They!

The headline reads ‘Racist’ license plates in N.B.’  The plates are being recalled because They felt it was racist.  Not because the word is actually racist.

Because of course they felt it was important to be sensitive to a multicultural community.  So despite the fact they didn’t feel it was racist, they showed what good sports they are.

Because it’s just a “derogatory nickname” that isn’t actually racist.  Just “racist.”  For good measure, four white-appearing people are interviewed at the end of the broadcast to say how this isn’t racist at all.

Just so you know how they are.

I call bullshit.

Well, I was going to write this long blog post about a GOP aide (Donny Ferguson of Rep. Steve Stockman’s office) who thinks it’s easy to be poor.  Because he tried it for a day and was just fine.

Here’s the quick and dirty summary:  A number of Democratic representatives undertook the “SNAP challenge,” in which they attempted to eat on the $31.50 benefit allotted individuals under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  I believe they did so to highlight the difficulties that many low-income individuals and families face.

But Ferguson?  He did it to show everybody how much better he can play poverty.  He went to a couple of stores, bought a bunch of crap and declared it is possible to eat well on the $31.50 allotted under the supplemental nutrition program. Continue reading

Ain’t it always the way

There were about a dozen of them.  African American men between the ages of 18-20.  They were big and she was just a little lady.  And they made off with (reports vary) about $200,000 in cash and jewelry.  Six grand in cash, according to some news accounts.  A brooch worth $100,000 and a bracelet worth $25,000.

She bravely gave interviews to the Chicago Tribune and ABC News.

She says she’s not going to live her life in fear.

Of course not.  Because it never happened.

After reviewing surveillance video that showed the woman getting off a commuter train (minus jewelry) and video from the location (no incident captured on tape) and interviewing witnesses (who all didn’t see anything, for real this time), police concluded the “victim” lied.

White people. Ignore them.

They’re just seeking attention.

Dear Prudence,

My six-year-old son is the only black child at his school.  From all reports, he is sweet, well-mannered and has a great sense of humor.  However, over the past two years he has been the target of a number of racist comments by a girl in his class, who often says things like “I don’t want to sit by him because he has dark skin” and worse.  She says these things in the hearing of their classmates, teachers and other school employees.

Her parents insist they are attempting to teach her to “treat everyone equally and be accepting of all different people.”  The adults at school do not address his comments but instead ignore them, insisting that a West Hartford, CT marriage and family therapist by the name of Molly McDonald counseled them to think of her comments as the “equivalent of a tantrum and thus best ignored.”

–At a loss

Dear “At a loss,”

While your child may be undergoing a painful and hellish school experience, not that I might have considered this, won’t you think of the white child?  Continue reading

They took my spot. (But my SAT was only 1180.)

 

In 2008, two young women with similar academic records applied to the University of Texas at Austin for spots in the freshman class. One of the women, Abigail Fisher (pictured above), was rejected. The other, Tedra Jacobs, was accepted. Fisher is white. Jacobs is black.1

Blatantly unfair, right? Abigail Fisher thinks so. Like many others, she seems convinced the race is the only reason she was not accepted to UT Austin. Because it’s a matter of “merit”:

“I’m hoping that they’ll completely take race out of the issue in terms of admissions and that everyone will be able to get into any school that they want no matter what race they are but solely based on their merit and if they work hard for it.”2

1 Source.        2 Source.

Fisher didn’t make the cut under the UT “Top Ten” program, in which the top students at each public school are guaranteed admission (the percentage varies from year to year and has been eight percent in the past).  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!

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.

The diversity project

Go ahead, laugh at me if you want to.  Because this summer I watched almost every episode of The Gl** Project.   Even though I have opined at length about the show’s craptastic craptasticness.   Even though I said from day one that the winner was going to be one of the two white guys.  Not that country-singing one, but the one who actually won and that other one with the brown curly hair.

But it was presented like a Diversity Meritocracy.  Gather ’em all up.  Get a blind black guy, a woman in a wheelchair, a transgender male, a Muslim woman, a Korean American guy, a hapa ? Asian/white ? woman, a plus-size woman, etc.  Round it out with a couple of straight- and cis-appearing conventionally attractive white people.  Then tell everybody that it’s ultimately up to them.  May the best man win.  (And as a side rant, thrown in for free, I wonder how that particular gendered terminology subtly works on the psyche of women.)

Except.

Except that a lot of times it isn’t really up to them.  (Shit, why do I even bother to qualify with “a lot of times”?)

I’ve gone on interviews that looked like the diversity project, and I know other readers of color probably have too. We noticed that we were the onlies, and we tried to suppress that little voice that kept telling us that we were just somebody’s idea of show and tell and good intentions.  Because it is impossible to function in a racist society without engaging in active denial sometimes.

One interviewer, trying to “reassure” me:   Last year we had so many others in here, it looked like the third world!

Another interviewer, another location:  We really value diversity here.

Me (looking at all-white environment):  Where?

Once I went to one of those dreaded group interview things and to my great surprise I ran into The Other Asian.  You know how sometimes you run into TOA in an all-white setting and TOA pretends not to see you?  That’s what went down.  She was busy proving how well she could integrate with the majority.  I was busy sending fuck you death rays her way.  No, not really.  And since most of the majority was busy ignoring us, she was really working it.  Which meant very studiously avoiding me at all costs.

In most of those circumstances, you know it’s pretty much already a foregone conclusion that you’re not going to be favored.  But the absolutely most depressing thing is when somebody who is as dumb as a rock is selected instead of you.  Because even that meritocracy stuff doesn’t necessarily matter.  Or there’s that certain je ne sais quoi.  But we do actually know what, don’t we?

Anyway, back to my original rant.

So I had a pretty good idea that the woman in a wheelchair wasn’t going to win.  After all, they already have a guy in a wheelchair.  Not an actual person with a disability, mind you.  Because that would be all inconvenient and what.  But an able-bodied guy playing at disability.

Generally, the rules of the diversity project state quite clearly that you must only have One of Each.  They got rid of that black guy, even though he never did say or do anything anyway.  Yeah, I do know they have two Asians.  But you need a couple of Asians sometimes so you can prove diversity because we (well, not me) are such good model minorities and good sports.  We (again, not me) tend not to make white people squirm around as much.

People of the Muslim faith, on the other hand, do make white non-Muslim people squirm around a lot.  The squirming agency proves it.

But for the most part, just have one of any Other.  Like having a black friend.  Don’t have multiple black friends, and don’t live in a black neighborhood or anything.  One is good enough for credibility.

But wouldn’t it be totally radical if (getting back to employment for a second now) a company that talks about trying to increase diversity hired multiple Others?

Not going to happen on this show, though.  Although nobody ever bets me.  Mostly because none of my friends are as dumb as rocks.

I was actually shocked that two Others made it to the finale.  Although this is sometimes a good strategy to show your open-mindedness.  Similarly, don’t ever eliminate the black guy right away.  It looks bad, even if he is a terrible candidate.

Also, if you’re going to pick a white guy, make sure everybody knows he knows what it’s like for us people of color, too!  Because he’s the “whitest half-Cuban ever.”  Yeah.

But I kept watching.  Because for some reason I still keep hoping beyond hope.  Even though I curse myself and tell myself how stupid I am afterwards and then have to go take a long hot bath and use lots of soap.  Unfortunately, I can’t seem to soap up the crevices in the grey matter enough.

Finally the boss man says that there is only one person who could fill the slot.  And you know who that person is.  But it makes you wonder why it took so long.

In the end, the diversity project is simply a show.  We watch it and it looks good sometimes and we root for our people and we thank well-meaning white people because we know they tried, they really tried.  But we just weren’t good enough.

‘Missouri judge denies Guatemalan mother custody of her son’

Tammy Ljungblad | The Kansas City Star

Encarnacion Bail Romero never wanted her son Carlos to be adopted.  But after she was detained in an immigration raid, that’s what happened.  You can read an article about her ordeal here.  And now the court has ruled that the six-year-old should stay with his “adoptive” parents.

Bail Romero has not been allowed to see him.  Not once.  Because although she stated repeatedly that she never wanted to allow him to be adopted, because although she said that if she were deported she would take him with her, because although she contacted her family who promised to help her care for him, she had no interest in the child and wanted to abandon him.  Yeah.

(Additional rant on “illegal” long in the making and forthcoming.)

The benefit of the doubt

So some university students formed a Towson chapter of the Y0uth for Western C1vilization.  They most recently made the news after chalking slogans like “Wh1te Pride” and “Anti-Racist is Code for Ant1-Wh1te” around campus.

[Chapter president Matthew] He1mbach, a 20-year-old junior, said the group is only promoting traditional conservative values and is not racist. He said he’s advocating pride in his culture, not “wh1te power.”

“Wh1te pride is no different than gay pride or black pride,” he said. “I’m not trying to put anyone down. We want to celebrate our unique culture, and we encourage every other group to do the same.”

From another article, also He1mbach:

“What we want to do is be able to promote on campus for students who want to be proud of their heritage and the foundations of this country.  They have a place to do that and be able to stand up for themselves.”

Source.

Yeah, I might just buy the idea that He1mbach is just regular garden-variety stupid like so many other folks in the majority.   Continue reading