Neutral Man’s Burden – Colbert on White Privilege

Stephen Colbert on white privilege.
“In America, white is neutral.” Colbert describes white privilege via scathing satire. Brilliant.

California targets undocumented immigrants

[audio:http://ericstoller.com/blog/audio/california-racism.mp3]

The state of California has done a horrible job of managing its budget. Perhaps it’s due to having Conan the Barbarian as its governor. Perhaps it’s due to a lack of responsible budget governance. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that whenever the economic status of California is undergoing a gloomy situation, the state likes to target its marginalized populations as the reason for why things are the way they are….

For example:

As the state tries to dig its way out from under a massive deficit, some say cutting off benefits to undocumented immigrants should be part of the solution. One proposal would stop welfare payments even to the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants. via NPR.

The majority of undocumented immigrants in California are Latino. According to the quote from NPR (via an unattributed proposal) the suggestion was made to eliminate welfare payments to U.S. citizens because their parents are undocumented immigrants. That seems to be just a tad bit illegal and racist.

You are a citizen of the U.S., however, because your parents are brown and undocumented, well, we just want to lump you all together and penalize you. What??!!

If you are born in the United States, then you are legally entitled to all of the privileges that accompany being a citizen of the U.S. Apparently, Californian’s have just decided to stop veiling their racism and come out with an overtly discriminatory proposal that targets immigrants of color. Also, the parents of these U.S. citizens contribute ridiculous amounts of money to the Californian economy. California is targeting marginalized populations and using lies to attempt to pass and/or create overtly racist public policies.

Pat Buchanan = blatantly racist

Dear Pat Buchanan,
I’m still not a fan. Why are you on TV spewing such racist rhetoric?

Sincerely,
Eric

PS: You are a racist asshat.
PPS: Your racist asshattery is phenomenally disgusting.

Iowa school district revises fluency list

Lori Phanachone is fluent in both spoken and written English. However, in March, Storm Lake High School in Iowa mandated that she take an English fluency exam because English was not the first language spoken in her home. “School officials told [Lori that] she [was] considered to be illiterate based on her refusal to satisfactorily complete the English Language Development Assessment.” The assumption by the school was that Phanachone, born in California, was not fluent in English because it is her second language. It’s an extremely racist assumption.

An honors student, Phanachone was suspended from school after refusing to take the test. According to Phanachone, “administrators… told her her college scholarships — $86,000 at Buena Vista University and more at Iowa State University, would disappear” if she didn’t take the test.

Continue reading Iowa school district revises fluency list

So messed up that I’m speechless

This guy is the co-host of FOX’s morning show, FOX & Friends. According to Brian Kilmeade’s website, “FOX & Friends,” “has been the No. 1 morning program on all of cable news for more than seven years.”

WTF? Who watches this garbage? Hitler Youth Recruiters? Anti-miscegenation Hobbyists? Stormfront Forum Posters? Racial Eugenics Supporters? This guy makes overtly racist and derogatory statements on a popular news program and he gets to keep his job!?? Race is a sociological construct…we are all the same species you moron!

Dear Fox News, Fire Brian Kilmeade immediately.

Continue reading So messed up that I’m speechless

Diversity at OSU

Recently, the Oregon State University Office of Community & Diversity held a diversity essay contest. 5 essays were chosen and then voted upon by the OSU community. I read all five of the essays. At the time, I felt that only one of the essays expressed a non-propagandized view on diversity at OSU. It turns out that that essay would be the eventual winner. Written by Matthew Holland, an English major, the winning essay focuses on OSU’s Difference, Power, and Discrimination curriculum and how it impacts OSU students. While Matthew’s essay was certainly important in its message, I was moved by an essay by a first-year student. Holland is a fifth year student, presumably in or nearing his senior year, and I would expect a well-written essay given his program of study and exposure to a class like the Ethics of Diversity. However, the essay that I have posted below, was written by a first-year student who directly experiences what a lack of diversity at OSU can mean to a student. I had the privilege of reading Israel Salgado’s essay and asked him if I could post it on my blog. Israel’s essay provides insight into his experience and what can be done to make OSU a more diverse institution.


Diversity at OSUGuest essay by Israel Salgado

The word “diversity” has multiple meanings to different individuals. It can mean: ethnicity, race, culture, sexuality, gender, social class, language and/or, disabilities. Though Oregon State University has made successful choices in trying to diversify its campus and community, it can still move forward in its goal of becoming “a destination of choice for people interested in diversity” by having more diversified staff, intercultural awareness events not only in the cultural centers but in the residence halls, and offering more baccalaureate core courses in this subject.

I come from Woodburn, Oregon a town just an hour away going north on the I-5. It’s a very diverse place with a population of 21,560 people where you just have to walk down the street before you can see individuals from different ethnic backgrounds. However, when I came to Oregon State University back in September to start my college education, I experienced a cultural shock. Though I have done my entire education with Caucasian students, I felt like I went from one country to another in less than an hour. During the first week of fall term, and sometime after that, I felt intimated and out of place here. I believe that every diverse student that comes here has or will feel the same feelings at one point in their life at Oregon State University.

Continue reading Diversity at OSU

More on meritocracy myth

The meritocracy myth is a lie. It is perpetuated and propagandized. It exists to buttress the status quo and maintain systems of power and privilege.

The Horatio Alger myth, so inspirational during periods of growth, may work against people during contractions. Its message of can-do individualism urges us to beat the odds, but it cuts us no slack when the odds grow terribly long. The impotent struggle to prevail against conditions that won’t yield can prove the unmaking of self-made men, and perhaps turn them into madmen now and then. For true believers in the gospel of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, the notion that bootstraps sometimes snap — and occasionally in great numbers, simultaneously — is destabilizing and bewildering. To accept that this notion is true may suggest that you have been lied to about how the system works, provoking resentment. To deny this truth may convince you that the defect lies in yourself, provoking despair

via Racialicious, via the NY Times

Tim Wise – audio interview

[audio:http://www.citylights.com/resources/titles/87286100273610/extras/Stacey_and_TimWise.MP3]

Race is, and always has been, an explosive issue in the United States. In this timely new book, Tim Wise explores how Barack Obama’s emergence as a political force is taking the race debate to new levels. According to Wise, for many whites, Obama’s rise signifies the end of racism as a pervasive social force; they point to Obama as a validation of the American ideology that anyone can make it if they work hard, and an example of how institutional barriers against people of color have all but vanished. But is this true? And does a reinforced white belief in color-blind meritocracy potentially make it harder to address ongoing institutional racism? After all, in housing, employment, the justice system and education, the evidence is clear: white privilege and discrimination against people of color are still operative and actively thwarting opportunities, despite the success of individuals like Obama.

via City Lights Publishing [mp3]

Between Barack & a Hard Place

Tim Wise talked about his book Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama (City Lights Publishers; January 2009). He argued that the election of Barack Obama says very little about a reduction of racism in America. He said it reinforces the old negative views about the larger black community while carving out exceptions for blacks like President Obama. His election may therefore complicate progress against racism. Mr. Wise also acknowledged that day as the 41st anniversary of the death of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and talked about white perceptions of racism at that time. He also talked about a highly publicized mass killing the previous day in Binghampton, New York, by a Vietnamese man and how, like in other incidents, blame is assigned to an entire group, unless the perpetrator is white. He also talked about other types of discrimination, the pervasiveness of racism, and the personal responsibility to combat it.

via C-SPAN