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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 1:51 am 
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I have to admit to not being aware of the hair flipping thing, either. If your hair is long, you are constantly flipping it. *wonders how many people she has inadvertently irritated over the years*

The only superiority hair gesture I recall was the upward pat of the little girl with naturally curly hair from Peanuts. Perhaps one misinterprets as meaningful the natural gesture associated with the type of hair one doesn't have but admires (being straight-haired, I admire a head of curls).

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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 4:07 am 
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Cerin wrote:
being straight-haired, I admire a head of curls


Being kinky-curly haired, I would have died for straight hair! :D Maybe hair-flipping is just a way of saying, "Gee I hope I don't look too awful."

This is farther and farther off-topic from racism, but while we're this far afield anyway, I meant to post this hoot the other evening and forgot.

Doug Powel at Food Safety Network wrote:
FECAL FACIAL LATEST SKIN TREATMENT

The N.Y. Post reports that for just $216, Shizuka Bernstein will slather your face in feces for a full 50 minutes -- what she calls the "Geisha Facial" -- at her Midtown New York spa, Shizuka.

It's bird poop.

The ancient Japanese cleanser - geishas and kabuki dancers have been using the bird poop to wash off their heavy white makeup since the 18th century - contains guanine, which supposedly removes pollutants and blackheads, and helps even out skin tone. The exotic excrement comes in a powder form, directly from Japan, and is sterilized with UV light to kill bacteria.

Marilyn Phillips, a 58-yearold Upper West Sider who had a Geisha Facial late last week, said, "I figure if poop was good for the soil, it's good for your face. And it doesn't smell at all. I'd say hair coloring smells way worse."

32-year-old massage therapist Andrea Nieto who went in for the facial last week, said, "You wouldn't even know it was nightingale droppings. And after, my skin was softer than it had been in a really long time. And it looked clearer to me, too. But you gotta wonder how they figured to use these things. Who put 2 and 2 together like that?"

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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 4:22 am 
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2 and 2? I think the math was just a teeenyweeeeeeeeeny bit more complicated than that. :shock: :scratch:

Well, in a world where people pay big bucks to drink coffee made from beans that have passed through a bird's digestive tract, or picked by monkeys, I guess poop on the face is sorta, you know, sorta . . . .*voice fades away*

But, myself, I've often agreed that "it was a brave man who first et an oyster."

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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 9:06 am 
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The girl flipping the hair was in during elementary and middle school. She was also my rival in school for a lot of things. I think she was just flaunting the straight hair. No one else have ever done done that to me. I am not being over sensitive, it was frequent and deliberate.

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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 1:21 pm 
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I believe you, Wilma! I've experienced it too!

The last page of this thread is an object lesson in Jackson's thesis that a gesture like this can generate inner debate.

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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 3:21 pm 
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Quote:
"I figure if poop was good for the soil, it's good for your face"


You know, I'm not sure I'm following the logic, here. But whatever floats her boat, you know?

I've been thinking about the hair flipping thing, and I get it too, Wilma and Jn. My hair has generally been long, and always very straight (alas! for curls!), and so I probably flip it quite a bit (if it's down... like River, my hair spends most of its time ponytailed). I'm certain I've never challenged another woman by flipping my hair, though, at least not on purpose. Although flipping red hair probably doesn't have the same impact as flipping blonde hair. :)

I think there's some kind of intent to the flipping that has to be there, for the insult to register. Somehow or another you know just what that flip means, if it means "I'm better than you are and we both know it".


And yes, Holby, it is a sekrit wimmen society thing. Deal with it. :P


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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 3:48 pm 
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I had long straight hair for years and probably flipped it, but I don't remember ever meaning anything by it. However, there was a whole wordless feminine language I didn't speak or understand. No doubt savvier women did deploy flipping as an unspoken message.

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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 4:18 pm 
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Sorry to turn away from the hair-flipping, but I wanted to post this article from the New York Times that provides a reminder that racism has by no means completely gone underground (I see both the more subtle aspects of racism that Jn has mentioned as well as this kind of more overt racism in my work, all the time).

Quote:
E-Mail Shows Racial Jokes by Secret Service Supervisors
By DAVID JOHNSTON
Published: May 10, 2008
WASHINGTON — Secret Service supervisors shared crude sexual jokes and engaged in racially derogatory banter about blacks, and passed around an anecdote about a possible assassination of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, according to internal e-mail disclosed in a federal court filing on Friday by lawyers for black Secret Service agents.

The filing includes 10 e-mail messages that were among documents the agency recently turned over to lawyers for the black agents as part of an increasingly bitter discrimination lawsuit. The messages were written mainly from 2003 through 2005, and were sent to and from e-mail accounts of at least 20 Secret Service supervisors.

The messages offer a glimpse into the darker recesses of an agency known for protecting presidents and other dignitaries but whose culture is regarded as one of the most insular in federal law enforcement.

The disclosure of the messages follows an incident last month in which a noose was found in a room used by a black instructor at a Secret Service training facility in Beltsville, Md. Agency officials said that episode was under internal investigation.

Eric Zahren, a spokesman for the Secret Service, said he would not comment directly on the e-mail but said the agency deplored racially insensitive jokes.

“We are deeply disappointed by any communication or action on the part of our employees that exhibits racial or other insensitivity,” Mr. Zahren said.

Mr. Zahren said the messages were the result of a search of 20 million electronic documents over 16 years. He said that an internal inquiry had been opened and that the inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service, had been alerted.

In some of the court documents, the senders of the e-mail messages are identified only by the jobs they currently occupy and the rank they held when the messages were sent. For example, an Oct. 9, 2003, message referring to a “Harlem Spelling Bee,” ridiculing black slang, was sent by Thomas Grupski, then assistant director for protective operations, who, according to the filing, now heads the Office of Government Liaison and Public Affairs.

A March 3, 2003, message describing Mr. Jackson as the “Righteous Reverend” was passed among several Secret Service supervisors. The message, about a missile striking an airplane in which Mr. Jackson and his wife were traveling, concludes, it “certainly wouldn’t be a great loss and it probably wouldn’t be an accident either.”

Another message contains what one Secret Service official said was a joke referring to interracial sex. The joke circulated in February and March 2003. It was sent, according to the lawsuit, by Donald White, who heads the Presidential Protective Detail, to Kurt Douglass, an agent in charge of the Secret Service office in Cincinnati.

The legal skirmishing in the discrimination suit has heated up in recent months, with Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson rebuking the Secret Service for failing to produce documents and for destroying relevant records and e-mail.

Judge Robinson had ordered the agency to turn over the documents by late March, but the e-mail disclosed in the court filing on Friday was not turned over to lawyers for the agents until late April.

E. Desmond Hogan, a lawyer for the black agents, said the agents were “shocked but not surprised by the late production of significant evidence of racism at high levels in the Secret Service.”

“The government’s delay,” Mr. Hogan said, “follows a pattern of the Secret Service stonewalling plaintiffs and ignoring court orders, depriving African-American agents of the fundamental evidence of race discrimination that is key to their claims.”

The lawsuit, which has dragged on through years of litigation, was filed in 2000 by 10 black agents who charged that they were unfairly denied promotions. The agency employs about 3,200 agents, about 10 percent of whom are black.


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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 4:25 pm 
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Thomas Grupski, then assistant director for protective operations, who, according to the filing, now heads the Office of Government Liaison and Public Affairs.


Don't know if this should make us laugh or cry. And some wonder why people don't trust their government to deal impartially.

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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 4:33 pm 
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Jn, I've been meaning for days to start a thread about the criminal investigation of the head of the Office of Special Counsel, Scott Bloch, who is in charge of protecting whistleblowers, and is being accused of abusing his office for political purposes and obstructing justice by destroying evidence. I don't know if you have been following that story, but it is a doozy.

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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 5:02 pm 
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No, I haven't read about that, Voronwë. Please do put up a thread about it.

The case I've been watching is the espionage trial of the two guys who run the Israel lobby. That's a doozy too ... don't know quite what to think about it, because the beginning of the story goes back a couple years to that book that got two other guys fired from their university positions. The whole thing is very strange and convoluted.

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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 3:14 am 
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Guyz, yaz all hafta learn not to hit that ol' "send" button too quickly. :nono:

Isn't technology wonderful? :D


(I don't mean us here, but all "those guyz" elsewhere, like in government offices, etc.)

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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 4:10 am 
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It's pretty loathsome, isn't it?

At least they can bring themselves down simply by assuming that "everyone" will think it is funny.

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 1:07 am 
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I pulled this from yahoo news but I assume it was in the Philly papers today.

Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press, 1 hour, 13 minutes ago wrote:

PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia's police commissioner said Monday that four officers will be fired and four others disciplined for their roles in the beatings of three shooting suspects, an encounter that was captured on videotape and drew widespread outrage.

Another eight officers who had physical contact with the suspects will undergo additional training on the department's policies concerning the use of force, Commissioner Charles Ramsey said. He said the police department made the disciplinary decisions after reviewing frames from enhanced tape of a video shot by a television news helicopter on May 5.

The video, shot by WTXF-TV, shows the suspects being pulled from their car on the side of the road and groups of officers kicking, punching and beating the men. A total of 19 officers — 18 city police and one transit officer — were involved.

Two of the officers being fired are relatively new to the force and can be terminated immediately, Ramsey said. Two others are being suspended without pay for 30 days with intent to dismiss.

Three other officers are being suspended and one sergeant is being demoted. A criminal investigation is continuing.

Police said they had been pursuing the car in connection with a triple shooting. The three men — Brian Hall, 23, Pete Hopkins, 19, and Dwayne Dyches, 24, all of Philadelphia — have been charged with attempted murder and related counts stemming from the shooting. Their attorneys have said they had nothing to do with it.

One of Dyches' attorneys said he suffered a welt on his head the size of a baseball and that one of his legs was seriously injured.

All three of the shooting suspects are black. Ramsey has denied allegations that the beatings were racially motivated and said at least one officer involved is black.

The beating occurred at the same time police were conducting an intense manhunt for a suspect in the slaying two days earlier of Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski, but Ramsey said Monday that there was no indication that any of the officers thought the suspect was among the three men in the car.


Nutter is our new mayor and Ramsey is our new police commissioner. I think this is the fastest I've ever seen them yank policemen in for improper conduct. It's heartening.

I'm also wondering whether they will continue to claim that the beating was not racially motivated. One of the 19 officers being African American does not stike me as very convincing, given the city we're in. Don't know whether others on the board from around the country/world are aware of it, but Philadelphia has a long and miserable history of deplorable race relations between the police and the citizenry. The race of the Mayor does not seem to have much bearing on this, as it was African American mayor Goode who burned down a whole neighborhood not far from where I work back in the 1980s, to smoke out a Black activist movement owning one of the houses.

Both Mayor Nutter and Commissioner Ramsey are African American; Nutter at least is cut more in the Rendell mold than our last mayor was. He gives the marching orders instead of taking them. And the one speech I've heard from Ramsey sounded determined if not entirely original.

There have been a spate of shoot outs in the past six months or so where policemen were killed and tempers are seriously frayed. It will be interesting to see how this case plays out, given that the men were not suspects in the police killings.

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 2:17 am 
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I saw that today too, Jn. I agree that it is heartening to see such quick action. And also that it will be interesting to see how this case plays out.

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 9:55 am 
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Late to the party, but on the subject of flickable hair... reminds me of some big exam I had to do a few years ago, where I was quite stressed, and flicked my (then very long) hair over my shoulder, so it would stop hanging over my face - whereupon it swept across the desk of the guy behind me, taking all of his pens with it, and threw them off the desk. And off the stage our desks were on, and into the area below. He had to get up in the middle of the exam to retrieve everything, and what must have been at least a hundred students were looking daggers at me.
Long, flickable hair is quite often completely ass. :help:

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 12:48 pm 
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Police brutality is an ugly phenomenon I have a certain professional acquaintance with- it cannot be divorced entirely from race. HOWEVER, race is often, I might even say usually, only a subsidiary factor to the understandable cops' tendency to see the world in very black and white terms (metaphorical, not racial): the Thin Blue Line against the Bad Guys. There is a demonization at work which can easily apply to whites as well, if they fit the Bad Guy profile. The problem is not so much that officers in ill-regulated departments thnk that it's okay to beat up black people, but that it's okay to beat up anybody if they are perceived to be the Other Side.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:10 pm 
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solicitr wrote:
The problem is not so much that officers in ill-regulated departments thnk that it's okay to beat up black people, but that it's okay to beat up anybody if they are perceived to be the Other Side.


A good friend of mine is a cop is Massachusetts and I have worked very closely with law enforcement officers for many years. That being said, racism and prejudice are definite factors in many decisions our boys in blue make. To tell you the truth, we are all affected by innate prejudices.

In high school (this is going back 8 years) we had a great mass discussion on racism. One black classmate of mine brought up the interesting fact that she was more threatened by a group of black kids walking down the street than a group of white kids.

This stuck with me. Truthfully, especially in some of the neighborhoods I traversed through, I too would find myself more threatened by a group of black kids... But I am as white a ream of copier paper.

Well, more of a almond butter color really.

Anyways, in my generation of urban East Coast teenagers, cultural separation can be endemic. Now, this is not race separation, per say, but let's admit that "Emo" is not "Hip-Hop" and I can't really remember how many black kids I saw at the Taking Back Sunday concert.

Here are some lyrics from "You're So Last Summer" by Taking Back Sunday:

The truth is you could slit my throat
and with my one last gasping breath
I'd apologize for bleeding on your shirt

So "Emo"... If you don't know, look it up, it exists, it is real, and it is, if not a temporary stop in a young person's life, a lifestyle. I will not start that "life-imitating-art-imitating-life" debate here, but I will say that there is an unambiguous and substantial connection between between popular culture and individual behavior.

Here, for comparison, some lyrics from 50 Cent's "187", which is police code for an officer down:

Half the niggas jumped me, bumpin' my head
Thinkin' I wish I had a gun I fill a nigga with lead
Took a kitchen knife, Im finna poke me a nigga
Wishin' I had a gun so I could smoke me a nigga

Oh, and the chorus to this lovely little ditty:

They say Im grimey, Im greasy
I make a 187 look easy
F**k that, I lay my murder game down
Push me nigga, see what Im about

My influences as a young white child were John Lennon, Pete Seeger, and the oldies radio station; while they might reference drugs and revolution, I chortle to think of good ol' Pete strumming his banjo singing about "smokin' a nigga". 50 Cent, on the other hand, was, in real life, a crack-dealing gangster, and 9 time gun-shot victim.

John Lennon wrote "Imagine" and his worst crime, as far as I can see, was meeting Yoko.

Cite socio-economic disparities between race, cite "the white advantage", but I will draw and indelible connection between culture and prejudice and crime. John Lennon and Pete, they speak to me; they remind me of my childhood, they give me hope, they reflect my views and ideals.

50 Cent does not. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_Cent)

What we have is a role model who speaks to a culture; a group of like-minded people who identify with this type of message. The worst part of 50 Cent, is that he manages to crawl out of his criminal hole and place himself in a position to speak to this demographic and spread a different message...

But...

...no...

...he writes "187".

I don't know, I grew up seeing far too many young, beautiful, and intelligent black kids thinking that their only out was sports, crime, or rap... Maybe things are changing, but if you subscribe to a cultural ideal and parade that fact around, expect to reap the consequences of the way that culture advertises itself.

I told the same thing to my friend who wondered why he kept getting pulled over and searched when he had Phish and pot-leaf stickers plastered to his rear bumper. Oh, and one that said, "Pretty Much High, All of The Time."

But when he gets pulled over, he never has to think, "Is it because I'm black?"

That is a curse that only time, triumph, love, and understanding can cure.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:34 pm 
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Interesting post, PrinceAlarming.

Thanks.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:16 pm 
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Here is a most interesting report of a poll attempting to measure the possible affect of racial attitudes on Obama's campaign.

Poll: Racial views steer some white Dems away from Obama

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