Tag: racism

Nov 28

You Want Civility? I’ll Show You Civility!

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I just received a Ron Paul flyer in the mail. In this particular piece of merde, Dr. Paul is arguing against illegal immigration. He believes he is the one candidate running who will stop it once and for all.

Part of his strategy is to amend the 14th amendment in the Constitution and end automatic birthright citizenship in the United States.

My initial and immediate reaction was…

Fuckity fuck fuck piece of shit racist bastard. What an asshole you are for pulling this shit, especially in the South where it is too damn easy as it is to appeal to the deep-seated racism here. Fuck off.

And then I thought of the fight going on here yesterday, and I see continuing somewhat today. And I thought it worth bringing to your attention.

Nov 11

White Trash: A Family Story

My mother’s family were Okies although they all hate that name.  “We’re Not Okies, we’re from Kansas!” (Yeah–25 miles from the border).  My grandfather was a sharecropper, they didn’t have much, but they liked what they had.  Then the Dust Bowl hit southern Kansas.

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My grandfather took the trunk lid off of his 1932 Plymouth and built a doghouse sticking out the back.   He piled his wife and five daughters into the car.  With their belongings–what little they could could take with them–strapped to the top of the car and a trailer filled with household goods, with the bedding on top, they set off West, looking for work along the way.

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Oct 22

Go Indians! (Vernon Bellecourt R.I.P)

A friend from Taos Pueblo invited me out for a drink the other night.  Turns out she had something on her mind.  “I hardly ever ask you to do anything.  You have to write a blog about the Cleveland Indians mascot because of the World series.” It’s a big issue in Indian Country.  And so, I am carrying out my friend’s wishes.

And, as it happens, Vernon Bellecourt, a leader of the American Indian Movement, was buried last week, so this story serves as a memorial to him, too.  The depiction of native peoples by teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves, Washington Redskins, and countless college and high school teams around the country is unconscionable.

(I put this in for the music only – and a reminder that no matter who thinks sports mascot protests are too serious and “PC”, there’s always lots of laughter in Indian country):

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

Oct 21

Sully: Still Defending Racism

Whenever folks try to rehabilitate Andrew Sullivan, he is quick to remind us why he is so detestable.

As for the “science” of the Bell Curve, see this:

''The Bell Curve'' inflamed readers when it was published three years ago by arguing that economic and social success in America had become largely a matter of genes, not education, environment or other factors over which society might exert control. The chilling genes-are-destiny thesis, laced with racial overtones, was greeted with furious criticism. But much of the initial criticism was ill informed and driven by ideology.

It could hardly have been otherwise. The book's authors, Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, did not release their statistical findings — the only important original contributions in the book — for formal review by scholars before publication. Their runaround obstructed response by other social scientists, who needed time to appraise hundreds of pages of statistical analysis. Now, three years later, scholars have caught up, shattering the book's core claims.

. . . [T]he book's evidence is riddled with mistakes. Two stand out.

The first error flows from biased statistics. The book tries to determine whether I.Q. or family background is a better predictor of success. I.Q. is easily measured. But family background is not. The authors' simplistic index incorporates parental income, education and job prestige, but leaves out numerous components of a child's upbringing.

That creates a statistical mirage, or bias, because statistical tests inevitably underestimate the impact of factors that are hard to measure. Mistakes in measuring family background obliterate the ability of statisticians to detect its impact on future success. Thus, as James Heckman of the University of Chicago has convincingly argued, the book's finding that family background is a weak precursor of success reflects its biased methods rather than the workings of American society.

Also compelling is evidence about the second notable error — that the authors' measure of intelligence is by no means immutable, as their thesis requires. Prof. Derek Neal of the University of Chicago and Prof. William Johnson of the University of Virginia have shown that scores on the measurement used by Mr. Herrnstein and Mr. Murray, the Armed Forces Qualification Test, depend on how much schooling individuals have completed. Put simply, the more students study in school, the better they do on the test. So what the authors call immutable intelligence turns out to be what others call skills — indeed, teachable skills.

This mistake turns the message of the book on its head. Instead of its sighing surrender to supposed genetic destiny for poor children, there's a corrected message: Teach them.

Andrew Sullivan remains a shameful figure in our public discourse.

Oct 18

James Watson: ready to up’n die.

I doan know why, but dey’s sumfn bout dem aging white scientists-one er dem chuckleheads–dey alwuz love dem to scuttle deir reputations right befo’ dey die.  It happmd to Richard Herrnstein when he published Da Bell Curve with Charles Murray.  What wuz he thinkin’?  He wrote it, den up’n died.  I reckon James Watson will up’n die soon too.  I’s a-gwyne to tell ya bout it below da fold.

http://news.independ…

Oct 14

To All The Racists Hiding Behind Martin Luther King

Mychal Bell is a bad boy, didja know that?  He was violent.  He was a bad boy.  And because of that, no one should protest on his behalf, because if they do, they’re misguided, yes, they are misguided because it was far worse, his beating up that white boy, than it was to put some nooses on a tree.  No one was sent to the emergency room as a result of nooses on a tree.  But Mychal Bell sent a white boy to the emergency room, and he is bad.

Yep.  He was violent.  And further more, I’m no racist!  Oh no, I would be the first to say those white boys who put a noose on a tree should have been expelled!  Yes, expelled!  And those school board folks and the DA, well they should be held to account, yes they should!  But that Mychal Bell, he’s a bad boy, and you are misguided to protest on his behalf.  After all, he was violent.  What would Martin Luther King say?  He would never have marched in Jena.

And I have to say, that Mychal Bell is a lucky fellow, he’s going to have so many opportunities because of all that media attention, all that money coming his way, he’s a lucky boy and I hope he takes advantage of all these opportunities.  I wish him no ill, I just hope he realizes how lucky he is!

*****

All the sentiments above are from comments I have read both at Daily Kos and elsewhere over the Jena 6.  My response is below.

Oct 02

Potpourri on an Autumn Tuesday

Assorted thoughts, links, musings…

I recommend the excerpt from the late David Halberstam’s book, The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War, in this month’s Vanity Fair magazine (and online). Did anyone notice the resemblance between the delusional leader, General Douglas MacArthur, and another delusional leader who occupies the White House? Or between MacArthur’s principle intelligence chief, Major General Charles A. Willoughby, who falsified intelligence reports to justify a war campaign, and others, more contemporary, who shall remain nameless.

The Korean War is a lost war to American consciousness, if you are under 50 years of age, or even 60. But the lessons of that “police action” run deep, if anyone wishes to mine them.

I can also recommend Stephen Soldz’s series on racism in the public schools, starting with this article, “School Discipline, the New “Racist” Frontier”:

Sep 27

America’s War on Minorities

In 1980, an African-American was equally likely to be either living in a college dorm or living in prison.  Not anymore.  In the last twenty-six years, we have made remarkable progress.

Today, the Census Bureau will release a study showing that American blacks are more than three times as likely to live in prison than in a college dorm.

And the study has more good news as well.  Hispanic Americans in 1980 were more likely to live in college dorms than in prison.  Now, there are 2.7 Hispanics in prison for every Hispanic in a college dorm.

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