Racism I Found Today: Non-Black Version of “The Talk”

I’m late hearing about this terrible and blatantly racist article.  It’s written as a response to recent articles about “the talk” that black parents have with their kids, especially Black Boys, in light of the Trayvon Martin murder.  Clutch summed it up very well…

“National Review’s John Derbyshire says there is a talk that non-black Americans have with their children about race too. Derbyshire wrote about this in his post The Talk: Non-Black Version where he describes the racist views that he has instilled in his own children.

The outrageous content of his blog has many calling for him to be fired.

Here are 9 points he shares that every White parent should tell their children:

  • Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally.
  • Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.
  • If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date (neglect of that one got me the closest I have ever gotten to death by gunshot).
  • Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks.
  • If you are at some public event at which the number of blacks suddenly swells, leave as quickly as possible.
  • Do not settle in a district or municipality run by black politicians.
  • Before voting for a black politician, scrutinize his/her character much more carefully than you would a white.
  • Do not act the Good Samaritan to blacks in apparent distress, e.g., on the highway.
  • If accosted by a strange black in the street, smile and say something polite but keep moving.”

In my opinion, the most horrible point he makes in the article is…

(11) The mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites. The least intelligent ten percent of whites have IQs below 81; forty percent of blacks have IQs that low. Only one black in six is more intelligent than the average white; five whites out of six are more intelligent than the average black. These differences show in every test of general cognitive ability that anyone, of any race or nationality, has yet been able to devise. They are reflected in countless everyday situations. “Life is an IQ test.”

It’s ridiculous.   To talk about IQs in this way makes him sound like a 1920s eugenicist.  It’s Asinine.  Big word for a black person. Yeah, I know.  If I was crazy enough to really entertain some hard facts and numbers from this writer, they would have tp come paired with empirical research on the impact of institutional racism, failing schools, low expectations, etc.  He states this point like it’s a fact.  For the link “in every test” he links to his own website like he is a scholar on the subject.    The URL has Opinion in the string (http://www.johnderbyshire.com/Opinions/HumanSciences/upennlaw.html#gaps) because it’s just that.  His personal racist opinion.  No one should take this writer seriously.

Anyway, this is the most racist thing I’ve seen…today.

Note: “Derbyshire’s editor at the conservative publication National ReviewRich Lowry, described the piece as “appalling.”[17] On April 7, Lowry announced that Derbyshire had been dismissed from National Review: “We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways.”[18]“ - source

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I kinda agree with Ann Coulter: Blacks should join the NRA

There is a thing I love to use.  It’s called reverse psychology.

“Reverse psychology is often used on children due to their high tendency to respond with reactance, a desire to restore threatened freedom of action. Some parents feel that the best strategy is sometimes “reverse psychology”: telling children to stay in the house when you really want them to choose to go outside and play’.” – Wikipedia

Now let start by saying that I haven’t had much to say about the murder of Trayvon Martin.  People have asked me to blog about it and I’ve said no.  I really think that this tragedy is not going to end well at all.  I think that due to the Stand Your Ground law in Florida that George Zimmerman has a good chance of getting off Scott free.  That really disturbs me.  So much so that I really haven’t wanted to deal with the fact that the whole situation screams Pre-Civil Right era America.  An America that I can’t stand.

For me, the solution is not simply justice for Trayvon and his family.  The answer is that this law and others like it are changed so that they can’t be used as a defense for anyone (regardless of color or creed) who shoots and kills an unarmed person.  Justice in this situation not going to resolve institutionalized racism in America, so I’m not looking for that.  Yes, there was profiling…but our legal system makes that hard to prove without someone shouting “I’ll kill you, N-word” before they shoot into a crowd of witnesses.

That brings me to what I “kinda” agree with Ann Coulter on. Laws like Stand Your Ground should be repealed and I think that I know how that can happen.   Black people may have to model the behavior that we want to see stopped.

In a recent interview on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News program, Coulter said that, in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, African-Americans should begin arming themselves.  Here’s the full context of the conversation:

Coulter: We are going to have a trial, but I was just making the point that if what [MSNBC] is claiming happened — that George Zimmerman stalked this young black child just because he was black, shot him dead in cold blood — if that’s the case, well, the reaction isn’t the conclusion they’re coming to on the left which is oh, we need more gun control. Gun control laws have been used historically, they were — they were to keep guns out of the hands of blacks and it was the Republican Party and the NRA that has always supported arming blacks in order to protect themselves from the democratic Ku Klux Klan.

O’Reilly: All right so what you’re saying is if MSNBC and NBC News’s hypothesis is true that this was a racially biased driven murder, that all African-Americans should take that as a warning sign and arm themselves against that happening to them, therefore, they should support the NRA. They should support the law that gives, allows you to fight back if threatened, and they should arm themselves. That’s what you’re saying?

Coulter: Yes.
Source

Here’s what I think: Black people should educate themselves about gun ownership and join the NRA.  I’m not saying that African Americans should buy a gun and arm themselves.  You can if you want to and you are eligible in your state, of course, but really I’m against gun ownership in most cases.  However, I do think that the simple act of thousands of African Americans joining the National Rifle Association would alarm a LOT of people.  It would give the impression that Blacks are arming themselves in mass.  I think that the ripple effect would be more strict gun laws across the country.  Thus, laws like Stand Your Ground would not be acceptable because a Black guy who would normally be locked up for shooting someone could go free.  Now, you know we can’t have that America.  We’re just about to privatize the prisons and we don’t want criminals going free, right.

I’m not really serious, but you know I’m right.  If you know anything about the Black Pathers and their use of guns, you know I’m right.  They openly displayed shotguns and encouraged members to carry weapons to protect themselves.  They were pioneers in the pro-gun movement.  You think that didn’t have anything to do with their demise?

“Opposition to gun control was what drove the black militants to visit the California capitol with loaded weapons in hand. The Black Panther Party had been formed six months earlier, in Oakland, by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. Like many young African Americans, Newton and Seale were frustrated with the failed promise of the civil-rights movement. Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were legal landmarks, but they had yet to deliver equal opportunity. In Newton and Seale’s view, the only tangible outcome of the civil-rights movement had been more violence and oppression, much of it committed by the very entity meant to protect and serve the public: the police.

Inspired by the teachings of Malcolm X, Newton and Seale decided to fight back. Before he was assassinated in 1965, Malcolm X had preached against Martin Luther King Jr.’s brand of nonviolent resistance. Because the government was “either unable or unwilling to protect the lives and property” of blacks, he said, they had to defend themselves “by whatever means necessary.” Malcolm X illustrated the idea for Ebony magazine by posing for photographs in suit and tie, peering out a window with an M-1 carbine semiautomatic in hand. Malcolm X and the Panthers described their right to use guns in self-defense in constitutional terms. “Article number two of the constitutional amendments,” Malcolm X argued, “provides you and me the right to own a rifle or a shotgun.”

Guns became central to the Panthers’ identity, as they taught their early recruits that “the gun is the only thing that will free us—gain us our liberation.” They bought some of their first guns with earnings from selling copies of Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book to students at the University of California at Berkeley. In time, the Panther arsenal included machine guns; an assortment of rifles, handguns, explosives, and grenade launchers; and “boxes and boxes of ammunition,” recalled Elaine Brown, one of the party’s first female members, in her 1992 memoir. Some of this matériel came from the federal government: one member claimed he had connections at Camp Pendleton, in Southern California, who would sell the Panthers anything for the right price. One Panther bragged that, if they wanted, they could have bought an M48 tank and driven it right up the freeway. – Article in The Atlantic | Adam Winkler

Am I kidding?  I’m not totally serious, but you see my point.  Sometimes humor is good, because you have to laugh to keep from crying.  Sometime you have to show people their actions by modeling them back before they truly see how much they are in error.

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Aw Pell Yes: Obama Slow Jams the News with Jimmy Fallon

I love this.  Critics have been nothing but critical of President Obama from day one, but they can’t stop him from having some fun. He has charisma and a personality (something one candidate in the Republican field can’t seem to find or make up his mind about). Take notes people. It’s called like-ability.

“I’m President Barack Obama, and I, too, would like to Slow Jam the News,” said Obama.  Good Job, Mr. President. Kudos to the Roots and Jimmy Fallon as well!!!

This video will get millions of views and make people aware of what is going on with student loan funding, Pell grants and the potential rise in interest rates.  Many of the viewers will be young people who don’t follow politics.  They will be able to easily understand why this is a pocket-book issue of them and how it impacts their future.  Obama needs to see huge youth vote numbers to win in November.  I believe this was a smart move for him.

If it’s ok for Santorum to take news crews with him on a hunting trip and Gingrich to talk about building a colony on the moon, I really dare crazy Right wing folks to have a problem with Barack Obama using some humor to get a serious point across to young people.

If you don’t get it, you may not be part of the intended audience.

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“Think Like a Man…”: Are you shocked at the success of this movie?

IF you are shocked at the success of “Think Like a Man“, I have one word for you.  “Boomerang“.

1992 was the year and Boomerang was THE movie.  I love that movie.  I wish they would get the band back together and make a sequel!  Someone please tell Reginald Hudlin that there is money in the air.  And tell Eddie Murphy too…his last few movies have been terrible to so-so.

Wikipedia: Released in the United States on July 1, 1992, Boomerang received mixed reviews from film critics. Nevertheless, the film was a commercial success, ranking as the 18th highest grossing film in North America that year. Boomerang earned over $131 million worldwide during its theatrical run.

There hasn’t been a black relationship movie with that kind of star power behind it in a minute.  Hallie Berry, Eddie Murphy, Robin Givens, Martin Lawrence, Eartha Kitt…wow.  If you can think of another movie with a majority black cast that can compare, please comment below.

In terms of talent, I’m comparing the 2 casts and overall star power moment in time to moment in time.  The cast of “Boomerang” went on to do a lot of great acting and many were young and full of potential at the time.  I don’t think this is a total apples to apples comparison talent and acting wise.  That being said, I can see many parallels.

The other star power involved is that of Steve Harvey.  Harvey is said to have an audience of about 6 million listeners in more than 60 markets.  With that following and Oprah’s blessing of the book this movie is based on…I’m not surprised that the movie reached #1 and made 33 million.

Sidenote: Yes, yes, I know who Tyler Perry is, but I don’t put his movies in the same category.  Not taking anything away from his success, I think of him as a phenomenal businessman who is very focused on black audiences.  I don’t think he’s trying to put out mainstream movies for mainstream success.   He’s doing what has worked for him for years, just on a huge scale due to his success.

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Couple Thoughts from Your Girl

I haven’t been writing as much as I should.  I’m going to try to correct that in the new year.  Anywhoo, a lot is going on these days, so I’m going to start posting some random thoughts and I’m sure expound on some of these later.

1.  Why does it always take so long for organizations to recognize that their employees are pedophiles?  Priests, football coaches, teachers, etc can all be seen with young boys and young women in compromised ways but yet no one sees or tells until the person is dead or more than 50 years old?

2. Herman Cain never had a chance.  Really.  If America is shocked by the turn of events that lead to him leaving the race, then our school systems really are failing us.

3. There was an uproar from women’s orgs and birth control supporters about the sale of Plan B contraceptives to teens being blocked.  I need NOW, Planned Parenthood and all the other orgs that spoke out to be just as vocal about STDs like AIDS.  Get on the bandwagon for a cure people.  Sure, a teen could get pregnant and need Plan B or opt for an abortion, but there is not medical treatment or pill to get rid of HIV, HPV, etc.  The issues are more complex than just birth control.

4. Newt Gingrich can’t be president of the United States because…

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Missy Ann Coulter Allegedly Owns Slaves

I’m not surprised that Ann Coulter said “our blacks are so much better than their blacks” when she  appeared on Sean Hannity’s show on Monday (video below).  I’m not shocked by the uproar that has ensued.    She didn’t back down from her comments when HLN’s Joy Behar asked her about it on Tuesday. I’m not shocked by that either.  Ann Coulter is a straight up, tell you to your face BIGOT.  She’s been that way for years.  She’s been saying the same type of racist garbage for years.  The shock is that..

A. People are shocked by her most recent comments in light of what she’s said in the past.

B. Networks like Fox and HLN still give this bigot a podium.

When I heard her comments from the Fox broadcast I wanted to say, “Oh, so Missy Ann is a pundit now?!?!”.  Really?  Do you own blacks, Ann?  How many Negroes do you own?  How long have you been the mistress of the plantation?

Damn.

Dear African-American Republicans, You need to take off the watermelon suits and tap dancing shoes and listen to what the party really thinks about us.  Yes, US.  Don’t act like you’re special because you get to live in the house and master thinks you’re smart…for a negro.  Yes, that’s right.  Not as smart as ole masta, but smarter than those Democratic field coons.

Oh, you don’t think that is what is actually being said?  Well, then I think the Republicans surely “own” the right blacks for the job.  So many of America’s politicians are “owned” by corporations and special interests that I guess you guys would say “At least we got some Good white folks.”.

Yall betta run on.  I hear Missy Ann uh calling.

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Black vs. Mormon: Which one is more likely to get the RNC Nomination?

I’m being lazy and asking you guys some questions this week. :)

So, Herman Cain.  Really?  This guy is a joke right.  The Republicans are not really going to run this guy.  To me, he’s just as bad as Michelle B., the male and African-American version.  Are their strategists thinking that if you run 2 black people you’ll split the black vote or that color will not be a factor for minority voters and the issues will take center stage?  What is the strategy?  The fact that he’s getting so much air time for that 9-9-9 Sims economic plan is amazing.  Slow news cycle, maybe?  Come on, primary season.

I don’t see a Mormon getting the nod if the Evangelical Right has anything to say about it.  Um, I was raised Baptist and if Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t thought to have the same religious beliefs, you know that Mormonism is going to be seen as a cult, basically.

So, a black guy and a white Mormon guy are at the top of the running.  Which one do you think has the best chance of getting the RNC nomination (if they both have any standing by next year)?  List some pros and cons if you have any or are conflicted with your choice.

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Should African Americans be More Supportive of Occupy Wall Street?

I’d like to know what my readers think about this.  Should Black People be drawn to this movement?  Should we consider Black unemployment rates and how many Blacks were affected by the housing crisis (Ponzi Scheme/Gambling in my opinion.) as motivation?  Here are a few recent takes on it.

More African Americans Encouraged to Join Occupy Movement – Washington Informer

Occupy protesters eye diversity as movement grows – Boston Globe

Occupy Wall Street Is About African-Americans, Too – News One

What do you think?

Bonus Question: Is it just me or does the lack of Tea Party involvement or even a thumbs-up or two in the direction of the protesters make it seem even more as if they are the Party of the Rich and of Tax Loopholes?  Oh my bad “Job Creators”.   LOL!  Don’t you love it when people try to reclaim and rename what is and has always been.  No no, not slave owners…”Antebellum Job Creators”.  Sad.

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No Question: This Nivea ad is racially insensitive (update: they apologized)

The black blogs are a buzz about this ad.

Um…so a black man’s uncivilized self = Questlove.  AKA. a guy with a big afro and facial hair?  Really, Nivea?  I read about this on Tumblr and was cracking up at people noting that the lotion company’s name sounds like the name of an Atlanta stripper.  LOL

Apparently, Questlove thought that was some bulls*** and took to Facebook and Twitter about it.

What do you guys think? 

(I’m going to go looking for a Caucasian version with a guy with long shaggy hair and a beard.  Wish me luck.)

UPDATE: Nivea agrees with me.

The company apologized on Facebook: “Thank you for caring enough to give us your feedback about the recent “Re-civilized” NIVEA FOR MEN ad. This ad was inappropriate and offensive. It was never our intention to offend anyone, and for this we are deeply sorry. This ad will never be used again. Diversity and equal opportunity are crucial values of our company.” (source: Clutch/MTV)

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“The Help”: Is it just me or…

…are black people not feeling this movie trailer?  I’ve witnessed a very conflicted reaction to the trailer of the new movie “The Help” recently, in a movie theater that was filled with black folk.  Conflicted is the best way I can describe the mix of disgust and curiosity.  Am I surprised? No. It’s 2011, but the subject matter and images still sting.  Nothing like a dark-skinned black woman serving white folks in a maids uniform…in a period movie…set in the deep south.  Sigh.  Especially when it centers around a classic white savior character.  Since it takes place during the Civil Rights era, I think the author could have done a better job of developing the black lead character.  However, would Hollywood even make such a movie if it didn’t have a white lead?  I don’t know.

Unlike a lot of people I know, I read the book last year.  I can see how the movie trailer is off-putting without the book as reference.  I had some problems with the book, but overall I thought it was a decent read given the full context of who wrote it and the back story presented.  At times, reading it was heart wrenching for me as a black woman whose family is from Mississippi (mom’s side) and who’s great-grandmother was a maid for several white families.  Parts of the story were plain old scary, as racism sometimes is.

I don’t know for sure how this movie is going to be received by the black community.  I think Michele Wallace’s recent review in Essence is dead on (if they post it to the site, I’ll link to it).  In my opinion, this is not going to be a celebrated movie (like “The Color Purple”), but I’m glad that great actresses like Viola Davis and Cicely Tyson are taking on the roles in this film so that they are played with dignity.

One more point that doesn’t help: A Maid Sees Herself in a Novel, and Objects – Yep, a black maid, named Ablene, that worked for Kathryn Stockett’s older brother is suing her.  Dag! At least name the main black character in your book something other than your brother’s REAL, black maid’s name.  Come on!  To add insult, the woman says that part of the storyline was taken from her life.

NY Times | “Ablene Cooper, a 60-year-old woman who has long worked as a maid here, has filed a lawsuit against Kathryn Stockett, the author of the best-selling novel “The Help,” about black maids working for white families in Jackson in the 1960s.

In the complaint, Ms. Cooper argues that one of the book’s principal characters, Aibileen Clark, is an unpermitted appropriation of her name and image, which she finds emotionally distressing.

It is more complicated than that. For the past dozen years, Ms. Cooper has worked for Ms. Stockett’s older brother, Robert, and sister-in-law, Carroll, and still does.

“Ain’t too many Ablenes,” Ms. Cooper said at a law office after a day’s work at the Stocketts, for whom she has helped raise two children. Ms. Cooper also said that she had their support in her legal quest.

“What she did, they said it was wrong,” Ms. Cooper said of the Stocketts, members of a prominent Jackson family. “They came to me and said, ‘Ms. Aibee, we love you, we support you,’ and they told me to do what I got to do.””

Quote from Viola Davis in the August issue of Essence magazine:

”Of course I had trepidations. Why do I have to play the mammy? But what do you do as an actor if one of the most multifaceted and rich roles you’ve ever been given is a maid in 1962 Mississippi? Do you not take the role because you feel like in some ways it’s not a good message to send to Black people? No. The message is the quality of the work. That is the greater message… As Black women, we’re always given these seemingly devastating experiences – experiences that could absolutely break us. But what the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly. What we do as Black women is take the worst situations and create from that point.”

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