links for 2010-08-23

  • "Historians of travel have recognized that the great American road trip — seen as an ultimate sign of freedom — was not that free for many Americans, including those who had to worry about 'sunset laws' in towns where black visitors had to be out by day’s end.

    "For a large swath of the nation’s history 'the American democratic idea of getting out on the open road, finding yourself, heading for distant horizons was only a privilege for white people,' said Cotton Seiler, the author of “Republic of Drivers: A Cultural History of Automobility in America,” who devoted a chapter of his book to the experience of black travelers."

  • According to Penang Malay Association deputy chairman Azmi Merican, racism in the job sector was now an open truth.

    “It has become so extreme that it is denying Malays and Indians of opportunities in the private sector. Race has always been a priority with the Chinese and the majority of Malays and Indians have been deprived of employment opportunities for irrational reasons.

    “Among the reasons made mandatory in the Penang private sector is that applicants must be fluent in the Chinese language and most of the positions are limited to the Chinese community.

  • "A noose found hanging in an office for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and a letter left for a black employee asking him to check if he's a queer or a sissy who is filing a complaint.

    "Rebstock says African American workers have endured racism and harassment by those in charge at Homeland Security in Houston."

  • "On Sunday, on the same blue track in the Olympic Stadium where she won a world title last August, Semenya won the 800 again in a one-day meet. Her competitors, sharply critical when she emerged last year, were still voicing concerns, even though Semenya’s winning time of 1 minute 59.90 seconds was more than four seconds slower than her winning time last year and even though she had to come from behind on the final straightaway to win by a much smaller margin.

    "Jemma Simpson of Britain, who finished fourth Sunday in 2:00.57, said that although she felt sorry for Semenya because of the scrutiny she had endured in the last year, other competitors had been slighted in the search for justice for Semenya."

  • "He tackles one issue at a time, raising money through various fundraising opportunities. He started in 2001 at the very young age of 4, he sold clementines in his neighborhood where he raised $350 for victims affected by earthquakes that occurred in India. Over the following years he sold cookies, handmade crafts and raised funds in many different ways, including around 5 million dollars for various global causes like children with HIV/AIDS and the 2004 tsunami. He was the youngest fundraiser, advocate and spokesperson for UNICEF in 2003. By 2005 he became the National Child Representative, and an official ambassador for UNICEF Canada."
  • "All rags-to-riches (or rags-to-bitches, if you want to get all Boondocks about it) stories start with people who are poor but industrious. Tales of kids eating cigarette ash sandwiches to survive. Tales of people saving mustard packets so they have food that stretches through the whole year. Bonus points if your parent proudly refuses government help, or if you suffer through and survive a vitamin deficiency. You’re a rock star if you live many years out on the streets and still pull down a 4.0+ GPA. You have done poverty correctly.

    However, if you take what little disposable income you have and buy sushi, you are doing wrong. Poor people do not want things like smartphones (you’re poor; who are you calling on a smartphone?), televisions (you’re poor; what do you need entertainment for?), nice cars (why wouldn’t you get a modest car to get around when you’re poor), or delicious food (do you know how much ramen you could have bought for the cost of that scone?)."