All Articles Tagged "racist"
It’s Because We’re Black: Former ‘American Idol’ Contestants Suing Over Alleged Racist Elimination Practices
Reality show American Idol has been making headlines for all of the wrong reasons lately. There’s the highly publicized bickering between hosts, the show’s unfortunate decline in ratings, and now, this. TMZ is reporting that nine former American Idol contestants who were all disqualified during past seasons have teamed up to sue the show, each of them claiming that their elimination was a result of a racially charged plot to increase the show’s ratings.
New York attorney James H. Freeman, who has assumed the role as the legal representative of the ex-contestants submitted a letter to United States Equal Opportunity Commission requesting permission to sue the show and parent channel FOX on behalf of the ex-contestants.
The letter reveals that Freeman was moved to investigate the singing competition’s shady practices when contestant Jermaine Jones was booted off of the show in March of 2012 due to outstanding warrants that producers expressed they were unaware of. In his research, he found that the show had only publicly disqualified nine other contestants, all of them being Black.
The attorney says that these public disqualifications are all a part of Idol’s “cruel and inhumane” efforts to disgrace and humiliate Black contenders on national television and bolster negative stereotypes about Black people in the media. He also expressed that this process actually begins when the show first starts auditioning for the year and producers ask contestants “Have you ever been arrested?”
Freeman says these practices are in direct violation of the CA Employment law. SHouse Law Group’s website reads:
“The California Labor Code2 and the California Code of Regulations3 provide that for the most part private employers are not supposed to ask job applicants about arrests that did not lead to convictions.”
He also claims that the show falsely portrayed his clients as “violent criminals, liars and sexual deviants”.
The contestants who will be suing in this case include: Corey Clark of season two, Jaered Andrews of season two, Donnie Williams of season three, Terrell and Derrell Brittenum of season five, Thomas Daniels of season six, Akron Watson of season six, Ju’Not Joyner of season eight (photographed above) and Chris Golightly of season nine.
Have you witnessed the disqualification of any of the contestants involved in this case? Would you say they were racially motivated?
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
Black people debate over the n-word all the time and though there’s mixed opinion as to whether we have the right to use the word and should use it, one thing that’s unanimous is that white people should not use the word under any circumstances. Unfortunately, a lot of non-black people seem to have missed that memo. Consequently, they try to sneak in the word any chance they get, whether in a greeting, a rap song, or on the news. We can’t for the life of us understand white people’s fascination with using the n-word; so, we brought it up to the ladies of The Frisky to get their take on this phenomenon and fess up to whether they’ve used the word themselves and think they should be able to.
Check out the episode and weigh in below.
KEEP THE DISCUSSION GOING WITH MORE EPISODES OF I ALWAYS WANTED TO ASK.
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My boyfriend and I have been dating for six months but have known each other for more than two years. I am black and he is white. This has never been a problem and our parents, families, and friends are fully supportive of our relationship. Amazingly, we have had precious few arguments or problems. Until now. In a moment of extreme frustration, my boyfriend used the “N-word” in reference to one of my friends. We were alone so no one else heard the comment. I was stunned, shocked, and appalled. I immediately left the room because I was so disturbed. It is a word that neither I nor my family or friends use in any sort of context because I have been raised to view it as incredibly offensive. He came to me and apologized profusely and had tears in his eyes while doing so. I accepted his apology because it was completely out of character for him, but I am now questioning our relationship. What do you think?- Unspeakable
In her advice to Unspeakable, Prudence suggest that despite her acceptance of his apology, she is not quite over his use of the N-word. However, since she cares for the man, which is evident by her not breaking up with him instantly, Prudence says that she must re-raise the issue with the boyfriend, giving him a chance to better explain his reasoning for using such derogatory language and give herself time to not only gauge his sincerity, but determine if she can fully accept his apology and move on.
Full disclaimer: Date whomever you want to date – not that you were looking for my permission, but I mean this sincerely. I am past that point in my life where I give two craps about what anyone does sexually. However, this situation, right here, is probably my biggest personal hang-up on interracial dating: what to do when your significant other says, or God-forbid does, something racist. And it wouldn’t have to be something awful like the N-word. It could be something casually racist like calling things “ghetto” or assuming that I would want a slice of watermelon. I can see this creating a whirlwind of confusion and hostility inside of me. With that said, I can imagine the pain the letter writer in this situation must be feeling right now. Not only would I be filled with self-doubt, particularly trying to work through what made him feel comfortable enough to drop the N-word around me, but also trying to figure out why hadn’t I noticed it sooner. Two years is a long time to devote to someone, only to find out that your man is a bit of a racist.
And in case she had any doubt, let me clear it up: your boyfriend is a racist – or at the very least, has anger management issues. No way should he be THAT “frustrated” at your friend that he is dropping N-bombs, especially behind your friends back (and I do assume this “friend” is male?). And as Chauncey Devegas, of We Are Respectable Negros writes of this Dear Prudence letter:
“On these matters, my decision-rule is a simple one. People are what they do. People who say racist things are racists. People who say homophobic things are anti-gay. People who say sexist things are sexist. Of course, there are ranges of behavior here. A person who calls someone a N-Word, and is then apologetic about it, is a different type of racist than someone who holds a K.K.K.K.Klan card. However, both party’s attitudes and beliefs flow from the same fetid waters. In many ways, the latter is simply more honest and direct than the former about what is a basic disrespect towards the humanity and dignity of black and brown people.”
A few days after September 11th, one of my best girlfriends called me and told me about how she had been pulled over in her car by police for no reason. Nothing unusual about that. However, this story takes a weird turn when she shares that one of the cops started asking her about her “head scarf” in her driver’s license picture. All of a sudden, they wanted to know about her Islamic background and her land of “origin.” I was beyond shocked. This was not some hillbilly town in East Jablip of America. This is Philadelphia, a city where a very significant portion of the black and brown population in the city practice within the Islamic faith. We don’t get down like that. And that’s what I told the guy I was dating at the time.
He smirked, rolled his eyes and said, “Good I’m glad they searched her. They need to send all them bean pie eating terrorists back to the middle east.” If I was shocked before, I was totally rendered speechless then. Here is someone, who I had been with for a good year and who had spent significant time around my good girlfriend before. As far as I was concerned, there was nothing about him, which gave me any indication that he had problems with Muslims. Worse, even after I told him how disrespectful, offensive and ignorant his comments were, he had the nerve to double down on his xenophobia.
I officially broke up with him after that conversation. And while his anti-Muslim hatred wasn’t the full reason, that incident definitely helped me to see this guy in a new light. The events of Sept. 11, 2001 were horrible. And the blatant ignorance and hatred, which spawned from such tragic events is also shameful. And I didn’t want any parts of that. Besides, my best girlfriend is like family to me, and her faith is a pretty big part of her. Therefore, if I had to choose between my boyfriend and my best friend, well, bye hater.
There is also something that needs to be said about boundaries and why it is important to not only define them, but follow through with them. I’m not going to say whether or not the letter-writer should leave her boyfriend of two years, but I will say that if she believes his apology to be sincere and decides to continue on with the relationship, she better make it clear that there will be no more N-bombs dropping out of his mouth. I don’t care if we are at a concert together, and Trinidad James hands my white boyfriend the microphone, and personally invites him to sing all the lyrics to “All Gold Everything.” He better stick to the radio edit.
But she should also consider the very real possibility that whatever bigotry he harbors will likely always be simmering beneath the surface. And generally, people don’t always monitor their mouths too closely, especially if there is alcohol involved. The last thing you want is for your racist significant other to go blurt out the “N-Word” at a public event such as a family barbecue. Now, you’re in the uncomfortable position of trying to not only ask for some understanding, but calm the nerves of those family members, who don’t give a hot damn about understanding. And now everybody starts treating you like Sandra Bullock…
So what do you think: Could you be an Edith to some man’s Archie Bunker?
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
If there’s any topic that gets Black women riled up it’s interracial dating. Though most of us have tucked our reactions into the “I don’t care pile,” a number of us are still known for having a bit of a ‘tude when we see a White woman on a Black man’s arm. But why? Are we jealous? Do we think the chosen White woman sees herself as some kind of trophy? Do we want Black men all to ourselves? These are the types of assumptions that are being made on all sides of the coin, so why not get to the bottom of these misconceptions and address them as best we can? That’s what we did in our new series, “I Always Wanted To Ask.”
Yesterday, we gave you an intro to the series and some background info on the ladies whose opinions are included. Now it’s time to delve into the convo. This is “I Always Wanted To Ask:” Interracial Dating.
KEEP THE DISCUSSION GOING WITH MORE EPISODES OF I ALWAYS WANTED TO ASK.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH!
A little over a week ago, everybody but Serena Williams had something to say about Caroline Wozniacki. She’s the Danish tennis player who stuffed her bra and her skirt with towels during a tennis match against Maria Sharapova in what everybody who wasn’t black thought was a hilarious impersonation of Serena Williams.
I, personally, didn’t see what was necessary about her mockery — let alone funny — but according to Serena, no one should be taking the stunt so seriously. In an email to USA Today yesterday, she finally responded to the issue, writing:
“I know Caro and I would call her my friend and I don’t think she (meant) anything racist by it.”
Adding that she didn’t bother to watch the viral video, Serena insisted there’s nothing unique or malicious about what Wozniacki did.
“(Roddick) and (Djokovic) do it all the time and Caro does (it) and now it’s racist.??”
“At the end of the day I spend my time focused on things to become better and not bring me down.”
I actually perceived Wozniacki’s imitation as more sexist than anything, although there was obviously more concern from my end because Serena is a black woman. Still, I didn’t understand why any woman who knows — or maybe she doesn’t — what it’s like to be taunted for your body would choose to perpetuate that type of behavior during a tennis match of all times. At the very least, if the act wasn’t racist, it was still inappropriate.
Perhaps the best line in Serena’s email was when she added, “if people feel this way, [Wozniacki] should take reason and do something different next time.”
Listen to your friend, girl. Listen to your friend.
What do you think about Serena’s reaction to being mocked?
We told you earlier this week about the random beef that was created between former “American Idol” judge and legendary Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler and current “American Idol” judge and hip-hop diva Nicki Minaj. When asked what he thought about the new slew of judges, which includes the Nickster, Tyler commented on the fact that he didn’t think those on the panel would work to bring out the best in their contestants, and in the process, decided to call out Nicki of all people specifically:
These kids, they just got out of a car from the Midwest somewhere and they’re in New York City, they’re scared to death; you’re not going to get the best [out of them]. … If it was Bob Dylan, Nicki Minaj would have had him sent to the cornfield! Whereas, if it was Bob Dylan with us, we would have brought the best of him out, as we did with Phillip Phillips. Just saying.”
I understand you really wanted to keep your job but take that up with the producers. I haven’t done anything to you. That’s a racist comment
You assume that I wouldn’t have liked Bob Dylan??? why? black? rapper? what? go F**k yourself and worry about yourself babe.
LOL lets make him a shirt that says “No Coloreds Allowed” then escort him down 2 Barbara Walters so he can tell how he was threatened w/guns
And to say Tyler started to feel the heat might be the understatement of the year, because according to MTV, he surprisingly decided to apologize for his comments on the Canadian entertainment talk show, eTalk. Or to be more clear, he decided to apologize for the fact that she took them to heart so easily, and took the comments so left:
I apologize if it was taken wrong, Nicki. But I am the farthest thing from [being a racist] … I am the last thing on this planet as far as being a racist. I don’t know where she got that out of me saying I’m not sure how she would have judged Bob Dylan. Maybe I spoke out of turn. But a racist I’m not, Nicki.
Well didn’t that situation spin out of control fast or what? And it’s definitely interesting how serious his tone changed when responding to her comments, but I’m sure that there’s nothing more jarring to someone like Steven Tyler than to have a black woman with a lot of power and a huge fan base put out into the universe that he might be a racist. Hopefully this whole drama is dead, and that not only will other celebrities stop trying to nitpick at this girl (because like it or not, “Idol” did give her the job), but that she’ll try not to be so sensitive in the future. Just saying *in a Steven Tyler voice*
So Kim Still Thinks Her Comments About Kandi’s House Are Cool: “I Don’t Have To Prove Anything To Anyone”
If it weren’t for Kenya Moore, Kim Zolciak would easily be the most hated housewife on the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” right now. After letting her assistant, Sweetie, gas her up with tales of the hood while she was visiting Kandi’s new home, Kim made several ridiculous, borderline racist — or at least prejudice — comments about the Cascade’s area and the mansion Kandi and her boo bought in cash. Yes, cash. From saying she didn’t feel safe and she had to lock her doors to commenting that if she was black she would have a swimming pool in her home too, just about anybody watching RHOA Sunday night was done with this chick when the episode ended.
Unfortunately Kim couldn’t even help herself out with a follow-up blog post to the premiere episode of the show. Rather than logically explain the shade, and sheer jealously, she has toward Kandi she threw out the classic excuse every white person uses to prove their not prejudice: I don’t see color. Yeah, OK. Here’s what she wrote on her Bravo TV Blog.
When Sweetie and I took the hour drive over to Kandi’s new home, I wasn’t in the best mood. It was over 95 degrees outside, I was 7 months pregnant, and Kandi’s home had no A.C. running. Sweetie told me it wasn’t safe at all (however I still went to support Kandi), and in fact there are several movies and songs that describe and portray the harshness of that area.
Kandi has always mentioned to me that she loves the way I’ve decorated my homes, so I had no problem giving her tips about decorating. My comment about her having an indoor swimming pool because she’s black was just a silly joke. Kandi, Sweetie, and I laughed. Quite frankly, I wish I had one myself.
As for NeNe, she still can’t keep my name out of her mouth! NeNe constantly insinuated “I come from a trailer park” AND I am the racist one? I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. I know my character, and the multiple friends of different races that I do have know it as well! Like I have said before and will say here again for the last time, COLOR means absolutely nothing to me, it is the person’s character and blatant ignorance that determines the non-friendship between me and the person. That is all for now.
I get it. I always say racially inappropriate comments when I’m hot, irritated, and homeless too. Sit your pregnant butt down Kim.
So while you all were enjoying your burnt hot dogs and busting illegal fireworks outside of my window at exactly 1:24 a.m., Frank Ocean celebrated his independence after publicly revealing that he’d had a romantic relationship with another man and was bisexual.
In a very heartfelt and beautifully written letter posted Wednesday morning on his Tumblr page, Ocean sought to clarify the rumors that a few of the love ballads on his soon to be released debut album, entitled Channel Orange, were intended for a male love interest. In the letter, Ocean writes:
“4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Every day almost, and on the day we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I’d see him, and his smile. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling. No choice. It was my first love, it changed my life.”
Ocean went on to say that he thought about the women he had been with and thought he was in love with and the love songs he listened to and “realized they were written in a language I did not yet speak.” Ocean wrote in his closing. “I feel like a free man. If I listen closely. I can hear the sky falling too.”
One of the first Hip-Hop community insiders to speak on the matter was Russell Simmons, who wrote on Global Grind, “Today is a big day for hip-hop. It is a day that will define who we really are. How compassionate will we be? How loving can we be? How inclusive are we? I am profoundly moved by the courage and honesty of Frank Ocean….”
Others outside the Hip-Hop community are speculating about what impact his announcement will have on his career including questions about how the genre and its fans, which are said to be notoriously homophobic, will react to his lifestyle. But within this mix of congratulatory pats on the back and questions about what the future holds for the singer/songwriter/rapper, there is a certain level of incongruity in his declaration of sexual freedom and what Frank Ocean represents.
Ocean, who is probably most known on the R&B front for the hit song “Novacane” and for appearing with Jay-Z and Kanye West as one of the few features on Watch the Throne, is a part of the collective, Odd Future Wolfgang Kill Them All, or OFWGKTA, an alternative, suburban black skater boy/girl rap group, known for saying some pretty outlandish stuff. And when I say outlandish, that includes lacing their lyrics with the kind of homophobic, anti-black and female debasement glee that could probably make Lil’ Wayne blush (maybe that’s why he’s a fan). The leader and co-founder of this clique is Tyler the Creator, who uses multiple personas to exhibit his creativity as well as his angst. One such alter-ego is Wolf Haley, a white ginger (e.g. red-haired) kid, whom he said that he always wanted to be. It may be this persona, which causes him to refer to himself as a self-racist or to use his Twitter feed and rhymes as platforms for anti-gay slurs and references. And when he is not calling people f****ts or even berating himself, his targets include veteran female emcees such as Rah Digga, who he once called a dude, and MC Lyte, who he called a “dyke.”
Grammy-winning rapper Lil Wayne says he feels “unwanted” in Oklahoma City because of his race. Apparently, after a dispute over courtside tickets to Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals in Oklahoma City, Lil Wayne says its’ unlikely he will return.
It looks like Lil Wayne was denied court side tickets because they were sold out, however Lil Wayne believes it’s because he is black…
It’s funny how people stand so strong in their racist and homophobic convictions but refuse to accept those labels when they’re put on them. Anytime someone prefaces a statement with, “I believe everyone should have equal rights, but” you pretty much know bigotry will follow and that’s exactly were we are with former SNL comedian Colin Quinn. Hopefully this man is comfortable being an unemployed stand-up comic because he’s pretty much angered the entire black and gay community over the course of a three-day Twitter rant on equality when it comes to race and sexual preference. Don’t worry, he’s not racist or homophobic though. Let’s look at the long line of inappropriate comments he made late last week:
Now if you don’t support same-sex marriage, you’re well within your rights to express that however somewhere in between protesting this effort, Colin attempts to out a bunch of stars like former SNL castmate Will Ferrell by saying he was one of the closet celebs on set but he doesn’t want to blow his cover because his wife is his “anchor” but he has an “elf” like quality that made him wonder. And that’s his business how? He also suggests John Travolta is homosexual among other male actors and points out all sorts of questionable behavior, playing into the whole feminine versus manly man gay argument.
Switching from an anti-homosexual stance to one of white power, a day or two after going in on gay celebrities, Colin expressed his terror at stats showing minority births are growing in the U.S.:
This foolishness on top of John Derbyshire’s comments last week about White Europeans running better society’s really has me baffled. I thought deep down white people knew their racism was pretty baseless but I’m realizing some people really believe they are superior—and that they own America. It’s easy to see how this country was founded like it was. When fear kicks in about other races overpowering them, white people tend to lash out. Luckily followers have been letting Colin have it all weekend for proudly proclaiming such ridiculous ideas—unfortunately, he thinks this is good news since TMZ reached out to him for more info about his statements. He tweeted “Finally a little publicity for standing up for what’s right!
No, finally a little publicity for being viciously inappropriate. Good luck with that in “your” country.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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