Author: Shawn Hamilton

Waffle Fries and Separation of Church and State

A couple of weeks ago Chick Fil A’s President, Dan Cathy, went on the record with his support of ‘traditional marriage’, noting his frustration with the ‘prideful and arrogant attitude’ of those who ‘want to change what marriage is all about’, basically affirming his opposition to gay marriage and more significantly his support of organizations that use government action to oppose it. LGBT organizations called for boycotts, while several city politicians announced “plans” to ‘block’ or ‘do everything in their power to stop’ the opening of Chick Fil A’s: “plans” they later ‘clarified'(i.e. reversed). Chick Fil A supporters have...

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The Origins of the Religious Right

It is widely believed that the Religious Right traces its political origins to Roe v. Wade, suggesting that outrage over abortion led the often apolitical evangelical movement to become stalwart supporters of conservative causes and Republican candidates. In the attached video Dr. Randal Balmer of Emory University challenges this theory, tracing the evangelical movement’s shift to the political right, not to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision but to a lesser known case – Green v. Connaly. The 1972 Green v. Connaly case didn’t attack scripture or take a stance on a contentious social issue like gay marriage or evolution, but instead challenged the tax exempt status of religious institutions that practiced racial discrimination. Green v. Connaly produced a ruling that ‘any institution that practiced segregation was not, by definition, a charitable institution and, therefore, no longer qualified for tax-exempt standing’, which led to the revocation of Bob Jones University’s tax exempt status for first refusing to admit African Americans until 1971; then only admitting blacks who were married until 1975; then finally for forbidding interracial dating, a ban they enforced until the year 2000. While Bob Jones University obviously had racist views, Dr. Balmer thinks that conservative operatives used a fear of government intervention rather than racial animus to galvanize the evangelical movement and create a reliable voting bloc for decades to come. Share this:FacebookTwitterGoogleLike this:Like...

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Dollar, Sense, and the NAACP

Last week the NAACP launched an investigation into the arrest of Creflo Dollar, an Atlanta mega church pastor accused of assaulting and battering his fifteen year old daughter. In a press statement, Fayette County NAACP President Jon Jones, said that the goal of their investigation is to ensure that Pastor Dollar is allowed to be a ‘responsible parent and discipline his children’, because in their view his case highlights the ‘dilemma’ parents face between ‘disciplining’ their children and possibly being accused of a crime or allowing their children to be disciplined by the criminal justice system. This is a...

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The Dred Scott Adidas

The demise of the Jeremy Scott Adidas or what I’m calling the Dred Scott Adidas reminds me of an interesting experience that I had while participating – sitting in the audience really – in a panel discussion on film distribution about 10 or 12 years ago. As is often the case during talks about movie distribution, the conversation turned to diversity or lack there of, and some audience member pointedly asked a distribution representative why they did not distribute more films for the Hispanic market. The distribution guy nodded, appreciating the question of course, and went on to describe...

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House N*ggas in Paris

Last week, as rappers Jay Z and Kanye West were about to go onstage and perform their hit single ‘N*ggas in Paris’,  actress Gwyneth Paltrow tweeted “N*ggas in Paris for real” and caused a bit of controversy. There’s some debate about whether or not she was announcing the song or saluting her ‘niggas’ or whatever.  Regardless, a mediocre actress using the n-word in any context isn’t something we should be losing sleep over, but I was sort of surprised by the hearty defense that she got from some of Hip Hop’s elder statesmen and luminaries.  Black women have been...

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