Note: Pictures of Braille Don’t Do the Job

OTTAWA—The federal Conservatives have run into a bit of an obstacle in their bid to tell blind Canadians how much they’re doing for them.
They have mass-mailed a flyer with wording that only looks like Braille — without the raised, tactile lettering that blind people need in order to read.

From here. (Thanks, Mr Jender!)

“No, You Can’t Have Back In”

Sociologist Michael Eric Dyson recently talked on the MHP show about the desire that white people have for saying the n-word.
(You can also read his comments here.)

“Look, y’all invented the n-word. We didn’t invent it. We just co-opted it. We hijacked it. We did a carjacking on that word a few decades ago, and now you’re mad because we’ve made more sexy use of it—some denigration as well. And now you want back in? No, you can’t have back in.

“I refuse to infantlize white people. He [Time Allen] says it’s confusing to me. It ain’t confusing! Here’s a general rule of thumb to follow when using the n-word for white people. Never. When you do that, then you understand you can’t do it.”

And finally what’s interesting here is that using this kind of word—as Chris Rock said, white people control the whole world but they feel if they can’t use the n-word, somehow their power has been removed? No! Grow up, allow us to determine what is in and out. As a result of that, be our ally and challenge white people not to use it at home. You’re already using it. You just want to use it in public.”

-Michael Eric Dyson

Some thoughts on how this relates to allyship (especially for white folks) after the jump.

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Open Courseware

This isn’t news, but a lot of folks don’t know about this wonderful resource yet: Course lessons from a number of universities are free and open to the public online. For example, open courseware materials from the MIT Department of Linguistics and Philosophy can be found here.  Philosophy courses from Notre Dame are available here.  A list of institutional sites for OCW material is here, via the Open Courseware Consortium. And, of course, this is not just limited to philosophy courses. If you want to, e.g., watch a series of lectures on physics, you can do that too.