Showing posts with label Racism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Racism. Show all posts

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Henry Golding is Actually British

 


You can be one of the most accomplished and talented actors in the world and some people will still judge you by your looks and make generalizations about your race:

Everyone thinks they know who Henry Golding is: handsome, plummy Home Counties accent, clean-cut star of Crazy Rich Asians, Last Christmas and Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen. But ask the Malaysian-British actor how he sees himself, and you’ll get a foggier image.

“Being half Malaysian and half British, it’s like, what really are you classified as?” he says via Zoom from his lockdown home in Los Angeles. “People don’t see you as fully British for sure; but when I go back to Malaysia, I can’t speak the language and nobody over there feels as though I’m Malaysian, so we’re kind of in this limbo.”

There are so many levels of racism at work in the world that it would be impossible to list all of them here. I think what Golding has done is redefine who you can be and what you can do in terms of acting and choosing roles in films. It would be a shame if we didn't appreciate his ability to expand our definition of what it takes to be a movie star.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Dolly Parton For the Win


It's always refreshing to see someone act like an informed adult in public:
On the topic of BLM, the 74-year-old proved that she’s definitely aligned with the times and fully onboard with the protests that have carried on since George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police. “I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen,” said Parton. “And of course, Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!” The Queen of Nashville has officially spoken.
Parton also engaged in a discussion about how racist monuments and other antiquated Confederacy statues have been taken down in the last few months. The iconic artist actually did something similar in 2018, when she renamed her “Dixie Stampede” Civil War-themed attraction to “Dolly Parton’s Stampede”. Although she was clearly ahead of her time — The Dixie Chicks only changed their name this past June — Parton admitted that she was guilty of “innocent ignorance” back then.
She spoke further on her decision to rename the attraction:
"When they said ‘Dixie’ was an offensive word, I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want to offend anybody. This is a business. We’ll just call it The Stampede.’ As soon as you realize that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don’t be a dumbass. That’s where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose.”
Elsewhere in the sprawling profile, Parton makes it clear she has no plans to slow down or exit the entertainment industry anytime soon. (In fact, earlier today she announced a new Christmas album featuring contributions from Miley Cyrus, Willie Nelson, Michael Bublé, Jimmy Fallon, and more.) Even so, Parton said she still wants to get her estate and her will in order just in case tragedy strikes — mostly to ease the burden on her family.
“I would not want to leave that mess to somebody else,” commented Parton. “A word to all the other artists out there: If you haven’t made those provisions, do that. You don’t want to leave that mess to your family for people to have to fight over. You need to take care of that yourself, even if it’s a pain in the ass — and it is.” As anyone that’s followed the music industry knows, an artist’s death can often lead to plenty of squabbles over ownership and rights.
There is no compelling reason for her to stick her neck out like this. The Dollywood amusement park  relies on a clientele that is mostly Southern and probably sympathetic to Trump and to right wing politics. Where it sits makes it a destination for a significant number of visitors and it employs a vast number of people who would be hard pressed to find comparable work. These people are being taken care of because of Dolly's generosity and entrepreneurial spirit.

For her to go out and speak her mind against her own business interests is brave, in and of itself. But here's the thing--Dolly is such an icon, she may be able to change a few hearts and minds over to the idea that we really do need to be decent and understanding of the feelings of others.

In this whole entire country right now, she might be one of a handful of people who could get people to moderate their views and come over to her way of thinking.

Monday, July 13, 2020

The Legacy of John Wayne


Adjusting the legacy of John Wayne is probably overdue. I don't think we can remove him completely from the history of film, but I do think we need to take steps to put him and his controversial views in their proper context:
"Conversations about systemic racism in our cultural institutions along with the recent global, civil uprising by the Black Lives Matter Movement require that we consider the role our School can play as a change maker in promoting antiracist cultural values and experiences," Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion Evan Hughes said in a Friday announcement to the film school community.

"Therefore, it has been decided that the Wayne Exhibit will be removed."

The exhibit will instead be moved to the Cinematic Arts Library, Hughes wrote, where it can be placed "within the proper archival and research context" for continued education on Wayne's role in film history.
While the statement did not directly address the controversy surrounding Wayne, his legacy has recently been re-examined, especially after a 1971 interview with Playboy resurfaced and went viral last year. In it, Wayne espoused derogatory views of African Americans, Native Americans and films with gay characters.
"I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility," the actor said. "I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people."
You could add his comments and his views to the exhibit as a way to put Wayne in the proper historical context as it relates to his place in American history. I think you have to include the fact that this was common to the entertainment industry. To me, that would help explain that he wasn't the only person who had these horrible views and opinions. There is ample evidence that he was no different than Ronald Reagan in terms of how he viewed minorities.

And while Wayne and Reagan had vastly different careers, they were part of a generation that had an enormous impact on the cultural history of the country. Providing context is probably the most helpful way of explaining who Wayne was and why it's important that we understand his contributions.

I don't have a problem changing the name of the airport, either. We could rename that and we could definitely rename Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

30 Rock and Blackface


I support this, even if I don't completely understand it:
Four episodes of 30 Rock, including two featuring Jane Krakowski’s Jenna character in blackface, are being removed from subscription streaming services Hulu and Amazon Prime and have also been made unavailable for sale on purchase platforms such as iTunes and Google Play. The episodes, which will no longer air on traditional TV either, were pulled at the request of NBCUniversal executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. A source tells Vulture the four episodes, some of which have already vanished, should be gone by the end of this week.
“As we strive to do the work and do better in regards to race in America, we believe that these episodes featuring actors in race-changing makeup are best taken out of circulation,” Fey wrote in a letter to the platforms that streamed or sold 30 Rock. “I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images. I apologize for pain they have caused. Going forward, no comedy-loving kid needs to stumble on these tropes and be stung by their ugliness. I thank NBCUniversal for honoring this request.”

You have to adapt to the times in which we live. I totally get that. I watched every episode of 30 Rock and I loved the show. When these episodes aired, there was no intention of advancing any kind of racist agenda. It was intended to mock anyone who thought going out and performing in blackface was acceptable or reasonable. It was always the intention of the show to highlight just how awful the "Jenna" character was in terms of being self-centered and delusional.

There was little, if any, outcry when these episodes aired, but that's not the standard that should apply. Those sentiments should not hurt people, and so I can understand why they're being pulled. I don't think this should extend to any kind of condemnation for the people who made this because I just don't see how they weren't advancing a hateful agenda when they made these episodes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Megyn Kelly is Racist Trash




Megyn Kelly should be fired for her comments because she is a disaster that continues to happen:

NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly issued an apology Tuesday for her comments earlier in the day questioning why it is considered racist for white people to wear blackface on Halloween.

In an email sent to colleagues released by NBC News, Kelly said she had taken the time to listen to other points of view on the topic.

"I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong, and I am sorry," Kelly wrote. "The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep."

In the roundtable segment during the 9:00 Hour on "Megyn Kelly TODAY," which dealt with inappropriate or offensive Halloween costumes, Kelly asked her panelists “what is racist” about white people wearing blackface during Halloween. Kelly went on to say that wearing blackface was considered OK when she was a kid “as long you were dressing up as a character.”

She also defended reality TV star Luann de Lesseps, who darkened her skin for her Diana Ross costume in 2017.

It’s not like we didn’t already know she was racist to begin with:

Jon Stewart blasted Fox News' Megyn Kelly on "The Daily Show" Thursday night, after she had commented Wednesdaythat it was a "verifiable fact" that Santa Claus is white. 

The traditional "War on Christmas" is getting weirder this year, Stewart said. 

Getting to the heart of his criticism, Stewart explained that the historical character on whom Santa is based, St. Nicholas, was born in a part of the world that is now Turkey. Scientists say, based on research commissioned by the Vatican, that he actually has a darker skin pigmentation than his commercial image. 

"My guess is that there'd be no Christmas if he looked like that dude, because he's probably still on the no-fly list," Stewart said. 

Stewart also took on Kelly's assertion that Jesus was white. 

"You do know that Jesus wasn't born in Bethlehem, Penn., right?" he quipped.

To be fair, Jon Stewart has only warned us about all of the people on Fox News, the entire Republican Party, and Fuckface Von Clownstick. It’s not like people didn’t know who she was, what she believed, and that she was willing to lie about it so she could get away with it and keep her job, right?

NBC, what in the ever-loving hell? You have a golden opportunity right now to shed yourself of this Megyn Kelly problem of yours. Get on with it already.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Real Nazis Are Mad That Everyone Likes to Kill Nazis




Cool story, bro:

Welcome to 2017, when you can track the steady, civilization-sinking-into-the-mud decline of American politics by the number of people angrily shouting, “Hey, what gives?!” about a video game where you take back America from actual, genocidal Nazis. That’s the reaction that’s met the trailer for Bethesda’s latest shooter, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus today, with YouTube comments and 4chan posts filling up with people protesting the game for its “anti-white” politics, which involve such offenses as suggesting that the KKK and Nazis might have gotten along—given their shared mutual interests—and having a black character call the hero “white boy.”

Because this is the internet—a melting pot of ideas, irony, and creative expression that now seems increasingly like a mistake—the comments on the trailer have now descended into a mix of “Hey, get a look at these comments,” people calling each other snowflakes, and actual vitriol and right-wing memes. A number of people have logged on to suggest, for instance, that the Nazi-controlled America—full of happy, cheering white people and absolutely no minorities—shown in the trailer seems like a pretty nice place to live, while others are angry that Nazi-slaughtering protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz teams up with communists in his efforts to start a new American revolution. Many are decrying the game’s designers for “politicizing” Nazi murder or trying to push a particular political viewpoint, an argument that falls a little flat when applied to a series that once asked players to bust out of a literal Nazi labor camp in a robotic golem powered by Jewish science magic.

In the age of Trump, creating and marketing a video game that lets you run around in America and kill Nazis is just the marketplace talking to the consumer. In the words of the immortal Jello Biafra, Nazi Punks Fuck Off.













Thursday, February 2, 2017

Tamron Hall




I'm going to say some rude things, and I want you to be offended:

Celebrated NBC News anchor Tamron Hall has been ousted from NBC News, reports Deadline. According to several rumors and reports, The Today Show anchor was bumped to make room for Megyn Kelly, who previously anchored at Fox News.
Last week’s announcement that Kelly would be leaving stirred up controversy and questions regarding the placement of Hall and Al Roker, who previously led the 9 a.m. hour together. With Hall’s departure, Roker will host the third hour slot until Kelly begins her tenure.

Miss Hall is very talented and acclaimed. The mere fact that she has lost her job in television broadcasting is bad enough. But there are some social and racial aspects to this that I want to highlight because what the fuckity fuck, NBC--hello?

First of all, firing a black woman in order to make room for a white woman who regularly talked about how bad black people are on her Fox News show is insulting and ridiculous. Does NBC really believe that firing Hall and replacing her with Megyn Kelly is culturally appropriate or sensitive to their audience?

Second of all, NBC just fired a black woman for being successful on television. Again, what the fuck is wrong with you, NBC? Is this how you maintain diversity and engage the public interest? By making room for another overpaid white woman to appear on television?

Third, of all of the news anchors and pundits and slimy cockroaches out there, you're telling me Tamron Hall is the one who gets fired? All of the people who got it wrong in November seem to still be working, especially all of the goddamned white women who show their legs on television and sit behind glass desks. All of the people who "normalized" the most insane president this country has ever had by reporting ABOUT HER EMAILS still have their jobs. All of the people who said that Hillary was as bad as Trump and boy, look how that turned out to be true, still have their jobs. Did David Brooks get fired? Did that jackass who goes on CNN every night called Jeffery Lord or whatever get fired? 

No.

But Tamron Hall got fired. Post racial America, right?

Seriously, NBC. What the fuck?













Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Racist Jerk Loses His Business




Now, this is how things are NOT supposed to work in this country:

The Dairy Queen owner shouting the n-word at Deianeira Ford told her he could say whatever he wanted at his fast-food restaurant — that any accusations and complaints she uttered would fall on deaf ears.

Ford was vindicated two days later, when her Facebook post about the incident provoked outrage so strong that the Dairy Queen in Zion, Ill., didn’t open for business.

But her victory was tempered by something even more troubling that she heard at a protest: Although she was the most vocal victim of the owner’s racism, she was not the first.

On Wednesday, Ford had taken her two children to visit their grandmother — and, because they were well-behaved, she stopped by the Dairy Queen on the way home. She ordered a $5 box, but part of the order was wrong, and another part was missing.

So she asked the owner to fix the order, and when he balked, she asked for a refund. That’s when things spiraled.

The owner, James “Jim” Crichton, returned her $5, but gave her a mouthful, according to Ford and the police in Zion, 50 miles north of Chicago.

“He called me and my children n—–; he said I can go back to where I came from,” Ford told The Washington Post.

This is how things ARE SUPPOSED TO WORK:

On Friday, Dairy Queen announced that it was closing the location in Zion, Ill., and that it was terminating Crichton’s franchise rights.

Ah, the free market. It has a certain ring to it, doesn't it?













Monday, August 8, 2016

There is Nothing Masculine About Hating People




Let's not overthink things here:

Political analysts have repeatedly made the case that Trump is a mirror; that he does not create but only stokes Americans’ deep-seated fears, xenophobia, and racism that surface by way of economic instability. The bitterness and primal scorn that Trump has tapped among white Americans in struggling areas is aimed not just at those of foreign extraction, as Alec MacGillis writes in our magazinethis month, but also the even more impoverished people whom homegrown “working-class” whites see as scavengers ripping a cut of many already meager paychecks.

Economically, Americans are much better off than they were eight years ago. But it was a black man who accomplished this, so Donald Trump is the natural rally point for white supremacy in America. You cannot make the case that Trump is a smart choice in any regard. He is explicitly the candidate who sticks it to minorities. He is home base for the kind of Americanism that has been hidden for decades. He gets away with saying and doing things that would have sunken a candidate in the 1980s and 1990s because he is a master manipulator of social media.

There is nothing "masculine" about hating people.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Not Entirely Fair Reporting




The University of Missouri is hemorrhaging students:

Following a drop in students applying for housing, the University of Missouri will not be placing students in two dorms for the fall 2016 semester.

Mizzou will be closing the Respect and Excellence halls (ironic names, given the circumstances) in order to utilize dorm space "in the most efficient manner" to keep costs down.

In March, the university announced that it saw a sharp drop in admissions for the coming school year, and will have 1,500 fewer students. This will lead to a $32 million budget shortfall for the school, prompting the need to close the dorms in order to save money.

Of course, these two things won't happen:

1. They won't touch their endowment to make up the budget shortfall in a meaningful way.

2. They will blame former professor Melissa Click because she's the ready-made face of racial and social unrest at the university.

If the leadership at the school had been competent in any way, shape, or form, they would have already had in place a plan to deal with racial disputes between students. Instead, they were caught sitting on their hands. Now, nobody wants to go to school there.

What a shock.

And what's funny about this piece by Ashe Schow is that it reads like a condemnation of the students who decided that they were sick of going to a school where racism was ignored.  Hey, asshole--here's how capitalism really works. When you don't respond to your customers, they vote with their feet. The University of Missouri is about to learn how things really work.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Chris Hughes Destroyed Something Awful




Wah, wah, wah:

I have some difficult news today: I have decided to put The New Republic up for sale. I bought this company nearly four years ago to ensure its survival and give it the financial runway to experiment with new business models in a time of immense change in media. After investing a great deal of time, energy, and over $20 million, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for new leadership and vision at The New Republic.


Over the past few years we have made good progress in reinvigorating this institution. Our readership has grown younger and more diverse, largely as a result of our digital strategy. Our journalism has been widely recognized as impactful, impassioned, and more relevant to our nation’s challenges than ever. As a business, we have launched a brand marketing studio called Novel, built a flexible and fast mobile website, and developed our own content management system. We have made it possible for The New Republic to survive and begin to flourish in its second century.


Yet I will be the first to admit that when I took on this challenge nearly four years ago, I underestimated the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate. When I bought The New Republic, it was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and I believed that an institution as old and important as it should survive and evolve in an era where its values were still relevant and needed. This place stands for some of the best and most important elements of liberalism: a belief in the role of government to correct free markets, in the power of representative democracy to hold the elite accountable, and in America’s responsibility to be a force for good in the world. These values have sustained and animated not just me, but this tireless and dedicated team over the past few years.


 As it currently stands, the value of the New Republic is about fifty bucks and dropping. This kid turned a terrible, racist, bigoted magazine into a dumpster fire. The Germans have a word for making something bad into something worse, and it could very well be Müllcontainerfeuer.

Chris Hughes trying to fix something is a Müllcontainerfeuer. Chris Hughes setting $20 million dollars on fire in order to wreck the New Republic is something I can get behind. Kudos to him. A horrible publication had it coming.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Kelly Osbourne Just Talked Herself Out of a Job




I guess there could have been one or two things she could have said that would have been worse:

[...] Kelly Osbourne was a guest host on The View this morning. Like every time she goes on TV, Kelly offered a lot of useful insight to the discuss—just kidding. During a conversation about Donald Trump, she confidently vomited up a racist comment about Latinos and then insisted she did not mean it “like that.”

In an attempt to scold Trump for his own racist comments about Mexican immigrants being “rapists,” Kelly idiotically offered a different generalized view of this group of people: they’re good at cleaning bathrooms! She explained: “If you kick every Latino out of this country, then who is going to be cleaning your toilet, Donald Trump?”

Let us be fair to poor Kelly--her Mexicans clean her toilets only because she pays them a living wage. What you do with your Mexicans in Hollywood is your business and she certainly did not mean to suggest that the handful of celebrities who manhandle and bamboozle their Mexicans are doing the Lord's work to enrich their lives. Kelly should feel comfortable enough to share her opinions and put her foot in her mouth.  She is setting herself up to be a stern advocate of making quite certain that everyone's Mexican is adequately paid for menial work. Of course she didn't mean it the bad way, even though it came out of her mouth in the bad way as if on purpose and through a great deal of rehearsal.

Does she have a job anymore? Does she need one? Someone out to think about that for a moment.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Racism is Insane







I like what Paul Krugman is getting at here:






“It has been disheartening to see some commentators still writing as if poverty were simply a matter of values, as if the poor just mysteriously make bad choices and all would be well if they adopted middle-class values. Maybe, just maybe, that was a sustainable argument four decades ago, but at this point it should be obvious that middle-class values only flourish in an economy that offers middle-class jobs.”

— The New York Times, Paul Krugman





It's nearly impossible for anyone to end up in a middle-class lifestyle when the city in which they live has been systematically dismantled in favor of tourism and suburban expansion. And that is what defines Baltimore--there's plenty to do downtown, but don't even think about living inside of the Baltimore beltway. 


For me, it comes down to tolerating a level of racism that isn't going to be sustainable anymore. There are plenty of poor whites in Baltimore, as well as a host of other ethnic groups. Their plight--and the plight of the African-American community--can be laid at the door of the idea that Baltimore can function as a downtown tourist trap with a great retail and eating district by the waterfront and nothing else. It's a city with tremendous potential that made terrible choices decades ago. 


For me, it begins with the idea that we should stop thinking poor people are the problem. They're the result of bad policies and not values or choices.


Couple all that with the crippling war on drugs and the dismantling of the police department, and you have what you have today--a dysfunctional city with enormous potential. Someone has to run the city in the right direction. Someone has to find a way to police the city without terrorizing the people being served. Someone has to run towards building middle-class jobs in areas that are falling apart. Some measure of political compromise and pragmatism is needed, but how are you going to convince people to stop feeding off of the enormous carcass that is the spoils system?


How do you get people to abandon the insanity of racism and embrace doing the right thing for the greater good? How do you reconcile deal making with solving problems for everyone?


Someone legitimate to the governing of Baltimore--and that means someone who isn't walking around with a billion dollars or a host of bought-and-paid-for lackeys--has to step up. There's a real moment here where people who haven't been hitting it out of the park have to find the strength to go long. It doesn't matter what they look like. But someone has to step up and do the job of fixing the city without ramming cash into their pants.


The media will try to destroy them of course. After all, that makes for a better story.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ben Edelman and Slanty Eyed Chinese Food Menus




This is what "lawyer" Ben Edelman said to the owner of the Chinese restaurant that he harassed earlier this year.

And no, there are no words for this kind of discourse in American society. This is what happens when you eliminate ethics from everyday life--you say whatever you want because there are no repercussions for it. Edelman won't be fired, disbarred or anything, I would imagine, because he has mastered the law as a tool for furthering his own pathologies.

I mean, wow.

Wow.