Month: February 2013

February 28, 2013 / / links
February 28, 2013 / / african-american

By Andrea Plaid

Quvenzhané Wallis. Photo: Koury Angelo for milkmade.com.
Quvenzhané Wallis. Photo: Koury Angelo for milkmade.com.

After Hollywood and the press unapologetically–and The Onion apologetically–showed their asses to actor Quvenzhané Wallis on her big night at the Oscars, even more people showed their love and support for the young one. PostBourgie’s Brokey McPoverty says this about Hollywood’s refusal to even pronounce Wallis’ name:

Refusing to learn how to pronounce Quvenzhané’s name says, pointedly, you are not worth the effort. The problem is not that she has an unpronounceable name, because she doesn’t. The problem is that white Hollywood, from Ryan Seacrest and his homies to the AP reporter who decided to call her “Annie” rather than her real name, doesn’t deem her as important as, say, Renee Zellwegger, or Zach Galifinakis, or Arnold Schwarzenegger, all of whom have names that are difficult to pronounce–but they manage. The message sent is this: you, young, black, female child, are not worth the time and energy it will take me to learn to spell and pronounce your name. You will be who and what I want you to be; you be be who and what makes me more comfortable. I will allow you to exist and acknowledge that existence, but only on my terms.

 

Read the Post Meanwhile, On TumblR: The Quvenzhané Wallis Edition

February 28, 2013 / / Entertainment
February 28, 2013 / / Entertainment

Hosted by Joseph Lamour
(Spoiler Alert in the introduction if you haven’t seen episode 2.15.)

822x
Image via ABC.com.

Kendra hit the nail on the head last week when she said:

“…Fitz is behind the Jigsaw-creepy camera setup Jake has in his apartment, once again marking Fitz as The Worst. Just. The. Worst. Ignore what your Thursday night Facebook feed tells you; none of this is romantic, and it’s worrying to see it interpreted that way by fans of the show. Olivia and Fitz are undoubtedly the show’s main couple–maybe even the Endgame Couple–but, until Fitz shows some major growth as a decent human being, we shouldn’t be rooting for it. Especially now that it’s moved from sexually abusive to outright stalking and privacy invasion. Unfortunately, the writers haven’t given viewers a viable, interesting alternative, so for those who are here for the romantic drama Olivia and Fitz’s “relationship” is the only place to turn.”

I know it’s this type of drama that drives soapy procedurals like this, but it’s so unusual to see this type of thing with a person of color in the lead, so it leads to all sorts of emotional confusion–for me at least. Let’s see if T.F. Charlton, Jordan St. John, and Loree Lamour agree.
Read the Post The Scandal Roundtable 2.15: Boom Goes The Dynamite

By Guest Contributor Caleb Borchers, cross-posted from Uni Watch

Over the last few months, the issue of Native American imagery in US sports has been a hot topic in the Uni Watch community. Sadly, that discussion often devolves into heavily stereotyped positions and name calling. I often feel for writers like Paul, because his fascinating and nuanced position quickly is flattened out. What follows is my attempt to add another data point or scenario to the discussion.

Some Uni Watch readers may recognize my name in connection with rugby, particularly New Zealand rugby. That nation and sport have a special place in my heart. New Zealand is a nation with a fascinating history when it comes to the indigenous people, the Maori. The relationship between European settlers and the Maori people has often been sad and tragic. Still, there are ways in which New Zealand has better handled the issue than other places. A treaty between settlers and Maori chiefs, the Treaty of Waitangi, serves as the founding document of the country.
Read the Post Meet The Chiefs

February 27, 2013 / / Entertainment

By Arturo R. García

“Just because I’m homeless doesn’t mean I don’t have a life,” Inocente Izucar tells the viewer at the beginning of the short documentary bearing her name. The film, which won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short on Feb. 24, follows the young undocumented immigrant’s journey toward becoming an artist despite hiding her homelessness from her classmates.

“If people would find out, they’d probably make fun of me,” she says. “Especially at the school I’m going to right now. Most of the kids here are like, really rich.”

Directors Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine met the young San Diegan while researching a documentary about homelessness in the area, but quickly opted to focus their project around her.

“We want to thank this young lady who was homeless just a year ago and now she’s standing in front of all of you,” Sean Fine told the audience as the trio accepted their Academy Award. “She’s an artist and all of you are artists and we feel like we need to start supporting the arts. They’re dying in our communities. And all of us artists, we need to stand up and help girls like her be seen and heard. It’s so important.”

With a tip of the hat to Lalo Alcaraz, you can watch the documentary and follow Inocente’s story above. And below the cut, for those of you who follow us on Twitter, the collected live-snarking of the rest of the ceremony.

Read the Post Oscars Aftermath: Watch Best Documentary Short Winner Inocente And Read Our Live-Snark

February 27, 2013 / / Voices

It rained in Sanford, Fla., on Tuesday, just like it did exactly a year ago when Trayvon Martin died there.

The shooting death of an unarmed black 17-year-old at the hands of a part-white, part-Peruvian neighborhood watch volunteer in a gated community catapulted the central Florida city into headlines around the world and launched heated discussions about race and guns and Florida’s “stand your ground” law.

George Zimmerman, 29, faces second-degree murder charges in the case after invoking that law, which allows the use of deadly force in some life-threatening situations.

Despite the damp conditions Tuesday, a crowd amassed outside Sanford’s Goldsboro Welcome Center and the Goldsboro Historical Museum by midmorning. Museum curator Francis Oliver said she opened the welcome center a few hours early to accommodate the score or so of people who gathered to get a glimpse at the items memorializing the slain teenager.

There are crosses and flags, dolls and pictures of the teenager, Oliver said of the items showcased at the permanent memorial made from the items that initially cropped up outside the Retreat at Twin Lakes, the gated community where Trayvon was fatally shot.
– Marisa Gerber, Los Angeles Times

Read the Post Voices: RIP Trayvon Martin, One Year Later

February 26, 2013 / / diversity

By Guest Contributor Philip N. Cohen, PhD; originally published at Sociological Images

Trying to summarize a few historical trends for the last half century, I thought of framing them in terms of diversity.

Diversity is often an unsatisfying concept, used to describe hierarchical inequality as mere difference. But inequality is a form of diversity–a kind of difference. And further, not all social diversity is inequality. When people belong to categories and the categories are not ranked hierarchically (or you’re not interested in the ranking for whatever reason), the concept of diversity is useful.

There are various ways of constructing a diversity index, but I use the one sometimes called the Blau index, which is easy to calculate and has a nice interpretation: the probability that two randomly selected individuals are from different groups.

Example: Religion

Take religion. According to the 2001 census of India, this was the religious breakdown of the population:

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Diversity is calculated by summing the squares of the proportions in each category, and subtracting the sum from 1. So in India in 2001, if you picked two people at random, you had a 1/3 chance of getting people with different religions (as measured by the census).

Is .33 a lot of religious diversity? Not really, it turns out. I was surprised to read on the cover of this book by a Harvard professor that the United States is “the world’s most religiously diverse nation.” When I flipped through the book, though, I was disappointed to see it doesn’t actually talk much about other countries, and does not seem to offer the systematic comparison necessary to make such a claim.

With our diversity index, it’s not hard to compare religious diversity across 52 countries using data from World Values Survey, with this result:

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The U.S. is quite diverse–.66–but a number of countries rank higher.

Read the Post Family, Race, Religion: The US Is Becoming More Diverse