With the recent announcement of Kamala Harris as Joe Biden's running mate in the race for the Presidency of the United States, the blatant racism of Republicans continues to show itself. As if the obvious disregard for Black lives in their opposition to Black Lives Matter was not enough, "birtherism" has seen a major resurgence. … Continue reading Kamala Harris and the Importance of Representation
The prevailing consensus among the majority of progressives or just generally left-leaning Americans is that the right has some sort of monopoly on bigotry. Although they may be majority shareholders in the enterprises of racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism, the reality is that far more of the people on "our side" are toxic towards marginalized … Continue reading How Progressive Hypocrisy is Damaging the Movement
Just short of two months of the self-quarantine life, and in the last few weeks I finally feel like I'm used to it. It no longer feels like a big imposition to be at home all the time; the reality of this being our way of life for the foreseeable future has really sunk in. … Continue reading Coronavirus Self-Quarantine Day #59: “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”
By my estimation, the last time I left the house for anything that wasn't picking up groceries was two weeks ago today, when I went to the doctor to investigate some chronic pain. It feels like months ago, with all that is happening around the world now because of Coronavirus. Since then, I've made three … Continue reading Coronavirus Self-Quarantine Day #15: "Love Me As Though There Were No Tomorrow"
Far too often in public discussions, self-identifying "allies" in regards to the struggle for racial equality try to make the fight for equality about them. Instead of supporting the people of color, they're pulling focus, and this needs to stop. There are three important things to remember that, from one white man, I see being widespread problems from well-intentioned, but woefully clumsy white people.
A prevailing theme in the historical narratives for any struggle for people of color is that some white savior came along and saved the day. People like Abraham Lincoln are emphasized, along with other white allies against oppression like abolitionist John Brown, or earlier forefathers who are seen as revolutionary simply for not being as bigoted as their peers. Meanwhile, nameless people of color by the millions were enduring the hardships, and our attention always seems to turn to the white heroes.
In anticipation of an upcoming reissue of Marvin Gaye's sole live performance of the landmark album What's Going On, Motown has released a new, heartbreaking music video for its title track. Directed by Savanah Leaf, the video uses clips of Marvin performing live with a narrative that involves the horrors of gun violence, racial profiling, the Flint water crisis, and our broken for-profit healthcare system in a four minute package that brought tears to my eyes.
Sam Cooke was essential to desegregating audiences in the United States, but there were still two sides to the man as a performer. The King of Soul had huge crossover success, with songs like “You Send Me” hitting the top of both the Pop and R&B charts, but the Sam Cooke that white audiences saw was different from the Sam Cooke that black audiences did.
This year makes 100 years since the birth of the legendary Nat King Cole. Although he has been gone for even longer than he was here, his influence is felt in every corner of the music world. Cole was a world class pianist in his own right, but found greater fame as a vocalist. Many standards were first sung by Nat King Cole; even more were better sung by him.