Jane Messah is an online editorial intern for the Century.
Apple unveiled the iPad 3 last week; it's scheduled to be released today. On Sunday the company announced that pre-ordered devices were sold out. The news came weeks after Apple's annual shareholders' meeting, at which it reported that it has nearly $100 billion in cash. Amid its latest triumphs, the company continues to face criticism over labor practices at Foxconn and its other suppliers in China. While such allegations are not new, recent reports by This American Life and the New York Times have raised public awareness of long hours, low wages, cramped dormitories and hazardous working conditions that have resulted in deaths and injuries for Chinese employees.
Last weekend, ESPN fired an editor who posted a racially offensive headline about NBA player Jeremy Lin; the network also suspended an anchor who used the same term. And taking the Lin coverage as a starting point, SNL produced a parody mocking a media double standard: stereotypes about Asian Americans are acceptable, but stereotypes about African Americans are offensive. The Lin media storm exposes the myth of a colorblind society. As much as we want to believe in meritocracy, equality and individuality, we rely on racial assumptions to make sense of the world and those around us. In many cases, the assumptions carry real consequences.