By Lavern Merriweather
Say what you will about acclaimed and controversial movie director Spike Lee. He does at least put his money where his mouth is.
Spike Lee stirred up quite the hornet’s nest when he criticized fellow director and beloved actor Clint Eastwood for his WW2 film “Sands of Iowa Jima”. Iowa Jima is the place where an iconic shot of four white American men struggling to hoist an American flag was taken. Mr. Lee called out Mr. Eastwood, as well as many other directors, for ignoring or outright disregarding of the contributions and sacrifices from black American males during the Second World War.
Mr. Lee made a rebuttal film of his own called “Miracle at St. Anna”, which was a critical and commercial failure. Although the movie didn’t do well at the box office and was soundly trashed by critics, I applaud Mr. Lee for showing some effort and initiative. Once Spike denounced Clint’s movie, he was met with complaints that most of the black soldiers serving at the time could only perform menial jobs. They didn’t have the chance to be pilots, generals, snipers or any serve any valuable purpose to successfully defeat the hated Germans. Okay, what the hell kind of argument is that?
It’s not the fault of the black males that they were given shit jobs and couldn’t be there on the front lines. Though I suspect they trot out that rationale more likely because they appreciate a moment in time where heroes came in one shade only.
Many white males in the media, particularly movie critics, are not at all subtle when it comes to racism. They leave little to the imagination when it comes to the leading men that they prefer to see kicking ass and taking out the bad guys. And I can tell without a shadow of a doubt that his name won’t be Tyrone.
über producer and writer George Lucas made a valiant and respectful attempt to showcase the ultimate bravery from the all black Tuskegee flying men with his film “Red Tails” which also failed at the box office, but I imagine that was more because black folks were buying it on the street for a fiver, rather than spend 30 to 40 dollars seeing on the big screen. I have no qualms with catching movies on the cheap. I do it too. The thing I don’t like is how much negativity the movie was getting before it even came out in theaters.
A lot of critics and some uptight Negroes were not willing to give that movie a chance. Contrary to what some would think about a white male being the driving force behind a film about a group of courageous black males going above and beyond the call during WW2, I thought the film was terrific. It was not as some might suspect, the white guy show with the black people as background props to make white folks feel morally superior. The film’s one and only focus was the young, talented, amazing black men that put themselves in harm’s way to keep white fighter pilots safe. Some, as the film showed, even got to kick some serious Nazi ass on their own accord. Yes “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston was in the movie as well, but he was an obnoxious, bigoted blowhard desperate to denounce the magnificence of Negro men. In fact, the best scene in the film is when Cranston tells the captain of the airmen Terrence Howard that no matter how well they did, he would still never believe they were as up to par as white males. Mr. Howard answers with the matter-of-fact line “We don’t care.” Booyah!
You would think that in this day and age, the same stupid prejudice attitudes those men had to face would be a thing of the past. Well, judging from the sour apple comments coming from many jealous white male critics, you’d be sorely mistaken.The mindset that Negroes just can’t live up to the same standard as white people is still very much alive.
This is the reason why I feel personally that World War 2 movies are so appealing to white filmmakers, not just because of the fact that there isn’t a group – save the Klan – more deserving of loathing than the Nazis. But rather because it’s a time period where black people, both male and female, were so readily denied the opportunity to show that they too could rise to any challenge in the face of war. You never see that many tales told on celluloid about the Vietnam War. And please don’t tell me it’s because the American military had to leave that country with its tail stuck firmly between its legs. There’s way more to it.
Vietnam was a place where African-Americans DID stand on the front lines. In many cases, they were the main people on the front risking their lives. This was something that a lot of white males, particularly the sons of prominent powerful politicians, didn’t do, because they didn’t want to, and because they didn’t have to.
Poor black men looking to leave their world of poverty and have access to a better life didn’t get that same luxury. They were there regardless of how dangerous or treacherous the situation. Yet, we still don’t see their stories hurried to the big screen as often as the mainly white male dominated troops from 80 years ago.
A new film coming out called “Fury” starring Brad Pitt, Shia Leabuf, and Michael Pena is the story of a final stand by five men caught behind enemy lines in Germany circa 1945 with a busted tank. Judging from the previews, it looks like a fascinating tale of heroism as five lone men make a defiant stand against a large and deadly army of advancing German soldiers. As interesting as this movie looks, and I definitely loves me some Brad Pitt, I have strong inclination to pass on this one. Granted, while one of the actors in this movie, Michael Pena, is Latino he still ain’t black.
The white male director, producer and executives who greenlit this film don’t have to worry their pretty rich heads that a Negro is going to be among the men rooted for by cheering audiences. They don’t root for black males or females that are heroes in real life. So, they damn sure don’t need their little fantasy world tarnished by them either.
By Lavern Merriweather:
Popular singing stars Katy Perry and Taylor Swift have found themselves in some very hot water lately. Ms. Perry, in fact, seems to be racking up quite a number of offenses against people of color.
A few years back at the American Music Awards show, she – for some inexplicable reason – thought it would be cool to dress as a geisha. According to some Asian civil rights groups, it wasn’t. They didn’t appreciate Ms. Perry dancing around in traditional Japanese garb making a mockery of it.
She also didn’t make friends with the Muslim community after her video “Dark Horse”. In one scene of the video, a sacred talisman symbol of Allah was burned and destroyed as Katy sits there licking her lips and gyrating while dressed as – I’m guessing – Cleopatra. A number of Muslim groups took her to task about being so utterly disrespectful, as well they should have. Yet, Ms. Perry doesn’t seem to want to learn her lesson.
In her latest monstrosity called “This is How We Do”, Katy is wearing a cornrow hairstyle while spouting off nonsensical comments trying to sound more urban. I watched the whole video out of pure curiosity, because I happened to stumble on it while flipping channels. I would have been angrier if it wasn’t so pathetic.
I have to ask; why the hell is it that white performers think wearing a Negro hairdo and warbling supposed ethnic sayings makes them hip? Either that or she was deliberately trying to make herself look that stupid, because she thinks the people who normally talk that way or wear their hair that way are stupid, lest we forget how much shit black women get for our hair from the white elite. We get shit for damn near everything we do, but this is an especially sore spot. It really gets me how white folks think our mannerisms are so foolish. Yet, they always copy them.
I don’t know if Katy was genuinely expressing some inner black diva or not. All I know is that whatever she was trying to pull off, she failed miserably on all counts.
That brings me to America’s favorite sweetheart Taylor Swift. The media’s sickening refusal to let go of the VMA moment where she got rudely interrupted by Kayne aside; I actually like most of Taylor’s songs. At least Taylor, unlike some artists, writes and produces her own stuff. Still, that doesn’t get her completely off the hook with her video “Shake it Off”.
The video and song itself are very silly. However, the controversy comes when Taylor dons a backward cap while doing some goofy breakdance moves as a bunch of black hip-hop dancers straight out of an 80’s movie twirl and spin on their heads behind her. But that’s not the worst of it. She then decides to do some fake twerking. In what is probably the most she will ever spend around Negroes in her entire lifetime, Taylor – surrounded by a bunch of black females – starts imitating the newest dance sensation. Once she realizes she can’t quite get it right, our plucky heroine just shrugs, then gives up.
When a few critics took Ms. Swift to task, a number of white female bloggers came to her defense. One woman even pointed out that Taylor has several forms of dance in the video, and she can’t perform any of them as well as the back-up dancers. I’m not disagreeing, and I’m not here to criticize or question whether Taylor was making fun of black people or not. I don’t know what the hell her intentions were. Maybe it was all done in good harmless fun. However, it really isn’t up to white person to tell us how we should feel about their imagery of us, particularly when you take into account the long standing and negative history of black folks portrayals by white artists.
Much of it today is still seen as entertaining like the film “Birth of a Nation” which was a recruiting tool for the Klan masquerading as a movie. At least that’s the way I see it, especially since the original title for the film was “The Klansman”. So, if I come off as little less than trusting of your motives, then that is my right.
Another white pop icon and repeat offender Justin Timberlake is also feeling the heat for his use of the slang term ‘ninja’. I found out recently that the word ‘ninja’ is supposed to be a replacement for the word ‘nigga’, which was derived from the highly offensive n-word as – I suppose – a way to make the word less vile. Apparently, Justin doesn’t want to stop making bonehead decisions. Either that, or he must like the taste of foot, because he keeps putting his in his mouth. E channel correspondent Maria Menonous felt the need to protect Justin by telling us overly sensitive Negroes that we should just get over it. Since Maria thinks that Justin didn’t mean any harm by his thoughtless behavior, we whiny black folks should stop complaining about every little perceived insult. Well if some overpaid, privileged, arrogant white woman believes that, then we black folks better take heed.
Like I stated before, it is not – I repeat – NOT for a white person to tell black people what we should or shouldn’t take personal offense to. That also goes for any non-black person, especially when one of them has their very own ‘Negro moment’. We will be the first group that they bitch to, as opposed to the white people that actually said or did something obnoxious to begin with.
Another thing that gets on my very last nerve is talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and her wannabe “Soul Train” bullshit. Perhaps she actually is a fan of all that black folks dance music that she plays every show. Still, from where I sit, it looks utterly phony and contrived. If I got my own TV talk show and came out strutting my fancy moves to music by white artists, I doubt highly that I would be met with her same enthusiasm. Black folks get enough crap for daring to step outside the box by appreciating such acts as AC/DC or Nirvana. Yet, DeGeneres can play black folks tunes all she dang well pleases.
Funny how we are so beneath white people but they still manage to find our music or mannerisms appealing. The so called fist bump was originally named ‘knuckles’ and ‘daps’. However, the minute it caught on with white people ,they just had to change the name. It’s like the white male twin comedy duo Randy and Jason Sklaar once said “Black people create something. White people cultivate it. Then, white people ruin it”. That about sums it up as well as anybody could.
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NOTE: I admit that I had reservations about posting this article. However, Ms. Merriweather has a right to express her thoughts and opinions, and she has been very honest about what she says. So, as always, comment below.
By Lavern Merriweather:
There seems to be a growing and serious divide among black men and women. Not to say that black males and females have always gotten along, but these days it seems to be getting worse.
Many black women columnists and bloggers on the internet are expressing their disgust about the so-called Ray Rice scandal and how it is being handled by NFL commissioner Roger Goddell. While I agree that what Rice did was abhorrent, I also feel that there is a lot of fake self-serving grandstanding being used for selfish purposes. If there is one thing I can’t stand it’s a hypocrite, especially one who is very glaring obvious with their inconsistency, then acts as if nobody else is going to notice.
Several black females have weighed in, and even though I can understand their anger, I have a problem with the motivation behind it. I have written many critical emails to some black women in the blogworld questioning how they can one minute decry the deaths of young black males like Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown then freely engage white males in their blatantly racist double standards towards black male celebrities. When you claim continuously that your outrage is being fueled by a despicable act, then shouldn’t you be disgusted with ANY male that commits it?
Black women are many times just as silent as white men when it comes to domestic violence from white male celebrities. Hell, they are silent for any criminal accusation directed towards a white male that’s famous. This leads me to believe that you are more concerned with getting your licks in on black men than actually giving a shit about the issue itself. If that’s not the case, then you should either attack all the guilty parties or fess up and say “Yes, I only want to demonize certain people,” since that is clearly what you are doing anyway. Either come right out and admit that this is a personal issue between just you and black males. Or stop pretending that it’s about the issue of violence towards women when you are selective in your vilification.
I heard very little if any outcry from black women on the internet about the appalling assault on grandmother Marlene Pinnock. Marlene is the black female pedestrian that was savagely beaten by a white male cop in California for – what I could see – was doing nothing more than crossing the street. Blow after blow was rained on Ms. Pinnock’s head by this thug. Still, black women have yet to unleash a derogatory rant on the white male responsible. And before anyone complains that some black women did respond, please email me those posts, because I have yet to see one. Trust me when I say I did look for them, but I never found one.
Not only that, black women on the web decry of this so-called ‘black male privilege’ without ever mentioning how extremely limited it is or ever speak of their own. Black female intellectuals that speak out about the daily luxuries afforded to black men seem to be forgetting about their own. By that, I mean precisely the one that allows them via a computer keyboard to denounce behavior not exclusive to black men as if it were.
Last time I checked, domestic violence cut across every line, be it racial, social, economical and yes even gender. Yet to hear black women tell it, Becky, as she is known, can fend for her damn self when it comes to dealing with an abusive white male, especially one that is well known and beloved by an easily influenced public. It appears that there are some boats black women are not willing to rock.
Another thing that bothers me about all the pious blither blather is when black women speak so dismayed about the issue of facing both racism and sexism. That’s funny, because they don’t ever bring up the fact that it often times comes from the very SAME person! If you think for one second some of that the racism you experience from white males isn’t infused just as much with your predisposed gender, then I have a huge statue that sits on Ellis Island to sell you.
I’m also very troubled by the latest trend of black women demanding that black females who are killed by police in America get as much attention as the Sean Bells and Mike Browns of the world. I must be missing something when the fuck did this become competition? Now, we need a scoring chart to see who life has more value? What a damn crock! I don’t disagree that black women should get equal time too, but to make it a problem that exists between the sexes is foolish and pure bunk. If black women feel so slighted, then why aren’t YOU speaking out on the deaths of black women at the hands of cops who in all likelihood were white, rather than jumping on bandwagons that you are fully aware come from a place of pseudo outrage born out of white male arrogance?
Black women that are currently siding with their white male brethren on the Ray Rice situation could just as easily spend some of that time calling out their white colleagues for ignoring the plight of Ms. Pinnock or any black women for that matter. In case they haven’t noticed, the very people they are so pissed at for not discussing the deaths of young black women are the very white males now fawning over Ray’s wife Janay, as they make a mockery of the all too real problem of spousal abuse.
Brotha himself has discussed at length his disappointment in his fellow black males for how they treat black women, as well as apologized for his what he feels is a privilege that he can enjoy while black women cannot. Although I don’t disagree, I feel that black women, if they truly mean what they say, should also acknowledge the part they play in tearing down the black males that they claim, at certain times, to be defending. That also goes for this supposed irritation at Becky, but standing side by side with white female feminuts when they target black men in the most racist and sickening way.
The call for respect needs to be expressed by both sides, not just one, and black women need to put much of their money where their mouth is. This constantly trying to have it both ways leads the conversation in way too many directions.
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By Lavern Merriweather:
I noticed something when I was reading the several posts written by Brotha about the whole Ray Rice incident and that is he prefaced his comments by saying that he doesn’t support abuse of any kind. It, of course, got the wheels turning in my head.
I have never seen a white columnist or member of the media make such apologies before they speak out on an issue. Maybe that’s because their pathology of hypocrisy fueled by their arrogance and undeserved privilege won’t allow it. They don’t have to defend their position because the people that resemble them never have to come under any kind of fire. So, they in turn never have to justify making what could be seen as an insensitive viewpoint. Although I do understand exactly what Brotha was saying, he shouldn’t have to be the only one made to say it.
The same pious high and mighty folks in the media should also have to explain why it is that they continue to attempt to pass off bullshit as truth. By that, I mean I buy their self-serving and frankly racist sermonizing to further selectively demonize black men. I believe in their so-called outrage about as much as I believe it if someone handed me a four dollar bill.
I was reading the other day a comment from someone in the blog world that stated they would have put a foot up Ray Rice’s ass, if his wife was their daughter. When I questioned if they would make such a passionate declaration about the many white male athletes and celebrities guilty of spousal abuse, I was met with a haughty attitude. I had to remind that person that I thought this was about the issue of domestic violence, not your personal feelings about a certain celebrity that you like. However, that’s what this has seemed to boil down to. This isn’t about protecting women any-more than the Civil War was about slavery. This is about entitled, egotistical, insecure bullying fools that have an easier time judging others than themselves.
Do you think for one second that them being as quiet as possible about white males is because white males don’t commit depraved acts like violence against women? HELL NO! It’s because the lens that they want reflected is not meant to shine on them and certainly not on any of their misdeeds. Make no mistake there are a number of white male athletes, politicians, movie stars, and those in the media themselves that have very sordid accusations against them for harming women.
Congressman Rod Jetton, who is a Republican representative from Missouri, once CHOKED his mistress from Brazil. Keep in mind Jetton is one of those holier-than types from the conservative side that preaches family values one minute, yet has a mistress the next. On top of that, this creep thought it okay to strangle her much like weirdo rocker Ozzy Osbourne did 30 some years ago to his current wife Sharon.
You read that right. Ozzy choked Sharon and she almost died from it. However, he has never had to deal with even half of the outrage that black males face. Nor has Sharon, to my knowledge, had anyone in the media question how the hell can she stay with him.
They also have never quizzed semi star Pamela Anderson on why she didn’t leave rocker Tommy Lee of the band Motley Cure even though Ms. Anderson claimed that Lee once punched her in the face while she was holding their then infant son.
Infamous madam Heidi Fleiss who used to date obnoxious drug addled actor Tom Sizemore says that he was extremely abusive to the point where he once burned her with a cigarette. Yet, once again the cries of anger from the white led media brigade were silent, as usual.
That’s not even counting the sports world itself with their number of white male abusers, such as Phillies pitcher Brett Myers who hit his wife in front of a bar full of witnesses.
Atlanta Braves coach Bobby Cox has been arrested more than once for assaulting his wife. Once again, white males in the media didn’t ask her why she stayed with a jerk that would hurt her like that.
Race car drivers Danny Sullivan and Al Unser Jr. are both guilty of abusing partners. In fact Unser left his ex- girlfriend on the side of the freeway to fend for herself after striking her multiple times.
Hockey player Patrick Roy has a history of arrests regarding his ex-wife, and there have been at least 3 different stories I have heard of hockey players attacking the women in their lives.
Still, the conversation always begins and ends with black men as noted commentator Julianne Malvueax once stated so eloquently. My girl Julianne once said that why is it certain issues only get attention when there is a black man accused? Why indeed. There was no special counsel hired by the NFL or an image problem when Steelers quarterback Ben Rothelisberger was twice accused of rape. Nor was there any outcry when San Francisco 49ers standout Christian Peter was also accused twice of rape or when Green Bay Packer player Mark Chmura was accused of raping his daughter’s then-17 year-old babysitter.
The media, particularly the black folks screaming intensely about this so-called crisis like former running back Chris Carter, were tight lipped when there was a rash of white men said to be rapists. When I say ‘tight lipped’, I mean he was too chickenshit like a lot of black people in the media to demonize white males as the scourge of humanity.
For those of you who want to complain that we haven’t ever seen a video of a white male hitting a woman like in the Ray Rice case, I say so what? There WAS a video of a white man beating a black female pedestrian named Marlene Pinnock for what reason I still don’t know. And there’s another video of a cop from my hometown of Chicago beating a female bartender, because he was pissed that she cut him off. Those situations didn’t raise one voice of ire from the media, and while I get that those women aren’t their wives or girlfriends, there are plenty of media folks who have said adamantly that a man, under no circumstances, should hit a woman. They should have added ‘unless he is white like us’.
I like that Brotha didn’t and doesn’t condone violence either. However, I also don’t condone agreeing with a bunch of self-centered, arrogant assholes that refuse to recognize the evil of themselves that they happily point out in others.
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By Lavern Merriweather:
This is a question I feel like needs answering any time there is an uproar over the actions of a famous, well-known black male. In this case, it’s about Minnesota Vikings stand-out Adrian Peterson who is being tried in the white-led media for crimes against human decency, because he took a tree switch to his son. Peterson was suspended after pictures of his little 4 year-old son surfaced with scratches from the instrument that Adrian used.
I have a shitload of feelings on this story but the main being where do these holier-than’s get off thinking they can tell a grown man how to discipline his son? Although I had an issue with some of the bruises, it’s not as if the child had severe marks on him or broken bones. Abuse is abuse and it doesn’t equal in any way shape or form discipline.
A number of self-righteous house Negroes like CNN correspondent Charles Taylor and advocate Stacey Patton once again played house slave for their massah bosses by throwing a fellow Negro under the bus. They were quick to criticize Mr. Peterson as if the boy was lying in a coma in the hospital near death. It wasn’t even hardly that physical traumatic. Yet, of course because this is a black male at the center of it, it’s being treated as such, even by the very same people that make pariahs of young black boys like Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown.
See, it is easy for the pathology of white arrogance mixed with hypocrisy to turn on a fucking dime, The same young black males that you demonize when it suits you, you now pretend to want to protect. Maybe I’m missing something here, because I don’t remember any Negroes rushing to speak out about former assistant coach at the famed Penn State School Jerry Sandusky.
Sandusky, as everybody should know by now, was arrested and convicted on several counts of lewd sexual behavior with minors, as witnessed by one of his co-workers at the college Mark McQueery who stated that he saw Sandusky taking a shower with a minor. That is extremely horrific, disgusting and illegal, and I, for one, am very grateful that the pervert finally got caught. I say ‘finally’, because Sandusky had accusations in 1999 and 2002 yet nothing was done about it. There were certainly no black folks around to give grief to Sandusky like they are with Peterson. Which leads me to believe that this is more about looking good for your white employers than it is about actually giving a damn about defending children from abuse.
While I am fully aware of the fact that sexual abuse is different than physical abuse, that doesn’t change them staying silent when it’s a white man. The reason I am coming down much harder on black folks and not their white counterparts is because of this wussy ass outdated mentality that we shouldn’t speak of white people’s ills. I say FUCK THAT! If you are as concerned as you claim, then everybody that is guilty should be feeling your wrath right about now. Still, that never happens; black folks are always tight lipped when a white person does wrong.
Years ago, a white Irish women named Marilyn Toogood wasn’t being too good to her 4 year-old daughter when she was captured on video yanking the girl harshly by her arm, then angrily slapping the little girl on the head. Ms. Toogood was discovered to be part of a group of roaming grifters that had been investigated numerous times for abuse towards children, said to be both physical and sexual.
Not only was there no outcry from black people, but a moronic black female columnist from the Chicago Sun-Times actually had the nerve to suggest that this white woman was getting criticized because she was poor, Irish and talked with a lisp. How about she was getting raked through the verbal mud because she was on tape beating the shit out of a child that she outweighed by about 75 pounds!?
I, like many other people, didn’t see what happened when Mr. Peterson gave his son a whooping, but I seriously doubt it was anywhere near the brutality that this white woman was inflicting. On top of that, if this were cover boy Tom Brady or the penis made from gold quarterback Aaron Rogers, I also doubt Negroes would be so bold to speak of it.
Another thing that burns my butt is those black people mentioning slavery in regards to this situation. OMG! Listen carefully people, I understand that slavery was a despicable, cruel, evil and wretched act to which we are still feeling the effects, but damn! Can’t a flat tire just be a flat tire sometimes with black folks? Everything in our pathology doesn’t always link directly back to slavery, including taking a switch to the backside of your son.
Since these high-minded Negroes, as I like to call them, are so damn troubled by what Mr. Peterson did, why aren’t they offering solutions instead of the usual criticism and targeting another black person selectively routine. They didn’t say squat about what Adrian should do in the future when his son steps out of pocket again. They also seem to be forgetting that he gave his son a spanking because his son had done something unacceptable to one of his other kids. I haven’t heard one argument from them about those kids who absolutely need a belt on their ass because nothing else is working.
However, because this is a black male, the expectation is for a bunch of pious black pundits, scholars and those in the media to hurry with the pitchfork and torches, something that DIDN’T happen when a 9 year-old black boy was put in handcuffs by a white male cop who proceeded to fling him to the ground when the little boy attempted to stand up. The cop later claimed that his was ‘afraid’ for his safety despite being three times this boy’s size and appearing as if he was capable of whooping a man his own age’s size. But he chose instead to bully to a child that he could have easily just given a ticket or fine for not wearing his helmet.
So, let me see if I have this perfectly straight, black folks will speak out on behalf of a child being giving a lesson in his behavior from his own father as long as they don’t agree. Yet, if a black child is being physically assaulted by a white male drunk on power who sees black life or black people as either the enemy or expendable, that’s very acceptable to them. I guess the pious crowd thinks God is wrong too, because he said, and I quote, “Spare the rod and spoil the child”.
It’s really not my place, or theirs, to determine if Mr. Peterson crossed the line, especially when they have had ample opportunity to speak out before and chose not to. They should spend less time with the all the phony moral grandstanding and more time working on their lack of consistency.
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