Everyday we see stories of black on black crime. We yearn to see positive black teens doing great things. Tonight 60 Minutes did a segment on a teen gospel group out of Harlem, NY. The group founder is Vy Higginsen. Follow the link to an uplifting story that will touch your heart.
Tag Archives: 60 Minutes
Spike Lee has been taking a lot of heat for remarks he made in reference to Tyler Perry. The remarks were read out of context on 60 Minutes last Sunday, but when you watch the clip you get the message. Lee was not just “hating” on Perry he was making a valid point.
Tyler Perry will be profiled this Sunday on 60 Minutes. During the interview CBS correspondent Byron Pitts reads a quote for director Spike Lee. Lee has dismissed Tyler Perry’s TBS sitcoms “Meet the Browns” and “House of Payne” as “coonery and buffoonery.” Perry takes offense to Lee’s assessment, but is it true? Perry claims the characters depicted in his sitcoms do exist and he has the ability to use the characters to share a bigger message. The bigger question is why do we spend so much time obssessing over Perry’s sitcoms? We do this because his shows are the only black shows on television. Sure you might find a black character here or there, but you will not find any other series. Perry’s depictions might not inspire as much ire if there were other shows showing intelligent black people living their lives without a laughtrack. Perry has tapped into something, but is this a case of people laughing at us and not laughing with us.
Tonight Michael Vick was interviewed by James Brown of CBS Sports. What is becoming more apparent is there really is nothing Vick can say to satisfy his critics. For the rest of the football season he will be asked the same questions and he better not flinch when he answers. The other thing that I have learned is if you say Vick has served his time now let him work you too are also accused of sanctioning his acts of cruelty. So when Brown sat down with Vick one had to wonder would he simply ask questions or would it be another opportunity to see if Vick was truly remorseful or was his remorse generated by the need for money? Brown immediately questioned whether Vick was sorry about the loss of his career or what he did to the animals?Vick claimed he was more sorry about what he did to the animals. Even Brown had to do a follow up on this one. Vick lost a $135 million dollar contract plus a lucrative endorsement with Nike. So when he said he cried many nights in prison we can logically conclude some of those tears were for the loss of income. Vick has apologized for his actions and promised to work with the Humane Society as they tour schools educating children on the care of animals. Brown asked whether he was speaking from his heart or were we hearing Team Vick. Team Vick is comprised of lawyers, image consultants and agents. Vick assured him that he was conveying the sentiments of his heart. I hope that is true, but I am glad he now has a Team Vick. If he had received good counsel years ago instead of surrounding himself with a posse of adoring yes men he might never have gotten himself into this situation.
Over the past few days we have seen the young man, Philip Markoff, that has been dubbed the “Craigslist Killer.” On paper he seemed to be an upstanding citizen. He was a medical student set to be married this summer. He seemingly had a bright future ahead of him. As the press has described him he was “All-American”. That phrase is so interesting to me. Years ago 60 Minutes did a story on the employment practices of some agencies and how they select the applicants to go to different companies. One of the things that some companies would say is they were looking for an “All-American”. Which in this case meant someone who was Caucasian, and if someone was sent to them that did not fit the profile the company would call the agency and let them have it. Well, now when I see this phrase I think of that 60 minutes segment. If these allegations are proven to be true this guy is a cold calculating killer, but what makes him fascinating is he is not scary looking. He looks like an “All-American” and in this case that is terrifying.
Last night when President Obama was being interviewed by 60 Minutes Steve Kroft he seemed to laugh at inappropriate times. Kroft was reading off the litany of problems facing the president and the president laughed on several occasions. At one point Kroft asked him if he was “punch drunk?” President Obama referred to his own response as “gallows humor.” It is an attempt to laugh in the face of serious issues. It’s like laughing at the prospect of your own demise. It is really a coping mechanism; it is similar to laughing to keep from crying. While I understand his response I must say while watching the interview I was a little uncomfortable with his laughter. This coping tool probably works when he is with his staff, but it really does not work when you are being interviewed on 60 minutes. It seemed strange and almost a little arrogant. I am an Obama supporter and I want him to succeed because if he does we all do, and frankly this is not a laughing matter.
Last night I watched Katie Couric interview the pilot of the US Air plane Capt. Sullenberger. I had heard the story before, but I was moved by not only hearing him share his story but from also hearing from members of his crew. They also showed the crew reuniting with passengers on the plane. They were hugging the pilot and many were saying “thank you for not making me a widow”. This accident happened almost a month ago and America is still fascinated by the story. What the pilot did was indeed heroic but how is this story still remaining a relevant news story? The answer is simple. America is in search of some good news. This story is a feel good story with a happy ending and that is a rarity these days. When you watch the news today what you see is bad news layered on top of bad news. From job losses to athletes smoking dope, injecting steroids to pop stars beating up their girlfriends there is simply not a lot of good news out there. So now we will witness the Sullenberger express make the rounds. They have been to the Super Bowl, The Inauguration and over the next few days we will see them on Larry King, David Letterman, and anywhere else there is an open microphone. This might be overkill but why not America is depressed and for now the Sullenberger story is the medication this country needs.
The election is over now comes the over analysis. One thing that I have noticed is how the press keep saying race was not an issue. The fact that President-elect Obama did not run as a black candidate he was just the candidate that happened to be black. Last night I watched 60 minutes and members of his brain trust talked about the election: David Axelrod, David Plouffe and Robert Gibbs. They contend that race was never an issue. They said the only time they discussed race was when the Jeremiah Wright tapes emerged, and then Obama used that incident as a teachable moment. I find that interesting because he almost ran away from race. The only time I would really hear Obama speak to black people was on black radio. Prior to the primaries and the general election we would hear Obama talk directly to black audiences, but rarely did we see him specifically speak to black groups. During the Democratic convention when he gave his acceptance speech on the day that Dr. King gave the I Have a Dream speech people thought he would reference the late civil rights worker. Obama referenced a young preacher from Georgia, but he never said his name. I actually questioned why didn’t he say his name and a commenter on my blog said that would have been “political suicide”. Political suicide to mention a civil rights icon by name? In his acceptance speech on election night he never said black he said this is a day we will all remember. I was discussing this issue with my friend Gail, and she said if Obama just embraced his blackness he denies the other part of his heritage. I guess when the President-elect called himself a “mutt” at his first press conference he hit it on the head. Everybody loves a mutt that was probably part of his appeal to both black and white people, he was the perfect blend of both worlds.
Since receiving the Demcratic nomination for the vice-presidency Sen. Biden has granted 84 and Gov. Palin has granted 2. Scott Pelley asked John McCain why aren’t we hearing more from his running mate. He said the American people are vetting her? He also says they are traveling on the campaign trail. Biden is on the trail, too but he has managed to grant interviews. The Republicans have Palin in a “protective bubble” and so far she is only allowed out in tandem with John McCain. The debates are also so being tailored to benefit her. “ At the insistence of the McCain campaign, the Oct. 2 debate between the Republican nominee for vice president, Gov. Sarah Palin, and her Democratic rival, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., will have shorter question-and-answer segments than those for the presidential nominees, the advisers said. There will also be much less opportunity for free-wheeling, direct exchanges between the running mates.” (ny times) Does America have enough information to vett Palin, well we probably have more than John McCain did.