Saturday, October 18, 2008

white weekend links

  • "White Women of the Baby Boom a Prized Voting Bloc" (Associated Press)

    White women age 45 to 64 . . . are one of this year's most hotly contested voting blocs, evenly divided between Barack Obama and John McCain, and wide open to being pulled either way, according to a recent Associated Press-GfK Poll.

    There are plenty of them, too, prompting both presidential campaigns to woo them vigorously. About one in six voters in the 2004 presidential election was a white woman in that age range, exit polls showed.

    They're feisty, used to demanding answers and making choices. With a worldwide economy that's lurching toward recession, they're demanding that the presidential candidates show them concrete solutions to the financial crisis and other problems.

  • "Troy Davis: Finality Over Fairness" (Amnesty International USA)

    UPDATE - Death Warrant Issued!Execution date has been set for October 27.

    The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied clemency for Troy Anthony Davis shortly before 5 p.m. on Friday, September 12. They did so despite overwhelming doubts of Davis' guilt - and after stating last year that they would "not allow an execution to proceed in this State unless and until its members are convinced that there is no doubt as to the guilt of the accused." On September 23, The U.S. Supreme Court stayed Troy Davis' execution "pending the disposition of [his] petition for a writ of certiorari." On October 14, the Court decided not to accept his petition.


    Global Day of Action for Troy Davis
    October 23, 2008

    Rally in Atlanta! Download the flyer or handbill
    Attend a solidarity event in your hometown!
    View a list of planned events here
    Download a photo of Troy Davis to hold at your rally.
    Download a fact sheet and petition to provide passersby with more information.
  • The Georgia Board has the power to step in at any point, so we encourage you to continue to collect letters and petitions asking them to issue clemency.

    >> TAKE ACTION! Write a letter to the Georgia Board of Pardon and Paroles
    >> To see what activists are doing in Georgia, please visit GFADP.
    >> Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. It's quick and easy using the ACLU's website.
    >> Text "TROY" to 90999
    to help spread the word with your cell phone.
    >> Participate in the weekend of prayer for Troy Davis and justice, Oct. 24-26. Ask you faith community to offer a prayer during services. See the model: Interfaith Prayer for Healing and Justice.
    >> Listen to Troy tell his story
    >> Hear from Troy's sister
    >> Join the discussion on our blog

"Biracial Tiffany" spends the first three minutes of
her 62nd "mulatto diaries" entry
explaining why she's proud to be white

  • "On White Pride and Other Delusions: Reflections on the Rage of the Uninformed" (Tim Wise @ Black Agenda Report)

    Contrary to popular belief, the white race is a quite modern creation, which only emerged as a term and concept to describe Europeans in the late 1600s and after, specifically in the colonies of what would become the United States. Prior to that time, "whites" had been a collection of Europeans with little in common, and often long histories of conflict, bloodshed and conquest of one another's lands and peoples. The English, for example, did not consider themselves to be of the same group as the Irish, Germans, Italians, or French. While most Europeans by that time may have thought of themselves as Christians, there is no evidence that they conceived of themselves as a race of people, with a common heritage or destiny. . . .

    What is most important for white folks to understand is that their interests do not lie with the racial bonding they are being asked to embrace. Indeed, the very concept of the white race was invented by the wealthy so as to trick poor and working class European Americans into accepting an economic system that exploited them, even as it elevated them in relative terms over persons of color. As such, for whites to organize on the basis of whiteness is to codify as legitimate a category the meaning of which was always and forever about domination and privilege relative to those who couldn't qualify for membership in the club.

  • "Southern Sheriff Pulls Over Obama Campaign Bus For Broken Taillight" (The Onion)

    According to those on board the bus—including various journalists, members of the Secret Service, and Obama campaign staffers—several minutes passed before [deputy sheriff] Clutter exited his cruiser. Witness statements all mention hearing the sheriff's jackbooted footsteps along the gravel roadside as he slowly approached the vehicle's passenger side. These reports also assert that, prior to reaching the front of the campaign bus, the sheriff paused momentarily to smash the right rear taillight of the bus before dragging his still-drawn baton along the entire length of the vehicle. . . .

    According to Obama insiders, this is not the first time on the campaign trail that the former president of the Harvard Law Review has had to deal with this type of treatment. While attending a rally in Savannah, GA, Obama was closely followed around the town hall by several armed guards to ensure that he didn't steal anything, and the senator reportedly had trouble canvassing voters in Baton Rouge, LA after everyone he approached crossed to the opposite side of the street.

  • "Stars on the Field but Shared Glory on Film" (Neely Tucker @ The Washington Post)

    The inspiring, based-on-a-true-story black sports film, renewed this month with "The Express," is a movie subgenre that has become an almost annual Hollywood staple over the past decade. It's both a social and cinematic breakthrough, finally recognizing African American lives as the stuff of legend, as well as putting more black faces on the big screen than ever before.

    But hold the post-racial hoopla: The main story line in many of these films is the black athlete's relationship with a white coach or teammate, often exaggerating the importance of the white character to the actual events. Since many of these movies are soft-focus retellings of the civil rights movement, the unspoken message seems to be that blacks need guidance, nurturing and counsel from whites to achieve greatness.

  • "Becoming AWARE" (Clare Robins @ Youth Radio)

    I’m part of an awareness group for white people. We talk about how we can stand up to racist remarks and actions, and how we can unlearn racist attitudes we may have heard growing up white.

    A similar group is forming at Cleveland High School. It's called AWARE. So far about 30 students participate—all white. Most have completed a unique unit on race and racism, and want a space to keep that conversation alive outside the classroom.

    But why for white people only? Twelfth grader Jaryn Saritsky says it’s important to talk about racism with everyone, but sometimes it’s hard to be really honest when there are students of color in the room.

    JARYN (on tape)
    It’s not the responsibility of people of color to help white people. White people need to be able to evolve on their own... Because we have the luxury of just forgetting it all the time.

    We might have that luxury of ignoring racism...but we shouldn’t. People get funny looks on their faces when I talk about the group I’m in. The idea of an all-white group still evokes images of Ku Klux Klan meetings, and it just sounds weird to some people.

  • "The Terrorist Barack Hussein Obama" (Frank Rich @ The New York Times)

    “I’ve got the best protection in the world, so stop worrying,” Obama reassured his supporters. Eventually the country got conditioned to his appearing in large arenas without incident (though I confess that the first loud burst of fireworks at the end of his convention stadium speech gave me a start). In America, nothing does succeed like success. The fear receded.

    Until now. At McCain-Palin rallies, the raucous and insistent cries of “Treason!” and “Terrorist!” and “Kill him!” and “Off with his head!” as well as the uninhibited slinging of racial epithets, are actually something new in a campaign that has seen almost every conceivable twist. They are alarms. Doing nothing is not an option.

    Obama can hardly be held accountable for Ayers’s behavior 40 years ago, but at least McCain and Palin can try to take some responsibility for the behavior of their own supporters in 2008. What’s troubling here is not only the candidates’ loose inflammatory talk but also their refusal to step in promptly and strongly when someone responds to it with bloodthirsty threats in a crowded arena. Joe Biden had it exactly right when he expressed concern last week that “a leading American politician who might be vice president of the United States would not just stop midsentence and turn and condemn that.” To stay silent is to pour gas on the fires.

  • "Brooklyn, The Borough: A One-Man Gentrification Slam" (Nicole Brydson @ New York Observer)

    Chatting with Mr. Hoch, 37, a 20-year Williamsburg resident originally from Queens, is to peer into the souls of every character that's made an impression on his life. It's those characters, composites of which he breathes life into on stage, that are the focus of his new one-man show Taking Over, which begins a run at the Public Theatre on Nov. 7.

    Taking Over tells the story of Williamsburg's gentrification through the voices of eight residents, whom Mr. Hoch transforms into effortlessly. . .

    Citing Adrian Piper, a conceptual artist and philosopher who studied under John Rawls at Harvard, Mr. Hoch pointed to the concept of “white people fatigue.”

    "What she's talking about is that there's a whole lot of white folks on the left – liberals, Democrats if you will – that have this fatigue about not wanting to do the work necessary to figure out their own place, and their own role in the scheme of things,” Mr. Hoch said. “These folks don't want to do the work, they just want it to be fixed.”

    Struggling, authenticity and the “real” world are themes that appear in every scene in
    Taking Over, which seamlessly weaves together an almost invisible pattern of human and economic impact.

    The mostly native crowd at the Grand Street Auditorium was enamored with Mr. Hoch, cheering him on with shouts of “go home” to Kaitlan, the entitled newcomer, who was forced to sell t-shirts when her allowance was reduced from $5,000 to $1,000 per month. She preferred Williamsburg when it was "grittier."

Danny Hoch talks about his
one-man show, Taking Over


  1. I enjoyed reading The Onion article. An event like that can only happen in a "pro-American state."

  2. your links for the Troy Davis flyer, more info, picture and fact sheet dont work!

  3. Thanks for pointing that out, mm. Amnesty changes the info and links on that site daily, so I'll keep an eye on these to make sure they're still working.

    I'm glad you enjoyed The Onion article, ortho. Fake news often does the best job these days of delivering real news.

  4. It's interesting how well the election has illuminated the racial divisions in our country. Even in my mind, I find myself thinking of McCain's politics as "white people stuff" and Obama's as "black people stuff." No one really seems to want to discuss that division candidly, however.


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