adversity, America, black, crime, Darren Wilson, Ferguson, media, men, Michael Brown, murder, news, politics, privilege, racism, rants, sexism, skin color, stereotypes, television, white, women, youth
This article will have no pictures and no links to other articles. This is purely straight from the heart.
It seems like things have calmed down in Ferguson, Missouri at least it would seem that way on the outside. Last week, the little community looked like a war zone. Rather, it was a war zone. A peaceful protest demanding answers into the killing of Michael Brown, another in a long list of unarmed black males murdered by police, by officer Darren Wilson, who’s been incognito since that fateful day but has generated massive support of his own. The answer received was a militarized police force deeply troubled with racism that saw black citizens, and media reporters that came lately, as the enemy.
Living in this nation, you would expect public opinion to be heavily divided. Many, mostly white, people saw that Brown’s life would end violently before he turns 30 as they, without question, saw the ever-present “thug nature” lurking behind his black skin. The convenience store footage that appeared that Brown was robbing the joint and the excuse that he was jaywalking only made their opinions more brazen with some immediately claim that Brown deserved to die, put down like a rabid animal the same way those on the Right saw the protesters while embracing white victimhood.
But many people, including yours truly, opposed and condemned the usual racial bias. We didn’t care about the footage, especially since that there were no reports of 911 calls on that day, and that Wilson killing Brown had nothing to do with it. We scoffed at the mainstream media’s tricks of “thuggifying” another unarmed black male killed by police, brainwashing the public in some that that the murder was justified. We took a look at how that same media treats black victims as opposed to white victims and suspects, and saw that were was racial bias hidden article’s titles alone.
Yet, let the facts be damned! Certain people were adamant about a few things, including that Brown brought his death unto himself. Wilson was attacked by Brown, his life was on the line and was “just doing his job” taking down another thug. The protests shown how uncivilized black people are, concluded by faulty media reports of rioting and looting among other things, and proved that there is racism against whites more so than the reverse!
The protests that was sparked soon after the murder of Michael Brown took the nation by storm. It became a national issue concerning race that opened many ugly doors that was more than just the usual, yet tragic, cop killing of an unarmed black man. There was no argument convincing enough that eliminated race from the equation, and there were plenty of people crazy and stupid enough to try. As those who dispel that racism was a factor, they revealed their own racism by doing so. Ironic? Yes, but remember, some people think that revealing or talking about racism is racist itself.
There are a few things, however, that also need to be addressed openly and honestly.
As I read several articles about the events in Ferguson and the actions that proceeded them their and nationally, I noticed something was missing. There were hardly any mentions about black women being victims of police brutality. So far, there was the only one article that mentioned that black women are victims as well. Having black male privilege, if you wanna call it that, means that if a cop kills you, you and all other black male victims of police violence will be acknowledged before and more often than black females. It’s troubling that only black men matter in this struggle when black women are just as in danger. I don’t even think a lot of us are aware of names like Rekia Boyd, Raven Dozier, Ersula Ore, Marlene Pinnock and many other sistas that were harassed, raped, beaten and murdered by cops. Don’t they matter too?
Another thing I’ve seen is the generic “What about black-on-black crime” argument used every time as a piss-poor attempt to deny racism and raise shame. The argument is used mostly by those who do nothing about the issue but sit and scold, those who would rather want us to put in %100 of the work than dare go into our neighborhoods and actually lift a finger despite the fact that the work has been and is still being done to the best of the ability of those who call those areas home. So, it’s bullshit to call us out on a topic that not only did they not care about to begin with but yet, have the balls to criticize those of us actually doing something other than complaining. Besides, no one ever justified or diminished the murders of white people by inciting white crime.
As always, I turn to the mainstream media who, as stated earlier have sought to turn Michael Brown’s death into a ‘just desserts’ moment. While I’m glad that there were people that caught on, it still bothers me that the demonization of black people will continue, full speed ahead. Local news and newspapers will continue scavenging for any reports of black crime over black accomplishments or black heroism. The tabloid press will scour the Earth looking for black celebrities and black athletes behaving badly as opposed to giving back and doing positive things. TV and movies will still mass produce negative stereotypes into “what’s hot” further delivering the message that ignorance is cool. There will hardly be any significant push to change all that, and some of us will eat that shit up to entertain ourselves without knowing that such images are meant to destroy us in the long run. So, how can we be upset at the media for turning dead black victims into thugs, but will watch the same media for new episodes of “Love and Hip Hop, Real Housewives of Atlanta” Basketball Wives”, and the latest in rap songs that keep the thug image going?
Finally, there have been pictures comparing the events in Ferguson with Civil Rights Era images. Both sets of photos are strikingly similar. Some believe that the past has come back to haunt us. Others believe that not much has changed, and the murder of an unarmed black teen revealed way more than many people would like to see. In the end, just as it was back then, the lives of black people still don’t matter in this nation. Period.
It’s hard not to be angry and fearful, but there are those who disrespect us for being open with those emotions. What’s worse is that they will see the aggressors, the ones responsible, as the real victims in their own racist bizarro imaginations. Again, the undeserving existentialism of white victimhood rears its ugly pointed-masked head further questioning the moral and mental capacity of some people.
All these thoughts and more related to the saga unfolding in Ferguson will be pinned as nothing more than whining, part of a racist plot where the oppressor is the oppressed and all the while denying their obvious white-based racism. The souls who believe that black men and black women are born guilty of…anything and yet claim they are not racist are either dumb as rocks, crazy as hell or in deep denial of reality. Whatever it is, whatever you wanna call it, it doesn’t cancel out racism is a part of American life. Like it or not, we live in two nations. Separate and grossly unequal.
adversity, America, Asian, basketball, black, celebrity, Dennis Rodman, foreign, guest post, history, Kim Jong Un, men, North Korea, politics, President Barack Obama, President Obama, privilege, racism, skin color, sports, white
By Lavern Merriweather
I have a question. Why is it that every time a black man from America goes to visit another man of color who has power, white people in the media lose their ever-loving mind? I mean these arrogant little snots get their panties in the biggest of bunches.
When Jesse Jackson Sr. went to Israel to see Yassir Arafat and Louis Farrakhan went to Libya to see Momair Khaddafi, white people were on piss-and-moan overdrive. Recently, it’s been former bad boy NBA star Dennis Rodman having the cajones to associate with the dictator of North Korea Kim Jong Un. Apparently, Dennis didn’t get the memo that if white people don’t approve of a black male celebrity’s actions, then he should get on his knees and grovel for forgiveness until they are completely satisfied. Of course, I’m being sarcastic. Still, that attitude seems to not be that far off.
Notice how I said “another man of color who has power”, especially one who has a shitload of money. Any time that happens, white folks feel the need to protect their neck and complain about it, despite the fact that they don’t have one iota of business telling either one of those men who they can or can’t pal around. If Dennis were over there trying to win back his Korean supermodel girlfriend, they would have zero issue with that. But because he is getting chummy with a man who could level half of the globe with the snap of his fingers, they just can’t deal with it. To that I say too fucking bad. He is a grown man that doesn’t need to answer to them for whom he chooses to call ‘friend’. I kind of doubt that those two really are the best of buds. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s his decision who he aligns himself with.
Let’s not kid ourselves here. This is nothing more than the fear of a black hat. The white people getting all huffy and calling him stupid or a dummy are pissing themselves that there might be some retribution coming out of these men of color meetings. They are so damn worried that a black man with a friend in the highest of places will put their ass at the bottom of the food chain for once. This is precisely why so many white folks are sweating bullets about the beige man who currently sits in the Oval Office.
I also believe it’s why we have so many white males going on shooting rampages saying how they have to protect their rights and freedoms from the ‘establishment’. They need to save their manure for the farmer, because he’s the only one who needs it. What they are really troubled by is that all those years of privilege and denial of basic rights for others will now come back and bite them in their collective gun loving asses.
Another thing that troubles me about their whining is the insulting – yet again – of a black man’s intelligence as if they are just so much smarter and understanding of the ‘terror’ that lurks beneath such a dangerous guy as Kim Jong Un. Funny, but they weren’t so fucking bent out of shape when wife-beater and insufferable asshole Sean Penn hung out with a brutal dictator. Then he bragged about it later as he explained that the man wasn’t such a really bad guy after all. They also aren’t too upset about the sicko sack of shit Italian explorer that they glorify every year with a holiday and parade as they lecture the dumb, old Negro male about how heinous and despicable the guy he calls ‘amigo’ is. This is the classic earmark of a bully. If I even feel the slightest inclination that you are going to fight back, I start pissing my pants. Though the notion seems unfounded, there is still apparently the idea in their feeble brains that a problem is a brewing.
Another sign of a bully is someone who can dish it out, but never wants to take it. Instead, they believe that they are entitled and that others should take crap from them. Well, that perfectly describes the mindset of many white folks in America.
What’s even more ridiculous is that they are trying to get President Obama involved in this. Dennis made a few comments about how basketball can be used to ease international tensions, and all of a sudden, the he is a minion plotting for that sneaky Negro President. Apparently, after the secret council of Negroes meeting, Mr. Obama sent Dennis off on a one man mission to topple America. If you can make any sense out of that logic, then you are far more in tune with the human psyche then I.
The conspiracy theorists seem to be forgetting that Obama is the PRESIDENT and doesn’t need outside forces to wreak havoc on white society if so chooses. Their rationale is idiotic at best and insulting at worst. They just can’t deal with the fact that a black man doesn’t need their permission, particularly when he is associating with a man that’s got them quaking in their boots. So, they feel the need to remind said black man just how vile and dangerous his new found chum really is, even as they celebrate the same trait in the white male politicians of yesteryear.
But to hear them tell it, the behavior of their ancestors was a necessary evil to forge ahead and make a new way of life for themselves, in spite of the countless lives lost from the very men of color that they now don’t want black folks around. Maybe they don’t like the idea of the two comparing notes. If so, they truly will have something to be frightened of, and that is their own despicable legacy.
adversity, africa, America, Arabian, black, celebrity, crime, entertainment, foreign, internet, media, men, murder, muslim, news, Notable Links, police, politics, R.I.P., racism, skin color, stereotypes, war, white, women, youth
A suburban Detroit man who insisted he killed an unarmed woman on his porch in self-defense was convicted of second-degree murder Thursday after the jury rejected his tearful claim that he fired through a screen door in the wee hours because he feared his life was at risk.
No one knows why Renisha McBride ended up at the Dearborn Heights home of Theodore Wafer last Nov. 2, although prosecutors speculated that the 19-year-old woman may have been confused and seeking help, hours after she had crashed her car blocks away. An autopsy found she was extremely drunk.
Two Tulsa, Oklahoma police officers were arrested Tuesday night in connection with a deadly shooting.
Shannon Kepler, 54, and his wife Gina Kepler, 48, were taken into custody regarding the death of 19-year-old Jeremy Lake, a black teen who was dating their daughter.
Marques Brownlee is just 20 years old, but there’s arguably no one better on the internet when it comes to explaining new technologies to the average consumer. Even former Google VP Vic Gundotra called him “the best technology reviewer on the planet right now.”
YouTubers have taken notice of the young man: Brownlee’s YouTube channel “MKBHD” has more than 1.5 million subscribers and nearly 130 million total views on his 640-plus videos.
To reach their conclusions, Hetey and Eberhardt conducted two experiments involving white subjects. In the first, white people were asked to watch one of two videos containing mug shots. In one video, 25 percent of the mug shots were pictures of black men, while in the other video, 45 percent of the mug shots depicted African American males. After watching the video, the subjects were then asked whether they would sign a petition calling for one of California’s strict sentencing laws to be eased.
The result: “Over half of the participants who’d seen the mug shots with fewer black men signed the petition, whereas only 27 percent of people who viewed the mug shots containing a higher percentage of black inmates agreed to sign.”
1. Where the jobs went.
Outsourcing (or offshoring) is a bigger contributor to unemployment in the U.S. than laziness.
Since 2000, U.S. multinationals have cut 2.9 million jobs here while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. This is likely just the tip of the iceberg as multinational corporations account for only about 20 percent of the labor force.
When was the last time you saw a front-page headline about outsourcing?
2. Upward wealth redistribution and/or inequality.
In 2010, 20 percent of the people held approximately 88 percent of the net worth in the U.S. The top one percent alone held 35 percent of all net worth.
The bottom 80 percent of people held only 12 percent of net worth in 2010. In 1983, the bottom 80 percent held 18 percent of net worth.
These statistics are not Democrat or Republican. They are widely available to reporters. Why aren’t they discussed in the “liberal” media?
When Inmate H, a teenager serving time at New York’s Rikers Island, fell asleep during a class, a female corrections officer wrapped metal handcuffs around her fist and hit him in the ribcage to rouse him. The tactic worked – Inmate H woke abruptly and shouted an obscenity at the officer. For this, he was: dragged into the corridor; punched in the eye; kicked in the face, head and back repeatedly by multiple officers; kicked in the mouth; and pepper-sprayed directly into the eyes. While the horror show was unfolding, two teachers inside the classroom reported that they heard the young prisoner screaming out, crying for his mother.
Just as Rivers made headlines a few weeks ago for ranting about how the Palestinians “started it” to TMZ cameramen, she again shouted her opinions at them yesterday when confronted at the Los Angeles Airport. “When you declare war, you declare war. They started it. We now don’t count who’s dead. You’re dead, you deserve to be dead,” she yelled, offering no sympathy for the civilians who have died in Gaza, including children. “At least the ones who were killed, were the ones with very low IQs,” she said.
During a Wednesday edition of his little-watched Fox Business show, noted xenophobe Lou Dobbs decided to engage in one of the conservative movement’s favorite activities of the Obama era: projecting their own obsession with his race onto the president.
While this is always a bad idea, Dobbs’ move was, this time, especially ill-considered, considering it came in the midst of what was supposed to be a discussion of Obama’s much-hyped Africa summit.
Noting that Obama was asked about the experimental anti-Ebola drug that was reportedly used to save two American missionaries, Dobbs complained that the question “implicitly” challenged why the drug was used to help two white people instead of the many black Africans stricken with the virus.
adversity, America, black, celebrity, Columbus Short, crime, D.L. Hughley, entertainment, guest post, history, intraracism, Latin, Marion Berry, media, men, politics, racism, Rafael Palmeiro, rants, Rob Ford, skin color, sports, white
By Lavern Merriweather
When news broke that “Scandal” star Columbus Short physically assaulted his wife, many in the blogworld and media were ready to attack. Brotha even wrote a post where not-at-all-funny ‘comedian’ D.L. Hughley called himself coming to Short’s rescue by attacking his wife and calling her a gold digger. He then proceeded to criticize black women in general while berating the female host who subsequently gave up trying to control his obnoxious and vile outburst. Brotha took Hughley to task and rightfully so for being such an ignorant, irritating asshole and fool. However in the comments section when he mentioned that Mr. Short shouldn’t be sold short, because there are white males guilty of domestic violence as well, a person commented that we, unlike white people, should be critical of our black celebrities when they do wrong, that we shouldn’t be like white people. Well, when you engage in the same type of hypocrisy and double standards, then you ARE being just like white people.
I have had many arguments with other Negroes over the issue of protecting black people that are famous even when they do bad unforgivable shit. I would understand their theory a lot more if they or white people in the media that usually lead these pitchfork and torch brigades could say, “Hey, we don’t attack white males or white people because they never commit any criminal acts”. The problem is they can’t say that because it would be impossible. So, my feeling is if you are so dogged and determined to face the issue of any serious subject such as domestic violence or child abuse or sexual harassment, then stop being so damn picky about who you vilify!
If it sounds like I am writing this with a tinge of outrage myself, the answer is hell yeah! I am! That’s because I don’t like hypocrites, I don’t like hypocrisy, and I especially don’t like either one when I know it comes from a completely racist standpoint. Even more so, I really don’t like that the main group of people who should be pissed off about the many times blatant double standards instead would rather go right along with it, as if this were 1842 and we were still slaves worrying about making ‘massah’ mad. I really don’t give a shit who I upset. There needs to be a shitload more speaking of truth to power from black folks, instead of this cowering in the corner bullshit hoping that we don’t get on white people’s nerves by telling them how utterly full of it they are. Not to play Oppression Olympics, but anytime another race has had it with white people’s selective sermonizing, they call them out quick, fast and in a fucking hurry.
When former Chicago Cubs player Rafael Palmeiro was suspected of using steroids and cheating, Hispanic people were tripping over themselves to defend him. Same thing goes for Arab-American citizens after 9/11. Not because they wanted to praise wrongdoing. Far from it. They just wanted white people to acknowledge that often times they are in an unsuitable position when it comes to judging people of color. I have no clue if Mr. Palmeiro cheated or not. That’s irrelevant at this point. I do know he would have gotten treated a lot worse by the media had his brothers in brown not stood up for him so soon the same way Barry Bonds was attacked by white males in the media who have yet to show even a third of that anger towards white males known for a fact to be guilty like Mark McGuire and Lance Armstrong.
There is also a distinct holier-than mentality for black male politicians we don’t see with white men. Former mayor of Washington Marion Barry was berated continuously by fellow black people such as comedians and shock jocks, oblivious to the fact that the same white males demonizing him as well had long-term memory loss for whatever disgraceful behavior was being committed by white males at the time. Now, we have the mayor of Toronto, Canada Rob Ford who has given late night hosts and stand-up fools so much material that he should be on the Writer’s Guild payroll. Yet instead of targeting him and hating on him with their snide words, they are taking the typical route of staying silent when it’s a white male.
Before anyone complains to me that Ford is in a different country and has nothing to do with American politics, this isn’t just about his politics. This is about how he behaves as an elected official and a human being. Those same folks who held Mr. Barry up to a standard of how he conducted himself are being very lenient with Mr. Ford. That can’t be for any other reason than race. However, that seems to sit just fine with many black people. They obviously need a reminder of what decade this is.
We do not, and I mean DO NOT have to tiptoe or walk on eggshells when it comes to white folks who behave badly, especially when same-said black people claim that was their reason for going after other black people. If that’s the case, then they have an extremely shitty way of proving their point. Most of the times I don’t think they even have one. I feel that it’s nothing more than their inability to give like they get to the dominant society. If that sounds like I’m playing tit-for-tat, then so damn what? It doesn’t change the fact that there are various white males and females doing the same thing that they are so adamant on criticizing black folks for. And they are extremely silent about it when it’s a white person, leading me to believe that we don’t want a dialogue on certain important issues. Black people just want to play follow the leader and go along to get along.
adversity, America, black, crime, Eric Garner, guest post, history, Marlene Pinnock, men, MOVE, murder, New York Police Department, news, NYPD, police, police brutality, politics, privilege, racism, rants, skin color, stereotypes, violence, white
By Lavern Merriweather
There is a wise old saying that goes, “Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it”. That is a moniker that should be required to be hung at every police station in America, seeing how they have instant amnesia and keep doing the same destructive, brutal, sadistic bullshit over and over while the high minded Negro crowd sit in complete oblivion to their evil predatory behavior and blame all the ills of black society on Lil Wayne.
It’s not Lil Wayne’s fault, dumbasses. There are so many problems between black people and cops. It’s the cops themselves. They never seem to learn a damn thing from the last time they acted like thuggish assholes. Yet, to hear the high minded crowd tell it, cops are our ‘friends’ and just want to help. Okay, stupid. I’ll put that shit on your tombstone when your so-called friend decides to plug your ass with lead 50 times.
The latest incident in a very long list of cops making themselves an enemy to black folks happened a few weeks ago in New York City. A black man named Eric Garner who was selling cigarettes individually was soon approached by some of New York’s lowest. Instead of the slap on the wrist warning that a lot of white males get, the cops argued with him then started a physical altercation where one of the punks grabbed him by the neck in a chokehold. Mr. Garner, who had asthma, was violently restrained as several cops had him on the ground with their knee as he screamed that he couldn’t breathe. Paramedics were called. Yet, when they got there, rather than come to his aid, a female respondent stood over him yacking in his ear expecting a nearly unconscious man to speak to her silly ass. Once again we have a scenario where cops believe that brute force is needed when dealing with a Negro.
Just last month, a thug with a badge who works for the California Highway patrol beat up a black female who is a grandmother named Marlene Pinnock for nothing more than crossing a median on the freeway in a vicious attack that was filmed in a now viral video. As grateful as I am that this heinous behavior is being filmed and giving new eyes to what many black people see every day, it doesn’t seem to do shit to stop the gang of thugs that call themselves ‘law enforcement’. Yeah, more like enforcers, because they are the guard dogs that arrogant white politicians like Rudy Giuliani and current mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg use to assure good white citizens all across the country that they are safe from the darkie horde.
I remember years ago during an interview of actor James Woods claiming that New York was a ‘paradise’ when Giuliani was in office. I gather that to mean that since he kept his goon hand strong when it came to Negroes, that white people could feel that much safer. Except for that day on Sept. 11 2001, which I suspect many white people will find an excuse to blame on black folks too, seeing how we already get blamed for whatever trauma and terror the cops inflict on us.
Don’t believe me? Just read some of the tweets by fellow boys in blue after the murder of Eric Garner. And yes, I said murder, because I am calling it like I see it. A number of officers wrote that Garner was a “fat fuck who probably died because he had a heart attack from being so overweight”. They also said that if he had just not resisted and submitted, he’d still be alive. How about if you stupid motherfuckers had of left him the fuck alone when he wasn’t doing anything wrong, he’d still be alive! But of course that’s not the world we live in. Apparently, any altercation with a cop and a black person that leaves the civilian dead was their own undoing. Let’s try reversing those roles and see if the cop gets blamed for being an overzealous dick harassing innocent citizens because his punk ass didn’t have shit else better to do, something that I have heard many a cop say to a black person.
I even had a cop tell me that! When I snapped that if he actually did have something better to do, he’d being doing it, I was attitude arrested and taken to a police station. If you don’t know what an attitude arrest is, then you must read a book written by the great Norm Stamper that reveals a lot of the sneaky underhanded, and of course racist, shit cops do. Mr. Stamper was a cop for 24 years and at one time was even chief of police in Philadelphia. So if anyone would know it’d be him.
Another wonderful book about the evil that cops do is “Varieties of Police Behavior” written by James Q. Wilson. As much as I’d like to sing their praises, they aren’t really telling me or any other black person in the USA what we don’t already know, and that is cops will look for any reason to use and abuse their power when it comes to black people. It seems that they have decided to revamp the Jim Crow laws to make them acceptable for a new modern era.
Another example out of the millions I don’t have time to share is the time of the horrific attack on the black militia MOVE group in Philadelphia in 1989 where Mayor Willie Goode, feeling pressure from neighbors and an ever growing threat to government officials on their person from an angry group of well stocked Negroes, forged a plan to completely annihilate the house that they were dwelling in. A large package of highly dangerous explosives was dropped on the roof and caused an explosion. It started a blaze which damaged many nearby homes. One of the residents, a boy named Birdie Africa, whose real name was Michael, managed to escape with a grown woman named Ramona. Michael was exceedingly close to the fire and had already suffered several burns. One of the cops went to assist him and thus saved his live which he testified at a hearing to determine if the city’s actions were justifiable. Days later after his harrowing account, the words ‘n**ger lover’ were scrawled on his locker, and he subsequently quit to find work as a cop in another town.
That right there points to what I and many other blacks have been saying all along. Cops have an extremely racist agenda…Hell, the most racist one, because they can act out their aggressions and bigotry with impunity all in the name of doing a good day’s work in an effort to serve and protect to make the public feel safe. Except for those you have to keep those good folks of the public protected from, eh Officer “friendly”?
Thinking about even the most sexually explicit situations one can think of, when you think of the phrase “running a train” (when a group of people who are usually friends all have sex with one person), you think of sexually charged, indifferent guys who are all scraping for a chance with a woman. Be it her consent or not, which is really horrible to even think about, they’re all willing to engage in the event.
Going deeper, men are willing to drug, deceive and even force women to have sex with them. Men are also willing to pay to have sex with women. Even if it’s just a tease from an erotic dancer, majority of the customers are men. The porn industry’s best customer are and let’s get the drum rolling here: MEN!
Yes even with this all in consideration it is women who are labeled whores. It is women are who “slut shamed” and given many names they never asked for such as thot, bust down, and whatever new term they could think of provided by yours truly, MEN. For exploring their sexuality or not inviting intruders in at all, women are blamed for men’s actions.
Lucy is about what humankind could be — it’s about possibilities. As Lucy’s brainpower grows stronger and the volume of knowledge she is able to access increases, she delivers monologues about how little humans understand about death, existence, and the universe, mediating on time and history. The film likes to think of itself as reimagining everything that we think we know about humanity, and presents to us their vision of what the most evolved woman on earth looks like:
A blonde white woman.
See, I just can’t get right with that.
Well, in a new interview on the website The High Calling (HERE) the co-screenwriter of the film Ari Handel, who wrote Noah with Aronofsky, was asked about the lack of diversity and addressed by saying:
“From the beginning, we were concerned about casting, the issue of race. What we realized is that this story is functioning at the level of myth, and as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn’t matter. They’re supposed to be stand-ins for all people. Either you end up with a Bennetton ad or the crew of the Starship Enterprise.”
He goes on to say:
“You either try to put everything in there, which just calls attention to it, or you just say, “Let’s make that not a factor, because we’re trying to deal with everyman.” Looking at this story through that kind of lens is the same as saying, “Would the ark float and is it big enough to get all the species in there?” That’s irrelevant to the questions because the questions are operating on a different plane than that; they’re operating on the mythical plane.”
In years of reporting from and about Israel, I’ve followed the frequently robust debate in its press about whether Netanyahu really wants a peace deal, about the growing power of right-wing members inside the Israeli cabinet opposed to a Palestinian state, about the creeping air of permanence to the occupation.
So it has been all the more striking to discover a far narrower discourse in Washington and the notoriously pro-Israel mainstream media in the US at a time when difficult questions are more important than ever. John Kerry, the US secretary of state, and a crop of foreign leaders have ratcheted up warnings that the door for the two-state solution is closing, in no small part because of Israel’s actions. But still the difficult questions go unasked.
O’Reilly expressed his opinion on legalization by saying, “It damages the children more than anyone, and poor second.” Drawing the distinction between “the children” and “the poor” supports an implicit understanding that some children are more worthy of concern and protection than others. O’Reilly even boldly asserted, “The left is basically saying…it’s blacks. You’re trapping the blacks. Because in certain ghetto neighborhoods, it’s part of the culture – nine-year-old boys and girls who are smoking it. And they don’t like that. They don’t want those kids to be targeted by the cops.”
What is O’Reilly saying? That nine-year-olds from “the ghetto” should be targeted by cops? Furthermore, black youth – the group most associated in our national consciousness as constituting the children of “the ghetto” – use illegal drugs less frequently overall than white youth. And we must all be alarmed and ashamed when we hear yet another “ghetto” culture argument enter our policy conversations. This language reflects a long history of demonizing and criminalizing marginalized communities – particularly those of color – through racially biased narratives about drugs.
Detroit, an American city once called the “Motor City” is a shell of its former self. Thanks to Economic fuck-ups and typical politics that can only be described as ‘barbaric’, the city of Motown has become a Third-World hell hole. And now, it faces yet another crisis in the form of outstanding water bills.
It seems that since Detroit’s poor, lower-class citizens have been behind in paying their water bills. As a result, many residents are faced with the possibility of having their water shut off unless they somehow pay up. The drawback is that Detroit is in such economic distress that the poor struggle just to make it to through the week. It’s become so bad that the United Nations may have to step in as many deem this as a human rights crisis.
But, as we all know, some people see Detroit as a lost cause due to the decades long influx of black residents who – as expected – are blamed by racist putzes for the city’s poverty and crime. Of course, the fact that racism was a primary player in its economic down turn is unheard of to those dicks. Though, some on the more liberal side are more sympathetic, like the ones who represent PETA and see it as a perfect opportunity to capitalize off the struggle to promote their vegan campaign.
There seems to be a little hope. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is said to prolong the water shut-offs for a while longer until a humane resolution is reached. He stated that it hurts the reputation of the city. Oh, You think? Mayor Duggan must have missed the memo that the entire world already knows.
So, what will become of Detroit and its people when this crisis continues to unravel Detroit’s image of capitalistic corruption? What will it take for Detroit’s poor residents to get back on their feet? Sooner or later, something’s got to give, and shutting off the water is no solution.
With the current drama behind the Israeli-Palestinian conflict heightened once again, and with Western media’s obvious pro-Israeli bias showing off, especially the likes of the most liberal news stations like MSNBC, public opinion mostly supports the actions of the Jewish state no matter how questionable. However, there are some who are appalled by the actions of its government. Many of them are Jews themselves.
Shira Lipkin writes how her faith in a country she was taught as her “divine right” is now challenged. She was taught so much about how Israel was her promised land. But now, with this latest episode of anti-Palestinian paranoia, she begins to wonder about a nation that would bomb innocent people wholesale.
I’m writing this in my new baby niece’s room. I am here in Florida visiting my family because of this niece, this tiny pudgy innocent baby. We are Jewish, and it’s time for my niece to receive her Hebrew name in a sweet little ceremony at our longtime synagogue.
Last night I sat at the synagogue next to my 19-year-old daughter. I felt a swell of joy as the services began; I’d been away too long. I’d loved services as a child and teenager.
And then we hit the first mention of Israel as the Promised Land, and I burst into tears.
On the way to services, I’d caught up on Twitter a bit. I’d read about the Israeli missiles still falling on Palestine. I’d read about the outright murder of Palestinian children.
And I sat there and listened to the rabbi call Israel our Promised Land, and it broke something in me.
I am an American Jew of a certain age (40), and what that means is that I was raised to believe that Israel was ours by divine right.
It sounds ridiculous when you say it aloud. Especially because, like many of my generation of Jews, I’m not particularly religious. Many Jews my age slid into paganism, a sort of ambivalent agnosticism, or outright atheism; we are cultural Jews rather than religious Jews. And yet when I first spoke about the conflict between Israel and Palestine some years ago, I found that falling out of my mouth – that God promised us Israel. It’s ours because God said so.
My daughter, trying to comfort me after the services, said, “Maybe it is the Promised Land, just not right now.”
My daughter is an atheist. And the narrative got her, too.
The history we are taught in our Sunday school is that we were there first, and that therefore the Palestinians are occupying our land. How long ago were we there, though? And who, exactly, is we? I find myself using that we – “We need to stop bombing Palestine,” “we need to give land back,” but I am not Israeli. I have never been to Israel. This is how deep it runs, this idea of possession.
American Jewish teenagers get a free trip to Israel, paid for by a Jewish foundation. These are called Birthright trips.
My daughter went to Israel two years ago. Not on a Birthright trip, the very name of which raises the hairs on the back of my neck, that entitlement to land that others have lived on for generations. She went with my parents, who have gone many times before. She visited various landmarks; she took lots of pictures.
My daughter sat beside me last night at the synagogue, and I was acutely aware that she could not read Hebrew. Neither can my sister, and my husband lost the language right after his bar mitzvah, years ago.
I moved my finger beneath the words as I sang. I whispered to my daughter at opportune moments – this is the R, this is the L, here are the vowels.
Yud. Sin. Resh. Aleph. Lamed.
I hoped fervently that it would not happen, but it did – the rabbi spoke of those who hate Israel and hate the Jews, but did not speak of the Israeli army, which is burning children alive; did not condemn the hate of Israelis for Palestinians. He spoke of peace, but he spoke of peace as a thing to force on the Gaza strip, not a thing for both sides to work toward. I clutched my daughter’s hand, trying not to cry, thinking but we are killing children. Where is the peace in that action?
Who is we?
We. We are killing children, we are killing civilians, because we were told that God gave us this land, and half of us don’t even believe.
They, not we. Israeli soldiers burned a child alive the other day. This is not we, this is not us, this is not in my name. These are nightmarish actions taken by a government I have no real tie to, despite my childhood indoctrination, despite my name, despite my alleged birthright.
At services last night we spoke of peace, but no peace can come of this.
The answer to occupation is not more occupation.
The answer to genocide is not genocide.
I sat there clutching my sefer, wildly praying for true peace, for all of this to stop, and I can’t see it from here. I can’t see Israel backing off. I can’t see an end to the murder, and it horrifies me. I think no one can possibly be reading the Torah anymore because this is not what we were told to do, this is not how we were told to act, and if you believe Israel is yours because God says so, how can you ignore the rest of what he said?
The rabbi encouraged us to go to Monday’s pro-Israel rally, and my stomach turned.
I am naïve, I suppose. I know that I am heartbroken. I just want everyone to live.
Shin. Lamed. Mem. I trace the letters and teach my daughter the word for peace.
It’s no secret to the enlightened and heavy informed that the Western media has a racial bias problem. The media which has been designated as “liberal” by right-wing pundits continues to paint certain people as mostly the problems that the rest of society must fear. Whatever they think, feel and say is irrelevant, unless it’s something the mainstream wants to hear and pass on. On the flip side, the ones with the most privileges and power, including the oppressors, are the ones to look up to, to listen to and to sympathize for.
So, it should be no surprise that we the same mess happening with the ongoing Israeli-Palestine conflict. The Western media runs towards the Israeli point-of-view painting them as the true victims delivering as pro-Israeli slant despite the nation having a major military advantage over neighboring Palestine.
Rula Jebreal appeared on MSNBC to criticize the Western media’s defense of Israel:
While arguing that influence from pro-Israel forces makes the news coverage more favorable to the country and its leader, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and subsequently sways the majority of American viewers to take the side of Israel, Jebreal explained, “Because of AIPAC, and because of the money behind it, and because of Sheldon Adelson, and because of all of us in the media. We are ridiculous. We are disgustingly biased when it comes to this issue.” She went on to add, “Look at how [much] airtime Netanyahu and his folks have on air on a daily basis. Andrea Mitchell and others. I never see one Palestinian being interviewed on these same issues.”
Since then, Jabreal tweeted how her future television appearances were all cancelled. Suspicious, yet not shocking.
So, what does this have to do with us Black Americans? A lot, as Kristian Davis Bailey, for Ebony, writes:
I learned how the police brutality African Americans and other minorities face in the US is directly tied to violence in Palestine. Since 2001, thousands of top police officials from cities across the US have gone to Israel for training alongside its military or have participated in joint exercises here. Just weeks before Oakland police violently broke up an Occupy rally, they had trained with repressive forces from Israel and Bahrain. In Georgia in 2006, a 92-year-old black woman was shot and killed by Atlanta police who had participated in an exchange program with Israeli soldiers on counterterrorism and drug enforcement. Our governments literally share resources and tactics with each other that directly harm our respective communities.
The experiences of African Americans and Palestinians with systemic mass incarceration are also strikingly similar. Forty percent of Palestinian men have been arrested and detained by Israel at some point in their lives. (To put this in perspective, the 2008 figure for Blacks was 1 in 11.) Israel maintains policies of detaining and interrogating Palestinian children that bear resemblance to the stop and frisk policy and disproportionate raids and arrests many of our youth face.
So far, the mainstream media has not taken the plight of institutionalized racism seriously enough to do an indepth analysis on the reasons, causes and its plight regarding the livelihood of African Americans. Likewise, we’ve hardly seen any pundit, right wing or left wing, utter so much as a word on behalf of Palestinians and their hundreds of victims. On the other hand, we’ve gotten plenty of negative press concerning both Blacks in America and Palestinians in the other side of the world while the media trumpets on behalf of the oppressor.
One or two things must happen. The first is that there must be a strong unified coalition of citizens demanding balance in the corporate news reporting. The racial bias that is evidenced must cease if there are to be more images and viewpoints outside of that of what the elite says. The second is that we create our own news and our media so we can tell our own stories without filters and without penalties. Either way, the stories of actual victims must be told.