links for 2011-03-14

  • "Two websites launched this week, Karma Japan and Ignorant and Online, collect a wide assortment of terrible, insensitive, hateful things said by stupid people about Japan and her people after the earthquake. Mostly, this is thick-headed white people in America saying the disaster is 'karma for Peal Harbor.' Feeding the trolls? Perhaps, but it's still an interesting sociological snapshot."
  • "Black chose eight locations on the University of Winnipeg campus to display about 120 red dresses donated by people from many different cultures. The effect is simply stunning: Despite a very busy and noisy background of 9,000 students, they are so well positioned that they cannot be missed. The dresses just hang there, clothing with no bodies, creating an intense discomfort in the viewers. Visitors are left silent, unable to keep their eyes off the dresses, almost scared that moving around them could wake up some angry spirit.

    "The color red also works perfectly here. Beyond its obvious meanings − blood, sexual energy and violence − there is also the blatant reminder that Canada remains a white-centered, male-dominated society that constantly tries to dehumanize Aboriginal women, and break their inner strength."

  • "The explanation, for public consumption, is that Depp had too many other commitments. But, if you want to know the real reason, just listen to what the actor said a couple of weeks earlier. At a news conference promoting his new film, “Rango,” Depp was asked about the possibility that he might play Villa. He said that the project was 'up in the air' and that he was facing a 'dilemma' because, as he put it:

    “'I feel like it should be played by a Mexican,' he told the assembled media. 'Not some mutt from Kentucky. … I still feel very strongly about that.'”


    "He chronicled war-torn Iraq through the eyes of its citizens, but filmmaker Usama Alshaibi says he didn't feel the sting of violence until he crashed a house party last weekend in the tiny Iowa town of Fairfield.

    "'Right when I walked in, somebody asked me my name. . .and I said, 'My name is Usama.' That's when they started hitting me,'" said Alshaibi, 41, who lived in Chicago for 16 years, and directed and starred in the acclaimed 'Nice Bombs.'"

  • "Gates was arrested while Crowley was investigating a possible break-in at the professor's home. 'It's a surprise to the world that a prominent Harvard University professor would be arrested in his own house,' Ogletree told me. "But it says more about the broader issue that Gates is the one who has a lawyer–me –who has resources, who can get a positive result, and that's not the case for most people in America who are black or brown and poor.

    "'It reminds us that we can't focus on Gates as a success if … women and men, black and brown, around the country can't find the same kind of justice.'" The answer is "to find a kind of system that's more just and more respectful of individuals."

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

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  • Jane

    I go to the University of Winnipeg, and the REDress project is staggering in its intensity and simplicity. I ride the escalator up to class, and the walls are lined by these unavoidable visual reminders of Canada’s (and Manitoba’s specifically) many missing and murdered Indigenous women. Amazing, heartbreaking project.

  • Angel H.

    Yet another reason to love Johnny Depp!

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t read any comments in any of the stories on Japan’s tragedy because I knew there would be some profoundly idiotic & racist ones posted.

    Johnny Depp – Swoon! Sounds like a real classy guy in addition to being a terrific actor & strong family man. So glad he made that decision.