Addicted to Race 101: Michelle Obama, Homophobia Among Blacks

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:

What’s wrong with Salon running an article about Michelle Obama’s ass? Why do we either obsess over the Obamas’ sexuality or pretend it doesn’t exist? Is Prince a homophobe? What happens when religion, homophobia, and race intersect?

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Andrea (AJ) Plaid runs The Cruel Secretary, where she blogs about race, gender, and sex. Andrea has been quoted in the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune regarding the decline of the NAACP, African Americans’ protectiveness toward Senator Barack Obama, and the rift between white feminists and feminists of color in defending Michelle Obama against racist and sexist media attacks. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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Anachronism and American Indians

by Guest Contributor Lisa, originally published at Sociological Images

In many places in the midwest the American Indian is very present, but in other places in the U.S., like in California, Disney’s Pocahontas is as close as we get to “Indians.” The idea that American Indians are gone comes, in part, from the ubiquitous representation of them with feathers, buckskins, and moccasins. These anachronisms are everywhere (see, for example, here, here, here, here, and here).

American Indians are as modern as the rest of us, why are representations of American Indians, as they live today, so unusual? And what effect might that have on the psyche of American Indian people?

Via PostSecret.

On Tyra: Biracial Women Who Hate Their Other Side

by Latoya Peterson

Checking my Clutch feeds, I stumbled across this video from the Tyra show*. Literally, the title of the post sums it up. It’s about biracial folks who hate one side or the other.

The video is 32 minutes long.

The video features Jenna, who is half black and half white, who denies her blackness; Tabitha, who is half latina and half white, who denies her whiteness; Jaselle, who is black and Puerto Rican, who denies her PR heritage; and Sohn (her segment was not included in the video I watched.)

While Tyra focused more on Jenna for the majority of the segments, but the other guests actually brought up some really good points about race and identity.

Jenna appears to have been a ratings ploy – she espouses extreme hatred of other blacks, denies of all positive aspects of her non-white heritage, reaffirms stereotypes as truth, explains a preference for a “white” way of living, proudly displays three rebel flags (using the customary “get over it, it’s heritage not hate, it’s in the past” defenses without any acknowledgment of her own contradiction) and even has a photo of her in makeshift Klan gear.

[One of the Clutch commenters called her a sighted Clayton Bigsby. Was Chapelle’s art imitating life? Or was that skit based on a true story?]

Yeah…moving on. Continue reading

Divide And Prosper!: The Racialicious Review of Heroes 3.10

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

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Can you feel it now that spring has come
And its time to live in the scattered sun
Waiting for the sun

The Doors

“Everything’s going to change today.”
Arthur Petrelli

Hey, that didn’t suck!

In Part 1 of “The Eclipse,” Heroes finally trades in most of its catharsis for conflict, letting loose Teams Primatech and Pinehearst against each other, and themselves, as the darkening of the sun upends everybody’s expectations.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s the people without powers who adjust the best, especially Noah Bennet, who delivers incredibly satisfying pwnings, as the kidz say, to both Sylar and Elle. But the ass-kicking comes at a cost: as foreseen by Mr. Petrelli via Isaac’s old powers, Claire, the newly-annointed Catalyst, is shot and wounded, and hospital-bound going into next week’s conclusion. Continue reading

The Racialicious Roundtable For Heroes 3.9

Hosted by Arturo R. García

The word has come down from Tim Kring’s ivory tower: It’s our fault Heroes has been stinking up the joint this season.

More specifically, those of us who own and actually use our DVRs. The show’s creator bemoaned the state of serialized storytelling at a screenwriters’ gathering earlier this month, because the new technology, by his reasoning, makes us dumber. Here’s a portion of his remarks:

“The engine that drove [serialized TV] was you had to be in front of the TV [when it aired]. Now you can watch it when you want, where you want, how you want to watch it, and almost all of those ways are superior to watching it on air. So [watching it] on air is related to the saps and the dips**s who can’t figure out how to watch it in a superior way.”

Yours truly is too poor and stupid to afford DVR, so I don’t understand all that fancy talk like “dips**t.” Does his excuse hold water? That’s just one of the subjects we tackle in this week’s installment of the Roundtable. Let’s get to it!

Re: Usutu. I was about to say, let’s quit while we’re ahead (nyuk nyuk) when I read an interview with writers/producers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coliete mentioning him while discussing “The Charlie Argument.” I’ll post their words here:

“This is always a tough [argument] for us, whether or not to kill a character. It all generally reverts back into what we call ‘The Charlie Argument.’ While we often hear from fans, executives, or even actors how we shouldn’t have killed her off, most of us believe that the reason she was such a successful character is because she didn’t overstay her welcome. We miss her because she left us wanting more. The German and Stephen Canfield certainly fall into that category – as for Usutu, we haven’t seen the last of him.”

So, how do you feel about seeing Usutu playing the Ghost of, what, Plot Devices Future?

Clara: If Usutu is just a plot device, than I will be very angry. As far as I can tell, that’s what he is– he’s only there to assist the other characters in all matters plot-fully convenient. He doesn’t even have to be alive! All he has to do is hop around in their dreams! I know we talk a lot about how the writers are very willing to write in ways to bring characters (mostly the white male ones) back to life, and I’m anticipating some people pointing to Usutu as one example of a nonwhite character being brought back. I disagree with that, because Usutu wasn’t brought back to life as his own character. He’s just there to help out the characters. He still doesn’t seem to have a history or motivations of his own. Tsk tsk, Heroes writers.

I’m sick of this Usutu As A Guardian Angel business. Now, if Usutu willingly steered a character towards a bad path, if he intentionally gave them the wrong advice, that would be interesting!

Mahsino: I gotta go with Clara on this – it would be awesome if Usutu were steering characters to his whim postmortem seeing as he was basically the Guardian Angel/Haitian 2.0 when he was alive. Then again, it would be annoying if he could only get a personality after death. I dunno, I just hate ghost like characters in shows (I’m looking’ at you too, Grey’s Anatomy).

Continue reading

Preview of ATR Premium 10: Paul Kivel

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Addicted to Race Premium is the premium version of New Demographic’s podcast about America’s obsession with race.

Since this is the public RSS feed, you will receive just a 15-minute preview of the interview.

What do white people stand to gain by fighting racism? How do we demonstrate that gains for women, people of color, and other so-called minorities don’t necessarily come at the expense of white males? What unique perspectives can whites bring to conversations about race? I’ll be speaking to Paul Kivel, author of Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice about all of these issues.

Got feedback for us? Call 917-720-6348 or email

Paul Kivel is a violence prevention trainer and co-founder of the Oakland Men’s Project, a nationally recognized multicultural organization dedicated to helping people understand the roots of violence in our society and seek positive solutions. Through his lectures, workshops, trainings and writings, Kivel works to end male violence and build alliances across lines of race, gender, class, sexual orientation and age.

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White Guy’s Burden: The Racialicious Review of 24: Redemption

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

… No, really, people watch this show every week? No wonder the Bush presidency lasted two terms.

24: Redemption is both set-up and appetizer for the show’s incomprehensible fanbase, setting the table three years after the surely cataclysmic sixth season, which left Super Agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) on the lam and out of a job, what with his beloved Counter Terrorism Unit being disbanded.

As we begin this two-hour slice of Jack’s traumatic life, the former Republican role model is moonlighting in the fictional African country of Singala, helping out an old special ops buddy (Robert Carlyle) building a school/living shelter somewhere near the country’s border. Where these kids’ parents are, why this school is not co-ed, or staffed by anybody who’s not white, is never explained. The only other person at the camp is a slimy, United Nations worker. Of course the UN guy is French, and verbally fahrts in Jack’s general direction.

But never mind the kids or their harsh socio-political realities, Jack is emotional, man!

He’s depressed about how Season 6 went down, and beset upon by an Annoying Liberal U.S. Bureaucrat (Gil Bellows) serving a subpoena for Jack to testify to Congress regarding “human rights violations.” If we’re talking about the rest of this series, can we move to upgrade the charges to Crimes Against Humanity?

(By the way, we know Bellows is playing a Liberal because he wears dorky glasses and complains about the heat. An Annoying Republican Bureaucrat would have hiked his way across the jungle, carrying the subpoena like Christopher Walken did the watch in Pulp Fiction.) Continue reading