Monthly Archives: July 2008

Aids in Black America: Fed Gov is not doing enough

Washington Post Full Article – In a 55-page report, the Black AIDS Institute argued that the disease should be viewed as a threat to the entire black population, and not just specific high-risk groups. Unlike in white Americans — and in the citizens of most industrialized nations — HIV in American blacks is increasingly transmitted heterosexually through “networks” where men especially have many sex partners at the same time, the report noted.

The report’s authors asserted that the black AIDS epidemic here is being overlooked as the United States is allocating unprecedented resources to fighting the disease in sub-Saharan Africa.

African Americans with HIV — at least 500,000 — are more numerous than in seven of the 15 “target countries” in the Bush administration’s global AIDS initiative, which has spent about $19 billion overseas in the past five years.  Bush is scheduled to sign a bill today that will extend the program and authorize the spending of $48 billion for the next five years. The target countries consist of 12 in Africa and three others: Guyana, Haiti and Vietnam.

The report noted that with 39 million people, “black America” would be the 35th most populous country, and the 28th richest, if it were a separate nation. Two percent of adult black Americans are infected, the government estimates, and only four countries outside Africa have a higher HIV prevalence. It would rank 16th in the world in the number of people living with HIV.

“The U.S. response to the epidemic in black America stands in sharp contrast to our response to the epidemic overseas,” said Phill Wilson, a longtime AIDS activist who is executive director of the Black AIDS Institute.

He added that his purpose in making the comparisons is not to criticize the global program but to urge that more money and attention be directed to the domestic one.

But Kevin A. Fenton, the head of HIV/AIDS prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the argument that government prevention efforts are not tailored to the black epidemic is mistaken. “CDC prevention efforts have really tried to follow the epidemic,” he said. Continue reading


Filed under activism, african american, black, black men, black women, d.c., global, government, health, media, news, politics, society, washington dc, women

Reverse Racism?: White Comics on joking about Obama

MAUREEN DOWD did a wonderful piece recently for the NY Times about the challenge some white comedians and comic writers are facing when coming up with jokes and jabs about Barack Obama.  I was wondering just what monologue writers were going to do myself.  With so many of the people behind the pens being white and the public being well aware of that, it’s no surprise that there is increased sensitivity.  Who want’s to be labeled a racist?  Who hasn’t learned from the infamous New Yorker cover that satire is in the eye of the beholder?

I have a suggestion.  Hire some black writers.  That will do away with the double standard.  Black people have been trashing each other through comedy routines for decades…but we do it in love.  I mean, we have limits too, of course.  However, we know what a fine line there is between meaningless mockery and comedy.

My favorite quotes from the article:

– “It seems like a President Obama would be harder to make fun of than these guys,” I said.

“Are you kidding me?” Stewart scoffed.

Then he and Colbert both said at the same time: “His dad was a goat-herder!”

– Many of the late-night comics and their writers — nearly all white — now admit to The New York Times’s Bill Carter that because of race and because there is nothing “buffoonish” about Obama — and because many in their audiences are intoxicated by him and resistant to seeing him skewered — he has not been flayed by the sort of ridicule that diminished Dukakis, Gore and Kerry.

“There’s a weird reverse racism going on,” Jimmy Kimmel said.

– On Tuesday, Andy Borowitz satirized on that subject. He said that Obama, sympathetic to comics’ attempts to find jokes to make about him, had put out a list of official ones, including this:

“A traveling salesman knocks on the door of a farmhouse, and much to his surprise, Barack Obama answers the door. The salesman says, ‘I was expecting the farmer’s daughter.’ Barack Obama replies, ‘She’s not here. The farm was foreclosed on because of subprime loans that are making a mockery of the American dream.’ ”


Filed under african american, black man, celebrity, change, media, news, obama, opinion, politics, racism, stereotype, television, white folks

McCain and Obama on Affirmative Action and Quotas

(CNN) — Both John McCain and Barack Obama say equal opportunity should not be based on quotas, but neither side has said how to reach equality without them.

Obama accused McCain on Sunday of flip-flopping on affirmative action after McCain said he supports a measure in Arizona that would dismantle race- and gender-based preference programs. Obama pointed to McCain’s past opposition to similar proposals, like one in Arizona in 1998 that McCain called “divisive.”

[Wait a min…Didn’t McCain oppose the King holiday in AZ????? Are his views a surprise to anyone??? Hello, Negro is not surprised]

But McCain didn’t say at the time that he opposed the measure.

In an interview broadcast Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” host George Stephanopoulos asked McCain if he supports a referendum on the ballot in Arizona “that would do away with affirmative action.” McCain said he backed the measure, which is described by supporters as something that will give “the people of Arizona the opportunity to end preferential treatment based on race, sex, ethnicity or national origin by state or local governments.”

McCain said he had not seen the details of the proposal, “but I’ve always opposed quotas.”

Obama on Sunday said equal opportunity can’t be achieved by quotas alone, but must also factor in other variables. Continue reading


Filed under african american, black, black man, civil rights, interracial, news, obama, opinion, politics, race, society

Single Black Men: Is marriage really for white people?

Watch this video and here what Brothers have to say about the matter (from CNN’s Special Reports area of the “Black in America” site.

FYI: They also posted this great article on one sista’s singleness


Filed under african american, black man, black men, black women, community, dating, history, interracial, love, race, relationships, women

Friday Question: Is Obama Addressing Black America’s Issues?

This article brings up a good question for our discussion this friday.

The Wilmington Journal

Beyond the need for the black family to be strengthened, and errant black fathers in struggling inner cities to help rear their children, has Sen. Barack Obama addressed other serious policy issues specific to the African-American community, or has he, as Rev. Jesse Jackson has suggested, engaged only in “talking down to blacks”?

The answer can be found on YouTube (, the popular Internet video site, where a four-part, “Obama w/Black Press” video of the Democratic presumptive presidential nominee speaking to publishers and reporters with the NC Black Publishers Association (NCBPA) three months ago can be found (go to to view).

Taped April 29 at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum Annex in Winston-Salem, NC by The Carolinian/Wilmington Journal newspapers before his crucial May 6 primary victory against then Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton, Obama, who was accompanied by renowned historian Dr. John Hope Franklin, delved head-on into critical issues such as affordable healthcare; civil rights enforcement and criminal justice; the importance of early childhood education; restructuring the Small Business Administration to help African-American, women-owned and other small enterprises; job opportunities, the mortgage meltdown; rising energy prices and more…Full Article

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Filed under african american, black, black man, community, media, news, obama, opinion, politics, race, youtube

Been Watching CNN’s Black in America?

What do you guys think so far of “Black in America“?  Are they telling you things you already know as an African American?  Do you think the content of the shows will help non-blacks have some insight into what it truly is to be “Black in America”?  Do you think the content is watered down, right on point, or TMI?

Are you like me and feel that the timing of this has a lot to do with getting people ready (warming them up) for a black president?

I’m looking forward to the “Black Woman & the Family” episode tonight @ 9pm.  How about you?


Filed under african american, black, black women, culture, history, news, opinion, race, stereotype, television, women

Whoopi says the N-word on the view, Hasselbeck cries

Jesse just had to say the n-word, didn’t he, dag. Anyway…In many ways, they are both right. It’s funny to me how black and white America sometimes assume they know the other side so very well.

Whoopi said…”No, no, I, I want you to. But what I need you to understand is the frustration that goes along when you say we live in the same world. It isn’t balanced. And we would like it to be. But you have to understand, you have to listen to the fact that we’re telling you, there are issues, there are huge problems that still affect us. And you’ve got to know this if you want to know us.”

Around that time Elisabeth started to cry and asked “how are we supposed to then move forward if we keep using terms that bring back that pain?” Um Liz…bring back the pain??? The pain is here all the time. From hair care products, to shows on NBC with no black charaters written as if we don’t exist except as background characters (yes…I know they’ve gotten a bit better), to “No Child Left Behind” programs in urban areas graduating black children without an education. It’s called institutional racism. In my opinion, as a white women, you can’t fully and totally possibly understand a black woman’s point of view on the subject, and no one really expects you to. Sigh…Click here for the whole transcript. In the end, Elizabeth missed the last point Whoopi was making that she needed to acknowledge what Whoopi was saying as her true and honest feelings instead of trying to get her to understand how wrong she feels the n-word is. She just kept talking…you have to listen to learn.

The problem in my eyes…the converstation is not one that can be entered in lightly. It has to be framed in understanding and mutual respect for points of view that will vastly differ. That is difficult…especially on network TV.

Note: Barbara Walters used the opportunity to promote Obama’s candidacy opining “Barack Obama and others…are trying to move forward.” Come on Barb…that’s all you have to say?!?! LOL


Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Question: Recession or Depression?

Today’s question:  Are we (ie the U.S of A) in a Recession or a Depression? From good ole Wikipedia…

“A recession may involve simultaneous declines in coincident measures of overall economic activity such as employment, investment, and corporate profits. Recessions may be associated with falling prices (deflation), or, alternatively, sharply rising prices (inflation) in a process known as stagflation. A severe or long recession is referred to as an economic depression. Although the distinction between a recession and a depression is not clearly defined, it is often said that a decline in GDP of more than 10% constitutes a depression.[1] A devastating breakdown of an economy (essentially, a severe depression, or hyperinflation, depending on the circumstances) is called economic collapse.”

“In economics, a depression is a term commonly used for a sustained downturn in the economy. It is more severe than a recession (which is seen as a normal downturn in the business cycle). Considered a rare but extreme form of recession, the start of a depression is characterized by unusual increases in unemployment, restriction of credit, shrinking output and investment, price deflation or hyperinflation, numerous bankruptcies, reduced amounts of trade and commerce, as well as violent currency devaluations. Unlike a recession, there is no official definition for a depression, even though some have been proposed. Generally it is marked by a substantial and sustained shortfall of the ability to purchase goods relative to the amount that could be produced given current resources and technology (potential output). One could say that while a recession refers to the economy “falling down,” a depression is a matter of “not being able to get up.””

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Filed under african american, business, change, community, global, money, news, opinion

WTF: Michelle as Angela Davis and Barack as Bin Laden

obama new yorker cover

Oh my, Oh my. Last week it was the “Rev” Jesse Jackson talking about cutting off Obama’s nuts. Now, the New Yorker’s July 21 cover art features Michelle looking like a Black Panther, with a huge gun and Angela Davis style Afro. Barack is outfited with an Al Qaeda-style outfit, match the portrait of Bin Laden on the wall next to them in what appears to be the oval office. They bump fists as the American flag burns in a fireplace.

“The intent of the cover is to satirize the vicious and racist attacks and rumors and misconceptions about the Obamas that have been floating around in the blogosphere and are reflected in public opinion polls,” Remnick says. “What we set out to do was to throw all these images together, which are all over the top and to shine a kind of harsh light on them, to satirize them. That’s part of what we do.”New Yorker editor in chief David Remnick for World News

And all I can say is WTF was the New Yorker thinking. I know the magazine business is not as good as it used to be. Maybe they needed sales and just said…f*** it. There is no such thing as bad publicity, right? Who gave this cover the green light? Did they not think the web would explode with condemnation? Did they not see the Vogue Magazine Lebron James cover?

Don’t they know that racism and stereotyping is something to be done in private, behind closed doors in America these days? This is the kind of blatant bigotry and propaganda that I haven’t seen in a while.

Sure, sure…I could see some satire somewhere in this mess…but I don’t want to. As much as I am the daughter of Black Revolutionaries and I appreciate turning stereotypes on their head…I’m not feeling this. I’m just not. The satire is NOT obvious here. Are they going to follow this up with a McCain cover with John as a ventriloquist’s dummy sitting of Pres. Bush’s lap??? Now that would be satire. I would get that joke. I agree with the Obama camp, it’s “tasteless and offensive“.

This is a case of bad journalism, bad business, and the exploitation of stereotypes and fear for the sake of selling magazines. This is not about “the story”. This is about being controversial=$$$

Other Coverage

The cover has already inspired the following online poll in a forum at the conservative online tabloid the WorldNetDaily: 59 percent of the small, unscientific sample of those taking the poll agree with the statement: “The image isn’t too far from the dangerous truth about the Obama family.”

“About one out of 10 Americans continue to believe that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, is a Muslim, after all.” – ABC News (New Yorker Editor David Remnick Talks to ABC News About Cover )

The New Yorker Cover: Satire or Stupidity?

Barry Blitt’s cover illustration of the Obamas wigs out the

Editorial: Offensive cartoon, important point

Obama deserves to be mad


Filed under african american, black, black man, blogs, government, internet, news, obama, opinion, politics, race, racism, stereotype

The root of all evil: Dollar Bill Poem

Keep it real, Dollar Bill.


Filed under african american, art, black, black history, black man, celebrity, culture, ecomonmic, hollywood, love, money, relationships, youtube