Addicted to Race 95: Race, Religion, and Australia

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Addicted to Race is New Demographic’s podcast about America’s obsession with race. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll find in this episode:

Australian documentary filmmaker John Safran shares his experiences exploring race and religion in America. What are the theological underpinnings of the Ku Klux Klan? Why did an exorcist single out African-American members of his audience to help expel demons? We also discuss similarities and differences between race in America and race in Australia.

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John Safran is comedy-focused documentarian most known in Australia for his religion series John Safran vs God and his music industry expose John Safran’s Music Jamboree. He co-hosts Sunday Night Safran on Triple J with Catholic Priest Father Bob Maguire.

Duration – 56:18
File Size – 38.7 MB

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You can check out some YouTube clips of John Safran vs. God here:

Exorcism Scene

Meeting the Ku Klux Klan

Aboriginal Land Rights

By the Pound: Racism in the Wrestling Ring

by Special Correspondent Fatemeh Fakhraie

Last night, as I was flipping through the channels, I stopped on the Spike network, which is geared toward a male audience (well, most television is geared toward a male audience, but that’s a different soapbox). Perhaps I should say heavily geared toward a male audience. I mean, between the James Bond marathons, Axe commercials, and ultimate fighting programs, it starts to get a little, uh, over-done. The same way the Lifetime network’s pregnancy test commercials and movies about victimized women start to get ridiculous.*

Anyway, let’s get to the real reason I stopped on this channel. TNA Impact is basically another one of Spike’s wrestling programs, and it was this program that caught my attention. Because there was a woman in a niqab wrestling.


After digging around online, I found out who she was: her stage name is Raisha Saeed. Saeed’s biography details that she is from Damacus, Syria, and manages another female wrestler, Awesome Kong. Rooting around a little more, I find out that she is not, in fact, Muslim (put on your surprised face!) or Syrian.

Her real name is Melissa Marie Anderson. She usually goes by the stage name of Cheerleader Melissa, and has a very long and impressive wrestling career.

I wasn’t able to figure out why Ms. Anderson, who has two other stage names, would don a niqab, a fakey Arab accent and broken English, and an Arab (-sounding) stage name. Wrestling programs are full of gimmicky personas, and so I’m assuming that’s what this is, too. From the mysterious Arab music that plays when she enters the ring to her MySpace page, it’s one huge (racist) gimmick. Continue reading

Feminism, Race, and Sexist Dating Guides

by Latoya Peterson

One of the many issues I have with feminism is how my racial identification is treated as a problem, separate from the “real issues” that feminism seeks to deal with – despite the fact that the world perceives me as a “black woman” rather than a “woman.” (The “white” that goes before “woman” is silent.) My race is supposed to go unmentioned and unnoticed – until, there is some kind of “black culture” thing to tsk-tsk and blame on the inherent sexism in the black community.

So, it was with great trepidation that I clicked on a header post from Feministing. Titled “Dating Advice from Assholes: ‘Stop Treating Women Well,‘” Ann summarizes a Washington Post article about yet another crappy book about how to catch a man.

Titled “The Re-Education of the Female” (charming, right?) some bama basically regurgitates the same bullshit being spouted at women since time eternal – cook, clean, fuck, and STFU. The cover lets me know that my initial eye-roll was the right reaction.


Now, Ann’s post was cool, and I was about to click off to some other part of the internet, but for some reason, I decided to read the comments.

The first ten or so were cool, expressing general disgust at the ignorant sentiments. And then, we get to this one:

I echo the sentiments already expressed. I am disgusted by this.

I am also disheartened by the fact that this filth is targeted at black women. I have a feeling that black women generally (but not all, of course) would be more susceptible to these ideas. There seems to be an a fairly strong sentiment among many black women that they need to stand by “their” men, as though they are disgracing themselves and their heritage by dating outside of their race. I have several times seen reference to the shrinking number of black men due to incarceration and consequently a shrinking dating pool, the implication always seeming to be that women have little choice but to date in this pool. Furthermore, there is the specter of single motherhood looming over black women. I fear that the expectation that black women date black men and the fear of scarcity of good black men will cause the women who identify with these issues the most to buy into these horrid ideas for fear of ending up alone otherwise.


Paging the white savior – the Negro women need your guidance!

Continue reading

Just 12 spots! The Anti-Racism Action Group is back

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Just a quick note to let you all know that tomorrow is the last day to apply for the Anti-Racism Action Group.

It’s a course offered by New Demographic that takes an in-depth look at race, racism, privilege, and stereotypes. We offer the course just 4 times a year, and the next one begins on September 15th.

If you read Racialicious religiously but want to take your understanding of race and racism to the next level and have live, in-depth discussions with me and other like-minded people, you’ll enjoy the group.

Learn more and submit your application today!

You can participate no matter where you are located geographically. In order to provide you with personal attention, we limit each group to just 12 participants. We also offer a reduced-tuition option for folks with economic need.

M.I.A, DeLon, and the Tamil Tigers

by Guest Contributor Joanna Eng, originally published at DJ Jojo

I heard from Sepia Mutiny’s post about M.I.A. getting “dissed” by DeLon, a new rapper of Sri Lankan descent. DeLon took M.I.A.’s most popular song, “Paper Planes,” called out her politics and support of the Tamil Tigers, and shows the “terrorist” side of that group. (You can see the disturbing video here.) [Ed. Note – Not safe for work. Or lunch. – LDP]

I don’t know enough about the situation in Sri Lanka to really make judgments. But DeLon’s video bothered me because he is employing exactly the same strategy that the Bush administration does: creating a dichotomy of good and evil, and using the word “terrorist” like it’s not subjective.

That said, I have always been a bit skeptical of M.I.A’s politics. Is she just projecting an irresistible (lucrative) image, or is she actually doing anything? When I went to her show at McCarren Pool in June, it made me a bit uncomfortable to be dancing around with a bunch of hipsters in Brooklyn while she has images of children from developing countries flashing across the back of the stage as her visual aids. Continue reading

Action Alert: Incite! Needs Help Evacuating Women in New Orleans

Renee dropped me an email to forward this message from Incite! Women of Color Against Violence:

Dear INCITE! friends and supporters,

On the eve of the 3 year anniversary of the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and subsequent government criminal negligence and assaults on the low income people of color on the Gulf Coast, our sisters from INCITE! projects in New Orleans (including the local chapter, the Women’s Health and Justice Initiative, and the New Orleans Women’s Health Clinic) are bracing for the potential landfall of Hurricane Gustav, which is currently projected to hit the Louisiana coast on Monday or Tuesday at a category 4 or 5. Voluntary evacuation of New Orleans has already begun, and mandatory evacuation could be declared as early as today. INCITE! organizers in New Orleans have made over 700 phone calls to women of color and their families that make up the constituency of the New Orleans Women’s Health Clinic, working to prepare and implement evacuation and safety plans.

Your assistance is urgently needed to help the low-income women of color and their families evacuate safely if need be, stay safe for the duration of the evacuation, and return to the city as soon as possible so as not to fall prey to the pushout that has kept so many folks from being able to return to New Orleans since Katrina. Local organizers are using whatever resources and funds at their disposal to help women and their families evacuate, bond people being held in Orleans Parish Prison out, and support those who make the choice to stay in whatever way they can.

Your support is urgently needed: financial donations of any size are needed and would be greatly appreciated.

Donations online are preferred because we can more quickly send the funds to our folks in New Orleans .
You can send your donation to INCITE online by going to this website:
Click the Donation button
Put New Orleans in the “Purpose” line

Or you can write a check directly to WHJI and send it to:
PO Box 51325
New Orleans , LA 70151

This money will go directly to supporting the hundreds of low income women of color that are the constituency of the New Orleans Women’s Health Clinic.

Once again, the particular vulnerability of low-income women of color and single female-headed households (including folks with disabilities, seniors, undocumented immigrant women, and incarcerated women) has been erased in the face of disaster and overlooked in the days leading up to the storm. With few resources, facing challenges and concerns for their families of their own, INCITE! New Orleans and WHJI have stepped in to fill the gap. Please send all your support, solidarity, sisterhood and strength their way, and join us in hoping for the safety and well-bein g of the people who are already suffering from Gustav in Cuba , Jamaica , and Haiti , and willing the storm to subside or veer off safely before it strikes the Gulf Coast .

We will keep you posted as things develop.


Related Posts:

WoC, PHD – The Original Announcement

The Unapologetic Mexican – Change in the Weather

Brownfemipower – A Question of Who Really Needs Help

Links – 2008-09-01

Whoo! I can see the inbox again. Carmen and I are resetting our options, so hopefully, the links should be back up soon. Until then…

Kabobfest wonders what Kim Kardashian is doing for the image of Arab and Middle Eastern women in the American consciousness. They also weigh in on the controversy surrounding the new movie “Towelhead.” (Thanks Fatemeh!)

Readers Kenya and Demajali sent in some information on how the LPGA is instituting an English only policy for players. Those who do not pass an oral language evaluation will be suspended from the tour:

The LPGA made the announcement last week in a mandatory meeting of South Korean players at the Safeway Classic in Portland, Ore. (Seven of the LPGA’s Top 20 players are Korean and half are from East Asia; 45 of the LPGA’s 121 international players are from South Korea.) According to the article, many Korean players approve of the policy (at least publicly), but that doesn’t make it any less sinister.

Angela Park, interviewed in the story, appears to be under the impression that the LPGA officials could impose quotas on Korean golfers if they wanted to. “The LPGA could come out and say they only want 10 Koreans, but they’re not,” Park said to Golfweek. “A lot of Korean players think they are being targeted, but it’s just because there are so many of them.”

Advertising Age’s Big Tent blog has a great response to the LPGA’s ruling:

If I were a marketer, I would think twice about supporting an organization that openly discriminates against its members and potential members solely because they choose to speak a language other than English. Social, professional and political advancement shouldn’t be tied to one’s ability to speak English. Instead, golf should be judged by skill, knowledge of the game, professionalism, future potential and sportsmanship.

(Thanks HighJive!)

Ann over at Feministing highlights another kyriarchy approved dating guide. Unfortunately, some of the comments quickly veer into “what’s wrong with these uncivilized negroes?” territory. Consider that a warning. Good thing a few people on the thread had common sense.

M. Dot takes a blog post to explain to Feministing readers what they are missing in trying to label the book a black problem, and not looking at the *whole* issue.

And the Washington Post discusses dating issues over in Japan, providing more evidence to support the idea that *every* community has issues with dating. It is a problem that tends to occur with humans, regardless of any other modifiers.

Robin Thicke denied the cover of Vibe for being white? Bossip has the scoop. (Via Stereohyped.)