According to the Chicago Tribune, Jennifer Cramblett, who is white, is suing Midwest Sperm Bank for “wrongful birth and breach of warranty” because, she alleges, the sperm bank gave her African-American sperm instead of the white sperm she requested and thus she gave birth to a mixed race baby. Citing the “emotional and economic losses she has suffered,” Cramblett goes on to say her in suit that while she and her white female partner, Amanda Zinkon, love their daughter Payton “very much,” they live “each day with fears, anxieties and uncertainty about her future and Payton’s future.” Apparently, Cramblett and Zinkon live in a rather close-minded, very white town and raising a mixed race baby has been “stressful.” Additionally, the couple was also each raised in predominantly white communities with stereotypical attitudes about nonwhites, the lawsuit states, and didn’t meet any African-Americans until college. The lawsuit goes on, “Because of this background and upbringing, Jennifer acknowledges her limited cultural competency relative to African-Americans and steep learning curve, particularly in small, homogenous Uniontown, which she regards as too racially intolerant.” For example, Cramblett must take Payton to get her hair cut in an African-American neighborhood, “where she is obviously different in appearance, and not overtly welcome.” Keep reading »
The creators of the vegan food blog Thug Kitchen are white and excuse me but I’m completely unsurprised. The Washington Post is saying that it doesn’t matter, and Roxane Gay is bringing up the important point that it speaks volumes that a lot of people heard “thug” and immediately thought “black.” And I get that, and I agree.
But personally, when I first saw the blog, I saw someone writing in a voice that was intentionally “black”-sounding and putting the word “thug” on it. And I thought, I don’t know who this person is, I can’t tell from the way they write who they are or where they come from, but I sure hope that it’s a black individual, because otherwise this is an offensive faux-patois they’re using to be funny, and by so doing, they’re saying that black vernacular is funny. Keep reading »
A new Lifetime show, “Girlfriend Intervention,” invites a group of black women (or, as the show calls them, “sisters”) to make over a white woman (a “basic”) and help her find her inner “strong black woman.” Yes, this is an actual show! On TV! How this racist mess got past multiple executives and onto the air without even one of them questioning whether it’s obscenely problematic boggles the mind. Stand-up comedian Phoebe Robinson and her friend Jessica Williams from “The Daily Show” decided to replicate “Girlfriend Intervention” on real-life New York City streets, and the results are every bit as amazing as you think.
I think I may have had a small mental break down last week. I knew it was coming, I was all tight with emotion after some of the responses I received on an open letter I wrote to some New York school teachers who wore NYPD shirts to school on the first day of class– in a largely minority school. When I skimmed through the comments section, I noted an almost sheer disregard for the humanity of the men I referred to in the piece who were murdered by police in the streets. Men like Eric Garner, Michael Brown and John Crawford, whose unfair deaths justify the movement against police brutality. A movement intended to end discriminatory judicial practices. One that most certainly should not be opposed by teachers of minority students.
To many White readers, the issue was simple: the NYPD deserved support from teachers, even if they mess up a couple of times. After all, not “all cops are bad” and most of these guys were doing something wrong anyway. Keep reading »
Well, this is all sorts of fucked up. “Django Unchained” actress Daniele Watts, who is Black, claims she was “handcuffed and detained” by Los Angeles police last week, after she was approached and asked to show ID because she was kissing her husband, who is white, in public. Watts posted the following on her Facebook page:
Today I was handcuffed and detained by 2 police officers from the Studio City Police Department after refusing to agree that I had done something wrong by showing affection, fully clothed, in a public place.
When the officer arrived, I was standing on the sidewalk by a tree. I was talking to my father on my cell phone. I knew that I had done nothing wrong, that I wasn’t harming anyone, so I walked away.
A few minutes later, I was still talking to my dad when 2 different police officers accosted me and forced me into handcuffs.
Keep reading »
Some years ago, a young man that I was casually dating invited me to a birthday party with some of his friends who all moved to New York City, from Florida, to go to college. It was a scenario I had long grown accustomed to: I was the only Black girl amongst a group of non-minority people, laughing, drinking and talking.
Then this statement came out of nowhere and immediately wiped the smile from my face: “The best way to keep America safe is to just deport all of the Muslims,” a young White boy said in between sips of a beer.
It pierced my ears, momentarily paralyzing me. My eyes darted towards my friend to gauge his reaction to the words that pierced the air like an arrow launched from a bow, striking me in my chest. He seemed completely unmoved.
“Well, we don’t have to get rid of all of them, just the terrorists really,” he responded plainly.
We never spoke after that day. Keep reading »