Saturday, June 13, 2009

Is Photoshopped diversity racist?

As I'm moving to the greater Toronto area in exactly six days, I take a personal interest in the kinds of FUN available to Torontonians this summer.  Apparently, the city wants you to know that Fun in Toronto involves this black guy, who was photoshopped into the cover of the Toronto summer guidebook:


As astute reader Amy notes, he himself looks kind of uncomfortable with the whole thing.  Understandably, I'd say.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Is using the wrong racist stereotype racist?

Talking Points Memo has a piece on the National Review's weird cover depicting Sonia Sotomayor as a caricatured Buddhist monk.  As far as I'm concerned, depicting a Latina as an Oriental is just as confusedly racist as depicting a Puerto Rican as a Mexican piƱata.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Are "Africentric schools" racist?

Reader Jacqueline submits the following:

Toronto District School Board opens an Africentric elementary school.  Following months of debate, the TDSB decided Tuesday to go ahead with the controversial plan.  Macleans reports:
Amid the hoopla following Tuesday's decision, many questions remain about how such a program will address deep-rooted problems inside the TDSB, including the oft-cited statistic that 40 per cent of the city’s black students aren’t graduating (compared with roughly 25 per cent of students overall). Is a black-focused school—which would be open to students of all backgrounds, and draw heavily on African experience and knowledge—really the answer to these problems?
I'm honestly torn on this one, folks.  I mean, on the one hand, it's an imperfect solution to a serious problem—as are all desperate measures.  On the other, if I had kids, I'd kind of want to send them to this school.  I think it would make them awesome.