Only in 1967 did Loving v. Virginia
overturn vigorously-enforced laws against interracial marriage in these 15 states--Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Only in 1964 did the Civil Rights Act
overturn laws against equal access to voting, public accommodation, and public education. Only in 1963 did the Equal Pay Act
mandate that men and women be paid the same wage for the same work at the same job.
isn't a superhighway, leading us in straight lines toward utopia. We fall back
and we move forward
, but over the past fifty years, the United States has become considerably more inclusive and equality of access to opportunity has widened. Take a look at this article
from the Atlantic Monthly
in 1956--1956!--if you don't believe me.
posted by Sidhedevil
on Nov 4, 2004 -
"Black Like me"
: the notion of "Race" is know known to be scientifically meaningless
, but now roll back the clock to 1959 : "...John Howard Griffin (1920-1980) was a true Renaissance man. Having fought in the French Resistance and been a solo observer on an island in the South Pacific during World War II, he became a critically-acclaimed novelist and essayist, a remarkable photographer and musicologist, and a dynamic lecturer and teacher. On October 28, 1959, after a decade of blindness and a remarkable and inexplicable recovery, John Howard Griffin dyed himself black and began an odyssey of discovery through the segregated American South. The result was Black Like Me, arguably the single most important documentation of 20th century American racism ever written....Because of Black Like Me, Griffin was personally vilified, hanged in effigy in his hometown, and threatened with death for the rest of his life."
posted by troutfishing
on Sep 19, 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 -
It’s 4am. In the past twenty hours you've done everything you could ever have imagined-- been chased by black helicopters
, climbed mountains
, been scared out of your wits
, broken the land-speed record for a mini-van, agonized over the inadequate size of your cranium
, jumped for joy, and told your best friend off. Everything but sleep. You won't get to do that for at least another 8 hours.
A combination of scavenger hunt, road rally and mental gymnastics, The Game sends six-person teams scurrying across the landscape in vans equipped with laptops and photocopiers, maps, bibles, walkie-talkies, GPS units, cryptographic cheat sheets and, variously, wetsuits, sledgehammers and blowtorches. Sound fun? Go for it
posted by Daddio
on Apr 21, 2004 -
African-American == Black?
Several high-school students at a predominantly white (well, predominantly NOT black) Nebraska high school were disciplined for a campaign to get 16-year-old student Trevor Richards awarded the school's annual "Distinguished African-American Student" award. Richards is from South Africa, now lives in America (not sure if he's a citizen, the CNN story isn't clear), but here's the catch: he's white.
posted by Bluecoat93
on Jan 23, 2004 -
Woman claims she's Strom Thurmond's mixed-race daughter
Everyone's favorite segregationist dixiecrat had an out-of-wedlock, mixed-race daughter that he "provided financial support" to from 1941 on. The mind boggles how, at any moment in the last 60 years, this news could have deep-sixed Strom's political career -- but somehow didn't.
posted by dogmatic
on Dec 14, 2003 -
Slavery Ended in the 1960s, not the 1860s
The Civil War made slavery illegal, but that didn't wipe it out completely. White farmer, John Williams, forced his black overseer to murder 11 slaves
in the wake of a 1921 federal investigation. The Dial Brothers
were also convicted by the Justice Department for "African slavery" in the 1940s. In another case, a black genealogist found a 104-year-old man
who claims he and his family were enslaved until the 1960s. It's not necessary to rehash the entire reparations debate
to realize that some of these post-Civil War slavery cases may finally have a day in court.
posted by jonp72
on Dec 5, 2003 -
This new film
[25MB, QuickTime] documents the 3rd annual Bring Your Own Big Wheel race, in which a bunch of crazed fools raced headlong down San Francisco's Lombard Street
(aka: the crookedest street in the world) on Big Wheels. Good drunk fun! Here are some pics
for the bandwidth-challenged.
posted by scarabic
on Sep 30, 2003 -
You're not from around here, are you?
On Tuesday in Wellesley, MA a kindergartener was put on the wrong bus to go home from afterschool care. The boy is black, and the bus is for the Metco program, which buses minority kids from Boston to suburban schools. Random mixup, or racial bias at work? Much hand-wringing ensues.
posted by serafinapekkala
on Sep 5, 2003 -
How Hip-Hop Holds Blacks Back
As a white guy with a young kid, I worry about how the often gleefully violent, misogynist rap music he may choose to listen to could affect him. Maybe that's a racist thing for a white boy to say, but when a black scholar like John H. McWhorter
says it, maybe it's worth considering.
posted by kgasmart
on Aug 6, 2003 -
The World Triathlon Corporation ("WTC")
runs the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon. Most people have heard of the 2.4 mile swimming, 112 mile biking and 26.2 mile running race in Kona, Hawaii. It's the best-known and most prestigious race in the sport of the triathlon (although no longer the most lucrative
). Legend has it that the event was born in 1978 when some buddies in Hawaii, led by former Navy captain John Collins, were debating which was the toughest sporting event in Hawaii: the 2.4-mile Waikiki Rough Water Swim
, the 112-mile bike race around Oahu, or the 26.2-mile Honolulu Marathon
. After more than a few beers, the legend goes, the small group decided to attempt all three distances in one day, and the Ironman was born. Today, the Ironman ("IM") is a trademarked event replicated annually almost 20 times all over the world by the WTC. These (and a few 1/2 IM races) function as qualifying races
for Hawaii, which now serves as the World Championship. Basically, each of these events is allotted a number of qualifying slots
per age group and you have to win a spot for Kona. The non-pros that they show on TV are generally the result of 200 lottery
slots or special invitation (celebrity, good tv story, etc).
Athletes are lining up to get into IM races in the US. Currently, there are 4 IM trademarked races in the US: Ironman USA
in Lake Placid, Ironman Wisconsin
in Madison, Ironman Coeur d'Alene
in Idaho and Ironman Florida
in Panama City. What you may not know is that to participate in one of these you routinely have to register and pay the $400+ fee almost one year in advance. Registration for the 2003 races closed within a week or two of the completion of the 2002 races. Just recently, registration for the 2004 Ironman USA -- 2003 was held last weekend -- closed in two days
, so you're already too late for next year
And who are these entrants? According to USAT demographics
, over 41% of triathletes (USAT members) earn more than $80,000 per year, 40% have college degrees and 48% have graduate/post-graduate degrees. Perhaps reflective of the demographics, CEO's
(of corporations with a minimum $1 Million in annual gross revenue) now have their own racing category.
The WTC may own the name "Ironman" but I have my eye on a non-WTC, "iron distance" event this year: Duke
. You can still register
for this one.
Here is a 13-week Ironman training schedule
for a 12-14 hour finishing time.
posted by probablysteve
on Aug 5, 2003 -
Old white Congressman tells black activist to get out of his state: "The people of Michigan have a simple message to you: go home and stay there. We do not need you stirring up trouble where none exists. Michiganders do not take kindly to your ignorant meddling in our affairs. We have no need for itinerant publicity seekers, non-resident troublemakers or self-aggrandizing out-of-state agitators." (pdf link -- emphasis added)
You'd be forgiven for assuming this letter was written in 1965 from a southern segregationist to a civil rights activist. But the writer is actually the most senior Democrat in Congress, John Dingell
, the activist is University of California Regent (and Affirmative Action opponent) Ward Connerly
, and the letter was written July 6, 2003. It seems Dingell isn't happy with Connerly’s efforts to promote a Michigan ballot initiative outlawing the use of race as a factor in hiring and college admissions
. But Connerly isn't one to just bow his head and shuffle back to Cali
: "[T]he term arrogance does not begin to capture the essence of a United States Congressman advising an American citizen to refrain from participating in the affairs of his government. Ironically, your advice is the echo of southern segregationists who sought the comfort of states' rights to practice their discrimination against black Americans. Have you learned nothing about 'civil rights' from that horrible chapter in our nation's history?" [via Critical Mass]
posted by pardonyou?
on Jul 22, 2003 -
A split decision from SCOTUS on Affirmative Action
-- in cases specifically involving the University of Michigan, the court rules that the law school's AA standard is legal while the undergraduate standard is not. The University president is spinning this as a full out victory because the court has now "given a roadmap" for how Affirmative Action programs can be designed for higher education nationwide. While polls show that Americans want diversity in education but are unsure about Affirmative Action
, it doesn't look like it's going away any time soon. And the fundamental question remains: when it comes to education, is being a racial minority four times more important than having held a position of national leadership? Twenty times more important than writing an outstanding admissions essay?
posted by Dreama
on Jun 23, 2003 -
Liberals are going the extra mile to validate economic insanity by Conservatives. Do some people have an economic advantage? Do majorities have something in common that minorities don't share? I went to Japan this year, and sure, being a minority sucks. Does that mean that there is whiteness or blackness or asianness, or the new and exciting hispanicness? No. There's no such thing.
Stop the madness: Race and Gender are just more games for people who need hobbies. Insanity inside.
posted by ewkpates
on Jun 20, 2003 -
Are you ready for some... NASCAR?
"Consider, 4 out of 5 NBA players are African American, 67 percent of NFL players are minorities, and last season, 23 percent of major league baseball players were born in Spanish-speaking countries (an increase of 40 percent from 1989). All of those sports, except football, are experiencing a dip in popularity. Meanwhile, the conspicuously white NASCAR is on an unprecedented run up the profit chart."
posted by owillis
on Mar 9, 2003 -
Front-line troops disproportionately white, not black.
While blacks are 20% of the military -- compared with 12% of the U.S. population -- they make up a far smaller percentage of troops in combat jobs on the front line. In a host of high-risk slots -- from Army commandos to Navy and Air Force fighter pilots -- blacks constitute less than 5% of the force, statistics show. Blacks, especially in the enlisted ranks, tend to be disproportionately drawn to non-combat fields such as unit administration and communications. ''If anybody should be complaining about battlefield deaths, it is poor, rural whites,'' says Charles Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern University in Illinois.
posted by dagny
on Jan 22, 2003 -
I stumbled across a fairly controversial opinion piece concerning racial integration
it's fairly mild compared to some of the writers
. Never the less, his observations on this subject seem to hold up under scrutiny. With few exceptions, whites and blacks seem to prefer their own company, and as evidenced by these
, even young urban professionals seem happiest among their own race.
posted by Beholder
on Jan 13, 2003 -
A report commissioned by outgoing Maryland governor Parris Glendening has found interesting racial disparities in the death penalty
: although it appears the race of the defendant
is irrelevant individually in the application of capital punishment, such is is not the case when one weighs in the race of the victim
of a crime, in which the killing of a white person by a black person nearly doubles the likelihood of the defendant receiving the death penalty, "primarily because they are substantially more likely to be charged by the state's attorney with a capital offense."
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Jan 7, 2003 -
White House Silent on Racial Controversy. Bill Back, the California Republican party's vice chairman running for the top job, sent out an e-mail newsletter in 1999 that reproduced an essay that said "history might have taken a better turn" if the South had won the Civil War and that "the real damage to race relations in the South came not from slavery, but from Reconstruction, which would not have occurred if the South had won."
posted by four panels
on Jan 6, 2003 -
*: In 1986, Professors Signithia Fordham and John Ogbu introduced this phrase into our cultural lexicon, presenting evidence that black academic underperformance might be partially or largely attributable to a devaluation of academic success by black students themselves. Needless to say, this theory was controversial
... [*via Arts & Letters Daily] [more inside]
posted by grrarrgh00
on Dec 2, 2002 -
In the late 18th or early 19th century a group of runaway slaves and serfs fled from Kentucky into the Ohio Territory, where they inter-married with Natives and formed a tribe - red, white & black - called the Ben Ishmael tribe. The Ishmaels (who seem to have been Islamically inclined) followed an annual nomadic route through the territory, hunting & fishing, and finding work as tinkers and minstrels. They were polygamists, and drank no alcohol. Every winter they returned to their original settlement, where a village had grown.
But eventually the US Govt. opened the Territory to settlement, and the ~official~ pioneers arrived. Around the Ishmael village a town began to spring up, called Cincinnati. Soon it was a big city. But Ishmael village was still there, engulfed & surrounded by "civilization." Now it was a ~slum~.
, Jackson Whites
, the Moors of Delaware
, the Ben Ishmaels--hat tip to Footnotes of History on that
Red Bones, Brass Ankles, Turks, Lumbees, Croatans
and other lost tribes
and rebel slave communities
The questions raised are what is race, tribe and family ...among others.
Included by extension are Hakim Bey
, The Moorish Orthodox Church
, various tribes of Black Indians
, Jukes, Kallikaks, Margaret Sanger, The Bell Curve
and Heather Locklear. (Step within the tent for the latter's interpetive dance)
posted by y2karl
on Nov 15, 2002 -
What's wrong with this teacher's comments?
A Pasadena HS teacher circulated a letter with his complaint that African American students at the school are the reason for bad behavior and low test scores. He's now suspended...rightly? More inside...hoping to keep this civil, too...(thanks to Jim Romenesko)
posted by serafinapekkala
on Oct 23, 2002 -
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 -
Palestinian comic booted from Jackie Mason's comedy show
Ray Hanania, a Palestinian comic in Chicago, was set to open for headlining act Jackie Mason. A few hours before the show, Mason had him booted. "It's not exactly like he's just an Arab-American. This guy's a Palestinian," said Jyll Rosenfeld, Mason's manager. "Jackie does not feel comfortable having a Palestinian open for him." Ouch. (Imagine if the tables were turned: "Ray does not feel comfortable having a Jew open for him")
Too bad, really. If there's one thing the I/P conflict needs, it's more humor. Like this Muslim-Jewish Comedy Night
posted by laz-e-boy
on Aug 28, 2002 -
Race/Music: Corrine Corrina, Bo Chatmon, and the Excluded Middle. Bo Carter
is not the household name that, say, Robert Johnson is but he first recorded and most likely wrote one of the standards of the 20th Century. The essay linked deals with him, his song and the push me-pull you of race and culture in America. It's a post graduate thesis rife with postmodernist terminology--yet full of ideas and insights, not all of which I necessarily endorse or agree with--but which I've found thought provoking. (Details Within)
posted by y2karl
on Aug 1, 2002 -
White couple gets black twins, sue IVF clinic.
Experts say a mistake could have occurred in one of three ways.The wrong sperm could have been used to fertilise the right egg, the right sperm could have been used to fertilise the wrong egg, or the embryo implanted in the woman may have been another couple's altogether. Although it is not clear whether another couple has laid claim to the children, legal experts say the judge will be expected to make a modern-day judgment of Solomon on who should be considered the babies' legal parents. This is unploughed legal ground. Is there a fair way to sort this out?
posted by Mack Twain
on Jul 17, 2002 -