The Color Of His Presidency
A few weeks ago, the liberal comedian Bill Maher and conservative strategist and pundit Bill Kristol had a brief spat on Maher’s HBO show, putatively over what instigated the tea party but ultimately over the psychic wound that has divided red America and blue America in the Obama years. The rise of the tea party, explained Maher in a let’s-get-real moment, closing his eyes for a second the way one does when saying something everybody knows but nobody wants to say, “was about a black president.” Both Maher and Kristol carry themselves with a weary cynicism that allows them to jovially spar with ideological rivals, but all of a sudden they both grew earnest and angry. Kristol interjected, shouting, “That’s bullshit! That is total bullshit!” After momentarily sputtering, Kristol recovered his calm, but his rare indignation remained, and there was no trace of the smirk he usually wears to distance himself slightly from his talking points. He almost pleaded to Maher, “Even you don’t believe that!”
“I totally believe that,” Maher responded, which is no doubt true, because every Obama supporter believes deep down, or sometimes right on the surface, that the furious opposition marshaled against the first black president is a reaction to his race. Likewise, every Obama opponent believes with equal fervor that this is not only false but a smear concocted willfully to silence them. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Apr 15, 2014 -
"America is in the midst of two major changes to its population: We are becoming majority non-white at the same time a record share is going gray. Explore these shifts in our new interactive data essay
posted by Chutzler
on Apr 13, 2014 -
Manhattan District leader Mark Levine
plans to run for a city council seat in 2013, for District 7
. The problem? Thomas Lopez-Pierre, a Harlem activist who is also running for term-limited Councilman Robert Jackson’s seat, circulated an e-mail
late on November 26th in an attempt to plan a “private meeting” to “discuss the potential damage to the political empowerment of the Black and Hispanic community if Mark Levine, a White/Jewish candidate was elected to the 7th Council District in 2013.”
posted by roomthreeseventeen
on Nov 29, 2012 -
You start out in 1954 by saying, “N-----, n-----, n-----.” By 1968 you can’t say “n-----”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N-----, n-----.”
The full audio of Republican operative and Karl Rove mentor Lee Atwater's infamous 1981 interview has been obtained and published by The Nation. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty
on Nov 16, 2012 -
Right now Baltimore, MD plays host to FemmeCon
, a biannual gathering for those who "seek to explore, discuss, dissect, and support Queer Femme
as a transgressive, gender-queer, stand-alone, and empowered identity and provide a space for organizing and activism within Queer communities". Some of the issues faced by queer femme culture include femme invisibility in larger queer culture
, the lack of non-stereotypical role models
, being classed 'femme' by default
, dismissal as "too much"
, as well as intersectional issues of femme with race
, and disability
. In the meantime, femme subcultures such as tomboy femme
, hard femme
, and FEMME SHARKS
as well as femmes in specific regions
come together for inspiration
and support from each other - as well as from appreciative butches
posted by divabat
on Aug 18, 2012 -
It all comes down to race.
Michael Tesler, expanding upon the research of his mentor David Sears, has found racial bias to be a strong indicator of people's opinions on a myriad of political and other issues. The effect extended even to issues that normally would be the most stable and to opinions that would seem divorced from politics. [more inside]
posted by caddis
on Jun 2, 2012 -
Categories as fundamental as fact and fiction, news and entertainment, gender and sexuality, have eroded away. In literature and architecture, in cuisine, in music, in fashion and furnishings, everywhere, everything—it’s fusion and mix.
Barack Obama emerged as a literal embodiment of this age. To educated people, especially younger people with generally progressive views, other candidates suddenly looked parochial by comparison—or simply outdated. In his ethnicity and biography and in his personality and politics, Obama, the conciliator, was above all a combiner. Because he was from virtually everywhere—Kenya, Indonesia, Honolulu, Harvard, Chicago’s South Side—he was also from nowhere. The pastiche of his persona made him “his own man” in a new sense of the term.
On the Politics of Pastiche and Depthless Intensities: The Case of Barack Obama
posted by Rumple
on Aug 25, 2011 -
The Gray And The Brown
- why the baby boom generation's concerns about race may mean that it's stabbing itself in the back as it moves into retirement.
posted by Artw
on Aug 19, 2010 -
Due to “credible death and kidnapping threats”
, T-Pain has cancelled a concert in Guyana for Mashramani
, the festival that marks the anniversary of Guyana’s independence from Great Britain.
Last years, celebration was soured by a killing spree
perpetrated by a heavily armed gang led by man known as “Fine Man”. Because the 23 victims were mainly of East Indian descent, the massacre was a powder keg issue for the tiny South American nation. With a population of 44% East Indian and 30% African ancestries, Guyana tends to be socially and politically divided along ethnic identity lines. [more inside]
posted by Stu-Pendous
on Feb 24, 2009 -
Obama's Gettysburg Address. Today we saw and heard a preview of our brightest possible American future in Senator Barack Obama's glorious speech. This, then, is what it means to be presidential. To be moral. To have a real center. To speak honestly, from the heart, for the benefit of all. If there was any doubt about what we have missed in the anti-intellectual, ruthlessly incurious Bush years, and even the slippery Clinton ones (the years of "what is is"), those doubts were laid to rest by Barack Obama's magisterial speech today. A speech in which he distanced himself from a flawed father figure, Reverend Wright, and did so with almost Shakespearian dignity and honor.
One of the most important speeches on race in decades if not longer. (text
) [more inside]
posted by caddis
on Mar 18, 2008 -
Patricia Todd won a tight Democratic party runoff in District 54 in Alabama. Patricia Todd is also gay and would be the first gay representative in Alabama's history. Gaynell Hendricks doesn't understand why she lost, but maybe it has to do with the race baiting
. Hendricks' mother-in-law contests
the election for numerous reasons including "illegal votes were given to Todd" and said that "I want this controversy settled.This is happening like when Bush and Gore were running for president. I don't like it." Unsurprisingly, "Hendricks said she is pleased that someone challenged the results. "
Weeks go by and the results don't get certified. A five member committee is appointed and bickers
. Eventually the committee refrerences an old by law that has apparently not been enforced since 1988 to disqualify
Todd. Although it does not seem quite over
, it should be by tommorrow.
Interestingly enough, Todd said she believes the challenge has nothing to do with the fact she is gay, but is about the fact that she is white and won in a majority black district.
posted by dig_duggler
on Aug 25, 2006 -
Why do we always seem to expect the worst from some people?
By now, it's common knowledge that media reports of widespread looting, violence and sexual assault in the wake of Katrina's strike on New Orleans were grossly exaggerated, but why? Some might attribute such distortions to unconscious bias
, offering up some hope of alleviating racial tension by bringing unexamined racial biases to light; still others see the problem of racial tension as an intractable one, leading inevitably to an all-out clash of cultures--even finding "evidence" of the inevitably of such a conflict in the unlikeliest of places.
Still others seem especially eager
to bring all these tensions to a head. What's really going on these days? Is racial tension ultimately a political problem or, as some suggest, a psychological one
posted by all-seeing eye dog
on Oct 21, 2005 -
The Rise and Fall of the Black Voter
is a remarkable sequence of maps graphically describing the realignment of voting patterns in the U.S. during the past century (read this
for a bit more context). It is an excellent companion to the purple
maps of the most recent election, and a nice antidote to simplistic
comparisons of pre-Civil War and recent electoral college maps. Republicans can bask in the glow of their successful "Southern Strategy
," while Democrats can take heart that change, while often slow, is still possible
posted by googly
on Dec 15, 2004 -
Is the GOP tampering with Florida elections?
The New York Times reports that State police officers have gone into the homes of elderly black voters in Orlando and interrogated them as part of an odd "investigation" that has frightened many voters, intimidated elderly volunteers and thrown a chill over efforts to get out the black vote in November.
Also, see here
Why do we even put up with this?
posted by black8
on Aug 16, 2004 -
Bush camp solicits race of Star staffer. President Bush's re-election campaign insisted on knowing the race of an Arizona Daily Star journalist assigned to photograph Vice President Dick Cheney.
The jounalist's name was Mamta Popat. She sure sounds
like a terrorist.
posted by JeffK
on Jul 31, 2004 -
Black-Jew Rift Widens After Southern Primaries
WASHINGTON — Participants in this month's Congressional Black Caucus conference say the defeat of two black House members in bitter primaries not only suggests a widening rift with Jewish Democrats, but trouble within the Democratic Party itself.
I have long considered the Democrats in trouble: one of their charms. A Black loses to another Black and it is the fault of the Jews? Reparations? Assuming there had been a strong lobby at work to get the Jewish vote to come out against these candidates, is that un-American? Don't we vote for those we feel best serve our interests? Odd that he Protocols of Zion not mentioned.
posted by Postroad
on Sep 18, 2002 -
"Moyers's difficulty conversing with people on the right seems to have impaired his ability to report their opinions fairly, particularly on issues of race. "The right gets away with blaming liberals for their efforts to help the poor, but what the right is really objecting to is the fact that the poor are primarily black," he told Alterman. "The man who sits in the White House today [George H.W. Bush] opposed the Civil Rights Act. So did Ronald Reagan. This crowd is really fighting a retroactive civil rights war to prevent the people they dislike because of their color from achieving success in American life."" (via medianews
posted by owillis
on Feb 18, 2002 -
National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice -- concert pianist, figure skater, Stanford University Provost, speaker of 4 languages -- should be the poster child for Black achievement in the 21st Century. So why is she largely ignored, if not outright scorned, by the Black community? Could it be because she's a Republican
Who's stirring up this pot? Some conservative like O'Reilly, Limbaugh, North? Nope, just a liberal Black female newspaper columnist
posted by pardonyou?
on Dec 17, 2001 -
At least Helms tries
to pretend he's offended...
Warning: Quicktime file, may put you off your feed.
posted by GriffX
on Sep 6, 2001 -
So, living in two hispanic-dominated regions (Los Angeles, South Florida), I've seen the growth of the latino population create one of the oddest political coalitions ever. Ultra-conservatives (mostly white) want to tighten the borders because they see their "way of life" disappearing or mixing linguistically with Spanish. Blacks are threatened by dropping to #3 in the country's racial make-up, and see whatever political power they've gained begin to evaporate in a numbers game. In LA's recent mayoral race, this coalition became the deciding factor
in defeating the latino candidate.
posted by owillis
on Jun 18, 2001 -
The so-called model minority
inspire an amazing amount of mistrust, according to a survey of US residents. Featuring the revelation that one third
of those polled "said Chinese Americans are more loyal to China than to the United States. "
posted by anildash
on Apr 25, 2001 -
Welcome back, state's rights.
As if Dubya's comments following his "ethnic" Cabinet appointments wasn't enough retrograde logic -- roughly: if blacks and hispanics (would only?) work hard and make the right choices in life -- he's now using language that has been used to mask agendas based on race from before the Civil War
through the fight against integration
. And it looks like that fight ain't over
, if you read "states rights" in today's context to mean the right to spend public funds on getting (primarily) white kids out of (primarily) black schools.
posted by subpixel
on Jan 6, 2001 -