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Its a life style not an ethnicity or race

Beyond the Pale: In a wide-reaching book review and with nods to James Baldwin's 1984 essay On Being White ... and Other Lies, Kelefa Sanneh makes a modern argument that white identity is founded on a series of negations: "to be white in America is to be not nonwhite, which is why it was possible, in 1961, for a white woman from Kansas living in Hawaii to give birth to a black baby." [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Apr 6, 2010 - 96 comments

"White people didn't shoot me. Three white people shot me."

At age 15, Darryl Williams was felled by a sniper's bullet-- on a football field in Charlestown, MA, where he was huddled with teammates on the visiting Jamaica Plain High School Football team. It was 1979, 5 years after the Boston busing crisis. [more inside]
posted by availablelight on Apr 5, 2010 - 65 comments

...and a twang of salt

How to Eat Watermelon - life lessons from Petey Greene's Washington, 1982. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Mar 28, 2010 - 20 comments

The $500 Rally car

How one man got 3rd place in a World Rally Championship event, in a $500 car.
posted by hellojed on Mar 22, 2010 - 42 comments

Encyclopedia Dramatica vs. the Commonwealth of Australia

In January, Google Australia agreed to take down links to the Encyclopedia Dramatica. The Australian Human Rights Commission has now written to the owner of the ED threatening legal action. [more inside]
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Mar 16, 2010 - 120 comments

They Cut the Cheese (Roll)!

After 200 years, The Annual Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake at Cooper's Hill, near Gloucester in England has been canceled due to health and safety fears. (Official site.) The BBC devotes a section of their site to the event, and both ESPN and The Big Picture covered it last year. Previously [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 14, 2010 - 31 comments

Mitchell

"I couldn't let these Klansmen get away with murder..." Investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell has started a blog focusing on cold case murders of civil rights workers. In this Moth Podcast, Mitchell discusses some of his investigations, the death threats he received, and the stunning redemption and forgiveness he witnessed. For his work Mitchell was recently awarded a MacArthur "Genius" grant. [more inside]
posted by bguest on Feb 15, 2010 - 18 comments

Knowledge is infinite once I start to draw a better picture for your third eye

Jo Guldi writes a fascinating entry about social engineering and geography in the 1970's. "The geographers located answers in American zones of isolation and hopelessness. Bill Bunge organized his fellow professors into the Detroit Geographical Expedition, leading frequent trips to document the slums of Detroit and later Toronto. Their findings were equally provocative. In 1968, the Society published a map entitled “Where Commuters Run Over Black Children on the Pointes-Downtown Track.” Life and death, they argued, were not merely the commodities available to any hard-working American, but hung upon the thread of a special kind of privilege, the privilege of safe territory." Guldi is a historian at the Harvard Society of Fellows. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Feb 12, 2010 - 10 comments

''Mumbo-Jumbo will hoo-doo you'': Vachel Lindsay reads The Congo

Vachel Lindsay reads The Congo.
Jim Dickinson reads The Congo.
Laura Fox reads The Congo.
Vachel Lindsay as Performer
Lindsay and Racism
See also Race Criticism of "The Congo"
A podcast: Noncanonical Congo: A Discussion of Vachel Lindsay's "The Congo." [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Feb 10, 2010 - 28 comments

The Impact of Diversity

"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.
posted by bearwife on Feb 10, 2010 - 31 comments

Yes, they still make new ones...

The racial politics of Archie comics
posted by Artw on Feb 3, 2010 - 53 comments

Profile in courage

Fifty years ago today four black students, Joseph A. McNeil, Franklin E. McCain, David L. Richmond and Ezell A. Blair Jr., asked to be served lunch at the Woolworth lunch counter and so began an extended nonviolent sit-in which energized the civil rights movement. Monday the International Civil Rights Center and Museum will open in that loacation.
posted by caddis on Feb 1, 2010 - 19 comments

The Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race

For 36 years, engineering students from colleges across North America (and beyond) have aspired to succeed at winter's most prestigious, most arduous, most ridiculous challenge - to build and ride the world's fastest sled . . . made of concrete. Tomorrow, if you're in the greater Hamilton Ontario area, you can witness the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race yourself. Expect to see A fair warning however, spectators who stand too close might become part of the action. [more inside]
posted by Popular Ethics on Jan 29, 2010 - 24 comments

The Paleo-Etiology of Human Skin Tone

Why are Europeans white? "White," of course, is a a social designation. The question really is, "Why are northern Europeans depigmented?" [...] Most people know that it has something to do with sunlight, UV, latitude, and vitamin D. [...] But this explanation fails for Europe. Northern Europeans are lighter than everyone to the south (Mediterraneans), to the east (Mongols and east-Asians), to the west (Native Americans across the Atlantic), and to the North (Inuit, Sammi, Chukchi, Aleut). Clearly, there once was a factor at work in Europe other than dim sunlight. [more inside]
posted by symbollocks on Dec 17, 2009 - 90 comments

Is Racism Alive and Well in China?

The New York Times online's Room for Debate blog tackles the issue of race in China. [more inside]
posted by inara on Dec 14, 2009 - 32 comments

"It's not hard to find gifts created for and by people of color this holiday season"

The New York Times is offering a gift guide this season...specifically for people of colour. In case you were wondering what to get your friends of colour - henna or a gospel cruise may be what you have been looking for!
posted by hepta on Dec 10, 2009 - 66 comments

"The dash don't be silent."

Laura Wattenberg on Ledasha, Legends, and Race [Part Two | Part Three] "Why does it matter? We tell funny stories all the time without believing them. (Does anybody really think that a priest, a rabbi and a chicken walked into a bar?) I believe it matters in the case of urban legend names because they're not merely humor...and they're not random. They exist in a complex social setting, and they serve a subtle and consequential purpose. They are proxies for talking about race."
posted by ocherdraco on Nov 1, 2009 - 109 comments

The White City

"Imagine a large corporation with a workforce whose African American percentage far lagged its industry peers, sans any apparent concern, and without a credible action plan to remediate it. Would such a corporation be viewed as a progressive firm and employer? The answer is obvious. Yet the same situation in major cities yields a different answer."
posted by revgeorge on Oct 26, 2009 - 128 comments

Shades of Jim Crow and the Black Codes, in 2009

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way." Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace for Tangipahoa Parish’s 8th Ward in Louisiana, has denied a marriage license to an interracial couple, using Tragic Mulatto reasoning. He claims that children of interracial marriages suffer needlessly, and the couple's union won't last. Previously on MeFi: The Bill of Rights for People of Mixed Heritage
posted by zarq on Oct 16, 2009 - 189 comments

Women Veterans Historical Collection

Jean M. Fasse (Red Cross during WWII, and later the Special Service). Shirley Ann Thacker (WAVE). Just two of the interviews from the extensive collection of material (photographs, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, oral histories and posters) at the Women Veterans Historical Collection.
posted by tellurian on Oct 14, 2009 - 4 comments

The race is on.

"We’ve processed the messaging habits of almost a million people and are about to basically prove that, despite what you might’ve heard from the Obama campaign and organic cereal commercials, racism is alive and well." The people who run the dating site OkCupid continue to analyze the aggregate data of their users, shedding light on preferences and behavior. The most recent OkTrends post takes a look at their compiled racial data: Your Race Affects Whether People Write You Back. (previously 1 2)
posted by naju on Oct 7, 2009 - 459 comments

Birth of a Notion

Birth of a Notion: Implicit Social Cognition and the "Birther" Movement asks why 'white Europeans are more “American”' to many people than nonwhite Americans and includes details like this: "Horne was asked to give two concerts at Camp Robinson in Alabama, one to white servicemen, the second to black GIs. But she refused to do the second one when she saw that black Americans were sent to the back of the theater. Who got the good seats up front? German prisoners of war." Institutional Racism Ignored notes “racial bias in conviction rates and length of sentences of both juvenile and criminal courts,” “direct discriminatory practices in housing…as well as in mortgage lending,” and in the educational system, “racial bias in the type of disciplinary action given to white or minority students.” Tucson schools create race-based system of discipline and Tucson Arizona school discipline policy is not racist; Alan Keyes is right address one anti-racist solution. But anyone interested in racial justice should note The Queer, "Racist" Case of the Spank-Happy Judge.
posted by shetterly on Oct 6, 2009 - 58 comments

Ten Dollars an Hour

In an area where racial divisions are very stark, the relationships between the "haves" and the "have nots" are very illuminating. Leasse William is a cook at the Sigma Nu fraternity house on the campus of the University of Mississippi. She makes ten dollars an hour. For nine months of pay this equals out at about $15,000/year. This places her well within the over 20% of the population in Mississippi that lives below the poverty line. This mini documentary by Ben Guest about Leasse shines a light on the perspectives of the various actors involved in this drama of racial tensions and class disparity.
posted by anansi on Sep 26, 2009 - 85 comments

To the edge of human endurance, and beyond

Jure Robič raced on bicycles in his hometown in Slovenia, skilled enough to race with small Slovene teams but nothing professionally, supporting himself with a sales job for a bike-parts dealer. It was with the death of his mother in 1997 and his subsequent depression that Robič discovered his calling: ultra-endurance cycle races, in which he competes with a methodical madness. (1 page print version, via). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 25, 2009 - 23 comments

Conservatives of Color are Angry White People?

Lifestyles of the White & Suggestible opens and closes with a Conservative of Color. The singer heard (but not seen) in the background is Lloyd Marcus, who provides the American Tea Party Anthem. Obama doesn't think it's about racism. Neither does Republican Chairman Michael Steele. An introduction to the beliefs of Conservatives of Color: Emancipation Revelation Revolution
posted by shetterly on Sep 16, 2009 - 29 comments

Misdirection

"What do you get when you combine the worst economic downturn since the Depression with the first black president? A surge of white racial resentment, loosely disguised as a populist revolt."
posted by cashman on Sep 12, 2009 - 696 comments

Afro-centric public school opening in Toronto

Despite a reputation as an effective multi-cultural city, Toronto continues to have difficulties successfully integrating its communities of African heritage. In response to significantly higher than average high school drop-out rates in those communities, some academics suggested the creation of "black-focused public schools" [PDF] as means of re-engaging black youth with education. Needless to say, this caused debate, controversy, and even anger, but the first afro-centric public elementary school will open this month.
posted by modernnomad on Sep 3, 2009 - 43 comments

"In my next conscious moment, I was dimly aware that I was facedown on the pavement. There was blood in my mouth."

"A Mugging on Lake Street" : John Conroy -- author and former staff writer of the Chicago Reader best known for his articles on police torture finds himself a victim of a "senseless" crime and is forced by circumstance to examine his own opinions about race, hate crimes, and violence. (last link is referenced in original article)
posted by MCMikeNamara on Sep 2, 2009 - 118 comments

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

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