Archive | October 2007

Kelis has been dropped From Jive Records

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Damn! Jive records dropped Kelis and she no longer has an American record deal! Contrary to popular belief, it is obvious that Kelis is “not” an R&B singer. People wonder where did Rihanna get her fashion sense and sound from? It is obvious Rihanna’s stylists and record label Def Jam have been carefully copying Fefe Dobson and Kelis images and music. Rihanna is a Kelis and Fefe Dobson wannabe!

In my mind, I don’t consider Kelis to be “R&B” anyway. The problem is the USA music industry is so racially stratified that black artists are categorized and forced into very limiting boundaries. Kelis was trying to challenge the racist American music industry by basically being a “pop/rock” singer. I don’t think the R&B label does Kelis any justice at all she’s so much more then that. Kelis deserves our respect because girlfriend has been in the music business since 1999. Now how many artists from the 1990s are still around? So many artists have crashed and burned but Kelis is still here!

I was so hoping Kelis would have a new album released before the end of the year! I guess I will have to wait and pray that next year Kelis can get another record deal. Don’t worry Kelis fans Kelis will bounce back! Kelis fans know this is actually Kelis “fourth” yes “fourth” American label she’s on. Kelis is a very independent artist she has a clear vision and direction of her work.

For example, Kelis second album “Wanderland” was not released in North America because Virgin America didn’t think there were any “hits” on the album. Kelis fought with Virgin America because she really believed in that album she stands up for what she believes in.

I respect Kelis because she clearly is a very talented and unique artist. Kelis is not a puppet, like some singers out there she writes her own songs, she creates her own image, and she has her own style. Kelis does sell records its just that most of her success is outside of America. Kelis is an international superstar. If you compare the foreign record sales of Kelis albums and singles to the American sales and singles you will see a major disparity. Overseas people just love Kelis! Its sad that in America the Americans are so driven by stereotypes, by only one “way” of marketing and thinking. I guess that’s the American way?

Kelis still has her deal with Virgin in Europe and that’s a good thing.Even though Kelis had a gold album in 2003, Tasty selling over 500,000 copies, the single milkshake also went gold, and the single Bossy went double platinum wasn’t enough for Jive records. Perhaps it is time for Kelis to just focus on the international markets and forget about America? Kelis sells millions of records overseas anyways.

All Kelis fans know she has been poorly marketed in North America. Kelis fourth album only sold 157,000 copies in the United States. The American record business is all about instant gratification these days the labels want hits and they want them fast. Bossy was a hit in America climbing to number sixteen on the billboard hot 100 chart. The single also went multi platinum according to the RIAA. The problem for Kelis is, I feel was the choice for the second single in America. I think “blindfold me” was the wrong choice that song was meant for the night club its a club banger not for the radio.

I don’t understand why Jive didn’t release “Lil Star” that song has hit written all over it? In fact, Kelis European label Virgin was wise to release the single “Lil Star” sky rocketed to number three on the UK singles chart and also reached number two in Ireland. The single “Lil Star” sold over 118,000 copies alone in the UK. Jive should of releases “Lil Star” instead of “blindfold me”.

Kelis is a very special artist that unfortunately is trying to break into an American music business that has a very myopic viewpoint of how to market young black female singers. All the record labels right now are trying to recreate “Beyonce” and make a gazillion Beyonce wannabe’s right now. Its unfortunate for young black women that want to be serious artists there is so much sexism in the music industry. Black radio is garbage its pretty myopic its only going to play stereotypical R&B and hip hop. Where does this leave an artist like Kelis?

The only option a young black female singer has to “make” it in the USA is to be a soul or R&B singer. Isn’t that boring? Aren’t people tired of all the young black singers sounding the same? What’s the difference between Beyonce, Mya, Ciara, Alicia Keys, Ashanti? Kelis was always exciting because she totally was an individual. There are too many artists that out there that look the same and sound the same. Kelis is special because she takes risks with her image, her music, and her sense of fashion and style.

Yes Kelis uses “R&B” elements to her music but just because she’s black doesn’t mean she’s automatically R&B. I see Kelis as more of a rock/pop singer she clearly uses a hybrid of sounds from pop, rock, new wave, disco, and sometimes R&B.

The problem for Kelis as I have said before is the USA music industry is still so racially stratified. People overseas get Kelis the radio formats and TV formats aren’t so specific on forcing an artist into a “category” just based on race. I think maybe Kelis should focus on the foreign markets because that’s where her music really sells. Kelis albums always sell overseas. Kelis concerts also sell out very quickly overseas too.

I hear Kelis is shopping for a new label in America I sure hope she finds one soon. I also hope that Kelis tries to find a label that “really” understands her talent, personality and style of music. Kelis also needs an American label that believes in her and will really push hard to sell her music. Some people call Kelis “weird” and “different” but that’s what Kelis fans love her. Kelis isn’t trying to be the cookie cutter R&B singer because she’s not really R&B anyway she’s just Kelis.

Many artists such as Beyonce, Pink, Rihanna, and many more have copied Kelis music and style at one point or another in their careers. It sucks that Jive just didn’t care to promote Kelis properly or carefully but that’s how the American music industry is these days. Sure hope Kelis can comeback soon she is fierce!

Link to Billboard.com article: http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003664644

Why Does Society Ignore The Racism Of The White Gays?

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What do Barack Obama, Isaiah Washington, Queen Latifah, and Jennifer Hudson all have in common? Obama, Washington, Latifah, and Hudson, are all black public figures that have been unfairly targeted by the pernicious group known as the “white gay mafia” within the past year.

The white gay mafia is not one person, it is an organized syndicate of North American media outlets such as white gay owned newspapers, magazines, celebrities, and white gay political organizations. It is a chilling reminder and warning to black gays and straights about the “influence”, “racism”, and “hypocrisy” of the white gay mafia. Is there homophobia in the black community yes it does exist. Is there racism in the white gay community the answer is a resounding yes and it is very real and ugly.

The white gay mafia doesn’t understand that some black people do not view them as a “minority”. Some blacks just see the “white gays” as an alternative version of the mainstream white society

. Some white gays have claimed they have “similarities” to blacks because they also encounter discrimination. It is true some white gays encounter discrimination due to their sexual orientation.

However, in society you simply cannot compare the struggles of the white gay community to that of the black race. Blacks and other people of colour encounter more discrimination given the fact white gays still have their “whiteness”.

White gays are still a part of the white majority they have white skin privilege.White homosexuals also have the support of the liberal white media that can also be anti black.

The white gay mafia have been shrewd in crafting their new victim status card. If you criticize a white gay person these days you will automatically be branded a “homophobe”. Are white gays free from criticism? Sure seems like it.

In society, people are judged based on appearance first, people see race not sexual orientation. People do not “see” sexual orientation right away anyway. People will discriminate against a black person first before they go after a white homosexual. White gays can travel through the mainstream unscathed compared to people of colour.

Yet you never read in print, listen to news broadcasts, on the radio or television, about white gay racism. The mainstream North American media has a hunger and a penchant for trying to “depict” “all” blacks as “homophobes”. Yet will the mainstream media publish articles about the white gay racists?

Of course not because whites control the mainstream media. White gays and straights are the top editors, the managing editors, producers, editor in chiefs, in the mainstream press. You will also notice the lens will be of course from a Eurocentric perspective.

Obama is the latest “victim” in the strategy of the ruthless yet powerful white gay mafia syndicate network in North America. The white gay mafia should not be underestimated, they destroyed Isaiah Washington’s career. The white gay mafia are “angry” at Obama for inviting controversial gospel singer Donnie McClurkin to a gospel concert in South Carolina.

The mainstream North American media have been “waiting” for their opportunity to “pounce” because they don’t like Obama’s “growing” influence in American politics. Anything the mainstream and gay mafia can find to attack Obama they will and it looks like they have found their “scapegoat”.

I am glad Obama stood his ground and he did not remove McClurkin from the event because we live in a democracy, white gays have no say over the black community that’s for sure. If Obama didn’t stand his ground he would lose a lot of respect from the black community and that’s a fact. The white gay mafia does not dictate the black community and they need to get with the program. Although McClurkin has strong views on the issue of homosexuality, McClurkin is no threat he has no power.

One mistake Obama made is why did he invite white gay pastor Andy Sidden to an all black event? Does this make sense? What the hell does Sidden have to do with the black community? Even Obama has fallen victim to the consistent stereotype that all gays are white people. Obama had an opportunity to reach out to black gay activists and bridge the miscommunication between the omnipotent white gay mafia and the black community. Once again black gays and lesbians were displaced. Once again white gays hijack a situation and event that has nothing to do with them. Where were the black gay activists?

Obama should of had black gay activists present given the fact the gospel concert was a black event. Donnie McClurkin has stated he believes homosexuality is a choice. Isn’t McClurkin entitled to his own opinion? Free speech exists for a reason, everyone is not going to agree with each other’s opinion but we are all entitled to our own views. Although I don’t agree with McClurkin on that statement, he most certainly doesn’t have the power as Reverend Fred Phelps. Phelps is a white male heterosexual minister that is extremely homophobic to the extreme. Reverend Phelps is well known for showing up at funerals and spewing his disgusting homophobic vitriol. Yet does the mainstream media cover Phelps often? Of course not.

McClurkin isn’t advocating violence against gays and Phelps does. Next you have the hypocritical closeted white gay bigot Ted Haggard. Does anyone remember Ted Haggard? Haggard is the powerful white male minister and he was known for his anti gay sermons. Haggard was the leader of over thirty million white evangelical Christians in the United States. Haggard also was a member of the Republican party, he had considerable social and political power. Last year, Haggard was caught in a sex scandal because he solicited the services of a male prostitute. Again, why didn’t the white gay mafia protest Haggard’s church? Why didn’t the white gay mafia go after the Republican party?

The white gay mafia’s strategy is to attack black public figures because they are cognizant of the fact blacks have less social, economic, and political power then the white Republican party. The white gay mafia’s current mission is not only to undermine black public figures but attempt to “destroy” them. Its unfortunate that the white gay mafia cannot be honest.

Why can’t they be honest and just say they hate blacks? I guess they cannot be real for a few minutes. The mainstream white North American media doesn’t mind because there are also racist editors, producers, story editors, that work behind the scenes at various North American media outlets. Notice the mainstream media will never publish articles about the “real motivation” of the white gay mafia? It is well known within the gay community that there is indeed a very strong racist element that grows like a cancer.

Where are the articles about anti black news organizations such as the Dallas Voice and the Washington Blade? The Dallas Voice has been on a mission to “attack” black entertainers such as Jennifer Hudson and Queen Latifah. Yet will the Dallas Voice ever publish articles about their anti black racism? Of course not. The Washington Blade and Dallas Voice in the past year have attempted to misconstrue statements Queen Latifah and Jennifer Hudson have made to make them “appear” homophobic.

In the April 13th 2007 issue of the Washington Blade, Kevin Naff defended the racist radio jock Don Imus. Naff’s insensitive racist and sexist comments was not surprising but typical of white gay America. Why should black people support white gays when they spread their own racism and bigotry against blacks?

Naff has no right to patronize black people with his racist and paternalistic comments. Imus comments were both racist and sexist and a big deal. I am proud of the African American community for standing up and letting racist bigots like Don Imus know he will be punished for his prejudice. Imus may be back on the air but Imus also was humiliated in the process. There is an incredible amount of racism and sexism against black women and we will not just sit by and allow racists like Imus or Kevin Naff to get away with their bigotry. Imus had no right to call the Rutgers female basketball team “Nappy Headed Hoes”.

Would Kevin Naff be so quick to defend Imus if Imus made a remark the white gay community considered homophobic? Some white gays like Kevin Naff are perhaps some of the most dangerous people blacks will encounter. On the surface Naff appears to be politically correct and harmless.

Yet beneath the surface Kevin Naff is a white gay racist and he has a platform to spread his anti black bigotry in the the public sphere. Just because a white person is gay doesn’t mean that white homosexual cannot be a racist. Washington DC has a very large black population and the black race should be paying close attention to Kevin Naff’s blatant racist and misogynist comments. It is just so paternalistic, hypocritical, and racist for white gay newspapers like the Washington Blade to preach to blacks about “tolerance” and yet they spread racism in print.

It is also unfortunate that some black gay people have been “silent” about the obvious attempts by the white gay mafia to undermine black public figures. My perspective is,,if we are silent then we are a part of the problem. I believe black gays should speak out against this hypocrisy and bigotry of the white gay community. Some black gays are a bit naive to actually think the protests against Obama are just about “advancing” gay rights. The only concern the white gay mafia have are their own. The powerful white gay mafia are actually “fighting” for “white” gays rights only. I disagree strongly with the white gay mafia because I know how they operate. I can discern that their own focus is on themselves.

The white gay mafia in North America are a very powerful section of the North American gay community. For instance, Jann Wenner is a white gay man he owns Rolling Stone magazine and US Magazine. Wenner also allowed an article on the racist white gay comedian Charles Knipp also known as “Shirley Q Liquor” to be published in Rolling Stone magazine this year. Knipp’s routine involves performing in blackface, and making racist and sexist disgusting jokes about black women and the black community.

Now why would Rolling Stone profile Knipp? Knipp also pointed out in the Rolling Stone article that he also conducts “private performances” for white people that want to laugh at anti black jokes in “private”. Knipp is a popular entertainer in the white American gay club circuit, he performs at numerous white gay clubs and bars across North America. Notice the mainstream North America media are silent about Knipp’s and his racism.

The white gay mafia in North America owns newspapers, magazines, they are also executives at various media mainstream and gay media outlets. When I utilize the word “white gay mafia” I am not discussing “individual constructs”. I am focusing on “institutional and infrastructure constructions”. The white gay mafia is a network that has increasing power and visibility in North America. I have also noticed that the North American mainstream media “always” sides with the white gay community over blacks.

I have also noticed not one mainstream or white gay newspaper has the “nerve” or should I say an ounce of “dignity” to publish an article about the obvious “anti black racism” of the white gay mafia in North America.

Does anyone recall the recent murder trial for Michael Sandy? Ooops you most likely didn’t hear much about Michael Sandy trial if you live outside the New York City area. The Michael Sandy murder trial is not news in the mainstream American media outlets because Sandy was a black gay man.

Well here is a reminder. About a year ago in October 2006 Michael Sandy a young African American gay man was brutally attacked and murdered by four young white men. Sandy was lured online for a sexual encounter at Plumb Beach in Brooklyn. Sandy did not know he was going to be ambushed by four young white men. The white male attackers brutally and viciously beat Sandy, he ran for his life, got hit by a car, and died five days later. Did any of the mainstream or white gay media outlets point out that perhaps Sandy’s attackers didn’t just go after him because he was “gay” but also because he was “black”? Of course not. There is an intersection of race, gender, and sexuality in the Michael Sandy murder that the mainstream of course ignored.

The entrenched racism and homophobia against young black gay men is no concern of the white gay mafia. The only focus of these nefarious organizations is about “white gay rights”. Could you imagine if the reverse was true? It would be so explosive. The hypocritical and racist mainstream North American media and the white gay mafia would be hearing “explosions” and have a field day. Yet when a young black gay man is murdered by four whites its “not” newsworthy.

Was Michael Sandy a main topic on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox News, CBS, or Advocate, or the mainstream USA newspapers? Of course not. Did the North American media point out the fact Sandy was specifically targeted by four young white men? Of course not. Notice GLAAD, HRC, and the rest of the white gay American community have not been very “vocal” about the increasing violence and abuse against black gays and lesbians.

The framework and focus of GLAAD, HRC, and other white gay organizations are from a Eurocentric lens. Let me be blunt, these white gay organizations need to place the word “white” before they discuss “gay rights”. Make no mistake, just because GLAAD and HRC may have a couple of token black gays on their payroll, does not mean they aren’t racist anti black organizations.

So why can’t GLAAD and HRC just be honest? Can GLAAD and HRC be real for five minutes? These white gay organizations needs to be real, black people we need to be cognizant of these racist anti black groups.

The latest controversy that has the white gay mafia upset is that Obama did not “remove” controversial African American gospel singer Donnie McClurkin at a gospel concert. What social or political power does McClurkin have? Ask yourself this question would the white gays “protest” Hillary Clinton? Of course not. Obviously the white gay community “doesn’t get it” Obama certainly isn’t courting white gays for his vote so why should he attend to their “concerns”? Obama is no homophobe he has spoken out against homophobia.

However, Obama is also no fool either, if black people see Obama “bend” to the concerns of the white gay community he can kiss the black American vote goodbye. More and more black people are paying attention to the increasing “power” of the white gay mafia but also to their obvious bigotry against black people.

Another question has to be asked , since when are white gay people the “decision makers” for the black race? Who do these white people think they are? Why don’t the white gays go jump in a lake? When will the white gay mafia be honest about their own racist anti black prejudices? Obama is caught between a rock in a hard place since he is in second place behind Hillary Clinton ahead of John Edwards. Obama has to attempt to “appeal” to different demographics. The white gay organizations are upset at Obama because of McClurkin’s presence. However, some black people gay and straight are irritated and annoyed at the hypocrisy of not only the mainstream North American media but also the white gay community.

However, there has been a pattern in the past year where the powerful white gay organizations have “targeted” black public figures crying and belly aching over alleged homophobia. Isaiah Washington lost his job on ABC Grey’s Anatomy because he got angry on the job and uttered a gay slur. Even though everyone knows on Hollywood sets arguments take place all the time. Again, where was the white gay mafia when Rosie O Donnell uttered a very racist anti Asian remark when she was an employee of ABC on live television for the show “The View”? Is GLAAD and HRC against all forms of discrimination or not? How can we take GLAAD and HRC seriously? Where was GLAAD or HRC? Oops I forgot, Rosie is a rich white lesbian so when Rosie makes inappropriate racist remarks against Asian Americans on television its quite alright its all gravy.

Black people gay and straight need to be cognizant that” beneath the surface” of these “homophobia allegations” against African American public figures I believe is a subversive element of racism. Basically the white gay mafia have an agenda and their agenda is to “target” any black figure they believe has “social” or “political” power that affects their “agenda.” The fact remains black people in North America do not have the social, economic, and political power of the homophobic white gay democrats and republicans.

The white mafia wants to present the “frame” and the “lens” to paint the entire black race as “anti gay.” Yet what about white gays being anti black? Where are the articles about white gays racism and bigotry? Why is there this racist double standard? Are white gays free from criticism? It definitely sure seems like it. I have not read one single news article that has exposed the virulent hypocrisy and anti black racism by the white gay North American community.

Does anyone really honestly believe that GLAAD or HRC or any of the other powerful white gay organizations give a crap about gay people of colour rights? Of course not. Do you really honestly think the white gay community is just “going” after Obama just because McClurkin was present at a black only event? Please, dear readers utilize your intelligence ,the white gay community in the United States are run by extremely powerful and wealthy white gay men and women.

As a young black gay man, I know how some white gays operate they view black people as “inferior” to whites. White gays ignore the fact in North American society they still have social and political power with white skin privilege and the “currency” of whiteness. White gay men even have more social power in North America given the fact they have their ” whiteness” but also “gender” as a “cultural signifier” that is linked to white male cultural domination.

Lets cut to the facts here, white gays aren’t going to vote for Obama they are going to vote for other whites such as Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, or the white male Republicans. I believe part of the “hostility” the white gay power organizations have against Senator Obama is because they don’t want a black man to win. Another reason, is the white gay elite want to use their considerable influence and play the victim card game. The white gay mafia want to reduce Senator Obama’s influence.

Even though, Hillary Clinton is basically a “lock” to win the Democratic Party Nomination white gays still “fear” Senator Obama because he has a strong hold on second place. White gays also “fear” the rising power of the African American community in American politics.

Where were the white gays when the termagant author Ann Coulter called John Edwards a gay slur? Did the gay mafia protest her? Of course not. Coulter is allowed to spread her bigotry in the mainstream print, radio, and television networks. Coulter gets off easy by the mainstream and white gay media because she’s a white heterosexual female. Coulter is considered harmless due to her gender and the fact the media view her as attractive. The message is if a pretty white woman is a racist homophobic bigot she has a free pass to spread her pernicious prejudices.  White females aren’t viewed as “threats”. White women can spew their racism and everyone remains silent and simply ignores their bigotry.

The media and white gays don’t take Coulter seriously. Why didn’t the white gay community in America apply “relentless” pressure against the Republican party? Why aren’t the white gay organizations also applying “constant” pressure against the Republican Party for Senator Larry Craig’s sex scandal?

Craig has voted against gay rights. Craig was also caught by an undercover male police officer in an airport washroom making signals for a homosexual encounter. Black people gay and straight should be paying careful attention to the patterns of the white gay mafia do not think for a second that these people do not have an anti black agenda because they do.

Link to article about gay racism, homophobia and the death of Michael Sandy: http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/crime/20061024/4/2007

Link to article about Senator Obama and the friction with white gays: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iCfKCFWxw0VUcx2kxi08srzmSHYQD8SIIODG0

Link: To Kevin Naff’s April 13th 2007 Racist And Sexist article defending Don Imushttp://www.washblade.com/blog/index.cfm?start=4/8/07&end=4/15/07

CD Flashback Review: Brandy’s Hit Album “Never Say Never” Still A Classic Nine Years Later

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The year 1998 Brandy Norwood was only nineteen years old she was nervous prior to the release of her second solo album “Never Say Never”. Four long years passed since Brandy’s quarduple platinum debut. The music industry was changing and becoming more “market driven” then ever before. Monica and Aalyiah were challenging Brandy and she needed another hit album to solidify her place as the princess of R&B music.

Unlike a lot of artists Brandy was heavily involved in the songwriting process of “Never Say Never” writing most of the songs on the album. Brandy also has a songwriting credit on the number one smash hit “The Boy Is Mine”. “Never Say Never” is Brandy’s best and most successful album to date selling over fourteen million copies worldwide.

“Never Say Never” made Brandy an international superstar. Every single song has a purpose such as the thumping “Angel In Disguise”, the heartbreaking number one hit smash “Have You Ever?” and the soulful “One Voice”. Brandy proved on this album she should be taken seriously as a singer and a songwriter.

“Never Say Never” was Brandy’s breakthrough internationally introducing Brandy to new markets in Europe, Australia, South Africa, and Asia. Brandy also won a Grammy award for the song she wrote “The Boy Is Mine”. Brandy proved she was a force in the music industry with her talent.

Roger Federer The Supreme number 1 for the Fourth Consecutive Year In A Row!!!

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           Tennis God Roger Federer always bounce back from a shocking defeat. Last week Roger suffered a horrible loss of concentration and was defeated by David Nalbandian at the Madrid Masters.  Roger appeared tired at times making lots of unforced errors in that strange twisted bizarre loss. Roger was clearly suffering due to a lack of energy and David was able to win.  Roger was  physically and psychologically exhausted he tried his best that day.  David was extremely lucky to pull through with the shocking earth shattering upset victory. People seem to forget Roger tends to make the finals in just about every single event he plays that’s a lot of tennis and stress on the body. 

      However, this week the result was different.  Roger won his seventh ATP tour title this year easily beating Finn Jarkko Nieminen in straight sets 6-3 6-4 in about an hour.  Roger was in total control blasting powerful serves, groundstrokes, and Jarkko clearly was out of his league. You could tell by watching the match that Jarkko just doesn’t have the consistency or the ability to really bother Roger. Nobody on the ATP Tour can beat Roger Federer when he plays his best even when Roger isn’t 100%  he still is such a superior player. We are in the Federer era folks an era of grace, talent, and complete domination.

      Roger looked a bit bored in today’s match but the end result was never in doubt.  Now for the fourth year in a row Roger Federer will maintain the world number one ranking on the ATP Tour.  On the entry ranking system Roger is well ahead of Rafael Nadal by over 2000 points. However, the ATP tour  calculates the “Champions Race Points”  from the  grand slams, Masters events, and regular ATP tour tournaments into account. For instance, if Roger did not win Basel today he could of been in jeapordy of losing his number one ranking. I find the ATP tour “Champions Race” flawed. The  final year end rankings should only be based on the entry point system.

       Roger should be number one anyway given the fact he reached all four grand slam finals this year and he won three out of the four slams. Roger’s dominance over the ATP Tour is already legendary. Roger is the supreme number one I have ever seen  in men’s tennis.  Sure Lendl, Connors, McEnroe had a shorter periods of dominance but those champions are clearly not in Roger’s league. Only Borg is similar to Roger Federer in his ability to completely dominate the competition. Roger as everyone already knows this year tied Borg’s record winning Wimbledon five years in a row. However, Borg never won the US OPEN and Roger has won the US OPEN four consecutive years in a row. Roger is the first man since American Bill Tilden in the 1920s to have won the US OPEN four years in a row. Roger is also the first man to have won Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US OPEN at least three times in his career in the Open era.

         Roger is destroying the competition with ease.  Even on the slow European clay courts Roger still has an incredible record. Roger loves clay although its considered his weakest surface Roger is still very consistent on the clay.

        Although American Pete Sampras holds the the record of  winning fourteen grand slam singles titles Sampras was never consistent like Roger Federer. Sampras was also lazy at times he simply did not take clay court tennis seriously. Sampras never put the effort Roger Federer puts into playing clay court events.

           Sampras was also known for losing early in a plethora of events  to nobodies all the time. Sampras also never reached the French Open finals. Sampras also lost to Roger Federer the only time they played in the year 2001 when Roger was only nineteen years old at Wimbledon. A lot of people seem to forget that result. Roger needs to win the French Open only once to become the undisputed greatest male tennis player of all time. Roger’s dominance is similar to Monica Seles, Steffi Graf, and the Williams Sisters dominance of the WTA Tour. Roger simply owns the competition they are afraid and terrified when they play Roger he already has an aura of supremacy over all the players on the ATP tour.

              In fact, Roger has the longest streak at being number one in tennis by any player male or female. Roger has been number one on the ATP Tour since February 2004 for over 196 consecutive weeks. Roger Federer has been dominating the ATP Tour with an iron fist for the past four years and its so nice to see him defend his title in his hometown of Basel. 

I love “The And Show” Its nice to listen to see other black gay men

         Its Friday night in the city of Toronto and  I’m bored. I decided not to go out tonight its a bit cold and I’m feeling kind of down right now. I decided to search for “The And Show” on youtube. On you tube a few months ago I discovered a wonderful talk show called “The And Show”.   If you would like too watch episodes of “The And Show” simply type the word in the search engine of youtube and you should be able to locate episodes of the program.

             “The And Show” is one of the “good” things about youtube it provides the public with a voice in a different medium then just a blog.  “The And Show” is the only program I can think of at the moment that relates specifically to the young black gay male experience. It was such a smart idea that these guys thought of this show because it does provide a voice for the voiceless.

     “The And Show” is a youtube program hosted by three young black gay men.  The program is really cool because every single week there is a new episode that can be found on youtube.  The hosts of  the program are Nathan Seven Scott, Nkosi Brown, and Will McNair in New York City. 

     The hosts of the program have an excellent ability to mix up serious talk with humor. Will, Nkosi, and Nathan are so funny! I just love this program! I definitely believe these guys should have a larger medium for this wonderful program they shouldn’t just be on youtube they should be on television because the show is fierce! I think “The And Show” should be on television. I mean why not?

       I love “The And Show” because the episodes discuss many topics that that deal with life in general but also the black community and the black gay community. I feel there is such a void in society for quality programming for for black gay people. Sometimes I don’t even want to turn on the television set or put a DVD into the DVD player. I mean why should I? All there is heterosexual people everywhere talking about their love lives on TV or in the movies. Where is the cultural representation for black gay men? And gay programming, forget about it. I’m not going to watch Queer As Folk, or Six Feet Under where black gay men are once again treated as sex objects or invisible.

         I just wish I could do more? I already had one book published “You Don’t Know Me” but that was two years ago and now its time to move on to something else something bigger. Of course, I’ve had a plethora of articles published on a variety of topics but I would like to do something in a different medium. I am doing my part my play is completed and I have sent it off to a few competitions but I sense at the end of the day I am simply going to have to produce my play myself. I just resent the fact that the lives of young black gay men are so invisible. And I want to “contribute” and have “my say.” I don’t care for the so called ” gay programming” because its got nothing to do with me or my experiences as a black gay man.

                I miss Jared he was a former host of “The And Show”. I want to know where is Jared? Does anybody know? Anyway, the episode of “The And Show” that I have posted deals with religion and homosexuality in the black community. I was raised in a religious household although I no longer consider myself to be a religious person.

      I enjoy the program because I can relate to about being black, gay, and male. I rediscovered the show. Even though “The And Show is in America based in New York City I like the program. The chemistry the three hosts have is wonderful. Its just nice to see young black gay men such as myself that are comfortable with their sexuality just talking about life and not feeling any sense of guilt or shame at all. Its encouraging and even liberating just to see other young black gay men talking about issues that relate to our lives.

        Sometimes in Toronto I do feel lonely and a sense of  emptiness.  The black gay community in the greater Toronto area is very much “underground.” So many black gays in Toronto are deep in the closet or have their own “private” social networks I don’t know about. In America it seems to me black gays are a bit more organized. And I desire and want to connect with other black gay men. I lived in the greater Toronto area all my life and the gay epicenter in Toronto on Church and Wellesley I feel a disconnected from it. Although Toronto is considered a “progressive” Canadian city there are times when I feel like a stranger in the city. There is such a coldness to Toronto that I definitely will most likely leave the city. There has to be more to the world then Toronto?  Given the fact I want to become a writer or at least have a career as a writer can I really have one in the city of Toronto? There simply isn’t a lot to do here. I think I was born in the wrong country.

          Whenever I am feeling down like right now I click on youtube and watch “The And Show.” Its just a lot of fun listening to these three intelligent young black gay men talk about their lives  what it means to be black, gay, and male in America.

  Check out  “The And Show” on youtube tell your friends about it. I definitely believe there should be more programming or simply more art out there about the young black gay male experience. There simply isn’t enough out there right now. Its depressing to be honest this sense of feeling so invisible as though our lives don’t really matter?

           Its times like this that I enjoy watching “The And Show” because its so empowering to actually “see” young black gay men that are not being “mocked” or treated as a “science experiment” on  mainstream heterosexual talk shows or news programs. I love the fact that the three guys are so comfortable with themselves. Its also nice to see that they “sense” the need for “The And Show”. So cheers to Nathan, Will, and Nkosi! I love “The And Show”!

Freedom At Last For Gernalow Wilson Georgia Supreme Court Rules In Favor For His Release

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                  The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled 4-3 in favor to release Gernalow Wilson. Wilson was wrongfully convicted of having oral sex with a girl at a party when he was seventeen and the girl was fifteen years old in the year 2003. Even though the sexual act was consensual Wilson was still sentenced to ten years in prison. Wilson will now be released he is now twenty one years old. The State of Georgia has a price to pay for not only tarnishing Wilson’s reputation but also affecting and harming  his life.

         The Jena Six and Gernalow Wilson cases underscores the hated American society continues to have for young black men.  Its important to note that black activism is so crucial especially in precarious times such as the present. Black American activists made their voices heard about the Gernalow Wilson case and justice finally is taking place. Its so disconcerting that it had taken two very long years for the Georgia Supreme Court to do the right thing. Its disgusting, racist, yet a perfect crystal clear example of the misandry that exists against young black men.

            I sure hope Wilson sues the State of Georgia because he was locked up unfairly for two very long years. Its cruel, pernicious, and abhorrent treatment he endured. It makes me very angry and it just proves once again supremacy exists not just in society but also in the judicial system as well. Its such an injustice and a clear example of America’s racism against young black males. I believe there is indeed a pattern taking place here where young black men are unfairly being targeted and incarcerated by the American judicial system. And people say America has come a long way give me a break. Hopefully Wilson can have a productive and successful life but this case is a clear example of the disparity of justice for whites and blacks in the United States. Wilson lost his innocence its so sad what happened to him. I hope he has the strength to move on from this tragedy.

Link to Associated Press Article about Wilson: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071026/ap_on_re_us/teen_sex_case

Link to CNN article about Wilson case:http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/law/10/26/wilson.freed/?iref=mpstoryview

Is Europe More Racist Than North America? Swiss Elections Expose European Racism Against Black People

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A right wing party in Switzerland called the  SVP party, is proposing a new controversial law that will deport criminals and their families from Switzerland. The leader of the SVP party, Ueil Maurer, states that his party is not racist, but believes in protecting the “security” of Switzerland. Why deport entire families? I think this sounds like repatriation, this is shocking, and deleterious! The SVP strategy has worked, the party gained 29% of the vote in Swiss elections. It is very   clear to me this is just a disguise for racism. The SVP strategy was to break down the linguistic divide between the different regions of Switzerland and they attracted more French and Italian votes.

In the past the SVP party main target for voters was in the rural areas of Switzerland and the small towns. However, in the 1990s the SVP party shifted its focus to attract a larger voice in Swiss politics. There is a fear in Switzerland that too many non whites are living in the country.

An interesting fact about Switzerland is the country has a long history of being culturally diverse. In fact Germans, French, and Italians, have lived together in Switzerland for centuries. French, Italian, Romansch,and German are also the official languages in Switzerland. Switzerland was never a “monolithic” or “homogeneous” country.

However, the Germans , French, and Italians in Switzerland have one thing in common their “whiteness”. The SVP party feels too many “non whites” are moving into Switzerland and are changing the complexion of the nation. Immigrants already make up 20% of Switzerland’s population.

The SVP propaganda advertisements are a very chilling reminder of the power of racist imagery. In the advertisment, you see three white sheep standing on the Swiss flag and the only black sheep is kicked out. Recently, in Switzelrand there were riots in the city of Bern forty two people were arrested. The issue of racism, immigration, and xenophobia has exploded like an atomic bomb in the once “neutral” country of Switzerland. It is extremely typical during elections to find scapegoats and people of colour are vulnerable to become victims of  white supremacists.

I have to ask the question, why do African people bother living in such xenophobic and racist countries such as Switzerland, Austria, or Germany? I am well aware that other European countries have anti black prejudices and biases such as Russia. I am focusing on the Western European countries at the moment to be the focus of this discussion.

The German speaking countries are known for their history of racism and anti black prejudices. I understand that people move to Europe for educational opportunities, for a better life, or to live with families. I continue to be amazed when I hear about African people living in those German speaking countries. Why? Why bother living in Europe at all? Why don’t the Africans move to North America they will be safer here?

Its so frightening Germany and Austria especially the hostility and racism against black people is so shocking. Why do African people bother living “there”? Why not live in the UK or something? Yes, I know the UK has issues with racism but at least there is a black community in England.

France is a country that once claimed to be tolerant of “different” people such as Josephine Baker and Langston Hughes. Well times have changed in France the nation now has an immigration crisis.

The French have banned Muslim girls from wearing the hijab at schools. I know in France, there are racists such as the current French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the right wing leader Jean Marie Le Pen.

Last year, Sarkozy called immigrant youth “scum”, even though he’s the son of Hungarian immigrants. For the white French majority although Sarkozy is of Hungarian origin he’s still white and he is still viewed as a “real” European.

Immigration and racial intolerance was one of the main themes for the recent French election. In France there is a strong current of xenophobia and racism against blacks and Arabs.

I have to ask the question, why do black people even bother living in Europe? I would like to know?

If you’re a black person or a person of colour why did you choose to live in Europe instead of say North America? Was it due to the pull of jobs, education, living with family? I would like to know what is so attractive, interesting, exciting about Europe? There is this facade that Europe is a continent of tolerance. Europeans like to present themselves as forward thinking people but the truth is the intolerance against people of colour is extreme and the racism is even stronger.

I am not suggesting there is no racial intolerance against immigrants in North America because there is. In North America, there is a man on CNN named Lou Dobbs. Dobbs has uses his TV program on CNN as a platform to complain about the Hispanics.

Why does the American media act as though “whites immigrants” from other countries do not enter America illegally that its just people of colour?

I find this kind of reporting not only racist but also extremely xenophobic as well. Dobbs program is a ratings winner for CNN. Obviously CNN isn’t going to remove Dobbs for his obvious xenophobic and racist views on Mexicans and Hispanics.

Why doesn’t Dobbs conduct a special about Europeans that are illegally immigrating to the United States? Why just focus on Hispanics? Dobbs is generating a lot of revenue for for CNN with his rhetoric. The issue of immigration reform will be one of the central issues in the 2008 USA Presidential election in the United States next year.

Link to Time Magazine article: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1673669,00.html

Link to Economist Article: http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10024795

Oprah’s Leadership Academy For Girls Allegations Of Child Abuse Controversy

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Oprah is a feminist icon a black woman that was born in poverty, became an Academy Award nominee, a billionaire talk show host, and a heroine for all women across the globe. Oprah is a woman that doesn’t just talk she takes action. Oprah must be commended for starting the all girls school in South Africa. Some people have been critical saying Oprah should of made the school in the United States. I find some of the criticism unwarranted because Oprah is using her money for good. Every single African girl at Oprah’s leadership academy comes from a poor background but are intelligent, hardworking, and desire a better future. Oprah is providing these young South African girls an opportunity of a lifetime.

However, recent news reports indicate that there are allegations of child abuse at Oprah’s Leadership Academy. In the past ten days Oprah has already visited South Africa twice to deal with the growing controversy. A female employee at the school has been accused of choking a child and there have been allegations that children were fondled by adult employees at the school. Also another child ran away from the Academy.

Oprah knew opening the school would be a lot of responsibility. Schools always have problems no school is perfect and Oprah’s is no different then any other school except its more high profile.

The South African media have been paying close attention to Oprah’s school. One of the complaints is the girls have few opportunities to talk or have visits from their parents. Another complaint is that Oprah is too strict with the girls. The girls have limited access to e-mail, use of cellphones, and have to eat nutritious meals all the time. Oprah has stated that if parents think her school is too strict then they are free to take their children out of school. I think there is nothing wrong with the nutritious meals aspect that just makes sense. Kids that eat right have more energy, can concentrate on their studies, and have better health.

Oprah’s message is her school is about obtaining an education it is not a “badge of honor” it is not a place to “hang out” it is serious business. Education is a very serious issue especially in South Africa where black women are often at the bottom of the social ladder. Education is very important and is a tool people from lower class backgrounds have utilized for centuries to advance upwards in society.

I have visited some internet message boards and the negativity is not only disgusting it borderlines on sheer jealousy. I think some of the anger directed at Oprah is due to the fact the most powerful woman in the world is a black female. Oprah has more influence then the Queen of England, Condoleezza Rice, and Angela Merkel the chancellor of Germany combined.

Even though South Africa is the richest country on the African continent there are still disparities in the incomes between whites and blacks. Although apartheid ended thirteen years ago people shouldn’t be ignorant that all of the social and economic problems in South Africa have ended over night. South African women and girls are still devalued in South Africa in the public and private spheres. South African girls are still vulnerable to sexual, psychological, and physical violence from white and black men. South African girls also do not have the same employment and educational opportunities as white South African women.

I believe Oprah has good intentions but I don’t believe for a minute that she’s entirely altruistic. Oprah is a business woman and Oprah’s school is a part of her “business” and “brand”. Some people have wondered why Oprah would chose to create a school in South Africa?

The first reason is obvious its Oprah’s choice she has a right to do whatever she wants with her money. The second reason is also a bit more subversive. Why would Oprah open a school in the United States? How much media exposure would Oprah actually receive from that? Schools open and close in America every single day it wouldn’t be worldwide news.

Oprah is an egomaniac just like any other celebrity Oprah wants as much media exposure and attention as possible. Although Oprah complains about the press she also utilizes the press to advance her own agenda. It is obvious Oprah’ s mission is to increase the exposure for her brand and product. Unfortunately, the South African girls are not viewed as people but as a form of real life product placements for Oprah. Oprah is basically using the South African girls to make money that’s her ultimate goal.

Oprah’s image is of the universal mammy figure she is now the savior of these young African girls. Oprah is cognizant of the fact opening a school in South Africa will guarantee her maximum international press and exposure not just for the school but also for her “brand”. Oprah also benefits from the “positive” publicity and gains more press and of course more revenue for her “brand”. People in the Western world can say “oh look at Oprah she’s doing so much good helping those poor unfortunate Africans.” The school only cements Oprah’s image as a “universal mother figure” but also it cultivates Oprah’s “ego”. Oprah is kind of like the female Booker T Washington creating her own “institute” for poor blacks. The school also is a symbol of Oprah’s wealth but it also is a way to “cement” Oprah’s status as a great philanthropist.

In the Occidental world South Africa is still framed as the “other” as the “third world” even though compared to many countries in the world South Africa’s economy is actually not “third world”. Oprah’s school is still promoting the “noble savage” stereotype. Oprah is viewed as the rich western woman “civilizing” the poor South Africa girls and being the “perfect” den mother.

Oprah unfortunately does have a Western paternalistic attitude towards the South African girls. The message Oprah is sending is that she is the “rich great black hope” from the “West” and she can “liberate” and “save” the young South African girls. And only Oprah’s “way” is the “only” way to improve these young girls lives. Oprah doesn’t even take into account the cultural differences and values of South Africa. For instance, family is very important in South Africa.

Couldn’t Oprah relax the rules a bit? Why can’t the girls see and talk to their parents a little bit more what harm can that really do? I think the girls should be allowed to see their parents more often if they are homesick. It doesn’t mean that Oprah’s heart isn’t in the right place but Oprah is also all about maintaining control.

However, I question how can Oprah run her multi-million dollar talk show, the O magazine, and also run the all girls school? Shouldn’t the all girls school be a higher priority for Oprah? After all Oprah is the one that personally selected the staff to look after the girls. I also have enough common sense to know no matter how well you screen employees something horrible can still happen. No school is perfect and all schools have problems.

The Western media has not questioned Oprah’s “imperialistic” attitude that is also taking place. Yes Oprah is providing a school for disadvantaged South African girls. Oprah needs to understand that “money” doesn’t solve everything. The all girls school clearly requires more of her attention. One of the reasons people criticize Oprah is because they are cynical of Oprah’s image. Oprah has crafted and created an image now that she is some kind of deity. Oprah definitely has a healthy ego but she is not Jesus Christ she cannot save the world. In some people’s eyes though Oprah is the closest human being to “being” God. People are influenced by Oprah and in some ways that’s a good thing because she encourages people to help others. However, I think its also damaging when Oprah promotes this “Jesus Christ” like atmosphere around herself.

The one hundred and fifty young girls at Oprah’s school are young lives hanging in the balance. Why was it necessary for Oprah to have all the Western media present when she opened the school? Why does the West ignore the problems Africans have with obtaining education in general? Why just focus on Oprah’s school isn’t that ignoring a larger problem? Why was Oprah on the cover of People’s magazine right after the school opened? Oprah does indeed have a God complex.

The question remains how much of a role does Oprah actually have at the school? Oprah appears to me to just be trying to sell the school as a product. And what about the real social quandaries still taking place in South Africa? It is also very unfortunate the media ignores the serious issues of poverty, racism, sexism, that exists in South Africa. The South African government appears pathetic they have the resources to assist young black girls and women yet simply aren’t doing enough to help young black girls. Why isn’t the South African government helping black girls and women? Why does it take a foreigner to actually realize that due to patriarchy and male domination the key to African women emancipation is through education? It is simply ludicrous and abhorrent that the South African government isn’t doing enough to help black women. I believe this is disgraceful and totally unacceptable.

Why doesn’t the world press question the role of the South African government? South Africa is not a poor country. South Africa is an extremely wealthy nation with an abundance of natural resources such as gold, diamonds, and a thriving tourist industry.The South African government should be doing more to help young South African women. Isn’t the South African government a bit embarrassed that a foreign celebrity has “created” a school for South African girls when it should be the government’s job to do this? The South African government should be distributing the wealth more to improve the standard of living of African girls and African women.

Oprah has indeed taken the first major step she’s not just talking she’s taking action. The question is the all girls school just for Oprah to make herself “feel” better and promoting her business or brand? Or does Oprah really care to be a bit more realistic and flexible with the girls? Kids of course need structure but they also should not be bored and miserable. I hope Oprah cares enough about the girls to treat them as “equals” and not just part of “products placements” for the “brand” of Oprah.

Link: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article2716668.ece

Who Will Reach Masters Finals In Shanghai? Twenty Guys Fighting For Just Three More Spots

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The real top players Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Nikolay Davydenko have already qualified for the Masters event in Shanghai China. The new kid on the block Novak Djokovic also booked his spot for the final tournament of the year. The ATP Masters event is a big money event but also a lot of points are on the line as well. Technically speaking there are three spots left to be decided for the Masters event.

I just wonder if TSN television schedule is going to be good or will it be unremarkable just like last year? I understand Shanghai is a different time zone but I am so sick and tired of tennis not receiving the priority it deserves in Canada. Why is everything on the premier sports channel in Canada always about hockey? I find hockey so boring there is just nothing exciting about it. I wish the Tennis Channel was available in Canada? Also have you actually looked at some of these hockey players its like yuck! Some of these hockey players have crooked noses, or have scars, scratches on their faces some don’t even have a full set of teeth. There is nothing sexy or appealing about hockey players.

Some people say tennis isn’t a real sport because its not considered as “aggressive” as other sports but tennis is a gentleman’s game. Tennis is a sport where glamour and sophistication does co exist. Look at Roger Federer he brings excitement, beauty, glamour, sophistication, and class to to tennis.

Whenever Roger plays you never know what he will wear on the court. Roger is the only male tennis player that understands the importance of fashion. Its not just about how you play the game its also how you look as well. A tennis player isn’t just an athlete a tennis player is also an entertainer. The tennis players jobs are to look hot, wear tight clothing and run around on the tennis court for us fans. Ditto for Basketball I can’t wait until the NBA season starts in November.

The ATP Masters is in Shanghai China again this year. Twenty players have a mathematical chance to qualify for the two remaining spots. Only the top eight players in the world are allowed to compete at the Masters. Spaniard David Ferrer is in sixth spot Ferrer is actually a much better player then he looks. Ferrer defeated Nadal at the US OPEN this summer he also won a title in Japan recently. I think Ferrer will get the number six spot. The last two spots for the Masters championships are wide open.

The Paris Masters is the final event on the ATP Tour next week. Usually the top men such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal skip the event. However, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal want to acquire more ranking ppints and they are competing in the event. Will Novak Djokovic play the Paris Masters to gain points? Djokovic has a real chance to pass Nadal as the number two ranked player in the world this year. It is possible.

Rissi Palmer has a hit song “Country Girl” Why does it matter that she’s Black?

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         Rissi Palmer’s debut album is out and she already has a hit song “Country Girl” rising up the billboard charts. The song “Country Girl” isn’t meant to be political but it is Rissi Palmer’s plea basically saying “just give me a chance.” I think that’s all Palmer is trying to say. In numerous media reports Palmer’s race has been pointed out because she’s the first black female singer trying to make it in Country Music.  Since race always matters in America the topic is unavoidable and it shouldn’t be ignored. Why is Rissi’s gender being ignored? Country Music has a history of misogyny.  Hopefully for Rissi Palmer the music will shine through. Palmer has a strong voice and clearly has a lot of talent and the looks to become a star.

        Some people may say why is a young black woman singing Country Music? Well why not? Rissi Palmer was first offered a record deal when she was younger by Janet Jackson’s producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis but she refused the deal. I commend Rissi Palmer for doing that. As Rissi says why should she be “another Beyonce.” Isn’t that boring? White people can cross musical genres and they are praised. Nobody makes a big deal about the white female singers Nelly Furtado, Fergie, and Gwen Stefani singing hip hop/R&B soul music.  Why is it when a black person tries to cross musical genres its thought of as a science experiment? Let girlfriend do her own thing I say! You go girl! I mean seriously, I think Rissi Palmer is brave because I don’t particularly like  Country Music there are a lot of double standards and hypocrisy in this particular genre of music. 

                 Country Music has an abhorrent history of misogyny, homophobia, hypocrisy, and racism. K.D. Lang was a very popular and successful Country Music singer back in the late 1980s. Once Lang came out of the closet in the early 1990s  Nashville rejected her. Lang declared she was a lesbian and removed herself from the shackles of compulsory heterosexuality. Lang loved women and she didn’t care to sing songs about loving men. The Country Music genre is all about women loving men singing songs about falling in love and serving men. Lang wasn’t about that she didn’t care to sing those kinds of songs.  Lang’s lesbianism shouldn’t of been an issue for the Country Music audience but it was. K.D Lang should of been judged on her vocal talent not her love life.  Lang found success as a pop star and still has a career. Lang is an incredible talent with amazing vocal range.  Real talent will rise to the top and K.D. Lang became an international superstar after she moved on from the  bigoted Country Music industry.  The Country Music establishment is still very homophobic and sexist.

               Shania Twain another Canadian singer also  had problems with the Country Music establishment because of her “image” and “lyrics.” Twain changed the image and perception people have of “Country Music”. In the past “sexy” in Country Music was looking like Dolly Parton. Parton was not sexy at all but she was popular with her drag queen image of platinum blonde hair, too much make up,  over-sized breasts, and sequin gowns. Twain “crossed over” from traditional Country Music to other radio and TV formats because she demonstrated a woman can be “sexy” and “talented” without looking  tacky. Twain was also outspoken she believed in herself and her musical talent and had total control over her image. Shania Twain wasn’t the “classic” image of what a female Country Music artist was supposed to be she also was a foreigner making her the other.  

        Twain became the “Madonna” of Country Music all by herself Shania Twain transformed Country Music she made it cool,  exciting, sexy,  and the Country Music industry had to realize her talent.  Twain’s record sales soon crossed over and she no longer needed Nashville to be a star. Nashville could not deny that a “foreigner” made Country Music a global success. Shania Twain made CountryMusic famous all over the world. The Country Music industry can thank Shania Twain for making Country Music a global success. In the past Country Music was only popular in North America the record sales were limited over seas. Due to Canadian superstars such as K.D. Lang and Shania Twain Country Music became a global music genre. Twain and Lang’s albums sold millons of records in foreign markets such as Europe, Australia, and Asia. 

         When Twain started out in the Country Music business  the controversy was  over the fact she was an attractive woman and  her belly button was exposed in a music video. Yes folks, this is how conservative Country music is. Now Shania Twain is the blueprint many female Country Music artists have attempted to copy to become successful.

            The Dixie Chicks  encountered the most backlash from Country Music fans when Natalie Maines the lead singer made a controversial statement about the war in Iraq and President Bush. Unlike Twain, and K.D. Lang, the Dixie Chicks are Americans they weren’t foreigners. However, the Country Music industry still sends the same sexist messages to  women that they must be “demure” they must conform to middle class standards of respectability. Men have more leverage in Country Music they can be alcoholics and sing about lewd sexual conquests but women can only sing about heartache and love.

            The Country Music  radio stations and fans immediately rejected the Dixie Chicks. The turn around by Country Music fans was incredible and also very disturbing from death threats to the sheer negativity of the business side of the industry.  Country music radio stations that once played the Dixie Chicks stopped playing their music.The Dixie Chicks were so successful and yet the fans suddenly were so fastidious.  The Dixie Chicks were “forced” to  “crossover” to a mainstream pop culture and formats.  The marketing team behind the Dixie Chicks have been very shrewd creating a film to document the time after the backlash to maintain the public interest in the group.

     The main reason the Dixie Chicks won so many Grammy Awards this year was because it was a political statement a way for the mainstream liberal media to “get back” at Nashville. The Grammy Awards has its own covert racist elements where black entertainers are segregated in the R&B/hip hop category not winning the big awards.  Mary J Blige deserved the top  Grammy Awards this year and not Dixie Chicks. Blige album “The Breakthrough” was a superior album and she was robbed of her glory.

       The Country Music genre has demonstrated over and over that if women speak up they will be punished.  Unfortunately, in Country music women are expected to conform to male domination and male supremacy. Male country music singers such as Toby Keith are very outspoken and discuss their heterosexuality, masculinity, and their sex drive. Toby Keith criticized Natalie Maines yet he wasn’t scorned. Keith also had a controversial song “Courtesy, of the Red, White, And Blue” Why? Just because Keith is a man with a penis? Why must women in Country Music be quiet? Don’t women have a right to give their opinion without receiving death threats? Why must women be perfect but men can have flaws?  In Country Music women are just supposed to be pretty and sing and then when they get old they get tossed aside for the next young pretty female Country Music artists that come along.  Women are supposed to be “polite” and not “outspoken”. It is the reason the Dixie Chicks, K.D. Lang, and Shania Twain were “scorned” by Nashville when they dared to challenge the misogynst ideologies of gender and sexuality.  Rissi Palmer is now taking the battle for women’s rights in Country Music to the next level she’s attempting to break the race and gender barrier.  Notice all the people attacked by the Country Music establishment recently have been women.    

         I don’t believe Country Music really “wants” to be more “inclusive”  to  new people that don’t fit the stereotypical image of the genre. Country Music radio, TV formats, magazines, is still very white, conservative, racist, Christian, pretentious, hypocritical, and pious.  Foreigners such as Keith Urban and Shania Twain have managed to have multi platinum sales and they aren’t even American. Rissi Palmer is American but for some in the Country Music industry she’s still viewed as “the other” as an “outsider” looking in because she is an African American woman. In the American south there is a racist attitude of treating black women as inferior to whites.

        Palmer really does have an uphill battle trying to convince the  white Southern “audience” that she’s “real country”. Palmer’s music is indeed “Country Music”. Country Music has a history of misogyny and turning on women that “speak out” about polemical  issues. Country Music actually has a history of incorporating aspects of the blues, jazz, and soul. Its obvious Country Music actually originated from African American culture. In the 1920s due to the racial divide in the USA Country Music morphed into a white music genre and it has remained this way ever since.

         Rissi Palmer must really “love” Country Music because I just find the genre to be so racist, sexist, homophobic.  Rissi music must “convince”  the white American south that they should buy her albums? Good luck, Rissi.  If Rissi Palmer says something that the conservative white Southern country music scene doesn’t like will they turn on her too?  Nashville has a history of being very intolerant and very racist.  

           I wish Rissi Palmer well but I just hope girlfriend doesn’t end up as a “novelty act”? The question is  will “white” Country Music give Rissi Palmer a legitimate chance? Or will Rissi Palmer be treated like Cowboy Troy? It costs a lot of money to market a new artist these days. Will the Country Music channels and radio formats play Palmer’s music? Cowboy Troy an African American male singer he tried to break into  Country Music  a few years ago with mixed results.   Since Palmer is the first black woman in this genre unfortunately a lot of the media discussion will focus on Rissi’s race and gender instead of the music. I just hope girlfriend stays strong and believes in herself and her abilities.

           I think the mainstream media will be much harder on Palmer and nit pick at her more. However, its not impossible for Palmer to succeed though in mainstream formats.  Tracy Chapman, Lenny Kravitz, and Ben Harper are examples of black singers that have “crossed over” to a larger “mainstream” audiences. Chapman, Kravitz, and Harper’s fans are mostly white people and not blacks. White people buy their Cds, go their concerts, and purchase the DVDs.

     Will the black media give Palmer any attention at all? We will see. Will the black media such as Essence, Ebony, Upscale, Vibe, discuss Rissi Palmer? Will Rissi Palmer be on BET or on black radio in America? Or will the black media ignore Rissi Palmer the same way they ignored Meshell N’Degeocello, and Tracy Chapman? Rissi Palmer’s marketing team shouldn’t just focus on success in the Country Music genre? Shania Twain didn’t waste her time just on Nashville she was smart enough to try to conquer other radio and television formats as well. Rissi Palmer has talent the truth about the entertainment business is its not just about “talent” a lot of it has to do with the business side. Rissi Palmer seems to be on the right track though she already has a hit song.

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