Are eyelids the no. 1 beauty concern in the Asian community?

Did any of you catch Friday's episode of the Oprah show? It was titled "Children Ashamed of the Way They Look" and included interviews with: Kiri Davis, the young filmmaker who created the phenomenal short film A Girl Like Me Grey's Anatomy star Chandra Wilson about her own views on beauty growing up and how she's raising her daughters A black woman who prayed that her son wouldn't come out as dark-skinned as her. The son, not surprisingly, has developed quite a complex about colorism. Korean-American MTV host SuChin Pak, about beauty ideals in the Asian and Asian-American communities. ...more

It's so true that the reason some Asians want and/or have surgery for double eyelids is for ...more

Diversity training doesn't work. Here's why.

"Diversity training." What comes to your mind when you read those words? a) Listening to boring speakers who use meaningless buzzwords like "cultural competence" and "tolerance." b) Participating in awkward workshop exercises. Privilege walk, anyone? c) Learning painfully obvious things, like "racism is bad." As if you didn't already know that. d) All of the above. It's no wonder diversity fatigue is sweeping across America. ...more

I used to do diversity training and have participated in many since I was 15.  I stopped ...more

Michelle Obama, feminism and the strong black woman

I've been following the media's handling of race in its coverage of Barack Obama's presidential bid very closely over the last few months. But right now I'm particularly riveted by the media coverage of his wife, Michelle Obama. Race, gender, and feminism are intersecting in fascinating ways. Here are some highlights. ...more

I think it is imperative to remember that we can never know a) public figures regardless of how ...more

As "all-American" as apple pie?

The other day I was watching "The Agency," an addictive new reality show on VH1 about the agents and models who work for Wilhelmina Models. The agents were pitching a new client, Bongo Jeans, and brought a few different models to the client to be considered for a new ad campaign. I was struck by how many times the phrase "all-American" was used. The client kept saying that they were looking for a guy and a girl, both of whom had an "all-American look." You can pretty much imagine what kind of phenotype they meant by "all-American." (And if you can't imagine, you can watch the episode here.) ...more

Ah, the irony. Surrender, Dorothy - When ...more

How can you coach kids to be critical of what they see on TV?

I recently came across a trailer of the excellent documentary Mickey Mouse Monopoly (hat tip to Yolanda and Kai): Mickey Mouse Monopoly takes a close and critical look at the world these films create and the stories they tell about race, gender and class and reaches disturbing conclusions about the values propagated under the guise of innocence and fun. This daring new video insightfully analyzes Disney's cultural pedagogy, examines its corporate power, and explores its vast influence on our global culture. Including interviews with cultural critics, media scholars, child psychologists, kindergarten teachers, multicultural educators, college students and children, Mickey Mouse Monopoly will provoke audiences to confront comfortable assumptions about an American institution that is virtually synonymous with childhood pleasure. ...more

I got the feeling that documentary was heavily overthinking the sort of messages Disney was ...more

Turning Uncle Ben into Chairman of the Board

At a time when we're seeing various institutions acknowledge and apologize for their involvement with the slave trade (the state of Maryland and Brown University are two recent examples), it's sad to see one company so enthusiastically reviving a brand that was built on slave imagery. The New York Times discusses a new campaign from Uncle Ben's Rice that is attempting to give Ben a makeover: Uncle Ben, who first appeared in ads in 1946, is being reborn as Ben, an accomplished businessman with an opulent office, a busy schedule, an extensive travel itinerary and a penchant for sharing what the company calls his “grains of wisdom” about rice and life. ...more


To your question - I don't think there is a single "right" approach but I can think of ...more

When white people make black music

Yes, that headline is meant to be provocative. Who counts as "white"? Is there such a thing as "black" music? There are no easy answers to any of these questions, of course. But lately I've seen quite a bit of discussion on this topic, particularly when it comes to so-called "blue-eyed soul." L.A. Times music critic Ann Powers recently wrote of Joss Stone: If there's one fault on "Introducing," it's that Stone's comfort level with that tradition remains too high. Throughout the album, she sings in a voice she learned from those soul albums; the lilt of coastal England never surfaces. Crafting a new self from beloved popular cultural sources, Stone is very much of her generation; it's her sincerity, her refusal to see that identity as artificial, that singles her out. ...more

People always talk about white/black music. There is music created by black or white people but ...more

Fertility clinic mixup results in "black" baby for "white" parents

Ugh... Here we go again. OMG! A "white" couple gives birth to a "black" baby! Quick! Get a DNA test! Find a lawyer! From The New York Post: A Park Avenue fertility clinic's blunder has left a family devastated - after a black baby was born to a Hispanic woman and her white husband, the couple charges in a lawsuit. ...more

But it's comming from you, Carmen VanKerckhove. You already agree that it's unacceptable for ...more

The 10th Erase Racism Carnival

I'm currently hosting the Erase Racism Carnival on my blog, Racialicious. There were so many great links that I thought I'd cross-post it here. Consider this a super-sized link post. :) The Erase Racism Carnival is a collection of blog posts dedicated to creating a world free of racism. It's published around the 20th of every month. The idea is to get more people blogging and/or reading about creating a world free of racism. ...more

AsianWeek runs a column called "Why I Hate Blacks"

Blacks hate us. Every Asian who has ever come across them knows that they take almost every opportunity to hurl racist remarks at us... Contrary to media depictions, I would argue that blacks are weak-willed. They are the only race that has been enslaved for 300 years. It's unbelievable that it took them that long to fight back... In high school, I only remember one black student ever attending any of my honors and AP courses. And that student was caught cheating. Musings from a Stormfront discussion board? No. Believe it or not, they're actually excerpts from a column by one Kenneth Eng that ran in the San Francisco newspaper AsianWeek, which calls itself "The Voice of Asian America." (Props to Angry Asian Man for breaking the story, and thanks to Ananse, Tariq and Gayle for the tips.) ...more

This is a great post, Carmen -- and it's worth noting the strong words of condemnation from the ...more