Academic Roundup: Spring

I'm starting a new section that will be updated quarterly. Basically it's a review on all scholarly journals that deal with issues of race and ethnicity in the United States, North America, as well as other parts of the world. I will be highlighting some of the more interesting articles that I've read or find interesting and will read. Usually most scholarly journals come out quarterly so this Academic Roundup will also come out quarterly. This is just a quick synopsis on some articles that have come out during this Spring quarter of 2007. You can find most of these journals in your main local library if any of these articles seem to interest you:

American Indian Quarterly Volume 31:

Atalay, Sonya. "Indigenous Archaeology as Decolonizing Practice.": 280-310
This article discusses the author's view on indigenous archaeology. The author states that archaeology includes the study of artifacts and other aspects of material culture but is more importantly about understanding people's daily lives, their sense of place in the world, the food they ate, their art, their spirituality, and their political and social organization. She said archaeology is one of many tools utilized for understanding the past. However, when placed in its proper historical context, it is clear that the discipline of archaeology was built around and relies upon Western knowledge systems and methodologies, and its practice has a strongly colonial history.
Byrd, Jodi A. "'Living My Native Life Deadly.": 310-332.
The article discusses controversy surrounding the remarks of Native American Ward Churchill after the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, which Churchill characterized as a penalty befitting "little Eichmanns." Not long after Churchill's remarks a school shooting incident occurred involving Native American neo-Nazi Jeff Weise. The author examines how U.S. media framed these stories and the relation of the discourse to 19th century stereotypes of Indians as savages and the language of Manifest Destiny. Finally, Churchill's rhetoric is viewed in the context of American anxieties about indigenous peoples and genocide.
Dejong, David H. "'Unless They Are Kept Alive.": 256-282.
The article discusses the mortality rates among Native American students in U.S. government-run Indian schools during 1878-1918. The students were susceptible to contagious diseases in boarding schools often far from home. The schools were federal attempts to assimilate Native Americans and prepare them for citizenship, a task made difficult by the Indians' attachment to their sacred homelands. Richard Henry Pratt, founder of the Carlyle (Pennsylvania) Indian School embraced the notion that Indian children could be assimilated in one generation, while Samuel Chapman Armstrong, founder of the Hampton Institute, held that it would take many generations owing to Indians' moral and social superiority to white Americans. The assimilation sought largely failed owing to Indian children's health.
McBeath, Jerry and Carl E. Shepro. "The Effects of Environmental Change on an Artic Native Community.": 44-65.
The article reports on how global warming has effected an Inupiat Eskimo village on the Alaska North Slope. Interviews were conducted with 40 subsistence hunters and fishers, each of whom had been living in that style for at least 15 years. The article presents the results of this survey, in particular the changes in weather and climate the hunters and fishers had noted and any changes in number of kind of animal seen. The article also presents ideas the hunters and fishers had about the causes of any changes they noticed. Four common factors were: oil and gas exploration and development, climate change, toxic spills and contamination, and natural climate cycles.
Ethnic and Racial Studies Volume 30:

Kendhammer, Brandon. "DuBois the Pan-Africanist and the Development of African Nationalism.": 51-71.
While W.E.B. DuBois's importance as a political activist and writer is well-documented, a ‘DuBoisian’ political theory has proved illusory. I argue that the key to change and continuity in DuBois's work is his pan-Africanism, which he used to develop a broad theory of anti-colonial nationalism. This reading of his legacy emphasizes DuBois's singular role in shaping anti-colonial discourse in the postwar era, especially in Africa, as well as in theorizing African nationalism and the African diaspora. It also allows us to understand the contradiction of the early, liberal DuBois's views on race and his later preoccupation with Communism. I suggest that across both positions, DuBois's actual political arguments remained over-determined by his positionality within the colonial world, producing a set of anti-colonial arguments that while rooted in the economic exploitation of the colonies, appeal to liberal universalizing standards of progress and modernity.
Silberman, Roxane, et. al. "Segmented Assimilation in France? Discrimination in the Labour Market Against the Second Generation.": 1-27.
We test ideas about segmented assimilation that have developed in the U.S. context on the second generation in France. Using data from the Génération 98 survey of school leavers, we are able to investigate ethnic differences in the processes of labour-market entry. We find that groups who come from former French colonies and/or are dominated by Muslims are substantially, if not severely, disadvantaged. By and large, they enter the labour market with educational credentials that are on average below those of the native French, but their much higher levels of unemployment cannot be explained by educational differences. They believe that they have suffered from discrimination in the hiring process, and their reports have a strong plausibility. Yet the mechanisms driving segmented assimilation that have been adduced in the U.S. context are of problematic relevance to France. For instance, many respondents believe that ethnic markers such as names are more responsible than skin color for the discrimination they face. The analysis suggests that the discussion of incorporation concepts in the U.S. would benefit from the inclusion of other immigration societies.
Treacher, Amal. "Postcolonial Subjectivity: Masculinity, Shame, and Memory.": 281-299.
Egypt in 1952 was poised to overthrow the past and make a fresh and vigorous future. The revolutionary coup instigated and led by a group of Army Officers succeeded in overthrowing the monarchy and severely undermining British rule and influence. The hopes following this dramatic event were not borne out as the early successes did not lead to a more dynamic future. Instead, corruption continued, the economy declined, industry did not flourish, and an adequate welfare system was not put in place. There are various explanations for this state of affairs, and while these are valid and provide answers, they do not adequately address postcolonial subjectivity. Postcolonial masculine subjectivity is fraught, endures and has to be endured. This article will focus on shame and remembering/forgetting as states of mind, and silence as a response, in order to explore how a colonized past led to the wish for a different future while simultaneously inhibiting a different future to be made.
Journal of Asian American Studies Volume 10:

Bow, Leslie. "Racial Interstitiality and the Anxieties of the "Partly Colored": Representations of Asians under Jim Crow.": 1-30.
This article analyzes the implications of the James Loewen's thesis that Chinese Americans in Mississippi elevated their caste status under Jim Crow from "colored" to "near white." Analyzing academic, popular cultural, and visual depictions of the Chinese and other Asian Americans in the segregated South, the article uncovers the jarring moments that attend the claim of status rise—here, of Asian "near-whiteness." More specifically, it argues that there is always an excess to the Asian community's "successful" disassociation from African Americans and its own "partly colored" past. The work develops a concept of racial interstitiality as a model for comparative Ethnic Studies and for reconsidering the black-white binary that frames American race relations.
Journal of Black Psychology Volume 33:

Jones, Janine M. "Exposure to Chronic Community Violence.": 125-149.
In many African American communities, violence and poverty are often part of daily living. As a result, children are at risk for difficulties in all aspect of their lives, particularly their emotional well-being. This study explored the relationship between exposure to chronic community violence and the development of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD), a constellation of symptoms that occur as a result of repeated exposure to traumas, in the context of specific African American cultural beliefs and values that are used as coping mechanisms. It was anticipated that the coping mechanisms would act as stress moderators, or buffers, to the development of symptoms of C-PTSD. Participants in the study included 71 African American children between the ages of 9 and 11 years who lived in a high-crime, high-poverty community in Houston, Texas. The results indicated that formal kinship and spirituality, along with high levels of combined supports, demonstrated buffering effects on exposure to violence.
Journal of Black Studies Volume 37:

Bonds, Michael. "Looking Beyond the Numbers.": 581-601.
This study obtained Black business owners' experiences in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, via qualitative methods. The same issues (racism, loan denial, etc.) that quantitative analyses of Black businesses found existed in this study. However, this study's findings departed from previous Black business studies by providing insights into the human side of Black business owners by allowing them to provide insights into their daily challenges (inability to work with other Black businesses and lack of support from African American customers). And it found that Milwaukee's Black business owners were pessimistic about Black business opportunities over time and relative to African American businesses in other cities.
Tuckel, Peter. "Social, Economic, and Residential Diversity Within Hartford's African American Community at the Begining of the Great Migration.": 710-736.
Scant attention has been paid to the social and economic diversity within the African American community in particular cities at the beginning stage of the Great Migration. This article examines the variation in characteristics of African Americans from different places of birth at the onset of the Great Migration living in one city, Hartford, Connecticut. The article focuses on three major attributes of African Americans with differing geographic backgrounds residing in Hartford during this time period: (a) their socioeconomic status, (b) their settlement patterns within the city, and (c) the extent of their civic participation. The article reveals sizable differences along these three dimensions among African Americans of differing geographic origins.
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies Volume 33:

Castles, Stephen. "Twenty-First-Century Migration as a Challenge to Sociology.": 351-371.
International migration is, by definition, a social phenomenon that crosses national borders and affects two or more nation-states. Its analysis requires theories and methodologies capable of transcending the national gaze. This applies more than ever in the current epoch of global migratory flows and growing South-North mobility. Sociology claims to be based on the work of scholars from around the world and to have theories and methods valid for all societies. It should therefore have an important role in the development of global migration studies. Yet national approaches, deriving from historical projects of nation-building, have often been dominant. Moreover, the study of migration has been peripheral in national scientific discourses and hierarchies. This has often led to the diverging dual roles of the sociology of migration either as an administrative tool based on micro-analyses of 'social problems', or as a form of social critique cut off from actual struggles in institutions, workplaces and neighbourhoods. This article argues for a global sociology of migration, devoted to analysis of migration as part of the social transformations associated with globalisation, and based on global networks of scholars.
Mckay, Steven C. "Filipino Sea Men: Constructing Masculinities in an Ethnic Labour Niche.": 617-633.
The article analyses the emergence and contemporary reproduction of the Filipino ethnic niche in global seafaring and the construction of a Filipino seafarer identity. Drawing on secondary literature and in-depth interviews, it focuses on the intimate link between patterns of labour-market and workplace segmentation, the making of multiple masculinities, and shifting processes and prestige of labour migration. The paper documents the role of the Philippine state in promoting and regulating the seafaring niche and in crafting narratives of heroism and masculinity to reinforce it. Then, focusing on seafarers themselves, it shows how the construction of exemplary styles of masculinity at home, despite subordinate racial and class positions both onboard and in the labour market, helps Filipino seamen endure the harshness of workplace conditions, while at the same time defend and reproduce their gendered ethnic niche.
Latino Studies Volume 5:

Alvarez, Luis L.A. "From Zoot Suits to Hip Hop: Towards a Relational Chicana/o Studies.": 53-75.
This article traces cultural exchange between Chicana/o and Latina/o, African American, and Asian American youth since World War II, including analyses of zoot suit, civil rights movement art, and hip hop cultures. Drawing on theories of zapatismo as critical cultural practice, I explore how the cultural poetics of racialized youth functioned as a struggle for dignity. Rather than dismiss different youth cultures as too disjointed for any kind of productive dialog, I propose that we listen to what each might teach us about addressing crises of resources and domination in the academy. If Chicana/o, Latina/o, and Ethnic Studies are at crossroads in how they respond to increased funding cutbacks, battles over affirmative action, and the intellectual saliency of “new” fields like Borderlands Studies, I argue that a relational approach to Chicana/o youth culture provides clues to retool the theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical arsenal of these fields to regenerate them as a site of social struggle.
González, M. Alfredo M.G. "Latinos on DA Down Low: The Limitations of Sexual Identity in Puplic Health.": 25-52.
Tying HIV prevention to sexual identity has been an effective public health strategy. However, HIV infection among young Latino/a and African Americans continues to mount. “On the down low,” a youth term for secretive or undercover, has become a code for the furtive same-sex sexual practices of young men who reject Gay or bisexual identities. This phenomenon received the attention of African Americans but Latino communities have largely, ignored it. Based on ethnographic observations in a Hip Hop club in New York City, and on postings in cyberspace, this paper documents the presence of Latino youth in “down low” networks. It asks whether the historical and political construction of ethno-racial identities in forms emerging sexual practices and identities, begging a review of established HIV prevention efforts.
Rodriquez, Victor M. V.R. "Fluid Borders: Latino Power, Identity and Politics in Los Angeles.": 137-141.
This article traces cultural exchange between Chicana/o and Latina/o, African American, and Asian American youth since World War II, including analyses of zoot suit, civil rights movement art, and hip hop cultures. Drawing on theories of zapatismo as critical cultural practice, I explore how the cultural poetics of racialized youth functioned as a struggle for dignity. Rather than dismiss different youth cultures as too disjointed for any kind of productive dialog, I propose that we listen to what each might teach us about addressing crises of resources and domination in the academy. If Chicana/o, Latina/o, and Ethnic Studies are at crossroads in how they respond to increased funding cutbacks, battles over affirmative action, and the intellectual saliency of “new” fields like Borderlands Studies, I argue that a relational approach to Chicana/o youth culture provides clues to retool the theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical arsenal of these fields to regenerate them as a site of social struggle.
Race & Society Volume 7:

Almanzar, Nelson A. Pichardo and Cedric Herring. "Sacrificing for the Cause: Another Look at High-Risk/Cost Activism.": 113-129.
Building on research into the question of high-risk/cost activism, we examine how social structural location mediated participation in two types of high-risk/cost political activism (sit-ins and voter registration) during the Civil Rights Movement of the early 1960s. Using data from the 1961–1962 Negro Political Participation Study (which includes representative samples of African American college students and voting age adults in the former Confederacy), we use logistic regression analysis to determine whether participation in high-risk/cost activism varied by social structural location. The results indicate that the particular characteristics that act as biographical constraints vary by subpopulation and may facilitate participation depending on the relationship of the goals of the movement to the individual’s social structural location. Additionally, the evaluation of the peculiar
risks and costs associated with a specific event is also influenced by one’s social structural location. We conclude by arguing for an expanding the concept of biographical availability to include other indicators of social structural location such as skin color, social class, and military veteran status.
Kraus, Nell. "The Significance of Race in Urban Politics: The Limitations of Regemie Theory.": 95-111.
Regime theory, the dominant paradigm in the study of urban politics, maintains that cities are governed by informal arrangements consisting of public and private sector elites. Because economic growth is the main policy objective of regimes, research has tended to focus on mayoral coalition building and development policy. Thus much less attention has been paid to policies that more directly impact residential neighborhoods and more fully illustrate the role of race, such as housing and education. This paper suggests that regime theory sharply limits the subjects for inquiry, and in the process, substantially understates the role of race and racism in urban political outcomes. Further, the lack of explicit discussion of race has prevented scholars of urban politics from participating in debates which have become central to the larger field of urban studies involving residential segregation and concentrated poverty. Thus, other explanations of concentrated poverty, emphasizing either economic or demographic trends, or the alleged failure of national social welfare policies, have become increasingly accepted. In this paper, I examine the politics of housing, education, urban renewal, and highway construction in Buffalo, New York, over the past several decades. This analysis is intended to illustrate the powerful influence of race in urban politics as well as the role that local policy making has played in the formation of residential segregation and concentrated poverty.

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Brent & Harrow Green Party


That's Some Crazy Ching-Chong Talk!

[Editor's note: I heard my girlfriend wrong, the person telling her the story wasn't the Chinese girl but another student who was there and the professor had replaced the girl in the dance with herself, sorry for the mistake]

Here's a quick food-for-thought post. My girlfriend is doing an article for the school newspaper on subtle everyday racism that goes on between folks on campus and she had one example that involves her friends and the school's dance department (she's a dance major as well as a journalism major). A month or so ago there was a dance show put on by the department showcasing the professors' works and in one of the pieces there was a sequence with a group of eight ladies or so and they open up the piece by saying, "Dance is the universal language." (this professor can't be racist! She has a piece on multiculturalism!) The languages spoken are Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian (I think), and a few other languages.

During one of the rehearsals the girl speaking the Chinese part (who is Chinese herself) wasn't there so the professor needed to fill in for her in order for everyone else to carry on with the practice. When it came time to speak the Chinese part instead of doing the sensible thing and not speaking (or just saying it in English) out of the mouth of this professor comes. "Ching-chong! Ching-chong! Chong-chong ching-chongh!"

When I heard this I was like, "You have to be freakin' kidding me! Holy shhh-crap!"

These are the types of professors who the dance department hires. Man!

When the dancer told my girlfriend this she also said. "It was like she was mocking the girl's language."

This is also the same professor who said one day to one of the Black dancers at school. "I just don't understand hip-hop."

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Cracker Packs


Erase Racism Carnival April 2007 Edition

It's finally here. The April 2007 edition of the Erase Racism Carnival. It started out promising with some good posts being sent to my e-mail box. But after that it tailed off with no posts (and some pretty bad ones) being sent to me at all. So I sent out a frantic word to all I knew (thanks Yolanda, Carmen, Krish [and Blogbharti], and Belledame222) so I could get some posts sent to me. And it worked. So here now are the posts I have received for this month's Erase Racism Carnival.

Fighting Oppression Within the Movement:

Cynical Anti-Orientalist:
I think it's about time that we recognize the levels of oppressions within our communities. If we validate one kind of -ism then why do we subscribe to another? It's about time that we discuss these sorts of issues in our communities without writing them off as "not the priority" or "not our problem." Women and LGBTIQs are just as much a part of our community as men and straight people. So why is it that women and LGBTIQs rarely have a voice in our community or bring their identities into our community without being questioned?
The Silence of Our Friends:
In Bewildered Part II, I mentioned the pain of finding out that someone I thought of as a friend was only being my friend as a favor. In the comments of the first Bewildered post BlackAmazon can't get past the gall of white women saying they expect special commendations for loving their black husbands and mixed race children. There should be no special recognition for doing what should be normal, loving your partner and children no matter what their race! Expectations of unconditional love, gratitude, and undying loyalty no questions asked, are how you might feel about a dog you have rescued from the pound; not a real friend or ally.
Rachel's Tavern:
I also think that those in the multiracial movement who continuously attack African Americans in the name of asserting their own identity, as if it is completely distinct from the African American experience are joining a racist bandwagon. It should be duly noted that some of the biggest supporters of multiracial categories have been conservative Republicans such as Newt Gingrich (Williams 2006). To me this is a big red light–why would conservative Republicans, who are not generally proponents of racial Civil Rights support such a cause? One possibility it that allowing people to check multiple boxes doesn’t really change the racial order much at all. It doesn’t require a realignment of economic resources; it’s not an affirmative action program that could expand opportunities for groups traditionally left out. Another more sinister theory is that Republicans’ support multiracial activists because they see it as an opportunity to promote the idea that the US is colorblind and racism is over. For some of these Republicans the next logical step is Proposition 54 in California, which would have put an end to all collection of racial data (Prop. 54 did not pass.). This is not likely the end that many multiracial activists want, and it is my sense that multiracial activists are being used by the right in some of the cases to help prove that “racism is over.”
Beautiful, Also, Are the Souls of My Black Sisters:
Never having been in any way a fan of Marx, socialism, nor especially communism (well, afterall, I am a child of the “duck-and-cover era”), I never could reconcile myself with an ideology that said all “We have to do is get rid of capitalism, and everything will be hunky-dory.” Even at a very young age, still trying to understand communism, I still saw nothing but illogical insanity in that line of thinking and the concepts of communism. Besides, white males will never allow for socialism to reign in capitalist-driven America. As long as it means that EVERYONE gets a piece of the pie, as opposed to just white males hogging all of the pie to themselves, this country will go on working overtime to keep white males in power. And there is no way in Hell that white-male run America will give up power and privilege without a bloody to-the-death fight.
Give it a rest. This deep-thought, existential, misunderstood-victim act is as put on as Knipp's' blackface show (which, for the record, I researched when all this blew up because I was curious as to what the fuss was about.) No one is suggesting that if Shirley Q. Liquor went away the lives of black women would magically improve. What Jasmyne Cannick and other black gays and lesbians are arguing, though, is that the overwhelming embrace (and then defense) of Knipp's character makes them feel unwelcome among their purported (white) brothers and sisters in the LGBT community. This isn't about utopia, it's about deliberate and ongoing betrayal by people who pretend to be your friends and compatriots. It's exactly Jane Hamsher sitting up on a nationally-recognized, progressive high horse while simultaneously encouraging and abetting yahoo-racism on her website under the cover of fake "punk" rebelliousness. The adamant refusal of Knipp and other white folks to acknowledge the possibility that the character might legitimately insult members of their own community (their refusal aided and abetted by LGBT talking androids, of course) is the root of the problem here, not some insistence on blaming poor, innocent Charles Knipp for the problems of the world.
The Primary Contradiction:
I’m sharing this story with you all not to shame this person nor to start any public battles, but to relate an experience shared by too many people of color in the progressive movement. Anytime we try to hold white allies accountable for their actions, we take a huge risk. Whether that is the loss of a personal relationship, a smeared reputation, or simply the wrath of someone whose ego we have bruised, people of color in all strata of the left have an uphill battle in challenging white supremacy. Good people, you and I have seen and experienced many examples of white ally catastrophe.
Racism, The Subtle Everyday Occurrence:

Cynical Anti-Orientalist:
Throughout my childhood, because we were low-income, my family was always being used in the racist scheme of divide & conquer. Because they worked with other low-income people of color, they always stereotyped and racialized them as being lazy and dumb. I am sure that their white co-workers told them that Chinese immigrants like my parents are really the smart and hard-working ones, as to other immigrants of color. My parents were the "model minority" and they bought into it like many others. My mother would always justify her racism by stating that even though she was once poor, she was able to overcome her class status while other people (mainly Black, Latinos and Southeast Asians according to her) couldn't overcome their poverty because they were "lazy" and "unmotivated." For those of you who do not believe/have not heard of model minority imperialism, my parents are a classic example (this is not to put blame on my parents but to point out how people of color, throughout history have been pitted against each other again and again to maintain white supremacist policies and benefits).
Jamila Akil:
The reason for the difference in treatment between nouveau riche blacks and wealthy whites is clear: race. Those who look with disdain upon one and with indifference to the other do so because subconsciously they believe that blacks either don't legitimately earn money, don't know how to handle money, and/or don't deserve their money. A white businessmen who spends millions in opulence is perceived as being worthy of his fortune and thus deserving to spend it in any fashion. Poor black men who may or not have flunked out of high school, may or may not have criminal records, and whose only clearly visible talent is rhyming about cash, diamonds, and sex are seen as foolhardy deviants not deserving of anything.
Fetch me my axe:
Via Vox Aemliae: think the Shaquanda Cotton case was outrageous? Now they’re arresting kindergarteners, no shit:

Well, apart from the beatings and emotional blackmail (details at the link, it is upsetting) and the various abuses by -everyone else- who ever had “responsibility” for the thirteen year old and her not having anyplace else to go, no particular reason.

Oh, well, except for this: she’s still subject to arrest by the State. Prostitution is against the law, you know. And no, her age doesn’t make for any more tender treatment.
Putting aside Asshat Imus and his irrelevant defense of his now-infamous epithet, there's something that's been bugging me for ages about the manner in which the "Black community" and "Black culture" are often discussed by certain white folks and in the mass media. Having recently observed the discursive efficacy of Venn diagrams, let me put it this way (perhaps somewhat roughly but I think you'll get the idea)
Like my friend Field Negro so eloquently alluded to, this Imus business is par for the course for those of us LWB (Living While Black). I don’t like it, I don’t condone it, but do I expect it? Sadly, yes. Because, just in case anybody is late coming to the party, there are a lot of ignorant people in the house. To narrow the group even further, there are a lot of ignorant racists dancing poorly, to their own rhythm. And to whittle it down even one degree further, there are a lot of ignorant racists throwing their hands in the air like they just don’t care, ’cause they really don’t think they’re racists. I’m fairly certain Don Imus is one of those clueless types. The type that thinks that having a couple of black drinking buddies gives them free reign to say whatever and end up getting left at the bar (or in the studio) wondering “Hey…where did everybody go??
The Bipolar View:
I was sorting my mail tonight, and came across a catalog full of cheap tacky stuff. The catalog was clearly aimed at white people. Every model in the catalog appeared to be a nonthreatening middle-class white woman, and besides, who else would buy this stuff besides white people?

There are problems with manufacturing cheap stuff than nobody needs. The production of this garbage harms workers who are exposed to toxic materials and toxic wages, and there are costs to the environment.

But there are other problems. That catalog contained this...
All About Race:
What draws me back to my encounter with Freckles, is not that it’s the most recent time I’ve been called a nigger. It’s happened since, and in Chinese no less. And it’s not that a usually rational adult like me can devolve in a New York minute into a teasing, taunting ten year old. Nor is it even that I have no relationship with my father and have had no contact with him for more than 20 years. Or that, to the best of my knowledge, my father is not now nor has ever been in the auto sales business. What’s interesting is that Freckles not only knew about the “black tax,” but he used it against me as a slur.
Race In The Workplace:
There were so many things wrong with this exchange I couldn’t even wrap my head around it. Did Pat think we were all in on a secret plot to sneak in as many down-low Asians as possible with European last names? And could she have made it any more obvious that to her, “half Chinese” and “all-American” were mutually exclusive categories?

It seems to me that “all-American,” like “inner-city,” is one of those code words that people use when they don’t want to sound racist. But with or without the euphemism, I heard Pat loud and clear.
The Transracial Korean Adoptee Nexus:
Concurrently the 80s and 90s brought about yet another wave of transnational transracial adoption of Asian babies-mostly from Eastern Asia such as Korea and China. This new transracial integer in the racial equation of adoption paired with Newsweek’s growing “Model Minority” image of Asian Americans drove a deep racial and hierarchical wedge between Asians and other racial minorities (primarily Blacks and Latinos). A humanitarian and philanthropically perversed neo-liberalism birthed a massive exportation of Asian babies from the so-called “arms of conflict and poverty” to the warm embrace of safety and American Dream idealism.
The Transracial Korean Adoptee Nexus:
I’ve spoke with some transnational, transracial adoptees who refuse to consider this logic when assessing the immigration debate today. These are questions that need to be asked, and need to be used to address the power structure in this country that allows babies of color who are adopted into white families, not only a full array of class privileges and resources, but more importantly, how immigrant families of color enter this country wanting a better life for themselves and their family (just as our adopted parents are looking to provide us) and are unable to get the jobs, access to social services/resources, insurance, healthcare and much much more which we as adult adoptees now take for granted. While we may have it easy as adoptees who speak perfect English, and who have class privileges and resources to overcome hardships that we may face in our futures, we must take a firm stance on immigration.
A Black Girl:
This whole episode made me think about black women and madness. Madness as anger, and madness as psychological distress. I'm thinking about this with all eyes open, knowing that psychology has certainly over-diagnosed and under-diagnosed black folks for the past century and a half. I'm thinking about that, about how psychology has looked to our brains to pathologize deviance and primitivism. I'm thinking about how serious the affects of racism has caused TRAUMAS within the black community that actually warrant spiritual (not psychological) evaluation. I'm thinking about black folks' skepticism about psychiatry--how depression as an illness is a white thing. (Although WE invented a whole series of musical genres around depression: blues, hip hop...)
many white critics of gangster culture are actually talking about Black people. And the reason is simple: they're racist. They look at Tony Soprano or Don Corleone and they think, He's a good guy who does some bad things. They look at 50 Cent or Snoop Dogg and they think, Black people are dirty thugs.
Team Rainbow:
In a series of repetitive, attempted one-liners, DiCaprio keeps talking about this monolith Africa and how God abandoned this land, and how the natives believe the dirt used to be white but turned red over time with blood (that is absolute fucking export-quality bullshit concentrate no one thinks that unless they've been smoking some bad warporn). What annoyed me the most is that his position is actually portrayed with some sympathy in the movie, as if "Africa" did this to him and not vice bloody versa. Look, you started your career with mercenary fighting and ended it with conflict diamonds. You're hardly in a position to complain that Africa is depressing. Yeah. God did this.
Feline Formal Shorts:
“Colorblind” is one of those terms that makes POC shudder. The message is good, but the practice is often more frustrating than “normal” racism. [1] At least when someone yells at you, they aren’t claiming to be your friend, or insulting your intelligence by pretending that they didn’t say anything wrong.
The North Star:
we are aware that the africa of public imagination is not nuanced. she usually appears as one of abject poverty and misery, devoid of cultural richesse and private/habitual life experiences (ie love, social life) and is, instead, besotted with economic/political trouble. whether that is in fact the case in congo, journalism and esp. photojournalism which has the weighty task of assigning image to language (solidifying our definition of what a place is), should take to specify as much as possible, to avoid leaving assumptions to do the thinking for us.
Whiteness and Other Issues:

Julian Real:
The most powerful group of people in the U.S. are white men with corporate control. An apology from one of their more public employees does not touch the fact that these specific white men are in charge of what’s going on. They call the shots as they fire the guns. Their press-people make the occasional public statement, agreeing with the public that “something bad happened here.” Their staff decide what happens to our mass of emails and letters of protest. (Would you like to wager as guess as to what happens to them?) These white men, not the public, not the courts, dole out the consequences based on how much money they and their shareholders will lose should this get “really ugly.” And the “really ugly” part isn’t what the human rights violating celebrity did, but what the protesters do in response.
No Snow Here:
I honestly don’t think that my friend connected the actual people of color he knew in real life to people of color as defined by racist nazi hatespeech. Or maybe I just hope this? Otherwise, how could he stand to be around us, if he believed in that doctrine? I clashed with him continually on this issue. I felt as if I was debating whether or not I was worth anything. We had been friends for years. And none of our friends backed me up. They all said I needed to allow him his right to an opinion. –Why are we always called upon to “respect” opinions like these? It is like an affirmation of our subordinance; why would anyone ask this of another human being? Hateful!– After venting to a friend about how frustrated I was by the situation, she went straight to our hangout spot and told everyone all the things I had said. I was completely ostracized from the group. Fortunately I had other, non-nazi friends to live out senior year with.
Beautiful, Also, Are the Souls of My Black Sisters:
White men were the ones who started calling black women hos (whores/wenches) during slavery and Jim Crow segregation. And looking at America’s long history of racist hatred of black women by white men, Imus was just saying out loud what many white men already think of black women. Imus is just another white man being a white man: a race of men who have for centuries committed the most brutish, the most perverse and the most depraved abombinations that one group of people (white men) have shown towards another group of people (black women).
Tiny Cat Pants:
The problem is not that black folks are just sitting back quietly accepting whatever vomits forth from the record industry; the problem is that most white people don’t have the thoughts and opinions of their black peers even on their radar. I doubt they even know how to find out what regular black people are thinking and saying about things.

And why would they? Because as much as they grouch about Sharpton and Jackson, Sharpton and Jackson are on their TV screens spouting out opinions. Most white people don’t have to do any work to discover what’s on the minds of Sharpton or Jackson, whereas hearing from actual black people who can’t get on cable takes a little more effort. Far better to triangulate from the appearances of black folks on the news, ESPN, and BET what’s going on in the black community.

Never mind that that’s a little like watching CMT in order to figure out what white Nashvillians think about life.

The Unapologetic Mexican:

Because that was their gift. Not shrinking their hate, but expanding it. Expanding it by thinking of me as non-Mexican or as an Honorary White. In return for the "gift," (and what true gifts demand reciprocation?) I was expected, then, to let go of any reaction to insult or hate leveled at myself and my kin. This is sometimes also pronounced "a-sim-uh-lay-shun." Drop the affiliation, the resolute pride, la historia that favors the other side.

Fire On the Mountain:

Many of these areas remain lily white to this day. In fact, when Jaspin completed five years of research by writing a 16 part series for the Cox group, their flagship paper, the Atlanta Journal Constitution wouldn't publish it. It laid bare the truth about places like suburban Forsyth County, the whitest in Georgia, whose racism the AJC had been prettying up for decades. The debate over the series was covered by Creative Loafing, Atlanta's alternative weekly.

Overall, though, my impression is that Eliot Jaspin concentrates on the period from the end of Reconstruction through the 20s when a massive wave of ethnic cleansing took place.
diaries of an eccentric nerd athaba hijibiji:
I never thought of myself as a WOC until I came to this country. Similarly “Women of Color feminism” was not a term that existed in my political lingo until I was 22 or so.I came to the writings of US based wocs during a very crucial period of my life. I was feeling extremely frustrated both with the masculinisms of the leftist student groups I was working with and the short-sightedness of some of the more mainstream Western, white feminist texts. The WOC feminist literatures helped me to develop a fresh insight into lots of things during this critical juncture in my life.
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Student Labor Action Coalition


Time Wise On Don Imus

There's been much going on considering Don Imus. In fact so much so I figure I don't need to cover it.

Here's what Tim Wise has to say on the Don Imus controversy over at Lip Magazine:
Let us dispense with the easy stuff, shall we?

First, Don Imus's free speech rights have not been even remotely violated as a result of his firing, either by MSNBC or CBS Radio. The First Amendment protects us against state oppression or legal sanction for our words. It does not entitle everyone with an opinion to a talk show, let alone on a particular network. To believe or to demand otherwise would be to say that Imus's free speech rights outweigh the rights of his employers to determine what messages they will send out on their dime.

Secondly, those who are telling black folks to "get over it," when it comes to racial slurs, such as those offered up by Imus, are missing an important point: namely, the slurs are not the real issue. The issue is that these slurs (be they of the "nappy-headed ho" variety, or the semi-psychotic string of vitriol spewed by Michael Richards a few months back) take place against a backdrop of systemic and institutional racism. And that backdrop--of housing and job discrimination, racial profiling, unequal health care access, and a media that regularly presents blacks in the worst possible light (think the persistent and inaccurate reports of murder and rape by African Americans in New Orleans during the Katrina tragedy)--makes verbal slights, even if relatively minor, take on a magnitude well beyond the moment of their issuance.

Those who so easily let slip dismissive cliches, such as, "sticks and stones," have rarely themselves been the ones for whom slurs signaled a pending or extant campaign of oppression. So, for those whites who seek to change the subject to slurs used occasionally against us--like honky or cracker--please note: it is precisely the lack of any potent, institutional force to back up those words, which makes them so much easier to shrug off. But people of color are well aware that the slurs used against them, particularly when verbalized by whites, are often the tip of a much larger and more destructive iceberg, beneath which tip lies an edifice capable of shattering opportunities, of damaging and even destroying lives. In truth, even the words themselves can injure, especially the young, for whom an insistence on the development of thick skin seems especially heartless.

Third, and please make note of it, this is not the first time Imus had done something like this. In the past he's referred to black journalist Gwen Ifill as "the cleaning lady," a Jewish reporter as, a "boner-nosed, beanie-wearing Jewboy," and Arabs as "ragheads." Furthermore, he handpicked a sidekick who called Palestinians "animals" on the air, and suggested that Venus and Serena Williams would make fine centerfold models for National Geographic. Imus is a serial offender, and his contrition now, while perhaps genuine, has been long overdue.

So, a quick review: Imus is a racist, words can wound, and his employers had both the right and responsibility to fire him. But such is hardly the stuff of which meaningful commentary is made. So now, let us consider a few other matters as they relate to the Imus affair: matters that have been largely under-explored amidst the coverage of this story in recent weeks...(Read More)
Also, there has been quite a few links on The Blog and the Bullet on the issue as well:

Corporate Rap and Violence Culture by Kai.

Controversies and Social Change by Shark-fu.

Hip-Hop Made Imus Do It! by Darren Hutchinson.

Kevin Powell on Don Imus posted by Mark Anthony Neal.

Focusing on the Real Issues by Afro-Neitzen.

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Can't Stop the Bleeding

"i wanna be white"

I was browsing through YouTube a couple of days ago and came across this video of a four or five-year-old Mexican girl talking about how anything that isn't white is "gay." This rather disturbing clip illustrates some of the damaging affects of white supremacy and heterosexism on young people of color.

Sound familiar? (See also: No! I'm Not Black! I'm White!!, A Girl Like Me, Black Dolls/White Dolls and Issues in Identity)


Profile: The Beat Within

My girlfriend is doing a news article on a group of San Francisco State University students who have been behind bars at the Youth Guidance Centers (the most Orwellian name for a juvenile detention program I can think of) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Basically these students help edit the weekly magazine The Beat Within. I've been mulling over their website and magazines for the past couple of days and I'm telling you this is the some of the best shit I've read in a long time. Basically The Beat Within is a platform that allows incarcerated youth to speak their mind. The magazine states:
The Beat Within is a writing and conversation program in juvenile halls — and a weekly magazine that grows out of that program. The Beat was founded in 1996 when a social worker inside San Francisco's Youth Guidance Center realized that there was no vehicle for the anguished voices of the incarcerated youth he heard. He decided to provide that vehicle, and The Beat was born
Here's a few writing samples from these incarcerated youth (whom are mostly youth of color):

Everything turns into a mixture of black and white.
Everything was going good, then I just come in here for some stuff I didn’t do.
I feel like I’m in hell, I never been to jail before.
No one cares. I tried to say what I seen and they bound me.
This is a cold world. They can do as they feel. This ain’t right.

Who can I turn to about this situation?
No one, because no one in America gives a shit about this young black man.

By God's Child


Crack and AIDS are a product of the CIA. Just looking at it, it’s so easy to see how it (crack) spread in the colored community. Look at AIDS, how it only kills the undesirable gays, blacks, Asians, Latinos. I don’t see a lot of rich white people with AIDS. Also crack is hella easy to make, and it kills people in the inner city.

I think the system is run by the white man to control the colored man’s neck in institutionalized racism. I believe the CIA created the AIDS virus in the ‘50s to kill off the undesirables--the homosexuals, Blacks, Latinos, Asians. I feel that the colored people will prevail, especially in the 21st century.

By Dexter


I wish you were here to protect me from what I’ve been caught up in.
I wish you were here so you could have made mom keep me for all of those years. I wish you were here when I met him.
I wish you could have told me how older guys only want one thing.
I wish you could have told me how they’ll manipulate and brainwash you.
I wish you could have taught me that there is more to the world
than hustlers, thieves and prostitutes.
I wish we were a family
so I didn’t have to resort to being jumped in and jumped out.
It took me a lot to realize that the people I thoughts were my family weren’t.
It took me a lot to realize that I ain’t gonna get nowhere on the streets
bangin’ and smokin’ dope.
It took me a lot to realize that my mom loves me.
It took me a lot to realize that I love myself.
It took me a lot to realize that I have doe this all on my own.
No one helped me through anything, but I still got through it and I stay strong.
It’s still takin’ a lot to realize that I’m in SEF (juvenile) for a reason.
I couldn’t continue what I was doing and still be alive.
Every night I think of you and I want to do better for mom, you and myself
RIP – David Shane Burnett

Love Always, your Baby Girl

By Megan
Every one should definitely check this website out and even subscribe if you can.

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The Beat Within


It's All About the Money

Last month I was assigned to take pictures (my pics were in the paper, don't know why they're not online yet) at Thurgood Marshall High School over in the lower class (and predominantly Black) San Francisco neighborhood known as Bayview. A group of students at San Francisco State University take part in Industrial Design Outreach and try to outreach to lower class youth to show them that they could have viable and healthy careers as an industrial designer. One of the students who is apart of the team has a father who helped donate computers to the high school and has been a community activist for Bayview (and Hunters Point) for many years.

As I was going around taking pictures I saw a young Black kid mulling over a design he was doing for a t-shirt. I got closer to see what he was designing and to see if he needed any help with Adobe Image Ready since I use Adobe Photoshop a lot. When I saw what he was drawing my heart dropped, all though I wasn't wholly surprised and I wasn't blaming him for thinking the way he was thinking, especially coming from a lower class neighborhood and being Black (that's already two strikes against him in mainstream society's eyes).

What I saw was this. He had basically drawn a classic American muscle car with some nice silver rims and tinted windows. The car was rolling down the street, but the street wasn't paved with asphalt, it was paved with $100 bills.

It was sad to see a young Black man worshiping commodities like he was and worshiping money like he was, yet I do understand why he drew what he drew. The media is saturated with images of wealth and commodities. The music videos kids see these days all filled with commodities (women are even commodities in these videos), such as diamonds and other assortments of "bling," alcohol, yachts, mansions, pools, designer urban wear, and of course the ultimate commodity (the unifier of commodities) money. Growing up in a high crime low income neighborhood also doesn't help. With the media so saturated in money (music videos, TV shows, etc.) one begins to feel like an outcast and one begins to feel ashamed of her or his class and/or race. Even sitcoms involving Black people mostly involve Black people who are in the upper class (The Cosby Show, The Bernie Mac Show, Girlfriends, etc.) and never show lower class Black folk in a positive light (they always show lower class Blacks in situational comedies, almost never in dramas, except police dramas of course).

This worshiping of money and being left out of the mainstream has a huge effect on residents in Bayview-Hunters Point and Visatacion Valley (residents in upper Vis Valley have the distinction of living in run down army barracks as public housing). The homicide rate is huge, in 2005 there were 96 homicides with a majority of those homicides being concentrated in that one area in southeastern San Francisco. Oakland had similar numbers as well with a smaller population. The homicide rate hasn't changed all that much since 2005.

Most of this violence is Black on Black gang violence and has heavily to do with money and turf. This young kids are killing each other to accumulate more and more capital in order to buy the things they see on TV because many of them know (consciously or unconsciously) that it's nearly impossible to actually achieve the amount of wealth they want to, especially with it being harder to actually clime up the economic ladder than it was in the 1970s(1) and especially being Black.

All of this and more is what was swirling through my mind when I saw what these young man was designing. And it was all the more heartbreaking because I knew there was little I could do to help break years and years of psychological and class false consciousness that has been ingrained within him.

1. I remember reading that specefic statement in a New York Times series on class. I'll try and find the article for a future post.

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Reminder: Erase Racism Carnival Coming Up Soon!

I'm still looking for more posts from people. I haven't been getting enough and some of the ones I have been getting a kinda bad. Please, get the word out. Thanks.

Hey folks. This month's Erase Racism Carnvial (blog carnival that is) is being hosted by Double Consciousness. Please, if you have any recent (within a month) blog posts please send them our way (you can submit your posts here); also keep this in mind in the future if you write any blog posts you think will be good for the carnival.

The deadline for all posts to be in is April 18th.

Carlo and I are specifically looking for blog submissions that focus on:

  • Issues of white privilege and institutionalized racism.

  • Racial issues concerning LGBTQI people and their struggles within the LGBTQI community.

  • Women of color and their struggles within the feminist community.

  • Issues concerning capitalism and racial disparities.
  • Issues concerning imperialism and racism (Particularly blogs that use Marxist critical perspectives intertwined with a critical look at race and power).

  • Mass media and representations of people of color

  • The rule of law and race and class (such as court ordered sterilizations being predominately forced on men and women of color from lower class backgrounds, etc.).

  • Racism within the activist community (such as white socialists describing people of color socialists as being "nationalistic," etc.).
  • We're also looking for international issues as well especially considering caste.

  • Plus much much more and anything your mind can think of. Please distribute this post widely. Thanks.


Bill O'Reilly Gets Really Really Mad at Geraldo Rivera

Usually I don't really pay much attention to Geraldo Rivera, but he actually makes some good points in this interview he has on the O'Reilly Factor.

You can read the transcript here.


Newt Gingrich: Tellin' It Like It Isn't

So who in there right mind would ever think, or argue, that one of the three romance languages (deriving from Latin) would be a "ghetto" language? Well...none other than former disgraced Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

I first read this about four days ago in the San Francisco Chronicle in where the AP article stated:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich equated bilingual education Saturday with "the language of living in a ghetto" and mocked requirements that ballots be printed in multiple languages.

"The government should quit mandating that various documents be printed in any one of 700 languages depending on who randomly shows up" to vote, said Gingrich, who is considering seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. He made the comments in a speech to the National Federation of Republican Women.

And that:
In 1995, for example, he said bilingualism poses "long-term dangers to the fabric of our nation" and that "allowing bilingualism to continue to grow is very dangerous."

The only comment I have to make is that when many people talk about a national identity and keeping a national identity it is the "classic" American identity. That is, the identity of the classic White Anglo Saxton Protestant. This identity does not include people of color. When someone is talking about a national identity one has read in between the lines and dig beneath the surface in order to see what they really mean when referring to national identity.

Nezua blogs:
Who is this "American People" the politicians keep mentioning? It seems a strange group, how they always seem to speak with one (English) voice, and always in the ear of the Right wing politicitans.

Don't be afraid of the multi-lingual alleys and loquacious shadowlands, Newt. Nobody will force you to understand a damn thing you don't want to.

The Angry Indian states:
However valid his point may be about a common language (and that can
certainly be argued on the merits), why would you refer to languages
other than English as "the language of living in a ghetto"? That's just
bigoted, inflammatory and divisive if you ask me. First he assaulted free speech, then Katrina victims. What's next?

And ending with the blog Richard Is Retired the author writes:
The Pew Hispanic Center has looked into native language retention and found that the children of Hispanic immigrants speak English well or very well and half are English dominant. By the third generation — the grandchildren of the original immigrants — English is the dominant language and a number of this generation actually lose all knowledge of Spanish. Only 7.7% of second generation and not even 3% of third generation Hispanics don’t speak English well.


Gingrich’s inflammatory language only provokes prejudice amongst those who dislike those who are dissimilar. Gingrich reaches back into American history and borrows the language of hate employed by the Nativists of the mid-19th century. He uses hate to gain political advantage.


Crazy Ol' Sensitivity Training

So just a few minutes ago I heard something pretty stupid uttered from the mouth of a white male (not that surprising).

I'm in the journalism lab right now uploading pictures for the newspaper on a speaker who came to campus who is the South Asian reporter for the Washington Post.

While uploading the photos my photo editor Gina came into the lab to talk to one of the designers who is designing a page for this Thursday's issue. There was an article on a pow-wow held by SKINS, a local San Francisco State Native American group. The pictured being used was of Native American students in their traditional tribal regalia and dancing in a circle.

Gina told one of the designers that they were putting up a new photo for him to put into the paper because "We never cover SKINS in this paper and the fact that the only picture we have of them is them in stereotypical traditional native dress and having them dancing in a circle is not OK. So we have a better picture of this one girl getting ready for the event."

He seemed to have got the point but as she was walking out he said in a sarcastic voice. "I bet this has something to do with the sensitivity training."

She shot back. "No it doesn't. And don't be a jackass."

Ooooohhh, that gave me quite the wide grin.


Erase Racism Carnival Coming Up!

Hey folks. This month's Erase Racism Carnvial (blog carnival that is) is being hosted by Double Consciousness. Please, if you have any recent (within a month) blog posts please send them our way (you can submit your posts here); also keep this in mind in the future if you write any blog posts you think will be good for the carnival.

Carlo and I are specifically looking for blog submissions that focus on:

  • Issues of white privilege and institutionalized racism.

  • Racial issues concerning LGBTQI people and their struggles within the LGBTQI community.

  • Women of color and their struggles within the feminist community.

  • Issues concerning capitalism and racial disparities.
  • Issues concerning imperialism and racism (Particularly blogs that use Marxist critical perspectives intertwined with a critical look at race and power).

  • Mass media and representations of people of color

  • The rule of law and race and class (such as court ordered sterilizations being predominately forced on men and women of color from lower class backgrounds, etc.).

  • Racism within the activist community (such as white socialists describing people of color socialists as being "nationalistic," etc.).

  • Plus much much more and anything your mind can think of. Please distribute this post widely. Thanks.