Category Archives: race

What these folks said…

From dnA at TooSense this is spot-fucking-on. From Tami at What Tami Said, this is also spot-fucking-on.

While we are on the subject..Ta-Nehisi is spot-on too in this post. Joan Walsh has been on my last fucking nerve for months now. Ta-Nehisi delivers a fine statement here at Matthew Yglesias’s blog on all things stupid and Ferraro.

What do these links have in common? They are either about women or written by women or both. The idiots known as Joan Walsh and Geraldine Ferraro are a common thread as well. And race..yep…race is a big part of the fucking equation too.

With Obama being the ‘presumptive nominee’ for the Dem’s now, the race bullshit is gonna get a workout on it. And I ain’t talking about just the Rethugs..I am looking at the Democrats damn it.

As for white folks that aren’t racist but are…cough..racially resentful…well, you folks are pretty pathetic mutha fuckas any way you parse it.

For an excellent piece on how people of color are jerked around, I hope all six of my regular readers have read “Visible Man” by Colson Whitehead. Dude nails it.

As a half brown, half white old bitch..I have seen it all…from both sides of the racial fence so to speak.

Or so I thought..Obama’s candidacy is showing me shit I never thought would see the light of day..and it ain’t pretty. Its five months until the general election..plenty of time for the wingnuttery to get into high gear. sigh….

The NYT talks race and Obama..

I have been waiting for someone in the MSM to play the race card. Many have danced around the subject, but finally the New York Times lays the “R” word right out there.

They take him to task for not talking enough about race. I have read blogs that have done the same. I am of the pov that we all want the best life possible, regardless of race. We all want the war to end, regardless of race. None of us, regardless of race wants to choose between gas for our cars and medication for our health, just as an example. We all want a good job and to make the best life possible for ourselves and our families.

From the NYT writeup:

His style is more conciliatory than confrontational, more technocrat than preacher. Compared with many older politicians, he tends to speak about race indirectly or implicitly, when he speaks about it at all.

It sounds to me like the boyz and girlz at the old Grey Lady are trying to egg Obama on. I hope he doesn’t fall for it and take the bait.

Because the media should report what is going on, it shouldn’t lay down the agenda. They already have an overblown view of their power as it is. At least they do quote him accurately. I tend to agree that there are subjugated whites as well, and the common thread is poverty. Yes, people of color will get the short end of the stick based solely on their skin tone..but I appreciate that Obama includes all poor people when he talks about an issue. From the NYT piece:

After Hurricane Katrina, he did not attribute the lumbering federal response to the race of most of the storm’s victims. “The incompetence was color-blind,” he said, adding that the real stumbling block was indifference to the problems of the poor. After six black teenagers were charged with attempted murder in the beating of a white schoolmate in the “Jena Six” case in Louisiana, he said the criminal justice system needed fixing to ensure equal justice “regardless of race, wealth or circumstances.”

Even African American’s want Obama to talk more about race, as witnessed by Jesse Jackson’s inane comment that Obama “needs to stop acting like he’s white” recently. People of all colors seem to want to make it a race-related issue, Obama’s candidacy. Its all bullshit in my book. The bottom line is we are all humans and our color, sexuality and religion or lack thereof doesn’t matter one fucking iota.

So I was getting my jaw all jacked up as I read the Times article. I was mumbling to myself as the cats looked quizzically at me. Then the article allowed Obama to address the ‘issue’ he never seems to address. They went into his reasoning for how he views issues as not just a black issue. As a brown bitch who lives in a white world, I can relate to Obama’s pov on issues of race. I am only half brown so I know both sides of the issue. Obama has this to say in the writeup;

“Beneath all the differences of race and region, faith and station, we are one people.”

Obama was elected to a district that was evenly mixed. His ad’s that use prominent white folks is pointed out in the article. But he defended himself and his actions thusly:

In a telephone interview, Mr. Obama denied that he had spoken less about race issues than other candidates. But he said he focused when possible on “the universal issues that all Americans care about.” His aim, he said, is “to build broader coalitions that can actually deliver health care for all people or jobs that pay a living wage or all the issues that face not only black Americans but Americans generally.”

He suggested that his critics were comparing him not with Mr. Edwards or Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton but with Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sharpton. “That comparison is one that isn’t appropriate,” he said. “Because neither Reverend Jackson nor Reverend Sharpton is running for president of the United States. They are serving an important role as activists and catalysts but they’re not trying to build a coalition to actually govern.”(emphasis mine)

Julian Bond has the last word in the article: “A portion of black voters want Obama to give them some raw meat,” said Julian Bond, chairman of the board of the N.A.A.C.P. “Because they want so badly to have their concerns addressed and highlighted, and they expect it of him because he’s black.”

When will we ever get past race in this country?

I am still not sold on Obama, for various reasons, his lack of time in grade the major reason. The bulk of his experience is at the local and state level. But his color never entered into my mind.

It shouldn’t for anyone.

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Listening to America’s Black Middle Class

From TruthDig:

Posted on Oct 11, 2007

By Bill Boyarsky

Sen. Barack Obama’s fundraising among middle-class blacks tells much about them—and about America.

This aspect of the presidential election hasn’t received much attention lately, as an anxious nation awaits the verdicts of two small and atypical states.

In Iowa, blacks comprise just 2.3 percent of the population. In New Hampshire, it’s 1 percent. That’s compared to almost 13 percent for the entire country. (Why can’t important primaries be governed by laws similar to those requiring juries to be at least somewhat representative?)

I got interested in the middle-class contributions while digging into the Obama campaign.

A couple of longtime black politicians told me that the size of Obama contributions from their community was big. “I’ve never seen so many African-Americans with a lot of money,” one of them said. “I didn’t know there was that much wealth.”

The phenomenon is occurring in prosperous black areas across the country. A few months ago, USA Today surveyed political giving in nearly 600 ZIP codes that included a substantial number of African-American households with incomes above the black national median household income of $31,000 a year. Obama received about 70 percent of the contributions.

I looked at an area I know, View Park and Windsor Hills in Los Angeles. This is not the bleak black and Latino L.A. so beloved by filmmakers, television stations and newspapers which immerse themselves almost exclusively in black crime and other tragedies. Big, luxurious homes adorn this hillside several miles northwest of the poor neighborhoods in the South Los Angeles flatlands. View Park and Windsor Hills are 88 percent black, with a median household income of $73,118, the U.S. Census reported, more than the Los Angeles County household total of $51,447. Almost 70 percent of the people living there are families.

The overwhelming number of contributions from there went to Obama, with Hillary Clinton receiving just two, according to the latest tabulation of The Center for Responsive Politics. That’s not surprising. Nor does it mean Hillary Clinton is friendless in the black community. African-American political commentator Earl Ofari Hutchinson wrote in the Huffington Post that Clinton “runs neck and neck with Obama in the race to net the overall votes of blacks. … They are not naïve about Hillary. They know that GOP hardliners are licking their chops at a Hillary candidacy … yet she still seems a far better bet than Obama to beat back the assault.”

What is as interesting as the horse race is the nature of the Obama contributors. Among them in Los Angeles’ View Park and Windsor Hills are a producer, a chief executive officer of a business consulting company, a nationwide bank senior vice president, lawyers and a restaurant owner.

California state Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas, who is campaigning for Obama, said the Illinois senator’s message resonates strongly with such people. “His vision of hope and morality and basic centrist politics is grounded in a moral sensibility that is hard to argue with,” Ridley-Thomas said.

“It’s how he talks about personal responsibility,” said another Obama supporter, “how we raise our kids, being responsible for our actions. It is a message people long for.”

That was evident last year when Obama spoke at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church, the city’s oldest black church and, with 19,000 members, a center of middle-class black L.A. People who were there said he was repeatedly cheered as he delivered his message of hope and responsibility to a congregation marking the 15th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots.

First AME reaches deep into the black community with programs ranging from rehabilitating prison inmates to fostering business development. The church also does tutoring and college preparatory training. Located at the northern edge of South-Central Los Angeles, it was in the middle of the 1992 fires and violence..

That’s where I spent the first night of the riots, watching members of the congregation join with neighboring Latino apartment dwellers in fighting fires with garden hoses. Just down the street on West Adams Boulevard, young black men battled cops. When I walked toward the fighting, two men from the church grabbed me, turned me around and said, “This is no time for journalistic heroics.” Later on, I snuck back to observe the action.

As First AME and Obama see it, life should be an upward path, with young blacks turning from fighting cops on West Adams Boulevard in favor of the respectability and pious activism of First AME, rising from the poor, crime-heavy flatlands of South L.A. to more peaceful and prosperous neighborhoods in the city or the suburbs or to the affluence of Windsor Hills and View Park.

But the upward path is becoming more difficult. In 2005 the Urban Institute found that “despite some progress during the 1990s, the share of African-Americans joining the middle class in the U.S. has stagnated over the past 20-30 years.”

The stagnation coincides with roadblocks on the upward path—reduced funding for public elementary and secondary schools and public universities and ending affirmative action in higher education.

Removal of roadblocks is the goal shared by First AME members and middle-class blacks around the country. They are, as Obama supporter Ridley-Thomas put it, “politically and economically progressive” but “on moral issues, more conservative.”

Obama’s effort to translate support into a historic presidential victory will be difficult. Hillary Clinton is strong, and her husband, Bill, is popular among blacks. White Iowa is important to Obama’s hopes. If Clinton wins, she’s in great shape. If either John Edwards or Obama wins, the ever-fickle media will conclude she’s doomed.

But, win or lose, Obama and his supporters are showing America a black political landscape seldom visited by journalists. Why, wondered Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, an African-American, “do editors, reporters, columnists and television producers keep only two phone numbers on speed dial for use whenever any news breaks concerning a black person?”

Those are, of course, the numbers of the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Black America today is much more complex, a mixture of rich, middle class and poor, a subtlety often missed in the sound bites of Jackson, Sharpton and their counterparts around the country.