Friday, August 31, 2012

10464: Popchips’ Pathetic Pap.

Popchips has gone from racist to sexist. Honestly, is a 12-year-old creating this shit? Looks like a perfect candidate for The Pitch.

Update: Oops. Didn’t realize Popchips participated on The Pitch—although the statement above was referring to the hack agency responsible for the Katy Perry ad.

10463: Defusing Doggie Discrimination.

Is this ad seeking to counter pit bull and rottweiler discrimination?

10462: Spec Bank Conceptually Bankrupt.

Need an awful commercial or video? Try Spec Bank—claiming to be “the world’s only resource for high-concept, ready-to-shoot TV commercials from creatives at top ad agencies.” Want a sample? Here you go.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

10461: Republicans Are Nuts.

From The Washington Post…

RNC ejects attendees for assaulting an African-American camera operator with peanuts

By Jamila Bey

Whether or not you believe that racial prejudice pervades the Grand Ol’ Party or that there exists a Republican-led “War on Women,” the RNC has some explaining to do.

The way party officials handled events at their Mitt Romney-endorsing convention in Tampa should leave everyone with gut-wrenching lament for the future of the party that once claimed Honest Abraham Lincoln as its own. Two incidents that occurred within hours of each other scream for a need for Republicans to face their racial unease.

Did I say “unease?” No, that might describe Rick Santorum talking about his relationship with “blah people” or Mitt Romney discussing bling. This is true race baiting — hatred to the very core. Perhaps the party didn’t create the problem, but the leaders’ reaction certainly lends keen insight into how such opinions could be allowed such open expression at all.

In the first incident, a Puerto Rican delegate was shouted down with chants of “USA! USA! USA!” This wasn’t a shoutout for the island territory to finally join the rest of the country as a unified state. Likelier is that the near completely white crowd heard a Spanish-accented voice that brought to mind those darker-skinned “immigrants” many of them have come to deplore and blame for all the nation’s ills. (I use quotes, because it’s a standard assumption among race-baiters that a different complexion illustrates a person “isn’t from around these parts.”)

A mere Mississippi minute later (slower than a New York minute and lacking the diversity and tolerance) an African-American camera woman was verbally assaulted and hit with peanuts as she did her job.

We’ll get back to that first incident in just a moment, but for personal reasons, I want to attend to the second.

Reporter David Shuster, kicked off the firestorm when he tweeted “GOP attendee ejected for throwing nuts at African-American CNN camera woman + saying ‘This is how we feed animals.’”

My heart jumped. I thought, “Hey, I wonder if that’s my girlfriend?” I sent her a quick chat: “Are you the camerawoman everyone is talking about?” She promptly responded, “Yes.”

I welled up with tears. Empathy enveloped me. It was easy to imagine that could have been me as I nearly covered the convention myself but for a certain toddler getting ready to start pre-school. More important, how dare they do this to my girlfriend! This is someone with whom I’ve gone on double-dates, spent hours talking about hair and made runs to the organic market. More recently, we have planned unfulfilled spa vacations together.

She and CNN are not talking to media. However, she agreed to talk to her friend and I promised to honor her request that I not name her.

She was assigned to film from the floor of the convention in the recessed camera area. This is right among the thousands of delegates who converge on the forum floor to listen to their Republican leaders, nominate Mitt Romney as their candidate for president and, apparently, throw things at people darker than they are.

“I was just about to put on my headset when someone started throwing peanuts at me,” she told me. “I didn’t understand what was going on.” She recovered enough to ask one man, “Are you out of your damned mind?” A pair of older white men walked to the railing preventing people from falling down into the camera pit. One hurled more peanuts at her and taunted, “Here! Want some more peanuts?”

Then they actually started hitting her with them. “This is what we feed to the animals at the zoo!” he continued. While his partner laughed, the thrower leaned over the railing as if he WAS at the zoo and snorted, “Here’s some more peanuts.”

My friend continued, “It was like they were heckling me.” It became clear to her these people were enjoying her torment. Two African-American cameramen and a female Caucasian reporter came over to investigate the fracas, but none had clearly heard what the men said. CNN security arrived by coincidence and set off after them.

At this point, I expected my friend to tell me how the RNC apologized profusely, how they genuinely seemed to feel bad and how they themselves became outraged by the whole thing. She didn’t. Rather, she told me that RNC security investigated by asking of the assailants, “Were they black or were they white?”

“Are you kidding me, Jamila?” She asked. “I’m from the Deep South! I know racism when I see it and when it’s being thrown at me. No black person would have done that!”

Then a pair of people who identified themselves as RNC officials came to apologize — or offer what to them passed as such. “These must have been alternates,” one said. “Our delegates would never do anything like that.” The RNC’s official statement is that “Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.”

CNN, too, released a statement. “CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon. CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment.”

Incident over. Back to the convention. Nothing more to see here, folks.

I know plenty of people at the RNC this week, both white and black. They have all pointed out how white it is. With a few exceptions, if you see a person who is black, Arab or Hispanic, the chances are they are with the media, vendors or they’re in uniform (police, secret service, security, whatever). The party is even called out by some of its own members for being too white, too male, and not inclined to dissociate itself from the charge of being non-inclusive. Is it any wonder that — however much feigned outrage they claim — they can simply dismiss a legitimate cause for concern?

A female member of the media was verbally attacked and assaulted with projectiles on the floor of the Republican Party’s National Convention on the same day as the RNC chairman, Reince Priebus, had to try to restore order when a delegate from Puerto Rico began to speak in favor of Mitt Romney’s candidacy. With so few non-white faces, it’s no surprise that the GOP would showcase what little diversity it has.

What to do, then, when one of your star ethnic minorities takes the stage only to be drowned out by racist chants? Now, some have contended these “USA!” chants were in fact Ron Paul protesters causing a disturbance. However, there’s much video of that incident and Chairman Priebus himself asked of the crowd to please give respect so that the “lady from Puerto Rico” could give her report.

Host of “Capitol Correspondent,” and my colleague at the Voice of Russia radio, Carmen Russell-Sluchansky was actually on the RNC floor at the time. He explained that while there may have been some Paul-supporting dissidents, he’d just come away from interviewing those in attendance to support Paul and most of them were not in their chairs at the time of this event. He said, “It was pretty clear that it wasn't just Ron Paul people. There may have been [supporters] but it was clearly not just one bloc.”

At a time when the GOP has been charged with discounting the voices, bodies and the safety of women, it is unacceptable that, when there’s such behavior on the floor of its national convention, the response from leaders of the party is less than a full repudiation.

To split hairs over “delegate” versus “alternate” or to blame Ron Paul fans for shouting down the Spanish-accented speech of a fellow American speaks to the larger issue of the current incarnation of the Republican Party: “Others” need not apply. Nora Ephron herself couldn’t have scripted a better potential “Kumbayah,” moment!

The leaders could have spoken out and made a plea for party unity and to welcome the stranger. Instead, the party looks at those not already part of the in crowd as cliques at a school cafeteria. The song though, is better suited to the play yard. “If you’re “other” and you know it clap your hands!” Then, please feel free to leave the tent. Oh, and close the peanut-gate behind you.

Jamila Bey is host of the Sex, Politics And Religion Hour: SPAR with Jamila on the Voice of Russia Radio network.

10460: Living La Vida Doritos Locos Tacos.

After selling 200 million Doritos Locos Tacos, Taco Bell is poised to offer two new flavors in its line of faux Mexican fast food. Wonder if Chef Lorena Garcia will be consulted in the concocting. According to Wikipedia, Doritos were invented in Disneyland—hardly a place known for its culinary creativity. Interestingly enough, Taco Bell’s menu items are almost cartoonish.

10459: Go Ahead, Make My Convention.

Not sure who thought it would be a good idea to invite Clint Eastwood to appear at the Republican National Convention. After all, GOP critics have accused President Obama of being out of touch and spending too much time golfing with Hollywood celebrities. Bringing in an A-list actor who has already demonstrated a willingness to shill for Madison Avenue seemed a tad hypocritical. Eastwood wound up representing his hosts pretty well. For starters, he made John McCain look downright youthful. Talking to an empty chair only compounded the sense of doddering senility. His most memorable line of the evening—“Go ahead, make my day”—is a roughly 30-year-old catchphrase. The man came off as awkward and outdated, with a touch of meanspiritedness. Yes, Eastwood perfectly symbolized all the qualities that define the Republican Party.

10458: Goodnight, Gracie Carvalho.

10457: Sex & Startups.

Jim Edwards at Business Insider published a follow-up report on the sex discrimination lawsuit involving MSLGroup honchos Jim Tsokanos and Neil Dhillon. Tsokanos has stepped down from his role as MSLGroup North America President, replaced by a female executive—although officials insist the move is not tied to the lawsuit. The company statement claims Tsokanos “has decided to leave…to move to a more entrepreneurial venture.” Amazing how sexual harassment charges can inspire entrepreneurship. Anyone want to guess the number of Madison Avenue startups that have launched after some bigwig was shuttled off upon getting caught making inappropriate moves on coworkers?

MSLGroup Chief Steps Down Following Sex Discrimination Suit

By Jim Edwards

MSLGroup North America president Jim Tsokanos has stepped down and been replaced by Renee Wilson, MSL’s chief client officer and managing director of its New York HQ. Wilson also runs MSL’s Procter & Gamble business—a key account at the agency. Tsokanos leaves after he was named in a potentially devastating proposed class action sex discrimination lawsuit by six of his former colleagues, including two svp/directors of the agency’s healthcare group, Monique da Silva Moore and Maryellen O’Donohue.

MSL, owned by Publicis Groupe, denies the claims and is fighting the suit.

MSL’s global CEO, Olivier Fleurot, also denied that Tsokanos’ departure was linked to the lawsuit. The company said in a statement:

Wilson takes over from Jim Tsokanos who, after 11 years, has decided to leave MSLGROUP to move to a more entrepreneurial venture.

The suit accused Tsokanos of making comments about the appearance of female employees in front of other employees during meetings, and “taking young female employees out for drinks frequently.”

It also accuses Neil Dhillon, managing director of the Washington D.C. office, of stripping down to his boxer shorts and groping several female employees at an office party. (Dhillon in July called an all-hands meeting at his office to deny the claims.)

At any agency, the most important client on the roster is likely to be P&G, the world’s largest advertiser. P&G’s primary consumer target is women and moms, who still make most of the decisions globally when it comes to household cleaners, detergents and personal care shopping.

Even if Tsokanos’ replacement by Wilson is completely unrelated to the suit, the move still sends a strong message to P&G: Our most important executive is now in charge of your business—and she’s a woman.

10456: Negrohood Watch.

From The New York Daily News…

Brooklyn primary candidate in N.Y. Assembly race says ‘negrohood’ mailer was just a ‘typo’

Ben Akselrod calls the error on a flier sent to voters last week ‘inadvertent’


Read more:

An Assembly candidate whose campaign sent mailers using the word “negrohood” to residents in his Sheepshead Bay district apologized Wednesday — calling the racially tinged language a “typo.”

“As the candidate, I take full responsibility for this inadvertent error and I am sorry to anyone who was offended by it,” Ben Akselrod, who’s running in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary against Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, said in a statement.

The Friends of Ben Akselrod sent the mailers last week, claiming that his opponent “has allowed crime to go up over 50% in our negrohood so far this year.”

Akselrod didn’t specify Wednesday whether his campaign intended to use the word “neighborhood” instead.

He said he faced discrimination as a Jew in his native Russia, and rejects “any form of racial and ethnic bias.”

He also blasted his opponent’s supporters for focusing on the typo instead of addressing crime in the community.

The Cymbrowitz campaign didn’t return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

Akselrod campaign treasurer Bryan Goldstein told the blog Sheepshead Bites that he was “not involved” in the creation of the flier, but resigned Monday anyway.

10455: Feeding Stereotypes…?

It’s swell that Hilton Garden Inn is partnering with Feeding America, but why do all the media tactics feature a Black child?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

10454: Arabian Slights.

Not sure what the hell is being communicated by these ads from DDB, India. Pretty certain it’s all culturally clueless.

From Ads of the World.

10453: Color Commentary At RNC.

From Reuters…

Yahoo! fires Washington news chief over Republican joke

Aug 29 (Reuters) - Yahoo! News fired its chief political correspondent on Wednesday for an off the cuff remark about Republicans partying “with black people drowning”.

David Chalian, the Yahoo! News Washington Bureau Chief, made the comment privately during a webcast of the Republican National convention on Monday in partnership with ABC News, but it was picked up by a live microphone.

With Hurricane Isaac approaching New Orleans as the convention got underway, Chalian was heard saying to an unidentified guest, “Feel free to say, ‘They’re not concerned at all. They are happy to have a party with black people drowning’”.

The remark was made over video of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney and his wife Ann, and laughter was heard in the background.

Yahoo! said in statement that Chalian’s remark “was inappropriate and does not represent the views of Yahoo!”.

“He has been terminated effective immediately. We have already reached out to the Romney campaign, and we apologize to Mitt Romney, his staff, their supporters and anyone who was offended.”

Chalian later apologized on his Facebook page for “making an inappropriate and thoughtless joke”.

“I was commenting on the challenge of staging a convention during a hurricane and about campaign optics,” he said.

Chalian said he had apologized to Romney and that he regretted “causing any distraction from the exceptional coverage of the Republican convention by Yahoo! News and ABC News”.

The Republican Party’s national convention in Tampa, Florida, was delayed by strong winds and heavy rains as Isaac grew from a tropical storm to a hurricane on its path up the Gulf Coast. (Reporting By Jill Serjeant in Los Angeles; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Andrew Hay)

10452: RNC = Racist National Convention.

From The New York Daily News…

Republican National Convention attendee given boot for racially taunting black CNN camerawoman

“GOP attendee ejected for throwing nuts at African American CNN camera woman + saying ‘This is how we feed animals,’” tweeted Current anchor David Shuster.


An attendee at the Republican National Convention was given the boot Tuesday for racially taunting a black CNN camerawoman, an incident the news network confirmed after it was reported on Twitter.

“GOP attendee ejected for throwing nuts at African American CNN camera woman + saying ‘This is how we feed animals,’” tweeted Current anchor David Shuster.

The tweet created a virtual buzz as people went online to share opinions about the convention speeches of Ann Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, but it appears to have preceded the night’s two main speeches.

The identity of the attendee was not immediately known, and it was not clear whether the person was a delegate or just someone with a ticket to the convention center.

“CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon,” the network said in a statement. “CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment.”

10451: Bermuda Short On Big Idea.

New York Times Advertising Columnist Stuart Elliott reported on the new Bermuda Tourism campaign from Fuseideas in Boston. After all the drama and alleged illegal activities surrounding the account and former AOR GlobalHue, this latest campaign seems criminal in its absolute lameness.

Bermuda’s New Pitch Is Short: ‘So Much More’

By Stuart Elliott

A popular vacation destination is trying again to encourage tourists to expect the unexpected, as well as all that visitors have traditionally traveled there for.

The goal is explicit in the theme of a campaign on behalf of the Bermuda Department of Tourism: “So much more.” The campaign, now under way, plays up cultural and culinary attractions and diversions like scuba diving and golf along with mainstays like the pink sand beaches and Bermuda’s proximity to the East Coast.

The campaign is the first work for the Bermuda tourism department from a new creative agency, Fuseideas in Boston, which was selected after a review that concluded in March. Fuseideas has also worked on travel campaigns for Florida, Maine and Massachusetts.

The budget for the Bermuda campaign is $4.8 million through early next year. The campaign is wide-ranging, including television and radio commercials; print, outdoor and online ads; the official tourism department Web site,; promotions; direct marketing like e-mail and newsletters; brochures; public relations; and social media like Facebook and Twitter.

The “So much more” theme replaces ads that urged potential visitors to Bermuda to “Feel the love.” Before that, Bermuda used ad themes that included “Let yourself go.”

There is a “fundamental difference” between “Feel the love” and “So much more,” says William Griffith, director for tourism at the Bermuda Department of Tourism in Hamilton, Bermuda.

The previous theme “is a statement,” Mr. Griffith says. “ ‘So much more’ evolves out of everything that is Bermuda and encompasses all that is unique to Bermuda.”

“‘So much more’ came from the Bermudians themselves,” he adds, and points tourists to “adventure, culture, history, restaurants and food.”

The theme also underlines initiatives by tourism officials to make Bermuda “more of a 12-month destination,” Mr. Griffith says, and continue efforts to differentiate Bermuda from the Caribbean.

(Yes, although Bermuda is “not the Caribbean,” Mr. Griffith notes, being “much farther north,” it still needs to remind Americans exactly where it is — and is not.)

The campaign is part of a national tourism master plan that Bermuda recently adopted, Mr. Griffith says, with a strategy of “leveraging the top strengths of the island” to help market it.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

10450: First Slave Lady Michelle Obama.

From Madame Noire…

Todavía Esclavos: The Real Message Behind Fuera de Serie’s Michelle Obama Cover

By Brande Victorian

Yes, that’s who you think it is. The wife of Barack Obama, the right-hand woman of the Commander-in-Chief of our nation, the First Lady of the United States; naked, nude, depicted as a slave on the cover of the August issue of the Spanish magazine, Fuera de Serie. Seated wrapped in an American flag, with one breast exposed, and a wrap around her head in the likeness of the famous Afro-Guadeloupean female slave painted by French artist Marie-Guilhelmine Benoist in 1800, the weekly lifestyle supplement to the Spanish newspaper Expansión wants to convey como “Michelle Se Come A Obama (Michelle eats Obama).”

It’s hard to say which came first, the clever headline that accompanies the feature on the Flotus, “Michelle Tataranieta De Esclava, Dueña De América” (Michelle great-great granddaughter of a slave, owner of America) or the brilliant idea to use artist Karine Percheron-Daniels’ nude image of her. But one thing that is consistently clear throughout the entire piece, whether by imagery or word choice, is the idea that Michelle Obama is and always will be a slave in far too many people’s eyes, no matter how far we’re removed from physical enslavement, and how high of a position she’s climbed to in society.

Before even dissecting the slave imagery depicted throughout this article, on the surface is a simple form of disrespect that is undeniable—the First Lady of the United States in the nude. Michelle Obama is far from being the only person Percheron-Daniels has recreated in this way, in fact she’s developed an entire series of “famous nudes” that includes portraits of Princess Diana, Eva Peron, Albert Einstein, and even Barack Obama in the buff. Though I can’t be completely certain, I’m almost sure none of those images has been plastered on the cover of a magazine in such a distasteful way, however. Not to mention, I would be shocked to find someone had the audacity to paint any of our other previous first ladies (or presidents for that matter) in such a way. And what’s most interesting is that despite being nude, all of the famous figures are shown naked with either a blank canvas behind them or elements that were relative to the time and place in which they existed. The same can’t be said of Michelle Obama, who it’s clear many would like to still think of as a slave, but who is a free woman, and a descendant of a free woman, who is also a descendant of a free woman. So why the slave representation?

According to Clutch, Percheron-Daniels wanted to showcase an “alternative unexpected reality” that allows us to “view famous individuals in a different way.” Michelle Obama as a slave isn’t all that unexpected, unfortunately, and it’s interesting how none of her other nude subjects are depicted in such a so-called alternative way. Digging herself into an even bigger hole, the artist says transforming Michelle Obama into Benoist’s slave figure was done “for obvious reasons.” So obvious, that she neglected to explain them, so allow me to fill in the blanks. The obvious reason is Michelle Obama is an obvious and proven descendant of slaves and the powers that be would never want her or any other negro/negriss to forget that no matter how far they climb up the socio-economic or political ladder, they (we) are and will always be nothing more than someone else’s laborers. We will always answer and be owned by someone else. And no matter how many rights we legally obtain, we will never be free. By choosing to use such a jarring image to tell the story of how America’s first lady “seduced the people of the United States” and “stole the heart of Barack Obama,” as Fuera de Serie describes her, it’s clear the magazine agrees with that mentality and wants to spread the message loud and clear: todavía estamos esclavos. We are still slaves. It’s a good thing there are more Barack and Michelle’s out here who are determined to prove that slave mentality false.

10449: Amos ‘N’ Annie.

Annie the Chicken Queen is back in a new Popeyes commercial, hyping handcrafted food versus frozen. Does anyone believe Annie is personally cooking up your order? Of course, GSD&M will forbid the spot from being posted online, so MultiCultClassics won’t even bother to seek a copy. Instead, enjoy these images of actress Deidrie Henry—as well as this bizarre Popeyes video, allegedly from Singapore, starring Amos Yee.

Monday, August 27, 2012

10448: Damn Good Advice, Damn Good Book.

Damn Good Advice (for people with talent!) by George Lois presents 120 nuggets of wisdom from the advertising legend—including a few on diversity and equality—to provide insight, insider information and inspiration. Starry-eyed students may find motivation to join the industry, while bleary-eyed veterans may remember why they got into the business. Damn Good Advice (for people with talent!) is a history book, autobiography, art guide, instruction manual, spiritual doctrine, manifesto and damn good read.

10447: Gringo Agency Wins Del Taco.

Advertising Age reported Del Taco selected Camp + King as its new AOR after a review. No word if the competition included any Latino agencies. Then again, Del Taco appears to be a poor White man’s Taco Bell. Chief Brand Officer John Cappasola claimed the fast feeder sought “an agency that was going to bring relevant…but also really strong strategic communications chops”—however, “relevant” obviously has no relation to Mexican authenticity.

Del Taco Creative Goes to Camp & King

Fast-Food Chain Was Working With Doner

By Maureen Morrison

Havas-backed Camp & King has been named the agency of record for Del Taco following a review.

The account was previously at Michigan-based Doner, but it was believed that the incumbent, which has had the account since 2008, did not participate in the review; SRI oversaw the pitch process. Camp & King will be responsible for TV, digital, radio, in-store and other traditional and non-traditional media, but media buying and planning will stay at Palisades MediaGroup. A new campaign is expected to break in early 2013.

Del Taco is the third-largest Mexican chain in the U.S., with systemwide sales of about $601 million in 2011, a 3.8% increase over the prior year, according to Technomic. Taco Bell is by far the largest chain in the category, with 50% market share and $6.8 billion in sales. Fast-casual chain Chipotle is the No. 2 chain in the category, with $2.26 billion in systemwide sales in 2011, a 23.4% jump over 2010.

“When we talked about the review and what we were looking for, [we wanted] an agency that was going to bring relevant…but also really strong strategic communications chops,” said John Cappasola, chief brand officer at Del Taco, adding that it was important for the agency to understand how to market a “mature brand.”

Mr. Cappasola also said that the chain recognizes that it needs to reinforce its positioning as a chain that offers both value and quality, so that it can compete against both Taco Bell and Chipotle—the former, which is known for its value, and the latter, its food quality. He added that while the campaign isn’t set in stone yet, “our positioning around quality value and getting proper credit for the things we do as a credible fresh-value player is critically important.”

Del Taco, which has more than 545 restaurants in 17 states, is a relatively small measured-media spender. In 2011, it spent just under $7 million in U.S. measured media, according to Kantar, down from $8.4 million in 2010.

Still, the account is a boon for Camp & King, which is a relatively young agency, having just opened its doors in early 2011. The San Francisco shop counts Old Navy, Gap and Capital One among its clients.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

10446: More Musings On Moronic Megan Lochte.

The incredibly ignorant Megan Lochte has inspired a few additional thoughts.

Considering how triple jumper Voula Papachristou was dumped from Greece’s Olympic team for her culturally clueless Tweets mocking African immigrants—and officials at Euro 2012 were ready to penalize teams, countries and fans for racist behavior—it would be appropriate for Ms. Lochte to experience similar reprimands. For starters, she should be banned from attending any future Olympic events. And like the Euro 2012 teams and countries connected with bigots, the Ryan Lochte posse should be punished for its association with Ms. Lochte. After all, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Additionally, if there is truth in Ms. Lochte’s excuse that her 2008 performance was actually a staged skit, Maryland late night comedy talk show Closing Time, as well as its Baltimore-based comical host Mickey Cucchiella, should face disciplinary action too. Finally, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where Ms. Lochte studied multicultural marketing, owes an explanation regarding its curriculum.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

10445: Megan Lochte—Cross-Cultural Expert…?

(Note: This post features content from Jezebel and nationwide new sources. MultiCultClassics commentary appears as italicized text.)

Jezebel posted the following about Megan Lochte, sister of Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte:

Ryan Lochte’s Sister Is a Raging Racist Douchebag

By Dodai Stewart

This is sexy douchebag Ryan Lochte’s sister, Megan Lochte, in a 2008 appearance on a Maryland late night comedy talk show called Closing Time, hosted by Baltimore-based comedian Mickey Cucchiella. Enjoy.

In this four and a half minute clip — shot after the Olympic Games in Beijing — Cucchiella says to Megan, “Let’s talk about China. How long were you there?” Megan replies:

We were there for over a week. China was chinked out.

She then proceeds to use the word “chink” five more times, describing China as:

Chinks, everywhere.

Cucchiella suggests Megan not use the word “chink,” and Megan argues:

But it, like, fits them, because they’re like, chinks!

In what seems to be a feeble and horrifically offensive attempt at comedy, Megan also says that Chinese people “drive like ninjas.” When Cucchiella points out that ninjas are Japanese, Megan says:

They’re whatever we want, they’re Asian.

As if things could not get worse, the sister of gold medal winner Ryan Lochte describes the Great Wall thusly:

The Great Wall is misnamed. [It should be called] like, fucking huge OCD fence.

She also says “I don’t know about the commies over there.”

FYI, Megan’s Facebook page claims that she attended the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where she studied “Multicultural Marketing.”

Her family, her school and her professors must be so proud.

Not surprisingly, Ms. Lochte submitted an almost immediate apology, albeit with a bizarre explanation, that was picked up by nationwide new sources:

Megan Lochte apologizes for racist video

There was something fishy about a talk show interview clip that went viral showing Ryan Lochte’s sister, Megan, coming across as a serious racist.

According to Megan Lochte’s Facebook page, she studied multicultural marketing at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Hmm. Multicultural studies. Dropping lots of c-racist bombs about her trip to Beijing to watch her brother during the 2008 Olympics on a talk show. It didn’t seem to make sense.

Well, it seems it was all a skit. Lochte caught up with Us Weekly to clear everything up in a statement:

“This was not a real interview, and it in no way reflects my true feelings or persona whatsoever. The intent was to make fun of the ignorance of people who actually do not have an understanding of other cultures and speak in racist ways.”

“The skit and my character were supposed to be making fun of ignorance. I do see how it was highly offensive to the viewer, but as seen by today’s widespread outrage, it clearly did increase awareness of the ignorance of those who are racist.

“While the intent of the script was to shed light on cultural ignorance. I realize that in application it did offend people, and for that I apologize.”

Ms. Lochte’s explanation is all-American bullshit. If it’s true, she’s still extraordinarily culturally clueless—and probably a bona fide racist. The comedienne’s act puts her in a league with fellow comics including Michael Richards, Gilbert Gottfried and Don Imus. Perhaps the multicultural marketing enthusiast should take a position at an Asian American advertising agency. Then again, she’s a more suitable candidate for any White shop on Madison Avenue.

10444: El Whistleblower.

From The Los Angeles Times…

Ex-student’s persistence ended school’s day of Latino caricatures

Youth who first complained about Anaheim high school’s ‘Seniores and Señoritas’ day was told to ‘get a sense of humor.’ But he didn’t give up.

By Anh Do and Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times

He remembered classmates in huge sombreros and fake mustaches, and dressed as Border Patrol and immigration agents. He was offended seeing Latino culture reduced to caricature during the “Seniores and Señoritas” day for graduating seniors at Anaheim’s Canyon Hills High School.

So the day before it could take place his senior year, he went to see a campus official to lodge his complaint. He left speechless and discouraged.

“Get a sense of humor,” he was told.

Jared Garcia-Kessler, 19, graduated and started studying business at Santiago Canyon College in Orange. He took a Chicano studies class, became energized again, and this time took his complaint to the superintendent and demanded an investigation.

“We are a diverse campus,” he said of his former school, “so for us to hold a day like this, I was beside myself.”

And the probe — a copy of which The Times obtained this week — found that administrators not only ignored Garcia-Kessler’s complaints, but that senior week activity grew even more “extreme” in the year after he graduated. Students showed up at the Anaheim Hills campus dressed as gang members with bandannas and teardrop tattoos, as a pregnant woman pushing a baby stroller and as gardeners.

Michael L. Christensen, superintendent of Orange Unified School District, said in a written statement Thursday that the actions of these students were “demeaning and offensive.”

He added: “The district is committed to working with the staff and students of Canyon High School to ensure a positive school climate and culture in all school activities.”

An internal investigation found that “Seniores and Señoritas”—a play on the word “senior”—dates to at least 2009. As Anaheim has struggled with ethnic and social tension — a result of police shootings and heated debate over the distribution of political power in the majority Latino city — some argue that this may expose broader cultural insensitivities on campus and in the wealthy, majority white enclave of Anaheim Hills.

“They mirror their community, they mirror how they were raised,” said Sammy Rodriguez, a Santiago Canyon College instructor who urged Garcia-Kessler to report his concern. “It’s part of the fabric of that community. And the administration reinforced that, and that’s even worse.”

Diane Singer, a school board member whose district includes Canyon High School, said the district needs to bolster cultural tolerance where she says it’s missing. “It’s not just our school, it’s everywhere, and it needs to be addressed,” she said.

Singer met with Garcia-Kessler before he talked to the superintendent.

“It was painful,” she said of hearing his experience. “It hurt me a lot. I think the portrayal of Mexicans was racist. I’m a Latina. Something like this hurts you to your core, your soul. I know how these students feel.”

Kathryn Moffat, an Orange Unified school board member, said she could understand what led students to complain but believes the activity did not represent a widespread lack of cultural awareness on campus. “I don’t think what this small number of students did is indicative of, or can be extrapolated to represent, the student body,” Moffat said.

Even critics voiced support for solutions proposed by the investigation’s author — Aileen M. Sterling, executive director of secondary education — noting that it could send a powerful message and take steps toward correcting a troubling culture.

The proposals include eliminating “Seniores and Señoritas” day while adding an international week focusing on cultural appreciation, diversity and sensitivity training for Canyon High administrators and an elective ethnic studies course at a community college.

The matter was turned over to the district’s human resources department, although officials cautioned that they cannot disclose any disciplinary actions. Some, however, believe disciplinary action is in order.

“That shows how insensitive this person was,” Singer said of the school official who first downplayed Garcia-Kessler’s concern. “It goes down to their heart — how do you not see this is a problem?”

Garcia-Kessler said he was satisfied with the investigation. “I feel like they were transparent in their findings.”

Rodriguez said any changes will come about because of Garcia-Kessler and his persistence.

“Here you have a hero who steps up to the plate,” Rodriguez said. “He represents a generation that wants to bring about change. He took on the whole establishment and won.”

Despite the initial rebuff, Garcia-Kessler said he pushed the issue — even after he graduated — because of his own background. He is Latino, but identifies with many other cultures as well.

His stepfather is half Italian. His mother is half French Canadian and half Korean, adopted by a half-Irish, half-Norwegian family. His biological father is Mexican.

“I was raised to be accepting.”

10443: Overreaction Of The Week.

Nationwide news sources reported Black licorice is being recalled due to high levels of lead. Once again, the media depicts Black as dangerous.

Black licorice recalled due to high lead levels

UNION CITY, Calif. (AP) – Officials are warning consumers against eating black licorice candy produced by a California company because it contains high levels of lead.

The California Department of Public Health issued the warning Wednesday against 16-ounce bags of Red Vines Black Licorice Twists with the label “Best Before 020413.”

The manufacturer, American Licorice Co. of Union City, has issued a voluntary recall for the tainted batch.

Health officials say the licorice was distributed inside and outside of California. They’re working with the company to determine where it was shipped.

Officials say tests show the product contains levels of lead that are more than twice the recommended daily limit for young children.

Authorities say pregnant women and parents of small children should contact their health care provider if they have recently eaten the licorice.

Friday, August 24, 2012

10442: Cornrows And College Clash.

From The New York Daily News…

Virginia black-college business-school dean stands by decade-old ban on cornrows, dreadlocks

On the basis that men with cornrows and dreadlock are not ‘businesslike,’ the business school dean at Virginia’s Hampton University, a historically black school, has banned the hairstyles in a seminar for M.B.A. students.

A university dean in Virginia is sticking by a school ban on cornrows and dreadlocks on the basis that the strict hair policy helps students land jobs.

The ban at Hampton University, a historically black school, applies only to male business students taking a seminar that’s part of the school’s five-year M.B.A. program, ABC affiliate WVEC reports.

“We’ve been very successful,” Business School Dean Sid Credle told the station. “We’ve placed more than 99 percent of the students who have graduated from this school, this program [in corporate jobs].”

Despite the ban’s longstanding controversy — it’s been in place since 2001 — Credle says the hair policy has nothing to do with black culture.

“When was it that cornrows and dreadlocks were a part of African-American history?” he said. “I mean, Charles Drew didn’t wear it, Muhammad Ali didn’t wear it, Martin Luther King didn’t wear it.”

Credle says business students should look like businessmen.

“If you’re going to play baseball, you wear baseball uniforms,” he told WVEC. “If you’re going to play tennis, you wear [a] tennis uniform. Well, you’re playing that business.”

Credle refused to comment when reached by the Daily News.

Not all students agree with the school’s hair policy — but at least one says there’s an easy fix.

“I would just find another major,” said incoming freshman Uriah Bethea, who has dreadlocks.

“I don’t think it should matter,” Bethea told WVEC. “It’s my life. I should be able to do whatever I want to do.”

10441: Cultural Cluelessness In The Classroom.

From The Los Angeles Times…

Latino activists condemn ‘Seniores and Senoritas’ day

As news spread Thursday of an investigation into “Seniores and Senoritas” day, held at an Anaheim Hills high school where students dressed up as immigration agents and gang members, Latino activists condemned the activity as “very, very demeaning.”

The event, staged for at least three years at Canyon High School, was for soon-to-be graduates with the word “senior” in “seniores.” Shocked, a former student met with school district officials in June to complain about the insensitivity of the event, leading them to open a probe, a copy of which The Times obtained this week.

The investigation led to suggestions that the event be eliminated, and Latino support groups quickly denounced the activity.

“I’m very surprised that teachers are people who let these kinds of things happen,” said Yvonne Gonzalez-Duncan, president of Anaheim’s chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens.

But the event was “not something that just happens overnight,” she said, citing constant disparity in a city known internationally for tourism. While developers get subsidies to build gleaming hotels, she said, the people who toil inside—housekeepers and food servers—see hours and benefits cut, leading to protests in recent years.

Those in power can try to “make it more fair,” she said. “They can try to listen.”

Given the gap, and with district officials now wanting to offer diversity training at Canyon High, Gonzalez-Duncan suggests “bringing folks from different cultures on campus to talk about their specific culture. Why not learn straight from them,” rather than just books, she said.

Jared Garcia-Kessler, the student who first met with officials about the event, hopes that his peers learn a lesson. Canyon High symbolizes “a diverse campus,” he said of his alma mater, “so for us to hold a day like this, I was beside myself.”

Amin David, president emeritus of Los Amigos of Orange County, a cultural support group, agreed.

“I ask myself, ‘Is this the type of conversation these students are having in their homes?’

“And they’re in high school—wow. The age of reason certainly should be a part of their being,” he said, adding that there’s an urgency for more cultural education.

The outcry over the event comes on the heels of racial clashes in Anaheim, stemming from two recent police shootings of Latinos, and is indeed “poor timing,” David said.

Officials need to pay more attention to working families “on the verge of collapse,” he added. “We’re talking about allocation of resources. It speaks to the need for district elections” versus citywide voting, moving closer to fair representation.

—Anh Do in Orange County