Too hood for MySpace? Try CrackSpace!

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

From the man who brought you that masterpiece of African-American cinema, Soul Plane, comes a brand-new venture: a social networking web site called Crackspace. From EURWeb.com:

“MySpace is great but it doesn’t even come close to fully satisfying the hip-hop generation. CrackSpace was created by and for that generation. This is a place for anyone who loves the culture. We have to be very much in touch with the places where kids experience urban music and culture and really set the table for when the majority of sales are online. That’s really what this is all about.”

There’s nothing like naming your company after a drug that has ravaged communities of color all over the country and taken countless lives. Clearly this is a man who cares about our children.

(First read about this on the always-fabulous Crunk and Disorderly.)

links for 2006-10-18

10 hints for my white friends

by guest contributor Philip Arthur Moore, originally published at TheThink

Before taking my first ever study abroad trip, I was told that there would be certain social and cultural norms that I would have to adapt to without pressing the issue too much. I knew that as a visitor into the Vietnamese community, no matter how odd, foreign, hypocritical, or just plain weird the people seemed, it wasn’t my place to call them out on it. To be sure, I found myself frustrated at times that I was unable to cause some sort of communal change in areas that I found a bit off, but that was the price I paid to study abroad. I knew that no matter how close I got to the community, through my acquisition of the Vietnamese language or friendly conversations, there were some things I just could not do as a non-Vietnamese person.

It is with this train of thought that I feel the need to enlighten some of my white brothers and sisters about how not to approach the black community in the United States. Now, I realize that black Americans and white Americans live in the same political state, but often times they might as well be defined as two separate nations. Young black children in predominately white schools might as well be on a study abroad trip as far as I’m concerned. White Americans who dare travel into predominately black, brown, or yellow neighborhoods often feel like they are living in another country among a sea of non-white people.

Little is admitted about the real lack of integration in our nation while whites kick back and enjoy television shows like Flavor of Love and think they’ve truly just enjoyed a slice of black life in the U.S. Non-whites watch television shows like Friends and think that most white people drink bowl-sized cups of latte. Many watch the newest season of Survivor (Cook Islands) and actually believe they’ve been schooled on diversity.

Of all the races in the United States, white people have the hardest time understanding racial oppression. This is a fact. Much like the men (including myself) in the United States who just cannot understand what it feels like to be a woman who is judged by her bra and waist measurements, white Americans cannot put themselves in the position of racial other-ness on a daily basis. Unless of course they go abroad or to New York, Chicago, DC, Altanta, Detroit, Philly, LA, Houston, or anywhere else with more black people than say, Altoona, PA. This is not to say that white people cannot understand racial opporession. It’s just that, well, most of them don’t.

With that said, I’ve put together ten pointers that will help my fellow American citizens integrate themselves more easily into a black America. Granted, many of my white brothers and sisters will never feel the need to voluntarily put themselves around people shades darker than themselves (unless it involves sex, economic or sociopolitical domination), but for those who do want to take on a grand adventure of integrating themselves with blacks in a comfortable fashion, look no further.

What follows are ten rules that may help you blend in easier with black Americans and reduce frictions between yourselves and them. Consider it a study abroad guide to black America. Now, surely there will be some white people who read the following rules and get upset about them, but just remember, when you put yourselves around a lot of black people, you are on a study abroad trip. Suck it up, deal with it how you must, and keep it moving.

Things White People Shouldn’t Do…
(10 Rules from your Half-brother, With Love)

Rule #1: Say the word “Nigger”.

This one’s pretty self explanatory. I understand that a number of my white brothers and sisters feel the need to sing along with rap songs and repeat a lot of the things that black rappers say. But, I asure you, this angers a great deal of black people. Many of us are very uncomfortable with the word “nigger”, and far fewer of us use it than is portrayed on television. For your own safety and the safety of those around you, please avoid using this word. For more explanation, please continue reading about the word “nigger”…

Rule #2: Throw “ghetto” parties (unless one actually lives in the ghetto) or dress up in blackface, brown-face, yellow-face, or any other-face that contradicts one’s own skin tone (Halloween exemptions on a case by case basis).

It seems that as of late, white people have been on the up and up when it comes to throwing ghetto parties. Perhaps this coincides with the birth of hipsterism, I’m not sure. In any event, these ghetto parties can lead to nothing but sore relationships between black Americans and white Americans who believe that dressing like black people is flattering, funny, entertaining, or harmless. For your own safety and the safety of those around you, please avoid painting yourself with shoe polish for kicks and giggles. That hurts black peoples’ feelings, and you wouldn’t want to do that. Would you? Continue reading

Mike Tyson so desperate he’ll fight women

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

boxing mike tyson may fight women?Are Eddie Murphy and Mike Tyson being blackmailed or something? I just don’t understand why both are willing to do anything for a paycheck.

Last week we told you about Eddie Murphy’s latest travesty, in which he’ll double up on the buffoonery by playing both a mammy and an Asian man.

And now Mike Tyson has announced that he’s going to start fighting women (in the ring for once, hehe). From SI.com:

At a news conference at an Italian restaurant, Tyson said he would likely go just four rounds and that future stops on the tour might include bouts with women, possibly professional boxer Ann Wolfe. Wolfe, from Waco, Texas, is 21-1 with 15 knockouts.

“She’s such a prominent, dominant woman in the boxing field,” Tyson said.

When asked if he was joking about fighting women, Tyson said, “I’m very serious.”

Russ Young, a promoter for Wolfe, said such a bout will never happen.

“That’s the first we’ve heard of it,” Young said. “No state would sanction that. She would be outweighed by 60 to 70 pounds. Ann would never entertain the idea.”

It’s sad that this formerly great athlete has become such a freak show.

TONIGHT: Live call-in show for Addicted to Race!

by Jen Chau and Carmen Van Kerckhove

Be sure to tune in TONIGHT for the latest Addicted to Race live call-in show. It’s tonight, October 17 at 10 pm Eastern U.S. time.
We’ll be discussing the dangers of positive stereotypes. Why are we so quick to agree with positive stereotypes about our ethnic or racial group? How can we begin to see that these positive stereotypes exist at the expense of other groups? Are positive stereotypes just as harmful as negative stereotypes?

I Have a Talk ShowTo listen, click here. Tonight there should be a play button, which if clicked will allow you to listen to the show, streaming live over the Web site.

To call in, just dial (347) 996-3958 or you can also IM us at AIM – our username is addictedpodcast.

If you’d like to receive an email reminder about the show, click here. You can select the reminder to go out anywhere from 5 minutes before the show or 24 hours before the show. We’re really excited and look forward to speaking with you all live! :)

For those who can’t tune in for the live show, we will be recording the episode so you’ll be able to download and listen later on. To listen to a recording of last month’s live show, click here.

links for 2006-10-17

Hailing a cab was never so easy…

by Jen Chau
the cabs are just lining up!That is the thought of New York Times Week in Review writer, Calvin Sims. He remembers that just several years ago, it was much tougher to hail a cab, being a young black male. He wonders if it has to do with law enforcement, the fact that drivers are less discriminatory, or because he is less threatening now that he is a bit older and “well-dressed.”

Now, my friends and I look more mature than we did 10 years ago and, if I dare say, we dress better, which may account for our newfound taxi-hailing success. But numbers make me think that something else may be going on. The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission’s “Operation Refusal” program, in which undercover officers of different races randomly hail taxis, found in its most recent study a 96 percent compliance rate among cabbies. The commission says the compliance rate has grown consistently since the program was instituted in 1997, when it was 88 percent.

“It’s a better climate today for everybody in the city to catch a taxi than it was back then, no matter what your race,” said Matthew W. Daus, the city’s taxi commissioner. “Drivers realize that the person they refuse to pick up could be an undercover officer and that has reduced the temptation to discriminate.”

Ah, no reason to get happy people, “progress” has been made due to fear of repercussions. :|

Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World