Tag Archives: Uncategorized

Addicted to Race 72: Body Image and Race

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

addicted to raceA brand-new episode (No. 72) of Addicted to Race is out! Addicted to Race is New Demographic’s weekly podcast about America’s obsession with race.

Carmen and Latoya discuss body image for women and how it correlates to race. This episode features the song “Feel The Change” by Baba & Yako, courtesy of Spectre Entertainment Group.

Overly opinionated and a prime candidate for MAA (Media Addicts Anonymous), freelance writer and blogger Latoya Peterson lives, learns, loves, and blogs – and then wakes up each morning to do it all over again. She currently contributes to online gaming magazine Cerise, and contributes weekly posts to Racialicious.com. She is also the head of content development at www.entersoundbooth.com, and blogs about hip-hop culture as PlentyProphylactics. Latoya also maintains two blogs of her own housed through her website, www.alteregomaniacs.com. Skilled in interviewing, creative non-fiction, and editorial content, Latoya Peterson spends her time researching trends and obscure connections between topics. Current projects include Messaging in the Media (an analysis of gender messaging through magazines), a project that analyzes the global influence of hip-hop culture, and a short project on trends in manga.

Articles mentioned in this episode:

  • End Run: How a few black publishers are making a play for the Maxim man
  • Healthy, my ass: Many blacks love big women, but having a rump the size of Buffie the Body’s can put women at risk for disease.

SUBMIT YOUR FEEDBACK!
There are 3 ways to get in touch with us. Leave a comment to this post, call our voicemail number at 206-203-3983, or email us at addictedtorace@gmail.com.

HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!
Please help us reach new listeners by voting for us on Podcast Alley, reviewing us on Yahoo’s podcast directory and reviewing us in iTunes.

NEW TO PODCASTS?
Check out this great introduction for the new podcast listener from iTunes. It breaks down all the different ways you can find podcasts, listen to them, subscribe to them, and so on.

Duration – 1:12:25
File Size – 67.9 MB
Right-click here to download an MP3 of Addicted to Race Episode 72
or
Click here to never miss an episode by subscribing to us in iTunes
or
click the button below to play it immediately

Has the NAACP lost its way?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Yes, according to Debra Dickerson’s latest article for Salon.com:

Shouldn’t the NAACP have been using its moral authority to extend black influence throughout the nation’s institutions instead of submitting those institutions to unceasing frontal attacks designed merely to expose their racism? Instead of playing the faux martyr on the steps of the Supreme Court, shouldn’t he have been inside, respectfully but firmly lobbying Clarence Thomas and any other justice he could buttonhole? Holding my newly minted law school diploma, I was beginning to think so. It was time for the NAACP to evolve into a problem-solving organization for black America.

That’s why I was thrilled when the NAACP tapped veteran businessman Gordon to lead the black community into the future. Finally, after the organization had spent years clinging to a focus on confrontation without much action, Gordon promised to retool the NAACP to focus on social services and to leverage the civil rights movement’s gains into practical results. A star businessman whose career had been made possible by organizations like the NAACP, he was living proof that black success now requires more pragmatism than protest…

Gordon’s departure was only the beginning of NAACP’s troubles. Now, just three months later, the group has announced it will be “temporarily” closing its seven regional offices and slashing its national staff by 40 percent. It has also had to “delay” moving its Baltimore headquarters to Washington, D.C. The nation’s oldest civil rights organization is on the brink of extinction, defeated by its inability to evolve, a fact that no amount of rhetoric will be able to conceal at its 98th annual convention next month.

Folks, what do you think?

Bell Hooks on hip hop

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

This clip is from a 1996 video, bell hooks on Video: Cultural Criticism & Transformation, and in this segment, bell hooks discusses hip hop in the context of patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism. It’s fascinating stuff. Thanks very much to Chris for the tip!

A Mighty Heart: Revealed

by Racialicious special correspondent Latoya Peterson

A Mighty Heart has gotten a lot of play on this blog (see here and here).

We’ve debated everything from the motives in selecting the lead actress to Marianne Pearl’s experiences to neo-blackface.

Personally, I’ve been keeping an eye out for an answer. In last month’s Glamour (or it could have been the month before – I only read Glamour every so often), Marianne Pearl discussed her experience and indicated that she sought out Angelina Jolie. She initially sought her out in friendship, and later asked for her to take on the role.

This month, I’m paging through Esquire and start reading Tom Junod’s extremely thorough and researched interview on Angelina Jolie. On page 85, Junod shone some light on the making of the film:

A year later, Mariane Pearl published a memoir of her marriage to Danny and the terrible circumstances of his death. Called A Mighty Heart, it was not a bitter book nor a book of broken faith. It was, indeed, a book that put forth the notion that Danny and Mariane Pearl did not lose to unimaginable evil but rather triumphed over it by living as citizens of the world to the very end. Brad Pitt bought it while it was still in manuscript and started to develop it as a vehicle for his wife, Jennifer Aniston; and when Brad left Jennifer for Angelina after the filming of Mr. and Mrs. Smith,it was Mariane Pearl who suggested Angelina Jolie for the role of Mariane Pearl, for, as it turned out, Angelina Jolie and Mariane Pearl were not just kindred spirits. They rather startlingly drew the same meaning from their different experiences after 9/11. They rather startlingly both believed that the story of Daniel Pearl’s death was about good people coming together to fight evil rather than evil guys coming together to destroy good. They rather inevitably became close. “I read the book,” Angelina says, “and Mariane and I got on really well as women, and we’ve since become really great friends, and our kids have become friends.” And in A Mighty Heart, they joined forces on a movie that, far from bemoaning the fact that some people are worse than others, celebrates the fact that some people are just better.

A couple notes:

1. That was copied straight from the magazine, long sentences and one block paragraph intact.

2. In the Glamour article, Mariane Pearl indicates that she initiated the friendship with Angelina. They became friends first, and then things moved forward on the movie.

So, after reading this account, what do you think?

Personally, I’m kind of shocked that the movie was going to be a Jennifer Aniston vehicle. I think that blows my mind. What were they going to do with her to transform her into Mariane Pearl?

On a gossipy note, that kind of blows for Jennifer Aniston – Angelina got her man AND her film!

I also wonder how Mariane Pearl self-identifies. I find it interesting that no one of color was tapped to play her – even though this would have been a no-brainer choice based on looks for Halle Berry or Thandie Newton or maybe a new undiscovered actress. I am not sure how much control Pearl had over the process initially, but she did recommend Angelina for the role. Did she just want someone she knew and trusted to portray her correctly? Or is there something more behind this?

What do you think? Regular readers, does this change your opinions expressed in the comments on the previous threads?

Internalizing Stereotypes, Part 1 – From the Outside In

by Racialicious Special Correspondent Latoya Peterson

Dear average-sized penis,

Ugh. I don’t really know how to say this. We’ve been in and around so much together. And I really do appreciate the effort you’ve put in thus far. But I’m sure you have sensed my growing disappointment over the years. I guess the bottom line is I expected you to be a lot more at this point. I keep waiting for you to grow up, but you never do [...]

What’s that? Look, I don’t want to hear it. Yeah, maybe if you were on a white guy, or an Asian guy, or a girl, your reputation would be a lot better at this point. You might be a little more “remarkable.” But the fact of the matter is you’re on a black guy, and you are underachieving.

— “An Open Letter from a Black Guy to His Average Sized Penis,” The Assimilated Negro

In an earlier Racialicious post, I wrote about Details magazine and their coverage of the Mandingos – a subset of swingers who play to interracial humiliation and domination fantasies.

Several posters noted that members of certain minority groups seem to internalize positive stereotypes. While I did not quite agree, I couldn’t exactly disagree either. So, ever since the post was published in February, I’ve been taking careful notes of what happens when you – as a minority – do not fulfill your stereotypical role.

Stereotype: All Asians are smart/intelligent/diligent/ mathematically inclined.

One day, not too long ago, I was relaxing back at my apartment, watching AZN network. Hae was with me, flipping through some of my manga collection. She harbors a healthy distain for AZN network, feeling like it does not represent anything close to what she wants to watch. I, on the other hand, adore AZN network (or at least, pre-staff cut AZN network) because it allows me to get access to music videos, movies, and dramas I would not otherwise see.

And Hapa (host of the Bridge) was pretty hot.

Anyway.

The Bridge goes to break, and AZN starts promoting their show line up. One show had two perky co-hosts who were supposed to be the new voices of generation 1.5. During the quick promo, the male host flippantly commented, “Well, we can’t all be doctors and lawyers.”

Hae snorted. “For real,” she affirmed, not looking up from her book.

Uh, rewind that back?

Hae shared with me some of her reality, growing up Asian-American and wanting to be an artist. While she never felt family pressure to be a doctor or lawyer, her family insists on higher and higher levels of education. After almost a year of fighting, Hae finally convinced her mother to pass on graduate school and to allow her to get a teaching certificate instead. Hae hasn’t been interested in school since completing high school. This pressure is compounded by her other friend’s career choices. In Hae’s circle, many of her friends are high achieving doctors, lawyers, optometrists, architects, and tech gurus. Her career choice is glaringly different, especially considering we live outside of the nation’s capital, home of the highly driven.

I was also privy to the issues that pop up with positive stereotyping at my last job. My boss, as cool as she was, made a comment to me on a day Hae was off. I told her that Hae was a bit confused about her timesheets and wanted to make sure the changes were correct. I also wanted to get a quick check on how she was doing in her first couple weeks, as Hae was concerned. My former boss waved away the concerns saying, “Well, I tend to find that Asian employees are more diligent and hardworking. I knew there wasn’t going to be any trouble.” Continue reading

Race as disability: an update on fertility clinic mixup case

by guest contributor Kay Olson, originally published at The Gimp Parade

Back in March the story of the Andrews family of Long Island came to public attention. The NY Daily News announced “What a mess, baby: Parents say fertility clinic botched in-vitro & girl’s got the wrong dad“.

[Note from Carmen: Racialicious covered it too.]

The story came to public notice in March because a judge ruled the couple can precede with their medical malpractice lawsuit but disallowed the claims of mental suffering — the parents’ suffering and baby Jessica’s suffering for being a different race than her parents. There’s a lot to unpack here and The Nation‘s Patricia Williams took a stab at it:

What’s distinctive about the Andrews case is that the parents… tried to cite… Jessica’s pain and suffering for having to endure life as a black person. The Andrewses expressed concern that Jessica “may be subjected to physical and emotional illness as a result of not being the same race as her parents and siblings.” They are “distressed” that she is “not even the same race, nationality, color…as they are.” They describe Jessica’s conception as a “mishap” so “unimaginable” that they have not told many of their relatives. (Telling the tabloids all about it must have come easier.) “We fear that our daughter will be the object of scorn and ridicule by other children,” the couple said, because Jessica has “characteristics more typical of African or African-American descent.” So “while we love Baby Jessica as our own, we are reminded of this terrible mistake each and every time we look at her…each and every time we appear in public.”

Since the claim of mental distress of their child hinges on appearance and public perceptions of skin color, Williams comments on the family’s photo:

The picture underscores the embedded cultural oddities of this case, the invisibly shifting boundaries of how we see race, extend intimacy, name “difference.” According to the Post, Mrs. Andrews is “Hispanic” and apparently, by the paper’s calculations, one Hispanic woman plus one white man equals “a white pair.” The mother is “a light-skinned native of the Dominican Republic,” seeming to indicate that while she may not be “white,” she’s also not “black.” Each narrative implies that if the correct sperm had been used, the Andrewses would have been guaranteed a lighter-skinned child. But as most Dominicans trace their heritage to some mixture of African slaves, indigenous islanders and European settlers, and as dark skin color is a dominant trait, it could be that the true sperm donor is as “white” as Mr. Andrews. But that possibility is exiled from the word boxes that contain this child. Not only is Jessica viewed as being of a race apart from either of her parents; she is even designated a different nationality–this latter most startling for its blood-line configuration of citizenship itself.

Paul Butler at BlackProf discusses the race issue as well.

If I understand the legal situation correctly, the parents’ claim of mental suffering is essentially a “wrongful conception” or “wrongful birth” claim and their suit on behalf of Baby Jessica’s mental suffering is a “wrongful life” claim. New York state, where the case resides, has precedence in these situations, which Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam cited in her ruling. Regarding the “wrongful birth” claim: Continue reading