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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Damn that was quick.....The Riddler & Penguin up Next for Batman 3?

From Showbizsky.com:

Depp To Play The Riddler?
By WENN, July 30 2008

JOHNNY DEPP is tipped to play BATMAN villain THE RIDDLER in the next installment of the comic book movie series.

After the huge success of The Dark Knight, which has taken $440 million (GBP220 million) at the worldwide box office, producers are confident they can convince Depp to take on Christian Bale's Batman on the big screen.

And, according to the National Enquirer, studio bosses also want Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman onboard to play another of the Caped Crusader's arch-foe, the Penguin.

The Riddler was played on the small screen in the 1960s by Frank Gorshin and in 1995 movie Batman Forever by Jim Carrey. Hoffman would be stepping into the shoes of TV and movie Penguins Burgess Meredith and Danny DeVito.

A source tells the Enquirer, "(Producers) are convinced that the role of the Riddler is perfect for Depp. Johnny's a pro. He'll be able to take direction from director Chris Nolan and still make the character his own.

"And what better Penguin is there than Philip Seymour Hoffman."

This Just In......Senator Obama Has Another (Rare) Denouncement! This Time It's Ludacris!

I guess this constitutes the flipside of being a "cool" presidential nominee, you end up aligning yourself with others from the cool squad who have to be denounced at a later date-Chris Bridges has turned out to be one of the shunned.

More from the BBC:

Obama rejects Ludacris rap lyrics

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Random Musings on the House of Rep's Apology for Slavery......What Say You?

I suspect that the sentiment displayed in the above Youtube video applies to many Whites that have now become aware of yesterday's official apology for slavery from the House of Representatives. Just for the record, I do not want anyone to think that an apology isn't owed but when it's 150 years too late, is it sincere? For those who are located in the NY tri-state area, you might have noticed that as of late, I have been a frequent caller to The Star and Bucwild radio program.

This morning I chimed in on the subject of the apology and one might not have understood the crux of my argument. I made insurance analogies (does one ever get the value of an injury from a monetary perspective?) and spoke about the debilitating aspects of a slave-victimization mindset but it was all for nought. Has anyone noticed that apologies are infrequently honest when it stems from an intentional act? Does anyone believe that Rev. Jackson was sorry for his comments toward Senator Obama several weeks ago? I think people are sorry when an unintentional wrong has been committed but when it comes to matters of commerce-rarely. The conversation on the program spiraled toward the perception that I believe that people of color should forget this part of our painful history. This couldn't be farthest from the truth.

What I did want to emphasize was that expecting an apology in lieu of moving forward and dealing with the rampant violence and self-defeatism in our communities, can cause a type of socio-political and economic impotence. Although I try to shy away from notions that those of the Jewish faith should be perceived as a model minority-we can still learn from them. I noticed that although Jewish folk never let the power structure forget the atrocities of the Holocaust (and rightfully so), they oftentimes refer to themselves as survivors and not solely as victims. I think it is time for African-Americans to adopt a similar strategy in order for the race and culture to move forward. And if we are going to be fair about full disclosure, why limit litigation and apologies to just North America? Why not expand this to the West African and European nations that were also complicit in the enslavement of African people? Do you see how far this can go? Here's more, courtesy of Allheadlinenews.com:

Washington, D.C (AHN) -- The House of Representatives issued an official apology Tuesday to African-American's for imposing slavery and Jim Crow laws on their ancestors.

The apology, the first in the 140 years since slavery was abolished, was initially introduced by Steve Cohen (D-TN), who represents Memphis, a majority black city.

The unprecedented apology to black American's has been avoided in the past because some in the government were concerned that to admit their wrongs would mean black families who sue for reparations would have a stronger case.

Cohen's resolution said that Africans forced into slavery ''were brutalized, humiliated, dehumanized and subjected to the indignity of being stripped of their names and heritage,'' and that black Americans still suffer from the effects of their families long being segregated, defined as second class citizens, and being denied the same rights and respect as white American's.

Cohen said in the apology, ''Slavery and Jim Crow are stains upon what is the greatest nation on the face of the earth." He added that this apology is a step toward righting the wrongs the government imposed on African-American's for hundreds of years.

Cohen is running for re-election and faces a strong black candidate in next week's primaries.

More to Follow......But for Now, The Teaser Trailer for Disney's Princess & The Frog!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Well Then Again Maybe Nas Is "Wright"........Check Out His Upcoming YRB Magazine Interview!

As I mentioned in the previous post, I still maintain that Nas' ire should have been aimed at the business of hip hop (media outlets, radio programmers, producers, etc) more so than Fox News, but he may be on to something regarding the Rev. Wright scandal. He's a bit late but better late than.....you know the adage. I'm not comfortable with his vulgarity but the spirit of his critique says it all. Check out this excerpt from the YRB (Young Rat Bastard) magazine (coming to a newsstand near you) article in question:

Oh and again, please accept my apologies for the expletives, folks-

August’s Politics Issue of YRB features Nas on its cover. By now everyone knows about the title to Queenbridge emcee’s 9th album – formally titled Nigger. Nas spoke candidly at an album release press conference and touched on some pressing issues affecting the country. He left his most vitriolic commentary for the N-word as well as Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

On the word “N-word”:
“The majority of rap albums are nigger albums – it’s a nigger culture. We took the horrific, bloody holocaust of the Black American slaves, and the word they called us, and transformed it into money…There are a lot of people other than blacks who are niggers right now – whether it’s dumb motherfuckers in the Dominican Republic where you got light-skinned people hating the dark-skinned one, and you got the same kind of thing happening in Haiti, Brazil....”

On Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
“That’s street corner shit. That’s that nigger shit, just on a higher level. That’s just a dumb-ass nigga. With all the degrees and intelligence he has, he throws all that out the window when he starts cooning. Reverend Wright is the biggest coon of the 21st century so far, and that’s just what it is. And I don’t give a fuck who he’s down with, where he studied at, he’s a great fucking coon.”

Is he Wright or Wrong?.....again, it's late but it may never be too late for Jeremiah Wright to return-to Senator Obama's chagrin.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I Must Be Clairvoyant.....Some Of Us Really Are Tired of Being Called The N-Word By Other Blacks-Just Ask These NYPD Officers!

Talk about timing! If you folks were able to listen to Sunday's Afronerd Radio broadcast, the discussion segued into the usual n-word debate session. One caller, who stated that she was an MD, felt that "nigger" is an internal cultural phenomenon with etymological roots dating back to pre-slave trade Africa. I disagreed as there is quite a bit of scholarship affirming that the n-word is a European invention-a derivative of the Spanish/Portuguese word, negro. Another caller centered the argument more forthrightly by stating that in a work environment, using such an expletive by a Black or White person might raise one's ire. Well such an example exists! Check out the latest n-word debacle, courtesy of the New York Daily News:

Two black cops who reported a boss for using a racial slur say they were viciously chewed out by an African-American chief in the NYPD and are now planning a lawsuit.

Assistant Chief Gerald Nelson went ballistic after Officer Shelron Smikle made a June 10 report to the Internal Affairs Bureau charging that a black sergeant at the 83rd Precinct dropped the N-bomb on him.

Two days later, Nelson, the commander of Patrol Borough Brooklyn North, ordered Smikle, 28, and his partner, Blanch O'Neal, 38, to his office, they told the Daily News in an interview.

"'We have friends in IAB, and you're full of s--t!'" Nelson screamed, according to Smikle and O'Neal. "So what, he [the sergeant] called you a n----r? If you can't handle it, resign!'"

Smikle, who was born on the Caribbean island of Jamaica, said he also complained that the sergeant told him "to go back to [his] country" and referred to him as a "dollar van driver."

"So what, he said that to you?" Nelson allegedly responded.

"'Get the f--k out of my office! It doesn't matter if this conversation is being recorded. I'm not saying anything wrong.'"

The cops said they were shocked by Nelson's alleged racial insensitivity in repeating the slur.

"It's not acceptable for a chief in charge ... to say that," Smikle said. "It's a slap in the face."

The two cops have hired lawyer Eric Sanders of the firm Jeffrey Goldberg in Lake Success, L.I., to file a federal complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a precursor to filing a lawsuit.

"Chief Nelson is African-American, and we would expect as a police executive he would have responded differently," Sanders said.

"If he feels this way, what does it say about how they treat the public in Brooklyn North?"

O'Neal and Smikle say the problem started when they were dumped on foot patrol on a 97-degree day because the keys to their radio car were missing, which they say was due to a prank.

A black sergeant lit into Smikle for being in the stationhouse instead of being out in the streets and allegedly spewed racial epithets that were overheard by O'Neal.

Later that day, the cops fell sick from heat exhaustion, then called the IAB and the office of equal employment opportunity to lodge complaints about the sergeant.

Nelson acknowledged that he reamed the cops for going to the IAB, told them their allegations were false and threw them out of his office.

He adamantly denies he used the N-word, however.

Let's hear from our comic Peanuts gallery on this issue. Is this the dawn of a new age in Black self-effacement? For more of the News article click on the link below:

Racial slur? So what! Two police officers say black chief didn't care

And speaking of The Peanuts-was Chris Rock correct in stating that the strip's lone character of color never said a word in a quarter of a century? Was he (or still is) a token?-excuse me as I geek out. Just curious....

Your Thoughts (If Any) About This Interview with Method Man........The Wackness Press Junket

I'm not going to be a hypocrite and say that I do not have any Method Man or especially Redman ("From Newark, New Jersey, knock heads like Mike Nunn"....shout out to Mr. Starks-my favorite Redman quote) music in my vast collection but this interview was refreshing and yet confusing at the same time. Pay close attention to how the host, Kitty Troy of Blacktree Media, confronts Mr. Smith (Clifford Smith, Meth's government nom de plume) on some of the manure-esque aspects of the current commercial hip hop scene. She even discusses the typecasting elements of his acting career. This, of course is not major news but I would like to hear from our readers-is this the harbinger of less softball interviews for the hip hop community? N'est-ce pas?. Oh and I would be remiss if I would have forgotten to tell our readers to check out The Wackness at a theater near you......or not.

I'm Not Sure About Mr. Edwards' Tastes but He is Right About the #1 Black Comedy of All Time!

I will also have to give my thoughts on this topic in a few hours as my time is presently limited but again.....I'm not sure about this new site or what the Kansas City Star article professes but I would agree that Richard Pryor's Which Way Is Up? is the funniest movie I have ever seen.

Film critic Shawn Edwards creates Web site on African-American film

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Does The Left Actually Have Their Own Version of Limbaugh?-The NY Times Thinks So!

I will get into this in a few but check out The Times take on Black Radio's support of Obama and how this may be the progressives answer to Rush Limbaugh:

An excerpt, courtesy of the NY Times:

ATLANTA — Warren Ballentine, one of black talk radio’s new stars, was on a tear against Senator John McCain as he broadcast from the Greenbriar Mall here last week, blithely dismissing Mr. McCain’s kind words about Senator Barack Obama at the recent N.A.A.C.P. national convention.

“He came out talking about how good of a race Barack Obama was running, and how proud he was of Barack,” Mr. Ballentine said. “You know he went back home and said, ‘I can’t believe I spoke in front of all those Negroes today!’ ”

“He was pandering to the crowd, talking about how he felt when Martin Luther King Jr. died,” Mr. Ballentine went on. “However, he didn’t vote for the holiday of Martin Luther King Jr.”

Rush Limbaugh, meet your black liberal counterprogramming. Mr. Ballentine is one of the many African-American radio hosts and commentators who are aggressively advocating for Mr. Obama’s election on black-oriented radio stations daily.

Since Mr. Limbaugh first flexed his tonsils two decades ago, Democrats have publicly worried about their lack of an answer to him and his imitators, who have proven so adept at motivating conservative Republicans to go to the polls, especially for President Bush.

Now it is Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, who has a harmonious chorus of broadcast supporters addressing a vital part of his coalition, feeding and reflecting the excitement blacks have for his candidacy in general. Mr. Obama is getting support from white liberal talk radio hosts as well, but the backing he is getting from black radio hosts could be especially helpful to his campaign’s efforts to increase black turnout and raise historically low voter registration enough to change the math of presidential elections in battlegrounds and traditionally Republican states like this one.

“Urban stations can be in ’08 what Rush Limbaugh delivered for conservatives a generation ago,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has a two-year-old radio program that is now syndicated on stations throughout the country, including in states like Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina. “If you look at the political map of where our shows are, it matches the gap of unregistered voters.”

Click on the link below for the Times article in its entirety:

Black Radio on Obama Is Left’s Answer to Limbaugh

Some Links For Your Edification-Comic Trailers

I will really try to be open-minded and objective pertaining to the latest crop of animated graphic novel translations but BET's Black Panther scares me. I like to reminisce like any other comic aficionado (BP reminds me of the Marvel Superheroes cartoons of 1966) but I'll let our readers decide:

The Black Panther Animated trailer from San Diego's Comic-Con

I do like Entertainment Weekly's promotion for next year's Watchmen movie. At least this is advertised as a motion capture/digitized version of the comic:

Watchmen digital comic-Chapter 1

And it looks like MTV jumped on the digital comic bandwagon with Invincible:

MTV's Invincible digicomic

Lastly, check out the latest Batman animated effort-The Brave and The Bold. There is definitely no confusion between this work and that of the great team of Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and later Dwayne McDuffie (of JL Animated). My, how far the mighty have fallen:

Better Late Than.....Well You Know-Check Out Afronerd Radio Today at 7pm & The Comic on Mon at 7pm(eastern)

I know this is a last minute deal but I think that it is important to discuss CNN's Black in America special which is being rebroadcast this weekend. Let's bring some analysis to the series as well as get your thoughts or impressions of this event. If time permits, we will also touch on Obama's trip overseas, Nas' boycotting of Fox News and some highlights relating to my recent NPR appearance. So let's repeat the drill-call in with your comments today at 7pm at 646-915-9620 or reach us via email-afronerdradio@yahoo.

Afronerd Radio's take on CNN's Black in America special

And then there's always Comic Shoppe Radio featuring Daryll, Max and yours truly. We will, of course, continue our discussion on The Dark Knight. And for comic history buffs, check out the above clip of the great silent thriller (1928), The Man Who Laughs. Does the film's protagonist look familiar? Well the character, Gwynplaine played by Conrad Veidt, was used as a template by Batman's creators for the Joker. In addition, we will also cover some recent news-the return of Milestone Media. More specifically, Milestone's roster of characters will merge with the rest of the DC universe. A perfect example of this will be Static Shock's joining the Teen Titans. We will also delve further into other comic news, our favorite graphic novel reads from last week and Team Comic Shoppe's top 3 fights in all of comicdom. So join us tomorrow at 7pm eastern-call up with your questions at-646-200-0104 or via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo.

Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

Do yourself a favor, as an appetizer before the Milestone main course-check out this clip of an elder Static Shock in a Justice League animated crossover moment:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Good Black Don't Crack......Check Out The Time (Original Members) On Jay Leno's Summer Concert Series

After The Roots are there anymore bands of color anymore? Wow...does everyone have to rap? I like hip hop (the classic and progressive genres) but where will our new musicians come from? How will the music progress and who will play our standards? I know-a million questions but someone needs to save our culture. Oh well, appreciate The Time folks, because we are running out of time!

Nasir Gets an "A" in Hypocrisy 101-Nas Boycotts Fox News

Courtesy of Eurweb.com:

NAS MARCHES ON FOX TODAY: Controversial rapper joins protest against on-air racism at 'Faux News.'

*Nas will join activists from MoveOn.org and ColorOfChange.org today as they march on Fox News headquarters in Manhattan demanding that the conservative network end what protesters call a "pattern of racist attacks against Black Americans including presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife Michelle."

Nas will help deliver a petition bearing 600,000 signatures to the Fox News offices at 2:00 this afternoon.

The groups criticize Fox's overall approach to news but singled out a few specific examples including: a reference to Michelle Obama as "Obama's baby mama," saying that Barack and Michelle's fist pound had been called a "terrorist fist jab," a commentator confusing "Obama" with "Osama" and then joking about assassinating both and Bill O'Reilly using the term "lynch party" while criticizing Michelle Obama for comments she made about being proud of America.

"Fox poisons the country with racist propaganda and tries to call it news," said Nas, who slams Fox News in a track called "Sly Fox" on his new Untitled album.

"When FOX talks about lynching the woman who may soon be our First Lady and then refers to this wife and mother as a 'baby mama' they are maligning not only the Obamas, but Black women and Black people across this country. We have over 600,000 signatures - more than half a million people, saying we won't stand for FOX's racism and hate-mongering," James Rucker, director of ColorOfChange.org, added.

Didn't the great animated thespian, Bugs Bunny coin the phrase, "What a maroon?" Perhaps Bugs was truly being prescient as hip hop artist, Nasir Jones would definitely be the recipient of such a remark. Talk about being hypocritical-this is coming from a man that was hell bent on naming his latest cd, Nigger…..need I say more? I’m not absolutely sure that Fox news is racist, but they are unabashedly conservative and therefore they will not root for the opposing team-hence their anti-Obama campaign. Nas has been somewhat critical of hip hop as an art form in the past but it begs to reason why he hasn’t raised his ire toward the business of commercial hip hop. Where is his boycott against BET, TV-One, radio outlets and programmers? Again, the lack of consistency is deafening. What do our readers think?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Don't Forget Tonight's (and Tomorrow) Airing of CNN's Black in America Special

Do yourself a favor and check out this two-day event-let's reconvene and give opinions on how accurate (or conversely, how inaccurate) the special was in providing a snapshot portrait of Black folk living in this country. And also-check out the latest article from CNN.com pertaining to Obamania or should I say Obama-noia:

Could an Obama presidency hurt black Americans?

I'm not going to pontificate on this matter but the main thing hurting Black America right now is Black America (Ok, I'm being a tad facetious....and for the progressives-yeah and racism)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

FYI-Another Afronerd Appearance on NPR's News & Notes-Bloggers Roundtable, Wed at 1:15pm eastern

Just keeping our readers and Afronerd Radio listeners in the loop. I'm scheduled to appear on Farai Chideya's News & Notes broadcast tomorrow at approx. 1:15pm eastern. My fellow blogging panelists for the show are Jay Anderson of Average Bro and Aimee Laramore of A Work In Progress. Check your local listings for airings in your respective market.

Oh and as a warm-up for the opening act, click on the lick below for Monday's Bloggers Roundtable:

Roundtable: Obama Makes Trip To Iraq

And now this afternoon's Bloggers Roundtable broadcast:

Roundtable: Disney Rethinks 'Frog Princess'

Saturday, July 19, 2008

WTF!! No Blacks or Mongolians Allowed! Chinese Are Banning Black Folk from Beijing Bars During Olympics-"Real Talk!"

Excuse me as I run the phrase, "real talk" into the ground. Let's just say that it is an updated play on the "keeping it real" phenom from a few years back. I also hope you know that I am truly being facetious, since no one has been real in this new millennium since its inception. A special hat tip and a soul brother handshake goes to Sergio for emailing Afronerd about this latest controversy that is sure to make your blood boil. According to Hong Kong's English newspaper, The South China Morning Post, Beijing authorities have enacted a secret ban on those deemed "socially undesirable" (Blacks, Mongolians, essentially anyone with dark skin) from patronizing local bars during this year's summer Olympics. Perhaps Sharon Stone was on to something. Again, I'm being facetious-but you get my point. Here's more from Olympics.SCMP.com:

Authorities order bars not to serve black people

Tom Miller
July 18,2008

In our series looking at preparations for the Games, Tom Miller reports on plans to crack down on "undesirables" in the bars of Beijing

Beijing authorities are secretly planning to ban black people and others it considers social undesirables from entering the city's bars during the Olympic Games, a move that would contradict the official slogan, "One World, One Dream".

Bar owners near the Workers' Stadium in central Beijing say they have been forced by Public Security Bureau officials to sign pledges agreeing not to let black people enter their premises.

"Uniformed Public Security Bureau officers came into the bar recently and told me not to serve black people or Mongolians," said the co-owner of a western-style bar, who asked not to be named.

The local authorities have been cracking down on blacks and Mongolians in an attempt to stamp out drug dealing and prostitution ahead of the Games, the proprietors said.

A few months ago, police launched a violent sting on black men drinking in the Sanlitun bar district, and a notorious nightclub largely populated by Mongolian prostitutes was also shut down.

Security officials are targeting Sanlitun, which Olympic organisers expect to be a key destination for foreign tourists looking for a party during the Games.

The pledges that Sanlitun bar owners had been instructed to sign agreed to stop a variety of activities in their establishments, including dancing and serving customers with black skin, they said.

The question(s) that begs to be answered is.....when will people of color grow tired of this? There are no excuses for racism, especially on a global scale but do we bear some complicity for our image? I have been calling for a cultural shift for quite some time now and in addition to calling all bloggers to bring light to this issue, we must also start to enact some damage control in respects to our international perception.

Oprah Winfrey once spoke anecdotally about her visit to South Africa for a special tete-a-tete with Nelson Mandela in which the issue of Black American perception smacked her in the face. During a special radio broadcast of the Ed Lover Show a few years ago, Winfrey stated that when she was greeted by Mandela's aids, they exclaimed-"What's up my niggas?" Real talk. And then there's there's always the infamous story regarding German soldiers. Again, we must never make excuses for racism but it's time folks to push for balance, honesty and authenticity as it pertains to how our image is disseminated throughout the world. Real talk.

Click on the link below for the complete SCMP article:

Authorities order bars not to serve black people

Friday, July 18, 2008

Ok I Didn't Plan To.....But Let's Weigh In On Hasselbeck vs. Whoopi on the N-Word!

I initially had very little interest in rehashing this latest View dustup but after witnessing how it is being disseminated on the net and in the media, I changed my mind. If you haven’t heard by now, we have yet another emotional episode from the women of The View pertaining to the use of the vaunted N-Word. More specifically, this stems from the disclosure that Rev. Jackson used the epithet during a hot mike moment while being interviewed by Fox News. For specifics, check out this article from Fox.com:

During a segment covering Jesse Jackson's recent use of the n-word while preparing to tape an interview on FOX News, Whoopi and co-host Sherri Shepard, who are both black, contested that the word has a different meaning for black people.
"It's something that means something way different to me than it does to you," said Shepard. "I can use it as a term of endearment."
Shepard also said to co-host Barbara Walters: "I don't want to hear it come out of your mouth."
Hasselbeck contested that "We [blacks and whites] don't live in different worlds, we live in the same world."
Goldberg, who used the n-word repeatedly during the broadcast (it was bleeped out), said that "We don't live in the same world. What I need you to understand is the frustration that goes along with when you say we live in the same world. It isn't balanced."
Hasslebeck tearfully replied that "when we live in a world where pop culture then uses that term, and we're trying to get to a place where we feel like we're in the same place, where we feel like we're in the same world ... how are we supposed to then move forward if we keep using terms that bring back that pain?"

In all fairness to Goldberg, recent polls do indicate that the races live in different political and social spheres-especially when it comes to Senator Obama's historic presidential bid. But I also take umbrage with Whoopi and other persons of color that consistently defer to Black life fifty years ago in an attempt to make a point relative to the present. In many respects, African-Americans live in a different world than their forebearers, so on occasion that fact should be acknowledged by folks of color during these type of discussions. But in fleshing out this n-bomb controversy further, several questions arise. Why exactly do Whites want to say nigger (nigga-or whatever derivative)? Why do many people of color spout this expletive as if we need to be inoculated for Tourette's Syndrome? And do we bear some responsibility for exalting the n-word to high art (or perhaps low brow art) for public consumption in rap songs? The reality is that while in the 60s our parents and/or grandparents had to contend with German shepherds being sicked on them courtesy of Bull Connor, now one has to be on the look out for your gangbanging neighbor's pit bull (real talk...hack..excuse the phlegm). But some of us do live in different worlds based on our own volution. It's a difficult call. What do our readers think on this topic and whose side are you on?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Told You We Would Lighten the Load-Check Out Afronerd Radio on Sun & The Comic Shoppe on Mon both 7pm eastern!

Afronerd Radio returns this Sunday at 7pm eastern and stay tuned for the Comic Shoppe with Max, Dburt and Daryll on Monday-also at 7pm eastern. On Afronerd Radio the topics to be discussed will be-gang signs by pro-athletes, the PC revamping of Disney's The Princess and The Frog (hat tip to resident commenter, Sub-Mariner), more controversy with Rev. Jesse Jackson and more politics if time permits. On the Comic Shoppe this Monday-we will using our ink tipped brushes to paint our opinions of the above Watchmen trailer, discuss the Dark Knight and of course go over our favorite comic reads from last week. So don't be shy-for Afronerd Radio buzz in with your comments "live" at 646-915-9620 or via email/IM-afronerdradio@yahoo. For the Shoppe, it's 646-200-0104 or the IM/email at thecomicshoppe@yahoo. As always, Be There and Be very Square.

Afronerd Radio and the Week in Review

The Comic Shoppe discusses the Dark Knight

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

When it Rains it Pours........Rev. Jackson, the N-Word and Gang Signs in Sports?

As if you didn't know, Fox has more to say about what Reverend Jackson said previously. Now they're claiming that he spouted the N-word in the same diatribe against Senator Obama. No big deal....well accept that Rev. Jackson commenced an anti N-word campaign recently! Doh! It seems that he has to start with himself....it never stops:

Courtesy of Yahoo News:

Fox: Jackson used N-word in crude off-air remarks

CHICAGO - Fox News says the Rev. Jesse Jackson used the N-word during a break in a TV interview where he criticized presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The longtime civil rights leader already came under fire this month for crude off-air comments he made against Obama in what he thought was a private conversation during a taping of a "Fox & Friends" news show.

Now a Fox spokesman says Jackson used the N-word to refer to black people during that taping as he said Obama was talking down to them. Those comments were not aired.

Jackson — who is traveling in Spain — apologized in a statement Wednesday for "hurtful words" but didn't offer specifics.

The N-word comment was first reported by blog TVNewser. Fox declined to release the transcript.

And just when you thought I was going to give you guys a break, NFL higher-ups are going to commence monitoring players for gang sign references. Amazing. More from the Associated Press:

NFL steps up monitoring of players for gang signs

NEW YORK (AP)—The NFL is stepping up its monitoring of on-field player activities to ensure that no one is flashing the hand signals of street gangs.

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that the league had hired experts to look at game tapes and identify players or team officials who might be using suspected gang signals. Violators would be warned and disciplined if the episodes recurred.

League officials said Tuesday that avoiding gang-related activities has long been stressed.

They said the scrutiny was intensified after the shooting death of Denver cornerback Darrent Williams in 2007 after Williams was involved in a dispute with known gang members. Anti-gang information is included in orientation literature and stressed in the annual mandatory league meeting for rookies.

The NFL took further notice after Paul Pierce of the NBA’s Boston Celtics was fined $25,000 in April for what the league said was a “menacing gesture” toward the Atlanta Hawks’ bench. “I 100 percent do not in any way promote gang violence or anything close to it.” Pierce said in a statement. “I am sorry if it was misinterpreted that way at Saturday’s game.”

The Times said that was the precipitating incident for the NFL.

“We were always suspicious that might be happening,” it quoted Mike Pereira, the NFL’s vice president of officiating, as saying of gang-related signals. “But the Paul Pierce thing is what brought it to light. When he was fined … that’s when we said we need to take a look at it and see if we need to be aware of it.”

Most senior NFL officials were at a league outing Tuesday and could not immediately be reached for comment.

Sigh. More editorializing on this matter in a few hours...it never stops.

Afronerd Commentary-Reflecting on Blackness in America

Perhaps it would be apropos to decipher my concept of American Blackness as we are approximately a week away from the official airing of CNN's Black in America special. I find it interesting that no one can definitively admit (out loud) what they think the essence of being Black entails but one instinctively knows when "the cup runneth over" into the too Black realm. The standard definition subsequent to the pro-Black 60's encompassed the three C's-Culture, Color and Consciousness. And then there is Webster's explanation (an excerpt):

Definition: Black

1. Being of the achromatic color of maximum darkness; having little or no hue owing to absorption of almost all incident light; "black leather jackets"; "as black as coal"; "rich black soil".

2. Of or belonging to a racial group having dark skin especially of sub-Saharan African origin; "a great people--a black people--...injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization"- Martin Luther King Jr.

3. Marked by anger or resentment or hostility; "black looks"; "black words".

4. Stemming from evil characteristics or forces; wicked or dishonorable; "black deeds"; "a black lie"; "his black heart has concocted yet another black deed"; "Darth Vader of the dark side"; "a dark purpose"; "dark undercurrents of ethnic hostility"; "the scheme of some sinister intelligence bent on punishing him"-Thomas Hardy.

5. Offering little or no hope; "the future looked black"; "prospects were bleak"; "Life in the Aran Islands has always been bleak and difficult"- J.M.Synge; "took a dim view of things".

6. (of events) having extremely unfortunate or dire consequences; bringing ruin; "the stock market crashed on Black Friday"; "a calamitous defeat"; "the battle was a disastrous end to a disastrous campaign"; "such doctrines, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory"- Charles Darwin; "it is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it"- Douglas MacArthur; "a fateful error".

And of course, for more on Webster's take, click on the link below and scroll down to the "African-American" section of the term, Black-truly a fascinating exercise.

Webster's definition of "Black"

And then there is the famous scene in Spike Lee's Malcolm X, when the subject of a euro-centric definition of Blackness is discussed:

But again, what is Afronerd's take on Blackness and the more broad implications of being Black in America? Blackness in this country represents the perfect maelstrom-a boiling cauldron of brilliance, limitless potential, pain and pathology (my operative word). Blackness is always being discussed, dissected, measured, lambasted, questioned but never truly defined. And the answer may lie in the question-a racial/cultural state of being that is in a constant flux. I would like to believe that Blackness debunks any notions of failure and honors the sacrifices of our ancestors-the belief that survival, pride and uncompromising excellence should be the crux of Black authenticity. Perchance to dream. What is your definition of Blackness in America?

Wanna be a superhero? Becoming Batman might be a possibility.

This is a very interesting take on the Dark Knight, and frankly we could all benefit from having the skills of Batman to combat the madness that's out here..

Science of becoming Batman

By David Pescovitz

E. Paul Zehr has a book coming out in October called Becoming Batman: The Possibility of A Superhero, about the physical and mental training one would need to become a superhero without any supernatural powers. Zehr, a professor of kinesiology and neuroscience at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, is also a karate expert. Over at Scientific American, JR Minkel interviews Zehr about how one might train as the Dark Knight. From SciAm:

What's most plausible about portrayals of Batman's skills? You could train somebody to be a tremendous athlete and to have a significant martial arts background, and also to use some of the gear that he has, which requires a lot of physical prowess. Most of what you see there is feasible to the extent that somebody could be trained to that extreme. We're seeing that kind of thing in less than a month in the Olympics.

What's less realistic? A great example is in the movies where Batman is fighting multiple opponents and all of a sudden he's taking on 10 people. If you just estimate how fast somebody could punch and kick, and how many times you could hit one person in a second, you wind up with numbers like five or six. This doesn't mean you could fight four or five people. But it's also hard for four or five people to simultaneously attack somebody, because they get in each other's way. More realistic is a couple of attackers.

For the complete piece:

Mr. Starks

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lightening the load-Preview Clip of Mortal Kombat with DC Heroes-Plus A Little Bit Of Back Door Slam!

Whew....sometimes, we all have to take a break from the heavy. Check out this latest clip of a new Mortal Kombat video game featuring DC heroes. Stay tuned for a few lighter stories and then of course, back to business. At least that's the plan.

This is a group on the rise that I have been grooving to recently-Back Door Slam from the Isle of Man, no less. Once again, further evidence that other folks are co-opting your culture and thriving. I hate racializing everything but more folks of color have to start picking up some instruments. But these young guys are truly bad (the good bad, that is). Check out Slam as they channel some Jimi. But there's always Lil' Wayne to carry our legacy-God have mercy on our souls.

And lastly, while I wait to see The Dark Knight this weekend, let's take a look backward at perhaps the best fan film interpolation of Batman to date. Check out Batman: Dead End-

I am not an Ageist but McCain Might Really Be Out Of Touch-Mac Discovers "A Google"

Check out this interview with Senator McCain as it relates to his computer/internet literacy, courtesy of the NY Times:

Q: What websites if any do you look at regularly?

Mr. McCain: Brooke and Mark show me Drudge, obviously, everybody
watches, for better or for worse, Drudge. Sometimes I look at Politico.
Sometimes RealPolitics, sometimes.

(Mrs. McCain and Ms. Buchanan both interject: “Meagan’s blog!”)

Mr. McCain: Excuse me, Meagan’s blog. And we also look at the blogs
from Michael and from you that may not be in the newspaper, that are
just part of your blog.

Q: But do you go on line for yourself?

Mr. McCain: They go on for me. I am learning to get online myself, and
I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself. I don’t expect to
be a great communicator, I don’t expect to set up my own blog, but I am
becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information
that I need – including going to my daughter’s blog first, before
anything else.

Q: Do you use a blackberry or email?

Mr. McCain: No

Mark Salter: He uses a BlackBerry, just ours.

Mr. McCain: I use the Blackberry, but I don’t e-mail, I’ve never felt
the particular need to e-mail. I read e-mails all the time, but the
communications that I have with my friends and staff are oral and done
with my cell phone. I have the luxury of being in contact with them
literally all the time. We now have a phone on the plane that is usable
on the20plane, so I just never really felt a need to do it. But I do –
could I just say, really – I understand the impact of blogs on American
politics today and political campaigns. I understand that. And I
understand that something appears on one blog, can ricochet all around
and get into the evening news, the front page of The New York Times.
So, I do pay attention to the blogs. And I am not in any way
unappreciative of the impact that they have on entire campaigns and
world opinion.

Q: You read newspapers then.

Mr. McCain: I read them most all every day.

Q: You and Obama are both newspaper and book readers. Do you read them
in the old paper version or do you read them online?

Mr. McCain: I love to read them in the print form, and the reason why I
do is because so much, the prominence of the story matters. If I read a
story and say, Oh my God, did you see this? But it’s back on A26, it
doesn’t have the impact of what are still – even though it’s declining
– what are still, what are hundreds of millions of American picking up
an looking at today. And that’s why I really think that reading it is,
it helps me more than, now, because I don’t read all the newspapers – I
don’t see, for example, the L.A. Times every day, or the San Francisco
Chronicle, or the Arizona Republic when I’m away. So we
go then, of course, online, and look at them.’

I really do believe that one can be as old or as young as he/she desires. I am definitely not an ageist and for the sake of full disclosure-my father reads blogs, googles and logs on and off his PC with ease. But the above conversation is a bit troubling because it touches upon whether a prospective President can relate to the present. And in another revelatory moment, if not for Senator Obama (as of late) adopting centrist policies and touching on some of the pathologies afflicting minority communities, I would more than likely be supporting McCain. And what about the elitist rap that Obama has been getting? The Obama clan are part of the nouveau riche-prior to their recent fortune; they were highly educated middle class strugglers like so many other Americans. Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill?

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Closer He Gets To The White House Door, The Nastier It Gets-Obama & Michelle on the Cover of the New Yorker

I have to give a hat tip to "Ohsokool" for this next piece. This is pretty easy and I'm tired of overstating the obvious. All I have to ask is why? Didn't Fox News commentator, E.D. Hill lose her gig for alluding to Michelle and Barack's fist bump as a terrorist jab? I'm not going to pontificate on this one. What do you guys think?

I'm back and there's more. I just received this from Media Matters and it really appears that the progressives (ok McLaughlin's politics are issue to issue based, he did vote for Kerry though) are schizophrenic-chiding Barack Obama one day and praising him the next. But the usage of the term, "Oreo" is perplexing. Now Whites have joined in (and are weighing in) more intently on the issue of Black authenticity. What say you all on this tidbit? Check out the vid:

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What's the Difference Between a Black Hole & a White One? And Don't Be Naughty or Niggardly.....Political Correctness Circa 2008!

I was vaguely aware of this next story and actually, it was referenced in the comment section in a previous post. Believe it or not, a controversy is brewing over the usage of the term Black hole. Now the last time I checked, a black hole is supposed to pertain to a spatial anomaly (excuse the Star Trek connection)-a void in space with a gravitational pull that can suck anything in its wake. You do know the site is called Afronerd. Well a White Dallas County (TX) city official (Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield) during a recent civil servants' meeting referred to an internal bureaucratic matter as being a "black hole." Well the gentleman's remark set off a firestorm with a Black official that took the meaning to have a racial inference. Sigh. Sigh again. This is the "niggardly" chronicles all over again. I would surmise that over sensitivity mixed with scholastic ignorance makes for one hell of a drug. Let's take a closer look at this story, thanks to the Salt Lake Tribune:

At a recent meeting of city officials in Dallas County, Texas, a small racial brouhaha broke out. County commissioners were hashing out difficulties with way the central collections office handles traffic tickets. Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield found himself guilty of talking while white. He observed that the bureaucracy "has become a black hole" for lost paperwork. Fellow Commissioner John Wiley Price took great offense, shouting, "Excuse me!" That office, the black commissioner explained, has become a "white hole." Seizing on the outrage, Judge Thomas Jones demanded that Mayfield apologize for the "racially insensitive analogy," in the words of the Dallas Morning News' City Hall Blog.

Houston Chronicle science blogger Eric Berger notes that everyone should be "very glad that the central collections office has not become a white hole, a theoretical object that ejects matter from beyond its event horizon, rather than sucking it in. It wouldn't be fun for Dallas to find itself so near a quasar." Maybe so, but speaking metaphorically, if it were a white hole, that might suggest central collections was actually doing its job, ejecting paperwork in a timely fashion. Call me nostalgic, but there was a time when this sort of stupidity actually generated controversy. Remember the Washington, D.C., official who used the word "niggardly" correctly in a sentence only to lose his job? That at least generated debate.

But these days, stories like this vomit forth daily and, for the most part, we roll our eyes, chuckle a bit and shrug them off. Obviously, there's something to be said for ignoring the childish grievance-peddling that motivates so much of this nonsense. But the simple fact is that ignoring political correctness has done remarkably little to combat it. Meanwhile, people who make a big deal about it are often cast as the disgruntled obsessive ones.

And to learn more about "white" holes versus "black" ones, click on the link below for the article in its entirety:

Jonah Goldberg: The black hole of extreme political correctness

Obama You Have To Stop Denouncing.......Soon They'll Be No One Left to Rebuke!-Bernie Mac.....You Guessed It, Gets Denounced by Obama!

Must everything relate to Senator Obama? I think for the moment, the answer will be a resounding, "yes!" First off, please excuse the expletive laden stand up routine as performed by the incomparable Bernie Mac. It appears that Senator Obama's staffers were unaware or had a lapse in judgment by hiring a blue comedian such as Mac and then expecting Walt Disney corporate humor-don't let his recent work on the family friendly, Bernic Mac Show fool you! Eddie Griffin received a similar comeuppance last year when hired to perform in front of the Boule/Jack & Jill set (Black Enterprise members/supporters, more specifically) and his microphone was snatched from him by Enterprise publisher, Earl Graves. This time it was Obama coming to the "rescue" and denouncing. Word of advice to the good Senator-you can't denounce everyone. Check out this excerpt, courtesy of the Huffington Post:

CHICAGO (AP) _ Comedian Bernie Mac endured some heckling and a campaign rebuke during a surprise appearance Friday night at a fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Toward the end of a 10-minute standup routine at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Chicago, the 50-year-old star of "The Bernie Mac Show" joked about menopause, sexual infidelity and promiscuity, and used occasional crude language.

"My little nephew came to me and he said, 'Uncle, what's the difference between a hypothetical question and a realistic question?'" Mac said. "I said, I don't know, but I said, 'Go upstairs and ask your mother if she'd make love to the mailman for $50,000.'"

As the joke continued, the punchline evoked an angry response from at least one person in the audience, who said it was offensive to women.

"It's not funny. Let's get Barack on," a man shouted from the crowd, which paid $2,300 each to support the Illinois senator.

About 15 minutes later, Obama tried to smooth things over with a joke of his own.

"We can't afford to be divided by race. We can't afford to be divided by region or by class and we can't afford to be divided by gender, which by the way, that means, Bernie, you've got to clean up your act next time," Obama said. "This is a family affair. By the way, I'm just messing with you, man."

For more, click here

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Radio Daze....... Afronerd visits KISS FM, NY

It looks like it's going to be wall to wall Afronerd Radio broadcasting for the next few days folks. First up, I'm scheduled to make an appearance on 98.7 KISS (NY) tomorrow on James Mtume's Open Line program. It's a fairly popular show helmed by radio veterans Mtume, Bob Slade and Bob Pickett. Open Line is a "live" call in show (2 hours) which airs on Sunday mornings beginning at 10 a.m. to 12 noon and it available in the NY Tri-state region. Anyone grounded in musical history should be familiar with Mtume-his work with Miles Davis, his lineage (Jazz greats-the Heath Brothers), musical director of the famed police drama-NY Undercover and of course his years as an artist (Juicy Fruit, anyone?) so try to stay tuned for the 11 o'clock (am) hour. We will be discussing of all things the Black blogosphere. And as an added treat, check out Mr. Mtume's past handiwork (water drum solo) in the above Miles Davis Youtube clip.

Next up, later on in the afternoon, we're back on schedule for Afronerd Radio's Week in Review (7pm eastern) to discuss Reverend Jackson's Obama footinmouth disorder, the sounding "Black" phenomenon and if time permits we will discuss the latest review of Dr. John McWhorter's All About the Beat: Why Hiphop Can’t Save Black America. So give us a call "live" at-646-915-9620 or via email/IM-afronerdradio@yahoo.

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review

And lastly, there's Comic Shoppe radio for this Monday at 7pm eastern. Join Max, Daryll and I as we discuss the red elephant in the room, this weekend's release of Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. In addition we will also cover Hancock, last week's favorite graphic novel reads and our all-time top five comic book translated to animated efforts. And you can also call us at-646-200-0104 or email-thecomicshoppe@yahoo. Imperius Rex...true believers!

Monday at the Comic Shoppe

Friday, July 11, 2008

Another Obama Reference? Check out The Latest Issue of Memin for the Answer! Wal-Mart Takes Racist Mexican Comic Off their Sheves!

My take in a few-but coincidently, the latest issue just so happens to be (as translated) Memin for President:

I'm back-more on my view of the Memin controversy. For the record, Westernized racism (in addition to matters of racial categorization and slavery) truly has a unique signature in comparison to other nation states. Although slavery in Africa was (and continues to be) no walk in the proverbial park, it bears very little resemblance to America's triangular trade version. Thankfully, society progresses-racist caricatures are no longer in vogue or accepted (for the most part....Flavor Flav, notwithstanding).

In comic book history, America has had their own Memins. Whether it was the 1940s Timely Comics' (pre-Marvel) Young Allies with their resident minstrel, Whitewash or The Spirit's Ebony White-American comics displayed all kinds of racially insensitive depictions of people of color. But in 2008, many of these characters have either disappeared into the annals of pulp history or updated to assuage White guilt (and conversely Black anger). It's time for Mexico to enter into this new millennium as well.

We have seen Mexico's former president, Vicente Fox make disparaging remarks against Black Americans in the past and now if we are to believe Wikipedia's transcripts regarding many indigenous Mexicans regarding Memin, they are offended that we are offended. Their excuse? You don't understand their culture.....well slavery and Jim Crow were cultural too-that had to go and so does a minstrel image like Memin. Depicting a Black person with inaccurate and exaggerated features just doesn't seem cultural to me. Perhaps Ms. Knowles said it best-it's time for an upgrade.

And for more on Mexico's history with racism (and what it means to be Afro-Mexican) click on the two links below:

Racism in Mexico?

Wikipedia's take on Afro-Mexicans

This just in, from Chron.com:

After Houston complaint, Wal-Mart pulls comic book
Store apologizes to blacks offended by main character

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

The black comic book character Memín Pinguín — whose face resembles a monkey — is hugely popular in Mexico, but its stereotypical image has proven to be too offensive for some north of the border.

Wal-Mart announced Wednesday it will no longer sell the controversial comic book featuring Memín. The national chain recently made the comic book available in its stores as part of a series of Spanish-language titles. The books prompted outrage this week from community activist Quanell X, who demanded that Wal-Mart apologize for selling the racially charged books.

However, the decision by the nation's largest retailer to pull the books wasn't enough for Meyerland resident Shawnedria McGinty, 34, who originally brought the matter to Quanell X's attention. She said the statement released by Wal-Mart addressing the comic book was tantamount to "a slap in the face."

Wal-Mart said in a statement that it will no longer distribute the product in its stores and is removing existing copies from its shelves.

The retail giant apologized to those offended by the comic book, saying in its statement that "Wal-Mart carries a wide array of products that reflect the wants and needs of Hispanic customers. And we understand that Memín is a popular figure in Mexico. However, given the sensitivity to the negative image Memín can portray to some, we felt that it was best to no longer carry the item in our stores."

Wal-Mart spokesman Lorenzo Lopez confirmed that the new policy extends nationwide.

"The titles were available mostly in stores where there is a large Hispanic customer base," he said. "For the most part, in certain areas, there could be one copy or two or three. We review all the complaints that come back to us. When we looked at it, we made the evaluation that we should (discontinue sales)."

The comic book, which features a fictional black boy with exaggerated features, has been immensely popular in Mexico since its debut in the 1940s.

However, it has earned a decidedly different reception in the U.S., drawing fire from critics who charge that it reinforces racist stereotypes.

McGinty encountered the book in the Libros en Español section at Wal-Mart's South Post Oak location. After asking the manager to pull the books from the section, she contacted Quanell X when the books remained Monday.

McGinty said Wal-Mart's statement was insufficient despite the chain's decision to pull all copies of the books.

"They offended the African-American community, and they did not acknowledge that and apologize to African-Americans," she said. "It's not Mexico's fault. They can have the magazine if you go to Mexico."

Quanell X, who was not given a chance to meet with Wal-Mart officials as requested, said he would withhold comment until a scheduled news conference at noon today outside the South Post Oak Wal-Mart.

For Wiki's history of Memin, click below:

Wikipedia's take on Memin

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What Does Black "Sound" Like?.......Just Ask the Authors of Freakonomics!

At the behest of our resident commenter Chic Noir, let's utilize our Afro-conservative and ever discerning microscope to decipher the meaning of a recent Freakonomics/NY Times article entitled, How Much Does It Cost You in Wages if You “Sound Black?” And again, a special hat tip to Chic for hipping yours truly to this piece. First off, I think we must determine what exactly does it mean to sound Black? I would surmise that it refers to sounding stereotypically Black and underclass. Interestingly enough, the Freakonomics article also states that sounding "southern" has negative equity allusions attached to it as well.

I think that it's time that part of the cultural shift message that our blog (as well as the other protagonists in this saga-Cosby, Poussaint, Juan Williams and the above captioned, Gerard McClendon) has been calling for, should be the demise of the matter-of-fact assertion that definitive Blackness equals failure. Bear with me as I switch into nerdic mode, but I always likened uber-Blackness to someone akin to my hero (respectfully excluding my parents on this one point) Paul Robeson. Robeson, clearly dispels any notion that a Black person is inherently inferior as he was the consummate polymath. He was literally a Jack of all trades on many fronts-scholarship, intellectualism, athletics, public speaking and artistry. Okay, he was the living embodiment of Marvel Comics' Black Panther-there I said it(my nerd moment..sorry).

And there have been innumerable examples of Black genius in our lifetime that the media and Joe Public ignore on a daily basis. But unfortunately as a carry over from the last century, the usage of the term "Black" or "too Black" has come to mean ignorance and failure, which must be rooted from our current lexicon. I want to make this clear, our criticisms of certain ghettoized names and stereotyped Black diction does not mean that we are suggesting that a person of African descent capitulate to wholesale Euro-centrism. But when a person of color speaks SE (Standard English), is refined and/or erudite does it automatically mean that he or she is sounding "White?" I would definitely like to see or hear footage of the sounding Black test that the Times article in question referenced. I'm just not sure if this was a matter of SE being spoken, Black intonation mixed with SE or stereotypical AAVE (African-American Vernacular English). We decided to take a break from broadcasting Afronerd Radio this evening but this may be a subject to bring up for next Sunday's show. What do you guys think? What does Black sound like? And better yet, what does White sound like? Here's more on the origins of Black English:

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Jesse Jackson Causes a Stir...Again.......Apologizes for Crude Remarks Against Obama!

First off, is it my imagination or was Reverend Jackson sampling the Ying Yang Twins?-I'm just sayin.' I'm not going to beat this issue into the ground but can the class answer this question-how does legitimate critique of some of the dysfunction within the African-American community get translated into "talking down" to someone? I believe this latest faux pas around Jackson pretty much proves the point of this blog since its inception-there must be a myriad of voices from varying political perspectives to debunk notions of a Black monolith. When will we hold some in the hip hop community under the same microscope when they "speak" to people of color? The lyricism and cadence displayed in hip hop are very much a form of public speaking, akin to Obama's Father's Day speech; except one format is trying to help its audience and the other calls you a nigga and requests $13.99 for the privilege! Here's more of the fallout as it pertains to No Prophylaction Jackson, courtesy of the LA Times:

NEW YORK -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson apologized this afternoon for making crude remarks about Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama that were picked up during an interview with Fox News on Sunday.

The civil rights leader apparently did not know that his microphone was on when he made the whispered comments to another guest as he prepared to do an interview on "Fox & Friends."

"Barack, he's talking down to black people," Jackson said in a short clip the network aired this afternoon on "Special Report with Brit Hume."

Hume reported that Jackson also "threatened to cut off a certain part of Obama's anatomy."

The cable news network aired more audio and video of what Jackson said this evening on "The O'Reilly Factor."

Jackson also gave an interview to rival network CNN expressing regret for his comments, which he said he made as part of a discussion about Obama's calls for more personal responsibility during appearances before black churches.

"I said it can come off as speaking down to black people," Jackson said on CNN's "The Situation Room."

"And then I said something I felt regret for -- it was crude," he added. "It was very private, and very much a sound bite -- and a live mike. And so I feel -- I find no comfort in it, I find no joy in it. So I immediately called the senator's campaign to send my statement of apology to repair the harm or hurt that this may have caused his campaign because I support it unequivocally."

And for more from the Times, click here.

Not Sure How To Keep Liberalism in the Black DNA Pool? TV-One Covers the DNC Convention but NOT the GOP version!

First BET insists on playing a certain kind of hip hop and now in a like-minded fashion, TV-One covers a certain type of politics. More on this (and the prior post) in a few:

This just in, courtesy of the New York Daily News:

TV One's political coverage will be unconventional

Wednesday, July 9th 2008, 4:00 AM

Johnathan Rodgers
LOS ANGELES - TV One will air live nightly coverage of the Democratic National Convention, followed by "TV One Live: DNC Afterparty," an hour-long show of panel discussions on the issues. The network, however, does not have any plans to cover the Republican side of the presidential race.

"We are not a news organization, we're a television network that's designed to celebrate African-American achievement," TV One President and CEO Johnathan Rodgers told members of the Television Critics Association yesterday. "That's why we're covering this convention.

"If Hillary were the nominee, we would not be covering this year's convention. My audience is 93% black. I serve my audience."

The straightforward convention coverage, starting Aug. 25, will be led by radio talk-show host Joe Madison and CN8 News' principal anchor Arthur Fennell, while "TV One Live: DNC Afterparty" will usher in a slew of politically savvy commentators including TV and radio reporter Jacque Reid; the Rev. Marcia Dyson and her husband, Michael Eric Dyson; TV One commentator Roland Martin; the Rev. Al Sharpton, actor Hill Harper, and comedian Sheryl Underwood.

"Sen. Obama running for President is a huge deal for TV One, as it is for the African-American community," said Rodgers. "It's not normally part of what we would do, but we will be covering the Democratic convention all the time. It's going to be a ceremonial, historical, irreverent and celebratory look at the process and look at Sen. Obama and what this means to the African-American community."

Reid, who will serve as "Afterparty's" main anchor, emphasized that despite the show appearing on an African-American network, it will discuss all aspects of Obama's candidacy, not just the race-related ones.

"There's something for every group," Reid said. "We're not just going to get on the show and talk about black issues. Yes, Barack Obama is the nominee, but there are several issues that black people care about, and the beauty is that there's a black perspective that can be reflected upon any of them."

Alrighty then....back to the issue at hand. This latest dust-up with TV-One (a media outlet that is slowly becoming BET's soror in shaping a truncated image of Black America), is proving that profit wins over information and substance at every turn. Thankfully, with former congressman J.C. Watts' latest Black news network initiative, perhaps the current single-mindedness displayed in African-American politics and media will be ameliorated. Profit driven excuses are wearing thin when the fate of communities of color hangs in the balance. This is the very reason why neo-minstrelsy as entertainment reign supreme in the Black community and conversely it should not be tolerated in the political arena as well. As a right of self-determination, Black folk should be at least be exposed to conservative rhetoric so that they can come to their own conclusions. What do you guys think? Is TV-One acting like BET on this matter?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Monday, July 07, 2008

Happy Belated Fourth and Now Some Links/Stories of Interest

Well, Japan is at it again and you probably thought that you heard the last of this when a Georgia resident encroached on the Obama/monkey business issue a few months back-well think again. I'm not sure if I'm buying that certain Asian countries are not familiar with the history of African-American dehumanization as it relates to people of color being likened to simians. Although I'm just finding out that because of a city named Obama in Japan, our good Senator is allegedly an odds on favorite-but still. I became aware of the proliferation of Sambo dolls being sold in land of the rising sun a decade prior.

As many of you know, I am a collector of sorts (not just comics, vintage ties, watches, etc) and in recent years I started getting interested in Black Americana. One could say that I am gathering evidence of items that might make many people uncomfortable-"colored only" signs, slave auction receipts, racist board games, minstrel photos, etc. I have also picked up some rather interesting toiletries such as "darkie" toothpaste and "lucky coon" soap-purchased where, you may ask? You guessed it-Hong Kong and Japan! So now we have Nipponese racial pixie dust being thrown into the mix thanks to the latest eMobile ad campaign. Here's more, courtesy of the Huffington Post's Ernest Harris (excerpt):

The ethnic tensions stretched taut by the campaign and that have roiled U.S. culture for the last half year rippled across Japan when reports surfaced that a television ad for Japanese cellular telephone provider eMobile starred a monkey as Barack Obama.

In the spot, a large crowd at a political rally is surrounding a speaker, who is firing up the crowd from a podium. Members of the crowd excitedly cheer and hold up placards with the word "change" emblazoned upon them. The speaker, leading the chants at the podium and dressed in a nice blue suit, is a monkey.

The response from black people in Japan and others, once news of the ad spread, was swift. Cries that the depiction was raw racism and an insult to Obama and all Blacks drew a denial of any knowing wrongdoing from eMobile. Spokespeople for the company assured the press that there was no racist intent on the company's part and it meant in no way to demean Obama or Black people. The company pulled the ad within hours after the story broke.

And as promised-links and more links-click here for the Harris piece in its entirety.

Just an fyi-yours truly is scheduled for another upcoming appearance on NPR's News & Notes, July 23rd but please listen in on today's bloggers roundtable with no less than two of my conservative bretheren (Cobb and Kevin Ross of Three Bros. & Sister) waxing on being Black, Republican and in support of Senator Obama's historic presidential run:

Black Conservatives Conflicted Over Obama, McCain

Next, is it true that a Black Greek organization is getting involved in the action figure market? Well, sort of.....check out this Chicago Times piece that touches upon recent deals made by the AKA's (Alpha Kappa Alpha for the uninitiated, literally) with Mattel (skee wee Barbie, is it...), Converse and Ancestry.com:

Oldest black sorority to meet and Greek Barbie

And lastly, a quick hat tip to Sergio of the Bloodsport blog for hipping me to what was inevitable-a conservative support site for Senator Obama:

Republicans for Obama

Thursday, July 03, 2008