links for 2010-04-01

  • Lewis: "See, we can make anything look racist."

    Jones: "But you make it look sooooo easy."

  • "'You have black folks calling in on the Republican line, independents. And you have so many of 'em I can't believe this is just an accident. If you keep on with the way you've been programming, you should change your name from C-Span to black-span,' he said. 'I know they have an opinion but I wish that they would be honest and call in on the right line.'"
  • "In Los Angeles, immigrant advocates also denounced the memo as a betrayal of promises made by the Obama administration that enforcement actions would focus on criminals and exploitative employers. Instead, they said, the majority of those being picked up are immigrants with families, jobs and no criminal backgrounds.
    "The administration 's choosing to deport hard-working people and destroying their families,' said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles."
  • "'I really feel disgusted when I see something like that,' said Gabriel Dufault, president of the Franco-Métis Association in Manitoba. "It's obviously the work of one with a troubled mind.

    "'It's racist in nature and I don't see any humour in this at all.'
    "Riel was a former MP and leader of the Métis people, and is considered the founder of the province of Manitoba."

  • "Based on responses to questions, the researchers determined that 51 percent of the patients stigmatized mental illness. These patients were 22 percent less likely to be taking depression medication, 21 percent less likely to be able to control their depression, and 44 percent more likely to have missed scheduled mental health appointments compared to other patients.

    "'Unfortunately, mental health stigma turns out to be one of the most serious barriers for people receiving care or staying in care,' lead author William Vega, a professor of medicine and social work at the University of Southern California, said in a news release."

  • "Three weeks ago, the pop world almost suffocated itself in anticipation of Lady Gaga's music video for "Telephone," and almost buried itself in frenzied reaction and analysis when the epic, highly referential clip debuted late on March 11. But even as debate swirled around Gaga's video, I found myself yearning more for a collaboration between OutKast's Big Boi and the protean, astonishing Janelle Monae on their song "Tightrope," a clip that finally debuted today. Monae and Gaga couldn't be more stylistically different. But in Monae, Gaga has more than worthy competition as both women revitalize music videos as a form and turn their release into major events."

Women of Color and Wealth – An Aside on Consumption and Pressure to Shop [Part 5.5]

by Latoya Peterson

Please note, this is an aside (part five and a half) of a multi-part series on the Lifting As We Climb: Women of Color and Wealth report released by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. Please carefully read part one and review our comment moderation policy before participating in the comments.

I’ve been keeping an eye on the hip-hop space as I’ve been working on some new articles and projects, and happened across Necole Bitchie (via The Fashion Bomb) discussing a fairly ignorant interaction that brought to mind some of the issues we were discussing with barriers to wealth building for women of color.  I have no idea who this Maino person is, but apparently he is a rapper with very particular ideas about the purpose and proper presentation of women – and took offense to video model Rosa Acosta wearing “cheap shoes.”

In the Maino interview he says:

    “I looked at her “boom” she’s cute but she had cheap shoes. Someone asked me would I ever try to talk to her and I said, “No disrespect but [that ain't] my type. Look at your shoes. Look at your bag. I don’t even f*ck women like you.” Imagine I pull up somewhere and you got Jay-z, you got Diddy and n*ggas about their business. I pull up in my bentley and jump out, and this b*tch got on her cheap azz shoes. I don’t want you, if I can’t sport you.”
Acosta returned fire in a different interview, making a major point about prioritizing how one spends money:
“First of all he said I’m cheap. That I wear cheap shoes. There is a difference between simple and cheap. I will not wear something that is fake so I will wear whatever I can afford. If I can just afford Forever 21 shoes, then that’s what I am going to buy [...] I am still the same girl that came from the Dominican Republic. My family has never been rich. I’m still not rich. Why would I go and buy a $2000 pair of shoes that I can’t afford when I can actually help my family that’s still living in DR, or I can save my money or I could spend money on my education. What is wrong with buying something that’s inexpensive.”
And Ms. Bitchie herself opines:

Maino’s comment and mentality is the reason why chicks are skipping out on rent and damn near having to move back home or shacking up with 4-5 roommates, just to floss. If you have a closet full of expensive shoes and handbags but still have trouble keeping your lights on or you are hiding your car from the repo man every other month. That’s a problem. If you are a guy and you are riding around in a Bentley and still living in your mama’s basement, That’s a problem.

Only buy what you can afford and if a wack azz dude don’t like it, make him buy you those $1200 dollar shoes.

The rest of the posts I am planning on the WOC and wealth report don’t really discuss consumption, but let’s go ahead and use this thread to discuss it.

Considering so many women are willing to “invest” in fashion over financial products, how does that impact our potential to accumulate wealth?  How does peer pressure factor into our consumption choices?  What about employment, particularly for those of us who work in industries where our physical presentation can influence how we are perceived? (And it isn’t just appearance based industries like fashion or hip-hop – I’ve heard the same things from friends who work in law, real estate, or financial services who have clients who expect a certain projection of success through material goods before they feel comfortable working with you.)

How does perceived social capital in the dating market (i.e. men like Maino and their preferences) influence what women choose to invest in?

Race + Fandom Roundup: M. Night on Airbender, and Tales of Two Amandas

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García
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The Last Airbender director M. Night Shyamalan finally addressed the controversy over the white-washing of his film’s casting in a recent interview. Without further ado, here’s a few excerpts …
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Here’s the thing. The great thing about anime is that it’s ambiguous. The features of the characters are an intentional mix of all features. It’s intended to be ambiguous. That is completely its point. So when we watch Katara, my oldest daughter is literally a photo double of Katara in the cartoon. So that means that Katara is Indian, correct? No that’s just in our house. And her friends who watch it, they see themselves in it. And that’s what’s so beautiful about anime …

I was without an agenda, and just letting it come to the table. Noah [Ringer, who plays Aang] is a photo double from the cartoon. He is spot on. I didn’t know their backgrounds, and to me Noah had a slightly mixed quality to him. So I cast the Airbenders as all mixed-race. So when you see the monks, they are all mixed. And it kind of goes with the nomadic culture and the idea that over the years, all nationalities came together.

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On the casting of the Fire Nation, and Dev Patel as Zuko:

The Fire Nation was the most complicated. I kept switching who was playing Zuko. It was such a complicated and drawn out thing, about practical matters. But the first person that I was considering casting for Zuko was Ecuadorian. So I started thinking that way. Then when that person couldn’t do it, the next person who came in was much more Caucasian. And then we had to switch everything around …

… Dev ended up being my choice for Zuko, and I looked for an Uncle that could be in that realm, for a moment I thought about Ben Kingsley. But Shaun Toub, I just loved him in Iron Man. I thought this takes us into a Mediterranean kind of Arab and Indian world, and I can go as far as that, that will be the breadth of the Fire Nation, that kind of look.

Continue reading

Stark Raving Bland: The Racialicious Roundtable For FlashForward 1.13

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García
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WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

When ABC executives reportedly addressed FlashForward’s objectives during its’ extended hiatus, it’s (hopefully) doubtful that one of the network’s missives was, “Y’know what? People need more of Aaron Stark.” So seeing him become a focal point of “Blowback” was a classic example of trying too hard with a character who doesn’t deserve it.

Here you had a character that went from mopey sidekick (and looking mopey compared to Mark Bedford is as impressive as wearing the douchiest Ed Hardy shirt at a UFC show) to, this week, Ex-Marine Hardened Ex-Con Amateur Hacker. What, he’s not a ninja on the weekends? His character isn’t worth a spit in the scope of what should be the show’s driving plot – the GBO and the efforts to find the people behind it before it happens again. His only connection to anything important going on is the chance that his daughter, who exists as nothing more than a plot device for him, has been abducted by those same culprits. And somehow, this suddenly-brilliant tactician records a phone-call that proves his suspicions, if not a bigger conspiracy behind it, yet he neither records the call, nor hands it over to his buddy and his FBI co-workers?

But maybe I’m being too hard on the guy. Let’s see what the Roundtable thinks of his antics. Continue reading