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Brooks Argues Ta-Nehisi Coates is Wrong

 Interesting battle between a white Liberal and Ta-Nehisi Coates. David Brooks is getting hammered in several publications as representing the liberal racist wing of the left, here, here, and here. This battle has political repercussions in the candidacy of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Hillary Clinton could be the unlikely beneficiary of white progressives’ stumbles on race. The woman who herself stumbled facing Barack Obama in 2008 seems to have learned from her political mistakes.  She’s taken stands on mass incarceration and immigration reform that put her nominally to the left of de Blasio’s Progressive Agenda on those issues, as well as the president’s. Clinton proves that these racial blind spots can be corrected. And American politics today requires that they be corrected: no Democrat can win the presidency without consolidating the Obama coalition, particularly the African American vote.

In fact, African American women are to the Democrats what white evangelical men are to Republicans: the most devoted, reliable segment of the party base. But where all the GOP contenders pander to their base, Democrats often don’t even acknowledge theirs. Clinton seems determined to do things differently, the second time around. The hiring of senior policy advisor Maya Harris as well as former Congressional Black Caucus director LaDavia Drane signal the centrality of black female voters to the campaign. In a briefing with reporters Thursday in Brooklyn, senior Clinton campaign officials said their polling shows she’s doing very well with the Obama coalition, despite her 2008 struggles – but she’s taking nothing for granted.

For Sanders..

Democrats are pinning their electoral fortunes on African-American and Latino voters. But the Sanders revolution looks a lot like Vermont, the second whitest state in the country. To mount a competitive challenge against Hillary Clinton, Sanders must do something he has never had to do—reach beyond the kind of post-racial political message he honed in his home state and connect with voters who don’t look like him.

And so far, he’s coming up short.

“I haven’t seen him engaging the black community. Nor am I hearing any chatter about him,” said Rick Wade, Obama for America’s African-American vote director. “Black voters don’t know him.”

A June CNN/ORC poll showed just 2% of black Democrats supporting Sanders, a figure that has remained unchanged since February. Among non-white voters overall, Sanders polls at 9% compared to Hillary Clinton’s 61%.

And then there is Brook’s…”It really wasn’t that bad” excuse…

Listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates While White

Dear Ta-Nehisi Coates,

The last year has been an education for white people. There has been a depth, power and richness to the African-American conversation about Ferguson, Baltimore, Charleston and the other killings that has been humbling and instructive.

Your new book, “Between the World and Me,” is a great and searing contribution to this public education. It is a mind-altering account of the black male experience. Every conscientious American should read it.

There is a pervasive physicality to your memoir — the elemental vulnerability of living in a black body in America. Outside African-American nightclubs, you write, “black people controlled nothing, least of all the fate of their bodies, which could be commandeered by the police; which could be erased by the guns, which were so profligate; which could be raped, beaten, jailed.”

Written as a letter to your son, you talk about the effects of pervasive fear. “When I was your age the only people I knew were black and all of them were powerfully, adamantly, dangerously afraid.”

But the disturbing challenge of your book is your rejection of the American dream. My ancestors chose to come here. For them, America was the antidote to the crushing restrictiveness of European life, to the pogroms. For them, the American dream was an uplifting spiritual creed that offered dignity, the chance to rise.

Your ancestors came in chains. In your book the dream of the comfortable suburban life is a “fairy tale.” For you, slavery is the original American sin, from which there is no redemption. America is Egypt without the possibility of the Exodus. African-American men are caught in a crushing logic, determined by the past, from which there is no escape.

You write to your son, “Here is what I would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body — it is heritage.” The innocent world of the dream is actually built on the broken bodies of those kept down below.

If there were no black bodies to oppress, the affluent Dreamers “would have to determine how to build their suburbs on something other than human bones, how to angle their jails toward something other than a human stockyard, how to erect a democracy independent of cannibalism.”

Your definition of “white” is complicated. But you write “ ‘White America’ is a syndicate arrayed to protect its exclusive power to dominate and control our bodies. Sometimes this power is direct (lynching), and sometimes it is insidious (redlining).” In what is bound to be the most quoted passage from the book, you write that you watched the smoldering towers of 9/11 with a cold heart. At the time you felt the police and firefighters who died “were menaces of nature; they were the fire, the comet, the storm, which could — with no justification — shatter my body.”

You obviously do not mean that literally today (sometimes in your phrasing you seem determined to be misunderstood). You are illustrating the perspective born of the rage “that burned in me then, animates me now, and will likely leave me on fire for the rest of my days.”

I read this all like a slap and a revelation. I suppose the first obligation is to sit with it, to make sure the testimony is respected and sinks in. But I have to ask, Am I displaying my privilege if I disagree? Is my job just to respect your experience and accept your conclusions? Does a white person have standing to respond?

If I do have standing, I find the causation between the legacy of lynching and some guy’s decision to commit a crime inadequate to the complexity of most individual choices.

I think you distort American history. This country, like each person in it, is a mixture of glory and shame. There’s a Lincoln for every Jefferson Davis and a Harlem Children’s Zone for every K.K.K. — and usually vastly more than one. Violence is embedded in America, but it is not close to the totality of America.

In your anger at the tone of innocence some people adopt to describe the American dream, you reject the dream itself as flimflam. But a dream sullied is not a lie. The American dream of equal opportunity, social mobility and ever more perfect democracy cherishes the future more than the past. It abandons old wrongs and transcends old sins for the sake of a better tomorrow.

This dream is a secular faith that has unified people across every known divide. It has unleashed ennobling energies and mobilized heroic social reform movements. By dissolving the dream under the acid of an excessive realism, you trap generations in the past and destroy the guiding star that points to a better future.

Maybe you will find my reactions irksome. Maybe the right white response is just silence for a change. In any case, you’ve filled my ears unforgettably.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Occupy America – Has Lightning Escaped the Bottle?

 

It’s beginning to feel like 1967…

All over again.

The “Occupy” protests are popping up all over America, as thousands, perhaps soon –  millions take to the streets.

Like the Tea Party, the “Occupy” demonstrators are folks deeply concerned that things have seriously gone off the rails in America.

Unlike the Tea Party – there are no corporate sponsors. there is no Faux News complete with air-headed effervescent blonde bimbos spouting breathlessly over the movement’s significance (indeed the MSM seems determined to ignore the whole movement)…

And there are no Koch Brothers sitting behind the scenes pumping in money, and buying influence from corrupt politicians and Supreme Court Justices.

The other thing is, Occupy is largely apolitical. I think the most prevalent feeling about the American Political Parties – is “a pox on both their houses”.  There has been a growing belief that neither political party is capable, or willing to operate in the best interests of anyone, except their financial benefactors for a long time.

Not being bought and paid for by the Koch Brothers or any of the other conservative “7 Sisters” who fund the conservative “movement” in America, though – is a scary thing for conservatives. As such, it’s no surprise the conservative media “long knives” have come out over the last week or so, with House Whip Eric Cantor calling them a “mob“, Mitt Romney (“It’s dangerous, this class warfare”), Herman Cain (“If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!”) or in French Revolution speak “Let them eat cake”, and this piece by Deneen Borelli essentially calling the Occupy protesters peasant trash (where’s a damn Guillotine when you need it?)… And if you wonder just how much of a joke and conservative shill the Wall Street Journal has become there’s this hit piece written in the prosaic style of your average 12 year old. When the leading financial paper in the country blogs articles written in all the style and content of a Marvel Comic Book…

No wonder we are in trouble.

So… Despite humble beginnings, the Occupy movement is headed left, if in no other place than fecund conservative imaginations.

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2011 in Occupy America

 

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American Hyper-Segregation… Not Just in Black, Brown, and White

I don’t think it is any surprise to most folks that America remains largely segregated along racial lines  nearly 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1965.  While race and racism play a part in this, by far the majority of self-segregation falls within the sphere of tribalism. Well to do black folks self-segregate in communities in the Washington DC area and Atlanta, and white segregate themselves in the suburbs. That tribalism has a lot more to do with the culture you grew up with in most cases than any dislike of other folks. In all but exceedingly rare case, nobody is going to stop a black family with the means from living in the ‘burbs, nor are black folks going to stop whites or anyone else from moving into any of the new black enclaves.

Whites in this country have developed an entire political movement, which at it’s core is a belief in a return to the “golden age” of the 50’s.  Black folks don’t have many fond memories of pre-segregation America – and while the cars, music, and some of the entertainers of the period may foster fond memories, there is no desire whatsoever to return to the societal context or economic realities. That is, and fundamentally always will be a schism between the right in American politics and black folks.

Developing more recently is an even more dangerous hyper-segregation – that between folks on the left and folks on the right. The article below characterizes it as urbanized versus suburban – but I don’t think that is entirely accurate because there are suburban communities which reliably vote left. While there aren’t any major urban areas which vote right – that probably is more a result of the impact of minority voters.

Political and marketing analysts figured out some years ago that they could predict your political alignment by whether you shopped or ate at Walmart of Cracker Barrel – or sipped lattes at Starbucks, and provisioned at Whole Foods.

That political schism, now seems also to define where people want to live.

The Cook Report: Whole Foods versus Cracker Barrel: How Americans Are Self-Sorting

When weary voters saw the news that Washington had struck a bipartisan deal on the debt ceiling, it’s doubtful that many of them took out stationery to write Congress a thank-you note; it’s not clear how many of us even believed it had happened. Last week, according to a Pew Research Center survey, a whopping 72 percent described the recent negotiations in disparaging terms such as ridiculous,disgustingstupid, and frustrating. Long before the last-minute, $2.1 trillion deal, voters had thrown their hands up in despair at the extremely polarized state of our politics. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2011 in General, The Post-Racial Life

 

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RealClearPolitics – Video – Schultz To Obama: Stop Compromising

Ed Shultz gives Obama some good advice.

 

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2010 in Stupid Democrat Tricks, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Juan Williams Gets Canned at NPR

Always felt William’s role at Faux News as the House Negro would get him in trouble with any serious news outfit. That ticking time bomb has finally exploded.

NPR fires Juan Williams over anti-Muslim remarks

Veteran journalist Juan Williams was fired from his job as senior news analyst for National Public Radio late Wednesday because of comments he made about Muslims and terrorism on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News Channel.

NPR said in a statement that Williams’s remarks – including that he gets “worried” and “nervous” when he sees people dressed in Muslim-style clothing on airplanes – “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”

Williams, 56, made the remarks after the show’s host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him whether he thought the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” “The cold truth is that in the world today, jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet,” O’Reilly said.

Williams, who is African American and writes and speaks frequently on race, told O’Reilly that he agreed with his assessment.

“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country,” he said. “But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they’re identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

Williams then brought up a statement made in a New York courtroom this month by Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani American who pleaded guilty to trying to detonate a bomb in Times Square and was sentenced to life in prison.

“He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts,” Williams said…

Muslim advocacy groups and liberal commentators reacted with outrage to Williams’s comments on “The O’Reilly Factor” and called for his ouster. Conservative bloggers, in turn, blasted the dismissal as political-correctness spiraling out of control.

“NPR should address the fact that one of its news analysts seems to believe that all airline passengers who are perceived to be Muslim can legitimately be viewed as security threats,” Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, said in a statement issued before the firing was announced. “Such irresponsible and inflammatory comments would not be tolerated if they targeted any other racial, ethnic or religious minority, and they should not pass without action by NPR.”

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2010 in Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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The UK – The Post Racial Black Welshman

The UK’s politics can be pretty confusing to an outsider with two major parties divided into a number of sub-parties. To confuse things even more, there is a European Parliament drawn form members from different countries.

Labour Candidate Vaughn Gething

Labour Candidate Vaughn Gething

Vaughn Gething is one of the emerging political leaders on the left, or Labour Party side, and is now a candidate for office. He is currently running for office in the Welsh Assembly.

Gething was born in Zambia in 1974 to a black Zambian mother and a white Welsh father, a vet who had moved there to work. He describes himself as a Black Welshman, which – much in the way President Obama has drawn flack from some folks both in and outside of his party, is controversial in some quarters.

Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National party(Labour), was speaking to Channel 4 News last month when he made a statement that infuriated Vaughan Gething.

“There is no such thing as a black Welshman,” the BNP MEP for north-west England said. “You can have a black Briton; you can’t have a black Welshman. Welsh is about people who lived in Wales since the end of the last ice age.”

Gething, who is hoping to be the first black person elected to the Welsh assembly, says: “On that basis, most white people wouldn’t qualify. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Scientifically Speaking

Scientifically speaking…

Scientists don’t become conservatives.

That’s right – the smartest folks among us don’t  lean that way according to a new PEW Report

Only six percent of America’s scientists identify themselves as Republicans; fifty-five percent call themselves Democrats. By comparison, 23 percent of the overall public considers itself Republican, while 35 percent say they’re Democrats.

Nine percent of scientists said they were “conservative” while 52 percent described themselves as “liberal,” and 14 percent “very liberal.” The corresponding figures for the general public were 37, 20 and 5 percent.”

Confirms what BTX3 has been saying all along – You gotta be stupid to be a conservative. Why? After 8 years of the “Stupid President” who serially screwed everything in the country including scientific research and the economy – Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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