PoC News around the World

Did everyone have a great weekend? This past week was busy, so let’s get to it!

The Marvel/DC Diversity conversation isn’t over, and nor should it be until we see actual diversity on film. Film School Rejects points out the ways that Marvel and DC have actually represented their characters on TV and in movies.

We missed this last week, but Netflix released a trailer for Marco Polo because the world was clamoring for another movie about the exploration of a “foreign” land by a white man. Sure this show is filmed all in China and stars an actual Italian actor as Marco Polo, but that doesn’t mean it won’t fall into Orientalist tropes.

Nicki Minaj released a new lyric video for “Only.” The video makes heavy use of Nazi iconography and also features misogynistic lyrics from such illustrious folks as Chris Brown and Drake. The video has received a lot of well-deserved criticism, but the ease with which people are ready to tear down women of color, specifically black women, to find ammunition to tear down any feminist moments in their careers always gives me pause. I’m not defending Minaj, but let’s remember that feminism-denier and Mel Gibson fanboy Robert Downey Jr. is constantly being forgiven and adored, while Nicki Minaj will always be the subject of criticism and contempt.

In other music news, Azealia Banks FINALLY dropped Broke with Expensive Taste, so get dancing immediately.

In movie news, the trailer for Ava DuVernay’s Selma has been released. If you’re heading to the movies on Christmas Day and debating between a musical that will surprise depress you or a historical drama that probably needs the financial support, make the better choice and see Selma.

You know what’s a great move for Disney? Create a movie featuring a father who colonized, I mean “claimed,” a part of northern Sudan for his daughter to be a princess, because nothing says magic like white people claiming land that doesn’t belong to them. That always works out well.

This is a little late, but still a great example of Columbusing at its finest. A Washington Post writer fell asleep on the A train and found himself in Richmond Hill, Queens and “discovered” Little Guyana. In case that wasn’t weird and racist enough, he starts talking about the “urban grit” of Queens and then says this:

A few blocks from the Bake Shop, I met a machete-wielding man who offered, for $3, to hack open a coconut and plunge in a straw for my exotic refreshment. I thought about it but declined. Then I asked whether I could take a picture of him swinging his machete. He declined.

Those crazy immigrants! I understand that Indo-Caribbeans are a small enough population that most people haven’t encountered them, but it doesn’t really excuse this type of exoticizing, anthropology-light writing. Thankfully, I’m not the only Indo-Caribbean who thinks this is ridiculous.

Artie Lange proves again that there is no depth to how absolutely vile and repulsive he can be, this time making slavery sex jokes about ESPN First Take host Cari Champion.

And speaking of improper language, a recently published US Army regulation states that up until last week, officers could call black or African-American soldiers “Negroes.”

18 Million Rising put out this infographic tracing hunger in Asian American communities, complicating the myth of the model minority and highlighting immigrant groups that are often overlooked when we talk about issues of Asian immigration.

A recent Gallup poll reports that fewer Americans are struggling to afford food. However, blacks and Hispanics are twice as likely as whites to be unable to afford food.

Twitter and Tumblr were rightly upset when BuzzFeed published a photo of a breastfeeding college graduate, calling it adorable, while a black breastfeeding mother was called controversial. Thus showing the media bias present when discussing black and white women. This led to the hashtag #HowMediaWritesWoC.

Sephora blocked the accounts of customers with Chinese surnames and Asian IPs so that they couldn’t purchase items in bulk.

An article in Neuroscience News reports that black and Hispanic children are being underrepresented in autism identification. While there is an increase in children who are actually diagnosed with autism, white students are identified as autistic sooner than black and Hispanic children. This presents an issue when access to resources and services are considered.

A Grand Jury verdict is expected soon in Ferguson, but it’s not too late to help. Here is how you can help without being there. Information regarding solidarity protests can be found here.

International News:

Over on Flavorwire, there’s a great trailer for Bruk Out!, a new documentary following the competitors vying for the title of International Dancehall queen. Dancehall is one of those genres of music and styles of dancing that have been marginalized in mainstream music due to its hypersexual nature and its ties to the Caribbean. It is extremely easy to demonize and exoticize Dancehall and the black and brown women who seek empowerment through the dance style. There is something thrilling in hopefully seeing these women find an outlet that makes them feel strong and beautiful across nationalities.

Did you see Sunday’s Google Doodle commemorating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall? Well, Palestinian youth took that moment to destroy part of the wall dividing them from the rest of Israel. I’ll take this moment to remind everyone that there is also a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

There are reports that protestors in Mexico set fire to the door of the Governor’s Mansion to demand answers regarding the massacre of 43 students. Right now, the primary source of information has been Twitter and Tumblr, but as we have seen in recent months, these may actually be the best sources for on the ground reporting from activists and witnesses.

We will leave you with this great playlist from Feministing that features only women and queer people of color. ENJOY!

By Karishma

Karishma is a twenty-something living in New York City and is trying her hardest to live out every cliche about Millennials. This involves eating her feelings, drowning in debt and mocking infomercials. She likes sociology so much that she has two degrees in it, and is still warding off her parents' questions about a real career.

5 replies on “PoC News around the World”

I am not defending Minaj’s Nazi-ish music video, but I do want to point out that this was a combined vision of the director, producer(s), and artists.

I think it’s one of those cases where there’s legitimate reason to criticize and at the same time, many tip their hand when they show their zeal to do so. (Kind of like how Chris Brown will forever be a woman-beater, but Sean Penn is still taken seriously as an actor.)

This sort of thing is why I have a problem with both white feminism and frat boy liberalism. It’s not concern trolling to point out when Ann Coulter attacks cross into sexist and transphobic territory, especially when you find her abhorrent as a person. It’s not defending domestic violence to point out racism when people are excited Ray Rice will “return to the hood where he belongs.”

Bigotry is wrong, even when it’s unleashed on the unsympathetic.

Yea, I in no way excuse what Nicki Minaj did with the video, but I do think people forget that it’s not only Nicki’s doing. And like I keep pointing out, those swastika replacements aren’t her initials, but Young Money’s initials, which leads me to believe they had a huge influence in the video. Stylistically, it’s also pretty connected to the videos Lil Wayne was releasing during his incarceration. I’m sad she’s working with Chris Brown and with whoever came up with this video concept. I hate the song as a whole as well, so I’m just super disappointed.
But! I’m not going to write her off completely because of this huge misstep. I’ll just look in disappointed but hope she doesn’t do something like this again.

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