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July 30, 2013

An Open Letter to Don Lemon of CNN

Dear Don,

I share your frustrations and concerns about black-on-black crime, black unwed mothers, use of the N-word and caring about where you live, but I don’t share your desire to join with the likes of a race-baiting hustler like Bill O’Reilly to denigrate the entirety of my community based on malicious half-truths.  

Don, I think you genuinely care about my community because you used to be part of it and used to know it.  O’Reilly doesn’t know jack sh!t about Black America.  Like an angry human volcano, he spews all the negative stereotypes and anti-black rhetoric that appeals to, incites and sparks feelings of superiority among the angry white guys Lindsey Graham anxiously says about the GOP is running out of.

Whether you know it or not Don, when you jump on O’Reilly’s racist bandwagon, you come across as a clueless sock puppet…a sell-out, who has lost touch not only with the black community, but with your own soul, as well.

When you raised those five points you broad-brushed the entirety of my community just like O’Reilly does with his “fire-ready-aim” approach to ranting about how terrible and deserving of scorn black people are.  

The fact is, problems in my community run much deeper than wearing sagging pants, saying the N-word and listening to “gangsta” rap.  That’s an overly simplistic way to say what they’ve said about us since we got off the first slave ships:  Blacks are lazy, dumb, cowardly people proned to being natural criminals.  But Don, you know better because not too long ago, you were one of us.

Educated, worldly man that you are, you’ve got to understand that there are correlations between crime, poverty, segregation and cultural genocide that have created what amounts to a permanent underclass of black Americans that O’Reilly and those of his ilk can’t and won’t understand.

This might sound like the blame game, but in reality ever since blacks were brought to America they’ve tried to make their culture ours.  They took our names.  They took our religion.  They took our families. They took our languages.  In short, they took everything from us and made us believe our culture was worthless. They made us hate ourselves, from our looks to our intellect—or supposed lack thereof.  If you tell someone—even an entire people—long enough that they’re nothing, they will believe it, hate themselves and live down to low expectations.

That’s gone on for almost 400 years and it’s not going to change overnight just because you and your racist partner Bill O’Reilly say black Americans are our own worst enemies and worthy of all the disdain and fear white people choose to heap upon us.  It’s like digging a bottomless pit of poverty, unbalanced educational and criminal justice systems and self-hate…throwing a whole race of people into it and then blaming them for not climbing out fast enough on their own.

But in spite of all of that, we’ve done all right.  Of course, we can do better…but so can every ethnic group in our country.  But we’re better than what you and O’Reilly think.  We’re a resilient people, who are finding ourselves and pulling ourselves out of that pit…slowly but surely and some slower than others, but we’re getting there.  But most importantly, as you and O’Reilly seem to believe, crime in America is not a “black thing,” implying that whites have a legitimate reason to profile and fear black people.

Another thing Don, crime transcends race and is typically intraracial. According to Justice Department statistics, white Americans are pretty much as likely to be killed by other whites as blacks are to be killed by other blacks and Hispanics are to be killed by other Hispanics.

Consider this from an article written by Edward Wyckoff Williams that was posted on the Grio.Com April 12, 2012 ( http://www.theroot.com/...):

In fact, all races share similar ratios. Yet there's no outrage or racialized debate about "white on white" violence. Instead, the myth and associated fear of "black on black" crime is sold as a legitimate, mainstream descriptive and becomes American status quo.

The truth? As the largest racial group, whites commit the majority of crimes in America. In particular, whites are responsible for the vast majority of violent crimes. With respect to aggravated assault, whites led blacks 2-1 in arrests; in forcible-rape cases, whites led all racial and ethnic groups by more than 2-1. And in larceny theft, whites led blacks, again, more than 2-1.

As MSNBC’s Chris Hayes rightly pointed out recently (http://www.mediaite.com/...):
“There are about 200 million white people in America, making up about 63% of the population,” he said. “In 2010, 1,179 white people were killed by black people. Compare that number to the roughly 20,000 white people who died from accidental poisoning, 16,000 who died from accidental falls that year, or the 2,000 or so white people estimated who died from accidental drowning. In other words, Bill O’Reilly, you have more reason to be afraid of your own swimming pool than any young black man you see in a hoodie.”
I hope you heard that, too Don.

According to a 2012 study by Scripps Howard, it also isn't true that black America is growing increasingly violent.  Here’s what Radley Balko wrote in a Huffington Post article posted July 24, 2013 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...):

Again, black homicides, like all homicides, are in a steep, 20-year decline. In fact, the rates at which blacks both commit and are victims of homicide have shown sharper declines than those of whites. It's true that Chicago has had an unusually violent last few years, but this is an anomaly among big American cities. The 2012 murder rate in Washington, D.C., for example, hit a 50-year low. Violent crime in New York and Los Angeles is also falling to levels we haven't seen in decades.
In addition, here’s an excerpt from an article about the huge role race plays in America’s criminal justice system by Keith Rushing posted on the Huffington Post on June 23, 2011 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...):
The Washington Post featured an essay by two experts, Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, and David Cole, a Georgetown law professor, who in "Five Myths about Americans in Prison" examined the role of race in incarceration.

These men show that not only are people of color stopped more frequently by police, their communities, particularly with anti-drug efforts, receive far more attention from police. And black men are often charged and prosecuted differently than their White counterparts.

Mauer and Cole attempt to dispel the myth that there is a disproportionate number of black people in prison because black people commit more crimes.

They point out that although whites and African Americans use and sell drugs at about the same rates, Black men in 2003 were almost 12 times as likely to go to prison as white men. Although black people are 12 percent of the population and 14 percent of drug users, according to Mauer and Cole, they comprise 34 percent of those arrested for drug offenses and 45 percent of those incarcerated in state prisons for such offenses.

Both men attribute disparities in incarceration rates in part to the way urban black communities are policed.

"Police find drugs where they look for them," they wrote. "Inner-city, open-air drug markets are easier to bust than those that operate out of suburban basements. And numerous studies show that minorities are stopped by police more often than whites."

Likewise, Don, TV pundits like you and O’Reilly find America’s scapegoats where they look for them--typically and conveniently within the black community.  

You and O’Reilly make it sound like the issues you rant about are peculiar to the black community—more specifically to BLACK PEOPLE.  Nothing could be more off-base and soothing to people looking for reasons to justify their hatred for and vilification of blacks.  The same issues that afflict poor inner city blacks tend to afflict poor communities across America be they predominantly white, Hispanic or Native American.  

Your so-called "tough love" is nothing but scapegoating Don. And worse, it gives cover and solace to racists who applaud you publicly, but still call you n****r privately.

And there’s no balance in your scapegoating…just a bunch of tainted, misguided darts thrown at black folks and that’s just plain wrong Don—especially when those darts are thrown by somebody who used to be one of us and should know better.

Sincerely,

A Black American Who Refuses To Be Labeled or Scapegoated By You, Bill O'Reilly or Anyone

Originally posted to Kwik on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 07:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community, Barriers and Bridges, and Community Spotlight.

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  •  Tip Jar (171+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    askyron, Red Bean, TomP, Lost and Found, Tracker, Mary Mike, Samer, Korkenzieher, a2nite, Little Flower, Cassandra Waites, kharma, marleycat, Lying eyes, ANY THING TOO ADD, niteskolar, appledown, hnichols, dennis1958, Late Again, rb608, devis1, gramofsam1, milkbone, The Gryffin, poco, svboston, EastcoastChick, ypsiCPA, cassandraX, GRLionsFan, citisven, badscience, Davui, noelcor, TrueBlueMajority, Matt Z, aunt blabby, newpioneer, rg611, the1sage, GrannyOPhilly, sebastianguy99, bloomer 101, kmfmstar, MJ via Chicago, Railfan, politicalceci, Paul Ferguson, MinistryOfTruth, jaebone, conniptionfit, vahana, philipmerrill, starfu, Vita Brevis, JoanMar, Lorikeet, Aquarius40, avsp, vixenflem, mofembot, page394, dopper0189, stormicats, JFinNe, sawgrass727, science nerd, paz3, Lefty Ladig, JDWolverton, turdraker, Egalitare, wuod kwatch, MKinTN, ninkasi23, SueM1121, Shippo1776, micsimov, Larin, Woody, varii, Bluesee, 2thanks, Blazehawkins, ramara, leonard145b, TheDuckManCometh, Kristina40, WilliamE, here4tehbeer, catlady, clubbing guy, murrayewv, multilee, rapala, SaintC, fabucat, hulagirl, pasadena beggar, smartdemmg, also mom of 5, Nespolo, orangecurtainlib, Joieau, Yasuragi, WVUCavalier, GustavMahler, richardvjohnson, Em, Dodgerdog1, AdamSelene, Shotput8, dewley notid, verdeo, ridemybike, Yumn, leema, getlost, pcl07, mungley, Larsstephens, bnasley, wildwind, linkage, catilinus, Aunt Pat, mrsgoo, HCKAD, BlueZone, bamilekeman, molunkusmol, arlene, StrayCat, Ageing Hippie, Plantsmantx, Silvia Nightshade, rocksout, alevei, TiredOfGOPLies, karmsy, never forget 2000, johnosahon, JayC, pamelabrown, mallyroyal, shanikka, Batya the Toon, ShowMeMoBlue, kayla9170, chicklet, unfangus, raptavio, JVolvo, mkor7, sk4p, mikejay611, Rube Goldberg, jaysunb, swansong50, Aaa T Tudeattack, Kalamity, LA Crystal, oldmilitant, flowerfarmer, ER Doc, kravitz, D Wreck, samddobermann, RockyMtnLib, Denise Oliver Velez
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  •  I'm guessing it was a career move. (25+ / 0-)

    Calculated for the effects it would have on his job prospects rather then on his communities prospects.

    •  I think that may be part of it (27+ / 0-)

      (maybe a large part of it) but I also think there's other factors at play.

      He's thinking: If only other people acted like me.  If they dressed nicely, spoke politely using proper English, focused on education, postponed childrearing -- why there'd be no problems of poverty, crime and racism.  

      I know a number of people of different races who believe this to be not only true, but a reason to blame the poor and disenfranchised for their own situation.  If they'd only tried harder, dressed better, spoke better, behaved more responsibly.  Why reward poor people (with cushy food aid, for example) for not trying or for behaving irresponsibly?

      As a culture, we're remarkably blind to our own failures and quick to damn those of others.  Compassion is seen as weakness, and a social safety net is equated with rewarding failure.  

      We do not forgive. We do not forget. The whole world is watching.

      by Tracker on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 08:21:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those who love to lump individuals (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tracker

        into a category based largely upon appearance and then debase them are abusers.  An abuser is someone who desires to hate and attack.  So no matter what the object does, there will never be a point when the attacker gives up and says, "there, now you are up to my standards!"

        Ageism, racism, sexism, faith-bashing, gay-bashing, child predators and rapists fall into this category but I'm sure there are subcategories, too.  There is no room for individuality or mistakes (aka humanity) or compromise or positivity.  Abusers always find a victim and they are never finished with this life strategy until they recognize it and are motivated to change.  Most experts say the chances of that are statistically low.

        Please save a child's life. www.signon.org/sign/sarasota-sheriffs-office

        by kmfmstar on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 11:54:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I share those opinions you describe. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tracker

        I am not exactly a bootstrapper but I am aware of many people my age and who grew up within a standard deviation of my socioeconomic situation and have had wildly different outcomes.

        at 27 the difference in outcomes of those I grew up with is startling. And without any question I can say the differences in personal choices and the impacts those choices are having is crystal clear.

        I have friends and family who chose to study hard, act reasonably , not have kids young and chose their careers in an educated fashion . Those people are by all accounts succeeding.

        Those who chose the opposite are completely failing.

        Despite that I am 100% pro food programs, national healthcare etc. The reason for this is in the end it helps no one and is cost ineffective starve people out, or refuse healthcare. It costs billions more to do this than to just fork over the free goodies to these people.

        Do I think its fair/reasonable that one of my childhood friends had a kid at 15 dropped out of highschool and now has a growing family that he without a question can not support? No absolutely not.  

        In this nation there is class mobility. It is more restrictive than it should be. But those who are failing have themselves to blame.

        If more people did act, dress , focus on education etc like him. There would be a LOT less poverty a LOT less crime etc.

         

        •  WOW, 0112358, do you really think (0+ / 0-)

          socioeconomic status is all important?

          One of the biggest determinants is having someone who believes in you and nurtures or mentors you. Another major determinant is genes, yes genes. Not for good grades or other big things but there are genes contributing to high intelligence, risk aversion, curiosity, attention capacity, sleep cycle, sensitivity to exterior events, ever specific abilities.

          You don't know of abuse within the family. Was the kid told he was stupid, worthless? Was he traumatized by seeing or experiencing physical abuse? The one young man you mention was definitely not given sex education and probably not encouraged or helped to stay in school.

          I watch PBS and CBS news. They have both focused on the economic situation and have shown conversations with people who absolutely speak and dress well and look like they were successful in the past who are out of work long term, are losing their housing and have even run out of uninsurance benefits. You may not remain the success you think you are despite all your "good decisions.".

          You didn't figure out how to "chose to study hard, act reasonably , not have kids young and chose their careers in an educated fashion," Someone helped you figure out that that was the way to get ahead. Maybe they didn't have that help or even good examples.

          I am glad you have come to the economic decision you did but I saddened by the lack of knowledge you show.  

          I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

          by samddobermann on Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 03:32:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (28+ / 0-)

      But he should stop to remember this:

      And worse, it gives cover and solace to racists who applaud you publicly, but still call you n****r privately.
      No matter how hard he tries, he will never be a part of their club.
    •  he could probably double his salary (5+ / 0-)

      by going to Fakes News

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 11:05:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I believe you're wrong (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sandbox

      I don't think there is anything inaccurate to say that outward appearance and perception to others matters in today's world, especially in the professional world.

      It's about marketing yourself and how you sell yourself. If you want to be seen as "professional" you should lean toward acting and having an appearance of being "professional".

      For example - and I'll try to use one close to Lemon - if a young black man or woman is applying for a job, and they're throwing around N bombs every sentence, it doesn't matter how qualified that man or woman is, the employer most likely isn't going to pick them.

      There are a 1000 examples that you can use for white people m brown people old people, young people, etc. It's not a black person thing, it's a person thing, if you want me to taken serious in certain situations, you, most of the time, need to act as if you should be taken seriously.

      •  if a Black man or woman applies for a job (15+ / 0-)

        s/he can dress in Brooks Brothers, speak the Queen's English, and have a BA.

        s/he will still not get the interview with a "Black-Sounding" name

        s/he will not get the interview if s/he lives in an inner-city zip code

        and if s/he does get the interview, and does get the job, s/he will earn less over a lifetime than a white man with a high-school diploma.

        it's not a person thing.  It's a black person thing.

        I'm not going to footnote this post, but I have two degrees in Labor Studies. This is what the numbers show.

        It's not a fake orgasm; it's a real yawn.

        by sayitaintso on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 02:33:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  congrats on your degrees (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          janemas

          but these statements are wholly inaccurate.

          s/he will still not get the interview with a "Black-Sounding" name

          s/he will not get the interview if s/he lives in an inner-city zip code

          Yours use of definitive statements is scary and disheartening for someone who's going to use an educational background as evidence that no one should question your posts.

          And let me ask you this - if a white man applies for a bank loan swearing every other word while wearing a speedo - is he more or less likely to get the loan than the same white man who dresses in a suit and can control his language?

          If you honestly believe that they have the same exact chance, we can agree to disagree.

          That's the crux of the argument - that appearances and impressions matter.

          I don't see how Lemon is incorrect or factually wrong by saying

          Number two, finish school. You want to break the cycle of poverty? Stop telling kids they’re acting white because they go to school or they speak proper English. [...]
          •  Trobone, the data are against you. The statements (8+ / 0-)

            by sayitaintso are not wholly inaccurate.  One study by the National Bureau of Economic research sent out fictitous resumes, deliberately constructed to be closely matched in experience and qualifications.  Half had recognizably "black" names; half had white-sounding names.  ANd yes, there was a marked disparity in how few resumes with black names were offered an interview.
            (http://www.nber.org/...).

            There was also a more complex study (by the Brookings Institute?).  There was no difference in the names used, and the individuals were chosen and coached to be very similar in their presentation, dress, etc.  Their resumes again presented equivalent educational backgrounds and levels of experience.  Half were black and half were white. Again, there was a marked advantage for the white applicants in job offers or invitations to a second interview.

            The Urban Institute, one of the most reputable social science organizations in the country, did a similar study on housing. They matched 4000 pairs of people by age, gender, and (alleged) financial qualifications, and sent them out to try to rent or buy housing.  Both blacks and Hispanics got less helpful receptions from real estate agents.  Whites were frequently offered lower prices, or told deposits (etc.) were negotiable. BLacks and Hispanics were more likely to be told a property had already been rented, even if (when a white tester appeared) it was magically available again.  ANd so on. There's more, you can check it out on the Urban Institute web site.

            Actual racism still exists.  This is important.  It's important not to assume that the difference in ability to get a job, for instance, is because black applicants are less qualified.  There is another factor at work here, and it had been documented over and over.  So it really needs to be acknowledged.

            Do you really think that black people apply for jobs while "throwing around the N word every other sentence"?  I'm sure it has happened sometime, somewhere, with some uneducated young person.  But taht really, really, truly is not the issue with higher black unemployment.

            Poverty and worse schools are issues at times.  But not always, by far.  For God's sake, man -- it's been WAY too long that this stuff has been going on, and it has been WAY too well and repeatedly documented.  It's really not valid to pretend that plain old racism isn't part of the equation every day of the week.  It may not even be conscious, it may be just an underlying unease, but still there, and still affecting the lives of people of color.  Please read some of the studies, or at least refrain from denying the impact of our society's underlying racial assumptions.
             

            --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

            by Fiona West on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 04:43:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Different != black (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Trobone

              From what I am aware of other more general studies have indicated that the bias is towards average sounding names. Not against black sounding in particular.

              Point #2) Your argument that racism and bias exists does not counter  Trobone's argument at all.

              Trobone is stating that no matter who you are your behavior is a/the key component of your success or failure.

              You simply point out that race can/does have an effect. Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive.  

              You are essentially arguing against a point that the author is NOT making.

              •  Nice nitpicking (7+ / 0-)

                Now explain the one where the names were the same and the black people in the interviews were still less likely to be hired.

                Or the housing one.

                Or heck -- explain why a supposed bias toward "normal American names" is NOT a de facto racist thing considering how many black people are not named Tom, Dick or Harry and still need to find a job.

                And speaking of perfectly normal American names, did you stop to wonder how the applicants named Leroy Smith or Ronald Jefferson did compared to Thomas O'Malley and Michael Trotta?  I'm guessing not.

                You sound like nothing but a blind denier.

                •  Since you jumped the boat on name calling (0+ / 0-)

                  I am going to simply question your reading comprehension.

                  For the sake of the argument. My entire point in my first post was to differentiate between the two points.

                  Once again for those who are comprehension challenged.

                  One user was pointing out that racism can play a role.

                  The other user was pointing out that a person's actions play a significant/greater role than race.

                  THOSE IDEAS ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE.

                  Please continue ranting on your point which is completely irrelevant to the posters comment.

                  Its amazing that you have the ability to type words as you clearly lack the ability to read them.

                  •  Sigh. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Kwik

                    Trombone was pointing out how a person's actions can hinder job prospects.  Implying that "see that's not racial".

                    The other poster(s) were trying, in vain, to point out that because of racism/bias, some applicants did not even have the opportunity to be accepted or rejected because of behavior because their ethnic names, etc excluded them before they even got a foot in the door.

                    In other words,, having advanced degrees, pulling up your pants, speaking proper english and not throwing up gang signs won't help you one damn bit if your name is Antwan Jones and the person screening the resumes is biased.

                    •  Its not an all or nothing (0+ / 0-)

                      proposition with different names, its a reduced set of odd's. The truly elite still succeed, the crappy always fail.

                       The ones in the middle  are the ones punished. But even still in that group you may have reduced odds of getting that an invite but that in itself is NOT career ending.

              •  Trobone certainly seems to be saying that (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                oldmilitant, EastcoastChick

                personal responsibility and presenting yourself well are THE keys to success, trumping anything else.  In this he (probably without recognizing it) echoes people like Bill O'Reilly, who responds to any mention of racism by thumping the table and declaring that black people have to take personal responsibility.  Then he starts yelling about the "grievance industry," and waxing apoplectic about Al Sharpton.

                What O'Reilly is of course implying, what many on the right imply or sometimes say straight out, is that the black community is a blighted desert when it comes to personal responsibility, which only occasionally makes a feeble appearance in some hidden corner, before it's stamped out by Al Sharpton and the "grievance industry."  Thus the struggles of millions of ordinary people to make a decent life for themselves and their families are routinely dismissed and discounted by a lot of people who make a lot of noise.

                Do you understand that's likely to produce some frustration and anger?

                What I say is that of course no one succeeds without taking personal responsibility, but that is not the only factor for POC in this country.  Among other things, racism is a POWERFUL FACTOR that can mitigate against personal acheivement.  

                Trobone says one factor tells the whole story.  I say two, at least.  Yes, those arguments are mutually exclusive.  Either the lack of "personal responsibility" explains all the ills of the black community, or it doesn't.  

                Why is this so hard?  It should be easy for either of you to simply say, “Well of course, racism is a real factor that seriously affects black people's lives and achievements.”  Why is it so hard to acknowledge such a powerful historic factor at work?

                I'd just love for you to flat out acknowledge that, and then the conversation could go on more fruitfully from there.

                --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

                by Fiona West on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 08:13:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  actually (0+ / 0-)

                  that's not what I'm saying at all.

                  And your thinly veiled accusations and insinuations about me being racists are inherently and completely wrong.

                •  and I've admitted many times (0+ / 0-)

                  in this thread alone that racism is a factor.... not 100% of the time, but it's out there.

                  And I have never said that personal appearance is the only factor holding people back, nor have I claimed it is the key to success.

                  I have simply, and repreatedly stated that people of every color, religion, etc need to consider their personal brand and personal appearance.

                  It's not a black problem, it's an everyone problem.

                •  Why is it so hard (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  shanikka

                  To recognize that both things are ging on and are mutually reinforcing?  

                  Proper presentation is a social signaling function an learning those signals requires access to settings where you learn them.  They require mentors and training.  People help those who are of the same social group and are neutral to everyone else.   Since blacks are under represented in positions of power, far too few black professionals have the mentors and sponsors to get the inside track.  This is a significant contributor to white privileges and its flip side institutional racism.  So, even without a ton of animus (which is also prevalent) we see being of the wrong group, being different, even having the wrong name leaves people without the leg up that one often needs to get in the door.   Obviously it isn't a 100% thing (note: President Barack Obama has done well) but statistically spread over the entire population it creates big disparities in income and access.

                  That lack of access in turn creates negative impressions of the under class. You know,every under class, whether black people in the US, Turks in Holland, or Koreans in Japan, has the same charges leveled at them.  The language is eerily similar.  So, lack of access reinforces negative stereotypes which drives a lack of access and a perception of "doing it wrong"

                  These two things are really part of the same elephant

                  Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion. An activist seeks to change opinion.

                  by Mindful Nature on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 04:19:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I agree. (0+ / 0-)

                    Of course, not all black people are underclass.  YOung people from working class or middle class backgrounds, who work to get good educations and are free of sagging pants, can still run into racism and rejection because of the assumptions or unease created in the dominant majority by underclass images.  But I know you know all that.

                    There's a white underclass as well, mostly rural (and grindingly poor, of course).  But they aren't taken to define anything essential about the nature of white people.

                    --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

                    by Fiona West on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 05:43:00 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Then there's (6+ / 0-)

              The research done by the sociologist Devah Pager which revealed that a white prison parolee has a better chance of being hired than a black man with no police record.

            •  You're arguing against a point (0+ / 0-)

              I'm not trying to make.

            •  This comment (0+ / 0-)

              Deserves a diary on its own right.  

              Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion. An activist seeks to change opinion.

              by Mindful Nature on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 01:30:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  In what universe does any of this happen? (6+ / 0-)
            if a young black man or woman is applying for a job, and they're throwing around N bombs every sentence, it doesn't matter how qualified that man or woman is, the employer most likely isn't going to pick them.
            That is a sweeping visual! I dare say that anyone who comes to an interview using profanity is not going to get hired--black or white. It is a matter of self control, self discipline and social awareness of acceptable behavior.

            Lemon's comments were shallow and ill informed. First, I seriously doubt that the audience he sought to address even watches his show. Think about it. So who heard his words? People who most likely agree with Lemon/O'Reilly's prescriptives or educated and information conscious individuals for whom Lemon's chastisement does not apply. I won't go into why I think Lemon sought to insert himself-was it narcissism because he is on TV or was it an earnest though misdirected attempt to shine a light on the topic.

            Lemon, as a black person of some accomplishment, should know better. There are millions of working class and middle class black people who have little familiarity with what Lemon was talking about in their own personal lives. They see these superficial stigmas but it is not their lives.

            If anything, to go back to the Zimmerman trial, is that the outcome has torn something for the black middle class. It is not enough that we follow the law and play by the 'rules'. It is not enough that we keep our sons close, struggle valiantly to remove them from the promoted negative images of young black men, insist on education and "keeping their nose clean" as whites are wont to say. No, our sons can be walking down the street, doing nothing illegal and be followed, confronted and shot by a nominal white man. Additionally, after being murdered, the killing is justified by overblowing youthful indiscretions and advocating the prophylactic killing of a "wannabe thug".

            Lemon would do well to be more circumspect as to what conservatives are trying to promote hear. As a man of color with a megaphone, we expect more.

            Keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce.---Molly Ivins

            by never forget 2000 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 09:51:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree 100% (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kwik, ER Doc

              I also picked up on that visual.  Do some white people actually believe that the average black person goes around throwing up gang signs and dropping the N word everywhere they go?

              Seriously, not those caricatures you see in the music videos and the teenage wannabees who mimic them on Twitter for attention - but actual everyday black people.

              Sigh.

            •  this universe (0+ / 0-)

              and it's not just a black problem, it's an everyone problem, thinking that their appearance, language, body language and prepartions shouldn't matter when going after a job.

        •  Funny/Differant names (0+ / 0-)

          are discriminated against by every one.
          Last study I saw indicated that resume reviewers were biased towards average sounding names for whatever area they were win.
          IE Even people from other cultures were biased towards American sounding names when in the states. And Egyptian sounding names in Egypt etc.  

          Its not a "black thing" Its a anyone who is different thing. Unfortunately many parents of many different races do not realize that giving your kid that OMG its so unique name is putting a target on them for life.  

          "s/he will not get the interview if s/he lives in an inner-city zip code"

          Ive never heard of someone using a zip code on someones resume.

          •  Ever heard of the mail? As in mailing a resume? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mkor7

            If you have, then you know the zip code is in the return address or the cancellation or both.

          •  So I put a target on my son (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mkor7

            by giving him a name that acknowledges his heritage and doesn't hide it.  Charming.

            •  Yes you did. (0+ / 0-)

              from birth to death people with different sounding names have fewer opportunities in any/all cultures.

              Im glad you admit that due to your own egotism and self-centered ideas of what is important you made a choice that will negatively effect your child's prospects.

              •  Wow just wow (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kwik, shanikka
                from birth to death people with different sounding names have fewer opportunities in any/all cultures.

                Im glad you admit that due to your own egotism and self-centered ideas of what is important you made a choice that will negatively effect your child's prospects.

                That was pretty fucking mean.  

                I agreed with her observation because unfortunately it is reality.  But it sure as hell is not her "fault".  Why shouldn't she be able to name her kid something that celebrates her heritage.  Only people named Bob and Sue are worthy? And only parents that name their kids "nice vanilla names" like Bob and Sue care about their kids?

                How about we strive for a society that doesn't discard and judge people for something as arbitrary as a name, something which they had zero control or input in obtaining.

                •  It was. so what? (0+ / 0-)

                  Poster got under my skin and this is a real issue people should be serious about.

                  "
                  Why shouldn't she be able to name her kid something that celebrates her heritage. "
                  Its a bad parenting decision, just like smoking around a kid, or stopping breast feeding at a early age.

                  Sure there are mitigating situations, but those are often choices parents make selfishly which do have clear negative consequences for children.

                  "How about we strive for a society that doesn't discard and judge people for something as arbitrary as a name, something which they had zero control or input in obtaining."
                  How bout no? Its natural human/animal reaction to fear/dislike what is different. Fighting a loosing battle is a waste of time.

                  Humans are animals and we persecute anything we perceive as different.  So how bout we stop intentionally creating and defending arbitrary differences and concentrate on bridging the gaps which already exist?

                  •  Horseshit (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Denise Oliver Velez

                    What's a "bad parenting decision" is siring children who (like you, based upon your own words here) embrace the idea that the white majority's arbitrary rules about what is and is not "appropriate" to name a child should ever be accepted as a reason to adversely impact a qualified worker's ability to be hired for any particular position.  Ever.

                    God, you white folks who in the face of all evidence cling to the fear of just calling a spade a spade where white supremacy in our country is concerned are SO tiring, sometimes.

                    •  dude its not a white thing (0+ / 0-)

                      its a people thing.  You name a kid some weird old english name and the kid will also be negatively effected.

                      50 years from now if you dont have a spanish sounding name you will run into the same problem.

                      It is not now nor will it be a race thing. Its a parents who put their own personal interest above their own children's well being thing.

                      If you go to Egypt and give a kid a Indian name, if you go to Brazil and  give a kid a Korean name, If you go Russia and give a kid a Swahili name. The names will not fit in. And those who do not fit in are persecuted. Thats the human way.

                      You know how we got rid of separate but equal? Thats a good thing. That does not work. The goal is not to have a white culture and a black culture and a gay culture etc that all get along harmoniously its to have once damn American culture.  Those who voluntary make themselves not fit in are shit out of luck and only have themselves to blame.

                      •  We Didnt "Go" Anywhere (0+ / 0-)

                        And the very fact that you would make that argument says a whole lot about how you think about race relations.

                        I was born here. So were my parents. And theirs.  This is OUR home.

                        PS. You are also ignorant about race relations beyond belief. De jure "separate but equal" may be dead but de facto continues to reign supreme in every walk of life that truly matters.  Do some research and study instead of just spouting next time, OK? A LOT of it.

                        PPS.  I am not a "dude."

                        •  Dude I dont care dude (0+ / 0-)

                          Having heritage in an area has nothing to do with the argument.

                          Simple fact is that names which are non standard for any given area and community are going to receive less than equal treatment.

                          If you've got one of those names that unfortunate, it will hurt your career. If you name one of your children that way, shame on you for intentionally hurting your child's career.

              •  I regret it's too late to hide-rate this (0+ / 0-)

                You are a piece of shit.

            •  Sorry to say (0+ / 0-)

              but pretty much.

        •  and a female person thing. n/t (0+ / 0-)

          I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

          by samddobermann on Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 03:36:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  But it is a black thing (8+ / 0-)

        When appearing "professional" means chemically straightening your hair and hoping that your parents had the "good sense" to give you an anglo sounding name and nothing "black".

        Let's be honest here.  "Professional", "mainstream", etc. in this country are nice ways of saying white.

        •  you're taking it to a different level (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mkor7

          there's a difference between saying "wear pants hat fit and stop throwing around the N word" and telling people to change their names or straighten their hair.

          And no, it's not a black thing, it's a person thing. You can look and sound like an idiot no matter what color you are. How you act affects how people treat you no matter what color you are.

          Lemon could have done a similar segment on white people saying that say tattoos and F bombs are not the best way to get ahead.

          •  No I'm not (8+ / 0-)

            No office person is going to walk around throwing the N word or come in with their pants sagging or get hired with tattoos on their face.

            What I'm saying that there are certain requirements that black people must meet that apply to no one else.

            Everyone who wants to be employable should be polite, neat, clean and qualified for the position they seek.   But black people, after meeting that baseline, have an additional hurdle to jump through.

            Only in recent years has pressure and lawsuits allowed natural hair to be more acceptable.  Hell, you couldn't even flip burgers with "nappy" hair a few years ago.

            And I'm sure you've heard of the field studies where identical resumes were presented, but the ones with "black" sounding names were rejected outright?

            •  if by field studies you mean (0+ / 0-)

              bloggers, then yes. I've seen those.

              if you have larger studies I woudl actually love to take a look at them.

              I'm not denying that there is racism or anything to that sense.

              but YES - every day people who swear, use the N word regularly and have face tattoos try to find jobs, get loans, etc. Working in TV for several years I covered dozens of mass job fairs, and there was always a % of people (white black, brown, everything in between) that thought they deserved a job even though they couldn't do the basics like shave, wear something other than flip flops, wear something other than a dirty t-shirt, answer a question with a complete thought, say a sentence without saying fuck or shit or man or insert your favorite stupid word here. Then after the fairs people would call us saying they were discriminated against because they were tall or black or hispanic or gay or redheaded. Guess what, they were the same people we talked to before who didn't think it was important to wear a tie or have a resume.

              Everyone who wants to be employable should be polite, neat, clean and qualified for the position they seek.
              That is what I'm talking about. You put it right out there.
        •  You missed the important questions (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mkor7

          Who is his father?
          Is he connected in other ways?
          If he's crazy, can the bank use it to their advantage as,
          Is there an opening in collections?

      •  It seems to me that one issue that comes to the (0+ / 0-)

        fore is not whether or not to junk Black culture and assimilate, but whether black culture can be remade or adapted into something that is more constructive and helpful to its host community than is the case today.  In my gay community, we have faced this issue for decades and it's not finished yet.  But what seems to be happening is that what is emerging is a culture which takes elements of both gay and straight culture and modifies them in a sometimes unique ways.

        GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

        by SGWM on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 09:29:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, Plantsmantx

          asking people to junk black culture is at stake, rather than to adopt the professional culture.

          You are not suggesting this but the five points that Don mentioned are not a part of black culture.  They are a part of poverty culture and because larger numbers of black people live in poverty, people tend to get the two confused.

           

          Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

          by mim5677 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 05:28:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don's point (0+ / 0-)

            should be directed at every segment of society.

            There was no point he made that wasn't good advice.

            I think he felt OK pointing it at the african american community because he feels that being part of it, he has a bit more leeway.

            But the whole, get educated, stop having kids when you're 15, advice should be repeated to every segment of America.

            •  If one just takes a couple of seconds (0+ / 0-)

              to type in the words of any of his five points, they would find countless articles, music videos, so on and so forth about each one of those subjects, most of them from African-Americans.

              Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

              by mim5677 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 08:16:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? What? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Denise Oliver Velez

          "If Black culture can be remade or adapted into something that is more constructive and helpful to its host community....."

          What on earth do you mean by this? Spell it out: start by telling us all what you think "Black culture" is.  Then please explain what a "host community" is.  Once you do that, it would be great if you would then again spell out the specific reasons you think "Black culture" (in whatever definition you come up with) should be "more constructive" (it would be good for you to also let us know what is "constructive" in your mind. Finally, I would personally love to know why the test of its "constructiveness" and "helpfulness" should be what the "host community" concludes, and not what "Black culture" concludes.

          I realize that may result in a long responding comment but it's extremely important that you take the time.  I'll wait.

      •  sigh (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        EastcoastChick

        Wait, wait wait...

        "If a young black man or woman is applying for a job, and they're throwing around N bombs every sentence, it doesn't matter how qualified that man or woman is..."

        Why would you assume that this young black man or woman would be throwing N-bombs? Because they're black? Thank you for making my point for me.

        There's no need to state the obvious. Any person with half a brain, black or or otherwise, knows to carry themselves professionally in the work place. You would have to be a total idiot to blurt the N-word at a job interview. It's common sense.

        The problem occurs when a young black man or woman carries themselves professionally, and is still profiled and not hired based on ASSUMPTIONS made about them because of their color.  I know this, because it's happened to me. I'm smart, I carry myself well. Still, I've walked into certain places to apply and knew immediately from the way I was treated that I wouldn't be hired. It's not all the time or everywhere, but it does happen. If you really think that it's never a race thing... I believe you're wrong.

    •  Selling out ones on race is the new wave.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NancyK, a2nite

      Don't ya know! Look what happen in Detroit last night with Detroit Free Press Editorial Editor Stephen Henderson!

      Article 1:
      http://bit.ly/...

      Article 2:
      http://bit.ly/...

      We as African-Americans need to hold our heads in shame for these so-called sell out journalists and their repeated 'Facepalm' moments, in time.

      Michigan based Citizen Journalist Owner/Podcast host at Independent Underground News at http://www.rojsnews.com and our weekly radio show Independent Underground LIVE at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rojsradio.

      by kayla9170 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 11:12:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not new, it's very old (0+ / 0-)

        and it's just that everybody else has already caught the wave.

        Speak proper English. Don't admit to speaking another language at home. Wear proper clothes. Change your name if it's too "ethnic". Don't order (corned beef & cabbage, spaghetti & meatballs, bratwurst & sauerkraut, bagels & lox, other popular "ethnic" food) in public. Don't let The White Establishment know who you really are.

        Sometimes I wonder if we'll ever really outgrow this shit.

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 07:07:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good post. It's sad to (27+ / 0-)

    see him do this.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 08:01:26 AM PDT

  •  Here's what I've seen (40+ / 0-)

    I'm a white guy whose encounters with the African-American community are limited to my co-workers.

    The black guys I know are just like me. They care about their families, try to do a good job working for a company that doesn't always make that easy, they like sports and good weather and holidays and good movies and a good laugh.

    Quiet as it's kept, black people and white people are exactly the same, except for a few easily overcome and mutually understood cultural differences. They grew up eating chitlins and greens; I grew up eating bratwurst and sauerkraut. Who cares? I am aware they have have problems I don't have in coping with racism, but again it's just a matter of listening to and understanding their point of view. It's a simple matter of compassion and respect.

    Speeches directed at the "African-American community" seem to me to miss the point. Directing criticism at the whole group is futile when 9 out of 10 black folks are fine people who are just trying to live their lives. Don Lemon, who is one of those fine people just trying to live his life, ought to be aware of that.

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 08:22:17 AM PDT

    •  We are more alike (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      science nerd, politicalceci

      than different.  Finding common ground is productive.  Accentuating differences is divisive but works.  There is always an ulterior motive.

      Please save a child's life. www.signon.org/sign/sarasota-sheriffs-office

      by kmfmstar on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 11:57:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's generational poverty (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      richardvjohnson, getlost, StrayCat, a2nite

      that is the key to these things. I've lived/worked in rural middle America my entire life. As a teacher, the same problems of poor, inner city black students seem to be nearly identical of those poor, rural white students--hopelessness, lack of resources, violence, crime. I've attended multiple national seminars on this issue, and inner city teachers couldn't believe the problems we have in our idyllic, salt-of-the earth rural schools. The problems were the same!

    •  I have a similar background and I see it slightly (0+ / 0-)

      differently.  I think most of us share the same goal that we would like to see far more equality in the nation and one measure that would indicate we are progressing is that incomes amongst the "races" are more equal.  Specifically, we would like to see incomes of AA get closer to/be equal to whites.

      Now, some people say that the income gap is largely the result of a racist society.  Some other people say it largely is the result of the AA culture.  I see the points of both sides and, while I won't wade into whether I think one is the larger influence, it seems reasonable that we may want to address both.  But if a prominent person delves into what can be improved within the AA culture (broadly used) then they are attacked.  If they are white they are racist.  If they are black they are a sell out with no soul.

      And then we get diaries to that effect and then we have the pie fight and then little gets done to address the problems in society that are contributing to the income gap and we don't address the problems within AA culture that may, to whatever degree, help contribute to the problem.

      (PS I don't really like saying AA culture because it's not monolithic and it's too big of a brush.  It seems to me labeling it inner city culture or AA poverty culture is also far too broad because what we are really talking about is present in most cultures (I think), it just manifests itself slightly different from group to group)

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 07:10:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)
      The black guys I know are just like me
      As a lawyer, I've found we have a lot more in common as professionals to each other than we mostly have with non professionals   Even those differences are trivial

      Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion. An activist seeks to change opinion.

      by Mindful Nature on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 01:36:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hear Hear-tipped n rec'd-thank you. (9+ / 0-)

    "No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar." Abraham Lincoln

    by appledown on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 09:22:03 AM PDT

  •  Dear Don (16+ / 0-)

    These are my countrymen and countrywomen you are talking about.   These are my people, my sisters, my brothers you are dismissing.  As a people we must solve these problems, but you are utterly wrong because the problems wont be solved by the same kind of thinking that caused them.  

    Consigned sincerely,
    Angry white man

    P.s. please don't shoot your swimming pool.

    Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion. An activist seeks to change opinion.

    by Mindful Nature on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 10:19:12 AM PDT

  •  excellent--I hope many people read this (16+ / 0-)

    Every word of it.

    "This is a center-left country. Democrats can act that way and win. In fact, they must." -- Markos

    by cassandraX on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 10:47:20 AM PDT

  •  I wish I could rec this 100 times (28+ / 0-)

    I agree with everything you said.  Especially this:

     

    If you tell someone—even an entire people—long enough that they’re nothing, they will believe it, hate themselves and live down to low expectations.
    The self hate in the black community is stifling sometimes.  Mr. Don is a shining example of self hate.  He's not stupid, he knows exactly why things are the way they are, but he prefers to pander to a certain demographic for an extra 15 minutes of fame.

    The crime stats are not puzzling.  Poverty breeds crime. Blacks are disproportionally poor, therefore more crime from have nots who want to HAVE.  People tend to commit crimes against those closest to them, therefore blacks steal and kill other blacks - because, we still by in large live in a segregated country.  

    This is not rocket science.  The bigots would like to make us all think it is, but it's not.  The bigots would like us to think that black people are born with some sort of "crime and stupid" gene.  But no, the facts are criminality and achievement are closely linked to cash - if you grew up with access to it you are most likely to succeed.

    To say I really dislike Mr. Don for campaigning for a raise on the back of his people is an understatement.

    •  Wow! This is powerful comment. (6+ / 0-)

      Thanks for reading my diary and commenting on it so powerfully.

      •  Everything that has been said of "the blacks" (0+ / 0-)

        was said at some time in the past about other ethnic groups that weren't Anglo-Saxon Protestant.

        Germans
        Scots-Irish
        Irish Irish
        Polish
        Italians
        Chinese
        Jews
        Japanese
        etc etc etc

        The main defining characteristic was that they were "The Other" - and remained so until they got enough money, power, and political clout that they could no longer be kept out.

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 07:15:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This struck me too. (8+ / 0-)
      If you tell someone—even an entire people—long enough that they’re nothing, they will believe it, hate themselves and live down to low expectations.
      Read it again without considering race. Notice anything? It's clear cut bullying. If parents repeated tell their kid they are stupid.... if bully at school tell you that everyone hates you.... if customer service reps are told by their angry customers they are worthless... if abusive spouses tell the other they will never find anyone else.., etc...

      Being bullied for hundreds of years would, of course, have that affect. Folks like Don Lemon aren't helping, he is encouraging the BOs of the world to continue using the tactic as a weapon.
       

      Nature created the human race, but humans created racism.

      by GrannyOPhilly on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 11:45:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's more than bullying; it is the American way (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kwik, Kalamity

        Of propaganda on behalf of white male supremacy. Its a tool to keep everyone in line so that the evil 1% could rape rob & pillage for ~350 years.

        Now respectable middle class black people are reminded that some anti-black racist monsters can kill our men folk for no reason, not go to jail & become heroes for white supremacy & gun nuts.

        Gotta keep the n****rs in their place by SYG. That means there is no place for us. Nope, not okay.

        nosotros no somos estúpidos

        by a2nite on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 11:15:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I never considered... (0+ / 0-)

        it as bullying, but that's an excellent point. Well said.

    •  Excellent thanks (0+ / 0-)

      nosotros no somos estúpidos

      by a2nite on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 11:16:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well said (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newpioneer

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 10:53:36 AM PDT

  •  thanks, rescue rangers (7+ / 0-)

    everyone should read this

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 11:07:10 AM PDT

  •  Beautiful diary Kwik. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milkbone, WilliamE

    I have no doubt in my mind Don's concerns for the Black community is sincere. Still for Don to align himself with the likes O'Reilly made him appear to be duplicitous, triangular and complicit in O'Reilly's race-baiting.

  •   What is the Black community (0+ / 0-)

    This mythical oasis of Blackness, what determine a Black community ,are Black people  counted in the community and it label the Black community, lots of thing Whites hear about the Blacks community in general ,is mostly second hand knowledge ,the average White person have little of no association with Black in   a community level ,they may work with Blacks ,but some Whites rarely  associate with  Black in their so call Black community,  Lots of Blacks like Lemon ,do the so called right thing as suggested by Whites ,but at the end of the day only a (N) word to the White establishment

  •  The problem with Lemon taking this stance (14+ / 0-)

    is the fact that this talking point is used ad nauseum by white supremacists and other racists on every board that welcomes multicultural interaction and diversity.

    Furthermore, they pepper it with the latest crimes du jour in which suits their horrors about Black folks in general.

    To see Mr. Lemon take this stance is very sad.  It makes him no better than the racist trolls who want people to forget about the Trayvon Martin case while continuing to degrade the poor deceased young man.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

    by politicalceci on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 11:57:23 AM PDT

  •  Don Lemon is not the problem... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beaky

    Him agreeing with 10 seconds worth of soundbites and recognizing issues that we have all recognized for DECADES, is also not a problem.  

    What makes this worse is the timeless and tired removal of blackness buy the offended party.  

    How long are people going to use blackness or lack thereof as a weapon against those they disagree with.  

    So while you are rec'ing this diary, think about what you want everyone to read.  

    That a black gay man who has done what it takes to be successful in life and because of his hard work, has risen to great heights in his field to the point that he can speak to a broad audience, is "no longer black", hateful towards black people, a souless sell-out, and scapegoating all black people because he agreed with a ten second soundbite of someone you don't like.

    As if the gay black guy that worked hard enough to make it on national TV doesn't know that people, don't take shots at him in private.  

    Again, if you rec'd this, you rec'd the idea of a successful gay black man as being a souless, hateful, sell-out, who is no longer a part of the black community.

    Why is Don Lemon no longer black?  

    Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

    by mim5677 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 12:08:25 PM PDT

    •  Mim, you miss the point. Re-read diary again, (11+ / 0-)

      ponder what Kwik is saying, breathe, ponder again. Then read my Shakespeare quote. Or not.

      Nice letter Kwik, thanks for sharing it with us!

      "And he goes through life, his mouth open, and his mind closed." Shakespeare

      by vixenflem on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 12:20:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I understand the points he is making (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        burlydee, HootieMcBoob

        I promise you but none of those points make Don Lemon the problem.  Don is not an idiot he is a news reporter.  Don has to do his job ten minutes at a time if he's lucky.  Don is not afforded 90 minutes lectures on the affects of history on the modern African-American.  

        The five points Don brought up are all "issues" within the black community that people have been recognizing for decades, regardless of their color.  

        No to highjack a diary but what does any of that have to do with Don Lemon sounding like a sell-out, being souless, and not being black anymore?  Not a damn thing.  

        I understand sentencing guidelines, I have been working with current and ex-inmates for years now.  I understand how stats can be twisted, I get all that but what I don't get is how it affects Don's blackness.

        We didn't have a Million Man March for nothing...sometimes tough love is just that and if the end result of disagreeing with highly visible and successful black males in our society is that we strip them of their blackness...we are going backwards.  

        Don Lemon is not the problem, I understand the points but to treat Don like that over a disagreement especially when Don knows he's not talking about all black people, is HR worthy in my book.  You can attack the message without attacking the messenger.  

        A couple of months ago when Black Kos put out a document that asked people not to attack the president in a way that could be interpreted as racist, even the mention of him not having balls, it was signed by hundreds if not a thousand people.  I can't believe that Barack Obama is the only black person we discuss on this site that deserves such bare minimum of respect.  I would think that we would afford the same courtesy to all black people we disagree with regardless of the color of the offended writer.  

        Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

        by mim5677 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 12:38:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What's Lemon's sexuality have to do... (10+ / 0-)

      with anything? I didn't say anything about his sexuality.  Does him being gay make a difference to you? Not me.
      My thing is that as a successful black man, he seems to have forgotten where he came from in a big, big way. Climbed up there, forgot about those he left behind and pulled up the ladder to the point of looking at us the same way he's still looked at by those who don't see his success as much as they see another n****r.  I think he has a responsibility that corresponds to the national stage he's on and do consider his alliance with the beliefs and BS of Bill O'Reilly to be a complete and utter sell out.  Apparently you don't. I respectfully and wholeheartedly disagree with you.

      •  I'm not sure how Don has forgotten where (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        orestes1963

        he has come from and hope that someone could clarify that for me.

        Now while you respectfully disagree with me, you don't with him and that sir makes you an equal to the person you are railing against.  

        Blackness is not defined by alligiance to a monolithic set of beliefs or a certain newscaster.  It certainly isn't defined by soundbites.  

        Like his sexuality, his blackness can't be taken away by those who don't like what he says.  That is what his sexuality has to do with it.  It doesn't make a difference in the argument aside from that fact.

        Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

        by mim5677 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 01:08:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  When you get so much wrong and... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WilliamE, a2nite, Plantsmantx

          regurgitate much of the same BS about the community where you came from in a feckless, clumsy, insensitive manner I think it's fair to say he's forgotten. Lemon would fit in more at O'Reilly's country club these days. You're hung up on soundbites, this is not about soundbites... it's about Lemon's clearly stated bass ackwards beliefs about black America, which jibe with O'Reilly's. Lemon's lack of "Blackness," at least in this case, can be defined by who Lemon aligned himself with.

          •  You got that out of a 7 minute segment? (0+ / 0-)

            Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

            by mim5677 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 01:34:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hmmm.... (0+ / 0-)

              Mim5677, you  seem to have taken this diary rather personally.  Starting to think you may be Don Lemon. Ah, well. Better you than me.

              •  I have taken it personally not that there is (0+ / 0-)

                anything wrong with that.  

                If African-Americans are going to lament Bill O'Reilly being a racist and taking their humanity and by agreeing with him Don Lemon is also doing the same thing, then I certainly expect that we wouldn't do the exact same thing to Don.

                It is....incorrect to suggest that I am Don Lemon because I don't think that he should be attacked as a soulless, sellout, who is not a part of the black community, who would be happy being white (as if whiteness is a negative), for running a six minute segment when there is no evidence he has ever said anything controversial towards African-Americans in the past?

                So don't "hmmm" me as if I am saying something that couldn't make any sense.  

                My point has been recognized as being clear and made in a respectful way and is unrelated to the actual criticisms of Don Lemon and rather points at the desire for people in this diary, including the diarist to strip Don Lemon of his blackness and even worse to assign him to whiteness (as punishment), when there is in fact nothing wrong with being white, or black, or green.  

                You want to talk about it? Lets talk about it.  Don't throw in little quips that have nothing to do with the point I am making.  

                Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

                by mim5677 on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 04:33:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Mim: You Continue to mischaracterize what I said. (0+ / 0-)

                  In no way am I saying Don Lemon is no longer black. I'm saying he's turned his back on the black community and thrown in with a fraternity of racists.  And you do seem to be taking this personally and want to infuse Lemon's sexuality into the discussion.  Weird.

                  Anyway, here's what I wrote:

                  Whether you know it or not Don, when you jump on O’Reilly’s racist bandwagon, you come across as a clueless sock puppet…a sell-out, who has lost touch not only with the black community, but with your own soul, as well.

                  And there’s no balance in your scapegoating…just a bunch of tainted, misguided darts thrown at black folks and that’s just plain wrong Don—especially when those darts are thrown by somebody who used to be one of us and should know better.

                  In neither instance did I say Don Lemon is no longer black or that I'm somehow taking away his "blackness."  That would be absurd.  You talk about "blackness" like it's just another color in a box of crayons.  Heck by that definition, even Clarence Thomas and Allen West are physically black--there's not enough Deluxe Nadinola in the world to change that.  So stop it.

                  My point is Lemon's heart and mind appear to have been affected and hijacked to the point of no longer identifying with or understanding the community he grew up so much that he's lost touch enough to feel comfortable aiding and abetting racists who regularly impugn a whole group of people who just happen to be the same "color" as Lemon is.  Otherwise, why use many of the stale talking points they use to denigrate black Americans. He's in the other camp now and is proving cover for them based on their own racists lies and half-truths.  IMO, that's being a sell out. And it was more than just a 7-minute segment on CNN.  He went on The View and doubled down on that racist garbage.

                  His heart is in what he said and I measure people more by what's in the content of their hearts than by the amount of melanin in their body.  Through his words, Lemon has shown where his heart is and it sure as hell isn't with the black community at this point.  

                  I did not remove his "blackness" or kick him out of the black community.  He did those things HIMSELF...and quite voluntarily...much like Clarence Thomas, Jesse Lee Peterson and Larry Elder.

                  Please stop applying your own biases to what I wrote.  Further, since you really seem to feel very strongly about defending Lemon why not write your own diary about it?

                  •  I'll take your argument at face value but when (0+ / 0-)

                    you said "used to be one of us" what does that mean?

                    The reason I am asking is because earlier in that sentence you mentioned that he was throwing misguided darts...

                    And there’s no balance in your scapegoating…just a bunch of tainted, misguided darts thrown at black folks and that’s just plain wrong Don—especially when those darts are thrown by somebody who used to be one of us and should know better.
                    So if you are telling me that I was incorrect in making the connection between the "black folks" Don was throwing darts at and him not being "one of us." anymore, I can accept that.

                    It's not like I can't read.  

                    Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

                    by mim5677 on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 07:46:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Simply means... (0+ / 0-)

                      when somebody attacks my village with falsehoods in accordance with the tired/trite memes of racists, they're no longer part of it.  Don left on his own to run in a different circle.  I didn't kick him out, don't have that power.  Can't take his blackness away, don't have that power.  He's black and is always going to be black.  But at a time of their convenience the O'Reillys of the world Lemon has aligned himself with are going kick him to the curb, because shared ideology aside, they still see him as a black n****r.  Sad, but 100% true.

                      •  You made the right choice (0+ / 0-)

                        in clarifying your statement.

                        Although you are still being dramatic about the implications not of what he said but who he agreed with, it's a good thing that you recognized what you said was an improper way to address a difference in reasoning.  

                        Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

                        by mim5677 on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 11:19:56 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

    •  Memory Loss? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kwik, WilliamE, Yasuragi
      Why is Don Lemon no longer black?
      Not being black, I can't comment definitively, but he seems to have turned his back on his own community.

      When someone from the 'hood gets paid in some legit manner, and can thus move on up, those who can't move up yet often say, 'don't forget about me.' Seems like Mr. Lemon has memory loss...

      Coolio has a rap about that, 'Give something back to the 'hood...'

      Seems only just.

      "Somehow, one of our nation’s two great parties has become infected by an almost pathological meanspiritedness..." -Paul Krugman

      by paz3 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 12:55:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay now I see (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chitown Kev, burlydee, orestes1963

        since Don is from the hood, regardless of whether you know anything about his life or upbringing, he hasn't brought enough people up behind him, eventhough there is no way you could know that either.  

        May I ask, what is the dollar amount that a black successful person must make to start bringing people along with them in order to still be considered black?

        Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

        by mim5677 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 01:16:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Now I'm tipping this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens, Plantsmantx

          Yes, he is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I don't know whether he's "from the 'hood" or not.

          Some people don't even think that I'm from "the hood"...even though I kinda sorta am...black people in my family represent all sorts of economic classes and I do resent the assumption that Lemon is from "the hood"

        •  Not Meant Literally (0+ / 0-)
          Okay now I see since Don is from the hood, regardless of whether you know anything about his life or upbringing, he hasn't brought enough people up behind him, even though there is no way you could know that either.
          Apologies: I was writing metaphorically, and did not say so. I merely was referring to the turning-of-the-back on Mr. Lemon's part that seems so apparent. Since, for better or worse, it seems that most black folks in the US live in some sort of mostly black  neighborhood, I was using "'hood" as a symbol of that.

          Apologies if I offended...

          "Somehow, one of our nation’s two great parties has become infected by an almost pathological meanspiritedness..." -Paul Krugman

          by paz3 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 10:11:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not offended by (0+ / 0-)

            the hood comment.  

            I just don't believe that we can tell if someone has turned their back on any part of society based on such limited information.  

            I shouldn't have used "you" meaning you but in general.

            Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

            by mim5677 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 10:21:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Your comment is spot on. (5+ / 0-)

        How can he still be part of something he's turned his back on?

        •  Aside from this segment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          burlydee, c2shiningc

          can you point to any other statements he's made that would suggest that he has turned his back on black people?

          Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

          by mim5677 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 01:23:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  How can he turn his back on Blacks (0+ / 0-)

          When he did not have a spine in the first place

        •  Isn't this a corollary to one of the problems (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mim5677

          Lemon cites re education and "acting white?  Some may feel that getting an education and speaking proper English make one less black (accepting Lemon's claim for the sake of argument).  You apparently feel that by virtue of these comments Lemon is no longer a member of the black community.  It seems to me that both attitudes are divisive and a set up for failure because they rely upon a limited perspective of what is acceptable behavior for black people.  Is this not one of the legacies of discrimination that must be overcome?  

      •  sarcasm alert (0+ / 0-)

        he's not considered black because he criticized black people, therefore he must be a traitor.

        •  What sarcasm? (0+ / 0-)

          You're not being sarcastic at all.

          You did sort of stumble on the problem, though- Lemon used a broad brush.

        •  You just don't get it, Trobone. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kwik, a2nite, Cassandra Waites

          Read a few black blogs and read for active listening.  He's a "traitor" in some minds because he allowed himself to be the Negro Shield for the likes of Bill O'Reilly et al.

          FYI, my youngest white son, as a teenager, wore hoodies and sagging pants, listened to rap and I didn't fear for his life or have to have "the conversation". Regular teenage rebellion is assumed for white males while their black cohorts are profiled as dangerous delinquents/criminals.

          Lemon reinforced these separate but unequal prejudices which then result in separate but unequal prejudices institutionalized in our criminal justice system.

    •  I agree, Don Lemon is still part of the black (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CrissieP, Yasuragi, La Gitane

      community.  I don't think it does anyone any favors to make distinctions like this.  We are allowed to disagree, or even be blatantly wrong, without having your "card" revoked.  

      I don't agree with your HR.  And was your block quote a mistake?  I don't see that in the diary.  

      •  The block quote was a mistake (0+ / 0-)

        as it was me.  

        I don't see how I couldn't HR the diary.  

        After Black Kos putting that thing about about the president and all the people that signed it I don't see how I could allow Don Lemon to be attacked in that way without an HR.  

        Whether I think he needed context or not, whether what he said has some truth to it or not, attacking him personally in that way, when we don't even know him is pretty bad to me.  

        Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

        by mim5677 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 01:21:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately he is part of the community (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        politicalceci, Kwik, Yumn, Plantsmantx, paz3, a2nite

        I think that people like Lemon are just as harmful to the black community as the "undesirables" that Lemon was ranting about.

        On one side you have a bunch of people, stuck in a cycle of poverty and crime, hopeless and acting out. They fuel the "black as criminal, lazy and uneducated" meme.  

        On the other side you have the Lemons.  Sitting around nodding and wagging their fingers in agreement at everything the bigots say.  "If THOSE people would just be more professional, and pull up their pants, THEY could get a job like me!" This only reinforces the hopelessness and despair on the other side.  I mean seriously, it's one thing for "the man" to say you're no good, destined to fail.  It's really a mindfuck to have some one who looks just like you, all successful and all, telling you EXACTLY THE SAME THING in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY.  You may be inclined to look around your bleak surroundings and believe that you are destined to be a worthless thug and fulfill your "destiny".

        •  That doesn't apply in the real world... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theotherside

          I help people mostly African-Americans(I'm black too) find jobs for a living after leaving prison.  

          I literally have to tell them to pull up their pants and teach them how to sound more professional, to reconnect with their families, so they can live better lives.

          NOT to tell them to not be themselves but be better versions of themselves.  NOT whiter versions of themselves but better versions of themselves.  

          I'm not sitting around wagging my finger at anyone and I say what Don Lemon does a hundred times a month.  The difference is that when they come check in with me after getting a first paycheck or learning to read or developing a positive relationship with the mothers of their children, they are thanking me, sometimes with tears in their eyes.

          That is what happens when you are honest with individuals who are headed in the wrong direction or have been in the wrong direction and need to make a change in their lives.

          Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

          by mim5677 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 06:18:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Appreciate Your Approach (0+ / 0-)
            I literally have to tell them to pull up their pants and teach them how to sound more professional, to reconnect with their families, so they can live better lives.

            NOT to tell them to not be themselves but be better versions of themselves.  NOT whiter versions of themselves but better versions of themselves.

            Let me be clear on my view on what you say, although my opinion is hardly consequential to the lives of black folks: I believe that black culture, certainly the many positive aspects of it, add a great deal of depth and breadth to American life, and the US would be worse off without it.

            Then again, considering how black folks got here in large numbers in the first place, that's a bitter truth, I know. So, when you say "NOT whiter versions of themselves..." I take heart.

            None of the black folks I've known as friends (not just acquaintances), and hung out with over the years, was the sort who leaned 'white' in how they represented. Probably coincidental, but that's my reality.

            "Somehow, one of our nation’s two great parties has become infected by an almost pathological meanspiritedness..." -Paul Krugman

            by paz3 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 10:36:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  mim5677, I don't even disagree (0+ / 0-)

      with lemon's comments...and I have many family members who do agree with them as well.

      It's the airing of the dirty laundry propped up by Bill O'Reilley's comments that has people up in arms.

      You are correct that it is unfair to say that Lemon is a "sell-out" or "not black anymore"...those type of comments are out of bounds but I do understand why those comments are being made.

      •  A Malcolm X quote... (0+ / 0-)
        "Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods, or tactics, or strategy. We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as free humans in this society."
        I was reading an article by Keith Boykin about this very subject.  He was saying the same thing that the diarist is with more thought.

        He made a statement about how it is easier to focus on the effect of historical racism rather than the cause.  I agree but I asked "For whom?"  For whom is it easier to focus on the causes of historical racism?

        For an academic or individuals that work on correcting systems it is easier to focus on the cause but for the kid on the street trying to connect with a fast food chain manager, that is a heavy lift.  We have to be able to give them the tools to succeed in the here and now so that they can have children that will focus on the future.  

        If Bill says it or Don says it or I say it, that is the truth.  Much of the racial prejudice that people harbor can be easily fixed with simple solutions.  

        Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

        by mim5677 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 06:08:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kwik

        it's not just the "airing of dirty laundry". It's the (at least) implied assertion that most or all anti-black racism can be explained by things like "sagging". That's what O'Reilly did, and in spite of the caveats Lemon issued at the beginning of his rant, he did the same thing. Not only that, but he can't get away from the fact that O'Reilly and other white rightists brought this up in order to slap back at black people in the wake to the Zimmerman verdict. They are using it to justify Trayvon Martin's murder, and by specifically cosigning O'Reilly, Lemon is doing that too.

    •  Ahhhhhhhh!!!! (5+ / 0-)

      Did you actually hear exactly what Don Lemon said? It wasn't an honest analysis of problems.  It was an  offensive demonizing hate fest.  If you closed your eyes, you would have swore it was coming from Ted Nugent.

      And oh, Mr. Don is black.  He was always be black.

      But that doesn't make him any less a self-hating sellout. An opportunist. A wannabee.

      I suspect that a good deal of his success is due to his opportunistic nature that is on full display here.

      Yes, Mr Don will always be part of the black community.  A part that we unfortunately have to put up with.  I, for one wish there was some magic potion we could give Mr. Don that would turn him white - I bet that would make him very, very happy indeed.

    •  Regardless of your opion, which you've stated (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens, a2nite

      quite clearly and eloquently, your HR is not at all appropriate.

      "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

      by Yasuragi on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 03:52:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it is for a couple of reasons (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yasuragi, mallyroyal, Chitown Kev

        The insult to Don Lemon is a racial insult.  

        Don Lemon is a black man(or woman) and there is nothing than can change that.  Not time, medical procedure, wishes, and certainly not a 6 minute segment on CNN.  

        The diarist is well aware of the impact of what he wrote.  To call a black man soulless, that he sounds like a sell-out, and to take his race from him is the ultimate insult one can't receive from a fellow black person.  I can only imagine a single insult that is lower than what the diarist did.

        Nobody has ever heard Don Lemon say anything remotely controversial before and if they had we would have known about it.  

        I don't disagree with the statistics in the diary, I don't even have a problem with the disagreement.  

        What I do have a problem with is taking something away from people that cannot be taken away.  Disagree but don't disrespect.

        Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

        by mim5677 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 05:56:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I appreciate your answer, mim5677. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mim5677, La Gitane, a2nite

          Very much.

          I'm still not comfortable with the HR, but you've made your point very eloquently.  I hesitated before reccing the piece (and my rec and tip still stand), but I understand Kwik's outrage: I was furious at Lemon's comments.

          On the other hand, I find your argument very moving, and very much to the point.

          Thank you for laying it out so clearly.  

          "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

          by Yasuragi on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 06:29:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Would you say the same thing (0+ / 0-)

          in the case of someone like Jesse Lee Peterson?

          •  I don't know who he is. (0+ / 0-)

            I don't see why I wouldn't.

            Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

            by mim5677 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 10:29:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Among other things (0+ / 0-)

              he's said that black people should be re-enslaved so we'll know what real racism is, although he's publicly thanked God for slavery bringing his ancestors here- during an appearance on a white supremacist radio show.

              http://www.youtube.com/...

               He's said that "black racism killed Trayvon Martin", and that black people don't have sufficient respect for whites.

              •  He's still a black man (0+ / 0-)

                like it or not, you can't take that away from him.  

                Argue the points, argue the validity of his message, but he's just as black as anyone else.  

                Arguing otherwise would end blackness as a race and shift it towards a culture in which anyone of any color could be black.

                Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

                by mim5677 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 12:36:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  WilliamE
                  Arguing otherwise would end blackness as a race and shift it towards a culture in which anyone of any color could be black.
                  That makes no sense. In fact, you're contradicting yourself. If you can never say "You're not black", then anyone can say "I'm black".

                  In any case, saying someone isn't black isn't even the issue. I don't think anyone has said Don Lemon isn't black. However, I think he, and to a much larger extent, someone like Peterson, are aiding the enemies of the black community, and we shouldn't feel inhibited in saying so if we think that's the case.

                  Black rightists aren't exempt from criticism- even harsh criticism.

                  •  It's not a contradiction. (0+ / 0-)

                    The diarist made the comments about Don not being a part of his community in the second paragraph then reiterated the point in a brief back and forth.  

                    The black experience in America is as broad as the sea is wide and if one of us has an experience that leads them to believe controversial ideas to the rest of us makes not an ounce of difference in their standing as African-Americans.  

                    Whether you disagree with Don Lemon or not it has absolutely nothing to do with him being a black man.  The argument can be made without personally attacking him, calling him a sell out, saying he is without a soul, pretending to know whether or not he left his community behind, so on and so forth.  

                    Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

                    by mim5677 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 05:02:32 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Calling someone a sell-out (0+ / 0-)

                    or saying they have no soul or are not a part of "my community" is not criticism.

                    You can't seriously be trying to have a reasonable conversation with me and suggest that those things amount to criticism.  

                    That is childish name calling and nothing more.  

                    This is criticism

                    These are my countrymen and countrywomen you are talking about.   These are my people, my sisters, my brothers you are dismissing.  As a people we must solve these problems, but you are utterly wrong because the problems wont be solved by the same kind of thinking that caused them.  
                    From the diarist
                    (criticism)I think he has a responsibility that corresponds to the national stage he's on and (name calling)do consider his alliance with the beliefs and BS of Bill O'Reilly to be a complete and utter sell out.
                    I don't know what to call this but it's not criticism
                    Yes, Mr Don will always be part of the black community.  A part that we unfortunately have to put up with.  I, for one wish there was some magic potion we could give Mr. Don that would turn him white - I bet that would make him very, very happy indeed.
                    You rec'd the last comment, so how can you say that it's not about him being black, when the crux of this comment was about him being a self-hater, who "we" want to give a magic white pill to so "we" can all be happy.  

                    You don't have to agree but don't bullshit me, I understand and agree with the criticism but his blackness and his soul and his commitment to his community(something any reasonable person could not ascertain after watching a six minute segment) are untouchable.  

                    Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

                    by mim5677 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 05:13:31 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Fair Enough (0+ / 0-)
          What I do have a problem with is taking something away from people that cannot be taken away.  Disagree but don't disrespect.
          [Commenter enters reconsideration mode...]

          "Somehow, one of our nation’s two great parties has become infected by an almost pathological meanspiritedness..." -Paul Krugman

          by paz3 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 10:42:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  take it easy man... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plantsmantx

      take Don Lemon as a trope, say, for Clarence Thomas and you'll understand the point Kwik so eloquently made : still black as night at the surface yet nothing in what the Justice says or does in court would suggest that he has any residual memory left in him of having been a part of black community in America.

      Seriously I don't see how being a gay (superficially) black guy who worked hard to be on the tv is a sure bet that one is soulful and has integrity.

      •  So Clarence Thomas who (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite

        has a lengthy and documented history of saying things that African-Americans would consider offensive and Don Lemon who did a six minute segment, repeated things that many of us already discuss, are on the same level?

        I challenge you to find other comments Don has made that would even approach the level of outrage as these comments.  

        I don't feel like I'm the one who needs to take it easy.  

        Don Lemon and Clarence Thomas are not the same people or in the same category.  

        Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

        by mim5677 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 07:14:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But they're both black (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kwik, bamilekeman

          so why would you say...

          To call a black man soulless, that he sounds like a sell-out, and to take his race from him is the ultimate insult one can't receive from a fellow black person.  I can only imagine a single insult that is lower than what the diarist did.
          ...then be alright with doing that in the case of Thomas?

          As you said upthread, you've said the same kind of thing Lemon said to specific individuals. Who hasn't? I have, too. But what I haven't ever done is express the opinion that anti-black racism is justified because of the actions of a few. Lemon could have said the same basic thing without putting it in the context that O'Reilly did. Not only did he do that, but he went as far as to say O'Reilly "didn't go far enough". That was twisting the knife, he knew it, and he meant to twist the knife. And he shouldn't be criticized? Why not?

          Black self-criticism is a time-honored tradition that transcends ideology. It's acceptable. But when one prefaces it by saying in so many words, "That racist white man was right". they go out of bounds, and become deserving of harsh criticism.

          •  Don didn't say any of that. (0+ / 0-)

            He didn't and has never said anything remotely controversial prior to this.  

            As much as I dislike the political views of Justice Thomas that doesn't make him less of a black man.

            Criticize Don all you want.  Does oversimplifying a complex argument from the news desk of CNN warrant criticism?  Yes it does.  

            What it doesn't warrant is an attack on him personally as a black man.  Nobody can take that away from him and I think that is an attack harsh enough to warrant an HR.  

            Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

            by mim5677 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 12:28:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  if your HR is solely because of the "used to be" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      as regards his blackness...

      I can actually respect that.  we can't kick people out of the Black community just 'cause they act like jackasses.

      shit, Clarence Thomas is still as black as he ever was.

      folks, mim's one of the good guys.  I respect him greatly, and understand his point here.

      This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

      by mallyroyal on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 10:05:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is the only reason... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mallyroyal

        I don't disagree with any of the stats in the diary or the message or any of it.  

        I agree with most of it but going after his blackness is just too much for me.  

        Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

        by mim5677 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 12:33:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  For me it makes zero difference (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kwik

      Whether he is black, white or purple with pink polka dots

      The statements on their own perpetuate and spread negative stereotypes about an entire group of people.  They engage is race-based divisive thinking that perpetuates injustice.  As Kwik says it is a smear against a whole group of people.  That is wrong period.  I don't give a rats ass about the speaker.  It is the statement and the memes it pushes.  

      Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion. An activist seeks to change opinion.

      by Mindful Nature on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 01:42:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary, thanks! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WilliamE, Yasuragi, Yumn, Larsstephens, HCKAD

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 12:18:41 PM PDT

  •  This black woman cosigns. (11+ / 0-)

    I hope he enjoys his 15 mins of fame.
    The things being said about AAs are pretty much the same things that were said about the Irish. Those from Wales and Scotland were similarly disparaged by the English.
    That Don Lemon would so quickly and wholeheartedly buy into O'Reilly's attempt to change the subject from Zimmerman's culpability to the pathology of black people was eye-opening. How quickly he became a tool of the right wing. A tool to be used against his own people.
    I find him contemptible.

    You should put this on his Facebook page.

    Thanks for a brilliant letter.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 12:21:32 PM PDT

  •  Tipped and rec'ed nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    politicalceci, Yasuragi

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 12:53:48 PM PDT

  •  Very well written (5+ / 0-)

    And the assault of folks of African origin still continues.
    Even when AA folks 'do the right thing' - i.e stay out of the criminal justice system, get a college ed, they still are discriminated against.
    There was an excellent diary here on a woman of African decent who applied for hundreds of jobs and did not get an interview, but when she used the same resume and changed her name to a Caucasian sounding one, she was inundated with offers.
    How can Lemon explain THAT?

    Further more pieces  of legislation that were enacted to protect minority rights are now under assault, Lemon needs to give that issue (voter disenfranchisement) a lot of time on his program and also, give a rant about it too (hopefully a powerful  and emotional one too)

  •  This is such a powerful diary... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kwik, WilliamE, HCKAD

    ...that I can add or say anything more.

  •  kudos for the diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    multilee, politicalceci, WilliamE, HCKAD

    and am I the only one who thought that his comments were, among other things,  incredibly condescending? And of course judgemental, finger pointing, pomous.

    Like no Black mom or dad ever figured out that that is important to mention to their children.

    Duh...

    sh

  •  They want to be like fox.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    politicalceci, a2nite

    It's lazy, cheap, "reporting," that sells to a certain class of human. I hope we grow out of it, soon.

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 02:20:19 PM PDT

  •  Are Black part of the problem (0+ / 0-)

    Without any solution ,i say Black have lots of option  when dealing with their  race problem in America ,but is their a will  by Black America to solve their lingering racial problem in America,persecuting  innocent Whites is not the answer ,but lots of Whites that like too persecute  Blacks should be dealth with in a swift ,efficient and legal way,through  peaceful      means, if you are a Black  that is willing too spend the rest of your life dealing with your racial problem ,you are having ,it will eventually consume you,bringing your racial  tormentor too  some  kind of   legal justice will help you personally in the long run,

  •   What is the solution Black America (0+ / 0-)

    I  gave mine ,now what is your solution

    •  I suggest that you do some reading here (0+ / 0-)

      in the black kos community.

      What we wear and how we talk are the end result of the institutional and individual anti-black bigotry. This country was created for white male supremacy and we are just tools to make white people feel better and for unpaid labor.

      This problem is over 300 years in the making, made by white supremacists.

      nosotros no somos estúpidos

      by a2nite on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 08:25:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Me as a Black person (0+ / 0-)

        I know the history of America bigotry, but I feel Blacks should make a proactive stance ,by making those that want to continue the legacy of bigotry pay a hefty price for their action ,their is nothing stopping  Black governmently on the Federal side , Obama and the Justice Department are not in our way creating legal obstacle for Blacks,maybe Black should show the courage for the next  3 and a half years  ,too move for the final legal liberation of Blacks and all oppress citizen of America,their is nothing really stopping us ,but  maybe the will of some Blacks in America,remember the legacy of Nat  Turner who gave his life too free slave on the plantation where he was once a slave,if NatTurner had the courage then ,why should more Blacks not have the   courage now  

        •  Well you do what you can and so will I but I (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kwik, bamilekeman

          dont have to listen to someone agree with anti-black bigot Bill O'Reilly. That does NOT make things better.

          It makes Don Lemon a tool and gives aid and comfort to the enemy.

          What we need is decent jobs, a less racist criminal injustice system, a repudiation of the war on drugs which is a war on our people. Yeah, people can go to school and talk "white" and wear decent clothes....and we are STILL hated.

          IMO, it is their freedom of expression that old folks need to get over Young people are angry and lost because we, the adults have failed them. This is a poverty problem, a race problme and a generational problem. None of that will be fixed by young men pulling up their pants.

          We will never be white or white enough, EVER to be real Americans to the majority race. FUCK THAT!

          nosotros no somos estúpidos

          by a2nite on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 09:47:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In my opinion (0+ / 0-)

            I think Lemon is doing an audition for Foxnews,as for young  black ,what about  all these White kids strung out on heroin ,some are from upper middle class household, I never fear a group of Black kids on my daily errand , keep up your hardline stance against oppression

        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

          nosotros no somos estúpidos

          by a2nite on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 09:59:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Am a big fan of yrs on Twitter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silvia Nightshade

    My cheapskate white family always wondered why African Americans spent a lot of time and money on clothes and general appearance.  

    Lectures like Don's and O'Reilly's provide an answer.

  •  Did not (0+ / 0-)

    read/hear what Don said to incite this response. But just a couple general comments/questions.

    1)In your posting you refer to the black community which Don "used to" be part of.

    Why is he no longer part of it? It seems to be for whatever crime he has commit that it is rather divisive to forcibly remove him from said community.

    2)Again I am not sure what Don said/did but you react by at points by explaining what external events caused a given situation.

    Whenever you analyze and try and fix a situation, it is valuable to discuss and contemplate any external and internal factors that are causing a problem. True reflection and progress comes from analyzing BOTH.

    3)Your first numbers argument is a logical fallacy....
    Not saying this is a representative analogy but ...

    If there are 100 green fruits and 4 red fruits and 5% of the green fruits were poisonous and 50% of the red fruits were poisonous .

    You would be correct to be more fearful of eating a red fruit than a green fruit. Even though there would be more poisonous greens than reds.

  •  Awesome diary. Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, WilliamE

    What you're saying here really resonates. And it reminds me of something the columnist and playwright Pearl Cleage has said about women who sell out other women as a means for trying to build their own status and protect themselves against misogyny by participating in it. (Not that it works.) The women she's talking about reject feminism (except to the extent that it might benefit themselves) and essentially work as functionaries of the patriarchy. Cleage called these kinds of arrangements "deals with the devil," and that seems a lot like what you're calling out in this post with respect to Don Lemon.

    There are so many smart take-away lines in your diary, but this one really stands out for me:

    it gives cover and solace to racists who applaud you publicly, but still call you n****r privately.
    That is an especially powerful point and (sadly) right on the money. Thank you for this wise and thought-provoking diary.
  •  so I said something awhile ago about how much (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Kwik, WilliamE, EastcoastChick

    I DESPISE black folks who run interference for whites when they say and do racist shit...

    it applies here as well.

    ole Uncle Ruckus ass %^&&@

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 10:10:33 AM PDT

  •  Thank You (5+ / 0-)

    Get in bed with the devil, become the devil. Don Lemon should have known better.  Thanks for the diary.

  •  Totally On Point!! (0+ / 0-)

    Great piece!

    Michigan based Citizen Journalist Owner/Podcast host at Independent Underground News at http://www.rojsnews.com and our weekly radio show Independent Underground LIVE at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rojsradio.

    by kayla9170 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 11:08:45 AM PDT

  •  What about Gay on Gay volience (0+ / 0-)

    Something Mr Lemon do not address,every group have subgroup that oppress members within a certain group

  •  So Don believes its an attitude? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kwik, a2nite

    So how does he explain it to his better raised self when he can't hail a cab in NYC?

  •  Open Letter to Don Lemon (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kwik, Mindful Nature, nomandates

    I'm a white woman, a born and bred Chicagoan, and while it breaks my heart to see all the shootings in my old South Shore neighborhood, I'm intelligent enough to know that "the Blacks" aren't committing those crimes; the gangbangers are doing it. Most people...black, white, Hispanic, Asian, you name it, are wonderful, caring people. There are criminals in all races, but it seems the only ones we hear about are black and latino. You can blame the media for most of it.
    My late husband was a Chicago Police Officer and I can tell you that everything you said about the black neighborhoods receiving most of the attention (Hispanic communities can be added to that now, too), is absolutely true; and they will tell you it's because that's where the crime is. BS There was hardly any police protection in the white neighborhoods. Interesting, no?
    Thank you for writing your insightful post. I hope lots of white people read it.

    Liz Wise

    •  Thx. U made some excellent points. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, EastcoastChick

      Don Lemon is guilty of exactly what you said: "There are criminals in all races, but it seems the only ones we hear about are black and Latino. You can blame the media for most of it." Lemon is among those in media reporting like crime is a black or a brown thing. That's wrong. Gotta stop.  All too often black and brown criminals are labeled thugs, while the few white criminals caught are often glamorized and become legends in American mainstream. Did U see cover of Boston bombing suspect on cover of Rolling Stone looking like a rock star? Sad.

    •  Thanks for this thoughtful comment, lwise1129. (0+ / 0-)
      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

      by nomandates on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 06:24:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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