World Cup in South Africa, Past Stadium Walls

As we cheer this summer for the impressive athletes competing in the World Cup in South Africa, let’s all try to keep in mind the country’s history and also the (unseen) realities of its present.

Apartheid was a legalized, oppressive system of segregation in South Africa that lasted until just before Nelson Mandela became the first black president of the nation in 1994. Since the end of Apartheid, the racial segregation that existed before (though it was certainly not gone) was replaced by a predominant economic segregation. Since the fall of Apartheid, the income of whites has gone up 24%, while the non-white income has dropped 1%. In addition to the white-favoring distribution of wealth, a black middle class that is isolated from poor blacks in the townships has developed in South Africa as well.

Nikki Haley, Barack Obama, And Religious Indigestion

If you took all the shrimp from Bubba’s shrimp farm, sausage from Oscar meyer’s factory, vegetables from Whole Foods produce section, and fat back special seasoning you woud have world class gumbo, and probably some serious indigestion. Although you may be hooked on Tums for the next 24 hours, you would probably feel like your gluttonous indulgence was worth it. Well, it seems like even in 2010 many Americans cannot digest the thought of living in a real melting pot. I’m not talking about an assimilatory melting pot, but a pot that doesn’t dilute any one ingredient’s flavor, but allows it to complement the others. Enough with the food analogies (I’m salivating as I type) let me cut to the chase, the United States of America has yet to reach the point where we can claim to be a religiously tolerant nation (or racially, ethnically, sexually, etc.). But for the purpose of this post I’ll focus on religion. Case in point, South Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley or should I say Nimrata Randhwa Haley.

It is no secret that “minorities” have had a long way to go in politics, but what about religious minorities? Almost four years ago when Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison decided to take his oath of office on a Quran rather than the Bible, he drew a lot condemnation. He assuaged some of the dissidents when he chose to use the two volume Quran published in London in 1764 that Thomas Jefferson once owned. Yet, some folks were still infuriated. In an article written by columnist Dennis Prager, he said that Ellison was trying to undermine American civilization.

Lauryn Hill At ROCK THE BELLS 2010!

Remember a couple months ago when I both asked and answered the question “What The F&%^$ Happened” to Lauryn Hill?

Well, in case you didn’t get around to reading that article, I’ll briefly recap. Lauryn Hill rose to superstardom after the one-two punch of The Fugees’ The Score and her seminal solo debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. However, shady friends and the incredible pressure and stress that come with fame and the music industry basically broke Ms. Hill in half, leading to a painfully emotional and bizarre (but actually good) Unplugged collection, a slew of disastrous concerts and public appearances, and then silence. Lauryn Hill seemed to have disappeared from the public eye forever…

…until yesterday.

Do Black People Watch HBO’s True Blood? or Do we Only watch BET's the Game?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk5BXZOCJhY&feature=related

I am very excited about the première of the third season of True Blood—dashing Bill, virginal Sookie, stereotypical of black women Terra, sinisterly charming Eric, and rogue-like Jason Stackhouse. To say the least, I am a fan, but not a cult-like fan. I would never attend a True Blood movie première dressed as a Vampire, a Hobbit (i.e. Lorde of the Rings), a boy wizard (i.e. Harry Potter), or as an Upper East Side fashionistas (i.e. Sex and the City). That’s not me.

I’m just a regular-ole-everyday kind of fan who wanted to invite her regular-ole-everyday black friends to her modestly small apartment to watch the third season première of True Blood. In my mind, it was a simple request. But, the response from my dear “tried and true” black friends was, “Black people don’t watch True Blood.” What? What do you mean black people don’t watch True Blood? The sheer numbers of weekly viewers alone attest to the fact that there must be a percentage of black people watching the show. Perhaps, the type of fandom black people display is more low key then die heart Twilight fans. Perhaps, we do not join online groups and play fantasy football version of True Blood’s picks.

Teens Face Worst Summer Job Market in 41 Years

Teens Face Worst Summer Job Market in 41 Years
Joseph Pisani, CNBC, June 8, 2010

The kickoff to the summer job season is not looking so hot for teens.

Young Americans are expected to face a tough summer job market.

Employment among 16-to 19-year olds in May grew by just 6,000, the smallest increase since 1969, when teen jobs fell by 14,000, according to government data analyzed by employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. In May 2008 and 2009, teen employment grew by over 110,000.

“It’s certainly a preliminary strong indication that it’s going to be a tough job market for teens,” said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Jobs traditionally given to teens are apparently going to older workers who are willing to take low paying job to make ends meet. Employment among 20- to 24-year-olds grew by 270,000 in May, an unusual spike, considering that employment in the same age group fell by 261,000 in May 2009.

“Also impacting the job market for young adults are the large number of older adults who are willing to accept even a temporary, seasonal position simply to generate some income,” said Steven Rothberg, chief executive officer of CollegeRecruiter.com, an online entry-level job-posting site. (Read the full article)

Helen Thomas, you are too old for apologies.

When I turn 89, I’m going to tell everyone to kiss my ass. By then I would have done my share of sucking up and can finally either ask for it in return or just simply say “fuck off”. Whatever comes out of my mouth will certainly not be followed by an apology. Which is why it is beyond me why Helen Thomas, who clearly has a strong, developed viewpoint would go back on such rich commentary. Why in the world where everyone from Obama to Starbucks is on Israel’s dick would an old white lady like Helen Thomas renege? In my view, she should have made the point and stood her ground! But she apologized and so the world is left with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Gee, thanks Helen. Two people would have been better than one.