The FYRE Media Justice Camps are dynamic leadership development opportunities for Southern LGBTQQ youth of color, ages 18-25 interested in reproductive justice. Participants engage in interactive workshops about reproductive justice, media justice, and art-based activism while gaining the skills needed to create liberatory media. In 2013, we harnessed the power of radio as a tool to communicate the perspectives of queer youth of color living in the South.
In our first segment, youth confront controversial commentary made by prominent African-American and openly gay CNN Newsroom anchor Don Lemon. During the July airing of “No Talking Points,” Lemon affirms right-wing FOX News anchor Bill O’Reilly’s victim-blaming statement on violence in the Black community.
Shortly after the Zimmerman acquittal, he aired a clip of O’Reilly saying, “Raised without much structure, young black men often reject education and gravitate towards the street culture, drugs, hustling, gangs. Nobody forces them to do that, again, it is a personal decision.”
In support of O’Reilly, Lemon states, “He is right about that, too. But in my estimation, he doesn’t go far enough. Because Black people, if you really want to fix the problem, here’s just five things that you should think about doing.” He went on to list the following tips: pull up your pants, finish school, don’t use the N-word, respect your community (specifically, don’t litter), and don’t have children out of wedlock.
SPARK youth call out Lemon’s out-of-touch respectability politics during a highly-sensitive moment in recent history. Join Mo, Quita, Jordan, Gaby and Nicole as they discuss pop culture, reproductive justice, and queer liberation in a multi-part series appropriately titled “The SPARK”.
Sharing the critical analysis of Southern LGBTQQ youth of color is possible because of your support! Donate to SPARK and donate to youth empowerment today!
Media Referenced During This Segment
- Don Lemon: Bill O’Reilly’s ‘Got A Point’ About Black People
- Ill Doctrine “On Don Lemon, Race & ‘Respectability’”
The SPARK 02 – Media Portrayals of Black Women and LGBTQQ Youth of Color
In the second segment of “The SPARK,” FMJC ’13 youth make the connections between how Black women and LGBTQQ youth of color are represented in media and hit shows like Catfish.