This past Thursday the Canadian government granted refugee status
to Brandon Huntley, a South African who has been living illegally in Canada since 2005. Huntley claimed that if he were to be repatriated back to South Africa he would be persecuted due to the fact that he is white. The South African government is not amused
. [more inside]
posted by PenDevil
on Aug 31, 2009 -
In addition to poor construction, the vehicles most likely to crash have 1) poorly secured bicycle wheels 2) a high center of gravity and 3) high occupancy. Add in alcohol, a steep down grade and spectators throwing water balloons, and you get the perfect storm for destruction.
This past weekend, the 13th Annual Adult Soapbox Derby (all slyt)
was held on Mt. Tabor, an extinct volcano in Portland, Oregon. Cars built for speed can reach 40 mph, and cars built for art can be downright outrageous. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski
on Aug 24, 2009 -
...The narrative of the blues got hijacked by rock ’n’ roll, which rode a wave of youth consumers to global domination. Back behind the split, there was something else: a deeper, riper source. Many people who have written about this body of music have noticed it. Robert Palmer called it Deep Blues. We’re talking about strains within strains, sure, but listen to something like Ishman Bracey’s ''Woman Woman Blues,'' his tattered yet somehow impeccable falsetto when he sings, ''She got coal-black curly hair.'' Songs like that were not made for dancing. Not even for singing along. They were made for listening. For grown-ups. They were chamber compositions. Listen to Blind Willie Johnson’s "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground.'' It has no words. It’s hummed by a blind preacher incapable of playing an impure note on the guitar. We have to go against our training here and suspend anthropological thinking; it doesn’t serve at these strata. The noble ambition not to be the kind of people who unwittingly fetishize and exoticize black or poor-white folk poverty has allowed us to remain the kind of people who don’t stop to wonder whether the serious treatment of certain folk forms as essentially high- or higher-art forms might have originated with the folk themselves.
From Unknown Bards: The blues becomes apparent to itself
by one John Jeremiah Sullivan. I came across it while browsing Heavy Rotation: Twenty Writers On The Albums That Changed Their Lives
. For Sullivan, that album was American Primitive, Vol. II: Pre-War Revenants (1897 - 1939)
, which is my favorite CD of the year. Which came out in 2005 while I just got around to buying it this year. Foolish me. It is a piece of art in itself in every respect--all CDs should have such production values. [more inside]
posted by y2karl
on Aug 6, 2009 -
Today, on the last day of this year's term, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion
, the latest in the Court's line of decisions on Title VII
and the role of race in employment decisions. The famous case centers on white firefighters' claims of race discrimination
following the town of New Haven's decision to scuttle a promotion exam
after white test takers performed disproportionately better than black firefighters. [more inside]
posted by Law Talkin' Guy
on Jun 29, 2009 -
Seeing race: the Other-Race Effect.
Why do so many people think people of other races look alike? Babies as young as three months old "tend to recognize faces from their own race better than those from other races," but "babies raised with frequent exposure to people of other races don’t develop this early bias." The Other-Race Effect, aka the Cross-Race Effect
, "carries practical implications for cases of mistaken eyewitness identification." A follow-up study with Chinese babies
confirmed the effect, and notes that it can change: "Korean adults who were adopted by French families during their childhood (aged 3–9 years) demonstrated the same discrimination deficit for Korean faces shown by the native French population." Yes, you have to be carefully taught
posted by shetterly
on Jun 20, 2009 -
In a case
reminiscent of Bernard Goetz
, pharmacist Jerome Ersland was held up by two gun-wielding men, shot one of them in the head, and then, when the other had left, shot the prone man several more times, killing him (store security video
). Now he's being charged with first-degree murder, and is the center of intense controversy about whether he engaged in legitimate self-defense by making absolutely sure his attacker was incapacitated or in an unjustifiable vigilante-style execution. Complicating matters is the fact that Jerome is white and the robbers black.
posted by shivohum
on May 30, 2009 -
A 28-acre plot of unspoiled Sierra foothill forest is bequeathed to the Auburn (CA) Recreation District. The bequeath came with one condition: That the park be named "Nobel Laureate William B. Shockley
And His Wife Emmy L. Shockley Memorial Park." [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie
on May 18, 2009 -
The Changing Racial Dynamics of the War on Drugs.
The Sentencing Project
has just released a report
(pdf) finding that, for the first time in 20 years, the number
of Black Americans in state prison for drug offenses has fallen. Between 1999 and 2005, the number of White drug offenders in state prisons rose about 43 percent, while the number of Black offenders declined by 22 percent. One cause may be a rise in the use of drug courts
, which are locally administered programs that divert offenders into treatment rather than incarceration. The Sentencing Project has a recent report
(pdf) on this issue as well.
posted by lunit
on Apr 16, 2009 -
As the Jim Crow overt style of maintaining white supremacy was replaced with “now you see it, now you don’t” practices that were subtle, apparently non-racial, and institutionalized, an ideology fitting to this era emerged...
-The Linguistics of Color-Blind Racism
posted by lunit
on Mar 9, 2009 -
Due to “credible death and kidnapping threats”
, T-Pain has cancelled a concert in Guyana for Mashramani
, the festival that marks the anniversary of Guyana’s independence from Great Britain.
Last years, celebration was soured by a killing spree
perpetrated by a heavily armed gang led by man known as “Fine Man”. Because the 23 victims were mainly of East Indian descent, the massacre was a powder keg issue for the tiny South American nation. With a population of 44% East Indian and 30% African ancestries, Guyana tends to be socially and politically divided along ethnic identity lines. [more inside]
posted by Stu-Pendous
on Feb 24, 2009 -
Happy Birthday Dr. King. Today is Martin Luther King Day. He was born 80 years ago, on January 15th, 1929. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was just thirty-nine years old.
Tomorrow, more than four decades after Dr. King’s death, Barack Obama will take his oath of office to become the 44th president of the United States and the first African American president in US history. The Reverend Joseph Lowery, a civil rights icon who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr, King, will deliver the benediction at the inauguration ceremony. Obama accepted the Democratic party nomination on the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, arguably his most famous address.
While Dr. King is primarily remembered as a civil rights leader, he also championed the cause of the poor and organized the Poor People"s Campaign to address issues of economic justice. Dr. King was also a fierce critic US foreign policy and the Vietnam War. [more inside]
posted by caddis
on Jan 19, 2009 -
A tempest in a Livejournal: It starts with author Elizabeth Bear's post Writing for The Other
. Or maybe it started with Jay Lake's Thinking about the Other
. It leads to a wide ranging, intense and angry debate on the portrayal of ethnicity in fiction, culture and the media. Avalon's Willow responds with an open letter
on the racial content in one of her books, and relates it to media portrayals of ethnic peoples. Deepa D follows up with a post on, cultural appropriation
. And then things get intense. [more inside]
posted by happyroach
on Jan 19, 2009 -
My friends and I confided in each other, swapping stories, sharing out pain, while keeping it all hidden from the adults in our lives. After all, who could we tell? This wasn’t rape - it didn’t fit the definitions. This was Not rape. We should have known better. We were the ones who would take the blame. We would be punished, and no one wanted that. So, these actions went on, aided by a cloak of silence.
posted by Navelgazer
on Dec 23, 2008 -
Charles Schulz: "I finally sighed and said, 'Well, Larry, let’s put it this way: Either you print it just the way I draw it or I quit. How’s that?'" We don't usually think of Peanuts as given to political statements but this great post at Edge of the American West
makes the case for Schulz's progressive racial politics. [more inside]
posted by LarryC
on Nov 30, 2008 -
I do not want to spend too much time beating a dead war-horse, but your average D&D game consists of a group of white players acting out how their white characters encounter and destroy orcs and goblins, who are, as a race evil, uncivilized, and dark-skinned. To quote Steve Sumner’s essay again, “Unless played very carefully, Dungeons & Dragons could easily become a proxy race war, with your group filling the shoes of the noble white power crusaders seeking to extinguish any orc war bands or goblin villages they happened across.” I would argue with Sumner’s use of the phrase “could become,” and say that unless played very carefully, D&D usually becomes a proxy race war. Any adventurer knows that if you see an orc, you kill it. You don’t talk to it, you don’t ask what it’s doing there - you kill it, since it’s life is worth less than the treasure it carries and the experience points you’ll get from the kill. If filmed, your average D&D campaign would look something like Birth of a Nation set in Greyhawk.
- Race in Dungeons & Dragons
by Chris van Dyke, a powerpoint
talk given at Nerd Nite
. Via Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog where there's a smart discussion going on about the essay
posted by Kattullus
on Nov 19, 2008 -
Are you a young middle-class creative type (probably white) who has chosen to live in an urban neighborhood that your parents would have shunned? Have the families that formerly lived in your neighborhood (probably not white) been pushed out by soaring rents and real-estate prices to the city fringes or suburbs? The New Republic
on demographic inversion
posted by digaman
on Aug 2, 2008 -
"The pervasive narcissism and cartoon chest-thumping of young black culture no longer jibes with what's essentially a sacrificial game. Basketball hawks the individual star. Football offers glamour jobs like quarterback, running back, receiver. For baseball, meanwhile, sacrifice is an actual statistic: The best fail in 70 percent of their at-bats. 'The thing about baseball is that it's such a team sport,' Philadelphia's Rollins told Sports Illustrated. 'And when you're in the inner city, it's all about being the man, about establishing your strength as an individual. So how can you be the man? You want that ball in your hands with three seconds on the clock to take the shot, or you want the football under your arm. That's how.'
Race, class, families, fathers, and baseball: Where Have All the Black Guys Gone?
posted by mudpuppie
on Jun 13, 2008 -