When Your Cousin Embarrasses You in Front of Family

By S. Christopher Emerson

I’m starting to think W. Kamau Bell is kinda corny; or at least, not who I thought he would be.

Definitely that’s a subjective statement, and all in all, I’m rooting for the brotha. I ain’t mad at him, but I’m just seeing him and his rise a bit differently these days. The CNN “United Shades of America” star seems to be revealing that the cloth from which he’s cut is a bit blander than I thought.

And let me be clear here; we’re using Bell as an archetype here for Black folx who have spent a little too much time around wypipo.

Watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown,” which I JUST NOW found out was the last full episode the chef and traveler finished before his suicide, I was inspired to critique on this matter. I’ve been going through all of the episodes in Bourdain’s series (which I enjoy) on Netflix and watching the ones filmed on The Continent and then secondarily, other homelands of people of color. This episode was filmed in Kenya, with W. Kamau Bell joining him.

Now, considering the current sociopolitical environment, I’m careful about giving deference to wypipo, ESPECIALLY when Black folx are present. But… in the episode, it was apparent through post-production that Bourdain was FAR more comfortable and relatable to the Kenyan sistas and brothas and environs than Bell.

Now it’s not lost on me that the chef was a celebrated world traveler and had been to East Africa before; Bourdain knows how to navigate unfamiliar cultural situations- it’s literally, what he does.

But there is an authoritative connection with the people of Kenya, East Africa and the continent as a whole that I was expecting Bell to have that just wasn’t there. ‘Cuz- and I don’t give a damn what some self-“othering” Black folx say- no matter what city, what country, which side, or which cookout you get invited to, there are some intrinsically Black things that slap five across current sociopolitical boundaries. I’ve prepared an inexhaustive list below:

*The “What up, Sis/Bro” head nod
*The time-honored chest to chest “Black DapHug”
*The innate quickening of something incredibly and uncomfortably white going down which culminates in perfect eye contact with a simultaneously perceiving Black person, possibly across the room (where do you think “Sense8” got it from?)
*The “mTXC…” sound of Black people sucking our teeth which either signifies that some food was just extraordinarily satisfying or that a situation is about to get extraordinarily real


I guess I was expecting something like… an instance in which Bourdain would try to introduce the comedian to a food, or to a local custom and Bell would just kinda look at him and say “It’s cool, Bro… I got this.” Then he’d shoot the quickening look to a group of very pleasant locals and bust out laughing uncontrollably. But that didn’t happen.

This big Black dude stuck out like a sore thumb. In Africa, y’all.

Making corny ass jokes… Asking corny ass questions… Making corny ass wypipo pop culture references… I could just feel the Kenyan brothas, in their own still very welcoming way, asking each other “Where they get THIS big Black mzungu from? Dude is strange, Bruh…” And this was no Ugly American culture gap. This was that same gap we feel when some new kid whose hair ain’t done shows up at your school from some private academy that Black parents have been warning yours about sending you to. And that new kid miraculously finds the weirdest, whitest clique to become a part of. Weird.

It got me wondering that maybe Bell thinks that since he looks like a “big, scary Black dude” to White people, his Black card is secure. And he seems like he IS aware of his Black card; he just hasn’t set up his direct deposit yet, so that mug is dry. It occurs to me that he spends most of his public time performing from a wyt centered perspective; possibly unintentionally, but because he’s surrounded by wypipo, he can’t help it.

Don’t get me wrong…There are times when I appreciate his self-deprecating brand of comedic writing and performance; I just have to be in the mood for it. It’s kinda like how many Black people used to watch “Cheers,” but we ain’t finna remember any of the lines; he probably does though. Bell’s persona and style make White people feel comfortable, of which he seems vaguely self-aware.

I was kinda embarrassed for US-born Black folx, feeling like Bell was SUPPOSED to be our ambassador, and he rolled into Nairobi with some khakis and boat shoes on, and he committed the faux pas of being more affable to wyt savior aid workers than his own people. Shit just left me feeling unfulfilled and disappointed; like fried chicken with no seasoning.

In 2020 South African Schools Will Teach Kiswahili

downloadBy Shujaa Kwanzaa

According to international reports South African schools will offer the Kiswahili language as an optional language for learners, the minister for basic education, Angie Motshekga said on Monday, September 17, 2018.

Motshekga, who said the decision had been approved by the country’s Council of Education Ministers, said the language will be offered at public, private and independent schools.

“Kiswahili has the power to expand to countries that never spoke it and has the power to bring Africans together,” Motshekga said.

‘‘It is also one of the officials languages of the African Union. We are confident that the teaching of Kiswahili is South African schools will help to promote social cohesion with our fellow Africans.”

Kiswahili will be the first African language, from outside South Africa, to be offered at schools.

French, German and Mandarin are among foreign languages already offered in South African schools as optional subjects.

Kiswahili is a Bantu language with lexical and linguistic similarities with many African languages spoken in the continent. For decades Kiswahili has been pushed by many free African nations as the possible international language of Africa. It was also pushed and used by the Black Power Movement in the U.S.

Kiswahili is spoken in Tanzania, Burundi, Congo (Kinshasa), Kenya, Mozambique, Oman, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda and the USA. Around 6 million people speak Kiswahili as a native language and a further 135 million speak it as a second language.

Last month, South Africa’s radical opposition leader Julius Malema singled out Swahili as a potential common language that could be used throughout the continent, as one way of “decolonizing Africa.”

In May of this year, social networking giant, Twitter officially recognized Kiswahili as a language, making it the first African language to achieve the feature. This came after many Kenyans advocated to include the language in Twitter.

New Study Shows Colleges Don’t Want Activist Students

By Free Radical

Research has shown that colleges prefer apolitical Black students.

Research has shown that colleges prefer apolitical Black students.

Despite a wave of uprisings on college campuses in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, predominantly White colleges continue to discriminate against Black students. Ted Thornhill, a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University has shown that college admissions officers shy away and discourage conscious Black students from attending their schools.

In a study that has been published in the journal Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Thornhill reported how he contacted 517 White admissions officers with fictitious emails of ostensibly Black students. The students were given names usually associated with African-Americans such as Jamal and Lakisha.

Thornhill made four profiles of these fictitious Black students: an apolitical student who expressed an interest in English and math; another applicant who was an advocate of environmental issues; a student who was recognizably Black through a love of Black history and participation in a Gospel choir; and a student who was very racially conscious as reflected in a commitment to joining organizations that examined “white privilege, affirmative action, colorblind racism, racial microaggressions and institutional racism.”

His study found that admissions officers were more likely to contact the first two groups of students, those that were less tied to Black culture and activism, by a margin of 65 to 55 percent. The latter two profiles, but most often the activist student, were less likely to receive responses.

The study also revealed a gender component, showing that White male counselors were more likely to reject the activist applicants while Black male activist students were less likely to receive responses than Black females fitting this designation.

The study comes on the hills of actual Black students who lamented the country’s celebration of White gun control activists in the wake of Florida’s Parkland school shooting. They pointed out how the largely White movement was celebrated while Black protestors have long been vilified in national media.

It also provides a context to the various student rebellions that have occurred on college campuses after Ferguson. Though some students may be accepted to predominantly White schools, there still can be a hostile anti-Black climate.

Texas Superintendent Resigns After Racist Remark About QB

By Free Radical

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has taken the high road after a Texas school officials made a racist remark about him.

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has taken the high road after a Texas school officials made a racist remark about him.

A Texas superintendent resigned days after he was exposed for posting a blatantly racist Facebook message about NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson. Lynn Redden, who headed the Onalaska Independent School District expressed last Sunday that “When you need precision decision making you can’t count on a black quarterback.” However, in his resignation letter Redden admitted that his comments were “wrong and inappropriate.”

When questioned about his post earlier in the week by the Houston Chronicle, Redden said that he thought his message was private. However, he added the unscientific claim that “Over the history of the NFL, [black quarterbacks] have had limited success.”

The Onalaska school board had planned to hold a meeting to discuss Redden’s fate on Saturday but the former superintendent’s resignation letter preempted the gathering.

The incident is further bad press for the NFL which has given the impression that it racist. In discussions over the league’s anthem policy, the Texans’ owner infamously stated, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.”

Nonetheless, team quarterback Deshaun Watson brushed off the racist rant. “That’s on him – let peace be with him,” Watson said. “I’m all about love.”