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Racism, Band Names, and Trademarks

"In fact, the implication is that if we weren’t Asian, there wouldn’t be any problems because people wouldn’t associate our name with an obscure racial slur. And while it’s true that the people in the band can be identified by a band’s name, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the members literally embody the name of the band. No one thinks ’The Rolling Stones’ are literal masses of undulating rock or that ’Led Zeppelin’ is a metallic reincarnation of the Hindenburg blimp.” [more inside]
posted by hopeless romantique on Oct 24, 2013 - 38 comments

12 Years a Slave

"I'm here because my family went through slavery" - Steve McQueen on 12 Years A Slave, the story of Solomon Northup. ‘12 Years a Slave,’ ‘Mother of George,’ and the aesthetic politics of filming black skin. Before Solomon Northup: Fighting Slave Catchers in New York. The final fate of Solpmon Northup remains unknown. (Previously)
posted by Artw on Oct 20, 2013 - 56 comments

Chow Muh-muh-muh-muh-mein

Alison Gold's Chinese Food is the latest "pop" "hit" out of ARK Music to be making the rounds, following the footsteps of Nicole Westbrook's It's Thanksgiving and, of course, Rebecca Black's Friday. Beyond its hilariously forced lyrics and meter, which are par for the course, Chinese Food is being roundly criticized for being more than a little bit racist—and its racism is hardly culturally accurate, either: subtitles are shown throughout the song which shift to a number of different non-Chinese languages, including Hebrew and Arabic, and the song's climax includes a number of women dressed as geishas. But ARK Music's Patrice Wilson, aka Fat Usher, is more self-aware than he's sometimes given credit for, and his music comes close to Tim and Eric territory at times (Eric Wareheim's music videos have also been called out for dealing with race in highly problematic ways). In a little-seen but very funny response to Friday, his song Happy, Wilson lampoons both his own approach to songwriting, and the response Friday received afterwards. Another Alison Gold song produced by Wilson and ARK, Skip Rope by "Tweenchronic", that might be the proof that ARK is cleverer and more deliberate in its approach than its millions of anti-fans recognize. (Wilson was interviewed by Gawker and the LA Times in the wake of Friday; his recent defense of Chinese Food was either disingenuous or really dumb, depending on how much credit you're willing to give him.)
posted by Rory Marinich on Oct 18, 2013 - 124 comments

"Are you an urban scientist or an urban whore?"

When DNLee was approached to write blog posts for Biology Online, she quite reasonably asked about the terms of the agreement. When she turned them down, their response was...somewhat less than reasonable. And when DNLee posted to her blog about it, Scientific American – who hosts her blog as part of their science blog network – responded in perhaps the most tone-deaf manner possible. [more inside]
posted by freelanceastro on Oct 12, 2013 - 195 comments

"Individually, the were impressive; collectively, they were formidable"

Paris Fashion: Rick Owens’s Powerful Rejection of Conventional Beauty Big, athletic African-American dancers storm the runaway [more inside]
posted by TheGoodBlood on Sep 28, 2013 - 32 comments

Black Managers in English Football

Why are there so few black managers in English football? Sol Campbell thinks he'll have to leave England and go abroad to find his opportunities.
posted by josher71 on Sep 27, 2013 - 6 comments

Visualizing Minority Representation

Why whitewashing hurts: an illustrated guide.
posted by overeducated_alligator on Sep 24, 2013 - 59 comments

Why don’t you-all go and liberate the Indian reservations, or something?

The civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, as described in the New Yorker by Renata Adler in 1965. [more inside]
posted by medusa on Sep 23, 2013 - 21 comments

"Everyone being held was a US citizen."

But that didn't prevent On the Media producer Sarah Abdurrahman and several members of her family and friends from being detained at a Canadian-US border while on the way home from a wedding. The story is all the more frightening as it details Sarah's inability to get any answers about policy from the Border Patrol, including the name of the officers who held her.
posted by Eyeveex on Sep 23, 2013 - 92 comments

Racism, Ridicule, Righteousness and Reactions

Why “Racists React To [thing]” posts are just passive white supremacy.
posted by Artw on Sep 18, 2013 - 130 comments

“My dad did not... seek to marry a black woman to put on display."

In the final days before the New York City mayoral primary on September 10th, current mayor Michael Bloomberg is coming under attack for an article published this week in New York Magazine in which he criticizes frontrunner Bill de Blasio for running a“class-warfare and racist” campaign because of the way in which he has used “his family to gain support." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 7, 2013 - 181 comments

The Traffickers, the Militias, and the State

Over the last year and a half, I have been visiting São Paulo and, especially, Rio de Janeiro, observing the process of “pacification,” by which the government attempts to peacefully enter and reestablish state control over the most violent enclaves of the city, those dominated by drug gangs called traficantes, or by syndicates of corrupt police called militias. Until 2008, when the pacification program started, the traficantes controlled roughly half of the favelas, and the militias the other half. Both still hold power in most favelas. The ultimate aim of the state government of Rio’s plan, called the Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora (UPP), or Police Pacification Unit, is to drive both of these groups out and replace them by the state. (SLNYRB)

posted by Rustic Etruscan on Aug 29, 2013 - 6 comments

Force Fed

On Monday, August 19 - day 43 of the strike a federal judge approved a request by state and federal prison authorities to engage the controversial practice of force-feed striking prisoners.
[more inside]
posted by eviemath on Aug 28, 2013 - 43 comments

The Price of Institutional Racism

Why has there been only one non-white Worldcon chair? Because science fiction fandom is not welcoming to non-white people, because con-running has not done enough to address its own lack of diversity, because people would rather believe that fandom is inclusive than force it to become inclusive.
Jonathan McCalmont writes on institutional racism in the science fiction fandom.
posted by NoraReed on Aug 28, 2013 - 92 comments

"Your two o'clock appointment is here, and he's black."

Fifty years ago, another bus-centric race dispute took place. Despite "Just 12 miles away in Bath, black crews were working on buses. London Transport recruitment officers had travelled to Barbados specifically to invite workers to come to the capital" ...non-whites found it impossible to obtain employment working on buses in Bristol, England. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Aug 27, 2013 - 11 comments

A trip to the grocery store

But what would have happened — I can’t know for certain — if the black woman said “This is unfair! Why are you doing this the me?” A glimpse at white privilege and how to use it for good.
posted by Deathalicious on Aug 24, 2013 - 122 comments

The Misremembering of ‘I Have a Dream’

Fifty years after the March on Washington, Dr. King’s most famous speech, like his own political legacy, is widely misunderstood.
posted by brundlefly on Aug 23, 2013 - 51 comments

The Problem with Privilege

"The logics of privilege rest on an individualized self that relies on the raw material of other beings to constitute itself. Although the confessing of privilege is understood to be an anti-racist practice, it is ultimately a project premised on white supremacy."
Andrea Smith on The Problem with 'Privilege'.
posted by downing street memo on Aug 20, 2013 - 79 comments

If you need to ask, the answer is yes

The Yo Is This Racist? Podcast [iTunes, SoundCloud] is a show where people call in with racism questions and blogger Andrew Ti and a guest give answers. There's nearly a year's worth of podcasts, so there's lots of material. The most recent episodes, featuring Baron Vaughn, are a good place to start, but so are the ones with Kulap Vilaysack, Paul F. Tompkins and Cloud Atlas Week, when a whole run of episodes was dedicated to the movie Cloud Atlas (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). [YITR previously]
posted by Kattullus on Aug 17, 2013 - 22 comments

"there is no neutrality when bigotry is the status quo"

"So lately I haven’t talked about how infuriating it’s been to be told I was “asking for it” — “it” being Mr. Beale’s racist, sexist abuse and that of his commentariat. (What was I wearing? My skin.) I’ve watched ostensibly reasonable people ask whether it’s racist to call an entire group of people savages — no, really — and I haven’t talked about how nauseating that was. I’ve seen fellow SFWA members suggest that there must be room in the organization for white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of bigotry — because of course some members’ right to be assholes should trump all members’ right to operate in professional spaces free of harassment, intimidation, and abuse." -- Fantasy writer N. K. Jemisin comments on the recent sexism/racism crisis in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and her own role in the controversy. (previously). [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 17, 2013 - 88 comments

The everyday hate

A Day in the Life of the Ku Klux Klan, Uncensored
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 14, 2013 - 66 comments

Meritocracy is..fluid..

White definitions of merit and admissions change when they think about Asian-Americans.
posted by kanuck on Aug 13, 2013 - 60 comments

Enigma popstar is fun / She wear burqa for fashion

A new Lady Gaga song called Burqa has leaked online. Its production is pretty interesting. Its lyrics are... controversial, to say the least. "Lady Gaga bas a burqa problem," writes Jezebel. "You can't just ornament yourself in other cultures (especially not if those cultures are specifically targeted for violence and harassment in your home country)." Other criticisms abound on The Atlantic and Autostraddle. A blog called Racist Little Monsters has popped up to collect pictures of fans posing in self-made burqas [warning: nsfw language abounds]
posted by Rory Marinich on Aug 8, 2013 - 236 comments

Who gets to speak, where, in front of whom, and about what  

Why the controversial (and somewhat backfired) Lauren Green interview of Reza Aslan is is about more than just Fox News idiocy.  
posted by Artw on Jul 31, 2013 - 162 comments

Son of Stormfront renounces White Nationalism

Derek Black the infamous Don Black's son, today renounced White Nationalism, saying in a .pdf document sent to the Southern Poverty Law Center "I acknowledge that things I have said as well as my actions have been harmful to people of color, people of Jewish descent, activists striving for opportunity and fairness for all, and others affected." Stormfront has long been seen as the leading white supremacist Web site on the internet, often considered the first.
posted by eparchos on Jul 17, 2013 - 67 comments

Does Anything Go?

The Rise and Fall of a Racist Corner of Reddit
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jul 17, 2013 - 295 comments

Some Thoughts On Mercy by Ross Gay

An essay on race, fear, imagination, and beekeeping
posted by Joe in Australia on Jul 16, 2013 - 19 comments

The Slandering of NY Jet Oday Aboushi

In the fifth round of the NFL Draft, the NY Jets selected a guard/tackle from the University of Virginia. His name is Oday Aboushi. While not a first round pick, Aboushi has garnered a lot of media attention. Why? Oday Aboushi is a Muslim Palestinian. MLB.com's New Media Coordinator Jonathan Mael compared Aboushi to Aaron Hernandez,the former New England Patriots tight end charged with murder. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jul 16, 2013 - 47 comments

N-Words

They came from test tubes. They came pale as ghosts with eyes as blue-white as glacier ice. They came first out of Korea. N-Words - a science fiction short story by Ted Kosmatka. Audio version.
posted by Artw on Jul 9, 2013 - 28 comments

Racial Slur or Honorific?

The Other Redskins. 62 US high schools in 22 states currently use the name "Redskins" for one of their sports teams. 28 high schools in 18 states have dropped the mascot over the last 25 years. As public pressure continues to intensify on the Washington Redskins football team to change their name -- one many consider a racial slur that disparages Native Americans -- similar debates are being waged in towns across the country about their local high school teams.
posted by zarq on Jul 2, 2013 - 183 comments

Take the Impossible “Literacy” Test

Slate posts on a 1960's era voting literacy tests [more inside]
posted by garlic on Jun 28, 2013 - 267 comments

Each time you open your mouth.. I see Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman..

A Letter to Rachel Jeantel, the prosecution's key witness in the George Zimmerman trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin (tag) by Khadijah Costley White.
posted by jeffburdges on Jun 28, 2013 - 690 comments

"Inappropriate and hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable."

Last month, Paula Deen gave a deposition (full transcript) for a discrimination lawsuit brought against her and her brother by a former employee. In it, she stated that "of course" she had used "the n-word" in the past and responded to questions regarding a "very southern-style wedding" in which the servers would be "professional black men doing a fabulous job." This week, Deen recorded, posted, and then made private three slightly different videos of apology. The Food Network has since announced that it will not renew her contract when it expires at the end of this month. [more inside]
posted by houseofdanie on Jun 22, 2013 - 366 comments

Penny Arcade and its Krahulik problem

No stranger to controversy, Mike Krahulik, gabe of Penny Arcade, has found himself embroiled in yet another debacle over a series of transphobic tweets he's made, coming right off the heels of public criticism and outrage over an apparently racist/misogynistic panel that was to be held at the upcoming PAX Aus convention. Citing this and past controversies, The Fullbright Company, the indie developer of "Gone Home", has pulled out of PAX's coveted Indie Megabooth. gabe has issued a pair of apologies for his tweets, swearing off ever talking about topics other than comics or video games again. [Previously]
posted by yeoz on Jun 21, 2013 - 481 comments

Uh oh. The KKK's got death rays now!

Did you hear the one about the KKK-member in NY who made a death ray? In a weird twist, he targeted Jewish Groups--for sales. "An industrial mechanic with General Electric Co., who is also allegedly a member of the Ku Klux Klan, designed a deadly, mobile radiation device that he tried to sell to Jewish groups and then to a southern branch of the Ku Klux Klan, according to a federal complaint unsealed Wednesday in Albany" (found via TPM)
posted by saulgoodman on Jun 19, 2013 - 79 comments

Enough

An open letter to Dan Snyder (Owner of the Washington Professional Football Team). [more inside]
posted by Groundhog Week on Jun 13, 2013 - 126 comments

When the Beautiful Game Isn't

"Italy is in crisis. I think that's safe to say. Something new is arising out of something old. I don't know whether it's a first breath or a last gasp. James Walston, the professor, thinks all the racial abuse is a sign that Italy has changed, and this is a defiant last stand before a multi-cultural society emerges. Maybe he's right. I don't know." Wright Thompson writes about soccer and racism in Italy.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates on Jun 5, 2013 - 30 comments

"Misplaced Honor"

NYT Editorial Filter -- "Now African-Americans make up about a fifth of the military. The idea that today we ask any of these soldiers to serve at a place named for a defender of a racist slavocracy is deplorable; the thought that today we ask any American soldier to serve at a base named for someone who killed United States Army troops is beyond absurd. Would we have a Fort Rommel? A Camp Cornwallis?" [more inside]
posted by bardic on May 27, 2013 - 767 comments

Rubber Ducky, you're my very best friend, it's true!

We've read about Florentijn Hofman's giant rubber duck before (previously), and it made it's way earlier this week to Hong Kong to spread joy :D

Well, unfortunately, the duck was also viciously murdered (warning: may be graphic to younger viewers), and many already blame chinese mainlanders for it. [more inside]
posted by yeoz on May 18, 2013 - 23 comments

America's 10 Worst Prisons

"'If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.' So goes the old saying. Yet conditions in some American facilities are so obscene that they amount to a form of extrajudicial punishment." Mother Jones is profiling "America's 10 Worst Prisons." Facilities were chosen for the list based on "...three years of research, correspondence with prisoners, and interviews with reform advocates." [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 14, 2013 - 88 comments

"I am always the last person to eat."

David Arenberg on being the only Jewish inmate in a state prison.
posted by reenum on May 1, 2013 - 49 comments

Snitches get stitches, fool *BLEAT*

Mountain Dew Pulls 'Most Racist Commercial in History'. [more inside]
posted by item on May 1, 2013 - 262 comments

The Art of Anton Kannemeyer

Black Gynaecologist (2008), 'I love the white middle class ...' (2008), Say! if you speak English... (2008).
The works and life of Anton Kannemeyer.
posted by - on Apr 27, 2013 - 21 comments

The Year in Hate and Extremism.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre has produced its annual synopsis.
The number of conspiracy-minded antigovernment “Patriot” groups reached an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012, while
the number of hard-core hate groups remained above 1,000.
Via Juan Cole: Congress Obsessed with American Muslims, Neglects real threat of White Supremacists.
posted by adamvasco on Apr 5, 2013 - 52 comments

The Good, Racist People

Ta-Nehisi Coates addresses the good, racist people. [more inside]
posted by chrchr on Mar 7, 2013 - 160 comments

They deny being neo-Nazis.

A Golden Dawn candidate for parliament threatens the extermination of immigrants on camera (alt) (NSFW). There is also an interview with the filmmaker. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Mar 6, 2013 - 76 comments

"The Fiery Cross guards you at nights."

In the 1920's, the Ku Klux Klan operated a resort for Christian white supremacists called Kool Koast Kamp near Rockport, TX. For just a dollar a day per family, they offered swimming and "big game fishing" in "deep blue surf," educational activities and "watermelon parties." All under the protection of a "fiery cross" and "an officer of the law, the same Christian sentiment." (Brochure pages 1, 2, 3, 4) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 6, 2013 - 60 comments

Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible

Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible is an interesting documentary that features the experiences of white women and men who have worked to gain insight into what it means to challenge notions of racism and white supremacy in the United States. [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 23, 2013 - 30 comments

The TFA insurgency and its uses

[Teach for America's] goals derive, in theory, from laudable—if misguided—impulses. But each, in practice, has demonstrated to be deeply problematic. TFA ... underwrites, intentionally or not, the conservative assumptions of the education reform movement: that teacher’s unions serve as barriers to quality education; that testing is the best way to assess quality education; that educating poor children is best done by institutionalizing them; that meritocracy is an end-in-itself; that social class is an unimportant variable in education reform; that education policy is best made by evading politics proper; and that faith in public school teachers is misplaced.
Teach for America's hidden curriculum: neo-liberalism, union-busting, and the teacher as cultural tourist. [Via.]
posted by Sonny Jim on Feb 19, 2013 - 76 comments

The Black Community cannot afford the luxury of ... that subject

In which Neil deGrasse Tyson is asked a simple interview question and responds with a powerful story of perseverance and epiphany in the face of institutional bias and the intra-racial pressures which once pushed him to abandon his dream of becoming an astrophysicist.
posted by Scientist on Feb 14, 2013 - 110 comments

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