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Showing posts from February, 2009

U People Documentary (15 Min. Trailer): Race and Sexuality in Today's America

Today, I ran across a pleasant delight while taking a "break" from work - U People. U People is a multi-faceted conscious-raising project that bridges art and activism and provides a critical assessment of race and sexuality in America. "U People" -- a documentary that is an outgrowth of the broader project premiered on Logo February 7th and won the Jury Award at the IMAGE-NATION LGBT Film Festival in Canada.

I was able to catch parts of the documentary online at the Logo site but was unsuccessful in seeing the entire film (although they say the Full Documentary is present). By digging a bit further, I found this 15 minute trailer that provides a closer look at why YOU should be buying-watching-talking about this film. The U People website states that:

the mission of the documentary is to dismantle the blanket categorization and ignorance inherent in the phrase "you people" by displaying unique individuals in possession of personal power and self-determinat…

What do FDR's New Deal and Obama's Economic Stimulus Plan have in common?

Unfortunately, a lot.

A recent report by the Kirwan Institute on Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University projects that the relief purposed to come from the Economic Stimulus Plan will not benefit all groups to the same degree. Because of the racial stratification of occupations and employment opportunities, the jobs created in the stimulus package are designed for industries where blacks, in particular, are underrepresented (e.g., the construction industry).

In parallel fashion, the handouts of the New Deal disproportionately fell in the hands of white middle class America, as it funded the seeds of suburbanization and the post-World War II White Flight phenomenon through the National Housing Act of 1934 implemented by the Federal Housing Administration. These government handouts are largely responsible for the large black-white gap in wealth we still see today.

Fortunately, unlike the 20s, we currently have laws that criminalize racial discrimination in hiring and wage allotment. Ho…

"Leavin' the Hood": The Health Paradox of Integrated Neighborhoods

A fairly-recent article of Matthew O. Hunt highlights a rarely-recognized aspect of American racism: perceptions of racial discrimination are more likely in integrated settings. Below, I have included the reference and abstract of the study published in Social Psychology Quarterly.

Hunt and colleagues highlight three types of neighborhoods -- relatively homogeneous without non-whites , "integrated" (i.e., approx. 50-50 split), and relatively homogeneous and dominated by non-whites. Perceptions of discrimination is highest in neighborhoods that are relatively homogeneous without non-whites and lowest in neighborhoods that are relatively homogeneous with non-whites. "Leavin' the hood" may not be so psychologically pleasing after all, hmmph.

This finding echoes Thomas A. LaVeist's thesis from the early 90s with regards to infant mortality rates. LaVeist found that, within highly segregated metropolitan contexts, IMR rates for blacks were lower, but only if black…

NPR on Post-Racial America

NPR on Post-Racial America

Some of the themes touched on include, but are not limited to:
the social construction of race and racial disparitiesrace, power, and institutionsthe racialization of opportunity structures in the stimulus packages of the 1930s and the new milleniumcolorblind ideologylanguage that bridges the color divide
Here is a more detailed description of the 20 minute segment:

Description

President Barack Obama is the country's first African-American president. For some, his victory has ushered in a post racial era in which there is less need for Americans to talk about race. But not everyone agrees. Professor and commentator Boyce Watkins, author Shelby Steele and John Powell, of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University, discuss whether a post-racial America really exists.

Some Notable Quotes (chosen at my discretion)

Shelby Steele: "what it means to me, a post-racial society, is a society where race is no longer connected t…