links for 2010-09-21

  • "Usually, ethnic neighborhoods are shown as homogeneous, sharply bounded swathes of color. But obviously, living in a city tells a much different story — and the nature of the boundary areas are at least as important to the identity of any city as the so-called ethnic centers."
  • "Gawker is slamming a New Yorker cartoon that's part of the magazine's weekly caption contest as 'pretty racist.' The cartoon shows an apparent executive in a cowboy-like hat talking on the phone and crouched behind his desk as he's being fired at with arrows. The winning caption? 'Quick, give them a casino.' We're all 'post-racial liberal elites here who love us some New Yorker cartoons,' notes writer Adrian Chen. But 'seriously, New Yorker cartoon editors? You chose this as a finalist? And, seriously, New Yorker readers, you voted for it?"
  • "Afghan families have many reasons for pretending their girls are boys, including economic need, social pressure to have sons, and in some cases, a superstition that doing so can lead to the birth of a real boy. Lacking a son, the parents decide to make one up, usually by cutting the hair of a daughter and dressing her in typical Afghan men’s clothing. There are no specific legal or religious proscriptions against the practice. In most cases, a return to womanhood takes place when the child enters puberty. The parents almost always make that decision."
  • "'There’s no more of a noble cause than continuing the tradition of Colonel Reb,' said Mr. West, standing in the baking Mississippi heat in a giant stuffed mask and foam shoes. 'Everyone loves the guy.'

    "Well, not quite everyone. After many years of complaints about the racial insensitivity of having a man dressed as a Confederate soldier as the symbol of a university where 14 percent of students are black, Ole Miss is pulling the plug on Colonel Reb this football season."

  • "Half of the participants received a version of the scenario where the agent could choose to sacrifice an individual named 'Tyrone Payton' to save 100 members of the New York Philharmonic, and the other half received a version where the agent could choose to sacrifice 'Chip Ellsworth III' to save 100 members of the Harlem Jazz Orchestra. In both scenarios the individual decides to throw the person onto the trolley tracks.

    "Tyrone and Chip. Just in case you’re missing what Pizarro is up to:

    "While we did not provide specific information about the race "of the individuals in the scenario, we reasoned that Chip and Tyrone were stereotypically associated with White American and Black American individuals respectively, and that the New York Philharmonic would be assumed to be majority White, and the Harlem Jazz Orchestra would be assumed to be majority Black."

  • "The City of New York said Friday that it would not hire a new class of firefighters using proposals laid out by a federal judge, who had ruled that the test used to screen Fire Department applicants discriminated against African-Americans and Hispanics.

    "In a letter to the judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn, Michael A. Cardoza, the city’s corporation counsel, said all of the judge’s five hiring methods involved race-based quotas that were 'both illegal and unwise public policy.'

    "The city’s decision is the latest move in a long-running legal battle over how to diversify a firefighting force that remains overwhelmingly white."