Boing Boing 

GOP "kingmaker" proposes enslavement as an answer to undocumented migrants

Jan Mickelson hosts one of Iowa's top talk-radio shows and has entertained many of the GOP's nomination hopefuls who want his endorsement for the all-important Iowa primary.

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Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies lose big at the Hugos UPDATED

Cixin Liu's "Three Body Problem" is the first-ever translation to win Best Novel; meanwhile, the uprecedented effort to put together an organized slate of science fiction that appealed to sexist (Sad Puppies) and misogynist/white supremacist (Rabid Puppies) and homophobic (both) orthodoxy to sweep the Hugos was a flop.

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America does a better job of tracking bee deaths than deaths in police custody

Michael from Muckrock writes, "The federal government has a pretty good picture of where bees are dying across America, with two federal agencies collaborating on a systematic, scientifically-rigorous, long-term look at the problem, particularly important given the danger that colony collapse disorder presented."

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The End of the Internet Dream: the speech that won Black Hat (and Defcon)

"The End of the Internet Dream," cyberlawyer Jennifer Granick's keynote at Black Hat, was all anyone could talk about at this year's Defcon -- Black Hat being the grown-up, buttoned-down, military-industrial cousin to Defcon's wild and exuberant anarchy.

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Nichelle Nichols: Lieutenant Uhura's Starship Enterprise Star Trek workout

In an amazing set of photos from the Desilu studios set of the original Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols (" Lieutenant Uhura") epitomizes grace, athleticism and poise.

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Trickle-down kids' TV: Sesame Street will air on HBO 9 months before PBS

A show conceived to help low-income kids keep up with their affluent peers will now be "paywalled so that rich kids can watch it before poor kids can."

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Memory Palace podcast about a Confederate monument honoring a real racist


Nate DiMeo, host of the always excellent Memory Palace podcast, points us to the new episode "about the history of the Nathan Bedford Forrest monument (and Confederate monuments in general) that the city of Memphis is planning on moving from a prominent place downtown to a nearby cemetery, because Forrest was, essentially, a racist monster."

The Memory Palace: Episode 73

Pointer Sister's collection of terrible and important black memorabilia


Anita Pointer, vocalist for famed 1980s R&B group The Pointer Sisters, is also a major collector of black memorabilia, from racist caricature cookie jars and mechanical banks to slave shackles and disturbing children’s books like Ten Little Niggers and Little Black Sambo.

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What's it like to be a black anime fan?

Image credit: VICE

Image credit: VICE

Japanese cartoons often draw so many fans from the West because of their broad spectrum of possibility and visual diversity: Aliens, transforming princesses, warriors with absurd weapons. But it's strikingly rare to see a person of color in anime, and stereotypes abound where they do appear.

At VICE, Cecilia D'Anastasio spoke to a number of black anime fans and cosplayers about negotiating the strange space between animation fan culture and white geekdom, and sheds light on some of the interesting ways anime and identity intersect for black fans:

Are there any characters you identified with as a black person growing up in America? Afro Samurai. That plays into what I said earlier. As a minority, my mom always said you have three strikes against you: You're a man so they won't go easy on you. You're foreign (I was born in South America). And you're black. So you have to work extra hard cause you have those things going against you. As a community, you're trying to do better because stuff isn't in your favor. Afro Samurai is about how [Samuel Jackson's character] has the number-two headband and he wants to defeat the man with the number-one headband, so he can be the best. That metaphor goes so deep.

Were there any other characters you identified with? Piccolo [the green alien from Dragonball Z] is black. He is. In the main group of the Dragonball Z fighters, there wasn't a black one, but there was a green one. He was token. You can see him being a black man instead of a green man and you wouldn't think twice about it. He has to work extra hard just to keep up with Goku. Goku is just naturally good.

Dragonball Z comes up often in the article. I learned that RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan wrote at length in The Tao of Wu about relating to the character of Goku and his Saiyan race as a parallel with black America.

The interviewer also speaks to young black women who cosplay as iconic characters like Sailor Moon in the face of backlash. Read D'Anastasio's whole piece, "What Black Anime Fans Can Teach Us About Race in America".

Privatized, for-profit immigration detention centers force detainees to work for $1-3/day

"We have a name for locking people up and forcing them to do real work without wages. It's called slavery."

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Invisibility Blues: Help open up the conversation about race in games

"We want to open up a conversation about race in video games," write Dr. Samantha Blackmon and Alisha Karabinus in a Kickstarter video for Invisibility Blues, a proposed video series exploring racial representation in the world of gaming. It's an issue that comes up often at Offworld, but as the video notes:

Writers, critics, academics, and journalists have been talking about race in video games for years, and yet the representation of people of color in gaming hardly seems to improve. When PoC are presented, many lack nuance. Sometimes, they are completely missing from game worlds, or, if present, are relegated to background roles. We want to create a video series exploring the best examples of diverse characterizations, the worst, and the whole spectrum between.

Blackmon, an Associate Professor of English at Purdue University, and Karabinus, Purdue PhD student, are also writers for Not Your Mama’s Gamer, a diversity-focused games website founded by Blackmon that features analysis from numerous female academics. Although they've created videos for the website before, they want to launch Invisibility Blue as a dedicated series, with five episodes in mind:

--Character Generation Engines and Representation
--Reactions to Games Critics on Representation
--Women of Color and Intersectionality
--Indigenous Populations in North America
--Race and Fantasy Games

They hope to raise $4,500 to help cover production costs, their research and analysis, and stipends for the consultants and academics whose voices they wish to include. Currently, the campaign is a bit over the halfway mark, with only eight days to go.

Database: Old newspaper ads searching for loved ones lost to slavery

The Southwestern Christian Advocate ran its "Lost Friends" page from 1877 until "well into the first decade of the twentieth century."

The Historic New Orleans Collection has scanned 330 of these ads and made them available in a searchable database. They're not only an indispensable geneological and historical tool; they're also a powerful reminder of the bloody racial history of America.

Two dollars in 1880 bought a yearlong subscription to the Southwestern Christian Advocate, a newspaper published in New Orleans by the Methodist Book Concern and distributed to nearly five hundred preachers, eight hundred post offices, and more than four thousand subscribers in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas. The "Lost Friends" column, which ran from the paper's 1877 inception well into the first decade of the twentieth century, featured messages from individuals searching for loved ones lost in slavery.

This searchable database provides access to more than 330 advertisements that appeared in the Southwestern Christian Advocate between November 1879 and December 1880. Digital reproductions of the Lost Friends ads are courtesy of Hill Memorial Library, Louisiana State University Libraries.

Lost Friends: Advertisements from the Southwestern Christian Advocate [Historic New Orleans Collection]

(via Making Light)

Trump says he'll win the Latino vote


Trump today: “I’ll win the Latino vote because I’ll create jobs. I’ll create jobs and the Latinos will have jobs they didn’t have, I’ll do better on that vote than anybody, I will win that vote."

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McKinney, TX wants $79K to retreive emails of the cop who tackled bikini-clad teen

McKinney is Texas's worst-ranked city for open records requests, and says that it will have to hire a programmer to write entirely new code to search its old, "unsearchable" email system for the emails of Officer Eric Casebolt, who made headlines by tackling a young black girl in a bikini at a pool party and threatening her with his gun.

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How we developed a black woman protagonist who mattered

Diverse characters are important, even in mobile shooters and other surprising genresRead the rest

Why parents in Cincinnati camp out for 16 days to get a kindergarten spot

Scarce kindergarten places at magnet schools like the Fairview-Clifton German Language School are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to parents who camp out for weeks, clearing their tents every morning so the kids won't be disturbed by the tent-city on the school's lawn.

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