For The Shame of New Blackery

Black Millennials

When a certain cohort of Black celebrities attain class privilege, they turn into New Blacks. The term coined by Pharrell, is an old concept in 21st century window dressing. New Blackery is respectability politics magnified by the coveted access, resources, and luxuries that a large bank account brings. With an elevated class status, New Blacks forget the lens by which lower and middle class Black people view racism and race relations because such a lens doesn’t help their brand or bottom line.

When we see a dead Black body laid in the street for over four and half hours, we see a tradition of racist oppression, in which Black bodies are targeted, captured, and killed by a network of institutional racism every 28 hours … not a bully. To us, bullies are those members of law enforcement, vigilantes, and their barely-guised racist supporters who, collectively, uphold these racist systems…

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Photo credit: Photo credit:

CEBU CITY,  Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) –  Male foreigners who have the intention to marry Filipinas will have to first show they have money, according to a new bill that recently passed the Philippines’ House of Representatives.

The bill, authored by former Cebu governor and current third district Representative Gwendolyn Garcia, is meant to protect Filipino women against exploitation.

Garcia said that many so-called mail-order brides end up being battered by their husbands or worse, forced into prostitution and other degrading and dehumanizing occupations.

“Since there is no way to prove that love is the major motivation for these male foreigners in marrying their Filipina girlfriends, at least we can demand that they show proof that they have enough funds to support their future wives,” Garcia said.

Garcia stopped short of legislating a “reverse dowry” system, in which, the groom will pay cash or in-kind gifts to…

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On Malcolm, Martin and that X-Men Analogy Thing

It never occurred to me that the X-Men could be read as anything other than an analogy for civil rights. Well written!

Phenderson Djèlí Clark

malcolmmagnetoOn the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the activist, orator and the man once referred to in eulogy by the late Ossie Davis as “Our Shining Black Prince,” El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (most commonly known as Malcolm X), I quite foolishly decide to wade into that whole X-Men analogy thingy. Of course I’ve been warned. Of course I know better. But since when has that stopped me? So then, let’s do this thing.

And that supremely bad ass Malcolm & Magneto mash-up art you’re seeing, is courtesy of the amazing John Jennings and his 2012-2013 exhibit Black Kirby. If yuh dunno, now yuh know.

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Public perceptions of harm and offence in UK advertising.

Very complex issue. Part of the question at hand is what, if any, responsibility does advertising have to communicate ideas that are linked to social well-being (i.e. honesty and compassion).

dream, discover, design

I came across this PDF file when trying to look for information about false advertising. The file is all about the different perceptions of advertising, but I wanted to look mainly at the ‘false’ side of it, and the effects advertising puts on people.

The main offences in advertising:

Sexual content and nudity

Body image

Innuendo and bad language

Negative stereotypes of specific groups

Violent/Scary content

Distressing/Shocking imagery

Misleading/Aggressive adverts

Adverts for products participants thought were harmful/Inappropriate

Repetitive/Annoying adverts

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 13.38.57I even found a stats chart, showing the responses of adverts and the public’s reactions. What I thought was interesting, was seeing that more people thought others would be offended by the advert than them their selves. The consistency of the feeling of offence however does still seem steady and shows no sign of slowing down.

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 13.41.13

Another chart of offence by the media, a HUGE increase in opinions shows the majority…

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Beautiful Cars & Fast Women!

<doh> Strike that headline and reverse it!

In our world of politically correct, culturally relevant, meticulously targeted branded content, how much breakthrough potential the anachronistic fast car + beautiful women tactic have?

It’s sexist, hedonistic and materialistic. It glorifies the spoils of greed and excess, sends the message that young, thin, light-skinned women are trophies for rich men and that that should be the aspiration of all women. It diminishes the self-worth of men, most of us who will never be able to afford an exotic car, and taints our perception of our own partners who may not match this female stereotype.

From the perspective of social responsibility and the power of advertising, nothing can be more socially irresponsible.

But – revisiting my original question – in this day and age will this breakthrough?

I write extensively on culture, identity, advertising and the social responsibility of the advertising industry. Let’s revisit this in a week’s time and compare click-through rates.

(Irrespective of how many or few people have clicked through to this page, the Geneva Motor Show will always be the pinnacle of auto shows. I can’t wait to get there myself! And as exotic cars go, the Alpha Romeo here is among the most attainable in the category.)

The Paradox that is America

A close friend of mine for whom I have a great deal of respect astutely questioned my premise of a divided nation citing several relevant historical data points. (“Are labor protections worse today than in 1890? … As a nation, we’re certainly less divided than in 1862.”) Nothing is more divisive to a nation than a civil war; certainly we are less divided than in 1862. But can social progress coexist with social division?

Civil wars are a ludicrously absurd method for resolving ideological disputes: ideas are judged not on merit but rather on might ending with the suppression of ideas rather than resolution. I do not find it surprising that based on the 48 values questions Pew has been using for the past 25 years, the partisan gap has doubled. Nor do I find it surprising that a growing number of voters do not identify with either party, and support LGBTQ civil rights.

That said, perhaps we can agree that America is a country of paradoxes; a nation both politically divided, and capable of social evolution; a nation with a legal system that can both clear Officer Darion Wilson of any wrongdoing whatsoever in the killing of Michael Brown, and find “widespread civil rights abuses by the Ferguson Police Department.