links for 2011-08-31

  • Demographic shifts ahead! – LDP "Along with Washington, the regions surrounding New York, San Diego, Las Vegas and Memphis have become majority-minority since 2000. Non-Hispanic whites are a minority in 22 of the country’s 100-biggest urban areas."
  • 'On the morning of Aug. 29, an off-duty Washington, DC Metro police officer fired five times into a car whose passengers included three transgender women. Three of the passengers were injured, one critically, in the second instance of anti-trans violence by an off duty DC Metro police officer in the past nine months.

    The officer apparently solicited one of the women for sex, according to the Washington Blade, then harassed and pursued the group until crashing his vehicle into their car and firing upon them."

  • "This loofah isn’t just commercialism taken to an illogical extreme, as it has been understood on DCentric. It is a deliberately irreverent product, the reverse of this exfoliating glove proclaims ‘I have a clean…’. If you were looking to cash in on Martin Luther King’s image you’d pick something in keeping with the way he is understood. This item’s selling point is its humour, its play on words, its ability to be flippant about a popularly respected figure. I don’t find it offensive, but then I am a reluctant fan of puns. However, I can’t think of a single person who would buy it. Caricatures of human beings?  Maybe. The kind of people who populate their homes with joke accessories like money toilet paper? Perhaps. Finance guys who live in 80s style loft conversions and own more stainless steel stress toys than books? If they still exist and want to give a jaded giggle to their guests, possibly. Culturally astute, hyper clean racists? Probably. Honest to goodness actual people? No."
  • "Comedian Katt Williams finds himself embroiled in controversy after going on an onstage rant last week on the subject of Mexicans. As the YouTube video of the incident makes the Internet rounds, his first mistake was performing in Phoenix, Arizona in the first place. 

    "Things started innocently enough with Williams saying in regards to Mexicans, 'It appears to me y'all like it over here a lot,' feeling like a humorous reference to the demographics of immigration, but then things, inexplicably got ugly. 'If y'all had California, and you loved it, you shouldn't have gave that motherfucker up! You should have fought for California, goddamn it! Since you loved it.' The tone was patronizing and moved beyond the bounds of comedy into that of a rant as Williams continued on."

  • This mofo will not stop, will he?–AJP

    "Beck notes that, in South Africa, recognized races and ethnicities include black and 'colored' (Wikipedia explains the term thusly: 'In the South African, Namibian, Zambian, Botswana and Zimbabwean context, the term Coloured (also known as Bruinmense, Kleurlinge or Bruin Afrikaners in Afrikaans) refers to an ethnic group of mixed race people who often possess some sub-Saharan African ancestry but not enough to be considered Black, either by themselves or by others.')
    "So is the term 'colored,' Beck and co. wondered, really such a 'bad thing' as we're lead to believe? 'Only here,' he lamented, referring to the U.S. 'Why are we made to feel bad?'"

  • "When interviewer Alex Bogusky suggested it was hard to difficult to respond to critics of increased emissions regulation, Gore replied: 'It is no more difficult that it was for southerners to talk about the evil of racism.'
    "Project 21 spokesman Jerome Hudson noted: 'When Al Gore compares those who question his perception of man-made global warming to racists and segregationists in an attempt to ‘win the conversation,’ he reveals a disturbing desperation that not only alienates him from the mainstream but marginalizes his logic and nullifies his already flailing credibility.'"
  • "President Obama can’t do much more to ease the doubts and fears of many whites that he vowed to fulfill his duty as president of all the people, and to do the best job he can on legislation and public policy to serve the needs of all constituencies. He has even repeatedly drawn the wrath of the Congressional Black Caucus, publicly resisting their loud appeals for him to do and say more about the crisis of black joblessness and poverty. He’s paid a price for that as his approval ratings have dropped among blacks. But his unswerving race neutral, low-keyed, scrupulously non-confrontational, approach to presidential governance has meant absolutely nothing when it comes to changing the attitudes of many white voters. It’s in part the ancient mix of white suspicions and doubts about black competence, intelligence and ability, pure blind, naked bigotry, and unease with an African-American holding the world’s most visible and important political power position."
  • "It looks like Da Brick is a go at HBO. I hear the pay cable network has handed out a pilot order to the drama project about a young boxer from Entourage creator Doug Ellin, filmmaker Spike Lee, former boxing champion Mike Tyson and writer John Ridley. Ridley wrote the script for the pilot, which will be directed by Lee. Set in current-day Newark, NJ, nicknamed “brick city,” The Brick is described as a contemporary exploration of what it means to be a young, black man in supposedly post-racial America and is loosely inspired by aspects of Tyson’s youth. Search is under way for an young back actor to play the lead."

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  • Cocojams Jambalayah

    On his radio show today, Glenn Beck tackled a particularly sticky issue when it comes to race. How does it make any sort of sense, he wanted to know, to refer to all black persons as “African American,” particularly when so many black individuals don’t live in the U.S.A

    Given that this is Glenn Beck, I’m not surprised that he’s all wrong about who  “African American” refers to. “African American” is not meant to refer to ALL black people. It doesn’t even necessarily refer to all Black people in the United States or from the United States.  Black folks in the USA and elsewhere are free to refer to themselves using  the nationality name and.or the population name that they choose. But you and I know that Glenn Beck had his own agenda
     for  ranting about this topic.  He’s just doin his thing to keep or regain media attention and the money his followers send him.Click to read an essay I wrote about how African American became the formal group referent for Black Americans.  

    • Alyson

      Agreed.  I know some Black people who prefer being called Black and others who prefer being called African-American (as well as some who don’t have a preference), but I’ve never met a single African-American person who accepted being called “colored.”  Different countries have different terms, and that’s fine.  The US and South Africa have different histories, and the different terminology came from those histories.  Beck can’t just wave his hands and change that.

  • Kat

    I just read the comments on the Washington Blade article on the assault of the transgender women in Washington DC. I can’t.  I just… Wow… basically several posters wrote that it was the fault of the women by ‘being in the face’ of the police officer that they were shot and for being ‘outside at 6am in the morning’, which means a) that they are prostitutes, (I don’t see how that works at all, my housemate leaves for work at that time and no, no johns involved, just school teaching and a long commute) and b) that then it’s okay to try to kill them… I just CAN’T!!! So angry, frustrated!!!