Notable Links: 5-16/14

Fresh First Look at ‘Fresh Off the Boat’

The half-hour, single-camera comedy is set in 1990s Orlando and follows the misadventures of 12-year-old Eddie and his Taiwanese immigrant family, who experience culture shock when they move from Washington DC to Florida. The show is based on the memoirs of celebrity chef Eddie Huang, whose voice you may recognize providing the narration in the trailer, Wonder Years-style.

Excited to see young Hudson in his debut, and you know I’m ride or die for Randall Park in anything, but I’m actually pretty excited to Constance Wu as Mrs. Huang, who looks like she steals the show.

It looks like Fresh Off the Boat is on ABC’s schedule as a midseason replacement. This is not necessarily a bad thing. But we probably won’t be seeing it until the beginning of 2015. Looking forward to it.

Race, Disability and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Researchers have clearly established the contours of the pipeline. During the 2011 school year, more than 3 million public school students were suspended and over 100,000 expelled. These students were overwhelmingly black. According to the Department of Education, black students are suspended and expelled at three times the rate of white students. Save for American Indians, no other racial group experiences such outsized racial disproportionality in exclusionary discipline. Indeed, the federal government has said that the racial disparity in punishment levels can’t be explained by differences in kids behavior alone. Importantly, just one of those suspension can double the likelihood that students will drop out of school, and increase the likelihood that students end up in prison. A disproportionate number of students of color are even arrested at school as a form of punishment.

But while the racial disparity is clear, the reasons for it are not. What institutional forces set a child down this path? At least part of the answer seems to be the inadvertent, perverse incentives of the special education system. Frustrated educators—desperate for help in schools that don’t have the kinds of interventions Ford-Morthel had available at Cox—are instead using inherently subjective and fuzzy disability classifications to gain access to sorely needed resources. Special education classifications open the door to new tools for engaging the most challenging students, but in the process, they may also be putting those children on a path to prison.

Why We Need More Black Women as News Decision-Makers

Despite many news programs featuring African-American women as on-air hosts—Joy Reid of MSNBC’s The Reid Report, Robin Roberts on ABC’s Good Morning America, Gwen Ifill anchoring PBS Newshour and Michel Martin helming NPR’s Tell Me More, to name a few—there are still far too few people of color, particularly black women, in executive, editorial and production positions who have the decision-making authority to promote stories in ways that reflect the concerns of our communities.

It’s been more than two generations since a wave of largely independent black public-affairs programs, like Say Brother, Black Journal and Inside Bedford-Stuyvesant, emerged in the era after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. As Devorah Heitner explains in her book, Black Power TV, “An emerging sense that representation was a right, not a privilege, structured media activism in this era.” Now, some are again looking at independent black media as an alternative.

The FCC Has Been Surrounded by Corporate Lobbyists for Too Long, Now It’s Our Turn

Activists are joining our camp in Washington, DC to protest the new net discrimination rules. We will be there until the next public meeting at the FCC to make sure that the proposed rules protect net neutrality, instead of taking the agency off track and ending net neutrality. The encampment adds to the great work done by numerous organizations like Fight for the Future and Free Press online which resulted in more than one million people writing the FCC urging net neutrality and thousands of phone calls demanding withdrawal of Wheeler’s proposal.

This negative response is bigger than anything the FCC expected. But in order for us to be successful, we need activists to come out and be a part of the action in DC or create one at an FCC office close to home. We are at a crucial turning point and more people getting involved will make a tremendous difference.

From the first moments, we found that the encampment was having an impact. Before a single protester had even shown up at the FCC’s doorstep, we got a call from Chairman Tom Wheeler’s office asking what we were doing, what our message was, how long we were staying and saying they may be interested in meeting with us. That’s particularly interesting, since even with more than 1 million net neutrality signatures to the FCC last month, Chairman Wheeler wouldn’t meet with us.

VIDEO: Michael Sam’s Big Gay Kiss Was Unforgettable! That’s the Point

America will never be the same again.

It was history in the making, but the selection was a sanitized history – and the kiss gave it a heart. After all, Michael Sam doesn’t scream “gay”. He is the kind of “straight-acting” man who dresses masculinely and carries himself like any other macho straight dude. For those struggling to accept that gay people exist, watching the draft was, at worst, intellectually challenging. Watching the kiss was, apparently, a struggle as well.

Those kinds of detractors, the kind who don’t want to talk about gay athletes, claim that sports – particularly at the professional level – are only about winning and losing. They couldn’t be further from the truth. Sports are about sportsmanship and camaraderie, hard work and determination. They’re also about social justice and equal opportunity. Victory and defeat are merely byproducts.

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23 thoughts on “Notable Links: 5-16/14

  1. The “alpha black athlete” has been totally emasculated and assimilated by the zeitgeist. In fact, the “alpha black athlete” does not exist. There must be incredible cognitive dissonance for your average “black” sports fan to finally recognize that the “alpha black athlete” is simply an ideological tool and has been for decades.

      1. And what exactly is this ‘alpha black athlete’?

        The type of man this loon secretly lusts for. I lust after athletes as well but at least I’m honest about it! I am proud of my lusts!

      1. Is that what you call the Michael Sams of the world? “Black men?”

        Do “black men” romantically kiss other MEN?

      2. ^^^ And that is why you are a “black man.”

        The “black” and the “man” don’t have any inherent meaning and the quotes are there to signify that you are really a radical liberationist AND that’s all “we” can REALLY know about you.

      3. Genuine white Supremacist…

        Ergo, a white man that believes in objective Supremacy.

        Now, explain the consequences for a “black man” that does not believe in objective Supremacy?

        Next…

        Explain the consequence for an “alpha black athlete” who does not believe in objective Supremacy?

        Come on brothawolf…. See if you can engage the conversation?

      4. The Perfect Man would suffice if one requires empirical evidence…

        Of course, modern “man,” whether “black” or “white,” denies such a “thing” AND ignorantly believes there is no consequence for such denial.

  2. I guess we as a culture are just voyeurs and Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend is history making. I hope he’s a good ball player and people won’t focus so much on his sexuality.

    1. Sorry Mary…

      Many of us had no intentions of being voyeurs of the “history-making” kiss between two homosexuals.

      You only speak for yourself and those who think like you in denying objective Supremacy.

  3. Is that what you call the Michael Sams of the world? “Black men?”

    Michael Sam is getting more tail than you, jealous? What does Sam’s love life have to do with black men? Nothing! Perhaps you would like to take Sam’s boyfriend s place? Personally, I think Sams should find himself a black guy, he can do better the one he has!

    1. herneith…

      You’re a silly creature…

      A father of four here… Getting tail has never been my issue.

      Clown.

      1. brothawolf…

        It was a clownish comment that honestly didn’t deserve a response…

        So I only gave what was necessary to refute the stupidity of the charge.

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