Beyond Liking on Facebook: Taking Action for Social Change and The Montessori School of Englewood

Below are two stories, one about taking action for social change (like really taking action—not just liking something on Facebook) and the other story is about how media can perpetuate negative stereotypes (and how important it is to see something firsthand before passing judgment.)  Both stories are interwoven here because 1.) The stories converge, albeit…

“Latino Express” Label Inspires Cries of Racism, White Supremacy, Mediocrity

 “Mommy, do you think this is racist? “Leaving the museum yesterday, as we were getting on the bus, there was a line of buses, and one was called the Latino Express, and only Latino and African American kids were getting on it.  The other students, and even my teacher thought it was racist.  I…

Who’s the Smartest Guy at BYU this Year?

I found this fun parody of the new and wildly successful Old Spice spokesman, a promotional piece for the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young Univisity on adfreak.com last week.  While it should have been a simple, pithy post, I’ve obsessed for seven days about whether or not to post it. Why?  Because my…

The Black Man in Tuxedo Does Not Work Here and Other Unconscious Biases

You’re at a black tie event.  You’re looking for the restroom.  Who do you ask? “Me,” joked our new friend who spontaneously joined us at our table at a recent black-tie-event, jovially laughing at the third time in the last 10 minutes he’d been asked for directions.  “It’s hard to be a black man in…

Shoulder Pads, Affirmative Action and Cliched Views of Race

Quick.  Gut answer.  If you see an African American and a Caucasian person debating Affirmative Action, which side of the fence  would you imagine each is on? As students prepare to return to college for the fall, an article on NPR last week explored “Affirmative Action:  How Far Have We Come?” reflecting on the case…

“Pleading ignorance should no longer be an excuse for cultural stereotyping”

This line is actually the closing for an editorial in the Greenbay Pressgazette last week about a radio station that pulled a song it had played regularly for weeks, when listeners raised questions and the Menominee tribe said it would pull its advertising: WIXX (101.1FM) rightly decided to stop airing a peculiar 1950s ballad about a love-struck…

Cute Racoons? Think Again! Racial-Ethnic Stereotypes Abound in Furry Vengeance

Remember the 1958 film The Blob, with its big red amorphous goo rolling and taking over the town, absorbing the minds of young people who were not strong enough to resist?  Of course the “BIG RED BLOB” was none too subtle a reference to the Red Scare and fear of Communism taking over the US.  Russia’s…