Entertainment

I Didn’t Think It Was Possible, But Yes, In 2019 ‘Educated’ People Are Still Calling Black People ‘Gorillas’

In another episode of “How Many Times Do I Have To Say Ouch?” an Oklahoma TV anchor Alex Housden said a gorilla at the Oklahoma City Zoo “kind of looks like you” to her Black cohost Jason Hackett. Now the morning TV anchor is getting a, clearly, extremely overdue lesson on the ignorance and severe consequences of such comparisons.

Housden made an apology the next morning on her show.

https://youtu.be/lGqklWq3ubk “I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate, and I hurt people,” Housden said crying. She really ramps up the white fragility real quick.  

But while her co-anchor Hackett is the victim, she has bee the one crying since.

https://twitter.com/CocoTheLeo/status/1166507091428892676 “I understand how much I hurt you out there and how much I’ve hurt you. I love you so much, and you have been one of my best friends for the past year and a half. And I would never do anything on purpose to hurt you. And I love our community and I want you all to know, from the bottom of my heart, I apologize for what I said. I know it was wrong and I am so sorry.”

We have to do better than this.

https://twitter.com/hotchef9/status/1166457033513689088  Housden did not acknowledge that what she said was racist. She did not even acknowledge what she said. Her apology is basically, “Sorry, I hurt you.” I mean, it could be an apology for missing lunch. In this climate, to be this vague is very harmful and hurtful. 

This lady works for the news. She is supposed to know some stuff about some stuff that definitely had happened and still happens on U.S. soil. Ringing any bells? Nobody is born “woke” but comparing Black people to monkeys and apes seems like pretty basic racism. If Housden is feigning innocence, if she is suggesting that she didn’t know any better, than wouldn’t she assume there are other white people who don’t know better too? Wouldn’t she want to educate them on this? Or maybe she doesn’t actually know why what she said was racist. Maybe she doesn’t know why she’s apologizing. Maybe she just wants the conflict to go away rather than addressing it head-on. This is so typical of white fragility. 

Jason Hackett is a poised king.

Hackett accepted her apology. I take no issue because the apology is his to accept, and he knows Housden better than I do. Hackett said he hoped the episode might help educate people.

“It cut deep for me and it cut deep for a lot of you in the community,” he said. “We have to understand the stereotypes. We have to understand each other’s backgrounds and the words that hurt, the words that cut deep.”

I don’t know any person of color that hasn’t had to maintain a happy face, that hasn’t had to swallow racist indignities, that hasn’t had to take the higher ground when so deeply insulted, just to keep a job. I hope this isn’t the case for Hackett. I hope he and Housden really are genuine friends. I hope it was an ignorant mistake rather than a wilfully ignorant mistake, I really do. I want to believe the best in white Americans. That’s so hard when I turn on the news. That’s so hard when people like Housden, with little grasp of the country’s history, are the arbiters of the news.

Comparing Black people to monkeys has a long history.

Wulf D. Hund and Charles W. Mills penned an extensive article on the origins and history of this horrible racist stereotype for the Huffington Post. In “Comparing Black People to Monkeys has a Long, Dark Simian History,” the authors note that scientists once categorized Black people as being related to chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans rather than human beings. This was “science” and this was in 1854 — not that long ago.

No more apologies.

You know what I say: the best apology is reparations and restorative justice. I am really sick of white people, whether they mean it or not, apologizing for doing racist things. Apologies do not dismantle anti-Blackness and bigotry in the United States. Apologies do not release migrant children from cages. Apologies do not equate to better opportunities for people of color. Apologies just make the apologizer feel better. 

The best apology a white person can give is actionable change. You’re sorry about racism? So I guess I’ll be seeing you at the next Black Lives Matter protest, right? Some white people do show up. Some white people do care. Those white people typically don’t compare Black people to gorillas. 

Transcripts Of George Floyd’s Death Find He Told Cops He Couldn’t Breathe More Than 20 Times: “Tell my kids I love them”

Things That Matter

Transcripts Of George Floyd’s Death Find He Told Cops He Couldn’t Breathe More Than 20 Times: “Tell my kids I love them”

Stephen Maturen / Getty

Over a month has passed since the death of George Floyd and while the aftermath of it seemed to spark a reaction that rattled those of us left behind to our cores, outrage over his death has slowed down. Likely you’re hearing less calls to end police brutality, seeing fewer signs that Black Lives Matter and most of your friends’ Instagram pages have likely returned to their usual blissfully ignorant states. Still, the fight for justice for George Floyd carries on and newly released transcripts of body camera footage show that Floyd had pled for his life and told officers at least 27 times that he couldn’t breathe before his death.

New transcripts from body camera footage of Floyd’s death have been filed in court.

Floyd (a truck driver, security guard, and father of five) told Minneapolis police officers over 27 times that he couldn’t breathe before he died. “I’m scared as fuck, man,” Floyd told the officers while they restrained them. “Tell my kids I love them. I’m dead.”

Transcripts of body camera footage show that Floyd told officers at least 27 times that he couldn’t breathe before passing out and dying.

“I can’t breathe for nothing, man,” Floyd told officers. “This is cold-blooded, man.” Ignoring Floyd’s cry for help, officer Derek Chauvin continued to pin Floyd down with his knee on his neck.

In the transcript, Chauvin can be heard saying to Floyd “Then stop talking. Stop yelling. It takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.”

“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe,” Floyd continued. “I’ll probably just die this way.”

The transcripts were filed by former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane in a move to have charges against him dropped.

Lane is one of four former police officers to be charged in Floyd’s death. Chauvin, Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao are also being charged. Lane, Kueng, and Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin in Floyd’s death. Meanwhile, Chauvin faces second-degree murder charges.

According to BuzzFeed, “In the motion looking to have charges against Lane dropped, attorneys argue he was a new officer on the force and following the cues from Chauvin.” At the time of Floyd’s death, Chauvin was not Lane’s field training officer. He had however been one in Lane’s precinct and had provided the Chauvin with instructions on how to deal with calls. Attorneys have pointed out that in the transcripts Lane called paramedics to the scene and asked if they should roll Floyd on his side while he was holding onto his legs.

In the transcript, Chauvin says “No, he’s staying put where we got him.”

According to transcripts, after Chauvin passed out bystanders pointed out Floyd was unresponsive. Still, Chauvin pinned him to the ground.

A Muslim Teen Has Filed A Discrimination Claim After A Starbucks Put “ISIS” On Her Cup

Things That Matter

A Muslim Teen Has Filed A Discrimination Claim After A Starbucks Put “ISIS” On Her Cup

KSTP / Via Facebook: watch

After enduring quite a bit of pain over receiving a cup with the word “ISIS” instead of her name, a Muslim teenager has filed a human rights complaint. According to the teenager whose name (as reported by Buzzfeed) is Aishah, on July 1 she and a friend went to a Starbucks located inside of a Target in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The 19-year-old said that a barista asked her to repeat her name when taking her order, but she was shocked by what she saw when she first received it.

Aishah says that she feels as if the incident happened because she was wearing a hijab and a face mask.

“I felt a lot of emotions, and shock was the main one because I actually couldn’t believe this was happening,” Aishah told BuzzFeed News.

Speaking about the incident, the deputy director of the Minnesota chapter of Council on American–Islamic Relations, Mohamed Ibrahim said “This is a reminder that Islamophobia is alive and present in our communities.” In an effort to address the issue, the group has made efforts to help Aishah file a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

In her interview with Buzzfeed, Aishah said the barista said that “ISIS” had been put on a cup because they hadn’t heard her name correctly. According to Buzzfeed, the Target employee who served Aishah said “they did not hear her name.”

When a manager attempted to explain to Aishah that people’s names are frequently misspelled on cups, she said that the explanations were “not credible or acceptable.”

“When somebody orders a drink at Starbucks — if the barista can’t spell the name, then they ask you to spell it,” Aishah explained in her interview that such a mistake had never happened with her order.

Aishah’s human rights complaint, claims a manager offered her a free drink and a $25 gift card for her troubles and had her escorted out by security.

Target, which oversees the Starbucks location where the incident happened, told BuzzFeed in a statement that it’s “very sorry for this guest’s experience at our store and immediately apologized to her when she made our store leaders aware of the situation.”

A spokesperson also explained that an internal investigation found “it was not a deliberate act but an unfortunate mistake” and that the company will offer additional training to the barista. According to Aishah, she has yet to hear from Target since she called the company to complain. She also has not heard from CAIR-MN.

Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of CAIR-MN, is calling for the barista and manager in question to be fired and for Target and Starbucks to reinvest in training for their employees. “We are hoping that bringing light to this incident will actually transform how Target and Starbucks and many other companies deal with such incidents,” Hussein said.

Unfortunately, it’s not the first time Starbucks has received such a complaint.

In August of last year, a man told a barista at a Philadelphia Starbucks that his name was Aziz. He was soon given a drink with the term “ISIS.”

“The barista mistakenly spelled it incorrectly,” a Starbucks spokesperson told NBC News at the time.