Michael Arceneaux, EBONY.com contributor and Master of Shade, calls out five of his biggest gripes from the past week. Rejoice and be read. Follow Michael @youngsinick.


1. Can You Try To Be Better, Erin Burnett?: On Tuesday, CNN’s Erin Burnett mistook members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority (Incorporated) as members of the Crips. I understand that if you a well off white woman living in the obscurity that is the bubble of your own existence, that perhaps you might not completely understand the nuances of racial politics. However, I would like to think a person who works as an anchor on a national cable news network would know not to immediately assume Black people in blue are in a gang.

Naturally, this faux pas happened on the same day Burnett found herself schooled by Baltimore city councilman Carl Stokes over the use of “thug” to describe angry young protestors. Burnett claimed if she her son behaved similarly, she would use the same term. Cute for her, but the point is that her son could do the same behavior and never have such a term associated with him. It’s kind of like how he could be spotted in blue on the streets of Baltimore on CNN and not be immediately assumed to be a part of gang.

2. Blame It On The Gays: During the Family Research Council’s Washington Watch radio program, FRC president Tony Perkins along with Texas Republic congressman Bill Flores argued in a recent radio interview that the events in Baltimore could be linked to the marriage equality movement. Perkins said, “A lot of these problems are created by the breakdown of the family, which the redefinition of would only accelerate.”

(Insert the sound of sucked teeth here.)

In response, Flores, added, “You’re exactly right, Tony. Let’s talk about poverty for instance… The single best indicator of whether or not a child is going to be in poverty or not is whether or not they were raised by a two-parent household or a single-parent household. And so the breakdown of the family has contributed to poverty.”

Picture me rollin’ (my eyes, hard).

It’s a longtime conservative talking point, though when put into practice in terms of policy, marriage has proven itself not to be particularly fruitful in terms of fighting poverty. You know, probably because a wedding band doesn’t dilute the effects of systematic and economic oppression. Say, a police officer killing you and a police department known for police brutality still managing to put the onus on the victim. Tony Perkins is hatred in pleasant tones, and if Rep. Flores bothered to go on this dude’s radio show, he must be just as low on the humanity poll as the rest of the FRC is. White Jesus wouldn’t share bread with either one of them.

3. Another Stupid Opinion About Baltimore: On Wednesday, Stephen A. Smith offered criticism to protestors in Baltimore on an episode of ESPN2’s First Take, lamenting that “when you look at the looting and the vandalizing or whatever, you know, sometimes the message that gets disseminated is more powerful than the actual incident itself.”

Did this man compare the items taken from a CVS to a Black man’s spine being broken, his voice box being stomped out – both of which, led to his death – by a police department with a history of brutality aimed at Black men and women? Why, yes, this foolish man did. Smith went on to say, “It taints all of these law-abiding sit sense that are here. Society looks at all of us and they say, ‘Is that how you’re acting? Is that what you are about? Is that what you care about?’”

Well, mass media makes a choice in what will be highlighted, ergo, they ignore days of peaceful protest in favor of what we’ve seen in the past week. And yet, you’d think a Black man in media would know how this works, and therefore, not play respectability given white supremacy makes clear that no matter how one presents themselves, if you are Black, you are less than. Then again, for all his moralizing, Stephen A. Smith is usually a cheerleader for misogyny and its champions like Floyd Mayweather.

4. One Last Dumb Opinion About Baltimore: In you can fly directly into hell news, Republican Maryland state Delegate Patrick McDonough reportedly suggested that parents don’t deserve to receive food stamps if they don’t stop their kids from protesting the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. McDonough also claimed that we need a “scientific study” to understand the mindset of “thug nation.”

He explained, “These young people, they’re violent, they’re brutal, their mindset is dysfunctional to a point of being dangerous. We have got to study, investigate, and really look at what this is all about.”

Yes, I think we should research every police department in this country and pinpoint exactly why Black bodies are always used as target practice. P.S. You can still tip to hell, Patrick.

5. Study Harder, Stacey: I almost felt bad for Stacey Dash while watching her conversation with talk show host Meredith Viera about gender wage inequality. Almost. Bless her heart because throughout the embarrassing exchange, Dash said, “If you want to be pissed off about [gender inequality], then be pissed off about it, and work harder for it. But I don’t think us complaining about it–because there is a law passed that we get paid equal pay.” Stop showing up to the exams without studying, sis.