Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Avatar movie has racist subtext?

Essence.com brought up a topic I thought was interesting, in that the new movie "Avatar" has a racist subtext. I haven't seen the movie yet so I can't comment but to others who have let us know what you think.

From Essence.com:

The premise of the movie is simple and somewhat familiar: a White man goes and lives with the "natives", learns their ways and somehow becomes their leader. If it sounds familiar it may be because the theme has been visited in movies like Kevin Costner's "Dances with Wolves" and last summer's South African sci-fi "District 9" says writer Annalee Newitz on the sci-fi blog I09. Newitz calls the all too familiar plot "a fantasy about race told from the point of view of White people."

In films like 'Avatar' she continues, "Humans are the cause of alien oppression and distress. Then, a White man who was one of the oppressors switches sides at the last minute, assimilating into the alien culture and becoming its savior."

Will Heaven of the Telegraph questions why the Na'vi (the blue skinned "natives") wear African jewelry and dreadlocks and are voiced by Black actors like Zoe Saldana, Laz Alonso and C.C.H. Pounder. "The ethnic Na'vi," he writes, "need the White man to save them because, as a less developed race, they lack the intelligence and fortitude to overcome their adversaries by themselves."
Source

HP's web cam face tracking fail

Well it seems that HP's web cam does not track black people's faces. Watch the video below of a man named Desi and his white co-worker Wanda testing this. Shouldn't HP have tested this before releasing it? Testing, meaning making sure it follows everyone's face no matter their skin color. Is this racist or just a technical thing, let us know your thoughts.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ottawa airport incident brings racism allegations

An incident at an Ottawa airport brings racism allegations. You can read about it on CBC News.

Border officials threw her to the ground, knelt on her shoulder, and then took her into another room and told her to call a lawyer before proceeding with the search, she recalled.

"I had to lift up my breasts, take off all my clothes, squat and cough and turn around and open up my rectum for them to see up inside," Archer told CBC News. "I was humiliated, I felt powerless, I felt violated, and just think it was a total overuse of power because there was absolutely no reason for them to behave that way with me."

After customs agents found nothing, they let Archer leave and rejoin her son and her husband, who had come to the airport to pick them up.
Source

Friday, December 11, 2009

Two interesting reads

I found two interesting articles I wanted to sure with you all, make sure to give them a read.

Pimping-Out Racism for Personal Gain
Posted by: Lenny McAllister

South Philadelphia High School and Racism in the National Media
By Randy LoBasso

What's happening to the New York Post?

Wow I didn't think a newspaper could employ racists but that may be the case with the New York Post. Seems lately there's been quite a few things brought out into the open. Check out the article on gothamist.com, a few interesting parts from the article:

... describing the Post newsroom as a male-dominated frat house run by the crude, misogynistic editor in chief Col Allan.

...

Fenner and Livingston's lawsuit accuses the tabloid of racially-motivated news coverage, and Fenner claims he was "routinely humiliated," "openly cursed at" and subjected to "Jim Crow"-style segregation...

Livingston, who has been a General Assignment Post reporter for 13 years, says she was also banned from the newsroom, paid less than white colleagues with less experience, and denied stories she wanted to write. Further, she alleges that recently-retired star Post reporter Steve Dunleavy is an incorrigible racist who openly referred to a black employee as "nigger" and repeatedly described Hispanics as "spics."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Racism online from Twitter users

For those that don't think there is racism in this country today, well this should make it clearer for you. I'm sure you all heard about the Kanye West incident with Taylor Swift. Well seems some racists have some Twitter accounts and really went all out. You can read the whole article on TheGrio.com, some quotes are below.

I agree with the opinion that West's blowup was horribly rude and childish. However, there were some Internet users who took their thoughts about him too far. This was particularly obvious on Twitter, which was awash in a flood of racism, with the so-called "post-racial" levees fully giving way.

Here are just a few of the most memorable tweets:

ODV1985: kanye west is monkey ass n****r! and should be lynched! taylor swift i love you girl! (these people are going somewhere in life)

JacobFredG: I realy hope I dont have any black followers and if I do just stop following me, Kanye West is a stupid n****r!

trevbandito: Watch'n the VMA's and decicided to look up the word "N****R" In the dictionary, and low and behold was a pic. of Kanye West!!!!!!!!

There are some who still want to believe that with a black man in the White House, racism is a thing of the past. But I would contend that racism hasn't gone away, it has just gone online.

With the evolution of online conversations, many bigots who are too cowardly to spew their vitriol in front of an actual person, now hide behind a virtual barrier. The only reason many white supremacist groups stay alive is because they have vibrant online communities. Now, I am all for freedom of speech. Heck, I am in the business of free speech. But I also think that there has been souring of civility in public discourse.
Source

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cops kill man with 43 bullet wounds

If you have not heard about the incident with 6 cops and a man named Alonzo Heyward being shot at 59 times with 43 wounds, please read my blog post at Dirty Police Today. This incident just makes me sick.

New blog to inform others of dirty police

I have created another blog, named Dirty Police Today blog, to make everyone aware of violent, hideous, crazy acts by police that we trust to protect us. It is not an anti-police blog, most police officers are good, but there are some that cross the line and think they are bigger than the law and do bad things. Through the Dirty Police Today blog we hope to point them out so we are all aware and hope that those bad police officers are gone from the job of police officers.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Teacher went too far with lesson

This incident is old, as it happened back in December 2008 but I wanted to post about it because it's just shocking and way over the line. I don't know where a teacher would get an idea to do this in a classroom.

A white social studies teacher attempted to enliven a seventh-grade discussion of slavery by binding the hands and feet of two black girls, prompting outrage from one girl's mother and the local chapter of the NAACP. After the mother complained to Haverstraw Middle School, the superintendent said he was having "conversations with our staff on how to deliver effective lessons."

...

"I think the teacher should have gotten some discipline," Shand said. "I know if that was me, I would be uncomfortable going back to that class. Why should my daughter have to switch?"

Monahan refused to say what, if any, measures were taken against the teacher, Eileen Bernstein, who was still working on Friday. The school district said she was not available for comment.

...

On Nov. 18, Bernstein was discussing the conditions under which African captives were taken to America in slave ships. She bound the two students' hands and feet with tape and had them crawl under a desk to simulate the experience, Monahan and Shand said. Monahan said the girls were not the only blacks in the class.

Gabrielle Shand burst into tears at home, her mother said.

...

Wilbur Aldridge, director of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said the history demonstration, first reported in The Journal News, "went wrong when she started to do that binding."

"I don't care what color, no one should be put in the position of having their hands and feet bound," he said.

Aldridge said he feared that the teacher still "didn't get it" after their meeting. He said the teacher apologized "because Gabrielle was upset, not because she admitted she did something wrong."
Source

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Boston police officer calls Gates racial slurs

If only more incidents could happen with Boston police, oh wait here's another story that includes the whole Professor Gates incident. Boston Police officer Justin Barrett sent a mass email to some National Guard members and the Boston Globe where he referred to Harvard professor Gates as "banana-eating" and a "bumbling jungle monkey".

The columnist, Yvonne Abraham, supported Gates' actions, asking readers, "Would you stand for this kind of treatment, in your own home, by a police officer who by now clearly has no right to be there?"

In his e-mail, which was posted on a local Boston television station's Web site, Barrett declared that if he had "been the officer he verbally assaulted like a banana-eating jungle monkey, I would have sprayed him in the face with OC [oleoresin capsicum, or pepper spray] deserving of his belligerent noncompliance."

Barrett used the "jungle monkey" phrase four times, three times referring to Gates and once referring to Abraham's writing as "jungle monkey gibberish."

He also declared he was "not a racist but I am prejudice [sic] towards people who are stupid and pretend to stand up and preach for something they say is freedom but it is merely attention because you do not get enough of it in your little fear-dwelling circle of on-the-bandwagon followers."

According to a statement from Boston police, Commissioner Edward Davis took action immediately upon learning of Barrett's remarks, stripping the officer of his gun and badge. Barrett is "on administrative leave pending the outcome of a termination hearing."

...

Davis wants Barrett, a two-year veteran of the Boston police force, fired, a source close to the investigation said. But Barrett will continue to be paid while on administrative leave, and no date has been set for his termination hearing.

Barrett, who identified himself as a veteran and a former English teacher, also took issue with Abraham's journalistic ability, calling her "a hot little bird with minimal experience in a harsh field," as well as "an infidel." The rambling e-mail also suggested that she "should serve me coffee and donuts [sic] on Sunday morning," later returning to that line of thought with, "I like a warm cruller and hot Panamanian, black. No sugar."
Source


Wow this is just shocking in one way, but then not shocking in another. How could someone like this be a police officer? He says he's not racist but says these things. Let me guess he also probably says that he has black friends, right? Yes please fire this jerk. He gets to go on leave/vacation and get paid wtf. And what about the comments he said about Yvonne Abraham, about serving him "coffee and donuts" - wow just ignorant. Hopefully this guy gets what he deserves.

You can read Yvonne Abraham's article on Boston.com, Conduct unbecoming.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Obama calls cop who arrested Gates

Today President Obama said he chose unfortunate words when saying that police "acted stupidly" in arresting HarvardProfessor Gates at his own home.

He stopped short of a public apology. But the president telephoned both Gates and the white officer who had arrested him, hoping to end the rancorous back-and-forth over what had transpired and what Obama had said about it. Trying to lighten the situation, he said he had invited the Harvard professor and police St. James Crowley for "a beer here in the White House."

"This has been ratcheting up, and I obviously helped to contribute ratcheting it up," Obama said of the racial controversy. "I want to make clear that in my choice of words, I think I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department and Sgt. Crowley specifically. And I could've calibrated those words differently."

The president did not back down from his contention that police had overreacted by arresting Gates for disorderly conduct after coming to his home to investigate a possible break-in. He added, though, that he thought Gates, too, had overreacted to the police who questioned him. The charge has been dropped.

Obama stirred up a hornet's nest when he said at a prime-time news conference this week that the officer, who is white, had "acted stupidly" by arresting Gates, a friend of the president's. Looking back, Obama said he didn't regret stepping into the controversy and hoped the matter would end up being a "teachable moment" for the nation.

"The fact that this has garnered so much attention, I think, is testimony to the fact that these are issues that are still very sensitive here in America," Obama said.

Obama wryly took note of the distraction from his legislative efforts.

"I don't know if you've noticed, but nobody's been paying much attention to health care," the president said.

Obama, who has come under intense criticism from police organizations, said he had called Crowley to clear the air, and said the conversation confirmed his belief that the sergeant is an "outstanding police officer and a good man."
Source

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cop is a racial profiling expert

Following up about the Harvard Professor Gates arrest, the cop who arrested Mr. Gates at his home has taught racial profiling classes for five years. Read more about it below.

Cambridge Sgt. James Crowley has taught a class about racial profiling for five years at the Lowell Police Academy after being hand-picked for the job by former police Commissioner Ronny Watson, who is black, said Academy Director Thomas Fleming.

"I have nothing but the highest respect for him as a police officer. He is very professional and he is a good role model for the young recruits in the police academy," Fleming told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The course, called "Racial Profiling," teaches about different cultures that officers could encounter in their community "and how you don't want to single people out because of their ethnic background or the culture they come from," Fleming said.

Obama has said the Cambridge officers "acted stupidly" in arresting Gates last week when they responded to his house after a woman reported a suspected break-in.

...

Obama was asked about the arrest of Gates, who is his friend, at the end of a nationally televised news conference on health care Wednesday night.

"I think it's fair to say, No. 1, any of us would be pretty angry," Obama said. "No. 2, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. And No. 3 — what I think we know separate and apart from this incident — is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately, and that's just a fact."

In radio interviews Thursday morning, Crowley maintained he followed procedure.

"I support the president of the United States 110 percent. I think he was way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts as he himself stated before he made that comment," Crowley told WBZ-AM. "I guess a friend of mine would support my position, too."
...

"This isn't about me; this is about the vulnerability of black men in America," Gates said.

He said the incident made him realize how vulnerable poor people and minorities are "to capricious forces like a rogue policeman, and this man clearly was a rogue policeman."
Source

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Harvard Professor Gates arrested

So what do you think, was this racial profiling or not?

Henry Louis "Skip" Gates, Jr., professor and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Studies, was arrested on Thursday at his Cambridge home for disorderly conduct, according to a Cambridge Police Department report.

The report, obtained from the Cambridge District Court, said that the 58-year-old professor was arrested by Cambridge police shortly past noon for "exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior," during which he allegedly accused police officers at the scene of being racist. The report said that a woman had called police to the scene after seeing a man "wedging his shoulder in the front door [of Gates' house] as to pry the door open."

When a police officer arrived on the scene to investigate the tip, Gates was reportedly already having an altercation with another sergeant inside the home. The professor allegedly shouted "[t]his is what happens to black men in America" when asked for identification and repeatedly told the police officer that "[y]ou don't know who your [sic] messing with," according to the report.

The two then moved to the front porch, the report said, where Gates continued to shout that the sergeant was racist, catching the attention of roughly seven "surprised and alarmed" onlookers.

...

Ogletree declined to comment on whether he believes Gates was racially profiled, as some media reports have suggested, instead saying that his statement of events "speaks for itself." But other prominent black Harvard professors, including medical school professor S. Allen Counter and social sciences professor Lawrence D. Bobo, have suggested that race influenced the police actions. According to the Associated Press, the Reverend Al Sharpton has vowed to attend Gates' arraignment.

"This arrest is indicative of at best police abuse of power or at worst the highest example of racial profiling I have seen," Sharpton said. "I have heard of driving while black and even shopping while black but now even going to your own home while black is a new low in police community affairs."
Source

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Stereotypes in new Transformers movie

At first I didn't think this was much but if you think about it, it seems like this is another typical stereotype in a movie. What do you think? Read the whole article on Yahoo.

Skids and Mudflap, twin robots disguised as compact hatchbacks, constantly brawl and bicker in rap-inspired street slang. They're forced to acknowledge that they can't read. One has a gold tooth.

As good guys, they fight alongside the Autobots and are intended to provide comic relief. But their traits raise the specter of stereotypes most notably seen when Jar Jar Binks, the clumsy, broken-English speaking alien from "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace," was criticized as a caricature.

One fan called the Transformers twins "Jar Jar Bots" in a blog post online.
Todd Herrold, who watched the movie in New York City, called the characters "outrageous."

"It's one thing when robot cars are racial stereotypes," he said, "but the movie also had a bucktoothed black guy who is briefly in one scene who's also a stereotype."
Source

Another article about this issue in the new Transformers movie is on courier-gazette.com.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

NY cop shot by fellow cop

An un-uniformed police officer was shot and it reminds me of the Sean Bell incident, even though Mr. Bell was not a police officer. Read the whole article on Yahoo! This is such tragic news, I hope his family gets through this tough time.

Late Thursday, Officer Omar J. Edwards, 25, was shot by a fellow officer on a Harlem street while in street clothes. He had just finished his shift, and had his service weapon out, chasing a man who had broken into his car, police said. Three plainclothes officers on routine patrol arrived at the scene and yelled for the two to stop, police said. One officer, Andrew Dunton, opened fire and hit Edwards three times as he turned toward them with his service weapon. It wasn't until medical workers were on scene that it was determined he was a police officer.

...

On Saturday in Harlem, U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel joined the Rev. Al Sharpton in calling for a federal probe, while Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Kelly met with concerned community members around the city. Edwards' family mourned their son, who always wanted to be a police officer and had two small children and a wife.

"If you become an officer and you have a pistol and you are of color, in or out of uniform, your chances of getting shot down by a police officer are a lot heavier than if you were not of color," Rangel said.
Source

Another article about the incident on NYDailyNews.com.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Racism and kids' mental health

An interesting article from USAToday.com, Racism hurts kids' mental health, says that a study found that when children are mistreated by an act of racism that they later on may have a mental disorder. Make sure to read the whole article, this is just a snippet below.

There is evidence that racial discrimination increases the odds that adolescents and adults will develop mental health problems, but this is the first study to examine a possible link in children of varied races, says Tumaini Coker, the study co-author and a RAND Corp. researcher and UCLA pediatrician.

It does not prove that discrimination caused the emotional problems, because unlike studies of older people, these children weren't followed over time. It's possible that prejudice harms children's mental health, but it is also possible that troubled kids prompt more discriminatory remarks from peers or that children with emotional problems perceive more bias, says study leader Mark Schuster, a Harvard pediatrician and pediatrics chief at Children's Hospital Boston.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Racial equality Washington Post-ABC News poll

Here's an interesting poll by the Washington Post and ABC News asking three questions to people: 'Is racism a big problem?', 'When will equality be achieved?', and 'Does racism exist near you?' View the poll results here on WashingtonPost.com.

Book: The Black Girl Next Door

I saw this on The New York Times site today and found it an interesting read and wanted to share with everyone. The first chapter of the book "The Black Girl Next Door" by Jennifer Baszile, is what I found and you can read on the NY Times site. You can get the book from Amazon.com.