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Posts Tagged: Racism

A Book Review Column That Isn’t All About White Men

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As VIDA’s annual stats have made very clear, most publications favor male writers reviewing books by other male writers.

Our inimitable essays editor Roxane Gay has also talked about the lack of representation of writers of color in many publications.

Ron Hogan, who runs the literary website Beatrice, wants to help change that by starting a new book-review column that intentionally focuses on the work of a diverse range of authors.

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“I Am an Alien”

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Moving to the US as a person of color isn’t easy, even when you do everything completely above-board, come from a nation friendly with the US, and arrive with a respectable family in tow.

Toni Nealie discusses her experience coming to America from New Zealand in an essay for Guernica:

My iris is captured in a biometrics file with the U.S Immigration Service….My deep brown eyes, the eyes that have held the gaze of my beloved, the eyes that look like my mother’s, that my newborn sons searched for and struggled to focus on: these are now U.S territory.

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Children’s Books Still Dominated by White Boys

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We’ve blogged before about the issue of representation in children’s and young-adult literature.

This post by Soraya Chemaly looks at the numbers and finds that kid-lit books feature twice as many male protagonists as female ones (three times as many when the characters are animals), and about a bajillion more white protagonists than protagonists of any other race—and that’s just for 2012.

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On Realizing You’re Not White

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The paint was several layers thick, each new message or drawing layered on a chaotic background of the preceding scrawl….“It’s the chink hate wall,” he said. Kevin did not consider my Chinese ethnicity when he said this.

For Maisonneuve, Kimberley Fu writes about moving from the sanctuary of a color-blind high school where “our quarterback was Iranian one year, white the next, Japanese the year after that,” to the real world and its unexpected barrage of stereotypes and anti-Asian suspicion.

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“bell hooks’ Feminism Is My Feminism”

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In the latest installment of an Autostraddle feature described as “a biweekly devotional to whoever the fuck I’m into,” Carmen Rios throws a little love party for bell hooks.

Inspired by an eerily prescient hooks quote about “the white male home owner who made a mistake,” Rios ends her celebration of hooks’ legacy as a writer and activist with nine more “quotes that haven’t stopped ringing true.”

Read it!

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Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Brilliant Take on the Zimmerman Verdict

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Not to overload anyone on political coverage, but Ta-Nehisi Coates’s reaction to the George Zimmerman trial is an absolute must-read.

In it, he looks at the actual legal text involved in the case and points out that what’s so deeply frightening about it isn’t that the verdict flouted the law; it’s that the law—and in many ways, the entire concept of American justice—is written to enable this kind of verdict.

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Staving-off-Despair Roundup

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When there’s an injustice as great a man walking free after killing an unarmed teenager, at least we have writing to turn to.

Our essays editor Roxane Gay has done some of that writing for Salon in a piece about the George Zimmerman trial titled “Racism is every American’s problem.”An essay or an Op-Ed won’t solve anything,” she says.

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Victories for Pro-Choicers, Gay Marriage; Defeat for Voting Rights

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As you’re probably aware, we’ve been covering Texas’s grotesque anti-abortion bill SB5, and we’re overjoyed to report it did not pass.

Texas State Senator (and now folk hero) Wendy Davis filibustered the bill for close to thirteen hours under the state legislature’s stringent rules: no sitting, leaning, drinking water, using the bathroom, or speaking about subjects not germane to the topic at hand.

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The Real Reason We’re Shocked About Paula Deen

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When the transcript of Food Network host Paula Deen’s trial for workplace harassment was leaked, the reaction was nearly universal: “Hoo boy, is that woman unbelievably racist!”

Or was there something else that bothered us about Deen’s behavior? In an incisive essay at Salon, Rumpus essays editor Roxane Gay argues that it wasn’t so much the racism that shocked us, but rather the breaking of social rules about disguising racism:

This entire debacle reveals that there are unspoken rules around racism.

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A Very Non-Accidental Response to Brad Paisley

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You may have noticed one or two jokes about Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s collaboration “Accidental Racist,” partially because of every aspect of the song, but mainly because of every aspect of the song.

But Ta-Nehisi Coates puts humor aside for his response in the Atlantic, choosing instead to “seriously and directly engag[e] Brad Paisley and his stated motives for the song.” And he does it really well:

“Booming System” is dope.

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Indian River

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In Florida there is an Indian River that flows through a swamp in the northern half of the state. It behaves nothing like a river at all—instead it commingles with the land to make a land-water hybrid, which is what much of Florida feels like anyway.

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I Don’t See You

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When I was younger, through the grace of a small business loan, my father started his own grocery store on the East Side of Waterloo. As I grew up, I eventually learned what the West and East sides of town meant.

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