Tag: links

November 14, 2008 / / links

Miriam Makeba has passed on.

My girl Veronica has a great piece for the Women’s Media Center called Larry Summers is Not the Change I was Expecting:

After his departure from the Harvard presidency he faded from the limelight. This week his name, along with New York Federal Reserve Chairman Timothy Geithner, has been bandied about as secretary of the treasury in the incoming Obama administration (can I just say how amazing it is to say that? The Obama administration!). Could the man who sold America on change seriously be considering appointing a man who suggested that Malia, Sasha and all of our daughters have a genetic disposition from not being able to math? Sadly yes.

As the head of the U.S. Treasury, Larry Summers would be in charge of advising on economic and tax policy in this country and abroad. This is a man who believes that women’s inability to do math has MORE impact on the lack of women in science and engineering than discrimination. The lack of women in science and engineering is important to our economy in at least two ways. First, our country is sorely in need of scientists and engineers. The fact that women represent just 12 percent of the science and engineering workforce (cited from Obama’s Change.gov website) means that we are underutilizing women’s skills in this area—a fact that Summers just might take issue with because you know, we can’t do math.

Over on Good Girls Don’t, a thoughtful post titled “Thinking Critically About Activism.” It’s specifically geared toward sex work, but can be applied to any kind of movement:

In talking with a professional community organizer, I learned that having an attainable goal isn’t enough. You also need small steps toward achieving that goal. Small goals along the road to the bigger goal. Protests and letters to the editor are not enough. You need to map the paths of influence in politics and start attacking those in power.

I don’t think I realized how important these clear, strategic actions are. I come from an activist background of mayhem, essentially, creating chaos to shake people up. All this does is piss people off. I knew this, but I wanted to piss people off. Now I want to actually effect change.

This process is going to involve unpleasant interactions. It is going to involve talking to anti-prostitution activists, to academics and scholars, to members of the legal system, to politicians. These people have resources and legitimacy. Talking to them is not going to be pleasant. They will have all kinds of uninformed and derogatory stereotypes about sex work. But these stereotypes won’t change until activists sit across from them at the table.

Read the Post Links – 2008-11-14

November 10, 2008 / / Uncategorized

M. Junaid Levesque-Alam blogs for WireTap about Equality Deferred.

Lost in this celebration, however, has been any serious treatment of the Arab and Muslim question. Obama was ceaselessly and openly pilloried by conservatives as a foreign, exotic, unpredictable quantity, not only because he was of mixed racial heritage, but also because he was wrongly said to be Muslim and Arab. And while the Obama campaign fought firmly and intelligently to overcome voters’ fears about electing an African-American, they rarely took the extra step of condemning the anti-Arab and anti-Ihttp://www.racialicious.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpslamic caterwaul of their opponents’ campaign.

Ralph Nader asks if Obama will be an “Uncle Tom,” gets called out by Fox News. Bint Alshamsa offers video and a bit of commentary.

2008 Voter Turnout was about 62.5% of the electorate.

The NY Times follows up with Pennsylvania voters in The Transformation:

A lot of people in Levittown needed the five months between the primary election and Tuesday to get used to a new idea. After Mrs. Clinton’s defeat, followed by a financial crisis that shook Americans to the core, they came to terms. If Mr. Obama’s race had been a factor, they eventually had to weigh it against other concerns.

“For a long time, I couldn’t ignore the fact that he was black, if you know what I mean,” Mr. Sinitski, the heating and air-conditioning technician, told me. “I’m not proud of that, but I was raised to think that there aren’t good black people out there. I could see that he was highly intelligent, and that matters to me, but my instinct was still to go with the white guy.” Read the Post Links – 2008-11-10

November 8, 2008 / / links

Ta-Nehisi Coates – More on Prop 8

Dan Savage is pissed:

    I’m done pretending that the handful of racist gay white men out there–and they’re out there, and I think they’re scum–are a bigger problem for African Americans, gay and straight, than the huge numbers of homophobic African Americans are for gay Americans, whatever their color.

Fair enough. I have no way of judging how much of a problem “gay racist white men” are for me. I don’t even have a way of knowing whether gays are more or less racist than straight people. Moreover, I don’t much care. But Dan’s logic basically only works if you see black people strictly as a group who’ve been shitted on. In other words, if you believe that racism is a singular and uncomplicated variable, that black folks aren’t effected by any other factors, than you’ll probably agree with Dan.

Disgrasian – DISGRASIAN OF THE WEEK: Blaming the Black Voter

So, sure, you could look at this exit poll…

…and say, since the margin between for and against came down to 500,000 votes out of 10 million, If only we had gotten 100% of the African-American vote against 8, we would have had this in the bag. How dare They. But what if we had gotten 100% of the Asian and “Other” vote against Prop 8, which would have been an increase of 450,000 votes, and, like, 1% percent more of the white vote? What if we had gotten 75% of the Latino vote, instead of 47%? Or what if we had gotten 59% of the white vote against Prop 8 instead of 51%, the most achievable statistical increase? What if we didn’t put the outcome of gay marriage all on one group, and if we had gotten 6.5% more of the white vote (+409,500), 3% more of the Latino vote (+54,000), 2% more of the black vote (+20,000), and 2% more of the Asian and Other vote (+18,000)? Or any combination therein?

Answer: gay marriage would be legal today in California.

Womanist Musings – If You’re Black You Might Be a Homophobe

It was deeply heartbreaking to see California come out to support such clear bigotry in denial image of love. As many of you already know same sex marriage has been legal in Canada for a few years now, and it has caused no disruption in our society. It is my belief that by affirming the right of all to marry, it has helped to make us more inclusive and accepting of others.

When I went to various GLBTQI blogs to express my sympathy at the passing of PROP 8, I was horrified to discover that it was being blamed on blacks. Once again the divide and conquer tactics of the ruling elite have prevailed to divide marginalized bodies from each other.

The blame game has begun, and clearly it is all the fault of the blacks.

Shanikka @ Daily Kos – Facts Belie the Scapegoating of Black People for Proposition 8

Factually Unsupported Myth #1: CNN’s 10% Black exit poll sample accurately reflects the actual distribution of voters on Proposition 8.

Each and every argument I’ve read since Proposition 8 passed that lays blame on Black people — whether only like the worst of the haters or even primarily — for the passage of Proposition 8 starts with CNN’s exit poll statistics about Proposition 8 at its foundation. Yet anyone who knows anything about the demographics of the State of California – or anyone who spent ½ as much time looking up actual data as ranting all over the free world about what “Black people” did “to gay people” (as if those groups are wholly separate, telling you a lot about the racism that underlies the argument) would know that 10% simply defies reality, unless a million or so Black folks snuck into the state just before the election so they could say they cast their vote for Barack Obama on sunny California shores.

But even if you are not like me, not an actual resident of the state and willing to do my homework before spouting off, it did not take any study to figure out what was the problem. Indeed, if you read CNN’s own explanation of its exit polling/projection process, it is clear that CNN makes no claim that the distribution of folks which it exit polled about Proposition 8 was necessarily reflective of the actual racial percentages of the California electorate who voted, not even in those places that CNN actually exit-polled in. From CNN’s own website about its methodology:

    The process of projecting races begins by creating a sample of precincts. The precincts are selected by random chance, like a lottery, and every precinct in the state has an equal chance to be in the sample. They are not bellwether precincts or “key” precincts. Each one does not mirror the vote in a state but the sample collectively does.

    The first indication of the vote comes from the exit polls conducted by EMR. On the day of the election, EMR interviewers stand outside of precincts in a given state. They count the people coming out after they have voted and are instructed to interview every third person or every fifth person, for example, throughout the voting day. The rate of selection depends on the number of voters expected at the polling place that day. They do this from the time the polling place opens until shortly before it closes.

What’s missing from this picture?

CNN has left us without a critical piece of information necessary to establish the validity of its sampling on Proposition 8: precisely where the network exit polled in California. It simply says that “the aggregate sample is accurate” but has not provided they key piece of information necessary to actually prove it.

This matters for a reason. Specifically, in a state where different demographic populations are reasonably-evenly spread throughout a state, which does not also have dramatic divergences in political ideology which depend on where you live within the state, CNN’s methodology might permit it to make a truly accurate statement about the percentage of voters in total who voted on a measure state-wide.

That, however, is not an accurate description of the state of California, as anyone who lives here knows.

Read the Post Links on Prop 8

October 28, 2008 / / links
October 22, 2008 / / links

Jeff Chang just posted a fascinating interview with Immortal Technique about the election:

[Immortal Technique:] We always talk about building unity among the races but a lot of the times there’s not unity within the races themselves. I think the people who are most racist against one another are the people who look kind of like one another. I know when you’re uneducated to another culture, it’s kind of hard to see the difference between an Indian and a Pakistani person. Or Korean and Japanese. And at the same time, these are individuals that when you go back in their recent history they had the most drama. They do not like one another. 50 years ago Peruvians and Ecuadorians hated each other, but at the same time, they’re the same people and that’s the craziest part.

I don’t think it’s something that’s going to happen overnight because unfortunately the curriculum that we are taught in school doesn’t go back that far, it doesn’t want to deal with those specific issues. And those workshops are not being replicated on the street level to those individuals who need to be brought into the discussion. This doesn’t just need to be a discussion that just happens in some elite intellectual arena but it needs to be public domain. You know, education shouldn’t be a privilege but it should be a right.

By way of VivrLatino, I find out that local (well, blogosphere local) favorite brownfemipower has been named as one of Utne’s 50 Visionaries who are changing your world. Congratulations!

The Vigilance blog brings news that “ex-gays” are being persecuted and discriminated against, and they want the same protections under the law as gay people. According to commenter Mike, they “filed a Petition for Review of Agency Decision.” Reminds me of the people who seek protection against reverse racism.

Breeze Harper over at Vegans of Color asks how do people in the USA feel about Thanksgiving?

A friend pointed out to me that he practices veganism as a way of compassion, anti-cruelty and harmlessness. Hence, celebrating Thanksgiving to him is “cruel”, simply because of it’s link to Native American genocide in the USA.

Read the Post Mixed Links – 2008-10-22

October 15, 2008 / / links

The Jezebel post title says it all: “Waterboarding Apologist says Sarah Silverman is ‘Not a Jew.’ ”

Alternet posts a provocative tale from a solider who argues that racism is a major issue in the Iraq occupation:

When I first joined the army, I was told that racism no longer existed in the military. A legacy of inequality and discrimination was suddenly washed away by something called the Equal Opportunity Program. We would sit through mandatory classes, and every unit had an EO representative to ensure that no elements of racism could resurface. The army seemed firmly dedicated to smashing any hint of racism.

Then September 11 happened, and I began to hear new words like “towel-head,” and “camel jockey,” and the most disturbing, “sand nigger.” These words did not initially come from my fellow lower-enlisted soldiers, but from my superiors: my platoon sergeant, my first sergeant, my battalion commander. All the way up the chain of command, these viciously racist terms were suddenly acceptable.

When I got to Iraq in 2003, I learned a new word, “haji.” Haji was the enemy. Haji was every Iraqi. He was not a person, a father, a teacher, or a worker. It’s important to understand where this word came from. To Muslims, the most important thing is to take a pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj. Someone who has taken this pilgrimage is a haji. It’s something that, in traditional Islam, is the highest calling in the religion. We took the best thing from Islam and made it into the worst thing.

Read the Post Links – Mixed Long and Short Form

October 8, 2008 / / links

So here are more links:

Arturo sends in a story from across the pond where a man was shot three times by a racist gunman. The attack was triggered by the man wearing a Barack Obama tee shirt.

Anna over at Jezebel posts an awesome video of Donna Brazile breaking down race (with a nod to gender).

Also on Jez, Megan goes for the jugular with her post Dear McCainiacs: Racism Should Not Be An Accepted American Attribute:

It was mentioned earlier today, but it probably bears repeating: there are some sad (and probably dangerous) racists who count themselves among John McCain’s and Sarah Palin’s supporters. From shouting out that Obama is a terrorist to hollering “Kill him!” at a rally when Obama’s name is mentioned to telling an African-American member of the press corps to “Sit down, boy,” there’s a lot of ugly shit around this year that makes purple Band-Aids and flip-flops look like thoughtful political discourse.

Read the Post Del.icio.us is acting up again

September 23, 2008 / / links

Ta-Nehisi Coates – Let It Come

Rick Perlstein has outlined how Nixon basically turned a victimology of white struggle into a political career. Then there are the racists who terrorized the black middle class in the South, and then routinely charged that they, themselves, were the aggrieved, not the blacks who they’d just run out of town. White victimology is lamentable and ultimately accepted, mostly because the “white working class” is more an idea, an weird amalgam of the purity of the white Southern belle and nobleness of the savage, than an actual group of people. Still it’s been a sight to watch the same clucking heads that dismiss black people for “a culture of failure” and for worshiping ignorance, now tell us that it’s fine for someone who potentially holds the fate of civilization in their hands to know as much about the Bush Doctrine as the man on the street, to think that “Intelligent Design” is science. Enough, indeed. Marion Barry wrecked D.C. These fools are talking about the world.

Threadbared – Homeless Chic (full post)

“The people with the best style, for me, are the people that are the poorest. Like, when I go down to like Venice Beach and I see the homeless, I’m like, oh my god, you’re pulling out like crazy looks. They pulled shit out of like garbage bags.” – Erin Wasson to NylonTV* (posted to Fashionista)

“It is currently ‘in’ for the young and well-fed to go around in torn rags [most recently seen as “hobo chic,” or “dumpster chic,” as best embodied by Mary-Kate Olsen v.2006], but not for tramps to do so. In other words, the appropriation of other people’s dress is fashionable provided it is perfectly clear that you are, in fact, different from whoever would normally wear such clothes.” –Judith Williamson, 1986, “Woman Is An Island: Femininity and Colonization,” in Studies in Entertainment: Critical Approaches to Mass Culture, Tania Modeleski, ed., Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 116.

* It’s as if NYLON can’t stop being ridiculous.

Read the Post Long Form Links – Politics, Homeless Chic, Waiting