If There Were a 1% Debate… MLK vs. Romney

What would MLK do? What would MLK say?

There is very little evidence that MLK would have anything good to say about today’s Republican Party. Indeed – for many folks today’s Republican have gone about as low as you can go.

Here is a mash up of points by MLK and “Willard” Romney…

Toure – No Post-Racial America

Toure has burst onto the scene, primarily as a guest on Martin Bashir’s MSNBC show recently with a distinctive slant on racial relations in America. First, Toure’s comments on Cain’s sexually molesting women – and then an opinion piece in the Times. Touré is the author ofWho’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?

No Such Place as ‘Post-Racial’ America

Dear America,

Please, I beg you, stop using the bankrupt and meaningless term “post-racial!” There’s no such thing as “post-racial.” There’s no place that fits the description “post-racial America.” There’s no “post-racial era.” It’s a term for a concept that does not exist. There’s no there there.

We are not a nation devoid of racial discrimination nor are we a nation where race does not matter. Race and racism are still critical factors in determining what happens and who gets ahead in America. The election of Barack Obama ushered in this silly term and now that he’s begun running for re-election, I’m here to brusquely escort it out of the party called American English because it’s a con man of a term, selling you a concept that doesn’t exist.

“Post-racial” is a mythical idea that should be as painful to the mind’s ear as fingernails on the chalkboard are to the outer ear. It’s an intellectual Loch Ness monster. It is indeed a monster because it’s dangerous. What people seem to mean by “post-racial” is: nowadays race no longer matters and anyone can accomplish anything because racism is behind us. All of that is false. But widespread use of the term lends credence to the idea that all of that is true—I mean, why would we have a term for an idea that’s not real? In that way the lie becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and thus feeds the notion that it’s O.K. to be somnambulant about race or even aggressively dismissive of it.

If, as “post-racial” suggests, race no longer matters, then we no longer need to think about race or take the discussion of it seriously. In this way the concept becomes a shield against uncomfortable but necessary discussions allowing people to say or think, “Why are they complaining about racism? We’re post-racial.”

This barrier to conversation is dangerous in a nation where race and racism still matter very much. A place where black unemployment is far higher than white unemployment, where profiling and institutional racism and white privilege and myriad other forms of racism still shape so much of life in America. If we don’t need to discuss race then it’s allowed to fester and grow unchecked like an untreated malignant tumor. Race is an issue every American must care about. It’s not a black issue, it’s everyone’s issue. It’s relevant and important for whites because we all live here together and because the issue hurts everyone. If your neighbor’s house is on fire, or gets foreclosed, you have a problem. If your neighbor’s soul is on fire you have a major problem…. (Go Here for the rest of the article)

An Angry Black Man as President

Giant Negro Alert! An Angry Black Man – an image President Obama has tried desperately to escape by “Milquetoasting” himself into near electoral and Presidential oblivion…

Has finally peeked through.

John McWhorter made his chops by criticizing the black community and black students as anti-education. He was instantly lauded as a darling of the right, quoted in virtually every right-wing publication in the country. Probably one of the most “literate” writers in America, his writing can vary from the sublime to the utterly literally obtuse. McWhorter isn’t exactly a card carrying member of the Project 21 Lawn Jockey Squad – he’s a guy akin to Juan Williams who is, somewhere in what was, before our politics became so polarized – that middle to moderate. Which means to this Blogger – sometimes he’ll piss you off, and sometimes he’ll say something that you feel is dead right. It’s what our political spectrum used to be about before Karl Rove.

The great lie in this country is that “politics has become polarized” as both sides have moved to the extremes. It is a lie because the Left really hasn’t gone anywhere. The right in this country has made a leap out into the world of the tin foil hats – which just makes traditional left positions seem further away. What can you say of a group which has so polarized itself that any Republican wandering from the orthodoxy is labelled as a RINO and targeted for electoral elimination by his own party – and even staunch Republicans like Lamar Alexander are willing to leave their Senate Leadership positions because of the polarization his party forces upon him?

The Tea Party in this country is a rabid dog. Proof of that? Here and here and here. The only solution to dealing with a proverbial “rabid dog”…

Is the proverbial “2 x 4 between the eyes”. To paraphrase a quote by Ben Franklin – “No amount of reason can get a person out a position reason didn’t get them in in the first place.”

One of those times McWhorter gets it right.

It’s Time We Had an Angry Black President

The president has been talking some new talk. He should keep it up, and even step it up.

Obama rode in on his vaunted oratorical abilities, but the kind of ability we fell in love with him for is no longer of any use. The calls for unity, the echoes of Martin Luther King Jr., the rising above it all — it was great then, and maybe there will be a time for more of it in some years. But only after some new things have happened. And if they’re going to, Obama needs to retool his oratorical chops for a new style. I highly suspect that he’s up to it.

The present-day Republican establishment, with its know-nothing ideology and blithe absence of concern for most American human beings, has become tragically similar to the famously inert, heartless Senate of the Gilded Age, which for decades killed almost all progressive legislation even when it had been carefully hammered out in the House. The problem continued into the 1960s, before which the Senate was run by old-style Southern Democrat committee chairmen who for generations resisted, among other things, serious race-based legislation.

The president had no way of knowing that he would be up against as hollow-hearted and anti-intellectual a contingent as the Tea Partiers. But as of the debt-ceiling negotiations, it has become clear to all of us — Obama included — that we’re not going to be rising above much of anything anytime soon.

It’s time for the president to fight fire with fire, and he can accomplish much of it with a new way of talking. Obama needs to take a cue from the way even top-level politicians communicate in Parliament debates in the United Kingdom: a feisty, often almost heckling style of debate and address in which words and phraseology are wielded as weapons.

We saw hints in his jobs speech two weeks ago that the president is finally understanding this. “I know that some of you have sworn oaths to never raise any taxes on anyone for as long as you live,” he addressed to a particular stripe of Republican, with a quiet smirk.

Good line. Many of them must have felt a touch silly having that fact pinned overtly upon them. Many people going along to get along would be shocked to have someone follow them all day for a week with a mirror so that they could watch themselves acting as they do.

Students working in a classroom with a large mirror on the wall have been shown to perform better. This kind of rhetoric can help change people, change minds and thus foster change.

Mr. President, along these lines, please start calling some names. This week’s callout to Speaker of the House John Boehner was a good start, when you proclaimed about his intransigence: “That’s not smart. It’s not right.” The Republicans have had no compunction about lobbing dirt at you; at this point you must do some of the same to avoid seeming — and thus, in many ways, being — weak.. (Catch the rest over at The Root)

New Scholarship for White Men

A man in Texas has formed a non-profit to distribute scholarships to white men. While well to do, or “connected” white men get a lot of breaks – poor guys have to pretty much claw and scratch for themselves. So no, in my view it isn’t racism – in that unlike conservatives it isn’t trying to tear anyone else down. Seems like a good idea – poor white guys need a hand up, too. Interesting what the groups definition of “white” is!

Texas Group Offers Scholarships to White Men Only

A new nonprofit group in Texas is offering college scholarships to a demographic it says has fewer scholarship options than other groups: white men.

The group, called the Former Majority Association for Equality, was started by Colby Bohannon, a student at Texas State University. He’s an Iraq War veteran who decided to return to school and said he had trouble finding college scholarships for which he qualified. He found many programs willing to grant money to female or minority students, but not white males like himself.

“I felt excluded,” Bohannon told The Austin American-Statesman. “If everyone else can find scholarships, why are we left out?”

So Bohannon and some friends founded the FMAE group, which plans to begin handing out $500 scholarships this summer. Only white men with at least a 3.0 grade point average can qualify.

“We know that we’re going to be receiving some vicious attacks from people claiming that we are racists or promoting some bigotry-filled agenda,” Bohannon also told Reuters. He said he’s just trying to help students who may have been a majority in the past, but are no longer as America’s demographics change.

“If you’re not a male, and if you’re not white, you’re called a minority,” Bohannon said, but “I’m not sure white males are the majority anymore.”

He’s correct about his home state of Texas, at least. Non-Hispanic whites are now a minority there, according to U.S. Census figures released earlier this month that show they make up about 42 percent of the state’s population, down from more than half 10 years ago.

Bohannon has since been forced to qualify his group’s scholarship requirements after receiving requests from some students who are of mixed race or ethnic backgrounds. He now says students are eligible if they’re a quarter non-Hispanic white.

“We’re not looking for blond-haired, blue-eyed, stereotypical white males,” he told Reuters. “My feeling is that if you can say you’re 25 percent Caucasian, you’re Caucasian enough for us.”

The group was formally incorporated in Texas last March, and is currently accepting applications for fall 2011 scholarships. It “has no political aspirations, financial agenda, or radical social philosophies whatsoever,” the group said in a statement on its website.

“I believe in equality for everyone, as well as being a strong believer that everyone should have an opportunity to attend college no matter who they are or where they come from,” Calysta Spence, FMAE’s fundraising coordinator, told The University Star, a student newspaper at Texas State, where Bohannon is a student.

Fear Of the Angry Black Man

What is Portrayed By Conservative Media.

You’ve heard the term “Angry black man/woman” probably too many times for it to register anymore. Most black professionals run into it personally at one time or another, and it is a common device utilized in political and corporate infighting against black employees.

It is a device, dependent on the ignorance or bias of other white employees and managers, which can cause serious career damage to the accused black employee. Often phrased as “having a chip on the shoulder” when a black employee reacts no differently than a white employee to a situation, or when the employee is a black woman, as having “an attitude”, the false canard is just another of those “black taxes” on the way to that still not reached post-racial nirvana.

This irrational, racially driven bias provides a serious challenge to President Obama’s image.

 

What President Obama Projects…

Obama and the Question of the ‘Angry Black Man’

Dec. 23, 2010 – Since his 2008 campaign, much discussion has been devoted to understanding President Obama’s approach.  At various points Obama’s public coolness has been seen as a plus, while at other points it has been viewed as a real minus.  On those rare occasions when Obama has dared give expression to his ire, he has confronted the “angry black man” issue and any concerns he may have regarding the perception that an “angry black man” has assumed the role of President of the United States of America.

In the last two weeks two friends of mine have written pieces critical of my assertion that part of understanding Barack Obama is to understand his intense fear of being perceived as an “angry black man.” One friend simply stated his disagreement with me, while the other ridiculed my position. Both friends happen to be white.

Before I go any further let me be clear that I do not articulate this analysis as in any way a defense of Obama. As my record shows, I have been highly critical of the President on many issues.  What has me unsettled, however, is how easy it has been for many white leftists and progressives to dismiss the matter of the “angry black man” without fully interrogating the concept and its implications.  In that sense, this is about much more than President Obama.

Continue reading

The Racial Social Dynamics of Hyper-Segregation in Chicago

Chicago is probably the most segregated city in America. So what are the social dynamics and results of this level of segregation?

One of the most famous restaurants in DC is Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street, where regulars and the staff trade barbs with their food orders in a good natured ribbing every day. The clientele ranges from the local service people, to some of the richest and most powerful people in America. New York Delis have a reputation for salty exchanges…

But this one in Chicago take it from good humored to bad.

Warning – this video is liberally spiced with profanity, and scenes of racial taunting.

Hat Tip – Blackspot.news.

more about “The Weiner Circle“, posted with vodpod

The Post-Racial SOTU

Matthews lays out an interesting dynamic of President Obama’s SOTU Speech last night. Opposition to this Presidency has far too often been based on race – not politics. That isn’t only the slack-jawed inbred Republican Tea Bagger sort – but doubts some white Americans have about this black guy with a funny name, who doesn’t look like Joe next door. It is the second sort of “not quite racism” which leaves the door open for the Drugbos, Becks, and Sno’ Ho’s to spew their vile racist filth.

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