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Monday, May 26, 2008

Why I Like Keith Olbermann Pt. 2

Part 1

Part 2

And Billary is such a bad liar. According to Daily Kos, Bill Clinton became the presidential nominee in April 1992 --- not June 1992. I guess Billary will say anything and think it will stick.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cable News and the Fostering of Xenophobia

Fear & Loathing in Prime Time: Immigration Myths and Cable News

"Number one, the illegal aliens shouldn't be here. And number two, the culture from which they come is a lot more violent than the USA."
-- The O'Reilly Factor, January 15, 2007

There are many problems facing the United States today: a faltering economy, a health-care crisis, and the continuing war in Iraq, to name a few. But viewers of some of the most prominent cable news programs are presented a different reality in which one issue stands above all others: illegal immigration.

Media Matters Action Network undertook this study in order to document how immigration is discussed and debated on cable news. When it comes to immigration, cable news overflows not just with vitriolic rhetoric, but also with a series of myths that feed viewers' resentment and fears, fostering hostility toward immigrants.

We focus our analysis on a trio of cable commentators: Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly, and Glenn Beck. While hosts on other cable programs regularly discuss illegal immigration (particularly on Fox News, where it is a frequent topic on Hannity & Colmes and Special Report with Brit Hume), these three are the most notable for a number of reasons. On their eponymous programs, Dobbs, O'Reilly, and Beck serve up a steady diet of fear, anger, and resentment on the topic of illegal immigration. (More Stuff...)

I find it strange that illegal immigrants are on the receiving end of hatred while Americans who exploit their labor aren't even considered. Isn't that something? The greatest benefactors of illegal immigration have yet to be taken to task. Stupidity must be bliss too.

Feel free to contact these jokers directly and help stop the madness:

FOX News Channel
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Phone: 1-888-369-4762

One CNN Center, Box 105366,
Atlanta, GA 30303-5366
Phone: 404-827-1500
Fax: 404-827-1906

CNN Headline News

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sen. Byrd (D-WV) Has Caught That Obama Fever

Obama is killing it!!!

Sen. Robert Byrd endorses Obama

The Charleston Gazette reports an endorsement deep with symbolism: West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd is endorsing Barack Obama.

"Barack Obama is a noble-hearted patriot and humble Christian, and he has my full faith and support," Byrd says.

He said he has "no intention of involving myself in the Democratic campaign for President in the midst of West Virginia's primary election. But the stakes this November could not be higher."

Byrd, 91, a master of Senate rules and Iraq war foe, has spent much of his political career repenting the racism of his youth. He's acknolwedged having joined the Ku Klux Klan in 1942, and campaigned against civil rights legislation in the 1960s.

In The Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote of meeting Byrd, and their joint awareness of the past; his endorsement is a note of reconciliation that underscores Obama's message.

Obama wrote of meeting Byrd as new senator in one of his book's most compelling passages:

Listening to Senator Byrd I felt with full force all the essential contradictions of me in this new place, with its marble busts, its arcane traditions, its memories and its ghosts. I pondered the fact that, according to his own autobiography, Senator Byrd had received his first taste of leadership in his early twenties, as a member of the Raleigh County Ku Klux Klan, an association that he had long disavowed, an error he attributed—no doubt correctly—to the time and place in which he'd been raised, but which continued to surface as an issue throughout his career. I thought about how he had joined other giants of the Senate, like J. William Fulbright of Arkansas and Richard Russell of Georgia, in Southern resistance to civil rights legislation. I wondered if this would matter to the liberals who now lionized Senator Byrd for his principled opposition to the Iraq War resolution—the crowd, the heirs of the political counterculture the senator had spent much of his career disdaining.
(More Stuff...)

Note to Billary --- Throw. Up. The. Deuces.

Michael Moore - The Awful Truth

Moore really knows satire :-D

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

"I'll take my diversity to go."

I've come across a lot of articles (print, online, and blog) that discuss assimilating and how a lot of Black people feel pressured to do so. I found an article on AfroSpear dealing with the topic and I left the comment below.

Well said.

I remember when I was interviewing for jobs and my coworker (a sista) asked me "Don't you think that your hairstyle may be a hinderance?"

I said "If it is, fuck 'em. This is New York City where I see successful Black people with unprocessed hair all over the place. My hair's neat, my appearance is clean and conservative, I'm articulate, I'm personable, I have a bachelor's, I have work experience, and I have no problems doing work and showing up on time to do so. If my braids are too distracting, then fuck 'em."

She laughed at me. Not at what I said (maybe she was laughing at me, LOL) but my delivery was in my usual sass. But yes, she's very much a proponent of assimilation. She even argues that assimilation be extended into choosing first names for kid.

The problem I have with that is what exactly is so defective about Black people that we have to compromise our uniqueness? The idea of validating racism and chauvinism by way of altering my appearance doesn't sit well with me. If the goal is to achieve a diverse work environment, why not hold people to the standards that they're trying to set? There has to be something more satisfying than just seeing us peppered amongst a sea of White people.

At the time that I had that discussion with my coworker, I had cornrows that weren't of the Allen Iverson variety. Normally, I'd pulled the braids into one big braid that laid on my back or I would ball it into a bun. I think that's professional, no? None of my White coworkers gave me weird looks; I got some compliments; thankfully, no one had the nerve to touch my hair; and one White coworker thought my hair grew over night, LOL!

I wear braids because I’m transitioning back into my natural hair texture and because of the very low maintenance. There’s no better feeling in the morning than to just get up and go :-) No way am I tryna go back to the garden variety Make You Wait Hair Salon. There will be a whole lot of kicking and screaming on my end. And besides, the same ingredient that helps unclog your sink is used in relaxers. I think I'll have to pass on that.

With regards to the name argument, I think people have the right to name their child whatever they want. I don’t like that some people challenge those like me for wanting to give my future kids African (e.g., Chioma) or Hebrew (e.g., Malachi) names. So long as the name has a meaning to it, or sounds really pretty, I can appreciate it. Now, there are three arguments that I’ve heard from nay-sayers: 1) “Those (read as “Rejected by White folks”) types of names affect people’s chances at landing a job,” 2) “You’re in America, you’re American-born, so why go for that type of name?”, and 3) "Multisyllabic names are hard to pronounce." I can’t help but sigh.

The first argument is definitely true as I have seen and read studies to substantiate that hinderance claim. What that argument fails to consider is that being a non-White male can also be a hinderance. You don’t know what’s going through the minds of these interviewers. They could be thinking, “I’ve already fulfilled that quota. NEXT!” or they could assume that you fit some negative stereotype.

Another thing that’s overlooked are zip code lookups. Your name could be as mainstream as Bob and Becky, but if you’re coming from an undesirable neighborhood, your resume could have a meeting with the trash bin.

I really hate the second argument about going the American route with names. I mean, what the hell is “American?” No, seriously. What is it? You’ve got members from every part of the globe in this country with unusual (read as “non-English”) and lengthy first and last names but then assimilators wanna suggest that there are American names and that you should give your child such names. Huh? Ummm...I’ve met Americans with first or last names like Levi, Juanita, Renee, Wale, Chan, Ramadan, Kapalski, and Jackson and not one of those names are of American origin yet those people are as American as they come.

The third argument is comical. Arnold Schwarzenegger is an actor turned governor, Shoshanna Lonstein is a fashion designer, yet my short, Nigerian last name stays butchered. Whatever.

Let’s keep it funky since we know what’s the real issue: Americans DON’T like diversity unless it comes in the form of a dish. Oh yes. I said it. Chicken Tikka Masala is sexy, trendy, delicious, and diverse. Now, Parmita the Indian cook, she gets the stink eye cuz she ain’t the type of “diversity” that’s all that appreciated.

Diversity should be about tolerating and/or appreciating someone’s differences. Don’t just pepper me in there tryna kill two birds with one stone. That's insulting and the goal of diversity obviously isn't an honest effort.

Now, on to the million-dollar question: "Should Black people be conducive to White people?" Other people of color are welcome to leave a comment as it may pertain to your experiences.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Stench of Desperation

Sidney Blumenthal Uses Former Right-Wing Foes To Attack Obama
by Peter Dreier

Former journalist Sidney Blumenthal has been widely credited with coining the term "vast right-wing conspiracy" used by Hillary Clinton in 1998 to describe the alliance of conservative media, think tanks, and political operatives that sought to destroy the Clinton White House where he worked as a high-level aide. A decade later, and now acting as a senior campaign advisor to Senator Clinton, Blumenthal is exploiting that same right-wing network to attack and discredit Barack Obama. And he's not hesitating to use the same sort of guilt-by-association tactics that have been the hallmark of the political right dating back to the McCarthy era.

Almost every day over the past six months, I have been the recipient of an email that attacks Obama's character, political views, electability, and real or manufactured associations. The original source of many of these hit pieces are virulent and sometimes extreme right-wing websites, bloggers, and publications. But they aren't being emailed out from some fringe right-wing group that somehow managed to get my email address. Instead, it is Sidney Blumenthal who, on a regular basis, methodically dispatches these email mudballs to an influential list of opinion shapers -- including journalists, former Clinton administration officials, academics, policy entrepreneurs, and think tankers -- in what is an obvious attempt to create an echo chamber that reverberates among talk shows, columnists, and Democratic Party funders and activists. One of the recipients of the Blumenthal email blast, himself a Clinton supporter, forwards the material to me and perhaps to others.

These attacks sent out by Blumenthal, long known for his fierce and combative loyalty to the Clintons, draw on a wide variety of sources to spread his Obama-bashing. Some of the pieces are culled from the mainstream media and include some reasoned swipes at Obama's policy and political positions.

But, rather remarkably for such a self-professed liberal operative like Blumenthal, a staggering number of the anti-Obama attacks he circulates derive from highly-ideological and militant right-wing sources such as the misnamed
Accuracy in Media (AIM), The Weekly Standard, City Journal, The American Conservative, and The National Review.

To cite just one recent example, Blumenthal circulated an article taken from the fervently hard-right AIM website on February 18 entitled,
"Obama's Communist Mentor" by Cliff Kincaid. Kincaid is a right-wing writer and activist, a longtime critic of the United Nations, whose group, America's Survival, has been funded by foundations controlled by conservative financier Richard Mellon Scaife, the same millionaire who helped fund attacks on the Clintons during their White House years. Scaife also funds AIM, the right-wing media "watchdog" group.

The Kincaid article that Blumenthal circulated sought to discredit Obama by linking him to an African-American poet and writer whom Obama knew while he was in high school in Hawaii. That writer, Frank Marshall Davis, was, Kincaid wrote, a member of the Communist Party. Supported by no tangible evidence, Kincaid claimed that Obama considered his relationship to Davis to be "almost like a son." In his memoir, Dreams from My Father, Obama wrote about meeting, during his teenage years, a writer named "Frank" who "had some modest notoriety once" and with whom he occasionally discussed poetry and politics. From this snippet, Kincaid weaves an incredulous tale that turns Davis into Obama's "mentor."
More Stuff...

I'm disgusted but not surprised. If she miraculously becomes the nominee, she will not get my vote. Her behavior and tactics are devisive, fear-mongering, shameful, and overzealous. She reeks of desperation.

Now, why isn't the mainstream media covering this? Wouldn't this be more news-worthy than "What Will the Negroes Do If Obama Doesn't Get the Nod?" Wouldn't this be more news-worthy than obsessing over Rev. Wright? Of course not. Much is not to be expected from the mainstream media when they continue to give McCain a free ride.

When things like this fall below the mainstream media's radar, it's a reminder of why I rely on the blogosphere. Far too many trivial things are reported in the news and I can't tolerate it. There are significant stories that are reported but then obsession occurs (e.g., Rev. Wright). The mainstream media's obsession with Rev. Wright had me wondering at one point if he was a presidential candidate.

So, if you don't already know, venture into the blogosphere for raw, unsexy news stories. Feel free to peruse through my archives and blog rolls for some insightful commentary and thorough information. Today's popular TV and radio programs simply aren't reliable sources of information and intelligent discussion.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Another Reason Why I'm Mary's #1 Fan

Mary J and Rap Exec Steve Stoute Launch Women's Support Network
By Chris Richburg

Hip-Hop soul queen Mary J. Blige is joining forces with music executive Steve Stoute to motivate women to reach their goals. The pair will officially launch their new organization, FFAWN: the Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation For the Advancement of Women Now, Inc. this Friday (May 9) during a press conference at Roosevelt High School in Yonkers, New York. Founded by Blige, FFAWN is dedicated towards inspiring women to reach their individual potential through scholarships, grants, and programs that foster strong self-esteem, career development and personal growth, while gaining the confidence and skills needed to achieve success. In addition to Blige, the organization’s board of directors will include Stoute, Kendu Isaacs, Jada Pinkett Smith, Charles Wright, Lisa Price and Samantha Fink. More Stuff...

People who know me know how much of a Mary stan, I mean fan I am. Anyone that talks greasy about Mary will get the screwface with the quickness, LOL!

The first time I heard her was on the hook of Father MC's "I Will Do 4 U." Her voice was just different and she was just riffing away. I was loving it. Then came "You Remind Me." Still my joint. Then came "Real Love" and that sealed the deal --- I will remain a Mary fan for life.

Mary's been through so painful, personal struggles so it's good to see her happy, successful, and fully coming into her womanhood. I know some people miss the old, drama-filled Mary but I really appreciate the new, happy Mary that doesn't have to rock shades and isn't afraid to smile.

This foundation is such a wonderful gift for today's women and girls who doesn't have someone to properly groom them. Many women and girls are still trying to find their way and see where they fit in this world's crazy puzzle.

Much props to Mary and Steve Stoute!

What If Hillary Loses? A Question for White Women

I was over at Concrete Loop reading "What Happens If Obama Loses?" and it brought up an article from the McClatchy Washington Bureau.

The third reader comment noted how annoying this question is, queried if the same question was raised about (White) women staying home if Hillary loses, and said that they wouldn't stay home. I'm gonna have to agree on this one.

I am pretty annoyed with this line of questioning. Is there a purpose for this article cuz I don't understand how the premise leans toward being informative. Why the interest in what a group of people would do if their chosen candidate loses the nomination? This article (one of far too many) seems to only be interested in influencing people. I really hate the interest in Black people because this same line of questioning can be raised for White women, White men, and etc.

What do you guys think? Considering the fact that White women are a significant voting bloc, why isn't the same question being asked of them if Hillary loses? Does either question annoy you? Is this topic even news-worthy?

Must-Read Links:
Will black voters stay home if Obama loses nomination?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Jay-Z Creates Trust Fund for Sean Bell's Children

EXCLUSIVE: Jay-Z Establishes Trust for Sean Bell's Children
By Houston Williams

Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter has established an educational trust for the children of Sean Bell, the unarmed African-American man who was shot and killed by police on the day he was to be married. Sources have confirmed with that Jay-Z is working closely with Nicole Paultre Bell, Sean Bell's widow, to institute the trust funds for both of their children. Nicole Bell appeared prominently in Jay-Z’s Rocawear "I Will Not Lose" advertising campaign with images that caused indignation within the NYPD's Benevolent Association. The process began prior to the not guilty verdict for three police officers accused of slaying Sean Bell. A well-informed source close to the matter told that Nicole Bell’s lawyers didn’t want to initiate any activity during the trial.
More Stuff...

I am so touched by this cuz the Sean Bell verdict is still breaking my heart. This is a really beautiful thing. Much much props to Jay. A fine example of Hip Hop doing good deeds :-)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Undebatable Racial Disparities

This article was forwarded to me today. It's a well-written must-read. This piece can also be found on

Different Standards for Black and White Preachers
By Cenk Uygur

Rudy Giuliani's priest has been accused in grand jury proceedings of molesting several children and covering up the molestation of others. Giuliani would not disavow him on the campaign trail and still works with him.

Mitt Romney was part of a church that did not view black Americans as equals and
actively discriminated against them. He stayed with that church all the way into his early thirties, until they were finally forced to change their policies to come into compliance with civil rights legislation. Romney never disavowed his church back then or now. He said he was proud of the faith of his fathers.

Jerry Falwell said
America had 9/11 coming because we tolerated gays, feminists and liberals. It was our fault. Our chickens had come home to roost, if you will. John McCain proudly received his support and even spoke at his university's commencement.

Reverend John Hagee has called the Catholic Church the
"Great Whore." He has said that the Anti-Christ will rise out of the European Union (of course, the Anti-Christ will also be Jewish). He has said all Muslims are trained to kill and will be part of the devil's army when Armageddon comes (which he hopes is soon). John McCain continues to say he is proud of Reverend Hagee's endorsement.

Reverend Rod Parsley believes
America was founded to destroy Islam. Since this is such an outlandish claim, I have to add for the record, that he is not kidding. Reverend Parsley says Islam is an "anti-Christ religion" brought down from a "demon spirit." Of course, we are in a war against all Muslims, including presumably Muslim-Americans. Buts since Parsley believes this is a Christian nation and that it should be run as a theocracy, he is not very concerned what Muslim-Americans think. John McCain says Reverend Rod Parsley is his "spiritual guide."

What separates all of these outrageous preachers from Barack Obama's? You guessed it. They're white and Reverend Jeremiah Wright is not. If it's not racism that's causing the disparity in media treatment of these preachers, then what is it?

I'm willing to listen to other possible explanations. And I am inclined to believe that the people these preachers go after are more important than the race of the preacher. It's one thing to go after gays, liberals and Muslims - that seems to be perfectly acceptable in America - it's another to accuse white folks of not living up to their ideals.

I think there is another factor at play as well. The media is deathly afraid of calling out preachers of any stripe for insane propaganda from the pulpits for fear that they will be labeled as anti-Christian. But criticism of Rev. Wright falls into their comfort zone. It's easy to blame him for being anti-American because he criticizes American foreign and domestic policy.

If Rev. Wright had preached about discriminating against gay Americans or Muslims, there probably would not have been any outcry at all. That falls into the category of "respect their hateful opinions because they cloak themselves in the church."

But one thing is indisputable - the enormous disparity in how the media has covered these white preachers as opposed to Rev. Wright. Have you ever even heard of Rod Parsley? As you can see from what I listed above, all of these white preachers have said and done the most outlandish and offensive things you can imagine - and hardly a peep.

If the disparity in coverage isn't racist, then what is it?

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