No more Texas governors for president

“Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.” - Molly Ivins
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Posts tagged "crime"



The Unapologetic Afro-Indigenous Radical Feminist: The Glorification of White Crime

Take a facet of crime, and then look at television shows/movies that feature those criminals as protagonists.

White mobs.

White pirates.

White serial killers.

White political corruption

White drug dealers

I mostly want to talk about this as a TV phenomenon, but pick a crime, any crime, and Western media has probably made a movie/TV series/play/etc. with a white person that romanticizes the criminal activity. No matter what, a white person can do whatever terrible crimes and still have a TV/movie fanbase that loves them.

When you see black or brown people committing crimes on screen, you are to see them thugs and criminal masterminds and people to be beat down.

When you see white people committing crimes on screen, you see a three-dimensional portrait of why someone might commit that crime, how criminals are people too, and how you should even love them for the crimes that they commit because they’re just providing for their families or they’ve wronged or they’re just people and not perfect. This is particularly a luxury given to white male characters, since there few white female criminals as protagonists.

If and of the above shows were about black or brown folks, there would be a backlash of (white) people claiming that TV and movies are romanticizing criminals and are treating them too much like heroes and that it will affect viewers and encourage violence and “thuggish” behavior. And yet fictional white criminals get to have a deep fanbase who loves these white criminals, receive accolades and awards, get called amazing television that portray the complexities of human nature. Viewers of these characters see past the atrocious crimes and into their humanity, a luxury that white characters always have while characters of color rarely do. The closest that mainstream TV has come to showing black criminals as main characters is probably The Wire, and even then, the criminals share equal screen time and equal status as main characters as the police trying to stop them.

The idea that crime can be so heavily romanticized and glorified to such a degree is undoubtedly a privilege given to white characters. The next time you hear someone talk about Dexter Morgan or Walter White in a positive way, it may be an opportunity to rethink how white people can always able to be seen as people no matter what they do, while everyone else can be boiled down to nothing but a criminal.

Get out of my head, y’all! I’ve been thinking all like this about Breaking Bad specifically versus The Wire or even New Jack City

And Dexter? Now maybe the analysis is out there and I haven’t run across it yet—and please send me the link(s) if they are there—but I haven’t heard a feminist critique of the Dexter’s serial killing as sanitized because he offs “bad people,” when the reality about quite a few serial killers’ victims are women. The last feminist analysis I read about male serial killers in US pop culture is Jane Caputi’s Age of Sex Crime from waaaaaaay back in 1987. 

Very true.

(via racebending)


You guys ALWAYS, ALWAYS proofread your campaign communications by multiple people, multiple times. Or this might happen. Wow.

[facepalm central]

Although why is this in the “Asia” section when it’s about Asian Americans?

Born in Seoul but raised in Massachusetts and North Carolina, Mr. Kang is an editor for the sports and pop-culture site Grantland. He spoke with the Journal about Asian-American anger and why contemporary fiction shouldn’t be timeless. Edited excerpts from the interview are below.

The Wall Street Journal: What inspired you to write this book?

Mr. Kang: I’ve always wanted to write an angry Asian character, because I feel for Asian-Americans there is a lot of anger that’s suppressed. I feel like a lot of the representations I read when I was growing up of Asian-Americans in literature was that there’s only this model of deference or intense sadness. “Joy Luck Club” is an intensely sad book, for example.

I wanted to write a book where a sort of depth of that emotional trauma, of growing up in this weird situation, where all that came to life. I just thought it would come out best in a crime format because the higher stakes were—the guy is running around thinking about whether or not he’s going to live or not and seeing this violence—and he would interact with the actual violence within himself.

Was it difficult to take the anger and make it funny?

My No. 1 goal was to make it funny. I enjoy books that are funny, and I feel that part of the writer’s task is to be funny—create these moments of levity and to not make everything slow, plodding and sad. I’ve always been turned off by books that try to encapsulate an experience by just being sad and just showing trauma and hurt.

So, I thought, if I was going to make this book about this very real, at least to me, very intense anger within Asian-American people that it would also have to be funny because otherwise, it would just be overwhelming, and it would just be ranting.

Random House

From hip-hop to Keanu Reeves and Oprah, there are a lot of pop-culture references in the book.

I wanted to write something that would not feel like it was trying to be timeless, I guess. I think the book has been miscast a little bit as a murder mystery. I definitely wanted that to be the structure, and I wanted to be as faithful to the genre as possible, but the book tries to deal with race in an as modern a sort of way, as honest as possible. That was my goal. I think that to do that, you have to write about things as they are in the world that people live their lives in now.

I know how much time I spend on the Internet dealing with stupid pop-culture things every day. It’s probably more than most people because of my job, but I think that most people spend a lot of time processing pop culture, and our idea of ourselves racially does come from pop culture. Our ideas of self through that come from the models that we see on television and through music.

How did you approach the minefield of writing about race and racism?

When I was writing about it, I didn’t think about it. I had no real thoughts of publishing. I had sort of given up. I guess given up is not the right word. I became comfortable with the thought that I would most likely write books that would not be read by many people. That I might have to self-publish, that I might have a book that there would be people who would really understand it, and I would have a small audience of people who were, like me, at least, enjoyed what I was doing.

Honestly, I think if you write a book about race and you don’t offend at least 50 to 55% of people who are reading it in America, then you’re not doing a very good job.

Excerpt from “The Dead Do Not Improve,” by Jay Caspian Kang

The Baby Molester and I talked only twice. The first time, she knocked on my door and asked for four eggs. I remember being amused by the anachronism—what sort of person still asks her neighbor for eggs?—until I realized it had been years since I’d had a single egg in my refrigerator, much less four.

The second time she knocked, it was well past midnight on some blown-out Tuesday. I was clicking through Craigslist w4m’s, my head swimming in a desperate, almost haikulike fog—“oh my loneliness / it rolls through the foggy bay / here it comes. Again!” When I heard the knock, I hurried to the door, anticipating some new girl, the sort of beautiful girl who, when her hair is wet from the rain, looks more like a planet than a girl. But it was just the Baby Molester in a peach slip. And one limpening sock. The light from an earth-friendly bulb cut through that electric hair, exposing a fragile, mottled quail egg of a skull. A look somewhere close to smugness hovered over her shiny face. She asked for a cigarette and, after an awkward pause, asked for two. She had a guest, she explained. I gave her five and really considered asking her some questions, but did not.

Follow Doretta Lau on Twitter @dorettalau


AA Limelight Clip of the Week: Vincent Who 

This week’s Clip of the Week is the trailer for the documentary Vincent Who, which traced the origins and aftermath of Vincent Chin’s murder. It was a hate crime that occurred decades ago to spark a national civil rights movement that really consolidated the Asian American political identity.

Even now, decades later, the perpetrator of the crime is still smug and does not regret his crime. He only got off with a slap on the wrist and a $3000 fine thirty years ago. Vincent Chin’s legacy is still relevant to us today, and the entire nation needs to know that we are worth so much more than $3000. It’s documentaries like this that preserve the memories of our struggles so that such hate won’t replicate itself in the future.



“A society that does not accept the facts is a childish society, and a society that makes abortion illegal—and I believe that the PBAB is a calculated step in exactly that direction—is a cruel and backward society that makes being female a crime. It works in partnership with the illegal abortionist. It puts him in business, sends him his customers, and employs him to dispense crude, dirty, barbaric, savage punishment to those who break the law. And the ones who are punished by the illegal abortionist are always women: mothers, sisters, daughters, wives.

It’s no way to treat a lady.”

This is such an important article. Eleanor Cooney for Mother Jones on the “Partial-Birth” Abortion Ban and the necessity of having access to legal, safe abortions for all women regardless of circumstance, age, race, class, religion, number of months pregnant, reason for being pregnant, etc.

You must read this.

Yup yup yup.

What cognitivedissonance said

Too bad we can’t talk to Trayvon Martin about not being able to safely go to a 7-11 and back.



Too bad we can’t talk to Trayvon Martin about not being able to safely go to a 7-11 and back. 

But no, let’s all feel sorry for George Zimmerman, the man who shot an unarmed teenager who was on his way back from a 7-11 with Skittles and an iced tea. Because George Zimmerman can’t go to a 7-11 any longer - never mind the inconvenient fact that Trayvon can’t either. Because of your client, Mr. O’Mara.

Zimmerman’s life may suck now, but at least he still has it. Perhaps if Trayvon Martin still had his, this whole going-to-a-7-11 thing wouldn’t be a problem. 

We have lots of communities in America that have drug use, drug dealing, and no violence. They’re called ‘suburbs.’
California-based criminologist David Kennedy, discussing why targeting inner-city drug use won’t cut violent crime. Via the Washington Monthly. (via motherjones)


But hey, it’s to save budget money, so yay tea party values!


Hint: The answer is “a little too easily.”



SCOTUS granted a temporary stay to review the appeal of Duane Buck. At issue isn’t his guilt; it’s whether he was sentenced to death in part because of his race. Read our full report here.

Maybe a tragedy like the death of a feckless twentysomething is inevitable if we are to restrain healthcare costs. But it is still a tragedy. It is not something a decent person cheers. Similarly the execution of hundreds, while perhaps defensible politically and even morally (although I differ), is nonetheless a brutal, awful business. You don’t delight in it.