Greetings on this fine Friday! We have a couple links for you this week, dealing with interactions and being between cultures or peoples.
First, the Times has a look at Anglo-Indian culture: a relic of colonialist times, composed of people of (usually partly) European origins living in India, blending Indian and British cultures while being part of neither. Anglo-Indians occupied a middle position in the racial hierarchy of colonial India, seen as inferior to people of entirely English descent and upbringing, but superior to the native Indians.
We’re taking a break from Thursday videos this week, and listening to the radio instead! NPR’s Tell Me More has a great segment in which several mothers of multiracial children share their personal experiences being asked if those are their kids, or if they’re the nanny or babysitter. It’s a great piece, so check it out:
Some interesting essays round the blogosphere this week touching on all kinds of diversity—race and more!
Cynic’s blogging for Ta-Nehisi Coates, and he has a really interesting look at the progression of ethnic groups through his neighborhood: first the Irish, then the Jews, now the African Americans. Each group starts as outsiders, whom the insiders swear never to accept, so they create their own institutions and maintain their culture but eventually assimilate, spread out and leave the enclave available for the next group of outsiders—and with the vibrant African American community there now, he wonders, what comes next for them?
An old but good video this week, featuring a teacher who split classes—here a group of corrections officers being trained—into brown eyes and blue eyes and used that as the basis for (temporary) discrimination:
Diversity means more than meeting the status quo in the workplace. It means more than blindly complying with societal norms. It means more than a 2 hour seminar in your office’s conference room. Luckily, there are individuals out there who realize this is a much bigger project.
“Race: Are we so different?” is a traveling exhibition developed by the American Anthropological Association. The exhibit examines racial issues through three different lenses: history, science, and lived experiences. “Race: Are we so different?” utilizes interactive components, historical artifacts, iconic objects, photography, and a wide range of multimedia displays to open the American public’s eyes about this important subject. The exhibit is typically open for a few months in each location. Here is a list of the upcoming dates:
Well, it’s HOT, and it seems like the urge to stay out of the heat has led to lots of thoughtful conversations around the web this week.
We begin with a new take on To Kill a Mockingbird, the classic by Harper Lee that celebrated its 50th Anniversary just this week. While it’s been taught for years as the quintessential anti-racism novel, Stuff White People Do has a fascinating argument for why the book can also be read as racist. Among the arguments: “The novel reduces black people to passive, humble victims, thereby ignoring the realities of black agency and resistance.” Even if you’ve got a deep love for To Kill a Mockingbird, it’s worth thinking about who it was written for, how it can be read differently by different readers, and how it fits into the larger picture of a literature curriculum heavily dominated by white authors.
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).