Tag Archive for That’s Racist!

Jessica Chambers: Murdered, Burned, and Framed Online

Jessica Chambers got murdered, and what an interesting story it is. No one knows who did it, and everyone’s trying to arm-chair solve the mystery online, and there are more sleuths working on it than residents in Jessica’s hometown. Jessica is the current poster girl for “missing white woman syndrome” and her latest murder(s) are members of a gang, just…

Bully Clubs

In the 1800s, the Irish were New York City’s ghetto thugs and unwelcome illegal aliens, much the way we think of black folks today.When they were required to defend the North in the Civil War, to risk life and limb for black slaves that most considered subhuman, well, that just added insult to injury. Irish and other impoverished immigrant males…

White Obliviousness

If you reject the idea of white privilege, please move on, because you will find nothing here to suit your purpose. The flurries of “criming while white” stories merely scratch the surface of illustrating white privilege. These stories just point out a double standard. They don’t show much beneath the surface about the structural racism that support double standards. Consequently, when…

Police Antagonism and Walking While Black

The latest viral police profiling confrontation is a black man, Brandon McKean, getting stopped by a Michigan cop for walking with his hands in his pockets in freezing cold weather. McKean’s video adds another example to the multitude of stories that are coming to white people’s attention about how police profile, harass, and brutalize people of color. What’s different in…

You’re all Nguyens, Right?

At Walgreens pharmacy today a gentleman, late 60s, was called to pick up his prescription. The pharmacy tech was Asian, presumably Vietnamese, presumably named Nguyen, but I didn’t look at his name tag to be certain. When I experience moments like the one, I am consumed with the urge to apologize for my race, which makes me equally stupid. The…

Olivia Pope: Scandal’s Tragic Mulatto

Scandal is a guilty pleasure with its bodice-ripping, twisty-turny Shonda Rhimes storyline. Lauded in many circles as a positive image, Olivia Pope is a familiar tragic trope clad in a power suit. All the blogs say that audiences, particularly women of color, have a love/hate relationship with Olivia Pope, the main character of Scandal, because she’s a two-steps-forward, two-steps-back kinda…

The Politics of Representation: Aliens and Monsters

An aliens and monsters meme floated around Facebook this morning with this annoying cast of images. The meme depicts aliens and monsters in pop culture transforming from ugly and monstrous to attractive and desirous. It asks WTF happened? Here’s my first FB post: “People would rather embrace aliens from outer space than illegal aliens.” My later post: “It’s actually an…

Your Neighborhood Grocery Store

Grocery stores are the intersections of life. They are sites of culture, commerce, and exchange where we traffic in power relations, interpersonal connections, and political commitments. They are stages for enacting liberal guilt and way stations for the study of food politics. I have become highly conscious of this complexity while trying to wean myself of my unhealthy addiction to…

Obama, Chaucer, and the Politics of Representation

In a picture, when a child touches a black president’s hair, representational politics changes the world. In the 90s when academics and television pundits were busily engaged in the culture wars, I believed mastering the politics of representation was revolutionary. Surely, transformative images would en/gender transformative politics, and that social change could come from studying and politicizing media, popular culture,…