Monthly Archives: February 2010

Walmart Chooses “Gangsta” Rap and Strippers Over Patriots for Black History Month

I really, really wanted to be surprised by this story, but I know better. Walmart is about business, the business of selling stuff.  They want $$.  I think this is a case of capitalism…not racism.  Let’s be honest, if you wanted to promote a product that would appeal to the largest number of Black people would you choose “Chappelle’s Show — Season 2 Uncensored” or For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots,” a four-hour documentary?  I’m going with Chappelle.  I’m not saying that Black folk aren’t interested in this type of documentary.  I saw it on TV last week on PBS and it was great.  However, I’m not interested in buying it.  I’m a Netflix person anyway, so maybe I shouldn’t comment.

I have more of a problem the choice of subject matter they are associating with Black History Month in their advertising [The Players's Club?].  Then again, WE let companies sell us everything from DVDs to cars to chicken nuggets when their theme is Black History.  Sigh.

SunTimes.com: Vietnam veteran Ronald Price considers himself snubbed by Wal-Mart.Wal-Mart Stores Inc. rejected for inclusion in its Black History Month displays “For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots,” a four-hour documentary in which a Who’s Who of Hollywood is enlisted to document the history of blacks in the military.

What did make it to the prominent displays at the world’s largest retailer? “Thug Angel — Tupac Shakur,” a documentary of the slain rapper; the strip club-set flick “The Players Club,” and Dave Chappelle’s sketch comedy series “Chappelle’s Show — Season 2 Uncensored” were among 50 titles approved for the special promotion in entertainment sections.

“I think it was a slap in our face, as far as being war veterans,” said Price, an African-American South Holland resident. “I would never buy anything out of Wal-Mart anymore.” [Full Article]

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Happy Birthday, Negro

I turned 33 years old yesterday and I want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes!

The funniest thing I was told yesterday was “You know that’s how old Jesus was when he died. That means something great is going to happen to you!” LOL! Leave it to Black folk to connect the death of Christ to your birthday. Well, it’s appropriate because I feel really really blessed. It was a great B-Day!

- Eb aka Sista

PS: I watched myself on Black Enterprise’s “Our World” [Black History Month edition] this morning. Thanks to Ed Gordon, my fellow panelists, and everyone who made that happen. Blessings!

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Rep. Trent Franks: African-Americans were better off under slavery

Oh Wow.  RACIST!!   I want to thank Think Progress for posting this.  This is some straight BS!  If you are a black person living in AZ you need to campaign really, really hard to get this man out of office.  Here’s the info:

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) — one of the most conservative member of Congress, according to a new National Journal ranking — decried the strained state of political discourse in an interview today with blogger-activist Mike Stark. While defending hate radio host Rush Limbaugh, Franks said bipartisanship and “true tolerance” is about “being halfway decent to each other in spite of the differences.” But when the conversation turned to abortion, Franks made a clearly indecent comment, claiming that African-Americans were probably better off under slavery than they are today:

FRANK: In this country, we had slavery for God knows how long. And now we look back on it and we say “How brave were they? What was the matter with them? You know, I can’t believe, you know, four million slaves. This is incredible.” And we’re right, we’re right. We should look back on that with criticism. It is a crushing mark on America’s soul. And yet today, half of all black children are aborted. Half of all black children are aborted. Far more of the African-American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by policies of slavery. And I think, What does it take to get us to wake up?

What?  Huh?  Don’t believe me?  Watch it (beginning 6:20):

Franks continued by saying, “[S]ometimes we get angry and say things that we shouldn’t say, and I apologize…[for saying things] that are intemperate. But I don’t want to hide from the truth.”

Truth? Readers, is this the truth? AZ, is this the truth that you want your Representatives to believe in?

Update: Salon.com has picked up the story.  They report this: Abortion-rights opponents like to compare abortion and slavery; the Dred Scott vs. Sandford case is often seen on the right as the 19th century equivalent of Roe v. Wade. Still, the comments caught the attention of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“To compare the horrors and inhumane treatment of millions of African Americans during slavery as a better way of life for African Americans today is beyond repulsive,” said Stephanie Young, a DCCC spokeswoman. “In 2010, during the 2nd year of our first African American president, it is astonishing that a thought such as this would come to mind, let alone be shared. The next time Congressman Franks wants to make assumptions about what policies are ‘best’ for the African American community, he should keep them to himself.” [Full Article]

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Noose Found on UC San Diego Campus as Racial Tentions Continue

You know it’s a racial incident when a noose is found.  A noose.  That lasting symbol of white supremacy.   When someone puts a noose up…”them’s fighting words”.

According to Huffington Post, last night, a noose was found hanging on a light in the campus library, according to the UC Regents (Live)blog. A female student admitted to placing the noose there today. This incident comes after the “Compton Cookout” Black History Month drama that we’ve been following here on Hello, Negro.  Photo of the noose comes from http://ucregentlive.wordpress.com

“This is truly a dark day in the history of this university,” Chancellor Marye Anne Fox told students gathered along Library Walk. “It’s abhorrent and untenable.”

I say, America, hate is on your doorstep.  You need to let it in and have a conversation about what is and is  not to be tolerated in YOUR house.  To the students at UC San Diego, I suggest that you band together.  Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern…an injustice to one is an injustice to all and the eyes of the nation are upon you.  Sometimes the young have to be the example of and change and evolution of thought for the old, for the establishment.

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Surprised That I Love Fonzworth Bentley’s Fireside Chat

I’m so surprised that I really, really love Fonzworth Bentley’s Fireside Chat.  This brother has “some sense” as my grandma would say.  He is underestimated.  He is also signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music.  His debut album, Cool Outrageous Lovers of Uniquely Raw Style or C.O.L.O.U.R.S. was slated to drop in 2008, but was delayed.  Wonder why they are sleeping on this Morehouse alum.

Oh the apologies that he gave out need to be given out so so so so bad.  I know all those artists were like, “Yes!  Finally!”.  Come on hip hop A&R people.  Yall got to stop giving deals to people who sound like they read and spell on a 3rd grade level.

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Why I Don’t Like Today’s Article in the Washington Post Express on Mike Epps

I read the Washington Post Express a lot in the mornings.  It’s got just the right mix of pithy entertainment and actual journalism.  Well, today I was in for a real Post-Racial treat.

I don’t know who you are, Roxana Hadadi, but I’ve got to tell you that I think your article to day on Mike Epps was terrible and had some serious problems.  Here’s what I didn’t like:

  • You mention a story where 2 movie reviewers at a screening for “Resident Evil: Extinction” think that Omar Epps is the movie instead of Mike.  That played into the “All black people look alike” myth.  You note that they are cousins.  That’s no excuse.  They look Nothing alike.  Nothing.  Omar doesn’t even do comedy.You even say, “…Epps is inevitably the guy you immediately laugh at– even though you may first mistake him for his more dramatic relative”.  Huh?  I’m sorry, no one is mixing those two brothers up.
  • The title of this article “Familiar Stranger” made me think of “stranger danger”.  So is this black man scary, like a stranger?
  • You say that he takes stereotypes about the “funny brother” and “drop-kicks them back in your face, making them absurdly believable wile also hysterically humorous”.  Basically your saying that he does the stereotype so well that it’s hysterical.  How can you flip something but then end up being the embodiment of it?
  • You move on to Epps’s role in “The Hangover”: “Oh, and those comments on roofies — “Just the other day, me and my boy was wondering why they even call them roofies. … Why not floories, right? Cuz when you take them, you’re more likely to end up on the floor than the roof” – may be horribly inappropriate, but they’re also guiltily funny. They’re not as divisive or controversial as the kind of stuff fellow comedians-turned-actors Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle have said, but in a way, Epps — who performs Saturday at DAR Constitution Hall — has a goofy, universal appeal that rivals Rock’s and Chappelle’s natural charisma.”

    First of all, are you saying that it’s not controversial to make fun of roofies?  It’s the damn date rape drug!  Then you call two very intellectual Black comedians “divisive”.  I really, really would love to hear your explanation for the use of that word.  What do you find divisive about Rock and Chappelle.  Perhaps their jokes about race and race relations?  Divisive is a whole lot of things in this “Post-Racial” world, huh?  Question: Would you call Richard Pryor divisive as well?  You say Epps has a universal appeal, but I think Rock and Chappelle are even more universal in their appeal.  Of course all of this is just my opinion.  Roxanna, you are entitled to yours as well, I just think you’re off.Also you mention Epps’s joke about getting money from white friends and never having to pay it back.  Isn’t that a divisive joke?

I dont’ understand where you were going with this article, Roxana. It seems a bit, well…divisive.

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Kudos to Students Who Walked Out of the UC San Diego “Teach-in”

I am proud of students who took action today at UC San Diego.  I know the school had very good intentions, but a “teach-in” on racial tolerance was likely seen as a politically correct band-aid.  Talk is not what these students want.  They want action.  They want to feel that they are in an environment where racists are taken to task when they do bold things, like throwing a neo-blackface party.  A long seminar on racial tolerance is like workplace sexual harassment classes.  Everyone in the room nods and says they understand.  What would you expect them to do, defend their right to grab their secretary’s butt or tell a couple penis jokes?  Keep fighting kids.  Even if you don’t see the results you want, you will not leave that University with regrets.

LA Times: Nine days after an off-campus student party mocked Black History Month, UC San Diego went through a day of protests, tumult and self-examination Wednesday, especially concerning the small number of African American students enrolled at the beachside campus.

University administrators sponsored a teach-in on racial tolerance that attracted a standing-room-only crowd of more than 1,200 students, faculty and staff to an auditorium in the student center. But halfway through what was to be a two-hour session in response to the offensive racial stereotypes at the Feb. 15 “Compton Cookout” party, most students walked out in protest.

They then held their own noisy but peaceful rally outside the building. Administrators may have thought the teach-in “would make us quiet,” said Fnann Keflezighi, vice chairman of the Black Student Union. But she said minority students don’t believe that UC San Diego will take significant steps to make them feel more comfortable on campus and increase their numbers.

The controversial party, she and others contended, was just the spark that ignited new activism about long-simmering issues at the university. Many wore special black and white T-shirts that proclaimed: “Real Pain, Real Action, 1.3%” — a reference to the percentage of African Americans among the campus’ undergraduates, thought to be the lowest in the UC system.

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Send Mother Dear a Check: AARP Survey Says Older Blacks Hit Hard By Recession

It’s time to dig into your pockets.  Dig like you’re in a church pew (I once heard in a church…from a pastor…”We like the money that jingles, but we love the money that folds”.  Sigh)  Time to send Mommy, “Mother Dear” and “Pop Pop” a check, brothers and sisters!

Kansas City Star:  The economic recession has had a “devastating impact” on African Americans age 45 and up, according to a new survey by AARP.

The survey, which is part of AARP’s continued look at how African Americans age 45 and older are faring in this economy, found that over the last year:

– 33 percent of African Americans age 45 and older had problems paying rent or mortgage.

– 44 percent had problems paying for essential items, such as food and utilities.

– 18 percent lost a job, nearly twice the rate of the general population.

– 23 percent lost their employer-sponsored health care.

If people who are of working age are doing pretty bad, I can’t imagine how the retirees and those on Social Security are managing. I’m reminded of those heating old and electric bill subsidy commercials that come on in the winter that always have some “assumed” poor, elderly African American in them. The person is always sitting at home by an old school electric heater, wrapped up in a blanket and wearing a hat. Those commercials remind me to call and check on my mom and my grandmother. This information makes me think I should cast my net of concern a little wider this time of year. Maybe we all should.

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“I’m NOT A Tragic Mullato” shirts: Just in time for Blk History Month

Black History Month is coming to an end.  Only 5 more shopping days to express your excessive negro pride.

In honor of our Mulatto president, who is SO not tragic, I think you should go on over to the Hello Negro Shop…Today…and purchase one of our “I’m not a Tragic Mullato” shirts for your favorite mixed race friend or loved one. I created this shirt for my niece who is 1/2 black, 1/4 white, & 1/4 hispanic.  Just in case you don’t know what “The Tragic Mullato” here’s some background information.

You can also pick up a great Hello Negro tee as well.  We’ll be posting some new designs really soon.  Got any ideas?

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The Simpsons Celebrate Black History Month and Their Racially Mixed Heritage

I’m sitting here watching the Black History Month Episode of “The Simpsons”.  The title “The Color Yellow”.  Um…really?  Must they co-op the title of one of the most beloved pieces of fiction in the black community?

When Miss Hoover asks her students to research their family history, Lisa is horrified to discover that most of her ancestors were bad people – a motley crew of horse thieves and deadbeats. But while rummaging through the attic, Lisa happens upon a diary kept by her ancestor, Eliza Simpson. As Eliza’s story unfolds, Lisa learns that her family was part of the Underground Railroad, a group that helped slaves escape to freedom. Eliza recounts liberating a slave named Virgil (guest voice Brown), but when Lisa presents her findings at school, some of her classmates refute it, leaving Lisa determined to exonerate her family’s name.

Wow, one of Mr. Burns ancestors just checked over one of Homer Simpson’s ancestors like a slave on the auction block.  He noted that if anyone knows how to estimate the value of a man, he does. I don’t know what to say, but I think I like this episode. Wouldn’t you just know it, Antebellum Marge was an abolitionist who fell in love with a brother and ran off to Canada! Oh as a descendant of their union, Lisa is 1/64th black.  She says, “That’s why my Jazz is so smooth!”. Homer says “That’s why I make less than my white co-workers!”.  Wow. Good episode, but I like “Nate, Peter’s black ancestor” on Family Guy better.

I guess I get the title now.  Are they saying that the Simpsons are yellow in the way black folks commonly use the word…yella gal or high yellow?  Interesting.

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