Monday, September 25, 2017

The myth of "post-racialism".

TWEET ME"What the hell do you have to lose?"

That's what Donald trump told African Americans when he was trolling us for our votes in the last presidential elections.

Well, here we are nine months into his presidency, and already his question has been answered: It seems that we have quite a lot to lose with a Donald trump presidency.

Jamelle Bouie certainly things so.

"Most Americans believe active discrimination is a declining concern. They believe that despite the challenges our society currently faces, we are at least past the era of outright and explicit exclusion. The case for this belief rests on the fact that black Americans and other nonwhites have seen increased opportunities for professional advancement since the civil rights movement, as well as a growing prominence in American life. Our culture has also by now generally accepted inclusive principles. It helps, too, that this belief fits our national narrative of progress: our broad sense that, despite lingering conflicts and resentments, the present is a more just and humane place than the past and that the future shows the same promise.
 
But it isn’t true. Things may actually be getting worse, and not just in the casual interactions that comprise daily existence. There is hard evidence that explicit racial discrimination remains a major part of American life in the early 21st century.
 
Just look at the startling results of a recent meta-analysis of available research into job market discrimination that found “no change in the level of hiring discrimination against African Americans over the past 25 years.” After identifying all existing field experiments (published or unpublished) on labor market discrimination in the U.S, the researchers narrowed their field of inquiry to 24 studies containing 30 different estimates of discrimination against blacks and Latinos since 1989—a data set representing tens of thousands of applications submitted for tens of thousands of jobs. In analyzing that data, what they found was stasis. Throughout the period, whites received an average 36 percent more job callbacks than blacks, and 24 percent more than Latinos. “Contrary to widespread assumptions about the declining significance of race, the magnitude and consistency of discrimination we observe over time is a sobering counterpoint,” they conclude, while offering the caveat and possibility that discrimination diminished in the two decades prior to 1989. If true, that still leaves the United States with pervasive discrimination in hiring, a phenomenon that may explain part of the racial employment gap, which leaves black Americans with double the unemployment of white Americans, in good times and bad.

How do we square this reality of discrimination with the acceptance of racially egalitarian views among white Americans? The short answer is that there’s a disconnect. Many white Americans express opposition to the most hateful forms of racism while holding prejudiced views and facilitating racist behavior. A new Reuters-Ipsos poll, taken in the aftermath of August’s violent neo-Nazi protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, illustrates this paradox, showing both wide condemnation of white supremacists and substantial support for white nationalist slogans. Although 89 percent of respondents agreed that “all races should be treated equally”—and 70 percent agreed that “all races are equal”—35 percent of whites said that America must “protect and preserve its White European Heritage” and 47 percent agreed that “white people are currently under attack in this country.”

It’s possible this disconnect stems from the profound segregation that still shapes and defines life in the United States. Even if they live in diverse metropolitan areas, most white Americans still live in largely white neighborhoods and suburbs (some white by circumstance, others by policy, intimidation, and worse), send their children to white schools, and attend white churches. Their actual contact with nonwhites is minimal and circumscribed, an environment that can inculcate discriminatory beliefs, habits of mind, and behaviors, even as they endorse America’s egalitarian civic creed.

More pressing than the sociology of white racism, however, is its practical effects: a widening wealth gap between blacks and whites. Between 1983 and 2013, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, the wealth of the median black household declined 75 percent (from $6,800 to $1,700), and the median Latino household declined 50 percent (from $4,000 to $2,000). At the same time, wealth for the median white household increased 14 percent from $102,000 to $116,800. It’s an almost unbelievable contrast, and by 2020, black and Latino households are projected to lose even more wealth: 18 percent for the former, 12 percent for the latter. After those declines, the median white household will own 86 times more wealth than its black counterpart, and 68 times more wealth than its Latino one. This isn’t a wealth gap—it’s a wealth chasm.

If nothing is done, that chasm will grow larger. By 2024, “the continued rise in racial wealth inequality between median black, Latino and white households is projected to lead White households to own 99 and 75 times more wealth than their black and Latino counterparts, respectively.” Even black incomes are stagnant and declining: The median black household makes substantially less today than it did in 2000. And if the wealth gap is left unaddressed, then by 2053, median household wealth for whites will grow to $137,000, while that for blacks will hit zero.

The myth of “post-racialism” has by now largely been dispelled, in part because of movements like Black Lives Matter—as well as the rise of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States. And there seems to be a growing awareness that “colorblindness” does more to entrench racial disadvantage than rectify it. Thankfully, there are policies that can begin to address this profound racial wealth gap. But we have yet to have any kind of discussion about it, even as we barrel toward a world where most blacks and Latinos live on the edge of immiseration. The racial wealth gap isn’t yet a national priority. It needs to be." [Source]

Unfortunately, Jamelle, we will have to wait at least four more years for that to happen.

 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Now they kneel.

Image result for nfl kneeling images *It took the president of the United States calling their mothers bitches for some of these NFL players to finally get one hundred percent behind Colin Kaepernick. 

Today, in a show of solidarity, pretty much all of the players and teams that played either took a knee or locked arms in  a show of solidarity to protest the words of Donald trump.  I am personally no big fan of the NFL and the powers that make up that league, but leave it to Mr. trump to make me find sympathy for an entity that should not elicit any sympathy at all.

I, like the rest of the normal people in America, sat in amazement and watched that surreal spectacle in Huntsville, Alabama, where Mr. trump threw red meat to his base. They called for the arrest of Hilary Clinton, and booed the mention of Senator John McCain, and when the president of the United States called hundreds of women "bitches", they cheered even louder. It was sick on so many levels for an American president to act this way, but this is where we are now. We elected this guy, we can't get a do- over.   

It's not only NFL players who are up in arms about the president. Steph Curry was asked if he will be visiting the White House with his team, the Golden State Warriors, and he gave a very nuanced and diplomatic answer. Sadly, our notoriously thin skinned and petty president was not pleased, so he disinvited the entire Warriors team.

Now it's the NBA's turn to question the sanity and the motivation of the American president. LeBron James actually called him a bum, and  Steph Curry's coach wrote an article for Sport's Illustrated  bemoaning the sad state of the presidency and the current leadership of our country.

All of this has made trump so mad that he chose to tweet about the Pittsburgh Penguins accepting his invite to the White House. 
"
  Donald J. Trump
Please to inform that the Champion Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL will be joining me at the White House for Ceremony. Great team!
 Well, I hate to break it to you Mr. trump, but most of the players in the NHL are from Canada. Maybe they just don't understand how dissent and the freedom to do it works.

But then, almost all of the players in the NHL are white. That should make it much more fun and comfortable for the president when they visit.

*Pic from abcnews.go.com

       

Saturday, September 23, 2017

CAPTION SATURDAY.

Image result for kim jung images

I need a caption for this pic.

Example: "You are not so funny now are you Mr. trump? "

Pic from bbc.com

                                             

Friday, September 22, 2017

Guns kill people if people aren't trained how to use them.

Image result for firearm imagesSo I am in my office today when a co-worker comes in and tells me that there was a shooting just up the block from our building.

Philly, like most big cities, has a lot of crime, but you have to understand that Center City, Philadelphia does not often have this type of serious crime. Especially in the middle of the day.

"But wait",  my friend says, "wanna hear the kicker? The shooter was three." Now I'm like, "Get the f*** outta here!" And he was like "No, I'm serious, the shooter was a three year old!"

Now trust me when I tell you, Philly is hardcore, and I have seen some hardcore shit in this city. Nothing really surprises me anymore. I have actually gotten the stare down a time or two from little  kindergarten thugs in training. But a three year old popping a cap in someone?  That's a whole different level of gangster.

 "A 3-year-old boy accidentally shot his uncle in the shoulder just before noon Friday as they sat in an SUV in Center City, police said.

The boy found the handgun hidden under the passenger seat after police say another uncle, who is a Philadelphia Housing Authority police officer, put it there. 

The shooting at 16th and Arch streets occurred as downtown streets began to fill with lunchtime crowds. The little boy, police said, was sitting in the back seat of a sports utility vehicle parked at the corner while the man shot was sitting in the driver's seat." [Source]

OK, so the poor little guy accidentally shot his uncle.  

But seriously, how stupid do you have to be to leave a 3 year old in a car with a loaded  9 in under the seat? I swear some of you fools should just swear off of having--- or even being around children. Now this poor child is traumatized for life and a man is fighting for his life. 

Guns are everywhere. Both legal and illegal. Here in Philly we have more guns than bicycles. (And we have a lot of bicycles.) You legal gun owners, I get it, you have the right to  pack your heat, but the least you could do is be careful and take the proper safety training. This is what the NRA should be doing every day: properly training folks how to use their firearms. They should stop trying to arm every damn American, and playing politics with the Second Amendment. 

Of course this might be too much to ask, since they can't even practice proper firearm safety in their own headquarters. 

And in case you non urban dwellers (see white folks) think that this kind of thing only happens in large urban areas, think again.

What happened here, and here, and here, and at all these damn Walmart stores.   says different. 




  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

What's in a name?

Image result for racist colored negro images I found a great article that is a must read for folks who want to learn a little bit more about how and why Donald trump became so popular with a certain segment of the American public.

The Field Negro education series continues.

"Names used to refer to the “black” community have changed, and continue to change. I sometimes say I was born a colored boy, then I became a Negro, then black, then African American, and still we are not done. To the list of identities black people in America have assumed or been asked to, we can now add, thanks to this presidential election season, “Obama’s people” and “the African Americans.

Most of these names were imposed on us, but not all. For a people to be whole, they must participate in their naming. After being called blacks in a derogatory manner by the white community for years, we reclaimed that term and began referring to ourselves as black, an effort to embrace and define ourselves. Malcolm X became widely known as one of the first black public figures. Justice Thurgood Marshall insisted on being called a Negro until shortly before he died.

During most of these name changes, I didn’t understand how relational and situational these processes were. But they were, and still are. It matters not only what we call ourselves, but what others call us. These are not just labels; they indicate different social positions. As such, they not only situate and affect blacks, but also whites. This dance is relational even if it is not symmetrical.
When Donald Trump refers to “the African Americans,” his use of the word “the” attempts to put black Americans into one subordinate monolithic category. The “the” becomes a code, a signal that he distances himself from an entire group. He is reassuring his supporters that “the” group he is referring to is the Other. In the second presidential debate, as Trump was declaring his commitment to be a president who would serve all people, he responded, in part, “African Americans, the inner cities. Devastating what’s happening to our inner cities.”

Trump’s characterization of black people and black neighborhoods is the worst, and most racist, stereotype that exists, because it signifies that black spaces and people are scary and distorts the complexity and reality of black life in America. It also asserts that this imagined black space is far from normal — normal being defined as white space — and can only be fixed by law and order.
Blacks do not comprise one bloc of people. Our community is diverse. Most blacks do not live in the city, or the inner city. Most blacks in America are not poor.

But from “welfare queen” to “inner city” to “the African Americans,” the list of both coded and explicit characterizations of what is a multifaceted community grows. Yes, there are real issues facing black Americans, just like any community, but they are not all bad, and they are not all the same. Far too many African Americans are in jail, but not all are. Far too many black Americans fear getting shot by police, but not all do.

For Trump there is little to no relationship between the black space and the white space that most of his supporters inhabit. Trump’s strategy and use of language is designed to further stigmatize the black community to a largely white base. The kind of extreme stereotypes Trump projects publicly about black people are in the same vein as ones he communicates about other groups, including Mexicans, Muslims and women. They are the most crass and simplistic projections. In Trump’s worldview, black communities are gang-plagued ghettos, all Muslims are radical terrorists, the entire country of Mexico is an organized crime cartel, and women are liars and nasty people whose worth is due to their physical appearance and usefulness to men. As over the top and absurd as these characterizations sound and are, what matters is the frequency of and consistency at which these stereotypes are communicated, and that Trump’s demagoguery is constantly amplified on prominent, national media platforms.

Language has always been a way to divide, conquer, classify and control, but it also helps to constitute who we are and what we think. Language matters, as the stories we live help to give facts and reality their meaning. It is hard to sway minds that have already made unconscious connections.
Language matters because when used as rhetoric it can have a purposeful smoke-and-mirrors effect, shielding more pressing issues that need our attention. As Trump warns that millions of immigrants and blacks are likely to steal the election, we remember that the history of fraud in the U.S. elections has not been about black and brown people voting, but about Republican governors making it more difficult to vote. I worry that Trump may be suggesting that the very civic participation of blacks and other Others may be experienced itself as a kind of loss, as a kind of theft.

I don’t know what we will call ourselves in the coming years, given the growing diversity in the black community, largely due to immigration from Africa and the Caribbean. While I cannot say what we will settle on, I can say it will not be a singular term such as “the blacks” or “the African Americans.” Instead, I hope it will be a name that reflects our diversity as well as our deep and changing relationships. I hope our evolving name helps us affirm ourselves in deep relationship with those who might think of us as Other. Our name will not only name, it will help us claim ourselves with full dignity and our belonging with all other members of The Earth." [Source]

trump is always referring to black folks as "the blacks".  It all makes sense now. 


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Open Thread Wednesday.

MORE DISCLAIMERSIt's open thread Wednesday, and I need your thoughts on the news of the day.

Personally, I am thinking about this trump probe widening.

The desperation of republicans when it comes to Obamacare. 

Former football player, Albert Haynesworth, and his issues. 

The police in Oklahoma still executing people. (This time a deaf guy)

trump's imaginary country of Nambia in Africa. 

And finally, the people of Mexico and Puerto Rico who are facing horrific natural disasters 
right now.

Stay safe. 
 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

John Kelly is all of us today.

Image result for kelly face palm  images

"And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Till touch down brings me round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home
Oh no no no I'm a rocket man 
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone" ~Rocket Man by Elton John~ 


I don't think it will be a "long long time" before the guy trump has labeled  Rocket Man does something really stupid. Like, for instance, kill a million people.

Mr. trump might think that it's funny and cool to make up nicknames for insane despots and tyrants, but I guarantee you that nobody else does.  Memo to Mr. trump:  The nuclear destruction of the world is not a joke. Only your dumb lemmings and Make America Great Again sycophants think it's funny.

But there he was on the world stage today embarrassing us all once again.  Now, sadly, the entire world has seen our crazy uncle who lives in the attic. 

The scary thing is that if you listen to the chattering class on some of the cable channels, you would think that he actually gave a good speech. These people have set the bar so low for our fearless leader, that if he just gets out of bed and walks to Air Force One they say that he is "finally acting presidential."

But back to that speech, where he basically made a joke out of what could end up being World War III, and he told the rest of the world that they suck and that we are great. (Like I am quite sure that the other world leaders were watching and thinking: *How the hell can America be so great if they elected your dumb ass?*)    
He trashed the Iran Nuclear deal as the worst ever--- even though his administration has certified it on more than one occasion, and has acknowledged that they are complying with it.  And he told people in some parts of the world that they are going to hell---- because we all know that god only loves Americans, 

'As president of the United States I will always put America first just like you the leaders of your countries will always and should always put your countries first..."

Don't worry, after hearing your speech today, I am quite sure that's number one on their to do list.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Cotton dinner.

Image result for cotton imagesFor tonight's post I want to conduct a little social experiment.

I want you to read the following story and tell me your honest opinion.


"A Christian university in Nashville, Tennessee just joined the national discourse on race relations with a throwback of sorts.
Black students were treated to a dinner by Lipscomb University President Randy Lowry at Lowry’s home on September 15. And those who attended found their tables decorated with cotton stalks.
One student, identified as Nakayla Yvonne posted about that dinner on Instagram. She wrote:
So I attend Lipscomb university and as most of you know that is a predominately white school. Tonight AFRICAN AMERICAN students were invited to have dinner with the president of the school. As we arrived to the president’s home and proceeded to go in we seen cotton as the center pieces.
Her post continued and went on to mention that the food being served was stereotypically “black” and included macaroni and cheese, collard greens and cornbread. Also of note: the students weren’t offered any chairs and had to eat standing up. The entire situation reportedly made all of the students quite uncomfortable.
As Lowry made his way around to the tables of standing students eating soul food around stalks of cotton to inquire about their majors, some of them asked him what motivated the choice of centerpiece. He said he thought it was, “fallish.”
Then, according to Yvonne, students registered their discontent with Lowry’s choice of plant. At this point, the host apparently bristled, saying that it wasn’t “inherently bad” since everyone there was wearing cotton.
Lowry has since apologized via the school’s Facebook page. His statement reads:
Several students shared with me their concern about the material used for centerpieces which contained stalks of cotton. The content of the centerpieces was offensive, and I could have handled the situation with more sensitivity. I sincerely apologize for the discomfort, anger or disappointment we caused and solicit your forgiveness.
Yvonne’s post also contains at least one other interesting tidbit.
Apparently, Latin-American students were welcomed to Lowry’s home the night before to share their experiences. And though fall was swiftly approaching on Thursday night as well, the cotton centerpieces weren’t there–and neither was the menu served to black students. The Latin-American students were served tacos instead." [Source]
So what do you think?
This is...
A. A big deal because it just shows you how racist and insensitive folks in the majority population can be.
B.  No biggy because the school was just trying to reach out to African American students, and it was an honest misunderstanding.
C. Black people need to stop being so sensitive. 
D. Tell me your personal opinion.  
 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Manson's war.

Image result for Helter skelter imagesCharles Manson, after all these years, might be finally getting his wish.

Down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, an armed white man (or men) is randomly killing black people, and the reports so far are not pretty.


"Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said on Sunday that there is a “strong possibility” that the murders of two black men in the city last week were racially motivated, according to the Associated Press. A 23-year-old white man, Kenneth Gleason, is considered a person of interest in the fatal shootings, which happened two days and five miles apart. Gleason is currently being held on drug charges, as police say they do not have enough evidence to charge him with the murders yet.
On Tuesday night, a 59-year-old homeless man named Bruce Cofield was shot and killed in Baton Rouge in what originally seemed like a random crime. Then, two days later, 49-year-old Donald Smart was killed in a similar manner while walking to his restaurant job on Thursday night. According to a police bulletin obtained by The Advocate, in both cases, the gunman, wearing dark clothes and possibly a tactical vest, shot the men from a red sedan using a 9-mm handgun, then exited his car to continue shooting them multiple times. A witness reported hearing about 12 shots on Tuesday when Cofield was killed.
The shootings were later linked after ballistics tests, and a manhunt for the killer began. It’s not yet clear how Gleason became a suspect, but police said that his car matched the description of the vehicle they were looking for, and shell casings linked to the crimes were found inside." [Source]
I know I know, but what about Chicago?
That's what folks always say when you tell them about racially motivated killings of black folks: "But what about Chicago and other places where there is a lot of black on black crime?"
Well, that is sad as well, and I have spent a great portion of my life trying to educate young black men to respect themselves and to value the life of others who look like them. That's ongoing battle that I will continue to fight,  but I am going to continue fighting these other battles. 
Those urban terrorist kill each other over drugs, money, and turf. The last time I checked they were not out looking for random white folks and killing them because of the color of their skin.    
That's what this punk in Baton Rouge allegedly did, and it is what another sick racist did to poor Timothy Coughhman in New York as well. He repeatedly stabbed the poor man with a sword until he was dead, all because of the color of his skin.
Make no mistake, this is what cost Treyvon Martin and many others like him their lives: The color of their skins.
Sadly, it will get worse before it gets better. Why? Just look who occupies the White House, and how he rose to power. He encouraged it, and then fed on what it brought.
Now the Genie is out of the bottle, and we are all left to live with the consequences. We all know, of curse,  that a race war is the kind of war that will ultimately ruin America. Contrary to what they might tell you, it's the kind of war that not even your most virulent racists want. 
Helter Skelter, indeed.  
*Pic from today.com