Colorlines - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 10:13
In an interview with Time Magazine, Questlove answered Nolan Freeny's question "Are you pro or anti Iggy Azalea?" by defending the Australian rapper's hit "Fancy" as the "song of the summer."
Here's the thing: the song is effective and catchy as hell, and it works. Just the over-enunciation of "hold you down"? [Laughs]It makes me chuckle because all I can see is my assistant holding a brush in the mirror and singing it.
I'm caught in between. And I defend it. I see false Instagram posts like, "She said the N-word! She said the N-word!" I'll call people out -- "Yo, don't troll." I know you're ready to give your 42-page dissertation on theGrio about why this is culture vulture-ism. You know, we as black people have to come to grips that hip-hop is a contagious culture. If you love something, you gotta set it free. I will say that "Fancy," above any song that I've ever heard or dealt with, is a game-changer in that fact that we're truly going to have to come to grips with the fact that hip-hop has spread its wings.
And to tell the truth, I was saying this last year, I don't think it's any mistake that four or five of my favorite singers are from Australia. Like between Hiatus Kaiyote, there's a bunch I can name for you right now, but I don't think it's a mistake that a lot of of my favorite artists are coming from Down Under. A lot of them more soulful than what we're dealing with now. When you think soul music and Aretha Franklin and the Baptist-born singer, that's sort of an idea in the past. As black people, we're really not in the church as we used to be, and that's reflected in the songs now.
I'm not going to lie to you, I'm torn between the opinions on the Internet, but I'mma let Iggy be Iggy. It's not even politically correct dribble. The song is effective. I'm in the middle of the approximation of the enunciation, I'll say. Part of me hopes she grows out of that and says it with her regular dialect -- I think that would be cooler. But, yeah, "Fancy" is the song of the summer.
Colorlines - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 08:59
Here's an all too easily forgotten reality: mass incarceration and the U.S. deportation machine are deeply intertwined. And black immigrants get swept up in both systems. A new video from the Black Alliance for Just Immigration spells it out:
The rate of detention and criminal deportation is soaring. Black immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America are overrepresented in immigration detention and criminal deportatiton proceedings by five times their presence in the undocumented community. And all Latino undocumented immigrants are disproportionately affected by a wide margin. Ultimately all forms of crimnalization keeps people divided.
Colorlines - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:45
Emily Rios, the 25-year-old actress who stars in FX's "The Bridge" and had a role on AMC's "Breaking Bad," recently opened up about coming out to her family. Rios was born in Los Angeles and raised as a Jehovah's Witness in nearby El Monte. In an interview with AfterEllen, she said that she's proud to take on queer roles.
I'm gay, personally, so being Mexican and a lesbian -- this is why I love the character because I deal with the same type of things with my own family," she said. "Mexican-Americans especially -- because this generation, we come into America and your family wants to be proud. You want to come to this country and say 'This is what I have to show for it. I brought my family and we're living our better life.' For my family, my mom didn't want me to live a difficult life. She brought me here for a better one so she's like 'Your coming out...I don't want this to be this. I want you to be comfortable.
I want it to be an incidental thing, which is what happens in our everyday life," Rios said. "I wanted to make sure the whole lesbian aspect wasn't this whole coming out story and the character wasn't going to be made more flamboyant in any sort of way.
Colorlines - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:23
In an article that originally appeared in the September 29, 1979 issue of The Nation, James Baldwin wrote that "Jews and Palestinians know of broken promises."
But the state of Israel was not created for the salvation of the Jews; it was created for the salvation of the Western interests. This is what is becoming clear (I must say that it was always clear to me). The Palestinians have been paying for the British colonial policy of "divide and rule" and for Europe's guilty Christian conscience for more than thirty years.
Finally: there is absolutely--repeat: absolutely--no hope of establishing peace in what Europe so arrogantly calls the Middle East (how in the world would Europe know? having so dismally failed to find a passage to India) without dealing with the Palestinians. The collapse of the Shah of Iran not only revealed the depth of the pious Carter's concern for "human rights," it also revealed who supplied oil to Israel, and to whom Israel supplied arms. It happened to be, to spell it out, white South Africa.
Read more at The Nation.
Colorlines - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:21
What's become clear in the aftermath of Eric Garner's death is that NYPD chokeholds, though officially banned, happen all too often. There have been more than 1,000 complaints of officers using the tactic in recent years. But its influence in our cultural memory is strong, as Spike Lee demonstrated when he edited footage of Garner's death with the pivotal scene in his 1989 film "Do the Right Thing" when cops kill Radio Raheem.
Over at Shadow and Act, Tambay A. Obenson wrote that the video is "essentially holding up a mirror to reality, emphasizing how much his art seemingly imitates (or maybe I should say, reflects) real life - still, some 25 years later, since that film's release."
Colorlines - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:14
Here's what I'm reading up on this morning:
- An Air Algérie flight is missing, and likely crashed in northern Mali with about 116 people on board.
- A TransAsia flight crashes in Taiwan, killing 48 people.
- Despite one lone vote against it from the U.S., the U.N. begins an inquiry into whether Israel is committing war crimes; meanwhile, Israel attacks a U.N. school in Gaza.
- The botched execution of Joseph Wood in Arizona takes nearly two hours.
- Jobless claims fall again to their lowest level since 2006.
- Check out these photos from Comic-Con 2014 kicking off in San Diego!
- The world's first malaria vaccine may soon be approved.
- An astronaut tweets his "saddest photo yet" from space.
Hyphen Blog - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:13
A second helping of July lit: a poem by David Mura, in honor of Yuri Kochiyama.
Colorlines - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 13:01
Because it's Wednesday, and we all need something fierce to look at, watch this awesome video of contemporary African dances.
Colorlines - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 12:57
In early July, League City, Tex., city council members voted 6-2, "to refuse requests or directives by federal agencies to permit or establish any facility for the purposes of processing, housing or detaining any illegal aliens, designated as 'refugee' or otherwise." The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and Appleseed, a Texas-based legal advocacy group, filed the federal complaint, charging that League City's resolution discriminates against the affected children and violates the Fair Housing Act and Civil Rights Act of 1964. The complaint "is a warning to other municipalities that are considering similar resolutions. Cities can't accept federal funds, and then use them to discriminate," MALDEF attorney Marisa Bono told The Center for Public Integrity.
After several years of steady increases in the numbers of child migrants arriving in the U.S., some 57,000 unaccompanied migrant children fleeing rampant violence and conscription into gangs primarily in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, have so far been apprehended this year while attempting to seek refuge in the U.S. Still, overall flows of migrants crossing into the U.S. are still low. In the last year, Border Patrol has apprehended some 420,000 people, AP reported today, after three years of near historic lows of apprehensions. The last time apprehensions at the border were so low was in 1973, when the Border Patrol arrested 500,000 people, AP reported.
Colorlines - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 12:56
Across the United States, thousands of people have taken to the streets to call for an end to the Israeli war in Gaza that's claimed more than 600 Palestinian lives. Here's a look at what's happened already in three cities.Chicago
Photo credit: Scott Olson/ Getty Images
Photo credit: Scott Olson/ Getty Images
Photo credit: Scott Olson/ Getty ImagesSan Francisco
Photo credit: @Savannahh_h_
Photo credit: @SafeenS
Photo credit: @ewajasiwicz
Photo credit: @hdgremix
Photo credit: @aarifah_asifee
New America Media - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 11:39
WASHINGTON -- Two weeks after Obama's call for $3.7 billion to address the influx of unaccompanied minors, House Republicans are working on their own plan of about $1.5 billion to address the border crisis. Their version would include a controversial... La Opinión http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:17
Saul Williams, the star of the musical "Holler If You Hear Me," spoke with Rolling Stone this week about why he thinks the show wasn't a success. The show closed after only one month and 55 performances on Broadway. But Williams was quick to point out its accomplishments:
Could you foresee at all that Holler If Ya Hear Me would close this early or was it a surprise?
We've known what was going on all along. Every day at rehearsal, Kenny Leon was saying, "Let's be very clear with the fact that this play is probably going to be hated coming out the gates." We see how full or empty the house is every night. Twenty-six thousand people have seen the play and, of those people, we've had fucking standing ovations every night and tremendous support from the people that have seen it. But the producer, Eric Gold, said to me, "We expect that the first two months are going to be really difficult."
Why do you think more people didn't come out to see it?
One of our producers came in really angry because he had spoken to one of the TKTS people [who man Broadway ticket-selling booths] -- not saying she was a producer -- and asked them, "What about Holler? Should I see that?" And the response of the person who is supposed to guide tourists to plays was like, "It's a bit of a downer. It's not necessarily as fun as" whatever other play they mentioned. Then she approached another one and that person was like, "Oh, it got really bad reviews." We started a street team at the last minute to counter those TKTS people who are really supposed to be promoting everything on Broadway. I also cannot go without saying that there was something deeply embedded in a lot of the reviews that went deeper than just a dislike of the play.
Read more at Rolling Stone.
New America Media - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:10
In recent weeks, well-known Vietnamese activists have found themselves suddenly unable to log in to their Facebook accounts. Their personal pages have been suspended for “abuse” even though there was no apparent violation of any Facebook policy.According to Angelina Trang... Global Voices Online http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Hyphen Blog - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 08:53
Sam Louie, MA, LMHC writes about the guilt and fear some Asian Americans experience when acknowledging their addictions.
Colorlines - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 07:11
Here's what I'm reading up on this morning:
- The U.N.'S human rights commissioner suggests that Israel is committing war crimes; Israel continues its attacks on Gaza as Secretary of State John Kerry arrives to urge a ceasefire.
- Two Ukrainian jet fighters have been shot down near the MH17 crash site.
- Eric Garner, who died after an NYPD officer placed him in a chokehold, will be remembered at his wake and funeral today.
- Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman is upset that his "death blow" against Herbalife, which he says is a massive pyramid scheme, didn't quite work out.
- Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter rank low in customer satisfaction.
- Did you recently purchase peaches, plums, pluots or nectarines at Walmart, Sam's Club, Costco, Kroger's or Trader Joe's? They're being recalled.
- Bats use polarized light to get their bearings and fly.
New America Media - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 06:00
DETROIT — The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department announced July 21 it will suspend its controversial water shutoffs for 15 days.The shutoffs, called a violation of human rights by the U.N., have gained national and international attention. The announcement came... Zenobia Jeffries http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 00:05
I do not smoke, never have, but one of the first accessories I bought when I moved into my apartment in Kolkata were ashtrays.In India I am used to being in a group where I am the only person not... Sandip Roy http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=54
Colorlines - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 14:48
At its annual convention happening in Las Vegas, the NAACP unanimously passed a resolution today backing fast food workers' ongoing campaign for a $15 hourly wage and a union.
Burger King and Taco Bell employee Terence Wise, a father of three living in Kansas City, addressed the attendees. "Our children watch us go to work each day only to come home to eviction notices, shut-off notices, and bare cupboards," Wise told the crowd, according to a statement. "The civil rights movement taught us what to do when our nation defaults on a promise. Straighten your back, stand together, and fight for justice."
The NAACP resolution notes that, the nation's "four million fast food workers are the largest group of minimum wage workers in the United States, with workers of color disproportionately represented and especially concentrated in the lowest paying jobs; where only ten percent of workers of color hold management positions compared with almost half of the white men who work in fast food industry, further perpetuating the racial wage gap."
Read the resolution in full after the jump.
New America Media - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 14:26
EnglishUC ????? ?? ????? ??? ?? ??? ?? ???? ?? ??? ????, ?? ?? ??? ?? ???? ???? ???? ? ??? ?? ???? ??? ??? ? ?? ??? ????? ????. UC ????? ???????? 7? 15? ??? ?? ??? ?? ????... Kat Kerlin http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 14:24
The recent revelations that the U.S. monitored the email of five prominent American Muslims failed to shock the Muslim community in the U.S., writes Laila Alawa for The Guardian. American Muslims, by now long used to over a decade of domestic surveillance in and sanctioned discrimination of their communities, have plenty of reason to distrust their government.
And it's shaping how Muslims in America view the country, and themselves. Writes Alawa:
Many from outside the Muslim American community have been shocked by these revelations and others like them. But for me - beyond the feeling that my long-held suspicions have been confirmed - the knowledge that my faith makes me suspicious in the eyes of the government to which I've pledged my allegiance, well, that fazes me less and less everyday.
And for every one of me, there is at least one other young person whose childhood has been shaped by the reality of constant surveillance, government stings and wannabe informants.
After 9/11, I learned quite quickly to keep my head down because I thought that, if I could stay under most people's radars, I could thrive a world in which stories of warrantless deportations, faith-based workplace discrimination (and termination) and arrests that resulted in unending detention were common.
I was clearly not alone in making life choices based on my perception that I was - or could be - under surveillance. A 2014 study from the University of California at Berkeley showed that, whether or not Muslim Americans reported being monitored, they still felt significant levels of anxiety and anger about it.
Read Alawa's piece in full at The Guardian.
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