Minneapolis Community and Technical College lecturer Shannon Gibney (who is African America) was formally reprimanded by her university after three White male students complained that they were being made to study structural racism. One student interrupted Gibney during her Mass Communications class and asked: “Why do we have to talk about this?”
Another student chimed in: “Yeah, I don’t get this either. It’s like people are trying to say that white men are always the villains, the bad guys. Why do we have to say this?” The students filed a formal complaint. They argued they were forced into a “hostile learning environment.”
After being reprimanded for trying to teach in her role as lecturer, Gibney and six of her colleagues are filing a federal class action lawsuit saying their university is a discriminatory workplace.
This case is exactly why Whiteness and postcolonialism studies are quintessential.
These students feel entitled to evoke discrimination because they were encouraged to explore their own social privilege (see my earlier post on the problems with the idea of reverse racism).
Video link and information on the class action: Salon.
Watch!: And when you started out, there were almost no Asian-Americans on TV. Now you’re Watson. The TV my Asian-American daughter grows up watching will be very different than what I grew up watching.
Lucy: It is significant, and I think we still have a long way to go. It is good that you’ll have to explain to her that when Daddy was a teenager, there wasn’t anybody like her on television. People say I’m a pioneer, but I don’t recognize it because I’m still living it. Maybe on my last breath if they name a street after me in the city, I’ll say, “Wow, I made a difference.” Right now, it doesn’t feel like it. [x]
Lucy Liu in the October 2013 edition of Watch! Magazine
Because we are all just “thugs”, not human beings.
"After Darrin Manning was sexually assaulted during a "stop and frisk" he had to have emergency surgery on his genitals.
Now Darrin has been charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest, and reckless endangerment.”
"I’ve had a lot of exciting jobs."
“What was the most exciting?”
“Well, after Brown vs. The Board of Education, I was responsible for enforcing desegregation in eleven Deep South school districts.”
One of the Humans of New York responsible for desegregation.
I’m one of the moderators for Science on Google+. I curate the social science stream. Our community is co-hosting a discussion on autism research live on air, in around an hour’s time (2pm Australian time or 10pm USA EST or 3am UTC/GMT). Our co-host partner is Autism Brainstorm, a research-led community of practice that puts families in touch with experts and resources of support.
Join us to hear experts discuss the latest developments in education, policy and biomedical treatments. Some of our experts are diagnosed on along the autism spectrum disorder and all researchers are advocates of research-led community support services.
You’ll have a chance to post questions ahead of the panel discussion as well as while we’re live on air. You can also join us live on air if you’d like to talk directly with the panel if you get in early enough. Otherwise, the Hangout will stream live on air so you can just watch along and still submit written questions.
In the mean time, if you’d like to see the latest research and recommendations on autism to USA Government, have a read of the Updated Strategic Plan. Among other issues, the key research informing this plan identifies:
- International data are showing an increase in diagnoses pertaining to the autism spectrum. Studies have shown a rise in diagnosis amongst minority youth and adults from lower socio-economic backgrounds (especially those living alone). Researchers suggest there may still be more people who do not have access to services to receive adequate diagnosis and support
- Brain imaging, neuro-physiology, molecular and phenotyping, and immunity research into autism has improved, providing new insights on the neural connectivity affecting autism. Biological research has also made progress in examining other conditions and disorders that co-exist and affect autism experiences such as epilepsy
- Gaps in biomedical research include genomic, immunity and gender differences. These areas raise bio-ethical issues that researchers must be trained in. This requires that the research community develop comprehensive research and policy guidelines
- While more studies have emerged in the past couple of years studying genetic and environmental factors, problems remain. Prioritisation of diagnosis is an issue, given there are windows of time in which diagnosis is most crucial, and so research on these areas is paramount. For example, the preconception and prenatal periods
- Community intervention is also time-sensitive with respect to early behaviour. Research finds that young children who receive more hours of intervention (therapies, specialised education) generally have better outcomes. Enhanced research on biomarkers would also greatly improve the medical treatments available
- Sociological issues require research-based policy intervention. This includes access and payment of affordable healthcare. International research shows that minority children (specifically Latin children in the USA) as well as children living in rural areas experience up to 1.5 times more difficulty getting an autism diagnosis, or a delay of up to 6 months in some. This means that While middle-class children living in urban areas have a better chance of accessing diagnosis and treatment, while other disadvantaged groups suffer. There is a broader institutional problem in helping families and communities support people with autism. Children with autism are more likely to wander off alone in public and become exposed to danger. Schools are also inadequately managing autism. One study by the U.S.A. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights finds that 70% of cases where a child has been restrained at school involved autistic children. People experiencing autism also have a higher mortality rate but this is connected to co-occurring conditions like epilepsy. Young adult and adult interventions is a growing area that requires further research and funding. Community-based care would better help families managing these sociological and health factors
Our on air discussion today will speak to some of these issues. Join our discussion via this link where you’ll also find the speaker bios and links to their research.
- Reblogged from npr
Immigrants as a Percentage of the Total US Population and of the US Civilian Labor Force, 1970 to 2011
Notes: The term “foreign born” (or “immigrants”) refers to people residing in the United States who were not US citizens at birth. The foreign-born population includes naturalized citizens, legal permanent residents, certain legal non-immigrants (e.g., refugees and persons on student or work visas), and persons illegally residing in the United States. The civilian labor force includes all civilians age 16 and older who were classified as employed or unemployed during the reference week of the survey or census.
Sources: The 2010 and 2011 data are from the 2010 and 2011 American Community Survey accessed via the American FactFinder. The 1970 to 2000 data are from the Decennial Censuses and were downloaded from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS). Steven Ruggles, Matthew Sobek, Trent Alexander, Catherine A. Fitch, Ronald Goeken, Patricia Kelly Hall, Miriam King, and Chad Ronnander.Ê Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 3.0 [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota Population Center [producer and distributor], 2008.)
- Reblogged from saltysojourn
Marvel’s new addition to its superhero line-up: Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American Muslim girl living in Jersey City who takes the name Ms. Marvel.
I’m not really part of the comic book world; I saw Avengers and that’s pretty much it. But I find the push (and inevitable pushback) in the comic book industry to successfully incorporate women and non-white characters into their superhero line-ups very interesting. Sana Amanat, one of the co-creators of Kamala Khan, has some worthwhile things to say about creating the character and how she thinks she will be received by audiences, some of whom have so far had a little bit of difficulty accommodating the idea of change within the genre.
- Reblogged from thepoliticalnotebook
TVGuide.com recently asked SNL cast member Kenan Thompson some pointed questions about the show’s lack of women of color. Kenan asserted he would no longer be playing black women characters for the show. Though that decision is a heartening one, his comments on why there remains a gap in the representation of black women in comedic spaces were less than progressive. Kenan said, “It’s just a tough part of the business,” he tells TV Guide. “Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.”
A group of funny black women decided to take on Kenan’s challenge. In this video, filled with vignettes and impressions showing off their talent. The end result is undeniable. Black women are ready for any stage.
OMG, this is so great! Please watch
The 99 Percent Movement effectively changed the American political debate from debt and deficits to income inequality, highlighting the fact that income inequality has increased so much in the U.S. that it is now more unequal than countries like Ivory Coast and Pakistan. While those numbers are startling, a study from two historians suggests that American wealth inequality may actually be worse than it was in Ancient Rome — a society built on slave labour, a defined class structure, and centuries of warfare and conquest.
Waldron is referring to the study by historians Walter Schiedel and Steven Friesen, summarised by Tim De Chant in his blog Per Square Mile. De Chant provides detail on how Schiedel and Friesen estimated the distribution of wealth in the Roman Empire, 150 C.E. De Chant writes that the study finds:
the top 1 percent of Roman society controlled 16 percent of the wealth, less than half of what America’s top 1 percent control… In total, Schiedel and Friesen figure the elite orders and other wealthy made up about 1.5 percent of the 70 million inhabitants the empire claimed at its peak. Together, they controlled around 20 percent of the wealth…
These numbers paint a picture of two Romes, one of respectable, if not fabulous, wealth and the other of meager wages, enough to survive day-to-day but not enough to prosper. The wealthy were also largely concentrated in the cities. It’s not unlike the U.S. today.
Using data which estimates the gini coefficients of various nations (a statistical estimation of income inequality), De Chant writes that imperial Rome was ‘slightly more equal than the U.S.’:
In other words, what we see as the glory of Rome is really just the rubble of the rich, built on the backs of poor farmers and labourers, traces of whom have all but vanished. It’s as though Rome’s 99 percent never existed. Which makes me wonder, what will future civilizations think of us?
De Chant cites the inequality of ancient Rome as partly based on the exploitation of poor workers and slaves. The USA has a long history of slave exploitation, as do many other countries. Moreover, the USA also has a monumental problem with modern day slavery, as do many other nations. The USA also has problems with the exploitation and poor treatment of migrant workers. Again, as do many other advanced nations.
What De Chant, Scheidel and Friesen’s work highlights is that the impact of income inequality and social stratification in the United States is embedded in historical practices that are not unique to the USA, nor to Ancient Greece. The Occupy Wall Street movement has indeed opened up a useful debate about the upper class elites in American society (the 1%) versus the general population (the 99%). This movement, has mobilised a narrative that is about how everyday citizens are being exploited by big business and bankers. The movement has not specifically located the struggles of modern day slaves and undocumented migrants who are even more marginalised, given that they do not have, by definition, citizenship rights.
I find De Chant’s summary of Scheidel and Friesen’s paper fascinating not specifically for the point these authors make - that average Americans in modern day USA are not much better off than ‘the majority of plebeians’ in Ancient Greece. Instead, it highlights that income inequality, slavery and exploitation of vulnerable workers today has not progressed far enough in comparison to America’s own early history. The Occupy movement keeps evolving. It has not yet focused on the exploitation of the ‘invisible’ sub-groups within the ‘99%’, such as slaves and undocumented workers. Hopefully this movement can continue to expand its narrative of class inequality even further to give voice to these groups.
Sources: De Chant (2011) ‘Income inequality in the Roman Empire’, Per Square Mile, 16 Dec.
Scheidel, W., & Friesen, S. (2010). The Size of the Economy and the Distribution of Income in the Roman Empire Journal of Roman Studies 99.
- Source: zeezeescorner
October 9, 2012
by Mia McKenzie
Lately, the question of who is white and who isn’t keeps coming up in my life. I have had many talks with friends in recent months about what it means to be POC, and about who is claiming that identity and why. At a recent reading I did at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, someone asked me if I thought race was defined by skin color. Today someone pulled the “I’m white but I’m Armenian, so, historically…” and I felt compelled to take a deep breath and sort out some of my thoughts around the term “white”.
When I talk about “white people” I am talking about people who exist in bodies that give them access to white privilege. Some people exist in these bodies and get these privileges but don’t ID as white. The thing about whiteness, though, is that you don’t have to claim it to have it. You may not want to be white, for whatever reasons, but you don’t choose whiteness. Whiteness chooses you. And when it does, it gives you—whether you want or acknowledge them or not—a whole slew of privileges that non-white folks don’t get. Even if you are poor. Even if you are a woman. Even if you are queer and/or trans. Even if you are elderly. Even if you are a person with a disability. All of these things will, of course, affect your life in enormous ways and affect your access to any number of things. But they don’t erase whiteness.
So, if you’re confused about whether or not whiteness has chosen you, here’s a few questions to help you sort it out.
How to Know If You Are White:
1. Do you look white? If this seems in any way like a complicated question, it can be easily discerned by walking into a fancy store (in clean, neat clothing) and seeing how the people who work there treat you. Do you get dirty looks upon entering? Do the shopkeepers glance at each other with worry? Do you notice people following you around to make sure you’re not stealing anything? If not, you may be white.
2. Have you ever been pulled over by a cop? If so, were you extracted from your vehicle and made to lie on the ground? Were you degraded in any way? Were you beaten? Were guns pointed at you? Did you feel in fear for your life? If not, you may be white.
3. When you are walking down the street and a cop car rolls by, do you feel safer because the police are around? Because they are there to protect you should something go wrong? If so, you may be white.
4. Do people ask you where you’re from, and when you answer, “I’m from here,” do they ask, “No, like, where are you from from?” If not, you may be white.
5. Are people visibly surprised when you are smart and articulate? If not, you may be white.
6. Have you ever been mistaken for a valet while wearing a suit? If not, you may be white.
7. Does the idea of driving through Mississippi fill you with apprehension? If not, you may be white.
8. Do people reach out and touch your hair/body without your permission and then accuse you of being too sensitive or of overreacting when you don’t like it? If not, you may be white.
9. Do you regularly experience racism (note: racism is a system in which people are given less access to employment, education, safe and adequate housing, legal representation, etc. based on their race; racism is not people “not liking you” because of your race). If not, you may be white.
10. Do you see a lot of people who are the same color as you in movies, on TV, in magazines, etc. who are not portraying stereotypes or caricatures? If so, you may be white.
11. When you stand up for yourself, do people accuse you of being too angry? If not, you may be white.
12. Do people assume, without knowing you or ever speaking to you, that you are unintelligent, a criminal, good with computers, a terrorist, lazy, that you don’t speak English, or that you are poor? If not, you may be white.
Hope this helps!
Mia McKenzie is a writer and a smart, scrappy Philadelphian with a deep love of vegan pomegranate ice cream and fake fur collars. She is a black feminist and a freaking queer, facts that are often reflected in her writings, which have won her some awards and grants, such as the Astraea Foundation’s Writers Fund Award and the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award. She has a novel debuting in the fall and has a short story forthcoming in The Kenyon Review. Her work has been published at Jezebel.com, and recommended by The Root, Colorlines, Feministing, Angry Asian Man, and Crunk Feminist Collective. She is a nerd, and the creator of Black Girl Dangerous, a revolutionary blog.
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- Reblogged from blackgirldangerous