Tag Archives: ethnicity

Intentional Americans

U.S. Flag There are many wonderful things I could say about the HBO documentary “Citizen USA: A 50-State Road Trip“, but here is a quote from newly naturalized citizen and intentional American Zeenath Larsen that captures not just one of the primary reasons people to come to the US (legally and illegally), but a valuable message for US-born American citizens (especially those who think immigrants come to the US just to steal jobs, collect welfare, and commit crimes), the politicians who are looking to influence, lead, and win over the support of the people, and any American who has ever taken America for granted (me included):

“The bottom line is that your country and you have to be on the same page where values are considered, principles are considered, what you believe in. And if that is not the case, then it’s… you may be born somewhere and brought up somewhere, but then you don’t feel that same type of loyalty. Because loyalty comes through ideas, not through the earth, not through mud and trees and hills. That’s the same everywhere in the world. Is there any country in the world that has it enshrined in the constitution that you have a right to be happy?”

And to underline the point even more, note that Larsen is originally from Pakistan. Food for thought– check out the trailer for “Citizen USA” below:

The Daily Show on DC, NPR, Juan Williams

Excellent (as usual) Daily Show segment on the NPR/Juan Williams firing. I already tweeted the hilarious part on DC’s city design/architecture (do you know how to navigate a roundabout?), especially re: all of the columns on the buildings– “… simultaneously magnificent and useless… like they designed the whole thing as a metaphor.” But the best part is discussion between Team Black and Team Muslim, having fun by playing on the irrational fear of Blacks and Muslims, culminating with Aasif Mandvi’s response to the accusation that their behavior only feeds into things:

“If they’re not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?”

Nail Salon Stereotypes

I was looking up Platino pedicure chairs for a friend and found something amusing: the spatech website includes documentation (installation instructions, specs, etc.) on equipment and for this chair, they have non-English versions. The languages the documentation comes in? Korean and Vietnamese.

While nail salons are stereotyped as being owned and run by Korean and Vietnamese people, but there’s always some truth to a stereotype. For example, I am related to people who own and run a dry cleaners, a nail salon and a liquor store. My parents even owned a grocery store back in the day.

Is it racist?

From the Comedy Central show Tosh.0:

I didn’t think a show about web videos would be interesting since I’m not a fan of “wrap-up” shows and I think it’s weird when you people use TV to talk about things from the Internet– it’s like they’re dumbing down computers and the Internet to make it more accessible via television because staring at a TV screen is easier than staring at a monitor.

In any case, I gave the show a shot because I love Daniel Tosh and the show is actually pretty entertaining. And yes, I actually find exactly what I thought I wouldn’t like– using TV to “wrap-up” popular web content– useful since I don’t usually have time to troll the Internet for funny videos. And the Tosh.0 blog is actually a nice complement to the show itself, without being redundant. Give it a shot.

Here’s Daniel Tosh’s hilarious follow up to the above video:

Tosh.0 Thurs, 10pm / 9c
Reviewing Tosh’s Assets
Daniel Tosh Miss Teen South Carolina Demi Moore Picture

Living in a coed interacial world, part 1: Negotiating

After passing on my chance to be on Montel last week, in an curious act of good timing, I’ve been reading a lot of articles on the web about studies that are looking at some very interesting phenomena when it comes to race, gender, ethnicity, and social class.* I’ve been posting them on my Linkroll, but I really wanted to highlight a few. So here’s the first in a series of posts:

Salary, Gender and the Social Cost of Haggling – washingtonpost.com

This article is from back in July, but it’s a very interesting read about some studies that have been looking at how much women negotiate (such as for salary or promotions) versus men and how women and men who neogitate are perceived by others. In the first set of studies, Professor of Economics Linda C. Babcock from Carnegie Melon (one of my alma maters) looked at, in both experimental and real world settings, how often women negotiated versus men– the not very surprising answer (at least to me) was than men negotiate significantly more than women do, even in experiments where subjects were explicitly told they could negotiate for higher compensation for their participation. In another set of studies, Babcock teamed up with Hannah Riley Bowles from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government to look at how men and women who negotiated were perceived by others. These studies found that the women were often considered “less nice,” less desirable to work with, and, in general, penalized if they chose to negotiate; men were less likely to be penalized, if at all. This was the case for both men and women observers (*sigh* the sisterhood has failed us again).

Traditional explanations for this disparity include long-held ideas that men are naturally more aggressive and that, whether its nature or nurture, women are less assertive. However, the second study sheds light on other motivators for the gender disparity. It shows that women’s tendency to NOT negotiate is a direct response to negative feedback in the social environment– there are real social risks for negotiating and women take them into serious consideration when choosing whether to negotiate. I, or any other woman, might say, “How important is this raise or promotion?” Women must assess the risk being taken simply by asking (never mind the probability of actually getting the raise or promotion). In fact, regardless of how successful a negotiation is, women know that they will ultimately pay a price for choosing to negotiate at all.

In the end, these studies give us a new way, a stepping stone to determine what’s behind and ultimately find a solution to close the salary gap, remove the double-standard for acceptable behavior, and, hopefully achieve greater equality overall.

Read the full article for more details on how the studies were conducted and their results.

* Note: social class is often ignored in many of these types of studies because we make the unfortunate assumption, consciously or not, that all members of certain racial/ethnic groups automatically belong to certain social classes. On one hand, given our nation’s history, social class still tends to correlate highly with racial/ethnic background, tempting to take the high correlation as reason enough to roll up social class with race/ethnicity. Not only is that racist and prejudiced at heart, but it is poor scientific work by unfairly trying to simplify the resulting complexities that result when all these variables– race, ethnicity, gender, and social class– come together.