All Articles Tagged "racism"

Racism Is Rare…For Will Smith

November 24th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter


This week, The Hollywood Reporter released their annual actor’s roundtable issue. The roundtable interview featured Will Smith, Benicio del Toro, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, Joel Edgerton and Mark Ruffalo, who were all asked a series of questions surrounding their profession. When asked if prejudice had ever affected their careers, Will Smith had this to say:

My wife and I were just having this conversation, and we were going to the dictionary for “prejudice” versus “racism.” Everybody is prejudiced. Everybody has their life experiences that make them prefer one thing over another — it makes them prefer blond hair over a brunette; if you see somebody with dark skin walking down the street, you have a different reaction than you have [with] someone who is 5-foot-1 and white. But there is a connotation with racism of superiority: You feel that your race generally is superior. And I have to say, I live with constant prejudice, but racism is actually rare — someone who thinks their race is superior. I don’t want to work for them. I don’t want to work at that company. And the times I have come in contact with it, you get away from those people.

Will Smith is right: racism is rare…if you are one of the biggest entertainers in the world who has millions of dollars in the bank and can create the roles and opportunities you want. Smith has the type of clout that allows him the choice to move in and out of circles that don’t serve his needs. He has the type of money (and pull at the box office) that makes smart Hollywood people with racist views know when to shut their mouths. He and his family are visible on a worldwide scale in such a way that they may not experience very many moments of blatant hate due to what they look like. Indeed, racism is absolutely very rare for the Will Smiths of the world.

There are definitely moments when racism rears its heads for Black people in Hollywood, like the time a boutique employee assumed Oprah couldn’t afford a purse the store carried so she wouldn’t let her see it. But moments like those are few and far between because big money and fame tend to silence hate when you’re in a high position of power in Hollywood. Because of his status and bank balance, Will Smith does not have to deal with the pressures of being the average Black man in Hollywood or America as a whole. Statistically, if Smith had never become an A-list star and he was just a working-class man from West Philadelphia, he or one of his sons might be in jail. This is because systemic racism is deeply ingrained within our society, and it is hellbent on keeping Black people down.

His statement was earnest but cloaked in both naiveté and ignorance, and it’s important to bear in mind that Will Smith has been rich and A-list famous for far longer than he was a poor kid from West Philly. While he was busy looking up the distinct differences between the definitions of prejudice and racism, racist and prejudice acts were disproportionately occurring against other POC in entertainment and the working class. For Smith to make a statement in a well-known publication that denies the constant nature of racism is wholly irresponsible and shows of his privilege. When bigots hear people like Smith say that racism is rare (even if just in Hollywood), it provides them ammunition, or better yet, justification to do nothing when racist acts occur. It also allows them to dismiss the underlining cause behind the lack of diversity onscreen and behind the camera.

It is great that we as Black people can see someone ascend to the heights of success that Will Smith has attained, but it is dangerous that while high on his perch, he should dare make such a lofty statement with such long-reaching effects.


“They Said ‘Go Home, N****r'”: Black Lives Matter Protester Beat Up At Trump Rally In Alabama

November 23rd, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Black lives matter protester beat up at Donald Trump rally

AP Images

During a rally on Saturday for presidential hopeful Donald Trump in Birmingham, Ala., a Black Lives Matter protester tried to make his voice heard. Before he knew it, Mercutio Southall Jr. was on the ground, fielding punches and kicks from Trump supporters.

Throughout the melee, Trump stood at the podium, irritated by Southall, saying, “Yeah, get him out, get out!” and instructing security to “Get him the hell outta here!” while supporters cheered. He made it clear that Black Lives Matter protesters wouldn’t strong-arm him into doing anything the way he felt they’d done Bernie Sanders.

“See, he was politically correct. Two young women came up to the podium. They took over his microphone. I promise you that’s not going to happen with me.”

According to the Huffington Post, Southall was tackled to the ground, but it’s unclear if he was tackled by security or other attendees. While down, he was punched and kicked by a few attendants and was treated so roughly that one onlooker could be heard shouting, “Don’t choke him! Don’t choke him!”

We’re talking about all this for one man in a Black Lives Matter T-shirt.

And despite admitting that he didn’t see the actual scuffle, Trump told Fox & Friends that “Maybe he should have been roughed up” when speaking of Southall. “It was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”

What exactly was so disgusting about it?

“The man you say was, I don’t know, roughed up — he was obnoxious and so loud, he was screaming,” Trump said. “I had 10,000 people in the room yesterday and this guy started screaming by himself.”

In case you missed the memo, obnoxious and loud people like Trump only like allegedly “obnoxious and loud” individuals who think like them and support his viewpoints. This is clear as this isn’t the first time a protester at a Trump rally has been assaulted.

A student protester who showed up with a group of people at a Miami rally for Trump to protest his views on immigration was attacked. Ariel Rojas was dragged by his collar and assaulted by an attendee despite peacefully demonstrating with his hands in the air. Rojas also said the signs he and the other students were carrying that spelled out “Equality” were taken and ripped up by attendees before he was attacked.

As for Saturday’s attack, no arrests were made. But one Trump staffer agreed that Southall needed to be escorted out, even if it was done violently, for doing his whole “Black Lives Matter thing.”

“That guy was being disruptive,” the staffer told the Montgomery Advertiser according to EurWeb. “He was doing the Black Lives Matter thing and saying other phrases that were really firing up the crowd around him. He was throwing his hands around almost punching.”

But what’s really disgusting about all this is that Southall told that when he was attacked, he was called everything from the N-word to a monkey and was told that his life doesn’t matter. He stayed calm, because he was there to speak out against Trump’s disparaging remarks about people of color. But Southall said when someone punched him, you bet he punched back. The Birmingham resident and activist is not about the “turn-the-other-cheek” stuff.

“When I wake up in the morning, I pretty much expect trouble,” Southall told “We’re not the Negros from the 60s. I believe in defending myself, defending my people and sticking up for my people. I’m not violent. I’m not out threatening to blow up people. Self-preservation is an instinct every creature has and we deserve respect.”


Nicki Minaj Recites Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” And We’re Not Sure What To Make Of It

November 19th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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A&E put on a concert called “Shining a Light,” the Concert For Progress On Race In America on Wednesday. The stars came out to the Shrine Auditorium in L.A. to take a united stand against racism.

The concert was announced in October, and the point of it all was to get individuals to donate to the A&E Network’s Fund for Progress on Race in America. According to the network’s site, they are hoping to provide financial support to organizations and individuals who are “working to heal historic racial divides, identify and eradicate bias, and activate solutions, as well as to directly aid the Charleston community that inspired this effort.”

That’s right. The fund and the concert that was put together to promote it were both inspired by the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina in June. The A&E network wants its first donation to be a memorial wing for the church, and to provide support for the families of victims and survivors. You can find out more about the fund here.

As for the concert, quite a few stars performed covers of popular songs about change, from Jill Scott doing “Strange Fruit,” to Miguel and Tori Kelly singing “Free Your Mind,” and John Legend doing “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

But the shortest performance of all that stuck out to me and my co-workers was Nicki Minaj’s take on Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise.”

Dressed in sparkling Balmain, the rapper did her best rendition of the poem, and fans of the “Anaconda” lyricist praised the performance all over social media:

“They chose the right person to deliver this. Nicki has been through a lot and people still try to tear down. Such a strong & beautiful woman.”

“She is effortlessly flawless n this rendition…”

“It’s like this poem was made for her…”

But as for the consensus in the MadameNoire office, it was a little off. I think the poem is perfect for what the concert is all about. However, as my co-worker said, “It sounds like when a teenager reads a poem for class, and they don’t really know the meaning.”

I don’t know, man. Maybe it was the delivery, the intonation, the cheerleader pose at the end, or the weird way the crowd cheered when she recited the part about dancing like she has diamonds in the meeting of her thighs–we just couldn’t fully connect with the classic poem this time around.

But what do you think?

Check out Minaj’s performance, and the many others from the talented roster of stars when “Shining a Light,” the Concert For Progress On Race In America airs Friday at 8 p.m. on A&E.

And on a sidenote, Minaj may actually have been the perfect person to recite the poem after all. She does have a song called “Still I Rise” for her haters from her mixtape days.

You’re welcome:


8th Grader Pens Heartbreaking Letter About Racist Experiences In School

November 16th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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It’s hard to think that with all that’s going on in our world that our children sometimes face racist experiences in school, but they certainly do.

Honors student Za’Khari Waddy is also star of his football team at Tabb Middle School in Yorktown, VA. The 13-year old recently wrote a letter that’s making national headlines. “Yesterday on the football bus coming from our football game a kid started saying racist things to me. He then started saying he does not like blacks and he told me 200 years ago my ancestors hung from a tree and after he said that I should I hang from a tree” the heartbreaking letter read.

“That made me super mad, so in the locker room I told him not to call me n—-r or that I should be hung on a tree…I was really mad and they think I was going to fight him but I want someone to do something about it because I’m tired of boys messing with me because of my skin. I’m at my boiling point with this. Please do something about this because when I bring it to the office/principle you do nothing about it and I’m tired of the racism.”

 Za’Khari’s mother, Zettrona Powell, said the racism has been ongoing for the past three years. “He’s been asked if he was going to rape or rob a young lady, he’s been pushed into lockers and called the ‘N-Word’ on numerous occasions” she said. According to The Dailymail, Zettrona reported these instances to school officials to no avail.

The media has caught wind of the story, and now the school district has released a statement.

“The York County School Division believes every student is entitled to a safe and welcoming school environment free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Racism and bullying have no place in our schools and will not be tolerated. Students are given information and counseling on appropriate and acceptable behavior throughout the school year. Additionally, every staff member in the division is required to participate in annual anti-bullying training.”

“It’s not right to judge people on their skin color before you get to know them because you can miss out on how good that person is,” Za’Khari said in an interview with news outlet WTKR.

Has your child had racist experiences in school?

Rapper Paul Wall Says He Still Gets Crap From People For Having A Black Wife

November 13th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Happy 10 year anniversary 😘😘😘 @cryswallbaby 😍😍😍😍#slabgod #thewalls

A photo posted by Paul Wall The Po Up Poet (@paulwallbaby) on

In a recent interview with Vlad TV, Houston rapper Paul Wall was asked, as an individual born and bred in the South, if he had encountered a lot of racism and negativity from people as a White man married to a Black woman. Interesting enough, Wall said that it’s in places people would deem more progressive that he’s been given the most side-eyes about his relationship. Places like New York, in fact.

According to Wall, there is obviously racism in Texas, but where he specifically grew up and lives now, “We were taught to love one another. We were forced to love one another, and we were shown the different cultures so we could coexist, respect and love each other.” And Wall said that his relationship with his wife, Crystal, is wholly embraced. The two have been married for 10 years (together for 12) and have two kids.

But when Wall travels with his wife to the East Coast, specifically to New York, he said that’s when people have so much to say and let him know that they don’t approve.

“I think in Texas, there’s definitely some racism there. But me, personally, I feel the greatest amount of racism when I travel with my wife to the East Coast or when I travel with my wife to certain other areas. It’s way worse than it is in Texas. Places where traditionally you wouldn’t look or think of them as racist…We’re always going to pick at our differences, but, New York, where traditionally, it’s a melting pot, that’s where I’ve always seen the greatest amount of dirty looks when I’m with my wife. People shaking their head or making little comments. Couples making little jokes and saying this and that. But it is what it is. Some things never change.”

As someone who lives in New York City, I know that interracial relationships are quite common. They’re everywhere. But I can also say that I’ve literally walked in Midtown and seen someone say something nasty to an interracial couple minding their business. Not everyone is accepting, but such is life. While there are many open-minded people who believe that love is love, there are still some looking to be party poopers. Times certainly have changed, but as Wall stated (and as the current state of the world we live in shows), some things never change.


Mizzou, My Alma Mater, The Place Of Pain And Progress

November 11th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: AP Images

This morning my best friend texted me asking, “Gurl wtf is going on at Mizzou?! It sounds terrifying.”

If you read my piece about the University’s president resigning, then you know that I, along with my friend and co-worker Victoria Uwumarogie, attended the university. And the racially charged incidents that are happening on campus did not just start this year. I said it in the other piece but it bears repeating. The university was built in a slave state, funded by a slave owner and built by slave labor. Black students who attempted to attend the university literally turned up missing. And in the four years that I was there, the N word was spray painted on resident halls and cotton was thrown in front of our Black culture center.

So I responded, “Gurl what’s been boiling under the surface from its inception.” I expounded telling her that the White folks on campus and beyond got a chance to see Black power in action. It was swift, immediate and a threat to the power White people on that campus, our campus, and in that community have exercised since 1839 when Mizzou was founded.

I’m never surprised by what threatened, racist White people will say or do.

Still, as a person who walked those streets, occupied those classrooms and lived in those dorms I am deeply saddened and disturbed by what students who look like me are experiencing and enduring in the wake of their heroic and history making protest.

To answer my friends question more specifically, since Tim Wolfe resigned, things have gone from hate speech and symbols to threats being launched directly at Black students.

The day after Wolfe resigned, an anonymous user on the social media site Yik Yak posted this message.

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook


Obviously, this message was not only threatening in that he talked about ending the lives of innocent Black students, the hateful threat was taken a step further when he mentioned “state your ground,” like George Zimmerman.

Today, at 6:00 a.m., the university released this update.

NOV. 11, 2015, 6:00 A.M.

Suspect Apprehended

University of Missouri Police have apprehended the suspect who posted threats to campus on YikYak and other social media. The suspect is in MUPD custody and was not located on or near the MU campus at the time of the threat. We will update this website as additional information is confirmed. MU is operating on a regular schedule. Please check here for official information. Safety is the university’s top priority and we are working hard to assure that the campus remains safe while information is obtained and confirmed.

This is the official University of Missouri emergency alert website. Whenever an emergency occurs that affects the university community, this website will be updated as quickly as possible with the most current, confirmed information. Please check here for official information. So that phone systems do not become overloaded, please do not call MUPD as they are working hard to confirm facts and maintain the safety of the campus. We are in touch with them as they work through the process and will update this website as quickly as information is received and confirmed.

Safety is the university’s top priority, and we are working hard to assure that the campus remains safe while information is obtained and confirmed.

The news that the suspect was apprehended helps a bit. But it’s not enough to ensure Black parents that their children are safe at this university. It’s not enough when this person was not the only one making threats. It’s not enough when the KKK were spotted near campus. It’s not enough when Black students and faculty can tell you about their first hand accounts of being harassed and called ni–er. It’s not enough when Black students, just like every other student, are paying thousands of dollars to attend a university and live on its property and feel unsafe as a result.

It is terrorism when White students are riding around in pickup trucks chanting “White power” and Black students are evacuating the campus they call home because they feel unsafe. But because it is White people who are perpetrating these threats, excuses will be made and rationalizations will be given.

The thing is, all of this is bigger than Mizzou. Later on in our text conversation, my friend, who attended the University of North Carolina, said “The scary thing is that could be any Black body at a PWI (Predominately White Institution)…” And that’s true. Institution in this sense doesn’t even have to refer to a college or university. There have been signs pointing to the microcosm Mizzou represents for years now. People love to say, “it’s 2015!” or “racism is a thing of the past” but a quick scan of this year’s headlines alone prove that blatantly inaccurate. White men and women have been terrorizing Black people for centuries but even more publicly this year.

Shaun King said it best:

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

I’m deeply saddened by everything that is happening at Mizzou, a place I called home for four years of my life. But there is also another part of me that recognizes that this is how racists act when their power structure is threatened. And I’m inexplicably proud to know that the change that is making the White power structure so uncomfortable is happening at my alma mater.

Defend Black Womanhood: Black Father Goes Off Over Spring Valley Assault

November 9th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: CNN

Source: CNN

Let’s be honest, it’s not everyday that we see Black men publicly defending Black women against the injustices we suffer. While Black women are often on the front lines, marching and protesting and pushing back, receiving little credit, Black men are not often likely to do the same. We all know Black men who personally support us, but on a grand scheme, we’re more likely to see memes and jokes berating us or calling us the downfall of the entire race than we are to see a Black man stick his neck out for us.

That’s why it was so refreshing to see this man, defending the 16-year-old girl who was assaulted at Spring Valley High School by Officer Ben Fields. The video is old, but it’s important.

At a school board meeting, a passionate Black man stood up to express his outrage at the assault on the girl and the fact that the police department had, at the time, yet to fire Officer Fields.

Here are a few quotes from his speech. But do yourself a favor, be sure to watch the video below for the full effect and power behind his words.

“If that was my daughter…she is my daughter. She don’t have to belong to me biologically…That officer being fired would be the least of his worries. We are sick and tired of Black women being abused. You can say it’s not racism all you want to, but this is going on all across this country, everyday.”

“As I understand it, this student comes from a foster family. She didn’t have a father like me to deal with that situation, in the most savage way.”

“You do not touch nobody’s child, whether they’re White or Black, in that manner. I wouldn’t put my hands on a White child and throw her across the room, slam her on the floor. Her father would have every right to come and take my life if he choose to do so. And as a father, you wouldn’t have to worry about him being fired because I would put some fire to his behind.”

Then this man, who said he had no fear of any man, told the officers they were responsible for the actions of the officer. The children are in their care when they are in the school and it is their job to ensure that they are protected.

He referenced a few other instances of racism in the state of South Carolina to show how they were embarrassing themselves in the news.

“South Carolina you’re doing yourself well across the world. You shoot 9 people in Charleston. You shoot the young brother… for going to get his license and registration and now you’re beating up young girls in school? And you are thinking about firing him? He should have been fired that day!”

The man then told the officers that it was their responsibility to stop this type of behavior in schools and in the community, lest there be more enraged Black men like him, taking matters into their own hands.

Preach! and Thank you!

Check out his full comments in the video below.

Black Power Used Effectively: University of Missouri President Resigns After Mishandling Racist Incidents

November 9th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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University of Missouri President Resigns feat

I’m feeling super proud of my alma mater today. Young, college students are often the first to impact social change and I’m happy that the mostly Black men and women at my school, the University of Missouri (Mizzou), were able to effect such a strong change so quickly.

After a slew of racially charged incidents in the past few months, culminated by a swatiska drawn in human feces, found in a residence hall, Black students had had enough. They had sent e-mails and hosted meetings attended by administration, only to find their calls for action met with lip service. So they took more drastic measures. Several Black students, calling themselves, Concerned Student 1950, signifying the year the first Black student was admitted to the University, hosted a protest during the homecoming parade. They intentionally planted themselves in front of University President Tim Wolfe’s chauffeured car. Wolfe’s strategy was to essentially ignore the protestors. After his driver allegedly struck one of them, he called for University police to have them removed.

Mizzou graduate student, Jonathan Butler, took action.

He launched a hunger strike, refusing to eat until Wolfe was either fired or chose to resign. The Concerned Student 1950 published a list of demands, not only seconding Butler’s request for Wolfe’s resignation but asking for increased Black faculty and students on campus, among other things.

Days later, many of the Black football players decided that they were not going to practice or play until Butler’s hunger strike was over. They were eventually supported by their coaching staff, including head coach Gary Pinkel.

That did it. Not only did the football coach support his players’ decision, the university stood to lose a significant amount of money if the football team did not play. In 2014, the team brought in $83 million in revenue. With expenses, they grossed $3.5 million. The school could not afford to take a loss if the players missed one game.

And baby, money talks…in fact, it screams.

In response, today Tim Wolfe announced that he was stepping down from his position as University of Missouri president.

Wolfe’s exit came just two days after the football players announced their strike and 7 days after Butler announced his hunger strike.

According to NBC News, Wolfe appeared to hold back tears as he resigned. He said there has been frustration from both parties and took responsibility for failing to communicate with protestors.

“The question really is, why did we get to this very difficult situation?” Wolfe said. “It is my belief that we stopped listening to each other.”

Still, Wolfe took issue with the ways in which the protestors went about seeking change.

“This is not, I repeat, not, the way change should come about.”

Actually, that’s exactly how change should and historically has come about. But say whatever you want on your way out.

Wolfe did say that he hopes his resignation, effective immediately, would give the university a better chance “to heal and start talking again.”

I respect Jonathan Butler’s efforts. He certainly served as the catalyst for this action. And I’m elated that the football players not only recognized their value to the university system but weren’t afraid to take a stand for what is right. Athletes at Mizzou receive a bit of a privileged position and I’m excited and proud to know they acted so unselfishly to accomplish a common goal.

Unlike Wolfe, I know exactly where these racially charged incidents originate. The truth of the matter is, racism is literally the fabric that built the university.

Mizzou, the first public university founded west of the Mississippi River, was built with slave labor, in a slave state, financed and founded partially by a slave owner, James Sidney Rollins. There are buildings named after him on campus and he is known as the “father of the University of Missouri.” (It should be noted though that Rollins’ great-great grandson set up a James S. Rollins Slavery Atonement Endowment to fund research at the University of Missouri’s Black Studies Department.)

Lloyd Lionel Gaines was the first African American student to apply for the University of Missouri School of Law in 1936. He was denied on the basis of his race. He appealed to the Supreme Court and was legally granted admission. Before he had a chance to begin classes, he turned up missing and hasn’t been seen since. After protests from the Legion of Black Collegians, the university built a Black Culture Center on campus. In 1998 it was named for Gaines and Marion O’Fallon Oldham. Oldham was also denied admission to the University. Despite what some would call a set back, she would eventually serve on the University of Missouri Board of Curators.

A lot has changed since the days of Gaines and Oldham. But not enough. In the years I attended Mizzou, our beloved Black Culture Center was littered with cotton balls, in the hopes that a Black person would have to pick them up. The n-word was hurled at students, like it was at Mizzou’s student body president Payton Head, earlier this year. The racial slur was also spray painted on resident halls.

Black people throughout the world face racism in public and at their jobs; but when you face racism on a campus that is literally your home, the attacks seem particularly egregious. I generally had a good experience at Mizzou but I never felt welcomed there. Never. There was always something or someone to remind me that I was “other.” And at the University of Missouri, “other” is anybody who is not White and male.

Ignorant students in me and friends’ classes would ask questions like, “Why isn’t there a White culture center?” or protest at the election of Black homecoming King or Queen. Dr. Cynthia Frisby, a professor in the journalism school, who has been there for 18 years, has been called the n-word more times than she can remember, even by faculty members. A male student was told her that he refused to call her doctor because “that would mean that he thinks I am smart, and he was told that blacks are not smart and do not earn degrees without affirmative action.”

There are few tenured Black professors and when the name of one building was changed from “General Classroom Building” to Strickland Hall, after Dr. Arvarh E. Strickland, the first African American faculty member, White students complained. As if General Classroom Building was ever a suitable name.

There is so much work to be done at Mizzou and at universities and institutions around this country. And I’m glad the Black students at my alma mater are the ones showing us how to effect this change. (i.e. Recognize your power and hit people in the pockets, where it hurts.) We have a long way to go but it’s a pretty great start.

Who’s Going To Pay For This? Billboard Sexualizes Baby North West In Disgusting Tweet

October 30th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Splash News

Splash News

Another day, another example in ways the mainstream media is hellbent on the sexualizing Black girls, hell even babies.

It wasn’t that long ago that we were discussing the completely distasteful and shockingly disgusting Blue Ivy “joke” written for the Amy Poehler-produced Hulu show “Difficult People.” Personally, I’m still not over it.

And now Billboard is jumping on that bandwagon.

Earlier this morning, the outlet tweeted this image of North West and her mother Kim Kardashian, with this caption.

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

I’ve tried to think of ways in which this tweet could have been misconstrued. But it’s very clear that they were using sexual innuendo in an attempt to get people to click on a story about North West saying “I said no pictures.” Perhaps, when they issue an apology, which they have yet to do, Billboard will likely allege that they were trying to highlight the similarities of North and her mother in the ways in which she handled the paparazzi but everyone knows Kim Kardashian is not known for telling the paps she doesn’t want her picture taken, quite the opposite. They were referencing her sex tape with Ray J, something that shouldn’t be a topic of conversation when children are involved in the conversation. You would think logic and moral decency like this would be understood. But we can’t make those assumptions when it comes to the ways Black people, men, women and children, are treated in this country.

We’re not allowed our innocence and childhood. Our girls, our babies are sexualized long before puberty and demonized as they’re approaching it. We all remember what The Onion had to say about Quvenzhané Wallis, in an attempt at pathetic satire.

But it’s not just our childhood that is disregarded, it’s our general humanity.

It’s hard to argue that Ben Fields saw that sixteen-year-old girl as human when he placed her in a chokehold and flung her across the classroom.

It’s the reason why Black girls are punished more often and more severely than White girls in the public school system. Instead of being seen as a student coming to learn or a child prone to mistakes, we’re regarded as problems to be eradicated.

These instances go beyond what a few media outlets are tweeting haphazardly. These tweets speak to a very racist and problematic perception of Black people and women specifically. And it needs to be brought to the forefront.

Billboard did delete the tweet. But they replaced it with something that still didn’t work.

Ahhh sassy.

Another trope for Black women. Women who have the audacity to speak up for themselves or ask for what they want, are disregarded as “sassy” or having an attitude. Especially Black women. Nah. When North said “no pictures,” she was merely stating what she wanted. If cameras were following me every time I stepped out of the house, from the time I was born, I would request “no pictures” too. And instead of calling her “sassy,” we should be applauding her confidence and intelligence for articulating her wants.

White children, even if they are children of celebrities, are not treated like this in the public eye. When a man who was allegedly working as a paparazzi called Suri Cruise “a little brat,” the media was quick to defend her, arguing that children should be off limits.

I wonder if the mainstream media will come to North West’s defense. And by come to her defense, I mean someone needs to get fired.

Update: Billboard issued an apology.

It’s trash.

Attorney Sets Up Go Fund Me Account For Spring Valley High Victim

October 29th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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spring valley assault victim feat

As we’ve been reporting about the assault at Spring Valley High, many of you have wondered how you could support the young girl, the victim in this case.

Thankfully, someone has taken it upon themselves to do just that.

Todd Rutherford, the attorney representing the young girl in South Carolina, has launched a Go Fund Me page on her behalf.

He writes:

We are the Rutherford Law Firm, LLC located in Columbia, SC. We currently represent the Spring Valley High School Victim who was assaulted by former Deputy, Ben Fields. 

Jane Doe was the victim of police brutality. While seated in her desk, doing her math work, former Deputy Ben Fields forcibly removed her from the desk by choking her, flipping the desk over while she was still seated, and slinging her six feet across the classroom by her clothes. As a result, she suffers injuries to her ribs, back, neck, shoulder; a broken arm, and abrasions to her face. The funds raised will be put towards medical costs, educational expenses, and any other expenses she has to endure.

The fundraiser, which was created just hours ago, is seeking to raise $25,000.

In just 3 hours, a little more than 360 people have raised over $10,000.

If you’d like to contribute to this girl’s recovery and her other needs, you can do so here.