Tag Archives: race

Gentrification: White where there was no White in Chocolate City.

Swirl or Twist.  That’s what most ice cream, frozen custard, or frozen yogurt places call it when your vanilla and chocolate frozen goodness is twirled together in harmony.  Yummy.

That isn’t Gentrification.  It displaces people and cultures.  Fault should not be laid on the persons staking their claim in areas previous devoid of Caucasian population.  Really, it’s just politics and finance.

I wrote about this a few years back and now TBD (ABC 7/Newschannel8) has quoted me.  I’m flattered.

“I rarely see an African American face enjoying the coffee culture,” Hello, Negro wrote shortly after the shop’s opening. “Maybe the long term residents aren’t into Rishi Tea. Maybe the crackheads hanging out in the LeDroit Park Playground across the street are too amazed at the sight of this former-corner store turned soho style coffee establishment to inquire about the fine pastries. The juxtapositioning is striking. The locals call it LeDroit, they call it ‘Bloomingdale.’”

Honestly, gentrification in Washington, DC as I’ve seen in the last 11 years has been very entertaining to watch.  From avid runners out at the crack of dawn avoiding crack heads (3 months ago, I saw this white guy jogging down Michigan Ave NE barefoot.  No lie.  Crazy.) to white women walking home from the metro late at night in neighborhoods I wouldn’t roller skate through, there is a lot to observe.  I think of it as my own little reality tv show featuring short pieces on gentrification.  We’ll at least there are grocery stores, improved metro stations, and improved housing (that most can’t afford) where there were none.


Filed under african american, black, change, community, culture, d.c., interracial, news, opinion, politics, race, washington dc, white folks

The New American Caste System?

Poor is the new Black.

Now that I have your attention.  What do I mean by that?  America is a society where historically someone (or some group such as women) has to be “the lower caste”.  I have a feeling that the rising number of poor people in America just may become the new “Out” group.  By using the word “caste” I mean to put emphasis on the fact that in the near future people may not be able to raise themselves up out of poverty by their book straps, just as for generations many people in places like India have never escaped the stigma of the caste they were born into.  I wonder if we are seeing the foundations of a society where poor is the new untouchable.

Will race still be a factor in the way groups are divided up in the U.S.?  Sure, but let’s face it, my fellow Negroes.  Many of us are educated enough and make enough money were we don’t have to worry about the daily trials and tribulations faced by our fellow American who live below the poverty line.  Sure, there is still racism to content with.  But you cold, hard, green cash and plastic is accepted as widely as Visa most of the time.  Race is not the main qualifier in the American caste system these days.

However, I’m also not ignoring the fact that many blacks are in the ranks of the poor as well…every ethnic group is. White, Black, Brown, Red, Yellow…Technicolor…doesn’t matter.  If you don’t have money in America, you are in a really tight spot right now.

Ask someone who doesn’t have a job.  Ask a recent grad who’s been looking for work since January.  Ask a Baby Boomer who keeps being told they are over qualified, but they look in the interviewer’s eyes which seem to say, “You’re too old for us to take the chance that you’ll wreak havoc on our insurance policy and we already have too many folks on disability.”

I was just reading this morning that U.S. Income inequality is at its highest level since the Census started tracking it in 1967 (Gini Index).  The number of U.S. households getting food stamps increased by 2 million last year to 11.7 million.  This is the highest number on record.  That means 1 in 10 families are getting government aid to feed themselves.

If we keep going in this direction, how poor you are will determine your place in society more than how Black you are.  A caste system focused on economical attainment is not far-fetched.


Filed under african american, black, black men, black women, culture, opinion, race, society

Tiger Wood’s Kindergarten Teacher Exposes Childhood Lie

In 2005, Tiger Woods told a shocking and moving story of being victimized as a child because of his race. In an interview for a book written by Charles Barkley and in an interview with Barbara Walters, Woods said he was abused by a group of kids on his first day of kindergarten because of his skin color.  Kids are cruel sometimes, but the story is outrageous.

“I became aware of my racial identity on my first day of school, on my first day of kindergarten,” Woods said in the interview. “A group of sixth graders tied me to a tree, spray-painted the word ‘n****r’ on me, and threw rocks at me. That was my first day of school. And the teacher really didn’t do much of anything.”

Well apparently, his kindergarten teacher doesn’t agree with his version of his first day of school, according to TMZ.com. Ms. Maureen Decker doesn’t remember the incident and this story has brought out the former principal at the time as well.  He says the same.

Why is this coming out now (Apparently Decker aired her opinion about the story in the media previously)?  Because the media needs as many women as possible to come out of the woodwork with drama and lies that relate to Tiger during this slow news cycle.  Drama sells.  If I see this mess on CNN masquerading as real news, I’ll be mad.

There are tons of examples of school yard racism that really happen and scar kids for life.  He’s an ass if he made this up for sympathy.


Filed under african american, black man, celebrity, crime, news, opinion, race, racism, sports

Once Upon a Time, You Were Not White

Once upon a time in America; Italians, Jews, and Irish people were not considered White.  Yes, it’s surprising.  Some people who are classified as White may not consider themselves Caucasian.  Many people consider the concept of race to be an illusion, a construct to be defined and re-defined.  For example, you may consider yourself white until you find out that your great-great-grandfather was a Louisiana born Black Creole who passed for white in the north.

Last night I saw author  and Princeton professor Nell Irvin Painter was on “The Colbert Report” discussing her new book  “The History of White People” [Read some of it for free on Google Books].  She talked about how race is not permanent, how definitions of race are affected by education, class and sex, and the history of the definition of whiteness.  The interview was a lot of fun, but I [like Colbert] had no idea what the book was really about at the end of the segment.  Her interview with NPR provides A LOT more information.

Painter is the author of Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol (1996) and several other scholarly works on the history of slavery and race relations in America, most recently Creating Black Americans (2006). Her latest selection examines the history of “whiteness” as a racial category and rhetorical weapon: who is considered to be “white,” who is not, what such distinctions mean, and how notions of whiteness have morphed over time in response to shifting demographics, aesthetic tastes, and political exigencies. After a brief look at how the ancients conceptualized the differences between European peoples, Painter focuses primarily on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. There, the artistic idealization of beautiful white slaves from the Caucasus combined with German Romantic racial theories and lots of spurious science to construct an ideology of white superiority which, picked up by Ralph Waldo Emerson and other race-obsessed American intellectuals, quickly became an essential component of the nation’s uniquely racialized discourse about who could be considered an American. Presenting vivid psychological portraits of Emerson and dozens of other figures variously famous and obscure, and carefully mapping the links between them, Painter’s narrative succeeds as an engaging and sophisticated intellectual history, as well as an eloquent reminder of the fluidity (and perhaps futility) of racial categories. –Brendan Driscol, Booklist

Video – ColbertNation.com

Here is part of an awesome documentary that aired some years ago on PBS that deals in detail with the evolution of race


Filed under african american, black women, history, opinion, race, sex, slavery, video, white folks, youtube

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.


Filed under african american, black, black history, crime, culture, hate, news, opinion, race, racism, student, white folks, youth

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.


Filed under activism, african american, black, news, opinion, race, racism, student

Are you a racist?: Now there’s a test!

When I saw this story on ABC News I was a bit…underwhelmed.  Um…if you are racist, you know that you are.  You might not care.  Your racist nature may not figure into your day to day life.  However, when you encounter a person against whom you hold bias simply because of their race…you will inherently think, act, and be racist.  If you aren’t racist…you won’t.

Tell someone that he’s sexist, ageist or racist nowadays and it’s easy to get a red-faced defensive reaction. In modern times, men and women of all backgrounds would rather believe themselves to be benevolent egalitarians.

Yet, while few want to be known as a bigot, millions of people seem to wonder, “am I?” — and going to the Project Implicit Web site to find out.  www.implicit.harvard.edu

Started as a research tool at Yale in 1995, Project Implicit now has 11 million tests completed, and 20,000 new tests taken each week by Web surfers curious about their possible unconscious biases.

Participants are instructed to assign a class of attributes — such as smart, lazy or failure — to a single group of people — such as women, Christians, or Americans — with one or two keystrokes as fast as they can. The point is to measure the first reaction, not the self-edited one.
ABC News Online

Guess who know’s for sure is you’re a racist?  Just you, and you alone.  No matter what you say out of your mouth, in public, or how you are other wise “PC”.  Between you and your God (or non-deity of choice)…you know the truth.

That’s why people don’t like the “race card”.  No one who is racist and is not comfortable with being publicly outed as a hate monger is going to be happy about getting the race care pulled on them.  There are a lot of proud, card carrying racists who have no problem letting you know who they hate.  On the other side, those who are not racists do not want to be labeled either.  Think of any negative label that you don’t identify yourself with and then think of how offended you would by someone giving you that label publicly.  Not cute, huh.

Sigh, all things considered it’s not cut and dry.  Do I think that some people are indoctrinated and taught to hate?  Yes.   Do I think you can call whole classes and groups of people racists based on history and institutionalized racism?  Honestly…I’m on the fence about that sometimes.  Fox News doesn’t help.  Opps…did I just imply some racism.  My bad.  I’ve had good teachers.


Filed under culture, hate, news, opinion, race, racism

Debate This: Is Negro a “bad” word?

Here’s a comment we  received yesterday:

62 years old; grandma; white…

Something has me troubled. This seems like the perfect place to collect some input on it:

In a conversation with my daughter and son-in-law the other day I used the word “negro.” They were aghast and horrified. I was not being disrespectful and, frankly, I have long found the word to be rather elegant.

I’d like an African-American’s point-of-view on that.



Well, African-Americans…What do you think?  Is “negro” a bad word?  Should this 62 year old grandmother refrain from using it.

I will say, for her generation Negro was far more dignified than Ni**er.  Now if she’d referred to black folk as “Colored”…then I could understand her daughter and son-in-law’s  reaction.  In her prime years, the term “African-American” didn’t even exist and being “Black” was new.  My dad said,  When he was a kid some people would get made if you called them “Black” (as in “Blackey” or “You ole black so-in-so!”).

Over the last few years of doing this blog we’ve received several comments from people who feel that the name of this blog is offensive.  Someone even wrote that Negro was equal to the other N-word.  “Negro” is used everyday in Spanish speaking countries.  Caucasian would be the white equivalent…no one is calling for a ban on that.  We don’t see any thing wrong with the word, however we would suggest that when referring to African-Americans one use “African-American” or “Black”.   Very PC.


Filed under african american, black, blogs, culture, hello negro, n-word, negro, opinion, race, racism, society, white folks

I had a Black moment at the Lincoln Memorial

It’s interesting enough being a Black woman in city “formerly know as” Chocolate City.  If you live here you know it’s being rapidly gentrified.  No surprise there.  However, there is one place in the city that has never been fully “chocolatized”.  That is the National Mall.  You can thank the tourists for that.  It’s funny, I’ve talked to African Americans who were born here who have never ventured down except for school trips back in the day.

Unless Barack Obama is being elected, there is a Civil Rights march reenactment, or so other event that is highly attractive to black folk, the Mall is very vanilla. Don’t get me wrong…I love white folks too.  I’m happy about the visitors to the Mall from out of town spend here in the District and what not…blah blah.  I just find it funny that when I go to the Smithsonian museums, stroll the mall, or visit the monuments…I see a handful of black people (many of them working security in the buildings).  However I can walk 10 min in any direction (except the direction of Georgetown and George Washington U) and the city is Chocolate and balanced again.  It’s like going to Virginia.  lol

Anyway, I had a “Black moment” at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday.  I walked there from Union Station…don’t ask me why, just wanted to walk.  I saw about 6 other black people during my walk (no lie).  There were hundreds of people out there, mind you (I saw like 6 softball games, lots of people exercising, and tons of tourist groups).  I get to the top of the stairs at Lincoln Memorial and watch for 10 min to see how many people notice the “I HAVE A DREAM” engraving noting Martin Luther King’s name and the date of the march.  It notes the place on the stairs where he gave his historic speech.  Guess how many people noticed it.  2 children.

Now, to their credit it’s not as pronounced as it should be, in my opinion.  Hey, I think Obama should do something about that.

I remember when I first visited the Memorial that spot on the steps was something I looked for.  The image of King standing on those steps looking out at thousands gathered in the name of civil rights is burned into my psyche as an African American.  I wasn’t looking for that engraving, didn’t even know it was there.  I just wanted to stand in the place and look out over the reflecting pool and think about that day.   Why?  Cause I’m black, and moments like that mean a lot to me.

Maybe that’s why not many people noticed the black history upon which they stood yesterday.   Maybe I shouldn’t expect them to care, but I do.  I find that I’m having more and more of these moments in this so-called “post-racial” America.


Filed under african american, black women, civil rights, culture, d.c., gentrification, obama, opinion, race, society, washington dc, white folks

How To Tell People They Sound Racist

This video needs to be passed around right now.  I’ve heard too many people acting like Barack Obama’s Presidency signals the end of racism in America.  Um…wish it did, but it doesn’t.  Pass it on.  This brother is dropping knowledge. 

What they did is not the same as what they are!  That is the truth!!

Is this guy single…damn I love a man with knowledge.  Knowledge is sexy as hell.


Filed under african american, black man, celebrity, culture, obama, opinion, race, racism, video, youtube