Posts Tagged ‘ racism ’

Why #BlackLivesMatter can’t die and get over your brunch being interrupted.

Racists gonna racist.

This morning I linked to a Washington Post article on Twitter about the #BlackBrunchNYC tactic. In it, activists interrupt brunch in “white spaces” — as brunch, especially in NYC, is often a very white activity — with four and a half minutes reading names of people of color who’ve been murdered in a racist system. The amount of time is chosen to represent the four and a half hours Mike Brown was left on the ground in the street after he was shot by Darren Wilson.

Even as a black person is killed every 28 hours by police. Even as new deaths are added to the list and more stories come out about white people wielding guns and machetes at cops but getting taken into custody without a scratch on them. You can deal with the inconvenience of a reality check during your meal. You can deal with it while the list increases of people who can’t, who don’t have a choice because they’ll never eat another meal again.

Soon as I posted the link and in waves through the rest of the day, trolls quickly starting trailing @ me, mostly with dumb or confusing messages. Some tried to insult me (I think? Is “Do I come to McDonalds to bother you while you’re working?” an insult?) Others tried telling me to “calm down” and “relax,” which I always find funny in its irony that they’re truly hoping I’ll do the opposite. A few called me racist or cursed at me, which I didn’t even try to respond to. Because if you don’t understand what racism is, you’re not going to understand it in my 140 characters. (It’s prejudice + power. White is the dominant race and viewed as better than people of color. White people have power. Ones who are prejudice are also racist. Is that 140 characters?)

Trolls are gonna troll, that’s what they do, I get it. But what I don’t get is, where are they during all the #BlackLivesMatter tweets? Huge protests in the streets, cities completely shut down by activists, and they have nothing to say? Since I started using that hashtag, I got one snide and poorly worded response from a troll. It’s when the sanctity of their precious brunch is called into question that they pounce?

Activists can’t and shouldn’t stop until a system that places no value on the lives of people of color is dismantled. Y’all trolls can spend your day refreshing hashtags, but that’s not going to stop us from provoking a change in on the streets and on your screens.

Here’s your rudie tuesday music for the story. Diamond District’s recently released “March on Washington” album. Smooth, (sometimes) politically-charged hip-hop that harkens back to some of the best rhythms and beats of the 90s:

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Life is Music April 11, 2013: ‘Accidental Racist’ is awful, not accidentally

It’s another rudieTuesday, which means another day where I equate a news event with a song! This week’s rudieTuesday falls on a Thursday, because, well, life happens. But it’s worth it, because this week is a playlist instead of one song.

You may have heard about this week’s story on or before rudieTuesday. It may have prompted face-palming, eye-rolling, or laptop-across-the-room-throwing.

That’s because this week’s news story is the existence of and subsequent viral nature of Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s hit single, “Accidental Racism.” Whoops!

Most articles written about this song have had a decent grasp on how bad this song is, and why it’s so bad. Unfortunately, but as to be expected, not everyone realized this.

The Village Voice’s take on the song, for instance, is disappointing at best, and offensive at worst. Author  Alan Scherstuhl calls the song “imperfect” at worst and “more complex than the simpleminded reactions it has stirred” at next-to-worst. Oh, how now even close that is. I adore the Village Voice and hoped for better, but I guess I shouldn’t have expected more from someone writing about country music in NYC.

This song is awful for a lot of reasons. One of those reasons is that racism is still a problem. The generalized white guy in the song’s biggest problem is his t-shirt is offensive and he’s ignorant. The generalized person of color in the song’s biggest problem is that he’s likely to face discrimination in education and employment, and be targeted by police who assume he’s a criminal because of his skin color. Brad Paisley’s biggest problem is he probably thinks this song is a positive step towards stomping out racism. LL Cool J’s biggest problem is he thought participating in this song would be a good idea.

In response to this inane song, The Atlanic posted a list of songs about racism on the non-awful end of the spectrum. I thought the idea fit with the spirit of this blog, so below is my own short playlist. Enjoy! And, ya know, smash racism. (Some lyrics NSFW.)

The Coup – “We Are the Ones”

Brother Ali  – “Uncle Sam Goddamn”

Mos Def – “Wahid”

OPM – “Unda”

Operation Ivy – “Officer”

Blogger’s note: You may have noticed this playlist is half the length of The Atlantic’s playlist, and still not all punky music. This is because, while a number of punk bands do tackle the issue of racism, few of them are people of color themselves. It’s an interesting tie-in to this issue. Punk is dominated by white dudes. As a result, this playlist is short, as to not also be dominated by white dudes.

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