When the liberal and conservative political bubbles clash online over the issues of anti-black racism several tropes are bound be texted, memed or gifed. The King Kong Aint Got Nothin’ On Me of these troublesome tropes is: “the democrat party started the KKK” followed closely by “The GOP freed the slaves (you ungrateful, uppity, negra.)” Beside the need of my inner grammarian to jump through the screen and throttle the writer with a copy of Strunk & White, the sheer ignorance and constant repetition of these tropes as a legitimate point of debate makes me want to holla Marvin Gaye style. A cursory glance into any history textbook not published in the great confabulating state of Texas illustrates that the history of the Grand Old Party is not that simple. While the KKK was most certainly founded by southern men who were members of the Democratic Party, the nation’s most prolific terrorist organization was not an official paramilitary arm of the Democratic Party. That is a leap that even D. W. Griffith wouldn’t make. While Lincoln did enact the Emancipation Proclamation, the GOP was hardly unified by their desire for the full abolition and equality of the nation’s human chattel.
These oft repeated racial conservative tropes have three rhetorical aims: to “educate” black people on the “history” of the GOP, to chide us uppity blacks about our lack of gratitude for magnanimity of Republicans and “enlighten” our poor, simple, uninformed minds that have no ability to discern how we are being manipulated by liberal whites. Racially liberal commenters dutifully respond to this claptrap by explaining that the parties swapped their racial ideology in the 1960’s. The southern reaction to the passage of the Civil Rights bills is usually used as a point of reference. The major ammunition in this comment arsenal is an infamous quote from the GOP political operative, Lee Atwater. This human garbage was responsible for formulating the policy known as the Southern Strategy. Atwater’s bigot bonafides include serving as a political aide for Strom Thruman, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Atwater recanted his racism on his deathbed, but no last minute confession can wipe away the stench of his 1981 interview:
You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”
Sadly, quoting the bigot who crafted and implemented one the vilest political policies in recent history isn’t enough of a racial patronous to defend against your average racially conservative GOP commenter. He or she will continue to squawk that their party has always had the best interests of black folks in mind and that we are too lazy and intellectually bereft to see that shining nugget of truth and break free from the “democrat plantation.” Many will come up a quote from their limited stable of famous black people whose quote backs up their position. Morgan Freeman and Charles Barkley or the most recent political Negro de jure Ben Carson are often used, but the Big Kahuna of racial internet comment dodgeball is “the content of their character” sentence from Martin Luther King’s March on Washington speech. It is clear racial conservatives have never read the whole speech or they would recoil in horror at this quote:
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
The birth of the Republican Party inspired the hope that blacks would receive the riches of freedom and security of justice, but the end of Reconstruction greatly diminished out the section of the Republican party who fiercely worked for the post-Emancipation legal, political and social equality for the freedman. The election of Republican president Rutherford B. Hayes in 1877 ushered a decades long waxing and waning quest to recruit the Southern white voter and an expand their influence throughout the predominantly white areas of the country.
After Reconstruction divisions in the GOP grew and by 1888, the party was split between the “black and tans” who favored black inclusion in the the party and the “lily whites” who wanted to restrict party membership to whites only. The lily whites won in Southern states and initiated the swift annihilation of the black political power base in the South. George Henry White, was the last black GOP Southern Congressman seated for the 1898-1901 term. The next black Congressmen from the South would not grace the House of Representatives until 2013. With the victory of the Lily Whites every southern state instituted de facto Jim Crow despite the fact that these laws were flagrant violation of the 15th Amendment. Another tidbit unbeknownst to your average republican Internet commenter is that many Midwestern and Western Republican state parties had very cozy relationships with Klu Klux Klan. By the 1920’s Indiana had the largest KKK Klavern in history and its leader was a republican political operative, D. C. Stephenson. Republican politicians affiliated with the KKK were also active in Colorado, Washington and several other states. This series will take a closer look at the Grand Old Party between it’s founding and the implementation of the Southern Strategy that will help you reclaim your time the when the next racist rube comes up in your mentions spitting the same tired set of smelly, old, soggy, cheeto colored tropes.
Next Friday: The Notorious GOP Part 2: The Founding of the GOP and the Politics of Compromise
One night six years ago, on a quiet side street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, I came across a photo album that had been put out with the trash. I lived around the corner, and I was walking home when I saw it sitting beneath a streetlamp on Lincoln Place.
It looked handmade, with a wooden cover bound with a shoelace. But it had been tied up with twine, like a bunch of old newspapers, and left atop a pile of recycling.
After hesitating a moment, I picked it up and took it home.The pages were fragile, and they cracked when I turned them, as if the album hadn’t been opened in a long time, but the photos were perfectly preserved. They seemed to chronicle the life of a black couple at midcentury: a beautiful woman with a big smile and a man who looked serious, or was maybe just camera-shy, and had served in World War II.
As I turned the pages, the scenery changed from country picnics to city streets and crowded dance halls in what appeared to be Harlem, and the couple went from youth to middle age. Looking at the album, I was struck by how joyful the photos were — and by the fact that as fabled as this era was, I had never seen a black family’s own account of that time.
Long before Steve Harvey gained mainstream fame I was not feeling his brand of humor. I thought he was the least talented of the Kings of Comedy and was constantly distracted by high top fade toupee. I thought his sit com was bland remix of every school sit com from Welcome Back Cotter to Saved by the Bell to Hanging with Mr. Cooper. I tried to give it a chance but I began seeing the disturbing mysogynoir patterns in the Steve Harvey Show. While sweet, but dim witted Lovita easily settled into a traditional romance and wedded bliss with Cedric, Steve Hightower chaffed at being supervised by and in love with an obviously more qualified Regina Greer. The time honored trope of “will they, won’t they” is marred by what would become Harvey’s signature black woman hating schtick on stage. Calling the gorgeous and svelte Wendy Raquel Robinson “piggy” changes from affectionate adolescent snapping to ugly mysognoir power plays if one is paying attention to the growth of Harvey’s comedy career.
Black men have created a cottage industry of books about why black women’s marital rates have plummeted. Mainstream media jumped on this trend for a while too. They made a pretty penny with this twaddle by conflating sexist black religiosity, pseudo Africana mythology (also know as Ashy Hotepology) with that special brand of respectability politics born out of a need control black women with a Jim Crow level of ferocity. No of these “writers” examined why black men are marrying less on whole but those who do are out marrying more. Harvey is the king of this movement. Even though his book was simply another ashy tome, it went mainstream and his deeply ignorant view of black women mutated into Dear Abby style advice for everyone color and crees. This twice divorced, thrice married adulterer was suddenly an expert on relationships!!!
On smart women:
Well, I mean, you know if a guy is out for one thing, it’s best to go for shallow, unintelligent women. You don’t want to break this news to really bright women. “Hey, I just want to do something to you this evening”…You want to find somebody shallow, really simple unintelligent, that you can run this by and they’ll sit there and go, “Wow, that sounds great.
Men cheat because women are hotass hos
Women ask that question all the time: Why do men cheat? But it’s really because there are so many women out there willing to cheat with them.
I could go on and on but someone was kind enough to compile a youtube video of the ignorant sexist, mysogynoir, homophobic, religious intolerance swill that has seeped from the open sewer that is Harvey’s mug. Harvey has ridden this trash train to a syndicated radio show, a daily talk show, two movies, hosting a daily game show and the Miss Universe pageant (insert schedufreude here). Last week, Harvey decided to expand his poison beyond his twisted version of gender and include race. This time he wasn’t just attacking black women he decided to go after Asian men.
Last week, Steve Harvey aired a segment on his his eponymous syndicated talk show about obscure, absurdly specific advice books. These were niche interest titles like Dating for Under a Dollar: 301 Ideas and How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men.
The audience laughed at the latter book in anticipation as Harvey took 15 seconds to gather himself. “That’s one page,” he finally gasped. “’Excuse me, do you like Asian men?’ ‘No.’ ‘Thank you.’”
The comedian then offered a sequel, How to Date a Black Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men — “Same thing. ‘You like Asian men?’ ‘I don’t even like Chinese food. It don’t stay with you no time. I don’t eat what I can’t pronounce.’” – The Hollywood Reporter
In order for you to appreciate my ire at this clown on this issue, I have let you know about my ancestry I was born in The London Borough of Haringey, UK of Jamaican and Grenadian ancestry. My maternal grandmother was half Indian and half Welsh. My parents also had friends of mixed Asian ancestry and so do I. When I moved to the Bronx, I had no idea about the sociosexual stereotypes that are imposed on Asian Americans and had crushes on many an ethnicity hue including Asian dudes. Since I was the immigrant, I saw my Asian friends as more American that I was. It really wasn’t until I moved to the midwest that I noticed the fetishization of Asian women and the emasculation of Asian men. Although black female and Asian male intermarriage occurs in the Caribbean and South American, it is rare in this country. There have been brief periods of when black women and Asian men married both in the Jim Crow South and the North before the Chinese Exclusion Act was lifted in 1943.
Harvey’s typical hotep arrogance managed to bring the ugly trope Asian male emasculation together with the oft-promoted fantasies of black male sexual prowess and his own presumptions of the unattractiveness and hypersexuality of black women with his usual mysoginoir flair. Of course black women are too stupid to pronounce a Chinese food menu how could they possibly desire the miniscule charms of Asian men? Harvey knows that all we desire is BBC. Luckily, millennials are not in Harvey’s target demographic and some young black women and Asian men are slowly shrugging off what Harvey and many black & white fuckbois with OK Cupid profiles want them believe and are figuring out inventive ways to meet, hook up and start relationships.
Oooops…. I forgot to mention Harvey met with Orange Shitgibbon on Friday on housing issues. He wants to work with to Sleepy Uncle Ben in some capacity at Department of Housing and Urban Development. Now if that isn’t the Kingfish leading Amos and Andy into another con (Google it, young’ens,) I don’t what is. Here are some pics of sexy, hotass Asian men to momentarily take your mind off the upcoming Orange Apocalypse.
Myth: African Americans don’t give to charitable causes. Fact: African American households give 25% more of their discretionary income to philanthropic activities than Whites (Chronicle of Philanthropy, 2003). The question is where do they give?
Black giving, and the organizations around which it is focused, are rooted in efforts to overcome oppression. The history of Black philanthropy shows that Blacks are motivated by those who are close to them — efforts that make a difference in the daily lives of other African Americans. In many cases, their philanthropy has been a response to discrimination: slavery and segregation in the past; inequality in education and the workplace today.
Too many Americans accept the racist ideology that blacks are inherently criminal. Study after study proves the biases in the criminal justice system but the national will to change this grotesque practice is lacking. Unless a collective movement like the Civil Rights Movement is set in motion this will continue. Check out Prison Reform Movement, US Prison Culture, The Dream Defenders, The Black Youth Project & The Innocence Project to an lend a hand in ending this injustice.
A new study by the American Civil Liberties Union has found that more than 3,200 people nationwide are serving life terms without parole for nonviolent offenses. Of those prisoners, 80 percent are behind bars for drug-related convictions. Sixty-five percent are African-American, 18 percent are white, and 16 percent are Latino — evidence of what the ACLU calls “extreme racial disparities.” The crimes that led to life sentences include stealing gas from a truck, shoplifting, possessing a crack pipe, facilitating a $10 sale of marijuana, and attempting to cash a stolen check. We speak with Jennifer Turner, human rights researcher and author of the new ACLU report, “A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses. Read more at Democracy Now!.
Daily Kos: Black People Do Not Have the Luxury of Being Strangers: Renisha McBride was Killed by the White Gaze
In the post civil rights era, the colorline is beset by many paradoxes.
The United States finally elected its first black president. There is a multicultural elite class. In this same moment, African Americans are harassed and racially profiled by \”stop and frisk laws\” and the experience known as “shopping while black”.
Black people are subjected to extrajudicial murder and violence by gun mad vigilantes, operating under onerous stand your ground laws, who shoot and murder young black people for the “crime” of walking down the street, in a neighborhood “where they don’t belong”, not being duly submissive, and carrying a bag of Skittles and iced-tea.
Full citizenship involves the presumption that one belongs to a political community. By virtue of that fact, citizenship also means that a person is entitled to safety and security in their person without qualification, exception, or justification. Full citizenship is not contingent or precarious.
African-Americans are not allowed such protections by the White Gaze. They are viewed as guilty until proven innocent, a criminal Other who is a priori categorized as “suspicious” and “dangerous”. While formal racism and Jim and Jane Crow were shattered and defeated by the Black Freedom Struggle, this ugly cloud continues to hover over the United States, some 400 years after the first black slaves were brought to the country.
As a young teen it was a mark of coolness to be known as a person who was allowed to stay up long enough to watch Saturday Night Live. The original Not Ready For Primetime Players were bawdy, political and populated their jokes with drug references. They were not afraid to tackle race either. If you have never seen the Job Interview sketch with Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor, do so right now! By the Eddie Murphy era the sociopolitical commentary had been tamped down but his Undercover White Man skit is still on of the best comedic commentaries of white privilege ever.
I don’t find today’s SNL funny. I figured that I had aged out of the demographic I was also peeved by the fact that show has not kept up with the glacial pace of diversity television casting. There has not been a recognizable black woman on the show since 1995 (In addition to mixed race Maya Rudolph, the only other black women on SNL has been Ellen Cleghorne and Denitra Vance.)
Current cast member Jay Pharaoh has openly questioned SNL’s lack of black women cast members on the show, saying that the producers “need to pay attention.” When a black woman is needed for a skit Kenan Thompson plays them, Tyler Perry Medea style or black up Iranian American (Iranians consider themselves white) Nasim Pedrad. Thompson, the only other black cast member feels differently than Pharaoh and said in a new interview with TV Guide that the diversity problem on SNL is due to the “lack of quality black female comedians.” He states in the interview: “It’s just a tough part of the business. Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.” I know that Kenan has played Herman Cain on SNL but I had no idea he shared his “blacks are lazy” ideology. Kenan may not see black woman as romantic partners (he married the white “Maxim model” Christine Evangeline in 2012) but to open up your mouth to say that there are no hard working, prepared black comedians is some ignorant bunk. I hope the ghost of Mom’s Mabley slaps some common sense into this fool and lest him know that there a plenty of black comedians out there that could run rings around his sad self:
- Aiesha Tyler is on three TV shows (Archer, Whose Line Is It Anyway and The Talk) has a best selling book and a popular podcast.
- Wanda Sykes does stand up, has been in movies and TV and has had her own talk show and still has time to work for LGBT rights.
- Monique has an Oscar and hosted her own talk show
- Debra Willson & Kim Wayans have decades of experience in sketch comedy
- Loni Love is a regular on the Chelsea Handler show
- Sheryl Underwood is on The Talk along with Aisha Tyler
- Rheta is on Parks and Recreation
- Jessica Williams is on The Daily Show
- Yvette Nichole Brown is on Community
- Sommore is the reigning queen of the black comedy circuit, closely followed by Adelle Givens, “Miss” Laura Hayes and Luenell
- Francesca Ramsey went viral with her youtube video “Shit White Girls Say
- Darmirra Brunson from Drew in Tyler Perry’s comedy Love Thy Neighbor, is a talented mimic. Her celebrity impressions include Beyonce, Kerry Washington, Lil’ Kim, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Oprah, Rihanna, and Wendy Williams.
- Issa Rae’ the creator of the award winning youtube comedy Awkward Black Girl has been profiled by Rolling Stone and Carson Daily and has development deals with HBO and Shonda Rhimes.