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Showing posts from July, 2010

Race in America: A Hot Mess

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous calls on the Tea Party to disavow itself of the racist elements within its ranks. Sarah Palin fires back, calling the NAACP a "racist organization." She also creates a new word, "refudiate," which, up until then, had probably never been used in the New York Times. Then someone fires back with video of U.S. Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod's speech from an NAACP fundraiser taken out of context. The Secretary of Agriculture overreacts, fires Sherrod, only to find out later that the video had been edited and that Ms. Sherrod's message was not racist, but reconciling. And throughout, Ms. Sherrod maintains her cool, is later offered a better job at the Department of Agriculture, and receives a well-deserved apology from President Obama himself.

Then this morning I listen to Dean Christopher Edley of the Boalt Hall School of Law and John McWhorter of the Manhattan Institute on CNN state that these shenanigans did …

Go to Hell, Mel

There he goes again, this time without the excuse of alcohol addiction: Mel Gibson is revealed to be a misogynist and a racist. This time, he warns his “baby mama” Oksana Grigorieva that, given how she’s dressed, she deserves to be raped and risks being raped by a bunch of black men. Well, “black men” is not the term he used, but I won’t dignify what he said by repeating it verbatim.

When, oh when, will America stop making black men into sexually predatory boogeymen who have this uncontrollable desire to rape white women? I thought that was soo last millennium.

I am the aunt and great-aunt to a good number of African American boys. They should not be considered, just by virtue of their existence, to be a threat to the sexual integrity of white women, or any women for that matter. For hundreds of years in this country, black men died at the hands of the “raped white woman” lie. I take it seriously when someone gives life to the lie that black men lie in wait in hopes of raping scantily c…

Let Oakland Move Forward

The trial's over, and Johannes Mehserle, a BART police officer, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the killing of Oscar Grant. Whether you agree with the verdict or not, the one thing we should all agree on is this: Give Oakland a break. The citizens of Oakland have a long, sordid history of suffering at the hands of police and of violent protest, and as much as Oakland tries to move forward and forge a new way of dealing with conflict, the press and the public won't let it. It was almost as if people willed there to be violence in Oakland in the aftermath of the verdict. Can't we speak more positive outcomes for Oakland? Why do we continually dump our worst hopes and lowest expectations on Oakland?

I haven't lived in Oakland for more than ten years, but the Oakland I knew and loved was more than police violence and violent protests. The Oakland I knew fiercely loved the arts and its artists. It was a soulful, diversity-embracing place mindful of its history …

LeBron Is Not A Slave. . . And Neither Am I

I'm totally feeling LeBron James' decision to pack up and go to Miami. First, I adore Miami -- the food, the people, the beaches, and the attitude. Miami is like living in the Caribbean but without the passport and currency hassle.

Reading the negative responses from the Cleveland Cavaliers' owner and from many people in Cleveland -- a city I also like, but not nearly as much as Miami -- all I can say is this: LeBron is not a slave, and Cleveland is not a plantation.

LeBron lived up to the terms of his contract. Cleveland had seven years to put together a team worthy of his talent. The brother wants a ring, and Cleveland can't get him to the championship. His choice was as clear to him as it is to me: Do you want to retire as a Jordan or as a Barkley? Hell, even Kevin Garnet got ghost so he could get a ring. If Cleveland had done its part, maybe LeBron would have stayed. But you can't say he didn't give it his all or that Cleveland gave him what any champion want…