By Guest Contributor Tami Winfrey Harris, cross-posted from What Tami Said
Media coverage of singer Whitney Houston’s funeral evoked a disappointment I often feel as a black woman in America. It reminded me that many elements of black culture are still viewed as exotic and, in some cases, disdained as such.
Houston’s funeral, but for being broadcast live and attended by celebrities, seemed unremarkable in the context of other black Baptist memorials I have witnessed. There was rousing gospel; truth-telling; passion; equal doses of laughing and crying, clapping and shouting; references to Jesus; moving sermons; a few long-winded eulogizers; some preening preachers on “thrones” in the pulpit; a sense of sorrow, but a greater sense of joy–celebration of life and of a soul “going home” and being released from earthly sorrows. This is not to say that all African Americans grieve the same way or grieve in a Baptist Christian way, but for most black viewers Houston’s service was not completely alien.
The only surprise was how long it took CNN to suspend contributor Roland S. Martin after the uproar he instigated during the Super Bowl this past Sunday. What’s not surprising is who hasn’t gotten the same punishment for similar offenses.
Which is not to excuse Martin for any of the poorly thought-out joke he threw out on Twitter during the game about this (NSFWish) underwear ad.
Thank you Mr. Marks. You have changed everything about my life. Thanks to your article, I worked to make sure I got the best grades, made reading my number one priority and created better paths for myself. If only someone had suggested this earlier.
But that was just the beginning of how your exceptionally relevant, grounded and experience-based advice changed my life. Thanks only to your article, I discovered technology.
Why did my teachers not teach this? Why isn’t this technology mentioned anywhere in popular culture? I don’t understand, but you do.
You listed so many different websites and resources, at first it was overwhelming. But I didn’t let that deter me. I thought to myself, “If a successful, caring, complicated, intelligent man like Gene Marks says to do it, then I’d better head over to rentcalculators.org right now!”
As Colorlines reported Thursday, Marks posted a response at CNN. The somewhat underwhelming transcript is under the cut.
Coming on the heels of a seemingly endless surge of anti-Muslim bigotry in the U.S., CNN picked the most opportune moment to air its special on Muslims, titled Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door with reporter Soledad O’Brien.