RANT: Spell Check for Racists.
Tensions have been high since a Hmong American was charged with murdering six white deer hunters in northern Wisconsin. Stores in Wisconsin and Minnesota, both home to Hmong communities, have been selling bumper stickers that say: “Save a Hunter, Shoot a Mung.” A store manager denied that it was racist, claiming that the misspelled “mung” actually stands for “miniscule unseen naughty gnat.”
RAVE: Even Stevie Wonder Can See It.
Responding to Eminem’s video that lampoons Michael Jackson, legendary singer Stevie Wonder slammed the white rapper for exploiting Jackson’s tough times, saying Eminem “has succeeded on the backs of people of color. So for him to come out like that is bullshit.” Besides, Wonder added, “I don’t think he’s as good as 2Pac.”
RANT: Price Drop on the Black Market.
The going rate for adopting a white baby is as high as $40,000, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Adoption fees for black newborns are $10,000—one quarter of the price for white kids. That’s something of a decline compared to Jim Crow times, when a black person was counted as three fifths.
RAVE: Selling Out Is Bad for Your Health.
A health study from the University of Texas found that African-American children whose parents don’t believe that racism is a problem are more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression. Researchers said these conditions could result from the children’s experiences not matching the opinions of their parents. Clarence Thomas’ son Jamal must be in therapy by now.
RANT: Million Dollar Blocks.
Researchers have found that New York inmates whose combined incarcerations will total more than $1 million hail from a few New York blocks. It turns out there are 35 million-dollar blocks in Brooklyn alone. The state would probably save money by going to Brooklyn and just building fences around these entire blocks.
RAVE: Outsourcing Global Solidarity.
Sparked by the anxiety over job offshoring, a delegation of trade union leaders from India toured nine U.S. cities to remind Americans that corporations are mainly sending crappy jobs to India. They want the interests of workers around the world to be respected. Will labor unions here ever develop such a meaningful global analysis?
RANT: Block the Vote.
As soon as Bush gave his acceptance speech on Nov. 3, Republican Sen. Richard Shelby from Alabama began writing a provision that would bar voter registration in public housing projects. Of the three million people living in public housing, an estimated 46 percent are black. According to exit polls, 88 percent of black folks voted against Bush. Do the math.
RAVE: Chinese American Inmates.
In New York, murder charges against David Wong were dropped after years of protests. Wong, a Chinese immigrant, was serving time for a robbery when he was framed and convicted of killing another inmate. In California, Eddy Zheng, another politically active Chinese-American inmate, was recommended for parole. Wong is expected to face a retrial; Zheng’s parole awaits the governor’s approval.
RANT: Bad Blood.
In 2001, South African President Thabo Mbeki donated blood to encourage others to do the same, but now it’s been revealed that his blood was rejected—because he is black. With soaring HIV infection rates, blood donated by black South Africans is considered high risk by the country’s National Blood Service.
RAVE: Pinochet Today, Kissinger Tomorrow.
OK, that’s wishful thinking, but kudos to Chilean judge Juan Guzman Tapia, who decided that if former dictator General Pinochet could chat with Miami reporters, he could answer questions about some of the 4,000 people brutally murdered during his 1973-1990 reign. Pinochet, 89, was indicted for human rights violations in 2001 but appealed, claiming old age, and won. He will now be under house arrest and charged with kidnapping and murder.
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