Your Tuesday Random-Ass Roundup: Got Jokes?

What should we make of the people who laughed at any of Reggie Brown’s unfortunate comedic stylings, let alone the part of his hackneyed set that included jokes about Black History Month and Stanley Ann Dunham not being one of the Kardashians?

I’m guessing the Republican Leadership Conference didn’t want to pay extra for the rimshot.

Beyond that, I’ve never quite understood the general tenor of jokes about the Kardashian sisters. Especially those dimwitted sketches on “Saturday Night Live.”

As Adam Serwer says, “To think this joke is funny, you really have to believe there’s something strange about the Kardashian women being attracted to wealthy, athletic men because they’re black. White women aren’t people but resources that ‘belong’ to white men, and the Kardashians reflect some unethical redistribution of white women to the undeserving black masses.”

Right. Though whether Ray J is deserving is still up for debate.

Randomness starts here:

1. The Supreme Court decides against women who said Wal-Mart discriminated against them, paid them less than male colleagues and declined to promote them. More importantly, the court narrowed who can join in class-action lawsuits, which are important ways to fight broad-based discrimination. (Monica)

2. Will Obama come out in support of marriage equality to help motivate progressives to come out in 2012? An unnamed strategist close to the White House — does this sourcing get on anyone else’s nerves? — says folks at the White House “are looking at the tactics of how this might be done if the president chose to do it.” (G.D.)

3. In the wake of the Weiner Scandal: Certainly his poor conduct called for some serious tongue lashing but homie got thrown under political bus by nearly his whole party and lets be serious, that was the weakest sex scandal in political history. But here are some reasons why Dems would back a lying adulterer like Clinton but chuck a Weiner without batting an eye. (Naima)

4. Speaking of Weiner – hardy-har-har – this “Funny or Die” public service announcement is directed at men who feel the need to share their “Congressional member” with unsuspecting ladies. But again I ask: isn’t it possible that some women might want a dick pic? (Blackink)

5. According to a new study, the death penalty has cost the state of California $4 billion a year since it was reinstated back in 1978 — or about $308 million for each of the 13 inmates executed since then. ” The authors outline three options for voters to end the current reality of spiraling costs and infrequent executions: fully preserve capital punishment with about $85 million more in funding for courts and lawyers each year; reduce the number of death penalty-eligible crimes for an annual savings of $55 million; or abolish capital punishment and save taxpayers about $1 billion every five or six years.” (G.D.)

6. If Abe Fortas had to resign his seat, so too should Clarence Thomas. (Blackink)

7. Was your schooling disrupted by segregation? Why not apply for a ‘Brown v. Board of Ed.’ college grant? For Virgina, that means you too white folks. (Naima)

8. DC Mayor Vincent Gray’s popularity numbers are down dramatically.  Aaron Morrissey of DCist points out that polling shows people are more concerned with the city government than crime.  Not shocking considering allegations by a fringe former mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown that Gray (or his campaign) paid him off to sling mud at former mayor Adrian Fenty and promised him a position within the Gray administration. Oh, and the council chair is under investigation for campaign finance irregularities in his 2008 reelection campaign (the same council chair who came under fire for demanding the city lease him a fully loaded black Navigator), another council member is being sued by the city for diverting $300,000 in charity contributions to his personal account (and purchasing an Audi SUV, which he then drove to the hearing investigating the misappropriations).  The ethics gold star goes to Ward 1 councilman Jim Graham, who despite having his chief of staff convicted on corruption charges, at least returned an envelope full of cash, even if he didn’t report it to the police.  So yeah, it’s been a bad month for DC government. (Nicole)

9. Are nerd language and nerd spaces “hyperwhite“? Mary Bucholtz thinks so. “By cultivating an identity perceived as white to the point of excess, nerds deny themselves the aura of normality that is usually one of the perks of being white…In declining to appropriate African-American youth culture, thereby “refusing to exercise the racial privilege upon which white youth cultures are founded,” she writes, nerds may even be viewed as “traitors to whiteness.” You might say they know that a culture based on theft is a culture not worth having.” But Nora at Twin Cities Nerds of Color isn’t so sure. “So I think Mary Bucholtz is giving her nerds too broad a pass. I agree with her that many white nerds practice this “hyperwhiteness”. But I think many of them use it as a means of deliberately excluding people of color from their preferred spaces.” (G.D.)

10. Quite obviously, people should exercise caution in posting to their Facebook/Twitter/Flickr accounts. But especially now that information gleaned from a new background check company could follow you around for the next seven years. (Blackink)

11. Instead of, you know, not exposing our food to E. coli in the first place, some are suggesting we just irradiate everything. (Nicole)

12. Did you know that Urkel was almost Rudy? (Blackink)

13. Organic doesn’t necessarily mean pesticide free. (Nicole)

14. I’ve harped on this before, but if you care at all about farmworkers, food, or labor rights in general, you MUST read  Barry Estabrook’s new book, Tomatoland.  The book is based on an article he wrote for Gourmet in 2009 about the appalling modern day slavery on tomato farms in Florida.  You can read an excerpt of the book on Grist. (Nicole)

15. How many households are like yours? (Blackink)

16. Is Roy McIlroy the White Tiger Woods? (Naima)

17. Jonathan Mahler, author of the fantastic, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning, is guesting over at The New York Times, and his first column – on Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig’s convenient embrace of racial diversity and exploitation of Latin American players – is a great read. (G.D.)

18. The WNBA turns 15. (Naima)

19. A belated happy Father’s Day to all the PB dads out there.  Here’s your awww moment: a dad pledges to read to his fourth-grade daughter every night for 100 days, and ends up doing it until her first day of college. (Nicole)

20. And speaking of kids, Texas will not allow you to spank yours. If only Texas cared as much about child poverty.  Or hunger. (Nicole)

That’s it. We’ll be here all week.

Even if Reggie Brown won’t.


Joel Anderson —blackink —  writes about sports, politics, crime, courts, and other issues far beyond his competence at BuzzFeed. He has worked at media outlets in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Atlanta and contributed to a number of publications, including The Root and The American Prospect, among many others.
  • -k-

    4. Yes. (Under certain circumstances, at least.)

    9. Mary Bucholtz is living in a fantasy world.

    20. Though I’m always up for some Texas-bashing, this teaser is misleading. Individual judge’s comments (the slice of them we get, anyway) aren’t in line with actual CPS policy, and beyond that, the kid was not yet two years old when this went down, and she was hit hard enough to leave marks. I’m not actually against the odd spanking, and am wary of the state getting too far into dictating childrearing practices, but- we can probably all agree that hitting a kid that age with that much force is crossing a line.

    • right? Bucholtz’s reading of whiteness/nerdiness is exceedingly generous.

  • Let’s settle this once and for all. WE DO NOT WANT TO SEE A PIC OF IT.


    HE!! NO.

    Only men like to look at them. It’s a documented fact. Read Ohio Ogas’ book A Billion Wicked Thoughts. To women its ugly, offensive and gross. In a picture.

    • Scipio Africanus

      I’ll let half the world’s population know you speak for them.