Interesting discussion kicked off about Rep Steve King’s brown babies comment…
Interesting discussion kicked off about Rep Steve King’s brown babies comment…
Just a few salient points about Dr Carson. Seems he has forgotten a lot of things while spending life in the bubble at that hospital surrounded by intern and student doctor fawning sycophants. That seems easy to do for some folks. I wonder if the good doctor ever volunteered with folks like Doctors Without Borders?
Get out there in the real world and it will put your ego in check real fast.
It’s not racist, or even controversial, to point out that black people in the US face systemic hardships and prejudices, from increased poverty rates to higher police brutality. But as that observation, notably via the Black Lives Matter movement, has begun to attain broader attention and more influence, the only serious black candidate for president seems determined to push the discussion out of the spotlight.
Ben Carson, a Republican candidate for president, is stumping with language that underplays the need to talk about race in this country, decrying “purveyors of hatred who take every single incident between people of two races and try to make a race war out of it” at the first Republican debate.
This sort of language presupposes that the likes of black activists interrupting Bernie Sanders makes them troublemakers who can’t see beyond race. That is, in this logic, it makes Black Lives Matters members racist.
It’s an old conservative talking point that those who “see” race and agitate for racial justice are the “real racists.” But because this rhetoric has long drawn criticisms of racism for the Republican Party, it’s a small wonder that a black candidate supporting the old cause is making Carson a conservative darling.
During his August 12 campaign trip to Harlem, New York to promote “self-reliance,” Carson said black Americans must realize that “there is a way to go that will lead to upward mobility as opposed to dependency, and let’s talk about that way, and let’s not be satisfied to be patted on the head and kept like a pet.” Carson was referencing the conservative “welfare queen” contention – that poor, black Americans have chosen the easy malaise of economic dependence over bootstrapping their way to the middle class.
While touting “self-reliance” as a form of individual empowerment, Carson is de-emphasizing race and ignoring racism as a powerful social force that constrains people and limits their choices, instead redirecting the conversation America could – and is starting to – have on race to one of morality.
That is, his supposedly populist call for empowering the black community to rise beyond economic circumstances and become independent, is really trotting out the old Bill Cosby line that black communities have chosen poverty over success or dependency over mobility. “Those whole value systems, the values and principles that created strong families and gave people that kind of foundation that they needed to resist the influences on the street – those are not there anymore,” he said during his Harlem campaign stop.
But black people in America face structural barriers to achievement that begin with crowded and underfunded schools followed by a pay gap between them and their white peers regardless of the educational level they attain. When a black man minimizes this to endear him to his target base, it just makes it harder for everyone else who doesn’t have the luxury of denying pervasive truths. Carson places an unfair distance not just between himself and potential voters but between disadvantaged communities and the voting process. Why go out and vote when politicians use your community as an example of what’s “wrong” with America?
While his supporters may find his brand of “raceless” individualism and self-reliance to be compelling, communities of color – which must contend not only with the disempowering effects of structural racism but also with politicians encouraging self-blame and decontextualized “bootstraps” pathology as the path to liberation – have little reason to support Carson or any of his peers at the polls.
Seems the Republican Presidential candidates are all in a furor over “illegal immigration”, and want to repeal the 14h Amendment which guaranteed birthright citizenship to 3 million former slaves living in the US after the Civil War.
Even more interesting this brouhaha is about Hispanics, supposedly sneaking across the border to have babies to claim citizenship though their American born kids – despite the fact that the vast majority of folks coming to the US to have “Anchor babies” are wealthy Chinese. And they are not sneaking across the border to do so.
So what the right is really up in arms about is the brown N88765rs coming here, not based on any evidence they don’t contribute to he economy, don’t pay taxes, or commit crimes…Just the fact they aren’t white.
Anyone ever watch the TV Show, the Americans? It is based on a cold war effort by the Soviet Union to bury “sleeper” spies in the US, who would live in the US as American Citizens, and whom could be activated to commit sabotage or terrorism against the US in the event of war.
With the extent of China’s complicity in ongoing hacking of US Computers to steal corporate and Military secrets, placing spies in the US, and economic terrorism – and cyber attacks against American infrastructure….Seems to me it is far more likely that Wan or Le, born in the US of A by a mother who used the “Birth Tourist” evasion – is a heck of a lot bigger threat than Akbar or Miguel digging a tunnel under the border.
But then…Racism really doesn’t have to make any sense.
On CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, esteemed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns carefully explained to those who don’t believe the primary cause of the Civil War was slavery exactly why they’re incorrect.“If you read South Carolina’s articles of secession,” Burns began, “the first state to secede, the birthplace of secession, home of the original fire-eaters — they do not mention states’ rights, they mention slavery, slavery, slavery.”
“That we have to remember,” he argued, though he admitted that it’s also more complicated than that. Still, Burns continued, “that’s the reason we murdered each other, why more than two percent of our population, more than 750,000 Americans died, more than all the wars from the Revolution to Afghanistan combined, was essentially over the issue of slavery.”
The problem, Burns said, is that “we’ve grown up as country with a lot of powerful symbols of the Civil War in popular culture [like] ‘Birth of a Nation’ — D.W. Griffiths’ classic — and ‘Gone with the Wind.’” Both of those films postulate that “the Ku Klux Klan, which is a homegrown terrorist organization, was actually a heroic force in the story of the Civil War. So, it’s no wonder that Americans have permitted themselves to be sold a bill of goods about what happened — ‘it’s about states’ rights,’ ‘it’s about nullification,’ ‘it’s about differences between cultural and political and economic forces that shaped the North and the South.’”
The danger associated with this willful misunderstanding of American history is that it obscures the fact that “race is always there, always there. When Thomas Jefferson says all men are created equal, he owns a couple hundred human beings and he doesn’t see the contradiction or the hypocrisy and doesn’t free anybody in his lifetime, set[ting] in motion an American narrative that is bedeviled by a question of race.”
“And we struggle with it. We try to ignore it. We pretend, with the election of Barack Obama, that we’re in some post-racial society,” Burns added. “What we have seen is a kind of reaction to this. The birther movement, of which Donald Trump is one of the authors of, is another, politer way of saying the ‘N-word.’ It’s just more sophisticated, a little bit more clever. He’s ‘other,’ he’s different.”
When in point of fact, Burns concluded, the only thing that’s “other” about the president is “the color of his skin.”
This satire hits the nail on the head relative to white privilege in America. It is something along the lines of the Rent a Black Person satire a few years ago.
Can’t get ahead? Can’t even hail a cab? The New Jim Crow holding you back? Call the white squad!
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 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 of “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?”
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)
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?
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.
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)