The Snob was on Tell Me More with Michel Martin Wednesday where we discussed Republican Gov. Nikki Haley being not white, the newly released Jackie O. tapes and discussed what it meant for Angola's Leila Lopes to win Miss Universe. From the get-go, Michel seized on whatever face of "OMG, SO DON'T CARE" I was making over Miss Universe, a tournament run by Donald Trump-de-Dump-Dump-Dump that is super popular internationally, but not many people pay attention to in the U.S.
Entries in international (21)
When Haiti was a French colony it was France's most wealthy and productive colony. So wealthy that when the former slaves staged a successful revolt and defeated Napoleon's army in 1804, the former French landowners demanded that the government of France "compensate" them for their losses. In other words, they wanted the slaves who'd self-emancipated to pay for their own freedom. A tax on their own right of self-determination. This, despite the fact when the debt was demanded in 1825 slavery was already illegal in France.
Written by Rebecca Winson
International rescue teams have begun to arrive in Haiti, where a 7.0 scale earthquake has caused immeasurable destruction. The Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive believes the death toll could reach 100,000, although he admitted that he had no way of knowing the actual number.
The International Red Cross has estimated that three million people could need emergency relief. A coalition of 13 relief agencies, The Disasters Emergency Committee, is expected to launch a television appeal tomorrow. In the meantime, their spokesman has said that giving money is the best way to help. This enables supplies to be purchased as close to Haiti as possible and sent quickly to victims. Those wishing to donate should visit the following websites:
If you haven't heard a major earthquake hit the island nation of Haiti in the Caribbean today. Thousands are believed to be dead. There's even talk of having refugees be housed in Guantanamo Bay. (That wouldn't be the first time. Here's to hope it won't be a repeat of Camp Bulkeley at Gitmo where they held HIV infected Haitians in squalor.) There is talk they would be housed at Camp Justice where members of the press often stay.
I don't know enough about the disaster yet or the relief efforts, but I know a lot of my readers do, so I wanted to open up the blog for folks to leave comments about news out of Haiti and about ways people can help. (And you can also vent if you'd like or talk about Haiti if you have family or loved ones who live there.) The United States has had an uneven to horrid policy regarding the country (see anything involving Haiti, crooked dictators and the crooked dictators our country happily propped up). And Haiti remains heavily impoverished despite such a proud history. It's home to the one and only successful slave revolt in the history of the world ... and they've been pretty much punished since forever for demanding that freedom.
So share those stories, links and advice people. I want (and a lot of others want) to know how we can help.
The American Constitution was set up, specifically, to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. It was written in a time when in large swaths of Europe the church, primarily the Catholic Church or in our founders' case, the Church of England, dictated the daily lives of most people. If you wished to worship differently you were subjected to everything from harassment to death and this is why there is such an emphasis on the separation of church and state (even though some have forgotten why that separation was placed there to begin with).
Over time, as our country has evolved, the "minority" has gone from protecting religious minorities to different socio-economic groups to ethnic minorities to racial minorities to gender and others. There is a reason why major issues like interracial marriage and women in the workplace didn't come down to a vote. If it had been up to the will of the majority, women wouldn't serve in the military, blacks would still be slaves, all gays would stay in the closet and everything would be as it was in 1787 when only wealthy, white male landowners could cast ballots.
Sometimes the mob is wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong and wants nothing more than to bully those different from themselves. Case in point: the war against gays and Lesbians in parts of Africa.
I almost spat out my coffee this morning when I heard the news. I wasn't planning on updating the blog any further today and I'd slept in. And LOOK WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SLEEP IN! Someone gives the dang president the dang Nobel Peace Prize for ... um ... what did he win it for? The man JUST got elected! He hasn't even been in office a year. Isn't this really the Nobel Peace Prize for "Dang, We Really, Really Hated Bush?" Either way, yeah for the prez. Yeah for us. But ... um ... what?
New Obama Administration members Desiree Rogers and Valerie Jarrett with Linda Rice Johnson of Ebony Magazine (left-to-right) at a social event. Rogers and Jarrett will be part of the Obama White House team.
Beautiful and brilliant, I have to say I've been so far impressed with the black women who are popping up as potential parts of the administration. While I'm looking forward to which other black and other minority women and men who will be joining the them, here are the so far "fantastic four" of the Obama Administration.
New Job: White House Social Secretary
Super power: Party! Party! Party! Rogers is super social butterfly, big on the socialite scene in Chicago with her business connections and ability to have a good time
Obama Connection: Michelle Obama
From The Washington Post:
Rogers, 49, is a friend of Michelle and President-elect Barack Obama's, and a leader in Chicago corporate and civic circles; her appointment signals that the first couple consider the job crucial to how they introduce themselves to the country and the globe. She was a major fundraiser for Obama.
Claim to fame: Rogers was most recently with Allstate Financial, where she was "creating a social network of clients and consumers." She was also once president of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Rogers, who studied at Wellesley College and later earned an MBA from Harvard, was once married to Chicagoan John Rogers, Ariel Capital Management chief and another close Obama friend and fundraiser.
Her first highly visible post was in state government. She managed the lottery for then-Gov. Jim Edgar in the '90s, appearing on TV giving away pots of money.
Why she's fabulous: According to Obama friend Valerie Jarrett -- "This appointment sends a strong message that the Obamas want to use the White House strategically, to maximize its use in a way that is consistent with their philosophy -- [to] open it to a broader range of people, " said Valerie Jarrett, an Obama intimate and friend of Rogers's who also will work in the White House. "Desirée is a heavy hitter -- she comes with her own range of contacts from around the country. She's close to Michelle and she knows everyone who will be working in the West Wing, so she will be able to create a synergy."
New Job: White House Senior Adviser
Super power: Tenacious Charm and Outward Brilliance. She also managed to smooth things over with Clinton supporters, bringing them under the fold after the contentious primary race and she works as Obama's outreach to leaders within the black community
Obama Connection: She's a close and personal friend/mentor of Michelle, then later Barack
From The New York Times:
“I can count on someone like Valerie to take my hand and say, You need to think about these three things,” Mrs. Obama said. “Like a mom, a big sister, I trust her implicitly.”
Claim to fame: "A protégée of Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago, Ms. Jarrett served as his planning commissioner, ran a real estate company, the Habitat Company — whose management of public housing projects has come under scrutiny with Ms. Jarrett’s rise — and sits on too many boards to count. She is an expert in urban affairs, particularly housing and transportation, in an administration expected to lavish more money and attention on cities than its predecessors." (NYT)
Why she's fabulous: While new to Washington she's ready to hit the ground running in an effort to avoid the pratfalls that hindered hometown heroes like herself from making it in the Capitol.
She's tiny, but mighty, mighty powerful, in spite of being "underestimated" due to her ethnicity, gender, height, pixie haircut, being the only black woman in the boardroom and the fact that she's very "girlish" with a "singsong voice and suits that earned her a recent profile in Vogue." (NYT)
Name: Susan Rice
Potential Role: Ambassador to the United Nations
Super power: Anti-Genocide Warrior (she has also penned the occasional column for Huffington Post)
From the International Herald Tribune:
The choice of Rice to represent the United States before the United Nations will make her one of the most visible faces of the Obama administration to the outside world aside from Clinton. It will also send to the world organization a prominent and forceful advocate of stronger action, including military force if necessary, to stop mass killings like those in the Darfur region of Sudan in recent years.
Obama Connection: She's a warrior. She needed no such connections! Actually, she's a former Clintonite who switched sides.
Claim to fame: She's considered brilliant and tough.
Writes the International Herald Tribune:
If confirmed, Rice at 44 would be the second-youngest ambassador to the United Nations. A Rhodes scholar who earned a doctorate in international relations at Oxford University, she joined Bill Clinton's National Security Council staff in 1993 before rising to assistant secretary of state for African affairs at age 32. When Obama decided to run for president, she signed up as one of his top advisers, much to the consternation of the Clinton camp, which resented what it saw as a defection.
Some colleagues from her Clinton and Obama days said Rice can be blunt and unafraid to "mix it up," as one put it, on behalf of issues she cares about. Rice herself acknowledges a certain impatience at times.
Admirers said she is a good listener and able to stand up to strong personalities, including foreign autocrats and militants in volatile regions of the world.
"Susan certainly is tough, and she's tough in exactly the right way," said Strobe Talbott, a former deputy secretary of state and now president of the Brookings Institution, where Rice has worked in recent years. "She's intellectually tough, she's tough in her approach to how the policymaking process should work and she will be very effective as a diplomat."
Why she's fabulous: Goodness, she wants to stop genocide in Darfur in the Sudan. That makes her fabulous enough. Good luck to her on that.
She's also not John Bolton, Bush's former recess appointment as Ambassador to the UN. Bolton, like much of Bush and Co., didn't believe in the purpose of the UN or giving it any power -- real or perceived. Therefore they sent a man to work at frustrating and undermining the organization our country help found and headquarters. (He's already bitching over Obama elevating the ambassadorship back to a cabinet level position as it was under President Bill Clinton.) Under the long list of reasons why the world hates us you will find John Bolton's name. Rice is going to get a standing ovation just for not being him.
Name: Michelle Obama (You know she's the leader of the Fantastic Four. How could I not put her here? She's bigger than Oprah and Beyonce combined at this point.)
New Job: First Lady of the United States
Super power: She's a nearly 6 foot tall Glamazon. She's Wonder Woman. Seriously. She's got that golden lasso lying around here somewhere.
Obama Connection: She's Mrs. Obama
Claim to fame: She's an Ivy League educated attorney with an accomplished career, two beautiful daughters and a devoted husband who just happens to be the "leader of the free world."
Why she's fabulous: She's Michelle Obama. She wasn't made fabulous. She was born that way.
PS. The Black Snob will be following the actions, careers, lives of almost any black, brown or minority person with a business card and a tic-tac in their mouths working for the Obama Administration. Everything from the serious to the supersillious to the "OMG! What are they WEARING!!!" Send your info to me now, now, now! Especially if you are a black, brown, Asian, Latino, female, male, warm-blooded person with a pulse -- or a vampire, I don't discriminate -- who works in DC and likes to pass along "OMG! What are they WEARING!!!" news tips and pictures, among other things.
Send your tips n' pics to The Black Snob at email@example.com!
And look to future coverage of more men and women of the coming Obama Administration. January 20, 2009, people! It's going down! It's the Freaknik of Hope, only everyone is sober and will keep their clothes on (because it's freezing outside in DC in January). Yeah! Nerdy black people! We're finally taking over! Bwaaa-haaa-haaa!
Do you feel lucky? Well, in Colombia last week they had a little Obama lotto going. Just a little sumpthin' sumpthin' to make a lil' dough, cash in on some Afro-Colombian pride. Of course, some black Colombians were a little rankled. Not because they have an issue with the O-man though. It was more of a "WTF?" moment.
The photograph of the US Democratic Party candidate was used by the lottery in the central Colombian province of Meta as a "tribute" to blacks, according to lottery manager Magdalena Gonzalez.
Gonzalez explained ... a smiling Obama was picked as a tribute to people of African descent since Latin America celebrated the Day of Race earlier this month. A man who bought the lottery ticket in the provincial capital Villavicencio complained that, had that been the intention, they should have picked a Colombian black or an indigenous person. Gonzalez admitted that there was also a commercial vision behind the choice, which sought to "create interest and attract the public's attention."
Who holds the current majority in the US House of Representatives?
Who is the current US Secretary of State?
Who is the current Prime Minister of Great Britain?
If you can't answer one or more of these you are such an American it's not even funny.
Some news audiences are more politically savvy than others, according to a new poll, with readers of The New Yorker and similar high-brow magazines being the most knowledgeable.
The survey, conducted between April 30 and June 1 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, measured the political knowledge of 3,612 U.S. adults. Participants were asked to name the controlling party of the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. secretary of state and Great Britain's prime minister.
Overall, just 18 percent of participants answered all three questions correctly.
More than 50 percent of Americans knew that the Democrats have a majority in the House, while 42 percent could identify the secretary of state (Condoleezza Rice). Less than 30 percent could name the prime minister of Great Britain (Gordon Brown).