We ain't got no legs? Oh Sammy. The greatest entertainer, multi-talented showman ever. What a great clip!

To those whose comments today seem to deny the racism that is so pervasive - where do you live? Where is your brain? Most importantly, where is your heart? There are more opportunities for people of color, but there are still more dangers. The abuse of the word WOKE is because so few people know its real meaning. How would you feel if everytime you walked out of your home imminent danger was lurking? Or DWB? Knowing that your life was always in a precarious situation. Denial of the truth doesn't make it go away. A lie repeated a thousand times is still a lie. You think what Desantis & others are doing to restrict the vote is nothing & meaningless? It is a SYSTEMATIC denial of rights. Teaching only what the governor agrees with will not bring about enlightenment.

Strange Fruit indeed. Ode to Billie Holiday. There are so many sad & horrible stories. It's not just the things Kareem has written, but the daily occurrences that befall people of color.

There should be a rule. Everyone should be either in an interracial relationship or marriage. The children produced will be interracial. See how that would work.

Kareem. Thank you for your words & your foundation to bring about better education & hope for the future. Good health, love & respect to you always.

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Feb 17·edited Feb 17

"Ron DeSantis doesn't want Black people to vote." Kareem I would love to have a deep one on one conversation with you. I have had so much respect for you over the last 50+ years that I am equally puzzled by your nonsensical comments. Highlighting policies that you believe are detrimental is fair game and this is a great platform for that. Making statements effectively calling Ron DeSantis a racist is very different and honestly you better be prepared to back that up which you haven't.

We as a society have lost the capacity to "agree to disagree." Case in point it seems that every time that Governor DeSantis has a policy or a position that is contrary to your world view your approach is to say he is a racist instead of debating the issue at hand and making your case. Yes this is your platform, yes a blog by definition is a one directional platform to share your beliefs on any given topic, bravo.

There are a lot of clowns out there pushing their own agendas of self promotion and will ring that bell repeatedly regardless of what is the truth. You've always been a man of integrity and I expect more.

Zaq Harrison

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In today’s New York Times, John McWhorter offers a thoughtful critique of Ron DeSantis’s objections to the College Board’s original draft curriculum for a new AP course in African American Studies. He ends his piece this way: “… I hate having to say that in this case, DeSantis, of all people, was probably right.” I’d love to hear your take on McWhorter’s analysis and conclusion.

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Kareem, as always you raise topics that elicit thought and reason to understand it, and find a solution for it. Well done!

Concerning DeSantis, I read an article that described the massive rise in Christian Nationalism and its affect on a country founded on no particular religion. But this rise explains a huge reason for a lot of what the governor has been doing the past year:

“Florida has, unfortunately, become among the most fertile grounds for the spread of Christian nationalism, with statewide and local officials making increasingly overt appeals to Christian nationalist voters. Ahead of the midterm elections, Governor Ron DeSantis released an ad in which he cast himself as a “fighter” sent by God. From championing book banning of any literature mentioning LGBTQ+ characters or themes, prohibiting the African American Studies AP Course, to orchestrating legislative attacks on LGBTQ+ youth like the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, DeSantis has gradually transformed his state into a laboratory for some of the policies most avidly supported by Christian nationalists.”

I’m not sure if he thinks this is a winning formula for nationwide appeal (I don’t see it playing anywhere except florida and maybe Texas), he seems to have gone all in on making this country Christian and other religions and people be damned!

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“Most marginalized groups are individually small compared to the entire population.”

Here’s one that isn’t: women. (USA: 50.5% female)

“The only thing about this poll that surprises me is that it wasn’t 100% of Blacks, AAPI, and Hispanics acknowledging systemic racism.”

Ditto, women!

May I add institutionalized sexism (and misogyny) to the mix for future discussion?

P.S. THE TAP. And “Strange Fruit” still breaks my heart.

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I read and mostly agree with your views on todays topics. I always enjoy your videos. Today's We ain't got no legs was great. I enjoyed the Gregory Heins and Sammy Davis Jr dancing with all the other greats, a lost American treasure. The words in Billy Holidays Strange Fruit are moving. That should be rebroadcast on popular radio to let young people hear it and wake some of them up.

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Kareem, my thinking is that seemingly, as a people and a nation, we participate in these racist acts. DeSantis doesn’t do what he does without the cooperation of our government, those who prevent that “systemic racism” poll from being 100%, and those who continue to finance the NFL through attendance and home viewership. On the other hand, seeing people arrested just before voting day, makes it difficult for some to “show up and vote,” when being presented with a possible foot severance or a financial lynching. Resolution could be summed up in your Abel Meeropol-Billie Holiday collaboration: “the support all marginalized people need to give each other to achieve equality for all.” Affected groups need to learn the value of fighting as ONE!

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I am a Jewish immigrant and grew up knowing unconsciously not to display any signs of my Jewishness in car mirrors , on my person , any where visible . It was just understood and accepted as is . When I grew up I had a black professor in college who took my friends and I under his wing and we spent a lot of time together through classes, vacations , and to this day he is a mentor and a friend. I worked 10 years with a black boss who I respected and admired and when I was to be promoted which was offered to me and never completed I left that job with disappointment and sadness . Looking back at it I think it has to do with me being white and that my boss did not have the same feelings for me as I for him. I can't prove that but in my heart and intuition I believe it to be true. When we see each other at conferences or national meetings we always say hello and are genuinely happy to see each other but I am still angry and disappointed in him that he did not acknowledge my loyalty as genuine and my respect for him genuine as well. The point I am making is that racism exists both ways. I bring an immigrant has nothing to do with racism in America , I know it was real and blacks suffered because of it. But, today opportunity exists for all and it the responsibility of the communities and families to push education and hard work and not having kids out of wedlock and not tolerating baby mammas or baby papas as a norm. I don't owe anybody anything and am tired of hearing about how marginalized any one is. Stop the bs , the nonsense that we see everyday in the news and get to work .

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Voter suppression is happening all over the country and it's frightening. People don't realize what requiring a photo ID means to people who have no way to get to a BMV/DMV.

American history, including indigenous, Black, and women's history met be taught holistically.

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Yes! The clip from Tap has brightened the day considerably. I too am a big fan of Sammy Davis Jr. Thanks for sharing that.

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Oh sir! That TAP scene is EVERYTHING! I can never NOT watch it. To be in that room! Thank you for selecting it!

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Something of note here. Look at how many of the articles are from The Guardian. Why are there comparable cites from LA? Detroit? San Francisco? Chicago? Why are they not in every major newspaper in the US? Could it possibly relate to the ownership of so much of US media being in the hands of people like Rupert Murdoch (Fox News, Wall Street Journal, etc. etc. ad nausium)?

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oh he has quoted from that book to players for years...

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Your column today upset me because the comments shared really do show so much of the divide in our country and the challenges we still face in issues like voting, education and even style. :-)

Years ago, a much younger friend of mine was having a tough time landing a job in his chosen career in large advertising agencies, where he had previously thrived. He had dreadlocks and asked me if I thought they were holding him back. I said “I don’t know but let me call a high level friend of mine in big advertising.” My big shot advertising friend said - and I’m paraphrasing here - “if the people he is seeing are racist, they’re not seeing the dreadlocks. So it’s not the dreads that are in his way.”

I bring that up because back in the day, there were two salons in NYC - one in Harlem and one in Brooklyn that specialized in hair straightening, mostly for women.

They both used lye based products. And in both salons, the Black women were joined by many Jewish women, especially young Jewish women who wanted sleek, straight hair. I know this because I went to the salon in Brooklyn and had my hair straightened until I felt comfortable enough to have a Jewfro. That was probably around 1970-71. Periodically after that, I’d get my hair straightened, always with lye based products, then I’d let it grow out and go natural again.

Last time was in 1995.

Now I get Japanese straightening which uses different chemicals.

But I posted a pic from 1995 in 2016 on Facebook and was accused of appropriating Black/African American culture and style.

I did not respond.

I’m not the only Jew with frizzy, curly, kinky hair that grows out, instead of down. And there is a Japanese straightening process, because many Japanese have frizzy, curly, kinky hair.

And yes it’s marginalized people - in this case mostly women, mostly Black women - who have been exposed to the cancer causing chemicals because of the vision of beauty foisted upon us by fashion magazines, Hollywood, the powers that be. It’s systemic racism in another format.

As for Florida - and De Santis - he’s not doing anything I see or read that shows him to be anything but what I too believe him to be.

A children’s book about Roberto Clemente was removed from in Duvall County ( Jacksonville) Florida Public Schools because the book references the racism that Clemente - a Black Puerto Rican baseball player faced in the US, something well documented.

De Santis said removal of the book was “outlandish, a joke “ and suggested the district was trying to grab headlines. That’s not what a district spokesperson told ABC news.

And so it’s fitting that you closed with Billie Holliday singing “Strange Fruit.”

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IMO The College Bowl comes just under the IOC ( International Olympic Committee ) for veniality.

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