Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, an anti-apartheid peace activist and Nobel Prize winner, is dead at 95. Mandela spent 27 years in prison for his activism on behalf of civil rights for South Africa’s Black people, living in a six-foot wide cell on Robben Island. Mandela had been sick for a long time and died at home. [NBC News]
The seemingly innocuous topic of Jay Z’s limited edition holiday collection in collaboration with Barneys turned rife with controversy in the past few weeks after the upscale NYC department store was accused of two separate racial profiling incidents in the last month alone. Everyone from Jon Stewart to Andre Leon Talley criticized the hip-hop mogul’s decision to go forth with the high-profile partnership, even after he announced that 100 percent of the proceeds from the collection would go to his Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation for low-income students. Keep reading »
Hey guys, great news. According to a tweet posted to the GOP’s official Twitter account — acknowledging the 58th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ refusal to move to the back of the bus in Birmingham, Alabama — racism has ended. I’m not sure when it happened, but it must have been recently. I was in Pennsylvania this weekend, though, and phone and internet service was pretty spotty up there, so I wouldn’t be surprised if racism ended over the holiday weekend, possibly even during Thanksgiving dinner. Talk about something to be thankful for!
But seriously. Racism has ended? O RLY? The ridiculousness of such a statement prompted Twitter user @FeministaJones – follow her! — to start the hashtag #RacismEndedWhen as a “satirical, subversive response to the GOP suggesting Rosa Park ended it.” You can check out a Storify of just some of the tweets after the jump. Meanwhile, the GOP backtracked and tweeted an update: “Previous tweet should have read ‘Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in fighting to end racism.’” That’s better. [#RacismEndedWhen via The Daily Dot] Keep reading »
“I wasn’t getting much work before the incident, which was one of the reasons I was ding-donging around in those clubs late at night, unannounced — coming in and working on material. I thought I would try to reinvent myself. … What happened in the club? Oh, that’ll never happen again. I know how to behave, to consciously behave. When something like that comes up, I don’t let the heat of anger burn me up as it did. When you’re under the helm of anger, watch out, ’cause it’ll take you down. It’s like being possessed by a demon. [I was angry] at the act, angry that it wasn’t funny, angry that I was being interrupted, angry that I’m not as good as I would like to be. You know, I was frustrated that night, and so I turned on everybody.”
Remember back in 2006 when the actor who played Kramer on “Seinfeld” was doing standup in a club and he got mad at a heckler and started screaming the N-word? Well, Michael Richards is headed back to TV on Kirstie Alley’s new sitcom and he’s spoken with TIME magazine about the incident. It is actually one of the most honest apologies that a celebrity has ever given for bad behavior. He also said that after the incident, he took a break from show business to do personal work on himself and reconnect with his family and that helped him stop being a douchebag. It doesn’t excuse the harm Richards caused, of course. But it does illuminate how people who are unkind act out in racist or homophobic or sexist ways because have huuuuge underlying issues. Are you listening, Alec Baldwin? [TIME via Gossip Cop]
Earlier this week, we fell in love with 12-year-old badass Vanessa Van Dyke (and her supportive momma!) for not letting her private school enforce racist beauty standards on her hair. The Orlando, Florida, student complained about bullying from students over her Afro and school administrators responded by demanding that Vanessa straighten or cut her Black hair or face expulsion. The school’s dress code said hair must be a natural color and not be a “distraction,” but they only said Vanessa’s ‘fro was a distraction after she complained about the bullying. Fuck you, Faith Christian Academy! In honor of Vanessa Van Dyke, EBONY.com has declared today, November 27th, #NationalAfroDay. Women and men rocking natural hair are invited to submit their photos to Ebony, where they will be posted on a special “We Are Hair For Vanessa Van Dyke” Facebook page. Show Vanessa Van Dyke some love for staying true to herself in the face of bullshit. [EBONY.com, Facebook.com: We Are Hair For Vanessa Van Dyke]