In episode 49 of the GHOGH podcast, Jamarlin Martin talks to digital media government, activist and writer Jamilah Lemieux.
They talk about her article, “The Power And Fragility Of Working In Black Media” in the Columbia Journalism Assessment and Lamont Hill being fired by CNN for his feedback on Palestine.
Additionally they talk about whether Michelle Obama’s phrases on Rev. Jeremiah Wright in her ebook “Becoming” have been a false equivalence.
You possibly can take heed to all the dialog proper now in the audio participant under. When you favor to pay attention on your telephone, GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin is on the market wherever you take heed to podcasts — including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud.
Take heed to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 49: Jamilah Lemieux
Half 1: Jamarlin talks to digital media government, activist and writer Jamilah Lemieux. They talk about her article, “The Power And Fragility Of Working In Black Media” within the Columbia Journalism Assessment and Lamont Hill being fired by CNN for his comments on Palestine. Additionally they talk about whether or not Michelle Obama’s phrases on Rev. Jeremiah Wright in her ebook “Becoming” have been a false equivalence.
This can be a full transcript of the dialog which has been flippantly edited for readability.
listening to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin. We have now a go exhausting or go house strategy
as we speak to the leading tech leaders, politicians and influencers. Let’s
GHOGH! Right now we now have Jamilah Lemieux, the magic maker, a writer, speaker, also
an activist in our group. Welcome to the show.
you. Thank you for having me.
us somewhat bit about your background and the way did you get into digital media
the place you’ve been within the recreation for some time?
am initially from Chicago. I went to Howard and I studied theater there, and
declaring appearing as my major undoubtedly came as a shock to my pals and
family. People stated, “You’re a fantastic author. Why aren’t you majoring in
communications or PR or English, something associated to that.” And I was
like, no, that is what I need to do. And I made a promise to my mother and father that I
wouldn’t be a starving artist, that I might train if appearing didn’t occur for
me immediately and earlier than I even finished faculty, I acquired into educating. I was
like, okay, I’m not going to pursue theater. I simply didn’t have the braveness and
perception in myself. Did schooling and labored in and around that area for a
whereas, my coronary heart wasn’t there. Throughout that time I began a blog referred to as
“Beautiful Struggler”, which I received critical about it, if you will, in
2007. So proper before I graduated from school and within a couple months I
realized I actually favored writing and I appreciated speaking with individuals online
as a result of this was again within the days of MySpace and everyone’s weblog led to
blogspot.com and comments sections weren’t things to be prevented. They have been
treasured. It was a terrific opportunity to talk to other individuals. There were a
variety of us who…
you have been blogging earlier than it was cool?
I used to be undoubtedly an early adopter with social media in a number of methods, relative
to a few of my pals and relative to some other really gifted writers I know
that sort of had to study the web after the very fact, the place there have been some of
us that had been in that area for a very long time. But I feel again to once I
started running a blog, people like Damon Younger and Panama from “Very Sensible
Brothas” and Demetria Lucas, and Jozen Cummings. I’d say about half of us
have been historically educated journalism graduates and the opposite half have been individuals
like myself that just favored writing. Just type of discovered their method into it. And
so from there I ended up getting a job with Ebony. I used to be a part of the group that
launched their website in 2012. I was there for nearly five years and had lots
to do with the reimagining of the model and bringing it into the fashionable day,
earlier than it’s present set of challenges. If you will. And then after that I did a
two-year stint at InteractiveOne. I was the VP of stories and men’s programming.
And prior to having those jobs, which have been both great experiences, I discovered so
a lot about digital media and I want to assume that I’m a part of a gaggle of
editorial thinkers and leaders that basically type of outlined how my era
and folk somewhat bit youthful than us and just a little bit older than us use the
web to talk about issues of race, gender, sexuality, id actually. And
did an entire lot of freelance writing earlier than and a bit throughout those two jobs and
acquired the chance to talk at numerous faculties and be on a couple of cool TV exhibits
and radio exhibits and a number of podcasts. And final summer time I used to be at a moment the place
I noticed that the extra my profession trended upward on paper, the less completely happy I
was in this area. Digital media as you understand, is incredibly troublesome. There’s
still a variety of questions about sustainability.
a melancholy. It’s an excellent exhausting recreation proper now.
And it’s so much that the priority is round clicks and revenue versus
high quality, of substance. And I really just need to make work of substance and I
need to write once more. And so I am now full time freelance. I’m working on a guide
and a tv pilot and I’m also performing some communications consulting
because I discovered so much in that area and issues that I may also help or have
helped brands and people and political campaigns with, however I’s untethered
in sure methods now.
you hold the duopoly of Google and Fb who are taking in fact, an enormous
amount of promoting revenue out of the system, a number of the advertising of
course, goes to automated techniques the place individuals like your self who need to
write about things that they’re enthusiastic about, who need to write about or
critique the institution or write about helping individuals or their group
that can not be ad-supported. In fact Google and Facebook taking quite a bit
out of the system, but providing very little. Do you hold these beasts that I
would call them, these tech beast out in California, hold them accountable for
taking a lot value and life out of the system where to be a healthy group
you’re going to wish quality content material and ad-supported content primarily?
Both platforms, or corporations I should say, are a present and a curse. In so many
methods I consider Google as more vital when it comes to the presents that it provides
and the way it has. There are things about that that come from the Google universe,
I feel, that enhance the quality of our life in ways that Facebook has not.
an necessary distinction. They don’t necessarily deserve it the same.
Google allows us to entry a lot info, valid info and
misinformation, and Fb knowingly trafficked within the spread of
misinformation in some very harmful ways contemplating the result of the last
political or presidential election. And down ticket races that have happened
earlier than, during and after. So it’s sad. I still use Google and Facebook,
particularly Google products. It’s virtually inconceivable to divorce yourself from
them solely. A minimum of Google. I feel there’s so many nice issues about
Google, however we’re nonetheless figuring out what monetization seems to be like for content
creators. And that’s part of the rationale that I don’t need to be in the business
in that means once more. I didn’t feel that I should proceed to be in administration or
operating websites because I’m not the one that has the present of actually
understanding easy methods to make this stuff generate profits. Now I do know what good high quality
content is. I understand how to supply it on a dime, I understand how to supply it with
the price range. Once more, to take a seat in the management position in this area you actually have
to consider the cash in ways in which I would like not to.
So with the rising inequality in America particularly, I feel it could possibly be
explained partially where the parents like your self and other content creators,
they’re creating content, let’s say on Youtube. And so that you create a number of
content that buyers love, however Google doesn’t pay the content material creator sufficient
to compensate for his or her time to make a dwelling. Nevertheless, Google might share 30
% with the content creator, but the actual worth isn’t in the income
share. The actual worth that they’re pimping off the content creators is going to
the share worth. So as Google’s share worth goes up in the direction of $1 trillion, that’s
on the backs of lots of the media partners, the content material creators. And so
they’re getting only a very little piece of that advertising piece. However that’s
not necessarily the actual value. The value is being shifted to the shareholders
and primarily, you could have a problem that we’re dealing with. You wrote a ravishing
piece that I noticed on-line referred to as “The Energy and Fragility of Black
Media”. And I learn a perspective, and being within the digital media
business, that’s not appreciated in our culture. Which means that you simply knew that
there were issues in Black media when it comes to hey, individuals getting paid late or
that is out of place and this and that. But you had a sure sympathy in terms
of hey, the same website, could also be producing business content, they could get a $50
CPM or advertising revenue per thousand impressions, however this Black Firm is
getting $20 and you need to examine the Black media who has to battle these
battles and get much less for the same factor. You need to examine them to New York
Occasions and examine them to other retailers, and that type of nuance shouldn’t be really
on the market or talked about. Can you speak a bit bit about what inspired you to
write that piece?
thank you. I was truly approached by the Columbia Journalism Evaluation for a
package deal that they have been doing concerning the lack of variety in newsrooms and what
it’s wish to be the one Black individual in one. And I stated that has not been my
experience. But as a result of I’ve been very deliberate all through my career, there
have been definitely occasions particularly, I was at Ebony for five years and was capable of
amass a specific amount of visibility in the business. This was back when NBC
had black people on each hour, and I was considered one of them. So other opportunities
with white-owned, white-led media corporations definitely came my method. However I used to be so
dedicated to staying in Black media for a lot of reasons. And one in every of them
being that I didn’t should verify my culture or my id at the door and I
didn’t have to elucidate it to individuals both. Trayvon Martin gets killed, we’re
all upset, Mike Brown will get killed, we’re all upset. Trump is elected.
Everyone, for probably the most half within the workplace is feeling unsettled or scared. And
I still would say I’m unwilling in any kind of full time capacity and have
definitely accomplished freelance and executed tasks for other areas but would not,
understanding what I do know concerning the insides of Black media corporations and the two that
I labored for have been among either the most important or one of the best recognized. Once more, identical to
you stated, advertisers don’t value them even once they have the impressions or
the subscribers or the circulation charges of their rivals or others comparable
areas I ought to say which might be designed for mainstream or non-Black audiences
that advertisers don’t treat them the same approach. So beyond saying, we’re not
going to provide the similar sum of money that we might to say Architectural
Digest or Vainness Truthful, that are tremendous niche, they don’t have high circulation
charges. This isn’t just for mainstream audiences. That is for affluent
audiences, proper? However individuals need to spend some huge cash with those brands
as a result of they’re reaching shoppers which might be excessive greenback, you possibly can argue. However
also because they’re not doing Black content material. They’re not speaking to Black
individuals. But beyond the shortage of money, there was also this idea that Black
content material was more durable to manage, that it was extra controversial. So anything
associated to sex with scary for advertisers.
Right. Brand security.
can be policed in another way, is that what you’re saying?
Policed very in a different way. I keep in mind Jezebel years in the past, back when it was part
of Gawker Media Community in fact, had a column referred to as “Pot
Psychology” the place a young white, homosexual male writer and a younger white feminine
author would get excessive on marijuana and answer reader advice questions. And it
was hilarious. They did it on digital camera and there was a written portion to it, I
consider. And I simply keep in mind considering, we might by no means go there in our wildest
goals. Vice does lots of content around pot. And I keep in mind, quick ahead to
2017, I did one thing marijuana-related for my final employer. And internally
there was some critical discomfort. There were some concessions that had to be
made and overwhelmingly there was a way, I shouldn’t say overwhelmingly, however
there have been numerous individuals above my pay grade and I used to be the VP so I wasn’t a
junior employee, that felt that we have been doing one thing damaging or
inappropriate when it comes to the power to sell the model, not essentially from a
ethical standpoint. But this is in the era of marijuana legalization and
decriminalization measures throughout the nation, and it’s turning into a part of pop
tradition beyond what it was in the 70s if you would name it a punchline
really. “All the hippies are smoking”. It’s turning into normalized, however
for us and something that individuals are using for medicinal causes, and this
wasn’t just a enjoyable celebration of weed. This was concerning the social justice
implications of decriminalization and legalization, the monetary opportunities
that exist for communities which were focused by the warfare on medicine and the
medicinal properties in addition to the social enjoyment or no matter. However the
idea that cannabis represents something that we have to take significantly and a
lot of us have to reevaluate our attitudes about it, even if we select by no means to
bask in it. And so that was not a clear, unequivocal, yeah, we need to do
this because that is where the individuals are right now. We have to ensure that
our audiences are getting that info, that there was worry that this value
us cash. It just really spoke to the restrictions of being in Black media
one of the few people who spoke out when CNN fired Marc Lamont Hill over his
help for Palestine.
it’s one thing that I nonetheless speak about at the moment. Why don’t individuals perceive, it
looks like, that’s an enormous difficulty, which means that if we’ve the people who find themselves
truly brave to speak out on these points and we permit the mainstream
media and the establishment elite forces in the society to suppress your
activist reminiscent of Marc Lamont Hill, Tamika Mallory, these forces, when you permit
them to crack down in your activist, the brave people, these forces can
optimize the group in a method where you’re solely allowed to talk about MAGA.
You’re solely allowed to bang towards MAGA. You’re solely allowed to be vocal about
issues that we approve of. And I really feel like they have us in a field, the place they
want us to cease talking about overseas coverage they usually had that very same view with
Dr. King with Vietnam. But are you able to speak about what’s so irritating when it comes to
how that went down with Marc Lamont Hill?
And full disclosure, Marc is one in every of my dearest pals. So I was bothered by it
as a Black lady, as someone who works in media, as any person who has opinions
that aren’t all the time in alignment with the mainstream and who is aware of how easily I
too could be silenced. However I was also in fact offended as his good friend, and as
someone who understood what he was saying. And it’s not that I feel he’s
incapable of claiming something inappropriate or incorrect, but what he stated was
taken out of context and used to portray him as someone who he’s not. And I
assume it’s necessary that we name that out once we see it because it’s
harmful and it doesn’t matter if this individual shares your viewpoints or not.
For me, it was less about what he stated and defending the purpose that he was
making, than it was saying, take a look at what they’re doing to him and why. Marc has
been radical, and a radical leftist for a long time when it comes to his considering.
However this can be a scholar, and an activist, however this isn’t somebody who was calling
out for some type of conflict like measures or violence. He was saying, look, we’re
not going to see peace in this area till certain issues change. And I feel
we should always respect the correct of individuals to really feel otherwise. However to silence him, to
take away him from the most important platform. Trigger Marc all the time had 100 jobs, however
to take away the most important platform that he has when other commentators on the
network have stated things that have been equally as perhaps incendiary, but within the different
mean towards Palestinians and Muslims.
Islamophobic issues, anti-Palestinian sentiment, or having relationships with
people who espouse those views and then to see young Black progressives be
spanked for standing with Palestine, it’s unconscionable.
consider that Tamika Mallory’s state of affairs must be in the identical situation of
censorship of Black voices who step out that box? Notably because it relates to
Palestine and the overseas affairs of America.
assume that Linda Sarsour of the Ladies’s March is Palestinian and has been a
vocal opponent of Zionism for the whole thing of her activist career. And that’s
something that has led the Ladies’s March organization to be focused for
protest. And once more, I’m not denouncing the opposition to the best way that these
three individuals feel. It’s simply that taking away or condemning them for it.
Closing doorways to them, closing platforms to them.
checks. Making an attempt to remove their means to deal with their families
as a result of they aspect with Palestinians. And the best way I feel is the American
establishment, they’ve Black America in a box where we don’t care in the event you speak
about Donald Trump, we don’t care for those who simply carry on protesting Donald Trump.
However these are the issues where in case you see MAGA over in Palestine, should you see
MAGA when it comes to Netanyahu in the far right in Israel, america has a
far right and Israel has a far proper. And the president of Israel is on that
far right. But I feel there’s a whole lot of deceit amongst Democrats and liberals
have been, hey, in case you can bang towards MAGA in the USA, why can’t you
bang towards MAGA in Israel? Why are things so totally different? We’re talking about
rules, values, and white supremacy, however there’s so many people who are
scared to speak about MAGA when it’s over there in Palestine.
Wright. I know this is popping out of the blue. No one has been talking about Rev.
Wright. Nevertheless, there was a article within the Huffington Submit where the writer
titled This story, “Jeremiah Wright Knew What America was Becoming”.
The Obamas can’t see what it’s. And of course, Michelle Obama’s guide,
“Becoming” came out final yr. It did extraordinarily nicely, however there’s a
passage in the guide, some individuals are taking challenge with the false equivalency
where she compares Rev. Wright’s statements where she says she wasn’t in these
sermons. Although they’d been following Rev. Wright for 20 years, and he
baptized the youngsters and married them. Michelle Obama says, “Hey, look, we
weren’t at these sermons that you simply guys are talking about”, however let me use
words to ensure I don’t take this out of context. “We had lived for years
with the slender mindedness of a few of our elders having accepted that nobody is
good, notably those that come of age in a time of segregation. Maybe
this had triggered us to overlook the more absurd elements of Rev. Wright’s spitfire
preaching. Even if we hadn’t been present for any of the sermons in query,
seeing an excessive model of his vitriol broadcast in the information though, we have been
appalled. The entire affair was a reminder of how our nation’s distortions
about race might be two sided. That the suspicion in stereotyping ran each
ways.” How does that make you are feeling, the place white supremacy and Rev.
Wright’s statements may be put in the identical box?
love Michelle Obama dearly. My relationship to her is definitely less
difficult than it is to her husband. She’s not a politician, however that passage
which I did learn, as it starts to make the rounds, really dissatisfied me. I
assume a variety of us had hoped that once they left workplace that she can be
unfiltered in sure ways. And she or he has been to some extent. And there’ve been
issues that she’s stated off the cuff and simply let her hair down and talked about
some of her discomforts within the White Home and some of her ideas across the
current administration, but I really would have thought that each or either of
them in their memoirs would exonerate Rev. Wright and speak about why they did
not feel they have been capable of defend him as it was occurring, which was an
understandable concessions in me in sure ways. But now that you simply’re outdoors
of that state of affairs, there are not any more races to run. You’re not in workplace.
I’d have hoped that she would have been, not forgiving per se, but simply clear
on the hypocrisy of evaluating him to hate groups and racists. And I feel I’ve
come across different class cellular Black people that achieve a sure degree of
success and wealth that disconnects them. And we definitely see it in
celebrities, where even if it looks like in so many ways their hearts and minds
are with the individuals, they nonetheless have a degree of, I don’t need to simply say
optimism, however perhaps naivety or disconnect from what it means to be Black for
the remainder of us. And so even in the event you don’t agree with the vitriol, it’s onerous to
perceive why somebody is discovered as she is, or as he’s, wouldn’t utterly
no less than perceive and respect the sentiment.
our perspective, once I hear Barack Obama converse and he started going to
Wisconsin, you possibly can go to Youtube and he starts saying, “You’ve been
hoodwinked. You’ve been bamboozled.” I knew then that there was one thing
in him where, for my part, he was one in every of us once I heard him and he had a
grin where it’s like I’m enjoying on a degree where plenty of these white individuals
don’t know. After which I read his e-book and he talked about how he appreciated studying
“Final Call” and this and that. Some of us I feel can reside with
Obama saying, look, for me to go to the White House, I obtained to distance myself
from some of these items. Which means that for me to be embraced by a racist
country, I have to half ways with sure inventory from a army technique,
political strategy perspective can reside with. However the best way you do this, to your
point when it comes to your pastor of 20 years, this is the south aspect earlier than the
White House. Michelle Obama seems like someone else, otherwise you assume that’s not the
don’t know the ins and outs of the method of her e-book coming collectively. I
marvel was that a concession, there’s nonetheless that want to carry on to, you
didn’t actually mean this did you? Did you battle over, we will depart this in, one
of this stuff has to go and you’d slightly speak about something else that
may’ve bothered individuals and to wash that up. As someone who’s from Chicago
and did not grow up within the church, but Rev. Wright is and was such an necessary
determine locally, as is Trinity Baptist Church. It was because of their
school tour that I used to be capable of go go to Howard as a junior and ensure what I
thought I knew, which was that I needed to be there greater than anything in
the world once I graduated high school. The ways that he and Father Michael
Pfleger and different members of the spiritual group in Chicago, together with Mr
Farrakhan have put their differences aside and rallied together in response to
the violence in some of our communities and a few of the horrible racism, the
Midwestern racism that people weren’t actually accustomed to till Mike Brown was
killed in Ferguson. I just assume that he deserves so a lot better than that. And
I might have somewhat that she didn’t handle it at all and had to cope with the oversight
then to continue to double down on this picture of him as some… I even marvel,
she stated she wasn’t there for those sermons and it’s totally potential. It’s
definitely lots of Black center class people that come to church for holidays,
they get there once they can get there, but they didn’t all the time. But I’m wondering
when she says that image of him on TV didn’t seem like what she knew. And I
marvel, perhaps you have been there and also you didn’t understand that you simply have been there.
didn’t read the whole passage, but she stated she didn’t understand she didn’t catch
some issues, but that’s arduous for me to consider. Obama stated in his guide he used
the buy the “Final Call”, Obama has read in my belief, so much
Malcolm X, when he went out campaigning, he’s utilizing Malcolm X’s words. A few of
the Republicans have been right to determine Barack Obama that he had a information of
self. They knew that he wasn’t your average Black man operating for workplace. I
assume they picked up that this man had a information of self. He was one among us. I
can’t reconcile that you simply didn’t know Rev. Wright was about that life. There’s
multiple movies when it comes to speaking out towards America, talking out towards
No. I assume what I’m saying is I don’t assume she realized it was a problem
till another person advised her it was. She may need sat there and nodded her
head, because that’s how older Black people, especially in numerous Black people
her age converse. And she or he may need sat there and been nodding and understanding
it and completely getting it, but by means of this new lens and perhaps it’s a brand new lens
that she needed to adapt to serve as the first woman of the USA. I might
by no means need to hold any type of political office. I wouldn’t need to date
someone who had those ambitions or who does, just because I know I can’t put
aside my id as a Black lady. There’s certain concessions and things that
they had to make and do and arms they had to shake and other people they needed to sit
next to, and I might never do these things. I can by no means.
don’t assume you can also make the compromises?
have a $20 million examine, they want you to put in writing, hey, when Black individuals converse
out towards white individuals, it’s identical to white individuals talking out towards
Black individuals making an attempt to get the boot off our neck.
mean, as long as there’ no clause in the contract that claims two weeks later, I
can’t be like, simply kidding.
So I’m a fan of Michelle Obama, I’m a fan of the Obamas. Nevertheless, I don’t want
to isolate this, but, whether it’s Marc Lamont Hill or this passage, there’s a
sentiment in America and some of our individuals are choosing up the place if the previous
slave speaks out and the ache and struggling and the trauma that we’ve been
underneath in the hells of North America, that once we converse out, you could hear some
cuss phrases, chances are you’ll hear some dangerous phrases, however this can be a former slave speaking
out who’s uninterested in the denial of freedom, justice and equality. So if we converse
out and use phrases like cracker or one thing else, it’s totally different then a Donald
Trump, a Steve king or that hiring manager at Google where they have all of the
energy to enforce ideologies, but when Black individuals are speaking out when it comes to
activism, preventing for freedom and justice and equality, that’s totally different, we
can’t be beneath the same regulation, for my part. When it comes to this false equivalency
where, hey, should you say this a few white individual, that’s identical to the Google
government or the Wells Fargo government saying it.
I feel it’s all the time been that approach. That both sides-ism Trump of famously put a
highlight on when he stated there’s good individuals on each side, talking about
Charlottesville after a young white lady had been murdered by any person who
drove his automotive right into a crowd of protesters with the intention of killing individuals.
To still say there’s good individuals on each side. One, America is so largely
hinged upon the concept whiteness is inherently good, and so they’ll
determine, “Oh, we’ve received some dangerous apples, however finally, most of us are
good and also you all need to prove yourselves as individuals at greatest and at worst,
none of us are good.”
going to go away Rev. Wright with this. Once we take a look at MAGA, MAGA America, and
you take a look at a whole lot of the darkness in America being shown to the world, it’s out
in public. Rev. Wright was right. Rev. Wright, I consider, was on the aspect of
God when he was making those sermons when it comes to he’s telling you, “God
damn America”. The MAGA was right here earlier than Donald Trump exposed it and
created a cult. Rev. Wright was shining that mild for the individuals to see, and
in fact he was taken out for that, at the very least publicly. This is half one. Tune
into the subsequent episode for half two. Thanks everyone for listening to GHOGH.
You possibly can examine me out @JamarlinMartin on Twitter and in addition come verify us out at
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