Sunday, October 3, 2010

From around the interwebs...

I link therefore I am...

Entrepreneurs rise in the ashes of India's caste system (NY Times)
"While in the south lower caste members concentrated on economic development and education as a route to prosperity, in the north the chief aim of caste-based groups has been political power and its spoils. As a result India’s northern lower castes tend to be less educated and less prosperous than their southern counterparts. Charismatic leaders in the north from lower castes have used caste identity as a way to mobilize voters, winning control over several large north Indian states. Caste so thoroughly permeates politics in the northern half of the world’s largest democracy that it is often said that people don’t cast their vote; they vote their caste."

Racism Is Still Alive And Well In Online Comment Sections (NewsOne)
"Although you rarely hear racial insults on Main Street these days, there’s a place where unashamed bigotry is all too easy to find: tossed off in the comments sections of some of the Internet’s most popular websites, today’s virtual Main Street. Internet anonymity has removed one of the strongest barriers to the type of language that can ruin reputations and end careers.
Do these comments reflect a reversal of racial progress? Is that progress an illusion while racism thrives underground? What kind of harm are these statements doing? Could there be any value in such venting? And what, if anything, should a free society do about it?"

Silenced in court (The Age)
"Of course, Bolt tackles the issue with trademark belligerence. The merits of his argument will now be tested in court. But put aside the conservative commentator. This isn't about the collected works and opinions of Andrew Bolt. And put aside the complexities of racial identity, Aboriginality and reconciliation.
This case is troubling because of what it says about our right to freedom of speech. If successful - or just really expensive to defend - this lawsuit could have a stifling effect on political debate."

Morrisey's parochialism echoes the whole indie tribe (The Guardian)
'Last Saturday, there were small-scale tremors in response to an interview in the Guardian's Weekend magazine, where, musing on the far eastern meat trade, he claimed that Chinese people are a "subspecies". There followed the usual trawls through his cuttings file, where plenty of material awaited. From 1986: "To get on Top Of The Pops these days one has to be, by law, black." Circa 1992: "I don't really think … black people and white people will ever really get on or like each other." And what about this peach, uttered three years ago? "The higher the influx into England, the more the British identity disappears."'

Response: Indie music is not the only genre that has erected racial barriers (The Guardian)
"However, the unpleasant fact is that this is part of a larger picture in rock'n'roll, even though the genre owes its very existence to musicians such as Chuck Berry and his peers.
In America, unfortunately, white rock has always been considered as art, and black music as commerce."

The Aussie card (The Australian)
'What is it about us that draws such adoration? Is it our laconic humour, our relaxed manner, the sense of freedom we exude? Is it Steve Irwin? Is it that we are without the prejudices of those from older countries, who are often burdened with historical baggage and ideologies? Is it just that we’re perceived as kind? Even though we’re notoriously bad tippers, I’ve heard many times how nice we are. “Aussies treat us like equals,” I was told by a hotel bellboy.'

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