Posts tagged racism

I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’ — not a word!…. Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.

Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson.

How Phil Robertson insulted African-Americans too

(via theweekmagazine)

No one was “singing the blues”? Just from the standpoint of knowing America’s musical history, this is wrong. There’s a reason the Blues (especially Delta Blues) is associated with a certain part of the country.

I guess B. B. King and hundreds if other Blues greats weren’t around in the 1950s. Oh, wait …

Why isn’t the government calling the LAX shooting “terrorism?”

Via shortformblog:

Strong, strong roundup on the aftermath of the LAX shooting. Bringing up valid points, it is indeed true that “Based on available information, Ciancia’s alleged actions amount to a textbook case of “terrorism” according to the US government’s own definitions.” I’m going to reiterate the question again, why isn’t the media or the government calling the shooting “terrorism?” It is an important question that bears answering. 

Yep. An interesting question. (Though the answer is probably quite predictable.)

Today in 1963 (todayin1963) on Twitter

Another great use of Twitter to retell history.

Via kohenari:

Cheerios has apparently decided to part ways with racists:

Who would have thought that breakfast cereal would trigger the latest racial battle line? In this case, a Cheerios ad much like every other homespun Cheerios ad — with a heart healthy message and loving family – ran into trouble from some commenters because of the kind of family it featured. Mom is white, dad is black and their cute little daughter is a mix of the both of them.

That’s it.

Cheerios had to disable comments on YouTube – I’m not going to repeat them but you can imagine the general witless racism with stereotypes about minorities and warnings of race-mixing as the end of civilization.

[…]

Camille Gibson, vice president of marketing for Cheerios, told Gawker, “Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad. At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families and we celebrate them all.”

I mean, honestly, the nerve of some companies! How dare they not kowtow to the absolute dregs of humanity?!

Let’s, all of us, buy Cheerios in support. 

From pritheworld:

Today on The World: The attention being paid to the two Tsarnaev brothers raises important questions about assimilation.

Researchers have found that immigrants who arrive here as children or teens often have a tough adjustment. If they came from a region beset by war, their challenges are even greater.

A fresh look at immigrant students and how they become Americans, next time on The World. 

This raises a very interesting—and controversial!—question: Can xenophobia “radicalize” minorities? 

My own experience, as a young immigrant (I came here when I was almost 10) suggests that this might be true. I was lucky, I spoke fluent English (my mother was an American who was living overseas when she married my father, a Bolivian). But it took me several years to acculturate to becoming “American” in the same way as my peers (I didn’t use contractions when I spoke for the first two years I was here, for example).

In the end, I was torn. Half of me set out to become as “American” as possible. I devoured American pop culture (to this day I have a firmer grasp of pop culture than my wife, a native Chicagoan, does). And so did many of my immigrant friends. And it was the little things that made the biggest difference. My friend Bay recounts how she didn’t feel “American” until she could order a veggie cheeseburger from a fast food restaurant (as an observant Israeli Jew, she ate kosher). 

But I also became ardently Bolivian, and probably in a way I might not have been had I stayed in Bolivia. I even remember in sixth grade being taunted and beat up by two class bullies (ironically, African-Americans) because of my foreignness. My response: I stood with my fists clenched and crying and started signing the Bolivian national anthem. For years, I would look away from the national flag at sporting events or graduation commencements when the anthem was sung. 

And so I’ve remained conflicted. I’ve had times when I’ve become much more American than Bolivian, and then times when the pendulum has shifted. And then there’s the fact that I have a state of Michigan tattoo. But I’m also lucky. I “look” “American” (unless you see my name written out, I could pass for a white American male pretty easily). I also speak with a fluent American (midwestern) accent. But I’m also really good at spotting accents and code switching. After all, my first task as a 10-year-old was to figure out how to fit in, how to assimilate, how to infiltrate mainstream culture. I got really good at it.

Hence, my first reaction when I started learning about the Tsarnaev brothers: I suspected that how they were treated by other Americans (both in their daily lives and—perhaps more importantly—in the broader media narrative) probably contributed to their radicalization. In the end, my personal gut feeling is that what the Tsarnaev boys did has more to do with their experience living in America than about their ethnic background.

What made them suspect him? He was running—so was everyone. The police reportedly thought he smelled like explosives; his wounds might have suggested why. He said something about thinking there would be a second bomb—as there was, and often is, to target responders. If that was the reason he gave for running, it was a sensible one. He asked if anyone was dead—a question people were screaming. And he was from Saudi Arabia, which is around where the logic stops. Was it just the way he looked, or did he, in the chaos, maybe call for God with a name that someone found strange?

The Saudi Marathon Man | The New Yorker

This is was racism looks like.

From shortformblog:

Today In Bad Ideas: Some guy named Brad Paisley recorded a song, with LL Cool J, talking about how hard it is to be a white man who just wants to wear the Confederate flag in peace. It’s called “Accidental Racist”, and you can find the (completely problematic) lyrics here. source

Here’s the thing that you just need to understand. The Confederate flag is a symbol of the Confederacy and what it stood for, not the traditions and values (like hospitality) of the South. 

The Confederate flag was adopted only by the Confederacy. It doesn’t predate the Confederacy, and it stopped being used with the fall of the Confederacy. In fact, the flag was only rarely used in the Confederacy; it was the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia (Robert E. Lee’s army) and only later became associated with the entire confederacy. In fact, the “Confederate flag” you’re familiar with was never the official flag of the Confederacy.

The flag had a renaissance of sorts much later. Much later. The flag began appearing during WWII on units with Southern histories. The first use of the Confederate “stars and bars” on a Southern state flag was as early as 1894: no surprise, it was Mississippi. But that means that Mississippians didn’t mind revoking their heritage (the Magnolia flag, which was carried into battle during the Civil War by Mississippi regiments). Georgia’s controversial Confederate flag wasn’t introduced until 1956.

My problem with the “it’s part of our history” argument is two-fold: (1) The history of Southern states extends much further back than the Confederacy, so I’m left wondering why that pivotal (and controversial) moment has become identified as the historical juncture that should define what “the South” is about. (2) The history of the Confederacy was extremely brief: it lasted less than five years. (By contrast, the Third Reich lasted more than twice as long, giving the Nazi flag a stronger claim to historical tradition.)

So we’re left with an interesting historical juxtaposition. The Confederate flag was not widely used within the Confederacy, but is clearly identified with the Confederacy’s cause. And that flag had a boom in popularity starting in the 1950s. Coincidentally, the 1950s was the start of the modern US Civil Rights Movement. In other words, a symbol of the Confederacy (which will forever by identified with slavery) became popular in South at the same time as African-Americans began advocating for political and social equality.

Now you see why the Confederate flag is “controversial” (to say the least). It seems remarkable that people who want to defend their region’s rich cultural traditions and history (and they have many good reasons to do so, I should point out) have gravitated to a very particular symbol identified with racism. Attaching themselves to that symbol meant jettisoning historical state flags (where was the reverence for history then?) and doing so at the same time as Jim Crow and segregation was being challenged in the South.

Perhaps it’s because I’m just a “carpetbagger” (as I’m sure many of my students think), but I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone who—once confronted with the sheer historical narrative of that flag—would continue to embrace it. Waving a Confederate flag around is a clear sign that either (1) you don’t like black people very much, (2) you are in favor of violent overthrow of the US federal government, or (3) you really don’t care if people think you believe in the first two options or not. 

EDIT: And please don’t even get me started on people in northern states that embrace the Confederate flag. When I see the “stars and bars” in Indiana, I know exactly what it means.

Via newsweek:

From wbez:

verosays:

This is what structural racism looks like. 
Chicago, we have to do better.

Media criticism done on a napkin.

Via newsweek:

From wbez:

verosays:

This is what structural racism looks like. 

Chicago, we have to do better.

Media criticism done on a napkin.

From pritheworld:

Where there’s an economic crisis, you can bet that the mutterings of neo-Nazi  extremism will follow. That, says Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff, is what’s going on in Greece at the moment with the increasing popularity of the far right political party Golden Dawn. It was super fringe until June when Golden Dawn won 18 seats in the Greek Parliament. How, you ask? The blame game, of course. On Thursday, during a session of Parliament, a member of Golden Dawn managed to get “fatherland”, “sub-human”  and “diseases” in a single sentence as she attacked immigrants’ rights.

Yep.

From pritheworld:

Where there’s an economic crisis, you can bet that the mutterings of neo-Nazi  extremism will follow. That, says Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff, is what’s going on in Greece at the moment with the increasing popularity of the far right political party Golden Dawn. It was super fringe until June when Golden Dawn won 18 seats in the Greek Parliament. How, you ask? The blame game, of course. On Thursday, during a session of Parliament, a member of Golden Dawn managed to get “fatherland”, “sub-human”  and “diseases” in a single sentence as she attacked immigrants’ rights.

Yep.

This is lots of different kinds of awesome.

From mona-tomic:

In response to the racist/islamophobic ads that have recently come up;

The MYG of the ICSC presents:

My Jihad Is…