Posted December 5, 2013 - Op Ed
The Summer of 2013: Big Brother, Cheerios, Paula Deen, Julie Chen, and Ann Coulter
By Arelya J. Mitchell, Publisher/Editor-in-ChiefThe Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway
Sex sells. Race sells better.
Outside of the really serious stuff (such as death, government shutdown, ObamaCare website crashing, mayhem, earthquakes, authentic racial issues, taxes-- you know, real problems), the summer of 2013 was downright hilarious in the Twilight Zone; otherwise known as that Politically Incorrect Realm.
I don’t know about the rest of the nation, but I do think we all need to get back to the art of name calling. (Okay, in some cases). That would cut down on a lot of this so-called politically correct bull, let alone lawsuits and taking away people’s livelihoods over a loose lip borne more out of anger and frustration more so than out of hate. I mean I don’t think Paula Deen would lynch anyone or that Anne Coulter would advocate killing Black babies.
I myself have not always been politically correct. Never have been, never will be. In fact, there have been some funerals I’ve attended in the history of my life that were just plain funny and I nearly died to keep back the laughter. I can say that because I know there are those who will attend mine just to make sure I no longer walketh amongst the living or even return as the walking dead. It was my dentist who first informed me that I was being called Ms. Poison Pen. My feelings would have been hurt had I had any for those who were doing the name calling.
And speaking of the Walking Dead…Mitt Romney hasn’t been around for a while, has he? Then during the Great Shutdown of 2013, there was John Boehner standing at the podium impersonating a zombie. I’d heard Ted ‘Monkey’ Cruz was called in to try out for the role of ‘Chucky’ in “Child’s Play 2013”. Teddy didn’t get the role and as revenge, he shut down Hollywood. Teddy also later lost the lead role in Fox’s new “Almost Human” series.
Okay, let’s get started in this dissension of what will have yours truly serving in the penitentiary of life for behaving badly.
For the first time in its 47th season, CBS’ “Big Brother” had to put on a disclaimer because the ‘Aaryn Nation’ had come on the scene in the form of the reality show’s contestant, Aaryan, who verbally attacked Black girl, Candace, who came close to knocking her block off had it not been for Black male contestant, Howie. Didn’t Aaryn know about ABA-- Angry Black Woman—syndrome? That’s a stereotype (but truthful) given. Then there was finalist GinaMarie who put in her would be racial slurs. These two contestants were quick to join the ranks of Paula Deen in the unemployment line. Big Brother’s ratings went through the roof. Aaryn and GinaMarie were fired from their jobs without knowing it until they emerged from the show, but CBS needs to give them a bonus for blowing up the Nielsen Ratings. GinaMarie, of course, got her $50,000 for coming in second place.
Then “The Talk” host Julie Chen (who also happens to be Big Brother host as well) wiki-leaked that she had her Chinese eyes westernized to move up the Corporate Ladder of mainstream journalism. Hold the Twitter button! Julie showed before and after eye surgery photos. Being politically incorrect, the consensus would probably be that she looked prettier after eye surgery. I went, “Good heavens!” (Not that I’m any raving beauty myself, but I’m doing the writing here and I can say anything I want!) Not because Julie was ugly then, because she wasn’t, she just looked like a semi-plain Chinese-American Jane, but, frankly and truthfully, I thought it was due to her youth and some baby fat around the face and that eventually she was going to grow into what she is now anyway, except for the eyes. Her white boy boss at the time told her that she looked as if she were disinterested when interviewing, but I’m betting he was more upset because she was looking ‘disinterested’ in him. I put Julie in the category of those people who look better as they add some age, and I’m saying this as I watch Julie laugh all the way to the bank. I am imagining the former white boy boss who told her that he would never make her an anchor because she was Chinese American is now saying, “If I knew then what I know now…” I can see Julie sticking out her tongue and going “nana-nana-naaaaan.” (My quotes). But what I truly found astonishing on the day Julie revealed her secret was how her mostly lily white audience gasped as if it were surprising that an HHIC (Head Honky in Charge) of a mainstream network would tell Julie that she would never be good enough because she was Chinese American. Now, some of my best friends are Chinese Americans. Okay, maybe not in the technical sense, but I do watch Julie on Big Brother (and have from day one) and tape The Talk. That ought to qualify me for some political correctness.
Of course, Julie went on to marry the HHIC of CBS after working her way to the top on her own terms.
However, I do remember our late coach from childhood telling us kids that Chinese people named their children by going into the kitchen, taking out the utensils, dropping them on the floor and what ever sound hit would be the child’s name. Of course, this same teacher snickering would tell us to “Stop acting like you are at home or some other dirty place. Clean that desk off!” We were, of course, too stupid to realize he was in the politically incorrect realm and too stupid to realize that he wasn’t telling the truth. But we knew he didn’t hate Chinese or even us when he marched us up and down the playground “getting us ready for real life”, in his Captain Von Trapp mode.
Oprah had the best comeback this summer as she sat on her throne like a Black Elizabeth I, smooth as Shakespeare and said after all the international fracas that the Swiss Miss who told her that she—The Oprah—the Supreme Black Woman—The Black woman who owns OWN—the 184th Richest Person Woman in America could not afford a $40,000 Tom Ford handbag-- might not have been a racist after all. Oprah went on with Emily Post reserve that this poor white Swiss Miss sales clerk could not have possibly meant to be racist towards her by not getting down that handbag. Oprah knows that she could have stayed home and received the same treatment at Barney’s.
I watched on all those Entertainment Tonight-like programs and laughed all the way through Oprah’s interviews, because if anyone has ever read “Pride and Prejudice” as it was meant to be read, as more satire than romance, you can appreciate the witticism of Oprah’s subtlety and her art of name calling without name calling. I, frankly, don’t have that much class in spite of being raised on Emily Post and going to one of ‘those’ schools which required that you walk up a flight of stairs with a book on your head and know how to maneuver ladylike out of a limousine, a Ford, and a sports car, respectively. A trick Britney Spears could learn. I mean I believe in being a lady but not when you’re being strangled (figuratively speaking).
“I is who I is,” will go down in the annals of philosophical pedagogy from America’s foremost deep thinker, Popeye, as quoted by that bawling Paula Deen who was the epitome of Aunt Pitty Pat from “Gone with the Wind” during her exclusive interview with Matt Lauer who at the time was allegedly not getting on favorably with Ann Curry, his former part-Japanese Today Show co-host. After Paula’s famous “I is who I is,” mea culpa, nobody can doubt that Paula loves her some Black folks now – well, at least she loves Popeye who was white.
Black folks and those pseudo white liberals went clean stone off on Paula. Now, let’s pause. It was the New School of Black Leadership who went crazier. If the Old School-Black-Boy Network had been totally in charge, they would have met Paula behind closed doors and said: “Now look here, Miss Paula, we understand you made a mistake. And ‘you is who you is’, so having said that, we want you to give jobs to Leroy and Temeka at those fine restaurants of yours in Atlanta, Jaw-JA.”
And then, there was the firestorm about Ann Coulter seemingly referring to our first African American president as being made to look like a monkey during the recent Syrian crisis. The Black and White Liberal gang demanded an apology from Annie-Get-Cha-Gun Coulter. This could have been handled better. Black folks should have simply called ‘Miss Ann’ some names back. For example: Ann Coulter is the only blonde King Kong would have thrown back; or when King Kong finally accepted Ann, Kong’s mama has never forgiven him for marrying someone hairier than himself; or Ann Coulter is so ugly that sleep had to sneak upon her (ala Moms Mabley); or Ann Coulter is so dumb she thought Brer Fox was Rupert Murdock’s first cousin twice removed. Now see. No lawsuits had to be filed. No fist fights. Everybody is happy, including Ann’s mammy.
You gotta love my bad boy Sen. John ‘Wyatt Earp’ McCain who knows how to get on Czar Putin’s level and did exactly what I was saying El Presidente Obama should have done when Putin wrote his elementary style “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” essay for the New York Times. What did that gun-slinging Johnny do? Nothing but wrote his own version of ‘I’m Gonna Kick Your Red Ass, Commie’ essay and submitted it to the Russian press. Now that’s really having no class while having class.
Jumping along: The Food Network (whom Deen has brought in some millions to as well) kicked Paula off so fast the woman didn’t stand a grit chance in hell. And what is the lesson here? Simple. The Food Network execs saying, “We giveth the bread, Paula baketh the bread, and we taketh the bread away.”
And we all know of those quiet moments when Blacks and Whites sit in their respective living rooms while a match (of any kind) is going on between a Black and White human being. “If you let that white boy win…” or “if you let that Black boy win...” And then we all know during any Olympics you can see the flag waving of Black, White, Yellow, Red, and Brown Americans chanting “USA! USA! USA!” or thinking ‘If you don’t beat that Russian….’ Yes, we all come together during the Olympics!
Ranting on: I had to stop watching “The Talk” for a day or two when Aisha Tyler came on, because she talked so fast I thought I would suffer a brain clot. I politically incorrectly remarked, “Good Lord! I didn’t know a Black person could talk this fast! Has the Road Runner had a baby? Shoot!” I was never more appreciative of a southern draaaaaawl. But hey, she’s witty, and because she came from one my favorite shows, “Ghost Whisperer”, I have learned to tolerate her anti-Stepin’ Fetchit text speed speech. But frankly, I thought only white Minnesotans talked this fast. Hold the stop watch!
Speaking of “The Talk” again, Sheryl Underwood had to apologize for using ‘nappy’ hair. Now for those who have seen “The Talk”, you realize that Sheryl is African American. She looks Black, but she could be white (I’ll get back to this in a moment). But in her defense any woman who can come on national and international television without a stitch of make up and without her wig can say anything she wants! I personally know how hard this can be, because I was once made to take off all of my makeup, lipstick, and remove my fingernail polish before going into surgery. I had painstakingly gotten ready for surgery, figuring if God took me on the operating table, I would at least make a presentable corpse. Oh the vanity!
Now this other dilemma I’m having about Sheryl Underwood is about her being Black or White has to do with the Cheerios commercial which allegedly features an interracial little girl (as most Black Americans are anyway) asking her allegedly white mother about heart health and Cheerios. The little girl goes in and puts Cheerios on her allegedly Black father’s chest. What we are suppose to get from this is that this is an interracial couple (the Big I.C.!)--you know as in Black man and White woman – that deadly combination in the annals of American politically incorrect history of forbidden fruit. I honestly can swear on a stack of Bibles I could not see what the controversy was about until it was explained to me that the woman was White. All the times I had watched this Cheerios commercial I just thought she was a light skinned Black woman. I have Black friends and family members who look whiter than she does! If Cheerios had put an afro on her, they would have lost their ‘controversy’ altogether.
Ranting further: I have a Black male friend who once upon time made no bones about not believing in interracial marriage, stating emphatically that Black men and White women should never marry because they were both dumb. And he elaborated as seriously as two strokes and a heart attack that Black men needed Black women because Black women were smarter than Black men, and that White women needed White men because White men were smarter than White women; therefore a Black man should never marry a White woman because two dumb people should never marry each other. I have yet to figure out his logic. Of course, he went on to marry a White woman in the spirit of many Black NBA players. I hear the politically incorrect mob squad outside, ready to word-lynch me.
Then things escalated when Miss America was named. I said, “Oh a Black girl has won. We haven’t had that in a long time.” Then I found out she was an American Indian via parents from India, but, nevertheless, an American. Of course, the true haters came out calling her everything but an American. But at the end of the day, I must admit she still looks Black to me.
So, in referencing Cheerios and Miss America, for all we know Sheryl Underwood could be a white woman passing for Black to make more money. I mean it’s getting to the point of not being able to tell who is Black and who is White these days, and that’s no fun!
I have a friend (No, it is not I) who looks forward to seeing the “Grapes of Wrath” every time it’s on TCM. I thought at first this was because of Henry Fonda’s excellent performance, until I watched it with him and he was mocking every line and falling into fits of laughter. I quickly learned that he loves this movie because it shows “poor white trash struggling in America.”
A childhood friend of mine remarked that she didn’t know how white fathers could tell who their children were. Being all of maybe 9 or 10, I asked, “Why not?” And she replied that how could a white father tell who his children were when they all had different hair and different color eyes and they were in the same family. So, their father could be a bunch of white men having children by the same mother, she said. Of course, the word ‘whore’ wasn’t in my vocabulary at the time.
One of my reporters had to stress to me that Jennifer Lopez was Hispanic when I thought she was a Black girl. I mean she was going with Puff Daddy at the time and I just assumed… (and we know what assume is…). But nowadays, would she be a Black Hispanic or a White Hispanic—as reclassification of Hispanics is trending these days?
… And at the end of the day, I still have to say she still looks a Black woman to me.
Then, of course, there was New ‘Yok’ Mayor “Health Police” Bloomberg, one of the richest men in America and a poster boy for that One Percent, who wanted to outlaw jumbo drinks, which would have been an easy thing for him to do. All Bloomberg had to do was pay every New Yorker not to drink, and then pay Coke, Pepsi, RC Cola, or Dr Pepper not to produce these vile company drinks, then pay every carton maker not to make jumbo containers. Then pay those who got laid off from these respective companies. Instead of advocating for the return of physical education in the school system, Health Czar Bloomberg actually sat down all by himself and drew up elaborate war tactics to annihilate jumbo drinks and kill Coke and Pepsi in the process. Now he should put his billions where his mouth is ‘not’ on the pop bottle.
Then there is the thing about what Atlanta’s transit system really stands for—MAARTA—Moving African Americans Rapidly through Atlanta.
The term ‘lazy’ has been applied to this President more than any other president. We know this is classic stereotyping of African American males; however, the laziest person I’ve ever encountered was a young white man who was so lazy that had not breathing required taking in oxygen, he would have been still born.
If the truth be told, we all know an Archie Bunker or George Jefferson and we all share a little bit of them in ourselves, but we must learn to laugh more about it and not start hating as in real hatred. Or at least learn the art of name calling to cut down on the tension. As children we all name-called then in a few minutes would go back to playing with each other. You know why? Because the name-calling didn’t come from hatred; it came from temporary anger and that’s curable. Hatred is not.