Tag Archives: youtube

Open Thread: Sesame Street Spreads Black (Women’s) Hair Love

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

I guess if anyone had to offer a corrective to the Black (Women’s) Hair Debate™, it had to be Sesame Street.

And if the YouTube comments (as if my submitting this) are any indication, quite a few people really appreciate what the PBS show did, with some lament of wishing this was on for them when they were little.

Continue reading

Flava Of The Month?: The Antoine Dodson Aftermath

By Arturo R. García

Based on this interview he did with NPR, the Antoine Dodson phenomenon seems to be turning out more favorably than these memes tend to. But not without reaffirming some of the worst tendencies of both media distributors and consumers.

By now many of us know how the story started: on the morning of July 28th, a man broke into the Dodson home in Huntsville, Ala. and, according to Antoine’s sister Kelly, attempted to assault her in her bedroom. As originally reported by WAFF-TV, Antoine struggled with the assailant, who subsequently escaped.

The first thing to note is that WAFF’s original story was not a live-shot. Meaning both the reporter, Elizabeth Gentle, and her editors had virtually the entire business day to get an interview with either a police spokesperson or the crime scene investigator shown at the scene to add to the story and respond to Antoine’s allegation about there being “a rapist in Lincoln Park” – for instance, had there been similar incidents in the area as of late? Gentle also had time to get a description of the alleged assailant from either the Dodsons or the police department, information that would be useful when the suspect in a forced entry and attempted sexual assault is still at large.

Continue reading

Disability & Music

by Guest Contributor Bianca I. Laureano

I can’t remember where I was or whom I was with when I heard and realized that we are all temporarily able-bodied. I’m sure it was this decade, perhaps 2003, because I really had not thought about my privilege as an able-bodied person until I began my graduate work and met Angel, a woman in my cohort who was focusing on women of Color with disabilities. I also didn’t think about it until I lost one of my abilities.

Being trained as a scholar specializing in intersectional theory and thought, disability was a “difference” rarely mentioned and discussed unless Angel brought it up. We can see the continued absence and exclusion of people with disabilities in popular culture. Yet, if they are present, we mostly see how people with disabilities are considered anything but “normal,” and usually there is a level of wanting to find a “cure” to become “normal.”

What would images that view disability as a social construction look like? How can those of us who are educators incorporate discussions of disability into our teaching? Where are resources for us? How can we use popular culture when we teach about disability? Continue reading

Retro Flashback: Ruminations on a Song and on a Word

by Latoya Peterson


Warning – Explicit Language

While I was researching a piece for Feministe, I stumbled across an old video.

The video is of a TV appearance for John Lennon and Yoko Ono, performing their song “Woman is the Nigger of the World” on the Dick Cavett show.

John Lennon goes into great detail as to how the record was made. He mentions that most of the people who have an issue with the title are white and male. Also in his explanation, he notes “All my black friends feel I have quite a right to say it.”

He also reads a statement from the then-chairman of the Black Caucus:

“If you define nigger as someone whose lifestyle is defined by others, whose opportunities are defined by others, whose role in society is defined by others, then good news! – you don’t have to be black to be a nigger in this society. Most of the people in America are niggers.”

Lennon goes on to say “I think the word nigger has changed, and it does not have the same meaning that it used to.”

They then go into the song.

Thoughts?

Message to the Candidates: “Black White Whatever” and “That One Bigot”

by Latoya Peterson

I recently had the pleasure of watching two amazing videos that really cut to the heart of the racial issues at play in this election cycle.

The first is “Black, White, Whatever” by Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, a ridiculously talented spoken word artist who has appeared on Def Poetry. Her work and bio are found on her website, Yellowgurl.com.

In “Black, White, Whatever,” Tsai critiques the missing elements from the candidate’s political speeches – the fact that race in America goes way beyond black and white – and those who fall outside of the binary certainly aren’t just “whatever.” And as she says in the video, “Whatever doesn’t represent me.”

Also of note, from the Ill-literacy site comes a new(ish) YouTube video that really digs into McCain’s infamous “that one” comment from the debates. Unfortunately for McCain, vlogger Adriel Luis provides a hip-hop themed juxtaposition of clips and events detailing what “that one” really means – in the context of remarks and actions taken over the last eight or so years.

(Thanks to Joanna, Kai, and Nezua for the tips!)

Yellowface Puppet on YouTube

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published on Angry Asian Man

What the hell is this?

Seriously, what is this? This video, and more like it, can be found on this YouTube channel which is apparently part of CBS’s Mobile programming. And there are twelve more videos in this idiotic “Farnfucious” series. I know it’s just a puppet, but damn.

I cannot believe someone would deem this appropriate material to post as part of a major broadcast network’s online content. I actually originally found them on CBS’ main YouTube channel, but they were taken down pretty quickly.

Does it still count as yellowface when you dress up a white puppet character like an old Asian man? That’s got to be a first. It’s ridiculous. Once again, someone thinks racial caricatures mocking Asians are funny. That’s racist! (Thanks, Andrew.)

YouTube APIA Month Tribute: “Asians Rock: What’s Your Story?”

by Latoya Peterson

Sandra Oh, George Takei, Kal Penn, and Yul Kwon all take a few minutes to explain what it means to be Asian American in the following YouTube Video produced by the Asia society.

My favorite segment was from George Takei, who said:

“I grew up behind the barbed wire fences of US Internment camps. What I remember is my father. He said, “Both the strength and the weakness of American democracy is in the fact that it is a true people’s democracy. It can be as great as a people can be but it can also be as fallible as people are.”

(Thanks to reader Ashley for sending this in!)

Queen Rania’s YouTube Crusade

by Racialicious special correspondent Fatemeh Fakhraie, originally published at Muslimah Media Watch.

Queen Rania of Jordan has posted her own video on YouTube, entitled, “Send me your stereotypes.” Her aim is to break down stereotypes about Arabs and Muslims through YouTube (I assume she focuses only on Arabs because she herself is Arab; however, this is problematic for the majority of Muslims who are not Arab but whose cultures are stereotyped similarly). It’s an admirable aim, but is it going to work?

So far, there are 35 responses. They come from Italy, Canada, the U.S., Ireland, etc. There are genuine questions about the “truths” surrounding Islam and homosexuality, view of Jews, terrorism, etc. There are also people who’d just like to hear themselves talk, and some that I am pretty sure have aims other than addressing questions about racism and Islamophobia.

There are also some great examples of Islamophobia in the media; I was tickled purple to see the opening scenes of Disney’s Aladdin in the queue. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Aladdin, but it’s important to address the latent racism (not to mention sexism) in Disney movies.

The most positive of all the videos in the “dispelling stereotypes” category is entitled, “A Land Called Paradise,” and features American Muslims of all walks of life with placards that reveal their inner thoughts and confessions, humanizing tidbits that reveal that they are “just like us”: worrying about one’s mother, cheating in school, liking Grey’s Anatomy, etc.

Many of the stereotypes that are put forth deal with Islam and women. Several posters questioned why a woman in Saudi Arabia was murdered for chatting on Facebook, why (some) Muslim women undergo female genital cutting, why women are punished for adultery and not men.

The questions asked are valid, the stereotypes presented are real and harmful. But I’m skeptical as to how much of a change this is going to make. The ultimate goal of stereotypes is to dehumanize a person or group; even if these videos somehow change a few minds, will they humanize Muslims and Arabs? I’m a little skeptical.

Though Queen Rania is a lovely spokeswoman for this movement, we don’t know what perspectives she’s bringing. She hasn’t responded to any of the videos yet, and so it’s unclear as to whether she’ll be answering them all by herself, or if she’ll bring it other Arab and/or Muslim voices.

My main worry about this project is that it will be an excuse for Islamophobic ranting, with loud voices who aren’t interested in allowing others to refute negative stereotypes about Arabs and Muslims. That it won’t be a dialogue, that no one will learn anything. Or that the “truths” presented won’t be accepted because they are not black-and-white, but instead are complex and sticky: for example, explaining that female genital cutting is not an Islamic practice, but one that is tied to local cultures, might not satisfy a poster who thinks this practice and all who engage in it are barbaric.

Though I’m a skeptic at heart, I do laud this as a positive step. Videos on YouTube proliferate so many stereotypes about Arabs and Muslims; now is a good time to start fighting fire with…dialogue.

The conversation will continue until August 12, 2008 (International Youth Day).

Queen Rania on YouTube