Tag Archives: politics

Harold Ford Jr: Where the white women at?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

UPDATE 10/26/06: I completely forgot about the incident earlier this month where the Corker campaign actually darkened a photo of Ford, in the same manner as that infamous Time magazine cover that darkened OJ Simpson’s mugshot. Thanks dcase for the reminder! Also, the latest in Ford racialiciousness (thanks Tariq for the tip!) comes from Memphis mayor Willie Herenton, who “sees Ford as getting a full pass on the racial front because of his light skin. ‘He can go places and do things that I can’t,’ says the mayor. As for Herenton himself, who faces reelection next year, ‘I’m just too dark.’” I can’t wait to see what’s next in this racial soap opera of a senate race.

Congressman Harold Ford Jr.’s bid for the Tennessee Senate seat has been quite a racialicious ride. Back in March, we reported that he felt the need to reveal that his grandmother was white — perhaps in a misguided attempt to appeal to white voters? Things then took a bizarre turn when his aunt refuted that claim, declaring that Vera Ford was simply a light-skinned black woman.

A few months later in July, we told you that Gawker received a gossip item about Ford having dinner with a white woman and another interracial couple. The email claimed that passersby were “upset at the jungle fever” and that Ford was a “Southern sellout.” What’s even more despicable than the blatant racism in the gossip item? It was sent to Gawker by high profile New York public relations firm, Rubenstein PR. And the whole thing was an attempt to get press for the restaurant Ford was dining at.

According to MSNBC, his opponent Bob Corker has begun airing a commercial that seems designed to appeal to people’s fears of miscegenation. “In the ad, a young white actress playing the stereotype of a “dumb blonde” talks about meeting Ford, a 36-year-old bachelor who is black, “at the Playboy party.” At the end of the ad, she winks and says to the camera, “Harold — call me.””

I don’t know if it’s funny or sad that the “he’s coming for our women!” tactic still works in 2006.

Here’s the video of the ad, which I found via DiversityInc:

YouTube Wire: conservatives, yellowface, and white teachers in the ghetto

by guest contributor Luke Lee, Racialicious’s senior YouTube correspondent

Check out Luke’s own blog at real men are not

michelle malkinRecently Michelle Malkin has been trying to finagle a piece of the YouTube pie by posting a bunch of crappy videos from her “Hot Air” series. Latest on the list is a staunchly conservative version of “The View” where she talks with some other women about current events as well as some of the comments they receive as women bloggers and women bloggers of color. Michelle and La Shawn Barber,specifically, mention how they’ve been called “race-traitors” and “sellouts” in addition to (though this applies more to Michelle) all the physically and sexually violent threats that they receive. Now, I loathe Michelle Malkin as much as anyone else because of her comments about Japanese internment, about racial profiling and such but I think it’s a sad comment when people will make the most vile sexist and misogynistic attacks at her not for her screwed up politics and baloney ideas but rather that she’s a woman and a woman of color saying her opinion (however much you may disagree with it).

And speaking of conservatives…

ann coulterThere’s an interesting collection of clips of Ann Coulter spouting off her trademark hyperbole and hate. Some material about “illegals” and “democrats are the real racists”…

yellowface kim jong ilI understand that given any political/global climate, the comedians and the impersonaters are going to come out and make fun. So when North Korea starts to dominate the breaking news, what do folks do? Impersonate Kim Jong-Il and make videos called “Spam fly lice.” That’s all fine and good and I almost expect people to crack the usual jokes about how he’s crazy and about how he’s got a funny haircut but I mean seriously, do we really have to make the usual Breakfast At Tiffany’s joke again? MrCook, the creator the video, is trying to entertain along with his god-awful “cooking” instructions so expectedly the quality of the video, the food, the humor, everything is just rock bottom…

mr pregnantRemember MrPregnant from last time? Well, he’s back again except this time he’s decided that the world must know this: MrPregant doesn’t like dark skinned women. MrPregnant likes women who look like his mother (blonde hair, light eyes) and this doesn’t make him prejudice because, uh, he only has “a preference.” What an idiot. In the beginning, I think people (as I admittedly did) assume that he’s talking about lighter skinned Black women but of course as he goes on, he gets all Freudian but wont really say that he likes white women specifically. I imagine mixed race folks get a ton of crap like this (this, “oh, your dad/mom is X so that must mean that you naturally prefer X’s!”) and this only heaps onto that stereotypical way of thinking. Honest to God, I don’t know why people feel compelled to tell others (strangers, I might add) information like this… Continue reading

PBS ‘NewsHour’ not so diverse

by Jen Chau
PBS NewsHourEver notice how experts and commentators in the media are usually white (conservative) men? Yes, not so surprising/groundbreaking. Well, PBS’ ‘NewsHour’ is being blasted by advocacy org Fairness and Accuracy in Media for just this kind of lack of diversity. After all, there are people of color who know what they are talking about too! [sigh] :|

FAIR’s researchers found minorities used as sources 15 percent of the time, even though they make up 31 percent of the population. Hurricane Katrina sources, mostly victims of the flood, make up about half of those sources, he said.

In stories about the Iraq war, people who advocate a U.S. withdrawal were outnumbered by more than five-to-one, the liberal group said. Its researchers said they couldn’t find a single peace activist had appeared on “NewsHour” during the six months studied.

Those stats are crazy (but not surprising). And I love that the PBS spokesperson blames the heavy white male, Republican slant on the fact that we have a Republican White House and Congress. Too easy. Weak.

Candidate criticized for publicizing his interracial family

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

politics(Thanks to Tariq for this tip!)

A local South Florida politician is coming under fire for pushing his candidacy by drawing attention to his interracial family. Nick Sakhnovsky is white, his adopted son James, is black, and his wife Alice is black too:

The billboards feature the ubiquitous picture of Sakhnovsky and his adopted son, James, 9, standing next to a gold and white logo with a dark hand and a white hand on the verge of a handshake. “For all of us! Elect James’ Dad,” the ads say…

Sakhnovsky even registered himself as Nick “James’ Dad” Sakhnovsky with the Florida Division of Elections.

Usually I would say hey, the guy has an interracial family. What’s the big deal? All politicians use their families as campaigning tools — why should it be different for Sakhnovsky?

But I am a bit disturbed by this case. It would be one thing if he included photos of his family in a matter-of-fact way, but he seems to be going out of his way to say “hey look at me, I’m the father of a black son!” Just the fact that he’s identifying himself as “James’ Dad” smacks of exploitation to me.

It’s also interesting that Sakhnovsky is positioning himself as a candidate who understands diversity because he has an interracial family. I guess it’s the old “I can’t be racist, I’m in an interracial relationship!” posturing that we’ve documented extensively here on Racialicious.

As the underdog in the race for state representative in District 93, Sakhnovsky hopes his focus on diversity will translate into votes among all races.

“I basically have a unique ability to bring different perspectives to the table in Tallahassee,” he said. “I live this kind of diversity every single day.”

…He has made diversity the theme of his campaign, emphasizing his interracial family at every turn, and claims that he is in better position to represent the entire district because of his appreciation for diversity.

So here’s a question for you: If you know that a politician has an interracial family, would you think that he/she has a better grasp of race and diversity issues than a politician without an interracial family? What would be your gut reaction?

Should you use blackface on your blog?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

blackface liebermanUnfortunately, the resurgence of blackface is a trend we’ve documented extensively here at Racialicious. We’ve spotted the burnt cork on everyone from Kate Moss to Angelina Jolie (arguably), from Dave Chappelle to guests on the Tyra Banks Show, from hipster douchebags to Tokyo Fashion Week models, from white teenagers on YouTube to reality show participants.

One of the most egregious examples of recent memory was when The Huffington Post allowed one of its bloggers, Jane Hamsher, to illustrate a post criticizing Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman with this little number right here.

If you’re a blogger and you’re asking yourself whether you should follow in Hamsher’s steps, ebogjonson has some advice for you in the form of… a flowchart. You have to click over to view it — it’s absolutely hilarious:

This is a highly complicated question, requiring that one juggle a number of aesthetic, political and racial conundrums. During my time as an internet executive, I learned that basically anything could be explained to anyone using an Excel spreadsheet, so as an aid to bloggers and civilians everywhere I’ve put together a handy process-flow/spreadsheet that I believe should answer folks’ various questions lickity-split.

So: should you use blackface on your blog? Click here to find out! (It’s a big file; give it a minute to load if yer using a slow connection.)