The Power of Words

In a time where words are abbreviated into consonants and symbols and three letters can signal an entire sentence, it becomes interesting to look at language in depth. Whether our ‘wyd’ for “what are you doing?” is a reflection of life lived on the go or a need for differentiation, our words and phrases change faster than Merriam & Webster can look up aardvark in the dictionary. How often do we analyze the reason behind our speech or think before we speak to choose our words meticulously? We are constantly deciphering messages from those around us via the internet, television, and in person. It may be useful to probe the source of our daily thoughts, conscious and subconscious, received through our constant contact with others.

Recently, I saw a movie called Waking Life, which posed various questions about our world and below is the clip on language.


Where's Africa? Don't ask a Republican

Forget Jersey Shore and Snookie’s emotional rants. Forget Real Housewives of Atlanta and all of its ratcheness classiness. If I really want to get a good laugh these days I tune into a Republican Presidential Candidate debate. I try to take politics seriously but when you have so many clowns in the arena it’s hard not to laugh, at least giggle a little bit.

Most of America knows that Rick Santorum has a Google problem. After last weeks Republican debate though, it is clear that the GOP hopeful has a geography problem as well. Responding to a question during the debate televised on CNN, former Pennsylvania Senator Santorum committed a major gaffe on a little, obscure place called Africa. It seems Santorum seems to think that the world’s second-largest continent isn’t all that important — or a continent at all. Fielding a question from former Bush Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz on poverty in third-world nations, Santorum said that American action in Africa to deal with their AIDS epidemic is “absolutely essential.”

Santorum probably should have stopped right there. Sadly, he didn’t.


“Africa was a country on the brink of complete meltdown and chaos,” he added.

Alabama's Hate Bill Drags the State Back to it's Ugly Past.

Che “Rhymefest” Smith and Jasiri X outside 16th St Baptist Church in Birmingham (Photo by Paradise Gray)

State Senator Scott Beason, one of the principle architects of Alabama’s anti-immigration bill HB56, is a racist. That’s not just my opinion, that’s what he was called by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson. Beason was a key witness in trial recently and was asked by the FBI to wear a wire. The wire picked up Beason making blatantly racist statements, calling Black people “aborigines,” “illiterate” and implying we can be enticed to vote with buffets. This lead Judge Thompson in his ruling to single out Beason. The Judge said Beason’s statements “demonstrate a deep-seated racial animus and a desire to suppress black votes by manipulating what issues appeared on the 2010 ballot” and added, “Lawmakers who harbor such sentiments lack the integrity expected from elected officials.”

It’s no surprise that Beason’s name is attached to a piece of legislation that singles out a specific group of people for racial profiling, harassment, and arrest. Alabama’s HB56 is not only the harshest anti-immigration law, it’s inhumane. HB56 requires schools to verify the immigration status of students upon enrollment, allow law enforcement to check the status of people they suspect are undocumented during routine stops and arrests, and prohibits renting property to undocumented immigrants. It also makes it a felony for undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license, license plate, or business license. In other words if you’re a human being in Alabama with no papers, it’s a crime to live.

?uestlove was Wrong — Kinda

Last week, The (Legendary) Roots crew, ?uestlove in particular, got into a bit of trouble for choosing to play Fishbone’s song, “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” as the walk-on music for Republican presidential candidate, Michele Bachmann during her appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.


Brother ?uestion was wrong.

Tyler Perry Pens Open Letter to Penn State 11 Year-Old

Tyler Perry has written powerful letter to an 11 year-old involved in the Penn State sexual abuse scandal.

A victim of abuse himself, Perry makes it clear to this young person that he is a survivor, NOT a victim.

From Newsweek:

“I was a very poor young black boy in New Orleans, just a face without a name, swimming in a sea of poverty trying to survive. Forget about living, I was just trying to exist. I was enduring a lot of the same things that you’ve come forward and said happened to you, and it was awful.

T.I.: Gays Are 'Too Sensitive' About Homophobia

T.I. has ignited a whole lotta controversy with his recent statements in a Vibe Magazine interview.

When the conversation turned to homophobia, T.I. defended Tracy Morgan’s “If my child was gay, I’d stab him to death” rant from earlier this year, and then defended an individuals right to hate Gay people!

Not content with expressing his admiration for the above-mentioned joke, T.I. gave his stamp of approval to another of Morgan’s controversial jokes.

Weekly News Round-Up: Nov. 21-27

Are Black Students Lacking Basic Skills?
Staff Writer, News One, 11/21/11


Alcohol puts students at risk on ‘Black Wednesday’
Staff Writer, Indy Star, 11/21/11


Black College Students: Financial Aid Money, How To Spend It…
Staff Writer, Thy Black Man News, 11/21/11


Young Black Voters: Study Dispels Myths
Jenée Desmond-Harris , The Root, 11/22/11


Half of black children inOregonlive in poverty, new census data show
Nikole Hannah-Jones, The Oregonian , 11/24/11


Minorities’ ISAT scores on rise in D300
Emily McFarlan, The Courier-News, 11/24/11


AugustaStateUniversityseeks more black male students
Tracey McManus, The Augusta Chronicle, 11/25/11


Black student study in Pinellas won’t happen after all
Ron Matus, Tampa Bay Times, 11/28/11


Hasting Council Launches Youth Potential Awards
Staff Writer, Voxy News, 11/27/11


Eurekacraft fair benefits Ink People Center for the Arts youth programs
Megan Hansen, Times-Standard, 11/27/11