Social media, UR doing it wrong

“Which drummer is not like the others?” is the caption in this Home Depot tweet featuring two African American men and one person wearing a chimp suit.  For which the company undoubtedly paid a marketing agency.  Yeah.

Personal note:  My friends and I used to hum “One of these things is not like the others,” when one of us got singled out in class.  “Where did YOU come from?” was the one I got the most.

The stupid, it burns

Subtitled: I initially laughed, but did stop when I got to the part about the guy being severely burned.

Ron Nielson, a 50-year-old Palm Bay (FL) resident, set himself on fire while reportedly attempting to light a wooden cross that he had soaked with gasoline.  His wife heard him screaming and came out and doused the flames with the garden hose.  He was airlifted to an Orlando hospital and reportedly has second-degree burns over 40-50 percent of his body.

Many of the news reports refer to Nielson’s actions as being Halloween-related.  Continue reading

‘There were no concentration camps in America’

Toyo Miyatake

From the Star Tribune:  There were no concentration camps in America.

I  want to call your attention to a new addition to Wyoming culture. It is a museum of the Heart Mountain Japanese American Relocation Center between Cody and Powell in World War II.

As you probably know, the Japanese-Americans on the West Coast were evacuated from their West Coast homes to camps in the interior West and Arkansas. That was done as a national security measure because the U. S. government doubted the loyalty of many of the “Nikkei,” as the group was then called, and feared the military prowess of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

The point of the museum is to prove that the camps were “concentration camps” and that they were established because of racism. Neither charge is true and neither has ever been proven.

Via slanteyefortheroundeye.

This article has a bunch of the usual problems.  Conflation of Japanese and Japanese Americans.  Lack of recognition that Japanese immigrants were unable to become citizens under the law.  The Tachibana spy ring included white Americans; Tachibana himself was a Japanese national.  And of course, there’s no way to explain why Japanese Americans in Hawaii weren’t rounded up and thrown into the camps.  Unless you consider the fact that the islands’ workings would grind to a halt without them.  And the writer is apparently ignorant of the fact that “concentration camps” was in fact the terminology used at the time, even by the president himself.

Overall, the article’s author, Roger W. Lotchin, raises a number of points that aren’t supported by evidence. But he knows that he’s right. Why? Because he’s never read anything to the contrary!

How many Japanese- Americans were disloyal is not known, but I have never read a piece of evidence from a reliable witness which said that all of them were loyal.

I have never read a shred of evidence that shows that either the American or western publics in general or the decision makers who decided on the camps thought that the Japanese here or in Japan were biologically inferior.

According to the article, Roger W. Lotchin is professor of history at the University of North Carolina.  According to the UNC website, he’s an adjunct.  However, I have never read a piece of evidence that suggests he is qualified for that position.

Some reading for people who aren’t Roger W. Lotchin:

Those dangerous orphans!

Disloyal folks who were so dangerous they were drafted into the U.S. Army!  They were so dangerous they were even recruited for the MIS!

Treacherous women with star-spangled hearts!

World War I veterans especially suspect!

They serve vanilla


So a customer wanted to know if Wilcoxson’s delicious ice cream contained pork gelatin.  Of course the president of the company, Matt Schaeffer, was delighted to hear he had a loyal fan and rushed to provide an answer:

“We don’t deliver outside Montana, certainly not Pakistan”

Source.  Here’s the screen capture:

So much going on in that brief nine-word response.

First, it’s factually incorrect.  Wilcoxson’s does deliver outside Montana.  Specifically, it delivers to Sheridan, WY, which the first poster lists on his/her facebook profile.

Second, it’s fairly curt, even disregarding the content.  If somebody claims to “love” your ice cream, it would be good to acknowledge that.

Third, Schaeffer assumed the poster lives in Pakistan.  Which means he maybe assumes all Muslims live in Pakistan.  I suppose that isn’t too bad of a guess, since there are a lot of Muslims there.  He should have guessed Indonesia first, though.  Of course, there are millions of Muslims here, too.  And there’s this little thing called air travel.  Wonder if Schaeffer’s heard of it. I mean I’ve even been near Montana.  Not that I’d brag about it or anything.

Finally, it’s just plain dismissive.  Why wouldn’t you simply answer the question?

In any event, Matt Schaeffer’s pants are apparently on fire.  Because he claims he was overwhelmed with work and just reacted to the facebook user’s icon which read “Pakistan.”  If three brown people can spell out “Pakistan,” that is.

For those who ask “Why does it have to be racist?  Why can’t it just be stupid?” I say “Well, why can’t it be both?”

Photo by seelensturm/flicker

No internet for you!

The New York State Assembly on Monday reprimanded an employee who had used a pseudonym while posting comments on the Internet defending Speaker Sheldon Silver’s handling of a sexual harassment scandal.

The punishment for sock puppetry on official time? No internet for you!

Mr. Eggler/Ms. Walker apparently also edits a webzine, which is currently down because of a gapers’ block of sock-puppet watchers.

We at RR have our share of sock puppets.  It occasionally smells like feet around here.  Our personal favorite was the puppet of an adoptive parent, who came to decry the cruelty and bigotry of the RR employees, staff and management.  We were especially amused by the puppet defending the AP.  Although the puppet denied knowing said AP, the puppet had some inside knowledge of a personal communique.  Yet another case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.

Feel free to leave admiration in the comment box.  We will allow sock puppets to deposit the appearance of additional love as well.  Just this once, though.  <3

Into the light


Sun image courtesy of

Another site bringing hate into the spotlight: UNL Haters.  This tumblr was apparently modeled after a similar site at  OSU.  It posts screen captures of racist and other -ist tweets online.

These sites have faced predictable backlash and have heard just about every single one of the We Heard It Befores™.  I find it especially ironic that these sites are being labeled “racist.”  Because exposing racism is itself racist, yanno.  Because if you discuss a problem, you are creating the problem! It’s your fault!

Comments around the internet additionally display just how unclear most people are about the concept of “free speech.”

Free speech does have some limits:   Obscenity, libel and consumer affairs come to mind.  Also the whole “you can’t shout fire in a crowded theatre” and the “fighting words” doctrine.

In any event, the biggest misconception many people have about free speech is that they have the right to say anything they please without any sort of consequences.  Which isn’t the case.  Once again, it’s about freedom from interference by  the gubbermint.

They scream about how such sites are against free speech without recognizing that the bloggers behind those sites are exercising their own free speech rights.  A novel concept, apparently difficult for many h8ters to grasp.  Yes, folks have the right to post ridiculous, moronic, racist, sexist, homophobic tweets for the world to see.  And people have the right to respond.

So anyway, if you’re so proud of your free speech, go ahead and tweet to the world.  Don’t be surprised when the world turns on the light.

Someone didn’t get the memo

The University of Chicago’s Alpha Delta Phi (John Dawson via

Because the rule is no theme parties for you.  Because you can’t seem to think of a fun! theme that isn’t racist.  Despite (or maybe because of) the expensive education you’re theoretically in the process of receiving.  Example one:  The University of Chicago fraternity Alpha Delta Phi had its pledges wear sombreros and mow the lawn.

Example two:  Delta Upsilon followed with a  “Conquistadors and Aztec Hoes” party.

Delta Upsilon hastened to point out that the fraternity has two Puerto Ricans.  (We’ve heard it before!)

Example three:  At a California high school, students held a “Seniores [sic] and Senoritas” party.  They dressed as gardeners, a pregnant woman, the border patrol, gang members, etc.

This shit starts early, with crap like dressing up as “Indians” for Thanksgiving.  Children’s books.  Then there’s all that cultural cooptation and appropriation.  Racist jokes and images.   Plus the it’s not racist it’s all in good fun Halloween costumes.  (I got tired of writing an annual Halloween post.  Feel free to search the blog or click here for some ranty goodness.)

That’s why we talk about racism as being an institutional system.  Because it isn’t just about hurt feelings.

(College sure does breed and encourage racists.  Both OSU and Purdue have twitter accounts where somebody hilarious makes a lot of switched R and L jokes.  Because it’s original and so funny, yanno.  The writer behind the OSU account decided to stop posting as of a few days ago.)

Empathy, I think you do not know what it means

Also I think you flunked sixth-grade sex ed.

Rep. Todd Akin sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.  Asked about whether abortion should be considered in the case of a pregnancy resulting from rape, Akin opined thusly:

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said, referring to conception following a rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”

Source.  He apparently doesn’t understand what “legitimate” means, either.

Then he tried to clarify his misspeech:

“It’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year,” he said. “I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action.”

Missouri! Elect a legitimate candidate!

That’ll show them

Miguel Angel Pasalodos

Subtitled:  Why I hate adoptive parents, part 983

Children who are adopted internationally should have certificates of citizenship and valid passports.  When adoptive parents don’t bother or actively refuse to get this documentation for them, they are being negligent.  And stupid.  And agencies should be held accountable as well.   But apparently some agencies still also believe that the certificate of citizenship isn’t really necessary, because they tell their clients that.

Folks who believe the certificate of citizenship and valid passport aren’t really necessary obviously
haven’t been reading the news.  This is a function of privilege, because brown folks sure have to pay attention.  (More here.)

The number of children who arrive on an IR4 or IH4 visa has been steadily increasing since I first started tracking the numbers.  I attribute this to change in sending countries.  Kids who arrive on IR4 or IH4 visas do not automatically receive citizenship after their arrival in the United States, unlike IR3 and IH3 visa holders.  Additionally, children who come to the U.S. under “humanitarian parole” (e.g. Haiti) must go through the naturalization process.

In any event, all kids born outside the United States who intend to be United States citizens should have multiple proofs of citizenship.  That means the certificate of citizenship (or naturalization) and a valid passport.  (We’ve written extensively on this subject; use the “search” function to find additional posts.)

But a number of adoptive parents apparently fail to recognize this as a necessity.

In reading the cases of adult adoptees who have been detained by immigration, it appears many had unstable home lives.  Parents struggled with their lives. They divorced or died or were abusive or just plain negligent.  Some believed their children held citizenship.  Others never bothered to finish the paperwork.  Some never even knew it was an issue.

There are a lot of adoptive parents who don’t understand the Child Citizenship Act fully. Pretty much every time we post about citizenship issues, somebody shows up to whitesplain about how we are wrong. They don’t give any details or sources. They just know. Better than we do. Because that is one of the costs of racism.

But there’s another subset of parents who aren’t securing the certificate of citizenship for their children:

We still don’t have the COC and I refuse to pay the money for it when I have all of the documents that prove his is a citizen.  … I plan on him having a current passport at all times and unless a situation comes up that I can’t argue my way out of with the current passport, I will not get the COC.  I don’t think we should have to pay the ridiculous fee just because our kids came home on a different visa.  We’ve jumped through a million hoops already.

The fee is currently $550, which is less than two percent of the cost of an average international adoption. That’s a lot of money but the poster doesn’t say she doesn’t have it. She says she “refuse[s]” to pay it.

I’d be willing to wager that the cost of the certificate of citizenship is less than the average family spends on souvenirs, although they don’t withhold buying knickknacks because it doesn’t represent Sticking It to the Man. Such a brave stand! Although the government doesn’t care at all. And it won’t care if your kid doesn’t have proof when he or she needs it. The only person you’re sticking it to is your kid.

Sure, you can wait until you “can’t argue [your] way out” of a problem requiring proof of citizenship. But maybe you’ll be dead. Maybe you’ll have lost the paperwork. Immigration won’t have any record of your child becoming a citizen if he or she arrived on an IR4 or IH4 visa and you never submitted proof of full and final adoption and filed for the certificate. Even if you are still alive and have all the paperwork, CIS will still have to make the determination. Which takes time:

Shawn Saucier, a spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said any request for a certificate of citizenship can take months to process, or significantly longer depending on the amount of documentation a person is able to provide.

In addition, he said, immigration law has changed so frequently over the years that older cases can be very complicated. “The burden is on the individual. We can’t just assume that because someone believes they’re a citizen, they are,” Saucier said.

I’ve written previously about U.S. citizens who have been deported erroneously or erroneously detained. Current longest wrongful detention of a U.S. citizen: ten years. The erroneous deportees/detainees were citizens. They just couldn’t prove it to the CIS’ satisfaction.

But go ahead. Punish the government by refusing to fork over the money. Except nobody will know and nobody will care. Ignore the fact that other immigrants pay for proof of citizenship, because you’re obviously special. Don’t worry that the government doesn’t have any record that your child became a citizen. And you probably won’t get old and die and your kid won’t ever become an adult, either.  So when they are in  jail or maybe the Honduras, don’t worry. It will all be fine.

It will be fine.

Because you showed ’em.

Our value, revealed!

Spoiler alert:  If you are of Asian descent and you do not want to find out what white people think about your opinion, don’t read on.  Oh, unless you already know.  In which case, nevermind.

As we (and I use the word “we” to refer to my people, of course, since those are the only people who exist in the entire universe) all know, white people are both the Arbiters of Real Racism™ and the Ultimate Arbiters of Racism™  (there is a subtle distinction between the two; bonus points for those of you who can compare and contrast).  So it’s not much of a surprise to find mostly white adoptive parents definitively deciding “Racist or not?”  Where does the Asian voice fit in?  One poster described our position thusly:

OK, that is exactly what I am talking about— you could really provide a service to this community by adding your two cents on these things and saying flat-out “Look guys, I’m Asian & trust me, this is not a big deal…” then you could go on to explain why it isn’t. Then I (a white 37 year old mom from an small town in the SE U.S. that does have some diversity, but not a huge amount & no significant Asian community, though we do have Chinese friends & I am am perfectly capable of traveling to the next closest good sized city as needed & where there is a larger Asian American community— just so you know who you are talking to. I also have two kids who have American first names & Chinese middle names, btw, who were adopted from China, both around the age of one year) would hear your voice to balance out the voice of the person who is telling me it is a big deal. If the person telling me it is a big deal is an Asian American I might give their voice a little more merit based on the fact they are in the U.S. & therefore might be more attuned to the racial attitudes here, but if it is another white mom like me I would be more inclined to listen you over them since you are Asian.

Goodness! Allow me a minute to catch my breath!
Continue reading