How Seattle Gave Up on Busing and Allowed Its Public Schools to Become Alarmingly Resegregated. Seattle reluctantly bused students to integrate schools in the 1970's. They bus no longer—unfortunately, as integration benefited the students who did it.
"The statistics tell us that changing the way we think of race and ethnicity in the theater will not be easy. Of Equity’s 50,823 active members, 68% identify themselves as Caucasian." -- Actors' Equity President Kate Shindle, on the Hamilton casting debacle, and the real problem of diversity in theatre. [more inside]
A guy walks into another guy, and examines privilege ... and the rage when it is denied. All this anger we see from people screaming “All Lives Matter” in response to black protesters at rallies… All this anger we see from people insisting that THEIR “religious freedom” is being infringed because a gay couple wants to get married… All these people angry about immigrants, angry about Muslims, angry about “Happy Holidays,” angry about not being able to say bigoted things without being called a bigot… [more inside]
The three party system - "There are three major political forces in contemporary politics in developed countries: tribalism, neoliberalism and leftism (defined in more detail below). Until recently, the party system involved competition between different versions of neoliberalism. Since the Global Financial Crisis, neoliberals have remained in power almost everywhere, but can no longer command the electoral support needed to marginalise both tribalists and leftists at the same time. So, we are seeing the emergence of a three-party system, which is inherently unstable because of the Condorcet problem and for other reasons." [more inside]
In the wake of the sequencing of the human genome in the early 2000s, genome pioneers and social scientists alike called for an end to the use of race as a variable in genetic research. Unfortunately, by some measures, the use of race as a biological category has increased in the postgenomic age. Although inconsistent definition and use has been a chief problem with the race concept, it has historically been used as a taxonomic categorization based on common hereditary traits (such as skin color) to elucidate the relationship between our ancestry and our genes. We believe the use of biological concepts of race in human genetic research—so disputed and so mired in confusion—is problematic at best and harmful at worst. It is time for biologists to find a better way. - An editorial in Science exploring the conundrum facing genomic researchers where race is both fundamentally flawed as a scientific model and violently dangerous but still the only consistent lens through which study participants understand the information they have about their own connection to human diversity [more inside]
In The American Prospect, Sociologist Richard Alba discusses two reasons why the Census-projected relative demographic decline of White Americans may prove illusory.
“Black Folk Don’t...” is an open conversation that invites everyone to take a second look at the grey areas between us all, no matter the race, and most importantly to do it with a sense of humor. This documentary web series is a special presentation of BlackPublicMedia.org, directed and produced by Angela Tucker, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Did you know that black folk don't… [more inside]
In the wake of the recent casting controversies over Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop and Lloyd Suh’s Jesus in India, there have been a number of online commenters who have cited Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton as a justification for their position in the debate. What’s intriguing is that Hamilton has been offered up both as evidence of why actors of color must have the opportunity to play both characters or color and characters not necessarily written as characters of color – but it has also been used to say that anything goes, and white actors should be able to play characters of color as well. What does Lin-Manuel Miranda have to say? After all, it's not like he hasn't been been very deliberate about his casting.
Equity in Publishing: What Should Editors Be Doing? "My job as an editor is to publish the best writing—wait for it—by a variety of writers. With regards to Best American Poetry, we're correct to call out the clear conflation of "best" and "white"—too often "We just published the best writing we could find" is a terrifying excuse for not publishing diversely. And this diversity—no, this equity, because I don't just acquire a writer of color and call it a day, returning to white business as usual—does require work." [more inside]
Here I’ll try to highlight how it has affected me, as I grew from a young black lady to a black woman in the predominantly white male tech industry.
SLIMED! Author Mathew Klickstein not a fan of Nickelodeon's approach to diversity. I think it’s worse when they shove it in there. Sanjay and Craig is a really good example, which funnily enough is written in part by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi from Pete & Pete. That show is awkward because there’s actually no reason for that character to be Indian — except for the fact that [Nickelodeon President] Cyma Zarghami and the women who run Nickelodeon now are very obsessed with diversity. Which is fine — do what you’re gotta do, and Dora [the Explorer] was certainly something of a success, but there’s no reason for [Sanjay] to be Indian at all. No one working on that show is Indian. They’re all white. It’s all the white people from Bob’s Burgers and Will and Chris. [more inside]
This is Science Magazine; this is one of their featured front-page stories (date stamped 17 September 2014 8:00 am): "The top 50 science stars of Twitter", by Jia You. The list has 46 men and 4 women. [more inside]
For a while, the first African American graduate of the University of Vermont was George Washington Henderson, who would become the first black inductee to Phi Beta Kappa. Except he wasn't the first black graduate... [more inside]
Tired of being constantly asked "Where are you from?", Shing Yin Kor looks to the Yellow Ranger for advice.
Paris Fashion: Rick Owens’s Powerful Rejection of Conventional Beauty Big, athletic African-American dancers storm the runaway [more inside]
The LA Times Hero Complex looks at diversity in SF and Fantasy fiction.
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
"I can tell you that the days of of white, wealthy, upper-class [Smith] students from prep schools in cashmere coats and pearls who marry Amherst men are over. This is unfortunate because it is this demographic that puts their name on buildings, donates great art and subsidizes scholarships." Anne Spurzem, Smith College '84, reacts to news about the increase in diversity at her alma mater during President Carol Christ's tenure while Christ prepares to step down in 2013. Unsurprisingly, Spurzem's comments have caused an uproar among students and alumnae, leading to the creation of the Pearls and Cashmere Tumblr, which celebrates the diversity feared by Spurzem. Meanwhile, President Christ has responded to Spurzem's allegations in an open letter to to the Smith community.
"Race & Gender of Judges Make Enormous Differences in Rulings, Studies Find," is the headline of a February 6 ABA Journal article. The article refers to two studies reported in law reviews, linked here in pdf format, on the effect of gender and race on decisionmaking in harassment and discrimination cases.
I feel like I have stepped through the looking glass.... first, we have the truly surprising but welcome sight of Michael Howard celebrating cultural diversity in Britain, then we have David Goodhart, editor of Prospect, apparently a magazine of the left, suggesting that perhaps we have quite enough immigrants in the UK for the moment, thank you. Goodhart's article is very provocative and very important, it's a debate that needs to be had and which has most certainly and entertainingly been joined by Trevor Phillips. I love a schism!
A split decision from SCOTUS on Affirmative Action -- in cases specifically involving the University of Michigan, the court rules that the law school's AA standard is legal while the undergraduate standard is not. The University president is spinning this as a full out victory because the court has now "given a roadmap" for how Affirmative Action programs can be designed for higher education nationwide. While polls show that Americans want diversity in education but are unsure about Affirmative Action, it doesn't look like it's going away any time soon. And the fundamental question remains: when it comes to education, is being a racial minority four times more important than having held a position of national leadership? Twenty times more important than writing an outstanding admissions essay?
"In the end, we will need to give up any lingering fantasies of a color-blind Web and focus on building a space where we recognize, discuss and celebrate racial and cultural diversity. To achieve that goal, all of us -- white folks and people of color -- will have to shed the defensiveness that surrounds the topic of race." So says Henry Jenkins in a Technology Review article on Cyberspace and Race. On the Internet, nobody knows you're oppressed?
Criticism Over WTC Statue Race Issues -- I'm sure many of you are familiar with a recent photo featuring three firefighters raising an American flag over the WTC rubble. Now a company has been commissioned to make a statue of the photo at FDNY Brooklyn Headquarters. In the statue though, the three white men who were originally depicted in the photo have been transformed into one white man, one black man, and one Hispanic man. There has been criticism over whether it is going to far to make these changes in order to be politically correct. Others are saying the statue should be more of a symbolic representation of all ethnicities that sacrificed themselves during this tragedy. What do you think?