After witnessing the firing of Roland Martin and Soledad O’Brien from CNN, and hearing the strong probability that Donna Brazile will soon be next, it really hit home for me when I read and article that quoted Steve Harvey on how racist Hollywood still is and far behind we still are even after all of these years.
Here is Steve in his own words:
“Hollywood is still very racist,” Harvey says. “Hollywood is more racist than America is. They put things on TV that they think the masses will like. Well, the masses have changed. The election of President Obama should prove that. And television should look entirely different. [Scandal star] Kerry Washington should not be the first African-American female to head up a drama series in 40 years. In 40 years! That’s crazy.”
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t jump to conclusions and state that every Black person who gets fired from a high profile position in the media or doesn’t make the mark in getting that acting role that they tried for is a victim of racism because that really wouldn’t be fair.
There are some Black people I guess who DESERVE to be fired after putting out a sub par performance on a job where they knew GOOD and damn well what the employment expectations were when they got hired.
But after several years of watching CNN faithfully it was really nice to see the wonderful jobs that everyone displayed and it was even more of a statement at the time to see someone who looks like me show the world that Black people can do the job just as good as anyone else in the face of the negative media blitz that smears our collective characters and makes us appear to be subhuman cavern hellbent on all things carnal.
So understand that while it felt good to see them on the television doing their thing everyday, it’s not always about a Black thing as I enjoy the perspectives of all who have something relevant to share. But let’s face it, Steve Harvey is a man who has spent the last half of his life in the trenches pursuing his craft and SHOULD know what he is talking about! I also must applaud him for having the courage to speak out on a situation that others would refrain from even acknowledging.
This comes from a man who is now at the TOP of his game with his own top rated show, best selling books and hosts a very popular game show. These are not the words of some disgruntled example of faded glory or some second rate “never was”, this man has a lot to lose and I believe would NOT say such a thing if it weren’t true! But I believe that he is at a point in his life and career where he said to himself that he could afford to get cut off from the mainstream now because of his comments as no one can take away what he has
done or clean out I believe is a huge bank account giving him very deep pockets.
But that wasn’t all he said and this is why I spoke of the Roland Martin/Soledad O’Brien firings here in the same article, he also mentioned in a shocking revelation that a Warner Brothers executive explained to him that African-Americans are manipulated by the television networks because they bring a guaranteed audience and blind loyalty to a new network that hasn’t been around too long and once their preferred core fan base is established then the Blacks are slowly phased out!
Is this the case with CNN? Possibly. I believe that it was more of trying to appear being more fair than a network like Fox News in the light of President Obama’s 2008 campaign because he is Black and now that he can’t really run again they have no need to employ these top Black news personalities because they have served their purpose. I also personally feel that Corporate America always wants to keep its leash short on all who work for them because for the most part many people have used the deep pockets of their Corporate backers to establish their own brand before either getting the boot or willingly jumping ship on their own to work independently on their own projects and endeavors.
The internet has definitely leveled the playing field for those who already have a worldwide following and credibility based on their work on such a huge network and I say to Roland Martin and Soledad O’Brien as well as Donna Brazile “KEEP STEPPING AND DON’T LOOK BACK!” You don’t need CNN anymore and while I do not know you wonderful guys personally I am quite sure that you are aware of the games that are played in your midst and I applaud you all for walking the tightrope as long as you have.
I know that you all have other independent projects that you are currently working on and I urge ALL of us, not just Black people, but ALL of us who are sick and tired of the big Corporate machine devouring up the real truth tellers for their own image makeover before spitting them out like a bad meal when they got what THEY wanted out of them! Shut them ALL down and show NO support at all to them!
Now I know out of habit many of you will find it just too hard to avoid watching a network that can be so calculating and cold to the very people who have partially supported it for the most part, but those of us who DO have the discipline to do so I would suggest reaching out to other independent sources of news that directly affect OUR communities and even if you don’t have the money to donate to their cause that serves you then SHARE THEIR LINKS with others in your circle!
All it takes is a mere click of a button but many of us for some reason find THAT simple action too hard to do while so many of us are so willing to share the other buffoonery that is floating around on the internet.
I have to say, that there are so many talented, hard working independent people of color and others who are creating relevant and compelling work in a multitude of categories covering the fields of journalism, documentaries, music, art and entertainment that there is no reason to have to depend on a machine that will eventually shut you down abruptly when you no longer serve their purpose.
One other point that I want to make that has been stirring in my soul for so long is that we need to band together more so instead of trying to do our own thing.
What do I mean by this?
While it is very much an admirable thing to venture into being an entrepreneur it is also JUST as important to create a structure that is bigger than all individual participants that will be an aid to those up and coming talents that would otherwise be unseen and possibly remain unknown to the masses. With the racist mainstream corporations who care not about presenting liberating content to unlock our people out of their deep sleep that profits everyone else except themselves, I believe the time is long overdue for us ALL to turn our backs on THEM forever to embark on a creative revolution that will awaken the sleeping giant that we have been for so long!
Now we can never have too many production companies and media moguls who have their hands on the pulse of what the people want and while we have the Tyler Perry’s of the world as well as Oprah, we need to know that their success is merely the tip of the iceberg and there is so much room for others who are willing to take the helm and guide us to a new reality with the very creative resources that we ALREADY have in our possession if we were to just wake up and realize this!
Now understand that everyone in the industry is not racist but I think because too many are and too many have the power to influence a community that they don’t even care about we need to focus our energies on something that takes the power out of their hands and puts it back in ours. We are too preoccupied with the “boogie man” and how “he” holds us back when instead we can create freely the content that is most beneficial to us and our progress while using the energy that we would otherwise waste in complaining about the old system when we can happily find ourselves in stress free atmosphere of building the new!
So while hip hop clothing lines and celebrity fragrances seem to be the cool and expected thing to do once one has “made it” to a certain level of success and notoriety, realize that it will only go but so far in the bigger scheme of things and become another passing fancy when the next fad or superstar comes along.
Unity in the Black entertainment/media world has been a big problem as it is a mere reflection of our condition as a people and until we get past that destructive mindset we can cry racism all we want but we are our own worse enemies and are LONG OVERDUE to rise up and claim our independence for ourselves but just don’t seem to get past this. It took hundreds of years to find ourselves in this condition and I believe it might take another few generations to take ourselves out of it.
But until then, we will be at the mercy of the powers that be and only can aspire to be mere pawns in a game that THEY own while fighting over the tossed and rejected crumbs when we could eat well on a plate that we own, on a table that belongs to us, and in a house that is in our name PAID IN FULL!
Steve Harvey I applaud you for your honesty and I have a new found respect for you for speaking out when others wouldn’t dare! We need more like you and keep up the good work!
Now go out everyone and find an independent unknown media entity to support and share it with all of your Facebook and Twitter friends.
That is your homework for tonight and the test will be tomorrow first thing in the morning!
Peace & Righteous Love Always,
Your Brother & Part Time Professor,