Eaten the First Time

One: Race

December 1 is Blog Against Racism Day, for the sensible reason that:

Discussion of racism is often shot down by the nervous – conservatives and liberals alike – as “playing the race card,” a close semantic kin to the “PC” gambit often used to squelch criticism of offensive language in the public sphere. Odd, then that objecting to the term is itself a form of political correctness: “don’t say racist! That’s offensive!” The thing is, if we discuss racism as a systemic ill, as a function of misinformation and reversible prejudice, if we describe racism in terms of effects rather than intent, then we do a couple things. First, we grant the possibility of redemption, the possibility that people raised in a racist society — me, you, everyone I know — can root out those prejudices. Second, we grant our opponents the freedom to think whatever they like: it’s the effects that count.

Society needs to have this discussion. But the responsibility for discussing racism has long been relegated to those people most directly affected by it. In other words, people who aren’t white. Us white folks have the luxury of not thinking about racism on a daily basis. As a result, most of us don’t. I think it would be helpful if we started to do our share of that particular chore.

I might flake out at the last minute (whine whine AGU finals blah blah) but you should all participate. And mail your entries to this racist loon – why is it that attempts to justify one’s sense of self-entitlement by means of bigotry one has swallowed from the culture, and subsequently coughed up without thought, always sound so whiny? Other than, y’know, the obvious reasons, I mean.

Two: Gender

The discussion at Cosmic Variance about the mismatch between fertility and the (sciencey!) tenure track has been exploding Firefox on me. If you don’t want to risk it, the best comment was from Kieran Healey: Who knew that women in science reproduce by parthenogenesis? – there are satisfyingly many people on the thread who seem to agree with me that this oughtn’t be the women’s issue that it is. With that, you can skip directly to a partial solution, a bill to start throwing money at real support for student parents:

We focus on birth control and delaying pregnancy. But the thing is, it isn’t having a child that screws girls over: it’s the stigma against having kids, the total lack of social support, the “you made your bed, now lie in it” attitude that we have as a society.

To which I can only say: ‘zackly. And, it’s about damn time the “pro-life” wing started acting like it. And apparently, rah rah Barack Obama.


Two links in one post might make me an official squealing Chris Clarke fangirl, but earnestly non-nerdy rock blogging was just too much to pass up. One of these days I’m going to have to sneak up to Pinole and buy that man some beer.

Also, I’ve been meaning to mention this on th’ blog for a while, and now’s the time: Tampa, Florida has my new favoritest civic festivals evar, even better than the California Dry Bean Festival: Guavaween and Gasparilla. Gasparilla, you are particularly urged to note, is about pirates. Arrr!


  1. kerrick wrote:

    I’m totally doing blog against racism day.

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