Friday, April 19, 2013

Racist Reporting in the Boston Bombing

The media is not a neutral source of information. Some stations like Fox, are more blatantly problematic than others but reporters, just like everyone else, are raised in a racist, homophobic, cissexist, ableist society and that means that they have internalized all of the isms and cannot help but reveal their biases in their reporting.  This stigmatizes historically marginalized people and can lead to further oppression and violence.  Already it has been reported that, "Heba Abolaban, a Palestinian doctor who immigrated to the United States from Syria, says she was punched in the shoulder in Malden, Mass., on Wednesday by a man who shouted "F*** you Muslims!" and "You are involved in the Boston explosions," according to the Malden Patch."

As horrible as this alleged attack is, it's not the least bit surprising given the Islamophobic nature of American society.  It certainly didn't help when John King of CNN released that his sources told him that the police were looking for a quote, "dark-skinned man."  Let's have a look at what Reverend Al Sharpton had to say on MSNBC.

transcript below the fold.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blackface in Vogue Netherlands

The above image is from Vogue Netherlands. The model is Querelle Jansen, the photographer was Ishi and the stylist was Marije Goekoop. According to Jezebel, the inspiration for these images was Grace Jones and Josephine Baker.  Pause for a moment to think about that.  Both Baker and Jones are iconic Black women and yet Blackface was used. Both of these women encountered racism and actually fought against the limitations placed upon them therefore; it's is horrifying to see their legacy represented this way.

This cannot simply be reduced to an artistic vision; it's absolutely racist.  Blackface has been a recurring theme in fashion magazines the last few years and each time, it's defended as art and Black people are told to simmer down because our offense is disruptive to their vision.  The frequency of Blackface in fashion magazines cannot possibly be defended as accidental, or art, when the complaints and charges of racist images has been quite vocal and continually ignored.

One of the things that disturbs me about the constant forays into these  racist images, is the fact that actual Black models have an extremely hard time breaking into the industry and they are underrepresented in magazines and on runways.  Instead of hiring a Black model, the fashion industry constantly resorts to Blackface, as though this is the only possibility of representing people of colour. It is yet another slap in the face and reminds Black people that we are disposable and that our culture and very lives are meaningless in the face of White supremacy. In short, these photos show proof of the continual colonization of our bodies.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mother of Two Wishes She had Remained Child Free

'pregnant silhouette' photo (c) 2004, mahalie stackpole - license:

I recently came across the story of story of 57 year old Isabella Dutton in The Daily Mail. In it, she talks about never wanting to have children but choosing to become the mother of two to make her husband happy. She talks about never having a connection with either of her children but deciding that since she brought them into this world that she would care for them.  Though Dutton claims that she came to love her children, after reading the article, it's clear to me that she loved her dog far more than either of them.
And here, perhaps, is the nub of it: I would not take on the job of motherhood and do it half-heartedly. Unlike so many would-be mums I thought hard about the responsibilities of my role, and, I believe, if more women did before rushing heedlessly into it, they might share my reservations.

I was acutely aware that a child would usurp my independence and drain my finances. I felt no excitement as my due date approached. I had no compulsion to fill the nursery with toys, nor did I read parenting manuals or swap tips with friends. I focused on enjoying the last months of my freedom.

Tony and I had a strong marriage - after 37 years, we still do - and I did not dread the effect of the baby on our relationship. Sure enough, we maintained an active and fulfilling sex life and made a date night each Friday when Tony's parents babysat.

However, I did dread the encroachment of this demanding little being on my own independence.

So, in May 1979, Stuart was born, blue in the face as the cord was wrapped round his neck. While other mothers would be frantic with worry, I remained calm when the doctor whisked him away. I sent Tony back to work and for the next four hours I waited without any apprehension. (read more)
I know that there are some women who will be tempted to call Dutton brave for openly talking about her experience but I find her to be a cold, narcissistic woman.  How can you claim to love your children on one hand and then talk about feeling no panic when they are ill or openly proclaiming that they were little more than parasites, who took and gave nothing back?