Readers React: Tackling Facebook’s Racism (On Facebook)

A round-up of some of this week's best reader-lead conversations.

By Channing Kennedy Aug 06, 2010

In the fight for racial justice, what sacrifices are necessary? Can we fight for radical new solutions without disrupting the stopgap systems already carved out by communities that can’t wait for perfection? How do we frame systemic racism for our allies, if those allies don’t see injustice unless a white hood is present? And do we have to have this conversation on Facebook? Pressing questions!

Once again, we at ColorLines have the privilege of thanking you for your patronage. Don’t forget that in addition to joining the conversation here, you can also meet us on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. See you there!

Here on, Ruthie O comments on Julianne Hing’s article to point out that new legislation make for-profit schools less necessary:

I agree with all of these points, but I also think we can learn from the success of these for-profit schools. Why are they so popular? What do they offer students that legitimate universities lack? To me, their success means that the non-profit university system is just not working. Maybe public and private colleges are not accessible to working adults. Or perhaps selective admissions is keeping students who struggled in high school excluded from higher education. Either way, something is attracted poor students to these for-profit schools, even if their claims are cloaked in lies. I think we need to go after these sham universities, but then we absolutely need to refocus on our university system to see how we can meet the needs of more students. The only way for-prohit universities can succeed is for higher education to continually let down students of color and poor communities.

Under Hatty Lee’s infographic on racially disparate impacts at play in BP’s waste-dumping policies, Ayana Walker wants us to dig deeper into the sludge:

now, i truly value and respect the work that colorlines does; however, what i found to be the common thread as to where BP decided to dump its waste had more to do with money. 8 out of 9 of the locations have both a lower median household income and median family income than the US average. all 9 locations have higher percentages of both families and individuals living below the poverty line with respect to the national average. furthermore, the landfill that received the most waste (campbellton, fl) is also the one with the largest financial discrepancy to that of the US average. what i would have admired was an examination through an intersectional lens that connected income and race with respect to the volume of waste deposited.

And on Facebook, Tamara Smith agrees:

Michelle Chen’s article on Time Magazine’s controversial cover photo of a disfigured Afghan woman has kornfeld asking some tough questions:

Look, I don’t like war any more than the next leftist. But sometimes military occupation is absolutely necessary to guarantee the rights of a highly vulnerable group of people. Think back to Reconstruction: As soon as the North grew weary of keeping Army units in the South and reduced and then withdrew them altogether, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were a dead letter, and for nearly another century, black Southerners were peonized, leased, whipped, lynched, disfranchised, robbed, cheated, ethnically cleansed, and the like with perfect impunity by their white overlords.

Now, it’s a fact that American dollars are funding not only women-hating non-Taliban warlords, but the Taliban itself, via the ISI. On the other hand, I have little doubt that Afghani women as a whole will be much worse off if American soldiers leave their country.

But I hope that it is not too much to hope for that Obama will explicitly make the U.S. mission in Afghanistan the protection of women’s rights and adjust our expenditures, policies, strategies, and tactics accordingly.

And on the subject of Facebook being able to ‘predict’ the ethnicity of its users (since Facebook is, ultimately, a tool to sell consumers to advertisers), Janet Ryan and Jessica Bender take a step back:

And finally, this clip of Stephen Colbert ethering Laura Ingraham’s racist new book, to her face, is going on our Tumblr right now.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Laura Ingraham
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See you next week, gang!