by Latoya Peterson
Via Pam’s House Blend, Don Lemon revealed a painful truth on television while covering the Bishop Eddie Long scandal. (The Bishop is accused of manipulating young men into sexual relationships with him.) Media Bistro explains:
Lemon had just played a soundbite from the lawyer of one of Long’s accusers about how the bishop allegedly got close to one of the young men in his church.
Let me tell you what got my attention about this and I have never admitted this on television. I’m a victim of a pedophile when I was a kid. Someone who was much older than me.
Lemon’s admission led to an audible gasp from one of his guests. “I’ve never admitted that on television and I never told my mom until I was 30 years old,” Lemon said later in the segment. “Especially African-American men don’t want to talk about those things.”
Looking at this week’s schedule, I’m not sure Arturo or I will have enough time to delve into this, but it is amazingly important, and we will host a discussion about this next week.
Via & For the Love of Fashion, this video on model Anais Mali, which is heartbreaking in its simplicity. Mali is bubbly and full of life, with gorgeous photos and a heavy love of designer gear. But the casting folks in Paris just say straight up “You’re black? This is a problem.”
From the tips pool comes this video on Avatar Remix – A.V.A.T.A.R. (Anglos Valiantly Aiding Tragic Awe-inspiring Races). It’s a mash up of Avatar – and other films with very similar themes.
Good Magazine produced a quick video on the state of education. No explicit racial content, but worth watching:
We will return to this in light of the recent report about black and Latino male graduation rates in the US. Again, we will have to host a larger conversation on this next week.
Farai Chideya interviews black Tea Party Candidate Allen West. I always appreciate Chideya’s interviews because she is always interested in understanding people, and it really helped to illuminate the mindset of those in the tea party. It was also stunningly ahistorical – before West makes the pronouncement that institutional racism is over in the United States, he refers fondly to the good old days of Western expansion – aka Manifest Destiny. He also claimed the settlers didn’t go out and ask other people for wagons and pots and pans – but that was exactly what families did to survive, because the trail was hard. Full interview below:
Over at Andrea Rubenstein’s blog, she’s posted an interesting commentary on gender roles told through a video game lens. Nothing especially racial (and it’s definitely the typical view of women’s battles in the workplace) but interesting and worth watching. Andrea has also provided a transcript, for those who cannot see the video. (The only sound in the video are bleeps and bloops – story told through the action.)
My girl gamer feeds have been blowing up with this parody of Katy Perry’s “California Girls.” The Border House led me to the “G33K and G4M3R Girls” mix by Team Unicorn. (The Border House has also kindly transcribed the lyrics.)
While there is a lot to love about this video (Seth Green! Manga! Hasbro! Fan subbed vs. Dubbed Anime!) there’s two things that stick at me. The first one was already covered by Lake Desire at the Border House:
I usually love corny fanservice, and would really like this video except that I just can’t get over the naked singers with their naughty bits covered by controllers and lightsabers. It is so over-done! My verdict: once again geek girls are fanservice for the stereotypical male gamer and what he supposedly finds attractive. I think it’s pretty well established now that geek girls exist, but I guess we’re stuck in existing to be hot girlfriends of geeks. Can we do something new?
Interestingly enough, the naked girl covered by game gear is actually an iconic image of sexism in game advertising. Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat uses a copy of the original Sega ad as an illustration, and I’ve used that image in almost every presentation/paper I’ve written on sexism in gaming.
But here’s the other thing that hits me. Over at the Star Wars blog, Team Unicorn explains why they wanted to do the video:
Because like unicorns, geek girls are not supposed to exist!
But watching the video, I realized who else doesn’t exist, again.
Geeks of Color. With the possible exception of Milynn, all the women represented are white. In addition, the four women svelte, and conventionally attractive. Which is fine, I’m sure they game and geek out with the best of us. But if geek girls are invisible unicorns, brown geek girls (which compose most of my nerd crew) might as well be Cthulhu. So while I wanted to put my hands up, I’m going to have to rip the MP3. And ignore my issues with Stan Lee and Joss Whedon. And the fact that I hate the source song.