Tag Archives: post racial

Sometimes The Debate Just Tires You Out

After much deep thought (well semi-deep at least) I have decided to discontinue this blog. It is in part because my film production company and talent management company are keeping me extremely busy these days, but the biggest reason frankly is just fatigue from trying to open people’s minds.

In the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin trial, I have watched the racial division get even more entrenched between those I feel are trying very hard to get people to to realize the many subtle and profound ways race plays into life in America, and those on the other side who simply refuse to see it. I think I have come to realize that blogs like mine either preach to the choir of those who are like-minded already (though it has been a joy to meet so many through this blog) or it goes to those who simply want to argue and no matter what logic is used, prefer to discount.

I have also reluctantly come to the conclusion that at the end of the day, for the most part, the only people that can impact white racism, in terms of getting people to maybe possibly listen, is another white person. When a person of color, especially a black man, tries to discuss what racism feels like, it is hard for some whites, the ones who most need to hear it, to get beyond the fact that a black person is saying it. They see it as whining, complaining, exaggerating, being mistaken, everything but being what it is. And certainly the same may well be true for dealing with closed minded blacks or other minorities, only other people of color may be be able to get through to them also.

The reality of this fact hit me the most in the aftermath of President Obama’s wonderful discussion on the Trayvon Martin verdict. It was heartfelt, honest and just a man talking about his real life experience. Yet the outcry from those who don’t like Obama or don’t want to hear that black male view was swift and ugly in many instances. Again, basically totally discounted.

So my decision to stop writing this blog doesn’t mean I am giving up on what matters to me. That would be impossible when I live a mixed life, with a mixed family, one of varying ethnicities and cultures. Nor do I think the majority of the people out there are bad. Not at all. And as I said before I have had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people all over the world, and of varying skin colors through this blog. And I will continue to support, follow and comment on their blogs. I treasure them too much. I will continue to chime in occasionally through my Huffington Post blog, which I write here and there, as I am moved. I have found lots of great blogs and sites on matters of race, mixed life, and equality in general, so I know the information is out there. So mine ceasing won’t end the debates and good work so many are doing.

Thanks to the loyal readers and those that stumbled hear occasionally . I hope I added something. And I’ll be jumping into the fray here and there, so don’t think I am disappearing.

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Marc Anthony Has To Deal With Bigots Who Think He Is Not American

As American as Apple Pie.

As American as Apple Pie.

I know in America we have the right to be stupid and ignorant, but I swear  I think we should have a basic right as a nation to kick people out that don’t have a base level of intelligence. Latina magazine reported this:

This is crazy! Not only do 11-year-old Mexican-American boys get attacked when they sing songs about the U.S.A., now even big stars do, too. Twitter users took to social to post about their hatred (and flaunted their ignorance, no less) when Marc Anthony sang God Bless America at Tuesday’s MLB All Star game, reports NBC Latino.

(No one is exempt!)

Despite the fact that Marc Anthony is a born-and-bred New Yorker (he grew up in Spanish Harlem), people questioned if they were the only one saw his performance as “un-American” and even questioned his citizenship status. Others focused on his pronunciation, saying he rolled his r’s during the performance for the word “American.”

Here are some of the tweets:

Why is Marc Anthony singing “God Bless America?” He’s not even American. Shoulda got someone sweet like Kesha –  Spencer Babcock (@jakebabcock)

Marc Anthony singing God Bless America on the MLB Allstar Game……….am I the only person that finds that unAmerican – Jerrell Rock Golden (@SirRock1001)

Another disgrace Marc Anthony singing god bless America.Is he even an American citizen? – Brian Edwards (@Dusboy7)

I’m sorry but I just have to say it. Dumb asses.

 

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Mixed People – Prince

PrinceA couple of days late with my Mixed People Monday but here it is. Prince’s ethnic makeup is somewhat unclear. According to a 1983 Rolling Stone Magazine article, the pop singer’s father was of African American ethnicity and his mother was of Italian American Ancestry. However another website states that his mother Mattie Shaw, is of African American, Native American and White heritage, while his father, John Nelson, is of Black and Italian ancestry. Well no matter how you slice it, he is Mixed.

 

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These Kids Show Us That We Can Get Past The Racial Polarization

This video is a MUST WATCH. Especially at this time when our country seems even more polarized over the role race plays after the verdict in the Zimmerman trial. Restored my faith in people, our future. It is so so touching.

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The Zimmerman Verdict Makes Me More Sad Than Anything

Trayvon MartinNot much to say. Just sad, though expected, outcome. What does it say when many of us expected this outcome though? Sad for my own son.

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Chris Noth Says He And His Wife Have Gotten Hate Mail On Their Mixed Marriage

Chris NothI love this interview with Chris Noth. Go the link below to see the short interview where he discusses his mixed son and the hate mail he has gotten about his mixed marriage. Love his attitude.

Here is a bit on the video:

Chris Noth is famous for his roles in “Sex in the City,” “Law & Order” and “The Good Wife,” but he’s long sought to keep his private life out of the spotlight.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, a candid Noth talked about getting married last year to his longtime girlfriend, Tara Lynn Wilson, and his dismay over opponents of interracial relationships sending the couple racist hate mail.

“When I was in a play on Broadway two years ago I’d occasionally get letters of outrage, usually from somewhere in Alabama or something, saying y’know, ‘Don’t come down here with your wife,’” he said.

Still, Noth is hopeful that the world is heading towards a post-racial future. “We’re all getting together. We’re all mixing it up,” he laughs.

Watch the clip from the interview with Noth here.

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Chicago Blackhawks Can Win On A Bigger Stage By Changing Their Mascot

Sticks and stones...

Sticks and stones…

Saw this piece over at the blog, Racialicious and since I have written on this issue regarding the Washington Redskins I thought it brought a fresh perspective to the matter as relates to Native American macots in general:

As a white youth growing up playing ice hockey in the 1960s, in a Chicago suburb, I fell in love with the Chicago Blackhawks. I watched Hawks games on T.V., and during the intermissions between the periods, I retired to the kitchen (and its smooth, slick tile floor) to shoot my plastic puck at the cabinets. For the kitchen shootouts, I channeled my all-time favorite, the always-helmeted Stan Mikita, or on occasion, Bobby Hull. Born just after the team’s 1961 Stanley Cup championship, I anticipated – without too much patience – the next championship, and suffered through the team’s two failed Stanley Cup appearances in the early seventies.

But between those years and the team’s next championships in 2010 and now 2013, my Native American friends encouraged me to reflect more deeply on the way symbols like the team’s own “Chief Black Hawk” distorted their identities, particularly in the imaginations of white Americans. Ultimately, in graduate school at the University of Illinois-Champaign, I critiqued my school’s infamous mascot, Chief Illiniwek, and my friend Richard King and I went on to edit Team Spirits: The Native American Mascot Controversy, a 2001 collection of essays giving voice to how Native Americans feel about many of these manifestations of the power of non-Indian, mostly white institutions and people to (re)represent, (re)name, and (re)contextualize Native peoples for white purposes.

In his foreword for the book, renowned scholar Vine Deloria Jr. of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation wrote:

With diehard refusal to change the names and logos of sports teams we always hear the justification that the name is being used to ‘honor’ us. This tortured reasoning makes its proponents look absurd. Obviously if garish costumes, demeaning cheers, and crude logos are the essence of honor, then the various sports halls of fame need to perform drastic surgery on the busts and plaques of their honorees. The excuse, being lame, must conceal something more profound, which cannot or will not be articulated by those people ‘honoring’ us.

Maybe the most vivid contemporary example, the Washington R*dskins, is addressed by Suzan Shown Harjo of the Cheyenne and Holdulgee Muscogee tribes, the plaintiff in the case against the franchise. The plaintiffs’ legal strategy turns on U.S. trademark law and its prohibition against trademarking racial epitaphs, and as such, they seek merely to deny the Washington R*dskins team the right to own the trademark of own name and image. Harjo, writing in Team Spirits, acknowledges that the case may take a long while to play out in federal court, but she asserts:

Three things are certain at this time … The Native American position is rock solid and will not change. The circle of non-Native supporter is wider, stronger, and more diverse. The time has come to consign “Redskins” to the history books and museums.” 

What do you think?

Increasingly uncomfortable rooting for a team relying on Native American imagery to popularize its identity, my passion for the team has now dimmed. Somewhat ambivalent still, I was jealous of the team’s many supporters reveling in and celebrating the 2010 championship. And as I share this with you, Patrick Kane and Jonathon Toews have just led the Hawks yet again to a Stanley Cup championship. Persuaded by years of inquiry into the problematic history of how athletic teams have too often resorted to Native American imagery to convey their identities, I will let me many friends who are Blackhawk fans celebrate without me.

Man I wish people would understand the power of these names and the inherent insult built in considering how real Native Americans were treated in American history. But alas,  many will see this as criticism of their teams and will ignore it. But it is about so much more than sports.

Read the rest of the very thought-provoking essay here.

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Celebrating America, Warts and All

4th of JulyJust realized I forgot to do a Happy Independence Day post yesterday. So a day late, but here it is. I hope everyone had a great and safe day. The Harris family did and we had a great talk while waiting on fireworks about what makes America great and what makes it not so great. Perfect occasion for the talk. Here’s to hoping we all continue to live up to the promise of America.

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Big Brother 15 on CBS Has Some Pretty Bigoted People In The House

Is Paula Deen on this show?

Is Paula Deen on this show?

Well, as they say, a pretty face doesn’t mean there isn’t extreme ugliness on the inside. As a fan of the Big Brother series on CBS, I am surprised, and not surprised to read that some of the house guests, most of whom are of course, very attractive made for TV people, are downright ugly. According to one site that monitors the 24 hour feed for the show:

In perhaps record time, Big Brother 15’s houseguests have unleashed a torrent of racist, sexist, and homophobic comments, mostly directed toward other people in the house, and most of which go unchallenged by others. This year, it isn’t limited to just one or two people; as Hamsterwatch reports, “the roll call for racist/homophobic/misogynist remarks now includes Aaryn, Kaitlin, GinaMarie, David, Jeremy, Spencer, and Amanda, in varying degrees.” That’s almost half the cast…

As to the awful things this cast has said, most of it occurred Saturday night and into Sunday. AJokers poster has compiled an extensive list including flashback times to view the footage, while Zap2it’s Andrea Reiher summarized many of the awful things in a story. Both are worth a read.

Here are examples, compiled and expanded from the above sources, video clips, and other sources:

  • GinaMarie said that, because of her income level, she receives “nigger insurance” (she whispered the n-word, so it’s possible she said the version that ends with “a”). She whispered it to both Nick and Andy, neither of whom challenged her.
  • GinaMarie said Helen, who’s Asian, “should be kissing our ass and serving us some fucking rice.”
  • Aaryn said of Andy, “No one’s gonna vote for whoever that queer puts up.” She also suggested he’d win MVP because “people love the queers.”
  • Aaryn said about Candice, who’s black, “be careful what you say in the dark; you might not be able to see that bitch.” (A month ago, Aaryn tweeted, “Attractiveness comes from inside. What would you look like if your looks mirrored your words and actions?” So much irony.)
  • GinaMarie said Candice “gets that fuckin’ blackness,” referring to Candice’s reaction to something that happened in the game.
  • Aaryn said of Helen, “Shut up. Go make some fucking rice.”
  • Talking about sheets that smelled bad, David said they were that way because “black Candice” was on them, and then admitted, “that was totally racist.”
  • Jeremy, who calls the house’s women “bitches,” said of Katilin, “I did touch her vagina today.. she didn’t act like she was happy.. I like to feel around see what’s she’s working with.. see if it’s a nice meat wallet … I know she’s on her period.”
  • Spencer called Andy “Kermit the fag”; Amanda called Andy “Faggoty Ann” (McCrae later called her out for that language, but she defended it).
  • Spencer said that the medical torture conducted by Nazi doctors was beneficial and praised Hitler’s speaking abilities, even while acknowledging that he’d be criticized for that.
  • Katilin said she likes gay people but they’re “untrustworthy in a game like this.”
  • McCrae said, “If I’m talking to a girl, that probably means I don’t want to fuck her.”
  • Spencer referred to women as “cunts.”
  • GinaMarie said, “you know two blacks stick together. They’re like tokens.”

Geez. At least I know who not to root for. You can read the full post quoted above here.

And on a side note, if you’re reading this before 9 am PST or Noon EST, you can catch me on the Internet Radio show “Mixed Race Radio” this morning at 9 am Pacific and 12 Noon Eastern. Here is a link.

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