Saturday, December 31, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
He’s lost his family in a way that perfectly echoes the tragedy that drives Batman, but with one crucial difference: When Bruce Wayne’s parents died, there was no Batman to help him. When Dick Grayson’s parents die, there is.
Batman doesn’t just help Dick track down the guy who killed his parents, he adopts him. He takes him in. Batman takes the place of his family, and in doing so, Batman also takes the first step in rebuilding his own family. And as a result, in one of the most brilliant evolutions of a character ever, Dick Grayson grows up to be a very different person than Bruce Wayne.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Published on Counterpunch, www.counterpunch.org, April 24, 2006
"Since the O.J. trial, it seems as though almost any allegation of racism has been met with the same dismissive reply from the bulk of whites in the U.S. According to national surveys, more than three out of four whites refuse to believe that discrimination is any real problem in America (2). That most whites remain unconvinced of racism's salience--with as few as six percent believing it to be a 'very serious problem,' according to one poll in the mid 90s (3)--suggests that racism-as-card makes up an awfully weak hand. While folks of color consistently articulate their belief that racism is a real and persistent presence in their own lives, these claims have had very little effect on white attitudes. As such, how could anyone believe that people of color would somehow pull the claim out of their hat, as if it were guaranteed to make white America sit up and take notice? If anything, it is likely to be ignored, or even attacked, and in a particularly vicious manner.
That bringing up racism (even with copious documentation) is far from an effective "card" to play in order to garner sympathy, is evidenced by the way in which few people even become aware of the studies confirming its existence. How many Americans do you figure have even heard, for example, that black youth arrested for drug possession for the first time are incarcerated at a rate that is forty-eight times greater than the rate for white youth, even when all other factors surrounding the crime are identical (4)?...How many know that white men with a criminal record are slightly more likely to be called back for a job interview than black men without one, even when the men are equally qualified, and present themselves to potential employers in an identical fashion (6)?How many have heard that according to the Justice Department, Black and Latino males are three times more likely than white males to have their vehicles stopped and searched by police, even though white males are over four times more likely to have illegal contraband in our cars on the occasions when we are searched (7)?How many are aware that black and Latino students are about half as likely as whites to be placed in advanced or honors classes in school, and twice as likely to be placed in remedial classes? Or that even when test scores and prior performance would justify higher placement, students of color are far less likely to be placed in honors classes (8)? Or that students of color are 2-3 times more likely than whites to be suspended or expelled from school, even though rates of serious school rule infractions do not differ to any significant degree between racial groups (9)?Fact is, few folks have heard any of these things before, suggesting how little impact scholarly research on the subject of racism has had on the general public, and how difficult it is to make whites, in particular, give the subject a second thought.
Perhaps this is why, contrary to popular belief, research indicates that people of color are actually reluctant to allege racism, be it on the job, or in schools, or anywhere else. Far from "playing the race card" at the drop of a hat, it is actually the case (again, according to scholarly investigation, as opposed to the conventional wisdom of the white public), that black and brown folks typically "stuff" their experiences with discrimination and racism, only making an allegation of such treatment after many, many incidents have transpired, about which they said nothing for fear of being ignored or attacked (10). Precisely because white denial has long trumped claims of racism, people of color tend to underreport their experiences with racial bias, rather than exaggerate them. Again, when it comes to playing a race card, it is more accurate to say that whites are the dealers with the loaded decks, shooting down any evidence of racism as little more than the fantasies of unhinged blacks, unwilling to take personal responsibility for their own problems in life."
Friday, July 8, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Interviewer: Black history month you find…Morgan Freeman: Ridiculous.Interviewer: Why?Morgan Freeman: You’re going to relegate my history to a month?Interviewer: Oh, come on.Morgan Freeman: What do you do with yours? Which month is white history month?Interviewer: (pause) Well, I’m Jewish.Morgan Freeman: Okay. Which month is jewish history month?Interviewer: There isn’t one.Morgan Freeman: Oh, oh. Why not? Do you want one?Interviewer: No.Morgan Freeman: Right. I don’t either. I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.Interviewer: How are we going to get rid of racism?Morgan Freeman: Stop talking about it.
I love Mr. Freeman, but I have to disagree with him passionately on this point. Not talking about racism has never done anything but allow it to grow unimpeded. And this is my admonishment (I won't saay problem with, because that a bit harsher than what I intend and feel) to the previous generation, my father's generation. Honestly I think they just got tired of talking about it. Fatigue combined with the murder/imprisonment of so many different leaders as wells as the the "new" injustices of the Korean and Vietnam Wars lead the vast majority of that generation to put down the banner of anti-racism and say, "Well we've made these strides here with integration and affirmative action, etc. We're tired of saying it, they're tired of hearing it, and there are other "more important concerns, now."