Just when you thought you heard it all…George Mason senior Ryan Allen A.K.A Reann Ballslee is reportedly the first drag/homecoming queen to wear a tiara on one of our nation’s campuses. Read more about the queen here.
Musician and ivy league graduate John Legend penned an open letter to the NY Post over its overtly racist cartoon. Read below for full text of his letter…
I’m trying to understand what possible motivation you may have had for publishing that vile cartoon depicting the shooting of the chimpanzee that went crazy. I guess you thought it would be funny to suggest that whomever was responsible for writing the Economic Recovery legislation must have the intelligence and judgment of a deranged, violent chimpanzee, and should be shot to protect the larger community. Really? Did it occur to you that this suggestion would imply a connection between President Barack Obama and the deranged chimpanzee? Did it occur to you that our President has been receiving death threats since early in his candidacy? Did it occur to you that blacks have historically been compared to various apes as a way of racist insult and mockery? Did you intend to invoke these painful themes when you printed the cartoon?
If that’s not what you intended, then it was stupid and willfully ignorant of you not to connect these easily connectable dots. If it is what you intended, then you obviously wanted to be grossly provocative, racist and offensive to the sensibilities of most reasonable Americans. Either way, you should not have printed this cartoon, and the fact that you did is truly reprehensible. I can’t imagine what possible justification you have for this. I’ve read your lame statement in response to the outrage you provoked. Shame on you for dodging the real issue and then using the letter as an opportunity to attack Rev. Sharpton. This is not about Rev. Sharpton. It’s about the cartoon being blatantly racist and offensive.
I believe in freedom of speech, and you have every right to print what you want. But freedom of speech still comes with responsibilities and consequences. You are responsible for printing this cartoon, and I hope you experience some real consequences for it. I’m personally boycotting your paper and won’t do any interviews with any of your reporters, and I encourage all of my colleagues in the entertainment business to do so as well. I implore your advertisers to seriously reconsider their business relationships with you as well.
You should print an apology in your paper acknowledging that this cartoon was ignorant, offensive and racist and should not have been printed.
I’m well aware of our country’s history of racism and violence, but I truly believe we are better than this filth. As we attempt to rise above our difficult past and look toward a better future, we don’t need the New York Post to resurrect the images of Jim Crow to deride the new administration and put black folks in our place. Please feel free to criticize and honestly evaluate our new President, but do so without the incendiary images and rhetoric.
Shawn Crawford , Olympian and American sprinter, gifted his silver medal from the 2008 Japan Olympic games to disqualified sprinter Churandy Martina in what seems to be an unprecedented display of sportsmanship. Read more here.
Hmmm…this new development is no small wonder. Who else could take on the new President of the United States except another African American man?! Thus, the RNC has selected Michael Steele to lead the out-of-power party during this unprecedented season of change. Looks like the Democratic party might have to actually make good on some of those campaign promises made to their ever loyal African-American constituency.
Side Bar: Who would have ever thunk that Bush43 would have been the president to advance the black political agenda (unwittingly or not)? Developing.
I am unable to encapsulate my emotions, hope, feelings, joy, and pride into a worthy post right now. I am truly humbled. Last night, in Grant Park, I felt the pride of being an American without hypenation. Last night America demostrated to my cycnical BUT always hopeful soul that anything is truly possible in America. I thank and praise God that my son will be born into a world that has demostrated that a black man can lead the free world. Wow!
Filed under: Barack Obama, Democrats, Politics, Presidency, Urban America, Voting | Tagged: Barack Obama, election, First Black President, Grant Park, London Evening Standard, Michelle Obama, President Elect Barack Obama | Leave a Comment »
Among African-Americans, in particular, an Obama victory in November would probably be celebrated as if it were a national holiday. (Even Smiley says, “If the brother wins, I’m gon’ be on the front line of the electric slide-I’m gon’ be there celebrating, like everybody else.”) But it could also be traumatic for anyone who makes a living talking about or to-or, especially, for-black America. Black leaders who opposed him might find themselves, as Smiley did, dissidents in their own communities. Bitter intra-racial debates over the policies of our first black President could only make the notion of a singular black community seem that much more illusory, emphasizing schisms that many black leaders have been at pains to ignore.
The preceding snippet is courtesy of the New Yorker. I am supposed to be boycotting the magazine but a friend sent an email with an articleabout brother Tavis Smiley attached. The magazine published a pretty thorough article; not anything new but I think it is worth reading. The author notes that black leaders styled in the essence of Jesse Jackson and Tavis Smiley may have a difficult time finding the same type of work after this year’s storied election. Read more here.