I'm shifting gears a little in this month's newsletter. Instead of focusing only on news items, I'm also going to share with you some of May's most popular posts from New Demographic's podcast and blogs. Here's what you'll find in this edition:
New Demographic Newsletter | www.newdemographic.com | June 2007

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Monthly Newsletter from New Demographic

Carmen Van Kerckhove, co-founder and president of New Demographic Dear {!name},

Here's what you'll find in this month's newsletter:

  • Modern-day blackface? I weigh in on Angelina Jolie playing the Afro-Cuban/Dutch Mariane Pearl in the new film "A Mighty Heart" learn more
  • Do you want to be an anti-racist parent? Download our e-book and check out our top 5 tips. learn more

Angelina Jolie in "A Mighty Heart"

Angelina Jolie in blackface?

The New Zealand Herald recently interviewed me regarding the controversy over the decision to cast Angelina Jolie to play Mariane Pearl, a woman of Afro-Cuban heritage in the biopic “A Mighty Heart.” Here’s what I had to say:

Carmen Van Kerckhove, who is of bi-racial heritage and is co-founding member of anti-racist training company New Demographic in New York City, says: “I would have liked to see the studio cast a woman of colour in the role. I don’t quite understand the rationale behind the studio’s decision to make Angelina Jolie look like she has African heritage.”

…Van Kerckhove says “I think that Hollywood is still oblivious to the fact that blackface, yellow face and brown face is offensive. Just this year we have seen Brian Dennehy play Kublai Khan (in the Hallmark Channel movie Marco Polo, Eddie Murphy play a Chinese man (Norbit), Nicolas Cage play Fu Manchu (Grindhouse). And I just read that Jessica Biel may play the Chinese character Chun Li in an upcoming movie remake of the videogame Street Fighter. Clearly Hollywood is not spending much time thinking this issue through.”

…Van Kerckhove points out Pearl has a different mentality on the issue of race than Americans. “It probably made sense to cast a high-profile actor in the role because that would bring more people out to watch the film. Also, Pearl wasn’t born and raised in the United States so her views on race may be a bit different from ours.

…Van Kerkchove is disappointed. “There are so few quality roles for non-white actors to begin with - it’s sad to see this potentially Oscar-worthy role go to a white actor.”

What do you think of Angelina Jolie playing this role? Join the conversation on Racialicious.

Free E-Book: How to Be an Anti-Racist Parent

E-Book: How to Be an Anti-Racist Parent

You don't use racial slurs. You teach your child to treat everyone equally. You expose your family to diverse cultures. That's enough to make sure your children don't grow up to be racists, right?

Not necessarily.

Most people think that racism is all about white hoods, burning crosses, and racial slurs. But racism is also about linking physical and intellectual abilities to racial differences. If you think about racism in this way, the truth is that all of us hold racist beliefs.

New Demographic has just released a complimentary e-book called "How to Be an Anti-Racist Parent: Real-Life Parents Share Real-Life Tips." It features tips, stories and advice from readers and contributors to our blog Anti-Racist Parent, for parents committed to raising children with an anti-racist outlook.

Here are the top 5 tips from the book:

1. Your children will face racism, so prepare them for it
It's not unusual for children to hear their peers using racial slurs as early on as the first grade, even in the most diverse and open-minded communities. Don't assume that racism is a non-issue for your family.

2. Don't be colorblind
"Everyone is the same to me. I don't even see color!" Being colorblind is not possible and it should not be your goal. As NAACP Chairman Julian Bond says, colorblindness means being "blind to the consequences of being the wrong color in America today."

3. Make conversations about racism relaxed and frequent
Don't wait for A Very Special Moment to talk about race. Conversations about race should be as normal and casual in your family as discussions about "American Idol." In fact, "American Idol" can be a good starting point to talk about how people of color are portrayed in the media!

4. Lead by example
Actions speak louder than words. If you tell your children they should accept everyone, regardless of race, but you only socialize with people from one race, what message do you think your child will absorb?

5. Never stop dismantling your own racist beliefs
You can't lead by example if you don't work on yourself. Realize that you're not going to wake up one morning and be rid of all your racist beliefs. There are no shortcuts to becoming anti-racist. Be aware of your own biases and privileges, and never stop working to overcome them.

Click here to download the e-book, an 11-page PDF file.

- - - - -

That's it for this month!

Please help New Demographic to grow by forwarding this email to a friend and encouraging them to check out our web site!

Until next time,

Carmen Van Kerckhove

Co-Founder and President
New Demographic


New Demographic is an anti-racism training company that goes beyond diversity buzzwords to tackle the real issues behind race and racism.


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This newsletter is published by New Demographic, an anti-racism training company that goes beyond diversity buzzwords to tackle the real issues behind race and racism.

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Carmen Van Kerckhove
Co-Founder and President
Tel: 917.657.3886

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Keynote and Seminar Topics
  • Beyond Diversity Buzzwords and Oppression Olympics:
    A New Framework for Discussing Race and Racism
  • Not Just Fetishists and Race Traitors:
    Challenging the Ways We Look At Interracial Relationships
  • Racialicious! When Race and Pop Culture Collide
  • Recognizing Racial Stereotypes and Their Impact on the Workplace
  • Cute But Confused: Myths and Realities of Mixed Race Identity
  • Geishas and Math Nerds: Challenging Stereotypes about Asian-Americans and Understanding Their Origins
  • Never The Twain Shall Meet: Interracial Relationships On the Big Screen
  • Tragic Mulattos and Exotic Temptresses: (Mis)representations of Mixed Race People in the Media
For information on availability and fees, please email carmen@newdemographic.com.


About New Demographic
New Demographic is an anti-racism training company that goes beyond diversity buzzwords to tackle the real issues behind race and racism.

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