Dear FOX News:
Last week the United States lost an icon. Miss Whitney Houston was not only a singular voice and the voice of a generation, she was also emblematic of the problem of U.S. celebrity, the ways in which, particularly people of color performers, are commodified, superhumanized, idolized and then, when the pressure, stress, strain, racism, stardom, use, and abuse gets to be too much, we delight, in an old school Roman Coliseum way, in watching their slow and devastating decline...extracting the last bits of their humanity before they expire and we then memorialize them when it would have been more fitting to cauterize their words and had them still living amongst us. But I digress.
This week was lost an amazing woman, Whitney Houston, and I, and many folks of my generation, mourn her loss. She was responsible for her own actions, but we are responsible for cannibalizing her and her pain.
And then comes along FOX News.
Now....I make it a point to never ever watch FOX News...mostly because I choose not to go to folks in the midst of a permanent psychotic break to get my news. The reality that the folks at FOX News are seeing and the one that the rest of us are living in seemingly have nothing to do with one another. I seem to recall something about the news being objective, or, at the very least, it is supposed to make an attempt to report the facts as they are...now and again FOX gets a date or a location correct, but everything they say after that point seems to come from a badly translated neo-conservative fortune cookie.
The other day, while at the gym, my friend Brian swooped in for a butt grab to catch my attention...seeing as he is easy on the eyes, I didn't mind. But when I removed my headphones he asked me if I'd seen the clip from FOX News concerning Rep. Maxine Waters, a crack pipe and Whitney Houston comment, and the House Banking Committee, and my eyes burst into flames from a sudden bout of FOX News Induced Rage (FNIR).
Whitney Houston hadn't been dead three days, and FOX News had already found a way to use her death in a supremely fucked up and racist way.
By the time I left the gym, Brian had posted the video clip on my Facebook page. In it, Eric Bolling, after rolling a clip of Maxine Waters making a statement about taking back the House, and, when doing so, becoming the chair of the Banking Committee as Rep. Barney Frank is retiring and she is next in line. Her comments went further to say that she would use the powers of the committee to hold big banks accountable for this here recession they put us in. Sounds like common sense to me. Sounds like justice to me. But apparently, to Eric Bolling, it sounded like a perfect moment to speak ill of the dead and make a racist crack head comment about Rep. Maxine Waters.
Specifically, he lost his mind and said:
“What is going on in California? How’s this? Congresswoman, you saw what happened to Whitney Houston. Step away from the crack pipe, step away from the Xanax, step away from the Lorazepam because it’s going to get you in trouble.” Bolling said about Waters on “Fox and Friends.” “How else do you explain those comments?”
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/72964.html#ixzz1n7G4JUcR
If a commentator on CSPAN, CNN, MSNBC, or the Home Shopping Network had made a comparable comment, he or she wouldn't have made it to the end of the segment before being fired. But oh no, not FOX News...the last best defender of the 1st amendment freedom of speech and the press. Bolling made a half-assed apology and said he was joking, and he continues on the air...a racist neo-con time bomb just waiting to explode again.
How about this. FUCK YOU ERIC BOLLING YOU RACIST MOTHERFUCKER.
Since Obama took office it has been a free for all on Black elected officials. White folks have felt free to say whatever the Hell pops into their minds about the president and other African-American electeds. At this point, I want to start passing out white hoods to half the pundits and all of the GOP. The only thing that is post-racism about the United States is that it is post-time to get real and recognize that racism is alive, well, and taking center stage in a way that it hasn't since before the Civil Rights era. If Eric Bolling had signed off his segment with, "Good night, niggers!" I couldn't have been any more shocked or surprised.
I would suggest a boycott of FOX News, but no one I know watches FOX News, and ain't none of the gays I know about to give up on Glee. So, instead, I am encouraging folks to call FOX News and let them know how you feel about Eric Bolling's comment: 1-888-369-4762.
And I hope if Rep. Waters ever gets that man alone for five minutes she takes off her belt or cuts a switch and beats his ass like his Mama should have.
And Whitney...if you could ask JC to send Eric boils or shingles or Ebola...I would be much obliged.