Jun 22 2011

Week Before Airport Police Arrested Black Man for Sagging Pants, This Half-Naked White Guy Flew With No Problem

Photo by Jill Tarlow

How is it that a 20-year-old Black man with his pants sagging low enough to expose his boxer shorts made US Airways flight attendants feel the need to correct his fashion choice, yet this passenger flew with no problem on the same airline a week before–despite the fact that there were several complaints about his (lack of) attire. Disgruntled passengers were told the airline did not have a dress policy and they could not intervene.

*Clutching My Pearls*

Um. Oh, no they didn’t.

According to US Airways spokeswoman Valerie Wunder,

“We don’t have a dress code policy. Obviously, if their private parts are exposed, that’s not appropriate… So if they’re not exposing their private parts, they’re allowed to fly.”

Deshon Marman, hold on just a few months, my brotha. You are about to be a very rich young man.

Read more about this at the San Francisco Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/crime/detail?entry_id=91446#ixzz1Q2GuzJI5


Jun 16 2011

‘Black Like Me’ White Author Darkened His Skin to Write About "Being Black"

Today is my birthday. And Tupac’s Too.

Another June 16th human being I really love is John Howard Griffin.

6/16/20 – 9/9/80

I hope you already know all about this man, but if not, he was a White anti-racist who grew up in the South and wanted to do something to reach the hearts and minds of White Americans, most of whom were in denial about the conditions under which Black people lived.

Griffin conducted an experiment in 1959 (years before the Civil Rights movement) that included shaving his head, darkening his skin with lamps and pharmaceuticals and living as a Black man in the deep south.

Though he endured for several weeks, he ended up cutting the experiment short, as he found that being a Black man was too difficult for him to maintain for long. He wrote a book about his experiences that made him a celebrity and (to some) a villain.

“Nothing can describe the withering horror of this. You feel lost, sick at heart before such unmasked hatred, not so much because it threatens you as because it shows humans in such an inhuman light. You see a kind of insanity, something so obscene the very obscenity of it (rather than its threat) terrifies you. It was so new I could not take my eyes from the man’s face. I felt like saying: “What in God’s name are you doing to yourself?”

“Suddenly I had had enough. Suddenly I could stomach no more of this degradation- not of myself but of all men who were black like me.”

“When all the talk, all the propaganda has been cut away, the criterion is nothing but the color of skin. My experience proved that. They judged me by no quality. My skin was dark.”

Mr. Griffin knew when he conducted his experiment he would forever be putting himself at odds with those in America who didn’t want the ugliest realities of racism to be exposed and so vividly expressed by someone White. After his book “Black Like Me” was published in 1961 he and his family received continual death threats. They left their Texas home and eventually moved to Mexico.

“John Howard Griffin was one of the most remarkable people I have ever encountered…He was just one of those guys that comes along once or twice in a century and lifts the hearts of the rest of us.” -Studs Terkel

Here is an excellent article about Griffin’s life, his experiment and his writings: JimCrowMuseum <<–Highly suggested reading!


May 30 2011

Disrespect Us? No They Won’t. (Yes. They Will.)

Okay. So. It is pretty much universally recognized that Beyoncé is THE ISH when it comes to demonstrating how it is done (“it” being how to use your talent, looks, brains and work ethic to dominate your industry).

As far as the song “Run The World (Girls)” is concerned, I’m wondering if maybe we should think of it less as a “girl power anthem,” and more as “The Secret” -type positive thinking. (That is–if you think and speak about something enough, through your intention, you can help it eventually materialize).

That is my disclaimer. Proceed:

Amber says:

“It’s a song. I get it. It’s just a song…This video is not about Beyonce. It’s not even really about this song. My point is NOT that she shouldn’t have made this song because of X, Y, and Z. My point IS: Oh, Look! X, Y, and Z exist and this song is a great tie-in to a discussion of feminism. If you’ve watched some of my other videos, you would be able to sense the sarcastic tone. Relax.”‘

Update: I don’t know about you, but I would pay big bucks to see Amber debate Mitt Binders-full-of-women” Romney.

Can we say pay-per-view!?