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Ever since CNN anchor Don Lemon decided to start editorializing, he has not shown himself to be a serious thinker. Lemon has developed a knack for trivializing complicated sociopolitical issues affecting people of color, mostly by offering personal anecdotes to argue positions that could be easily debunked with data, such as when he peddled the silly little idea that if all Blacks just put on a belt and stopped calling each other “nigga,” everything would be okay.

Don Lemon should know a style of dress or subtracting words from your lexicon won’t necessarily make you less susceptible to racism. It didn’t go away for him in 2001 when he sued a department store for racially profiling him.

Then there’s the reality that Lemon often proves himself to be just as culturally ignorant as the older White audiences he’s whispering sweet nothings (about those wayward Blacks) to. You know, like the time Don Lemon came out of the closet and threw Black people under the bus by agreeing that Black people are more homophobic than Whites. Meanwhile, Blacks make up the largest bloc of the LGBT community. As in identified gay. Yeah, there goes your little “down-low-brother” myth too.

You would think one of the most-visible gay Black men in media would be fighting the stereotypes plaguing people like him and the collective community to which he is a part of.

Instead, he’s been nothing but a boil on the butt of common sense — cheerleading vigorously for the ideas from the greatest hits collection of systematic racism.

RAH! RAH! RAH! YAY, STOP-AND-FRISK! BOO, “POLITICAL CORRECTNESS!”

Not surprisingly, he is now being rewarded for it at CNN.

Read the rest at NewsOne.

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It’s a shame self-loathing Negroes like The Guardian’s Orville Lloyd Douglas didn’t take the “Big Poppa” lyric “I wish people suffering from I hate being Black disorder took the Biggie line, “Heart throb never, Black and ugly as ever. However, I stay Coogi down to the socks.” more to heart.

I’m half-kidding, but after reading Douglas’ “Why I hate being a black man” I have to make some kind of joke from stopping myself from crying silent tears over such a grand display of defeatism. In Douglas’ essay, he laments over the fact that “Every time I sit on a crowded street car, bus, or subway train in Toronto, I know I will have an empty seat next to me.” His sister explains that his towering presence and Black skin are dually intimidating to Canadians. As Douglas himself argues, “Although Canadian society presents the façade of multiculturalism the truth is Canada has a serious problem with the issue of race.”

Yeah, but so does Orville Lloyd Douglas.

To be fair, Douglas is correct in his assertion that when it comes to Black self-hatred, it “is usually depicted from a female point of view.” In that regard, I commend him for daring to do what many would deem emasculating. Damn him all the same, though, and damn anyone like him who may recognize a problem but use his or her platform to further perpetuate it.

wrote a response to a previous Douglas essay in which he condemned 12 Years A Slave and all slave-themed movies based on the notion that such works “are created for a White, liberal film audience to engender White guilt and make them feel bad about themselves.” He argued “these films are unlikely to teach you anything you don’t already know” and then said, “Frankly, why can’t Black people get over slavery? Or, at least, why doesn’t anyone want to see more contemporary portrayals of Black lives?”

At the time, he looked like a fool with the intellectual curiosity of a gnat, too stupid to understand the nuance in Steve McQueen’s depiction of slavery and most of the movies that preceded it and too lazy to use the magic machine known as Google to realize that while 12 Years A Slave may be highly buzzed, there are actually a lot of Black movies out this year that do just that. As for his inability to grasp that slavery is a part of history, and thus, always a relevant story worth telling from different angles, let us all sing Aaron Hall’s “DUMB, DUMB DIDDY” really, really loud.

We can now add hypocrite to the list as it’s fine for him to pen maudlin works in an effort to illicit white guilt (on top of bashing Black movies outlining racism for white amusement), but not okay for anyone else to make white people sad.

Read the rest at Clutch.

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Lord knows I have tried to be patient with Kanye West as it’s becoming ever so clear that he can’t play spades at most peoples’ tables given he’s not working with a full deck. Still, we as a people – of any color and every persuasion – have got to find a tricked out trap door for this wayward Negro to fall through. Kanye may be arguably a creative genius, but that doesn’t make his increasingly asinine statements any less annoying.

Kanye West is dipped in megalomania, baked in delusion & frosted with f**k s**t. I’m so sick of some people – i.e. his most ardent fans – pretending otherwise. Kanye has morphed from what initially appeared to be a thoughtful, charismatic rapper who could mix catchy songs with meaningful commentary and take it mainstream into something reminiscent of the average Internet troll. The sort of person willing to say whatever “controversial” statement he can conceive without any real thought of its accuracy or whether or not it contradicts whatever musing is made after it.

It’s okay to think highly of yourself, and it’s equally fine to share that admiration for your significant other, but Kanye West ought to be arrested for public masturbation following his appearance on KIIS FM’s On Air with Ryan Seacrest. I don’t know why walking ego trip believes he and Kim are “the most influential with clothing,” but I do know anyone, much less a Black man, who would denigrate one of the most visible Black women in the world to a swimsuit Instagram challenge might need to down a bleach cocktail should he not find the missing piece in his brain that’s clouding his judgment.

Kanye didn’t have to signal out Michelle Obama. He could’ve easily argued that as the person largely responsible for the integration of celebrities into Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour ought to recognize that the notion of celebrity has evolved, and thus should perhaps reconsider her anti-Kardashian stance. But he didn’t and willingly targeted FLOTUS, which may make Kim smile, but doesn’t do much for his half-Black daughter who benefits from all that Michelle Obama represents to the world.

I don’t begrudge Kim Kardashian in any way, but her style as described by a friend is an “upscale Bebe” or “Bebe couture.” Anna Wintour may not love it, or her brand of celebrity, but such is her prerogative, so pretty please, Yezzus, spare the world with your whining over KimYe being victims of classism.

Especially when you make statements like: “People used to be, ‘What is [Kim] talented at?’ She’s talented at being beautiful! Like, if you go to a club, and you see a bunch of beautiful girls, you might say, ‘It’s a bunch of talent.’”

So Kim Kardashian is a victim of classism despite the conveniently forgotten fact that much of her “talent” over the years has been styled by a cosmetic surgeon. You don’t know struggle if you’re talking about elective surgery. Shut up.

Read the rest at Clutch.

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Far be it from me to anger the any form of criticism will be dismissed as “negativity” even if it’s valid Negro, but what the hell, Bethune-Cookman University? Y’all held a forum on self-assurance, positive self-image, and self-confidence starring cast members from Basketball Wives? Was no one in the room humming “My Mind’s Playing Tricks On Me” during the planning? Does asking that make me old? If so, forget y’all. Know the classics!

Worse, y’all didn’t even book Evelyn Lozada, who I must admit, has done a good job of conveying “I’ve changed” to the masses just in time for a much needed career switch, but Tami “Hothead” Roman and Royce Reed, the girl live tweeting every bit of mess in her personal life.

I don’t mind Royce as a reality personality, but she comes across as someone who ought to be sitting in this sort of symposium not starring in it. I’ve long admitted to not being a big Tami fan anymore. Even so, I salute her on lining up with Walgreens to hawk makeup to the hood. Get your coins, colored woman. Get your coins.

Still, since I write Basketball Wives recaps for spare change to pay student loans, I know damn well that Tami continues to act a complete fool. She remains the first person on the show who’s huffing, puffing and ready to blow anyone’s head off if they came at her the wrong way. Naturally, by way of a sucker punch when the target isn’t ready, but I digress.

Plus, I so remember her on Wendy Williams about a week or so ago talking about she was #TeamBreezy, defending her brother in anger management. The Real Lady of Rage would do that, though.

With that in mind, again I ask, is this who y’all wanted for this? Oh wait, is this a set up? Like, did y’all plan an intervention guised as a terrifically ironic panel? If so, a-ha, y’all are a clever bunch.

If not, answer my damn question: Was every other Black woman alive booked? I need answers.

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If I had to choose any three words to best summarize this unusual week on Al Gore’s Internet, I’d go with “troll so hard.” From sucking up via sandwich making and throwing shade through Instagram all the way to down to geriatric gyrations and grand displays of douchiness, so much of this week was all about “LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!” Well, we looked and now I’d like to opine on what we’ve seen. Spoiler alert: I’m already thinking about Christmas shopping, so many of you are going to get a muzzle, some self-esteem, plus some water to pour over every web-connected electronic device you own. Thank me later.

Rep Yo’ Oppression

I like Gawker as much as any other college-educated, snarky asshole, but there’s something off-putting about their newly initiated Privilege Tournament—which allows readers to play the game of oppression olympics, presumably to mock the practice. As one Slate writer put it, the tournament illustrates “that privilege has failed as a social justice strategy, at least outside of more nuanced environs like the academy” and says “once Gawker declares the ‘winner,’ let’s put down the privilege scorecard and move on. The game’s not fun anymore.” In other words, from one white guy to another, I feel you, bro. As silly as the game of who’s got it worse can be at times, having white men satirize it shows why the word “privilege” isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As a Gawker commenter noted: “A white man made the game; set up the categories and tells us to fight it out. Sounds about right.”

Check out the rest of my new biweekly feature “Hella Bandwith: The Week In Internet Foolishness” over at Complex.com.

 

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Dear Iggy Azalea:

Remember when you caused a brouhaha when you rapped, “When the relay starts, I’m a runaway slave…Master / shitt*ng on the past, gotta spit it like a pastor” on “D.R.U.G.S.?” Now, you were taking a cue from a Kendrick Lamar song, but ultimately you conceded, “In all fairness, it was a tacky and careless thing to say and if you are offended, I am sorry.”

So even though you, lily white rapper from Australia, may not understand the sort of racial politics behind that line and lingering criticism over your rap act, I thought that maybe, just maybe, you’d learn to at least listen to the people from whose culture you currently profit from.

Then reality smacked me upside the head by way of your October-November cover story with Complex magazine.

The question goes: “In a country where ‘speaking [Black]’ has been a hindrance in almost every profession but rap, do you see how a White person making money in rap by adopting this accent could ruffle feathers?”

For the record, I’m not one of those Negroes who feigns aloofness over the notions of “speaking Black” or “Black music” or Black-anything. We have our culture, and not every single Black person may identify with it. Still, that doesn’t negate its existence. Why can everyone else have certain norms and mores but not American Blacks?

In any event, here was your answer: “If you’re mad about it and you’re a [Black] person then start a rap career and give it a go, too. I’m not taking anyone’s spot, so make yourself a mixtape. Or maybe if you’re [Black], start singing like a country singer and be a white person. I don’t know. Why is it such a big deal? This is the entertainment industry. It’s not politics. You should be more concerned about the message, not the voices saying it.”

This is mighty White of you to say and equally stupid. Madam, you are an Australian bred White woman who spits like Diamond from Crime Mob trying to imitate Charli Baltimore’s cadence. Yet, you sound every bit the Aussie when speaking. If you don’t pronounce Atlanta as “Alannuh,” you needn’t rap the way those that do.

And for your information, “it’s a big deal. I think Solange put it well:

Liiiiike……Lets all dress up, and “play black” today because that shit is more fun than six flags!!! “Whhheeeeeeee”

Not only that, these people get to do Black and make more green off of it. Robin Thicke can rework a Marvin Gaye song and enjoy the biggest hit of his career. Likewise, Justin Timberlake can give us what radio programmers would describe as an “urban adult contemporary” first single in “Suit & Tie” and enjoy widespread airplay. Let a Black person do this and they’re relegated to my mama and ‘em’s favorite stations.

As much flack as Nicki Minaj gets for going pop – and oh boy, does she ever deserve it sometimes – the reality is these days it’d be whole lot harder for her to go mainstream ala Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown 10+ years ago with straight hip-hop tunes.

Needless to say, to see you rapping like you’re from one of our southern hood blocks and yet, naan one of us have ever, ever seen you, is irritating.

Read the latest edition of The Weekly Read at EBONY.com.

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In the age of “There’s no dense opinion not worth sharing,” I came across one of the most frustratingly stupid articles of all the time. The Guardian’s Orville Lloyd Douglas has officially upped the ante in his misguided and dumb essay over his exhaustion with slave narratives on the big screen along with a call for Black people – presumably Black Americans in particular — to just “get over” slavery already. Ad hominem attacks aren’t always ideal, but neither is the asinine advocation for the erasure of such an integral part of history. As irony would have it, Douglas wants Hollywood to stop making White people “feel bad about slavery,” but is peddling this nifty form of nonsense in a mainstream paper for major White consumption.

Referring to movies like the box office hit “The Butler” (pictured above) and the much-buzzed about “12 Years A Slave,” Douglas writes:

I’m convinced these Black race films are created for a White, liberal film audience to engender White guilt and make them feel bad about themselves. Regardless of your race, these films are unlikely to teach you anything you don’t already know. Frankly, why can’t Black people get over slavery? Or, at least, why doesn’t anyone want to see more contemporary portrayals of Black lives?

I, too, share the longing for more contemporary portrayals of Black lives being told on the screen. That is to say, more than the ones that require Tyler Perry donning a dress and informing some uppity, educated woman to lower her standards, get her some Jesus, and ride off in to the sunset with the blue collar supermodel-looking boyfriend the Lord just blessed her with.

But a-ha, Douglas! That’s already happening if you bothered to pay attention.

Earlier this year, the New York Times highlighted a new wave of Black films spanning a number of subject matters, including musicals, romantic comedies, social dramas, and holiday-themed comedies. Such is my issue with lamenting a point that could easily be debunked if one managed to waste precious seconds using that magic, information finding product called “Google.”

Even if that was not the case, though, that point has nothing to do with the significance of continuing on with slavery-focused films.

Would Douglas tell the Jews to get over the Holocaust and other instances of anti-Semitism? Should Americans get over their obsession with presidents like Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy? What about our past wars? Do Asians not have a right to bring greater attention to America’s own dark history of concentration camps? What about those flicks focused on the Roman Empire? Cleopatra?

You can read the remainder of this essay at NewsOne.

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When I planned to write about Tamar Braxton, I intended the focus to be on Love and War, the excruciatingly-long awaited follow up to 2000’s Tamar. Tamar has never been too complimentary of her debut project, though I’m not entirely sure why given it was a solid release. Funny enough, her sophomore effort doesn’t stray from that album’s concept: a mix of classic R&B ballads that could easily be sang by big sister (post The Heat) coupled with sassy uptempos that match the finger rolling, neck rolling, catch phrasing spewing person we’ve come to learn thanks to reality television. The key difference between Tamar in 2000 and Tamar in 2013 is that the latter offers music more polished in sound and presented with a mightier machine.

I’ve been wanting to stress the point the album is worth a listen and purchase to those who don’t want anything to do with Tamar due to her antics. Then this interview happened.  Tamar is always volunteering ways to remind people of what an insufferable, petty shrew she can be at times. Where is Janet Jackson to scream “FIX IT!” when you need her?

I’m happy to see the Love and War perform so well in its first week, but it’s mind boggling to see how someone who ought to be happy continue to project such a nasty attitude. I can’t even fault “The Breakfast Club” for “baiting” Tamar Braxton because there’s really no such thing. She is known for being catty and antagonistic.

She’s taken shots at Beyoncé and Joseline Hernandez on Tiny Tonight and uses Twitter to throw digs in the direction of her peers like Alicia Keys and K. Michelle. It’d be one thing if she owned that behavior, but she’s feigning victimhood — dismissing K. Michelle’s gesture and peace offering while professing herself to be the victim of bullying. I saw her exchange with K. Michelle on the day K. appeared on 106 & Park. Tamar started that by acting as if she is the originator of a Black woman with blond weave and K. Michelle finished it by clowning the absolute shit out of her.

In turn, Tamar pretended to be so above the likes of Joseline and K. Michelle during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live — pretty much on par with what she did in this interview. And yet, she’s been “bullied” by K. Michelle because she called her a muppet in response to her calling her a wig thief. So, what about her insinuating that Blue Ivy came out of someone else’s vagina and that Joseline doesn’t own one?

I’m sick of celebrities bastardizing the world bully. K. Michelle didn’t bum rush her, pull out a razor from underneath her tongue and demand that she hand over her blond tresses. She didn’t jump on Twitter, berate her for seven hours, make her cry and call Ms. Evelyn who in turned called on Traci to fly up to New York to whoop K. Michelle’s ass. None of that happened. All K. Michelle did was bark back at someone who should’ve kept their nasty comments to themselves.

Did she have to insult her face? No, but did Tamar leave herself open to that? Has she not done a similar line of attack before? The only thing worse than a person who throws a rock and hide their hand is someone who does all of that and behave as if they are the victim of a crime.

If you’re so above it all, Tamar, you could’ve kept it cute, no? Say something along the lines of, “Thank you for the purchase, I’m over it and don’t want to talk about her.” Instead, she had to act as if she is so much above K. Michelle.

I salute Tamar’s success, but sis, you have two TV shows, a major radio hit for your demographic, and a very powerful husband. You also had that album on sale for $4.99 at select online retailers. Smart, yes, but c’mon nah. Yes, you’ve sold a couple thousand more than K. Michelle, who garnered press from a reality show but used mixtapes to build a genuine following, but is that something to brag on? I wouldn’t be surprised if both sold close to if not a little bit over 500,000 units. That’s a feat for most acts independent of genre, but particularly good for an R&B artist.

Why can’t they just get to the money together?

This pretty much explains a lot of the basis of their lingering tit for tat. As shady as K. Michelle sounds in this clip, Tamar often behaves like a bitchy queen. If you didn’t know, most bitchy queens are insecure somebodies looking for validation and all of your attention. When they don’t get it as they prefer to receive it, they lash out.

Tamar, I adore thy voice, but you must cut the shit.

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By now you’ve heard of Pastor Makeda Pennycooke who made national headlines, after sending an e-mail to parishioners that “only White people” should greet visitors at the 9:00 a.m. service at Freedom House Church. Why? Presumably because colored people wouldn’t be greeting visitors until 9:15 a.m. at the earliest.

In all seriousness — or, I should say, as serious as one can be in a stupid story like this — Pastor the White Man’s Ice Is Cooler wrote the following:

We anticipate having an increase in the number of people visiting and attending Freedom House over the next few weeks.

So what’s the issue at hand?

Well, “first impressions matter” and the church should seek to put ”the best of the best on the front doors.”

Where is JJ Evans’ picture of Ned the Wino as Black Jesus when you need it?

Pastor Yeah, I Luv Dem Whites continued:

We are continuing to work to bring our racial demographic pendulum back to mid-line. So we would like to ask that only White people be on the front doors.

In other words, in order to court White people, Pastor Keep It Bright and White believes that only Whites can attract other White people.

Read the rest at NewsOne.

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If VH1 doesn’t pick up Strip Club Queens: Atlanta and run it immediately after part two of the Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta reunion, someone should die. Well, not really, but they need to go find something else to do. I would tell BET to air it, but since y’all punked them into thinking they had to run nothing but wholesome shows (that are largely ignored), that’ll never happen. TV One isn’t an option, but maybe if VH1 makes the mistake of not scooping this brilliance up, perhaps OWN might give it a go.

At this point, Oprah seems like she’d air a Jesus sex tape if it’d win her the key demos. There’s always Oxygen, who could air this as one major fuck you to the folks who stopped Shawty Lo’s show before it truly began.

Whoever decides to pick this show up, though, someone needs to. Stat. This is like the reality TV version of The Players Club.

I am so fascinated with strippers. Unlike the more stuck up wing of the world, I don’t begrudge the women who strip. I do have issue with some of the reasons why women feel they have to strip to survive, but I also acknowledge that women who work in adult entertainment are just as multifaceted as other people. Now, I’m not entirely sure we’d get that from a show that looks like high grade World Star Hip Hop, but there are elements there.

Say, the woman with the huge neck tat with three kids, two houses and a pet pig. That one woman named Sinna who has the green mo hawk action going. Okay, I’m tired of spinning this in my favor. I want to watch this show every single week and I could give a damn what kind of ticket the morality police tries to write me.

Like, I need to see this show. Did y’all hear Boy Toy say, “I used to be a slum bitch from the ghetto and that’s what you gon’ make me be again ’cause you so worried about why my pussy famous and why yours is not?” A star is born.

And the one who said, “Financially, though. A bitch paid.” Girl, I am so jealous of you. I think about stripping every day I pay a student loan. To hell be with the lenders.

I don’t see it for the stuck up white girl who’ll probably get beaten to the white meat by episode five, but “MLK on that, bitches” is quite the memorable line.

There are episodes already available online that you can watch for .99 cents an episode. Uh, I don’t know how I feel about paying to watch something on the Web, but I suppose the hood needs its own version of Netflix and Redbox. I cannot deny that at this moment, I am very tempted to spend that dollar on this.

Still, this is must see (on) TV programming.

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