If you need to do this then you’re not worth shit

Brazilian funk star Anitta sparks new debate about skin whitening and race

Anti-discrimination campaigners say singer appears paler since signing record deal

Anitta pictured when she was a relative unknown and on stage in Brazil last month. Photograph: Mauricio Santana/Corbis

Brazil’s latest funk sensation, Anitta, has won millions of fans by taking the favela sound into the mainstream, but she is now front and centre in a resurgent debate about skin colour.

Anti-discrimination campaigners and social commentators say the music industry’s fastest rising star has had to sacrifice her blackness to make it into the predominantly white middle-class market.

The controversy was prompted by the publication of then-and-now photographs that show a dramatic lightening of Anitta’s skin tone since she signed a deal with Warner.

In the first, when she was relatively unknown, she looked darker. In the second – a marketing shot after she became famous – she seems paler. Whether this was the result of whitening products and cosmetic surgery or – more likely – Photoshop tweaks, the contrast has rekindled discussion about whether you need to be pale to get ahead in Brazil.

Jarid Arraes, a psychology student and blogger, wrote a post decrying the latent discrimination in media and marketing that she felt Anitta’s image change represented. “People refuse to accept that they are racist and they think they live in a multiracial democracy, but the statistics show that is far from the case. The whitening shows us a profoundly intolerant society that doesn’t support diversity … white is the image of the rich, the nice, the successful, the good, while people see black as the opposite of all that.”

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Opinion:

This is pathetic!

If you can’t accept your skin colour, then you’re not worth shit!

If you have to change your skin colour to market your music, then your music is crap. If it was any good then your skin colour wouldn’t matter.

 

 

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Here there be Dragons

Ossett cafe owner ‘warns’ customers she is black

Martha-Renée Kolleh said the notice had prompted “one or two swear words”

A cafe owner has put up a sign telling customers she is black because she is fed up with people walking out when they see the colour of her skin.

The sign on the door of Yeanon Cafe in Ossett, West Yorkshire, reads: “I am a black woman… If you are allergic to black people, don’t come in.”

Martha-Renée Kolleh said she put it there because of the way she has been treated by some customers.

“When they open the door they will expect to see a black face,” she said.

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Opinion:

Yes, here there be dragons (racism)!

Congratulations to this woman who has taken the bull by the horns.

In this day and age, racism has no place.

 

 

Philanthropy at its Best

Righting the wrongs of my rightwing stepfather

When Anthony Perry received an inheritance from a racist parent, he decided to use some of it to make amends

Anthony Perry holding a photo of his stepfather, Michael Young. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian

Michael Young was an extreme right-winger and racist who devoted much of his life to propagating a skewed form of biblical fundamentalism. In the estimation of his stepson, Anthony Perry, he was “a pretty dreadful man”.

When Young died in 2000, shortly after his 100th birthday, Perry was a little embarrassed to receive an inheritance. He gave the bulk of it to his daughter, treated himself to a good suit, and then resolved to have some fun with the remaining £10,000. More than a decade later, he is still doing so.

Perry put the cash into what he called the Michael Young Fund, to be given away in small amounts to people and organisations he judged to have done something worthwhile. The fact that most of them would have been anathema to his benefactor was to prove an added satisfaction.

“He was wholly self-centred and had no interest in anything beyond his Bible studies and the preparation of his meals,” Perry says of Young. “He neither read a newspaper nor stirred out of the house for the last 10 years of his life. It is hard to find any redeeming feature in the man.

“So it seemed a nice idea to pass the money he left to some of the individuals and the small organisations that try to do some good in the world.”

Young had been in the RAF, rising to the rank of wing commander in 50 Squadron of Bomber Command in the early part of the second world war, stationed at Waddington, Lincolnshire. He divorced Perry’s mother, remarried and moved to Scotland.

He was for some years an active, far-right extremist. Perry has seen correspondence between him and John Tyndall, founder of the British National party, and in 1961 Young made headlines when he hurled a bag of offal at Jomo Kenyatta, who was to become the first prime minister and then president of Kenya, when he was in London for independence talks. Young is said to have shouted: “Take that from the League of Empire Loyalists!”

Perry’s approach to giving away Young’s money, he freely admits, is idiosyncratic. He started off giving it to “earnest people who were indisputably doing good” – planting trees, sending disadvantaged children to summer camp, running a drop-in centre – but soon decided this approach was “all too mainstream, worthy and obvious”. Instead, he started acting on impulse: sending £100 to a handyman who, he discovered, was helping older people with household repairs; giving £300 to a teacher who had got an entire sixth-form college participating in some form of music; and writing a cheque for £1,000 to a GP who, he heard, was accepting patients turned away by other doctors.

A “very young girl with a new baby and with the father in the nick” got £200 from Perry for “baby clothes, pram etc and generally to cheer everyone up”; and two women who run activities for young people on estates close to his home in north London have received a total of £400 so far.

Recipients of smaller sums, typically £20, have included a bishop who presented a Thought for the Day that Perry liked on Radio 4’s Today programme; Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell “for causing pain to ungodly politicians”; and art critic Brian Sewell for his acerbic writing in the London Evening Standard. Sewell said he would spend the cash on oysters.

“I get great pleasure in doing these things,” says Perry, “because people are so pleased.” He always sends a leaflet explaining the fund and a letter on why the gift is being given.

Perry has replenished the fund and his wife Evelyn Williams, an acclaimed artist, donates a portion of her sales to it. Other people, taken with the idea, have chipped in small amounts. Only a few of those sent a cheque by Perry have returned it, among them the secretary to “an incompetent cabinet minister”, who did so with a humourless note after Perry offered the minister a small sum for “bravery under fire”.

No charity could get away with such frivolity. And Perry plainly revels in the mischief and spontaneity, as well as the knowledge that the man in whose name it is all being done – if no longer with his money – would have a blue fit. Such is his enjoyment that he urges other people who receive an inheritance or other windfall, or who have some cash to spare, to think about doing the same.

“It’s the easiest thing in the world,” says Perry. “If you can afford to do it, instead of just giving an inheritance to charity, why not have a bit of fun?”

Black & Persecuted

Black teenager ‘stopped 50 times’ plans to sue Met police for harassment

Youth claims false charges motivated by racism as CCTV footage leads to collapse of court case

The video is not available on YouTube, so you’ll have to check the link below.

A black teenager who says he has been stopped about 50 times by the Metropolitan police is planning to sue the force, claiming he has suffered almost four years of harassment and false charges, which he believes have been motivated by racism.

Between the ages of 14 and 17, the college student says he has faced a series of charges of which he has either been found not guilty or which have been dropped before getting to court, as well as numerous stops and searches and two strip searches, none of which identified any criminal activity. He says he has also been detained several times in police cells after which he was released without charge.

Last week the teenager appeared at Bromley youth court, south London, charged with assaulting a police officer. The case collapsed after CCTV footage contradicted the evidence in court of PC John Lovegrove, who claimed to have been assaulted by the youth during a stop and search.

The Crown Prosecution Service has admitted it did not review the case fully before it went to court and is to apologise to the youth for allowing the case to go ahead.

The Met police confirmed the acquittal but declined to comment further. However, it is understood concerns about this and other failed charges against the youth, and all the stops and searches, are being investigated by police.

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Opinion:

A case of racial profiling. Quite frankly you expect this to happen in America, but the rot seems to have spread across the Atlantic.

We call ourselves ‘civilised,’ we are not even close.

 

Trayvon Martin And Walking While Black

 

By Guest Contributor Aurin Squire, cross-posted from Six Perfections & Racialicious

Keep moving. 

Don’t stop. 

Don’t make eye contact. 

I have felt like Trayvon Martin. Many many times while walking at night, being pulled over by police, being told that I’m not supposed to ‘be.’ My ‘being’ in a space has caused questions, concerns, suspicions. In the back of my mind I always wondered if there would be a reckoning. If my ‘being’ would become so intolerable to someone that they would try to end my existence rather than engage in a conversation.  The only difference between me and Trayvon is that I am still here and he is not.  Still, the question lurks around the subconscious when I walk home every night from the subway and a police car slows down alongside me. The squad car slows down. Eyeballs examine my ‘being,’ noticing any signs of anger, insanity, guilt. I continue walking, pretending to be oblivious. In most cases this is the best sign of innocence: by pretending to not notice.

Unlike myself, Trayvon physically noticed the accusation. He noticed the suspicion and dared to walk toward it. Stare at it, as he spoke with his girlfriend over the phone. Curious, as to who could be staring at him so intently he took a step in Zimmerman’s direction. Staring directly at George Zimmerman before quickly walking away.

When I am walking in strange or dark surroundings I try to keep it moving. No time to stop. I hear my parents’ voice of survival.

 

You don’t know where this person is coming from.

You don’t know what they want or what they’re trying to get.

They could be trying to get into a fight. They could be trying to rob you. It could be a trap.

Keep it moving. 

A few years ago I was headed home from the library. Two figures came out of a building and began pursuing me. From the corner of my eye, I saw that they were two tall football-muscular men in their 20s. They happened to be White. I keep my eyes on the path. They seemed to be trying to catch me.

I flipped up my collar and continued walking briskly. One of the men came alongside me.

Dude, do you have a lighter?

No, I don’t smoke.

Stupid n-gger.

I continued walking very quickly. This felt like a trap of some sort. I was supposed to react to it. Turn around and get in a fight with two bigger stronger men who seemed worked up about something. I was supposed to turn and scream ‘murder’ or swing at one of them. I was supposed to react and give them something. I picked up my pace and kept walking. I made sure not to run, but I never made eye contact. The goal was to get home. I was not going to be swayed by a ‘word’ that was intended to arouse my rage.

The two men eventually trailed off, seeing that I was unwilling to take the bait. Perhaps they found a Mexican, Asian, or another Black man that night. I wasn’t going to be ‘their one.’

On another occasion a cab driver seemed to go out of his way just so he could spit on my path and give me a murderous look. I was walking down the street carrying my airport luggage.

I could name other incidents of walking while Black: the police slow-downs, pull-overs, suspicious looks. It’s all the same because my reaction has to be measured and numb. I pretend not to notice and keep eyes fixed straight ahead.  Hands out of pockets and swinging along my side. Maybe I’ll start singing. A guilty man wouldn’t sing, would he?

More and more the last few years when I find myself WWB, a sad smile comes across my face. After all these years, you’re still looking for that sign of suspicion. It’s not here. I’m innocent. There is nothing wrong with me. I’m just a Black man out for a walk.

Opinion:

We live in a wicked, wicked world. It really makes me sick to think of the myopic arseholes that assume they are better than someone else, of the arseholes who want confrontation to show their power, of the ‘right’ who think that their freakin’ bible gives them the right.

Sometimes I really want to puke. Reading this post it makes me so sad that we force other human beings into this corner, that we can’t live and let live.