In Django Unchained, the “N-Word” occurs 109 times. Occurs? Is used? (Look at how awkward that statement is; it’s an active sentence about a word spoken, but without a speaker doing the action.) I twitch to imagine Tarantino saying the word himself. It just sounds wrong. It sounds like some clumsy white dude trying to sound cool while he hangs with his homies. When Samuel L. Jackson says it, it’s quite cool and melodious. As a director, Tarantino can say the “N-word” one hundred and nine times with whatever accent, register, or inflection he desires. With gusto, in fact. Fortunately, at least for my auditoryRead More →

Fellow-citizens, we can not escape history. We of this Congress and this Administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We, even we here, hold the power and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free–honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just–a way which if followed the world will forever applaud and God must forever bless.

– Abraham Lincoln, Second Annual Message to the Senate and House of Representatives, 1862

Romney quoted Abraham Lincoln on the emancipation of slaves to advance an agenda for the 1%. Must be his love for bayonets and horses that inspired him.

Read More →

The Black Doll, White Doll test was used in the Brown vs. Board of Ed case to contest desegregation. A 17-year-old high school student made a documentary, A Girl Like Me, revisiting this test today to see how much things have changed. Not much. The clip is great to show in class for discussions about race and identity. It’s useful for talking about how communication influences perception and the self. The Black Doll, White Doll test asks black children to choose between a white doll and a black doll, asking questions such as “which doll is the prettiest” (they pick the white doll),  “which dollRead More →

1. Our avatars, our projected selves — A Jezebel bit about how men respond to female avatars, and a discussion of racism and sexism in Second Life. Rather predictable, but still something to talk about. One blogger inaccurately cites another writer’s claim that 40 percent of the folks come to SL looking for sexual activity. The writer corrects the mistake; a more accurate number would be closer to 15 percent.  Sorry, I call BS on that. If you have to purchase genitals for your avatar, you can bet there’s lots of

Read More →

Today Rupert Murdoch called Obama “dangerous” according to an article in the Huffington Post: “I think Barack Obama would describe himself as a pragmatic leftist but he’s not an extremist,” Murdoch said. “I think he sees himself as a president for change and that involves bigger government. He’s made no secret of that. I think that’s dangerous.” This statement reminded me of something I read in the YWCA Dialogue on Race reading packet. I first heard this phrase of “dangerous negro” in an article called “Struggle and Transformation: The Challenge of Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Vincent Harding, written in the mid-80s. Vincent Harding isRead More →

Henry Jenkin’s has a post over on his blog about the similarities between Obama and Spock, focusing mostly on both their mixed-race status. It’s a fun and interesting read, as is most of Jenkin’s stuff.Read More →

At Jena High School, students of different races customarily seldom sat together. Black students traditionally sat on bleachers near the auditorium, while white students sat under a large shade tree, referred to as the “white tree,” in the center of the school courtyard.During a school assembly on August 31, 2006, a black male freshman student asked permission from the principal to sit in the shade of the “white tree.” The principal told the students they could “sit wherever they wanted.” The following morning, three nooses were discovered hanging from the tree. What follows below is a chronology of racial violence in Jena over the pastRead More →

I really dislike Ann Coulter, as I have stated on this blog before. Like others among the right wing, she insists on referring to Barack Obama’s middle name, Hussein, which is just petty and stupid. And she attributes the media hype and public attention about Obama to white liberal guilt. WTF is that supposed to mean. Obama’s identity is in a double bind. He’s not black enough for many black folks. He’s too black for many white folks. White liberals love him because he’s “articulate” (there’s that old stereotype), which means he’s not really very black afterall. As Debra J. Dickerson writes in Salon: Also,Read More →

I had an interesting “racialized” moment in class yesterday. One of the students figured out that everyone in class had brown eyes except me. I have green eyes. He asked me why. How does one answer that question? I flippantly told him “magic” without thinking about the implications of the answer. He asked me to magic his eyes and make them green too. It made me reflect on issues of white privilege in a classroom of students of color. Why did I answer that way? Teaching the children with Teach Baton Rouge this month was fun. I am not weathering this transition well though. WhenRead More →