links for 2011-03-17

  • "It's widely accepted that artists reinterpret reality, but the trouble is that Gauguin insisted that his depictions of island life were true — factual representations of a serene, sensual, primitive place. The French tourist industry was something of a co-conspirator in this; it wanted tourists to travel to the Polynesian colonies. And so it, too, underscored these images of lush, seductive destinations. These mass-marketed myths fed the fantasies of bored Europeans who were longing for something exotic, just out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered."
  • "In 2003, the Supreme Court outlawed sodomy laws with its decision in Lawrence v. Texas. That ruling should have invalidated Louisiana’s law entirely. Instead, the state has chosen to only enforce the portion of the law that concerns “solicitation” of a crime against nature. The decision on whether to charge accused sex workers with a felony instead of Louisiana’s misdemeanor prostitution law is left entirely in the hands of police and prosecutors.

    “'This leaves the door wide open to discriminatory enforcement targeting poor black women, transgender women, and gay men for a charge that carries much harsher penalties,' says police misconduct attorney and organizer Andrea J. Ritchie, a co-counsel in a new federal lawsuit challenging the statute."

  • "An Oregon school bus driver fired after he refused to remove a Confederate battle flag from his pickup truck has filed a federal lawsuit to get his job back.

    "Webber has said that the flag — emblazoned with the word 'Redneck' — is an expression of his cultural identity, and in no way a statement of racism or political beliefs."

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  • Juan

    True, the flag was on his personal vehicle and not his bus, but I’m actually amused that he was fired for it. Often when the confederat flag is displayed no one does anything about it or they smile and nod, a few times in a more supportive manner.

    And Gauguin’s work alway came off as creepy, exploitive white guy. Even more so when you dig into the history of him and his work. He’s like those people who take/took people of Native Americans in how we are “supposed to look,” going as far as giving us props and doctoring photos to fit us in a white imagination. Exactly what Gauguin himself did.

  • dersk

    He had the flag on his personal vehicle, not the school bus. He ought to win his lawsuit (even if he is a jackass).

  • Anonymous

    I’ll grant that the stars & bars coupled with the term Redneck, are a particular cultural expression. But I’ve never known anyone to deny the associated political beliefs (they’ll deny the racism all day long, but that’s just cuz it’s socially unacceptable to bear the label – even among rednecks.)