beat the shit out of her, and turn her into a cackling demon who hates Jesus and never, ever cooks dinner. Back at the pharmacy, Brice discovers that Harley has been running around giving HIV to all kinds of fallen women all over town. This discovery finally awakens his dutiful aggro side, so he runs to Harley’s apartment to rescue Judith from Satan-AIDS, and then throws Harley through a window. Then Brice gets a new, better, non-HIV-having wife and Judith puts her frumpy clothes back on and goes to church, alone forevermore.

Cut back to this dialogue between the therapist and the white lady:

“How does the story end?”
“Well, it’s still being written.”
“Did [Judith] get HIV too?”
“Yes.”
“Did Brice?”
“No.”
“Thank you so much for sharing this story with me  I’m going to end this almost-affair and stay with my husband.”

THE END. OF THE MOVIE.

Okay. Now. Okay. There are three main areas in which Tyler Perry is fucking over the entire human race in Temptation.

1. Men Do Marriage Like This/Women Do Marriage Like This!

Temptation is a feature-length Chick tract, only with slightly less artistry and nuance. Watching this film as an atheist, it makes absolutely no sense. If you don’t believe in the devil, which I don’t, Temptation is simply the story of a 25-year-old woman who got married too young, is no longer compatible with her partner, is frustrated with her stalled career, and is preyed upon by a charismatic sociopath with a drug problem. Then, because of Perry’s fixation on Christian moralizing, the film portrays Judith’s contraction of HIV (deliberately given to her by an abusive partner) as a fitting punishment for her “sins.” From a godless perspective, this is bonkers.

Outside the confines of traditional gender roles, Judith is just a woman trying to find her place in the world. She is confused, she is sad, she is frustrated. “I feel so dead with you Brice,” she says. In the real world, women are not obligated to cook dinner for their husbands, or eschew casual sex, or put their careers on hold for their partners, or submit sexually to dominant men, or ignore cat-callers, or stand up to cat-callers, or swath their knees in modest hemlines, or be nice to their moms. Women are people. But in Perry’s universe, women are women, and a “good woman” is a very specific and important thing to be.

People can have whatever kind of relationships they want—if a traditional Christian marriage works for you, go nuts—but Perry’s insistence on punishing women who don’t follow his doctrine of subservience is harmful and oppressive. Compliance with gender roles doesn’t make anyone a good person. People are good people because they’re good people. Church doesn’t make you good. Loving your mom doesn’t make you good. Even fidelity doesn’t make you good. Those are all just excuses, loopholes, cop-outs that signify “goodness” without having to actually do the legwork.

When Judith stops being “good,” she is punished. The moral of the movie is explicit: Stay in your unhappy marriage forever because the alternative is Satan-AIDS.

Which brings me to my second point.

2. People with HIV Are Not Your Toys.

Three people in Temptation have HIV. One of them is literally the devil (see above), and the other two are black women who slept with the devil. That Perry would have the gall to use HIV as a punitive measure against black women who don’t fit his idea of “goodness”—black women, by the way, account for 2/3 of new HIV infections among women—betrays a frightening selfishness and lack of empathy. It echoes, very plainly, the old Fundamentalist rhetoric that AIDS is a punishment from god for the sins of the gays. Perry expands that rhetoric, sure—now dirty, filthy women can sin just like gays do!—but the message is the same. Casual sex is a sin and sinners deserve HIV. That. Is. Crazy.

The other woman infected by Harley is named Melinda (played by the Brandy), a saintly gal who works at the pharmacy with Brice. “I’m accepting my part in it,” she says. She chose to stay with Harley even though he was abusive and she knew he was sleeping around. Besides, the film takes care to point out, she totally took Harley’s private jet for granted—so of course he cheated! Temptation isn’t a movie about Harley—who, after all, can’t help his sin seeing as he is a demon from hell. It’s a movie about Harley’s victims. Only they’re not portrayed as victims—they’re sinners. They’re to blame. And in the end, Melinda and Judith wind up alone, repentant and meek, while Brice finds himself a new, untainted wife.

Apparently this needs to be said: People with HIV are people. People with HIV are not a rhetorical device that Tyler Perry gets to exploit to keep women in line. People with HIV have healthy relationships with other people, regardless of HIV status. Tyler Perry is a bad person.

https://i2.wp.com/img.gawkerassets.com/img/18jixdclw0wodjpg/original.jpg

3. Harley Rapes Judith.

Here are all of things that Judith says immediately before Harley has sex with her in his private plane: “No.” “Stop it.” “I don’t want to.” “Get off of me.” Judith does not want to have sex with Harley. (There’s another layer of nuance here—one reason Judith doesn’t want to have sex with Harley is that she’s deeply invested in Perry’s beloved gender roles. But the reason for her “no” is irrelevant. Her spiritual weakness betrays her, Harley can tell she wants it, and she’s punished for that weakness.)

He does not stop. He just tries harder. He knows what she really wants, no matter what her mouth and body are saying. She never says yes. He says, smugly, “Now you can say you resisted.” He has sex with her anyway. This is a rape scene. But, in Perry’s universe, Harley is right. She did secretly want it. And that’s the real problem.

Afterwards, for a minute, Judith is disgusted with Harley and with herself. She pushes him away. She tells him never to contact her again. But then! Then! She’s back on the phone with him almost immediately (while Brice is caught up in the football game—doofy doofy dur dur!), telling Harley he’s the best she’s ever had, begging him to have sex with her again. Judith, it seems, is addicted to what the dick did. And now she’s like, “OMG I NEED MORE OF YOUR SATAN BONER AND ALSO COCAINE.” Because that’s how us fickle ladies work.

This idea—that men know what women really want, that resistance can be fucked out of us (or consent fucked into us)—is DEEPLY NOT OKAY. It’s not okay to telegraph this to young men or young women or victims of sexual violence or potential perpetrators of sexual violence or lawmakers or anyone. It’s a paradigm that I was hoping had died out with Pepe LePew. It is frightening.

I’m amazed at how efficiently Perry was able to roll back discourse, human rights, the basics of consent, and storytelling itself in just one shitty movie. Perry has done a lot for the visibility of black voices in popular culture, but that doesn’t make his moralistic subtext in Temptation any less repellant and irresponsible. The world should demand better than Tyler Perry.

Source: http://jezebel.com/5993523/tyler-perry-isnt-just-an-artless-hack-hes-a-scary-ideologue

In a Rap Culture, Rick Ross Glorifies Rape

 

Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it
I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it

– Rick Ross

By Anti-Intellect,

Rick Ross raps about drugging a woman, having sex with her WITHOUT HER CONSENT, but he’s not glorifying rape? Right. This dude is fucking shameless. And the nerve of him to throw out all that hollow patriarchal language, “I love my queens, woman are the most precious gifts to known to man.”

Rick Ross Clears Up The Meaning Of The “She ain’t even know it” Lyrics

Patriarchal men are so predictable. Their language give them away: “Women are queens” “Women are the most precious gifts in the world.” Do patriarchal men not realize that idealizing women is just another form of dehumanization? Pedestals are just as much of a prison.

Twitter: @Anti-Intellect

***** *****

What is the “Rape Culture?”

Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture.  Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.

Rape Culture affects every woman.  The rape of one woman is a degradation, terror, and limitation to all women. Most women and girls limit their behavior because of the existence of rape. Most women and girls live in fear of rape. Men, in general, do not. That’s how rape functions as a powerful means by which the whole female population is held in a subordinate position to the whole male population, even though many men don’t rape, and many women are never victims of rape.  This cycle of fear is the legacy of Rape Culture.

Examples of Rape Culture:

  • Blaming the victim (“She asked for it!”)
  • Trivializing sexual assault (“Boys will be boys!”)
  • Sexually explicit jokes
  • Tolerance of sexual harassment
  • Inflating false rape report statistics
  • Publicly scrutinizing a victim’s dress, mental state, motives, and history
  • Gratuitous gendered violence in movies and television
  • Defining “manhood” as dominant and sexually aggressive
  • Defining “womanhood” as submissive and sexually passive
  • Pressure on men to “score”
  • Pressure on women to not appear “cold”
  • Assuming only promiscuous women get raped
  • Assuming that men don’t get raped or that only “weak” men get raped
  • Refusing to take rape accusations seriously
  • Teaching women to avoid getting raped instead of teaching men not to rape

How can men and women combat Rape Culture?

  • Avoid using language that objectifies or degrades women
  • Speak out if you hear someone else making an offensive joke or trivializing rape
  • If a friend says she has been raped, take her seriously and be supportive
  • Think critically about the media’s messages about women, men, relationships, and violence
  • Be respectful of others’ physical space even in casual situations
  • Always communicate with sexual partners and do not assume consent
  • Define your own manhood or womanhood.  Do not let stereotypes shape your actions.
  • Get involved! Join a student or community group working to end violence against women.

Source: http://www.marshall.edu/wpmu/wcenter/sexual-assault/rape-culture/

Negative Portrayals Of African Americans On Reality TV

Are African American households participating in the most racist media propaganda campaign in television history by watching reality TV?

black viewers reality tv

In a recent article on theGrio, Sil Lai Abrams argued that the proliferation of Black performers in reality television programming is doing nothing to help create a positive reality of the African American experience. In fact, Abrams says that our increased participation–which should be a good thing–is creating the opposite effect; it is perpetuating negative stereotypes that create false perceptions of Black people for the nation to consume.

The most recent candidate aspiring to make its way to primetime coonery is “All My Babies’ Mamas, starring Atlanta-based rapper Shawty Lo and his ten babies’ mothers.

The trailer sparked so much controversy that the NAACP reportedly sent a letter to Oxygen’s President Jason Klarman expressing its outrage over the proposed show’s negative portrayal of Black families. And a Change.org petition demanding that the show not air has gotten more than 35,000 signatures. The reality series is reportedly in “early development” and is not green-lighted to air as of yet.

Though other reality TV shows that are enjoying successful runs, like “Love and Hip Hop” And “Basketball Wives,” are not any better.

“The underlying message most of these shows send about blacks is that we’re shallow, impulsive creatures lacking in self-control without any vision of life that doesn’t include vacations (or funerals) they can’t afford, slanging rhymes, having too many children, and shopping oneself into bankruptcy,” Abrams said.

Below Abrams outlines how portrayals of Black people on television have devolved over the years:

In the decades since the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, the imagery of black people in media, particularly on television, has changed considerably. Now, I’m not a sociologist, but it is my guess that the materialism and “success at any cost” mindset that pervades modern popular culture today is likely a reaction to the economic uncertainty and hopelessness that is the true reality for many black people.

As a single mother who has struggled against many of the same systemic issues that affect our community (should I list the issues? I think we know them…) I understand the need for escape. Let’s face it:  life is hard. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise deserves a serious double side eye. This entertainment is a form of escape.

The “overnight success” stories of individuals who are as a whole largely without any real discernible talent are the driving force behind the most popular shows such as Love & Hip Hop and Basketball Wives. Reality show “stars” present what appears to be an attainable, glamorous lifestyle to a group of women who may not have the wherewithal or resources needed to carve out a financially stable life for themselves realistically.

But, in the process of enjoying this escape, we are ignoring the emotionally abusive and disrespectful behavior of male cast members such as L&HH’s Stevie J that reinforces the idea that a black man’s power is best expressed through unbridled and unprincipled sexual behavior, as just one example of these show’s many horrible messages.

Does Abrams have a point?

Are African-Americans aiding and abetting in the White media’s creation of these shows, which benefit of their bottom lines but degenerate our image as a whole? While many of us are assail the Black people who are “acting” on these shows, should we refocus that disdain on ourselves?

Source: http://newsone.com/2131606/black-people-african-americans-reality-tv/

On The Low … Oxygen May Cancel Shawty Lo

Sources: Oxygen to Cancel New Show ‘All My Babies’ Mamas,’ Starring Shawty Lo

 

Under public pressure, Oxygen won’t let the new reality-TV series starring Shawty Lo see the light of day, sources tell Allison Samuels. But why was ‘All My Babies’ Mamas’ ever given life to begin with?

 

The video was for All My Babies’ Mamas, a new show developed by Oxygen Media featuring rapper Shawty Lo, his 11 kids, and 10 different mothers.

“My blood curdled just thinking about it,’’ Lamb told The Daily Beast.

Advertisement

So did mine. And apparently that was the reaction of the nearly 40,000 people who signed a petition demanding that the show not air. Though the network denies it, Oxygen is expected to announce that All My Babies’ Mamas won’t ever see the light of day, according to my sources—and that’s a good thing. Still, I’m more concerned with how it ever reached this point. How could a network ever assume that a show about an African-American rapper with 11 kids by 10 women would be OK and not immediately deemed racist? How could it not see that it was offending, insulting, and mocking an entire segment of the African-American community? The answer is pretty simple. The network saw it; the network just didn’t care.

The problem, of course, is not only Oxygen. I’ve been a critic of reality TV of all kinds since watching Anna Nicole Smith’s reality show so many years ago and wondering how people could be entertained or amused by a woman whose life was clearly spiraling out of control. In the show we saw Anna Nicole so drugged up she’d slur her words and be barely able to stand up straight for minute at a time. Watching someone else’s world fall apart isn’t my idea of a fun night at home. Smith would die from a drug overdose just three years after the show ended.

My disdain for these shows really grew by leaps and bounds as minorities began to appear more and more in them. In an industry that’s never been overly interested in showcasing people of color or their lives, the notion that now we’d all of sudden become interesting just seemed too good to be true.

It was.

Instead of scripted television shows featuring minorities in well-written, creative, and thought-provoking storylines, Hollywood decided that our stories were best told in the most extreme, dysfunctional, and, often, the most fabricated ways. From Basketball Wives to Bad Girls to the The Real Housewives of Atlanta, people of color—black women in particular—are routinely portrayed as violent, hot-headed loudmouths with absolutely no regard or respect for themselves or anyone else.

Now adding salt to that still very open wound is Shawty Lo and his less-than-desirable situation of fathering 11 children with 10 (mostly black) women. Shawty Lo is not a household name. I can only think of one hit song he ever had in his career, and that was years ago. Yet somehow Oxygen felt that this Atlanta-based rapper and former drug dealer’s story is must-see television. Why? Well, according to an Oxygen statement, All My Babies’ Mamas “is a look at one unique family and their complicated, intertwined life.’’

All I can assume is that the network believed its young female demographic would be amused by the sordid lives of a black man with a criminal past and the many women and children who depend on him.

Really? When did men of any color with multiple children by multiple mothers become unique in our society? Eleven kids is a lot but by no means the record. So what really was behind the idea for this show? It certainly couldn’t have been Shawty Lo’s very limited star power. All I can assume is that the network believed its young female demographic would be amused by the sordid lives of a black man with a criminal past and the many women and children who depend on him.

At first, Oxygen defended the project by offering this: “It was not meant to be a stereotypical representation of everyday life for any one demographic or cross section of society.’’ Unless I’m mistaken, the term “baby mama” is used almost exclusively in reference to black women, so Oxygen needed to do better than that. If the show was about a white man with 11 children and had the same title, we might be able to have a different conversation

Read more at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/14/under-pressure-oxygen-cancels-its-new-show-all-my-babies-mamas-starring-shawnty-lo.html

Rap Music & The Degradation of Women

War on MAN through the degradation of WOMAN!

How is man to recognize his full self, his full power through the eye’s of an incomplete woman? The woman who has been stripped of Goddess recognition and diminished to a big ass and full breast for physical comfort only. The woman who has been silenced so she may forget her spiritual essence because her words stir too much thought outside of the pleasure space. The woman who has been diminished to covering all that rots inside of her with weaves and red bottom shoes.

I am sure the men, who restructured our societies from cultures that honored woman, had no idea of the outcome. They had no idea that eventually, even men would render themselves empty and longing for meaning, depth and connection. There is a deep sadness when I witness a man that can’t recognize the emptiness he feels when he objectifies himself as a bank and truly believes he can buy love with things and status. It is painful to witness the betrayal when a woman takes him up on that offer. He doesn’t recognize that the create of a half woman has contributed to his repressed anger and frustration of feeling he is not enough. He then may love no woman or keep many half women as his prize. He doesn’t recognize that it’s his submersion in the imbalanced warrior culture, where violence is the means of getting respect and power, as the reason he can break the face of the woman who bore him four children.

When woman is lost, so is man. The truth is, woman is the window to a man’s heart and a man’s heart is the gateway to his soul.

Power and control will NEVER out weigh love.

May we all find our way.

– Jada Pinkett Smith

Source: http://thinkingbeautiful.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/war-on-man-through-the-degradation-of-woman/

Obama Inked His Name to the 2013 NDAA

Obama signs NDAA 2013 without objecting to indefinite detention of Americans

January 4, 2013  by

US President Barack Obama makes a statement about fiscal cliff negotiations from the White House December 31, 2012 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers in Washington continue to work on a last minute compromise to pass legislation to avoid a fiscal cliff of tax hikes and spending cuts in the United State’s federal budget. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI

President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 on Wednesday, giving his stamp of approval to a Pentagon spending bill that will keep Guantanamo Bay open and make indefinite detention for US citizens as likely as ever.

The president inked his name to the 2013 NDAA on Wednesday evening to little fanfare, and accompanied his signature with a statement condemning a fair number of provisions contained in a bill that he nevertheless endorsed.

The NDAA, an otherwise mundane annual bill that lays out the use of funds for the Department of Defense, has come under attack during the Obama administration for the introduction of a provision last year that allows the military to detain United States citizens indefinitely without charge or trial for mere suspicions of ties to terrorism. Under the 2012 NDAA’s Sec. 1021, Pres. Obama agreed to give the military the power to arrest and hold Americans without the writ of habeas corpus, although he promised with that year’s signing statement that his administration would not abuse that privilege.

In response to the controversial indefinite detention provision from last year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) introduced an amendment in December 2012 that would have forbid the government from using military force to indefinitely detain Americans without trial under the 2013 NDAA. Although that provision, dubbed the “Feinstein Amendment,” passed the Senate unanimously, a select panel of lawmakers led by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Michigan) stripped it from the final version of the NDAA two week later before it could clear Congress. In exchange, Congress added a provision, Sec. 1029, that claims to ensure that “any person inside the United States” is allowed their constitutional rights, including habeas corpus, but supporters of the Feinstein Amendment say that the swapped wording does nothing to erase the indefinite detention provision from the previous year.

“Saying that new language somehow ensures the right to habeas corpus – the right to be presented before a judge – is both questionable and not enough. Citizens must not only be formally charged but also receive jury trials and the other protections our Constitution guarantees. Habeas corpus is simply the beginning of due process. It is by no means the whole,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) said after the Feinstein Amendment was removed.

“Our Bill of Rights is not something that can be cherry-picked at legislators’ convenience. When I entered the United States Senate, I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. It is for this reason that I will strongly oppose passage of the McCain conference report that strips the guarantee to a trial by jury,” Sen. Paul added.

Although the Pres. Obama rejected the indefinite detention clause when signing the 2012 NDAA, a statement issued late Wednesday from the White House failed to touch on the military’s detainment abilities. On the other hand, Pres. Obama did voice his opposition to a number of provisions included in the latest bill, particularly ones that will essentially render his promise of closing the Guantanamo Bay military prison impossible.

Despite repeated pleas that Gitmo will be closed on his watch, Pres. Obama failed to do as much during his first term in the White House. Thanks to a provision in the 2013 NDAA, the Pentagon will be unable to use funds to transfer detainees out of that facility and to other sights, ensuring they will remain at the top-secret military prison for the time being.

“Even though I support the vast majority of the provisions contained in this Act, which is comprised of hundreds of sections spanning more than 680 pages of text, I do not agree with them all. Our Constitution does not afford the president the opportunity to approve or reject statutory sections one by one,” Pres. Obama writes.

Congress, claims the president, designed sections of the new defense bill “in order to foreclose my ability to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.”

“I continue to believe that operating the facility weakens our national security by wasting resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and strengthening our enemies,” he says.

Elsewhere, the president claims that certain provisions in the act threaten to interview with his “constitutional duty to supervise the executive branch” of the United States.

Before the 2013 NDAA was finalized, it was reported by the White House that Pres. Obama would veto the legislation over the provisions involving Guantanamo Bay. Similarly, the White House originally said the president would veto the 2012 NDAA over the indefinite detention provisions, although he signed it regardless “with reservations” on December 31 of that year.

Since authorizing the 2012 NDAA, the president has been challenged in federal court by a team of plaintiffs who say that the indefinite detention clause is unconstitutional. US District Judge Katherine Forrest agreed that Sec. 1021 of the 2012 NDAA violated the US Constitution and granted a permanent injunction on the Obama administration from using that provision, but the White House successfully fought to appeal that decision.

Commenting on the latest signing, American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony Romero says, “President Obama has utterly failed the first test of his second term, even before inauguration day.”

“His signature means indefinite detention without charge or trial, as well as the illegal military commissions, will be extended,” adds Romero. “He also has jeopardized his ability to close Guantanamo during his presidency. Scores of men who have already been held for nearly 11 years without being charged with a crime–including more than 80 who have been cleared for transfer–may very well be imprisoned unfairly for yet another year. The president should use whatever discretion he has in the law to order many of the detainees transferred home, and finally step up next year to close Guantanamo and bring a definite end to indefinite detention.”

Source: http://www.theidealistrevolution.com/obama-signs-ndaa-2013-without-objecting-to-indefinite-detention-of-americans/