We’ll ignore the fact that they wouldn’t save money because they would lose their Federal transportation funding if they only offered the test in English. We won’t ignore that it’s racist; it’s barely-coded anti-immigrant rhetoric, and in the current political climate, anti-immigrant rhetoric is barely-coded anti-Latino rhetoric. And “If you want to live here, learn [English]” adds another layer: the implication that immigrants and minorities are lazy. Learning a new language and adjusting to a new culture are not easy things, and needing a driver’s license before needing English fluency is practicality, not laziness.
Last Friday haiku
Thirty days of poetry
Ending with a verse.
Let’s start the week’s links with some history! It turns out that there have been biracial people for a long time, and we’re not just talking homo sapiens of European descent with those of African descent: a recent genetic study found evidence of interbreeding between early humans and Neanderthals. Pretty cool!
An Indian woman and feminist shares three encounters with women who are working for women’s rights and for peace within their traditions. It’s long, but it’s worth it:
Perhaps April is
Trying to write
Rhymes and rhythms
Yesterday, today—Poetry Month!
Only one more week of Poetry Month—enjoy it! (And yes, that means only one more week of reading my terrible attempts at poetry.)
New York Times columnist Charles Blow starts us off with his experience as a black man at a Tea Party rally.
In his deadpan way, Colbert reminds us how central race is to the immigration debate:
In Poetry Month,
Links to articles on race
Come with a haiku
Ta-Nehisi Coates is thinking about Confederate History Month, and brings us a photo and descriptions of recently-emancipated slaves from an 1864 edition of Harper’s Weekly—and like everything we’ve been reading about the census, it’s a telling glimpse into America’s racial makeup and mixtures: “Rebecca Huger is eleven years old, and was a slave in her father’s house, the special attendant of a girl a little older than herself. To all appearance she is perfectly white. Her complexion, hair, and features show not the slightest trace of negro blood.”
The census, however flawed and necessary it may be, has triggered some great writing and thinking about race and how we define ourselves. From CNN we have two great essays: journalist and filmmaker Raquel Cepeda writes on being Latino and the stories her family has told of their mixed heritage, and author Walter Mosley brings us a poetic look at the 10,000 years of history that led to him.
Starting off with some despiriting news: in the wake of the Health Care Reform debate, several black congressmen, including John Lewis, have been called racial slurs and one was even spat on by protesters.
At Love Isn’t Enough, there’s a great piece on DNA and identity. It adds another layer to the discussions on being biracial and multiracial we’ve been having, because it looks at how little we know about our own personal genetic and racial makeup, but how much we know about our own personal cultural makeup.
For your watching pleasure, Colbert’s best comments on race collected in one four-minute clip: