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thesoftghetto:

We’ve all heard of Betty Boop. But how many of you knew that she was based off of a BLACK woman.

Yes Betty Boop was based off of Ms.Esther Jones known by her stage name “Baby Esther”. She was an African-American singer and entertainer of the 1920’s. Her singing trademark was “Boop oop da doop” hence the name Betty Boop! She performed regularly at the cotton club in Harlem,New York.

Source

This is actually a picture of a model named Olya (more pics from this session at the link). Though the information about Esther Jones is correct. Actress Helen Kane stole Jones’ “baby” singing style for a recording of “I Wanna Be Loved By You” after seeing her perform at the Cotton Club in 1928.

Betty Boop’s origins are black, but the story is a little more complicated.

This is the story of popular art in this country, though: white person rips off black person and gets rich and famous; black innovator is largely forgotten. This history is one reason why people get so angry about cultural appropriation.

(via thegermansmakegoodstuff)

NY Times Writer Admits He Made Big Michael Brown Mistake →

invisiblelad:

(Huffington Post) The writer of a much-maligned New York Times article about Michael Brown admitted on Monday that he had made a mistake when he described the slain teenager as “no angel.”

Those two words that John Eligon chose, along with a series of of descriptions about Brown’s “dabbling” with drugs, alcohol and rap music, set off a scorching round of criticism for the way the paper had characterized Brown. The Times dug an even deeper hole for itself by writing a concurrent article about Darren Wilson, the man who killed Brown, in which Wilson was described as a “well-mannered, relatively soft-spoken, even bland person.” Many said that the contrast seemed to fit a pattern in which black victims of crime are maligned in the media.

Lawrence O’Donnell’s send up of this article is freaking legendary, people. 

Please read this piece to get some historical context:

Shortly before the Civil War, many white writers—especially abolitionists—began anxiously debating whether black children who died could become angels, and if so, whether they needed to become white first. As I write in my book, Racial Innocence, the 1862 abolitionist story “Poor Little Violet,” by Lynde Palmer, included a very disturbing scene in which Violet, an enslaved girl, discusses death and angelhood with a white slaveholding girl named Carrie. Violet asks,

“[W]hen we goes to Canaan, that old Sambo sings about, may I be your little slave then, Miss Carrie, ’cause you’s allus so kind?”

“I don’t think there will be any slaves there,” said Carrie, slowly, pondering over the matter.

“Why, what will the black people do, then?” cried Violet, with curious round eyes.

“Maybe,” replied Carrie hesitatingly, “maybe there won’t be any black people—you know, Violet, our bodies are covered up in the ground,”—Violet shivered,—“but our souls go to heaven, and they must all be white.”

“All of ’em?” asked Violet, eagerly.

“Yes, mamma told me that no soul can go till it is washed white in Jesus’ blood.”

“And can my soul be white?” whispered Violet.

“Yes,” said Carrie, “if you ask God.” (Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights, p. 59)

The Times's reference to Michael Brown as “no angel” is so deeply hurtful because it extends a historical libel that African Americans, and African American children in particular, cannot be innocent. As the slaveholder Carrie tells Violet, to be an angel is to be white. And in this white-authored text—which was intended to critique slavery—a black girl joyously receives this information with hope that she can shed her blackness, become white, and become an angel.

(Source: quickhits, via sociolab)

I did this radio show and the deejay asks me, ‘What if you woke up tomorrow and you were beautiful?’
What do you mean ‘what if’?
He said, ‘What if you woke up and you were blonde and you had blue eyes and you were 5’11 and you weighed 100 pounds and you were beautiful? What would you do?’
And I said, ‘Well, I probably wouldn’t get up ‘cause I’d be too weak to stand.’
And I felt very sorry for him, ‘cause if that’s the only kind if person that you think is beautiful, you must not see very much beauty in the world.
And I think everybody is beautiful. And if you don’t think that I am beautiful, you are missing out. Because I am so beautiful.

— Margaret Cho: Beautiful (via justanothersinger)

(via affably)

Horror stories about Muslim misogyny have long been used by western patriarchs to justify imperialism abroad and sexism at home. The Guardian’s Katharine Viner reminds us about Lord Cromer, the British consul general in Egypt from 1883. Cromer believed the Egyptians were morally and culturally inferior in their treatment of women and that they should be “persuaded or forced” to become “civilised” by disposing of the veil.

"And what did this forward-thinking, feminist-sounding veil-burner do when he got home to Britain?" asks Viner. "He founded and presided over the Men’s League for Opposing Women’s Suffrage, which tried, by any means possible, to stop women getting the vote. Colonial patriarchs like Cromer … wanted merely to replace eastern misogyny with western misogyny." More than a century later, the same logic is used to imply that misogyny only matters when it isn’t being done by white men.

When you are 9, or 12, or 17, it is easy to overlook racist comments. That your friends’ dad does not like black people has little to do with what your friend thinks, right? When you cannot yet vote, the fact that your friends’ parents are Republicans means little. With age, these things start to matter. At 25 or 32, it is harder to overlook the inevitable racially ignorant comment that will come, especially when you have had access to friendships where this is never an issue. At 30 or 35, the fact that your white friends now vote Republican alongside their parents strikes you as a choice that detrimentally impacts your material existence.

susiethemoderator:

jonsnowflakes:

Collegehumors’ new video is on point as always

It’s even funnier when you see the White Tears in the comment section saying EXACTLY what the actors say in the video.

(via abagond)

Have you noticed that the Ferguson situation has deliberately moved away from Michael Brown, and the media is now making the protestors the story? How many times have you heard the name of the police officer, or anything resembling investigative journalism on who this officer is…?

Don’t fall for the banana in the tailpipe trick…

Irvin Brown

(H/T Kamakura Faure)

Since this happened so recently and social media played such an important part in publicizing the story, it’s pretty easy to see that the national media only became interested in Ferguson once  the protests began, not after Micheal Brown’s murder. They became even more interested when the situation in Ferguson became photogenically violent.

Now the national coverage is mainly about the protestors (usually slanted in a negative way) or about police militarization, which is usually portrayed as a problem for civil liberties in general. With some exceptions, they are doing their best to minimize the central role of white supremacy in all of this.

(Source: sonofbaldwin, via jean-luc-gohard)

radicalbehavior:

Tell me about a time where a white child was killed and black people made a hashtag mocking their death, a Halloween costume mocking their death, or a celebration of their death in any way shape or from. NEVER!!

Black pride has never been about hating white people, but white supremacy has always been about hating black people.

(via aka14kgold)

…[T]he police are simply the hired enemies of this population. They are present to keep the Negro in his place and to protect white business interests, and they have no other function. They are, moreover…quite stunningly ignorant; and, since they know that they are hated, they are always afraid. One cannot possibly arrive at a more surefire formula for cruelty.

This is why those pious calls to “respect the law,” always to be heard from prominent citizens each time the ghetto explodes, are so obscene. The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer. To respect the law, in the context in which the American Negro finds himself, is simply to surrender his self-respect.

— James Baldwin, “A Report from Occupied Territory” The Nation, July 11, 1966

historicaltimes:

A policeman rips the American flag away from 5-year-old Anthony Quinn, having already confiscated his ‘No More Police Brutality’ sign. Jackson, Mississippi. 1965. Photograph by Matt Heron
Read More

historicaltimes:

A policeman rips the American flag away from 5-year-old Anthony Quinn, having already confiscated his ‘No More Police Brutality’ sign. Jackson, Mississippi. 1965. Photograph by Matt Heron

Read More

(via mickyalexander)

Countries Criticized by US Turn Tables Over Ferguson Crisis →

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

Police aggression. Detention of journalists. A call for respect for minority populations. They’re the type of issues the United States is usually scolding other countries about. This time, however, the criticism is coming the other direction.

Iran’s Grand Ayatollah tweeted about the “brutal treatment” of black people in the United States using the #Ferguson hashtag, China’s official mouthpiece wrote about America’s “human rights flaw,” and the Egyptian government called for “restraint and respect for the right of assembly and peaceful expression of opinion.”

The condemnation is not only limited to countries who may be gloating about the chance to slam the United States about its internal affairs for a change.

On Monday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, through a spokesman, called on authorities “to ensure that the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are protected.”

“He calls on all to exercise restraint, for law enforcement officials to abide by U.S. and international standards in dealing with demonstrators,” Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman said.

Amnesty International, the global human rights organization, said it had sent observers to Ferguson. It’s the first time the group has deployed such a team within the United States.

The Soviets used to do this all the time.

(via abagond)

"…Rich people don’t riot because they have other forms of influence. Riots are a class act.”

Nobody in their right mind wants more violent protests. But nobody wants more Michael Browns either. And those two things – the violence of the state and the violence of the street – are connected. “A riot,” said Martin Luther King, “is the language of the unheard.” The people on the streets don’t donate thousands of dollars to anyone’s campaign. They don’t get a seat at any table where decisions are made or have the ear of the powerful. But with four black men killed by the police in the country in the last four weeks, they have a lot to say, and precious few avenues through which to say it. The question now is who’s listening.
But that’s the crux of white supremacist racial logic: the problem with black people is … well, black people – not mass incarceration and the deindustrialization of urban America, not educational inequality and generational poverty, not 400 years of slavery, lynchings, and Jim Crow. To be black in America is to be victimized and then made responsible for our victimization. We built this country. But, apparently, it is we who are lazy and dependent. We are bullied politically, socially and economically. But it is we who are called “thugs”.

“There is never an excuse for violence against police,” President Obama said. Yet there are endless excuses for state violence against black people. For mass incarceration, there’s the “war on drugs”. For poverty and unemployment, there’s “a culture of laziness” and “government dependence”. For the educational gap, there’s the burden of “acting white”. For Eric Garner: “loosies”. And for Michael Brown, there are stolen cigarillos, jaywalking or anything the police can say to shift the narrative from their white supremacist practices to black “ghetto” culture.

It is to say that black lives do not matter, that our babies deserve death and despair, that our communities don’t deserve protection and justice.

Libertarians are the new confederates

And here’s another chapter in the perennial debate about conservatives: stupid or evil?

Paul Ryan offered his opinion on federal intervention in Ferguson:

"There is no problem with the federal government having a role," he said. "But in all of these things, local control, local government, local authorities who have the jurisdiction, who have the expertise, who are actually there are the people who should be in the lead."

He said that today. Has he literally been hiding under a rock?

  • Missouri Governor Jay Nixon took his sweet time before doing anything about Ferguson. When he did choose to act (by imposing a curfew), he made things even worse. Local leadership!
  • Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder said today that he wants “Anglo American justice" for Ferguson. Local solutions!
  • Ferguson’s mayor, James Knowles, has denied there is or ever has been a “racial divide” in his city. Local insight!
  • A Missouri GOP official has described the effort to register more voters in Ferguson as “disgusting" and "inappropriate". Local politics!

At this point, the only reasonable conclusion is that the local authorities in Missouri and Ferguson are clueless and repulsive. Yet Paul Ryan thinks they should be given the lead to resolve a situation they themselves have created and escalated.

So….is Paul Ryan a dumbass?

I don’t think Paul Ryan is a dumbass, but he often sounds like one. In this instance, he’s chosen to ignore U.S. history and everything that has happened in Ferguson lately because it is evidence that not only conflicts with his ludicrous political philosophy, but destroys it.

But I don’t think it’s just a case of cognitive dissonance. No one who remains a libertarian past the age of 19 or so can be trusted because, in this country, quite a few self-described “libertarians” would be better described as neo-Confederates. Many of these same ‘libertarians’ are even bringing back antebellum classics like nullification.

No, Paul Ryan isn’t a dumbass. Paul Ryan knows what he’s doing.

huffingtonpost:

When The Media Treats White Suspects And Killers Better Than Black Victims

On the afternoon of Aug. 9, a police officer fatally shot an unarmed, black teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. Details remain in dispute. Eyewitnesses have said that Brown was compliant with police and was shot while he had his hands up. Police maintain that the 18-year-old had assaulted an officer and was reaching for the officer’s gun.

For more headlines go here.

(via heyreadabook)