links for 2011-08-26

  • "U.S. residents are more willing to allow people with unorthodox views to speak publicly, teach and publish than they were 40 years ago, a survey finds.
    "There are two big exceptions. Only a minority is willing to let Muslim extremists express their views openly and tolerance for racist expression has remained about the same since 1977."
  • "Nia's mother Holly was immediately put off by the stereotyping, and was particularly irked by the Afro wig, although she inexplicably relented and bought her daughter the wig and allowed her to go on stage to perform the number. Abby, on the other hand, was totally upfront about the fact that she's stereotyping Nia, saying that the girl needs to learn how to do "ethnic" dances for casting calls, because those are the kinds of roles for which she'll be auditioning. After the performance, Holly and Abby exchanged words, and Abby came off really poorly when she implied that Nia was getting special price breaks on tuition because of the color of skin. Holly was incredulous, responding that she pays $100,000 a year in private school tuition and she can afford Abby's school. (Where is Holly sending Nia? Yale?)"

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  • Cocojams Jambalayah

    I wrote a comment about the name LaQueefa when this post first was added, but my comment was removed because I attempted to edit if for a formatting error. I realized this as I just looked up this Racialicious post. For the record, I wrote that the name LaQueefa reminded me of the traditional Arabic female name “Latifah” (Lateefah). That name means “kind, gentle”.  That name has been popularized in the USA because of rapper/actress Queen Latifah. However, the Lateefah name has been turned into the imo not at all funny “made up” name LaQueefah. According to Urban Dictionary,  Qieen LaQueefa is “a heavyset Black woman who intentionally and volunatarily queefs in the face of  unsuspecting patrons at their favorite strip club.”* queefs=let’s out vaginal farts   It’s possible that the dance teacher didn’t know this meaning of LaQueefa, and just thought it was a “Ghetto name”. It seems likely that Holly (the Black mother of the Black dance student) didn’t know this meaning. If so, I suspect she would have been even more angry about this dance and the name the teacher gave it.
     I agree with others that Holly’s classism showed when she put down the name LaQueefah. It’s interesting that Holly’s  daughter’s name is “Nia” (a Kiswahili word meaning “purpose” that is one of the names of the “maded up” African American holiday Kwanzaa. But this demonstrates what I have observed-that some African Americans are much more accepting of traditional Arabic and African names than they are of so-called “made up” African American names, particularly the “La” name that are usually given to females and the “De” names that are given to males (such as “DeAndre” and “Deshon”. This African American classism harks back how city “Negroes” in the early 20th century on and even before that looked down on “country” Negroes. Yes, the White woman was wrong and racist. But Black folks also have some work to do. And among that work is to be more aware of malicious slurs like Queen Laqueefa that are being made in mainstream and alternative societies and are documented on sites like Urban Dictionary.    

  • Kat

    The title of the first article is completely misleading: The study found THE SAME acceptance for racism since 1977, not less. 

    • Anonymous

      I *think* it means “less tolerance for racism than for other unorthodox views,” not “less tolerance for racism than there used to be” — but definitely, as written it’s ambiguous and misleading.

  • Kimmy

    I don’t expect much from anyone of Abby’s character- though i don’t excuse her for her idiocy and willingness to sacrifice a child’s future by condemning her to a career full of discrimination and typecasting( if she really has any pull, she should be able to command better than “ethnic roles” for her girls of color). However, Holly’s tone in her reaction was almost if not equally problematic for me. Of course she should be upset by Abby’s racism! But there is no need to shove other black women under the bus in defending her daughter. Her tone was evocative of those SAME lines racist people pull all the time: “but you’re not like those other (insert race/ethnicity here)…you’re different!” Holly basically said, “my name is Holly! That’s not a black name! Our family and lifestyle are as close to the white mainstream standards and guidelines as you can get! How dare you place my daughter and I in the same class of those people!” saddening, maddening, and disgusting.

    • km

      Completely agree, Kimmy.  No reason for Holly “defend” herself by asserting that she’s not like those “other” black people.  Besides, she obviously chose the beautiful name Nia for her daughter, which I believe is Swahili in origin and means purpose, one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa!  She has a gorgeous daughter, with beautiful curls and a beautiful name, and she should be providing a better example for her.  
      The whole “ethnic dance” thing is so problematic to begin with.  So now we have two kinds of dances, white and ethnic?  Ridiculous.  

  • Angel H.

    I was Googling for more reactions to the “Dance Moms” episode when I found this:

    It’s a forum of actual “dance moms” talking about the episode. Trigger warning for homophobia.

  • Grace

    Eww to Abby, but am I the only one who finds Holly’s “the LaQueefas” of the world comment problematic?

  • Cocojams Jambalayah

    I wonder if that scence from the Dance show was real, and not just a means of getting more people to talk about and watch that show and/or get publicity for Nia, the only Black girl in the featured dance troupe. If it was real, then it seems to me that Nia’s mother Holly should be shopping for a new dance instructor. After all, the woman just told her to her face that she wouldn’t be sending Nia to any casting calls but “ethnic” ones (Funny how “ethnic” is a euphemism for “Black” when everyone>/i> is one or more ethnic/s).Imo, Holly didn’t do nearly enough research on this dance school, and given that teacher’s attitude, whatever she’s paying for her daughter to attend that dance school, is much too much. And I think that Holly might have purchased the afro wig after that confrontation with that White teacher just to proof that money means little to her.I  also want to comment about the name of the dance that Nia was assigned.  That dance was called “LaQueefa”. In the video clip Holly indicated that she doesn’t have anything against people named “LaQueefa” but that name is far from how she and her daughter live. She might be right, but I take exception to the down putting statement of the author of that article that “LaQueefa” sounded French for “pussy fart”. Actually, I think “LaQueefa” sound a lot like the Arabic name “Lateefah” (also spelled traditionally spelled “Latifah”). That name means “gentle, kind, pleasant, friendly” and has become more familiar in the USA due to rapper/actress Queen Latifah”.   However, I think the author of that article, the dance instructor, and Holly were probably going with the “low class” image that mainstream (read White) society has put out there for female names-that is so-called Black female names that begin with “La”.  I collect & study name origins & meanings. and  I get the sense that those “La” names are considered to be “ghetto” among some Black people as well as non-Black people to a greater extent then  traditional Arabic and African language names are. Names like Latifa  are (in this particular case are inaccurately) thought of as “made up” names, which  for some people reduces their autheniticity. (Although all names were made up at one time or another).  It should be noted that Holly’s daughter’s name, “Nia”, is a Kiswahili word that means “purpose”. That word became a name given to mostly Black females as a result of its “a” ending and its inclusion as one of the 7  day names for the African American holiday “Kwanzaa”.  I find it interesting that although Holly comes across as decidedly middle class  from mainstream White perpectives, she (or her husband or her family) still gave her daughter a name that evokes African American tradition.   It just goes to show you how complicated people are.  

  • Shoshie

    Holy crap!  That Jezebel link is ridiculous.  What a terrible woman.