When Racism Isn’t Racism. Part II

Sometime last year, Essence Magazine got itself a new fashion director – Ellianna Placas. That, by and of itself, is nothing out of the ordinary. Magazines get new fashion directors all the time, right? Right.

Here’s the thing, though. Ellianna is white.

To say that Essence readers did not take too kindly to the change would be to understate things. Folks were off-en-ded. Kanye-west-refusing-to-let-you-finish-whatever-it-was-you-were-doing offended. Peek-a-boob-at-super-bowl offended. For all the furious commotion it caused, the move to hire Ellianna might as well have been the eighth deadly sin. Had Next Media Animation, the Taiwanese game-changer, added several five-minute animated clips to the mix we might have been well on the way to the establishment of a new epoch. Continue reading

When Mandela Dies…

Two months ago, my biggest fear was that Mr. Nelson Mandela would meet his tragic demise before getting a chance to witness the first World Cup ever on African soil only a bus trip away from his palatial home in Bishopscourt, Cape Town. You may not agree with me on this but I truly believe it was Mandela that brought the World Cup to Africa, through his name, his symbolic status and the country he helped liberate from apartheid. And for that, we should all be grateful.

Yesterday, Mr. Nelson Mandela (as children of the soil we’re allowed to call him ‘Tata Madiba’) celebrated his 92nd birthday. It goes without question that South Africa and indeed the world at large adore and revere Madiba and have deified him to the point where the United Nations has declared July 18th “International Nelson Mandela Day”.
Understand this, the only International Days the UN has declared so far have to do with Children, Human Rights, Women, the Environment and such. So, yes, it’s a big deal for *a person*, *any person* let alone Mandela to have such an honour bestowed upon them. Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and a few others (may their souls rest in peace) must be literally turning multiple shades of green envious of Madiba.

All that being said, Mandela will one day die. Don’t shoot the messenger. Just hear me out.

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