Thursday, October 30, 2014

2014: The Year Black Men (Collectively) Took An "L".

I refrained from commenting on yesterday's video in #StreetHarassment because something about the entire situation just didn't sit right with me. I still don't quite know what it is. This post is an attempt to figure it out, with your help.

Sorry, I can't ignore the racial politics at play in that video. Yes, the street harassment is unsightly and that's something that certainly needs to be addressed. I learned a thing or two from watching this, much of which makes having a daughter suddenly very scary.

But come on, there's definitely some selective editing going on. The creator of the video (a white guy) said there were plenty of white dudes who also catcalled her, but they had problems capturing the audio or some such nonsense. Really?

Ray Rice. Adrian Peterson. Jesse Matthew. Mike Brown. Random N-Words on a street corner calling women "Mami".

Darn near every viral media story that's "inspiring a national conversation on [insert cause that people have been discussing for years in the privacy of their own homes here]" this year has involved a black protagonist (or victim) in some way.

Brothers have been catching a serious "L" in 2014. January can't get here quick enough.

I can't help but think that there's some connecting of the dots here that's somewhat deliberate in nature. I'm waiting for the inevitable thinkpiece on this sometime soon. I have neither the energy, nor skill level required. Maybe ya'll can jumpstart this in the comments section.

Question: Am I being reverse-racially paranoid as usual, or is something more pervasive going on here?

About That Bobby Shmurda Audition Video....

If you haven't heard "Hot N*gga", don't know what the "Shmoney Dance" is, or generally have decent taste in music, you might wanna sit this one out. I don't have the time, energy, or inclination to describe the fleeting one-hit-wonder known as Bobby Shmurda. I just hope he, that weirdo who sings "Club Goin' Up On A Tuesday", and Trinidad James all have good financial handlers. Because they're all gonna be back to working the 3rd shift at Wendy's at some point, and the folks who pull up at the drive-thru are gonna have plenty of material to rag them about.

Case in point.



That, my friends, is what is often referred to as coonery. Apparently when he went to Epic to negotiate his record deal, Shmurda put on an impromptu concert with a medley of his biggest hits. And yeah, it was cringeworthy. Look at the white women in the first row. They look like they've just been street harassed at their Day Job. Look at the (smattering of) black folks. They look like "did I just spend $150k on an Columbia education to deal with this sh*t?"

I could make a larger point about how indicative this is of the current state of hip-hop, but whatever. I'm more interested about how "behind closed doors" meetings somehow get recorded and go viral. What's up with that?

Question: Does this make you sadder for Bobby Shmurda or the handful of "black record company execs" in the room?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Is There A Fine Line Between "Street Harassment" And Innocent Compliments?

I'm just gonna toss this one out there, as a social experiment. Because it's trending and because I'm interested in knowing what you guys see here. But mostly because the video is trending. Anyways, watch the whole thing first, then weigh in below.



Question: Was the woman being harassed or complimented? Ladies, have you experienced such treatment?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ashy Or Classy?!? Ray Rice Halloween Costumes.

For the first time in my adult life, I'm actually dressing up for Halloween. I'm going as a Secret Service Agent, to provide security for my 2 year old, who is going as Princess Tiana. I know some of you are saying "why Secret Service Agent", and the answer is really simple: because it's the easiest costume ever. Put on a black suit, crisp white dress shirt, all black tie, and black shades. I might have to create an earpiece, but whatever. It's a simple, largely inoffensive costume.

Of course, for some people, simple and inoffensive isn't what Halloween's all about. Some people truly push the envelope, often with disastrous results.
Photos of people dressing up as Ray Rice for Halloween are drawing ire from social media.

Last month, Rice was cut from the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely from the NFL after video surfaced of the football player punching his now-wife Janay Rice unconscious in an elevator.

In one photo, a man wearing Rice's No. 27 Ravens jersey drags a blow-up doll by a leg. In another photo, a man in blackface wears a Rice jersey and poses next to a woman, who has a black eye. Kids are dressing up as Rice as well. In one instance, a boy carries a doll by the hair.
So yeah, this happened. Seriously, white folks, WTF?!?


Whatever "parent" allowed their kid to dress up as Ray Rice, complete with an "abused Janay Palmer doll" needs to have CPS called to their house pronto. This sh*t is Ashy and damn near perverted.

Question: Ashy Or Classy? Are these costumes disgusting, or good ole' fashioned American fun?!?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

White Candidate Runs "Scandal" Themed Ad Against Black Female Competitor. Racist or Racial?!?

For those somehow unaware, I live in the great state of Maryland, not far from the border of the District Of Columbia. And yes, I refuse to call The DC Metro Urreah by that corny, contrived, wanna-be cool "DMV" nickname. That sh*t is l.a.m.e.

In any event, the area is considered one of the most politically "progressive" parts of the country, which is basically just code for "blue states (and a District with no Congressional voting rights)". The area would also like to consider itself among the most racially progressive, and for the most part I'd agree. Of course, my sample size is small. I've spent half my life here, and the other half in North Carolina. So yeah, the results might be a bit skewed.

In any event, Maryland is very quietly on the verge of making possible political history next month, as Anthony Brown is the odds-on favorite to become just the 3rd elected black Governor in US history. It's a race few people care about, and in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1, it's somewhat of a forgone conclusion. But don't tell that to Brown's Republican competitor, Larry Hogan, who is running one of the most sneakily racist commercials I've seen in ages.

Watch this and tell me if you caught it...



"Has Brown earned a promotion?"

Come on, you can't tell me that's not on some low-key, infamous Jesse Helms/Harvey Gantt "Hands" ad sh*t. Kick rocks, Larry Hogan.

A bit to the South, there's a similarly sneaky racebaiting incident in the District, where two uninspiring mayoral candidates (no, Marion Barry isn't still the mayor!) are duking it out.
Independent candidate David A. Catania has gone to some lengths during his mayoral campaign to paint Democratic nominee Muriel E. Bowser as untrustworthy and in thrall to powerful supporters.

Most of that has surrounded the saga of the Park Southern Apartments, the deteriorating Ward 8 complex briefly managed by a prominent Bowser backer who explored purchasing the property in a questionable transaction that city officials have characterized as a sweetheart deal. Catania has slammed Bowser for not using her council committee to investigate and otherwise “greasing the wheels” for Jones.

Now Catania has opened another front, sending out a mail piece that notes the fact that a prominent ex-adviser of Bowser’s is embroiled in other corruption allegations. The mailer, which started landing in mailboxes over the weekend, has a “Scandal” theme — as in the Shonda Rhimes-produced, Kerry Washington-starring, Thursday-nights-on-ABC phenomenon.

Meanwhile, the “Scandal” mailer has gotten a good run not only in mailboxes but on social media, where it has stirred up considerable reaction — including from the Bowser campaign.
Catania had a puncher's chance of actually upsetting Bowser, who has all the charisma of a half-smoke, but this is probably the final nail for him. And yeah, that sh*t is racist. Had Bowser sent out a "Queer As Folk" ad about Catania, who is gay, she'd be dead wrong. So yeah, Catania's dead wrong. And like Hogan, he's gonna lose.

Question: Are these two political attack ads "racist" or merely "racial"?