Singer Akon practices polygamy?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

russian nesting dollsI’m not sure if this is for real, but according to Vibe Confidential:

Today my homegirl and co-worker, Hot 97 host Angie Martinez spoke to Akon about relationships. Akon, who recently released a single with Eminem, explained that as an African (Ak’ is from a very prominent music family in Senegal) he believes in polygamy. His father had four wives, all of whom he considers “Mom”.

It also turns out that Akon has taken up a Senegalese lifestyle here, because after a little hesitation, the singer-producer admitted that he has his own multi-monogamous household going down in the ATL!

Cause you know, all Africans believe in polygamy. Anyway, supposedly Miss Info has the scoop over at her Celebrity Drama Podcast on the Hot97 web site. But with no show descriptions, I have no idea which episode is the relevant one.

Survivor: Cook Islands episode three recap

by guest contributor Jeff Yang, SFGate.com columnist and blogger

survivorTWO FOUR SIX EIGHT
THIS IS HOW WE INTEGRATE

And that’s that. Just three episodes into the made-for-media-outrage spectacle of Survivor: Separate But Equal, the tribes have been forcibly bused into a Red Team and Blue Team. The method used to Benettonize the castaways was painfully ordinary–two male captains and two female captains were selected, and each picked teammates like a sandlot Wiffle Ball game, with responsibility for the next selection passed to the just-picked person.

The caps: Our sassy boy Brad from Puka and poultry-pilferin’ Jonathan from Raro, plus Latino risk consultant Cecilia and flirty Raro “boxer” Parvati (her bio says she throws fist in that Most Extreme of bloodsport federations, Perfect 10 Model Boxing).

You’d think they could have at least required them to explain why they were making each choice, like in Dave Chappelle’s inspired “Racial Draft” skit: “I pick Yul because he defies the Asian ‘geeky male’ stereotype, while epitomizing the Asian ‘model minority’ stereotype.”

In any case, the elimination of the ethnic rivalry motif has taken with it any real interest I have in the program, other than seeing how long it is before someone actually punches Cao Boi in the mouth–as I noted in my last recap, it was only a matter of time before his teammates realized that his problem isn’t the dumb ethnic jokes, it’s that he can’t keep his piehole shut for more than five minutes at a time. Given that, I guess this is my last formal Cook Island recap…unless Burnett decides to throw more racial MSG to the Survivor stirfry, or until the other Survivors form a cargo cult and begin worshipping Yul as the incarnate god he is.

Still, it’s been fun. Can’t wait for next year, when Burnett debuts Survivor: Pirates! Ninjas! Monkeys! Robots!

My money’s on the ninjas.

links for 2006-09-29

Forcing the look

by Jen Chau
This ad campaign for international telecommunications company, Telefonica, seems to try to cash in on the mixed look. A little forced if you ask me.

Fascination with “mixed looks” is definitely something I am over. :) But it carries on. Can’t wait until everyone catches up and people realize that there are lots of people who look like this out there. There is something creepy about headshots like this. Are we supposed to be mystified by the way they look? (stare and wonder, “how did they get to be like this?”) There’s almost something anthropological about them. I mean, who needs to study anyone’s face like this?

You may have heard me complain about headshots of mixed people in the past. :) Yes, I think visibility is important, and I agree that there are still a lot of folks out there who objectify and get so curious because they aren’t yet comfortable with the idea that mixed people exist…. but I am still not convinced that face-front headshots is the way to do it. Aren’t we just encouraging objectification instead of moving towards a more realistic, complex understanding?

links for 2006-09-28

Brand-new “Addicted to Race” episode out now (#42)!

by Jen Chau and Carmen Van Kerckhove
addicted to race logo
A brand-new episode of Addicted to Race is out! If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes. Click here to launch iTunes and subscribe today, it’s absolutely free.

LAST TUESDAY’S LIVE SHOW
In this episode of Addicted to Race, we share with you the recording of last Tuesday’s live show. On the show, we discussed the gender wars that seem to exist in the African-American and Asian-American communities. Is there really tension between men and women? Is it just hyped by the media? If so, why are we buying into it? How can we find a more productive and complex way to discuss issues like interracial relationships and gender privilege without resorting to accusations and counter-accusations?

HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!
Please help us reach new listeners by voting for us on Podcast Alley, reviewing us on Yahoo’s podcast directory and reviewing us in iTunes.

NEW TO PODCASTS?
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Duration – 1:13:25
File Size – 29.5 MB
Right-click here to download an MP3 of Addicted to Race Episode 42

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Miss Cleo comes out, joins ‘Surreal Life’

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

miss cleo surreal life comes out lesbianRemember Miss Cleo from those annoying late-night psychic hotline infomercials back in the late 90s? The one with the really fake Jamaican accent? “Call me now!”

Well, you’re about to. Miss Cleo (real name Youree Dell Cleomili Harris) came out in the October issue of The Advocate. In the interview, she credits her gay godson for inspiring her to make the revelation. That’s all well and good, but I share Dr. Marc Lamont Hill’s skepticism, since her confession is conveniently timed to coincide with the new season of VH1′s “The Surreal Life,” in which she will be a castmember.

Keith Boykin , however, is looking on the bright side:

Personally, I can’t see the future, but I’m willing to predict that her coming out will have a positive effect on the community. When someone who knows Miss Cleo finds out that she is a lesbian, that will help that person to re-think what it means to be a lesbian. The more people who come out, especially in the black community, the more we can challenge the stereotype of what it means to be gay or lesbian.

Should you use blackface on your blog?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

blackface liebermanUnfortunately, the resurgence of blackface is a trend we’ve documented extensively here at Racialicious. We’ve spotted the burnt cork on everyone from Kate Moss to Angelina Jolie (arguably), from Dave Chappelle to guests on the Tyra Banks Show, from hipster douchebags to Tokyo Fashion Week models, from white teenagers on YouTube to reality show participants.

One of the most egregious examples of recent memory was when The Huffington Post allowed one of its bloggers, Jane Hamsher, to illustrate a post criticizing Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman with this little number right here.

If you’re a blogger and you’re asking yourself whether you should follow in Hamsher’s steps, ebogjonson has some advice for you in the form of… a flowchart. You have to click over to view it — it’s absolutely hilarious:

This is a highly complicated question, requiring that one juggle a number of aesthetic, political and racial conundrums. During my time as an internet executive, I learned that basically anything could be explained to anyone using an Excel spreadsheet, so as an aid to bloggers and civilians everywhere I’ve put together a handy process-flow/spreadsheet that I believe should answer folks’ various questions lickity-split.

So: should you use blackface on your blog? Click here to find out! (It’s a big file; give it a minute to load if yer using a slow connection.)

Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World