New America Media - 3 hours 14 min ago
Above: Victoria Castillo was denied opportunities for employment on multiple occassions because of criminal charges she incurred more than a decade ago, as a minor growing up in Merced, California.(photo: Alyssa Castro) Editor’s Note: Proposition 47 is a California... Victoria Castillo http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 20:17
In its statement today addressing, among other things, the racial bias characterized in its catcalling video, Hollaback! wrote that it is their "hope and intention that this video will be the start of a series to demonstrate that the type of harassment [Hollaback! is] concerned about is directed toward women of all races and ethnicities and conducted by an equally diverse population of men." The problem here is that harassment is not directed at women equally. The video itself, as well as the subsequent statement, perpetuate the practice of centering white women as universal victims--an American historical practice that leaves the disproportionate violence that women of color face relegated to oblivion.
Nearly 100 years before the United States even came into being, Mary Rowlandson published an account of what would become an 11-week long captivity by Natives in Massachusetts Bay Colony. There's no doubt that Rowlandson's ordeal was horrific--she was taken from her home and family during King Phillip's War and into capture for 11 weeks by Natives whom she repeatedly described as barbaric savages. The irony, however, is that by centering herself as the pure white woman who required protection, Rowlandson conveniently avoided questioning her own presence as an early settler on Native land. She also failed to ever address the racialized ways in which Algonquian women were not only captured, but also raped by white settlers as a practice of war. Rowlandson's publication became the first bestseller in the Americas--and inscribed the need to protect women from men of color in what would soon become the United States. Not all women, however. Just white ones. Rowlandson's narrative was one way in which the protection of white womanhood became one of the most American of pastimes.
Several miles south and several centuries later, another white woman has been placed at the center of a narrative about danger at the hands of men of color. Her narrative echoes Rowlandson's narrative and inspires a similar disgust at the men who harass her--conveniently mostly men of color since the white men were admittedly edited out of the footage. The attention this video has garnered shouldn't surprise us: Again, the desire to protect white women is one of the most American of pastimes. And, by creating this video, Hollaback! fails to address the racialized way in which women of color--and trans women of color in particular--are not only harassed, but also sometimes killed on the street for daring to exist.
Hollaback! claims that this is the start of a series of videos. It wouldn't be a novel idea to do so, however. Surveillance video capturing the shooting and killing of a black trans woman in East Hollywood, California, made a few headlines in the Los Angeles area--but remains invisible when compared to the 17 million views (and counting) the Hollaback! video has garnered. The black trans woman who was shot and killed has a name, yet I don't know it because the story's been so obscured, it's disappeared, along with her identity.
Rather than creating new videos that tokenize the reality that women of color face, Hollaback! might do better to think about de-centering whiteness in its analysis. Focusing on white women's safety doesn't do much to protect Latina women like me--and it does less to protect black trans women, who face excessive violence in public. Thinking and acting upon ways in which to protect trans women of color, however, automatically makes the rest of us safer by default. Doing so means creating narratives that revolve around the most vulnerable among us.
New America Media - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 17:06
English??????? ??? ??? ???? ??? ???? ?? ??, UN ???? ??? ??? ?? ??? ????? ???? 12? 1? ?? 1? 9? ?? ???? ????? ??? ??? ???. ??? ???? ??? ??? ???? ?? UCSF ?? ? ??? ???? ???? ????.Q: ???... Laura Kurtzman http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 16:20
For the past couple of days I've been thinking about that video. You know the one that follows a 20-something white woman as she walks around New York City for 10 hours and receives a bunch of commentary and demands from men she doesn't know. The video is effective. It really does lay bare the amount of annoying, passive aggressive, creepy, presumptuous and pointless shit men on the street say to women who are simply going about their day. Two guys even follow the woman in the video conveying the physical danger that street harassment can lead to. In theory, I'm all for this teaching tool. But I have a couple of issues with it that I can't ignore.
The first: About 99 percent of the men bothering the woman in the video are black and Latino.
Until today I avoided pointing that out. Frankly, I was afraid that I was allowing my feelings of race-based shame and the bitter legacy of the Scottsboro Boys to trump the discomfort and fear that this woman clearly feels walking down the street.
But then I saw Hanna Rosin's piece in Slate. She points out that white men did, in fact, harass the woman in the video. They just didn't make the cut:
The video is a collaboration between Hollaback!, an anti-street harassment organization, and the marketing agency Rob Bliss Creative. At the end they claim the woman experienced 100-plus incidents of harassment "involving people of all backgrounds." Since that obviously doesn't show up in the video, Bliss addressed it in a post. He wrote, "We got a fair amount of white guys, but for whatever reason, a lot of what they said was in passing, or off camera," or was ruined by a siren or other noise. The final product, he writes, "is not a perfect representation of everything that happened." That may be true but if you find yourself editing out all the catcalling white guys, maybe you should try another take.
So as it turns out, the racial politics of this video really are as clueless as the final product suggests. And that is tiresome. Why is it so hard to understand--before a bunch of women of color make this point on the Internet--that by editing out the white guys, you're telling a dangerous lie of omission and implying that black and brown men are particularly predatory?
Today, Emily May, the founder of Hollaback!, did address the race issue:
Rob Bliss Creative donated time and labor to create this video and support our work. We are grateful for his work and the wide reach that this video has achieved but we feel the need to directly address other responses to the video. First, we regret the unintended racial bias in the editing of the video that over represents men of color. Although we appreciate Rob's support, we are committed to showing the complete picture. It is our hope and intention that this video will be the start of a series to demonstrate that the type of harassment we're concerned about is directed toward women of all races and ethnicities and conducted by an equally diverse population of men.
I feel her, and I acknowledge that Rob Bliss Creative, the agency that made the video, had creative control. But I am tired of race being the afterthought. I'm sick of being the second or third or 80th woman in the series, the one who has to say, "Yoo hoo, we're here! You can't do sexism without racism because the default is always a white, straight woman."
"Intersectionality" is a thing. I wish people would look it up on Wikipedia.
The second issue I have with the video is that it characterizes all of the men's behavior as the same. So "hello," a demand for gratitude, and following the woman all carry the same weight.
I get it. Street encounters have a cumulative effect. If you're like me and you've had a man throw juice on you, or call you an ugly black bitch with a flat ass, or try to push you in the street when you tell him to stop following you, or asks you at age 11 if you know how to "ride" because you're bowlegged, dark and pigeon-toed, then unsolicited hellos can be threatening.
But here's where it gets messy for me: At this age (middle) and in this place (black Brooklyn, mostly), I don't mind when a man says hello. I detest and ignore "You should smile more," "Can I go?", "Sexy walk, ma," and "Your husband is lucky." But I'm not mad at "Hey beautiful," "Have a blessed day" or "You look nice today." I'm not supposed to say that, I know. Maybe I have sexism Stockholm Syndrome and I'm suffering from silly fantasies of being asked to dance to Luther Vandross by a Don Cheadle clone at the palace ball. But this my lived experience--and that doesn't always line up with my political beliefs.
As writers including Jamilah Lemieux have amply explained, street harassment is a serious problem. Finding a universal remedy is impossible, and I commend the women and men who are doing this work. But the devil is in the details and this viral video is missing some key details.
Colorlines - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 16:10
We've covered Brooklyn-based artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh before, but her work is worth revisiting in light of the controversy that's swirling around a new video that depicts street harassment faced by women in New York City. The video, which was released by anti street harassment group Hollaback and marketing agency Robert Bliss Creative, shows a seemingly white woman walking along Manhattan streets and being approached by several men of color -- interestingly, all of the white men were edited out. Roxane Gay quipped on Twitter: "The racial politics of the video are fucked up. Like, she didn't walk through any white neighborhoods?"
For the past few years, Fazlalizadeh has taken her message against street harassment across the country, opening up discussions about sexism and racism.
New America Media - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 11:33
read in EnglishEn 1999, para esta época del año, yo estaba colgando pancartas tipo cartelera en los pasos elevados de las autopistas, con un montón de gente que acababa de conocer esa mañana. En los carteles se leía "No a... Por: Raj Jayadev; Traducido por Jenny Manrique Cortés http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 11:00
Dara Silverman spends a lot of her time talking to other white folks about race. After Obama's 2008 election win brought with it an uptick in reported bias incidents, the upstate New Yorker says that Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) formed to encourage white people to both partner with communities of color on their racial justice issues and, crucially, to enlist whites in their own neighborhoods to join the struggle*. On November 15 at Facing Race, the biennial conference held by Colorlines' publisher, Race Forward, you can catch Silverman talking about how white people can convince more of their counterparts to show up for racial justice. Colorlines recently talked to Silverman about law enforcement, local organizing and the end of racism.
If the goal is to end racism, why can't non-whites just organize with each other? Why do we need white people to help end racism?
For SURJ, what we're working towards is racial equity. We want institutional structures to change so that more people can benefit and [we want people] to recognize the historical bias that's kept communities of color from being able to [equitably] access education, housing, healthcare and so on. [But] I think the system limits white people, too. We're constricted in certain roles and expectations and into having power that sometimes isn't even beneficial. I'm Jewish and I have a pretty strong connection to Judaism ... but for many white people, they've lost their connection to where they've come from. I think that white people have, in the process of gaining privilege, lost what it means to be a part of a community. And for us to move to a society where more people have power and privilege, we need white people to see their stake in changing the system. A society where everyone has more access to housing, healthcare and education is actually going to be better for white people as well. We will have fuller richer lives when we get there. Not that I don't think we're going to get there in my lifetime! [Laughs.] But you know, that doesn't mean we don't struggle for it!
What's one example of how white people's involvement helped change the game on a racial justice issue?
One of the affiliates that we worked with, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (where I also used to work), had a long-term campaign with groups that are organizing domestic workers. One result of that was that New York passed the first bill of rights in the country for domestic workers. You'll hear people from National Domestic Workers Alliance talk about how [organizing white] employers really shifted the way they do their work. They realized, "Oh, there isn't just one group of people impacted by this"--meaning the employees. "It's the employers as well." So [our partnership] expanded the lens to say we all have a stake in doing racial justice work, and we need to figure out the right way to engage people of privilege as well as the people who are targeted or oppressed.
How do you find people? Is SURJ a self-selected group? Are you walking into all white suburbs and recruiting anyone who'll listen?
Good question. We're an all-volunteer organization. A lot of it depends on people self-generating and taking action in places like Louisville, Tucson, Portland or Bellingham, Washington. In Louisville recently, the police were targeting a number of black youth in an area by the waterfront. Louisville SURJ partnered with other groups to meet with police and to try to create different standards around conduct and expectations. We also partner with faith-based groups like United Methodist Women, which has a racial justice commission. We've done trainings at their bigger conference and also worked to move from having educational seminars to members actually engaging in local immigrant rights campaigns, against police brutality or for fair funding of schools. It really depends on what's going on where you live.
What are the top don'ts when you go out to recruit whites for a particular racial justice effort?
Don't assume that you know everything about the issue. Ask questions--and really listen. Don't compare the situation to other situations that you have more experience in. Be open to the local circumstances and to what people of color on the ground are saying. But at the same time, don't downplay your experience or ability to work in white communities either.
Well, I think the world we live in centers whiteness all the time; I don't think it needs to be re-centered. In every magazine, every ad--it's very rare that people of color will be at the center. For me it's about acknowledging that whiteness is centered and then asking, "As white people, what do we have the power to do given that we have that [privileged] voice?" I've been in many situations, for example, where people will listen to me differently compared to an organizer of color who's in the same group. That person could say something and everyone will ignore it. I'll say the same thing and everyone will say, "Oh, that's a great idea!" That [privileging] also happens institutionally in terms of the jobs that people get, the positions they hold and the policies that institutions set. So as a white woman, I can recognize that and say, "OK, where are the places that I can try to shift that power and partner with people of color to do that?"
How did you arrive at this work of recruiting whites to organize around racial justice and act as ambassadors in their own communities?
Years ago in Massachusetts I worked with a great organization, Neighbor to Neighbor MA, that had some mentorship from a white community college professor, Dan Gilbarg. He really taught me the crucial role that white people could play in racial and economic justice struggles using the privilege and access we have. I began to explore what my community as a white Jew was, and a few years later I became the director of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice in New York.
Finish this sentence: If white Americans by and large accepted that white privilege exists then...
... white people would be able to acknowledge the losses that have happened through the process of assimilation, and the power that can be gained through working in partnership and collaboration with communities of color--and in self determination for communities of color.
- Post has been updated since publication to reflect that Dara Silverman is on the leadership team of SURJ but is not a founder.
Colorlines - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 09:18
Are you worried that your Halloween costume may be a little bit racist? Don't be this person. Or these folks. The good folks at College Humor found this handy little flowchart so you don't make an asshole out of yourself this year. And, if you're wondering, there are ways to dress up as a person from a different race and not be a jerk.
(h/t Angry Asian Man)
Colorlines - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 07:18
Here's what I'm reading up on this morning:
- Kaci Hickox DGAF about the quarantine she's been placed under in Maine.
- Israel condemns Sweden's recognition of the Palestinian state.
- Nidaa Tounes, Tunisia's new secularist party, takes the country's Parliament.
- It's unclear whether there's an end in sight for lava's flow on Hawaii's big island.
- Apple's Tim Cook pens an essay revealing that he's gay, says he's looking to diversify (whites and Asians currently make up at least 70 percent of the company's workforce; men also make up 70 percent of the workforce):
- The GDP hits 3.5 percent--better than expected for the third quarter.
- Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve proffers a pretty positive look on the labor market.
- They may never be Royals, but the Giants take their third World Series in five years.
- The Weather Channel issues a statement confirming that global warming is real after co-founder John Coleman calls climate change a myth on network television.
New America Media - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 01:00
Traducción al españolIn 1999, about this time of the year, I was hanging billboard-size banners off freeway overpasses with a bunch of people I just met that morning. The spray-painted bedsheets read “No on Prop 21!” and “Stop Criminalizing Youth... Raj Jayadev http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 12:46
East Oakland has a reputation as one of America's most violent neighborhoods. It's where a great deal of the city's murders happen every year, a trend that's earned it the dubious name the "Kill Zone." Castlemont high school is in this area. It has a proud football tradition that's taken a big hit in recent years due to the violence that's kept many of the neighborhood's kids from enrolling.
But Grit Media caught up with Ed Washington, a proud Castlemont alumn who's trying to rebuild the program and, along with it, students' committment to their community. Already, Washington's team is meeting some success: After going winless over the past three season, the team's overall record currently stands at 2-5.
Colorlines - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 09:03
In the middle of touring with Brother Ali on the "Home Away From Home" tour, L.A.-raised, Oakland-based Filipino rapper Bambu just dropped a new album called "Party Worker." He raised nearly $40,000 for the album on Kickstarter and kept fans connected to the production process throughout most of last spring. The new video for the track "Minimum Wage" was directed, edited and animated by filmmaker Paco Raterta in Manila and shot by "Welcome to the Party" director/editor, Kevin Vea. It looks at everyday life in the Philippines and follows one group of workers as they try to make ends meet.
Colorlines - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 08:55
Brooklyn-based M.C. and high school teacher J-Live just dropped what Okayplayer called his "most meaningful and heartfelt track ever." The song is called "I Am a Man" and takes aim at police brutality. It's also the latest song from his new LP "Around the Sun," available on Bandcamp. Check out the new track below.
Colorlines - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 08:40
Funk music pioneer George Clinton will be in conversation with Questlove tonight at 6:30pm at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. From the Schomburg:The funk musician George Clinton shares stories about his life and career on the occasion of the publication of his new book, ["] Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You? A Memoir.["] Clinton will be in conversation with the Roots' drummer, DJ, writer, and producer Questlove. Grammy award-winning artist George Clinton was the mastermind behind Parliament and Funkadelic, the two bands that virtually defined the funk genre. Clinton began recording solo in 1981, and has earned widespread recognition for his contributions to the music world.
Colorlines - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 07:42
From "How to Get Away With Murder" and "Black-ish" and "Jane The Virgin" and "Cristela," racial diversity on network television is paying big dividends for industry execs. According to Deadline:
Both ABC's HTGAWM and Black-ishare helped by strong lead-ins -Scandal and Modern Family, respectively. Still, HIGAWM has excelled, surpassing Scandal as well as NBC's The Blacklist to rank as the highest-rated drama on television by a wide margin, averaging a 5.7 rating among adults 18-49 through three weeks of Live+7 numbers. That should be gratifying for star Viola Davis, who recently lamented the marginalizing of darker-skin black actresses like herself who usually are relegated to bit parts in movies and TV.
Read more at Deadline.
Colorlines - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 07:34
Here's what I'm reading up on this morning:
- NASA's Antares rocket launch ends in utter catastrophe, raising questions about the future of the space agency's commercial spaceflight program.
- Some 80 Peshmerga fighters arrive in Turkey from Iraq to fight IS.
- At least 16 people are dead and at least 300 are missing following a massive landslide in Sri Lanka.
- Remember Ebola Czar Ron Klain? He's seemed to all but disappear a week into the job.
- Is the news you read news or simply a fake story written and published by the F.B.I. in an attempt to capture a 15-year-old child suspected of making threats?
- Markets respond positively to the Fed's set plan to end quantitative easing, or Q.E.--a turnaround in reaction from last year. There are a couple of pretty good Q.E. explainers if you want to find out more.
- Check out Marvel's upcoming films--which include the first black solo superhero, Black Panther.
- Google is developing a pill that would essentially place nanoparticles into your bloodstream in order to detect cancer, heart attacks and more.
New America Media - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 00:45
SAN FRANCISCO -- Last week, 15 school districts across California began serving their students school lunches made from foods grown in California and prepared freshly just for them.“We are going beyond the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act,” said Jennifer LeBarre, executive... Viji Sundaram http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=68
New America Media - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 00:10
Photo: Shown above is the grave of Daniel Lugo, who died in April of this year. (Courtesy of Danielle Lugo)Part 1. Read Part 2 here.LOS ANGELES--When Daniel Lugo III was diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer in December 2011, his... Nancy Martinez http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 13:22
A growing fast-food chain is under scrutiny in Colorado.
Illegal Pete's--a burrito chain that opened its first location in Boulder in 1995--is set to open its seventh location in Fort Collins on November 13. But some Fort Collins residents are calling the use of "illegal" in the name of the Mexican chain racist.
Antonette Aragón, a professor at Colorado State University, was one of about 30 people who spoke with chain owner Pete Turner at a community meeting last week. "When you use this term [illegal] it has a power and is very disturbing," says Aragón of why she participated in the discussion. "It's disturbing in the sense that it's racist and continues the status quo."
Turner says that although he sometimes felt uncomfortable hearing people's concerns, he felt great about the meeting because it was done in good faith. "People's feelings are always valid," he says.
Those feelings have also been expressed on social media, as well as in private and open letters addressed to Turner. In a letter published on Coloradoan, professor Antero Garcia explained the historical context in which people object to the restaurant's name:
The restaurant will be located in the same area that current Fort Collins residents remember often seeing signs saying "No dogs or Mexicans." It is under this legacy of American racist practices that the name Illegal Pete's becomes unacceptable. I understand that this may not seem fair to you -- as it may not be the origin of the name. However, the slippery nature of sociocultural context in the United States is something that cannot be dictated by us as individuals -- they are a part of a culture of white supremacy that we remain entrenched within and which your restaurant's name furthers.
The chain's owner stresses that the name--which he says he took from a novel he read in college--was never meant to be a commentary on anything to do with immigration or race.
"There was no intent [with the name]," says Turner, who adds that he wanted customers to be intrigued by an edgy-sounding name and draw their own conclusions about it.
Turner does concede that one of the images on the restaurant's website (see above)--which features his first employee, Orlando, with a black bar over his eyes--could be seen as linking crime to Latino people. He says he plans to take the image down soon and replace it with a similar image of himself or non-Latino employees.
But for people like Aragón, Turner's intent is hardly what's at stake.
"[Turner] is saying his intent is meaningless. But what's the interpretation that people are taking this as?" she asks.
Meanwhile, both Aragón and Turner have been alarmed by explicit racists who are siding with the restaurant's name--using what's, so far, been a conversation where two sides have started a dialogue and turning it into fodder for hateful commentary.
Turner told Colorlines that he's already made a decision and says that if he does drop "illegal," it won't be limited to the new location. "I'd have to change the entire thing," says Turner. "[There've] been 20 years of branding and a lot to consider here." Turner says he will share his decision with critics first, and then he will announce it to the public by Wednesday of next week.
Colorlines - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 12:26
New York City visual artist Sophia Dawson decided to pay her respects to black and Latino mothers who lost their sons to police and extra-judicial violence. In a new mural called "Every Mother's Son" on the Lower East Side, Dawson honors Kadiatou Diallou, Mamie Till, Constance Malcolm, Margarita Rosario, Gwen Carr, Lesley McSpadden and Iris Baez.
Dawson told Ideal Glass:
My art is a tool to bring people from different ethnicities, social statuses, beliefs and backgrounds together, to educate them and to develop a dialogue between them and the characters I depict. I want to highlight the significance of these figures and the relevance of their struggle today. They have been intentionally excluded from mainstream American History and their stories must not be forgotten... I always start working from black, as a conscious artistic exercise but also as a statement: it represents my opposition to the art education I received in institutions where I was taught that art had to begin on a 'pure and white' surface.
Last night we rapped at about midnight. Please stop by 22 East 2nd Street btw Bowery and Second Ave. from now through November to visit the "Every Mother's Son" mural. Featuring portraits of some of the mothers who have lost their children to police brutality and racism in this country. Thank you to all who came out to help @maatmoon @loukster @cheeks__xox @raytion @sarebear329 and to all that shared words of encouragement while we worked. Standing in front of Constance Malcolm (mother of Ramarley Graham) and Margarita Rosario (mother of Anthony Garcia) ????
A photo posted by Sophia (@iamwetpaint) on Oct 10, 2014 at 11:04am PDT
A photo posted by Sophia (@iamwetpaint) on Oct 10, 2014 at 11:57am PDT
(h/t For Harriet)
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