This video is from Australia. Videos from abroad give Americans an international perspective on race relations. I always enjoy videos or statements that confront racism with humor and wit. Sure, overt racism is disturbing, but if one is able to collect oneself, avoid the knee-jerk reaction, and calmly and reasonably respond, I feel more wars would be averted and peace would prevail. Besides, it is no small feat to turn an ugly situation into one where we can actually laugh (Warning: Contains adult language).
Racialicious starts us off this week with a thoughtful look at books about black southerners written by white authors, and street-lit written by black writers.
The Washington Monthly takes a look at some disturbing rhetoric that’s come up in the Elena Kagan hearings—not rhetoric about Kagan, but about Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice.
Most of the country looks poised for a hot weekend, so here are some pieces to read while you lurk in the air-conditioned splendor of indoors.
Hampton Stevens, guest blogging for Ta-Nahisi Coates, shares a story of a child trying to puzzle our increasingly globalized world, courtesy of the FIFA World Cup, and points to the communication issues inherent in terms like “African American.”
A loving ode to the diversity of voices heard in New York City every day:
The oil spill in the Gulf has been all over the news lately, and, frustrating though the lack of progress has been, there have been many efforts to stem the oil geyser. What about oil spills that don’t have a large impact on Americans? The Times looks at the Niger River Delta, which has seen the equivalent of the Exxon-Valdez spill a year every year for fifty years, with little attempt at cleanup or attention to the disastrous effect on the area’s ecosystem or economic future.
Oh, Arizona. Why are so many things happening in your beautiful state lately that give us reason to talk about you in these roundups? This time around, it’s a mural featuring the faces of local schoolchildren—but the schoolchildren are a diverse crowd, the mural was drawing racist slurs, and the school’s principal asked for a prominent Latino face to be lightened on the mural. He’s since reversed the decision, and the mural will stay. The Atlantic Wire has a good summary of the situation and the response to it.
The repercussions of Arizona’s anti-immigration law are still rippling outward. RaceWire elaborates with a look at the disappearing schoolchildren, as parents, particularly illegal immigrants, are keeping their kids—often natural-born citizens themselves—at home to protect the family.
Book Expo America has finished and Memorial Day is almost here, but in between, here’s your weekly batch of diversity reading!
Looking back to the era of Civil Rights protests and Civil Rights legislation, Breach of Peace presents some amazing portraits of some of the 1961 Freedom Riders—with their mugshots, recent interviews, and recent photos. Some amazing stories here. Meanwhile, an editorial at the Washington Post looks at the 1964 Civil Rights act and government support of private segregation.