It’s been a busy week, so let’s get to it!
In “What the hell is going on with the New York Times?” news, in a story about the Alex from Target Twitter trend from last week, the Times mentioned Kel from “Good Burger,” which is just some great ’90s fun.
Black history scholar Piers Morgan has some opinions on the n-word, which I’m sure are well-thought out and measured.
On the flipside, Feministing has a wonderful write up about their participation in Black Girl Genius Week and the work of the SOLHOT (Saving Our Lives, Hear Our Truths) “anti-conference” designed to empower and celebrate young black women.
In light of Selfie’s cancellation and the loss of the only network sitcom with an Asian American romantic lead, Pajiba has a list of the best interracial couples on TV. Two notes about this: 1) interracial couples on TV are still predominantly a white person + person of color and 2) WHERE ARE WASH AND ZOE?
There is a fairly small rumor from the Batman v. Superman set that Jena Malone may not be playing a female Robin, but instead may be playing Kahina the Seer, which would set back the whole DC diversity statement with a whitewashed stroke.
Film School Rejects has been running a series of short films with focuses on social issues. The latest short film shines a light on the ways Muslims are portrayed in film and the intense Islamaphobia within the industry.
Gina Prince-Bythewood, director/writer of Beyond the Lights, talks about the six years it took to make the movie, the very idea of “black film,” and her limited career over on Flavorwire
“What’s discriminated against are my choices: I like to direct what I’ve written, and what I like to focus on are people of color. So that is absolutely the tougher sell, and the films that you have to fight much harder for, because the people making decisions are going to green-light films that they identify with and that make sense to them, and there are no people of color running studios.”
Speaking of the history of racism and whitewashing in Hollywood, did you get a chance to see Harry Belafonte’s speech after receiving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Governors’ Ball? He cites his inspirations and collaborators in working towards social change during his career and points to the ways that the very inception of film in this nation was steeped in racism, while also acknowledging the slow change in film.
This is just a reminder that Harry Belafonte continues to be a powerful voice in activism and social change.
Oh No They Didn’t! has an article of their best Black sitcoms of the’ 80s and ’90s, which makes me long for more shows like Black-ish on network TV now.
Speaking of sitcoms, the ABC show Modern Family had a great scene this past week with Sofia Vergara’s Gloria Pritchett going on a rant about being bilingual. I have a personal distaste of Sofia Vergara, but I applaud this scene.
Azealia Banks has a tendency to make fairly good points in deeply offensive ways, and here’s a great example in her attempt to discuss the misogyny and racism among her white gay fans and failing miserably. On the flipside, a quote from Azealia Banks’ Pitchfork article has been circulating certain parts of the internet as she calls out the musical appropriation of soul, rap, and r&b by white artists.
It’ll be like, “For a couple of years, we’re gonna fuck with blue-eyed soul, and here’s Duffy, here’s Adele”— who’s great — but now we’ve got a thousand white girls singing blue-eyed soul. It’s so regurgitated and corny. You have it in everything. You have it in indie rock. You’ll have Interpol, and then the National, and it’s just like, “Really, dude? Really?”
Or it’ll be like, “We’re gonna pop off the white-girl rapper,” so we’ll have Gwen Stefani and Fergie, and then it’ll get worse and worse and worse. And you’re just like, “What the fuck is this?” The whole trend of white girls appropriating black culture was so corny — it was more corny than it was offensive. Trust me, I’m not offended: All the things I’m trying to run away from in my black American experience are all the things that they’re celebrating. So if they fuckin’ want them, have them; if they want to be considered oversexualized and ignorant every time they open their fucking mouth, then fucking take it. But more than that, the art is not good. These songs are not good. It’s like, “Oh my God, you’re doing this black woman impression, is that what the fuck you think of me, bitch? I need to meet the black woman that you’re imitating because I’ve never met any black woman who acts that bizarre.” It’s crazy that this becomes mainstream culture. All of America is celebrating shit like that. It’s so weird.
It’s especially interesting to put this quote in conversation with that widely celebrated, deeply offensive quote from Tina Fey that has been often used to talk about beauty standards (especially as it does harm to white women) without thinking of the racial implications of the quote. In simple terms, go fuck yourself, Tina Fey.
Here’s a conversation from queer Desis in response to cultural histories and norms of arranged marriages and expected gender roles.
Mexican celebrities are taking stands condemning the massacre of 43 students; Gael Garcia Bernal, Guillermo Del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón, and Alejandro González Iñárritu have all called for greater global attention towards the devastating deaths of the students and government corruption in Mexico. If you want to follow up on what’s happening, you can follow the hashtags #YaMeCanse #FueElEstado or #Ayotzinapa on both Tumblr and Twitter or the website Ya Me Cansé (although, it is in Spanish).
We still haven’t heard the final verdict regarding Darren Wilson and the death of Michael Brown, but Ferguson (both activists and law enforcement alike) are bracing themselves for the final verdict. As always, Twitter and Tumblr are great sources for to the minute news. You can also still find information about helping or sending donations to Ferguson activists.
Congratulations America, Ruby Bridges says we’ve reverted back to pre-civil rights racism. Are you happy now? This from a brave woman who has been through it before. I hope you feel real proud.
But hey! Not all KKK groups are bad. If you’re black or Hispanic and have an urge to recreate a Chappelle’s Show skit, you can now join a Montana chapter of the KKK. The chapter leader, John Abarr wants you to know that his KKK stands for a strong America, none of that old racist crap.
And in a recent study that probably doesn’t surprise people of color who have dealt with racism constantly and felt their blood boil, a team of researches have found that racism could negatively affect your health.
For those of you into gaming, a Native-produced game called Never Alone will be released on November 18th. The game was developed with the help of the Alaskan Native community and you can play as a young Iñupiaq girl and her Arctic fox. It combines stories that have been passed down through native cultures for generations with beautiful game play and scenery.
We leave you with this super saccharine-sweet, yet completely bizarre commercial for Target, that features style icon Karen O’s cover of “Marshmallow World,” because it’s not too early to start over-zealously prepping for the holidays.