Colleen met Tony online and fell madly in love. Though they’ve never met, Tony proposed to Colleen over the phone and she accepted. Now, Nev and Max help her finally face the truth to reveal the mystery man she’s engaged to.
I’m going to spoil the episode, so if you want to be unspoiled stop now.
Tony is the Catfish and pretends to be a white geeky guy to Colleen. Shes suspicious calls in the Nev & Max to check him out. They find out that he’s actually this geeky black guy who has been pretending to be a white geeky guy. Almost everything else is true and when they finally out him, theres a moment of … why did he lie? Usually a clear reason why they Catfish, like they are the opposite sex, super young/old, a friend, ex-partner or even dangerous.
When sitting down with him, Nev & Max uncover a problem which is based around stereotypes. Tony’s personality is geeky and shy; from his previous experiences he found some women assume things of a black man and are disappointed when he’s honest about who he is deep down (Thats the crux although a lot more is said which I could dig right into).
He then goes on to talk about how his family are not accepting of mixed race relationships and this further blows up in a later discussion with his family. They ask why a white man and when he gives his reasons, they are even more mortified than the whole proposal of marriage to a white woman (Colleen).
The whole thing serves as a reminder of how many people have to live up to these bollox stereotypes, and how we oppose our stereotypes on each other. Its also a reminder of how uncool its still seen to be geeky in black culture. You could argue this is Tony’s problem but I’d argue you haven’t been paying attention.
By and large this film concerns itself with the greater philosophy of why groups in power behave the way they do. This might be the only movie about race relations I’ve ever seen that adequately explains – with sympathy – the root causes of a complacent white American mindset. And it took a black writer and director to do it.
Watching I am not your negro points at why someone like Tony may feel the need to lie about himself? Lovia from the new republic said…
The last half of I Am Not Your Negro moves out of the lives of Malcolm, Martin, and Medgar and takes a broader look at American culture. Over clips of daytime dramas like The Steve Wilkos Show and The Jerry Springer Show, Jackson reads Baldwin’s prescient commentary:
“To watch the TV screen for any length of time is to learn some really frightening things about the American sense of reality. We are cruelly trapped between what we would like to be and what we actually are. And we cannot possibly become what we would like to be until we are willing to ask ourselves just why the lives we lead on this continent are mainly so empty, so tame, and so ugly. These images are designed not to trouble, but to reassure. They also weaken our ability to deal with the world as it is, ourselves as we are.”
Americans in the age of Trump are undergoing a painful period of self-reflection. The election of a reality television star to the highest office in the land would be disconcerting on its own. But the fact that this same star proved time and again that he has no respect for women, minorities, and the disabled makes his election that much harder to understand.
Almost feel like some of the works from Andy Curtis could be very fitting too.
Sometimes you sit in front of your TV and realize you’re watching something important. It happens quite often on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Sunday’s episode was no exception. In addition to an incendiary piece about abortion laws, Oliver attacked Hollywood whitewashing.
When I was younger, I was regularly followed by security guards in stores. I knew what it was about but I guess at the time we just boycotted the shop and just went elsewhere. Its the same way I was stopped by the police for many dubious reasons.
Like most countries, Australia has its race problems and this isn’t an excuse and I’m glad the young people captured this all on video. The more of this stuff which comes out into the public domain, the more people have to face up the problems in our modern society.
Malcolm is carefully surviving life in a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles while juggling college applications, academic interviews, and the SAT. A chance invitation to an underground party leads him into an adventure that could allow him to go from being a geek, to being dope, to ultimately being himself.
There is much I can say I loved about the film which currently has a rating of 7.5 on IMDB (stick that in your IMDB party game)
Warning mild spoilers ahead
Malcolm and his friends are teenagers growing up in LA, they are geeks, play in a rock band, get picked on at school, etc. You would be forgiven for thinking – “this is the start of a typical hollywood coming of age film..”
The big difference is they are black americans and living in a culture which doesn’t encourage geekness.
The film starts with the excellent point of, looking at the definition of Dope.
Slang for an illegal drug (you got any dope?)
A stupid person (you are such a dope!)
Affirmation of something’s greatness (that is so dope!)
These themes run through the whole film and connect everything. Malcolm attempts to try and avoid being pulled into the society which surrounds him. There is no doubt this is a coming of age film but the class discrimination and racism really lifts it way above the rest. Even when Malcolm is forced into the world of drug dealing, he uses his brain to get out ahead of the crooked society.
I won’t lie, dope reminds me of some of the dilemmas I faced while growing up (of course to a far lesser degree). I use to think everybody faces these things but it seems not. The conflict of being geeky and not wanting to make the mistakes others fall into featured in my mind a lot. I came out on top but like Malcolm, there are things which I won’t forget and certainly shaped my personality.
The presentation I did for Afrofutures is here., the link with Dope comes in about slide 18. I certainly feel its not good enough to blame the tech sector alone. No, we got to look at the the way things shake out in the culture too. Yes there is a big lack of black people in tech, especially in higher positions but also the culture doesn’t exactly encourage people to embrace our geeky side. Its almost discouraged I feel.
I know this is all a massive generalisation but from what I have seen growing up, it was a fight to be openly curious, interested and switched on or as I prefer, geeky. I imagine lots of black people bury it and ignore it. Or it gets beaten out of you at some point verbally or even physically. You literally have to fight. Some give up fighting and forever regret doing so for the rest of their lives…
When looking at the diversity figures, in every case I found. White people were followed by Asians people. You only have to look at the CEO of Microsoft and Google to see this in full effect. From a outsider view, their culture encourages geeky people. However in black popular culture (generalising again) I am almost embarrassed by the negativity to being geeky and different.
Its was depressing to research but it was worth it because its out there now and its a start of a important conversation for me.
Angie, was asking me about Japan and I made a comment that it was going to be very different. She asked me about how I feel it would be different from where I have been before.
I promised to do a blog post about my thoughts before and afterwards. So take this one as my before…
Bear in mind I have spent most of my life in the west, having only gone as far east as Stockholm, Sweden up till 3 years ago. Recently I went to Istanbul, Turkey (that didn’t turn out so well), so I have no experience beyond the middle east. However I have been a consumer of Japanese culture in multiple forms. Manga, Technology, Toys, etc…
Its would be fair to say Japanese culture is quite different. I am expecting a Tokyo to be thriving metropolis like the time I spent in New York, London, Chicago and Toronto. Theres going to be a lot of people around, like a silly amount of people. I’m expecting most people to be shorter than the average in New York and London. I’m also expecting some funny looks as people wonder why I’m there. Not in a hateful way, just a curious way.
I heard conflicting reports about the amount of English which is spoken, so I am preparing myself for little to no verbal communication which is going to be hard when telling people I may die if I eat fish, seafood, etc.
My thoughts on Japanese culture isn’t based on the media alone. When I got divorced, I shared the house with a Japanese lady who was wonderful. I lost contact with her when I moved to Manchester but we did talk about Japan and even she said dont go because you will die. We also talked about the school girl thing (which I find very weird and creepy) and the strict social hierarchy’s which are being overthrown.
Like most countries the capital isnt much like the rest of the country but I know Angie wanted my stereotypes not this wishy washy overview. So here you go…
I’m expecting to face a few delicate situations about race.
I’m expecting to get lost a few times and not really have help getting back
I’m expecting my size (height and weight) to cause at least one problem
I’m expecting at least one person to touch my hair or poke me in some way.
I’m expecting at least one allergic reaction and the chaos which will come from not being able to commutate what’s happened.
I’m expecting to end up with no cash sometime and being slightly stuck.
Mo’ne Davis made everyone want to “throw like a girl.”
When the 13-year-old Davis led her team to the Little League World Series, it’s safe to say she captivated the nation. Poised and confident, Davis was an instant role model for millions of little girls — and boys — and also was the first Little Leaguer to grace a Sports Illustrated cover. To top it off, she was also recently named Sports Illustrated Kid‘s “SportsKid of the Year.” You go, girl.
Beyoncé danced in front of the world — and a gigantic feminist banner.
…Beyoncé’s 16-minute performance was quite literally a sight for sore eyes. The world’s biggest diva proved feminism wasn’t just accessible, it was cool. As Time remarked, the entire show was about women’s empowerment.
Aziz Ansari broke down feminism for dudes.
During his appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman in October, Aziz Ansari made some crucial points about feminism to an otherwise pretty mainstream late night audience. “If you look up feminism in the dictionary, it just means that men and women have equal rights,” he said. “And I feel like everyone here believes men and women have equal rights. But I think the reason people don’t clap is that word is so weirdly used in our culture.”
Aziz Ansari is exactly the point of view enlighten man should be thinking. That is what everyman can do to help the movement of diversity and equal rights for all. And further to that, the words play deconstruction is great.
Ansari’s message was clear — feminism is not about pitting men and women against each other. “If you believe that men and women have equal rights, if someone asks if you’re feminist, you have to say yes because that is how words work,” he said. “You can’t be like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m a doctor that primarily does diseases of the skin.’ Oh, so you’re a dermatologist? ‘Oh no, that’s way too aggressive of a word! No no, not at all, not at all.'”
Whats also interesting for me is continued rise of black women. Outside of the Beyonce’s, Olivia Pope’s, Lupita Nyong’s, etc. You have Roxane Gay, Shonda Rhimes and so many many more strong black women standing for their rights and doing the right thing.
Women stood at the front lines of Ferguson.
Despite reports of women being silenced or interrupted by male activists, women made sure their voices were part of the growing chorus of dissent coming out of Ferguson, Missouri. “Historically, women have always been leading,” protester Thenjiwe McHarris told MSNBC. “A lot of times women are often unseen leaders because women are all just doing it — we’re all just doing the work.” In addition to helping lead marches and chants, women like Jamilah Lemieux from Ebony also fearlessly reported on events from the ground. Although police Officer Darren Wilson was ultimately not charged in the killing of Michael Brown, the conversation about racial justice will continue, with women as some of its most invaluable warriors.
Absolutely the protest/rally I was a part of last week was arranged and put together by black women wanting to show their support from Manchester. This is why I was so upset when it got hijacked by other organisations.
When a woman tells you something is sexist, believe her.
When a black person tells you something is racist, believe them.
Don’t be an online bystander in the face of sexism.
Don’t be an online bystander in the face of racism..
I find the link between feminism and racism far too obvious in my mind but so many people don’t get it. Its about being who you are and not an idealised version which the media and society want you to fit into. Being a woman like being black is not something you can just tone or up/down to fit in with the patriarchy.
I could be talking about another race, age, LGBTQ, Disabled, etc, etc people. We should never have to apologize for who we are
On the last train home to Manchester last night from Newcastle, I was on a very very busy train between Newcastle and Darlington. I did have to throw somebody out of my table seat but he was pretty understanding in the end. His friend was less understanding but by the time the train started moving, he started talking to me. Now to be fair it was 10:15pm on a Saturday night so there was a lot of alcohol involved. but he started talking to me about racism.
“I don’t see colour…” So I engaged and carefully suggested maybe he does and actually it might be better if he did? (wasn’t going to bring up the fact he was talking about it with the only black man on a predominately white train) might be counter to his argument). Anyway the guy who I throw out of the seat, standing next to me. Could hear the conversation and seemed a lot more sober, and interjected about the doctor whom saved his daughter who was black. As you can imagine the conversation went on quite a bit but the crux came down to not or seeing colour.
My thoughts is you need to see diversity before you can respect it and do something about it. Pretending we are all born equal is not a mistake. Yes we should/must strive for equality and also celebrate diversity but we are a long long way from either right now.
Its worth pointing out that like most online dating data, we (not just me) grab on to it in lei of anything else. The last one Are you Interested? Could be seen as a poor/bad attempt to get their name out in an already crowded field. To be honest I had only heard of Are you interested? In passing and never actually tried it or installed it. I was surprised they hadn’t gone for rui.com instead.
Despite an increase in interracial marriages and birth of multiracial babies, one study revealed that racism is still a factor when looking for love online.Kevin Lewis, a sociologist at University of California San Diego, analyzed messages sent by over 120,000 users on dating site, OkCupid, finding racial prejudice affects dating decisions. According to Lewis’ research, all users falling within the site’s five largest racial categories (black, white, Asian, Latino, Indian) were more likely to initiate contact with users from their same racial background.“Most men (except black men) are unlikely to initiate contact with black women, all men (including Asian men) are unlikely to reply to Asian women, and although women from all racial backgrounds tend to initiate contact with men from the same background, women from all racial backgrounds also disproportionately reply to white men,”
Now you can pretend or not acknowledge these facts but trust me as someone who has emailed quite a few people in the past, there is something about the replies you don’t get. That silence even when you connect really well on many levels. Of course its not simply one kind of person, it just happens if your males and black, you will get less replies.
This is why I find the data really interesting as its response rates. You can craft an algorithm which connects people in what ever way but their reply rate will say so much more.
Lewis also found that people were more willing to reply to a user of a different race after that person initiated contact. Furthermore, they were more likely to start a conversation with a user of a different race after that interaction.Lewis said one qualifying factor for this could be simple preemptive discrimination. In other words, users are less likely to initiate contact with a person of another race because they’re not sure that person will be interested in them.“Part of the reason site users, and especially minority site users, do not express interest in individuals from a different racial background is because they anticipate — based on a lifetime of experiences with racism — that individuals from a different background will not be interested in them.”
The data were reading from the dating sites is the instant reply rates. As I was saying no one likes being rejected specially on the grounds of race, theres a self censorship or lack of confidence to put yourself through the pain again. However if you do its more likely to work out better than you imagined.
So although the reply rates are bad for certain races such as black people, and it seems hopeless sometimes. I would urge people to keep going. Its a bit of a numbers game and this is once again another reason why the free online dating sites win out over the top of paid dating sites. You need time and its no fun sinking more and more money and your attention into something which isn’t going well.
things were cool until I heard laughter followed by “Let me call Tanneisha and see how ghetto she is.”
This area of discrimination bugs the hell out of me. I was very lucky to have parents who used common English names but most of my cousins didn’t. Now I remember reading a chapter in freakonomics about how your name effects your chances in life.
I wonder if/how this applies to eastern names too? Lots of eastern Asia’s and those born in Pan-Asia have names very difficult to say in the English language. Do they have the same chances or is it something else at play? My feelings is there is something else at play. I’ll call it ignorance
Remember that scene in the Oscar-winning “Crash,” when the disgruntled client asks the hard-as-nails supervisor of health insurance claims what her name is? She says “Shaniqua,” and he says, “Big surprise, that is.”
That’s the kind of stuff Keisha deals with. She didn’t grow up in a diverse community. She wasn’t surrounded by a lot of black people. And as she got older, her name started to become a source of jokes. Kids would ask her if there was a “La” or a “Sha” in front of her name. There was a hint of racism and ignorance embedded in their comments.
“It’s like they assumed that I must be a certain kind of girl,” she says. “Like, my name is Keisha so they think they know something about me, and it always felt negative.”
Even a teacher once asked if there was a dollar sign in her name, like the singer Ke$ha. If she couldn’t even get through a class without a teacher taking a cheap shot at her name, what would happen in a job interview?
Racism, ignorance whatever it is… Its going to lower her opportunities in life. How much different would my life be if my parents choose Tyrone, Willie or Jamal?
Stephen Fry narrates this new series which tests to see if the people of Great Britain really are ‘great’ and can be heroes when faced with a particularly challenging situation. Eye Spy features ingenious hidden camera stunts that throw up assorted moral dilemmas and psychological conundrums to wrestle with, challenging the notion inherent in many news stories that our ‘once great nation is going to the dogs’. You may say you’d do the right thing in a highly-pressured situation, but only when you’re actually in the moment can you ever really know.
One of the situations was a racist waiter who couldn’t deal with mixed race couples. Actually as the site says, outrageously racist waiter.
The things he said were so direct to the mixed race couple and so loud everyone could clearly hear everything being said.
And he’s the main point of concern for myself… They ran the test in London and in Manchester. Not just Manchester but Salt & Pepper in Castlefield, a place I would go to with a date (and to be fair most of my dates are European woman)
In London, a place which is more racially diverse (as the programme points out too) the waiter got told to shut up before the couple got up and left. Actually although they ran the experiment a few times the result was the same.
However in Manchester the couple had to endure the out and out ball faced racism of the waiter. In the end they got up and left, after they were told they were upsetting the rest of the restaurant!
No one stood up and said a word, no one said anything, not a single person. They just sat there in silence eating and not saying a word. Not a single person would stand up and say your bang out of order to the waiter. Heck even getting up and walking out would have sent a clear signal that people were not happy, which is what happened when they ran the same experiment in reverse with a white couple in an Indian restaurant.
So it drives me insane to know that if I and a lady was facing such racism, no one would get involved. Not only that people would sit there in silence! Not a single word… (Shocking!) And it wasn’t like the people were old, the people seemed like students into your mid 30s type and should have known better… There is no excuse for saying nothing!
When I first looked at Manchester I did worry about being in a northern city. I seen programmes about other cities near by where separation between the races are closer to something I’ve only experienced in parts of America. Don’t get me wrong growing up in Bristol wasn’t easy. My parents amazingly moved into a area which was very white and survived through all the NF sprayed on the house, brick attacks, etc. I was also one of only 2 Black guys in my primary/junior school. I could tell stories of running away from the National Front (Kingswood was well known for being their stomping grounds) and the different brushes I’ve had with racism including in London a couple times.
What bugs me is like David Starky’s ranting is these people do/should know better. My parents and our old lovely neighbours supported them greatly and stood up for them. Without their support things would have been a lot worst… So you can see why I’m pissed at those people and I guess the fact Manchester for not doing better.
What kind of society are we if we don’t all stand up for each other?! And yes I know the Bystander effect.
I imagine some of you are saying, stop getting so worked up… its a TV programme and one social experiment (although they did run it 3x to the same effect). Maybe I should remember the benefits of moving to Manchester but its hard to be happy and defend the great city of Manchester in the face of such a obviously bad thing, even if staged for TV…
Me and Sarah did a podcast last night about some comments on her blog recently.The post was about race and interracial stereotypes and centres around a piece in the guardian over a year ago (march 2005). Now someones called werdz has decided to write a comment and get back at Sarahs comments on the original guardian article. Sarah felt it best to reply by a podcast.
A hazard of living in South London is racists in the neighbourhood. The recent press hysteria about new EU entrants and “Islamic fanatics” has given the racists license to start expressing their hateful prejudices in public once again. After years of public disapproval of racism, these scum have clearly been waiting for the opportunity to spout their worthless opinions – and our wonderful politicians and business leaders have just given them the green light…
My and Sarah's 8th podcast is now available online. Enjoy and please leave a comment if you've enjoyed it or simply hate it. This is really part two of podcast number seven but its unique enough to simply make it another number. As always, enjoy.
This time me and Sarah explain what happened after the last podcast and spend most of the time talking about Black White, a TV series we've been downloading recently which tries to tackle black and white culture in America. We talk about the difference between Black American culture and Black English culture. The weirdness which is simply the extreme American way and how I love to mess with people stereotypes and perceptions of young Black men. We settle on the fact that a whole range of things keep up the perceptions and that people hate change.