Minnesota Senatorial write-in candidate Jack Shepard wants you to draft and write-in Bobby Joe Champion for Hennepin County Attorney – to save the Black Community
Change comes in small doses. You have the power of the vote. Check out the Jack Shepard fan page on Facebook.
Rome, Italy – According to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, which found that 70 percent of black Americans believe they are treated less fairly than whites in their dealings with police. Only 37 percent of whites said they think blacks are treated less fairly by police. A similar sentiment extends to the courts: 68 percent of black Americans said they believe they are treated less fairly than whites by the courts. Only 27 percent of whites said that, according to Pew.
With that said, senatorial write-in candidate Jack Shepard wants the black community of Hennepin County to take back the justice system in Minneapolis.
On November 4 in the general election Bobby Joe Champion is not even running, nor up for re-election for his senate seat. By writing his name in under incumbent Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman’s name on the ballot and filling in the all important round circle it counts like a real vote because it is a real vote.
Only if Booby Joe Champion; an attorney and state senator becomes Hennepin County’s next County Attorney are we (the black community) guaranteed a far chance in Hennepin County.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, whose practices have aggressively enforced marijuana laws targeting black people and black communities is sending 9.1 blacks to prison for every 1 white person needlessly ensnaring thousands of black people in the criminal justice system at tremendous human and financial cost over fifty-million dollars a year of taxpayer’s money.
Tuesday (8/19) on Up and At ‘Em with Jack and Ben (AM 1130) at 7am: North Minneapolis can be a violent place. What’s being done? What isn’t being done? Where is the money going? Guest: Donald Allen. Phone lines will be open! 651-989-5855.
FERGUSON, Mo. — Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a police officer, sparking protests around the nation, was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, a preliminary private autopsy performed on Sunday found.
Read the full story here: New York Times
“If you’re member of society that has been brainwashed by the mainstream media, stop here and return to your seat.”
By Don Allen, Founder – OurBlackNews.com
In preparation for HU’s Commitment to Community keynote address on Oct. 1 by world-renowned author, educator and race expert Tim Wise, I have decided to begin the conversation about race using the mainstream media and the epidemic of white privilege and race obstructions in American news. While there is no remedy for a fair and balanced news coverage (FOX is light-years from “fair and balanced”), the mainstream media news remains a secluded sector. Mostly controlled by white males, who in light of recent news coverage, seem to not give a damn about the plight of black Americans or any other minority groups, have presented no real coverage of anything black or black related unless it bleeds, shoots, kills or fails in school. Of course on the local scene, when was the last time you turned on the television and saw a report on something other than murder, death and kill in the black community?
So far, it is highly unlikely to separate news sensationalism from a possible normal social construct of how delivery of broadcast news is supposed to work. To even begin to talk about the norm, we would have to start our research well before television existed. The shameful part of the process is that black Americans are strained into a culture that is not our own by simply turning on the television set. Yes, I know there are many forms of black television like BET (Black Entertainment Television), but who watches BET come on, really?
Black Americans own little to no corporate media. When laid out more specifically, there are 1500 newspapers, 1100 magazines, 9000 radio station, 1500 TV stations, 2400 publishers owned by only three corporations according to Injustice Facts. Fair.Org reports the five largest networks are Time Warner (1997 sales: $24 billion), Disney ($22 billion), Bertelsmann ($15 billion), Viacom ($13 billion), and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation ($11 billion). Yes, then we have OWN, the fledgling
network allegedly owned by television talk queen and billionaire Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey, a huge Obama supporter, has walked in the same footsteps of the president, choosing to ignore the need for information distribution to the core of black America.
Just ask ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News or any of the many cable television news outlets: Black news is
not important unless it takes part in a despicable act. Corporate news is a monster with many working parts – too many. While some might think CNN’s news series, “Black in America” might cover the news and plight of black America, believe it when I say, “Black in America” is the picture perfect series about the black dilemma made for white America by design. On the flip side, don’t look for any constructive African American news coverage on FOX either. Most news you can use is “white here, white now.”
Before I move on, I would like to state that for the record, I don’t pardon anything Navy Yard
murderer Aaron Alexis did in his shooting rampage. I’m concerned about the way the mainstream media has moved the American public away from news and information and into the sensationalism and twisted presentation of this tragedy. I understand politicians and special interest “lefty” groups want to react and take away weapons from law abiding citizens, but a crime of such magnitude could manifest in anyone for any reason. The predictability of a person with a weapon developing a mass shooter psychosis is like predicting when the family next door will win the lottery jackpot.
The recriminalization of black America only needs a small national incident to push the illassumed stereotypes of blacks (especially black men) to being the most feared and criminalized caste of people in the United States. What troubles me is the hypocrisy and quickness of Americans and the mainstream media to forget the past and in this instance take advantage and use the black American Navy yard shooter Aaron Alexis as a catalyst to incite a vial hatred for guns and black Americans.
Malcolm X was right when he said, “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”
The mainstream media who now portrays the shooter Aaron Alexis (precrime), as a violent criminal cited Alexis’ checkered naval career (Navy official, via Washington Post); Mental health issues (Police report via New York Times); and how Alexis was arrested in Georgia in 2008 on a disorderly conduct charge in Georgia (Washington Post), is only a prelude for what is to come. This story will continue to get bigger used to promote gun control, promoting racebaiting by the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and finally will be dressed up like an Emmy waiting for a limousine ride to the Academy Awards.
To add insult to injury, and something even more shocking: former Klu Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke recognizes the mainstream media’s lack of integrity. On his website, DavidDuke.com, in a reflection of the Zimmerman/Martin trail he writes, “The acquittal of George Zimmerman is being used by the Zionistcontrolled media in a blatant attempt to whip up AfricanAmerican hatred against
EuropeanAmericans— and they have engaged in this utterly false antiEuropean hatefest as a means of diverting AfricanAmerican attention away from the real cause of so many problems in black society.” He continues, “The Zionistcontrolled media has deliberately created the impression among many AfricanAmericans that Zimmerman is ‘white’ and that the incident in Florida was just another example of white racism.” Duke nails it. The series of racebaiting press conferences presented by the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson is evidence of Duke’s claim. It is not black America’s finest hours at the six and ten.
While it is difficult to watch the madefortelevision news and “formatted” cosmetichype meant to promote these networks, one could argue this kind of television reporting has nothing to do with news but everything to do with promoting a “brand” (CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and MSNBC), which would make the reporting of a tragic situation by the mainstream media absolutely disingenuous and downright patronizing.
In a world of technology in news and information coverage, could there enough room to have a somewhat fair and meaningful representation of a successful black America?
Black Americans must participate at the same levels in the same mainstream media complex as whites. Until this happens, the average person with the reasonable amount of common sense will never have the opportunity to judge a black man by his character versus the violent misrepresentation from the mainstream media.
“Power to the people” but not on the television. What a difference race makes.
IBNN NEWS Brief
Saint Paul — Wilder Research released enhanced snapshots for Minneapolis and Saint Paul neighborhoods with the most recent data available, including:
- Age, ethnicity, education levels, and median income
- Employment and wages
- Travel time and modes to work
- Housing stability
Profiles are provided for all 87 Minneapolis neighborhoods, 11 Minneapolis communities, and 17 neighborhoods in Saint Paul (click here). They are custom- compiled to reflect each neighborhood’s boundaries and display in a user-friendly format, including maps that provide easy comparison of neighborhoods for key data.
“The maps reveal some very interesting residential patterns,” said Dr. Craig Helmstetter, Wilder Research senior research manager and project manager of Minnesota Compass. “For example, did you know that the median household income of Minneapolis’ neighboring North Loop and Near North neighborhoods differ by about $70,000? Or that 30 percent of those living in Saint Paul’s Thomas-Dale neighborhood were born outside of the U.S., compared with only 7 percent right next door in the Como neighborhood?”
The profiles were originally developed for the Minnesota Compass website in 2011, and have proven indispensable for residents, grass-roots organizations, community groups, policymakers and others interested in the health of their community.
Betsy Leach, executive director for District 1 Community Council in Saint Paul, reports, “We are one of the most rapidly changing districts in terms of our demographics… many people and organizations think they know what our neighborhoods are like, but they are basing their assumptions on what they ‘know’ from 20 or 30 years ago. So we use the profiles all the time to dispel misconceptions.”
Eric Gustafson, executive director of Minneapolis’ Corcoran Neighborhood Organization, says, “We use Compass Neighborhood Profiles frequently in our work and in reporting on our work to the community, city council, funders, and others. And, we use the Corcoran profile as an education piece and reference for new and existing board members. The profiles are a valuable tool for better understanding the geography that we live and work in.”
The neighborhood profiles, developed in partnership with the McKnight Foundation, are part of Minnesota Compass project that provides measures of well-being at the state, region, county, city levels and select neighborhood levels. Minnesota Compass is led by Wilder Research and funded by a collaborative of foundations.
“Neighborhoods offer dynamic, real-world points of connection to our region’s shifting demographics and economies. As we all create and innovate for greater impact, data-driven decision making is central to the success of everyone from residents to policymakers — we all need access to trustworthy, relevant information in a changing world,” said Sarah Hernandez, McKnight Foundation program officer.
“McKnight’s support allowed us to enhance our previously-existing neighborhood profiles in a couple ways. In addition to the new thematic maps, we have now built infrastructure that will automatically update the profiles when new data are available,” said Helmstetter.
Wilder Research, part of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in Saint Paul, is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit research and evaluation centers dedicated to the field of human services. Wilder Research issues more than 150 reports per year that help improve the community’s understanding of major social issues and identify effective ways to strengthen individuals, families and communities.
For more information contact Nancy Hartzler, communications manager, Wilder Research – phone: 651-280-2696 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Craig Helmstetter, Compass project manager – phone: 651-280-2670 Email: email@example.com
Open letter to singer Mr. John Legend on Twitter – All “Lanes” are open, Celebrities pick and chose (Update)
By Don Allen, Founder – The Independent Business News Network and Black Politics in Minneapolis
Update: I just got a glimpse of some Twitter followers of a popular singer. No wonder he’s not doing too many commercial endorsements.
Related story: Why Black America gets bad news coverage
Dr. Gates will have a beer with the president of the Unites States. Celebrities will get active on social media websites; the black community will still not have jobs or economic stimulus. We are portrayed as crabs in a barrel by the mainstream media. Nine victims gunned down in a night club in Minneapolis; the only nationally reported piece was about the Minnesota Viking who was hit by a bullet. One Asian female and one African American female will be paralyzed, (Shot in the neck and throat). None of the community “freelancers,” (NAACP or Minneapolis Urban League) have called a press conference, nor have they visited the victims. This also goes for the mayor, who cannot be reached for comments. The shooting that took place over the weekend was Minnesota’s largest mass shooting in history, according to historian Ronald A. Edwards. There are 50 eyewitnesses, but so far, from what we know, there has been no arrests.
Minneapolis, Minn. – Police officers, security guards, or self-appointed vigilantes extra judicially killed at least 313 African-Americans in 2012, according to a recent study. This means a security officer killed a black person every 28 hours. The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, an antiracist grassroots activist organization, conducted the report, entitled “Operation Ghetto Storm,” (PDF).
The report notes that its possible that the real number could be much higher.
The organization has chapters in Atlanta, Detroit, Fort Worth-Dallas, Jackson, New Orleans, New York City, Oakland, and Washington, D.C. It has a history of organizing campaigns against police brutality and state repression in black and brown communities. Their study’s sources included police and media reports along with other publicly available information. Last year, the organization published a similar study showing that security forces kill a black person every 36 hours. However, this study did not tell the whole story, as it only looked at shootings from January to June 2012. Their latest study is an update of this.
On Wednesday night, IBNNNEWS responded to a Tweet by the legendary crooner John Legend about the Ferguson, MO killing of Michael Brown from the music maker. This led me to respond, “@John Legend, stay in your lane – music.” Mr. Legend’s response (unedited), “ @IBNNNEWS human. citizen. taxpayer. i’m in my lane, homie.” The backlash from my tweet started a stream of Tweets in support of Mr. Legend response, declining to investigate the genesis of my Tweet. But hey, in the age of social media, it’s easy for folks to be spineless keyboard hacks with no responsibility whatsoever to become social media vigilantes in support of something they do not understand. Contempt prior to investigation is the norm in social media.
Here’s the issue: Celebrities, for the most part get their news from the mainstream media. Very few make the news unless they get picked up for drunk driving, or have to fight off attacks on someone they are dating, which is hardly newsworthy. The above-mentioned study says that in 2012, “A security officer killed a black person every 28 hours.” If this is the case, we (including me), are being reactive versus being proactive in the case of many young black men being wrongfully killed in the United States by law enforcement. Lets not ride the backs of white-owned mainstream media who will tell us a piece of what’s really happening. Black Americans have little to no media presence. I mean really, I will never let my children watch the Black Entertainment Network (BET) for the simple fact of their content, which is not favorable to the education of black people in America and perpetrates black men as deadbeats and black women as a rappers dancing hoe.
@IBNNNEWS has been taking a flogging by supporters of Mr. Legend’s stance, “human. citizen. taxpayer,” and that’s understandable. But if Mr. Legend lived in a state like Minnesota he would see that black men are beat and killed by police on a regular basis; it is more likely for a black youth to be shot and killed than graduate from high school. Minneapolis, Minnesota has one of the widest wealth gaps between blacks and whites in the United States. These disparities just didn’t “pop up” over night; or when black men are beat and killed in New York, Ferguson and Minneapolis.
Even more dismaying, is a black youth can tell you more about the wedding of a celebrity and what dress she (or he) wore rather than being able to name their local state representative or the mayor of the city they live in.
If celebrities want to use their social media platforms to protest against the inequities done to black Americans, that’s fine. But remember, the marginalization and the death of the black body are ongoing and when the mainstream media tells you to move on to the “new thing,” you move on. Case in point, no more tweets about Trayvon Martin.
In conclusion, I am happy celebrities show their support for national news incidents that show how the black body is neglected and disregarded. Jim Crow has evolved into a meticulous monster that has the ability to derail us from what the real story is. If we as black people do not come together and destroy the ills set upon us by Mr. Crow and the assistance of the mainstream media, we might as well, “Stay in our lanes.”
White America does not know about the killing of Michael Brown: Mainstream Media and the Identity of the Black Body – The Ron and Don Show
Tune in Wednesday, (August 13) at 8:30 p.m. to The Ron and Don Show as we take you on a historical journey of the black body and how the evolution Jim Crow still murders black men and women sometimes without a gun. We will also update you on International, National and Local (Minnesota) news. The phone lines will be open. Black Talk Radio on #BlogTalkRadio. Listen to the program on August 13 at 8:30 p.m. by clicking on the following link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theronanddonshow/2014/08/14/what-white-america-does-not-know-about-the-killing-of-michael#ixzz3AEe2aTKm
Minneapolis, Minn. – So far in 2014 we (Black Americans) have seen it all. Black men beat, shot and killed by law enforcement that has already made the mental note all blacks are dangerous and not to be trusted; with our without a weapon. As American turns its focus to Ferguson, Mo, and the President Obama releases an official statement, it troubles us this kind of gangland killing still goes on in America and nobody seems to be able to fix what is happening. Don’t be fooled by Eric Holder’s and the Justice Department talking about “an investigation.” This is nothing more than a “white-wash” to settle the nerves of the mainstream and has nothing to do with justice for the marginalized black body.
The mainstream media is hard at work turning every black man, woman and child into a demonized figurehead that is dangerous, not to be trusted and must be killed by any means necessary.
So far, it is highly unlikely to separate news sensationalism from a possible normal social construct of how delivery of broadcast news is suppose to work. To even begin to talk about the norm, we would have to start our research well before television existed. The shameful part of the process is that black Americans are strained into a culture that is not our own by simply turning on the television set. Yes, I know there are many forms of black television like BET (Black Entertainment Television), but who watches BET come on, really?
Would the news coverage be different if there was a creditable black owned/operated news organization? (Who watches BET come on, really?)
Black Americans own little to no corporate media. When laid out more specifically, there are 1500 newspapers, 1100 magazines, 9000 radio station, 1500 TV stations, 2400 publishers owned by only three corporations according to Injustice Facts. Fair.Org reports the five largest networks are Time Warner (1997 sales: $24 billion), Disney ($22 billion), Bertelsmann ($15 billion), Viacom ($13 billion), and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation ($11 billion). Yes, then we have OWN, the fledgling network allegedly owned by television talk queen and billionaire Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey, a huge Obama supporter, has walked in the same footsteps of the president, choosing to ignore the need for information distribution to the core of black America.
Just ask ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News or any of the many cable television news outlets: Black news is not important unless it takes part in a despicable act. Corporate news is a monster with many working parts – too many. While some might think CNN’s news series, “Black in America” might cover the news and plight of black America, believe it when I say, “Black in America” is the picture perfect series about the black dilemma made for white America by design. On the flip side, don’t look for any constructive African American news coverage on FOX either. Most news you can use is “white here, white now.”
Still, your young men and women die because of the identity thrust upon them by those who control identity; and it ain’t the NAACP or Urban League.
Remember the words of Malcolm X: “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”
In the case of 19-year old Michael L. Stucky Jr., of Northfield, there is a story within a story that is not being told.
By Don Allen, Founder – The Independent Business News Network
Rosemount, Minn. – The Star Tribune reported how a 19-year old Northfield man was given the easy way out after only serving one-year, or time served for raping two women, 13 and 15-years old. The Strib reported, “He is also forbidden from taking any prescription medications designed to improve sexual functions, unless approved by his probation officer, according to court records.” Incredible, “forbidden from taking any prescription medications designed to improve sexual functions.” They might as well thrown in he cannot look at porn, go to the beach in the summertime or watch Showtime…ridiculous!
I can’t help but think a black kid would have gotten 20 years. This guy should have gotten at least 8. The judge, and the evidence agree he forcibly raped two women.
The Strib also reported, “County Attorney James Backstrom said he is comfortable with the plea agreement, approved by Judge Jerome B. Abrams. The girls’ families, who understand that Stucky would be freed, supported it he said. When it comes down to it, not matter how heinous the crime, like in the 1950s, they (white folks) protect their own.
This goes to show that Minnesota has replaced states like Mississippi, Alabama and other deep southern states has the place not to be black and make a mistake, you will be given the maximum time, no questions; no bargains, just straight to jail in a form of justice that puts black people in prison with “just-us.”
Apparently, this young man is the poster boy for the white privilege and a white-male patriarchal system of checks and balances that gives out second chances for those who look like the judges, juries, prosecutors and the neighborhoods they come from. It’s hard for me to swallow this one because with the recent beating and murders of sometimes innocent black men by law enforcement, it seems Jim Crow is alive and well in Minnesota.
So what; you’ve been door knocking for Rebecca Gagnon. What has that done for your children in the Minneapolis Public Schools? You talk a good game as a Facebook activist, slinging insults about who and where people get their money. It’s time some of you (black folks) look in the mirror and know that people are sick of your boogieman bullshit.
By Don Allen, Founder – Black Politics in Minneapolis
Minneapolis, Minn. – Doug Mann went to bat for the voters of Minneapolis challenging the ethics of a city council pushing a vote away from it’s residents to build the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, inappropriately called the “People’s Stadium.” For that alone, on his own dime, the residents of Minneapolis should come out in leagues and put him into office on the school board.
Doug Mann, who as ran for school board every time an opening was available, has yet to secure a seat. He has served on education advocacy committees of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and as a director of the Minneapolis Parents Union. Mann was the plaintiff in a lawsuit that was merged with the NAACP’s lawsuit against the State of Minnesota, “alleging failure to see that the Minneapolis Public Schools provided an adequate educate to all students, regardless of race and income.” He (Mann) has ran for election to the Minneapolis School Board eight times, and advanced to the general election in four of the past six election cycles. “I have talked to many people throughout the city of Minneapolis as a candidate for the School Board,” he said.
Mann said he believes that the school district has gone out of its way to segregate students by race and income, both through decisions that affect school assignment and though curriculum tracking.
With the 2007 North High School crisis behind him, former Minneapolis city councilman Don Samuels has an opportunity to step up and prove to the citizens of North Minneapolis that he does actually breath air and is concerned about the outcomes in the Minneapolis Public Schools.
Community members cleverly disguised as the Boogieman have been against Don Samuels since day one. It seems comprehension levels run low when a meaning is taken out of context and turned into a hate campaign designed by black people for a black man. (Welcome to the club Don.) North Minneapolis clergyman and president of the now defunct Minneapolis NAACP Reverend Jerry McAfee said, “He’s made the right moves for the white community, but he hasn’t courted the black community in masse in the same way. When you make the statements that you make—dang! Whether you meant it or not, it’s insulting. You tell that to some people like my grandmother, who was born on a plantation. Her twin brother was killed by one of the overseers. Talk about some big house and stuff, that ain’t appealing to them.” Of course Reverend “Jerry” would never come clean about his gay bashing and his conflict of interest in Salem, LLC when attempting to present his firm over the community in acquiring contracts on the stadium, but that’s another story.
Then State Representative Bobby Joe Champion (58B), now state senatoralso got into some Samuels bashing:“There was a statement made by the Ward 5 Councilman about North High. But no one came to the rescue of the North High; there weren’t any marketing campaigns to change the perception of North High School. North High and the community felt disrespected.” Samuels has a chance to put Minneapolis Public Schools back on the map.
If you recall the February 2007 article in the Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine titled, “The Great Black Hope? – Samuels said, “My children will not darken the door of a Minneapolis public school in this city… I’ve said burn North High School down! I can’t be paying as a taxpayer for the education of my neighbors and 72 percent of them are failing — meaning Black boys.”
Right here is where community members need to pay close attention to the meaning behind Samuels’s statement. If the Minneapolis Public Schools are failing 72 percent of black boys in its school district, “burn it down.” If black boys at North High School are not graduating, “burn it down.” If a high school campus that once had over 1500 students and can now barely keep 300 students in the school, it serves no purpose…burn it down. Samuels “Burn it down” statement shows he actually cares about successful measurable outcomes and understands the logic, process and people involved in the miseducation of black youth and he is willing to roll up his sleeves and fix it.
Now is the time for community members to put aside their petty political agendas and put both Doug Mann and Don Samuels on the MPS board. Any other candidate would be a waste of skin; this includes DFL incumbent Rebecca Gagnon.
This fall director, Justin Simien will make his feature directorial debut with the release of his comedy-drama, “Dear White People.” The much talked about flick, which stars Dennis Haysbert, Tyler James Williams, and Tessa Thompson, has already generated a significant amount of buzz after winning the prestigious title of Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent and its hilarious trailers that have gone viral.
The thought-provoking satire follows a collective group of college students on a fictional ivy league campus, as they navigate various racially charged experiences. Simien was on hand last weekend for the 39th annual National Association of Black Journalists Convention, where he showcased the film during an advanced screening.
Among the film’s many layered messages, the Los Angeles-based producer and writer explained how he made an attempt to convey the younger generation’s struggle with racism.
“I think it is difficult for the millennial generation to talk about racism, because racism is not as overt as it once was. There really aren’t lynch mobs. Racism, more or less, comes in the form of these little micro-aggressions,” he admitted during a Q&A session immediately following the private screening. “These little suspicions that black people have to carry around with them wherever they go…the people wanting to touch your hair, the people demanding that you defend something that Obama did. And so, racism sort of appears in these subtly, kind of, embedded ways that are harder to detect.”
He also discussed how social media has changed the amount of attention and scrutiny placed on events that have been taking place on college campuses for years.
“I think there’s a sense of paranoia about calling them out at all, because things are much better than there were in ‘Roots.’ And so, it is sort of harder to broach the top. And I think we are in the social media age, and so now these sort-of black face, ghetto themed parties that have been happening forever on college campuses, now they’re starting to hit Facebook. But that wasn’t really happening before. And you really walk away wondering, ‘Was that racist? Am I crazy for thinking that was racist?’ So I do think that it’s challenging.”
Simien continued to explain his creative process during the conversation and revealed the real reason why the film is simply titled, “Dear White People.”
“We can talk about the myth of reverse racism all day, but I think ultimately I’m a black filmmaker making an independent black film. If I called my movie, ‘Ruminations On Race,’ or whatever, nobody would care who I am, or what I have to say or what I’m doing. So yeah, you have to get butts in seats,” he said.
“That is the title’s job, first and foremost. But also think for me, thematically, the title really resonates, because I think a lot of the characters are part of the identity crisis that I’ve had as a person of color like, ‘is all of my identity just a response to mainstream white culture.’ Like is it whether or not I wear my hair straight, kinking, or curly? Isn’t that in some way a ‘Dear White People’? Aren’t I in some way rebelling against or being accused of absorbing too much of white mainstream culture?”
“And to me, I think they’re all sort of struggling with that…and before you see the film, at least you’re talking about it. Because most independent black films don’t have the advantage of other independent films.”
“Dear White People” hits theaters Oct. 17th.