By Guest Contributor Gyasi Ross, cross-posted from Race-Talk
… After I die, I’m coming back as lightning. When it zaps the White House, they’ll know it’s me. - Russell Means
I never met Russell Means. I had the chance to meet him when I was a kid. In fact, I saw him a few times as a youngster, but I was so intimidated by him—he seemed bigger than life—I never actually went to speak to him. I heard a lot of things about him as I grew older; good stuff, bad stuff. However, he was somebody about whom, as Native people, everybody seemed to hold an opinion.
When I heard of his passing, I was sad, just like when you hear about anyone of your heroes passing. I know members of his family, and that made it even more painful; yet, I thought it was appropriate the fashion and time in which he passed—on his own terms, loudly, and with the world taking notice.
I don’t think that it was a coincidence that he passed at the exact moment that the National Congress of American Indians’ Annual Conference was convening. Big Brother Means was a throwback, a non-conformist, a fighter. He wanted nothing to do with this current era of conciliatory politics, where many tribal leaders work hand-in-hand with the same US government that has historically worked for Native peoples’ demise. Continue reading →
James Earl Hardy. Photo Credit: Sylvester Q. Courtesy of the interviewee.
Award-winning author James Earl Hardy mentioned that quite a few people may have seen his best-selling book, B-boy Blues, outside of college classrooms–where it’s required reading in African American/multiculti lit and queer lit courses–and bookshelves: actor Isaiah Washington, who plays one half of a same-gender loving (SGL) couple in Spike Lee’s 1996 flick, Get On The Bus, is a holding a copy of it.
Lit-checked in a Spike Lee movie? Such is Hardy’s swag.
After the jump is the interview, in which Hardy talks about the “One Superstar Person Of Color At A Time” mindset in publishing, Black masculinity in pop culture, and his writing a one-person play about a man of color who’s a porn star and entrepreneur. (You read that right.) Hardy also talks about Washington’s career-ending homophobic remark, made a decade after his role in Get On The Bus.
Apparently, Donald Trump, a man very concerned with whether President Obama, a Harvard-educated law professor, is just another dumb brown person riding the affirmative action ticket, wants to give $5 million dollars to charity if the President releases his college transcripts.
This is what racism looks like. Please save the, “Oh you are a typical liberal always playing the race card” response and take a moment to hear me out. First, racism is not a card. It’s a reality for many black and brown people in 2012. If you are not a person of color, it’s important you don’t find yourself quickly discounting the pervasive existence of racism in 2012, without actually speaking with a person of color. Assuming things are just better because we can drink at the same water fountain isn’t sufficient.
And, looking at what Tumblizens <3′d and reblogged the most this week, the late Bruce Lee still gets all sorts of love:
Swing by and check out what we’re <3′ing and reblogging–and commenting on–at the R’s Tumblr!
While the Mitt Romney campaign is regrouping in the wake of the infamous “47 percent” video circulated by Mother Jones earlier this week, it’s interesting to note that his infamous remarks came out not long after he tried yet again to connect with members of the Latino community, a demographic in which he–and the GOP along with him–still can’t win over. Continue reading →
The R’s Managing Editor Arturo García and I confabbed last week about his adventures at the Democratic National Convention. He regaled me with some blogger star-gazing and gossip, meeting Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry, the voting implications of The Tumblr Generation and the Occupy Movement, and the panties-throwing during former POTUS Bill Clinton’s speech. And KerryWashington.
I have to agree: in my big-screen movie, I’d cast Washington as Helen of Troy or Cleopatra, not only because she looks good (a vital attribute of you’re going to cast someone as two legends of human pulchritude, just as you’d cast a beautiful someone as Adonis) but also because she is good–and her work on Scandal and in real-life politics are why.