Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pondering "no urban" and "no Hispanic" dictates...


I’m sitting here working on my second cup of coffee and listening to the news.

In a couple of hours SCOTUS will issue their interpretation of the Affordable Care Act.

I could write about that, but I just don’t have the strength to ponder the demise or survival of a law that has had a positive life-changing impact on so many people I know.  Add to that the fact that I spent serious political activism time working on that shit…well, let’s just say that the last thing this bitch wants to do is think about all that work going down the toilet and having to start from jump again.

The US House is fixin’ to vote along party lines to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress.

I could write about that…and I probably will, but I think I’ll wait for those assholes to officially shit the bed later today.

What to do…what to do?

Hold up.


Shall we?

Many moons ago, this bitch used to work in advertising.

Specifically, I used to sell ads on radio for a massive…huge…giant national radio group that went through more ownership changes than I care to remember.

I was very good at the job. 

I was also one of the only people of color working at our company.  If you’re a fan of Mad Men you’ve seen how white the office is – trust me when I say that, for an industry charged with marketing products to a diverse nation, advertising has all the diversity of John Hughes film (translation – none).

So, when I first encountered the overt racism of the “no urban” dictate I was flying solo in my criticism.

My client was the #1 station in all key demographics in a top 10 city.  That means white listeners were tuning in too, because black people only made up 30% of the city population at best.  The station’s listeners had a healthy adult income and thus I should have been sitting pretty selling the hell out of it.

And I would have been…but for the power of the no-urban dictate.

I encountered a sea of no urban dictates from brands and products I still struggle to purchase even after a decade of being out of the business.

I’m not talking about not being able to sell the station to an ad agency representing a niche luxury brand.

I’m talking about being told that a restaurant whose most expensive item is $15 sending out a request for bids with “no urban (black) stations need apply” written on it clear as day and without shame.

There I was with the #1 station and no one wanted to dance.

No urban (black) and no Hispanic dictates are not about good advertising.  They are about racist and bigoted advertising…agencies that lack the courage to tell their clients that they are shooting their own foot by dissing the purchase power of minorities simply because those clients see consumers of color as unflattering and undesirable…and consumers of color who generally have no idea that they are shopping in a store that’ll take their money even though they think those consumers are unflattering and undesirable.

The lack of resistance to the overt racism of no urban and no Hispanic dictates is one of the reasons I left advertising.


But the cold hard reality is that Advertising as an industry is where the change needs to come from followed closely by those industries and companies that place ads.

And all you have to do is take a good look at the demographics of the average ad agency or corporate marketing department to see that we’re probably going to see a Triple Crown winner in my lifetime before we see change come from within.

Having said that, I applaud the FCC’s move.  If nothing else it took those dictates out of the closet. 

Shop accordingly, my friends!

***logs off the get this day of political drama started***







Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ain't that America, somethin' to see baby…


This is going to be one hell of a constitutional law week, y’all!

Shall we?

Yesterday the Supreme Court struck down most of Arizona’s infamous immigration law in a ruling that clarifies the already clear fact that immigration policy and enforcement is a federal responsibility.

What I find interesting is that the High Court let the most controversial portion of Arizona’s immigration law stand.

Yep, Arizona is now a “show your papers” state.

I wonder if they’ll incorporate that into tourism spots?

Arizona – Come for the sun. Stay for the racial profiling!

Lawd, have mercy.

Anyhoo, folk do need to know that police in Arizona can ask you for proof of citizenship after they stop you for some other shit.

They can’t arrest you or detain you or deport you for being unable to prove citizenship.

And it isn’t illegal to visit  or be in Arizona if you aren’t an American…yet.

But fuck it if police in Arizona can’t ask you to prove citizenship and then frown at you and probably mumble something about how you’d best get the fuck out of the country or they’ll [insert threat they can't back up legally but that most people probably aren’t aware they can not back of legally ‘cause your average individual doesn’t dig deep into constitutional law or ponder such things when pulled over on the side of the road by a cop].

Sigh.

Although I woke up this morning pondering how much documentation a bitch would need to visit Arizona – check out this post for a good break down of just how confusing that quizzical is – I am now wondering what this ruling means for the America.

I’m serious.

For all the rants from the right about state’s rights, I’ve never been comfortable with just how different rights are from state to state. We are becoming a union of little nations where you may or may not be able to do something in one state but you sure as shit can do it in another.  Sitting pretty in Illinois and asked to show papers in Arizona = bizarre.

That so many celebrate the ability to harass people based on their visual representation as “other” without the ability to enforce any legal ramifications says a lot about them…and, sadly, us.


Oh but ain't that America for you and me
Ain't that America somethin' to see baby
Ain't that America home of the free
Little pink houses for you and me!

Sing it, John.

Blink.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Can we all get along?



He was found floating in his pool. Initial reports state that King likely died as a result of accidental drowning.

Rodney King wasn’t the perfect victim of police brutality. In many ways that’s what made the story that unfolded after footage of police savagely beating him for 15 minutes after a police chase touch me.  No, King wasn’t the perfect victim…totally innocent and lacking shades of grey.

King was the typical victim…the average victim of police brutality, with his oh so human challenges and struggles.

King was anyone…everyone…the strong yet troubled black man straight from central casting to be beaten for 15 minutes by police in the middle of the street.

And now Rodney King is dead.

King lived a life before…before the police chase ended and police surrounded him and beat him.

Rodney King lived a life after he was assaulted…after the police were acquitted and a city went up in flames.

For some, Rodney King will always be the man writhing on the ground as police circled around him delivering blows for 15 minutes.

For others King will forever be the large black man who got what he deserved…who must have done something wrong…who then played the mystical race card to get paid.

But for me, King is anyone and everyone…a point in history where I learned the difference between a black man’s justice and the justice white men enjoy.

I see King…face swollen and bruised, lips trembling with emotion…a human being standing before the world asking whether we can all just get along.

And we answer that question…over and over again…day after day.

Can we all just get along?

We can…

…if we want to.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lord Stanley’s Cup and a ponder of sports coverage…


The Los Angeles Kings have won the Stanley Cup, defeating the Devils in Game 6 to win it at home.

Pause…confirm residual bitterness from that hit on Pietrangelo during their series with the Blues…continue.

***fixes face***

Congrats, Kings fans!

Longtime readers know that I adore NHL hockey and watch even if my beloved Blues aren’t playing.  But I’ve got to tell y’all, I’ve noticed a trend in sports broadcasting that tends to piss in the Cornflakes of viewers.

The trend?

Pre-game announcing that used to set the stage for games now sets a stage of “why did Team A even bother to dress for this game when Team B is going to whoop that ass and why are you even watching when anyone with a brain knows that Team A doesn’t stand a chance?”

Don’t get me wrong…I get that the Devils weren’t playing the kind of hockey that the Kings were going into the series.  But the Devils were playing the kind of hockey that beat everyone they faced to get to the Finals…so announcers had something to work with, which is why I couldn’t understand why they focused so much on their eminent defeat.

The Devils may have lost the first three games, but they played well.  Hell, the Devils played better in the first three games than they did in Game 6! 

As a viewer who isn’t a fan of either team, I was so turned off by the broadcast coverage that I almost skipped watching. 

And that’s saying something, because I’m the fan who re-watches games all summer so I can keep my hockey buzz going.

Sigh.

This trend isn’t limited to NHL hockey, either. I’m also a tennis fan and Lawd knows John McEnroe can talk down a match better than any NHL hockey announcer ever could!  If McEnroe is calling a Nadal match you can bet your ass that you’re going to hear why [insert player here] should have stayed home in extreme detail.

I just don’t find that exciting.

Maybe its because I’m a St. Louisan…and even though I’m not a baseball fan, even I know that my hometown Cards provided a case study in how a team can exceed expectations while their on the way to winning it all.

That brings me back to the Kings…the same Kings who no one was picking to accomplish a damn thing during the first half of the season…yeah, those Kings that turned it around and made history by winning the Cup.

Kind of makes the case for broadcasters taking a break from emotional predictions of total annihilation and maybe doing some fucking analysis, doesn't it?

Just sayin’.

***logs off to begin the long wait for hockey to start again***

Friday, June 08, 2012

Pondering if Sarah Steelman had to live in her policy dream world…


Hi y’all!

Sorry I’ve been missing in action, but things are hectic right now.

Anyhoo, the Senate recently failed to pass legislation that would have built on the foundation established by the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.  For some reason, Republican members of the Senate think that the path to small business success is paved with the unpaid wages of working women. 

Apparently, Missouri's GOP Senate hopefuls feel the same way. Congressman Akin, John Brunner, and Sarah Steelman all spoke out before the bill stating their dislike.

Akin and Brunner’s willingness to cede the rights of working women is bad enough, but I’m gonna focus on Steelman for a special correction because Sarah Steelman’s politician self has always benefited from the protections she just said she didn’t think American women deserve.

Think about it.

As a politician women get fair pay.  As things currently stand, Steelman doesn’t stand a chance in hell of winning the MO Senate seat…but if she did, her wretched ass would enjoy the privilege of getting paid the same as other Senators.

Senators also get that fantabulous to die for government healthcare that Steelman thinks will ruin we the people should we ever get a taste of it…but we’re talking fair pay here.

And I can’t help pondering if Sarah Steelman would be willing to put her money where her policies are.

I’m serious.

I want Sarah to pledge that, should she be elected, she’ll put her salary to a vote of the people.

Missourians would be able to vote on what we think she should be paid.  The options would be equal to our other Senator, Roy Blunt…or 25 percent less than Senator Blunt.

If she takes that pledge then she’s still an asshole…but at least she’d finally be an asshole willing to endure what she would so casually deal out.

So, Sarah...whatcha think? If 25 percent less for the same work isn't a big deal and is good for business, why not lead by example in the Senate?

***cue crickets***

Blink.