Category Archives: news

O.J. Simpson, Rodman, RuPaul: Black History Role Models?

LA Times – In a letter addressed to parents and community members, a South Los Angeles elementary school principal apologized Thursday for “questionable decisions” about which prominent African Americans to highlight in a parade marking the culmination of Black History Month.

Lorraine Abner’s letter did not name the individuals. But her apology came after three teachers at Wadsworth Avenue Elementary School were suspended while the Los Angeles Unified School District investigates allegations that they had their first-, second- and fourth-grade students carry pictures of O.J. Simpson, Dennis Rodman and RuPaul at last Friday’s event.

“Unfortunately, questionable decisions were made in the selection of noteworthy African American role models,” the letter said. “As the principal, I offer my apology for these errors in judgment.”

I don’t know about you, but for me Black History is Black History. If we remove one part of it, we are not telling the whole story. It is the whole story that makes history. We as African-Americans have had to fight to have our history included.   Now it would be a little hypocritical for us to start excluding people. To now start removing people or making apologies is unacceptable.

RuPaul represents a portion of our community.  We can’t celebrate our LGBTQ brothers and sisters?  There was a time in history before the trial and acquittal when O.J Simpson was a hero.  You remember those commercials.  Dennis Rodman was one hell of a basketball player. I think that Michael Jordan could give you a list of reasons why he should not be discarded.

I’d also like to note that the tale of O.J is not equal to the stories of Rodman and Rupaul.  Come on, people.  LA, I thought you guys were more progressive than this.  Oh no, I forgot…Prop 8.    Ok, but yall do like basketball so Rodman is ok, right.  Oh no, Yall only like the Lakers!  SMH

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Happy “I’ze Married Now!” Day to All My Black DC Gays and Lesbians

I’m straight, but i’m no hater.  I want to give a congratulations shout out to all of the gay and lesbian folks in Washington, DC who can now get married.  The Washington Post reports that couples lined up beginning at 6 a.m. at the D.C. district courthouse, vying to be among the first same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses.  Good for them. Whether it’s mixed race couples, couples from different sides of the tracks, or people who get married and everyone knows they shouldn’t…we all deserve to choose who we walk down the isle with.

When we start picking and chosing who gets what rights and who deserves what freedoms, we get onto a slippery slope.  There was a time when African Americans were not free to live where they wanted to live, marry who they loved, or just go have a burger at the local diner just because of the social norms and stereotypes that helped shape American law.  Discrimination was  the law.  Treating one group as lesser than another was the law.  I’m so glad to say that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation when it comes to marriage is no longer the law here in the District.

PS: You better make sure that marriage comes with same-sex divorce too.  I’m just saying.  LOL

Photo: Michael K. Cole & Jamil Smith Cole. The two jumped over the broom Atlanta Georgia in 2009.

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UC San Diego Racial Unrest Continues: Hood Found on Statue

The LA Times is reporting that a “Ku Klux Klan-like hood was fashioned from a pillowcase and placed on a statue outside UC San Diego’s main library, in what may be another racially provocative incident at the beach-side campus, officials said Tuesday.”

Um…when is a klansman’s hood ever not a sign that it’s racially provocative?  Not “may be”.  The word would be “is”.

University police say they are investigating the matter as a possible hate crime and examining the hood for fingerprints and even DNA analysis.

The hood, with a hand-drawn cross inside a circle, was found about 11 p.m. Monday on the statue of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as the children’s book author Dr. Seuss, after whom the library is named. A rose was inserted into the statue’s fingers.

Why Dr. Seuss? I love Dr. Seuss. That’s just wrong!

I really feel for the black students at UC San Diego. Hell, I feel for us all. Especially those of you who have had your Post-Racial hopes shattered in the last year. Oh no, institutionalized racism is alive and well.

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Walmart Chooses “Gangsta” Rap and Strippers Over Patriots for Black History Month

I really, really wanted to be surprised by this story, but I know better. Walmart is about business, the business of selling stuff.  They want $$.  I think this is a case of capitalism…not racism.  Let’s be honest, if you wanted to promote a product that would appeal to the largest number of Black people would you choose “Chappelle’s Show — Season 2 Uncensored” or For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots,” a four-hour documentary?  I’m going with Chappelle.  I’m not saying that Black folk aren’t interested in this type of documentary.  I saw it on TV last week on PBS and it was great.  However, I’m not interested in buying it.  I’m a Netflix person anyway, so maybe I shouldn’t comment.

I have more of a problem the choice of subject matter they are associating with Black History Month in their advertising [The Players’s Club?].  Then again, WE let companies sell us everything from DVDs to cars to chicken nuggets when their theme is Black History.  Sigh.

SunTimes.com: Vietnam veteran Ronald Price considers himself snubbed by Wal-Mart.Wal-Mart Stores Inc. rejected for inclusion in its Black History Month displays “For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots,” a four-hour documentary in which a Who’s Who of Hollywood is enlisted to document the history of blacks in the military.

What did make it to the prominent displays at the world’s largest retailer? “Thug Angel — Tupac Shakur,” a documentary of the slain rapper; the strip club-set flick “The Players Club,” and Dave Chappelle’s sketch comedy series “Chappelle’s Show — Season 2 Uncensored” were among 50 titles approved for the special promotion in entertainment sections.

“I think it was a slap in our face, as far as being war veterans,” said Price, an African-American South Holland resident. “I would never buy anything out of Wal-Mart anymore.” [Full Article]

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Rep. Trent Franks: African-Americans were better off under slavery

Oh Wow.  RACIST!!   I want to thank Think Progress for posting this.  This is some straight BS!  If you are a black person living in AZ you need to campaign really, really hard to get this man out of office.  Here’s the info:

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) — one of the most conservative member of Congress, according to a new National Journal ranking — decried the strained state of political discourse in an interview today with blogger-activist Mike Stark. While defending hate radio host Rush Limbaugh, Franks said bipartisanship and “true tolerance” is about “being halfway decent to each other in spite of the differences.” But when the conversation turned to abortion, Franks made a clearly indecent comment, claiming that African-Americans were probably better off under slavery than they are today:

FRANK: In this country, we had slavery for God knows how long. And now we look back on it and we say “How brave were they? What was the matter with them? You know, I can’t believe, you know, four million slaves. This is incredible.” And we’re right, we’re right. We should look back on that with criticism. It is a crushing mark on America’s soul. And yet today, half of all black children are aborted. Half of all black children are aborted. Far more of the African-American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by policies of slavery. And I think, What does it take to get us to wake up?

What?  Huh?  Don’t believe me?  Watch it (beginning 6:20):

Franks continued by saying, “[S]ometimes we get angry and say things that we shouldn’t say, and I apologize…[for saying things] that are intemperate. But I don’t want to hide from the truth.”

Truth? Readers, is this the truth? AZ, is this the truth that you want your Representatives to believe in?

Update: Salon.com has picked up the story.  They report this: Abortion-rights opponents like to compare abortion and slavery; the Dred Scott vs. Sandford case is often seen on the right as the 19th century equivalent of Roe v. Wade. Still, the comments caught the attention of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“To compare the horrors and inhumane treatment of millions of African Americans during slavery as a better way of life for African Americans today is beyond repulsive,” said Stephanie Young, a DCCC spokeswoman. “In 2010, during the 2nd year of our first African American president, it is astonishing that a thought such as this would come to mind, let alone be shared. The next time Congressman Franks wants to make assumptions about what policies are ‘best’ for the African American community, he should keep them to himself.” [Full Article]

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Noose Found on UC San Diego Campus as Racial Tentions Continue

You know it’s a racial incident when a noose is found.  A noose.  That lasting symbol of white supremacy.   When someone puts a noose up…”them’s fighting words”.

According to Huffington Post, last night, a noose was found hanging on a light in the campus library, according to the UC Regents (Live)blog. A female student admitted to placing the noose there today. This incident comes after the “Compton Cookout” Black History Month drama that we’ve been following here on Hello, Negro.  Photo of the noose comes from http://ucregentlive.wordpress.com

“This is truly a dark day in the history of this university,” Chancellor Marye Anne Fox told students gathered along Library Walk. “It’s abhorrent and untenable.”

I say, America, hate is on your doorstep.  You need to let it in and have a conversation about what is and is  not to be tolerated in YOUR house.  To the students at UC San Diego, I suggest that you band together.  Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern…an injustice to one is an injustice to all and the eyes of the nation are upon you.  Sometimes the young have to be the example of and change and evolution of thought for the old, for the establishment.

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Kudos to Students Who Walked Out of the UC San Diego “Teach-in”

I am proud of students who took action today at UC San Diego.  I know the school had very good intentions, but a “teach-in” on racial tolerance was likely seen as a politically correct band-aid.  Talk is not what these students want.  They want action.  They want to feel that they are in an environment where racists are taken to task when they do bold things, like throwing a neo-blackface party.  A long seminar on racial tolerance is like workplace sexual harassment classes.  Everyone in the room nods and says they understand.  What would you expect them to do, defend their right to grab their secretary’s butt or tell a couple penis jokes?  Keep fighting kids.  Even if you don’t see the results you want, you will not leave that University with regrets.

LA Times: Nine days after an off-campus student party mocked Black History Month, UC San Diego went through a day of protests, tumult and self-examination Wednesday, especially concerning the small number of African American students enrolled at the beachside campus.

University administrators sponsored a teach-in on racial tolerance that attracted a standing-room-only crowd of more than 1,200 students, faculty and staff to an auditorium in the student center. But halfway through what was to be a two-hour session in response to the offensive racial stereotypes at the Feb. 15 “Compton Cookout” party, most students walked out in protest.

They then held their own noisy but peaceful rally outside the building. Administrators may have thought the teach-in “would make us quiet,” said Fnann Keflezighi, vice chairman of the Black Student Union. But she said minority students don’t believe that UC San Diego will take significant steps to make them feel more comfortable on campus and increase their numbers.

The controversial party, she and others contended, was just the spark that ignited new activism about long-simmering issues at the university. Many wore special black and white T-shirts that proclaimed: “Real Pain, Real Action, 1.3%” — a reference to the percentage of African Americans among the campus’ undergraduates, thought to be the lowest in the UC system.

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