Linsanity: it’s not black & white anymore

In today’s Philadelphia Daily News, journalist Sam Donnellon expressed incredulity that race is a factor in the Jeremy Lin story.

Come on!

Jeremy Lin is the first Asian-American player in the NBA since 1947. It’s a league that is somewhere around 75% African-American and the rest of the league is made up of primarily Europeans. Of course Lin’s race is a factor in the hype. Any other statement is just someone (like Donnellon) attempting to show their open-mindedness through political correctness.

But Lin’s race isn’t the only reason for the talk.

The boy’s got game.  Yes it’s only been 6 games and yes, at some point the league will catch up, but Lin’s start is the best since Lebron James’ start since 2003; you can’t discount that. Scrubs don’t just put on a pair of shorts and score 38 against the Lakers.

New York, New York.  Jeremy Lin plays for the Knicks, who happen to play in New York City and the pseudo New York network ESPN is loving this. If Jeremy Lin were doing this in Milwaukee, it would be news, but #Linsanity wouldn’t be a trending topic. To paraphrase T.O, New York loves them some New York – and since they love it, everyone else has to hear about it.

It wasn’t so long ago that blacks weren’t “equipped” to be quarterbacks, but after a few black QBs had success, this short-sighted belief disappeared. This excitement around Lin is good because it’s always good when someone comes along and opens a door that everyone thought was shut, and no matter why people are paying attention, it’s nice that they are.

Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @iamspencer.

Favorite 2012 Grammy Tweets

A few of my favorite tweets from tonight’s Grammys. And yes, I included a couple of my own.

  • Breaking News: After recount, Adele also won Iowa caucus.@jonmorosi
  • Lady Gaga was just heard saying, ‘This is weird.’ (About Nicki Minaj’ performance) @JimCaruso1
  • So Bon Iver just won Best New Artist. I bought the 1st album in the fall of 2008. This says everything you need to know about the Grammy’s.@PhillyMike
  • Feb 12, 2012 – the day Autotune becomes aware and kills Adele & the Foo Fighters. @iamspencer
  • Grammy Newsbreak! Ice-T and The Lemonheads to form supergroup, “Arnold Palmer.”@JoshMalina
  • Adele’s album is also about Dave Coulier.@stephenfalk
  • My wife just asked “why do they bother standing up during [Stevie Wonder's] standing ovations?” @iamspencer

Share your favorites in the comment section.

Komen, Planned Parenthood & the power of an angry mob

How great has this week been? When I first heard about the Susan G. Komen Foundation eliminating funding for the breast cancer screening services that Planned Parenthood provides to poor women, I was shocked. I took to my blog, Facebook and Twitter to express my dissatisfaction as did a lot of people. I sent them $50 and others sent them 2,999,950 more. I wouldn’t have been surprised if that was it.

It wasn’t.

Over the next few days, the mob got louder and angrier, and they kept it up. It got so bad, that today Komen apologized and stepped back (albeit a little) from their original plan. It’s a testament to the power of an angry mob.

What amazes me, is that companies and organizations continue to make the same mistake. First there was Lowe’s, then there was SOPA and now the Komen debacle. You’d think they’d learn. The damage to Komen’s brand and reputation may be irreparable. This controversy has forced many people to take a deeper look at them and what was found wasn’t pretty. The founders of Komen have been found to be big GOP donors. They had no issue putting their brand on pink guns,and a new part of their management team is a major anti-abortionist. Many of the supporters they lost this week will not be coming back.

At the end of the proverbial day, I’m happy this happened. Planned Parenthood collected $3 million to help people who need it the most and we know what the Komen Foundation really is. And the internet and social media has become of age as a tool of mass activism.

It’s been a really good week.

Komen vs. Planned Parenthood: Choosing a charity based on politics

Pick a side, everyone else has.

The partisan attitude that has infected our politics and ruined any hope of partnership in Washington has spread throughout the country. There is no better example of this than the fact that I now have to choose my charities based on their politics. This is what the Susan G. Komen’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood means to me. From now on, every time I see a pink ribbon on the back of a car, a pink bat in Major League Baseball, or pink sneakers in the NFL, I’ll see pro-lifers and their rabid attack on women’s health. Judging by the outcry on the internet, I’m not alone.

I’m not sure that the Komen Foundation expected this.

By choosing to side with the right on abortion, they have forced the hands of anyone that is pro-choice.

My simple solution: any charity that is attacked by the right, is now on my list to support. As such, I sent donations last night to Planned Parenthood and National Public Radio.

What about you? What are you going to do?