Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and BET.com. He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at claycane@gmail.com.


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    Tuesday, March 18, 2008

    Before we begin, in The Final Battle: Madonna VS. Prince VS. Whitney VS. Beyonce, Madonna slayed them all, winning by an 11.4% margin. Those Madonna fans sure do know how to mobilize! Beyonce couldn't even hold her own and ranked in at a low 6.9%. Unfortunately, out of those who entered in the giveaway, no one guessed (in time) that Madonna and Prince would be the top two with Madonna winning. I'll save the DVDs for another giveaway! Thanks for everyone who participated -- you all had some hot battles in the comments. However, in the end, Madonna snatched that cat's meow!

    With all of the race baiting and mishaps in the current presidential election, some people of color are having a Kunta Kinte moment. Many African-Americans are angered at people who were once thought of to be allies of the black community, now seeming like traitors... although I could've told you that. Nice gestures and apologizing for slavery isn't enough, especially when you consider Jocelyn Elders and Lani Guinier, two blacks folks who were thrown under the Clinton bus (along with the gays) in the 1990s—google it.

    So just like The Advocate had a list called "Coolest Straight People", I decided to do list of "White Folks Who Will Sit In The Back of The Bus With You".

    Keith Olbermann
    Olbermann is the host of MSNBC's Coutdown with Keith Olbermann. Who can't love Olbermann’s recent rant on Senator Hillary Clinton after the controversial Geraldine Ferraro comments? Biting, passionate and truthful. Olbermann has always pointed out the injustices in the media and I don't know if has some black or Latins briefing him before each show, but the man is usually dead-on.

    Roger Ebert

    I know you're thinking—huh? But, when it comes to film, Ebert has been one of the most outspoken critics of Hollywood not acknowledging black actors and black films. He bashed the Oscars for not nominating Spike Lee for best director for 1992's Malcolm X. He was enraged when Eve's Bayou was ignored by every major awards show in 1998, a film he named the best movie of 1997. When the superb City of God (a film he once said was the best film ever made) was ignored for the best foreign film category at the 2004 Oscars, Ebert nearly had a Tocarra Jones moment. I love Ebert, as a critic, he inspires me... I wonder if this has something to do with his wife, who is African-American.

    Christina Aguilera

    While there isn't anything political about Aguilera, she seems to understand soul music like no other white artist (and many black artists) since Teena Marie. Oh, I'm not going with Aguilera being Latin (didn't that last for just one album?), if Cameron Diaz isn't Latin than either is Aguilera! Anyway, Aguilera has never been afraid of urban music -- even when she featured rappers in her videos, she wasn't scared to be in the same scene with them... unlike some other pop icons who took about six albums to get that comfortable. As an artist, Aguilera embodies soul from her crystal clear notes to a savage growl. While Beyonce once said she wanted her first solo record to be like Donny Hathaway, she didn't come close. On the other hand, Aguilera’s 2006 Back To Basics was a soul record without trying. Check out a stirring rendition of Etta James' "At Last", click here.


    Bill Maher

    Every Friday on HBO at 11pm Bill Maher breaks it down on race, politics, religion and all of the other happenings in America. While I may not agree with everything (like dating Superhead!), but the man is quick, smart and a critical thinker. He is not in the business of siding or congratulating black Americans just because a black person is on the panel. Maher speaks the truth and not afraid of the consequences. When he appeared on Larry King Live last month he had this to say about if America’s ready for a black president or is it particular to Senator Barack Obama, “That black man doesn't strike them as such a black man. I always say, he's like the Halle Berry of politics. For hundreds of years, people were like, I wouldn't go near a black woman, but boy, I would kiss Halle Berry. I think I would make an exception for her!” Tell it like it is!

    Elton John

    Elton is an ole' bitchy legend who has no problem voicing his disgust. Elton has always had the utmost respect for black music and we all loved it when he blasted season three of American Idol. After three black girls, including Fantasia Barrino, were in the bottom three, Elton said: "The three people I was really impressed with, and they just happened to be black, young female singers, and they all seem to be landing in the bottom three. They have great voices. The fact that they're constantly in the bottom three -- and I don't want to set myself up here -- but I find it incredibly racist!" Elton said what nearly every black person who watched American Idol was thinking.

    Teena Marie

    Teena Marie has always stayed rooted in the black community and never seemed to care about crossing over to mainstream audiences. Born into soul music, Marie is someone who just seems to "get it" without trying. I remember when I interviewed Teena... and I hate to talk in stereotypes because I know you can't "talk black”… but that woman sounded so black! She sounded like Aunt Teena at the block party, doing the electric slide and telling all the young children, "I still got it!"

    Michael Moore

    Michael Moore is the baddest white man in all the land. What I love about all of his documentaries is that the people he focuses on are incredibly diverse. He manages to tell an American story versus just the story of poor whites or working class whites. Moore is a college dropout and proves you don’t need to be a scholar to be smart, just some compassion and common sense. Here is one of my favorite quotes of all time, which happens to be from Mr. Moore: “White people scare the crap out of me... I have never been attacked by a black person, never been evicted by a black person, never had my security deposit ripped off by a black landlord, never had a black landlord... never been pulled over by a black cop, never been sold a lemon by a black car salesman, never seen a black car salesman, never had a black person deny me a bank loan, never had a black person bury my movie, and I've never heard a black person say: We're going to eliminate ten thousand jobs here— have a nice day!” Go off Mike! If this were 1960, Moore would've been right in the trenches!

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 6 comments

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