Wednesday, June 18, 2008

keith boykin....really? come on.

Keith Boykins newest project, The Daily Voice: Black America's Daily News Source" is a popular forum for news online, much like Adriana Huffinton's Huffington Post but specifically for Black America.

I check the daily voice very often, i like a lot of the contributors.


I am turned off by the recent ad content.

The ad i noticed today was for the United States Armed Forces, it was a "GO ARMY" recruitment ad.

The U.S Army add featured a black soldier and the text "Your Future Looks Strong with the U.S Army. Take your life further." (BELOW)

If you click it, you go to this Link, where you can find out how you can serve in the army yet still finish college! Featuring many promising images of people of color clad in military garb and helmets. Why wouldn't you join? Now you can afford that U.C tuition, why didn't you think of this before???

Reality Check.

The military is the last resort for many youth, regardless of race. More often you will find recruiting centers where people of color live than in white neighborhoods. It seems the U.S Army targets minorities more than any other demographic. the military recruiters were on my campus like clockwork the months before graduation. Recruiting centers are driven out or banned by legislation in white areas and cities, like San Francisco, however they still remain in poor black and brown neighborhoods throughout this country. i see no difference in placing a military recruitment ad targeting people of color on a site that defines itself as "Black America's Daily News Source."

A couple of years ago, i wrote a letter to now ended Clik Magazine * =( i loved it* in response to the magazine having nearly a dozen pages of Anti Retro Viral's and Alcohol Ads, but not a single HIV prevention or even condom ad. However, i can understand for smaller publications, money is tight-specifically those that target queer men of color. However The Daily Voice, has ads from Vaseline, Verizon, Dodge and Mercedes... things aren't looking too shabby.

Would it of been that hard to turn down an ad placement request from the U.S Army? Would they have lost that much money?

What gives Mr. Boykin?

What makes the Daily Voice any differnent? We criticize schools for having coke on their campuses, Lebron James for condoning China and its actions in Dafur (basically doing anything for money i.e. Vogue) Further, we criticize the mainstream news ad nauseam for its content and their sponsors... Am i missing something?

Maybe I'm just guilty of assuming the Daily Voice would be more responsible with its ad content. It would seem appropriate that the Daily Voice's sponsors somewhat reflected their mission and political agenda. I will let the KFC ads pass, and the Vaseline ads -although more and more studies are showing that petro chemicals are bad for us- but that stuff is cheap and makes me skin feel soft.

Yet, i write this post on Blogger, a subsidiary of Google. And Google is basically taking over the world. HOWEVER, the minute this blog started showing ads for something that contradicted my beliefs, id be out, and i know my friends here would as well.

Jay stated that social justice is not always manifested in a career, but its a way of life. I completely agree. I work for an arts organization, I'm not exactly beating down Babylon, but its a positive, i work with people who love their jobs, and we have events from operas to fashion shows. I have friends that work for various corporations, and the way they live their lives and the way they treat people is far more positive than half the people that i have come into contact with at non profits. I worked at an amazing legal advocacy and aid organization, and my boss was more oppressive than any boss id ever had in any retail store or restaurant.


I will not apologize for or retract this statement: Today, being pro military, is being pro-war. The U.S military is not, and never was created to protect democracy, this war is for power and money for the elites. If you endorse or support the military you are endorsing the status quo. I'm not saying the Daily Voice is endorsing the U.S military, but I was hoping that it could be a little more responsible.

The army spends millions of dollars on recruitment, but fails to take care of its returning veterans who come back with a multitude of emotional and mental disorders and physical injury.

Signing up for the the Army today is a guarantee to be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan (or into myriad of conflicts around the globe)...Regardless, Uncle Sam knows his demographic, and someone got played, was it us? or the Daily Voice?

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