Archive for the Diversity Category

Real World/Road Rules Challenge Opening: Insulting Or Complimentary?

Posted in Diversity, Entertainment, Spot The Poly, Television, Videos, WTF?! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2009 by TheDiversePurse

rwrrI’ve never seen any of the previous Real World / Road Rules Challenges before, but I perked up when I saw Ruthie, from The Real World: Hawaii, shown throughout the trailer for the new season titled: The Duel 2: New Zealand.

So I watched it and, aside from the typical backstabbing, gossip blabber, and fights going on, I came away thinking more so about the opening credits. Unlike most reality-gameshows-set-in-exotic-locales where contestants are shown amongst flashes of jungle, fires, and monkeys the producers decided to get the cast involved with the native culture – by making them do the Maori haka!

I didn’t know how to feel about this one. Was it insulting to have these non-Poly, minus Ruthie, MTV-ers doing this ancient dance and chant? Or were the producers/writers trying to pay homage to the land / people where they’re filming the show?

I’ve seen the haka (mainly in reference to the All Blacks rugby team) taken from its traditional meaning and used in commercials for cars in Italy to bakeries in New Zealand and it makes me wonder – has the Haka become the new hula? Is it being exploited for its sheer exoticism? I doubt many viewers of the RW/RR Challenge will have an interest in the history of why Maori’s chant that way or stick their tongues out aggressively. I believe the majority of the MTV demographic (and hopefully I’m wrong) will view the dance as sheer savagery stereotypically attributed to Polynesians.

Alright, let me get off my soap box. All-in-all, they tried but their version of haka was whack! Most of them had a sheer look of confusion on their faces. Poor babies! Oh, well, we’ll see what else this season has in store. (The opening starts around the 5:30 mark).



The First Albino Supermodel: Diandra Forrest

Posted in Diversity, Fashion, Videos with tags , , , , , , on April 8, 2009 by TheDiversePurse
image courtesy of kwesi abbensetts

image courtesy of kwesi abbensetts

I’ve posted previously HERE about the horrible crimes committed against African albinos, but a friend recently brought up a new model who’s making a striking impact in the fashion world.

Her name is Diandra Forrest and she is an African-American albino from the Bronx who was discovered by photographer Shameer Khan as she walked down the streets of Manhattan. She’s currently signed with a major agency and has been featured in various magazines.

I doubt her exposure in fashion will impact the atrocities going on in small villages in Africa, but who knows? Even in industrialized nations, albinos (I hope that is the correct term) are seen as mysterious, evil, or non-human in much of our media and/or entertainment outlets.

I think she’s absolutely fabulous and I hope to see her become a household name. Maybe she’ll be the catalyst to help the world see that people with albinism are just that: people.


High Five Escalator

Posted in Diversity, Entertainment, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2009 by TheDiversePurse

courtesy of Improv Everywhere

courtesy of Improv Everywhere

This just made me smile when I saw the new mission done by the awesome Improv Everywhere! Members stood next to a busy escalator during morning rush hour in a New York subway holding signs that said in ascending order: “ROB WANTS”…”TO GIVE YOU”…”A HIGH FIVE!”…”GET READY!”…then another sign said “ROB” with a downward arrow pointing towards the aforementioned Rob as he smiles with his hand awaiting.

I thought this was so cute. Everybody is going along in the rat race and something spontaneous and positive comes about and it makes the commuters day. I think we need more “pranks” like this in the world nowadays.



‘Perverted’ Europeans Ruin An African Tradition

Posted in Diversity, International, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on October 20, 2008 by TheDiversePurse

With a ritual centuries old, where virgin teenage girls dance nude to display their innocence to the king and pick his wives, the Zulu king himself has ordered the dancers to cover up their bottoms with sarongs. Not because of shame on their part as this tradition, and girls, are respected, but because of the many European tourists who zoom in on bare parts of the teenagers.

The event is a popular destination for toursts attracting about 25,000 people a year, but King Goodwill Zwelithini and many locals are fed up with travel goers gawking at the girls’ nakedness finding it disrespectful to their culture. The King stated the event was “not for looking at maidens’ bottoms.” Link! (via Daily Mail)


From The Mouths Of Babes

Posted in Diversity, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 13, 2008 by TheDiversePurse

A new study published in the Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy asked what children, in elementary, thought of race and gender in the presidency. The results were disheartening with one in four believing it is illegal for Latinos, African-Americans, women, and other people of color to be President and that they were intentionally excluded. Another child believes there’s never been a woman president because “boys won’t vote for girls.”

So, why the negative view? Study author Rebecca S. Bigler, Ph. D. explained, Kids knew a surprisingly lot about the presidents. They have seen them all over the media, on posters, in classroom history books, yet no one ever explains to them why they have all been white men. There is never a conversation about that so children start to come up with their own explanations.” Link!


Polynesians Popular In Texas Football

Posted in Diversity with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2008 by TheDiversePurse
Trinity High players performing their version of the Maori haka

Trinity High players performing their version of the Maori haka

The New York Times has a nice article highlighting Tongan football players Ofa Faiva-Siale, Sione Moeakiola, and Fotu Katoa as they gain popularity in the town of Euless Texas where a lot of folks don’t even know what they are. Offensive tackle Uatakina Cocker recounts a usual post-game conversation:
“Are you Mexican?”




“O.K., because you would be a very big Mexican.” LOL. I’m SO familiar with that what-are-you game as well. Link!


15-Year Old Suspended For Bringing Hash Cakes To School

Posted in Diversity with tags , , , , , on October 7, 2008 by TheDiversePurse

vickypollardFollowing the hospitalization of two teaching assistants at Wortley High School in Leeds in the U.K after consuming (unbeknownst to them apparently) “hash cakes” on September 10, the 15-year old student who brought them has since changed schools. She was suspended initially, but no legal charges were made against the youth.

I need to follow-up on this story because those cakes must’ve been laced with something else. You don’t go to the hospital for weed. Link!