Doesn't it seem like at least once of week, at least
one of these negros appears in the news talking about
some version of the word negro?
Ta-Nehisi got some grown
man Washington Post shine analyzing.
Al Sharpton as the LEADER OF BLACK AMERICA.
Congratulations fam, WE don't get to write about US in
THOSE papers, ABOUT us very often.
Coates makes a some interesting points. The first thing I noticed is
how he put Sharpton into the context of Black Leaders in general.
Still, once upon a time, to qualify for the title of "black leader," you had to actually lead and, more important, have a following. Harriet Tubman was the paragon: Black people quite literally followed her out of slavery. W.E.B. Du Bois helped create the NAACP, then godfathered the Harlem Renaissance. More than any single figure, Malcolm X arguably rebuilt black America's collective self-esteem, eliminating "brown bag tests" (the color caste system among blacks) and making the rest of the world safe for dreadlocks.OUCH. He also hones in on why Sharpton is so meshes so well with the media. He states,
In more modern times, black leaders could point to real events to show their worthiness. Louis Farrakhan resurrected the Nation of Islam as a mass movement and reached his zenith in 1995 at the Million Man March. During his presidential run in 1988, the Rev. Jesse Jackson won five primaries in which almost all blacks voted for him, an accomplishment that Obama may find hard to repeat. More important, the momentum from Jackson's bid helped New York elect its first black mayor and Virginia its first black governor.Sharpton's resume isn't even in the same pile.
"Every seven mintutes." He wrong for that.
But the many competing and cooperating strains of black activism are impossible to capture in a sound bite or a five-minute "Crossfire" segment. Thus Sharpton is invoked as shorthand, as a way to avoid the time it takes to show complexity, nuance and humanity.
There's another reason why the media have elected the reverend president of black America. For cable networks, Sharpton is the gift that keeps on giving. He provides an easily disposable villain, a simple out for his most loyal constituency: white racists. For those who already doubted the humanity of black folks, who believe that we spend our days counting the ways white people owe us, who think we chant "Reparations now!" at least once every seven minutes, the bombastic Sharpton is a perfect confirmation.
Then Coates went for the gusto bringing up the comment
that O'Reilly made in Harlem a few weeks back. He surmised,
This is America's racial rift transformed into a reality show -- a place where Sharpton can cross swords with O'Reilly one day and take him out for fried chicken the next. O'Reilly was, of course, widely criticized for his dim comments. In his defense, he summoned the very man whom he claimed African Americans weren't listening to: Sharpton.
Memo to everyone everywhere: Al Sharpton isn't a black leader, he just plays one on TV.
Daaaang gina. To the face hunh?
And our dear homie Nas is in the news as well. In an INTERESTING
TWIST, an Assemblyman in Brooklyn, Hakeem Jefferies is going to
argue for the NY state pension to divest its funds from Universal
if NAS doesn't change his title.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries has asked that the New York Comptroller withdraw an $84 million state pension fund invested in Universal Music Group, home to Nas' label Def Jam, unless the rapper changes his title.
"[They are] profiting from a racial slur that has been used to dehumanize people of color for centuries," Jeffries said. "It is time for Nas and other hip-hop artists to clean up their act and stop flooding the airwaves with the N-word."
Universal has yet to respond to those demands.
CORPORATE INSTITUTIONAL ACTIVISM MEETS HIP HOP.
I think I just drooled.
What WOULD O'Reilly do without Negro's?
What would Al do without, um, the media?
Isn't it nice to see hip hop being provacative again?
Nas wrong? right? This is stupid?