Before and after

This was a photo feature in the Smithtown (NY) Messenger.  Six presidents are featured with their wives.  Five are accompanied by photographs taken after they left office.  The sixth pair includes the Obamas with a photo from “Sanford and Son.”

The publisher claims that it is “satire.”   He’s also issued an “apology” (must be non-apology apology day): Continue reading

Attention all brown folks

Remember that teen who announced over a store PA that all black people should leave immediately?  Arizona just made the announcement for brown folks:

The bill, known as SB 1070, makes it a misdemeanor to lack proper immigration paperwork in Arizona. It also requires police officers, if they form a “reasonable suspicion” that someone is an illegal immigrant, to determine the person’s immigration status.

It passed the House and the Senate and I would expect that the governor will sign it. Because that’s just the way she is. But there’s more!

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As seen by the census

The census bureau is making its big push for residents to be counted.  So it created a number of language- or target-specific advertising posters.  Shall we take a look?

A somewhat generic poster for the new portrait of America.  Available in German, Italian and Yiddish.  A few hints as to professions or status:  A firefighter, a healthcare worker, construction worker, two educators (shown in front of blackboards), a guy in a cap and gown.  One of the educators and the guy in the cap and gown appear to be black.  The other educator is a brownish sort.  But other than that, the people in professional wear appear to be white.  The only guy wearing a suit and tie is white.

APIs appear to be overrepresented.  Because we’re taking over.  That’s why you see such a fascination with us on the census:

What is Person 1’s race?

Black, African Am., or Negro
American Indian or Alaska Native – Print name of enrolled or principal tribe.
Asian Indian
Other Asian – Print race, for example, Hmong, Laotian, Thai, Pakistani, Cambodian, and so on.
Native Hawaiian
Guamanian or Chamorro
Other Pacific Islander – Print race, for example, Fijian, Tongan, and so on.
Some other race – Print race.

(Yeah, we could go on and on about race and ethnicity.  But this is about the posters.)

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February 19, 1942

Executive Order No. 9066

The President

Executive Order

Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas

Whereas the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense premises, and national-defense utilities as defined in Section 4, Act of April 20, 1918, 40 Stat. 533, as amended by the Act of November 30, 1940, 54 Stat. 1220, and the Act of August 21, 1941, 55 Stat. 655 (U.S.C., Title 50, Sec. 104); Continue reading

Two things

Remember this parent from the ever-popular Why I hate (white) adoptive parents series?  The demanding tone spoken to inferiors?  Well, I think she has an Asian partner.  Imagine that.  Just goes to show you that the black friend or the Asian kid or the Asian partner isn’t any kind of special inoculation against racism.

I went to the old folks’ home again this week.  This time my particular old folk was in with a caregiver who had been described to me as “just the sweetest person, and so nice.”  I didn’t want to get in the way, so I just said hello, kissed/got kissed and made friendly noises at the caregiver.

Who gave me the stinkeye. Continue reading


A “Chinatown man.”
A “Vietnamese immigrant.”
An “immigrant from Vietnam.”

His name was Man K. Wong, but he went by Mike. According to news reports, he was an IT professional, the manager of a computer company, a 29-year-old married man with many family members and friends. He arrived in the U.S. almost 20 years ago, attended high school and college, made his life.

On Sunday evening, a drunk driver took his life.

I remember.

After September 11, there were many documented cases of hate crimes against people who were vaguely brown:

The FBI data suggests a 1,600-percent surge in anti-Islamic hate crimes in the days following the Sept. 11 attacks. The research also found a similar increase in hate crimes against people who may have been perceived as members of Islam, Arabs and others thought to be of Middle Eastern origin.

“We knew that followers of the Islamic faith were victims of hate crimes, but other groups suffered just as badly,” Byers said. “That is the nature of prejudice. People perceived as being different because of the color of their skin or dress, or perhaps mistaken as Islamic, were immediately considered outsiders. They became the new enemy for some Americans.

“Some people reacted to it by physically attacking or harassing any person who they considered to be different, he said. “Only when there were calls for tolerance did the attacks decline.”


Remember 9/11!

Remember Pearl Harbor!

And now, Remember Fort Hood!

(Link is to a billboard posted by a Colorado auto dealership that reads “President or Jihad?  Birth certificate?  Prove it!  Wake up America!  Remember Fort Hood!”  You gotta feel sorry for another dealership called “Wolf Auto Group,” which has been receiving messages intended for the other idiots.)

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Once a year

Non-native people in the United States think about indigenous peoples.  At Thanksgiving.  When we hear the whole lovely story about how the Pilgrims invited the “Indians” to have a feast with them.  Then they all held hands and sang “kumbaya.”

In the past couple years, I am given hope by school districts who are changing history.  They teach a more realistic version of that “first Thanksgiving.”  And they teach their kids it is not appropriate to dress up like indigenous people.  Because it is not appropriate to use somebody’s identity like a costume.

But if your school district is still a bit behind the times, here are some links: Continue reading