The Spike And Jada Show…How NOT To Do It

Despite Spike and Jada  life goes on and will continue to go on in tinsel town. I wouldn’t ordinarily get too bent out of shape or spend a great deal of time wondering and worrying about how life is going for a small select group that are so grossly overpaid that it makes me want to throw up. Their lives, lifestyle and their over inflated self importance is so exaggerated and over the top of anything that truly exhibits real life is sickening. I do get, however, that there are some social spin-offs that can be put out for discussion but not because of these two. Besides, they haven’t done too bad in an arena that is supposed to be SO toxic and biased. I am glad to have unburdened myself of that.

One of the things that came to mind when I first learned of this ‘protest’ was that it was being held for all the wrong reasons.

There is an old adage that says: ‘perception is reality’. So lets look at this situation as it is and ask or consider some of the many questions and facts that could be presented.

-Why has there been few if any black actors recognized for their work over the past two years? Considering the fact that there are many excellent black actors in Hollywood it does seem a bit strange that none of them were worthy of a nomination. Perhaps, as suggested, it’s because the nominating committee is comprised of 80+% white nominators. But then it has always been this way and no one screamed too loud when a black actor or actress won the prize previously. Could it be that there were no stories or scripts worthy for consideration or investment that would or could feature a black actor. It that were the case there would be fewer opportunities to make any movies that could compete with what was presented for consideration. Perhaps the studios are making movies that have a different focus in terms of what they are trying to say to us out here in la la land. Perhaps they are wanting to deliver a different message for us to consider. Afterall they are in the entertainment business and they have the right to make movies that they feel have a chance to provide a healthy return for the money they are risking. If Jada and Spike don’t agree then perhaps they should go and make their own movies and put them out there for consideration. It is a free country.

Then I get to thinking about what I had mentioned above and that is: “Perception is reality.” Now before I wade into this discussion and run the risk of offending someone, I need to say that is not my goal. I’m just presenting thoughts for discussion. My questions don’t necessarily represent my personal position or beliefs.

-If we are so concerned about fair representation and the like how do we feel that it is OK to have Black magazines, Black beauty pageants, Black clubs, Black Universities, Black political organizations and on and on. If there were to be a White only beauty pageant, a white only university or a white only magazine there would be such a human outcry of bias and racism and whatever else they could come up with. When we consider the entertainment business black entertainers have taken their rightful place among the headliners and the highest paid. In the music industry black entertainers have and are doing just fine thank you. Consider the pro sports franchises. Black athletes in the NFL and NBA are really well represented to the point where most teams have a couple of token white boys and that’s about it. There are still a few white quarterbacks kicking around but for how long. No one is going to tell me that there aren’t enough good white athletes to be better represented? Sounds like an argument we are hearing now about black athletes. I’m not saying that it shouldn’t be like this right now but we need to allow for the ebb and flow of public activities and public interest before we go screaming about being hard done by. Trends happen. Change happens.

-We need to remember that African Americans total up about 13% of the population (42 million folks) according to the last census from 2014 whereby 77% of citizens are white (about 6 times that number). Does it stand to reason that white people, then, would be or could be represented to the tune of 6 times as many because there are more of us.

-When we consider that roughly 68 % of black folks graduate high school where 85 % of white folks graduate high school it figures that decent working opportunities are more likley going to go to a white applicant. I understand that there are intervening social considerations here but at the same time it is difficult to compete for good jobs if there are fewer candidates for those jobs. Could it be that part of the over representation of black people in jails is partly because more blacks, proportionately, are participating in crimes. African Americans should not be jailed for non-violent crimes anymore than white folks are and yet that happens. That has to change. However, I go back to what I said previously and that is:  “Perception IS reality. “

Jada and Spike have it all wrong. If they truly wanted to make a difference and sponsor change in the world they would be working to change the perceptions of young black African American men for instance instead of trying to change the current reality. “Change the perception and you change the reality.”

Anyways, that’s how I see it–

All the best, Jim

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You Tell Me . . . What Would You Have Done?

Student Group At Graduation

Just when I thought that it was safe to watch the news again another major story hit the pages and here we go again. Each year I gather up all the instances of “what were they thinking” type stories but I couldn’t wait to write that article so here are my thoughts.

This one deals with 13 idiots who managed to get themselves suspended from Dentistry School at Dalhousie University for making statements that can only be described as depraved, stupid, dangerous, embarrassing–not only for themselves but for the school they represent and for men in general. This was a hateful act and seemingly perpetrated with a total lack of caring, respect or sensitivity toward fellow students and female faculty. It is these types of ridiculous and abhorrent behaviours that give the rest of us, men, such a bad rap. Please. We are not represented by these morons. They do not speak for the rest of us nor do they act on our behalf.

But as bad as this is/was I think that the University needs to take the greater hit. First of all they should have acted immediately on the evidence that had been presented. There is no doubt regarding ‘did they or didn’t they.’ The complaints were made. The documents were produced on facebook-really? The culprits were positively identified. Apparently one of the men was actually remorseful for what he had added to the process to the point where he was suicidal. I don’t know if that is true or not but ‘gee’ is that supposed to somehow absolve him of what he did? Once the trigger is pulled it is really too late to recall the bullet. Once the words are out there it is really difficult to recall them as well. Perhaps the time to consider this would have been before not after the words had gotten out. Did any of these rocket scientists stop to think long enough about what might happen and how this would be accepted by those females it was meant to impress?

So the University had a golden opportunity to do the right thing. They needed to act decisively and quickly sending a message that was unequivocal–‘This type of behaviour, under any circumstances, will not be tolerated by the school, its faculty or the students who respect the rules and guidelines of the institution. Such instances will be dealt with quickly and definitively.’ Period. These thirteen pillars of good judgement needed to be suspended the moment all doubt had been removed regarding what happened and which persons were involved. They could have been invited to return to complete their degrees after the other students had completed theirs and they were no longer attending school. In the last while we have heard a great deal about women who claimed to have been assaulted and how difficult it was or has been to come forward. The greater complaint has been around the length of time it has taken some to come forward. A quick and straight ahead action by the University could have gone a long way to establishing a safer and more supportive environment for females or males who have been abused to come forward and share their experiences. Perhaps, then, a message would have been sent that said, ‘you can feel more confident you will be heard,supported and not judged.’ This wishy-washy ‘process’ they have going is a cop out for what needs to be done. Some are board with it and some don’t want anything to do with it. What now? Shame on the University for taking the less demanding and seemingly less controversial road.

They really dropped the ball here and more importantly they had a chance to send a message to young men that this type of behaviour is not funny, it is not cool and will not be tolerated so don’t come here expecting that somehow it will be. To an outsider such as myself it sure looks like the inmates are running the asylum. There needs to be consequences to the decisions we make both pro and con. That is also a message that our educational system is not sending our kids. It sure isn’t being taught at home as often as it needs to be. Suspending these guys falls woefully short of what was called for here given the history of other universities in the area.

The missed opportunity to send our young and women a very important learning point was extremely regrettable. It’s no wonder this keeps happening. We are not demonstrating an example that works.

Anyways, that’s the way I see it–Jim

If you have any comments or want to share any other ideas please contact me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com OR through my web site: jamescloughley.com

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