The experiment mentioned is available in full HERE.
A run down of the difference between the previous and current blocking functions on twitter, and why it matters.
Twitter redefines “blocking” on social media.
JSYK, Twitter has changed how the “block” function works. Now, if someone @’s you threatening to rape or kill you, or calling you a fat cunt, or whatever, you are unable to block them from further interacting with you. You are unable to prevent them from reading your tweets, retweeting you, @ing you, etc. All you can do is remove them from your sight. All people who have previously been blocked are now no longer really blocked. They can still interact with you, you just can’t see it.
Many twitter users are objecting to this, and using the hashtag #RestoreTheBlock, which is currently trending as of 12/12/2013 7:40PM CST.
Removing a block function and replacing it with a mute function will serve to silence people. It directly enforces bullying and harassing behavior.
A very well-researched article on the invention of whiteness in England, by Shakespearean scholar, professor and author Gary Taylor. I question a few of the assertions about gender, but the documentation is solid and very illuminating.
Like any other words, “white” in the modern, racial sense, was invented. And it is possible to pinpoint the first popular appearance of the idea that the English are “white people” in a piece of London street theatre, in 1613.
Drama was the only mass media in the England of that time. The largest print run for a book allowed by law was less than the number of spectators for a single performance at the Globe. Urban pageants and commercial plays reached a much larger and more varied population than books. So it was here, in drama, that new words and new meanings were popularised - as we know from Shakespeare.
But it wasn’t Shakespeare who decided that the English were “white”, despite his racist caricatures of oversexed black males (Aaron, Morocco, Othello, and - almost certainly - Caliban). For one thing, Shakespeare himself was not white. The only full-colour portrait with any claim to authenticity, the funeral monument in Stratford-upon-Avon, reveals a very brown bard: his family obviously did not idealise whiteness. More important, Shakespeare did not contrast the black men in his plays with “white men”. Instead, he routinely contrasted black men with white women.
The idea of a white woman seems blatantly racial to us, 400 years later. But when Shakespeare and his predecessors praised a lady for her white hand, white neck or white breasts, that colour coding was gender (and class) specific. In all ethnic groups, women are paler than men: statistically, globally, women have less melatonin in their skin, less haemoglobin in their blood, and less body hair. Like other bodily features that tend to differentiate the sexes, the relative pallor of women was, in Elizabethan England, fetishised, exaggerated and faked. Elizabeth I - like many other well-to-do women in classical, medieval and Renaissance Europe - painted her face white.
But while whiteness was gendered, it was not racialised. Elizabethan male idols did not wear white makeup or wigs, did not avoid sunburning and did not want to be called white. Applied to men, “white” described a corpse or a coward. Or a eunuch: the hormonal changes caused by castration made the skin of a eunuch as soft and white as an aristocrat’s pampered indoor trophy wife. To call a man “white” was to impugn his masculinity.
So when Iago tells Brabantio that Othello has run off with Desdemona, and that “an old black ram is tupping your white ewe”, Shakespeare and his character are being simultaneously racist (“black ram”) and misogynist (“white ewe”). We tend to see only the racism, because we assume that Iago considers himself as “white” as Desdemona. But he doesn’t. Neither Iago, nor any other man in the play, describes himself as white.
There are no white men in Othello . There were no white men in Shakespeare’s acting company. There were no black men in that company either, and no women. When the King’s Men performed Othello, one of the male actors blacked up to play the Moor of Venice, and one of the male actors whited up to play the “whore of Venice”. None of the actors thought of black, or white, as their own natural, biological, “racial” colour. White was a colour that actors put on when they wanted to assume a different - and inferior - identity.
You can see the same bias against whiteness in Titus Andronicus. The black “barbarous Moor” Aaron derides Chiron and Demetrius for their cowardice, and specifically associates their timidity with their skin tone: “Ye white-limed walls, ye alehouse painted signs.” The words “white-limed” and “painted” both indicate that the characters’/ actors’ pale complexions are not natural, but the result of makeup (“painting”). Obviously, the stupid rapists Chiron and Demetrius do not represent an idealised “white race”. The play calls them “barbarous Goths”, and Goths were associated with uncivilised regions in the far north. The tragedy shows the classic Roman civilisation idealised by the Renaissance crumbling under the attack of two demographic extremes: southern black barbarians like Aaron (associated with Islam), and northern white barbarians like Chiron and Demetrius (associated with the Goths).
If Shakespeare, his fellow male actors and the men in his audiences did not regard themselves as white, how did they imagine themselves? The paired and rejected extremes of black and white in Shakespeare’s plays put the male writer/actor/spectator in a position celebrated by the male authorities of classical and Renaissance culture: in the middle. The “via media” was the declared justification for the English church, rejecting the Charybdis of Catholicism and the Scylla of Puritanism. Proverbially, “the merry mean” (or simply “the mean”) is best, “the middle way of measure is ever golden”, and man should “observe the golden mean”.
Note the colour attributed to that ideal state. It is not white. It is golden. “Golden” may be used figuratively, but so could “white”, and the choice is hardly random. The phrase “golden mean” is ubiquitous in English literature from the middle of the 16th to the middle of the 17th century. Classical, medieval and Renaissance art often used gold to represent idealised human or divine figures. In the golden age, men lived in a golden world, under a golden sun. The “golden mean” was the preferred stance of authority, centrally positioned to evaluate the extremes represented by effeminacy and savagery, white and black.
To find racial whiteness in English theatre we have to fast forward to the generation after Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s last work for the stage, The Two Noble Kinsmen (co-written with John Fletcher), probably opened the London season at the Blackfriars theatre in September 1613. A few weeks later, on October 29, London spent a record-breaking amount of money on a pageant to inaugurate its new mayor: one of the founding members of the East India Company. That same autumn, four East India Company ships returned to London, carrying more than 1m lbs (450 tonnes) of (fantastically profitable) pepper.
The celebratory pageant, called The Triumphs of Truth , was written by the playwright Thomas Middleton, 16 years younger that Shakespeare. In the middle of The Triumphs of Truth , “a strange ship” appears, carrying “a king of the Moors, his queen, and two attendants of their own colour”. The black king addresses the London crowd: “I see amazement set upon the faces/ Of these white people, wond’rings and strange gazes./ Is it at me? Does my complexion draw/ So many Christian eyes that never saw/ A king so black before?”
A socially and morally undifferentiated crowd of English men and women is here characterised as “white people”, their individual and collective white identity asserted by a black stranger. From the perspective of his alien blackness, they are all “white”.
This first occurrence in a popular text of a positive sense of collective English whiteness contradicts a lot of our assumptions about the history of racism. Shakespeare was a racist, but he didn’t think he was white. Middleton thought he was white, but he wasn’t a racist. Middleton’s Black King is the first unequivocally positive representation of a black speaker in the entire surviving corpus of English dramatic texts. He is not lustful, not jealous, not a liar, not a murderer; he does not belong to the police line-up of violent black men arraigned in the preceding decades by dramatists such as George Peele, Thomas Dekker and Shakespeare. He is not called ugly or foul. Middleton’s Black King is - as the African American scholar Eldred Jones noted decades ago - less “shallow” than the black figures in other pageants. Moreover, Middleton’s Black King stands beside his Black Queen, who also speaks. This is the first positive portrayal of a black marriage in English literature. Indeed, it is the first portrayal of black monogamy. (And still one of the few.)
The notion that Anglo-saxons were “white” did not originate on slave plantations in the American colonies. The modern racial sense of the word entered the London popular vocabulary in 1613. There were few English colonists at all in 1613, and no slave plantations. English whiteness was not originally defined in contrast to the blackness of African slaves, but in contrast to the blackness of civilised monarchs in India, south-east Asia, and the spice islands. The Great White Bard was not white at all. And racial whiteness is not a biological fact, but a historical invention.
· Gary Taylor is the author of Buying Whiteness: Race, Culture, and Identity from Columbus to Hip-Hop , published by Palgrave Macmillan.
Super interesting read.
Wacom has long held the crown as the top maker of graphics tablet hardware, but they have not iterated upon the technology in meaningful ways. The products have remained staid and safe and prices are high as ever. Graphics tablets are a market ripe for disruption.
The Monoprice 19”…
Oh man, this looks so amazing.
As for why I write about mainstream characters, and not Asians, I must make a confession here: I’m a commercial writer. I support my family with my writing. Some years ago, I spoke candidly with an…
YA books with Asian leads seem to do well (“Eleanor & Park,” “Fire Horse Girl,” “American Born Chinese,” some others I can’t think of the titles right now). Here’s a list (from 2012) of YA books featuring Asian American characters: http://theyayayas.wordpress.com/booklists/asian-american-protagonists-in-ya-fiction/ .
There’s the Mas Arai books http://www.naomihirahara.com/mysteries.html .
I’ve had all recommended vaccines & boosters through my life, yet have no Rubella Titer. My pregnancy was terrifying because I have a lot of friends who are teachers & who were exposed to Rubella and I was very worried about contracting it from them. Luckily for me, my pregnancy was really uneventful in pretty much every way, and if I was exposed to Rubella nothing came of it.
Austin Smith Clem raped a teenager three times. His punishment: supervision and probation.
An Alabama man convicted of raping a teenage girl will serve no prison time. On Wednesday, a judge in Athens, Alabama, ruled that the rapist will be punished by serving two years in a program aimed at nonviolent criminals and three years of probation.
In September, a jury in Limestone County, in north central Alabama, found Austin Smith Clem, 25, guilty of raping Courtney Andrews, a teenage acquaintance and his then-neighbor,three times—twice when she was 14, and again when was she was 18.
Clem’s defense attorney did not call any witnesses at trial, according to AL.com. After less than two hours of deliberation, the jury returned guilty verdicts against Clem on one count of first-degree rape and two counts of second-degree rape.
According to Clem’s sentencing order, which Brian Jones, the Limestone County district attorney, provided to Mother Jones, Clem will serve the first half of his sentence under the supervision of the Limestone County community corrections program. The program is aimed at “redirecting the lives” of nonviolent, low-level offenders who are “likely to maintain a productive and law-abiding life as a result of accountability, guidance and direction to services they need,” according to the program’s website.
Andrews recalled Clem’s crimes to AL.com on Thursday. When he abused her at age 14, she said, “He kept saying, ‘This is OK,’ and ‘Don’t say anything or you’re going to get me in trouble,” she said. Clem threatened her parents lives’ if she told anyone, Andrews said. After he raped her in 2011, she had a family friend inform her parents. She couldn’t bear to, she said, because “I knew it would break their hearts.” That night, her parents reported Clem to the police.
Dan Totten, Clem’s defense attorney, confirms that Clem is free to live at home during this time period. Jones adds that the program requires Clem to report to his corrections officer on a weekly basis.
"It would seem to be relatively mild," Totten tells Mother Jones. ”But [Clem’s] lifestyle for the next 6 years is going to be very controlled…If he goes to a party and they’re serving beer, he can’t say, ‘Can I have one?’ If he wanted to go across the Tennessee line, which as the crow flies is 8 or 9 miles from his house, and buy a lottery ticket, he can’t do that…It’s not a slap on the wrist.”
Andrews, who is now 20 years old and a student in Mobile, told AL.com on Thursday that she was “livid,” and afraid for her family as long as Clem remains out of prison. (Andrews gave AL.com permission to release her name.) “We thought justice was finally being served and although the system was very slow, it was not totally broken,” her father, Richard Andrews, told AL.com. “That feeling persisted until yesterday. We were floored to hear the judge hand down such a light sentence.”
Clem attacked Andrews in 2007 and in 2011, resulting in a year-long investigation by the Athens police. The first incident led to two second-degree charges of rape and two counts of sexual abuse. The first-degree rape charge stemmed from the second assault.
Limestone County Circuit Judge James Woodroof sentenced Clem to 10 years in prison for each of the second-degree rape charges and 20 years for first-degree rape. But Woodroofstructured the sentence in such a way that Clem will only be hit with community corrections and probation. Clem will have to register as a sex offender and pay fines and restitution—a total of $2,381, according to the sentencing document provided to Mother Jones—but he will not serve jail time unless he violates the terms of his sentencing.
On Wednesday, attorneys for the state questioned whether Clem’s sentence was even legal. Andrews asked Woodroof to reconsider the sentence, she said, to no avail. “The judge still chooses to send him home to his three little girls,” she said. “I don’t understand that. I can’t fathom that.”
Totten notes that had Woorfood sent Clem to prison with that sentence, Alabama statutes would have required Clem to serve more than 20 years before he would be eligible for probation. In light of that, Totten says, a stint in community corrections was more appropriate. However, AL.com noted that Alabama statutes would have allowed Woodroof to hand down a shorter prison term.
"You didn’t hear the evidence," Totten says. "The original allegation was that both of these crimes were forcible. But then you have to believe that although she was forcibly raped twice, she continued to come back and have a social relationship with Austin Clem and his family—until he told her that he was going back to his wife and child and would not have a relationship with her. And a week later he was charged. There’s always two sides to the story."
Although the sentencing order states that Clem will serve two years in the community corrections program, Totten says the sentencing judge has since increased that to three years. Jones, the district attorney, says he is not aware of such a change.
Kelly Kazek, an AL.com reporter who reported on the case, says the lenient sentence took her by surprise. “I have known Jimmy Woodroof professionally for years and years and years,” Kazek says of the judge. “He has always been extremely fair and unbiased. So I am very interested to hear his reasoning.”
Totten notes that he and Woodroof are childhood friends who grew up down the street from one another, although Totten says he didn’t feel that affected the sentence.
This summer, a Montana judge sentenced Stacey Rambold, a teacher, to 30 days in jail for repeatedly raping one of his students, who was 14 years old at the time. Rambold’s victim, Cherice Moralez, committed suicide while the rape trial was ongoing. The judge, G. Todd Baugh, said that Moralez had been “as much in control of the situation” as Rambold—who was 35 years her senior—and that Moralez was “older than her chronological age.” The age of consent is 16 in Montana. The case became a national controversy, with the judge apologizing for his remarks, but not the sentence.
Woodroof did not reply to requests for comment.
UPDATE (11:01 PM EDT 11/14/13): The multiple-rape victim, Courtney Andrews, revealed her identity to explain her disgust with the weak sentence against her rapist, Austin Smith Clem.
LIMESTONE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -
A woman who was raped by a Limestone County man is in shock after a judge handed down a sentence without prison time Thursday.
A jury convicted Austin Smith Clem on one count of forcible rape after she turned sixteen, and on two counts of second-degree rape that happened when she was younger.
Courtney Andrews turned to WAFF first to reveal her identity to the public, saying that she wanted everyone to know how this is affecting her and her family.
Judge James Woodroof declined to comment about the sentence he gave Clem. The sentence gives 30 years of prison time, but the judge suspended that and gave Clem four years of community corrections, during which time Clem can live at home, and six years of supervised probation. In addition, Clem must register as a sex offender. If Clem follows the guidelines, he stays out of prison.
Courtney Andrews said she was shocked and baffled when the judge read the sentence Wednesday.
"How do you react to that? To know that he gets to go home to his three little girls, and live there with them, watch them grow," she said.
"He’s still not paying for any of it. When does he have to pay? Because he still hasn’t had to. That’s the thing. I have to pay for the rest of my life. I’ve been paying since I was 13 years old," Andrews said.
Andrews said Clem, who was a family friend, began molesting her at that age.
"I was thinking finally I stood up and I’m not afraid anymore. Finally happy for the first time, I can say, in my entire life. And now’s the day I’m not going to walk around scared anymore, because I’m going to know he’s behind bars," she said.
Courtney Andrews said she has a message for Judge Woodroof.
"It’s been proven guilty, guilty… however many times guilty, and you’re going to put him back on the streets with all these people. I don’t know how that’s okay with you," she said.
Clem was released after Thursday’s hearing.
Updates will be posted when available.
Because raping a 13 year old and threatening to kill her family if she tells on him is totally non violent. Yes, yes, I can see why you’d want this guy walking the streets, close to his daughters and their girlfriends. I mean, he can’t leave the state to buy lottery tickets or legally drink beer at a party! That’s totally a fair punishment for repeatedly raping and threatening a child.
Admittedly, I would absolutely find this hilarious if I didn’t know the simple fact that the smiling woman is the Prime Minister of Denmark!
The PM and Obama have met lots of times now …
… which is probably why they’re seated next to one another. I mean, come ON, obviously it’s not some random man-stealing bimbo that was placed next to the President of the United States.
But the media loves to pin women up against each other, so for good measure here’s a picture of all three smiling together and one of the two women alone…
Please, signal boost this and stop the idiotic scenario where these two intelligent and powerful women are being reduced to petty women that care only about the attention of a man - even if it is the President of the United States.
The more you know. Now, go forth an have an AWESOME day!
I love that last photo because they look so interested and engaged in what they are talking about, what the other is saying. <3
I’m sure somebody must have put this on tumblr already, but I haven’t seen it anywhere, so here.
1. Parks had been thrown off the bus a decade earlier by the same bus driver — for refusing to pay in the front and go around to the back to board. She had avoided that driver’s bus for twelve years because she knew well the risks of angering drivers, all of whom were white and carried guns. Her own mother had been threatened with physical violence by a bus driver, in front of Parks who was a child at the time. Parks’ neighbor had been killed for his bus stand, and teenage protester Claudette Colvin, among others, had recently been badly manhandled by the police.
2. Parks was a lifelong believer in self-defense. Malcolm X was her personal hero. Her family kept a gun in the house, including during the boycott, because of the daily terror of white violence. As a child, when pushed by a white boy, she pushed back. His mother threatened to kill her, but Parks stood her ground. Another time, she held a brick up to a white bully, daring him to follow through on his threat to hit her. He went away. When the Klu Klux Klan went on rampages through her childhood town, Pine Level, Ala., her grandfather would sit on the porch all night with his rifle. Rosa stayed awake some nights, keeping vigil with him.
3. Her husband was her political partner. Parks said Raymond was “the first real activist I ever met.” Initially she wasn’t romantically interested because Raymond was more light-skinned than she preferred, but she became impressed with his boldness and “that he refused to be intimidated by white people.” When they met he was working to free the nine Scottsboro boys and she joined these efforts after they were married. At Raymond’s urging, Parks, who had to drop out in the eleventh grade to care for her sick grandmother, returned to high school and got her diploma. Raymond’s input was crucial to Parks’ political development and their partnership sustained her political work over many decades.
4. Many of Parks’ ancestors were Native Americans (Cherokee-Creek). She noted this to a friend who was surprised when in private Parks removed her hairpins and revealed thick braids of wavy hair that fell below her waist. Her husband, she said, liked her hair long and she kept it that way for many years after his death, although she never wore it down in public. Aware of the racial politics of hair and appearance, she tucked it away in a series of braids and buns — maintaining a clear division between her public presentation and private person.
5. Parks’ arrest had grave consequences for her family’s health and economic well-being. After her arrest, Parks was continually threatened, such that her mother talked for hours on the phone to keep the line busy from constant death threats. Parks and her husband lost their jobs after her stand and didn’t find full employment for nearly ten years. Even as she made fundraising appearances across the country, Parks and her family were at times nearly destitute. She developed painful stomach ulcers and a heart condition, and suffered from chronic insomnia. Raymond, unnerved by the relentless harassment and death threats, began drinking heavily and suffered two nervous breakdowns. The black press, culminating in JET magazine’s July 1960 story on “the bus boycott’s forgotten woman,” exposed the depth of Parks’ financial need, leading civil rights groups to finally provide some assistance.
6. Parks spent more than half of her life in the North. The Parks family had to leave Montgomery eight months after the boycott ended. She lived for most of that time in Detroit in the heart of the ghetto, just a mile from the epicenter of the 1967 Detroit riot. There, she spent nearly five decades organizing and protesting racial inequality in “the promised land that wasn’t.”
7. In 1965 Parks got her first paid political position, after over two decades of political work. After volunteering for Congressman John Conyers’s long shot political campaign,
Parks helped secure his primary victory by convincing Martin Luther King, Jr. to come to Detroit on Conyers’s behalf. He later hired her to work with constituents as an administrative assistant in his Detroit office. For the first time since her bus stand, Parks finally had a salary, access to health insurance, and a pension — and the restoration of dignity that a formal paid position allowed.
8. Parks was far more radical than has been understood. She worked alongside the Black Power movement, particularly around issues such as reparations, black history, anti-police brutality, freedom for black political prisoners, independent black political power, and economic justice. She attended the Black Political Convention in Gary and the Black Power conference in Philadelphia. She journeyed to Lowndes County, Alabama to support the movement there, spoke at the Poor People’s Campaign, helped organize support committees on behalf of black political prisoners such as the Wilmington 10 and Imari Obadele of the Republic of New Africa, and paid a visit of support to the Black Panther school in Oakland, CA.
9. Parks was an internationalist. She was an early opponent of the Vietnam War in the early 1960s, a member of The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and a supporter of the Winter Soldier hearings in Detroit and the Jeannette Rankin Brigade protest in D.C. In the 1980s, she protested apartheid and U.S. complicity, joining a picket outside the South African embassy and opposed U.S. policy in Central America. Eight days after 9/11, she joined other activists in a letter calling on the United States to work with the international community and no retaliation or war.
10. Parks was a lifelong activist and a hero to many, including Nelson Mandela. After his release from prison, he told her, “You sustained me while I was in prison all those years.”
Also, some gems from the comments:
Mrs.Parks was the CEO of the Rosa & Raymond Institute for Self Development she wanted to build a educational building for children, she wanted a campus, she had a dream to educate children all over the world. This is why she left all of her intellectual property, her images, and assets to the Institute, to continue her legacy. Mrs. Parks said these words in one of the 4 books that she wrote about her life. The book is a children’s book called, “Dear Mrs. Parks” children from all over the world, send her thousands of letters to the Institute, everyday asking her questions about her life,one question,She answered, and I quote, ” Many young people ask me about how a person’s legacy can affect future generations. A legacy is something that is handed down to future generations. My grandmother, mother, and grandfather all nurtured me. They taught me hope and kindness and gave me a sense of inner strength. They gave me a beautiful legacy to understand that we all count.” These are Mrs. Parks own words, check out her books, and you will know who the real Rosa Louise Parks is. I spend 15 years serving Mrs. Parks and I thank God every day, because she carried the children and me on a spiritual journey.
Also never mentioned is the fact that, for many years, Mrs. Parks was an investigator for the NAACP of white men raping Black women. She documented 112 cases; one of which occured on Sept. 3, 1944, when seven Abbeville, Alabama white males abducted and gang-raped Recy Taylor at gunpoint. Ms. Taylor’s horrorific encounter only captured national news in 2011.
Rosa Parks deserves better. She deserves to be known fully, not coopted and reduced to be a “safe” part of the version of history we get taught in school.
Rosa Parks is was a fascinating woman and a tremendous historical figure but…it seems pretty obvious that she didn’t “end racism” by the compiling of this information alone.
It’s astonishing that all we learned about her in high school was that she refused to give up a bus seat
Mrs Parks was an amazing woman who did a LOT for the civil rights movement. Sadly, her efforts have mostly been watered down to “she was tired and didn’t want to stand up/give up her seat.” She was actually VERY aware of recent cases where young Black women had refused to give up seats and been arrested, and the cases thrown out because the women had “bad reputations” or whatever. IE, bullshit excuses to throw the cases out. Mrs Parks knew her legal rights, she was well versed in them. She knew exactly what she was doing, and had a pretty good idea of what the fall out for her personally would be (threats of violence, murder, rape, etc plus also not being able to get a job again in the area). http://www.amazon.com/Rebellious-Life-Mrs-Rosa-Parks/dp/0807050474 “The Rebellious Life of Mrs Rosa Parks” is a great look at her life that reveals a lot of details about her life, education, career, etc that are so frequently glossed over in gauzy retrospectives that paint her as a simple, peaceful woman who gosh just didn’t want to give up her seat.
Well then, let me show you, because that’s what I do for a living.
Right now, it’s this time of the year, and the little ones have just freshly hatched:
You’ll notice they’re still blind and naked when they hatch. So I make them little coats to keep them warm…
This is utterly amazing.
By Jacqueline Antonovich Recently, my daughter lost her very first baby tooth. It happened one afternoon while eating lunch; her loose tooth just popped right out of her mouth and into her bowl …
Yes to all of the above. Texas is just a ball of ignorance and hate all around, in every subject. They actually rejected common core curricula because it included information on the moon landing because you know that’s a huge fake and not a part of history particularly Texas history. Texas needs to be stopped. History had people of color, homosexuals, and even women in it, but you won’t find that in most US classrooms.
As a market, the state was so big and influential that national publishers tended to gear their books toward whatever it wanted. Back in 1994, the board requested four hundred revisions in five health textbooks it was considering. The publisher Holt, Rinehart and Winston was the target for the most changes, including the deletion of toll-free numbers for gay and lesbian groups and teenage suicide prevention groups. Holt announced that it would pull its book out of the Texas market rather than comply. (A decade later Holt was back with a new book that eliminated the gay people.)
In 2009, when the science curriculum was once again up for review, conservatives wanted to require that it cover the “strengths and weaknesses” of the theory of evolution.
n 2010, the board launched itself into the equally contentious sea of the social studies curriculum, and the teacher-dominated team tasked with writing the standards was advised by a panel of “experts,” one of whom was a member of the Minutemen militia. Another had argued that only white people were responsible for advancing civil rights for minorities in America, since “only majorities can expand political rights in America’s constitutional society.”
When it came to the Middle Ages, the board appeared to be down on any mention of the Crusades, an enterprise that tends to reflect badly on the Christian side of Christian–Islamic conflict.
I receive a lot of messages that come off as not-so-veiled inquiries into what my “qualifications” are, i.e., whether or not I am “actually an art historian”, as you put it.
I’m a decorated scholar and I work in education, which I’ve talked about here many times before. (I like to use the word “decorated” because I did not previously realize that there are awards that have literal medals attached that one might literally wear around one’s neck, until it actually happened.)
I do not have the power to dictate policy, but I have reason to meticulously review curricula and am extremely familiar with the content chosen by professors for those curricula. Part of my job includes having to read a great deal of the books, articles, handout materials, syllabi, slides, videos, powerpoints, et cetera, that are chosen for all manner of classes.
If you think that total omission of text, images, or other materials dealing with people of color in just about any history class is some sort of exceptional occurrence, you’re flat out mistaken. If these materials are included at all, mockery and misinformation is common from the professors including that material.
I live in a country where, as I’ve said repeatedly, there is a great deal of financial and political pressure to legislate people of color out of history entirely. I’m not inventing some kind of conspiracy, I’m making commentary about laws that are being made as we speak. In 2010, History curricula in the US were drastically revised and legislated; Texas, where the textbooks basically “come from”, put a frighteningly conservative stamp on the educations standards, which will stay in place until 2020.
I see those books every day, and the cropping, the omission, the “sunny side of slavery"…all these things are included. This has happened! According to one of these groups heading the campaigns for revision:
The group called for textbook selection criteria to include: "No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership."
This is literally “We don’t care what actually happened, the important thing is that white leadership is not criticized.” That is literally what this says. That is the state of education right now, as I am speaking to you.
People doing what I’m doing better hope they live in a State where what I’m teaching here is still legal. In answer to your question, “where can you study art and never learn about people of color in Europe?” the answer is : The United States.
The document distorts or suppresses less triumphal or more nuanced aspects of our past that the Board found politically unacceptable (slavery and segregation are all but ignored, while religious influences are grossly exaggerated). The resulting fusion is a confusing, unteachable hodgepodge.
Welcome to America.