A career on the color of my skin

November 26, 2013 § 4 Comments

IMG_4374[1]First, a late submission to Hope Jahren’s #ManicureMonday subversion of the ridiculous social media meme of Seventeen Magazine. I am not fond of bimbofication culture in the least and I am even less fond of it as a parent of female offspring.

So yeah, here’s what my manicure less nails do at work, most days.

On to today’s topic spurred by an epic troll from the DM

Jesus christ on a popsicle stick.

Look, I know this person has a long history of unstable pronouncements on the Internet. And I know this person has been placed in a really, really shitty public position lately.

But that situation is only tangentially (and temporally) related to the issue involving Danielle Lee.

The entire sentence is as follows:

If Danielle wants to leave science and make a career out of the color of her skin, I think it would be a shame for science to lose her, but again, go for it!

This is so ridiculously offensive I hardly know where to start.

As you can tell from the figure above, the color of my skin is categorized, in these here United States at present, along with Danielle’s much more frequently than with that of the author of that ridiculous comment. I point this out so that in the event the intemperate author happens by here she will understand that her comments are not a theoretical issue to me. I am not defending Dr. Lee so much as I am defending my own reactions.

There is no reasonable way to interpret that ridiculous comment of hers in any other way than as a recitation of a pervasive right wing meme that people who are minorities have some fabulous advantage due to the color of their skin. And that they can “make a career” out of this fantastic birthright.

This is false.

Don’t get me wrong, the phenomenon of “Rev Inc” is not entirely a right wing fantasy. There are indeed people who make careers out of defending and promoting the status and rights of underrepresented groups in this country. Including those who happen to share the skin tone that is one of several defining characteristics of the class under discussion.

Does this mean that they are making a career out of their skin color? Of course not. They are making a career out of addressing substantive issues of public policy and civil rights that are specifically relevant to people who share their skin color.

The suggestion that it is about profiting from one’s skin tone is a direct attack on the very substantive issues of equality and opportunity available to different subpopulations in the US. It is a direct attack on the legitimacy of the situation with Dr. Lee and the piss poor response of Scientific American to her blog post calling out some yahoo for expecting her to blog elsewhere for free. It is a direct attack on the notion that the experiences and reactions of someone who is not of majority culture are legitimate and in need of hearing. It is basically telling Dr. Lee, and those like her, to never mention a perspective that is informed by the color of her skin and the way that society treats her because of that feature.

Lest one be accused of making a career on the basis of skin tone.

I don’t ask for an apology from the original author of these comments. I don’t really care one bit if the comment was a result of striking out in anger and pain or whether it betrays a fairly confirmed mindset. I don’t even particularly think anyone should front her all mad-like.

What I do want is for you to forward me any job opportunities that involve easy money on the basis of my skin tone1.

That would be sweet.

1See Figure 1.


Michael Steele is an idiot. The analogy with the Loving decision is clearly applicable.

February 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

from RawStory:

“Michael, I’m curious to whether you think it would be OK in modern America for there to be some states where black men could not marry white women?” author John Heilemann asked the former RNC chairman.

“First off, let’s just be very clear,” Steele said sternly. “There are a significant number of African Americans, myself included, who do no appreciate that particular equation. OK? Because when you walk into a room, I don’t know if you are gay or not, but when I walk into a room, you know I’m black. And whatever racial feelings you have about African Americans, about black people, that is something that is visceral, it comes out. I don’t know [you are gay] until later on, maybe you tell me or some other way. So, don’t sit there and make that comparison. Don’t make that analogy.”

It is a perfectly apt analogy. Go back and read the newspapers and diatribes and reporting on the miscegenation issue as it was fought through to the bitter end during the fifties and sixties in the US. The language is the same. Sure there are the occasional differences but see the appeals to tradition, the “natural order”. To religion. and to basic squeemy-ness on the part of the poor, poor lily white majority that might have to….see people of different appearances married to each other.

PropH8 has been busted down to its bigoted knees by an Appeals Court ruling.

“Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples,” Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote, joined by Judge Michael Daly Hawkins.

Let’s get back to moron Michael Steele, however. His logic is that because you know someone is black when you look at them, it is totes different from being gay. Oh yes? So you never see someone in a public context behaving in a way that makes it clear they are gay? Why is it different if you infer (strongly) that the person is gay and get a “visceral” response? Like that didn’t ever happen? And what if your only evidence for someone being black is indirect- name, background details….vocal patterns and speech? Like that didn’t contribute to miscegenation laws? It was only about when you see someone in person?

This logic doesn’t even remotely make sense.

And it disingenuously ignores the fact that just as the anti-Black bigot has a “visceral” reaction, so does the homophobe. Like Michael Steele, apparently.


July 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

You know those foodie dipshittes who try to find more and more fucked up repugnant shit to eat because they have nothing decent and real going on on their lives?

Huh. I don’t think I can ever be President.

April 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

So Trump is getting a bunch of press for dragging up Birther crap again. And good old Fox news has

Gone Full Birther

this has been laid to bed. From 2009:
In an attempt to quash persistent rumors that President Obama was not born in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961, Hawaii’s health director reiterated Monday afternoon that she has personally seen Obama’s birth certificate in the Health Department’s archives:

“I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen. I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago….

Factcheck.org laid this canard to rest too..in 2008:

FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as “supporting documents” to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.

Now, let’s not be stupid here. The Republican talking class promotes this stuff as a scurrilous attack on the legitimacy of Obama. That is there real goal….to undercut the President. So this is far beyond a matter of silly little trivialities like facts. They cannot be convinced with any evidence because they think they have a lie that resonates.

However, let us focus on the allegation. As far as I can tell the Birthers are obsessed that Obama has released a “Certificate of Live Birth”, not a “Birth Certificate”, and that it is apparently a copy and not an “original”.

So basically if you don’t have the precise document that was issued within weeks of when you were actually born, these birthers think you can’t qualify as President.

Yeaaaah. I don’t have that. And I suspect that any copy that I get from the County Hall that recorded my birth won’t be up to snuff either.

See…I was adopted as a child. The identity of my birth mother, due to existing state law at the time, is blocked from any records that are available to me and, presumably any future Fox News pundits and their lackies. So even the official record, such as it is, lists parents that any casual inspection would inform you are not my biological ones.

Jesus, how many fucking people can these teabagging Republicans declare as not really Americans? We know they hate any sort of minority, the nonreligious, immigrants, gays and libruls….now adoptees?


The Family Values Party, Presidential Candidate edition

March 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

The GOP flaming hypocrisy on “family values” and “traditional marriage” on full display.

By Salon.

See, now, you did just “tolerate” that rhetoric, dumbass

February 25, 2011 § 1 Comment

Georgia Republican Congressman Paul Broun, M.D. is really a piece of work. For background, he’s no fan of Obama and has been known to spout the sort of rhetoric that might, just maybe, encourage a violent reaction, no?

Broun, a doctor from Athens in his third congressional term, routinely calls Obama a socialist and said shortly after Obama’s election in 2008 that he feared the president would establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship.

I dunno about you but if I genuinely thought someone was trying establish a “Gestapo” in these here United States to “impose a…dictatorship” of any stripe, I’d take some exception to that.

And what do you know? One of Rep Broun’s constituents did take exception.

at a town hall event in Oglethorpe County, Ga., on Tuesday a man asked, “Who’s going to shoot Obama?”

Well, of course Rep Broun had to react to that, didn’t he? I mean after all

Broun issued a statement Friday calling the question “abhorrent.”

“I deeply regret that this incident happened,” Broun said in a statement. “I condemn all statements — made in sincerity or jest — that threaten or suggest the use of violence against the president of the United States or any other public official. Such rhetoric cannot and will not be tolerated.”[emphasis added]

Right. So by “will not be tolerated”, one assumes that Rep Broun didn’t, well, tolerate this comment.

According to the newspaper’s account, which was confirmed by Broun’s office, the congressman didn’t criticize the man for asking the question, instead deflecting it. He told the audience that he understood their frustration with Obama

See dude? That’s called tolerating it. Not just tolerating it but actually encouraging it. “I understand your frustration” is not telling some dingbat that what they said is unacceptable. It is saying it IS acceptable.

The only reason this Republican Congressman issued his fake tut-tutting three days after the fact was because he got caught out in the media. Liar.

Save us from #douchebeckistan #teabaggers

August 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

I did more today to Restore Honor and to secure the future of this glorious nation than did the 97,000 drooling racist Glenn Beck (did he ever deny that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990?) fans polluting DC.

I played with my kids.

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