Ben Affleck and the Art of Doublespeak

H/T Ranier M. for the image
"We deserve neither credit nor blame for our ancestors and the degree of interest in this story suggests that we are, as a nation, still grappling with the terrible legacy of slavery," he wrote. "It is an examination well worth continuing. I am glad that my story, however indirectly, will contribute to that discussion. While I don't like that the guy is an ancestor, I am happy that aspect of our country's history is being talked about." ~ Ben Affleck
Really, Ben? You sure about that? Pop quiz: if Sony hadn't been hacked and we didn't have access to the emails, are you saying you would've stepped forward and revealed this info yourself?

Dude...no one blames you for being descended from a slave-owner. That's not how it works. Ancestors are blamed for their descendents, not the other way around. You don't smack a mouthy 10-year-old because his parents are such great saints, Ben; you blame his parents for making the wrong decisions, for being incompetent, for being negligent, for being selfish wastes of skin. So it's not like we believe you were sitting in some cosmic waiting room before your birth, watching Earth's history unfold, clapping your hands and squealing, "That one right there? That's the one for me!"

In a nation where horrific history is constantly being revised, where racism is constantly being downplayed and denied, and the trendy white drone-speak is - quite literally - "My ancestors never owned slaves", you deliberately embraced that unholy trifecta with a single word: edit.  See, that's where you fucked up.  Benjamin Cole fucked up by practicing slavery. You fucked up by trying to pretend that it didn't happen.


Delusions of the Force (#Parma #DOJ)

About a month before the election, a white part-time Parma police officer used a Taser on a 17-year-old black youth.

Shatekia Thatch — also a cousin of the new mayor* — said her son, Christopher Ward, was walking down the street when the officer approached him about prank phone calls that had been made to the police department that evening.

Shatekia Thatch, 34, gets emotional as she talks about the incident several weeks ago where a Parma police officer tased her son, Christopher Ward, 17, on April 20, 2015, in Parma, Mo., after Ward reportedly made a crank call on the public phone seen across the street on the corner at right. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

Thatch said that when her son refused to speak to the officer, the cop used his Taser on Ward, arrested him and booked him at the police station.

Rich Medley, a former assistant police chief, said the officer acted within his bounds and used his Taser only when Ward tried to flee.

“He acted within procedure,” Medley said.

The incident prompted a small crowd of African-American residents to show up at the police station that night to find out what had happened.

In the April 7 election, 122 people voted for Byrd. Ramsey received 84 votes. It was about double the typical turnout.

Byrd said she walked into City Hall a week later to pay her water bill and tried to say hello to the mayor and other city employees but was met with silence.

Then just before her swearing-in ceremony at City Hall last week, a local television reporter pulled her aside. Did she know that a number of employees had just quit? The reporter told her the employees had cited “safety reasons.”

Byrd didn’t know what to make of it.

“Am I the safety issue?” she asked.

Medley, the former assistant chief, said that officers had run-ins with many of Byrd’s relatives. After her election**, Medley saw several Facebook postings by people with whom officers had issues, celebrating her victory, he said. The most concerning of those mentioned Medley by name and the city where he lives, he said.

He added that he resigned out of fear that he would not be able to do his job.

“Rather than put my life in danger more than I do now on a daily basis, I decided to walk away,” he said.

Medley acknowledged that Byrd had never threatened to fire officers, nor publicly indicated that she would interfere with police.

In addition to Medley, two reserve officers resigned, along with Police Chief Trish Cohen, the city’s only other full-time officer. Cohen declined to comment.
*hits the pause button* Could we stop with the bullshit?


Stop Claiming You're Just Saying "Hello" (#StopPunishingWomen)

See Also


Cin recently posted this awesome For Harriet article inspired by Anti-Street Harassment Week (which started yesterday), and the gist of the article is thus:
In revisiting the topic of street harassment, I worry how much longer I have to ask this: When will men finally realize they are NOT entitled to women's space, attention, and bodies? Women have shared endless stories about being followed, catcalled, stalked, and given (often sexist) “compliments,” but men keep dismissing us, claiming we should be flattered for being noticed.

...I’m not particularly bothered when men say a friendly hello or respectfully compliment an outfit. I’m bothered by the men who chase me down asking for my number, the men who follow me, the men who can’t take no for an answer, and the ones who yell vulgar comments as I pass by. It makes me uncomfortable and I deserve to exercise my right to exist in public.

...Black women usually defend black men's rights to walk down the street in any clothing choice (hoodie, saggy pants, snapbacks, etc.) because doing so doesn’t mean they are thugs nor does it give policemen the right to profile and harass them. We listen compassionately to their stories of police harassment and brutality, the ways in which they are made to feel uncomfortable in public spaces simply for existing as black men. We rally and protest for their right to exist as human beings.

But when the tables turn and black women share their stories of feeling objectified and threatened, black men are quick to throw us under the bus and blame us for the violence committed against us:
We must've had our booty hanging out. We’re fast-tailed "hoes". We shouldn’t dress in ways that bring attention to our bodies. We should stop mean-muggin’ and say thank you when men hurl “compliments” at us.

...I’ve politely rejected advances from some men, only to have them get upset and call me derogatory names and insults. As invasive as some men may be, women are often taught to suppress their feelings of annoyance or discomfort with kindness, so we don’t “provoke” a violent situation. I’ve had several cases where I hid how irritated I was, for fear that a man with a fragile ego would attack me if I was too aggressive with my rejection. But being polite doesn’t always stop a man from harming you: Mary Spears was a mother of three who was killed for rejecting a man’s advances. This is a reality that that black women fear.
The comments are unforgivable, of course; but then again, a lot of miserable wastes of life troll For Harriet.  Even so, I've heard their main argument in real life: "Why is simply saying 'hello'/"You look lovely' considered harassment?"

Um, that's not what we said.  "Hello" is fine.  "You look lovely" is fine.  It's the bullshit which comes afterward and you know this.


Funny thing about #WhiteOut (#RIP #PercySledge)

(h/t Jules)

It's not exactly new.

From the fave Bar Patron du jour Ranier Maningding, whose posts have been nothing but fire, I present to you one hell of a eulogy:

**White Out**
*What Happens When White Musicians Steal From Black Ones?*

Yesterday afternoon, on a rainy day in Baton Rouge, legendary soul singer Percy Sledge passed away at 73-years old.

Sledge had been singing since the 1960's and topped the charts with his hit song, "When a Man Loves a Woman" which was eventually covered by Michael Bolton.

Though Bolton, a white singer, gave credit to Percy Sledge, it's hard to have a discussion of Sledge's popularity without discussing Michael Bolton. And for a lot of early black musicians, the same is true. You can't talk about Chuck Berry's guitar skills without bringing up Keith Richards, nor can you reminisce in James Brown's dance moves without side-eyeing Elvis Presley. In other words: when white musicians stole the music and style of black artists, they didn't just take their catchy tunes and face-melting guitar riffs, they diminished their significance and relegated them into the humble category of "inspiration."


...Really? Seriously? Are you friggin' kidding me?

Patrons of the Bar...I'm just now learning about these people and this story thanks to Tea & Breakfast.

This is 25-year-old Aaron Hernandez, former tight end for the New England Patriots.  As some of you already know, he's been handed a life sentence without parole for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.


Contemplating the term "Race-Baiter" #DixonChallenge

So I recently posted this on my Facebook page and I've spent the past day or so deleting trolls.  Apparently the Eric Harris situation has really got some folks fired up (seriously, how does a suspect who's running/fleeing = dangerous?  Last time I checked, if someone's back is turned towards you, they're not a threat).

But anyways, in-between deletions, I've been keeping tabs on Dixon D. White, the self-professed "redneck" who is trying to start a movement about white racial responsibility.

Unsurprisingly, he's amassed an army of stalker-ish haters pretty much overnight, and while I have no intention of linking to their filth, I have noticed their repeated use of the terms "self-hating" and "race-baiter" when referencing Dixon.


Why I do what I do (#MKX #Tanya)

I'll be honest; there are times when I think about deleting all the socially critical blogs and just focusing on the work of POC artists.  But then...I wake up on a lazy Sunday like today and stumble across this:

The article he's referring to, of course, is the one I wrote about the lightening of Jade's skin back in Mortal Kombat 9 (2011). Back then, few voices raised along mine, but for the most part, it was a lone article in the wind.

Or so I thought.


Filming for upcoming Nat Turner project begins next month

Lord, how I have been waiting for something like this.....

From Tea & Breakfast:
Nat Turner’s infamous slave rebellion is the focus of Nate Parker’s newest project. The Beyond the Lights actor will star as Turner and direct the riveting 1831 uprising that led to tighter regulations for African-American slaves, changing the course of history.

According to
Variety, the cast will include How to Get Away With Murder's Aja Naomi King, Gabrielle Union (Think Like a Man Too), and Roger Guenveur Smith (Empire State) just to name a few. Turner led dozens of slaves throughout part of Virginia, killing 50+ white people resulting in the South’s deadliest slave uprising. He managed to stay in hiding for two months. After his capture, Turner was tried in court and sentenced to execution. He was hanged, and then skinned.


#RIP Walter Scott

I'm not going to go in with the usual commentary (how sad is that we have "the usual commentary" on this subject?), but I do have some words.

1 - No.  If we didn't have this video, Michael Slager would not have been charged.  So stop asking.  If we're going to have a meaningful dialogue (there's that word again), that would require actual meaningful dialogue.  Asking over and over whether or not this video "makes all the difference" is not meaningful.  Of course, this video makes all the damn difference.  Slager justified the killing with a bald-faced lie and would've been successful had it not been for this video.

So instead, let's ask more important questions, like how can Slager ever so calmly and deliberately kill a human being, then simply go on with his life?  A lot of white commenters keep describing Scott's murder as "shocking" and "horrifying" and "chilling."

For brown people, it's Wednesday.


The Bar Loves FKA Twigs

This post is actually long overdue, seeing as I meant to write it sometime last year.

Ironically, I first learned about multi-award-nominated British chanteuse FKA Twigs when she was being racially put on blast once her relationship with Robert Pattinson was publicly confirmed.  At first I was horrified at the thought of Edward-friggin'-Cullen dating a WOC (they're engaged now), but then I learned he has a net worth of $100 million, so now I'm like...*shrug*.  Do you, boo-boo.

I mean, I'm not claiming she's in it strictly for the dough...but I understand.

Anyways, Twigs here (real name Taliah Debrett Barnett) has a distinct visual style a la Bjork, the haunting vocal range of Jhene Aiko (but even more ethereal), and the same unusual taste in beats as Azealia Banks, but with a more ambient, introspective texture. Banks and Twigs also share an unusual repetitive lyrical style.

I've been listening to her tracks for almost an hour straight now, and it's like hearing what Saint Heron should've been.  I'm downright baffled by the creativity of one so young this day and age.  Many commenters on YouTube complain about how they don't "get" her, but when you pause to consider the generation in question....

Did I mention her visual style?