Friday, February 5, 2010

'Tea Party' Exposed: Racism

Even we are shocked ideas like these still prevail. Since our democratic system still cannot manage to provide equal education for its citizens, how can an informed Republican honestly believe a literacy test is right in order to express the only guaranteed-voice Americans have? Absolutely ridiculous, we are appalled.


Tom Tancredo's 'Tea Party' Speech

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Obama's Election One Year Later

One year ago yesterday was the election of President Barack Hussein Obama. It's still hard to believe that we overcame that obstacle and are already almost 11 months into his presidency.

365 days flew by. We both wonder how to broach the subject of discussing accomplishments which also leaving room for some criticism. Overall, we both are very pleased and think that critics need to wait a while before they judge so harshly. The healthcare plan he is trying to push through would be a major improvement for those in America without healthcare, a large percentage of which are minorities.

Even if Obama does not substantively change the situation for the impoverished citizens of America he has now paved the way symbolically. There is no higher level of authority African Americans can strive for, this does not mean that we are in a "post-racial" society, but that there is hope because he was elected. As we watch Michelle Obama jump double-dutch on the front lawn and just see a different set of faces representing the country we have found a new sense of pride.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A "Black" Barbie?

A couple of weeks ago, Mattel released three new Black Barbies. These Barbies were a toy that has long been called for by American society, but looking at these dolls there was some confusion. I don't think we were the only ones to notice the slight touches to whiten these dolls, one has green eyes, the other is with a child that has very light skin and all have wavy or straight hair. This is not to say that there are no African Americans with such features, but one would expect these dolls to authentically represent Black culture and heritage, in what it seems would be the more dominate depiction of a Black female. The hair issue bugs us, tying into the whole "Good Hair" Chris Rock movie, Mattel couldn't even give these dolls real curls.

Overall these dolls are not terrible, they do a good job of reflecting the growing mixed population of children, but Mattel should not be marketing these as their "black" barbies. They are not a good, ethnic representation of the entire African American population.

Why did Mattel feel the need to add these subtle touches to the dolls? Why couldn't they have dark hair, brown eyes and brown children? Are we reading into this too much or does it seem to represent the subconscious of a continued belief that whiter/lighter skin is better?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

How Shocking, Our First Lady's Heritage Traces Back to Slavery...

Last week The New York Times published an article entitled, "In First Lady's Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery" by Rachel L. Swarns and Jodi Kantor. The article shined light on Michelle Obama's roots, dating back to the institution of slavery. Michelle’s genealogy exposes the true patchwork heritage of America.

While the article was riveting and acknowledged the strong ties America--black America--has to slavery, our first reaction to this article was, "no duh!" Do we actually think that either our society is so far removed from slavery that black heritage in America no longer traces back that far? Or is it shocking that our first lady’s heritage can be traced back to such an oppressive institution? We are all educated individuals who took 7th grade history--blacks in America are proof of the injustices of the triangle trade and the displacement of Africans. Granted, Michelle is a testament of how far America has come from the days that relied so heavily on slavery for economic growth. But calculate the years, struggles and continued struggles of blacks dating back to the 17th c.—our society is more connected to slavery than our first lady’s heritage has to suggest. Racial tensions, inadequate social and economic equality, and a legacy as second-rate, lives today in black America. Not very pc but let’s get real, the chains of slavery have taken on a new form. Write articles, discuss, discover, reveal these chains.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Obama Hatred

First off, we want to apologize for taking such a long vacation. College is always too hectic, but hopefully now that we are finally establishing our schedules, we will fit blogging in as well.

Recently, there was an article in NY Magazine about groups in America organizing against Obama. Now, we have to simply recognize that this is to be expected, of course there are American citizens who are unhappy with Obama's policies, just like there were American citizens who disliked Bush's policies. That said, the examples given in this article are just stunning.

As New Yorkers, we realize that we are in a sort of political bubble. Not everyone in New York City thinks alike, but rarely do we come across individuals who would liken Obama to Hitler. The hatred and outright outrageous beliefs of these individuals must be read for yourself. Most shocking are the statistics, proving that these individuals are not the only ones who are still circulating conspiracy theories about Obama being born in another country, a muslim, and a socialist. Apparently, "33 percent of New Jersey Republics believed that Obama was not a citizen and 14 percent thought he was the Antichrist" (Weiss). It is unfathomable, that people are so blinded by their hatred for Obama to go to such extremes.

I couldn't get past thinking that this hatred is deeper than just opposition to Obama's policies. The fact that people have shown up at rallies with Obama "photoshopped as a half-naked African native in a hut with a grass skirt and a bone in his nose" (Weiss). These actions seem to be more than disapproval. Such comparisons are much like minstrel shows, or the many epithets that have luckily become very politically incorrect. Later in the article, a man claims Obama didn't write his autobiography, but then goes on to mention race, which clearly has nothing to do with who wrote Dreams From My Father or whether Obama was born in the United States.

Do you think individuals with these viewpoints are fueled by racism? What will this hatred lead to?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Everyone's A Little Bit Racist

So we love Broadway shows especially, the most popular of them all, Avenue Q--a quasi-Sesame Street show. Avenue Q was inspired by Sesame Street, but addresses issues mostly faced by adults--for those who have now grown out of Bert and Bernie. With an amazing soundtrack, we'd like to share one of the songs that perfectly illustrate the issues of race today. Everyone's A Little Bit Racist, asks listeners to acknowledge our "judgments based on race". We are all racist and as the song says, "it doesn't mean we go on committing hate crimes." And we agree that we MUST all face the influences of society. As Beverley Tatum argued, passive racists are standing still on the conveyor belt yet reaching the same destination--racism.

We are all a part of the problem, so start walking against the conveyor belt.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Good Hair"

So, we came across this movie called "Good Hair". This movie was inspired by Chris Rock's daughter asking him why she doesn't have good hair. The fact that his daughter asked him this question deeply saddened us. What happened to the Afrocentric pride? "Black is Beautiful" no longer seems to be instilled in the youth of America.

While this appears to be a comedy, it seems slightly twisted, why are black women still spending so much money to have straight hair like barbie? We have specifically done research and papers about this issue. The self-hatred in the black community unfortunately continues as beauty is still defined in a Euro-centric way. Maybe this movie will lead to a wider understanding, but we feel it is more likely to create it into a joke. Will Chris Rock's light-hearted approach prove to be beneficial to American society?