I almost got distracted from the more significant work I was supposed to do with this blog space when I heard that the one and only Oprah Winfrey was seriously interested in purchasing the Los Angeles Clippers. I was going to going on and on about my excitement over the possibility. Can you imagine that? Oprah, NBA team owner? Can we re-christen them the Los Angeles Live Your Best Lives? Can she give the pre-game pep talks? Can she coach? She could even interview Donald Sterling, and go all A Million Little Pieces, asking him flat out, “How does it feel knowing that I just jacked your team, and will be canceling that check I wrote you and redirecting the funds to reparations for all American Negros?” Fan nights would be so much better. Forget Chris Paul bobbleheads; you’re getting Oprah’s favorite blender! But I digress.
I almost went there with this blog. Almost spent this precious time lamenting the fact that Donald Sterling’s words have, unfortunately, become the latest unhelpful example of “basic” racism that will distract most from its more insidious forms, but then I remembered more pressing matters. See, in all of this hoopla surrounding the recording, the swell of commentary on Sterling’s misogyny and racism, and the expectation folks had for the NBA’s and the players’ response, one TMZ got lost in the mix. That’s right. TMZ. We have remiss in recognizing the trillness of an upstart media empire that has become the gatekeeper of black people. Y’all can talk all day about how CNN has been stretching out stories about “lost” airplanes and employing Self-Hater of the Dear Don Lemon all you want, but I’m here to ride for TMZ. Chuck D. once said that Hip-Hop was the CNN of America. Well, TMZ, with its vigilant and accurate breaking of news that affects black America, is essentially wiping the dust off its shoulders with Roland Martin’s ascot, all the while telling Tavis Smiley to find a less annoying speaking voice in some section of Wal-Mart.
That’s right. TMZ needs its propers, and I think the NAACP of Los Angeles should spearhead the process. Join my movement. See below.
Leon “Let it Shine Through” Jenkinsand other esteemed members of the NAACP, Los Angeles Chapter
We, the undersigned, believe that TMZ Day should be added to the Black People Calendar. Every February 29th, Harvey Levin, et. al. should be honored for their contributions to the Black Community, including but not limited to: showing up for black women by reporting on the state of Columbus Short and his marriage; giving Suge Knight the platform to confirm that one Tupac Shakur is not, in fact, dead; exposing that Donald Sterling doesn’t want his girl bringing black people to events starring black people; and, most importantly, being the first news organization to confirm that Michael Joseph Jackson had gone on to moonwalk with the Lord.
We believe that the above stated service to the Black Community is more than sufficient evidence to justify giving TMZ an NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award and, as we have previously noted, a holiday to be celebrated during Black History Month. As always, we reserve the right to renege on this holiday should TMZ give us reason.
In the meantime, we request that someone issue Harvey Levin a copy of “Lift E’ry Voice and Sing,” a Spades mentor, and a Negro Pass Learner’s Permit immediately.
Will you sign my petition?