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The Ghetto Is Public Policy

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in The Atlantic:The Effects of Housing Segregation on Black Wealth. As the wealth gap widens between whites and blacks in America, and after reading this list and this list, he concludes The Ghetto Is Public Policy. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 12, 2014 - 31 comments

“Before I came to America, I didn’t know I was black.”

To be gay, Christian and black in Harlem West African asylum seekers face a new kind of discrimination in the US
posted by infini on Jun 7, 2014 - 7 comments

Resegregation in the American South

The most recent story in ProPublica's Living Apart: Examining America's Racial Divide series is "Segregation Now," which focuses on the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, city school district "and its fleeting experience with the challenges and virtues of integration." But beyond Tuscaloosa, "almost everywhere in the United States, the gains of integration have been eroded. And nowhere has that been more powerfully and disturbingly true than in the South – once home to both the worst of segregation and the greatest triumphs of integration. Freed from the federal oversight that produced integration, schools districts across the 11 former states of the Confederacy have effectively re-instituted segregation for large numbers of black students, in practical terms if not in law." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 17, 2014 - 90 comments

Forgive me for being longwinded, but I was speaking from the heart.

As Gawker has done for a couple years now, they sent letters to all the U.S. death row inmates who have execution dates in the upcoming year. Texas inmate Ray Jasper, who is set to be executed later this month, responded with an incredible letter on his thoughts about the US justice system, race, Christianity, and society as a whole.
posted by gman on Mar 5, 2014 - 84 comments

People of Color are not an anachronism

The Tumblr blog People of Color in European Art History, or medievalpoc for short, has a simple mission: to showcase works of art from European history that feature People of Color. All too often, these works go unseen in museums, Art History classes, online galleries, and other venues because of retroactive whitewashing of Medieval Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia. [more inside]
posted by daisyk on Dec 8, 2013 - 107 comments

The Logic of Stupid Poor People

"If you are poor, why do you spend money on useless status symbols like handbags and belts and clothes and shoes and televisions and cars? One thing I’ve learned is that one person’s illogical belief is another person’s survival skill."
posted by parudox on Oct 29, 2013 - 393 comments

It's just not the same without Caaaaaptain Chaos!

There are just 2,795 miles of interstate and 31,000 highway cops between them and the all-time speed record for crossing the American continent on four wheels. Welcome to the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, later known as the US Express race: The Cannonball Run. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 5, 2013 - 103 comments

"...the 2012 campaign still looks like a titanic collision between the economy and demography."

In 2008, the National Journal released The Hidden History of the American Electorate, an analysis of exit poll demographics conducted by multiple news organizations from US presidential elections between 1988 and 2004. The study looked for "pressure points in the electorate": trends which were likely to decide the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. They've released an update for 2012, by adding exit poll results from the 1980, 1984, and 2008 presidential elections. It gives a more comprehensive look at voting trends over a 32 year period of the groups whom they believe are likely to influence the outcome in November. Charts: Voting Preferences of the American Electorate, 1980-2008
posted by zarq on Sep 3, 2012 - 54 comments

A black Harvard student, running at night to catch a bus, hears, ‘What did you steal this time?’

Is America a post-racial society? Not yet, says Kenny Wiley. [more inside]
posted by asnider on Jul 17, 2012 - 102 comments

"Niggas" in Practice

"Niggas" in Practice Jay-Z, Gwyneth Paltrow, and when white people can say the word. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Jun 12, 2012 - 297 comments

Teach them well and let them lead the way

According to the U.S. census bureau, from July 2010 to July 2011, more than half of all babies born were members of minority groups, a first for the United States. [more inside]
posted by cashman on May 16, 2012 - 59 comments

Where we are. Who we are.

The New York Times presents an interactive map of America's population separated by race, income, and education, according to census data from 2005 to 2009. One dot for every 50 people. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by schmod on Dec 15, 2010 - 80 comments

Nah, we straight.

Code-switching is using different languages or language varieties in different contexts. Ta-Nehisi Coates does it. Jay-Z does it. The President does it. But, for African Americans, is code-switching necessary to escape poverty, an element of race as performed or neither?
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Oct 22, 2010 - 63 comments

How Social Science Treats Inner-City Poverty

Anyone who wishes to understand American society must be aware that explanations focusing on the cultural traits of inner-city residents are likely to draw far more attention from policy makers and the general public than structural explanations will. It is an unavoidable fact that Americans tend to de-emphasize the structural origins and social significance of poverty and welfare ... If, in America, you can grow up to be anything you want to be, then any destiny—even poverty—can be viewed through the lens of personal achievement or failure. William Julius Wilson on the political and academic failure to recognize structural causes of inner-city poverty. Wilson interviewed in conjunction with the article. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Aug 5, 2010 - 12 comments

above us only sky

The end of white America is a cultural and demographic inevitability. "At the moment, we can call this the triumph of multiculturalism, or post-racialism. But just as whiteness has no inherent meaning—it is a vessel we fill with our hopes and anxieties—these terms may prove equally empty in the long run. Does being post-racial mean that we are past race completely, or merely that race is no longer essential to how we identify ourselves?"
posted by plexi on Jan 16, 2009 - 69 comments

"If I allow the fact that I am a Negro to checkmate my will to do, now, I will inevitably form the habit of being defeated".

The Jackie Robinson of architecture. An orphaned African American boy from downtown Los Angeles, Paul Revere Williams wanted to be an architect, and when he mentioned his career goal the high school guidance counselor ”stared at me with as much astonishment as he would have had I proposed a rocket flight to Mars... Whoever heard of a Negro being an architect?”. Therefore, Williams learned to read and draw upside down -- he knew that white clients would not sit next to him -- graduated from USC and in 1924 became the first certified African American architect west of the Mississippi. In a 50-year long extraordinary career, he designed landmarks like the Theme restaurant at Los Angeles International Airport (with Welton Becket), the LA County Courthouse, the Hollywood YMCA, Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, restored the Beverly Hills Hotel. Some of his most interesting buildings, like the La Concha Motel in Las Vegas have either been razed to the ground or, like the "Batman house", aka 160 S San Rafael mansion in Pasadena, have been destroyed by fire. Now, Williams' historic Morris Landau House has been cut into 21 separate pieces and sits in a Santa Clarita storage yard, rotting away. More inside.
posted by matteo on Jul 2, 2006 - 25 comments

The Two Americas

Last September, a Category 5 hurricane battered the small island of Cuba with 160-mile-per-hour winds. More than 1.5 million Cubans were evacuated to higher ground ahead of the storm. Although the hurricane destroyed 20,000 houses, no one died. What is Cuban President Fidel Castro's secret? According to Dr. Nelson Valdes, a sociology professor at the University of New Mexico, and specialist in Latin America, "the whole civil defense is embedded in the community to begin with. People know ahead of time where they are to go. Cuba's leaders go on TV and take charge," said Valdes... "Merely sticking people in a stadium is unthinkable.. Shelters all have medical personnel, from the neighborhood. They have family doctors in Cuba, who evacuate together with the neighborhood, and already know, for example, who needs insulin." They also evacuate animals and veterinarians, TV sets and refrigerators, "so that people aren't reluctant to leave because people might steal their stuff," Valdes observed.

The Two Americas. See also A Nation's Castaways, 'To Me, It Just Seems Like Black People Are Marked' & White Man's Burden
posted by y2karl on Sep 4, 2005 - 69 comments

"I'd rather play a maid than be one"

Call her Madame. Among the old-timers, the story went like this: a woman known to everyone as Madame came to California from Kentucky with her children and her husband. But once they were in the Gold Rush State, her husband left her. Desperate to find work, she introduced herself to a movie director named D. W. Griffith. He not only cast her in his movie, but the two became friends for life. And with this woman, called Madame Sul-Te-Wan, what we now call Black Hollywood began -- as a new book by historian Donald Bogle explains. (more inside)
posted by matteo on Feb 7, 2005 - 6 comments

BOHICA!

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 and here. Why do we even put up with this?
posted by black8 on Aug 16, 2004 - 61 comments

Bush camp solicits race of Star staffer

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 - 30 comments

Reparations Sought From U.S. Firms for Slavery.

Reparations Sought From U.S. Firms for Slavery. Big U.S. companies were named in a lawsuit on Tuesday filed on behalf of black Americans descended from slaves, the first-ever class action seeking reparations from firms for profiting from slavery. Is this really sensible?
posted by sixdifferentways on Mar 26, 2002 - 96 comments

PBS's Televangelist:

PBS's Televangelist: "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 - 43 comments

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 - 46 comments

Shudder...

Shudder... 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 - 15 comments

And I thought Florida only had this problem.

And I thought Florida only had this problem. The Chicago Tribune reports that nearly 8% of votes in Illinois' 1st Congressional District went uncounted in the 2000 presidential election. It also adds: voters in low-income, high-minority districts nationwide were more likely to have undercounted ballots than were those in affluent, predominantly white districts, the study showed. Is there a nation-wide epidemic of undercounting? Or is it a problem limited to few localized areas? Or is it an underhanded way to deny the underprivileged of their vote? From the looks of it, at least additional investigation needs to be done.
posted by Bag Man on Jul 9, 2001 - 15 comments

Amexica.

Amexica. 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 - 20 comments

Here's your reparations money, now shut up!

Here's your reparations money, now shut up! Another POV in the slavery reparations debate: From the conservative National Review, an argument that paying off black Americans would be worth it "if they could no longer play the race card."
posted by darren on Mar 20, 2001 - 24 comments

Welcome back, state's rights.

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 - 13 comments

perfect headline: Chad Is a Country in Africa Racism—Florida's Real Scandal
posted by palegirl on Nov 21, 2000 - 1 comment

Let the witch-hunt begin.

Let the witch-hunt begin. Truthfully, I don't blame the police one bit for taking the guy down as hard as they did... he resisted arrest 2-3 times as well as exchanged gunfire with them twice before they subdued him.
posted by da5id on Jul 13, 2000 - 71 comments

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