This week we learned that black Hollywood is just as guilty of perpetuating negative images. If you haven’t seen the now infamous NWA movie casting call, here it is:
See all that Tyler Perry hate is terribly misplaced. It’s not just that black women (whom are already objectified and sexualized in hip-hop) are graded based on body type and hair, but to continue with the notion that “light-skinned” black women are more desirable is dangerous. They aren’t talking about the lead roles, based on living persons who might have fair skin, this is about background actors.
I’m often told I don’t get to read for parts because I’m not considered “black enough”. Me, the RaceMan! This is based on the perception that because I speak “well”, write, and wear glasses, that somehow I can’t articulate an “authentic” black character. Black women and Latinos have it far worse. As actors, they work in an industry where they mostly exist as sexpots or sassy gals. The few times there are casting calls for a large amount of female actors of color, they often look something like the NWA casting call, only with more polite language. The NWA casting call has been branded as a “mistake” by the studio and everyone involved with the film. A smart necessary move, but what are the reparations to that kind of offensive public gaffe? Kerry Washington, Mindy Kaling, and Halle Berry are the only women of color leading television shows in prime time on major networks. Maybe the focus should be on making more of them and less video hoes.
Dear Sports Fans,
LeBron James needs help deciding which jersey number to wear, so he’s asking for help from fans! You! He needs to know, because the manufacturer is trying to figure out how may shirts to make and how much money they’re all gonna collect. James doesn’t really care about the number (on the jersey) – 6, 23, 108, a 1,000,000 it’s all good, because you fans will buy just about any jersey number. Doesn’t matter to them, it’s not like you’re ever gonna play. By the way, LeBron’s had the highest selling Jersey six times since he’s been in the league, so… just think about that as you decide not to buy your daughter that My Little Pony, so you can pretend you’re LeBron or his buddy, or his ball boy, or whatever reason you buy a jersey for. Check out LeBron’s twitter to chime in! Thanks!
There was some good news this week for Shanesha Taylor, who’d I’d previously written about. Ms. Taylor and the Maricopa County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Montgomery have reached an agreement that will spare Ms. Taylor from being prosecuted.
In March, Ms. Taylor, unable to find a babysitter, left two of her children in a parked car with the windows closed as she interviewed for a job. She was arrested, her children sent to live with relatives, with Ms. Taylor only having visitation rights.
Ms. Taylor’s deal includes parenting and substance abuse programs (though I don’t remember her being an addict having anything to do with this), but I give a lot of credit to Prosecutor Montgomery, who seems to have taken what’s best for the family into account, instead of being hell bent on locking up a mother struggling to do her best. Sometimes the justice system not only works, but is compassionate… Even in Arizona… apparently.
Daniel Panteleo, the NYPD officer identified using the illegal chokehold on EricGarner has been stripped of his badge and gun. The other officers involved have been placed on “modified duty”. Naturally, the police union has called these actions “knee-jerk reactions”. All of this was expected. As said in Battlestar Galactica, “All of this has happened before, and will happen again.” The most suprising thing , however, has been the macabre coda that has just emerged. Be warned, it’s not graphic, but could be extremely disturbing.
What’s in the video is the aftermath of the attack. A nonresponsive Mr. Garner lay handcuffed on the ground as a swarm of cops poke, prod and check his pockets. A paramedic (possibly the least active I’ve ever seen), checks Mr. Garner’s pulse. Near the end of the video, Officer Pataleo can be seen waving at the photographer.
There’s a palpable sense of dread in the video. As if the officers on scene know they have a dead man on their hands. They are whispering to each other, trying to get the cameraperson to back off, and checking the body in a manner that seems, I don’t know, worried in the worst way. By now, someone has possibly told some of the cops involved that this lynching may have been caught on video. For seven minutes, as the panic sets in and everyone is already getting their stories straight. For seven minutes, Eric Garner lay on the sidewalk handcuffed, maybe dying, with what seems like only one paramedic to help all three hundred and fifty pounds of him. For seven minutes he lay, maybe dead, for all of us to watch and wonder how long and how many more before it’s actually someone we love?
Finally this week, there’s the awesome single dad Eric Hayes Raglin Jr.. His daughter, Jordyn, wanted to be in a YouTube video – I guess, that’s what kids these days see as making it, I don’t know, so Mr. Raglin, accommodated by winning the internet black Dad style: