Dear Don Lemon (Again), You Are Officially Boring

I really don’t understand Don Lemon anymore.

And no, it’s not because many of his comments have essentially thrown the black community under the bus. Okay, it’s a little bit of that. What’s really frustrating about Don Lemon is that he is so damn bipolar about his messages. He doesn’t straddle the fence; he freaking leaps back and forth over the fence like a horse that’s been shot up with steroids instead of tranquilizers.

Look no further than his comments on the Tom Joyner Show, where he conceded that Stop and Frisk, the controversial New York law that has historically targeted people of color as potential perpetrators of crime, could be and has been abused by police officers. Then, he goes on to say it’s a necessary evil, arguing, in the most shockingly asinine way, “would you rather be politically correct or safe?”

Excuse me?

How do you say in one breath that the law is messed up, and then argue its necessity in the next? It’s almost as if he is trying his damnedest to piss off as many people as humanly possible. It would be one thing if he was just going to be a conservative commentator. Considering both his race and sexual orientation, it could actually be an interesting viewpoint. His inability to be consistent in his viewpoints has become tiresome, as has his attempts to “teach” people about things he clearly knows nothing about. Considering how his personal stock has dropped (I feel like Black Twitter drags him at least twice a week), it doesn’t even make sense to try and understand where he’s coming from.

If Don Lemon is trying to be controversial on purpose, it’s failed. On to the next one.

B

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WHY WE NEED TO STOP ON THIS MILEY ISH

I’ma be like every other blogger out there and put in my two cents about Miley’s performance.

Look, that girl is the devil. If you haven’t seen this

Buzzfeed: What Miley Cyrus Was Trying to Do At the VMAS vs What Miley Cyrus Actually Did then go read and laugh. It basically compares Miley’s  ‘Coming of Age’ performance to Britney’s like 10 years ago.

Too funny. Too real. Too true.

But here’s my thing. We bloggers can blog about that. We are pop culture, right. But why is CNN, FOX News, MSNBC and friends all on the air wasting precious air time and cost cable packages on psych panels trying to decipher Miley’s moral and mental state? I mean WHAT. Are you serious?

CNN said some ish this morning in this article: CNN’s Article aka Some ISH

These are responses from ‘outraged parents’ on the whole affair:

“I just find it extremely discouraging and difficult to hold out hope for the improved status of women in this world when even the most entitled among us so negatively reinforce the worst stereotypes and misogynistic attitudes about women,” said Belkin.
“Her behavior sets 50 to 60 years of women’s forward progress back a long way when you consider that her huge fan base really only consists of young and impressionable girls and horny young boys, who, unfortunately on many levels, are our future leaders,” said John Rodrigues of Boston, in response to a request for comment on CNN’s Facebook page.

*Pumps the breaks*
Okay, I’m sorry but you found it “difficult to hold out hope for the improved status of women in this WORLD” and you think her behavior “sets 50 to 60 years of women’s forward progress BACK”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? My face below:

I mean…Seriously?

While the romanticized antics of these parents is duly noted, I think that it is a TAD dramatic considering that Lady Gaga’s entire posterior was exposed and UNCUT on TV–she was in a glitter thong–and ain’t no body talking about that. Additionally, how about EVERY NIGHT  on TV the female anchors/reporters on FOX, CNN and friends look like porn stars with their boobs pressed to their faces and hair straight as a pin and makeup all dark and colorful. Talk about setting women back. Women in the television news industry can’t even go on TV and be taken seriously in a suit anymore. They have to be 110 pounds with a weave looking fresh off the college campus.

I’m just saying, people, Miley isn’t the reason why women are experiencing inequality. If anything, she just looked stupid running around between teddy bears in her underwear. NOT TO MENTION the fact that Paula Patton probably wanted to throw down when Miley rubbed her barely there backside all up on Robin Thicke like it was nothing. – Nasty.

But more than that read this Solidarity is for Miley Cyrus by Jezebel Jezebel article. Basically they liken her perofrmance to being blatantly racist in nature because of the way it objectifies black women. I’m not going to get into a race discussion here, but it is an interesting perspective and worth reading.

ANYWAY. Bototm line? Miley is not going to ruin my life as a female. And if she does, it’s about time because you would think that Beyonce, Gaga, Britney, Jessica Simpson, Xtina…AND FRIENDS already have. Miley just wanted some attention and some press. She definitely got it. (Go Girl) But let’s just simmer down on this Miley is ruining the world for females ish.

 

-P

 

An Ego Ramble, Ongoing: How Exactly Do We Have an Open, Honest Discussion About Race in America?

The whole Don Lemon controversy has, once again, brought forth discussion about open, honest dialogue about the state of race in America.

For a significant portion of the black community, Lemon’s suggestions for self-empowerment as a collective race came off as a condescending lecture at best and racial betrayal at worst, as he co-signed with similar comments by Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly.

I’m a young black man myself who typically follows Lemon’s suggestions more or less. For instance, I don’t sag my pants, only because I personally think it is outrageously tacky, not because of a need to prove a point to someone else. I couldn’t help but note that, despite my demeanor and personal dress code, I was still subjected to experiences of discrimination. Initially, I was offended by Lemon’s insinuation that any discrimination was the fault of those discriminated. It also didn’t help that he was basically agreeing with man whose intentions were likely less than pure, whether Lemon’s were or not (his current media tour is only making it worse).

However, after giving it considerable thought, I started thinking about the “discussion” as a whole, instead of the particular comments.

How ready are we, as a collective nation, to actually talk about race?

As I see it, there are ultimately two opposing sides, with some ideologies that lie in between. There are those who believe that racism in America is a thing of the past, and that any perceived instances are either non-existent or should be blamed on the black community. Then there are those who feel that, despite obvious advancements over time, there are vestigial, institutional aspects of American society that allow racism to remain pervasive.

What I’ve come to find is that neither side is really trying to converse with the other.

Using Lemon as an example, he and others who think as he does, are perplexed by criticism of his criticism. He claims it is simply common sense and good taste, something his mother taught him in kindergarten. I have read comments across the Internet from people that argue that black people don’t want to hear the truth about their communities, and only want to play the blame game regarding race.

On the other hand, black people quickly attacked Don Lemon for his comments. He was called, among other things, a “turncoat mofo” and, of course, Uncle Tom, which means, for those unfamiliar, he essentially threw his fellow black man under the bus to appease white people (specifically his bosses at CNN in this case). Essentially, the rhetoric on this side is that white people, who have never had the black experience in America and don’t have to deal with the connotations of race on a daily basis (read “white privilege”), should not be offering any kind of commentary on how black people should behave, because it is never that simple.

As I hopefully mapped it out, there are two trains of thought here, crashing into each other repeatedly. Both sides aim to invalidate the other with rather simplistic arguments. Those against Lemon are ignoring the, frankly, valid points he makes about our community and how we care ourselves. I only need to say “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta.” Those with Lemon don’t understand that racial politics are a lot more complicated than quick fixes. If that were the case, to be able to end racism by simply throwing on some Calvin Klein, I’m pretty sure Macy’s would be sold out forever (which would make my life suck, since I love that brand, but I digress). And that isn’t even calling into question whether that type of fashion is even economically accessible to those living in the kinds of neighborhoods that Lemon refers to.

I think both sides, everyone in America, isn’t really talking about race because no one is really acknowledging just how complicated it really is. Anyone who thought MLK’s dream was fulfilled when Obama was elected are deluding themselves, no matter how momentous it was in our history.

There really is no one moment or suggestion or human who will magically erase racism. It’s systemic, institutional, generational and highly politicized (hence the constant throwing around of “conservative” and “liberal” throughout this whole situation).

Yet, it’s a poisonous construct that demeans one sect of humanity for another.

So with all of that said, I wonder what will it take, or if we are even capable at this point in time to discuss race, whatever that means. I certainly don’t claim to have a single answer, but I do know that the current state of speaking is not cutting it anymore.

Of course, my thoughts on this topic are evolving. I greatly appreciate any comments or questions you have. In fact I encourage them. My only request is that the comments remain respectful, lest they be deleted.

– B