Month: July 2010

July 30, 2010 / / community

By Guest Contributor Daniel José Older, originally published on View from the Crossroads of Life and Death

Ripped gentrification signI took this white dude to the hospital seven years ago; he’d left his apartment door unlocked and then got pistol whipped when he came home to find someone going through his stuff.

Now why would I so clearly remember a minor injury from ages ago? Because in my eight years working EMS in Bed-Stuy, East New York, Harlem and the Bronx, that was the singular, solitary white patient I’ve had who was a victim of violence at the hands of a person of color.  I remember sitting in the Woodhull ER with him. He was holding an ice pack to his little forehead gash and going “God! I can’t believe I got pistol whipped! It’s like…it’s like a movie!” At that point I had already given up checking the newspapers in the morning to see if any of my crazy jobs from the night before would show up. They never do; the patients are all black and brown and their tragedies, no matter how gruesome, are automatically deemed run-of-the-mill and unworthy for news attention.

In general, the white patients we get are either little old ladies; drunks who tried to play frogger across McGuinness Boulevard; college kid anxiety attacks and overdoses. We also get the occasional “All these Black people are trying to rape and kill me so I can’t leave my apartment!!” and sometimes “I stopped taking my meds and I’m about to do something really really bad.”

All this is to say that the amount of time and energy that white culture puts into being afraid of the crimes that will be committed against them in the ghetto could be better spent thinking about something that actually happens.

Read the Post NotSoMuch: The Truth About Black-On-White Crime

July 30, 2010 / / LGBTQ
July 29, 2010 / / Uncategorized
July 29, 2010 / / announcements


Dear Sister: Call For Submission

Dear Sister is an anthology of letters and other works created for survivors of sexual violence from other survivors and allies.  It is a collection of hope and strength through words and art.

The pathway for a survivor of rape and sexual violence is an unlit road of pain, isolation, and doubt.  In the weeks, months, and oftentimes, years following, the healing process can be difficult to navigate without a community surrounding her. Imagine a compilation of literary arms bound together to offer words of understanding, solidarity, and love. Dear Sister is an accessible and inclusive offering of hope, voice, and courage; seeking writers and artists who wish to light a piece of that road and lift up other women in her healing.

It is an impossible task to write a letter to every survivor of rape, to every woman who lives with an invisible scar.  Instead of thinking of the face of the person you are writing to, reflect on the image of an unlit path, a road with no clear footing. Your offering will be one light, among many, to make visible what was previously unseen, to illuminate what was hidden.  You are providing a few more steps for someone to walk steadily toward their own recovery.  Your words can be an anchor, a meditation, a prayer, a strong embrace or a gentle touch. The purpose of this anthology is not to retell stories of assault, but to help others regain a sense of balance and wholeness. Read the Post Call for Submissions: ‘Dear Sister’ and ‘Occupied Bodies’

July 29, 2010 / / movies
July 28, 2010 / / class

Hosted by Thea Lim, featuring Tami Winfrey Harris, Joseph Lamour, Latoya Peterson and Andrea Plaid

Tara’s Escape, Sookie’s Rescue

Thea: Was it just me, or were there like a bazillion storylines going on this episode? I don’t remember ever seeing so many concurrent plot lines on this show before. I am impressed that they can all keep in straight. (What?? Did Thea just say something nice about True Blood??) But to start with our girl, goooooo Tara! I was pretty thrilled not only to see Tara taking her power back, but to see a woman rescue Sookie for once. What did we think of the scenes where Tara attacks Franklin and where Sookie and Tara take out the werewolf?

Latoya: I’m not going to lie: my very first, immediate reaction when Tara was like “Sookie, I’m here and we are going to get out of here-” was to put up the black power fist. Go Tara! Then my immediate, second, sarcastic thought was “Okay, so wait, Tara, after all she’s been through, *still* has to save Sookie? She has to fuck her abuser to get away and pluck Sookie from the pedestal?” Then Tara grabbed the mace and silenced my internal squabbling.

Andrea: I was thrilled how Tara used Franklin’s weaknesses–his “freakiness” and his vampiric aversion to daylight–to get away from him. (Though I’m going to be honest: James Frain’s voice is pure aural sex; this scene sealed this for me. I just wish this scene–really, all the Tara/Franklin scenes since their night at the motel–was much more consensual so I could hear his voice being better utilized, like agreed-upon dirty talk while sexing it up.) But I just thought Tara using the mace was like Tara being tied up: all for the visual shock. I just think Franklin’s going to wake up with a bad headache and even more physically vicious.

Thea: My movie watching companion was yelling “use the ax! take off his head!!” while Tara was bashing in Franklin’s skull. Methinks Franklin might survive the bludgeoning. In any case this was the goriest episode I’ve seen in a while.

Latoya: Oh me too – I was yelling at the TV “take the mace! Stake him to make sure he’s dead!”

Joe: Finally, this is the kind of Tara I love! Cunning, quick on her feet and clever. One thing though- you can only kill a vampire in the Sookieverse by cutting off the head or staking. Frankly, if you lived in a world with vampires, wouldn’t you think to know that, just in case? I’m totally afraid that he’s going to wake up and become abusive like we never have seen from him before- and coming from Franklin, that must and will be something awful.

Thea: Were the scenes of female kickback gratifying, hyperviolent, or just gross? Or all three?

Andrea: I didn’t feel a swell of girl power watching Tara and Sookie whupping that were-guard’s ass and escaping. I know that some commenters think I’m being a bit harsh about Sookie (like I care), but I think that sequence underlines off-centeredness about Sookie and Tara’s friendship: Tara’s trying to rescue her friend and Sookie’s trying to rescue her betraying (and quite foolish) man.   Read the Post Off with his head, hipster racism & scapegoating poor folks: True Blood S03E06

July 28, 2010 / / Uncategorized
July 28, 2010 / / black

By Guest Contributor Lisa Wade, Ph.D, originally posted at Sociological Images

Leontine G. sent in a troubling example of the framing of children’s deviance, and their own complicity in this framing. While we usually try to keep text down to a minimum on SocImages, this one needs to be handled with care. So please forgive the unusual length of this post.

Leontine included two links: one to a Today show story about a 7-year-old boy who took his family’s car on a joyride and got caught by police, and one to a CNN story about a 7-year-old boy who took his family’s car on a joyride and got caught by police. Different 7-year-olds. One white, one black.

The white boy, Preston, is interviewed with his family on the set of the Today show.  Knowing his kid is safe, his Dad describes the event as “funny” and tells the audience that if this could happen to a “cotton candy all-American kid like Preston,” then “it could happen to anybody.”

When the host, Meredith Vieira, asks Preston why hid from the police, he says, “cause I wanted to,” and she says, “I don’t blame you actually.”  With Preston not too forthcoming, his Mom steps in to say that he told her that “he just wanted to know what it felt like to drive a car.”  When Vieira asks him why he fled from the police, he replies with a shrug. Vieira fills in the answer, “You wanted to get home?”

Vieira then comments on how they all then went to church. The punishment?  Grounded for four days without TV or video games. Vieira asks the child, “Do you think that’s fair?” He says yes. And she continues, “Do you now understand what you did?” He nods and agrees. “And that maybe it wasn’t the smartest thing?” He nods and agrees. “You gonna get behind the wheel of a car again?” He says no. Then she teases him about trying out model toy cars.

They conclude that this incident just goes to show that “Any little kid, you never know what can happen …” and closes “I’ll be seeing you at church buddy boy!”

The video:

Read the Post Framing Children’s Deviance