Sorry Mika and Joe, not much has changed about President Trump

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski are not pleased with President Trump.

In an op-ed published in the Washington Post early Friday morning called “Donald Trump is not well,” the engaged “Morning Joe” co-hosts delivered a bevvy of critiques of President Trump’s Twitter assault on Brzezinski on Thursday.

In the series of tweets, Trump described Brzezinski as “low I.Q. Crazy Mika”. He also called Scarborough “Psycho Joe.” Probably the most incendiary comments in the tirade, Trump claimed that the duo “insisted to join” him in Mar-a-Lago around New Year’s Eve but that Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a face-lift.”

The personal attack was reminiscent of Trump’s previous comments that NBC News host, formerly of Fox News, Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her whereever” after she questioned him at a presidential debate in August 2015.

Scarborough and Brzenzinski addressed the barrage of tweets – and Trump’s purported “obsession with women’s blood” – in their response, stating that the “president’s unhealthy obsession with ‘Morning Joe’ does not serve the best interests of either his mental state or the country he runs.” The two also pushed back against claims that Brzezinski’s face was bleeding, saying that her face was “perfectly intact.”

Personal attacks aside, the op-ed highlights an important narrative about judgements of Trump’s demeanor and mental faculties since becoming president. In particular, Scarborough and Brzezinski explain that their relationship with Trump spans more than a decade but that they “have noticed a change in his behavior over the past few years.”

 

Read the full article at Black Youth Project.

Cutting our hair won’t guarantee our “success” but ending white supremacy will

Changing our hair has never been enough to protect Black people from anything in this country. The mere notion is unfounded and problematic. But that hasn’t kept some especially respectable Negros from suggesting otherwise.

Last week, educator and television personality, Dr. Steve Perry, came under fire for suggesting that young Black people, specifically young Black men, cutting their dreads, braids, and “unkept frosh” might garner them greater professional and social success. Social media erupted in response.

These comments were made in relation to a recent camp Perry participated in with TV host and comedian Steve Harvey and the US Army that hosted approximately 200 Black boys in an effort to “support” them.

According to the press release on the camp,

A total of 220 fatherless male youths from across the country, aged 13-18, were invited to attend a mentoring camp experience at Camp Grace in Roberta, GA hosted by the Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men. During the program, the teens live among male role models and are exposed to educational and inspirational activities aimed to introduce them to adulthood and teambuilding, instill self-respect and respect for others, teach helpful life skills and introduce problem-solving techniques to conquer obstacles and empower their futures.”

 

Read the full article at Black Youth Project.

Black and Proud in Public: How Black Girls and Women Are Shamed For Being Dope

From proms to graduations, this time of the year is meant to be a celebratory period for high school and college students everywhere. But, when the valedictorian of Central High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama posted her accomplishments on social media, she was met with both admiration and hatred. This is yet another example of the ways that Black women and girls are rarely praised for their outstanding accomplishments, making it almost impossible for them show even an ounce of pride for themselves in public spaces.

Mari Flier is a magical Black girl who is graduating at the top of her class with a 4.56 GPA and acceptances to at least three dozen colleges with almost $3 Mil in scholarship offers. She has every reason to be proud of herself. However, after she posted her accomplishments on social media, she was met with criticism from people who doubted that she was being truthful about her success. Some others thought she was just trying to floss on the Internet for her own vanity.

 

Read the full article at Black Youth Project.

Trump, Clinton, and A Tale Of Two Racisms

Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, is working tirelessly to distance herself from her (former) friend, Republican nominee Donald Trump. Her method in doing so suggests that she is somehow critically different from him. But, young people of color don’t seem to be buying that claim. This begs the question: Why are her supporters struggling to understand this dissonance? Well, it’s likely because many of those in the Clinton camp have a problematic definition of racism and, to a larger extent, systematic oppression in general.

Far too often, it is assumed that racism and many other public forms of oppression are reserved for conservative, usually Republican, people in America. Mythological ideas about old southern racists grasping their confederate flags and antebellum nostalgia still emerge in the collective psyche when folks discuss explicitly racist manifestations of hatred in the United States. The problem with this conception is that it only focuses on one type of racism: the explicit kind. And, even then, it doesn’t acknowledge the ways that racism has transformed into colorblind systems of oppression which are usually embraced by younger, “liberal”, upwardly-mobile Whites, precisely the types who support Hillary Clinton.

This limited perception of racism leaves out the ways that many people in power (especially White, affluent, generationally wealthy people) maneuver through society without any intention of ending racial oppression. In this context, people of color who have voiced opposition to Clinton (and also Bernie Sanders), are repeatedly disregarded, overlooked, and effectively silenced as Clinton’s supporters ignore their political concerns as they espouse their own form of “egalitarian liberalism.”

 

Read the full article at Black Youth Project.

Who’s making the ‘Lemonade’? On bell hooks’ and Beyoncé’s Feminisms

I wasn’t going to get into the bell hooks versus Beyoncé fray over Lemonade and its myriad implications. I resisted the echo chamber hoping the frenzy would die down sooner rather than later. I told myself that there really was no point of debating the merits of either side since most of the dialogue has been forced into imaginary binaries like “old feminism” versus “new feminism”, intellectual versus artistic expression, academic versus non-academic, and the like. But, after seeing a Feministing article called “A Black Feminist Roundtable on bell hooks, Beyoncé, and “Moving Beyond Pain”,” I think it might be time we start thinking more critically about how we situate both women’s feminisms and who we foreground when critiquing them.

All of this started last week when foremother of Black Feminism bell hooks published a critique of Lemonade called “Moving Beyond Pain.” (Some would say this actually started when hooks called Beyoncé a “terrorist” because of her phenotypic imagery and effect on young Black girls but I am choosing to start with this recent issue).

In her critique, hooks offers both an anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchal analysis of the visual experience and lyrics Beyoncé offered us with Lemonade.

Read the full article at Black Youth Project.

#SayHerName: Two Male Suspects Arrested for the Murder of Arnesha Bowers

Arnesha-Bowers-WBALArnesha Bowers was a 16-year-old eleventh grader at City College in Baltimore, Maryland. Her brutal murder happened just recently but hasn’t been as prominent as it should be in news media. The good news is, Baltimore Police may be getting closer to administering the justice this young woman deserves.

According to Baltimore Police,  the teenaged girl was followed home from a party by one young man. After her grandmother dropped her off, the young man, now aware of Bowers’ home address, returned with another young man. They allegedly robbed, dragged, and sexually assaulted Bowers. Then, they choked her to death with an electric cord, and set her on fire. As of today, news has developed in connection with the arrests of two suspects. One suspect has offered his account of the events which resulted in Bowers’ unfortunate death.

According to police, Childs indicated that the two men had planned to rob Bowers’ home suspecting that her grandmother might have valuable belongings there. When they entered the home, Bowers was asleep. It was when she awoke that Dixon dragged her down to the basement. This is allegedly where the sexual assault occurred. Childs says that Dixon returned upstairs and indicated that the two should leave the home because it was on fire. Reportedly, Dixon also told Childs that Bowers was dead. The two young men, Adonay Dixon, 23, and John Childs, 20, have been charged with first-degree murder.

Read more at Black Youth Project.

Why it Matters That Hillary Clinton Said “All Lives Matter” In a Black Church This Week

hillary-clinton-missouriOn Tuesday, Democratic presidential hopeful, Hillary Rodham Clinton, gave a speech on race in the United States at a Black church in Florissant, Missouri. The church is just a short drive from Ferguson, the city where Michael Brown was murdered by Officer Darren Wilsonlast August. While Clinton’s speech was meant to score points with Black voters, a voting bloc which has been on the fence about her since her 2008 run against then candidate Obama, she missed the mark on several fronts. Mainly, her speech seemed like a canned response with no actual thought toward fixing the issues of ongoing systemic racism in this country. And, her use of the violent phrase “All lives matter” in the speech only confirmed to many Black Americans that she is completely out of touch with the community at-large.

Clinton’s speech was problematic for two major reasons.

Read the full article at Black Youth Project.

BYP: I’m Not Here For #CrimingWhileWhite and You Shouldn’t Be Either

Last Wednesday, a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict 29-year-old Daniel Pantaleo, the White New York City cop who applied an illegal “chokehold maneuver” to Eric Garner’s chest and neck causing his death on July 17th. Immediately following the grand jury’s decision, well-meaning Whites took to Twitter to show an “act of solidarity” using the hashtag #CrimingWhileWhite. A simple Google search of the term yields stories from New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and USA Today. But, doing the same for#BlackLivesMatter – a hashtag started by Black activists – yields strikingly different results. So, what does it say about solidarity when the rallying cry of this generation’s Selma gets less traction on social media and in the mainstream than White privilege confessions?

The #CrimingWhileWhite hashtag can best be understood as Whites noting and “confessing” their privilege, drawing on differences between themselves and murdered Black men like Eric Garner and Michael Brown, but not actually doing anything about it. It isn’t an understanding of the issues facing the Black community and police violence so much as it is a platform for concerned Whites to air their own grievances with White Privilege – the very privilege which many willingly benefit from rather than seek to dismantle. Sadly, the hysteria and self-aggrandizement of White people’s understanding of racism in the United States resulted in the hashtag being the highest trending topic in the United States outpacing those used and promoted by Black Americans seeking justice for the unanswered brutality against their communities. Media outlets equated the hashtag’s importance with those created within Black communities, once again undermining Black folks’ efforts to empower and amplify one another. It seems even within this “act of solidarity” White Privilege squelches the advancement of Black voices.

Read the full article at Black Youth Project.