This is from the Pro-Choice Public Education Project, who strive to be an exceptional bunch of screwheads. You might remember that they're also concerned about how 77 percent of anti-abortion leaders are men. That means 23 percent are women, and feminists should be thrilled to see a group with that many female leaders.
Even better, that 77-percent figure may even be the truth. The pierced tattooed gal is selling a lie. Think you can do what you want with your body? Then you're absolutely right. Frankly, we need stronger legislation to make sure that fewer underage kids get tattoos. Don't worry about anti-abortion laws, though. When it comes to abortions, you can do anything you want with your body. People barely get jail time for killing the kid after it comes out of the womb.
But none of that is the problem with the Pro-Choice Public Education Project. They're simply out of step with modern times. The message seems to be that people should be in control of their bodies. That's a pretty unpopular message.
Slavery is very much in vogue right now. In fact, many people adore slavery enough to insist that Elian Gonzalez be sent back to Cuba. They keep saying Elian should be returned to his father, but nobody's really that stupid. They must know that Elian would actually return as the property of the Cuban government.
People like Charles Rangel, naturally, have never cared about freedom. The Congressman has always helped to enslave his constituents with welfare, drugs and worse. No one's surprised to see him protecting Cuba's property rights. It's a little sadder to see the National Council of Churches endorsing slavery. But then, the NCC is a very liberal organization. Those folks can never bring themselves to have any problems with Fidel Castro. The Gay Cable Network has even decided it was a pretty cool idea for the Cuban dictator to imprison AIDS patients.
To be honest, these people are all welcome to kiss up to Castro's fuzzy face. Maybe they're simply bidding for a chance to meet Naomi Campbell. But wouldn't it be nice if we could at least put off all this pro-slave activism until after Black History Month?
It just seems polite. Let Elian live like a normal kid for a few more weeks. Which, contrary to popular belief, includes the right to go to Disney World and have a real good time. There's plenty of time to put the kid into slavery later. That lack of liberty has been around for centuries. If anything, we should have learned that much from previous Black History Months.
Others, however, are desperate to ignore the facts and get Elian back to his owners. Tom Tomorrow?in a typical display of his deep thinking?had "This Modern World" equating Elian with a child from Arkansas forced to stay in New York City. Never mind that Arkansas and New York City both offer children the freedoms of any good democracy. Heck, even an Arkansas rapist can become president of the United States.
In contrast, Elian wouldn't even be able to decide what his favorite dessert is in Cuba. The dictatorship has final say in which children are allowed to eat certain foods. Actually, that was also part of Hillary Clinton's health care plan. Tom Tomorrow may have been more honest than he intended.
On the other hand, Tom Tomorrow wouldn't be complaining if Elian were getting plenty of treats from Habitat for Humanity. This fine organization?which is dedicated to many Cuban ideals?recently learned about the slave mentality when they foreclosed on some low-income housing they had built in Detroit. Many new homemakers decided that $400 was a little excessive for a monthly mortgage, and figured it was better to see what would happen if they just relied on their benefactors.
To their eternal credit, Habitat for Humanity decided to become Habitat for Expecting People to Show a Little Responsibility. They foreclosed so quickly that Al Sharpton didn't even have time to call them Jews.
This probably came as a shock to the deadbeats. You can't have a slave mentality without being as stupid as a slave. And we don't mean those wealthy slaves to Fashion Week, either. Certain black leaders revel in proclaiming their ignorance. Just look at what happened when the McKenzie River Corp. recently decided to quit insulting black consumers.
The typical advertising tradition provides sophisticated imagery for the affluent, and simpler imagery for the inner cities. Call it racism, and the agencies will just defend it as demographics. They might even have a point. But McKenzie River decided to buck the system. They introduced an inner-city ad campaign for their Steel Reserve beer. The posters featured pictures of mating turtles and rhinos. The headline read: "Research Says Sex Sells Beer."
This wasn't particularly innovative advertising. A lot of hip agencies have gotten mileage out of this old trick. The NYC-based Mad Dogs and Englishmen was a pioneer, using posters of mating animals to sell a pretty stuffy theatrical production.
Still, it was groundbreaking stuff in the inner city. Most agencies usually just pay some rapper to pose menacingly with their product. The people at Stroh's tried to respect their audience.
Councilman Bill Perkins found this to be very disturbing. He represents an Upper West Side district that ranges from white communities and on up to Harlem. Big government is his master, so he treats his constituents as lesser slaves. He also knows that you keep slaves docile by creating a false need for protection. Perkins decided that the Steel Reserve ads were, in his words, "some sort of joke about deviant sex in the black community."
In a similar rush to be no earthly good, the heavenly minded Rev. Calvin Butts seconded the lie. Their ignorance of a world outside the ghetto did not matter. They cared more about protecting their communities from any margin of respect.
The ads for Steel Reserve beer were quickly pulled. A clear message was sent to the advertising community: The black demographic isn't fit for general-market advertising.
This was actually a shameful moment for the ad biz. There was no outcry from the agencies. No one suggested that the actual black consumers should make their own decisions about the campaign. The ad agencies simply shrugged their shoulders and agreed that black folks sure are stupid.
I haven't seen a Steel Reserve ad lately, but the posters probably don't feature a scowling Big Pun. Stroh's probably just abandoned the market. Personally, though, I would have followed up with posters of Frederick Douglass pouring a shot for his homies.
Of course, Frederick Douglass isn't a popular role model in the black community?at least the black community as served by the media. "Things changed forever with the airing of that 'This is your brain on drugs' spot," explains soap opera star Timothy D. Stickney to TV Guide. "You can no longer do a spot about Black History Month and say, 'Hi, I'm here today to tell you about Frederick Douglass."
Instead, Stickney appears in one of the Black History Month spots produced by ABC. These public-service ads are directed by Spike Lee, and mainly explain that black people are still oppressed. One explains how the United States Constitution is a pretty racist manifesto.
Meanwhile, the kids in my all-white suburban schools were taught how that same Constitution allowed Abraham Lincoln to free the slaves. We also learned about Frederick Douglass.
At least this recurring mindset conveniently outs all the true racists. Marvel at this month's copy on George cover boy Denzel Washington: "He's smart. He's sexy. And he's breaking the rules in a white man's world." Now, who in the 90s still thinks of this as a white man's world? George must have moved the entire editorial staff to a militia camp in Idaho.
Or maybe that line was one more homage to John Kennedy Jr. I once saw the creep stroll past a velvet rope specifically posted to keep blacks and Hispanics out of a popular nightclub. A movie star like Denzel Washington would probably have been allowed in, though. Denzel be breaking them rules all the time.
In better times, all this institutionalized stupidity would only let a lazy writer knock out a column using old press clippings. The sad truth, however, is that there are real consequences to embracing the slave mentality. A powerful man, for example, once told me that his company no longer even considers job candidates from black universities. This man isn't a racist. There is, in fact, a black man being prepared to eventually take over this person's powerful position. The problem had nothing to do with black job candidates. The problem was black universities turning out people who were simply unfit for employment. Admittedly, I was still initially bothered by that sweeping generalization. Having now read many horror tales from prominent black universities, I'm bothered more that parents would allow their children to attend a black university. An embarrassing number of them sacrifice education in favor of a frequently demeaning take on the black experience. It was wrong for me to be leering at Lisa Bonet on A Different World. Somebody should have been helping that poor girl.
Equality is on the way, though. More and more stupid white kids are buying into the slave mentality. They want the government to take care of them. Why, they're even desperate to give up responsibility. The wonderful liberal town of Berkeley is regularly forced to deal with young lowlifes who sweep in to take advantage of the proto-Cuba lifestyle. These idiots are predominantly white, of course, and typically the pathetic offspring of hippie parents.
At the end of '98, the young bums attempted to cut a deal with their overlords. They promised to stop pissing on Telegraph Ave. and sleeping on the street. They were even willing to panhandle in smaller groups. All that Berkeley had to do in return was provide more trash cans, build a dog run and open a shelter for young people. And the masters also had to do a better job of keeping the public restrooms clean. We can't expect this new breed of pickaninnies to clean up after themselves, you know.
Those were some savvy young cretins. They must have taken lessons from Kweisi Mfume himself. One kid gave a particularly chilling quote, and summed up the horror of embracing the sins of our fathers?both master and slave. "My parents used to hang out here when they were young," he boasted. "This is a part of history, whether they like it or not."