Saturday Bonus Links

by Racialicious Special Correspondent Latoya Peterson

I did not intend to post today, but I caught a lot of great articles in my blog reader, so….

*Aunt Jemima’s Revenge posts My First Lesson on Being Black:

For a school art contest, I proudly submitted a drawing of Peppermint Patty on a baseball mound. I played little league, I was the only girl on the team and I wanted to prove that girls could and did play baseball. It was an awesome drawing, if I must say so myself. A darn good likeness of Peppermint Patty especially in my mind with the light brown skin tone I added to my drawing. I had always thought her skin tone was strange, so I “fixed’ it with a thin, tan watercolor mix that I had watched my mom use repeatedly on birthday cards for my friends. As far as I knew, all birthday cards needed to be “fixed” when you bought them home from the store.

When I submitted my drawing for the contest, the woman in charge (who was not black) exclaims quite loudly; “this is a great drawing, but you ruined it by making her black, this character is white.” Needless to say I was quite crushed by her statement, because all my young ears heard was “ruined” and I knew what that word meant. I was completely confused about how making Peppermint Patty the same color as me was wrong.

*Feministe posts on racist propaganda being used by one faction of the pro-life/anti-choice camp:

Dan writes about “the battle of the Jills,” linking to my little throw-down with anti-choice blogger Jill Stanek. He links to this post about the urban legend racist myth that Chinese people eat babies, which eventually leads back to a post by Jill Stanek titled, and I shit you not, “Sweet and Sour Fetus: Chinese Cannibalism.” (Warning: Video that, though I didn’t watch it, I assume is graphic).

*BFP on interpreting Audre Lorde:

It’s hard to pull just one thing out of anything Audre says, she’s so complicated and rich in meaning. But for the purposes of this discussion, the important part is when Audre identifies those who are poor, colored, queer, older, etc as existing outside the structures.” In other words:

1. There are people who don’t live in the Master’s house.
2. Those people are generally poor, women of color, queer, sex workers, drug users, disabled–or, those who live intersectional ambiguous, complicated lives.

As a consequence, the Master’s house, by definition, is NOT just patriarchal in its foundation–it is also racist, abelist, classist, homophobic, and colonialist. It must be, otherwise, black men could’ve own slaves and had their very own Master’s house, and Native people in general would still have ownership of three quarters of the U.S.

But they can’t, they don’t and they didn’t. And the *reason* why, is because of the MARKET.

* Sepia Mutiny describes the changes that will make it more difficult Flying While Brown:

I recently ran across an article talking about new “behavioral targetting” techniques being tried out by the TSA at different airports across the country and figured mutineers would be quite interested in the story.

On the one hand, these techniques are interesting / important because they address a key criticism of US airport security measures — rather than “finding the weapon,” security experts (particularly the Israeli’s) assert that we should instead be focusing security systems on “finding the terrorists.” On the other hand, such a focus on the people involved creates troubling new questions about the hassles of “Flying While Brown” post 9/11.

* Also from Sepia Mutiny, a post on Name Discrimination:

There goes that ‘funny’ name again. Obama has joked about it at times in his stump speeches, but here it seems like it might really be a liability for him after all. For someone to say “I couldn’t vote for someone named Obama” is to my eye code: it’s a way of saying “I couldn’t vote for someone foreign.”

The problem of the funny name, and the association it carries with foreignness, as we’ve discussed many MANY times here at Sepia Mutiny, is a characteristic most South Asians share with Mr. Barack Obama. (He has a nickname, by the way — “Barry” — though he has admirably chosen not to campaign on it… yet).

This anecdote is a little reminder that this campaign is still, in some sense, a referendum on race and, more broadly, “difference.” Clearly, some voters (even supposedly less race-minded Democrats) really aren’t ready for a black candidate, or a “different” candidate — but as, in the anecdote above, there are also voters who are drawn to Obama for precisely the reason that others are prejudiced against him.

*Guanabee received a video from Mexican White Supremacists:

Just in time for the holiday season, while we’re all full of love for the human race, gathering round the fireplace with our stuffed caribou, we received this video entitled, “White Mexicans” in our inbox.

Some Mexicans want you to know that they are not brown or down with you. Hi-larious!

Hilarious indeed. Did you know that Mexico was invented by White people? And they still have all the power (though none of the English grammatical skills despite their impressive private schooling)? Well we did know that part about the power and the grammar. But not the inventing! Also, if the Indigenous people would stop spitting out papooses, Mexico could go back to being Italian or Mennonite or…oh shit we got bored.

*This from TPM Election Central:

Rudy Giuliani, speaking about his sixth place finish in Iowa yesterday:

“None of this worries me — Sept. 11, there were times I was worried.”

As a GOP operative I know loves to say, the man has “9/11 Tourettes.” Can’t help himself.

*Safiya sent in some videos where Inuit people are used as props to sell product. While we probably will post on this soon, I wanted to put the images out there:

See here, here, and here.

*I meant to blog about the Rose Parade, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I do not remember ever watching the Rose Parade as a child, but watching it now – well, I felt that it was very Disney. In a bad way. Then again, attacking people’s fond childhood memories is a rough thing to do, so I will be thinking about this one for a while. In the meantime, check out Rob’s post on Images (well, really image) of Native Americans in the Parade.

* And, with all the talk about Sex and the City, I found this amazing analysis of Lipstick Jungle from 2005:

In her voice-overs, Sarah Jessica Parker used words such as “trendy,” “hot,” and “fabulous” several times each hour, using the same hypnotic, patronizing tone that Big Bird habitually employs to announce that today’s letter is “B.” The repetition seemed calculated to convey the fact that the Sex and the City lifestyle was, above all, desirable – we, the viewers, should want to live like the people on the TV screen, just as Sesame Street’s audience should learn the alphabet. It worked: many women saw Sex and the City as a guide to empowerment. Credit card debt, hangovers, and unstable relationships no longer signified failure; they meant that you had made it, that you were a successful (albeit broke, nauseated, and stressed-out) woman. The popularity of the show was so widespread that no-one seemed to notice or mind that the “role models” of Sex had had startlingly adolescent life goals: They wanted it all, but only if “all” meant “the prettiest dress, the cutest boyfriend, and an invitation to party with the cool kids.” As our political climate shifted steadily back to the fourteenth century, women who read and emulated Sex and the City underwent a voluntary regression of their own, all the way back to the junior prom.

[...]

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it has become clear that our society is tragically and dangerously divided along lines of class. An ideology of “empowerment” that doesn’t challenge the divide between the haves and the have-nots seems rather misguided and useless – after all, what good is feminism if it only benefits a few moneyed individuals? Yet that is exactly what Bushnell advocates in her book. Bushnell’s underlying argument that fashion can be feminist is also troubling and poorly thought-out. Fashion, after all, is about buying and selling female bodies that have been altered through surgery, diet, and Photoshop to fit male-created standards of beauty, which feminists have long cited as problematic. Rush Limbaugh once said that “feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream”; when you take a close look at them, Bushnell’s ideas bear a closer resemblance to Limbaugh’s sensationalist blather than they do to the groundbreaking work done by feminists of the ’70s and ’90s. She’s all for women having access to the mainstream, as long as they aren’t dowdy, or – worse – poor.