So, I am totally procrastinating on this article I need to write because I just spotted this CNN article which is so full of fail, I just keep pounding the desk and screaming “Why why why why!??!?!”
I hate: The headline. Nothing raises my blood pressure faster than asking stupid questions like “Does the black church keep black women single?” We can’t buy quality national news coverage for so many critical stories, and now I know why – everyone has given up reporting on current events so we can keep flogging the single black women story.
I hate: The video. It opens with “The thing that is keeping black women single is black women! They don’t know themselves, they don’t know what they want, they are desperate…there are tons of issues, nothing to do with the church. Nothing.”
At this point, I started screaming, scaring my puppy and my unicorn boyfriend.
Then the guy on the video basically said the same thing, and I turned the video off so I could stop screaming. I turned it back on again, then regretted it. If someone has the stomach to watch the rest, let me know what I missed.
Leontine G. sent in a troubling example of the framing of children’s deviance, and their own complicity in this framing. While we usually try to keep text down to a minimum on SocImages, this one needs to be handled with care. So please forgive the unusual length of this post.
Leontine included two links: one to a Today show story about a 7-year-old boy who took his family’s car on a joyride and got caught by police, and one to a CNN story about a 7-year-old boy who took his family’s car on a joyride and got caught by police. Different 7-year-olds. One white, one black.
The white boy, Preston, is interviewed with his family on the set of the Today show. Knowing his kid is safe, his Dad describes the event as “funny” and tells the audience that if this could happen to a “cotton candy all-American kid like Preston,” then “it could happen to anybody.”
When the host, Meredith Vieira, asks Preston why hid from the police, he says, “cause I wanted to,” and she says, “I don’t blame you actually.” With Preston not too forthcoming, his Mom steps in to say that he told her that “he just wanted to know what it felt like to drive a car.” When Vieira asks him why he fled from the police, he replies with a shrug. Vieira fills in the answer, “You wanted to get home?”
Vieira then comments on how they all then went to church. The punishment? Grounded for four days without TV or video games. Vieira asks the child, “Do you think that’s fair?” He says yes. And she continues, “Do you now understand what you did?” He nods and agrees. “And that maybe it wasn’t the smartest thing?” He nods and agrees. “You gonna get behind the wheel of a car again?” He says no. Then she teases him about trying out model toy cars.
They conclude that this incident just goes to show that “Any little kid, you never know what can happen …” and closes “I’ll be seeing you at church buddy boy!”
After several months of a focused internet and social media campaign pressuring CNN to fire Lou Dobbs, the xenophobic pundit announced tonight he is leaving CNN effectively immediately.
BastaDobbs.org–the virtual Latino coalition which led the campaign against CNN–is claiming victory. “We are thrilled that Dobbs no longer has this legitimate platform from which to incite fear and hate,” said Roberto Lovato. Lovato, who is an accomplished writer, is also the founder of the Latino-advocacy group Presente.org, the lead organization behind the anti-Dobbs campaign. “The community is newly empowered and energized,” he continued, “and we are ready to fight for a respectful and civil media discourse when it comes to immigration coverage on mainstream news.”
I couldn’t be happier that Lou Dobbs’ uncritical voice of hate is off the air. I am a firm defender of anyone’s right to free speech, but I am also fiercely opposed to the notion that we are better as a society if we provide a platform for all speech. Television news–and cable news in particular–has moved into an era where providing a “safe space” for the voices from the political extreme has come to substitute for critical discourse and constructive debate. That isn’t the news and it isn’t “fair and balanced.” It’s petty, and it’s lazy, and it needs to evolve.
Black Men showed how the interest in education and public service has grown in the black community, seemingly as a result of Barack Obama, despite broken homes and a downtrodden economy. Also, noted was the positive effect our society has received from viewing an intact, loving black family on an international stage.
But there were some negatives.
1. “Down Low” Men & HIV
Again, black men on “the down low” were blamed for the high HIV rates among black women. I had a fear the conversation would go that route despite evidence of the contrary. CDC Director Dr. Kevin Fenton recently stated HIV infection in black women “is being fueled by heterosexual Black men with multiple sex partners”.
But that’s a fact the black church and others who typically demonize black gay men don’t want to accept. It means the “blame game” should be re-focused on conversations about responsibility, self-esteem, acceptance and empowerment. Don Lemon missed a crucial opportunity of framing this conversation in a different manner.
At the very least, Thursday’s conclusion, “Chasing The Dream,” seemed equal parts melodrama and bait-and-switch, with the broadcast component weakened by a lack of questions that undercut even its’ more compelling segments.
For instance, in the report on the murder of Luis Mendoza, we got an overview of events in Shenandoah, Penn., leading up to the crime, and of the area’s history with several immigrant populations, but when one individual reported he felt he was being intimidated because of his speaking to CNN, we got no follow-up with local authorities. When it was mentioned that one of the four defendants – who were acquitted of hate-crime accusations – testified the cops told them to get their stories straight, we got no follow-up. Continue reading →
Soledad O’Brien says she wants Latino In America to “start a conversation.” Unfortunately for viewers, the series’ message seems to be, what? Woe is us?Abandon ship?What did Brown ever do to you?
Grounded in depressing case studies and missed questions, the series’ first installment was less “Latinos In America” and more like “Latinos For Lou Dobbs’ Audience.” Most of the people featured were not “changing” their communities – they were being victimized in or by them. They were pregnant, suicidal (or pregnant and suicidal), caught in an immigration raid, losing their cultural roots, facing an uphill job struggle or isolated in their churches. The premiere’s first profile, of Univision TV chef Lorena García, was the only one that focused on somebody doing something positive – in her case, building her own brand in spite of skepticism over her “accent.” Continue reading →
by Guest Contributor Catherine A. Traywick, originally published at Femmalia
Two weeks after the much-publicized death of Iranian protester, Neda — whose final moments were famously captured by a cell phone camera and distributed the world over — a couple dozen performers put together a music video tribute slash “non-violent resistance” anthem filmed (appropriately?) with nothing but a cell phone camera. Described by CNN as “a call to action against human rights violations by the Iranian government against Iranians,” the video’s creators/stars rap and harmonize about non-violence, their fuzzy, pixelated faces crooning between clips of the now historic footage of Neda’s death.
The graphic clips excerpted by the creators of the video for the the purpose of spreading their message of solidarity and pacifism have generated a cacophony of international outrage, sympathy, outright disbelief, and controversy since their initial circulation a few weeks ago. While the footage has galvanized protesters in Iran, creating for them a martyr to rally around as they strive for real, lasting change, it has also prompted enthusiastic Americans to wear green and tweet about revolution in what has already been described by numerous commentators as a superficial and ineffectual display of “solidarity.” The “United for Neda” video, as well-intentioned and misguided as any green-clad American, seems to fall into the latter category. Like Americans who continually replay the Neda footage in order to sustain a dimming sense of shock, outrage, and civic duty while imagining a connection to a less complacent world, the music video appropriates the controversial images of Neda with the aim of fostering activism through the propagation of sensational violence. Continue reading →
Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World