Posted by Jack Stephens on October 12, 2008
Macon D. blogs on a small movie called “Fireproof”:
And what are these black folks talking so straight about with the two white protagonists? Love, baby, nothin’ but love, and especially, how to fix it. Which is, again, what makes them “Magical Negroes.” Black folks, you see, are supposedly closer to their emotions, and even to the spirit world. So when white folks in movies need help in those areas, they often reach out to conveniently located black folks for help.
This white American fantasy about convenient dark friends has actually been going on for a long, long time. The history of stock, stereotypical non-white characters that conjure up and appeal to white American emotions is long and varied, including Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom and his many Stepin Fetchit descendants; the blackface minstrelsy tradition; comforting imagery on food products; ridiculous and offensive sports mascots; and assorted loyal sidekicks, like James Fenimore Cooper’s Chingachgook, Herman Melville’s Queequeg, and the Lone Ranger’s Tonto (who, by the way, is about to be exhumed by . . . Johnny Depp?!).
Posted in Black Issues, Cinema, Contemporary Racism, Whiteness | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on October 8, 2008
Indira Dammu blogs:
It’s not often that we get a perfect demonstration of white privilege and what it entails. Sure, we talk about it in classes but it’s a difficult concept to grasp. Here’s Tim Wise with a great piece on white privilege and how Sarah Palin benefits from it…
To be sure, Palin’s gender has led to unfair scrunity, particularly with regards to her ability to juggle both a career and motherhood. By the same token, however, her race has allowed to escape an even harsher examination.
Posted in White Privilege | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on October 6, 2008
Alex Felipe writes on what he thinks is the biggest problem facing the Philippines today:
Poverty drives the sex trade. Poverty results in less children going to school. Poverty has a clear link to poor health. And poverty spurs rebellion to the existing order—called “terrorism” by the ruling class—which then results in violent government repression of that rebellion.
Posted in Capitalism, Class, International | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on October 3, 2008
Ms. Krish blogs:
It wasn’t always like this. From 1998 to 2003, female rappers such as Lauryn Hill, Eve, and Missy Elliott were among the genre’s most bankable artists. But nearly all of their successors — including Lil Mama, Kid Sister, Ms Dynamite, and Jean Grae — have struggled to connect with listeners. And it’s harder than ever to launch new talent. ‘‘Hair and makeup is killing female hip-hop,” says a source. ”The grooming cost to break a female rapper versus a male rapper is 10 times as much per appearance. That tends to have an adverse effect on a record company’s willingness to even entertain a female rapper.”
So let me get this straight: there aren’t any women MCs out there because they don’t want to foot the bill for a glam squad? But, somehow, Hollywood tends to make a killing suiting and booting these white girls while their careers, talented or not, skyrocket?
Posted in Contemporary Racism, Corporations, Male Supremacy, Media, Racism, White Supremacy, Women of Color | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on October 1, 2008
Maria Brumm hosts the latest Carnival of Feminists:
Welcome to the 65th biweekly showcase of the feminist blogosphere! Here’s just a taste of what’s inside:
Owning privilege is not about feeling ashamed, it is about acknowledging the benefits that one receives without having to work for them.
And now today an excited colleague announced that he had just discovered this totally new concept on the internet: white privilege! Even though I’ve been teaching the idea for over a decade, and it’s even discussed in our textbook, it was news to him.
Not a lesbian, not homosexual, but ‘gay’ with such venom I swear her eyes turned red, smoke came charging out of her ears and she was probably trying to get god to strike me down to hell where I stood.
Given that, one would have to wonder, what would a chimp do with human breasts?
Posted in Carnival, Feminism | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on September 27, 2008
Michelle Goldberg blogs (with video):
In 2005, the Kenyan preacher Thomas Muthee stood on the stage of Alaska’s Wasilla Assembly of God and called on Christians to take over the world’s economic system. “The Bible says that the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous. It’s high time that we have top Christian businessmen, businesswomen, bankers, you know, who are men and women of integrity running the economics of our nations,” he said, his remarks captured in recently unearthed video footage. Then he continued: “If you look at the – you know – if you look at the Israelites, that’s how they work. And that’s how they are, even today.”
It’s seems pretty clear that Muthee was alluding to Jewish control over global finance. But if Sarah Palin objected, she certainly didn’t show it when, a few minutes later, she joined him on stage. There, as she bowed her head and turned her palms toward heaven, Muthee laid hands on her and beseeched God to pump money into her gubernatorial campaign coffers.
Posted in Anti-Semitism, Christianity | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on September 21, 2008
It was Marx who had analyzed the phenomenon of capitalism when it was still nascent- foretelling its demise not so much because it was his wish, but pointing out that that the system is inherently unstable and full of contradictions. The Marxist conception of the State as an expression of class power is again vindicated by the manner in which the federal governments in leading capitalist countries- the US, UK, Japan, Australia and even the puny India- has stepped into the rescue and “buy” back sunk investments. It suits these governments to step out of business activities when it suits the latter, and step in when it suits them too, that is having the cake and eat it too! Noam Chomsky once called the US (that’s true of most capitalist countries) – socialism for the rich.
This of course, is not unprecedented. Again it was Marx (or Engels) who commented in the preface to the second edition of Das Capital, that the crisis of the capitalism system of production (not to say of distribution) is inherent because while production grows in geometrical progression, markets expand only in an arithmetic progression. Since then, the web of conflicts and contractions within the capitalist system has only grown more complex.
Posted in Capitalism, Globalization, Government, International, Marxism | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on September 18, 2008
The Divine Ms. Jimmi blogs:
Things like the special Olympics, Variety Club events, The Cure-A-Crip Telethon or some other fluffy piece about someone trying to overcome their disability (has it worked, are ya not disabled anymore?) gets big press. When people with disabilities take to the streets and say that the system is broken, we don;t want to live in your shitty institutions because the sight of us bothers you or that we want our rights along with choiuces that the mainstream public takes advantage of everyday–suddenly, we’re not so cute and inspirational.
Posted in Disability Issues, Media | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on September 17, 2008
Yolanda Charley, recently won the title of Miss. Navajo Nation. I am normally against beauty contests, as I see them as nothing more than the performance of femininity for the male gaze. The Miss Navajo Nation is like no other pageant I have ever come across.
What I love about this contest is that it is more than women parading around with fake smiles, with their bathing suits taped to their skin, to avoid being swallowed by their asses. Miss Navajo is about celebration, and the perpetuation of culture.
Posted in First People Issues, Woman Issues, Women of Color | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on September 14, 2008
The 64th Carnival of Feminists is up:
Come one, come all, to the 64th Carnival of Feminists! I’m your host, Earlgreyrooibos, and I’m thrilled to be presenting this cross-section of the feminist blogosphere to you! Happy reading!
Posted in Carnival, Feminism | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on September 12, 2008
The Angry Indian blogs on Native American news outlets:
We were never meant to be a part of the colonial system and I find it embarrassing that those who are chosen to represent us do not have the courage to speak about this in real, coherent and tangible terms. Instead, we talk of what it like for Indians to be a part of the DNC and RNC conventions and who got to speak before large crowds and which “tribe” will adopt a candidate who in the end will do absolutely nothing for our people but keep us in our respective place at the bottom of the U.S. totem pole. And we ask ourselves why we get so little respect.
Posted in First People Issues, Media, White Supremacy | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on September 11, 2008
Miss Kristia, of Doorknockers, blogs:
The most difficult contradiction to face is that even if Obama makes 1.5-2 things better for some people of color in America, we know that he is nothing but a flyer, better-dressed, younger face to the New World Order AKA the same ol’ American Empire that has been running shit for the past several hundred years.
Posted in Capitalism, Government, Imperialism | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on September 9, 2008
Kristin Bricker blogs:
Mexican journalist Gloria Muñoz Ramírez says that in 1997 she left her work, her family, and her friends to live in Zapatista communities. Her book The Fire and the Word: A History of the Zapatista Movement is the result of seven years of research, interviews, and—most importantly—listening in Zapatista territory.
Originally published in Spanish as 20 y 10: El Fuego y la Palabra in 2003 for the tenth anniversary of the Zapatista uprising and the twentieth anniversary of the EZLN, the book has since been translated into French, Italian, German, Turkish, Persian, and Greek. While English-speakers had to wait five long years to read it, Muñoz made The Fire and the Word worth the wait. The English translation updates the Spanish version, including new chapters and pictures of Zapatista history up through the Other Campaign in 2006.
Posted in Class, History, Literature, Marxism | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on September 6, 2008
Katrina vanden Heuvel blogs:
We join with you in condemning the arrest and harassment of Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and members of her crew on the first day of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. These arrests were a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists and an assault on our constitution.
Goodman was arrested for simply questioning police about the unlawful detention of producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar who were covering street demonstrations in St. Paul. All three were roughly handled.
Posted in Government, Media, Police Brutality | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on September 5, 2008
Angry Asian Man blogs:
Kimchi Mamas first blogged about this a couple of weeks ago… What kind of messed up nonsense is this? This Mother Goose and Grimm comic strip is a couple of weeks old, but dude, what the hell? Come on! Really? They really had to go there with the idiotic Korean dog-eating joke?
Posted in Asian Issues, Contemporary Racism | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on September 3, 2008
Radical means open: to new understandings, to new perspectives, to new awareness, and the valuing of self-examination and critique. White Men’s Conservatism and White Men’s Liberalism are closed systems of thought the boundaries of which their ideologues refuse to acknowledge, identify, or name. Radicalism, as a social-political perspective, here means not closed. It means open to learning more. Not assuming I know it all. Not assuming anyone does.
Posted in Male Supremacy, Radicalism, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 31, 2008
Mia, at Black Looks, blogs:
My name is Mia Nikasimo. As a volunteer for Changing Attitudes at the Lambeth Conference I found myself in an opportune position to reflect from a translesbian (i.e. a transsexual woman who identifies as a lesbian not to be confused with above or beyond “lesbians,” or a transgender man) standpoint on the Anglican Communion and attempts to exclude the LGBTI.
I have purposely mentioned my trans status here because “transgender” as an umbrella term (for transsexual female, male, sister, brother, mothers, fathers any of the following might choose to cross dress, are intersexed, queer, kings, drag queens and more) can easily loose ones identity in the mix and because I can only share this reflection as a translesbian in the full awareness that some, like my LGBTI African brothers, sisters cannot. As the founder of an online support group call Transafro I aim to give voice to our various narratives Anglicans or otherwise, to promote, empower and raise consciousness in Africa, the Diaspora and allies.
Posted in Christianity, International, LGBTQI Issues | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 28, 2008
Margari Aziza Hill blogs on white privilege in society:
Some individuals have striven so hard to be accepted and to succeed in majority white environments may find themselves transformed with little vestiges of their original self. Others, I know, feel disingenuous as they wear different masks for different people. It is interesting how this plays out in many different environments. Even in the Muslim community, whether on college campuses or in my local area, I find myself shape shifting make people comfortable with me as a Black woman. It is something I do almost instinctually, because this is how I’ve been able to survive in the broader society, in both the corporate world and academia. When I do fall into my normal speech patterns or topics of conversation, I am either very aware or made aware that what I say and how I say things has made my others uncomfortable. This reminds me of the backlash against PC (often by privileged white males).
Posted in Black Issues, People of Color, White Privilege, White Supremacy | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 26, 2008
So my beef with these guys is not that they make structural critique, it’s that they seem bound to a set of strategies that just haven’t gotten us anywhere. Again, I need to hear about something else besides Affirmative Action and a vague notion of social justice. And then I’d like to see it pitched in such a way that it makes the broader country see their own interest in our interest. That’s not merely crass politics–I actually believe that Jim Crow was ultimately bad for the broader country, not just for black people. I don’t think boom in prisons is a good thing for any American of any color.
Posted in Affirmative Action/Reservations, Black Issues, Contemporary Racism, Government, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 22, 2008
Eugene Cho, pastor of Quest Church in Seattle, blogs about the Spanish Basketball team’s picture in where they slant their eyes as an “affectionate gesture” toward their Chinese hosts:
I’m in no position to judge any of the individuals or players involved as racists. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and I certainly do in this situation; Truthfully, I also really like Pau Gasol and Jose Calderon as NBA players…I intend to draft both of them for my fantasy basketball teams in the upcoming season. But having said that, I have no problems with calling the ACT racist. While the intent may have been to demonstrate an “affectionate gesture,” let’s make this very clear: slitting or slanting your eyes is NOT an affectionate gesture. You don’t mock physical appearance because you think it’s affectionate.
Posted in Asian Issues, Contemporary Racism, International, Racism | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 20, 2008
Canadians are too polite to tell the gooks to go home, that just wouldn’t seem right.
It does, however, seem to be ok to tell them to “integrate” with “our culture” or else “Canada should reject that person as a potential Canadian citizen.”
A recent Toronto Star article titled “Sure we have rights, but what about duties?” by
Posted in Contemporary Racism, International, Media, White Supremacy | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 19, 2008
Montreal-North is burning. After the murder of Fredy Villenueva by the Montreal Police (SPVM), and the riots which broke out to express the people’s anger, the community of Montreal-North remains angry. The time has come to organize a social and political offensive against the local elites who are trying to cover up this state of affairs.
Montréal-Nord Republik (Montreal North Republik) is a new voice in the neighbourhood. It intends to put forward another view of the recent events around the death of Fredy Villanueva and the riots which took place in Montreal North. The group also intends to dispute the dominant discourse which is insinuating that the rioters and protesters are just apolitical hooligans. Montréal-Nord Republik hopes to bring together the neighbourhood community along with all the population of Montreal in order to denounce police repression as well as economic, social, cultural and political oppression.
Posted in Class, Government, International, People of Color, Police Brutality, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 18, 2008
Last year around this time Nobel Prize laureate, James Watson, shocked the scientific community with his ludicrous claim that race is a scientific category.
Watson, you may remember, won the Nobel Prize for his research that led (in part) to the ‘discovery’ of DNA.
So, it is October again. Now comes a report that Akhil Bakshi, a fellow of the prestigious Royal Geographic Society and celebrity photographer, is pushing the preposterous claim “that blacks, whites and Asians have different ape ancestors.”
Posted in Contemporary Racism, International, Racism, White Supremacy | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 18, 2008
First, the author notes that she was expelled from high school for truancy. Yet none of the vitriolic responses chastise her for “not valuing education” or “not finishing school” or “not having parents who knew the value of hard work.” All of these sentiments are expressed. However, they are all directed towards black people.
Second, she believes that she has not experienced privilege. One of the main ways privilege functions is through its invisibility. I was thinking about this recently because of a white friend who had been stopped by the police while carrying a large amount of an illegal substance. He wasn’t arrested. Rather, the police officer scattered the drug and told him to stay out of trouble.
And this is one of the ways in which I believe privilege functions. White people give other white people the benefit of the doubt, maybe even when it’s not deserved.
Posted in Class, White Privilege | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 16, 2008
I am really uncomfortable with how a lot of vegan cooking is described as “exotic” (to whom?). It assumes so much about the audience racially & culturally, & as well is loaded with really creepy connotations — the exotic is there to be conquered, mastered; it’s there purely to titillate your (white/Western/etc.) self (which also implies that white people have no culture — a convenient excuse used by people participating in cultural appropriation, but not actually true). It’s a “safe” way to imagine you’re experiencing other cultures without, you know, having to do that pesky thing known as actually engaging with the people whose cultures you’re attempting to eat via their food.
Posted in Commodification, Contemporary Racism, White Supremacy | 1 Comment »