Today in Post-Race History: The Case of Richie Incognito

Incognito and MartinWe’ve been following the Miami Dolphins’ bullying case starring a dude whose real name is actually Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin here on the BYP, because sports–and sports stories–are never entirely about sports. I’m repeating myself and others when I say that sports is a microcosm of the culture, and this issue is no exception. For those of you who haven’t been following, know this: a few weeks ago, Jonathan Martin, an offensive lineman for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, abruptly left the team. What we learned in the aftermath is that Martin had been the victim of vicious hazing, even though hazing is generally a team ritual reserved for rookies and Martin is no longer in his first year. This hazing/bullying included over 1100 texts between Martin and Richie Incognito, who has emerged as one of the key players involved in bullying Martin.

REPORT: Hate Groups and Militias On The Rise Since Obama Election

According to a report by the ACLU, the number of hate groups and anti-government militias are on the rise in the wake the election of President Obama.

Counting only active groups and organizations, the ACLU reports that the number of hate groups has risen steadily since 2000; those numbers have increased sharply since 2008, coinciding with the election of Barack Obama and the start of the recession.

The report pays particular attention to the rise of “patriot” and militia groups.

White Teacher Suspended For Using N-Word in Class; Suing Chicago Public Schools

White school teacher Lincoln Brown is suing Chicago Public Schools after he was suspended for using the n-word in front of his sixth grade class.

Brown had intercepted a note being passed while he was teaching, in which a student had written rap lyrics using the n-word. Brown says he wanted to seize the opportunity as a teachable moment, and engage his students on the history and implications of the word.

Brown’s principal happened to walk in during the ensuing conversation, heard Brown utter the n-word, and immediately began the process of issuing a suspension.

REPORT: 1 in 12 US Marriages Are Interracial

According to a recent report, 1 in 12 marriages are interracial in America. That’s about 4.8 millions Americans who have married outside of their race.

And while that accounts for only 8.2 percent of all marriages, it’s a fairly large increase since 1980, when only 3.2 percent of marriages were interracial.

While Asians and Hispanics are more likely to marry outside of their race, African Americans have seen the largest increase in interracial marriage. Experts attribute that to a rising Black middle class that exposes African Americans to other races.

Additionally, studies showed that Black men are more than twice as likely to date outside of their race than Black women.

The Reason T-Pain Can Be Sexy; A Critique of Popular Aesthetics Part I

Celebrity, the representation and popularizing of a face, determine our aesthetics—models that our minds, in one sense, refer to when judging a person’s beauty. We can say that the drastic changes in whom and what we find attractive are inspired by the popular surveillance of a specific body.  Upon seeing a face manifest through a television source, a face that overcomes exclusive requirements to be there, a viewer can sufficiently convert their jealousy into praise. Without a doubt, we viewers further a history of valorizing particular persons for their “transcendence” of being average, and in effect view the box-glaring body with lust. I would have no problem with this fanaticism if the value of the person were substantial, yet the appeal of celebrities often comes from the pity we feel for ourselves; for not making it past the bouncer of popular media.

Is It Ever OK For White People To Say NIGGER?

In an article released last week for Time Magazine, writer Touré asserts that it’s not OK for white people to use the word nigger (or its crazy cousin, nigga).

Well…he does list some exceptions.

According to Touré, white people can say nigger if they are:

1. Reporting on, commenting on, or writing some kind of think piece involving the word nigger.

 Or

 2. Using the word as part of a play, film, song, piece of visual art or stand-up comedy routine.

Is that alright with you?

Are Black People Willing To Call Eminem The Greatest Rapper Of All Time?

As a Black person, are you afraid to call Eminem the greatest rapper of all time?

Or perhaps just unwilling.

Me? I’m not so sure.

I don’t think I’m opposed to Slim Shady being the GOAT; he’s just not my choice. Despite what many might assume from some of my prior articles (like this one or that one), Jay-Z has always gotten my vote as the greatest rapper of all time.

But I would never exclude Eminem from the conversation entirely.

Others…not so much.

Today in Post-Race History: A Rock and a Hard Place

I really hate it when politics interrupt my fantasy football preparation. There I was checking Twitter for tweets that might help my abysmal fantasy team when I started seeing posts about presidential candidate Rick Perry’s little problem.

In case you missed it, according to a story published in The Washington Post last Saturday, Perry’s family’s hunting camp was known as Niggerhead. In fact, the word was etched on a rock at the camp’s entrance and, according to the article, the word was not painted over for quite some time.

Gosh, don’t you just love vintage America?

How Racism Is Destroying America's Political Discourse

A few years ago I had an internship at the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, where one of my chief duties was to spend hours looking through microfilm for newspaper clippings that dramatized the racial climate in Philadelphia throughout the years.

One article that stood out was a poll of Philadelphians that asked, “How would you describe the state of racial equality in America today?” The vast majority of whites (something like 60-70%) answered “Good.”

The year was 1968.

These people had no idea how dire the state of race relations was in America at the time because all they could compare it to was a not-so-distant past marred by lynching, sharecropping and segregation. But today we can see quite clearly that things were bad. Racism was alive and well.

And that’s why race is such a tricky issue in America. Racism grows classier and more refined every day, but it never goes away. How else can we explain the American people tolerating the unprecedented disrespect, racism, obstruction and outright legislative terrorism being perpetrated by the GOP?

Not Even Black Toddlers Are Safe From Media Slander

Yes, the CBS station in Chicago chopped up an interview by a 4 year old to make it look like he was a thug in training, when he really wanted to be a police officer. I guess scary black men are an old hat and now we need a new boogie…um…boy.

Check how the boy’s “reaction” to the violence was characterized as “disturbing” and “Very scary indeed”. This was a planned, orchestrated and intentional act of character assassination on a 4 year old boy.

It’s also interesting that this comes on the heels of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to impose a new curfew for Chicago children under the age of 12.  With the school to prison pipeline in full effect, propaganda like this leads to more black youth being criminalized and brutalized by the police.

Sadly, this also takes away from the very real problem of violence in our communities and how to effectively solve it, without demonizing children for ratings.

WBBM communications director Shawnelle Richie issued this statement:

“We accept responsibility for the mistakes that were made, both in the reporting and editing of the story. The video of the child should not have aired. As soon as news management identified the problem, they took immediate steps to ensure that the video would not air in subsequent newscasts. In addition, we have followed up with our employees to make sure that we all have learned from the mistakes that were made.”

Yeah right