Tag Archives: Tea Party

Around the Internet – Don Lemon’s Disclosure, Avatar Remix, Blackness as a Problem, G33k and G4m3r Girls, Black Tea Party Candidate

by Latoya Peterson

Monday videos!

Via Pam’s House Blend, Don Lemon revealed a painful truth on television while covering the Bishop Eddie Long scandal. (The Bishop is accused of manipulating young men into sexual relationships with him.) Media Bistro explains:

Lemon had just played a soundbite from the lawyer of one of Long’s accusers about how the bishop allegedly got close to one of the young men in his church.

    Let me tell you what got my attention about this and I have never admitted this on television. I’m a victim of a pedophile when I was a kid. Someone who was much older than me.

Lemon’s admission led to an audible gasp from one of his guests. “I’ve never admitted that on television and I never told my mom until I was 30 years old,” Lemon said later in the segment. “Especially African-American men don’t want to talk about those things.”

Looking at this week’s schedule, I’m not sure Arturo or I will have enough time to delve into this, but it is amazingly important, and we will host a discussion about this next week.

Via & For the Love of Fashion, this video on model Anais Mali, which is heartbreaking in its simplicity. Mali is bubbly and full of life, with gorgeous photos and a heavy love of designer gear. But the casting folks in Paris just say straight up “You’re black? This is a problem.”

From the tips pool comes this video on Avatar Remix – A.V.A.T.A.R. (Anglos Valiantly Aiding Tragic Awe-inspiring Races). It’s a mash up of Avatar – and other films with very similar themes.

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Michael Jackson, Glenn Beck, MLK, and the Worlds We Create

by Latoya Peterson

Tubman Elementary Mural

“Can anyone help? Anyone?”

Last Thursday, standing underneath the hot noon day sun, I yelled out to the large crowd waiting in line for the monthly food aid provided by the mayor’s office. The crowd stretched for blocks, and my team and I set out with bottled water, candy, and bags full of surveys. We had hoped to harness the 200+ person food line for the Public Media Corps survey of the digital environment in DC. The crowd was composed of people who are generally overlooked when talking about online innovation – many of the people there were low-income, most speak Spanish as a primary language, and many did not have internet access at home.

Everyone was willing to help with the survey, particularly honing in on key words like “free,” “courses,” “training,” “jobs,” and “media.” But we soon realized we had a much bigger hurdle to jump – between the four of us, there was only one fluent Spanish speaker (as well as one “fluent in Spanglish”), and our survey was not designed for people with low literacy rates. In English, administering the survey was difficult enough – as one of the fellows surveying Ward 8 noted, what took fully literate people about 5 minutes to blow through took about 20 for those with lower rates of reading comprehension. In Spanish, with the difficulties translating technical terms and low levels of Spanish fluency among the team, that task was damn near impossible.

A sweet-faced tween girl volunteered to help translate, freeing up the other fellows to try to piece together the survey. I asked the girl the questions, she shouted back to her parents, and other people on the line chimed in when they could to help translate. In the end, we had about fifteen people all collaborating with bits of English and snatches of Spanish to get the questions answered. But it still wasn’t enough to capture as many people as were moving through the food line. Ultimately, we left frustrated – out of more than 200 people, we only got 30 surveys answered between us. Those surveys were illuminating, and spoke to the needs of having a variety of community access points and more Spanish language programming, but it also spoke to a gnawing fear that had been growing in all of us tasked with working in ward one – can we really capture the essence of the community in Columbia Heights – Shaw – Mount Pleasant – U Street – Adams Morgan from our tiny, language-limited viewpoints?

We have a reason to be concerned. The Washington DC council’s official website states:

Ward One is diversity – From the majestic Victorians of upper Columbia Heights, to Adams Morgan’s renowned entertainment district, to Howard University, historic U Street and LeDroit Park, the ward is home to some extraordinary places—and some extraordinary people. The neighborhoods of Ward One have a familiar ring to many people – LeDroit Park, U Street, Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, Mount Pleasant, Shaw, Park View, and Pleasant Plains.

Ward One is the smallest, most densely populated ward in the District of Columbia. It’s also the only ward where you’ll find no population group with a majority. Thousands of African Americans, whites, Latinos, Vietnamese, Ethiopians and others make their home here. In just one of our ZIP codes, 20009, 136 countries are represented. The Brookings Institution says that’s the most diverse ZIP code in the entire region. And more than 40% of the public school students in Ward One do not speak English as their primary language. Indeed, according to an Urban Institute study in 2003, DC’s most diverse neighborhoods are within Ward One.

This diversity brings a lot of amazing things to the neighborhood, but poses a particular challenge to inclusion – namely, how can we meet the needs of so many different people, particularly when the needs are so great?

That question weighed heavily on my mind into the weekend, which was enough to push out all the noise about the coming events. Thinking about Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally invading Washington, DC made me feel a bit ill. Luckily, it was easily avoided, especially since I live near the ever-so-dangerous yellow/green line. In the interest of my own sanity, I chose to stay close to home.

Friday night, after another day of survey gathering and site visits, I headed over to the 9:30 club for DJ Dredd’s dance party to celebrate Michael Jackson’s birthday. As we swayed with the crowd rocking along to Michael’s (and Janet’s!) greatest hits, an observation kept pushing to the forefront of my mind, one I had wanted to write about last year when he passed. While much was written about the racial politics of Michael Jackson, particularly in reference to his skin color/plastic surgeries, there was little discussion of the most striking part of Michael’s racial politics: the worlds he created in his music videos. Most folks are familiar with two of his most political hits, “Black or White” and “Man in the Mirror.”

But what always stood out to me was the populations of Michael’s created worlds – which were overwhelmingly multicultural, featuring a lot of different types of people all rolling with the King of Pop. Continue reading

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Shirley Sherrod, Journolist, the NAACP, and the Tea Party

by Latoya Peterson

Kill the phony mean before it kills you. That the truth is probably somewhere in the middle… that if both sides think you are biased against them it probably means you’re playing it straight… that the extremes on both sides are equally extreme, deluded and irresponsible— these practices have rotted out, and the sooner they are done away with, the better footing political journalism will be on. Just as it should be routine for reporters to ask themselves, “am I showing undue favoritism here, am I slanting my account?” it should be routine to ask, “am I creating a false symmetry here, am I positing a phony mean?”

Jay Rosen

This is mayhem and foolishness!
Niecy Nash

So let me get this straight.

Joe Biden will go on record saying that both he and Barack Obama do not believe the Tea Party is a racist organization.

However, the Obama Administration will not go to bat for Shirley Sherrod, who shared a story about overcoming racial bias, which was manipulated into a false charge of racism.

The NAACP straight up condemned Sherrod (who was speaking at one of their events!) before all the facts were on the table, leading to a semi-apology from the organization. Which means that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was first at bat for white folks unjustly smited by years of black oppression.

Meanwhile, the NAACP was already on the offensive since it had lobbed bombs at the Tea Party, alleging it was a racist organization.

The Tea Party and various conservative outlets responded with an “I know you are but what am I” play, complete with “playing race card” reference.

Then, some fool named Mark Williams thought that was his cue, so he decided to let his racist flag fly with every anti-black stereotype in the book, pretending he was “satirizing” the NAACP.

The Tea Party Federation responded by removing Williams from his post, but other members of the Tea Party Express continue to allege that the NAACP are the “real racists”.

And amid all of this, more emails were published from the now-defunct journolist, advocating charging Republicans with racism as a political strategy to deflect from the attention given to Jeremiah Wright during one segment of the 2008 Presidential Campaign.

Where do we even start? Continue reading

DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK: Mark Williams, The Tea Party Express’ Non-Racist Racist

By Guest Contributor Diana Nguyen, originally posted at Disgrasian

Having read and re-read and re-read and re-read the parody letter that Tea Party Express talking head Mark Williams wrote to Abe Lincoln in the voice of NAACP President Ben Jealous, speaking for “The Coloreds,” I’ve got to say:

I DON’T GET IT.

In an effort to defend the Tea Party’s position that it isn’t racist, Williams cleverly decided this week to turn the tables on an, uh, obvious target: the NAACP. He called them out for being “racist” (Naturally!) due to the fact that the 99-year-old organization’s name still includes the word “colored.”

In case you aren’t familiar with the NAACP, I’ve included their mission and vision statements below:

We at DISGRASIAN hate to lend any more attention to the Tea Party–they’re a fringe group that hardly deserves the amount of attention they receive, but dammitall if their amusing take on the English language doesn’t keep us coming back for more! When we heard about this incident, it fascinated us because we understand parodies. And jokes. Hey, we like parties. We felt we could be objective.

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What really separates the Tea Party from the Black Panther Party

by Guest Contributor Crystal Hayes, originally published at Race-Talk

Robert Seth Hayes I was three years old when I watched my father, mother, and three-week-old baby brother nearly murdered in a hail of bullets during a police raid on our home in September 1973.

My father, Robert Seth Hayes, was a member of the Black Panther Party (BPP), and ever since that day some 37 years ago, he has been a political prisoner in the state of New York. So when I read Cord Jefferson‘s article, “Is the Tea Party the New Black Panther Party?” on The Root.com, I could not help but remember, and relive, the pain and trauma of that day. I also became frustrated and angry because Jefferson’s article is ahistorical and continues the tradition of attacking the Party and misrepresenting its history and legacy. What’s more, it does so in a forum that prides itself on getting African American history correct.

Jefferson begins his piece predictably, by drawing on caricatures of the Party – images of armed, angry, Black men going to war against the US government. But the images that are used aren’t even of Panther members. His opening lines are accompanied by a photo of Malik Zulu Shabazz, a member of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), an unaffiliated group founded in 1989 that has no connection to the BPP other than the name that it appropriated.

In fact, original BPP members openly reject the NBPP because its ideology promotes violence, separatism, and nationalism, values my father and other BPP members have long abandoned as part of an effective political ideology and strategy. In fact, the NBPP was successfully sued by Huey P. Newton’s foundation in an effort to keep them from calling themselves the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, the BPP’s original name. Continue reading