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Vanessa Carmichael
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Entries by Vanessa Carmichael

About That Racist Email Your Grandmother Got...

(0) Comments | Posted September 1, 2015 | 4:07 PM

Sometimes in a relationship, usually a not-so-great one, one person refuses to acknowledge yet another flaw or mistake because the other person refuses to acknowledge any. That is where we are with race in America today, particularly relations between black people and white people.

Yesterday, my soon-to-be grandmother-in-law was...

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This Feminist on Straight Outta Compton

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 10:50 AM

I had my reservations about seeing Straight Outta Compton. Admittedly, N.W.A didn't mean as much to me as it did to so many others. I was heavily into hip-hop in our nascent stages, so by the time I was a full-fledged teenager, and N.W.A was at their height, the only...

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There May Never Be a Good Brunch Place in South Central

(5) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 12:42 PM

Since the early 2000s there has been talk about the gentrification of South Central, Los Angeles. While the average neighborhood might require a decade to gentrify, rehabilitating South Central has taken over fifteen years and counting.

What was once a big giant swath of urban decay, smack dab in...

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Reality Women

(2) Comments | Posted May 16, 2011 | 4:45 PM

True story: I go to Saturday yoga and the woman next to me starts chatting me up before class. Somehow she gets onto gurus and we have a chuckle about people electing themselves as gurus -- a subject I touch on from a comedic angle in my forthcoming novel, Blockbuster....

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Tyler Perry vs. Spike Lee

(15) Comments | Posted April 25, 2011 | 5:56 PM

Tyler Perry is not only opening his latest film Madea's Big Happy Family, he is also opening up about unbalanced criticism from the media and fellow filmmaker Spike Lee.

Back in 2009, Mr. Lee shared his thoughts on the "complex subject" of Tyler Perry's Madea films and television shows. Lee...

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Gabriel Aubry And The Unbearable Whiteness Of Being

(25) Comments | Posted February 4, 2011 | 3:07 PM

On vacation in South Africa, riding through Cape Town on my way to my hotel, I was dying to ask my cab driver, any South African, about apartheid. It had been a subject of interest for me since I read Kaffir Boy in junior high. It didn't take long for...

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Is There Really a "Fight" for Gay Marriage?

(124) Comments | Posted August 9, 2010 | 1:22 PM

Celebration is indeed in order. The health of our society, our democracy, hinges on equality, not just for some but for all. However, the ink isn't even dry on Judge Walker's decision to undo the wrong passed by California voters and already we're onto how weak Obama and Democrats are...

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Are We a Nation?

(47) Comments | Posted July 14, 2010 | 7:29 PM

Once we were a territory, a consortium of colonies belonging to various European and British empires situated against lands of native peoples. Wars were won and lost; colonies, traded and sold; the indigenous, exterminated and expelled; and eventually, a country was hobbled together. Slaves built the southern economy on their...

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Real Housewives: The Business of Discrediting Women

(123) Comments | Posted June 17, 2010 | 4:13 PM

Okay, I'll admit before last week I had never watched a single episode of the Real Housewives of any place. I knew that Anderson Cooper had affection for the Real Housewives of Atlanta and Jimmy Fallon does a spoof of the series on his show, but beyond that I had...

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Mexican Exceptionalism

(42) Comments | Posted May 24, 2010 | 12:51 PM

American exceptionalism has something to do with the fact that in the United States we did things differently from the rest of the world and yet somehow emerged as a superpower. Perhaps there is something in the soil of the continent, maybe a blessing or curse of the native peoples...

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Does BP Doubt Climate Change?

(0) Comments | Posted May 11, 2010 | 3:54 PM

It's been three weeks and BP's crude still hemorrhages into the Gulf at over two hundred thousand gallons per day. Over the weekend an attempt to cap the fountain of oil with a containment dome failed and now a top hat, a similar approach, will be given a go. At...

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Don't Call It Jim Crow

(63) Comments | Posted April 28, 2010 | 9:27 PM

Who are these people that are shocked that police officers use their eyes and a little bit of stereotyping to decide whom to pull over? Hello, law enforcement in the United States has used racial and ethnic profiling to harass innocent people and apprehend criminals in this country since cops...

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Virginia's Confederate Slap in the Face

(92) Comments | Posted April 19, 2010 | 6:45 PM

Anybody who has visited Virginia is not surprised by the recent announcement from Governor McDonnell of Confederate History Month. Not even his omission of slavery -- at least I'm not. Governor McDonnell is a Virginian and too many Virginians take excessive pride in their state's contribution to the American Civil...

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A Look Back at History...

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2010 | 10:34 AM

In 1929, the bottom fell out of the German economy after the New York stock market crash. In four years, unemployment leapt from 6.3% to 30%. No German family was spared. At a time when effective government was most needed, political tensions rose.

By 1930, Chancellor Heinrich Bruning knew...

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Adam Lambert, Gangsta Rap, and the Peggy Noonan Problem

(25) Comments | Posted January 16, 2010 | 11:56 AM

In her WSJ column dated December 18, 2009, Peggy Noonan suggests that recent polls indicating 55% of Americans think we are on the wrong track are not just about the economy and politics but rather, "Americans are worried about the core and character of the American nation, and about our...

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Remembering August

(0) Comments | Posted December 24, 2009 | 1:39 PM

It's Christmas Eve, 2009 and this morning the Senate passed its version of a health care bill. Soon enough I will have to go out and buy health insurance and of course I feel a bit resentful that I will be mandated to purchase this insurance because I am already...

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Why the Left Fails

(137) Comments | Posted December 17, 2009 | 7:09 PM

Once upon a time in America there was plenty of talk about revolution. And the vision was grand, the first truly multi-cultural, multi-racial, egalitarian meritocracy on Earth. But, this being the USA, revolution has amounted to little more than a cute quixotic zeitgeist in our nation's history that Madison Avenue...

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And Once Again, It's Abortion

(20) Comments | Posted November 16, 2009 | 1:13 PM

13% versus 96% -- that is what is at stake over the Stupak Amendment. The current health care legislation that was passed in the House, H.R. 3962, extends affordable health care to 96% of Americans and yet once again in this country it comes down to abortion. A fire destroyed...

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What We Don't Say About Illegal Immigration

(21) Comments | Posted September 28, 2009 | 1:08 PM

With many of us facing financial hardship in this economic drought, scapegoats abound in American minds and there are plenty candidates to choose from: the president, the Treasury, the president, socialism. However, none is more pervasive than the illegal immigrant.

The debate over illegal immigration once again rises to...

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Oh, Now You Care

(34) Comments | Posted September 26, 2009 | 6:44 PM

If you listen closely to the health care debate in this country, you might figure the debate isn't really about health care at all. The pitched signs of tea baggers that answered the call of Glen Beck and marched on Washington on September 12th, concerned mostly socialism and amnesty--spelled out...

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