Category Archives: racism

In support of #CancelColbert: why Stephen Colbert needs to make this right

In support of #CancelColbert: why Stephen Colbert needs to make this right

“I sent a few #CancelColbert tweets in solidarity, making it clear that racism (and ethnic insensitivity and Orientalism) is simply unacceptable. And I was most disheartened to receive several tweets and Facebook replies from black people defending the show. Though none of them used the word, the gist of many of the replies was to explain to me that the tweet was part of a satire — a satire meant to critique racism — and as such, the show shouldn’t be canceled, because Asian Americans were just being hypersensitive and overreacting to something designed actually to help.

How soon we forget!”

 

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Blame it on the internet

Blame it on the internet

“When the powerful condemn the medium of a marginalised messenger, it is the messenger they are truly after. Most recognise that in authoritarian regimes, the demonisation of social media is a transparent play for power. Few who see themselves as advocates for justice support the condemnation of those who use it to fight for their rights.

That is why it is startling to see social media portrayed in nearly identical rhetoric by those who claim to support social justice.”

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A Year in Review: The Top 10 Most Racist/Privileged Things White Feminists Did in 2013

In honor of the #stopblamingwhitewomenweneedunity hashtag (started via this Huffington Post article penned by the delightfully clueless Adele Wilde-Blavatsky) I’ve decided to put together a top ten honoring the many interesting methods white feminists employed this year to promote unity between themselves and feminists of color.

From refusing to defend feminists of color against attacks from the patriarchy (or from other white feminists for that matter), to deriding feminists of color for not being feminist enough, to blaming feminists of color’s oppressions on their own cultures (instead of, you know, patriarchy) white feminists sure have a funny way of expressing their desire for unity with feminists of color.

10. When 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, the young actress and Oscar nominee, was called a cunt by The Onion in a poorly thought out satire attempt, white feminists decided that not defending her made sense because cunt shouldn’t be a bad word…

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Race and class in the US foster care system

Race and class in the US foster care system

“At any given time, the foster care system in the United States is home to over 400,000 children. Children and youth flow into and out of the system, with a substantial percentage returning home, being adopted, or ‘aging out’ each year, and a comparable percentage entering care. About half the children in foster care are housed with non-relative foster parents, another quarter with relatives (‘kinship”’foster parents), and the remainder in group homes, residential treatment, or on ‘trial discharge’ to their birth parents while still legally in care. “

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Why I hate being a black man

Why I hate being a black man

“A lot of the time I feel like my skin color is like my personal prison, something that I have no control over, for I am judged just because of the way I look.

Not discussing the issue doesn’t mean it is going to go away. In fact, by ignoring the issue, it simply lurks underneath the surface. I believe a dialogue about self hatred should be brought to the fore in the public sphere, so that some sort of healing and the development of true non-label based pride can occur.”

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The Asian-American awakening: That moment when you realize you’re not white

The Asian-American awakening: That moment when you realize you’re not white

“I hung out with mostly Asians, I watched Asian dramas and listened to Asian music. I got bangs and camera-whored with a peace sign. That quickly ended when I realized the facade of it all. Yes, ethnically I’m Asian, but culturally I’m not. I can squeeze my way into that culture by learning it and copying it, but I’ll never truly be it because I did not grow up in it. Visiting my parents’ homelands was a huge disappointment because people there did not accept me as fully Chinese. They could tell I wasn’t local just by looking at me. I had all the stereotypical facial features, but my composure, dress, and attitude was basically the equivalent of me wrapping myself in an American flag. Even my extended relatives joked about my American accent or lack of cultural respect. I’m Chinese, but I’m not.”

 
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Where Have All The Black Professors Gone?

The Disorder Of Things

A new documentary, Absent From The Academy, on the status of black scholars in the UK. Alongside Paul Gilroy, Adam Elliott-Cooper, Denise Noble and others, it features our own Robbie Shilliam. The problem is simple enough: why are only 85 Professors in the UK – that’s 0.4% of the total – black? The official statistics show that only 1.4% of all academic staff are black or black British, whether African or Caribbean, compared to 4.5% of manual staff and around 3% of the general population (those, alongside assorted “mixed” and “other” are the categories available for contemporary biopolitics).

This accounting – while necessary – leaves some identities unreconstructed, not least when the inclusion of marginalised groups is read as synonymous with an intellectual identity politics. Gilroy channels C.L.R. James to warn of the reductionism, of making the status of whoever an issue of ‘X studies’, whilst privilege remains…

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Racism, Mass Incarceration, and the United States “Justice” System

The Progressive Cynic

© Josh Sager – October 2013

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Picture by CNV

The United States has the dubious distinction of being the country which imprisons a larger percentage of our population than any other country on earth. Out of every 100,000 Americans, 716 are currently in jail—to put this into perspective, here are imprisonment statistics for several countries that have regularly been demonized for their repressive governments:

  • Cuba: 510 inmates per 100,000 citizens
  • Russia: 475 inmates per 100,000 citizens
  • Iran: 284 inmates per 100,000 citizens
  • Zimbabwe: 129 inmates per 100,000 citizens

The United States is not a small country by any means, thus our high incarceration rates translate to truly staggering numbers of people in jail. According to the most recent estimates, nearly 2.2 million Americans are currently serving time in the federal, state and local prison systems—in addition to those who are serving time, approximately 5.8 million Americans are on probation, on…

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