For Monday, Jan. 2, 2017
Is it time for Don Lemon to rethink his journalism career?
Everybody’s talking about #DrunkDonLemon, so at this point there’s not much more to say. For those out of the loop, CNN anchor Don Lemon ushered in 2017 doing shots and getting “lit” on air. And in his own words, he didn’t give two f*cks.
“People are saying that I’m lit. Yeah, I’m lit. Who cares?” And that was BEFORE Lemon had his mic shut off.
While many viewers, including fellow journalists, fretted over how embarrassing Lemon’s behavior had become, others dismissed it as New Year’s Eve revelry not to be taken seriously.
We have yet to see what CNN President Jeff Zucker thinks of it all. But when comedians including Ricky Smiley are talking about your unprofessionalism, it might be time to reassess your journalism career.
— Rickey Smiley (@RickeySmiley) January 2, 2017
Nice to see NPR’s Michele Norris on a Sunday news show
We’ve long complained about the lack of people of color on Sunday news shows. But CBS got the new year off to a good start with NPR host Michele Norris’ appearance on Face the Nation with John Dickerson. The only woman – the only person of color – on a panel full of white men, Norris talked about something the rest of us already knew: The true meaning of Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” motto.
“In the phrase ‘Make America Great Again’ there’s one word that if you are a person of color, that you sort of stumble over, and it’s the word ‘again’.” Norris observed. “Because you’re talking about going back to a time that was not very comfortable for people of color. They did not have opportunities, they were relegated to the back of the line.”
“And this was a country that — to be honest — was built on the promise of white prosperity above everything else,” she added. “And for a lot of people, when they hear that message, ‘Make America Great Again,’ deeply encoded in that message is a return to a time where white Americans can assume a certain amount of prosperity.”
White people who feel that they are no longer at the front of the line are the voters who put Trump into the White House, Norris said. What she didn’t say is that white people are still very much at the front of the line. But current technological and demographic changes are leading white people to feeling that they are losing their place at the head of the line. Nothing is going to stop these transformations from taking place, so either these same citizens figure out how to stand in line side-by-side with those who don’t look like them, or step aside. Either way, they aren’t getting in the way of global change, and others no longer care about their white tears.
Like many other people of color, including journalists of color, Norris said she wasn’t surprised by Trump’s victory. Due to her work with the Race Card Project, she said she witnessed much of the discomfort white people are experiencing due to technological and economic change.
Norris’ words aren’t really meant for those of us who already know the meaning behind Trump’s slogan, and have known since he first uttered the words. She’s really talking to those in mainstream media who still don’t get it.
Who, and what, we’re reading right now
In Jezebel’s “Becoming Ugly,” Madeleine Davies writes poignantly about nearly every woman’s burden: Abuse at the hands of men who are supposed to be our protectors.
The election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president has forced many women to recall violations of the past that we’d buried and chosen to forget. Davies writes about her own experience in high school that, for the first time, forced her to stand up for herself, only to be told by her best friend – a boy from a good liberal family – that she was wrong for doing.
The truth, though, is that while it’s been ingrained in me to chase their acceptance and approval and be “in on the joke,” I was raised from birth to fear men, to never trust or expect them to protect me. Thirty years of being suffocated by their desires, whims, and power has only proven the fear as founded. In the years that followed the last time Tom grabbed me (and he never did it again after I punched him—nor did he ever forgive me), I would see good liberal boys, the ones who had feminist mothers and organized progressive political demonstrations, go completely silent when a high school acquaintance accused one of their own of rape. At 19, I had to hide behind a truck as a man followed me as I walked my dog, filming me out his car window for blocks. This summer, a bearded man at a pool party kept asking my friend and I to do drugs with him, insisting it was safe because we were “unrapeable.” Later that night, after rejecting multiple drinks that he seemed to pull out of nowhere, my friend and I joked that the man was too dumb to even commit sexual assault properly. Because what can a woman do, if she wants to avoid an entire lifetime of terror and bitterness, besides laugh in the face of what seeks to harm her?
In Becoming Ugly, Davies discusses how women increasingly have no more f*cks to give when it comes to standing up to men who don’t protect them, and worse, men who hate women.
Vanity keeps me from throwing away my makeup and sanity keeps me from, as I often feel the repugnant urge, breaking the mirror with the surface of my own face and leaving us both cracked open. But I also can’t deny my current impulse to become as ugly and unlikeable as I can, merely to serve as constant reminder of the ugliness inflicted upon us. We’ve been told time and time again that prettiness and likability will protect us from harm, that to be good women, we must play by these rules, but this is a lie. Nothing will protect us except for ourselves—and what’s more fortifying than a defensive exterior? There are days when all I want is to become a human road sign, a blinking hazard to any man misfortunate enough to cross my path: “I WANT TO OFFEND YOUR SIGHT. I WANT TO OFFEND YOUR EVERYTHING.”
Party planning is tough
White Supremacists wanting to celebrate Donald Trump’s election are at odds. It appears that organizers of the DeploraBall, disinvited fellow racist Tim Treadstone, better known by his Twitter handle @bakedalaska, according to a report by NPR. Party planners took offense to Treadstone’s tweet about Jews controlling the media the same way blacks run basketball courts. They weren’t mad that he said it, but that he said it publicly. After getting pushed aside Treadstone told organizers to kick rocks, and then publicly posted his correspondence with them.
Party planners are also discouraging Nazi salutes at the event, which is scheduled to take place at the National Press Club in Washington, DC of all places.
Hoteps still hoteppin’
It took me a while to figure out what all the hoopla was over the #hotepcivilwar. Once I got the run-down from Damon Young over at VerySmartBrothas.com, I got a good 45-minute laugh out of it. This morning we wake up to yet another installment. Dr. Umar Johnson, who is supposed to be building some kind of school, is angry with black media organizations, including theRoot.com, for covering his multiple rants. He thinks black news outlets shouldn’t have aired dirty laundry publicly. Talk about misplaced aggression. Anyway, Johnson also apologizes for said rants. Kind of.
If you’re interested, here’s the video. Here you go (skip to the 3:40 minute mark):
See you later this week.