This Time, The Onion Should Do The Crying.

Aside

When The Onion, the satirical online newspaper tweeted this supposed joke about Quvenzhane Wallis, the youngest ever Best Actress Award nominee on Oscar night – o-THE-ONION-TWITTER-GRAB-570

the collective was aghast.

Supposedly. Reportedly.

Though everyone I know found it deplorable, the Onion’s outrageous onslaught was “Favorited” by some 400 users according to the Huff Post .

Yes. The Onion issued an apology , but the damage had already been done. There’s no way the kid isn’t aware of it, no way that her mom didn’t have to find a way to explain to a 9-year old on a night that was supposed to be the highlight of her life to this point (Oscar or not) how some people can be so cruel.

A small mind did a small thing and stole her moment, tarnishing her brilliantly shining star with a single keystroke.

The tweet was deleted and the apology issued, but clearly that’s not enough. From Keith Olbermann to Michelle Malkin – yeah, even the perpetually prattling parrot had the sense to denounce the assiduous attempt at humor – folks summarily called The Onion out.

But that’s not enough.

It still baffles the mind why out of all the possible (more appropriate) targets why anyone would single out a child for such an atrocious  attempt at humor. Some have tweeted that it was just a joke, that people are being overly sensitive. That’s ridiculous. It wasn’t funny. It was and remains an assault. On a 9-year old child.

Actor Wendell Pierce (Treme, The Wire), like Wallis, a native of NOLA, tweeted that the writer should be identified and punished, not allowed to hide, continuously, behind the arbitrary cloak of anonymity. 

I agree. We should demand the writer be punished not just because it’s what is right, but also because we owe it to this young girl.  It’s the continuous marginalization of people of color, specifically our youth in this society that’s alarming. We have to affirm their worth. Regardless of color calling a child what she was called can’t be allowed or tolerated or it will happen again.

We have to show our kids that people can’t victimize them and get away with it.

Like Quvenzhane did from her front row seat on Oscar night, young people should be allowed to flex their personas figuratively and emotionally as they figure out who they are (I’d hate to see this business burn her out, much like it seems to have to Willow Smith who abdicated the Annie role which Willis has recently been cast). 

I said previously that if I was her parent I’d track the writer down (it’s really not impossible; hard, yes but not impossible) and make it difficult to type, tweet or say that kind of vile, vehement, viciously sexualized comment about my or any child for a long, long time.

Realizing prison wouldn’t be an effective parenting tool/example, I’ve since calmed down. But I think flexing our own combined muscle, insisting on economic punishment is the very least due to both the writer and The Onion. They should take responsibility for deading a piece of a young girl’s childhood off with such abuse and so crudely.  Let the Haters Hate Q. You're On Your Way. Don't Let Them  Pull Down Your Cape Just As You Start To Take Off Fly Girl. You're On Your Way.                                                  Haters are gonna hate, Q. Let ’em. Though they’ll try to hold you down while tugging on your cape, they can’t stop you from flying. You’re a Super Girl.

In this case, turnabout is fair play: I think The Onion’s gotta cry.

Mining for (Black) Gold In Black History Month

After seeing Imani Uzuri’s “Sun Moon Child” video [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAFhh47DYCc]  posted by my man Bob Wisdom on Facebook, I was compelled to post an addition, a companion clip, this being Black History Month and all. The only problem was that there was a dearth of current videos to post.

Not to cop the Ol’ Man-talkin’-to-the-young-whippersnapper stance, but in the Golden Age of Hip Hop when I came up, there were a slew of songs and accompanying visual representations to pick from. I thought about the most positive current joint I could think of. (Sadly) It wasn’t something you could call Hip Hop, but the very energy of the song was the direct descendant of Hip Hop Culture, I think. (Some would argue that it’s just Black/African American cultural expression, that we’ve been expressing ourselves positively forever, but since just about everything that’s come out of the diaspora in the last nearly 40 or so years has been distilled though the sieve that is Hip Hop, I can’t deny filtering it accordingly, though you’re welcome to try).

What I offered on Facebook and now as the initial post on my blog, Foolish Dreamer, was Esperanza Spalding’s “Black Gold”. (It was a great personal and prideful bonus surprise that my brother-from-another, David Glimore is in the video playing guitar with his singularly soulful self and style. I see, you Giz!).

But as I watched the clip, it made me feel sad, almost mournful for the day when Hip Hop was so much more and Rap itself had so much more to offer.

So, as a dutiful Dad and official O.G. that I am – a title bestowed by others that I have only recently, albeit humbly and gratefully accepted – I had to offer up not only an encore of “Black Gold”, but a few of what I think are some of the best positive message visual representations I could find. The fact that none of them are current is a problem: I welcome and encourage more recent additions to my list.

I hope you enjoy them and can actually share them with your kids, and discuss them. I will.

Love.

Esperanza Spalding – “Black Gold”

Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers – “Black My Story”                           

Boogie Down Productions – “You Must Learn”                                       

Kool G. Rap ft: Biz Markie & Big Daddy Kane – “Erase Racism”          

Queen Latifah ft., Monie Love – “Ladies First” –

Other Clips: Brand Nubian, “Wake Up” , YZ, “Thinking Of A Master Plan”, Eric B & Rakim, “Know The Ledge”, H.E.A.L., “Heal Yourself”, “The Stop The Violence Movement, “Self-Destruction”, GangStarr, “Jazz Thing”, King Sun, “Be Black”, 2Pac, “Keep Your Head Up”