Beginning today and every third Friday to follow, I will blog vignettes of weekly news stories. This type of vignette blogging will allow people to comment on the story or stories that most affect them. So, for a blogger who delights in blogging about current events, race, and gender this has been as the cliché goes “a week for the history [her-story] books.” Early Monday morning, the internet buzzed with disparaging if now downright racist sexist commentary about newly appointed Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin. Pundits and conservative talk show radio host lambasted the pending nominee’s credibility as surgeon general because of her weight. Of, course my response to this was since when do we ask white male senators if their whiteness and maleness influences how they legislate so why is it now important to assess Dr. Benjamin’s weight. And Steve Colbert of the Daily Report agrees.
Then on Tuesday, Chris Brown released on the internet an apology for beating Riahanna. Many felt including me that it was not heartfelt or genuine. Furthermore, merely speaking with one’s spiritual counselors does not necessarily get at the complexities of domestic and teen dating violence. He needs to be in continuous therapy. And, perhaps he should read the statement that Females United For Action (FUFA) wrote in response to teen dating violence. Then news broke about how renowned Harvard scholar, Professor Henry Louis Gates, was arrested for entering his own home. Blogsphere went into a delirious tizzy. Commentary ranged from racial color blind(ism), “Well, the officer was just doing his job and if I saw someone entering who looked “mischievous” I would call the police too to racial analysis, “This is purely racial profiling.” My response to this story is mixed I simply wrote on my Facebook status, “I understand the racism of this story. It happens to countless numbers of black and brown people not just men of color, however, the class dynamics of being able to become as Michael Eric Dyson stated “the Rosa Parks of racial profiling” and to have the President of the United States, Barack Obama, make mention of the issue is something to assess when thinking about how class privilege (I am a Harvard Professor) intersects with race.”
Then on Wednesday, Soledad O’Brien, the race crusader herself, (of course I am being sarcastic) presented Black in America 2 as if the prequel actually reflected the complexities of being Black in America. To be honest, I did not watch the show because it was my birthday and I decided to watch Madagascar 2 at least in this TV viewing I expected to see characters displayed as animals. However, many people did watch the show and have strong opinions about it. Finally to end the week, news about how Barack Obama is losing the debate about reorganizing the health care system broke. Like past presidents seeking to shape public opinion, Barack Obama is relying on town hall meetings and news conferences to sale his agenda. However, I believe he and other Democrats must creatively figure out how to counter conservative group’s ads and commercials which display Obama’s agenda as a plot to take from the hardworking and give to non-hardworking. Of course, this is easily said then done given how this American ethos of hard work and due diligence is fed to us from birth, but it must be done if the Democrats expect to extend coverage to those who are currently uninsured.
So, as stated earlier in this piece, this is the Third Friday News Wrap-Up where you are able to comment on the story or stories that most affect you. Should we consider Dr. Benjamin’s weight as a factor for her not to become the new Surgeon General? Should we forgive Chris Brown for his abusive transgressions? Should we empathize with the white officer who arrested Skip Gates? Should we follow conservative rhetoric that the only people who deserve to medically insured are those who can afford it? Also, if you have other news stories that happened this week, please feel free to share.