links for 2011-01-05

  • "Does the doll above look like she’s a native Hawaiian to you? Me neither. Yet, she’s American Girl’s doll of the year, Kanani. My spouse, Collateral Damage, has a few choice words on this today:

    "'In Hawaiian Kanani means 'the beautiful one.' Apparently the beautiful one in Hawaii is Haole. While her last name, Akina, may sound Hawaiian it is actually Japanese (another group known primarily for black hair and eyes and a distinctly non-Caucasian skin tone). So American Girl™®© just decided to appropriate some ethnic sounding names, put a flower in the doll’s hair and call it Hawaiian. Aznuts, as the Hawaiians say. Hell, even Disney – which has a very long history of messing up on ethnic issues — was able to do this right.'"

  • "Misal embodies the type of person who will truly transform India: not an engineer or a financier, but an average person who refuses to be satisfied with the status he was born to. Umred rioted because its people had somehow acquired the courage of their own dissatisfaction. But what kind of India will they build?"
  • "Most scholars of the Constitution consider the states’ effort to restrict birth certificates patently unconstitutional. “'This is political theater, not a serious effort to create a legal test,' said Gabriel J. Chin, a law professor at the University of Arizona whose grandfather immigrated to the United States from China at a time when ethnic Chinese were excluded from the country. 'It strikes me as unwise, un-American and unconstitutional.'”
  • "What is a word worth? According to Publishers Weekly, NewSouth Books' upcoming edition of Mark Twain's seminal novel 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' will remove all instances of the 'n' word — I'll give you a hint, it's not nonesuch — present in the text and replace it with slave. The new book will also remove usage of the word Injun. The effort is spearheaded by Twain expert Alan Gribben, who says his PC-ified version is not an attempt to neuter the classic but rather to update it."

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