Month: October 2008

October 31, 2008 / / Uncategorized

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García, also posted at The Instant Callback

In mining the Daily Show and Colbert Report styles for new material, David Alan Grier is, unfortunately for him, showing his age more than his experience with Chocolate News.

Credit is due DAG, of course, for even having his own show right now: his nearly 30-year career spans stage, film, stand-up, sitcoms and, of course, sketch comedy. The problem is, instead of showcasing his range, he’s relying on the same tropes and mannerisms that characterized his work on the dearly departed In Living Color. “Girth Of A Nation”? That’s the ILC Black History sketches, retreaded more than remixed for this new generation of fans.

The show’s other “reports” suffer from the same lack of relevancy. “Wigga Rehab”? John McCain’s “Cleaner”? “Fat Black Mama Syndrome”? To borrow a phrase, Hated It! This stuff is more played out than the 3 Snaps Up, and shows a serious lack of juice. Dave Chappelle would have been able to put Tyler Perry into the FBM sketch. Read the Post Not Ready For Prime Time: The Racialicious Review of Chocolate News

October 31, 2008 / / links
October 30, 2008 / / Uncategorized
October 30, 2008 / / Uncategorized
October 30, 2008 / / cultural appropriation

by special correspondent Thea Lim

Thanks to the Toronto Asian Arts Freedom School for helping me figure out just why I have a hard time with Halloween, and for allowing me to share our strategies with Racialicious!

white rasta

I’m a Halloween party pooper. I do a dismal job of dressing up. My last costume consisted of a baseball hat with googly eyes and mouse ears. I’ve only given out candy once. Some years I’ve even hidden upstairs in the dark, ashamed of my lack of candy, pumpkin and sense of fun.

I’ve always felt like a bit of a jerk for not participating in the festivities. It doesn’t come that naturally to me – I spent most of my childhood in a country where Halloween wasn’t really celebrated, except as a club night. But since I moved back to North America 8 years ago, Halloween has seemed more like an obligation than a party zone, and every year I fail to rise to the challenge.

A year ago a new friend pointed out to me something that Angry Asian Man nicely illustrated on this here blog a few weeks ago: Halloween is not just a time to wear fake blood and fishnets, it’s also…racist!

white mexican

Mainstream North American culture likes to define itself as cultureless, but Halloween is a very cultural practice. Not only is it a little weird (Just look at it from the point of view of an outsider. Send your kids out to strangers’ houses and tell them to ask for candy? Decorate your house like a graveyard? Dress up like a sexy version of a public health worker?) it is also based on difference – the point of Halloween is to dress up as “something different.” So how do people who are often made to feel visually different – you know, like people of colour – experience Halloween? The average Halloween costume tells us a lot about what we culturally consider to be abnormal.

Read the Post take back the halloween!

October 29, 2008 / / diversity

by Guest Contributor Arturo R. García, also posted at The Instant Callback

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Heroes is, at its heart, a family drama that deals with two main families in particular, the Bennet family and the Petrelli family.”

— Series creator Tim Kring, as quoted in Entertainment Weekly.

“Eris Quod Sum,” the series’ first episode since that unfortunate statement by Kring was published, inched things along for members of both families, but really, the episode just moved sideways. Is the show banking on another big finale to save its season? How are we to feel about the series’ other Heroes? More on that later.

This week’s best development was the prospect of a double-cross contest between the increasingly “good” Sylar/Gabriel and Mr. Petrelli. While breaking the de-powered Peter out of the Pinehearst facility at the urging of their mother, Gabe is detained by Arthur for a father-long-lost-son heart-to-heart, during which, we’re told, he revealed Mrs. Petrelli’s Deep Dark Secret.

When Peter later urges his new bro to “just kick his ass,” however, Sylar demurs, standing right by Papa P. and hurling Pete out of a seventh-story window. How does the mundane Peter stay alive? Looks like Sylar protected him, freeing his brother while he went undercover with Team Pinehearst. Hopefully this leads to a Lionel/Lex Luthor-like duel of wills between the newest Petrelli and the oldest. Hell, the show’s cribbed enough from the X-Men; why not throw some Smallville in? And can we get a side order of Buffy with that? What’s Principal Wood up to these days? Read the Post It’s Latin For “Meh”: The Racialicious Review of Heroes 3.7

October 29, 2008 / / immigration

by Guest Contributor Nezua, originally published at The Unapologetic Mexican

AS SADDENED AND CYNICAL as I have become about humankind in my life, I still nurture a belief in the human heart and the sense of Right. I still feel that in most cases of wrong being done, all it takes is thinking, feeling people getting the real facts of a situation. And the facts of this situation are shocking and revolting to a thinking mind and feeling heart.

Buried in the final paragraphs of this article*, the Democratic Speaker of the House offers the LA Times a shocking idea: That millions of immigrants now in the USA—who are currently a deeply-enmeshed part of our commerce and communities—might be relegated to a permanent status of neither citizenship or deportee. What is left after you strike those two possibilities? As Duke said, an indentured class.

The estimated 12 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally “are part of the U.S. economy. We cannot send them all home, and we cannot send them all to jail, so we have to address it,” Pelosi said.

Any solution would have to be bipartisan, she said, so it may require sacrificing some of Democrats’ past priorities, such as giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.

“Maybe there never is a path to citizenship if you came here illegally,” Pelosi said. “I would hope that there could be, but maybe there isn’t.”

Pelosi says Congress unlikely to approve tax rebate before President Bush leaves office

DREAMactivist points out right away that many New Americans (migrants/immigrants) were in fact brought here. So what does Pelosi’s quote mean in that context? If the immigrant in question didn’t “Come here illegally,” but is a child who was brought here illegally? Does Nancy Pelosi believe that the child should then be relegated to detention? An indentured status? Permanent US Guest Worker in the Land of the Free? Read the Post Pelosi Suggests Permanent U.S. Slave Class

October 29, 2008 / / immigration

by Latoya Peterson

My friend Hae and I have been good friends for about four years. As an aesthete, Hae’s life tends to revolve around art and pop culture, both here and in Asia.* She is not a politically motivated person, so until we were sitting in traffic one day, I had no idea where her political beliefs fell.

The car in front of us had a bumper sticker that annoyed me, something that managed to convey support of erecting a border fence and insult Latinos in two short lines.

I sucked my teeth. When Hae asked why, I pointed out the sticker, and expressed how pissed I was at the sentiment. After all, in my opinion, the border fence is just an expensive (and ultimately ineffective) expression of ignorance. A porous border is not just a matter of physical obstacles. And tossing up a band-aid solution instead of identifying the other issues at play with immigration just seems like a waste of time. Not to mention the thinly veiled racism that often swirls around concerns about “illegals” invading the country.

“So, what, you support people coming over here illegally?” Hae asked me incredulously. She then launched into a mini-tirade about the overall unfairness of a system that would allow people to cross the border and in essence “skip the line” to immigrate to America. Since I can count on one hand the times I’ve seen Hae worked up about something, I was a bit taken aback by her strong feelings on the matter.

However, after further examination, I realized where we had experienced a bit of political disconnect.

We can chalk that up to different life experiences. Read the Post On Opposite Sides of the Immigration Debate