PepsiCo has pulled a Mountain Dew commercial that social commentator Dr. Boyce Watkins calls “arguably the most racist commercial in history.” [Content warning for racism, battery, and basically everything that's wrong with the world]...read more
Four Wilcox County high school students are raising money to hold an integrated prom. Racially integrated. Because they don’t have one, because ever since the school itself integrated 30 years ago, the parents have been throwing separate proms. The school declined to get involved, so the girls are doing the entire thing themselves. “If we don’t change it, nobody else will,” one girl says....read more
Over at the Guardian, I’m writing about Adria Richards, and how victim-blaming for cyber harassment parallels victim-blaming in rape cases:
Of course it’s possible to disagree with Richards’ actions while still focusing on the real problem: misogyny online and in tech spaces. But it’s really not possible to pontificate at length on what Richards should have done without obscuring the fact that when women speak out, we’re met with rape threats.
Zerlina Maxwell received sexualized, racist death threats for daring to publicly say that women should not hold responsibility for preventing their own rapes when men should be trained not to be rapists. She refused to be bullied into silence....read more
Numerous blogs have noted the silence among many white, mainstream feminist sites about the horrible treatment of Quvenzhané Wallis at the Oscars. And they’re right. I had stuff planned out, and then I looked at so many other posts going up that said Holy shit, can you believe that happened? That’s not okay at all in ways far more eloquent than I, and then went on to say far more poignant and intelligent stuff than I’d think to say, and I felt mine was redundant. That’s a seriously fucked up way of thinking.
Here’s what I should have said....read more
As usual, Ta-Nehisi Coates is correct, and cuts right through the standard rhetoric to truth:
In modern America we believe racism to be the property of the uniquely villainous and morally deformed, the ideology of trolls, gorgons and orcs. We believe this even when we are actually being racist. In 1957, neighbors in Levittown, Pa., uniting under the flag of segregation, wrote: “As moral, religious and law-abiding citizens, we feel that we are unprejudiced and undiscriminating in our wish to keep our community a closed community.”
I frequently hear people say that art has no political power, that it is merely aesthetics and/or money. Many countries repress the power of art by punishing the artists. Here the dominant culture disparages art’s power and commoditize it and among other things turn it into a speculative consumer product. Nevertheless, art in our country can be politically powerful and these posters tell it all....read more
An elementary school teacher told a story to me once. I was still struggling to learn English, so over the course of the year I asked her often to retell the story.
Years ago in Alabama, the wife of a young preacher received a delivery of red carnations from her husband. They were beautiful, but as she touched them, she noticed they were artificial. When her husband came home, she asked about the flowers. He said, “I wanted to give you something that you could always keep.”...read more
Students want to start white supremacist groups on campus? Let ‘em (although I’m heartened to hear that they’re having trouble finding a faculty adviser). Encourage them to put that on their resumes. List the group membership on the campus website so that future employers know the kind of liability they’re opening themselves up to when they hire these little jerks in the future....read more
And by “tribes” he quite literally means black and brown people, who he believes are “unnaturally” contaminating America, and who the Republican party should in no way recognize or represent....read more
It’s not a new idea – we’ve certainly seen it raising its ugly head in media repeatedly, but it’s become popular again – the “flipped prejudice” fiction....read more