Archive for December 1st, 2009

…unless you’re an illegal immigrant.  According to the Houston Chronicle, some Houston charities are requiring that parents show photo identification/proof of citizenship before their children get toys:


“Those who do check immigration status or other qualifications say they are trying to ensure they make the best decisions about whom to help.  ‘We want to be good stewards, so the people that are donating to us trust we’re going to do the right thing,’ said Sonya Scott, manager of care ministries at West Houston Assistance Ministries.”

As Christopher Hitchens likes to say: Actually, sunshine, we’ll be the judge of that.

Actually, Ms. Scott, when I put my pocket change in that little red bucket outside of Stop & Shop, I don’t earmark it for white, U.S.-born kids.  And I’m sure there aren’t many donations to your organization that come with terms of use.  There aren’t some needy kids who deserve a moment of happiness more than other needy kids.  I put my money in because I’d like all of them to benefit from the generosity of charities like yours.  Ok, I also like hearing the guy ring the bell.  But it’s mostly the first thing.

Finally I’ll say that for me, when generally virtuous organizations adopt policies of racism, classism, and xenophobia it really feels like a hostage situation.  You can’t feel great supporting them anymore, and for obvious reasons you can’t feel great boycotting them.  It’s plain manipulation, intentional or not.  And it’s the worst kind of betrayal when community organizers manipulate and marginalize those in their own community.


UPDATE: The article also accuses the Salvation Army of participating in the discrimination.  A rep from the organization later said that they only require SSNs to prevent fraud.  A couple of other organization made similar statements.  What do you think?  Legit or bullshit?


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Sixteen Candles

A few nights ago I sat down with my whole family to watch a movie: Sixteen Candles directed by John Hughes (who also gave us Home Alone and the Breakfast Club)

I don’t know what it was about this PG rated “sweet and funny” (Roger Ebert) teen classic; maybe it was the fact that when it came time for “the geek” to rape the beautiful, passed out prom queen, nobody gave it a second thought.  That when the “jock but actually a really nice guy” character says “I can get a piece of ass anytime I want. Shit, I’ve got Caroline in the bedroom right now, passed out cold. I could violate her ten different ways if I wanted to,” it’s taken as a sign of his great maturity and sweetness that he doesn’t in fact violate her “ten different ways”  …rather than a sign that he isn’t a rapist and a criminal. That aforementioned Carolina clearly deserves to be raped, after all, she’s a beautiful cheerleader, and it’s about time the tables turned!

I won’t even go into the racism; suffice to say there is a foreign exchange student from China named Long Duck Dong.

If this is a PG rated classic, the kind of movie we show to twelve year olds, the kind of movie a whole family watches together on thanksgiving, the kind of sweet nostalgic movie taken as the antithesis of the violent, misogynistic, torture porn and regular porn and all the other garbage my mom finds so offensive…and it’s blatantly endorsing sexual abuse.

Well, I guess I already knew we lived in a rape culture…


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