firecat: uhura making a scary hand gesture (uhura nichelle nicolls)
Kiera Wilmot is a 16 year old black girl who attends high school in Florida. While at school (not during school hours) she engaged in an extracurricular chemistry experiment that produces a small explosion and some smoke. No one was injured and no property was damaged. She was expelled from school and will now have to attend an expulsion program. She was also arrested and charged with two felonies ("discharging a weapon on school grounds").

Rocket Boys: A Memoir is a book about some white teenage boys in a coalmining town in the late 1950s. They build and test rockets. Their first attempts cause property damage, but many of the adults they know help them. They win a science fair. The author and protagonist of Rocket Boys became a NASA engineer. The book, according to Wikipedia, "is studied in many American and international school systems."

Wikipedia claims: "According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) non-Hispanic blacks accounted for 39.4% of the total prison and jail population in 2009. According to the 2010 census of the US Census Bureau blacks (including Hispanic blacks) comprised 13.6% of the US population."

http://www.change.org/petitions/polk-county-school-district-don-t-expel-kiera-wilmot

https://www.change.org/petitions/polk-county-state-s-attorney-drop-felony-charges-against-16-year-old-kiera-wilmot

http://raniakhalek.com/2013/05/02/prosecutor-behind-kiera-wilmot-arrest-filed-no-charges-for-white-teen-who-killed-little-brother/

http://www.policymic.com/articles/39061/kiera-wilmot-arrest-racial-inequality-arises-from-a-science-project-gone-wrong

"Would a White Girl Be Prosecuted for a Botched Science Experiment?">

http://hiphopandpolitics.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/the-case-around-fla-teen-kiera-wilmot-is-part-of-a-bigger-more-disturbing-pattern/

"Kiera Wilmot's School Expulsion Is Racist"

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/06/education/black-students-face-more-harsh-discipline-data-shows.html (This one is not specifically about Kiera Wilmot, it's from 2012.)

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/urban-scientist/2013/05/01/florida-teen-charged-with-felony-for-trying-science/ "I can’t name a single scientist or engineer, who hadn’t blown up, ripped apart, disassembled something at home or otherwise cause a big ruckus at school all in the name of curiosity, myself included." --DNLee, a biologist and animal behaviorist (one of a few black women who didn't manage to get the science harrassed out of them).

http://www.policymic.com/articles/39381/kiera-wilmot-how-her-arrest-and-expulsion-exposes-americas-racial-discipline-gap
firecat: gorilla with arms folded looking stern (unamused)
This is not OK.

http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2013/04/19/aclu-discovers-illegal-debtors-prisons-in-ohio/

Excerpts:
A new report by the ACLU reveals that “debtors’ prisons” in Ohio. The phrase refers to the practice of imprisoning someone for the failure to pay fines. This practice is in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Still, people who can’t afford to pay fines issued in response to traffic violations or misdemeanors are being routinely imprisoned in at least 7 out of 11 counties studied.
...
An investigation found that as many as 22% of the bookings in Huron were for failure to pay a fine, usually coded as “contempt.” Typically this resulted in a 10 day incarceration. The state would then charge them fees related to being jailed, making it even more unlikely that a person would be able to pay.
The ACLU report referred to:
http://www.acluohio.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/TheOutskirtsOfHope2013_04.pdf
More reports and quotes )
firecat: hothead saying "feh" "muh" "nist" (feh muh nist)
There was a controversy at Pycon 2013 in which a woman of color tweeted a complaint about the language some men were using. As a result, she and one of the men lost their jobs, and she's getting a metric gigaton of harrassment, which is still ongoing.

This op-ed says IMHO all the right things about it. I'm mostly putting it here so I can find it later.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/deannazandt/2013/03/22/why-asking-what-adria-richards-could-have-done-differently-is-the-wrong-question/


The situation is well summarized here:

http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/PyCon_2013_forking_and_dongles_incident


I'm not really in the mood to argue about whether the forbes op-ed is right, so I might be wielding an arbitrary ax in the comments section.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
...and the XKCD "Umwelt" cartoon, which looks different in different browsers, different countries, etc.

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/google-ads-may-be-racially-biased-professor-says-1C8369538
A professor at Harvard University believes she’s uncovered evidence that race is sometimes used to determine which ads you see when you go online.

Based on thousands of searches, Latanya Sweeney, who runs the university’s Data Privacy Lab, concludes in a recent paper that there is “discrimination” based on race in the delivery of certain ads.

She found that Google searches using names that sounded black (Latanya) turned up strikingly different ads than when the search was done for a name that’s more typically considered white (Adam).
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
via [personal profile] jae, who describes it as "A piece from the New York Times about the damning influence of social class on success at university in the U.S., even among those with intellectual and scholarship resources."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/education/poor-students-struggle-as-class-plays-a-greater-role-in-success.html
SAT coaches were once rare, even for families that could afford them. Now they are part of a vast college preparation industry.
Certainly as the payoff to education has grown — college graduates have greatly widened their earnings lead — affluent families have invested more in it. They have tripled the amount by which they outspend low-income families on enrichment activities like sports, music lessons and summer camps, according to Professor Duncan and Prof. Richard Murnane of Harvard.
...
The idea that education can be “selfish” — a belief largely alien among the upper-middle class — is one poor students often confront, even if it remains unspoken."
This seems kind of victim-blamey and armchair-psychologizing (discussing a woman who had problems with financial aid at her college and ended up being suspended):
Ms. Newton, Angelica’s former supervisor at the library, wondered if her conflict went beyond money, to a fear of the very success she sought. “I wouldn’t go as far as to say she was committing self-sabotage, but the thought crossed my mind,” she said. “For someone so connected to family and Grandma and the tamales, I wondered if she feared that graduating would alienate her.”

Django

5 Jan 2013 01:53 am
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
http://whiteseducatingwhites.tumblr.com/post/39365279657/whiteness-unchained-when-a-national-shame-becomes-camp

This article makes Django look like The Help with extra torture scenes. (I haven't seen it, but I'm OK with spoilers in the comments.)

1 Nov 2012 12:14 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
A former judge criticizes the US justice process in ways I find compelling.

http://cognoscenti.wbur.org/2012/09/04/criminal-justice-media-nancy-gertner
"The Media's Reporting On Justice Is Criminal" by Nancy Gertner
We lead the world in imprisonment not just by a little — but by several orders of magnitude. Our nearest competitors are Rwanda and China, hardly good company. And the racial figures are even worse: At the end of 2010, black men had an incarceration rate of 3,059 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S. black male residents. This rate was almost seven times higher than the incarceration rate for white men (456 per 100,000).

and, discussing a case of DUI that resulted in deaths,
[Massachusetts sentencing] guidelines were established by a Sentencing Commission consisting of prosecutors, defense counsel, public safety and correctional officials, and victim-witness advocates. And the judge accompanied the sentence with an elaborate recitation of the reasons for the sentence — on the record and in public.

The prosecutor cannot be so monitored. He picks a number and does not have to explain it, beyond justifying it in the particular case. There are no public, transparent guidelines for prosecutors, no Sentencing Commission, no standards. He cannot be easily reviewed to see if he is biased, choosing mandatory minimums for defendants of color more than for those who are white, or simply going with his gut.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Wiscon panel report: Class, Culture, and Values in SF&F
Tracks: Reading, Viewing, and Critiquing Science Fiction (Power, Privilege, and Oppression)

Description:
Class isn't just how much money you have or what work you do; it also involves cultural beliefs, values, and attitudes that are expressed in how you talk, what you do in your free time, and all sorts of less tangible elements. (See Barbara Jensen's book Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in America, due out in mid-May.) The SF&F writing and fannish communities are mainly middle-class folks, which makes the class values of SF&F works mostly middle class, too. What works and creators explore classes outside the mainstream, white, European, middle-class value systems? What class markers tend to show up most, or least, often? Do these works show the non-middle classes positively? negatively? realistically?

Panelists:
Moderator: Debbie Notkin
Eleanor A. Arnason
Alyc Helms
Danielle Henderson
Rose Lemberg

[My notes aren't a complete transcription and may represent my own language rather than the actual words of the panelists. I welcome corrections. I did not identify all audience commenters by name. If you said something I paraphrased here and want your name to be used, please comment or send me a private message.]

[The book mentioned in the panel description, Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in America by Barbara Jensen, is available at http://cornellpress.cornell.edu/ For a 20% discount use promo code CAU6.]
Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Body Acceptance: From All Sides
Track: Feminism and Other Social Change Movements

Panel description
Body love movements have been gaining momentum recently, but for many people on the margins, the discourse needs to be expanded. The current movement of body love fails to account for persons with disabilities, people of color, trans and gender nonconforming people, pregnant and postpartum people, and fat people, among many others. We aim to discuss how (and in some cases, whether) body love and acceptance apply beyond a purely gendered analysis and expand to nonnormative bodies.

Panelists:
Julie Hayes
s.e. smith
Tanya D.
E. Cabell Hankinson Gathman
Mary Ann Mohanraj
Moderator - Annie D Chen

Twitter hash tag: #BodyAcceptance

I have a paraphrased transcript of this panel, and will post it on request, but that doesn't seem like the most helpful way to present the good stuff about this panel. 

I also tried to write it up by making a list of all the inappropriate assumptions mentioned that people make about each other's bodies and attitudes, but that just depressed me after I had gotten to 22 items (which wasn't all of them). 

So here are my general thoughts and notes.
Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
This was painful to read but I thought it was worth it. And the writer is correct with respect to me—I had no idea that's what he did.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/29/1011562/-Most-of-you-have-no-idea-what-Martin-Luther-King-actually-did

Excerpts (emphasis in the original post):
...this is what the great Dr. Martin Luther King accomplished. Not that he marched, nor that he gave speeches.

He ended the terror of living as a black person, especially in the south.

I'm guessing that most of you, especially those having come fresh from seeing "The Help," may not understand what this was all about. But living in the south (and in parts of the mid west and in many ghettos of the north) was living under terrorism.
violence trigger warning )
firecat: uhura making a scary hand gesture (uhura nichelle nicolls)
Subject line is a quote from Animal Farm by George Orwell. I'm referencing the "but some...are more equal" part, not attempting to insult any humans or any subset of humans by comparing them to animals.

I find this post upsetting: http://e-moon60.livejournal.com/335480.html
There was a lot of excellent critique in the comments to that post, but now the comments have been deleted, so I want to make my critique public. I'm only addressing a couple of bits.

Moon writes:
the business of a citizen is the welfare of the nation

I think the business of a human being is the welfare of other human beings and nonhuman life and the planet in general. (Other parts of the universe seem relatively protected from harm by us, so far.)

Insofar as the concepts of "citizen" and "nation" conflict with the above (for example, by encouraging the attitude "WE are good and THEY are bad, therefore THEIR welfare isn't worth our consideration"), I'm not in favor of those concepts.

Moon writes:
A group must grasp that if its non-immigrant members somewhere else are causing people a lot of grief (hijacking planes and cruise ships, blowing up embassies, etc.) it is going to have a harder row to hoe for awhile, and it would be prudent (another citizenly virtue) to a) speak out against such things without making excuses for them and b) otherwise avoid doing those things likely to cause offence.

How does "a group" get defined? Moon is arguing that the proposed Park51 development is "likely to cause offence" due to the terrorist attacks in New York on 9/11/01. She defines a group called "Muslims" that includes both the developers and the terrorists. But I would guess that a lot of Muslims don't think they should be lumped into the same group as the terrorists.

The group "monotheists" also includes both those developers and those terrorists. So would it be prudent of Christians to scrap their plans for monotheist cultural centers in case the plans offend people? Is it incumbent upon them all to say "As a monotheist, I think it's wrong for monotheists to attack the WTC"? If they aren't expected to do this, why not?

Then there's the phrase "likely to cause offence." To me the wording implies that offense is an independent entity or thing. It's not. It's a human mental/emotional state, based on beliefs. Wherever you have offendedness, you have some humans who believe certain things. But note that the phrase doesn't mention which humans are offended and doesn't mention what their beliefs are.

Moon writes:
they should have been able to predict that this would upset a lot of people.

So Moon is creating a set of people and labeling them as "other," as "immigrants," and associating them with the acts of a terrorist organization. Then she is arguing that the people so labeled have the following civic responsibilities: (a) understand that some people in the country they live in lump them in with terrorists and mistakenly consider them all immigrants; (b) come to an agreement about which of those people to avoid offending; (c) come to an agreement about what behaviors will "upset a lot of people"; and (d) all avoid those behaviors.

I think those are unreasonable expectations. Especially when they are NOT paired with the expectation that other citizens have a duty either to educate themselves about the groups they consider "other," or to leave them alone.

I don't expect everyone to agree with my opinion, but since this is a sensitive subject, I expect civility in the comments to this post. I reserve the right to moderate/delete/freeze comments/threads if I think there's trouble brewing.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
For a long time I agreed with Roger Ebert's movie reviews often enough that all I had to do to decide whether a movie was worth seeing was glance at a few lines of his review. But it seems I've been disagreeing with him a lot more lately.

On the one hand, I enjoy mindless action flicks more than he does. (E.g., I enjoyed X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Star Trek. He seemed to dislike them, although his reviews were pretty funny.) I wouldn't stop trusting him for that reason, though.

On the other hand, it's now apparent I can't necessarily trust him for reviews of serious movies either, at least not ones with race as a theme. This disappoints me because it has seemed to me in the past that Ebert is a little more clueful about race than most professional movie reviewers. But at this point we seem to be working from different perspectives.

The OH and I watched Monster's Ball tonight. The movie was extremely well-acted (Halle Berry, who played Leticia, won an Oscar for Best Actress) but we were REALLY MAD about the ending. Since we had decided to watch it based on Ebert's 4-star review, I went back to Ebert's review to see where things went wrong.

major spoilers )

I should have looked on the Wikipedia page for the movie because it mentioned that some folks had been critical:
Esther Iverem, SeeingBlack.com editor and film critic, stated that..."Ultimately, Monster's Ball uses the legacy of racism in an unconvincing manner to belittle its impact, and its historical and present-day consequences" ("Not All of Us Are Oscar Happy" by Esther Iverem)
which accurately describes how I felt about it, in the context of the ending.

I am glad that reading the wikipedia article led me to discover http://seeingblack.com. It looks interesting.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Awesome summary of what one white person has learned in conversations about race.

http://synecdochic.dreamwidth.org/313918.html

Lazy IBARW

9 Aug 2008 10:55 am
firecat: blue bubble background with text "white privilege: you're soaking in it" (white privilege)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sparkymonster and [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5 for providing me with fodder for Blog Against Racism week.

1. List 5 things which are basic common knowledge in your culture, which people outside are unfamiliar with. This is not about obscurity, but something everyday to you, that others go "bzuh?" at.
Hm. First I would have to know what my culture is. I was raised in Michigan as a WASP, which means that a lot of my culture of origin is pretty mainstream and people in other cultures, at least in the US, are expected to know about it. In order to get to things that others go "bzuh" about, I need to talk about subcultures that I now belong to - queer, poly, fat activist, SF fandom, geek.
--Queer: Most queer people I know are conversant with the terms "butch" and "femme," although there's certainly little agreement what the terms mean. Many folks who don't know much about the queer community don't understand those terms.
--Poly: The concept of polyamory is not really known in the mainstream. The part of it that mainstream people seem to have the hardest time with is the part where people actually know about each other's other partners, rather than the multiple relationships being kept hidden.
--Fat activist: We call ourselves fat because it is descriptive and we consider the terms overweight and obese to be offensive or misleading. People outside this subculture are confused because they think "fat" is offensive and the other terms are "kinder."
--SF fandom: In this subculture, it is considered polite and appropriate in conversation to correct another person's mistake. In mainstream culture, a lot of people consider it rude to do this.
--Geek: Glasses are considered sexy. (Kind of a lame example. I'm finding it hard to come up with a better one.)

2. What was the last book you read that was written by a person who is a different race than you? Do you seek out books written by people of other races? Why? Why not?
I recently listened to the audiobook Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. A few months ago I read Dark Reflections by Samuel R Delaney. I mostly read books by white people, but I do sometimes seek out SF&F by people of color. If they are writing about their culture, I want to learn about it. And regardless of whether they are writing about their culture, I want more authors of color to be published. Some publishers are reluctant to publish works by authors of color or who belong to (US) minority cultures, because they assume that white people won't want to read such works. There's a tendency for mainstream culture to pigeonhole such writers and assume that they will only write about how they are different and that their works will only appeal to other people like them. The former is not true, and it would be nice if the latter were not true either.

I make more of an effort to seek out movies and documentaries by people of color than I do to seek out books -- I usually really enjoy them and it seems there are a lot of really talented people of color in the film industry.

3. What did you eat at dinner last night? Would you call it ethnic food? Why?
I ate a veggie burrito at a restaurant that serves Mexican and Caribbean food. I guess burritos are considered ethnic food in the US. (At least I am aware of a concept of "American food" that includes only hamburgers, sandwiches made with bread, and meat+potatoes entrees; everything else is considered "ethnic"). On the other hand, taquerias around here are more common than McDonaldses.

4. Has your gender presentation changed over the last 5 years? Has this change/lack of change been a deliberate choice on your part?
Mostly it hasn't changed, but over the past few months I've widened the selection of clothes I wear, so that now in addition to cotton pants, t-shirts, caftan tops, and hawaiian shirts, I also sometimes wear dresses and babydoll tops. I'm mainly doing it for comfort and "lazy respectability"; that is, at home I tend to clothing that is only one step removed from underwear (bike shorts and tank tops), but sometimes I want to go out to dinner somewhere that outfit would make me underdressed, so I take off the tank top and throw on a dress. I feel like I am in drag when I wear dresses though.

5. Do you discuss race and racism in your livejournal/blog or in person? Why have you made that choice?
I participate in the discussion when other people start it. I feel I should be more proactive; I think it's an important topic of conversation. I feel like as a white person who has done some reading and thinking and listening about racism, I ought to be talking to other white people about what I have learned, so that the burden of education doesn't fall entirely on people of color.

6. Bonus question. Were you aware of International Blog Against Racism Week? Did you choose to participate in it? Why or why not?
I was aware of it and this is my participation in it for this year (somewhat late, I guess). I didn't participate more fully because for the past little while I haven't had the mental energy to initiate discussions about political issues. As a white person I have the privilege of being able to ignore the topic of racism if I don't feel like engaging in it.

Lazy IBARW

9 Aug 2008 10:55 am
firecat: blue bubble background with text "white privilege: you're soaking in it" (white privilege)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sparkymonster and [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5 for providing me with fodder for Blog Against Racism week.

1. List 5 things which are basic common knowledge in your culture, which people outside are unfamiliar with. This is not about obscurity, but something everyday to you, that others go "bzuh?" at.
Hm. First I would have to know what my culture is. I was raised in Michigan as a WASP, which means that a lot of my culture of origin is pretty mainstream and people in other cultures, at least in the US, are expected to know about it. In order to get to things that others go "bzuh" about, I need to talk about subcultures that I now belong to - queer, poly, fat activist, SF fandom, geek.
--Queer: Most queer people I know are conversant with the terms "butch" and "femme," although there's certainly little agreement what the terms mean. Many folks who don't know much about the queer community don't understand those terms.
--Poly: The concept of polyamory is not really known in the mainstream. The part of it that mainstream people seem to have the hardest time with is the part where people actually know about each other's other partners, rather than the multiple relationships being kept hidden.
--Fat activist: We call ourselves fat because it is descriptive and we consider the terms overweight and obese to be offensive or misleading. People outside this subculture are confused because they think "fat" is offensive and the other terms are "kinder."
--SF fandom: In this subculture, it is considered polite and appropriate in conversation to correct another person's mistake. In mainstream culture, a lot of people consider it rude to do this.
--Geek: Glasses are considered sexy. (Kind of a lame example. I'm finding it hard to come up with a better one.)

2. What was the last book you read that was written by a person who is a different race than you? Do you seek out books written by people of other races? Why? Why not?
I recently listened to the audiobook Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. A few months ago I read Dark Reflections by Samuel R Delaney. I mostly read books by white people, but I do sometimes seek out SF&F by people of color. If they are writing about their culture, I want to learn about it. And regardless of whether they are writing about their culture, I want more authors of color to be published. Some publishers are reluctant to publish works by authors of color or who belong to (US) minority cultures, because they assume that white people won't want to read such works. There's a tendency for mainstream culture to pigeonhole such writers and assume that they will only write about how they are different and that their works will only appeal to other people like them. The former is not true, and it would be nice if the latter were not true either.

I make more of an effort to seek out movies and documentaries by people of color than I do to seek out books -- I usually really enjoy them and it seems there are a lot of really talented people of color in the film industry.

3. What did you eat at dinner last night? Would you call it ethnic food? Why?
I ate a veggie burrito at a restaurant that serves Mexican and Caribbean food. I guess burritos are considered ethnic food in the US. (At least I am aware of a concept of "American food" that includes only hamburgers, sandwiches made with bread, and meat+potatoes entrees; everything else is considered "ethnic"). On the other hand, taquerias around here are more common than McDonaldses.

4. Has your gender presentation changed over the last 5 years? Has this change/lack of change been a deliberate choice on your part?
Mostly it hasn't changed, but over the past few months I've widened the selection of clothes I wear, so that now in addition to cotton pants, t-shirts, caftan tops, and hawaiian shirts, I also sometimes wear dresses and babydoll tops. I'm mainly doing it for comfort and "lazy respectability"; that is, at home I tend to clothing that is only one step removed from underwear (bike shorts and tank tops), but sometimes I want to go out to dinner somewhere that outfit would make me underdressed, so I take off the tank top and throw on a dress. I feel like I am in drag when I wear dresses though.

5. Do you discuss race and racism in your livejournal/blog or in person? Why have you made that choice?
I participate in the discussion when other people start it. I feel I should be more proactive; I think it's an important topic of conversation. I feel like as a white person who has done some reading and thinking and listening about racism, I ought to be talking to other white people about what I have learned, so that the burden of education doesn't fall entirely on people of color.

6. Bonus question. Were you aware of International Blog Against Racism Week? Did you choose to participate in it? Why or why not?
I was aware of it and this is my participation in it for this year (somewhat late, I guess). I didn't participate more fully because for the past little while I haven't had the mental energy to initiate discussions about political issues. As a white person I have the privilege of being able to ignore the topic of racism if I don't feel like engaging in it.

Profile

firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

September 2017

S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213 141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated 24 Sep 2017 05:10 am

Syndicate

RSS Atom
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios