'The Help' Critics: Unfair to White Women?

In today's link roundup: Why did people really hate The Help? Plus: The backlash over Kanye and Jay's backseat in "Otis."

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White woman says The Help critics are wrong: Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams says critics of the film are "all wrong," arguing, "It's clear that the main problem a lot of people have with The Help is that the story was written by a white lady." Putting aside the fact that that's not at all clear, we think the fact that the film provided "an opportunity for conversation" is a pretty shallow defense to the many (and varied) issues that critics and historians have had with it. Plenty of things start a dialogue. That doesn't mean they're above scrutiny. 

"Otis" video: The backlash over the backseat: It appears that none of the women riding around with Kanye and Jay-Z were black, and some people aren't too happy about the absence of melanin in the back of the Maybach. So we're fighting for the right to be objectified in music videos, now?

Black firefighter suit reinstated: A U.S. appeals court on Monday reinstated a suit against the city of New Haven, Conn., by an African-American firefighter who claimed the city's firefighter promotion exams were discriminatory. The case dates back to 2003, when New Haven sought to discard the results of a firefighter promotion exam in which white firefighters significantly outperformed minorities. That act prompted a group of white firefighters and one Latino firefighter to challenge the decision and sue New Haven.

Rep. Allen West says MLK would be ashamed: Florida GOP Rep. Allen West, who grew up alongside Martin Luther King's Baptist church in Atlanta, says the civil rights leader would be ashamed of the culture of dependence that survives him. He writes ahead of the Aug. 28 dedication of a monument to King on the National Mall in Washington. And of course, King would be an enormous fan of this conservative member of Congress. Right ...

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Sept. 19 2014 8:34 AM