Bunch-O-Links/Open Thread (While the Amp's Away The Rachel Will Play Edition)

While Amp is busy fixing his basement, I figured I’d take over the link farm duties. As a rule I generally post bunch-o-links only on Rachel’s Tavern because y’all will never come over and visit my site unless I have some unique content. Plus, I can’t possible compete with Amp’s link farms; my man manages to get like 1,000 good posts in each link farm. Of course, it should not come as a surprise to anybody that my links are heavy on racism content with a little gender and human equality content thrown in for good measure. Admittedly, when it comes to progressive/liberal politics, y’all won’t find too many links here, but feel free to add you favorite links of the week in the comment section.

1. Donna has a really good post about American Indians and taxes.

2. How to Suppress a Discussion of Transracial Adoption by Harlow’s Monkey

3. Bomani gets hate mail from whites angry about two Black coaches being in the Super Bowl.

4. Terrence Says has one of the more interesting posts on the Isiah Washington F-Word controversy. For the record, I think Washington was wrong and I won’t defend his wording, but I think Terrence makes a couple good points.

5. Uh-ohh, this is really going to stir up some controversy!!!. I found this post on a site dedicated to Bollywood films (Indian films for those who don’t know. In order to understand why this is so ironic you need to have been following the coverage of the British version of Big Brother. Here’s a brief summary: Well known Inidan actress Shilpa Shetty was a contestant on the show, and she was the subject of racial taunts from a group of white women contestants. There was a huge uproar in India and in Britain over her treatment. Now, lo and behold, what do we see? Shilpa Shetty from a 2004 broadcast where the hosts are lampooning a guy in blackface, and Shetty appears to be laughing (of course, I don’t know if it’s uncomfortable laugh or what; you can’t tell from the picture.). Go figure!! This is a great example of why I don’t go for that people of color can’t be racist argument.

6. Brownfemipower has been blogging about her experience at the National Advocates for Pregnant Women Conference. She does a good job talking about how we need to refocus away from abortion and on to the reproductive rights/women’s and children’s rights. Amanda is also hosting presenters from the conference on her site.

7. I also had to give a shout out to Amanda on this post comparing anti-abortion activists and animal rights activists.

8. Racialicious Has there own list of the biggest racial trends on 2006: 1-3 here, 7-4 here, 10-8 here.

9. Ballastexistenz put up this post a while ago, and I forgot to put it in my last Bunch-O-Links. It’s a video she made about personhood that she dedicates to Ashley X.

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42 Responses to Bunch-O-Links/Open Thread (While the Amp's Away The Rachel Will Play Edition)

  1. 1
    Myca says:

    This is a great example of why I don’t go for that people of color can’t be racist argument.

    Agreed, and I think another important point (in that it seems to be something I hear often) is that just because a person of color does something racist doesn’t make it ‘not racist’ (and therefore okay for white folks to do).

  2. 2
    crys t says:

    I think the idea that “POC can’t be racist” is supposed to mean that they can’t be racist TOWARDS WHITES in the sense that they don’t have the political/social power that is required to make the consequences of racism real. It’s the idea that racism is institutional and not simply about the bigoted actions or opinions of individuals.

    I don’t think most people who’ve said it ever meant it to mean that POC can’t be bigoted about other minority racial groups.

    Anyway what’s burning me about the current Big Brother situation is how thugs like Jo What’sherface from S Club 7 and Jade are ALREADY being made out to be tragic figures who deserve our compassion. Of course, the vitriol that’s been directed at them is way OTT (death threats are NEVER big or clever, people), and I don’t believe they should be hounded till the ends of the Earth, but they are hardly innocents.

  3. 3
    Myca says:

    I think the idea that “POC can’t be racist” is supposed to mean that they can’t be racist TOWARDS WHITES in the sense that they don’t have the political/social power that is required to make the consequences of racism real. It’s the idea that racism is institutional and not simply about the bigoted actions or opinions of individuals.

    Now that’s an interesting conversation, actually.

    I agree in the ‘society-wide’ sense, that I don’t think it’s possible for ‘people of color’ as a class to act in a racist manner which seriously affects ‘white people’ as a class, but I don’t like the standard formulation, because it ignores individual variations in the power structure. It’s entirely possible for given people of color to have power over given white people, and for their bigoted decisions to negatively affect those white people.

    Also, I’ve too often heard “POC can’t be racist” used as a response when a specific POC is called on his or her behavior . . . which turns the debate into a semantic one, rather than a discussion of whether a specific behavior was out of line.

    I’ve totally got nothing against macro-level discussions, I just have an issue with macro-level analysis being used on micro-level problems, just as I have a similar problem with micro-level analysis being used on macro-level problems, which (it seems to me) is a much more common issue.

    —Myca

  4. 4
    crys t says:

    Myca, I agree with one point: every time we look at this sort of thing we have to take context into account. In the specific case of whether or not Shilpa Shetty laughed at someone in blackface, I’m assuming this happened while she was in India and therefore part of her society’s elite, not in a subordinate social position as she was as an Asian woman in Britain during Big Brother.

    As to the other: hey, sorry, but if POC living in white-dominated societies are ragging on white people, just deal with it. Every time the issue of racism comes up on the so-called “progressive” blogs, you get loads of whites moaning on about how they’re being trampled by POC and EVERY criticism is labelled as “out of line.” I have no time any more for that nonsense. I don’t give a damn how “unfair” what’s being said sounds, there are usually damn good reasons for it even if we aren’t capable of recognising them.

    Now of course, there’ll be a load of you jumping on board to say that I’m being unfair/illogical/ad infinitum, but I’ll say that you remind me of those MRA types who, whenever rape discussions come up, try to derail the real issues of rape with comments such as “men are rape victims, too,” “sometimes women lie about having been raped,” and so on. Yeah, sometimes women DO lie, but those cases are VASTLY outnumbered by cases in which women DON’T lie, just as cases of women being raped by men, far, far outnumber cases of men being raped by women.

    Yeah, I’m sure sometimes POC DO behave in a bigoted manner, and occasionally a POC may have power over a white person, but let’s not bring up tiny numbers of cases that fit those criteria in the attempt to make it look as if they carried as much weight as all of white racism put together. That is completely dishonest (though popular in blogular circles these days).

  5. 5
    Myca says:

    let’s not bring up tiny numbers of cases that fit those criteria in the attempt to make it look as if they carried as much weight as all of white racism put together. That is completely dishonest (though popular in blogular circles these days).

    I think perhaps you are hearing something I did not say.

    I was thinking much more about the kind of thing you said here:

    I’m assuming this happened while she was in India and therefore part of her society’s elite, not in a subordinate social position as she was as an Asian woman in Britain during Big Brother.

    I think my point has more to do with how we differentiate between people in elite and subordinate social positions. I don’t believe that culture is monolithic, and what might be elite one place may be subordinate another. Shilpa Shetty is a famous movie star in India, and is called racist epithets in Britain, but even in India, where she’s in the elite in one sense, she’s a woman in a sexist culture, and thus in the underclass in another sense.

    I grew up in a hugely majority African American town, and as a white kid I was bullied and teased because of my skin color, mannerisms, and mode of speaking. It was an explicitly racial thing, and African American folks were in most of the positions of power around me. Now, of course, as I learned when I got older, this doesn’t hold true in the world as a whole, but when you’re a kid, your school is your world.

    OF COURSE our culture is white dominated, and OF COURSE a POC criticizing it shouldn’t be called a racist for saying something like “man, white people sure do some fucked up things.” It’s true. White people do.

    Does the fact that I got beat up as a kid for being white somehow carry “as much weight as all of white racism put together” No, no, no, not even a little bit at all, but that’s not what I’m saying.

    What I’m saying is that when the 12 year old me got the shit kicked out of him because he didn’t ‘talk right,’ and he complained about it, hearing that black folks can’t be racist was an immediate cue that the speaker was full of shit, because, hey, my bruises say different.

    It’s not the concept that it’s impossible for an underclass to execute systematic oppression against an overclass that I object to. I agree with that. It’s the specific phrasing that ignores that in given circumstances the membership of the overclass and the membership of the underclass change.

  6. 6
    RonF says:

    Can someone define for me the qualifications that define someone to be a “person of color”? I see the phrase used a lot, but haven’t seen it defined yet.

  7. 7
    RonF says:

    And no, I’m not going to try to hijack this thread. I’m interested in what you think; I’m not interested in putting forth my own theory/definition.

  8. 8
    RonF says:

    Myca:

    I think the idea that “POC can’t be racist” is supposed to mean that they can’t be racist TOWARDS WHITES in the sense that they don’t have the political/social power that is required to make the consequences of racism real. It’s the idea that racism is institutional and not simply about the bigoted actions or opinions of individuals.

    If person A attacks person B because they are of different races and person A hates everyone of person B’s race, then person A is racist and has committed a racist act. An individual has power to act against another individual. Such action is quite real to the person acted upon. It appears to me that to say that a minority cannot be racist towards a majority because they don’t have the social or political to make the consequences real would only be valid if “institutional racism” was the only kind of racism there was and that individual acts could not be considered racist.

    OF COURSE our culture is white dominated, and OF COURSE a POC criticizing it shouldn’t be called a racist for saying something like “man, white people sure do some fucked up things.” It’s true. White people do.

    Would it then be racist if a white person said something like “man, black people sure do some fucked up things.”? Or is that not true?

    crys t:

    Yeah, I’m sure sometimes POC DO behave in a bigoted manner, and occasionally a POC may have power over a white person, but let’s not bring up tiny numbers of cases that fit those criteria in the attempt to make it look as if they carried as much weight as all of white racism put together.

    Racism is a bad thing, regardless of what direction it is directed in at any one time. Racism by blacks towards whites does not justify racism by whites towards blacks. So don’t take my argument above to mean that I’m trying to excuse or counter or minimize the still-prevalent problem of racism directed towards blacks.

  9. 9
    Myca says:

    From Wikipedia:

    People of color: It is difficult to discuss this term without the discussions of power and privilege. This term has very different meanings in different countries and contexts. Some find this term as offensive as the term “colored”, on the grounds that it fixes whites as the benchmark for racial division, fostering an allegedly “us-versus-them” view of race relations. Proponents of the term maintain that it must be realistically acknowledged that those who have power and benefits from racial privilege in a racist society is primarily white, and that the term “person of color” is a better generic term for those who are racially underprivileged than “black person” as it includes ethnicities other than those strictly of African descent. This may include Chicano/Latino, Asian-Pacific Islander, Arab and many indigenous groups that also experience racism.

    I think that’s pretty much how I use it, anyhow.

  10. 10
    Myca says:

    Would it then be racist if a white person said something like “man, black people sure do some fucked up things.”? Or is that not true?

    My gut reaction? Yeah, I think it would be racist.

    There’s a difference between an oppressed group expressing anger at their oppressors, and an oppressive group lashing out at their victims.

  11. 11
    Myca says:

    Also, this is where the difference between micro- and macro- level analysis come in. On a macro-level, I think it’s much more true (and doesn’t come with the baggage that the reverse would) that white people (as a class) do fucked up things to black people (as a class).

  12. 12
    Rachel S. says:

    I personally agree with Myca’s distinction between institutionalized racism and individual/isolate racism. I agree that it is reasonable to say that people of color do not hold the institutional power to exercise institutional racism (focusing only here in the US, not abroad). I think small group or individual discrimination is a different story. I’ll give three cases (all real cases I know of) where I would argue that people of color are participating in racism. I would also go on to to note that I think these cases also epitomize people of color buying into the ideology of white supremacy.

    1) A black/white couple enters a local black owned restaurant. They look at a menu, and then take a seat in the waiting area waiting to be seated. Several other people (also in parties of two) come in after the couple and are seated, but the couple is not. One white couple is seated, and two black parties of two are seated. The couple continues to wait, and the two waitresses and the hostess, all African American refuse to wait on the couple. Realizing that they are being refused service, the couple approaches the hostess, and they say they have been waiting for several minutes. The hostess acknowledges this, and shrugs it off. Then indignantly the man says, why are you not seating us, we’ve seen several other being seated before us. The hostess feeling embarrassed says, “it not because you are an interracial couple.” The couple calls for the manager, who never shows up, and the couple leaves being denied service.

    2) A black man and a white women enter a store with an Asian American woman owner. The owner walks near the pair but does not ask them if they need help. The owner proceeds to follow the two. Suspicious they are being followed through the store, the white woman heads in a different direction, and the Asian woman store owner continues to follow the black man. The white woman notes this, and then goes up to the black man, saying we need to leave this store. The Asian woman approaches the two, as they are walking out, and says, “May I help you.” Indignant at the fact that the Asian woman is following the black man around the store. The white woman, defiantly says, “I think you have helped us enough. We won’t be patronizing your store ever again.”

    3. I’m going to use one word–colorism. I know I’m not giving a specific example, but I will use a few general example. I know many lighter African Americans, Latinos, and Asians who routinely disparage their darker skinned counterparts. The skin bleaching industry is big business, especially in parts of Asia and Africa.

    I’m not going to give examples like Jesse Lee Peterson, Ward Connerly, or Clarence Thomas, but I think many people of color would argue that these people do more harm to other people of color than good.

    I also agree with Crys t’s contention that talking about how people of color discriminate against whites is like talking about the mole hill while ignoring the mountain. This is also why you rarely see me saying much about that issue. I think it happens, but it is truly rare.

    I would also contend that the system of racism is so pervasive that even many of the people who are the primary targets of it buy into the ideology (i.e. colorism).

    (Incidently, I would also make this contention about sexism, heterosexism, ableism, classism, and so on.)

  13. 13
    FurryCatHerder says:

    Quick, Amp is back — post more links before he finds out :)

  14. 15
    RonF says:

    How authoritative do people view Wikipedia? After all, anyone can post on there (and there have been some egregious examples of manipulation of it) and there’s no particularly organized or authoritative review of the material. It’s not like Encyclopedia Britannica where there are groups of scholars editing it, after all.

    As far as the definition itself goes, I promised I wouldn’t debate the definition. I do want some help in understanding it, though, since there seem to be a couple of things in it that are limiting and shift it’s meaning from location to location.

    Proponents of the term maintain that it must be realistically acknowledged that those who have power and benefits from racial privilege in a racist society is primarily white,

    In the U.S. and other majority-Caucasian countries, but certainly not in African countries, Asian countries. Is the term only meaningful in countries that are majority-Caucasian?

    This may include Chicano/Latino, Asian-Pacific Islander, Arab and many indigenous groups that also experience racism.

    Are then people belonging to groups not indigenous to an area not POCs in that area? For example, here in Chicago (DA BEARS) none of those groups could be considered indigenous, although Native Americans would be. So are Latinos only POCs in the American Southwest?
    Also, it seems to be very deterministic – “‘person of color’ is a better generic term for those who are racially underprivileged” – how do you distinguish between a class and an individual? Blacks in general would be POCs, but if Sen. Barak Obama has been racially underprivileged I don’t see much evidence of it (although I have not read his autobiography and don’t know if he was, in fact, subjected to racism at some point in his upbringing). Is he, then, a POC? Or is it applicable to everyone of a given racial group regardless of whether or not they personally have been subjected to racial discrimination?

    I am minded of a story about a study I saw somewhere where blacks born in America in a housing project seemed to have been discriminated against in hiring by a local company, whereas Carribean immigrants with the same skin color were preferentially hired. Would these immigrants be POCs under this definition?

    I said I wouldn’t debate this. So let me say that I have no intention of attempting to define this term myself. I’m not going to say that your definition or the Wikipedia definition are right or wrong. I’m saying that this definition is not clear to me, and I’m going to guess that it may not coincide with what people want the term to mean.

  15. 16
    Kate L. says:

    Ron, Rachel has a great post in her archives discussing the term POC and what she sees as the problems associated with it. There was a lot of good discussion and spin off posts about it – I’d start there.

    I think the bottom line is language is imprecise and fluid and it’s difficult to use words that accurately describe the complexities of power and subordination.

    I know it doesn’t help you much… but maybe Rachel will be kind enough to provide a link to her old post. I’m too lazy to look it up myself.

  16. 17
    RonF says:

    I’m not going to sit here and say Sen. Obama isn’t a POC. But when a definition of POC seems to exclude people that everyone would say is a POC, there’s something wrong. I sat in with a group of fellow Episcopalians (black, white and Hispanic) who were debating an anti-racism resolution at our annual Diocesean Convention and asked what they meant by that term and got no answer. My point then was that it was kind of hard for me to advocate voting for a resolution when no one could define the subject of it.

  17. 18
    Robert says:

    There is no coherent definition of POC which does not have strong constituencies who would disagree with it. The definition which can achieve consensus (“everyone who isn’t white”) simply begs the question by moving it to “what’s white”. The term “POC” itself would appear to be a (tacit) upholding of white supremacism, or at least white normativity.

  18. 19
    Myca says:

    I get what you’re saying about Barrack Obama, but once again, the definition of the term ‘People of Color’ has to do with a macro-level analysis of the prejudices faced by different racial/ethnic groups, not a person-by-person analysis.

    Also, honestly, let’s say Barrack Obama gets the Democratic nomination for president and ends up running . . . do you believe that he’s not going to face difficulties because of his race? Even if he’s somehow miraculously avoided racism thus far in his life, he’s still a member of a racially disadvantaged group in America.

  19. 20
    FurryCatHerder says:

    I think “POC” is a bit over-simplifying, but I agree with someone else who said that the problem is that language is imprecise. What we’d like is a term for “disadvantaged racial minority” that doesn’t sound like fighting words.

    I think that for people like Obama race becomes much more complex and that’s why someone with his background might reject “POC” as a label. From conversations with my own son (Anglo-Mexican ethnic mix), as well as multiracial people over the years, “black” or “African-American” fails to accurately describe their own self-concept. I don’t know that, as Myca points out, Obama’s self-concept is going to protect him from anti-black racism, but to classify him as “African-American” against his own wishes, isn’t exactly polite.

  20. 21
    Sarah says:

    The link to Ballastexistenz’ post doesn’t work. Just FYI.

  21. 22
    RonF says:

    Also, honestly, let’s say Barrack Obama gets the Democratic nomination for president and ends up running . . . do you believe that he’s not going to face difficulties because of his race?

    No, I don’t. I don’t think that Sen. Barak Obama will face difficulties running for President because of his race.

    I live in Illinois and he didn’t have problems running for State or U.S. Senator because of his race. In fact, I figure that the fact that he’s the first black man running for President who seems to have a realistic shot at a major party nomination is working in his favor, since he’s getting a lot more publicity and notoriety due to that. I think there are a lot of factors working against him, but I don’t think they’re racial. I think they are related to his political views, his lack of experience on the national level and the Moslem component of his upbringing (there will be a lot of people who just won’t vote for a guy with “Hussein” as his middle name). I think that there are a lot more people willing to vote for him because of his race than against him.

  22. 23
    Myca says:

    No, I don’t. I don’t think that Sen. Barak Obama will face difficulties running for President because of his race.

    Respectfully, I think that’s naive. I believe that there are a not-insignificant number of people who will simply not vote for an African American person (or, for that matter, a woman) for president, regardless of their qualifications.

  23. 24
    Robert says:

    I believe that there are a not-insignificant number of people who will simply not vote for an African American person (or, for that matter, a woman) for president, regardless of their qualifications.

    Undoubtedly true. But that doesn’t hurt Obama or Hillary, because those are people who (by and large) wouldn’t vote for any liberal. They wouldn’t get those votes if they were white and male, either.

    Romney, on the other hand, probably does face a real challenge, because the majority of the people who would never vote for a Mormon are conservative. Giuliani, divorced, similarly.

    I think Obama’s candidacy is symptomatic of the Numinous Negro myth so prevalent in some liberal circles.

  24. 25
    Gary says:

    I’ve got one for ya! (This is of particular interest to residents of New Jersey)

    Last week we told you about a group of straight parents in the Evesham School District in Marlton, South Jersey who want the district to stop showing a film that teaches about the diversity of families, including about children with same-sex parents. Some of the prejudiced parents called the inclusion of LGBTI parents “disgusting.”

    Garden State Equality is planning an action at the Evesham school board meeting on Tuesday, February 13th at 8:00 pm, 25 South Maple Avenue, Marlton. We need all of you to join us — we want a massive showing of support for LGBTI parents and for the school board’s decision to include this film in its curriculum. Further, if you are an LGBTI parent or you have an LGBTI parent or parents, please contact GSE chair Steven Goldstein immediately at Goldstein@GardenStateEquality.org or cell (917) 449-8918.

    Everyone attending will be able to speak.

    Please forward this e-mail to everyone you know — we want this to be a massive action indeed.

    Background:

    The film, “That’s a Family,” shows kids being raised by all sorts of families, including single parent families, mixed cultural families, kids raised by grandparents, adopted kids, and kids raised by same-sex couples. The group of parents’ objections to the film are based on its inclusion of kids raised by same-sex couples.

    Rest of the post is here: http://pridepress.blogspot.com/2007/02/prejudice-new-jersey-families-under.html

  25. 26
    Rachel S. says:

    Robert, I searched for that term, and found the article that is supposed to be the original source for the term “numinous Negro.” I don’t think Obama fits into that stereotype because I don’t see the spiritual/spirit guide connection.

    Nonetheless, I agree with some of your other observations. Although you may be slightly overstated the Republican’s appeal to hardcore racists.

  26. 27
    sylphhead says:

    People who equate animosity from a majority toward a minority to that of a minority toward a majority… they’re like those people who cry double standard when women hit men and when men hit women.

    Obama will face difficulties of his race, but even more generally, he will be defined by his race. Maybe he will be seen as a ‘numinous Negro’, like by those idiots who thought Baggar Vance was a bright idea for a movie. In that case this definition will help him. And maybe, while we’re prattling off words that begin with ‘n’, that definition will hurt him. But either way, it’s unavoidable. And that’s precisely why ‘people of colour’ is an appropriate term, even if it means some upper-middle class black person out there is getting more leverage than he should be.

    Rachel, was that black/white couple at the restaurant BM/WF, or WM/BF? And was the hostess black? I think this is relevant. Racism goes beyond dollars and cents issues.

    “I would also contend that the system of racism is so pervasive that even many of the people who are the primary targets of it buy into the ideology (i.e. colorism).”

    I doubt, however, that it’s a single system of racism, though racism always has the same root causes. If you want to hear some heady anti-black, anti-Mexican, or anti-Native American hate, try being around traditionally minded Koreans sometime. (And I can say that, I’m Korean.) Again, though, there’s something to be said about those root causes. There are racist liberals and racist conservatives in Korean society, and more racists as a proportion of the population as a whole than you’d find here, but racists are overrepresented on the conservative side.

  27. 28
    not necessarily says:

    FYI, Jade Goody is mixed race, her father was Jamaican English.

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that Shilpa Shetty was in a “subordinate social position” “as an Asian woman in Britain during Big Brother”. I think it’s all very much more complicated than that, because even as she is Indian, she is still a very privileged and educated Indian woman. Compared to Jade Goody, for example, who has grown up as a member of Britains neglected underclass, who is the daughter of a biracial heroin addict father who spent much of her childhood in and out of prison; and the daughter of a lesbian disabled (she has a paralysed arm) heroin addict mother who Jade missed a lot of school in order to look after. Jade was one of those children who is forced to care for their parents to the detriment of their own childhood. Jade is therefore a member of several underprivileged minority groups, or a daughter of such, and therefore in then great scheme of things it is not true to say she is or has ever been in a superior social position to Shilpa Shetty.

    I don’t think it is fair to compare Shilpa with her own wealth and social class position, and all of the privileges of that, such as her education (she is a competent martial artist and speaks more than six languages, for example), her conventional beauty, her poise and grace, to Jade and claim that because Jade ‘looks white’ that she is in a superior social position to Shilpa. The comments made to and about Jade by Shilpa further demonstrate their social positions with respect to each other, Shilpa made regular derogatory comments about Jade’s spoken English, her “foul language”, her manners and her behaviour. There was absolutely no question watching them who was top of the social order, hence the much misreported angry comment from Jade to Shilpa that “You’re not in Neverland here, you’re not no princess here you’re normal. You are normal. You are normal Shilpa and learn to live with it.. You need a day in the slums. Go in your community and go to all those people who look up to you and be real.”" (source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6282883.stm). That comment came after Shilpa sneered at Jade that she “wouldnt expect gratitude from someone like you”, and that Jade needed “etiquette lessons”. The class angle here is one most people seem quite happy to ignore, the class element of that argument and how it began was totally covered up with reports reading that Jade had told Shilpa to “go back to the slums”. Thats clearly not what she said and in fact it totally turns round what Jade said and what she meant, she made a defence of herself at a blatant attack on her social class by Shilpa, but then Jade was herself misquoted and portrayed as making a racist attack.

    I don’t think its right or fair to ignore the class element here, to ignore Shilpa’s own part in these arguments, or the derogatory things she said to and about her ‘lower class’ housemates. Jermaine Jackson put it very clearly when he said, to Shilpa, during one of their many bitching sessions, “you can’t mix class with no class”. This row became about race because so many people can see skin colour but they dont see class, and they dont see that racism is not just about skin colour but about power and about power systems. They saw Jade and Shilpa fighting and jumped to the conclusion that Shilpa must be a meek and helpless Indian princess, under attack by “white trash”. It’s a racist assumption in itself in my opinion, because she is neither meek nor helpless, but she has been portrayed as if she was in need of rescue from the great white media men. The whole thing reads like a stereotypical Imperialist fairytale, complete with trio of “ugly hag witches”, and an ‘exotic’ Cinderella character who is taken away from her life of royalty and made to (gasp) cook and clean.

    This has all been a great opportunity, it seems, for those in the media who enjoy kicking the working (under) class, in particular those who are female, those who are white or mixed race, those who are single mothers, those who are uneducated or undereducated, those who do not speak “proper” English (ie those who speak in regional versions and accents), those who have not been trained in etiquette and ‘proper’ manners. Especially those who want a return to “pre feminism” and the days when women did not fart or swear, and were instead “ladylike” and “had class”. A real analysis of racism on this topic would, I think, have to be much more than drawing conclusions just from looking at the colour of the two women’s skins.

    And on the issue of racisma nd Jade Goody, it’s also worth noting that Jade is constantly mocked for her “piggy” features. When she was first on Big Brother she was labelled “The Pig” in the media, and she actually left to public chants of “Kill The Pig”. It would be easy to think this is just because of her weight (in itself that would be offensive enough imo) but in fact she was said to have “piggy” features. If you look at a picture of her with her dad you can immediately see that it is him she resembles, his biracial features she has inherited. But because her skin tone is very pale, white even, it is not connected that calling her features “piggy” might be a racist insult. I think it is.

    I hate to link to the Sun, but there are pictures of both Jade and her father Andrew on this page, so you can see what i mean about their resemblance.

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2005390138,00.html

    Sorry for going on.

  28. 29
    Igor says:

    Interesting. So, that Jane Goody’s father is clearly black, so she is also black (at least in USA she would be). So, what we really have in this situation is not white -on-Indian racism, but rather Indian-on-black. Very unexpected turn of events. :)

  29. 30
    Rachel says:

    Rachel, was that black/white couple at the restaurant BM/WF, or WM/BF? And was the hostess black?

    Black hostess. BM/WF

  30. 31
    Rachel says:

    Igor, I do believe that you have been banned from this site.

  31. 32
    RonF says:

    If Romney runs, I think it’s going to be very interesting if a) the press highlights the differences between Christianity and Mormonism and b) what the general reaction to that will be. Right now I think there’s a lot of people who think that Mormonism is actually some kind of Christian denomination. It doesn’t seem to have gotten a lot of play when he ran for Governor of Massachusetts. We’ll see what happens nationally.

  32. 33
    Jake Squid says:

    Right now I think there’s a lot of people who think that Mormonism is actually some kind of Christian denomination.

    As we aptly demonstrated not too long ago ;-)

    In some ways I wish that Romney wasn’t going to be irrelevant very, very quickly. I say that because I would find the debate on a larger scale to be fascinating and educational.

  33. 34
    Myca says:

    I think there’s a lot of people who think that Mormonism is actually some kind of Christian denomination.

    Well, yeah, probably because the LDS themselves believe this, don’t they?

  34. 35
    RonF says:

    Well, yeah, probably because the LDS themselves believe this, don’t they?

    Yup. The Mormon Church has been stressing the use of “The Church of the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ” to try to emphasize that. However, they have a lot of doctrines that contradict what’s generally accepted as Christian. Stuff like believing that if you and your wife live your lives according to the doctrines of the LDS, you can attain divine status yourselves, get your own planet to be God (and your wife becomes Goddess), procreate in Heaven, and start populating said planet with your own children. It gets a lot more involved than that. The bottom line is that there is no Christian denomination that recognizes the LDS as a Christian denomination.

    Now, there’s no copyright on the word “Christian”, so the LDS can call themselves Christian all they want. But nobody else who’s checked into it does.

  35. 36
    Sara says:

    This is kinda late and all, and it is on the semantics side, but FTR, the Amanda Marcotte post was relating pro-lifers to PETA, not all animal rights activists. PETA consistently uses antifeminist and racist bullshit to promote their agenda, and I’m always happy to see them taken to task for their egregious crap, but it is important to point out that they do not represent the whole of the animal rights movement. Thanks!

  36. 37
    Jake Squid says:

    But nobody else who’s checked into it does.

    Just because you feel strongly about this is no reason to lie. In that last thread in which we debated this, I provided plenty of links (to comparative religion professionals, to churches, to articles) that define the Mormons as a Christian sect/denomination/religion.

  37. 38
    RonF says:

    I remember that thread. “Nobody who’s checked into it does” was incorrect if you want to take into account some people who study comparative religions. But while there may be a few Christian denominations that haven’t looked into the matter too deeply, taken as a whole the Christian world doesn’t view Mormons as Christian.

  38. 39
    Jake Squid says:

    “Nobody who’s checked into it does” was incorrect if you want to take into account some people who study comparative religions.

    Perhaps you should say, “… the vast majority of people… ” rather than, “… some people… ”

    Honestly, I find your attempt to minimize the conclusions of your opponents to be despicable. “But while there may be a few Christian denominations that haven’t looked into the matter too deeply… ” indeed. There are many Christian denominations that have looked into the matter at least as deeply as you have and come to a different conclusion.

    I’ve spoken to a number of devout Christians since that thread and asked them their opinion. For the majority of them, the answer is simple. “They accept Jesus as Christ, therefore they are Christian. All other disagreements about doctrine are minor compared to that.” Yes, it’s anecdotal. But combined with the large number of churches, scholars, etc. that agree with them, it is clear that your position is disputed by a significant number of credible people who have looked into the matter deeply.

    I will readily admit that I was wrong in a number of my assertions in that thread. As I did in that thread, as a matter of fact. But I’m not going to outright lie, as you seem to be doing here.

  39. 40
    sailorman says:

    the mormons are sort of unique, insofar as they’re probably the only real major religion who 1) claims to be christian; and 2) gets a lot of flak for it. offhand I can’t think of an equivalent; all the other putatively christian sects use only the bible AFAIK, for example–which is why in my experience the mormons are not nearly as widely accepted.

    obviously there are other inter-christian religious disputes (catholics v protestants, for example). But those don’t usually result in a party actually disputing the BASIS (“are you really following christ?”) of the religion.

    One definition of ‘christian’ is “follows Jesus’s teachings” or “believes in Jesus’ divinity”. But then you run into the issue of what the teaching ARE.

    In practice I think a more common definition has become “follows (or claims to) the christian bible” and in that respect Mormons are probably not christians.

    Salt lake city sure was an interesting place to live though.

  40. 41
    Jake Squid says:

    Sailorman,

    That is my point. The definition of Christian varies by what your own faith is, as well as by professionals vs amateurs and by whether or not you think the bible is complete or is open to future additions. It is a debate that is very much alive today. To try to claim that there is no serious debate and those who disagree with one are few and uneducated is a bad faith argument.

    I strongly suspect that eventually the LDS will be universally accepted as Christian, but I could easily be wrong.

  41. 42
    RonF says:

    Sailorman, you might want to do some research on the Mormon Church, and what differences Christian denominations have with them.

    The Mormon Church holds that the Trinity is not “3 in 1 and 1 in 3″ – it holds that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are 3 separate entities that came into existence at different times. They hold that there is also a God the Mother as well as God the Father and that we are all the embodiment of spiritual children born of sexual congress between God the Father and God the Mother. They hold that Jesus is not “God’s only Son”; he’s simply His firstborn. They hold that if a Mormon and his wife live Godly lives, they will become Gods themselves and be set in charge of their own planets to be God the Father and God the Mother of and to populate with their own children (a divine pyramid game, it seems). They believe that they can posthumously baptize their ancestors (it’s this belief that has led the Mormon Church to become one of the world’s major resources in ancestral research). They believe that the Bible has been “mistranslated” in many instances and to that end have written the “Doctrines and Covenants”, a separate book equal or even superior to the Bible.

    I make these points not to debate the validity of these doctrines but to point out that all of these are well outside generally accepted Christian doctrine, and are the reason why you will have one hell of a time finding a Christian denomination that accepts the LDS as a Christian church. For example, good luck finding a Christian denomination that will go along with the concept that mortals can attain divinity. Yes, there’s differences among denominations about some doctrines. The Mormon Church, howver, is beyond that. If you yourself are a Christian, try asking your religious leader what their and your denomination’s position is.