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Entries in racism (13)


Would Frantz Fanon Agree With Orville Lloyd Douglas & His Essay 'Why I Hate Being A Black Man'?

Seeing these images of Marcelia Freesz, lensed by Fernando Louza for Marie Claire Brazil’s November issue got me thinking about Cuba and America. Paulo Martinez styles Marcelia in sheer, tropical elegance with utilitarian touches for a hard soft effect in ‘Havana Club’.

This weekend I caught Canadian Orville Lloyd Douglas on CNN, talking with Don Lemon about his essay ‘Why I hate being a black man’. His comments have caused both a backlash and an uproar — and also interesting dialogue like Douglas’ discussion with Lemon.

The issue of black self-hatred is something I am supposed to pretend does not exist. However, the great French psychiatrist Frantz Fanon wrote about this issue in his ground breaking book Black Skin White Masks in a chapter called “the Lived Experience of the Black Man”. According to Fanon, the black man is viewed in the third person, and he isn’t seen as a three-dimensional human being. The black man internalizes the perspectives of white society and its negative thoughts about blackness affect his psyche. In the chapter, Fanon discusses a white child calling him the “N word” and how he becomes cognizant of how he is different and viewed as someone people should fear.

Posting ‘Havana Club’ coincides with Sunday’s New York Times ‘Opinionator’ column A Lesson From Cuba on Race. I was researching Cuba’s health and education statistics like infant mortality rates — where Cuba’s is lower than America’s. It’s rates of vaccination and even education are equal to or better than ours. See Cuba; see America.

Written by Alejandro de la Fuente, director of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research and the author of “A Nation for All: Race, Inequality and Politics in Twentieth-Century Cuba.”

De la Fuente’s words echo those of Orville Lloyd Douglas and Frantz Fanon:

In other words, despite Cuba’s success in reducing racial inequality, young black males continued to be seen as potential criminals. Perceptions of people of African descent as racially differentiated and inferior continued to permeate Cuban society and institutions. The point is not that issues of economic justice and access to resources are irrelevant. Eliminating massive inequality is a necessary step if we are ever going to dismantle racial differences. There is, as Gutting argues, a deeper issue of access to basic resources that does need solution. But the Cuban experience suggests that there are other equally deep issues that need to be addressed as well.

Those issues relate to what another writer here, George Yancy, in writing about the Trayvon Martin case, referred to as a “white gaze” that renders all black bodies dangerous and deviant. Unless we dismantle this gaze and its centuries-strong cultural pillars, it will be difficult to go past the outrage on race.

As for Cuba’s relations with the US, Reuters reported yesterday that a new mood of cooperation — “a surprise warming” is “raising expectations of possible agreements to bring the two countries closer after more than 50 years of hostility.”

And who said that fashion isn’t relevant in provoking conversation! ~ Anne

Related reading: Jay Z breaks Barneys silence, says he’s going forward with fashion line deal and promises to personally tackle racial profiling allegations.


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Did Missouri State Fair Promote An Old-Fashioned Lynching Of America's Black President?? 

Missouri State Fair’s Lynching Mood Racism: If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it IS a duck.

Perry Beam, who was among the spectators, said ‘everybody screamed’ and ‘just went wild’ as the announcer talked about having the bull run down the clown with the Obama mask.

“‘It was at that point I began to feel a sense of fear. It was that level of enthusiasm,’ Beam, a 48-year-old musician from Higginsville, said Sunday, referring to the reaction from the crowd that filled the fair’s grandstand.

“He said another clown ran up to the one wearing the Obama mask, pretended to tickle him and played with the lips on the mask. About 15 minutes into the performance, the masked clown had to leave after a bull got too close, Beam said.”

Beam also said:

“It was the usual until the very end at bull riding. As they were bringing the bulls into the chute and prepping them … they bring out what looks like a dummy. The announcer says ‘Here’s our Obama dummy, or our dummy of Obama.’ They mentioned the president’s name, I don’t know, 100 times. It was sickening. It was feeling like some kind of Klan rally you’d see on TV.”

USA Today: Rodeo clown’s Obama mask draws criticism

It gets worse. From Riverfront Times

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At Least Some Opt-Out Revolution Moms Are Opting Back In & Not Only For The Money

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Oprah Winfrey above shares  details of her collision with a shopkeeper in Zurich who refused to show her a Tom Ford handbag, saying, “No. It’s too expensive’. Oprah tells Entertainment Tonight’s Nancy O’Dell that she asked to see the bag at least twice more, but the shopkeeper refused, suggesting cheaper bags.

“One more time, I tried,” says Oprah but the shopkeeper refused saying “Oh, I don’t want to hurt your feelings”, leaving the woman who earned $77 million last year, according to Forbes magazine, saying “Okay, thank you so much. You’re probably right, I can’t afford it.”

Oprah’s ET interview was focused on her new movie ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler. For the Swiss side of the story, read Huff Po.

NYT Magazine: Opting Back In

I remember Lisa Belkin’s cover article well, generally refusing to give it serious credence because the title ‘Opt-Out Revolution’ applied to a select group of often Ivy-League educated women married to successful men. A national trend it was not in a country among the most difficult internationally in promoting national policies that give any assist to working moms. Several of the women have sobered up in the last decade. Read Judith Warner’s article in this weekend’s NYT Magazine. 

French Women = More Babies

If America has no work/motherhood policies, France has made a demographic u-turn, with large credit given to pro-family policies. The average number of children born to French women rose to 2.01 in 2011 from 1.96 in 2007.

New French mothers are offered a state-paid, extended course of vaginal gymnastics with an emphasis on seeing thelves as les femmes as well as new moms. Perineal therapy — think Kegel exercises — are as ubiquitous in France as free nursery schools, generous family allowances, tax deductions for each child, discounts for large families on high-speed trains, and the expectation that after a paid, four-month maternity leave, mothers are back in shape — and back at work.

Related: Mothers Least LIkely To Be Given Flexible Work Schedules.