In the YouTube clip below, Chris Matthews states that he forgot Obama was Black in the hour he delivered the State of the Union Address. Now in all fairness we did not see the actual news segment and lord knows people will take something out of context but it got us thinking about a larger issue:
Is it considered a compliment when someone forgets what race you are?
In a really funky and twisted kind-of-way we really think white people mean it as a compliment when they say things like this as this is not the first time any of us have heard these words but boy is it hella insulting. These are the growing pains of being an Urban Chameleon for what some white people often don't realize is that as a person of color we have to work our asses off to constantly be accepted in your white world in order for us to educate our children, accelerate our careers, provide for our families and most importantly make change. What this has entailed is "Wearing the Mask," muting parts of our ethnicity and eccentricities because for some reason these qualities have been associated with being "less than." The even more unfortunate part is that when we chameleon so well you forget who we are but the truth is you never knew...
It's even hard out here for a gang member. During rough times gangs
have figured out it is more profitable to work together rather than kill
each other. Well how 'bout that. hun
L.A. Gangs Seek Profit in Peace
Violence Ebbs as Criminal Alliances Emerge in New Test for Authorities
by Tamara Audi
LOS ANGELES -- After nearly two decades fighting gangs, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Detective Robert Lyons thought he had seen it all. Until he saw members of the Bloods and the Crips -- rival gangs that spent years in brutal conflict -- meeting amiably in a restaurant.
"They were talking. There was hugging and high-fiving. It was unbelievable," Mr. Lyons said. He has heard a refrain from gang members: Red (the Bloods) and blue (the Crips) make green (money).
Above, members of the Bloods and the Crips, rival Los Angeles street gangs, during a truce attempted in 1992 after the acquittal of police officers in the beating of Rodney King. Below, Crips members in Los Angeles in 1988.
Gangs that were once bloody rivals now are cooperating to wring profits from the sale of illegal drugs and weapons, law-enforcement officials and gang experts say. In some cases, gangs that investigators believed to be sworn enemies share neighborhoods and strike business deals. The collaboration even crosses racial lines, remarkable in a gang world where racial divisions are sharp and clashes are often racially motivated.
New KFC commercials have been released featuring an overwhelming amount of black people way too excited over chicken.
Now what in da hell is KFC doing? Everyone knows that Black people are very sensitive about being in the public spotlight with a piece chicken (despite our love for the bird) so why are they doing this? Who is on this marketing team...and for WHO are these commercials marketed too?!
Ms. Zielinski, the fashion stylist, said her best friend, a man, told her once: “ ‘You are confident, have good credit, own your own business, travel around the world and are self-sufficient. What man is going to want you?’ He laughed, but I found that pretty depressing.”
More Men Marrying Wealthier Women
source NY Times
Beagy Zielinski is a German-born 28-year-old stylist who moved to New York to study fashion in 1995 and stayed. Just before Christmas, she broke up with her blue-collar boyfriend, who repaired Navy ships
“He was extremely insecure about my career and how successful I am,” Ms. Zielinski said.
An analysis of census data to be released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center found that she and countless women like her are victims of a role reversal that is profoundly affecting the pool of potential marriage partners.
“Men now are increasingly likely to marry wives with more education and income than they have, and the reverse is true for women,” said Paul Fucito, spokesman for the Pew Center. “In recent decades, with the rise of well-paid working wives, the economic gains of marriage have been a greater benefit for men.”
The analysis examines Americans 30 to 44 years old, the first generation in which more women than men have college degrees. Women’s earnings have been increasing faster than men’s since the 1970s.
“We’ve known for some time that men need marriage more than women from the standpoint of physical and mental well-being,” said Stephanie Coontz, a professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and research director for the Council on Contemporary Families, a research and advocacy group. “Now it is becoming increasingly important to their economic well-being as well.”
The education and income gap has grown even more in the latest recession, when men held about three in four of the jobs that were lost. The Census Bureau said Friday that among married couples with children, only the wife worked in 7 percent of the households last year, compared with 5 percent in 2007. The percentage rose to 12 percent from 9 percent for blacks, among whom the education and income gap by gender has typically been even greater.
“I’m not married, I would like to be married, and my friends are all in a similar situation,” said Dr. Rajalla Prewitt, a 38-year-old psychiatrist in New Jersey. “We’re having difficulty finding someone where there’s a meeting of the minds, where we can have the same goals and values.”
“Particularly, African-American men who are educated want a traditional home where they are the breadwinner,” said Dr. Prewitt, who is a black woman.
Royal Caribbean's decision to dock ships at Haitian resort creates controversy
By now, most of us have seen and heard about the profound devastation and suffering wrought upon Haiti last week after a massive earthquake. So you'd probably think there's no way that cruising tourists could have returned to frolicking on Haiti's beaches mere miles from where people are trapped beneath the rubble of a decimated city. Unfortunately, you'd be wrong.
On Sunday, the Guardian reported that Florida-based Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is docking ships at the "picturesque wooded peninsula" known as Labadee, which it leases on Haiti's northern coast. At Labadee, passengers "enjoy jetski rides, parasailing, and rum cocktails delivered to their hammocks." The British paper also reported that passengers can spend their time "shopping for trinkets at a craft market" while armed guards stand at the entry to the complex to guarantee their safety.
Despite the fact that the ships have delivered relief supplies to the island, some passengers on the ships are reportedly "sickened" over the decision to dock there. One passenger took to an Internet message board to protest the idea of vacationing where "tens of thousands of dead people are being piled up on the streets, with the survivors stunned and looking for food and water."
When Royal Caribbean announced its decision to resume stops at Labadee last week, a company executive cited the economic importance of the resort to the local citizens as well as the opportunity to deliver much-needed supplies.
"We also have tremendous opportunities to use our ships as transport vessels for relief supplies and personnel to Haiti," said associate vice president John Weis. "Simply put, we cannot abandon Haiti now that they need us most."
Still, Royal Caribbean, which recently raised eyebrows when it announced that it's organizing a "cougar cruise" for older single women, has been catching heat from all corners on their decision, prompting company CEO Adam Goldstein to post a defense of the company on their website. Saying that he is "proud of what our people and our ships are doing," Goldstein writes: The ships going back to Labadee, including Navigator of the Seas today, are obviously making a very valuable contribution to the relief effort by offloading supplies at Labadee. The media understand this and generally have written and spoken about the relief effort in positive terms. But in the last 24 hours, sparked by an article in the Guardian in the UK, a different and more critical view has emerged that questions how our guests can justify having a good time in Labadee when there is such misery less than 100 miles away. My view is this - it isn't better to replace a visit to Labadee (or for that matter, to stay on the ship while it's docked in Labadee) with a visit to another destination for a vacation. Why? Because being on the island and generating economic activity for the straw market vendors, the hair-braiders and our 230 employees helps with relief while being somewhere else does not help. These 500 people are going to need to support a much larger network of family and friends, including many who are in (or are missing in) the earthquake zone. Also, the north is going to bear a good part of the burden of the agony of the south, and the more economic support there is to the north, the better able the north will be to bear this burden. People enjoying themselves is what we do. People enjoying themselves in Labadee helps with relief. We support our guests who choose to help in this way which is consistent with our nearly 30 year history in Haiti. - Brett Michael Dykes is a contributor to the Yahoo! News blog
Doctors and volunteers from all over the world have been putting in their time and efforts providing aid for those in need in Haiti. After the tragic incidents, mobile carriers such as T-Mobile are doing their best to contribute to the cause. Today they have just announced that they are waiving all calls to and from Haiti. “Our company and our employees care deeply for our customers, and we know that many customers have been directly impacted by the disaster in Haiti,” said Robert Dotson, president and CEO, T-Mobile USA. “While our thoughts go out to those in Haiti who are suffering so greatly at this time, our promise is to help people connect with those who matter most. I can think of no better time to demonstrate this commitment.” So whether you have a BlackBerry, or any other phone, as long as you’re on the T-Mobile network, you can make calls to Haiti and receive them absolutely free. Hit the jump for the full press release from T-Mobile including ways on how you can help.
BELLEVUE, Wash. – January 14, 2010 – T-Mobile USA, Inc. today announced that the company is taking a number of steps to provide relief and help unite families in the aftermath the earthquake disaster in Haiti.
For current T-Mobile customers who are trying to connect with loved ones in Haiti during the aftermath of the country’s devastating earthquake, T-Mobile USA is enabling phone calls to Haiti without charges for international long distance through January 31, 2010, and retroactive to the earthquake on January 12, 2010. Additionally, T-Mobile customers who may already be in Haiti will be able to roam on T-Mobile’s partner networks in Haiti (operated locally in Haiti under the names Voila and Digicel) free-of-charge through the end of the month. In both cases, T-Mobile will remove these charges from customer bills accordingly.
The most emotional moment came when the King of Pop's 11-year-old daughter, Paris, took the microphone and told the audience, "Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine."
"And I just want to say that I love him so much," she added, before bursting into tears and burying herself in the arms of her aunt, Janet Jackson.
Jackson was laid to rest as extravagantly as he lived. His bronze casket, which reportedly cost close to $20K, featured 14-karat gold plate handles and a velvet-lined interior.
But the funeral was not without controversy.
Three thousand police officers were on hand to ensure events proceeded smoothly, costing the city of Los Angeles between $2 - 4 million.A Los Angeles tax payer recently sued Jackson's estate for $3.3 million to cover the costs of the singer's memorial.
Regardless of cost, the memorial service turned out to be quite a spectacle.
Akamai Technologies, a company that monitors Internet traffic, noted that at some points during the funeral, global Web traffic was 31 percent above average.
It's main competitor for the NAACP Image Award appears to be President Obama's Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, but anything featuring Jackson these days makes money and wins awards.
The documentary "This Is It," which featured video footage of the tour Jackson was set to embark on when he died, is the highest grossing musical documentary of all time, having taken in over $250 million.
As you may already know Haiti was hit with a massive earthquake yesterday affecting millions.(Read article on yahoo.com) In times like these a little bit can go a long way. Even if you do not have family/ friends affected by this devastation we encourage you to contribute to humanity.
You can so eas send money to help Haiti Right now through your cell phone.
Send $10 to the Red Cross Text "Haiti" to 90999
Or/and Send $5.00 to Yele Haiti (Wyclef Jean's Foundation) Text "Yele" to 501501
Document: Nixon campaign strategists considered racial strategy
From Paul Courson, CNN
January 11, 2010 5:52 p.m. EST
Washington (CNN) -- President Nixon's campaign strategists hoped to create controversy among Democrats by fueling a push for a black candidate for the White House ahead of the 1972 elections, according to documents released Monday by the National Archives.
Among the materials is a strategy paper titled "Dividing the Democrats" found in the files of Nixon aide H. R. Haldeman, dated October 5, 1971.
The paper, signed only as being from "RESEARCH," laid out perceived problems among Democrats that the GOP could use in helping Republican candidates, including Nixon, the incumbent president.
Among the tactics the document called for is the distribution of bumper stickers that "should be spread out in the ghettoes of the country" calling for "black presidential and especially vice presidential candidates."
See this is where the agenda of race progress takes a back seat to capitalism. Right here is where I don't f*ck with the NAACP. The soul has been sold for ratings and advertising. For there is no reason why the buffoonery known as The Real Housewives of Atlanta should be acknowledged as "People of Color Advancing." Laughed and pointed at? Absolutely. If anything, the show is a set back for the coloreds and the NAACP instead needs to be protesting Sheree by She (yea I flipped it), Nene and her crazy eye ass, not celebratin’!
Ok, lemme cool down. It’s not these women's fault that they have exploited their lives for faux success with the exception of Kandi (we like her). The real problem is that RHOA and shows alike are called "Reality TV" when instead they should be called FARCE TV. The "Realty" title is what continues to invite raging criticism. (Oh the irony of the English language; we will redefine a word won't we? And people wonder why immigrants can't learn to speak English) However, by nominating RHOA it further endorses the VP of Bravo’s ignorant ass statement about representing what he has defined as “Black wealth" on TV. Now truth be told Black people with real money wouldn’t dare be caught wit dey bidness all out in da street. So the faux show goes on. But seriously NAACP…check yo’ self for you have truly wrecked yo’ self.
by today's Urban Chameleon contributor an exposé by DJXS
Terrence Howard would have you believe that its hard out here for a pimp, but its even harder for the unemployed fly 'n' fab. "Do tell?" --- why, I'd love to...
So here is the situation: I was employed for several years at a media company with great name recognition in a high profile department. It was a job that afforded me the enviable perks of rolling into the office at noon, traveling on someone else's dime, attending exclusive premieres, hobnobbing with the rich and famous as well as a host of other responsibilities so faboo that my friends quite frequently would curse me with that classic slur embraced by all haters, "You ain't got no REAL job." Oh, but I did have a real job as it provided a real paycheck. Was it my passion? Absolutely not. But it was a logical piece of the mosaic that is my life as an actor/dancer/writer/luxury connoisseur.
However, the good things came to a proverbial end when I became a casualty of the company's bloody layoff massacre right before Christmas ("you can stay yo' ass ho ho home" laughed the fat cat CEO at some point, I'm sure.) Yeah, I have some "follow your passion" side hustles, but for the first time in my adult life I had to deal with a sobering reality as former taunts became truth: "I ain't got no real job!"
As an admitted shopaholic, said media company gig was the wicked enabler that funded my impeccably styled descent into the twisted world of LV, Dior, Gucci, rare sneaker and vintage store binges and I wasn't sure I could just stop cold turkey. What's an urban chameleon to do when forced with trying to balance Jay-Z aspirations with a Chingy situation?
Well the income dilemma certainly had to be addressed as I couldn't live off of side hustles alone and cable bills don't pay themselves, don'tchaknow? The concept of "collecting unemployment" was so foreign to me but the time had come to power up the MacBook and familiarize myself with its customs.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and yours truly was begrudgingly up first thing in the morning for an orientation mandated by the Department of Labor who cleverly offered to supplement my income in exchange for my appearance at their poorly lit office. I showed up "dressin' recession" in an understated three quarter length Shearling coat and a pair of limited edition Japanese sneakers and patted myself on the back for having the wherewithal to leave the Louis at home --- c'mon, find the line and draw it, people!
I was eventually ushered into a room furnished with desk/chair combos I hadn't seen since 10th grade and commenced to filling out mundane paperwork with the rest of my unemployed brethren/sistren. The whole process was becoming increasingly annoying because I knew that although the Labor Department's efforts are meant to help people find work, I was sure that their listings for "fabulous cushy jobs" was... let's say "light."
My suspicions were confirmed when a sweaty bi-focaled gentleman entered the room and gleefully revealed that a Wal-Mart recruiter would be there the following week looking for stock room and night shift employees. This stunning announcement was followed with another --- that there were a few nursing positions opening in a couple of days and it was a triumph of willpower that kept me from blurting out, "Um... why the hell am I here?"
Now don't get me wrong, retail and nursing are perfectly fine career choices, they're just not "perfect" or "fine" for me. I'm an artist and sadiddy accusations be damned, price checking Snuggies all day would be sanity suicide and its certainly not conducive to my propensity for having poolside drinks at the Mondrian. I'm not adverse to working a "normal" job just as I don't have a problem rocking Kmart khakis and a mall-bought button down ---- I'd just rather really not.
However, I continued with this laughable dance of the ridiculous and sat down with an unemployment specialist who had the unenviable task of finding job opps comparable to what was listed on my resume... good luck with that, boo. We spoke for a few minutes and the gradual blanking of her facial expression was admittedly amusing as I explained the line of work that I was in; we both knew that there wasn't really much she could do for me. Apparently neither of us are quitters, so we soldiered on with the charade as she tapped away on her keyboard all efficient-like and consulted her computer monitor for some non-existant job matches. I sat there with a restrained expression that probably read "of course" and a buttoned coat that was very "can I go now?" when shocker! --- there wasn't anything in her database for me. She then delivered the Shawshank redeeming news that I was now eligible for unemployment benefits allowing me to return my Versace shades to their rightful place on my face and break the hell outta there with a Tiger-being-chased-by-a-golf-club-wielding-wifey swiftness.
So here I am, a struggling artist trying to David Blaine these unemployment checks and have them magically support both my genetic need to be fly and the monthly monetary demands of my landlord, among others. Am I looking for work? Yes. But in the meantime, the SoHo retail scene needs me, I've got photographers and graphic designers to compensate for their work on my web ventures, and there are mojitos from my favorite downtown spot that need sipping on... does the state really think I can accomplish all of this with what they're providing? I will continue ignoring the call of the stock room while in pursuit of artistic and personal fulfillment for as long as I can but if it gets to the point that I'm wearing a "May I Help You?" smock un-ironically, its gonna get ugly.
A friend of mine at dinner last night couldn’t have put it any better, between R. Kelly sleeping (and peeing) on minors and Tavis Smiley endorsing subprime mortgages these two are already responsible for more than half the problems in the black community and now they're doing a book?I'm not quite buying the, "everyone has a right to their side of the story," that the Smiley machine is endorsing in this case. We know R.'s story and what his pee looks like. We saw the video and it wasn't his brother. And if you're not convinced let us remind you of this interview..."Mr. Kelly do you like teenagers..."
R & B Superstar Ready to Reveal the Secrets of His Roller-Coaster Ride to the Top
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- R & B superstar R. Kelly (born Robert Sylvester Kelly) will publish his memoir with SmileyBooks, the publisher announced today.
A three-time Grammy Award winner whose remarkable career spans two decades filled with achievements, R. Kelly has thrilled audiences and sold more than 34 million records worldwide, including six No. 1 albums, twelve platinum-plus selling albums, and eleven No. 1 singles. Over the years, he has collaborated with and written songs for music icons from all genres, including Michael Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Pussycat Dolls, Usher, and Celine Dion. Most recently, he earned rave reviews for his Ladies Make Some Noise Tour, and on December 1, Kelly released his tenth studio album, Untitled, including the chart-topping "Number One," and his new hot single "Echo."
"We are thrilled to be the conduit through which R. Kelly will tell his own story," said Tavis Smiley, founder and publisher of SmileyBooks. "He has earned the right to tell his story his own way."
In the memoir, Kelly, writing with celebrity author David Ritz, will detail the agony of losing his mother, whom he adored. He will reveal how the same creative soul that came up with such inspiring ballads as the iconic "I Believe I Can Fly" and "You Are Not Alone," which became a No. 1 hit for Michael Jackson, could also generate such sexy R & B mega-hits as "Bump N' Grind," "Ignition," and "When a Woman's Fed Up." And he will discuss the six-year legal ordeal that nearly ruined his life, but finally ended in vindication when he was found innocent of child pornography charges in 2008.
"I'm writing this book as Robert, not R. Kelly," the singer says. "I'm tired of being misunderstood. I will show you the tears, fears, and sweat. I will open my heart and reveal the good in my life as well as all the drama. I want to tell it like it is."
The collaboration between Kelly and Ritz is destined to captivate readers, says SmileyBooks President Cheryl Woodruff.
"You have the creative passion of R. Kelly, revealed in his groundbreaking Trapped in the Closet series, coupled with writer David Ritz, who has collaborated with the musicians Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, B.B. King, and Aretha Franklin. It's a great pairing."
Kelly's book joins a SmileyBooks roster that includes the latest offering from New York TimesBrother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir, as well as Jeff Johnson's Everything I'm Not Made Me Everything I Am. Other SmileyBooks authors include Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Tom Burrell, Sophia Nelson, and New York Times bestsellers Iyanla Vanzant and Tavis Smiley. bestselling author Cornel West,
R. Kelly's memoir, as yet untitled, is scheduled for release by SmileyBooks in early 2011.
Founded by media pioneer Tavis Smiley in 2004, SmileyBooks (www.smileybooks.com) is a general trade book publisher that specializes in quality nonfiction. A dynamic company dedicated to the new media landscape, SmileyBooks publishes books by authors ranging from established New York Times bestsellers to exciting new voices on topics that appeal to a broad spectrum of readers.
I embrace the notion of being an Urban Chameleon because it puts a contemporary twist on the Duboisian ideal of Double Consciousness, an ideal I continue to explore in graduate study. As I follow the insightful posts on HOTUC, I try to relate the issues raised to my life, a great deal of which is dedicated to ensuring the safe passage of my son through the educational pipeline. So it got me to thinking, how does an old head chameleon teach his young to use the powers encoded in his DNA? These are the lessons I've come up with so far:
1. TEACH THE YOUNG CHAMELEON ABOUT COLOR
Even at 2, my son already recognizes differences in skin color, so it is important to help the growing chameleon understand what color means in this country. My little man must understand that he is never to allow people to put him in a box because of his primary skin color. He is also never to judge others based on their differences from him. As he gets older, he will come to understand that the idea of race is also not about color, but of power and privilege. His color does however link him to a cultural history and lineage which he must also learn because an understanding of this ancestry will give him a sense of how to use his multiple colors wisely.
2. IT IS OKAY TO BE MULTICOLORED
It is a blessing to have the ability to move in and out of a variety of contexts seamlessly. This skill does not come without practice. The parent chameleon must be able to provide support as the young one struggles with "color expression". The parent must also help the young one understand why they are placed into various settings meant to help enhance their "color quality". As a youngster this meant understanding why I had to take piano lessons when all I wanted to do was play basketball. Why did I have to take Latin in 7th grade when I was already taking Spanish. Why did I have to go to a private school when most of my friends went to public ones? With each new color that the growing chameleon masters, the parent must continue to reinforce that they are not "selling out" who they are at the core, but instead are learning behaviors and skills that will be of benefit throughout their lifetime.
The Obama's continue to utilize pop culture to make change. By appearing on Iron Chef, First Lady Michelle Obama continues to promote her efforts of spreading the word about eating healthily and curbing childhood obesity.
Although First Lady Michelle Obama now has the White House chef for a cook, Michelle Obama has a secret to share with Iron Chef fans. On January 3, 2010 The Food Network is kicking off the new year with an everyday American theme that begins with First Lady Michelle Obama and White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford on The Iron Chef America. Following the Michelle Obama guest appearance on Iron Chef America, Food Network fans will be treated to the debut of Worst Cooks in America.
The Washington Post reports that on the first episode of Iron Chef America for 2010, the popular food cooking competition will travel to the nation's capital for a tour of The White House with executive chef Cristeta Comerford. In the Iron Chef episode, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, and Emeril Lagasse are greeted by the First Lady Michelle Obama who informs the chefs of the secret ingredient in the White House garden used for daily Presidential meals. Aside from Michelle Obama greeting the chefs, it will be interesting to see if Batali, Flay or Lagasse can take down Comerford on his home Obama turf since the current White House executive chef has worked on site for the past fourteen years prior to the Obama administration.
Immediately following Michelle Obama on Iron Chef America is the new Food Network series, Worst Cooks in America, which features chefs Anne Burrell and Beau MacMillan as they take the worst cooks from America and teach them how to become elite chefs.
With Michelle Obama kicking off the New Year on the Food Network, budding cooks can learn Obama style White House culinary skills or check out how to cook from worst to first.