Tag Archives: racism

Rick Sanchez Fired, My Days Just Got Better

Rick Sanchez is an idiot.

He was an idiot before he went on XM/Sirius show Stand Up with Pete Dominick. He was an idiot when we said that Jon Stewart is a bigot, when we pulled back to not bigot but just prejudiced, when he sarcastically ranted that the networks are run by entitled, villainous Jews who he hopes worry about another Holocaust (what?!), and when he got his stupid ass fired by CNN as a result of it all.

Salon summed it up elegantly on Friday:

That was fast. CNN just waited until 6 pm eastern to fire Rick “CNN’s Second-Dumbest Anchor” Sanchez. CNN will pay morons to read Tweets on-air, but they won’t employ morons who semi-coherently express resentful antisemitic comments on satellite radio.

Here is CNN’s brief statement:

“Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company. We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well.“

This summary pulls out the good parts, with audio. What kills me most isn’t that Sanchez tries to play the race card while employing Speedy Gonzalez-like sound effects on his show every goddam day and acts as though he’s the only famous person whose dad worked hard, it’s that he thinks it’s prejudicial to make fun of him for mispronouncing things:

[Speaking as Stewart] Oh, I know… wait, hold on, let me find, oh that Rick Sanchez, that little Puerto Rican guy. I’ll make fun of him. Do you have anything.” “Uh, yeah, last week, he mispronounced the word indutably or whatever.” “Yeah, that’s it, find me that and we’ll do a whole 4-minute segment on how he mispronounced the word arithmetic.”

You think that shit’s funny because your family is Puerto Rican? No, ya moron, it’s funny because news anchors are supposed to be smart. Jesu Christo, ese. The whole point of The News is to enable people who don’t know the word “indubitably” to turn on the TV and learn things from people who do. And the fact that you have — ahem, I mean had — a job reading the news when you don’t know “the word indutably or whatever” is as hilarious as it is disappointing, terrifying and stupefying.

Speaking of reading, by the way, Ricky  boy goes on to say that if he just read the teleprompter every day without going off-script Jon Stewart would have nothing to say about him. Dude! Exactly. That’s the whole freaking point. As soon as you start running your stupid mouth you give Stewart and the like more fodder to feed on.

Case in point: Where was your teleprompter when you got yourself fired? Aye dios mio, indeed.

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Racist Slur Making All Local Stops in Atlanta

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported this week that Asian-Americans in the city are contesting the Rapid Transit Authority’s decision to rename a train running through the heavily-Asian Doraville neighborhood the Yellow Line.

MARTA officials were warned by an employee before the name change last October that Atlanta’s burgeoning Asian community would find the term for the line to Doraville offensive.

“Historically, it has had a derogatory intent,” said John Park, an attorney with the nonprofit Center for Pan Asian Community Services in Doraville, just down the hill from the Marta station. “It physically paints a very unattractive picture. I don’t consider myself ‘yellow.’”

Park and other Asian activists plan to meet Friday with MARTA CEO Beverly Scott. They hope MARTA will change the line’s name from yellow to gold.

It never fails to amaze how thoroughly stuffed with idiots our country’s bureaucracy is (are you asking for trouble, ya dumb masochists?), but, c’mon, it’s rather silly to get all riled up over the color coding of the subway system. Shit, Atlanta, you still Tomahawk Chop at Braves games. Come to think of it, I used to live on Boston’s Red Line in the middle of a sizable Navajo enclave and no one there had a problem.

Oh! Hold the phones! I get it now. This don’t-call-me-yellow battle cry is a cover up for a different problem, one that changing the line’s name to Gold won’t solve. Why didn’t we see this sooner? MARTA officials, if you’re reading this, the answer is clear: Change the name to the Yerrow Rine.

[via Jalopnik]

Trouble Shooting Face Recognition: Profile Yourself (and your friends and family)

Consumers using webcams with face recognition and digicams with blink-alert have found themselves the victims of racial profiling. Or targeted ignoring-slash-teasing, as it were. Reports Time:

Wang, a Taiwanese-American strategy consultant who goes by the Web handle “jozjozjoz,” thought it was funny that the camera had difficulties figuring out when her family had their eyes open. So she posted a photo [above] of the blink warning on her blog under the title, “Racist Camera! No, I did not blink… I’m just Asian!” The post was picked up by Gizmodo and Boing Boing, and prompted at least one commenter to note, “You would think that Nikon, being a Japanese company, would have designed this with Asian eyes in mind.”

The principle behind face detection is relatively simple, even if the math involved can be complex. Most people have two eyes, eyebrows, a nose and lips – and an algorithm can be trained to look for those common features, or more specifically, their shadows. (For instance, when you take a normal image and heighten the contrast, eye sockets can look like two dark circles.) But even if face detection seems pretty straightforward, the execution isn’t always smooth.

Indeed, just last month, a white employee at an RV dealership in Texas posted a YouTube video showing a black co-worker trying to get the built-in webcam on an HP Pavilion laptop to detect his face and track his movements. The camera zoomed in on the white employee and panned to follow her, but whenever the black employee came into the frame, the webcam stopped dead in its tracks. “I think my blackness is interfering with the computer’s ability to follow me,” the black employee jokingly concludes in the video. “Hewlett-Packard computers are racist.”

Here’s that video. It’s pretty hilarious. Desi seems like a funny guy:

According to Time,  “HP’s lead social-media strategist Tony Welch wrote on a company blog within a week of the video’s posting….The post linked to instructions on adjusting the camera settings, something both Consumer Reports and Laptop Magazine tested successfully in Web videos they put online.”

So that’s the easy answer right there. Don’t change the algorithms or the hardware, just add a step to the set-up process:

  • Please select the ethnicity of the people you most often photograph/record:
    • Caucasian (glarey, wide-eyed)
    • Asian (squinty)
    • Black (shadowy, evasive)
    • Hispanic (kinda like a mix between Asian and Black)

And don’t pull any of that I-hang-out-with-people-of-all-colors shit. Do you want your pictures to come out well, or don’t you? Problem solved.