Cyber Racism: Facebook is under fire in Australia for not pulling pages that contain racist rants, and this has led some to push for an overhaul of the cyber-racism laws there. Just as a reminder, Australia is a democracy and they regulate hate speech. It’s possible to do both. That’s not happening here in the U.S., so as Geoffery Dunn writing at Huffington Post points out, places like Team Sarah continue to roll out the online racism.
Hate Crimes, Old & New: Brent Staples has a nice column in yesterday’s New York Times about the contemporary exhibition of photographs of lynchings. Staples ponders the ethical dilemmas of showcasing these photographs in a time and place in which the perpetrators may still be alive and amoung the audience. Curiously, Staples seems to locate “haters” as exclusively in the past. There are plenty of examples around that suggest otherwise, including this case in Staten Island in which two white teens were arrested for the election night beating of a young black man and a hit-and-run. And, this incident in which a 12-year-old black girl was pounced on by white officers who assumed she was a “prostitute” because she was wearing “tight shorts,” is just outrageous. And, this incident reminds me of Judith Butler’s point in Excitable Speech that the State is often the worst perpetrator when it comes to hate-speech-and-acts. (It’s not quite the same, Butler was referring to speech/acts like the entire criminal justice system and in particular, the death penalty, but the fact these cops were acting in their official capacity as agents of the State seems like a related point.)
South African Racism Persists: The election of Obama has reverberrated around the globe, and people in South Africa are contemplating the implications of his election for the demise of racism. Back in November, South African novelist and Nobel Laureate, Nadine Gordimer, declared that Obama’s election marks the end of racism. Chris Mbekela, a PhD student at Rhodes University, takes issue with Gordimer’s assessment. Writing at the Daily Dispatch Online, Mbekela argues that racism persists globally and in the South African context.
Racism & Homophobia: Irene Monroe takes up the debate about racism and homophobia, and argues persuasively that Gay is Not the New Black (h/t: Adia) and Heather Tirado Gilligan says that we need to work on healing the rifts between us by building coalitions among straight folks and LGBT folks across racial lines (h/t: Joe). The passage of Prop 8 gives “LGBT advocates the chance to show other minority groups that their causes are interconnected, legally and ethically.” Time to get to work, we’re all community organizers now.