Posts Tagged: Race

The New Ethnic Media

Taffy Brodesser-Akner on Paula Deen's rapid and basically unfettered comeback, after her brief banishment from public life: An investment in Paula Deen conveys a deep understanding of America’s political temperature and where we’re headed: that Paula’s comeback isn’t about forgiveness — it’s about standing her ground…

First, there’s the digital network. Then there’s the 20-city tour of a cooking show with the whole Deen family; according to the venues I checked, which were large, the tour sold quite well. She’s out there reminding everyone that she still exists, that she just won’t be subject to the same scrutiny and censorship she once was. She’s gone rogue, she has, and nobody [...]


Who's Endorsing Whom? A Complete Guide To New York City's Mayoral Race

As the candidates for mayor of New York City narrow in on the primary elections, the mad dash for endorsements is only getting more cutthroat. Pollsters and pundits are closely monitoring the trade winds of public opinion, but with Cyndi Lauper continuing to withhold her endorsement (she tipped the scales for Bloomberg in 2009), the conversation is woefully unsubstantiated.

So here is a list of everyone we think relevant, from the teachers' union to Lady Bunny, from Ingrid Sischy to Marv Alpert to Plumbers Local 1.

The primaries are set for September 10th, and then, just under two months later, New York City will finally elect a [...]


Phil Lynott's Mom Is Awesome

“I listen to his music every single day. I also visit his resting-place every day because it’s only round the corner from my house. I go around and I pour water on his stone—I call it washing his face—and then when I’m leaving I give him a kick, for breaking my heart.” —Public Radio International has a very touching interview with 81-year-old Philomena Lynott, the mother of Ireland's greatest rocker, Phil Lynott, who died of a heroin overdose in 1986. [via]


Six Degrees North Of Arizona: Nebraska's War On Immigration

Nebraska is starting to look a lot like Arizona—legally, at least. Over the past few years, the state has enacted a spate of anti-immigration laws; and whether it's State Senator Charlie Janssen's unconstitutional witch hunt against all brown people, an ordinance in Fremont that bars employers from hiring illegal immigrants and landlords from renting to them, or, the latest assault, a law that denies public assistance to legal immigrants who have lived in the country less than five years, it seems the legislature and governor have one thing on their minds: making Nebraska a less friendly, less tolerant state. In February, Governor Dave Heineman ordered the [...]


Black Unemployment Reaches "Great Depression Proportions"

In the 1960s, the African-American unemployment rate in New York City was nearly identical to the white people unemployment rate. But by 1990, black people were well more than twice as likely to be unemployed as white people. Ever since, black unemployment has been the leading edge of unemployment trends; when unemployment shot up in 1992 to a New York City-wide average of 11%, unemployment among black men went to 17%. (Of course these are state Department of Labor numbers; they indicate people actually enrolled in the system, not the further mass of the jobless.) Let's take a look at the trending since the early 90s!


Asian Poses Dot Com: Racist? Accurate? I Don't Know?

Today on the Internet: Asian Poses Dot Com is "the definitive guide to Asian poses." 1. It is run by a Chinese guy. 2. It is actually overly-researched to the point where something that seems racist and awkward actually begins to impress you with its internal logic? 3. Also still weird. [via]


Checking In With the American Conversation About Gentrification

A sign goes up in a rapidly changing New York neighborhood. It contains this joke. On Facebook, a reasonable demand for an apology: "This is racist at worst and insensitive at best."

A survey of the responses: — "Cruelty"?!? Really? Don't make everything a race issue, princess.

—^^ Agreed. Sickening – Typical transplant bullshit. Go elsewhere with this – we don't want this here. Honestly, I'm so sick and tired of all the nubies that need to act up like this – Here's a thought: MOVE TO FLORIDA. IT'S VERY HIP AND SUPREMELY IRONIC THERE.

—Phew almost went off topic there. Anyway, this sign does not offend me.


Kanye West And His "Thirty White Bitches"

"Yeezus," the new and almost pathologically anticipated Kanye West album, was leaked online two weeks ago and then, probably out of custom, released legally last week. Upon first listen it reminded me of Nine Inch Nails, Death Grips, and my dad—but not because West now has a two-week-old child with girlfriend Kim Kardashian.

When my father was in undergrad at a small HBCU in the Midwest, he joined the storied black fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi. Fraternity chapters, despite their ethnic and regional differences, will nevertheless always share some DNA, and so it shouldn't surprise you that my dad's frat was big on giving people nicknames. Some brothers were called things [...]


Are You Jewish?

Because of my mixed heritage I have been confused for pretty much all of your swarthy, hirsute ethnicities at one point or another—Jewish and Italian, obviously but also occasionally Hispanic, Greek, and even once, by a cab driver who unrelatedly treated me to a crash course in Syrian profanity, as Lebanese. I am a dark and hairy man, and that's part of the deal. (This is also why I won't get bed bugs.) Still, I am irritated every time this holiday (this holiday is Hanukkah, or however you spell it) rolls around and I am accosted in the street by furtive Hasidic men who look at me with [...]


John Edgar Wideman On The Sadness Of Emptiness

Soon after moving to New York in 1995, I was walking down Avenue A one afternoon when a guy with a frown on his face beckoned me over to him. He was a black guy, standing next to a suitcase he'd placed on the curb. "Excuse me," he said. "But could you hail me a cab?"

I looked out on onto the street, where there were many cabs with their vacancy signs lit up driving past us. I looked back at him puzzled.


Public Apology: Dear Everlast From House Of Pain

Dear Everlast from House of Pain,

I'm sorry for calling you a "Leprechaun of Rage."


Let's Call It 'Apple Privilege'

Big huge tech acquisitions bring out the worst in people. I do not know exactly why: I assume that it has something to do with seemingly infinite sums of money being made to seem finite or even small in the presence of even larger infinities of money. Anyway, has anyone noticed that the loud and visceral reaction to Apple's multi-billion dollar acquisition of Beats, the headphone and music service company, is kind of racist?

I asked this question on Twitter and got a number of private responses immediately. One, from a well-known tech writer: "I did, but only in DM, because I can't deal with that shit today." Then [...]


Ask Polly: Only Black Men Like Me, But I Don't Like Black Men

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Because every time a door closes, a few more close."

Dear Polly,

I have a big problem. Actually a multitude of big problems that have coalesced into a giant problem. I am 31, and I cannot figure out what to do with respect to my romantic life. All my friends from college/grad school are married or partnered and I feel really unwanted. I'm attractive and outgoing, which has given me the opportunity to make many, many, MANY mistakes with respect to men. In my early 20s, I dumped every single guy who seemed truly [...]


What's Invisible At Harvard: A Conversation

Last week, The Paris Review's blog ran "Harvard and Class," a piece by Misha Glouberman (co-authored by Sheila Heti) about the challenges of dealing with class after attending "an upper-middle-class Jewish day school" in Canada and then going to Harvard—which, hmmm! As two recent Harvard grads ourselves, we wanted to offer a slightly different perspective on class, race and the Ivy League, as well as what it’s like to be offered $40 by your peers to remain invisible, please.

SJC: The first thing I thought of while reading the article was Dorm Crew [a student-run cleaning service]. You were one of the first people I met at Harvard—we both [...]


I'm Going Back To Arizona (And You Should Probably Come Too)

I have a friend I'll call Patrick who lives in Tucson, the small southern Arizona town where I spent 14 years of my childhood. A six-four wall of a man, softened in parts by pints and whiskey, Patrick and I have been close since high school, when his family–a big, pasty, Irish affair–moved to town from Phoenix. Once, on a trip to a low-budget Mexican beach community named Rocky Point, Patrick and I conspired to eat our vegan friend's entire supply of peanut butter and jelly while he was in the shower, leaving only his toothbrush in an empty jar of Skippy. While he screamed, "Do you know how hard [...]


The Michael Jackson Funeral: Race, Celebrity and How Far We've Come

• "It was Michael Jackson that brought blacks and whites and Asians and Latinos together." Al Sharpton, today, at Michael Jackson's public memorial. • "Chris Brown stunned onlookers with a giant pendant that spelled out the word 'OOPS!' in diamonds after the Sean Combs 'Malaria No More' White Party." July 7, 2009, The YBF. • "Only 2 percent of the nation's 4.8 million teachers are black men." July 4, 2009, Washington Post. • "Less than 18% of [African-American] adults 25 and over have a bachelor's degree, and 200 women graduate from college for every 100 men." March 25, 2009, Detroit Free Press. • "The employment rate among African-American [...]