The concept of the Western standard of beauty is slowly disintegrating, and in Nigeria, that slow pace is picking up steam, all thanks to a set of dolls.
The Queens of Africa dolls and Naija Princess dolls were created by a Nigerian entrepreneur, Taofick Okoya, after he realized that his three daughters were only playing with white dolls like Barbies. Since their launch seven years ago, Queen and Princess dolls have become so popular that Okoya is selling, as he claims, 6,000 to 9,000 dolls per month, and has gained about 10-15 percent of the market. But perhaps his biggest victory? The dolls are easily outselling their Barbie counterparts being sold by Mattel. Keep reading »
As soon as Oscar nominations were announced this morning, Twitter strained to the point of breaking under the weight of thousands of bloggers, saddled with white guilt, who took up microblogging arms to announce the injustice of Ava DuVernay, director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic “Selma,” being left off the nomination list for Best Director. And while it is an injustice, people just as quickly wheeled around to the inevitable (and not untrue) conclusion that the Academy Awards are ultimately tantamount to a high school student council election with friends voting for their friends, and that real change would come 10-15 years from now when the older white Academy members have died out.
All of these are true things. They are! I even snarkily tweeted earlier today that another round of thinkpieces on the lack of Oscar diversity would ultimately be meaningless. But the more I sat with it, the more I realized that there are other takeaways from the DuVernay snub, aside from the overt and obvious casual racism and misogyny that’s trenchant in Hollywood. Here are a few other issues that we also need to focus on, and keep fighting against, that come from DuVernay being overlooked. Keep reading »
The thing about being white is you end up with a lot of white friends. They’re people you went to school with, people you worked with, even people you’re related to. Some white people are all right, but a lot of them are kind of awful. I’m not even really that super good of a white person, but I dunno, for me, seeing and really recognizing white privilege and how it’s benefited me isn’t that hard. It’s not like I don’t enjoy arguing on the Internet, I do. But I prefer to argue with friends of friends, and strangers on comments threads. For my actual friends, I expect a base level of enlightenment and modern thinking. That includes a working understanding of white privilege. Before Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, I felt pretty sure that two Obama elections and my Facebook posts about other racial flashpoints had left my Friends list pretty clean of people with backwards racial prejudices. Keep reading »
The Ku Klux Klan has taken out a billboard for the purpose of advertising their internet radio station — WhitePrideRadio.com, which redirects to KKKradio.com — alongside the highway in Harrison, Arkansas. The sign, which features a sad-looking little white girl holding a sad puppy, also declares “It’s Not Racist to <3 Your People.”
Previously, there had been a sign in that same spot that read “Anti-Racist Is A Code Word For Anti-White,” which received national attention after it was protested by many of the town’s residents, including the Mayor. The phrase, which comes from “The Mantra” — written by White Nationalist and former Reagan-appointee Bob Whitaker — is a favorite of white supremacists all over the nation. Keep reading »