Mathew Rodriguez

  • Paula Deen's Racism Is Our Good Ole Southern Fried Catharsis

    Paula Deen's Racism Is Our Good Ole Southern Fried Catharsis

    June 27 2013 2:38 PM

    We don't live in a culture that embraces ritual sacrifice as a cultural, religious or social norm. But we do live in a culture where we enjoy seeing the downfall of decade-long empires crumble in mere days.

    A narrative started by Mel Gibson and Lindsay Lohan has continued with the latest person to be scrutinized under our "culture of the crumble" -- Paula Deen. Deen's admission of using inappropriate racist language has led to several high-profile brands, most notable among them Smithfield Ham and the Food Network, to sever ties with her. The truth is, though, that people -- especially Americans -- need people like Deen to be sacrificed to avoid confronting our own racism.

    Let's start here: Racism is a pervasive cultural and institutional construct that pervades everything we say and do. To grow up in a racist culture like our own, and to somehow believe one has "evaded" being influenced by racism, is ignorance to the truth of racism. Racism is a silent, invisible killer that diffuses itself through our entire cultural and social upbringing so that it is as seamlessly integrated into our lives as the contents of a teabag into hot water. Rather than attempting to ignore one's racist upbringing, it’s much better to confront and admit how racism has tainted your own life than try to abdicate falsely all the inherited racism.

  • Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA -- For Better Or For Worse

    Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA -- For Better Or For Worse

    June 26 2013 3:01 PM

    The Supreme Court ended what was a far from stellar week for justice in this country with a decision everyone has been waiting for -- the decision on the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, and California's Proposition 8.

    With the court's decision to strike down DOMA, many lives are now validated, the feeling of hopefulness abundant. That validation is real, and should be honored. But there is much more to consider in the fight for full LGBT equality -- housing, workplace discrimination, health care, and more -- and the decision on DOMA should not overshadow the atrocities that the highest court in the land decided on this week.

    Just like previous LGBT victories, this victory was coupled with a series of disturbing defeats. When the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed into law in 2009, it was attached to a vote on the National Defense Authorization Act, which allocated more money to the defense for a continued war that has seen a multitude of deaths of people of color abroad.

  • Raising the Barr: In Defense of Roseanne and Her PoliticsRaising the Barr: In Defense of Roseanne and Her Politics

    August 16 2012 4:22 PM

    In the final moment of the Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne Barr that aired on Aug. 12, Barr took to the stage and sang the final two lines to our national anthem.

  • Grand Ole Threequel: The Conservative Politics of The Dark Knight RisesGrand Ole Threequel: The Conservative Politics of The Dark Knight Rises

    August 02 2012 12:38 PM

    Rush Limbaugh recently accused The Dark Knight Rises of naming its villain Bane to draw attention to Mitt Romney?s ties to Bain Capital.

  • What Rape Culture Looks Like: Alien, Daniel Tosh, and White Male PrivilegeWhat Rape Culture Looks Like: Alien, Daniel Tosh, and White Male Privilege

    July 19 2012 12:53 PM

    Many people believe that, unless a person has experienced some kind of physical or sexual abuse, they should keep mum on the subject. But there are successful ways for men to discuss rape.

  • We're Here, We're Queer -- We're MisrepresentedWe're Here, We're Queer -- We're Misrepresented

    July 05 2012 3:53 PM

    What Cooper did in public should definitely not be called a coming out. It was a dragging out of a perfectly secure gay man -- a throwing of a Christian to the media lions.

  • A Show By Any Other Name: How We Sell 'Girls' Up the RiverA Show By Any Other Name: How We Sell 'Girls' Up the River

    June 25 2012 2:47 PM

    Saying the word ?vagina? might get you in hot water if you?re a Michigan congresswoman, but the word is used a bit more liberally on television these days.

  • Sexism Reloaded:  Female MCs Still Lacking RespectSexism Reloaded: Female MCs Still Lacking Respect

    June 15 2012 3:04 PM

    Rap Queen Nicki Minaj demanded respect from her peers by pulling out of Hot 97?s SummerJam, costing the radio station and the concertgoers. Is that a small price to pay to demand equal respect for women?