It used to be easy to define racism. It was the notion that one race was superior to another. It was hatred and fear and bigotry. It was the belief that the colour of a person’s skin was more important than the content of their character.
In part, this is because change was necessary. Thinking of racism only as individual prejudice made it harder to address gaps in education outcomes and employment rates for example. It obscured the impact of wealth inequality and a lack of social mobility. …
From time to time, Robert P George, a professor at Princeton University, runs an experiment on his students. He asks them to imagine what they would have done if they were white and living in the American South during slavery.
You guessed it; they’d all have been abolitionists!
Even though slavery was worth more to the US economy than the railroads and manufacturing combined. Even though anyone caught providing food, shelter or aid to escaped slaves risked crippling fines, jail, and even death. …
In 1959, police raided a screening of the newly-released French drama “Les Amants” because it featured a two-second shot of a woman’s nipple (I watched the movie for research purposes). The scene was considered so scandalous that the cinema manager, Nico Jacobellis, was fined the equivalent of $22,000 for “possessing and exhibiting an obscene film”.
After five years of legal battles and appeals, the case made its way to the Supreme Court of the United States, where Justice Potter Stewart overturned Jacobellis’ conviction, offering his famously subjective definition of pornography as he did so:
Every black person has a story about racism. It might be about a chance encounter on holiday or being denied entry to our own home. It might be about the statistically improbable rate at which we’re “randomly selected” for additional screening or those awkward moments when a poorly thought out comment backfires.
If there’s such a thing as “the black experience”, these stories are a part of its oral tradition. A collection of life lessons, clapbacks, and cautionary tales through which we celebrate our victories and vent our frustrations. They’re in-jokes that provide a sense of community and solidarity. …
On April 8th, officials in Windsor, Virginia released footage of a traffic stop tailor-made for the “abolish the police” era.
A brand-new SUV with tinted windows, just the type of vehicle that black people are disproportionately stopped for driving. A black man, or better yet, a black lieutenant, sat behind the wheel, the Stars and Stripes proudly displayed on the shoulder of his uniform. Two white police officers attended the scene, barking threats that were lifted verbatim from of a movie that was set in 1930s Louisiana.
Even though the driver, Lt. Caron Nazario, hadn’t committed any crime, the officers…
The last time somebody called me a n****r, I was on holiday.
I’d just arrived in Skopje, North Macedonia, innocently searching for something to get the taste of airline food out of my mouth, when I heard a shout from across the street:
“Hey! You! Uh… you are n****r.”
I looked over and saw a boy, no more than 18 years old, sitting on his bike. He waited for my reaction, his foot poised on the pedal in case I decided to chase him. I hadn’t provoked him. He was half my size, his English was barely up to the…
If you’ve been anywhere near a screen in the past week, you’ve probably heard that on March 16th, a man named Robert Long attacked two massage parlours in Atlanta, killing eight people and seriously injuring another. You’ve also likely heard that six of the eight victims were Asian women. And if you’ve heard that much, you’ve almost certainly heard that the shootings were racially motivated.
Anyone hoping to understand the difference between revenge and justice need look no further than this scene from the 2003 Tarantino classic, Kill Bill.
For those who haven’t seen this masterpiece, Kill Bill tells the story of an assassin named Beatrix Kiddo, who tries to start a new life after falling in love and getting pregnant. Unfortunately, Bill (her former boss) and the rest of her old crew track her down on her wedding day, murder her fiancé, the priest, and the rest of the congregation, and shoot her in the head.
Beatrix wakes up four years later to discover…
According to writer Gyles Brandreth, the average person speaks around 860,341,500 words during their lifetime. If you start talking at one and live to be 80, that’s about 30,000 words a day.
Most will be forgotten by everybody, including you, as soon as they’re out of your mouth. Others will stick around for a few weeks before drifting into obscurity. But now and then, someone says something we’ll remember for years or even generations afterward. Their words express just the right idea, in just the right way, at just the right time.
I was pretty easy to entertain as a child. All I needed was a TV, an irresponsible amount of sugar, and some cartoons.
It didn’t even matter which cartoon it was, because let’s face it, they’re all pretty much identical. The good guys win, the bad guys get away (so they can do battle again next week), and everybody learns a valuable lesson in the end. The details change, but the story stays the same.