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>Racism Still Seen in Restaurants

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Julianne Hing

Racism’s Stinking Up New York City’s Restaurants [VIDEO]

Take a moment and think back to the last time you were at a sit-down restaurant. Who seated you? Who took your order, brought out your food? And who cleared the table and refilled your water? Do these roles tend to break down along certain race and gender lines in the restaurants you eat at?

Ever wonder why a lot of restaurant work positions are split along clearly racialized and gendered lines? Or have a hunch but no numbers to back up your suspicions? The Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY) released a study this week about race and gender discrimination in restaurant hiring practices.

Rinku blogged about the findings over at HuffPo:

Although there were some terrible stories of blatant racism and sexism (we’re only looking for Italian looking men today), the lead investigator Mark Bendick pointed out that most of the behavior was heavily coded and not obviously intentional. These days, people know that blatant discrimination is illegal and they take pains not to go there. But our unconscious biases persist and become deeply embedded in restaurant culture in the notion that diners want pretty servers, and pretty means white, or that diners find French accents more charming than Mexican ones.

As much as I can accept that restaurants want to control the image they’re selling with their food, decor and wait staff, I don’t buy that as an excuse to discriminate against people of color and women. AND I take particular issue with the idea that attractive equals white, and that back of the house workers are expected to be people of color. Is this really what consumers want?

Continue reading “Racism’s Stinking Up New York City’s Restaurants [VIDEO]”

Posted at 5:45 PM, Apr 02, 2009 in Permalink | Comment first


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Guest Columnist

Oakland’s Young People Respond [VIDEO]

by Nick James, Charles McDonald

This past November Oakland voters approved a measure that would increase funding to after school programs and services, overwhelmingly supporting youth of color. Unfortunately, after the election some members of the council passed a resolution to repeal the mandate of the electorate, claiming the tough economic times would be forcing the city to scale back and make sacrifices to much needed successful programming and services directed towards Oakland youth.

The interviews above were shot an Oakland City Council meeting on Measure OO. These are the stories of people living, working, and attending school in Oakland. Theses are their thoughts regarding recent tragedy that rocked a community, and their hopes and vision for the future. They are not naive to the deep rooted issues that Oaklander’s face everyday, but through their commitment to the principles of justice, equity, and democracy they learn how to heal, build, and sustain community for tomorrow’s leaders. They also demand our city officials have the will to go to any measures to ensure adequate economic investment in the development of Oakland families, children, and youth.

Nick James is Director of Special Projects for the East Bay nonprofit Youth Together. He was born, raised, and currently living in Oakland.

Charles McDonald is the Statewide Alliance Organizer for the Education and Racial Justice nonprofit, Californians for Justice. He lives in Oakland, California.

Posted at 10:58 AM, Apr 02, 2009 in Criminal Justice | education | Permalink | Comment first

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>You’ve Been Discriminated Against — Are You Black, Yellow, Green, Indian, Illegal Alien, or Poor

>If you are one of the above you shouldn’t start yelling your head off. I will broaden the group — if you find it difficult to make money on the Internet — even when they promise something that isn’t true — you should look at this.

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>Who Came To America First: Black Slaves or White Slaves?

>White slaves pre-dated black slaves in America. As early as the Jamestown experiment, England emptied its jails of white slaves, sending them to America and Australia. Black slaves came later.

For a complete story about this, with footnotes and references, see our blog called Family History http://ChristensenWhite.blogspot.com

But did you know that there were some 50,000 white slaves working on America’s tobacco plantations in the fifteenth century? Many of these were released after they served their time of servitude. As soon as a white slave arrived in America, he was placed on the auction block — probably in irons — and wealthy farmers bid on them just as you would bid on a piece of property.

Most of those white slaves, once emancipated, moved to the southern states and made up a large part of what we now consider the “Red Necks” of the South. The South during the Civil War consisted of many of these so-called
Red Necks or descendants of slaves, along with landed gentry. When you understand this piece of American history, you better understand why the people of the south are far more conservative, and suspicious of a black president and attorney general, than those people living north of the Mason-Dixon line.

No, the Reverend Jeramiah Wright, Obama’s good friend, did not grow up as a son of slaves. He lived in Pennsylvania and blacks up there lived as free men, even during the Civil War.

The “Red Necks”, or fliers of the Confederate flag, have served in every war, have been patriotic to the U.S. Constitution, and have not rioted in the streets of Chicago, New York, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco as have the blacks of this country. Generally, they are far more literate and peace loving than blacks. But there are many descendants of “Red Necks” who are poor in America.

How did they assimilate better than the Blacks in American traditions and society. Because they came from Great Britain where English was spoken and mores, religion, and customs which Americans adopted were taught. For this reason, it has been far more difficult for American Blacks to merge into the melting pot. They came from Africa and their standard of living was far behind that of Great Britain and other European Countries from whence came most of our White Americans.

People like Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barak Obama would disagree with this position, however. Holder has an article in the Wall Street Journal today that points out that although Blacks have the vote, the Whites do not totally accept Black people as they do Whites. I don’t think that is true, but even if it were it is probably very understandable. People are exclusive animals by nature, both Whites and Blacks. That doesn’t make it right.

There may be some substance to this remark by Holder, but times are not half as tough on Blacks, or on White former slaves, as they were in the 1960s in America. I would honor and appreciate any conflicting views. Click the comment key below and sound off!