Racism in The Simpsons

The long-running animated series The Simpsons features a character named Apu, an Indian man who works at the local convenience store and is a close friend of the family. When the show first aired in 1989, the character was instantly beloved by viewers and rose to be one of its most popular characters. However, as almost 30 years as past, Apu has become more and more controversial. Last year, Indian-American comic Hari Kondabolu released a documentary titled The Problem with Apu, in which he criticized the character for essentializing a group of people and fueling bullying of and racism towards … Read more

Civil What?

Our high schools just aren’t pulling their weight when it comes to teaching about the Civil War and the role of slavery in shaping American society. A report released by the Southern Poverty Law Center on February 1st found that only 8 percent of high school seniors can identify slavery as the central cause of the Civil War. Not only that, but two-thirds of high school seniors were unaware that it took a constitutional amendment to formally end slavery, and fewer than 1 in 4 students can correctly identify how provisions in the Constitution gave advantages to slaveholders. Educators all … Read more

Advice for a White Ally

It starts with you. If you want to be an agent for positive change, your actions must be self-motivated. You have to start with yourself. Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’ve incorporated biases that frame your perception of people of color. It’s difficult to come to terms with this, because no one wants to think they hold prejudices. But we all do. And we often exercise these prejudices without knowing. We make fundamental attribution errors, linking others’ actions to their social identities rather than their individual identities. We’ve evolved to think like this because it saves time and … Read more