The Least Happy Jamaican: On Volkswagen’s Super Bowl Commercial

By Guest Contributor Suzanne Persard

Am I the last Jamaican to miss the happiness train?

After millions of hits on YouTube and a whirl of international attention, arguably the most popular commercial Volkswagen has ever aired, has been approved by “100 Jamaicans,” hailed as humorous by hundreds of other Jamaicans, and endorsed by the Jamaican Minister of Tourism.

The ad features a white man from Minnesota speaking exaggeratedly in patois, urging his unhappy coworkers to become happier with phrases like, “Yuh know what dis room needs? A smile!”  Clearly, this is Volkswagen’s way of telling you, Jamaicans are happy! You should be happy, too! Buy a 2013 Volkswagen Beetle and get happy!
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On Her 100th Birthday, Rosa Parks’ Legacy Is Reexamined

By Arturo R. García

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That segment, originally aired in 2010, holds to what MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry calls “civil rights lore” regarding Rosa Parks.

But last week, just days before what would have been her 100th birthday–today, to be exact–a new book was released that has gained acclaim for painting a more vivid picture of her life, on top of the story of her refusing to yield that seat on that bus in Montgomery, AL.
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Racialicious Crush Of The Week: Ainee Fatima

By Andrea Plaid

Some folks choose online names–be it a blog title, a Twitter handle, a Tumblr URL–of an attribute they want to aspire to. Then there are those whose monikers fit exactly what they are. Ainee Fatima’s Tumblr name fits her perfectly–she is, indeed, a Badass Muslim Girl.

Ainee Fatima. Photo: courtesy of the interviewee.

Ainee Fatima. Photo: courtesy of the interviewee.

She’s an award-winning spoken-word poet, a woman who makes her Muslim community her priority, and a cartoonist with a scathing wit–and she’s folded of these into her 21-year-old life-in-progress. We caught up with each other between her classes, where we chatted about femme feminism, Gloria Steinem, and “smelling white feminism.”

1) OK, Ainee, that comic of your smelling white feminism had me on the floor screaming in laughter! What inspired that? And are you planning to continue the comics?

Thank you! Well, earlier that day in my Race and Ethics class, we were categorizing traits or groups of people who were considered the Majority and Minority groups in America. We ended up with the Majority containing Race: White, Gender: Male, Sexual Orientation: Cis Heterosexual, Religion: Christian, Class: Middle-High Class. Then, my teacher proceeded to ask which of these categories are the most prevalent in Western society. One of the boys kept insisting that gender was the hot topic, another girl was saying that race was the most prevalent issue.

But the thing is, we can’t really discuss race without discussing class or gender and that’s what intersectional feminism is all about–fighting more than one cause at a time because it’s more than just women’s rights. The thing is, the stigma attached to being white in general is a privilege, which doesn’t really make it a stigma at all. Once you delve deeper into feminist theory, you’ll encounter resistance to whiteness. I mean, try having a Black president only to have people call him the n-word, mention his Arabic middle name and wish for his assassination, or any of the other daily microaggressions that people of color face.

Spark Summit published an article talking about how race is a feminist issue, but not only race–sexism, homophobia, and any other type of discrimination. It’s something that is often forgotten early feminist movements actually excluded women of color just to gain a wider audience, as the article says.

I think that a great way to make the idea of intersectional feminism even more prevalent is with the comics I made: it’s humorous and light-hearted but always packs a punch in the message–and yes, I do plan on making more!

The Racialicious Entertainment Roundup: 1.25-31.13

By Arturo R. García and Kendra James

Japan’s national team celebrates its’ victory at the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Via bustasports.com

World Baseball Classic: I was one of the five people in world outraged when baseball and softball were announced in 2005 to be ousted from the Summer Olympic Games for a variety of reasons. (One being that baseball didn’t have a large enough following outside of the United States; I can’t roll my eyes enough at that.) So, when the World Baseball Classic came around I was thrilled. Though, given all the attention America pays to the WBC, I’m probably the only one.

America hasn’t fared well in the WBC in the past; the best we’ve done is finish in 4th place over the 2 tournaments that’ve been played, with Japan winning both of them. South Korea and Cuba both have 2nd-place finishes. If you’re not heading down to Phoenix to catch the USA games live, you have to have one of the many ESPN channels or MLBTV to watch the games. You won’t find them on regular cable, and certainly not on network television, and that’s honestly a shame.
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Scandal Recap 2.12: “Truth Or Consequences”

by Joseph Lamour

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If you missed last night’s episode,  all of the White Hat Brigade knows most of Scandal’s huge secrets–and don’t you worry… I won’t discuss it till we’re under the cut. Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it yet: a character is indignant about something–I hope I didn’t give too much away! As we all know, Scandal is all about these secrets and how they simultaneously enrich and ruin everyone in Northwest DC.

A lot happened in this episode, so let’s get to it!

The breakdown: Each week, Kendra or I will provide a Friday Scandal recap the day after the newest episode airs. The next Thursday morning a longer roundtable discussion of the episode is posted featuring Joe, Kendra, and a variety of guest commenters.

Spoilers for Scandal 2.12: “Truth Or Consequences” are under the cut.

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