Have you been following the recent travails of New York Times art critic Ken Johnson? It is probably coming soon, for an unhappy non-resolution, to a public editor near you. The long and short of it is that there is a petition calling for his head, or at least an ear. In short, he's gone in against "identity-based" art shows—exhibitions of ladies and the black folks and what have you—as an “evil whose necessity would disappear in a more equitable world." (This is exceedingly contrary to the position held by his colleague Holland Cotter, who has often supported this sort of exhibition.) Here is a very good [...]
In the saga of the Miami Beach cop shoot-out fiesta that took place on Memorial Day, during one of the country's biggest African-America party weekends, at which cops shot a driver they said had a gun, injuring bystanders and arresting witnesses: here is an eyewitness videotape that is really wild! I would describe the incidents in the last third of this tape as incredibly bad, what with the cops pointing guns and screaming at innocent eyewitnesses, and "incredibly bad" is really saying something, as the video begins with a full-on barrage of gunfire.
Every year, "Urban Beach Week," in which (mostly) black people from all over the south converge on Miami Beach for fun and concerts and stuff, causes huge white anxiety. But no one's racist! "David Kelsey, president of the South Beach Hotel & Restaurant Association, says friction over the holiday weekend has been less about race than the conflict between the young party crowd and the luxury tourist clientele Miami Beach actively courts. 'There’s still a gulf between the crowd we’re attracting and the crowd we really want to attract and need for future business,' Kelsey said." He did!
Sure, who likes a bunch of partying kids? They throw [...]
Sometimes, when I am eminently bored, I like to scour the New York Times archives for racial slurs. This weekend, hungover and manageably nauseous in a trendy Silver Lake coffee shop, the search term was "nigger," and I came across my greatest find yet: "'Nigger Day' In a Country Town."
"Nigger Day" was originally published on November 30, 1874, nine years after the end of the Civil War, and the reporter's name is listed only as "Our Own Correspondent." In circa 4,000 words, the article depicts the pastoral charm of a day in Huntsville, Alabama, right in the middle of Reconstruction, when black sharecroppers would come in from [...]
"More than a third of California's African American public high school students dropped out before graduation day," according to the just-released 2009 data. (The actual number: 37%.) The state's superintendent of schools blamed this crazily outrageous number on cuts to schools; that, in part, "drastic cuts to summer school have prevented students from catching up on credits during the break." Overall, about 1 in 5 students drop out over four years.
Johns Hopkins announced a study this morning that found that "minority pedestrians are far more likely than white pedestrians to be struck by motor vehicles" and "uninsured minority pedestrians hit by cars are at a significantly higher risk of death than their insured white counterparts, even if the injuries sustained are similar." Oh yes: "uninsured patients had a 77 percent greater risk of death" than the insured. Here's one nice way of putting something complicated: "Previous studies have shown that insurance status and race may increase mortality risk because of treatment delay or differences in services provided." Jaywalking! A one-way ticket to death in racist America! No but, [...]
My favorite contribution to the fake motivational poster meme is "Reinstated Slavery." In deference to those who've not seen it, it depicts a white man–a coach, perhaps?–with his arm around the shoulder of a much younger black man, who's got the netting from a basketball hoop draped loosely around his neck. The white man is smiling gleefully, his eyes on some wonderful prize off in the distance; the young black man is weeping. The caption reads, "Catch yourself a strong one."
Hey, how bad do you want to feel right now? Do you want to feel bone-crushingly bad? Like all the way through? Well then you're in luck! Here are the stories of a bunch of adorable New York City kids and how they are treated by the NYPD. Anthony Henry, also an eighth grader from P.S./I.S. 323, was walking to school before 8 a.m. last month when a big jeep pulled up alongside him. Five cops jumped out, he said.
“And they were all like, ‘Put your hands up’ and stuff,” said Anthony. “They checked me, checked my book bag. They threw all my books on the [...]
Just can't let this one go! So while Miami Beach police finally found a gun in the car of a driver they shot early morning Monday, here's how witnesses of the shooting were treated this weekend while filming the incident on their phones: "Narces Benoit said a Miami Beach officer grabbed his cell phone, said 'You want to be [expletive] Paparazzi?' and stomped on his phone before placing him in handcuffs and shoving the crunched phone in Benoit’s back pocket. He said the couple joined other witnesses already in cuffs and being watched by officers." Don't you find that… unusual? (Meanwhile someone was shooting four bystanders [...]
In 2009, "490,000 blacks and Latinos were stopped by the police on the streets, compared with 53,000 whites." 6% of those stops resulted in arrests. In Brownsville, "Men between 15 and 34 in the area were stopped an average of five times"—that means that "the police made over 52,000 stops between 2006 and 2010 in one eight-block neighborhood with a total population of only 14,000."
All those stops have previously gone into "The '250 Database,' so called after the UF-250 form that officers use to file stop-and-frisk reports," which is effectively "a record of the names and addresses of most working-class youth in the largest American [...]
In 2009, according to the numbers just released by the City at the end of 2010, New York City had 126,774 live births! And 90,000 pregnancies—that were reported, at least!—ended in chosen termination. So of course the Archbishop is weeping and freaking out.
Since at least the 1980s, Evanston Township High School—the only (and extremely large) high school serving the suburb directly north of Chicago—has been both incredibly diverse and incredibly two-tracked. There was a lunch cafeteria for white people and a lunch cafeteria for black people—also, to its credit, an (at least somewhat) more integrated cafeteria for the freaks. That is where the smoking courtyard used to be, today's young people may be astounded to hear! Likewise, in classes there's a track for white people and some other non-black people and then a track for pretty much everyone else. Summer school classes, for instance? Nearly entirely black. Now, the school's [...]
Five Memes That Are Mostly Just People Laughing at Working-Class African-Americans, in Order of Views
5. Latarian Milton
"Gossip, like everything else in the media, is a business…. The reason why Page 6 doesn't care about Mashonda or Swizz Beatz's past is because Page 6 has no real clue who the hell those people are. Or if they do know who they are, they do not care because they know that Swizz Beatz and Mashonda don't sell ads." (via)
You may remember how last Memorial Day, Miami Beach police officers gunned down black tourists and seized the cellphones of anyone recording the cops in action. (Spoiler: the shot bystanders, ignored for a full year now, are suing!) Well, Urban Beach Weekend is back again this weekend, and the city is ready! They've installed a "one-time" DUI checkpoint, some watch towers, scanners that record everyone's license plates, some "light towers," some road blocks—and a whites-only bridge. Oops sorry, "residents-only" bridge. (Ahem: "tourists will be given the impression that they can’t get in.") Let's look at some notable quotables from the Herald today, which are likely [...]
"I love Joplin! I love Joplin." So began President Obama in his Sunday address to the town of Joplin, Missouri, smudged from the face of the earth by a tornado a week before.
"I love you, Obama!" yelled a Joplin resident in the audience.
While there is much hope to be had in Joplin's will to rebuild, there is even more to be found in the obliterated town's welcoming of Obama. About a century ago, a Joplin lynch mob attempted to drive every last African-American resident out of town, and pretty much succeeded.
It's been a long time since an African-American publicly loved Joplin, or [...]
New York Observer reporter Azi Paybarah is live-Tweeting Donald Trump's interview with Fred Dicker. It's… going well?
Did you look through the Pew study on Twitter use that came out last week? We finally did! The data uses interviews conducted by both landline and cellphone numbers—so respondents are limited to people who'll actually pick up the phone for a random number. (Who are those people?) What did we learn? An amplification of four things we already knew.
Nobody gets to have any fun: the very secretive meeting on Monday between the President of the United States (who is black) and black bloggers and magazine people has been unveiled by the lamestream media. Anyway, apparently Russell Simmons's blogger was there? Which is funny because Russell Simmons was out on the town last night, busy talking about the difference between "dirty girls" and something-something, I'm sure I don't want to know.
Dear Black Diary,
I'm so glad I have you in my life so I can share my thoughts about black people and black things. Sometimes it's hard to say how I really feel about the blacks because, well, I'm one of them, and since we all already look alike, it's common knowledge that we all think alike, dress alike and act alike as well. But, thank God for you, black diary. You know my most inner-est of secrets! Today I want to talk about Greene, Rangel, Waters and Steele.