links for 2011-02-28

“Chaim Levine,” “Charlie Sheen,” and Racism in Hollywood

by Latoya Peterson

Charlie Sheen is a fucking trainwreck.

I caught about five minutes of an E! True Hollywood Story on the man, and saw references to drug abuse and rehab, domestic violence, and a very pissed off Heidi Fleiss, noting that while Sheen is one of the top paid sitcom stars of our time, she was stuck in jail.

Charlie Sheen has been on a downward spiral for a good while now, and it’s clear from comments like these that things are only going to get worse:

Both Today and GMA asked Sheen, who says he underwent private rehab at home, if he is now on drugs. As he told the latter, “Yeah, I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen! It’s not available, because if you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off, and your children will weep over your exploded body. … I woke up and decided, you know, I’ve been kicked around, I’ve been criticized. I’ve been this ‘Aww, shucks’ guy with this bitchin’ rock-star life, and I’m finally going to completely embrace it, wrap both arms around it and love it violently. And defend it violently through violent hatred.”

I could normally care less about the troubles of Charlie Sheen, but one of his recent verbal misfires is interesting on a few different levels. Sheen referred to Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre as Chaim Levine in an angry open letter, protesting the cancellation of the show, widely rumored to be because of Sheen’s erratic behavior. After receiving pushback for his remarks, Sheen offered this gem to TMZ:

While Charlie spilled his guts to TMZ yesterday about his hatred for Chuck Lorre, he referred to the “Two and a Half Men” creator as Chaim Levine — the Hebrew translation of CL’s birth name — which many people felt Charlie used in a mean-spirited attempt to denigrate the Jews.

Now Charlie tells TMZ … “I was referring to Chuck by his real name, because I wanted to address the man, not the bulls**t TV persona.”

FYI — Chuck’s birth name is Charles Levine … and his Hebrew name is Chaim.

Charlie added, “So you’re telling me, anytime someone calls me Carlos Estevez, I can claim they are anti-Latino?”

Oh, readers, where do we start? Continue reading

Revisiting The Most Colorful Part Of The Academy Awards – And The Razzies

By Arturo R. García

Sunday’s Academy Awards telecast didn’t do much to challenge Idris Elba’s recent assertion that the Oscars “aren’t designed for us.” But there were a couple of bright spots for PoCs during the show, and one in particular had a massive award haul – but probably not the kind he was looking for. Details, and some feel-good music, are under the cut.

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Racializens Roundup: Feminism FOR REAL Launches And MMW Goes Bananas

By Arturo R. García

Let’s start the week off by giving props to some of The R’s best friends who made some waves this weekend.

First off, Friday saw the release of Feminism FOR REAL: Deconstructing The Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism. Edited by the globetrotting Jessica Yee, this collection of essays and poetry tackles the collision between feminist theory and feminist reality. Among the contributors is our own Andrea Plaid, who talked about the project a bit on her tumblr:

Academia provides a “home”—or “safe space,” to use the parlance—for feminists. So, feminism fortified its privilege by, in essence, wedding The Academy—and really, its class privileges of having the money to go to college to “study” these ideas. Yeah, it’s a Mobius Strip of privilege, but it’s still privilege.

So, as much as feminists give lip service to “experience as a form of theoretical basis,” it seems the only time “experience” is respected is when the person has years of it (and if the person had practically founded a feminist organization).  It’s as if feminism has bought into that whole “one bachelor’s degree=5-10 years of ‘professional’ experience” that guides hiring practices. Other than that, folks’ feminism—especially being able to write and speak on it—gets dismissed real quick.

The book is coming off a successful launch event in Toronto and is now available for purchase at the link above.

Meanwhile, in California, Fatemeh Fakhraie, whose work you’ve read here and at Muslimah Media Watch, was part of a panel discussion, along with Jehanzeb Dar, who’s contributed here in the past, at the Bananas 2 conference for Asian/Pacific Islander American bloggers this past Saturday.  The first half of the panel is available under the cut.
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links for 2011-02-27

  • "Cabdrivers who refuse passengers on the basis of race or their far-flung destinations are being targeted by taxi officials who want to stiffen fines for the escalating problem."
    Officials hope that by increasing the penalties for "refusals of service" — the most egregious nonviolent offense a hack can commit — they'll stop the 38 percent rise in trip-denial complaints that took place from 2009 to 2010."
  • "The resentment some Native Hawaiians feels toward whites today can be chalked up in part to "ancestral memory," says Jon Matsuoka, dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Hawaii. "That trauma is qualitatively different than other ethnic groups in America. It's more akin to American Indians" because Hawaiians had their homeland invaded, were exposed to diseases for which they had no immunity, and had an alien culture forced upon them, he says. Stories about the theft of their lands and culture have been passed down from one generation to the next, Matsuoka adds."
  • "Its editor-in-chief, third-year law student and former NAACP Legal Defense Fund intern Sheila Adams, said in a release that high profile incidents including Arizona’s immigration law and the disproportionate impact of the financial and foreclosure calamities on minorities disprove theories that President Obama’s election ushered in a 'post-racial' society. 
    “'In short, the relevance of race in our society and, thus, the law, continues to be very much a reality, and the increasingly multi-racial and multi-cultural nature of our communities both complicates and enriches this sphere of academic inquiry,' Adams wrote in the first issue’s 'Editor’s Note.'”

links for 2011-02-25

Women’s Voices in the Revolutions Sweeping the Middle East

By Guest Contributor Tasnim, cross-posted from Muslimah Media Watch

Google executive Wael Ghonim became one of the faces of the Egyptian revolution through the Facebook page “We are all Khalid Said,” which was a vital spark to the revolution. But another important spark was a video posted by 26-year-old Asmaa Mahfouz from the April 6 Youth Movement, where she declared that she was going out to Tahrir Square and urged people to join her in saving Egypt.

The spirit of freedom Mahfouz spoke about was symbolized in Tahrir Square, where Egyptian women found an equality and camaraderie that they are hoping will be carried forward in shaping a new Egypt—a hope Mona Seif, Gigi Ibrahim, and Salma El Tarzi express in this article.

In the revolutions currently sweeping the region, women’s voices have been loud and clear, from Amal Mathluthi singing for the Tunisian revolution, to the “bravest girl in Egypt” leading chants against Mubarak, to the journalist and activist Tawakul Karaman’s heading protests in Yemen. Outside the region, R&B artist Ayah added her voice to the single “#Jan25″ in solidarity with the Egyptian people, and journalist Mona El Tahawy appeared on countless media outlets, bringing the world’s attention to the events unfolding in her country, and the ongoing events in Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, and Iran.

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