Posts Tagged ‘racism’

Mr. Frog, in the comments:

Interesting that your daughter goes back to the things that scare her. I do that, too. Have you ever seen Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal? I was so afraid of that movie–despite it being one of my favorites–until literally a few months ago. I should write about that…

No, I haven’t. I’m not sure why, exactly, but when it came out, it just didn’t appeal to me, so I never even wanted to see it. It seemed, from a trailer, maybe, to be too…dark? By now, it had all but left my consciousness. I wouldn’t NOT see it, but it isn’t on the list of films I must watch, though you’ve made it more interesting to me. Wouldn’t watch it with the Daughter, though, until I had seen it first.
And yes, you should write about it.

Another example for me is E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. I HAVE written about that: at age 5, it scared me so bad I was basically traumatized. But I became fascinated by stuff like UFOs, which led me to reading books about ACTUAL science. Then when it was re-released when I was 9, I loved it, and now it’s my favorite movie. It makes me cry badly, but in a cathartic way.

Odd thing about that film. Saw E.T. at the time and loved Drew Barrymore screaming, loved the classic Spielberg broken family, anti-authority motifs, even the Reese’s Pieces product placement. I just didn’t like the ending, the bikes in the sky thing, and I haven’t ever seen it since then, so I could not specifically tell you why. I was willing to believe the alien, but not that. It played at the local second-run theater, the Madison, in early April, but I just didn’t have time to see it. And I would rather have seen it like that then on video.

(Sidebar: there was some story on CBS Sunday Morning recently about the decline in the movie box office. Some twenty-something they interviewed was so smug. “I can watch movies at home. I can pause it when ever I want to…” And if you can pause it, for me, it isn’t watching a movie; it’s watching a video – I use the term generically.)
politicalspeech

If I can ask a follow-up to Jaquandor’s question about America: do you worry that it’s too late to change course? I don’t want to get too doomsday about it, I’ve just been reading too many things lately that seem to be adding up to a depressing future. Of course, I have mental disorders and that seems to be the way I process things a lot of time (“catastrophizing” is what my therapist calls it).

Is it catastrophizing when the levee has broken? On one very big hand, the news is grim. We live in an oligarchy. It’s not just that economic disparity is unfair; it doesn’t make much economic sense. Read the rest of this entry »

paperrockNew York Erratic must be from New Jersey, she asks so many questions:

Are there any events in your life that you feel make good parables that you want to share one day with your daughter?

I was 51 when she was born, so there is a lot of my life to draw from. Huge parts of it she doesn’t know, significant events, and I’m not sure exactly when/if to tell her. Maybe if she asks. She DOES know about JEOPARDY!

I remember looking at photos of my mother with some guy she went out with before she dated my father, and initially, it was kind of weird, but hey, that was rather natural. When she would talk about it Read the rest of this entry »

RNC1.Screen-Shot-2013-12-03-at-2_08_07-PMEvery Black History Month, I put together some recent articles about race for the adult education class in my church, and how the reason we still have Black History Month is because there’s still weird stuff going on. This year was better/worse than ever, with items like the issue of some noted cases of Shopping While Black or even Working While Black.

Hey, that Duck Dynasty guy said HE never saw any racism when he was growing up with black people, so it’s a good chance that racism never really existed at all.

But this really bowled me over: Study Finds White Americans Believe They Experience More Racism Than African Americans.
Read the rest of this entry »


It seems that, in the past few years, the narrative I’ve been hearing in certain circles that we no longer need Black History Month, because we’ve finally “made it.” Thus, being anti-racism means being anti-white. This past year in particular has been the greatest negation of that message, unfortunately.

There’s stop and frisk. Great video on this from The Daily Show laying out the issue. A pair of different comedy routines that I saw suggest that if those folks on Wall Street with their [shudder] briefcases were stopped and frisked to see if they were planning some economic crime, especially in the demeaning way it takes place – think the airport TSA, on steroids, only more rude – the policy would be off the books next week.

Reading the Floyd decision, “it seems clear that it was the stories of how Stop and Frisk and TAP operated on the ground to keep Black and Latino people under siege in their own homes, not the battle of the experts via statistics, that ultimately persuaded Judge Scheindlin about the complete irrationality of Stop and Frisk as implemented, and about the utter inability of the psyche of the NYPD to voluntarily accept its own racism, such that Stop and Frisk could be operated in a truly race-neutral fashion.”

Of course, it’s not just the state acting badly: The New York state attorney general is investigating Macy’s Inc. and Barneys New York Inc. after complaints from black customers who were stopped by police after making luxury purchases. As Larry Wilmore, the senior black correspondent for The Daily Show, noted, if we want young black men to keep their pants up, we can’t then have them arrested for purchasing a belt.

And one of my favorite examples, a restaurant asks 25 black people to leave because one white person felt “threatened“.

Sometimes, it’s not the big stuff, it’s the little irritants that get under one’s skin. Gee, you don’t sound black on the radio by Ken Screven, former local news reporter. I’ve not been on the radio, but I have spent time on the phone a lot at FantaCo and now at the SBDC and I have seen that response when meeting people in person for the first time.

I picked that vintage cover to illustrate a greater point: it can’t just be black people concerned about black people’s issues. We all need to be conscious of discrimination where we find it, whether it be discrimination by race, gender or sexual orientation. And it’s even more effective when white people speak out against racism when they see it – like here, men confront sexism, and straights openly reject homophobia. It can’t just be THEIR problem, it must be OUR problem.
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Great reads for the month from Departing the Text.

President Barack Obama Honors TeachersI know judging a two-term presidency with 36 months to go is a dodgy proposition, but what is the point of writing a blog if not to make these brilliant observations?

THE GOOD:
I had great hopes because the very first thing he tackled was wage discrimination. He was stuck with a horrendous economy in freefall, and the stimulus, despite spending that ought to have been better targeted, had overall good effect. GM and Chrysler were saved from almost certain death, which would have had a huge ripple effect on other parts of the economy.

The Affordable Care Act, a/k/a Obamacare, was not what I wanted, as I think his team took the single-payer option off the table WAY too early. Still, the fact that it doesn’t doom persons with pre-existing conditions to, likely, no insurance is a plus, and I appreciate the provision of keeping young adults on their parents’ policies.

Although he may have become more directed on the issue because of something his Vice-President said “too early,” Read the rest of this entry »

I don’t like it: the N-word. I know I mentioned this topic about four years ago, but it’s still true. No, it isn’t that I want it banned from historical literature, but it still makes me quite uncomfortable.

I hear some white folks complain, “I hear black people say it. Why can’t I?” It’s as though they feel they are being discriminated against or somehow deprived. Read the rest of this entry »

SamuraiFrog wrote: “A lot of people have expressed the sentiment that casting Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness is whitewashing; taking an ethnic character and casting a white actor in the role. My question, though: is it, actually?”

I had a couple thoughts even before addressing the core question. One is that I feel really lucky that I don’t read whatever sites go on kvetching about this stuff. Not that it’s not a legitimate source of conversation, but that too many of the participants Read the rest of this entry »

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