Friday, June 30, 2006


As Ida B Wells would say...

"Sometimes I want to wrap my arms around my people and fly away."

One of the lacross players is reinstated at Duke.

Full story here: "The Duke University lacrosse player who was suspended for sending a crass e-mail message about killing and skinning strippers has been reinstated to the university, according to his attorney..."

I have no words.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


you're a shining star!

so i'm not a fan of star on any other day but watching the larry king interview made me sympathetic. The whole thing reminds me of invisible man (a reference spurred by a subway ride with Jah & co). Why be nice to people who have publicly denounced you?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I say it's reparations...

But then again I've used this excuse to cut white people in Bethesda off in traffic, to cut in line at the grocery store, numerous things that I won't name here so that I may not incriminate myself. Gotta give mad respect for damali, who chooses to panhandle for them. I am referring to a recent article in the washington post, that talks about the African American community's confusion about Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's choice to have a fundraising campaign hosted by Floyd Brown's Citizens United Political Victory Fund--this the same folk who produced the Willie Horton ad in the 80s ...


Full blog available at

Monday, June 26, 2006


Imaginary terrorists

I mean maybe i'm going out on a limb here, but why am I left with the impression that the FBI is trying to create terrorists?

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Indians are so hot right now!

As a single, attractive, professional in Washington, D.C., Monica Grover is fed up with all the non-Indian men who are all too excited about her being Indian. Tired of American men feigning culture to woo her, Grover put up the following disclaimer as part of her profile for a popular online dating site: “I’m sorry, but don’t expect me to be impressed if you’re into yoga, love Indian food or are taking beginner’s Hindi. I don’t practice yoga, I don’t speak Hindi, and who doesn’t love Indian food?”

Amisha Upadhyaya’s fine-featured dusky face and cascading waist-length black hair would turn any man’s head. But Upadhyaya, a young New York-based writer-director, admits it helps that Americans consider Indian women to be beautiful and strong. This favourable reputation has certainly contributed to propelling Indian women’s success in the United States, she says.

Indian women are the saucy new dish on the American dating scene. Until recently, American men had a taste for east Asian women — Japanese, Chinese, Korean and so on. Now, their appetites whetted by Aishwarya Rai’s pout in popular fashion magazines and hip hop artist Maya Arulpragasam, aka MIA’s, gutteral crooning, Western men are craving desi babes.

It may have taken a light-eyed Indian beauty to capture the hearts and minds of American men, but when Rai took the Miss World crown in 1994, it raised the profile of south Asian women outside their own region.

Since then, September 11, the dotcom boom and bust and the sweeping tide of globalisation have changed the way Americans perceive India and the nearly two million Indians who live in the US. All the while, a sizeable second-generation of educated south Asians — desi in appearance but with American ways — has come of age.

According to the latest census data, interracial dating and marriage is on the rise in America. In the US south Asian community, interracial relationships are more common within the second generation. Recent statistics on interracial marriages compiled by Vietnamese-American researcher C.N. Le show that Indian American women born or socialised in the US who marry outside their racial group are more likely to marry white men (21 per cent) than men of other racial groups. Indian women also marry men from other racial groups — Latinos (1.6 per cent, African American men (2.5 per cent) and other Asian American men (4.1 per cent).

Growing up in Indiana, photographer Matt Todd lusted after what was familiar: Farrah Fawcett-types. However, after a two-year stint in West Africa with the US Peace Corps, Todd’s preference shifted from the all-American model-actress to Chinese-American actress Lucy Liu. “I moved to Washington, D.C., craving diversity,” Todd says. Having casually dated numerous Asians, and recently, three Indians, the 33-year-old blond-haired, blue-eyed American admits he is attracted to “exotic women”.

US navyman Tim Franz began dating women of different ethnicities as a student at Boston University. Coming to a diverse university campus from New Hampshire, one of the most Caucasian states in the US, Franz says he wanted something that didn’t remind him of his home town. He describes the few Indian women he has dated as attractive, intelligent and motivated. “The fact that Indian women come from such an old and deep-rooted culture makes them all the more interesting,” he says.

In general, American men perceive Indian women as being feminine, demure, sensual and family oriented. A typical Indian woman’s physical characteristics — straight hair, sharp features, petite form and lighter skin tone — are valued among other minority groups.

So it is no surprise that as south Asians step out into the American mainstream, it is the Indian woman who is leading the way, perpetuating an image of a desi woman that is at once feminine and empowered.

Actress-model Padma Lakshmi, musician Norah Jones, writers Arundhati Roy and Jhumpa Lahiri and actress Parminder Nagra are accomplished, independent, and not too hard on the eyes. Similarly, the female protagonists in the popular movies of Indian filmmakers Mira Nair, Gurinder Chadha, Deepa Mehta and others have helped to associate fearlessness and independence with south Asian femininity and sexuality.

As part of the “model minority” in the US, the context of inter-racial relationships for south Asian women are markedly different from all other racial groups. According to Susan Koshy, Asian American studies professor at the University of Illinois and author of Sexual Naturalization: Asian Americans and Miscegenation, Indian women have become the possessors of significant “sexual capital” in the US. “Asian American women, in general, have greater sexual capital than the women of other racial groups [such as] African American, Latinas and native American women,” she says.

Koshy notes, however, that south Asian women do not have this history of sexual relationships developed in the context of military and political dominance with the US, as women from east and southeast Asia have as a result of US military involvement in the region. “Instead the exoticism of south Asian women in the US took place in a more amorphous and less freighted way through popular culture — Hollywood movies, and more recently through Bollywood, fashion, and pop music.”

But Indian women complain that they often find themselves caught between two worlds. Ritu Maghera, 26, dated interracially while she was in school but now dates mostly Indian men. A non-Indian would have a difficult time fitting into her traditional Punjabi Sikh family.

However, finding the right Indian man hasn’t been easy, either. “Indian guys who have grown up here don’t necessarily want an Americanised Indian girl,” Maghera observes. “They’ll either date an American girl or they want an innocent, virgin girl straight from India.”

In between puffs of her cigarette, Monica Grover describes herself as the “antithesis of a typical Indian girl.” The 28-year-old project manager for a Washington, D.C., non-profit organisation has tried to keep her mind and options open while dating men both in and outside of her race. Still, she has found that Indian men look down upon her American-side, while American men fail to understand her Indian-ness.

“Indian men don’t like the fact that I can’t speak Indian languages or cook, and that I curse and smoke. And an American guy thinks it’s weird if our date runs late and I have to call my mom.”

Ultimately, Grover and Upadhyaya predict they will most likely marry non-Indian men. Given their “sexual capital” and generally affable reputation they’ll have no shortage of dates and little trouble roping in an American stud. Their problem, however, is finding “the one”.

And that’s an age-old conundrum confounding race.

Friday, June 09, 2006


"protecting our borders"

full article at:

Web users to 'patrol' US border

Web users worldwide will be able to watch the Texas border

A US state is to enlist web users in its fight against illegal immigration by offering live surveillance footage of the Mexican border on the internet.

The plan will allow web users worldwide to watch Texas' border with Mexico and phone the authorities if they spot any apparently illegal crossings.

Texas Governor Rick Perry said the cameras would focus on "hot-spots and common routes" used to enter the US.

US lawmakers have been debating a divisive new immigration bill.

The Texas governor announced his plans for streaming the border surveillance camera footage over the internet at a meeting of police officials on Thursday.

"A stronger border is what Americans want and it's what our security demands and that is what Texas is going to deliver," Mr Perry said.

The cameras will cost $5m (£2.7m) to install and will be trained on sections of the 1,000-mile (1,600km) border known to be favoured by illegal immigrants.

Web users who spot an apparently illegal crossing will be able to alert the authorities by telephoning a number free of charge.

Mr Perry, a Republican, is running for re-election in November.

Deployment dispute

Meanwhile, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has sent National Guard soldiers to his state's border with Mexico, ending a weeks-old dispute with US President George W Bush.

President Bush announced plans on 14 May for thousands of soldiers from the Guard to be sent to bolster security along the Mexican border.

Mr Schwarzenegger had opposed the plan, describing it as a "Band-Aid solution" - or a temporary fix.

He said he did not want to place his state's National Guard soldiers - many of whom would have already served in Iraq - under additional strain.

On Thursday, the governor said he would send the soldiers to the border and the cost of the deployment would be shouldered by the federal government.

Meanwhile, a group of US civilian volunteers that has been patrolling the Mexican border began last week building a fence along a section of the frontier.

The Minutemen group started erecting the fence on privately-owned land in Arizona on Saturday, saying it is "doing the job the federal government will not do".

The Minutemen are allowed to report illegal crossings to border police but have no right to arrest suspects.

Human rights groups have accused the group of xenophobia towards illegal immigrants - but the group denies this.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006



Just got this from Jah. What is happening to the world?

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hosts of a chat show on a Hong Kong radio station apologized Tuesday for an Internet survey asking its listeners to vote which actress they would most like to sexually assault.

The Commercial Radio poll drew widespread criticism last week, with teachers, legislators and ordinary citizens slamming it for advocating violence against women and for corrupting youth.

"The program hosts and co-workers publicly apologize for any offence that the Internet poll 'Which female artiste would you most like to sexually assault' caused to female artistes and everyone in Hong Kong," a message posted on the radio Web site said.

The hosts also promised to be more careful in selecting the content of its shows in future.

Monday, June 05, 2006



Franco Cufar/AG.Sintesi
Marc Zoro, right, an Ivory Coast native,
was a target of racial slurs from the home
fans in Messina, Italy. Adriano, a star with
Inter Milan, tried to persuade him to stay
on the field.

On the eve of the World Cup, 'Negro' soccer/football fans should be advised:
In mid-May, a former government spokesman, Uwe-Karsten Heye, caused a furor when he tried to assist visitors by advising that anyone "with a different skin color" avoid visiting small and midsize towns in Brandenburg and elsewhere in eastern Germany, or they "may not leave with their lives."
Jere Longman, "Surge in Racist Mood Raises Concerns on Eve of World Cup"
Now, I should acknowledge that "these remarks received blunt criticism from high-ranking German officials" according to Longman but this story from the NYT forwarded to me by writer/filmmaker/cultural critic Courtney Young tells a frightening but not all that surprising narrative of anti-black racist abuse at European soccer matches. There is no reason, despite German and Fifa official statements/deflections, that these human rights abuses won't continue into the World Cup. I was desperately trying to hit this up but my finances refused to cooperate. And I can't say "maybe it was for the best" 'cause I'll be damned if some brutish Europeans prevent me from carrying on at a football match with a cold cup of Foster's (Australian for beer).

Click here to read the full NYT article.

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