Over the weekend there was a huge march and rally to bring attention to the missing kidnapped girls from Nigeria. We spoke with organizers who at the time felt not enough attention was being paid to the situation at hand. They were also concerned that folks locally weren’t connecting the dots and seeing this not as a forced marriage incident but a case of sex trafficking.
They also wanted to make sure that folks were aware of the sex trafficking and scores kidnapped girls who are forced to walk the streets right here in Oakland every night. Throughout the march folks continuously made the connection..
The organizers of the Oakland #BringBackOurGirls march pointed out that they were graciously invited to join ranks with the Alan Bluford Movement. For those who are unaware, Alan Bluford was a 17 year old who was shot and killed by Oakland police 2 years ago to the date of the march. There was a rally scheduled to celebrate his life and bring justice for him that was planned long before the Bring Back Our Girls March.. The Bluford family reached out to organizers of the Bring Back Our Girls and together they both spoke to the importance of reminding the world that Black Lives Matter.. It was powerful..
We talk with key organizers Faiza Farah, Kinfolk and Mr Bluford at the start of the march..
Later on in the show we speak with long time film maker and media justice advocate Rage Souljah from Race for the Times about the controversy surrounding the slavery skit done by comedian Leslie Jones on Saturday Night Live..
For those who are unaware here’s the breakdown..
Leslie Jones in an attempt to be funny did a skit that many felt mocked slavery..It was called the slave draft and started out with her saying,
“The way we value Black beauty has changed. I’m single now, but back in the slave days, I would have never been single. I’m six feet tall and I’m strong. Look at me, I’m a Mandingo”
She then went on to pine:
“I do not want to be a slave. I don’t like working for all you White people now and you pay me. But back in the slave days, my love life would have been better.
Master would have hooked me up with the best brotha on the plantation and every nine months I’d be in the corner popping out super babies. I’d just keep popping them out.
Shaq. Kobe, LeBron, Kimbo Slice, Sinbad. I would be the number one slave draft pick. All of the plantations would want me” she said. “Now, I can’t get a brotha to take me out for a cheap dinner. Can a bitch get a beef bowl?!!”
Needless to say this caused a firestorm where folks went in on Leslie Jones who reacted with equal venom..She tweeted that
“…Black people bitch and moan about the most stupid shyt…I’m a comic and its m job to take things and make them funny and make you think”
She noted that her skit came from the pain of realizing that Black men don’t wanna mess with her and that she would’ve been better off in slavery because she would have had a man because of breeding..”
During our interview Rage Souljah gave a detailed historical breakdown of how slavery has been used in films and in pop culture to demean Black people and sanitize the institution of slavery and reduce it to a joke. In the backdrop of all this is the rewriting of school text books where they have removed the word slavery and have downplayed its brutality.
He starts with Birth of a Nation and brings it up to music mogul Russel Simmons backed by powerhouse company Dreamworks releasing a Harriet Tubman sex tape parody to the recent slew of slave films.
Leslie Jones argued that other comedians like Dave Chappelle and Richard Pryor have done slave skits. rage breaks down the significant differences between their jokes and hers.
A lesson to be learned here is for one to be careful for what you wish for or at the very least if we are going to push for someone to be put in place to rep the larger Black community at least make sure they hold the same values..Its not enough to have a black face in high or visible places if they are going to further the stereotypes and deepen the systemic problems we are fighting…