Select Page

Tag: racism

Unpacking the Notion of Racism by Association

Have you ever been in a group of people who, when you leave the room, shortly thereafter bring down the volume on their conversation? That happened to me recently. I could still hear them through the closed door. No, they weren’t talking about me. They were taking advantage of my absence to talk freely about something involving race. No ‘N’ word. Nothing vile. More like casual commentary on how overblown racism is. I confess my eyes filled up. I felt my difference in that moment. I didn’t fully understand why I should be proud instead of hurt until I...

Read More

Bee and Barr: Parsing What Offends

It seems while I was off-grid attending to a personal family matter yesterday, all Full Frontal hell broke loose. In the spirit of full disclosure, I was sitting in Samantha Bee’s audience less than a month ago reveling in the vulgarity of it all. I enjoyed comedian Allana Harkin’s sometimes salty warmup. Then, when the show began, Bee’s delivery of jokes was sharp and stinging, just the way I’d loved from back in her days on The Daily Show. That’s fact No. 1. Now here’s fact No. 2 – as comfortable as I am with the word “fuck,” I...

Read More

Roseanne and the ‘Nuance’ of the Trump Supporter

These days, I am so sick of Donald Trump that I have long stopped watching shows I’ve always found relaxing such as The Daily Show and most other comedy-based late-night programs. It’s worth mentioning they are hosted by people I admire and their world views align pretty closely with mine. Most nights I’d rather see Rachel and Ross argue over whether they were on a break for the 85th time than hear Trump’s name coming out of my TV yet again, even in tightly written lines delivered by masters of comedic timing. So the idea of watching a reboot of Roseanne Barr’s show held zero appeal for me. I never watched it the first time around and I certainly wasn’t up for her droning on about how gosh-darn-fantastic the President is under the guise of fiction. I did, however, understand the appeal to Trump’s base given the dearth of conservative comedy out there (Dennis Miller and ???). But ABC’s cancellation of the second season of Roseanne today has stopped me in my tracks for a specific reason – its attempt to show the nuance of the Trump supporter has backfired. It has, in fact, reinforced what many citizens have been saying all along. The cancellation came on the heels of the non-fictional version of Roseanne writing this Tweet about former White House aide Valerie Jarrett: “Muslim brotherhood & planet...

Read More

Starbucks and Black Coffee

This column is for the people of all colors who acknowledge racism exists. If you’re not in that camp, I’m not going to try to burrow into that sand your head is buried in; keep moving. To the realists still reading, let’s talk about Starbucks. There are more than 25,000 locations around the globe. The odds are good there are racist people working at some of them. It’s simple math. The recent incident at the Philadelphia location where two black men were taken away by the police, their “sin” being that they were waiting for a friend and didn’t order anything right away, was unquestionably a call to action. But that action shouldn’t be a boycott of the Starbucks brand. That, in fact, is a shortsighted and ineffective way to respond to what happened. By all means, boycott that location. The people who descended on it after the incident to peacefully protest had the right idea. That reaction was specific, targeted. If there are other coffee joints in the neighborhood, take your business there. That might include another Starbucks, by the way. But this knee-jerk cry for a boycott every time there’s a disturbing incident is not the way to go. This is not the same as asking a corporation to have a conscience and remove its advertising from a television show or risk a boycott. In the case...

Read More

Sports As Breeding Ground for Change

The other night I was watching the season premiere of Chicago P.D. I love this show. I confess it’s partly because the level of testosterone is both attractive and curious. I like the peek into that world. But the other reason I’m drawn to it is storyline. This show doesn’t shy away from the issues that make policing so controversial in today’s climate. In this episode, two officers – one white, one black – are on a hunt for a dangerous suspect who escaped the police after taking a bullet in the stomach in an earlier confrontation. As they...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2

What an honor …

Check out my memoir:

A collection of blog posts:

Follow me on Twitter