Category Archives: Racism

Why I Will Join Thousands of Women as we March on Saturday

January 19, 2017

When I first heard about a planned march to amass the nation’s women to highlight women’s rights and in protest against the Trump administration on the day after his inauguration, I was initially hesitant. In originally billing the event as the “Million Women March” and advertising it as the first street protest of its kind, organizers overlooked the original “Million Woman March” successfully organized by Black feminists two decades ago. When this appropriation of Black feminist history was pointed out by feminists of colour, event organizers were dismissive of (and even hostile to) the critique. Instead, (White feminist) event organizers and early supporters offered the same familiar, callous, and white-washing refrain: that feminists of colour were being divisive in raising the spectre of race, and that we should put aside racial differences to provide a united feminist front in opposition to the misogyny of Trump.

Never mind, of course, that we were being asked to rally in unity under the banner of White feminism, which too often overlooks and deprioritizes women of colour and other marginalized women through its uncritical universalization of the lived experiences of Whit straight abled cis-women. Over the years, I have been lectured at countless times by White feminists who resent and reject my brand of non-white feminism; I had no interest in voluntarily exposing myself to that kind of toxic and intolerant space yet again.

But then, something about the event changed. In response to criticism, event founders re-named the march the “Women’s March on Washington” and invited prominent feminists of colour to organize the event. The Women’s March began to embrace a more intersectional framework for its feminism. Organizers acknowledged the March’s relationship to Black feminist history and took steps to acknowledge and commemorate the earlier work of Black feminists. White feminists were reminded that even within feminist spaces, they should do the work of being better white allies to feminists of colour; and that there is never a time when they can or should stop reflecting (and respecting) more and “whitesplaining” less. When some early White feminist supporters spoke against the efforts to make the event more inclusive of women of colour, they were actually told they were wrong!

With these developments, my fears were (somewhat) assuaged. It seemed increasingly clear that while White feminism still has a long way to go, the Women’s March on Washington (and its many satellite events in local cities) was taking steps to be a safe(r) space for feminists of colour and other marginalized feminists.

And so, I have made the (cautious) decision: I will march on Saturday in the Women’s March in New York City.

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Steve Harvey Mocks Asian Men on TV Show

January 10, 2017
Steve Harvey mocks Asian men in a segment last week on his daytime talk show. (Photo Credit: Steve Harvey show / Angry Asian Man)

Ugh, seriously? What the fuck, Steve Harvey?

A reader tip to Angry Asian Man drew our attention to an ass-tastic monologue segment by comedian/daytime TV show personality Steve Harvey on his show last week. Harvey, who is the host of the self-titled talk show Steve Harvey in which this segment aired, spent an uncomfortably long stretch of time Friday morning telling unfunny racial jokes about Asian men.

Harvey is also currently the host of Family Feud, a morning radio show called The Steve Harvey Morning Show, and the Miss Universe pageant (where he famously announced the wrong winner on live television).

Last Friday morning, Harvey included a book titled “How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men” in a list of ridiculous self-help and self-care books. The 200-page book was published in 2002 by Asian World Press, Ltd, which judging by its Netscape Navigator-era website and the fact that it lists this book as its sole publication, was created solely for this purpose. The book’s writer is Adam Quan, who describes himself as an “International Business Consultant [who has] successfully dated women of many nationalities”. For unknown reasons, the book is listed on Amazon with an asking price of over $1800.

Customer reviews of “How to Date a White Woman” are less than stellar: one Amazon customer reviewer who appears to have purchased the book in seriousness says that it is poorly written and unhelpful. The race and gender politics surrounding this book’s marketing and framing are clumsily regressive, and those issues do not appear to be dealt with in its writing. There’s clearly a lot of fodder here for making jokes about bad self-help books. Indeed, Angry Asian Man reminds us that he’s been making fun of this book since 2004.

Steve Harvey, however, doesn’t take that route. Instead, he deploys cheap and unfunny racial stereotype against Asian Americans, invoking caricatures of asexual Asian men and exotic Asian foods (video after the jump) in “jokes” (and I use that term very loosely) only funny to Harvey and his studio audience.

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Yale University Formally Considers Renaming Calhoun College

December 2, 2016
A doorway at Calhoun College, Yale University.
A doorway at Calhoun College, Yale University.

After more than a year of student protests highlighting racial injustice on the campus, Yale University announced today via a statement by President Peter Salovey that the school will formally consider a proposal to rename Calhoun College. The Residential College was named in 1933 for John C. Calhoun, a Yale alumnus who went on to become the seventh vice president of the United States and one of the most prominent pro-slavery advocates of his time.

The original decision to name Yale’s newest Residential College was met with muted concern in 1933, and the unease has continued in the intervening decades. Beginning last year, that concern erupted into sustained mass protest of Calhoun College’s name, which students say either whitewashes over — or even amounts to a celebration of — Calhoun’s pro-slavery viewpoints. The decision over the years to decorate Calhoun College with art objects that reference slavery — including a stained glass image of shackled slaves at Calhoun’s feet, another of slaves picking cotton, and oil paintings that included images of Calhoun with his slaves — only exacerbated the controversy; none of these art pieces currently remain at Calhoun, but some are still on display elsewhere on campus.

Last November, a multiracial coalition of students issued a list of demands to Yale administrators to address racial injustice on campus; the renaming of Calhoun was included alongside calls to improve administrative support for ethnic studies, cultural community centers, and student mental health. A survey of students conducted in April of this year showed that 55% support renaming the College.

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Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani and Thomas Middleditch Harassed as #EmboldenedRacists Get Even Bolder

November 14, 2016
HBO's Silicon Valley's Thomas Middleditch (left) and Kumail Nanjiani (right). (Photo credit: Getty)
HBO’s Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch (left) and Kumail Nanjiani (right). (Photo credit: Getty)

Silicon Valley‘s stars Thomas Middleditch and Kumail Nanjiani tweeted over the weekend that they were targets of harassment Friday night by two Trump supporters who decided to use the occasion of Donald Trump’s presidential election to threaten the actors with sexist insults.

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Nordstrom Rack Pulls Hoodie with Images of Nanjing Massacre from Online Store

November 13, 2016
Screen capture of "The Andrea Hoodie" by Happiness Clothing company, which was being sold by Nordstrom Rack (Photo credit: Nordstrom Rack / Daily Hive)
Screen capture of “The Andrea Hoodie” by Happiness Clothing company, which was being sold by Nordstrom Rack (Photo credit: Nordstrom Rack / Daily Hive)

Nordstrom Rack, the off-price retail division of Nordstrom Inc., came under fire over the weekend for its sale of a hoodie with an image portraying the Nanjing Massacre.

The Andrea Hoodie by the Happiness clothing company — an Italian clothing company founded in 2007 with the ironic philosophy of spreading “happiness” — features a screen capture from the 2009 Chinese film epic  “Nanking! Nanking!” (distributed in English as “City of Life and Death”) focused on the 1937 Nanjing Massacre. The scene depicts the pending decapitation of innocent Nanjing civilians.

Which begs the question: what the fuck is Nordstrom Rack doing selling a picture of a massacre of tens of thousands of innocents? Also, why the fuck would someone make this hoodie in the first fucking place?

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