Tag Archives | Race
Flavia Dzodan writes at Tiger Beatdown:
This past week I’ve been screaming this a lot. Because I like to play “connecting the dots” (s.e. smith ipse dixit) as a matter of political practice. I play “connecting the dots” even though sometimes I might not get a properly outlined landscape but the equivalent of what my 1 year old niece playing with a bunch of sharpies on the coffee table would produce. Which is to say, sometimes, the pictures I draw when I connect dots might not make sense or might be inaccurate or might have missed a few dots to be totally accurate. But I am willing to pay the price of not making sense sometimes if I do eventually get it right. I would rather sometimes come across as far fetched than miss the landscape that the shit puff pastry provides. And these past few days I’ve been playing connect the dots more often than usual.
Debbie Lum’s ‘Seeking Asian Female’ follows the surprising romance of Steven and Sandy — an aging white man obsessed with marrying any Asian woman and the young Chinese bride he finds on the internet. Debbie, a Chinese American filmmaker, documents and narrates with healthy doses of humor and reflection, from the early stages of Steven’s search for an Asian bride, through the moment Sandy sets foot in America for the first time, to a year into their precarious union. Global migration, Chinese-American relations and the perennial battle of the sexes, weigh in on the fate of marriage in this eccentric love story.
This version of ‘Seeking Asian Female’ was edited for time allowed. You can purchase the full 90 minute film here.
Jesse Hagopian writes at Common Dreams:
On election night, as it became increasingly clear that Mitt Romney was going to lose the election to Barack Obama, I watched Fox News host Megyn Kelly ask you, “How do you think we got to this point?”
You responded by saying,
Because it’s a changing country. The demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore and there are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff, they want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama. The white establishment is now the minority…
Mychal Denzel Smith writes for the Guardian:
We need a White History Month.
For anyone who speaks on issues of race publicly, the idea has long been a joke – a retort thrown at you from frustrated white folks who believe they are being discriminated against because there doesn’t exist a special month set aside to celebrate their racial identity. They cry foul at the notion of Black History Month, Black Entertainment Television, Black Enterprise and everything else with “black” in the title – even, sometimes, going so far as to say these things are racist in nature because their names and missions are “discriminatory”. It’s preposterous, but they counter that they need a White History Month to provide balance and equality.
After laughing this off for years, I’m now on the same page.
I don’t mean White History in the same way we (attempt) to celebrate Black History during February, or Women’s History in March.
Does technology covertly holds the biases of its creators? Alexis Stevens in Cluster Magazine writes about an unintended dimension of of facial-recognition-based surveillance software:
“HP Computers are Racist” is a 2009 YouTube video in which two electronics store employees demonstrate how face recognition and video tracking technology on Hewlett-Packard computers works more accurately for people of whiter skin tones. “I think,” one of the employees remarks with biting accuracy, “my blackness is interfering with the computer’s ability to—to follow me.”
The company issued an apology after the clip went viral, suggesting that face-detection algorithms have more difficulty identifying the contrast that helps discern facial structure in low lighting. An ironic outcome of this corporate oversight is that while black people are more likely to be eyed as suspicious and tracked in real life (e.g. stop-and-frisk), the engineering of webcams for a presumptively white target audience renders people of color more invisible to technology.
I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.
- White terrorists are called “gunmen.” What does that even mean? A person with a gun? Wouldn’t that be, like, everyone in the US? Other terrorists are called, like, “terrorists.”
- White terrorists are “troubled loners.” Other terrorists are always suspected of being part of a global plot, even when they are obviously troubled loners.
- Doing a study on the danger of white terrorists at the Department of Homeland Security will get you sidelined by angry white Congressmen. Doing studies on other kinds of terrorists is a guaranteed promotion.
- The family of a white terrorist is interviewed, weeping as they wonder where he went wrong. The families of other terrorists are almost never interviewed.
- White terrorists are part of a “fringe.” Other terrorists are apparently mainstream.
Via Raw Story:
UPDATE: Video embed was disabled. Watch the video at NBC Washington.
A couple of Maryland police officers have been caught on video using the buddy system to beat a helpless, handcuffed suspect. The police department has launched an internal investigation. Any guesses on the outcome?
A police officer in Laurel, Maryland is under investigation after a witness came forward with video of him repeatedly striking a handcuffed man in the head.
Craig Reddix provided NBC Washington with video he shot outside the Laurel Station Bar and Grill, where police were responding to reports of a fight on Sunday.
The video shows two white officers escorting a handcuffed African-American man. One officer can be seen holding the suspect’s arms while the other strikes his head at least three times. It’s wasn’t clear from the video if the officer stuck the man with an open or closed hand.
After reading the myriad racist comments on CNN’s story about Rodney King’s death, I feel a bit of pertinent info should not be flushed down the memory hole. King wasn’t the only one beaten that night, as many police brutality apologists (none of whom have ever driven over the speed limit, of course) like to claim, but the two passengers of King’s car were too.
The testimony of a passenger in Rodney King’s car that he, too, was beaten by police takes on new significance since the acquittal of four officers.
Bryant Allen testified during the officers’ trial that he was “kicked and stomped” as he lay on the ground outside King’s car, but neither the defense nor prosecutors followed up on his brief statement. On Monday’s “Montel Williams Show,” a syndicated television talk show, Bryant said: “I was stomped once and I was kicked twice.”…
On the show, he said he told police and prosecutors what happened to him soon after the March 3, 1991, videotaped beating of King.
Note that the non-white U.S. population will still remain a minority for several decades. What will be the implications of a multi-racial (future) America? Reports the AP via the Christian Science Monitor:
For the first time, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the US, capping decades of heady immigration growth that is now slowing.
New 2011 census estimates highlight sweeping changes in the nation’s racial makeup and the prolonged impact of a weak economy, which is now resulting in fewer Hispanics entering the US.
“This is an important landmark,” said Roderick Harrison, a former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau who is now a sociologist at Howard University. “This generation is growing up much more accustomed to diversity than its elders.” The report comes as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on the legality of Arizona’s strict immigration law, with many states weighing similar get-tough measures.