racism

Recent Articles

Sony and the sociology of racism

MSR-Editorial6

As a result of the North Korean-related hacking of Sony’s computer system, certain racist emails of Sony executive Amy Pascal were made public. This may appear as an isolated incident of racism amongst individuals, but it offers opportunity to uniquely examine certain aspects of the sociology of racism that not only fester in entertainment, but extensions of this same sociology have historically led to deadly consequences in the streets of America when Black men encounter law enforcement. By sociology I am simply referring to America’s sum total of ethnic and cultural distinctions and exchanges, its shared and conflicting beliefs, ideals and values. I’m referring to Americans’ common sociopolitical influences and the human actions, ethos, and consciousness that publically and privately shape American society, institutions and government. Among Pascal’s emails were jokingly racist comments that President Obama probably liked Kevin Hart, along with the movies 12 Years A Slave, Django, The Butler and Think Like A Man. Continue Reading →

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A nation reviews racism

Continued fallout from Ferguson
 
President Barack Obama convened a very high-powered meeting at the Eisenhower Building in Washington, D.C., Monday, December 1. Later that night, Attorney General Eric Holder addressed a packed congregation at a church in Atlanta, Georgia. Both men, America’s chief executive and America’s chief law enforcement officer, sounded the alert that changes must be forthcoming in regards to the issue of race in America. But do they mean real change or just changes to enable maintaining the status quo? Just a couple of days before, the White mayor of Ferguson, MO announced that Police Officer Darren Wilson had submitted his resignation, leaving the Ferguson Police Department. Continue Reading →

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The LA Clipper players sent a message that racism is not okay

Donald Sterling’s recent remarks offer a glimpse into the thinking of one of the “one percent.” It reveals that capitalism and racism are indeed joined at the hip and how employers really see the folks who make them rich. It also shows just how Black athletes are really seen by those who depend on them to make their fortunes. Some of this has been coming for a while. College athletes have long been on a legal plantation codified by the plantation owners, the NCAA, which gets to make the rules about whether college athletes (employees/slaves) should get paid. The NFL Combine along with the NFL’s very intrusive interview process is starting to look more and more like a slave auction. Continue Reading →

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Local griot El-Kati tackles the delusions of race

 

Mahmoud El-Kati’s newest missive, The Myth of Race, the Reality of Racism: Critical Essays (Papyrus Publishing, Inc.), marks the latest crowning achievement of a brilliant, well-storied career as author, historian, scholar and community griot. It joins a canon that includes the highly entertaining The Hiptionary: A Survey of African American Speech Patterns with a Digest of Key Words and Phrases and Politically Considered: 50th Commemoration of the Supreme Court Decision of 1954, which, like the title says, is an informed look at the desegregation of public schools. You can, if you don’t know, catch El-Kati’s issues-oriented program Reflections and Connections on KMOJ Tuesdays at 6:30 pm. You can also swing by his Fourth Fridays at the Movies monthly screening of historic African American cinema at Golden Thyme Cafe in St. Paul. Continue Reading →

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Clippers players squandered golden opportunity

The Donald Sterling lifetime banishment from the NBA at worst serves as a sad moment. At best, it could spark a long-needed movement. “That remains to be seen,” stated Alexis McCombs, a frequent sports and entertainment contributor for several magazines, including Black Enterprise, regarding the true import of the incident. She was in Los Angeles last week when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver declared Sterling a permanent persona non grata and talked to the MSR by phone. “I think the severity of [Sterling’s] comments is not only a black eye in sports but also to race relations in this country,” observed McCombs. Continue Reading →

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Donald Sterling and the L.A. NAACP: names forever joined in infamy

The specter of racism has long haunted professional sports. Donald Sterling, owner of the NBA team the L.A. Clippers, is proving how wrong those are who deny racism exists anymore. Having held his race attitudes during his 30 years of ownership — well known to owners, media, players, fans, and sponsors — is Sterling a Rosa Parks “tipping point” for the collective “social conscience” of America, ashamed at the “yassah boss” polite role of “to get money you go along with money,” even plantation money, at the community’s expense? The worst-kept secret is again exposed of how White owner racism has long caused hair chafing at the majority of players being Black, letting Sterling do their ranting. That’s the true infamy. Continue Reading →

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The quest for health equity is lifelong

In 2002, April was designated as Minority Health Month to increase awareness about health disparities that exist for people of color. Even though April 2014 Minority Health Month is now past, we must continue to address health disparities head on every month of the year. Health disparities exist when certain segments of the population have higher rates of preventable diseases and mortality. Many populations are affected by disparities, including racial and ethnic minorities, residents of rural areas, women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. In a recent report to the MN legislature on health equity, the MN Department of Health stated that although Minnesota is deemed one of the healthiest states, African Americans and American Indians in the state have continued to experience higher rates of preventable disease as well as reduced life expectancy. Continue Reading →

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The Good Wife Works – On belonging

“Racism poisons civic life and denies the worth of human beings because of their color,” Michael Eric Dyson wrote. We know that racism destroys a Black man by ignoring his gifts, overlooking his presence, and demeaning his manhood. Larry Holmes, pugilist, said it: “It’s hard being Black. You ever been Black? I was Black once — when I was poor.” John McWhorter echoes Holmes: “Poverty is a tragedy, not a lifestyle.”

The opportunity to advance — in order to escape poverty — is approached through job skills training and education when privilege did not come through the accident of birth, but there is more to discuss in Black culture than poverty. Continue Reading →

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A sports reporter’s spring notebook cleaning

Marlene Stollings’ second hire on her Gopher women’s basketball coaching staff is Nikita (Niki) Dawkins. She is a 23-year coaching veteran who has been a VCU assistant coach the last two seasons and held similar positions at Old Dominion, Michigan and Ohio State, her alma mater. In a released statement, Stollings called Dawkins, whose duties include recruiting coordinator, “one of the top assistants in the country.” She joins Tiffanie Couts, who Stollings named director of basketball operations. Couts was a grad assistant last season at VCU. The women are the only two Blacks on the staff. Continue Reading →

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NBA must come down hard on Sterling

Donald Sterling, the longtime controversial owner of one of professional sports’ longtime losing franchises, the Los Angeles Clippers, has created a firestorm of anger and resentment from the entire sports community with his alarming racist comments to his girlfriend. This has put Sterling on blast from the entire NBA community and many others out raged by his violent, disturbing comments. TMZ broke this story, and the audio recording is clearly Sterling talking to his friend Ms. Stiviano, who is Black.  

On the nine-minute tape recording, Sterling says, “I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars and houses. Who gives it to them? Continue Reading →

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