News that I already knew…because I’m a genius

Lady Goo Goo Gaga

I remember my parents watching the evening news and I had no clue what Dan Rather was talking about.  The news was filled with news about foreign countries, wars, and legitimate domestic concerns.

At some point in recent years there’s very little separating TMZ from the Nightly News and its a bit disconcerting.  (Not that I’m complaining because I would pick TMZ over real news any day.)  But still!!!

This week there were a few news items that got top billing that just simply should not be news.

#1 – It’s cold outside.

Really?? History has proven and any Farmer’s Almanac will continue to show that in the “winter” months it gets all “wintery” and cold air blows around and makes the air feel cold.  And then people go out into the cold air and they exclaim “It’s so cold!”

Every. day.

Actually what I hear most often is …

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When Your (Brown) Body is a (White) Wonderland

It’s important for people, specifically white people, to read this brilliantly written piece on Miley Cyrus, the VMAs, and the appropriation of black women’s bodies.

tressiemc

This may meander.

Miley Cyrus made news this week with a carnival-like stage performance at the MTV Video Music Awards that included life-size teddy bears, flesh-colored underwear, and plenty of quivering brown buttocks. Almost immediately after the performance many black women challenged Cyrus’ appropriation of black dance (“twerking”). Many white feminists defended Cyrus’ right to be a sexual woman without being slut-shamed. Yet many others wondered why Cyrus’ sad attempt at twerking was news when the U.S. is planning military action in Syria.

I immediately thought of a summer I spent at UNC Chapel Hill. My partner at the time fancied himself a revolutionary born too late for all the good protests. At a Franklin Street pub one night we were the only black couple at a happy hour. It is one of those college places where concoctions of the bar’s finest bottom shelf liquor is served in huge fishbowls…

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Martin Luther King Jr. on NBC’s Meet the Press in 1965

Though not the 1963 Pre-March on Washington episode that was rebroadcast Sunday morning, it’s interesting to note how some of those attitudes still persist today.

Some on twitter likened it to watching Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, or even Bill O’Reilly in 2013.

It’s true that we have accomplished much since the 1960s. There is more representation of people of color in positions of power. But there still remains a stubborn thread of ignorance that prevents America from fully being the “Land of the Free” that it purports to be.

Originally posted Sunday 25 August on ADignorantium.Tumblr