Richard Pierce “Richie” Havens (b. January 21, 1941 – d. April 22, 2013)
these crackers. They just don’t know that the widely…
After this latest week of utter shamtastery in Hip Hop, the words of the late great Aaliyah resonate now more than ever:
We need a resolution; there is so much confusion.
- Rick Ross thinks that drugging a woman and raping her isn’t rape, but rather a case of misunderstanding. FOH
- Talib Kweli thinks that the first responsibility that women in Hip Hop have to men in Hip Hop is to love to them.
- Despite his alleged support for Frank Ocean, Busta Rhymes remains an unrepentant and violent homophobe. From my armchair therapist’s seat, I want to ask what Busta is fighting against in himself that has him out in the world acting a fucking fool. (And since I’d ask the question just like that, it’s probably best that I didn’t become a therapist.)
I am more interested in the quintessential case of #allyfail that was Talib Kweli’s participation in this conversation. On Monday, in a conversation at Huffington Post Live with host Marc Lamont Hill, and guests Rosa Clemente, Jamilah Lemieux, and Rahiel Tesfamariam, Talib went in on Rosa for suggesting that she didn’t consider Ross a part of Hip Hop culture.
She argued that her view represented a radical edge of thinking about Hip Hop culture, which attempts to separate what she referred to as the “rap industrial complex” from the broader culture. She also fully acknowledged the extent to which folks would disagree with her perspective. I think her critique and perspective is a valid one, meaning that while I’m not sure if I agree, her argument is worthy of debate and dialogue.
But what Talib offered wasn’t dialogue. Instead, he attempted to dress Rosa down for even having such a perspective. And then he dictated to her what her perspective should be and told her that ultimately, it didn’t matter what her view was, “Rick Ross and Wayne are a part of the culture whether you like it or not.”
Do women not get to draw boundaries? Do women not get a say in determining the cultural environs of hip hop?
This act of masculine aggression, mansplaining, and general disrespect is all the more absurd given that Talib Kweli then went on Twitter and told his friend dream hampton who attempted to point out some of the flaws in his argument, that he was “disappointing in her for rattling her sabers,” (i.e. critiquing him), especially since he’s an “ally.”
Um, Talib (if by chance you are listening), your conduct here is actually a primer in “How Not To Be An Ally.”
I know you may stop listening at this point since you probably perceive my tone not to be loving, but if you do continue to read, here are a few pointers on how to be a real male ally in Hip Hop:
1.) Let the women have the mic. Rick Ross disrespected all women, and particularly Black and Brown women, in this situation. Black and Brown women have the right to command the space, to “get on the mic” if you will, and speak our piece, without you yanking it back cuz you don’t like what we’re spitting. In other words, if you should find yourself yelling at one of the injured parties, just know that something has gone woefully awry. Check it before you wreck it, ya heard?
2.) Don’t mansplain. Telling Rosa Clemente that the “smarter move” is to embrace Rick Ross with love assumes that Black women’s contribution to the conversation is emotional not logical. But I hope it is abundantly clear that you were the one all in your feelings in that convo. We’ve been conditioned not to see it when men get defensive and emotional, cuz y’all usually signal that by telling women that we’re the ones who aren’t being “smart” or “logical.” But I call bullshit for bullshit. Despite what you said to dream hampton on twitter, “your outrage clouded” your judgment.
3.) Don’t invoke the tone argument. You expected Rosa to listen to you, even though your tone wasn’t loving. You were offended, and you felt the right to communicate that offense and be heard. Why not Black women? If someone is standing on my fucking foot, I don’t have to ask them nicely to move. Like the Queen (Latifah, that is) said 20 years ago, “a man don’t love ya, if he hits ya,” or rapes ya, or raps about raping ya. To ask me to love somebody who ain’t even remotely interested in trying to love me back, either means you think Black women are Jesus or fools. To demand more love when all Black women do is give love is at best woeful misrecognition and worst an egregious show of male arrogance.
4.) Interrogate your privilege. You may be a progressive man in hip hop, but you are still a man who moves through the world with male privilege. And what you did in that conversation and the subsequent conversation on twitter was communicate from the space of that male privilege. You told Rosa that she didn’t get to determine who was in and out of Hip Hop, though she has paid her dues in the culture just like you. And then you told her who was in. Period. The end. That’s not being an ally. That’s being minister of information for the Ol Boys’ Club.
5.) Recognize that you don’t get to tell us how to be our ally; we get to tell you. And if the fact that you don’t have the power to determine the bounds of your allyship make you uncomfortable, then you have found the primary place of your problem. We get to determine who our allies are. Not you. Your primary job as an ally is to listen, and then be a megaphone, not a microphone. Your job is to amplify what we’re saying so other folks can hear it, and have our back if something pops off. If the folks you are attempting to help or be in alliance with tell you that they are feeling unsupported, then that might mean there is a problem with the support you are offering rather than a problem with the demands they are making. (For a far better explication of this principle, check out this good work from our friends over at Shakesville.)
I don’t know that the tips above come from a place of love. I don’t always love hip hop, since hip hop so infrequently loves me back. But I absolutely care about what happens in hip hop and I care about the healing of Black men with pathological ideas about sex and I care about Black men who are interested in being allies. Most of all, I care about Black women. So maybe a little more love is not what we need. Too many people use that word in vain. Perhaps Hip Hop should start somewhere far more basic: let’s imagine what it would like to care. For others, for ourselves, for the culture.
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Mayor Rahm Emanuel,
We are the Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools. We are a student-led organization fighting to save our schools.
You have not done enough to help our schools!
We represent the thousands of students in Chicago Public Schools thatwill be directly affected by school closings.
These closings will force us to cross gang lines that will result in more violence and more children dying. This is unacceptable. Almost every school that will be closed is in a Black, Latino and low-income community; this is a racist decision. This is unacceptable! And we, the students, have had enough!
1) An immediate moratorium on all school closings;
2) A better way to use the TIF funds and to actually be used for our schools;
3) And an elected school board
We expect to hear back from you soon. If not, you should expect that we will be back! This is our first action but will not be our last. This is our school, and we are taking it back!
Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools
54 Chicago schools are slated to close. 90 percent of students at closing schools are black, even though they make up only 40 percent of Chicago students.
Solange | The Armory Party held at the Museum of Modern Art.
The last one..
This is fucking sick.
if you still think rape is funny here let me just slit your throat open for you
oh my god
Aye! Did ya’ll know that before A Different World, Debbie Allen cranked that moonwalk on Fame (TV Series) in 1982?! One year before Michael unveiled his polished version in 1983!!!
Yo, Debbie gots all the moves.
^^^CTFFFFFUUUUUUUUUU!!! NO BULLSHIT!!!!!
I was like “why so low?!?!?”
BRUH. Ain’t nothing new. They both bust out the stanky leg too!!!!!!!!!!!
Nigga, that was like the stanky leg and the moonwalk combined!
DEBBIE ALLEN IS OFFICIALLY THE BLUEPRINT.
YouTube’s slogan is “broadcast yourself” and it’s been celebrated as the new media platform that will revolutionize how marginalized groups are presented in the media. But the network is not much different than old media—90 of the top 100 YouTube video creators are white and mostly male.
In 2009 YouTube launched what they call the Partner Program that allows some of the popular content owners to make money from the videos they uploaded to the video sharing site. YouTube will not say how much people are paid for their content but according to earning reports there are thousands of video content creators on YouTube who are making more than $100,000 a year.
In the Colorlines.com video above YouTube stars Franchesca Ramsey and Andre Meadows along with scholar Jenny Ungbha Korn discuss YouTube Racism and how black video content creators have to work much harder to be seen.
Quvenzhané Wallis (9). Willow Smith (12). Amandla Stenberg (14). Gabrielle Douglas (17). They are EVERYTHING <3. They were on my mind the other day—their accomplishments, intelligence, beauty and style.
So when are they all going to star in a show that I can watch and freak out over constantly?
I don’t know when I first realised that I could eat whatever I want and then vomit it out, the knowledge was stunning and soon everyone loved me more; my mother, my friends, the men in the streets. Beauty is a strange place, a road sign in the distance that you never actually reach. The term…
Miriam Makeba on her wedding day to Stokely Carmichael in 1968.
Arguably the hottest gif I’ve ever made.
and the most racist~
How is it racist?
Please, in detail, tell me how this is offensive.
PS: Take that stick out of your ass. Chill a little.
No, I won’t. This needs to be taken really seriously.
What reason did she have to insert that headdress into the music video besides to look hip. That is something that represents someone’s fucking culture, and the suffering and GENOCIDE their ancestors went through. LIKE /FUCK/, IT’S JUST SO DUMB.
“lets put in a native headdress”
i really respected her i saw this video, even though i watched the lyrics video a hundred times without knowing sigh
Maybe she likes them? And? So… I like outfits and such of other cultures, I think they’re amazing and I’m a history nerd if I had the chance to wear another cultures clothing I’d probably cry, it would mean a lot to be connected to ANOTHER CULTURE. Also what if the man is part Native American. Then what?
Are you Native American? Does this person wearing something of another culture AFFECT YOU SO BAD YOU CAN’T SLEEP AT NIGHT? If you answered yes, change your answer. Because it shouldn’t. That’s his life and his choices, you have your own life and your own body to worry about.
I do with my body as I please, if I want to wear that headdress (Even though I am Native American, say I’m not) It’s my body, this is how I want to express myself. You do what you want with your body and same goes for me. After all it’s not AS IF THE PURPOSE OF THE HEADDRESS WAS TO PISS PEOPLE OFF.
I’m Native American. How dare you tell me what should and shouldn’t offend me just because you like Marina Diamantis. I’d fucking love to know what tribe you’re a member of, by the way.
- My Identity Is Not A Costume for You To Wear!
- On why prancing around in a headdress and war paint isn’t ~appreciating~ “native culture”
- An Open Letter to Non-Natives in Headdresses
- Redface - The history of racist Indian stereotypes [link may not work due to exceeded monthly bandwith limit, but check anyway]
it’s nothing that should keep you up at night though it’s not your decision to what other people wear. I’m part Cherokee and Shawnee. (I’m from Ohio so what do you expect lol)
I just don’t see the big deal. Maybe he loves culture. Maybe he is Native American.
Yeah I’m just going to go ahead and call bullshit on the Cherokee bit.
Listen, Columbus. I am Cherokee. Legitimately Cherokee.
If he were native he’d know better and so would you.
If he loved culture he wouldn’t wear it. If you were native you’d understand why this is so harmful.
[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE]
Lydia Cuomo is incredibly brave. A year and a half ago, the 26-year-old was on her way to start her new job as a second-grade teacher in the Bronx, but an off-duty police officer threatened her at gunpoint and raped her in the courtyard of an Inwood apartment building. The officer, Michael Pena, was convicted of sexual assault but not on the rape charges (he later pleaded guilty to rape as part of a plea deal). Cuomo is now going public to convince Albany to put anal and oral penetration into the New York State definition of rape.
In an interview with the Daily News, Cuomo said, “I feel like essentially I had a silver platter of a rape case. I had witnesses, I had DNA, I had my own testimony, I had two cops. I had them saying, ‘We admit he sexually assaulted you,’ and I didn’t get the verdict I needed the first time, and that just highlights to me the problem in the system.” She added, “Anal’s not rape? On what planet do you live? It never occurred to us that that’s not rape.”
After the trial, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas tried to get Albany to change the definition last year—”This legislation will ensure that no other victim will face the same indignity that this Bronx schoolteacher suffered“—but nothing happened. Simotas said, “New York lags behind such liberal bastions as South Dakota and Tennessee in how we define rape. New York should be at the forefront to protect crime victims.”
Cuomo, who is not related to the governor, told the Daily News how she was surprised that the jury didn’t convict Pena of rape, “When we found out the reason why, it just seemed so ludicrous to me. I think, quite frankly, it’s insulting… Ultimately I was being told, ‘Oh, you were anally raped and orally raped, but we don’t believe you were raped; you were sexually assaulted.’” She also explained why she’s making her identity known, “I think this is part of my way of moving on. I think I was given this opportunity to take this horrible, painful and negative thing and make it positive.”
Pena was sentenced to 75 years for sexual assault, the jury had a mistrial regarding the rape charges.
Note: In the state of New York, rape is defined as forced vaginal penetration. So legally, (cis)men cannot be raped and (cis)women who are force to have anal or oral sex are not considered ‘raped’.
Let’s talk about Emilio Sosa, one of the finalists of Project Runway All Stars Season 2. I’m shocked I haven’t seen any Tumblrs talk about his finale collection, which was both political and shown exclusively on WoC. The theme channeled Aunt Jemima and Rosie the Riveter, and was named “Urban Plantation.”
Throughout the season, he produced some beautiful, interesting garments. I loved watching him progress and he continued to impress me (and more importantly, the judges). In his finale collection, Emilio showed us one of the most political collections to date for Project Runway. During the critique he says, “I wanted to show the entire collection on women of color because that was the first vision of beauty that I saw in my eyes.” So beautiful.
I just wanted to give him some credit where it was due, because I loved it and wanted you to see it.