Category Archives: racism

Message to the Candidates: “Black White Whatever” and “That One Bigot”

by Latoya Peterson

I recently had the pleasure of watching two amazing videos that really cut to the heart of the racial issues at play in this election cycle.

The first is “Black, White, Whatever” by Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, a ridiculously talented spoken word artist who has appeared on Def Poetry. Her work and bio are found on her website,

In “Black, White, Whatever,” Tsai critiques the missing elements from the candidate’s political speeches – the fact that race in America goes way beyond black and white – and those who fall outside of the binary certainly aren’t just “whatever.” And as she says in the video, “Whatever doesn’t represent me.”

Also of note, from the Ill-literacy site comes a new(ish) YouTube video that really digs into McCain’s infamous “that one” comment from the debates. Unfortunately for McCain, vlogger Adriel Luis provides a hip-hop themed juxtaposition of clips and events detailing what “that one” really means – in the context of remarks and actions taken over the last eight or so years.

(Thanks to Joanna, Kai, and Nezua for the tips!)

University course not suitable for “oriental people”

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

Some racist news from abroad, spotted over at the Resist racism blog… In Wales, an Asian woman has accused a university of racism after she was apparently told that an accountancy course might not be suitable for “Oriental people”: University in ‘Oriental’ race row.

Odgerel Hatenboer, who is originally from Mongolia, attended an open day at Glyndwr University in Wrexham, with the hope of enrolling for an accountancy course. However, she was told my a staff member that the course might not be suitable for “people like you, Oriental people”:

She said: “The man said something like ‘I’m not saying you’re Chinese but people like you, Oriental people, tend to accept what is written in the books and what the lecturer says, whereas this kind of course is nothing like you have studied in the past, it requires more analytical skills, you will have to do more yourself.”

Right. Whatever the hell that means. The guy apparently didn’t even ask about her background or qualifications. Just one look at this Oriental lady and a quick judgment. Thanks for the advice, now kindly shut the hell up. By the way, she happens to have a masters in development economics from the University of Manchester and holds a diploma from the Association of Accounting Technicians. Oh snap!

Ms. Hatenboer completed the application form anyway. She was told it would be passed on to the relevant department and she’d hear from the university within a week… However, when she later checked on the status of her application, she found out it had never been received. Where did it go? It’s a mystery! That’s racist!

Massive Video Post

Reader Rose Anne sends in this video, which is the Young Turks analyzing the Fox News videos on the financial meltdown. Apparently, it was loaning to minorities that caused the financial meltdown. (Notice the link between minorities and poor, or minorities and non-credit worthy.)

Secretary-Treasurer of theAFL-CIO Richard Trumka talks about unions, race, internalized racism and Obama:

Author Irwin Tang discusses his new book, “Gook: John McCain’s Racism and Why It Matters.” He goes into the history of the term and how it is a term of war. Key quote: “It’s a term you use toward people you are willing to kill.”

Continue reading

GOP Women’s Group President: Obama’s Image Will Be on Food Stamps

by Latoya Peterson

Yeah, that about says it all.

From the California based paper, the Press Enterprise:

The latest newsletter by an Inland Republican women’s group depicts Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama surrounded by a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken, prompting outrage in political circles.

The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps — instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of “Obama Bucks” — a phony $10 bill featuring Obama’s face on a donkey’s body, labeled “United States Food Stamps.”

Now, normally, something like that would just make me shake my head in disgust. But actually, the next reported paragraph made me smile.

The GOP newsletter, which was sent to about 200 members and associates of the group by e-mail and regular mail last week, is drawing harsh criticism from members of the political group, elected leaders, party officials and others as racist.

Thank you, members. Call things what they are. This is racist. But of course, the publisher of the newsletter doesn’t see it that way at all:

The group’s president, Diane Fedele, said she plans to send an apology letter to her members and to apologize at the club’s meeting next week. She said she simply wanted to deride a comment Obama made over the summer about how as an African-American he “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”

“It was strictly an attempt to point out the outrageousness of his statement. I really don’t want to go into it any further,” Fedele said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I absolutely apologize to anyone who was offended. That clearly wasn’t my attempt.”

Fedele said she got the illustration in a number of chain e-mails and decided to reprint it for her members in the Trumpeter newsletter because she was offended that Obama would draw attention to his own race. She declined to say who sent her the e-mails with the illustration.

Did you catch that? She was offended Obama would draw attention to his own race, so she decided to reprint a racist illustration. And how dare he state the obvious? The nerve of him! Continue reading

The Invisible Muslimah

by Guest Contributor Faith, originally published at Muslimah Media Watch.

What’s the first image that comes to your mind when you think of a Muslim woman? Is she Arab or South Asian? White or maybe Afghan or Indonesian? Notice that I haven’t mentioned African American (and also Latina). The media depiction of Muslim women usually does not include African American women. Often, Muslim women are depicted as coming from the Middle East or South Asia, and occasionally sub-Saharan Africa. Also, there has been increasing focus on Muslimahs of European descent, especially converts such as Yvonne Ridley and Dr. Ingrid Mattson.

When African American Muslims are depicted in the media, it is usually a male face (Siraj Wahaj, Abdul Hakeem Jackson, Malcolm X, Imam Warithdeen Muhammad, etc.) that is presented to the public. There are exceptions such as Dr. Amina Wadud. However, the overall trend is rather disheartening, considering how much African American Muslimahs do for other black Muslims as well as the whole Muslim community. I have often wondered why the stories, needs and concerns of African American Muslimahs are not focused on and come up with a myriad of possible answers. Continue reading

How We Are Getting Racists to Vote for Obama

by Guest Contributor SuzeNYC, originally published at Daily Kos (SuzeNYC’s Diary)

Yesterday, I spent the day canvassing with friends for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. It doesn’t matter where it was. It could have been any number of cities all over our country. I am shocked by my experience.

I’ve been working as a volunteer for almost a year and a half for this campaign and I have encountered a fair amount of people’s racism around Barack. I’m a white 44 year old woman. My support for Barack has meant that I’ve been spat upon, physically attacked, called terrible names, cussed at and, of course, had the door slammed in my face by people using the “N” explicative.

[UPDATE: It was brought to my attention in the comments that I am misrepresenting the canvassing experience and there is truth to that. While petitioning and registering voters on the streets, or while doing visibility on primary days I had most of those negative experiences. They were all completely un-provoked. I was wearing an Obama button and a smile. The only thing negative that has happened while canvassing is having doors slammed and being scared by dogs from behind a fence. On to the next door.]

As this campaign has progressed I always felt that it was a given that a certain percentage of Americans are racist and we just don’t worry about losing that vote because we never had it. We make up for that by registering tons of voters and making sure that they get to the polls. This is the work I’ve been doing with my band of friends who I’ve met through the campaign.

Well, yesterday that presumption disintegrated. Continue reading

I’m not celebrating genocide

by Guest Contributor Jessica Yee, originally published at the Shameless Blog

Christopher Columbus is no hero.

Some say he is actually responsible for causing 95 million deaths of Indigenous peoples worldwide.

He was not a great discoverer either. He had no idea where he was going, and never even came to the land we know today as North America. In fact, he was way far off in Haiti and, thinking he had landed in India, called the traditional Arahawk people of that territory “Indians”.

That name has since stuck on us like glue and has caused generations of systemic genocide and mass attempts to annihilate our culture.

But each year, on October 12th, “Columbus Day” is celebrated, paraded, and honoured in the United States, and in many Latin American countries including Costa Rica and Spain, for what this mass murderer did to my people.

Actually, in Venezuela, they have renamed it “Indigenous Resistance Day”.

Watch this clip from the Canary Effect by the Bastard Fairies, an amazing independent music duo from the Yankton Sioux reservation.

I’m disgusted, appalled, and saddened that this day continues to be celebrated. I know I will NEVER celebrate genocide. And I know that as a feminist, I have a DUTY to cry out against Columbus, and everything he stood for.

Watch this message from NICAN TLACA community who call on us all to do something about it and stop the genocide now.

Stuff white people do: whisper the word black

by guest contributor Macon D, originally published at Stuff White People Do

I made the mistake of going to a local grocery store yesterday when it was very crowded, so I had to spend a long time in line, leaning on my grocery cart. I like to occupy myself at such moments by flipping through those parts of the tabloids that show celebrities at their worst, usually on a beach somewhere.

This time, though, I became engrossed by a conversation that I couldn’t help overhearing, between two middle-aged white women who were right behind me in line. They didn’t mind waiting, with melting frozen pizzas and ice cream, because they were glad to have run into each other.

They had some catching up to do because they hadn’t seen each other in awhile, and I was especially intrigued by their discussion about a long-lost mutual friend.

“Right, Beth!” one of them said. “I haven’t seen her in, oh, ten years, I’d say.”

“Well, you’d be surprised,” the other woman said. “She moved out to California.”

“Yeah? So tell me about it. When did she move?”

“About five years ago. But the surprising part is that she married a black guy.”

Now, as I write this, I realize that I don’t know of a way to indicate whispering in written dialogue, without somehow saying outside of that dialogue that the speaker is doing so. Italics mean the opposite–they indicate various forms of emphasis. I can’t think of a way to indicate, typographically, that this white woman had lowered her head a bit, and then lowered her voice, as she basically whispered the word “black.”

“Oh,” the other woman said. “Um. So?”

Good for you, I thought, as other woman’s face reddened a bit.

“Well,” she said, “that’s just surprising.”

“Why?” said the other woman. “A lot of people do that now.”

“Yeah, well. I guess I just never thought that Beth would do that.”

It was my turn to unload my cart, so I missed the rest of their catching-up. But I think that part of it was over anyway.

What interested me, of course, was that whispering by a white person of the word “black.” I’ve heard white people do that many times, and I’m not fully sure why they do it. Not that all of those who do it necessarily do it for the same reason. Or reasons.

One probable reason that a lot of white people whisper the word “black” is that they think it’s impolite to mention race. America is supposed to be “colorblind” now, and so, the common white thinking goes, “we” are not supposed to notice race, let alone point it out. Or even name it. So, when we do point it out, we we should do that . . . discreetly. Continue reading