links for 2010-10-31

  • "As of now, the McGhee's have received very little financial or community assistance to help them support these children.  In the past, multiple families have been showered with diapers and formula and other baby necessities, but this couple has not experienced that treatment.  According to the Columbus Post-Dispatch, Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee sent six Buckeyes onesies, and the Columbus City Council gave the McGhee's a certificate honoring the city's first set of sextuplets. A fund set up at Chase bank after the babies' birth remained empty as of the beginning of this month."

links for 2010-10-30

  • “As of now, the McGhee’s have received very little financial or community assistance to help them support these children.  In the past, multiple families have been showered with diapers and formula and other baby necessities, but this couple has not experienced that treatment.  According to the Columbus Post-Dispatch, Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee sent six Buckeyes onesies, and the Columbus City Council gave the McGhee’s a certificate honoring the city’s first set of sextuplets. A fund set up at Chase bank after the babies’ birth remained empty as of the beginning of this month.”
  • “Native American studies professor Lloyd Lee says these detractors are misinterpreting the story: ‘The interpretation is that women can’t lead, that it creates confusion and mess. When in fact it’s not meant that way at all.’ And her opponent Ben Shelly says gender shouldn’t be a campaign issue: ‘Is she or he qualified to be a leader? This is not a question of gender, it’s a question of leadership.’ Still, sexism remains an issue for women seeking tribal offices (as it does for women running for office in general). Says Cecilia Fire Thunder, the first female president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, ‘White women face a glass ceiling. Indian women face a buckskin ceiling.'”
  • “The attacks that police are investigating have all taken place in the past year and have all been aimed at people who look as though they might be immigrants. Of those 19 shootings, one person has been killed and eight have been injured.
    “Many fear the shootings could be the work of one man.
    “‘He’s putting fear in all of us who are not Swedish,’ says 27-year-old Jamal Yusuf, who came to Sweden in 1992 from Somalia.
    “‘If you’re not blond, if you’re not an original Swedish person, if you’re an immigrant like me, that’s it for you.'”

links for 2010-10-29

  • "The idea of brown women being over-sexed and improper, and thus more willing sexual participants for non-brown men, is an old and pervasive one. It's particularly clear looking at the costumes available for women. Pocahontas wears an up-to-there dress, Flamenco dancers bear a midriff, and a bush woman may get nothing more than a loin cloth. Perpetuating these ideas with hyper-sexual costumes is a common, yet potentially dangerous thing to do."
  • "Beyond the horrifying minimization of the genocide of Native peoples and continuing legacy of colonialism in the Americas, let's talk about the logic here. So. First of all, Conquistadors and Navajos. I get the cutesy 'omg we're so clever look at us make the theme of 'bros and hos' into something related to Columbus Day!'–which has major issues as it is (remember our discussion of the sexualization of Native women?) but really? Conquistadors=South America, Navajos=American Southwest. Columbus=West Indies. Pilgrims=American Northeast. and how are cowboys even related at all?

    "And I refuse to accept the 'it's just a party, get over it' mentality. Some of the main reasons this is incredibly harmful to Native peoples (including and especially the Native students at Harvard)…"

  • "This is the state of our politics. This is where things have arrived in post-race America. We’re at a place where congressmembers demean crucial, inventive public policy with racist nicknames, like the one Iowa Rep. Steve King came up with to stop the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program: Socialized, Clintonesque, Hillarycare for Illegals and Their Parents. Or where President Obama’s choice to co-chair his deficit commission, Alan Simpson, compares Social Security to a 'cow with 310 million tits.' That wasn’t an offense that warranted Simpson’s firing; he was given a benefit of the doubt the White House could not extend to Van Jones and Shirley Sherrod."

Introducing: Blogging Insider [$2 Challenge]

by Latoya Peterson


Recently, I did an interview with Mike Green, titled “Media, Entrepreneurship, and Birth of a New Nation.

Mike had asked me about what the ultimate goal was for Racialicious. It’s a tough question to answer, since it’s such an evolving space. Here’s what I said:

[T]here’s not enough minority-controlled media. There just isn’t. There aren’t that many spaces controlled by minorities, controlled by women that have the power to push back and have the power to discuss issues that are critical to us. To look at things through a different lens. There’s tremendous power in that. In being able to have a stage and to use it for what you will.

So I found myself shifting a bit. At first, my goals were to be financially comfortable, eke out a living and have a job I didn’t hate that was flexible. And now it seems like there’s a bigger responsibility in that I’ve been able to acquire this huge platform and grow it. Now I’m asking, “OK, What can we really do with this?”

Can we provide people with the job training they need? Because that’s one of those things people are up against. They don’t have experience. They don’t have training. They don’t have their first published clips. Can we be that for some people? Can we grow this into something larger? Can we grow this into a media company?

So, I think that’s the direction we’re moving. What does this new media marketplace look like? What does entrepreneurship in media look like online? I feel like there’s tremendous potential in this space to do it.

Q: Why is it important for there to be more Black-owned media and, in particular, women-owned?

A: One reason is the corporate control of media in general: media consolidation. Just the fact there are thousands of media outlets but when you start tracing it’s really owned by basically eight people. (laughs) There just a few companies that control about 85 percent of what you watch and see. And there’s just a few families in control. It’s a small number, maybe 40 or so that have access into the ridiculous range of how we consume media.

And since media is how we understand ourselves and society, media helps to project not only things that provide understanding, like the news, but also projects things that stereotype. And so the media is this very powerful tool and it’s really disconcerting that there aren’t that many institutions dedicated to representing minorities in a fair light.

And the employment practices also reflect that. There’s always a very dismal representation (percentages) of minorities on television, radio and news. It doesn’t matter the format. It’s all the same problem. It keeps going. Continue reading

An Extra In The ‘Chinese Professor’ Ad Speaks Out

By Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

Soon after that “Chinese Professor” got everybody talking, question started to emerge over the Asian participants in the commercial. A lot of people pointed out that it didn’t look like they were actually from China, and more likely young Asian Americans who were recruited here, in the United States, to be part of the ad. So who were these Asian faces?

Turns out, most of the extras in this commercial had little or no idea that their appearance in the ad would turn out like this. I was recently able to track down Josh H., who happens to be one of the extras in the now-infamous future Chinese classroom. He says he was recruited when he signed up to be an extra on Transformers 3. Here’s what he wrote to me:

Continue reading

links for 2010-10-28

The Natural Hair Debate and Beauty Standards

by Latoya Peterson

Via Curly Nikki, we find this awesome video by Diamond Stylz about rocking a natural as a transgender woman. Unfortunately, there is no transcript, but Diamond makes some major points about what informs the choices we make.

Key Point:

First, I wanted to get used to the short, you know, because it’s just something psychological. I just wanted to get used to having my hair short. […]

[After explaining she dons wigs for YouTube videos, but wears her natural hair in real life] I get way less attention from men when my hair is like this. When I have the long, flowy, “ooooh” – wait, let me go get a wig. [Cut to Diamond in long wig.] When I’m giving them this […], when I’m serving them the Jacqueline Smith look, you know the boys go wild. [Flips back to natural] But when I give ’em this, I don’t really get that much attention. There’s a certain type of guy that will [pay attention], but not like it used to be, it used to be all across the board. When you’re looking like that, the guys just flock to you. But when you’re looking like this, its a certain type of guy to you. Usually he’s natural too, or he’s some kind of [puts up the black power fist] you know. […]

So it’s weird. But, the flipside [to the drop in attention], is that as a transgender woman, it helps you blend in more. […] To society, it makes me regular. I just don’t get the same attention. And I’m fine with that. I can go in the world, and not worry about people being in my face trying to clock me and figure out, you know, “Hmmm…”all that kinda bullshit, I just go about my business. Dudes just look over me. But when I have that hair on, things are totally different.

Love, Anonymously: Racialicious’ First Ever Blog Carnival

by Latoya Peterson

Back in August, I had an idea I couldn’t get out of my head.

I’ve been reading articles about sex a long, long time. And yet, far too many discussions of sex, love, and whatever else tend to be dominated by one perspective – young, white women. There are the occasional exceptions, but without fail, when I read something like this…

[I]n an economy where nearly all creative types are struggling, highly confessional essays about sex by young people — in particular women — are one of the few reliable markets for a newcomer like me.

…I can generally guess the race and background of the author. If that’s the easy way to get discovered, it would appear that few women of color ever have sex. Or write about their love lives.

Or maybe there isn’t a market unless you are young, white, and reasonably attractive.

Now, there are some of us out there.  Twanna. Lena. There’s Heather, holding down Scarleteen. But our voices are generally absent from mainstream conversations.

I kept thinking about the idea more and more, and realized there are a lot of people you never hear from, our dating and love lives relegated to the margins of experience, only known to us and a small circle of friends.

So, I sent out an email to the Racialicious crew and some long time contributors, checking their interest in a potential series.

Their responses blew every idea I ever had out of the water. Continue reading