links for 2006-10-06

50 Cent calls Oprah white, Kanye West gay

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

50 cent disses oprah and kanye west(Spotted this on Crunk and Disorderly)

A lot of rappers have spoken out about Oprah’s seemingly hostile attitude towards hip hop artists. First Ludacris complained about having his comments edited out when he appeared on her show to discuss the movie Crash. Then 50 Cent told the Associated Press that he “could care less” about Oprah. And to top it all of, Ice Cube bitched to FHM magazine that Oprah had Eve and Cedric the Entertainer on to talk about the movie Barbershop, but not him.

And now 50 Cent has lashed out again. Not only does he accuse Oprah of being a white woman, but he also manages to get a homophobic dig in at Kanye West. From BET.com:

In usual 50 Cent fashion, the rapper has once again decided to pick a fight. This week, 50 Cent has decided to go after Oprah again. In an exclusive interview while backstage at 106 & Park last Thursday, 50 said, “Oprah’s great. I just think the only misconception is that she’s a Black woman. They say Oprah Winfrey’s a Black woman, but she’s [been] catering to a demographic of a middle-aged White woman for so long that I believe she’s a middle-aged White woman.”

These comments stem from a beef that 50 Cent had with Oprah earlier this year after rumors began to circulate that the talk show host refused to have certain rappers on her show. ”

Oprah will have a rapist on her show and have a discussion about why they do it, but won’t have a rags to riches story on her show,” 50 said.

He went on to even throw rapper/producer Kanye West in the fire. “She’ll have Kanye West on her show. I think middle America would rather have they kids be gay, than have them aggressive.”

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Would you like a nunchuck with that spicy tuna roll?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

ninja new york restaurantIf the whole New Demographic thing doesn’t work out for me and Jen, it’s good to know that we have backup options. Like working at Ninja New York, for example, a (I kid you not) ninja-themed restaurant here in the city. Yeah yeah neither of us are Japanese, but we’re yellow enough to contribute to the super-authentic dining experience of the losers who would dine there. From Grub Street:

Nina Cha found her calling when she answered a Craigslist ad that read, “WANTED: Ninjas who do magic.” We asked her about her qualifications, and she told us about her brushes with Frank Bruni’s wrath and Tara Reid’s posse.

Nina Cha
Ninja New York
25 Hudson St., nr. Reade St.; 212-274-8500

What kind of training did you get?
There were two months of extensive training before we opened. The first week they gave us the history of ninjas and what’s thought to be myth and legend. We had magic classes once or twice a week. And tastings.

Do kids get scared?
Some do, because it’s very dark and we have ninjas popping in and out.

Grey’s Anatomy vs. Scrubs*: Or the Limits of Representation

by guest contributor Maia, originally posted at her blog, Capitalism Bad; Tree Pretty

I’ve started watching Grey’s Anatomy really regularly (they’re repeating Season 1 in NZ), I’m not quite sure why – because I don’t really like it that much. I don’t think it’s well-written, by half-way through season two I hated almost all the characters. But watch it I do, if nothing else it gets things to blog about it.

Shonda Rhimes (Creator of the show) said that she wanted Grey’s Anatomy to look like America, and she did quite well. Of the four authority figures we see most regularly, three are african-american, and one of those is female. This is a world where you can live in a trailer park and grow up to be surgeon. Rich or poor, male of female, Korean, African-American or white – anyone can work at Seattle Grace.

Compare this to Scrubs, the authority figures are all white men, and while you can be a doctor and female or a doctor and African-American, the women of colour are all nurses.

There was this episode of Scrubs where all the main characters were speaking to the camera about their lives. I don’t remember the reason but Carla (the Latina Nurse) was telling a story about when she was a girl, and how she came to be in the job she was in. She was in a store and someone was injured in some way and a doctor came in and saved the patient. Her segment ended with her saying “That’s when I realised I wanted to be a doctor.”

The show didn’t have to tell us why Carla didn’t become a doctor, because it was really clear. What I loved about Scrubs is that it showed a society where racism, sexism, and the class system were all problems. Continue reading

Madonna adopts baby from Malawi?

by guest contributor Nina

(Note from CVK: as of now we’re getting conflicted reports over whether or not this adoption has gone through. Madonna’s publicist has denied it, but Malawi government officials have said it’s true.)

In the latest celebrity news, Madonna has adopted or plans to adopt an orphan from Malawi. Apparently she wants a boy and had about a dozen to choose from. So now it is just a short time before we see the little one in the most stylish baby clothes, being carted around the streets of London and L.A. in the Material Girl’s arms. The new mother,with a smug “aren’t-I-an-amazing-person-
because-I-adopted-this-child-that-would-have-died-without-my-help” look on her face.

I know that we are supposed to be in awe of celebrities adopting African children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, but I cannot shake the feeling that it is just a trendy act and reeks of noblesse oblige and reputation rehab! Maybe Madonna will get a shout out on BET’s 106th & Park. A decade ago Hollywood was adopting African American kids (Mia Farrow, Tom Cruise, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Spielberg), and now the cause celebre is Africa itself and as the caustic mass media puts it “AIDS babies.”

Some would argue that without these individuals, the orphans would die. Well according to a 2003 UNICEF report, “AIDS has already orphaned more than 11 million African children, half of whom are between the ages of 10 and 14.” So unless Angelina, Madonna and the rest plan on adopting a few hundred kids each then they aren’t really putting a dent in the situation. The old adage, give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day seems to apply here. Less than 5 % of Africans affected with HIV/AIDS have access to medication that costs a mere $7-8 a day. A couple of million dollars for antiretrovirals that keep these kids’ parents alive would be far more beneficial in the long run than adopting one child. Instead Madonna hopes to spend $3 million on a kabbalah-influenced orphanage to indoctrinate Malawian children in her religion of the moment.

Furthermore, the issue of these children’s racial/cultural identity is worth discussion. Malawi has a ban on non-resident adoptions of Malawian children. A ban that was in place, presumably, to maintain the culture of their children. But the ban was lifted for Madonna. This site has devoted considerable time to issues of racial identity, particularly for transracially adopted children. When Oprah asked Tom Cruise, “how do you discuss race with your son?” (who is African-American). Cruise looked at Oprah like she asked him to describe bestiality. “He’s my son, Oprah. He’s my son” he said indignantly, to the applause of a mostly white audience.

Race is a thorny topic but it needs to be talked about especially if you adopt from outside your own. I just don’t think that white, wealthy celebrities can really deal with it. Hell, even celebrities of color live in a rarefied world. I once saw an interview with Natalie Cole where she said she didn’t realize she was black until she got to college. And she grew up during segregation! I cannot wait to hear from Zahara, Maddox and all the rest in the years to come.

links for 2006-10-05

Wait, not the Sean Jean, now?!

by Jen Chau
get outta here with that gear!Have you ever worried about not being let into a club because of the way you were dressed? You know, your clothing wasn’t quite dressy enough, or you were wearing sneakers? (god, you really should have known better! what were you thinking?!). Well, apparently, a spot in Nashville has taken all of this so seriously that they have gotten very specific about the gear that is unacceptable. Thanks to my bro for the heads-up on this. ;)

A Nashville Nightclub has introduced Brand Specific Dress Codes.  The sign outside the club displays a list of unacceptable brands, including: Southpole, ECKO, ENYCE, Sean Jean, Phat Farm, FUBU, etc.  The brand specific dress code is creating controversy both because it discriminates against style and because the brands chosen suggest racial profiling.  One shop keeper described, “You see black people wearing more of these type of clothes. I have it on now. I think he pointed his finger toward black people (talking about) the grills and the Sean Jean. I think he’s talking about more black people.”

I agree. The grills and the Sean Jean needs to stop. :) Seriously, this brings up a lot of questions. I honestly don’t think this situation is as much about race here as it is about the club’s assumptions about “the kind of people” who wear these brands…although it probably does go back to race for the club. They are probably thinking Phat Farm = hip hop, hip hop = thugs, thugs = trouble. And of course hip hop is synonomous with black, so…. :| I mean, let’s be honest — what were they thinking? Probably that the people who wear Ecko and FUBU are thugs up to no good who will only do damage to their place. Or maybe the management just doesn’t think this crowd is “refined” enough to be partying at their establishment. Clearly, this situation reeks of assumptions and stereotypes…and possibly even some classism. I can see how all of this is being pinned on racial discrimination, though, because again, the assumption at play here is that only black individuals wear these brands.

Well, I don’t know how it is in Nashville, but if it’s anything like the big apple, good luck. I mean, when you are trying to get into these places, you’re at the bouncer’s mercy. I think that it’s a club’s prerogative to let people in based on their arbitrary/random rules and whether they feel generous on any given night. It’s all so silly and superficial, but that’s the way it goes in the land of drinking/dancing/seeing and being seen. This is why I stay home. :| :)

But clearly this club hasn’t done its research. If it had, it wouldn’t blindly ban Sean Jean. I mean, have they caught sight of the Sean Jean “2 Button Grey Sharkskin Jacket!?” ;) Suave!

I think that if folks want to boycott, they should definitely show up to the club in this, this, or any of these. :)

Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World