Writing Race & Ethnicity 2015-02-28 21:22:00

February 28, 2015

As far as our class projects becoming a source for the outside world, that is difficult to come up with the "best" way to do so.  I think that social media would probably be a good outlet.  We can share among our friends the link of the classroom.  Besides that I am not sure.  I don't really know how we can get our ideas out there other than sharing with the people we know.  Although the challenge of that, I don't think it is a horrible idea.  We each know more than a handful of people. If we each share with others our ideas, the word could travel. 


Attempting to get attention can be much easier than half a century ago. When I was watching Selma, the movie about Dr. King and civil rights movement, I imagined that the progress would be made much faster than if powerful social media we have now was established that time. Most of us wish that our class can make a difference and I believe this entails the involvement of mass media. In the time that everyone can be a self media through twitter, Facebook or other social networks, a more important thing to consider here is how to let more people see our effort and join us.

Attracting attention from authoritative figure and traditional media, I believe, is the key to publicize the work we have done in our classroom. The hardest part lies on how to gain the attention from authoritative figure in the field and social media. I think an artistic and active creation is necessary here. We may video tape our class presentations and edit them to be an evocative promotional video. Planning to attract wide attention is never my specialty, but I will put my effort in order to achieve that.

Rage Against the Cream

And by no means I mean a diss by that, so you know.

And so you know: this what I’m talkin bout; and this, if ain’t lost you.

And on the real, too: Dre luh everyone. And by “luh” I mean big wet osculations, and bear hugs. Come here, You.

Also: check this out, by my soul brother Jimmie Baldwin. In it, he talk about how the American context make it so that whenever anybody put out some socially conscious piece of something that the very thing itself make it so that audiences feel they imbued with some type of virtuosity that absolve them from puttin in work work. And granted: while it cool folks out there making films bout the egregiousness of slavery or how women and gays be/have been slighted because they women, gay, it don’t make not a one of us better like that. Work don’t stop, won’t stop just cuz you punched your ticket, i.e., closed a book, completed a film, listened to some activistic entreaty–there’s always tomorrow, or “mañana” if you Spanish. “Demain” if you French. And Friday if today is in fact Thursday for you, too.

And I think we doing some real good things in this class that folks need to hear. Just how we disseminate all of our work to folks out here who need to hear it–can’t stop, won’t stop.

On a Blog 3 Note

Me and mines got mad things we wanna do, and then some. It’s honestly a matter now of getting us all in the same room now.

(And Eloy, friend: here you go, friend; hit you on email as well)

Some things of us pitched las class:

  • interviews conducted by Eloy
  • a reading and then some by Tempie
  • just plain old school professorship by moi
  • Vincent TBA

but what we really need, I feel like, is a mission statement, or something. Like an agreed upon message we wanna metastasize like wild fire (to make y’all feel the heat thereof) re language politics and race. (And: shout out to Dr. Zamora for the jointz she shared; hella helpful.)

Between us, there’re mad experiences between us; real messed up ones, too. And enuff I feel for a presentation marathon if y’all can keep up! But more than “Yes, racism is alive and well,” or “Discriminating against a person for how they speak is still discrimination,” a stronger clarion is in order, IMO.

Because: and this’s how I see it: every minute folks go not kibitzing bout this stuff, the more hidebound English becomes when we don’t jam it w/ our so-called claptrap. The more the gap widens between standard and nonstandard speakers of English, for as Dr. Vay be noting: “I think code meshing will break down one of those last barriers of racism.”

So. A call to action as it relates to linguistic sensitivity and equality. Affording peeps they rights to represent themselves in they speech the way they want without being hated on or other deleterious effect is the uppercase “G” goal, I want to say. And I’m out.

Some Ideas of How We Can Spread our Message

Our work is important here. There is no doubt about that. But how is it that we can spread our information outside our classroom and into society? There is not one answer, but I’ll give a crack at it and write down some of my ideas. If this was a class that didn’t require us to be in the classroom (and if I was not working a full-time and taking six upper-level classes in order to graduate) then my initial reaction would be to actually get out of the classroom, take action and make our voices heard by doing some type of demonstration, say, in the City or downtown Newark. As a result, this would get perhaps get some media attention, and thus, our message will spread. But again, for me at least, it’s not realistic or doable enough for me to execute in an efficient and effective manner (unless we decide to do a demonstration here on campus during our class session).

A more realistic idea, for me at least and those that also has busy schedules, would be using electronic media as a main resource. Through Twitter we can get in touch with sorts of influential people. So how about we start by engaging influential people on Twitter by asking questions to see if anyone reacts. For example, if I tweet Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to see if he has faced microaggressions or why race matters, that is, if it does to him. Actually, I just tweeted this very person by tweeting: @HenryLouisGatesWhy do you think race and ethnicity matters? #WritingRace. Maybe he’ll respond, maybe he won’t. But I’m sure if we message random, but influential people who can get our class’ message across, then it’s worth it.

Blog Post 3

For our group presentation each of our group members have divided our topic of Race in pop culture into subtopics. Race in books,movies, comedy and music. Each topic is based off of our individual projects. My topic is race in music. I am still thinking of what I will put into our presentation but I want to focus on the lyrics and presentation of child 
songs from Disney, to adult songs that we hear on the radio daily.

If Code Switching Ain’t Language Bleaching Then IDK, WTF

Firstly: my fault, y’all, for being late last night, y’all. Overslept. Grad school.

Second: The Jokers Key & Peele be pretty on point with they microagressions, which is pretty much what we can call racialized comedy, or just comedy, I think. (Which isn’t to say we shouldn’t stand sentry as educators or just regard them as jokes.) But I don’t particularly dig what NPR seems to be saying is OK to do, which is code switch. Because it’s not.

Like, code switching wasn’t something we talked all that much about before Obama, I feel like; meanwhile: for years me and mines (read: minorities) been dealing with this type of language compartmentalization (read: double consciousness) without actually taking account for how itz really fucking us up, or how it is just really fucked up. (And linguists and comedians alike done already typified the speech patterns of pretty much everybody out here; how you think non-gays and non-blacks play gays and blacks? That means that there’re inherent things bout the way women and gays and blacks speak that make them either women, gay, or black, for instance. And whether wittingly or not, they all doing the Standard English Language shuffle with they rhetoric, believe it or not.)

And herez the thing bout code switchin: it’s language subjugation. Itz what Mom Dukes and Pop trained beat the bloody bricks off me to do because: prejudices. They knew how I spoke would either validate or invalidate me. They knew if I wanted to be taken seriously, I’d better be a docile somebody who didn’t raise his voice at nobody, complained bout nothing, donned a hoodie, durag, listened to overtly crass lyrics in booming stereo sound, spoke to loudly or back at anybody, had a certain gait. Like, talk about stripping a brotha’s autonomy; talk about no swag at all for Your Boy.

And word: it was survivalistic considering where they was coming from–Mom an immigrant mutt from postcolonial Grenada and Dad a brotha from Beatown–but it’s inherently segregationist when you think about what it be about.

Because itz basically saying ‘this’ is better than ‘this’. That Standard (White) English is better than somebody’s Other English. And by Other English I mean a nonstandard variant thereof. This can be Black English or Spanglish or whatever the kidz be saying on Interwebs in that super cool esoteric techno verbiage they be spitting; call it “chat room lingo,” as my man Dr. Vershawn Young do.

And if we can agree that skin bleaching is bad–and will you just look at this fool Sammy Sosa–then how do you think you sound bleaching your language? You sound crazy, duh. Using words all wrong, and stuff. Getting idioms mixed up. Employing polysyllabic words all higgledy-piggledy like a sesquipedalian who’s a cockalorum fussbudget flibbertigibbet. (I mean, I do it no biggie. I’m also a li’l fucked up. Everyday struggle.)

And It’s clear (no pun) you’re trying to fit in and doing a bad job of it, so when do we give it up?


**Sorry for all the PUNishment ( ;

Blog #3. Contribution to Group Presentation

I had some time to ruminate about our last session in class. I always enjoy listening to the perspectives of my colleagues about race and ethnicity. Everybody brings a different experience and perspective to the table. Please continue to share your experience and/or questions.

I am part of Race and Ethnicity in the Classroom. We spent last class brainstorming about how to go about our theme. It is wonderful to listen to the contributions from everyone in the group. We are going to use reading from books, journal articles and clips from relevant movies etcetera to introduce and buttress our class presentation.

My own contribution to the group presentation is examining the issue of race in the classroom as it affects immigrant parents and their children (students who may be immigrants or first generation Americans). I will be doing face to face interviews with these immigrant parents/guardians about their experiences - positive or otherwise while interacting with teachers and administrators in the educational system. I do not want to limit myself to just one ethnicity when interviewing immigrants so I am presently looking for other ethnic groups other than Africans and Latinos just to enrich the interview experience and be able to compare the experience of these interviewees.

The tools Intend to use include a voice recorder. when the interviews are all done. I will download them as mp3 files onto my computer. The mp3 files would then be uploaded to SoundCloud where they can be accessed by members of our class. I would also use SoundCloud image uploads to show the picture of the interviewee or the setting of the interview. Since I am going to upload to SoundCloud, this will allow me to embed the interviews on the class digital omnibus when the project is completed.

I have opted to use a voice recorder mainly because I foresee a reticence in my interviewees about video interviews (I intend to video recordings as much as possible). One of the parents I was talking to about the project was enthusiastic until the issue of when to do the video recording came up and his "enthusiasm" evaporated. I then offered the voice recording alternative and that was acceptable to him. I have to remind myself that a number of immigrant communities are quite reticent about their personal lives and do not just open up to anybody.In some ways I am also like that. I do not mind talking to people face to face but I have been finding it challenging to "bare my soul" as it were on the internet. Who exactly am I talking to out there? I can't see nor hear you so I cannot assess your reception of what I am talking about unless you write a response.

I am still working on the questions I want to ask the parents/guardians as well as the students. I want the questions to encourage them to speak frankly but at the same time I do not want to "put words in their mouths" as we say in my corner of the globe.

Blog #3

What will your part be in your group presentation?

In the Race and Pop Culture group, we decided to be a “unified separation.” That’s the only way I can think of describing it. We will each look into a different avenue involving race and pop culture. Mine, specifically, is Comedy. Together, each of us will present our findings, discoveries, presentations, activities, etc. as separate sections under the chapter of the Race and Pop Culture Umbrella. The information we will work on together is the introduction and conclusion. This is to make sure that we are all on the same page… well, maybe separate pages, but in the same chapter. We will reference our Facebook group specifically created for this project. This will serve as our information bank, and will also contain references, links, etc. to our finals projects and presentations.

What will you make as contribution to your final project?

Specifically, my goal is to enter the realm of race and pop culture in regards to comedy. My original idea was to survey various videos of episodes, shorts, skits, podcasts, shows, etc. I will then research the artist’s process, and figure out what he/she did behind the scenes to create his/her work.

I will choose the videos that have different backgrounds as to how they were created. For example, some of these artists may have actually done their research whether it be through history, sociology, psychology, etc. Others may have just looked at a stereotype and decided to run with it.

With this information, I intend to interview people of different backgrounds to show them my discoveries and get their before and after reactions. The point of this documentary is to show people that some of these comedians go further than just a shallow stereotype. That it “takes one to know one.” That we need to understand. Appreciate. Go further than what the shallowness of the world tells us.

Blog #3 race & identity

I love that I am a part of the race and identity group and I think we are going to present something awesome- once we figure out what that something is of course :)

My group members and I have been talking a lot about micro-aggression and even found some amazing links and videos on YouTube of other college students who have already beat us to the punch on this particular topic. I love the idea of holding up signs for a video and the signs would state an act of micro-aggression that we have personally experienced. 

We could go around the class and have others participate in our video or we can step outside the classroom and get participants from the general college campus... Or both. 

I think a great example that I have that I can put towards this project is that whenever I smile I've been asked by complete strangers, "Are you part Asian?" And I reply somewhere along the lines of "Maybe, why do you ask?" And they proceed to tell me that when I smile or laugh my eyes get real squinty. So I guess that makes me Asian? What? I have had this conversation with a handful of people...

Also, when my mom and I stand next to each other in the summer, people never believe I am her child or the fact that she is Italian. My mom stays very fair skinned in the summer while I get tanned. So a lot of people find themselves asking my mom, "If you are Italian then why are you so WHITE?" I find it absurd that people could question ones race and then follow it with oh well you are just too white to be Italian. Have you ever heard of anything so absurd? I'm sure you have all experienced this at some point.

As for what I can bring to the table (besides experiences) is I have a camera to video if we decide to do a micro-aggression themed video. I can also edit the video and piece it together with some help of my brother who loves doing that kind of stuff and is currently teaching me. I think it would make for a great interactive visual on our website!