Cornel West Bashes Obama
Chris Hedges' May 16, 2011, interview with Princeton professor Cornel West on truthdig.com lit a powder keg among black academics with this now infamous quote by West: "I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men. It's understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he's always had to fear being a white man with black skin … When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening."
Captions edited by Dara Sharif
Being a Black 'Mutt'
In the wake of the furor sparked by Hedges' article, Adam Serwer at the American Prospect took on those who question Obama's racial loyalties: "Obama is lambasted as a Kenyan anti-colonialist by the likes of Newt Gingrich, and as a wide-eyed surrogate of 'upper middle class white and Jewish men' by the likes of West. To have one group of morons question your citizenship while others question your blackness. To have one's very being interrogated by those who, because of their own pathologies, see your difference as a kind of terrible mistake … this is what it means to be black, and also a mutt."
Quack Bashes Black Women
In a late-night posting on May 15, 2011, that appears to have slipped by Psychology Today's editors, blogger Satoshi Kanazawa claimed that he had found that African-American women were "objectively" less attractive than other women. His pseudoscientific analysis of real data — which has since been widely discredited — created a firestorm and led Psychology Today to give him the boot.
Note: This image is a screen shot from the Buzzfeed.com reprinting of the original article, which Psychology Today removed from its website.
First Lady Does the Dougie
On May 3, 2011, Danielle "the Black Snob" Belton of blacksnob.com perfectly captured the inner dialogue of a black woman pondering her admiration for first lady Michelle Obama: " … for a certain black woman Michelle Obama is ‘magical.' And on some level, Michelle Obama knows this and occasionally indulges us in black girl whistles that only black girls can hear. And when we hear that whistle, we do that knowing nod to ourselves and the slow clap in our brain. Because, OF COURSE if we were First Lady we'd rock it just as hard, wouldn't we?"
Last Words on the Down Low
On July 29, 2010, writer Shani on postbourgie.com tackled the hysteria surrounding down-low gay and bisexual men with facts, not hyperbole: "My tendency has been to dismiss the DL phenomenon because there is no hard data around it, while there is plenty of data showing the relationship between poverty, lack of health care … and HIV/AIDS. But I was pointed to a 2009 study … And despite the frequently stoked fear of predatory and furtive gay black men, the researchers … found that DL bisexual black men engage in essentially the same behaviors as bisexual black men who are not 'down low.' "
Anything for Page Views?
A May 9, 2011, Bossip posting about allegations of domestic abuse between Esther Baxter and Joe Budden originally included images of a dead fetus with the Bossip logo stamped across them, in a shockingly craven example of the anything-for-the-page-views attitude that infects far too many entertainment blogs. Widespread condemnation led Bossip to remove the offending images.
Don't Blame the Victim
At ColorLines, Akiba Solomon weighed in on the community backlash against an 11-year-old girl who authorities say was gang-raped by at least 18 men and boys in Cleveland, Texas. Writing on March 14, 2011, about the mother of one of the young men, who blamed the girl, Solomon called out a "lethal double standard": "In this framework, girls of color are the predators, the fast-asses, the hot-asses, the hooker-hos, the groupie bitches, the trick-ass bitches, the bust-it-babies and the lil' freaks who are willing to let dudes 'run a train' on them … This double standard also renders black men and boys as victims of their own sexuality."
Don't Blame the Victim, Take 2
On July 1, 2011, ColorLines' Akiba Solomon expressed her disgust at questions surrounding the credibility of the alleged victim in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sex assault case: "You know what this mess tells me? That if you report a rape, you have to be perfect. You can't make foolish choices. You can't talk to a drug felon on the phone (especially if they're one of a disproportionate number of people of color incarcerated for drug crimes.) … You can't live in housing associated with HIV. You can't be an immigrant. You can't be a woman. You can't be a woman of color."
LaShaun Williams' slide show on Sept. 27, 2010, at Madame Noire, "8 Reasons to Date a White Man," set off a predictable firestorm in the black media space and even spawned a panel discussion. Controversy appears to have been the main goal for Williams, whose own spouse is black. "It's time to taste the unknown," she urged, pushing all the racial buttons. "There are just too many — too many bright and beautiful single black women waiting for their black prince charming, only to see more and more of them riding off with their porcelain-skinned beauties."
Crunktastic at the Crunkfeministcollective asked herself some tough questions on March 31, 2011, when she found out that her man, and some black women, don't seem to share her outrage at Chris Brown's violence toward Rihanna: "Frankly, being mad that someone calls you a bitch or a ho, but not being mad that a dude beats a woman's ass, seems to be an exercise in missing the point … Can you be a good feminist if you have intimate engagements with partners who have diametrically opposed gender politics? … Can we really cuddle if you have the option to not care about women and violence?"