links for 2010-12-02

  • "Despite making strides in stabilizing the economy in the last decade, Colombia has South America’s most unequal distribution of wealth, except for small Paraguay, according to the Center for Economic Development Studies in Bogotá. And each November this port city puts that inequality on open display, when it hosts two beauty pageants at the same time. The rival contests offer views not only of the country’s yawning income gap but of issues of race and class in a country that has, by some measures, the Spanish-speaking world’s largest black population."
  • "Peltier has spent more than three decades imprisoned for the killing of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975. Believing it to be unjust, various hip-hop artists have come together in common cause for a new compilation album.

    "Released on Thanksgiving, Free Leonard Peltier: Hip Hop's Contribution to the Freedom Campaign enlists the services of heavyweight conscious rappers Talib Kweli, Dakaa from Dilated Peoples, Immortal Technique, M1 of Dead Prez, and 2Mex. A-Ron, executive producer of the album, says in its notes that the mission of the compilation "is to highlight a case that clearly is an abuse of the legal standards of American justice."

  • "Meritocracy forgets privilege, and the fact that folks from marginalized groups have to work a hell of a lot harder for the same reward as their more upwardly mobile counterparts. By the logic of meritocracy, the cream would rise naturally to the top, regardless of status or association, and yet generations passed wherein the "cream" remained almost consistently white and male… that is, until just recently, when the world woke up to the news that minorities were not just gratefully accepting the token slots assigned them, but slowly and surely invading campuses in force, dramatically shifting the demographic away from the white, male, middle-class face of higher education. Meritocracy was somehow, if unevenly, coming through on its promise of diversity. Calamity ensued."
  • "The six principles of a green deen: “the conviction that the earth is a mosque is rooted in some core, ethical Islamic principles that we should comprehend when attempting to live a green deen. In order to grasp Islam’s commitment to the oneness of all things, and how this commitment can be used to advocate for the environment, it’s helpful to understand some of the core spiritual principles and practices that align Islam and the environment so closely."