Cultural Critique / Politics / Pop Culture / The Color Line

UNN News Briefs–I’m Going THERE!

This past week Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was forced to apologize when he was quoted in a upcoming book that Obama was “light skinned” and he had “no Negro dialect.”

Well, that just didn’t sound good.  No way around that.

But let’s think about this for a second, Reid was saying something that essentially all of the black community had mused in our weekly trips to barbershops and beautyshops across this country.  Or it was said as we sat on our couches and barcaloungers as we may have seen a news clip with this beige Negro on our screen with his black wife.  Personally, I would never categorize Obama as light-skinned by any stretch of the imagination, but I have noticed that regionally, what gets considered dark or light-skinned is highly relative to one’s on skin color.

That being said, perhaps Reid should have never said it simply because it’s just bad PR.  I mean we can’t have the Senate majority leader making racialized comments in such a day and age where we know how such comments can be misconstrued.  Honestly, I have no problems with him saying what he said, because indeed they are true.  Actually, what I’m having an issue with is Obama’s lack of judgment and backbone and maybe even doormat mentality.  Lest we forget that Joe “I-put-my-foot-in-my-mouth” Biden went on record saying “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

Seriously, to be called a “mainstream African American” is an insult to all intentionally black people world wide, but I guess to the incidentally blacks, such as Obama perhaps, this is a compliment–that’s how they get the job of Vice-President.

Charlie Sheen threatened his current wife Brooke Mueller, and has a highly checkered past associated with domestic abuse dating back to 1991, but Tiger Woods has lost endorsement after endorsement for sleeping around and Chris Brown gets compared to the antichrist.

Something is wrong in a society that allows Charlie Sheen to still have his CBS show, but Chris Brown can’t sell an album and Tiger Woods is off somewhere cowering in a corner.

Seriously, Tiger Woods didn’t even commit a misdemeanor crime.  He was never arrested and there was no need for restraining orders.  There was no violent acts that took place, yet one by one like dominoes set up on a floor, his endorsements have fallen.  And for Christopher “I-like-looking-like-Baby-Smurf” Brown, he faced more scrutiny from the court of public opinion no matter how many times he tried to apologize(d).  Sheen on the other hand, has received a media miracle–no coverage.

I’m not sure if this is a race thing–Charlie Sheen being white and Chris Brown being black along with Tiger, well, some parts of Tiger being black, but it’s certainly an indictment on both mainstream media, and again our collective conscience as a country.  And to racialize this, I wonder did this even make a blip on the radar of the larger black community?  I don’t know many black people who go on and on about “Two and A Half Men,” and I’d allege that some blacks would even say that this Charlie Sheen incident has nothing to do with us.  I’d turn around and tell them to wake up and smell the coffee.  Anytime our society, the one in which black folk do indeed live in, allows for us to castigate, castrate and emasculate our own black men–just because we can–but let a serial abuser like Charlie Sheen flourish, it’s more a reflection on us than it is on him.

I have a love-hate relationship with WalMart.  Personally, it’s the cheapest place to shop when living south of the Mason-Dixon line, and for us college/grad school kids, it’s actually an activity.  And God-forbid for those that live in small town America and the closest interstate is 50-100 miles away, there’s nothing BUT the WalMart.

And yes down south, Wal Mart is a proper noun spoken oft times with the definite article “the” proceeding it (e.g. “Chile, you know we was at the Wal Mart till they close-ded last night!)

But, Wal Mart is a bit of a pariah up north, and personally it doesn’t have the same charm as it does Down South, and I’ve never shopped at a Wal Mart north of the Mason-Dixon line and don’t plan to start anytime soon. And especially for Chicago, I’m against it.  Long story short, Hizzoner Mayor Richard M. Daley wants Wally World in the city for nothing else than the city’s job numbers go up and of course that’s more money in the city’s coffers from taxes.  But, there’s a strong, strong contingent on the city council that’s for Wal Mart–but because Chicago is a union city, most people are like Wal Mart is fine, but you can’t go around paying these workers $7.15 an hour with no benefits.

So in 2006, the city council passed a big box ordinance that would require for stores of 90,000 sq. ft. or more to pay $10.00 an hour to workers.

And for the first time ever, Daley actually vetoed something.

And it was back to the drawing board.  I forgot, somehow, the 37th ward on the West Side in Austin got the only WalMart in actual city limits, but the city council is like hell no, y’all got to do better.

Question: Do you shop at WalMart? If so do you shop with a guilty conscience like me? Or do you not shop there at all and suffer through higher prices?

Personally, I liked Conan O’Brien.  And I liked Jay Leno. But personally, NBC needs to go somewhere and saddown.  This whole debacle with Jay versus Conan is a mess, and it seems to leave a sour taste in the mouths of many viewers.  I’ve always been a Tonight Show person.  Never much cared for Letterman.  I was happy when ABC decided to jump into it with Jimmy Kimmel, then I realised it was Jimmy Kimmel and I really haven’t watched his show.  I refuse to give audience to a frat boy who has no concept of the world outside of his own and that which he has created for himself.

Sorry.  Just don’t like Jimmy Kimmel.

Back to NBC…

…they just didn’t seem to know what the deal was.  Personally it sounds like Conan’s getting the shaft.  How is “The Tonight Show” going to come on at 12am, when technically it’s not “tonight” anymore?  Moreover, then why did Jay Leno leave “The Tonight Show” just to go back to it’s original time slot.  And above all–IT’S THE FRIGGIN’ TONIGHT SHOW.  You don’t mess with it! It’s like a network canceling “This Week” on ABC or “Meet The Press” on NBC.  No matter how bad the rating or how much we all miss Tim Russert and we want to slit our wrists everytime we see David Gregory in Tim Russert’s chair (yes, that will always be Tim Russert’s chair to me), you don’t change the show’s time, nor the format.  So why in the HELL would they think of giving Leno a show, a half hour show at that at the 11:35 EST slot?

And Conan hasn’t even been there a year, the switch happened June 6th, and let the record show, when Leno took over in 1992 from Johnny Carson, Carson didn’t magically have another show that forced Leno to live in the spotlight of his predecessor.

Or as the Sun-Times said this morning, maybe as Malcolm Gladwell said in his latest book Outliers, maybe success isn’t always attributed to hard-work paying off, but maybe just pure dumb luck: being in the right place, at the right time.

Just leave some thoughts and comments on the above stories I’d love to hear from you.

Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL

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6 thoughts on “UNN News Briefs–I’m Going THERE!

  1. Charlie Sheen is a badboy and he can get away with what he did. See, it’s cool to be a whiteboy and act bad because, well, you’re a white boy. But it’s not cool for a black guy to act his color….

    lol

  2. I got a post involving Reid coming out this week. He’s a Dummy!! I’m mad you got that chart.. If Carson Daly gets pushed back he will be coming on when people are getting up.

    • @ Citizen Ojo

      When NBC Late Night was Jay Leno, Conan and then Carson Daly, I’d stay up. And I think for a minute Conan and Daly shared an hour time slot, but the shows were much better. Then Daly moved to LA and it was the same as the other schticks. Daly’s first show on NBC was nice. It was an intimate theater setting, the house band was on point and he only had ONE guest that he could interview the whole time. And because of his TRL life, he had new and upcoming artists on his show. Now…I don’t even watch Jimmy Fallon–and the Roots, well, they’re sell outs to me in a weird way.

  3. I agree with your observation on Sheen. Felt the same way after that underage sex stuff Rob Lowe got caught in years ago. My, how his career has suffered (sarcasm off).

  4. Don’t put Chris Brown in the same boat with Tiger. Tiger’s a mere cad. Brown has itchy fists. Apples and rutabegas.

    I don’t even care about Tiger Woods or golf, and I’m appalled at the way the media eviscerated him, deep-fried his entrails and fed them to chihuhuas with scabies. You’d think he had been caught in Michael Vicks’ racket, only with human babies instead of dogs.

    • @ MArbles

      Not so much putting Tiger and CB in the same category, but just viewing them against Charlie Sheen…

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