We are no stranger to awards ceremonies. A lot of attention is always paid to Time's "Person of the Year" award, this year given to Pope Francis. Time doesn't always pick "good people" since they describe their selection as "bestowed by the editors on the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year."
I'd like to propose my demerit nominees, for "Racist of the Year," and ask that you take the attached poll and add your candidates and memories for the most racist moments of 2013. Many of the racists selected fit just as easily into other categories of bigotry—since they are also sexist, homophobic, or target people of other ethnicities or faiths.
Instead of nice golden statutes or medals I'm awarding "Hoodies"—not the hoodies worn by many of us as casual outerwear, or the hoodies that became a symbol of the Trayvon Martin murder. Mine are Klan hoodies—the hoods of the outfits worn by members of the Klu Klux Klan as part of their regalia—which are symbolic of racial terrorism, along with cross-burnings and lynchings.
Follow me below the fold for the poll and more.
I only have room for one poll here, but I've been thinking of other categories, similar to the way the Oscar's or other prizes are organized.
We already know that walking, or taking a train, or driving while being a person of color can get you killed by police. So can "asking for help," discussed here by chaunceydevega in Black People Do Not Have the Luxury of Being Strangers: Renisha McBride.
Contrary to the idea that we have moved into a colorblind world, and that racists are all old and dying off, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education , has been tracking racism on campuses.
Pseudo-academic justifications for racism.
This category segues from students to the academy, and we should revisit Jason Richwine and his babble dealing with immigration and IQ. Stephen Colbert also took it on in "Heritage Foundation's Immigration Study."
Judicial decisions, laws and criminal injustice.
What stands out for me was this: Radical Extremist Roberts 5 strikes down Voting Rights Act. Followed by a continuing war on voting rights across the U.S. 'Stop and Frisk' advocate Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City continued his defense of racist police policy. Retaliation was taken against California prison hunger strikers.
Teapublicans top my list of equal opportunity haters.
Some of the most egregious stories of racism in 2013 involved elected officials and their staffers, like Rand Paul Stands By His 'Southern Avenger.' See MSNBC's Chris Hayes to Rand Paul: 'That's Three Racist Strikes. You're Out.'
Racist outrage against Cheerios. More recent is Gap Ad Featuring an Indian Model Goes Viral After Racist Vandalism. Add-on this mind numbing racist ad for a law firm.
Pastoral prejudice and religious racism
There are probably too many incidents of religious racism to list, but I haven't forgotten Papa Rafael Cruz's (father of Teapublican Ted Cruz) comments about blacks and latinos. Let's not forget the Faith Christian Academy in Florida where Vanessa VanDyke was threatened with expulsion because of her "natural hair". To no one's surprise, the religious right is still messing with textbooks.
Fresh in our minds as the year ends is the Fox News white storm over Santa and Jesus. Oh yeah, and add in "Duck Dynasty." Don't Forget Duck Dynasty's Racist Remarks. This story also fits into the religious racism category.
Rush Limbaugh is still on the air spewing hate and division.
Bob Frantz, talk radio host, Cleveland, Ohio: Defending racist stereotypes is just part of the show.
Who are the bigots on your local airwaves?
Another racist columnist invoked gagging as a response to the landslide election of Bill de Blasio in New York City.
Our own Meteor Blades reported: On 'Redskins,' President Obama gets it right and Fox News Dem Lanny Davis gets it completely wrong, and #@!!%&#. This is the racist crap Indians have to put up with because Dan Snyder is a stubborn wretch. This outrage is finally getting more media coverage, and I also suggest reading this historical article by Winter Rabbit from Native American Netroots.
I just got back from a family Christmas visit to Pennsylvania and my cousins who live in Bucks County informed me about a related local issue.
We saw new terms and phrases enter the vernacular of racism like "waiting for the bus while black" and "Shop and Frisk," and a New York Times op-ed by Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Forest Whitaker incident.
This is a territory I'm really a novice with, so I hope you active tweeters will chime in. Here are some twitterstorms I remember:
Rather than only address the negatives, I'd like your suggestions for those people or organizations who have done the most to combat all of the above in their own fields. So please add your nominations for the groups, individuals or media that have advanced the cause of "anti-racism."
I have several individuals/groups who I'd pick as nominees for "Anti-Racist of the Year."
"The Colbert Report" mocked Brad Paisley's "Accidental Racist" and segued into homophobia.
Wonkette had a long list of articles with a "racism" tag, and I admit to getting enormous satisfaction reading their scathing comments sections.
Jay Smooth confronted CNN's Don Lemon's encouragement of internalized racism.
Daily Kos communities and bloggers
In the last year Daily Kos, has had many diaries with the tag "racism." From Markos, who deals with racists weekly in his Saturday nutpick-a-paloozas, to individual Kossaks, to series and groups like Black Kos, Black Kos community, Barriers and Bridges, Native American Netroots, LatinoKos, Discussing Race at Daily Kos, White Privilege Working Group, RaceGender DiscrimiNATION, Invisible People, Support The Dream Defenders, Support Michelle Obama, and groups that need more support like APA Kos : Asian/Pacific Americans at DailyKos.
Other blogs and bloggers.
I have some of my favorites on my blog roll on the right side of the page. Who do you read for strong anti-racist writing?
Anti-racist activists and academics
Before I close, I nominate President Barack Hussein Obama as the top target for racist attacks from elected officials, media crap-stirrers and citizens who hold racist views in this country. His wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, would be my second choice. No matter where you stand on his policies, I can't see how this can be denied. I doubt that any living individual in the U.S., or sitting president, has evoked such a vile stream of racist vitriol.
President Obama deserves a special award for standing up to it all with grace, humor and dignity.
Well done Mr. President.
Please join me in comments with your nominations and suggestions and you can send additional remarks and votes to:
I'll publish the winners (who are really losers) next Sunday.
Here's hoping that in 2014 we will fight back harder, and move forward in the struggle against racism, whether it's systemic or individual bigotry.