Tag Archives: racism

One Little Week in Issues


Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, from Wikimedia under a reuse license.

We began this week with the now-usual, unhelpful conversation about whether Donald Trump is a jerk for going on about a former Miss Universe and her weight and ethnicity. Lost in the noise around Alicia Machado’s value as a human being (Mary Matalin called her a “tart”), was the leering, grotesque womanizing personality of Trump, which Hillary Clinton framed for 100 million Americans in the first debate when she said:

And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called they woman “Ms. Piggy.” Then he called her “Ms. Housekeeping,” because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name.

Read More…

Commentary Roundup: Critiques of Oscars 2013

audience at the 2013 OscarsI keep wanting to write something about this, and I may in the next day or two, but in the meantime, here are very thoughtful analyses of The Man Who Loved the Sound of His Own Voice, Seth MacFarlane, and Hollywood’s love of the cruel.

And now because we’re all so pissed after reading all of this, here’s something to remind us that some people in Hollywood, even award winners, are pretty awesome people:

Justice of Opportunity

UPDATE: You can call Michael Freeman at 612-348-5540 and Marlene Senechal at 612-348-5561, the prosecutors in CeCe McDonald’s case. Tell them you are calling as a supporter of Ms. Chrishaun McDonald and are concerned about her case.

CeCe McDonald poster from RacialiciousThe United States tells its citizens and residents that it is a nation governed by the Rule of Law–that everyone is equal under the eyes of these laws, and that our system of jurisprudence and law protects us as individuals and collectively. And yet even laws that look simple on the surface; say–speeding on a roadway–are experienced very differently across intersections of race, class, gender, and gender identity. Does the driver receive a citation? A warning? Is the driver asked to exit the vehicle? Is the vehicle searched? Is the driver asked to prove citizenship or residency status? Does the driver’s ID match their gender presentation? Is the vehicle presumed to be street legal? What level of suspicion does the officer presume about the driver?

Laws, after all, are written by people, and people come to the act of writing laws with their own sets of intent and motivation. People also are fallible. How else to explain the state of Kansas’s overreaching to restrict voting rights based on some observed “need” for security, when there is next to no evidence that individuals cheat the voting system, nationally or in Kansas specifically? Or as Dr. Jen Gunter notes in her pro-choice blog, how do we explain the non-medical, non-scientific, non-rational laws written to restrict reproductive rights for women? Read More…

Shady Slimming

Jon Stewart made some hay this week over the redesign of the Quaker Oats Man, one of the first trademarked images in the United States, created in 1877. What redesign, you ask? Well, he’s been slimmed down and reverse aged, looking leaner and younger than he ever has before. See for yourself:

Notable about the size-down is the way in which the marketers discuss the changes. “Five pounds thinner,” they say of the rework. How does one determine such things for a non-person who has only ever been depicted from the neck up? Is an exact figure predicated on the years of photoshopping done to fashion models? A flimsy guesstimate? Read More…

Yes Virginia, Stereotyping Is Wrong

MLK Day Sale signHappy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Erm, maybe not happy. We are, after all, thinking about a civil rights leader who was assassinated. But hey, it’s a great day for a furniture sale! Or a quick trip to KMart to see what’s been price-slashed.

I mean, we’re post-race in this country, right? So there’s nothing race-related about calling the First Lady “Mrs. YoMama.” There’s no race in any of the billboards that have popped up across the nation of President Obama in a turban, or in the incessant, it’s-been-proven-wrong notion that he was not born in the USA. There’s no racism in saying that black city kids should become janitors so that they can learn a work ethic. Of course Rick Santorum wasn’t racist when he went on the stump and said he didn’t want to give black people taxpayers’ money. They were “blah people,” he said in a correction. Read More…

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