Posts Tagged: Racism

Fifty Years Before Ferguson

How the media talked about a dead teenager, fifty years ago last month:

The shooting occurred at 9:20 A.M. outside a six-story white brick apartment house at 215 East 76th Street, opposite the Senator Robert F. Wagner Junior High School, where summer school classes were in progress

The dead boy was James Powell, a student at the school, who lived at 1686 Randall Avenue, the Bronx. The police said the youth had been shot twice, in the right hand and in the abdomen, by Lieut. Thomas Gilligan of Brooklyn's 14th Division.

The trouble began when Patrick Lynch, superintendent of the building at 215 East 76th Street, sprayed water on [...]


A Friendly PSA: It's "Kenan." Yes. Kenan Thompson.

Despite his status as a former Nickelodeon star and 10-year "Saturday Night Live" veteran, Kenan Thompson has never been one to grab news headlines, so it was surprising when he spoke up about SNL’s lack of black female cast members. Unlike Jay Pharoah’s more incendiary call for SNL to "pay attention" to the issue a few weeks prior, Thompson's contribution to the debate was sparse and seemingly reluctant, and his remark that the show "never finds [black women] that are ready" in auditions… did not go over well.

The few times Kenan does make the rounds on the internet, though, I always notice a bigger problem: Those backlashers, [...]


Mobile Savagery: China Meets An Unprepared World

July 26th brought news items reporting two separate incidents of curious holiday gastronomy. First, tourists in the Paracel Islands posted pictures of a meal of Tridacna gigas—endangered giant clams. At the same time, vacationers in Greece snapped photos of themselves hoisting an extraordinarily rare "hexapus," only the second ever recorded, just before killing it and frying it in a nearby pub. Yet only one of these stories was largely used as evidence to feed an expansive and growing set of opinions about an entire nationality and culture.

Of all China's frighteningly fast advances, international travel is, in light of history, maybe its most stunning. Two decades [...]


Let's Trick White People Into Ending Racism

"Giving White People The Illusion Of Darker Skin Makes Them Less Racist"


Dear Shrewsbury, New Jersey Board of Education

I'm sorry for vandalizing your schoolhouse.

This happened in 1985, when I was a freshman at Red Bank Regional High School. Red Bank Regional as you know, draws from the towns of Shrewsbury, Red Bank, Union Beach and Little Silver, where I lived. It was fall, not too long after school had started, and we kids from different towns were still getting to know each other. I was on the soccer team with a guy named Scott who lived right across the street from the Shrewsbury elementary school. Scott's mom went out a lot, and his red-walled kitchen became a place where groups of 14 year olds would gather to [...]


The Least Fun Criticism of "Homeland" Ever

You know I love me some cultural studies wonkery. And yet sometimes it goes a bit off the rails! The incredibly esteemed Joseph Massad, of Columbia, may maintain a tricky position against the creation of "the homosexual" as a class in the "Arab world" (quite complicated backstory here, but, for a less nuanced take, "gayness as identity is Western and therefore colonialist, so we shouldn't support people there who choose to identify as gay even when they are, you know, getting murdered by state actors"), but his work overall is brilliant.

But also he is now revealed as the least fun TV critic OF ALL TIME, as [...]


Scenes from the Zombie Apocalypse of "Urban Beach Weekend"

"Many locals will flee," said the newspaper beforehand. "Some business owners blamed the police tactics for a precipitous drop in crowds and income this weekend," said the newspaper afterward. That's right: white people fled in droves in the face of the arrival of some 200,000 black people for Urban Beach Weekend in Miami Beach—and so the non-beach-side downtown was a ghost town. Like the far end of Lincoln Road Mall, with nobody on the street (and parking everywhere!).


Maybe Conservatives Really ARE That Stupid About How Much Their Support Depends On Racism, Instead Of Just Lying About It

"When certain conservatives object to liberal characterizations of the American right, and when they bristle at suggestions that conservative policies draw some of their political vitality from unreconstructed racists, or resentful white voters, or anything other than ideologically pure freedom fighters, they aren't playacting. At some point, to those conservatives, willful blindness to the political power of white conservative populism became unwillful. As far as they were concerned, anyone arguing that welfare-state opposition (or tenth-amendment fetishism or any other conservative hobbyhorses) derived any political support from racist whites was trafficking in racial McCarthyism. Perhaps at some point they had assumed a defensive crouch to protect themselves and their tribe from [...]


Why Is America Turning To Shit?

Toilet in Uganda, by Sustainable Sanitation.


My hand stayed on the bathroom door handle, unwilling to twist the knob that would let me in. Behind me was the hum and chatter of an art opening—this was at a now sadly departed radical Chicago cultural center called Mess Hall. On a table nearby were offerings of hummus and home-made brownies. Nearly everyone else was chatting and oblivious to my plight, but I could sense at least one other person impatiently waiting behind me. Then I went in, and, inside, next to a perfectly serviceable modern flush toilet seat, was a five-gallon bucket of [...]




In 1941, almost exactly five months after Hitler had offered to end the war and a few nights before Christmas, a 2,750-pound German bomb fell into a married London couple's wooden kitchen, which was already "flimsy." But the bomb did not explode. Alf Fry and his wife waited four weeks for the bomb to be dug up from the clay, dismantled, and hauled away. But before that, they came to call the bomb "Max."

Max's impotence was both normal and odd. As the war progressed, bombs that large—named, quite literally, blockbusters—were more commonly used by the Royal Air Force in night raids on German military centers along [...]


Nerds Urged To Reconsider Object Of Nerdery

"Dear Nerds: If you’re getting upset that fucking Hollywood is too diverse for you, you need to have a long, hard look at the inherent racism of your racist-ass medium."


Happy Reverse Racism Day!

Did you have a good racism morning? There's only 13 shopping days left until Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained hits theaters. But already whites are rising up against this film, which accurately depicts the intolerable cruelty of The Blacks to white people throughout American history. "Many of us are tired of blatant anti-white racism being couched in 'satire' or 'comedic routines' just so we can be called 'thin-skinned' when we take offense," is how people are responding. Think that's an outlier? Oh there is so much more, when Drudge commenters flood the Hollywood Reporter, which is so grateful for the sweet, sweet traffic flood that they're too stunned to TURN [...]


Black-Hating Party Probably Racist

"Let’s face it. If you ask me, there’s no he said/she said here. The Republican Party is only a viable entity because of Southern racism."


Black People Incoming! Miami Beach on Max Lockdown!

You may remember how last Memorial Day, Miami Beach police officers gunned down black tourists and seized the cellphones of anyone recording the cops in action. (Spoiler: the shot bystanders, ignored for a full year now, are suing!) Well, Urban Beach Weekend is back again this weekend, and the city is ready! They've installed a "one-time" DUI checkpoint, some watch towers, scanners that record everyone's license plates, some "light towers," some road blocks—and a whites-only bridge. Oops sorry, "residents-only" bridge. (Ahem: "tourists will be given the impression that they can’t get in.") Let's look at some notable quotables from the Herald today, which are likely [...]


Is This Pickup Artist Actually… Helping People?

“Once you go Asian, you can’t go Caucasian. Once you go yellow—hello!” JT Tran told his audience of hopeful men.

This was in a Manhattan conference room on Valentine's Day, and JT was running a weekend-long bootcamp with a simple mission: to help Asian men get some skin in the dating game, and maybe even get laid.

The class's methods and language were taken straight from the pickup artists' world. And yet, the course also resembled a rollicking post-grad symposium on race. Yellow fever. That infamous OKCupid survey that showed Asian women overwhelmingly preferred white men. The culture clash between an Asian upbringing and a Western world that [...]


The Killing Of Neighbors

Hello, would you like to buy something weird? Hammer Time is our guide to things that are for sale at auction: fantastic, consequential and freakishly grotesque archival treasures that appear in public for just a brief moment, most likely never to be seen again.

By the time Robert Simpson Neighbors arrived on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River in Texas, the trouble between the people who lived there and the people who wanted to live there had gotten out of control.

Neighbors had seen it coming. When he first became an Indian agent in 1844, he was shocked to learn his colleagues rarely ventured outside the office.1 [...]


Four People Whose Twitter Lives Are A Nightmare

1. The guy mistaken for a game developer

@jeb I think I found a bug when ever i open an enderchest it opens and closes continuously

— specialkplaysmc (@specialkplaysmc) August 26, 2013

Jeb Boniakowski is one of the lucky few people who possess a short, apposite Twitter handle directly related to his name: he's just @jeb.

He’s also one of the unlucky people who happens to share his Twitter name with someone or something else that people tend to tweet at on accident.

The other-world Jeb that Boniakowski is often confused for isn’t even called Jeb. Well, he is, after a fashion. Jeb is [...]


Can You Construct A Functional Joke About A 9-Year-Old At The Oscars?

I'm glad @theonion apologized for calling Quvenzhané Wallis curt. She's nine years old, who cares if her answers are short.

— Jesse Berney (@jesseberney) February 25, 2013

So The Onion apologized today for one of their many, many Oscars jokes last night. Which one? The one that was nooooottttt good or okay. Nooo, the other one.

Quentin Tarantino has been heavily criticized for his frequent use of the word "nigger" during tonight's red carpet interviews #Oscars2013

— The Onion (@TheOnion) February 25, 2013

Yeah, not that one. (That one is actually maybe good satire, about when and how some things are okay.) Buoyed [...]


'Red Dawn 2: Yellow Peril': White People Finally Win One

One of the links passed around Twitter by China watchers yesterday was a photo gallery of "little warriors playing the game 'Defend the Diaoyu Islands.'" (The Islands being the disputed territory that sparked the nation's recent anti-Japan protests.) Armed with plastic assault rifles and (adorable!) berets, the children completed boot camp-like obstacle courses such as shimmying under razor wire (kidding; just string) while gripping tiny Chinese flags in their mouths (not kidding).

It's been two-and-a-half years since we first wrote about the Red Dawn reboot after coming across an early script. Then, the film's original 2010 release date was postponed; in the interim, the army invading America was [...]


Funk Terrifies White Woman

"A few minutes before my reading, store employee Marshall popped in my CD. Not 30 seconds into my go-go playlist, a white woman went to the cashier to complain. The song in question wasn’t even a go-go song. It was Parliament’s 1970s funk classic 'Chocolate City'—a song that took on a moniker that was being used by Washingtonians celebrating the city’s first elected mayor, a black man named Walter Washington: 'What’s happening, C.C. They still call in the White House, but that’s a temporary condition….' The blonde woman marched straight to the cashier, who referred her to the owner of Politics & Prose. She said the music was 'racist' and [...]