Monday, September 07, 2015

Black Talk

Ty:   We're roundtabling on African-American issues and we're calling this "Black Talk" mainly because we're stuck for a different title.  Our e-mail address at this site is  Participating in our roundtable are me from  The Third Estate Sunday Review,  Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man;  Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix;  Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.  You are reading a rush transcript.  Illustration is Isaiah's "Making Dennis the Menace" which was part of a series of cartoons inspired by the idiot Al Sharpton promoting himself as an expert on editorials or, honestly, an expert on anything.

Making Dennis a Menace

Ty (Con't): Al's daily program on MSNBC has gone the way of so many of his efforts.

Marcia: You might say it disappeared faster than his Tawana Brawley rape charges.  In the so-called Age of Obama, networks were forced to find people of color -- not just African-Americans -- to put on the air.  It's a real shame that those given this opportunity saw their job as church choir and not as journalist.  The people put on air were done so to mislead or once on the air elected to mislead.  That's bi-racial Melissa Harris who did I marry this time on MSNBC with those hideous braids that look like she's trying for goddess braids but maybe having Mommy's White hair means she can't pull it off?

Stan: It was a never-ending parade of carny barkers.  We needed leaders.  We needed hosts and personalities -- let's not call these weaklings journalists -- who would hold Barack accountable and insist that Black lives do, in fact, matter.

Betty: I find it very telling that the Black Lives Matter movement is not going after Barack.  For a number of reasons.  Including the sexism in BLM at the start where they repeatedly ignored the deaths of Black girls and women.  They fixed that but did they really?  Barack has done one proposal and one statement after another about Black boys.  He's done nothing to defend Black girls in America.  No summits, no meet-ups, no programs or plans.  And it's been treated as normal.  And as acceptable.  I thought he was the father of two daughters?  I only have on daughter -- and I have two sons -- but one daughter was more than enough to make me realize how he ignored the needs of young Black girls across America over and over.

Ann: My Brother's Keeper is only one example of the time and efforts Barack has devoted to African-American males while ignoring African-American females.  To take Barack's own words, I'd just say, "In too many places, Black" girls "and Black" women, "experience being treated differently" by the White House.

Isaiah:  Well grasp that he could and did weigh in on Bill Cosby -- who asked him to? -- but he can't say a word about African-American women.

Cedric:  Of course he weighed in on Bill Cobsy.  He's a little bitch boi who went to prep school and never got his ass kicked the way it should have been.  One good ass kicking and Mr. Know It All would have learned long ago that everything is not his business.

Ty: Which reminds me of Stan's "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution" and Betty's "#CRAPFILMSDON'TMATTER."  You're both opposed to the film STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON.

Stan: Betty wrote her piece first, so I'll let her go first.

Betty: Thank you.  As Cedric was saying, Barack calls out Bill Cosby.  But this film is made glorifying a group of rappers who promoted violence, who were violent against women -- not just Dee Barnes -- and who promoted homophobia.  None of that makes it into the feel-good movie.  And it's treated as wonderful.  What the hell are we selling Black Youth today?

Stan: Agreed.  And that was my point about the Black Panther documentary.  It tries to impart lessons, it tries to capture reality.  STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON is little more than a bucket of neckbones and a slice of watermelon stereotypes passed off as reality.  We need better films.  We deserve better films.

Ann: What about Denzel?  I used to think he was making some sort of difference and could even applaud TRAINING DAY as an adventurous choice for him -- playing the bad guy.  But his work since has been really disappointing.  And maybe he should have been a little more discerning -- like Sidney Poitier -- in what roles he selected.  I don't see any African-Americans doing well in film these days.

Marcia: Halle Berry can get an audience in a costume but that's about it.  She should probably go the Angelina Jolie action routed with films like WANTED and SALT.

Isaiah: Well Halle still has her charisma which is more than can be said of Kevin Hart.  After RIDE ALONG, he was supposed to be the new Eddie Murphy but couldn't even pull off the new Chris Tucker.  That's no one's fault but his own.  Doing films like GET HARD and THE WEDDING RINGER?

Cedric: Exactly.  He's the new Steppin Fetchit.  Look, it's another movie where modern day slave Kevin Hart goes to work for White people.

Betty: Actually, it's more like he's little Shirley Temple making some old White man's life better.  He's done everything but put on a dress and tap dance at this point.

Ty: The so-called Age of Obama has not been a good time for African-Americans in film.

Betty: True that.  I'd rather watch, for example, WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE from [Bill] Clinton's second term than any Kevin Hart film or I'd rather watch CADILLAC RECORDS, which came out right before Barack was inaugurated, then watch Denzel in SAFE HOUSE or any of the other gutter balls he's been rolling for the last eight or so years.

Stan: And don't get me started on suck-ass SELMA.  Like GHANDI before it, people praised intent and not the actual film on the screen.  It's bad film making and that's why all the raves in the world couldn't inch it above $60 million at the box office and why rentals didn't save the film when it made it to home video.

Ty: What about music?

Ann: I was reading an interview with Prince a few days ago and he was listing two artists who he felt made a difference right now. That  may be two more than I credit.  Both were men, by the way.

Ty: Anyone signing up for Tidal for Prince's new album?

Marcia: No.

Isaiah: If he can't offer it through Amazon or iTunes, I'll be passing.

Ty: Who would you most like to see get it together right now?

Betty: I'd like to see Lauryn Hill pull it together and release a work that actually matters.

Marcia: In April, I saw Tracy Chapman do "Stand By Me" on David Letterman and it was just her and her guitar. Reminded me of how wonderful her first album all those years ago was.  Wish she'd do an album like that again in terms of instruments.

Ty: In terms of new people?

Ann: I'll give Nicki Minaj credit for being a true original.  She seems more interesting with each new release.  I bet she'll go the distance.  I wish we had more singers in America who appreciated soul music.

Cedric: I agree with that.  Amy Winehouse loved soul in a way that few of our own do.  And there are other British singers -- Joss Stone, Sam Smith, Jess Glynne and others -- who just rip apart songs in the way real soul masters like James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Little Richard, Bobby Womack and others did.

Ty: What does the so-called Age of Obama really mean?

Betty: It's a check mark on a laundry list, that's all.

Ty: Meaning?

Betty: For the Democrats, it's been there, done that.  Notice that a person of color, a Democrat, may be in the White House but there's not one candidate running for the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nomination who's a person of color.  While the Republicans have Ben Carson vying for their nomination, on the Democratic Party side, it's more like, 'Yeah, we did that already.  Back to the usual.'

Ty: Alright, on that note, we'll conclude.  This is a rush transcript.

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