the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress or the courts provide relief,
dissent in America will soon find itself relegated to a kind of underground,
driven to the margins of the "public" airwaves by a corporate
class that is intent on devouring all civil society. Since political action
is unthinkable absent the means to communicate effectively among the people,
the FCC's diktat is absolutely unacceptable. The opposition to America
Inc. must either begin in earnest to "Treat
the Corporate Media Like the Enemy" - the title of our May 1
commentary on media consolidation - or dust off old pamphlets written
by (dead) Latin American guerillas. Somehow, we don't think American progressives
are cut out for the underground, so they'd better rise up with an innovative
and very public set of strategies, quickly. Modern money moves at the
speed of light.
Our May 1 commentary
was subtitled, "& no free pass for Black radio." Black America
faces an unsolved dilemma, the product of glorious successes in the Sixties
that were hijacked by a small clique of super-beneficiaries. As we wrote
in last week's Cover Story, "Who
Killed Black Radio News?"
were caught between two valid sets of demands - Black community access
to the airwaves, and Black ownership of broadcast properties. With the
enthusiastic support of the entire Black body politic, the entrepreneurs
won great victories, increasing their properties seven-fold in the space
of a generation, and their net worths by far more than that. They were
empowered to join the game of consolidation that began in the Eighties
and reached fever pitch after passage of the Telecommunications Act
of 1996 ....
In a betrayal that,
we believe, has been a major factor in the relentless decline of Black
political power, many Black radio owners have adopted business plans
identical to their white corporate peers.
The result has been
the near-extinction of local news in Black-formatted radio outlets, with
66-station, Black-owned Radio One the biggest offender. For example, Radio
One's four stations dominate the Black Washington, DC market, but employ
"not a single newsperson." The corporation declared revenues
of nearly $300 million last year.
As we have learned
to our despair and horror, Black ownership guarantees nothing and, in
the case of Radio One, ensures that entertainment, disc jockey chatter
and syndication become standard fare. Most importantly, the absence
of news operations at Black radio stations results in atrophy of existing
Black political groupings and the stillbirth of new organizations. Talk
shows do not empower communities, vibrant grassroots organizations do.
And these organizations can only flourish when their activities are
given proper coverage in the media that their constituencies listen
to - Black radio.
We took selective
issue with a commentary by James E. Clingman, a distinguished and very
hard-working Cincinnati educator, businessman, activist and talk show
Clingman's piece warned that further radio consolidation threatens
African American ownership gains, and called on fellow talk show hosts
to "turn Black talk radio into Black action radio." Although
fully aware that Professor Clingman is one of the good guys in this story,
we chided him for leaving Black news out of the equation. Professor Clingman
replied with characteristic grace.
Even though you
took me to task for failing to paint the entire picture of our demise
vis-a-vis Black radio news, your piece is enlightening, educational,
and just plain old outstanding! I Love it!
I wish I had the space to have put all of my thoughts in the article
I wrote. But suffice to say that I understand that "corporate mentality"
that infects our people when they "move on up." I see it everyday
right here in the home of Procter and God, oops, I mean Procter and
I also understand and have written many times about the fact that merely
being black (small "b") is not an indicator of doing what
is right for Black people and, thus, I certainly do not cling to that
notion. I'd love to see it, but I know better. As a matter of fact,
I have had the experience of being treated terribly by blacks (small
"b") in this town, because of my unwillingness to capitulate
to the corporate way of doing things.
My piece was written out of frustration at what I hear daily on our
local talk programs, so I guess I was lashing out about that. However,
the article caused many readers to respond from across the country and
piqued the interest of some of our "Black Talk" personalities.
I was a guest on three radio shows last week to discuss our state of
affairs in the industry. I hope they read your piece and get you on
the air to share the information you pointed out in Black Commentator.
Nonetheless, please accept my deepest appreciation for your excellent
piece. If it doesn't wake our people up, I don't know what it will take.
Keep up the fine job you are doing of informing our people.
can be contacted at his excellent website, www.blackonomics.com.
His show airs on WBDZ-AM, Cincinnati.
San Francisco's KPOO-FM
teamed up with Pacifica Radio for a live broadcast of last month's FCC
hearings in that city - all in a days work for "the only African
American owned and operated non-commercial radio station west of the Mississippi
and the first Black station in the country to be on-line."
Harrison J. Chastang
III is news director at KPOO, and also finds time to read .
Very good analysis
on the state of Black Radio news. I'm one of the very few Black radio
news directors in the country (the Radio & TV News Directors Association
says that less than one percent of radio and TV news directors are Black)
and I am often disappointed by the number of black radio reporters at
important events like the political conventions, where the number of
reporters from radio stations with mostly Black audiences could be counted
on two hands with room left to make a peace sign. See this article
I wrote a while back on the lack of discussion of the Black perspective
of the war on Black commercial stations.
co-publisher Glen Ford discussed the coming battle for effective local
Black radio news operations on KPOO's On The Spot program, Tuesday night.
American Urban Radio Network's Jerry Scott and syndicated talk show host
Bev Smith have also conducted interviews with
on the subject, "Who Killed Black Radio News?" Black-owned Major
Broadcasting Cable Network featured
in the "Other Voices" segment of its evening news, on Tuesday.
In researching the
commentary, we were reminded how destructive the past 30 years have been
for Black news. In 1973, three Black-oriented Washington radio stations
- only one of them Black-owned - fielded 21 reporters. Today, six Black-oriented
commercial stations - five of them Black-owned - employ just four newspersons
to serve the people of DC.
The lights have not
gone out for Black news, nationally - yet. Cephas Bowles writes:
Thank you for the
very insightful and thoughtful commentary. While I was aware that Black
news was becoming harder to find, I wasn't aware of the impact that
radio consolidation was having in this area.
For those who haven't
heard, about one year ago, NPR, the non-commercial network that is based
in Washington, D.C., launched an African-American targeted and focused
daily news show hosted by Tavis Smiley. The one-hour Tavis Smiley Show
is broadcast by various NPR affiliates, including many of the NPR system's
African-American owned and managed stations. Throughout the hour, Mr.
Smiley, the former host of "BET Tonight", explores various
issues of importance to African Americans from his well-informed perspective.
For those craving meaningful and significant review and analysis of
issues from an African-American perspective, this is a daily news program
We also applaud Tavis
Smiley, and have been pleased to appear in his unfettered airspace.
Dick Wetherbee signs
all his letters,"Peace, freedom & keep your word." Here
are his words:
As a fat, old, white,
southern lover of
my only beef with you is that you (understandably) concentrate on black
issues. This BS is happening to all of us and we need to stand
together. As an ex rock & roll musician, I see my young friends
making $50 a night unless they get on the corporate plantation.
News? On every major
station it's the same 3 or 4 stories. Argentina & Zimbabwe have
dropped off the map. Are they still murdering people in Guatemala? Who
knows? Mega-media has decided that they don't count. I don't want more
laws. I trust "people power."
We think white people
can speak for themselves, and will not patronize them by attempting to
speak in their stead. As for the need to "stand together," we
stand where we are and expect others to grow their own spines.
But we will take Mr. Wetherbee's word that he is one of those who stands.
Steven M. Brown is
one of many who are far too quick to blame the "people" for
the assault on local news. His argument is based on false assumptions,
but here it is:
Do we as a people
care enough about local & world events to demand that our media
outlets keep us informed and provide alternative opinions to the mainstream?
It's the same question that people have had about BET for years, especially
when Robert Johnson owned it - everybody cries about the number of videos
that are played featuring disgusting lyrics and booty-shaking hoochies,
but does the news and public affairs programming draw the same numbers?
We cry about the lack of "serious" Black film, but when a
"Rosewood" comes out, do we go to see it in the same numbers
as we flock to see the "Booty Calls"? It's a simple economic
matter of supply and demand - if we were clamoring for Black radio news,
we would get it. I enjoy your weekly commentaries, and I guarantee,
if you add a dating or entertainment component to the website the hits
would skyrocket, it's a sad fact that more of us want to be entertained
The owners of Radio
One and Clear Channel would appreciate Mr. Brown's framing of the issue
as "a simple economic matter of supply and demand." Nothing
in there at all about public policy, as if the airwaves were the rightful
property of corporations. Even Michael Powell doesn't make that claim.
It is the wrong place to begin the discussion.
Here are the facts,
both political and economic: Many Black people did demand that
radio stations reflect their political and social realities and aspirations,
in the Sixties and early Seventies. In addition, the FCC at that time
read its mandate as requiring licensees (station operators) to fulfill
their obligations to specific communities through news and public
affairs programming. Since all stations serving these communities
were under similar obligations, they were compelled to compete with one
another to create the better news product. This is how it came to be that
21 reporters from Black-oriented radio served Black Washington, 30 years
ago. (This does not include the much larger number of reporters from non-Black
radio, who also often covered Black events.) It's called competition in
a regulated market.
News is a necessity.
Rich people make sure they get all the news they need to remain in power.
Black people need news to climb out of powerlessness. These essentials
cannot be made subject to market decisions or plebiscites. Mr. Brown's
logic would lead to the conclusion that non-voters or wrong-headed voters
should lose their rights (and their children's rights) since they do not
choose to use or defend them, or that people have the right to sell themselves
into slavery - which is still illegal in the U.S.
is a political organ for "influencers" - movers and shakers.
We don't do barbershop conversation. Leadership mobilizes people to make
demands in the people's interests. Mr. Brown should stop despairing, and
start shaking and moving. He's lost his rhythm.
Joyce, on the other
hand, has never lost her compass. She writes from Connecticut.
I am an "elder"
in the movement. My contemporaries and I have been active in "the
struggle" for more than 30 years, and remain hopeful regarding
positive social change for our people in this country. We listened to
Malcolm and Martin, and watched them die. We heard Stokeley, Huey, Eldridge,
and Angela, and hoped. We saw the movement turn the corner, and knew,
indeed, that the next phase of the revolution would "not be televised."
Yet, we continued to hope. There were many antecedents of the civil
rights movement of the Sixties, including blatant prejudice, roadblocks
to health care, voting rights, the corporate ladder, and more. These
roadblocks gave us the fire, the passion for a movement, a revolution,
and pointed us to charismatic leadership, who stuck their necks out
and lost their lives.
Some of us don't
think we have to be concerned about which blacks don't broadcast black
news on the radio any more. Attaining corporate capitalistic comfort
could not help but cancel out any compassion, could not help but deaden
the desire to serve and lift up the masses.
brothers and sisters, you just keep doing what you are doing, which
is huge! The Lord will take care of the rest, for as the Bible
says: "the heart of the king(s) is in the hands of the Lord."
Let us not make the mistake of leaving the Lord out of the revolution
this time 'round. Referring to the enemy, the Bible also says: "one
can put ten thousand to flight." Go ,
you be that one, and put ten thousand to flight!
A bold (or bald)
In his May 22 Guest
Blair and the Times, Not Affirmative Action," journalist Amos
The New York Times
erred in its handling of Mr. Blair, but the vexing culprit, in light
of the facts, is neither affirmative action nor Mr. Blair's blackness:
It is an unprecedented instance of faulty recruitment and development
that oversaw the commission of a conspiracy of one. Nothing more.
Our practice is to
forward readers' comments to the authors. Mr. Jones chose to reply to
this letter, from Tom Emmert:
I've read your views
on the Jayson Blair episode and I think you have correctly assessed
that the Times should have (and had good reason to) removed Blair many
months ago. I think this is without question. What you evidently have
no experience in, however, is the process of removing an employee. For
a white-dominated enterprise such as the Times to discharge a Black
employee is a nearly-impossible task, given the labyrinth of law in
Mr. Jones, a more
patient and conscientious man than either of the publishers of ,
breathed deeply and composed a response to the assertion that Black people
are untouchable in the workplace.
Perhaps you read
a commentary different from the one I wrote; I never called for the
discharge of Blair from the New York Times. I wrote of the management:
"They should have taken Blair off the job long ago, as they now
seem to acknowledge."
black reporters and editors to less-prominent positions by and within
white-dominated newspapers is not an impossible task - and does not
appear to be even "nearly" impossible, as you claim. In fact,
black journalists at the New York Times and similar newspapers have
been moved (not even demoted, necessarily, but "taken off the job,"
as I recommended for Blair) regularly and without incident, said Carla
Baranaukus of the New York Times's national desk, speaking recently
at Columbia University.
I have not thought
much about the possibility of discharging Blair prior to April 29, an
entirely new idea introduced in your e-mail to me and not contained
in my commentary. That's probably because your premise is unfounded:
Under acts of Congress and within New York statutes, there is no "nearly"
absolute job security for blacks at white-dominated firms. The New York
Times/Blair scandal would be unmistakable if blacks had such security,
which you imply is in place: Howell Raines's obvious defense would have
been, "I wanted to discharge him, but the law would not allow it."
To inform your perspective,
you could consult an authority such as my uncle, a Yale lawyer who,
since 1961, has written much of the employment-discrimination public
policies that underpin employers' hiring and promotion practices. He
would assure you that white employers like the New York Times are empowered
in their hiring and promotions. With this empowerment, the New York
Times chose to send Blair to cover the sniper attacks and Jessica Lynch's
homecoming, notwithstanding the reporter's documented errors of the
last three years. The editors' laudatory reassignments are contrary
to the actions of an employer aware of the need either to relocate or
discharge a wayward worker.
the newspaper's leaders saw no need to discharge Blair, my commentary
does not attempt to suggest a strategy by which the newspaper could
have discharged him. My commentary is concerned, instead, with pointing
out the reasons never to have hired and promoted Blair in the first
place. You should read it.
We commend Mr. Jones
on his detailed rebuttal of Mr. Emmert's fantastic delusion. Emmert is,
of course, neither interested in nor deterred by facts. But we bet he
won't test out his theory of Black invulnerability in the workplace by
attempting to pass for Black.
Peter E. Fowler, of
Columbus, Ohio sees quite a different reality than the one that exists
in Emmert's head. It's a mad world, but the one we actually live in, where
skin privilege acts as a Teflon that even the most public disgrace cannot
must be relied upon for a "reality check." This time it's
regarding the rancorous diatribe perpetrated by mainstream media over
the Jayson Blair story. Has any one noticed the revival of reporter-liar
Stephen Glass, as covered by Newsweek (5.19.03, pp.70-71)? This
white former writer for The New Republic was fired in 1998 for
concocting outrageous lies that were printed as news. Maybe I missed
it, but I don't recall much of an uproar over Mr. Glass's serial lying
and his subsequent demise as a reporter. Maybe his being a white boy
had something to do with that, ya think?
The Glass episode
is the most scandalous of all. This pathological liar finds an affinity
group at the New Republic, where they love his lies; finally tells ten
or fifteen too many; goes home to write a book, "The Fabulist,"
about a liar like himself - and is rewarded with a fat advance and a publisher's
dream: 20 minutes on "60 Minutes"!
And, yes, the whole
concept of justice in America turns on a racial axis.
Jayson Blair, the
person, should be judged in the context of an industry and "profession"
steeped in corruption and enriched by fraud. John Stewart writes:
comments on the NY Times' public performance (a sort of self-conceited
victim of "Jayson Blair's illness") are on target and I've
passed your column on to others. It is important that Black people -
especially the young among us - be supported in the understanding that
while we may feel for Jayson Blair as a brother, we bear no responsibility
for his particular "opportunity," or for the particular way
in which he dealt with what must have been an agonizing situation. We
would have counseled a different direction to his creativity. In one
way or another we are all challenged in our everyday lives to perform
in situations designed to put us on demonstration as failures. This
is a serious "sport" in some rarefied quarters of the society,
and we have to be careful about the roads to success designed for us
Tim Wise is a talented
and busy man, a dissector of racism in America. We plucked a few paragraphs
of his Znet article, "Inventing
Jason Blair: Reflections on White Privilege and Hypocrisy" for
last week's issue, including this gem:
According to the
National Center for Career Strategies, more than 85 percent of all jobs
are filled by word-of-mouth as opposed to merit-based competition through
open advertising. What's more, nine in ten executives got their jobs
through networking. So just who do we think are the folks in these networks,
and who are those persons disproportionately left out? To ask the question
is to answer it.
"This was right
on target," wrote Dan Pryzbyla, of Milwaukee. He expanded:
It's also why jobs
in government public services (including public school teachers) had
the jump start of having more people of color in employment than the
worshippers of the marketplace private sector - especially because affirmative
action law was implemented by federal, state, and local governments.
By no means perfect, but way, way, way ahead of the "private"
sector because of the real ways people got jobs - word of mouth. Although
now retired, every single job I ever got in the private sector was by
"word of mouth," beginning at 14 being a "caddie"
on a golf course. That, obviously, was before golf carts.
In last week's e-Mailbox,
a reader from Canada requested clarification of 's
position on the Blair matter. We responded, in part:
We believe that
white institutions use affirmative action as a cover to continue the
kind of Black hiring they have always practiced - if they have hired
Blacks, at all. White managers choose Blacks they believe will reflect
well on their institution's racial image. (Black managers at
white-dominated institutions often use the same criteria, re: Times
managing editor Gerald Boyd, whose presence appears to have no effect
on the paper's corporate culture.) This kind of "double standard"
- a self-serving white invention - rejects Blacks who make whites uncomfortable
(a helluva burden to overcome) and elevates Blacks who possess white
It is clear that Jayson
Blair was found pleasing to some white people in high places at the New
Jerry Shelby used
our comments as his own point of departure.
Your response is
And I would like to take it one step further, with your permission!
The Black Mindset today is in a shameful condition. Thinking back just
a little more than a generation ago (40 years), blacks were at the bottom
of the American economic and social scale. After the great sacrifices
of many blacks and a handful of our white American brothers and sisters,
blacks today accept a leather chair, Oak desk set, and an invitation
for morning coffee (at work) as black success. Being the Only Negro
In The Office (ONITO). Well trained, and well disciplined in knowing
not to carry the conversation at work or in meetings. And what's even
more regrettable, this is a well-known fact in the black community!
Essentially, blacks have been sold by their own people once again.
When the gates of Affirmative Action opened in 1964, many blacks took
off like greyhounds at the races to be accepted, anxious to prove that
they were different than what was stereotyped as the Negro.
It's forgiven to be a fool once, but when the same game can be run on
you over and over again; it's time to stop blaming the Con Man. Since
the Negro landed in America, Negro male and female have been presented
with the Golden Cookie of betraying his brother and sister for a better
Rather than say blacks have been successful since Affirmative Action
and Civil Rights, I believe it is better suited to say, "A black
can now become successful if they know how they should act!"
We blacks are not being conned, we're being hoodwinked, deceived and
tricked by our own people! We push for blacks in upper level positions
and that's exactly what racism gives us - A black, and that's
all we end up with, A black! The same ole House Negro, but this
time dressed in a suit and tie, or business dress and pumps!
We complain about blacks not getting hired, blacks not getting promoted,
blacks not getting educated? Then we get Black Superintendents, Black
Justices, Black Police Chiefs, Black Mayors, Black Governors, Black
Managers, and Black Leaders in the White House - right? And no more
blacks are getting it now than they were before! We've got just as many
ghettos and just as many unsuccessful blacks today. Blacks today are
as poor as they were 40 years ago, but today they are at a higher level
of the poor scale.
Today, the guard at the gate of success looks just like YOU!
Many successful blacks today, value the Privilege of being successful
in America more than they value the Principle of Equal Opportunity.
But as our 34th President of the United States Dwight D Eisenhower so
eloquently stated: "A people that value its privileges over its
principles will soon lose both."
"[W]hy have so
many Blacks with suspect motives, and having no organic relationship to
any Black institution, been placed in front of Blacks to speak on Blacks'
behalf? Maybe it is time to examine the legacy of this institution to
understand the nature of those Blacks who so proudly wear its brand."
The Strange Career of a Troublesome Institution."
When we published
Shelton Amstrod's Guest Commentary, last December, the piece elicited
a modest, yet highly charged, response from readers, then faded into the
archives. In recent weeks, however, Mr. Amstrod's denunciation of Harvard
and a large portion of its Black alumnae has stirred renewed passion on
Jason Glenn, a doctoral
candidate at Harvard's Department of the History of Science, sent a letter
intended to "add some balance to the discussion (e-Mailbox
As Carter G. Woodson
tried to teach us as far back as 1933, it's not the institution or any
inherent evil on the part of people who attend them that produces racism
among whites and self-hatred among Blacks, but the content of the textbooks.
If the texts are the same, it doesn't matter where the student went
to school. What does make the difference is the perspective with which
a student reads those texts. If you know the texts you are reading are
the ones used to validate and legitimize the current world system, and
replicate - generation after generation - the set of behaviors that
keeps that system in place, then you read those texts with the purpose
of deconstructing them, not as the truth that would make one "educated."
Another Harvard doctoral
candidate joins the discussion. "I read with great interest your
article on negroism at Harvard University and the response by brother
Jason Glenn," wrote Kwame Zulu Shabazz, of the Department of Anthropology.
"I would like to offer my rebuttal to the observations of brother
You imply that the
article is uncomplicated and unsophisticated. If we were discussing
an essay for a scholarly journal you MIGHT be able to persuade me but
we are not discussing a "scholarly" piece--which by the way
is too often an excuse for opacity. The genre is journalism and the
rules of engagement are necessarily different. The primary task of a
journalist is to inform and, as you readily concur, the essay was informative.
I do not disagree with your premise that racism exists in white institutions
generally. And I too have been known to argue that HBCU's can sometimes
be more conservative than their white counterparts - but there are some
important caveats or complications to that argument also. Woodson himself
points out the black institutions should not be imitations of "harvard,
yale, columbia, or chicago" (Miseducation of the Negro, p. 31).
This presupposes that there is something uniquely problematic with black
folks who attend elite white institutions--precisely the point
of the essay and a point I will return to below.
I rather think that
it is not the article that lacks sophistication and complication; it
is we, the readers, who must interpret the essay in a complicated and
sophisticated manner. For example, we might observe that the authors
of the essay are being polemical, a time-honored tradition in black
expression ranging from David Walker to Queen Mother Moore to Malcolm
X. To impose a literalist reading on the essay would be to miss its
polemical point - I doubt that the authors really think that every
black person who goes thru Harvard is a sell-out. Further, I am surprised
that you would suggest that Harvard "is no different" when
it comes to producing house negroes. Harvard is different because
in the minds of many people it is the premiere academic institution
in the world. It has power! The production and perpetuation of
white supremacy at Harvard is and has been far more egregious than anything
produced at say Grambling or Howard (see, for example, Lee Baker, From
Savage to Negro). Thus, when Randal Kennedy speaks authoritatively about
black folks he's got the Harvard juice and everybody listens.
Finally, there is
little in the article that Woodson would contest. I think you simplify
Carter G. Woodson's very comprehensive discussion of miseducation and
institutionalized academic racism. Institutional academic racism is
much more than racist textbooks. Woodson offers an incisive critique
of the educational PARADIGM. This includes its political, psychological,
social, religious, economic, and juridical aspects. Tellingly, the article
concludes with a Hamer quote of which Woodson is in accord.
that "one of the most striking evidences of the failure of higher
education among negroes is their estrangement from the masses (Miseducation
of the Negro, p.52)." This is in perfect agreement with the article's
observation regarding spokesmen for the black experience who have no
organic connection to the black masses.
Kwame Zulu Shabazz
Jason Glenn is ready
with a rebuttal:
I would like to
thank Mr. Shabazz for taking the time to write such a passionate and
well put together response - it demonstrates how much both of us care
about this issue. I do not think that our disagreement is that substantive
where we cannot find common ground. To perhaps demonstrate my point,
let me offer this:
Kwame Shabazz is
a great colleague, scholar, and, perhaps, one of the most revolutionary-minded
brothers I know. He makes you scratch your head and say to yourself,
"How did such a whitey-hating, dashiki-wearing, iconoclastic brother
like that get into Harvard?!" The answer lies in the fact that
Harvard, as Mr. Shabazz rightly points out, is recognized as the
premier academic institution in the United States. However, because
Harvard enjoys that status, it will often take chances on progressive
or transformative scholars that other institutions - trying to emulate
Harvard - will be much too conservative to consider. The point is, if
we want to have a discussion about the racist thinking and the number
of Black 'Uncle Tom', sell-out scholars that emerge from American academic
institutions, it would be a bit unfair to single out Harvard without
taking these kinds of nuances into account. The fact that Harvard allows
a man like Mr. Shabazz to have a voice - and let's not forget that both
Du Bois and Woodson come out of Harvard! (not to suggest that their
time here was easy or that Harvard accepted them with open arms!) -
forces us to acknowledge that it is difficult to try to pin down the
seat of racism to one place.
This brings me back
to the point I was trying to make in my first response, which is that
I think it is more useful to engage in a discussion about how all American
academic institutions help perpetuate racism and "ruin more negroes"
as a condition of their very nature. Understanding that nature and,
hopefully, emerging not ruined depends on us having this discussion
and realizing that the purpose of the academic institution is not so
much to educate (as in teaching students to think critically) but to
socialize us all to see the world from a (White) Western perspective
and to act in it accordingly. As such, all academic institutions potentially
can and often do ruin many 'negroes.'
Again, my purpose
here is not to defend Harvard, and Shelton Amstrod did a great job compiling
an impressive amount of research, but I write because I would hate to
have any Black person out there thinking that because they do not go
to Harvard that they can let down their guard and not actively challenge
and think critically about the education they receive. That is something
upon which I think that Mr. Shabazz, Mr. Amstrod, and myself could all
Thanks, again, for
providing the forum to have this discussion.
It's good to hear
the sound of minds at work in the many corners of Black America.
Freaked out at
the Free RepubliKKK
was visited by hordes of barbarians last week, thousands of them,
drawn to our site by the scent of Khalil Bendib's April
24 cartoon featuring Condoleezza Rice.
It turns out that
Mr. Bendib's work had been posted by far-right FreeRepublic.com, the "premier
conservative news forum", associated with the foulest foundations
and think tanks in the land. The reactionaries' reactions ranged from
apoplexy to amusement. Here's a sample of their chatter:
implication is clear. The papers are marked URGENT, etc, and Condi is
dressed to kill. Do Not Disturb sign on the door. Condi not allowing
them to see into the room."
"Or it could
be implying that G.W. is a racist and is using Dr. Rice as his slave
mistress .... "
a pretty good rendering of Rumsfeld."
"Or it could
be just the way the cartoonist views Condi in all settings. She is an
that remark. I view her as a very attractive lady and a major part of
her attractiveness is her intelligence."
"He has definitely
drawn Condi in an attractive manner. He likes her! Can someone tell
me who that is behind Rummy?"
of my favorite Saturday Night Live skit (the early years). JFK was in
the Oval Office with Marilyn discussing foreign policy. Every
time someone would come in, he'd throw her across the desk in a passionate
embrace .... "
worst Dick Cheney I've seen. Looks more like 'Spy v. Spy.'"
tell me who that is behind Rummy?"
That is supposed
to be Colin Powell. I originally mistook the Rummy character for Ted
Kennedy. Great caricatures, Khalil .... "
the caption at the website, that cartoon looks to me like a suggestion
that Dr. Rice and Mr. Bush are engaged in adultery. I just can't read
it any other way. If the cartoonist is suggesting that, then
I suggest that the cartoonist is a vile, reprehensible toad."
"It is a mirror
image of how blacks view black women. They are first and foremost sex
slaves. The number of single black mom's bears this out."
"If the cartoonist
is black, it indicates (to me) that he has a poor self image of Blackness.
This is probably the result of a public school education."
jealous since Condi's so hot."
We have made the the
entire mess available on our Website at this
location if you choose to read it.
Which way is up?
We end with this column
with a note from the person called MediaT3RR0R:
You guys are doing
a great job as usual. I may be wrong, but I feel a subtle loss of media
momentum for the conservatives, almost as if the Pigs have gorged themselves
at the feeding troth, and now they're feeling drunk on themselves. Maybe
the pendulum is about to swing the other way. When the liberals get
on top again, we have to remember to kick the living shit out
of the Pigs.
Warring against truth
is hard, even for the corporate media, some of whom must be profoundly
embarrassed by the constant betrayals of fact in which they are complicit.
However, the "liberals" still don't know which way is up, which
makes it very difficult for them to even begin to get on top.
Mr. T3RR0R also reports:
"I've been working to create a multimedia project to deliver the
most deeply offensive insults I possibly can to the Bushies."
wholeheartedly endorses the project, because ... well, just because.
gratefully acknowledges the following organizations for sending visitors
our way during the past week:
Final Call (Nation of Islam)
Prince's Journalisms (The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education)
comments are welcome. Visit the Contact Us
page for E-mail or Feedback.
here to return to the home page