Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday links to look at

So I know I've been flakey about posting, but the good news is that after spending the last week staying up until 1am working on my half-manuscript, it is off in the mail to certain publishers and, well, lets just keep our fingers crossed shall we? So I've been decompressing over the last few days, which means being a couch potato (did you know that Monday nights they run 4 Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes back-to-back?) and also watching many movies, some good (the latest form Pixar, Up) and some that speak to the schmaltzy-over-sentimental-bad-film-indulgent part of me (I'm a bit embarrassed to mention this, but I've seen My Sister's Keeper and The Proposal in the last few days. I chalk it up to my brain needing a break).

Anyway, I do promise to be back up and blogging with some posts of content soon, but in the meantime, let me leave you with some links to look at that are provocative, interesting, and above all speak to the topic of this blog, a mixed-race America:

*Tenured Radical has a thoughtful post about the legacy of Michael Jackson (click here), much of it resonated with me, although I do wonder about the observation that Jackson's "whiteness" was more a function of transgender than transracial's provocative but I'm not sure I entirely agree, although the pictures of Jackson in the last ten years does make him look increasingly like a white TR has a point.

*Anti-Racist Parent has a very interesting post about children and their questions about race (which can be awkward/embarrassing) and parents' reactions to those questions (click here), which the guest blogger, Jackie Morgan McDougall, handles in a remarkably candid fashion (it's a lengthy post--you need to read all the way to the end to see what I mean by her candor. I also respect her for taking responsibility for what she wrote and how she reacted and not just crawling into a fetal position when her post got so much (negative) attention.

*Angry Asian Man has a post about Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and a Rolling Stone article about him and his efforts to save the planet (click here). You go Dr. Chu!

*Finally, on a rather sad/depressing note, this article in The New York Times about the recent Supreme Court decision's ruling on race and employment/promotion practices--a decision guaranteed to *LITERALLY* change the face of the U.S. workplace (and not for the better, in my opinion).


Jess said...

I'm not sure I understand the bit about his whiteness being related to a transgender impulse rather than transracial. That almost implies that woman=white, doesn't it? Although I suppose much of our culture's view of femininity could/does include whiteness.

Can anyone expand on that for me though?

Greg said...

Jess, this was my thought exactly. I also posted a comment on TR's blog asking about it. Maybe it'll get a response. In the meantime, my guess is that one explanation could be that certain (socially constructed) binaries align in specific ways that make the categories of "white" and "woman" analogous (but not necessarily equal):


Jennifer said...

I don't want to speak on behalf of TR, but perhaps part of the rationale of saying that his whiteness seemed more a matter of transgender rather than transracial issues has to do with the fact that despite the lightening of his skin, Jackson didn't distance himself from identifying as and with his African American culture/community. There's a post on the Racialicious blog that talks about what his whitening means and offers a nuanced evaluation of it that doesn't automatically or singularly point to racial self-hatred or a desire for him to "be" white.

The post is careful, however, to situate Jackson within a larger climate in which whiteness, esp. as a sign of beauty, is so prevalent that it's hard to get away from those messages. But, and here's where the transgender thing may come in, those messages of whiteness and beauty are fairly acute for women--and certainly the way in which he chose to get his cosmetic surgery and hair straightening is more in keeping with female rather than male aesthetic choices (in other words, I don't know many African American men, in today's society, who wear their hair long and relaxed/straightened--they may keep it cropped pretty short or wear braids or dreads, but not a lot of AfAm men seem to relax their hair).

So I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with you Jess & with Greg as well. That there is a way that we associate femininty with whiteness in our culture, but more to the point, the choices Jackson made to change his appearance seem to be feminized rather than masculine choices.

Anyway, hope you get a response to your query Greg!