All Articles Tagged "racism"

V.A. Students Protest After Principal Sends Racist Tweet

November 18th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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A group of students walked out of Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, Virginia to protest their new assistant principal Amy Strickand’s inappropriate online behavior.

According to WAVY 10, the students discovered a racist joke that Strickland retweeted on her personal Twitter page. The joke, which was about interracial dating, was originally sent out by parody account “OrNahhTweets.” The image features seven white teenage girls being accompanied to prom by seven black teenage boys.


Students are demanding to know what the school’s principal Adrian Day, who is Black, is planning on doing about the distasteful tweet.

“Those comments should really be kept to herself,” said Booker T. Washington junior, Michael LeMelle. “I could have been any one of the boys in the picture. And I really don’t see myself, like I said earlier, as anyone’s worst nightmare.”

“Many of the students have the screenshot now,” LeMelle continued. “She has to notice that she’s in a position of power. So, to make the statement publicly, is unnecessary, to say the least.”

LeMelle’s father, Michael LeMelle Sr. also spoke to reporters about the controversy.

“I quite frankly hold the council, school board and administration responsible,” LeMelle Sr. said.

School board spokeswoman Elizabeth Mather has not returned calls for comment.

Why #Pointergate Is Nothing To Mock Or Laugh About

November 13th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

Honestly I don’t believe we’re taking the #Pointergate story serious enough.

If you haven’t heard by now, a news station along with law enforcement, both retired and current, conspired together to basically lie on a Minneapolis Black man’s affiliation to local gang activity to shame a White mayor on television with a racist news story about her alleged close ties to criminal activity. And several days later, neither law enforcement or the news station have apologized and nobody has been fired.

That’s it in a nutshell. But trust me, you are going to want to hear the details.

More specifically, Shaun King writes for Daily Kos about the time the mayor of Minneapolis, stopped to take a picture with Navell Gordon, who is a young volunteer from the respected Twin Cities charity, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. The entire exchange was caught in a mini promo for the group’s voter registration and education campaign called #FreeTheVote. You can watch the three-minute video below.

But if you can’t watch it right now, in it you can see the mayor posing and pointing at Gordon, who points back at her.

Albeit corny, it’s a pretty damn innocuous interaction. However what aired later on local ABC new affiliate KTSP, the pointing had somehow morphed into a actual gang sign. More specifically the title of the news story, which ran live on television and was later posted on line, reads: Mpls. Mayor Flashes Gang Sign with Convicted Felon; Law Enforcement Outraged.

And as King writes:

“You have to watch this video to believe it. It literally may be the most racist news story of all of 2014. It’s so outrageous and has such a phony feel to it that it seems almost like a practical joke—except it’s completely real. In it, current and retired police officers claim that Mayor Hodges has put the safety of officers in serious risk by her deliberate and flagrant action.”

It should be noted that Gordon is a convicted felon, whose crimes were drug offenses. But the report makes clear that he has no connects to any local gangs, even though he may know some gang members. It should also be noted that the report featured interviews with two representatives from law enforcement including Michael Quinn, a retired Minneapolis police officer, who told KTSP that the mayor was “putting cops at risk.” More specifically he states:

“The fact that they are flashing gang signs at each other, showing solidarity with the gangs, she is legitimizing what she is doing. She is legitimizing these people that are killing our children in Minneapolis and I just don’t get it.”

Also featured in the news report is the head of police union, who adds: “she’s been around longer, she should know better.”

Disgusting, right? Shaun King labels it the most racist story of the year. And while I can’t co-sign that, I do believe that this is likely the most blatantly racist story of the year. And probably the most blatantly racist news story I have ever seen. Even more racist than the time a CBS Chicago affiliate photographer edited the words of a four-year old Black boy to make him look like he was saying, he wanted a gun when he actually said that he wanted the gun because he planned to be a police officer. Oh no, that really happened: here is the article and the actual video.

While Mayor Hodges declined an on-camera interview for the report, she did confirm what any idiot could figure out: they were just pointing at each other. According to the report, she also sent over other uncensored pictures from the event, which showed her taking photos of other people at the same time (King also notes that one of those people just happened to be the Minneapolis chief of police). However the station did not explain the discrepancy in the photos. Nor did the station explain why it not only blurred out Gordon’s face but his Neighborhood For Organizing Change “Vote” t-shirt as well.

But not only had the station offered any real explanation for why it ran such an erroneous report, but it also failed to apologize or reprimand the reporter Jay Kolls for running the story. Instead, the station doubled down on it’s report with new interviews including the Midwest Gang Investigators Association, an organization which provides gang activity training to police officers, who told the reporter that, “our story is accurate and not alarmist.” And it has also issued a statement.

“Law enforcement sources alerted KSTP-TV to a photo they believed could jeopardize public safety and put their officers at risk, especially given the recent increase in gang violence. Multiple sources from several law enforcement agencies told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the photo had the potential for undermining the work they are doing on the streets. 5 Eyewitness News blurred the individual’s face and did not name the group he was working for because police called into question only the judgment of Mayor Betsy Hodges.”

As King theorized this travesty of both ethic and morals – or at the very least severe incompetence – might have been payback for the Mayor’s vow to clean up corruption in the department. The report also came mere hours before the city tested a body camera pilot program on police officers.

I’m especially peeved at this story because this is exactly the kind of stuff that gets Black people murdered legally in America. Dave Chappelle told us that they like to shoot us in the back and sprinkle some crack on the body. No seriously, we all are very familiar with the narrative of suspicious Black man and woman and how that has been used as a political dog whistle, most memorably Ronald Reagan’s welfare queen Linda Taylor and George Bush Sr.’s Willie Horton. But what about other situations when that same narrative has been used to justify the murder of young Black people, Black men in particular?

America, but in particular Ferguson, North County Missouri, is waiting on pens and needles right now for a grand jury’s decision on whether or not to even consider charges against a police officer, who killed a boy no older than Gordon himself, based on the suspicious Black man narrative. There was some erroneously leaked information in that instance too.

In short, what KSTP-TV as well as those law enforcement agents have committed with this report is extremely dangerous. And people need to be held responsible.

And that responsibility is going to take more than White people in particular pointing at each other ironically under the hashtag, #pointergate. I know this story is amusing for many, but the burden of Blackness in this country is real. And the cost has long been too damn high. And while Mayor Hodges and most other White people can laugh off the gang ties as the preposterous meme of the moment, we simply can’t.

That’s why I am hoping that everyone will take the time out this week to contact KSTP-TV directly at Switchboard: (651) 646-5555 or their Newsroom phone: (612) 5TV-NEWS (612-588-6397), to tell them that you want a full public apology to Gordon and that you also want Jay Koll, along with any producers who okayed this story, reprimanded. You can also yell at them on Twitter at:@KSTP If you live in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, I urge you to contact your local officials and ask them to put pressure on the station. Hell take this request to its’ parent company, ABC, Disney and their advertisers as well.

A few calls and emails to the FCC, probably wouldn’t hurt. The news station’s reports, which lacks any scientific or actual value, in my opinion qualifies as obscene. And if they can go after Janet Jackson, going after KTSP shouldn’t be much of a stretch. And let’s not forget the Justice Department, because it is absolutely criminal for law enforcement agents, including retired ones, to engage in the media manipulation they way that it had.

“I’m T. Jefferson And She’s My Slave” Comedian Tweets Sexual & Racist Jokes To ESPN’s Cari Champion

November 6th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Comedian Tweets Sexual & Racist Jokes To Cari Champion

You don’t have to be a woman on the street to be harassed. And now, thanks to the internet and social media, you don’t even have to work with your harasser to be targeted.

Just ask Cari Champion, of ESPN’s “First Take.”

Yesterday, while she was at work just doing her job, comedian Artie Lange was tweeting away. What started as an appreciation for Champion’s looks quickly escalated into a disgusting, hyper-sexualized, racially charged fantasy, in the guise of a joke. And Lange decided to share it with all of his Twitter followers.

Here’s what he wrote.

Comedian Tweets Sexual & Racist Jokes To Cari Champion

Source: Twitter

Comedian Tweets Sexual & Racist Jokes To Cari Champion

Source: Twitter

Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo: Racist Nursery Rhymes You Didn’t Know You Were Learning

October 29th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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racist nursery rhymes

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It’s almost easy to forget just how racist America used to be — until you hear the origins of most of your favorite nursery rhymes. Now that we’ve stopped teaching kids catchy racist tunes, do you keep singing the cleaned-up version?

Childhood Ruined: 15 Classic Kids’ Shows You Didn’t Realize Were Racist

October 15th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Getting ready to pop in one of your favorite children’s classics for a nostalgic re-watch? Before you push that VHS tape in, check out our list of beloved childhood shows you didn’t realize were racist because nothing ruins a childhood movie like realizing your favorite character was in Blackface all along.

Kids' Shows You Didn't Realize Were Racist

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Remember this guy from Annie? First of all, his name is “Punjab” which isn’t a name so much as the state in India he’s supposed to be from. It’s like having Daddy Warbucks call you “African” instead of using your real name.

Only, the character can’t be from Punjab at all, because he’s played by black actor and classically trained dancer Geoffrey Holder (RIP).

Just Take Your L: The Importance Of Taking Responsibility For Your Actions

October 8th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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Responsibility For Your Actions



I must say that the last few months of news coverage has been irritating, to say the least.  From the coverage of Mike Brown, Darren Wilson and Ferguson, to Danielle Watts, I’ve been feeling very mentally drained watching all of this.  The reason being, not just of the horrible atrocities that happened, but by the lack of culpability many of the guilty parties have exhibited.

Now, when the Mike Brown situation first happened, it was very overwhelming information to take in, especially for anyone who is like me who lives in and around the St. Louis area.  I was so hesitant to “cross the river” for a while (our own colloquialism) in these parts, due to all of the rioting coverage.  I waited before engaging with other people who participated in the many peaceful riots that weren’t covered (the cameras were there, but the peaceful footage wasn’t shown.  Go figure).  What we all realized was, it wasn’t just the egregious crime that evoked such strong and hurtful emotions, it was how the Ferguson police handled the situation.

Most people wanted answers, an explanation, just something to give us some peace.  However, we got a strong armed robbery video before we got Darren Wilson’s name.  Just the entire way that the situation was handled was to protect the police department, rather than serving the people who deserved answers.

Then, once that heat began to die down, the Danielle Watts situation happened.  At first it came off as racial profiling, and just like Charing Ball I remembered my own situations of being propositioned as a high schooler while wearing khakis and a polo shirt at my job.  I immediately felt horrible for Danielle… until I heard the full story.  Unlike the poor women at the Standard Hotel, Danielle’s perceived prostitution allegation seemed more so in her head.  Her accusations of profiling and statements of “this wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t black,” just immediately elicited an eye roll from me each time she did an interview.

I once wrote about how it seemed like apologizing was going out of style, but now it seems like the lack of apologizing has morphed into people creating ridiculous excuses for their poor behavior.  People seem more invested in creating alternate reality excuses for why they did what they did, rather than admitting that they were wrong.

Instead of saying:  “I handled the situation poorly,” we get horrible answers, or (in the case of the Ferguson Police department) no answers at all.  People seem so intent on protecting themselves, that they seem to overlook the negative ramifications of what avoiding blame can bring.

Just like the babysitter who put her boyfriend and friend up to rob the house that she was over, and decided to blame it all on the Black neighbor, when you throw rocks and hide your hand, you’re putting other people in danger.  It can cause other people hurt, and they can be negatively affected while you’re trying to save yourself.  It’s not fair.

I know that accountability is hard, and it’s very easy to want to deflect, but at the end, no one benefits from it.  Sadly, the person who tries to deny blame usually doesn’t end benefiting from it as well, because things always end up coming out.  So though it might be unpleasant, it’s better to accept your “L” than trying to throw blame somewhere else.  There’s honor in being mature and admitting fault.  Don’t cause others to suffer due to your own poor decisions.

Kendra Koger catches L’s and W’s, while simultaneously tweeting @kkoger.

Why Won’t Many Black Men Try To Save Themselves?

September 26th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Black Men Try To Save Themselves

Source: Bossip

The question over what social responsibility celebrities have to the greater society – beyond them entertaining the masses and making themselves personally rich – might have just reached peak importance earlier this week.

In an interview with Bossip, rapper Young Thug, best and likely only known for his hit “I’m A Stoner” gives us his heartfelt and thoughtful critique on the Justice for Mike Brown movement and what is happening in Ferguson.

More specifically, the exchanges goes:

Interviewer: There doing a special on the Mike Brown and Ferguson situation. What do you think needs to change in the way that Black men are policed in America?

Young Thug: I’mma leave that up to the critics and the law and all that ol’ other shit. We having fun. We iced out, we having money – that’s how we doing it.

Interviewer (trying to help ol’ boy out): You feel like it is not the artist’s place to speak on social issues?

Young Thug: No!”

Well there ya go.

Honestly, before anyone goes in on his poor delivery, let us not forget that we have heard similar yet more polished and tactful sentiments expressed before from other widely respected entertainers. Not to mention he has a point: from T.I’s ignorance of racism in Australia to Kobe Bryant’s denial of racism in the Trayvon Martin case to Mayweather, who…well, basically says lots of cringeworthy and counterproductive things, there are never a shortage of entertainers, whose opinions give me the straight-up “sads.” Seriously, not only do these “opinions” just dash on by the point of “not helping,” but for some of these entertainers, I’m not really sure if they have ever read a damn book before in their lives.

I’m not trying to sound like somebody’s old aunt here, but seriously some folks need to put down the Casio keyboard-beat making machine, and pick up a library card. Maybe then we can produce better content than,“My glasses are metro no blood off your chest. I control ya ho like Net-and-flix. Your bitch is my dinner she wet like a fish. I took off her three legs, T-Rex.” Um, what? That barely rhymes. See this is what happens when we sign orphans to record deals. Seriously, I’ve seen more solvable whodunnits on an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries.”

So in that respect, I totally agree with Young Thug: No!

But still…

It’s quite embarrassing to watch a young man, particularly a young Black man going into full adulthood, act so cavalierly about police brutality, misconduct and murder. However, as jarring as his apathy is to my sensibilities, Young Thug is not the only one who feel like this. Not by a long shot. One recent study shows that millenniums have a hard time seeing race in general. And in my personal observations and interactions, (both online and off), I too have witnessed that young Black folks, particularly young Black men, have a willingness to ignore or even flat out reject much of this dismissal of racalized violence.

So it it begs the question: when are Black men going to save themselves?

And I’m being serious here because for every discussion that has been had around why Black men aren’t sticking up for Black women, who find themselves on the wrong side of police aggression, there has been a lack of awareness over just how impotent men are in sticking up for themselves.

Even as it is, Black men, who will bare the brunt of wayward’s cop baton: Like being shot while buying a toy at Walmart. And being shot while retrieving his wallet for the police during a traffic stop over an alleged seatbelt violation. And being shot while surrendering with his hands up. And put in a choke holds for a $6 pack of cigarettes. And being beat-up by cops during an unprovoked attack while leaving a Baltimore corner store. Or having to double team with your brother as you both have to physically defend yourself against people who illegally harass you while entertaining a corner store. That’s happening all to Black men.

So is the fact that Black people represent 63 percent of all exoneration cases within the criminal justice system. And the fact that in New York City alone, they have been stopped and frisked more times than there are actual Black men in the city‘s population. And even the fact that there are studies that show racism and micro-aggression against Black people even impedes a black man’s ability to walk across the street safely. Even after all this evidence and all sorts of indisputable proof that their collective lives are in serious danger, there are quite a few Black men, who still insist on leaving their lives in the hands of the “critics and laws and shit.” I can’t even…

Not when I’m getting angry, worrying myself sick and putting my voice out here. Not when it is my young nephews, who are barely teenagers, whose lives at stake. Not when, after tirelessly putting my voice out there, I still get into long and drawn out debates with Black men, who are throwing their fellow brothers under the bus for their own victimization at the hands of law enforcement. They are usually the ones to yelling about, “what about Black on Black crime” and “how folks need to be focusing on instead” in a debate. However and most ironically though, when it is time to talk those issues, those men are blowing in the wind as well.

Like Young Thug.

Because while he might be cautious with his feelings (if he has any) on the very real racism and racialized violence happening within the country, he has no problem rapping about inflicting violence onto other men, who look like him. And on just about every single song too. I know, I might be asking lots from a man named Young Thug – then again there was Tupac, who was also about that Thug Life and yet still managed to have some level of social responsibility. Back in the day, the rappers used to have at least one song dedicated to an issue. Nowadays, you’ll be lucky if you get a mention in a verse. I’m sorry if this sound alarmist, but something is truly wrong here.

And I say this out of real love for the brothers because I am truly worried about the state of all of us in this country, in particular the normalization of police violence against Black people. But if he won’t even lift vocal chord to speak out on your own behave, why am I wasting my time and energy do so, especially when the sisters could need more voices licking shots in the air on our behalf (not that I’m not about that life too)?

So while I acknowledge that no artist or entertainer should be forced to speak up on a topic just because he or even she has a platform, I also strongly believe that folks should want to be both knowledgable and vocal on this topics like police brutality, because you are a Black person in America. You should want to know because it matters. And at the very least you would expect some self-preservation to wanna kick in here.

“Black Bachelorette” Resigns from Dentist Practices; Alleges Discrimination

September 24th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Not only did she getting snubbed from having her own rose, but apparently Dr. Misee Harris is out of a job now for what she alleges was workplace discrimination.

If you recall Dr. Harris went on a full court online campaign to become the first Black bachelorette on the Eurocentric ABC reality television show of the same name, in a bizarre effort to prove to White people that Black women (and by black women, I mean mainly Harris) were above making a fool of themselves on trash television by actually going on trash television.  Well, that’s how I interpreted the matter.

Now, it seems that the good doctor of good “decorum” in front of White folks, was allegedly forced to walk out of her job as pediatric dentist at the Children Dentist Associates in Columbia, Tennessee over some pro-Justice for Mike Brown post she made on her private Facebook page.

According to the website Black Girl Nerds (and as told by Dr. Harris’ partner, who is noted in the post as “Emmy-winning producer Chris Silber”):

On Thursday, September 4th, Dr. Misee Harris (the Black Bachelorette) was called into an unannounced meeting at the dental practice where she has worked as a Pediatric Dentist and was recently offered a partnership in the practice. Dr. Harris, the sole African American dentist in the practice, has worked tirelessly with underprivileged young patients on Medicaid to ensure their smiles remain healthy, and the quality of Dr. Harris’s work has never been called into question. Once in the meeting, Dr. Harris was ambushed and presented with screenshots from her private Facebook page. Being that Misee had blocked work colleagues from accessing her account, it was explained to Misee that a doctor who is a partner at the office, and who led the meeting, had been having a friend spy on Misee’s Facebook page. Screenshots were taken of Misee’s Facebook posts and were sent to the doctor who led the meeting. Misee was then told that some of her Facebook posts about recent racial issues in America were “unprofessional.” The biggest bone of contention to the partners was a cartoon (see graphic below) related to the recent police murders of several innocent African-Americans across the nation. The partner held up the picture and asked Misee “Do you think we (meaning Misee’s White colleagues) are all like this?”

The picture is actually a viral meme of a Black boy with a bulls eye target on his chest under the caption: “OPEN SEASON ON BLACK FOLKS.” The picture then goes on to list various ways in which Black folks had been killed based solely on suspicions including “wearing a hoodie” and “asking for directions.” According to the post, Harris attempted to explain to to her all White employers the nature of the commentary however they were disinterested. Instead, they allegedly told her to either stop her “style of social media communication” or join the ranks of the unemployed.

Harris choose to resign. According to her Emmy-winning producing friend,

Dr. Misee Harris wants to go public with this unfortunate story of racial discrimination in the workplace because it has been her mission to empower Black women, many of whom, when subjected to this kind of discrimination do not have the financial freedom to leave with dignity the way Dr. Harris chose to.”

The post also reveals that this is not the first time Harris was told to tone down. The first time was when she was allegedly told by her bosses not to attend a President Obama sponsored event and the second time, during her social media campaign for The Bachelorette. Harris said, through her Emmy-winning friend, “I made it very clear that what I did in my private life was none of their business, but to keep the peace, I became very ‘robotic’ and vanilla about my views for quite some time.”

I reached out to Harris on Twitter to find out if she planned on formerly suing and if she ever found out who was spying on her page, however she did not respond. A call was also placed into the dentist office to find out if the doctors in question would want to comment, however at press time, the office also has not responded.

But in a follow-up piece with the Chicago Defender, Harris, speaking more directly, says she believes that she is a victim of racial discrimination and suspects that someone in her network dimed her out to her bosses. She also adds:

I am the least expected person that this would happen to,” she said. “If it can happen to a well respected doctor and public figure, then it can happen to other people and probably has.” “I think Blacks often feel stuck and if I were a low income single mom, I would be stuck, but I have the freedom to leave and I want other people to know this is not okay.”

What’s most comical here is that Harris believes that she is the “least expected person” discrimination could happen to. Unless she stopped being Black during work hours then yup, I would totally suspect her. Because she’s Black. And we’re in America. With that said, it does appear that this incident has served as a wake up call of sorts (listen, you can’t expect miracles), that no matter what you do,what kind of pedigree you believe you have, how much decorum you claim, White folks will trip! With that said…

If the allegations are true, it’s pretty cool that she decided to stand up for herself and her right to both privacy and personal opinion. And in particular, doing it at a time when so many of us have become so apathetic and even counterproductive in protecting our own rights. Yeah I’m still on that deplorable response from the community to the Daniele Watts/profiling situation. Folks might think she overacted but we could use more role models like that who stand for something.

Daniele Watts Has Nothing To Apologize For

September 22nd, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Daniele Watts Has Nothing To Apologize For

Source: WENN

According to NewsOne, Djano Unchained actress, Daniele Watts, has issued a statement, via her publicist, rightfully telling detractors, who feel she should denounce her claims that she was both racially and gender profiled by an LAPD officer, that basically, it ain’t gonna happen.

The statement was issued in response to a demand made last week by a trio of Black “civil rights activists” from California who called on the actress to apologize. To whom and for what exactly she should apologize for?

Well as reported by the website Shine (For Harriet):

In a news conference in Inglewood, California, local civil rights activists called on Daniele Watts to apologize to the LAPD for, what they believe are, erroneous claims of racial profiling.

Daniele’s story spread quickly across the Internet last week. She says police detained her wrongfully under the suspicion that she was a sex worker when she refused to show ID.

Police say they were responding to a call that alleged Watts and her partner were committing “lewd” acts in a vehicle. Watts maintains that is not true, but many who came to her defense early now believe that she was not profiled.

“We took her word that she had been a victim, but now we know it’s not true,” said Najee Ali with Project Islam Hope. “So we feel that she has done a disservice to the community and especially those in the civil rights community who backed her claim initially.”

Author and activist Earl Ofari Hutchinson of the Urban Policy Roundtable continued, “We cannot stand for just anyone to just scream and shout “racial profiling,” “I have been victimized,” “I have been targeted” if that’s not the case.”

Hutchison believes the LAPD acted appropriately.

“Don’t make us look dumb,” he said. “Don’t make yourself look stupid. Because when you do that, you totally do a disservice to what we consider is still a compelling, major, deadly issue, and that’s racial profiling.”

Yeah, it’s Watts, who is making you look dumb here.

Because Lord knows alleged civil rights activists would be concerned about actual violations of an individual’s civil liberties as well as profiling based upon race as well as gender. And let me be clear: I have no reason to disbelieve Watts’ story. And in my honest and blatant of opinions, neither do most people.

I mean, what exactly have we heard, seen or read thus far in this case, which would offer a shred of doubt that she isn’t telling the truth? I hope it is not because she was sitting on her boyfriend’s lap, making-out and doing something classified as unladylike? Whatever your personal respectability politics, that alone is not suspicious behavior – especially since you were not there to witness it, officer.

And I hope it is not because of the bogus pictures from TMZ, which report to show inconclusive proof that she was making this up and was in fact having sexual intercourse in a car? Even the though the picture does not: 1. show that and 2. remotely show that. Seriously, what about the guy in the mint green shirt?  While a couple supposedly and allegedly had sex with the door open in broad daylight,just mere feet away, he walks, casually and seemingly undisturbed, past the whole scene. I suppose we can argue that he didn’t see it, but if he didn’t know or see it, how the freak did an alleged eyewitness working in a nearby office make proper authentication that sex was indeed going on?

Likewise, I know the officer in this case swears that “People don’t make this shit up,” but actually they kind of do. In particular, suspicious, paranoid and flat out bigoted people have been known to fudge urgency to the police all the time. It was true of George Zimmerman as well as Ronald Ritchie, the “witness” who phoned police and told them that John Crawford III was waving a gun around an Ohio Walmart, moments before Crawford was shot in the back. The suspicious Black man and woman has long been a trope in the American social conscious, so excuse me if like Watts, I too believe that people will and do make shit up, particularly on Black people.

Racism Is Real: Three Black Women Mistaken For Prostitutes At The Standard Hotel

September 18th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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While actress Daniele Watts’ story of being mistaken for a prostitute has more holes than a flour sifter,  the occurrence of Black women being mistaken for prostitutes is, sadly, not uncommon.

When Kantaki Washington and her two friends went out to spend an evening at the Standard Hotel in the New York City’s meat packing district, a few weeks ago, they encountered a similar, undeniably racist, circumstance.

Washington and her friends Cydney Madlock and J. Lyn Thomas told AlterNet that during the early morning hours of August 28, a security guard from the hotel approached them and accused them of being prostitutes.

The women had just come from Le Bain, a bar at the top of the hotel, and were seated in the lobby, when several men approached them, offering to buy them drinks. Shortly after an African American man introduced himself, a security guard from the hotel whispered something in his ear and ushered him away from the women.

Washington told AlterNet, “After the security guard ushers the brotha away, he comes over to me and my friends and says, ‘Come on, ladies. You can buy a drink but you can’t be soliciting,'” Washington told AlterNet in an interview. “We were like, soliciting? He said, ‘Don’t act stupid with me, ladies. You know what you’re doing. Stop soliciting in here. We were like, ‘Soliciting what?'”

Washington incredulously asked the security guard if he was accusing them of soliciting sex from the patrons of the hotel. He responded, “Don’t act stupid with me, you know what you were doing.”

Washington responded, “Dude, I’m a lawyer and these women are educators. Why the hell would I be in here soliciting prostitution?”

He said, “I don’t know but that’s what you’re doing.”

As you might assume, Washington and her two friends were the only Black women in the area and believe they were racially profiled. Washington demanded the guard give her his name and his manger’s name. He gave her his first name only and directed her to the reception desk.

Washington says when she and friends spoke with the manager, their story was received with indifference. The manager claimed the security guard was an outsourced employee and not officially a staff member.

Apparently, a few weeks later, the hotel saw the error in their ways and attempted to extend a peace offering.

Washington received an e-mail from the Standard Hotel inviting her and “three guests back to The Standard for a bottle of champagne in The Top of The Standard or Le Bain, followed by dinner for 4 (valued at $400) at The Standard Grill.”

Washington provided the e-mail correspondence between herself and The Standard to Alternet and none of them made any mention of the prostitution accusation.

Instead, a staff member wrote: “Again, I want to apologize for what happened to you here that evening. We are extending this table for 4 as a gesture of goodwill for you and your friends, plus one more person. Please let me know when you would like to come back.”


The fact that they thought a $400 dinner would fix being called prostitutes…ridiculous.

Ladies, have you ever been racially profiled in this way?

You can watch the women tell their story in the video below.