Who Is an American?

group of people

Steve Hochstadt: Those who have argued for excluding some Americans from full rights, who have urged some Americans to leave because they weren’t American enough, who wanted to separate and classify and dominate people, have always been wrong.

Racism, Whiteness and the Health Disparities Industry

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Jessie Daniels: We need to begin to critically examine those who hold the most power and resources in society, that is at white people, for the ways that they contribute to and benefit from the inequality in health outcomes.

European Racism vs. “Underground” Racism in the U.S.

european racism

Jessie Daniels: While it’s true that it’s no longer ok to say the n-word in some mixed groups, there’s plenty of evidence that racism – even the crudest forms, and alongside some new forms – still abounds in the contemporary U.S. in plenty of above ground.

U.S. Native Prisoners of War

Native American Man

Jessie Daniels: My father identified as Native American. In his view, Native Americans had it “much worse” than black Americans and still do. I argue that rather than trying to rank order oppression and which group “had it worse,” it’s important that we see these as connected.

Why I Keep Talking about Race

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Steve Hochstadt: I will keep talking about race because my students cannot understand American history without knowing the role played by racism.

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being

Mark Naison

Mark Naison: When my working-class white friends and fellow coaches attacked affirmative action—which they did vociferously and often—it was about preferential treatment that they saw blacks and Latinos getting on the job, especially in the civil service.

Immigrants, African Americans, and the Struggle for Civil Rights

1944 First Grade Class of the Mexican school (Photo from collection of Sylvia Mendez)

Michele Waslin: Today, most Americans are familiar with the Brown v. Board of Education decision. However, the link between Mexican-Americans and African-Americans in the struggle for desegregation is not well known. The Mendez case and the relationship between the two cases is an important piece of U.S. history that deserves to be more widely acknowledged.

Reid’s Obama Blunder and What It Means

Light-Skinned Obama

Adriane Lentz-Smith: To marvel ignorantly at a black man’s accomplishment is one thing; to lament all the “problems” that accompany finally fulfilling the constitutional promise of black citizenship quite another.

The Marshmallow Center of American Politics in the 21st Century

obama_steele

Recent political events dash the hope that Obama’s election has ushered in a post-racial nirvana. Both political parties understand that race is as relevant as ever. And in this curdling, partisan environment, both parties also recognize that the race card is never an ace.

Most Black Married Mommas Could Have Been Statistics

Mother-and-child

If 80 percent of white children were born to single white mothers, can you imagine the hue and cry? There would be national conferences on the issue.

Real Talk From L.A.’s Top Cop on His Decision to Leave, His Successor, and Black Los Angeles

Jasmyne_Bratton_1

I have to admit that I am sad to see L.A.’s top cop leave. While my opinion may not be in the majority as it relates to Blacks here in Los Angeles, Police Chief William Bratton has definitely been my favorite police chief.

Discrimination: Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Leopold Allen and Alessandra Ferri

I don’t know if you have to experience discrimination first hand in order to be able to see it, but I do know that I learned a lot standing on that corner with my uncle in a wheelchair 20 years ago. For that reason, I have hope that maybe the Civil Rights Division under the Obama administration will do what it has often failed to do in the past – provide a line of defense for this country’s most vulnerable people.

When the Brothers Blast You and the…

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To be rendered invisible and unworthy of consideration by men who look like our fathers, brothers, cousins, uncles and the best of who we are – heroes like El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, Marcus Garvey and Martin Luther King, Jr. – is beyond offensive.

Black Unity: Can It Ever Happen?

Hope

The fact is, if we had waited for Black unity to come about on the simple question of whether Barack’s candidacy was credible before we supported him, Obama would have never been elected, because the divide was in evidence and deeply entrenched.

Weimar America

Fascism

Our democracy is under attack. Men in high public office and with control over our national airwaves are deliberately stoking a potentially violent movement opposed to our democratic process.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Watching Latino Politics Disappear

Sotomayor

This exclusion of Latinos from the health debate, and from all public policy issues other than immigration, is neither coincidence nor accident. It is part of the same strategy that sees Latinos excluded from the cable political news shows, and from the Sunday interview shows on the traditional networks.

Leave it to Fox’s “The Cleveland Show” to Pick Up Where BET’s “We Got to Do Better” Left Off

Cleveland

Fox knows it’s pushing something too with “The Cleveland Show,” and it isn’t an envelope. Fox is making an attempt to capitalize off of the negative stereotypes of Blacks and laughing all the way to the bank.

Racism and Reaction Must Be Confronted

teabagger

Rightwing populism is dangerous but the greatest potential peril lies not in the presence of some loony or deluded, irrational people parading through the streets. It arises from the certainty that there will always be someone lurking about in a trench coat to fan the flames for their own cynical purposes.

What A Surprise! “Values Voters” Pick Racist Huckabee

Huckabee_Mike

Huckabee, the silver-tongued, jovial Baptist preacher now best known for losing weight, charmed the crowd gathered in Washington over Rosh Hashanah weekend – Shanatova, en shallah to all – by dog whistling coded racist messages that wowed folks in the ballroom.

Joe Wilson’s Outburst, A Black Woman’s Perspective

Black businesswoman

Someone asked what black people thought of Joe Wilson‘s “you lie” outburst.  Of course, there isn’t a monolithic black answer to that question.  I am a black person but I can’t speak for black people and  I didn’t get together with other black people to form a consensus.  But I did read a blog post [...]

Red-Baiting and Racism: Socialism as the New Black Bogeyman

obama_joker_poster

This noise is about race. It is about “othering” a President who is seen as a symbol of white dispossession: dispossession of white hegemony, white entitlement, white expectation, and white power, unquestioned and unchallenged from the darker skinned other.

Obama on Race: Process over Product

beer_summit

The emerging position of Obama on race does not seem as much focused on end solutions to our most challenging problems, but rather more on the process of how sustainable solutions may be found.

Why Sotomayor Shouldn’t Have to Apologize for Being Proud of Her Ancestry

sonia

The First Lady and Sotomayor’s families and communities maintained their dignity, ambition and strength during difficult times. That these women retained their ethnic pride, as did most people in the communities, should not come as a surprise.

A Teachable Moment: Police Authority and Racism

Handcuffs

President Obama was right the first time when he said the police acted stupidly, because they should know better. It’s unfortunate that the president found it necessary to step back and retract the remark because until we can see this kind of action with some objectivity, we will never learn enough to actually be objective in such matters.

Blacks and Latinos Hit Harder in Hard Times

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Unemployment is and always has been much higher in Black and Latino communities. But the gap has widened during this recession. In fact, Black unemployment is nearly double that of Whites, while Latinos are unemployed at a rate one-third higher than their White counterparts.

What’s Been Missing from Obama’s Response to the Arrest of Henry Louis Gates

having-a-beer

I understand that Obama, as the first African American to assume the presidency, has to walk a racial tight rope, a burden no other American president has had to bear. But as an African American woman who cried the night he was elected and cried the day he was inaugurated, I feel a deep sense of betrayal.

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Rankism: The Elephant in Professor Gates’s House

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

The Gates Affair reminds us of our sorry history of racial profiling and gives new impetus to ending it. It also suggests that we’re more likely to eradicate profiling if we show our guardians the same dignity that we seek for ourselves.

Are We Always Going to Be Preoccupied with Racism?

Five generations of a slave family.

Yet, the long view shows that since this racial system had a beginning, and important changes have taken place, one can venture that it will also have an end. The election of Barack Obama is an encouraging sign.

Living While Black in Cambridge

Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

None of us African-American residents of Cambridge are surprised or shocked by the humiliation and harassment Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 58, of Harvard University encountered at the hands of Cambridge police.

Affirmative Action the Chicago Way

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi

Apparently there were no qualified Mexican Americans out of the 600 applicants for the job of Chancellor of the University of California, Davis (UCD). So the Regents, in their wisdom, chose Linda Katehi, a white woman from Illinois. She is eminently qualified to hold the job, we were told when we asked why the Regents [...]

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