links for 2009-12-24

  • "When I was growing up, in Ann Arbor, Mich., there was a little debate: Should school officials try to prevent black students from using the N-word? I don't believe the issue was ever settled. And this brings up the question of whether "teabagger" could be kind of a conservative N-word: to be used in the family, but radioactive outside the family. "
  • "Mr. Petry, 38, and Mr. Greenblatt, 52, may spend their days poring over spreadsheets and overseeing trades, but their obsession — one shared with many other hedge funders — is creating charter schools, the tax-funded, independently run schools that they see as an entrepreneurial answer to the nation’s education woes. Charters have attracted benefactors from many fields. But it is impossible to ignore that in New York, hedge funds are at the movement’s epicenter."
  • "The report finds that the U.S. continues to move backward toward increasing minority segregation in highly unequal schools; the job situation remains especially bleak for American blacks, and Latinos have a college completion rate that is shockingly low. At the same time, very little is being done to address large scale challenges such as continuing discrimination in the housing and home finance markets, among other differences across racial lines."
  • "The Athletics Union (AU) of the London School of Economics (LSE) has condemned an incident in which some members of the society dressed up as Guantanamo Bay inmates and drunkenly yelled ‘Oh Allah’ outside the college bar.
    The Athletics Union (AU) of the London School of Economics (LSE) has condemned an incident in which some members of the society dressed up as Guantanamo Bay inmates and drunkenly yelled ‘Oh Allah’ outside the college bar. At least a dozen students attending the December 4th ‘Carol’, the annual fancy-dress Christmas party for all sports teams, chose to wear costumes deemed “racist, religiously insensitive and demeaning”. "
  • Five people, including three police officers, have been indicted on charges related to the beating death of a Latino man in rural Pennsylvania in July 2008, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

    Two indictments charge the five with federal hate crimes, obstruction of justice and conspiracy in what authorities are calling a racially motivated attack.

  • Jones' mother restores her faith with the tale of a chimney that appears after the child falls asleep, and along the way, Mom takes her place as the song's true hero. Jones soon turns her rueful declaration into a sort of celebration: "There ain't no chimneys — ho, ho, ho, ho, no, no, no — in the projects!" Because, ultimately, Santa Claus and chimneys are irrelevant when compared to another Christmas benefactor. "Mama," Jones sings, "you are the one."
  • Here's Lindsey Graham, again, equating poor people with black people, or some such. A charitable interpretation says that Graham, in his discussion of Medicaid, is citing his state's black population because we tend to be disproportionately poor. But this would be like discussing Medicare by citing your state's sweater-knitting population because they tend to be disproportionately old.
  • When scenes are muted, body language and facial expressions are enough to convey more negative attitudes towards black characters compared to white ones. This bias is so subtle that we're largely unable to consciously identify it, yet so powerful that it can sway our own predispositions. In some ways, racial bias acts as a contagion and television as one of its vectors.
  • Anywhooo, the militant in me fought with my taste. The militant wanted black faces on covers of all future King-Bey titles. Militant argued that Dee doesn’t write for whites and isn’t trying to gain their acceptance anyway, so make them look at our black faces. Taste was like, hold up. Dee writes the story that is in her, not to a targeted audience and she doesn’t like populated covers. 
  • So, what do you think:  Is this Gap ad featuring Black people dancing and singing about the “hood” using stereotypes to appeal to black people?  Or white people?  In the latter case, would you consider this a form of objectification?  
  • But the SoHo bouncers and the Chelsea graphic artist don’t have much to worry about, at least from the police: they are white. Even though surveys show they are part of the demographic group that makes the heaviest use of pot, white people in New York are the least likely to be arrested for it.
    Last year, black New Yorkers were seven times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession and no more serious crime. Latinos were four times more likely.