Member of The Internet Defense League

Vince Warren Discussing the Baltimore Uprising on Al Jazeera | Center for Constitutional Rights

Vince Warren discussing the Baltimore Uprising on Al Jazeera ::posted Thu, 30 Apr 2015 15:47:52 +0000:: http://ift.tt/1bib5pm [Forwarded by the MyLeftBlogosphere news engine. Link to original post below:]
Source: http://ift.tt/1bib5pm | Follow me on Facebook at http://ift.tt/1q5e4WC


Vince Warren Discussing the Baltimore Uprising on Al Jazeera | Center for Constitutional Rights

Vince Warren discussing the Baltimore Uprising on Al Jazeera ::posted Thu, 30 Apr 2015 15:47:52 +0000:: http://ift.tt/1bib5pm [Forwarded by the MyLeftBlogosphere news engine. Link to original post below:]
Source: http://ift.tt/1bib5pm | Follow me on Facebook at http://ift.tt/1q5e4WC


The Truth About Advertising: Selling the White Woman™

The Truth About Advertising: Selling the White Woman™ ::posted Thu, 30 Apr 2015 15:26:00 +0000:: http://ift.tt/1bYPALP

Artist Hank Willis Thomas’s latest show in New York strips the copy from advertisements to expose what the images are actually selling – a very white, highly controlled ideal of femininity

Hank Willis Thomas’s work examines the ways in which advertising has fabricated notions of gender and race, and then convinced us all to buy into them. “I always talk about racism as the most successful advertising campaign of all time,” Thomas says. His work serves as a sort of counter-campaign; one that aims to muddy the myths we’ve been marketed. “I want to complicate the way that I’m seen and the way that I look at other people.”

His latest exhibition is Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015, in New York. It follows Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America, 1968-2000, his 2007 exhibition that surveyed the branding of blackness. A Century of White Women examines how advertising has helped construct gender ideals over the last 100 years. If racism is the most successful advertising campaign of all time, then sexism, as the work illustrates, isn’t far behind.

Thomas’s work “unbrands” advertising: stripping away the commercial context, and leaving the exposed image to speak for itself. Without the text and taglines we would normally lean on to decipher the adverts, we are forced to read between the lines and think more deeply about what the images are actually selling – which, you begin to see, is an ideal of femininity encapsulated in AdLand’s “white woman”. While the specific product attributes of White Woman™ have diversified over time, there are certain characteristics a number of the images reinforce. So if you were to write new, more accurate, taglines for the ads, they might look something like this:

FacebookTwitterPinterest

White women: friend-free since 1915

A lot of the ads in the exhibition show women with their husbands, or their daughters, or their lovers. But there isn’t a single ad that shows female friends together, enjoying each other’s company while fully clothed. When groups of women are pictured together, they tend to be in bikinis and looking at the imaginary man behind the camera, not at each other. Indeed, women are often seen as a source of competition, not companionship. This is communicated with no great subtlety in an ad from 1960, which shows a coven of crouching, conservatively-dressed women, literally green with envy, pointing a cannon at a woman who is posing for the camera in her underwear.

FacebookTwitterPinterest

100% less black than black women

Many of the earlier ads show white women attended by black servants; a large part of whiteness, these images imply, is being in a position of power over black people. As blatant racism gets less socially acceptable, the message becomes coded. An ad from 1974 shows a spectrum of female faces going from black at the bottom to white at the top: a hierarchy in which blacker is definitely not meant to be better. Female beauty means white female beauty. Darker bodies can be exotic, they can be erotic, but they are always “other”. Thankfully, things are slowly changing and the whitewashing of beauty standards is on the wane. As Thomas notes, through “the rise in appreciation to a large degree of Michelle Obama, the Williams sisters, Beyoncé … people have to face black women in a very different way.” This shift is dramatised in a 2010 ad, where a white woman kneels in front of Serena Williams, offering up a gift. (It turns out to be a box of Tampax, but you know, it’s the thought that counts.)

FacebookTwitterPinterest\

It’s cool you have a job, but you still don’t have a penis

Between 1915–2015, the role of women in society changed dramatically, and you can track the cultural developments in the adverts’ visual shifts. In 1920, American women got the right to vote and suddenly they are pictured in ads driving cars. In the 40s, they are dressed as soldiers. Soon there are career women, working mothers, even lesbians! But as women become more empowered, advertising (largely the domain, even today, of white men) seems to punish them for it. Violence and objectification creep into the imagery; this is particularly evident in the 1960s where many of the ads show women decapitated, bruised, caged, or being pulled apart by men. You can count your freedoms, the images seem to say, but the sum of a woman still boils down to ageing skin and sexual orifices. This is perhaps best dramatised in the juxtaposition of two ads from 1952 and 1953. In the first you see a woman holding up her head in victory; she has just won an election. In the second, you see a woman with her head down; she is about to fellate a lipstick.

Hank Willis Thomas’s Unbranded: A century of white women, 1915-2015, shows at the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York until 23 May

[Forwarded by the MyLeftBlogosphere news engine. Link to original post below:]
Source: http://ift.tt/1bYPALP | Follow me on Facebook at http://ift.tt/1q5e4WC


The Truth About Advertising: Selling the White Woman™

The Truth About Advertising: Selling the White Woman™ ::posted Thu, 30 Apr 2015 15:26:00 +0000:: http://ift.tt/1bYPALP

Artist Hank Willis Thomas’s latest show in New York strips the copy from advertisements to expose what the images are actually selling – a very white, highly controlled ideal of femininity

Hank Willis Thomas’s work examines the ways in which advertising has fabricated notions of gender and race, and then convinced us all to buy into them. “I always talk about racism as the most successful advertising campaign of all time,” Thomas says. His work serves as a sort of counter-campaign; one that aims to muddy the myths we’ve been marketed. “I want to complicate the way that I’m seen and the way that I look at other people.”

His latest exhibition is Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015, in New York. It follows Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America, 1968-2000, his 2007 exhibition that surveyed the branding of blackness. A Century of White Women examines how advertising has helped construct gender ideals over the last 100 years. If racism is the most successful advertising campaign of all time, then sexism, as the work illustrates, isn’t far behind.

Thomas’s work “unbrands” advertising: stripping away the commercial context, and leaving the exposed image to speak for itself. Without the text and taglines we would normally lean on to decipher the adverts, we are forced to read between the lines and think more deeply about what the images are actually selling – which, you begin to see, is an ideal of femininity encapsulated in AdLand’s “white woman”. While the specific product attributes of White Woman™ have diversified over time, there are certain characteristics a number of the images reinforce. So if you were to write new, more accurate, taglines for the ads, they might look something like this:

FacebookTwitterPinterest

White women: friend-free since 1915

A lot of the ads in the exhibition show women with their husbands, or their daughters, or their lovers. But there isn’t a single ad that shows female friends together, enjoying each other’s company while fully clothed. When groups of women are pictured together, they tend to be in bikinis and looking at the imaginary man behind the camera, not at each other. Indeed, women are often seen as a source of competition, not companionship. This is communicated with no great subtlety in an ad from 1960, which shows a coven of crouching, conservatively-dressed women, literally green with envy, pointing a cannon at a woman who is posing for the camera in her underwear.

FacebookTwitterPinterest

100% less black than black women

Many of the earlier ads show white women attended by black servants; a large part of whiteness, these images imply, is being in a position of power over black people. As blatant racism gets less socially acceptable, the message becomes coded. An ad from 1974 shows a spectrum of female faces going from black at the bottom to white at the top: a hierarchy in which blacker is definitely not meant to be better. Female beauty means white female beauty. Darker bodies can be exotic, they can be erotic, but they are always “other”. Thankfully, things are slowly changing and the whitewashing of beauty standards is on the wane. As Thomas notes, through “the rise in appreciation to a large degree of Michelle Obama, the Williams sisters, Beyoncé … people have to face black women in a very different way.” This shift is dramatised in a 2010 ad, where a white woman kneels in front of Serena Williams, offering up a gift. (It turns out to be a box of Tampax, but you know, it’s the thought that counts.)

FacebookTwitterPinterest\

It’s cool you have a job, but you still don’t have a penis

Between 1915–2015, the role of women in society changed dramatically, and you can track the cultural developments in the adverts’ visual shifts. In 1920, American women got the right to vote and suddenly they are pictured in ads driving cars. In the 40s, they are dressed as soldiers. Soon there are career women, working mothers, even lesbians! But as women become more empowered, advertising (largely the domain, even today, of white men) seems to punish them for it. Violence and objectification creep into the imagery; this is particularly evident in the 1960s where many of the ads show women decapitated, bruised, caged, or being pulled apart by men. You can count your freedoms, the images seem to say, but the sum of a woman still boils down to ageing skin and sexual orifices. This is perhaps best dramatised in the juxtaposition of two ads from 1952 and 1953. In the first you see a woman holding up her head in victory; she has just won an election. In the second, you see a woman with her head down; she is about to fellate a lipstick.

Hank Willis Thomas’s Unbranded: A century of white women, 1915-2015, shows at the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York until 23 May

[Forwarded by the MyLeftBlogosphere news engine. Link to original post below:]
Source: http://ift.tt/1bYPALP | Follow me on Facebook at http://ift.tt/1q5e4WC


Media’s Baltimore ‘Teen Purge’ Narrative is Falling Apart

Media’s Baltimore ‘Teen Purge’ Narrative is Falling Apart ::posted Thu, 30 Apr 2015 15:14:00 +0000:: http://ift.tt/1Q2ZA4S

Turns out the teen social media “purge” may have been more a police and media creation than an actual threat.

Early Monday afternoon, the Baltimore Sun (4/27/15) reported on a mass police presence that had descended on Baltimore’s Mondawmin Mall. The reason for this military-like occupation, pinning in high schoolers? A flier advocating a “purge”—a term based on the 2013 dystopian film The Purge, supposedly signifying an outbreak of lawlessness—was, according to the Sun, “widely circulated” among the students.

Surely the police had to come down hard because “teens” on “social media” had planned on doing something that in the past had turned out to be a hoax. Nevertheless, the Sun would do most of the PR heavy lifting, reporting on the “purge” as if it was an existential threat—pinning the incident entirely on this mysterious flier:

The incident stemmed from a flier that circulated widely among city school students via social media about a “purge” to take place at 3 p.m., starting at Mondawmin Mall and ending downtown.

The real-world, non-social media evidence of this purge?

When 3 p.m. came, 75 to 100 students heading to Mondawmin Mall were greeted by dozens of police officers in riot gear. The mall is a transportation hub for students from several nearby schools.

So the students left class (at they always do at 3 p.m.) and headed to Mondawmin Mall (as they always do at 3 p.m.) and were met with hundreds of police in riot rear. That’s not what you’d call a smoking gun.

As for the evidence of this “purge” spreading on social media? It’s murky at best. After getting vague responses from the Baltimore Sunreporters in question as to the actual, linked evidence that the flier had gone viral, I took to Twitter asking for evidence that evidence that the flier was spread by high school students before theSun tweeted it out.

After a few hours and a lot of searching, all that came back were two tweets (one of which is now deleted)—neither of which were from high schoolers, and both of which were upset by the idea of a “purge,” not promoting it. Even if one assumes that the flier actually did go viral on other social media (which it may well have–it’s more difficult to search Instagram andFacebook), the social media activity we could observe was sharing the flier in disgust—not to promote the “purge” at all.

The sharing of content is not, in itself, an indication of intent or support. (Indeed, if it were, we could assume CNN and other outlets that splash ISIS propaganda on their Twitter timelines are ISIS’s No. 1 fans.) So when theBaltimore Sun breathlessly observes that “the incident stemmed from a flier that circulated widely among city school students via social media about a ‘purge’ to take place at 3 p.m.,” it’s important to know whether the flier was being “circulated widely” by supporters or opponents. This is why, when reporting on social media trends, providing actual social media screengrabs and links is entirely helpful.

It’s unclear, though, whether the Baltimore Sun had any links to the original social media activity that its report centered on. Sun reporter Carrie Wells, who seems to be the first from the paper to tweet the photo after the Sun‘s story went live, told me she heard about the “purge” image because “a friend onFacebook said it was circulating around Instagram.”

“It’s been widely circulating”…“got word of it”…“other reports”: The murkiness and lack of identified primary source strips the story of context and, in doing so, creates a perception of actual danger that the proffered evidence doesn’t substantiate. Instead, our biases are allowed provide confirmation: Each time the story is told, assumptions about a certain class of high schooler (*cough* black *cough*) fill in the blanks, and the reader is ultimately left with the impression that a torrent of anarchist black youths were about to descended on Mondawmin Mall—thus justifying the police’s martial response.

But follow-up reports in Mother Jones and Gawker yesterday would further expose the “purge” fraud. As Meg Gibson, a Baltimore City school teacher at Belmont Elementary School, said in a Facebook conversation with Gawker (4/28/15):

I was at a stoplight in front of Frederick Douglass High School and directly across from Mondawmin Mall. It was exactly 3 p.m. The mall was on lockdown. There were police helicopters flying overhead. The riot police were already at the bus stop on the other side of the mall, turning buses that transport the students away, not allowing students to board.They were waiting for the kids. As I sat at the intersection of Gwynns Falls, I saw several police cars arriving at the scene. I saw the armored police vehicle arrive. Those kids were set up, they were treated like criminals before the first brick was thrown.

In a piece headlined “Eyewitnesses: The Baltimore Riots Didn’t Start the Way You Think,” Mother Jones (4/28/15) would provide further context, interviewing several of the parents and teachers that were there:

After Baltimore police and a crowd of teens clashed near the Mondawmin Mall in northwest Baltimore on Monday afternoon, news reports described the violence as a riot triggered by kids who had been itching for a fight all day. But in interviews with Mother Jones and other media outlets, teachers and parents maintain that police actions inflamed a tense-but-stable situation….

Said one Douglass High School teacher:

“When school was winding down, many students were leaving early with their parents or of their own accord.” Those who didn’t depart early, she says, were stranded. Many of the students still at school at that point, she notes, wanted to get out of the area and avoid any Purge-like violence. Some were requesting rides home from teachers. But by now, it was difficult to leave the neighborhood. “I rode with another teacher home,” this teacher recalls, “and we had to route our travel around the police in riot gear blocking the road.… The majority of my students thought what was going to happen was stupid or were frightened at the idea.

Had the Baltimore Sun sought out and published the actual social media sources, instead of cutting and pasting a screengrab from a friend onFacebook with “word” of a panic, they could have demonstrated whether the flier was being spread more in support or in disgust. Alas, in rushing to justify the police crackdown and to prop up the “both sides” parity our corporate media pathologically seek, they made assumptions about a viral orgy of violence and pinned the mid-afternoon clash entirely on the students and a barely readable “purge” flier of unknown origin.

[Forwarded by the MyLeftBlogosphere news engine. Link to original post below:]
Source: http://ift.tt/1Q2ZA4S | Follow me on Facebook at http://ift.tt/1q5e4WC


Media’s Baltimore ‘Teen Purge’ Narrative is Falling Apart

Media’s Baltimore ‘Teen Purge’ Narrative is Falling Apart ::posted Thu, 30 Apr 2015 15:14:00 +0000:: http://ift.tt/1Q2ZA4S

Turns out the teen social media “purge” may have been more a police and media creation than an actual threat.

Early Monday afternoon, the Baltimore Sun (4/27/15) reported on a mass police presence that had descended on Baltimore’s Mondawmin Mall. The reason for this military-like occupation, pinning in high schoolers? A flier advocating a “purge”—a term based on the 2013 dystopian film The Purge, supposedly signifying an outbreak of lawlessness—was, according to the Sun, “widely circulated” among the students.

Surely the police had to come down hard because “teens” on “social media” had planned on doing something that in the past had turned out to be a hoax. Nevertheless, the Sun would do most of the PR heavy lifting, reporting on the “purge” as if it was an existential threat—pinning the incident entirely on this mysterious flier:

The incident stemmed from a flier that circulated widely among city school students via social media about a “purge” to take place at 3 p.m., starting at Mondawmin Mall and ending downtown.

The real-world, non-social media evidence of this purge?

When 3 p.m. came, 75 to 100 students heading to Mondawmin Mall were greeted by dozens of police officers in riot gear. The mall is a transportation hub for students from several nearby schools.

So the students left class (at they always do at 3 p.m.) and headed to Mondawmin Mall (as they always do at 3 p.m.) and were met with hundreds of police in riot rear. That’s not what you’d call a smoking gun.

As for the evidence of this “purge” spreading on social media? It’s murky at best. After getting vague responses from the Baltimore Sunreporters in question as to the actual, linked evidence that the flier had gone viral, I took to Twitter asking for evidence that evidence that the flier was spread by high school students before theSun tweeted it out.

After a few hours and a lot of searching, all that came back were two tweets (one of which is now deleted)—neither of which were from high schoolers, and both of which were upset by the idea of a “purge,” not promoting it. Even if one assumes that the flier actually did go viral on other social media (which it may well have–it’s more difficult to search Instagram andFacebook), the social media activity we could observe was sharing the flier in disgust—not to promote the “purge” at all.

The sharing of content is not, in itself, an indication of intent or support. (Indeed, if it were, we could assume CNN and other outlets that splash ISIS propaganda on their Twitter timelines are ISIS’s No. 1 fans.) So when theBaltimore Sun breathlessly observes that “the incident stemmed from a flier that circulated widely among city school students via social media about a ‘purge’ to take place at 3 p.m.,” it’s important to know whether the flier was being “circulated widely” by supporters or opponents. This is why, when reporting on social media trends, providing actual social media screengrabs and links is entirely helpful.

It’s unclear, though, whether the Baltimore Sun had any links to the original social media activity that its report centered on. Sun reporter Carrie Wells, who seems to be the first from the paper to tweet the photo after the Sun‘s story went live, told me she heard about the “purge” image because “a friend onFacebook said it was circulating around Instagram.”

“It’s been widely circulating”…“got word of it”…“other reports”: The murkiness and lack of identified primary source strips the story of context and, in doing so, creates a perception of actual danger that the proffered evidence doesn’t substantiate. Instead, our biases are allowed provide confirmation: Each time the story is told, assumptions about a certain class of high schooler (*cough* black *cough*) fill in the blanks, and the reader is ultimately left with the impression that a torrent of anarchist black youths were about to descended on Mondawmin Mall—thus justifying the police’s martial response.

But follow-up reports in Mother Jones and Gawker yesterday would further expose the “purge” fraud. As Meg Gibson, a Baltimore City school teacher at Belmont Elementary School, said in a Facebook conversation with Gawker (4/28/15):

I was at a stoplight in front of Frederick Douglass High School and directly across from Mondawmin Mall. It was exactly 3 p.m. The mall was on lockdown. There were police helicopters flying overhead. The riot police were already at the bus stop on the other side of the mall, turning buses that transport the students away, not allowing students to board.They were waiting for the kids. As I sat at the intersection of Gwynns Falls, I saw several police cars arriving at the scene. I saw the armored police vehicle arrive. Those kids were set up, they were treated like criminals before the first brick was thrown.

In a piece headlined “Eyewitnesses: The Baltimore Riots Didn’t Start the Way You Think,” Mother Jones (4/28/15) would provide further context, interviewing several of the parents and teachers that were there:

After Baltimore police and a crowd of teens clashed near the Mondawmin Mall in northwest Baltimore on Monday afternoon, news reports described the violence as a riot triggered by kids who had been itching for a fight all day. But in interviews with Mother Jones and other media outlets, teachers and parents maintain that police actions inflamed a tense-but-stable situation….

Said one Douglass High School teacher:

“When school was winding down, many students were leaving early with their parents or of their own accord.” Those who didn’t depart early, she says, were stranded. Many of the students still at school at that point, she notes, wanted to get out of the area and avoid any Purge-like violence. Some were requesting rides home from teachers. But by now, it was difficult to leave the neighborhood. “I rode with another teacher home,” this teacher recalls, “and we had to route our travel around the police in riot gear blocking the road.… The majority of my students thought what was going to happen was stupid or were frightened at the idea.

Had the Baltimore Sun sought out and published the actual social media sources, instead of cutting and pasting a screengrab from a friend onFacebook with “word” of a panic, they could have demonstrated whether the flier was being spread more in support or in disgust. Alas, in rushing to justify the police crackdown and to prop up the “both sides” parity our corporate media pathologically seek, they made assumptions about a viral orgy of violence and pinned the mid-afternoon clash entirely on the students and a barely readable “purge” flier of unknown origin.

[Forwarded by the MyLeftBlogosphere news engine. Link to original post below:]
Source: http://ift.tt/1Q2ZA4S | Follow me on Facebook at http://ift.tt/1q5e4WC


“History Is Finally Moving On”: Tom Hayden on Thawing of U.S.-Cuba Relations Despite GOP Opposition

“History Is Finally Moving On”: Tom Hayden on Thawing of U.S.-Cuba Relations Despite GOP Opposition ::posted Thu, 30 Apr 2015 12:33:33 +0000:: http://ift.tt/1EuRKvW mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)

In a wide-ranging discussion, Tom Hayden, author of the new book, “Listen, Yankee!: Why Cuba Matters,” argues the United States and Cuba have much more in common than a 55-year disagreement. This comes as Republicans have launched an attempt to block President Obama’s efforts to restore U.S.-Cuba diplomatic relations for the first time in half a century with proposed legislation to stop new travel to Cuba from the United States. The bill would block the licensing of new flights and cruise ship routes to Cuba if the landing strip or dock is located on land confiscated by the Cuban government. Despite such efforts, Hayden says, “Travel is being expanded. You will be able to use your credit cards. The beaches will be open to tourists instead of tanks. History is finally moving on.” He recalls his interviews with former senior U.S. officials on why the Obama administration is trying to end the embargo and remove Cuba from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism, and also discusses the Cuban missile crisis, the Cuban 5 and how the U.S. has sheltered Cuban exiles who were at virtual war with Cuba. Hayden’s book is based in part on conversations with Ricardo Alarcón, the former foreign minister of Cuba and past president of the Cuban National Assembly.

[Forwarded by the MyLeftBlogosphere news engine. Link to original post below:]
Source: http://ift.tt/1EuRKvW | Follow me on Facebook at http://ift.tt/1q5e4WC