OTW Fannews: Giving Some Credit

May. 22nd, 2015 03:18 pm
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Posted by Pip Janssen

English

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  • A post at Polygon disagreed with fans' protests about game mods being sold on Steam. "Over and over, it’s been shown that when great content is rewarded with cash, better content flows forward. Of course, more crap will also flow in — but Steam has spent years improving its Workshop system to let the best content filter to the top. Modders will now have a reason to finish their work, and the best modders will find reward in the social aspects of the modding scene — as well as monetarily. The idea that adding a layer of real-world rewards will somehow stifle content is absurd."
  • Notwithstanding the lure of cash, game publisher Bethesda listened to fans and reversed its decision, even refunding earlier purchases. "[W]e underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models, and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim's workshop. We understand our own game's communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating. We think this made us miss the mark pretty badly, even though we believe there's a useful feature somewhere here...Even though we had the best intentions, the feedback has been clear - this is not a feature you want. Your support means everything to us, and we hear you."
  • Radio.com wrote about the contest run for Mad Men to reproduce its first episode. "Similar fan-made cuts of other movies have taken the internet by storm, including Star Wars Uncut, a project to remake the Star Wars films. That project began in 2009 as a lark by a then-20-something programmer and later went on to win an Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media. Few of these types of crowd-sourced remakes, however, have gone on to be recognized in an official way or aired for millions on TV. This makes Mad Men: The Fan Cut a smart move on AMC’s part to rally Mad Men junkies as the show winds down, allowing them to re-enact favorite scenes and put their efforts back on the same screen that captured their imaginations seven seasons ago."
  • The Media Industries Project "examines the profound changes affecting media industries worldwide, focusing especially on creative labor, digital distribution, and globalization" and looks at what they call connected viewing, which they define as "any product or service that augments the entertainment experience by integrating Internet access, game play, and/or social networking." They look at various changes in entertainment consumption, including "How is connected viewing transforming the relationship of viewers to media content and access?" However, the MIP looks at the issue more in terms of how it challenges entertainment producers than in the relationship between audience and creators.
  • One area where the relationship between audience and creators continues to fail is in fanwork ambushes. Nerd Reactor posted about the latest display of fan art on a TV talk show. While acknowledging that "[s]ome fans have commented on the trend with criticism, saying that it is a way of shaming fans and making celebrities uncomfortable" the title of the article points out the real issue involved -- the lack of participation by fans. If the creator of the fanwork isn't known, it's probably because the media outlet in question failed to make any effort to contact them for permission, as well as failed to credit them on air.

What sort of creator and fan interactions have been a win or fail in your experience? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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Greetings from...

May. 22nd, 2015 03:32 pm
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
[personal profile] yvi
... Switzerland. Where I am spending 4 days with the husband, the parents and sisters in-law and their boyfriends.

We're 1500 meters up, so it quite chilly. But pretty!

IT'S ALREADY HAPPENED 2.5 TIMES

May. 22nd, 2015 11:56 am
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May 22nd, 2015next

May 22nd, 2015: Hey I made a new shirt! It's to celebrate how it's almost summer so we can all bike again. BIKES ARE AWESOME:

– Ryan

OTW Fannews: Find Your Passion

May. 20th, 2015 06:11 pm
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Posted by Sarah Remy

English

Find Your Passion banner red arrows and yellow background

  • The new issue of Cinema Journal was guest edited by the OTW's Kristina Busse and she, along with co-editor of Transformative Works and Cultures Karen Hellekson, contributed articles. The entire issue is available for free online. Topics include articles on fan labor and feminism, fandom's gift culture, Fifty Shades and the "archive of women’s culture," and articles focusing on sampling, vidding, and cosplay.
  • Portland, Oregon's Go Local PDX hosted an article by a college admissions coach about getting writing experience. "Write fan fiction. If you care about an audience and feedback, writing fan fiction can be a great way to get both. Lots of people obsessively read (and comment on) fan fiction about their favorite characters, so a well-written spin-off from a popular novel or series can quickly develop a large readership. In addition, it’s easy to find writing prompts: people on fan fiction forums often run informal contests built around silly topics like 'a Les Miserables-inspired scene with a beach party.' Fanfiction.net is the main hub for this, but a quick search can help you find more specialized sites devoted to particular topics.
  • As a post at Candy Mag pointed out, prompts and fanworks are everywhere. Focusing on content at Pinterest, the post pointed out a variety of fandom crossover fan art exploring various fanwork genres.
  • Cult Noise interviewed Cassie Whitt about her defense of music fangirls. "You should never [be] afraid to be passionate about something. In fact, you should see your ability to do so as a strength most people don’t have. Love music in a way that makes sense to you, and as long as it’s not hurting anyone or yourself, what other people think about it doesn’t matter. And if you’re ever feeling misunderstood or without an outlet for that, find fan communities. All communities have different vibes: some of them will be good, others will suck, and others have the potential to become like a second family."

Did you use fanfic to prep for college admissions? Are you taking courses about fanworks? Write about fandom and academia in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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Posted by Kendra James

One of the most distinct characteristics of white privilege is the privilege to be unique. When white people commit violent acts, they are treated as aberrations, slips described with adjectives that show they are unusual and in no way representative of the broader racial group to which they belong.

In fact, in much of the coverage of the Waco shootings, the race of the gang members isn’t even mentioned, although pictures of the aftermath show groups of white bikers being held by police. By comparison, the day after Freddie Gray died in the custody of police officers in Baltimore, not only did most coverage mention that Gray was black, but also included a quote from the deputy police commissioner noting Gray was arrested in “a high-crime area known to have high narcotic incidents,” implicitly smearing Gray and the entire community.

How did press reports quote the police in Waco? “We’ve been made aware in the past few months of rival biker gangs … being here and causing issues,” Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said. Causing issues? Cops were reportedly so worried about the bikers gathering in the Waco strip mall that they had 12 officers as well as officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety stationed outside the restaurant.

Now there’s word that the biker gangs have issued repeated threats against the police in the aftermath of the Waco “melee” as The New York Times headline called it. During the uprisings in Baltimore, I saw a flurry of tweets about black people disrespecting property and throwing rocks at police. Now that these biker gangs have issued actual death threats, why am I not now seeing tons of Twitter posts about white people disrespecting the lives of police?

Waco Coverage Shows Double Standard on Race, by Sally Kohn; via CNN.com, May 19, 2015

 

The post Quoted: Race + Waco, Texas’ Real Life FX Drama appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.

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Posted by Janita Burgess

English

Banner by Erin of a close-up of Rosie the Riveter's arm with an OTW logo on it and the words 'OTW Recruitment'

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Communications Graphics volunteers and Tag Wrangling volunteers. Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Elections Committee Staff - [closing 25 May 2015 UTC]
  • Open Doors Staff- [closing 25 May 2015 UTC]

We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist volunteers -(at)- transformativeworks -(dot)- org in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.

If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.

Elections Committee Staff

The Elections Committee is responsible for running OTW Board elections. We ensure the fairness, timeliness, and confidentiality of the process. As a team, we update the elections process, communicate with members and other committees about the process, help candidates prepare for and carry out their tasks, and run the election itself.

We are currently looking for Candidate Liaisons to help us with outreach and support for election candidates, Communication Specialists to prepare our public news posts and internal announcements within the OTW, Voting Process Architects to create and maintain our voting procedures and software, and Chair Track Staffers who would like to work toward being considered for the role of chair.

Applications are due 25 May 2015 UTC

Open Doors Staff

Are you interested in the rescue and preservation of fanworks? Enjoy coordinating projects and liaising with people? Still guiltily--or not so guiltily--love the first fanwork that opened your eyes to fandom?

Open Doors is a committee dedicated to preserving fanworks in their many native formats, and is looking for staffers to support this goal. The work we do preserves fan history, love, and dedication to fandom: we keep online archives from going down, divert fanzines from the trash, and more.

If you're interested, click on through for a fuller description of what we're looking for and the time commitment.

Applications are due 25 May 2015.

Apply at the volunteering page!

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May 18th, 2015next

May 18th, 2015: Happy Monday! What will YOU do with this week? Personally, I'm probably gonna write some comics, that's what I've got "on tap" :0

Hey I made a new shirt! It's to celebrate how it's almost summer so we can all bike again. BIKES ARE AWESOME:

– Ryan

OTW Fannews: Doing it New School

May. 17th, 2015 06:11 pm
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Posted by thatwasjustadream

English

curved lines drawn in purple, maroon, orange and yellow over a white background with shades of purple, tan and red filling the spaces between them and the word OTW Fannews Doing it New School written through the right hand side of the graphic

  • DNAInfo reported on workshops that use Sci-Fi, Fan Fiction to Teach Girls STEM and Writing Skills. "'A lot of the series that are popular today, like ‘Hunger Games’ or ‘Divergent,’ feature white characters...We think it’s really important to expose girls to visions of the future that have girls that look like them in leading roles doing the changing.' The project’s namesake, author Octavia E. Butler, inspired the founders to use science fiction as a way to talk about broader issues in social activism, gender, class and race. 'She looked at society through a real critical lens and didn’t sugarcoat anything...It blew me away because I never saw how sci-fi could be used to make me think of history and my own role.'”
  • Olin College professor Allen Downey had some of his students post a Bayesian Survival Analysis in A Song of Ice and Fire on his blog. "Using data from A Wiki of Ice and Fire, we created a dataset of all 916 characters that appeared in the books so far. For every character, we know what chapter and book they first appeared, if they are male or female, if they are part of the nobility or not, what major house they are loyal to, and, if applicable, the chapter and book of their death. We used this data to predict which characters will survive the next couple books."
  • MediaCommons is an academic site that hosts discussion on both courses, research and discussion surrounding reading, writing, and literature. Among the topics is fan fiction, such as this post by Charles Dunbar about learning to write outside one's comfort zone. "I had found the old notebook in which all those stories Colleen had been written into were hastily stuffed, and after reading them over, decided I had done a grave disservice to the character. Yes she was a fan-fiction creation, but she was also part of my writer’s experience, and as such I felt she deserved something more than the role of hostage-girlfriend...So I picked up a pen and began to write. But before I did, I decided to make one little change: rather than approach Colleen as the main character’s girlfriend…I made her the main character."

Where have you seen appearances of fanworks in academia? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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Apparently, still a rareshipper

May. 16th, 2015 09:27 pm
yvi: Lya from the Nox (Stargate - Nox)
[personal profile] yvi
I am halfway through House, season 5. And I just looked at AO3, because hey, maybe there's some short fanfic I'd like to read.

How is there no (or close to no) Wilson/Cuddy? Does not compute!

Question thread #31

May. 15th, 2015 11:30 pm
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma posting in [site community profile] dw_dev
It's time for another question thread!

The rules:

- You may ask any dev-related question you have in a comment. (It doesn't even need to be about Dreamwidth, although if it involves a language/library/framework/database Dreamwidth doesn't use, you will probably get answers pointing that out and suggesting a better place to ask.)
- You may also answer any question, using the guidelines given in To Answer, Or Not To Answer and in this comment thread.
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Posted by Arturo

Compiled by Arturo R. García

I would sit on the corners, and people would walk up to me and ask me to play a gospel song, and they’d pat me on the head and say, that’s nice, son – but they didn’t tip at all. But people who ask me to play the blues would always tip me. I’d make $40-50. Even as off in the head as I am, I could see it made better sense to be a blues singer.
The Telegraph, 2009

I used to play a place in Twist, Arkansas — it’s still there, Twist, Arkansas — and they used to have a little nightclub there that we played quite often. It used to get quite cold in Twist. And they used to take something that looked like a big garbage pail and set it in the middle of the floor, half-fill it with kerosene. They would light that fuel and that’s what we used for heat. And generally the people would dance around and they would disturb this container.

But this particular night, two guys started fighting, and one of them knocked the other one over on this container. And when they did, it spilled on the floor. Now, it was already burning, so when it spilled, it looked like a river of fire. And everybody ran for the front door, including yours truly. But when I got on the outside, I realized that I’d left my guitar inside.

I went back for it. The building was a wooden building, and it was burning so fast, when I got my guitar it started to collapse around me. So I almost lost my life trying to save the guitar. The next morning we found that these two guys was fightin’ about a lady. I never did meet the lady, but I learned that her name was Lucille. So I named my guitar Lucille to remind me not to do a thing like that again.

– Interview with Joe Smith, 1986; animation by ‘Blank on Blank,’ 2015.

I studied a little bit. I compose. I’ve been composing for years. I write a little bit. And people didn’t know it, but my early records, most of em I produced them myself. And then somebody said, when we did Blues on the Bayou or somethin, “Oh B.B. produced a record!” And I said, “Really?” Most of the things, I just didn’t get credit for the early ones. People would put names on my songs and I didn’t even know who they were. It would say The King and Ling. Who the hell is Ling? I don’t know, that was just the way they could claim part of the song. And so many of the things I produced, nobody mentioned it. I didn’t know then. I know today, but it doesn’t matter a lot. But it’s the way people make money off of em, which is fine. I feel that in this music business, everybody got to make their little taste. I just don’t want em to take mine.

Guitar Magazine

You’re mighty young to write such heavy lyrics.
– To U2 lead singer Bono, as seen in “Rattle & Hum,” 1988

Back when we was in school in Mississippi, we had Little Black Sambo. That’s what you learned: Anytime something was not good, or anytime something was bad in some kinda way, it had to be called black. Like, you had Black Monday, Black Friday, black sheep. … Of course, everything else, all the good stuff, is white. White Christmas and such. You got to pay attention to the language, hear what it’s really saying.

Esquire, 2006.

You continuously have to learn. If I — I’m off sometime like 2-3 weeks- I have to learn my routines in my head again or I’ll forget some of the songs. I forget. I have to go back and get them in my head again. Because I gotta have at least 14 or 15 songs to remember the lines in my head. It’s sort of like an actor or actress. I have to remember these lines and you kinda dramatize them you don’t just say them you know you got to make it make some sense. So to answer your question I have to practice just like everybody else. I don’t practice enough — never have.
MNBlues, 2000

I carried this song around in my head for seven or eight years. It was a different kind of blues ballad. I’d been arranging it in my head and had even tried a couple of different versions that didn’t work. But when I walked in to record on this night at the Hit Factory in New York, all the ideas came together. I changed the tune around to fit my style, and [producer] Bill Szymczyk set up the sound nice and mellow. We got through around 3 a.m. I was thrilled, but Bill wasn’t, so I just went home. Two hours later, Bill called and woke me up and said, ‘I think “The Thrill Is Gone” is a smash hit, and it would be even more of a hit if I added on strings. What do you think?’ I said, ‘Let’s do it.’

– On the making of “The Thrill Is Gone,” Guitar World, 2013

Top image via B.B. King official Facebook page.

The post In His Own Words: B.B. King (1925-2015) appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.

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May 15th, 2015next

May 15th, 2015: This comic comes out of a conversation I had a TCAF with Karl Kerschl, Dave Kellet, and Fred Schroeder after we agreed not to talk about comics so talked about video games instead. They are classy (AND ALSO REALLY TALENTED) people!

Hey I made a new shirt! It's to celebrate how it's almost summer so we can all bike again. BIKES ARE AWESOME:

– Ryan

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Posted by Claudia Rebaza

Undefined

Banner by Alice of a laurel wreath and title 'Celebrations of All Kinds'

  • The Chicago Tribune reviewed the play Badfic Love. "Here's what works: all of the fanfic scenes with Connor Konz as Harry and Jake Szczepaniak as a delightfully dumb Draco. You root for these crazy kids, despite the (intentionally) terrible dialogue they're saddled with. It's legitimately funny stuff, mostly thanks to Szczepaniak, who gets the most out every slyly stupid line he's given...The story's creator is winningly played by Cristiana Barbatelli as a confident upstart who can't fully hide her insecurities. The pair meet under false pretenses and fall for each other, and this is where playwright Pasen folds in some noted jabs at the stale, unrealistic conventions of romantic comedy."
  • The BBC reported on a 5 year plan to mark the bicentenaries of the births of the Bronte siblings. In addition to touring exhibitions, a knitted Jane Eyre, and a collection of short stories, "[t]he society said its president Bonnie Greer was 'developing an award named after Patrick Bronte"...and was also working on an initiative with Bradford Council to commemorate Branwell Bronte. The playwright was also making a short promotional film with the museum to 'invite people to come to Haworth during the bicentenary celebrations' and planning a 'Jane Eyre fan fiction" workshop in London."
  • Forbes covered the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim and attempted to predict the future of its fandom. "Even in a fantasy universe, the lines between fact and fiction are hotly disputed. That’s a good thing. A year ago, Disney decreed that much of the so-called Star Wars expanded universe was, in essence, fan fiction...That didn’t sit well with some die-hard fans, many of whom had become pseudo-history professors of the deepest reaches of Star Wars mythology...Yet even on Wookieepedia, the site home to over 120,000 pages of fan-generated content—much of it concerning storylines now relegated to Legends status—the response hasn’t been negative, at least in terms of engagement. Says Brandon Rhea, a full-time community manager at Wikia, Wookieepedia’s parent company: 'The pageviews in general shot up.'”
  • CBC News took note of the reaction to actor Jonathan Crombie's death. "Plenty of women who were in their adolescence during the late 1980's have indeed been mourning the loss of the handsome man who portrayed Gilbert Blythe on screen — but they're far from alone. It would appear as though, just like the wider Anne of Green Gables franchise, Crombie has continued to rack up new fans from all over the world since the final film aired on CBC TV in 2000...Here are just a few of the ways that fans have been paid tribute to Anne Shirley's 'perfect boyfriend' on Tumblr, on their own blogs and through romantic fan fiction over the years."

What different kinds of fandom celebration have you seen? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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Posted by Tope Fadiran

By Tope Fadiran

It’s hard out there for white men on college campuses. At least, that’s what American media would have us believe, given its coverage of the current controversy swirling around Dr. Saida Grundy, a Black scholar recently hired (effective July 1, 2015) by Boston University as an assistant professor of Sociology and African American Studies.

In reality, the way in which Dr. Grundy has been unceremoniously shoved into the spotlight proves the exact opposite: Black women on our campuses, even those who have reached the highest levels of educational achievement, are political and cultural targets simply for existing. There is no other explanation for the fact that this all began with a white man whose response to Grundy’s hiring was to go in search of something he could use to undermine her intellectual and professional standing.

Nick Pappas is a conservative student activist at University of Massachusetts Amherst (for those who aren’t familiar with my home state’s geography, that’s basically on the other side of the state from Boston). Pappas apparently saw BU’s hiring of Grundy as enough cause for concern that he decided to dig through her Twitter account. He then published some of her tweets online—taken out of their original context—to “expose the bias and factual problems with modern humanities classes, which are many, and common at colleges across the country.”

A sampling of what Pappas saw as evidence of Grundy’s “bias”:

Why is white America so reluctant to identify white college males as a problem population?

Deal with your white shit, white people. slavery is a *YALL* thing.

Every MLK week I commit myself to not spending a dime in white-owned businesses. And every year I find it nearly impossible.

White masculinity isn’t a problem for america’s colleges, white masculinity is THE problem for america’s colleges.

The rest is predictable: conservative media picked up Pappas’ post and ran with it, lambasting her as “anti-white,” “anti-male,” a “major-league-twit…[and] a certified, dyed-in-the-wool, four-square, in-your-face racist.” BU’s initial response to all this was tepid support—”free speech,” etc. etc. In the last few days though, the school has seemed increasingly spooked by the furor. BU issued two statements in rapid succession—one of them from university president Robert A. Brown—essentially validating right wing smears of Grundy as “racist.”

Long story short, BU threw Dr. Grundy under the bus in a scramble to prove that it is an “inclusive” institution that “does not condone racism or bigotry in any form.” The irony.

As for Grundy, these smears and the ensuing online attacks on her have forced her to make her Twitter account private. She has also released a statement expressing regret for “depriv[ing]” the issues she raised in her tweets “of the nuance and complexity that such subjects always deserve,” and assuring the BU community that she is ”professionally and ethically…unequivocally committed to ensuring that my classroom is a space where all students are welcomed.”

Dr. Saida Grundy

Dr. Saida Grundy. via Boston University

On the plus side: Grundy has gotten a wave of support online. #ISupportSaida and #IStandWithSaida have taken off on Twitter, and there’s a petition urging BU to stand behind her. There have also been several articles published in her defense.

It also looks like this controversy won’t cost Grundy the job she hasn’t even started yet, which, frankly, is a relief. It wouldn’t be the first time a scholar of color was denied a professional opportunity because of their inconvenient politics. Still, you can bet that Grundy will be under intense scrutiny and suspicion at BU, even beyond the already high levels that Black women academics routinely face.

Grundy earned her doctorate only last year; her job at BU would be her first appointment as a professor. Now, some might question the wisdom of posting the comments she did, in public, as a Black woman just starting her academic career. But so long as we recognize that white supremacy, patriarchy, and systemic racism are real forces in the world, the worst we can say of Grundy’s comments is that they were impolitic and arguably ill-advised.

It’s certainly the case that she didn’t use the often abstracted, punch-pulling language of academia. But it’s also the case that there’s a wide and deep body of scholarship that says exactly what Grundy said—white masculinity is a major source of societal dysfunction and violence—only more formally.

It’s also a mystery what is so “offensive” about a Black woman to choosing to exclusively support businesses owned by people of color, much less to do so for only one week out of the year. If only people were as scandalized by the fact that systemic racism makes building wealth and owning businesses a herculean task for many POC.

That’s not the world we live in. In this world, intentionally supporting POC businesses is “racist”; a system that entrenches whole communities of color in poverty is not. To add insult to injury, BU’s leaders have now signaled to students, staff, faculty, and the entire country that this perverse redefinition of “racism” is correct.

It’s worth looking a bit more closely at how right wing media especially have characterized Grundy’s comments to better understand what, exactly, BU’s leadership validated through its response.

Fox News’s Andrea Tantaros, for example, claimed Grundy’s tweets show that the “last acceptable [targets] of discrimination in this country” are “Christians…and white men.” Grundy can “get away” with such “discrimination,” she added, because there are no “organizations in defense of white men…Where are the marches? Where are the editorials penned?”

Hmm, organizations writing and marching in defense of white men. Gosh, what does that sound like? I’m drawing a blank…

Andrea Tantaros on Outnumbered, via Fox News

Lest we be confused about the intersection of anti-Blackness and misogyny here, Tantaros also connected Grundy’s tweets to Rolling Stone’s disastrous misreporting on rape at UVA. She suggested “rape culture,” is nothing more than a conspiracy to attack white men on college campuses, manufactured by an unspecified “they” who are also “feminizing [white men] even more to get rid of that masculinity.” In the same segment, Jedidiah Bila added that white men on American campuses “feel really unprotected, and Sandra Smith questioned whether Grundy can “subjectively [sic] grade white males in her class room” when “she’s got that kind of bias.”

Elsewhere Fox quoted notoriously anti-Black, anti-affirmative action, professional campus agitator David Horowitz: “I’m not surprised that Boston University is hiring a racist to teach African American Studies.” Why? Black Studies is apparently “rampant with anti-white racism” and “indoctrination programs in left-wing politics.” The kicker: “If she were a white racist rather than an anti-white racist, she would never be hired.”

So universities never hire racist white professors? I think more than a few schools might have missed that memo.

This is who Boston University’s leaders felt so compelled to appease:  racism and rape culture denialists who see any kind of “ethnic studies” as inherently invalid, who literally want to rewrite the history of this country to cover up our long, sordid history of white supremacist violence and oppression. In other words, misogynist white supremacists. Misogynoirists.

So there’s a bitter irony in BU’s scramble to say how “saddened” it is by Dr. Grundy’s “offensive” comments, and declare its “commit[ment] to maintaining an educational environment that is free from bias, fully inclusive, and open to wide-ranging discussions.” Because, y’know, distancing your institution from a Black woman scholar on account of the rantings of people who insist talking about racism is racist and talking about rape culture is anti-male, is kind of the opposite of maintaining an “inclusive” educational environment.

Boston University, via Facebook

In response to the railroading of Saida Grundy, current and former members of the BU community have been speaking out about exactly what kind of “educational environment” the university fosters for students of color.

Criticizing her alma mater for throwing Grundy under the bus, Michelle Huxtable notes the Boston Globe’s recent reporting on the overwhelming whiteness of higher education institutions in Boston. BU stands even out among its local peers on lack of representation:

  • Only 4% of the current student body is Black. In the Globe piece, BU’s provost justifies low Black enrollment with the argument that “the pool of academically qualified black students is slim.”
  • 2.8% of full-time faculty are Black, a number that has risen by a mere 1% in thirty years.
  • 7.4% of full-time faculty are from “underrepresented” racial or ethnic groups. The Globe adds: “Among local large private colleges, only Boston College had a smaller percentage of minority faculty.”

BU also recently announced that it would be closing its African Presidential Center for “fail[ing] to sustain itself financially,” a decision that “prompt[ed] the center’s director…to charge that the school lacks commitment to issues concerning black people.”

Alumna Huxtable charges the same, specifically calling the school out for profiting off its association with Dr. King (MLK earned his Ph.D. there) but failing to walk its talk on diversity:

Myself along with other Boston University alumni and current students have tried other methods. We’ve gone to the Dean of Students, Kenneth Elmore. In his own words, “I have tried – for a long time – to stay out of the conversations on races.”…We’ve tried running for office in the Student Government. We had a Black Student Body President. Not president of the Black Student Union. The Boston University Student Government. Nothing helped. So here we are. Cyberbullying Boston University into acting like they have some sense…

Boston University representative Colin Riley said, “The University does not condone racism or bigotry in any form and we are deeply saddened when anyone makes such offensive statements”…Didn’t Boston University’s Provost just make some racist, bigoted, offensive statements? Oh. She’s not a Black woman. Cool. As you were.

As does former BU employee Christian Cho:

When I used to work at BU, I was pulled into a superior’s office. At the time, I was writing rather directly about the ongoing civil unrest in Ferguson and New York, trying to articulate opinions not highly present online. I was warned not to write these opinions. When I asked if this was coming from a specific person or not, he told me that I was to be the Assistant Director for all students. In other words, I should be quiet and whitewash my opinions to make white people more comfortable.

Huxtable and Cho are not alone. Among the many people contributing to the #ISupportSaida hashtag are students of color currently enrolled at BU. Read their tweets about how isolated, demeaned, and poorly supported they feel on their own campus, then decide for yourself how strong BU’s commitment is to maintaining an inclusive and bias-free educational environment.

[<a href="//storify.com/graceishuman/why-bu-students-of-color-support-saida-grundy-isup" target="_blank">View the story "Why BU Students of Color Support Saida Grundy #ISupportSaida" on Storify</a>]

The post The Hollow Promise of “Inclusivity”: Saida Grundy and Boston University appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.

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July 2012

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