Archive for the ‘Race’ Category

I saw this video on the Slog. Harry Connick Jr. is a judge on the Australian Gong Show when the act that appears is in blackface. What does he do? If you can’t stand to watch the whole video, Harry’s commentary is first on 2:15 and then 5:25.

I remember watching a DVD commentary by Mira Nair for the film Monsoon Wedding. Nair was talking about how in some Bollywood films, blackface still makes an appearance.

Probably the most interesting commentary on blackface can be found in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled which I liked a lot. Here’s a trailer for the film.

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On the brink of pandering

I don’t know a lot about Tim Kaine, but I find this speech a little on the sleazy side:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine suggested on Tuesday that opposition from Republican senators to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor — along with the Republican National Committee’s failure to attend a major Latino-issue forum — will seriously hurt the party with Hispanic voters.

“I find it puzzling that a group with the great credentials of the Council of La Raza would invite both parties to send their chairmen and that the RNC didn’t send their chair,” Kaine told the Huffington Post in a brief phone interview. “They could have had somebody else here. And with the vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, with the exception of Senator Graham, every Republican voting against Judge Sotomayor, I just don’t get that as well.”

Of course, really everything he is saying is true, but why bring it up in this particular way in this forum? As a minority, this comes across to me as pandering. I want to hear actual content. Okay, so your a Democrat. What are you going to do for me other than talk? Give me your views of Latinos beyond how significant their votes are.

It has been argued in the past that the Democratic Party has taken advantage of the Black vote. Sure they talk the talk, but when it comes to actually creating noticeable change in our society, any programs that the Democrats have fostered don’t seem to be having a real affect. Look at the numbers of young black men in prison. I just don’t think Affirmative Action while pretty scarce these days is really having an affect, but it is a bone that the Democrats throw at the black community nonetheless.

Once again I have to say that as a minority, I just want we want to be treated equally. End of story. One of the most frustrating things is having people tell you how easy everything is for you because of your race. If the Republicans keep highlighting this falsehood, then the Democrats may never have to worry about losing the Latino vote. But nonetheless, I wish these guys highlighted our similarities more. How we are the same. How our needs are the same. And maybe one day we’ll get to the point when people aren’t just a vote. They’re just people.

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Balloon-Juice linked to this article from The New Republic regarding the arrest of Henry Louis Gates and I think it’s a good one.

Gates is Right–and We’re Not Post-Racial Until He’s Wrong

There is nothing glib to say, in any responsible sense, about Henry Louis Gates’ arrest last week, which is this week’s big race story. Its value is as an object lesson in why, with a black President, there remains a contingent convinced that America is still all about racism.

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Picture of the day


I’m going to have a hard time articulating this, as I often do, but I think this CNN picture and accompanying story is saying a lot by reinforcing negative African American stereotypes. So a pop star who is  so unhealthy no insurer would touch his London concert series dies, and Jesse Jackson wants answers.

I think we need to be honest about what much of white America thinks about Jesse Jackson. To them, he and Al Sharpton are the equivalent of ambulance chasers except instead of lawyers chasing accidents they are chasing any racial issue, sometimes creating racial issues, to cause an uproar. Hangers on. Always taking advantage of events to put themselves back in the spotlight.

And here we have this CNN picture. I think the picture says: There they are again. Notice the caption says “The Reverand Jesse Jackson, left, meets with Michael Jackson’s father, Joe, and another man Friday.” Look at how dodgy they look. What are they up to? And who is this other man? Up to no good, I’m sure.

The white America I mention above sees this and all of a sudden has all these negative feelings toward black America.  I’m having negative feelings toward Joe Jackson. I didn’t even like Michael Jackson, but it’s quite clear that his entire family, perhaps with the exception of Janet,  have been living off of him since he was 11 years old.  So to see Joe Jackson outraged, I can’t help but think he’s upset because his meal ticket, the one that he probably psychologically fucked up during childhood, has died. Joe was the one who set up these 50 concerts in the first place, which quite frankly probably pushed a man in an extremely weak condition over the edge. Anyway, this picture pisses me off. This story pisses me off. I mean can’t they interview Serena Williams again?

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Via ThinkProgress.


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Picture of the day

Just what could the Duke of Edinburgh be thinking right now? I’d love to know.

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When I read the hype about the cartoon, I assumed it was overblown. Then I saw it, and I couldn’t think of any meaning except to incite violence. That’s how I read it and I couldn’t fathom reading it in the way the cartoonist “intended.” I’m very glad to see Rupert Murdoch has now issued a real apology.

As the Chairman of the New York Post, I am ultimately responsible for what is printed in its pages. The buck stops with me.

Last week, we made a mistake. We ran a cartoon that offended many people. Today I want to personally apologize to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted.

Over the past couple of days, I have spoken to a number of people and I now better understand the hurt this cartoon has caused. At the same time, I have had conversations with Post editors about the situation and I can assure you — without a doubt — that the only intent of that cartoon was to mock a badly written piece of legislation. It was not meant to be racist, but unfortunately, it was interpreted by many as such.

It might behoove our crazy right Limbaugh fans to understand that most people don’t accidentally offend a distinct group of the population on a daily basis, and perhaps that if we did we might want to reflect on why that is. But then that’s assuming that any of this is an accident.

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