The assumption that more racial diversity equals more racial equality is a dangerous myth.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2021-09-12 23:54Z by Steven

The assumption that more racial diversity equals more racial equality is a dangerous myth. Racial diversity can function as a cloaking device, concealing the most powerful forms of White supremacy while giving the appearance of racial progress.

John Blake, “White supremacy, with a tan,” CNN, September 4, 2021. https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/04/us/census-browning-of-america-myth-blake/index.html.

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White supremacy, with a tan

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2021-09-06 01:42Z by Steven

White supremacy, with a tan

CNN (Cable News Network)
2021-09-04

John Blake, Enterprise writer/producer

(CNN) Cutting taxes for the rich helps the poor. There is no such thing as a Republican or a Democratic judge. Climate change is a hoax.

Some political myths refuse to die despite all evidence the contrary. Here’s another:

When White people are no longer a majority, racism will fade and the USwill never be a White country again.”

This myth was reinforced recently when the US Census’ 2020 report revealed that people who identify as White alone declined for the first time since the Census began in 1790. The majority of Americans under 18 are now people of color, and people who identity as multiracial increased by 276% over the last decade.

These Census figures seemed to validate a common assumption: The US is barreling toward becoming a rainbow nation around 2045, when White people are projected to become a minority.

That year has been depicted as “a countdown to the White apocalypse,” and “dreadful” news for White supremacists.” Two commentators even predicted the US “White majority will soon disappear forever.” It’s now taken as a given that the “Browning of America” will lead to the erosion of White supremacy.

I used to believe those predictions. Now I have a different conclusion:

Don’t ever underestimate White supremacy’s ability to adapt.

The assumption that more racial diversity equals more racial equality is a dangerous myth. Racial diversity can function as a cloaking device, concealing the most powerful forms of White supremacy while giving the appearance of racial progress.

Racism will likely be just as entrenched in a browner America as it is now. It will still be White supremacy, with a tan…

Read the entire article here.

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What The Reaction To The Royal Baby Says About Racial Identity And Racism

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2019-05-11 15:10Z by Steven

What The Reaction To The Royal Baby Says About Racial Identity And Racism

Gothamist
WYNC
New York, New York
2019-05-10

Rebecca Carroll, Editor of Special Projects

2019_05_babysussex.jpg
Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex with their baby son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor during a photocall in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle in Berkshire (Shutterstock)

In the five days since Meghan Markle, the black and biracial American who married into the British monarchy, gave birth to her son Archie Harrison Mountbattan-Windsor, at least two media outlets have posted blatantly racist commentary targeting the royal baby’s racial identity. On Tuesday, CNN published an article by John Blake with the headline, “How Black Will the Baby Be?

The story unleashed a torrent of backlash on social media…

…Don’t get me wrong. The myth of mixed-race and racially ambiguous children as representative of hope and harmony is real. Mixed-race people are notoriously fetishized, and colorism is rampant in mainstream media and Hollywood and, well, across many industries. Dark-skinned black folks are without question discriminated against in far greater numbers than lighter-skinned and mixed-race black folks…

Read the entire article here.

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To modern ears, it’s hard to believe that “race” is an invention. But the modern framework of race — a hierarchy with white on top and black on the bottom — is a relatively recent fabrication.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-03-03 02:53Z by Steven

To modern ears, it’s hard to believe that “race” is an invention. But the modern framework of race — a hierarchy with white on top and black on the bottom — is a relatively recent fabrication. “Black people,” for example, weren’t invented until around 500 years ago by Europeans to justify slavery and their colonial conquest of much of the world, says [Rainier] Spencer, the UNLV scholar.

John Blake, “Are you racially fluid?,” Cable News Network, March 2, 2018. https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/02/us/racial-fluidity/index.html.

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Are you racially fluid?

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Passing, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2018-03-03 02:33Z by Steven

Are you racially fluid?

Cable News Network (CNN)
2018-03-02

Story by John Blake, CNN
Video by Tawanda Scott Sambou, CNN

The blurring of racial lines won’t save America. Why ‘racial fluidity’ is a con

(CNN) He was a snappy dresser with slicked back hair and a pencil mustache. A crack bandleader, musician and legendary talent scout, he was dubbed the “Godfather of R&B.”

But Johnny Otis’ greatest performance was an audacious act of defiance he orchestrated offstage.

Most people who saw Otis perform during his heyday in the 1950s thought he was a light-skinned black man. He used “we” when talking about black people, married his black high school sweetheart and stayed in substandard “for colored only” hotels with his black bandmates when they toured the South.

Johnny Otis, though, wasn’t his real name. He was born Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes to Greek immigrants in Northern California. He grew up in a black neighborhood where he developed such a kinship with black culture that he walked away from his whiteness and became black by choice.

“As a kid I decided that if our society dictated that one had to be black or white, I would be black,” he wrote in his 1968 book, “Listen to the Lambs.”

“No number of objections such as ‘You were born white … you can never be black’ on the part of the whites, or ‘You sure are a fool to be colored when you could be white’ from Negroes, can alter the fact that I cannot think of myself as white.

“I do not expect everybody to understand it, but it is a fact. I am black environmentally, psychologically, culturally, emotionally, and intellectually.”…

…What if racial fluidity leads not to less racism, but to more?

That’s the warning being issued by many who study racial fluidity — including some who are racially fluid themselves. They say people are naïve if they believe expanding the menu of racial choices will lead to more tolerance; that racism is deeper and more adaptable than people realize.

A brown-skinned man with a white mother can gush all he wants about his DNA mix, but that won’t stop him from being racially profiled, says Rainier Spencer, a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who has written extensively about mixed-race identity, including his own.

“If I stand on a corner holding a sign saying, ‘I’m racially fluid,'” says Spencer, “that still doesn’t mean I’m going to get a cab.”…

Read the entire article here.

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What black America won’t miss about Obama

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-07-03 01:38Z by Steven

What black America won’t miss about Obama

Cable News Network (CNN)
2016-07-01

John Blake

(CNN) President Barack Obama was delivering a speech before a joint session of Congress when a white lawmaker jabbed his right index finger at Obama and called him a liar.

The heckling came during his September 2009 address on health care. Obama was telling lawmakers that his plan wouldn’t cover undocumented immigrants when Republican Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina yelled, “You lie!”

Linnyette Richardson-Hall, an African-American event planner, watched Wilson’s outburst on live television in disbelief.

“My alter-ego, the hood-chick, came out of me,” says Richardson-Hall. “I said, ‘I know you just didn’t do that.’ To see him get disrespected so badly, it gut-punches you.”…

Richardson-Hall has restrained herself more than she ever expected in the past eight years. She fumed when she saw a poster of Obama dressed as an African witch doctor, online images of First Lady Michelle Obama depicted as a monkey, and racist Facebook comments by white people she thought she knew. Now, as Obama approaches his final months in office, she and others have come to a grim conclusion:

I didn’t know how racist America was until it elected its first black president…

Change No. 3: He’s become ‘my brother from another mother’

It may be hard to remember now, but Obama wasn’t actually considered the first black president — Bill Clinton nabbed that honor. Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison described him that way in a 1998 New Yorker essay.

“After all,” she wrote, “Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald’s-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas.”

Obama wasn’t a beloved figure in the black community when he first ran for the presidency. Civil rights leaders were slow to warm to him. Others said he wasn’t black enough. His mixed-race heritage, exotic upbringing overseas and professorial Ivy League persona didn’t fit the traditional black leader mold.

Some black intellectuals said Obama wasn’t even African-American because his father was from the east African nation of Kenya.

“Obama isn’t black. Black, in our political and social reality, means those descended from West African slaves,” Debra J. Dickerson wrote in a 2007 column for Salon magazine.

If Obama wasn’t black then, he sure is now — because he’s been treated with such racial contempt, some blacks say…

Read the entire article here.

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The new threat: ‘Racism without racists’

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-28 03:32Z by Steven

The new threat: ‘Racism without racists’

Cable News Network (CNN)
2014-11-27

John Blake

They showed people a photograph of two white men fighting, one unarmed and another holding a knife. Then they showed another photograph, this one of a white man with a knife fighting an unarmed African-American man.

When they asked people to identify the man who was armed in the first picture, most people picked the right one. Yet when they were asked the same question about the second photo, most people — black and white — incorrectly said the black man had the knife.

Even before the Ferguson grand jury’s decision was announced, leaders were calling once again for a “national conversation on race.” But here’s why such conversations rarely go anywhere: Whites and racial minorities speak a different language when they talk about racism, scholars and psychologists say.

The knife fight experiment hints at the language gap. Some whites confine racism to intentional displays of racial hostility. It’s the Ku Klux Klan, racial slurs in public, something “bad” that people do.

But for many racial minorities, that type of racism doesn’t matter as much anymore, some scholars say. They talk more about the racism uncovered in the knife fight photos — it doesn’t wear a hood, but it causes unsuspecting people to see the world through a racially biased lens.

It’s what one Duke University sociologist calls “racism without racists.” Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, who’s written a book by that title, says it’s a new way of maintaining white domination in places like Ferguson.

“The main problem nowadays is not the folks with the hoods, but the folks dressed in suits,” says Bonilla-Silva…

…’I don’t see color’

It’s a phrase some white people invoke when a conversation turns to race. Some apply it to Ferguson. They’re not particularly troubled by the grand jury’s decision to not issue an indictment. The racial identities of Darren Wilson, the white police officer, and Michael Brown, the black man he killed, shouldn’t matter, they say. Let the legal system handle the decision without race-baiting. Justice should be colorblind.

Science has bad news, though, for anyone who claims to not see race: They’re deluding themselves, say several bias experts. A body of scientific research over the past 50 years shows that people notice not only race but gender, wealth, even weight.

When babies are as young as 3 months old, research shows they start preferring to be around people of their own race, says Howard J. Ross, author of “Everyday Bias,” which includes the story of the knife fight experiment…

…Another famous experiment shows how racial bias can shape a person’s economic prospects.

Professors at the University of Chicago and MIT sent 5,000 fictitious resumes in response to 1,300 help wanted ads. Each resume listed identical qualifications except for one variation — some applicants had Anglo-sounding names such as “Brendan,” while others had black-sounding names such as “Jamal.” Applicants with Anglo-sounding names were 50% more likely to get calls for interviews than their black-sounding counterparts.

Most of the people who didn’t call “Jamal” were probably unaware that their decision was motivated by racial bias, says Daniel L. Ames, a UCLA researcher who has studied and written about bias.

“If you ask someone on the hiring committee, none of them are going to say they’re racially biased,” Ames says. “They’re not lying. They’re just wrong.”

Ames says such biases are dangerous because they’re often unseen.

“Racial biases can in some ways be more destructive than overt racism because they’re harder to spot, and therefore harder to combat,” he says…

…’But I have black friends’

In the movie “The Godfather,” the character of Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, hatches an audacious plan to kill a mobster and a crooked cop who tried to kill his father.

Michael’s elders scoff at his plans because they believe his judgment is clouded by anger. But in a line that would define his ruthless approach to wielding power, Michael tells them:

“It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.”When some whites talk about racism, they think it’s only personal — what one person says or does to another. But many minorities and people who study race say racism can be impersonal, calculating, devoid of malice — such as Michael Corleone’s approach to power.

“The first thing we must stop doing is making racism a personal thing and understand that it is a system of advantage based on race,” says Doreen E. Loury, director of the Pan African Studies program at Arcadia University, near Philadelphia.

Loury says racism “permeates every facet of our societal pores.”…

Read the entire article here.

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How Ferguson could be America’s future

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-08-26 02:12Z by Steven

How Ferguson could be America’s future

Cable News Network (CNN)
2014-08-23

John Blake

(CNN) — The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have been described as a mirror into contemporary America, but they are also something else: A crystal ball.

Look past the headlines — the debates over race and police militarization that have surfaced after the killing of an unarmed black youth by a white police officer — and one can glimpse America’s future, some historians and political scientists say.

No one is talking about an impending race war or a police state, but something more subtle. Unless Americans re-examine some assumptions they’ve made about themselves, they argue, Ferguson could be the future.

Assumption No. 1: Tiger Woods is going to save us

It’s called the “browning of America.” Google the phrase and you’ll get 18 million hits. By 2050, most of the nation’s citizens are expected to be people of color, according to the Pew Research Center.

Dig beneath the Google links and one can detect an emerging assumption: Racial flashpoints like Ferguson will fade in the future because no single race will be dominant. You could call it the Tiger Woods effect. The New American will claim multiple racial origins like Woods, the pro golfer. Demographic change will accomplish what a thousand national conversations on race could never do: lessen the sting of racial conflict.

A dramatic increase in interracial marriages will change the racial landscape as more people cross racial and ethnic lines to marry. But that change won’t be a cure-all, says Rory Kramer, a sociology and criminology professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

He says racial progress is not inevitable with the browning of America.

“I don’t want to deny the optimism,” Kramer says. “I deny the assumption that it will happen without effort.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Parallels to country’s racist past haunt age of Obama

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2012-11-12 01:11Z by Steven

Parallels to country’s racist past haunt age of Obama

Cable News Network
In America: You define America. What defines you?
2012-11-01

John Blake, CNN

This is the second in an occasional series on issues of race, identity and politics ahead of Election Day, including a look at the optics of politics, a white Southern Democrat fighting for survival and a civil rights icon registering voters.

(CNN) – A tall, caramel-complexioned man marched across the steps of the U.S. Capitol to be sworn into office as a jubilant crowd watched history being made.
 
The man was an African-American of mixed-race heritage, an eloquent speaker whose election was hailed as a reminder of how far America had come.
 
But the man who placed his hand on the Bible that winter day in Washington wasn’t Barack Obama. He was Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate.
 
His election and that of many other African-Americans to public office triggered a white backlash that helped destroy Reconstruction, America’s first attempt to build an interracial democracy in the wake of the Civil War.
 
To some historians, Revels’ story offers sobering lessons for our time: that this year’s presidential election is about the past as well as the future. These historians say Obama isn’t a post-racial president but a “post-Reconstructionist” leader. They say his presidency has sparked a white backlash with parallels to a brutal period in U.S. history that began with dramatic racial progress.
 
Some of the biggest controversies of the 2012 contest could have been ripped from the headlines of that late 19th-century era, they say: Debates erupt over voting rights restrictions and racial preferences, a new federal health care act divides the country, an economic crisis sparks a small government movement. And then there’s a vocal minority accusing a national black political leader of not being a “legitimate” U.S. citizen.
 
All were major issues during Reconstruction, an attempt to bring the former Confederate states back into the national fold and create a new era of racial justice. And many of the same forces that destroyed Reconstruction may be converging again, some scholars and historians say…

…Obamacare, 19th century style
 
Beyond Revels, there are other parallels between today and the post-Reconstruction era, according to some historians.
 
The most commonly cited link revolves around the debate over voter ID laws. Since Obama’s election, 34 states have considered adopting legislation requiring photo ID for voters, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. Seven have passed such laws, which typically require voters to present a government-issued photo ID at the polls.
 
During the post-Reconstruction era, many white Southerners viewed the onset of black voting power in apocalyptic terms. They created a thicket of voting barriers – “poll taxes,” “literacy tests” and “understanding clauses” – to prevent blacks from voting, said Dray.
 
“The idea was to invalidate the black vote without directly challenging the 15th Amendment,” Dray said….

Many contemporary voter ID laws are following the same script, he said.
 
“It just goes on and on. They’ve never completely gone away. And now they’re back with a vengeance.”
 
Some opponents of the voter ID laws note that these measures disproportionately affect the elderly and the poor, regardless of race.
 
Supporters of voter ID laws say they’re not about race at all, but about common sense and preventing voter fraud.
 
“That is not a racial issue and it certainly isn’t a hardship issue,” said Deneen Borelli, author of “Blacklash,” which argues Obama is turning America into a welfare nation.
 
“When you try to purchase over-the-counter medication or buy liquor or travel, you present photo ID. This is a basic part of everyday transactions.”
 
Historians say there are other ways the post-Reconstruction script is being dusted off and that some of them appear to have nothing to do with race on the surface.
 
Consider the debate over “Obamacare,” the nation’s new health care law. The controversy would be familiar to many 19th-century Americans, said Jim Downs, author of “Sick from Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction.”
 
The notion that the federal government should help those who cannot help themselves wasn’t widely accepted before the Civil War. There were a few charities and municipal hospitals that took care of the sick, but most institutions ignored ordinary people who needed health care, said Downs, a Connecticut College history professor who studies the history of race and medicine in 19th-century America.
 
Reconstruction changed that. Post-Civil War America was marked by epidemics: yellow fever, smallpox and typhus. Freed slaves, who were often malnourished and had few clothes and little shelter, died by the “tens of thousands,” he said.
 
The federal government responded by creating the nation’s first-ever national health care system, directed at newly freed slaves. It was called the Medical Division of the Freedmen’s Bureau. The division built 40 hospitals and hired hundreds of doctors to treat more than a million former slaves from 1865 until it was shut down in 1870 after losing congressional funding, Downs said.
 
“It absolutely radicalized health care,” he said. “You can’t argue that government intervention in health is something new or a recent innovation. It originated in the mid-19th century in response to the suffering of freed slaves.”
 
Critics at the time said the new health care system was too radical. They said it would make blacks too reliant on government. The system was expanded to include other vulnerable Americans, such as the elderly, children and the disabled. Yet some still saw it as a black handout, Downs said.
 
“The whole notion of the modern day “welfare queen” can be traced to the post-Civil War period when people became very suspicious of the federal government providing relief to ex-slaves,” Downs said. “They feared this would create a dependent class of people.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Even discussing ‘angry black man’ stereotype provokes anger

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, New Media, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2010-06-17 04:03Z by Steven

Even discussing ‘angry black man’ stereotype provokes anger

CNN
2010-06-16

John Blake

(CNN) — Here are some sound bites from the post-racial era:

“The long legged Mac Daddy in the White House is angry this morning. Seems to me we should change the name to the Black House for the next few years. Your news organization obviously is very racist.”

And:

“I don’t care what anyone says. If Obama takes to heart the calls for anger in this crisis all bets are off! White America will dump him right on his black a#s.”

Last week, CNN published an article entitled “Why Obama doesn’t dare become the ‘angry black man’ ” after critics complained that President Obama had not displayed enough anger in response to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

The article quoted scholars on race relations who said many white Americans would be unsettled by Obama losing his temper because he would evoke the stereotype of the angry African-American man.

…The phrase comes as no surprise to Rainier Spencer, director of Afro-American Studies Program at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Spencer said the angry black man stereotype has its origins in slavery. During slavery, white men feared black men like Nat Turner who resisted slavery. They were the black men who led slave insurrections and were sold further South. They were called Bucks.

“There’s the image of the minstrel, the happy, silly Negro who is fun to watch and laugh at. But the other one—the Buck—is the one you have to be careful about,” Spencer said.

The angry black man stereotype persisted after the end of slavery, Spencer said. Black militants in the civil rights movement; today’s black male rap artists—all are equated with some variation of the angry black man, Spencer said.

But Spencer said the angry black man stereotype doesn’t have the bite it once had. Certain black male public figures—Obama, Colin Powell—can display anger…

Why do we have to talk so much about race?

But who says a black man is running the country?

Some readers got miffed because CNN identified Obama as a black president. He’s biracial, they say.

“CNN get your facts straight—he is an angry half-black man! CNN you are a bunch of idiot race-baiters.”

Another:

“Maybe the 50 percent white part of him keeps the 50 percent angry black part calm and collected and on an even keel. Hmmm, that might be worthy of a university study! Could be ground-breaking science here! I’ll bet the guvment’ would even pay for it!”

Spencer, the race scholar from UNLV, said that Obama has already made his identity choice. He identified himself as black on his census form. He is perceived and accepted as black my most African-Americans.

Obama’s racial background doesn’t make him unlike most blacks; it makes him similar to most blacks, Spencer said.

Spencer, who is writing a book on mixed race, said an estimated 90 percent of African-Americans have white ancestors, including Michelle Obama, the first lady.

“It doesn’t make sense to talk about mixed race unless you’re going to include all 30 million African-Americans,” said Spencer, author of the upcoming book, “Reproducing Race: The Paradox of Generation Mix.”…

Read the entire article here.

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