links for 2010-05-31

  • "8). Unlike Irish immigrants, who predominantly entered the United States via the Ellis Island immigration center, most Asian immigrants entered America by way of Angel Island Immigration Station. Unlike at Ellis Island, where immigrants might spend between two and five hours waiting to be processed, the Angel Island facility's unspoken goal was to limit the flow of Asian immigrants into the country. Between 1910 and 1940, many prospective Asian immigrants were detained for as long as two years at Angel Island, stymied by U.S. immigration officials hoping to find reasons to deport them. Some of the detainees wrote poems in Chinese on the walls of the Angel Island detention facility; these poems have since been translated and collected into anthologies."
  • "First of all, the whitewashing is ridiculous. It’s embarrassing from the first few minutes, which shows a plucky young white boy (Dastan as a child) standing up to the cruel Persian guards who beat another street orphan for getting in the way of a horse. Naturally, this act of heroism causes the kindly King to adopt him as a son (in addition to his two biological sons, although their mother is never mentioned at all).

    The only people of color in the film are villains, except for Dastan’s plucky sidekick, who is killed off in the first 15 minutes and immediately forgotten about. (There are some white villains, but there are no people of color who are heroes throughout the entire film.)"

  • "On his tumblr blog (mildly NSFW language), Donald posted about his desire to play the webslinger, with a slightly ridiculous photoshopped image of himself. Then some fans made a facebook group, which at press time has over 1200 members. While that won’t exactly get him cast, it’s not bad for about 12 hours. His hashtag got to the point where it was trending #2 in Chicago and #3 in NYC- no small feat."
  • On his HBO show, Bill Maher did a bit about what he thinks a real black president should do: "I thought when we elected a black president, we were going to get a black president. You know, this [BP oil spill] is where I want a real black president. I want him in a meeting with the BP CEOs, you know, where he lifts up his shirt where you can see the gun in his pants. That's — (in black man voice) 'we've got a motherfu**ing problem here?' Shoot somebody in the foot."
  • A Texas debt collection company had a unique style for reminder voicemails to one black customer. "This is your motherfucking wake-up call you little lazy ass bitch. Get your motherfucking n***** ass up and go pick some motherfucking cotton fields."… [Allen] Jones sued and was awarded $50,000 for mental anguish and a whopping $1.5m in punitive damages.
  • [NAACP] president Benjamin Todd Jealous said the 101-year-old civil rights organization is moving in a new direction to draw younger members and to go beyond black issues. Indeed for the first time in NAACP's history, more than a dozen large chapters nationwide have presidents who are white, Latino, Native American or Asian. And two weeks ago, the NAACP joined the legal battle against Arizona's controversial immigration law, which some view as discriminatory against Hispanics.
  • Now ethnic-sounding names are making a comeback. Some naming experts have cited an uptick in names such as Barack, inspired by President Barack Obama.
    Parents from immigrant families may give their children an ethnic name to remain tied to their culture, said Hannah Emery, a graduate student of sociology at the University of California-Berkeley…Biracial and multiracial couples are more careful of the names they select for their children because they want the name to reflect different ethnic backgrounds, she said. So what's the big deal about picking the right name? If some academic studies are correct, a name can have consequences for a person's job, residency and even school grades. One of the most famous studies comes from the University of Chicago in 2003. Professors reported children with "black-sounding" names such as Lakisha and Jamal are 50 percent less likely to receive a call back for a job interview compared to "white-sounding" names such as Emily or Greg.

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