SEX AND THE CITY
THE DARK KNIGHT
The monitor of the film(s) listed above is farther down in this eNewsletter. Yes, we’ve got some “oldies” listed, but unless you’re into boney women and two Black men (Will Smith and Eddie Murphy) with superpowers who end up in handcuffs, overall you’ve not missed much with these selections. One plus is that there’s no N-word. Why is skinny being marketed as sexy? It is not! Sarah Jessica Parker, Angelina Jolie, and Maggie Gyllenhaal are all too skinny. While “The Dark Knight” is a decent film, is now the biggest weekend opener in history, and the late Heath Ledger does an excellent job as the Joker, there are some loopholes – and it’s no match for Iron Man . We’ve never included an entire film review within our eNewsletter, but Jasiri X did an absolutely on-point critical thinking write-up about “Hancock.” While his title is not our preference (and it’s not included here), his analysis can’t be denied. If you’ve not seen this movie, there are spoilers in his piece, which follows:
I know I know I’m a conspiracy theorist…
It’s just a coincidence that the first “superhero” depicted on the silver screen as a criminal, alcoholic, lazy, foul mouthed, not giving a you know what bum, living in a broken down trailer, who everybody hates including the people he saves, just happens tobe black. Right? And, it’s just a coincidence the one man who loves Hancock, has faith in him and truly cares about him as a person, is an idealistic white man who wants to save the entire planet. Let’s call him the Anti-Bush. Oh and I can’t forget his adorable little son is the only character, besides his loving father, that doesn’t refer to Hancock as an a**hole. Right? And, is it just a coincidence that Hancock only maintains his super powers if he stays away from a “beautiful” white woman who is technically his wife. You have got to be kidding, right??!!
I mean, of course the Blacks and Latinos hate Hancock because the only ones depicted [like them]in the movie are criminals, and although he [Hancock] does an extremely poor job, is often late, drunk, unshaven, shabbily dressed and does more damage than good (just coincidences!) he does, at the very least, fight crime.
But, everything changes for friendless Hancock when he saves a white man with a heart of gold and an angel of a son who wants to help Hancock with his “image.” (Because of courseAmerica won’t accept an always drinking and cursing black man with a rap sheet, I mean who does he think he is, Lil Wayne?) In a matter of minutes he convinces Hancock to turn himself in and go to jail. He even writes his press conference speech for him! Mr. Save the World then proceeds to “civilize” the savage Hancock by convincing him to stop drinking, shave, wear a hero uniform, treat other people with kindness and consideration, and even how to land without ruining public property. Things that, in the 80 years he remembers being a superhero, poor Hancock never seemed to figure out.
After his much needed “makeover” Hancock finally receives the love of the people he was always looking for. And, even when he realizes he is not the only superhero and his “savior’s” wife is his long lost love, he gladly leaves because when they are together they become “mortals.” Plus, she was smart enough to hide her powers, because unlike Hancock, she could care less about saving people — she just wants to live a “normal” life. (How ironic that her husband wants to save the world and she actually has the power to do so but selfishly refuses to do so because she prefers being a spaghetti cooking housewife.)
The black man, even though he’s a superhero, needs the white man to properly educate him and integrate him into his society and the white woman who is also a superhero has to hide her power just to keep her white man (coincidence!!!). Come on now, we all know that any woman in her right mind would take Jason Bateman over Will Smith, and of course Hancock does have his bird to keep him company (yes, it’s literally a bird).
But, please don’t leave right after the movie ends or you’ll miss a bug eyed Mike Epps playing — you guessed it, a jive talking criminal — one steaming pile of white supremacy with a coon on top! Don’t believe me? Well, just compare Hancock to the other superheroes of the summer like millionaire, genius, scientist Iron Man or millionaire, playboy, martial art expert Batman. Hell, even Bruce Banner (The Hulk) is a world renown scientist who only seems to get into trouble when his skin is no longer…….I know, I know I’m a conspiracy theorist.
Well, at least there is one more action movie coming out this summer that stars a black man! Don Cheadle plays a Black Muslim and former soldier with apparent connections to a number of terrorist operations in a movie called “TRAITOR.” OK, OK, I’m sure this is just a coincidence. Right?
INTERESTING WEB SITES/LINKS/ARTICLES OF THE DAY :
There’s a serious reluctance to promote this program because of a fear of another Tavis Smiley production where Blacks who are considered professionals get that spotlight, but nothing changes. There’s also the fact the Soledad O’Brien’s last special on the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination ended with the implication that a lone White guy – James Earl Ray – did it all by himself with no participation from the FBI or the CIA. That conclusion was a letdown. Nevertheless, here’s the information: CNN is airing a two-day special report (July 23 and 24 starting at 9:00pm EST) entitled Black In America. Part one is about the Black Woman & Family; part two is about the Black Man. Here we go again….And let’s just hope this report deals with root causes of many problems and not just the surface results. For more details, visit Black In America.
In fact, what would be interesting – root causally that is – is if this special report includes a reference to the recent American Medical Association (AMA) apology and admission that: “ Like the nation as a whole, organized medicine in the United States carries a legacy of racial bias and segregation that should be understood and acknowledged. For more than 100 years, many state and local medical societies openly discriminated against black physicians, barring them from membership and from professional support and advancement. The American Medical Association was early and persistent in countenancing this racial segregation….The effects of this history have been far reaching for the medical profession and, in particular, the legacy of segregation, bias, and exclusion continues to adversely affect African American physicians and the patients they serve.” Now, with these kinds of admissions about institutionalized racism – and this is only one crucial example – we can better understand the root or foundational causes that have lead to present-day conditions of inequality across the board here in America. With this core and necessary knowledge, more effective and long-term changes can be put in place because everyone knows from where the problem stems.
This report – “African American Physicians and Organized Medicine 1846-1968: Origins of a Racial Divide” – was released through the AMA’s journal (JAMA) on July 16, 2008 (Vol. 300 No. 3). One of its authors, someone we’ve referenced many times and who’s linked on the main page of our site, is Harriet A. Washington who wrote Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the Present. We’ve touted it before and we’re touting it again. Get this book if you haven’t already. For more on this AMA admission, report, and its findings, visit AMA Institute for Ethics. Since the report is brand new, the first two JAMA reports are free for subscribers but a nominal cost for non-subscribers, but the remaining sources and references (including a very useful historical timeline) are available at no cost. Following are two articles on this AMA apology/admission of racial discrimination within the medical profession for nearly 125 years that had the triple effect of keeping Black doctors out for most of the association’s history and thus intentionally destroying many Black doctors’ careers along with the health of millions of Black people. In fact, some local AMA chapters “had rules against Black members well into the late 1960s, and policies that made Blacks not feel comfortable well into the 1980s.” Yes, Blacks started their own integrated association – the National Medical Association – but then along came the game playing institutional racism tactics of non-acceptance, double standards, etc. Read the full stories below:
Black Agenda Report : American Medicine and White Supremacy
Now, we’ll cozy up into our critical thinking/analysis mode and see what CNN’s Black In America special report purports to tell us – will it be root or surface? will it be substance or fluff?
The Cheikh Anta Diop International Conference 20thAnniversary is scheduled for October 17-18 in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania. It’s led by Dr. Molefi Kete Asante of TempleUniversity and his organization, the Association for Kemetic Nubian Heritage (ANKH). This milestone year’s theme is “Vision, Praxis, and Legacy: Cheikh Anta Diop, Molefi Kete Asante and the Afrocentric Project.” For more information, including call for papers, presentations, publications, cost/registration, and hotel reservations, visit Diop Conference.
The New Yorker magazine’s July 21st cover shows Barack and Michelle Obama as militants/terrorists under the guise of satire, but it’s very clear what the editorial deciders wanted to display – Black and Islamic stereotypes that hint at a takeover or hijacking once in office. Writer Lloyd Williams wrote an excellent op-ed and aptly described the tactical move made on Michelle: “ Meanwhile, Michelle is attacked in a different way, being drawn with a big afro and a machine gun slung over [her]shoulder in front of a fireplace with a United States flag burning in it. These images are designed to imply that she’s a Sixties-style black militant who hates her country and advocates a violent revolution….And why link a natural hairstyle with anti-American sentiments, as if to say that African-Americans who don’t straighten their hair but wear it as God intended are automatically suspicious and unpatriotic!” Is it now fear of the afro once again? Read the complete editorial here: New Yorker Cover Depicts the Obamas as Terrorists.
Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is running for president of the Green Party. Visit her site at Run Cynthia Run. Her vice presidential pick is Rosa Clemente. View her site here and read her article Who Is Black?, in which she gives an enlightened perspective on the Black and Latino connection to African roots: “In Puerto Rico, you will find large communities of descendants of the Yoruba, Bambara, Wolof and Mandingo people. Puerto Rican culture is inherently African culture.”
What can be said about Jesse Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, and Sherri Shepherd? All three of these people of African descent “privately” call one another, their family, their friends, and anyone else who looks like them “niggers/niggas/niggaz/niggahs” and they expect to be respected. So-called leader Jesse sees the people – Blacks – he’s supposed to represent as a bunch of “Ns”; in October 1993, while dating Ted Danson (formerly of the “Cheers” sitcom), Whoopi allowed him to disgracefully roast her by doing an act in blackface at the Friars Club in New York City, repeatedly using the N-word as well as referencing her sex organs in relation to their sexual encounters; and, well, Sherri is just a comedian happy to have a job and has gushingly expressed her gratitude to “boss” Barbara Walters for hiring her.
Jesse Jackson was caught on a FOX News show whispering – with an open microphone pinned to his lapel – to another Black man about how Barack Obama is “talking down to Black people…telling ‘n___s’ how to behave.” A so-called leader talking like this cannot possibly be taken seriously. Whoopi Goldberg defends the use of the N-word on The View and states authoritatively and matter-of-factly that Blacks “took it out the hands of the people who were using it and put it into our hands and we use it the way we want to use it.” Whose hands have we taken this word out of? Don’t you know the creators of this venomous word still use it? Don’t those of us who use it usually use it in its negative origins – as Jesse did, as Ted did during the roast that you claimed to have written, as most rappers do in their violent and non-violent lyrics? Whoopi is far from an authority – or spokesperson – on the use of this word in the Black community, especially considering her willing dalliance with that blackface roast from Ted Danson. Sister, some things you just don’t do! Sherri Shepherd adds to Whoopi’s ignorance as the other Black co-host of The View and states defiantly and defensively (also authoritatively and matter-of-factly) “don’t tell me I can’t use that word” as if she’s fighting for a worthy cause.
In her synopsis of the situation, Barbara Walters chimes in her conclusion of the situation by stating that Whoopi “is saying it’s OK in her culture” to use this dehumanizing word. For the record, it’s not OK in Black culture to use this word. There are many Blacks who DO NOT sit around in privacy or in secrecy calling or thinking of one another in terms of that word. Jesse, Whoopi, and Sherri are NOT representative of what’s acceptable in Black culture. Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck was about the only one who gave sound reasoning this time around on this topic when she stated: “I would never make fun of myself….I never would go into my own heritage and use a phrase that is used against me in the privacy of my own home [be]cause I think it perpetuates stereotypes and hate.” Makes sense.
One last note on Jesse Jackson is that law enforcement, the FBI, and the CIA assassinated the right ones – Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X – back in the Sixties. Jesse was right up in the mix with a host of others who are still alive, kicking – and doing nothing substantial – today. He and the other pseudo-Civil Rights activists haven’t done anything to seriously and effectively empower people of African descent since the Sixties. They are no threat to institutionalized racism. Malcolm and Martin were! And that’s why they were assassinated and the others are still here shucking, jiving, hustling, and thus allowed the N-word to escalate through music, song, dance, video, and comedy without a fight for the past 25 years. Wonder why? DidJackson tell us during that whisper on FOX News?
See stories/videos on these three suckers who have a media spotlight with millions watching around the world and don’t know how to use it for empowerment:
Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd on The View:
Whoopi Goldberg/Ted Danson:
Photo: Danson in Blackface
Articles: Jet Magazine or New York Times. In these articles, it’s interesting to note that Whoopi stated “I built my whole career destigmatizing words like ‘nigger’” and how flabbergasted she was that people would call Danson a racist while at the same time write that “Ted and I are having a relationship.” Has she or anyone else destigmatized the N-word over these centuries? Or is it still used in the same vitriolic and hateful ways as its origins? If yes, then the destigmatizing was ineffective, no? Do interracial sexual relations (whether it’s rape or not) mean there can be no racism within that relationship? Is that a concept that’s reasonable to believe?
As we mentioned in BN-W #54 the conclusion of Part II: Black-Jewish Relations will be included with our new bi-monthly 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).
Barack Obama’s showing unconditional kowtowing for Israeland it’s getting a little scary to think that he’ll be under the manipulation of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) like most other politicians. Change? In his June 4th speech at the AIPAC Annual Policy Conference, he talked about an unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel; providing $30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next ten years; Israel’s security being sacrosanct; Jerusalem remaining the undivided capital of Israel; never forcing Israel to the negotiating table with Syria; Iran being the greatest threat to Israel and doing everything to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon; scant reference was made to the Palestinians’ plight with advice to Israel to eventually take appropriate steps to “ease the freedom of movement for Palestinians”; and a closing quickie reference to the shaky relationship between Blacks and Jews. Read transcript and listen to the audio here:
A brief analysis of Obama’s AIPAC speech, in which the writer asks “What has caused the dizzying ascent to power of the American Jewish establishment? Organizational talent? Money? Climbing the social ladder? Shame for their lack of zeal during the [Jewish] Holocaust?” The entire article is here: No I Can’t: Obama and the Israeli Lobby.
Sumner Redstone, Chairman/CEO of Viacom (parent company of CBS, BET, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Showtime, Paramount, and much more), is in a dispute with his daughter, Shari Redstone, over whether or not she’ll succeed him. Some interesting tidbits from this article include how he’s 85 years old and refuses to let go (i.e., Barbara Walters and Mike Wallace), his need to be in control, and how the family’s stakes and shares are divided up through National Amusements, CBS, and Viacom and how the ownership of the combined companies is intertwined within the family. View it here: Sumner and Shari Redstone.
If you missed any other BN-W monitors, just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and request that it be sent to you. As always, we 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 entertainers, 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) :
S E X A N D T H E C I T Y
[Release Date: 5/30/08]
Starring Jennifer Hudson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth; screenplay written by Michael Patrick King; directed by Michael Patrick King; produced by Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael Patrick King, Darren Star, John Melfi; executive produced by Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Kathryn Busby, Jonathan Filley; studio – New Line Cinema
|NONE||LOW TO EXCESSIVE [1+]|
NOTE : Rarely watched the cable version of this show and found the movie entertaining but a lot of focus on materialism, weight issues, and the superficial as well as the overglorification of life in New York City (which isn’t what it used to be for those of us who grew up in or near the City). There were some tender and emotional moments, such as the Brooklyn Bridge scene, which helped soften the excess and bring a certain realism to the film. Jennifer Hudson played her part well and it was nice to hear her vocals roll with the closing credits.
G E T S M A R T
[Release Date: 6/20/08]
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Alan Arkin; screenplay written by Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember; directed by Peter Segal; produced by Andrew Lazar, Charles Roven, Alex Gartner, Michael Ewing; executive produced by Peter Segal, Steve Carell, Brent O’Connor, Jimmy Miller, Dana Goldberg, Bruce Berman; studio – Warner Bros. Pictures
|NONE||LOW TO EXCESSIVE [1+]|
NOTE : Very dull film with an overemphasis on fatness. Not a well-written script and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s role was minimal.
W A N T E D
[Release Date: 6/27/08]
Starring Morgan Freeman, Common, James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie; screenplay written by Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Chris Morgan; directed by Timur Bekmambetov; produced by Marc Platt, Jim Lemley, Jason Netter, Iain Smith; executive produced by Adam Siegel, Marc Silvestri, Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber; studio – Universal Pictures/Spyglass Entertainment
|NONE||LOW TO EXCESSIVE [1+]|
NOTE : Extreme violence and guns as well as trying too hard for that cool factor, especially from Angelina Jolie. Morgan Freeman is a leader this time (albeit a crooked one), so he’s not doing the usual advisory sidekick character.
H A N C O C K
[Release Date: 7/2/08]
Starring Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman; screenplay written by Vy Vincent Ngo, Vince Gilligan; directed by Peter Berg; produced by Akiva Goldsman, Michael Mann, Will Smith, James Lassiter; executive produced by Ian Bryce, Jonathan Mostow, Richard Saperstein; studio – Columbia Pictures
|NONE||LOW TO EXCESSIVE [1+]|
NOTE : Jasiri X’s piece at the top of this eNewsletter describes this film perfectly. Our few additions are that a Black face is shown stereotypically for “charitable giving” and, once again, the Black man gets no love – even though he’s the star and box office draw of the film.
M E E T D A V E
[Release Date: 7/11/08]
Starring Eddie Murphy, Gabrielle Union, Elizabeth Banks; screenplay written by Rob Greenberg, Bill Corbett; directed by Brian Robbins; produced by Jon Berg, Todd Komarnicki, David T. Friendly; executive produced by Arnon Milchan, Thomas M. Hammel; studio – Twentieth Century Fox/Regency Enterprises
|NONE||LOW TO EXCESSIVE [1+]|
NOTE : Eddie, why? And poor Gabrielle Union, a good actress, but she’s in another box office dud. Complete waste of time.
T H E D A R K K N I G H T
[Release Date: 7/18/08]
Starring Morgan Freeman, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman; screenplay written by Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan; directed by Christopher Nolan; produced by Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan; executive produced by Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy, Thomas Tull; studio – Warner Bros. Pictures
|NONE||LOW TO EXCESSIVE [1+]|
NOTE : Overall this film was entertaining but it didn’t stand up to all the hype. As expected, this superhero doesn’t end up in handcuffs (unlike the Black leads in“Hancock” and “Meet Dave”). Batman is also very rich with all the finer things in life unlike you know who. Morgan Freeman is back to the usual support role while the majority of other Blacks are thugs and there’s a commissioner who plays a predictable alcoholic (and gets killed because of it). Asians are businessmen and of course the White characters get the balance of mobsters, businessmen, professionals. Heath Ledger plays the Joker very well but there are some loopholes, such as who’s helping him tie people up and do all these dirty deeds. Not a bad film but Iron Man remains the standout so far.
BN-W Monitor Coming Soon : “The Longshots” [Ice Cube, Keke Palmer, Tasha Smith]; and more…
Also Coming : Part II: Black-Jewish Relations; Music Monitors