links for 28-7-2011

In Arkansas, as high school decided having a black girl as their valedictorian would be too controversial, SO THEY APPOINTED A WHITE CO- VALEDICTORIAN. This is actually so ridiculous I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Amy Winehouse passed away this week, which is sad, because she was a human being, and a very talented artist. Here’s a response to her death, as well as an analysis of the way we treat women artists who live with addiction or mental illness.

Kate from the awesome Shakesville has started a new project to, in her words, “1) raise money for transition expenses, and 2) say brazen things on the Internet about sex, gender, and bodily autonomy.” You should support it, and her!

Feministing talks to Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of NY about the under-representation of women in government.

A new report has been released from The Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at the New York University School of Law highlighting a decade of negative impacts on women and LGBTI individuals from U.S. counter-terrorism measures worldwide.

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas was attacked with a Molotov cocktail. Fortunately no one was hurt in the fire that resulted from the attack.

Unbe-fucking-lievable. A mother who lost her son to a hit and run accident (by a drunk driver) was charged in his death with vehicular homicide- because she and her children had to cross a highway to get to their home from a bus stop.

According to the office of Cobb County prosecutor Barry Morgan, Nelson – who had no car at the time – committed vehicular homicide by attempting to cross a five-lane highway with her three kids to get to her apartment, after being let off the bus.

Update: She’s been granted a new trial

Sociological Images has a great post on how the recent terrorist attack in Oslo and the Oklahoma city bombings were born of the same process.

These members of the far right consider themselves Christian Crusaders for Aryan Manhood, vowing its rescue from a feminizing welfare state. Theirs is the militarized manhood of the heroic John Rambo – a manhood that celebrates their God-sanctioned right to band together in armed militias if anyone, or any governmental agency, tries to take it away from them. If the state and capital emasculate them, and if the masculinity of the “others” is problematic, then only “real” white men can rescue the American Eden or the bucolic Norwegian countryside from a feminized, multicultural, androgynous immigrant-inspired melting pot.

But then there’s this story, which makes me sit in awe of the potential of human forgiveness and learning. This is a pretty incredible relationship, and that’s really all I can say about it.

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10 Responses

  1. Anon21
    Anon21 July 28, 2011 at 1:39 pm |

    That first story about the black girl denied her valedictorian status is mind-boggling. I honestly have a hard time believing that any principal would be dumb enough to make such a move on explicitly racial grounds, and so I would expect, at a minimum, a different version of events to be asserted by the school district.

  2. Chataya
    Chataya July 28, 2011 at 1:49 pm |

    On co-valedictorian:
    Pine Bluff, AR is 65% black. I doubt that this is mostly about her race, and I strongly suspect it has more to do with the fact that she’s a single mother. My high school tried to prevent a couple of pregnant girls from walking in our graduation under the guise of being “concerned” about the babies.

    Full disclosure – I live in Arkansas and graduated from high school here, although my school was a few hours away from Pine Bluff. Also, fighting over the valedictorian position at a public school in Arkansas is like playing king of the mountain on a pile of cow shit.

  3. BHuesca
    BHuesca July 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm |

    I tried to follow all of the source links in the Pine Bluff case, and the links before those, but the original story is nothing like the one that the OP linked to: it seems this student’s mother works in the school and overheard other teachers grumbling about her daughter’s pending valedictorianship (at least according to the original article – which is *not* the one the OP linked to, but the one I had to trace back to find.)

    Has anyone found a better source? Because if this is true, it’s a travesty…

  4. DouglasG
    DouglasG July 28, 2011 at 2:53 pm |

    Can the link to Senator Gillibrand be corrected from Karen to Kirsten?

  5. Anon21
    Anon21 July 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm |

    Chataya:
    On co-valedictorian:
    Pine Bluff, AR is 65% black.I doubt that this is mostly about her race, and I strongly suspect it has more to do with the fact that she’s a single mother. My high school tried to prevent a couple of pregnant girls from walking in our graduation under theguise of being “concerned” about the babies.

    I think pregnancy-based discrimination should also be actionable under Title VII, so either reason should be enough to support a lawsuit.

    BHuesca:
    I tried to follow all of the source links in the Pine Bluff case, and the links before those, but the original story is nothing like the one that the OP linked to: it seems this student’s mother works in the school and overheard other teachers grumbling about her daughter’s pending valedictorianship (at least according to the original article – which is *not* the one the OP linked to, but the one I had to trace back to find.)

    Has anyone found a better source? Because if this is true, it’s a travesty…

    I am guessing that the original Courthouse News story was based on Wymberly’s complaint. Which is valid, but if true, means that you have to take the allegations with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, heightened federal pleading standards have forced many litigants to make very specific factual allegations that aren’t especially well-supported by the evidence they have, in an effort to get past the motion to dismiss stage and obtain discovery from the defendants, which can be used to correct and elaborate on the original allegations. Thus, just as a generic matter, I think it’s wise to be skeptical about facts presented solely in the context of a legal complaint.

  6. franksverymuch
    franksverymuch July 28, 2011 at 3:31 pm |

    oh, has anyone seen this about Dominique Strauss-Kahn. It’s really good reading if you want to be massively depressed about France. fyi Strauss-Kahn, really a not nice guy
    http://www.counterpunch.org/martens07282011.html

  7. Emolee
    Emolee July 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm |

    @ Chataya & on co-valedictorian:
    Just because a county is 65% black does not mean that there is not rampant racism against blacks there. The school district in question has not had a black valedictorian since the 80s.

    I, too, wonder how much her having a baby “out of wedlock” and while in high school comes into play here. Even so, this does not erase the racism, but intersects with it. Whether she was denied her sole honor as valedictorian because she is black or because she is a mother or because she is a black mother, these are all disgusting reasons.

    She has the top GPA (no one is tied with her) and (to my knowledge) fulfilled all of the other obligaitons required of the valedictorian (such as been at the school two years). Therefore, she should get to be the sole valedictorian. End of story. The fact that some don’t see her as a good role model just shows their own ignorance and prejudice.

    And as for what being a valedictorian in a public school in Arkansas means… it means something to her. And she likely worked hard for it. What’s with the classism and elitism?

  8. DouglasG
    DouglasG July 29, 2011 at 7:54 am |

    I empathize with the wronged valedictorian now, although I must admit that at the time a similar occurrence was a relief (perhaps had there been hard work involved it might have felt different). I was denied valedictorian because they hastily added a clause about Good Moral Character (translation – Heterosexuals Only), but I would not have wanted to give a speech that would have had to have been approved. My best friend was much more suitable, although he almost didn’t get selected because of a rumour someone started about us. At least I won a majority of the prizes, including a really nice French dictionary that I still have and use.

  9. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 29, 2011 at 7:58 am |

    What Emolee said times a bajillion.

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