Intercultural Communications: Curiosity vs Empathy, Appreciation vs Anti-Racism

 When I write about attending cultural events or ethnic restaurants with my son, I often hear Carmen Van Kerhove’s voice in my head (not literally, but from her blogs, anti-racist parent and racialicious) saying “Enough of the Celebrating, time to get down to business!”  I believe that the appreciation or curiosity about other cultures (as opposed…

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32 Adon Olams: Jewish Cultural Traditions Transcend Generations and National Borders

I’m used to the anthropological idea of cultural equivalence when talking about things like translation or  kreplach versus tortellini, but I found the presumably viral listing of 32+ versions of the Jewish prayer song “Adon Olum” that showed up in my in-box today fascinating.  For a ‘people’ who were almost eradicated by the Holocaust and who have only had a homeland for 60 years,…

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Microsoft Race Swap in Ad…Who Cares?

 Did you hear about the controversy around the “Microsoft Photo Swap” last month?  Microsoft turned a black man into a white man using Photoshop to reuse a photo on a website that ran in Polish, intended exclusively for Poland.  Not sure of any backlash in Poland, but people in the US found out, expressed outrage, and Microsoft apologized…

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Hopefully You Complained About Obama AFTER Your Own School Speech

Obama’s school visit this week is very reminiscent of a program we have in Chicago, called the Black Star Project–the project is all about black male adults serving as role models for black children.  In fact, that’s Secrectary of Education Arne Duncan in the photo above in 2008 in Chicago, participating in the Million Father…

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