Tag Archives: latino

“Pimping” gets you suspended; “Lynching” gets you…

by guest contributor Tami, originally published at What Tami Said

Last week I wrote about the furor surrounding Michelle Obama’s comments about being proud of her country. Some folks just don’t understand how one could not be proud of the United States of America. Luckily, Bill O’Reilly, that paragon of journalistic virtue, is reserving his judgement. Here is what Bill-O (TM Keith Olbermann) said on his radio program during a call from a listener who claimed to have inside knowledge that Obama is an “angry” and “militant” woman:

“I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s
evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels.”

Oh, how gracious of you Bill O’Reilly! Now, about that lynching thing. If David Shuster gets an indeterminent suspension for talking about Chelsea Clinton being “pimped out” by the Clinton campaign. How much time will O’Reilly get for talking about “lynching” a black woman, indeed the wife of a candidate for the United States?

Read the full story and hear the audio at Media Matters.

And why don’t we show Fox Noise what angry, militant women sound like. Contact them:


The REALLY real deal

Speaking of Michelle Obama’s comments…why are some folks in the media attempting to hide what she really said. (Even I have it wrong in yesterday’s post and I pulled the quote directly from a news site.)

Let’s compare what Obama is reported to have said and what she really said:

Now, I would stand by Obama if she could not say she felt “proud” of America. (See yesterday’s post.) But that is not even what she said. I mean…REALLY!

I have seen and heard numerous comments from the mainstream about Michelle Obama’s supposed “attitude.” I fear, folks, that this accomplished woman is going to be prey to black woman stereotype number 6,938: The ANGRY black woman. You hear the sentiment from Bill O’Reilly’s wingnut caller above, but I’ve heard from the left, too.


In the immortal words of Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow in “The Wiz”:

“You can’t win chile…
You can’t get even
and you can’t get out of the gaaaaame.”

(Cue singing crows.)

Who says Latinos and Asians hate blacks?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Sick of the race war hysteria in mainstream media? Yeah me too.

Check out this 3-way IM conversation I had with Lauren from Stereohyped and Maegan from VivirLatino, breaking down race and the presidential election, and that pesky question of just why Asian-Americans and Latinos voted for Clinton, not Obama.

Here’s a tidbit, but head on over to Stereohyped to read the whole thing:

Lauren: i know…finding all the black women in the salon or outside of church
Carmen: I didn’t know you all hung out outside those venues Lauren
Lauren: I know..the only place a reporter could find me is on my couch behind my laptop.
Carmen: LOL
Lauren: But i guess I’m not the sort of black woman they’re looking for
Maegan: I’m at the corner bodega….they got wireless now!!! But back to the point about the whole Latinos afraid of black Barack, they totally miss a whole chunk of Latinos that are black!!!
Carmen: Um, yeah
Maegan: Which is a pretty fucking huge chunk
Carmen: Latino and black are not mutually exclusive…

Racialicious for Obama

“We could make history by being the first time in a very long time where a grassroots movement of people of all colors — black, white, Hispanic, Asian — rose up, and went up against the princes, the powers, and principalities, and actually won a presidency.”
–Barack Obama, January 13, 2008

It’s official — Racialicious is endorsing Barack Obama as president of the United States. Read on for statements from Carmen Van Kerckhove, Wendi Muse, Fatemeh Fakhraie and Latoya Peterson.

From Carmen

If you’ve been reading Racialicious for any time, you probably know that I have an irrational love for dance movies and an irrational dislike of red bean soup.

One thing you might not know about me, however, is that I’m not a U.S. citizen; I’m only a green card holder. I’ve never been bothered by the fact that I’m not able to vote in this country — until now.

For the first time ever, there’s a candidate whom I really, really want to see elected as president: Barack Obama.

Does Obama appeal to me because he’s multiracial, like myself? Because many of his relatives are Asian? Because in living abroad, he’s had the same international Third Culture Kid (TCK) experiences as me? In part, yes.

But what really excites me about Obama is that he is completely in touch with how race in America is lived in 2008. He understands that race is not just about who’s black and who’s white, or who’s a victim and who’s an oppressor. He’s fearless about addressing institutional racism, but is absolutely uninterested in playing oppression olympics. His message is one of hope and change, yet he doesn’t sugarcoat the realities of racism or insist on engaging in meaningless celebrations of diversity. He proudly identifies as a black man, yet is committed to bringing together people of all races.

In short, Barack Obama epitomizes the core beliefs that drive everything I do.

I believe that this country will fundamentally shift the way it thinks and talks about race if Obama wins the presidency. And I’m filled with excitement and hope when I think about the possibility for that sea change.

From Wendi

I’ve been fairly quiet with regard to my support of Barack Obama as the Democratic Presidential Nominee mainly because I wavered so long between him and Hillary Clinton. I respect them both and would honestly be really happy if either of them gained the nomination. No matter who makes it to the final election (and, hopefully, the White House), history has been made.

However, for me, there are two things that have influenced me to support Obama. Some asked if it had to do with my racial background, understandably, considering that so many Americans for centuries have voted based on their racial background . . . then again, all the last presidents have been white males, if that says anything. No, it wasn’t about race, I assured them, as I fully acknowledge that people of color can make just as great or just as poor leaders as whites; perfect examples of the aforementioned can be observed throughout the “Global South,” where people of color are often in the majority and, save for their respective colonial periods, hold political office.

For me, what compelled me to consider myself an Obama supporter was his approach to foreign policy and his adherence to keeping a clean campaign. The candidates are so similar on certain issues, but these two things are some of the few that really stood out to me as their being strikingly different. Continue reading

The uncomprising journalistic standards of The New York Times

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Am I the only one who finds this Bill-Clinton-has-black-cred story in today’s New York Times ridiculous?

While the blogosphere and commentariat rang this weekend with angry declarations that he had crossed a line in his criticism of Barack Obama, many in Harlem seemed to mull it over, shrug their shoulders and say they understood, even if they didn’t quite agree.

“What Bill Clinton said — well, his wife is running for office,” said Tonya Burnett, who was waiting outside the building to visit a city housing office. “He’s got to represent just like she represented when he was running. I don’t think it’s such a big deal.”

To be sure, interviews conducted on a single day, in front of a single building, are apt to produce a narrow point of view. Yet the building, at 55 West 125th Street, is an important piece of real estate in Mr. Clinton’s world.

To be sure, interviewing a handful of people is largely meaningless, but we’ll still go with the headline blaring “In Harlem, Backing Up Bill Clinton.”

Just in case the story was too subtle, and you didn’t quite get the Bill-Clinton-is-blacker-than-Obama subtext, they chose to end the story on this note, emphasis mine:

Bruce Gordon, 47, had visited a notary inside the building. He said the criticisms might even sharpen Mr. Obama.

“These questions have to come up. If Obama gets the nomination, folks will ask, ‘So who are you?’ So far, he’s a nice white middle-class guy,” said Mr. Gordon, acknowledging the cheekiness of his remark with a cagey little smile. “You try to pull a black thing on Bill Clinton, he’s going to say, ‘Now wait a minute now.’ ”

The blackness olympics are on!

It’s almost as bad as the story earlier this month in the Times about how Latinos won’t vote for a black man. Cause you know, Latino and black are mutually exclusive categories. Not like there are any black Latinos, or anything.

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez brilliantly broke down exactly what was wrong with that story:

The article quotes a random 20-year-old woman on the streets of Los Angeles as their only legitimate source for the headline screaming about Obama’s lack of support among Latinos, ostensibly because of his “blackness.” This is your source? Natasha Carrillo of East Los Angeles? Holy crap. Are you joking? Is this the best you can find? Why not go the CUNY, and talk to the Dominican and Puerto Rican studies experts there? Why send reporters to a freakin’ taco stand in East Los Angeles? I’ll tell you why: The story was written in the minds of the editors before it was reported; that’s why it WAS NEVER reported. It was made up. And because it was on the front of the NY Times, you are going to have pundits from coast to coast quoting it as the gospel truth, all because Natasha Carrillo, 20, of East Los Angeles, said so.

Interracial Porn: Holding Us Back While Getting Us Off? (Pt 1)

by Racialicious special correspondent Wendi Muse

I am by no means an expert on porn, nor do I pretend to be. Yet considering the volume of hits on xtube.com or youporn.com that could be traced back to my IP address, one would assume so. If not that, one would at least be able to mentally file away my name with all the other people in the “creepy” category. Some of you may be wondering about this new obsession of mine that has developed during my period of hiatus, but I can fortunately hold someone else partially responsible.

In November of 2007, Courtney, a contributing blogger for Feministing, reviewed a book aptly titled Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity by Robert Jensen. Much like fellow feminist theorist, the late Andrea Dworkin, Jensen considers pornography a visual manifestation of misogyny—hatred of women captured on film. With sexual arousal distracting the viewer, acts of violence and subjugation of women are interpreted through a different lens than, say, if they were portrayed minus the element of sex. Yet also like Dworkin, Jensen’s work borders on misandrist, stating as his major thesis that “If men are going to be full human beings, we first have to stop being men.” Using pornography as a microcosmic representation of the world as a whole, at least insofar as relationships between men and women are concerned, Jensen proposes that masculinity must be abandoned altogether as, in his opinion, it is inextricably linked to a world in which women are viewed as stupid, submissive, and deserving of abuse.

I agree with Courtney in her mention of the many loopholes within the book, in particular her comments regarding women who enjoy submission or even pain during sex. I also concur with regard to her discussion of images and scenarios within pornography playing out in real life. Many once-taboo subjects and sex acts, including, but not limited to, threesomes or multi-partner sex, anal sex, BDSM, and even the use and purchase of sex toys, have become mainstream. Porn is not entirely the culprit, but its proliferation has certainly aided Americans in their burgeoning sexual open-mindedness. With an orgasm only a click away, pornography has experienced a similar transformation to that of the music industry, with the creation of mp3s and pirate sites, and the film and tv industry, with the onslaught of youtube and bootleg dvds of sidewalk entrepreneurs.

After reading Courtney’s review of Getting Off (which you can read, in full, here) I wanted to take Jensen’s argument a bit further. Despite my disagreeing with him on some points, I felt that Jensen’s thoughts on gender roles in porn could be easily applied to the use of race in porn, particularly interracial porn. Following his thesis, in short, that masculinity by definition supports a system of misogyny, a characteristic clearly demonstrated in (straight) pornography, and the only way to progress beyond this conveyance of hatred toward women is to eradicate masculinity in its entirety, I came up with the following: Continue reading

Jessica Alba Talks to Elle Magazine about Race in Hollywood

by Racialicious Special Correspondent Latoya Peterson

Really, I say, has your skin color hindered you that much?

Alba shoots me an exasperated look.

Yeah, I could let this be the beginning and the end of this post. Jessica Alba is being interviewed by Andrew Goldman in the February issue of Elle Magazine and he poses the question to launch a thousand eye rolls.

Hello – have you read the last 50 or so interviews with any woman of color in the film industry?

Everyone from Maggie Q to Nia Long has complained about the lack of good roles for non-white folks. More times out of not, you’re auditioning for a niche role in an indie film that targets xxx community, competing for a high profile role playing a stereotype, or trying to nail the audition and convince the director that you can add your own brown flavor to the film and still make it work.

Still, I must admit, the coverline did hook me a bit: “Jessica Alba on race in Hollywood, using sex to get ahead, and why actors make bad boyfriends.”

Considering Perez Hilton’s long term diatribe against her and the professional penalty actors may pay when they find themselves speaking out against domestic injustices, Alba was the last person I expected to go on the record about her feelings on race. I wondered if the text would be some watered down version of “It’s not about my race, it’s about talent.”

A page or so into the article, it becomes clear that Alba has not been drinking the Tiger Woods Kool-Aid:

As assimilated as Alba’s upbringing was, she never felt there was a well-defined place for her in Hollywood. “Nobody really knew what to do with me,” she says. “Everyone wants to categorize you and pigeonhole you. I’m half Latin, but I grew up in the States, and I can’t get roles playing a Latina because I don’t speak Spanish. And I didn’t want to be the best friend, or the promiscuous girl, or the maid, because those stereotypes still exist with Latin roles. I wanted to be a leading lady. And I thought that because I have brown skin shouldn’t make any difference. Why should only Aryan-looking girls be that girl?”

Really, I say, has your skin color hindered you that much?

Alba shoots me an exasperated look. “How many leading leadies are you aware of?” she says. “Lindsay Lohan, Kate Bosworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jessical Biel, Rachel McAdams. We have Jennifer Lopez, Halle Berry, me, and who else?”

Uh, Eva Mendes?

“Mendes,” she says flatly. “But is Mendes greenlighting movies?”

A good point.

So often in these kind of conversations, people only look at the superficial representation of the problem (As in, “But I know of at least three black characters on major shows! Why is this such a big deal?) rather than thinking about the power dynamics in the entertainment industry. The reporter in this piece implies that she is exagerating the problem by quickly naming another lead woman of color – without thinking about how representation without power or influence is kind of a hollow victory.

What is most telling about this piece – whether it was by whim of the reporter or whim of the editor – is that after Alba makes a critical point power and race, the piece jumps to her personal history.

Her question to the reporter is left hanging.

Seven paragraphs later, the piece ends. Race is never mentioned again.

Angelina Jolie nominated for a NAACP Image Award

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Today’s WTF moment for you. (Thanks Dorothy!) From Yahoo! News:

“The Great Debaters,” a film based on the real-life victories of a black debating team in the 1930s, topped the list of nominees announced Tuesday for the 39th NAACP Image Awards…

Nominated for outstanding actress: Jurnee Smollett for “The Great Debaters,” Angelina Jolie for “A Mighty Heart,” Halle Berry for “Things We Lost In the Fire,” Jill Scott for “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?” and Taraji P. Henson for “Talk To Me.”