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]
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.
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.
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."
NYT: A new generation of black elected officials are wooing white voters and winning local elections in predominantly white districts across the country.
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.)
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.
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]
"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?
Race, class, families, fathers, and baseball: Where Have All the Black Guys Gone?
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.
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?
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.
Bill Moyers interviews the Reverend Jeremiah Wright in his first broadcast interview with a journalist since he became embroiled in a controversy for his remarks and his relationship with Barack Obama [more inside]
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack as illustrated by lolcats. Also, White Liberal Bingo.
The Cosby Conservatism Conundrum Proving that the new "dialogue" on race has five, six, maybe seven sides. No more pudding pops for you...
Record levels of immigration have had "little or no impact" on the economic well-being of Britons says a report (pdf) from an influential House of Lords committee. Initial reactions from the various parties, institutes and publications have been largely predictable. Coming so closely on the back of the BBC's recent "White" series on white working-class Britain, it looks likely to provoke some debate on British attitudes to immigration (pdf). [more inside]
Obama's Gettysburg Address. Today we saw and heard a preview of our brightest possible American future in Senator Barack Obama's glorious speech. This, then, is what it means to be presidential. To be moral. To have a real center. To speak honestly, from the heart, for the benefit of all. If there was any doubt about what we have missed in the anti-intellectual, ruthlessly incurious Bush years, and even the slippery Clinton ones (the years of "what is is"), those doubts were laid to rest by Barack Obama's magisterial speech today. A speech in which he distanced himself from a flawed father figure, Reverend Wright, and did so with almost Shakespearian dignity and honor. One of the most important speeches on race in decades if not longer. (text) [more inside]
Obama and Race: "In short, the success of Barack Obama has proven, perhaps more so than any other single thing could, just how powerful race remains in America. His success, far from disproving white power and privilege, confirms it with a vengeance." Tim Wise, an American anti-racist activist, writer, and author of White Like Me, has published two new essays about Obama, racism, and the 2008 election bid. More can be found on his official website.
A new look at race through three lenses: History, human variation and lived experience. Be sure to check out some of the quizzes, notably White Men Can't Jump and other assumptions about sports and race. [via SpoFi] A product of the American Anthropological Association.
Would you vote for an articulate horizontal-thinking Canadian? Race and religion in America defined through obfuscation.
'Race' graphically illustrated - "most Europeans" vs. Ashkenazim (previously; see also IQ & Gladwell, viz. ;) [more inside]
Prior to his critically acclaimed program The Wire, creator Edward Burns wrote the HBO miniseries The Corner, which also focused on the drug trade in Baltimore. Charles S. Dutton, an African-American Baltimore native and former convict probably best known to most as TV's "Roc," was chosen to direct the miniseries. Who Gets To Tell a Black Story?, part of a Pulitzer-prize winning NYT series on race in America, examines Dutton's take on how to make a TV program which portrays a mostly African-American cast of characters, the struggles and differing perspectives of Dutton and Burns, and how race is portrayed in Hollywood. [more inside]
About a month ago, a MeFi FPP on this article sparked a controversy here on the usefulness of the concepts of IQ and race in determining whether some ethnic groups can be shown to be intrinsically less intelligent than others. Now James Flynn, discoverer of the Flynn effect, has written a book, What is Intelligence?, that settles many of the issues of this controversy. In this week's New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell summarizes Flynn's arguments succinctly in a review entitled "None of the Above: What IQ doesn't tell you about race."
Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas, the Black Panther Party's Minister of Culture from 1967 to 1979. Douglas is still alive and making posters for the cause, in this case the San Francisco 8, who were arrested earlier this year for the murder of a police officer in 1971 -- despite the fact that evidence was thrown out of federal court in 1976 because "officers stripped the men, blindfolded them, beat them and covered them in blankets soaked in boiling water," and "used electric prods on their genitals." The SF Weekly published a detailed 5-page story about the case in November 2006.
40 acres and a mule has been a slogan of African-American economic aspirations ever since the legislation creating the Freedman's Bureau promised ex-slaves parcels not exceeding forty acres each, to the loyal refugees and freedmen. General William Tecumseh Sherman's Special Field Order No. 15 decreed that the land on slave plantations be seized and distributed to freed slaves, but Andrew Johnson rescinded the order and vetoed expansion of the Freedman's Bureau. Both Henry Louis Gates and Dalton Conley have associated the failure to grant freed slaves their "40 acres and a mule" with the wealth gap between black and white Americans, but now an economics grad student, Melinda Miller, has brought important quantitative data to the debate in a new research paper. [more inside]
If even most African-Americans believe the black poor are primarily responsible for their own plight, does that make it true?
Shame on him for saying it, and shame on us for tolerating it. In an article in Monday's Guardian, the writer Ronan Bennett argued that the lack of a popular outcry against Martin Amis' remarks about Islam (covered previously) represents a cultural failure that ought to shame us. Yesterday, Christopher Hitchens and Ian McEwan wrote attacking Bennett and defending Amis. Perhaps they ought to have deployed a slideshow.
Perhaps you'll recall DARPA's Grand Challenge where autonomous vehicles competed in a off-road race but most barely made it off the starting blocks? And Grand Challenge 2 where they did the same thing more successfully and also filmed a NOVA special?. Well, they are doing it again, on city streets this time. [more inside]
"[W]hat I really wanted to hear ... was a bit of swing, some empty space, and palpable bass frequencies."
Q: Is [country] somehow more soulful than Wilco? A: Oh, hell yeah.: Sasha Frere-Jones writes a polemic on why indie music lacks a certain something. Writes more and more and talks about it, too. The Voice weighs in. Slate says it's class, not race. Or perhaps kt's response is more your speed?: not everything needs critical assessment or whatever.
Through a Lens Darkly - on September 4, 1957, when 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford tried to enter Little Rock Central High, she was blocked by the National Guard and surrounded by a screaming mob of 250: "Lynch her! Lynch her!" "No nigger bitch is going to get in our school! Get out of here!" "Go back to where you came from!" Looking for a friendly face, she turned to an old woman, who spat on her. Photos. Dramatic news footage. Ernest Green, another of the Little Rock 9 recalls the first day of school. [more inside]
Should I use blackface on my blog? A flowchart.
It's been 40 years since the 1967 Detroit riot. The Detroit News remembers. Where we stand, four decades after that fateful summer. Extensive coverage including galleries, video, audio, and articles.
Pictures of white men and their adopted Chinese daughters by photographer O. Zhang
The Isle of Man TT race is arguably the most dangerous race one can do on a superbike, as it has claimed the lives of over 220 racers over the last 100 years. still, that doesn't seem to prevent people from competing, year, after, year.
The United States imprisons a larger percentage of its citizens then other industrialized nations and that percentage has been increasing even as the crime rate declines. Glen Loury discusses this seemingly odd phenomena and speculates as to the cause. Don't skip the ruminations on perceptions of race and welfare deep in the article. Want to crunch some numbers yourself? US crime statistics, US prison statistics, international prison statistics. Previously on metafilter.
"A Girl Like Me." 1947. Dr. Kenneth Clark conducts his "Doll Test." Dolls identical except for color were shown to black children at Scott's Branch Elementary School. His findings were published in 1950. According to his testimony during Brown v. Board of Education (1954), "Eleven of these sixteen children chose the brown doll as the doll which looked 'bad.'" 2007. 18-year old Kiri Davis wins CosmoGIRL's Take Action Hollywood film contest with her documentary short from 2006, "A Girl Like Me." (YouTube) In the film (produced with help from Reel Work Teen Filmmaking), she recreates Clark's "Doll Test" and finds: "Fifteen of the twenty-one children preferred the white doll." Sixty years on, and we've still so far to go. (via MyUrbanReport and Drifting Through The Grift)
A link between race and breast cancer. The findings of this study by a Philadelphia research team dovetail other recent findings, including those of Chicago researcher Funmi Olopade, a MacArthur winning doctor from Nigeria who is studying the genetic implications of the discovery. A Q & A with Dr. Olopade on her research. Dr. Olopade discussing her work on the Tavis Smiley show in 2003.
When he's not writing for The Adventures of Chico and Guapo or MadTV, Colin Quashie is creating his own brand of political art (with some help from elementary school kids on that last one). He has even put together a free coloring book to help you sort out the civil rights movement. What does it all mean? He'll tell you.
Harlem Variety Revue. Pre-rock & roll TV show featuring swing from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, and Sarah Vaughan. Rhythm & blues from Amos Milburn, Ruth Brown, Joe Turner, Martha Davis and Larry Darnell. Jazz & calypso from Nat Cole. Ballad by Dinah Washington. Doo wop from The Clovers. Harmony from the Larks and the Delta Rhythm Boys (complete with exciting choreography). Comedy provided by Nipsey Russell & Mantan Moreland, tapdancing by Coles & Atkins and Bill Bailey (check out that 1955 Moonwalk at the end!) Hosted by Willie Bryant.
"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." Thankfully, the Supreme Court disagreed, on June 12, 1967. Happy Loving Day.
...students arrived at the local high school to find three hangman's nooses dangling from a tree in the courtyard. ...
Under the ole shade tree... Welcome to Jena, LA -- mix high school segregation, racism, nooses, fights, ineffective school administration, attempted-murder charges, shotguns, and a town in upheaval--a "racial powder keg". Much more here, including links to help.
Are NBA referees racially biased when calling fouls? In a paper [PDF] released yesterday, economists Wolfers and Price claim that an all-white team would win two extra games over an 82-game season.