Shoulders back, hood up.

lukecagepromo.jpgThe ensemble of Marvel’s Luke Cage is an array of blackness, of brownness, a portrayal that is absent of whiteness. One man holds vigil for the white community and [SPOILER ALERT] he’s a bad guy. I’ve never watched a TV show that didn’t provide a multitude of supporting characters who looked like me. Usually, I can put myself into the shoes of a character because they look like me; they sound like me; they face the same hardships I face. This experience was, for me, otherworldly. In my world, superheroes are white. Even female superheroes are white: Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Black Widow, Rogue, Elektra, Jessica Jones, Catwoman (with the exception of the portrayal by Halle Berry), even the Powerpuff Girls are pale with colorful eyes. Storm is the only recognizable black female superhero, but I don’t see her getting her own stand-alone anytime soon.

Continue reading “Shoulders back, hood up.”

“Free White Persons”: Constructing US Citizenship

Over ninety years ago this month, the Supreme Court upheld a law banning Japanese people from becoming US citizens in Ozawa v. US. The case is especially relevant now, as debates about building walls and securing borders dominate the presidential campaign.

After over twenty years of living in the U.S., Takao Ozawa wanted to become a citizen.  He was a family man, well-educated, a churchgoer. There was just one strike against him:  he was Japanese.

In October of 1922, when the Supreme Court heard his case, Ozawa v. U.S., our immigration and naturalization laws limited eligibility for citizenship to “free white persons . . . aliens of African nativity, and . . . persons of African descent.” African Americans had only been added fifty-two years earlier in the wake of Reconstruction, when Congress amended the Constitution to make clear that persons born in the U.S. were citizens.

Mr. Ozawa argued, in part, that he was white for purposes of the law, citing legal and ethnographic authorities to support that notion.  And, then there was his appearance.  As a light-skinned man, Mr. Ozawa suggested his skin color demonstrated that that he was white. But Justice Sutherland, writing for the Court, rejected that notion, saying a test based solely on skin color was “impracticable.”  Continue reading ““Free White Persons”: Constructing US Citizenship”

“Trapped”: When Politics Trump Medicine

Cincinnati Law screens award-winning film 10/27 and welcomes filmmaker Dawn Porter.

“I feel like I can break at any moment.”

The woman quoted above is the mother of two boys, who are 13 months apart.  One is in third grade; the younger is autistic.  She is pregnant and feels “emotionally unfit” to take on the responsibility of another child.“Trapped,” a documentary by Dawn Porter, gives voice to this woman and others for whom the law has made a difficult choice more challenging.  Cincinnati Law screens this film Wednesday, October 27 in Room 118.  Continue reading ““Trapped”: When Politics Trump Medicine”

Second Look – A month in review.

Why are 63 million girls missing out on education? – Lucy Lamble for Global Education podcast explores the numerous barriers preventing girls in conflict zones and rural, impoverished communities from obtaining education.

LGBTQ and Other “Diverse” Books Lead Banned Books List – September 26 through September 30 was Banned Book Week, but it’s not too late to pick up a literary outlaw. Sarah Seltzer for Flavorwire examines the American Library Association’s challenged book list and the inclusion of LGBTQ themed literature.

This DJ mixes the world’s local music to create a global sound – Jace Clayton is a DJ who mixes musical styles from across the globe to tell a universal story about the unexpected moments of music creation.

Student at Liberal Afghanistan College Shares Horror of Attack – Alia, a 16-year-old student at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), recounts the horror of feigning death during the Taliban takeover of AUAF. Alia shares her story as a writer for the Afghan Women’s Writing Project.

This Chinese-American cartoonist forces us to face racist stereotypes – Cartoonist Gene Luen Yang was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant this year. In an interview with PBS, he discusses his use of comics to tell a story which creates a more emotional impact on the reader than through mere text.

Amicus: 2016 Term Preview – Slate’s Amicus podcast previews the 2016 Supreme Court term. Host Dahlia Lithwick explores the constitutionality of stop-and-frisk tactics with former federal judge Shira Scheindlin. Also, SCOTUSblog founder and publisher Tom Goldstein provides discourse on the cases the Court will hear this term.

East New York painter confronts the ‘brutal’ forces of gentrification– Gentrification is explored through the eyes of artist Patrick Eugéne. Paint is used as a medium to immortalize the disruption of every day, close-knit communities for the profit of house flipping developers.

Opinionated: How Voter Registration Laws Impact Latinxs– Roger Quesada’s Opinionated delves into the obstacles Latinx voters face at the polls.

More Asian-Americans Are Identifying as Democrats, Survey Finds – A study finds that Asian-American support for Democratic presidential candidates has increased faster than support among any other racial group.

Is the US failing its inmates? – Al Jazeera takes an in-depth look at the poor conditions of US prisons and the prisoners striking to make a change. Prisoners across the country went on strike on September 9th to mark the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison riot.

The Asian American Experience In America – Congresswoman Grace Meng discusses the results of the 2016 National Asian American Survey. Representative Meng challenges Americans to ‘do better’ and fight against racist, lazy stereotypes dominating both Hollywood and the mainstream media.

Jesse Williams and Amir Whitaker: Brown v. Board of Education Is a Broken Promise – America Divided documentary “The Class Divide” is profiled by Time. The documentary highlights the inequity of the U.S. educational system 60 years post Brown.

A Photographer Gives Cameras To Child Brides. Their Images Are Amazing – Photographer Stephanie Sinclair has taken photos of child bride across the globe for 15 years. As a form of art therapy, Sinclair provided some young women with the chance to tell their own story through digital photography.

Mexican man accused of raping eight-year-old ordered to buy her father beer – In rural Mexico, the customs and traditions rule the people. While humanitarian efforts are succeeding in improving the lives of women and girls, gender equality in indigenous communities is struggling.

Sex Trafficking Survivor Says It’s Time to Stop Glamorizing Prostitution – A victim of sex trafficking, Rebecca Bender, discusses her experience as a prostitute. Bender discusses her reasons behind rejecting the Hollywood legitimization of prostitution and pimp culture.

 


Second Look is a monthly content round-up of articles, videos, podcasts, and blog posts highlighting all things race, gender, and/or social justice. Feel free to discuss your thoughts or opinions in the comments below.

From Uganda to Cincinnati: The Fight to End Acid Violence

11892208_670058353129230_3830734213281377439_n Hanifa Nakiryowa is the proud mother of two girls, a graduate of University of Nairobi, a former H.J. Heinz fellow in the Master of International Development program at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and an acid attack survivor.

In 2011, recently divorced Ms. Nakiryowa went to pick up her children from her ex-husband’s home in Kampala, Uganda.  While waiting for her husband to open the door, an assailant threw something on her face.  Nakiryowa said the acid felt cold initially but soon made her feel as if she had been engulfed in flames.  As she screamed, Ms. Nakiryowa husband did nothing; he orchestrated the attack.  Months later, a mirror’s glance revealed an unrecognizable face.  Ms. Nakiryowa had lost parts of her nose; her nostrils appeared to have been melted. Breathing was difficult.  But, the judicial system provided no relief.  Instead of resigning herself to the mounting injustice of her situation, Ms. Nakiryowa formed an organization, the Center for Rehabilitation for Survivors of Acid Violence or CERESAV. Continue reading “From Uganda to Cincinnati: The Fight to End Acid Violence”

Down to the Wire. Have you registered?

The deadline is fast approaching. Don’t miss out.

This post is for all the procrastinators.  There was plenty of time to make sure your registration was up to date.  But not any more.

Ohio’s deadline is October 11, which is Tuesday. Right. Next week.

In Ohio, if you recently moved, changed your name, or haven’t voted since 2012, you may have be removed from the rolls.  To make certain you are registered, check here.  If you need to register, the necessary form and instructions on what to do are accessible here.   Don’t know where to vote?  Click this link to find your polling place.

Kentucky residents can register or update their voting status online. The same is true in Indiana. Twenty-nine other states and the District of Columbia also allow residents the option of registering online.  For more information and a chart to find out whether you can sign up, check, or update your registration status online, check out the National Conference of State Legislatures website.

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Don’t be this guy.  Register.

Don’t assume that you’ve got this covered.  After all, how are you going to feel when you roll up to the polling place on November 8 only to be turned away?

Just do it.

Take a step toward social justice.  Get registered.  And vote.

We’ve Come A Long Way… But Not Far Enough

Some progress, but miles to go in eradicating domestic violence.

tiffanny-smithGuest Contributor: Tiffanny Smith, Litigation Attorney, Ohio Justice & Policy Center

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  We’ve all seen the newspaper articles, social media posts, and awareness events.  Is that enough?

More than 10 MILLION people suffer physical abuse at the hands of an intimate partner each year in the U.S.  Continue reading “We’ve Come A Long Way… But Not Far Enough”