Category Archives: race/ethnicity

Should Businesses Have More Rights than Gays, Women and Blacks?

Business rights v human rights.

Business rights v human rights.

Should businesses have more rights than people? In particular, people who are gay, female or black?

Because the US has a history of privileging businesses over historically underprivileged people.

And it’s getting worse. As Harvard’s Kennedy School observes: Read the rest of this entry

Women Are Passive? Think Again

Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter

Most of us think women are more passive than men. It’s natural, right? Men’s testosterone makes them tough and assertive.

Think again.

Actually, it’s hard to untangle the effects of biology and society.

In fact, it’s hard to untangle the effects of biology, alone.

Testosterone makes men aggressive?

Yes, men have more testosterone. But:  Read the rest of this entry

Making Black Men Look Scary

“I can’t breathe.” Eric Garner’s last words

“I can’t breathe.” Eric Garner’s last words

Black men who are killed by police officers often end up with a media makeover — and it’s not flattering.

For Black History Month I am reposting a Sociological Images look at how the images are selected and sometimes altered. The piece was published last August. Here it is (with permission): Read the rest of this entry

Ferguson: If Whites Became Black

Black lives don't matter?

Black lives don’t matter?

A lot of whites “don’t get” the uproar in Ferguson.

Why would anyone get upset over killing a thug who robbed and assaulted a convenience store clerk? A guy who struggled to get a cop’s gun? And who later charged at the officer?

Michael Brown is not an ideal martyr.

But the upset isn’t about Michael Brown so much as it’s about a world that says:

Black lives don’t matter!

Plenty of whites think we have overcome racism. They think blacks have the same experience with the police — and the world — as whites do.

Try putting yourself in their shoes. Read the rest of this entry

Using Racism to Excuse Sexism

You’ve probably seen this anti-street harassment video:

It’s part of Hollaback’s ongoing work to empower women by boosting empathy, understanding and change.

But the video has been called racist for over representing men of color.

Here’s what Dr. Brittany Cooper, a Rutgers University professor of women, gender and Africana studies, had to say about that: Read the rest of this entry

Rape: Not as bad as seeming prejudiced

Children raped, trafficked

Children raped, trafficked

Around 1,400 children were beaten, raped, tortured and trafficked for over a decade in the lower-class town of Rotherham, in north England.

As authorities stood by. Or fined parents of the missing children for wasting their time.

Some of the girls were splattered with gasoline and told they’d be set afire if they reported the abuse. Some were forced to watch other kids being raped. Others were told that their parents or siblings would be killed or gang raped if they went to authorities, according to the New York Times.  Read the rest of this entry

Blaming Victims of the Powerful

There is no honor in killing innocent victims

There is no honor in killing innocent victims

Trigger Warning: May be triggering for rape victims

Ten-year-old “G” was attacked in a rape so violent that it made a hole between her vagina and rectum.

She bled so heavily that she nearly lost her life.

In the hospital, G’s mother and aunt fretted over community pressure to kill her to retain family honor.

Little G felt homesick at the hospital, but no one had the heart to tell her that her family was conspiring to kill her.  Read the rest of this entry

Body Delusions

cameron tedCameron Russell transforms herself from hot model to girl-next-door in six seconds after walking on stage for a TED Talk. All she did was trade six-inch heels for flats, wrap a long skirt over her mini and pull on a sweater. 

Image is superficial.

But it’s also powerful.

Once when she had wanted to buy a dress, but forgotten her money, she got the dress for free.

Yet a brown-skinned woman might be followed around the store, identified as a potential shoplifter.

When a friend of Cameron’s got pulled over for running a red light, the supermodel uttered, ”Sorry, officer” and they got off scott free.  Read the rest of this entry

Whitewashing White Privilege

SegregationBy Sarah Shaver

I grew up in a white-only world. As a child I didn’t realize that segregation had this purpose: It’s easier to deny people justice when you don’t know them.

As a kid growing up in Ohio in the 1960s I lived in a white neighborhood and most of my friends were white. So were my teachers, my doctor, my dentist and anyone else of seeming importance. That world seemed natural and normal to me.

When an Asian family moved into our neighborhood someone painted “COMMIE” on their trash cans. They only lasted a month. When a black family moved to the very edge of our neighborhood my family moved out. I was told that blacks would ruin the place. Later I went back and was surprised that the whole neighborhood had become black. And clean and well-kept and beautiful.  Read the rest of this entry

On Burqas and Being Subordinate

1By Zaineb Alkhaleef

Last Halloween I saw a white teenage boy dressed as an Arab man. His friend wore a burqa — and a rope around (his/her?) neck, which the “Arab man” held as a leash. He kept pulling “her” around and shouting orders. I was shocked and wondered what their motive could be.

It got me thinking about women and rights.

I am a devout Muslim woman who wears hijab, a scarf to cover my hair.

Why do I do this? Because I am inferior and subordinate? Because it is my job to control men’s sexuality?

No.

I grew up hearing that men are sexual predators who are incapable of looking at a woman who isn’t covered from head to toe without wanting to rape them, or “mentally rape” them.

But that’s not why I cover my hair.

In fact, while some say women must dress modestly to keep uncontrollable men from sinning, I don’t buy it.

Read the rest of this entry

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