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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

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

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