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Posts tagged "Arturo Garcia"

I can see why the R’s Arturo García crushed out on Kerry Washington's visage on the Jumbotron at the Democratic National Convention last week: she's not only a stunning woman, but she speaks her stunning truth about the history, joy, and responsibility of US citizenship. And, in her work, she embodies her rallying cry that “we are not invisible.”

Washington’s video career is someone who steadily and surely does amazing things with some material that make you go “hmmmm,” from Anthony Mackie’s smoothly manipulative ex-girlfriend in Spike Lee’s problematic alternative-family message flick She Hate Me, Ray Charles’ long-suffering, stand-by-her-man wife in Ray, Idi Amin’s abused, adulterous wife in that neo-Africans-As-Savages film The Last King Of Scotland to the oh-too-sexy temptress in that I-wish-Chris-Rock-would-divorce-his-wife-already movie I Think I Love My Wife. 

When I saw Washington as the little-too-long-in-the-struggle Black radical Patricia Wilson in Tanya Hamilton’s Night Catches Us that I finally understood what she brings to these films: Washington makes the viewer wrestle with these characters’ humanity while they are making some decisions that we say we may not make in the safety of our own homes, theaters, and lives. It was with that realization that I wanted to watch Washington challenge me with the choices her characters make.

And, wow, she sure did for 7 weeks in the Spring with her show Scandal. As Olivia Pope, the owner of a crisis-management firm in Washington DC, Washington  again and again challenges the viewer to behold her brilliant, well-respected mind as she fixes some seriously ethical messes for Washington DC’s powerful types, including her ex-lover, President Fitzgerald Grant. (They get involved while she’s working as his presidential campaign manager and with full support from his wife. It’s still a mess.) All the while marveling at Pope’s brains, I wonder if, indeed, I could make the same, sometimes unethical decisions she makes for clients and her employees, who also serves as her posse when shit goes down, like when she can’t emotionally extricate herself from the President Grant as he’s facing a marriage-challenging disaster.

What Washington makes visible with her work is the complexity, the sheer messiness, of Black women’s lives, almost as if she eschews the “positive.” respectability-politics role in order to play them. As she said in a 2012 interview:

In order for us to honor each other’s humanity, it’s important to see the full range of who we are. I’ve never had a career where I’ve said I won’t play a prostitute or I won’t play a thief or I won’t play a slave or I won’t play a maid, because for me there’s nothing wrong with playing those people. People who have a history of being a slave, a prostitute, a maid, a drug addict–those people are human beings too. We all deserve to have our stories told. And we all have much to gain by walking in other people’s shoes. I don’t believe that there needs to be one story or one storyteller.

Give the person or people behind the OSU Haters Tumblr some credit: the campaign has actually spurred their school, Ohio State, to confront the racist attitudes of some of its students. Tonight, members of various student groups will hold a special town hall meeting to discuss the ugliness the page uncovered.

The page was founded months ago, but has gained more attention online over the past week or so, including the curious gaze of local media in Columbus, OH.

“The motivation to create these accounts came from the multiple sightings of hate speech online,” OSU Haters told The Columbus Dispatch via email. “Particularly the fact that these posts continued not only without consequence, but were sometimes promoted and shared by their peers.”

It’s a testament to what social media can do to force attention to an issue that the school’s president, E. Gordon Gee, has weighed in—and thankfully, not to pooh-pooh OSUHater’s cause.

“It’s just clearly unacceptable behavior,” he said to the Dispatch regarding the racism. “We have a very clear policy, and I have very strong personal feelings about how wrong it is.”

Arturo García reports on how a university community—including the school’s president—(finally) does the right thing in curtailing racism. (TW: anti-Asian racism, anti-Black racism, islamophobia, transphobia)

From the R’s Arturo García:

"Tomorrow is the deadline for an online fundraiser organized by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Native American blog Last Real Indians in an effort to buy about 2,000 acres of land in the Black Hills of South Dakota, an area known in the Sioux Nation as Pe ‘Sla

"The goal is to raise $1 million online. As of Wednesday morning their Indiegogo campaign had amassed just over $180,000. One of their biggest fears, Iron Eyes said, was that the state would build a road through the land. A spokesperson for the South Dakota Department of Transportation said that Pennington County, in which the land is located, does have a project on the table calling for the expansion of an existing gravel road. But, tribes in the area, including the Sioux, have been consulted on the project, and the option not to build on the land must be kept on the table at all times."

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Ryan’s claim to fame is his much-lauded budget plan, one which, as Adriana Maestas at Politic365 pointed out in March, does particular damage to the Black and Latino communities by gutting social-service programs like Pell Grants, Medicare/Medicaid and the food stamp program. He has also supported the construction of a wall along the border between Mexico and the U.S. Based on congressional records, Ryan is the most far-right nominee for the vice presidency in history. Which, if nothing else, should further endear him to a voting base that booed at just the mention that their presidential nominee’s dad was born in Mexico.
Arturo García also reports that presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s VP pick, Paul Ryan, also doesn’t like “anchor babies.” Read the rest of the post on the R today.

Audra McDonald calls the theater her home. Sunday night she took her place at the head of the table.

McDonald’s star turn in a revival of Porgy & Bess culminated in her winning the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, the fifth Tony of her career. But as Shadow and Act’s Tambay reported Monday, not only has McDonald reached some rarified air–she’s only the third woman ever (and first woman of color) to win this many Tonys–but she’s done so with shocking efficiency: she’s appeared in only 10 Broadway productions since 1991.

“To help put this into some perspective,” Tambay writes, “imagine a Hollywood actress making 10 movies over a 20 year period, and winning Academy Awards (whether supporting or lead) for her performances in 5 of them.”

Tambay also raises a good question–where could McDonald, who also has two Grammy Awards and two Emmy Award nominations under her belt, go from here? One tantalizing possibility: Aretha Franklin reportedly wants McDonald to play her in a movie.

Arturo García explains how and why Audra McDonald is so fly on the R today.

The fight to keep Mexican-American Studies alive in Tucson, AZ, suffered a defeat Tuesday night—but one supporters of the program vowed to continue come election time.

"You’re done Cuevas!" someone shouted at Tucson Unified School District board member Miguel Cuevas, who was part of the majority in the 3-2 vote not to renew MAS Director Sean Arce’s contract. "In November you’re out!" According to the board’s website, both Cuevas and board president Mark Stegeman’s current terms expire at the end of the year. Stegeman and Michael Hicks, who was featured last week on The Daily Show, joined Cuevas in the majority vote.

Before casting one of the two dissenting votes (with Alexander Sugiyama), board member Adelita Grijalva warned her colleagues against letting Arce go.

"We’re the laughing stock of a nation," she said. "It’s going to hurt us economically."

Arturo García reports on the Tucson Unified School District Board firing Sean Arce, whom the Zinn Education Project’s first Myles Horton Education Award for Teaching People’s History, in their continuing efforts to dismantle ethnic-studies programs. Get on on over there, and check it out!

After Work It and Rob!, it’s fair to wonder if ABC’s upcoming show Devious Maids will continue the bad trend in depictions of Latin@s on network television. Nobody can say for sure, of course, until the show airs, but there are signs that are both encouraging … and not.

The core ensemble seems promising: Dania Ramírez (Heroes), Judy Reyes (Scrubs), Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty) and Roselyn Sanchez (Without A Trace) are set to star, and Eva Longoria will serve as a co-producer with Desperate Housewives showrunner Marc Cherry; she’s also the executive producer for a fictionalized version of A Class Apart, a documentary chronicling Hernandez v. Texas, the 1954 Supreme Court case that expanded civil rights to Mexican-Americans.

In an interview with Latino Voices, Longoria seemed to be positioning Maids as an extension of the social-activism campaign that followed The Help…

I’m going with “this isn’t a good development for 1 kabillion, Alex.” Arturo García gives the reasons why on the R today.
Good morning, Tumblrites! This picture of goodness is brought to you by the R’s Arturo García. 
You’re welcome.

Good morning, Tumblrites! This picture of goodness is brought to you by the R’s Arturo García

You’re welcome.

It’s not enough anymore for people of color and members of the LGBT community to be presented as the Special Guests, or the (x) Friends of the Host, or the Supporting Players. There’s more than enough proof online that our experiences as fans are not automatically divorced from our experiences as members of minority groups, and that there’s many of us looking for more safe spaces in which to discuss them. If some geeks of color don’t want to discuss sensitive topics, that’s fine; that doesn’t mean none of us ever should.

Because while it’s all too easy for people to distance themselves from those racist Hunger Games fans, those viewpoints don’t appear out of thin air, either.

When woman-oriented sites like The Mary Sue don’t report on Issa Rae getting assailed by racist tweeters after winning an industry award, that contributes to the problem. When a sci-fi heavy site like IO9 is content to let Jezebel report on the Games controversy, that contributes to the problem. When Marvel Comics would rather publish stories about the umpteenth version of Dark Avengers than about a group of black Avengers, that contributes to the problem. And when only 11 percent of someone’s YouTube channel talent is made up of people who are not white, that contributes to the problem. Unintentional marginalization is still marginalization.

We are way past the time when Day or Hardwick–or any party wanting to bill itself as a representative of geekdom–can hide behind the explanation that “we couldn’t find anyone” or couldn’t spot content online that might deliver a more inclusive version of geekdom to viewers. Does Hannibal Tabu need to wear Sith t-shirts? What does it say about gaming and that fandom when gamers who aren’t hetero white cis males are made to feel like they should hide their identities? Should the folks at The Border House start podcasting in Klingon to get consideration for a shot in one of these channels?

The near-dogmatic focus on “staying positive”–code for avoiding the topic entirely–does no one any good when it’s just Cheryl Lynn Eaton pointing out that Marvel Comics currently has no black writers while sites like Newsarama and Comic Book Resources keep quiet. That silence, intentional or not, sends the same kind of message to our subcultures as it does to the world at large…

Arturo García may have lost a few friends over this, but he went hard on geekdom’s almost self-perpetuating whiteness on the R today

Reading his post I was all like…

As you’ll recall, Nerdgasm Noire’s Roxie Moxie shared this column about the problematic reactions to the casting of Lenny Kravitz and Amandla Stenberg in the film adaptation of The Hunger Games, the opening chapter of which has gone on to post an opening weekend take of more than $155 million at the box office.

In the wake of the film’s strong opening, the disappointment–and sometimes outright anger–of more fans has been pushed further into the spotlight.

Not long after the film opened, there were enough of these kinds of reactions floating around online to populate a Tumblr (which should be read with a Trigger Warning for slurs)…

Fandom stays classy (again) with their pissiness about Black people getting cast as major characters in Hunger Games. Arturo García reports on the how the HG fans are getting their racism on online and how social media—including Tumblr—is putting ‘em on blast on the R today.