This ad, about how black mothers try to protect their children from a racist world is setting off fireworks. Now it is a fact, the most black moms (and dads) have this talk with their children at some point in their lives.
Racist conservative types, and their captive Uncle Toms are in full denial.
A new ad to be released next week by one of America’s biggest household products companies has drawn outrage — and praise — for addressing racial bias.
“The Talk,” a two-minute video by Procter & Gamble, depicts black mothers of different generations, talking to their children about racism.
“It’s an ugly, nasty word, and you are going to hear it, nothing I can do about that,” a mother tells her young son in an apparent reference to a racial slur. “But you are not going to let that word hurt you, you hear me?”
“Now, when you get pulled over …” another mother tells her teenage daughter.
“Ma, I’m a good driver don’t worry, okay?” the daughter answers.
“Baby, this is not about you getting a ticket. This is about you not coming home.”
The new ad builds on the company’s 10-year-old “My Black is Beautiful” campaign, which has produced audio interviews about bias. The company, which makes a wide array of products from laundry detergent to tampons to cough drops, says the stories they tell are meant to reflect the real-world experiences of many of their customers. It has also produced videos about gender bias, such as the Always #LikeAGirl and Ariel #ShareTheLoad ads.
“The Talk,” which appeared online two weeks ago, sparked a heated public reaction on social media, with some commending the company for addressing a difficult topic, and others accusing it of race-baiting and vowing to stop buying their products.
“Let the boycott begin on P & G!!! Cannot believe they would cut their noses off, to spite their faces,” a person commented on a YouTube page showing the ad.
“To all the people offended by this commercial … not every ad is target toward you,” another person wrote. “What’s wrong with a mother trying to protect her children and prepare them for a world that is not always (accepting).”
A website called Conservative101.com said the commercial attacked whites, adding, “In a cynical attempt to sell more soap and household cleaning products to the African American community, consumer giant Procter & Gamble decided to produce a commercial pandering to what they believe African-Americans think.”
While the advertising industry has been criticized in the past for a lack of diverse perspectives, in the past six months corporations have been bolder about supporting minorities, immigrants, and LGBTQ people, said Lee Ann Kahlor, associate director of the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations at the University of Texas, Austin.
Just a few salient points about Dr Carson. Seems he has forgotten a lot of things while spending life in the bubble at that hospital surrounded by intern and student doctor fawning sycophants. That seems easy to do for some folks. I wonder if the good doctor ever volunteered with folks like Doctors Without Borders?
Get out there in the real world and it will put your ego in check real fast.
It’s not racist, or even controversial, to point out that black people in the US face systemic hardships and prejudices, from increased poverty rates to higher police brutality. But as that observation, notably via the Black Lives Matter movement, has begun to attain broader attention and more influence, the only serious black candidate for president seems determined to push the discussion out of the spotlight.
Ben Carson, a Republican candidate for president, is stumping with language that underplays the need to talk about race in this country, decrying “purveyors of hatred who take every single incident between people of two races and try to make a race war out of it” at the first Republican debate.
This sort of language presupposes that the likes of black activists interrupting Bernie Sanders makes them troublemakers who can’t see beyond race. That is, in this logic, it makes Black Lives Matters members racist.
It’s an old conservative talking point that those who “see” race and agitate for racial justice are the “real racists.” But because this rhetoric has long drawn criticisms of racism for the Republican Party, it’s a small wonder that a black candidate supporting the old cause is making Carson a conservative darling.
During his August 12 campaign trip to Harlem, New York to promote “self-reliance,” Carson said black Americans must realize that “there is a way to go that will lead to upward mobility as opposed to dependency, and let’s talk about that way, and let’s not be satisfied to be patted on the head and kept like a pet.” Carson was referencing the conservative “welfare queen” contention – that poor, black Americans have chosen the easy malaise of economic dependence over bootstrapping their way to the middle class.
While touting “self-reliance” as a form of individual empowerment, Carson is de-emphasizing race and ignoring racism as a powerful social force that constrains people and limits their choices, instead redirecting the conversation America could – and is starting to – have on race to one of morality.
That is, his supposedly populist call for empowering the black community to rise beyond economic circumstances and become independent, is really trotting out the old Bill Cosby line that black communities have chosen poverty over success or dependency over mobility. “Those whole value systems, the values and principles that created strong families and gave people that kind of foundation that they needed to resist the influences on the street – those are not there anymore,” he said during his Harlem campaign stop.
But black people in America face structural barriers to achievement that begin with crowded and underfunded schools followed by a pay gap between them and their white peers regardless of the educational level they attain. When a black man minimizes this to endear him to his target base, it just makes it harder for everyone else who doesn’t have the luxury of denying pervasive truths. Carson places an unfair distance not just between himself and potential voters but between disadvantaged communities and the voting process. Why go out and vote when politicians use your community as an example of what’s “wrong” with America?
While his supporters may find his brand of “raceless” individualism and self-reliance to be compelling, communities of color – which must contend not only with the disempowering effects of structural racism but also with politicians encouraging self-blame and decontextualized “bootstraps” pathology as the path to liberation – have little reason to support Carson or any of his peers at the polls.
Seems the Republican Presidential candidates are all in a furor over “illegal immigration”, and want to repeal the 14h Amendment which guaranteed birthright citizenship to 3 million former slaves living in the US after the Civil War.
So what the right is really up in arms about is the brown N88765rs coming here, not based on any evidence they don’t contribute to he economy, don’t pay taxes, or commit crimes…Just the fact they aren’t white.
Anyone ever watch the TV Show, the Americans? It is based on a cold war effort by the Soviet Union to bury “sleeper” spies in the US, who would live in the US as American Citizens, and whom could be activated to commit sabotage or terrorism against the US in the event of war.
With the extent of China’s complicity in ongoing hacking of US Computers to steal corporate and Military secrets, placing spies in the US, and economic terrorism – and cyber attacks against American infrastructure….Seems to me it is far more likely that Wan or Le, born in the US of A by a mother who used the “Birth Tourist” evasion – is a heck of a lot bigger threat than Akbar or Miguel digging a tunnel under the border.
But then…Racism really doesn’t have to make any sense.
On CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, esteemed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns carefully explained to those who don’t believe the primary cause of the Civil War was slavery exactly why they’re incorrect.
“If you read South Carolina’s articles of secession,” Burns began, “the first state to secede, the birthplace of secession, home of the original fire-eaters — they do not mention states’ rights, they mention slavery, slavery, slavery.”
“That we have to remember,” he argued, though he admitted that it’s also more complicated than that. Still, Burns continued, “that’s the reason we murdered each other, why more than two percent of our population, more than 750,000 Americans died, more than all the wars from the Revolution to Afghanistan combined, was essentially over the issue of slavery.”
The problem, Burns said, is that “we’ve grown up as country with a lot of powerful symbols of the Civil War in popular culture [like] ‘Birth of a Nation’ — D.W. Griffiths’ classic — and ‘Gone with the Wind.’” Both of those films postulate that “the Ku Klux Klan, which is a homegrown terrorist organization, was actually a heroic force in the story of the Civil War. So, it’s no wonder that Americans have permitted themselves to be sold a bill of goods about what happened — ‘it’s about states’ rights,’ ‘it’s about nullification,’ ‘it’s about differences between cultural and political and economic forces that shaped the North and the South.’”
The danger associated with this willful misunderstanding of American history is that it obscures the fact that “race is always there, always there. When Thomas Jefferson says all men are created equal, he owns a couple hundred human beings and he doesn’t see the contradiction or the hypocrisy and doesn’t free anybody in his lifetime, set[ting] in motion an American narrative that is bedeviled by a question of race.”
“And we struggle with it. We try to ignore it. We pretend, with the election of Barack Obama, that we’re in some post-racial society,” Burns added. “What we have seen is a kind of reaction to this. The birther movement, of which Donald Trump is one of the authors of, is another, politer way of saying the ‘N-word.’ It’s just more sophisticated, a little bit more clever. He’s ‘other,’ he’s different.”
When in point of fact, Burns concluded, the only thing that’s “other” about the president is “the color of his skin.”
Toure has burst onto the scene, primarily as a guest on Martin Bashir’s MSNBC show recently with a distinctive slant on racial relations in America. First, Toure’s comments on Cain’s sexually molesting women – and then an opinion piece in the Times. Touré is the author of “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?”
Please, I beg you, stop using the bankrupt and meaningless term “post-racial!” There’s no such thing as “post-racial.” There’s no place that fits the description “post-racial America.” There’s no “post-racial era.” It’s a term for a concept that does not exist. There’s no there there.
We are not a nation devoid of racial discrimination nor are we a nation where race does not matter. Race and racism are still critical factors in determining what happens and who gets ahead in America. The election of Barack Obama ushered in this silly term and now that he’s begun running for re-election, I’m here to brusquely escort it out of the party called American English because it’s a con man of a term, selling you a concept that doesn’t exist.
“Post-racial” is a mythical idea that should be as painful to the mind’s ear as fingernails on the chalkboard are to the outer ear. It’s an intellectual Loch Ness monster. It is indeed a monster because it’s dangerous. What people seem to mean by “post-racial” is: nowadays race no longer matters and anyone can accomplish anything because racism is behind us. All of that is false. But widespread use of the term lends credence to the idea that all of that is true—I mean, why would we have a term for an idea that’s not real? In that way the lie becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and thus feeds the notion that it’s O.K. to be somnambulant about race or even aggressively dismissive of it.
If, as “post-racial” suggests, race no longer matters, then we no longer need to think about race or take the discussion of it seriously. In this way the concept becomes a shield against uncomfortable but necessary discussions allowing people to say or think, “Why are they complaining about racism? We’re post-racial.”
This barrier to conversation is dangerous in a nation where race and racism still matter very much. A place where black unemployment is far higher than white unemployment, where profiling and institutional racism and white privilege and myriad other forms of racism still shape so much of life in America. If we don’t need to discuss race then it’s allowed to fester and grow unchecked like an untreated malignant tumor. Race is an issue every American must care about. It’s not a black issue, it’s everyone’s issue. It’s relevant and important for whites because we all live here together and because the issue hurts everyone. If your neighbor’s house is on fire, or gets foreclosed, you have a problem. If your neighbor’s soul is on fire you have a major problem…. (Go Here for the rest of the article)
Giant Negro Alert! An Angry Black Man – an image President Obama has tried desperately to escape by “Milquetoasting” himself into near electoral and Presidential oblivion…
Has finally peeked through.
John McWhorter made his chops by criticizing the black community and black students as anti-education. He was instantly lauded as a darling of the right, quoted in virtually every right-wing publication in the country. Probably one of the most “literate” writers in America, his writing can vary from the sublime to the utterly literally obtuse. McWhorter isn’t exactly a card carrying member of the Project 21 Lawn Jockey Squad – he’s a guy akin to Juan Williams who is, somewhere in what was, before our politics became so polarized – that middle to moderate. Which means to this Blogger – sometimes he’ll piss you off, and sometimes he’ll say something that you feel is dead right. It’s what our political spectrum used to be about before Karl Rove.
The great lie in this country is that “politics has become polarized” as both sides have moved to the extremes. It is a lie because the Left really hasn’t gone anywhere. The right in this country has made a leap out into the world of the tin foil hats – which just makes traditional left positions seem further away. What can you say of a group which has so polarized itself that any Republican wandering from the orthodoxy is labelled as a RINO and targeted for electoral elimination by his own party – and even staunch Republicans like Lamar Alexander are willing to leave their Senate Leadership positions because of the polarization his party forces upon him?
The Tea Party in this country is a rabid dog. Proof of that? Here and here and here. The only solution to dealing with a proverbial “rabid dog”…
Is the proverbial “2 x 4 between the eyes”. To paraphrase a quote by Ben Franklin – “No amount of reason can get a person out a position reason didn’t get them in in the first place.”
The president has been talking some new talk. He should keep it up, and even step it up.
Obama rode in on his vaunted oratorical abilities, but the kind of ability we fell in love with him for is no longer of any use. The calls for unity, the echoes of Martin Luther King Jr., the rising above it all — it was great then, and maybe there will be a time for more of it in some years. But only after some new things have happened. And if they’re going to, Obama needs to retool his oratorical chops for a new style. I highly suspect that he’s up to it.
The present-day Republican establishment, with its know-nothing ideology and blithe absence of concern for most American human beings, has become tragically similar to the famously inert, heartless Senate of the Gilded Age, which for decades killed almost all progressive legislation even when it had been carefully hammered out in the House. The problem continued into the 1960s, before which the Senate was run by old-style Southern Democrat committee chairmen who for generations resisted, among other things, serious race-based legislation.
The president had no way of knowing that he would be up against as hollow-hearted and anti-intellectual a contingent as the Tea Partiers. But as of the debt-ceiling negotiations, it has become clear to all of us — Obama included — that we’re not going to be rising above much of anything anytime soon.
It’s time for the president to fight fire with fire, and he can accomplish much of it with a new way of talking. Obama needs to take a cue from the way even top-level politicians communicate in Parliament debates in the United Kingdom: a feisty, often almost heckling style of debate and address in which words and phraseology are wielded as weapons.
We saw hints in his jobs speech two weeks ago that the president is finally understanding this. “I know that some of you have sworn oaths to never raise any taxes on anyone for as long as you live,” he addressed to a particular stripe of Republican, with a quiet smirk.
Good line. Many of them must have felt a touch silly having that fact pinned overtly upon them. Many people going along to get along would be shocked to have someone follow them all day for a week with a mirror so that they could watch themselves acting as they do.
Students working in a classroom with a large mirror on the wall have been shown to perform better. This kind of rhetoric can help change people, change minds and thus foster change.
Mr. President, along these lines, please start calling some names. This week’s callout to Speaker of the House John Boehner was a good start, when you proclaimed about his intransigence: “That’s not smart. It’s not right.” The Republicans have had no compunction about lobbing dirt at you; at this point you must do some of the same to avoid seeming — and thus, in many ways, being — weak.. (Catch the rest over at The Root)
A man in Texas has formed a non-profit to distribute scholarships to white men. While well to do, or “connected” white men get a lot of breaks – poor guys have to pretty much claw and scratch for themselves. So no, in my view it isn’t racism – in that unlike conservatives it isn’t trying to tear anyone else down. Seems like a good idea – poor white guys need a hand up, too. Interesting what the groups definition of “white” is!
A new nonprofit group in Texas is offering college scholarships to a demographic it says has fewer scholarship options than other groups: white men.
The group, called the Former Majority Association for Equality, was started by Colby Bohannon, a student at Texas State University. He’s an Iraq War veteran who decided to return to school and said he had trouble finding college scholarships for which he qualified. He found many programs willing to grant money to female or minority students, but not white males like himself.
So Bohannon and some friends founded the FMAE group, which plans to begin handing out $500 scholarships this summer. Only white men with at least a 3.0 grade point average can qualify.
“We know that we’re going to be receiving some vicious attacks from people claiming that we are racists or promoting some bigotry-filled agenda,” Bohannon also told Reuters. He said he’s just trying to help students who may have been a majority in the past, but are no longer as America’s demographics change.
“If you’re not a male, and if you’re not white, you’re called a minority,” Bohannon said, but “I’m not sure white males are the majority anymore.”
He’s correct about his home state of Texas, at least. Non-Hispanic whites are now a minority there, according to U.S. Census figures released earlier this month that show they make up about 42 percent of the state’s population, down from more than half 10 years ago.
Bohannon has since been forced to qualify his group’s scholarship requirements after receiving requests from some students who are of mixed race or ethnic backgrounds. He now says students are eligible if they’re a quarter non-Hispanic white.
“We’re not looking for blond-haired, blue-eyed, stereotypical white males,” he told Reuters. “My feeling is that if you can say you’re 25 percent Caucasian, you’re Caucasian enough for us.”
The group was formally incorporated in Texas last March, and is currently accepting applications for fall 2011 scholarships. It “has no political aspirations, financial agenda, or radical social philosophies whatsoever,” the group said in a statement on its website.
“I believe in equality for everyone, as well as being a strong believer that everyone should have an opportunity to attend college no matter who they are or where they come from,” Calysta Spence, FMAE’s fundraising coordinator, told The University Star, a student newspaper at Texas State, where Bohannon is a student.
You’ve heard the term “Angry black man/woman” probably too many times for it to register anymore. Most black professionals run into it personally at one time or another, and it is a common device utilized in political and corporate infighting against black employees.
It is a device, dependent on the ignorance or bias of other white employees and managers, which can cause serious career damage to the accused black employee. Often phrased as “having a chip on the shoulder” when a black employee reacts no differently than a white employee to a situation, or when the employee is a black woman, as having “an attitude”, the false canard is just another of those “black taxes” on the way to that still not reached post-racial nirvana.
This irrational, racially driven bias provides a serious challenge to President Obama’s image.
Dec. 23, 2010 – Since his 2008 campaign, much discussion has been devoted to understanding President Obama’s approach. At various points Obama’s public coolness has been seen as a plus, while at other points it has been viewed as a real minus. On those rare occasions when Obama has dared give expression to his ire, he has confronted the “angry black man” issue and any concerns he may have regarding the perception that an “angry black man” has assumed the role of President of the United States of America.
In the last two weeks two friends of mine have written pieces critical of my assertion that part of understanding Barack Obama is to understand his intense fear of being perceived as an “angry black man.” One friend simply stated his disagreement with me, while the other ridiculed my position. Both friends happen to be white.
Before I go any further let me be clear that I do not articulate this analysis as in any way a defense of Obama. As my record shows, I have been highly critical of the President on many issues. What has me unsettled, however, is how easy it has been for many white leftists and progressives to dismiss the matter of the “angry black man” without fully interrogating the concept and its implications. In that sense, this is about much more than President Obama.
Chicago is probably the most segregated city in America. So what are the social dynamics and results of this level of segregation?
One of the most famous restaurants in DC is Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street, where regulars and the staff trade barbs with their food orders in a good natured ribbing every day. The clientele ranges from the local service people, to some of the richest and most powerful people in America. New York Delis have a reputation for salty exchanges…
But this one in Chicago take it from good humored to bad.
Warning – this video is liberally spiced with profanity, and scenes of racial taunting.
Matthews lays out an interesting dynamic of President Obama’s SOTU Speech last night. Opposition to this Presidency has far too often been based on race – not politics. That isn’t only the slack-jawed inbred Republican Tea Bagger sort – but doubts some white Americans have about this black guy with a funny name, who doesn’t look like Joe next door. It is the second sort of “not quite racism” which leaves the door open for the Drugbos, Becks, and Sno’ Ho’s to spew their vile racist filth.
The Wurgel-Marcotulli family, left, and the Sparkses, right, in their alter egos as black and white, respectively, in FX's reality show "Black. White."
By Latoya Peterson
Is there really a racial divide on the Internet? Much of Danah Boyd’s research explores that dynamic. Since 1999, Boyd, social media researcher at Microsoft Research New England and a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, has been studying how people use the Internet and has unearthed some fascinating facts about how people – teenagers in particular – move through the online space.
While Motown artists of the 60’s were the first black artists to break down the commercial barriers between black and white music, Michael Jackson almost singlehandedly shredded the historically imposed barrier. Starting with the Jackson 5, he and his brothers tore down the last vestiges of “race music” to become truly international superstars. Almost everyone old enough to remember the 5 brothers, led by “little” Michael performing on television or the stage has a favorite memory associated with the music of Michael Jackson.
Unlike previous greats, such as Elvis and the Beatles, the fact that Michael grew up before our eyes starting as a child himself extended his popularity into a whole generation of pre-teens – a heretofore untapped market wherein previous pop artists had concentrated on the teen market. What this did was to build an audience of fans broader than any artist before, and more loyal than any artist since.
My fondest Michael Jackson music moments were during the “Off the Wall” period, in my 20’s.
I had befriended a guy from work whose parents had immigrated here from India. He was the first generation born here in the United States, and grew up here. We were both at this point seriously dating the women we would eventually marry. One of the reasons for the friendship had to do with similarities in our background. Coming out of growing up in the 60’s, as a minority you tended to have two (or more) very separate and distinct groups of friends, with the oldest group based on the racial environment prevalent in the country during the era. The folks from the “hood” you grew up with and went to school with, and the sometimes eclectic collection of people you met professionally in the now integrated work world.
Our friends invited us to a “hood” party at their place. Brave new world here – socially what do you expect? At a black folks “hood” party, you expect music and dancing. At a white folks party (at the time), you expected a lot of standing around, drinking wine or beer, and conversation, principally to the soundtrack of rock musicians (at least until disco took over). So what could we expect at a party of principally 20 something Indian folks?
Turned out to be Michael Jackson, and some serious footwork stepping to the music. A seriously fun party.
Having just come back from a trip to Asia, where I had heard Michael Jackson’s music being played on a radio in Korea in a shop – I realized something…
Michael Jackson was a worldwide phenomena, and even before the release of Thriller – quite possibly the biggest thing to hit pop music at least since the Beatles… And possibly ever. He crossed the oceans, and cultures, and grabbed a market worldwide.