Shani Hilton

Shani Hilton is associate editor of Campus Progress. You can find her blogging here.

Recent Articles

The Chocolate Milk Offensive.

In 2005, British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver successfully experimented with healthy whole foods in school lunch. Now, Tom Laskawy at Grist reports that first lady Michelle Obama could be preparing policy to wrest school lunch from the grip of food conglomerates. And earlier this year, Obama planted an organic garden at the White House (recently harvested by local schoolkids) and called for the food in school lunches to be as healthy as possible. Now, with signs that the less-than-nutritional school lunch status quo is in danger, the milk industry is on the offensive. Their mission: trying to save chocolate milk from being eliminated from schools because of its added sugar. According to an AP report, the milk industry is claiming that sweet, artificial flavors are the best way to get kids to choose milk over soda or juice. (For the record, I'm a big milk drinker, but I've never much cared for flavored milks. Even in school, where we had a vending machine that sold strawberry and...

Reality, Unreality and Racial Bias.

Ta-Nehisi Coates asks : ... am I the only African-American gamer who makes his toons look as black as possible? It's the weirdest thing. My younger brother takes this to laughable extremes--in WoW he made his tauren druid as dark as he could. Even on my blood elf pally, I made sure he had a tan. Still got the shock of red hair though. I need that. My answer? Nope, you're not alone. While I'm not a serious gamer, I do play The Sims 3 , and I consciously create "sims of color." Most are black; others are Asian, South Asian and Latino. Most of the sims that come with the game are white, and I just really like to break that up a bit. So I think I understand Ta-Nehisi's compulsion to, um, black it up. But for those who participate multiplayer online role-playing games (like TNC-favorite World of Warcraft ), going black might not be the best idea. A recent Northwestern University study finds that race affects social influence in virtual worlds, writes Jesse at Racism Review. Researchers...

Feminism Without Feminists.

Ariel Levy writes a piece for the New Yorker criticizing Leslie Sanchez's book, You've Come a Long Way, Maybe: Sarah, Michelle, Hillary, and the Shaping of the New American Woman . In the book, Republican strategist Sanchez calls for: "No bra burning. No belting out Helen Reddy . Just calm concern for how women were faring in the world," and says feminists are of an "earlier and disruptive time." She also bristles at Gloria Steinem 's critique of Sarah Palin as a woman who "shares nothing but a chromosome with [ Hillary ] Clinton ." All this repudiation of the women's right movement from Sanchez to say she believes we should applaud and support Palin's candidacy ... because she's a woman. After debunking the bra-burning myth , Levy places feminism in its historical context, noting the evolution from a fight for equal representation to a challenge of systemic sexism and misogyny. Pillorying the suggestion that it's enough for a woman, any woman, to have equal representation, Levy...

Rupert Murdoch is Aware of Some Internet Traditions.

News Corp media mogul Rupert Murdoch certainly has some unconventional views about the Internet. He's already made it clear that he thinks fair use is a scam -- ignoring the fact that the majority of newspaper content is generated through fair use -- by recently accusing the BBC of copyright infringement. Now, he's accusing Google, Microsoft, and Ask.com of "stealing" stories by directing casual readers to his sites. In a chat with David Speers last week, Murdoch announced plans to prevent Google from indexing News Corp sites like the Wall Street Journal , effectively eliminating them from search results. Murdoch says he'll hide his sites from Google when News Corp starts charging for content (the WSJ is currently behind a partial pay wall). On its face, this seems pretty absurd. By blocking Google and charging for content, Murdoch is saying he'd rather have a small pool of subscribing readers than a large audience that provides revenue through ad views. But, fair-use evangelist Cory...

Paid Sick Time is More Than A "Public Health Issue."

Although the panic over H1N1 has abated, one advisory for preventing the spread of the illness has fueled a debate over paid sick leave. The CDC is encouraging workers to stay home if they feel ill, but only 40 percent of private-sector employees receive paid sick leave, and many of those those who do have it work under punitive policies designed to prevent employees from malingering. In New York City, Council Member Gale Brewer is working to create a sick-leave policy for full-time and part-time workers who don't currently have it. Brewer is the lead sponsor on a bill cribbed from a 2007 San Francisco ordinance, that allows for (PDF) workers at small businesses to accrue up to 5 days of paid sick leave and those at larger businesses to accrue 9 days. The bill does not affect employers who already have a paid leave policy in place. It's good policy, but I'm depressed that the bill has to be sold as a public health issue rather than a human-rights issue. Low-skill/low-wage jobs are...

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