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The Racialicious Links Roundup 8.1.13: Profiling, Civic Tech, And A SMH Moment Care Of Zimmerman

By Joseph Lamour

  • George Zimmerman Speeding, Pulled Over With Gun In Car (HuffPo Black Voices)

    Zimmerman, who informed police that the weapon was in the car shortly after being pulled over, was asked where he was going, to which he responded, “nowhere in particular,” according to the site.

    CBS News reports that, during the traffic stop, which occurred at 12:54 p.m., Zimmerman also asked the officer if he recognized him from television.

  • Motorbike riders file lawsuit against DC police (WJLA News DC)

    “They’re not really letting us acknowledge them as police officers,” he told ABC 7. “They’re just doing it. We the police, we can do it. No you can’t. You have laws to live by too. It’s not right.”

    Attorney David Shurtz does not condone illegal riding, but said that targeting riders with deadly force for a minor offense is outrageous and indicative of racial profiling:

    “No one else is being knocked off bikes except young black males in bad sections of town.”

  • Why Civic Tech Needs More Minorities and Women (HuffPo Black Voices)

    The population of U.S. women and minorities combined are a literal majority. Yet these two groups remain under-represented in boardrooms, governments, and the tech industry in general. For Code for America’s (CfA) purposes of improving the community, this has to change. Simply put, it’s completely unrealistic to assume that our governments can be inherited by the same homogenous group that came before us. We need to be at the planning tables.

  • PODCAST: The Culture Gabfest “The Duchess Has a Vagina” Edition (Slate)

    On this week’s episode, our critics discuss the new Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black, which chronicles the 15 months one woman spent in federal prison and is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name. What does the show say about our obsession with fish-out-of-water middle-class characters caught in a world of crime? And does it continue Netflix’s promising track record of original programming? The gabbers then dissect the unsettling, gorgeous, and absolutely original new documentary The Act of Killing. The film follows several perpetrators of a mass killing of alleged communists in mid-1960s Indonesia as they stage re-enactments of their harrowing techniques and confront their own deeds in the process. Lastly, Simon Doonan joins to add a British perspective as the gabbers chat about the newborn royal baby and ask the key question: Who cares?

Quoted: “Why The Right Hates Detroit”

Image via Salon.com.

Is it pure coincidence that these two landmark cities, known around the world as fountainheads of the most vibrant and creative aspects of American culture, have become our two direst examples of urban failure and collapse? If so, it’s an awfully strange one. I’m tempted to propose a conspiracy theory: As centers of African-American cultural and political power and engines of a worldwide multiracial pop culture that was egalitarian, hedonistic and anti-authoritarian, these cities posed a psychic threat to the most reactionary and racist strains in American life. I mean the strain represented by Tom Buchanan in “The Great Gatsby” (imagine what he’d have to say about New Orleans jazz) or by the slightly more coded racism of Sean Hannity today. As payback for the worldwide revolution symbolized by hot jazz, Smokey Robinson dancin’ to keep from cryin’ and Eminem trading verses with Rihanna, New Orleans and Detroit had to be punished. Specifically, they had to be isolated, impoverished and almost literally destroyed, so they could be held up as examples of what happens when black people are allowed to govern themselves.

Andrew O’Hehir, “Why The Right Hates Detroit” Salon.com.

The Racialicious Links Roundup 7.24.13: Ethnicity, Trayvon, Devious Maids and Marc Anothony

By Joseph Lamour

  • How to Ask Someone About Their Ethnicity Without Being an Asshole (Jezebel)

    …I am Not a White Person. This means I am a walking version of this fun little game called “What Kind of Not White Person Are You?” Here’s how it goes: I introduce myself to you at a party or some such social gathering. You introduce yourself as well. In an attempt to get to know me better, or maybe just keep the conversation going, you want to know exactly how I am a Not a White Person. Which is totally fine at the right time and place, because I love gabbing on about my immigrant parents and how much I love mango pickle. It’s all good fun in post-racial America, like wearing a red, white, and blue dashiki on the fourth of July (who knew you could don a dashiki and be patriotic at the same damn time?!)

    But the majority of the time I play this game, supposedly well-intentioned people curious about my brownness go about asking it in the wrong way. No, not the wrong way- the ASSHOLE way. I get it, really. You grew up in a suburb of Indianapolis and no one ever taught you how to not be an asshole. That’s actually my life story, too, but you can’t always throw Indianapolis under the bus as your excuse for being ignorant.

  • The Curious Case of George Zimmerman’s Race

    Gustavo Arellano, editor in chief of OC Weekly and the syndicated columnist behind ¡Ask a Mexican! bristles at the idea that Latinos are responsible for explaining Zimmerman’s actions. “Latinos have acknowledged that he’s half-Peruvian and that makes him Latino. But no one is going out there to say, ‘He’s one of us,’ just like Muslims don’t go out and say, ‘Osama Bin Laden was one of us.’”

  • Obama, Trayvon and the Problem That Won’t Be Named (Colorlines)

    Obama rightly claimed that he could have been Trayvon Martin 35 years ago. Those who immediately took to Twitter to remind us that Obama didn’t grow up in a ghetto are correct. But they should be reminded that Sanford, Fla., is a majority white, yet mixed neighborhood—and far from a ghetto. Those who remind us that Obama attended private schools should know that racism remains alive and well in those institutions. Yes, Obama attended Columbia University in the early 80s—during a time when a whites-only fellowship was offered; in fact, the fellowship never went away. And yes, Obama attended Harvard University, just up the street from where professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct four years ago—on suspicion that he was breaking into what turned out to be his own home. Those who think that racial profiling somehow only happens in “ghettos,” which in this case is code for black neighborhoods often orchestrated for poverty, should be informed that black bodies are even blacker among white ones.

    But Barack Obama hasn’t only attended institutions that have historically created unfair advantages for white students, or questioned black professors who teach there.

    Barack Obama has been a politician in the United States where, for the past five years, he’s been continually harassed about this citizenship. A convincing rumor originally started by Hillary Clinton’s supporters in 2008, Obama’s dark skin and lineage cast doubt on his ability to campaign for president. Unlike any other candidate, Obama was forced to provide a copy of his birth certificate in order to illustrate his capacity to serve if elected. And unlike any other president, the rumor that the president may have been born in another country persists. That’s because Obama truly is unlike any other president—he’s a black one. And Friday’s remarks remind us that he, too, remembers what it’s like to not only be the nation’s first black president, but also what it’s like to be the black man in an elevator when a white woman clutches her purse.

  • Marc Anthony On Latino Stereotypes: The Entertainment Industry Doesn’t Owe Us Anything (HuffPo Latino Voices)

    Adding to a viewer’s video question concerning any upcoming projects on film or television, Hill alluded to the “Devious Maids” stereotype controversy and asked the singer whether he believed there was “space to have a different kind of Latino representation.”

    “Is that the show with the fine maids?,” Anthony asked before answering the question.

    “As far as people being in uproar, they don’t owe us anything. The industry doesn’t owe us anything, networks don’t owe us anything. You have a complaint? Educate yourself, take up writing, become a producer, direct it,” the salsa singer told HuffPost Live. “You know what I’m saying? Get up and do it — write good material, produce good films. I’m not of the mind that we’re owed [anything] because ‘oh every Latino on TV is either criminal…then get up and do better.”

Open Thread: True Blood 6.6: “Don’t You Feel Me”

Hosted by Joseph Lamour

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True Blood is really veering off from the books, isn’t it? It’s so different now.

Try as I might to keep myself from repeating a presumably annoying statement, this current season is so very unlike anything in the Charlaine Harris novels. Readers like me had seasons worth of spoilers at our disposal.  And now, I’m just a viewer.Like everyone else. Surprise! Sookie and company can actually throw us a curve ball now and again. 

Rather than a recap, I’ve been thinking about a couple of things regarding the new direction. Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments:

  • Where do you think this Warlow plot is going? Do you even care?
    So: he’s evil, but hes pure. But he’s a vampire, but he’s fae, He is danger personified (I’m still not quite getting that from Rob Kazinsky, he’s still giving me innocence as his default face), but he waited thousands upon thousands of years to be with Sookie. But, he killed her parents. But… her parents tried to kill her — one of who tried again as a ghost.  

    This whole fae storyline seems to be filled with things (balls of light! antechambers!) that really add nothing but… pieces of flare to the story.  I was so excited last year when Sookie found her human grandfather in the fae world, because (again, sorry folks) I loved that whole storyline in the books, and well… not so much on screen. Last season, right after Sookie and her grandfather left that realm, that was the last mention of it. The powers-that-be even cast a queen of the fae (played by the should-be-more-famous Rebecca Wisocky) and since Niall, apparently, is the last royal… she may be important. Or a plot hole.

  • DEATH! Or, How do you feel about the death of [Spoiler Alert]? Is it just me, or…
    should is every supporting actor on True Blood  start planning back up gigs? So much death… and confirmation of death: Sadly, the faesome foursome is now simply Adilyn Bellefleur. Fae don’t seem to be very durable. Especially if you consider the Faerie Club Massacre.

    The whole plot leading up to last night’s regarding the character in question made me think a plot device (like, perhaps a fire god?) would provide a reprieve. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Are they just killing folks off for kicks? Or are they running out of surprises?

  • What does everyone think of Packmaster Jerkface?
    This whole season it feels like they’re just giving Joe Magianello things to say so that Alcide, his abs, and his everything else can make an appearance. I don’t like how quickly power made Alcide a jerk.

    Though, that is what happens in the books.

  • Do we like Willa? 
    Because, I do. I’m hoping she sticks around. She gives me Babyvamp Jessica vibes. Discuss.

The Racialicious Links Roundup 7.18.13: Baby Veronica, Zimmerman’s Race; His Lawyers

Dusten Brown and his daughter, Veronica. The Washington Post/Getty Images

  • In its ruling, the US Supreme Court held that Dusten Brown, and his daughter, Baby Veronica—who are both citizens of the Cherokee Nation—were essentially not protected under the Indian Child Welfare Act. As such, the case was bounced back to the South Carolina court. After the ruling, Brown ironically attempted to adopt his own daughter in Oklahoma, since the high court didn’t recognize his rights as a parent. But Oklahoma declined to hear the petition, claiming that South Carolina retained exclusive jurisdiction of the case, since that was where the potential adoptive parents resided.

    “Baby Veronica To Be Adopted by White Couple” Colorlines

  • “George Zimmerman, neighborhood watchman and wannabe cop, placed a bet on his whiteness; when he shot and killed a young, unarmed black teenager because they always get away, he spoke with an oppressor’s voice, and for his service the oppressor’s justice absolved him. But Zimmerman, liminal and of questionable loyalty, is not beyond betrayal — if his victim had been blond and named Travis then Fox News would likely be crowing about immigrant intrusiveness, the dangers of Mexicans with guns, rather than celebrating his right to bear arms. (Zimmerman’s mother is from Peru, but somehow the variegated rainbow of Latin identities always seem to collapse into Mexican-ness when under discussion, especially on Fox News.)”

    “Is George Zimmerman white or Hispanic? That depends” Salon

  • “No, George Zimmerman is not white. But his assumptions about black men are rooted in the foundational assumptions of white supremacy and his treatment by the justice system have conferred upon him privileges usually reserved for white men. The malleability of white supremacy for non-black bodies says something about the singular power and threat of the black body in this kind of racialized system.

    Though much of the mainstream media who have covered this case have convinced themselves that race did not play a role in this trial, a black kid is dead because being young, black and male, and wearing a hoodie in the rain is apparently a crime punishable by death.”

    “White supremacy, meet black rage” Salon

Quoted: Was Zimmerman Telling The Truth?

Zimm

“But we still will never know the truth about this key question: Who instigated the scuffle that led Zimmerman to pull out his gun? According to the taped account Zimmerman gave to police that was played in court, after just following Trayvon Martin some, Zimmerman was on his way back to his car when Martin popped up and sucker punched him, soon saying “You’re gonna die tonight.” Along those lines, a verdict that Zimmerman fired in justifiable self-defense makes what anybody could see as at least the beginning of sense. But I think that Zimmerman almost certainly lied about this. I think it for three reasons.

One: Martin’s friend Rachel Jeantel recounted Martin’s describing a verbal encounter, with Martin asking Zimmerman why he was following him, Zimmerman asking why he was there, and Martin soon saying “Get off, get off.” Jeantel, although linguistically coherent, was not the most gracious interviewee — but her account of this exchange was straightforward.

Two: For all the coverage of Jeantel’s dissimulations designed to keep herself out of the spotlight, Zimmerman himself has lied repeatedly — about his finances and about not knowing about Florida’s “Stand your ground” law when he had taken a criminal-law course that treated it extensively.

Three: His version simply doesn’t make human sense. Being followed makes Martin so angry he jumps the man and tries to beat him to a pulp? Concocted for a novel, play or film, such a scene would be ridiculed as hopelessly contrived. It sounds like something a desperate, unimaginative man makes up to keep himself out of prison.”

— John McWhorter, “Viewpoint: Was Zimmerman Telling the Truth?” Time Magazine