links for 2010-01-19

  • "Dr. Erin Gilbert, a chief resident in dermatology at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, said that she or a colleague saw a case of severe side effects from skin-lightening creams at least once a week. Dr. Gilbert attributed the frequency, which she called surprising, to the fact that the hospital served an “amazingly international cross section of women of color.” Users are not necessarily immigrants, said Dr. Eliot F. Battle Jr., who has a dermatology practice in Washington, where he treats side effects from lightening creams “not only containing corticosteroids, but mercury,” a poison that can damage the nervous system. The patients are “Ph.D.’s to women from corporate America, teachers to engineers — the entire broad spectrum of women of color,” Dr. Battle said."
  • "Activists like Haywood believe that using the law in this way is part of an overall policy by the New Orleans Police Department to go after petty offenses. According to a report from the Metropolitan Crime Commission, New Orleans police arrest more than 58,000 people every year. Of those arrested, nearly 50 percent are for traffic and municipal offenses, and only 5 percent are for violent crimes. “What this is really about is over-incarcerating poor and of-color communities,” said Rosana Cruz of VOTE-NOLA, a prison reform organization that is also a part of the new coalition."
  • "I can’t even get in a golf club in Palm Springs. I’m from Marcy Projects. Just think about that? People that control the world?"
  • "When you reduce it to the 'I have a dream' speech and a fried chicken and collard green lunch, you have just destroyed everything that Dr. King stood for," said Vern Howard, chairman of the Martin Luther King Jr. Colorado Holiday Commission.
  • "The drop-off in applicants follows a spate of attacks on Indian students in Melbourne and Sydney in the first half of last year, and a rash of unfavourable headlines about the unscrupulous practices of some colleges and migration agents."
  • "Is an apology that’s not said out loud really an apology? What if the person expressing the apology doesn’t draw attention to it?
    Those are questions that some tribal citizens are asking upon learning that President Barack Obama signed off on the Native American Apology Resolution Dec. 19 as part of a defense appropriations spending bill."
  • "This isn’t racism, per se: it’s colorism, an unconscious prejudice that isn’t focused on a single group like blacks so much as on blackness itself. Our brains, shaped by culture and history, create intricate caste hierarchies that privilege those who are physically and culturally whiter and punish those who are darker.

    "Colorism is an intraracial problem as well as an interracial problem. Racial minorities who are alert to white-black or white-brown issues often remain silent about a colorism that asks 'how black' or 'how brown' someone is within their own communities."

  • "Before the event could get started, though, a guest leaned over to whisper a different message into his ear, one informed by more than a century of experience.

    'This must be the Lord's doing,' 102-year-old Mabel Harvey told him, 'because we've come a mighty long way.'"

  • "Kosovo is still recovering from the war with Serbia; NATO and then the United Nations have been in the republic attempting to keep the peace. These internationals, Trix says, often have a very myopic view of what it means to be Muslim as well as Balkan. “I saw a fair amount of ignorance on the part of the internationals,” Trix says. “And here I’m speaking mostly of Western Europeans, who bring with them, what I see, as somewhat racist attitudes. They don’t the history of the Balkans; they know very little about history of Kosovo, of Albanians, they know less about Islam. They bring their attitudes and their condescension. It’s not a pretty picture.”
  • "Gies never accepted the label of hero she was given, stating "I don't want to be considered a hero. Imagine young people would grow up with the feeling that you have to be a hero to do your human duty. I am afraid nobody would ever help other people, because who is a hero? I was not. I was just an ordinary housewife and secretary."
  • "Many of us (African American Republicans) have tried to sit back and look the other way, but when this kind of silly and meaningless rhetoric is espoused with such callousness and lack of sincerity, you can’t be silent. I don’t like having to speak out against my own party or its leadership. But if we do not, this continues, and it makes it appear that all African American Republicans are a part of this foolishness. Because of this, many of us have bowed out of the GOP political mix. It also makes it hard to recruit other African Americans into the Republican Party, at a time when the Party needs to attract us.”