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kme : race   47

All the Greedy Young Abigail Fishers and Me 
That lawsuit was funded by none other than Edward Blum, and tellingly, it was disowned by many Asian students on campus. Maybe they didn’t want to be associated with insecure white racists. Maybe they, like me, were fine with the hypothetical idea of losing out due to a quota that was never about them. And there, dear Abby, is the real way non-whiteness gives you the advantage: you gain the moral clarity that comes from having less to lose.
education  race  affirmativeaction  texas 
august 2017 by kme
The Heart of Whiteness: Ijeoma Oluo Interviews Rachel Dolezal, the White Woman Who Identifies as Black - Features - The Stranger
For a white woman who had grown up with only a few magazines of stylized images of blackness to imagine herself into a real-life black identity without any lived black experience, to turn herself into a black history professor without a history degree, to place herself at the forefront of local black society that she had adopted less than a decade earlier, all while seeming to claim to do it better and more authentically than any black person who would dare challenge her—well, it's the ultimate "you can be anything" success story of white America. Another branch of manifest destiny. No wonder America couldn't get enough of the Dolezal story.
identity  race  whiteness  whiteprivilege 
april 2017 by kme
‘White Nationalism,’ Explained - The New York Times []
Many of those voters would not think of themselves as white nationalists, and the cultural values and traditions they seek to protect are not necessarily explicitly racial. However, those traditions formed when national identity and culture were essentially synonymous with whiteness. So the impulse to protect them from social and demographic change is essentially an attempt to turn back the clock to a less-diverse time.

Mr. Trump’s criticism of immigrants and promise to “make America great again” may have tapped into those same cultural anxieties, fueling his success with older and less-educated white voters. (Over all, he won white voters by 21 percentage points.
race  america  elections2016  thegoodolddays  nationalism 
november 2016 by kme
Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. When Will the Killings Stop? - The Atlantic
The right to kill in self-defense is in keeping with the generally expansive and bloody American doctrine of self-defense. But officers are not ordinary Americans. They likely carry with them the same sense of intimidation and mistrust of people of color that many people across the country carry, but are simultaneously trained to aggressively interact with them on a daily basis. That fear and hypervigilance may be supplemented by what appears to be common racism. Officers are also allowed a far more generous interpretation of self-defense in disciplinary and court proceedings. In practice, simply claiming that they feared for their lives often proves sufficient grounds to secure acquittal. In essence, police officers are given lethal weapons, taught and authorized to use them rather liberally, and then deployed in a manner as to create situations to use those weapons.

There is little public will to do so, however. As Moore put it, the agents of the criminal-justice system “get our power, really, from the people, not just a piece of paper.” Those comments laid bare exactly why incidents of police brutality—even killings—seem like routine elements of American life. It’s because they are. They are not aberrations, but the predictable and inevitable consequence of common encounters enabled by policy and sustained by the will of society. If there actually is any resolve to keep history from repeating itself and to end the parade of death, Americans will have to challenge the state’s authorization of violence beyond individual police acts, and investigate the purposes of policing that drive its use. Until then, people will continue to die.
race  guns  lawenforcement  america  policeviolence 
july 2016 by kme
When it comes to interracial romances, the movies need to catch up | Film | The Guardian
You could look at this situation in a number of ways. The first is that women of colour are being cast as aliens by an unthinking industry that still equates “not white” with “exotic”. That theory holds water with a movie such as Avatar, where the other blue-skinned aliens were also played by not-white actors: Wes Studi (Native American), CCH Pounder and Laz Alonso (both African-American). Or could it be that, in the 21st-century moviescape, there’s still some problem with black women of reproductive age? Especially if they’re getting together with white men? Is that what’s this is really about?
race  interracialromance  film  hollywood 
may 2016 by kme
I, Racist — THOSE PEOPLE — Medium
Nor does it dawn on her that the very fact that she moved away from an increasingly Black neighborhood to live in a White suburb might itself be a aspect of racism. She doesn't need to realize that “better schools” exclusively means “whiter schools.”

But here is the irony, here’s the thing that all the angry Black people know, and no calmly debating White people want to admit: The entire discussion of race in America centers around the protection of White feelings.

There’s a headline from The Independent that sums this up quite nicely: “Charleston shooting: Black and Muslim killers are ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs’. Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?”
whitepeople  race  racism  perspective 
october 2015 by kme
Arrested for same crime, in newspaper white suspects get yearbook photos, black suspects get mugshots - Boing Boing
KCRG's policy is to "use the best photographs of suspects available." The statement also explains the differing mugshot policies at the two stations where the suspects were jailed.
racialbias  race  crime 
april 2015 by kme
Chris Rock: "My Children Are Encountering the Nicest White People That America Has Ever Produced" | Mother Jones
So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he’s the first black person that is qualified to be president. That’s not black progress. That’s white progress. There’s been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years...The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people.
race  whiteness  perspective 
december 2014 by kme
Bell Hooks - Timeline Photos | Facebook
'No other group in America has so had their identity socialized out of existence as have black women... When black people are talked about the focus tends to be on black men; and when women are talked about the focus tends to be on white women.'

Bell Hooks
women  image  beauty  race 
may 2014 by kme
Let's Call It 'Apple Privilege' - The Awl
Let's keep in mind Beats is run by a white guy, the headphones are designed by a white guy and it was previously owned by the Taiwanese. Dr. Dre is basically used as a mascot. If there are unsettling racial undertones lurking in this capitalist fairy tale of high margin branded commodities, they don't have anything to do with Apple.
apple  acquisition  audiophile  race 
may 2014 by kme
Some Basic Racist Ideas and some Rebuttals, & Why We Exist | Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture
Let’s take me as a case study.

In my everyday life, I am often the only person of colour in the room. While this can be stressful and upsetting, I also have to ask why it is me, of all the people of colour, who gets to be in the room. Part of it may be because I worked hard. But I also need to acknowledge that a lot of it has to do with the fact that I grew up middle class (even though my parents were immigrants); that have a great deal of educational privilege and that is clear as soon as I open my mouth; and that my mother is white and she taught me by example to be entitled (even though she herself grew up very poor)…In other words, I experience both barriers and privileges, and denying that only means that I will have a dishonest relationship to the world around me.

The fact that I have white/educational/class privilege does not go away because I am a woman of colour. Sure the privilege is mediated through the racism (and other things) that I experience (and on a bad day where I feel like the room is completely ignorant and just doesn’t give two poops about my experience, I often want to escape the room) but neither the oppression I experience nor the privileges I have cancel each other out. It’s more complicated than that.

I also was born on Native land, in Canada, and continue to live on Native land in Texas. Without a doubt none of my ancestors had a direct hand in the colonisation of the Americas; my parents were each the first members of their families to set foot on Turtle Island, and they arrived in the mid 70′s. But by the fact that I live on the land, I benefit from the genocide visited on the people who originally lived here. Do I like the fact that I benefit from something so horrendous and on-going? No. But would I be living here and having my nice life on the land if the genocide hadn’t happened? No. If I can’t admit that I benefit from it – no matter how I feel about that benefit – I have a dishonest relationship to the world around me.

Is the genocide my fault? No. As someone who lives on the land, is it my responsibility to do something about its fallout? Yes. That doesn’t mean relocating everyone who now lives on the land*, but it does mean (to me) educating myself about what happened, showing solidarity, and taking an active interest in indigenous efforts to preserve their culture and gain access to basic human rights. As a Canadian, this is a part of my history, and a part of my business.

The onslaught of pushback that anti-racism receives from folks who simply have no interest in engaging with their own privilege can be silencing, especially if you don’t have your own community of colour who has your back. Which brings me to my final point.\

To anyone who ever asks why Racialicious is run solely by people of colour, or keeps such a death grip on the comments section, or runs content almost solely by people of colour – well, your answer is in the sample comments above, which in their own way are all saying: SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP. Even if they were written by well-intentioned people who did not intend to shut Jessica up, that is what they ultimately communicate.
race  rebuttal  society  popculture  forumcomments 
march 2014 by kme
Avatar: “Totally racist, dude.” | The Filmsmith
By the end of the film you’re left wondering why the film needed the Jake Sully character at all. The film could have done just as well by focusing on an actual Na’vi native who comes into contact with crazy humans who have no respect for the environment. I can just see the explanation: “Well, we need someone (an avatar) for the audience to connect with. A normal guy [read, a white male] will work better than these tall blue people.” However, this is the type of thinking that molds all leads as white male characters (blank slates for the audience to project themselves upon) unless your name is Will Smith.

My assertion of Jake Sully as emblematic of current racial power dynamics resides on the film’s inability to convince me that after three months of living with the Na’vi and being directly responsible for the destruction of the Na’vi’s World Trade Center, that he can make claims to “our land.” This is further problematized by Sully’s shifting allegiances throughout the film’s first two acts (whoever is speaking to him, Na’vi, scientist, colonel, he swears by).
avatar  race  whiteguiltfantasy  scifi  film  criticism 
march 2014 by kme
And we shall call this "Moff's Law" | Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture

Of all the varieties of irritating comment out there, the absolute most annoying has to be “Why can’t you just watch the movie for what it is??? Why can’t you just enjoy it? Why do you have to analyze it???”

If you have posted such a comment, or if you are about to post such a comment, here or anywhere else, let me just advise you: Shut up. Shut the fuck up. Shut your goddamn fucking mouth. SHUT. UP.

First of all, when we analyze art, when we look for deeper meaning in it, we are enjoying it for what it is. Because that is one of the things about art, be it highbrow, lowbrow, mainstream, or avant-garde: Some sort of thought went into its making — even if the thought was, “I’m going to do this as thoughtlessly as possible”! — and as a result, some sort of thought can be gotten from its reception. That is why, among other things, artists (including, for instance, James Cameron) really like to talk about their work.

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to think about a work of art. I don’t know anyone who thinks every work they encounter ought to only be enjoyed through conscious, active analysis — or if I do, they’re pretty annoying themselves. And I know many people who prefer not to think about much of what they consume, and with them I have no argument. I also have no argument with people who disagree with another person’s thoughts about a work of art. That should go without saying. Finally, this should also go without saying, but since it apparently doesn’t: Believe me, the person who is annoying you so much by thinking about the art? They have already considered your revolutionary “just enjoy it” strategy, because it is not actually revolutionary at all. It is the default state for most of humanity.

So when you go out of your way to suggest that people should be thinking less — that not using one’s capacity for reason is an admirable position to take, and one that should be actively advocated — you are not saying anything particularly intelligent. And unless you live on a parallel version of Earth where too many people are thinking too deeply and critically about the world around them and what’s going on in their own heads, you’re not helping anything; on the contrary, you’re acting as an advocate for entropy.

And most annoyingly of all, you’re contributing to the fucking conversation yourselves when you make your stupid, stupid comments. You are basically saying, “I think people shouldn’t think so much and share their thoughts, that’s my thought that I have to share.” If you really think people should just enjoy the movie without thinking about it, then why the fuck did you (1) click on the post in the first place, and (2) bother to leave a comment? If it bugs you so much, GO WATCH A GODDAMN FUNNY CAT VIDEO.
race  art  film  scifi  cameron  criticism  moffslaw 
march 2014 by kme
Madame Thursday | Basic Facts
There is no such thing as “overthinking” or “over-analyzing” arts, media, and entertainment. If you don’t want to talk about things like race, gender, sexuality, class, and disability in arts and entertainment, you are free to exercise your right to stay the fuck out of the discussion.
gender  womensissues  race  blog 
march 2014 by kme
#134 The TED Conference | Stuff White People Like -

One of the easiest ways to create something that white people will like is to create something that will allow them to feel smart but doesn’t require a large amount of work, time, or effort. There is, however, a catch. Whatever it is that you create cannot be a shortcut. You see white people like the idea of getting smarter quickly, but they don’t like the idea of people thinking that they are lazy. It is a bit of a paradox, but it does explain why white people only like Cliff Notes if they are part of some sort of hilarious college story about last-minute studying for an exam. And why they consider it highly unacceptable to use cliff notes or Wikipedia to get a rough understanding of a book you don’t want to read.
ted  criticism  npr  race  stuffwhitepeoplelike  humor  satire 
march 2014 by kme
Dialect: The performing black folks next door | The Economist []
One of my (German) colleagues used to say "just because I speak with an accent doesn't mean I think with an accent."
may 2013 by kme
Google+ - Blacks at Microsoft Scholarships for High School Seniors
"There are very few Black folks in programming and it's reasonable to promote interest and development of coding in populations who may not have considered it as a career. Note that the University of Michigan just graduated its first Black female Computer Science PhD and this is 2013, it's fair to say that encouraging historically underprivileged populations to consider technology as a career is not discriminatory, but rather helpful.

There are scholarships based on gender, based on geographic location, scholarships for moms reentering the workforce, scholarships for indigenous peoples, and a thousand other things that make use unique.

Promoting opportunity and diversity is not discriminatory."

"I'm reminded of the words of Morgan Freeman in an interview on Black History month when asked how we're going to get rid of racism, "Stop talking about it."
I'm frankly not interested in encouraging any particular group to seek out a career in computer science.  Everyone should be encouraged, and those who have an aptitude for the art should be fostered and incentivized with grants/scholarships/etc...  This strategy shouldn't be unique to our field.
At the end of the day, the computer couldn't care less who wrote the code.  It just cares that the code compiles and runs.  I side with the computers and Mr Freeman.  Online, we're all digital."
education  microsoft  race  perspective 
january 2013 by kme
When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?
These are movies about white guilt. Our main white characters realize that they are complicit in a system which is destroying aliens, AKA people of color - their cultures, their habitats, and their populations. The whites realize this when they begin to assimilate into the "alien" cultures and see things from a new perspective. To purge their overwhelming sense of guilt, they switch sides, become "race traitors," and fight against their old comrades. But then they go beyond assimilation and become leaders of the people they once oppressed. This is the essence of the white guilt fantasy, laid bare. It's not just a wish to be absolved of the crimes whites have committed against people of color; it's not just a wish to join the side of moral justice in battle. It's a wish to lead people of color from the inside rather than from the (oppressive, white) outside.

Then, from the comments:
This is wrong on so many levels...

Pandora was modeled after mainland China; I don't think any New World analogy was intended here. They even wear their hair in a queue!

You mention that the protagonist is played by a white actor and many of the Na'vi are played by minorities, but ignore the other Na'vi played by whites, or the other humans who were Hispanic and Indian.

You compare it to Dune, yet don't mention that Dune itself is about people with Arab names and vocabulary — and was clearly inspired by T. E. Lawrence, a real person.

Furthermore, you decry the idea of an outsider joining to help an oppressed group, but don't notice that this is what always happens in history when one group is technologically more advanced than another. Gunships *do* always beat bows and arrows. Without people switching sides, it's hard to imagine how else it would work. (Should "Lawrence of Arabia" been filmed without a Lawrence character, and had the Arabs defeating the Turks on their own somehow?)

It's especially odd that you go looking for "patterns" in these movies, but don't even mention Joeseph Campbell, who did the same and found these same patterns dating back thousands of years, in virtually all cultures. Nothing here except the new visual effects are unique to America, or whites, or even movies.

If you want to go at it from the guilt angle, male guilt would be a much better choice. Instances of the monomyth have tended throughout history to be mostly male-centric. In Avatar: a male soldier leaves the male-dominated military team (are there any women besides Trudy?) to side with the female-led science team, joined by a female gunship pilot, to assist a female alien (despite being harassed by overly-protective male Na'vi assholes!) who lives in a society with strong female leadership (not unusual in a pre-literate society), and assisted by none other than Mother Earth herself!

You could even make a good argument in favor of religious guilt (Muad'dib is given a copy of the O. C. Bible, etc.). But racial guilt? I'm just not seeing it.
race  whiteguiltfantasy  film  cameron  scifi  forthecomments 
december 2012 by kme
Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is – Whatever
@scalzi: In which I explain why "Straight White Male" is the lowest difficulty setting in the game of life:
privilege  gender  race 
may 2012 by kme

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