Tag Archives: racism

Harvard’s Government School Orientation Will Now Have A “Check Your Privilege” Session

harvard-051514

Last week, the dean of Harvard University’s prestigious Kennedy School of Government agreed to include “power and privilege training” for every new student at orientation.

As NYmag.com notes, activists like Reetu Mody, a first-year grad student at the Kennedy School, found themselves disturbed by how often their opinions, especially those suggesting a racial bias, were dismissed in class discussions. The Kennedy School is known for grooming future world leaders, but apparently it doesn’t offer a very wide range of viewpoints in the classroom. In response, concerned students created a Tumblr called HKS Speak Out, a website that allows students to anonymously share their frustration with the limited sense of diversity on campus. In an open letteron the blog published on April 29th, students asked for “a mandatory power and privilege training that examines components of race, gender, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, ability, religion, international status, and power differentials for every incoming HKS student starting August 2014,” among other requests.

Keep reading »

Donald Sterling On Magic Johnson: “He Acts So Holy, He Made Love With Every Girl In Every City, And He Catches HIV”

Donald Sterling On Magic Johnson: "He Acts So Holy, He Made Love With Every Girl In Every City, And He Catches HIV"
Shut This Fucker Up, Please

Donald Sterling sure has a funny way of “apologizing” for making racist remarks and trying to get back into the good graces of the NBA. The Los Angeles Clippers owner appeared on “Anderson Cooper 360″ last night, and in addition to denying that he’s a racist and claiming he was baited into making those racist statements by his mistress, V. Stiviano, Sterling couldn’t help but go in on Magic Johnson, the NBA legend who was name-checked in his original rant. It seems that Sterling, who maintains that he respects and admires Johnson, just thinks Johnson is a bad role model and should “fade into the background” — not because he’s Black but because he “has AIDS.” (Johnson actually has HIV, not AIDS, but we’ll get to that in a second.) Sterling explained to Cooper:

“Here’s a man I don’t know if I should say this, he acts so holy. He made love with every girl in every city in America, and he had AIDS, and when he had those AIDS, I went to my synagogue and I prayed for him. I hoped he could live and be well. …

I didn’t criticize him. I could have. Is he an example for children? You know, because he has money, he’s able to treat himself. But Magic Johnson is irrelevant in this thing. He didn’t do anything harmful to anybody and I respect him and I admire everything that he does. I’d like to help even more if he would offer me an opportunity to help. I like to help minorities. … What has he done? Can you tell me? Big Magic Johnson, what has he done? He’s got AIDS. … Keep reading »

Clippers Owner Donald Sterling: “I Am Not A Racist” (Cue Eyeroll)

morning quickies
donald sterling CNN
Yeah, Right
  • Donald Sterling of the Los Angeles Clippers appeared on “Anderson Cooper 360″ to discuss the audio that appeared of him complaining to his mistress about bringing Black people to NBA games. Sterling  insisted to Cooper, “I am not a racist” and that he only “made a terrible mistake.” Sterling claims he was “baited” and blamed his mistress for the words that came out of his mouth, whining “I don’t know why the girl had me say those things.” He has been banned from the NBA for life and fined $2.5 million. [Huffington Post, CNN]
  • Shelly Sterling, Donald’s wife, said she intends to divorce him. [TIME]
  • Meanwhile, eight law firms have told Sterling they aren’t interested in helping him sue the NBA. [TMZ]
  • Miley Cyrus cracked a joke about roofieing people for sex, because ugh, Miley. [TMZ]
  • Miami Dolphins player Don Jones has been excused from his team and fined after tweeting critically about Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay athlete. Sam was drafted on Saturday by the St. Louis Rams. [ESPN] Keep reading »

Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Fined $2.5 Million And Banned For Life By The NBA

Donald Sterling Fined $2.5 Million And Banned For Life By The NBA
On Donald Sterling
The Soapbox: On Donald Sterling, America's Culture Of Racism & Coming "Home"
Thoughts on the Clippers owner and America's culture of racism. Read More »

Earlier today, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced at a press conference that Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life by the NBA, after an audio recording of Sterling going on a racist rant was leaked on the internet this past weekend. “Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA,” said Silver during a news conference in New York. Sterling has also been fined $2.5 million and Silver said he plans on doing “everything in [his] power to ensure” that Sterling is forced to sell the Clippers. The image above is all that appears on the Clippers current homepage. [ABC News]

Oh, and after the jump, a photo of Sterling’s mistress V. Stiviano — who recorded Sterling’s rant and maybe/probably leaked it — wearing a Donald Duck T-shirt and a futuristic face-shielding visor… Keep reading »

The Soapbox: On Donald Sterling, America’s Culture Of Racism & Coming Home

The Soapbox: On Donald Sterling, America's Culture Of Racism & Coming "Home"

The media frenzy surrounding the racism of Los Angeles Clippers’ team owner Donald Sterling reminded me why last year, at the age of 23, I decided to leave the country I had been calling “home” for nearly two decades. As a black woman of Caribbean descent, I felt alienated and lost in a sea of endless racial divide and turmoil. Everyday in America I was drowning. My sanity and sense of stability slowly deteriorated, submerged in disillusionment. I did not want to leave, I had to leave. A fiery rage set ablaze feelings of anger, resentment, disappointment that could not be quelled. How could the country that raised me on the notion that all men are created equal, cast me into a reality of segregation and racism? The questions swarmed incessantly like a mosquito’s annoying buzz. The answers never came. Instead, I left. Keep reading »

Los Angeles Clippers Display Silent Protest Against Racist Owner Donald Sterling

  • Over the weekend, TMZ released a recording in which Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, tells his mistress he wishes she wouldn’t bring Black people to games or pose in photos with them on her Instagram. “Don’t put him on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me,” Sterling is heard saying. “And don’t bring him to my games. Yeah, it bothers me a lot that you want to promo, broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” One person Sterling is referring to is Magic Johnson, the retired Lakers player. In a silent protest during warmups yesterday, the entire Clippers team wore their shirts inside out (so the team’s name was not visible), as well as black armbands and black socks. Sterling was barred from the game while the NBA investigates the recording. However, Sterling’s wife attended the game, also wearing all-black. [New York Times] Keep reading »

So … This Is Avril Lavigne’s New Music Video

Avril Lavigne Hello Kitty Music Video
Oh no. No. No no no no.

Here is the recipe for Avril Lavigne’s music video for her new single, “Hello Kitty”:

  • 10 heaping scoops of Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku appropriation phase
  • 3 cups Skrillex hair
  • 2 cups assorted Skrillex noises (OK to sub generic brand “Scrillecks” here)
  • 1.5 cups “Wait, isn’t Avril Lavigne my age? Why is this making me feel so old? Why is this song so loud? Why is she still singing about slumber parties?”
  • 5 tablespoons PROBLEMATIC
  • 2 tablespoons of that time you had a Skittles-eating contest with your brother and vomited rainbow-colored bile.
  • A pinch of the most awkward sushi restaurant scene since you saw a white guy bow to the chef at a conveyer belt sushi restaurant in a suburban strip mall in Utah.
  • Crumble “SERIOUSLY THOUGH, WTF” over the top and bake until crisp.

Yeeeepppp, that just about sums it up. Avril, you know I always want to have your back, but not this time. I’m going to go take two aspirin and lie down for awhile.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Statement On Race, Gender, Genetics & Science Is Yet Another Reason We Love Him

Neil deGrasse Tyson On Race
Neil Nails It
Soapbox: Girls & STEM
girls in science
Here's how to get more girls interested in STEM fields... Read More »

I didn’t think it was possible for me to love Neil deGrasse Tyson more than I already do, but then the “Cosmos”‘ host went dropped some real talk in a discussion about whether genetics — specifically difference between the sexes — is to blame for there being so few women in STEM fields. “I’ve never been female. But I have been black my whole life,” he begins, before drawing parallels between the ways societal forces have long created barriers based on race and gender that have prevented equal opportunity. This is just perfect. [The Mary Sue]

The Soapbox: The ’80s Called And They Want Their Sex Wars Back

The Soapbox: The '80s Called And They Want Their Sex Wars Back

I’m writing this on an airplane from Toronto, Ontario, to San Francisco, California. I’ve just spent six days among other women, other queers, other porn performers, and other feminists at the Feminist Porn Awards and the Feminist Porn Conference. In that time, I have witnessed moments that made my heart soar, my eyes tear up with love and the fiercest of joys, pride in the people I hold close to me. I have experienced moments that hurt my heart, that disappointed me, moments that underlined how privilege can alienate and divide us. I spoke to academics, I spoke to sex workers, I spoke to sex workers who were academics. It was a weekend of realizations, inspiration, determination … and I came away from it all feeling exhilarated and ready to change the world.

I also realized that the sex wars are still very much A Thing. There are still Good Feminists and Bad Feminists, though the definition of which is which varies depending on who you ask. It’s saddening to see us fighting each other, women who have been called prudes for asserting their sexual choices attacking women who have been called whores for asserting their sexual choices … and vice versa. This is, of course, exactly what the patriarchy wants. While we bicker about whether or not porn is empowering, we are being systematically marginalized, turned away from jobs, thrown out of school, our kids and our workspaces and our money and our privacy taken away from us. The act of having sex on film or any other sex work may empower some and humiliate others, or we might start feeling one way and eventually feel another. (The same holds true for food service workers, though we ask that question far less often). In our current culture we are all experiencing and navigating the effects of capitalist patriarchy. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: What Online Prostitution Taught Me About Racism

The-Soapbox--What-Online-Prostitution-Taught-Me-About-Racism

Racism is a covert agent in our lives. Some claim that it is invisible to them; completely hidden. It is very infrequent that racism openly reveals itself for long enough to be identified, before disappearing, cloaked in discussions about “culture,” “socio-economics,” “sensitivity,” or “history.” Online prostitution is one venue where structural racism can be seen in plain sight.

That’s why I researched online prostitution in New York City for my college thesis. With the help of websites like Backpage.com and Craigslist.com, I became acquainted with the underground sex industry, where the value of a woman is in plain sight. Her worth is advertised without a hint of political correctness. No excuses are made about class, schooling or occupation. Every woman is simply a scantily-clad commodity who, with the click of a mouse, is deemed wanted or unwanted for purchase. Keep reading »

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