All Articles Tagged "racism"

Dining While Black: Restaurants Fess Up To The Ways They Discriminate

December 16th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Twitter.com

Image Source: Twitter.com

Have you seen the racist restaurant receipts making their rounds around the internet? They’re calling it Dining While Black and racial slurs on receipts are just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re black and hungry in the United States, apparently these things can still happen to you.

“Why Didn’t She Put ‘Sexy N***A’ On The Check?” Man Complains Bartender Called Him The N-Word On Restaurant Receipt

December 16th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

 

From The Grio 

A Pennsylvania man says he was taken aback over the weekend when a bartender used the N-word instead of his name on the receipt for his food.

Marquis Moore told The Patriot News that he was just about to enjoy his food from Zembie’s Sports Tavern in Harrisburg when he noticed the word “n***a” was written where his name was supposed to be.

According to Zembie’s owner Angelo Karagiannis, this is all just a misunderstanding and the word was meant as a light-hearted joke. He claims bartender Megan Bonsall says Moore was busy talking to people at the bar, and so she asked a friend for his name. That friend then allegedly showed Moore’s Facebook page to Bosnall, where he described himself as a “sexy n***a.”

She said that she wrote down “n***a” on the ticket as a way to be playful. But Moore isn’t buying that explanation. He suspects the bartender had searched the comments on his Facebook page looking for an excuse after she was caught.  “Even if that is the case, why didn’t she put ‘sexy n***a’ on the check?” Moore pointed out.

Read more about this man’s experience at TheGrio.com 

Eric And Esaw Garner Do Not Have To Be Perfect To Be Victims

December 15th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Source: NBC

Source: NBC

Esaw Garner, the widow of Eric Garner, who died after being put in a chokehold by police, appeared on “Meet the Press” about a week ago (not this past Sunday) to share her feelings about the national fallout over the recent acquittal of her husband’s killer, officer Daniel Pantaleo.

With the Rev. Al Sharpton by her side, Garner responded to host Chuck Todd’s question about what she felt about her husband being the face of law enforcement in America. To which she replied:

I feel that he was murdered unjustly. I don’t even feel like its a Black and White in my opinion. I just feel like it is something that he continued to do and the police knew. You know, they knew. It wasn’t like it was a shock. They knew him by name. They harassed us. They said things to us. We would go shopping and you know [the cops would say] ‘hey cigarette man. Hey cigarette man wife.’ And stuff like that. And I would tell him to just keep walking, don’t say anything. Don’t give them a reason to do anything to you. And he would feel like, ‘baby the keep harassing me. And I’d say, ‘just ignore them Eric. And he would say, ‘how can I ignore them?” And I would say, “Just stay off of that block, you know. Just find something else to do.’

And he would be like, ‘what else is there to do? I keep getting sick.’ He tried working at the parks department. But he had asthma. He had issues, you know. A heavy guy and he was very lazy. He didn’t like to do anything. He wasn’t used to it.

The perfectly normal imperfect human being. Such a novel concept these days…

Garner’s wife would go on to clearly state her belief that, in spite of all of his imperfections, her husband was murdered. And it is this belief that makes her most fearful for her young sons, including a 20 year old that is currently in college, whom she now keeps on short leashes. And how she had to move out of the area to seek some emotional refuge to deal with her own fear of the police. But folks mostly tuned out before she even mentions that including all the apologists and racists treating this as some sort of gotcha moment, which proves that the police officer was justified in killing unarmed neighborhood loosie man.

As well as some of the less forgiving defenders of Black male lives, who have accused her of not only making her husband look bad on television, but also suggesting that she has “sold out” for not saying for certainty that police brutality was a Black and White issue. To whom and for what? I have no clue, but I’m certain the conspiracy theorists on Twitter will conjure up something shortly in a meme or two.

What I’m saying is that, it is a shame that our folks just can’t be victims.

Unlike some folks, what I witnessed in that clip was Garner having a sincere and raw moment of reflection. Anyone, who has ever been victimized in life (and not just by the police) knows the process of blaming yourself or the person, who is no longer here. The “if only” game. If only he hadn’t been on the block that day. If only he hadn’t had a weigh problem or asthma. If only he had a regular 9 -to-5 gig. If only our loved one, would have done something that could have shielded them from that fate.

It’s an emotion games of hypothesis most time rooted in unnecessary guilt and shame, which has been reinforced by law enforcement, the failed justice system and the media itself. If only Mike Brown hadn’t allegedly taken a box of .99 cent cigars. Or if only Trayvon Martin wouldn’t have fought back. And If only Reneisha McBride didn’t have weed in her system the night she knocked on a stranger’s door. Or if both John Crawford Jr. and Tamir Rice didn’t have toy guns. We blame and hold ourselves and people, who look like us, accountable for being perfectly imperfect human beings instead of the over- militarization and policing of our communities, followed by the failure of the justice system to remain unbiased when it comes to prosecuting perpetrators of violence against Black and poor people.

And let’s remember that Esaw Garner did not ask for this. She did not go to college to study and practice being a victim. Yet, she’s now expected to be the perfect illustration of critical race theory in order for her to have a right to speak about her own feelings about her own husband. A man, who for all intents and purposes was not perfect, but in spite of being imperfect, did not deserve to die that day.

The only thing Esaw wants is justice. And in the end that justice and fairness is all that matters here. Not moral purity. And justice is not the right of the perfect nor a reward for living right. It doesn’t know color or creed or weight problem. That’s why Lady Liberty is blind – well she’s supposed to be blind because clearly she is peaking through that blindfold and deciding things on a bias. Not to mention that it has been reported that Garner was on the block that tragic day breaking up a fight. The police should have been thanking him for saving them the paperwork. Instead, this is how they reward perfect citizen behavior.

But the point here is that our jobs here is to ensure that justice is blind and fair. Garner’s main crime that day – besides being a Black man on the street – was allegedly selling loose cigarettes without a license. His punishment of perhaps a citation should have been fitting. Instead he was given death – without a trial, conviction or even grand jury.

And quite frankly Esaw is partially right: it ain’t a Black or White issue; it’s a blue and red issue. It’s a law enforcement issue. It’s a policy issue, which treats petty crimes like reselling individual cigarettes (without giving Uncle Sam an additional cut) as a broken window, meanwhile ignoring the burning house by way of much more important tax crimes happening only a train ride away in the financial district.

And of course, this is respect thing. Garner was a man, who in spite of his imperfectly rightfully called attention to how wrong it was that he was being harassed, followed, taunted and basically threatened daily by law enforcement. This is demonstrated by his famous last words, in which he said:

Get away [garbled] … for what? Every time you see me, you want to mess with me. I’m tired of it. It stops today. Why would you…? Everyone standing here will tell you I didn’t do nothing. I did not sell nothing. Because every time you see me, you want to harass me. You want to stop me (garbled) Selling cigarettes. I’m minding my business, officer, I’m minding my business. Please just leave me alone. I told you the last time, please just leave me alone. please please, don’t touch me. Do not touch me.”

We all should know by now that even if Garner was a Black man in a three-piece suit, coming home from working 16 long yet happy crime-free hours at the local benevolence society, he still would be in danger of being jacked up by the police as well as having his assault or even murdered ignored by the justice system. So it goes without mentioning. But what needs to be made clear here is that even if Garner was a fat, lazy slob, who sold loose cigarettes illegally, those bad traits are in no way justification for what happened to him that tragic afternoon. And to give into the perfect victim trope is to fully accept the long held racist idea, which suggest Black people must be twice as good as White people, even within their victimization.

Garner wasn’t a perfect human being. But neither was the cop, who choked him that day. I’m sure he didn’t score that high on his SAT’s neither. The only thing that mattered was what happened out on that Staten Island block that hot July afternoon. And Garner, along with the other perfectly normal imperfect human beings deserve justice. The bottom line here is if we can’t expect law enforcement as well as the judicial system to uphold the laws and respect each and every individual right to them within our civilized society than what exactly are we policing for?

In Memory Of: Black Males Who’ve Died Unjustly

November 25th, 2014 - By Kelly Franklin
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Black Males Who've Died Unjustly

Most of us are still seething mad about the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial. Our black boys and men are in constant danger of being killed with absolutely no consequences for the perpetrators, despite working hard to dispel the unfair stereotypes they have to endure on a daily basis. These boys and men may not be seen as sons, brothers, husbands, or friends to all of society, but that is exactly who they are to their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, and us. In the wake of the unfortunate Trayvon Martin verdict, this list is a cold reminder of black males who’ve died unjustly over the years and whose deaths sparked national uproar and protests.

V.A. Students Protest After Principal Sends Racist Tweet

November 18th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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WAVY 10

WAVY 10

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.

ornah

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

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

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

Image Source: Tumblr.com

Annie

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

Shutterstock

 

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.