Archive | August 2007

Why wasn’t Noah’s Arc more successsful? And why do the new black sitcoms suck?

noahs-arc.jpg Today its raining in the greater Toronto area and I’m bored. I rarely watch TV these days except for the local news, some pro tennis, or pro golf, BBC news, a couple of reality shows, and that’s it. I click the remote control and there is nothing good on TV right now. Its times like these that I keep on thinking about why was Noah’s Arc cancelled? Noah’s Arc was the first all black gay TV show ever to be broadcast on television. Is Noah’s Arc ever going to air in Canada? And why was Noah’s Arc on the small gay channel MTV LOGO and not on a major American TV network like HBO, Showtime, or one of the mainstream channels?

The story is that MTV LOGO claimed that Noah’s Arc production costs were getting too high even though the show was one of the highest rated programs on MTV LOGO. I enjoyed the show but didn’t like the fact episodes were only 22 minutes I felt it should of been a lot longer. Also now that the show has been cancelled MTV LOGO announced a movie will be released in the year 2008. I don’t think MTV LOGO was the right network for Noah’s Arc it deserved so much better.

The black TV sitcom genre has died a slow death. The glory days of black television was only for twenty something years from the mid 1970s to the mid 1990s. It all started with “The Jeffersons” in the 1970s then “The Cosby Show”, “227″, “Amen” in the 1980s, “A Different World”, “In Living Single” were great 1990s shows. However, Girlfriends is the only black TV show that I think had any meaning or importance and yet that show isn’t even on a major network its on the cable channel CW network. Jill Marie Jones the talented young actress that played Toni Childs quit the show and it hasn’t been the same since.

Although I welcome black sitcoms I don’t see the risks that “The Jeffersons” “Cosby Show” and “A Different World” took back in the day. The new black TV sitcoms are derivative and unchallenging and that’s why they get cancelled so quickly. The CW network cancelled the program “Alll of Us” and I am not surprised. The rapper Eve had her own sitcom which was quickly cancelled by the CW network. The new black sitcoms play it a bit too safe because the producers want to ensure their shows don’t get cancelled they make the programs as boring as possible. I also notice another trend and pattern this decade all the new black sitcoms have to be wannabe Cosby show rip offs and all focused on black heterosexual nuclear families. The Cosby Show was considered daring and controversial when it aired in the 1980s. Bill Cosby made sure that there was a positive image of blackness that American pop culture ignored when he made the Huxtable family middle to upper class. It was such a pleasure to watch the Huxtables deal with regular life problems and struggles yet still love and respect each other. It was so refreshing to see a show about a black family where the father was was a doctor and the mother was a lawyer they didn’t speak in slang, they had five kids and lived in a nice house in New York City. The knock offs of the Cosby show just didn’t have the excitement or good writing. As I matured I realized that my experiences as a black gay man was always ignored by television. Television is more important then some people realize it is where social attitudes to various topics and issues are discussed and a cultural dialogue is formed.

Noah’s Arc is definitely one of the best black TV shows I have seen in a long time. Noah’s Arc is controversial just for existing. Black people aren’t going to watch MTV LOGO I think Noah’s Arc should of been on BET. I mean BET broadcasts the most boring and mundane entertainment these days Noah’s Arc would of really helped the network gain more black viewers. BET these days isn’t even marketed to black people these days its obvious the people behind BET have diminished the black content so much they are trying to reach a white suburban audience.

The cultural politics of “gender”, “sexuality”, and “race” appear to have hindered the show’s success. Why wasn’t Noah’s Arc on a bigger network? Why wasn’t Noah’s Arc on HBO, ABC, or CBS, NBC, or FOX even? The two recent shows dealing with gays were on Showtime in America. Why wasn’t Noah’s Arc given the opportunity to be on Showtime? People like to say race wasn’t a factor in Noah’s Arc’s inability to reach a larger audience but I definitely believe racism was indeed a core reason why the show didn’t take off like it should.

The mainstream media says “Will and Grace” was a groundbreaking show but I beg to differ. Will and Grace still maintained the status quo where heterosexuality was at the center of the program. Also, Will and Grace had nothing to do with my experiences I just didn’t find the show that interesting. I am not a white gay man and it just doesn’t interest me that everything gay has to equal everything white. I wanted to see myself on TV or people I knew and recognized on TV and Noah’s Arc was that show.

MTV LOGO was created to provide the gay and lesbian community its own space to broadcast programs that would interest a gay audeince. However, MTV LOGO is such a small specialty channel. Why couldn’t Noah’s Arc be on the regular MTV dial? I mean MTV has silly shows about rich white kids such as “The Hills” on their main network Noah’s Arc should of been given a chance to reach a larger audience. Unlike those other two gay shows Noah’s Arc wasn’t overtly sexual the show had class. Noah’s Arc was so much more important then that program. Canada had its own gay channel that I could care less about I mean it has nothing to do with gay people of colour. And that’s why I miss Noah’s Arc so much. I miss Noah, Ricky, Chance, and Alex. Its maybe a bit hard for people that are not black and gay to understand why Noah’s Arc was so important to us. I wish the reruns of Noah’s Arc was on BET. Yes I contacted BET already and of course I didn’t get a response. The show was not disgusting like that other gay TV show that got so much press a few years back. Noah’s Arc had class.

And that’s why I was so pleased a few years ago when Noah’s Arc became the first black gay sitcom to air on television. Although Noah’s Arc was broadcast on American TV I heard about it through the grapevine and I knew once the show was available on DVD I had to watch it. Noah’s Arc aired on MTV LOGO which is the gay MTV channel that is owned by the parent company Viacom. Viacom also owns BET, MTV, and various other networks. Its such a shame that Noah’s Arc was not broadcast on the regular MTV or BET. I think the executives at MTV just didn’t care for the show it simply wasn’t promoted enough. I also found it interesting that the so called “gay media” also ignored Noah’s Arc and certainly didn’t give the show the press it deserved. Part of the blame definitely is on MTV LOGO for not promoting the program enough but the other part is the so called “gay community” patronizing attitude towards the lives and experiences of gay black men. Let’s face it, we live in a culture where whiteness has to always be the center of the universe. The cultural production of “gayness” equals “whiteness”. And Noah’s Arc was a form of resistance to this racism. The attitude of the mainstream American gay press of course was to patronize Noah’s Arc because it had nothing to do with them. Sure, the program dealt with the issue of homosexuality but Noah’s Arc was refreshing that homosexuality was not the core focus of the show. Noah’s Arc was incredible because it demonstrated the struggles that black gay people go through being both black and gay. And in gay culture far too often gay people of colour are treated like a circus or a side show.

For once, Noah’s Arc dealt with a black gay community where black gay people are at the center and not on the margins. Black culture isn’t much better I mean BET has its nightly comedy programs and so often the comedians make gay jokes. Its frustrating because gay black men we are a part of the black community yet we are also demonized as well. And when black heterosexual shows attempt to deal with the issue of homosexuality its often from a negative perspective such as focusing on the whole down low issue. I wish more black people got to see Noah’s Arc maybe they would learn and open their eyes to see that we are just like them. We have joys and struggles with life we deal with similar issues just like them.

I commend the people behind Noah’s Arc for keeping the show black and keeping away from those tired racist storylines. The show dealt with important issues such as the black church, homophobia, black parenting, and many more.

Noah’s Arc was groundbreaking for many reasons. For once it was a show where white gay men were not at the center and black gay men were the focus of the story. Second, it was a show that I could relate to. The show demonstrated that black gay love and romance was real without the supremacy. Far too often in gay culture men of colour are paired with whites in TV and film erasing the existence of black gay men and other gay men of colour. Noah’s Arc broke this supremacist mold of thinking and firmly focused on four young black gay men trying to make it in this world. It was so uplifting and amazing to watch. Its such as shame that Noah’s Arc wasn’t able to reach a larger black audience. I really honestly believe if more black people knew about the show they would watch the program. Do yourself a favour go to Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble go to your local HMV, or music store and purchase a copy of seasons 1 and 2 of Noah’s Arc on DVD and see why this show was so amazing.

Is the US OPEN women’s draw fixed? No Surprise Sharapova has a much easier draw then the Williams Sisters and Justine Henin

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               I just looked at the US OPEN draw at www.usopen.org  and surprise, surprise, Maria Sharapova has the easiest draw ever.  Some will say the draw cannot be fixed because it is done in public. Give me a break. Anyone can cheat and I believe the women’s US OPEN’s draw appears to be fixed. It doesn’t make sense that the top half of the women’s draw is loaded with all the contenders while Maria Sharapova is all alone in the bottom half.

                CBS, USA network, the USTA,  and the WTA  Tour will benefit. They will all be very excited of course because Sharapova  will get lots of night matches and just glide past her lackluster opponents. I don’t expect the USA media to write or discuss about this obviously fixed draw of course.  If a magician can cheat in public so can the USTA. The methodology and the process of selecting the players for the US Open draw looks flawed.

        In Canada we  don’t have the tennis channel and are subjected to the American feed. So for the next few weeks there will be the usual  irritating commentary from USA and CBS networks so called tennis experts. Expect more of the same tennis fans from those  annoying racist commentators. First you got that  weasel sidekick Ted Robinson, next there is the ingrate John McEnroe, after that the termagant trio Tracy Austin, Mary Carillo, Pam Shriver, and the rest  praise the new pinup girl  of women’s tennis Maria Sharapova. 

     As everyone knows in the United States a female athlete talent isn’t the most important thing about her its her looks. Its the reason Sharapova is the highest paid female athlete in the world despite only winning  two grand slam titles.  The former pinups  Gabriela Sabatini and Anna Kournikova were both losers and they  were paid millions because they were considered “pretty”.  Sabatini and Kournikova  failed to deliver the results. Sabatini was a one slam wonder while the other Russian Kournikova won zero WTA tour singles titles. Kournikova didn’t even reach a grand slam final she is a disgrace to women’s tennis because the excessive media attention did not match her results.

             The American companies hope Sharapova is the “right” formula since she is considered a  pretty white girl that has “talent” and they hope she can consistently  produce the grand slam titles. Sharapova has the  “right look” for American consumers and they believe she can sell products.   Sharapova is talented but there are other talented players the WTA tour refuses to market and develop such as Svetlana Kuznetsova or Jelena Jankovic. 

           Just a reminder readers Maria Sharapova isn’t even American but she does exploit the USA for its training facilities, endorsements, and a place to live. Sharapova is a passport Russian.  I find it strange the USA tennis commentators will make a big deal about a player that has no respect for America. Sharapova doesn’t even play for America so if she wins grand slam titles they are for Russia not America.   However, Sharapova is young, white, tall, and blonde and in the USA the cultural production of the Eurocentric beauty standards is paramount to her commerical appeal.  If Sharapova was overweight or if she didn’t have that ” right look”  the white American media would ignore her like they do to Svetlana Kuznetsova. 

                The  mainstream American media ignores the real champions of the WTA and they are  the Williams Sisters and the Belgian Justine Henin.  It just goes to show in America colour means more then nationality. Venus and Serena Williams play for America, they play Federation Cup for their country yet they always seem to get the worst draws at the US OPEN. People say the USTA cannot fix draws and that the draws are random.  This years women’s US OPEN draw looks fixed. 

   Every single year  Maria Sharapova the new “glamour” girl of women’s tennis always has an easy draw. Its just like clockwork the blonde barbie doll of the WTA gets an easy ride to the finals while her rivals have a war on their hands in the top half of the women’s draw.  I am sure Larry Scott the CEO of the WTA tour and the other WTA executives are really happy Sharapova has a cake walk to the women’s finals. I wonder what the other top women think though? Wimbledon was the only grand slam Sharapova had a tough draw and no surprise she lost to Venus Williams in the fourth round. Whenever Sharapova gets a tough draw she  always capitulates.  If Sharapova does not make it to the finals of the US OPEN this year then the joke will be on her.

         Sharapova draw is not loaded at all in fact the only player that can really trouble her has been suffering with her confidence. Svetlana Kuznetsova the 2004 US OPEN champion  hasn’t been playing well this year and she is  seeded number 4 and could face Sharapova in the semifinals. I doubt Svetlana will make it all the way that far. Maria could face another blonde teenager the media’s been hyping eighteen year old Czech player Nicole Vaidisova she is seeded number thirteen. I don’t think Vaidisova she can beat Sharapova if they do meet in the fourth round.  Next, there is another young Russian Anna Chakvetadze is seeded number 6 she could face Sharapova in the quarterfinals but of course Anna has never beaten Maria before so that’s easy. Sharapova’s draw is filled with lightweights she will have no problems defeating.

         However, I am really shocked at the top half of the women’s draw. All the other contenders for the US OPEN women’s title are in the top half and I am suspicious. I am sure the Williams Sisters and Justine Henin weren’t thrilled when they looked at their draw either.  The USTA is known to cheat they have a history of it. Just remember readers in the year 1996 the USTA changed the seedings to benefit Andre Agassi and some other Americans.  Yvegeny Kafelnikov removed himself from the 1996 US OPEN draw in protest and he was correct. The USTA does a lot of dirty work for the players they favour. If there is a rain delay the USTA will make sure the players they favour play first such as Sharapova. If a certain player the USTA does not like that’s a top player they will throw that player on an outside court and not get a match in the main stadium. Last year Roger Federer the world number one had to play on Louis Armstrong Stadium twice while inferior players James Blake and Andy Roddick had their matches on center court. The USTA is known to disrespect foreign players they don’t like.

Its so unfair that the three grand slam champions and the best players on the WTA tour this decade are on the same side of the draw. Serena won the Australian Open in January, Justine Henin won the French in June, and Venus won Wimbledon last month.  Serena, Venus, and Justine are clearly the best players on the WTA they have won 19 grand slam titles this decade the most out of all other active players. 

       Venus, Serena, Justine Henin, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic are all on the top half of the women’s draw. Serena has a thumb injury and she could face Justine Henin in the quarterfinals once again. Henin bounced Serena at both the French Open and Wimbledon this year. Henin just  won the Canadian Open in Toronto last week.  Anyone that’s been paying attention to women’s tennis this year knows that these are the players Maria Sharapova fears. Sharapova was blasted off the court at the French Open in the semifinals by Ana Ivanovic the young Serb is a very good player. Another Serb Jelena Jankovic is no walkover either she has beaten both Williams Sisters before.   Serena for the third slam in a row could face world number one Justine Henin in  the quarterfinals. Venus is seeded number 12 she is scheduled to face Ivanovic in the fourth round and potentially Jankovic the number three seed in the quarterfinals.

If you want to voice your concerns with the USTA about the lack of balance in the women’s draw here is the link. 
http://www.usta.com/site_services/custom.sps?iType=961&icustompageid=3980

Obama is running for second place

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Barack Obama is in second place for the Democratic party nomination. I think this demonstrates how far African Americans have advanced in American politics. Yes, its very exciting to see Barack Obama gain support from not just blacks but voters of other races. However, it still proves there is a fear in white America that a black man is acquiring too much power. The silent fear of some white voters is that Obama actually has a serious chance of becoming America’s first black president.

I will never witness something so special like Barack Obama’s presidental campaign in Canadian politics. Although Canada attempts to frame itself as an open minded nation very few black Canadians have ever been elected to the Canadian Parliament. Black Canadians we are treated as though we are the other. There are only 600,000 blacks in Canada.

I am glad Obama is reaching out to the 18 to 34 demographic of black voters. I think its important he do this to remind young black people in America that their voices can be heard through voting. If you don’t vote you have no voice.

Other blacks in the past such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have run for the Democratic party nomination but hardly gained any support. It is also interesting that Jackson, Sharpton, and Andrew Young the old black civil rights guard are now attacking Senator Obama. During the Jena six march in Jena Lousiana Jesse Jackson criticized  Obama saying that he’s “trying to act white”. Of course the mainstream media jumped on this story. I don’t know why? Just because Jackson and Obama are African Americans doesn’t mean they are going to share the same philosophy. There is still the collective myopic sense of thinking that all blacks think the same and that is deleterious. Some of the old civil rights guard fear Senator Obama because he’s younger more successful and they are a bit jealous of his success.

Does anyone wonder why? It is because Jackson, Sharpton,and Young support the Clintons they are also about maintaining the status quo. Senator Obama wants real change in American society and as much as the old black civil rights guard claim they want change. I think Jackson, Young, and Sharpton, fear Senator Obama because they view him as the unknown. So, the old black civil rights guard are content with the status quo and that means white liberals such as the Clintons.

If the old civil rights guard wants to support the Clintons they are allowed to and that’s fine. However, I just don’t like it when they preach this garbage that the Clintons are “blacker” then Obama. Give me a break please. The Clintons may have “some” sympathy for African Americans. However, last time I checked Senator Obama is a black man and the Clintons are typical white American liberals. The Clintons are also centralists. Hillary Clinton pays careful attention to the polls she will do anything the polls say.

The Clintons are shrewd they are letting the old civil rights guard do their dirty work for them. I just hope people are cognizant of this fact. The Clintons know Jackson, Sharpton, and Andrew Young very well they most likely told them to bash Obama to try to get more black votes. It is the classic divide and conquer strategy. I just cringe when I hear old civil rights guard bash Obama because I know what they are doing. The Clintons are using the old black civil rights leaders to split the black vote in their favour. The good thing is that many young black voters are going to vote this time. There is a heighten awareness and I believe they are sick and tired of these old goats such as Sharpton, Jackson, and Young with their pretentious and patronizing attitudes. Why don’t Jackson, Young, and Jackson go somewhere into a pasture and expire?

I have read articles in the USA press using racist language that Obama is “articulate.” Yes, we know Obama is intelligent but when the white American media uses language such as that they are really saying Obama isn’t too “in your face” kind of a black man.

Michelle Obama is the secret to Barack’s success because without her I don’t think Barack would gain much attention with the African American community. Michelle makes Barack palatable to the black Americans. Does anyone actually believe black men and especially black American women would support Obama if his wife was not black? Obama’s family is the perfect symbol of the heterosexual middle class black nuclear family. Heterosexual black magazines such as Ebony and Essence have splashed numerous photo spreads of the Obama family. The Obama family is the new version of young, perfect, black, heterosexual family that is acceptable to the black American press. And in a way I think Mr. and Mrs. Obama should be celebrated. Here you have a young black American man that wants to live the American dream.

Maybe Senator Obama may not win the Democratic party nomination but at least he’s trying to. At least Senator Obama is demonstrating to young blacks that we can shatter the glass ceiling. Why should the president of the United States always be a white male? Why should we just accept this status quo? I think this is the real issue here the fear of change that upsets some conservative American voters.

It is very interesting to read the covert racist articles from so called political experts that claim Senator Obama doesn’t have enough political experience. What about Hillary Clinton? Does anyone actually believe this woman would be so popular if she wasn’t a former first lady and her husband wasn’t a former United States President? What has Hillary Clinton really accomplished on her own then riding on her husband’s fame? Senator Obama actually earned his success unlike Hillary Clinton. Well if black people just listened to whites and did not fight for our rights wouldn’t we still be in an era of social and political apartheid?

The white liberal media are saying that Senator Obama should “wait his turn” and they don’t want him to “split the Democratic Party vote.” Why can’t the so called political experts just be honest and real for five seconds? There is a subconscious fear among some whites that Senator Obama may actually have a real chance to win the Democratic Party nomination. Of course the so called white liberals want to maintain the status quo. Oh yes, black people we should “wait our turn forever” and let “whiteness reign supreme”. Its like give me a break. I hate it when covert racists cannot be honest and real.

I honestly don’t believe Obama could receive this kind of positive press in the black American media if he wasn’t married to a black woman. Michelle Obama’s endosement of her husband Barack is critical to his success. I also believe it proves that the race of a spouse is very important in American politics. Now some people may say that in the 21st century race doesn’t matter. Race always matters in American politics my dear readers. Michelle is Barack’s rock without her he wouldn’t have a chance of winning. Black American women would not support Barack if he was married to a white woman and that’s a fact.

Also remember readers Obama is half white he has a white mother and don’t think white Democratic voters don’t know this fact. Since Obama is biracial he’s viewed as a different “kind” of black and the American media try to pump him up as a symbol of diversity that can “bridge” both the white and black communities.

Well Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are certainly very intelligent black men as well. The code word “articulate” should really be saying “Obama doesn’t scare white people.” Some white Americans really don’t like Jackson and Sharpton because they speak their minds and they say what they believe in. And they really don’t care if they offend white America. The white American media have attempted to paint Jackson and Sharpton as too outspoken, too controversial, and lets be honest too black. I know Sharpton and Jackson are not perfect but they have done a lot good for the black community.

Obama is the new kid on the block and for a small segment of white American voters he’s viewed as a “safe black” and a “non threatening” mixed race black man. Obama’s kind of black but not all the way black.

Obama has done the unthinkable he has gained support but not enough to pass Hillary Clinton. I think Hillary Clinton will definitely win the Democratic nomination and if she doesn’t then John Edwards will. I think it will be a cold day in hell before the Democratic party picks a black man for the party nomination. The American media have made a big deal about who Americans will vote for a white woman or a black man? I think the answer is pretty obvious race is going to trump gender so of course Hillary Clinton is going to win the democratic nomination she’s still white.

The truth is the white American population is much larger then the African American population. Black Americans only make up 12% of the United States population. Obama may have gotten some support from African American celebrities such as Oprah and Halle Berry. Its interesting that the mainstream white American media attempts to paint Clinton as a “minority” due to her gender. Although it is rare in American politics for a woman to have a real chance of potentially becoming president Clinton is still white. Hillary Clinton’s whiteness will help her to get automatic votes. Does anyone honestly believe if Hillary Clinton wasn’t white or if she wasn’t already famous she would still be this popular?

I have been paying attention to Clinton and her campaign she’s done a decent job of obtaining a lot of support from the NOW organization and other white feminist organizations. I have also learned that some black American women will be voting for Clinton. And I cringe. I wonder if the black women voting for Hillary Clinton honestly believe that Hillary Clinton cares about black women issues? Maybe they just want too see a woman as president of the United States and that’s understandable. America has never had a female president before. Clinton is a “centralist” she is all about being smokes and mirrors. Clinton supported the war in Iraq and now she flip flops on the issue.

Have black women forgotten Bill Clinton’s scandals? Now you can say that Hillary and Bill are two different people and should be judged as individuals. However, I am sorry to say but Bill Clinton wasn’t that great a president and Hillary knew exactly what Bill was up to. I am not saying people do not have a right to vote for whomever they choose. I just don’t trust Hillary Clinton. I think some women of colour honestly believe if Clinton is elected president that she will make women’s issues her mandate or at least do more to advance women’s rights. And I think they are sadly mistaken about Hillary Clinton. Clinton is all about maintaining the status quo.

However, I don’t see Hillary Clinton as this “liberal” that she presents to the public. I would of been more excited if the first female president wasn’t Hillary Clinton and it was somebody else. Carol Moseley Braun is the first and only African American female senator she also ran for a the democratic nomnation back in 2004. Braun despite her political experience did not gain much support and she dropped out of the race. Braun also did not gain the kind of media attention that Hillary Clinton has. Braun certainly had the political experience though but not the support. America definitely doesn’t want to see a black woman as President that’s for sure.

Obama seems to have captured the American media hype machine and attention. He appears to be running for second place. Although American white liberals will say the right things I just don’t believe many of them would vote for Obama. I think secretly in their minds they fear what would happen if a black man did become president. Its not Obama’s fault that the white American population is so large I think its just about impossible for a black person to become president of the United States. Its just nice to see Obama at least try to make a difference and present a different voice in the American political scene.

Book Review: The Interruption Of Everything

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I was at the bookstore in downtown Toronto and I read the first page of Terry McMillan’s latest novel “The Interruption of Everything.” I thought the opening of the book was very funny and decided to buy the book. Terry’s novels all have an autobiographical theme. In “Stella Got Her Groove Back” it was about McMillan marrying a younger man Jonathan Plummer. And in this new novel the main character Marilyn Grimes is a middle aged black woman that works at a craft store. Marilyn’s three children have all grown up gone to college or moved out. Marilyn has a bit of the empty nest syndrome she feels as though her family takes her for granted. Marilyn’s marriage to her husband Leon is on the rocks. Next, Marilyn’s mother in law Arthurine and her annoying dog Snuffy are driving her crazy. Arthurine finally decides she wants more out of life and gets a boyfriend . Marilyn is having a mid life crisis. Marilyn’s two best friends Paulette and Bunny are very funny and well written.

In this novel McMillan definitely still has her sense of humor I was laughing so hard at times. However, I find it really irritating the way Marilyn constantly complained about her husband Leon it was getting on my nerves. So women are perfect and all men are scum? I wonder why no one speaks out about this misandry?

It was so obvious McMillan is bitter about her divorce to her ex husband Jonathan Plummer. Terry says Jonathan lied to her about his sexuality. I kind of wondered why didn’t Terry make the Leon character have a homosexual affair instead of a heterosexual one? At least it would of been more honest. Maybe Terry’s next novel will be about that whole down low thing?

In this novel the main character Marilyn complains and goes on and on about her husband Leon. Leon decides he has to go to Costa Rica to “find” himself. Leon admits to having an affair. I found the Leon character flawed but I didn’t find him to be this kind of “monster” that Terry was attempting to paint this character as. I found myself actually having sympathy for Leon and finding myself hating the Marilyn character she is so annoying. I wanted to know more about Leon and why he cheated on Marilyn? Leon’s character wasn’t developed enough he was the typical lousy cheating husband. I think that’s a total copout. I am sure Marilyn had character flaws yet that was just glossed over. I didn’t get a complete sense of Leon’s character and it was just a cheap way for Terry one again to do some serious male bashing. It was obvious to me that Leon represented her ex husband Jonathan. Of course Terry denies this but I mean its pretty obvious Leon is Jonathan.

The writing isn’t up to the same standard as “Waiting To Exhale” or “Disappearing Acts.” I found myself bored at times the story dragged a bit. Also there wasn’t enough character description and too much dialogue. I did find the other main storyline which was the drama going on with Marilyn, her adoptive sister Joy, and their elderly mother Lovey much more interesting. I felt like the novel came to life when Terry concentrated on that storyline. She should of concentrated on that section of the story more.

I know some gay black men are pissed at Terry because of the whole Oprah show incident. Some gay black men were annoyed that Oprah and Terry were “attacking” Jonathan on the show. I agree with them. What was the purpose of Oprah having Jonathan on the program yet he had no support? Why wouldn’t a young Jamaican kid pack up and move to America for a new life? Terry says her ex husband used her. Well didn’t Terry use Jonahtan as well? Its a two way street. Its called sex tourism. City TV in Toronto has a TV show called Sex TV and on that program a few years back there was an episode about rich North American and European women that fly down to the Caribbean to chase young black men for sex. Terry wanted a young black man to screw and make her boy toy. She exploited Jonathan even though he didn’t know anybody in America and he obviously lacked life experience . He matures meets new people and understands he’s gay and Terry loses the boy toy she once owned so of course she’s going to be bitter. Jonathan could of been honest with Terry that’s for sure. What did Terry expect?

And in this new novel all Terry is doing is stereotyping and trying to blame black men for her own personal problems. Why can’t some women take responsibility for their own actions and lives ? Why is everything the black man’s fault? Where is the agency? Despite the problems Terry McMillan is having in her personal life she is a good writer. Terry McMillan along with E Lynn Harris opened the book industry’s eyes to black writers. For so long contemporary black stories had been ignored. I don’t know if I will read anymore of Terry’s books? I am tired of reading books that put down black men. Yes black men have flaws but the way Terry goes out of her way to write the Leon character had me rolling my eyes. Its just bad writing. I think the next book I will read deals with gay black men. I have had enough with these kinds of books that put black men down.

Why are we silent about the hypocrisy and prejudices of the Toronto Media?

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               Close your eyes and repeat the words “guns and violence” now say this three times over and what images emerges in your mind?  Be honest. If you live in the greater Toronto area be honest again.  Remember I don’t know who  you are my dear readers.   What are the  images that emerges in your  mind?  Yes murders do take place in the greater Toronto area and the recent murder of an  innocent  eleven young boy Ephraim Brown shocked the city. Whenever violence occurs in Toronto we always say the same line over and over “its the parents fault, its the kids fault, its society’s fault.” The media doesn’t do much better. We repeat the cycle over and over. How can we break it? Is it even possible to? Have we all become apathetic to the constant news about death?

            Often lost in the cyclone of  newspaper reports, radio, and television broadcasts is the misandry and racism of the greater Toronto media. There needs to be more positive male influences for young boys yet society doesn’t seem to give a damn. The Ontario government certainly isn’t doing enough to provide employment for young people or  encourage young men to become teachers or social workers often these jobs are filled by women. And just so the feminists don’t come breathing down my throat. I never said female teachers or  female social workers do not work hard or try their best. I am saying there needs to be more male  teachers, more male social workers, and more male guidance counsellors.  Young boys  need positive male influences in their lives. A young boy sometimes will listen to an older male that is nice, caring, and actually has empathy for a child and demonstrates to the child that he cares.

          For the Toronto media the black community is the “out” group we are on their constant hit list.  We are the mainstream media’s target audience. I really hope people pay attention to the race of the people writing the negative anti black articles. And sometimes newspapers willl hire their “token” black writers as the “voices of reason.”  Often these “token” black writers will not “rock the boat” and do what their editors tell them to do. They will  provide the standard “lecture” when they are actually a part of the “system” and a part of the problem. I mean I understand that blacks in the Toronto media have to cover their own asses they got bills to pay and families to feed. However, I don’t see the black journalists in Canada take the kind of risks that the African Americans do. The African Americans will challenge their white or Asian editors or if an African American is an editor they sometimes even rock the boat. In Canada you never see that take place.  

         In fact, the Toronto media does a great job stereotyping young blacks and building up the appetites of racists and then unloading the racism in print,  on the radio, and TV.   I am not denying that violence and crime is not a problem with the GTA black community. However, crime is not just confined to blacks. White people commit crimes and so do Asians and Aboriginals. Where is the balance in the news coverage? Oops I forgot blacks don’t run Toronto  mainstream news. 

         Black Canadian feminist Dionne Brand wrote two excellent non fiction books about racism in Toronto.  Brand’s work moves beyond the fear that the mainstream press attempts to create with their articles, radio broadcasts, and TV news stories. Brand studies the news and I learned so much never to just take the news at face value. 

   The first book by Dionne Brand I read was  called  “Bread Out of Stone” it was published in the year 1994. “Bread Out of Stone” really assisted  me to thinking  about the news and to pay careful attention to how the news is “framed”. 

          In the year 2001 Brand’s second non fiction book  “A Map to the door of No Return” was published.   Dionne Brand is one of the few  black Canadian scholars that I  believe speaks the raw truth she is unrelenting.  Brand  also challenges the black community.  Brand does not let all sections of the black community get off the hook. So often the work of some black intellectuals its always black society against the world. Brand focuses on the internal politics within the private sphere of the black community as well. 

          We cannot just blame the mainstream for everything we have agency over our own lives. Brand writes a lot about “othering” and “framing” her work is so important. Everyone should read these two books  in relation to thinking about the Canadian media. I really don’t buy the Toronto newspapers these days. I mean why should I?

     How many times do I have to see the faces of  young black men plastered on the cover of the newspapers depicted as monsters? Usually the skin tone of the black man is darkened to make the black man appear more “sinister.” How many times do the editors of the big Canadian newspapers play up these racist stereotypes? Its typical but should not go unchallenged.

          In Brand’s second non fiction book “A Map to the door of no return” she writes about her disgust with the black Canadian newspapers and I agree.  I once thought that the black Toronto  newspapers had all  the answers to provide an alternative perspective to the racist garbage that the mainstream papers dish out.  The Toronto black newspapers “claim” to serve a purpose for us to  vent or discuss our own concerns about the pernicious racism in the Canadian media. However, now I am not even sure about the black community newspapers anymore such as  Share and Pride?  Sometimes I think these “papers” do such a disservice. Every single damn week some black “elder” in Share and Pride complains about black youth.

        Meanwhile,  we have the hurricane of blame continuing. You have the mainstream media saying black parents don’t give a shit about their kids. Yet  they ignore the white kids in the suburbs that are getting high on drugs, stealing cars, having babies out of wedlock, and getting into trouble with the law.  Next, you have the black community newspapers with their weekly editorials  saying that young black people we don’t give a shit about our own lives. When someone is constantly complaining in your ear about something what do you do? Most people tune that person out. I also notice in the black community newspapers you never read articles WRITTEN by people under 30 or under 35. 

         I am tired of hearing and reading about these “uppity blacks” with their Masters and Doctorate degrees that have broken into the white academia and now have lost their fight for activism. Often some of these “uppity blacks” form an alliance with the oppressor and  chip in with the mainstream media to broadcast their own racist prejudices about black youth. Its the old tired “look at me syndrome.” Yes I am looking at you. You are an old goat and you are  now siding with the  white man because you feel “privileged” because you got “status”, “money”, and “power.” I am so tired of reading about these motherfuckers in the black community newspapers that I tune these papers out. I mean what purpose do these papers serve anymore other then promoting their own brand of misandry and deleterious biases against young black men?

       I do NOT believe blacks commit all the crimes in the GTA  nor do I subscribe to the typical sensationalistic articles published by the so called “liberal or conservative media” .  Has anyone noticed that in the Canadian media there are never any articles or news shows on exactly how the news is put together?  Do people actually think ” what” the media tells us is the “only” news out there. The media “only” reports whatever they believe will elicit the kind of reponses or kinds of “collective thinking” that will drive up TV ratings, radio ratings, and newspaper sales. Right now in Canada every few months the sweet spot for the Canadian media is to dig up or come up with anything negative about the GTA black community.

        People need to know in Vancouver there is a lot of crime going on down there on the west coast. The out community in Vancouver isn’t blacks because our populations are too low. South Asians are the out community in Vancouver. The gun crime in Vancouver is indeed a very serious issue given the fact the 2010 Winter Olympics is just around the corner.  In the Western provinces the First Nations people are the “out” group. And in Montreal the  French speaking blacks and Arabs/muslims are the “out” group over there. Every section of Canada has their scapegoats.

        Look at the Canadian news rooms from radio, TV, or print you will notice very few blacks. Black Canadians along with Aboriginals are treated as though we are the bottom of the Canadian social hierachy. Whenever, the majority wants to promote “diversity” they will hire Asian reporters and journalists in the news room before they will hire blacks.  Has anyone ever questioned why? The news is socially constructed but of course you will never read that in print, on the radio, or on the evening news.

          When I use the word “socially constructed” I mean there are actually racist people in powerful positions with their own anti black prejudices  that look and seek out stories to stereotype black people. The only times the Canadian media ever writes anything positive about black Canadians is in relation to sports and entertainment. There is more to the black Canadian experience then being a basketball player, track athlete,   singer, or rapper. I am not knocking the young blacks that excel in these various forms of entertainment and sports. I am simply saying more diversity is needed.

        Another point to  consider is why does the actions of  some individuals in Greater Toronto black community affect us as a “whole”? Are all white Canadian men pedophiles like Peter Whitmore?    Whitmore  has been sentenced to life in prison for sexually abusing young boys. Do the Canadian reporters for the various  newspapers, radio outlets, TV stations, create  “race specific” news stating that because Whitmore is  a “white male” his race had a role in him becoming a pedophile? Should we now fear all young white men? Are all young white males child molesters?

            The pig farmer Robert Pickton  is accused of raping and murdering  prostitutes in British Columbia. Are all white males rapists that kill innocent women?  Again has the Canadian media ever been “race specific” with Pickton?  Why doesn’t the Canadian newspapers “link the race” of Robert Pickton to the alleged crimes he committed and write articles about that?  Whenever  a white person kills, rapes, or commits a horrible crime the criminal is viewed as an individual. Yet with people of colour and especially black people the media wants the entire “group” or community to feel  “guilty”. I have to question this kind of subconscious racist mesages the media is sending.  I am tired of feeling “guilty” for people that have no sense of value for another person’s life. I am tired of feeling like I should take responsibility for the actions of a few black men that have no respect or regard for anybody not even themselves.  There are amazing positive black men within the black community doing good yet you hardly ever hear about them.  I think black people we have to free ourselves from the mixed messages the media is sending us. However, I am not advocating not caring because we should indeed care about black youth of course we should. I am just saying think have critical media literacy when you read the newspaper just remember that its “socially constructed”.

        The news you read in the newspaper, watch on TV, and listen to on the radio is “socially constructed” it is  created. It didn’t just come out of nowhere.  The news is created by non blacks in editorial meetings. The editors will sit at a table with the writers,  producers, or story editors and decide which stories will have enough juice to shock the public. The media knows the formula that the best way to shock the public is of course to  discriminate against black people and to lower our self esteem and  “attempt” to make us feel bad about ourselves. Everyone knows if you want to make more money go after the blacks.

                   Dionne Brand’s work and other black activists work are important because knowledge is power. When you read something that makes sense you learn something. Brand’s work acts as a catalyst for change it helped me to try to stop feeling so “guilty” or care what the mainstream thinks. I used to listen to certain Toronto radio talk show programs. I now tune that shit out. I mean why should I listen to some rich white females or white  males complaining on the public airwaves about how hard they got it?  I won’t mention the names of the Toronto radio programs because I definitely do not want to promote them on my blog.

                I think black activist organizations are a great source of fighting this supremacy and reading the works of black writers is also very helpful. I think that’s a great place to help with making change take place.   When you read the newspaper go to the websites of the various papers that you read.  Look at the names of the  editors, look for pictures, look to see who  the editor in chief is, the publisher, the managing editors, the people in charge.  You will notice NONE of them are black and it isn’t by SURPRISE EITHER. The Canadian media isn’t just run by whites now Asian Canadians also hold powerful positions at certain top newspapers. Why don’t blacks have top media positions just like in the United States? It certainly isn’t due to the lack of  skill or talent.  Canadians are more hypocritical about racism then Americans. I personally believe the “system” wants to keep “blacks” out of the “top” positions. Because if black people were in the top media positions in Canada the news you see, hear, or read would be VERY DIFFERENT.

    Some Asian Canadians also have their own racist prejudices and biases against black people.  Some Asians  also are saying blacks play the “race card” as well yet they don’t acknowledge or even admit the “system” treats different races differently. Some Asians want to deny the   contributions black people have made during and after the civil rights movement.  The question has to be asked who fought hard against employment discirmination?  Where do you think affirmative action emerged from?  Who do you think FOUGHT HARD for affirmative action? Who do you think benefits from affirmative action NOW?  It isn’t just blacks. It wasn’t Asians that fought hard for it! It was BLACK PEOPLE yet other racial groups are the first to put down blacks and side with whites. Is anyone surprised?  Some Asians believe since they are not at the “bottom” of the social hierachy they have a “right” to discrimate against blacks as well.  You will never see a black person be the editor in chief  or as a top editor at  mainstream Canadian newspaper or media outlet. You will in the United States but not here that’s never going to happen.

      And if you think other people of colour don’t have  their own racist prejudices against black Canadians think again. Aileen Siu the Ontario government employee is an Asian  woman  and she  attempted to justify  her racist “ghetto dude” comment. The Evon Reid incident was a perfect example of some Asians Anti black prejudices.  Aileen Siu still has her job. As expected the Toronto media swept the issue under the rug. If a black person had made a racist statement that person would of been fired on the spot.  Canadians always try to put down America and say America is so racist. At least in America there is an open dialogue about racism and Americans of all races are more cognizant of it. Americans aren’t afraid to discuss racism while Canadians have a pathetic attitude and just attempt to hide from the obvious truth.

I only have one book published “You Don’t Know Me” but I am still trying

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Two years ago my first book “You Don’t Know Me” was published with errors. I have mixed emotions about “You Don’t Know Me”. I should clarify that TSAR is indeed a professional publishing house its a small press based in Toronto. I did not have to pay for anything thank god. TSAR actually receives funding from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Arts Council. Although “You Don’t Know Me” was published with errors the book was available in Canada, United Kingdom, United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

Yes after my first book “You Don’t Know Me” was published with errors two years ago I did indeed write letters to both the Ontario and Canada Arts Councils to let them know my concerns.  In May 2005, Nurjehan Aziz told me “so what its just a couple of errors.” I was so disgusted with her unprofessional attitude. Why would a book publisher publish a book with mistakes? It doesn’t  make any sense? I feel like TSAR had absolutely no respect for me as a writer and as a person.

The attitude of Nurjehan Aziz the co publisher of TSAR was disgraceful. All Aziz cared about was acquiring free grant money from the provincial and federal arts programs. I was very depressed and distraught that my first book was published with mistakes. I can never have a “first book” ever again. You only gain “one experience” with having your very first book published and Nurjehan Aziz and M.G. Vassanji robbed me of that first experience. It is so humiliating to see my book published with mistakes I want to scream at the top of my lungs!

If you own a business wouldn’t you want the product to be as professional as possible? Nurjehan Aziz didn’t care when my book was published with errors she told me in May 2005 “so what its just a couple of errors.” I was so offended and disgusted. Why wasn’t TSAR professional enough to hire a copy editor? On July 13th 2005 the rights of “You Don’t Know Me” reverted back to me. I am trying to get another book published now but I still want “You Don’t Know Me” republished.

Of course, I am glad I finally crossed the barrier of having my first book published. However, I didn’t appreciate the apathetic attitude of TSAR. Currently, “You Don’t Know Me” is out of print as the saying goes in the book industry and is not listed in TSAR’s catalogue. I still have the publishing credit however and that’s what matters most. TSAR cannot take that away from me. My book is listed in the Library of Archives of Canada, the Library of Congress in the United States, and the British Library in London England.

The book is also available at various libraries in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. I wonder why people like reading it so much? I mean “You Don’t Know Me” is just a collection of poetry. I just don’t appreciate that my first book was a nightmare. I wanted my first book to be perfect I wanted it to succeed. “You Don’t Know Me” could of been so much more successful if TSAR actually gave a damn about the book.

The owner of TSAR is the famous Canadian Giller Prize winning writer M.G. Vassanji but the company is run by his wife Nurjehan Aziz. My first volume of poetry “You Don’t Know Me” was published with typographical and grammatical errors. The book is only 71 pages long! Aziz refused to hire a copy editor and put the blame all on me. Now I am not with TSAR anymore. Would M.G. Vassanji accept errors in his work? I am sure M.G. Vassanji wouldn’t be thrilled if his books were published with mistakes so why should I?

I find it strange that after two years people are still reading “You Don’t Know Me.” I get messages from old friends and acquaintances all the time telling me they heard about my book. I wonder how is this possible? I mean people in New Zealand, Australia, the UK, United States and even Canada are still reading this book? How the hell did they find out about “You Don’t Know Me”? I mean the book did receive a few book reviews two years ago but that’s it. Yet its two long years later and people are still reading it. I wonder how? How is this possible?

I haven’t had a book published in two years. Yes I have been reading the writer’s market, doing research trying to find suitable publishers. Earlier this year I sent a poetry manuscript to an American book publisher that publishes gay writers. The editors liked the volume but the specific poetry editor rejected my manuscript. I don’t even bother with Canadian book publishers anymore because there is a catch 22 in Canada. A Canadian literary agent told me that the Canadian book industry is actually pretty racist against black writers. I already knew that but she spelled it out for me. Go to any bookstore in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and you will notice the paucity of books dealing with the black Canadian experience. Sure, I’ve been to the book stores in Toronto and seen numerous books by African Americans but I am not African American. In Canada the attitude of the book industry is this they publish books by and about Canadians except really black Canadians. And the black Canadians that go get published sure are old. I mean I have nothing in common with Dionne Brand, or Austin Clarke, or Nalo Hopkinson. Its great there are stories being told by black Canadian writers but where are the younger voices? You know people below the age of 35 or 30?

All I know is I am NEVER going through that shit again. If or when I do get another book published I will make sure IN the CONTRACT there is specific information in relation to copy editing.

Black Men Need Not Apply: No Love for Neil, Devon, and Chad, on Daytime Soaps

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The question I keep on thinking about is, why are black men on the American soaps treated differently than white males? This topic is an issue  that has been bothering me for a while.  Now I know daytime soaps are considered frivolous entertainment.  Yes, soaps are a form of fantasy, a way to esacpe from our boring mundane lives.  Yes, I do  watch the Young and the Restless every chance I get on Global TV. I also watch Passions  as well.

The picture on the left is of Kristoff St. John he plays Neil Winters on Y&R.  The  second picture is of Bryton McClure, his character is  Devon Hamilton on Y&R.  The third picture, is of Charles Divins he plays Chad Harris on the NBC soap Passions.

The topic I want to discuss today, is an issue that has been pissing me off for a while. Why don’t t  Devon  Neil, &  Chad Harris  have love lives?  Yes I know Dru died and Neil is a widow but even before Dru Winters died I still have problems with the way the writers on Y&R write about the lives of black people.

Bryton McClure’s character,  Devon Hamilton was adopted by Neil and Dru Winters and now Dru is dead and Neil is alone.    On the show Bryton’s character Devon has been single FOREVER.  The writers will once in a while show  Devon talking to a girl he likes to hint that Devon has a pulse and that he’s heterosexual. However, its clear to me that the fear of exploring Devon’s heterosexuality is like hiting a brick wall due to the fear of the young black man.

White women have been craving and chasing black men for centuries, so I don’t see the big deal if Devon had a white girlfriend on the show. Y&R won’t even allow Devon to have a black girlfriend! Is it so disgusting and sickening to the executives at Y&R for a black man to kiss a woman on television? Maybe its the white female fans that want Devon to be asexual? I don’t know? The fact is soaps cater to the interests of the white female demographic and not to black women and other women of colour?

In fact, I think it would make perfect sense if Devon had a girlfriend regardless of her race. Soaps are about heterosexual romantic relationships about falling in and out of love. So why doesn’t Devon have a girlfriend?  Its obvious that Devon’s race is what is holding him back from having some romance. Why is there silence in the mainstream media about this obvious offensive racism?

I believe the powerful white studio executives want to maintain the status quo of white male domination. White men simply  do not want to see black men romancing “their women” or even “black women” on TV.  The issue is much larger then TV soaps it  strikes the heart and soul of a legacy of the dehumanization of  black men by white males that has gone on for centuries.

The Y&R writers have been so desperate for storylines they made Devon go deaf for a while, and then they wrote about Devon’s drug addict mother coming back into his life and all that. It appears to me the writers on Y&R have run out of ideas with Devon.  They have been avoiding Devon having a love life FOREVER. Yes I know Bryton McClure won an Emmy this year for his acting on the show. And I am glad he won. However, it still doesn’t take away from the fact his character Devon is so UNDER DEVELOPED. I think it is disgusting and racist what the writers at Y&R have done to Bryton’s character.

Devon is just there he is just a stereotype  and a quota. Devon is depicted as the classic stereotypical “angry” young black man.  Devon is always angry, miserable, and depressed. “Anger” is an important because sometimes we need to express ourselves to highlight issues that upset us. Sometimes  “anger” is not a negative thing. In fact, I believe its important to be fired up about something and do something proactive and constructive. However, all we see is one side of Devon he’s always angry. We never see Devon happy.

I have never seen Devon with a smile on his face, or see Devon eyes melts when he sees the girl he loves and I would love to see Devon have a love life and have a fully balanced life. We all need love, passion, sex, its a part of life. Yet because Devon is a young black man American culture wants to rob and steal happiness from young black men. Some people say soaps are not important but the racist messages soaps are sending to society are abhorrent. Devon is just depicted as this noble savage, a young black man with no self control with no heart. And that’s wrong. Devon may be a TV character but I cannot help but think Bryton McClure must be cognizant to what’s going on with his character. I have never seen Devon kiss a girl. There is absolutely no reason in this world why Devon cannot have a love life.

Victoria Rowell quit Y&R, because she felt her character Dru Winters wasn’t treated fairly compared to her white female counterparts on the program.  Y&R has NEVER  submitted Victoria’s work for consideration  for a best actress Emmy nomination, despite the fact she’s one of the main reasons Y&R became so popular with black audiences.

Victoria and Kristoff are  the main reason Y&R became so successful for the past seventeen years. You cannot fake the chemistry Victoria and Kristoff had with one another. And now Dru Winters is gone and the show will never be the same.

Yet Devon is  just there in the background emasculated and unloved and I wonder why? Why does Y&R have Devon on the show if he cannot have a love life?  All the other white guys around  Devon’s  age on the show JT, Kevin, and Daniel have love interests. Why can’t Devon?  Are the writers and producers of Y&R trying to tell me that Devon cannot have a love life due to the fact he’s black?

Is Devon not attractive or sexy enough?  Now that is whack!  Its painfully obvious though Devon has no love life due to racism. Devon is always treated as an outsider and he also never gets any juicy storylines.

In fact, the character  Daniel is in an interracial relationship with Lily she is Devon’s adoptive sister.  Daniel also has feelings for a white girl named Amber.  So the white guy Daniel can get the black girls AND the white girls but Devon cannot have anyone? Devon has to be asexual. Everyone knows that the white American male is the dominant male on American TV.

And in American history white males have attempted to circumvent black male sexuality through public  lynchings,  miscegenation laws,  violence, death threats you name it white American men have done it. Its all in the history books and its taking place as I write this post.

The pernicious racist message the writers of Y&R are sending is that black men cannot have love lives on Y&R UNLESS they are paired with black women.  And its not because the writers on Y&R believe in black on black love either. The Y&R and other American soaps care about is not upsetting their white audiences. Black on black romance is actually CONSIDERED SAFE.

Now for the record I do not mind Black on Black romance. I welcome black on black romance. I think its a good thing. However,  its the year 2007 and I also believe on the soaps there is an imbalance.  Interracial relationships between black men and white women are a REALITY in the real world and I think TV and popular culture should reflect that. Yet the love between black men and white women seems to be the last taboo to crack open.

Black women have been having romances with white men on the soaps in large numbers since the 1980s. However, given the fact there are NO black women on Y&R right now wouldn’t it make sense for Neil and Devon to be paired with women they work with and know?  The logical and smart thing to do would be to pair Neil and Devon with the white women on the show. However, the truth is this is never going to happen.

It is indeed a disgusting racist message the Y&R writers and producers are sending. The black female character Lily Winters has been in an interracial romance with Daniel for years. No one was complained at all. Yet Devon cannot have a girlfriend? Devon is just supposed to be the asexual black man while all the white guys on the show getting the girls? Are the writers trying to say black men are LESS sexually attractive or not good enough to get white women or women of other races? Its disgusting and deleterious what the Y&R writers are doing and no one is speaking out about it UNTIL NOW.

For a long time the writers have been making suggestions that Devon still has sexual feelings for his adoptive sister Lily. Yes I know this is so gross. It also highlights the issue of racism on Daytime TV.  The writers at NBC Passions and CBS Y&R are trying to “PLAY IT SAFE.” On Passions, Whitney has had white male love interests and no one said anything. And now they are going to do a total 360 and make Chad bisexual. Why don’t the writers of Passions make some of the white male actors bisexual?

Could you imagine the white women in America flipping out if Fox or Ethan were suddenly turned gay? Now you would think because I am a gay black male I would love for Chad to be gay. Chad is cute but I also believe in shows being REALISTIC. Chad cannot suddenly turn gay. The only reason the writers did this is because they had NO OTHER OPTIONS FOR CHAD. Chad already has been with Whitney so the only option was to turn him gay?

Its a powerful statement when a TV network is so dead set AGAINST the black male character having a RELATIONSHIP WITH A WHITE WOMAN. So they change Chad’s sexual orientaiton to gay? Even though I am gay and yes I think Chad is hot. I think its a total disgrace what NBC is doing. Its incredibly insensitive and racist and it makes absolutely no sense. In fact, the Chad and Vincent down low storyline is a perfect example of the racism and the fear and loathing of black male sexuality.

Its the same  pathetic and disgusting storyline that the writers of Y&R would pair Devon and Lily together just due to their race. Its also abhorrent because their characters are adoptive brother and sister. The exact same storyline is taking place on the  NBC show Passions. Whitney and Chad were lovers and then the writers said they were brother and sister but now they are saying they are not. Chad has NEVER had a female love interest OTHER then Whitney.  And to top it off Chad is now supposed to be on the down low? Give me a break. The racist, sexist, and pernicious storylines for the black male characters on soaps is really so horrible.

The black men are depicted as sexual savages that lust after their sisters? Give me a break. The ONLY reason Devon and Lily would hook up is because the writers of Y&R are TOO RACIST to put Devon with any other female on the show. And the fact is all the other females on Y&R are WHITE and NOT BLACK. Its the year 2007 but this racism is still going on TV.

It is easy to discern that Neil and Devon cannot have white female love interests because there is still the untalked about truth about the fear of black male sexuality on the Daytime soaps. Even though black men have been dating and marrying white women in higher numbers. The daytime TV does not reflect the reality of society.

I have noticed on Y&R that Devon when he first came on the show he had the stereotypical storyline of the young black male that had a harsh life and lived on the streets. Now Devon’s character has evolved and he’s in college. Devon is gorgeous! So why can’t Devon have a girlfriend? Is Devon too black for that? It appears to me the writers and producers of Y&R are trying to make the show appeal to the middle to upper class white American women. And even though  its well known that some white women chase,  lust,  and crave black men they seem to have a problem accepting black men as love interests for white women on the soaps. There is a paucity of black male characters on the soaps in  interracial relationships.

In the past, Y&R used to hire a black actress to play Neil Winters  new love interest whenever he had problems with Dru.  Neil Winters is Devon’s adoptive father.  Now last year Y&R hired a Latina actress to play Neil’s mistress, and I didn’t mind that. However,  I would of liked the writers to move beyond the whole minority actress thing and let Neil have an affair with a white woman.

Why can’t Neil have a relationship with Sharon? Sharon and Neil share a sexual chemistry. I doubt the writers at Y&R would EVER go there.  I think it would of been more controversial and explosive.  Its obvious the writers chose the Latina actress to be Neil’s love interest because it was “safer” for Carmen to be Latina instead of a “white American woman.”

Even though, there are indeed Latinos that are white since Latin is not a race its simply a culture.   However, now that Neil Winters wife Dru has died. I wonder what the writers of Y&R will do? Will Neil be with a new woman of colour or not?  Will Neil ever have romance with a white female lead on Y&R such as Sharon? Will Devon have a love life and NOT some sick incest romance with his adoptive sister Lily?  Its the year 2007, and the writers at Y&R and Passions have demonstrated once again the same racist and sexist stereotypes of black male sexuality still exist. I will not hold my breath for change to occur.

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