This is a discussion on Anti Racism, the media, and the African American experience.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


UPDATED 1/18/2010

The first Amendment of the Constitution of the United States reads:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

I believe that the founding fathers included the press in the Constitution because they expected the press to be a watch dog of the government for the people. The Constitution was written by men who were trying to avoid an autocratic governmental system like the systems found in Europe at the time.
During the time the Constitution was being drafted, “the press” was not these mega corporations, controlling 35 or 65% and often as much as 75% of a given market, it was in most cases a one man shows. And often some guy with a printing press in his barn. It was the existence of these independent journalists that helped keep the larger papers honest. The same was true with the invention of radio, television and now the internet. It was the independent stations that could be counted on to have the least amount of tendentiousness and it is often blogs that call out the mainstream media outlets.

By the 1990s, with the help of the FCC’s lack of scruples, the industry was deregulated and large corporations were allowed to own the majority of media outlets in any given market. With the power of deep pockets behind them; the large conglomerates swallowed the independents. This can be seen in all areas, from theatrical distribution companies to radio to newspapers. However, what is most concerning and what threatens the health of this nation is not only that some markets only have one journalistic voice but also the redefining of what is considered journalism and news.

There was a time when news organizations were so concerned about their integrity that they had a separate Board of Directors from their sister entertainment arms. Today, it is hard to tell what is considered news and what is supposed to be entertainment. However, the Society of Professional Journalists have established a code of ethics to act as a guide. They read:

Journalists should:

  • Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.

  • Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.

  • Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability.Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.

  • Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.

  • Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.

  • Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it.

  • Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story

  • Never plagiarize.

  • Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.

  • Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.

  • Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.

  • Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.

  • Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.

  • Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.

  • Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.

  • Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public's business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.

These are the guidelines that journalists have placed on themselves. With these rules in mind let’s evaluate some of the organizations that call themselves “news”.

In the last 10 days the White House finally spoke up about the dishonest media outlet called Fox News. Several of the Administration’s spokespersons, including president Obama himself, have admonished that Fox News is not truly news and should not be treated as such by real news agencies. FINALLY, someone says what we have known for a long time. Not surprisingly other news agencies jumped to Fox’s defense explaining that their nighttime commentary is very different from their daytime news reporting. This discussion with Jake Tapper of ABC and White House Press Secretary is telling:

Tapper: It's escaped none of our notice that the White House has decided in the last few weeks to declare one of our sister organizations "not a news organization" and to tell the rest of us not to treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why it's appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one -


Gibbs: Jake, we render, we render an opinion based on some of their coverage and the fairness that, the fairness of that coverage.

Tapper: But that's a pretty sweeping declaration that they are "not a news organization." How are they any different from, say -

Gibbs: ABC -

Tapper: ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different?

Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 o'clock tonight. Or 5 o'clock this afternoon.

Tapper: I'm not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I'm talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a "news organization" -- why is that appropriate for the White House to say?

Gibbs: That's our opinion.


Shame on Gibbs for not having the facts to back up “their opinion”. So, Press Secretary Gibbs, others have done your homework for you:
Fox News: A 24/7 Political Operation

The first ethics rule:
“Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.

  • Statutory Rape – INACCURATE (a lie)

  • Veteran Death Panels - INACCURATE (a lie)

  • Sotomayor is a reversed racist, DISTORITION (a lie)

  • 9/12 Tea Parties - DISTORITION (a lie)

    • actually organized by Fox News and then staged with applause signs and the works

  • Czar mania - DISTORITION (a lie)

The litmus test for accuracy at Fox News must be akin to the test to see who will play short stop in a 1st grade kickball game...nonexistent. On Sunday, November 1st Fox reported that Dede Scozzafava, GOP candidate for NY's 23d District, endorsed the teabaggers choice Matt Hoffman, once she suspended her campaign. The truth is, as everyone knows, she endorsed the Democratic candidate Bill Owens, who went on to win the Congressional seat for that district. The fact of the matter is that their ‘news shows’ often echo their commentary shows with distortions, mistruths, and outright lies. What’s worse is that CNN and to a lesser degree MSNBC, NBC, ABC and CBS continue the misinformation distribution. This is not my opinion this is fact and thank God for youtube and organizations like: Media Matters, Brave New Films, Fox Watch and others.
FOX Attacks! Obama - Part 2

And because the true art and nature of journalism seems to be a dying art form the rest of the mainstream media has once again picked up the latest Fox News talking point – “the White House has declared war on Fox News”.
Fox News' War on the White House

October 29, 2009: For Fox Sake! – Jon Stewart


It is interesting that the right-wing of America has decided that they’re no longer interested in the freedom of the press nor a government for and by the people. Their actions say they are only interested in power. They realize to retain power you have to control the message and the only way to control the message is to control the media. Lessening the amount of media outlets enhances their ability to control the press; hence deregulation. I’m not sure when this began but I noticed the signs during the Reagan administration; the mantra during those times was “the liberal media”. As a progressive, the media has NEVER been liberal. It might have been center to center-right as opposed to far right; but NEVER liberal. With this campaign, to paint the right-wing as the victims, came the founding of FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting). One quick perusal of their website and it is obvious that they are not at all about advocating fairness and accuracy in journalism; they’re interested in forwarding the right-wing agenda. However, I never hear the press calling them an “extreme right-wing group” as they often refer to Media Matters and the Daily Kos as an “extreme left-wing or extreme liberal group”. This rhetoric from the likes of Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and the rest of the spokesman for the right-wing, is almost laughable except too many Americans get all of their news from these men whose commentary fuels racism, anti-patriotism and to a few…violence.

Net neutrality is now under attack. For those who don’t know what net neutrality is, here is an excerpt from Wikipedia;

Network neutrality (also net neutrality, Internet neutrality) is a principle proposed for residential broadband networks and potentially for all networks. A neutral broadband network is one that is free of restrictions on content, sites, or platforms, on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and on the modes of communication allowed, as well as one where communication is not unreasonably degraded by other communication streams.[1][2][3]
The principle states that if a given user pays for a certain level of internet access, and another user pays for a given level of access, that the two users should be able to connect to each other at that given rate of access

Basically, what this means is that corporations cannot pay the people who control the pipelines (Comcast, Cox, Time Warner et al) to give them preferential treatment. Corporate greed and the need for some groups to control the media lets us know that left to their own devices, corporations would pay the pipeline controllers to allow their content to be accessed faster and more easily than other content. So Joe Blogger would not be able to have his content accessed as easily as say, Fox News. This is part of the fight, this is what we must stop.
Mac vs PC: McOld Prefers his abacus

John, “I’m computer illiterate” McCain has introduced a new bill:

"Today I'm pleased to introduce the Internet Freedom Act of 2009 that will keep the Internet free from government control and regulation," McCain said. "It will allow for continued innovation that will in turn create more high-paying jobs for the millions of Americans who are out of work or seeking new employment. Keeping businesses free from oppressive regulations is the best stimulus for the current economy."

Don’t you love how congress chooses the names for bills that are the opposite of what the bill is meant to do/be? The Internet Freedom Act allows as much freedom as the Patriot Act. For a guy who is quoted as saying:
When asked if he went online himself, the Arizona senator responded: "They go on for me. I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself.
It seems to me that anything that he introduces regarding the internet should be laughed off the Senate floor. However, knowing how our congress works, unless we intercede this might actually become law.

I believe that we need to start another revolution! A take back the media revolution, we need to urge our congress to re-enact the rules and regulations surrounding news organizations, anti-monopoly laws for media outlets, and of course keeping net neutrality. We can fight indefinitely for health care reform, regulation of the financial industry, prosecuting those who allowed torture, etc. But unless we have a news industry that is, dedicated to the tenants of the Professional Society of Journalists, with a strong and healthy independent media industry we will find ourselves in this position again. We need the media to help us shed light on the racketeering that has infected “Wall Street” and is now threatening our system of governance.

Write your representatives and let them know it’s time to Reclaim the Press

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

* About Statement read on NYC Radio Station re: black people OR WHO ARE WE AND WHO DECIDES?

I was just forwarded another email. Firstly, I looked online to check the veracity of it, I get so many forwarded emails that are part of hoaxes that have been traveling the Ethernet for more than a decade. This one has been traveling for over 6 years; though I cannot find any proof that it is real or false. I did find this statement on in a 10 second search. This is the same Dee Lee pictured below…


“If you are looking for the author of the “Blacks Don’t Read” article, you have reached the wrong Dee Lee. I did not author or nor did I read the article in question on air.

My life time work has been to educate people regarding money and helping them be good stewards of their resources.

This article has been circulating on the internet for over six years and over the years many things have been added to the gossip chain, my picture is one of them.

Dee Lee is a common name, continue your Goggle search.”

“A lie can make it halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.” —Mark Twain

I believe this email is a hoax. However, what’s more important is that a brother sent this to me and thought it was worth my time; so I must respond


Subject: Statement read on NYC Radio Station regarding black people


The sad thing about this article is that the essence of it is true. The
truth hurts. I just hope this sets more Black people in motion towards
making real progress. Chris Rock , a Black comedian, even joked that
Blacks don’t read.

Help prove them wrong! Read and pass on.

Please Note:

For those of you who heard it, this is the article Dee Lee was reading
this morning on a New York radio station. For those of you who didn’t
hear it, this is very deep. This is a heavy piece and a Caucasian wrote it.

Dee Lee, CFP
Harvard Financial Educators
(her picture did not copy over; but it is the same one that is shown at the website listed above)

Dee Lee

THEY ARE STILL OUR SLAVES We can continue to reap profits from the
Blacks without the effort of physical slavery. Look at the current
methods of containment that they use on themselves: IGNORANCE, GREED,

IGNORANCE: Perhaps they are speaking of the poor white folks off the Appalachian Mountains or their brothers south of the Mason Dixie line. Maybe there speaking about the idiot who sits in the cube next to you arguing that our President is not a US citizen and that he’s a fascist trying to move this country in to a socialist state? Maybe they’re talking about the idiots we see on the news spouting, “take your government hands off of my Medicare”. All of these people are the epitome of ignorance.

GREED: Hmmm, they must be talking about the investment bankers that have been playing a game of high stakes poker with our mortgage money and tax money. The same folks who asked for our tax money with one hand and gave $1,000,0000s in bonuses with the other hand. The same folks who purposely put na├»ve borrowers in good credit standing into mortgage loans with balloon payments or outrageous adjustable loans with extortionist’s penalties for paying off early

SELFISHNESS: Got to be talking about the GOP the ReTHUGlican Party – you know the party made up of 99% white men in suits. The one’s that love their health care THAT WE PAY FOR but will be damned before they let anyone else have such a luxury – you know… those folks.

Their IGNORANCE is the primary weapon of containment.

This is a true statement. Just look at all the poor dumb white folks who vote time and time again against their own interests as long as they can keep those same benefits from benefiting black folks (oh there’s that selfishness again)

A great man once
said, ‘The best way to hide something from Black people is to put it in
a book.’

What great man?

We now live in the Information Age . They have gained the
opportunity to read any book on any subject through the efforts of their
fight for freedom , yet they refuse to read. There are numerous books
readily available at Borders, Barnes &Noble , and , not to
mention their own Black Bookstores that provide solid blueprints to
reach economic equality (which should have been their fight all along),
but few read consistently, if at all.

20 years ago the Baldwin Hills Mall was revamped. The potential vendors made a lot of assertions on what would and would not be successful in a mall with a predominantly African American clientele. One assertion was that we don’t read. Well, the Baldwin Hills Chamber and other concerned folks got together and convinced Walden Books to put a bookstore in that mall. The last time I checked it was one of the HIGHEST GROSSING BOOKSTORES IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY!

GREED is another powerful weapon of containment. Blacks, since the
abolition of slavery, have had large amounts of money at their disposal.
Last year they spent 10 billion dollars during Christmas , out of their
450 billion dollars in total yearly income (2.22%).

Any of us can use them as our target market, for any business venture
we care to dream up, no matter how outlandish, they will buy into it.
Being primarily a consumer people, they function totally by greed. They
continually want more, with little thought for saving or investing.

They would rather buy some new sneaker than invest in starting a
business. Some even neglect their children to have the latest Tommy or FUBU, And
they still think that having a Mercedes, and a big house gives them
‘Status’ or that they have achieved their Dream.

This is not greed; this is a product of Cultural Incest… a byproduct of 400 years of protracted abject oppression. For more information on this, go to Moreover, this is an American problem – which is why we have not had a real GDP boost since the early 70s. It’s interesting to me that no one has mentioned the fact that our whole economy – the growth of America – was based on FREE LABOR. They received free labor some say until the late 1960s when forced labor camps (institutionalized slavery) were finally abolished.

Interestingly, shortly thereafter major corporations started exporting their labor needs overseas; in essence creating slave labor in developing nations. Once these nations got used to the income and started demanding more – the corporation would pick up and leave – moving on to another nation to exploit.

But all of the so-called intelligent white people didn’t say a word because it only affected non-skilled laborers. But because of THEIR GREED, what started as transference of slave labor morphed into transference of labor. And the silly majority watched as union semi-skilled and skilled-labor jobs started being shipped overseas.

They are fools! But we’re the fools?Mmaybe but certainly not the only fools. The vast majority of their people are still in poverty
because their greed holds them back from collectively making better

The vast majority of African Americans are not in poverty. The vast majority are working and middle class.

With the help of BET, and the rest of their black media that often
broadcasts destructive images into their own homes, we will continue to
see huge profits like those of Tommy and Nike. ( Tommy Hilfiger has even jeered them, saying he doesn’t want their money, and look at how the fools spend more with him than ever before!). They’ll continue to show off to each other while we build solid communities with the profits from our businesses that we market to them.

Who writes this stuff? White people don’t know about the Tommy Hilfiger lie that his been circulating since God knows when. BET didn’t perpetuate the negative AA images (no love loss for the sell-out Johnsons) the mainstream media did! WE DID ALLOW IT

SELFISHNESS, ingrained in their minds through slavery, is one of the
major ways we can continue to contain them. One of their own, Dub ois
said that there was an innate division in their culture. A ‘Talented
Tenth’ he called it. He was correct in his deduction that there are
segments of their culture that has achieved some ‘form’ of success..
However, that segment missed the fullness of his work. They didn’t read
that the ‘Talented Tenth’ was then responsible to aid The Non-Talented
Ninety Percent in achieving a better life. Instead, that segment has
created another class, a Buppie class that looks down on their people
or aids them in a condescending manner.

This is the only part I agree with. But the reference to DuBois and Buppie leads me to believe a black Judas goat wrote this. And this is not selfishness this is a typical crab in the barrel mentality that affects every oppressed people from white women to brown men.

They will never achieve what we have.. Their selfishness does not allow them to be able to work together
on any project or endeavor of substance. When they do get together,
their selfishness lets their egos get in the way of their goal Their
so-called help organizations seem to only want to promote their name
without making any real change in their community.

I will comment on the prior paragraph at the end
They are content to sit in conferences and conventions in our hotels,
and talk about what they will do, while they award plaques to the best
speakers, not to the best doers. Is there no end to their selfishness?
They steadfastly refuse to see that TOGETHER EACH ACHIEVES MORE (TEAM)

They do not understand that they are no better than each other because of what they own, as a matter of fact, most of those Buppies are but one or two pay checks away from poverty. All of which is under the control of our pens in our offices and our rooms.

Blah, blah, blah … okay you get the point. Go to the end for my comments and let this get passed around for 6 years like the previous!!!
Yes, we will continue to contain them as long as they refuse to read,
continue to buy anything they want, and keep thinking they are ‘helping’
their communities by paying dues to organizations which do little other
than hold lavish conventions in our hotels. By the way, don’t worry
about any of them reading this letter, remember, ‘THEY DON’T READ!!!!

(Prove them wrong. Please pass this on! After Reading it.)
“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi


It is time for African Americans everywhere to stop looking at themselves through the eyes of white people. It is WAY PASSED time for US TO DEFINE WHO WE ARE. It’s time for us to stop ardently seeking their approval and start seeking the approval of God and each other. I believe that the reason this shallow dribble was passed on for 6 years is because it said a Caucasian wrote it. “Oh you know the white guy said it so it must be true…” (By the way, the original definition of Caucasian is: Of or being a human racial classification distinguished especially by very light to brown skin pigmentation and straight to wavy or curly hair, and including peoples indigenous to Europe, northern Africa, western Asia, and India. But I guess I shouldn’t know that since we don’t read.)

Though there is a bit of truth in this piece, the majority of it is either hyperbolic or straight out false. (The devil came to taunt Jesus with a bit of truth wrapped in lies) At best it is a surface scrapping of the opportunities that we still have before us as people at worst it’s not even worth the time that I’ve put into it so far.

To believe that you can reduce the repercussions of 400 years of protracted abject oppression down to: greed, selfishness, and ignorance shows that the author has the intellectual depth of an elementary school student.

Though I’ll be the first to say that we have work to do, that there are still great opportunities for growth as a people; I WILL NOT BE DEFINIED BY A WHITE MAN. And you shouldn’t either. I couldn’t care less what a white person thinks of me, unless they are signing my pay check. And then they will think what I want them to think of me. Those white folks whom I call friend do not think the way this author thinks (who I keep saying is probably black and just shows the depth of our sickness).

From this point forward let’s dedicate ourselves to self-definition and to community-empowerment. Love you – not because a white person says you’re okay but because you say you’re okay, because God says you’re okay.


The Rabble Rouser