From Ban the N-Word

BN-W eNewsletter #55

Posted in: eNews 2006
By BN-W
Feb 1, 2006 - 2:00:30 PM

FILM(S) MONITORED
BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE
ANNAPOLIS


 

Our wishes for a very grand rest in peace to Coretta Scott King, who went home after 78 years of graciously sharing her life in one way or another with us all.

Before getting to the monitor of Big Momma’s House 2 and Annapolis, which were both very average, we wanted to share some interesting links with you – from light, love stuff to Spring Break Katrina to Black history to Tony Martin’s The Jewish Onslaught to Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cornel West to Afrocentricity.   We’ve got quite a smorgasbord of stuff in this one.

Greg Thomas and Jewel Kinch were kind enough to share their Voices of Romance Web site (www.voicesofromance.com) with us.   The site is “ devoted to strengthening the bonds of affection and love among couples.”   There are a multitude of unique and creative ideas offered, including a game that can be played weekly through Valentine’s Day 2007.   Have fun………

Some college students are taking the initiative to do something that’s positive and needed.   Instead of ending up in a “Girls Gone Wild” video or getting drunk/high and blacking out on a Caribbean Island, they are using their Spring Break to go to the Gulf region and “engage in rebuilding instead of recreation.”   The scheduled dates for Katrina on the Ground are March 5th through April 1st.   This Spring Break initiative will focus on:   (1) physical and emotional rebuilding of communities and lives; (2) legal and civil rights issues; and (3) financial literacy and empowerment for the affected citizens and region.   These young people recognize a need to be proactive because “there comes a time in your life when you must answer to a greater calling.   A time when you stand for a cause that is ripe with passion and long overdue.   A moment when you envision yourself as part of history.   A vital entity to the continuous struggle of an oppressed people; your people.   African American college students of today are the social, academic, and cultural leaders of our generation….We observe the degradation of our people on a daily basis.   We’ve seen our creatively unique cultures turned into corporate cash cows that repetitively demean our women, our children, and our ancestors.”   For more information, go to www.katrinaontheground.com.   You can also read the full story.

Morris O’Kelly wrote an excellent article on Dr. Ronald E. McNair, who was one of the astronauts on board the Challenger Space Shuttle January 28, 1986 when it exploded shortly after liftoff.   We’ve read and heard many stories about Dr. McNair.   He wasn’t a “miseducated educated” person who felt having a degree, job, or title meant getting away from the people who need your help and guidance.   He was highly educated, never forgot who he was, felt a sense of social responsibility and obligation to his people and always gave back with what’s most important – his time.   Here’s the link:   http://www.eurweb.com/story.cfm?id=24502

In celebration of Black History month, PBS is showing African American Lives, hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. of Harvard University.   It is a four-part series that starts at 9:00pm; parts one/two will air February 1st and parts three/four will air February 8th.   Get more detailed information at this link:   http://www.pbs.org/wnet/aalives/about.html.   Gates will have a “group of highly accomplished African Americans,” including Dr. Ben Carson, Whoopi Goldberg, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Dr. Mae Jemison, Quincy Jones, Dr. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Chris Tucker, and Oprah Winfrey.   The following link provides profiles of these individuals:   http://www.pbs.org/wnet/aalives/profile_carson.html

We’re definitely planning to watch this PBS program, but it will be as critical thinkers.   We’ll tell you why.   Firstly, in a courant.com interview, Gates [jokingly] states the following upon finding out he was half White:   “What about my reparation check?   I have to give away half of my reparation check?   All that affirmative action money – I have to give it back.”   Why even put that out there?   Why give affirmative action opponents another ridiculous excuse to justify its demise, especially with the constant rapes that took place – and the offspring to prove it – during and even after enslavement, the hundreds of years of institutionalized racism that legalized laws and policies that kept Blacks out and “Whites only” in public/private schools, colleges, and universities, as well as jobs, housing, restaurants, etc. – which in effect was affirmative action for Whites.   (We’re not done with Gates, there’s more on Gates and Cornel West farther down.)   Secondly, according to an EURweb.com site story, it’s mentioned that Oprah Winfrey collapsed “in tears after being handed a deed between a White Mississippi landowner named Watson, and one of her ancestors.”   Yes, Oprah, is an emotional individual, but why don’t we see more emphasis on Black history on her show and in her magazine?   She gets all types of awards and, therefore, she’s around all types of Blacks.   Why can’t we get just a few (that’s all we’re asking) more stories about Blacks, ones that also focus on positive Black people and events, not just the “woe is me” Black stories.   We get plenty of that with the mass media – can Oprah spice it up just a little?

We heard a radio personality call Oprah “ America’s Mammy” and found it quite amusing.   We can tell you that Martin Lawrence (as Big Momma) and Queen Latifah (Last Holiday) will be added to that category if they keep making movies like the latest two they’re in.   Talk about coddling and taking care of a people.   Gee whiz.   Anyway, Oprah did mass promotions for the appearances of con artist James Frey as well as “Mr. Nonchalant” Neil Diamond.   After all of Oprah’s fawning and praise, Diamond came off as if he could care less about Oprah and was strictly there to promote his new album.   It was also quite clear that Frey was lying during his initial appearance on the show.   As Oprah stated, her producers had complete faith in this dude, so she followed suit.   Scary……..We give Oprah credit for apologizing, admitting she felt duped, and regretting her statement about Frey’s many lies being “much ado about nothing.”   Nevertheless, these articles are quite interesting on the whole Frey debacle.   In the Black Commentator article, Margaret Kimberley states:   “…Oprah called into the show to protect her investment.   She gave Frey a pass.   The woman who exhorts her viewer/followers to be their best selves did a 180 degree turn that mediocrity and untruthfulness aren’t such a big deal after all….Oprah has succeeded because she gives celebrity worshipping, middle brow, middle America just what it wants.   They want positive thinking and touchy feely advice, neither of which is very useful when discussing a serious issue.”   Here’s the complete story:   John Dolan of AlterNet also had some insightful and quite funny commentary on the topic.   He wrote:   “AMLP [A Million Little Pieces] was a huge success, with copies of it disappearing faster than cocaine at an advertising company’s Christmas party….There they are, the most childish dreams of every little rich White boy – being down with the brothers and the Mafia.   The tough guys.   The Jazzmen….As raw mad courage becomes a scarce resource with the delayed-gratification crowd, it becomes an aphrodisiac – witness Oprah and her entire audience swooning for Frey.”   Read it in full right here:   http://www.alternet.org/story/30910   And for those who haven’t seen The Smoking Gun’s exposé.

As we mentioned in BN-W #54 the conclusion of Part II:   Black-Jewish Relations will be included with the Winter 2006 Music Monitor.   As we also stated, we’ve got a lot of information, and, for that reason, until Part II comes out, we’ll be filtering stuff to you so it won’t be too overwhelming in the buildup to Part II’s conclusions.   Refer to BN-W #53/54 if you need a repeat of our feelings on the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). 

There’s a book called The Jewish Onslaught:   Despatches from the Wellesley Battlefront by Tony Martin, who is a tenured professor at Wellesley College in Massachusetts (http://www.wellesley.edu/Africana/tony.html).   The title and creation of this book all stemmed from Martin selecting The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews (Historical Research Department, Nation of Islam) as one of the selections for an African American course he was teaching.   The Secret Relationship, “using primarily Jewish sources, shows that Jews were fully involved in every aspect of the African slave trade.”   What happened to Martin after word was out on the selection of this book is not surprising but it’s just a reminder of the mindset of some to protect an image at all costs, even at the expense of factual truth.   Along with verbally abusive and non-researched and non-fact checked accusations of Jews having no involvement whatsoever with the African slave trade by many “scholars” and “professionals,” Martin describes his reason for publishing The Jewish Onslaught:   “as a response to the unprincipled attacks, defamatory statements, assaults on my livelihood and physical threats directed against me for several months.   These emanated principally from the Jewish community and its agents and were triggered by my classroom use of a work detailing Jewish involvement in the African slave trade.   In The Jewish Onslaught I sought to put my subjective situation into one context of the well-documented dirty tricks that the Jewish groups have used against Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson, David Dinkins, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Len Jeffries, Black parents in Ocean Hill-Brownsville ( Brooklyn) and any number of Euro-American individuals and organizations.”

The following link “A” gives Martin’s Broadside #1-4 breakdowns, starting March 1, 1993.   In these Broadsides he discusses the attacks from individuals and groups; the final admission that Jews were very much involved in the African slave trade (a 10/17/93 Washington Post article – see link “B” below, which, by the way, was nowhere to be found on the Post’s Web site); he provides an amusing description of Richard Cohen from the Washington Post attending a Howard University rally and scooting out when he realized he was recognized (in addition to the Post, you may remember Cohen more recently as the white-haired guy on Oprah’s couch for the Frey “coming out”); the role Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cornel West played in being what Martin calls part of the “Jewish-responsible Negro alliance” (Gates still seems to be hosting PBS specials and getting all the extra perks, so does that mean he’s still part of the “alliance”?   While West no longer apparently fits the criteria; there was an article in the New Republic on 3/6/95 – see link “C” below – lambasting the brother.   Martin writes this about the piece:   “Despite language that is often almost as turgid and incomprehensible as West’s, [ Leon] Wieseltier nevertheless displays flashes of eloquence as he knocks West around.”); and last but definitely not least is Mary Lefkowitz who Martin describes as “the most vocal of Wellesley’s faculty in her public crusade against things Afrocentric.   From the New Republic to the Wall Street Journal to the Chronicle of Higher Education, to cyberspace, she has pursued a relentless effort to brand Afrocentrism as irrational, to deny the Africanness of Egypt, to suggest ‘Semitic’ origins of Greek civilization and to reject African influences on ancient Greece.   Her pet issue seems to be to establish Cleopatra as lily white.”   Martin makes one additional statement about the continued onslaught – nine months later – that we found quite interesting in light of all our monitoring and research, as well as how Blacks are largely portrayed in the media overall:   “Columbia University provided more of the same.   The young Jews there, like their adult counterparts, have entrenched themselves powerfully in the media – both the campus wide and campus Jewish newspapers….When I spoke at Cornell University the lecture was well received and passed without incident.   That is, until the young Jews went to work in the campus paper.   (Funny how they frequently entrench themselves strategically where information and opinions are disseminated.)”   Perhaps that’s not a bad idea, especially if control is priority number one.

Believe it or not, what we’ve listed above are only snippets of the entire Broadside series.   Read these links for yourself and you’ll probably decide to go ahead and purchase Martin’s book for the full story.

A  

B   

C   

The final pieces on this issue for now are written on The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews.   The title is “Black Demagogues and Pseudo-Scholar,” which was a New York Times op-ed piece written in 1992 by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.   Can you guess what side he takes?   But , of course, so no need to point it out in black and white.   “A Dissenting View” on that op-ed is written by John Henrik Clarke, so you know it’s good.   Read it and you will see for yourself who has an air of intellectual superiority and pomposity, which is supposed to pass for knowledge, and who lays it down humbly with precision and plain and simple facts.   Below are the links:

Gates:      

Clarke:     

Here are two links for stories on the lopsided and unchecked U.S. funding to Israel

U.S. funding to Israel

We stumbled upon this article (“ Libya in talks with Bulgaria over HIV deal”) about the possibility of AIDS being intentionally injected into children.   Have you heard about this?   It was only out there for a minute and then a search had to be done to find any basic information on the Web about it:  

In light of the viewpoints of Mary Lefkowitz and so many others (White and Black) about Afrocentricity and the sheer hate and denial that this topic seems to generate in so many supposedly scholarly circles, it forced us to start this portion of the BN-W Campaign sooner than we’d planned.   We wanted to kickoff our third year with more inclusion of the Afrocentric facts and viewpoints as we’d hinted in our Historical Timeline (BN-W #10A-10B) in September 2004, so consider this our unexpected, but official, start.   Dr. Clarke and Dr. Diop are no longer with us, but they’ve left an extensive source of well-researched and detailed books.   You can also purchase DVDs as well as get some of their writings online.   Some curiousity had to be generated on why the steadfast denial and rejection of the African influence when everyone knows that all human life came from an African woman.    Also, with the continued and upcoming saga of the Bush administrative reign in full effect and whatever comes after he’s made his messy exit, this is the perfect time for all of us to wake up and get moving on this.   It’s clearly time to take the road less traveled and start self-educating and doing our own research.   History has been rewritten extensively for a very, very long time that some of us really believe that Jesus is White.   And this revisionist history continues in many obvious and not-so-obvious ways, with the most effective being what’s taught in school through fiercely historically inefficient and just plain wrong textbooks.   And as long as nobody cares – except for the ones intent on doing the revising – things will get worse.   So, the days of sitting back and just taking what’s thrown at you have got to end.

We’re going to provide links to brief bios and/or articles on the following scholars.   Hopefully you’ll be piqued enough to delve deeper.   We’ll be following up on these individuals and more in the future.

Afrocentric Scholars

Na’im Akbar
http://www.naimakbar.com/signUp.cfm

Molefi Kete Asante
http://www.asante.net/

Yosef A.A. ben-Jochannan
[There’s a DVD entitled Live In Egypt with Gil Noble of Like It Is that’s excellent.]

John Henrik Clarke
An excellent tribute by Herb Boyd:

Cheikh Anta Diop
http://www.africawithin.com/diop/diop.htm
[Dr. Diop did a well-known Melanin Dosage Test in Cairo that confirmed certain Royal mummies to be Black after his colleagues said that was impossible.   Tests were immediately halted and shortly thereafter the mummies disappeared from the Cairo Museum and were put in the basement.]

Asa Hilliard

Dr. Hilliard writes an excellent piece on education

Ivan Van Sertima

With our new monitoring format, we will no longer put the range for the number of times the N-word is used in a film because once is too much, especially if it’s unnecessary and/or excessive usage.   If you missed any other BN-W monitors, just send an e-mail to bannword2@yahoo.com and request that it be sent to you.   It’s very hard not to give any content critique on the films we monitor, so we will no longer even attempt to abide by that statement.   But we definitely do continue to highly encourage you to see these films for yourself and, if applicable, make your own judgment call on the N-word usage – appropriate/inappropriate? necessary/unnecessary? sensible/nonsensical? does it add to or take away from the film’s concept? does the N-word have to be used at all? is there a valid reason for doing so? is it mandatory for the scene(s) to be effective? what are the circumstances/situation that necessitate any use of the word? is it just thrown in for humor, fear, crime, insult? are other culturally insulting slang terms used as much as the N-word in the film?   Lots of questions and a whole lot of reasons to wonder what’s the real purpose and thought process behind why these actors, writers, directors, producers, executive producers, distributors, and studios/studio heads and executives give the “greenlight” for these crews to liberally use (or allow to be used) the N-word.

FEATURE FILM(S) :

B I G   M O M M A ‘ S   H O U S E   2

[Release Date:   1/27/06]

Starring Martin Lawrence, Nia Long ; screenplay written by Don Rhymer; directed by John Whitesell; produced by David T. Friendly, Michael Green; executive produced by Martin Lawrence, Jeffrey Kwatinetz, Arnon Milchan; studio – 20th Century Fox
 

NONE [0]

LOW TO EXCESSIVE [1+]

XXXXX

 

NOTE :   Silly as expected, but not all bad.   He’s going to get the “ America’s Mammy” tag for this rolling sequel if he doesn’t watch it.

A N N A P O L I S

[Release Date:   1/27/06]

Starring Tyrese Gibson, James Franco, Chi McBride ; screenplay written by Dave Collard; directed by Justin Lin; produced by Damien Saccani, Mark Vahradian; executive produced by Steve Nicolaides; studio – Touchstone Pictures
 

NONE [0]

LOW TO EXCESSIVE [1+]

XXXXX

 

NOTE :   Pretty predictable but didn’t totally fall into the Jack Johnson/Great White Hope category – although there were a few touch-and-go moments in that “race” department.   Tyrese is very impressive in this role.   A much better movie to rent or purchase is Men of Honor with Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Robert DeNiro.

 

BN-W Monitor Coming Soon:  “Freedomland” [Samuel L. Jackson, Julianne Moore]; “Idlewild” [Andre Benjamin, Antwan Patton]; “Something New” [Sanaa Lathan, Blair Underwood]; “Pink Panther” [Steve Martin, Beyonce Knowles]

Also Coming :   Part II:   Black-Jewish Relations; Winter 2006 Music Monitor; Spring 2006 Music Monitor; Summer 2006 Music Monitor


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