Mostly for the insight into the “sports entertainment” surrounding this whole affair. But the “job creator” line isn’t too far behind. Enjoy.
By Arturo R. García
One reason to keep an eye on the new Actually … politcal super PAC: diversity is in the mix from the get-go. The campaign, designed to pierce Republican arguments, features Rosie Perez, W. Kamau Bell and Jay Smooth in its introductory clip. And the first full clip to go live has Perez tackling Romney’s “jokes” about Latinos head on:
Transcript under the cut.
By Arturo R. García
In “Fear of a Black President,” which appeared this past week in The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates takes on the entirety of President Barack Obama’s approach to racial matters during his tenure. Or, as Coates defines it, his lack of an approach.
Confronted by the thoroughly racialized backlash to Obama’s presidency, a stranger to American politics might conclude that Obama provoked the response by relentlessly pushing an agenda of radical racial reform. Hardly. Daniel Gillion, a political scientist at the University of Pennsylvania who studies race and politics, examined the Public Papers of the Presidents, a compilation of nearly all public presidential utterances—proclamations, news-conference remarks, executive orders—and found that in his first two years as president, Obama talked less about race than any other Democratic president since 1961. Obama’s racial strategy has been, if anything, the opposite of radical: he declines to use his bully pulpit to address racism, using it instead to engage in the time-honored tradition of black self-hectoring, railing against the perceived failings of black culture.
His approach is not new. It is the approach of Booker T. Washington, who, amid a sea of white terrorists during the era of Jim Crow, endorsed segregation and proclaimed the South to be a land of black opportunity. It is the approach of L. Douglas Wilder, who, in 1986, not long before he became Virginia’s first black governor, kept his distance from Jesse Jackson and told an NAACP audience: “Yes, dear Brutus, the fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves … Some blacks don’t particularly care for me to say these things, to speak to values … Somebody’s got to. We’ve been too excusing.” It was even, at times, the approach of Jesse Jackson himself, who railed against “the rising use of drugs, and babies making babies, and violence … cutting away our opportunity.”
At the same time, though, he takes issue with Obama’s remarks following the killing of Trayvon Martin, saying his weighing in with empathy toward the Martin family and recognition that, if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon, took the case “out of its national-mourning phase and lapsed into something darker and more familiar—racialized political fodder. The illusion of consensus crumbled.”
As I’m still wading through the piece, I do feel the need to point out that, had Obama not said anything–or offered only encouragement that justice be served–that illusion would have crumbled anyway, from any direction. It’s not like Rush Limbaugh, The Daily Caller, or the conservative hate machine around them were waiting for that particular moment to bring out the torches; they would’ve just changed the vitriol to focus on some supposed callousness on his part.
“Trayvoning,” a meme too disgusting to dignify with a link, didn’t come about because of Obama’s remarks–it happened because there are thousands of people too insensitive and too emboldened by relative anonymity who can’t resist making jackasses of themselves online. No speech could have prevented it. As MacDaffy put it yesterday at The Daily Kos, “President Obama’s blackness does not ‘irradiate everything he touches.’ Racism does.”
By Associate Editor Andrea Plaid, The Shanghai Pearl, Chicava HoneyChild, Essence Revealed, and ExHOTic Other
Burlesquer The Shanghai Pearl tipped off the R to one of the latest offensive acts, this one done by renowned burly-q entertainer Dita Von Teese at her ::sigh:: “Opium Den Show.” (Video NSFW)
Latoya asked me to cover the controversy with my burlesque mentor and one of the R’s favorite burlesque experts , Chicava HoneyChild. Chicava reached back to Shanghai Pearl as well as asked Brown Girl Burlesque performers ExHOTic Other and Essence Revealed to join the conversation. Here’s what we all had to say about it.
It’s been way too long since we’ve had a video from our man Jay Smooth, but he really brings it on this analysis of the Cory Booker situation, and how politicians get caught between allegiances:
Cory Booker’s comments on Obama’s ‘nauseating’ campaign: Gaffe or calculated tactic? [NJ.com]
Cory Booker’s defense of Wall Street may hurt his status with liberals, but it won’t hurt his bank account [NJ.com]
Cory Booker, surrogate from hell [Salon]
Jay’s talk at TEDx Hampshire College:
Jay breaks down OWS, and its hidden benefit. According to Jay:
It reveals to us all who the ringers are at Wall Street’s 3-Card Monte Table. [...] Every three card monte set up has a ringer. The ringer’s job is to pretend they’re an objective outside observer commenting on the game, when they’re actually a part of the hustle who is there to help bamboozle the public into thinking this game is legitimate.
So naturally, if we stand next to the game and start telling everyone the game is rigged, the ringer is going to flip on us and start doing everything they can to make sure nobody listens to us. They’re going to tell everyone that we’re a bunch of losers who are just hating because we don’t know how to play the game, we’re a bunch of card-game hating socialists. They’re gonna try everything they can to discredit us, so they can protect that game they are so invested in.
And it feels like that’s what we’ve been seeing all month with Occupy Wall Street.
Four minutes and nineteen seconds of awesome. Go check it out.
Key Quote: “We need to act, not because Haiti is some nation of perennial victims we need to have pity on. We need to act because Haiti is a nation of heroes. And we need to repay them for what they’ve given us.”