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June 30, 2008 - Image 25

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2008-06-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Orientation Edition 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


A primary not
worth holding

Congratulations to the esti-
mated 1.5 million voters
who made the trip to the
polls yesterday
for Michigan's
primary: Cour-
tesy of the
Democratic and
National Com-
mittees, your
participated in a GARY
meaninglessand GRACA
tive election.
Forgive me for being a little
undemocratic, but Michigan would
have beenbetter off if ithadn'theld
a primary at all. Taking this year
off would have saved the state mil-
lions of dollars and left Michigan
as uncharted territory for the.gen-
eral election. Instead of becoming
a bottom-feeder, scrapping for any
kind of primary influence it could
muster, Michigan could have been
a leader in the beauty pageant of
swing states come spring.
Sure, the founding fathers might
be collectively rolling over in their
graves at the idea of a state govern-
ment voluntarily disenfranchis-
ing its citizens in an election, but
consider this: The DNC and RNC
basically already did so. The DNC
stripped all of Michigan's del-
egates to the Democratic National
Convention because it leapfrogged
its primary into January. The RNC
slapped Michigan on the wrist by
stripping half of its delegates.
The meaningless and costly (to
the tune of $10 million) election
shouldn't go over well with cash-
strapped Michiganders. The state

legislature didn't need to shell
out another $10 million to hold an
election for two political parties
that wouldn't even save its seat at
the national nominating conven-
tions. Nothing obligates Michigan
to hold primary elections.
Maybe what Michigan wanted
yesterday wasn't about results or
influence. Maybe it just wanted
a little attention, which it got.
Michigan was briefly courted in
the national spotlight like it had
so selfishly desired when it moved
its primary ahead of New Hamp-
Early primary
was better for
parties, not state.
If Michigan had skipped the pri-
mary and held out until the general
election, it would have been a mys-
tery state. It would have been more
difficult to gauge whether the state
would go Democrat or Republican;
support Clinton or turn against
her; buy into Obama's message of
hope or discard him; and identify
with Romney's Michigan roots or
see his fraudulence. But yesterday
we got partial answers to these
questions, which ruins our mys-
tique a little.
The sad truth is, not having a
primary would have been- better
than having half of one.
This column originally ran
in full on Jan.16, 2008.

We are not anti-Chinese. Right from the
beginning, we supported the
Olympic Games."
- The Dalai Lama, talking at a news conference in Narita, Japan about the Tibetan govern-
ment-in-exile's stance on the Games, as reported April 10, 2008 by The New York Times.
Actually, Ihate New York

Throughout my entire win-
ter break, I was home
flipping through televi-
sion channels
trying to find 1
one - just one
- network
television show
with a plot that
was somewhat
reflective of '
my life, with SHAKIRA
characters that SMILER
looked just like
me. I wanted to watch a show that
would inspire me to get out of bed,
change from my pajamas and chal-
lenge the world. As a young, black,
college-educated woman, I was
searching for a show that showed
me I could do anything I set my
mind to.
But I ended up watching "I Love
New York 2."
I remember growing up in the
1990s. I looked up to Laura Win-
slow from "Family Matters" and
Tia Landry and Tamera Camp-
bell from "Sister, Sister" because
all three of these characters were
smart, beautiful, popular, Chris-
tian and family-oriented. They
each made dumb mistakes that
teenagers make, but they learned
from those mistakes. There was
something sophisticated, powerful
and dynamic in their personalities.
They looked like me, and I wanted
to be like them.
Ten years later, I wish I could
still say the same thing for the
young, black women on television.
If they aren't obnoxious divas,
they are spoiled brats, video vix-
ens or flat out hoes.
A good example is VH1, home of
the infamously obnoxious shows
"Flavor of Love" and "I Love New
I have never been more embar-
rassed to be a black woman than
when I watched these two shows.
Yeah, I'm guilty of watching them
because they are both hilarious,
but that doesn't eliminate the

fact that both of these shows are
labeled "reality TV." This sends
a message to the world that in
"reality," black women are des-
perate, promiscuous, gold-digging
hood-rats who don't have careers,
morals or self-respect. It portrays
these women competing against
each other for the "love" of a 47-
year-old man with seven kids and
a bad dentist. To millions of view-
ers, black women are ignorant and
Even on "America's Next Top
Model," where contestants are
judged in part on class, it seems
that every black contestant is the
token "bitch" of the house. In
Cycle 4, it was Tiffany Richard-
son, an around-the-way girl from
the streets of Miami, Fla., who was
always arguing with one of the
other contestants ortalking back to
the judges. After not being selected
in her first audition, Richardson
persevered and won the hearts of
viewers and the show's host, Tyra
Banks, with her heartwarming
struggle to get out of the ghetto.
Although she was on her way to
achieving an impossible dream,
she got sent home for her attitude:
She failed to recognize her oppor-
tunity, playing into the common
stereotype of young, black women.
Then there are my personal
favorites: video vixens. I have com-
pletely given up on watching Black
Entertainment Television. If I see
another black girl washing a '66
Chevy Impala SS in a thong I'm
going to scream. Even female art-
ists like Ciara parade themselves
around in their videos as objects of
sexual gratification. And to think
that BET's own president, Debra
Lee, is a black woman with two
kids of her own.
At least daddy's little girls Van-
essa and Angela Simmons on
MTV's "Run's House" have dreams
and aspirations of having success-
ful careers, whether it's in model-
ing and acting or fashion design
and business: They seem to be two

of the only young, black women
that use more than their bodies to
succeed. Unfortunately, they are
among the only black women who
are raised filthy rich and have a
powerful dad who can hook them
up with opportunities in the snap
of a finger. So, their lives still don't
reflect my life or the lives- of most
other teenage black women.
It would be a lie for me to say that
young white women aren't misrep-
resented in the media as well. But
at the same time, these women can
flip the channel and see other posi-
tive images of themselves in the
media to counteract the negative
ones. They can watch "Gilmore
Girls" and see Rory graduate from
college. Meanwhile, I have the
privilege of seeing Saaphyri gradu-
ate from "Charm School."
Black women on
TV offer few
role models.
In the past,- I had the char-
acters of Laura Winslow, Tia
Landry, Tamera Campbell and
Rudy Huxtable to look up to. Even
though they didn't truly reflect my
life, they represented the life that
I wanted and gave me hope that
someone just like me could have a
better quality of living.
As anadult,I canturntothereal-
life media moguls like Tyra Banks
and Oprah Winfrey as inspiration
for the type of woman I am striv-
ing to become in the next decade.
However, who are my younger
cousins lookingup to on TV?
Although I do all that I can
to personally be a role model for
them, it's a harsh reality that New
York just might be my 13-year-old
cousin's hero.
This column originally
ran on Jan.18,.2008.



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