All Articles Tagged "Conservative"
Despite Stacey Dash’s support, I’m pretty sure Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan (who she gushed about on Piers Morgan) and Mitt Romney (who she publicly endorsed on Twitter) have never seen an episode of Single Ladies. Nonetheless, with an acting career that’s sliding down the drain, do I think Dash is milking this whole “Black Republican” thing? Absolutely. In fact, I view her rebirth into conservative Republicanism the same way I view Miley Cyrus’ risqué twerk-filled antics: A cry for attention and a ruse to stay relevant.
After she endorsed Romney, Dash’s Twitter follower count went up by 30,000. Her name has been splashed all over social media and she’s getting calls for interviews on CNN, Fox News, and ABC. She realized that being a conservative Black woman was profitable. And now with a new book coming, Not Black Enough, it’s time to drum up a little publicity with some Obama-bashing on Fox.
Twitter has been vocal in its backlash against Dash’s various conservative comments. On Piers Morgan, she responded: “I really don’t understand the fury.”
I will be happy to explain why so many people, including myself, think her “Black Republican” stint is bizarre. First, she’s technically unemployed, part of a group of people often overlooked by the GOP. As we speak, conservative Republicans are throwing a toddler’s tantrum over Obamacare and the debt ceiling at the expense of 800,000 furloughed federal workers.
Second, she’s African American. This isn’t to say that there are no African American Republicans. But there have been many recent cases in which Republicans have painted African Americans as “lazy criminals” and have otherwise supported policies and programs that negatively impact the black community. The GOP fails to acknowledge that even African Americans with advantages are at a disadvantage: A multitude of studies have shown that housing, business loan, and job discrimination are still disproportionately affecting Blacks.
And lastly Dash is a woman; a thrice-divorced woman at that. She split from Emmanuel Xuereb because he was allegedly “physically violent.” Last year, there was a Republican-endorsed bill that didn’t recognize domestic violence as grounds for divorce. Republican Wisconsin Rep. Don Pridemore said, “Instead of leaving an abusive situation, women should try to remember the things they love about their husbands.” And after a plague of chauvinistic comments from the GOP, how could anyone believe they have a woman’s best interests at heart?
And from what I understand, she’s a single mother of two children. The aforementioned bill also labelled single motherhood as “child abuse.”
African Americans are not a monolithic group and I don’t think all Blacks should be Democrats. In my opinion, it’s just a matter of where you’re positioned in life and which party would provide you the best opportunities. A Black CEO of a Fortune 500 company might benefit more from voting Republican. A middle-class African-American college student, on the other hand, might be better off on the left.
That being said, I’m definitely side-eying Stacey Dash as a vocal GOP affiliate. And the fact that she advertised Not Black Enough on FOX News’ Hannity convinced me that she’s exploiting her so-called “conservatism” for a career boost more so than for a true political agenda.
What if you were dating someone for seven months and just found out they were anti-choice — a position you vehemently detest?
Well, that happened to one woman who wrote in to Dan Savage’s love column on Wednesday. The woman told Savage that when she found out her boyfriend believed life begins at conception and is strongly against abortions, she almost broke up with him. But her boyfriend, who she described as a “sweet, loving guy and progressive in every other way,” said that disagreeing on an issue is fine in a relationship. But the woman was still left uneasy and turned to Savage for help.
So what was Savage’s advice?
Well, first he said that she should tell him she’s pregnant. Savage said that most men who are anti-choice believe in their ideals in an abstract form, but “come to a very different conclusion about the importance of access to safe and legal abortion when an unplanned pregnancy impacts them directly.”
But to answer her question on whether she should continue to date her boyfriend, Savage concluded with a powerful “No.”
Women have to be in control of their own bodies—and when and whether they reproduce—in order to be truly equal. I don’t think I could date someone who didn’t see me as his equal or who believed that the state should regulate my sexual or reproductive choices. So, yeah, this Isht would be a deal breaker for me … if I had a vagina.
But in his next paragraph, he concedes:
Actually, this issue is a deal breaker for me, even though I don’t have a vagina. I wouldn’t date a gay dude who was anti-choice. Any gay man who can’t see the connection between a woman’s right to have children when she chooses and his right to love and marry the person he chooses is an idiot. And I don’t date idiots.
So is it impossible to date someone with different political views than you? Perhaps if you and your partner aren’t very political.
But then you have couples like Mary Matalin and James Carville, a Republican political consultant and a Democratic political consultant, respectively. Both are very political and not only have opposing views, but actually work for opposing parties.
How do they do it?
Carville once stated:
We have different ways of looking at politics. No doubt about that. But Jews and Catholics who get married probably have a different way of looking at God. It’s just not a deal-breaker.
To which Matalin added:
I know it’s hard to believe, but we just don’t talk politics at home.
Perhaps the only way it works is if couples, like Matalin and Carville, view their beliefs as abstractions — like opinions they came to through some sort of logic and that remain out there. But once people connect politics to their personal, emotional experiencesl, it’s impossible to see political views as simple opinions.
But what if a couples’ personal experiences leave them with different political views? I suppose a lot of empathy and a lot of talking politics at home could do the trick. Unless, of course, they just want to live in an ignorant bliss.
I think there’s a truth to the phrase “opposites attract.” Though I think that pertains to certain personality characteristics and dispositions. But having conflicting fundamental values? I’m not so sure. It would probably take a lot of time and effort — things that people with opposing views these days don’t seem to have.
*Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
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Revisiting Essence magazine’s shift of their white managing editor into a new role after his right-wing views were exposed on Facebook, I agree with readers here who feel the move was an excuse to get Michael Bullerdick out of the position. The swiftness with which the decision was made and the comparably minute articles he’d posted compared to the public blunders of other media personalities who’ve been allowed to keep their jobs suggests the magazine may have been waiting for an opportunity to remove the white editor in a way that wouldn’t make it seem as though it was simply taking it’s reader’s racial concerns to heart when he was hired in the first place, but perhaps they should have.
It obviously doesn’t take a particular ethnicity to be able to tell when someone’s syntax is wrong or their grammar is off, but when we’re talking about a magazine who’s readers are 99.9% black women it would certainly make sense that someone who would read the content themselves would have a better eye for checking for things like tone, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying that. I can’t tell you how many editorial job descriptions I’ve come across for opportunities with a publication or non-profit that explicitly states the applicant must have significant knowledge of the Jewish culture or Hebrew community in order to even be considered. There’s nothing wrong with us doing the same, although for some reason we seem to have this attitude that we’re not being diverse enough if we express that sentiment despite the fact that we aren’t the ones who need to knock down barriers for other people, we need them broken down for us. I know Essence claims that Michael was only involved in production but he listed his responsibilities on LinkedIn as “Edit stories for tone and style,” so it appears one of the parties was confused about what his true role was. Now, that inconsistency is neither here nor there but I do find it interesting that this issue has sort of been swept under the rug with no response from the publication to its readers about how this was overlooked—and who might even replace him. I don’t think anyone who saw Michael’s wall was personally offended, but I do think it proves readers had genuine concern when they protested his hiring, much like the hiring of Ellianna Placas, a white woman, as the fashion director, a year and a half ago. Opportunities being what they are for black people, you would think the one place someone in fashion or publishing could get a high-ranking job if they so choose would be Essence, but the difference between the publication and some of the Jewish ones I’ve come across is those communities owned their content, and last time I checked Time Warner was hardly led by an African American.
That being said and this situation considered, I don’t foresee Essence listening from here on out. The former editor, Angela Burt-Murray, defended Ellianna’s hiring, saying she hand-picked her herself, and Constance C.R. White pretty much did the same with Michael. Whether they truly didn’t see an issue with the hirings or if they were coaxed into it by corporate politics and the powers that be, we’ll likely never know but either way it’s cause for concern. I know the go-to response around anything Essence-related is “I don’t care, I don’t read the magazine anymore anyway,” but we should care and so should they. It’s candid discussions like this that are essentially a free focus group for the magazine and its corporate leadership to see in plain color what their (previous and potential) readers want and how to make it happen. I’m curious how much further readership has to drop for them to get the point. On one hand the issues plaguing the magazine aren’t unique. The interests of society have become increasingly superficial and if you want to thrive and be profitable you have to cater to that somewhat, but being the innovator that it was when it first entered the market many have been hoping the magazine would find a happy medium without selling out to rathetness or racial pressures but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Hiring a black person doesn’t guarantee that all of their ideologies will be in line with the publication and all black women for that matter but it does significantly increase the odds that the person put in the position will not only understand the issues plaguing black women but also have their best interest at heart with how their addressed and represented in the magazine and no one should want any less. There’s no better way to prove you really are the voice of black women than to have black women be the voice behind the content.
Do you think Essence will finally listen to its readers concerns over its hiring practices as a result of this incident?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Continuing the social media + career don’t mix trend, Essence has parted ways with its white male managing editor after right-wing news posted on his Facebook wall was brought to the attention of the magazine’s editor.
Michael Bullerdick’s position with the magazine has been controversial from the beginning. When he was hired last July, many expressed their disapproval of a white man working on a magazine for black women. Despite the title of managing editor and describing his duties for the magazine on LinkedIn as lists “Edit stories for tone and style,” Essence Editor-in-Chief Constance C.R. White stated when he was hired, “Michael is responsible for production and operational workflow. He has no involvement in editorial content.”
Whether that’s true or not, the content on Michael’s Facebook page is what led to his demise after a Journal-isms reader sent in screen shots of his wall, writing in an email:
“Essence readers would be shocked to find that Bullerdick, who under the prodding of Time Inc became the first white male editor at the magazine last year, openly espouses extremist Right-wing views that run counter to what Essence has historically stood for.”
The views referenced include an April 10 posting headlined, “No Voter Fraud, Mr. Attorney General?” with a video by conservative activist James O’Keefe. The same day, Bullerdick also posted a photo illustration of Al Sharpton titled, “MSNBC Race Pimp.” He also regularly recommends material from the conservative magazine Human Events and the right-wing website townhall.com. One post included “the Frequent Bomber Program,” an article about 1960s anti-war radical Bill Ayers on which Bullerdick wrote, “Obama’s mentor and friend.”
When this news first broke on Journal-isms Friday, White issued this statement, saying:
“As editor-in-chief, I’m responsible for all editorial content for Essence. I hired Michael to manage the production schedule of Essence. As head of production, he does not attend editorial idea meetings, nor does he get involved in the editorial direction of the magazine.”
By the end of the day, a spokeswoman said:
“By mutual agreement, Michael has accepted a position in another division.”
When Essence was questioned about their social media policy, the spokeswoman said employees should follow the current Standards of Business Conduct, which is distributed to everyone at the company. She also said Dan Okrent, who leads Editorial Standards and Practices for Time Inc., has been working with the magazine’s top Editors to develop a specific social media policy, which will be released when it’s completed.
There’s no word on what Bullerdick’s new role is within the company, but this shift certainly demonstrates the fine line between an employee being able to express personal views that are inconsistent with those of its employer on social media.
Do you think this move is fair?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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When Stuart Wilber discovered many large corporations often give a portion of the earnings bought through Internet marketers to conservative Christian organizations, he didn’t see it as a charitable act. He saw large companies funding hate groups. According to the New York Times, Wilber, a gay man from Seattle, believed these large corporations shouldn’t fund Christian groups that proclaimed anti-gay messages. In July he not only started a petition, he also started a heated, online retail battle.
The Charity Giveback Group (CGBG) was the Christian-oriented Internet marketing group that Wilber stumbled upon a few months ago. Through CGBG, he learned that many large retailers, including Microsoft, Apple and Netflix, sell their products and donate a portion of the profits to conservative evangelical groups such as Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, which are known for their strong anti-gay stance.
Outraged, Wilber created a petition on Change.org which gained 520 supporters on its first night alone. In response, Microsoft quickly and quietly stopped its donations. Soon other petitions began to circulate causing Apple, Macy’s and almost 100 other businesses to also stop their donations through CGBG.
A counter-campaign was also started by the conservative Christian groups with the title, “Please Don’t Discriminate Against My Faith.”
“People have been misled. The retailers are not donating to anyone; they are simply paying a commission to get traffic,” John Higgins, the president of CGBG, told the NY Times.
The situation has sparked outrage on all sides. Wilber and other gay-rights activists are shocked to learn that large retailers are contributing to anti-gay messages while often touting diversity platforms. Conservative groups feel attacked for their stance on sex and marriage and companies feel caught in the middle as they attempt to please both sides.
While none of the companies have responded to media over the controversy, Microsoft and Apple have quickly decided to remain away from the CGBGnetwork.
Other companies, such as Delta and Wal-mart, have reconsidered and joined again with CGBG. Representatives from Wal-Mart and its sister company Sam’s Club said that they changed their minds as the company serves over 43,000 organization with a wide range of interests with diverse viewpoints.”
Delta divulged that they realized how important it was to their faith-based clients. A representative told the NY Times that while they support these clients, they do not want to be involved in any political debates, only in flying planes.
I voted for Barack Obama.
And, while I took the opportunity to help elect this country’s first black president (with hopes of something different), I am not a Democrat. Rather, I reside on the lonely island of black conservatives—judged and misunderstood. I believe Shelby Steele described it accurately in “The Loneliness of the Black Conservative”:
The liberal-conservative axis is a bit different for blacks than for Americans generally. Under his American identity a black Republican is conservative, but under his racial identity he may be quite liberal. Many black Republicans, for example, are intense supporters of preferential affirmative action and thus liberal in terms of their group identity. (Colin Powell is a case in point, as is Arthur Fletcher, a black Republican who helped President Nixon introduce America’s first racial preference in the famous “Philadelphia Plan.”) But the “new” black conservatives—the ones who have recently become so controversial—may even be liberal by their American identity but are definitely conservative by the terms of their group identity. It is their dissent from the explanation of black group authority that brings them the “black conservative” imprimatur. Without this dissent we may have a black Republican but not a “black conservative,” as the term has come to be used.
Nearly 85 percent of black Americans identify as Democrats, which I’ve always found to be quite interesting because most can’t tell you why. Without understanding, so many blindly give praise to a party that, in many ways, has enabled them to fail. Case in point, the dissolution of the black family is often blamed on welfare and how it was designed to benefit single mothers thus making marriage less attractive and unimportant. As a result, we currently have a 73 percent out-of-wedlock birth rate and more children with absentee fathers than any other racial group in America. All studies point to that as a negative and poverty speaks for itself. Welfare was a Democratic initiative.
In the latest conservative fumble, Politico reports that an Iowa based group is now retracting a line in its marriage vow which suggested that black children born into slavery had a better family life than black children born today.
The marriage vow, created by Family Leader, came out last week and was signed by Michelle Bachmann. The original preamble read “slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”
The group’s officials said that “after careful consideration and wise insight and input from valued colleagues,” they decided to remove the offensive language from their preamble. They still maintain that all must work to strengthen marriages between one man and one woman.
Bachmann’s spokeswoman said that she signed the candidate vow, which made no reference to slavery, and relayed the congresswoman’s belief that “slavery was horrible.” It’s unclear whether or not Bachmann actually read the preamble.
Of course, as with any other outrageously offensive comment, the group claims it wasn’t meant to be racist, “just a fact that back in the days of slavery there was usually a husband and a wife.”
By 2042, the census bureau forecasts that minorities will become the majority population in the U.S. That means 32 years from now, the U.S. will no longer be a majority white population. An implication of an increasing minority population is less political power for whites and more for minorities. President Obama’s election for some is an ominous sign that their political power is diminishing and there is nothing they can do about it except to rail against abortion, immigration, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and challenge the presidents’ citizenship.
The Tea Party Movement is a clarion call for whites in the U.S. who fear the impending majority-minority planet the middle of the century will bring to the United States. The impetus for their movement (Tea Party) is purportedly fiscal conservatism, but this is disingenuous considering President Obama inherited President Bush’s mind-numbing deficit. Their benign silence toward President Bush’s fiscal and monetary policy versus their vehement opposition to President Obama’s fiscal and monetary policy unmasks their fear of a majority-minority planet.
Before tackling how the census helps the majority population maintain political power, an introduction of minority-majority states is apropos. Four states and the District of Columbia can be characterized as majority-minority. California, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Texas are the majority-minority states presently, meaning that there are more minorities who reside in that state than whites.
Consider as well that the U.S. Census Bureau projected in 2005 that Maryland, Mississippi, Georgia, New York, and Arizona are the next states to become majority-minority states because each of the states in 2005 had minority populations of about 40 percent according the census. A 2007 update from the census adds Florida and Nevada as states joining the majority-minority status by 2025.
One final example to embellish the point is a report by Hope Yen of the Associated Press who interviews Kenneth Johnson, a sociology professor at the University of New Hampshire and reports that the study he co-published found that “1 in 10 of the nation’s 3,142 counties already have minority populations greater than 50 percent”. His study, as Yen reports, also finds that “1 in 4 communities have more minority children than white children or are nearing that point”.
The implications here is that soon-to-be former red states such as Texas, which is almost purple and soon-to be-blue should see political power swing and possibly its conservatism dissipating as well in the future. However, the census effectively circumvents population gains by minorities by using prison-based gerrymandering. How so? The U.S. Census counts prisoners where they are incarcerated instead of where they are from. By exploiting this quirk in the census, many states do not remove prison populations prior to redistricting. Thus, when states count prisoners, they draw state and county legislative districts to their benefit and to the disadvantage of everyone else in that state or county.
This practice is unconstitutional and flies in the face of the constitutional principle of one-person one vote. New York Senate District 34 is a good case study regarding how the counting of prisoners dilutes the voting strength of blacks and Hispanics.
This practice is even more sinister when you consider that the inmates who are counted cannot vote while incarcerated and they add to the power of politicians who do not represent their interest. Brenda Wright, a Boston-based voting rights attorney characterizes this process as the “three-fifths” compromise because, in the late eighteenth century, the South benefited in regards to gaining political power because slaves could not vote and in today’s contemporary society, prisoners play a similar role. Legislators with prisoners in their districts are benefiting from the fact that those prisoners cannot vote and, as a result, gain power. Prison-based gerrymandering must end.
Felony disenfranchisement is another mechanism which thwarts any potential political gains minorities achieve based on population gains. Most lay people are unaware that “48 states and the District of Columbia prohibit inmates from voting while incarcerated for a felony offense and only two states – Maine and Vermont – permit inmates to vote.” The Sentencing Project provides the following examples to support the assertion in this paper and they are as follows:
· 1.4 million African American men, or 13% of black men, are disenfranchised, a rate seven times the national average.
· Given current rates of incarceration, three in ten of the next generation of black men can expect to be disenfranchised at some point in their lifetime.
· In states that disenfranchise ex-offenders, as many as 40% of black men may permanently lose their right to vote.
Of the three major minority groups, felony disenfranchisement laws affect African-American men the most. This practice really hits home when you consider that the majority-minority states of California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Texas and the District of Columbia all revoke the right to vote while incarcerated. New Mexico and Texas revoke the right to vote while in prison and if you are on probation and parole—time bound. California and Hawaii does not deny the right to vote while on probation. However, the next states to become majority-minority—all but New York does not deny the right to vote while on probation but the others deny the right to vote if you are in prison or on probation or parole.
New York denies the right to vote if in prison and on parole as well. Given that “1 in 36 Hispanic men ages 18 or older is incarcerated; 1 in 15 Black men ages 18 and older is incarcerated and Black men ages 20-34 1 in 9 is incarcerated; Hispanic women ages 35-39 1 in 297 is incarcerated; and Black women ages 35-39 1 in 100 is incarcerated”3. You get the picture.
The Drug Policy Foundation found that on any given day 1 in 3 black men is either in prison, on probation or parole. So incarceration, the census and felony disenfranchisement appear to be effective mechanisms to forestall the transfer of political power to minorities although those states have become majority-minority states. If the current practices and policies are not repudiated, majority-minority states will not realize their new-found political power the middle of the century is expected to bring.
Dr. Byron E. Price is a professor of political science at Texas Southern University and is the author of Merchandising Prisoners: Who Really Pays for Prison Privatization.