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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
"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
, 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
posted by matteo
on Jun 1, 2005 -
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 -
"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
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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.
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 -
"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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
"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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -