May 4 2012

NY Post Writer Phil Mushnick is Happy to be Entertained by Ni – – ers, Until They Get Uppity

New York Post writer Phil Mushnick is apparently comfortable with talented “niggers” chasing a basketball around for his entertainment —and his kids can listen to their music— but when a wealthy black man has the gall to actually OWN a NBA team franchise and express an owner’s prerogative to make branding decisions, well that just sends Phil over the deep end.

With the Nets recent move from New Jersey to Brooklyn, fans and foes expected to see major changes in the franchise, including new team colors, which were previously red, white and blue. The team now wears black and white. Mushnick wrote,

“As long as the Nets are allowing Jay-Z to call their marketing shots — what a shock that he chose black and white as the new team colors to stress, as the Nets explained, their new “urban” home — why not have him apply the full Jay-Z treatment? Why the Brooklyn Nets when they can be the New York N – – – – – s? The cheerleaders could be the Brooklyn B – – – hes or Hoes. Team logo? A 9 mm with hollow-tip shell casings strewn beneath. Wanna be Jay-Z hip? Then go all the way!”

The Brooklyn Bitches or Hoes? Really, Phil? Mushnick is adamant that his rant was not in any way racist. He told Village Voice journalist James King,

“I don’t call black men niggas; my kids never heard the word until folks such as Jay-Z came along. I’d suggest you talk to him about it.”

This kind of feigned innocence is nothing new, but Phil’s brand of bold line-crossing seems to be more prevalent than ever in “post-racial” America where our President is referred to as a nigga, nigger, tar baby, and countless other disparaging terms that have undeniably racist intent.

I don’t know why Phil’s so offended by the choice of black and white for the Nets anyway. Why can’t black and white represent something positive like opposites uniting to create magic?

Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony side by side on my piano key board, so Phil…

O_o

…why can’t we?


Oct 31 2011

We’re a Culture Not a Costume (REPOST)

Fed up with the annual parade of white folks in blackface, “Indian squaws,” and other culturally insensitive Halloween costumes on their campus, a group of students at Ohio University decided to do something about it.

Members of the campus club STARS (Students Teaching Against Racism) created a poster series with the theme “We’re A Culture, Not A Costume,” featuring Halloween revelers dressed in costumes STARS members consider sterotypical and offensive.

The group says the intention of the posters is to:

“Educate and facilitate discussion about racism and to promote racial harmony and to create a safe, non-threatening environment to allow participants to feel comfortable to express their feelings.”

The campaign has definitely incited dialogue, though some of what is being posted on the Internet is not fit to be printed here. Melissa, who blogged about the poster campaign at her website Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, had to disable her comments due to the volume of racist  remarks she received.

Arizona University student, Kristine Bui, wrote this about the posters in her school’s paper:

“It’s hard to explain exactly what is so wrong about being a geisha or a sheik for Halloween. It’s unsettling. It’s a feeling I’ve always struggled to articulate — a discomfort that sort of just sits in the place between your heart and your stomach, quietly nagging. It’s a sense of being wronged without knowing exactly what was done to you.

“People who think racism is dead think so because they don’t see active discrimination. They think, ‘But minorities are allowed to do everything I’m allowed to do, so where’s the harm?’ STARS’ poster campaign calls attention to another problem: Minorities are often made into caricatures … As a minority, you’re a character, not a person. People dress up as you on Halloween. On TV, you’re the token black guy, easily replaced by some other black guy after one season.

“Racism is so much stealthier now. It doesn’t announce itself, and it’s complicated.”

 

STARS President ‘Sarah’ recently posted this update on her Tumbler page:

POSTER CAMPAIGN UPDATE:
Any questions about the posters can be sent to OHIOUSTARS@GMAIL.COM. We are so proud of all the support but it’s overwhelming; We have less than 10 members in our group. lol We ask that you do not personally email any of the exec’s or message their personal tumblrs. Thank you guys so much for the love! The purpose was to educate and create dialogue and it did :) We have a meeting with a lawyer on Monday so we can protect our posters and the posters will be all over Ohio University’s campus this week! Again, thanks for the support and have a happy Halloween!
Best, Students Teaching About Racism in Society (STARS) at Ohio University Executive board

 

Although I’ve never been one to wear ethnically stereotypical or disrespectful costumes, I am definitely thinking more deeply about this issue. These posters have inspired me  to take a mental inventory of my own Halloween costume choices over the years, and I don’t think a casual walk through the costume store will ever be the same.

Congratulations on all your hard work STARS. You’ve got people thinking, talking, and costume changing.


Jul 21 2011

Mexican Beer Ad Implies African Women Are Animals

I was driving down Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood and had to circle the block for a second look at this bus bench poster. What the hell? This is just wrong on too many levels to believe, but the most glaring offense is the negative message it sends about African women.

At first glance, the guy in the middle seems dressed for a safari, and the immediate assumption is these two men are his tour guides. However, closer inspection shows they are all holding golf clubs, which is a subtle way of lifting the African men into a higher economic class. These two men in loincloths would then represent guides of a different kind — cultural guides, so to speak, who are possibly educated and definitely worldly and sophisticated enough to be golfing with the white dude.

The wording of the ad doesn’t specify women of any race, and it is disrespectful to all women, but the African man on the left is the one dishing out relationship advice and that tells the observer that this man is speaking on what he knows from his own experience and culture, which would imply that he is speaking about the African woman. His message: The only way to deal with her is to recognize she’s basically an animal that must be approached with caution. The white dude finds this amusing.

We already are bombarded with misogynistic and demeaning messages in music, television and film. The last thing we need to see is a bus bench lesson on how black women are not human.

It is said that controversy sells, and drawing more attention to an ad like this might be what the company intends. But I’m thinking a national boycott of this brand might be just the economic smackdown needed to prevent this kind of blatant disrespect from happening in the future.

If you have an opinion you’d like to share with the company, Dos Equis can be reached at 877-522-5001, or email them at ccmcerverza@qualitycustomercare.com.

It would be great if the calls and emails came from both women and men.

by Kathleen Cross for rollingout.com