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Visualizing Minority Representation

Why whitewashing hurts: an illustrated guide.
posted by overeducated_alligator on Sep 24, 2013 - 59 comments

"I was highly suspicious of this book when I first started it."

V.V. Ganeshananthan at The Margins on writing outside of what you know and the literary establishment's willingness to suspend disbelief and praise authenticity of narrative. As Gracie Jin put it, "In a society masquerading as post-racial, it is still only the white man who can speak authoritatively for every man."
posted by spamandkimchi on Sep 22, 2013 - 14 comments

Racism, Ridicule, Righteousness and Reactions

Why “Racists React To [thing]” posts are just passive white supremacy.
posted by Artw on Sep 18, 2013 - 130 comments

The first decade

Portrait of a Ten-Year-Old Canadian Girl
posted by zarq on Sep 18, 2013 - 10 comments

RETROREPORT - The truth now about the big stories then

How often does a great story dominate the headlines, only to be dropped from the news cycle? How often do journalists tell us of a looming danger or important discovery – only to move quickly to the next new thing? What really happened? How did these events change us? And what are the lingering consequences that may affect our society to this day? These are the questions we are answering at Retro Report, an innovative documentary news organization launched in 2013 as a timely online counterweight to today’s 24/7 news cycle. Combining documentary techniques with shoe-leather reporting, we peel back the layers of some of the most perplexing news stories of our past with the goal of encouraging the public to think more critically about current events and the media in ~10 minute segments. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 10, 2013 - 15 comments

The Misremembering of ‘I Have a Dream’

Fifty years after the March on Washington, Dr. King’s most famous speech, like his own political legacy, is widely misunderstood.
posted by brundlefly on Aug 23, 2013 - 51 comments

Stop-and-frisk on trial

Stop and Frisk violated the constitutional rights of New Yorkers, federal judge holds. The ruling comes after the two-month trial in Floyd v. City of New York and finds the tactics and policies of the NYPD in conducting stop-and-frisk systemically violates both the 4th and 14th Amendments of New Yorkers of color. Stopping short of striking down stop-and-frisk more broadly, already upheld numerous times by the Supreme Court, Judge Scheindlin ordered an independent monitor to oversee reforms to the practice.
posted by likeatoaster on Aug 12, 2013 - 69 comments

Kiese Laymon may be the best writer and curator in a generation

Kiese Laymon, is writing some of the most innovative pieces about race and life in America right now. Previously discussed here when his essay How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: A Remembrance was published on Gawker and took the world by storm. He has two books out this summer, his debut novel Long Division and an essay collection also entitled How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, which includes a correspondence between Laymon and four other authors, including Mychal Denzel Smith of The Nation. Long Division has received some very positive press although the establishment literary outlets have not (yet) weighed in, unsurprisingly. [more inside]
posted by cushie on Aug 5, 2013 - 16 comments

Stop playing around with serious stuff like this

Since the Riley Cooper story broke last week, writer Khalid Salaam has "had an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other" about how to react. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Aug 5, 2013 - 267 comments

“WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE OPENING FOR THE POSTAL SERVICE???”

Some fans said the show “cracked [them] up.” One wrote, “I knew Ben Gibbard had to have some humor in there somewhere.” But what exactly was funny? Freedia’s act isn’t tongue-in-cheek. The implication was that Postal Service frontman Gibbard had offered a spectacle—something ridiculous. In fact he had offered a legitimate performer of another genre. What would be funny is Miley Cyrus twerking, if she didn’t look vaguely like Hitler Youth doing it.
posted by josher71 on Aug 1, 2013 - 213 comments

Video of Violent, Rioting Surfers Shows White Culture of Lawlessness

A frightening and violent mob swept through the normally quiet seaside community of Huntington Beach last night following a surfing competition in the area. Businesses were vandalized and looted, portable toilets overturned, and brutal fistfights waged right out in the open. It was an ugly display and a sad day for California. But more than that, it was a reminder that we must begin to seriously consider the values of our thuggish white youth.
(Oddly enough, do make sure to read the comments, they're amazing.)

posted by Blasdelb on Jul 30, 2013 - 163 comments

Crime is driven by proximity and opportunity

There’s no such thing as “black-on-black” crime.
posted by latkes on Jul 25, 2013 - 47 comments

The Vegas Hotspot That Broke All the Rules

“What would happen if some of those ‘priests’ in white robes started chasing you at 60 miles an hour?” Frank asked. “What would you do?” And Sammy answered, “Seventy.” The Moulin Rouge: The Vegas Hotspot That Broke All The Rules. Smithsonian Magazine on the brief life but long-lasting legacy of Las Vegas' first racially integrated casino.
posted by goo on Jul 20, 2013 - 13 comments

Some Thoughts On Mercy by Ross Gay

An essay on race, fear, imagination, and beekeeping
posted by Joe in Australia on Jul 16, 2013 - 19 comments

The Talk: how to de-escalate a situation, for young people of color

"It's a lesson that many of us got from out folks at some point, often before we got that other uncomfortable parent-child conversation about the birds and the bees. Don't move suddenly. Answer questions clearly, and with yes, sir and no, sir. Don't raise your voice. If you're handcuffed, don't say anything until we [your parents] get there. The details differed depending on where you lived and your parents' particular concerns, but the point was for us to get through any encounter with the police without incident." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 15, 2013 - 52 comments

How is this less realistic than a guy with radioactive spider powers?

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly for this month's cover story, Andrew Garfield, the current star of the rebooted Spider-Man movie series, offered a new take the character's love interest:
“I was kind of joking, but kind of not joking about MJ,” he tells EW. “And I was like, ‘What if MJ is a dude?’ Why can’t we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality? It’s hardly even groundbreaking!…So why can’t he be gay? Why can’t he be into boys?” Garfield even has an actor in mind: “I’ve been obsessed with Michael B. Jordan since The Wire. He’s so charismatic and talented. It’d be even better—we’d have interracial bisexuality!”
[more inside]
posted by zombieflanders on Jul 10, 2013 - 127 comments

The Decline of North Carolina

The New York Times' lead editorial on the Moral Monday arrests (Previously on Metafilter), ending federal unemployment benefits, failing education programs, racial discrimination, and new abortion laws.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 10, 2013 - 174 comments

A Plant, a Perch, and a Prophylactic

Charlie LeDuff Canoes the Rouge River through Detroit. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Jul 7, 2013 - 18 comments

Drugs in context

Dr. Carl Hart, psychopharmacologist at Columbia, bust pernicious drug myths and talks provocatively about race and the "War on Drugs."
posted by klangklangston on Jul 6, 2013 - 114 comments

Each time you open your mouth.. I see Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman..

A Letter to Rachel Jeantel, the prosecution's key witness in the George Zimmerman trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin (tag) by Khadijah Costley White.
posted by jeffburdges on Jun 28, 2013 - 690 comments

For years I played as white characters.

Because New Leaf’s tanning doesn’t seem to happen in real time, and because it seems to take days instead of hours now, trying to get a particular mid-level skin tone is more precarious than maintaining a pale complexion. Not only is the outcome hard to predict, but someone who wants the default skin to stay only has to bring a parasol around with them in the summer sun. They literally have access to tools and methods I don’t. It is very hard not to just write “DO YOU GET IT?” over and over again. I don’t have a tanning booth, or tanning lotion. I certainly don’t have a way to lock in my current tan level.

The other implication is that it might be the case that tanning is a disincentive to overplaying. I hadn’t realized it until my friend with the cobblestone roads pointed it out. Let’s say, hypothetically, that you’ve kept your game running for five straight hours for some odd reason. You might notice that your town’s other villagers will greet you with an admonishment. You look tired they say, you should take a rest. You should stop playing. There is a strange, formal parallel between this directive and tanning. Both come only after hours of uninterrupted play. The same activity results in both outcomes. Coupled with the fact that players are outfitted with ways to prevent, but not cause tanning, it’s hard not to draw some connections.

My argument isn’t that Nintendo has gone out of its way to be racist, it’s that the question of race seems to have never been brought up to begin with, and that has its own problems.


Me, On The Screen: Race in Animal Crossing: New Leaf
posted by timshel on Jun 18, 2013 - 55 comments

The races of Star Trek.

A fanfic explanation for a certain continuity issue in the new Star Trek movie. It's amusing, and it checks out.
posted by Pronoiac on Jun 12, 2013 - 112 comments

Beyond ‘Game of Thrones’

The LA Times Hero Complex looks at diversity in SF and Fantasy fiction.
posted by Artw on Jun 9, 2013 - 45 comments

Why I Heckled Michelle Obama

During a speech at a $10,000 per plate DNC fundraiser on June 4, Michelle Obama was heckled by gay rights advocate and GetEQUAL member Ellen Sturtz, calling on President Obama to sign an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from LGBT workplace discrimination. The first lady responded by telling Sturtz and the 200 attendees, "[L]isten to me or you can take the mic, but I'm leaving. You all decide. You have one choice." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 8, 2013 - 184 comments

Banger Racing Mini Tow Race

What if you were to combine stock car racing with demolition derby and add a towed blocking car? Why Banger Racing Mini Tow Racing.
posted by Confess, Fletch on Jun 7, 2013 - 17 comments

Not a cheery indicator

A recent TV ad for Cheerios depits a heartwarming family vignette: An adorable tyke asks her mother if the cereal is good for the heart, her mother says yes, and the dad wakes up from his nap to find a pile of Cheerios on his chest. But the fact that the mother is white, the dad is black and the child mixed-race has touched off a firestorm of criticism that one media critic described as "a progressive-looking commercial collides with the ugliness of the Internet." Parent company General Mills says it is has no plans to stop airing the spot or to take it down from its YouTube channel. [more inside]
posted by Gelatin on Jun 7, 2013 - 219 comments

It's just not the same without Caaaaaptain Chaos!

There are just 2,795 miles of interstate and 31,000 highway cops between them and the all-time speed record for crossing the American continent on four wheels. Welcome to the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, later known as the US Express race: The Cannonball Run. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 5, 2013 - 103 comments

Blacks Are Singled Out for Marijuana Arrests, Federal Data Suggests

Black Americans were nearly four times as likely as whites to be arrested on charges of marijuana possession in 2010, even though the two groups used the drug at similar rates (SLNYT)
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jun 4, 2013 - 87 comments

“Now I feel like I’ve earned my medal."

Yesterday, thousands of runners participated in One Run Boston, an one mile event organized for those who were injured in the Boston bombings, and those who were stopped on the course without a chance to finish. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 26, 2013 - 4 comments

"We are not toys. We are not going down without a fight."

Third-grader Asean Johnson schools Rahm Emmanuel on the mayor's plan for Chicago's public schools. (YT) [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on May 25, 2013 - 37 comments

You don't choose this race, it chooses you.

Blisters, Cramps & Heaves documents his experience running "The Last Marathon" in Antarctica with two detailed blog posts incorporating elevation maps, photography, video, cartoons, and final stats. First post covers pre-race experience, second post the race itself. Act 1 | Act 2 [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on May 13, 2013 - 4 comments

For First Time on Record, Black Voting Rate Outpaced Rate for Whites

The turnout rate of black voters surpassed the rate for whites for the first time on record in 2012, as more black voters went to the polls than in 2008 and fewer whites did, according to a Census Bureau report released Wednesday. (SLNYT)
posted by MisantropicPainforest on May 9, 2013 - 32 comments

The Mothership Connection

Minister Faust explains the meaning of George Clinton's Mothership
posted by Artw on May 2, 2013 - 33 comments

Snitches get stitches, fool *BLEAT*

Mountain Dew Pulls 'Most Racist Commercial in History'. [more inside]
posted by item on May 1, 2013 - 262 comments

The Art of Anton Kannemeyer

Black Gynaecologist (2008), 'I love the white middle class ...' (2008), Say! if you speak English... (2008).
The works and life of Anton Kannemeyer.
posted by - on Apr 27, 2013 - 21 comments

Still far from that digital democracy any utopian could hope for.

7 (well, technically 6) myths of the digital divide.
posted by iamkimiam on Apr 26, 2013 - 8 comments

"The Real Truth About Blacks and Unemployment…"

Yolanda Spivey was unemployed for two years, but job offers only started coming in after she changed her race - and name - to White. She wrote about her experience; she's also been interviewed by The Current's Young Turk (video).
posted by jb on Apr 11, 2013 - 101 comments

"I will never straighten out my wrist."

Navigating Masculinity as a Black Transman.
posted by klangklangston on Apr 5, 2013 - 30 comments

"Our city is under siege right now."

The Chicago Public School system has announced it will close 54 elementary and middle schools before next year. [more inside]
posted by Phire on Mar 27, 2013 - 62 comments

"The American Revolution is not a story just for white people."

"We’ve coined a term," said Katrinah Lewis, the actress who typically interprets Lydia. "Post-traumautic slave syndrome." The Washington Post reports on African American actors who interpret the lives of slaves at Colonial Williamsburg.
posted by Snarl Furillo on Mar 11, 2013 - 38 comments

"I am a prime example of American unacceptablility."

Civil Rights is a slam poem performed at last year's Brave New Voices festival. There's a transcript here, though it's worth noting that the page gets the poem's title wrong.

Written and performed by Shanita Jackson and Dakota Oder, it becomes even more impressive when you realize that both women are still teenagers...and from the looks of it, Jackson was only fourteen at the time.
posted by MeghanC on Mar 7, 2013 - 5 comments

Django, in chains

Actor and producer Jesse Williams has written an article about the issues he has with Quentin Tarantino's film Django Unchained, including the ahistorical portrayal of slavery and the lack of agency shown by the movie's black characters. He expands the argument on his blog (image NSFW).
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Feb 27, 2013 - 95 comments

Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible

Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible is an interesting documentary that features the experiences of white women and men who have worked to gain insight into what it means to challenge notions of racism and white supremacy in the United States. [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 23, 2013 - 30 comments

"surely the most disastrous president’s column ever written"

In the winter edition of Emory Magazine, Emory President James Wagner wrote a column about compromise, and cited the Three Fifths Compromise as a positive example. The column has since been amended with a clarification, which precedes the column in italics. The Emory Wheel and Inside Higher Ed have both written overviews about the controversy. On Wednesday, the Emory Faculty voted to censure the President.

(An extensive list of media coverage and commentary on Wagner's column is available here.) [more inside]
posted by crocodiletsunami on Feb 22, 2013 - 62 comments

Why have the white British left London?

"With a time-lapse camera, it would appear that London is pulsing as generations and ethnic groups move up and move out." The BBC reports that something quite remarkable happened in London in the first decade of the new millennium. The number of white British people in the capital fell by 620,000 - equivalent to the entire population of Glasgow moving out. [more inside]
posted by iffley on Feb 20, 2013 - 47 comments

There are no Black comics writers at Marvel or DC

"As near as I can tell, throughout DC Comics' more than 75-year history, the publisher has only ever hired two black women writers on monthly titles: Felicia Henderson on Teen Titans and Angela Robinson on The Web, both in 2009. That should be put in some perspective: If those numbers are accurate, it would mean that DC has more white women writing monthly books for them right now than they've had black women in the same role in more than three quarters of a century. That said, they are potentially doing better than their principal competition: Try as I might, I cannot find a single black woman who has ever written a monthly ongoing comic for Marvel in the publisher's history." -- Joseph Hughes talks about the lack of Black comics writers at Marvel and DC both right now and historically. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 7, 2013 - 50 comments

X-Mensch

Magneto the Jew
posted by Artw on Jan 29, 2013 - 60 comments

The Shukla Test

I’ve been thinking about the Bechdel test for films where a film must have a) two or more main female characters who b) talk for five minutes about c) something other than men. It’s amazing to see that not many films pass this test. So, I’m initiating this now (unless it’s already been done…): The Shukla Test, for books, films and television where a) two main characters who are people who of colour b) talk for five minutes without c) mentioning their race. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 24, 2013 - 68 comments

Hey, you've got your black people in my American TV show!

'I'm a White Girl': Why 'Girls' Won't Ever Overcome Its Racial Problem-an article from The Atlantic with several interesting links on the larger issue of including (or not) black characters into American television.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 23, 2013 - 189 comments

Fastnet, Force 10

The Fastnet Race is a biennial sailing race from Cowes to Fastnet Rock to Plymouth, in England. In 1979, it was the venue for one of the most famous storms and greatest disasters in yacht-racing history. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 5, 2013 - 9 comments

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