All Articles Tagged "race relations"
The GOP has been trying mightily (and mostly failing) to broaden its base by appealing to black voters. Then party members rally around someone like Cliven Bundy, who makes downright racist remarks and any baby steps that they may have been made disintegrate faster than you can say “negro.”
As Mo Elleithee, the DNC’s communications director, said about the issue, “If you ever want to be taken seriously for your outreach efforts, you might want to start by not defending racists.” Very good advice. While there are many on the right who have tried to separate themselves from these comments, there are others who still defend Bundy with excuses and “adding context,” going back to the initial issue that the government went too far when it tried to collect on what Bundy owes for use of federal land to graze his cattle. (Note the comments at that link from The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein and New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait on this issue, which are interesting.)
Some experts say that, at the heart of the issue, are “complicated” tensions that some parts of the population are trying to deal with. America is changing. Minorities are growing in population numbers, political power and visibility of every kind. And it’s bringing out this sort of offensive and prejudiced behavior. Writes CNN:
“We are looking at some of the ‘last white men standing,’ ” Mark Anthony Neal, an African-American studies professor at Duke University, said of demographic shifts that show minorities now represent more than half of the nation’s population born in 2010 and 2011, according to the most recent census data.
“His comments represent that, and people rally around him because of this idea that white men are under siege. They are calling out the political establishment to stand by them,” he said.
That article notes that it’s not just about race either. Steps to make same-sex marriage legal in more places have been met with ugliness. And efforts to make things more equal for women, who have made strides in society, the home and the workplace, have been met with sexism.
“The articulation of their views is somewhat fringe, but the underlying attitude is not. They are a minority viewpoint, but they are a large minority,” adds Andra Gillespie, an associate professor of political science at Emory University.
Josh Barro, writing for The New York Times, goes a little further with Bundy’s comments, noting that Bundy also “wondered” where his Mexican and Chinese “brothers” are in this fight against the Bureau of Land Management. “They’re just as American as we are, but they’re not with us. If they’re not with us, they’re going to be against us,” Bundy said.
From Barro’s point of view, “Mr. Bundy is weirdly on to something here. The rush to stand with Mr. Bundy against the Bureau of Land Management is the latest incarnation of conservative antigovernment messaging. And nonwhites are not interested, because at gut-level an aversion to the government is almost exclusively a white phenomenon.” He follows that with stats from the Pew Research Center showing that, in 2011, Asians, African Americans and Hispanics were in favor of a larger government. And that cut across all economic groups, from those with money to those who depend on government programs to make ends meet.
We didn’t need Cliven Bundy to remind us that there are strides we have to make in the area of race relations. And it’s important that we have rational conversations about how to move things in a positive direction. But no matter how you feel about land rights or the government, Bundy’s words were clearly awful. It’s also important that we call out how wrong that language is.
Even though President Barack Obama listed himself as African American in the 2010 U.S. Census, most Americans don’t consider the President a black man.
A new study by the Pew Research Center examines Americans’ feeling about the country’s changing demographics and how perception of race has changed. The study, entitled “The Next America,” found that as America becomes less white, the way the country looks at race is changing.
According to research, by 2060 whites will no longer be a majority. They will represent about 43 percent of the population. Interracial marriages are on the rise and this not only affects the number of biracial infants being born, it also affects what Americans think about ethnicity, especially when it comes to the offspring of biracial couples.
Because of his background, the perspective on President Obama is much different from what he listed on the Census. Lots has changed since the “one-drop rule,” which would have deemed Obama black regardless of his interracial background. But today the study found a surprising 52 percent of Americans consider Obama mixed-race.
“Both white and Hispanic respondents primarily used this classification, with 53 percent of white participants and 61 percent of Hispanic participants saying they considered the president mixed-race,” reports HuffPo. Interestingly however, a majority of blacks–55 percent–said they considered Obama black. Only 34 percent of black respondents said they think of him mixed-race.
This is a question that has come up with other notable figures, for instance Tiger Woods. How would you classify the President?
[via The Huffington Post]
You would think in such polarized times as these, Americans would be conscious of race relations and the role persistent prejudice still plays in our society. But according to a new study, that is the last — literally the last – thing on folks’ minds.
According to a new Gallup survey, race relations occupies the final spot on a list of 15 national priorities, after climate change. An incredibly low 17 percent worry about race relations a “great deal” and 26 percent a fair amount. But a whopping 56 percent say they think about the issue “a little/not at all.” The economy, federal spending and the budget deficit, and the availability and affordability of healthcare were the top three concerns.
Twenty-four percent of respondents say they worry about climate change a “great deal,” reports The Huffington Post.
Maybe Americans are buying into the post-racial society notion. But evidence proves there is still a lot to do in terms of race relations. Since Barack Obama became the first black president, racial tensions have heightened.
According to a poll commissioned by the Associated Press, the number of Americans with “explicit anti-black attitudes” increased from 48 percent in 2008 to 51 percent in 2012. Implicit racist attitudes jumped from 49 percent to 56 percent. “Another set of A.P. polls showed anti-Latino attitudes had climbed between 2011 and 2012,” reports The New York Times.
The Southern Poverty Law Center found that the number of hate groups in America increased from 926 in 2008 to 1,007 in 2012, and radical-right groups rose even faster.
And then you have tone deaf comments from politicians that make preconceptions and stereotypes about blacks and other minorities legitimate. Just yesterday, Wisconsin Congressman and likely 2016 presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R) was backtracking and explaining away comments he made during a radio interview that had a marked racial undertone.
Calling the remarks “inarticulate,” he was speaking about his ideas for alleviating poverty and said, “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”
Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat and Congressional Black Caucus’s Poverty and Economy Task Force responded with the following in a statement, quoted on Politico, “My colleague Congressman Ryan’s comments about ‘inner city’ poverty are a thinly veiled racial attack and cannot be tolerated. Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city’ when he says, ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black.'”
Rep. Ryan maintains that he wasn’t talking about one community or culture, but rather “society as a whole.”
How often do you think about race relations?
‘He Didn’t Unite Us, He Did The Exact Opposite:’ Stacey Dash Says Obama Worsened Race Relations In America
Yes, she’s still talking.
By now we’re all pretty aware that Stacey Dash isn’t crazy about President Obama or the Democratic party. She rarely ever passes up an opportunity to let this be known. During a recent interview with Adam Carolla, Stacey expressed that she believes the nation’s first Black President not only failed to help unite us, but he’s actually contributes to division in this country.
“[In 2008] I voted for Obama and I have to say, I got ‘blacked’ into it. I didn’t know anything about him, but I just knew we needed a Black president. I thought, ‘He has a way to unite us in such a profound dynamic.’ But he didn’t [unite us]. He did the exact opposite,” said the former “Single Ladies” actress.
“There’s been more racial conversation over last five years than we’ve ever had before,” Carolla added Carolla. “If Hillary Clinton gets elected … I suspect there’s gonna be four years of feminist talk. It’ll be found in every story.”
Stacey; however, made it clear that she wants no parts of Hillary getting elected in 2016.
“I don’t want it. I hope not,” said Stacey. “There will be a big excuse on this big huge platform to say, ‘You’re doing this because she’s the President. She’s a woman, you don’t like it.”
Despite being ripped to shreds on social media, Dash says she definitely does not regret voting for and endorsing Mitt Romney during the 2012 elections—adding that it’s racist to vote for someone based on the color of their skin.
“I feel like I did the right thing,” she told Carolla. “It’s not a form of racism, it is racism. Racism is racism is racism. You should be able to make a choice based on the content of someone’s character, not the color of their skin.”
She also seemed to imply that Black people should get over racial inequality because that time has passed.
“It’s not 1965,” said Dash. “We’ve won that battle. We should move on.”
Growing up in Northern Kentucky, I got used to being the only Black kid in most of my classes. In high school, there were other Black students, but none of them in my close-knit drama and speech class circles. Because of this, I have dated quite a few White guys, and while there are similarities when dating any man, there are still some small cultural quirks that never go unnoticed when you’re with a White dude. LIke these nine things, for instance.
1. They will never understand the hair thing. It might start with an innocent “did you get a haircut” right after you wash your hair and there is shrinkage–but it does not end…EVER…after that. From moisturizing, to protecting with a satin cap, there is always a new and interesting thing for your guy to discover. Trust me, while it gets easier to explain, it doesn’t ever stop needing to be explained.
2. They don’t want to say the N-word, but they do want to talk about why some people do. Though I date smart enough humans to not ever be asked to be the voice of my entire race, I still get asked how I feel about rappers using the N-word, and who has access to it. This conversation doesn’t have to be uncomfortable if you’re certain of your stance, but if you waiver, they will be forever confused and your weighing-in on the subject can save them from physical harm and embarrassment in the future.
3. They will always be embarrassed about fried chicken. Every damn body loves fried chicken, but now he’s far too aware of the stereotypes associated and will be torn about it every time you pass a KFC.
4. They need help knowing what to tell their friends. As much as we live in a post-racial society <#sarcasm<, their friends may not be as enlightened as they are. Their friends want to know what the differences are, even when none are all that apparent. Give him some ammo. If he says the wrong thing, and you catch wind of it, he knows that’s his ass. Don’t be afraid to give him a script.
5. He’s just as scared to meet your family. While you might be dreading meeting older family members due to 50+ years of internalized racism, he just as much fears that your family wants to retaliate for having to endure ignorance while they were coming up. You will both help each other through this. Talk to your family, and if they don’t want to meet him, sit with that. Figure out what’s important to you. You shouldn’t not see a man just because your family has prejudices, and the same goes for his family.
Read on for more tips when dating a white man at Essence.com
Dear My Fellow Fed-Up Sistas and Brothas,
This has been a particularly trying year for people of color, hasn’t it? The cold-blooded killer of an innocent, college-bound, black boy went free. A former college football star was shot dead when running to the police for help. Blackface Halloween costumes seemed to be all the rage this year. A young black man was racially profiled, arrested and detained for buying a $350 belt at a high-end clothing store. A young black woman had her head blown off for seeking help after a car accident. Racist columnists showed, in no uncertain terms, just what they thought of New York City’s new mayor and his racially mixed family.
We are trying to process such regression of race relations and civil rights in a country that can boast progression in almost every other area. We are all dealing with it. How well we’re dealing with it is anyone’s guess at this point. Some of us choose to get involved in the legal processes. Some are engaging in thought-provoking, life-changing discussion. Some are creating art in all forms to spread messages of nonviolence, anti-racism and unity.
And there are the others. The point-of-view police. Calling folks out far and wide for tweeting or retweeting jokes, but not discussing Marissa Alexander’s trial. Questioning folks’ dedication to their race and The Struggle because they choose not to participate in race discussions. I do believe you mean well. You’re fed up like the rest of us. You’re livid and God knows you have every right to be. We all do. Trying to spread the message of racial equality only to be met with more murders and cases of racial profiling is enough to keep us all either living in a constant state of fear or animosity. We’ve been fighting the same fight for eons and forward movement seems slow at best.
What we have to remember is not to turn our frustrations on one another. We are all in this thing together. We are all coping the best way we know how. For some of us, coping looks like an hours-long Twitter discussion about the insistent choice of law enforcement (and society at large) to blame the victim of even the most debased hate crimes. For some of us, using that space as a starting point to unapologetically raise our voices and organize against racial inequity is powerful. For some of us, that is where our talents best serve. Others choose to talk less and involve themselves in whatever physical labors of unity their hands can find to further the cause. Protesting. Taking classes on race relations. Establishing relationships with local law enforcement.
And then some of us are silent and motionless. Some of us don’t know what to say. Some of us don’t know what to do. We feel helpless at first so we crack jokes, unsure of how else to bring comfort to so many of our people who are hurting and angry. Some of us avoid direct contact with the issues until we can make sense of them by ourselves first. And there is no shame in that.
We are all feeling our way through this. Lashing out at those who respond differently than you do is not a solution to the problem we’re facing as a people. Deriding each other for processing, thinking, feeling, reacting to troubling race related news in a way you might not readily understand does nothing to coax even the slightest bit of solidarity out from behind the shadows of fear, pain and indecision. Only patience, understanding and affirmation will do that. Let us remember to embrace one another, but bare our teeth toward racism. That is the only way to honor those we’ve lost.
Peace to Trayvon Martin.
Peace to Jonathan Ferrell.
Peace to Renisha McBride.
And to the rest of those whose lives have been lost but whose names will continue to inspire the fight against racism, peace to you.
Columbus Short Says Don’t Be Consumed By Injustice Of Trayvon Martin Case In Letter On Race Relations
It’s no secret George Zimmerman’s acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murder has caused a national uproar. As African-Americans try to navigate an American judicial system that doesn’t seem to have their back, many black celebrities have written letters to the younger generation via social media. Scandal gladiator and Dartmouth graduate Columbus Short is the latest to write an exquisite letter on how African Americans must take inventory on their current societal standing as well as how Black men should not become stagnant in how they expect their manhood to evolve. Short writes:
As I have sat and listened to debate after debate, in depth analysis and tempered opinions on “The Verdict” I couldn’t help but feel helpless, frustrated, hurt and yes, angry. As I plummet into the labyrinth of my mind in search of answers, solutions, or a way I could help subdue the burning desire for things to change, my only recourse was to start writing.
Presume we step back and take pause for a moment. Pause to take a cultural and personal inventory on where we have come as a people. As oppose to being blinded by the present emotional and economical condition of our nation, our community. What if we begin by acknowledging some of the triumphs, rather than becoming consumed solely by the injustice? I ask these questions for one reason being, that if I reflect and remember just how far we’ve come, instead of sitting and stewing over what has happened, I am now ensuring that I am not going to allow this “Decision” to stifle me as a human being nor as a black man in America.
It may seem quite pretentious and easy to hear coming from my heart. However, I assure you I experience the same profiling and discrimination daily regardless of what I happen to do for a living. We must recognize that if we allow this particular ‘lost battle’ in the continuing war, that is ‘Race In America,’ to take us backwards, we will be backtracking and negating the progress that we have already made to date.
Columbus later went on to explain how rioting or looting is not the answer, but for African-Americans to investigate what companies funded the defense team of George Zimmerman so they may solicit the economic growth of them. He concluded by reinforcing the idea that those who are living and are of African descent are the survivors of racial profiling. By being survivors, there should be a cultural evaluation of how African-Americans can take control of their representation. By doing so, Short suggested African-Americans implement how they should be treated by their counterparts as well as each other.
To read Columbus Short’s full letter, click here.
Do you agree with Columbus’s take on race relations in America?
Things That Make You Go Hmmm–Or Not: New Study Claims Black People More Racist Than Whites And Hispanics…?
So in a new Rasmussen study, Americans were asked who they perceived to be more racist and apparently, black people took the cake. Honestly, I call bull.
According to the study, 37 percent of Americans feel that blacks are more racist, while only 15 percent believed whites were more racist. This same study also claimed to gather that 30 percent of people believe that race relations are getting better in America while 30 percent believe they are getting decidedly worse.
I’m not really sure what the poll was trying to prove as it is obvious that there is something quite off in the findings and how they came to them. Perhaps they asked these questions in the Bible Belt? Perhaps the number of whites to blacks was significantly off? Or maybe folks are seeing something that we just haven’t realized?
Oh wait… here’s an interesting stat:
“From an ideological point of view, almost 50 percent of conservative Americans think that blacks are racist as opposed to only 12 percent of white people.”
This is probably one of the most ridiculous and unnecessary polls I have ever seen. Ridiculous because due to the increasing visibility of racial profiling due to social networks and outspoken pundits, we see that disrespectful treatment and crimes against blacks because of their race and appearance are still happening throughout the country by police and everyday people (stop-and-frisk anyone?). We also see that we are clearly NOT living in a post-racial society no matter how you slice it or skew the numbers. Whatever the numbers say in this poll – the news tells a totally different story. Amadou Diallo. Oscar Grant. Sean Bell. Travyon Martin. To name just a few.
At the end of the day, I’m just wondering what this poll sought to accomplish? I’m also wondering who would take such amazingly off stats as the gospel truth about our nation’s race relations?
Do you think that blacks can be more racist than whites? Is it possible? Some argue that minorities can’t even be racist. How does this survey represent your own life? Or does it at all?
Tia Norfleet made her mark in black history by becoming the first black race car driver. But then she made us all look bad when she was kicked out of NASCAR for lying about her identity to cover up a few drug and theft charges and faking her NASCAR racing license.
Tia also had a criminal past she tried to apologize for, saying:
“People make mistakes in their life and move forward and make a better way. I think things that I’ve done, people make mistakes, as a child, as a teen, and basically, it’s things that you may not be proud of but you move forward and you help others. And they may be in the same situation and you can relate and they can relate to you, and you help them as much as possible.”
But we still feel bad for all of the little black girls who looked up to Tia before they found out that she was a criminal and a liar.
Earlier this week we told you about the internet’s negative reaction to Queens rapper LL Cool J’s collaborative track with country singer Brad Paisely. During a recent appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, LL addressed the controversial track, titled “Accidental Racist” and admits that it “wasn’t perfect,” but it was put out with good intensions. Check out some of what he had to say.
On how he feels about the controversy surrounding “Accidental Racist:”
“I feel good. The song wasn’t perfect. You can’t fit 300 or 400 years of history into a three or four-minute song.”
On being criticized for downplaying slavery and racism:
“A lot of people took offense to the lyrics and ultimately, I can’t defend the song, but I can clarify my intentions. There’s a point in the song where I say, ‘If you don’t judge my du-rag, I won’t judge your red flag.’ I in no way would compare the history of the Confederate flag with a du-rag. However, when you think about a kid like Trayvon Martin, and you think about some of the things that happen in society based on clothing and when you put it in its proper context it makes sense.”
“I would never suggest to anyone that we should forget slavery and act like that didn’t happen. I understand the systemic racism that exists. But if the playing field is unleveled and you feel it’s unfair, then maybe putting down some of that baggage would help you to make it up that hill a little bit easier.”
On his intentions behind putting out the song:
“The intention was to put a song out there that causes people to have a conversation. The fact that we’re having so many conversations about this song is proof that the song did its job. People are talking about it. That elephant in the room needs to be discussed.”
Turn the page to watch LL’s interview. Do you feel he has a point?