progressive-politics:

Excerpt from article:

Many Americans are still afflicted by the damages created by the financial downturn in 2008. Millions of Americans were put out of work, lost their savings, and had their homes foreclosed. One of the most prominent side effects stemming from the recession is a growth in poor credit ratings. Americans are now trying to get back on their feet, however, being denied jobs because of poor credit ratings is all too common. Elizabeth Warren has just introduced a bill in the Senate which would bar prospective employers from checking and denying employment based on credit scores.

The Equal Employment For All Act would help millions of poor Americans who were disproportionately affected by the financial crisis. According to research, roughly 47 percent of employers check credit history in order to judge the competence and character of job applicants. However, the credit rating of individuals doesn’t necessarily predict the potential productivity of their labor.

Read more

(via wrcsolace)

ioanina:

medievalpoc:

Since there are some people who might be unfamiliar with what I mean when I say that the way works of art are lit and photographed are often racist, I’m going to take some pieces from this article in order to sort of illustrate more clearly what I mean.

For a bit of context: when I’m talking about “racism”, I am not talking about individual feelings or directed hate. I’m talking about racist structures divorced from intent; I’m talking about systematic and automatic devaluation in terms of aesthetics and the presentation of art.

In one of the first scenes of early Oscar favorite “12 Years a Slave,” the film’s protagonist, Solomon Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor , is seen at night, sleeping alongside a fellow enslaved servant. Their faces are barely illuminated against the velvety black background, but the subtle differences in their complexions — his a burnished mahogany, hers bearing a lighter, more yellow cast — are clearly defined.

[…]

The diversity of these films isn’t reflected just in their stories and characters, but in the wide range of skin tones they represent, from the deepest ebonies to the creamiest caramels.

The fact that audiences are seeing such a varied, nuanced spectrum of black faces isn’t just a matter of poetics, but politics — and the advent of digital filmmaking. For the first hundred years of cinema, when images were captured on celluloid and processed photochemically, disregard for black skin and its subtle shadings was inscribed in the technology itself, from how film-stock emulsions and light meters were calibrated, to the models used as standards for adjusting color and tone.

That embedded racism extended into the aesthetics of the medium itself, which from its very beginnings was predicated on the denigration and erasure of the black body. As far back as “The Birth of a Nation” — in which white actors wearing blackface depicted Reconstruction-era blacks as wild-eyed rapists and corrupt politicians — the technology and grammar of cinema and photography have been centered on the unspoken assumption that their rightful subjects would be white.

The result was that, if black people were visible at all, their images would often be painfully caricatured (see Hattie McDaniel in “Gone With the Wind”) or otherwise distorted, either ashy and washed-out or featureless points of contrast within the frame. As “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen said in Toronto after the film’s premiere there, “I remember growing up and seeing Sidney Poitier sweating next to Rod Steiger in ‘In the Heat of the Night,’ and obviously [that was because] it’s very hot in the South. But also he was sweating because he had tons of light thrown on him, because the film stock wasn’t sensitive enough for black skin.”

This is what I’m talking about when I discuss the way that these photographs of artworks are lit, and the way the photos are processed.

In the digital age, there is no reason that a photograph should look like this:

image

To try and show how deep this goes and how racism is built into the entire structure of too many mediums of artistic expression:

Montré Aza Missouri, an assistant professor in film at Howard University, recalls being told by one of her instructors in London that “if you found yourself in the ‘unfortunate situation’ of shooting on the ‘Dark Continent,’ and if you’re shooting dark-skinned people, then you should rub Vaseline on their skin in order to reflect light. It was never an issue of questioning the technology.” In her classes at Howard, Missouri says, “I talk to my students about the idea that the tools used to make film, the science of it, are not racially neutral.”

Missouri reminds her students that the sensors used in light meters have been calibrated for white skin; rather than resorting to the offensive Vaseline solution, they need to manage the built-in bias of their instruments, in this case opening their cameras’ apertures one or two stops to allow more light through the lens. Filmmakers working with celluloid also need to take into account that most American film stocks weren’t manufactured with a sensitive enough dynamic range to capture a variety of dark skin tones. Even the female models whose images are used as reference points for color balance and tonal density during film processing — commonly called “China Girls” — were, until the mid-1990s, historically white.

In the face of such technological chauvinism, filmmakers have been forced to come up with workarounds, including those lights thrown on Poitier and a variety of gels, scrims and filters. But today, such workarounds have been rendered virtually obsolete by the advent of digital cinematography, which allows filmmakers much more flexibility both in capturing images and manipulating them during post-production.

These biases are built into the very technology we’ve been using for a century or more. That’s why actively fighting the structures that are in place are necessary in order for changes to occur.

At Howard, Young says, “the question of representation was always first and foremost. . . . When bias is built into the negative, how does that affect the way we see people of color on screen? People like Ernest, Malik and A.J. [found] a sweet spot. There’s always an inherent bias sitting over us. We’ve just got to climb through it and survive, and that’s what’s embodied in the cinematography.”

THIS is what people mean when we say that racism is institutionalized. It’s not just an attitude, but an ingrained structure.

oinonio:

stereoculturesociety:

CulturePOLITICS: The Shame of the GOP
They tried to tank the country. They lost. America won. Let the shame roll down.

You mean “let the shame trickle down”.

oinonio:

stereoculturesociety:

CulturePOLITICS: The Shame of the GOP

They tried to tank the country. They lost. America won. Let the shame roll down.

You mean “let the shame trickle down”.

(via dynastylnoire)

sinidentidades:

Tourists flocking to Guatemala for “end of the world” parties have damaged an ancient stone temple at Tikal, the largest archeological site and urban center of the Mayan civilization.

“Sadly, many tourists climbed Temple II and caused damage,” said Osvaldo Gomez, a technical adviser at the site, which is located some 550 kilometers (340 miles) north of Guatemala City.

“We are fine with the celebration, but (the tourists) should be more aware because this is a (UNESCO) World Heritage Site,” he told local media.

Gomez did not specify what was done, although he did say it was forbidden to climb the stairs at the site and indicated that the damage was irreparable.

Temple II, which is about 38 meters (125 feet) high and faces the central Tikal plaza, is one of the site’s best known structures.

Friday marked the end of an era that lasted 5,200 years, according to the Mayan “Long Count” calendar. Some believed the date also marked the end of the world as foretold by Mayan hieroglyphs.

More than 7,000 people visited Tikal on Friday to see native Mayan priests hold a colorful ceremony and light fires as the sun emerged to mark the new era.

Critics complained that the event was really for tourists and had little to do with the Mayans. About 42 percent of Guatemala’s 14.3 million residents are native Mayans, and most live in poverty and endure discrimination.

(via ethiopienne)

This week the United States Senate failed to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, a treaty that forbids discrimination against people with AIDS, who are blind, who use wheelchairs and the like. The 61 to 38 vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to sign on to an international treaty, despite bi-partisan support. All 38 of those no votes were cast by Republicans.

The World Health Organization estimates that there are more than 1 billion people with disabilities worldwide. Eighty percent are living in developing countries and more than 300,000 are women. Regardless of where they live, women with disabilities contend with the double discrimination of gender and ability status. Women with disabilities experience higher rates of poverty and unemployment than men with disabilities. It’s estimated that less than 1% of women with disabilities worldwide are literate. They face forced abortion and sterilization, and a disproportionate lack of access to health care. They are two to three times more likely to experience sexual violence than non-disabled women. 

It is difficult to imagine why the United States senate would not wholeheartedly support the rights of people with disabilities. After all, we like to think of ourselves as leaders in disability rights. According to the United Nations, only 45 countries have anti-discrimination and other disability-specific laws. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed 22 years ago. It was a historic piece of legislation that forced huge leaps forward in everything from public transportation to building architecture. It forbade discrimination in the workforce, and mandated schools to educate all of their children, regardless of ability. In fact, the ADA served as a model for the UN treaty. Infuriatingly , signing this treaty would not have required US lawmakers to do anything.  It would not require us to change a single law. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) explained the proposal simply “raises the [international] standard to our level without requiring us to go further.” It would have simply been a symbolic gesture that said people with disabilities, no matter where they live, deserve to be treated like human beings. And yet, 38 Senators still refused to sign it.

tl; dr: Republicans refuse to sign a largely symbolic UN treaty that indicates a commitment to NOT discriminate against people with disabilities.

deliciouskaek:

barackobama:

In which the President answers questions about how we can get Congress not to raise taxes on the middle class, and also compliments great hair.

that’s funny, i read that completely differently

yeah no i definitely read that as her hair being bad for growth

deliciouskaek:

barackobama:

In which the President answers questions about how we can get Congress not to raise taxes on the middle class, and also compliments great hair.

that’s funny, i read that completely differently

yeah no i definitely read that as her hair being bad for growth

(via deliciouskaek)

BF really likes The Daily Show

missdorotheabrooke:

girljanitor:

missdorotheabrooke:

girljanitor:

And I’m fine with that, up to a certain point. But leading up to and right after the election, I kinda casually mentioned to him, “I’m gonna give you two ideas and a question. 1. All women are white. 2. all people of color are men. 3. Is Jon Stewart speaking to a man or a woman? Okay, now let’s watch the show and tell me how many times the first two ideas are reinforced, and give me an answer to the third question.”

After the show, he turns to me and goes

and i’m like

see also that Jon Stewart is an evil, evil bastard, and that that matters when two thirds of his show is hyuk hyuk i feel the same way you do lookit those dumdums amirite ooh look i screwed up my joke Just Like A Regular Guy

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/camelswithhammers/2012/05/is-jon-stewart-anti-union/

he’s basically a concern troll except more insidiously proactive and hateful

I can’t say that I hate the dude but a lot of his shit is mad tired and pretty worn-out. As he ages it seems like he’s starting to infringe of some Bill Maher territory, just misogynist and gross and kinda like, “we’re all br0s here, hurflehurflehurfle!”

I tend to imagine that Stephen Colbert is probably a pleasanter person as an actual human being, and also I admire his willingness to tear down religious bigots with his bible-learnin’. Also, he’s Catholic, and I’ve had some fairly good experiences with Catholic people. They’re quite pragmatic for Christians, kinda like, “well sure if you asked me, I think you’re going to hell, but it’s not like I’m gonna give you a speech about it. More heaven for me!”

Also, he had Nuns on the Bus on his show, and seems much more in the spirit of modern American Catholicism, which I’ve found to be very social justice-oriented, positive and focused on putting their time and resources into communities. Hence the Vatican denouncing them as having a “radical feminist agenda”.

lol

/end rant

warning that this is a bunch of words about why i do have a special hatred for stewart that isn’t really needed to be read and might be more about my own projections than about the realities of the two men

-

yeah, colbert is much more real as a person. I like to say it as that Colbert lets his performance do the talking, his persona. Whereas unless you enjoy watching a self-conscious New York Jew talk about himself, you won’t be quite as able to enjoy Stewart.

What I think is very insidious about Stewart is that patriotism and MURRIKA-ness runs very deep in him. He makes his home in what is comfortable for his audience to hear. And you get a lot of liberals appreciating him. And that Colbert by his persona’s nature is more often going to make the relaxing liberal uncomfortable. At the least, I have the sense that both liberals and ‘sane conservatives’ appreciate his approach, and can be equally unsettled by his approach. And that’s good.

I really like the idea that the best humor should unsettle and disturb the privileged and powerful. And what they’re famous for apart from their shows speaks to why I favor one and much dislike the other.

Colbert went in front of the motherfucking president of the united states and mocked him to his face regarding every controversial and touchy issue of the day.

Jon Stewart went on a painfully worthless TV show and beat a dead horse of a show that was built around unlikable people arguing with one another, two weeks before the show was getting canceled anyway, earning the approval of the studio audience that had come to watch the show. Now he has ‘debates’ with Bill O’Reilly, literally presenting himself as the avatar of mainstream American Democrats the way that O’Reilly is an avatar of the mainstream American right. As far as I know, he still talks about how he doesn’t have responsibility as a defining influence on America because, as he said on Crossfire, “the lead-in to my show used to be puppets making prank phone calls [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER]”.

The way I see it is, Jon Stewart is self-conscious white cis male activism done without fully acknowledging its fuckery. Colbert is self-conscious white cis male activism done with some awareness, groundedness and everything that goes along with the positive stereotype of Catholics.

Jon Stewart is the embodiment of the quote ‘irony is the song of a bird that has come to love its cage’. Colbert is a performer with genuine respect and decency, and who, as far as can be told from his style of performance, takes pride in fully embarrassing himself while in character.

Colbert > Stewart deal with it

Yesssss, actually this is well-put!

Colbert, while he does stay fucking up and has said several things that hurt and disappointed me, he makes white liberals uncomfortable.

Every time he starts to look like he’s patting himself (and vicariously, his viewers) on the back, he’ll bust out with some shit like, “I don’t see race, not even my own! People tell me I’m white, and I believe them because I look both ways before I talk about race.”

He’s not only mocking white mega-rich conservatives, he’s also mocking supposedly enlightened white liberals who are watching his show.

That being said, I never forget that this stuff is coming out of the mouth of a rich, white Christian man in his 40’s. But (and I’m probably giving him FAR too much credit) he seems to try and remind his audience of that, too.

BF really likes The Daily Show

missdorotheabrooke:

girljanitor:

And I’m fine with that, up to a certain point. But leading up to and right after the election, I kinda casually mentioned to him, “I’m gonna give you two ideas and a question. 1. All women are white. 2. all people of color are men. 3. Is Jon Stewart speaking to a man or a woman? Okay, now let’s watch the show and tell me how many times the first two ideas are reinforced, and give me an answer to the third question.”

After the show, he turns to me and goes

and i’m like

see also that Jon Stewart is an evil, evil bastard, and that that matters when two thirds of his show is hyuk hyuk i feel the same way you do lookit those dumdums amirite ooh look i screwed up my joke Just Like A Regular Guy

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/camelswithhammers/2012/05/is-jon-stewart-anti-union/

he’s basically a concern troll except more insidiously proactive and hateful

I can’t say that I hate the dude but a lot of his shit is mad tired and pretty worn-out. As he ages it seems like he’s starting to infringe of some Bill Maher territory, just misogynist and gross and kinda like, “we’re all br0s here, hurflehurflehurfle!”

I tend to imagine that Stephen Colbert is probably a pleasanter person as an actual human being, and also I admire his willingness to tear down religious bigots with his bible-learnin’. Also, he’s Catholic, and I’ve had some fairly good experiences with Catholic people. They’re quite pragmatic for Christians, kinda like, “well sure if you asked me, I think you’re going to hell, but it’s not like I’m gonna give you a speech about it. More heaven for me!”

Also, he had Nuns on the Bus on his show, and seems much more in the spirit of modern American Catholicism, which I’ve found to be very social justice-oriented, positive and focused on putting their time and resources into communities. Hence the Vatican denouncing them as having a “radical feminist agenda”.

lol

/end rant

BF really likes The Daily Show

And I’m fine with that, up to a certain point. But leading up to and right after the election, I kinda casually mentioned to him, “I’m gonna give you two ideas and a question. 1. All women are white. 2. all people of color are men. 3. Is Jon Stewart speaking to a man or a woman? Okay, now let’s watch the show and tell me how many times the first two ideas are reinforced, and give me an answer to the third question.”

After the show, he turns to me and goes

and i’m like

This looks bad.

This looks very bad and I think it will have very negative consequences and I feel powerless to do anything about it:

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has scheduled a Nov. 29 hearing on the federal response to autism, its first in a decade. The panel, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), will hear from panels of government experts, as well as advocates, including Autism Speaks Co-founder Bob Wright.

Apparently, no autistic people, or at least none from organizations headed by autistic people, will be testifying. I have requested a list of witnesses, but haven not gotten it yet. GRASP was not invited. Neither was ASAN. 

ASAN President Ari Ne’eman gave me this statement:

We’re profoundly disappointed that the House Majority has once again decided to convene a hearing without the voices of the community impacted. Less than a year after the famous contraceptive hearing without women, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will be convening a hearing on autism without any Autistic witnesses. ASAN condemns this kind of exclusion and urges the House leadership to include the voices of the organized Autistic self-advocate community.

Safe Minds, the anti-vaccine, anti-science, anti-public health group has been agitating for this for months:

Congressman Darrell Issa, Chair of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, has promised a hearing on the problems with the Vaccine Court and at the CDC regarding autism/vaccine research. However, as of August 14th, the hearing still hasn’t been scheduled. We need to show him and the other committee members that the public is watching. It is time to get a date on the calendar. The hearing needs to be held before the end of September so that the election will not overshadow it. We want Congress to be paying attention!

Dr. Matthew Carey is worried, too:

The Committee held meetings 10 years ago which caused major harm to the autism communities. A platform was given for Andrew Wakefield (granted, his work was only questionable then but his ethical breaches were unknown) and the now disproved notion that the rise in the number of people diagnosed with autism was due to mercury in vaccines.

Much has happened in the past decade, but there’s a long way to go yet. The US government has a large effort on autism research, but more is needed. More effort on understanding the needs of adults, the broad spectrum of adults, for one thing. So many topics could use attention. The hearings of a decade ago helped to steer focus into unproductive areas. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again. I’d like to do more than hope on that.

Landon Bryce, The Autcast