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The Two Americas

Last September, a Category 5 hurricane battered the small island of Cuba with 160-mile-per-hour winds. More than 1.5 million Cubans were evacuated to higher ground ahead of the storm. Although the hurricane destroyed 20,000 houses, no one died. What is Cuban President Fidel Castro's secret? According to Dr. Nelson Valdes, a sociology professor at the University of New Mexico, and specialist in Latin America, "the whole civil defense is embedded in the community to begin with. People know ahead of time where they are to go. Cuba's leaders go on TV and take charge," said Valdes... "Merely sticking people in a stadium is unthinkable.. Shelters all have medical personnel, from the neighborhood. They have family doctors in Cuba, who evacuate together with the neighborhood, and already know, for example, who needs insulin." They also evacuate animals and veterinarians, TV sets and refrigerators, "so that people aren't reluctant to leave because people might steal their stuff," Valdes observed.

The Two Americas. See also A Nation's Castaways, 'To Me, It Just Seems Like Black People Are Marked' & White Man's Burden
posted by y2karl on Sep 4, 2005 - 69 comments

The Matrix shatters in New Orleans

The Matrix shatters before the eyes of the nation (sorry, WMP link) -- and on Fox News! For those old enough to remember, it's so significant that Geraldo Rivera says of conditions in the New Orleans Convention Center, "it's like Willowbrook in there." (Rivera became famous in 1972 by exposing the horrendous conditions in a home for the mentally retarded called Willowbrook; finally, after decades of degrading himself, he remembers what his job is.) And Slate's Jack Shafer on "the rebellion of the talking heads" -- the refusal of reporters on the ground in New Orleans to regurgitate the official spin. [via TalkLeft]
posted by digaman on Sep 3, 2005 - 100 comments

Photographers respond to New Orleans racial bias photos

Looting vs Finding Chris Graythen, an AFP photographer in New Orleans (skip down to his post) who shot the photo of two white people "finding" goods in the floodwaters, defends his caption. "These people were not ducking into a store and busting down windows to get electronics. They picked up bread and cokes that were floating in the water." Meanwhile, the editor for the photog of the "looting" image says that he actually saw the looting occur. "'He saw the person go into the shop and take the goods,' Stokes said, 'and that's why he wrote 'looting' in the caption.'"
posted by Brian James on Sep 1, 2005 - 48 comments

Racial profiling to end Toronto gun violence?

Racial profiling to end Toronto gun violence? Michael Thompson, a black city councillor, says police should be allowed to "target" young black men at random as part of a crackdown on guns. The mayor, police, and public collectively go, "Whaaaa!?"
posted by Robot Johnny on Aug 16, 2005 - 31 comments

...trying to benefit politically from racial polarization...

Neo-Nazis and Minutemen --What's going on, of course, is that the Minutemen provide an ideal opportunity for white racists to "mainstream" their agenda, using the relatively benign "average citizens" that Lou Dobbs exclusively observes in their ranks as just so much cover. "Illegal immigration" has become a hot-button wedge campaign issue for the GOP in 06, and the latest incarnation of their "Southern Strategy" (now called "wrong", but still very much in evidence)
posted by amberglow on Aug 9, 2005 - 118 comments

Stamping out preconceived images

Postage stamps with a side of race baiting. The Mexican postal service released a series of five stamps today featuring a 1940's era cartoon of a fat lipped jug eared negro child, known for his hapless adventures, and his Aunt Jemima (classic edition, not modern sassy Jemima) mother.
posted by jonson on Jun 29, 2005 - 28 comments

“White folks need to get over their fear of being called a racist.”

“White folks need to get over their fear of being called a racist.” Oh the things you hear at the College Republicans' National Convention.
posted by expriest on Jun 24, 2005 - 72 comments

The Senate Apologizes For Its Historical Inaction In Regards To Lynching

About Lynching
The Negro Holocaust: Lynching and Race Riots in the United States,1880-1950
Lynching in America: Carnival of Death
The Press and Lynchings of African Americans
U.S. Senate apologizes for shame of lynchings
On a voice vote and without opposition, the Senate passed a resolution expressing its regrets to the nearly 5,000 Americans -- mostly black males -- ...documented as having been lynched from 1880 to 1960. No lawmaker opposed the measure, but 20 of the 100 senators had not signed a statement of support of it shortly before a vote was taken on a nearly empty Senate floor.
posted by y2karl on Jun 13, 2005 - 135 comments

"We could make this great land of ours a greater place to live"

"Approximately 250,000 persons viewed and passed by the bier of little Emmett Till. All were shocked, some horrified and appalled. Many prayed, scores fainted and practically all, men, women and children wept". Chicago Defender, September 1, 1955.
Federal officials this morning erected a white tent over the grave of Emmett Till in Alsip, Ill., in preparation to exhume the body to shed light on the Chicago teenager's death 50 years ago. Till, 14 years old at the time, was killed in a hate crime in Money, Miss., that sparked the Civil Rights movement. (previous Emmett Till MeFi threads here and here)
posted by matteo on Jun 1, 2005 - 5 comments

...people who feel the broader culture has given them a green light to act on their basest hate and fears....

Creating A Climate for Cross Burnings --the recent reappearance of this horrifying relic of the bad old days of the South, supposedly gone, have many wondering. Now where do you think small-change bigots would get the idea that public expressions of racism and intolerance are ok?
posted by amberglow on May 28, 2005 - 105 comments

black naturalization ceremony

How I Became a Black American "I became a black American long before I acquired American citizenship. . . . I was not eager, upon my arrival to the United States, to assert a black American identity. My parents had taught me "better" than that. But I became a black American anyway. Before I freely embraced that identity it was ascribed to me. This ascription is part of a broader social practice wherein all of us are made intelligible via racial categorization."
posted by caddis on May 20, 2005 - 81 comments

SAMMY: "That's democracy?"

"I am an American, so that is why I make films about America. America is sitting on our world, I am making films that have to do with America (because) 60% of my life is America. So I am in fact an American, but I can't go there to vote, I can't change anything. We are a nation under influence and under a very bad influence… because Mr. Bush is an asshole and doing very idiotic things."
Lars Von Trier introduces his new film at the Cannes Film Festival: «Manderlay» picks up where «Dogville» left off, with the character originated by Nicole Kidman -- now played by Bryce Dallas Howard -- stumbling onto a plantation that time forgot, where slavery still operates in the 1930s. The film (5 MB .pdf file, official pressbook) ends, as Dogville did, with David Bowie’s Young Americans played over a photomontage of images that range from a Ku Klux Klan meeting to the Rodney King beating, George Bush at prayer and Martin Luther King at his final rest, American soldiers in Vietnam and the Gulf, the Twin Towers. More inside.
posted by matteo on May 16, 2005 - 69 comments

Rebecca Protten and the origins of African American Christianity.

Rebecca's Revival. Rebecca Protten, born a slave in 1718, gained her freedom and joined a group of proselytizers from the Moravian Church. She embarked on an itinerant mission, preaching to hundreds of the enslaved Africans of St. Thomas, West Indies. Weathering persecution from hostile planters, Protten and other black preachers created the earliest African Protestant congregation in the Americas. University of Florida historian Jon Sensbach has written a book about Protten's life -- the interracial marriage, the trial on charges of blasphemy and inciting of slaves, the travels to Germany and West Africa. Later in her life, after she moved to Germany, Rebecca was ordained as a deaconess: "a former slave now administered Communion and practiced other claims to spiritual authority over white women, including European aristocrats." More inside.
posted by matteo on May 15, 2005 - 4 comments

title.

blacks and whites agree: black people are scary! Scientists measured the amygdala response in white and african-american subjects when shown expressionless white and black faces. Interestingly, when paired with the words "African American" the response didn't register.
posted by delmoi on May 11, 2005 - 20 comments

"People paid for their tickets to see a monkey and so I did it"

The shame in spain - thought provoking article about racism in la Liga.
posted by triv on May 9, 2005 - 15 comments

Unconscious Racist Reviews

"I don't think I saw one white person besides the people in my girl scout troop..." and other unconscious racist reviews about Atlanta, Georgia. Don't believe me? Just ask Chiquita, she'll direct you away from all those filty, dirty, unworthy homeless people (but hey, if you're gay and do not prefer those club going Queens then A-town is for you, playa)!
posted by Hands of Manos on Apr 27, 2005 - 99 comments

A veritable flood of information awaits

Vanport was once Oregon's 2nd largest town. Built by shipbuilder Henry Kaiser during World War II to accommodate his workers, Vanport was the first Oregon city to house black Americans in significant numbers. (Blacks had a rough time in Oregon, even being legally prohibited to enter the state via the state constitution's exclusion law).
The city of Vanport was destroyed by a flood in 1948, displacing more than 18,000 citizens. Of these, over 25% were black. Although the city was never rebuilt, Vanport was Oregon's catalyst into racial integration and enlightenment. And dams.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies on Apr 18, 2005 - 19 comments

The Fight for Immigrant Rights

Suburban sweatshops. Jorge Bonilla is hospitalized with pneumonia from sleeping at the restaurant where he works, unable to afford rent on wages of thirty cents an hour. Domestic worker Yanira Juarez discovers she has labored for six months with no wages at all; her employer lied about establishing a savings account for her.
In 1992, Fordham law professor Jennifer Gordon founded the Workplace Project to help immigrant workers in the underground suburban economy of Long Island, New York. She has written a book ,"Suburban Sweatshops", to describe the experiences of these immigrants. More inside.
posted by matteo on Mar 15, 2005 - 14 comments

Sarah Robert's long walk

Sarah Roberts vs. Boston In 1848, five-year-old Sarah Roberts was barred from the local primary school because she was black. Her father sued the City (.pdf file). The lawsuit was part of an organized effort by the African-American community to end racially segregated schools. The book "Sarah's Long Walk: The Free Blacks of Boston and How Their Struggle for Equality Changed America" tells the story of the case of Roberts v. City of Boston, that remains a little-known landmark in the civil rights movement.
posted by matteo on Feb 24, 2005 - 4 comments

"I'd rather play a maid than be one"

Call her Madame. Among the old-timers, the story went like this: a woman known to everyone as Madame came to California from Kentucky with her children and her husband. But once they were in the Gold Rush State, her husband left her. Desperate to find work, she introduced herself to a movie director named D. W. Griffith. He not only cast her in his movie, but the two became friends for life. And with this woman, called Madame Sul-Te-Wan, what we now call Black Hollywood began -- as a new book by historian Donald Bogle explains. (more inside)
posted by matteo on Feb 7, 2005 - 6 comments

All About Jack London

Jack London was a prolific writer best known for White Fang, The Call of the Wild and The Sea Wolf. However, he also wrote about his experiences as a hobo, a socialist and a journalist. While most biographies portray his life as vibrant and engaged, his legacy and arguable suicide has some troublesome baggage.
posted by sciurus on Feb 3, 2005 - 46 comments

"Nike asked us last month to join the anti-racism campaign".

Stand Up, Speak Up -- Against Racism (and for Nike) A new campaign against the ugly, very present problem of racism in the game of soccer, with soccer stars like Thierry Henry and Rio Ferdinand. An elegant (if more than a bit tame and unimaginative) new ad by Wieden+Kennedy. The campaign aims to encourage fans to wear interlocked black-and-white wristbands as a symbol of their stand against racism, which can be bought for €2, or £1.50 in the UK.
In every Nike store near you. (more inside)
posted by matteo on Feb 1, 2005 - 32 comments

Blackface

Blackface : From mainstream entertainment to (nearly?) being considered a hate crime. Do we still have 21st century minstrel shows? Can one "plainly see similarities between the insulting stereotypes acted out by blackface minstrels like Al Jolson in the 19th and early 20th century and today's actors who play exaggerated, cutesy roles of gay people in the 21st century" ? Here is a larger question: Is humor and ridicule a necessary first step down the path to eventual acceptance? Is that what Spike Lee is saying in Bamboozled or is he saying we haven't progressed as far as we think?
posted by spock on Jan 30, 2005 - 33 comments

Heyyyyy, a black man!!!

Two Johnny Carson Clips You Won't See on CNN This Week I remember seeing this (the first one) when it happened. But I must confess I missed the phrase "hang him." (via google video search Radosh.net)
posted by soyjoy on Jan 25, 2005 - 105 comments

Unforgiveable Dumbness

Weatherman fired for on-air MLK day racial slur. I hope someone has video because I wouldn't mind seeing this dood go out like a sucka.
posted by wbm$tr on Jan 17, 2005 - 106 comments

Folk the System!

Prussian Blue is a "white-power" band named after the color of the residue Zyklon-B leaves in a gas chamber. They do some originals, but mostly folk covers of neo-Nazi bands like Skrewdriver and RaHoWa. Oh, and they're twelve-year-old twin girls. (via Vice.)
posted by fungible on Nov 10, 2004 - 37 comments

Jim Crow Stories

Jim Crow Stories.
posted by plep on Nov 6, 2004 - 2 comments

Taking the Long View

Only in 1967 did Loving v. Virginia overturn vigorously-enforced laws against interracial marriage in these 15 states--Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Only in 1964 did the Civil Rights Act overturn laws against equal access to voting, public accommodation, and public education. Only in 1963 did the Equal Pay Act mandate that men and women be paid the same wage for the same work at the same job. History isn't a superhighway, leading us in straight lines toward utopia. We fall back and we move forward, but over the past fifty years, the United States has become considerably more inclusive and equality of access to opportunity has widened. Take a look at this article from the Atlantic Monthly in 1956--1956!--if you don't believe me.
posted by Sidhedevil on Nov 4, 2004 - 190 comments

No Race-Neutral Racism: Targeting African-Americans Is as Racist as it Looks

Racially-Based Suppression of the African-American Vote: The Role It May Play in the Upcoming Presidential Election What exactly is racially-based vote suppression? Simply defined, it is the targeting of potential voters, based on their race, in an attempt to suppress the exercise of their right to vote for the candidate of their choice.
posted by y2karl on Oct 30, 2004 - 34 comments

The Electoral Commission cites *me* as 'human'.

The racist American Election Thousands of [Florida] felons could get to vote this November for one reason: They're Hispanic.
posted by dash_slot- on Sep 28, 2004 - 17 comments

Wearing the skin of the unthinkable

"Black Like me" : the notion of "Race" is know known to be scientifically meaningless, but now roll back the clock to 1959 : "...John Howard Griffin (1920-1980) was a true Renaissance man. Having fought in the French Resistance and been a solo observer on an island in the South Pacific during World War II, he became a critically-acclaimed novelist and essayist, a remarkable photographer and musicologist, and a dynamic lecturer and teacher. On October 28, 1959, after a decade of blindness and a remarkable and inexplicable recovery, John Howard Griffin dyed himself black and began an odyssey of discovery through the segregated American South. The result was Black Like Me, arguably the single most important documentation of 20th century American racism ever written....Because of Black Like Me, Griffin was personally vilified, hanged in effigy in his hometown, and threatened with death for the rest of his life."
posted by troutfishing on Sep 19, 2004 - 47 comments

Back to Spittle County for some Fudd...

Borat the Kazahk goes to a redneck bar. Something light to laugh at for Friday afternoon. (.wmv file) The main page is here, but it's funnier if you don't read the lyrics and wimpy disclaimer first.
posted by Mayor Curley on Aug 13, 2004 - 36 comments

Bush camp solicits race of Star staffer

Bush camp solicits race of Star staffer. President Bush's re-election campaign insisted on knowing the race of an Arizona Daily Star journalist assigned to photograph Vice President Dick Cheney.
The jounalist's name was Mamta Popat. She sure sounds like a terrorist.
posted by JeffK on Jul 31, 2004 - 30 comments

N-I-G-G-E-R

Cable channel Trio drops the N-bomb An original documentary, premiering tonight, takes a close look at a troublesome word.
posted by LinusMines on Jul 4, 2004 - 21 comments

mmm, swastikky

The British National Party discover Flash. Britons: remember to vote on Thursday to stop these guys getting their first European MP.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Jun 8, 2004 - 32 comments

Ebony & Ivory

Brown v Board of Education 50 years after a "landmark" decision not a lot seems to have changed in old Milwaukee.Via The Guardian
posted by johnny7 on May 15, 2004 - 5 comments

Third World Transition Program

Third World Transition Program. It's not a relief effort for resettled refugees - it's Brown University's pre-orientation forum "primarily for students of color." Brown President Ruth Simmons will apparently order TWTP to desegregate, but the organization will continue to invite only "students of color" - apparently self-identified from application forms - to participate. According to one student, the admittance of whites to TWTP "would change the level of comfort that's established." Another argued that whites would "compromise the program's integrity and mission." "I can't help laughing when a white person tells me that they understand and experience racism," adds a Brown Daily Herald columnist. But many TWTP alumni are also its harshest critics. "We were given advice on how to 'deal' with a white roommate," writes one student. "It fostered an 'us vs. them' mentality with white students on campus and directly and indirectly encouraged minority students to seek out friendships with students of color before white students arrived on campus." Another reports that him TWTP peers shunned him when he began reaching out to other campus groups because he "found people who I had more in common with than an ethnic background." When TWTP was founded 30 years ago, it certainly served a valuable purpose in a tumultuous and changing social environment. But how do mainstream folks wrest the debate from both the far left and far right, convince the organization that its harm outweighs its good, and urge it to reform itself from within and help unify rather than segregate the student body?
posted by PrinceValium on Mar 18, 2004 - 20 comments

Come here boy, and let me rub your head.

Charges of racism have been leveled against this president in the past. But this stunt even surprised me. Then I remembered a similar scene on the Capital steps. There hasn't been much media about it, so I'm wondering...is this a regional racism, such that it slid under the radar of the east and west coast news machines, or has the myth of rubbing the head of a black man for luck thankfully faded from the cultural unconscious?
posted by dejah420 on Mar 10, 2004 - 65 comments

US accdg to CA

A Californian's Conception of the Continental US. (Scroll down a bit for the funny fun.) In the tradition of the United States of my Racist Aunt, the World According to America, and perhaps the Aussie Projection. (Link via Anil.)
posted by brownpau on Feb 26, 2004 - 15 comments

Racism, alive and well

Corrine Brown shows us racism is alive and well in the US government.
posted by Plunge on Feb 26, 2004 - 49 comments

Strange Times

I feel like I have stepped through the looking glass.... first, we have the truly surprising but welcome sight of Michael Howard celebrating cultural diversity in Britain, then we have David Goodhart, editor of Prospect, apparently a magazine of the left, suggesting that perhaps we have quite enough immigrants in the UK for the moment, thank you. Goodhart's article is very provocative and very important, it's a debate that needs to be had and which has most certainly and entertainingly been joined by Trevor Phillips. I love a schism!
posted by Fat Buddha on Feb 24, 2004 - 11 comments

Police dog suspended for potential racism.

Police dog suspended for potential racism. It seems that for some time now, Dolpho, a police dog in Pennsylvania, has been singling out black children, which, in the eyes of officials is clearly a sign of racism, and they are calling for an end to his active duty -- not to mention an end to his life.
posted by poorhouse on Feb 4, 2004 - 34 comments

Child Molestation?

Child Molestation? Marcus Dixon, an 18-year-old Black high school honor student was recently convicted of child molestation, has been permanently expelled from high school, and is now serving 15 years in the George state prison for having consensual sex with a 15-year-old White girl. Even though he was acquitted of all forcible rape charges, the child molestation charge still earned him the long sentence. Racism? Mandatory minimums strike again?
posted by Bluecoat93 on Jan 14, 2004 - 60 comments

Vodou

Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou. 'Vodou is Haiti's mirror. Its arts and rituals reflect the difficult, brilliant history of seven million people, whose ancestors were brought from Africa to the Caribbean in bondage. In 1791 these Africans began the only successful national slave revolt in history. In 1804 they succeeded in creating the world's first Black republic: the only one in this hemisphere where all the citizens were free. Their success inspired admiration, fear and scorn in the wider world. Cut off from Euro-American support, Haitians managed to created their own dynamic "Creole" society-one rooted in Africa but responsive to all that was encountered in their new island home.' History, theology and religious art.
Related :- an essay on the Vodou concept of soul, Voodoos and Obeahs on sacred-texts ('required reading if you want to understand the background of Haitian and Jamaican Vodun, and the profound influence of imperialism, slavery and racism on its development').
posted by plep on Jan 2, 2004 - 10 comments

And when is music a recruitment tool?

Music club caught in racist flap : After being promoted for many weeks, the plug is pulled on the Death In June/Der Blutharsch/Changes concert in Chicago for reasons of racism. Aside from Changes (which does support separatism), when does imagery go too far? Bruce Bottle of Chicago's The Empty Bottle explains the reasons why they cancelled the show, and opens up a can of worms in the process.
posted by starscream on Dec 17, 2003 - 28 comments

That was a strange year, I949.

Peekskill, 1949. "The mob was rolling toward us for the second attack. This was, in a way, the worst of that night. For one thing, it was still daylight; later, when night fell, our own sense of organization helped us much more, but this was daylight and they poured down the road and into us, swinging broken fenceposts, billies, bottles, and wielding knives..." Howard Fast's account of a terrifying evening that was supposed to be an outdoor concert near Peekskill, NY. You can think about the political implications ("...it illustrates how easily, when terror is unleashed in a nation, it can take hold, and how thin the line is that separates constitutional government from tyranny and dictatorship...") or just enjoy the riveting tale. (Related song and picture here.)
posted by languagehat on Dec 1, 2003 - 22 comments

The May 1970 Tragedy at Jackson State University:

The May 1970 Tragedy at Jackson State University: "Lest We Forget..." 'In the Spring of 1970, campus communities across this country were characterized by a chorus of protests and demonstrations. The issues were the escalation of the war in Vietnam and the U.S. invasion of Cambodia; the ecology; racism and repression; and the inclusion of the experiences of women and minorities in the educational system. No institution of higher education was left untouched by confrontations and continuous calls for change. '
'At Jackson State College in Jackson, Mississippi, there was the added issue of historical racial intimidation and harassment by white motorists traveling Lynch Street, a major thoroughfare that divided the campus and linked west Jackson to downtown ... '
posted by plep on Nov 22, 2003 - 16 comments

The New Global Paternalism: Fuck You!

Cyber-Coolies? Huh? Is There A New Globalization-Savvy Racism In the Air? I admit I was discomfited by this article - it seemed sly paternalistic and colonialist at best; racist if you read between the lines. Are these sort of attitudes going to ruin what the global telecommunications revolution has achieved? (Via should-know-better Arts and Letters Daily.)
posted by MiguelCardoso on Nov 6, 2003 - 58 comments

Black vs Black

Black sues black for racism. "Dwight Burch, a former [Applebee's] employee, accused his manager at the Jonesboro, Ga., restaurant of repeatedly referring to him as a 'tar baby' and 'Black monkey' during his three months at the restaurant." Here's the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission press release about the lawsuit (settled out of court for $40,000). The EEOC calls the case "rare"; BET says it's "increasingly common". But wait a minute: since black males make it a point to call each other "nigger", how can you tell self-deprecating camaraderie from self-loathing colorism?
posted by 111 on Aug 16, 2003 - 68 comments

Hate on display.

Hate on display. The Anti-Defamation League has a visual database of symbols devised or co-opted by neo-Nazis and supremacist groups worldwide, as well as numbers and acronyms with racist connotations. Although most of us know what 88 means, there's also info about others such as the communist-separatist American Front and the Five Percenters. More neo-Nazi flags here; flags and badges here. Please remember: while racism is always immoral, symbols themselves can have several meanings.
posted by 111 on Jul 23, 2003 - 26 comments

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