Tag Archives: international

Conversations on Feminism: Domestic Violence Against Aboriginal Women in Australia

by Latoya Peterson

Megan over at Jezebel provided a provocative conversation topic in her post “Aussie Feminist Germaine Greer Argues That Domestic Violence Against Aboriginal Women Is Understandable.”

She writes:

Despite Kevin Rudd’s official apology to the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders for their treatment at the hands of the Australian government, his government continues to support and fund the previous government’s Northern Territory Intervention, which puts troops on the streets of Aboriginal towns (among other seemingly repressive measures) to combat the well-documented widespread epidemic of domestic and child abuse. That said, feminist Germaine Greer’s response to it is nearly as shocking. She suggests that domestic violence is an understandable outlet of rage against oppression and thus argues that we shouldn’t ask them to stop. What?!

When I first saw this story, I thought she was joking, but she’s not. In trying to argue that rage, substance abuse and violence is a result of the oppression of the Aboriginal people, most people would be hard pressed to say that she’s wrong. Addiction begets addicts, violence begets violence, and crushing and hopeless poverty and societal isolation does nothing to help. But that does not mean that no one should try.

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Olympic Hating: Is China Really Worse than Any Other Host?

by Special Correspondent Thea Lim

If your city newspapers are anything like mine, you’ve been witnessing the regular old deluge of Olympics coverage. But the ’08 reporting is special – mixed in with the diving stats is story after story about how China is corrupt, repressive and deceitful.

Take yesterday’s amazing headline from Canadian national newspaper, the National Post: Chinese Introduce New Sport: Deception. Or Tuesday’s story in the Globe and Mail, another Canadian national newspaper: Beijing static: Disagreements over whether to watch the Olympic Games or tune them out are dividing families. A Toronto Star story from a few weeks back details how the Chinese are not only secretive loonies but also warmongers: China Wages War on Olympic Weather.

I can totally agree that China has an awful human rights records; that what is happening in Tibet is horrible; that Beijing (and many other parts of China) are staggeringly polluted.

But here’s the thing: what Olympic host country hasn’t done terrible things that they should be held to account for? Hell, it’s often the chance to host the Olympics that motivates state violence. So why is China the only one getting called out?

Seriously, I’m not just crying wolf. In December ’07, European organisation the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions released the report “Fair Play for Housing Rights: Mega-Events, Olympic Games and Housing Rights.” The report states that

The Olympic Games have displaced more than two million people in the last 20 years, disproportionately affecting the homeless, the poor, and minorities.

An ’07 article in the Guardian discusses the report in more detail, stating that

In every city it examined, the Olympic games – accidentally or deliberately – have become a catalyst for mass evictions and impoverishment…The games have become a licence for land grabs…

Barcelona’s Olympics, in 1992…[were] used to cleanse the city. Roma communities were evicted and dispersed. The council produced a plan to “clean the streets of beggars, prostitutes, street sellers and swindlers” and “annoying passers-by”. Some 400 poor and homeless people were subjected to “control and supervision”.

We hear the same story in the US.
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Have You Seen the Thirsty Black Boy?

by Latoya Peterson

I recently came across the above campaign, produced by Mortierbrigade Brussel, an ad agency in Belgium.

MediaBistro notes:

To attract attention for the cause, a young boy dressed in shorts and a tank top could be seen running into prime time TV shows (live programs, with hosts) only to drink the water that sat in front of the hosts, or their guests. The boy chugged the water and ran off.

In three days, the boy had been on enough programs that a stir was created. In just six days, people donated the equivalent of $5.24 million dollars. Considering the relatively small size of Belgium, that’s no small feat.

The viral piece was meant to highlight the disparaging situation for the 1.1 billion people that don’t have clean water, and the fact a child dies every 15 seconds from a lack of clean water. The agency’s client ‘Music for Life’ and their partner, The Red Cross, did more for clean water in a week than anyone could have imagined.

(It is also interesting to note that Media Bistro took the word “Black” out of the title when reporting the piece.)

Here is the video:

What do you think readers? (Particularly interested in the international perspective.)

DeBeers: Exploitation is Forever

by Guest Contributor Tami, originally published at What Tami Said

Diamond purveyor DeBeers wants you to get your Africa-inspired bling on. The September issue of Elle magazine (originally spotted on Jezebel) features the company’s diamond pendants shaped like tribal masks. Hmm, let’s see…what part of this is most vomitously offensive?

The fact that Cecil Rhodes, DeBeers’ founder was a colonialist and white supremacist, who disdained non-Anglo culture and eagerly participated in the rape of the African continent throughout his lifetime? Wikipedia says:

Rhodes wanted to expand the British Empire because he believed that the Anglo-Saxon race was destined to greatness. In his last will and testament, Rhodes said of the British, “I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race.” Continue reading

Perez Hilton Hates Yellow People

by Guest Contributor Jen, originally published at Disgrasian

Ever wonder how an internet meme gets started? Or, for that matter, how it then spreads and metastasizes until it becomes accepted fact?

Over the last week, we’ve seen one particular meme develop about China: “China Hates Black People” (courtesy of Perez Hilton).

This idea didn’t, however, originate with Perez Hilton. It started last Friday with a story in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, “Authorities order bars not to serve black people,” which alleged that Chinese government authorities were secretly planning to ban blacks from bars during the Olympic games. Reporter Tom Miller based the story on the claim of one anonymous source:


    “Uniformed Public Security Bureau officers came into the bar recently and told me not to serve black people or Mongolians,” said the co-owner of a western-style bar, who asked not to be named.

Then Miller quoted another unnamed source, a “black British national who lives in Beijing,” to further shore up the story:

    “Chinese people are prejudiced, but I would have hoped that the government would set a better example as it debuts on the world stage.”

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Mexico’s Famed Monkey-Boy is Back, Black and on Wal-Mart Shelves

by Special Correspondent Nadra Kareem

Mexico’s favorite monkey-boy, Memin Pinguin, may now find an audience in the U.S. That’s because Wal-Mart has decided to carry the reissued comic books series, first released in the 1960s. There’s just one problem. Memin Pinguin isn’t simply a monkey-boy but referred to in the series as a “Negro.”

With that description comes all of the negatives associated with blackness. Other characters, who apparently beat him at various points, regard him as “stupid” and a “troublemaker.” Also of note is that one of the newly released comics includes a storyline about Memin Pinguin running for office, which some believe is an allusion to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.*

Though it seems clear that a comic book featuring a “Negro” monkey-boy is offensive, Mexican dignitaries think otherwise. Not only have they defended the country’s love for the comic book figure, they also issued a stamp in commemoration of Memin Pinguin in 2005. To the critics from the North, they say, because Americans don’t understand the culture, they have no right to object to the character. Continue reading