Friday, December 31, 2010

Barbour Did the Right Thing . . . Kinda

Kinda. He suspended the sentences of Gladys and Jamie Scott, the two sisters who were each given double life sentences over $11. I'm glad they're free and going home. You can sign a "welcome home" card here with the NAACP.

Suspended sentences.

And, Gladys Scott's release is contingent on giving a kidney to her sister, Jamie, who requires daily dialysis. What the . . .

But I'm happy for the sisters and the family. Not impressed by Barbour. By happy for the sisters.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Revolution Will Be Taught, Part I

The importance of teaching accurate history cannot be overemphasized. It gives children a proper sense of their selves and their communities. What Texas, and Arizona by the way, did to the textbook standards of their soft subjects in racist, egregious, and just plain wrong. Texas's partisan state board of education put forth standards propograting a racist and inaccurate history. I found that insulting as well as disappointing.

So hearing that the NAACP and LULAC are joining forces against Texas’s SBOE gave me incredible pleasure. (h/t Joe @ racismreview):
The Texas NAACP, Texas LULAC and Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education (TABPHE) are holding a press conference, with partnering groups to announce the filing of a request for a proactive review by the U.S. Department of Education and its Civil rights division. The request addresses many aspects of discrimination against minority public school students in Texas, including recent changes to history and educational standards in social studies. Texas State NAACP President and National Board Member Gary Bledsoe said, “Education remains the most critical element in the long term economic and social interests of all American citizens. Reasonable people of good will must guarantee that all students, regardless of race or economic circumstances, be given the tools needed to become successful in a rapidly changing global economy. We must also be held to a high standard of accuracy in conveying historical events to students who will use this information to compete for educational access not only in Texas, but increasingly around the country and world. We must not allow the use of our compulsory education system to misinform and negatively impact the academic capacity of our most important natural resource – our children. Our action today seeks on objective review of the partisan attack on the public education system in the State of Texas.”

State LULAC President Joey Cardenas said, “We were shocked at the actions by the State Board of Education in emasculating our history. It is necessary for our own well-being and that of the people of our State that we do all that we can to ensure that what they have done does not end up being a reality. Our State and nation will suffer from what they have done and emotionally and psychologically it will greatly harm our young people. Dr. Rod Fluker of TABPHE said that one of the things we are most worried about is how this will impact teachers and the kinds of attitudes it will bring to our next generation of young people to move into this field. This is a serious problem.” Bledsoe said that one thing we are looking for is to invalidate the standards so that they do not become a reality. “This is like a criminal assault. The message is that you have no worth. We cannot let this become official policy.” Cardenas added that “we have engaged the State in litigation before and will do so again if necessary.

“In challenging the Standards, the Texas NAACP wishes to applaud State Board of Education Members Lawrence Allen and Mavis Knight for supporting us in this initiative. Dr. Felicia Scott of TABPHE said that it is important to note that the most offensive items were opposed by all 5 minority Board members who voted as a block, “that really says something about how offensive these matters are, and this is from a purely academic and humanistic perspective with no injection of politics.” 
I'll share more of my thoughts later. For now, Professor Kevin Michael Foster, a graduate faculty member in the Departments of African and African Diaspora Studies, Curriculum and Instruction, and Educational Administration, says this (email reprinted with his permission):


Subject Line: Supplemental strategies in light of noxious social studies standards




Greetings all,
On the tail of the complaint [by the NAACP and LULAC] to the Dept of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, I can’t help but again express my thorough frustration with the social studies knowledge (and dispositions) among the Texas-taught undergraduate students I work with at UT Austin. Encouraged by Board Member Knight’s interest in what is taught elsewhere, I’d also like to think about multiple strategies — a program of activities — to see to the good sense education of Texas school children regardless of the “standards” that we end up with.


Joe Feagin alluded to a reality that several of us experience on the collegiate level. My general experience is that the miseducation of high achieving students in Texas is thorough — not simply that they have been undereducated, but that they have been and are systematically miseducated in the sense used by Carter G. Woodson.  Black and non-black, Hispanic and non-Hispanic, huge numbers across demographic groups doubt the intelligence and worth of non-whites as students as UT. It is especially painful to see Black and Brown kids who finished in the top ten percent of their high school classes yet come to UT with doubts about their own intelligence and worth. They have been taught the glories of The Alamo and Texas Independence with no context to bring out (for instance) the historic role of the slavery issue in the region. In defiance of the historical record and decades of historical analyses, they are taught that the Civil War was about “state’s rights” and not really about slavery (as if in this context those two were separable). They are taught that Affirmative Action is among the greatest unfairnesses today — a red herring of the first order — especially for settings like UT, where the only meaningful affirmative action that takes place is for student athletes (and in a context where even there it is not done with adherence to the spirit of the original concept).


By contrast, and to Board member Knight’s query, in my youth I was required to read Souls of Black Folk (Du Bois), Up From Slavery (BTW), The Autobiography of Malcolm XWhy We Can’t Wait (MLK), The Autobiography of Ms. Jane Pittman (Gaines), Mules and Men (Zora Hurston), large chunks of The New Negro (Alain Locke, ed) and other texts. During most of those years I lived on Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue and was expected to know who this important and great woman was as well.  Much of my reading was required in school. That which was not required by the school was required by my father and nurtured by my (former schoolteacher & guidance counselor) grandmother. Today we still need both forces — what the approved curriculum standards require and what we as a community require in addition.


As I raise my 10 year old son and 8 year old daughter, I perceive a profound need for a war on multiple fronts. One front is that of the specific Texas Curriculum Standards. And even here, while there is a need for straight on attack (e.g. “complaints” to OCR), there is also space for battle on the flanks (for instance cataloging and publicly rebutting the problems with the standards and providing parents with talking points for conversations with teachers and principals as they ensure that their children aren’t fully subject to the brainwash education).


Another space for action is to actively create and disseminate a supplemental curriculum, one specifically aimed at correcting for the anticipated (and realized) negative consequences of students (of all backgrounds) being taught histories that validate the indefensible, that force classroom discussion into ridiculous directions, and that undermine true knowledge of self and history among African American students, Latino students and others who find their well-informed understandings (or even nascent yet accurate understandings) of themselves and their world under assault. To take just one example,what if students were expected to read and consider Uncle Tom’s Cabin, easily one of the most important books in U.S. History, gigantically influential in its time, for the longest time second in sales only to the Bible, and a text that raises the paradox of having emancipatory goals while simultaneously cementing damaging stereotypes. There is so much to work with in this highly readable text — for history, for literature, for critical thinking — and yet most students have not read it.


In this sad state of affairs I am sure of at least two things: 1) We must act to alter inaccurate standards; and 2) we must in the meantime produce and disseminate viable supplements to counter the damage that the inaccurate standards are doing in the meantime. For those whose official capacities allow it, proaction should not be seen as an option but rather as a responsibility.


With apologies for the rant, but a deep commitment to not stand idly by, I hope that all have a happy season.


-Kevin


Kevin Michael Foster, Ph.D.


Executive Director, ICUSP Phase II
http://www.utexas.edu/diversity/ddce/icusp/


Graduate Faculty Member,
Departments of African and African Diaspora Studies, Curriculum and Instruction, and Educational Administration
University of Texas at Austin

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Think Outside the "Man Box"

A Facebook friend put this up via CNN (There's also video at the link.):
Why men act out against women
By Anthony Porter, Special to CNN

Editor's note: TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to "Ideas worth spreading," which it distributes through talks posted on its website. Anthony Porter is co-founder of "A Call to Men," a national organization addressing domestic and sexual violence prevention and the promotion of healthy manhood.

(CNN) -- It's time for those of us who are good men to start acknowledging the role that male socialization plays in domestic and sexual violence. As good men, we must begin to acknowledge and own our responsibility to be part of the solution to ending violence against women and girls.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gov. Paterson Got This Right; Barbour Should Do Likewise

Personally, I don't think John Harris White should've been convicted in the first place. Perhaps NY Gov. David Paterson should've pardoned him, but at least he's free and out of prison. And rather than going around denying the experience of black Mississippians and campaigning for 2012, Gov Haley Barbour needs to pardon the Scott sisters.

And speaking of Barbour and his fond memories of his childhood - parched up on his upper-class white male privilege in Mississippi, I'm sure the Civil Rights era was anything but terrifying and violent. That doesn't mean that it wasn't hell for black folks, nor does it mean that he didn't contribute to problem of institutionalized racism.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Progressive Rallies Are so Gay!: Today's Good News, Bad News


(December 9, 2010 - Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America)


Activists Rally On Capitol Hill For Congress To Pass Repeal Of DADT

An activist holds a picture of U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) during a rally on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network held the rally to call on the Senate to pass the National Defense Authorization Bill that includes the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" which prohibits gay people from serving openly in the military.
That was just last week, and you know what happened just today?

Homie Don't Play That!

h/t racismreview, 24 members of the Congressional black caucus voted against the tax-cut compromise.

Let's be clear. I have made a distinction between white progressives and progressives of color. I feel people of color have more reason to be upset because the worst is happening to us. To be sure, it’s not all Obama’s fault, and he's not the only one they've taken issue with.

The black caucus has been more consistently critical of Obama in a substantive way. They were equally as critical of W Bush and Republicans. And when it comes to blacks fighting for justice in general . . . how many white people did you see at the Jena 6 protests?

So on to another point in terms of race in the US . . . why haven’t we heard more on this than we've heard on the “woe is us” whining from the white left?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

You Know What? I Think I'm with Pres. Obama on This One

I initially agreed with those who're upset with Pres. Obama for backing down. After watching the president's news conference, I changed my mind. The video below is a segment from MSNBC's Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. Essentially, now I agree with Lawrence and Ezra Klein. Strategy and communication from the White House leave a world to be desired. But the policy, considering the circumstances, isn't all that bad.

And let's not forget several congressional Dems were moving over to the Republican side. Several Dems ran against the president in the recent midterm elections. Several Dems voted for the Bush tax cuts that got us in the mess in the first place. So lets not delude ourselves into believe that this whole mess is entirely Obama's fault. Constitutionally, the president doesn't write policy anyway. If congressional Dems wanna act all bad ass now, they're perfectly free to hold up legislation till they get what they want.

Monday, November 29, 2010

You Know I Had to Get Me Some: Privilege Denying Dude

It's a big thing over at memegenerator. There's an article about it, “Privilege Denying Dude” and the Fight for the Right to Snark over at colorlinesBasicially, it's a rip at cyber and "enlightened" racism, sexism, and other 'isms. If you're not familiar with "enlightened racism," Jessie at racismreview has written several posts about it.

The Opposite of Love Is Not Hate

Last week, I posted some thoughts on the Boston club that shut down because too many people on line were black. I've since updated it.

The guy who organized the private party shares his "[dismay] that after having spent the last few hours with the club owner, I do not believe him to be a racist." Of course, the guy is, but that nonetheless made ptcruiser over at Prometheus6 wonder why guy's "deeper feelings" was even an issue. To which I responded that:
@ ptc - Okay. Let's set aside his deeper feelings. Discrimination took place. If the white-US can't accept that at least 93% of them are racist, then they need to accept that fact that discrimination happens, it happens primarily to people of color, and it's perpetrated primarily by whites. I'm not sure how we're going to at least end discrimination, if not racism, if white US-Americans won't live in reality.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Double Life Sentences for $11? Som'em Ain't Right

So, will two black Mississippi women, whom so many agree have been unjustly imprisoned, now be freed?

On Sunday, syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. of the Miami Herald became the latest to raise his voice. He wrote:
"Let’s assume they did it.

"Let’s assume that two days before Christmas in 1993, a 22-year-old black woman named Jamie Scott and her pregnant, 19-year-old sister Gladys set up an armed robbery. Let’s assume these single mothers lured two men to a spot outside the tiny town of Forest, Miss., where three teenage boys, using a shotgun the sisters supplied, relieved the men of $11 and sent them on their way, unharmed.

"Assume all of the above is true, and still you must be shocked at the crude brutality of the Scott sisters’ fate. You see, the sisters, neither of whom had a criminal record before this, are still locked away in state prison, having served 16 years of their double-life sentences.

"It bears repeating. Each sister is doing double life for a robbery in which $11 was taken and nobody was hurt. Somewhere, the late Nina Simone is moaning her signature song: Mississippi Goddam."

Did You Get the Email?

No? Neither did I.

Wanna know why?

Cause there was no email!!! It was just a joke!

Still, apparently Fox posted it like it really happened, and readers took the bait. Dumb-dumbs!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

"We Don't Eat Pumpkin Pie!"

LOL!! Oh my goodness! Marcellus Wiley is hilarious! He and Doug Gottlieb were hosting the ESPN tv/radio show, "Mike and Mike" today, and in discussing their families' Thanksgiving traditions, Wiley explains that black folks don't eat pumpkin pie! You have to scroll down the link I share, but someone else twitters about it, too.

Wow! Hilarious! I know I prefer sweet potato pie. But I was hesitant to make that generalization. That Wiley said it on national TV no less, and discussed it several times on other programs . . . Oh! That's just great stuff!

But let's be honest. Thanksgiving ain't a holy day for everybody, and Shari Valentine over at Racism Review shares a brief and poignant description of the 4th Thursday of November in her Lakota Souix home:

Monday, November 22, 2010

That Degree Don't Turn Ya White (Updated)

So let's stop it with that whole, "If black people would just value education, blah, blah, blah" nonsense. And let's also disabuse ourselves of that, "He/she/I'm not racist, but he/she/I just did some racist mess," uh, mess. Make no mistake about it, that club owner is racist. That doesn't mean he burns crosses on the weekends to relax. It just means he'll hurt his own profit margin if too many black folks show up at his club. If black alum from Harvard and Yale can't even wait in line to enter an invitation-only party at club, then that black Harvard alum in the White House doesn't really mean much, does he? And yes, they had been invited.
A party for black Harvard and Yale alums at a Boston club this weekend was shut down just after 11pm. Why? The club owner was concerned that a long line of black people outside would make the club look bad.
Update:

What Do You Call a Black Man With a J.D.?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Again, This Is Why People of Color Don't Go for "States' Rights"

h/t prometheus6.org

It's freakin deja vu all freaking over again! The South wanted the rest of the country to "mind their business" before the Civil War, and after. "Wah, wah, wah! We shouldn't have to prove we're not being racist before we do something racist!" The NAACP's Legal Defense Fund is filing a motion for a summary judgment to uphold the constitutionality of Section 5 of the 1965 Voters' Rights Act based mostly on the fact that racism is ongoing. And by ongoing, I mean that just recently as 2008, the DoJ disapproved the redistricting because it eliminated the city’s sole majority-minority district. Of course, nonminorities in Shelby complained that the DoJ had annulled the will of majority, "Wah, wah, wah! We don't get to exert political tyranny over our racial minorities!"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Budge This!!

This just in: I'm a genius. Let me at the budget cause I can balance the thang like riding a bike! 25% of the savings I found came in cuts, including cutting our "Cold" War era-military spending. I would've cut the Drug War spending, too, if it were an option. The other 75% came from tax increases, including increases on dividends, capital gains, and reinstating the estate tax.

Listen, when we say the rich aren't paying their "fair share," what we mean is that they use the roads more, and gain more from protection by the military, which is usuually made up of soldiers from lower- and middle-class families. With the exception of the police state of most inner-city neighborhoods, it's their wealth and property the police are most interested in protecting.

Don't worry. You can't getchu some, too. Go to this interactive link via NYTimes and see if you can balance the budget.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Is This What You Mean by "Pro" Life?

h/t racismreview

The Tennessee report has discussed the comments of a Tennessee state representative thus:

Rep. Curry Todd remarked during a Fiscal Review Committee presentation this week that the idea of government-funded care for pregnant women [Mexican immigrants] who cannot prove they have United States government permission to be in this country struck him as not unlike inviting a rat infestation. The Collierville Republican made the comments after asking CoverKids program managers whether the state checks the citizenship status of care recipients. . . . [They] responded that CoverKids doesn’t provide medical coverage to pregnant women, but it does offer “unborn coverage …. ”Rep. Todd responded: “Well, they can go out there like rats and multiply, then, I guess.”

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's Too Late to Plead the Fifth

Okay, so I could've posted about W Bush's confession that he authorized torture last week. But I decided to be a downer the week of Veterans' Day. However, that was last week, and I just got an interesting reminder via Portside, and an idea just occured to me. The reminder, the actual text of which I share later, is that there are two investigations related to the U.S. torture program pending in the National Court of Spain.

And the thought? Since the Republican party has decided to go tea pot crazy and co-sign the idiocy that Obama is some sort of jihadist Manchurian president, and since they promise a series of investigations into the Obama administration, Obama should go after BushCo full board. What does he have to lose? And is it really worth permiting the injustice of not holding war criminals accountable for their crimes?

Friday, November 12, 2010

1st and 15: Black Coaches and ADs in the NCAA

Guess what! It's getting better! Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida released a study yesterday about diversity college football's executive positions of power.

The bad news is that when it comes to athletic directors and college presidents, there's a very, very long way to go. The study found that all conference commissioners, 93 percent of school presidents and 88 percent of athletic directors at these colleges were white.


The good news is that [a] record 15 coaches of color led FBS teams at the start of the 2010 season.
 
Okay, so it's nothing earth shattering. But after releasing somewhat more negative energy earlier today, I wanted to celebrate some good news.
 
Now on to Prometheus6.org to discuss what I'm now calling the National Commision on Fiscal Reform for the Rich.

It's Not the Economy, Stupid! It's the Stupid!

You can just read my previous post if you haven't already. But the point is, regardless of the fears of the tea pots and kettles, the economy is don't relatively fair. It's not what anyone'd want. It's not what it would've been with a larger stimulus. But the sky isn't falling. At least not for white America. (So black folks, lets start working on our ungrammatical "Boehner Doesn't Care about Poeple" posters for our anti-Republican rallies.) Even conservative economists agree that the stimulus worked. Economists at Heritage and American Enterprise Institute agree raising taxes now would increase revenue. There's no economic value to keeping the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

So, assuming you're neither racist nor stupid even though I think you're both, exactly why are you supporting policies that have never been, and weren't supposed to be, in your economic interests? Quit blaming your stupid voting on the economy. Blame the economy on your stupid.

A 3rd Problem I Have with Tea Partyists: North Dakota

Listen, this isn't about embarrassing anyone, so I won't call any names. But a commenter for another post expressed concerned about her congressman's representation of and concern for the "working man" of her state, North Dakota.

Now, in addition to having no policy behind their rhetoric, all too often tea partyists actually believe the exaggerations and hyperbole's they hear coming from the people who feign concern but are, in fact, exploiting the country's "working man." Facts don't matter to folks who cry out about being "taxed enough already" just as their taxes are being cut, who think their taxes were raised, and then really get upset that they're portrayed as racists.

So, what're the facts about North Dakota's economy? According to politifact's "Pants on Fire" rating of an ad from one of Karl Rove's organizations, Crossroads GPS:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Reading, Riting, and Rithmetics (sic) (Additional Info)

(According to the first-ever comprehensive study (pdf) comparing the percentage of U.S. students in the graduating class of 2009 who have advanced skills in math with the percentages of similar high achievers in 56 other countries, approximately 6 percent of U. S. students perform at the advanced level in math compared to 28 percent of Taiwanese students and more than 20 percent of students in Finland and Korea, for example.)

A new study has found that the achievement gap is larger (pdf) than we thought. According to the NY Times:
Only 12 percent of black fourth-grade boys are proficient in reading, compared with 38 percent of white boys, and only 12 percent of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared with 44 percent of white boys.
 Yep.
Only 12 percent of black fourth-grade boys are proficient in reading, compared with 38 percent of white boys, and only 12 percent of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared with 44 percent of white boys. (emphasis mine)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another Issue I Have with Tea Pots!

It just accord to me, so I gotta share it now before I forget. I'm sure someone has probably addressed this somewhere else, but another problem I have is that there's not policy behind the rhetoric.

They're concerned about government spending. Okay, what programs do you really wanna cut? I saw a few thousand or so amening Glenn Beck's assertion that in order to get the country back to where it's supposed to be, they may have to sacrifice their own social security and medicare benefits. Are they willing to do that?

A commenter named Teila made an interesting point in response to the open question post (not the page): government should only do for people what they can't do for themselves. So you know what? I'm going to list some of the things President Obama, but more generally and importantly progressives, want to see government do:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Look at that Zebra! [Improved]

No, I am not about to post about zebras! Nor am I about to discuss the importance of working together across races and ethnicities to create a just society. I just figured for fun, why not throw up a pic! (May start using pics more often. Kinda like having a pic.)

But I do have a point. And it this: are you familiar with the law of parsimony or Occam's razor. Maybe you've heard the saying, "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras?" What it boils down to is that the simplest answer is the right answer.

I bring this up because I've heard people respond to a description of the impact of racism by saying something to the effect, "Have you considered any other explanation?" I find that response insulting, as though I'm so intellectually lazy or even so stupid that despite the obviousness of other explanations, I choose race for the hell of it. In fact:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Just In: Felony Convictions Hurt Employment Opportunities

"Eh, duh," you say. (H/t Tim Wise)

So obviously, I'm hoping to make a point, right.
EAGLE, Colorado — A financial manager for wealthy clients will not face felony charges for a hit-and-run because it could jeopardize his job, prosecutors said Thursday.

Eagle, Colorado? Where have I heard . . . oh, yeah! That's where Kobe Bryant was charged with rape. But surely there must be a different DA. Kobe's case was seven years ago.

One would tend to think so. But . . .
Haddon and Hurlbert have squared off before. Haddon was one of Kobe Bryant's defense attorneys, with lead attorney Pamela Mackey, when Bryant faced sexual assault charges in Eagle County. Hurlbert was the lead prosecutor in that case.
Figure that out and get back to me. No seriously, cause that doesn't make sense. Cents, yes. Sense, no.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Let's Be Honest with Ourselves

via Racism Review
Would you be willing to admit or accept (insert group)
• To close kinship by marriage?
• To my club as personal friend?
• To live on the same street as my neighbor?
• To be a co-worker in the same occupation?
• To citizenship in my country?
• As only visitors in my country? Or
• Would you be willing to exclude (insert group) from my country?
I'm not shy about it. With only a few exceptions, I prefer to keep my free time and space minority dominated. Don’t get it twitted, though. I graduated from UNC and attended multiracial churches back in college. But in general, I prefer spaces where I’m normal. Or, to put in better, spaces where I know I’m not being judged.

Monday, November 1, 2010

When a Picture's Worth 1000 Words . . .

It saves me a whole lot of time!!
(h/t profgeo)


PLEASE CHECK OUT THE LINK SO I HOPEFULLY WON'T BE SUDED USING THIS POLITICAL CARTOON!!

A House Divided Cannot Stand

Toot, toot!

Prometheus6 thought enough of a comment I left to make it a post. So yeah, I'm tooting my little horn. And I'll share the comment with you. I linked the posts I'm referring to:

THIS IS COMMENTARY ON THIS POST AND THE EARLIER "BOEHNERIZATION OF OBAMA" POST
Posted October 31st, 2010 by Blaque Swan
[P6: No1KState posted this comment after changing her tag to Blaque Swan. I promoted it to a post because she's talking about a major concern of mine]

Sunday, October 31, 2010

For-Profit Education?

For-profit education? Talk about unAmerican. And at taxpayer expense? Okay, well, that is American.

Let's also remember what life is like in places where the only education is limited to the private, for-profit sector of the economy. . . . Not pretty, huh?

via Portside:

When For-Profits Target Low-Income Students
Arnold L. Mitchem, 10.26.10, 12:00 PM ET

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Some Interesting Findings about the More "Antique" Tea Pots

I haven't forgotten y'all! I've just been thinking. Taking a break from debate and just thinking. I came across the following article and found it quite thought-provoking.

Why Are Elders Stirring the Tea Party Movement?

Robert W. Stock
Contributor

(Oct. 30) -- The tea party skews old.

Media descriptions of the conservative movement's protests are incomplete without references to a Walmart's worth of wheelchairs and walkers amid a sea of gray heads. Surveys of tea party supporters have found that half are over age 55 and something like a third are 65 or older.

Why?

Many experts have suggested that the elders were motivated by fear that the Obama administration will cut their Social Security or Medicare payments. But new research into the roots of elders' political and cultural attitudes suggests there may be other factors at work as well. . . .
Read the rest of the article here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Love to Say I Told You So

If tea pots and kettles aren't racists, then they're idiots! Even though I think a whole bunch of'em are both.

h/t Tim Wise

By Tuesday morning the heat was becoming too much for Bartholomew to handle. Second District GOP chair Gary Byler told the Virginian-Pilot that Bartholomew "agreed to resign because the e-mail had become a distraction to the Nov. 2 election." He offered this to the paper by way of explanation for the racist email:
The e-mail was dated March 15 and sent from the address that Bartholomew uses as party chairman. Bartholomew forwarded it without reading the contents when "he was first getting familiar with the Internet," Byler said.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Passing on Capitalism

All in all, one might say it wasn't an episode in which capitalism cloaked itself in glory. That is, unless one is Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page director and "Wonder Land" columnist Daniel Henninger. In his October 14 column, "Capitalism Saved the Miners: The Profit = Innovation Dynamic Was Everywhere at the Mine Rescue Site," Henninger argued that the miners owed their rescue to a special drill bit developed by a private U.S. company. That was his entire argument. . . .
It'd be funny if it weren't so sad. One of those "laughing just to keep from crying" situations. Besides, I thought one problem with current liberalism was our deification of "the state." But blind faith in capitalism is . . . good? via Portside:
'Capitalism Saved the Miners'? Only in Wonder Land

Thursday, October 14, 2010

You Need to Vote if Only to Protect Your Right to Do So

There's no evidence of voter fraud. Meanwhile, evidence of voter suppression is overwhelming. And all I can think is thank God my life is in His hands are not theirs.


In Hot Political Climate, Election Experts Want 'Voter Fraud' Watchdogs To Be Clear On Rules


Ryan J. Reilly
September 20, 2010, 9:56AM

As Tea Party groups take up the torch of voter fraud ahead of the midterm elections, a new poll shows that campaigns in prior elections to exaggerate the voter fraud issue have had an effect on public opinion. Meanwhile, advocates for low-income and minority voters are voicing concerns that the individuals planning to show up at polling stations to keep an eye out for those they think are illegitimate voters might be unclear on election law.

What Else Does Racism Look Like?

Setting aside the ridiculous belief by some that President Obama has done too much for the black communitiy, the unemployment rate for African American teenagers is 50%. The unemployment rate for black adults is a little more than 16%. Notwithstanding that job opportunities have left many black communities; and, schools in these communities suck; and, white convicts have an equal or better chance of getting a job black men with no criminal record; and, of course, Fox; notwithstanding all that, people will find a reason to blame the black community for all this.

None of that is new, even to wouldn't blame racism for all those disparities. So this is very important: racism is never satisfied.



It's not enough to be a child prodigy and enter college when you're only 16. It's not enough to choose a college based on location, the amount of money offered, or the quality of the major you want to study. Nope. None of that's enough. So long as you choose an HBCU over, say Harvard, people will decide you're awfully dumb to be so smart.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Before I Forget: Frustrations with Conservatives

What I find very frustrating is that they wreck the economy doing one thing, then wanna blast the Democrats for trying something else to fix the economy.

For example, taxes, okay? So, W Bush lowered taxes, especially tax rates for the top brackets and on capital gains. He farther deregulated the financial market. Now the economy isn't up to snuff, and conservatives want to argue that it's the wrong time to raise taxes on anyone or anything. That regulating the market would make the economy worse. I find their logic circular and false. It leaves me confused as to how they can claim to believe the things they say. I find much of their arguments more theory than reality-based. That adds to my confusion as well. I mean, what about the facts?

A great example of what I'm talking about comes from this discussion over P6's. And now that I think about it, conservatives and professed libertarians use the same sort of circular reasoning when it comes to race as demonstrated by a discussion I had last year with a guy named Darin Johnson over at RacismReview.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Did We Just Overcome a Little?: Sitcom The Game Returns via BET

I don't think I'll say anything that someone else isn't saying. But I hope that repetition helps drive the point home. The good news is that The Game is come back! January 2011 on BET! Check your local listings. Don't get me wrong. It's not my very, very favorite black sitcom of all time. But it's certainly in the top 5 of recent years, and when it comes out in January, it will immediately be No1 of regular black sitcoms.

Wow!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sticks and Stones . . . but Words Can Kill

I just think this is very important to remember. Washington Post's Richard Cohen, not that I'm a fan, writes:
The governor of Ohio, James Rhodes, demonized the war protesters. They were "worse than the Brownshirts and the communist element. . . . We will use whatever force necessary to drive them out of Kent."
And subsequently in 1970, four students were killed by the National Guard at Kent State.  Now of course, I wonder if Neil Young wrote a song about the Birmingham bombing and if Cohen nearly cried everytime he read it. That notwithstanding, read entire of op-ed here.

No, I Haven't Finished Reading It Yet, But . . .

I ask you, who do you think are the "lot of people on welfare who don't deserve it" who're making "very much" (emphasis mine)? By Rolling Stone's Matt Taibi:

Me?" he says proudly. "Oh, I'm a property appraiser. Have been my whole life."

I frown. "Are either of you on Medicare?"

The Devil's Greatest Trick

Again we see that racism denies historical and current facts. It, like the devil, denies its own existence. If you were born during Prohibition, I'll give you a pass on calling African-Americans "colored." But, you don't have to lynch a black person to be racist.

90-year-old Woman Asks Why "Colored People" Aren't Grateful

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Racism in the Recent Forclosure Crisis? Eh, Duh

While other economic studies have concluded that leveraged refinancing, overbuilding, collapsing home prices and a poorly regulated mortgage market were primarily responsible for the rise in foreclosures, the authors of a new Princeton University study argue that the foreclosure crisis also had racial dimensions.

[. . .]

“While policy makers understand that the housing crisis affected minorities much more than others, they are quick to attribute this outcome to the personal failures of those losing their homes — poor credit and weaker economic position,” noted Douglas Massey, the study's other author and a professor at Woodrow Wilson.

“In fact, something more profound was taking place; institutional racism played a big part in this crisis.”The authors call on the federal government to take stronger steps to rid U.S. real estate and lending markets of discrimination via amendment of the Civil Rights Act with enforcement mechanisms to uncover discrimination and sanction those who discriminate. The pair recommends sending "testers" — black and white purchasers into the marketplace to test whether they are treated differently.

Monday, October 4, 2010

All I Want for November Is to Vote

Voter Suppression 2010 Style Democratic Strategist

Democrats have plenty to worry about over the next five weeks, but it nonetheless behooves Dems to get up to speed on the latest voter suppression scams. In that regard, Demos and Common Cause have partnered to present a must-read report on the topic, "Voting in 2010: Ten Swing States: Problematic election laws and policies in ten swing states could impact enough voters to determine election outcomes."

(PDF Executive Summary here)

Another Example of Race(ism) in Sports Commentating? (Refined)

(Refinement) Today, Oct 15, Ritchie demonstrated what I like about him: truth-telling. The problem with the Dallas Cowboys lies with their head coach, who, if you haven't noticed, is white. But it's not just that he goes after a white coach, cause what he says would be true even if the head coach weren't white.

Like I say below, I normally wouldn't even have written about his commentary on Batch and Kolb had I not been working on a new page already. And yeah, you'd think Batch would be ahead of Kolb, but at the end of the day, they were both rusty. That's what kind of stuck in my craw about Ritchie's commentary. I do wanna be clear that I don't think of Ritchie as a "racist" as defined by the mainstream. Just as a former football player who may not be completely divorced of his white-identity and racial-frame, but is significantly better than the typical white guy.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Here's What Racism Looks Like: Albom v James

Now, I wasn't going to post about Lebron James's Q-scores because it's sooo talked about in so many other places, including here at Racism Review. I didn't think, and still don't think, I had anything particularly unique to add to this discuss aside from co-signing a few others who had written about it. Though, I really love this insight:
A few weeks ago, airport-hopping while on vacation, I saw at least a half dozen Miami Heat, LeBron No. 6 jerseys -- all worn by black men. Given today's anti-LeBron climate, rocking his jersey is a fairly defiant act. It says, "Screw the rest of these folks, LeBron, I'm riding with you, homeboy." It might seem as if LeBron is on an island, right now, but something tells me he knows he's not alone.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Stinking Gringo! (Updated)

update: Here's racismreview discussion, and via racismreview Information on the 1946-1948 United States Public Health Service STD Inoculation Study

Yeah, an academic article is coming out soon by Susan  M Reverby (synopsis in pdf) who found that the US infected Guatemalans with syphilis and gonorrhea during the 1940s. Kinda like the Tuskegee experiment (update: different link via racismreview) for Latin America.

Now, don't get me wrong. This has nothing to do with AIDS in the black community and whether or not the US government invented AIDS. But the conspiracy theory doesn't sound so far fetched now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

See No Race, See No Racism: More Proof that Colorblind Ideology Doesn't Work

Okay. So usually, I'm just sick. Since my last post, I've been sick and desparately trying to get my thoughts together. And quite honestly, if I spent less time commenting at other blogs, I probably would have more energy for my own blog. The problem with that is that I'm not sure of the quality of the work I'd do. I mean, here's an example of my free flowing thought process when trying to put my thoughts to words. I'll use bullet points to help us both out.
It's just that I have so many thoughts going through my head. It's hard to pick one thing to write on and then to stay focused on that thing. Especially if I'm trying to find some references to source.

But in my constant search for the truth, I did come across another very important new study (h/t Tim Wise) titled, "In Blind Pursuit of Racial Equality?" Basically, being colorblind renders us impotent to dealing effectively with race. Sure, there're other studies that find the same basic thing. But, with all those people who just swear that talking about, thinking about, or even acknowledging race/ism only increases the division between racial groups, the more evidence, the better.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oh, I Wish I Were in the Land of Cotton

Courtesy FITSNews, images from  the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) annual fall Board of Directors meeting held in Charleston, S.C. last weekend (I'm linking to the site because I'm not too big on plagiarism. I came to the story via alternet.org, who provides really good news and info.):

(captions mine)
This is why having your black conservative friends argue that you should be able to use the n-word means nothing to me.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Open Question to All Tea Partyists! Please Read and Respond

Without giving personal information,  please explain in as much detail as possible the tangible way in which this Congress and administration has negatively impacted your life.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Here's Your Free-Market at Work

I very much disagreed with Bob Herbert's last op-ed piece. I've said before and say again, the numbers for black folks are no different than any other folks. Our problem is racism, and I refuse to pretend we should be super-human.

But he redeemed himself with this most recent piece. Not to say he knows me or would care what I have to say, but you get my gist:

September 3, 2010
By Bob Herbert


Martha Escobar is staring into the cold, dark, unforgiving eyes of destitution.

Ms. Escobar is one of 16 janitors who were laid off from their jobs at a luxury complex in Los Angeles that houses some of the wealthiest tenants imaginable. JPMorgan Asset Management, a unit of the vast JPMorgan Chase empire, manages an intricate investment web that owns the buildings. The layoffs were ordered by a maintenance contractor, ABM Industries.

Friday, September 3, 2010

More Thoughts and a Hip-Hop Response Re: Restoring "Honor"

Glenn Beck's Redemption Song
Why Beck's Message at Saturday's Rally Is So Appealing
by Robert Jensen
- article after lyrics below


Snicker, Snicker! Re: Restoring Honor

H/t Tim Wise, again.

Who Can't Love This?

Awwwwwoooooooooooooooo!!! Where's Hillsong when you need'em?! LOL!


Premature infant stirs to life after two hours of ‘kangaroo care’

By Michael Inbar
TODAYshow.com contributor

Modern medicine often works wonders, but an Australian mom now knows firsthand the true miracle that can come from a mother’s touch.

Kate Ogg was told her newborn son Jamie had died after efforts to resuscitate the premature infant had failed shortly after his birth. But when Kate was given the chance to say goodbye to the apparently lifeless baby, she and her husband, David, found they were instead saying hello to the newest member of their family.

Now 5 months old and healthy, baby Jamie and his twin sister, Emily, appeared on TODAY Friday with their proud parents, who told the amazing tale of what happened to them in a Sydney, Australia, hospital last March.

Read the rest of the story here.

Let's Not Forget All the Confederate Memorials

Sorry. Not to big on the Confederate soldier statue at the old county courthouse, now museum. Yankees all the way!

h/t Tim Wise


So the controversy – for the moment – is over the mosque slated to be built near the site of the World Trade Center bombings in New York City. Don’t you worry, though. We’ll get back to that ugly immigration debate momentarily.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Set at Liberty Those Who Are Oppressed

“ The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
       Because He has anointed Me
      To preach the gospel to the poor;
      He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
      To proclaim liberty to the captives
      And recovery of sight to the blind,
      To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
       To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
  Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. (Luke 4:18-20, New King James Version)
There's been a lot of smack talk about Black Liberation Theology. And I thought I'd help set the record straight. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite shares this pithy little number over at WashPo:
There was a lavish buffet, and a senior professor in theology, carrying a plate piled high with food from the buffet, came over to where Gutierrez and I were chatting, and he loomed over Gutierrez. "So," this senior professor intoned, "Professor Gutierrez, explain liberation theology to me." Gutierrez looked at him. "It's a matter of the stomach," Gutierrez replied. "The stomach?" the large and portly senior professor said, astonished. "Yes," said Gutierrez, looking at the professor's loaded plate. "You do theology differently when your stomach is full than when it is empty."
What?! Yes! Too true, too true!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Problems with the Acronym, MLK: "Misinformed, Libelous, Know-Nothing"

No, this isn't about anything Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did or did not do in his lifetime. He's not the historical giant I most related to, but that's mostly because I'm more of an Ella Barker fan. Suffice it to say, though, I do admire him, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

That's his name, right? So then, who, or what, is MLK?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What Really Matters

In honor of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, I decided to post on issues the Movement would be concerned about:

Poverty in the United States

  • Over 37 million people in the United States lived in poverty in 2007
    • The number of people living in poverty has increased by almost 6 million since 2000. U.S. Census Bureau, 2008
    • Over 15.5 million people lived below half of the poverty line in 2007. U.S. Census Bureau, 2008
    • 37 percent of households headed by women with children present lived in poverty in 2007. U.S. Census Bureau, 2008
    • In 2007, the poverty threshold for a family of four was $21,203. U.S. Census Bureau, 2008
  • Children in the United States have the highest poverty rate of all age groups
    • Over 13 million children (age 18 and younger) lived in poverty in 2007. U.S. Census Bureau, 2008
    • The poverty rate for children was 18 percent in 2007—much higher than the poverty rates for adults 18-64 (10.9 percent) and for the elderly (9.7 percent). U.S. Census Bureau, 2008
    • A family of four generally needs to earn twice the poverty threshold to provide children with basic necessities. National Center for Children in Poverty, 2008
  • Employment alone is not always sufficient to provide a family’s basic needs
    • 55 percent of children in low-income families have at least one parent who works full-time, year-round. National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), 2008
    • 36 percent of households receiving emergency food assistance had at least one employed adult. Feeding America, 2007 (Formerly America’s Second Harvest)
    • In 2005, 25 percent of all workers earned a poverty level hourly wage.Economic Policy Institute, 2008
  • Minorities and immigrants are disproportionately affected by poverty
    • 24.5 percent of black and 21.5 percent of Hispanic people live in poverty, compared to 8.2 percent of white people. 34.5 percent of black and 28.6 percent of Hispanic children live in poverty, compared to 15 percent of white children. U.S. Census Bureau, 2008
    • 16.5 percent of foreign born US residents experience poverty versus 11.9 percent of native born residents. This number is particularly high among immigrants who have not naturalized, at 21.3 percent.U.S. Census Bureau, 2008

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

When Reporting Goes Wrong

Okay. For the record, I wasn't at the City Grill shootings or the Roxy's Bar attacks. But I do agree that residents of Buffalo, NY protesting the characterization of the City Grill shootings as gang violence have a point. You wanna make the point that a certain lifestyle involves risks? Okay, I guess. But do you really have to list the criminal records of shooting victims to make that point? Mmm . . . . probably, not. Especially when it seems your conclusions may be wrong. Especially since no one, least of all me, is suggesting that being gay may be a bad idea because you could die violently. And no one is suggesting that being gay may cause people to become violent, not even the defendant who's saying she was the victim of assault.

Nevertheless, I agree that something needs to be done to address violence in inner-city densely populated enclaves of high concentrations of poverty, and the media can help. First off,  since crime is down and you're giving a false impression of reality and a false and negative impression black people,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The State Against Black Men

As posted by Dr. Terence Fitzgerald over at racismreview, I really like the 4th paragraph and my comments are posted after the essay:

Yes We Can, But Who Cares? Implications of the Schott Report on Black Males in Public Education
By Dr. Terence Fitzgerald

The Schott Foundation for Public Education is an organization whose mission is “To develop and strengthen a broad-based and representative movement to achieve fully resourced, quality pre-K-12 public education,” recently published some heart-rending findings on the state of Black males in public education. The report, Yes We Can: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males 2010 reveals states, districts, and public schools that are statistically making academic gains toward closing the achievement gap (i.e., graduation rates and scores on state standardized examinations) between Black males and their counterparts. For example, the report affirms that the top ten best performing states in regard to decreasing the graduation gap between Black and White males are Maine, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Vermont, Idaho, Montana, Utah, South Dakota, New Jersey, and Iowa respectively. The ten best performing districts in this regard are Newark (NJ), Fort Bend (IN), Baltimore County (MD), Montgomery County (MD), Gwinnett County (GA), Prince George’s County (MD), Cumberland County (NC), East Baton Rouge Parish (LA), and Guilford County (NC). In my opinion, the report would make a stronger argument and cause readers to give a heavy pause when looking at the data when it was combined with an explanation as to why these states and districts are showing an improvement in the graduation rates.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

She Quit!

Yep, Dr. Laura is ending her show!!

But let's just stipulate that the 1st amendment doesn't give anyone the right to a talk-radio show. And it's not the government that's ending her show. She's ending it voluntarily. Eh, duh.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Only because Don Lemon Does a Good Job


Important Notice about Comments

Something went wrong. Don't ask me what. Possibly when I tried blogger's new designs.

But anyway, if you haven't been able to comment, please comment here. All future posts should be open to comments. But if there was a post you wanted to comment on and couldn't, please let me know. If it's one of the last 5 or 6, I've already opened those back up to comments. Farther than that, please let me know.

Thanks and sorry.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Black Men, Never Consent to Being Searched!

I don't care who you are. A well-known NBA player or some regular cat hanging out on the corner. DO NOT CONSENT TO BEING SEARCHED! I mean, the Udonis Haslem's car multiple time!

Multiple times! All because, "according to a statement released by the Florida Highway Patrol, a trooper ``smelled an odor of marijuana from within the vehicle.''" And apparently,
officers searched the car three times for drugs — an initial search and then a search with drug dogs yielded nothing.We’re told when officers searched the car a third time, they discovered less than 20 grams of marijuana.
I repeat, "officers searched the car three times for drugs — an initial search and then a search with drug dogs yielded nothing. We’re told when officers searched the car a third time, they discovered less than 20 grams of marijuana (emphasis mine)."
Haslem's attorney, Eric Schwartzreich, said the marijuana found in Haslem's 2008 Mercedes sedan was inside the duffel bag of the passenger, Antwain Fleming, and that Fleming admitted to police that it was his. Still, it was Haslem, who according to the police report signed a consent form to allow for a search of the vehicle, who was charged with felony possession, and Fleming faces a misdemeanor charge of possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What Does God Do for You: Continuing My Series, "A Conflict of Faiths"

I can't quite grab the question I want to ask, but it's something like this: how do white Christians engage their faith?

See, I know that throughout history through today, the black Church has been a source of strength to the black community. Not just our faith in God, but the strength found in community. Individually, our faith and trust in God gets us through . . . everything. Craziness where you work? Call on Jesus. Craziness at home? Call on Jesus. Craziness at church? Call on Jesus. We don't wait for a catastrophe before turning to God. And the music and excitement on Sunday? That's our praise and thanksgiving for what God's done, what God's doing, and what's yet to come.

Now, don't misunderstand me. Not every black person is religious or Christian. But the vast majority of us are.

Now, white Christians. How do you engage your faith? Setting aside that for white Christians, religiosity equals racism, how do you use your faith? Is it a source of strength? How does it inform your identity if it does? Or, is it a source of social status?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Okay. Let's Talk. But I Get to Go First.

This is an interesting article. Food for thought. My only quibble is the suggestion that the racial grievances of working and middle-class white be heard. Most of their complaints, ie affirmative action and the safety of integrated neighborhoods, I find baseless. I mean, if they're willing to accept the facts, I guess it's a reasonable request, to be heard.

On the other hand, maybe they just want to be heard but not necessarily heard first - in which case, all right. Let's talk.

Share This Article

Bookmark and Share

But Don't Jack My Genuis