Concern Over an Increasingly Seen Gesture Grows in France By SCOTT SAYARE/NYTimes

Growing controversy over the use of a nonverbal gesture linked to Nazi Germany is increasing in France. Questions of racial/cultural hatred versus freedom of expression, political correctness, and history are part of the discussion in this very real case study currently unfolding.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/03/world/europe/concern-over-quenelle-gesture-grows-in-france.html?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=WO_COQ_20140103&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1388552400000&bicmet=1420088400000&_r=0

Related:

Ani DiFranco, White Feminists, and Racism

There have been quite a few good articles about the problem of racism and white centering among White feminists. If you are not familiar with the current conflict, Ani DiFranco has been criticized for planning a songwriting workshop (since cancelled) at a former plantation in Louisiana. In addition to the lack of sensitivity to the issue of slavery, history, and ongoing racism, DiFranco has been criticized for how the situation was handled after the fact. This post is a good one for those of us who are white to read, examining how we can address our own racism, including what to do when we have inadvertently offended someone (with a great comparison with an accidental physical injury).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-milstein/5-ways-white-feminists-can-address-our-own-racism_b_3955065.html

Related:

White supremacy’s long shadow: Why the myth of “race” still haunts America by JACQUELINE JONES

In an excerpt of her new book, “A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race From the Colonial Era to Obama’s America,”  Jacqueline Jones describes how, “decades removed from the lows of segregation, black America still struggles against its twisted logic.”

http://www.salon.com/2013/12/15/white_supremacys_long_shadow_why_the_myth_of_race_still_haunts_america/

“How High School Textbooks Indoctrinate Youth with a False and Dangerous Sense of Our Racial History” by Richard Rothstein\Economic Policy Institute

http://www.alternet.org/education/how-high-school-text-books-indoctrinate-youth-false-and-dangerous-sense-our-racial-history

Longer article: http://www.aasa.org/content.aspx?id=30814

Conflict in Syria: Cultural Roots

There are many good sources that look at the roots of the conflict in Syria. Here are a few:

The Legacy of Henrietta Lacks: “A Family Consents to a Medical Gift, 62 Years Later” By Carl Zimmer, NYTimes

Issues of ethics, privacy, socioeconomics, racism, research, science, consent, justice, and voice are all present in this case. Henrietta Lacks was a poor black woman with dying from cancer in 1951. Without her consent, some of her cancer cells were removed, cultured, and have subsequently been used in many thousands of research studies (and resulting in profits and careers for scientists and corporations). Her family only found out about the widespread use of her cells when researchers approached them, asking for blood samples. This story is chronicled in Rebecca Skloot‘s 2010 best-seller, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

From the NYTimes article: “Henrietta Lacks was only 31 when she died of cervical cancer in 1951 in a Baltimore hospital. Not long before her death, doctors removed some of her tumor cells. They later discovered that the cells could thrive in a lab, a feat no human cells had achieved before.

Soon the cells, called HeLa cells, were being shipped from Baltimore around the world. In the 62 years since — twice as long as Ms. Lacks’s own life — her cells have been the subject of more than 74,000 studies, many of which have yielded profound insights into cell biology, vaccines, in vitro fertilization and cancer.

But Henrietta Lacks, who was poor, black and uneducated, never consented to her cells’ being studied. For 62 years, her family has been left out of the decision-making about that research. Now, over the past four months, the National Institutes of Health has come to an agreement with the Lacks family to grant them some control over how Henrietta Lacks’s genome is used.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/08/science/after-decades-of-research-henrietta-lacks-family-is-asked-for-consent.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

 

Let Freedom Ring! August 28 at 3 p.m. – the 50th Anniversary of MLK’s Dream Speech

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/07/i-have-a-dream-speech-mlk_n_3683657.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000038&ir=Black+Voices

To Join ’63 March On Washington: ‘Like Climbing A Mountain’ by Michelle Norris

There are many anniversaries from the Civil Rights Movement this year, including the March on Washington.

For the Month of August, Morning Edition and The Race Card Project are looking back at a seminal moment in civil rights history: The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., delivered his iconic “I Have A Dream Speech” on Aug. 28, 1963. Approximately 250,000 people descended on the nation’s capitol from all over the country for the mass demonstration.”

http://www.npr.org/2013/08/05/207913707/to-join-63-march-on-washington-like-climbing-a-mountain

NPR Special Series: The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays

“NPR’s partnership with The Race Card Project explores a different kind of conversation about race. We ask people to think about their experiences, observations, triumphs, laments, theories or anthem about race or cultural identity. Then they take those thoughts and distill them down to one six-word sentence.

Thousands of people have shared their six-word stories and every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into the trove of stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for “Morning Edition.”

You can find hundreds of submissions and submit your own stories atwww.theracecardproject.com

 

http://www.npr.org/series/173814508/the-race-card-project