Links & Appearances – 2008-01-16

by Latoya Peterson

Update: If you can, please leave a comment for regular contributor Tami. She’s published today on the Guardian site, and most of the comments are asking her to “get over it” and stop talking about race.

Appearances

I was on two radio shows this week.

On the Brian Lerher show, I was helping to promote Yes Means Yes and talked about my essay.

And last night, I was on the Mark Steiner show talking about cyber harassment from a racial and gender standpoint with Danielle Citron, Jill from Feministe, and (special call in guest) Renee from Womanist Musings. This one doesn’t have an embed link, but you can listen to it here.

Links

AsianWeek, an influential force politically and culturally for San Francisco Asian Americans, has ceased publication after 30 years.

The New York Times publishes a group of letters about The Abortion Choices of Poor Women that honestly explores the issues and provides some resources.

The Politico notes how “a splintered field of Latino candidates could lead to the election of an Asian-American in Southern California’s majority-­Hispanic 32nd District.”

Alternet published an interesting piece called “Now I Understand Why They Hate Us:”

In 1983, I moved to Washington, D.C., to practice medicine in a small clinic in an economically devastated African American ghetto. The injustice of inner-city Washington appalled me. The public perception — then as now — was that the behavior of the poor was primarily responsible for their poverty, but as I worked in the midst of that devastation, it soon became obvious that the racism and injustice of our society were the primary causes of the poverty, indeed, the primary causes of even the behavior of the impoverished (for instance, poor education or single parenthood) that society held responsible for the poverty. Still confident in the goodness of our society, however, I naively assumed that correcting the misperception required only educating affluent Americans about the real conditions oppressing the poor, so I began lecturing and writing. I discovered, however, that most affluent people were too comfortable to confront truths challenging their beliefs that they had earned their comfort or that the poor were themselves responsible for not earning theirs. I was beginning to understand that we were not the light to the world I had imagined.

The juxtaposition of the personal generosity of many Americans with their unwillingness to recognize the injustice that made their affluence possible was striking. Most people I knew would reach out to an individual poor person in their community with help, but they were unwilling even to acknowledge the structures that caused the poverty in the first place. Why did moral people not recognize the immorality of their society? I recognize the truth of Brazilian archbishop Dom Helder Camara’s statement, “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” It was not enough to keep oneself morally upright and charitable; one had also to confront the structures that elevated some and oppressed other.

Naomi Klein makes an argument in The Nation that peace will be achieved in Gaza by BDS – Boycott, Divest, Sanction.

The New Yorker posts an interesting article on how movies get marketed. I’ll add a little something into that next week.

(Hat tips to PostBourgie for the New Yorker article, NoSnowHere for the Nation article among others.)