Month: April 2013

April 26, 2013 / / activism

By Andrea Plaid

You would think that 70,000 people asking for the exact same thing would change someone’s mind, right?

Not if you’re the New York Times.

On April 23, members of Applied Research Center’s Drop The I-Word (DTIW) Campaign (in full disclosure: I work as the campaign’s new manager), its partners, and its supporters gathered at the newspaper’s headquarters in Times Square with the 70,000-strong petition asking the Grey Lady to get with the times and eliminate using the word “illegals” and “illegal immigrant(s)” in its reporting of undocumented immigrants. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, co-founder of partnering organization Define American, and Fernando Chavez, son of the late Cesar Chavez, delivered the petition that was started by Chavez’s widow, Helen, at MoveOn.org (another DTIW partner). The petition’s delivery took place on the 20th anniversary of the social-justice activist’s death.

Video activist Jay Smooth captured the action and explains the context of the campaign:

Read the Post The New York Times Refuses To Drop The I-Word (VIDEO)

April 26, 2013 / / Retrolicious

Hosted by Tami Winfrey Harris and Andrea Plaid

The crew at Sterling Cooper Draper Price were definitely trying to hold on to something this week–a sliver of self-respect, an image of the role of other people in their lives, a job. Tami and I, along with Womanist Musings‘ and Fangs for the Fantasy‘s Renee Martin and Racialicious staffer Joseph Lamour, talk about who had to hold ’em and fold ’em in this week’s ep–along with a bunch of spoilers, like our seeing several Black people in this episode. No, seriously…

See? Toldja. Black people!
See? Toldja. Black people–and quite a few for a Mad Men episode.

Tami: I was watching Mad Men in bed Sunday night with my husband beside me near dozing, but obviously listening to the program, too. Just after 10 p.m. he sat up: “Wait. Are those black people? There are black people on this show now?”

Yep, Sunday night Matt Weiner and Co. make Mad Men history with a scene populated completely by black folks–walking, talking and being black. Since we’ve seen Dawn and her friend sitting together and talking about their lives, does this mean Mad Men passes the race-based version of the Bechdel Test?

Renee: One scene cannot undo years of racist, sexist exclusion.  They are not going get a cookie from me for doing the the bare minimum to create a change. It has after all taken Man Men six seasons to have a scene with two Black people in it.

Read the Post Retrolicious–Mad Men 6.4: “To Have And To Hold”

April 26, 2013 / / Entertainment

by Joseph Lamour

Image via ABC.com.

Scandal is back! Again… again… again. This show sure has a lot of breaks. A thinly veiled attempt to leave us wanting more. It definitely works though, doesn’t it?  And there are only three more episodes left the season. Tragic. I may have to start going outside again.

If you recall our recap a few weeks ago, we last saw Olivia being swaddled by Fitz in her hospital room as her new beau Captain Jake Ballard waited outside. This week’s episode doesn’t really move the story forward, but it provided a much desired backstory for hacker-sassin Huck. This type of episode usually frustrates me as the only thing that happened, really, was that someone got up off the floor. But, like I said, a good backstory is a good backstory. And Huck provides a meaty one.

Spoilers for Scandal 2.19 “Seven Fifty-Two” appear under the cut.

Read the Post Scandal Recap 2.19: “Seven Fifty-Two”

April 25, 2013 / / links
April 25, 2013 / / Meanwhile On TumblR
April 25, 2013 / / Entertainment

by Joseph Lamour

Recently, we came across a great spoken word piece while perusing Angry Asian Man, and we think it deserves a listen. By Rachel Rostad, “A Letter to JK Rowling from Cho Chang” is not only a critique of the first love interest for Harry Potter, but of problematic representations of Asian women in books, cinema, and media as a whole.

If you’ve watched by now (which you should, it’s a pretty awesome four minutes) you could imagine that this stirring piece, well, stirred a lot of people. Since this viral video’s posting on YouTube it’s started an ongoing discussion- not only of representation of people of color in media, but PoC representation in her piece as well.

For Rostad’s video response to the comments on her poem, continue under the cut.

Read the Post Slammin’ Poetry: “A Letter To JK Rowling From Cho Chang”

By Tami Winfrey Harris, cross-posted from Waging Non-Violence

Brown Girls Burlesque performs at the New York Burlesque Festival in 2010. Image by CreatixTiara/Flickr

 

Perle Noire takes the stage at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival. Her costume: brilliant orange silk against brown skin. She glides, shimmies, and beams. To the sound of an urgent drum beat, her skirt falls, revealing silvery fringe swinging across a bared bottom. Horns. She thrusts and dances. A turned back. Full breasts and glittering pasties. The crowd whoops as she leaps and cartwheels. She beams: the performance is magnetic and joyous. It is burlesque.

A variety performance traditionally featuring striptease, burlesque has seen a resurgence in popularity over the last two decades. A bared shoulder or the shake of a hip can be sexy, sensual, and funny. But the art form is also a means of resistance. Undulating bodies can uncover histories, challenge biases and defy stereotypes. And when politicized bodies move this way–bodies still straining under the weight of racial stereotypes that stretch back to the era of slavery–it is even more insubordinate.

Read the Post Shimmying Toward Freedom

April 24, 2013 / / crime

By Guest Contributor Leigh Patel, cross-posted from Decolonizing Educational Research

I was on Mass Ave. and Boylston yesterday when the bombs exploded. You’ve heard more than enough to add the details of what it felt like to be there: panic, chaos, helping, screaming, running, falling, being helped up, mass confusion.

As I’ve been feeling the adrenaline pulse its half-life through my veins, I’ve been thinking steady on the need to grieve. How very important it is for us to stop and to share in moments of trauma and loss with each other. Many of us had the supreme luxury to do just that, and the grieving will continue. But I believe our collective need to grieve, to feel difficult feelings, may actually contain some answers to the questions roiling in our heads and bodies. The need to grieve and our lack of ability to grieve may have everything to do with the cycles of seemingly more frequent and deeper violence.

Read the Post The Need To Grieve