We know that media both traditional and new are more interested in click bait than actually educating or challenging their readers these days.
So, why was it so upsetting when Cosmopolitan magazine decided to anoint the Kardashian/ Jenner clan “America’s First Family” on their November cover?
Not only did it feel like blatant erasure of our real First Family who embodies more class and intelligence than America deserves, but it also offered us a reflection to the values that America holds most dear—money and fame.
We have become a nation that chastises intellect, awards buffoonery and cherishes above all else the mighty dollar—and keeping with these values, the Kardashian/Jenner family fits the title given to them by Cosmopolitan—they are the First Family of American Fandom. I don’t knock their hustle—but I do find the idol status that has been bestowed on them incredibly disturbing.
Pop Off of the Week: Cocaine Apartment vs. Crack House
We no longer pretend that the media is unbiased-- but when I saw the coverage of Kiersten Rickenbach Cerveny, the white woman that died of an apparent cocaine overdose in NYC, I was out done. I have never seen a story of a drug overdose handled with such kid gloves and empathy than Cerveny’s overdose.
The place she was found was given the title “cocaine apartment” by the Daily Beast, because you know it’s “high society”. She was referred to as a dermatologist and mother of 3 who was “blowing of steam” in the city.
I don’t know about you but my “blowing of steam” doesn’t involve a cocaine and alcohol fueled binge. The Twitterverse was having none of the soft coverage of a drug addict—because we ALL know that if she were a person of color her occupation and children would all be mentioned in a way that would disparage her character not uplift it.
Poliwood Round-Up: Trending Topics in the #BlackTwitterverse This Week
Trend of the Week: #DearBlackGirl
A Durham, North Carolina based collective has launched an incredibly heartwarming project. In an attempt to combat negative images of black womanhood, the Beautiful Project has launched the #DearBlackGirl campaign, encouraging black women to write letters to little black girls.
The letters will bring you to tears. As Viola Davis said in her epic Emmy speech: the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. These letters are opportunity wrapped in love to provide little black girls the encouragement they need to hold their heads high and love themselves despite how society tries to diminish their magic.
THREE: The Cost of Pain
City officials in South Carolina have approved a $6.5 million pay out to the family of Walter Scott, the unarmed man shot in the back multiple times by Officer Michael Slager. The routine traffic stop was caught on camera and showed Scott running from his car when the officer unloaded his gun into Scott’s back and then handcuffed him.
"While nothing can replace having Walter in our lives, the City of North Charleston's historic action ensures that he did not die in vain," Scott's brother Anthony said, noting the settlement will provide for Scott's children. "It was a bittersweet victory," he added. "The family still wants justice for my brother and this was a step in the right direction."
TWO: Textbook Drama
After Texas mom Roni Dean-Burren posted a picture of her son’s ninth grade textbook on social media describing African Slaves as “workers” it went viral. First of all the term workers implies that those people were compensated for their work and treated well by their “bosses”.
McGraw-Hill CEO David Levin, said that the digital copies of the book will be corrected immediately and that a revised hard copy books will be given to schools that “request a copy” and that other supplemental cultural competency materials will also be sent.
Here’s an idea--don’t try and whitewash American history and then explain it away with a sticker. The African slaves that were terrorized, raped and murdered while they built this country with their bare hands deserve better.
ONE: The Impact of Activism
It’s been reported that the social media activist Deray McKesson, who landed in the spotlight after his Twitter coverage of events in Ferguson went viral, met with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
While McKesson is not directly affiliated with the Black Lives Matter organization, which was started by Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors, he has received an audience in recent months with other presidential hopefuls like Senator Bernie Sanders.
The purpose of these meetings is most likely to gauge the candidate’s platform on police reform and the criminal justice system and decipher if they can be worthy representatives of the movement to protect innocent black lives from being taken by police brutality and over-policing.