Links Of Interest–8/6/2012

More Diversity In The Suburbs [New York Times]

“People that grow up in diverse communities are comfortable living and working in the multiracial society we’re going to become,” Mr. Orfield said.

Diverse communities strike a fragile balance that can easily be lost over time, the study found. Once the communities fell back into segregation, they tended to remain that way.

“The frightening thing is they don’t stay stable and we don’t have a plan to keep them stable,” Mr. Orfield said. “We haven’t finished with the issues of discrimination in the housing market that make these things unstable.”

There Are Olympians Without Countries—And Millions of Regular People, Too [Colorlines]

So just how did this year’s independent Olympians arrive at their statelessnes? As Deadspin pointed out shortly after the ceremony, the reasons were both political and logistic: Guor Marial, a marathoner, was born into civil war in what is now South Sudan. The bloodshed claimed two million lives, including eight of Marial’s siblings and 25 family members in total. The violence led him to flee the country at 8 years old, first to Kenya, then to Egypt, before finally settling in Arizona. South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, has yet to form a national committee that’s required for countries to participate in the games, and even though Sudan extended Marial an invitation to represent that country in the games, he refused.

“Some things are more important than Olympic glory,” he said recently. “If I ran for Sudan, I would be betraying my people. I would be dishonoring the two million people who died for our freedom. I want to bring honor to my country. People who just want glory, the spotlight of the Olympics, they don’t care about other people. I’m fighting for independent status because I do care. When I run, I want people to see me and say, ‘He is from South Sudan.’”

Still without a passport, Marial wasn’t able to travel to London in time for the opening ceremony. So he watched like most of the rest of us did—while eating pizza with friends in Flagstaff, Ariz.

UPDATE: Gabby Douglas Leads Team USA To The Gold [Crunk Feminist Collective]

This kid, who commentators continue to suggest is “unable to handle the pressure,” was the only member to compete in all four events — vault, bars, beam, and floor.

So though she’s only 1/5 of the team, she did 100% of the events, and captured 1/3 of the points.

Of course she didn’t get 33% of the coverage, or even a quarter of the love her teammates got.

During the medal ceremony the camera panned to and stayed with Jordyn, ofttimes obscuring Gabby’s face. Commentators were exultant about Jordyn’s gold medal. “Jordyn’s gold.” As though there were a medal with her name already engraved on it or something.

Gabby Douglas Confused Over Hair Comments [Atlanta Journal Constitution]

“I don’t know where this is coming from. What’s wrong with my hair?” said Douglas, the first U.S. gymnast to win gold in team and all-around competition. “I’m like, ‘I just made history and people are focused on my hair?’ It can be bald or short, it doesn’t matter about (my) hair.”

Battling Perceptions About Minority- And Woman-Owned Businesses [New York Times]

Despite subcontracting requirements, Ms. Johnson said many big companies dodge their obligations by claiming they made a good faith effort to retain a certified small business, but couldn’t find a qualified one. She said she recently met the owner of a certified woman-owned business that was capable but desperate for work. In fact, she couldn’t even get prime contractors to return her calls. “I could relate to her, because a few years ago that could have easily been me,” Ms. Johnson said.

The Politics Of The Dark Knight Rises [Pop Culture and The Third World]

The only political theory that seems to get Nolan’s blessing is the ‘great man theory’ – that the general population can’t make a difference (if anything, they are the problem) and that the one shiny hope for society is the small handful of (white, male, middle class/upper class) people at the top. The 99% just better pray that the 1%ers are trusty and virtuous (like Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon) rather than ruthless and power-hungry (like that shady business guy, those corrupt politicians, and them foreigners, the Al Ghuls). Apparently the fight for Western civilisation’s soul occurs between the Good and the Evil within the 1%. The rest of us are just cannon fodder.

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  • Jan CT

    Shame on the Atlanta Journal Constitution for publishing the headline “Gabby Douglas Confused Over Hair Comments.” Why? Because Gabby Douglas is most assuredly not CONFUSED! It sounds like the people who are making her hair an issue are the ones confused. “Gabby Douglas Victorious and Confident Despite Hair Comments” would have been a better headline.

  • Jan CT

    Shame on the Atlanta Journal Constitution for publishing the headline “Gabby Douglas Confused Over Hair Comments.” Why? Because Gabby Douglas is most assuredly not CONFUSED! It sounds like the people who are making her hair an issue are the ones confused. “Gabby Douglas Victorious and Confident Despite Hair Comments” would have been a better headline.

    • Montclair Mommy

      YES! So true. “Gabby Douglas Proud of Her Gold Medal, Dismisses Haters”