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The First Briton….Was Black

DNA is destroying the artificial construct of race. The oldest known skeleton found in England is of a dark skinned man with blue eyes. Which means lighter skin developed much much more recently than previously believed…By about 30,000 years.

DNA Tests on an Ancient Skeleton Reveal the First Briton Was Black, Not White

‘It really shows up that these imaginary racial categories we have… are not applicable to the past at all,’ said one project worker.

The first person known to have lived in Britain had dark skin, according to cutting-edge scientific analysis from London’s Natural History Museum.

In research that may raise eyebrows among modern-day white nationalists, scientists used DNA analysis from Britain’s oldest nearly complete skeleton to reveal he had dark skin and blue eyes.

The skeleton was discovered in 1903 and is known as Cheddar Man, after the area where he was found, which is also where the cheese originated. He’s believed to have lived more than 10,000 years ago and is the oldest Briton to have ever had their DNA tested—with some surprising results.

The research suggests that light skin developed in ancient Britons much later than previously thought, with experts commenting that it flies in the face of modern perceptions of Britain, Europe, and race.

Tom Booth, a Natural History Museum archaeologist who worked on the project, told The Guardian: “It really shows up that these imaginary racial categories that we have are really very modern constructions, or very recent constructions, that really are not applicable to the past at all.”

Yoan Diekmann, a biologist at University College London and another project worker, added that the connection drawn by some between Britishness and whiteness was “not an immutable truth. It has always changed and will change.”

The discovery is embarrassing for white nationalists such as Richard Spencer, who has previously linked whiteness to Europe, saying previously that he wanted the U.S. to become “a homeland for all white people, all European people.”

According to the scientists who ran the project, it was previously assumed that Europeans developed paler skin thousands of years before Cheddar Man and he was previously believed to have had pale skin and fair hair.

However, they believe the research shows that the lighter pigmentation in Europeans is a “far more recent” phenomenon and that one in 10 modern-day Brits share ancestry with the dark-skinned Cheddar Man.

Scientists obtained the DNA sample by drilling a 2mm hole in the ancient skull, which allowed them to extract some bone powder. Using the “unusually well-preserved” DNA, they then constructed a likeness of his head using a 3D printer and a high-tech scanner.

Prof. Chris Stringer, a research leader at the Natural History Museum, said: “I first studied Cheddar Man more than 40 years ago, but could never have believed that we would one day have his whole genome—the oldest British one to date!”

“To go beyond what the bones tell us and get a scientifically based picture of what he actually looked like is a remarkable (and from the results quite surprising!) achievement.”

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2018 in Black History, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Joe Biden Evicerates the Chumph’s Racism

Obama, following the custom of ex-Presidents not going after their successors, no matter how illegitimate – has gone very easy on Putin’s Bitch despite the continued attacks on his record and lies.

Biden has decided, enough is enough.

 

‘We Are Living Through a Battle for the Soul of This Nation’

The former vice president calls on Americans to do what President Trump has not.

In January of 2009, I stood waiting in Wilmington, Delaware, for a train carrying the first African American elected president of the United States. I was there to join him as vice president on the way to a historic Inauguration. It was a moment of extraordinary hope for our nation—but I couldn’t help thinking about a darker time years before at that very site.

My mind’s eye drifted back to 1968. I could see the flames burning Wilmington, the violence erupting on the news of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the federal troops taking over my city.

I was living history—and reliving it—at the same time. And the images racing through my mind were a vivid demonstration that when it comes to race in America, hope doesn’t travel alone. It’s shadowed by a long trail of violence and hate.

In Charlottesville, that long trail emerged once again into plain view not only for America, but for the whole world to see. The crazed, angry faces illuminated by torches. The chants echoing the same anti-Semitic bile heard across Europe in the 1930s. The neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and white supremacists emerging from dark rooms and remote fields and the anonymity of the web into the bright light of day on the streets of a historically significant American city.

If it wasn’t clear before, it’s clear now: We are living through a battle for the soul of this nation.

The giant forward steps we have taken in recent years on civil liberties and civil rights and human rights are being met by a ferocious pushback from the oldest and darkest forces in America. Are we really surprised they rose up? Are we really surprised they lashed back? Did we really think they would be extinguished with a whimper rather than a fight?

Did we think the charlatans and the con-men and the false prophets who have long dotted our history wouldn’t revisit us, once again prop up the immigrant as the source of all our troubles, and look to prey on the hopelessness and despair that has grown up in the hollowed-out cities and towns of Ohio and Michigan and Pennsylvania and the long-forgotten rural stretches of West Virginia and Kentucky?

We have fought this battle before—but today we have a special challenge.

Today we have an American president who has publicly proclaimed a moral equivalency between neo-Nazis and Klansmen and those who would oppose their venom and hate.

We have an American president who has emboldened white supremacists with messages of comfort and support.

This is a moment for this nation to declare what the president can’t with any clarity, consistency, or conviction: There is no place for these hate groups in America. Hatred of blacks, Jews, immigrants—all who are seen as “the other”—won’t be accepted or tolerated or given safe harbor anywhere in this nation.

That’s the America I know. That’s who I believe we are. And in the hours and days after Charlottesville, America’s moral conscience began to stir. The nation’s military leadership immediately took a firm stand. Some of America’s most prominent CEOs spoke out. Political, community, and faith leaders raised their voices. Charitable organizations have begun to take a stand. And we should never forget the courage of that small group of University of Virginia students who stared down the mob and its torches on that Friday night.

The greatness of America is that—not always at first, and sometimes at enormous pain and cost—we have always met Lincoln’s challenge to embrace the “better angels of our nature.” Our history is proof of what King said—the long arc of history does “bend towards justice.”

A week after Charlottesville, in Boston, we saw the truth of America: Those with the courage to oppose hate far outnumber those who promote it.

Then a week after Boston, we saw the truth of this president: He won’t stop. His contempt for the U.S. Constitution and willingness to divide this nation knows no bounds. Now he’s pardoned a law-enforcement official who terrorized the Latino community, violated its constitutional rights, defied a federal court order to stop, and ran a prison system so rife with torture and abuse he himself called it a “concentration camp.”

You, me, and the citizens of this country carry a special burden in 2017. We have to do what our president has not. We have to uphold America’s values. We have to do what he will not. We have to defend our Constitution. We have to remember our kids are watching. We have to show the world America is still a beacon of light.

Joined together, we are more than 300 million strong. Joined together, we will win this battle for our soul. Because if there’s one thing I know about the American people, it’s this: When it has mattered most, they have never let this nation down.

 

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Too Black! White Supremacists “Flunking” DNA Tests

Looks like there is more than one “N789r in the woodpile” in a lot of white supremacist’s families.

In certain parts of the country 25-30% of the “white” folks actually have one or more black ancestors.

And sometimes those DNA tests can come back radically  different than anything you expect.

Image result for white person black DNA

Well,,,Those that are racist do.

White nationalists are flocking to genetic ancestry tests — but don’t like what they find

It was a strange moment of triumph against racism: The gun-slinging white supremacist Craig Cobb, dressed up for daytime TV in a dark suit and red tie, hearing that his DNA testing revealed his ancestry to be only “86 percent European, and … 14 percent Sub-Saharan African.” The studio audience whooped and laughed and cheered. And Cobb – who was, in 2013, charged with terrorizing people while trying to create an all-white enclave in North Dakota – reacted like a sore loser in the schoolyard.

Wait a minute, wait a minute, hold on, just wait a minute,” he said, trying to put on an all-knowing smile. “This is called statistical noise.”

Then, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, he took to the white nationalist website Stormfront to dispute those results. That’s not uncommon: With the rise of spit-in-a-cup genetic testing, there’s a trend of white nationalists using these services to prove their racial identity, and then using online forums to discuss the results.

But like Cobb, many are disappointed to find out that their ancestry is not as “white” as they’d hoped. In a new study, sociologists Aaron Panofsky and Joan Donovan examined years’ worth of posts on Stormfront to see how members dealt with the news.

It’s striking, they say, that white nationalists would post these results online at all. After all, as Panofsky put it, “they will basically say if you want to be a member of Stormfront you have to be 100 percent white European, not Jewish.”

But instead of rejecting members who get contrary results, Donovan said, the conversations are “overwhelmingly” focused on helping the person to rethink the validity of the genetic test. And some of those critiques – while emerging from deep-seated racism – are close to scientists’ own qualms about commercial genetic ancestry testing.

Panofsky and Donovan presented their findings at a sociology conference in Montreal on Monday. The timing of the talk – some 48 hours after the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. – was coincidental. But the analysis provides a useful, if frightening, window into how these extremist groups think about their genes.

Reckoning with results

Stormfront was launched in the mid-1990s by Don Black, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. His skills in computer programming were directly related to his criminal activities: He learned them while in prison for trying to invade the Caribbean island nation of Dominica in 1981, and then worked as a web developer after he got out. That means this website dates back to the early years of the internet, forming a kind of deep archive of online hate.

o find relevant comments in the 12 million posts written by over 300,000 members, the authors enlisted a team at the University of California, Los Angeles, to search for terms like “DNA test,” “haplotype,” “23andMe,” and “National Geographic.” Then the researchers combed through the posts they found, not to mention many others as background. Donovan, who has moved from UCLA to the Data & Society Research Institute, estimated that she spent some four hours a day reading Stormfront in 2016. The team winnowed their results down to 70 discussion threads in which 153 users posted their genetic ancestry test results, with over 3,000 individual posts.

About a third of the people posting their results were pleased with what they found. “Pretty damn pure blood,” said a user with the username Sloth. But the majority didn’t find themselves in that situation. Instead, the community often helped them reject the test, or argue with its results.

Some rejected the tests entirely, saying that an individual’s knowledge about his or her own genealogy is better than whatever a genetic test can reveal. “They will talk about the mirror test,” said Panofsky, who is a sociologist of science at UCLA’s Institute for Society and Genetics. “They will say things like, ‘If you see a Jew in the mirror looking back at you, that’s a problem; if you don’t, you’re fine.'” Others, he said, responded to unwanted genetic results by saying that those kinds of tests don’t matter if you are truly committed to being a white nationalist. Yet others tried to discredit the genetic tests as a Jewish conspiracy “that is trying to confuse true white Americans about their ancestry,” Panofsky said.

But some took a more scientific angle in their critiques, calling into doubt the method by which these companies determine ancestry – specifically how companies pick those people whose genetic material will be considered the reference for a particular geographical group.

And that criticism, though motivated by very different ideas, is one that some researchers have made as well, even as other scientists have used similar data to better understand how populations move and change….

For the study authors, what was most interesting was to watch this online community negotiating its own boundaries, rethinking who counts as “white.” That involved plenty of contradictions. They saw people excluded for their genetic test results, often in very nasty (and unquotable) ways, but that tended to happen for newer members of the anonymous online community, Panofsky said, and not so much for longtime, trusted members. Others were told that they could remain part of white nationalist groups, in spite of the ancestry they revealed, as long as they didn’t “mate,” or only had children with certain ethnic groups. Still others used these test results to put forth a twisted notion of diversity, one “that allows them to say, ‘No, we’re really diverse and we don’t need non-white people to have a diverse society,'” said Panofsky….

 

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2017 in The Definition of Racism, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Color Lines – Appearances Can Be Decieving

Race in America is a amorphous thing. Most likely what “classification” you fall into will be based on your looks.

I have a family relationship with the Shinnecock Tribe, and from the pic below, knew this author’s mother, and possibly her father. The Reservation is pretty small, and all of the teens often gathered together at the beach. There was a NYC connection as well. I am not Native American (Not one drop according to my DNA test), however one of my Uncles married a Native American and lived on the reservation. I spent a number of summers both working and visiting the Reservation and am an Honorary Member of the Tribe. Which doesn’t mean anything in terms of identity, but does mean because of my Uncle’s marriage I have a few cousins there.

My family has everything from blonde haired, blue eyed to deepest ebon. The first of which caused a lot of problems back in the day. As a teen, I struggled with the existence of both black and “white” relatives. To understand that, you have to understand the historical context of the 60′ black “awakening”.

I don’t share Ms Joseph’s thoughts about Donezal. The only thing I see there is a tragedy.

Stealth sisterhood: I look white, but I'm also black. And I don't hate Rachel Dolezal

Stealth sisterhood: I look white, but I’m also black. And I don’t hate Rachel Dolezal

I am white, I am black, I am Native American. And I know what it’s like for people not to see all of who I am

On a hot, humid New York City morning in 1980, I stood with my mother in the checkout line of an A&P supermarket near our home. As she pushed our groceries along the cashier’s belt with me trailing behind, mom realized she had forgotten her wallet at home, but she had her checkbook. Leaving me standing alone in the line for a moment while she saw the manager to have her check approved, the clerk refused to bag our groceries and hand them to me. She was black, and I was white. “These groceries belong to that woman over there,” the woman nodded towards my mother. “They ain’t yours.” Confused, I said, “But that’s my mother. I’ll take them for her.” She looked me up and down. “No,” she said, her voice cold.

The clerk refused to believe that indeed I belonged to, and came from, my black mother, until mom returned to find me choking back tears. She gave the clerk a tongue lashing, which was not her style, and we left the market.  Later, mixed Native American and black children threw stones at me near my home on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation as I rode my bike. They yelled, “Get off our land, white girl!” These painful and strange experiences gave me my first taste of racial prejudice, and they have stayed with me all these years.

I am a child of many nations. I am white, I am black, I am Native American. I am West Indian, German, Irish. Brown and light together — integrated, not inter-racial, because race means nothing when you come from everywhere.

This Sunday’s New York Times Race-Related section ran a fascinating piece on DNA and racial identity by West Chester University professor Anita Foeman. For the past decade, she has asked hundreds of people to take part in ancestry DNA tests, and to date, over 2,000 have participated. “But first,” she wrote, “I ask people how they identify themselves racially. It has been very interesting to explore their feelings about the differences between how they define themselves and what their DNA makeup shows when the test results come in.”

Those results are often startling to the subjects and rife with racial stereotypes, Foeman found. According to her studies, some who came up with surprise Asian heritage in spite of looking white or brown noted, “That’s why my son is good at math!” Others who explored African heritage responded, “I thought my biological father might be black; I heard he liked basketball.”  Many of us harbor deeply-rooted prejudices that we aren’t even aware of, until it matters to us.

I don’t remember what mom said that day in the supermarket, but I can tell you that while she had been the object of many, many racist remarks and challenging situations in her life, she was not entirely prepared for what happened that day. That’s not to say she didn’t talk about the reality of how our family was different from others. To try to address the dearth of literary references to kids who looked like me, my mother physically altered my childhood books, using markers to make one parent brown and other other white, while the child originally drawn remained white-appearing, like me. But the scene in the supermarket still took her by surprise.

Confrontations over race can still catch Americans unprepared, such as when Rachel Dolezal, the now-former head of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP, appeared on the media radar. Dolezal, who stopped by Salon recently to talk with me on her book tour, was born white but identifies as black and calls herself “transracial.”

Dolezal was “outed” two years ago by her biological parents for not being black as she had claimed, and subsequently resigned from the NAACP. She became a polarizing figure under heavy media scrutiny as she appeared to dodge questions about her unconventional chosen identity. She has been unable to continue to work as a university instructor of African and African American art history, and to this day is despised by many observers, black and white, for posing as a black person.

My Salon colleague D. Watkins, an African American writer from Baltimore, wondered why Dolezal couldn’t just “use her whiteness to advocate for black people,” rather than making up and living in her own fantasy world where race and ethnicity no longer cause any social or political delineations. He is one of many to hold this opinion, and it’s one I agree with.

Rebecca Carroll wrote for Dame in 2015 about what she calls Dolezal’s “apocalyptic, White privilege on steroids” with a palpable anger shared by many people of color. When I talked to my childhood writing mentor Barbara Campbell, a former New York Times reporter who is African American and has two multiracial sons, she wondered about Dolezal with a mix of anger and genuine confusion. “What is wrong with that woman? I feel empathy for her, because she is clearly delusional, but she can step out into the world as a white woman any time she wants to stop being ‘black.’ Black women don’t have that luxury.”

Campbell explained that growing up in St. Louis, she had many light-skinned relatives who resembled Dolezal and could “pass” for white, but otherwise lived their lives as people of color. “They would go to ‘work white,’ because they could earn more money and get better-paying jobs, but then they would go home and be black.”

But this Dolezal thing — this is a horse of another color entirely. Why, wondered many, would someone white want to live within the very real challenges of being black in America, when she had a choice? Dolezal’s explanation? She doesn’t define herself by race, just a feeling of affinity with the black culture she’s always had.

As one might expect, the last few years have been tough since her exposure, she told me, noting her newly adopted legal name, Nkechi Amare Diallo, which she claimed was a “gift” to her by a Nigerian man. When she arrived at our offices, it was hard to know what to think, or believe. Frankly, it was hard to feel any animosity at all, despite the vitriolic sentiments many of my dark and light-skinned family, friends and colleagues had for Dolezal. She arrived carrying her beautiful, light brown baby son, Langston Hughes (Yes. Stop. That’s his name. What can you do?), who was cared for by her adopted black sister, Esther. Dolezal appeared like any other tired, working mom. I offered her coffee, and empathy, rather than taking an adversarial approach.

I did suggest, however, that some of the passages in her new book, “In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World,” were outrageous and possibly specious. Dolezal shrugged. “I don’t expect everyone to agree with or believe me,” she said. Among her claims: she grew up living in a tee pee in Montana (my Native American percentage shudders). She was beaten by her parents and forced to weave and wear a coat loomed from dog hair. She identified with people of color from an early age, after reading her grandmother’s National Geographic magazines, and spread mud on her face to try to feel what it was like to have brown skin. Dolezal has said some very polemical things, some — dare I say — dumb things, that do not make her a sympathetic figure. Comparing her white Montana childhood to what chattel slaves experienced, even if indeed she was miserable, is a stretch by any measure, and engendered rightful animus from real black folks…Read the Rest Here

 

 
 

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Black As We Wanna Be

The author makes the argument that to destroy racism, you first need to destroy the concept of race.

mcknight_douglass_otu_img

Frederick Douglass, February 21, 1895. (National Park Service, Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Washington, DC)

Black as We Wanna Be

Trying to remedy racism on its own intellectual terrain is like trying to extinguish a fire by striking another match. The fiction must be unbelieved, the fire stamped out.

In her 2003 book Regarding the Pain of Others, Susan Sontag explored some questions about the ever-evolving technology of photography and what it does to us, particularly when it’s used to capture moments that would normally make us avert our eyes. “Perhaps the only people with the right to look at images of suffering of this extreme order,” Sontag wrote, “are those who could do something to alleviate it—say, the surgeons at the military hospital where the photograph was taken—or those who could learn from it. The rest of us are voyeurs, whether or not we mean to be.” Sontag spends much of the book discussing war photography; scant pages mention images and cruelties closer to home.

In the modern American context, there remains perhaps no more insidious cruelty than the belief—constantly manipulated and reinforced—that race is a natural and constant thing, something that should have any bearing on how we choose to organize our society and our lives. And though the convergence of racism and the photographic impulse isn’t new, the recent pictures and videos of killings by police officers have given renewed life to the questions that Sontag explored—and those she didn’t. Indeed, these images raise fewer questions about the act of looking at them than about the ways in which we view ourselves.

To modern eyes, the photographic portraits of Frederick Douglass are not so remarkable. Douglass was almost always photographed seated, wearing a dark suit, alternately staring directly into the camera and looking off to one side. As he abided by the portrait conventions of the era, only his skin color would have made these portraits remarkable in Douglass’s own time. The real joy of Picturing Frederick Douglass (2015)—a collection of 60 portraits, taken between 1841 and 1895; his four speeches on his theory of photography; and a critical essay by Henry Louis Gates Jr.—is to study his constancy. The changes in Douglass’s facial expressions across all of the portraits are mostly imperceptible: He looks serious, defiant, and proud.

The final portrait of Douglass was taken on February 21, 1895. He’d died the day before. That image shows him lying on his bed in Washington, DC. It is mostly a spectral gray-white. His hair and beard, his clothes, the bed linens, and the wall in the background all appear to be about the same color. There’s a faint outline of his profile, and with his hands crossed over his abdomen, he looks as dignified as ever.

The photographers can be forgiven for what time has done to their work—milkiness where there might have been clarity, yellows and browns where whites and blacks might have once revealed more. But looking through the portraits, you could well begin to think that Douglass was more an artist than any of the photographers who pointed the camera at him.

His portraits are, in effect, the emblems of his more than 50 years of performance art. Photography was a tool that Douglass used in his abolitionist efforts to counteract images of inferiority and magnify the presence of a dignified, well-dressed, intelligent Negro. In total, the editors of Picturing Frederick Douglass have identified 160 distinct portraits of the former slave, abolitionist, writer, and orator. There are more photographic portraits of Douglass than there are of Abraham Lincoln, George Custer, Red Cloud, or Walt Whitman. Moreover, Douglass was deliberate about disseminating them. He gave them as gifts; he printed them in newspapers, including his own, The North Star; he used them to promote abolitionist and civil-rights organizations.

In 1849, Douglass found an unauthorized engraving of himself that pictured him with a smile. The image angered him. In The North Star, he wrote that it had “a much more kindly and amiable expression than is generally thought to characterize the face of a fugitive slave.” By then, Douglass had not been a fugitive slave for three years, but something in his psyche remained trapped. Paintings and engravings, he continued, were too dependent on the artist’s predilections to figure into Douglass’s mission:

Negroes can never have impartial portraits at the hands of white artists. It seems to us next to impossible for white men to take likenesses of black men, without most grossly exaggerating their distinctive features. And the reason is obvious. Artists, like all other white persons, have adopted a theory respecting the distinctive features of Negro physiognomy.

Thus, Douglass preferred the burgeoning technology of photography—which faithfully rendered the appearance of its subject—and a few trusted engravers. In “Pictures and Progress,” a speech he gave sometime between November 1864 and March 1865, he more fully articulated his theory of photography and its potential to inspire social change. In reference to photographs in general, he said that “by looking upon this picture and upon that [one],” we are able to compare, “to point out the defects of the one and the perfections of the other.” More specifically, he viewed his own pictures as signs of perfection, in contrast to the defects of the more common images of Negroes during his lifetime.

Objectivity is part of what Douglass liked best about photography, and so Douglass, with his exercise in constancy, manipulated what he set in front of the camera. He performed his vision of perfection, which he sought to use as a basis for antislavery and civil-rights advocacy. But as much as Douglass worked for and achieved progress in the abolitionist movement, he knew the limits of human endeavor. “All subjective ideas become more distinct, palpable and strong by the habit of rendering them objective,” he said in an 1862 speech. “By its exercise it is easy to become bigoted and fanatic, or liberal and enlightened.” Photographs merely represented both the technology and the form that, he believed, gave him the best chance at reaching the latter.

Nowadays, it’s become popular, again, to note that white supremacy is a harmful ideology. By insisting on that fact tirelessly, Black Lives Matter has brought about the slogan for a countervailing ideology and become the vessel for activist energy and potential change. That BLM has focused national attention on police injustice is a commendable achievement. However, for all its dynamism and appeals to moral goodness, the movement shares a foundational belief with Douglass: the ideology of race as a natural fact.

Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality, a 2012 book by the scholars (and sisters) Karen and Barbara Fields, should be more widely read than it is—no matter its current reach. In it, the authors achieve an intelligence and agility that is rare in discussions of identity, racism, and inequality. They start by asserting distinctions between two common words. Race is “the conception or the doctrine that nature produced humankind in distinct groups, each defined by inborn traits”; racism is “an action and a rationale for action, or both at once,” which “always takes for granted the objective reality of race.” To describe the “mental terrain” on which race and racism operate, the Fieldses coined the term racecraft, which defines “what goes with what and whom (sumptuary codes), how different people must deal with each other (rituals of deference and dominance), where human kinship begins and ends (blood), and how Americans look at themselves and each other (the gaze).” The term takes its provenance from “witchcraft,” which, the authors argue, is a useful way to understand the fiction’s dominance over our minds.

In “Pictures and Progress,” Douglass spoke pointedly about the limits to his insistence on objectivity. Pictures, he said, “are of the earth and speak to us in a known tongue. They are neither angels nor demons, but in their possibilities both. We see in them not only men and women, but ourselves.” But the fiction of race, the authors of Racecraft remind us, thrives in that uncertain balance between the angelic and the demonic. They take a different stance: “No operation performed on the fiction can ever make headway against the crime” of racism.

The rhetoric and thinking common to Black Lives Matter and its supporters reaffirm that same fiction. To assert and maintain its antagonistic political goals, the organization must accept the “objective” reality of race. Douglass’s pictures make a similar case: Negroes are the same as white folks. The deeper truth, which perhaps is impossible for a photograph to say—or perhaps impossible for our eyes to see—is that there’s no such thing as a Negro and no such thing as a white person.

Our writers and political activists, however, possess tools that are more attuned to nuance. Recently, in The New York Times Magazine, Nikole Hannah-Jones walked through a series of questions that she asked after the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police officers on consecutive days in early July. She began:

How do you explain the visceral and personal pain caused by the killing of a black person you did not even know to people who did not grow up with, as their legacy, the hushed stories of black bodies hung from trees by a lynching mob populated with sheriff’s deputies?

Read the Rest Here

 

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Uncle Ben Claims to be “Authentically Black”

This is indeed funny! The whitest black man in the Republican Party wanting to play blacker then thou.

I gave a speech once at a management retreat of 2,000 of the Senior Executives of a major corporation I worked for at the time. At the time in the mid-80’s I was the only black person in the room, and there was only one other minority (an Asian friend I had recruited), and maybe 5 women.

I damn sure didn’t do the speech in ghetto slang.

Ghetto Ben Carson – “Straight out of his ass”

In order to communicate and work in environments in which black folks are a small minority (and to rise in the ranks) black folks do something sociologists call “code switching”. In other words, if you talk like little Tanaweekaschwanbelle – then your career opportunities are limited to shuffling mail in the mail room. It may seem unfair until you understand that white boys talking like back woods crackers usually(AKA White Trash) don’t make it much farther. Black executives, and especially senior black executives in vast majority are extremely well spoken. Ditto for Asians, Hispanics…

Uncle Ben is no exception. He is a full participant and extremist advocate of “Acting white”. I worked with the good doctors at Hopkins at one point, and “Gimmie dat thang” in the OR is about the fastest way I know of to get your medical card pulled.

Uncle Ben here is about 180 degrees out from the truth. Obama was raised by normal, decent white folks – an really didn’t understand the southern racist mentality of white, low class Republicans. Neither does Uncle Ben.

Ben Carson: Obama ‘Raised White,’ Doesn’t Understand Black Americans

Ben Carson said Tuesday that President Obama was “raised white” and can’t understand the African-American experience the way he can.

“He’s an ‘African’ American. He was, you know, raised white,” he told a Politico podcast. “I mean, like most Americans, I was proud that we broke the color barrier when he was elected, but … he didn’t grow up like I grew up … Many of his formative years were spent in Indonesia. So, for him to, you know, claim that, you know, he identifies with the experience of black Americans, I think, is a bit of a stretch.”

The Republican presidential candidate finished sixth out of six in South Carolina; after peaking in November, he’s been polling at the bottom of the pack and struggling to turn supporters into voters. Carson’s rags-to-riches journey from impoverished the inner city of Detroit to an internationally renowned career as a pediatric neurosurgeon first got him on the national stage, but it’s this kind of inflammatory criticism of the president that got him on the radar of conservatives nationally and drafted him to run for president.

Carson long dismissed questions about race as divisive and downplayed his own race, but in these final days he’s dug into race as a campaign issue, running ads against affirmative action in South Carolina and condemning black crime as “a crisis” that only he knows how to overcome.

These attacks are nothing new: critics have been arguing that the president is too black – or not black enough – since he appeared on the political stage. Rupert Murdoch came under fire earlier last year for suggesting that Carson could be the “real black President who can properly address the racial divide,” while Rush Limbaugh has argued that Obama “disowned” his white side.

The president himself has addressed the issue at length.

“Sometimes African Americans, in communities where I’ve worked, there’s been the notion of “acting white”—which sometimes is overstated, but there’s an element of truth to it, where, okay, if boys are reading too much, then, well, why are you doing that? Or why are you speaking so properly?” he said in the summer of 2014. “And the notion that there’s some authentic way of being black, that if you’re going to be black you have to act a certain way and wear a certain kind of clothes, that has to go.”

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2016 in Black Conservatives

 

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Forgotten Americans Cable… A Network By and For Native Americans

Back in the mid 90’s I did a project working with the Tribal Councils to get Internet into the Libraries and  Schools on Native American Lands. Internet access on the “Reservation” still remains an issue. With the commercialization of satellite based services like Direct TV and Dish – it is now possible to receive cable TV service (at a hefty price) almost anywhere in North America.

What you will not be seeing on Native America TV

A TV Network for Native Americans

Canada already has a similar cable outlet dedicated to indigenous peoples, and the U.S. is preparing to follow suit.

If there’s one thing most television lovers and critics have come to agree on in the last few years, it’s that the medium has become more racially diverse. If challenged by a skeptic on this subject, I’d cheerfully rattle off the names of great and popular shows currently on air starring and created by people of color. See? Progress!

And yet, maybe not so much. I can count the number of Native American characters—not even shows—that I’ve personally seen on TV in the last year on one hand. There’s the Wamapoke Indian chief Ken Hotate, who appeared in the final season of Parks and Recreation, played by the wonderful Jonathan Joss, who is of Comanche and Apache descent. There’s the terrifying 1970s enforcer Hanzee Dent, a second-season Fargo fan favorite, played by Zahn McClarnon, who’s of Hunkpapa heritage. And then there’s the spoiled Manhattan socialiteJacqueline Voorhees from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, played by Jane Krakowski, who’s Polish, French Canadian, and Scottish.

Which goes some way toward illustrating the need for an outlet like All Nations Network—a cable channel featuring TV programming created for and by native peoples that its creators hope to launch soon in the U.S.,according to Variety. Though details are sparse at the moment, the channel will get some help from Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, a similar outlet that launched in Canada back in 1992 and that now serves 10 million households. The U.S. has seen other efforts to cater to native peoples on TV—Red Nation Television Network is an online-only streaming service that dates back to before Hulu, and the PBS affiliate FNX: First Nations Experience launched in 2011 but is currently available only in Southern California and a few other areas. If a channel like All Nations Network succeeds, it would be a way for American Indians to do something as simple but crucial as making their own stories rather than waiting for mainstream TV to catch up.

So why doesn’t the U.S. already have a widely available, dedicated TV channel for Native Americans? Heather Rae, a producer, filmmaker, and actress of Cherokee descent, told me that studio executives and financiers often balk at the idea of what they see as narrowly targeted content. “The perception is that Native Indians are a vanishing and near-extinct part of the [U.S.] population,” she said. It’s hard, in other words, to convince many distributors and carriers of the commercial viability of a project like All Nations Network.

Kelly Faircloth further discussed the financial difficulties over at Jezebel:

Of course, the American TV business is a different beast [than the Canadian TV business]. Compare the position of the CBC with PBS. Canada’s telecom regulator, the CRTC, mandates that cable carriers include APTN, which means it’s in millions of homes across Canada. In the U.S. cable is a dollar-driven scrum where new channels like Current have trouble gaining traction. It’s unfortunately all-too-easy to see unimaginative execs and advertisers looking at Native Americanpoverty rates and taking a pass…Read More Here

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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