Through The Static

September 19, 2008

Oh, Bama! Nothing Beats Racism With Your Morning Box-O-Waffle Mix.

Filed under: Food,Idiots,Immigration,Missing Persons,Oh White People...,Politics,Race,WTF — bobbleheadedbob @ 7:31 am

Dammit.  Dammit, dammit, dammit.

The bobbLebot is not happy-eth.  Why?  Because the bobbLebot computes that this election is more than a little ridunKulous.  It’s a friggin circus!!!  We’ve got posterchild of feminism Moosey Lucy Goosey in one corner with the jabbity jabby Tina Fey/Amy Poehler skit in one corner, then we’ve got OWG, Rhetorical brilliance (and yes, that is con a capital ‘R’) with racist-arse buffoonery in the other.

This is not an election, this is made-for-TV!  But – alas… when has America last had a “free” election, anyway.  Que oxymoronic.  <– not cynical, but critical.

Anywho, this robot’s Achille’s heel tends to be, “RACISM?!  WTF??!!!” — and today’s case would be no different.  Oh, identity politics, what you have doneth to me!

BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.  Okay, the bobbLebot cannot help itself.  But… on the other side of the coin, the bobbLebot is ethically opposed to voting.  Besides, robots don’t have rights in this country anyway.

Move over, Aunt Jemima!  There’s a new mix in town!

mmm... thats sho good eatin

mmm... that's "sho good eatin'"

Meet Obama Waffles… with “change you can taste”.  Oh, but wait — it gets better.  Or so says Chip Berlet’s blog post:

The boxes of Obama Waffles for sale at the 2008 Values Voter Summit were certainly racist and offensive, and conference organizers did the right thing by shutting down the sales booth in their exhibit hall.

It was alternative journalists, including those working for Political Research Associates and People for the American Way, that first alerted the mainstream media to the offensive caricatures on the boxes with online posts from the conference.

This is what voting tastes like.

Patriotism at its finest.

Patriotism at its finest.

Now, why would Rev Wright be MISSING?

because hes running from the law or because he got caught up in a lynching

Southern Subtext: because he's running from the law or because he got caught up in a lynching

Dudes.  Racism can be offensive, racism can be completely moronic — and then there are times when racism is downright creepy.

Aaaaaaaand… the party doesn’t stop.

There is a side panel recipe for “Barry’s Bling Bling Waffle Ring” that features a “Recipe Rap” that begins with “Yo, B-rock here droppin’ waffle knowledge” with the rest of the ditty written in such an irritating White caricature of Black rap that even a White 1920s vaudeville blackface crooner would be embarrassed.

mex

Open Border Fiesta Waffles!

Under the caricature of Obama as a Mexican, there is a recipe card for “Open Border Fiesta Waffles.” The recipe card depicts a perforated border between the U.S.A. and Mexico. The text under this says the “greatest danger of all is to allow walls to divide us”…The recipe card on the Obama Waffles box including ingredients such as goats milk and jalepeno peppers, and advises as a “Tip: While waiting for these zesty treats to invade your home, why not learn a foreign language.” The “Recommended Serving” is “4 or more illegal aliens.”

And the clincher’s just as dericious.

hm.

hm.

Though this blog post practically writes itself, there shall be commentary.  As minimal as it will be.

The strategy of not directly addressing race, or to keeping it to a bare minimum has been a brilliant strategy.  Why talk about race?  The ground crew on both sides and in the middle of this issue will do the work for them.  We’ve got Brown people talking about it, Yellow people talking about it — heck, we’ve even got White people talking about it… ALL THE TIME.

2 Reactions:

  • Yay!  We’ve got White people talking about race on major news outlets!
  • ::cringe:: We’ve got White people talking about race on major news outlets.

In any case, if that isn’t Change, this roboT don’t know what is.

::bLip!::

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August 21, 2008

For America’s Scholars Of Race, An Obama Dilemma

Filed under: Elections,Politics,Race — disciplepete @ 9:34 pm

This article from Black Agenda Report talks about the effect on race relations an Obama victory in November would have. The article reports the viewpoints of American race scholars on the issue. I really dug it cuz I’m a big fan of Derrick Bell, whom they quote, also they got input from Joe Feagin and David Roediger whom I also like. I was pretty surprised though by what some of em had to say. Anyways, I’ll quote the article and then I’ll throw my 2 cents in…

For scholars of race, Barack Obama presents a new American dilemma. On the one hand, his election as president would be a breathtaking symbol of racial progress. On the other, an Obama victory could prove illusory, doing little to dismantle racism while crippling their ability to call attention to it…

…”At this point, any conflict I might have is more than eased by the knowledge that Barack Obama, if elected, could be the salvation of a country in free flight failure,” Derrick Bell, a professor of law at New York University, who taught Obama when he was a student at Harvard Law School, replied via e-mail.

Pete’s note: Derrick Bell, in an awesome book he wrote called Faces at the Bottom of the Well (you must read it…extremely creative) argued that racism is a permanent feature of American life. So yeah, I guess I’m a bit surprised that he seems optimistic about Barack. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, I mean he’s not saying that racism will be over or anything.

Anyways, back to quoting..oh wait, the article mentions what I just said about Bell’s view of racism..ahh well, I’m keeping what I wrote! Ok:

In books like Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism, Bell, who is black, offers a bleak view of the possibility of racial progress in America, a view much at odds with the hopeful promise of Obama.

“If he sounded as I might wish him to sound, he could not be elected,” Bell wrote in his e-mail. “And he may not be elected even as his intellect and savvy puts him worlds ahead of his Republican counterpart. And that is all I wish to say on the matter.”

Another renowned pessimist — University of Pennsylvania political scientist Adolph Reed Jr. — did not respond to an interview request.

But in a blistering recent post on blackagendareport.com, Reed, who is black, argued that while Obama might be better than John McCain in the short run, in the long run he might be worse. This, Reed reasoned, is because, having co-opted so much of the left, Obama may move the boundary of acceptable discourse on race and class well to the right.

“I’m not arguing that it’s wrong to vote for Obama, though I do say it’s wrong-headed to vote for him with any lofty expectations,” wrote Reed, indicating his intention “to abstain from this charade.”

David Roediger, a race historian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, evinced a particle more enthusiasm for Obama’s candidacy. “I feel this sometimes has something to do with something I care about and, as things go in U.S. politics, it’s not the worst thing to happen,” said Roediger, who is white.

But, as he notes in the conclusion of his book – How Race Survived U.S. History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon, due out this fall – “Obama does not represent the triumph of an advancing anti-racist movement but rather the necessity, at the highly refracted level of electoral politics, of abandoning old agendas, largely by not mentioning them.”

Hey, they quote a scholar from UCSB!!….

And [Howard] Winant, a leading race scholar of the left and director of the Center for New Racial Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, called this “a very promising moment.”

“It’s hard,” he said, “to give up that thrilled sense of possibility, that thrilled sense that something really big might be changing in this area, which is so long overdue.”

There’s more stuff in the article, check out the link if you wanna read it.

I’ve thought about this question a bit, and right now I think an Obama presidency would be a positive thing for race relations. Certainly not a revolution, but when you know the history of this country, I can’t help but see a Black president as a significant thing. But like I read someone else saying in the blogosphere, Barack Obama in the White House isn’t gonna stop a single dude in the ghetto from selling crack. I think that’s a good way to put it: it’s just business as usual with a Black face. And to me, that’s some type of progress, although far less than I think is possible.

Anyone out there reading, I’d love to hear what you think…

August 13, 2008

Are Asians the New Invisible Man?

Filed under: Culture,Race — disciplepete @ 5:58 pm

Good article, check out the whole thing, here’s some of it. Huffington Post:

In the category of Things We Already Know, a new USA Today/Gallup Poll finds that most Americans believe “racism is widespread against blacks in the United States.” As is to be expected, the degree that people hold this belief is dependent on their own race — black, white or Hispanic. The survey in and of itself is worth taking a look at but, like I said, doesn’t exactly stun with unexpectedness.

Except for one thing…

What was interesting to me was that a survey about how “most Americans” feel about racism and minorities didn’t include responses from Asian-Americans.

They’re not minorities? They don’t have views on racism?

Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders make up only about 5 percent of the population, so by default maybe they lie outside the strict definition of “most Americans.” But the poll was culling a variety of racial attitudes, and it managed to include views of racism against whites. You’d think if the survey had room to include views on the pervasive systemic oppression whites suffer through (now go back and read that sentence sarcastically), they’d take the time to chat up an Asian or two.

 

White Americans no longer a majority by 2042

Filed under: Culture,Oh White People...,Race,White People! — disciplepete @ 5:45 pm

Sorry to break it to you, bobblebot! Yahoo:

WASHINGTON – White people will no longer make up a majority of Americans by 2042, according to new government projections. That’s eight years sooner than previous estimates, made in 2004.

The nation has been growing more diverse for decades, but the process has sped up through immigration and higher birth rates among minority residents, especiallyHispanics.

It is also growing older.

“The white population is older and very much centered around theaging baby boomers who are well past their high fertility years,” said William Frey, a demographer at theBrookings Institution, a Washington think tank. “The future of America is epitomized by the young people today. They are basically the melting pot we are going to see in the future.”…

By 2050, whites will make up 46 percent of the population and blacks will make up 15 percent, a relatively small increase from today. Hispanics, who make up about 15 percent of the population today, will account for 30 percent in 2050, according to the new projections.

Asians, which make up about 5 percent of the population, are projected to increase to 9 percent by 2050.

August 10, 2008

Racism and the Race

Filed under: Politics,Race — disciplepete @ 11:13 pm

NYT editorial about race and the election…

This is supposed to be the Democrats’ year of destiny. Bush is hobbling out of office, the economy is in the toilet, voters are sick of the war and the party’s wunderkind candidate is raking in money hand over fist.

So why is the presidential race a statistical dead heat? The pundits have offered a host of reasons, but one in particular deserves more exploration: racism

…According to a July New York Times/CBS News poll, when whites were asked whether they would be willing to vote for a black candidate, 5 percent confessed that they would not. That’s not so bad, right? But wait. The pollsters then rephrased the question to get a more accurate portrait of the sentiment. They asked the same whites if most of the people they knew would vote for a black candidate. Nineteen percent said that those they knew would not. Depending on how many people they know and how well they know them, this universe of voters could be substantial. That’s bad…

If the percentage of white voters who cannot bring themselves to vote for a black candidate were only 15 percent, that would be more than all black voters combined. (Coincidentally, it also would be more than all voters under 24 years old.) That amounts to a racial advantage for John McCain.

 

July 25, 2008

Pa. teens charged in fatal beating of immigrant

Filed under: Culture,Oh White People...,Race,Wake Up Call,White People! — disciplepete @ 3:13 pm

Yahoo:

PORT CARBON, Pa. – Three white teens were charged Friday in what officials said was an epithet-filled fatal beating of an illegal Mexican immigrant in a small northeast Pennsylvania coal town. Brandon J. Piekarsky, 16, and Colin J. Walsh, 17, were charged as adults with homicide and ethnic intimidation in the July 12 attack on Luis Ramirez.

A third teen, Derrick M. Donchak, 18, was charged with aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation and other offenses. All are from Shenandoah, where the attack occurred.

Additional charges are expected in the case that has roiled Shenandoah, a small, economically depressed town where police have reported friction between whites and a growing Hispanic population…

…The youths goaded Ramirez and the girl, saying, “You should get out of this neighborhood” and “Get your Mexican boyfriend out of here,” documents said. After Ramirez and the girl began walking away, someone yelled an ethnic slur at him, court documents said. He responded, “What’s your problem?”

A fight ensued, during which police said Walsh punched Ramirez in the face. The victim fell and hit his head on the street, leaving him unconscious, after which Piekarsky kicked him in the head, police said.

All three suspects used ethnic slurs during the fight, which ended with Ramirez in convulsions and foaming at the mouth, authorities said. The attackers fled the scene; Ramirez underwent surgery but died July 14 of head injuries.

Piekarsky and Walsh were being held without bail, while Donchak was held on $75,000 bail.

The lawyer of one of the attackers says that this wasn’t a racially motivated attack…umm, ok:

He said that although slurs might have been used, the fight was not motivated by ethnicity.

“I think any time there’s a fight and any time you have one ethnic group fighting another, there’s going to be racial slurs,” he said. “I’ve seen that since I was a kid on a playground 20 years ago, but they never called it ethnic intimidation until very recently.”

July 16, 2008

Poll Finds Obama’s Run Isn’t Closing Divide on Race

Filed under: Culture,Politics,Race — disciplepete @ 9:17 am

NYT:

Americans are sharply divided by race heading into the first election in which an African-American will be a major-party presidential nominee, with blacks and whites holding vastly different views of Senator Barack Obama, the state of race relations and how black Americans are treated by society, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The results of the poll, conducted against the backdrop of a campaign in which race has been a constant if not always overt issue, suggested that Mr. Obama’s candidacy, while generating high levels of enthusiasm among black voters, is not seen by them as evidence of significant improvement in race relations…

More than 80 percent of black voters said they had a favorable opinion of Mr. Obama; about 30 percent of white voters said they had a favorable opinion of him.

Nearly 60 percent of black respondents said race relations were generally bad, compared with 34 percent of whites. Four in 10 blacks say that there has been no progress in recent years in eliminating racial discrimination; fewer than 2 in 10 whites say the same thing…

As it was eight years ago, few Americans have regular contact with people of other races, and few say their own workplaces or their own neighborhoods are integrated. 

The article’s a good read, check it out.

July 10, 2008

Baby Food: Yo, Britain! Yo Tykes Are RACIST! <- buh, not really

Filed under: Education,Idiots,Oh White People...,PoLicing,Race — bobbleheadedbob @ 8:28 am

Ze BobbLeboT is om nom nomming on astraL racial projections. This should go under ze “Oh, White People!” category. But first – though BobbLebot is the first to admit to writing quite poorly on TTS, BobbLebot is hypocritically critical of and the 1st to criticize poorly written articles for (inter)national news publications. This would be one of them. Just look at ze alarmist title.

Story from Telegraph News:

Toddlers who dislike spicy food ‘racist’

The National Children’s Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.

This could include a child of as young as three who says “yuk” in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.

The guidance by the NCB is designed to draw attention to potentially-racist attitudes in youngsters from a young age.

BobbLebot sees RED FLAG #1 – and it ain’t affiliated with any sort of Bolshevik revolution. Or revolution of any sorts. Or evolution for that matter. YES! Let’s solve racism by having adult kettles calling ze ittle rittle baby pots black.

don’t oppress me!

It alerts playgroup leaders that even babies can not be ignored in the drive to root out prejudice as they can “recognise different people in their lives”.

Buh… because recognizing that “diversity’s COOL! =D” has the power to drive out the root of prejudice? Oy(L). Who are the people organizing this program again?

The 366-page guide for staff in charge of pre-school children, called Young Children and Racial Justice, warns: “Racist incidents among children in early years settings tend to be around name-calling, casual thoughtless comments and peer group relationships.”

It advises nursery teachers to be on the alert for childish abuse such as: “blackie”, “Pakis”, “those people” or “they smell”.

racist-in-training

The guide goes on to warn that children might also “react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying ‘yuk'”.

Staff are told: “No racist incident should be ignored. When there is a clear racist incident, it is necessary to be specific in condemning the action.”

And yet, there’s nothing specific in this article that addresses how exactly the actions will be condemned. If anything, there is a stress on being alert – ALERT – to possible racist attitudes.

::BEEP! BEEP!!!:: <–ze unLoading of a canner WORMS

Warning that failing to pick children up on their racist attitudes could instil prejudice, the NCB adds that if children “reveal negative attitudes, the lack of censure may indicate to the child that there is nothing unacceptable about such attitudes”.

racist

BoBo – picking YER NOSE is WRONG! Bad BoBo, Bad!!! ß doesn’t mean BoBo won’t find pleasure in picking its nose in private.

Nurseries are encouraged to report as many incidents as possible to their local council. The guide added: “Some people think that if a large number of racist incidents are reported, this will reflect badly on the institution. In fact, the opposite is the case.”

Korean dogeater <– RACIST!

Okie dokes. First there’s the article. The very title is the pot calling the kettle “bLack(ie)”. “TODDLERS WHO DISLIKE SPICY FOODS RACIST” reveals the writer’s own racism by, in a facetiously alarmist tone, drawing a conclusion that, based off the NCB’s new guidelines, a distaste for unfamiliar (to Whites, at least), ie, “ethnic,” foods equates to racism. Basically, the “reporter” is trivializing the issue of race and racism – and you can tell in her cursory attention to the people behind the NCB – racially – and what exactly motivated their new aims to police the behavior of children. So yeah. BAD ARTICLE. Moving on — !

Okay, the National Childrens Bureau’s got mad problems as well.

*** They are advising participants in the program to police and report the behaviors, attitudes and ideology of children.

***********Ideology? (idiot-logy?)  With children? Yeah, I know. Being in preschool, I sincerely doubt a 4-year-old has sincerely examined issues of color outside making sure to keep them Crayolas inside the lines.

************Attitudes: Okay – let’s bring this back to food – and on this point, the reporter was right in saying this was a bit redunkulous. Let’s say I’ve got an aversion to bologna-Kraft-singles-mayonnaise-sandwich-on-soggy-Wonderbread. Let’s just say that. And let’s say that Adam White-Smith came to school with a sack of these bologna-Kraft-singles-mayonnaise-sandwich-on-soggy-Wonderbread and I said, “Ewww, NASTY!!!” First of all, a little birdie in me is doubting that the teacher’s going to equate my attitude as racism. HOWEVER, if I brought a vat of kimchi and hotdogs marinating in umeboshi and Adam White-Smith, who’s never known a vinegary pickle in his poor, White-bread life says, “Ewww, NASTY!!!” according to this program, he will be labeled as… RRRRRRRRRRRRRACIST!!! What am I saying? Or, what is it that I’m speculating? I’m speculating that the teachers employing these new measures already have a racialized and ethnographic perception of food – what is and isn’t deemed as “ethnic” or “Other.” Labeling a “GROSS!” for non-Whitebread foods is still labeling a difference from Whiteness, and hence, still teaching children – paradoxically – that difference is present in our foods and that difference is bad.

**+**+**+**+** While I do think that difference is imperative to recognize, creating a hierarchy of difference starting with food is also problematic. Ever had a parent force feed you something you didn’t want to eat with a smile on your face? Yeah, chances are, even though to this day you don’t remember what it tastes like, you aren’t inclined to eat it now. BobbLeBot’s going off on tangents agaiiiiiiiiiiiin…. Wooooooo!

**********Behavioral Policing. Has repression from a higher authority ever really worked? When alcohol was banned, there were speakeasies. When lynch mobs and racial profiling were criminalized… wait – they’re still here? With the advent of the wiretappings and designated “free-speech” areas post-9/11, did that stop the dissent? Or did that pour a rittle bit o overpriced oil on a flickering flame? To tell Adam White-Smith to stop calling Alice Kim a “China Bitch” or to get Rashid Brown to stop calling John Henderson a “Mudderfudding Cracker” doesn’t nip racism in the bud.

**+**+**+**+**Language is an amorphous thing for kids and toddlers. If they don’t know the name for one thing, they’ll make one up for it. If “blackie pakki” is off-limits, you can be sure as hell that a new term will come up to replace it. Even if it’s something as ridiculous as “ring dings bobbledybat” – the meaning behind those words will remain the same. The thing is, you can remove words (or try), but you can’t police the connotation. When Jeebus followers couldn’t openly practice their religion, they drew rittle fishies in the sand. FISHIES.

“Those people.” “They smell.” <– sorry, no commentary. Just found that frakking hilarious.

Sure, ze BobbLeboT is all for White “allies” edumacating themselves and returning to communities of Whiteness to educate, but this is reee-dunculosity. Granted, I don’t know if the NCB is 100% White, but I’ll wager 500 pennies that a good majority of them are, and that the peoples of colors on the board are most likely bourgeois, upwardly mobile and have internalized a desire for a seat at the lunch counter in lieu of frakking the system.

Essentially: what business do White and “White” people have in policing racism when racism was created by and for upholding the structures of White supremacy?

July 8, 2008

In a twist, USA’s Asians are heading to the Mountain West

Filed under: Culture,Race — disciplepete @ 3:17 pm

USA Today:

In a surprising twist to historical settlement patterns, growing numbers of Asian Americans are beginning to bail from the places that have long been their main gateways to the West: California and Washington. Wearied by the same crushing home prices, poor schools, jammed freeways and persistent crime that have sent millions of other Californians packing, Asian Americans are moving to spots in the West they hope will produce better lifestyles — namely Las Vegas and Phoenix.

The Asian migration is fueling ethnic diversity in places that have been overwhelmingly white. Since 1990, Nevada has had the most rapid growth of any state in the number of Asians and Pacific Islanders.

The number jumped 174% in the 1990s and 67% so far this decade to about 211,000, according to 2007 Census Bureau estimates. Asians now make up about 8.2% of Nevada’s 2.6 million people — a higher percentage than the national share of 5.4%. Most live here in Clark County, where Asians are the fastest-growing minority.

July 5, 2008

Burial Exposes Racial Rift in Texas

Filed under: Culture,Idiots,Race,WTF — disciplepete @ 1:01 pm

I hate racism, but occasionally racism is so absurd that I find it funny. For example: segregated cemeteries. Cemeteries? Seriously?? I wonder if these racist Whites also thought heaven was segregated…anyone know? I’m curious about that.

Anyway, this story from the NYT is about a recent failed attempt to desegregate a cemetery in Texas.

The corpse of a white woman whose 2007 killing barely made headlines is now at the center of a peculiar racial conflict over the desegregation of the cemeteries in a rural Texas county.

Black leaders in Waller County, northwest of Houston, say white county authorities deliberately sabotaged their efforts to have the woman’s unidentified body buried in one of two public black cemeteries. Judge Owen Ralston, the county’s top elected official and the man who decided where the woman would be interred, denies the accusation, insisting that cost — not race — led to her burial on Monday in a white cemetery…

Upon learning Wednesday night that the burial had taken place without his knowledge, a county justice of the peace, DeWayne Charleston, who is black, said, “I’m going to have that body exhumed.”…

…Racial strife is a mainstay of this rural county of about 36,000 residents, 30 percent of whom are black, census figures show. Accusations of racial bias in such matters as access to polling places have been common in recent years. About five years ago, black leaders successfully sued the City of Hempstead, the county seat, for failing to provide the same upkeep of black cemeteries as white ones…

 

 

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