And now, a stunning headline from “The Hill”:
Adidas pulls all-white sneaker created for Black History Month after Twitter backlash
Such an event, and such a headline, could only exist if the following were true: Continue reading
Several NBA teams have played what is known as the “negro national anthem” at games during Black History Month thanks in part to the urging of a retired Howard University professor. Eugene Williams, a 76-year-old retiree in Clinton, Maryland, has made it his goal to get professional and collegiate teams to play “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during February. He has been calling and writing teams for the past six months.The Washington Wizards became the fourth NBA team to play the song at a game, doing so during a timeout midway through the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.
1 African Americans have a national anthem. It’s called “The Star Spangled Banner,” and is their national anthem because they are Americans.
2. The concept of a separate national anthem for blacks is divisive and offensive. When the song was written, in the midst of the Jim Crow era, that designation was meaningful and inspiring. Now it is destructive.
3. Or is the next step to have separate “national anthems” for all ethnic groups and races that are supposed to be part of a single, united nation and culture? Of course, we’ll also need a woman’s national anthem—“I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar”?—and a gay anthem—“I Am What I Am”? Someone had better write a trans anthem–“I Am What I Wasn’t”? The opening ceremonies before sporting events will take longer than the games themselves, but nobody will be left out, and that’s what matters, right?
4. Speaking of sports, all of Colin Kaepernick’s disciples swore that their “taking a knee” during—what is it, the white National Anthem?—“The Star Spangled Banner” weren’t protesting the anthem or intending disrespect. So we can assume that they would have also knelt during “the negro national anthem,” right? Sure they would.
5. I know, I know, it was “just” for Black History Month. The Ethics Alarms position is that segregated months are still a vestige of segregation, and an impediment to national unity and racial healing.
This episode proves it.
Putting the jester’s privilege to great use, Comedy Central comic Stephen Colbert not only defied his corporate masters, communications giant Viacom, but mocked them in the process. He was officially warned of the corporation’s “concern” about “Laser Klan,” his planned animated riff involving the Klu Klux Klan during Black History Month. Colbert aired it anyway.
I have to wonder if he would have done the same if Viacom had been concerned about offending Muslims, rather than, hmmmm, let’s see, being worried that some racial victim-mongers would decide that making fun of the Klan, sworn enemies of blacks, Jews, and, oh, so many others, was somehow disrespectful to blacks in February because only they could…oh, I don’t know what the complaint would be. I can’t blame the suits at Viacom…I bet someone at MSNBC and the NAACP are working up a political correctness offense theory right now, so Colbert will have to humble himself and beg for forgiveness.
Before that happens, though, let’s give Colbert his due. What he did takes principles and guts…and high ratings. Just be careful your numbers don’t fall off, Stephen.
And remember the Smothers Brothers.
We haven’t had an example of jaw-droppingly incompetent, outrageously irresponsible teacher behavior for a while, so this story from the Associated Press is timely, if not welcome.
Three Los Angeles elementary school teachers gave children portraits of O.J. Simpson, Dennis Rodman and RuPaul to carry in a Black History Month parade. Honest. The teachers have been removed from their classrooms, and investigation is pending. All the teachers were white men, and the classes involved were first, second and fourth grades. Continue reading