The Racialicious Links Roundup 7.11.13: Fruitvale, Target, Rachel Jeantel & More

  • ‘Fruitvale Station’ Is More Than a Movie, It’s a Landmark” (Colorlines)

    In the days following Grant’s death Davey D, host of Hard Knock Radio on KPFA in the Bay Area says he remembered seeing people in Oakland crying openly. “People were so angry and so frustrated and so in disbelief that this was happening,” says Davey D. “You could see the look of pain in people’s faces.” Grant was killed three weeks before President Obama was first inaugurated, and the nation’s glee over electing its first black president was still palpable. There was a sense that justice would be swift, the radio journalist recalls. So after the shooting happened and Obama never addressed it, and the Department of Justice’s inquiry ultimately went nowhere, the letdown was especially bitter.

  • Attack of the Angry Black Woman” (Huffington Post Black Voices)
  • Within minutes after [Rachel Jeantel took] the stand, the Internet was abuzz with jokes and memes criticizing and disparaging this young woman who had the courage to be a witness in the trial of a murdered friend. Testifying is not an easy thing to do, not for a 49-year-old, a 29-year-old and certainly not for a 19-year-old, reliving what has to have been one of the most traumatic events of her life. Few of her critics know that English is Jeantel’s third language: she speaks Haitian Creole and Spanish as well. She is introverted and was clearly uncomfortable facing an aggressive attorney charged with defending a man who murdered her friend. So what made thousands of people think it was ok to beat up on a teenager taking the stand to bear witness in a trial?

  • Target Admits Reminding Managers That Not All Hispanics ‘Wear Sombreros’” (Huffington Post Latino Voices)

    Target used a training document at one of its warehouses reminding managers that not all Hispanic employees eat tacos and burritos, dance to salsa or wear sombreros, the company said Tuesday.

  • The Decades-Long Affirmative Action Debate is Incomplete” (Huffington Post Black Voices)

    The Court ruled that before relying on affirmative action, colleges and universities now have to prove that “no workable race-neutral alternatives would produce the educational benefits of diversity.” In effect, college admissions are now asked to be race unconscious, though the pipelines and the quality thereof, feeding into their applicant pools are stratified largely by race. Which then begs the question, how exactly does a race-neutral policy increase racial diversity? Moreover, is it even possible to have a neutral alternative absent of race consciousness? Regardless, I maintain that the key to increasing college access for minority students is not to change the way colleges select from an already distorted applicant pool, but to reform our failing schools.

  • FreeX

    Finally got to see Fruitvale Station three days ago and I can’t get it out of my mind. I had to drive two hours to see it because the film wasn’t coming to a theater near me. Even though I was prepared to watch a reenactment of the shooting (or should I say murder?), I was still shocked and my mind and body reacted accordingly. As the film progressed I thought about stereotypes vs humanity: how those who believe that people like Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin deserved their deaths, never get around to the fact that black and brown folks are not statistics. And never included in their calculations are love, family (Tatiana fatherless, Wanda Johnson’s guilt and pain), personality, determination and just plain old day-to-day getting up in the morning and making it through to the night, head on pillow, dreaming.

    By the end of Fruitvale Station, I began to loathe even more the system that makes Tyler Perry films possible. The cinematography in Fruitvale Station made me feel like a witness, looking through the lens of history; the superb acting by the entire cast and the screenplay hit the right notes. On any subject dealing with black and brown lives, the quality produced by Michael B. Jordan is what could and should be. Revulsion increases when I think of the money and the distribution that Tyler Perry films receive; unlike Fruitvale Station, Tyler Perry’s films are screened at theaters near me.