Just got sent this awesome vid by Couffe Music. It’s a rap video called, “Willie Lynch,” and it’s by a rapper named Paul PR Robinson. I receive lots of vids in my e-mail box, but rarely one with so positive a message. I’m not a Christian, and I don’t agree with Robinson’s statement that “Jesus is the cure,” but even then, the idea of self-sufficiency is so rare these days in minority politics that I couldn’t help but be inspired by it. Listen to the lyrics. “I was blind but now I see enough to say that the enemy is you and me.” It was more or less Malcolm’s (and Elijah Muhammad’s) message at the end of his life.
Continuing a discussion that came about from another thread.
Curiously, I couldn’t find a good picture of a black person and an Asian person debating, or even talking. Shows how badly this dialogue is needed. Anyway, y’all are stuck with a picture of Tiger. If someone can find something better, I’ll switch it. Edit: Replaced by mwei’s submission. Thanks!)
A few nights ago, I was sending someone a Yiyun Li video, and I stumbled across the video above, in which John Dabiri, a biophysicist and professor from Caltech, talks about his research. He won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2010 for his work in biophysics, which is a $500,000 no-strings-attached grant (also won by Yiyun Li for literature) to promote innovation and creativity from gifted individuals. Dabiri works on wind turbines and design, which could have a very positive influence on our economy if we ever succeed in cutting back on oil for more sustainable solutions. I was thinking to myself–”Hey, an African American scientist! Why isn’t the NAACP jumping on this and making a big deal about this guy?” While the NAACP is trying to create a racist, uneven playing field by eliminating real admissions requirements for schools, they’re missing some wonderful opportunities to promote people who could be real inspirations to their base. If you google “NAACP Dabiri,” you’ll get one endorsement from a pro-African American blogger, but no big NAACP endorsements/publicity.
I wanted to bring your attention to a film that looks really good.
Imagine a school where the cool kids
are the chess team… welcome to I.S. 318
You can find the story by watching Brooklyn Castle. From the trailer, it looks like it’s about a poor predominantly African American junior high school that has won more national chess championships than any other school in the country. As funding for schools is continuing to get cut, while entitlements continue to drain school coffers, it’s a great story about how children are persevering. As I’m personally invested in chess, I’d love to see this film with my son. It doesn’t look like it’s coming to Portland anytime soon, but when it is, I look forward to seeing it.
There’s an interesting story by a young black teenager named Anthony Turner about reading: What’s Wrong With Reading? He’s a reader, but he argues that it’s uncool in black youth culture to read:
But black youth culture prizes guys who play ball, bag girls, dance, and rap. Simply reading a book is considered passive or introverted. Or it’s considered a “white thing”—something black kids, especially black boys, shouldn’t be caught doing if they want to be popular. Unfortunately, I think some kids hold themselves back academically for those reasons. I know I feel slightly wary in school after hearing my peers say that people who read have no lives.
I’ve seen and worked for restaurant owners who will ask teenagers to leave if they congregate. One former boss, whom I respected but didn’t understand, would go up to the teens and say, “This isn’t a hangout. You have to leave.” The teens were generally White, as was my boss. The teens used to complain, “Well, why do WE have to leave?” and my boss would say, “Because I told you to.” I used to think this was discriminatory against young people. However, seeing that he built a successful restaurant that was family-friendly, I can now see his point. There’s a reason for restaurants saying, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” It was my boss’s legal right to kick them out, and I can see why he did it.
Rodney King passed away yesterday. Those of you who were alive during the LA Riots in ’92 know that he was the figurehead who was beaten by cops and whose story set the riots in motion when the cops who beat him were acquitted. He had a hard, sad life, and he dealt with personal issues both before and after the beating. The $3.8 million settlement did not turn his life around, as he had to deal with media scrutiny and forces that were probably far too big for him to handle.
This one has been making the rounds: Naomi Schaefer Riley, Chronicle Of Higher Education Blogger, Fired For Calling Black Studies ‘Claptrap.’ All of my liberal friends are saying that they’re glad this woman was fired, and that she got what she deserved.
The original article is here. She closes with:
Seriously, folks, there are legitimate debates about the problems that plague the black community from high incarceration rates to low graduation rates to high out-of-wedlock birth rates. But it’s clear that they’re not happening in black-studies departments. If these young scholars are the future of the discipline, I think they can just as well leave their calendars at 1963 and let some legitimate scholars find solutions to the problems of blacks in America. Solutions that don’t begin and end with blame the white man.
In terms of trashiness, I think the Bachelor is just one step above the Jerry Springer Show. It preys on people’s emotions, and it throws attention towards the worst parts of humanity. That said, I think it would be great if there were minorities in the main role. Which is why I think it’s good that two African American men are suing the Bachelor for racial discrimination.
Johnson alleges in the complaint that when he went to a casting call for “The Bachelor,” he was denied the typical application process. He said his application materials were taken by an employee of the defendants named in the suit; the same wasn’t done for other apparent non-black applicants he saw.
I thought this was a joke when I first saw it: African Americans in Dallas Target Korean Business. According to the article,
The customer, complaining that the price of gas at the station was much higher than at other stations, demanded he be able to buy gas by smaller amounts than what the owner set as the minimum sales unit. The owner refused and told him to go to another station, to which the customer responded by telling the owner to go back to his country. The owner responded by telling the customer to go back to Africa.