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White Refugee

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 - 56 comments

Get on your soapbox!

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 - 14 comments

O Black and Unknown Bards - Among Other Things, Regarding The White Invention of The Blues

...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 - 50 comments

"This is what happens to black men in America."

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested for "breaking into" his own home.
posted by ocherdraco on Jul 20, 2009 - 985 comments

Death Race

Death Race (NYT) - for the third year, Pittsfield Vermont has hosted a 10 mile endurance run. [more inside]
posted by plinth on Jul 16, 2009 - 16 comments

The Life and Times of Fuzzy Dunlop

The Wire Files Open-access online journal darkmatter, "producing contemporary postcolonial critique," devoted its fourth issue to the television drama The Wire. An editorial explains that the "special issue aims to examine the place of race in the complex formation of the series." Thirteen articles cover The Wire's political economy, subversion of heteronormative assumptions, racial codes, Herc as a Zelig-like nexus, Baudrillardian urban space and much more in a veritable smorgasbord of academic bean-plating.
posted by Abiezer on Jun 29, 2009 - 37 comments

By The Content Of Their Character

Today, on the last day of this year's term, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion in Ricci v. DeStefano, 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 - 89 comments

Seeing race: the Other-Race Effect

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 - 36 comments

Resi Racey Redux

In the wake of the Resident 5 racism flap (previously), and with the final game released, one of it's chief detractors, N'Gai Croal, talks to its producer, Jun Takeuchi (Part 1, Part 2). Meanwhile industry magazine MVC takes a look at Africa as a games market.
posted by Artw on Jun 12, 2009 - 137 comments

Get the Cheese!

The Cooper's Hill cheese race is ridiculous and dangerous. The Dorset version of cheeseracing (previously), on the other hand, is completely sedentary and wisely swaps contusions for a minor risk of burns. [more inside]
posted by ATXile on Jun 6, 2009 - 29 comments

we finalized the list by crossing out names that weren't funny

Top 60 Ghetto Black Names (MLYT) [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jun 4, 2009 - 292 comments

Don't shoot a man when he's down?

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 - 178 comments

Black and White People Furniture

The Red House sells black and white people furniture (youtube). (via bookofjoe)
posted by alms on May 22, 2009 - 29 comments

everything is international now

Root magazine analyzes "Blipsters" (with photo examples). In an era when Hip-hop is on the presidential I-pod (Atlantic Roundtable on Hip Hop) while more and more multiracial rock, hip-hop, and crossover acts are appearing on the scene, is mainstream culture ready to move beyond racial fashion dichotomies? [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 20, 2009 - 79 comments

Never look a gift park in the mouth.

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 - 89 comments

What's wrong with anti-racism?

What's wrong with anti-racism? A Unitarian-Universalist answer: Why Anti-Racism Will Fail by Thandeka. A socialist answer: Race, class, and "whiteness theory" by Sharon Smith. A conservative answer: The Lightness of Critical Race Theory by Winkfield F. Twyman, Jr. For background and more criticisms, see the Wikipedia entries for Whiteness studies and Critical race theory.
posted by shetterly on May 13, 2009 - 134 comments

We don't need another Neo

There's been more and more rumblings lately about the inclusiveness (or lack thereof) of diversity in the circles of sci-fi and fantasy. Pam Nole's classic Shame essay hits a lot of points and while the Carl Brandon Society has been fighting the good fight for some time, more and more people are gathering their own projects, such as Transcriptase or Verb Noire to create spaces and publishing arenas less biased. Are these even necessary? It seems the fans think so.
posted by yeloson on May 13, 2009 - 91 comments

Dagger of the Mind

The SF Signal Mind Meld feature poses science fiction related questions to a number of SF luminaries and the scientist, science writer or blogger. Subjects have included the best women writers in SF, taboo topics in SF, underated authors and the most controversial SF novels of the past and present. The also cover lighter topics, such the role of media tie-ins, how Battlestar Galactica could have ended better (bonus Geoff Ryman) and the realistic (or otherwise) use of science on TV SF shows.
posted by Artw on May 6, 2009 - 17 comments

The Changing Racial Dynamics of the War on Drugs

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 - 32 comments

Sociology papers online

Harvard Sociologist Robert Samson, known for his work challenging the Broken Window hypothesis (previously on Metafilter), has a number of publications on neighborhoods, race and immigration, crime, and spatial dynamics posted publicly online. Here are just a few recent publications (all pdfs):
*Moving to Inequality: Neighborhood Effects and Experiences Meet Social Structure
*Durable effects of concentrated disadvantage on verbal ability of African American children
*Rethinking crime and immigration
*Neighborhood Selection and the Social Reproduction of Concentrated Racial Inequality
*"After School" Chicago: Space and the City

posted by lunit on Apr 14, 2009 - 22 comments

Kiss the cobbles

The Paris-Roubaix is about to start. With an average of two punctures and one prang per competitor this a an exciting bike race.
posted by tellurian on Apr 12, 2009 - 60 comments

The linguistics of color-blind racism

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 - 191 comments

Send a Bulllet

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 - 12 comments

It's Pancake Day!

It's Pancake Day! Also known as Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, the day before Lent is celebrated in the UK by events such as football matches, races, and the consumption of mountains of pancakes. Perhaps you celebrated by running a pancake race, like the famous one in Ripon? Or, perhaps, you made some lovely pancakes of your own?
posted by Grrlscout on Feb 24, 2009 - 48 comments

Is he suggesting the President needs to be shot?

An editorial cartoon in the New York Post gets reactions from around the world about its possible racial depictions. [more inside]
posted by happyroach on Feb 19, 2009 - 301 comments

Playing together shouldn't hurt

The Socially Conscious Gamer is just the most recent example of growing discussions about how gamer culture and problems with silencing and pushing women out, wallowing in racist stereotypes, self-fulfilling cycles of exclusion, and why these conversations are hard, if not impossible to have. Still, if rational discussions can be had about games dealing with slavery, perhaps there is still hope. Personally, I can't wait for escapism to be for all of us, and not about escaping FROM us.
posted by yeloson on Feb 16, 2009 - 159 comments

Deadly Symbiosis

Deadly Symbiosis: Rethinking race and imprisonment in twenty-first-century America.
posted by lunit on Jan 29, 2009 - 16 comments

What is race in the Obama age?

What is race in the Obama age? Some blacks say there are two black races, one poor and one rich. Does that mean Obama is from the rich black race? Some wonder if he's black enough or too black. Or do we have to choose among four options: "a) black or b) white or c) half-black and half-white or d) an American and who-gives-a-damn about his ethnicity"? Or is he multiracial? All I know for sure is he's the president.
posted by shetterly on Jan 20, 2009 - 47 comments

The Dream is Alive

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 - 30 comments

Science Fiction, LiveJournal, and "Magical Negros"

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 - 82 comments

above us only sky

The end of white America is a cultural and demographic inevitability. "At the moment, we can call this the triumph of multiculturalism, or post-racialism. But just as whiteness has no inherent meaning—it is a vessel we fill with our hopes and anxieties—these terms may prove equally empty in the long run. Does being post-racial mean that we are past race completely, or merely that race is no longer essential to how we identify ourselves?"
posted by plexi on Jan 16, 2009 - 69 comments

Team Hoyt on the Today Show

Team Hoyt: The story of Dick and Rick Hoyt (Today Show SLYT) (prev)
posted by allkindsoftime on Jan 2, 2009 - 22 comments

"What are you?" "Tired of answering that question."

The Bill of Rights for People of Mixed Heritage (pdf) is a great document covering some basic issues of self definition many take for granted, including the right to not be pressured to choose an identity for the comfort of others. Of course, it's not like this is new, though it seems little headway is being made despite growing numbers of multi-ethnic people in the media spotlight. (Previously)
posted by yeloson on Dec 31, 2008 - 32 comments

Whitewashing Avatar

M. Night Shyamalan has decided to cast white actors in the main roles of the upcoming motion picture based on the TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender. The problem: Avatar featured an Asian world with Asian characters, including Aang, the titular character, and his friends Sokka and Katara. [more inside]
posted by lunit on Dec 23, 2008 - 252 comments

The Not Rape Epidemic

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. From Racialicious.
posted by Navelgazer on Dec 23, 2008 - 348 comments

IMPASSE

Bram Schouw's short IMPASSE [more inside]
posted by pwedza on Dec 11, 2008 - 8 comments

"...a liberal who's been mugged..."

A discussion about "white fear" and "black crime" [more inside]
posted by neroli on Dec 5, 2008 - 91 comments

“I don’t mind you having a black character, but please don’t show them in school together.”

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 - 69 comments

"just numbers on a piece of paper"

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 - 195 comments

Obama win spurs white racial backlash

Obama's win is a racial milestone in world history, but beneath the surface a white backlash is festering in the US, spurring hate crimes around the country and an uptick in recruitment among white supremacists, according to the The Southern Poverty Law Center.
posted by stbalbach on Nov 17, 2008 - 98 comments

Debunking the Bradley Effect

The Persistent Myth of the Bradley Effect proposes that even if racists lied to pollsters in the 1980s, there's no evidence of that happening in 2008. The Bradley Effect - Selective Memory goes further: "The Bradley Effect was born amidst some major polling errors and a confusing array of mixed predictions, hardly a firm foundation to construct a theory."
posted by shetterly on Oct 16, 2008 - 62 comments

The Quiet Thaw

NYT: A new generation of black elected officials are wooing white voters and winning local elections in predominantly white districts across the country.
posted by chuckdarwin on Oct 14, 2008 - 29 comments

Climb Dance.

Climb Dance A short (and fast) film about a Pikes Peak International Hill Climb run from 1989. (Warning: Contains a small amount of jazzy piano sandwiched around about five minutes of very loud high RPM engine revving.)
posted by loquacious on Oct 11, 2008 - 15 comments

The Changing Face of the Inner City

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 - 64 comments

The Great Automobile Race of 1908

On 30th July 1908, after 169 days of competition, the 4-cylinder, 60-horsepower Thomas Flyer, driven by George Schuster from America, crossed the finish line to win the Great 1908 New York-to-Paris Automobile Race. After driving to the West Coast, the vehicles were shipped to Vladivostok from where only three teams managed to continue with the race across Asia and Europe. [more inside]
posted by peacay on Jul 30, 2008 - 5 comments

Yes, I'll take the full insurance coverages please.

Rental Car Rally. (From the guys who brought Street Wars to NYC). That is all.
posted by allkindsoftime on Jul 8, 2008 - 29 comments

Whither Aaron and Robinson and Mays and Griffey, Jr. and...?

"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 - 61 comments

A moment in history; Obama Wins Presidential Nomination.

It's official. Obama has won the Democratic Party nomination for the US Presidency. In response, McCain has launched a "verbal sortie" against him and the media has already begun disecting Hillary's campaign.
posted by Effigy2000 on Jun 3, 2008 - 949 comments

The Amazing Race

The Great NYC Commuter Race! A short by Streetfilms about Transportation Alternatives' annual event that pits a cyclist against a car and a straphanger in a race to Union Square from Fort Greene. Guess who wins?
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] on Jun 3, 2008 - 77 comments

Caucasian Challenge

Looking for a little something to do come August? Haul yourself from from Budapest to Yerevan in a "minimal assistance" rally they're calling the Caucasian Challenge. Our idea of a tricked out and dependable race vehicle is an old Soviet Lada with fuzzy dice.
posted by Wolfdog on May 30, 2008 - 18 comments

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