By Joseph Lamour
- Why Batman Can’t Be Black (Blogtown/The Portland Mercury)
People don’t like the implication they could be the bad guy on this issue. Racism is bad. That’s axiomatic. Thus, arguments against changing Batman’s race tend to go like:
“It’s not that I don’t want Batman to be black. With the right writers, I bet it’d be cool! I’d love for popular culture to be more diverse! It’s just that, unfortunately, it simply can’t be done in the case of Mr. Bruce Wayne. There’s too much history and continuity. It’s a shame, but that’s just the way the world works.”
Which is bullshit. Bruce Wayne doesn’t exist. He’s not real. It wouldn’t take a miracle of genetic engineering to somehow flip the needed switches in his DNA to transform him from a rich white guy to a rich black guy. He’s completely fictional. Of course he can be a black man. He’s been a lot of things over the course of his 70+ years in existence, most of them infinitely more ridiculous and unbelievable than possessing a darker skin tone.
- Jew Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me: Weiner, Spitzer, Filner … Are Jews less likely to cheat? The data says no. (Slate)
“What’s the matter with Jewish men today?” Josh Greenman, the opinion editor of the New York Daily News, raised that question after Anthony Weiner’s latest sexting relapse. Jodi Kantor, a Slate alumna and New York Times correspondent, responded with a 1,200-word essay on the troubles of Weiner, Eliot Spitzer, and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. Although the three cases are very different, these “libidinous, self-sabotaging politicians are causing grimaces among fellow Jews,” Kantor noted. They’re discrediting the assumption “that Jewish men make solid husbands.”
Where did we get the idea that Jews are faithful in marriage? Sounds to me like an old yente’s tale. The data don’t support it. Jews stray as much as—if not more than—spouses of other faiths.
- An In-Depth Look at How “Orange Is the New Black” Compares to Real Life (Bitch Magazine)
It’s historically been difficult to generate activist attention around criminal justice reform, but increasing media attention could add more hearts/minds/bodies to the thousands who’ve been battling these issues tirelessly for years, like The Sentencing Project, The Women’s Prison Association, Families Against Mandatory Minimums and The ACLU.
And now we have Orange is The New Black (OINTB), the first American television program since Oz to so poignantly dramatize, eroticize, and criticize the system. Plus, OITNB does a thing Oz rarely did, which is make us laugh. As formerly incarcerated writer Joe Loya wrote about why he prefers the new show to Oz: “The show — though not a biopic, therefore not literally accurate — still captures truthfully the zaniness of prison. And the sex agonies. The fortunate camaraderie. The hidden likenesses between the guards and prisoners. The collaborations. The antagonisms. The pain of family visits.” Also: The humanity. You cannot write these people off.
More Diversity In The Suburbs [New York Times]
“People that grow up in diverse communities are comfortable living and working in the multiracial society we’re going to become,” Mr. Orfield said.
Diverse communities strike a fragile balance that can easily be lost over time, the study found. Once the communities fell back into segregation, they tended to remain that way.
“The frightening thing is they don’t stay stable and we don’t have a plan to keep them stable,” Mr. Orfield said. “We haven’t finished with the issues of discrimination in the housing market that make these things unstable.”
So just how did this year’s independent Olympians arrive at their statelessnes? As Deadspin pointed out shortly after the ceremony, the reasons were both political and logistic: Guor Marial, a marathoner, was born into civil war in what is now South Sudan. The bloodshed claimed two million lives, including eight of Marial’s siblings and 25 family members in total. The violence led him to flee the country at 8 years old, first to Kenya, then to Egypt, before finally settling in Arizona. South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, has yet to form a national committee that’s required for countries to participate in the games, and even though Sudan extended Marial an invitation to represent that country in the games, he refused.
“Some things are more important than Olympic glory,” he said recently. “If I ran for Sudan, I would be betraying my people. I would be dishonoring the two million people who died for our freedom. I want to bring honor to my country. People who just want glory, the spotlight of the Olympics, they don’t care about other people. I’m fighting for independent status because I do care. When I run, I want people to see me and say, ‘He is from South Sudan.’”
Still without a passport, Marial wasn’t able to travel to London in time for the opening ceremony. So he watched like most of the rest of us did—while eating pizza with friends in Flagstaff, Ariz.
UPDATE: Gabby Douglas Leads Team USA To The Gold [Crunk Feminist Collective]
This kid, who commentators continue to suggest is “unable to handle the pressure,” was the only member to compete in all four events — vault, bars, beam, and floor.
So though she’s only 1/5 of the team, she did 100% of the events, and captured 1/3 of the points.
Of course she didn’t get 33% of the coverage, or even a quarter of the love her teammates got. Continue reading
by Guest Contributor Flavia Dzodan
An amazing conversation that could only happen on The Stream – Derrick, May Alhassen, and Basim Usmani (of the Kominas) have an engaging and real conversation with Lupe Fiasco, one everything from the Occupy movements to Palestine. Fiasco is bracingly honest and surprisingly measured, in stark contrast to his other media experiences.
There is way too much awesome in this piece about K-pop stars from Ree at Seoulbeats:
2NE1 has always been somewhat the ‘black sheep’ of the girl group family. Where Wonder Girls are like the independent, chic, college-going older sister, SNSD is the preppy popular freshman cheerleader sister who gets all the guys, and 2NE1 is the rebellious middle sister who knees the guys in the balls if they ever decide to screw with her.
And 4Minute would be that neglected problem-child youngest sister who goes out with fifty guys a month and gets scolded by the parents everyday– when really, all they actually want is affection and love.
If K-Pop was ‘Ten Things I Hate About You‘, SNSD would be Bianca, and 2NE1 would be Kat. You know, Kat– the one who has the tough girl exterior and rams into other people’s cars. But you know what, most people tended to like Kat better, because Kat was cool, Kat was different. And I could only imagine how disgruntled the audience would be if the movie ended with Kat doing a 180 and kissing puppies and moving into a fluorescent pink house. Just to make Patrick fall in love with her or something. Well, this is exactly what’s happening to 2NE1. Japan is Patrick. And I am the disgruntled audience.
In other K-pop news, The Grand Narrative posts an interesting musing on Korean pin-up girls. The GN also posts a link to Soompi, which discusses the controversy over an adaptation of one of my all time favorite manga series, Kimi Wa Petto. The Korean Men’s Association believes the premise (where a woman essentially adopts a stray ballet dancer as her pet – but treats him like a dog, literally) is demeaning to men. Which to me is fascinating – the whole series is an exploration of gender roles, societal expectations, with some compelling commentary on what “the perfect man” actually means. No idea what they actually did with the film, but if it follows the Japanese versions , they may want to see it before knocking the set-up.
Coates says it all on Cain:
Herman Cain has spent the past year peddling a thin tax policy, fumbling the names of foreign countries, and extolling his love of cornbread. Now, today, he stands accused of crudely fondling a white woman. Surely this is someone’s portrait of blackness, but not anyone who would feel at home in Harlem.
From Megan at RawStory, the “I’m Not Racist” compilation:
The Root featured a stellar piece by Kellee Terrell on being Black and Transgender, documenting high rates of poverty, legally sanctioned employment discrimination, elevated rates of homelessness and harassment, and a prevelance of sexual and physical assualt. The report also noted high rates of attempted suicide, which are disturbing, but not suprising given our climate of hatred.
Reader C points us toward this Atlanta-Journal Constitution article on the whiteness of Occupy Atlanta, and how the movement there reflects racial tension in the larger movement. Related is this great piece from Kung Li at Colorlines on Atlanta’s history with social justice movements.
Speaking of OWS, we have this great piece from Kevin Alvarez on Why Occupy Wall Street should matter to POC; Mike at Rortybomb parses the data and stories being shown on the We Are the 99% Tumblr; and reports on how Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Baltimore are dealing with reports of sexual assaults in the encampments.
Clutch Mag has a fascinating four part series on coping with infidelity. For readers who liked Love, Anonymously, that link is for you. There’s even an interesting racial twist.
Hyphen posts a lovely deepthink on how to talk about North Korea, particularly with all the competing narratives at play, from Sylvie Kim.
There’s a fascinating conversation in the comments at Jezebel about Sarah Silverman’s new special “Live from Niggerhead: Stripping the Paint Off Good Ol’ Fashioned Racism” and the sticky racial politics of comedy.
Some good news on the Hollywood development front. Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit is backing a feature film called Percentage, a drug drama; Shonda Rhimes sells a ton of new shows; Lee Daniels is doing a series with Showtime based on the Ball subculture in NYC, with the last milestone exploration being Paris is Burning.
Tigerbeatdown had three stand out pieces. Two from Flavia, one exploring how multinational corporations are turning anti-immigrant sentiments into cash and her declaration that her feminism “will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.” Sady provides an interesting musing on class.
NPR looks at the change in attitudes around interracial marriage.
Interesting considering our previous convos on terms and appropriation: Johnny Depp likens being photographed to being raped. Great analysis at the Awl. (Aside: I used to do string work for a tabloid – while I wouldn’t say it’s like being raped, but it is definitely an assault – I was on the side behind the photogs and it was still really painful to watch happen. And that was at a sanctioned press event. I can’t imagine what this is like day in and day out. I don’t think that is similar to rape. However, I do know that I better not hear a single objection to Depp’s analogy from so-called feminists who argued in favor of the Slutwalk sign. Because yes, it’s the same idea – that you have the right to appropriate an experience that has not applied to you because you think it makes your point stronger.)
By Andrea (AJ) Plaid
I just want to give a big bouquet of gratitude to everyone who contributes to and comments on them. I want to give a special shout-out to Carleandria, who not only gives us quality links on the daily at delicious but also provides great international links. Also special thanks to Rob Schmidt, InfodivaMLIS415, molecularshyness, Restructure!, ananser, Jasmine, and Just Checking, who also pass along fantastic links to us. If you want to contribute links and story ideas, click here.
I also want to give love the R crew, who share the duties, especially to Latoya and Thea, who taught me everything I know about linking.
Photo credit: Be Exquisite
Think Progress alerts us to this racial asshattery:
The OhioDaily blog reports on a “rogue” dispatcher from the North Canton Police who recently sent out a racist e-mail from her work account. Dispatcher Anita Malachowski forwarded this message:
“New “Air Force One” Tail Number and yes, please forgive me, I’m really sorry, I really, really tried not to laugh, but …………………..!”
Attached to the e-mail was an Photoshopped image of Air Force one with NI66ER written on the plane’s tail.