links for 2011-03-31

  • "Beauty pageants are all about aesthetics. So when Sandra Dubose-Gibson entered the Mrs. Black North Carolina pageant, many weren’t sure she had a shot at the crown.

    "You see, at 25 Dubose-Gibson began losing her hair due to alopecia. Although alopecia is a common disorder, when she began losing her hair, Dubose-Gibson was depressed. (You know how Black women are about our hair, right?) However, she soon realized that her hair wasn’t what made her beautiful.

    “'I was chosen to carry this burden, and it’s not a burden at all,' Dubose-Gibson said. 'It’s really been a blessing for me.'

    After coming to terms with the loss, Dubose-Gibson started a support group for women with alopecia and even made a documentary about her experience with the disease."

  • "But in the piece [Branaugh] wrote for us as part of our Brit Director's Diary series, he did address the biggest controversy that has attached itself to his film so far: the casting of The Wire's Idris Elba as Norse god Heimdall.

    "'Idris Elba is a fantastic actor – we were lucky to get him. He provides all the characteristics we need from Asgard's gatekeeper, the man who says, 'Thou shalt not pass'. When Idris Elba says that, you know you're gonna have a problem. He's smart, intelligent, handsome and an absolute joy to work with. If you have a chance to have a great actor in the part, everything else is irrelevant.

    "'If you're going to say the colour of his skin matters in a story like this, look at 50 years of Thor comics to see how many ways great artists have bent alleged 'rules'. Look at the Norse myths to see the way they confounded and contradicted themselves. That whole 'controversy' was a surprising – and daft – moment.'"

  • "For two years, Maxima has made some of Indonesia’s most popular domestic films based on a simple premise: that many in Muslim-majority Indonesia will pay to see foreign porn stars perform — clothed — in local films. Just don’t expect Indonesians to own up to it.
  • "'It is usually those iconic places — the big house, the house on the hill, the architecturally significant houses — that are saved, and very few of the places that tell the story of African Americans,' said McGill.

    "'Slave dwellings certainly tell that story,' he added. 'It's not one of those happy stories.'"

  • "'Immigrants as a whole experience worse housing conditions than other New Yorkers,' wrote the authors, Tom Waters and Victor Bach, who based their study on the New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey conducted in 2008. 'They pay a larger share of their income in rent and they are twice as likely to live in crowded conditions.'

    "But the researchers, both housing policy analysts at the Community Service Society, also warned that such generalizations could be misleading because when examined close up, housing conditions differ widely among immigrant groups, reflecting the diversity and complexity of the immigrant experience in the city."

  • "After the spirit bowl I walked to my Spanish class and was appalled that he was sitting in class. His friends were laughing and bragging how funny it was. I then realized I needed to talk to my father as soon as possible. I asked my teacher if I could go to the restroom, took the pass, and when I got outside I called my father. He told me to go to the office immediately and tell someone about my situation. I had no idea he was preparing to join me.
    We all know that racism is a problem and I had heard a series of stories underlying race problems in Utah. I am now convinced that this is true. Who in their right mind would plan to blatantly enforce their hate for others in a large gathering in a public school? How is it a joke? How is that funny?"
  • "Such politics betrays an insecure touchiness about our icons that's out of place in a mature democracy professing to uphold freedom of expression. Ironically, many famous personalities themselves challenged official projections of their image in their own lives."

Racebending and other Asian-American Groups Speak Up Against Akira Whitewashing

By Arturo R. García

Earlier this week, Racebending – the group who organized the boycott against 2010’s Last Airbender film – sent letters to the studios behind the upcoming Akira movie adaptation, following reports that the movie, based upon Katsuhiro Otomo’s iconic manga series, would be subject to a similar whitewashing.

The letters were addressed to Warner Brothers president Jeff Robinov and Thomas Tull, chairman and CEO of Legendary Pictures, and was also signed by these Asian-American community groups:

Continue reading

Latoya Takes San Francisco…and a Tweet-Up, Too

The Women’s Media Center Presents

An Evening With Gloria Steinem And Young Feminist Leaders

(Latoya/San Francisco)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Herbst Theatre
San Francisco, California

6:00 PM

Confirmed young feminist speakers include:

Lena Chen is a sex and gender journalist and blogger (,, organizer of the 2010 Rethinking Virginity conference, and co-founder of Feminist Coming Out Day, a visibility campaign started at Harvard University and now active at 15 colleges in the U.S.

Shelby Knox is a feminist organizer, speaker and writer, and Director of Organizing, Women’s Rights, for She became nationally known as the subject of the 2005 Sundance award-winning film The Education of Shelby Knox.

Miriam Perez is a writer, blogger and reproductive justice activist. She works with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and is an Editor at

Latoya Peterson is a hip hop feminist, editor of, and tech and gaming enthusiast. She eats pop culture for breakfast.

Moderated by Rose Aguilar, host of — KALW News.

PriceGeneral Admission $29/ Students $15

Racialicious is also hosting a San Francisco tweet-up, “Cool x2,” with Latoya and Lena.  (You just might see Miriam and Shelby there, too. ;-))  The event will be at Tommy’s Joynt, 1101 Geary Rd., just 10 minutes away from the Herbst Theatre.  Swing by around 8:30PM and meet other folks from the R nabe. The bar is wheelchair accessible.


links for 2011-03-30

  • "It doesn't matter what the Constitution and various court decisions say. We stripped them of their land, cultures, languages, and religions. Now let's strip them of the money that was supposed to compensate them. They're only 'dirty redskins,' so who cares if we rob them twice? We'll rob them as many times as it takes until they shrivel up and die.

    "Pay close attention to what this Jolly Roger is saying. Indians are suffering high rates of suicide, but let's do nothing to help them. Maybe they'll help themselves and maybe they won't. If they don't, problem solved. Once they're dead we can take their remaining land and resources without listening to them whine about their 'rights.'"

  • "A group of Christian and Muslim leaders spoke out Monday in a Detroit church against the planned visit of Terry Jones, the Quran-burning pastor from Florida.

    "Jones told the Free Press last week that he's coming to Dearborn next month to protest outside the Islamic Center of America against Islamic law and rule.

    "The Rev. Charles Williams II, pastor of King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit, said Monday that Jones is bringing 'a message of hate' to Michigan.

  • "The French call it nostalgie de la boue, or 'yearning for the mud.' It's a great phrase for describing what these white writers mean when they say they like the way Odd Future's music makes them 'feel weird and awful.'

    "It's the same charge people got from listening to Biggie's robbery schemes on 'Gimme the Loot,' and the visceral thrill that made audiences get to their feet when Mike Tyson used to manhandle opponents in the ring. Consider it a kind of cultural tourism in which spectators get to feel dangerous without ever really approaching danger."

  • "I was dancing in a G-string and pasties when I first realized I was a feminist. Backtrack: I was a young woman experimenting with the boundaries of freedom. It was the sexual revolution, the time after Roe v. Wade and before AIDS, and there was enormous confusion about what it meant to be free."

Daughter of The Great Migration

By Guest Contributor Tami Winfrey Harris, cross-posted from What Tami Said

Over the course of six decades, some six million black Southerners left the land of their forefathers and fanned out across the country for an uncertain existence in nearly every other corner of America. The Great Migration would become a turning point in history. It would transform urban American and recast the social and political order of every city it touched. It would force the South to search its soul and finally lay aside a feudal cast system. It grew out of the unmet promises made after the Civil War and, through the sheet weight of it, helped push the country toward the civil rights revolutions of the 1960s.

During this time, a good portion of all Black Americans alive picked up and left the tobacco farms of Virginia, the rice plantations of South Carolina, cotton fields in East Texas and Mississippi, and the villages and backwoods of the remaining Southern states–Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, and, by some measures, Oklahoma. They set out for cities they had whispered about among themselves or had seen in a mail order catalogue. Some came straight from the fields with their King James Bibles and old twelve-string guitars. Still more were townspeople looking to be their fuller selves, tradesmen following their customers, pastors trailing their flocks.

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

Reading The Warmth of Other Suns, I am reminded again that I am a member of a soon-to-disappear group–children and grandchildren of The Great Migration.

I was trying to explain to a friend–a 40-year-old white guy–how I really want to travel with my nieces and nephews to Mississippi, so they can experience going “down South” in the summertime, something they have never done. He replied, “Yeah, my family used to head down to the beach in Florida all the time, when I was a kid.” And I had a hard time articulating that what I am speaking of is different. Here in Central Indiana, it seems every white family clears out of town to the Florida beaches come Spring Break or summertime. But what I’m talking about is different.
Continue reading

Quoted: Chicago Abortion Fund Opposes South Side Billboard Campaign

“[I]t’s clear those who fight against reproductive choice for women of color know nothing of why women choose abortion Rather than create fake concern for a community these people have never set foot in, Life Always should spend their energies helping us address the reasons why women decide to choose abortion.  The procedures we help fund are because out community is among the least likely to have regular access to healthcare, family planning and comprehensive sex education.  Our services exist because our women are among the most likely to be victims of sexual assault…

“Women have a legal right to access abortion services and should not be shamed regarding the personal choices they make.  Abortion is a personal decision, not a political discussion.  We will not be moved moved by this anti-choice attempt to hijack our communities.”

~~Chicago Abortion Fund‘s Executive Director Gaylon Alcaraz

If you want to let Life Always know how you feel about their billboard, you can sign a petition here.

Photo credit:

links for 2011-03-29

  • "Emily, a United States citizen, and her grandfather, a Guatemalan traveling with a valid work visa, had been detained by immigration authorities at Dulles International Airport near Washington, where the plane had been diverted because of bad weather. The officials had told Emily’s grandfather that because of an immigration infraction two decades ago, he would not be allowed to stay in the country.

    "That has left Emily, a pigtailed native of Long Island, in an unusual limbo. As a citizen, she has the right to re-enter her country. But her parents are [undocumented residents], which has complicated the prospect of a reunion.

  • "The Seminole Tribe of Florida will ask the Department of Defense to withdraw portions of a brief that compared Seminole ancestors to the terrorist group al-Qaeda. The comparison showed up in a case in the U.S. Court of Military Commissions Review. Government lawyers likened the situation to the treatment of two British men who were hanged in 1818 for helping the Seminoles resist the U.S. military. The argument drew an angry response from the tribe. 'To equate the historic struggle of our ancestors in resisting General Andrew Jackson’s unlawful invasion of our homeland to al Qaeda terrorism is a vicious distortion of well-documented history,' general counsel Jim Shore told The Miami Herald."
  • "Quick, which group has the U.S. government helped out the most? Wall Street, maybe? Or the unemployed? Oh, how about all those defense contractors? Wrong, says Fox News contributor John Stossel. As far as Stossel is concerned, it's Native Americans.

    "Stossel was on Fox & Friends this morning to discuss some high-paying government jobs recently reported in The Daily Caller. The report found that the 'Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs needs someone to run the Facebook page for the Dept. of the Interior and they'll pay up to $115,000 a year.' Stossel took that as an opportunity to wonder about the entire concept of a Bureau of Indian Affairs."

  • "Officials at the Islamic Center of America, which draws about 1,200 worshipers for Friday prayers, say local law enforcement encouraged them to take a low-key public stance on the January explosives arrest. Authorities wanted to avoid inspiring copycat attacks or reprisals, mosque officials said.

    "The mosque issued a news release after the suspect’s arrest but limited its interviews with the media. Chuck Alawan, 80, a founding board member of the mosque, has some regrets about the mosque keeping relatively quiet about the incident.

    “'You never hear about all the threats against mosques,' Alawan said in the thick Midwestern accent of a lifelong Michigan resident.

    “'I was born in this country, and I have never felt persecuted,' he said. 'But it’s getting close to that.'”

  • "'The First Amendment was written by the Founders to protect the free exercise of Christianity. They were making no effort to give special protections to Islam. Quite the contrary,' Fischer wrote on his Renew America blog."
  • "Amazon’s forecast turned out to be correct: It is precisely this business model that makes it possible for extremists like Bristow to get their self-published screeds – “books with low and uncertain demand” which a decade ago would have been limited in quantity, difficult to find, poor in quality, and unknown to anyone but hard-core believers – to a broader audience than ever before. It may well be that no human being at Amazon or its POD service ever actually reads a book like White Apocalypse —the book may be produced entirely by computer….[l]ike any private business, Amazon is entitled to determine what books it wishes to promote. The bookseller seems quite clear on some matters — pornography and books that prove an embarrassment among them.
  • "But just how an FBI terrorism task force and Justice Department prosecutors built their case again the former U.S. Army soldier remains a secret. There have been no other arrests and Harpham wasn’t charged with conspiracy, which would have been a clue that FBI agents were still looking for one or more additional suspects."
  • "Of the four female researchers, the African-American received the worst treatment, according to the study. Many DSHS receptionists also assumed the Asian-American investigator was a foreigner and asked questions about her citizenship status, even though she was born in America and had no accent, said lead investigator Rose Ernst, Ph.D., an assistant political science professor at Seattle University and the study’s author. The African-American investigator encountered rude or dismissive behavior in roughly 40 percent of her visits to DSHS offices compared with 25 percent for Ernst, the white investigator. At times, staff members raised their voice to 'shame' the African-American investigator by broadcasting her question to the entire office, the report says."
  • "The research, by Ellis Cashmore, professor of culture, media and sport at Staffordshire, and his colleague Dr Jamie Cleland, senior lecturer in sociology, involved 1,000 football fans, professional players, referees, coaches and managers revealing their views on the dearth of black managers. More than 56% of those polled said there is racism at the top of football's hierarchy; among BME respondents, that figure was 73%. Most radically of all, over half of BME fans called for a policy similar to the Rooney rule in the US, which stipulates that all shortlists for management and coaching jobs in the National Football League must include at least one minority candidate. The Staffordshire academics report that a third of the polled football fans encouraged this type of reform."
  • "“What is the alternative? You need electricity and you need to preserve the forest. But 20% of the world’s oxygen comes from the Amazon. It’s not an easy decision, but you have to think about these things, and about the future of your children and grandchildren. You also have to consider the indigenous population, the wildlife, and the plant species that can be used to cure illnesses and will be affected by building these dams,” he said, adding that one other alternative was to dig up old landfills and burn the recyclable matter to create energy."

Marvel Teases A ‘Black’-Out: What To Make Of The ‘American Panther’?

By Arturo R. García

If Marvel Comics wanted attention for this teaser picture of the “American Panther,” who will allegedly be tied in to this year’s “Fear Itself” marketing line storyline, they certainly got it: the thread about the image at Comic Book Resources threatened to crack the 500-comment mark within 24 hours of it going live Monday.

Of course, many of those comments were along the lines of “What?” But go fig, there might be a twisted sort of logic behind this move – under a certain set of circumstances.

Continue reading