Senate Republicans don’t care about black farmers, Quran burning and Whip My Hair.

We opened our show with the big news in the Research Triangle this week – the new ban on screaming children in restaurants. Melette and I did not quite get the fact that any parent would want to dine WITH screaming children. My children screaming annoys me, so why would I share that experience with a room full of strangers? My week was occupied getting people into school, which meant having long and intense and repeated conversations with unprofessional people who expected me to be satisfied with their lack of professionalism because of school board budget cuts. Oh well.

Just when you thought Shirley Sherrod’s ridiculous firing because of a misinterpreted segment of a youtube video would be the end of USDA foolishness… The senate has failed twice in the past month to fund the last settlement to farmers intentionally left out of opportunities for financing because of their race. I’m sure that the fact that Senate Republicans are blocking the settlement has nothing to do with them being racist or currying favor with racists. Wait, no I’m not. Melette and I talked about how we  would have thought that the USDA AND the Senate would be doing everything they can to at least look fair, but I guess we were wrong. She also talked about the Get Motivated conference with Colin Powell and Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City.

If Shirley Sherrod’s case was a warning against using social media as the foundation for news story, Rev. Terry Jones of Dove Outreach Center is a louder, more stern admonishment. In the past week I have witnessed protests across the planet and condemnations from the state and defense departments, the president, the vatican and leaders from various religious faiths because of his announcement of a planned quran burning for 9/11. The thing is that the Gainesville, FL minister has a congregation of fifty people and a facebook page.  That bothers me and Melette because all it takes to become national news is an outrageous (often outrageously bad/stupid) idea and a facebook page and anyone who has been on facebook knows there is foolishness aplenty. I feel like I’m going to have to start scanning news stories for social media references and examining them before reading the rest of the story because sometimes the news that results is just a hot mess.

In a recent probe, BP has cited Halliburton and Transocean because of their roles in the production and operation of the equipment that created the biggest environmental disaster in American History. When I learned of the role of Halliburton and Transocean’s role in the disaster, I knew they would be hauled into court eventually. I guess this is the beginning of that. Melette and I don’t care as long as BP cleans up its mess, instead of using the wives of oil execs to set up ad campaigns to get the government to foot the bill.

A really interesting interactive feature on The Root, Would a Black Person Get Away With This? looks at how privilege impacts news coverage. Melette and I definitely agreed that the closest thing in the African-American community to the Tea Party, the Black Panther Party, was viewed much more negatively by the media (and the government) than its white counterpart. Could you imagine the cries of outrage because of black candidate whose wife accidentally killed someone (ala Laura Bush)  and calls to step down?

We moved on to Willow Smith’s R&B debut at the concern that maybe her sound is a bit mature because it is highly similar to Rihanna. We talked about the fact that so many other people have started careers at a younger age and how kids in that age group have swag, according to Melette’s 11 year-old nephew. I’m not ready for my daughter to have swag. She just started kindergarten. Sigh.

We ended the show discussing the Fantasia situation. Melette shared that most of the men she talked to sympathized with Fantasia, whereas the women did not.  We talked about how messing with married men (and paying their bills) is just not a good look, even for professional entertainers.

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