Kanye West blew it big time on the VMA’s Sunday night. I am sure he never thought that his cognac induced state would put a bullseye around his neck. Yes, your actions were arrogant and in poor taste, but the reaction opens the wider door on race in America. How we react and report on blacks and whites in this country has been on display through a narrow lens. If Taylor Smith was Keyshia Cole the uproar, hate mail, death threats and media coverage would never seen the light of day.
Because in this country a black man can rise to stardom screaming lyrics of misogyny and hate on a women as long as that woman is black. If you did the same exact thing stealing Keyshia Cole’s moment only black folk would be talking about it. The larger worm has been unveiled with a slick delivery that often eases around the obvious issue..Van Jones is a green jobs communist. Joe Wilson raised a million dollars for yelling ‘You lie’ at the President. And Glenn Beck is a patriot. And when your black your a nig**.
Kanye West and “Nigger” reached the top of the charts on Twitter and his website is flooded with hate mail and death threats. Nobody wants to look at race for what it is. Race is boiling over and unfortunately only the haters are ready to talk about it.
Kanye was wrong, but the millions of folks that are spitting the “N” word have a much larger problem than Kayne’s arrogant ego. Next time you interrupt someone make sure it’s a black woman.
Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story is like most love stories…sometimes uplifting, passionate, funny, truthful, but ultimately heartbreaking. Moore is a master at melding all of these emotions into what is, so far, easily the movie of the year. *Warning may contain spoilers*
When I heard Michael Moore was going to premiere Capitalism: A Love Story in Pittsburgh; I thought to myself, “wow I would love to go”. But, since I had zero information about how to obtain tickets, I went back to my normal routine aka work. One of the reasons why I love my brother Paradise Gray (The Arkitech of X-Clan for those that don’t know) is that he has this New York attitude that translates into, “if it’s important I should be there and I refuse to take no for an answer.”
So we headed down to the David Lawrence Convention Center with no press passes or tickets and no idea if they would even let us in. As we approached the door Paradise said, “God got us. We will get in” and low and behold we saw our fellow One HOOD member, Mikhail Pappas, who is also an aid to State Senator James Ferlo! Mikhail took us directly into the event and showed us where they were giving out the tickets. Yep, God is Good.
After Michael Moore gave an impassioned press conference where he spoke about how he shed tears after he voted for President Obama, he proceeded to lead a health care reform march (which we really ended up leading) through downtown Pittsburgh and to the theater. We took our seats in the back and after introducing the movie Michael Moore came and sat in the row directly in front of us (very surreal).
The movie begins with security video of people robbing banks and leads right into a story of the banks robbing us. A small town family, the victim of predatory lending, having to move out of a farm that has been in their family for generations (a prevailing theme throughout the movie). There are so many WTH moments in Capitalism: A Love Story it’s hard to touch on them all, from airline pilots making so little they have to get food stamps to big companies like Walmart taking out insurance polices on their employees and collecting at the expense of the employee’s family. Moore even shows how prisons for profits resulted in two judges being jailed for receiving over 2 million dollars in kickbacks and thousands of juveniles improperly incarcerated right here in Pennsylvania!
Michael Moore may have made his best film to date with Capitalism: A Love Story
Moore is at his best when breaking down current events in a historical context and it’s no different here when he begins to ask the question, “would Jesus be a capitalist?” Hilarity ensues when Moore puts Jesus in the role of these current so call “compassionate conservatives” who seem to think it’s “godly” to deny basic rights to the poor. It also crystallizes one of Moore’s main points in the movie, that Capitalism is inherently evil, which I agree with 100%. Moore is extremely convincing showing example after example of regular every day hard working Americans being raped at the hands of the rich, and some damning internal documents directly from Citigroup’s own reports.
This isn’t just a movie it’s a rallying cry to take action. Moore wants to make us mad! And you can’t help to be pissed off when watching how the big banks used fear, money and influence to push through the $700 billion dollar bailout. Where one of the only Congressman with the balls to stand up to Wall Street and President Bush was a Congresswoman from Ohio named Marcy Kaptur. Moore also wants to wake us up to the fact that we have the power to make change, which he brilliantly parallels with never before seen footage of FDR outlining a “Second Bill of Rights” and the improbable rise and election of Barack Obama. But, even then, Moore shows how President Obama’s biggest campaign contributor was the bank that received the most financial gain from the bail out….Goldman Sachs.
Michael Moore said that Capitalism: A Love Story was the end result of his 20 years of movie making from Rodger and Me to Bowling for Columbine to Fahrenheit 911 to Sicko. This is arguably his best work and comes at a time where progressives are in desperate need of a battle call and President Obama is fighting for his political life. If we don’t take Moore up on his offer and join him in making America what it ideally is supposed to be, we will continue to be the battered wife in this abusive relationship. Capitalism..we need a divorce!
Paradise Gray’s Review of Michael Moore’s Film
Capitalism: A Love Story” for the first time in front of a American audience at the Byham Theater in Pittsburgh 9/14/2009.
debuts his new movie ”
After 6:00 PM press conference at the AFL-CIO Convention at The David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Michael Moore led an enthusiastic crowd of union members on a march through the streets of downtown Pittsburgh on the way to the Byham Theater.
Jasiri X and Paradise Gray took the opportunity to film Jasiri X’s new video “The Only Color That Matters Is Green” during the event.
The movie is off the hook! Must see, Michael Moore has outdone himself! Speaking truth to power, he uncovers the heart breaking stories of Americans who’s homes have been forclosed and the politicians/con-men on wall street and bankers who have created the mess.
The movie also features a long buried, never before seen speech by President FDR about the direction he wanted America to take after the World War 11 that should end the debate on whether President Obama’s Health Care plan is socialism.
See first hand what has happened in Washington that caused the crash on Wall Street, The Housing crisis, The loss of jobs and the economy crash. This movie will get you fired up and can’t take no more!
So everyone has been talking about Saturday’s Tea Party March on Washington and how it represents a sea change of sorts. Perhaps it does, perhaps it doesn’t. Whether it was 1.2 million people or tens of thousands who showed up, it all has to be put in context. First, we already know close to 46 million people voted for John McCain and Sarah Palin soclose to half the country that voted has a different political outlook on things. We should not be suprised or intimidated by how vocal that opposition is. We have our own troops in large numbers.
Second, many of the rallies that McCain and Palin held were pretty similar to the Tea Party demonstration in the sense they played upon people’s fear of change and were staging grounds for then candidate Obama’s character to be viciously assassinated. We heard Palin invoke everyone and everything from Obama being a Muslim, to him not being a real citizen of this country, to him being a guy who ran around with ‘terrorists’ like Bill Ayers and ‘racists’ like Jeremiah Wright. You name it, it was said. Everything but the kitchen sink was tossed at Obama during these McCain/Palin rallies. Many of the outlandish and now disproven assertions uttered from the stage were underscored by corporate media outlets like Fox News.
Fox news Pundit Dr Marc Lamont Hill
Just to show you how deep this gets, people may want to refer to the interview we did last week with Fox News pundit Dr Marc Lamont Hill.
In that interview Hill spoke frankly about the angst and concern raised by his colleague at Fox News, personality Sean Hannity, who was openly complaining that he had spent two years doing everything he could to derail Barack Obama only to have him win the presidency. Folks need to sit back and ponder on that for a minute. I’ll repeat – for two years Sean Hannity had a nationwide platform and carte blanche to go after Barack Obama. He makes no bones about his mission to destroy and malign him and according to Hill, Hannity was upset and complaining to Karl Rove that all his shenanigans didn’t work.
I bring this up because we need to keep in mind, when looking at the Tea Parties, they are often depicted as a new emerging movement that just sprung up overnight in opposition to President Obama’s Healthcare plans and stimulus packages. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Tea Parties are merely a continuum of what took place during the 2008 Presidential campaign and what Fox News, by their own admission, had been working on for the past two years.
Third point, with a major 24 hour news network on a mission to derail President Obama now directing people to Tea Parties, should we not be surprised that thousands of people showed up? It would be shocking if they didn’t. After all, this is a radio station/ TV network event. The promotion and overall vibe leading up to the Tea Parties are similar to what we do and experience in commercial radio when we are promoting events like Summer Jam concerts. Our job is to hype it up like there’s no tomorrow. There’s a technique and formula that has been researched, tried and tested that is used to make this happen. It ranges from having all those involved reciting the same 2 or 3 talking points (today we refer to this as Echoing) all the way down to making sure one is intimately involved and present in the lives of the audience being targeted. Lots of money, resources and time is spent figuring how to craft a message and who is likely to respond favorably when receiving it. Anybody who does media understands this and what I’m talking about is text book. However, the average listener or viewer is led to believe what they are presented is genuine. They’re being duped by a manufactured movement that adroitly plays upon their emotions. It is media marketing of the highest order.
In the case of these Fox News driven Tea Parties, they have been deliberately feeding people misinformation, exaggerations and playing upon stereotypes. That’s apparent in this video below. The ignorance of folks is astounding. Some of it I blame on people who refuse to change and are literally clinging to their guns and religion. That I get, change of this magnitude is hard for some to take. But a lot of this falls back on the executives and personalities armed with information and psychological profiles on how emotionally amp up their audience. These media execs know that many of the folks they are talking to have grown up to trust and believe a guy who they see on television wearing a suit and tie with a commanding booming voice and the words news anchor under his name. They trust that what they are hearing is truthful and that the person on their screen is one of them.
Rush Limbaugh w/ his multi-million dollar a year salary is far removed from the 'Average American'. If anything he is part of the rich elite class he supposedly rails against
These so called news anchors start off duping their listeners when they use words like ‘we’ and ‘us’ when talking about the ‘average American’, ‘blue collar worker’ or ‘middle class‘. I often have to laugh because there is nothing average, blue collarish or middle class about a TV personality that is making well over a million dollars a year. Oftentimes it’s the deliverer of news and information who is looking at the fact that he or she will have to pay higher taxes or may no longer have all the options to hide and shield their money as in years past. It is those TV personalities who are expected to ante up a bit and pay their full share who are on TV shouting and screaming and suggesting that this country is not fair. News alert folks – Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter etc are not ‘average Americans’ they are rich people who make millions and part of the ‘elite’ they pretend to rail against. It is their personal interests they are trying to protect while using the ignorance of poor and working class people to do their dirty work. This is nothing new. It’s a tried and true method that harks back to the early days of this country when White aristocrat landowners pitted poor white indentured servants against the Black African slaves they work alongside of in the fields.
The 2009 Tea Parties are merely an updated version of what took place once upon a time with corporate media being the tool that has violated our trust and replaced trust with techniques and talking points designed to manipulate folks. Today is such that if a personality tells his trusting listeners shit on a stick is healthy for you there is a substantial number of people who will believe it and seek out shit sticks. Here’s the video of people attending the Saturday, September 12th Tea Party.
This is the 64 thousand dollar question. Because we are so dependent upon media for news and information many of us have concluded that because we don’t see large numbers of people standing up to the ignorance shown in the video that people are in agreement or simply aren’t organizing. Anyone who is even modestly involved in politics knows this is not the case. We have organizations like Color of Change who have been very effective and are doing what they can, but they are missing a key ally – corporate media that is competitive with the one that sent people out to the tea parties. This is especially true of media that speaks to the 18-30 crowd in the urban landscape. If radio jocks and tv personalities that reach these urban audiences spent less time talking about beefs between rappers or trying to be the next TMZ, we could have just as many people out on the White House lawn as the opposition.
Urban radio talk show host is one the few who is allowed to regularly talk to the urban masses and help keep folks politically informed. Most urban jocks are all about gossip mongering and stoking beefs
We saw this happen two years ago when tens of thousands came out for the March for the Jena 6 when radio personality Michael Baisden used the airwaves to get behind the cause. We saw this happen right after Katrina when urban radio turned its focus on relief efforts. We certainly saw this leading up to and during the Million Man March when urban media played a key role in helping get people out. We saw millions of people take to the streets when Spanish language radio alerted its listeners and got everyone focused on Immigration Rights resulting in the turning of the political tide.
The advantge that Fox News has in doing these Tea Party rallies is that owner Rupert Murdoch is 100% behind the effort so all his air personalities are on point as they push the same agenda. With Spanish Language and urban radio such was not the case. Shortly after the large Immigration rallies, corporate owners to those outlets issued memos and instructed their on air talent to stop announcing and hyping up these rallies. We haven’t seen them since. It wasn’t like the issue died or people no longer cared, the mediums that drove people to the streets had been dismantled and the on air personalities had their hands tied.
The same hand tieing happened with urban radio. Leading up to the election we had on air personalities on many of the music oriented outlets from around the country stop their daily offerings of gossip and meaningless banter and turn their focus to getting folks registered to vote and out to the polls for last year’s historic election. Many of those stations started calling themselves the Obama Station or Obama Jams and would play excerpts from his inspiring speeches in their jingles and station drops. It was a beautiful thing to see our airwaves be used to politicize and energize people, but sadly once Obama got sworn in, like the Immigration Rights fervor, much of the political conversation died on the vine.
What became sadly apparent is that many of these urban outlets had lined themselves up behind Obama because he was a hot item and could lead to increased ratings. Once Obama got in office, radio personalities stopped their political chit chat and got back to the gossip mongering under the guise of ‘hot topic of the day’. It didn’t matter that record numbers of listeners registered and voted and were arguably politicized. There was no meaningful follow up to keep those fires stoked. There was no Sunday morning urban political talk shows added to the line ups. There was no special political correspondents added to the mix. The intelligent discourse and people behind it were all but banished from the airwaves with disastrous end results. On many urban outlets you never had the on air jocks talk intelligently and in earnest about the stimulus package, healthcare bill and even the racist elements that have showed up to act a fool at the townhalls. It’s been a return to the dumb down strategy of yesterday leaving many of us frustrated and voiceless in national dialogues.
So when incidents like Skip Gates getting arrested or more recently Van Jones resigning, aside from the talk shows who covered them, we had in many urban circles more people unaware of such incidents and more excited about Jay-Z releasing his Death to Autotune song than the issues at hand.
The biggest irony of all this is seeing how today’s corporate media has distorted and totally abused what was once shrewd strategy employed by veterans of the Civil Rights struggle. Dr. Martin Luther King talked about how local urban stations, then known as Black radio, were key pillars in the Civil Rights struggle. He argued that the music and commentary of socially aware and concerned radio jocks was an essential ingredient in getting people fired up, out on the streets and spurred into action armed with intelligent talking points and an understanding of the issues. Had it not been for urban media doing its part there would not have been large turnouts at many of those rallies. The ratings came from being a gathering place, a proverbial campfire of sorts for the community. One looks at the dedication that outlets like Fox News has in turning out their base even if they are being misled and duped into supporting things that will go against their economic interests and wonder how come we have not stepped it up and done right by our side by being the echo chamber for important issues impacting us… Below is a video of that highlights the Dr. King speech and the dumb down approach taken by urban radio in today’s crucial times.