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]
Elle France beauty editor Jeanne Deroo has learned the hard way that, nope, dressing up in blackface to “honor” your favorite musician, Solange Knowles, isn’t okay. Keep reading »
Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, Florida, has forced 12-year-old Vanessa Van Dyke, a Black student who rocks a mane of natural hair, to either straighten her hair or cut it off — or be expelled.
The school claims her hairstyle is in violation of the school dress code, which says, “Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction.” It gives examples of inappropriate hair such as rat tails, mohawks and shaved designs. The “distraction” is apparently Vanessa’s complaint to grownups at the school that she was been teased over her hair. Keep reading »
One of the most intriguing characters on “Scandal” is First Lady Mellie Grant. She’s not just a WASP sent from Central Casting, or a put-upon wife of a philanderer. Mellie gave up her Yale and Harvard-bred ambitions for the full-time job of photo ops and glad-handing as the First Lady. Just like Lucy Ricardo always wanted husband Ricky to just give her one opportunity to be in a show, Mellie Grant wants to influence policy and make big moves wherever she can. At every turn, she is stopped, often angrily, by her husband the President and his apoplectic Chief Of Staff. Both men remind her, every episode it seems, that the First Lady is supposed to be pretty sidekick, not a policy wonk. In one episode, Mellie is witheringly informed her job is to be “ornamental.”
Watching Mellie Grant on “Scandal” has made me look at Michelle Obama differently for sure. It’s not hard to imagine she, too, feels a bit trapped in a golden cage. We don’t exactly know whether Michelle Obama feels like her intellect is being wasted, but we do know from Jodi Kantor’s book, The Obamas, a portrait of the Obama marriage, that Barack’s high-level staff has bristled in the past at Michelle’s involvement. But also we know that Michelle dedicated her first year as First Lady to acclimating her two children to their new home and school and has spent many years since promoting healthy eating and exercise. All this has been summed up by Michelle Cottle, a Daily Beast scribe in a piece for Politico Magazine, as a feminist failure. Keep reading »
I am a black woman and my best friend is a gay man. He came out to me the summer between our senior year of high school and our freshman year of college.
“I really need to tell you something,” he began, while driving us home from our summer job at the local pool. I didn’t know what to expect — an admission of love, maybe? That would be awkward.
He pulled the car over, then stared deeply into my eyes and said, “I’m gay.”
I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Oh, that’s cool with me,” I replied.
He was excited that we would remain friends and was especially happy to have someone to go out and “meet boys” with. Together we frequented New York City’s gay clubs and bars, more often than the straight ones. Splash, Therapy or Barracuda, but The Ritz was a mutual favorite. It was a two-floor bar with a huge dance floor, usually jam packed with sweaty, shirtless men by 1 a.m. The environment offered us both freedoms: I could be as black as I wanted: dance to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” twerk it, shake it and break it (while being applauded), and he could be as gay as he wanted. Keep reading »
The first thing I did after watching this video was hit up Google with the question, “is holland racist.” Perhaps not the best-formed inquiry, as far as reading comprehension goes, but a valid question nonetheless. It does, indeed, seem that the Netherlands might have a history of being a little racist, considering hundreds just recently staged a march as a show of support for Black Pete, the charmingly named “Christmas sidekick” of good old significantly less racist Saint Nick. Still, this fails to excuse (along with every other racist, ever) “Holland’s Got Talent” judge and grown man wearing a T-shirt with a leather-sleeved blazer Gordon Heuckeroth, who spewed some unmistakably racist comments in the direction of a Chinese contestant during (what I presume is) this week’s episode. Keep reading »
I see where you were going with this, Edinburgh University Law Society students. Dressing up like a pirate is fun. Alas, your choice of pirate was not the “Arrgh, matey, ye scurvy seawags!” type [Hahahaha, what? Scurvy seawags! -- Amelia] and instead a more true-to-life Somali pirate.
Alas, dressing in blackface is still not okay. Keep reading »
Jay Z is doing everything he can to hold onto his potentially highly lucrative collaboration with Barney’s, even after the hoity-toity department store came under fire for two racial profiling incidents in the last month. Many has encouraged Jay Z to bow out of the deal, including Vogue‘s Andre Leon Talley, who told The New York Times, “Any African-American, male or female, with any consciousness of what has happened would not go into Barneys right now … for the simplicity of making a broad statement I would pull out.” But Jay isn’t budging. Instead, he and Barney’s announced that 100 percent of the proceeds from the BNY SCC collection will go to the rapper’s Shawn Carter Foundation, instead of the original 25 percent. Also, on launch day, an additional 10 percent of the proceeds store-wide will also be donated. And, to directly address the store’s terrible recent history of racially profiling and detaining Black youths who the store assumes can’t pay for their high-end goods, Jay will sit on a special committee to “deal” with the issue. Wrote Jay on his website:
While I await the findings of the Attorney General’s office, I have agreed to move forward with the launch of BNY SCC collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling. I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue. The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem. I will not leave the outcome to others. I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on.
Keep reading »