Tag Archives: race

Florida School Threatens To Expel Black Student Unless She Straightens Or Cuts Her Hair

black student Vanessa Van Dyke threatened with expulsion over natural hair

Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, Florida, has forced 12-year-old Vanessa Van Dyke, a Black student who rocks a mane of natural hair, to either straighten her hair or cut it off — or be expelled.

The school claims her hairstyle is in violation of the school dress code, which says, “Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction.”  It gives examples of inappropriate hair such as rat tails, mohawks and shaved designs.  The “distraction” is apparently Vanessa’s complaint to grownups at the school that she was been teased over her hair. Keep reading »

True Story: A Photoshopping Site Stole My Selfie Off Instagram And Gave Me A “Makeover” [UPDATE]

UPDATE, 5:40p.m.: @photoshop_fantasy has issued an apology on their Instagram page, although it appears all the same images are still up :

Hello lovely followers! We want to apologize for the inconveniences this account has caused with the unadvised photoshops. We deleted them and promise to not do these again without permission. What we did was wrong and we are sorry, and we certainly didn’t intend to hurt anyone. Thank you for your comprehension!

UPDATE, 5p.m.: @photoshop_fantasy has finally removed Carrie Nelson’s photo from their Instagram page. 

Last week, the Internet exploded in a debate about women and selfies. Are they feminist? Are they empowering? Are they a “cry for help”? For anyone not up-to-date, Amelia has written a solid summation of the dialogue thusfar.

I feel indifferent toward selfies. I have no problem when friends, acquaintances, or strangers post them, but I rarely share them myself. I’m not much of a photographer, and when I do take photos, I rarely position myself as the subject. But sometimes, I take selfies. Sometimes, when I think I look pretty or silly, or when I just want to express a feeling through my face, I take a selfie and share it online. It’s not part of my everyday life, but it’s an occasional fun indulgence for which I feel no guilt.

This past Sunday was one such day when I felt like taking a selfie. For the past few months, I have been struggling with depression, anxiety, and overcoming trauma, so it is often difficult for me to force myself out of bed, particularly on a cold weekend morning when my bed is so warm and comfy. Without thinking much about it, I snapped a selfie with my iPad. I took a photo of myself in bed, still disheveled from a restless night of sleep. More than anything, I was curious to know what I looked like in that particular moment. What I saw was a face that captured so much of what I have been feeling recently: exhaustion, sadness, and determination. Somehow, I managed to make all of those emotions visible and beautiful, in one snapshot of my face. Plus, the wisps of hair across my forehead added a casual charm that made me feel just a little bit sexy. I opened the photo in Instagram, added the Earlybird filter (perfect for early morning selfies), and captioned the photo “Good morning #bedselfie #sundaymorning #stillsleepy #nomakeup.” I posted the photo to Instagram, without sharing it on any other social networks, and went on with my day. Keep reading »

Oh, For Eff’s Sake, Michelle Obama Is Not A “Feminist’s Nightmare”

Michelle Obama

One of the most intriguing characters on “Scandal” is First Lady Mellie Grant. She’s not just a WASP sent from Central Casting, or a put-upon wife of a philanderer. Mellie gave up her Yale and Harvard-bred ambitions for the full-time job of photo ops and glad-handing as the First Lady. Just like Lucy Ricardo always wanted husband Ricky to just give her one opportunity to be in a show, Mellie Grant wants to influence policy and make big moves wherever she can. At every turn, she is stopped, often angrily, by her husband the President and his apoplectic Chief Of Staff. Both men remind her, every episode it seems, that the First Lady is supposed to be pretty sidekick, not a policy wonk.  In one episode, Mellie is witheringly informed her job is to be “ornamental.”

Watching Mellie Grant on “Scandal” has made me look at Michelle Obama differently for sure. It’s not hard to imagine she, too, feels a bit trapped in a golden cage. We don’t exactly know whether Michelle Obama feels like her intellect is being wasted, but we do know from Jodi Kantor’s book, The Obamas, a portrait of the Obama marriage, that Barack’s high-level staff has bristled in the past at Michelle’s involvement. But  also we know that Michelle dedicated her first year as First Lady to acclimating her two children to their new home and school and has spent many years since promoting healthy eating and exercise. All this has been summed up by Michelle Cottle, a Daily Beast scribe in a piece for Politico Magazine, as a feminist failure. Keep reading »

“Holland’s Got Talent” Judge Makes A Few Too Many Cringeworthy Racist Jokes

Poor Xiao!

The first thing I did after watching this video was hit up Google with the question, “is holland racist.” Perhaps not the best-formed inquiry, as far as reading comprehension goes, but a valid question nonetheless. It does, indeed, seem that the Netherlands might have a history of being a little racist, considering hundreds just recently staged a march as a show of support for Black Pete, the charmingly named “Christmas sidekick” of good old significantly less racist Saint Nick. Still, this fails to excuse (along with every other racist, ever) “Holland’s Got Talent” judge and grown man wearing a T-shirt with a leather-sleeved blazer Gordon Heuckeroth, who spewed some unmistakably racist comments in the direction of a Chinese contestant during (what I presume is) this week’s episode. Keep reading »

Armani Mislabels Black Actress Alfre Woodard As Black Actor Idris Elba On Instagram

Armani mislabels actress Alfre Woodard as actor Idris Elba

Do you know this actress’s name? It’s not a big deal if you don’t. I didn’t, until I used Google, which is what you do when you don’t know a famous person’s name and you’re going to write about them on the Internet, right? I can tell you who she isn’t, though, and that’s actor Idris Elba. I am absolutely certain of this. Armani’s social media people, on the other hand? Not so much. Keep reading »

Edinburgh University Law Students Wore Blackface For Class Party

I see where you were going with this, Edinburgh University Law Society students. Dressing up like a pirate is fun. Alas, your choice of pirate was not the “Arrgh, matey, ye scurvy seawags!” type [Hahahaha, what? Scurvy seawags! -- Amelia] and instead a more true-to-life Somali pirate.

Alas, dressing in blackface is still not okay.  Keep reading »

Renisha McBride’s Parents Speak Out About Murder Charges Against Theodore Wafer

Renisha's Murder
renisha mcbride
Family claims Renisha was shot because she's a Black woman. Read More »
Theodore Wafer Charged
Prosecutors Charge Theodore Wafer, The Man Who Killed Renisha McBride, With 2nd Degree Murder
Man who killed Renisha McBride charged with 2nd degree murder. Read More »
Racial Politics
racism trayvon martin
Racial politics in America need a good, hard look. Read More »
renisha mcbride
Renisha McBride's Parents Speak

Earlier today we learned about the charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter against 54-year-old Theodore Wafer in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride.

On November 2, the Michigan man shot McBride in the face through a closed and locked screen door at his home when she knocked on his front door earlier this month after getting into a car accident nearby. Wafer claims his gun went off accidentally and also that he believed she was an intruder. Prosecutors said there was no sign of a forced entry at all.

After two weeks of frustration for civil rights activists, Detroit prosecutors have finally charged Wafer.  MSNBC spoke today with Renisha’s mom and dad, Monica McBride and Walter Simmons, who have stayed out of the public eye these past few weeks. Keep reading »

Lily Allen Responds To Allegations Of Racism Against Black Women In Her “Hard Out Here” Video

Lily Allen is back with a new music video
It's Hard Out Here For A Bitch!

This week, Lily Allen debuted the video for her new song “Hard Out Here,” to extremely mixed reactions. Some, like our own Rachel, saw her song about pop music’s policing of women’s bodies and double standards about sexuality as a “feminist anthem.”  Others are deeply offended by her use of mostly women of color backup dancers, arguing that satire is not an excuse for using their bodies in disrespectful ways.  Keep reading »

Family Stages Rescue Of Kidnapped Bethany Arceneaux From Her Abusive Ex-Boyfriend

bethany arcenaux

It’s an incredible and heartbreaking story: the family of a young woman who was kidnapped last week by her abusive ex-boyfriend confronted him in a stand-off and saved her life.

Bethany Arceneaux, 29, was kidnapped on Wednesday in Louisiana, by Scott Thomas, her ex-boyfriend and father of her child. Arceneaux filed a restraining order against Thomas in June, explaining he threatened to kill her before and “put a knife to my neck countless times.” But he ignored that order — as all too many abusers do — and on Wednesday, showed up outside the daycare where she was retrieving their child. Witnesses saw Thomas force Arceneaux into his vehicle, leaving their two-year-old child alone inside her car as he drove off.

At some point, according to KATC news, Thomas allegedly called Arceneaux’s family and asked them to take care of his kids, because he was going to kill both himself and Arceneaux. Keep reading »

[UPDATE] Family Of Renisha McBride, 19, Claim She Was Shot After Car Broke Down Because She Is Black

renisha mcbride

Update: This evening there is a rally for Renisha McBride in Dearborn, Michigan. Details at the link. [Clutch Magazine]

Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old Detroit woman, was shot and killed early Saturday morning in an incident her family says was racial profiling.

According to police, McBride’s car broke down in the neighborhood of Dearborn Heights, Michigan. She went up to a house, presumably asking for help because her cell phone battery had died. Instead, a 50-something man at the home pulled out his shotgun and killed McBride, a Black woman, on the front porch. Keep reading »

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