Keepin’ It Real: Essays on Race in Contemporary America

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States on 2020-02-14 16:06Z by Steven

Keepin’ It Real: Essays on Race in Contemporary America

University of Chicago Press
2019-10-25
140 pages
6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
Paperback ISBN: 9781789380507

Elwood David Watson, Professor of History, African American Studies, and Gender Studies
East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee

The past decade has been one of the most racially turbulent periods in the modern era, as the complicated breakthrough of the Obama presidency gave way to the racially charged campaigning and eventual governing of Donald Trump. Keepin’ It Real presents a wide-ranging group of essays that take on key aspects of the current landscape surrounding racial issues in America, including the place of the Obamas, the rise of the alt-right and White nationalism, Donald Trump, Colin Kaepernick and the backlash against his protests, Black Lives Matter, sexual politics in the black community, and much more.

America’s racial problems aren’t going away any time soon. Keepin’ It Real will serve as a marker of the arguments we’re having right now, and an argument for the changes we need to make to become the better nation we’ve long imagined ourselves to be.

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Trump loves to blame the black guy

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2020-01-09 20:48Z by Steven

Trump loves to blame the black guy

The Washington Post
2020-01-09

Jonathan Capehart, Opinion Writer

President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump speak before members of the media during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Nov. 10, 2016. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump speak before members of the media during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Nov. 10, 2016. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Anyone else tired of perpetually petulant President Trump blaming former president Barack Obama for, well, everything?

Boo-hoo, the air conditioning makes the White House too cold. Waaa, it’s unlawful for Turkey to buy U.S. fighter jets because it purchased missiles from Russia. Hmmph, Iran is restarting its nuclear program after I junked the international treaty Obama negotiated that put the whole thing on ice for at least 10 years.

On Wednesday, hours after some yapper on “Fox & Friends” said, “This moment right now is on Barack Obama, not Donald Trump,” the 45th president of the United States blamed the 44th. “The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration,” Trump mewled. “The very defective [Iran nuclear agreement] expires shortly anyway, and gives Iran a clear and quick path to nuclear breakout.” As my Post colleague Paul Waldman noted, “None of those things is true.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Birth certificates have always been a weapon for white supremacists

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2019-08-31 20:23Z by Steven

Birth certificates have always been a weapon for white supremacists

The Washington Post
2018-09-11

Susan Pearson, Associate Professor of History
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois


(Bigstock) (ziimmytws/Bigstock)

Policing the color line through vital documents.

The Trump administration’s decision to revive and expand the Bush and Obama-era practice of denying U.S. passports to Latinos born in South Texas should come as no surprise. From his assault on Barack Obama’s citizenship to his allegations that Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists to his promise to institute a Muslim ban, Donald Trump has made it abundantly clear that he believes the only true Americans are white.

But long before Trump rode to prominence promoting birtherism, birth certificates were an important instrument for policing the racial boundaries of citizenship. In the Jim Crow era, states used these seemingly innocuous public records to ensure that the rights of citizenship were accessible to white Americans — and no one else.

The best example of this comes from the career of Walter Plecker. Plecker, the state registrar of vital statistics in Virginia from 1912 to 1946, worked with the white-supremacist Anglo-Saxon Clubs of America to persuade the state legislature to pass the 1924 Racial Integrity Act

Read the entire article here.

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Will it be a black woman who turfs Trump out of the White House?

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2019-01-07 01:20Z by Steven

Will it be a black woman who turfs Trump out of the White House?

The Guardian
2019-01-06

Richard Wolfe


Harris in California, 2018. ‘The key primary test for all candidates will be who can best take the fight to Trump while still talking to voters beyond the reach of his tweets.’ Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Democrat Kamala Harris embodies the driving force behind the party’s electoral surge. She may be their best bet for 2020

Life, as Donald Trump has known it for the last two years, has just changed forever. Quagmired in a government shutdown of his own making, Trump’s ability to manipulate his world is already severely constrained in this very new year. The more he struggles against his new surroundings, the more he sinks.

Last week the president could only watch his beloved cable news channels as a bystander to the biggest tectonic shifts, as the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives and Senator Elizabeth Warren became the first candidate to officially emerge to run against him next year. And it won’t be long before the House launches several investigations into corruption and incompetence, while the Mueller investigation continues to tighten several nooses around all things Trumpian…

…But one likely candidate particularly intrigues. Kamala Harris embodies the driving force pushing Democrats to record turnouts in non-presidential contests over the last two years: women of colour. The California senator has served just two years in Congress – like the last freshman senator to win the Democratic nomination, in 2008. But unlike Barack Obama, Harris has a very significant record of public service in her pre-Senate career, serving as her state’s attorney general for six years and as San Francisco’s district attorney for seven years.

While all the Democratic candidates can appeal beyond their own demographics, personal perspectives can and do influence political character. There’s no mystery about why Trump performs so well with older white men. And there should be no surprise that Harris – the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants – has already won the overwhelming support and respect of influential women of colour who will help shape the Democratic primaries…

Read the entire article here.

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In 2008, there was hope. In 2018, there is hurt. This is America’s state of hate.

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2018-11-27 03:05Z by Steven

In 2008, there was hope. In 2018, there is hurt. This is America’s state of hate.

Cable News Network (CNN)
2018-11-26

By Mallory Simon and Sara Sidner, CNN

(CNN) On Election Night in 2008, Americans gathered in Grant Park, Chicago. They cried tears of joy knowing Barack Obama would become the first black president.

For millions of Americans, Obama lifted the nation. For white supremacists, he lit a powder keg.

His election supercharged the divisions that have existed since the country’s birth.

The hate created two Americas. Two realities. Split-screen reactions to the same events, that continued and were exacerbated with President Trump’s victory and time in office…

Read the entire article here.

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The First Great Movie of the Trump Era

Posted in Articles, Arts, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-02-23 05:05Z by Steven

The First Great Movie of the Trump Era

Vulture
2018-02-22

Jada Yuan and Hunter Harris


Daniel Kaluuya and Jordan Peele filming the game-room scene of Get Out.
Justin Lubin/courtesy of Universal Pictures

How Get Out began as a rebuke to Obama-inspired dreams of racial harmony and became a conduit for fears reignited by the rise of the new president.

Get Out was shot in just 23 days on a budget of $4.5 million, but when it opened one year ago, it quickly became clear it was not just another low-budget horror movie. There were monstrous grosses and rapturous reviews, but most important, the film instantly became a cultural phenomenon — the subject of political commentary and social-media memes. The bizarre story of a young black man lured by his white girlfriend to her family home in the country, where they plan to replace his brain with an older white person’s, it immediately introduced into the lexicon terms like “the sunken place” — as in “We’ve lost Kanye to the sunken place,” used to suggest the rapper has lost touch with his black identity. Racial inequity, and the failure of white liberals to adequately address it, proved powerful fodder for a horror narrative. A year later, as one of the most unlikely Oscar Best Picture nominees in years, Get Out is being taught in courses on racism and Afro­futurism. It began as an insight in the brain of creator Jordan Peele during the 2008 primary fight between Obama and Hillary Clinton and premiered at Sundance within a week of Donald Trump’s inauguration. This is the story of how Get Out got out…

Read the entire article here.

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Why calling Elizabeth Warren ‘Pocahontas’ is a slur against all mixed-race Americans

Posted in Arts, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2017-11-29 21:43Z by Steven

Why calling Elizabeth Warren ‘Pocahontas’ is a slur against all mixed-race Americans

The Washington Post
2017-11-29

Martha S. Jones, Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland


Elizabeth Warren’s embrace of her mixed-race ancestry has become a political weapon in the hands of her opponents. (AP)

It’s part of the long history of erasing people of mixed heritage.

President Trump’s assault on Sen. Elizabeth Warren descended to a new low Monday. Calling the Massachusetts leader “Pocahontas” during a ceremony honoring Native American code-talker veterans, Trump not only slurred Warren — he slurred all American families whose histories include ancestors of differing races.

By now Warren’s story is familiar. When registering with the American Association of Law Schools between 1986 and 1995, she checked an “Indian” box to describe her ancestry. When pressed by critics who questioned her background, Warren explained that she was “proud” of her Native heritage as passed down to her by stories told by her parents and grandparents.

Critics accuse Warren of leveraging her “minority” status to snag a job at Harvard Law School in 1992. Others charge that Warren’s self-identification was strategic and, even worse, illegitimate. How, they ask, could a woman who is by her own telling no more than 1/32 Native American claim to be anything other than white?

The answer is that Warren, like millions of other Americans, is mixed-race, and percentages shouldn’t matter when we consider such ancestry…

Read the entire article here.

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Jordan Peele Says Tiger Woods Is ‘In The Sunken Place’

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2017-11-27 02:39Z by Steven

Jordan Peele Says Tiger Woods Is ‘In The Sunken Place’

The Grapevine
The Root
2017-11-25

Angela Helm


Donald Trump greets Tiger Woods after the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship as Eric Trump looks on at the Trump Doral Golf Resort & Spa on March 10, 2013, in Doral, Florida. (Warren Little/Getty Images)

My question is – has Tiger Woods ever not been in the sunken place?

This is the man who was so non-black identified that he made up his own race (including giving Caucasian and American Indian equal footing to black and Asian with an African-American father and mother from Thailand.) Then he turned out to be just nasty with his prolific dick slanging in his now defunct marriage to a nanny. And now, the 41-year-old who has a mug shot floating around with a face and hairline that makes him look like a baby boomer, is going to play golf with Donald Trump, the president who loves to smear black athletes…

Read the entire article here.

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We should have seen Trump coming

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-10-08 04:18Z by Steven

We should have seen Trump coming

The Guardian
2017-09-29

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Obama’s rise felt like a new chapter in American history. But the original sin of white supremacy was not so easily erased.

I have often wondered how I missed the coming tragedy. It is not so much that I should have predicted that Americans would elect Donald Trump. It’s just that I shouldn’t have put it past us. It was tough to keep track of the currents of politics and pageantry swirling at once. All my life I had seen myself, and my people, backed into a corner. Had I been wrong? Watching the crowds at county fairs cheer for Michelle Obama in 2008, or flipping through the enchanting photo spreads of the glamorous incoming administration, it was easy to believe that I had been.

And it was more than symbolic. Barack Obama’s victory meant not just a black president but also that Democrats, the party supported by most black people, enjoyed majorities in Congress. Prominent intellectuals were predicting that modern conservatism – a movement steeped in white resentment – was at its end and that a demographic wave of Asians, Latinos and blacks would sink the Republican party.

Back in the summer of 2008, as Obama closed out the primary and closed in on history, vendors in Harlem hawked T-shirts emblazoned with his face and posters placing him in the black Valhalla where Martin, Malcolm and Harriet were throned. It is hard to remember the excitement of that time, because I now know that the sense we had that summer, the sense that we were approaching an end-of-history moment, proved to be wrong.

It is not so much that I logically reasoned out that Obama’s election would author a post-racist age. But it now seemed possible that white supremacy, the scourge of American history, might well be banished in my lifetime. In those days I imagined racism as a tumour that could be isolated and removed from the body of America, not as a pervasive system both native and essential to that body. From that perspective, it seemed possible that the success of one man really could alter history, or even end it…

Read the entire article here.

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We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

Posted in Barack Obama, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-10-07 21:49Z by Steven

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

One World (An imprint of PenguinRandomHouse)
2017-10-03
400 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardcover ISBN: ISBN 9780399590566
Paperback ISBN: 9780525624516
Ebook ISBN: 9780399590580

Ta-Nehisi Coates

In these “urgently relevant essays,”* the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me “reflects on race, Barack Obama’s presidency and its jarring aftermath”*—including the election of Donald Trump.

“We were eight years in power” was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s “first white president.”

But the story of these present-day eight years is not just about presidential politics. This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period—and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation’s old and unreconciled history. Coates powerfully examines the events of the Obama era from his intimate and revealing perspective—the point of view of a young writer who begins the journey in an unemployment office in Harlem and ends it in the Oval Office, interviewing a president.

We Were Eight Years in Power features Coates’s iconic essays first published in The Atlantic, including “Fear of a Black President,” “The Case for Reparations,” and “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” along with eight fresh essays that revisit each year of the Obama administration through Coates’s own experiences, observations, and intellectual development, capped by a bracingly original assessment of the election that fully illuminated the tragedy of the Obama era. We Were Eight Years in Power is a vital account of modern America, from one of the definitive voices of this historic moment.

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