Black History Month 2016 Closing Remarks

Greetings all. This was an interesting February,  wasn’t it? A few things happened over the weekend that I didn’t have a chance to talk about,  so I am going to do it in this post. This day only comes once every four years, so I might as well go for broke and finish up strong.

First up, it’s politics. (Of course) By now, I’m sure you’re aware of the South Carolina primary results for the Democrats. Long story short, on Saturday Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders by a landslide, earning 73 percent to his 26. It was referred to as a trouncing by other media outlets. Sanders was predicted to lose the state, but many are surprised by the margin.

The thing is, you have to really pull back and realize a few things. One, Hillary Clinton’s ground game is strong. Second, her political connections to SC are very entrenched. In the context of a primary in an area where Sanders wasn’t able to make any deep inroads, Clinton maintained the upper hand.

black-history-monthI want to push back on this notion that I have seen floating around that Black voters in SC (and according to some commentators the South in general) “don’t know what’s good for them” First of all, weren’t some of these same pundits a few years ago lamenting about low turn out among Black voters? Much like when the commentators high key blamed Black voters for the 2010 midterm elections where the Republicans gained back much of the ground they lost? You can’t complain about low voter turn out, and then be mad that the voters don’t vote your way. #justsayin Second of all,  this shows that candidates, even with a strong progressive brand still need to do the work of outreach. Winning voters takes persuasion,  and there’s no way around it. It’s not a done deal,  since Sanders has Super Tuesday(Tomorrow) to look towards.

Still related to politics, but also media, this past weekend news surfaced of MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry losing her show. Many have commented on it, saying their piece about how it went down. As a person who did watch the show, I thought it was pretty well done, and had on a number of guests that we would have not seen anywhere else. The “Nerdland” show had conversations around pop culture, politics, and activism that I really didn’t see very much in other spaces. For those reasons,  I think this is a loss.

While there were some stances taken by Harris-Perry that I didn’t agree with, (namely the NSA/Edward Snowden position) I did enjoy the show. Unfortunately,  MHP is only the latest casualty of a media purging of Black journalists and commentators that is now more obvious as we come towards the end of a Black presidency. It was a nice ride while it lasted, but now in high profile and low key ways, Black media people are being shown the door by mainstream corporate media. This is exactly why we need our own platforms.

Speaking of platforms, for those who watched the awards last night, Chris Rock used his quite nicely to lambaste Hollywood’s “sorority racism” and their lack of diversity in general. Although that one joke about a hanging grandma was a little out there, Chris did what he usually does. He was there to get me to watch, which I did but not the whole show. Nah.

With all that said, this was an interesting month. Certain people were more upset with Beyonce than the police, and Black Lives Matter reminded us that Hillary Clinton once called Black youth “superpredators” but it seemingly did her no damage. “Pookie Howser, M.D.” (#idied) was out here perpetrating a fraud, and Stacey Dash comes in at the 11th hour to wish us Happy Black History Month. Luckily for her, it’s a leap year. Is she still getting traded or nah? The high council of Blackness has yet to confirm.

What was your favorite occurrence this Black History Month? Was it Kendrick Lamar’s performance? The news that Nas is on his way to being a billionaire? Or is it something else I didn’t mention? You got till the end of today to comment. Cause I got an email that WordPress is kicking me off my own blog at midnight, March 1st. Just joking… I hope. Until next post… peace!

-Marc Polite