Morgane Richardson

is a professional feminist, lecturer, freelance blogger and birth doula who addresses race, gender, and sexuality in today’s society... without dwelling on theorists and terminology.

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Students Start Racist Protests After Election Result

On Tuesday, November 6th, 2012, the American people watched as President Barack Obama was re-elected. Though some rejoiced while others cursed in frustration, groups of students around the country gathered on their campuses to shout racial epithets and threats of physical violence to students of color.

At Hampden-Sydney College in Richmond, Virginia, 40 students “shouted racial slurs, threw bottles and set off fireworks outside the Minority Student Union within hours after President Barack Obama’s re-election,” says Steve Szkotak of the Huffington Post (According to Think Progress, the school’s president, who is black, sent an email to students’ parents calling the incident a “harmful, senseless episode,” but it is not clear whether he had plans for disciplinary action). At a protest at the University of Mississippi on Tuesday night, 400 people shouted racial slurs. Only two were arrested.

And in NYC, 16 year old High School student, Ricky Catanzaro, tweeted, “No n—– should lead this country!!! #Romney” followed by, “Only thing black people are good at is basketball #run #shot #steal,” says the NY Daily News.

The extent of these racist acts stands as a morbid example of the verbal and physical violence students of color endure on campuses across the country.

It is not enough to set up perimeters banning racist language on campus, for while those barriers may silence the most racist of students at school, most students will return home with the same racist ideologies they hold in their mind. Instead, there needs to be a fundamental shift in the ways we are teaching students about identities. Students should have the opportunity to ask questions about communities outside of their own, and address the stereotypes that have been created by the societies they live in.

Originally Posted at Refuse The Silence. 

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Getting Jumped In An Alley Has Never Been This Much Fun? Not really.

Advertisment by: Bowlmore Lanes
Photo by: @ericstephenbias

A student of mine at Hunter College recently sent a tweet with an image of an advertisement for Bowlmore Lanes featuring a scantily dressed woman mounting a man who is bowling with the caption “Getting Jumped In An Alley Has Never Been This Much Fun.” 

In the last fifteen years, the world has been told to believe that New York City has become a safer place, free of much of the crime and violence that used to occupy it’s streets. Yet, according to the NYTimes,

The number of rapes and attempted rapes recorded citywide so far this year has increased by more than 4 percent, to 1,058, according to Police Department statistics. The vast majority of those crimes involved a suspect and a victim who knew each other: about 12 percent of rapes involved strangers, according to statistics provided by Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman.

With a rise in violent crimes, the city doesn’t need more advertismenets that make light of assault on people’s bodies. 

NOW-NYC feels the same way and has requested that these ad’s be removed stating, 

The ad attempts to poke fun at a serious issue - rape - and instead invokes the “just get over it ladies!” kind of attitude we’ve heard again and again this summer from our lawmakers, comedians, and other public figures. With ads like this, how can rape be taken seriously? Enough with the ads that confuse sex and rape and make that OK.

Tell the MTA to remove this ad from our city subways: mta-nyc.custhelp.com or call 511

Call out CBSOutdoor, the company responsible for subway ad space: 800.926.8834 or cbsoutdoor.com/contact.aspx

Call out Bowlmor CEO Tom Shannon on his ad: tshannon@bowlmor.com, 212-777-2214

The Bowlmor CEO, Tom Shannon, has responded in defense of the advertisment saying “The ad is humorous and flirtatious, ” he said, according to Jezebel. “NOW’s position on this is extreme and laughable.”

In response to an email from Huffington Post, the Shannon went on to say: 

We are surprised and disappointed that our recent advertisement - intended to be a humorous play on the words “bowling alley” - has been misinterpreted to advocate violence against women. Our company - consisting of hundreds of talented men and women - does not support abuse or violence in any form. Since its inception, Bowlmor Lanes has strived to be socially responsible and offer a family-friendly environment to our customers. We offer our sincere apologies to anyone who was offended by this advertisement. The campaign in question was scheduled to run throughout Aug. 2012, and is no longer in circulation. There are no plans to generate this campaign again.

So why are these ad’s still up in NYC? It’s time to take action and reach out to the CEO of Bowlmore lanes and the company responsible for subway advertisements to have these removed once and for all. 

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