Pop Culture Feed

Thank you, Gwen Ifill!

Gwen ifill

Reading the headline announcing the death of iconic, trailblazing journalist Gwen Ifill made me nauseous. Although I’ve never met her, I felt as though I’d lost another family member. I loved watching her on television. Whether she was delivering the news, on moderating a debate or commenting as a panelist, Gwen Ifill was the consummate professional. Ifill was the journalist I wish other journalists modeled nowadays. I would be less than honest if I didn’t share that I was proud when I saw her on television. She was a rarity as black and female in nationally televised news dominated by white males. Cool. Calm. Collected. Prepared. Thank you, Gwen Ifill. Job well done.

 

Related Links:


Paula Deen's Troubles are Bigger Than a Racial Slur

Paula Deen apologizes

Celebrity chef Paula Deen has been in hot water lately and can't seem to get herself out of it. Her latest troubles stem from an employment discrimination, racial discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit brought by former employee, Lisa T. Jackson.

Media coverage of the lawsuit took off when Ms. Deen admitted to using the word "nigger". Other allegations in the deposition seemed to take a back seat to that. I was surprised Ms. Deen was honest in her answer because many people lie and take the pious, holier-than-thou route.

Of course Ms. Deen mentioned that she'd heard blacks use that word. Now, being black myself, I don't like when anyone uses it. I chalk it up to ignorance, lack class and lack of vocabulary. I can't join the club of blacks that basically says "we can use that word but they can't". It's also not a label of affection if it ends in "a" or "-ah" rather than "-er".

That being said, way more offensive was her talk of a "southern style plantation wedding" replete with servers that reminded Ms. Deen of The Civil War period. Ms. Deen did try to clean up her explanation but it seemed the more she did, the worse it got.

There was also mention of testimony of another former employer that Bubba Hiers, Paula Deen's brother, told Lisa Jackson to keep the front 'light' when hiring. Wow. That means blacks and other dark-skinned people were welcome to work in the kitchen but not as servers, managers, etc. in the front of the restaurant.

Ms. Deen was a no-show for an interview with Matt Lauer on Friday's Today Show. She did release a couple of videos apologizing for her how her words hurt other people.

The Food Network chose to not to renew the contract for Ms. Deen's show which expires this month. If you also agree with that decision, before you jump up for joy, remember that memory of such racial episodes tend to be short lived, especially with most black people. As with similar instances involving Dog the Bounty Hunter and Don Imus, so Paula Deen could return to television soon.


-vb


 


Samuel L. Jackson says WAKE UP!!! [VIDEO]

I heard about the Samuel L. Jackson video in support of President Obama's re-election but I had not seen the full video until today when I surfed over to Wayne Hicks' blog, The Electronic Village

This video is hilarious and on point. I will send it to a few friends and some folks I don't know that well. Now, anyone who knows of Samuel L. Jackson, knows there will likely be some profanity involved in his work. In this video there is an attempt to censor the profanity but it is obvious what is being said. 

 

Folks shouldn't have to be cajoled, entertained, fed or cussed at to vote but if that's what's effective, so be it. Wake up, get up and vote or shut up!



Red Tails: An Epic Tale of Patriotism and Courage

 

Red Tails Poster

I went to see Red Tails yesterday with my Dad. He asked about movie times and where it was playing so I know that was my cue to be a good daughter and take him. After being married 58 years, Dad still misses my Mom who transitioned almost two years ago.  Whenever he wants to do something or go somewhere I try to oblige him. 

I don’t like going out to the movies. First of all, there are no theaters in my neighborhood so anywhere I go requires at least a 10 or 15 minute drive. Then there’s the parking, expensive admission and way overpriced food at the concession stand.  Not to mention the fact that I usually have lots to do and going to the movies takes a real big chunk out of my day.

Anyhoo, we saw the movie at the Aventura AMC24. We arrived just in time for the previews to start. My Dad had not been to a movie theater in at least 25 years. He said the previews were too long. The movie showtime was scheduled for 4:15 p.m. and that’s the time he expected it to start. The movie started at 4:30.

The opening scenes of the movie explicitly indicate the movie is ‘inspired’ by true events. If you expect a documentary about the Tuskegee Airmen, this is not the movie for you. Does it touch upon the racism the men of the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps endured? Yes, it does. It also highlights the assumptions of intellectual inferiority of the black pilots and their relegation assignments that did not have any impact on the War. 

This movie is also entertaining if you enjoy the rock ‘em sock’em shoot’em up special effects producer George Lucas is known for in his Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies. There are portions of the movie that are predictable and others that are not. The character development of the men was good but could have been a little more in-depth. The relationship between Joe and Sofia was a tad clumsy but a contrast to the fighting and racism. 

I highly recommend this movie. Kudos to George Lucas and to director Anthony Hemingway for a movie that will be remembered for a long time. My deep appreciation to the Tuskegee Airmen for the obstacles they overcame and the lives they saved. There are a few Tuskegee Airmen still alive today. If you know them or they live in your community, please say thank you.

In spite of the cost of the afternoon — admission ($29.00), concession ($24.78) and valet parking ($11), I would have spent twice that to see my Dad smile and have him talk about the Tuskegee Airmen and his military experience for the rest of the evening. 

Go see ‘Red Tails’ and make it a family outing.

 

 

 

Related Links:

Tuskegee Airmen

Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.