Morning Musing: The #BrooklynRiot

by TKOEd • Tuesday, Mar 12, 2013 • no responses - be the first

That was the hashtag for what was a typical demonstration in the world today. Think those kids are outliers? Let Me Google That For You. Protests today often turn violent. Think about what it takes to get people into the streets today. The 60′s are long gone. I generally believe that marching nowadays is worthless (for reasons that have much to do with our media & political class), but I understand why people do it. I frequently understand the anger. Especially when it’s another young Black man/boy shot to death by the police. No matter what the circumstances were surrounding the shooting people are angry. As Martin once said “…in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard.”

But what happened last night in Brooklyn was not a riot. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I lived through a riot once. And as I read the #BrooklynRiot tweets last night it was plainly obvious that what was going on was not a riot, but lots of people attempting to be heard. People exercising a right that is often severely curbed by the NYPD, NYC govt & the police departments & governments of many other cities:

Congress shall make no law…abridging…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

And as happens sometimes in this situation, some people took the protest as an opportunity to stir up some trouble. I make no excuses for those who destroyed people’s property, but make no mistake about it, some of those people were/are filled with anger. An anger that had nowhere to go, but out. And anger that we refuse to discuss except with lip service.

I don’t know who decided to declare that protest a riot when some folks turned bad, but my money is on the NYPD. They are almost universally adversarial towards Black & Latin@ people. If they want the anger to begin to subside then their tactics & attitude must change.

The irony of this so-called riot is that without the trouble there would be almost zero coverage of last night’s demonstration.

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Quote Of The Day: All My Babies’ Mamas

by TKOEd • Thursday, Dec 27, 2012 • no responses - be the first

Via Shadow and Act:

“‘All My Babies’ Mamas’ will be filled with outrageous and authentic over-the-top moments that our young, diverse female audience can tweet and gossip about.”

Django is the least of our media problems (if it’s a problem at all). I won’t be watching. Hopefully, neither will you.


Black Woman Fired For Being Nice

by TKOEd • Thursday, Dec 13, 2012 • no responses - be the first

Via Journal-isms:

“Hello Emmitt–I am the ‘black lady’ to which you are referring. I’m sorry you don’t like my ethnic hair. And no I don’t have cancer. I’m a non-smoking, 5’3, 121 lbs, 25 mile a week running, 37.5 year old woman, and I’m in perfectly healthy physical condition.

“I am very proud of my African-American ancestry which includes my hair. For your edification: traditionally our hair doesn’t grow downward. It grows upward. Many Black women use strong straightening agents in order to achieve a more European grade of hair and that is their choice. However in my case I don’t find it necessary. I’m very proud of who I am and the standard of beauty I display. Women come in all shapes, sizes, nationalities, and levels of beauty. Showing little girls that being comfortable in the skin and HAIR God gave me is my contribution to society. Little girls (and boys for that matter) need to see that what you look like isn’t a reason to not achieve their goals.

“Conforming to one standard isn’t what being American is about and I hope you can embrace that.

“Thank you for your comment and have a great weekend and thank for watching.”

That’s former KTBS-TV meteorologist, Rhonda Lee responding to a comment about hair on the channel’s Facebook page. This comment:

the black lady that does the news is a very nice lady.the only thing is she needs to wear a wig or grow some more hair. im not sure if she is a cancer patient. but still its not something myself that i think looks good on tv.

All I kept thinking to myself is that Lee’s response is exactly what many white people say they want from Black people. They want us to explain our strange ways to them. Explain our strange hair that they love to touch, explain our “attitudes”, and why we’re so damn “angry” all the time. Here you have someone who did that in a nice, and professional way. Does she get praised for handling a difficult comment well? No. She gets fired. Damned if you, damned if you don’t. Meanwhile, as of today, the original comment by “Emmitt” is still on KTBS’ FB page, AND to add insult to injury the station “liked” his comment:




But hey, race had nothing to with it.

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Quote of the Day: Norman Ornstein

by TKOEd • Monday, Dec 10, 2012 • no responses - be the first

…what are you there for? What’s the whole notion of a free press for if you’re not going to report without fear or favor and you’re not going to report what your reporters, after doing their due diligence, see as the truth?

“And if you don’t do that, then you can expect I think a growing drumbeat of criticism that you’re failing in your fundamental responsibility.

Your job is to report the truth. And sometimes there are two sides to a story. Sometimes there are ten sides to a story. Sometimes there’s only one.

“Somebody has got to make an assessment of whether the two sides are being equally careless with their facts, or equally deliberate with their lies.”

I LOVE this quote. As Erika can attest to, this is a point I’ve made for a very long time. Forget balance, that’s a canard. Report the fucking truth, and report as much of it as you can find out. Don’t be a fucking stenographer. Don’t tell me 6 days in a row that a pol said X when he or she has said X for months. That’s not news. Find out why they keep repeating it. Find out if their record backs up what they’re espousing. Enlighten us, don’t infantilize us.

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How The NY Times Whitewashed Sickle Cell

by TKOEd • Monday, Oct 8, 2012 • no responses - be the first

The NY Times has published an article about sickle cell disease where the reporter does not mention SCD overwhelmingly affects Black people in this country. Here we have an 1110 word screed with not even one mention of the people most affected by this disease. The story even revolves around a young white child (with picture of course). Off the top of my head I can think of one other Times article that photoshopped Black and/or brown people from the picture. That NY Times article focused on Brooklyn foods/restaurants, and managed to not speak to any Black or brown entrepreneurs working in the area. Brooklyn just happens to be 64% non-white. I’m sure y’all can find lots of other instances of whitewashing in the NY Times, and of course the media in general.

Let’s take a quick look at those SCD statistics:

  • SCD affects 90,000 to 100,000 Americans.
  • SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 500 Black or African-American births.
  • SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 36,000 Hispanic-American births.
  • SCT occurs among about 1 in 12 Blacks or African Americans.

That’s from the CDC. Notice how stats for white people aren’t even listed.

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