What is more American than football? Shaming Janet Jackson & hiring Justin Timberlake for round two.Another week, another shitty, entitled white dude in the music industry enjoying success after violating a Black woman. Page Six confirmed last week that Justin “Ramen-Haired Culture Vulture” Timberlake will be headlining Super Bowl LII in February 2018 — it’s his first appearance at the show since his performance in 2004. What happened the last time he performed? Let’s recap. Queen of R&B Janet Jackson headlined Super Bowl XXXVIII on February 1, 2004, performing alongside Nelly, P. Diddy, and Kid Rock. Timberlake joined Jackson to perform a duet of his song “Rock Your Body” — in an incident infamously now known as “Nipplegate”, Timberlake ripped off a piece of Jackson’s costume, exposing her breast to the world for a half second. Cue America collectively losing its puritanical, racist, misogynist shit. Michael Powell, FCC Chairman at the time, called it a “classless, crass, and deplorable stunt” that was a “new low” from prime time television. Timberlake also issued a brief apology, and subsequently distanced himself from Jackson. Years later, these dumbasses went on to publicly regret how they handled the controversy: Powell called the public’s reaction “unfair,” pointing out how it was Timberlake who ripped off her costume, and Timberlake noted that he got “maybe 10 percent of the blame” and that America was especially harsh on non-white women. There aren’t enough eye rolls in the world for this shit, folks. Of course, Jackson alone shouldered the entirety of the blame and consequences for the “wardrobe malfunction.” Confirmed as recently as 2014, she was also barred by the NFL from any future performances at the Super Bowl. Her songs and music videos were blacklisted from all Viacom properties including MTV, and her invitation to perform in honor of Luther Vandross at the Grammys the following week was rescinded.
It is only right to shine the spotlight on women of color who are disrupting the tech industry for the better.Last week, Fast Company profiled a new start-up aimed at ‘disrupting’ bodegas and mom-and-pop stores. Bodega, named for the businesses they hope to make obsolete, installs unmanned, customizable pantry boxes in offices, apartments, gyms, and other high-traffic areas. Bodega even had the audacity to use the beloved bodega cat, the lovable animal seen at many of the bodegas throughout New York, as its logo. Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan, the founders of Bodega, undoubtedly thought this was a great idea, but the internet quickly disabused them of this false notion. After receiving unexpected backlash, the two former-Googlers issued a half-hearted apology via Medium. The apology focused mostly on the name of their startup, leading us to believe that these two will simply rebrand and go back to “solving” non-existent problems.
Inviting Betsy DeVos is highly disrespectful towards students who have benefited from public education, as well as the students who are trauma survivors.By Montez Jennings I graduated from University of Baltimore (UB) in 2016 and as a former student I was rather surprised to hear that current Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos was invited to speak at Fall 2017 commencement. Current UB President, Kurt Schmoke, decided out of all of the people in Baltimore city, Maryland and the DMV area, that DeVos would be the best person for the job. The same DeVos who doesn’t believe in public education and wants to rewrite the rules of Title IX in favor of accused rapists. After moments of disbelief, it’s safe to say my alma mater beyond disappointed me. I remember my time at the commuter school — many who are familiar with the university knows it was initially for the working person offering an array of classes at night — however, the culture has shifted between its founding in 1925 and now. The school welcomed a few more areas of study and a lot more young Black and Brown kids, even going from a two-year school to admitting freshman. I attended the university two years after being a student at a private Catholic single sex school. UB has its niche and its flair, being the modern, somewhat liberal university stationed in a thriving intersection of the city.
We can add IT to the growing list of 2017’s massive creative let-downs.[Spoiler alerts for the new IT adaptation.] The long-anticipated and much-hyped adaptation of Stephen King’s monster opus IT opened yesterday with a lucky September 7 at 7 showing. Since my corner of Florida is in Hurricane Irma’s devastating path and the other local movie theaters were closed, this first official public screening was packed — and with a really fun crowd of clappers, screamers, and talk-backers who like me, vocally interacted with the madness on-screen. The woman across the aisle from me even pulled out two bottles of wine and uncorked them with gusto. Tensions are high and we all needed some welcome relief and a couple of hours of escape. Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of IT definitely provided a brief getaway from the potential devastation en route here in real life. But unfortunately the film didn’t provide much else but sanctuary from storm worries. King’s novel is one of my favorite books of all time. I read it when I was 11 and in the almost-thirty years since, I’ve revisited its pages 8 or 9 times. While the evil force behind Pennywise the Clown is indeed terrifying, what is scarier in the novel is the unequivocal theme that humans are ultimately the monsters and architects of the horrors of childhood abuse, domestic violence, racial and sexuality-motivated crimes, and generational apathy that allows justifying looking away when terrible things go on. These themes only marginally made it into the new IT film, and while the 1990 TV movie fields much criticism, all these important messages from the book are front and center there.
The annual award show honoring the accomplishments of Black women was a highlight of 2017, but who in the hell invited Tyrese?By McKensie Mack I’m a comedian. A lot of people think the job of a comedian is to make people laugh. But it isn’t, the job of the comedian is to build a mirror between people and society. All kinds of things happen when we look in mirrors, chile. Sometimes we look in the mirror and we laugh cause we see we look a mess. Other times we look in the mirror and we cry cause we remember we ain’t got no money in our pockets. That happened to me just yesterday. Last week, I went on Twitter to post a mirror in the form of a skit about the singer and actor Tyrese Gibson that I had made. I had no idea that Tyrese was performing that night on Black Girls Rock. But when I found out I thought: Tyrese? At Black Girls Rock? He betta be there to wash some Black Girls Rock dishes. But he wasn’t. He was there performing and stood on stage with the ambassador for Black self love and self-acceptance India Arie of all people. Now, why was I so surprised? It’s because Tyrese has made a habit of degrading Black women on TV and the internet. For example here’s an I’m ashy and hateful list of three things Tyrese den did:
- He said that women are sexually assaulted because of the energy they put out into the world.
- He posted photo to Instagram inviting men only to give women advice on relationships.
- He shared a message nobody wanted for ‘promiscuous women’ on national television again, presumably telling Black women, since it was on motherf***** BET, that they needed to stop sleeping with so many men if they really want to find happiness in their lives.