All posts in Race

Trump is having his cake and eating it too on race

Watching Donald Trump play the “race card” is fascinating. On the one hand he is appealing to his white supremacist base by using “dog whistle” racist comments, that is, by appealing to race while not using the word race itself. Racism is as racism does. It is only non-whites that he has railed against. You haven’t heard him tell any white congress people to go home to where they came from. He hasn’t told white congress people who represent majority white poor districts that their districts are unfit for human habitation. You haven’t heard him say or tweet that white

Why do women support Trump?

I wondered why women continue to support Trump given his record of adultery, womanizing, misogynistic tweets, body shaming, and overall lechery. So I went online to look at statements from female supporters. I think I need a shower now. What I found was that women support him mostly for the same reasons men support him. They like the conservative policies he espouses, they don’t believe his critics in the mainstream media which they feel is biased against him, and they are willing to accept his character flaws because as one woman put it “he’s not dating my daughter.” They praise

What to the rest of us is your Fourth of July

As Washington D.C. prepares for Trump’s obscene 4th of July celebration with a military parade, tanks, and fireworks; attended by those fat cats who can afford tickets and make political donations; and witnessed by the millions in the Trump cult, I cannot help but think of the words and outrage in Frederick Douglass’s 1852 speech “What to the slave is your fourth of July.” Douglass was of course talking about slavery, but his words can be applied to other forms of bondage. There are those in bondage to poverty, those in the bondage of health needs who cannot afford medicine,

The power of words

I am trying to get my head around this latest mass shooting in Christchurch (not ironic), New Zealand by trying to understand “why.” In most mass shootings the why is clear. Some loner thinks he has been wronged and so shoots up his place of employment, school, or public place. Or, some person feels that their country has been wronged by some other country and some act of terror is the only way they can strike back. This shooting doesn’t quite fit either of those explanations. All the details are not in yet, but it seems this shooter was an

The thought and the deed

Some friends have asked me to comment on Liam Neeson’s confession that after a black person did harm to one of his friends he wanted to do harm to the first black person he encountered at the pub. This happened some forty years ago. After this public confession on a few talk shows some publicist pulled him from giving media interviews about the film he was supposed to be promoting. Most white Americans think of racism as individual acts, feelings, use of language and so on. They reserve their harshest censure about racism for those who transgress by revealing their

America WTF is wrong with you?

In my final blog entry on the George Yancy situation I will presume to take a stab at analyzing America’s current situation. My analysis is free, take it for what it is worth. It’s just my two cents added to the conversation. What we have seen since the end of the 1970’s is twofold:  a belief among many folks that we are living in a zero sum game where if someone else is winning they must be losing; and a loss of a sense of community that people outside of our “tribe” are part of our community. “Tribe” can be

Racism as Self Delusion

Blog entry 3 of 4 on the George Yancy situation.

What did George Yancy say that has brought all this backlash. His New York Times opinion piece from December, 2015 is written as a letter addressed “Dear White America.” In it he asks white America to listen with love to what he has to say. He admits he is sexist despite his best efforts, because he harbors subconscious beliefs that oppress women and he participates and benefits from a system of male privilege. His words:

“Yet, I refuse to remain a prisoner of the lies that we men like to tell ourselves

The Importance of Black Professors

The first group of responses to George Yancy’s New York Times op ed piece that I want to talk about are those responses which deny that he could be an intellectual or even someone who reasons. He received comments like: “This belief that niggers even reason is blatant pseudo-intellectualism,” “The concept of there being an intellectual Negro is a joke,” “Another uppity Nigger. Calling a Nigger a professor is like calling White Black and Wet Dry,” “This coon is a philosopher in the same way Martin King was a PHD and the same way that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton

Appropriate Appropriation

Back in the 1960’s I remember seeing a cartoon by Jules Feiffer in which a black hipster said “I dug jazz then whitey picked up on it…” then repeated it in the next few panels with some other thing that whites had appropriated (to use contemporary language.) The cartoon’s last panel said “Then I dug freedom…and finally lost him.” This comes to mind whenever I read about some black folk complaining that this white person has adopted a black style or black music or hairdo.

The discussions about appropriation I read about today usually revolve around three issues. First, white artists

Thoughts in the Time of Trump

Before the presidential election a few months ago I mused about whether it is more upsetting to live in a country where Donald Trump was president or in a country where people would elect a Donald Trump to office. I have decided that it is the latter. The election of Donald Trump reveals that my fellow citizens are not only desperate, racist, and selfish, but they are incredibly ignorant of how things work in America. I am not talking about the 1% who have a rational interest in Trump because he will protect and advance their interests. The ideological conservatives