Google+
Navigation
Wednesday
Mar122014

Why Marc Lamont Hill Doesn't Deserve the Benefit of the Doubt on Labeling Lupita Nyong'o a "Fetish"

This is the season of the Pharell Williams defense. A Black man get's called on nonsense and then immediately claims that he has no idea why Black women are offended. 

I appeared on a Huffpo Live segment hosted by Dr. Marc Lamont Hill in response to a segment last week where he waived the flag of caution over Lupita developing a potentially large white fan base. ( She's in the business of selling tickets to fans *eyeroll*) In the context of his concern trolling he used the very loaded word of "fetish."

When confronted with is own words, Dr.Hill took the Scarlett O’Hara “I don’t know nuthin bout slandering Black women” defense. Also known as throwing a rock and hiding your hand. He also pulled out the old “But, but, but I have a Black daughter!” defense. *Typical* As if rapists, batterers and serial killers don’t have daughters too. He claims he had “no idea” that his guest Kamua Bell who he was kee keeing it up with while labeling Lupita a fetish has an entire comedy routine based on attacking Black women. 

His fans have labeled  me as an “Angry” “Hostile” Black woman for not indulging in his amnesiac - Reindeer Games. All of a sudden when confronted with his offense, the highly educated Black professor plays the “I’m confused card. ” Whatevs!

So let me be clear- I am proud to be a Black woman who has the ability to feel anger. Harriet Tubman felt anger, Rosa Parks felt anger, Martin Luther King felt anger, Jesus Christ turned over tables in the Temple and routinely told his disciples that they were wrong. He probably was perceived as angry.   The question isn’t whether or not I’m angry, the question is why aren’t you.

And let’s be precise with our labels - I wasn’t “angry,” I was resolute. I was asked to be a GUEST on a show and while I had no expectation that I would get to speak at length, I certainly expected the other women on the panel to get to have their say and the bulk of the time was taken up with Marc talking about himself and playing dumb. At one point I asked if we were going to get to talk - not so I could talk but so the other two women could get in a word. None of us really needed to be there this morning, he could have just done a monologue. 

Marc Lamont Hill used the loaded word of fetish to scare off young Black women and make them wary of “mainstream” success. Maybe he lacks self awareness and doesn’t understand the words that are coming out of his own mouth. But based on who and what he supports (Lil Boosie and Genarlow Wilson to name two), he really isn't entitled to the benefit of the doubt on issues related to Black women and girls.  

I'm not a fan of 12 Years a Slave. I feel confident saying I'll never see the movie. I also haven't seen Beloved the movie - didn't need to since I read the book. I wasn't invested in any way in whether Lupita won an OSCAR.  The only reason I went on that show was to say that Lupita Nyong’o received the attention she received because she and her team ran one of the most masterful OSCAR campaigns I have seen in my lifetime. Irrespective of the outcome of that campaign,  she is a classic example of what happens when preparation meets opportunity and any inference that s only reason non-Black people like her is because she is an inanimate object is offensive.

To little Black girls watching the public vivisection of Lupita by people like Marc Lamont Hill and his ilk, keep preparing to meet your opportunity. To Black women who are in my generation, we have a moral obligation to create opportunities for these young women to collide with in the future. 

That means middle aged Black women need to be cranking out our own Hunger Games, Divergent, Twilight, and Marvel Comics so that the next Lupita or Viola, or Octavia, or Jennifer or Whoopi or Angela, or Gabourey, Quevenzhane or Hattie that gets nominated for an OSCAR can leverage OSCAR season to move on to starring in a “4 tent pole” summer  blockbuster if she chooses.


 

Saturday
Mar082014

Reminder: "Attractive" "Handsome" "Sexy" Men Can be Rapists:Darren Sharper Edition

My daughter makes me mindful of how women are treated: undervalued and exploited. Which is why I feel compelled to take advantage of this opportunity to speak up about domestic violence.- Darren Sharper, NFL Dads Dedicated to Daughters

Time will tell whether Darren Sharper is a serial rapist.  I was having a conversation over the weekend with one of my real world friends about the Darren Sharper case and she was in disbelief that he could possibly be a rapist because is his so "good looking" and "could have any woman he wanted." At which point I gently explained that rape is not about sex it is about power and control. It appears that one of his patterns was to bring back a girl AND her friend (gives a false sense of security) and then drug them both.

If the statistics about acquaintance rape being the most common form are correct, the average rapist is not some raincoat-wearing stranger hiding in the bushes, he's that cute guy in class or that handsome man at the club, or that FI-ONE guy on the football team.  Rich, handsome, famous - all lures for potential victims - not an exoneration from criminal charges.

This article over at Jezebel makes this whole Sharper serial rapist saga even more horrific because he draped himself in the garb of "women's empowerment." He used his public statements about women to gain access.

Sharper was pretty beloved on a superficial level, too, a regular in Sexiest Players In The NFL slideshows (here he is featured by Essence). Blog posts raved about his dimples (and speculated about his sexuality, on account of the fact that he's so pretty). Pinterest users regularly featured him on their requisite sexy dude boards. He even dated Gabrielle Union for a spell. Despite allegations that, as a Minnesota Viking in 2005, he participated in that team's infamous "pleasure cruise" scandal, his reputation was pretty clean to the casual NFL observer. Jezebel

So clearly we need a refresher course that rape is about power and control NOT sex. The people responsible for rape are the rapists - not women's clothing, or the "situations they place themselves in.." or any other garbage. And "good looking" "non-threatening" people can and do rape. You would think this was common knowledge, but it is always good to remind folks.

What was sad about perusing the internet comments in response to the Sharper story were stories of women who were sexually assaulted who said that they were not believed because their rapist was "good looking."

I was raped when I was 14 by a really good looking guy and I remember telling my best friends older sister and she never believed me. So I never reported it. Good looking people get way too many passes. I was stone cold sober too. You have to be careful as a chick not to put yourselfin compromising situations because just because you are sober, and not out at all times of the night doesn't mean it won't happen to you. And not only ugly guys or fat guys rape. Good looking ones do too Baller Allert

Oh and ESSENCE.com might want to revise this eye candy post about Darren Sharper:

We can’t figure out why New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper is single. The 35-year-old footballer has everything a woman needs. That hard body and those cute dimples even sweeten the package. He’s bound to get snatched up soon. ESSENCE.com

I think we have our answer.

Other Sources

Calling Darren Sharper 'Too Sexy' to Rape Is Goddamn Ridiculous

Darren Sharper and the Myth of People Who Are ‘Too Sexy’ To Rape

Monday
Feb172014

Black Twitter and Punditocracy Light up Over Jordan Davis Yet RADIO SILENT over Adrian Broadway - I Wonder Why? 

Yep. It's time for one of those inconvenient truth posts y'all hate to read. In light of the furor over the Jordan Davis- Michael Dunn case in Florida, have you heard of Adrian Broadway? If not,  you need to ask why.Man Pursues, Shoots Teenage Girl Dead Over a Silly Teenage Prank

Saturday night, my Twitter feed lit up with a bunch of amateur criminal law experts over the verdict in the Jordan Davis - Michael Dunn shooting case down in Florida. Once again, it looks like  crack District Attorney Angela Corey charged a killer with the wrong section of the Criminal Code and once again, a jury decided not to fix the mess she made. Melba Pearson offered a view of the verdict from a Black prosecutor's perspective [WARNING: Link goes to essence.com]

 

 

Like Melba, I thought about helping all of the amateur criminal law experts in my Twitter timeline by explaining why it is almost always a legal impossibility for a murder that results from a violent altercation between two strangers to qualify under the traditional definition first-degree murder that we all learn in the first semester of CrimLaw. However,  I was pretty certain that all of the amateur criminal law experts in my Twitter timeline weren't really interested in hearing about  mens rea vs strict liability when determining which section of the law applies to a murder. Black Twitter is about the perpetual airing of grievances, not actual institutional change.

In the middle of all that, WAOD reader Shane forwarded me the story of 15 year old Adrian Broadway. She died under similar circumstances to those of Jordan Davis yet, I don't see Rickey Smiley or Roland Martin dedicating  segments to or organizing marches around HER death. Adrian Broadway didn't show up in my timeline. Like Jordan Davis, she was in a car full of teenagers. like Jordan Davis a gun owner unloaded his firearm into a vehicle full of teenagers.

“Apparently Mr. Noble’s teenage son had done a prank on some of the kids that were inside the vehicle on Halloween Night,” Lieutenant Sidney Allen explained. “As a result they were doing a retaliation prank and it ultimately had deadly results.”

After the shooting, the driver attempted to flee the scene to get help.

“It was a joke. We was friends, we was gonna come over there and clean it up,” 16-year-old Kortazha Williams, who was in the car, told KTHV. “It was supposed to be a prank; we were supposed to get up right now, and we were supposed to laugh.” Raw Story

 

There are two reasons why you probably have not heard of Adrian Broadway:

A) She was shot by a Black male who unloaded his gun into a car full of teenagers after he chased them down; and

B) She's a Black girl and in the Black community, she is viewed as less endangered and less valuable than the lives of a similarly-situated Black boy.  She is also held partly responsible for her death because in the Black community there are no perfect Black girl victims. We've got to prove our innocence to get community sympathy or mass mobilization.

Infact many in the community [BLACK community] are split on who is at fault:

Many have commented online, taking a side of the situation. Some have blamed Noble; while others have blamed the parents for allowing their kids to be out so late. KTHV

Classic victim blaming. The person with the gun chasing people down the street firing into a fleeing vehicle is at fault for the bullets buried in Adrian Broadway's head.

And before you get enraged and say I don't care about Black boys, I do, but it isn't lost on me that the value of a Black life  lost depends on the race of the person who took it- there is something ghoulish and immoral about how we treat the slaughter of young Black girls and boys. We want to quarantine the Culture of Death - turn a blind eye to Black boys and girls slaughtered on a daily basis in cities all over the world, yet all of sudden start paying attention when an irresponsible White gun owner kills one Black child. And then we get outraged when non-Black people blow off our outrage and say "Well what about Chicago?"

There is a hashtag over on Twitter called #DangerousBlackKids. Black parents are posting pictures of their adorable Black girls and boys doing ordinary things. It might be the most unintentionally savvy response Black Twitter has ever mustered because we are making a PUBLIC affirmative statement that our children are precious to us, we love them and it grieves us mightily that you view them as a threat --- and then in about 48 hours we'll go back to watching the hyper violent Real Hip Hop Wive of Hollywood and blasting the latest Cash Money artist talking 'bout busting caps. If you're anti Culture of Death, then be anti Culture of Death every day, not just when you get a jury verdict you don't like. It means you value the lives of Black children irrespective of their gender or the race of their murderer. And those values are reflected in what you support, defend, underwrite and applaud. No you can't promote the fiction of the hypermasculine impermeable, invincible Black male and then mourn when some idiot reminds you that Black boys are not bullet proof - I don't care what the radio, television, and movie screen depicts.

Good luck trying to repeal Stand Your Ground Laws in Florida Black Twitter!

Irrespective of whether the LAW requires you to retreat, there is a separate MORAL issue. At some point someone is going to have a national conversation about the responsibilities of gun ownership. Not in the context of confiscating people's guns or shipping them off to jail, but in a conversation about the sacred responsibility you have when you control an instrument of death.

With great power comes responsibility. You should not be happy or excited about killing someone - the decision to fire should be a sober and sad one. Two lives are going to change forever - yours and the person on the other end of the gun. The gun should be your last resort, not your first option.

You have a responsibility not to go and chase down a carload of of teenagers because you are angry and fill it with bullets. You have a responsibility to avoid escalating a potentially violent confrontation. You have a responsibility to refrain from displaying and discharging your firearm at a living creature unless your life or the life of someone else is in danger. And where an avenue for escape  presents itself, you have an obligation to remove yourself from the threat without executing the perceived threat. But most of all, on the receiving end of the bullet you fire will be someone else's child. Someone who who has a family who loves them and will grieve for them and what they could have become.

George Zimmerman would be a convicted murderer in jail today if Angela Corey had offered him a plea deal for manslaughter - he would have plead out gotten either A) no active time and a super long probation or B) some active time and a superlong probation. In both cases, he would have promptly violated the terms of his super long probation and been sent back to jail. That whole not going to jail for probation violations only works in Los Angeles for Lindsey Lohan and Chris Brown.

Willie Nobel, your pride and anger has ended two lives- your own and Adrian Broadway's. Your son has lost a friend and a father - because of some eggs.

Related:

In Search of the perfect Black Girl Victim

 

Wednesday
Feb122014

State of Black Women in Contemporary Media

Interesting  discussion about images of Black women in media from five Black women who are creating content in the digital age. From Shadow and Act:

The below 30-minute videotaped discussion tackles the matter from the POV of active black women artists whose names you'd be familiar with, especially if you've been a reader of this blog: Issa RaeLena WaitheAshley Blaine Featherson and Numa Perrier, with Andrea Lewis moderating. Shadow and Act

 

Interesting tidbits about getting Black women who are not producing content for BET and VH1.  

Monday
Feb102014

New York Times Piece Says Ratchet Reality Televisions Shows "Humanize" Black Women

In what can only be described as link bait and an indication that writer Evette Dionne needs therapy, a passport and a clue, the New York Times published a bunch of nonsense about "wealthy" Black women on reality TV humanizing Black women back in January and somehow y'all let me miss this. 

Black women are a cash cow for cable networks. Millions of us tune in to Bravo, VH1, WE TV and the other networks that have invested in reality television franchises. It is a mutually beneficial relationship. We drive ratings, and in exchange, the networks give us a rare chance to see black women humanized in the media. New York Times Room for Debate

*Sigh* I suspect that this woman grew up in NYC and has never left a 4 block radius. To support her hypothesis,  she points to a storyline about Yandy Smith of Love and Hip Hop's boyfriend being incarcerated - did we need reality TV to tell the world Black men fo to jail and leave Black women behind? Evette doesn't mention the child rape charges that sent him to the pen. She then implies that Black women can learn about wealth from the cast members of the Real Housewives of Atlanta.

The only wealth lessons you can learn from the Real Housewives is that ANYBODY can get a lease on a car or a house in Atlanta, GA. Renting isn't owning. Even owning isn't owning if the bank still holds the mortgage. 

Reality TV tends to be anti-Black woman hate propaganda, starring Black women that is watched and supported by Black women.

I hope the New York Times didn't pay Evette Dionne for this nonsense.