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.)

Continue reading

Dear Howard Kurtz

Your Washington Post article is titled “Black Reporters on the beat of Michelle Obama:  Does race play a role in coverage?

Allow me to answer your (rhetorical?) question:  Why yes, it does. But you don’t nearly go deep enough in your analysis.

First, you list five (five!) black female reporters among “nearly two dozen journalists.”  Why, that’s more than 20 percent!  I’m actually a little shocked by this, because typically the White House press is a pretty white bunch. Continue reading


This story is about how somebody on the yearbook staff wrote fake names For Black Student Union members and the yearbook was printed and distributed using names like “Tay Tay Shaniqua” and “Crisphy Nanos.”  The excuse of the hour is that the names were dropped in as placeholders for the real names.  But oops, somebody forgot to change them.  No racist intent here.

John McCain and g**ks

In 1999, I was reading one of the so-called “ethnic newspapers” when I came across an article about John McCain. In the article, the writer claimed that McCain frequently used the term “g**k” when he spoke on his so-called “Straight Talk Express.”

As a serious news hound who subscribed to three major papers at the time, I was interested that I had not heard a peep about this in the mainstream press. So I kept looking. From the dusty resistance archives, found on a floppy disk while looking for something else, we hereby present John McCain and a Tale of Two G**ks (An Illustrative Story about Race Relations in the United States): Continue reading

The luxury of cheap labor

Do items seem more upscale and more worthy of their highly inflated prices if the consumer believes they have been hand made by artisans in Europe rather than sweatshops in China or Italy?  Apparently so.  According to the New York Times, some of the biggest luxury brands go to great lengths to hide the origins of their products.

Emma Alvey

… Mia Depaillat. Jessica McClure. Meghan Hawkins-Rusch. Esther Scudder. David Polreis.  Logan Higgenbotham.  Viktor Matthey.  Luke Evans.  Zachery Higier.  Jessica Hagmann.  Liam Thompson.  Alex Pavlis.  Dennis Merryman.  Nina Hilt.  Gustavo Hunt.

Nobody spoke for them.

research provided by durgamom

30 days, $1500

The charge? Disorderly conduct. The reason? A “disturbing essay.” Outcome? Removal from school, possible expulsion, possibly 30 days in jail. Allen Lee, straight-A high school senior, just might not graduate this year.

District 155 Superintendent Jill Hawk said the response to remove the student from the others, put him in a separate annex on the campus and call the police was appropriate.

The essay hasn’t been released to the public. Here’s what the high school senior had to say about it:

Lee says he intended his essay as a joke, including the last sentence, in which he said the teacher’s method of teaching “could lead to a school shooting.”

I know you are all dying to know if Allen Lee is of Asian descent. Continue reading

All look same

So I stopped at the customer service desk of a local store to ask a somewhat lengthy question. The representative had to call for an answer. As she did so, another person of a vaguely-similar-race-to-mine walked up and stood next to me. I might also note, without getting overly personal, that we had greatly dissimilar appearances. When the representative finished the phone call, she turned and gave the other person (who was laughing the whole time) a detailed response.

When the rep realized both of us were laughing, she turned to me and said, “Oh! You’re not the same person!”