Random: Stereotypes from Google Images

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While working on the concept for a magazine concept with this guy, we began to have a little argument about children.

I had suggested an image of a cute kid (above) and he immediately told me that that kid was “too cute to be Kenyan”. So we got into a little discussion about what Kenyan children really look like.

This inevitably became a question that was too difficult for our meagre minds. So we turned to the all knowing, all savvy, Google images. This is what we found:

Google image result for "Kenyan Children"

Fairly accurate. But someone immediately pointed out that they wondered how accurate this would be for other countries/regions. Below are the findings from our exercise. Continue reading

Racism, Croissants & Other ArtCaffe Delicacies

When historians go through the logs and archives of Kenyans’ complaints on the internet, they will undoubtedly stumble upon the neo-nazi institution that is ArtCaffe; responsible for wielding their racism to cause many a tear to trickle down dark skin.

croissant

Most recently, the owner of the restaurant allegedly had a guy arrested for ordering more croissants than his racial stature was entitled to. Continue reading

#KenyaAtWar: “The Question of Unity”

I was watching my Twitter timeline intently on Monday evening.

Reports that a bomb had gone off in the CBD at the OCL bus stage and that there may have been deaths, definitely ‘tens of injuries’.

It wasn’t shock or fear that immediately overwhelmed me; moreso confusion and malaise. My first question was obviously “Does this have anything to do with the ongoing efforts in Somalia?” If so, this was a clear escalation and warranting of some concern. If not, it meant yet another problem – threat, perhaps – had befallen our country.

The second question was “Are we as Kenyans ready yet?” Continue reading

When Racism Isn’t Racism. Part II

Sometime last year, Essence Magazine got itself a new fashion director – Ellianna Placas. That, by and of itself, is nothing out of the ordinary. Magazines get new fashion directors all the time, right? Right.

Here’s the thing, though. Ellianna is white.

To say that Essence readers did not take too kindly to the change would be to understate things. Folks were off-en-ded. Kanye-west-refusing-to-let-you-finish-whatever-it-was-you-were-doing offended. Peek-a-boob-at-super-bowl offended. For all the furious commotion it caused, the move to hire Ellianna might as well have been the eighth deadly sin. Had Next Media Animation, the Taiwanese game-changer, added several five-minute animated clips to the mix we might have been well on the way to the establishment of a new epoch. Continue reading

When Racism Isn’t Racism: Part I

As a teenager, I was naive enough to think that if I ignored racism, it would just go away. That if I refused to talk about it, if I refused to give any sort of weight to it, it would wither and die back and the world would eventually become a better place. I am an adult now (at least, that is what my official papers say) and as for the world becoming a better place, all I can say is that when I want one thousand and one miracles, I’ll just go right ahead and ask for them. About racism, well…it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere in a hurry.

When it happens in a tube somewhere in Eastern Europe, you take it in your stride. When a middle-aged white dude stands up and relocates to the aisle as soon as you sit down next to him, you say to yourself, ‘It doesn’t matter…I’m on his turf…and he probably thinks I’m sponging on his tax money’. You are not justifying. You are not rationalising. You are just dealing with. When a bunch of KKK devotees roughs your roommate up, he says to you, ‘Hey, man, it could have been worse. At least I’m still alive, right?’ He, too, is just dealing with. You both acknowledge that you don’t have the home ground advantage. It’s an away match. If stuff like that had happened back home, you console each other, things would have ended quite differently. How differently, you can’t tell. You just know it would all end differently. Except it doesn’t. Even at home, especially at home, we take it lying down. Sometimes, we gloss over it—pencil it in as a misdemeanour. Continue reading

You Racist Bastards!

Every time you sit a group of people down to confront them about racism, several groups surface.

One group is overly eager to agree and cosign, enthusiastically. “Yes, the world is so racist and it’s so wrong.”
Another vehemently insists that in this day and age racism is not a problem. “I’m not racist, but…”
Another group of people sit there feeling unjustly accused, thinking “I understand.”
The last group is the minorities who spend the whole time thinking “None of you understands”

And those same groups formed amongst you, our readers, as soon as you read the title. Continue reading