Quoted: Reggaeton and Race

Excerpted by Latoya Peterson

In a January 2006 article published by the Village Voice, Jon Caramanica ended a largely celebratory piece on reggaeton with a somewhat sudden, cryptic remark: “Fuck a Slim Shady,” he quipped, “Hip-Hop’s race war begins here.” Caramanica thus suggests that the most prominent “racial” tensions around hip-hop are not between African Americans and whites (represented by prominent white rapper, Slim Shady, a.k.a. Eminem) but between African Americans and Latinos. Similarly, blogger Bryan Crawford’s tongue-in-cheek March 2006 post for XXL magazine’s website, “Ban Reggaeton: Fight the Real Enemy of Hip-Hop,” makes one wonder how exactly -snide and enigmatic remarks aside – the perceived rivalry between hip-hop and reggaeton is informed by extramusical tensions between African Americans and Latinos.

—From the introduction to Reggaeton, edited by Raquel Z. Rivera, Wayne Marshall, and Deborah Pacini Hernandez

“From the Wilds of America” – Analyzing the Idea of “British Colonial America” in Steampunk [Essay]

by Guest Contributor Ay-leen the Peacemaker, originally published at Tales of the Urban Adventurer

    “In the colonies the truth stood naked, but the citizens of the mother country preferred it with clothes on.”- Jean-Paul Sartre


When I first became interested in steampunk last year, I posed a question to one of my friends.

Me: “So… I was wondering about steampunk, where does colonialism fit in?”

Friend: “Colonialism? Like in the Colonies?”

Me: “Like being from the colonies.”

Friend: “Oh, you can do that. They’re different types of subgenres in steampunk, and it can take place in America.”

Pause right there. I wasn’t referring to America. Or was I? Yes, my friends and I are from the US and steampunks, and most identify our personas as being from the “Colonies.” Yet their idea of what the Colonies represented in steampunk—aka an alternative America that was still under control of the British Empire during the Victorian Era—and my interpretation of the colonies—aka the actual ones that had existed during the Victorian Era—were vastly different. Which leads to the questions I’d like to explore here. Why is the concept of the United States as a colonized America so appealing to steampunks? Is this notion damaging to steampunks of color (SoCs), whose histories are negatively intertwined with the realities of colonialism? Does the idea of a colonial America promote or denounce the imperialism that existed during the Age of Empire?
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We Accept Asian Kids With Funny Hats

By Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man


The above sign was spotted in the neighborhood of Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. Seriously. Seriously? I’m aware that this sign is probably intended to invoke a sentiment of multiculturalism and racial inclusion. But surely, there could have been a much better way of illustrating what I’m guessing is an Asian child. I mean, come on, the conical rice paddy hat? Silly. We only wear those on special days. (And dude, is it me or does that other kid have gray skin?)