Monthly Archives: January 2015

If you’re black in America, stereotypes kill

stereotypes kill

Below is an excerpt from my most recent piece (“If you’re black in America, stereotypes kill”) which has been published over at The Daily Dot. I encourage you to go read it.

Just last week, 62-year-old black grandfather and legal gun owner Clarence Daniels was shopping at Walmart when he was tackled, restrained, and put in a chokehold by three white men who saw his legally concealed firearm and suspected him of being a criminal—while he shopped for coffee creamer. Even pedestrians crossing the street are subject to racial bias: A study revealed that cars are twice as likely not to yield for black pedestrians crossing in a clearly marked crosswalk.Respectability is worthless—student, grandfather, law-abiding citizen—when there is active (and violent) racial bias.

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The toxic police response to #ICantBreathe

#icantbreathe

Below is an excerpt from my recent piece (“The toxic police response to #ICantBreathe”) which has been published over at The Daily Dot. I encourage you to go read it.

Racial bias combined with arrogance unleashes another host of problems. “Contempt of cop” is law enforcement jargon for behavior by citizens towards police that officers perceive as disrespectful or insufficiently deferential to their authority. Police reactions to “contempt of cop” are considered to be a sort of “occupational arrogance,” bred by exactly the kind of culture and attitude that Dutta promotes in his Washington Post article. When citizens aren’t sufficiently deferential, violence and/or arrests are officers’ way of coping with what they perceive as disrespect. When Harvard professorHenry Louis Gates, Jr. was arrested in front of his home in 2009, it was his outward expression of anger that police say led to their decision to arrest him. Others say this was a clear case of “contempt of cop.” The same for journalists in Ferguson, Mo., who were arrested fornot moving fast enough. In 2011, a woman was awarded $97,500 in damages after she was unconstitutionally arrested by two officers who were offended by statements she made in a convenience store about police. In 2010, a man was arrested for having the audacity to ask for an officer’s badge number.

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Whoopi Goldberg reminds us that women fart too—and that’s OK

whoopi goldberg fart

Below is an excerpt from my recent piece (“Whoopi Goldberg reminds us that women fart too—and that’s OK”) which has been published over at The Daily Dot. I encourage you to go read it.

In these visual representations, attitudes toward women farting tell us a lot about attitudes toward women in general, especially black women. Apparently this isn’t Whoopi Goldberg’s first time farting on-air—she let one slip in 2011 as well—and one look at the comment section in that case reveals some truly heinous invective (which I will not repost here, as they are incredibly triggering). As recent as three months ago, commenters have thrown around the “N-word” with ease, calling Whoopi “animalistic” and “ghetto trash.” This reaction to Goldberg’s femaleness, but also her blackness, tells us that farting—like anything that relates to femininity—is a complicated issue, one that carries the weight of the farter’s sex, race, and socioeconomic status.

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What Piers Morgan doesn’t understand about the ‘N-word’

piers morgan racist

Below is an excerpt from my recent piece (“What Piers Morgan doesn’t understand about the ‘N-word’”) which has been published over at The Daily Dot. I encourage you to go read it.

It’s concerning that no editor read this piece and thought, “You know, Piers, using a whipping-post analogy and the words ‘brutal submission’ in a discussion of the ‘N-word’ and American’s legacy of slavery and racismprobably isn’t the best idea.” It’s concerning that a white man felt that he was qualified—and entitled—to write a piece about what black people “have” to do in regard to a word that was invented to subjugate them. It’s concerning that Morgan even admits, “As a white man, I have no right to demand that any black person gives up using the ‘N-word’” but goes on to do just that anyway.

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