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.”
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.
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."
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…
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)…