While you were away: a quick round-up of everything we published over the holiday season

Just in case you were too busy partying to visit us, here’s a quick roundup of almost everything we published over the past two weeks, in (mostly) chronological order.

We have some new readers.  Some of the older readers have been forgetting the spirit in which we maintain this board.  So, here are some reminders about the comments:

If you are not here to talk about both race and pop culture, you should not be here.

If you are not here to share and learn from people of different backgrounds, you should not be here.

Stop playing the Oppression Olympics.

When whites fantasize about becoming other races, it’s only fun if they can blithely ignore the fundamental experience of being an oppressed racial group. Which is that you are oppressed, and nobody will let you be a leader of anything.

Of all the varieties of irritating comment out there, the absolute most annoying has to be “Why can’t you just watch the movie for what it is??? Why can’t you just enjoy it? Why do you have to analyze it???”…If you have posted such a comment, or if you are about to post such a comment, here or anywhere else, let me just advise you: Shut up…when we analyze art, when we look for deeper meaning in it, we are enjoying it for what it is.

Jeff Yang and I had a long (think two hours) conversation about the Princess and the Frog…But what stood out to Jeff the most upon viewing the film wasn’t racial politics.  It was conservatism, which he writes about a bit on his blog.

If you were to read “100% Cablinasian” outside of the context of Racialicious and outside of the context of my writing, it propagates stereotypes about black folks. That’s unacceptable, and that’s why I am writing about Tiger Woods again…

There are two problems with painting Woods’ philandering as being about blackness:
Problem 1): Doing so effaces Woods’ mixedness
Problem 2): Doing so reduces black folks to gross stereotypes.

I raised Problem 1, but I didn’t raise Problem 2, which is this: using Woods’ behaviour to talk about how all black folks think about relationships, is inherently stupid. Black folks are not a monolith, black folks obviously have a vast range of ideas about Woods’ identity (if they have any at all), and black folks have a vast range of ideas about Woods’ philandering, if they have any at all.

I didn’t speak to Problem 2, because that’s not what I wanted to write about. I realise now that was a big mistake…

While I made a lot of mistakes in “100% Cablinasian,” I said some things that I still stand by…my issue is not that all mixed race people should be seen as mixed race. It is that mixed race people should have the right to self-identify. So, if a mixed race person of black parentage wants to be seen as black, we should call ‘em that. If a mixed race person of black heritage wants to be seen as Cablinasian, they should be seen as that. If a mixed race person of white parentage wants to be seen as white, we should call them that…

While some people view Tiger’s fetish for whiteness and see black internalised racism, as a mixed race person I recognise a pattern of anguish typical to mixed race people in a racist culture: a hyper-consciousness of how others perceive your looks and appearance; imposter paranoia – the constant anxiety that others’ affection for you is based on racial qualities you don’t actually possess; and an unshakeable feeling that you are never enough of anything.

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity (CIR ASAP) is amazingly thorough…However, the bill has not been without controversy. Outside of the general right-wing protests against immigration, the bill has also drawn fire from GLBT activists and allies, who point out that the legislation excludes people who are not in heterosexual families, despite the focus of the bill on “reuniting families.”

And yet, like sooooo many artists who do interesting and progressive work in one area, Gaga totally fails in another.  The very visible problems with the King Kong Gaga image suggests that along with some great parts of feminism – being sex-positive, being critical of how the entertainment industry uses women’s bodies – Gaga is also practicising the worst part of feminism: racism.

Now that the film’s out, what’s the verdict? Were these concerns warranted? Racialicious correspondents Nadra Kareem and Andrea Plaid recently caught a viewing of the film and dialogued about its merits and shortcomings.

I had to meet the woman who’s designed a special natural body product line for—and the only product tie-in to–Disney’sPrincess and the Frog.*…What I thought was going to be a two-minute interview turned into twenty minutes of talking about the movie—and Precious.  And Color Purple.  And Chris Rock.  And magic band-aids.

As adults we have plenty to say about the effects of the film, whether it’ll impact young black girls in a positive manner and if it portrays black folks/New Orleans/voodoo objectively…That’s all well and good, but I think it’s vitally important to hear what someone from the film’s target audience has to say…Please note, TH is five.

Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, Easter, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day . . . you name it. Decorations, cards, and even gift wrap tends to forget that non-white people exist.

So, let’s say you’ve got to buy Christmas presents for a friend of yours, but you just don’t know what to get her…But what a minute! Your friend is Latina! Surely, that’s a hook to get her the perfect Christmas present! But, gosh, you just don’t know anything about Latina heritage. Well, New York Times has the perfect gift suggestions for you: how about a children’s book on Sonia Sotomayor?…And what if you’re buying me a present? Well, clearly, because I’m Asian American, I simply must have a copy of “Asian Faces“, a book that tells Asian women how we’re applying our eye makeup wrong, and how to do it right…The New York Times isn’t exactly known for its racial sensitivity, but what moron green-lit this racist stereotype-perpetuating gift suggestion feature?

This year I’ve decided to join my Dakota/Lakota/Sicangu/Crow family on a journey they call the “Big Foot” or what it is now known as the “Future Generations Youth” ride. The story goes that 25 years ago, this ride started with the Lakota Youth of Pine Ridge (Red Cloud Agency) to retrace the steps of their ancestors from Standing Rock to Wounded Knee. This 7+ day non-stop horseback ride commemorates the December 1890 events with Chief Big Foot’s band, where more than 250 men, women and children were shot by the U.S. 7th Cavalry in the Wounded Knee massacre, including Sitting Bull…

Knowing that so many of the youth on this ride live through countless hardships, chose not to celebrate Christmas, and decided themselves to give back their time, energy, and spirit to their community in this most honorable way by riding on the trails of the ancestors during the so-called “holiday” season fills my heart and soul with incredible hope for what are next generations are capable of doing.

Drama Queenz, a show about three black gay men trying to make it in New York’s theatre world, and its creator Dane Joseph then deserve a huge pat on the back. It’s a Herculean effort.

The real hottest ladies on the internet are currently rocking the cover of Hyphen. My pals Jen Wang and Diana Nguyen, the brainy and beautiful bloggers behind Disgrasian, are the cover gals of Hyphen’s“Trailblazing” issue.

There are 20 different takes on Yoko Ono’s body of work and perception in the media, many of which revolve around art and gender. Others dealt with race, self-perception, and darkness. Here are my favorites…

Affirmative action is frequently discussed in terms of race — both by proponents and opponents of the practice. Yet, the reality of affirmative action is far more nuanced: affirmative action not only is intended to benefit members of all underrepresented ethnic groups (Native Americans, and underrepresented Asians to name a few), but it also benefits applicants who come from other underrepresented backgrounds including class, gender, and faith.

Unlike its glossy counterparts, The Real World, My Super Sweet Sixteen, and The Hills, Jersey Shore takes on an explicit case of ethnicity as its main focus…the show and those who participate in the guido/guidette subculture who also identify as Italian-American are making the choice to articulate their take on their ethnic identity through behaviors, styles of dress, and other aesthetic expressions despite Italian-Americans having been long-accepted as whites.

I’m aware that Ching Chong Beautiful is, in part, mocking the nature of these kinds of game shows that specialize in sadistic environments and public humiliation. But it’s still racist.