Tag Archives: hispanic

ANTM: The Drinking Game*

by Racialicious special correspondent Wendi Muse

I was originally going to write a full article about all the patronizing, classist, and racist things Tyra & the Gang (T&tG) said on the most recently aired America’s Next Top Model Cycle 8, but our friend Malena Amusa over at Race Wire beat me to it :- )

So I thought I’d made a fun little game for those of you who have TiVo-d all the episodes or pre-ordered the Cycle 8 box set (no judgment—we all have our guilty pleasures). I mean, Tyra did say that ANTM “is not just about a pretty picture . . . it’s about more than that,” so here’s your opportunity to prove her right.

Please be warned, if you decide to use alcohol for this game (highly un-recommended considering the frequency of T&tG’s slip-ups), be sure to keep a cell phone pre-programmed with “9-1-1” close by. My suggestion, however, is to use water. You’ll be sure to get in your daily recommended dose of 2 liters.

Take a shot for each time anyone from T&tG (including, but not limited to Tyra Banks, Jay Manuel, Miss Jay, Nigel Barker, Twiggy, the contestants, and the special guest judges):

  1. makes a reference to a track, weave, and/or wig when speaking to a contestant of color
  2. says someone “looks foreign”
  3. questions Natasha (the Russian contestant)’s ability to understand English
  4. switches into an accent when speaking a person whose first language is not English
  5. refers to Jaslene, the Puerto Rican contestant, as “spicy” or “fiery”
  6. says the word “fierce”
  7. questions Jael (the half black/half white contestant)’s “realness,” “blackness,” national origin, and/or racial identity
  8. uses the term “ghetto” as a surrogate term for trashy, cheap, poorly made, and/or uneducated
  9. attempts to speak for his or her entire ethnic/racial group, sexual orientation, and/or place of origin
  10. asserts her “American-ness,” gratitude to America, and/or tells a sob story about her native country or old neighborhood
  11. praises/thanks Tyra
  12. asks a contestant to say something in her native language
  13. uses subtitles
  14. expects the contestants to behave in a stereotypical way, then questions their effort and commitment to the competition if they do not do so
  15. uses the term “cha cha”
  16. compares modeling to “acting like a ho”
  17. treats his/her moment on television as a public service announcement on otherness
  18. makes a sweeping statement about lesbians or gays
  19. supplies Latin music as an aural backdrop to appearances made by Jaslene
  20. supplies hip hop as background music during appearance made by Jael in order to remind us she is half black even though she “doesn’t look it”

*Please note, this game also doubles as a youtube scavenger hunt!

Is the MLB neglecting African-American talent?

by Racialicious sports correspondent Luke Lee

The latest issue of Sports Illustrated features Cleveland Indians’ outfielder Grady Sizemore who is known for possibly being the best all-around young player in the game today and for his soon to be ownership of the Derek Jeter “most beautiful/popular man in baseball” crown (Seriously. The Indians sell “Mrs. Sizemore” t-shirts at the ballpark).

But anyways, to be honest I had no idea that he was multiracial Black and White like Mr. Jeter but it’s an interesting coincidence because as quiet and low-key as Sizemore is (the anti-Jeter, in that sense), one of his hopes is to “inspire other black athletes to play baseball.”

Unfortunately the article doesn’t dig deeper on that issue but it’s important nonetheless because it’s something that Black baseball players have been saying for years. Many even felt that the recent Jackie Robinson remembrance was a joke considering how little the MLB was doing today in terms of bringing baseball to Black communities in America while building academy after academy in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, to name a few.

But speaking of baseball academies in the DR, teams like the Indians and New York Mets have started to lead the charge in “social responsibility” (at least a little bit) in terms of providing potential recruits with a basic grade school education.

Don’t get your hopes up though, because the writer and even the New York and Cleveland brass are very honest in their intentions because this isn’t any sort of “look at the poor situation there, we’re just doing this without any ulterior motive!” kind of deal.

Rather, “It heightened our ability to understand and know the players we were evaluating, signing and developing…We wanted them to think analytically. Increasing aptitude is a competitive advantage.” admitted a Cleveland official.

Lit Love: Anthologies and Short Essays

by Special Correspondent Latoya Peterson

I love to take a peek inside the mind of someone else.

I have always been interested in the reality and perspectives of others, especially when it is one that is so different from my own. My love of reading is rooted in this desire to know.

With that in mind, I am recommending a quick list of books guaranteed to shake a few mental paradigms.

Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism
(Seal Press, 2002)

This was one of the first books I picked up about women of color and feminism that was not from the African-American perspective. The narratives in this collection illuminate struggles that are not always heard, even within the feminist community – Native American women, Desi girls, Islamic girls. Tackling topics from sexuality to sex work to abortion to gentrification, Colonize This! succeeds in humanizing issues that are often discussed only in the abstract.

[Side note: One of the Amazon commentators for this book left the following gem: "To think about racism is to be racist. People should think about other things." Wow.]

When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks It Down
(Simon & Schuster, 2000)

After scooping this up at a bookstore sale, I promptly devoured it in one sitting, and have spent the last four years loaning it out to any of my friends who happened to glance in the direction of my bookcase. Morgan’s work is refreshing, groundbreaking, and real. Her essays pop with ideas, including my two favorites, “StrongBlackWoman and the EndangeredBlack Man” and “Chickenhead Envy.”

In “StrongBlackWoman -n-EndangeredBlackMen…This is Not a Love Story” Morgan directly confronts a myth that many black women hold on to like a life raft in a churning sea: the StrongBlackWoman. Mythical and powerful, the stereotype empowers women but also hinders them – underneath the SBW banner, it is difficult to have your fears, pains, and vulnerabilities taken seriously. Other people, who willingly buy into this stereotype, see the SBW and just assume she can do all things, for all people, all the time – and then lash out if she dares to show a weakness.

“Chickenhead Envy” deals with the irrational but real pain women feel when confronted with the gold-digging stereotype that seems to have no problems with money, men, or status based ambition. Morgan cuts right to the heart of the matter, admitting that while it feels great to do for one’s self, that feeling of accomplishment fades when you see chickenheads reaping the immediate rewards of their craft.

Engaging, thought-provoking, and challenging, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost is a long time favorite of mine.

Border-Line Personalities: A New Generation of Latinas Dish on Sex, Sass, and Cultural Shifting
(Rayo, 2004)

I saw this book on the shelves at my local library, and was attracted by the hot pink cover, displaying a photo of a skirt worn with some killer boots. Over the course of two days, I dipped into contemporary Latina reality. Divided into three sections, Border-line personalities confronts love, family, and reality through the eyes of Latinas in the know.

I’ll have to admit, a lot of things in this book went over my head. A large portion of the first section features writers who switch between Spanish and English, using colloquial phrases that the Altavista BabelFish couldn’t handle. But fair enough – I don’t speak Spanish, and I’m sneaking glimpses into someone else’s reality. This book was not written for me.

However, I still managed to pull a lot of enjoyment from this one. Carmen Wong’s story is difficult and touching, and Jackie Guerra provides a fresh perspective on being Latina in Hollywood. There were also some interesting stories about relationships, including the testimony of a Lesbian Latina, a stranded New Yorker’s quest for her lover during the 2003 blackout, and a girl learning her way around an adult relationship with her alcoholic father.

Highly enjoyable, highly recommended. (Unfortunately, the comments on Amazon are split 50-50. )

Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips, and Other Parts
(Perigee Trade, 2005)

I adore this collection for not turning away from the rougher aspects of the African-American female experience. While the celebrity pages were a bit lacking (Melyssa Ford has rehashed her views on being a video model in the same way in three different publications), the narratives from real women were poignant and touching. There was a narrative from a generation 1.5 African-American teen who receives complements on her deep smooth skin and regal stature, but receives absolutely no play from African-American boys; a few narratives of the fear felt dealing with the street sex market; narratives about loving yourself in a larger size, including a fabulous reference to Miss Piggy as a role model for body confidence; the issues involved with being black and living abroad; and the rant from a light skinned woman with a yard-long weave on the hypocrisy that categorizes black hair politics. Sexual abuse and gender politics are also featured prominently in this collection. I plan on gifting this book to a few young girls I know. Continue reading

Santa Clara University students mock Latinos with “South of the Border Party”

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

The latest racist campus party comes to us from California’s Santa Clara University, where students decided to um, honor their Latino brothers and sisters by throwing a”South of the Border Party.” Students dressed up as janitors, female gangsters and pregnant women. (Hat tip to Rachel and thanks to Susan too!.) From the Contra Costa Times:

Photographs taken at the private, off-campus party and splashed on Internet sites reveal a crude and narrow portrayal of Latino life. One student hammed it up before the camera with a stuffed balloon on her belly, under her blouse. Another posed for a close-up shot of her puckered mouth, thickly lipsticked and lined in black. One student wore a janitorial costume complete with the long, rubber gloves commonly used to clean bathrooms.

Students have already begun organizing responses to this party. From The Santa Clara, the school’s student paper:

MEChA and La Communidad Latina both held special meetings to address the issue, while the MCC organized a silent march to Locatelli’s State of the University speech.

At least 250 students, faculty members and administrators of many ethnicities gathered in support and walked through campus behind a banner that read, “In unity there is strength.”

Supporters wore orange armbands and orange ribbons. Aguas said in her e-mail advertising for the march that orange symbolizes anti-racism.

“It’s not a particular party, nor a particular person, but addressing the whole issue of having theme parties that reinforce negative stereotypes,” Aguas said.

She cited other parties, including one in November 2006 with a “Fresh off the Boat” theme in which attendees were encouraged to dress as a new immigrant. At publication, pictures from that party were still on Facebook.

Radar Online’s list of racial stereotypes in the movies

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Radar Online just published a great list called From Borat to Mammy: The top ten stereotypes in cinema history:

Hollywood has a long history of racial insensitivity—stereotypes are its stock in trade. But, as with Borat, watchdog groups are too quick to sound the alarm when things get out of hand. Unfortunately for film-goers with less-fragile constitutions, some of the most deliciously offensive characters in cinema have been relegated to the dustbin as a result. Where were the Golden Globes when Long Duk Dong dropped his L’s in Sixteen Candles? It just doesn’t seem fair. Come with us on a tour of Hollywood’s walk of shame, where we gaze, slack-jawed, upon the ten best stereotypes ever captured on film.

(Hat tip to Angry Asian Man.) So who’s on the list?

Long Duk Dong
From: Sixteen Candles, 1984
Played By: Gedde Watanabe
Groups Offended: Asians, exchange students

Speedy Gonzales
From: The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie, 1981; various Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies animated shorts
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Groups Offended: Mexicans, mice

James ‘Buffalo Bill’ Gumb
From: The Silence of the Lambs, 1991
Played By: Ted Levine
Groups Offended: Gays, transsexuals, lesbians, serial killers, cannibals

Dick Hallorann
From:The Shining, 1980
Played By: Scatman Crothers
Groups Offended: African-Americans, mystics, Lady Cleo, Dionne Warwick, most of the Psychic Friends Network

Jar Jar Binks
From: Star Wars: Phantom Menace, 1999; Attack of the Clones, 2002; Revenge of the Sith, 2005)
Voiced By: Ahmed Best
Groups Offended: Jamaicans, nerds

Pagoda
From: The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001
Played By: Kumar Pallana
Groups Offended: Indians, hipsters

Grand Vizier Jafar
From: Aladdin, 1992
Voiced By: Jonathan Freeman
Groups Offended: Arabs, street urchins

Caiaphas
From: The Passion of the Christ, 2004
Played By: Mattia Sbragia
Groups Offended: Jews, Jews for Jesus

Mr. Yunioshi
From: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961
Played By: Mickey Rooney
Groups Offended: Asians

Mammy
From: Gone With the Wind, 1939
Played By: Hattie McDaniel
Groups Offended: African Americans

Mel Gibson’s deep thoughts about Apocalypto

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

apocalyptoWow. Check out this interview (hat tip to Newspaper Rock) in which Mel Gibson shares his inspiration for the film Apocalypto:

CS: What was it about the Mayan people or that era that got you interested in trying something like this?

Gibson: Well, no, it wasn’t that. At first, I was just trying to make a chase film, but I wanted to make it a chase film that didn’t have automobiles, so I thought of a foot chase. And I thought, “Well, where would you have a foot chase? You’d have a foot chase in some place that was a long time ago. And let me see, where can that be? Oh, this is interesting. No one’s really looked at this much before. And what’s more interesting is that the civilization dates back to millennia before the Europeans arrived.” And that to me, musing on what might have happened before Europe arrived—because we have this conceit that history began when we got here–I thought that was interesting. Most people do it when the boats arrive, and then the fun starts, but I wanted to do it the other way around, and look what was before all that.

NYC deli sells sandwich called “The Illegal”

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

the illegal sandwichFirst came Green Card energy drink. Now comes a sandwich called “The Illegal.”

Apparently, there’s a deli across the street from New York City’s Citizenship and Immigration Services headquarters that has begun selling a sandwich by that name:

The “Illegal” — Sausalito turkey, Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and a jalapeño-fi red guacamole spread — is not on the menu above but is advertised from its sign in the display case, which also shows a man going through a barbed wire fence.

They’ve been making it for about six months, according to Roberto Agapito, the soup-ladling, cutlet-cutting, potato-chip-scooping Mexican mastermind behind the creation.

If you order an Illegal in Spanish at the Civic, the inevitable ensues.

Customer: “I’ll have an Illegal, please.”

Worker (pointing to guy next to him): “Here’s one.”

Laughter all around.

Agapito, who has been in the United States for 12 years, said he created it to honor the experiences of many of his fellow Latino immigrants.

I’m sure they feel very honored.