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"Gypsy" is a racial slur.

The Romani people would like you to please stop using the word 'gypsy' now (or even wear 'gypsy' tattoos) as it is a racial slur connected to past and present persecution. This is not 'gypsy'; this is Romani. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Aug 19, 2012 - 216 comments

Bank of Canada bans image of Asian-looking woman from new $100 bills over ethnicity criticism

The Bank of Canada has changed the design of its new $100 bill after receiving numerous comments from focus groups that the woman pictured looked like she was of Asian descent. [more inside]
posted by asnider on Aug 18, 2012 - 150 comments

No Place For Your Kind

No Place for Your Kind Photojournalist Tim Greyhavens documents sites of anti-Chinese violence in the American West around the turn of the last century. NYT blog post on the project.
posted by 6550 on Aug 14, 2012 - 11 comments

Rebranding Diversity

Colorblind Racism Inside the U.S. Advertising Industry. A dissertation by Chris Boulton. [15:13 Vimeo] [more inside]
posted by cashman on Jul 25, 2012 - 14 comments

"Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men."

It's Not Just NYC: Across America, Only Black and Brown People Get Arrested for Pot - "New York City (previously), the pot-bust capital of the Western world, is notorious for the racial skewing (previously) of its marijuana arrests. Over the last 15 years, more than 85 percent of the half-million-plus people charged with misdemeanor possession there have been black or Latino. But the racial ratios of reefer roundups are equally extreme—if not worse—in scores of other U.S. cities." Same (trailer) as it (PDF) ever was? (video)
posted by mrgrimm on Jul 24, 2012 - 60 comments

A Conversation With Neesha Meminger and Ibi Zoboi

Two writers discusses race, class, feminism and its intersections in this wide-ranging discussion about what feminism can mean for women of colour. Refreshingly substantive.
posted by smoke on Jul 22, 2012 - 20 comments

A black Harvard student, running at night to catch a bus, hears, ‘What did you steal this time?’

Is America a post-racial society? Not yet, says Kenny Wiley. [more inside]
posted by asnider on Jul 17, 2012 - 102 comments

Interesting aspects of the American Civil War

Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic, recently touched on a couple of interesting aspects of the American Civil War. First, Racism Against White People briefly looked at how Southern intellectuals argued that Northern whites were of a different race. Then a subthread in the comments on that post spawned an investigation of American Exceptionalism in History and the notion of preserving democracy in the context of the American Civil War. After all, "if a government can be sundered simply because the minority doesn't like the results of an election, can it even call itself a government?" Definitely check out the comments of both posts.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 8, 2012 - 49 comments

"I'm an artist and I don't f---ing have to answer for my work."

Drag queen Sharon Needles, winner of RuPaul's Drag Race, has lately been facing a lot of criticism for their transgressive act: "Eli Kuti, a bartender at Lawrenceville's Blue Moon, where Needles often performs, recalls one performance in which Needles and another drag queen donned one-piece bathing suits emblazoned with swastikas. The two 'were hailing Hitler' and calling crowd members racial epithets, Kuti says." [more inside]
posted by modernserf on Jun 29, 2012 - 75 comments

How can something so rapey be so good?

“Racist rape-culture Disneyland with Dragons” -- Laurie Penny on the popularity of George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire and the critically acclaimed HBO dramatization Game of Thrones. (Hint: Despite the obvious gender-racial-class problems, Miss Penny really likes the show.) [more inside]
posted by bardic on Jun 27, 2012 - 321 comments

"Niggas" in Practice

"Niggas" in Practice Jay-Z, Gwyneth Paltrow, and when white people can say the word. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Jun 12, 2012 - 297 comments

Proposition 1803

In the early 19th century, a man named Charles Fanaye and his lover Marie-Hélène sought to wed in Southern France. He was a former Napoleonic soldier, back from the Campaign in Egypt. She was an Ethiopian woman who had rescued him from the Mameluks and followed him to France. Like many other interracial couples, Charles and Marie-Hélène begged for an exception to the 1803 decree that banned marriage between blacks and whites. It was only after 16 years, when the ban was silently lifted in 1819, that they could finally marry. A (long) paper by Jennifer Heuer on the arbitrary definitions of race in post-Revolutionary France and on "the persistence of certain couples in legitimizing their bonds".
posted by elgilito on Jun 10, 2012 - 22 comments

Honor and Error

In a high profile gaffe President Barack Obama has recently caused anger in Poland by referring to a Nazi death camp as a "Polish death camp" during a ceremony honoring World War II hero Jan Karski with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. “The White House will apologize for this outrageous error,Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted. Sikorski said that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk “will make a statement in the morning. It’s a pity that this important ceremony was upstaged by ignorance and incompetence.” [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on May 31, 2012 - 160 comments

Kicking off UEFA Euro 2012

With just over one week to the UEFA Euro 2012 kickoff, a BBC Panorama special Stadiums of Hate uncovers widespread, systemic racism and far-right violence amongst sects of Polish and Ukranian Football fans.
posted by whyareyouatriangle on May 30, 2012 - 42 comments

Dumb, Drunk and Racist

Dumb, Drunk and Racist - Joe Hildebrand, writer for the Daily Telegraph in Sydney, has a new TV show coming up on Australian TV, called "Dumb, Drunk and Racist", which was the phrase famously used during a training session in an Indian call centre about Australians. The show features four Indians from varying backgrounds visiting Australia - looks like very uncomfortable viewing (if you're Australian). (Slightly NSFW because of drunken boob-showing).
posted by awfurby on May 28, 2012 - 138 comments

The Spear: a controversial painting in South Africa

The Spear, a painting by South African artist Brett Murray is causing quite a stir. The painting is the subject of an attempted ban by the South African president, Jacob Zuma, according to the article and a general accusation of racism by the ANC leadership which has led at least one interesting response in the blogosphere.
posted by HopStopDon'tShop on May 23, 2012 - 21 comments

We [ can do / deserve / demand ] better

Ad·ver·sary responds to sexism and racism in industrial music: We Demand Better. [more inside]
posted by Theta States on May 18, 2012 - 62 comments

In the MMORPG of life, straight white male is the easiest setting

Okay: In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is...
As the game progresses, your goal is to gain points, apportion them wisely, and level up. If you start with fewer points and fewer of them in critical stat categories, or choose poorly regarding the skills you decide to level up on, then the game will still be difficult for you. But because you’re playing on the “Straight White Male” setting, gaining points and leveling up will still by default be easier, all other things being equal, than for another player using a higher difficulty setting.

Likewise, it’s certainly possible someone playing at a higher difficulty setting is progressing more quickly than you are, because they had more points initially given to them by the computer and/or their highest stats are wealth, intelligence and constitution and/or simply because they play the game better than you do. It doesn’t change the fact you are still playing on the lowest difficulty setting.


MeFi's own John Scalzi provides an excellent, relatable metaphor for explaining the realities of race and gender without invoking the dreaded word "privilege". [more inside]
posted by Jon_Evil on May 15, 2012 - 368 comments

The Curse of Chief Wahoo

The Curse of Chief Wahoo. "Are we paying the price for embracing America's last acceptable racist symbol?".
posted by josher71 on May 9, 2012 - 138 comments

Pain cake

The National Association of Afro-Swedes calls for the resignation of Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Roth after photos and video surfaced of this "living" cake, which was part of a celebration of World Art Day. The cake's creator talks a bit about the cake.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy on Apr 19, 2012 - 164 comments

The Talk: Nonblack Version

National Review's John Derbyshire Goes Full-On Racist National Review is generally considered to be a haven for intellectual conservatives. John Derbyshire is a columnist for the magazine and a regular contributor to its much-read blog, The Corner. But even hard-core conservatives were shocked when Derbyshire penned The Talk: Nonblack Version, a set of rules white people should tell their kids about African Americans. Appearing on the website Taki's Magazine, the personal magazine of Greek "paleoconservative" Taki Theodoracopulos, the piece has garnered intense scrutiny and calls for National Review to fire it's author. The rules are, needless to say, quite controversial: [more inside]
posted by Ironmouth on Apr 7, 2012 - 274 comments

Where does it hurt?

Deep vein thrombosis is generally a topic that comes up with regards to airline seating and other periods of prolonged immobility (previously). Anna Brown was a homeless woman and constantly on the move, so doctors in the emergency room thought that her complaints of leg pain were just drug-seeking behavior. Unfortunately, drug seeking is a major problem in ERs in the United States. [more inside]
posted by gracedissolved on Mar 31, 2012 - 60 comments

The Ethnic Aisle

The Ethnic Aisle discusses race and multiculturalism in Toronto. Their current "issue" is about Hair. [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Mar 27, 2012 - 4 comments

"Before we let you take over our city we will burn it down first,"

Emotions ran high (video) as city and state leaders met to work out a deal to address Detroit's looming budget crisis. The threat of state imposition of an emergency financial manager has some residents fearful of the ulterior motives of state officials: [more inside]
posted by ferdinand.bardamu on Mar 27, 2012 - 26 comments

"Stick to the book, dude"

In the book version of The Hunger Games, the tributes Rue and Thresh from District 11 are described as having "dark brown skin." In the film version of The Hunger Games, Rue and Thresh are played by Amandla Stenberg and Dayo Okeniyi, who are both black. However, a surprising number of fans (presumably the same ones who complained when Idris Elba played Heimdall in Thor - previously) are upset that black people were cast in these roles rather than the white people they imagined. Hunger Games Tweets provides continuing coverage of whatever the hell these people were thinking.
posted by mightygodking on Mar 26, 2012 - 313 comments

Slavery's Last Stronghold

Although officially abolished in 1981, slavery still exists in Mauritania. CNN Special Report includes a twenty-two minute video and offers a look inside a country where an estimated 10 - 20% are still enslaved.
posted by gman on Mar 19, 2012 - 59 comments

Why the Racist History of the Charter School Movement Is Never Discussed

Touted as the cure for what ails public education, charter schools have historical roots that are rarely discussed. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Mar 15, 2012 - 38 comments

"If I had just kept walking...."

The Chicago Reader's current cover story, "The Color of His Skin," (parts 1 and 2,) revisits the murder of a black man on Chicago's South Side in 1970 by a gang of white teens. Last September, a similar article by the same author, "The Price of Intolerance," (parts 1 and 2,) examined an incident from 1971, in which a twelve year old boy and thirteen year old girl were killed.
posted by zarq on Mar 7, 2012 - 3 comments

Our Black Year.

"So I'm literally walking around and talking to people, "Is there a black-owned restaurant, or a black-owned dry cleaner?" and folks are looking at me like I'm insane. And if I didn't know this, I'm sure that folks outside the black community don't have this as part of their reality or part of their picture for black America. When we talk about black people, the black situation, problems in the black community, you know, we start with, "Black kids are least likely to graduate from school; black unemployment is four times higher than the national average," all these numbers. But why can't we include that over 90 percent of businesses in the black community are not owned by black people or local residents? If we were to add that to the conversation, maybe folks would say, "Oh, well no wonder things are so bad there," and start thinking about things in a different way instead of allowing those awful numbers to be a reflection of our propensities. Why is it that my people are just supposed to be the perpetual consumer class, and everyone else is supposed to benefit from our money?"

posted by empath on Feb 23, 2012 - 174 comments

The Craziest Magazine Ever

The Police Gazette had it all: misogyny, violence, racism, and venereal disease. It was yellow journalism concentrated into its purest form (SL Cracked List).
posted by reenum on Feb 21, 2012 - 55 comments

"Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes."

Let me introduce you to Kai Davis and her poem "Truth" (NSFW); a powerful commentary, on racism and perceived intelligence, which has been quietly circulating the web since December 2011. While the poet herself does not seem to have a web page, Davis' slam poetry is being noticed in slam poetry circles as well as on Tumblr. [more inside]
posted by DisreputableDog on Jan 27, 2012 - 74 comments

Storm in a tea state

Shakespeare's The Tempest banned by Arizona schools
posted by Artw on Jan 17, 2012 - 131 comments

White girls are broke like *this*...

I walk up to "2 Broke Girls" co-creator Michael Patrick King, offer my hand and say, "Mr. King, I'm sorry things got so ugly there, but I wanted to say that it came from a place where a lot of us in the room like the parts of your show involving Kat and Beth, and want the rest of the show to live up to that." King, stone-faced, silently turns and walks off the stage.
posted by no regrets, coyote on Jan 11, 2012 - 118 comments

"SO GHETTO!"

Shit White Girls Say...to Black Girls (SLYT)
posted by overeducated_alligator on Jan 4, 2012 - 251 comments

Justice deferred

Eighteen years after the death of Stephen Lawrence, Gary Dobson and David Norris have been found guilty of his murder. [more inside]
posted by calico on Jan 3, 2012 - 49 comments

Charlie Chan: The (Not Entirely) Fictional Chinese Detective

Charlie Chan is more than a fictional character created the author Earl Derr Biggers, or the star of 50 movies (played by 8 different actors). His origin goes beyond the illiterate Chinese-Hawaiian detective with a bull whip instead of a pistol (previously). Charlie Chan is more than racial stereotypes and yellow-face. A part of his far-reaching story is told inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 23, 2011 - 19 comments

Poverty and Race in America

Article suggests that we need to reassess our assumptions about the relationship between poverty and race. Following the article published in Forbes magazine dealing with poor black kids, this article brings up the question about poor whites and how invisible they have become.
posted by RedShrek on Dec 20, 2011 - 38 comments

"Furtive Movements"

Young, black, and frisked by the NYPD: a grim rite of passage for the city's black and Latino youths.
posted by hermitosis on Dec 19, 2011 - 242 comments

Never go with a cultist to a second location

Alan Moore talks about HP Lovecraft, The Courtyard and Neonomicon (audio)
posted by Artw on Dec 17, 2011 - 39 comments

The S-T period to the I-D-E to the S!

In 1991, Ice Cube was a force of nature. The idea that he could someday star in Are We There Yet? was inconceivable. Still, commercialism wasn't foreign to him. He shilled St. Ides malt liquor as furiously as he called out the police.
St. Ides, manufactured by Pabst Brewing Company, targeted young black people. They built an advertising strategy around rappers and hired DJ Pooh to produce beats and commercials. Rappers responded with zeal. [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on Dec 2, 2011 - 83 comments

Racist rant on London tram leads to arrest

A woman has been arrested after a swearing, racist rant (YouTube) on a tram in Croydon, London trended on Twitter. Daily Mail reports with comments switched off, far right EDL member declares her a patriot to be proud of. Satire site The Daily Mash weighs in sardonically.
posted by TheophileEscargot on Nov 29, 2011 - 202 comments

...so we need to move away from the tonsils paradigm of race discourse towards the dental hygiene paradigm of race discourse...

"How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race". Recent talk from Jay Smooth presented at a local TED conference meet up at Hampshire College. Previously.
posted by catchingsignals on Nov 17, 2011 - 27 comments

That which does not kill us makes us stronger

> comp.basilisk - Frequently Asked Questions :: Is it just an urban legend that the first basilisk destroyed its creator?
Almost everything about the incident at the Cambridge IV supercomputer facility where Berryman conducted his last experiments has been suppressed and classified as highly undesirable knowledge. It's generally believed that Berryman and most of the facility staff died. Subsequently, copies of basilisk B-1 leaked out. This image is famously known as the Parrot for its shape when blurred enough to allow safe viewing. B-1 remains the favorite choice of urban terrorists who use aerosols and stencils to spray basilisk images on walls by night. But others were at work on Berryman's speculations...
[more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 6, 2011 - 88 comments

Erasing Hate

A reformed skinhead, Bryon Widner was desperate to rid himself of the racist tattoos that covered his face - so desperate that he turned to former enemies for help, and was willing to endure months of pain in a journey from racism to redemption. [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Oct 31, 2011 - 161 comments

Black Girl In Suburbia Documentary Trailer

A trailer for a documentary about the experiences of black girls growing up in the suburbs
posted by RedShrek on Oct 28, 2011 - 14 comments

Tacit racism and sexism

The Implicit Bias & Philosophy International Research Project brings together philosophers, psychologists, and policy professionals to study unconscious biases against members of stigmatized groups. The recommended reading page collects recent scholarly articles available for download. (Previously)
posted by painquale on Oct 4, 2011 - 10 comments

"this man has paid enough"

This week has seen a lot of discussion of the American criminal justice system and its failings, and a lot of concern about what can be done to fix it. In 1947, a working class black man looked like he was about to have the full weight of the system brought down on him for taking justice into his own hands. But after Chicago leftists - including labor unions, religious leaders, artists, civil rights activists & others - launched a movement, James Hickman was set free after an all-white jury, in a trial presided over by a white judge, failed to convict, and the DA chose not to re-try because of the magnitude of public support for Hickman. According to a review in The Nation, a new book tells the story in a way that turns the typical right-wing biases of the true crime genre on their head. [more inside]
posted by univac on Sep 22, 2011 - 11 comments

Baltimore Lead Study

An experiment done in the 1990s exposed children to various levels of lead. The lawsuit filed in 2001 by the parents of over 100 participants accuses the Kennedy Krieger Institute that the scientists knowingly used the kids as test subjects in toxic dust control study. [more inside]
posted by hat_eater on Sep 19, 2011 - 51 comments

I come late, and I mean to come humbly.

Deeply Embarrassed White People Talk Awkwardly About Race. 'Once I realized I was racist, it was, well, what am I going to do about it?' says Winn, a mild-mannered white guy in his 30s. 'That shifts the defensiveness.' [...] 'The test of how racist you are is not how many people of color you can count as friends,' I recall someone telling me—I can't remember who now. 'It's how many white people you're willing to talk to about racism.'
posted by shakespeherian on Sep 7, 2011 - 256 comments

Can't get to an Unfamiliar Moon when they won't even let you on the plane.

Vance Gilbert is, in his own words, "big in the music business like a barnacle is big in shipping". Performing solo with acoustic guitar, his original music (including songs about Old White Men, Gilligan and the planet Pluto) and some well-chosen covers, as well as his on-stage banter, have charmed audiences all over* for umpteen years. He has made a reply to CeeLo's infamous song, performed alongside Arlo Guthrie while having an attack of gout and in his spare time, he makes free-flying models of antique airplanes. But sadly, he has just gotten the most publicity of his career... as an unwilling participant in one airline's Security Theater. (Story picked up by The Consumerist, the Economist, and James Fallows at the Atlantic.) [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Aug 26, 2011 - 55 comments

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