Saturday, November 1, 2008

Black Finance Professor Speaks Out "Against D.L. Hughley Breaks the News"

Dr. Boyce Watkins
Hey peeps!
The response I received from you guys on the new CNN show, “DL Hughley Breaks the News” was overwhelming. Within 20 minutes of sending out the email statement, we had an entire inbox full of messages expressing extreme disappointment in CNN and this offensive new show. This helped me realize that we need to do something about it.
Our goal is to present an intelligent, dignified and firm response to CNN, letting them know that programming based on racial stereotypes is not acceptable. Political satire can be quite funny, but it must be intelligent, balanced and conscientious. This is not the brand of humor presented in “DL Hughley Breaks the News”, which went back to the same degrading media stereotypes and disturbing images that scholars and consumers have been upset about for decades. Senator Obama opened the door for us to see ourselves as educated, enlightened and empowered, so the last thing we need is to be readmitted to the asylum of pimps, thugs, criminals and buffoons.
A sample letter you can use to contact CNN is presented below. You can get the contact information at this link. You can also forward this link and email to anyone you believe to share your sentiments regarding how our community should respond to this painful and disappointing new show. If you wish to hear my personal comments on the topic, please click here.
Finally, don’t forget that we are going to “Get our paper straight in 2008”, so if you wish to join our group for Dr. Boyce Financial Advice, please click here.
The sample letter is below. You can get contact information for key decision-makers at CNN by clicking here. Remember: Change won’t start with Obama or McCain. Meaningful change is going to start with US.
To CNN and its key decision-makers,
As a member of the Your Black World coalition, I am writing to inform you that I found your recently released show, “DL Hughley Breaks the News” to be a tremendous disappointment. While I certainly respect CNN’s effort to develop itself as “The most trusted name in news”, I did not find the new DL Hughley show to be consistent with the degree of trust that CNN has worked to obtain with the American public.
The 2008 Presidential campaign represents an amazing landmark for change within our country by allowing an African American male to present himself to the world as a dignified and educated member of our society, an image which lies in stark contrast to media representations confining Black men to being criminals, rappers, athletes and entertainers. I found it disheartening that this progress was reversed by CNN’s decision to create a show which relied on the very same stereotypes to build a consistent stream of laughs at the expense of African Americans everywhere. The show was also degrading to those in the broader community who support the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama, and who wish to see our great country move past the deep and painful wounds created by our nation’s legacy of racial inequality.
We ask that you discontinue the show, “DL Hughley Breaks the News”, and consider a brand of political humor that is respectful to all ethnicities and shows greater appreciation for the tremendous gains made in the 2008 Presidential election. Perhaps then, CNN can regain its status as “The most trusted name in news”.
The Your Black World Coalition

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