Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture http://www.racialicious.com Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World Thu, 18 Sep 2014 05:16:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Elmo and Lupita Nyong’o Talk Beautiful Skin http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/17/elmo-and-lupita-nyongo-talk-beautiful-skin/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/17/elmo-and-lupita-nyongo-talk-beautiful-skin/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:00:20 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33270 Elmo has skin! A relatively obvious fact that still manages to blow my mind. But even more revolutionary is the rest of Elmo and Lupita Nyong’o’s conversation where she educate the eternal two year old monster on skin, what it does, and how it comes in many “beautiful shades and colours.” The repetition of the […]

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Elmo has skin! A relatively obvious fact that still manages to blow my mind. But even more revolutionary is the rest of Elmo and Lupita Nyong’o’s conversation where she educate the eternal two year old monster on skin, what it does, and how it comes in many “beautiful shades and colours.”

The repetition of the world “beautiful” as Elmo describes both Lupita’s brown skin and his own red skin (under the red fur, of course) is a wonderful and simple way to introduce Sesame’s young audience to the idea that every ticklish skin tone they might possess is gorgeous no matter what.

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Kasandra Michelle Perkins: We Must Say Her Name http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/16/33266/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/16/33266/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:00:08 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33266   (Editor’s note: In light of recent events we’ve opted to repost this article as a an unfortunate refresher re: domestic violence and the NFL.) By Guest Contributor David J. Leonard, cross-posted from The Feminist Wire In the aftermath of the tragic murder of Kasandra Michelle Perkins, and the subsequent suicide of Jovan Belcher, much of […]

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(Editor’s note: In light of recent events we’ve opted to repost this article as a an unfortunate refresher re: domestic violence and the NFL.)

By Guest Contributor David J. Leonard, cross-posted from The Feminist Wire

In the aftermath of the tragic murder of Kasandra Michelle Perkins, and the subsequent suicide of Jovan Belcher, much of the media and social media chatter have focused on Belcher.  Indeed, Kasandra Michelle Perkins has been an afterthought in public conversations focused on questions regarding the Chiefs’ ability to play, concussions, masculinity, guns, and the culture of football in the aftermath of this tragedy. Over at the always brilliant Crunk Feminist Collective website, one member described the situation in sobering terms:

Headlines and news stories have focused on the tragedy from the lens of the perpetrator (including speculation of potential brain trauma, his involvement, as an undergraduate, in a Male Athletes Against Violence initiative, and his standing as an allstar athlete), in some ways dismissing or overshadowing the lens of the victim, who in headlines is simply referred to as “(his) girlfriend.”

Mike Lupica, at the NY Daily News, offered a similar criticism about our focus and misplaced priorities:

That is why the real tragedy here — the real victim — is a young woman named Kasandra Michelle Perkins, whom Belcher shot and killed before he ever parked his car at the Chiefs’ practice facility and put that gun to his head.

She was 22 and the mother of Belcher’s child, a child who is 3 months old, a child who will grow up in a world without parents. At about 10 minutes to 8, according to Kansas City police, Jovan Belcher put a gun on the mother of his child in a house on the 5400 block of Chrysler Ave. in Kansas City and started shooting and kept shooting. You want to mourn somebody? Start with her.

Kasandra Michelle Perkins.

While disheartening and indefensible, I get the turn towards concussionsguns, and the masculinity of sporting cultures.  The murder-suicide shines a spotlight on a number of issues that many have been grappling with for many years.  It encapsulates people’s discomfort about a culture that condones on-the-field violence that may contribute to so much pain off-the-field.  It highlights society’s moral failures whereupon profits are put in front of people.  There will be a time for these conversations, but for now the spotlight needs to be on Kasandra Michelle Perkins.

Upon hearing about this tragic murder of Kasandra Michelle Perkins, I too turn my attention to these issues; I am guilty of this failure, having tweeted about concussions, suicide, and the culture of the NFL. These issues are real–but so is the tragic death of Kasandra Michelle Perkins.

Kasandra Michelle Perkins cannot be a footnote.  She cannot be an afterthought.

While there are clearly issues specific to football—impact of concusions, the culture of hyper masculinity, mental health—we cannot lose focus on Kasandra Michelle Perkins.  Her life is no less precious just because she didn’t play linebacker; her life is no less important because she didn’t have teammates (although her family and friends are her teammates) grieving.  Her story is no less important because we live in a culture that privileges football and celebrity over the daily tragedies of violence.

Kasandra Michelle Perkins: let’s remember her name.

Her murder is a startling and sobering reminder about the all-too common tragedy of domestic/intimate partner murders.  “Each year thousands of black women are shot, stabbed, stalked, and brutalized in crimes that never make it on the national radar.  Black women experience intimate partner violence at a rate of 35% higher than do white women,” writes Sikivu Hutchinson.  “Intimate partner violence is a leading cause of death for black women, yet they are seldom viewed as proper victims and are rarely cast as total innocents.”

The failure to value all lives equally, to scream to demand justice, embodies American racism and sexism.  Hutchinson makes this clear in another brilliant piece:

Plastered on websites like AOL, relentlessly rammed down our collective throats in titillating morsels with whiffs of sexuality and scandal, poster child Caylee Anderson and company are a metaphor for Middle America’s Little Red Riding Hood fetishization of white femininity. Tabloid narratives of imperiled white females highlight the suburban virtues of white Middle America and not so subtlety evoke the social pathologies of the so-called inner city. Indeed, the spectacles of grief, mourning, and community outrage trotted out on CNN and FOX not only program viewers to identify with the injustice that has been done to the victim and her family, but to her community. In the world of 24-7 media these victims become our girls, our daughters, while the “bitches” and “hos” of the inner city symbolize the disorder and ungovernableness of an urban America whose values must be kept at bay.

The media erasure–particularly of the lost lives of women of color–is a root problem. It points to a systemic failure. The consequences are grave and mortifying. The ubiquity here is haunting; the devastation is disheartening; and our collective silence, paralysis, and acceptance are shameful.

  • Close to 70% of women killed by a gun were murdered by the hand of an intimate partner
  • More than three women are murdered every day by a husband or domestic partner
  • 40-50% of female murder victims fall into the category of domestic/partner murder (this includes former partners)
  • Three times as many women are killed by husband or intimate acquaintance as are killed by strangers using guns, knives or other weapons combined

As noted on “What About Our Daughters,”

According to the CDC, black women have a maternal homicide risk about seven times that of white women. Black women ages 25-29 are about 11 times more likely as white women in that age group to be murdered while pregnant or in the year after childbirth.

Kasandra Michelle Perkins is not a statistic, but her murder is part of a larger story.  The same is true for Cicely Bolden.  She was murdered by the man she was dating; he killed her after he learned that she was HIV-positive. #Kasandra Michelle Perkins #Cicely Bolden. Let’s not forget Meghann Pope.  She and her baby (she was 4 months pregnant) died after her boyfriend ran her over with his truck.  # Arlet Hernandez Contreras#Ericka Peters; # Rasheedah Blunt# Jasmine Nichelle Moss#Dawn Viens; #Yeardley Love#Nancy Benoit#Cherica Adams;  #Aena Hong.

It is crucial to continue to say Kasandra Michelle Perkins’ name. To look at her face; to ingrain her image into our heads. We must continue to think about not the last minutes of her life, but the totality of her life.

Kasandra Michelle Perkins.

It is crucial to say all of these names.  It is crucial to hear the plea from Kasandra Michelle Perkins’ friend, who reminded us all, “I don’t want her to get overshadowed by who he was. I know he was a Chiefs player and a lot of people know him, but she deserves recognition, too.”

Each time we say her name we remember her life and her tragic murder.  Each time we say Kasandra Michelle Perkins, we remember her 4-month-old daughter who lost her mom and her dad on December 2, 2012.  Each time we say her name we push back at the privileging of celebrity-life  over her death.  Each time we say her name we are hopefully reminded of the ubiquity of domestic/partner murder.  Each time we say her name we refuse the silence and erasure of domestic violence and intimate partner murder, particularly when the victims are women of color.  Each time we say her name we refuse the racism and sexism that obscures the humanity of those lives lost.  We challenge the discomfort that compels silence and erasure.

I heed the words from the Crunk Feminist Collective:

I wrote this piece to adjust the focus away from the famous athlete who “snapped,” and to put it on the true innocent in the case. I wrote this piece as a clarion call to remember Kasandra by her name and not by her relationship. I wrote this piece so that we don’t forget that victims may fall into statistics but they have names! I wrote this piece as a reminder that Kasandra (and Cherica) existed before their relationships with men who did not value their lives. I wrote this piece as a reminder that when a tragedy like this happens, it is not the perpetrator’s name we should remember, but the victim’s.

Each time we say Kasandra Michelle Perkins we remember a life lost; we remember a 22-year woman brutally murdered in her home; we remember a mother who will never get to hold her daughter again. We remember Kasandra Michelle Perkins.

Say her name!

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Teaching Trayvon http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/15/teaching-trayvon/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/15/teaching-trayvon/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:00:37 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33261 By Guest Contributor Shadee Malaklou, cross-posted from JFCBlog [Editor's Note: Graphic images at the end of this post, under the cut] The Trayvon Martin syllabus: These reading and viewing assignments are designed to prompt politically vigilant conversations about historical and institutional constructs of black male criminality in the United States. Specifically, they unpack Trayvon Martin’s […]

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By Guest Contributor Shadee Malaklou, cross-posted from JFCBlog

[Editor's Note: Graphic images at the end of this post, under the cut]

The Trayvon Martin syllabus: These reading and viewing assignments are designed to prompt politically vigilant conversations about historical and institutional constructs of black male criminality in the United States.

Specifically, they unpack Trayvon Martin’s gratuitous murder in February 2012 and the response his tragic death elicited from media and legal institutions–especially relevant in the wake of Michael Brown’s August 2014 lynching in Ferguson, Missouri. Written texts consist of insightful and timely essays published on blogs like Colorlines, The Feminist Wire and Black Girl Dangerous.

These essays teach tertiary students how to extrapolate anti-black racism from non-black experiences of ethnic difference without overwhelming them with jargon-heavy texts written for a well-versed academic audience.

PART 1: Anti-Black Racism + Trayvon Martin’s murder

Reading Assignments:

  1. “’Neighborhood Watch’ Groups Like Zimmerman’s and in Much of the Deep South Are Hardly Different Than Slave Patrols of Old” by Thom Hartmann for AlterNet
  2. “Putting Casual Racism on Trial” by Aura Bogado for Colorlines
  3. “Questlove: Trayvon Martin and I Ain’t Shit” by Ahmir Questlove Thompson for NY Magazine
  4. “The Zimmerman Jury Told Young Black Men What We Already Knew” by Cord Jefferson for Gawker
  5. “The US v. Trayvon martin: How the System Worked” by Robin D.G. Kelley for Counterpunch
  6. “Trayvon Martin and the Irony of American Justice” by Ta-Nehisi Coates for The Atlantic
  7. “No Justice for Trayvon: White Women in the Jury Box” by Monica J. Casper for The Feminist Wire
  8. “What Should Trayvon Martin Have Done?” by Amy Davidson for The New Yorker 
  9. “Study: Both Public, Police View Black Kids As Older, Less Innocent Than Whites” by Michael Arceneaux for News One
  10. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “America Is Not For Black People” by Greg Howard for The Concourse
  11. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “Why I fear for my sons” by Kimberly Norwood for CNN
  12. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “Things to stop being distracted by when a black person gets murdered by police” by Mia McKenzie for Black Girl Dangerous 
  13. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “The Price of Blackness” by Lanre Akinsiku for Gawker
  14. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “The ugly history of racist policing in America” by Dara Lind for Vox

Viewing Assignments:

  1. “The Murder of Emmet Till” (2003)
  2. “Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops” by Rafael Casal for Upworthy
  3. “Meet The 17-Year-Old Who Blew The Lid Off Racial Profiling With His iPod” by Alvin Melathe for Upworthy
  4. “The news reminds me that bodies like mine are beaten” by national poetry champion, Amber Rose Johnson on the Melissa Harris-Perry show 
  5. “Defying standards of black respectability” by Melissa Harris-Perry for MSNBC

PART 2: The failure of racial colorblindness + George Zimmerman’s trial

Reading Assignments:

  1. “The Good, Racist People” by Ta-Nehisi Coates for The New York Times
  2. “Poll: Majority of Whites See America as Colorblind, Nearly 80% of African-Americans do not” by Noah Rothman for Mediaite
  3. “White Supremacy Acquits George Zimmerman” by Aura Bogado for The Nation
  4. “The Curious Case of George Zimmerman’s Race” by Julianne Hing for Colorlines
  5. “We are NOT all Trayvon: Challenging Anti-Black Racism in POC Communities” by Asam Ahmad for Black Girl Dangerous
  6. “Racism is to white people as wind is to the sky” by Sunny Drake
  7. “White supremacy, meet black rage” by Brittney Cooper for Salon
  8. “What is ‘Black Privilege’?” by Omar Ricks and Gregory Caldwell
  9. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “How the Supreme Court Protects Bad Cops” by Erwin Chemerinksy for The New York Times
  10. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “I’m black, my brother’s white…and he’s a cop who shot a black man on duty” by Zach Stafford for The Guardian 
  11. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “Two Americas: Ferguson, Missouri Versus the Bundy Ranch, Nevada” by Bob Cesca for The Daily Banter
  12. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “White supremacy is the real culprit in Ferguson. The excuses just prove it” by Nyle Fort for The Guardian
  13. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “Telling white people the criminal justice system is racist makes them like it more” by Dara Lind for Vox

Viewing Assignments:

  1. “A Perspective On George Zimmerman That Every Person Should Hear” by Deepa Kunapuli for Upworthy

PART 3: Spectacle of the Other + Scenes of Subjection

Reading Assignments:

  1. “Rachel Jeantel: Black Girl Misunderstood” by Lurie Daniel Favors, Esq. for Afro State of Mind
  2. “Playing Dead: The Trayvoning Meme and the Mocking of Black Death” by Lisa Guerrero and David J. Leonard for New Black Man
  3. “Google Play’s ‘Angry Trayvon’ Game Ignites Fury on Twitter” by Jamilah King for Colorlines
  4. “‘Sharkeisha’ Video: The Real Tragedy Is How Many Enjoyed Watching” by Demetria L. Lucas for The Root
  5. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “Police let their dog urinate on Michael Brown memorial, then drove over it” by Hunter for Daily Kos
  6. [FERGUSON UPDATE:] “Mike Brown’s shooting and Jim Crow lynchings have too much in common. It’s time for America to own up” by Isabel Wilkerson for The Guardian

[Top image by David Shankbone, via Flickr Creative Commons]

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Voices: Janay and Ray Rice, Domestic Violence, and the NFL http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/11/voices-janay-and-ray-rice-domestic-violence-and-the-nfl/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/11/voices-janay-and-ray-rice-domestic-violence-and-the-nfl/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 12:00:22 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33253 But an unfortunate and perverse consequence of Donald Sterling’s massive profits from the sale of the L.A. Clippers is that admitting one’s racism is profitable. Thus white men profit from saying and doing racist things, while organizations like the NBA get to claim that they are taking strong stances against racism in the league. But […]

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Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

But an unfortunate and perverse consequence of Donald Sterling’s massive profits from the sale of the L.A. Clippers is that admitting one’s racism is profitable. Thus white men profit from saying and doing racist things, while organizations like the NBA get to claim that they are taking strong stances against racism in the league. But ferreting out individual racists will never solve the problem of systemic racism. It simply makes everyone feel better.

Similarly problematic thinking is evident in the Baltimore Ravens’ decision to terminate Ray Rice’s contract and the NFL’s decision to suspend him indefinitely after TMZ leaked video of his vicious attack on now-wife Janay Rice Palmer yesterday. First, the NFL is no stranger to domestic violence disputes. A recent memorable incident was the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher against his partner Kasandra Perkins in late 2012. Second, the fact that Rice received only a two-game suspension until this video surfaced suggests that the league is more concerned with the optics of Ray Rice knocking Janay Palmer unconscious than addressing the ways that the hypermasculinity of sport perpetuates a culture of violence toward women. By taking such a hard-line, if belated, stand against Rice’s actions, the NFL now appears responsive to the problem of domestic violence, although it has made no promises to implement any kind of consistent anti-violence training for NFL players. It has simply ferreted out Ray Rice as an ultimate offender and benched him until further notice. This strategy won’t make Janay Palmer’s life safer and it won’t help the current partners of players who are being abused in secret.

We should be concerned about living in a culture where we routinely disbelieve victims of racism, sexism or domestic violence unless there is video or audio evidence. When we acknowledge the pervasiveness of violence, and of racism and sexism, we will be more responsive to victims and less committed to the kind of dishonesty that greets “isolated” incident after “isolated” incident with shock and surprise.

Ray Rice’s Second Horror, by Brittney Cooper; Salon

Domestic violence is violence. That word “domestic” needs to be dropped. If anyone thinks Ray Rice would have had the charges dropped against him if he had clocked a stranger in that elevator, dragged him out and then given him a kick–all on camera–think again. Violence against women is still roundly accepted in every country in the world, the U.S. included.

Ray Rice and the Hidden World of Domestic Violence, byVictoria Brownworth; Shewired


Many people are asking questions about what the N.F.L. knewabout the incident and when. Concerns about Ms. Rice, however, have been treated as a side note. (Since the incident in February, Ms. Palmer and Mr. Rice have married, and Janay has taken her husband’s name.)

Instead, scrutiny of Ms. Rice’s behavior has been unsparing. As Jodi Kantor writes in The New York Times, Ms. Rice has become “the most famous battered wife in the country” and, “to domestic violence experts and survivors, an extraordinarily public example of the complex psychology of women abused by men.” Ms. Kantor recounts Ms. Rice’s deeply entwined history with Mr. Rice: the two met in high school, and Ms. Rice moved to Baltimore for college to be close to him. Ms. Rice got pregnant before she graduated. Though she eventually graduated from college, it’s unclear if she ever intended to have an independent career.

Ms. Rice’s financial and social dependence on her husband may make it harder for her to think about leaving him, writes Ms. Kantor. Karma Cottman, executive director of the D.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence, told Ms. Kantor that a victim of domestic violence often visits a counselor “five to seven times before they leave.”

What Janay Rice Wants, by Anna Altman; NYTimes


Keith Olbermann, September 10, 2014


The one question they did not glaringly ask is, How will Janay Rice react to the release of the tape? The absence of concern for Janay Rice—in the press, on social media, among my own colleagues—is the most disheartening part of this entire ordeal.

No one cares that she is now going to have to relive this incident over and over again. No one cares that the world has now become privy to what may be the most humiliating moment of her entire life. No one cares that she’s basically now being used as a soapbox with otherwise apolitical NFL commentators using her prone body to get on their high horse and safely blast the league. There is video, and those who never raised their voice publicly about the axis of domestic violence and the NFL before are now bellowing the loudest.

ESPN “NFL insider” Adam Schefter was enraged and called the entire situation “the biggest black eye in league history.” Unfortunate phrasing aside, even the statement speaks volumes. What about every other act of domestic violence in league history that wasn’t caught on videotape? What about the Kansas City Chiefs’ Jovan Belcher two seasons ago actually killing the mother of his child, Kasandra Perkins, before taking his own life? Why are these actions seen as less of a black eye? The answer, of course, is that this one was caught on videotape. In other words, it damages the league’s public relations. In other words, this is—again—not about Janay Rice. It is about the well-being of the league.

The Revictimizing of Janay Rice, by Dave Zirin; The Nation


“I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend. But to have to accept the fact that it’s reality is a nightmare in itself. No one knows the pain that [the] media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass [off] for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific.

“THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don’t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is! Ravensnation we love you!”

– Janay Rice via Instagram

 

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What Bill O’Reilly gets wrong about Asian Americans http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/10/what-bill-oreilly-gets-wrong-about-asian-americans/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/10/what-bill-oreilly-gets-wrong-about-asian-americans/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:00:03 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33245 By guest contributor Kevin Wong (originally posted at Salon.com) Bill O’Reilly went to Harvard and grew up in Levittown, a Long Island town that is 94 percent white. He attended a private boy’s school on Long Island that is 90 percent white and currently costs more than $8,000 a year to attend. And yet he […]

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What Bill O'Reilly gets wrong about Asian Americans

Credit: Frank Micelotta/invision/AP

By guest contributor Kevin Wong (originally posted at Salon.com)

Bill O’Reilly went to Harvard and grew up in Levittown, a Long Island town that is 94 percent white. He attended a private boy’s school on Long Island that is 90 percent white and currently costs more than $8,000 a year to attend. And yet he recently remarked that white privilege is a lie — that being white gives a person no inherent advantages in America. Irony is dead.

It is obvious, to anyone paying the slightest attention, that white privilege does exist, that legal equality is different from equality in practice. But then, O’Reilly has a long history of making ill-advised statements about race. What really stood out to me, though, on a personal level, is how O’Reilly used Asian-Americans to support his argument against white privilege. Just to recap:

Here are the facts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for black Americans is 11.4 percent.  It is just over 5 percent for whites; 4.5 percent for Asians. So do we have Asian privilege in America? Because the truth is that Asian-American households make far more money than anyone else… Also, just 13 percent of Asian children live in single parent homes compared to a whopping 55 percent for blacks and 21 percent for whites. There you go.  That’s why Asian-Americans, who often have to overcome a language barrier, are succeeding more than African-Americans and more than white Americans. Their families are intact and education is paramount.

From what experiences, exactly, does O’Reilly draw these conclusions? Allegedly, his own encounters with Asians are less than enlightened. In her sexual harassment suit against the pundit, Andrea Mackris made the following allegations: that O’Reilly recounted his foreign sexual experiences to her; that a “little brown woman” masseuse in Bali, Indonesia, had asked to see his penis, to which O’Reilly obliged; that a “girl” at a Thailand sex show took O’Reilly to a back room and “blew [his] mind.” When a man pursues colonialist fantasies and exploits women in Asian countries for his own pleasures, he loses the moral high ground to lecture anyone on race privilege.

The implications of O’Reilly’s argument are as follows: that Asians are what “good minorities” ought to be, and that blacks should be more like Asians to succeed in America. O’Reilly’s argument is simplistic and harmful, not only to blacks, but to Asians as well. Asians have not gained equality in this country; every minority group suffers unique challenges. O’Reilly’s argument pits people of color against one another by equating their problems — a common red herring that detracts from bigger, more important issues.

So let’s establish first that Asians are not treated equally in American society. Not at all. I grew up in Bethpage, a small town in Long Island, a few miles from O’Reilly’s Levittown. My parents, my sister and I experienced discrimination in a number of ways that were overt. I have been called a “chink” to my face. My father was once told to “shut up” by a woman when he spoke in Cantonese. When I worked a part-time job at a local fast food restaurant, my nickname was “Jackie,” as in Jackie Chan. I was instructed to serve our black customers first, to get them out of the store in a hurry.

These were the most overt examples of discrimination from my life, but there were other examples of prejudice that were more subtle — jokes that I needed to “lighten up about,” and “not take so seriously.” There were butchering limericks about my last name. There were cracks on my masculinity. There were jokes about my slanted eyes, and how well I could see through them. “No tickee, no laundry.” It was never funny, no matter how many times it was coached with ironic, “post-racial” excuses.

This is anecdotal evidence, and I can only speak for myself. But, it is an all too common experience, and one that many other Asian Americans can attest to. I did not grow up in a socially isolated, bizarre community; Bethpage is an average American town, 30 miles from Manhattan. I lived in a “good neighborhood”; my former school district, statistically, is one of the strongest in the nation. But, as my experience demonstrates, statistics do not tell the whole story.

As an Asian American, I do not have it the worst. The police do not harass me. I am treated better than many other people of color. I do not fear for my life, but this is little comfort. Despite my personal successes, I have regularly felt demeaned. When conservatives complain about the “race card” and its divisiveness, it’s because they have never been made to feel conscious of their skin color. The divisiveness was always there for the oppressed; these are not fresh lines, and we did not create them.

But let’s put all that aside for a minute. Let’s say that I’m being “too sensitive.” Let’s say that my experience is an anomaly rather than a trend. Even so, the statistics that O’Reilly cites are misleading. The first mistake is equating all “Asians” under the same umbrella. “Asian” covers many different ethnic groups. Cambodians, Hmongs and Laotians are considered “Asian,” but statistically, among all ethnic groups, they underperform academically. They have the highest rates of not completing high school. They have the lowest rates of completing college. They have the highest rates of receiving public assistance. And they are the least likely, of all ethnic groups, to be homeowners. The overarching Asian label trivializes the real problems that sub-groups face. An entire continent’s descendants should not be lumped into the same category, when so many are suffering from inequities.

Stereotypes of success persist, because they are “positive,” and thus acceptable. Sometimes, the target of the stereotype will even embrace it as a backhanded compliment. Growing up, for example, I was convinced of Asian prowess in math and science. When I got older, I began to struggle in these subjects when compared to my peers. I remember feeling deficient — that I was not “Asian” in the truest sense of the word.

The expectations of academic and economic success can be stressful to Asians. We may rank at the top of the pile in some categories, but O’Reilly neglected to mention some other, more sobering statistics. Asian American adolescent boys are twice as likely as whites to experience physical abuse, and they are three times as likely to report sexual abuse. Asian American adolescent girls have higher rates of depression than all other gender and racial groups.

And despite these statistics, Asian Americans are the least likely to seek out mental help. What is the cause of this inaction? It’s a combination of several factors: first, that Asian emotions are trivialized. Asians are stereotyped as robotic, human calculators; thus, we do not bruise easily, and we are incapable of finer feelings. Dulled responses and emotional frigidity are viewed as “normal” for Asians, when they might be symptoms for severe problems. Second, there is the fear of breaking our “model minority” perception — that we will cease to be valued if we show any sign of weakness to non-Asians. And lastly, there is the Asian cultural value of “saving face,” and not humiliating one’s family with the stigma of mental disease.

What is the cost of these unrealistic high standards, which O’Reilly is so quick to praise? Suicide is the second most common cause of death for Asian Americans aged 15-34. Among Asian Americans girls aged 15-24, suicide is more common than in any other ethnic group. It is a national tragedy, and it is one that has been propagated, not only by stereotyped perceptions, but also by outdated Asian values, and the post-racial pundits who encourage them.

Saving face. It’s considered betrayal, you know, for Asians to talk like this in front of non-Asians. The older generation sees it as an airing of dirty laundry, that we must present a strong, united front, blend in and demonstrate our willingness to work and play under America’s yoke. But enough is enough. We have allowed these “positive” stereotypes to go unchallenged for long enough, and it is to everyone’s detriment, including our own.

Despite our “hard work,” despite the praise we have garnered from the establishment in this country, we are neither promoted into leadership positions, nor given power to effect real change. Less than 1 percent of college presidents are Asian. We hold under 3 percent of board seats in Fortune 500 companies, despite the claims that we have surpassed all other ethnic groups in America. We are underrepresented in places of power, and this needs to change. As an Asian American, I’m upset by O’Reilly’s condescension. I won’t be used to justify the continued oppression of other ethnic minorities, and I will not be “one of the good ones.” The same model minority status that allowed us passage into the workforce also prevents our upward mobility within it.

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Contributor Call: Help Us Review Fall 2014 TV and Movies! http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/08/contributor-call-help-us-review-fall-2014-tv-and-movies/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/08/contributor-call-help-us-review-fall-2014-tv-and-movies/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 14:00:39 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33232 The field this fall is crowded. Making the list of films and TV shows that we want to watch made us exhausted, and we haven’t even looked at books, plays, and comics. We need reviewers who want to cross-post or contribute pieces. A round-up of what we are keeping an eye on is below. If […]

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Jane the Virgin

The field this fall is crowded.

Making the list of films and TV shows that we want to watch made us exhausted, and we haven’t even looked at books, plays, and comics.

We need reviewers who want to cross-post or contribute pieces. A round-up of what we are keeping an eye on is below. If you want to assist, please send a note with what you want to cover to team AT racialicious DOT com.

Roundtable

Drunk History

This would essentially be a “Watching Drunk History While Brown” segment. The concept for the show is great – but watching drunk, mostly white people narrate history has made for some interesting viewing.

TV Shows

The Red Band Society

Premiere: September 17th, FOX

Scorpion

Premiere: September 22nd, CBS

Gotham

Premiere: September 22nd, FOX

Blackish

Premiere: September 24th, ABC

How to Get Away with Murder

Premiere: September 25th, ABC

Selfie

Premiere: September 30th, ABC

Survivor’s Remorse

Premiere: October 4th, Starz

The Flash

Premiere: October 7th, CW

Kingdom

Premiere: October 8th, Audience DIRECTV

Cristela

Premiere: October 10th, ABC

Jane the Virgin

Premiere: October 13th, CW

State of Affairs

Premiere: November 17th, NBC

Fresh Off the Boat

Premiere: 2015, ABC

Critical

Premiere: 2015, Sky1

Movies

Falcon Rising

Premiere: September 5th

Finding Fela

Premiere: September 5th

Frontera

Premiere: September 5th

No Good Deed

Premiere: September 12th

Keep on Keepin’ On

Premiere: September 19th

Jimi: All Is By My Side

Premiere: September 26th

Time is Illmatic

Premiere: October 1

Addicted

Premiere: October 10

The Book of Life

Premiere: October 17th

Dear White People

Premiere: October 17th

Beyond the Lights

Premiere: November 14th

Never contributed to our blog before? Check out our submission guidelines.

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A Quick Reminder About the Racialicious Project [Editor's Note] http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/05/a-quick-reminder-about-the-racialicious-project-editors-note/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/05/a-quick-reminder-about-the-racialicious-project-editors-note/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 14:00:12 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33227 Just a little housekeeping. Racialicious has been in effect for more than eight years. As a result a lot of people (writers, readers, editors) have come and gone. It is easy to forget in the current environment that Racialicious is still a labor of love. It is an all-volunteer project. In response to an epic […]

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Flower Stand

Just a little housekeeping.

Racialicious has been in effect for more than eight years. As a result a lot of people (writers, readers, editors) have come and gone.

It is easy to forget in the current environment that Racialicious is still a labor of love. It is an all-volunteer project. In response to an epic media season and some questions on Twitter and Tumblr, here are five quick questions and answers.

What is happening with Racialicious?

We are thinking about who we are in an when blogging is professionalized and most outlets find a way to discuss race in their pop culture projects. We’ve talked about retiring the blog and leaving it as an archive, but none of us really felt like the work was finished. We are in the process of looking at format and purpose. There probably won’t be any huge changes until 2015.

Why did you go on break?

Essentially, everyone was feeling worn out. Tami, Joe and Andrea departed the project late 2013 to pursue other things, which left Arturo and Kendra holding down the day to day posting. (I deal with the administrative parts, but between the day job and the now 10 month old baby, I’ve been on extended sabbatical.)

We took August off to regroup and figure things out. As a result, Arturo is stepping back to become more of an editor at large. Kendra is becoming managing editor. And I’m a little more in the day to day mix.

Why didn’t Racialicious say anything on xxxx issue?

Occasionally, people ask us why we didn’t post on a certain issue. There are various reasons for why this happens. Sometimes, we’ve covered an issue multiple times and there is nothing new to report. Other times, an issue is in direct conflict with one of our day jobs. You cannot make the news and comment upon it at the same time – that’s generally frowned upon. And sometimes, the ability of the editors to post is low. Silence shouldn’t be read as not caring about an issue – it just means that there are more factors behind the scenes. And we have always been an open admissions kind of place, so if you notice a gap in coverage feel free to submit a piece.

Does Racialicious make money?

Two years ago we put ads on the site, but that was mainly to offset the cost of hosting the blog independently. After we were hacked at the beginning of the year, our analytics and ads stopped working. So we are back to paying out of pocket to host this space until it is fixed.

We are not funded by any other means. While it seems like money grows on trees these days, Racialicious is still a racial justice project which makes revenue channels complicated. (Just putting Google ads on the site to offset costs became an existential conversation.) We are putting intense focus on what would allow the project to be sustainable over the long term, but that is always a work in progress.

I want to help with the project!

Awesome. We need a new contributing editor in the mix, as well as roundtable contributors for the upcoming season. A formal call will go out next week. If you are interesting in helping, and can commit to about five hours per week of work, email team AT racialicious DOT com.

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Cheap Rent and Racism: The Lie Guys Social Experiment http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/04/cheap-rent-and-racism-the-lie-guys-social-experiment/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/04/cheap-rent-and-racism-the-lie-guys-social-experiment/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 14:00:08 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33237 Competitive rental markets mean that tenants can put up with some seriously strange requests from landlords and potential roommates in order to score a decent place. No cooking, no dogs, no shoes in the house are all standard requests – but what would happen if the stated policy was “no black people?” The Lie Guys […]

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Competitive rental markets mean that tenants can put up with some seriously strange requests from landlords and potential roommates in order to score a decent place. No cooking, no dogs, no shoes in the house are all standard requests – but what would happen if the stated policy was “no black people?”

The Lie Guys set up a ad for a room on Craigslist, then Skype recorded the responses.

Transcript and follow up bellow the jump.

Ben Bizuneh: Me and my friend Aristotle were on YouTube and we realized something. Pretty much every single YouTube comment contains the n-word.

[Montage of comment pages]

Ben: Not every single one, but a lot of them do. Maybe like 8 percent.

[On screen: Not a real statistic, that was a joke.]

Ben: And it’s weird because no one ever calls me the n-word in real life. At least not to my face. And I’ve been wondering – are people ok with racism toward black people as long as there are no black people around to hear it?

I guess I wouldn’t know. I’m always around. Let’s test it out.

[Title: Skype Racism]

Ben: So I asked Aristole to put an ad on Craigslist, saying he was looking for someone to rent a room in his fully furnished Hollywood apartment for only $400 a month. We got an overwhelming response.

[Shows Craigslist responses]

Ben: Then Aristotle scheduled Skype calls with potential renters by saying that he’d like to give each person a virtual tour of the apartment before meeting face to face.

He’s going to say some racist stuff about black people and give each person an ultimatum. Let’s see if people are willing to tolerate racism for cheap rent.

[The Skype calls are then shown. These are captioned with Aristotle's conversations and the caller's responses. Aristotle basically makes quiet racial inferences. He references people getting their "dirty black feet" on the floors, talks about watching movies "with my white friends," "having parties with my white friends," recites rules like "no cats, no dogs, no black people", once he says no "n*****s," and mimes a hanging in response to affirmation by another white respondent. Most respondents don't address the statements and proceed with trying to rent the apartment.]

There was also a black person who responded to the ads, so they upped the ante:

While YouTube commenters immediately began calls for a reverse version of the series (“tell black people they can’t invite whites over”) the video is interesting because it looks at very subtle ways people can tacitly agree with racism. Most commenters did not go out of their way to address what Stotle was saying – they just glossed over that part in their responses.

But when the Lie Guys attempted the same joke on a black person, it’s interesting to note that there isn’t any anti-racist grand gestures. The black respondent doesn’t lose his cool – or even raise his voice. He fought subtle racism with subtle disapproval, which is a tactic that isn’t highlighted enough.

The Lie Guys are comedians using social commentary in their craft, and on cue, YouTube commenters manage to bring the experiment home:

Samatar Nur

This is so stupid its not racism i would even say fuck black people for some cheap rent and im black

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Violence against Indigenous Women: Fun, Sexy, and No Big Deal on the Big Screen http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/03/violence-against-indigenous-women-fun-sexy-and-no-big-deal-on-the-big-screen/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/03/violence-against-indigenous-women-fun-sexy-and-no-big-deal-on-the-big-screen/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33218 by Guest Contributor Elissa Washuta, originally published on Tumblr The body of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine, a member of Sagkeeng First Nation, was pulled from the Red River in Winnipeg on August 17. Her murder has brought about an important conversation about the widespread violence against First Nations women and the Canadian government’s lack of concern. […]

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by Guest Contributor Elissa Washuta, originally published on Tumblr

Captain Hook kidnaps Tiger Lily in Peter Pan.

Captain Hook kidnaps Tiger Lily in Peter Pan.

The body of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine, a member of Sagkeeng First Nation, was pulled from the Red River in Winnipeg on August 17. Her murder has brought about an important conversation about the widespread violence against First Nations women and the Canadian government’s lack of concern.

In her August 20 Globe and Mail commentary, Dr. Sarah Hunt of the Kwagiulth band of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation wrote about the limited success of government inquiries and her concerns about other measures taken in reaction to acts of violence already committed, such as the establishment of DNA databases for missing persons. Dr. Hunt writes:

“Surely tracking indigenous girls’ DNA so they can be identified after they die is not the starting point for justice. Indigenous women want to matter before we go missing. We want our lives to matter as much as our deaths; our stake in the present political struggle for indigenous resurgence is as vital as the future.”

Violence against indigenous women is not, of course, happening only in Canada. In the U.S., for example, the Justice Department reports that one in three American Indian women have been raped or experienced an attempted rape, and the rate of sexual assault against American Indian women is more than twice the national average. This violence is not taking place only in Indian Country.

In the Globe and Mail on August 22, Elizabeth Renzetti wrote about three recent murders of First Nations women.

“What unites these three cases is that the victims – Tina Fontaine, Samantha Paul and Loretta Saunders – were all aboriginal women. What else unites them, besides the abysmal circumstances of their deaths? What economic, cultural, historical or social factors? Anything? Nothing?”

Jeffords holding the murdered Sonseeahray.

Jeffords holding the murdered Sonseeahray.

I can’t answer that, but I know that all of these women—and every other indigenous woman in Canada and the U.S.—lives in a society that includes images of violence against indigenous women in its entertainment products. Over and over, violence against indigenous women is made to titillate, built into narratives along with action, suspense, swashbuckling, and romance. Indigenous women become exotic props, and when we are identified with these dehumanized caricatures, it becomes easier to treat us inhumanely.

John Smith points a rifle at Pocahontas

John Smith points a rifle at Pocahontas

Take as an example Disney’s Pocahontas. Released in 1995, the cartoon feature has replaced the historical figure’s life story in the minds of many Americans. Much has been made of Disney’s exotification of Pocahontas. John Smith is only compelled to put down his gun because of her beauty. Pocahontas is imbued with animal qualities throughout the film as she scuttles, bounds, swims, creeps, and dives. This reinforces a long-held conception of Native peoples as being “close to nature” at best, “more animal than human” at worst—and the latter is a view that makes us easier to abuse.

Emily and Sam in New Moon

Emily and Sam in New Moon

The recent depiction of Emily (a Makah woman) in the Twilight series offers viewers a direct representation of violence in a fictional Native community. Emily’s broad, visible facial scar is said to be the result of her partner Sam’s (a Quileute man/werewolf) outburst of rage: he was a younger werewolf, with difficulty controlling his “phasing” from human to wolf, he became angry, and she was standing too close. The presentation of this story problematic in its shrugging absolution of Sam of his responsibility in maiming Emily, and the aftermath is heartbreaking: in the more detailed version of the story presented in the Twilight books, after Sam mauls Emily, she not only takes him back, but convinces him to forgive himself. This sends the message that an episode of violence can and should be overlooked for the sake of romance. Emily, a Native woman, becomes expendable. Her safety is of little concern; the fact that Sam has “imprinted” on her, cementing his attachment, is more important than the reality of recidivism.

In a Globe and Mail editorial, “How to Stop an Epidemic of Native Deaths,” the author brings up the many social factors at work in the epidemic of violence against Native women. I bring up the problematic and pervasive imagery above not because I think it is the most problematic issue, but because it is what I know, and because we can start solving it with our individual actions. We don’t need to call Native women “squaws” and joke that they were “hookers” when forced into prostitution, as Drunk History did last year. We can make better choices than “naughty Native” costumes on Halloween. We have the freedom to choose the representations we make in the world, and when we perpetuate damaging stereotypes of indigenous women as rapeable, we are using our autonomy to disempower others.

Karen Warren wrote in “A feminist philosophical perspective on ecofeminist spiritualities”:

“Dysfunctional systems are often maintained through systematic denial, a failure or inability to see the reality of a situation. This denial need not be conscious, intentional, or malicious; it only needs to be pervasive to be effective.”

Tiger Lily faces Hook.

Tiger Lily faces Hook.

I’m tired of hearing that these images aren’t harmful. I’d rather see how much they’re missed when they’re gone than continue to listen to the insistence that the image of Pocahontas at the end of a gun barrel is wholesome while, every day, more and more indigenous women die while we are told that this is not a phenomenon, not a problem, nothing more than crime.

Elissa Washuta is an adviser in the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington and a faculty mentor in the MFA program in creative writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her first book, a memoir called MY BODY IS A BOOK OF RULES, was recently published by Red Hen Press.

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Open Thread: Where Do We Go From Here? http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/02/open-thread-where-do-we-go-from-here-2/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/09/02/open-thread-where-do-we-go-from-here-2/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 12:00:36 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33239 Finally got a chance to get down to the riverfront to see this. Incredible. #HealSTL pic.twitter.com/v9uqouU1Zu — Antonio French (@AntonioFrench) September 1, 2014 Summer closed with a bang. Six bangs, to be specific. The shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson sparked an international uproar. Ferguson, Missouri became the latest chapter in America’s […]

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Finally got a chance to get down to the riverfront to see this. Incredible. #HealSTL pic.twitter.com/v9uqouU1Zu

— Antonio French (@AntonioFrench) September 1, 2014

Summer closed with a bang.

Six bangs, to be specific.

The shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson sparked an international uproar. Ferguson, Missouri became the latest chapter in America’s ongoing racial saga, with protests still occurring.

During the break, we followed conversations on Twitter and Tumblr, but we want to hear from you.

How are you feeling?
What does justice look like in Ferguson?
And what happens next, from a racial justice standpoint?

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Announcing: The Racialicious Summer Vacation http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/31/announcing-the-racialicious-summer-vacation/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/31/announcing-the-racialicious-summer-vacation/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:00:36 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33190 This year, we’re going to try something different for the month of August: we’re going to take the month off. Fret not, the site’s not going anywhere bad. But, we think — especially coming off of the vortex that was San Diego Comic-Con — this is a good time for our team to step back, […]

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This year, we’re going to try something different for the month of August: we’re going to take the month off.

Fret not, the site’s not going anywhere bad. But, we think — especially coming off of the vortex that was San Diego Comic-Con — this is a good time for our team to step back, recharge and retool a bit. So we’re going to hit the beach, grab some mojitos, help Arturo celebrate his birthday this Saturday (send well-wishes to him here) and we’ll catch you on the flip side — specifically, Tuesday Sept. 2, with new content and ready to roll hard going into 2015. See you soon!

[Top image by James Jardine via Flickr Creative Commons]

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The SDCC Files: The Cosplay Gallery http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/30/the-sdcc-files-the-cosplay-gallery/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/30/the-sdcc-files-the-cosplay-gallery/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:00:35 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33168   by Kendra James As I wrote for the The Daily Beast the best part of Comic-Con is always the ridiculously talented cosplayers wandering the halls. As a cosplayer myself, I know how challenging (and fun)  designing, finding, and creating costumes for cons can be.  With that in mind I wanted to showcase some of the costumed […]

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"trinandtonic:patbaer:</p

Rocket Raccoon– who was actually a real live five year old Latino boy underneath the mask.

by Kendra James

As I wrote for the The Daily Beast the best part of Comic-Con is always the ridiculously talented cosplayers wandering the halls. As a cosplayer myself, I know how challenging (and fun)  designing, finding, and creating costumes for cons can be.  With that in mind I wanted to showcase some of the costumed heroes, heroines and other beloved characters of colour Art and I spotted during this year’s con.

IMG_9728a

Static Shock

IMG_9736a

The tiniest Clark Kent

IMG_9747a

Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan)

IMG_9780a

Lt. Uhura

IMG_9784a

Oberyn Martell

IMG_9790a

Zuko and Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender

IMG_9902

Maleficent and Aurora

IMG_9918

The Black Widow

IMG_9922

(Siblings) Thor, Black Widow, and Captain America

IMG_9953

Buzz Lightyear  (who had fully automated wings)

IMG_9965

Captain America and The Winter Soldier (they each made their own costumes independently!)

IMG_9975

Princess Leia

IMG_9983

Bert from Mary Poppins

CAM00763 (1)

Captain America and Patriot

unnamed

Super Family

Margaery Tyrell (myself) and Sansa Stark

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The SDCC Files: The Black Panel http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/29/the-sdcc-files-the-black-panel/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/29/the-sdcc-files-the-black-panel/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:00:08 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33160 [View the story "SDCC 2014: The Black Panel" on Storify]

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The SDCC Files: Racebending presents ‘Superheroines! Power, Responsibility and Representation’ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/29/the-sdcc-files-racebending-presents-superheroines-power-responsibility-and-representation/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/29/the-sdcc-files-racebending-presents-superheroines-power-responsibility-and-representation/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:00:04 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33162 [View the story "SDCC 2014: Racebending presents 'Superheroines! Power, Responsibility and Representation'" on Storify]

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The SDCC Files: The Battle For Multicultural Heroes http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/28/the-sdcc-files-the-battle-for-multicultural-heroes/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/28/the-sdcc-files-the-battle-for-multicultural-heroes/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:00:18 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33157 [View the story "The Battle For Multicultural Heroes" on Storify]

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The SDCC Files: The Witty Women of Steampunk http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/28/the-sdcc-files-the-witty-women-of-steampunk/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/28/the-sdcc-files-the-witty-women-of-steampunk/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:00:51 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33154 [View the story "The Witty Women of Steampunk" on Storify] Top image from Anina Bennett’s “Boilerplate.”

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Top image from Anina Bennett’s “Boilerplate.”

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The SDCC Files: Milestone @ 21 http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/28/the-sdcc-files-milestone-21/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/28/the-sdcc-files-milestone-21/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:00:06 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33151 [View the story "Milestone @ 21" on Storify]

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The SDCC Files: Breaking Barriers: Transgender Trends in Popular Culture http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/28/the-sdcc-files-breaking-barriers-transgender-trends-in-popular-culture/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/28/the-sdcc-files-breaking-barriers-transgender-trends-in-popular-culture/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:00:11 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33148 [View the story "Breaking Barriers: Transgender Trends in Popular Culture" on Storify] Top image from Transposes, by Dylan Edwards

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Top image from Transposes, by Dylan Edwards

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The SDCC Files: MD Marie http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/26/the-sdcc-files-md-marie/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/26/the-sdcc-files-md-marie/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 22:00:18 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33143 MD Marie We first noticed science-fiction author MD Marie and her steampunk style when she discussed “The Saints of Winter Valley,” her multi-cultural steampunk story featuring four women of color, during Friday’s Black Panel. Naturally, we hopped over to her booth and got more details. Where You Can Find Her: Booth 1623 Where You Can […]

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MD Marie

We first noticed science-fiction author MD Marie and her steampunk style when she discussed “The Saints of Winter Valley,” her multi-cultural steampunk story featuring four women of color, during Friday’s Black Panel. Naturally, we hopped over to her booth and got more details.

Where You Can Find Her: Booth 1623
Where You Can Find Her Online: Saints Of Winter Valley Twitter feed and Facebook page.
What’s The Story?: “It is steampunk, even though it’s futuristic,” Marie says about Saints, which is set in the year 2118. “The story is post-global warming, so people have reverted back to a simpler, but extravagant time, because resources are scant. Most of the planet is underwater because of global warming. The United States is actually divided into two separate countries.”
On the future of multicultural steampunk: “I see it going very far. It’s kind of touch-and-go with the general audience, but in the steampunk genre, it’s very popular. My characters, my story, are very popular. I see it getting stronger, and going very far. I just need everybody to catch up with us.”

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The SDCC Files: Keith Knight and C. Spike Trotman http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/24/the-sdcc-files-keith-knight-and-c-spike-trotman/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/24/the-sdcc-files-keith-knight-and-c-spike-trotman/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:33:00 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33133 As part of our plan to boost peoples’ signals during San Diego Comic-Con, we plan to run at least one or two mini-profiles a day, starting with a look at two popular cartoonists. Keith Knight Where You Can Find Him: Booth K-15 in the Small Press section. Where You Can Find Him Online: His personal […]

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As part of our plan to boost peoples’ signals during San Diego Comic-Con, we plan to run at least one or two mini-profiles a day, starting with a look at two popular cartoonists.

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Keith Knight

Where You Can Find Him: Booth K-15 in the Small Press section.
Where You Can Find Him Online: His personal site; his Patreon site.
What’s The Story?: Knight, a longtime SDCC exhibitor — his first con was in 1993 — who has hosted panels at the event in past years, is here promoting Knight Takes Queen, the second collection of stories from his daily Knight Life strip.

“This was a long time coming,” Knight said of the collection. “I’ve got probably 1,000 strips that I can put into books. I’m psyched to get it out, because people have been asking for it. It basically takes it through the time when my wife was pregnant with my first child until just after his birth.”

How has the convention landscape changed during the years he’s taken part in the con?: “It’s certainly is a big change from when I started coming in ’93. In ’93 it was just all 53-year-old white men. But it really started to diversify thoughout the 2000s, and hit this kind of crazy crescendo. Instead of it becoming sort of a weird side thing, and now it’s really mainstream. Honestly, the crowd can be more diverse than the comics itself, which is kind of interesting. But attempts are being made; Captain America’s black again, and Thor’s gonna be a woman. What’s interesting to me is, this is the first time I’ve seen a lot of discussion of sexual harassment of women in cosplay outfits or just being here at Comic-Con was brought up. I’m glad that kind of stuff is on the table, because it’s all been simmering under the surface.”

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C. Spike Trotman

Where You Can Find Her: Booth 1330 with Black Label Comics
Where You Can Find Her Online: Iron Circus Comics website.
What’s The Story?: Trotman is promoting The Sleep Of Reason, a 26-story horror anthology featuring 34 different creators she says will have “no predictable endings” and none of the usual kinds of “scary” antagonists.

“I kind of got tired of things that feature supernatural creatures masquerading as horror,” she explains. “I personally don’t find things featuring zombies, werewolves, and vampires scary anymore because everybody already knows the rules. If a zombie shows up in a story, you know what you have to do to get rid of it. If a werewolf shows up, you know the rules it’s operating under. To me, the essence of fear is not understanding and being helpless in a situation. That’s why I don’t have things like zombies and vampires in The Sleep of Reason, because if I did have them, you would know how to take care of them.”

On the expanding audience for anthologies: “I think there has kind of been a mushrooms after the rain effect when it comes to anthologies. A lot of young creators, I’ve found, are putting together anthologies amongst themselves to kind of get their work out there, because the strength of the anthology, in my opinion, is [that] people will buy it for a creator they know is in there and they already like. But as a result, they’re exposed to maybe 10 or 15 other creators that they had no idea existed, and have great potential of becoming a fan of those creators. And I think people understand that, especially on the creators’ side, they understand that. So when they put together these projects, they’re kind of drawing from one another’s audiences and readerships with the hope that there can be kind of a swapping of fans — or at least growing their own fanbase by tapping into another person’s fanbase.”

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